Browsing by Subject "Learning environment"

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  • Lahdenperä, Juulia; Nieminen, Juuso Henrik (2020)
    University mathematics has been described as a setting that has challenges in inviting everyone to be part of the mathematics community. Thus, university mathematics offers an important context for research on belonging. For this study, we utilised a mixed-methods approach to investigate the various ways mathematics students belong or do not belong to the mathematics community. Based on both quantitative and qualitative analyses, three student profiles were identified: Members of the Scientific Community, Members of the Social Community, and Non-Members. The first profile highlights students' belonging to the scientific community, the second profile emphasises belonging to the social community of students, and in the third profile students' responses reflected various ways of not belonging to the mathematics community. In addition, we elaborate on how university mathematics learning environments both promote and hinder students' sense of belonging. Overall, the study broadens the understanding of the ways of belonging in the mathematics context and provides suggestions for teaching to address the issues of exclusion that are currently present in the culture of university mathematics.
  • Salmi, Hannu; Thuneberg, Helena; Vainikainen, Mari-Pauliina (2017)
    Dinosaurs have been a very popular science topic since signs of their presence on earth were first discovered. They have represented so-called edutainment' for some people. Learning from informal sources and in- an out-of-school environment can be effective and motivating. In this study, 12-year-old pupils (N=366) visited a dinosaur science centre exhibition in Finland. Pupils were tested with standardised tests of motivation as defined by self-determination theory, cognitive skills, and interest via pre-, post-, and delayed post-tests during a six-month period. Findings show that pupils learned from the science centre visit and enjoyed the experience. The factors explaining their post-test knowledge in addition to their previous knowledge were (1) general cognitive competence, (2) liking studying biology at the science centre, (3) participation in a dinosaur demonstration, and (4) gender. As there was no difference between boys and girls in general cognitive competences, the knowledge results of boys and girls equally related to their cognitive competence. Autonomy also influenced situational motivation both directly and indirectly, which in turn had a strong effect on liking studying in the exhibition. It also influenced the post-test knowledge indirectly. In the lowest school achievement group, participation in the dinosaur demonstration increased knowledge in the post-test.
  • Rajala, Antti; Akkerman, Sanne (2019)
    In this paper, we have conducted a detailed analysis of video-records of a class fieldtrip to an outdoor environmental education center to examine how the activity and its material context were interpreted, negotiated and sometimes contested in dialogic interactions between the students, teacher and two environmental educators. The findings shed light into the varied ways in which the different interpretations during the fieldtrip produced the forest and its surroundings as the material context of the activity. The findings also show how hybrid forms of activity were produced when the different interpretations collided and merged in the dialogic interactions among the actors. The study challenges existing ways of conceptualizing and researching school fieldtrips which to date have often disregarded the negotiation of diverse interpretations that participants make of the ongoing activity and its contexts. More generally, the study opens new ground for dialogical research approaches on learning and education by showing how an explicit focus on disjunctures between different interpretations of activity can shed light into the dynamics of the moment-to-moment production of emergent material contexts of activity.
  • 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.