Meriläinen Merja, yliopistonlehtori/Senior Lecturer

Kasvatustieteet, opetus ja tutkimus
Meriläinen Merja, yliopistonlehtori/Senior Lecturer
+358 40 7518 036


I´m a Senior Lecturer, working as a primary school teacher trainer in adult teacher training in Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius. My sphere of responsibilities in pre-service teacher training studies is as following: language arts and literacy didactical and pedagogical studies, multicultural practicum, the final practicum period in advanced special studies as well as some studies in subject related studies connected to authentic, contextual pedagogical learning environments from the perspective of art-based methods and individual learning possibilities in primary school context.

I´ve successfully passed two degrees with credit: Master of Education degree in Oulu University Education Department and Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics in Jyväskylä University. In addition to these degrees, I train myself regularly to up-to-date my skills and knowledge needed in my work. My latest studies, 15 Ects credits TACE -course gave me a qualification to teach academic content in English at higher education. In 2018, I completed 25 Ects credits Solution Based Neuropsychiatric therapeutic degree and in 2019, I got a qualification to practice as an integrative Life-traps and Schema-focused Therapy –therapist. With these last two degrees, I´m also qualified to work as a Solution-focused work (clinical) supervisor and therapist.

Orcid ID

Research Areas

My research interests lies in three main areas which all are based on the framework of contextual –pedagogical approach to authentic learning. The framework demonstrates the encounter of the society and a child’s life in school pedagogy and culture. It aims to combine historical but still applicable educational and pedagogical starting points with currently topical issues such as phenomenon-based and an interdisciplinary approach to curriculum, generic skills, the principles of transformational pedagogy, and social as well as individual views to learning and its contexts.


Currently, my teaching divides between pre-service and in-service teacher training almost half and half. Teaching areas in pre-service teacher training consist of my main subject Finnish language arts and literacy, practicums and some studies in advanced special studies and studies in subject related studies. I also spend some hours for master´s thesis dissertations and for doctoral thesis guidance. In-service training focuses currently on on-going research projects: Early foreign language learning (The Early Bird gets the Word) and The art –based methods in developing transversal competence. My interest lies also on ubiquitous learning environments and I intend to develop my teaching so that students have versatile possibilities to gain the learning aims and show their knowledge.

Current research and training projects

THE DEVELOPMENT OF CURRICULUM KNOWLEDGE Since 2014- I have been developing teaching, learning, assessment and learning environments in the framework of curriculum (Basic education 2014, General upper secondary education 2015 and University of applied sciences education 2014). Projects has been funded by co-operators: the City of Kokkola, the City of Hämeenlinna, the City of Tampere, RYM Shok and Centria university of applied sciences.

2017 –EARLY FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING -project in co-operation with the University of Jyvaskyla, Åbo Academy and University of Helsinki - Centre for Continuing Education HY+, funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education. Early A1- language teaching will begin in the first grade in Finland, in January 2020, which is a significant reform in Finland in foreign language teaching. In this project, I have, in co-operation with my colleague Maarika Piispanen, developed a theoretical model to support the planning and realizing of the early foreign language learning landscape based on a theory of foreign language learning. This model, the Contextual Pedagogical approach to early foreign language learning landscape model, creates a seedbed for language skills, especially in the early foreign language learning environments.

2017- OSU –PROFILING TOOL funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. OSU profiling is a tool and method through which teacher's professional skills and school strengths and development targets can be seen at the individual level for the teacher himself and at the community level from the perspective of the whole school. Profiling brings the expertise of the work community to the forefront and identifies common development areas. (OSU: the extent of the teachers´ know-how)

2018- THE ART –BASED METHODS IN DEVELOPING TRANSVERSAL COMPETENCE in co-operation with UniArts –Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki and Savonlinna Summer University, funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The research project focuses on the development of transversal competence and creation of multidisciplinary learning experiences, especially by utilizing art-based methods in teaching and learning. In the project, the object of development is to help the participants to gain art-based tools for basic education to develop transversal competence in order to increase and strengthen the pupils’ well being.

Recent Publications

  • Meriläinen, M. &Piispanen, M. 2019. The Early Bird gets the Word – Joy and enthusiasm for early foreign language learning in the learning landscape of the Contextual Pedagogical approach to Learning. IEJEE. International electronic journal of elementary education. In publishing process.
  • Piispanen, M. & Meriläinen, M. 2019. The art based methods in developing transversal competence. IEJEE. International electronic journal of elementary education. In publishing process.
  • Meriläinen, M. & Piispanen, M. (2018). Ubiquitous Learning in Appropriate Learning Environments. International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education, 7 (1), 1215-1223.
  • Piispanen, M. &Meriläinen, M. (2016). Life's Learning Path Towards Cross-disciplinary Competencies: An Assessment. Asian Journal of Education and e-Learning, 4 (6), 160-170.