Photograph of Dr Michalis KontopodisDr Michalis Kontopodis

Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology
Tel:(+44) (0)114 222 3633
Room: 4.03, The School of Education
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Research Interests

Dr Michalis Kontopodis joined the School of Education as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology & Education in 2016. His research explores the differences and similarities in the everyday lives of today’s young people in a variety of off-/ online, urban or countryside, educational and community settings around the globe. Located in places as diverse as Athens, Berlin, Porto Alegre and the indigenous Amazon his research aims to tackle educational and social inequalities and global issues associated with today’s ecological, financial and geopolitical crises. His various projects have led to a long list of publications in English, German, French, Portuguese and Russian including the book “Neoliberalism, Pedagogy & Human Development” (Routledge) as well as the co-edited volumes: “Facing Poverty & Marginalization: 50 Years of Critical Research in Brazil” (Peter Lang) and “Children, Development and Education” (Springer).


Leading Positions & Memberships

Dr Michalis Kontopodis is the Director of Internationalisation of the School of Education, fellow of the Higher Education Academy, core member of the Sheffield Centre for Critical Psychology and Education, fellow of the Sheffield Institute for International Development and member of the steering committee of the Sheffield Digital Society Network.

He has served as an expert evaluator of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union, the Danish Council for Independent Research, and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Council of Scientific and Technological Development) in Brazil. He was the Secretary of the International Society for Cultural-historical & Activity Research from 2008 to 2011 and is a member of the British Educational Research Association and the German Society for Educational Science/ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft. Dr Kontopodis is co-editor of Outlines: Critical Practice Studies as well as member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Psychology & Education and of the Brazilian academic journal Educação em Foco.

Academic History

Michalis Kontopodis accomplished his PhD in 2007 at the Free University Berlin and has since then held the following positions:

  • Roehampton University London, Senior Lecturer (2014-1016)
  • Escuela Normal del Estado, San Luis Potosi, Mexico (visiting professor, 2014)
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands (assistant professor, 2012-2014)
  • Pontíficia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil (visiting professor)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, India (visiting professor, 2010)
  • Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Russia (visiting scholar, regularly 2010-2012)
  • University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (post-doc researcher, 2011-2012)
  • City University of New York, US (visiting scholar, 2009)
  • Humboldt University Berlin, Germany (post-doc researcher, 2007-2010)

PhD Supervision

Dr Michalis Kontopodis welcomes potential PhD students interested in youth studies, critical psychology, global education and/or media research to contact him and discuss their ideas and research proposals.



Principal Coordinator: EU Marie Curie IRSES/ RISE: Global Perspectives on Learning & Development with Digital Video-Editing Media (Free University Berlin, Germany; University of Crete, Greece; UCL Institute of Education, UK; Pontíficia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil; Jawaharlal Nehru University, India & Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Russia; total budget €220.000, 2012–2014). Findings: “Global Youth in Digital Trajectories” (Routledge, 2017). 

External Consultant: BA Education Studies Programme, Edge Hill University (2015/2016)

External Advisor of Research Group “Imagens, Tecnologias e Infâncias” Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo & Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, since September 2015)

External Expert: New Module Scrutiny, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA Programme, Institute of Education, University College London (February, 2016).

External Advisor of “Centro Interdisciplinar de Semiótica da Cultura e da Mídia”, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo & Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, since September 2014)

External Investigator/ Consultant: Countryside Education and Sustainable Development in Espírito Santo, Brazil by the Secretary of Continuous Education, Alphabetization, Diversity and Inclusion & Faculty of Education, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil: February 2010 – June 2013 (travel expenses/ visiting fellowships).

International Symposium Chair – Funded by the German Research Foundation: Practice: Life: Multiplicity. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany: July 9-11, 2009 (total budget €15000 by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research & German Research Foundation, in collaboration with Prof. S. Beck.).



Kontopodis, Michalis (hardcover: 2012, paperback: 2014). Neoliberalism, Pedagogy and Human Development: Exploring Time, Mediation and Collectivity in Contemporary Schools. London and New York: Routledge – Taylor & Francis. (138 pages, ISBN13: 978-0-415-51676-1) 

Kontopodis, M.; Varvantakis, C. & Wulf, C. (Eds) (2017). Global Youth in Digital Trajectories. London: Routledge. 

Kontopodis, M.; Magalhães, M.C. & Coracini, M.J. (Eds) (2016). Facing Poverty and Marginalization: 50 Years of Critical Research in Brazil. Bern, Oxford & New York: Peter Lang. 

Kontopodis, Michalis; Wulf, Christoph & Fichtner, Bernd (Eds) (2011). Children, Development and Education: Cultural, Historical, Anthropological Perspectives. New York: Springer. (261 pages, ISBN: 978-94-007-0242-4)

Kontopodis, Michalis & Niewöhner, Jörg (Eds) (2010). Das Selbst als Netzwerk: Zum Einsatz von Körpern und Dingen im Alltag (The Self as Network: On the Employment of Bodies and Things in the Everyday). Bielefeld: transcript (226 pages, ISBN: 978-3-8376-1599-9). 

Kontopodis, Michalis (Ed) (2009). Children, Culture & Emerging Educational Challenges: A Dialogue with Brazil. Berlin: Lehmanns Media (199 pages, ISBN: 978-3-86541-355-0).


  1. Kontopodis, Michalis. (2016). Eating in the Nursery School: Pedagogy, Performativity & Biopolitics. Horizontes. Open access: 
  2. Rezende F. da Cunha Júnior, van Oers B. & Kontopodis M. (2016). Collaborating on Facebook: Teachers Exchanging Experiences Through Social Networking Sites. Cultural-historical psychology, 12(3), 290-309,
  3. Kontopodis, Michalis & Perret-Clermont, Anne-Nelly (2016). Educational Settings as Interwoven Socio-Material Orderings: An Introduction. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 31(1), 1-12, (Impact Factor: 0.790).
  4. Kontopodis, Michalis (2015). How and Why Should Children Eat Fruit and Vegetables? Ethnographic Insights into Diverse Body Pedagogies. Social Science & Medicine, 143, 297-303, (Impact Factor: 2.558)
  5. Kontopodis, Michalis (2013). Eating Christmas Cookies, Whole-wheat Bread and Frozen Chicken in the Kindergarten: Doing Pedagogy by Other Means. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft (German Journal of Educational Research), 16(2), 123-138. h (Impact Factor: 0.434)
  6. Kontopodis, Michalis (2013). Biomedicine, Psychology and the Kindergarten: Children at Risk and Emerging Knowledge Practices. Sport, Education and Society, 18(4), 475-493,  (Impact Factor: 1.172).
  7. Kontopodis, Michalis (2013). Trinta Anos de Construção Identitária Sem Terra no Espírito Santo: Explorando um Projeto Político-Pedagógico de Vanguarda Contra o Neoliberalismo (30 years of Landless Identity Politics in Espírito Santo, Brazil: Exploring an Avant-garde Political-pedagogical Project). Perspectiva, 31(3), 919-938. [In Portuguese]. DOI:  (open access).
  8. Kontopodis, Michalis (2013). Von einer Geteilten Vergangenheit zu einer Gemeinsamen Zukunft und Vice Versa: Pädagogik, Agrarökologie und Solidarität in der Landlosenbewegung in Espírito Santo, Brasilien (From Shared Pasts to Common Futures and Back: Agroecology, Solidarity and Pedagogy in the Landless Movement in Espírito Santo, Brazil). Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften (German Journal of Cultural Sciences), 2, 53-64.
  9. Foerste, Erineu & Kontopodis, Michalis (2012). Die Pädagogik der Erde (Pedagogia da Terra) als Herausforderung für die Erziehungswissenschaften: Eine Bewertung der Partnerschaft zwischen der Bewegung der Landlosen („Movimento Sem Terra“) und der Bundesuniversität von Espírito Santo in Brasilien. Journal für tätigkeitstheoretische Forschung in Deutschland, 9, 87-106. Open Access:  [in German]
  10. Kontopodis, Michalis (2012). How Things Matter in Everyday Lives of Preschool Age Children: Material-Semiotic Investigations in Psychology and Education. Journal für Psychologie, 20(1), 1-14. Open Access:
  11. Kontopodis Michalis, Niewöhner Jörg, & Beck Stefan (2011). Investigating Emerging Biomedical Practices: Zones of Awkward Engagement on Different Scales. Science, Technology & Human Values, 36(5), 599-615, (Impact Factor: 2.333).
  12. Niewöhner, J., Döring, M., Kontopodis, M., Madarász, J., & Heintze, C. (2011). Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity Prevention in Germany: An Investigation into a Heterogeneous Engineering Project. Science, Technology & Human Values, 36(5), 723-751,  (Impact Factor: 2.333).
  13. Kontopodis, Michalis (2011). Transforming the Power of Education for Young Minority Women: Narrations, Meta-Reflection, and Societal Change. Ethos, 39 (1), 76-97,  (Impact Factor: 0.955).
  14. Kontopodis, Michalis & Matera, Vincenzo (2010). Doing Memory, Doing Identity: Politics of the Everyday in Contemporary Global Communities. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 2, 1-14,  (open access).
  15. Kontopodis, Michalis (2009). Documents’ Memories. Enacting Pasts and Futures in the School for Individual Learning-in-Practice. Memory Studies. 2(1): 11-26.  (Impact Factor: 0.509).
  16. Kontopodis, Michalis (2007). Fabrication of Times and Micro-formation of Discourse at a Secondary School [88 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(1). (open access)
  17. Kontopodis, Michalis (2007). Human Development as Semiotic-Material Ordering: Sketching a Relational Developmental Psychology. Outlines: Critical Social Studies. 9(1), 5-21,  (open access).

Book Chapters

  1. Ferrin, Nino & Kontopodis, Michalis (2017, in print). Technography of Gaming Cultures in Berlin: Exploring Sensuous Media, Imagination, and the Body. In: M. Kontopodis, C. Varvantakis, & C. (eds). Global Youth in Digital Trajectories. London: Routledge.
  2. De Bruin-Wassinkmaat, A.-R., & Kontopodis, M. (2016). How should an ideal innovation process take place? A dialogue with teachers from innovative Dutch secondary schools. In B. Althans & J. Engel (eds.), Responsive Organisationsforschung: Methodologien und institutionelle Rahmungen von Übergängen (pp. 255-283). Wiesbaden: Springer VS-Verlag.
  3. Kontopodis, Michalis & Trouli, Sofia & Graeser, Stefanie (2016). Analyzing Children and Young People’s Drawings: History, Interpretation and Open Questions. In: M. Pourkos (ed.) Possibilities and Limits of Arts-Based Qualitative Research Methodologies. Athens: Ion. [in Greek]
  4. Kontopodis, Michalis (2011). Enacting Human Developments: from Representation to Virtuality. In: M. Kontopodis, C. Wulf & B. Fichtner (eds.) Children, Development and Education: Cultural, Historical, Anthropological Perspectives (pp. 185-206). Dordrecht, London, New Delhi and New York: Springer (ISBN: 978-94-007-0242-4).
  5. Kontopodis, Michalis; Wulf, Christoph & Fichtner, Bernd (2011). Children, Culture and Education: A Dialogue between Cultural Psychology and Historical Anthropology. In: M. Kontopodis, C. Wulf and B. Fichtner (eds.) (2011) Children, Development and Education: Cultural, Historical, Anthropological Perspectives (pp. 1-24). Dordrecht, London, New Delhi and New York: Springer (ISBN: 978-94-007-0242-4).
  6. Margit-Schütz-Foerste, Gerda; Kontopodis, Michalis & Ramos de Vasconcellos, Vera (2011). Semiotic Mediation and Images of Childhood: A Study of the Aesthetic-visual Education with Children. In: U. Buchmann, E. Diezemann, R. Huisinga, S. Koehler & T. Zielke (eds.) Internationale Perspektiven der Subjektentwicklungs- und Inklusionsforschung (pp. 188-202). Frankfurt am Main: Verlag der Gesellschaft zur Förderung arbeitsorientierter Forschung und Bildung (ISBN 978-3-925070-87-7). [in English]
  7. Niewöhner, Jörg & Kontopodis, Michalis (2011). Kardiovaskuläre Prävention als Technik zur Bildung von Leben selbst. Eine ethnographische Untersuchung (Cardiovascular Prevention as Technique of Life-Itself). In: J. Kehr, J. Vailly & J. Niewöhner (eds.) Leben Und Gesellschaft. Biomedizin, Politik, Sozialwissenschaften (Life in Societies: Biomedicine, Politics and Social Sciences) (pp. 271-298). Bielefeld: transcript (ISBN 978-3-8376-1744-3). [in German]
  8. Kontopodis, Michalis (2008). The “Transitory” Moment: On Time & Subjectivity in Contemporary Art and Art and Dance Therapy. In: R. Hampe, D. & P. Stalder (eds.) Grenzüberschreitungen - Bewusstseinswandel und Gesundheitshandeln (pp. 459-467). Berlin: Frank & Timme (ISBN-10: 3865961126).
  9. Kontopodis, Michalis (2006). Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Time: Time as a Socio-historical and Cultural phenomenon and its Implication. In: M. Pourkos (ed.) Socio-Historical and Cultural Approaches in Psychology and Education (pp. 227- 244). Athens: Atrapos. [in Greek]