Browsing by Subject "21st century skills"

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  • Viinikka, Kaisa; Ubani, Martin; Lipiäinen, Tuuli; Kallioniemi, Arto (2019)
    This study investigates religious education (hereinafter referred to as “RE”) student teachers’ perceptions about what constitutes a successful teacher in the next 20-30 years. The study focuses on RE student teachers in teacher education in Finland. The students were studied in the light of a 21st century skills framework. The data were gathered using a questionnaire (N=43) and interviews (n=8). The analysis of the interviews was deductive content analysis with a quantification of the results. There were several results from the study. For instance, the RE student teachers’ expectations of professional development are connected to their perceptions of the task requirements. The RE student teachers perceived all kinds of interaction skills as an essential part of RE teacher competence in the future along with dialogue skills. The RE student teachers also emphasised learning to learn and critical thinking skills as the core skills of a successful RE teacher in the future. The participants seemed to highlight all the different literacy skills (information, media, technology and religious) as the core skills of a successful RE teacher. Especially religious literacy was considered to be a key skill in the competence of the RE teacher in the future.
  • Kemppi, Annette (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The purpose of this work was to clarify how lecturers and university lecturers in Finland's third-stage educational institutions experience the use of learning platforms in their education work. I wanted to investigate if there is a connection between perceived control of data and openness for learning new skills, trust in authority and experienced stress levels at work. The subject is relevant because the use of digital aids in support of teaching has expanded in recent years, but the consequences of this have remained obscure as few scientists in the past have been sufficiently involved in research of digital teaching to successfully produce objective knowledge of the phenomenon. This survey was quantitative and aimed at describing Finnish university lecturers’ experiences using digital learning platforms in teaching. Learning platforms are tools for designing, producing and managing online courses. Data was collected by a questionnaire sent to the lecturers in four different colleges. The questionnaire contained 31 multiple choice questions in perceived openness, stress, trust and subjective control. The collected material was analyzed using SPSS. The results indicated that universities need more specific training programs in using learning platforms. Non-commercial platforms were used more often than commercial ones. The frequency of use and time of commercial learning platforms was less than for non-commercial ones. Lecturers seem to prefer to use non-commercial platforms. This can be linked to data security and the trust that authorities handle data carefully was high in all reference groups investigated. Openness and stress correlated positively and the more open the informant was towards the platforms the more they used different platforms actively, which increased the stress. It is important to remember that the stress can also be perceived as positive. Another interesting find was that there were no statistically significant differences between any of the background variables in terms of subjective control.
  • Laakso, Noora L.; Korhonen, Tiina S.; Hakkarainen, Kai P. J. (2021)
    Background: This exploratory study engaged teams of elementary and middle school students in the collaborative design of digital games. Game design is theoretically examined in this study as a form of knowledge-creating learning that is characterized by collaborative efforts to advance a shared object of activity, i.e., the game being designed. Using mixed methods, we examined how students experienced the game design project and how the project fostered connected learning, that is, integration of students' personal interests and supportive peer relations with their schoolwork, and how their self-assessed digital competences developed. Methods: The digital competences of 98 comprehensive school students across Finland were traced using pre-and post-questionnaires. The post-questionnaire also included validated measures on connected learning. Quantitative methods were used to analyze structured measures, and qualitative methods were used to analyze open-ended measures. Findings: Students experienced game design as an inspiring, challenging activity. Game design engaged student teams in sustained, collaborative efforts to create shared digital artifacts. Their efforts involved a great deal of mutual support and knowledge sharing. Participation also improved students' self-reported technical and artistic digital competences. The game design project fostered informal, interest-driven, sociodigital participation; inspired learning engagement; and improved schoolwork practices. Contribution: The game design project appeared to be a pedagogically meaningful way of engaging students in knowledge-creating learning and of connecting students' formal and informal learning. The project sparked students' motivation to learn, fostered digital competences, and enriched the learning environment.
  • Seitamaa, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Purpose. In the context of rapid digitalization and the need to develop students’ 21st century skills, acquiring a growth mindset is essential. A person with a growth mindset believes that, for example, intelligence and creativity are malleable and develop through persistent practice. The purpose of this investigation was to first, explore Finnish 7th grade students’ mindsets related to intelligence and giftedness. Secondly, this study investigated students’ mindsets relation to academic achievement in mathematics and mother tongue, as well as students’ educational aspirations. Thirdly, this investigation examined how the mindsets are related to students’ sociodigital competence beliefs and perceived digital school practices. Finally, findings of a mindset intervention conducted in a Finnish educational context, which targeted mindsets in intelligence, giftedness and creativity, are reported. Method. Data for Study A was collected with a questionnaire, which was answered by 1059 7th grade students in Helsinki. The questionnaire assessed students’ intelligence and giftedness mindsets, educational aspirations, sociodigital competence beliefs and perceived digital school practices. A TwoStep cluster analysis was used to locate natural intelligence and giftedness mindset groups from the data. Next, two-way ANOVA’s were utilized: identified mindset groups and gender were independent variables and academic achievement in mathematics and mother tongue, educational aspirations, as well as sociodigital competence beliefs and perceived digital school practices were dependent variables. In Study B 21 students answered a questionnaire on intelligence, giftedness and creativity mindsets before and after the intervention. Differences between pre- and post-test were analyzed using a paired samples t-test. Results and significance. The results indicated that 7th graders had a strong growth mindset in intelligence and giftedness, yet groups of fixed, mixed and growth mindsets were found. Moreover, a growth mindset in intelligence and giftedness was positively related to students’ academic achievement in both mathematics and mother tongue as well as their educational aspirations. Further, a fixed mindset in giftedness indicated higher technical sociodigital competence beliefs. Similarly, students with a fixed mindset in both intelligence and giftedness perceived there to be more sociodigital school practices. Study B found that only students’ creativity-related mindsets changed significantly. The investigation proposes that schools should more strongly support students’ growth mindsets and their creative and academic sociodigital competences as they are a relevant part of the 21st century skills.
  • Sulkunen, Solja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Digitalization and globalization have led to increased global competition, which has set new standards for the skills that employees ought to possess in working life. In this study, these capabilities are referred to as the 21st century working life skills, which includes both professional know-how and professional skills, life and career skills, ability to influence, thinking and learning skills, and technology skills. Absorbent workers are seen to bring competitive advantages to companies at national and international level, and now higher education institutions are expected to produce innovative experts with 21st working life skills to their service. The aim of this thesis was to examine the elements of the method of teaching the 21st century working life skills to higher education students. The research has been carried out by analyzing the reflection essays and feedback forms of the participants participating in hackathon events in 2016-2017. Hackathon events were selected for collecting data as their work habits resembled a great deal of future work-related and problem-solving-oriented working life. The material was analyzed by a material-based grounded theory method. The first research question examined whether the hackathon participants felt that they had developed professionally during the event regarding their own working life skills. Based on the research material, participating a hackathon event can support the participants’ professional development. The participants explicitly brought up the social, knowledge and skill related benefits of hackathon events. The participants reported that by participating a hackathon event they were also able to develop as individuals and felt empowerment regarding their future working life and their private lives. The main experience of the participants was that the hackathon event offered them something that their previous studies have not yet been able to offer. The second research question was used to determine what elements of the hackathon event supported the accumulation of 21st century working life skills. In other words it was studied, of what elements a teaching method that successfully transfers 21st century working life skills to higher education students is built. Participants' responses highlighted particularly event facilities, characteristics of their working groups, external supporters, positive and negative emotions as well as meaningful hackathon challenges and ways of working, and collaboration with businesses. As a conclusion it is to say that with such collaborative innovation pedagogy method, such as hackathon, the development of professional and 21st century skills of students of higher education institutions can be supported. By utilizing these kind of methods, the higher education institutions are also able to successfully answer to the new requirements set by the increased global competition.
  • Karlgren, Klas; Paavola, Sami; Ligorio, Maria Beatrice (2020)
    New kinds of jobs require managing new kinds of work life compe-tences and a number of such key competences for lifelong learningwhich equip young people for further learning and employability ina knowledge society have already been identified. Research hashowever indicated that formal education is not providing adequatesupport and opportunities for acquiring the needed competenciesin practice. More discussion and empirical research is needed aboutknowledge work competences and related practices in secondaryschools, higher education and in the work life. The theme of thisspecial Issue is‘Knowledge work: educational practices preparingstudents for work life’and it has as its aim to contribute toa discussion on how changes in professional work can be takeninto account in educational settings. Of particular interest in thisspecial issue is how educational theory about‘knowledge-creation’is applied in practice. The trialogical approach to learning highlightscollaborative knowledge creation and the development of shared,mediating objects. This theory and its associated design principlesare introduced. The contributions of this special issue relate toimplementing ideas of the trialogical approach to learning in var-ious ways and each contribution is briefly presented.
  • Ikonen, Merita (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The subject of this study was primary and secondary school pupils' use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The aim was to study pupils' technology attitudes, experiences and their mastery of ICT. These factors were then cross-referenced with each other as well as differences in pupils' gender, class and the amount of daily computer use. Attitudes towards ICT were defined as perceived self-efficacy, perceived enjoyment and perceived usefulness. The mastery orientation in ICT was defined as mastery of ICT use and mastery of critical web research skills. These skills are often regarded as an important part of pupils' 21st century skills. The data was collected by web-based survey from two schools in the city of Vantaa. The participants (n=201) were a mix of fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade pupils. These schools are part of the "Finnable 2020" research project. The data from a web-based survey was analyzed by statistical methods. The differences in ICT attitudes, experiences and mastery were analyzed by using T-test and One-way analysis of variance. The relationships between ICT experiences and mastery were analyzed by correlations and linear regression analysis. The quantitative results from the survey were later supplemented by interviewing pupils. The interview data was analyzed by thematic analysis. According to the results, pupils use computer and internet on a daily basis. Boys play games more often than girls while girls search for information and communicate through web based applications. Majority of pupils like when computers are used at school. Pupils reflected in the interviews that using computers makes learning easier and more fun. Perceived usefulness increased with the amount of daily use. Also mastery of computer use increased with the amount of daily use, but only to a point. The mastery of computer use was best among pupils who used computers 2 3 hours a day. Boys' perceived self-efficacy was higher than girls , but there was no difference in ICT mastery, enjoyment or usefulness between genders. The results show that both ICT experience and mastery explain ICT attitudes, with higher experience and mastery reflecting in a more positive attitude towards ICT.
  • Wolff, Lili-Ann; Skarstein, Tuula; Skarstein, Frode (2020)
    During the last century, the human way of life has begun to transgress many of the Earth’s biophysical boundaries in an alarming way. The consequences of this are more dramatic and long lasting than ever before. Many researchers even argue that humanity has created a new geological epoch, which they call Anthropocene. Education, even in early childhood (EC), is often presented as a remedy for these complex problems. Yet, how can anyone prepare young children to deal with such tremendous changes? The primary aim of our study is to define and outline what the mission of early childhood education (ECE) might be in the epoch of the Anthropocene. Through a comprehensive review of the literature, we have tried to find answers about how the Anthropocene could be addressed in ECE. We have searched for answers in the natural science literature, policy documents, educational research articles and philosophy, and discuss the various standpoints we have identified. We argue that the Anthropocene demands a new, more authentic education; a change towards a more holistic, transformative, sustainability-oriented approach. At the same time, children, as always, have a right to a safe, positive and encouraging childhood.
  • Wolff, Lili-Ann; Laherto, Antti; Cheah, Saiki Lucy; Vivitsou, Marianna; Autio, Minna (2022)
    While the state of the world is becoming ever more unsustainable, transformation and transformative learning have become increasingly relevant and raised attention in various sustainability education discourses. This is obvious in both policy and research. As teacher educators, we have studied how this sustainability and transformative education trend is visible in education policy. We have first read international policy and research on sustainability education and transformation. In a more thorough study, our focus has been on two recent and fundamental policy documents outlining the Finnish teacher education. Our results show that even if several UNESCO policies documents for years have called for a transformation toward sustainability through education, the Finnish teacher education policy has not yet fully acknowledged sustainability issues and teachers' transformative agency in addressing them, but emphasize other aims. Therefore, it is mainly up to the individual teacher educators and the leaders of their faculties to decide on how to prepare student teachers not only to deal with changes in general, but to particularly bring about changes towards sustainability.
  • Vihantomaa, Krista (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Objectives. The theoretical framework of this study is based on the Innovative School model, which takes a holistic view of school development factors. The purpose of the study was to find out what kind of experiences the school staff have with working in an innovative school and to what extent the school studied represented the dimensions of the innovative school. The study looked at the school staff's experiences and perceptions of the role of the innovative school, orchestration of school activities and cooperation networks. The aim of the study is to increase understanding of the policies that have been developed in the school to support school development and the learning of 21st century skills, and to form a coherent picture of the school culture. Methods. The study is a qualitative case study, which research material consisted of nine semi-structured thematic interviews. The research context was a school, which has been a learning center and development community for many years. The research participants worked in different positions at the school. The research material was analyzed with theory-guided approach using the ATLAS.ti software as a technical aid. Results and Conclusions. According to the results, the main task of the school was to teach students 21st century skills. Team teaching and different learning environments supported this goal. Another task of the school was to build partnership with the parents. School development was identified as important for the school's operations. A significant part of the development took place in the school’s daily operational processes. The results show that the school's practices were based on a collaborative, team-based, way of working. School leadership was based on distributed leadership and the results highlighted the positive experiences associated with it, such as participation in decision-making. The results show that parents and other stakeholders were key part of the collaborative networks. However, the results indicated that not all opportunities for out-of-school stakeholders had yet been identified. This was a topic that requires development. Relying on community resources advances the development of the school. Individuals have different knowledge, ideas and expertise that can evolve by working together.