Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Kuuluvainen, Soila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Accurate perception of speech sound features forms the basis of language and oral communication. Cortical speech processing consists of sound identification, feature extraction, and change discrimination, all occurring within a few hundred milliseconds timescale, and leading to conscious perception of sounds in their context. When these processes do not work optimally, speech perception is hampered, which can lead to problems in academic achievement or social interaction. Therefore, in this thesis, the processing of sublexical syllables and changes if their five features (consonant, vowel, vowel duration, fundamental frequency (F0), and intensity) were compared to the processing of complex nonspeech sounds in adults and six-year-old children, using event-related potentials (ERPs). Overall, larger ERP amplitudes or stronger magnetic mismatch negativity (MMNm) sources were found for speech than nonspeech stimuli. Stronger responses in the speech than the nonspeech condition were seen in both groups for changes in consonants, vowels, vowel duration and vowel F0. This is consistent with their role in Finnish: in addition to phonemic changes, vowel duration and F0 changes co-signal vowel quantity, which differentiates word meaning. Furthermore, children, but not adults, had larger left-lateralized responses for speech than nonspeech intensity changes, which is possibly beneficial for word segmentation and learning. Moreover, children's cortical measures were associated with neurocognitive skills. The overall pattern of larger speech than nonspeech responses was associated with better reasoning skills. Furthermore, larger left than right hemisphere ERP amplitudes for speech stimuli were associated with better performance in language tasks. Finally, the early responses (P1, early differentiating negativity, EDN) were associated with phonological and prereading skills, and later responses (N2, N4, late differentiating negativity, LDN) with verbal short-term memory and naming speed. The results suggest that speech and nonspeech sounds are processed by at least partially different neural substrates in preschoolers and adults. Furthermore, intra-individual differences in ERP amplitudes between conditions and hemispheres might be a useful tool in assessing cortical auditory functioning in children without the requirement of attention or motivation to carry out tasks.
  • Radun, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The objective in this thesis was to examine the psychological process of image-quality estimation, specifically focusing on people who are naïve in this respect and on how they estimate high-quality images. Quality estimation in this context tends to be a preference task, and to be subjective. The aim in this thesis is to enhance understanding of viewing behaviour and estimation rules in the subjective assessment of image-quality. On a more general level, the intention is to shed light on estimation processes in preference tasks. An Interpretation-Based Quality (IBQ) method was therefore developed to investigate the rules used by naïve participants in their quality estimations. It combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, and complements standard methods of image-quality measurement. The findings indicate that the content of the image influences perceptions of its quality: it influences how the interaction between the content and the changing image features is interpreted (Study 1). The IBQ method was also used to create three subjective quality dimensions: naturalness of colour, darkness and sharpness (Study 2). These dimensions were used to describe the performance of camera components. The IBQ also revealed individual differences in estimation rules: the participants differed as to whether they included interpretation of the changes perceived in an image in their estimations or whether they just commented on them (Study 4). Viewing behaviour was measured to enable examination of the task properties as well as the individual differences. Viewing behaviour was compared in two tasks that are commonly used in studies on image-quality estimation: the estimation of difference and the estimation of difference in quality (Study 3). The results showed that viewing behaviour differed even in two magnitude-estimation tasks with identical material. When they were estimating quality the participants concentrated mainly on the semantically important areas of the image, whereas in the difference-estimation task they also examined wider areas. Further examination of quality-estimation task revealed individual differences in the viewing behaviour and in the importance these viewing behaviour groups attached to the interpretation of changes in their estimations (Study 4). It seems that people engaged in a subjective preference-estimation task use different estimation rules, which is also reflected in their viewing behaviour. The findings reported in this thesis indicate that: 1) people are able to describe the basis of their quality estimations even without training when they are allowed to use their own vocabulary; 2) the IBQ method has the potential to reveal the rules used in quality estimation; 3) changes in instructions influence the way people search for information from the images; and 4) there are individual differences in terms of rules and viewing behaviour in quality-estimation tasks.
  • Niemi, Pia-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study investigates the ways that schoolwide events can contribute to the creation of membership in a school community. An essential aspect of school life across grade levels and national contexts, the sense of membership refers to a situation in which a student is accepted as part of a group by others and feels connected with the other members of the community. The importance of membership has been highlighted in international studies that have shown the positive relation between students sense of school belonging and several academic and non-academic features of their lives, such as their motivation for learning and general future orientation. To increase the knowledge of how school practices can support students sense of membership, this study focuses on schoolwide events, including celebrations, theme days, and other organized activities for the entire school community's participation. This study's main research question is as follows: How do schoolwide events contribute to students experiences of membership in the school community through a) personal-level experiences, b) school community-level practices, and c) representations of culture? To answer this question, the study approaches the notion of membership from various disciplinary perspectives that originate from psychology, sociology, and educational sciences. The key concepts of this study are social integration, sense of belonging, and social representations of cultural communities that are investigated in the educational context of schoolwide events. This study consists of qualitative interview data from both students (Study I, data gathered in winter 2013 2014) and teachers (Study III, data gathered in autumn 2011), as well as quantitative survey data from students (Study II, data gathered in autumn 2013). Data were collected from four secondary schools of basic education (serving 13 16-year-old students) in the southern area of Finland. The student data were collected from three schools (referred to as Schools 1, 2, and 3), while the teacher data were collected from a fourth school. This study's main findings answer the research question by showing that schoolwide events can contribute to students experiences of membership by providing them with positive interpersonal encounters with their peers and in the school as a social community. The results also indicate that experiences of membership are disrupted by negative peer relations as well as by unfair and hasty practices when organizing events. Regarding cultural representations, the findings show that the events do not support students interpersonal understanding of various cultural traditions in any particular way, but instead the events focus on creating memberships in the broader context of the national (Finnish) community by transmitting its traditions. On the other hand, the results demonstrate that the notion of tradition is fluid and subjective to interpretation. The findings also indicate that students social and emotional experiences and personal involvement in schoolwide events are more remarkable aspects for creating membership than the factual content of the events. The findings also reveal that teachers and students approach the question of community building from different perspectives. Teachers emphasize the role of national traditions, while students call for inclusive events. However, both groups regard schoolwide events as avenues from which experiences of community and membership may emerge. Concerning the study's practical implications, the results emphasize the important role of schoolwide events in the social life of the school and the need for researchers and practitioners to pay closer attention to such events. Based on the findings, this study also proposes practical implications for the development of the content and practices of schoolwide events in Finland and in other countries.
  • Laine, Sonja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The main purpose of this doctoral thesis is to investigate Finnish elementary school teachers perspectives on gifted education. In particular, teachers conceptions of giftedness, their attitudes toward gifted education and the practices they are using to address gifted students needs are examined. The thesis is intended to increase understanding of the current state of gifted education from the perspective of teachers in Finland, a context in which emphasis is on inclusion and differentiated teaching. The thesis is comprised of four articles. The first analyzes the public discus- sion of giftedness in print media during the years 1992-2007 in order to enrich the view of the Finnish context by revealing different conceptions of giftedness and gifted students in that time period. The three other articles (II-IV) are based on survey data gathered from Finnish elementary school teachers (N=212) during the school year 2010-2011. The instrument used was a mixed questionnaire, including both qualitative and quantitative items. By mixing both qualitative and quantitative data and analysis methods the thesis thereby utilizes a mixed methods approach. The results indicate that teachers conceptions, even though simplistic, as well as their attitudes are in many ways supportive of the gifted and their education in general. In particular, teachers attitudes toward differentiated teaching for the gifted were mainly positive, whereas they were mostly negative about acceleration and ability groupings. Furthermore, teachers descriptions of their practices revealed that, even though they differentiate their teaching, they do not necessarily use evidence-based practices shown to be effective with gifted students. Together these findings suggest that the practical functionality of a differentiation paradigm might be questioned. The thesis also emphasizes that, in Finland, meeting the needs of gifted students depends heavily on individual teachers, which may lead to inequality in delivering quality education to the gifted.
  • Kouhia, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the meanings of modern day textile hobby crafts for makers who engage with crafts as a creative leisure outlet. The research is embodied in the term unraveling, which conceptualizes the study both as a means to reflect on the meanings of embodied practice, and as a way to open up new perspectives on making. The theoretical framework reviews contemporary textile hobby crafting culture and uncovers how it has found new meaning in recreational leisure, gendered domesticity and individual resourcefulness linked with Do-It-Yourself. The thesis consists of three sub-studies. The first level of examination is based on interviews with craftspeople coming from different cultural backgrounds, who were asked to talk about how they see the meaning and value of craft making in their lives. Secondly, textile hobby craft making is approached as a collective practice through a study conducted with an open-curricula craft group. Thirdly, the story of a craft-maker-researcher is sewn into the research narrative through autoethnographic cinema in order to create an understanding of the performativity of craft practice from the perspective of a young maker. The three studies address how hobby craft making opens up opportunities for learning, sharing, community building and self-discovery, and how it materializes experiences of belonging to a social group and nurtures emotional sensibility in relation to one s own being. The studies show that the meanings attached to hobby craft making have many dimensions, and can be characterized as multiple, overlapping, connective, contextual, shifting and conflicting. Regardless of individual differences, there is a range of commonalities shared by the craftspeople, and accordingly, a wider sense of the world, which becomes agreed upon by the people interested in textile hobby crafts. This suggests that as people take up hobby crafting, they become involved in the negotiation of comprehensive strategies for discussing and sharing hobby practices. This implies that a shared view of the world plays an important role in cultivating meaningfulness of one s craft work, as it generates a common cultural interpretation of the meanings of craft as a leisure pursuit. All in all, experiencing personal meaningfulness seems to be the most important reason for taking up textile hobby craft activities.
  • Alemanji, Aminkeng Atabong (2016)
    In this thesis I set out to investigate what antiracism education in Finland is at a conceptual, methodological and practical level. At the conceptual level, this study examines how and why antiracism is theorised and explores the challenges to and possible gains from a potential shift in existing antiracist strategies in Finland. At the practical and methodological levels (using both literature and research data) this study investigates how antiracism education Finland is done and how it could be done differently. This thesis includes a collection of five articles. The first article, If an apple is a foreign apple you have to wash it very carefully : Youth discourses on racism (2016), is set at the intersection of formal and non-formal education and critically examines the use of wrong questions in antiracism discourses. The second article, Antiracism Apps as Actants of Education for Diversities (2015), examines how two mobile phone applications could be used as antiracism educational tools, bearing in mind the potentials and limitations of such technologies. The third article, Educating Children to Survive within a Neo-Racist Framework: Parents' Struggle, (submitted), set in informal/non-formal education, investigates the different strategies employed by mothers of immigrant background children to educate their child or children on how to respond to racial violence. Article four, Zebra World - The Promotion of Imperial Stereotypes in a Children's Book (2015), challenges the binary and stereotypical agenda of educational materials regarding how they tell the story of us and them. The last article, Holocaust Education: An Alternative Approach to Antiracism Education? A Study of a Holocaust Textbook Used in 8th Grade in an International School in Finland (2015), examines how, through the notion of intersectionality, educators can use the concepts of racism and neo-racism to teach about the Holocaust and vice versa. Grounded in an understanding of racism based on postcoloniality and neo-racism, this study investigates racism in Finland using four interrelated lenses: Finnish exceptionalism, coloniality of power, whiteness theory and denial of racism. It unearths the hidden structural hierarchies (re)produced, sustained and recycled by power structures. In addition, this study argues that since antiracism as a word endorses a recognition of the existence of racism, it is important to build and offer antiracism programmes in and out of schools. It calls for antiracism education as a discipline to be given more space in formal education and proposes strategies through which this can be achieved. Furthermore, it proposes that antiracism education must be ready to be self-critical, bearing in mind that there is no one true solution to racism.
  • Nuutila, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Jaakko Nuutila The Finnish organic food chain - Modelling towards 2020 goals with change and innovation The current Finnish food chain generates negative externalities for the environment, human beings and animals. Organic food and its production represent an alternative that aims at reducing those externalities. Such an approach is supported by international authorities, and features in Finnish government goals that are intended to diminish these externalities, among others, by increasing the share of organic production. None of the goals previously set by the Finnish authorities for the organic sector have been reached, and this also applies to the target for 2020 according to trends in organic production and expanding market share in Finland. Several other European Union countries are making more significant progress in this regard in comparison with Finland. This thesis proposes a Finnish food chain model tackling the challenging aim to enable the government goals for organic food and its production to be reached. Simultaneously, it may enhance greater sustainability, with benefits to society and enhanced profitability for those enterprises acting for the common good. The model combines three theories: Activity Theory for the model with its elements, Economy of Common Good for the values and Co-creation for the collaboration of the food chain actors that pertain to the model. A change from the current to the suggested model, generating the desired outcomes, can be possible if a path of certain actions based on the principles of the Finnish national innovation system is followed. Organic food and its production need to be recognized (legitimacy) and integrated into strategic development and research topics, in Finland, for development in this area to be sufficient to reach the goals set. The findings in this thesis and its four component articles link to the associated theories that gain support from the literature on the food system. The suggested food chain model is, therefore, based on official reports, theories and empirical studies. The suggested model encourages food-chain-level cooperation that would lead to a fairer division of power and easier interference in legislation and taxation, making it easier to set the common good values and to use them to influence affect to the tools of food chain activities. The resulting production methods, and the food itself, will enable the goals set for organic production to be reached. The path of actions suggests tax incentives, better education and research on organic food and its production, more effective information policy and a tailored SHOK-type organic consortium to spearhead the project as an integral component of the Finnish strategic research agenda. The resilience of planet Earth is rapidly decreasing, and small actions remain largely without effect. The entire food chain has to be redeveloped in a comprehensive and radical way. The model suggested is theoretical: a combination of several theoretical approaches proven to have been successful in existing business environments. It is difficult to imagine that, under the currently prevailing conditions of materialism and egocentricity, the proposed system could be comprehensively adopted right away at the national level, but a gradual change towards the greater common good and organic goals can be expected to be possible by following the action plan presented.
  • Savolainen, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    It is well established that stress poses an elevated risk for non-communicable diseases and early mortality. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. There is strong, yet not conclusive, evidence showing that telomeres, non-coding DNA-protein complexes (TTAGGG) located at the end of chromosomes, are associated with aging-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The aim of this thesis is to expand the relatively scant literature on stress and telomere length and to study whether stress-related factors are associated with leukocyte telomere length (LTL), a possible biomarker of cellular aging. The participants were from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, which comprises 13,345 individuals born from 1934 to 1944 in Finland. Between the years 2001 and 2004 a randomly selected sample of subjects participated in a detailed clinical examination including blood sampling for LTL measurement. LTL data, measured by the quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) method, was available for 1964 participants (men n = 912 and women n = 1052) at a mean age of 61.5 (SD = 2.9, Range = 56.7 - 69.8) years. In conjunction with the clinical examination, the participants reported on the following stress-related factors: the Beck Depression Inventory (n = 1954), the Mental Health Index (n = 1950) and the Vitality Scale (n = 1950) from the SF36/RAND to capture depressive symptoms. After clinical examination they completed the NEO Personality Inventory (n = 1671) to capture personality dimensions that either render individuals vulnerable to or buffer them from stress and the Traumatic events checklist (n = 1486) to capture traumatic experiences across the lifespan. Objective stress-related factors were derived from Finnish registries. These included mental disorders (n = 116 vs. 1840), sleep apnea (n = 44 vs. 1875) and snoring (n = 29 vs. 1875) that were identified from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register, psychotropic medication use (n = 665 vs. 1291) that was identified from the Finnish National Social Insurance Institution Register, and early life stress (n = 215 vs. 1271), namely temporary separation from both parent(s) due to child evacuations from Finland during World War II, that was identified from the National Archives register. In addition, a subsample of the participants with LTL measurement underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (n = 287) during which HPA axis stress reactivity was measured. The results showed no associations between personality dimensions, mental disorders, depressive symptoms, objectively measured early life stress, self-reported traumatic experiences across the lifespan, or HPA axis stress reactivity and LTL. However, a combination of objectively measured early life stress and self-reported traumatic experiences, and a history of sleep apnea, were associated with shorter LTL. Two unpredicted findings were also made. Individuals hospitalized for mental disorders who also used psychotropic medication had longer LTL than non-hospitalized controls; also an agreeable personality dimension was associated with LTL in a sex-specific manner such that more agreeable men and less agreeable women had shorter LTL. As a majority of the findings did not support the study hypotheses, and the effect sizes in the few existing associations were relatively small, the results in this PhD thesis suggest that stress related factors are not strongly associated LTL, at least when measured with qPCR in an elderly sample showing little variation in age.
  • Mikander, Pia (Unigrafia, 2016)
    This study focuses on the worldview constructed in Finnish and Swedish history, social studies and geography textbooks in Finland. I have approached the textbooks from a postcolonial perspective. This means a focus on the descriptions of global power relations, more explicitly the descriptions of Westerners and others. Postcolonial scholars have shown that education has long been Eurocentric, particularly in school subjects such as history and geography. They have also pointed out that the outcomes of colonialism have both epistemological and material aspects. Learning about the world, as consisting of superior Westerners and inferior others, has gone hand in hand with aspiring for its domination. Today, the world no longer consists of colonial powers and colonies; however, researchers have suggested that globalization can be seen as ongoing colonialism. This has implications for education. School textbooks reflect the dominant values of a society. Studying them is a way of clarifying how society constructs what is normal, suitable and ideal. The textbooks researched for this study include the history, social studies and geography textbooks (basic education, years 5-9) printed between 2005 and 2010 by all major Finnish textbook publishers. They were based on the 2004 curriculum, which states that the underlying values of basic education include human rights, equality and democracy. Meanwhile, research shows that prejudiced and racist attitudes are prevalent and increasing among young people in schools in Finland. This suggests that there is a particular need to study the descriptions of Westerners and non-Westerners in the textbooks. The purpose of this research is to explore discourses in history, social studies and geography textbooks, particularly concerning the construction of the concept of the West and its relation to the rest of the world. Research question: How do the textbooks construct an understanding of the West and Western people as superior to others? Some relevant analytical concepts from Laclau and Mouffe s discourse theory analysis have been used in the research. Based on these concepts, the textbook texts were organized in order to find central themes and to explore discourses. Laclau s and Mouffe s ontological assumptions, including the idea that what is considered objective can be seen as ideological, have also been important for the analysis. The articles included in the thesis show how the hegemony of a superior West is depicted in different ways. This includes descriptions of historical events as well as current global relations. While most of the old stereotypes about non-Westerners have begun to vanish from the textbooks, there are other statements that work to strengthen the image of the West as superior to others. Western violence is hidden or justified in past as well as current conflicts. Values such as democracy and human rights are considered essentially Western. The articles also show how hegemony can work to make ideological claims into common sense. This includes subtle descriptions of ideological choices presented as neutral, even though they involve assumptions that clash with the principles of human rights and democracy. Examples of phenomena that are portrayed as neutral include the control of non-Westerners migration, non-Western populations and a non-challenging attitude towards the structures of global inequality.
  • Berg, Venla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Recently, personality variation has been found to be associated with number of offspring, pace of reproduction, and other components of fitness in humans and other animals. The link between personality and fitness has inspired a surge of theoretical accounts on the evolution of personality. However, the associations between personality and fitness are yet to be sufficiently empirically elaborated for the theoretical advances to be solidly based. This thesis explores the pathways between personality and fertility in three contemporary Western human populations. Specifically, this thesis i) provides further evidence on the phenotypic associations between personality and lifetime reproductive success; ii) examines the differences between a phenotypic and genetic approach to natural selection on personality; iii) investigates whether personality is involved in a trade-off between the number and quality of offspring; and iv) explores possible novel selection pressures on personality. The results are discussed in relation to the theoretical accounts on the evolution of personality. The results suggest that the phenotypic associations between personality and lifetime reproductive success vary by populations. Further, it seems that the phenotypic and genetic approaches to natural selection on personality differ and that modern environments can impose novel selection pressures on personality. Lastly, it seems that personality is similarly associated with number of children and grandchildren, implying no quality quantity trade-offs in modern environments. Crucially, the results show that personality is not associated with fitness in any one way, or because of any one evolutionary mechanism. Further, the results suggest that the behavioural personality differences might not be evolutionarily relevant, but that personality correlates genetically with something else that affects fitness. Thus, future studies should concentrate on the individual personality traits and their genetic correlates, as trying to find a unified evolutionary answer for personality may prove an elusive task.
  • Heilala, Cecilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    During WWII a total of 48,628 Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden and placed into temporary foster care. Previous studies have mainly focused on the long-term consequences on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. The results are ambiguous and there is not enough convincing evidence to conclude that the evacuation led to mental morbidity or increased the risk of mortality. However, it could be assumed that the early separation trauma had some consequences affecting the quality of life of the evacuees, and that it would be valuable to define this pattern of unspecific symptoms. The objective of this thesis was to analyze the effects of the evacuation on later-life outcomes such as educational attainment, social status, psychosocial wellbeing, mental health problems and substance abuse. The sample consisted of 887 evacuees and 1,748 non-evacuees and was collected from four different sources: the Finnish National Archives, the Population Register Central Finland, the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and by a survey. The results show that becoming a war child was not random: the evacuees came from families with a lower socioeconomic status, which must be taken into account when estimating the effects of the evacuation. The atmosphere in most of the foster homes was good, and they were generally affluent. The return to Finland was difficult for many evacuees due to the loss of their mother tongue, Finnish. However, the quality of the atmosphere of the home of origin was a factor that cannot be ruled out when evaluating the consequences of the evacuation. The thesis further shows that evacuees had a higher rate of substance abuse and a lower sense of coherence (SOC), but did not have more problems related to psychosocial wellbeing or mental health than non-evacuees. However, problems related to experienced emotions such as loss of confidence, detachment and/or rootlessness, as well as unworthiness and/or rejection, were expressed. The results show that even long-term separation from one's parents during childhood must be understood as representing a developmental context that makes the emergence of problems either less likely or more likely, depending on other risk and protective factors.
  • Bona, Silvia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis investigates the causal role of two extra-striate visual regions, the lateral occipital (LO) cortex and the occipital face area (OFA), in certain visual processes. Firstly, I examined whether these areas are causally implicated in the perception of bilateral visual symmetry. Despite the ubiquitous presence of this feature in the external world, the neural basis underlying its detection is not fully known. In Studies I and II,this issue was explored by disrupting the activity of LO and OFA with fMRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while participants discriminated between symmetric and nonsymmetric dot configurations and between perfectly symmetric and normal (i.e. somewhat non symmetric) faces. The results showed that rightOFA plays a causal role in detection of symmetry in both configurations of dots and faces whereas LO exclusively in the former, with the rightLO showing greater involvement relative to the homologous region in the left hemisphere. As symmetry is extracted in a holistic manner (i.e. through a parallel global analysis of the stimulusrather than via a serial point-by-point comparisonof the local elements), Study III examined whether rightOFA is involved, more generally, in visual detection based on holistic encoding and, if so, whether its role is restricted to faces or extends also to non-face stimuli. To examine this issue, rightOFA and rightLO were stimulated with fMRI-guided TMS meanwhile participants were asked to detect Mooney faces and non-face images, a class of stimuli which are known to be perceived through holistic processes. The results showed that rightOFA is causally involved in detection of both Mooney faces and objects. Taken together, this thesis sheds new light on the functions of LO and OFA in visual perception. Firstly, it demonstrates that both of these regions are causally involved in holistic processes, including detection of symmetry. Secondly, it is shownthat OFA s role in holistic processing extends to both face and non-face stimuli, suggesting that this region is not strictly face-selective.
  • Ikävalko, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation focuses on the practices of gender equality work by analysing gender equality planning (GEP) processes in upper secondary educational institutions, both general and vocational. Its aim is to analyse the practices included in gender equality work, which may, regardless of the expressed goals, have un-equalizing consequences. Different techniques of promoting equality are not neutral because they define possible ways to understand gender and equality. The study asks what consequences instumentalized gender equality work has for educational institutions and workplaces; how the power relations function in an equality working group of a educational institution; what opportunities for agency arise for teachers and students in gender equality work; and what opportunities are offered by the drifting, nomadic approach to feminist research on gender equality work. The dissertation includes five articles and a summary chapter. The study is framed within the critical studies of gender equality politics, studies of governmentality, feminist studies of educational practices and poststructuralist methodological discussion. The methodological approach of the study is nomadic and discursive reading. The research data consist of interviews in educational institutions that had drawn up their gender equality plans, recorded meetings of equality working groups of a vocational institution and an general upper secondary school, ethnographical notes from the group meetings and interviews with the members of the groups. In addition, it contains two national surveys (2009 and 2011) about GEP in upper secondary educational institutions. In the case of the GEP in workplaces, the correctives of the gender equality act and the project form of GEP turns equality work into managerialist practices, which produce a quantified, statistically controllable and instumentalized understanding of equality. This is why gender equality does not easily become a political question within the practices of GEP. The study shows that the subject of GEP is expected to remain positive and have faith in its good-spirited co-operation, but on the other hand accept the fact that too many reformations cannot be demanded too quickly. In the case of the operational GEP, the guidelines emphasize the importance of the student s involvement in the process of GEP and the need for equality-skilled workers in the labour market. At the same time the discourse of GEP has not invited students to participate. The participation of students is done according to a ready-made model, which is not organized nor planned by the students themselves. The student is not the one who starts to create and shape the ways in which to put equality work into action in educational institution. She is involved and made a part of the equality planning model . Working against the individualism of managerialist discourses, the equality working groups can offer sites for feminist resistance in the form of a sense of community. If the need to produce the paper (the gender equality plan) is put aside, new knowledge can be generated and shared through discussion. The group s co-operation is a form of resistance to managerialist practices in gender equality work that attach the activity to the individual. The paradox of feminist resistance in the context of GEP is that while the separateness of the working group may give a sense of autonomy to its members, it keeps the feminist demands unconnected from the everyday practices of educational institutions. In the equality working group, the possibilities to refuse to undertake the tasks at hand and become a target of persuasion form the positionings for the working group members. The different possibilities to produce speech or silence in the group are analysed as an effect of power relations in the group. The becomings of the researcher and the chair of the working group occur as mutual dependence and as ever-arising possibilities between these becomings. The study suggests that the concept of a rhizome could open up new ways to consider the multidirectional change in the context of equality work. From the nomadic drifting approach research is not intended to speak on behalf of others or to resettle in others position, but to acknowledge and recognize the current positionings and create alliances together.
  • Layne, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study consists of four individual case studies on interculturality in Finnish education (Dervin, 2011; Dervin, Gajardo and Lavanchy, 2011). Central to this study are the different forms, experiences, discourses and conceptualizations of interculturality in education and, how they asymmetrically participate in constructing and re-constructing intercultural education as a contact zone (Pratt,1991, 1992). Pratt's (1991) contact zone theory applied to education sees the intercultural classroom as a social space where people meet, clash, and struggle with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power(Pratt, 1991, p. 6). In this study the theory of contact zones (Pratt, 1991, 1992) is used as a social and political space (problematizing the presence of otherness considered as a disruptive force in Finnish education), and as an ideological framework to study interculturality at different levels of education in Finland, namely higher education, teacher education and basic education. By ideological I refer to a postcolonial approach that guides my study on investigating the experiences and discourses taking place and (re)producing intercultural education in this context. The aim of this study is to apply a postcolonial theoretical approach to intercultural education in Finland. I use postcolonial theories as an umbrella field, and problematize how the colonial history of Finland relates to and introduces the idea of intercultural education. The notion of intersectionality also helps me to understand how different dimensions (social class, race, language hierarchies, equality vs. justice, gender etc.) interact in the contact zones of interculturality and education. The four separate but interrelated studies included in this dissertation are: discussing hostipitality in higher education; contact zones in teacher education; the presentation of binary opposites in learning material and, in the last article, the theory of contact zone is studied in practice though a good case of successful contact zone in basic education. This study is qualitative in nature, concentrating on an understanding and problematizing of different aspects and layers of interculturality in education such as internationalization and intercultural education and contact zones. Different methods for data collection and analysis were applied. My PhD study also makes explicit the researcher s personal position in the field of study as well as professional development as a researcher in the choice of methods. The results discuss 1. the different dimensions of contact zones in relation to intercultural education; 2. the new idea of Finnishness, where race is central; 3. the methods to unpack whiteness as a social construct (i.e. de-colonizing methods for intercultural education in the Finnish context). These dimensions can be used as means to analyze intercultural education.
  • Juntunen, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis introduces and explores a new aural based approach for play-together education of first- and second-grade string instrument students in music school. The research problems are to create a music technology based teaching method and to study violin and play-together learning in the context of music technological applications. The theoretical background is based on new learning environments, blended learning and flipped classroom in music education. In this recent method, Playback Orchestra, the students practice their part with the support of an audio of the full score, in most cases the playback of a notation program. Hearing the audio supports learning the harmony, rhythm, and dynamic changes. The learning situation is a kind of a virtual play-together rehearsal: it is essential that playing continues without stopping at mistakes, which are corrected afterwards. The method is a learning by doing approach and the flow-like practicing strategy develops flexibility, which is essential in play-together situations. The Playback Orchestra method was tested with first (N=10) and second (N=4) grade string instrument students of a music school with a quasi-experimental study design. The test group (playback group) practiced a score with the support of an audio and the control group (no playback group) without it. The aim was to find out if there were differences between study groups in learning. The first research question was: which playing skills possibly benefit from the audio background, the performance as a whole, understanding the atmosphere, style and general structure of the music, right and left hand technique, reading the score, or play-together skills. The second research question was concerned with learning improvisation: does the audio background support starting the improvisation decisively, continuing it intensively and logically, finding and maintaining the flow and atmosphere, finding own ideas and showing independence and joy of playing, using relaxed movements and creating a general structure in the improvisation. Two professional violin teachers evaluated the play performances from video before and after a practice period and the quantitative analysis was made with SPSS 22 using general linear model and linear mixed model, which can be applied for small study groups. The results showed that when the piece of music to be learned was a main melody of a chamber music composition, the playback group had learned faster than the other group essential features connected with understanding the musical content: the style and atmosphere and the general structure of the music. The playback group had learned musical communication and leading a group by playing better than the no playback group. This finding was significant in large numbers. Concerning the instrument specific technique, audio background seemed not to have clear beneficial effects. However, the students learned to use singing bow style when practicing with the support of a CD track from film music better than without it, the difference was significant in large numbers. When the score to be learned was in baroque style, expressing terrace dynamics , an essential feature of the genre, benefited from the audio background in significant numbers. The improvisation study was a by-product when testing the learning of a musical tale with many sections in different keys, playing styles and atmospheres. The improvisation task was to describe storm by playing. The results showed that musical story telling in improvisation passage benefited from practicing the musical tale with the playback support. Because the study groups were small, the results cannot be widely generalised. However, the aural based approach seems to create a good basis for learning deep understanding of musical content. Further, because learning is fast, using the Playback Orchestra method makes possible for instrument teachers to create well-working play-together culture with large repertoires. The pedagogy of music institutions at its best includes both traditional and new learning environments, such as blended learning. New technological applications can benefit playing and play-together skills and lead to richer musical expression and joy of playing. More research and open-mindedness is needed in order to the new ways of thinking, using and developing new tools could be included in the curricula of music institutions. In this way using the traditional methods together with new approaches the appreciated Finnish music education system can develop and offer even better quality of education. ________________________________________ Keywords: string instrument education, orchestra teaching in music schools, technology-based music education, new music learning envi-ronments, blended learning