Kasvatustieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Hannus, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This research explores construction of hierarchies and possibilities to unravel hierarchies in two lower-secondary schools located in socio-economically diverse areas. This performative ethnography is focused on a chiasm of cultural policy, pedagogy and artistic practices. In the beginning of the research I focused on what kind of hierarchies are constructed in a connection to new mechanisms of governance such as school choice policy and emphasized classes, quality assurance and school evaluation, and reward salary systems: What happens, when the new mechanisms of governance and schools' everyday life confronts? In the schools I was surprised by creativity and everyday possibilities the actors had. I was re-oriented to analyse as well what kind of possibilities there are in the schools to unravel hierarchies first, attached to visuality and visual arts, second, schools' emotional dynamics, third, pedagogical practices, and finally performative practices. Unravelling does not mean that a form of hierarchy would be completely unraveled. It can be a small action or a way processing it. Performative ethnographic data consists of observational data (418 pages), 34 interviews consisting teachers' and head teachers' interviews and teachers' answers to a qualitative questionary. In addition, the data includes school magazines, paintings, photographs and drawings from the school spaces. In the research schools we produced this data during a school year length period in 2009 and 2010. During the observation period, I participated in teachers' meetings, evenings for parents, evaluation meetings and schools' artistic situations, when I was invited by some of the teachers. In addition, a third complementary school participated to this research for three months period. In one of the research schools emphasized classes seemed to become classes mainly of girls with background of majority population. Teacher reward system seemed to create feelings of inequality and hierarchy. Especially head teachers felt atmosphere of competition between schools. Anyhow, there where immediate ways to unravel hierarchical effects or at least adapt them in the schools while confronting the new policy. These practices where rooted with teachers' deep understanding of their everyday life, their creativity and reflexive playfulness. Hierarchies do not seem to be fixed on cement. Hierarchies are in the movement. This research locates possibilities to unravel school hierarchies and hierarchies attached especially to students' socio-economic background and ethnicity as well. I formulate possibilities to unravel hierarchies. The possibilities actualized in the schools can be characterized through six forms of practices such as (1.) becoming conscious of new mechanisms of governance and hierarchies and challenging them; (2.) affecting directly to the decision making; (3.) creation of new resources especially for the people in lower positions in hierarchies; (4.) creating new possibility-fulfilled ways of action; (5.) new forms of recognition and ways of appreciation on the contrary to the prevailing ones; (6.) affecting to the mechanisms in the background of the hierarchies. These possibilities are actualized in the schools through their emotional dynamics, ethically supportable visual and artistic practices, performative practices such as dance and finally pedagogical courage. While creative will and latitude of movement exist, even a small action can be meaningful. It can open up new possibilities and positive circles for the young people and the schools.
  • Simpson, Ashley (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Grounded within Mikhail Bakhtin's work on dialogism (Bakhtin, 1981; 1984; 2012) this PhD focuses on the relationships between meta-discourses about Finnish education and individual utterances in constructing representations about Finnish education. As meta-discourses about the successes and popularity of Finnish education are reproduced, concepts such as democracy, equality, and, human rights have seemingly become synonymous with Finnish education, and, the country of Finland more generally. The articles contained within this PhD summary chart and trace the ways practitioners in education (academics, policy-makers, teachers, NGO practitioners, amongst others) grapple with discursive constructs of democracy, equality, and human rights. The data set used within this PhD consists of interviews I conducted with NGO practitioners, interviews from a conference I co-organized at the University of Helsinki, and, a series of multimedia data (online videos and podcasts from leading Finnish educators and experts in the field). The data analysis methods consist of tools found within discursive pragmatics, including dialogism and heteroglossia, indexicality, ventriloquism, and, facework. In recent years the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education in Finland have conducted curricular reviews documenting the need for more student participation and democracy within Finnish schools. One of the main concurrent questions within all of the journal articles in this thesis, ultimately, is how practitioners understand and express key notions such as democracy, equality and human rights. Here, Bakhtin's work on discourse theory and practice illuminates the constant refraction and metamorphoses of individual utterances about democracy, equality and human rights whilst the utterer seemingly is always hesitantly gesturing towards meta-discursive representations about the subject matters (for example, Finland is a pioneer of equality, Finland is an example of the best democracy around the world). Yet, this orientation towards the meta-discursive can be problematic. For example, when considering the critical work on education and intercultural communication stating that one country is better than another can potentially result in speakers reproducing ethnocentric, nationalistic and/or essentialist discourses. In this sense, discourses about democracy, equality and human rights can themselves demarcate essentialist boundaries which can engender forms of marginalization. Thus, this PhD is positioned towards problematizing and revealing hidden and/or tabooed representations which may go unnoticed within the vast amount of meta-discourses about Finnish education. Consequently, the final section of this PhD summary will focus on a set of recommendations for academics within education, teachers, practitioners, and policy-makers to consider regarding the triple foci of democracy, equality, and human rights within Finnish education. The consequences for current Finnish education export are also explored. Keywords: Finland, Education, Democracy, Equality, Human Rights, Heteroglossia, Facework, Mikhail Bakhtin
  • Ahonen, Elsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation explored the role of active learning in Finnish comprehensive school teachers’ pedagogical thinking and in student teachers’ learning processess. In this study, active learning was defined as the will, skill and understanding of the teacher that leads to intentional transformation of behaviour and/or thinking. This study included data gathered from 68 teachers and 19 student teachers. Visual methods, retrospective narration and Critical Incident Technique were used inside the semi-structured interviews. The data was content analysed by using an abductive strategy. Study I focused on analysing active learning in teachers’ pedagogical thinking. The context dependency of teachers’ beliefs concerning pupils’ and teachers’ roles in different school interactions was also examined. The results showed that whilst active learning was included in teachers’ pedagogical thinking it manifested itself somewhat narrowly. Teachers’ beliefs were also strongly context dependent. The manifestation of active learning was dependent on the situation, the goal of the activity and persons involved. For the pupils’, active learning was typically enabled in informal settings of school outside the formal teaching-learning process. As for teachers’, active learning typically occurred in solving socially challenging situations between pupils where the teacher was needed in creating common understanding. However, teachers’ active learning in their professional community was rarely mentioned in their descriptions. Study II investigated student teachers’ meaningful learning experiences. The experiences were analysed with regards to their temporal and contextual location, quality and content. The results showed that the majority of the experiences were positive, and the first years were emphasised in students’ descriptions. Experiences were typically situated in Multidisciplinary studies in subjects, theoretical courses of the major subject and the teaching practise. The Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis process, volitional courses and informal discussions were less frequently identified as a context of learning. The majority of the experiences concerned a change in student’s pedagogical practical knowledge. Students also reported changes in pedagogical content knowledge and shifts in identity. However, the students’ descriptions were less often concerned with combining pedagogical practical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Student learning was mostly assimilative. Active learning was most often described in experiences concerning identity and combining pedagogical practical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Study III focused on student teachers’ multidimensional learning patterns. Four different kinds of patterns were identified: meaning-directed actor, undirected-inconsistent, disengaged passer-by and meaning-directed conformist. The results showed that active learning was included in student teachers’ learning. There where however differences in how extensively patterns reflected active learning. The results showed also that especially the skill dimension of active learning was challenging for every learning pattern. The dissertation contributes to research on teacher learning by revealing the nature of teachers’ and student teachers’ active learning. The results showed that even though active learning is a part of teachers’ pedagogical thinking and the learning of it , it’s the manifestation is still quite limited, and it is not yet systematically used in teachers’ and student teachers’ learning.
  • Rintakorpi, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In this dissertation I discuss documentation and the process of pedagogical documentation in early childhood education and care (ECEC). With the concept of documentation I mean recording the ECEC activities and with the concept of pedagogical documentation I mean the process of planning and developing ECEC with the help of documents. I study the connections between pedagogical documentation and different operational cultures in ECEC. I also study the challenges and possibilities of pedagogical documentation in Finnish ECEC. My dissertation consists of three qualitative and one quantitative sub-studies. As a whole, my research is a practice-oriented and multidisciplinary study in which theory and practice, as well as the diversity of research methods and materials, build an understanding of pedagogical documentation. In the first three studies we used photographs, videos, interviews, questionnaires, and other documentary material. Altogether over 50 children, ECEC practitioners, and parents participated in those qualitative studies. In the fourth study we used extensive quantitative data (2889 children, 194 day care centers, 179 educator teams, and 13 municipalities) to analyze the connections between documentation and ECEC learning environment, children’s orientation and their activities. The results show that almost 40 percent of ECEC practitioners who participated the quantitative study did not use pedagogical documentation much or at all. The younger the children were, the less pedagogical documentation was used. According to the practitioners, implementation of pedagogical documentation was hampered by the shortage of time, equipment and know-how. Documentation was used as a tool for making ECEC visible. The children’s share was low in documentation. Adult-oriented documentation may be a risk for not hearing children, to their participation, and privacy. However, the more pedagogical documentation was used the more open-minded and creative the operational culture was. It was also emotionally more positive and emphasized pedagogy. Pedagogical documentation was used in a goal-oriented way to plan and develop wide and playful learning processes. Pedagogical documentation also seemed to support the youngest children in communication and in new situations. In the process of pedagogical documentation the challenge was to involve the parents, to use pedagogical documentation in a long-term manner, and to re-direct the process of pedagogical documentation when the situations changed. The risk of pedagogical documentation may be the lesser coexistence of practitioners with children. Based on my research, plentiful pedagogical documentation is connected with child-oriented and evolving operational culture in ECEC. To my mind, pedagogical documentation is a tool for creating meanings for everyday phenomenon, conceptualizing, and shaping them together with children and parents. To direct and develop ECEC practices in a flexible and creative way, it is important to assess and decide, what are the most important and appropriate contents and methods in each situation. Transition from adult-oriented documentation towards child-oriented pedagogical documentation requires change in the operational culture of ECEC. It also requires strong pedagogical know-how and good pedagogical leadership. If pedagogical documentation is not regognized as part of evolving operational culture it is possible to miss many opportunities and to be exposed to the risks of documentation.
  • Mustonen, Virpi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The focus of the present dissertation is on personal and collaborative expertise in fingerprint examination, and the carrying out of interventions supporting the organizational transformation of forensic practices of learning and working. The study took place in the context of the digital transformation of fingerprint examination that involved moving from individuals working with real physical samples and analogical documentation to collective processes of analyzing digital fingerprint data. Internal and external criticism is forcing forensic communities to make improvements in terms of further harmonizing criteria, processes and competence requirements. The aim is to improve the quality of forensic investigation at the Fingerprint Laboratory of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) by creating a culture of collectively sharing and enhancing professional knowledge and competence among investigators. A further aim is to deepen understanding of forensic expertise on the personal, collective and organizational level. The conceptual foundations of the research lie in sociocultural frameworks such as adaptive expertise, professional vision, and collective knowledge creation. The assessment of personal and collaborative expertise in fingerprint examination is based on multiple case studies and action-research methods. The dissertation comprises this summary and three sub-studies published as internationally refereed articles. The findings from the studies were as follows. First, the new training methods enabled the apprentices to acquire sophisticated professional competences although their personal ways of reflecting on evolving professional performance differed. Second, the discrepancy meetings revealed how the experienced examiners used partial and limited information in making reconstructive inferences justifying their diverging judgments about the poor-quality latents. The meetings helped with regard to working out more refined criteria for assessing challenging cases and ending up with more coherent decisions. Third, analyses of the developmental seminar discussions revealed that the fingerprint examiners collectively succeeded in verbalizing and constructing their perceptions and interpretations toward a more refined, joint understanding of the criteria of no-value fingerprints, criteria for color-coding and work-out procedures for dealing with discrepant cases, and documentation and other aspects of using the digital instruments. The results of the research were incorporated into some of the NBIFL operational guidelines and quality requirements, as well as guidelines on professional activity in the laboratory.
  • Clavert, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Developing the quality of teaching as a part of organisational transformations requires identifying effective ways to harness academics’ activities in pedagogically oriented and discipline-specific communities of practice. This dissertation examines how academics’ activities at the interfaces of these two communities can contribute to the processes of pedagogical development. Transformative learning theory is applied to examine the processes of peda-gogical development from two perspectives: developing as a teacher and acting as an informal pedagogical change agent. The dissertation consists of four separate but interrelated sub-studies (I–IV). The participants were 23 engineering educators that lack an institutionalised developer or leadership position. At the time of data collection, the participants had completed at least 10 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, Studies I–II) or 25 ECTS (Studies III–IV) of pedagogical development studies. The data were collected with semi-structured interviews in a Finnish technical university before and during a period of organisational transformation. The data comprised of interviews with 10 participants before the transformation in 2009 and longitudinal interviews with another 13 participants during a three-year period of organisational transformation in 2011–2013. The data were analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. The dissertation culminates in a theoretical conceptualisation and an empirical model of 1) pedagogically oriented and discipline-specific communities of practice as a network that enables transformative learning related to developing as a teacher and 2) brokering as a way of acting as an informal pedagogical change agent at the interfaces of academic communities of practice. The findings suggest that universities could harness informal change agency to create connections between academics’ transformative learning experiences in pedagogically oriented and discipline-specific communities of practice as well as the organisational objectives of developing the quality of teaching.
  • Ritella, Giuseppe (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The present dissertation project investigated the organization of space-time in collaborative learning processes mediated by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The background of my argumentation is that we live in an historical moment in which the introduction of continu-ously evolving virtual spaces and the implementation of novel pedagogical approaches entail the transformation of the spatial and temporal relations of pedagogical activities. In order to examine these transforming space-time relations and the role that they may play in the learning process, I propose an adapted socio-cultural perspective based on the dialogical notion of chronotope. A chronotope depicts the emergent configuration of space-time relations during an intentional, collaborative learning activity. In sum, the perspective that I adopt considers cognition and learning as distributed in the environment, and space and time as interdependent social constructions. The dissertation report aimed to account for multiple types of physical, so-cial, virtual, real and imagined spatialities and temporalities as they are per-ceived, discursively negotiated, and bodily enacted by participants in ICT-mediated learning practices. I carried out four studies that examine various aspects of space-time re-lations. In Study I, I explored how participants in collaborative learning activities locate themselves and the others across multiple physical, social and virtual spaces; in Study II I investigated how the space-time frames detected in students’ discourse on the task affect the process of task inter-pretation; Study III was aimed at analysing if and how space-time configu-rations bodily enacted by participants affect the pace and the quality of the learning process; in Study IV I examined the significance and implications of patterns of organization of space-time during the process of instrumental genesis. All the studies adopt a qualitative ethnographic methodology that involves the triangulation of participant observation, discourse analysis, and video analysis. The results of my studies suggest that examining the organization of space and time can provide crucial insights into technology-mediated col-laborative learning activities, informing both theory and practice. Under-standing how participants locate themselves and the others in space and time might help us to design learning space-times that enhance coordination and collaborative processes. Considering the discursive framing of space-time by the students can help teachers and instructional designers to ensure that divergent assumptions concerning space-time frames will not induce students to deviate from the set task. Modelling the space-time configura-tions bodily enacted by participants may provide cues for scaffolding the learning process, helping students to orchestrate space and manage time, in line with the teachers’ pedagogical aims. Finally, detecting patterns of space-time organization may inform decisions concerning where and when to provide just-in-time information, scaffolds and tools to enhance students’ learning without interrupting their experience of flow.
  • Pehkonen, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This research addresses immigration and migrant life and integration in Finland. . Immigration has been examined mainly in the Finnish context as an individual process and for women. The study is located in the research of education, educability, study and learning, but above all, as individually experienced. More precisely, the study examines the orientation training of immigrants at one university of applied sciences. The focus of the research is to examine the overall life of female students with immigrant backgrounds at the university of applied sciences. The starting point is to examine the individual stages of the life cycle, the various aspects of life and the current point of the life path in Finland. The narrative of life flow is approached through the concepts of identity and learning. Identities are considered variable, contextual, and narrative. Learning is widely understood as a life broad, a lifelong and narrative learning. The research task is to look at constructing identities and learning processes in the context of education. The two research questions are the following. First: What kind of identities and learning processes are immigrant female students constructing in their telling? Second: What kind of learning process can be conceptualized from telling? The philosophical bases of the research are the relativity of knowledge, contextuality, and the idea of constructing knowledge. This research aims to provide a place and a voice for female students with immigrant background in terms of their diverse experiences between different cultural frameworks. Cultural frameworks are viewed as a dialogue between the former and the current cultural framework. Twelve students have been interviewed after the first year of study. The qualitative data is read as telling and is analysed with the help of inductive content analysis. The results of the data analysis describe themes in immigration, studying and gender. According to this study, identities are constructed as a process between a patriarchal and individualistic cultural framework. The identity definitions range between the various subjects of life that are examined. Identities are positioned in relation to the cultural frameworks either attaching to the former or to the new, or moving flexibly between them. Identities are constructed in a variety of ways between conflict and balance, as well as uncertainty and confidence: a constant contradiction, a cautious hesitation, a negotiating and strengthening balance. The identity transition is constructed within a holistic learning process that is described as stages, a model and type reports on the learning process. They allow looking at individual paths as a process and movement between different factors. My research shows that challenges in the educational context of being a student, on the other hand, allows more readily for the redefinition of one's own life, identities and learning. In this process of learning, the present is edited and matched to correspond better to a changed life situation. The learner's learning identity is built between these different factors individually. The factors that influence the lives and life situations of students with immigrant background at the university of applied sciences should be examined in a variety of ways comprehensively. Their experience of studying and the needs of learning-support should also be considered a part of the development of education and pedagogical solutions.Education that is envisioned along these lines can better promote inclusion in society.
  • Pihlgren-Eveli, Ann-Kristin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The overriding purpose of the study is to analyze how book-based storyline works as a method for intercultural literature education. I have designed a book-based storyline which two seventh grade teachers have carried out in two classes in a Finland-Swedish school. The storyline is based on the novel En ö i havet/Faraway Island (1996/2009) by Annika Thor, and is about two Austrian Jewish siblings who are evacuated and sent to Sweden by their parents, in order to escape antisemitic perse¬cution during World War II. The book’s dominant theme is cultural encoun¬ters, and it deals with multifaceted existential questions. The field study is characterized by an action-oriented, ethnographic methodological approach. As a researcher, my role in the classroom is a passive, observatory one, but I intervene occasionally during work in progress. The study is conducted partly from a literature education theory perspective, and partly from a multicultural education perspective, in which intercultural understand¬ing is of central significance. The participating pupils work within different genres, both individually and collectively, with so-called key questions regarding refugees, cultural affiliations, and interpersonal encounters, both in the fiction and in their own lives. The work they produce is analyzed using reception analysis and sentence concentration. The study’s contribution to the acquisition of new knowledge can be described within three areas: a contribution to new knowledge, a methodological contribution and a contribution to didactics. Firstly, it offers a contribution to new knowledge with regard to pupils’ understanding of challenging social issues, both historical and current, in a Finland-Swedish school context. Secondly, the combination of recep¬tion analysis through a book-based storyline project, and a theory-driven analysis and interpretation of a substantial body of material, is an innovative methodological contribution, which combines literature education perspectives with critical multi¬cultural education theory. Thirdly, the study contributes to the development of di¬dactic methods, in which literature education tools and intercultural education thinking have created an interdisciplinary didactic design with considerable poten¬tial for in-depth learning in relation to existential questions in young people’s lives. The participating pupils display a heightened awareness and critical involvement in the book’s themes, to varying degrees. They nonetheless still have prejudices and ethnocentric, stereotypical views. However, they also express some indications of under¬standing and empathy for the children of war and the Jews during World War II, both in the fiction and in reality. To some extent, they display notions of under¬standing and empathy towards today’s refugees. An open attitude towards various ethnicities and people different from themselves emerges from the majority. In order to optimize book-based storyline as an intercultural education method, extensive critical reflection and examination of pupils’ values is necessary. This requires a high level of competence from the teacher, which is why competence development in the field of critical multicultural education is needed. Keywords: Literature education, critical multicultural education, storyline, cultural diversity, cultural minorities
  • Ketonen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation examined how different motivational and emotional aspects of studying (i.e., students’ beliefs, expectancies, interests, values and academic emotions) contribute to university students’ academic engagement and achievement and how they are related to students’ daily situational experiences during the first years at university. The first overall aim of the dissertation was to identify university students’ motivational-emotional profiles, representing the more general dispositions in studying. The second aim was to examine how the student profiles and other general motivational dispositions are related to students’ contextual and situational experiences. Finally, the third aim was to investigate the consequences of both general student dispositions and situational academic emotions for short- and long-term educational outcomes. Study I examined whether situational academic emotions predict short-term study success. Studies II and III investigated students’ motivational-emotional profiles that were based on their overall study-related beliefs and expectancies, the perceived meaning of studying and their emotional experiences. These studies further examined how the student profiles differed, in Study II, in terms of course-specific experiences, self-study time and study success and, in Study III, in terms of long-term academic achievement. Study IV investigated how autonomous and controlled motivation was related to daily educational goals and further to situational academic emotions during the same day. Study V examined the short- and long-term effects of the first-year study engagement on the daily experiences of task-specific value and emotions. Questionnaire data and intensive longitudinal experience sampling data as well as achievement data from the student register were used. Variable- and person-oriented analytical approaches and intra-individual statistical methods were applied. Distinct groups of students with different motivational-emotional profiles were found with clear differences in contextual experiences and short- and long-term achievement (Study II: committed, dysfunctional, unstressed; Study III: engaged, disengaged, undecided, alienated). Dysfunctional and disengaged students expressed the most negative experiences and performed the most poorly, whereas engaged and committed students had the most favourable outcomes. Undecided and unstressed students displayed less engagement but had no serious problems in studying and they improved their performance after the first academic year. Despite the motivational and emotional problems, alienated students performed relatively well. A variable-oriented analytical approach further revealed that students’ situational academic emotions were related to study success in a lecture course. Finally, studies using an intra-individual approach showed that daily autonomous and controlled goal motivation was related to students’ situational academic emotions and that first-year study engagement was related to daily situational experiences both short- and long-term. In conclusion, the present dissertation indicates that even highly selected university students show various motivational-emotional patterns of engagement already at the beginning of their studies. These dispositions are related not only to students’ immediate, everyday experiences and study success but also their long-term academic achievement. The findings demonstrate the importance of investigating university students’ experiences and achievement on various contextual and temporal levels of specificity.
  • Väisänen, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The first purpose of this thesis was to investigate the development of calculation fluency, and the relationship between reading fluency and naming speed in Finnish children from second to fifth grade. The second purpose of this thesis was to investigate the effectiveness of two mathematical intervention programmes on learning of low-performing children. The main aim of the first longitudinal study (Study III) was to follow up the development of calculation fluency from second to fourth grade in two classes. The second aim was to predict children´s later calculation fluency with previous calculation fluency, reading fluency, naming speed, gender, and parent´s level of education. In the second longitudinal study (Study IV), children were classifield as non-fluent in calculation, non-fluent in reading, and fluent in both academic skills. Calculation and reading fluency of all three groups were followed up to grade 5. The groups were also compared on naming speed. In this thesis, there were two intervention studies. The first intervention study (Study I) was conducted with children from three grades (2nd, 3rd, and 4th). The intervention programme used in Study I was designed based on previous intervention studies (Bryant, Bryant, Gersten, Scammacca & Chavez, 2008; Fuchs, Compton, Fuchs, Paulsen, Bryant & Hamlett, 2005). Study II was conducted with children from the first grade. The intervention programme used in Study II was adapted from the “I count too!” programme (Minakin lasken) (Van Luit, Aunio & Räsänen, 2010). In Studies I and IV, the results were also examined from the perspective of individual differences. In the longitudinal studies (Study III and IV), the differences between groups in calculation fluency were stable during the research period. If a child had difficulties in calculation fluency, they most likely had problems also in reading fluency. Calculation fluency was best predicted by previous calculation fluency. The results suggest that calculation fluency in second grade predicts over 65 % of the variance in calculation fluency in fourth grade. In grade 5, the children, who had separate problems in calculation or reading fluency had closed their gap to their classmates´ fluency. Children who had co-occurring fluency problems on reading and calculation fluency had slower naming speed. The results from the intervention studies (Study I and II) show that intensified instruction can be used successfully to support mathematical skills in elementary school. It is necessary to identify low performance early enough, because in the intervention study (Study II) conducted with first grade children, the instruction group experienced significant development, especially in counting skills. However, there were significant differences between children in the intervention group in both studies. In both intervention studies, the development was most significant in the children who had no severe learning difficulties. Findings suggest that systematic monitoring of the developmental process in calculation is necessary in the elementary school years. There are some potentially shared components in calculation and reading fluency. The screening for at-risk development in reading and calculation should be done at the same time, and screening should be continued after the early school years. It should be noticed early enough, if the child has co-occuring problems in calculation and reading fluency.
  • Taar, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Home economics education in Estonia has gone through remarkable developments within recent decades. Its content has widened and the learning approach in the curriculum has changed. Thus, meeting the requirements set by the curriculum can be challenging for the teachers. To support teachers in implementing the curriculum, there is a need to understand how students act in solving various tasks in home economics lessons. The overall aim of this study is to develop current teaching practices through students’ interaction in home economics lessons. Therefore, it was carried out simultaneously with the collaborative development of new home economics lessons. Data were gathered from four study groups (7th grades) in one Estonian comprehensive school. The recordings of the group work discussions (n=11) form the foundation for analysing students’ interthinking. Additional data (e.g. students’ feedback and teacher’s reflections) was used to complement findings. Socio-cultural discourse analysis was applied to study how students use language as a tool for solving tasks in interaction. The concepts of interthinking and gap-closing process were used to analyse what kind of talk students use in group work situation; what are the critical moments they face in that process; and what are the tools that give students cues for solving critical moments. In addition, trajectories of students’ interthinking during cognitive and practice-oriented group work tasks were explored. The deepness of students’ interthinking varies when solving group work tasks. The key factors, which influence the deepness of students’ discussions, are their learning skills. Insufficient skills hinder the quality of talk between peers and thereby also students learning in their zone of proximal development. Students face various critical moments during the group work process and the main source of help in these situations is another group member or the teacher. This confirms that language is used as a tool to mediate information and knowledge. However, home economics learning environment offers various other tools, too, which give students cues for solving tasks. Having the skills to use given tools, improves students’ learning in interaction both in cognitive and practice-oriented learning tasks in home economics lessons.
  • Lammi, Johanna (Unigrafia, 2017)
    The purpose of this post graduate study is to describe and understand the impact of the unified comprehensive school reform on teacherhood. In the center stage of this study is the reform which integrated not only pupils from grades 1–9 but also the class teachers and the subject teachers in the same school building. Before the reform, the pupils and respective teachers used to be separated in elementary schools (grades 1–6) and junior high schools (grades 7–9). The main question of this case study was, what kind of teacherhood does a unified comperhensive school foster. The following questions were used as the guiding principles for my data collection: 1) what new aspects does the unified comprehensive school bring to interaction in teacher’s work, 2) what kind of collaboration teachers do in the unified comprehensive school, 3) what kind of competence do the teachers need especially from the unity point of view and 4) what factors are holding up the progress of being a teacher in a unified comprehensive school. The ethnographic research data was collected from a unified comprehensive school in Helsinki, Finland. I used literature reviews, theme interviews, working diaries, observation, shadowing and documents as the main sources of the data collection. According to the results, the signification of interaction, collaboration and shared expertice was emphasized in being a teacher in a unified comprehensive school. Also the more and more multi-faced encounters challenge teachers to know better themselves in order to understand the diversity of others as well. I tied the results around the complexity of different kind of ”encounters”: how does the school building, the national educational framework and the school culture build up the teacherhood acting as the engines or the brakes for interaction and how has the interaction between individuals in the context of a unified school become diverse and created both opportunities and challenges for being a teacher. Even though one of main goals of removing the administrative border between the grades 1–6 and 7–9 was contigous and safe school path, the change has also challenged the teachers to build up a new teacher identity and even head to new career paths. The results of this study provide tools and ideas for both individual teachers and teacher communities for more effective ways of working together in the context of a comprehensive school.
  • Saloranta, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this research is to clarify the impact of school culture on the implementation of education for sustainable development in basic education grades 1–6 Schools. This research examines factors that create an enabling school culture that promotes education for sustainable development and has a positive impact on sixth-grade pupils’ leisure time behaviour to sustainable development. Data were gathered from a cross-section of teachers and 6th grade students at Finnish basic education schools. The data were collected through a stratified sampling using questionnaires to selected school pupils (N = 2 230), class teachers (N = 321), and principals (N = 80). Nine of the schools surveyed were then selected for a complementary semi-structured interview. For comparison purposes, a further nine schools which held either sustainable development certification of educational establishments or had Green Flag status were selected for a separate sample. Statistical analyzes were used to study the relationships between different variables and to compare different groups with each other. Based on the results, it is evident that each school’s culture directly affects the kind of education for sustainable development that is provided at each school. Interviews showed that the principal is key in developing a school culture which fully embraces sustainable development. According to this study, the implementation of education for sustainable development in Finnish comprehensive schools varies considerably. This research suggests that class teachers only occasionally employ styles of teaching that reflect the ethos of education for sustainable development- i.e. child-centred and nature-related exploration and experiential teaching methods. It can be concluded from this research that teaching styles generally remain quite ‘traditional’. Class teachers rarely use engaging, experiential, hands-on real-world-situation approaches for teaching the style of pedagogy that is most appropriate for education for sustainable development. In terms of school culture, teachers’ working methods differed little from each other. When schools have a good culture of sustainable development, teachers find it important to implement sustainable development. That is why they act more often to promote sustainable development at school, in contrast with teachers working in schools with a poor culture. The structural equation model created in this research shows that sixth grade pupils’ environmentally responsible behaviour outside school hours is significantly affected by a learned mode of operation from pupils’ eco-economic school experiences. A student’s socio-cultural school experience affects both the student’s environmentally responsible behaviour and their pro-social behaviour through their attitudes, personal norms and self-efficacy. Based on these results, teachers should provide pupils with more experiential school experiences in relation to sustainable development and develop opportunities for their students to experience communal and cooperative styles of learning. One result of this study was the developed model of sustainable school. The most effective schools successfully use the four different dimensions of school culture to provide a range of sustainable development learning experiences for their pupils. School experiences affect the environmentally responsible and pro-social behaviour of pupils and guide them towards a more sustainable way of living.
  • Samppala, Marja-Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this dissertation is to describe and analyze the phenomenon of workplace learning. The theoretical background of workplace learning, work life as a learning environment, and learning changes in the boundaries of school and the workplace are discussed. The research questions focus on the conceptions and experiences that the respondents have about students’ workplace learning as well as on the significant learning incidents. This study can be methodologically described as a qualitative case study. The data are collected from the county of Häme from 2011–2012. Altogether, 24 institutional cleaning students and 10 supervisors participated. The data are comprised of theme interviews, learning diaries, and the field notes of the researcher. The data are analyzed by qualitative content analysis and phenomenographic analysis. The first set of results focuses on the students’ conceptions of learning and how they are built in a social and cultural learning environment. As a result, seven qualitatively different categories of descriptions are revealed. In them, learning is comprehended from the perspectives of processing knowledge and changing behavior. The results show differences and similarities in conceptions of learning between the students and supervisors. Similarities were found related to using knowledge, learning by doing, and understanding and comprehending. Differences were seen based on features of learning theoretical orientations. The second set of results focuses on the students’ conceptions of workplace learning. Five qualitatively different categories of descriptions are revealed. In them, learning is understood from the perspectives of professional competencies, skills of self-regulation and the general competencies of working life. The results show that both students and their supervisors had parallel conceptions of workplace learning. Both groups’ conceptions emphasize professional competencies and self-regulation skills; however, these conceptions are more connected to individual features of learning than to cooperative learning. The third set of results focuses on the significant learning and tutoring incidents gained during the workplace learning periods. As a result, 14 themes are revealed, and they form the model of significant learning and tutoring incidents. These themes are shown in three levels: individual, contextual, and value loaded. In conclusion, it is essential to recognize learning theoretical orientations, the importance of social interaction and supervision in a working community, and cooperation, which crosses the boundaries of school and the workplace.