Socially Innovative Interventions to Foster and to Advance Young Children's Inclusion and Agency in Society through Voice and Story (ADVOST)

The ADVOST project will take into practice the theoretical guiding principles for facilitating and enhancing young children's voice in specific contexts. This will be done in close cooperation with practitioners working with indigenous children in Finland, marginalized, indigenous, and immigrant children in Canada, and children with diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in the UK.

The ADVOST project aims to enhance educators' knowledge of multiple storytelling pedagogies including perspectives of land-based learning. The research-based development of composing narratives with young learners through art, writing, photography, performance and digital representations privilege young children's voice enabling their full citizenship. These research-based initiatives will contribute to the development of child centered learning that is focused in land-based pedagogy and play.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash. 

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash. 

The objectives of the study are to:

  • provide a deeper understanding of how innovative pedagogical approaches can facilitate the voices and agency of all young children
  • promote socially just means to include socially marginalized communities in the ways that value and honor the cultural diversity they bring with them to ECEC settings
  • through in-depth case studies to provide opportunities for knowledge exchange and comparisons for mutual learning
  • have impact on wide range of stakeholders, including policy makers and local authorities, so that they can make more informed provision to include young children meaningfully in their local communities

This project addresses new means in supporting social cohesion in diverse communities, empower local communities and support all citizen's invlovement and active participation in them. ADVOST aims to meet these needs by looking at both processes and outcomes of social innovations promoting young children's voices and agency through development and analysis of diverse ways for children to express themselves. The project contributes to young children and their families' individual empowerment and wellbeing as well as those of the local communities. The innovative means of promoting young children's voice will encourage inclusive communities and strengthens social cohesion. Practically, this is implemented through the three cases one in each participating country Finland, Canada and the UK. 

Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash. 


Case 1: Finland

The Finnish case aims to produce new knowledge to language learning context that is demanding and diverse. Pedagogical innovations are needed in order to promote young children's language skills and identity building, especially with children living outside of traditional Sámi areas. One answer to this challenge is distance education. The Finnish case study will explore new and innovative pedagogical models to provide culturally relevant pre-school education for 5 and 6 years old children via online learning environments.

Case 2: Canada

The Canadian case study will explore the ways that digital media, play, and land-based teaching approaches can come together to enhance storytelling in inclusive ways that augment literacy and language learning through culturally relevant arts-based approaches. The Canadian case study will examine how pre-school children use material culture (everyday objects) to make connections to places in which they live and learn, in order to share stories about their lives.

Case 3: UK

The UK case study will examine how practitioners might be better supported to work within diverse communities that permit the voices of all pupils to be heard and their perspectives be taken into consideration when planning for teaching and learning. The case study will work with practitioners to explore principles of practice focusing on theoretical notions of voice, space, audience and influence that might facilitate the voices and agency of all young children in educational settings and contribute to social cohesion both within the school setting and beyond into the community at large.

Book launch: Coloniality and Decolonisation in the Nordic Region

Actuvirtual Symposium at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study

Coloniality and Decolonisation in the Nordic Region

This Activirtual Symposium, is committed to a critical discussion on what coloniality, decoloniality, and decolonisation mean and imply in the Nordic Region of Europe. It engages issues such as Islamic feminism; racialisation; colonisation, indigeneity, the linguistic life of the Sami people and their resistance against capitalist extractivism; and the human condition of Roma people. These are issues at the heart of Coloniality and Decolonisation in the Nordic region, edited by Adrián Groglopo and Julia Suárez-Krabbe.

  • DATE: 23 November 2023
  • TIME: 16:00 - 18:00 (SAST)
  • FORMAT: In-person (1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg) and via Zoom
  • RSVP on to receive the Zoom details
  • Email vanessak(at) if you encounter problems 

Project outcomes

Webinar titled "Advancing small children's voice and agency through research collaboration and innovation studies", held by Anne Burke, Memorial University, Diane Collier, Brock University, Mhairi Beaton and Susan Atkinson, Leeds Beckett University, and Tuija Turunen, Pigga Keskitalo and Hanna Helander, University of Lapland. 31 August 2021.

Blog post titled "Children's Play in Pandemic Times" published in the UArctic Thematic Network on Teacher Education blog. Author: Anne Burke. Published May 10, 2021. 

Hanna Helander, Pigga Keskitalo, Sirkka Sanila & Sonja Moshnikoff has published a peer-reviewed journal article in Dutkansearvi [Sami scientific association journal] in three languages, Skolt Sami, North Sami and Finnish about traditional storytelling innovation in Sami language distance teaching.

Sääʹmkulttuurårrsaž maainâsmainsteminnovaatia raʹvvjeʹmmen päärna vuässadvuõđ jiijjas kulttuuʹre sääʹmǩiõl olgglõsmättʼtõõzzâst in Skolt Sami
Sámekultuvrra vuhtiiváldi máinnastaninnovašuvdna nanne mánáid oasálašvuođa iežas kultuvrii sámegiela gáiddusoahpahusas in North Sami
Saamelaiskulttuurilähtöinen tarinankerrontainnovaatio vahvistamassa lapsen osallisuutta omaan kulttuuriin saamen kielen etäopetuksessa in Finnish

Article titled "How some children prospered in pandemic online learning" published in The Conversation. Authors: Anne Burke & Erin Power. Published August 1, 2022.

Conference Presentation: Burke, A. (2022). Teachers Re-Imagining their Practice: Giving Voice to Children during Pandemic Times. European International Literacy Conference, Dublin.

Article on ethical issues in Sami education research in Finnish: Helander, H., Linkola-Aikio, I.-A., Keskitalo, P., & Turunen, T. (2022). Saamelaisia koskevan kasvatus- ja koulutustutkimuksen eettisiä kysymyksiä. Kasvatus, 53(4), 423-428. 

Article: Helander, H., Keskitalo, P., Turunen, T. (2023) Saami Language Online Education Outside the Saami Homeland—New Pathways to Social Justice. Finland's Famous Education System - Unvarnished Insights into Finnish Schooling, pp. 303-318.

Article: Helander, H., Keskitalo, P., Turunen, T. (2022) Positioning the Voice and Agency of Young Children in the Distance Education of the Sami Languages. Multiethnica - Journal of the Hugo Valentin Centre, 42, 7-26.

Article titled "Children's wellness: outdoor learning during Covid-19 in Canada" published in Education in the North 28(2). Authors: Anne Burke, Sylvia Moore, Laura Molyneux, Ayla Lawlor, Terri Kottwitz, Ginny Yurich, Renee Sanson, Ola Anderson and Breanne Card. 

Article titled "Teachers are on front lines with students in the coronavirus pandemic" published in The Conversation. Authors: Diane R. Collier & Anne Burke.  Published January 10, 2021. 

Event "Enhancing Children's Voices" at The ROOMS held by Anne Burke & Diane Collier.

"The researchers, teachers and children talk about this rich project looking at experiential learning that honours the voices of children. Through working with artists and partnering with Memorial University and The Rooms, their research is part of a larger project called ADVOST that includes projects in Finland and the United Kingdom.
Most recently, they completed an identity mapmaking project with the support of educator Anne Pickard-Vaandering at The Rooms. Children came to The Rooms to interact with the exhibition "Helping Hands: 30 Years at Kinngait Studios". They experimented with mapping and drawing their interests and identities, and then returned to their classrooms to create their own art. Their artworks are featured in the MakerFaire event at The Rooms on June 3."

Chapter titled "Land-Based Participatory Pedagogical Experiment in Sami Language Distance Teaching: Maintaining Children's Relationships With Land and Nature" (Hanna Helander, Henna Aikio, Pigga Keskitalo, Tuija Turunen) in Handbook of Research on Teaching in Multicultural and Multilingual Contexts (2022).

Webinar: Burke, A. Collier D. (2022)."Teaching and Learning during Pandemic Times". The Advost project in Celebration of 100 years of Teacher Education. The ROOMS St. John's Newfoundland.

News: 'A lot of meaning' The Rooms, Memorial collaboration maps enhances children's voices. The Gazette, 24 Jan 2023. Written by Ruzhica Samokovlija Baruh.

Article: Helander, H., Pieski, S-M., & Keskitalo, P. (2023). Enriching Sami language distance education. In A. Groglopo, & J. Suárez-Krabbe (Eds.), Coloniality and Decolonisation in the Nordic Region, pp. 51-67. Routledge. 

Project management

The project is funded by Trans-Atlantic Platform Social Innovation call, by three funding organisations: Academy of Finland, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and UK Research and Innovation (ESRC). Project period is 1/2020-12/2023.

The project is part of activities of UArctic Thematic Network on Teacher Education.

The project partners are University of Lapland, Finland (project leader), Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and Leeds Beckett University, UK.

The cooperation partners are:

Contact the Finnish team

Tuija Turunen

Project leader, Principal Investigator
Faculty of Education
University of Lapland

Pigga Keskitalo

Dr., Researcher
Faculty of Education
University of Lapland

Hanna Helander

Junior Researcher
Faculty of Education
University of Lapland

Contact the Canadian team

Anne Burke

Principal Investigator
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Diane Collier

Associate Professor
Brock University
Adjunct Professor
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Contact the UK team

Mhairi Beaton

Principal Investigator
Dr., Senior Lecturer
Carnegie School of Education
Leeds Beckett University M.C.Beaton(at) 

Susan Atkinson

Dr., Senior Lecturer
Carnegie School of Education
Leeds Beckett University