Dr Maija Salokangas


Head of Department
Associate Professor

School of Education Building
2nd Floor


My research focusses on the interplay between education policy and practice, with a specific focus on agency and autonomy. Recently I have explored teachers’ work comparatively in a number of European countries.

I joined the MU Department of Education from Trinity College Dublin, where I worked as Assistant Professor. My PhD was awarded by the University of Manchester and I studied in the University of Helsinki for my BA and MA degrees. Prior to my academic career, I taught in primary and secondary schools in Finland, Switzerland and England. 

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Teacher autonomy in Sweden, England, Finland and Germany Co-PI 01/01/2016 31/12/2019 480000
Marketisation of Education in global contexts PI 01/01/2015 01/01/2015 4235
Autonomous professional or a mechanistic delivery robot PI 01/10/2014 31/05/2015 1000
Processes of Privatisation in Education (PoPE) PI 01/09/2014 30/06/2015 5615
Structural reforms: governance in chains of English Academies Co-PI 01/09/2011 31/08/2013 8500
Researching educational change in an inner city Academy PI 01/09/2010 31/08/2013 64000


Year Publication
2021 Wermke, W. & Salokangas, M. (2021) The Autonomy Paradox: Teachers’ Perceptions of Self-Governance Across Europe. Cham: Springer. [DOI]
2017 Salokangas M.; Ainscow M. (2017) Inside the Autonomous School: Making Sense of a Global Educational Trend. [DOI]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Burke, J; Kinnarney, P; Salokangas, M (2022) ''Split in all directions': an exploration of the impact of wellbeing and daily responsibilities on post-primary school leaders' perceived stress'. School Leadership and Management, . [DOI]
2020 Salokangas M.; Wermke W. (2020) 'Unpacking autonomy for empirical comparative investigation'. Oxford Review of Education, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 Salokangas M.; Wermke W.; Harvey G. (2020) 'Teachers’ autonomy deconstructed: Irish and Finnish teachers’ perceptions of decision-making and control'. European Educational Research Journal, 19 (4):329-350. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 Skerritt C.; Salokangas M. (2020) 'Patterns and paths towards privatisation in Ireland'. Journal Of Educational Administration And History, 52 (1):84-99. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 Ainscow M.; Salokangas M. (2020) 'The English School Reforms: Competition, Innovation and Fragmentation'. Education In The Asia-Pacific Region, 52 :61-76. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 Wermke W.; Olason Rick S.; Salokangas M. (2019) 'Decision-making and control: perceived autonomy of teachers in Germany and Sweden'. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 51 (3):306-325. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Salokangas M.; Kauko J. (2015) 'Borrowing finnish PISA success? Critical reflections from the perspective of the lender'. Educacao e Pesquisa, 41 (Specialissue):1353-1364. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Kauko J.; Salokangas M. (2015) 'The evaluation and steering of English academy schools through inspection and examinations: National visions and local practices'. British Educational Research Journal, 41 (6):1108-1124. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 McGinity R.; Salokangas M. (2014) 'Introduction: 'embedded research' as an approach into academia for emerging researchers'. Management in Education, 28 (1):3-5. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 McGinity R.; Salokangas M. (2014) 'Concluding remarks'. Management in Education, 28 (1):29-32. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2014 Salokangas M.; Chapman C. (2014) 'Exploring governance in two chains of academy schools: A comparative case study'. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 42 (3):372-386. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2012 Chapman C.; Salokangas M. (2012) 'Independent state-funded schools: Some reflections on recent developments'. School Leadership and Management, 32 (5):476-483. [DOI] [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2016 Wermke, W.; Salokangas, M. (2016) 'Autonomy in education: theoretical and empirical approaches to a contested concept' Nordic Journal of Studies in Education Policy, .

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2021 Salokangas, M.; Wermke, W., & Harvey, G. (2021) 'The Junior Cycle Reform from a Comparative Perspective: Assessment as Curriculum Practice According to Irish, Finnish and Swedish Teachers' In: Curriculum Change within Policy and Practice. Cham : Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50707-7_11
2016 Salokangas, M.; Kauko, J. (2016) 'Koulutuksen tasa-arvon muuttuvat merkitykset' In: Yksityiset toimijat Englannin julkisten koulujen hallinnossa: kuka kantaa vastuun?. Jyväskylä : Suomen kasvatustieteellinen seura.
2016 Salokangas, M., Chapman, C. & Beach, D. (2016) 'Independent state-funded schools and system change: Addressing educational equity?' In: Equity and education in cold climates, in Sweden and England. London : Tufnell Press.
2014 Salokangas, M (2014) 'School - university partnerships: border crossings as 'a legal alien’' In: Education Policy Research: Design and Practice at a Time of Rapid Reform. London : Bloomsbury Publishing.

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2019 Salokangas, M. (2019) Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Comparative perspectives to teacher autonomy: empirical and conceptual contributions San Francisco, US, .
2019 Salokangas, M.; Wermke, W. (2019) American Educational Research Association (AERA) Teachers' Perceptions of Their Professional Autonomy: Conceptual and Empirical Contributions to the Debate Toronto, Canada, .
2019 Salokangas, M. (2019) Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) False promises of autonomy and innovation: the case of English academy schools San Francisco, .
2018 Salokangas, M.; Harvey G. (2018) Education Studies Association Ireland (ESAI) Irish and Finnish teachers’ perceptions of their professional autonomy: a comparative study Dublin, Ireland, .
2016 Salokangas, M.; Ainscow, M (2016) American Educational Research Association (AERA) Inside an autonomous school Washington, US, .
2016 Salokangas, M.; Wermke, W. (2016) Nordic Education Research Association (NERA) Teacher autonomy in international research: a critical review Helsinki, Finland, .
2016 Wermke, W.; Salokangas, M. (2016) ECER Teacher autonomy as a multidimensional and context dependent concept Dublin, Ireland, .


Year Publication
2017 Ainscow, M., & Salokangas, M (2017) Research finds academies still too tied up by exams and inspections to adopt best practices. [Article] [Link]
2017 Ainscow, M.; Salokangas, M. (2017) Giving teaching back to teachers. [Article] [Link]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.


Employer Position From / To
Trinity College Dublin Assistant Professor 01/09/2013 - 30/11/2019

Recent Students

Graduation date Name Degree
2022 Claire Geoghegan PhD
2021 Geraldine Nolan PhD