Tuesday, 20 March 2018

New publication: Special issue on schoolscapes for Linguistics and Education

I happily announce that our new Special Issue entitled Studying the visual and material dimensions of education and learning has been published as Vol. 44 (2018) of Linguistics and Education. We edited it together with Petteri Laihonen.

Our editorial summarizes what we consider the main contribution of this publication:
In this special issue we offer an extensive exploration and conceptualization of the visual and material dimensions of education and learning, bringing together a cluster of emerging scholarly ventures that investigate how people create, explore, interpret, negotiate, adjust, contest, transform and envision learning environments. This edited collection of research papers shows the versatility of the growing field of schoolscape studies and the high potential of recent theoretical and methodological innovations to investigate the visual and material dimensions of education and learning. The studies share the view that premises designed for education as well as other spaces can equally serve as sites of teaching and learning. Among others, the papers ask what the environment offers and how images, multimodal texts and artifacts can be used to enhance (language) learning and communication. The empirical case studies apply a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, bringing innovation into the generation, presentation and analysis of data from varying educational institutions and mundane settings covering geographical sites from Europe and North America.

Monday, 22 January 2018

New publication: Inclusive ethnographies

As a continuation of our previous study on representation and videography in linguistic landscape research, with Robert A. Troyer we published a paper on linguistic landscape oriented ethnographic work. This contribution is part of the special issue Methodology in Linguistic Landscape Research, edited by Robert Blackwood for Linguistic Landscape. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

New publication on Christian schoolscape

My most recent paper on schoolscapes has just been published in the Hungarian journal Regio. In this paper, I deal with connections between the material environment of education and school literacy. As a case study, I analyze the schoolscape of a Christian school in Finland. Across the history of Finnish education the role of religious literacy has changed fundamentally. While reading and interpreting the Bible constituted essential and accessible literacy for a wide population for centuries, religious and other layers of literacy are kept separate in the contemporary secular education system. I argue that (re)integrating religious and non-religious layers of literacy forms the essence of the schoolscape in the Christian school I studied.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Workshop: Exploring changing educational environments and organizational cultures

I'm one of the organizers of this seminar. Welcome!

Exploring changing educational environments and organizational cultures
An international workshop on 16–17 November 2017
Venue: University of Jyväskylä, Agora Building, Lea Pulkkinen hall

Just like many other organizations, educational organizations also undergo extensive change processes due to broader changes in contemporary working life, changes in the curriculum, money cuts and the ways in which knowledge, human subjects and communities are understood in an increasingly technologized and globalized world. These changes manifest themselves in schoolscapes, i.e., the material environment of education.

We invite you to discuss novel research designs and participatory methods that facilitate the application of research results in work-life contexts and create opportunities for various co-designed projects between academia and society. We focus on ways in which participants’ perceptions of learning environments enhance processes of change.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

New publication: Representation and videography in linguistic landscape studies

Together with Robert A. Troyer we have just published a methodology-focused paper "Representation and videography in linguistic landscape studies" in the John Benjamins journal Linguistic Landscape which is the definitive journal of the field.

Monday, 19 December 2016

A workshop on co-located schools

I am the postdoctoral researcher of the Jyväskylä Language Campus project Multilingual schoolscape – Multilingual learning environment which organized a workshop on co-located schools on 2 December in Jyväskylä. Co-located schools (kieliparikoulut/samlokaliserade skolor) are cases where a Finnish and a Swedish medium school have moved together. Currently there are 35–45 such schools in Finland, and their number is growing. In co-located schools, a multilingual environment is given, but the potential of such cases has only recently been recognized for language learning and practice. 

Our team

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Our new publication on schoolscape research

With my colleague Petteri Laihonen, we have just published a paper on schoolscape research, focusing on language ideologies and organizational cultures in different sociocultural settings:

Laihonen, P. & T. P. Szabó 2017. Investigating visual practices in educational settings: schoolscapes, language ideologies and organizational cultures. In: M. Martin-Jones & D. Martin (eds.), Researching multilingualism: Critical and ethnographic approaches. Routledge, pp. 121–138.

Book cover from the publisher's website
In our introduction we summarized the aims of the paper as follows: