Browsing by Subject "Varhaiskasvatus"

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  • Inkinen, Milla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Previous research has shown that there is deficiency in the quality of early childhood education of children under the age of three. The purpose of this study is to describe with discourse analysis what kind of meanings teachers give to successful pedagogy in their narratives. In addition to discourse analysis, I reason the meanings given to successful pedagogy with National Evaluation Center’s (Karvi) process factors of quality (Vlasov ym., 2018). The main question of this study is how teachers working with children under the age of three speak about successful pedagogy. The material of the study was collected with a questionnaire that was shared in two early childhood education related Facebook groups. The material consisted of 32 narratives where teachers that work with children under the age of three talk about a pedagogically successful day. The material was analyzed with discourse analysis. The analysis and interpretation were strongly based on social constructionism that emphasizes the material as the object of the study. Four larger interpretative repertoires were found from the narratives of the teachers. These repertoires were: Adult meets child, Learning is holistic, Everyone knows what they are doing and The repertoire of insufficiency. These interpretative repertoires represented the most crucial meanings given to successful pedagogy. The repertoires performed in the narratives partly overlapped and parallel. The teachers of early childhood education emphasized sensitive and individualized encounter and interaction that takes a child's interests into account. Learning was seen holistic, and it was typically placed in situations of basic care and small group action. In the aspect of Karvi’s process factors of quality there is still need for improvement in the quality of early childhood education of children under the age of three. The lack of goal-directed pedagogy and support of peer interaction in the narratives arouses a question whether the concept of participation is understood inadequately.
  • Tuominen, Pinja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The aim of this study was to examine how the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) directors describe the pedagogy of children under the age of three and what significances the ECEC directors can give to the pedagogy of said children. The study focuses on analyzing how the pedagogy of under the age of three is discursively constructed by the ECEC direc-tors. Previous studies have shown that the shortcomings in the pedagogy are emphasized especially on the children under the age of three, although it is known that the early childhood phase is very intensive in the development of children. Thus, the pedagogy and discourse of the ECEC directors is very important, as it guides the whole pedagogic work culture. The methodology of this research was based on social constructionism and discourse analy-sis. The data for this master’s thesis was gathered by interviewing five municipal ECEC di-rectors from two municipalities of the southern Finland area. The interviews were conducted in 2020. A qualitative research method which utilized half-structured thematic interviews was used. The interviews were recorded and transcribed and the data was analyzed by discourse analysis. Four different discourses were formulated from the data of the first research problem, how ECEC directors describe the pedagogy of children under the age of three. The following dis-courses occurred in the research material: the whole day pedagogy, research-based, profes-sionalism and pedagogical leadership. Four different discourses were formulated from the da-ta of the second research problem occurred following four discourses: the basis of life, rights of children, sensitive interaction in the middle of the pedagogy and participation of the child. The ECEC directors described pedagogy of the children under the age of three as a unity of education and care. Furthermore, the importance of pedagogy, research basis, professional skills and pedagogic leadership was emphasized in the discussion. The sensitive interaction and participation of the children was the baseline of a good quality pedagogics. The pedagog-ics of the early childhood education was described as an important foundation of life and a privilege of the child.
  • Vaara, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The early childhood education and care (ECEC) and Basic education introduced a new national Core Curriculum by the Finnish National Agency for education in 2016. Both national norm curricula can be found confluence, and since ECEC transformed under to Finnish National Agency for education in 2015, ECEC, preschool education and basic education becomes an integral part of the lifelong path of growth and learning and of the continuum of curricula. The purpose of this study is to clarify ECE leaders’ and basic education leaders’ views on curricula and curriculum leadership. The research questions are following: (1) How does Curriculum appear in ECE leaders and basic education leaders discussion? (2) What discourses can be identified in both discussions? (3) How does Curriculum Implementation appear in both discussions? This study was conducted using qualitative methods and the used data consists of theme interview collected in the Eduleaders project training. The training involved 10 interviewees working in the context of educational leadership. The material was analyzed by a using discourse analysis with the aim of defining curricula discourses in leaders’ discussions. Four significant discourses were mentioned and can be identified as the following: 1. The discussion about curriculum as a framework 2. The discussion about curriculum as a vanguard. 3. The discussion about curriculum as a challenge. 4. The discussion about curriculum as an enabler. The research results show that both early childhood education leaders and basic education discuss about curricula within the same framework and with the same concepts. The results reveal the curriculum to be in reformation phase in which the old and the new curriculum are confronted. Furthermore, the national curriculum gained a central role as a fundament of work. The distributed leadership and pedagogical discussions occurred in the discussions of both leaders as ways to implement the curriculum. In the discussions about curriculum as challenge the leaders pointed out it being difficult to implement the curriculum in classrooms or child groups, where teachers prefer rather traditional teaching than the alternative methods of the new curriculum. Eventually the slowness and extent of development as well as short-sightness in the field were identified as challenges. However, the discussion illustrates the curriculum positively in terms of child orientation, opportunities to try new things and co-creation.
  • Ohraluoma, Jenna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Objectives. A lot of research has been done during recent years on children’s language development and creative ways to support it during early childhood. Studies have shown that one significant factor which can support children in learning to read and write is music. The objective of this Master´s thesis is to study music education’s effect on under school age children´s language development measured by Rapid Automatized naming test. In addition, I investigate if there are differences in development between boys and girls or native Finnish speakers and children who speak Finnish as a second language during the two-year longitudinal research. Data for this Master thesis has been collected as a part of Tanja Linnavalli´s dissertation (2019) “Effects of musical experience on children’s language and brain development” which studied the effect of music intervention on children’s language development. Methods. There were 72 participants who were between four-to-five-year-old in the beginning of the study. Data was collected during 2014-2017. There were three study groups: one receiving music play-school, another group receiving dance classes and a third group that acted as a passive control group. Children were evaluated four times during the two-year long research for their speed in naming colours and objects by Rapid Automatized naming test by Niilo Mäki Institute. This Master´s thesis compares the differences between the groups using independent samples t-test. Results and conclusions. The study shows that children who participated to music playschool improved more on naming tests during the follow up than the other groups. Girls improved statistically significantly more than boys and Finnish as a second language speakers improved slightly better than native Finnish speakers. The results support the view that music has a positive impact on the development of language skills. In early childhood education and care, it is important to understand the support music education may offer to language development e.g., children with Finnish as a second language or learning challenges on reading and writing.
  • Valosaari, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat – Abstract Several studies show that early childhood education and care, and in particular pre-primary education, play a key role in supporting and preventing learning difficulties. However, it is common for a child to not receive a learning difficulty diagnosis before school age. Late diagnosis is often caused by the individuality and comorbidity of learning difficulties with other developmental challenges. It is important that early childhood education teachers, who work in pre-primary education, identify children at potential risk of learning difficulties. At the same time, they must also be familiar with the mechanisms of learning difficulties and effective methods for supporting and preventing potential difficulties at school. The aim of this study was to study the methods used in pre-primary education to support and prevent learning difficulties. The aim was also to find out how consciously and on what grounds preschool teachers choose different methods to support their teaching. At the center of this study were methods related to reading and mathematical skills. Three research questions were used to find answers to these topics. The research data was collected in December 2020 and January 2021 by interviewing five early childhood education teachers. They all worked in a preschool from the City of Helsinki daycare. The data was collected by a semi-structured theme interview and the analysis method was the qualitative content analysis. Based on this study, teachers considered it important to support and prevent learning difficulties already in pre-primary education. They felt that they had sufficient capacity and knowledge regarding learning difficulties and that they could identify the children who might need support for learning. Teachers used mostly general pedagogical methods to support children's learning in reading and mathematics. Methods were mostly based on curriculum for the primary education. Teachers emphasized physical activity, functionality, and integration with other learning content to support reading and mathematical skills. Awareness of available methods related to the prevention of learning difficulties was clearly low and incomplete. Furthermore, the use of various materials and methods was not clearly justified in relation to the prevention of possible difficulties. Teachers chose methods, based on their own habits and material that was available in the daycare center. Preschool-teachers' overall awareness of learning difficulties, their occurrence, and preventive factors and methods, appears to be low and incomplete.
  • Kuosmanen, Jani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Growth folder is a tool based on the definition of portfolio, that has been used in the early childhood education since the 90’s. With the development of digital technologies, a digital option has developed alongside the paper-based growth folder, and digitality is thought in many ways to enhance its capabilities. Being a tool that is based on documenting and on processing those documents, digital growth folder in early childhood education shares common ground especially with the pedagogical documentation, but in literature there are also many other possibilities attached to it. The aim of this study was to find out what different perceptions early childhood education teachers have about the digital growth folder as well as the actual working with it. The meaning of this study is to find out, what kind of possibilities early education teachers themselves think are included in digital growth folder. The collection of research material and analysis was in this study guided by the qualitative phenomenographic framework, which states that there is just one common reality, whose phenomena each individual experiences and comprehends in individual ways. The research material was collected by interviewing six early childhood education teachers, each with at least two years of experience in using the digital growth folder in their work. The material driven analysis proceeded through the identification of meaning units and their categorization to finally form two description category systems. Based on the perceptions of early childhood education teachers interviewed, a digital growth folder is a tool or means with different uses and purposes. The purpose was influenced by early childhood education staff, the child, and the child’s family. Digitality appeared as a factor that seemed to have both negative and positive effects on the digital growth folder. Based on teachers’ perceptions, working with the growth folder appeared as a process, that contained documenting but also processing those documents. The working with the growth folder was affected on the one hand by the resources related to digital devices and time, on the other hand the organizing the work.
  • Nirkko, Ruusu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Climate change is a fundamental phenomenon and challenge of our time and it should be dealt with in all areas of life. However, climate change education is being implemented very limitedly. During recent years there has been increasing amount of research on climate change education, but climate change education in early childhood education has been studied very sparingly. According to previous research, news about climate change can arouse many kinds of emotions and thoughts in children. Based on research, it has been proposed that through art-driven teaching methods it is possible to deal with emotions and thoughts aroused by climate change and strengthen hopefulness and belief in one’s own influence. Of the forms of art education, drama education as a method of climate change education has hardly been studied. The aim of this study was to add knowledge of what climate change education could be in early childhood education. The study investigates early childhood education specialists’ definitions of climate change education and their views on what possibilities drama education methods can offer for implementation of climate change education. I designed and implemented climate drama workshops for early childhood education specialists and collected the research data in the context of the workshops. Participants of the study produced short writings and in addition two of the workshops were videotaped. I analyzed the writing data and the video data qualitatively using the method of theory-based content analysis. Aa a basis for the analysis I used primarily the holistic bicycle model on climate change education (Tolppanen ym. 2017). The early childhood education specialists who participated in the study defined adding knowledge and understanding, encouraging to action, developing values and conceptions of the world and dealing with emotions as contents of climate change education. Specialists’ uncertainty and worries about arousing difficult emotions in children appeared as barriers for implementing climate change education in early childhood education. From the perspective of the study subjects, drama education methods seemed to have possibilities for implementing several parts of climate change education. Drama educations possibilities related to adding knowledge, developing thinking skills, building conceptions of the world, empowering and dealing with emotions were brought up. Methods of drama education offer practical ways for implementing and developing climate change education in early childhood education.
  • Jukkala, Silja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Aims The purpose of this study is to describe the interaction between a special education teacher and a child with a developmental disability in special needs groups. The aim of the study is to find out how the teacher engages interaction with the child in different situations, and how the reciprocal interaction manifests. The study is based on theories of social interaction. Methods The ethnological approach was chosen, as the aim of the study was to describe the interaction between the teacher and child in everyday situations. The data was collected from three special needs groups in early childhood education, in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The data included 351 video recordings, about 4 hours in total. The analysis was limited to 2 hours 42 minutes of video. Data was analyzed in two steps. First the teachers´ engagement to interaction with the child was analyzed using the Suhonen's (2009) form, which is based on the AES (adult engagement scale) developed by Pascall (1995). Then the 17 video literates were analyzed with conversational analysis. The analysis focused on the elements of social interaction, teacher-child interaction initiatives, responding to initiatives and the formation of reciprocal interaction. Findings and conclusions Teachers’ engagement to interaction with the child varied according to situation. Engagement was strongest in teaching activities and weakest in care situations. Successful interaction was formed when the teachers were able to throw themselves in, enable the child's natural initiatives and succeed in recognizing and responding to them. The use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strengthened the interaction. Most genuine connection was formed in idle moments, when spontaneous plays formed between teacher and child. Interaction between a teacher and a child with developmental disabilities is built on the pedagogical activities of the more skilled interaction partner, the teacher. Forming a connection takes time and sensitivity in recognizing the natural interaction methods of the child.
  • Lahtela, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government of Finland declared a state of emergency for the time between 18th March and 16th June, 2020. However, pre-primary education groups were held in operation, but – according to the government’s policy – the children were to be kept home if it was possible considering the parents’ work. (Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, The Finnish Government Communications. 2020; The Finnish Government 2020.) As a consequence, the organisation of pre-primary education varied in different parts of Finland. Some children had contact instruction, some children stayed at home and received distance instruction by pre-education unit, and some children relied completely on possible home instruction. The purpose of this study is to find out the different ways pre-primary education was executed across the country during the state of emergency. It also brings forth the views the pre-primary teachers who attended this study have on how educational equality is actualised in their groups. The study further examines their views on the possible effects the state of emergency had to the process of proceeding to primary school, and how the state of emergency has affected settling in to school. The data for this study was collected with a questionnaire from two early childhood education themed Facebook groups in Spring 2021. The questionnaire was answered by sixteen pre-primary teachers who had worked with pre-primary education groups during the 2020 state of emergency. The collected data was analysed with data-driven content analysis. The pre-primary education organized during the state of emergency is examined by dividing the questionnaire results into four categories emerging from the data; teaching during the state of emergency, actualization of educational equality, and proceeding to primary school after the state of emergency. Based on the findings of the study, it is noticeable that – between municipalities as well as pre-primary education units – there are clear differences in the amount and quality of activities, as well as in the used teaching methods. According to the study, the teachers experienced challenges with the fulfillment of educational equality during the state of emergency; this was affected by, for example, the conditions, the differences between families and the resources available. The data shows that there were cases in which it was impossible to organize any kind of school introductions, and in other cases they were carried out with varying means. Moreover, starting school was mainly considered to be harder after the state of emergency, compared to normal conditions. The findings of the study could be utilised when planning possible preparations for similar future events.
  • Arokanto, Chantal (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Climate change related teaching, so called climate education, has lately been promoted and further developed in Finland in subject teaching and basic education. The perspective of early childhood education, however, has received little attention. The aim of this study is to explore the views of educators interested in environmental matters about climate change in early childhood education. The purpose is to research what climate related content, approaches and methods work well and what kind of climate activities could be used in early childhood education. The empirical data set was collected both as an online survey and as interviews. The survey was published in six social media communities focusing on environmental education. A total of 26 respondents took part in the survey, of which seven also participated in a thematic interview by phone. The group consisted of early childhood professionals with different educational backgrounds, most also having some additional training or special expertise in environmental education. The participants felt that it was important to strengthen children’s relationship with nature and raise awareness about climate change. According to participants, outdoor activities and forest trips were the best methods and learning environments for climate education. Teaching scientific knowledge about climate change to children was not perceived as important as teaching climate friendly values. The educators emphasized that climate education is included in all activities such as everyday consumer choices and climate actions. According to them, climate education should be practiced by giving a hopeful and positive vision for the future. In addition, the participants emphasized the role of a safe atmosphere in which to conduct climate education; that is, protecting children from feelings of anxiety and hopelessness. According to them, educators are important role models when it comes to climate education. Therefore, the educator has a great role and responsibility in acting as an example for children.
  • Häggman, Emilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Aim of this study was to investigate the connection between children’s self-regulation and temperament. Additionally, the aim of the study was to determine whether a child’s age, gender or mother’s level of education modified the associations between temperament and self-regulation skills. The research material was collected in 2017 in kindergartens in Salo (N=29) and Riihimäki (N=3) as part of the DAGIS project. Data consisted of questionnaire material collected during the baseline measurement of the project. The subjects (N=802) were 3–6 years old children and their families. Children’s self-regulation skills were measured using PikkuKesky survey (challenges in self-regulatory skills) completed by early childhood education teachers or other professional (N=757). Also, parents filled a form that measured child’s cognitive and emotional self-regulation skills separately. Children’s temperament was assessed using Children’s Behavior Questionnaire (very short form). This questionnaire was filled by parents. The relationship between child’s temperament and self-regulation was analysed using linear regression analysis. In addition to that, regression analysis was used to examine whether a child’s age and gender or maternal education level had an interaction effect with temperament on self-regulation. The results of the research showed that there was a connection between children’s temperament and self-regulation. Children with high levels of surgency had more challenges in their self-regulatory skills, while better effortful control meant that the child had fewer challenges in self-regulation. This study did not find connection between challenges of self-regulation and negative affectivity. Children with high levels of effortful control as well as those with more surgency was associated to better cognitional self-regulation. In contrast, children with high levels of negative affectivity had weaker cognitive self-regulatory skills. Children with high levels of surgency or negative affectivity had weaker emotional self-regulation skills, while children with high levels of effortful control was associated to better emotional self-regulation. In this study, age, gender and maternal educational background, had no interaction between temperament and self-regulation. Children’s personal temperament needs to be taken into account when developing child’s self-regulatory skills and pay attention to supporting the self-regulatory skills of children with different temperaments - especially surgency ones - at an early stage.
  • Fonsén, Elina; Varpanen, Jan; Kupila, Päivi; Liinamaa, Tarja (2021)
    Suomalaista varhaiskasvatusta ovat viime vuosina muokanneet monet yhteiskunnalliset ja rakenteelliset muutokset. Hallinnonalan muutos opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriöön ja uusi varhaiskasvatuslaki (540/2018) sekä uudet velvoittavat ohjausasiakirjat ovat määritelleet varhaiskasvatuksen vahvasti osaksi kasvatuksen ja opetuksen toimialaa aiemman päivähoidon sosiaalipalvelupainotuksen sijaan. Samaan aikaan organisaatiorakenteet ovat olleet muutosprosessissa. Kuntien taloudelliset haasteet ovat laajentaneet johtajien vastuualueita ja uudenlaiset jaetun johtajuuden rakenteet ovat tulleet kehittämisen kohteeksi. Tässä tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan päiväkodin johtajien ja varhaiskasvatuksen opettajien johtajuuspuhetta ja erityisesti siihen liittyvää valtaa kuvaavia diskursseja fokusryhmäkeskusteluissa kolmessa suomalaisessa kaupungissa vuonna 2018. Tulokset osoittavat, että johtajuuden nähdään olevan muutoksessa. Johtajuuteen liittyy ristiriitaisia odotuksia toisaalta läsnäolon ja toisaalta taustalla olon osalta. Samoin johtajuus nähdään toiminnan mahdollistajana mutta samalla toiminnan suuntaajana lain viitoittamaan suuntaan. Johtajuuteen liittyvä valta ja vastuu ovat osittain vakiintumattomia ja kaipaavat selkiyttämistä. Puhe varhaiskasvatuksen perustehtävästä määrittää työtä ja sen artikulointi on osa vallan ilmenemistä varhaiskasvatuksen organisaatioissa.
  • Hovio, Eerika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this study was to research how the leadership of kindergarten leaders is correlated to the quality of early childhood education. The correlation between leadership and early childhood education quality was studied from the perspective of personnel and parents. In addition this paper studied how parents and personnel experience the quality of early childhood education. In addition, the correlation between personnel’s as well as parents’ views about leadership and to their understanding of early childhood education quality was studied. It is important to study the correlation between early childhood education leadership and quality because leadership styles affects early childhood education quality (Vlasov ym., 2018, 46). The aim of this study is to find out what leadership factors are correlated to early childhood education. Once you have found the leadership factors, you are able to develop these forward. Research data was collected in 2019 from one early childhood education area in Helsinki. The data was collected by electronic questionnaire from early childhood education personnel (N = 14) and parents (N = 36). The questionnaire had allegations about early childhood education quality and leadership. Personnel’s and parents’ views of the early childhood education quality were studied by descriptive analysis. The correlations between personnel’s and parents’ assessments on leadership and their understanding of the early childhood education quality were investigated by non-parametric Kendall´s tau-b correlation test. For the analysis, sums of variables were created from the claim categories of the questionnaire. There were eight sums of variables on both personnel’s and parents’ questionnaires. Seven of the sums of variables included early childhood education quality claims and one sum of variables included the leadership claims. The personnel´s and parents’ answers implied that the quality of early childhood is positive. The respondent group gave especially high points to the claims that child’s early childhood education curriculum was being fulfilled and that personnel and parents had discussed child’s growth, teaching and care. Kindergarten’s leader’s leadership correlated with early childhood education´s functionality of the premises, versatility, safety and with the premises enabling time to be alone as well as group to operate. In addition, when leadership was seen as high-quality, personnel were more professionally skilled and engaged to work. By taking the findings into account, kindergarten leaders should acknowledge that by their own leadership abilities they might affect the quality of early childhood education.
  • Innala, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    To a large extent, teaching is guided by the teacher's perception of the child's learning. The concept of learning guides, among other things, how the teacher acts and what kind of teaching methods they choose. The learning concept of the national core curriculum for early childhood education and care is based on a socioconstructive concept of learning, which determines that learning takes place in social interaction, so that the child is an active actor. Early childhood education and care is seen as an important channel to support a child's learning; emphasise a sense of community, peer learning and play. This study examined discourses on child learning produced by early childhood educators. The subject is important because research in this area is scarce. The research design was qualitative discourse analysis of written material collected by invitation. Twenty early childhood education teachers participated, and the study resulted in three discourses that describe the meanings that teachers produce for learning and, at the same time, create a social reality of learning in early childhood education. Discourses were the positions of learning, interaction and emotions as well as learning in context. The discourses produced by teachers largely correspond to socioconstructivist and sociocultural approaches to learning. They are also very much in line with the concept of learning in the national core curriculum for early childhood education and care. In these discourses, the adult is seen as very relevant in the child's learning and its support; emphasis on interaction between the adult and the child and the child's own activity and motivation are similarly seen as important. The results also highlight how the discourses articulating the teachers' concept of learning emphasized the child's interests but paid little attention to the importance of the child’s previous experiences. Mention of the treatment of communality, peer learning, and play was similarly scarce in teachers’ discourses. Based on the results of this study, it is important for teacher education and on-the-job learning to further strengthen teachers' perceptions of the importance of collaborative learning, peer interaction, and support for play in a child's learning.
  • Laaksonen, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines co-regulation during clean-ups and transitions between activities in ECEC. The main interest of this study was to describe co-regulation and to promote knowledge and understanding of it in these specific situations. This study also investigates the ways teachers co-regulate children’s emotion, behaviour and attention. In this study co-regulation is approached from a socio-cultural perspective, and it is considered an important factor in child’s development and learning. The videodata used in this study was collected in a daycare center in Southern Finland in spring 2017. Data of this study consist of 24 episodes that were identified from the original 51 h video corpus. Children who participated in this study were between 1 to 4 years old. This study employes an ethnomethodological approach and multimodal interaction analysis was used as a method of data analysis. Co-regulation during clean-ups and transitions between activities in ECEC was identified as a specific event which had clearly distinguishable beginning and ending. The situations where co-regulation occurred were different in relation to which situational factors invited teacher to co-regulate with specific child or group of children. Teacher used mostly active-related strategies while co-regulating, and active-related strategies were identified more than emotion-related strategies. The situations where co-regulation occurred ended successfully satisfying both teacher and child. The results indicate that co-regulation during these specific situations in ECEC had an important role in children’s development and learning. Co-regulation supported and scaffolded the children’s participation in these ECEC activities, helped the children to complete tasks and to overcome disappointments and frustrations.
  • Suomela-Inkeri, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Tiedekunta - Fakultet - Faculty Educational Sciences Tekijä - Författare - Author Kirsi Suomela-Inkeri Työn nimi - Arbetets titel Kapteeni käskee: ”Kiipeä puuhun!” Varhaiskasvatusta ja lasten leikkejä metsäympäristössä Title Captain says: ”Climb the tree!” Early childhood education and children’s games in a forest environment Oppiaine - Läroämne - Subject Education Työn laji/ Ohjaaja - Arbetets art/Handledare - Level/Instructor Master’s Thesis / Kristiina Kumpulainen Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract The documents guiding early childhood education were updated a few years ago. In 2016, the National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care became work defining instead of being a mere recommendation. The curriculum expands the learning environment to include the neighbourhood as well. Simultaneously, the concern in society regarding children´s decreasing amount of exercise has grown. There is also fear of children becoming disengaged from the natural environment. Motivated by these issues, I wanted to research what kind of games children could play in nature. The framework of this study is Gibson’s Affordance Theory. Affordance describes the possibilities a child has for action. A forest environment provides an abundance of possibilities for play. The objective of my research was to discover what kind of games children play in the forest. I categorised the games according to the play type categorisation of Bob Hughes (2002). This research is a qualitative case study. The case was a specific day care centre with two child groups. Each child group had 14 children, a kindergarten teacher and a nurse. I studied the child groups with participative observations and filmed the groups with a digital video camera. From the research material I transcribed the parts that were interesting from the viewpoint of my original questions and categorised them according to Hughes’ play type categorisation (2002). The analysis of my research was theory-guided: theory and previous international studies guided my research. The games played by the children in the forest were diverse and almost all of Hughes’ (2002) play types were represented in my research. The activities lead by the educators included different games compared to those children played spontaneously. When the children were playing independently, more play types occurred. I categorised almost all games belonging to several play types. The children were enthusiastic about the activities. Unwanted behaviour, such as bullying, occurred rarely. Almost all the playing in the forest included physical activity and the children were often breathless from the physical exercise. The possibilities for play offered by the forest were versatile. In conclusion, the research showed that the forest represents an inspiring environment for play. Avainsanat - Nyckelord Varhaiskasvatus, luonto, affordanssi eli tarjouma, leikkityyppi Keywords Early childhood education and care, nature, affordance, play type Säilytyspaikka - Förvaringsställe - Where deposited Helsinki University Library – Helda / E-thesis (theses) Muita tietoja - Övriga uppgifter - Additional information
  • Lagercrantz, Tytti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Aims. Play is a central part of the day in the day care centers especially as a peer group activity of children. According to the Core Curriculum (2016) adults must support children’s play also by participating in it. Very little is still known about adult-child joint play in the day care centers especially from children’s perspective. The aim of this study is to expand this knowledge by interviewing children. This study examines the ways joint play between children and adults is constructed in children’s stories and the ways participation in the play is defined. Methods. This qualitative study used a narrative approach to examine children’s perspectives. 27 children (11 girls and 14 boys) aged 4 to 6 participated in the interviews in the beginning of 2019. A thematic analysis was applied and a concept of small stories was used as an analytical tool. Results and conclusions. Joint play between adults and children in small stories was constructed especially by voluntary participation. Joint play was constructed through active engagement and commitment. Adults and children were connected in joint play when the themes of play were based on everyday life whereas themes from the media distanced adults from the play. Play was also constructed by sharing knowledge and taking roles. Adults then took for example roles that were undesirable to children. Seems that the ability of adults to take part in the joint play was limited. Other duties of adults and day care center rules restricted possibilities to participate in joint play. In one story children were took into account the conditions when it was possible to play with an adult in the day care center. Participation in play was determined through ownership of the play and also through individual characteristics. Knowledge, skills as well as physical qualities and capabilities defined participation in play. In one story the close relationship between the adult and child made it possible for the adult to participate in play.
  • Seppänen, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In my work, I study the child's transition from home to early childhood education. The transition from home care to early childhood education has previously been studied in Finland only little and with different qualitative material. Transitions are turning points in life and are very significant to the individual. Knowledge of the transition to early childhood education is important for professionals in early childhood education so that they can reflect and improve their work practices and thus facilitate the transition of children, especially when the child first comes to early childhood education. My research practice was narrative and it was carried out by analyzing ten blog posts written by parents on the topic of “starting child's early childhood education”, or in more native language “start day care”. Parents' stories were synthesized together and became a model story of the transition to early childhood education. In the model story, the parent was a clear protagonist, a child and an early childhood education staff were sidecharacters. The story began with a description of the parents' feelings and expectations, after which the story moved to describe the place of early childhood education and the reactions of the child to the palce. The story continues with the description of the separation between the child and the parent and coping with the new life situation. At the end, the parent is pleased with the solution to start a child's early childhood education.
  • Isotalo, Marianne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract Objectives. Touch is a key part of human interaction. Previous research has shown that touch has many positive effects from the perspective of a child's well-being and development. Touch is especially emphasized when working with toddlers, i.e., children under 3 years of age, as they need a lot of help with basic activities. The aim of this study was to find out how touch appears in toddlers' daytime naps. The research questions were: (1) what kind of touch is in toddlers' nap moments, (2) how is contact built between an early childhood worker and a toddler in toddlers' nap moments, and (3) what factors affect the nature of touch and the functions of touch toddlers' nap moments? Methods. This study was conducted as a qualitative interaction study. The study data included a total of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds. The material was narrowed down to moment that captured toddlers’ nap moments from going to bed to falling asleep. These moments formed 40 episodes lasting 46 minutes and 58 seconds. Multimodal interaction analysis was applied to the limited data. I transcribed the material and examined it gradually. After examining the material, I did a theory-driven content analysis. Results and conclusions. Touching appeared to be a significant mean of interaction during toddlers’ nap moments. The study found three categories of touch, which were controlling touch, soothing touch, and gentle touch. In addition, means of interaction without contact were found in the material. The construction of touch was influenced by the child's behavior and the atmosphere in the daytime nap room. This study emphasized controlling touch, the aim of which was to guide and control the child's activities. The study revealed what kind of touching methods are used in toddlers' naps and how touching was built as part of the interaction between the toddler and the early childhood education worker. Through research, early childhood education could reflect on the construction of touch from a pedagogical perspective. What kind of touch is good care and what other functions does touch have in interaction?
  • Perho, Amanda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The purpose of the study is to find out how quality improvement is reflected in the leadership work of early childhood education and basic education. The study will also examine the key challenges for quality improvement in early childhood education and basic education. There were two research questions: (1) How do leaders describe quality improvement of early childhood education and basic education in their work? (2) What challenges are faced by leaders in quality improvement in early childhood education and basic education? The aim of the study is to produce information on how leadership in the field of education should be developed. The aim is also to produce information on how to develop high-quality early childhood education and basic education. Previous studies show that leadership can be used to support high-quality early childhood education and basic education. Previous studies also show that leaders in the field of education experience challenges in their work, which is why it is important to support leadership. The research material has been produced in the EduLeaders project, which aims to develop leadership studies in the field of education. The material of the study consisted of group interviews with the heads of day care centres and the principals, and there were a total of nine group interviews. The study extract was based on a phenomenological-hermeneutical approach and the material was analysed through data-based content analysis and theming. The results of the study showed that quality improvement was similar in the leadership work of early childhood education and basic education. According to the experiences of early childhood education and basic education managers, the challenges for quality development were also similar, although there were also differences in the challenges. The research resulted in the meaning structures describing the quality improvement and the challenges of quality improvement. The results of the research showed that quality development is a joint process of the organisation's experts. Quality improvement is carried out in cooperation with different parties, but more effective cooperation models should be developed. According to the study, management studies in the field of education should be developed and more effective management structures should be built for early childhood education. In addition, more systematic evaluation should be developed in both early childhood education and basic education.