Browsing by Subject "professional generations"

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  • Holopainen, Marika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The starting point for this thesis was my observation that early education varies in many different ways in different day care centers. My main objective was to study what early education teachers that represent different professional generations feel and think are the main factors that influence their work. My aim was to find out what these teachers tell about their careers and to examine what those stories reveal about their pedagogical consciousness which has not been studied very much even though it is a relevant issue. Previous research has shown that early education teachers can be categorized into different professional generations based on their professional thinking. I obtained the research data by conducting narrative and thematic interviews. The informants were four early education teachers, who work in the same municipal day care center and represent different professional generations. I analysed the data in a versatile process, in which I examined the thematic questions on the basis of their themes and classes. The analysis of the narrative questions I used the narrative plot analysis and an adaptation of Ricoeur's narrative theory. At the end of the data analysis, I combined the questions that were analysed using different methods into cohesive narratives, in which each teacher told their story about their career. Then I examined the narratives from the point of view of the professional generation and the pedagogical consciousness. My goal was to find out, how early education teachers that represent different professional generations describe the essence of their pedagogical consciousness. The results show that early education teachers' work is a constant balance between factors that are either exhausting or uplifting. The professional generation proved to be an interesting point of view, however, I could not prove it's effect on the pedagogical consciousness. Nevertheless, I did find clear emphases in the early education teachers' pedagogical consciousness. These can be seen in the differing strengths, on which they base the planning and execution of their work. The main factors that each of the teachers shared, were the strong commitment to their work, their pedagogical knowledge and the need and desire to improve themselves. On the basis of this thesis, I can state that the development of pedagogical consciousness is something worth focusing on already in teachers' education.