Faculty of Educational Sciences

 

Recent Submissions

  • Sandström, Niclas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    How is user experience taken account of in the design of university campus facilities? And what will university learning environments, operational environments and other tools that support learning look like in the future, when organisations must also integrate the dimension of sustainable development into their development work? This doctoral dissertation approached the experiences of university students of their campus learning environments, as well as the multidisciplinary development of learning environments and future readiness in four studies. A broad, overarching research question was, how students’ experiences relate to learning environments and the affordances in them, and how user experience could be utilised when re-configuring and designing university learning environments in a participatory fashion. The dissertation comes at a time when growing attention is being paid to the functionality, healthiness and usability of physical learning environments, alongside digital development. Space and the built environment broadly have a significant connection to how people in different operational contexts, as individuals and as communities, can learn and develop further their own practices. Space is in a dynamic relationship with the people, tools and practices that operate and are operated in it. Digital solutions and ubiquitous work and studying create new opportunities where this dynamic relationship becomes relevant in many new ways. In the dissertation, this dynamic relationship was studied from the perspective of the learning environment. Study I set out to examine the learning environment-related experiences of 11 chemistry students during a laboratory course in organic chemistry. The research material was collected through focus group interviews. Key findings from student descriptions were the importance of basic needs such as experienced safety and balancing between individual learning and learning together. Experienced safety was related to the characteristics of both the physical and the social learning environment. Asking for help from a teacher tutor and finding clues to support individual learning in the physical spaces were considered essential. Learning was described as being somewhat two-fold: either the students studied in order to learn, or went to a lecture because one is supposed to attend the lectures. In addition, the students also talked about the need for different spaces within spaces and flexibility of the spaces. Study II followed an intensive, 7-week blended learning course and experiences of learning environments in a group of ten class teacher students. Based on the results, it seems that in supporting learning, for instance experienced safety was as important a basic need for the students studied as in the context of chemistry. In addition, the interviews highlighted a sense of belonging and attachment to the scientific community, which were also supported by elements of the physical learning environment, such as transparency that glass walls provide. Students made use of the facilities on campus even when they could have stayed home learning. They found that being able to choose and adjust the facilities based on the requirements of the task was important. The attractiveness of the campus as well as the stability of the digital affordances were found important in supporting learning. As a summary, a preliminary proposal was put forth for dimensions to be integrated in the guidelines for learning environment design to improve, inter alia, usability. Study III analysed a change process on campus for behavioural sciences, and studied experiences of the stakeholder groups involved in the process as well as how user preferences had been taken into consideration in the outcome. In the data collected by snowball sampling (11 informants) and in the analysis, triangulation was performed between different stakeholder groups. The informants felt that the properties and facilities were being developed in a participatory manner, but due to interruptions in communication and sudden changes in the process, there were hardly any spatial solutions supporting co-creation and unplanned social encounters that the stakeholders had called for. Students stressed the importance of where and how effortlessly the academic staff and students can meet. It was reported as essential that the learning environment should enable different phases of the learning process, from noisy co-creation to focussed individual learning. As a result, the importance of a spatial continuum seems to take shape: the students want to learn together both quietly and loudly, the spaces promoting both extremes in the same campus environment. Experiences of safety and belonging were also emphasized in the student interview. One of the crystallizing conceptualizations of the Study is campus reliability, which can be improved especially through a stable connectivity and digital functionality. In Study IV, it was researched how the results and experiences of learning environments from Studies I-III can become part of a process creating future-ready and sustainable learning landscapes. The case study applied service design approaches, structured workshops, and user interviews. The aim of Study IV was to develop and test alternative Key Performance Indicators that take account of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nine alternative performance measures were developed in the study, and the tool was tested in the process and outcome of the learning environment change that was the object of the case study. The tool managed to help structuring from the data and the outcome the dimensions in which the process was successful (e.g. communication and stakeholder involvement) and that need to be further developed in a similar process (e.g. service delivery, systematic integration of sustainable development goals). In light of the results, it seems that the built environment and the digital solutions in it can be used as a learning platform for sustainable development and to build awareness of the effectiveness and participatory potential of the solutions. The study created a model of process expertise that can also be used in operationalising the global sustainable development goals while changing the learning environment in a way that supports user agency and basic needs. It was demonstrated in this dissertation that by promoting the basic needs and by participatory and multidisciplinary collaboration, usability and students ’experiences of attachment to their academic community can be supported. By creating meeting places and future-ready spaces for joint knowledge co-creation and creative practices between students and academic staff, the campus learning landscape can be shaped to be attractive and reliable to better meet emerging needs. According to the dissertation, keeping learning at the centre of change initiatives can also be promoted by developing and maintaining multidisciplinary process practices. User information can be used to create processes that more systematically support the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the transformation of learning environments.
  • Salmivirta, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation explores the features of learning in the progressive inquiry learn-ing environment supported by mobile technology devices while studying science. Developed e-learning environment is also examined. The study analyses knowledge from constructivist and social constructivist perspectives in the context of the learning environment that was under development. The study was conducted as a design-based research (DBR) in collaboration with a sixth grade school class and the classroom teacher. Three iterative devel-opment cycles were carried out during the academic year 2012-2013 in real-world classroom settings. The research data consisted of interviews with student groups and the teacher and of a database stored in the e-learning environment including the structure of the e-learning environment, knowledge building online discus-sions and research reports from the student groups. The student interviews were conducted using the stimulated recall method (STR) in semi-structured group in-terviews after each development cycle. The e-learning environment used in the learning projects was used as a stimulus for the interviewees. The interview data was analysed by means of qualitative content analysis, both in theory-guiding and as emergent meanings. The online data was examined by content analysis meth-ods. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis were used. The results of the study show that the students' work in the specific learning environment shows characteristics of learning such as activity, intentionality, con-structivism and reflection. At the same time, a set of generic skills called explor-atory learning skills emerge. The learners’ presentation of research questions and refinement questions, important to science education, can be improved by devel-oping the context and utilising online discussion, according to the results. The results also show that the more learners' work involved exploratory learning skills, the more research questions they could solve in different ways. The use of mobile technology has a positive connection with the learning fea-tures that have emerged in the research. The more the students perceived the ben-efits of mobile technology when studying, the more they expressed in the inter-view the features of meaningful learning. The speed and easiness of use of the mobile device support collaboration and conversation in a flexible learning envi-ronment. The results show that a rich learning environment can be built into the e-learning environment and that the online and face-to-face guidance of students when studying is important. The results also demonstrate that learners need sup-port and stimulation to use technology to support their studies. However, the ex-periences of students and teachers reveal that development efforts can signifi-cantly reduce the challenges of working in a mobile environment.
  • Nummijoki, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Physical mobility is a central factor in elderly people’s agency in the twilight of life. The loss of elderly people’s physical mobility presents a major challenge for modern society. To address this challenge, a group of practitioners and experts in the field of elderly care in Helsinki designed and implemented a tool, the Mobility Agreement, to cultivate agency and promote elderly people’s physical capability and mobility. The framework for the Mobility Agreement was developed from 2006 to 2009 as part of a co-operative research and development project on promising practices in home care, funded by the City of Helsinki and led by researchers from CRADLE at University of Helsinki. The Mobility Agreement provides structured support for the elderly in everyday life during home care visits. It is a plan jointly prepared by the home care client and his or her home care worker to promote day-to-day exercise. The home care worker provides assistance by selecting and monitoring the exercises. When necessary, a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist may be involved. With the introduction of the Mobility Agreement, the focus of the home care staff shifts: less time is spent managing home care duties on behalf of the elderly person, and more time is spent guiding and encouraging the client to exercise regularly. My study focuses on the encounters of home care clients and workers and the working methods associated with the Mobility Agreement, used to support the clients’ functional capacity and physical mobility. The practical underlying philosophy (Jones, 2007) is to move from doing to people, to doing on behalf of people and eventually to doing with people, in such a way that that the elderly client has more opportunity to be in charge and do things him- or herself, but with assistance rather than care. Qualitative data were collected from two developmental research projects in Helsinki over a six-year period (2006–2012) through observations, video-recordings during the home care encounters, and interviews of home care workers and their elderly clients. I used ethnographic observation, analyzed the dialogues, and tracked indications of the emergence of transformative agency among the participants. This analysis allowed me to conceptualize the adoption of the Mobility Agreement practice as a transformation in which home care workers could recognize and support their elderly clients’ transformative agency, as well as that of their own. This study also addresses the restrictive factors that may prevent the formation of agency. This dissertation is an empirical, ethnographic and longitudinal formative interventionist study, based on the cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT). Its aim is to generate and support a cycle of expansive learning (Engeström, 2015). The dissertation consists of four empirical articles and a summary that brings them together to present a picture for learning opportunities to break new ground in home care encounters. The study addresses three research questions: 1. What prevents the formation of shared agency in home care? The results of this study show that defensive learning cycles arise from home care workers’ fear of additional work and new competence demands, and from home care clients’ quest for safety, often crystallized in fear of falling. The formation of shared agency is hampered if the contradiction between the efficiency of the home care worker (doing his or her job) and the potential effectiveness of the home care service (maintaining the functional capacity and reducing social exclusion among elderly people) is not expansively worked out. The introduction of the Mobility Agreement thus becomes a source of frustration rather than a developmental process mediated by a useful tool promoting physical mobility exercises in home care visits. 2. What kinds of learning take place when an agency-fostering new practice is introduced in home care encounters? Expansive learning takes place when such a new practice triggers the development of an expanded shared object, which allows the home care client and the home care worker to construct shared goals, plans and practices concerning the clients’ functional capacity and physical mobility. This in turn requires new kinds of dialogue and cooperation, as well as reflective interaction between the two separate yet intertwined processes of the home care client’s learning and the home care worker’s learning. In other words, the client and the worker need to understand and commit to an idea of embodied and discursive co-configuration, which includes continuous negotiation between these two parties, and eventually also with other actors who contribute to the client’s overall home care service and wellbeing. 3. What main insights are needed to accomplish a sustainable, agentive transformation process in home care and change the home care script? These insights require co-configuration work that maintains and supports the elderly person’s functional capacity, postpones frailty, and reduces the risk of social exclusion. The planned and professionally initiated use of the Mobility Agreement succeeds when it connects and merges with client-initiated and incidental uses of artifacts as second stimuli. The expansive use of artifacts is of crucial importance for the quality and continuity of future-making in critical encounters. The answers given above summarize the findings of my four research articles (Articles I–IV). These articles also illustrate four perspectives of agency and their implications for home care. Article I introduces a perspective on agency as co-configuration in home care, with new forms of agency generated with the help of the Mobility Agreement. In article II, the key notion is “germ cell.” In supporting physical mobility among the elderly, getting up from a chair emerges as the germ cell, shaped and articulated primarily by means of bodily movements. The new collective concept of sustainable mobility emerges by expansion from the germ cell of the simple movement of getting up from a chair. This new concept has the potential to transcend and overcome the contradiction between safety and autonomy, and to generate a new kind of shared transformative agency. The meaning of the artifacts (Article III) emerges during critical encounters in which two or more relevant actors come together to deal with a problem that represents both a potentially shared object and a conflict of motives. Artifacts can be used both restrictively, to avoid engaging in the implementation of the Mobility Agreement; and expansively, to initiate and support actions that implement the Mobility Agreement. Article IV identifies the importance of learning cycles as a perspective on shared transformative agency. Learning emerges as interplay, movement between the expansive and defensive learning actions of the home care client and the worker. Home care encounters have an in-built asymmetry between the potentially powerful practitioner and potentially powerless elderly client. When the learning challenge requires reorientation of both parties, the power relations seem to become much more open-ended and mutable. When the home care worker and the client engage in either a predominantly defensive or a predominantly expansive learning cycle, in many cases it is not at all simple to determine who is teaching or leading, or who is guiding whom. Shared transformative agency is a key quality of expansive learning. It requires volitional actions from both participants. Mutual volition is at the core of shared transformative agency, defined as breaking away from a given frame of action and taking the initiative to transform it. Co-configuration requires flexible knotworking in which no single actor has the sole, fixed authority. New forms of work organization in the social and health sector require further research on negotiated knotworking across boundaries in the care of elderly people living at home. Keywords: Home Care, Mobility Agreement, Shared Transformative Agency, Double Stimulation, Expansive learning, Germ Cell
  • Kalenius, Aleksi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    One of the fundamental questions of all societies is the possible trade-off between quality of outcomes and equality of opportunity. The question of a possible trade-off between equality of opportunity and level of outcomes has a long history in the sociology of education, and it has been seen as a fundamental question of the field. Economics literature recognises that equality of opportunity is not, unlike equality of outcomes, in a trade-off with quality of outcomes. Rather, inequalities of opportunity generate inefficiency and are thus in a trade-off with the level of outcomes. Here, building on this difference, we make a distinction between outcome trade-off and opportunity trade-off. Equality of opportunity is standardly measured indirectly, taking outcomes associated with circumstances to be due to circumstances and thus an indication of inequality of opportunity. This approach assumes that the circumstances of the individual are independent of the responsibility characteristics. The assumption flows from taking responsibility to be inseparable from individual freedom, whereby an individual should not be held responsible for the direct or indirect consequences of unchosen circumstances. When responsibility is directly linked to individual choice, we may also take any between-types differences in outcomes between groups facing different environments as evidence of the differential effects of those environments. Equality of opportunity is a causal concept, decomposing the outcomes as due to just and unjust causes. Due to the complexity of social phenomena such as intergenerational mobility, well-defined causality is out of reach, yet the concept of opportunity requires counterfactuals and causality. We propose that, rather than abandoning the causal core of the concept of equality of opportunity, or high standards in identifying well-defined causality, complex circumstances should be understood as ill-defined treatments. The area of education reveals interesting tensions because cognitive outcomes cannot be redistributed. It is usually taken to follow that differences in cognitive outcomes that are due to innate ability are not unjust, even though this means making individuals effectively responsible for something beyond their choice or control – their innate ability. This is what makes the opportunity trade-off possible. It arises because individuals in different circumstances may differ by innate ability. To bridge the gap between responsibility linked to freedom and learning outcomes linked to innate ability, we propose a typology of responsibility characteristics to allow for a more explicit recognition of the reasons for holding individuals responsible for causes beyond their control. The core concept introduced is natural responsibility characteristic, referring to a cause that individuals are held responsible for, but beyond the influence of persons individually or collectively. This makes natural responsibility characteristics historically contingent rules of regulation that depend on the level of technology, broadly construed. The two hypotheses on the causes of the association between background circumstances and cognitive outcomes emphasise ability and opportunity. The opportunity hypothesis takes outcome differences associated with circumstances as being due to the opportunities that different groups face, while the ability hypothesis takes differences to arise from between-group differences in innate ability. Both innate ability and opportunity can be observed only indirectly, but the opportunity hypothesis predicts that the between-type difference is minimised with high outcomes, while the ability hypothesis leads us to expect that equality of opportunity and the level of outcomes form a trade-off. The two perspectives can be combined in an ability-opportunity curve, the peak of which depends on the contribution of innate ability differences to between-group differences in outcomes. The causal chain between genetics and cognitive outcomes is insufficiently understood to provide clarity to the role of genes in explaining between-group differences in cognitive outcomes. While all researched human traits are heritable and we find an association between genetics and outcomes, unobservable associations between environment and genetics currently prevent well-defined identification of the causal contribution of genetics to between-group differences. The empirical sections of the work approach the question of equality of learning opportunity and the level of learning outcomes using IALS and PIAAC, two studies of adult skills. The ability-opportunity curve is approached, observing the association between equality of opportunity and the level of learning outcomes for different parental education types. The results indicate a positive association between equality of learning opportunity and the level of adult skills for all parental education types, matching the prediction of the opportunity hypothesis. While high proficiency can be achieved with high levels of equality of opportunity, the two usually go together. The positive association between equality of opportunity and the level of learning outcomes is stronger for lower parental education types and on longer time frames. The longer-term equality of opportunity is a strong predictor of the level of learning outcomes even in the short term. Equality of outcomes, here captured by income inequality, explains much of the same variation as equality of opportunity, supporting the opportunity-equalising effects of income equality attested to by the Great Gatsby curve. Longer-term equality indicators also predict learning outcomes of the high parental education type over time to the same degree as contemporary equality indicators, implying that equality indicators may provide advance warning of the direction of the evolution of learning outcomes. The results imply that developed countries still find themselves on the upward-sloping section of the ability-opportunity curve. In the analysis of possible traces of education reforms in between-cohort differences in equality of opportunity, IALS and PIAAC paint a largely concordant picture of the evolution of proficiency across cohorts. The pattern applies to the youngest groups of IALS, implying that cohort discontinuities in adulthood may be associated with differences in educational experiences in youth and with policy reforms. Comparing the timing of the observed discontinuities with the timing of education policy reforms, we identify 29 discontinuities that can be associated with notable changes in education policy. Reforms towards longer education and more comprehensive schooling seem mainly to be associated with improved equality of learning opportunity, while in some countries similar reforms in the 1990s seem to be associated with declining equality of opportunity. A brief, slightly more in-depth, look at Finland reveals a large increase in inequality in the 1990s, which broadly matches other data sources. The observation is of interest for several reasons. It would, if the results of our analyses are anything to go by, predict a later decline in learning outcomes, something that Finland has famously observed over the last 13-25 years. In addition, many of the internationally-known characteristics of the Finnish education system have been linked to the reforms of the 1990s and those reforms have been used to explain the rise of Finland to international fame and to the position of a global benchmark. The timing of the increase in inequality matches these reforms. The results suggest that the causes of Finnish success might have been misidentified and that we may have, both nationally and internationally, learnt the wrong lessons from Finland. Keywords: equality of opportunity, learning outcomes, large-scale survey, adult skills, education policy
  • Viilo, Marjut (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The present aims of educational policy making and curricular guidelines are calling for collaborative inquiry and knowledge creation skills, which are considered to be a fundamental future competency. In order to participate in the future society and to be able to bring creative opportunities to living, students will need to have experience of creative knowledge work practices from an early stage of their education. However, there is still a need to clarify how the students’ processes of creation and improvement should be organized, and little by little, how to support students’ growth on the way to gradually taking responsibility for their learning. The teacher operates in a decisive position when guiding this process, but there has been little research about the teacher’s actual process when supporting collective object-oriented inquiry. The main purpose of the present study was to concentrate on the pedagogical guidance process in knowledge creation setting from the teacher’s perspective, and clarify how the teacher organizes and orchestrates the longitudinal collaborative inquiry and design learning activities in elementary level. Methodologically, this study is an example of design-based research. In the intervention, a longitudinal investigative one-and-half-year-long learning project, “The Artefact Project”, was organized at a Finnish elementary school in Helsinki. The project was designed with the class teacher and researchers, but the teacher implemented and adapted the plans in practice. During the project, the students (N=32) were guided to analyze artefacts within the cultural context, to study physical phenomena related to them, and to design future artefacts. The intervention was supported with the help of progressive inquiry and learning by collaborative design approaches. Knowledge Forum, a collaborative learning environment, facilitated the activities. The data used in the study consisted of the teacher’s project diaries that had two parts, video recordings, and the Knowledge Forum database. The teacher’s activity diary part created the overall picture from the project. The overall picture was complemented with the results from the database. The teacher’s reflective diaries offered a view of the teacher’s process, interpretations and designing in the background of the project. The teacher’s realized practice was detected with the help of video recordings. The data were analyzed through iterative cycles of qualitative content analyses. Each of the data sources offered a complementary perspective to the teacher’s longitudinal orchestration process, strengthening the reliability of the interpretations. The findings highlighted how the teacher’s orchestration was longitudinally oriented. Her disciplined improvisation was not only momentary spontaneity. It was characterized in the trajectory that she maintained and balanced pursuing the longitudinal, object-oriented inquiry in the background of the activities and sustaining the activities in presence. The teacher’s understanding of the inquiry practices, in conjunction with constant assessment of project achievements, created the basis for focusing and structuring the process and the opportunity for the improvisational enactment collectively. Using the Knowledge Forum enabled longitudinally emergent knowledge advancement through which the members were building the process onwards, based on each other’s contributions. The database showed how the learning activities were organized around the creation of collective artefacts. The results suggest that in order to orchestrate and focus the knowledge creating process, the teacher needs to act as a link between the several levels, tasks, and processes by orchestrating the interplay between different activities and social processes. In addition, it is critical to engage students in work with object-oriented artefacts and to improve their ideas. However, along with the epistemic process with its practices, it is also essential to develop and keep the other processes going along: the reflective, social, and pragmatic practices that maintain the ongoing development of the process. Maintenance of these processes helps the teacher to interlink the efforts across extended time frames, the different lines of inquiry, and results of the ongoing discussions.
  • Sjöblom, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    A growing proportion of today’s work is knowledge intensive and multi-locational, and more autonomous and less clearly defined than before. Digital technology and increasingly complex and abstract surroundings challenge accustomed work practices and the well-being and productivity of employees. Both individuals and organizations need new strategies and tools for managing psychological resources in ways required by current working life. This doctoral dissertation focuses on the role of modern knowledge work environments in users’ productivity and well-being and aims to produce new knowledge regarding how these environments and tools can best be utilized to support them. The dissertation approaches these questions from the multidisciplinary viewpoint of motivational psychology, educational psychology, work and organizational psychology, and occupational health research. The theoretical framework of the dissertation is self-determination theory, in particular the mini theory of basic psychological needs. The general research question of the dissertation was: How can learning, productivity and well-being be supported in modern work and study environments? Study I explored the role of the physical environment with regard to learning from the perspective of basic psychological needs. Study II presented a training program that focused on supporting well-being and productivity at work by developing the participants’ awareness skills and behavioral strategies related to knowledge work, physical spaces and digital tools. Study III aimed to develop and pilot a scale for assessing multi-locational knowledge workers’ self-regulatory skills related to productivity and well-being. The dissertation studies utilized qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods. In Study I, we conducted semi-structured focus-group interviews, following an interpretivist approach (n = 21), and data-driven content analysis. Study II utilized a set of univariate analyses of variance (n=189) and phenomenon-driven content analysis of qualitative reports (n=15). In Study III, we used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), an independent samples t-test, MANOVA and latent variable correlation analyses (n=202). The data consisted of Finnish early-stage university chemistry students (Study I) and of employees of public organizations, SMEs and start-up companies from the Finnish metropolitan area (Study II, III). Study I concluded that like the social and cultural environment, the physical environment can also support or hinder the satisfaction of basic psychological needs. The results demonstrated that the design and functionality of the physical environment plays a significant role in users’ intellectual and emotional functioning, and that learning and well-being can be facilitated by developing physical environments that support basic psychological needs. The results of Study II showed that the organizational culture was manifested in the way the physical spaces were designed and used, and in the kind of support needs the users had. The study concluded that individuals and organizations can benefit from training in the use of modern spaces and tools in ways that support productivity and well-being. Study III showed promising results regarding the use of the scale presented in the study for measuring the self-regulatory skills related to productivity and well-being in multi-locational knowledge work. This dissertation contributes to areas in current research that lacked emphasis: by studying the role of the physical environment in supporting basic psychological needs and motivation; by developing programs for organizations and individuals in order for them to utilize modern environments and tools to support productivity and well-being; and by developing measurement tools to assess the new competencies required by current working life and knowledge work in particular. The dissertation operationalizes questions of how to assess and support proactive employee functioning in increasingly complex physical, digital and social surroundings. The knowledge produced in this dissertation can also be utilized in the design of new work environments or learning environments or in the renovation of old ones to better support and meet the needs of users.
  • Vainio, Katri-Liis (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The aim and main research question of this education design-based research was to develop a new method entitled “VoicePilates” to help the voice quality of teachers at work. It consists of four articles with sub-questions: (1) What is Estonian teachers’ basic knowledge of voice hygiene?; (2) What is needed from a short voice education programme?; (3) What results did the 19 Estonian courses have?; (4) How did learning in the Estonian course differ without and knowing the MBTI questionnaire results?; (5) How could the long-term vocal and corporeal development of the student and the trainer in the Finnish course be described?; (6) How do the self-evaluations of US participants correlate with the Finnish SLT expert reports? The data of two-level case study of EDR has been analysed using qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches: the exploratory multiple case study, phase I (n=170); the backward design approach, phase II; an exploratory case study, phase III (n=240); a qualitative interpretative inductive case study, phase IV (n=15); interpretative phenomenological analysis, phase V (n=1); a case study, phase VI (n=5). The study introduces a previously unknown field of “holistic voice” training and a new method called VoicePilates, with 6 key elements: (1) Corporeal awareness; (2) Posture alignment; (3) Balanced speech; (4) Context-based simulation; (5) Video training; (6) Reflective feedback. The results of the study show: (I) Estonian teachers’ voices are overloaded, they want to learn how to better use their voices. (II) The course development is shown in 6 stages. (III) 83% of Estonian teachers were satisfied with the course; key themes were used for course development. (IV) In 2013, 3 basic typologies, affecting voice course delivery, were found. (V) The students of Finnish teacher responded positively to using touch and a physical mode of explaining in teaching. Bodily knowledge helps teachers trust body awareness and embodied responses in order to better understand voice production. (VI) IThe higher self-awareness among US teachers of vocal and postural challenges and strengths after the course served as an “empowering” part of the learning; they also improved posture and the volume of the voice after the course, which correlated with SLT´s results. Results highlight the changes among Estonian, Finnish and US teacher participants in regard to attitudes, knowledge and skills about speaking and using the voice through reflective corporeal perceptual-motor learning in the Teacher’s Voice course, showing that the course could be a useful tool for preventing or relieving voice problems among teachers. Study´s clinical significance is that VoicePilates is a relatively new method of practicing voice, researching it further is essential in gaining more insight into its practical application.
  • Sormunen, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The main purpose of this doctoral thesis is to co-design and examine digitally supported inclusive practices in science learning. Inclusive practices aim to provide quality education and quality learning opportunities for all students. Inclusive practices are characterised by process-oriented development that takes into account a student’s personal abilities and needs concerning both knowledge and competencies as well as the classroom context. Since there are very few research-based models for inclusive practices, the longitudinal educational design research (EDR) project aimed to co-design digitally supported inclusive practices at the grassroots level with researchers, teachers and students. The EDR project took place during two years in a medium-sized primary school in the capital region of Finland, where inclusive education was employed as part of teacher collaboration. The participating class (44 students; 10 students with learning difficulties [LD]) had two primary teachers and one special education teacher, the defender of this thesis. The EDR consisted of four macro-cycles, which intended to increase understanding of co-designing and implementing inclusive practices in science learning. The first macro-cycle focused on exploring possibilities for using smartphone technology in a water project. In the second macro-cycle, students used the developed personal solutions and designed collaborative solutions while studying the following science-related themes: forest, human, motions and forces, and space. In the third macro-cycle, students studied Europe and Asia, plants, human and states of matter. The participants developed further both personal solutions and collaborative solutions. Finally, the fourth macro-cycle focused on one science theme, electricity, where solutions were designed for collaborative learning and especially for active participation. The thesis is comprised of four publications that form a holistic picture of the possibilities of digital technology when considering the adaptation, use and benefits for the student both at the personal and group level. Publication I reports the results of the first macro-cycle of the EDR. Publication II discusses the benefits of using a smartphone in science learning from a student’s personal learning perspective, reflecting all four macro-cycles. Publication III describes the EDR project’s final macro-cycle, electricity project, in which students utilised personal strategies that were supported by the teacher through respectful grouping, differentiated learning tasks and a reflective discussion after lessons. Finally, Publication IV evaluates the development and implementation of the inclusive practises throughout the EDR project from the perspective of the LD students. The data was collected through video recordings of ideating sessions, questionnaires, students’ notes from the e-learning environment, the teacher’s memo and interviews; it was analysed via quantitative analysis of frequencies, qualitative content analysis and co-occurrence network analysis. As its theoretical contribution, this thesis weaves together the two frameworks of inclusive practices in science learning. First, the digitally supported inclusive science learning supports a student’s personal learning through the differentiation of content, process and product through the use of multimodality. The teacher employs a student’s personal strategies when preparing a collaborative learning project, especially at the levels of process and product. In light of the objective of inclusion, the teacher’s support during the process should aim at giving intensified support and structured guidance in collaborative activities where students require various competences. Second, such a long-term, reflective, co-designing project supports both the use of digital technology and the development of inclusive practices. LD students benefit from a process-oriented, comprehensive, structured and reflective use of technology in their learning. Differences between students’ digital competencies bring a new element to the classroom alongside academic knowledge, both of which affirm LD students’ social status in the classroom. The thesis emphasises that a long-term co-designing project can both develop teaching practices and engage students to develop their personal learning, and hence, promote inclusive education at the grassroots level. Keywords: digital technology, differentiation, inclusion, learning difficulties, science
  • Tikkanen, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The aim of this doctoral dissertation was to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating collective learning and burdening in school-development work. To reach this goal, the reform stakeholders’ perceptions of collective learning, burdening, and regulators of the reform, as well as reform implementation strategy and proactive strategies were explored. The participants were comprised of three stakeholder groups, who were responsible for school development at different levels of the educational system: 1) the administrative level (officials of the Finnish National Agency for Education), 2) the district level (members of the working groups responsible for the curriculum reform at the district level), and 3) the school level (school principals). In this dissertation, a mixed methods approach was adopted. Officials of the Finnish National Agency for Education (N = 23) were interviewed and they completed a survey. District-level stakeholders (N = 550) and school principals (N = 420) completed the surveys. The results indicated that administrative-level stakeholders identified reform regulators at every level of the educational system. The regulators varied in terms of type (i.e. structures and resources, collective, and individual factors) and function (i.e. hindering and promoting factors). The type and function of the regulators varied according to the level in which the regulators were identified. The results showed that administrative and district level stakeholders perceived that the school reform strategy supported the basic ideas of the top-down–bottom-up implementation approach, i.e. change management and knowledge sharing. The levels of burdening, in terms of reform-related stress and burnout symptoms, were moderate, among district and school level stakeholders. In addition, they actively utilised proactive strategies to regulate the burdening. However, the variation between the individuals in both experienced burdening and the use of proactive strategies was quite high. The results showed that the top-down–bottom-up reform implementation strategy was related to perceived school impact in terms of enhancing the opportunities for collective, cumulative learning in school reform work. At the same time, knowledge sharing was related to lower levels of reform-related stress and increased use of proactive strategies. Accordingly, the utilisation of proactive strategies was related to lower levels of reform-related stress and higher levels of perceived school impact. This doctoral dissertation contributes to the literature on school development by a) shedding light on how learning and wellbeing are related to each other in school reform, b) providing new insights on how reform implementation strategy can simultaneously enhance collective learning and buffer burdening, c) utilising mixed methods and a systemic approach in exploring a large-scale school reform, d) providing deeper understanding on the anatomy of educational practitioners’ burdening by combining variable- and person-centred approaches. Keywords: burdening, burnout, curriculum reform, proactive strategies, reform implementation strategy, school development, work stress
  • Sullanmaa, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation presents an exploration of the anatomy and function of curriculum coherence as perceived by educational stakeholders in national core curriculum reform in basic education. It presents analysis of how educational stakeholders from three levels of the educational system experienced the core curriculum’s coherence, and whether there were differences within and between the levels. In addition, the study included an examination of whether curriculum coherence is connected to the impact of the reform process on school-level development. The dissertation is comprised of three independent part studies. The study was conducted with quantitative methods, combining variable-centered and person-centered analyses. Survey data were collected from three cohorts: state-level stakeholders involved in core curriculum development (N = 116), district-level stakeholders involved in local curriculum development (N = 550) and comprehensive school teachers at two time points in the early stages of implementing the curriculum in schools (N = 901). The results showed that perceived curriculum coherence consisted of: 1) consistency of the intended direction, 2) an integrative approach to teaching and learning, and 3) alignment between objectives, content and assessment (study I). Overall, the state-level stakeholders seemed to have the highest perceptions of the core curriculum’s coherence and teachers the lowest. While all participant cohorts perceived the core curriculum to be rather coherent, the consistency of the curriculum’s intended direction was seen as the least successful element of coherence. The person-centered analyses provided more detailed information about the variation in perceived curriculum coherence within and between the levels of the educational system. Two distinctive profiles were identified among state- and district-level stakeholders in study II. Stakeholders in the high coherence and impact profile (83%) experienced the core curriculum to be coherent in terms of all three elements and expected the reform process to have positive impact on school-level development work. In turn, stakeholders in the lower consistency of the intended direction and impact profile (17%) perceived the consistency of the intended direction to be lower, combined with less positive expectations of the school-level impact. State-level stakeholders had higher odds of belonging to the high coherence and impact profile compared to the district-level stakeholders. In study III, five profiles were identified based on teachers’ perceived curriculum coherence at two time points during the early stage of curriculum implementation. Teachers in the largest profiles, high (21%) and high-moderate coherence (48%), experienced the core curriculum to be coherent, however their perceived coherence slightly decreased during the one-year follow-up. In turn, teachers in the low-moderate (20%) and low coherence (3%) profiles perceived the core curriculum to be less coherent at first but their perceptions slightly increased after the first year of implementation. Finally, the decreasing coherence (9%) profile had rather low initial perceived coherence and showed a large drop during the follow-up. The results also showed that district-level stakeholders’ perceptions of the core curriculum’s coherence were strongly connected to their expectations of the reform’s impact on functional school development (study I). Moreover, teachers’ curriculum coherence profiles differed in terms of their perceptions of the school impact: the more coherent teachers perceived the core curriculum, the more positive they considered the impact of the reform to be on school-level development work (study III). The dissertation contributes to the research on curriculum reform by a) exploring the anatomy of curriculum coherence as perceived by educational stakeholders, b) showing that curriculum coherence is connected to the potential of the reform to support locally functional school development, c) providing a systemic inquiry of perceived curriculum coherence at various levels of the educational system in the context of large-scale curriculum reform, and d) utilizing both variable-centered and person-centered analytical approaches to gain more detailed information on perceived curriculum coherence throughout the system. ________________________________________ Keywords: curriculum coherence, curriculum reform, Finnish comprehensive school, school development
  • Winter, Kaarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study explores small group cognitive interaction, mediation, and teachers’ pedagogical thinking about cognitive education drawing upon the Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) theory. It poses two sets of research questions: 1. How do teachers’ actions reflect mediation? and 2. How does mediation vary between teachers and over time? and 1. In what ways does teachers’ pedagogical thinking reflect aspects of cognitive education and classroom interaction? and 2. In what ways does teachers’ pedagogical thinking reflect mediation? The goal is to describe and understand the nature of interaction and teachers’ pedagogical thinking. Research data was collected with video observations and teacher interviews in the capital area of Helsinki, Finland in 2008-2009. Research participants included five preschool teachers, one classroom teacher and four students from each teacher’s class. In data analysis Observation of Mediational Interaction (OMI) instrument by Klein, Wieder & Greenspan (1987) and Leiwo, Kuusinen, Nykänen & Pöyhönen (1987a, 1987b) linguistic interaction and discourse interaction model were applied. Teachers’ actions reflected mediation in intentionality, reciprocity, meaning, transcendence, feeling of competence and regulation and control of behavior which were accompanied by resource management. Mediation varied between teachers and over time. Provision of meaning (32.98%) characterized the interaction in all but one teacher’s account. Mediation for transcendence appeared the least (0.45%) in all interaction. Teachers’ pedagogical thinking supported cognitive education but appeared unsystematic and partial in describing some of its dimensions. The implications of the study and future work are discussed. Keywords: cognitive interaction, mediated learning experience (MLE), cognitive functions, pedagogical thinking, preschool, primary school
  • Cornér, Solveig (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation study explored the socially-embedded support system in the learning environment of doctoral education from the perspective of supervisors in Finland and doctoral students in Finland and Denmark. The socially-embedded support system entails several levels, ranging from macro level policies often realized in the institutional policies and practices, to activities taking place in a micro level researcher community such as in a researcher team or in the supervisory relationship. In order to view the social support system provided by the doctoral education, various elements of the support system were explored based on The Researcher Community and Supervisory Support model (Pyhältö, 2018). The two primary sources of social support: supervisory support and researcher community support were explored. Also, the three forms of social support: informational, instrumental and emotional support were examined. Furthermore, the support fit, i.e. the fit between the experienced need and the experienced support received, was investigated. In addition, the interrelation between support sources, support forms and support fit and doctoral students’ experiences of study satisfaction and experiences of burnout were explored. A mixed methods approach was used in the dissertation. Part-study I focused on analysing how doctoral supervisors perceived the primary resources and challenges of doctoral studies embedded in the various levels in the nested learning environment provided by the doctoral education. Fifteen experienced Swedish-speaking PhD supervisors from three Finnish universities representing a broad range of disciplines were interviewed. The resources and challenges that the supervisors described were related to structures (organizational), to the organization of doctoral education, to the scholarly community, to the supervisory relationship, and to doctoral students’ individual competence. The study showed that supervisors’ perceptions of the main resources of doctoral students were related to social aspects at an individual level or to a researcher community level in doctoral education. The primary challenges of doctoral students, as perceived by supervisors, were located at an institutional level, typically associated with the structural elements of supervisory work. Part-study II focused on doctoral students’ experiences of supervisory and researcher community support, support forms, support fit and how the experiences were related to their experiences of satisfaction and experiences of burnout in their doctoral studies. A Doctoral Experience Survey (Pyhältö et al., 2011) was utilized with reports from 248 doctoral students with Swedish as their mother tongue representing a broad range of disciplines at three research universities in Finland. The doctoral students’ satisfaction with doctoral supervision was associated with having multiple sources of support and appreciation of particularly informational and emotional support received from their supervisors and the research teams. Students who received more supervision and were more satisfied with it and those who felt they were equally treated within the researcher community had a reduced risk of experiencing burnout. Experiences of burnout, in turn, were connected to students’ increased attrition intentions. Part-study III focused on advancing a cross-cultural understanding of doctoral students’ experiences of support sources, forms of support and support fit in two national contexts. A total of 381 doctoral students in social science and humanities disciplines in Finland and Denmark answered a Cross-Cultural Doctoral Experience Survey (Pyhältö et al., 2015). The results showed that similarities between the social support experiences were found regarding students’ emphasis on researcher community support over supervisory support. The only form in which the students in both countries underlined more matched support than mismatched support was in the form of informational support. However, the Danish students perceived more mismatched support in emotional support and the Finnish students expressed more incidents of mismatched instrumental support This dissertation contributes to the research base by merging the Researcher Community and Supervisory Support model (Pyhältö, 2018) and the Job-Demands and Resources model (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007). The application of the merged insights of these two models contributed to simultaneous interpretation of the results, and to new understanding of the nested social support system provided by doctoral education. The experiences of the Swedish-speaking language minority of social support in supervision have not been researched to this extent before. The results of this dissertation contribute to research while it identifies that the quality and quantity of supervisory and researcher community interactions enhance positive experiences in the doctoral study process at several levels of the socially-embedded support system. The results pointed to individual and contextual variations in experiences of support fit. Moreover, this dissertation suggests that challenges related to social support in doctoral education, including the lack of or inadequate support, are associated with reduced levels of satisfaction, an increased risk of burnout, and, an increased risk of attrition. Keywords: doctoral education, doctoral study process, support system, doctoral student, doctoral supervisor, social support, supervisory support, researcher community support, support forms, support fit, satisfaction, burnout
  • Sihvonen, Irma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This is a case study examines the introduction process of a strategic governance tool, Balanced scorecard, in the context of early childhood education in the city of Helsinki between 2004 and 2011. The scorecard was introduced to improve the control over the balance between the economy and the core tasks of early child-hood education. Examining the governance tools used in the early childhood education is important due to the increased performance-based management. This case study aimed to define the stages of the implementation process of the scorecard in early childhood education between 2004 and 2011. It is based on longitudinal information on the experiences of the implementation process of four professionals operating in different organisation levels of the early childhood education. The study consisted of five questionnaires between 2004 and 2006 as well as of interviews in 2011. Data were analysed as a dialogue between the theoretical pre-understanding and content analysis. The interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Based on the analysis, the introduction process of the scorecard was possible to divide into partly overlapping five stages. To the subjects, the implementation of the scorecard appeared as a top-down directed process. At the stage of establishing the scorecard, its use appeared as continuing, long-term and permanent part of the daily work of the early childhood education according to the experiences of the subjects. This study provides two contributions to the earlier literature. First, it provides insight in the introduction and implementation of the scorecard as a long-term strategic governance tool. Second, it provides longitudinal multilevel user experiences of the scorecard. This study yields new points of view to studying performance-based management of the early childhood education. Keywords: Change, management by change, Balanced scorecard, experience, early childhood education
  • Paakkari, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This ethnographic research looks at the ways in which mobile phones are present in the school life of upper-secondary school students. The research analyses the affects phones have on the spatiality and power relation of school. The research has been undertaken as part of Textmöten research project and draws from ethnographic data produced in two Finnish upper-secondary schools during 2015-2016. The research consists of three peer-reviewed articles and a 94-page summary. The three articles of the dissertation examine the connections of school and mobile phones from different perspectives. The first article analyses the historically ambivalent relationship between school and technology, including the fact that technology in school seldom works in anticipated ways. The difference between many earlier technologies and mobile phones is that this time students are the ones bringing them to school. The second article analyses how phones are present during lessons, how different apps are used and what phones mean to young people. The conclusion is that phones have become a familiar presence during lessons in the research schools. Both the amounts of phone use and the ways the phones are used vary among the students but phones were used significantly throughout the research. In interviews, students emphasized the importance of the phones. They signified independence, adulthood and a space of one’s own. On the other hand, students mentioned the occasionally laborious nature of phones which had to do with a constant stream of messages and notifications. The third article focuses on one particular lesson in order to examine the multi-faceted character of phones and the connections they enable. Phones foster new agencies and bring opportunities for re-evaluating school spaces and power relations. However, at the same time they offer commercial actors a way into the classroom and give them a foothold in school. The research engages Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of assemblage to analyse the social and political connections of technology. Mobile phones are approached as part of a wider context. The research takes advantage of the concepts of platform capitalism and digital labour. Contemporary mobile devices are used mainly through platforms owned by global corporations such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple. Platforms connect individual user activity onto a database controlled by the platform owner. As data is today a pivotal economic factor, enterprises seek to collect as much data as possible. Schools are some of the most interesting sites for data extraction for technology companies. This is why we are seeing so many actively seeking to enter school spaces in which the presence of commercial actors has so far been tightly controlled. The research asks: are large technology companies quietly gaining a foothold in school spaces through mobile phones without a political debate on the issue? ________________________________________ Keywords: school, technology, phones, mobile devices, capitalism, assemblage, platform capitalism, digitalisation
  • Rinkinen, Aija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Iron and rust is a monograph dissertation, which examines the municipalities´ education directors´ views on the strengths and areas for improvement of comprehensive education in mainland Finland. The research aims to identify themes that should be addressed nationally and locally in the development of comprehensive education for compulsory school-aged pupils. Research is part of educational sciences with an administrative and organizational focus. The research data were collected in 2016 by using an electronic semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was answered by 154 (45%) directors of education from municipalities responsible for comprehensive education in their area. The data contains information collected through both open-ended and Likert-scale questions. The Likert-scale questions were constructed based on the data collected in 2014 as part of the nationwide Basic Education of the Future -project. Eleven comprehensive education strengths were found and fifteen areas for improvement were identified. The five most frequently mentioned strengths were teachers, equality and equity, cost-free education, support for learning and quality of education. On the other hand, the five main themes of development were pedagogy and operational culture, digitalization and technology as part of learning environments, support for pupils, collaboration and interaction as well as teacher training and competence development. It was noted that some of the themes highlighted by directors of education as strengths also emerged as areas for improvement, such as equality and equity and issues concerning on pupil´s support. Also issues regarding teachers included both aspects. In addition, the views of directors of education were divided, that is, although the theme in the results was presented as a strength or an area for improvement, there were also opposing views presented. The results were then examined more closely administratively at the national and local levels, as well as organizationally from the structural perspective, the human resource perspective, and the symbolic and cultural perspective. In conclusion, the themes that emerged from the responses of the education directors were interrelated and multi-layered. Some themes expressed the need for individual and concrete development measures, while others were quite extensive and principled. Some development activities can be done at the local level in the municipalities, while others require a national decision to reform. According to the results, there are also many strengths in comprehensive education, on which the development can be based on. Based on this study, the organization's ability to innovate and renew itself is the most important need for further research. As this study sought to identify themes in comprehensive education that should be strengthened or changed, further research could explore how to bring about and how to manage and lead the needed change.
  • Meriläinen, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Digital gaming has become an important pastime and phenomenon especially among adolescents and young adults, and the growth of the phenomenon has brought with it new challenges for parenting. The study looks at the requirements that Finnish youth’s (aged 13–30) gaming motives, experiences of adverse effects, and gaming-related parenting place on game education. The concept of pelisivistys (being gaming literate) is presented and serves as a lens through which key issues in game education are examined. The three substudies of the study explored young people’s experiences of their gaming: why they spent time gaming, what adverse consequences they had encountered and how they viewed gaming-related parenting. The results revealed a broad range of different game players, gaming experiences, and ways of gaming. While games provided important experiences of autonomy, relatedness, and competence, they also helped kill time and alleviate boredom. Respondents who spent the most time gaming reported more adverse consequences than other respondents, but the connection between time spent gaming and adverse consequences was not linear. Time spent gaming was not a reliable predictor of adverse consequences, as gaming motives and experiences of excessive gaming were related to experiencing gaming-related harm. Young game players were aware of risks related to gaming and sought to prevent them. Based on the results, gaming does not appear to pose a significant threat to the well-being of Finnish youth on a population level, but on an individual level the effects can be considerable, especially if gaming ties in with existing problems. Experiences of gaming-related parenting varied. Parents’ attitudes towards gaming ranged from very negative to highly positive, which was reflected in parenting practices. The need for parents to both understand gaming and prevent harm was prominent in respondents’ views on gaming-related parenting. The results of the study are examined in the light of previous research and public discourse. Based on the results, suggestions are presented for game education that acknowledges the diversity of both young game players and gaming and promotes youth agency.
  • Eriksson, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study argues that the recent higher education reforms in Kyrgyzstan are nationally domesticated constructs of globally travelling reforms. The analyses of the post-socialist transformation visualize that this domestication takes place through discourses of quality, modernization and internationalization. Theoretically this study contributes to the wider discussion in comparative education on adopting travelling reforms in the post-socialist space and practically, it provides information to international educational organizations and local policymakers on the challenges and opportunities that affect the localization of global reforms. I have used two recent concepts – ’domestication’ and ’travelling reforms’ – to analyse the post-socialist transformation in the context of Kyrgyzstan’s higher education. The other concept used in this study is the concept of travelling reforms, by which the intended meaning refers to reforms which have ’travelled’ to other countries and been adopted by them and adapted to local conditions (Steiner-Khamsi 2012). In Kyrgyzstan those travelling reforms are such as the Bologna Process, quality assurance and evaluation systems, and reform of independent accreditation. Following what various scholars have already shown, I argue that post-socialist educational transformation is a contingent and complex process that is not possible to interpret through a western neoliberal education framework and by examining the process as a linear development. Thus, the theoretical approach applied in this dissertation is closely related to the studies of post-soviet education transformation and studies of domestication, in which I employ the concept of ‘domestic field battle’ to examine the localization of educational reforms (Alasuutari & Qadir 2014). Empirically this research is based on policy document analyses of the key guiding policy documents of higher education, and interviews with the rectors of the universities and other actors from the field of higher education. The research method applied in this dissertation is the discursive analysis method. Domestication of travelling reforms takes place through three discourses: the discourse on quality, the discourse on modernization, and the discourse on internationalization. Actors in the field utilize these discourses to justify or resist travelling reforms by referring to cultural, social, economical and historical considerations of the country. The findings of this study show that the actors in the field of higher education integrate national features into these travelling reforms. In referring to national and cultural aspects of society, actors make travelling reforms seem more adoptable for the society of Kyrgyzstan. I argue that the post-socialist education transformation is simultaneous process with global and local influences, in which travelling reforms evoke local actors consider their national beliefs, practices and identities. Theoretically these findings have been analyzed by using Bourdieu’s social field theory and notions of discursive space of social reality to understand the discursive construction of domestication of travelling reforms. In Bourdieu’s framework, fields such as higher education have their own doxa, fundamental beliefs that are shared by actors. The doxa is challenged by opposing heterodoxical discourse, which simultaneously unveils the current doxa but also changes the dynamics of the doxa.
  • Virtanen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this doctoral thesis was to explore the basic dimensions of self-regulated learning (SRL) in higher education (HE) and to discover how students differ in SRL. The differences in SRL were examined in terms of SRL profiles and between discipline and gender groups. The relationship between self-regulated learning and academic achievement was investigated by examining how SRL measured in the first study years predicted later learning outcomes and how SRL is related to active learning and achievement of professional competencies in teacher education. For this doctoral thesis Paul Pintrich’s (2000a) General Model of SRL was used as a theoretical framework. This thesis is based on three original published studies. The data were collected by self-report instruments in Finnish universities. In Studies I and II same data (N = 1248) were used to explore SRL differences, SRL profiles and interrelation between SRL and academic achievement. Study III examined how student teachers (N = 422) with different SRL profiles benefited from active learning to achieve professional competencies. The data were analysed by statistical methods. In addition to the three original studies, second-order analyses were conducted and reported in the summary of this thesis. The analysis within the Studies II and III and the second-order analysis showed consistent features in HE students’ SRL, which was composed of three basic components such as Resource management strategies, Advanced learning strategies, and Self-efficacy beliefs. In Studies II and III, five different SRL profiles were identified. The students with a profile Excellent in SRL had high self-efficacy, were persistent and used often management strategies and versatile advanced cognitive learning strategies. Also the students with the profiles Aiming high with insufficient SRL and Dissonant SRL had high self-efficacy, but they were less persistent and used less management, self-evaluation, and cognitive learning strategies. The students with the Distressed performer's profile and the Moderate SRL profile had moderate self-efficacy, used more seldom management strategies than other students, and rarely reflected upon their learning in order to improve their study strategies or self-evaluate their learning results. Study II showed statistically significant differences in SRL between HE students from different disciplines and genders. SRL measured in the first study year did not predict study success of later HE studies. However, the results showed that when student teachers’ experiences of active learning in teacher education increased, they achieved better professional competencies. Student teachers with Excellent SRL profile profited substantially from active learning methods’ use and achieved the best professional competencies. Similarly, student teachers with Moderate SRL profile also achieved statistically significantly better professional competencies when their active learning experiences increased. Meanwhile students with the Dissonant SRL profile benefited less from active learning. The results of this doctoral thesis can be used for development of student guidance and curriculums in HE. Keywords: self-regulated learning (SRL), SRL profiles, higher education (HE), academic achievement, active learning, professional competencies.
  • Laine, Marja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This PhD study explores the definitions and education and development needs of culturally sustainable education. The normative role of the Finnish national core curriculum is also examined, as the curriculum requires and enables culturally sustainable education. As the normative documents on education require education to be culturally sustainable without determining what cultural sustainability means, the research question of this PhD study was formulated as “What is the definition of culturally sustainable education and what are the future needs linked to it in the field of normative education?” The definition of cultural sustainability in education is explored in this study by looking into conceptions of cultural sustainability collected through expert questionnaires and focus group engagement. The education and development needs of culturally sustainable education are evaluated by using the theory of just sustainabilities (Agyeman 2013). The first phase of data collecting focused on the expert conceptions and the second phase focused on the day-care worker conceptions. In addition, the pedagogy and the objectives of culturally sustainable education included in the Finnish national core curriculum were explored in this study. In this PhD study the definition of culturally sustainable education is formulated. Culturally sustainable education includes creativity, cultural customs, cultural heritage and an awareness of 
history, cultural landscapes, interaction between generations, internationality, locality as well as multiculturalism and diversity in education. From the pedagogical point of view, key elements of culturally sustainable education include supporting the identity process of the pupil, protecting and enabling the realization of cultural rights, taking into account culture on the local, national and global levels, having a comprehensive outlook on sustainability and considering recognition, human potential, cultural inclusion and transdisciplinarity as well as inclusive spaces and conventions (Laine 2016a, 2017). The results of this study also show that among experts the comprehensiveness of sustainability, interdisciplinarity and the need for co-operation, communication and teacher education were considered the most pivotal education and development needs. Among day-care workers, problems concerning the organization of work, work environment and attitudes along with educational needs concerning heritage and multiculturalism were considered the most pivotal education and development needs. The results from the data were compared to Agyeman’s theory of just sustainabilities. The theory broadens and deepens the views on education and development needs by paying attention to concepts such as human potential, recognition and cultural inclusion. Additionally the analysis of the national core curriculum shows that the objectives of culturally sustainable education are present in the normative guidance of education. On the other hand, from the pedagogical perspective, recognition, cultural inclusion and a more comprehensive view of sustainability should be taken more fully into consideration. This way the national core curriculum’s claim of cultural sustainability could be achieved. Keywords: national core curriculum, sustainability education, sustainable development, culturally sustainable development, culturally sustainable education, cultural sustainability, just sustainabilities, cultural identity
  • Karvonen, Ulla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In classrooms, many of the activities are based on curriculum materials, such as written or oral texts. Consequently, text-related tasks and activities play a central role in the everyday work of teaching. In my dissertation, I focus on one frequently occurring text-related activity, teacher-led whole-class conversations around texts, in two different educational settings: first language and literature lessons in elementary classrooms and preservice teacher education. In my research, I draw upon Anglo-American curriculum studies as a theoretical framework for the study of teaching and, in particular, the study of curriculum use as an integral part of this work of teaching. Consequently, I consider the teacher as an active agent who makes use of different resources in order to create learning opportunities for the students. In my study, I focus on the use of two different curriculum materials: texts provided by textbooks and workbooks, and oral narratives of experience. The dissertation consists of four original research articles and a summary. The first article reports the results of systematic review of research on Finnish curriculum materials. It shows that the vast majority of research on Finnish curriculum materials focuses on the features of materials, while only a few studies concentrate on the use of materials in and for teaching and studying. The results of the second, third and fourth articles indicate that all texts, whether provided by textbooks and workbooks or produced during the instructional event, possess a rich pedagogical potential. Thus, the features of the text cannot determine how participants use text in the literacy event. Instead, learning opportunities that emerge are outcomes of participants’ action. In addition, the results of the studies highlight the crucial role of a teacher’s professional knowledge base, and, in particular, her content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. In order to be able to identify the pedagogical potential of the texts, the teacher needs profound knowledge about the content and its teaching and learning in school. Altogether, my dissertation challenges the assumption about the powerful role of the curriculum materials and other pedagogical artefacts in determining teaching and learning in schools. My choice to focus on naturally occurring classroom interaction instead of analysing the content of the materials makes it possible to highlight the active role of the teacher as the curriculum designer, instead of treating her as a passive follower or transmitter of a curriculum mediated by official documents or textbooks. Moreover, the findings indicate that conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis provide well-suited tools for analysing the curriculum enactment and the work of teaching.

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