Kasvatustieteellinen tiedekunta

 

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  • 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.
  • Hedayati, Nasibeh (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate morality in Iranian schools. In particular, the aim in this doctoral thesis is to explore morality and moral values as expressed in official documents of the Ministry of Education and two secondary schools. Thus, three main areas are addressed to raise awareness in this regard: (1) values in the official documents; (2) the life purposes of students; and (3) moral conflicts from the perspectives of stu-dents and teachers. This article-based thesis draws together the finding of four original studies. The following four main questions correspond with the results re-ported in the original studies: (1) What are the values in the Iranian educa-tional system, what kinds of teachers are desired for the Iranian educational system and what kind of citizens are teachers expected to educate? (2) What are the life purposes and purpose profiles of Iranian secondary school students? (3) What are the main themes of moral conflicts identified by Iranian students and teachers and how do the moral conflicts identified by students and teachers differ from each other? (4) What are the religious moral dilemmas that Iranian students and teachers identified? The first step in raising awareness of the values in this system was to study official documents such as The Theoretical Foundation of Transfor-mation in the Educational System of the Islamic Republic of Iran (TFFTES, 2011). This document presents the philosophy and goal of education in the Iranian educational system. Empirical data were also collected from two of Tehran’s secondary schools, one for females and the other for males, in 2016. The students were 12 to 16 years old and the teachers were 27 to 52 years old. First, data were gathered from students (female n = 174, male n = 163) through essays and questionnaires: they were asked to complete a survey that included questionnaires related to life purposes and open questions investigating moral conflicts, and they were given one hour to do so. Second, teachers (female n = 10, male n = 10) were interviewed and asked to narrate their stories about moral dilemmas. Thus, the empirical data included students’ essays, transcripts of interviews with teachers on moral conflicts, and stu-dents’ questionnaire responses on life purposes. The study framework combines qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The results of the study are reported in the original articles (Hedayati, Kuusisto, Gholami and Tirri, 2017a, 2017b, 2017c and 2019). Although, according to the findings of the study, values in the Iranian educational context reflect Islamic thinking, what is happening in schools in some areas conflicts with the values and goals promoted in the educational system. In some cases, however, the school context reflects the values in the official documents.
  • Wang, Yan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The dissertation reports on how the national primary science curricula in Finland and China (a) specifies the objectives of scientific literacy, and (b) has adopted the concept of twenty-first century competencies. Globalization has influenced education. The goals of science education have been evolving with the changes in the connotation of scientific literacy. The goal of developing competencies for the twenty-first century has been written in policy documents at national and international levels. The phenomenon indicates convergent changes in education: from knowledge-centered education to competencies-focused, indicating alignment with sustainable development goals for education. However, problems and challenges arise at the same time as the convergent reforms of education. Both scientific literacy and 21st-century competencies could be merely an interesting term in policy documents rather than a consistent and deliberately chosen goal. Given that scientific literacy and 21st-century competencies are abstract terms, the interpretation of the goals that have been given the same names may vary in policies. The differences should affect the results of the implementation of reforms. How to teach 21st-century competencies within traditional subjects such as science has been the biggest challenge in schooling. The traditional Anglo-American curriculum seems to be not enough for designing a curriculum in response to the trends in educational reform, but the European-Scandinavian Bildung-Didaktik may serve as an alternative for curriculum design. In this research, the national primary science curricula in Finland and China were analyzed following the deductive content analysis process via two conceptual frameworks: the scientific literacy framework (PISA-derived framework) and the 21st-century competencies framework (revised Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills framework, ATC21S). The discussion draws on two theoretical perspectives: the different visions of competencies in science as well as generic competencies; and the Anglo-American curriculum tradition and the European-Scandinavian Bildung-Didaktik tradition. The study found that both countries’ science curricula emphasized the goal of scientific literacy with the integration of learning and applying knowledge in science (Vision I and Vision II). However, the Chinese curriculum is emphasized more on knowledge of science (Vision I) compared to the Finnish one, and in line with the traditional Anglo-American curriculum. The Finnish curriculum has explicitly shown the emphasis on learning and applying knowledge of science in daily contexts (Vision II). Nevertheless, the critical perspective on socioscientific issues (Vision III) is not written explicitly. The Finnish curriculum demonstrates an affiliation with the tradition of Bildung-Didaktik; some of the 21st-century competencies have been illustrated as an end of education through the learning of subject matter in science. It is argued in the dissertation that science education is both a goal in itself and a means of achieving the goals of 21st-century competencies. A science curriculum should be organized with its objectives related to subject matters based on Anglo-American curriculum tradition and with the guidance of Bildung. The PISA and ATC21S frameworks can be applied for either guidance of curriculum design or a tool to examine the actualization of a curriculum.
  • Juva, Ina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This doctoral dissertation examines how normality is constructed in two Finnish comprehensive schools. The study’s main aim is to explain how the staff in the two studied schools constructs normality, and how the constructions of normality affect the exclusion of students. This study is part of the Perceptions and Constructions of Marginalisation and Belonging in Education (PeCMaBE) research project, which examined how students and school staff construct marginalization, exclusion, and inclusion in school. The research project took place between 2013 and 2016. The research questions of this study are: How do school staff perceive and construct normality and the ‘normal’ student in the school? How does the categorization of students as ‘not-normal’ influence their position in the school? This study is an ethnographic study which includes data produced through several methods. As part of the study, 32 staff members and 48 students were interviewed. There were also 13 group interviews with students and staff. The participant observations were made in two upper comprehensive schools in the Finland capital region. The school students came from a range of socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Manuals and textbooks for social skills were analyzed to contextualize the main data. This study draws from the concept of normality and especially how it has been applied in the social sciences. As is typical in ethnography, it combined several theoretical perspectives. The theoretical perspective has its roots in post-structural feminist studies and disability studies. Also theoretical and conceptual tools from the fields of educational philosophy and sociology were used. Earlier research has shown that the school can have an important role in constructing and maintaining normality. However, one of the main result of this study is that normality is not only an average but also an ideal of how human beings should be. The three articles had different focuses on the relationship between normality and school. Normality was constructed as how an ideal student or human being should be. This ideal included an expectation of how to be Finnish and have ‘correct’ social skills. The interviews with the staff showed that the students were expected to fit in to Finnish culture. Finnishness as an identity was a part of the construction of an ‘ideal’ student. It was not perceived as an ethnic identity, but as a part of normality. Other ethnic identities were seen as potentially problematic. As Finnishness was constructed as normality, it was possible to present the school as neutral and ‘equal’ where identities other than Finnishness were not welcomed. The interviews with the staff contextualized by the manuals and textbooks for social skills showed that the ‘correct’ social skills were one of the traits for a student to be constructed as being ‘normal’. If the students did not have the social skills considered as the correct ones, they were expected to modify their behavior for them to be included within normality. Among the ‘correct’ social skills was the demand that they be able to adapt to the school and society, and not to cause problems and not to challenge the formal and informal school. The students were required to recognize the limits of the ‘correct’ social skills as part of what was considered to be ‘correct’ behavior. In earlier research, bullying had often been constructed as a question of individual behavior. This study broadens the concept of bullying by examining teachers’ role in bullying. The participant observations suggest that if the student was categorized by the students and teachers as ‘not-normal’ they were in risk to be bullied. In some cases the teachers did not recognize the student categorized as ‘not-normal’ as a victim of bullying, and therefore not worthy of help and care. Thus, bullying could be seen as a way to prevent or hinder students from deviating from the norms and normality. Normality, on the other hand, reflects the expectations of the society and its political, economic, ideological and cultural structures. Hence, it is possible to understand bullying as not only a question of the ‘not-normality’ of an individual child, but as a question of the norms and ideals of the society. Keywords: normality, exclusion, Finnishness, social skills, bullying
  • Syrjämäki, Marja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study is based on the idea of belonging to a group and interaction as basic human needs and the core of inclusion. The purpose of the study was to identify pedagogical practices enhancing peer interaction in integrated special groups in day-care centers. The main focus was on children for whom joining common activities is harder than for their peers. The study was philosophically influenced by pragmatism: in educational sciences, knowledge is both theoretical and practical. The theoretical framework was based on system theories and sociocultural theories. Ecological system theory and the concepts of system intelligence and sociocultural theory constructed the interpretation of the findings. In Study I, the learning environment of participating integrated special groups (n = 17) was assessed using the Learning Environment Assessment Scale (Strain & Joseph 2004). The quantitative data was analysed and reported with descriptive statistics. Ten items of the assessment form were identified to assess the quality of enhancing peer interaction, and the results were expanded using the content analysis of the qualitative material. Based on the findings of Study I, the study continued to the analysis of video-recorded play sessions in the integrated groups (n = 4), producing the data for Studies II and III. The material was analysed applying Qualitative Content Analysis (Schreier 2012). Study II focused on pedagogical practices, seen in the light of enhancing interaction, and Study III on children ´s initiatives and adults´ responses related to the realised peer interaction. The assessed overall quality as well as the quality in enhancing peer interaction were good on average. The qualitative findings revealed some variation in the pedagogical quality in supporting communication and designing the pedagogy, for example. In regard to guidance of play, five different pedagogical practices were identified, forming the typology of five types of pedagogical guidance. Three of these types, explained as one-dimensional, were seen as inadequate with respect to enhancing peer interaction. Two multi-dimensional types were sensitive and flexible, in guiding the play and also in recognising and responding especially the children´s nonverbal initiatives, which were easily ignored or went unnoticed by the one-dimensional types. The multi-dimensional guidance was aimed at the whole group and at interaction among the playing children. The findings were discussed in the theoretical frame, and a new tool to concretize the pedagogical work was supplied. System intelligent sensitivity summons the findings and helps to reflect the pedagogy in enhancing peer interaction as well in special as in inclusive early childhood education. Keywords: peer interaction, pedagogical learning environment, pedagogical quidance and scaffolding, system intelligent sensitivity, inclusive early childhood education
  • Tiihonen, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Helsinki Studies in Education, number 56 In this study, leadership is studied through relationship-based and shared phenomenon in early childhood education. The purpose of the research is to describe, interpret and create an understanding of leadership implementation. The focus is on working community relationships and how leadership is shared in the Early Childhood Unit. Leadership is approached through relationship modeling both as a supervisor relationship and as a relationship between employees. Theoretical starting points are relational leadership and shared leadership in a pedagogical context in early childhood education. In relational leadership, leadership is seen to be a phenomenon that arises in interaction. Shared leadership is defined as an activity that employees can participate in. The study was conducted in the Early Childhood Unit in Helsinki, which included a day care center manager and 29 employees. The leader of the Kindergarten and all the employees participated in the study. The study did not target children. This Early Childhood Unit consisted of two physically working kindergartens. The research is based on qualitative data. The collection of research material was carried out using a thematic focus group interviews and a method of empathy-based stories. The analysis was based on content analysis. According to the study, leadership takes place in different forms of interaction and these relationships allow for the sharing of leadership. As the major outcome of the study a leadership relationship model was developed. It consisted of the following leadership relationships: empowering interaction relationship, leadership in confidence, leadership in partnership and leadership as an authority relationship. In the study, relationships are described as separate in order to allow a detailed examination of them. In reality, relationships are interrelated and implemented holistically. Keywords: distributed leadership, shared leadership, leadership, leadership relationships, qualitative research, narrative perspective, pedagogical leadership, relationship leadership, early childhood education
  • Ruutu, Piia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Supporting the schooling of children and adolescents in psychiatric care and the perceived effects of a hospital school period The aim of this study is to describe the schooling of students who have psychiatric disorders, to evaluate what kind of impact a hospital school pedagogy has on the students’ schooling and to identify both supportive and exclusionary practices in the Finnish school system. This study has both quantitative and qualitative components. The Finnish National Follow-Up Study 2009-2014 (SOS survey) contains students’ (n=251) and teachers’ (n = 247) survey as-sessments of schooling before a hospital school period, at the end of the period and at follow-up 3-6- months later. Interviews of former hospital school students (n=22) and their parent´s (n=17) were conducted between 2013 and 2016. Hospital school as part of a child’s overall rehabilitation had a positive impact on their school-ing but the effect decreased slightly at the follow-up 3-6 months later. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors that could explain the student’s low or high assessment in the follow-up phase. Research interviews made it possible to understand the results in a deeper way and gave a more personal perspective on the results. Participants identified both supportive and harmful practices in the Finnish school system. These results can be used to develop schooling practices in Finland. It is important to find out what kinds of factors support the inclusion of students and their families and to identify exclusionary and harmful practices. The study identifies key devel-opment needs and suggests solutions to them. The interviews showed that participants had received support in schools, but there was varia-tion in the availability of support. Help and support was not available until the school situation had become very problematic and there was a lack of early interventions. In addition, there were variations in the number and quality of school interventions. Externalizing students had a lot of school-based interventions on their school path, but the interventions often suffered from a lack of planning and control. The support and interventions of internalizing students in school were minimal or absent. Based on the SOS survey and interviews, students who had psychiatric disorders had a higher risk of school refusal and of being excluded from school. In this research the participants were asked to identify the factors behind school refusal and exclusion. As a result of this, a student typology was developed that can help to design better interventions and support for these stu-dents. A supportive school atmosphere, good relationships between students and adults in school, at least one schoolmate, co-operation with parents and tailor-made, flexible solutions support the schooling of students who have psychiatric disorders. In addition, the school personnel’s ability to regulate the child’s stress levels with the parents and other caregivers is important. Developing school-based interventions to support these children will be essential in the future. Schools and basic education require practices that help identify and implement school-based interventions. This dissertation gives voice to children, adolescents and their parents. With their views, it is possible to develop hospital school pedagogy and basic education practices as well as services for families more generally. Keywords: perceived effects, experiences, school refusal, hospital school pedagogy, follow-up study
  • Hietajärvi, Lauri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis examined how adolescents’ engagement with digital media is associated with academic and emotional functioning and the continuities and discontinuities between these two contexts. Towards that end, the gap hypothesis, that is, the hypothesis that students who prefer learning with digital media outside of school are less engaged in traditional school, was examined both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The first aim was to determine the multidimensional structure of socio-digital participation orientations that students’ different digital activities reflect. The second aim was to examine the extent to which the orientations of socio-digital participation are related to academic and emotional functioning cross-sectionally and in different educational levels. The third aim was to examine the longitudinal relations of socio-digital engagement with academic well-being and achievement, especially focusing on the direction of the effects. This thesis consists of five original studies, which relied on interview data and larger scale questionnaire data. The first main finding was that the variation in digital activities can be explained with a complex structure of socio-digital participation orientations, which appear to be consistent across different age groups. Of all forms of digital participation, youths reported spending the majority of their screen time engaging in friendship-driven digital social networking. However, some adolescents reported socio-digital engagement that reached out to a wider audience, building an extended network of developing expertise in the process. The second main finding was that there truly appeared to be a gap between adolescents’ digital and academic engagement. The results revealed that motivationally indifferent students were more likely to engage in social media and gaming. Students who preferred digital learning but did not have the chance to digitally engage at school experienced a decrease in school engagement over time. Moreover, cynicism towards school and feelings of inadequacy predicted increased engagement with social media and action gaming. The third main finding was that digital participation yields both demands and resources and that these are tied together via multiple processes. Social media engagement was cross-sectionally related to lower study engagement and/or to higher symptoms of burnout, especially exhaustion. Longitudinally, social media engagement and emotional exhaustion were reciprocally related at the within-person level; exhaustion predicted an increase in social media engagement and vice versa. In turn, knowledge-oriented digital engagement was cross-sectionally related to higher study engagement, and digital learning preference predicted higher schoolwork engagement over time. To conclude, adolescents’ socio-digital engagement is fundamentally multidimensional and should be treated as such. The results showed support to the gap hypothesis, but the results also suggest that the manifestation of this gap is dependent on multiple factors, both individual and contextual. The gap might emerge because of out-of-school digital engagement that is not recognized in school or the gap might emerge due to problems in school leading to increased time spent with digital media. Intensive socio-digital engagement may also increase the daily psychological demands to such an extent that it hinders schoolwork, leading to symptoms of school burnout, but it can also increase the psychological resources supporting schoolwork given that congruence with academic practices is achieved.
  • Pursi, Annukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines playful encounters in early childhood education between adults and children under the age of three. The role of the adult in facilitating and sustaining playful encounters in a multi-party context is of particular interest. The study consists of a summary and four original articles. The research material consists of video observations (150 h) of naturally occurring interaction between adults and children in one municipal toddler classroom. Taking a conversation analysis (CA) approach, the research addresses three questions: (1) How are multiparty playful encounters observable and recognizable from the flow of interaction? (2) How are multi-party playful encounters organized between adults and children in a toddler classroom? (3) What is the adult’s role in facilitating and sustaining multi-party playful encounters? Methodologically, the research develops analytical terminology and a systematic framework which Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) researchers can use to study multi-party playful encounters in natural group-care settings. Theoretically, the research produces new scientific knowledge about the organization of playful and emotional stance taking during adult-child playful encounters. The pedagogical contribution of the research is to explain how adult conduct can shape opportunities for multi-party playful encounters in toddler classrooms. The results contribute to theoretical and pedagogical discussion about adults’ roles in children’s play. Overall, the findings can enhance the understanding of ECEC as ECEPC (Early Childhood Education, Play and Care). The study shows how CA can encourage dialogue with ECEC theory and practice by providing a more detailed picture of practices that are described in stocks of interactional knowledge such as the Finnish National Curriculum guidelines on Early Childhood Education and Care.

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