Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education



First Advisor

Danielle Dennis


This dissertation presents findings from a case study on queer and trans inclusion in a Finnish graduate program in educational research. The study was also able to expand to include experiences and perspectives from teacher education programs at the same university. This research serves an incredibly timely purpose of bringing issues of queer and trans inclusion to light in a context that is marketed as having idealistic educational practices and programs. Overall findings indicate that even in Finland, a country often looked at as an exemplary model of educational reform, there is a lack of queer and trans inclusion in educational sciences programs.

This dissertation is presented in the manuscript format, with each manuscript chapter containing an individual abstract and specific literature review. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the research problem, a description of the theoretical framework that guided the entire study, and detailed introductions to each of the three chapters. Chapter 2 is a methods-focused chapter centered on positionality that questions the role of the researcher in the research process. Chapter 3 is the core case study of the Finnish master’s program in education that served as the primary context for the dissertation. Chapter 4 helps to answer one of the research questions focused on student and faculty positionality in relation to queer and trans inclusion in education, although from a lens of participation in this research process rather than as a result of the content of the master’s program. This paper came to be after findings from Chapter 3 showed that the master’s program did not provide queer and trans inclusivity in its curriculum or pedagogy, and therefore, participants were unable to connect their positionality as it relates to queer and trans inclusiveness in education back to their experiences in the master’s program.

However, rich data from conversations around their motivations to participate in the interview process led to interesting findings for this paper. Finally, Chapter 5 provides a brief summary of the dissertation study, as well as overarching discussion points and limitations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Thursday, May 08, 2025