Browsing by Subject "MATHEMATICS"

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  • Funderud, Tonje; Mononen, Riikka; Radišić , Jelena; Laine, Anu (2019)
    The study aimed to investigate variations in addition and subtraction fluency by observing grade three students in Norway (n = 253, M-age = 8.38 y.) and Finland (n = 209, M-age = 9.35 y.) while controlling for their age and non-verbal reasoning. Gender differences were also examined. The focus of the study was on the performance of the low-achieving (LA) students in comparison to the typically achieving (TA) group, not neglecting differences in how early educational support was organised across the two countries. Two-minute speed tests in both addition and subtraction within the 1-20 number range were used to assess fluency. The Finnish students outperformed students in the Norwegian sample both in addition and subtraction fluency. There were more Norwegian students in the LA group (i.e. performance at or below the 25th percentile) in both addition (37.9% vs. 20.1%) and subtraction (39.1% vs. 15.8%). In comparison to the TA students, the LA students made more errors and skipped over more arithmetic tasks in an attempt to solve them. Observed differences are discussed in relation to both country characteristics concerning early mathematics education and early educational support.
  • Hemmi, Kirsti; Krzywacki, Heidi; Liljeqvist, Yvonne (2019)
    In the current paper, we present an analysis of a case study in which we have followed Swedish primary teachers who voluntarily began using translated Finnish curriculum materials, i.e. a textbook and teacher guide, in order to reform their mathematics teaching. The multifaceted data, consisting of questionnaires, interviews, protocols from collegial meetings and classroom observations, were gathered during the period 2010-2014. The analysis of the interplay within this cross-cultural setting reveals the special characteristics and the challenges existing in practice. Both the experienced and inexperienced teachers offloaded a great deal of their agency to the materials in order to become familiar with the ideas they mediated. Yet, the lack of a clear rationale behind the organization of the materials, as well as the suggested activities connected to taken-for-granted features of the Finnish teaching tradition, made fruitful interaction problematic. The changes teachers made in their classroom practice were tightly connected to the support offered in the materials, without which the teachers abandoned their new classroom patterns. Based on the results of this study, we suggest a number of general aspects that we regard as important to consider when implementing curriculum materials developed within another cultural-educational context.
  • Kikas, Eve; Tang, Xin (2019)
    This study examined relations between child-reported teacher emotional support, teaching practices, and children's task-persistent learning behaviour. The study was carried out in Estonia, where a students' first teacher advances with his/her students and teaches all primary subjects in the first 3years of schooling. In total, 660 sixth-grade children reported about their first teacher's emotional support. Teachers' child-centred and teacher-directed practices were observed with the Early Childhood Classroom Observation Measure (ECCOM); results included 38 teachers in Grade 1, and 37 in Grade 3. Within the same grades, teachers reported on their affection for students, as well as their behavioural and psychological control over students. Teachers also evaluated each of their student's task persistence. As shown by ECCOM results, retrospective student-reported teacher emotional support tended to be positively related to child-centred practises, and negatively related to teacher-directed practises in Grade 3, while also negatively related to teacher-reported psychological control in Grade 1. Although higher perceived emotional support was related with more persistent learning behaviour on an individual level, general task persistence was predicted primarily by teacher-reported practices at the classroom level.
  • Kokkonen, Tommi; Lichtenberger, Andreas; Schalk, Lennart (2022)
    Concreteness fading has been proposed as a general instructional approach to support learning of abstract mathematics and science concepts. Accordingly, organizing external knowledge representations in a three-step concrete-to-idealized sequence should be more beneficial than the reverse, concreteness introduction, sequence. So far, evidence for the benefits of concreteness fading come mainly from studies investigating learning of basic mathematics concepts. Studies on learning natural science concepts are scarce and have not implemented the full three-step-sequence. In an experimental classroom study (N = 70), we compared concreteness fading and concreteness introduction in high school science education about electromagnetic induction using a detailed assessment. Furthermore, we explored whether these sequences differentially affect the use of the different representations during instruction. Both sequences were equally effective and there were no differences in using the representations. We discuss why our results question the proposed advantages of concreteness fading and highlight conceptual differences and learning goals across domains.
  • Lehtamo, Sanna; Juuti, Kalle; Inkinen, Janna; Lavonen, Jari (2018)
    Background: There is a lack of students enrolling in upper secondary school physics courses. In addition, many students discontinue the physics track, causing a lack of applicants for university-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes. The aim of this research was to determine if it is possible to find a connection between academic emotions in situ and physics track retention at the end of the first year of upper secondary school using phone-delivered experience sampling method. We applied experience sampling delivered by phone to one group of students in one school. The sample comprised 36 first-year upper secondary school students (median age 16) who enrolled in the last physics course of the first year. Students' academic emotions during science learning situations were measured using phones three times during each of four physics lessons. Results: The logistic regression analysis showed that lack of stress predicted retention in the physics track. Conclusions: Via questionnaires delivered by phone, it is possible to capture students' academic emotions in situ, information on which may help teachers to support students emotionally during their physics studies. In addition, reflecting their situational academic emotions, students could perhaps make better-informed decisions concerning their studies in STEM subjects.
  • Kapon, Shulamit; Laherto, Antti; Levrini, Olivia (2018)
    Pursuing both disciplinary authenticity and personal relevance in the teaching and learning of science in school generates tensions that should be acknowledged and resolved. This paper problematizes and explores the conceptualizations of these tensions by considering personal relevance, disciplinary authenticity, and common school science as three perspectives that entail different educational goals. Based on an analysis of the literature, we identify five facets of the tensions: content fidelity, content coverage, language and discursive norms, epistemic structure and standards, and significance. We then explore the manifestations of these facets in two different examples of the instruction and learning of physics at the advanced high school level in Israel and Italy. Our analysis suggests that (1) the manifestations of these tensions and their resolution are highly contextual. (2) While maintaining personal relevance and disciplinary authenticity requires some negotiation, the main tension that needs to be resolved is between personal relevance and common school science. (3) Disciplinary authenticity, when considered in terms of its full depth and scope, can be equipped to resolve this tension within the discipline. (4) To achieve resolution, teachers’ expertise should include not only pedagogical expertise but also a deep and broad disciplinary understanding.
  • Tedre, Matti; Moisseinen, Nella (2014)
    Experiments play a central role in science. The role of experiments in computing is, however, unclear. Questions about the relevance of experiments in computing attracted little attention until the 1980s. As the discipline then saw a push towards experimental computer science, a variety of technically, theoretically, and empirically oriented views on experiments emerged. As a consequence of those debates, today's computing fields use experiments and experiment terminology in a variety of ways. This paper analyzes experimentation debates in computing. It presents five ways in which debaters have conceptualized experiments in computing: feasibility experiment, trial experiment, field experiment, comparison experiment, and controlled experiment. This paper has three aims: to clarify experiment terminology in computing; to contribute to disciplinary self-understanding of computing; and, due to computing's centrality in other fields, to promote understanding of experiments in modern science in general.
  • Inkinen, Janna; Klager, Christopher; Juuti, Kalle; Schneider, Barbara; Salmela-Aro, Katariina; Krajcik, Joseph; Lavonen, Jari (2020)
    This study seeks to understand how different scientific practices in high school science classrooms are associated with student situational engagement. In this study, situational engagement is conceptualized as the balance between skills, interest, and challenge when the reported experiences are all high. In this study, data on situational engagement were collected using the experience sampling method (ESM) from 142 students in southern Michigan (the United States), resulting 993 ESM responses, and 133 students in southern Finland, resulting 1,351 responses. In both countries, scientific practices related to developing models and constructing explanations were associated with higher student situational engagement than other practices. In southern Finland, using a model was also associated with a high level of student situational engagement. The results indicate that students may experience situational engagement more often in science classrooms that use models than those that do not employ such practices. Thus, scientific practices related to models should be used frequently in science classrooms to situationally engage students while learning science.
  • Meier, Antje; Hannula, Markku S.; Toivanen, Miika (2018)
    Based on Dewey’s theory of art, aesthetics, and experiences and photographer Barnbaums’ writing about expanded perception through photography, we conducted a one-day experimental mathematics education unit. Using photography in outdoor conditions had a positive impact on teacher students’ perception of the use of photography for teaching mathematics. To study the changes in students’ visual attention deeper, we used gaze-tracking to analyse one student’s visual attention when walking outdoors after the activity. The gaze data indicated that more visual attention was given to objects he had photographed or discussed during the group activity in comparison to other objects.
  • Upadyaya, Katja; Cumsille, Patricio; Avalos, Beatrice; Araneda, Sebastian; Lavonen, Jari; Salmela-Aro, Katariina (2021)
    Situational engagement is a key element in promoting students' maintained interest and focused attention in learning. Most research on students engagement has been variable-centered, and only few studies have examined situational patterns of student engagement. The present study used person-oriented approach (e.g., latent profile analysis with Mplus multigroup comparison and 3-step procedure) to examine patterns of students' situational engagement in science (e.g., situational interest, skills, and challenge), differences in the engagement patterns during regular vs. intervention science lessons, and the extent to which situational expectations and task values (e.g., attainment and utility values) are associated with engagement patterns. Chilean ninth grade students participated in the study using Experience Sampling Method (N = 77 students; 475 situational responses). Three patterns of engagement were identified: a) medium interest and skills (21% and 23% of the moments during regular/intervention lessons, b) high interest and skills (12% and 16%), and c) low interest, skills, and challenge (13% and 15%). Situational task values and expectations were positively associated with high and medium engagement patterns, especially during the regular science lessons.
  • Korpipää, Heidi; Niemi, Pekka; Aunola, Kaisa; Koponen, Tuire; Hannula-Sormunen, Minna; Stolt, Suvi; Aro, Mikko; Nurmi, Jan-Erik; Rautava, Päivi; the PIPARI Study Group (2019)
    It is well-known that very preterm children perform at lower levels than full-term children in reading and arithmetic at school. Whether the lower performance levels of preterm children in these two separate domains have the same or different origins, however, is not clear. The present study examined the extent to which prematurity is associated with the overlap (i.e., common variance) of reading and arithmetic among Finnish school beginners. We also examined the extent to which the association of prematurity with the overlap between reading and arithmetic is due to different prereading skills, basic number skills, and general cognitive abilities. The participants (age 6-7) consisted of 193 very preterm children ( <32 weeks of gestation or birth weight <1501 g) and 175 full-term control children assessed at the beginning of Grade 1. The results showed that about 40% of the variation in reading and arithmetic skills was common to these two domains and thus, represented the overlap between reading and arithmetic. Prematurity was found to be negatively associated with the overlapping part of reading and arithmetic skills. This association was explained particularly by differences between very preterm and full-term children in prereading (letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and rapid automatized naming) and basic number skills (counting sequence knowledge): Very preterm children showed lower levels of phonological awareness, letter knowledge, counting, and rapid serial naming than full-term children and thus, also demonstrated lower skill level common for reading and arithmetic. Early screening of very preterm children according to the cognitive antecedents that predict the overlap between reading and arithmetic is needed to prevent comorbid difficulties in these domains.
  • Haatainen, Outi Maria; Turkka, Jaakko Samuli; Aksela, Maija (2021)
    To understand how integrated science education (ISE) can be transferred into successful classroom practices, it is important to understand teachers’ perceptions and self-efficacy. The focus of this study is twofold: (1) to understand how teachers perceive ISE and (2) to assess if science teachers’ perceptions of and experiences with integrated education correlate with their views on self-efficacy in relation to ISE. Ninety-five Finnish science teachers participated in an online survey study. A mixed method approach via exploratory factor analysis and data-driven content analysis was used. Self-efficacy emerged as a key factor explaining teachers’ perceptions of and their lack of confidence in implementing ISE as well as their need for support. In addition, teachers regarded ISE as a relevant teaching method, but challenging to implement, and teachers primarily applied integrated approaches irregularly and seldom. Furthermore, teachers’ experiences with integrated activities and collaboration correlated with their views on integrated education and self-efficacy. These findings indicate teachers need support to better understand and implement ISE.
  • Ekstam, Ulrika; Korhonen, Johan; Linnanmäki, Karin; Aunio, Pirjo (2018)
    Educational reforms during the last decade have led to a more inclusive environment for students with different needs and have placed demands on teachers' readiness to instruct diverse students in the general classroom. Previous research has ascertained that student achievement is correlated with teacher quality and teachers' efficacy beliefs. Today, basic competence in mathematics is more important than ever for managing routine day-to-day activities and therefore, identifying and educationally supporting students with low performance in mathematics is necessary. The aim of the study was to investigate the perceived teacher efficacy beliefs of special education and mathematics teachers when teaching mathematics to low-performing middle school students. Results indicated that special education teachers had higher teacher efficacy beliefs than mathematics teachers. Teacher experience, certification or gender had no effect on teachers' efficacy beliefs. Furthermore, subject teachers reported high pedagogical knowledge for teaching low-performing students, and special education teachers reported having moderate mathematical subject knowledge.
  • Ekstam, Ulrika; Korhonen, Johan; Linnanmäki, Karin; Aunio, Pirjo (2017)
    Teacher efficacy beliefs is an important characteristic to predict instructional quality and the level of cognitive activation and educational support. Since teacher efficacy beliefs are context and domain specific, this study focuses on how special education pre-service teachers' individual interest and subject knowledge in mathematics predict their efficacy beliefs in teaching mathematics. Data were collected from 57 special education pre-service teachers. The results indicated that the individual interest of pre-service teachers has a strong effect on teacher efficacy beliefs, while subject knowledge has only an indirect effect. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Rainio, Anna Pauliina; Hofmann, Riikka (2021)
    Background: Teachers' limiting conceptualizations of students influence students' learning opportunities. We analyze teachers' professional conversations to understand how dialogues can expand teachers' conceptualizations. Methods: We examine professional dialogues from nine whole-school intervention meetings. Drawing on discursive psychology and activity theoretical notions of learning the study conceptualizes teachers' collective assumptions as a lived ideology actively sustained by stabilization discourses. We analyze the discursive devices through which the teachers' talk about their students limits/expands their sense of what is possible in their teaching and their dialogic effects. Findings: Our analysis finds a range of discursive strategies that sustain or re-stabilize the lived ideology. Even when challenged by contrary evidence (e.g., surprises), dilemmatic tensions and reframing repair actions are found to close potential dialogic openings. Importantly, we identify a form of discourse that avoids immediate closure, characterized by sustained reflection on the students' challenges developing a need to change. We term this reflexive noticing: it is enabled through sustained puzzle, constructing dilemmas as origin of change and discursive consciousness of stabilization. Contribution: We illustrate why contrary evidence often fails to shift limiting conceptualizations about students and show the discursive mechanisms generating possibility knowledge. Implications for teacher learning are discussed.
  • Laine, Anu; Ahtee, Maija; Näveri, Liisa; Pehkonen, Erkki; Hannula, Markku S. (2018)
    The aim of this study is to find out whether there is a connection between teacher’s request and guidance for written explanation and third-graders’ achievements in solving a non-standard problem. Pupils’ task was to solve a simplified arithmagon and to explain their solution. The lessons of seven teachers were recorded and their actions were examined and categorized during a problem-solving lesson. Also pupils’ solutions were checked and classified. The teacher’s behavior seems to have a crucial role in the quality of pupils’ written explanations. The third-graders had difficulties in writing their reasoning for solving the problem.
  • Ekstam, Ulrika; Linnanmäki, Karin; Aunio, Pirjo (2017)
    This study aimed to investigate how teachers’ certification status, experience in instruction, and teachers’ efficacy beliefs for teaching lower secondary students in mathematics are related to differentiated instruction practices. A total of 42 mathematics teachers and 27 special education teachers answered an electronic questionnaire regarding mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs and their frequency of use of differentiation practices. The results indicated that teachers’ efficacy beliefs were related to differentiation in content, flexible examination models, homework support, and co-teaching. Neither certification status nor teacher experience in instruction was related to the frequency of use of differentiation practices. As teacher efficacy beliefs seem to have an effect on the use of differentiation practices, and especially on co-teaching, it should be important for teacher education to focus on developing pre-service teachers’ efficacy beliefs as well as implementing a strong collaboration between different teacher groups.