Kristiina Kumpulainen

University of Helsinki, Finland

Visual methods in researching and understanding children’s experiencing in their life worlds

In my presentation, I will discuss how visual methods offer tools for children to narrate their experiencing in their life worlds. My work is informed by sociocultural and dialogic approaches that consider children’s sense-making as a dialogic process encompassing social, cognitive, affective, and personal identity dimensions (Vygotsky, 1994). The concept of experiencing focuses on a dynamic tension between the given world and the way in which it is experienced. My presentation challenges simplistic notions of gaining access to and understanding children’s experiencing via visual methods. On the contrary, as my empirical examples will show, visually mediated accounts of children’s experiencing should be understood as interactional achievements shaped by cultural, social, and material contexts. As such, visual methods can offer children rich means of expression, which can result in new meanings, emotions, and experiences for everyone involved. 



Kristina Cropped
Kristiina Kumpulainen, PhD, is Professor of Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. Recognized internationally for her scholarship Kumpulainen is the author of over 100 articles and 10 books. Her research interests focus on children’s learning, development and wellbeing in their communities, formal and informal education, dialogic learning, agency and identity, multiliteracies, and professional development of teachers. She specializes in video-research, visual methods, and co-participatory research. She is the recipient of numerous research and development grants. Her current research projects include the Joy of learning multiliteracies (funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture) and School-based makerspaces for promoting young learners’ digital literacies and creativity (funded by the Academy of Finland). She is a regular keynote speaker in national and international conferences and venues.