Anu Kajamaa


Description of research and teaching

Anu Kajamaa, PhD, is Adjunct Professor and Principal Investigator at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is Co-Leader of an expert group Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI). Anu has been awarded several times for her research and teaching:

  • 2018 Best Practice-Oriented Paper Award, given by the Strategizing Activities and Practices interest group at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting (AOM), Chicago, US
  • 2017 The Best Research Paper Award, by the International Association for Medical Education (AMEE 2017) annual conference
  • 2015 The Adult Educator of the Year, by students of the Institute for Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki
  • 2013 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award, by Emerald and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).


Anu is currently in an Academy of Finland funded research project "Learning by Making: The Educational Potential of School-Based Makerspaces for Young Learners' Digital Competencies" (iMake). She is a staff member of the Playful Learning Center, which is an ecosystem for research, development and educational practices. She is also the Institutional Leader in an EU H2020-MSCA-RISE-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research project, entitled "Improving collaborative working between correctional and mental health services".


She is a passionate researcher, supervisor and a pedagogically qualified teacher who loves to carry out research based teaching. She takes active part to faculty development as a member in the Faculty Council and Faculty research committee at the Faculty of Education, Univ. of Helsinki. Her research focuses especially on organizational learning, change and development via interprofessional working and formative interventions. She is an expert in sociocultural- and practice based theories, qualitative research methods and participatory intervention techniques, drawing especially from cultural historical activity theory and the Change Laboratory method. Her current research contexts are primary schools, teacher education, health care and social care, and entrepreneurship hubs/Fabrication Laboratories.


Her work is highly international, she is a research group member in several national and international projects and consortiums (e.g. with Centre for Medical Education and Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA). She is one of the founders of the European Centre of Excellence in Qualitative Study and Inquiry in Training and Education, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. She has been a visiting researcher and teacher in many universities and business schools, such as University of California, Berkeley, USA, McGill University, Canada, Columbia University, USA, Nancy-Metz Business School, France, ESSEC Business School, France, University of Technology Chemnitz, Germany, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, University of California San Diego, USA and University of Otago, New Zealand.


Education information

PhD, Docent


Latest publications

  1. How to... get started with theory in education

    Johnston, J., Bennett, D. & Kajamaa, A., Aug 2018, In : The clinical teacher. 15, 4, p. 294-297 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  2. Understanding educational change: Agency-structure dynamics in a novel design and making environment

    Kumpulainen, K., Kajamaa, A. & Rajala, A., 29 Jun 2018, In : Digital education review. 2018, 33, p. 26-38 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  3. Exploring the Adoption, Spread, and Sustainability of an Informal STEAM Learning Innovation In Schools

    Stevens, R., Ramey, K. E., Mayerhoff, P., Hilppö, J., Kumpulainen, K., Kajamaa, A., Rajala, A. & Halverson, R., 23 Jun 2018, Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making Learning Sciences Count, 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018. Kay, J. & Luckin, R. (eds.). London, UK: ISLS International Society of the Learning Sciences, Vol. Volume 2. p. 1203-1210 8 p. (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Latest activities

  1. Institutional leader's report, presentation by Anu Kajamaa

    Anu Kajamaa (Speaker), Päivikki Lahtinen (Speaker), Terhi Päivikki Esko (Speaker)
    3 Sep 20185 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. The meaning of materiality for dialogic interaction in a novel educational design

    Kristiina Kumpulainen (Invited speaker), Anu Maaria Kajamaa (Speaker), Antti Juhani Rajala (Speaker)
    30 Aug 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  3. Paper presentation

    Anu Kajamaa (Speaker), Päivi Kristiina Kumpulainen (Speaker)
    29 Aug 20181 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

View all (151) »

Latest projects

  1. Change Laboratory

    Kajamaa, A.


    Project: Research project

  2. Change Laboratory 2016

    Kajamaa, A.


    Project: Research project

View all (14) »

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