Characteristics of Vocational Excellence and Learning (CharVEL)

The CharVEL research group investigates factors related to professional and vocational talent development and learning in various types of learning environments. Vocational talent development refers to characteristics and predictors related to vocational expertise and excellence in professions (higher education) and vocations (secondary and post-secondary education). These characteristics include, for instance, natural abilities (gifts), intrinsic characteristics (self-regulatory abilities, competencies), and extrinsic conditions (domain and non-domain specific factors). CharVEL research group is operating at the University of Tampere, at the Faculty of Education.

  • Professional growth refers to the learning process throughout one’s entire career, in which an individual embraces the skills needed to respond to changes in working life.
  • Professional development refers to a collection of concrete developmental strategies and functions that support professional growth.
  • Learning environments are considered from a broad perspective, both physical and virtual, including environment that are closed (formal, e.g., curriculum-based education in institutions), open (non-formal and informal, e.g., workplaces, social media), and take hybrid forms (e.g., apprenticeships).

Research themes

  • Professional growth and development of professional and vocational expertise and excellence in changing working and learning environments
  • Regulation of learning
  • Inter- and multicultural issues related to the development of professional and vocational competencies
  • Technology-enhanced learning environments
  • Automatization and digitalization of working life
  • Social media and professional growth
  • Application of Bayesian statistics in mixed-methods research.

Research environment

University of Tampere (UTA) is located in Tampere, the second largest urban center in Finland, 170 km north of the capital Helsinki. This research is conducted in the School of Education (EDU), which consists of both teacher education and educational research units. The research environment in EDU is nationally and internationally well-known for its high quality research-based teacher education and multidisciplinary research programs investigating significant changes in political, social, cultural and economic contexts that challenge education today and in the decades to come.

Research group

Professor (Tampere University of Technology), docent (University of Tampere, University of Helsinki, University of Tallinn) Petri Nokelainen, Professor Sirkku Kotilainen (University of Tampere), Dr. docent Toni Saarivirta (University of Tampere), Dr. Essi Ryymin (HAMK University of Applied Sciences).

MA Tahani Fourah, Dr. Iiris Humala, MA Merja Kuisma, MA Susanna Mikkonen, MA Laura Pylväs, MA Anna Wallin (University of Tampere).