Ylva Backman
Ylva Backman

Ylva Backman

Senior Lecturer
Luleå University of Technology
Education, Language, and Teaching
Department of Arts, Communication and Education
+46 (0)920 491289
A3524 Luleå



One of my long-term interests lies in philosophical dialogues in different settings for different target groups. A research project that I am currently involved in is Education for participation - Philosophizing back a ‘new’ life after acquired brain injury, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council. The multidisciplinary research group studies the effects from philosophical dialogue interventions on social and cognitive (e.g. critical thinking) skills that are relevant for persons with acquired brain injury to increase their participation in society. In the data production, we used interviews, observations, the New Jersey Test of Reasoning Skills and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). In the data processing, we used e.g. the Argumentation Rating Tool, developed by researchers at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, Montclair State University.

During the period August 2017–December 2018, I am also involved in a development program for junior promising researchers at Luleå University of Technology, which combines research amd academic leadership education. 

My doctoral thesis, published in 2016, was named Students’ Reasoning about Learning and Well-Being in School: On the Epistemic Privilege of Swedish Early Adolescent Students, which used written letters and interviews for data and concluded upon the complex relationships between learning and health (as defined by the WHO in terms of physical, mental and social well-being). Subjective well-being was of specific interest in the thesis, due to the character of the data and the recent emphasis in happiness research internationally. I also developed a standpoint epistemological framework for application in educational and adjacent research about Swedish early adolescent students’ epistemic privilege about conditions for and effects of learning and well-being in school, which gained some empirical support in the thesis.


I am currently involved in the special education programme, the teacher education, philosophy courses and in free standing courses such as Philosophical dialogue with children. My educational background, which lies in the intersection between education (teachers degree) and philosophy (B.A. in Philosophy at Luleå University of Technology and advanced level in Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University), shows in my interests in the application of philosophical subjects, such as ethics, critical thinking and philosophy of science, to education and special education.