Due to the importance of Visual Art Studies for the scientific community and for education in general, as well as for many teacher education courses at the university, research at the HSD does not only include studies on teaching and learning in visual arts education, but also applies to and develops interdisciplinary approaches.             

Lisa Öhman's research deals with the perception of images by children and young people in pedagogical and in semi-informal and formal contexts. In her exploration of the children's and young people's productions of visual images,  she draws attention to image creation as a cultural right that is fundamental to their democratic freedom Students' perspectives and images as a source of knowledge can be grasped, inter alia, by providing interpretation sources other than conversation, interviews or questionnaires. Öhman's study Movere – att sätta kunskap i rörelse analyzes an interdisciplinary classroom project in aesthetic education and social studies. Her doctoral thesis Laddade bilder. Representation och meningsskapande i unga tjejers filmberättande investigates young girls' film work in terms of practices of meaning-making. Her ongoing research is on a joint development project of teachers and researchers in aesthetic education in inclusive education on subject didactic professional skills in the upper secondary school's aesthetic programs.            

Catrine Björck's doctoral thesis deals with the question of how three high school teachers create didactic spaces for working on digital images. The investigation is on the interactions of teachers and students when working with digital images and tools, focusing especially on the teachers' didactical settings and their treatment of the visual and communicative aspects of the subject matter at hand. The explorative focus on visual culture, aesthetic learning processes and, above all, digital arts education, show specific didactic challenges: As the new technologies go beyond mere representation of physical visual expressions, working with virtual visual culture and using the digital technologies involves basic changes in teaching. In addition to imparting technological knowledge, these technologies open up new reflexive opportunities for the teachers to work with the effects and impacts of virtual visual expressions and their meaning-making.

Torben Freytag is a licentiate student at the HSD who  investigates the students' experiences of expressing themselves aesthetically in the classroom and their views on it. The study is on an interdisciplinary classroom project, in which 7 graders interpret and write fictional texts by applying methods of theatre, film and music. It results in several categories of expression that form the base for a discussion on the relationship between aesthetic expressivity and didactics. Freytag also works at Stockholm's Education Management in the STLS, Stockholm Teaching & Learning Studies, and coordinates FoU-projects in aesthetic education.

Mimmi Larsson is responsible for parts of the FoU and the school subject development in aesthetic education. She leads and is responsible for the Baltic Sea collaboration of aesthetics within the Nordplus-program. Since the beginning of 1990, Nordplus focuses on aesthetic education and on its development as a subject in Nordic teacher education programs as well as on teacher and student exchanges. Her most recent project is a three-year study (2016-2019) on innovative and sustainable aesthetic methods for citizenship education with Nordic and Baltic perspectives (ISAMCE).            

Anja Kraus' research focuses on students' heterogeneous learning conditions. With the fundamental thesis that pupils experience not only explicit but also implicit (tacit) dimensions of educational situations, she investigates their learning in general as well as their art-based learning; their bodily expressions; their habitus towards school; and the constellations of time and space in the classroom. Thereby, phenomenological, praxeological, discourse-theoretical, performativity-theoretical and other approaches are applied. She has elaborated methods and methodologies for qualitative empirical research with a focus on aesthetic theories and approaches, and has developed artistic digital instruments to improve explorative learning and teaching at school (the "Auricle Installation," the "Sensitive Threshold" and the "Seeing Glasses"), as well as an art-oriented education concept for so-called researching schools.

Swedish and International Cooperation

The members of the institute act within a number of national and international networks, such as The Teacher Education Network, TEN, which is a Nordplus-cooperation that includes 12 institutions in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The network aims at aesthetic education in teacher education, and arranges courses and exchanges for teachers and students. Mimmi Larsson is responsible for the exchange of courses in 2019, which HSD is hosting. Another network is NEÄL, which aims at promoting exchanges and research on aesthetics in the national teacher education programs. The network organizes recurring national conferences to strengthen the links of teaching practice to scientific research within the field of aesthetic education. On an international level, the research network Tacit Dimensions of Teaching and Learning, which has been managed by Anja Kraus since 2009, operates with about 100 actively connected researchers across Europe and America. Also, InSEA Sweden is a national network on aesthetic education linked to the international InSEA, which has about 2,000 members in 75 countries who network through regional and world congresses.