Browsing by Subject "teacher education"

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  • Maaranen, Katriina; Kynäslahti, Heikki (2021)
    This study reports a practical experiment involving young pupils, their teachers and university students, named the Media Agent project. The purpose of the project was for the university students to teach the schoolchildren new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills, which they then would teach to other pupils and teachers at their own schools. The theoretical framework consists of students' pedagogical thinking and the concept of agency within the new Finnish Basic Education Curriculum (2014). By interviewing 18 pupils, the authors aimed to find out what their experiences of this project had been. In this qualitative study they used thematic analysis. The main themes that emerged from the data were (1) Media Agent; (2) the teaching event; and (3) impact. The results were very positive, although we also need to be somewhat critical towards them.
  • Viinikka, Kaisa; Ubani, Martin; Lipiäinen, Tuuli; Kallioniemi, Arto (2019)
    This study investigates religious education (hereinafter referred to as “RE”) student teachers’ perceptions about what constitutes a successful teacher in the next 20-30 years. The study focuses on RE student teachers in teacher education in Finland. The students were studied in the light of a 21st century skills framework. The data were gathered using a questionnaire (N=43) and interviews (n=8). The analysis of the interviews was deductive content analysis with a quantification of the results. There were several results from the study. For instance, the RE student teachers’ expectations of professional development are connected to their perceptions of the task requirements. The RE student teachers perceived all kinds of interaction skills as an essential part of RE teacher competence in the future along with dialogue skills. The RE student teachers also emphasised learning to learn and critical thinking skills as the core skills of a successful RE teacher in the future. The participants seemed to highlight all the different literacy skills (information, media, technology and religious) as the core skills of a successful RE teacher. Especially religious literacy was considered to be a key skill in the competence of the RE teacher in the future.
  • Ruokonen, Inkeri; Kiilu, Kristi; Sepp, Anu; Ruismäki, Heikki (2018)
    The primary goal of music teacher education programs is to produce good teachers for schools and how to identify them through entrance examinations. This study examines the kind of entrance examinations in place at the masters’ level in music education in Estonian and Finnish universities, and the similarities or differences between these examinations. In this study, the aims, content, focus areas, and the background philosophy of the entrance examinations are compared and discussed. Similarities identified include testing of aptitude to become a music teacher, practical musicianship, singing, playing different instruments, music theory and solfége. The main differences revealed that in Estonia there are two entrance examinations (Bachelor and Master level) and a teaching session for candidates is not required. What is most challenging to evaluate is the pedagogical motivation because the entrance examination cannot assess long-term motivation, commitment required to teach music or reacting in problem situations.
  • Hahl, Kaisa; Järvinen, Heini-Marja; Juuti, Kalle (2016)
    This study analyses teacher educators’ and student teachers’ perceptions of teaching and learning situations in an international English as a lingua franca (ELF) context in an English-medium instruction (EMI) teacher education programme in Finland. The analysis of semi-structured interviews revealed that the participants perceived a partial reversal of traditional teacher and student roles; students assisted voluntarily and teaching became reciprocal. Some teachers reflected on having used typical strategies in ELF context such as code-switching to further communication and engage students. However, teachers’ lack of fluency was sometimes considered causing frustration among students and affected negatively their feeling of being professional teacher educators. Nevertheless, by increasing more learner-led activities, ELF can positively affect teacher education pedagogy.
  • Nislin, Mari; Pesonen, Henri (2019)
    In this article, we sought to determine the extent to which pre-service and in-service teachers' self-perceived competence is associated with sense of belonging and well-being during special education teacher studies, as well as determine whether there are differences among these factors between pre-service and in-service teachers. These are areas in which there is currently a shortage of research. Our data were collected using a survey with close-ended questions. The respondents consisted of 58 in-service and 29 pre-service teachers, aged 21-56 years. Data were analysed utilising quantitative methods. The findings revealed that the respondents demonstrated generally high levels of engagement and low to moderate levels of burnout. The results further indicated that the respondents reported themselves to be most competent when dealing with children of drug-related family abuse and less competent in working with children with severe disabilities. Although well-being and self-perceived competence were associated, we could not find any association between these factors and the sense of belonging. Given the theoretical and empirical evidence, a deeper understanding of the factors relating to teachers' ability to encounter diverse needs is unquestionably needed. The key findings are discussed in detail, and practical implications for teacher education are given.
  • Kallunki, Veera; Karppinen, Seija; Komulainen, Kauko (2017)
    This article examines a physics course for pre-service primary teachers in which physics, crafts and drama were taught together by connecting the standpoints of crafts and drama. The study was carried out by three university educators from these disciplines during an advanced optional course for student-teachers at the University of Helsinki in Finland. This article discusses the impact of the multidisciplinary teaching approach on the participants' learning outcomes. First, the article explains the multidisciplinary teaching model, an educational energy game that the student-teachers designed as part of the course. Second, it describes the learning that emerged from the student-teachers' learning process, including (1) learning skills, (2) new pedagogic thinking and (3) a change of attitude towards integrative teaching. Finally, the analysis shows the strength of sociocultural animation, which is traced through a path of becoming animated.
  • Kokko, Sirpa; Räisänen, Riikka (2019)
    In 2013, the UNESCO convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was ratified by Finland, and its implementation has continued since. During this process, the discussions on the role of craft tradition have concerned the specific features of Finnish craft culture. One recognised aspect is the role of craft education in Finnish basic education. This article discusses the role of craft education in sustaining and developing textile craft traditions from the perspective of craft teacher education. The student teachers' portfolios from two courses were examined to determine how students applied traditional crafts and craft techniques in individual work and in teaching practices. The findings suggest that the way the students applied crafts traditions was often related to their own motivation, experiences, and ideation. Some of the topics in these two courses guided them to apply craft traditions but often it was their own choice to consider traditional aspect. Following the guidelines of the Finnish Curriculum for Basic Education, Finnish craft teacher education does not particularly focus on craft traditions. Taking the targets of safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage seriously, more effort is required when educating future teachers about craft traditions and the ways to sustain and develop them further.
  • Toivanen, Tapio; Halkilahti, Laura; Ruismäki, Heikki (2013)
  • Hummelstedt-Djedou, Ida; Zilliacus, Harriet; Holm, Gunilla (2018)
    The necessity to include multicultural education policies and practices in schools and teacher education has been widely recognized both in Finland and internationally. However, terms such as 'multiculturalism' and 'multicultural education' have contested and vague meanings in educational discourse. This paper investigates discourses on multicultural education from critical multicultural education and Postcolonial theoretical perspectives. The focus is focus on the teacher education policies of all the eight primary teacher education programmes in Finland. Discourse theory analysis revealed six diverging discourses within a framework of conservative, liberal and critical multicultural education. The results show that it should not be taken for granted that policies including multicultural education contribute to social justice in education and teacher education. Consequently, policy-makers need to question the rhetoric regarding multiculturalism and to focus on how inequality is reproduced and upheld in discourses in teacher education and schools, and how this can be challenged.
  • Seppänen, Sirke; Toivanen, Tapio; Makkonen, Tommi; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Anttonen, Mikko; Tiippana, Kaisa (2020)
    Objectives Teaching involves multiple performance situations, potentially causing psychosocial stress. Since the theater-based improvisation method is associated with diminished social stress, we investigated whether improvisation lessened student teachers’ stress responses using the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST; preparatory phase, public speech, and math task). Moreover, we studied the influence of interpersonal confidence (IC) – the belief regarding one’s capability related to effective social interactions – on stress responses. Methods The intervention group (n = 19) received a 7-week (17.5 h) improvisation training, preceded and followed by the TSST. We evaluated experienced stress using a self-report scale, while physiological stress was assessed before (silent 30-s waiting period) and during the TSST tasks using cardiovascular measures (heart rate, heart rate variability [HRV]), electrodermal activation, facial electromyography (f-EMG), and EEG asymmetry. Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA-axis) reactivity was assessed through repeated salivary cortisol sampling. Results Compared to the control group (n = 16), the intervention group exhibited less f-EMG activity before a public speech and higher HRV before the math task. The low IC intervention subgroup reported significantly less stress during the math task. The controls showed a decreased heart rate before the math task, and controls with a low IC exhibited higher HRV during the speech. Self-reported stress and cortisol levels were positively correlated during the post-TSST preparatory phase. Conclusions These findings suggest that improvisation training might diminish stress levels, specifically before a performance. In addition, interpersonal confidence appears to reduce stress responses. The decreased stress responses in the control group suggest adaptation through repetition. Keywords: Improvisation; Anticipatory anxiety; Interpersonal confidence; Psychophysiology; Teacher education; Trier Social Stress Test
  • Kwaah, Christopher Yaw; Palojoki, Päivi (2018)
    Entry qualification, academic achievement, and teaching practices of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) qenrolled into the teacher education programme directly from senior high school (DfSHS) were compared with NQTs enrolled through the Untrained Teacher Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programme. Survey data collected from 140 NQTs (84 DfSHS and 56 UTDBE) of 20 public schools in central Ghana and lesson observations showed that the two categories of Newly qualified teachers differed greatly in entry grades and academic achievements during training. Differences in teaching practices pertained to content knowledge, classroom interactions, and lesson closure. Implications for pre-service and in-service teaching training are discussed.
  • Niu, Shuanghong Jenny; Niemi, Hannele; Harju, Vilhelmiina; Pehkonen, Leila (2021)
    This study examined student teachers' perceptions of how well their Teacher Education (TE) had prepared them for 21st-century competencies, and how well they applied these competencies to their teaching. In addition, the study sought to identify best practices, major obstacles, and suggestions to achieve these competencies. The study was implemented in two universities and three universities of applied sciences in Finland that have TE programmes. This study used a mixed-method approach. Data were collected both quantitatively and qualitatively from student teachers (n = 227), who assessed 21st-century competencies with a structured questionnaire that included open-ended questions. Quantitative data analysis used descriptive statistics and correlations, while qualitative data analysis used content analysis. The study found that based on the student teachers' self-assessment, the student teachers achieved successfully 21st-century competencies despite differences between competencies. The best-achieved competency was 'Collaboration' and the least well-achieved was 'Global connections.' The study illustrated student teachers' perception of their success in applying 21st-century competencies to their teaching at schools. Answers to open-ended questions produced convincing evidence that courses involving collaborative and interactive learning, high quality, sufficient support, related 21st-century competencies, certain pedagogical methods used by teacher educators, and integrating theory and practice can contribute strongly to the development of student teachers' 21st-century competencies.
  • Anttila, Henrika; Pyhältö, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina; Pietarinen, Janne (2017)
    Studying to become a teacher is a highly emotional experience. Nevertheless, little is known about emotional patterns and emotional change. The aim of this study is to enhance the understanding of student teachers' academic emotions by exploring patterns of emotions experienced in emotionally loaded episodes. A total of 19 primary school student teachers were interviewed. The qualitative content analysis revealed five different emotional patterns: positive, negative, ascending, descending and changing. Most of the emotional patterns were positive or changing in nature. Yet all the emotional patterns were highly focused on studying and learning. Moreover, the patterns were experienced equally in short, medium-length and long episodes. Our study showed that emotional patterns were triggered by various task-related elements of teacher education: most commonly, fulfilled or unfilled expectations, sufficient or insufficient abilities, and experiences of social support received or not received.
  • Herranen, Jaana Kristiina; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti Juhana; Aksela, Maija Katariina (2018)
    Learner-centered sustainability education has been advocated to be used in higher education, but the pedagogy is blurry. In the discussions, also an idea of a learner-driven approach has been promoted. The aim of this study is to study how these pedagogies have been described and suggested to be used by a group of higher education students responsible for planning a teacher education course on sustainability education. This case study uses grounded theory to analyze the higher education students’ beliefs about learner-centered and learner-driven sustainability education. The data was obtained from audio-recordings of the planning process and two semi-structured interviews of five students acting as course designers. The course designers showed to have beliefs about the nature of learner-centered/learner-driven pedagogy, freedom, meaningfulness, acting and making an influence in the learning environment, the nature and ownership of sustainable development knowledge, the diversity of the learners, and pedagogical support. The results indicate that the learner-centered and learner-driven approach are fundamentally different in terms of all of the categories. In conclusion, it is suggested that the terminology concerning learner-centered and learner-driven approaches should be more precise, and sustainability education should be developed towards a more transformative, learner-driven education
  • Virtanen, Päivi; Laine, Anu (2021)
    We used mixed methods to explore differences between Finnish certified novice teachers and student teachers who want to work as teachers, versus those who intend to leave the teaching career, and the reasons behind trans-professional changes. The student register data (N=237), survey (59 responses) and interviews (n=19) revealed that 72% of graduate primary school teachers were satisfied with their profession and would choose the career again, 47% had thought about leaving the profession, and 3% of the survey respondents were not working in teaching professions. Satisfaction with teaching career was positively related to teacher efficacy, satisfaction with teacher education and ability to control a class, and negatively with job stress, and academic knowledge test score in the teacher education entrance examination. Entrance examination success did not guarantee graduation and the academically strongest students were not the most satisfied with the teaching profession. In addition, we found statistically significant differences between the three identified teacher motivation groups: novice teachers with high teacher motivation scored significantly higher in job satisfaction, satisfaction with teacher education, and teacher efficacy, than teachers with mediocre or low motivation. Analysis of interviews revealed that profession-based and person-based reasons, and unrealistic ideas of the profession cause retention challenges in a teaching career.
  • Karppinen, Seija; Poutiainen, Ari; Kairavuori, Seija; Rusanen, Sinikka; Komulainen, Kauko (2018)
    Our pedagogic developing project, ImproStory, addresses improvisation and storytelling. We study how these two concepts could be applied in arts and crafts education for both primary and Kindergarten (daycare) teachers. The majority of our data consists of digital questionnaires in basic arts and crafts studies of primary pre-service teachers (N=323). Additional data (portfolios) contain a group of Kindergarten and primary pre-service teachers with a focus in visual arts (N=8). All data were collected at the University of Helsinki (Finland) during the academic year 2014–2015. According to our study, pre-service teachers consider improvisation and storytelling to be beneficial skills. They see developing them as necessary and useful. Experimenting and learning the approach appear to strengthen pre-service teachers’ collaboration and allow them to build independence, trust, and self-confidence within arts and crafts education. In addition, improvisation and storytelling helps them to recognize their individual creative potential.
  • Niemi, Pia-Maria; Kimanen, Anuleena; Kallioniemi, Arto (2020)
    How schools navigate between the demands presented by secularisation, and the increasing plurality of religious traditions has become a very topical issue in many European countries, including Finland, in recent decades. The question is both practical and philosophical by nature because the ways in which various beliefs and values are represented in school practices and teaching content profoundly concern the educational mission of the schools. However, despite the topicality of the issue, little attention has been given to teachers' perceptions on whether public schools should, or should not, provide space for various religions and worldviews to become visible within the school life, and how schools should respond in practice to the perceived needs. In order to gain new knowledge on the topic, this study investigated Finnish teachers' and university students' (N = 181) perceptions of the representations of religions and worldviews, based on the perspectives of inclusion and exclusion. The statistical analysis revealed three factors titled as 'Religiously responsive approach', 'Secularist approach' and 'Equal visibility approach'. According to the main findings, current and future educators show various degrees of inter-religious sensitivity but principally supported the equal visibility of various traditions, rather than favouring strongly inclusivist or exclusivist practices.
  • Ketonen, Elina (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Previous studies indicate that positive learning experiences are related to academic achievement as well as to well-being. On the other hand, emotional and motivational problems in studying may pose a risk for both academic achievement and well-being. Thus, emotions and motivation have an increasing role in explaining university students learning and studying. The relations between emotions, motivation, study success and well-being have been less frequently studied. The aim of this study was to investigate what kind of academic emotions, motivational factors and problems in studying students experienced five days before an exam of an activating lecture course, and the relations among these factors as well as their relation to self-study time and study success. Furthermore, the effect of all these factors on well-being, flow experience and academic achievement was examined. The term academic emotion was defined as emotion experienced in academic settings and related to studying. In the present study the theoretical background to motivational factors was based on thinking strategies and attributions, flow experience and task value. Problems in studying were measured in terms of exhaustion, anxiety, stress, lack of interest, lack of self-regulation and procrastination. The data were collected in December 2009 in an activating educational psychology lecture course by using a questionnaire. The participants (n=107) were class and kindergarten teacher students from the University of Helsinki. Most of them were first year students. The course grades were also gathered. Correlations and stepwise regression analysis were carried out to find out the factors that were related to or explained study success. The clusters that presented students' problems in studying as well as thinking strategies and attributions, were found through hierarchical cluster analysis. K-means cluster analysis was used to form the final groups. One-way analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis test and crosstabs were conducted to see whether the students in different clusters varied in terms of study success, academic emotions, task value, flow, and background variables. The results indicated that academic emotions measured five days before the exam explained about 30 % of the variance of the course grade; exhaustion and interest positively, and anxiety negatively. In addition, interest as well as the self-study time best explained study success on the course. The participants were classified into three clusters according to their problems in studying as well as their thinking strategies and attributions: 1) ill-being, 2) carefree, and 3) committed and optimistic students. Ill-being students reported most negative emotions, achieved the worst grades, experienced anxiety rather than flow and were also the youngest. Carefree students, on the other hand, expressed the least negative emotions and spent the least time on self-studying, and like committed students, experienced flow. In addition, committed students reported positive emotions the most often and achieved the best grades on the course. In the future, more in-depth understanding how and why especially young first year students experience their studying hard is needed, because early state of the studies is shown to predict later study success.
  • Bortkeviciene , Virginija; Gunnthorsdottir , Hermina; Hjaelmeskog, Karin; Ivanova, Ilze; Maaranen, Katriina; Steinsvik , Brit (2018)
    This paper presents a case study of an intensive international course aimed at pre-service teachers and having a focus on inclusion. The course was funded by Nordplus. Twenty-three students from six Baltic and Nordic countries were interviewed during and after the course on their views on professionalism and their future work as teachers. The results show that the students’ understanding of professionalism was multifaceted, and they had gained several experiences of professionalism during the course. One of the main results of this study is, in our opinion, the co-operation and the opportunities the intensive course afforded the students in developing skills to work together with different people, to appreciate difference and to learn from others. In other words, to become more open-minded. This allows us to conclude that students can be trained to consider the importance and understanding of knowledge and its use for now and in the future. Thus, providing such short-term international opportunities is an important part of studying and becoming a teacher or social pedagogue for the globalized future.