The Researchgroup SMED

Welcome to our seminars

Studies of Meaning-making in Educational Discourses (SMED)

SMED (Studies of Meaning-making in Educational Discourses) is an internationally established research environment in the field of didactics, of which the research group TRUST is a part. The research environment was established in 2003 as a collaboration between researchers at Uppsala University and Örebro University. The members of SMED Uppsala are researchers and postgraduates with a primary interest in the subject of didactics, although collaborations do take place with researchers in other disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, philosophy and political science) at Uppsala University and other universities in Sweden and abroad.

The environment at Uppsala University is led by Professor Leif Östman and Associate Professor David Kronlid. SMED consists of some 50 active researchers and PhD students, around half of whom are at SMED Uppsala.


SMED Uppsala conducts research in the following areas:

The research environment also works intensively with the development of theories and methods, with points of departure in pragmatism, post-structuralism and Wittgenstein’s later works. More recently, this work has included studies in post-humanism, speculative realism and new materialism.

The environment also works in areas other than didactics:

Read more about the environment at Örebro University

Interactions with the local community

Within the research environment there is substantial knowledge about and experience of interactions with the local community. A number of strategies are used, such as research-based activities via: education, interactive knowledge formation processes, mediation, dissemination of research results and research schools. Besides major educational contributions to teacher education and in-service training courses, the production of many textbooks and the creation of a website (Acedu) to which teachers from preschool to upper secondary school can submit their lessons for comments from researchers and teachers, researchers in SMED also conduct important collaborative work with agencies, NGOs, companies etc. in Sweden and internationally. Central to this work is that many researchers in the environment work in or together with the “Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development” (SWEDESD) and REACT, which is an independent global network focusing on combatting antibiotic resistance. 


SMED is actively involved in collaborations with researchers and institutions in various countries, e.g. Australia, Belgium, England, France, India, Japan, Canada, China, Mongolia, Switzerland, South Africa, USA and Vietnam. SMED is active in both the creation and running of international networks. In 2012, Per Sund, Johan Öhman and Leif Östman started the network Environmental and Sustainability Education Research in ECER (European Conference on Educational Research), which is organised by the European Educational Research Association. 

Seminars, conferences and networks

SMED organises and runs regular seminars, conferences and networks – often together with other research environments.


  • Uppsala Transdisciplinary Seminar on Education and Sustainable Development. Coordinators:  David Kronlid och Eva Friman
  • Text och Pragmatism. Coordinator:  Karin Hjälmeskog
  • SMED Uppsala. Coordinator: Leif Östman 
  • SMED Sweden. Coordinators: Leif Östman (Uppsala University) och Marie Öhman (Örebro University) 
  • International scholars in educational theory and philosophy seminar series. The seminars are given in collaboration with Södertörn University. Coordinators:  Leif Östman (Uppsala University) och Carl Anders Säfström (Södertörn University)
  • CTI (Creepy thoughts that inspire) reading group. This reading group engages researchers from Europe. Leader:Stefan Bengtsson


  • Swedish Pragmatism Colloquium on Education. Coordinators: Leif Östman (Uppsala University) och Johan Öhman (Örebro University)


  • Environmental and Sustainability Education Research
  • Sustainability Education – Teaching and learning in the face of wicked socio-ecological problems
  • Public pedagogy and sustainability challenges