Minna Törmänen

Prof. Dr.
Senior Researcher / Gastprofessorin
Minna Törmänen, Prof. Dr.
minna.toermaenen [at]
Institut für Professionalisierung und SystementwicklungZum Institut

Tätigkeit an der HfH

  • Mitarbeiterin Institut für Professionalisierung und Systementwicklung
  • Gastprofessorin
  • Senior Researcher 
  • Dozentin
  • International collaboration
  • A reviewer in journals on learning and neuropsychological disabilities, interventions and teacher education, in addition to representation in scientific committees



My research interests lie in development and individual learning and educational capabilities within persons from early education to adult education having either special needs or being at-risk. The core for my research interests is in learning processes and especially in cognitive processing, like executive functioning and its development, and importantly, in research-based practices i.e., in interventions. I have researched both cognitive and curriculum-based interventions in school settings in several different countries and educational systems. Intervention studies in school settings are also connected to broad interests in teacher education and educational systems.

Besides multidisciplinary research on learning competences and its background factors I have applied my research in the field of different pedagogical methods and quality of learning environments including ideologies of inclusion. My research on inclusive education is based on multidisciplinary and international approach when developing inclusion and equity. Here are keywords for my research interests:

  • Children with learning and neuropsychological disabilities and being at-risk
  • Cognitive development and learning environment
  • Using interventions in school settings 
  • Teacher education (early and primary education, and special needs education)
  • International approach on inclusive education, inclusion and equity


  • Principal Investigator, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Adjunct Professor in Special Education, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • PhD in Special Education, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Master of Education, University of Helsinki, Finland. Degree of Class teacher: Specialization: Special Education, Music, Mother tongue Finnish
  • Doctoral studies in Music Education, Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Finland 

Forschung zu

  • Children’s Development and the Role of Learning Environment: Developmental Progression, Pedagogical Methods and Inclusive Education
  • Research-based interventions and children with learning/neuropsychological disabilities, at-risk or typical development: Cognitive development, executive functions and comorbidity
  • Inclusive Education: Multidisciplinary and international approach when developing inclusion and equity


Das Forschungsprofil ist multidisziplinär und international und wurde in verschiedenen Projekten zu drei thematischen Themen umgesetzt

1. Children’s Development and the Role of Learning Environment: Developmental Progression, Pedagogical Methods and Inclusive Education

  • “Longitudinalstudie ZEPPELIN (the Zurich Equity Prevention Project with Parents’ Participation and Integration) - Förderung ab Geburt” (PI: Lanfranchi, Neuhauser, Schaub, Ramseier & Törmänen, HfH Zürich, CH). My main topic: Children with preterm birth and their cognitive development and executive functions in families with social burdens.
  • "Inclusive Education and Special Needs Educational Governance in EuropeMultidisciplinary approach when developing inclusion and equity" (PI: Törmänen and Wicki, HfH) My main topic: Inclusive education in Finland and international aspects on educational systems. 
  • “Inclusive education or segregated special education: Longitudinal study of developmental outcomes of children in classes for special educational needs” (PI: Törmänen, University of Helsinki, Finland (UH) and Roebers, University of Bern, CH)
  • “Enhancing Children´s Learning through Intent Participation – Understanding Relationship between Pedagogical Sensitivity and Stress Regulation” (PI: Sajaniemi, Suhonen, Kontu, Törmänen et al; UH)
  • “Playful Learning in the Brain”, multi-disciplinary research project in early education, neuroscience and special education. (PI: Huotilainen, Törmänen & Roebers; UH and University of Bern).

2. Research-based interventions and children with typical development, learning disabilities or at-risk: Background factors and comorbidity

  • “Early numeracy intervention study for low performing children in South African schools” (PI: Aunio, Ragpot, Törmänen, Korhonen & Henning; University of Helsinki (UH), Finland and University of Johannesburg, SA)
  • “Longitudinal intervention study Arts@School in inclusive education: Musical and movement activities and their effects on children`s academic achievements and cognitive functioning” (PI: Tervaniemi & Anttila, Juntunen, Törmänen, Linnavalli, Tiippana; UH and University of Arts, FI)
  • ”An intervention study on executive functions with pre- and primary school children with severe developmental disabilities” (PI: Törmänen, Roebers, Kontu; UH and University of Bern, CH).
  • “Cognitive Interventions in Swiss Schools - Transfer effects and multidisciplinary perspectives” (PI: Studer, Törmänen, Margelisch & Perrig; University of Bern and UH).
  • “Auditory - Visual Matching in Learning Disabilities: Intervention Studies from Finland and Sweden” (PI: Törmänen, Takala & Karma; UH and Sibelius Academy, FI)

3. Special Music Education: Cognitive Processing in Developmental Disabilities & Inclusion, Equality and Interaction

  • Music for All”. Definitions and outlining of special music education in the framework of inclusive education (PI: Kontu, Törmänen, Pirttimaa, et al.; UH and University of Jyväskylä, FI).
Alle Projekte anzeigen


Aunio, P., Korhonen, J., Ragpot, L., Törmänen, M., Mononen, R., & Henning, E.
Multi-factorial approach to early numeracy—The effects of cognitive skills, language factors and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy performance of South African first graders.
International Journal of Educational Research,
Törmänen, M.
Inclusive Education and Special Needs Education Governance in Europe: Scientific exchange for comparative analysis.
EARLI SIG 15 – Special Educational Needs Newsletter,
Volume 2
Törmänen, M., & Roebers, C. M.
Developmental outcomes of children in classes for special educational needs: Results from a longitudinal study.
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs,
Törmänen, M.
(2018, Januar 1).
Paper in the Picture: Developmental outcomes of children in classes for special educational needs: Results from a longitudinal study.
EARLI SIG 15 – Special Educational Needs Newsletter,
Törmänen, M.
(2017, Januar 1).
How can educational research inform policy-making?
Törmänen, M.
”Lasten kielten oppimiskyky”, Asiantuntijapyyntö HE 114/2017 VP, Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laiksi toisen kotimaisen kielen kokeilusta perusopetuksessa. [The Expert report for proposal of Finnish Government concerning the law of second obligatory language in Finnish school system at compulsory education HE 114/2017 VP. Title: Children’s ability to learn languages].
A Requested Expert Report for Finnish Parliament, Committee for Education and Culture.


Wicki, M. T., & Törmänen, M.
Inclusive Education and Special Needs Educational Governance
Zürich, Schweiz.
Törmänen, M.
Inclusive Education in Finland
Inclusive Education and Special Needs Educational Governance in Europe - Scientific Exchange for comparative analysis,
Zürich, Schweiz.
Törmänen M.-L. Juntunen, M., & Anttila, E.
Music, movement and learning: Longitudinal intervention study in primary education.
JustEd2018 International Research Conference: ‘Promoting Justice through Education’,
Helsinki, Finland.
Korhonen, J., Aunio, P., & Törmänen, M.
Early numeracy intervention for South African first graders with mathematical learning difficulties.
EARLI SIG 15 Conference, "Inclusive education: An integrated research framework on disability, diversity and heterogeneity in education",
Potsdam, Deutschland.
Törmänen, M.
Cognitive Interventions in elementary school settings. The influence of auditory-visual matching and working memory interventions with typically developed children and children with learning difficulties.
Symposium: Multisensory perception and learning, CICERO Learning Symposium,
Helsinki, Finland.
Törmänen, M.
The Human Ability to Learn Languages and Finnish language policy: Political issues concerning Finnish school system.
Expert on a public program Finland Arena at Pori,
Pori, Finland.
Törmänen, M.
Brain, learning and Music.
Expert on a public program Finland Arena at Pori,
Pori, Finland.