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Henri Pesonen

Ph.D., M.Sc., B.A. (Hons), Special education teacher

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching


Ph.D. Henri Pesonen is a University Lecturer of Special Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Dr. Pesonen's research focuses on the factors associated with sense of belonging for students with  special education needs, and how to support belonging in various educational contexts and in the society. Particularly, Pesonen is interested in examininig belonging for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. His related interests include educational policy implementation. 

Currently, Dr. Pesonen is conducting research in an EU funded project about improving employbility of higher education graduates with autism in Europe. Pesonen is the project manager in Finland, as well as leading the qualitative data collection in the other participating countries. Dr. Pesonen's other research focuses on 1) Finnish and Chinese teacher trainees’ self-perceived competence to support sense of belonging in the classroom and 2) autism portrayals in the Finnish media.

Dr. Pesonen earned his Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Helsinki,  M.Sc. in Childhood Education from Pace University (USA), and B.A. in Primary Education from the University of Sunderland (UK). Before completing his doctoral studies, Pesonen worked as a classroom and special education teacher in Finland, and language teacher and academic coach in the United States.


Education/Academic qualification



  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Special Education
  • Inclusive Education
  • autism

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2010 2018

Associations between student teachers' sense of belonging, well-being and competence in encountering children with diverse learning needs and backgrounds

Pesonen, H. & Nislin, M., 2018, p. 119-120. 2 p.

Research output: Conference materialsAbstractResearchpeer-review

Diagnoses or Solutions: Different Pathways for Supporting Students with Diverse Learning Needs

Brown, K., Pesonen, H. V. & Itkonen, T., Feb 2018, (Accepted/In press) Solution Focused Special Education .

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Eläinavusteinen opetus, autismikirjo ja kommunikaatio

Vainio, I., Pesonen, H. V. & Kontu, E., 2018, In : Kuntoutus. 41, 3, p. 38-45 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

Katsaus suomalaiseen autismiuutisointiin

Pesonen, H., Itkonen, T. & Nislin, M., Feb 2018, In : Autismi. 27, 1, p. 10 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Projects 2011 2021

Activities 2012 2018

Jury member in the inclusive practices festival

Henri Pesonen (Speaker)
18 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

IMAGE project kick off meeting

Henri Pesonen (Attendee)
18 Oct 201819 Oct 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Enhancing sense of belonging for children with special education needs

Henri Pesonen (Speaker)
18 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Autismin kirjo ja koulutus - Mitä tiedotusvälineet kertovat? (Anne Holopainen)

Henri Pesonen (Supervisor)
Jan 2018May 2018

Activity: Examination typesSupervision of other thesis (Master's, Licentiate)

Invited lecturer: Kuuluvuuden tunne perusopetuksessa ja sen jälkeen

Henri Pesonen (Speaker)
23 Jan 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Press / Media

Osallistavaa tutkimusta IMAGE -hankkeessa

Henri Valtteri Pesonen


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

Valterin ja yliopistojen yhteistyö tiivistyy

Henri Valtteri Pesonen


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

The Festival of inclusive practices was completed

Henri Valtteri Pesonen


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media

“Education for All”—Lesson to Learn from Finland

Henri Valtteri Pesonen


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media