Browsing by Subject "Koulukorjaamo"

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  • Petters, Melissa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In my thesis I examine the educational discourse in the Finnish media represented by the Koulukorjaamo series which was part of the media uproar around teacher Pekka Peura in spring 2016. The research material consists of nine digital newspaper articles published by Yle News as part of the Koulukorjaamo series. My aim is to discover how and why school and education reform are constantly topical issues in the media. Previous international research has pointed to an agenda-setting function of the media in public educational discourse. Not only institutional practices but also concepts such as primary definers and authoritative voices have been argued to be responsible for the construction of educational discourses in the media. (Thomas 2006.) Educational historian Jari Salminen (2012) contends that the constant adaptability expected of education creates crisis and progress discourses that warrant school reform. Educational sociologist Hannu Simola (2002) points out that there are few studies on the discoursive nature of school reforms. Thus, the main question in my thesis is how the articles in the Koulukorjaamo series discuss pedagogical reform. Furthermore, I offer an interpretation of this discussion via the “steps of rhetorical analysis” outlined by Joan Leach (2000), i.e. the rhetorical situation, the types of persuasive discourse and the five rhetorical canons. The rhetorical analysis shows that the discourse of pedagogical reform in Koulukorjaamo is based on epideictic discourse, which praises the new, individual learning model. The articles aim to persuade the audience that this model is the best way to reform pedagogy and school. The aim is supported by forensic and liberative rhetoric, the latter of which invokes the benefit to students and persuades the audience to update their idea of ideal learning to embrace the objectives of mental well-being and learning to learn. The persuasiveness of the discourses is covert as the audience is invited to participate in a discussion that merely appears open and unbiased. Unique rhetorical features of the Koulukorjaamo articles, such as unexpected metaphors and definitions of good learning have been undiscussed in previous research on educational discourse, and thus form a fruitful starting point for further investigation.