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Ella Paldam

PhD, Head of Promotions

Ella Paldam
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I research collaboration, play and learning as part of the PlayTrack research team at the IMC. I collaborate with several external partners in the Danish society (Langagerskolen, CoC Playful Minds and The Danish National Museum). In my research, i explore how learning emerges when children co-create with each other and with adults in public education and in private sector product innovation.


My primary research project CollaboLearn develops play-based social learning curricula for - and in collaboration with - children on the spectrum and their adults (parents and teachers). To deepen our understanding of the children's collaboration, I study their communication strategies. I mostly employ qualitative methods (video ethnography and participant observation), and I employ highly systematic analytical strategies (e.g. Conversation Analysis).


I hold a PhD in the Anthropology of Religion from Aarhus University. My previous research includes contemporary indigenous religiosity among California Indians, healing through prayer among Danish Christians, the decline in religiosity in Denmark since 1300, and lived religion among Danish Asatru and witches.


The basic question that drives my research is: How do humans understand each other across our different worldviews? The question is relevant both in relation to cultural identity and when it comes to the percetion of our surroundings. In my approach, worldview encompasses conscious reflection on cultural identity as well as our pre-reflective perception of the world. I work with the question in all phases of my research: theoretically, to design studies, methodologically, analytically, and to disseminate and implement my results - and it is also my hobby!



Research topics: collaboration, play, learning, co-production, co-creation, communication, interaction, autism.

Education: Anthropology of religion (supervisor: Armin W. Geertz).

Position: Carlsberg Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. My research is also funded by Trygfonden, the Innovation Fund Denmark, PlayTrack (the Lego Foundation) and CoC Playful Minds.

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