Project Details


In order to foster positive youth development – the most critical key to sustainable societal growth – Finnish schools and teachers have to reform themselves in interaction with rigorous academic research. Individual capabilities of transforming and flexibly adapting to changing environments cannot be enhanced without educational renewal. Although learning engagement is critical to long-term youth development, adolescents’ engagement declines significantly as they transit to middle school, particularly among males, immigrants, and underprivileged students. Educational achievements are polarizing according to socio-economic status (SES) so that over 20% of 20-24-year-olds are without education, employment, or training. Current educational practices do not sufficiently inspire adolescents and provide only limited support coping with rapid societal changes, engaging in continuous further education or creative knowledge work in digital society. The Growing Mind project aims at overcoming these challenges through six inter-related work packages (WPs). The foundation is systematic longitudinal data on adolescents’ learning, engagement, socio-digital participation, socio-emotional skills and their peer-, family- and school-contexts (WP1), with longitudinal neuroscientific data of the effects of digitalization on development of adolescents’ mind and brain. Growing Mind (mindset) interventions (WP2) will be carried out to empower learning and positive development in adolescents in general and in disadvantaged and immigrant students in particular. Research advances in inquiry-, design-, and game-based science and math learning will guide implementing digital-pedagogic innovations (WP3) inspiring digital youth together with cultivating flexible epistemic competencies required by productive professional participation and lifelong learning. Further, learning analytics (WP4) for assessing and fostering emergent form of personal and social learning in digital environments will be developed. The proposed project supports systematic educational transformations at schools in Helsinki and aims at cultivating epistemic flexibility that teachers need for orchestrating nonlinear and open-ended pedagogic processes instead of highly scripted and closed ones (WP5). Interactive efforts of multi-disciplinary research network, educational practitioners, and working life stakeholders (WP6), supported by Innokas Network, will enable integrating academic and practical knowledge for renewing the Finnish educational system.
Short titleGrowing Mind
Effective start/end date15/01/201831/12/2023

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences