Browsing by Subject "CURRICULUM"

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  • Gagnon, Joseph Calvin; Swank, Jacqueline M. (2021)
    A national study of clinical directors examined professional development (PD) focused on mental health provided to professionals in juvenile justice facilities for adjudicated youth. A total of 85 clinical directors responded to a mail survey (45% return rate). The survey questions related to (a) topics of staff training and the basis for choosing topics, (b) which professionals participated in each PD topic, (c) training format and frequency of PD, (d) recommended attributes of PD, (e) methods of evaluating PD, and (f) adequacy of PD and how can it be improved. For each topic, PD was typically provided once per year and face to face, rather than online. PD participation rates were commonly in the 30% and 40% ranges for professionals other than clinical directors and counselors, with teachers, correctional officers, administrators, and teaching assistants receiving PD the least. Rarely did PD include recommended attributes of PD, and it was commonly viewed as ineffective. Implications for research and practice related to PD and its relationship to youth reentry from juvenile justice facilities are discussed.
  • Rantala, Jukka; Khawaja, Amna (2018)
    The new national core curriculum has been put into operation in Finland. Teaching and learning is intended to focus on historical literacy. In this paper, we study how it can be assessed with a penand-paper test, and what that reveals in regards to the mastering of historical literacy among elementary pupils. To study this, we designed a test where pupils analysed sources, answered open-ended questions, and filled out weighted multiple-choice questions. Furthermore, we implemented the test with the think-aloud method. The results from this indicate the way 12-year-olds read historical documents and formulate their own interpretations. The results demonstrate that most of the pupils succeeded in acquiring historical information from different sources, as well as understanding the interpretative nature of historical knowledge. The test also revealed that pupils can identify some intentions of the sources' producers, as well as reasoning through their own interpretations using a single source. Some pupils, however, could not process the cognitive noise inherent to the test (i.e. conflicting sources). Some of them also considered an authoritative source to be principally more reliable than other sources. Our study sheds light on which kind of task can be used at the elementary level to assess historical literacy.
  • Mansikka, Jan-Erik; Lundkvist, Marina (2019)
    Barnomsorgen i Finland har en gemensam historia med övriga Norden, dels genom Fröbeltraditionen, dels genom de värderingar som ligger till grund för det nordiska välfärdssamhället. Under en lång tid har daghem och skola utvecklats utifrån olika utgångspunkter och styrprocesser. Men under de senaste åren har dessa kommit att konsolideras i en politiskt underbyggd reform. En tradition av omsorg och fostran för barn mellan 0–6 år omskrivs till småbarnspedagogik, och i den nya läroplanen som tagits i bruk 2017 betonas barns perspektiv och barns delaktighet som centrala utgångspunkter för verksamheten, som en ny ideologisk värdegrund för den moderna småbarnspedagogiken i Finland. I artikeln analyseras vilka uttryck för barns perspektiv och delaktighet som framträder i de finländska styrdokumenten. Vi lyfter också fram olika faktorer som bidragit till att orienteringen mot barns perspektiv och delaktighet etablerats senare i Finland jämfört med de övriga nordiska länderna.
  • Ihantola, Petri; Petersen, Andrew (University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2019)
    Instructors of introductory programming courses would benefit from having a metric for evaluating the sophistication of student code. Since introductory programming courses pack a wide spectrum of topics in a short timeframe, student code changes quickly, raising questions of whether existing software complexity metrics effectively reflect student growth as reflected in their code. We investigate code produced by over 800 students in two different Python-based CS1 courses to determine if frequently used code quality and complexity metrics (e.g., cyclomatic and Halstead complexities) or metrics based on length and syntactic complexity are more effective as a heuristic for gauging students' progress through a course. We conclude that the traditional metrics do not correlate well with time passed in the course. In contrast, metrics based on syntactic complexity and solution size correlate strongly with time in the course, suggesting that they may be more appropriate for evaluating how student code evolves in a course context.
  • Stamer, Insa; Pönicke, Hanno; Tirre, Frederike; Laherto, Antti; Höffler, Tim; Schwarzer, Stefan; Parchmann, Ilka (2020)
    Background: Many students have incomplete or incorrect perceptions of science and scientists. These simplified images, mediated by media or influential agents of socialisation, result in common stereotypes. Especially for occupational choices it is important to convey an authentic image about science and scientists. Purpose: One manner to convey an authentic image and thus the aim of this study is the development and validation of scientific videos including collected activities of scientists. Program description: Professors were interviewed regarding their typical scientific activities. This was followed by the development of a questionnaire which was answered by junior scientists. Authentic scientific videos were developed and finally validated in a science lab for school-students based on qualitative and quantitative results. Sample: 92 junior scientists answered the questionnaire and eight professors and 96 students (31 girls and 65 boys; grade 10 to 13) were interviewed. Design and methods: The scientists were surveyed before the development of the videos. The RIASEC+N model was used to categorise the collected activities of scientists. Finally, students were interviewed for the video validation. Results: A number of different scientific activities of each RIASEC+N dimension could be detected, which were then integrated into four videos. The interviewed students who watched those videos successfully identified all of the activities. Conclusion: The working day of scientists contains more than stereotypical aspects and well-considered/planned videos are one suitable option to promote an authentic overview about science and scientists.
  • Puustinen, Mikko; Khawaja, Amna (2021)
    In this case study, we explore pedagogical practices that could promote powerful knowledge in school history. We analyse teaching sessions conducted by two teachers. The cases were selected from an observation study that focused on historical literacy in Finnish schools. While Michael Young's ideas of powerful knowledge have gained considerable attention in recent years, the pedagogical aspects of powerful knowledge have been less explored than its knowledge theorization. Our results indicate that promoting powerful knowledge is possible in school history. We suggest that powerful knowledge could be supported by teacher-led pedagogy that involves the systematic use of historical texts, and that uses disciplinary concepts to re-conceptualize everyday knowledge. Hence, teaching strives to unpack the (political) use of historical knowledge and narratives that represent the knowledge of the powerful.
  • Remillard, Janine; van Steenbrugge, Hendrik; Machalow, Rowan; Koljonen, Tuula; Hemmi, Kirsti; Krzywacki, Heidi (University of Copenhagen, 2018)
  • Autio, Ossi; Jamsek, Janez; Soobik, Mart; Olafsson, Brynjar (2018)
    The research is based on a comparative study of craft and technology education curriculums and students‟ attitudes towards craft and technology in Finland, Slovenia, Estonia and Iceland. The study was undertaken by the Helsinki University, University of Ljubljana, University of Tallinn and University of Iceland during years 2012-2015. A literature review was completed, in order to examine and compare the curriculums of craft and technology education in Finland, Slovenia, Estonia and Iceland. In addition, a quantitative survey was subsequently distributed to 864 school students. It consisted of 14 questions, which aimed to ascertain students‟ attitudes towards craft and technology. The survey showed substantial differences in students‟ attitudes towards craft and technology education among the four countries. Estonian boys had the most positive attitude towards technology, whereas the lowest attitude was found among Slovenian girls. The difference between boys and girls was definitely the smallest in Iceland. These differences may be explained by differences in the national curriculums, the different pedagogical traditions and cultural differences in the field of technology.
  • Varpanen, Jan; Laherto, Antti; Hilppö, Jaakko; Ukkonen-Mikkola, Tuulikki (2022)
    Problems encountered in top-down school reforms have repeatedly highlighted the significance of teachers’ agency in educational change. At the same time, temporality has been identified as a key element in teachers’ agency, with teachers’ beliefs about the future and experiences of the past shaping their agentic orientations. However, research on teachers’ future orientations is typically limited to short-term trajectories, as opposed to long-term visions of education. To address this, we draw on a futures studies perspective to give more explicit attention to teachers’ long-term visions of their work. We argue that the method of future narratives, already well-established in the field of futures studies, is a fruitful methodological framework for studying these long-term visions. In this paper, we first show that the futures studies approach is theoretically compatible with the ecological model of teacher agency. We then outline the method of future narratives to point out the possibilities it offers. Finally, we illustrate our approach with an exploratory analysis of a small set of future narratives where teachers imagine a future workday. Our analysis reveals that the narratives offer a rich view of teachers’ longer-term visions of education, including instances of reflecting on the role of education in relation to broader societal developments. Our study suggests that this novel approach can provide tools for research on teacher agency as well as practical development of teacher education, addressing long-term educational issues and policies.
  • Aivelo, Tuomas; Uitto, Anna (2019)
    Science education strives to increase interest in science and facilitate active citizenship. Thus, the aspects of personal and societal relevance are increasingly emphasised in science curricula. Still, little is known about how teachers choose content for their teaching, although their choices translate curricula to teaching practice. We explored how teachers choose genetics content and contexts for biology courses on cells, heredity and biotechnology by interviewing ten Finnish upper-secondary school teachers. We studied how the teachers described teaching on three themes in which they have varying freedom afforded by curricula: genetically modified organisms, hereditary disorders, and complex human traits. We analysed interviews with theory-guiding content analysis and found consistent patterns in teachers' perceptions of the themes in genetics teaching and teacher inclinations towards teaching genetics in human context. These patterns, which we call emphasis of content in genetics teaching were Developmental, Structural and Hereditary. Teachers with Developmental emphasis embraced teaching genetics in a human context, while teachers with a Structural emphasis avoided them. In general, teachers justified their choices by national, local school, and personal factors. While teachers mentioned that societal and personal contexts are important, at the same time teachers never framed the main themes in genetics with these contexts.
  • Nylund, Mattias; Rosvall, Per-Åke; Eiríksdóttir, Elsa; Holm, Ann-Sofie; Isopahkala-Bouret, Ulpukka; Niemi, Anna-Maija; Ragnarsdóttir, Guðrún (2018)
    In this study we examine how the academic–vocational divide is manifested today in Finland, Iceland and Sweden in the division between vocationally (VET) and academicallyoriented programmes at the upper-secondary school level. The paper is based on a critical re-analysis of results from previous studies; in it we investigate the implications of this divide for class and gender inequalities. The theoretical lens used for the synthesis is based on Bernstein´s theory of pedagogic codes. In the re-analysis we draw on previous studies of policy, curriculum and educational praxis as well as official statistics. The main conclusions are that contemporary policy and curriculum trends in all three countries are dominated by a neo-liberal discourse stressing principles such as “market relevance” and employability. This trend strengthens the academic–vocational divide, mainly through an organisation of knowledge in VET that separates it from more general and theoretical elements. This trend also seems to affect VET students’ transitions in terms of reduced access to higher education, particularly in male-dominated programmes. We also identify low expectations for VET students, manifested through choice of textbooks and tasks, organisation of teacher teams and the advice of career counsellors.
  • Pyörälä, Eeva; Mäenpää, Saana; Heinonen, Leo; Folger, Daniel; Masalin, Teemu; Hervonen, Heikki (2019)
    BackgroundStudents use mobile devices extensively in their everyday life, and the new technology is adopted in study usage. Since 2013, the University of Helsinki has given new medical and dental students iPads for study use. Simultaneously, an action research project on mobile learning started focusing on these students' mobile device usage throughout their study years. Note taking is crucial in academic studies, but the research evidence in this area is scarce. The aims of this study were to explore medical and dental students' self-reported study uses of mobile devices and their best practices of mobile note taking.MethodAn action research project began in 2013 and followed the first student cohort (124 medical and 52 dental students) with iPads from the first until the fifth study year. We explored students' descriptions of their most important study uses of mobile devices and their perceptions of note taking with iPads. The longitudinal data were collected with online questionnaires over the years. The answers to open-ended questions were examined using qualitative content analysis. The findings were triangulated with another question on note taking and focus-group interviews.ResultsThe response rates varied between 73 and 95%. Note taking was the most frequently and consistently reported study use of iPads during the study years. While taking notes, students processed the new information in an accomplished way and personalised the digital learning materials by making comments, underlining, marking images and drawing. The visual nature of their learning materials stimulated learning. Students organised the notes for retention in their personalised digital library. In the clinical studies, medical students faced the teachers' resistance and ambivalence to mobile device usage. This hindered the full-scale benefit of the novel technology in the clinical context.ConclusionsEfficient digital note taking practices were pivotal to students in becoming mobile learners. Having all their notes and learning materials organised in their personal digital libraries enabled the students to retrieve them anywhere, anytime, both when studying for examinations and treating patients in the clinical practice. The challenges the medical students met using mobile devices in the clinical setting require further studies.
  • Almeland, Stian Kreken; Lindford, Andrew; Sundhagen, Henriette Pisani; Hufthammer, Karl Ove; Strandenes, Eivind; Svendsen, Henrik Lovendahl; Guttormsen, Anne Berit; Hansson, Emma (2020)
    Background It has been demonstrated that medical students are capable of learning microsurgical techniques. We hypothesize that microsurgical training might give insight into the importance of delicate tissue handling and correct knot tying that could have a positive influence on macrosurgical skills. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of microsurgical training on macrosurgical suturing skills in novice medical students. Subjects and methods In 2018, 46 novice medical students were enrolled and randomized into two groups. The intervention group received both macro- and microsurgical training and the control group received only microsurgical training. Both groups underwent an assessment test that consisted of macrosurgical tasks of three simple interrupted sutures with a square knot and continuous three-stitch long over-and-over sutures. These tests were individually filmed and assessed using the University of Bergen suturing skills assessment tool (UBAT) and the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill global rating scale (OSATS). Questionnaires regarding future career ambitions and attitudes towards plastic surgery were also completed both prior to and following the tests. Results The intervention group needed a longer time to complete the tasks than the control group (12.2 min vs. 9.6 min, p > 0.001), and scored lower on both the UBAT (5.6 vs. 9.0, p > 0.001) and the OSATS (11.1 vs. 13.1, p > 0.001) assessments. The microsurgery course tended to positively influence the students' attitudes towards a career in plastic surgery (p = 0.002). This study demonstrates poorer macrosurgical skills in the medical students group exposed to microsurgical training. The true effect of microsurgical training warrants further investigation. Level of evidence: Level I, diagnostic study.
  • Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Kajamaa, Anu; Rajala, Antti (2018)
    This study investigates agency-structure dynamics in students and teachers' social activity in a novel design and making environment in the context of the Finnish school system, which has recently undergone major curricular reform. Understanding that agency is an important mediator of educational change, we ask the following questions: How are agency-structure dynamics manifested in the social activity of students and their teachers in a novel design and making environment? How do agency-structure dynamics create possibilities and obstacles for educational change? The data comprise 65 hours of video recordings and field notes of the social activity of students aged 9-12 years old (N = 94) and their teachers collected over a period of one semester. Our study shows how the introduction of the novel learning environment created a boundary space in which traditional teacher-centered activity patterns interacted and came into tension with student-centered modes of teaching and learning. Our study reveals three distinctive agency-structure dynamics that illuminate how the agentive actions of both teachers and students stabilized existing teacher-centered practices and, at other, times ruptured and broke away from existing patterns, thus giving rise to possibilities for educational change.