Erika Sturk, lecturer at the Department of Language Studies, is newly appointed head of research for Litum.
Text: Sandra Lundström
Erika Sturk, lecturer
– My role is to coordinate Litum: to plan our meetings and work for collaboration between researchers at Umeå University and teacher network focusing on school development issues in language, reading, and writing education, says Erika.
Litum, acronym in Swedish for Literacy research with an educational sciences orientation at Umeå University, is a network of researchers who wish to share thoughts, insights, and experiences witin the literacy field with focus on school and education.
The network includes researchers from various departments at Umeå University: The Department of Science and Mathematics Education, the Department of Applied Educational Sciences, the Department of Culture and Media Studies and the Department of Language Studies.
– We also have branches to other universities thanks to researchers who previously worked with us.
During the autumn, Litum has organised hybrid meetings designed as mini-symposia, and a Litum symposium is planned for the spring semester 2023.
– It is a recurring and much appreciated concept where we invite some external guests, but mainly it is Litum members who present and get time to talk and exchange experiences.
If school is to be truly important, teaching about what is urgent and important for the individual and for a democratic society must be of high priority.
Erika Sturk previously worked as a development manager within the municipality and sought contacts for the network of teachers she led there. Then she met Eva Lindgren, professor at the Department of Language Studies, who was then the research leader for Litum.
– When we did our first study and saw that teaching about writing that gives students a voice needed more space, that question became important to me. If school is to be truly important, teaching about what is urgent and important for the individual and for a democratic society must be of high priority - such as a writing lesson that gives the student an identity as someone who can create meaning and participate in, and achieve change through, writing.