Browsing by Subject "AGENCY"

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  • Balla, Viktória Roxána; Szalóki, Szilvia; Kilencz, Tünde; Dalos, Vera Daniella; Németh, Roland; Csifcsák, Gábor (2020)
    The association between an action and its sensory consequence has been linked to our sense of agency (SoA). While ecological validity is crucial in investigating such a complex phenomenon, previous paradigms focusing on the cortical analysis of movement-related images used simplified experimental protocols. Here, we examined the influence of action-associated predictive processes on visual event-related potentials (ERPs) in a paradigm that models everyday actions more precisely, using a commercial gesture control device, ecological stimuli depicting a human hand and a behavioural training to reinforce the sense of control over action outcomes. We assessed whether a more natural setup would result in robust ERP modifications following self-initiated movements relative to passive viewing of the same images. We found no compelling evidence for amplitude modulation for the early occipital C1 and P1 components. Crucially, we observed strong action-associated amplitude enhancement for the posterior N1, an effect that was not present in our previous study that relied on conventional button-presses. We propose that the N1 effect in our ecologically more valid paradigm can either reflect stronger attentional amplification of domain-specific visual processes following self-initiated actions, or indicate that sensory predictions in the visual N1 latency range manifest in larger (rather than reduced) ERPs. Overall, our novel approach utilizing a gesture-control device can be a potent tool for investigating the behavioural and neural manifestations of SoA in the visual modality.
  • Kangas, Jonna; Reunamo, Jyrki (Springer, 2019)
    Educating the Young Child
    In this chapter, we describe the Action Telling method and how it supports young children in exploring their ideas for how to react in challenging social situations. Action Telling is an active storytelling method that focuses on children’s conceptions of their initiatives, interactions, decision-making, and the dilemmas they face in Early Childhood settings as it promotes children’s agency and meaningful problem-solving. In the Action Telling method, teachers facilitate children’s participation to bring out their ideas and describe their personal ways of solving issues in everyday social activity with peers and teachers. In this chapter, the Action Telling method practices are introduced for teachers who are interested in understanding children’s ideas and perspectives and supporting children’s participation and agency. The ways in which children’s participation enhances social and cognitive development are explored as well as children’s development of reasoning skills, logic, and reflection, which are essential for creating innovative ideas and knowledge, and in the end, new interaction.
  • Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Sahlström, Fritjof (2019)
    Although Finnish politics relating to the Roma tend to be perceived internationally as fairly successful, several obstacles exist for the Roma in education and the labour market. Training of Roma mediators has been actively promoted in Finland to improve the school performance and equality of Roma pupils. This article, based on ethnographic research, focuses on exploring how the current discursive terrain around the topics of tolerance and prejudice functions in the everyday work of mediators. It is argued that the present discourses in school expose the mediators to unequal power relations of tolerance. The terms for being tolerated are set by the potential tolerating actors, the school community. The mediators aim to supply knowledge about the Roma and try to address prejudices as representatives of the Roma. The study identified three different strategies that the mediators used when encountering prejudice: making sure one does not seem too different, parody and feigning naivety. The analysis suggests that the present discursive terrain creates obstacles to addressing inequalities, discrimination and racism in educational contexts. The responsibility for tackling discrimination is placed on the shoulders of individual Roma - not the whole school community.
  • Nikkola, Teemu; Reunamo, Jyrki; Ruokonen, Inkeri (2022)
    The study presented in this article is part of a larger study called Progressive Feedback (, which is an early childhood education and care (ECEC) research and development project. The aim of this article is to find out (a) how childrens tested creative thinking abilities, fluency, originality and imagination correlated with childrens social orientations in kindergarten and (b) how childrens participative orientations occur in relation with the teacher and peers. The data consist of Reunamo's child interview tool and the Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM) test. The data (280 children from 23 kindergartens and pre-primary schools) were gathered from two municipalities in southern Finland. The results show that the participative orientation was strongly connected with creative thinking abilities, but it was rare in social situations concerning adults. In participative orientation, children concern the situation and intend to change it.
  • Weckström, Elina; Lastikka, Anna-Leena; Havu-Nuutinen, Sari (2022)
    The aim of this research was to explore a socially sustainable culture of participation in which all members of the community can be heard, make initiatives, express their opinions, and alter their practices. We conducted the study by analysing three separate sets of empirical research data in which participation was investigated in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) context and in club activities for children aged 4-12 and the elderly. The data include children's perspectives regarding participation, ECEC practitioners' perspectives on a culture of participation, and children's and ECEC practitioners' shared project-based practices. The results show that children and ECEC practitioners were willing to commit to new practices and construct a collective 'we-narrative'. A we-narrative created a foundation for the conceptual model of a socially sustainable culture of participation, including the prerequisites of participation in adult practices, the goal of participation in children's and adults' shared activities, and a tool for strengthening participation. According to the results, a socially sustainable culture of participation is holistic and dynamic, and children can have an effect on daily activities, including basic care situations, as well as part of the educational activities.
  • Mansikka, Jan-Erik; Westwall, Maria; Heimonen, Marja (2018)
    This article addresses the role of general music education within the framework of cultural diversity. The empirical part of the article focuses on teachers in Swedish-speaking minority schools in Finland and their perceptions of the relationship between music and multicultural perspectives. The results showed that in some instances it took some time for teachers to discuss, define and grasp the concepts of multiculturalism and cultural diversity in relation to their teaching activities. While much was discussed on a theoretical and/or political level, it was not necessarily something that they would connect to their own practice.
  • Tammi, Tuure; Rajala, Antti (2018)
    Previous research has identified numerous obstacles that counteract attempts to involve pupils in democratic processes in schools. Drawing from deliberative democratic theory and sociolinguistic research on dialogic teaching we discuss an intervention grounded on the ideas of deliberative communication and decision-making in an elementary classroom in Finland. We show that deliberative communication can provide pupils with opportunities for democratic participation. This process involves altering conventional classroom interactional patterns and the power processes they uphold. The possibilities of expanding deliberative communication from isolated democratic meetings to everyday schooling are considered.
  • Olli, Johanna; Salanterä, Sanna; Karlsson, Liisa; Vehkakoski, Tanja (2021)
    The purpose of this study was to find out how an adult can enable or hinder the realization of a disabled child’s agency in play interaction. We focused on the child’s play invitations, which were constructed as dispreferred by the adult. The data consisted of nine videotaped playing situations with five nurses and five disabled children in a children’s neurological ward. The microanalysis with interventionist applied conversation analysis focused on one playing situation between one nurse and one three-year-old boy with no spoken language. The nurse responded to the child’s play invitations constructed as dispreferred by her in three different ways. Two of them were about trying to control the situation, either through managing the child’s behaviour or by guiding the plot of the play. The third way of responding was negotiating through dialogical playing, which enabled the realization of the child’s agency. The findings can be utilized widely for developing child-centred practices.
  • Virtanen, Pirjo Kristiina; Siragusa, Laura; Guttorm, Hanna (2020)
    This article identifies core dimensions in the notion of “sustainability” as it is conceptualized among Indigenous peoples. These are context-based relationality, community-based governance, education, language, quality of life and health, and communal recognition of certain nonhumans as life-givers. Taking into account different Indigenous cultural and socio-philosophical experiences and their process of sociality with different life forms, it has become clear that these are little spelt out in the previous sustainability definitions. Thus, understanding how local interconnections are sustained and reproduced, both for humans and nonhumans, should inform policy mechanisms as well as new forms of evidence. We want to point out that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot and should not be taken as universal due to conceptual and moral differences among different communities and peoples.
  • Kalalahti, Mira; Varjo, Janne (2022)
    The process of life design in contemporary adolescence is of increasing interest in times of lifelong learning and the knowledge society. The aim of this article was to increase the comprehension of career designs by analysing the two-phase interviews of 31 young people at the ages of 15 and 18. Drawing on actantial analysis, we modelled the plurality of the career designs, analysed who the main actors are in those career designs, and how young people express, exercise, and adjust their designs. We conclude that both the subjects and the objects of the young people’s career designs included multiple actors. People, issues, and circumstances are integral components of the narratives on the career designs of young people. These components bound their agency and are integrated with their orientations to education and work.
  • Paananen, Maiju; Lipponen, Lasse (2018)
    In this paper, we consider pedagogical quality particularly as equal opportunities for participating in decision-making in preschool. Relying on Ferraris' [2013. Documentality: Why it is necessary to leave traces. New York: Fordham University Press] theory of Documentality, we demonstrate how pedagogical documentation can contribute to understanding children's perspectives and discuss how it may help facilitate children's perspectives to become part of their everyday lives at preschool. In addition, we examine, using a multi method approach, how our conceptualizations help critically examine equality in early childhood education (ECE). The study was conducted in Finnish preschools. The data source for this study is composed of the researcher's observation diary, self-documentation conducted by teachers (n = 13), individual ECE plans of 104 2 to 7-year-old children and document-aided interviews with their teachers (n = 13). Finally, we critically discuss the consequences of our findings in terms of documentation, pedagogy and the equality of ECE.
  • Pietarinen, Janne; Pyhalto, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina (2019)
    This study aims to gain a better understanding of the Finnish national curriculum reform by examining how the educational practitioners, at the district level, orchestrate the shared sense-making concerning the reform work in their school districts. Qualitative focus group data was collected from 12 groups, throughout Finland, that were responsible for orchestrating curriculum reform work at the district level. Results showed that curriculum reform steering groups recognized the importance of orchestrating shared sense-making. They strived to develop functional, context sensitive, and shared strategies for reform implementation across their districts. They employed a range of strategies for managing, navigating, and regulating the shared sense-making of the local curriculum work.
  • Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Kajamaa, Anu (2020)
    This study investigates the sociomaterial movements of student engagement in a school's makerspace. Here, we understand sociomaterial movements as emergent and relational, comprising complex dynamics of agency across students, teachers and materials in situated, culturally framed activities. Our study draws on data comprising 85 hours of video recordings of 9-12-year-old students' (N = 94) engagement in a technology-rich makerspace in a Finnish elementary school. The video data were transcribed and analyzed qualitatively using a multimodal interaction analysis. The sociomaterial movements were found to be displayed across a tension-laden continuum between (1) procedural activity-analysis and reflection; (2) individual activity-collaboration; (3) "doing school"-empowerment; and d) alienation-identification. Together, the study offers a potential approach for investigating and understanding the often overlooked workings of sociomateriality that constitutes students' emergent engagement and learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEAM) learning contexts.
  • Kajamaa, Anu; Kumpulainen, Kristiina (2020)
    In this study, we aim to widen the understanding of how students' collaborative knowledge practices are mediated multimodally in a school's makerspace learning environment. Taking a sociocultural stance, we analyzed students' knowledge practices while carrying out STEAM learning challenges in small groups in the FUSE Studio, an elementary school's makerspace. Our findings show how discourse, digital and other "hands on" materials, embodied actions, such as gestures and postures, and the physical space with its arrangements mediated the students' knowledge practices. Our analysis of these mediational means led us to identifying four types of multimodal knowledge practice, namely orienting, interpreting, concretizing, and expanding knowledge, which guided and facilitated the students' creation of shared epistemic objects, artifacts, and their collective learning. However, due to the multimodal nature of knowledge practices, carrying out learning challenges in a makerspace can be challenging for students. To enhance the educational potential of makerspaces in supporting students' knowledge creation and learning, further attention needs to be directed to the development of new pedagogical solutions, to better facilitate multimodal knowledge practices and their collective management.
  • Reinius, Hanna; Korhonen, Tiina; Hakkarainen, Kai (2021)
    This exploratory case study examined the kinds of activity that a ‘deskless school” (i.e., flexible physical school spaces) engenders among pupils and teachers. We also considered the meaning and significance that pupils and teachers attach to various features of the school, as well as the associated action possibilities. The data were gathered in a new school in the Helsinki capital area that was architecturally designed to have flexible learning spaces (FLS) without traditional classrooms or desks for pupils in an attempt to encourage pedagogical renewal. The participants comprised 17 pupils in one second-grade class and their two teachers. The data were collected by participant observation (15 lessons over 3 weeks) and interviews with the teachers and groups of pupils. Those working in FLS engaged in collaborative learning and teaching activities. Pupils worked constantly in pairs or small groups and studied collaboratively. They also incorporated mobility into their own learning activities and developed agency by choosing how and where they would work. In particular, they appreciated being able to collaborate with their peers and freely choose where and how to study. Teachers approved of the school environment’s facilitation of collaborative learning and highlighted the importance of professional co-planning and other aspects of collaboration. Overall, the design of school environments matters at the pedagogical and professional level. With thoughtful planning, such design can support deeper collaboration among teachers and pupils, foster knowledge sharing, and even develop pupils’ agency. Although the learning space itself does not ensure change, it does enable new kinds of interaction and joint learning activities.
  • Hilppö, Jaakko; Lipponen, Lasse; Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Rajala, Antti (2017)
    In this study, we investigated how Finnish children used photographs and drawings to discuss their preschool day experiences in focus groups. Building on sociocultural perspectives on mediated action, we specifically focused on how these visual tools were used as mediational means in sharing experiences. The results of our embodied interaction analysis highlight the relevance of visual tools for the participants and the task at hand in the moment-to-moment, micro-level flow of interaction and its material environment. More specifically, our analysis illuminates different ways in which the visual tools were relevant for participating children and adults when sharing and talking about their experiences. In all, our study advances present-day understanding regarding how sociocultural and embodied interaction frameworks can guide visual research with children.