Browsing by Subject "Early Childhood Education"

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  • Terho, Taru (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    The aim of this research is to find out the leaderships connection to learning environments and children's play in Early Childhood Education (ECE) by the next problems of the study: (1) What kind of leadership types there are in ECE? (2) What kind of connections there are between the types of leadership and learning environments? (3) What kind of connection there are between the types of leadership and children's play? There is no previous research about this topic so I will try to fulfill the gap on my account. The research was carried out by using the quantitative research methods: The Spearman Rank Order Correlation Coefficient (Rho), Principal Components Analysis, (PCA) and the frequency analysis. The theory of this paper based on research material by using the earlier theories about leadership, learning environments and children's play. The data used in this study was a part of the "Orientation project" -research by Jyrki Reunamo. There was 2889 children, 156 teams and their leaders, who took part in the study from thirteen different municipalities in Southern Finland. The response rate among leaders was 80 %. According to this research the leadership of ECE consists of five categories: The Pedagogical leadership, the Leadership of development, the Leadership of economy, troublesome leadership and weak leadership. To clarify comparison, five types of leadership were compressed to two types: The Quality leadership and the Demanding leadership. According to the results there are some connections between leadership, learning environments and children's play. From the results it can be deduced that if the leader thinks that she/he is "The Quality leader" learning environments are more versatile, more high-quality and children have more opportunities for rich and versatile play. Children have also many opportunities for free play. If the leader thinks that it is demanding to lead personnel, the play of children is more physical. There are also fewer opportunities for supported play or controlled play. It is very important to develop and improve the quality of leadership so that the play of children can be of highest quality.
  • Leinonen, Jonna (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Children's participation has been a subject in the international research since past ten years. This research has explored participation from the standpoint of the UN's Convention of the Rights of the Child and focused mainly on schoolchildren or on the working youth's chances in developing countries to have impact on their own lives (eg. Sinclair, 2004 and Thomas, 2002). In Finland there has been less research about the children's rights while the main focus has been on the customers of the child welfare system. This study examines children's participation in Helsinki metropolitan area via the views and the practices of the personnel of early childhood education. The adopted viewpoint is Shier's level model of participation (2001), in which the children's participation process is building in phases, is observed via the everyday actions of the kindergarten personnel. Attention has been paid on the special characteristics of the Finnish early childhood education. This study was part of VKK-Metro's research project. The inquiry in May 2010 was directed to all working teams in the kindergartens of the Helsinki metropolitan area. Of these 56.59 % (1116 teams) answered. The quantitative data analyzed by principal component analysis gave four principal components, from which three were named after Shier's participation model. The fourth component included variables about rules and power. The level model of participation fit well to assess early childhood education in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The professionalism of the personnel became emphasized in the area of everyday interactions between the personnel and the children. Important aspects of the children's participation are to become heard, to get support in the play and in interaction and to be able to share both power and responsibility with personnel of the early childhood education.
  • Rintakorpi, Kati (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Early childhood education carries multiple experiences, activities, challenges, disappointments, achievements and encounters. Small children have difficulties to remember, piece together and pass on those experiences and feelings to their teachers or parents. The aim of this study was to examine the context and organization of early childhood education where documentation raises and develops. Furthermore it was examined what the documentation of small children means in practice and how the teachers understood it. In this study the mixed methods have been used to expose different perspectives about the subject. Also the material was collected using several methods and is a part of two other studies. The quantitative study was made with material which included 892 randomly chosen children and their teachers from 313 daycare units in the metropolitan area of Finland. The material is a part of a "Children's agentive perception uncovered" study (2010), which was carried out by the University of Helsinki. The qualitative study was made by using the material of a "VKK-Metro" development project, which was carried out also in the metropolitan area (2009). The analysis and the conclusions were made by using Reunamo's theoretical model of agentive perception and Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. The angle is childcentered, constructivistic and sosioconstructivistic education. In this study a remarkable confrontation was found between the visions and the practices of the early childhood educators. The documentation was not a powerful educational tool for them and the pedagogy was not built up in a sosioconstructive way. After all it was noticeable that when the teachers got more resources and pedagogical support to the documentation of the children, they found more child-centered angel in their practices as early educators. It seemed that the teachers usally work under quite a pressure and should get more resources to become able to develop the pedagogy. This study is useful for those who are interested in the child-centered way of working and the documentation as a pedagogical tool. It is also a good basis for further studies and for the attempts to regenerate early childhood education.
  • Virta, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The aim of the study was to research the manifestation of compassion in the peer interaction situations of toddlers in day care center and the impact of adult involvement on the expression of children's compassion. The research is part of a research project on Constituting Cultures of Compassion in Early Childhood Education (CoCuCo). Compassion research has not been done earlier by observing children's interaction in a natural environment. This study will provide the elements for developing early childhood education environments and interaction situations for toddlers in a day care center in order to strengthen the compassionate culture. Interest in the meaning of compassion for social change has increased. The meaning and power of compassion has been studied from many perspective of sciences. In this qualitative video research the research material was the video material compiled by the CoCuCo-research team on the different interaction and action situations of children aged 1–3 years in one day care center in the metropolitan area in Finland. The research methods were the observation and analysis of the video material. In the analysis of the data, I shared the compassion situations I found with the episodes in two main categories: 1. expression of compassion in children's interaction situations and 2. the effect of adult involvement on the expression of children's compassion. After this, I analyzed the various manifestations of compassion and the various effects of adult involvement that I found within the episodes. This study showed that there were compassionate acts of interaction between toddlers in terms of comforting, sharing, helping, and anticipating. Most often, the acts of children's com-passion were appeared as physical and verbal comforting or through objects and functional sharing. Adults contributed to their day care with their involvement, mostly to promote com-passion, but sometimes to undermine compassion. The results of this study support the view that young children have a natural way of working with compassion. The influence of adults on the development of a compassionate culture is very important. Adults need to realize the importance of the moments leading to compassion and give children time enough and compassionate guides.
  • Halme, Roosa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Objectives. The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has defined quality indicators for early childhood education and care (ECEC), which can be used to assess the quality of ECEC. According to the law (540/2018), ECEC is defined by a self-assessment obligation, which makes it possible to evaluate the pedagogical activities produced by ECEC staff. The study examined the quality of ECEC, from the perspective of quality process factors. The study was conducted based on self-assessments of ECEC staff. The aim of the study was to describe the factors that weaken the process quality of ECEC and to find out the effect of the educational background of ECEC staff on self-assessments. The study also examined development targets for the process quality of ECEC. Methods. The study was conducted in a mixed method manner using data and method triangulation. The research material was collected with an e-questionnaire. The survey was sent via social media to Facebook groups for ECEC staff. The study material consisted of 202 respondents and 260 open-ended responses. The research material was analyzed by appropriate methods using qualitative (content analysis) and quantitative (one-way analysis of variance) analysis. Results. The results of the study show that shortcomings in ECEC resources, professionalism and interprofessional co-operation were perceived as factors that weaken the process quality of ECEC. The results of the study also show that the self-assessments of highly educated staff differed from the self-assessments of vocational education staff, for one attribute. The research shows the need for comprehensive development work on the quality of early childhood education. Pedagogical activities in early childhood education must be enabled with sufficient resources and a well-functioning culture, and the well-being of staff must be safeguarded.
  • Lindberg, Pilvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Objectives. Compassion is a fundamental motivational system in the human being (Gilbert 2015). Its function is to alleviate suffering (Goetz, Keltner & Simon-Thomas 2010). Compassion is one of the key skills needed in a global world (OECD 2016). Supporting the development of compassion and the skills of taking others into account is an obligation imposed on professionals by the National Curriculum Guidelines on Early Childhood (EDUFI 2016; Lipponen, Hilppö, Rajala 2018). Compassion has not been studied as an independent feeling in children’s natural environment. Previously research has been done about prosociality from individual psychological point of view (Warneken & Tomasello, 2006; Dunfield, et al. 2011). The research assignment of my thesis is to examine the every-day practices of spontaneous compassion in an early childhood group. The thesis is part of the CoCuCo research project. My goal was to generate new information about the compassion from practice perspective. The research problems were how sensemaking is occurs during the compassionate process and how compassion relates to the flow of action. Methods. I compiled the material I used in my thesis in an early childhood education group of Helsinki city. The group consisted of 23 children, an early childhood education teacher, a part-time special education teacher, and 2 nannies. I observed group members' who participated in the study for 2 weeks. I performed observation and material analysis with an exploratory and ethnographic approach. The data consisted of 32 observations I recorded on the observation form. The observation form served as a heuristic tool that guided me to discover acts of helping, comforting, sharing, and including others. In the data analysis, I used data-driven and theory supported methods. Results and conclusions. Sensemaking continued throughout the compassionate process. Joint understanding was formed through negotiations and non-verbal reaction to one another's actions. Sensegiving and sensebreaking occurred during negotiations of meanings. Verbalizing feelings and others’ points of view supported the compassionate process. During the compassionate process, emotions were regulated, conflicts were resolved, others were involved, and care was taken of oneself, others, and the environment. Through the compassionate process, interrupted action was able to continue, new action emerged, and previous action took new course. Compassion acts as a social tool that directs the flow of action. It supports children’s participation in activities, role in the kindergarten group and the development of positive peer relationships. By modelling compassionate interaction, early childhood teachers and caregivers can support compassionate processes between children.
  • Salmi, Kiira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Compassion in early childhood education settings is a phenomenon that hasn´t been researched a lot despite its appearance in everyday interactions in early childhood education. In this study I examined how the acts of compassion were constituted in a Finnish 2-5-year olds kindergarten class. I conducted this research by using an observation method resembling ethnography and analysing the data using Grounded Theory -method. I answer to three research questions which were: 1) How the need for compassion is noticed in kindergarten? 2) What kind of characteristics can be found on situations where there are compassionate acts in kindergarten? and 3) What kind of compassionate acts are done in a kindergarten setting? This survey was conducted in one Finnish metropolitan area kindergarten class where there were 27 children, aged 2¬–5, two early childhood education teachers, two nurses and one nursing student doing her practical training. The research material consisted of observation notes of situations where there was suffering or compassionate acts during 10 days of observation. In this research construction of compassion included different ways of noticing the need for compassion, situational factors and assessments and acts of compassion. The child´s need for compassion could be noticed by the child’s emotional reactions, the way the child acted, hearing about the need for compassion or anticipating a situation likely to cause the need for compassion. In this kindergarten class the acts of compassion consisted of the acts of comforting, helping, influencing the person or matter that produced the need for compassion, flexibility, including, sharing and humour. Compassionate acts were not automatic. There were situational elements and assessments that could have had an effect on whether compassionate acts were conducted. Conduction of compassionate acts seemed to be influenced by who noticed the suffering, in what kind of situation suffering was noticed and what kind of assessments were made in the situation. This research is a qualitative research and it has limitations to its generalization, but it can shed a light to the phenomenon of compassion and construction of compassion in early childhood education settings.
  • Salminen, Essi (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The object of this study was to examine how children described being disturbed and how much it included bullying. Second, how much participation and unclear orientations were differing from each other when it comes to disturbing situations in day care. Third, they wanted to find associations between children's age and disturbing orientations in this study. The aim of this study is that day care educators could become more aware, understanding and responsive to disturbing behaviour and exercise of power between children. The study was based on a large and international Early Childhood Education research and development project, called Source of Orientation. The data was collected in spring 2010 from different kinds of day care centres and 8 Councils of Eastern-Uusimaa and Hämeenlinna. There were 816 children who took part the project. The data was collected in multi-methodical methods: children's interview, observation and learning environment assessment. The data was mainly used as quantitative data in the project in this study. The qualitative data was based on children's agentive perception created by Jyrki Reunamo (2007b) from Helsinki University. According to the results, most of the children orientated participate when they became disturbed. Also, they understood that disturbing behaviour included bullying. That showed that bullying and disturbing were the same thing for the children. In addition, the study showed individual and developmental differences between children in daily situations in day care. It seemed that the youngest children (2-3 years old) orientated more unclearly than the oldest ones. The oldest children (4-7 years old) orientated participate more often. On the other hand, different kind of disturbing orientations were found in every age group. That indicated that disturbing orientations were not only based on age, but also for example individual settings. In conclusion, strong educators are needed with pedagogical views for young children in peer groups dealing with deterrents, interferences, and disturbing situations. Children orientating in disturbing situations highlighted the importance of child observation, especially when it comes to withdrawn and unclear orientated children.