60 years old | “I’m trying to save the world’s children from boredom,” says Kirsti Lonka, Professor of Educational Psychology

Professor Kirsti Lonkaa is annoyed that nowadays so much of the energy and time of researchers is wasted in making funding applications.

“I was overactive a child, and one of my deepest school memories is the pain of the boredom of lessons. Even then, I thought that there must be somehow more effective ways to teach and learn, ”Professor of Educational Psychology Kirsti Lonka times the beginning of his educational path at a primary school in Herttoniemi. This is partly why he has been involved in active learning research since the 1980s.

“Although things are relatively good in Finland, my wider task is to try to save the children of the rest of the world from boredom,” he declares with a smile.

As a teenager, Lonka devoured everything from the shelves of the home to the edge. “By 3pm, I had read about all the classics of fiction – I guess it’s a little too early to understand.”

Although not even though he studied psychology in high school, he headed to college to read it. “The passionate object of my passion was the human mind, and therefore psychology.”

But even the Department of Psychology was struck by boredom – “dry, theoretical, boring” – and somehow had to react. His fellow students Kai Hakkarainen with Hip pressed to appeal to the professor To Johan von Wright. “He took the matter perfectly and recruited us to develop new degree requirements.”

At the age of 25, Lonka was the teaching assistant at the department, and her university career opened early. “Although I had aimed to be a clinical psychologist, by the summer of 1984 a job had been agreed at Nikkilä Hospital, but the university’s challenges had passed.”

In four In the decade, Lonka has been staring at universities in Helsinki and around the world from every angle. The professor is annoyed that so much of the energy and time of researchers today is wasted on making funding applications. “When three good coupons rust, one maybe rots. It is painful that even the research projects evaluated with the best points are not supported, ”he describes the situation.

“This exhausting circus of applying for money is all out of that most important, research work.”

As a researcher, as a teacher and lecturer, she specializes in learning processes. His key terms include insightful learning – that is, what is it concisely and popularly?

The professor corrects the sitting position and thinks further.

“I distinguish two aspects in it. Research in the field shows that an expert cannot transfer his or her own ability to understand to another person’s mind, ”he begins. “Therefore, the pupil or student, the person who is learning at all, must himself go through the thought process and create in his mind – or together with others – knowledge of what exactly is at stake.”

Thus, out of memorization, instead of essential insight into things and phenomena, people process complex information. Is that how simple it is?

Basically yes. However, Lonka emphasizes that the learning goals of primary school are also excellent and up-to-date, but the transition to school classes is not as easy.

“Resource cuts hit these stunning plans in the cheek, and many governance structures are causing more friction.”

Question raising the compulsory school age causes Longa to turn almost into a knot.

“With conflicting feelings,” he sighs. “At the conceptual level, I fully understand and accept the reform, but knowing full well the current challenges in secondary school that have emerged from our research, I am afraid of the accumulating problems.”

“And how do we ensure that the funds now swallowed up by compulsory education are not squeezed out of other basic resources for education and research? Is there a danger that this will become an extension of the Hölmölä’s cover? ”

There are still jobs for education professionals. Children and schools should also be saved from resource scarcity.

Still, Kirsti Lonka is confident about the future. “But I would further emphasize the importance of free play and early childhood education.”

Kirsti Lonka

  • Born in 1961 in Helsinki.

  • Student 1980, Helsinki II Normal School. Master of Psychology 1986 and Doctor 1997, University of Helsinki. Postgraduate studies 1988–1990 at the University of Toronto.

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology 1986–1996, Director of the Pedagogical Unit of the Faculty of Medicine 1996–2001, and Professor of Educational Psychology since 2005 at the University of Helsinki.

  • Professor of Medical Pedagogy and Director of the Learning Center 2001–2005 at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

  • Visiting professor in the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and Taiwan.

  • Lecturer. Non-fiction writer.

  • Published about 20 works and 140 scientific articles.

  • Science Rector of Kymenlaakso Summer University.

  • Lives in Helsinki, married, two adult daughters.

  • Turns 60 on Sunday, July 4th.



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