At the department, there is a lively research environment with many projects addressing a range of topics: preschool, school, school-age educare (leisure-time centre) and other institutional activities including adult education and lifelong learning. There is also research that concerns the broader conditions of life and wellbeing of children and young people in contemporary society in different parts of the world. Another prominent interest is digitalization and learning in societies undergoing rapid change.
The research groups participate in numerous national and international research collaborations with partners across the world, and the connection of the work to the sustainability goals of the UN Agenda 2030 is evident in research as well as in undergraduate and graduate education. The research projects are conducted with support from national and international funding agencies and through collaborations with municipalities and organizations in practice-based research and developmental projects.
The research is multidisciplinary and organized in five different research themes. Each of these themes consists of research groups with different specializations. The research groups conduct projects, write applications for research funding, and this is the context where the doctoral students receive significant parts of their scholarly training. Research is a dynamic activity in constant change. Currently there is an initiative at the department, where the ambition is to develop a research theme in the area of adult education in a broad sense. This includes an interest in popular education, democracy and education, adult learning/education, professional learning, teaching and learning at university and workplace learning.
The activities conducted within the research themes and groups are of two kinds. The seminars are internal communities of academic work where scholars and Ph. D students participate. In addition, there are colloquia, which are activities open to the public. In the colloquia, there are open lectures given by researchers, by guest-lecturers from other universities and research agencies and by visiting scholars. The colloquia and the research groups also interact with the public by organizing conferences and in-service training and by engaging in other collaborative activities.