Jari Lavonen

Professor Jari Lavonen

Professor in Physics and Chemistry Education at the University of Helsinki

Bio and Research Interests

Jari Lavonen has been researching science and technology education and teacher education for the last thirty years. His main research interests include science and technology teaching, learning and assessment; interest, motivation and engagement in learning; curriculum development; teacher education; and the use of education technology in education. He has published more than 600 publications, together with colleagues, 130 of them are refereed papers in journals, 130 refereed papers in international books. 

He has directed altogether 29 research project, equaling altogether to 4.2 million euros in funding over the last 25 years. Altogether, 65% of these projects have been international research projects. Examples, of the recent projects:

  • Engaging Learning Practices in STEM was research collaboration with the University of Chile and funded by the Finnish Academy (2016–2018).
  • Crafting Optimal Learning in Science Environments was research collaboration with the Michigan state university and was funded by the Finnish Academy (2016-2021).
  • Partners in the Erasmus+ project, Promoting Instructional Coherence through Science Teacher Education (PICoSTSE), researched best practices and identify challenges associated with promoting coherent science instruction through teacher training programs (2017-2020).
  •  SciCar Horizon, EU project addresses the need to systematically raise the level of expertise among researchers and educators who are involved in science & technology (2021-2024)

Professor Lavonen has supervised 33 Ph.D. theses and developed Ph.D. studies in international collaboration in a variety of ways. He was leading the Finnish Graduate School for Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry Education in years 2007-2011. He organised joint activities between Finnish and German graduate schools in years 2009-2012. He has also collaborated with Swedish, Estonian, and Dutch graduate schools. During the years 2020-2024 he was participating a capacity building project and PhD education at Tartu University.

Professor Lavonen has been active in international training and consulting, for example, involving the development of teacher education in Norway, Peru, and South Africa. For example, at the University of Johannesburg, campus Soweto, a similar teacher training school, which has been part of the Faculty of Education at the University of Helsinki since 1972, was established in 2010. He has been active in training teacher educators in many countries, such as Argentina, Estonia, China, India, Peru, Ukraine, and Belarus.


Recent Positions and Honors

1.1.2022 - Visiting professor at the University of Tartu, Estonia

1.1.2019 - Director of the Finnish Matriculation Examination Board. Ministry of Education

1.1.2016 - Director of the Finnish Teacher Education Forum. Ministry of Education

1.1.2015 - Distinguished visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa

1.1.2014 - Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters

1.1.2018 – 31.12.2020 Honorary Chair Professor. National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan


PhD in Physics (education), University of Helsinki, 1996



Contact Information

Faculty of Educational Sciences,
University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9,

Telephone: + 358 2941 29635  (work), + 358 50 415 5317 (gsm)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Psychology of Communication: Cognitive, Affective and Linguistic Processes. University of Bari, 1999. 

Honors and Awards

• 1990-91 OLIVETTI-CNR two-years grant on “Cognitive aspects of learning using technologies” 

• 1992-93 ALENIA two-years grant on “Human-machine interaction systems and tutorials”

• 1993-94 CNR/NATO one-year grant on “Metacognitive skills and Collaborative Technology” at the Graduate School of Education, University of Berkeley, CA (USA)

• 1995-96 SOCRATES-ERASMUS six-months grant 6 on “Social influence on online communication environments” at the University of Ginevra (CH)

• 1999-2000 European Community Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR)

• Marie Curie Research Training one-year Grants “EDVIR” (EDucational VIrtual Reality) 

• Environment for collaborative learning and networked multimedia” at the University of Nijmegen (NL)

Selected Publications

Ligorio, M.B., Schwartz, N. H., D'Aprile, G., & Philhour, D. (2017). Children's representations of learning through drawings. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction. 12, 133–148

Ligorio, M. B. & Barzanò, G. (2018). “Food for thought”: blogging about food as dialogical strategy for self-disclosure and otherness. Learning, Culture and Social interaction; 

D’Aprile, G., Ligorio, M. B., & Ulloa Severino, A. (2019). How serious games for health enhance empowerment related patient education: The impact of gender. Technology Knowledge and Learning. Vol. 62,  22

Ritella, G. & Ligorio, M. B. (2019). Dialogical approaches to learning: from theory to practice and back. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction

Ritella, G., Di Maso, R., McLay, K., Annese, S., & Ligorio, M.B. (2020). Remembering, reflecting, reframing: Examining students’ long-term perceptions of an innovative model for university teaching. Frontiers in Psychology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00565.

Beraldo, R., Annese, S., Schwartz, N., & Ligorio, M. B. (2021). Building intersubjectivity n blended problem-solving tasks. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 31, 100545.

Contact Information

Dipartimento Di Scienze Della Formazione, Psicologia, University of Bari (Italy)

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Telephone: 080 5714314

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