Professor's portrait: Anna Ehrlin
Anna Ehrlin, Professor of Education. School of Education, Culture and Communication , Division of Education.
Please tell us briefly about your academic career – what decisions have brought you to where you are today?
I am an educated and registered compulsory school teacher for Grades 1 to 7. I worked as a teacher in compulsory school for 20 years before I started as a doctoral student in the UVD graduate school (Educational Sciences with a Didactic specialisation) at Örebro University in the autumn of 2007.
I publicly defended my doctoral thesis in musicology, specialising in music education in the autumn of 2012 with the thesis entitled: "Learning from one another and with others. An ethnographic study of music in preschool in a multilingual environment."
Shortly before I publicly defended my doctoral thesis, I started working as a lecturer at Mälardalen University. After defending my thesis, I was appointed as a senior lecturer with special responsibility for aesthetic forms of expression in the Pre-School and Compulsory School teacher programmes. My interest in didactic issues which are related to aesthetic forms of expression and /or children and pupils with another native language or migrant background has taken me further both in my education and research.
In what area do you conduct research?
My research is directed towards didactic and educational issues related to aesthetic forms of expression as well as questions about newly arrived pupils' education and school situation, but also concerns the development and changes in teacher education.
How would you describe your research environment at MDU?
I am research director for the Social Science research environment – Didactics and Educational Practices (SoDEP). Here research is conducted in predominantly history, religion and geography education, as well as research on education and teachers' duties based on a didactic and educational perspective.
What is the driving force in your research?
Curiosity and a drive to develop and gain deeper knowledge in the focus areas. I enjoy running practice-led research projects where both researchers and the practice involved can influence the research questions that arise. Thereby the conditions for a positive knowledge development are fostered which is viewed as relevant both from a scientific and a practice-led viewpoint.
Which research domains are particularly important for you?
Didactic issues related to aesthetic forms of expression in preschool and school, the educational level and school situation of the newly arrived pupils and the development of and changes in the teacher education programmes.
How do you feel about becoming a Professor given that MDU has recently become an official University?
It’s both exciting and interesting.
What's the best part about conducting research at MDU?
I hope there will be opportunities to develop and run interdisciplinary research projects.