Editor spotlight: Meet Dr Kirsi Tirri

This blog is part of our ‘Editor Spotlight Series’. Look out for monthly posts where our Academic Editors share insights into their roles, tips for authors, and discuss trends within their specialist fields.

Dr Kirsi Tirri, Full Professor of Education and Research Director, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and the Department of Education at the University of Helsinki. ORCID: 0000-0001-5847-344X

Dr Kirsi Tirri is an Academic Editor for Education Research International (ERI). As a Full Professor of Education and Research Director at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and at the Department of Education at the University of Helsinki, she has spoken and published widely on her areas of research and expertise, including teacher education, moral education, and comparative studies.

What is your background and how did you become a researcher in your field?

My interests have always been multidisciplinary. I started my studies in theology, then later became a Professor of Religious Education. Now, I am a Professor of Education with interests in psychology and philosophy. A comprehensive background in humanities has given me broader perspectives in my research and that has relevance for international audiences. I love to do empirical research in research teams with people from different scientific backgrounds and countries. 

I am an expert in empirical research and cross-cultural studies and am interested in school pedagogy, talent development, and moral education. Teacher education and teaching and learning in schools are the main contexts of my research. Currently, I am leading two projects: the first is related to changing the mindsets of students, parents, and teachers about learning in schools; the second is entitled Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship. 

What attracted you to the position of Academic Editor for Education Research International, and Hindawi as a publisher?

During recent years, I have been a Lead Guest Editor for two special issues for ERI. One was about the moral core of teaching and the other on talent development. I admired the editorial support and work morals of Hindawi people. As an Academic Editor, I got all the necessary help with my work; this good cooperation attracted me and helped me make the decision to become a member of the editorial board of ERI.

I am a huge fan of teamwork with people from different countries and I think together we can build our society to be more democratic and tolerant to differences. 

Why is this journal important for the field? What is its relevance to society?

Emphasis on international education research is vital. Some journals only publish papers from certain countries, for example, from the US. We need perspectives from a wide variety of countries and journals, as I believe this promotes international cooperation. I am a huge fan of teamwork with people from different countries and I think together we can build our society to be more democratic and tolerant to differences. 

What advice would you give to a PhD researcher trying to write their first article?

My essential advice to PhD researchers is to read others’ work and to learn from good scholars. It is also important to learn about the publication forum in which you want to publish your work. You need to join the current discussion in those forums concerning your topic. Follow the guidelines the journals give, seek advice from your teachers and peers, and be prepared to revise everything, if necessary. It might be better to try a short article first, rather than a long one.

Share an experience as an Editor for Education Research International and/or an article that deserves special mention.

I have had great experiences as a Lead Guest Editor of two special issues in Education Research International. I have always tried to attract authors from several countries to join the special issue. I also think different methodological approaches should be advocated. For my first special issue ‘The Moral Core of Teaching’, published in 2012, I worked with three other editors from the UK, Australia, and Canada. The papers in that special issue came from Finland, Iran, and the Netherlands. We had a total of six countries included in that special issue. I really liked this diversity because it represented exactly what we advocate, truly making our issue educationally international.


This interview was conducted by the Hindawi team. It is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). The illustration is by Hindawi and is also CC-BY.