Opinnäytteet ja väitöskirjat: Recent submissions

Now showing items 41-60 of 45181
  • Koski, Jessica (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a hematological malignancy that is characterized by uncontrolled proliferation and blocked maturation of lymphoid progenitor cells. It is divided into B- and T-cell types both of which have multiple subtypes defined by different somatic genetic changes. Also, germline predisposition has been found to play an important role in multiple hematological malignancies and several germline variants that contribute to the ALL risk have already been identified in pediatric and familial settings. There are only few studies including adult ALL patients but thanks to the findings in acute myeloid leukemia, where they found the germline predisposition to consider also adult patients, there is now more interest in studying adult patients. The prognosis of adult ALL patients is much worse compared to pediatric patients and many are still lacking clear genetic markers for diagnosis. Thus, identifying genetic lesions affecting ALL development is important in order to improve treatments and prognosis. Germline studies can provide additional insight on the predisposition and development of ALL when there are no clear somatic biomarkers. Single nucleotide variants are usually of interest when identifying biomarkers from the genome, but also structural variants can be studied. Their coverage on the genome is higher than that of single nucleotide variants which makes them suitable candidates to explore association with prognosis. Copy number changes can be detected from next generation sequencing data although the detection specificity and sensitivity vary a lot between different software. Current approach is to identify the most likely regions with copy number change by using multiple tools and to later validate the findings experimentally. In this thesis the copy number changes in germline samples of 41 adult ALL patients were analyzed using ExomeDepth, CODEX2 and CNVkit.
  • Ba, Yue (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) are known to have hybridized in captivity despite belonging to different taxonomic genera. Earlier genetic analyses have indicated hybridization in the wild and the resulting introgression of genetic material cross species boundaries could potentially explain the intermediate phenotypes observed e.g. in their dentition. Introgression can be detected using genome data, but existing inference methods typically require phased genotype data or cannot separate heterozygous and homozygous introgression tracts. In my thesis, I will present a method based on Hidden Markov Models (HMM) to identify genomic regions with a high density of single nucleotide variants (SNVs) of foreign ancestry. Unlike other methods, my method can use unphased genotype data and can separate heterozygous and homozygous introgression tracts. I will apply this method to study introgression in Baltic ringed seals and grey seals. I will compare our method to an alternative method and assess our method with simulated data in terms of precision and recall. Then, I will apply it to seal data to search for introgression. Finally, I will discuss what future directions to improve our method.
  • Bardy, Helena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Aim: The purpose of the study was to create an image of the teachers' future vision for the school's activities and to outline an organizational culture that supports this activity. The research questions of the study were: 1. "How do teachers shape a future vision for the school?" and 2. "What kind of organizational culture do teachers experience as supporting for the school's future activities?" The research problem is formed by a time characterized by constant change, which places high demands on schools. The research provides a tool for and is part of a larger development process the school undergoes. Methods: The research was conducted as a case study of a specific school. The school had 15 teachers, nine of which participated in the research. The used data were essays written by teachers using a one-question method and the analysis-method was analysis of narrative. The research approach was of abductive form and the focus of the study was hermeneutical. Results and conclusions: Based on the analyzed data, a future vision for the school's activities has been created and an organizational culture that supports the future activities has been described. The most significant elements in the results are the teachers' common vision of a school as a safe environment where both students and staff feel good, appreciated and taken into account. Concrete actionplans for implementation are also formed. The study presents a collaboratively created vision and action plan for the development of the organizational culture in the school and is used as a tool in the ongoing development process of the school.
  • Krouvi, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Inventining and innovation pedagogy renew the content and pedagogy of education. New pedagogy changes teaching and challenges both students and teachers with open assignments. Schools have experimented with the invention pedagogy, which challenges students to develop thinking skills and encourages creativity and inventing New tools (Maker-case) and pedagogy have been experimented in 16 schools and preschools in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Teachers from various grades have participated in training provided by Growing Mind and Innoplay research projects. The present study examines with electronic questionnaire teachers’ (n=12) experiences of invention pedagogy, the use of materials in the Maker-case and changes in the ways of teaching. The analysis of the questionnaire directed the interview phase. The theme interviews (n=5) focused on the pedagogy and tools, their developmental needs, and suitability for teaching. The interview specified observations about the new pedagogy and understanding of the impacts, opportunities and weaknesses of teaching. The questionnaire revealed that the materials of the Maker-case and the pedagogy benefited those teachers for whom technology-based materials were new and who were eager to experiment with them in practice. Teachers' motivation to develop pedagogy and school practices clearly increased their willingness to experiment, and the development work was seen beneficial for the school, for students, and for teachers’ own competence. The materials in the Maker-case inspired all respondents, and most of them felt that the materials allowed them to practice technology-based invention pedagogy and encouraged them to use the pedagogy in their classrooms. The content analysis of the interview data showed that the new pedagogy is used to change one's own teaching to meet the objectives of the curriculum and to modernize teaching. The challenges were related to the lack of own skills and pedagogical support, and to the ability to apply the pedagogy to suit one's own group. According to the teachers, the tools in the Maker -case can be used to change teaching and to practice 21stcentury skills. Maker tools and invention pedagogy had a positive effect on the quality of learning. Open-ended challenges of invention pedagogy develop creativity and thinking skills and make learning more individual and effective.
  • Keskikylä, Kiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Objectives. In the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (2014) Environmental science is an integrated subject that includes the contents and objects of biology, geography, chemistry, physics and health science. Previous research on the role of health information in primary school environmental textbooks has been done marginally. The aim of this study was to find out how the objects and contents of health education appear in the books of primary school environmental science and what position health information has alongside other disciplines included in environmental science. Methods. This research was conducted as a qualitative study. The material in this study is two textbook series of environmental studies for grades 1–6, Otava's Pisara, and Sanoma Pro's Tutkimusmatka. The analysis of the data was carried out as a theory-based content analysis. Results and conclusions. The results of the study showed that the contents and objects of health information were weighted differently in different year categories. However, both textbook series largely followed the curriculum, with the exception of a few individual issues that were less or not addressed in some textbooks. Health information as a discipline appeared to primary school children on the basis of textbooks as a very concrete discipline, which was treated through the child's own daily life and related phenomena. As a surprising result, it could be considered that the discussion of the global well-being and future of mankind was mainly limited to the sixth grade. According to the conclusions, the position of health information was good in relation to other fields of information contained in environmental science, and it also appeared within other fields of information.
  • Kangasniemi, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study explores how equality of education is addressed in the education policy analysis of the OECD and the European Union, while also assessing what other special educational aspects the analysis highlights. The study examines these questions in the cases of Finland, Estonia and Denmark. In previous literature, the OECD and the EU have been perceived as proponents of neoliberal educational policies, which are built on the principles of economic efficiency and competitiveness. These policies have been considered as potentially conflicting with traditional Nordic educational policies that emphasize equality. This study is a qualitative master’s thesis. The research material consists of the OECD’s Education Policy Outlooks and the European Commission’s European Semester Country Reports. The research method of this study is content analysis. The study showed that the OECD and the EU seem to have four distinct angles to equality of education in their country reports. These were the equality of students with immigrant background, socio-economic status and its effect on equality, gender equality as well as structural policies that can enhance equality. In terms of special education, the organizations emphasized student performance and questions regarding nature of schools and school quality. These two categories are further divided to more specific sub-categories. For student performance, the sub-categories are student learning results and taking part in education, whereas for nature of schools and school quality, the sub-categories consist of participation of the education system as well as schools as learning environments.
  • Tiitinen, Anna-Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This research focuses on 4th–6th graders pupils from southern Finland and their own opinions on their own happiness, factors that would increase their happiness and does global happiness explain school-related happiness. Research was executed with #uuttakoulua-project. Happiness has been wondered through the ages and people has tried to find answers to achieve happiness. Western thoughts on happiness roots in ancient Greek and to Christian views of happiness. According to positive psychology happiness has been risen to be one of the scientifical research subject, even though it has been research quite little in Finland. Positive psychology has reached also school world where meaning of happiness has also been researched. One of the researchers in Finland is Lotta Uusitalo-Malmivaara who’s research has shown that pupils are generally happy. For example, success in school and positive relationships has been proved to be key factors that increase happiness. 543 pupils took part on this study of which 47,1% were boys, 49,0% were girls and 3,9% were other genders. Study was made as survey where questions were related to pupil’s well-being, school satisfaction and character strengths. For my own study I chose three questions about happiness which were: “How do you usually feel?”, “What have you been thinking about school?” and “My happiness would increase”. My research questions are: 1. How happy 4th–6th graders from southern Finland feel themselves? 2. What factors 4th–6th graders define to increase their happiness? and 3. Does global happiness explain school-related happiness? First two questions were analyzed by means and standard deviation. Third research question was analyzed by regression analyze. Global happiness explains 28,4% of school-related happiness was the most important outcome of this study. Pupils who took park to this study felt themselves generally happy. Intervene to climate change, improvement of animal rights and fulfilment of equality had the highest means within the answers as a factor to increase one’s happiness. As a conclusion if one is happy globally is one most likely happy also in school. Results cannot be generalized to whole population but gives an idea of how participants view their own happiness and the factors that could increase it.
  • Kaarnakorpi, Reetta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In the spring of 2020, following the recommendation of working remotely issued by the Finnish government, about one million office workers moved to work in their homes. This resulted in uncertainty about the availability of lunch food during the working day. The social and nutri tious respite from the working day had disappeared from the daily rhythm. The dissertation examines how the lunching of office workers has changed with the Covid-19 pandemic. The phenomenon is studied as a combination of work and home functions in the same space with a home economics research approach. The workplace restaurants prepare and serve lunches in accordance with the nutrition recommendations of the State Nutrition Advisory Board. Eat ing in them has made it possible to eat according to the plate pattern on weekdays and to maintain a regular meal rhythm. Research questions are 1. What factors are related to the nutritional quality of lunch for people who are working remotely? 2. What factors have an impact on the social side of an individual’s lunch eating during remote work? The research material has been collected as an electronic survey, which included structured as well as open-ended questions (n = 130). In addition, the lunch meal pictures sent by the respondents (n = 72) were compared with the recommendation made by the State Nutrition Advisory Board in 2014 about the plate model. Dialog thematization and comparative photo analysis were used as methods of analysis of the research results. In addition, lunch meals were described by using an application derived from the Engeström´s (1990) operating sys tem model. The study made it visually visible what is eaten on remote workdays. With the shift to remote working, the changes have focused on where work is done and how lunch is implemented. Working remotely is associated with one-sided dieting and maintaining a meal rhythm can be challenging. While working remotely eating is most often done alone, which shortens lunch breaks. Combining work and eating lunch is common. There is a need for separate nutritional recommendations for lunch when people are working remotely, and the promotion of healthy eating habits should be integrated into companies' occupational well-being measures.
  • Vinkki, Silja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The aim of this study was to analyse and describe the craft activities of Estonians in Finland from the point of view of textile hobby craft. The study focused on the characteristics of the Estonian craft enthusiasts, as well as on the importance of hobby craft to them. Well-being as part of crafts was also examined in this study. It is important to study this subject, since there is no previous research on the craft activities of Estonians in Finland. The study was based on previous research knowledge related to the pursuit of crafts, its meanings and connection to well-being. In addition, the theory section of the thesis discusses research related to the history of Estonians in Finland and textile craft methods used in Estonia. Furthermore, the topics of cultural heritage and cultural identity are also discussed. The study was carried out by qualitative means. The research data was acquired through a survey and interviews. Sixteen Estonians women who live in Finland participated in the survey, and five Estonians women who live in Finland were interviewed. All research subjects were enthusiasts of textile crafts. The survey was used to examine the general picture of Estonian craft enthusiasts who live in Finland. The survey data was analysed with data-driven content analysis. Interviews were conducted for a deeper look at the meanings of crafts among the enthusiasts, and the interview data was analysed with theory-driven content analysis. The categories of craft meanings, created by Kouhia (2012), served as the basis for the theory-driven analysis. The findings revealed that Estonians craft enthusiasts who live in Finland are women between the ages of 25 to 64. Half of the study participants dabbled in crafts almost every day. Among the participants in the study, sewing, crochet and knitting were the most used techniques. Woollen socks were the produces craft products most. Among other things, crafts were used to maintain Estonian cultural tradition. None of the meanings related to crafts was more important than the others; handicrafts were seen as a holistically significant pastime. Craft was perceived as an important part of well-being, and the enthusiasts were aware of its therapeutic effects on their own psychological well-being.
  • Honkanen, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Aims. The purpose of this study was to picture e-learning in higher education during a global pandemic from the students’ point of view. The study focuses on how higher education students experienced e-learning, either meaningful or unmeaningful. The theoretical framework consists of previous studies concerning e-learning and meaningful learning. The theoretical background also contains a view of personality differences from the perspective of studying. The research questions are as follows; 1. How higher education students have experienced e-learning during pandemic? 2. Which factors have helped to experience the e-learning be meaningful? Methods. The research data has been gathered in individual interviews which took place at the autumn of 2020. Most of the interviews were conducted in zoom. The individual interviews were semi-structured theme interviews. Ten higher education students participated in the study, they were all between 21 and 25 years old and their institutions located all over Finland. The data of this research was analysed with qualitative methods using the databased content analysis. Results and conclusions. From the interviewee’s point of view e-learning was experienced as either meaningful or unmeaningful, depending on the individual preferences. Issues with technology, the lack of instructions and support were mostly experienced as declining the feeling of meaningfulness. Simultaneously longing for social interaction was connected with the personality differences. Of the features of personality orientation, mainly the introverts experienced e-learning to be more meaningful than extroverts. On the other hand, the experience of e-learning was also attached to individual’s attitude towards it. The findings give support to the idea that e-learning can be experienced in a meaningful way. However, it should pay attention to individual learning preferences.
  • Kanerva, Tuuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Foodwork has changed and responsibility of foodwork is starting to be more equally shared in households. Attitude towards foodwork depends, among other things, on situation and to whom one is cooking for. Convenience foods are used to simplify foodwork in households. Outsourcing foodwork to restaurants is also more and more common and take-away meals have become very popular. Technology and application innovations enable ready meals to be delivered to our doorstep. The aim of this study is to explain the use of and reasons to use home delivery services. Theoretical background of the study is based on the research of home economics and domestic work. Research of eating out and eating environments is also used in the study. This study was conducted as a quantitative study. The data was collected with survey questionnaire that was compiled based on theoretical literature. The survey was distributed via Internet in February 2021. Of 148 received responses 145 were accepted for the analyses. Analysis was conducted with IMB SPSS 26. Crosstabulation, Kruskal-Wallis, PCA and oneway-ANOVA were used as methods of analysis. Time saving, minimizing the amount of work and indulgence were the main reasons to use home delivery services for ready meals. Three groups that had different attitudes towards foodwork and home delivery services were found from the data. The groups were named 1. enjoying foodwork, 2. staying home and 3. valuation of ease. Female gender, high education and age (28–34 years) defined the first group. Size of household (at least two members), children and high education defined group two. Low education, 20 000–39 999 annual income and size of household (three or more members) defined group three the least. Among all respondents, home delivery services were used most by men and age group 28–34. The results of the study cannot be generalized to population and it would be important to study these themes further and in larger context since home delivery services are permanent part of the contemporary life.
  • Sorvoja, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis focuses on social categories that are constructed from the social value of higher education in the Finnish mass media. The aim of the thesis is to analyze how the hierarchy of education level produces citizenship and social hierarchies. Previous research has shown that the subject is seen in Finnish education policies as a rational agent who makes free choices and self-invests in education. This thesis analyzes power and inequality existing in the discourse of learning and higher education possibilities. I approached the research task using feminist research methodology and the post-structural idea of language and knowledge. Admission to higher education is the context of the study. The data consists of opinion pieces about higher education reforms and the admission process in the spring of 2020. The opinion pieces were published in Helsingin Sanomat. I analyzed the data with a discursive-deconstructive reading and identified affective shades and unequal categories. I focused on the subjectivity of a higher education applicant and tried to find power that operates in discourses. According to the analysis, there is produced a self-responsible subjectivity in the data who struggles to survive in education and in the society. The self-responsible subjectivity is constructed in the contradiction between a dream discourse and demands of employability. In this study, one of the goals is to contextualize knowledge and affects so it is not necessary to look my results out of their historical context. Anyway, the results make possible to understand value choices in the Finnish education policies and social debate. This study argues that the discourse of education possibilities strengths the concept of the ideal citizen who survives because of its own merit. The discourse complicates to recognize social inequality. What is more, highlighting the social value of higher education produces the hierarchy of education paths and categories based on education level.
  • Laine, Emma-Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Themes of environmental education have become more visible in today’s educational institutes. While the Finnish curriculum highlights the importance of education for sustainable development, and as the concern of the state of the environment rises, the school system has to do its own part in building a more sustainable future. Knowledge-based in-service training for environmental education provides teachers with the skills to upbring environmentally conscious members of society. The purpose of this study is to map the thoughts of teachers on the role of environmental education in the day-to-day school life, and their dreams and ponderings on the future of environmental education. In addition, the interest of this study is to examine the meanings the participants give to in-service training for environmental education. The participants of study consist of six elementary school class teachers. Four of the interviewees were acquired from the Facebook page of Sykli, and two others from mailing lists. The study’s material was collected by using semi-structured interviews, which were then transcribed, and the transcripts were used for making a content analysis. The participants of the study comprised of class teachers of varying backgrounds, who were connected by the participation in the Sykli’s program of environmental education. According to the study’s results, the participants saw the role of environmental education as being very significant in the context of the school, and thus hoped for it to become a bigger part of the school culture. The role of the supervisor was seen as a significant factor when examining the school’s environmental education. The participants saw the role of environmental education to grow with the increasing knowledge of the state of the globe, and some already saw the change for the better coming. The partaking in the in-service training for environmental education was seen as an extremely positive experience. Furthermore, the participants thought the in-service training had an effect on multiple different parts in their teaching practices. For example they thought their courage to put environmental education more into practice increased. The participants also reported expanded understanding of the nature of environmental education.
  • Kautonen-Jusslin, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Background and objectives. The aim of this study was to clarify the usage of the concept of continuous learning. Another aim was to understand what conditions or expectations were set for continuous learning in different settings. These questions were examined by reviewing scientific research and reviews to identify themes in which the concept of continuous learning was used. Continuous learning is in the centre of Finnish government programme with expectation to correspond to the needs of changing working life and to enable longer careers for individuals. Corporates are also leaning on continuous learning to minimize business risk and enhance profitability by offering training or job rotation for employees. Bonding the concept of continuous learning to specific models or targets creates a contradiction to fundamentals of learning which is continuous regardless of context. Based on this setting the concept of continuous learning is reviewed from the angles of lifelong learning, political aspiration, and financial interests, for example the enhancement or change of working life. Methods. This research was conducted as a systematic literature review. This method was recognized to be the most informative when investigating the usage of the concept of continuous learning as previous meta-analysis brings out the different angles and context in which the concept was used. Data was collected from three databases and sixteen articles or reviews were included in this research. Results and conclusions. The concept of continuous learning was connected to theoretical framework of this study which included lifelong learning, political discussion, and financial interests. Especially remarks considering working life and its demands stood out from the data. These were tightly connected with political and financial interests from individual as well as societal perspectives. Continuous learning can be viewed a necessity to prosper in working life and life in general. This perception narrows down the fundamental meaning of learning as a continuous process.
  • Heikkinen, Tanja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Food waste is a global phenomenon that affects many different areas, such as the economy and the environment. Households cause the most food waste in the whole food chain, and if we want to influence and reduce household’s food waste, it is very necessary to study it. A lot of research on household food waste has been done lately. According to activity theory, action always has a target or a goal that actor wants to achieve and actions are always determined by tools. In this study, I investigate what kind of activity the households are doing when trying to avoid food waste. I utilize activity theory and operating system that based on it. I investigate the causes of household food waste, means of reducing and how the operating system appears in the activities of household food waste planning. This study accomplished as a qualitative research. Target group was the people who are interested in reducing food waste. Material for this study was collected using a questionnaire interview with structured and open questions. The questionnaire was sent to the target group through the Facebook food waste group and 89 responses were collected in a short time. The material was analyzed using content analysis. The results of the causes of food waste and the means of reducing it were corresponding with previous research findings. Also in this study peoples own actions, as well as the influence of others contributed to food waste. Proper tools are important when reducing food waste. Proper tools were felt to be necessary, but those availability was mentioned sometimes difficult to get. Also learning and development was seen important when reducing food waste. Experimentalism and courage to try new were also mentioned as important. Many households had also developed their reduction in food waste beyond on their own households, and as well as to the food garbage.
  • Raaska, Nea (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Target: In the future, working life requirements change the competence needs where multiexpertise is often emphasized. The purpose of this study was to examine professional experts’ views and experiences about multiexpertise. In addition, the aim of this study was to examine what kind of skills do experts consider to be essential in their experience to work as a multiexpert. Lastly, this study examined factors that challenge and support multiexpertise based on professionals’ experiences. This study was made in collaboration with a media- and marketing organization where a multiexpertise competence development project had been started. The theoretical framework of multiexpertise in this study was defined based on different expertise theories. Multiexpertise is defined as a model of relational, horizontal and collective expertise that develops in different expertise networks. Method: This research was a qualitative case study. The research data consisted of nine half-structured thematic interviews. Research participants worked as experts in the target organization and they had expanded their expertise to multiexpertise. Thematic interview questions focused on themes of professional’s core competence, learning new skills, participation on learning and multiexpertise. The research data was analyzed with theory-guided content analysis. Findings and conclusions: According to the results experts experienced that multiexpertise brought them deep understanding and ability to work more flexibly between different stakeholders. Multiexpertise also required strong core knowledge and demanded explicit multiexpertise skills. These skills were self-leadership, solution orientation, ability to change and continuous learning. The factors that challenged multiexpertise were lack of time, lack of organizing and following up the training, the lack support in training and the distributed and unavailable knowledge in the organization. On the contrary, the factors that supported multiexpertise were the work community, encouragement to competence development and the sharing of knowledge and know-how. The most significant result was the experts need to be heard and understood in the target organization within the multiexpertise competence development project. Significance: This study offers new and significant scientific information about multiexpertise. In addition, this study gives valuable knowledge to the target organization about multiexpert’s experiences. The multiexpertise model that was developed in this study describes practice-base modern expertise and gives a good base for future research.
  • Huovinen, Millie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Food is associated with many social practices and symbolic meanings that are culturally bound, separating and connecting members of culture. By studying food cultures, one can gain a deeper understanding of the society of the country in question, the deep structures of the culture and the history of the country. As culture constantly changes with society, so does food culture and its manifestations. As communication technology takes over the sector as a form of social interaction, food cultures are also increasingly shifting to social media as food images serve as a means of communication. This research falls into the fields of cultural research, visual culture research, and food culture research. The aim of the study is to try to find features typical of Finnish and Japanese food culture in social media food images. As the research material consists of a list of pictorial materials, it is also rewarding to look at the aesthetic content that food images contain and how the layout and content of the image are affected by the fact that the food images have been produced for publication in social media. The study emphasizes the cultural-historical approach as the factor that has most shaped Finnish and Japanese food culture. The research material consisted of food images produced by 6 people, of which there were a total of 30. Half of the research subjects and food images represented Finnish food culture and half Japanese food culture. To support the analysis of the images, the subjects' own comments on the food images of their choice were used. This is a qualitative study in which the material was analyzed by means of content analysis. Content analysis was combined with semiotic image analysis, in which reality is interpreted based on the characters and codes present in the images. An even more marginal aspect of socio-semiotics is represented by the social nature of the research material as part of the ways in which people communicate in social media. Despite the small research data, the research provided indications of typical elements that occur in Finnish and Japanese food culture. These include typical ingredients, food rations, cooking methods, and aesthetic perceptions. In Finnish food culture, emphasis was placed on simple dishes that have taken a lot of influence from other countries. Japanese food culture emphasized the preservation of traditions and the use of domestic raw materials.
  • Vikström, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    One of the fundamental principles of the Finnish basic education is promoting equality and preventing inequality on different levels. This means that every school is obliged to ensure equal access to education for all students, but also to foster a so-called equity education and support the students into becoming good human beings, that strive for equality and positive change themselves. Deduced from theory and previous research, this study assumed that the teacher’s approach to diversity as well as the school’s equity task affects the prerequisites to foster equity education. The aim of this study is thus to gain insight into Finnish teachers’ perceptions of both the ideal and practical aspects of the equity work in primary school, as well as how the approach to diversity relates to this. The empirical research that was conducted to meet this aim was based on the following research questions: 1) How is the diversity-category constructed in teacher-discourses? 2) How are prerequisites for equity in primary school created in teacher-discourses? The empirical part of the study relied on a discourse analytical research design, and the data was gathered through qualitative interviews with five teachers in total from three different schools. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to discourse analytical principles using Fairclough’s three-dimensional model for analysis on three levels: text, discourse practice, and sociocultural practice. The results showed that the teachers had varying perceptions of diversity as well as what the school’s equity task really entails. Some understood diversity as a concept entailing all students, while others understood it as something deviant and non-Finnish. The perception of diversity also had implications for the equity work; the previously mentioned understanding of diversity as non-Finnish positioned Finnishness as the direct opposite of the diversity-category, and subsequently Finnishness was considered both the norm and the base for equality. Said understanding, as well as a lack of knowledge and critical perspectives, subsequently weakened teachers’ prerequisites for equity education. In conclusion, the results show that comprehensive and relevant education for all teachers in the field would be beneficial.
  • Metsäranta, Riina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Student boards aim to increase children’s participation and develop democratic competencies needed for active citizenship. However, not much research has been done on young children’s experiences on this topic. Previous studies suggest that use of representative democracy structures within school context provide students elected to the board with a space to practice e.g. negotiation skills. This qualitative case study aims to investigate the experiences of children elected to the student board government, focusing on the agency and participation narratives produced by the children, and instances of democratic competency. Research material was collected via questionnaire consisting of five open questions and a multiple choice section to examine the reliability of the answers. The study was partaken by nine students from a school actively developing their student board. All students were 4th or 5th graders elected to the student board either during the semester in which material was collected or the previous year. The material was analyzed and themed by qualitative content analysis. Themes were studied in the light of participation and growing into active citizenship discourses found from previous research. The children perceived the student board as a space where they have permission to speak out about school matters, be heard and partake in collective decision making. They viewed social skills and the ability and courage to express opinions and ideas as cardinal strengths and competencies. These skills are both needed and learned while being a member of the student board. The school democracy practiced by the student board appeared as a cooperative negotiation typical to deliberative democracy with the goal to advance common good. On the other hand, the student board appeared as a separate space from everyday school life the other students aren’t very interested in. Thus, social participation in the school community might not fully come true, and the agency in the context of the student board might not intertwine with other areas of life despite the skill-developing experiences it offers.
  • Niiranen, Alexandra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this thesis is to identify what perceptions, working methods and experiences subject-teachers have of student athletes in secondary school. Student athletes in secondary school have a great burden with their dual careers combining sports and education. Previous research shows that a dual career can be stressful but also very rewarding both within sports and life overall. The assessment of students in secondary school is done by subject teachers, which puts them in a significant role for the academic future of young athletes. In particular, subjects as mother tongue tuition and mathematics have been given an important place as these subjects are emphasized more in the admission to further education after secondary school. This study aims to analyze teachers’ perceptions of student athletes and their education using three main research questions; (1) what perceptions do teachers have about student athletes’ education and academic achievements, (2) what factors including self-regulation play a role in student athletes’ school performance from a teacher perspective, and (3) what type of educational support do teachers feel they can offer student athletes? This thesis is based on a qualitative study. The research material consists of eight interviews of teachers in Swedish and literature as well as mathematics, that work in secondary schools in the capital region. The material was collected with the help of semi-structured interviews and analyzed using a phenomenographic method. The result of this study shows that teachers perceive student athletes as caring both in their schoolwork and in how they plan and structure their time. The assessment of student athletes is to a certain extent perceived to be more difficult, but since the assessment extends over several criteria, individual challenges are not seen as a problem. Student athletes with a dual career are perceived to need and develop more self-regulatory abilities than other students, but an apparent need for a broad support network is also noticeable. However, the results also indicate that teachers are concerned over the overall load that student athletes experience and the many demands they face from sports, school and their families.