I am a university lecturer and adjunct professor in special education at Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences in University of Helsinki. I instruct future special teachers, special class teachers and early childhood teachers.
My research interest lie in the field of positive psychology, especially in its school applications. Character strengths and strength-based learning in inclusive classrooms are my main focus. I have developed positive education interventions with my PhD students to serve both mainstream and special needs students.
Originally, I am a special class teacher and a subject teacher in chemistry. I have a long history of teaching in all school levels. I received my first MSc in biochemistry and I still have a special interest in behavioral genetics, particularly genetics of well-being.
I did my PhD thesis Remediation of reading difficulties in grade 1, three pedagogical interventions in University of Helsinki in 2009. After that I have worked as a university lecturer and given numerous lectures on learning disabilities, special educational instruction, character strengths and positive education in various forums, also business settings.
My goal and dream is to transform the school into a more positive, strength-focused place where every learner could find his or her strong points, passions and, finally a meaningful place in the world. Prevention of social exclusion is one of the focal targets in this journey.
I look forward to collaborating with educators and researchers globally in order to improve learning circumstances to meet the needs of every child.
Lotta Uusitalo-Malmivaara, PhD University lecturer, Special education
Department of Teacher education, University of Helsinki, Finland