University of Helsinki

Kristiina Kumpulainen

Kristiina Kumpulainen


Dr. Kristiina Kumpulainen is Professor of Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. She is the founding member and the scientific director of the Playful Learning Center and serves on the advisory board of the center.

She received her PhD in Education from the University of Exeter in the year 1994 focusing on children’s collaborative writing with computers. She has held two distinguished scholarly positions awarded by the Academy of Finland. In the years 2006-9 she directed the national interdisciplinary research network on learning, CICERO Learning at the University of Helsinki. She has also served as the Director of the Information and Evaluation Services Unit at the Finnish National Board of Education before her present position. Prof. Kumpulainen has been a visiting professor at the University of Warwick, Institute of Education, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Grounded in sociocultural theories of human learning and development and interactional sociolinguistics, Prof. Kumpulainen’s research focuses on examining tool-mediated learning and communication in various settings, including early childhood centers, schools, museums and teacher education settings. She has also addressed methodological questions in the analysis of social interaction in collaborative and creative learning in online and offline spaces. Her current research centers on play and learning in the digital age, digital childhoods, education and parenting, learning across contexts, children’s agency and identity, resilience, as well as visual participatory research.