Researcher of the month: Anne-Elina Salo


CERLI, Centre for Research on Learning and Instruction, presents one researcher each month. In February it is Senior Researcher Anne-Elina Salo’s turn.

Currently, I am researching well-being through the perspectives of individual encounters and social inclusion in the EduRESCUE and Right to Belong consortia, funded by the Strategic Research Council. For this purpose, we have developed the Diverse Situations and Social Inclusion (DivSoc)—Questionnaire (Salo & Kajamies, 2024). This tool encourages future teachers to assess their preparedness to address diverse situations that can threaten students' well-being. It also prompts reflection on ways to promote the social inclusion of each student in the everyday life of the school and on future teachers' own support needs in challenging situations.

Additionally, my research includes studying loneliness and ostracism among young children, as well as examining the resources and support needs of parents in crisis situations. Investigating these topics is crucial because individual encounters—that is, ensuring that everyone can be seen, heard, and understood—as well as promoting social inclusion—that is, meaningful participation and sense of belonging—are critical for realizing children’s right to support, strengthening the prerequisites for learning, and building a socially sustainable future.

While adults bear the responsibility for children's well-being, they also require diverse resources and support, such as quality teacher training effectively preparing for future challenges and low-threshold support for families in diverse situations.

In my daily work as a researcher, tasks range from conducting research to collaborating with stakeholders. Activities include reviewing research, analysis, writing, and creating publications for both scientific and general audiences. I also participate in the formulation of research-based recommendations for decision-makers. Collaborative efforts span national and international levels, involving interdisciplinary work and engagement with various stakeholders.

Outside of research, I spend time with my spouse and our two daughters, along with three golden retrievers and two cats. I engage in various activities with our dogs, such as agility and obedience trials. Nature activities, like walks in the forest and peaceful moments by a fire, are particularly relaxing for me.

To those involved in research on learning and teaching, my greetings are that I believe that we, as researchers, can play a crucial role in building a socially sustainable future. We have the privilege of hearing diverse voices, and we can increase understanding of diverse solutions to enhance well-being based on our research. Consequently, we bear the responsibility to disseminate these insights in ways that reach various stakeholders, offering clear recommendations. Societal interaction and impact require time and courage, but I find them immensely meaningful aspects of my work as a researcher.

Created 19.02.2024 | Updated 20.02.2024