Browsing by Subject "STUDENTS"

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  • Löfgren, Sami; Ilomäki, Liisa; Toom, Auli (2020)
    To become employed, upper-secondary vocational graduates need adequate competences that correspond with the needs of working life, particularly with the expectations of their potential employers. However, research on the necessary competences of upper-secondary vocational education and training (VET) students is limited. This study examined what competences technical-trade employers expect of initial vocational education (IVET) graduates, which competences stand out in recruitment and what kind of experiences the employers had on the competences of their recent apprentices and novice employees. The study was conducted in the metropolitan area of Southern Finland. Ten representatives of employers offering apprenticeships for technical-trade IVET students were interviewed. The data consisted of interview transcriptions that were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The findings indicate that graduates' motivational, attitudinal and social competences contribute to businesses' employment decisions but only when the graduates have shown potential for vocational development as well. The findings further suggest that when graduating, young people possess adequate competences to a varying degree and some of them are insufficiently prepared.
  • Kärnä-Behm, Jaana (2019)
    The purpose of this study is to promote the experiential learning (EL) method in the pedagogics of art and design in higher education. This article is based on a case study consisting of two pedagogical projects in interior design courses, the probing project and the multisensory space project, carried out between 2014 and 2016 with trainee teachers. Using the data from these projects I analyse using the qualitative content analysis method how and with what implications EL supports learning of art and design in higher education. The results show that EL was found to be inspiring and self-expressive, and was an unusual and motivating way to learn interior design. In a teacher education context EL gave students ideas about collaborative and EL-based methods of learning that could be applied to their own future teaching projects.
  • Mäkelä, Marja-Liisa; Kalalahti, Mira (2020)
    This article concentrates on the transition from comprehensive school to the upper secondary level from the viewpoint of migrant background girls. Emphasis is on understanding the bounded agency and the ways in which gender and family background are expressed in the modalities of the agency. Previous studies show that ethnic minorities have more difficulties in school, and they continue to higher education less frequently than the majority of students. We are interested in the aspirations of migrant background girls (n = 34) concerning their post-comprehensive transition. Our focus is on the experienced agency during the last year of comprehensive school. Our research questions are: What kinds of modalities do migrant background girls use when considering their educational choices? How do these modalities reflect their bounded agency? The study shows that although the experienced agency is universal among the age group, there are specific ethnic and gender connotations.
  • Lindfors, Pirjo; Minkkinen, Jaana; Rimpelä, Arja; Hotulainen, Risto (2018)
    Research on the associations between family and school social capital, school burnout and academic achievement in adolescence is scarce and the results are inconclusive. We examined if family and school social capital at the age of 13 predicts lower school burnout and better academic achievement when graduating at the age of 16. Using data from 4467 Finnish adolescents from 117 schools and 444 classes a three-level multilevel analysis was executed. School social capital, the positive and supportive relationships between students and teachers, predicted lower school burnout and better academic achievement among students. Classmates' family social capital had also significance for students' academic achievement. Our results suggest that building school social capital is an important aspect of school health and education policies and practices.
  • Laine, Sonja; Hotulainen, Risto; Tirri, Kirsi (2019)
    This study examined Finnish elementary school teachers' (N = 212) attitudes toward the gifted and their education. On a general level, teachers' attitudes toward gifted education were slightly positive. Teachers saw that gifted students have social value and that they need special services. The results of teachers' attitudes toward specific gifted education options were in line with earlier Finnish research, because teachers supported differentiated teaching but were more negative toward acceleration or separating the gifted into their own groups. However, despite the strong support for differentiated teaching for the gifted, teachers' positions toward practice were more skeptical.
  • Herranen, Jaana Kristiina; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti Juhana; Aksela, Maija Katariina (2018)
    Learner-centered sustainability education has been advocated to be used in higher education, but the pedagogy is blurry. In the discussions, also an idea of a learner-driven approach has been promoted. The aim of this study is to study how these pedagogies have been described and suggested to be used by a group of higher education students responsible for planning a teacher education course on sustainability education. This case study uses grounded theory to analyze the higher education students’ beliefs about learner-centered and learner-driven sustainability education. The data was obtained from audio-recordings of the planning process and two semi-structured interviews of five students acting as course designers. The course designers showed to have beliefs about the nature of learner-centered/learner-driven pedagogy, freedom, meaningfulness, acting and making an influence in the learning environment, the nature and ownership of sustainable development knowledge, the diversity of the learners, and pedagogical support. The results indicate that the learner-centered and learner-driven approach are fundamentally different in terms of all of the categories. In conclusion, it is suggested that the terminology concerning learner-centered and learner-driven approaches should be more precise, and sustainability education should be developed towards a more transformative, learner-driven education
  • Sandström, Niclas; Nevgi, Anne (2020)
    This paper took a pedagogical campus developer’s look into a campus retrofitting process. The paper presents a case study of a major Finnish research-intensive university. The data consist of semi-structured interviews of information-rich key stakeholders identified using snowball sampling method. The findings suggest that co-design should be followed through the whole retrofitting process with sufficient communications between stakeholders. The study introduces the concept of learning landscape reliability, putting digital age basic needs in the centre of learning landscape usability.
  • Seilo, Noora; Paldanius, Susanna; Autio, Reija; Kunttu, Kristina; Kaila, Minna (2022)
    Background: General health checks are an established component of preventive health care in many countries. Declining participation rates have raised concerns in health care providers. Understanding the reasons for attendance and non-attendance is necessary to improve the preventive health care system. The aim of this study was to examine health- and study-related factors associated with university entrants' health check attendance. Methods: Since 2009, an electronic health questionnaire (eHQ) has been conducted yearly to all Finnish university entrants by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) to screen students for a general health check. The questionnaire comprises 26 questions about health, health habits and studying. The study population consisted of the 3346 entrants from the 2011-2012 academic year who were referred to a health check based on their eHQ responses. The eHQ data were linked with health check attendance information. Multivariable logistic regression was used to study the associations between the questionnaire responses and non-attendance of the health check. Results: Male sex (OR 1.6, 95% CI % 1.4-1.9) and low engagement with studies (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-2.0) were the variables most strongly associated with non-attendance. Having low state of mind was negatively associated with health check non-attendance thus enhanced the health-check attendance (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.5-0.8). Conclusions: The results suggest that providing health checks in student health care may serve as a way of reaching students with health concerns. However, motivating males and smokers to attend general health checks continue to be a challenge also in a university student population. That low engagement with studies associates with health check non-attendance points to need to improve collaboration between universities and student health care.
  • Karonen, Maarit; Murtonen, Mari; Södervik, Ilona; Manninen, Marianna; Salomäki, Mikko (2021)
    Understanding chemical models can be challenging for many university students studying chemistry. This study analysed students’ understanding of molecular structures using the Lewis structure as a model, and examined what hinders their understanding. We conducted pre- and post-tests to analyse students’ conceptions and changes in them. The measures contained multiple-choice questions and drawing tasks testing their understanding of concepts, such as polarity, geometry, charge or formal charge and expanded octet. The pre-test revealed a lack of knowledge and several misconceptions in students’ prior knowledge. For example, the concept of polarity was well-known, but the combination of polarity and geometry appeared to be difficult. For some students, the representation of molecules was intuitive and lacking a systematic approach. Certain students used mnemonics and draw ball-and-stick models connected to surficial representations. After the chemistry courses, the conceptions and drawings had generally changed, and the level of the students’ knowledge increased markedly. Although, fewer ball-and-stick models were drawn in the post-test, some students still used them. The main result was that students who drew ball-and-stick models in the pre-test were less capable of drawing the correct Lewis structures with electrons in the post-test. In addition, heuristics seem to hinder learning and some concepts, such as resonance, remained difficult. This is probably due to the fact that understanding molecular structures requires systemic understanding, where several matters must be understood at the same time. Our study highlights that the understanding of molecular structures requires conceptual change related to several sub-concepts.
  • Xu, Jia; Dervin, Fred (2022)
    Like many institutions around the world, Chinese universities have established systems of ‘local student buddies’ to ensure international students’ smooth transition to university life in China. This paper examines this underexplored form of internationalization-at-home by focusing on the experiences of Chinese buddies, appointed by a university, who host international students at a 4-week summer school. Focus groups were led with 10 buddies before and after the summer school. Focusing on the key concepts of hospitality and interculturality, and using enunciative pragmatics, the paper examines the kind of interculturality taking place between the buddies and the international students, as well as the influence of the type of hospitality performed by the buddies on intercultural encounters. Recommendations for institutions using a buddy system within internationalization-at-home conclude the paper.
  • Thuneberg, H. M.; Salmi, H. S.; Bogner, F. X. (2018)
    An informal mathematical module integrating Arts (modifying STEM to STEAM) and following an inquiry-based learning approach was applied to a sample of 392 students (aged 12-13 years). The three lesson module dealt with mathematical phenomena providing participants with the commercially available hands-on construction kit, aiming to advance STEAM education. Pupils built original, personal, and individual geometrical structures by using plastic pipes in allowing high levels of creativity as well as of autonomy. Tutors supervised the construction process and intervened only on demand. A pre-/ post-test design monitored the cognitive knowledge and the variables of relative autonomy, visual reasoning, formal operations as well as creativity. Our informal intervention produced newly acquired cognitive knowledge which as a process was shown of being supported by a broad basis of (soft) factors as described above. A path analysis elaborated the role of creativity (measured with two subscale: act and flow) to cognitive learning (post-knowledge), when flow was shown to lead. Pre-knowledge scores were significantly influenced by both creativity subscales: act and flow. However, relative autonomy, visual reasoning and formal operations contributed, too. In consequence, cognitive learning within STEAM modules was shown dependent on external triggers. Conclusions for appropriate educational settings to foster STEAM environments are discussed.
  • Folger, Philip Daniel Alexander; Merenmies, Jussi; Sjöberg, Lena; Pyörälä, Eeva (2021)
    Background Mobile devices provide medical students with easy access to medical information and educational resources. Since 2013, we have followed the study use of iPads among medical students. In 2016, we observed a notable drop in the mobile device usage in the first cohort of medical students entering their clinical courses. Methods The aim of the study was to identify the hurdles for adopting mobile devices at the beginning of the clinical courses. We examined how students evaluated their own and the clinical teachers’ ability to use the iPad, how the study assignments fit into digital learning, and how students used the mobile device with patients. The data were collected with online surveys among three consecutive student cohorts and the distributions of closed-ended questions analyzed. Results Response rates ranged from 67.5 to 90.8%. Students evaluated their own ability to use the iPad as good or excellent and teachers’ skills as relatively poor and wanted more digitally tailored assignments. They reported negative attitudes towards mobile device use in the clinical setting and were hesitant to use them in patient contact. Teachers seldom communicated suitable quality medical applications to students. Conclusions Clinical teachers need support and training to implement a learning environment and assignments appropriate for mobile devices. Both students and teachers were concerned about using these devices with patients. To achieve the full potential of digitalisation in clinical courses, their use should be developed collectively with students.
  • Laine, Anu; Ahtee, Maija; Näveri, Liisa (2020)
    The aim of this article was to determine the factors in teachers' actions that could explain differences in the emotional atmosphere of primary school classrooms. Based on pupils' drawings about their mathematics lessons, we analyzed both the pupils' and their teachers' actions, including pupils requesting help, sitting alone, and talking about mathematics, as well as the teacher helping, praising and criticizing. We could conclude that the teacher has a central role in the formation of the emotional atmosphere in mathematics lessons. The emotional atmosphere can be built up to be positive when the teacher encourages the pupils to talk about mathematics and their own understanding with each other. The emotional atmosphere is then open and tolerant. The emotional atmosphere can turn to be negative when the pupils are working by themselves and are afraid of criticism and embarrassment.
  • Tammeorg, Priit; Mykkänen, Anna; Rantamäki, Tomi; Lakkala, Minna; Muukkonen, Hanni (2019)
    Trialogical learning, a collaborative and iterative knowledge creation process using real-life artefacts or problems, familiarizes students with working life environments and aims to teach skills required in the professional world. We target one of the major limitation factors for optimal trialogical learning in university settings, inefficient group work. We propose a course design combining effective group working practices with trialogical learning principles in life sciences. We assess the usability of our design in (a) a case study on crop science education and (b) a questionnaire for university teachers in life science fields. Our approach was considered useful and supportive of the learning process by all the participants in the case study: the students, the stakeholders and the facilitator. Correspondingly, a group of university teachers expressed that the trialogical approach and the involvement of stakeholders could promote efficient learning. In our case in life sciences, we identified the key issues in facilitating effective group work to be the design of meaningful tasks and the allowance of sufficient time to take action based on formative feedback. Even though trialogical courses can be time consuming, the experience of applying knowledge in real-life cases justifies using the approach, particularly for students just about to enter their professional careers.
  • Rissanen, Inkeri; Kuusisto, Elina; Tuominen, Moona; Tirri, Kirsi (2019)
    In this article we take up the two-fold task of creating a framework for a growth mindset pedagogy on the basis of our previous studies and exploring the critical points of this pedagogy in the classroom of a mixed-mindset teacher. The data include classroom observations and stimulated recall interviews. The results show how a teacher who is socialized into the Finnish educational system pursues core features of growth mindset pedagogy, despite not having a dominant growth mindset herself. However, we identify critical points in her practices, which suggest that teaching the theory of mindset in teacher education is needed. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Gagnon, Joseph Calvin (2022)
    Youth with emotional and behavioural disorders (EBD) are guaranteed the same right to inclusive education as other students with and without disabilities. While Finland and the United States (U.S.) are committed to the ideals of inclusion, evidence suggests that these students are often excluded. This paper discusses Finnish and U.S policies and practices that identify and 'push out' youth with EBD. Additionally, the quality of education in exclusive settings, including Finnish reform schools, U.S. alternative schools and day treatment/residential psychiatric facility schools, as well as (juvenile) correctional facilities in both countries, are discussed. Recommendations are provided for policy and practice that will promote access to inclusive education for these troubled youth.
  • Janhonen, Kristiina; Torkkeli, Kaisa; Mäkelä, Johanna (2018)
    This exploratory article examines the novel term food sense and informal learning in the context of home cooking. Its theory draws from Dewey's work and from his notions of reflexive thought and action. The data consist of a transcribed audio recording of an in-depth, video-based, stimulated-recall (SR) interview. The auto-ethnographic videos were used to stimulate conversation during the interview and were previously collected as part of a broader research project on home cooking in a Finnish family context. Based on the theory and the data, the definition of food sense was refined into a model consisting of three levels: ‘Understanding’ as the ability to define and interpret emerging ruptures in activity; ‘Applying’ as the competence to plan and execute solutions that function in context; and ‘Re-defining’ as the reformulation of activities to enable new ways of doing. In reference to the empirical examples, two of the three episodes represented ‘Understanding’ and ‘Applying’; whereas the third example included also the potential for re-defining habitual ways of action. However, despite possession of relevant knowledge and initial motivation, the emergence of negative emotions of the person in charge of the cooking process prevented reformulating existing cooking habits. By providing novel insights into the social, cultural, and situated nature of home cooking, the article complements the more individual-focused and/or knowledge-based approaches used by other recent studies of cooking skills and learning.
  • Abdollahi, Anna Minerva; Masento, Natalie; Vepsäläinen, Henna; Mijal, Michal; Gromadzka, Monika; Fogelholm, Mikael (2021)
    Objective: As a pilot trial under the Games of Food consortium, this study assessed the effectiveness of an educational escape game alongside a self-study method as a nutrition knowledge intervention. Furthermore, this study explored the use of an escape game as an educational tool for young adolescents. Materials and Methods: Altogether three schools participated, one from Finland and two from the UK. Baseline questionnaires assessing knowledge were administered before intervention day. Participants from each class were randomly allocated by the researchers into either the escape game condition, where participants played a nutrition education escape game with a focus on plant-based protein sources, or the self-study condition, where participants received an educational leaflet with identical content. In addition to the knowledge post-assessment, the educational escape game condition answered an enjoyment and intrinsic motivation questionnaire to evaluate the game experience. Paired t-tests were used to determine significant changes within intervention conditions and ANCOVA was used to estimate the differences in knowledge. Results: The participants were 130 children (11-14 years), divided into educational escape game (n = 68) and self-study (n = 62) conditions. Both the educational escape game (20.7 vs. 23, p < 0.001) and self-study (21.1 vs. 23.1, p = 0.002) had improved overall knowledge scores. No significant differences in gained knowledge existed between groups. Of the educational escape game participants, 60% reported the game as mostly enjoyable and 46% reported added use and value for learning. Conclusion: The educational escape game condition was comparable to the self-study method for nutrition education in adolescents. However, since the educational escape game provides an enjoyable experience that may enhance intrinsic motivation to promote learning and possible behavior change, the use of escape games for nutrition education warrant further investigation.
  • Cáceres-Jensen, Lizethly; Rodríguez-Becerra, Jorge; Jorquera-Moreno, Bárbara; Escudey, Mauricio; Druker-Ibañez, Sofía; Hernández-Ramos, José; Díaz-Arce, Tatiana; Pernaa, Johannes; Aksela, Maija (2021)
    Teaching the fundamentals of chemical kinetics on the college level is challenging to teachers and students alike due to its abstract nature of concepts and limited connection with real context applications. This study consisted of two phases starting with designing a chemistry education for the sustainable development-based learning environment of reaction kinetics, followed by a case study in which students' perceptions toward learning chemistry by solving a real environmental problem using digital resources, spreadsheets, and an active learning environment, were explored. First, we designed a Socio-Scientific Environmental Chemistry module centered on the sorption kinetic processes of herbicides in volcanic ash derived soils (VADS) and their potential to pollute groundwater. The objective of the learning module was to contribute to the development of sustainability skills, to promote learning of contextualized chemistry knowledge, and to develop scientific skills. This module employs spreadsheets as computational tools in chemistry to model real sorption kinetic data of herbicides in VADS. The learning module was designed for one section of two Analytical Chemistry courses and one Physical Chemistry course of an undergraduate chemistry teacher-training program. After the design phase, the learning module was implemented in each course, and students' perceptions were gathered using the focus group technique. The sample was of 22 students distributed into three focus groups. The data collected were analyzed and categorized through qualitative content analysis using the Technological Pedagogical Science Knowledge (TPASK) framework. On the basis of our findings, the students acquired contextualized chemistry knowledge and develop skills and knowledge related to using digital resources and spreadsheets in a scientific context. Besides, the preservice chemistry teachers' knowledge of pedagogy allowed them to develop some elements of their pedagogical science knowledge and TPASK. This case study shows that the problem-based learning approach offers great potential in supporting a learning environment suitable to working with spreadsheets to solve real-environment problems in chemistry education.
  • Holm, Marja Eliisa; Hannula, Markku Sakari; Björn, Piia Maria (2017)
    This study examined the relation of mathematics performance and gender with seven mathematics-related emotions (enjoyment, pride, anger, anxiety, shame, hopelessness and boredom) among adolescents. Using strict and lenient mathematics performance cut-off scores, respective groups of adolescents with mathematics difficulties (MD, n=136), low (LA, n=166) and typical mathematics performance (TA, n=1056) were identified. Our results revealed that the MD group reported more shame than the LA group. The MD group also reported more negative emotions and less positive emotions than the TA group, with the exception of boredom, for which there was no statistically significant difference. The interaction effect between mathematics performance group and gender on emotions was significant. Only females with MD showed significantly higher levels of hopelessness and shame than females with LA, while males with LA even reported more boredom than males with MD. Concerning gender differences, males reported slightly more pride and enjoyment than females. However, the direction and magnitude of the gender differences showed great variance among mathematics performance groups. The practical implications of the results are discussed.