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The School of Educational Sciences is an academic unit of Tallinn University that conducts studies at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels and organizes continuing education, research, development and creative activities. 

There are five main study areas in School of Educational Sciences: 

  • Early childhood and primary education.
  • Educational Leadership and Innovation.
  • Inclusive Education.
  • Non-formal Education and Lifelong Learning.
  • Teacher Education and Educational Science.

Early Childhood and Primary Education

Early childhood and primary education create the foundation of general education in kindergarten and grades 1-6 of elementary school. Our goal is an education system based on shared values, learner-oriented and inclusive, which offers learning paths that support the needs of society.

The academic staff's teaching, research and knowledge services are related to child development, learning and teaching issues.

The staff members of study area focus on the following topics:

  • The environment of a child's development.
  • Diversity of learning environments.
  • Formation and content of curricula.
  • Subject and field didactics, including different learning and engagement methodologies.

Leader of the study area: Inge Timoštšuk.


Non-Formal Education and Lifelong Learning

The main fields in the non-formal education and lifelong learning in the School of Educational Sciences are andragogy and adult education, adult learning, adult training, supporting adult learning and educational consultation, vocational pedagogy and and the training of a vocational teacher, youth work and youth work management. 

Our research and services are connected with the following topics:

  • Non-formal education and lifelong learning.
  • Adult and vocational education.
  • Youth work and youth work management.
  • Learning in various contexts.
  • Adult learning, the learner's abilities, learning needs and identity.
  • The vocational identity of adult educators.
  • Teachers' and educators' professional identity and teaching practices.
  • Youth work policy and management and youth workers.
  • Youth policy and youth work in the context of social change and innovation.
  • The changing professionalism of vocational teachers.
  • The student body of vocational education; the didactics of vocational education, development of curricula in vocational education.
  • Learning in a working environment.

When conducting research or developing curricula, we work together with partner universities from abroad, various partners and international networks.

Our values are the learning human, open dialogue, the balance between tradition and innovation.

Leader of the study area: Kai Pata.

Educational Leadership and Innovation

Our research is based on understanding the processes of adoption of evidence-based innovations in schools.

  • We are following the whole school approach to research innovation processes at schools and focus on distributed leadership, teacher leadership and collaborative processes at school.
  • The focus is on didactical and often technology-enhanced scenarios for student-centered learning in secondary school.
  • We are using the knowledge appropriation model to study boundary crossing and co-creation in professional teacher education to better understand innovation adoption in schools.
  • We are researching Learning Analytics technology to enable data collection on the classroom level, analyze teaching and learning processes and integrate teachers into our research.

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We are developing the following services: 

  • The Future School – a systematic whole school development programme to support school's capability to improve continuously learning and teaching at school. 
  • The EduLab model – a systematic research, training and development method integrated into teacher education to spread evidence-based innovation in schools. This has been showcased in 4 STEM oriented labs.
  • The Learning Analytics Toolbox – a digital toolset to make available easy to administer data collection, analysis and presentation tools for teachers and researchers to analyze learning processes on the classroom level.
  • Schools' monitoring – the aim is to offer schools information on how to rise teachers' and leaders' capability to lead innovative processes to improve students' learning.
  • Development programmes and training courses for schools, hobby schools, experts of the local municipalities.

 Leader of the study area: Eve Eisenschmidt.

Inclusive Education

The area of inclusive education comprises of the academic staff of the School of Educational Sciences whose research and teaching activities focus on supporting the development of learners with special needs. The members of the study area are scientists and teachers with educational sciences and psychology background. 

The main research topics:

  • The methods to support the development and assess the academic and social skills of children at different age and skill levels.
  • The competences of teachers when supporting the development of learners at different skill levels.
  • The cognitive abilities of children with special needs, their social competency, social-emotional development and neurorehabilitation.
  • The general principles and development of children's cognitive information processing.
  • The individual differences of children in self-regulated learning.
  • Mindfulness-type exercises in inclusive education.
  • Digital awareness as a way and possibility to balance the digital world.

Our development activities are connected with designing and implementing the continuing training and services to support the development of learners with special needs. We are prepared to help to enhance the competences of individuals and organizations through service packages (development programme) and continuing training. In our target group are the teachers and special needs counselors in preschools and schools, coordinators for learners with special educational needs, training specialists, youth workers, action therapists, social pedagogues, parents, specialists in counselling centres and specialists in hobby schools, local governments and NGOs. 

Leader of the study area: Piret Soodla

Teacher Education and Educational Science

Teacher education and educational science area comprises of the academic staff of the School of Educational Sciences whose research interests are connected with teacher education and educational science and philosophy in general. 

The teachers and researchers involved with teacher education focus in their R&D projects on early childhood education, primary education and basic education on the learner's, class' and school's level; on studying as a phenomenon in the viewpoint of educational psychology and on implementing digital technologies in the study process. 

The researchers involved with educational science and curriculum focus on education and teaching in both local and global sociocultural context. The researchers in the field of educational philosophy and history define and analyze a growing and studying human as such, drawing on various cultures of thinking and cultural time-space. 

Leader of the study area: Katrin-Poom Valickis.