Tarja Alatalo

Personlig presentation av Tarja Alatalo

Proprefekt forskning, School of Teacher Education
Professor Educational Work, Educational Work 1
Tarja Alatalo teaches courses on reading and writing as well as on teaching and pedagogy in the Preschool Teacher Education Programme and the Compulsory Teacher Education Programme. She also teaches courses at the master’s level.


I am an associate professor in Educational work at Dalarna University. Idefended my PhD thesis on reading and writing didactics at Göteborg University in 2011. Since then I have worked at Dalarna University.

I work with the postgraduate education in educational work at Dalarna Univerity as a course leader and a teacher in two courses. I also supervise twoPhD students in educational work.

Further, I am a memberof the Doctoral Programme Committee for Educational Work within the research profileEducation and Learning at Dalarna University. In connection with this, I havethe responsibility for external doctoral education contacts.

I teach and lecture at the teacher- and preschool teacher educationprograms. I also supervise students in their thesis works at undergraduate andadvanced level.

I am a scientific leader at two comprehensive national in-servicetraining programs for early school years’ teachers, that are run by the NationalAgency for Education: Early reading instruction  and Early writing instruction.

Furthermore, I am the project manager of the design and testing of anationally mandatory mapping material in linguistic awareness in preschoolclass Hitta språket (“Find the language”).


My research interests

My research interest is literacy instruction in pre-school,pre-school class and school.

In preschool, I do research about teachers’ perceptions of readingaloud as a tool for language stimulation, in preschool class, among otherthings, about how teachers identify students’ literacy development as well aswhat opportunities are given for language and literacy development in different subject areas. In the early grades in school, I study reading and writinginstruction from several perspectives.

Furthermore, I do research in a project funded by the Swedish ResearchCouncil together with researchers at Dalarna University, Umeå University andUppsala University. The research project focuses on reading in school and readingmotivation among students in sixth and ninth grades. In another project, alsofunded by the Swedish Research Council, I study teacher qualifications in thesubjects of Mathematics and Swedish in grades three and six in a longitudinalperspective, together with researchers at the University of Gothenburg.

In all projects, my research interest deals with issues ofsustainable reading and writing instruction, which means, among other things, thatthe teacher needs to have subject content knowledge in order to have theopportunity to create instruction that promotes all students’ opportunities todevelop a good reading ability. I study teaching based on didactic theory andanalyze it based on cognitively oriented knowledge of how reading and writingabilities are developed, together with socio-cultural perspectives on learning.