Browsing by Subject "kasvatustiede"

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  • Kaasinen, Arja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The purpose of the research was to determine how well Finnish pupils and students of different ages recognize plant species, which variables explain recognition of plant species, what plants and nature mean to the subjects and how plant species identification should be taught in general education in Finland. The subjects were pupils from: every class level of the primary schools (grades 1 6); lower- secondary school (grades 7 9); high school (grades I II); university departments of teacher education and classroom teachers and teachers from university involved with environmental teaching and also experts from education and botany. A total of 883 people took part in the research. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. The quantitative methods were: a) plant species recognition test, where 70 plant species photos were shown to subjects and b) an experiment in which three experimental groups had a plant recognition test on the nature trail and the three comparison groups were tested on recognition of the same species in classroom. The testing materials consisted of 31 real plants outdoors and 31 photos taken of these real plant species that were shown to pupils from fourth, fifth and sixth classes (grade levels) from primary school. The qualitative methods were a questionnaire administered to pupils from elementary school and high school and students from the department of teacher education, to teachers from university and interviews, where 3 5 pupils and students who recognized the plant species best or worst in the recognition test were selected to be interviewed. Furthermore, classroom teachers from primary school and experts were interviewed. The research results showed that on average plant species were recognized insufficiently on every level of education. There was also variation between answers from primary school to university teachers. However, species recognition skills improved from primary school to university teachers. Among other things, sex and place of residence explained species recognition skills, because girls and pupils from rural areas knew plant species statistically significantly better than boys or pupil from cities. Almost every pupil, student and all classroom teachers wanted to recognize plant species better. Many pupils mentioned that a motivating teaching method would be to go outdoors and investigate the plant species themselves. University teachers and experts also mentioned that the best and most efficient learning and teaching method for species recognition skills, is to practice in nature. We should teach plant species in nature, using many senses and teaching methods. Also new technology could be used in teaching species recognition skills. Keywords: plant species recognition, plant species education, general education
  • Salonen, Arto O (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The objective of the dissertation was to determine the concept of sustainable development according to current understanding and to analyze the structuration of sustainable daily life and how it varies between different groups. The present dissertation is both a literature-based theoretical study and data-based empirical research. The theoretical framework of the study was a greated model of the Structuration of Sustainability in Everyday Life. The model is based on a synthesis of Giddens Theory of Structuration (1984), Spaargaren JA van Vliet's Theory of Consumption as Social Practices (2000) and principles of sustainable development. According to the model created, sustainable everyday life is generated in a context of internal and external factors compromising the interests of ecosystems, society and business. The literature used in the thesis included international and national statements on sustainable development and research into sustainability and the transition to sustainable societies. The data were collected at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The discretionary sample consisted of students of social services (n = 210) and were collected using the semantic differential technique. The data were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. The results showed that the value placed on ecological, economic and social sustainability increased with age. Activity in non governmental organizations was associated with the acceptance of sustainable development as a whole and especially with global responsibility. Women's everyday life promoted sustainability more than men´s. People living in Helsinki had more sustainable ways of living than those living in the surrounding municipalities because of greater recycling and the low importance given to ownership. Prefering vegetarian food turned out to be a real opportunity for a more sustainable way of living because there were few barriers identified. Contradictory human behavior occurred when advanced sustainable consumer were ready to risk their health. The importance of communality was high and it was considered an aspect of health. The most significant obstacles to sustainable development in daily life were high costs, lack of knowledge and busyness. Similar attitudes towards sustainable development translate into different people´s behavior, which indicates complexities of the behaviour change in the context of sustainable development. The role of non governmental organizations is significant in increasing global responsibility. Education presents an opportunity to increase sustainability, but there are challenges to face from system thinking and in understanding entities in a state of transition towards sustainable everyday life. The responsibility of policy makers is paramount because high costs create a barrier to a sustainable way of living. The implementation of the concept of sustainable development should be focused on the planetary ethics which cover humans, animals, plants and ecosystems. Keywords: Sustainable development, sustainable thinking, behaviour change  
  • Varjo, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Finnish education policy, educational legislation and the entire education system changed significantly during the 1990s as part of a general restructuring of public administration. There has been a clear divergence from the former tradition of a system of regulation, founded on detailed legislation and the principle of equality. The new governance, which is based more on individual choice, efficiency and evaluation, emphasizes that the development of a high standard of education is a necessity in the light of global competition. This study explores the legislative process regarding education policy in the Finnish Parliament during the 1990s, and highlights in particular how the international discourse on education policies was restructured in the context of Finnish legislation. The research material consists of all the public parliamentary documents relating to education, including government proposals, minutes from the discussions in the chamber and archive material (final protocols, reports and statements) for the Committee for Education and Culture. The discourse on the process of drafting and passing education legislation is modelled on three interrelated policy technologies (market, management and performance), which are understood here as mechanisms connecting general political ideas to normative legislation. The changes in the regulation of education were part of a general public administration reform instigated during the mid 1980s. The research results will prove that during the left-right coalition cabinet of PM Harri Holkeri, new policy technologies affected the parliamentary discourse on education policy. This was particularly influenced by a change in the preconditions for the management of education that was created as a result of the numerous demands to deregulate and delegate decision-making authority to the local and school levels while rendering the whole education system more effective. At the turn of the decade, market-type mechanisms were more indirectly manifested in the forms of individuality and freedom of choice, which were reflected, for example, in proposals to “lower the hurdles” by separating general from vocational secondary education with a view to encouraging students to select courses from other educational establishments, in addition to relaxing the requirements for establishing private schools and abolishing a hundred-year-old strict national catchment-area system. Later, in the course of the 1990s, after the subjects, players, and methods of evaluation had been more precisely defined, evaluation based on performance would result in the active measurement of the attainment of set objectives. In the spring of 1991, from the outset of PM Esko Aho's right-centre coalition cabinet, the education budget suffered cutbacks as a result of a global recession and this influenced the legislative work of, and discourses in, parliament. Representatives of the parties in power regarded the recession solely as an external factor that was remote from the political arena. In their view, the education system should rise to the challenge by ensuring the efficient and innovative use of the resources available and by developing new forms of indicators for evaluating results. Representatives of the opposition opposed the cabinet’s standpoint as a result of the recession, criticized the measures taken by pointing out the harmful effect of constantly cutting the budget and argued that the government had made political capital out of the recession by using it as an opportunity to give more room to market, management and performance technologies within the Finnish education system. Criticism of the new education policy became even stronger during PM Paavo Lipponen's first “rainbow” coalition cabinet with critical views being expressed not only from the opposition but also from representatives within the government. Representatives from the left demanded legislative restrictions and the instigation of measures to relieve the presumed negative effects of market, management and performance in the name of educational equality. The new management by results steering method within the university sector and the introduction of commercial education services in compulsory education were fiercely criticized. The argument over “setting outer limits” including, for example, the demands for more detailed legislation and earmarked state subsidies was characteristic of Parliament’s legislative discourse in the latter part of the 1990s. Keywords: education policy, education legislation, Parliament of Finland
  • Käyhkö, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    New learning environments have opened the boundaries of schools by connecting them with different societal agencies outside schools. In European and national education policies and systematic curriculum contents, entrepreneurship education has been given increasingly significant attention, and entrepreneurship has become a social context or environment of learning. In entrepreneurship education research, only few studies have been conducted in the educational sciences. Researchers have pointed out the need for holistic educational science to act as a complement for business and a non-axiological ´neutral´ emphasis in approaching entrepreneurship and its theory. The present study focuses on entrepreneurship education as a boundary zone between school and society where traditional pedagogical practice is reconsidered as a question of learning theory. The study draws from cultural-historical activity theory and its theories about learning. As they have largely been focused on the classroom teaching and teaching methods, analyses of pedagogical practice have lacked the societal bond and historicity of the relationship between education and societal practice. To investigate the theoretical foundations of the relationship between school and society, the study addresses two theoretical orientations: John Dewey s philosophy of school and Engeström s theory of expansive learning. Based on their critiques of the theory of education the study contains a case study on entrepreneurship education. The case study was used as a window for context exploration, and it underlines the challenge of educational and learning theory. The case study material has been collected from the entrepreneurship education course of a high school specializing in entrepreneurship. The material contains both the ethnographic course implementation and interviews, documentary material and an intervention. The data analysis aimed to determine the internal dynamics, mechanisms and contradictions in the relationship between school and society in learning. A learning environment is conceptualized as an activity system. The implementation of its methodological solutions in the research was to investigate the socially mediated pedagogical practice, to explore the boundary object of people who are members of different communities and have a variety of interests, and to explore the school activity by tracing its local origin and by designing its future. The results of the study are summarized into four theses which direct attention to: (1) the dualist conceptualization of entrepreneurship, (2) the ontology of knowledge in entrepreneurship education, (3) diversity and multivoicedness as contexts of learning in the boundary between school and society, and (4) teachers as agency of pedagogical development. From the epistemological point of view school faces a new paradox in entrepreneurship education: the opening of the school to society carries a risk that society is understood as detached from the practices of societal life and treated as abstract, value-free and ahistorical reality. Keywords: activity system, entrepreneurship education, boundary-object, expansive learning, dialogical knowledge, co-configuration, partnership and learning environment
  • Kunnari, Eila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The aim of this qualitative study is to chart the operational context of the upper-secondary school principals and the historical, cultural and structural factors that steer their day-to-day work. The concepts regarding the study environment and operational culture are defined and analysed in terms of how they are interrelated. Furthermore it is explained why the upper-secondary schools must describe their operational culture within the curriculum. The study also aims to connect the description of the operational culture with the operational system of the upper-secondary school and to analyse the descriptions of the five upper-secondary schools in relation to the commitment to developing a study environment conducive to learning and participation, as well as conducive to supporting interaction. Interview data is used to provide the background for the description of the operational culture and to particularise the results of the analysis. According to the theory used in this study, the steering sources of the day-to-day work of the upper-secondary school are the rules system of the state, the municipality, the curriculum, and on the level of the upper-secondary school administration. The research data consist of the literature concerning the steering, steering forms and the principals professional picture in general terms, from 1950 to the present, and the steering texts concerning the educational environment and operational culture. Furthermore the research data include five descriptions of the operational culture concerning the upper-secondary school, the action reports and student guides. The methods of analysis include the level model and content analysis. The first is a part of the theory used in this study. For the purpose of content analysis, moreover, classifying grounds are established on the basis of theoretical and empirical research data. A result of this study is that, from the perspective of steering, the function of describing the operational culture is clearly linked to the evaluation supporting the goals and the vision of a learning organization. From an administrative point of view, a description is a problem-solving strategy and an instrument of evaluation. The study environment is a structural context in and through which the actors of the school create, change and renew the elements of the structure rooted in the context; this structure is their historically and culturally mediated way of thinking and acting. The initial situation and orientation of the students affect the emphasis of the operational culture descriptions; principals also have their own personal style of leadership. Key words: source of steering, educational environment, operational culture, self-evaluation, learning organisation
  • Partanen, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    This study aims to examine the operations and significance of the Klemetti Institute (Klemetti-Opisto) as a developer of Finnish music culture from 1953 to 1968 during the term of office of the Institute s founder and first director, Arvo Vainio. The Klemetti Institute was originally established as a choir institute, but soon expanded to offer a wide range of music courses. In addition to providing courses for choir leaders and singers, the Institute began its orchestral activities as early as the mid-1950s. Other courses included ear training seminars as well as courses for young people s music instructors and in playing the kantele (a Finnish string instrument) and solo singing. More than 20 types of courses were offered over the 16-year period. The Klemetti Institute s courses were incorporated into the folk high school courses offered by the Orivesi Institute (Oriveden Opisto) and were organised during the summer months of June and July. In addition to funding based on the Folk High School Act, financial assistance was obtained from various foundations and funds, such as the Wihuri Foundation. This study is linked to the context of historical research. I examine the Klemetti Institute s operations chronologically, classifying instruction into different course types, and analyse concert activities primarily in the section on the Institute s student union. The source material includes the Klemetti Institute archives, which consist of Arvo Vainio s correspondence, student applications, register books and cards, journals and student lists, course albums and nearly all issues of the Klemettiläinen bulletin. In addition, I have used focused interviews and essays to obtain extensive data from students and teachers. I concentrate on primary school teachers, who accounted for the majority of course participants. A total of more than 2,300 people participated in the courses, nearly half of whom took courses during at least two summers. Primary school teachers accounted for 50% to 70% of the participants in most courses and constituted an even larger share of participants in some courses, such as the music instructor course. The Klemetti Institute contributed to the expansion throughout Finland of a new ideal for choral tone. This involved delicate singing which strives for tonal purity and expressiveness. Chamber choirs had been virtually unheard of in Finland, but the Klemetti Institute Chamber Choir popularised them. Chamber choirs are characterised by an extensive singing repertoire ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. As the name suggests, chamber choirs were originally rather small mixed choirs. Delicate singing meant the avoidance of extensive vibrato techniques and strong, heavy forte sounds, which had previously been typical of Finnish choirs. Those opposing and shunning this new manner of singing called it ghost singing . The Klemetti Institute s teachers included Finland s most prominent pedagogues and artists. As the focused essays, or reminiscences as I call them, show, their significance for the students was central. I examine extensively the Klemetti Institute s enthusiastic atmosphere, which during the early years was characterised by what some writers described as a hunger for music . In addition to distributing a new tonal ideal and choir repertoire, the Klemetti Institute also distributed new methods of music education, thus affecting the music teaching of Finnish primary schools, in particular. The Orff approach, which included various instruments, became well known, although some of Orff s ideas, such as improvisation and physical exercise, were initially unfamiliar. More important than the Orff approach was the in-depth teaching at the Klemetti Institute of the Hungarian ear training method known as the Kodály method. Many course participants were among those launching specialist music classes in schools, and the method became the foundation for music teaching in many such schools. The Klemetti Institute was also a pioneer in organising orchestra camps for young people. The Klemetti Institute promoted Finnish music culture and played an important role in the continuing music education of primary school teachers. Keywords: adult education, Grundtvigian philosophy, popular enlightenment, Klemetti Institute, Kodály method, choir singing, choir conducting, music history, music education, music culture, music camp, Orff approach, Orff-Schulwerk, Orivesi Institute, instrument teaching, free popular education, communality, solo singing, voice production
  • Malin, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Home Economics Classrooms as Part of Developing the Environment Housing Activities and Curriculums Defining Change --- The aim of the research project was to develop home economics classrooms to be flexible and versatile learning environments where household activities might be practiced according to the curriculum in different social networking situations. The research is based on the socio-cultural approach, where the functionality of the learning environment is studied specifically from an interactive learning viewpoint. The social framework is a natural starting point in home economics teaching because of the group work in classrooms. The social nature of learning thus becomes a significant part of the learning process. The study considers learning as experience based, holistic and context bound. The learning environment, i.e. home economics classrooms and the material tools there, plays a significant role in developing students skills to manage everyday life. --- The first research task was to analyze the historical development of household activities. The second research task was to develop and test criteria for functional home economics classrooms in planning both the learning environment and the students activities during lessons. The third research task was to evaluate how different professionals (commissioners, planners and teachers) use the criteria as a tool. The research consists of three parts. The first contains a historical analysis of how social changes have created tension between traditional household classrooms and new activities in homes. The historical analysis is based on housing research, regulations and instructions. For this purpose a new theoretical concept, the tension arch, was introduced. This helped in recognizing and solving problems in students activities and in developing innovations. The functionality criteria for home economics classrooms were developed based on this concept. These include technical (health, safety and technical factors), functional (ergonomic, ecological, aesthetic and economic factors) and behavioural (cooperation and interaction skills and communication technologies) criteria. --- The second part discusses how the criteria were used in renovating school buildings. Empirical data was collected from two separate schools where the activities during lessons were recorded both before and after classrooms were renovated. An analysis of both environments based on video recordings was conducted. The previously created criteria were made use of, and problematic points in functionality looked for particularly from a social interactive viewpoint. The results show that the criteria were used as a planning tool. The criteria facilitated layout and equipment solutions that support both curriculum and learning in home economics classrooms taking into consideration cooperation and interaction in the classroom. With the help of the criteria the home economics classrooms changed from closed and complicated space into integrated and open spaces where the flexibility and versatility of the learning environment was emphasized. The teacher became a facilitator and counselor instead a classroom controller. --- The third part analyses the discussions in planning meetings. These were recorded and an analysis was conducted of how the criteria and research results were used in the planning process of new home economics classrooms. The planning process was multivoiced, i.e. actors from different interest groups took part. All the previously created criteria (technical, functional and behavioural) emerged in the discussions and some of them were used as planning tools. Planning meetings turned into planning studios where boundaries between organizations were ignored and the physical learning environments were developed together with experts. The planning studios resulted in multivoiced planning which showed characteristics of collaborative and participating planning as well as producing common knowledge and shared expertise. --- KEY WORDS: physical learning environment, socio-cultural approach, tension arch, boundary crossing, collaborative planning.
  • Silventoinen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The aim of this research is to define what kind of characters and images of teachers appear in Finnish school novels describing social changes and educational political reform from the 1930s to the 1990s written by teachers, particularly grammar school teachers. As comparison material, I use school novels written by Swedish school teachers, in which the changes in Swedish society and educational system and their expressions in the characters of teachers of the school novels are studied. The main focus of my study is centred particularly on school novels in which the images of grammar school teachers are described during times of school reform. From these starting points, the main objectives of the study are novels written by Finnish school teachers Anneli Toijala and Sampo Haahtela and Swedish school teacher Hugo Swensson, who was inspired by Haahtela. The research is qualitative multidisciplinary case analysis. The research method is content analysis, and the approach is hermeneutic. The research is divided into eight main chapters. After the introduction I introduce the essential concepts of my research. In the third main chapter I define the research function. In that context, besides the research objectives, I introduce former research on character description in literature, I define the methodological solutions with grounds and present the research material. Both literary research methods and sociological terminology are applied in the research alongside with pedagogical research. The research results show that images of teachers are diverse. At one end of the spectrum these represent immature pictures of teachers withdrawn into the routines of everyday life; at the other, they advance and reflect the reformist teacher. This becomes clearly evident when comparing the teacher "monsters" of the classic authors to the educational optimists at the end of the 20th century. The results show that the images of teachers in school novels are almost without exception coherent, psychologically credible and consistent, and hardly any different from the images of teachers in the Swedish school novels used as comparison material. On the contrary, plenty of similarities are found. The comprehensive school reform, educational political discourse and teachers' feelings are realistically clarified in the school novels that describe the period. Keywords: literature image, school reform, school novel, teacher image, reflection, internal co-operation in school
  • Lintukangas, Seija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The National Board of Education in Finland has defined school catering as a part of education in comprehensive schools. School catering is defined in Finnish law and is financed by the municipalities. The emphasis on supplementary education in the school curriculum obliges the whole staff to learn new professional roles and to co-operate in the school com-munity. An in-service training programme, Smart Catering Staff (SCS) was designed and put into practice among school catering staff. The aim of the one-year SCS programme was to add to and encourage the development of the know-how of catering personnel regarding new challenges in the school community as well as to enhance and empower their educator’s role in the school. The content of the programme consisted of four two-day intensive teaching sessions as well as assignments which were carried out between theese sessions. The main contents of the SCS programme were personal and organizational learning, school curriculum concerning school catering, school culture and co-operation, customer service, and the role of catering staff as educators. The data in this action research was gathered from 2000 to 2008. The results show that the SCS programme can change the work community culture in that the catering staff is more encouraged to participate in the development projects of the school, and can see themselves more as educators alongside the teaching staff. It is concluded that in school communities all adults can be educators, but to achieve this aim empowering in-service training is needed. The school catering staff’s commitment to participation in the education align with the educational goals of the school unite children’s and teens safety nets. This can affect for example the growth of communal responsibility and prevention of alienation. Key words: School Catering, Smart School Catering Staff, Expanded Education, School Community, Action Research
  • Korppoo, Maijaleena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The goal of this research was to establish the necessary conditions under which individuals are prepared to commit themselves to quality assurance work in the organisation of a Polytechnic. The conditions were studied using four main concepts: awareness of quality, commitment to the organisation, leadership and work welfare. First, individuals were asked to describe these four concepts. Then, relationships between the concepts were analysed in order to establish the conditions for the commitment of an individual towards quality assurance work (QA). The study group comprised the entire personnel of Helsinki Polytechnic, of which 341 (44.5%) individuals participated. Mixed methods were used as the methodological base. A questionnaire and interviews were used as the research methods. The data from the interviews were used for the validation of the results, as well as for completing the analysis. The results of these interviews and analyses were integrated using the concurrent nested design method. In addition, the questionnaire was used to separately analyse the impressions and meanings of the awareness of quality and leadership, because, according to the pre-understanding, impressions of phenomena expressed in terms of reality have an influence on the commitment to QA. In addition to statistical figures, principal component analysis was used as a description method. For comparisons between groups, one way variance analysis and effect size analysis were used. For explaining the analysis methods, forward regression analysis and structural modelling were applied. As a result of the research it was found that 51% of the conditions necessary for a commitment to QA were explained by an individual’s experience/belief that QA was a method of development, that QA was possible to participate in and that the meaning of quality included both product and process qualities. If analysed separately, other main concepts (commitment to the organisation, leadership and work welfare) played only a small part in explaining an individual’s commitment. In the context of this research, a structural path model of the main concepts was built. In the model, the concepts were interconnected by paths created as a result of a literature search covering the main concepts, as well as a result of an analysis of the empirical material of this thesis work. The path model explained 46% of the necessary conditions under which individuals are prepared to commit themselves to QA. The most important path for achieving a commitment stemmed from product and system quality emanating from the new goals of the Polytechnic, moved through the individual’s experience that QA is a method of the total development of quality and ended in a commitment to QA. The second most important path stemmed from the individual’s experience of belonging to a supportive work community, moved through the supportive value of the job and through affective commitment to the organisation and ended in a commitment to QA. The third path stemmed from an individual’s experiences in participating in QA, moved through collective system quality and through these to the supportive value of the job to affective commitment to the organisation and ended in a commitment to QA. The final path in the path model stemmed from leadership by empowerment, moved through collective system quality, the supportive value of the job and an affective commitment to the organisation, and again, ended in a commitment to QA. As a result of the research, it was found that the individual’s functional department was an important factor in explaining the differences between groups. Therefore, it was found that understanding the processing of part cultures in the organisation is important when developing QA. Likewise, learning-teaching paradigms proved to be a differentiating factor. Individuals thinking according to the humanistic-constructivistic paradigm showed more commitment to QA than technological-rational thinkers. Also, it was proved that the QA training program did not increase commitment, as the path model demonstrated that those who participated in training showed 34% commitment, whereas those who did not showed 55% commitment. As a summary of the results it can be said that the necessary conditions under which individuals are prepared to commit themselves to QA cannot be treated in a reductionistic way. Instead, the conditions must be treated as one totality, with all the main concepts interacting simultaneously. Also, the theoretical framework of quality must include its dynamic aspect, which means the development of the work of the individual and learning through auditing. In addition, this dynamism includes the reflection of the paradigm of the functions of the individual as well as that of all parts of the organisation. It is important to understand and manage the various ways of thinking and the cultural differences produced by the fragmentation of the organisation. Finally, it seems possible that the path model can be generalised for use in any organisation development project where the personnel should be committed.
  • Onnismaa, Eeva-Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The aim of this study is to describe and interpret discourses in Finnish national early childhood education and care (ECEC) documents concerning the child, childhood and family, including preschool education of six-year-old children. The study begins with preparation phase of the Act on Children s Day Care (1967) and concludes with the definition of ECEC policy (1999). The research data consists of committee memoranda and national ECEC curriculum guidelines. The total number of documents studied was 20, comprising some 1700 pages. The research data was examined with qualitative text analysis and employed a discursive approach. A semiotic square (Greimas rectangle) served as a tool for clarifying the discourses and constructions reflected in the research data. The theoretical framework of the study consists of the theories of childhood and family studies. The main concepts from childhood studies used in this study were childhood as a cultural construct and child-centred pedagogy in ECEC. The theoretical approaches from family studies used were the formation of modern and late-modern parenthood and family, as well as the concept of familism. Two main discursive lines were constructed from the ECEC documents. The notion of universalistic childhood suggests that early education and care aim to create the same good childhood for all children, regardless of their family background or living area. The second discursive line followed in the documents is the familistic discourse. This discourse contains emphasis on the priority of parental care. The construct of the competent child was found in the research data as early as in the mid-1970s. On the other hand, the construct of the weak family is distinguishable throughout almost the entire research period. This raises the question of whether Finnish ECEC system has been developed for the competent and self-sufficient child of a weak family which needs constant support and guidance of welfare experts. According to the study, it appears that within the Finnish ECEC system the relatively heavy emphasis on social work rather than on early education has been legitimised by the construct of the weak family. This study also shows that a more thorough analysis should be given to what we mean when we say that the main task of ECEC system is to support families in the upbringing of their children. The study was completed during the period when historical decisions concerning the administration in Finland were in the making (i.e. the potential transfer of ECEC services from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health to the Ministry of Education). Also, over the past decade, a major reformation of the Act on Children s Daycare has been on the agenda, but no concrete measures have been implemented. Based on the findings of this study, we can ask for what kind of child and family we are preparing the ECEc reforms of the new millennium. Key words: ECEC policy Finland, childhood, family, familism, discourse analysis, semiotic square
  • Tahkokallio, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The study examines the kind of professional development catalysed by observation-based reflection in cooperation with a researcher in a Finnish daycare centre. More specific research questions were what kindergarten teachers reflect on, what kind of reflection teachers speech represents, and what kind of changes take place in the interpretative framework of the teacher. Four kindergarten teachers participated in this research project. Two of them were involved for two action research cycles (including evaluation, planning, improvement, and reflection), and two for three cycles. The goal of this research project was to support the professional development of kindergarten teachers by means of co-operation between the researcher, the kindergarten teachers and their teams, based on the quality of children s experiences in a kindergarten group of children aged 3 - 6 years. The data were produced by interviewing the teacher, discussing with her and her team, observing the involvement of the children and the engagement of the adult, and using various textual sources. The analysis of the data took place in two stages. In the first stage the analysis proceeded vertically,case by case. The second stage of the analysis was horizontal, with the emphasis on trying to find common meanings and the directions of change. A case description, drawing on the different types of data, summarises the process of each teacher and her group. The descriptions are based on the analysed interviews, the evaluation and reflection discussions carried out with the teachers, analysis of the systematic observation of adult engagement and the involvement of the children and of and analysis of the [textual] documents. In the second stage the cases were compared and examined horizontally. Firstly, the results show that observing the children catalysed new interpretations of the children s experiences and the adult s role in relation to them. Secondly, it was discovered that the children s peer relations explain in important measure their involvement an observation which prompted the teachers to reflect on the possibilities of adults affecting these relations in a constructive way. Thirdly, the research process led all the teachers to reflect holistically on their own role, and on the development of their working methods, in relationship to their earlier interpretations of the role of the adult and the idea of child-oriented pedagogy. As regards the quality of their reflection and how their ways of reflecting changed, the personal research-orientated approach of the teacher and her ability to connect her reflections to the experiences of the children were significant. Cooperation with the researcher led the teachers to reflect not only on shared research topics but also on various personal themes which arose from the individual experiences of the teachers and from the particularities of the different day-care settings. The objects of reflection and its quality are thus indicative, firstly, of the personal professional development of the teacher and what she considers meaningful and, secondly, more generally of the central questions of early childhood pedagogics. It is common to describe institutional development as a process in which abstract transformative speech slowly catalyses a real change. This study, however, shows that observation-based evaluation of children's experiences may trigger a profound professional learning process, during which the teacher has to reinterpret, and partly question, not only her own working methods but also the dominant pedagogical discourse and the unspoken rules and contracts affecting the day-care setting.
  • Virkkunen, Arto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This research will be aimed at five hold office fysical teachers´, three men and two women teacher, pedagogical thinking and how the realization of physical teaching will be determined the teacher`s action and thinking and how the pedagogy task will be carried out in the connection of teaching. The central goal of the research is the examining of pedagogical action climate from the point of view of the pupil and his own experience. The pedagogical climate is seen in the research as the matter of the motivating, communal and the mutual confidence. The research represents the hermeneutic approaching way, where with the help of interpretation of the study material is tried to get to understand the study target. I shall call my work the dialogic hermeneutic study. The study material includes the interview and observation material. During the examining material have been picked up the essential of the questions. By means of the contain analysis has been raised the essential connected closely to study questions. With the method of contain analysis it had been shaped the description of every teacher. After this it had been searched from the material the centered meanings, which were connected closely to the study job and their unities. To understand the connections between meanings were based on by means of the investigator´s own intuitive experience developed meaning understanding. The research strengthened the beginning understanding right. The physical teachers did not plan their teaching to think their education, but to think the pupils` activity. In the teachers` thinking and action pupils` situation was emphasized different. The other teachers` perspective was opened more from pupils, the othes` more from action. Pupils had more state to take part together and the teachers noticed the pupils` differences. The teachers descriped their own growth as teachers as interaction skills to develop. It seems that when teachers get more age and more experience they get prerequisities to look at their work more from pupils.
  • Rainio, Anna Pauliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    This is an ethnographic case study of the creation and emergence of a playworld – a pedagogical approach aimed at promoting children’s development and learning in early education settings through the use of play and drama. The data was collected in a Finnish experimental mixed-age elementary school classroom in the school year 2003-2004. In the playworld students and teachers explore different social and cultural phenomena through taking on the roles of characters from a story or a piece of literature and acting inside the frames of an improvised plot. The thesis takes under scrutiny the notion of agency in education. It produces theoretically grounded empirical knowledge of the ways in which children struggle to become recognized and agentive actors in early education settings and how their agency develops in their interaction with adults. The study builds on the activity theoretical and sociocultural tradition and develops a methodological framework called video-based narrative interaction analysis for studying student agency as developing over time but manifesting through the situational material and discursive local interactions. The research questions are: 1. What are the children’s ways of enacting their agency in the playworld? 2. How do the children’s agentive actions change and develop over the spring? 3. What are the potentials and challenges of the playworld for promoting student agency? 4. How do the teachers and the children deal with the contradiction between control and agency in the playworld? The study consists of a summary part and four empirical articles which each have a particular viewpoint. Articles I and II deal with individual students’ paths to agency. In Article I the focus is on the role of resistance and questioning in enabling important spaces for agency. Article II takes a critical gender perspective and analyzes how two girls struggled towards recognition in the playworld. It also illuminates the role of imagination in developing a sense of agency. Article III examines how the open-ended and improvisational nature of the playworld interaction provided experiences and a sense of ‘shared agency’ for the students and teachers in the class. Article IV turns the focus on the teachers and analyzes how their role actions in the playworld helped the children to enact agency. It also discusses the challenges that the teachers faced in this work and asks what makes the playworld activity sustainable in the class. The summary part provides a critical literature review on the concept of agency and argues that the inherently contradictory nature of the phenomenon of agency has not been sufficiently theorized. The summary part also locates the playworld intervention in a historical frame by discussing the changing conceptions of adulthood and childhood in the West. By focusing on the changing role of play and art in both adults’ and children’s contemporary lives, the thesis opens up an important but often neglected perspective on the problem of promoting student agency in education. The results illustrate how engaging in a collectively imagined and dramatized pretend play space together with the children enabled the teachers to momentarily put aside their “knower” positions in the classroom. The fictive roles and the narrative plot helped them to create a necessary incompleteness and open-endedness in the activity that stimulated the children’s initiatives. This meant that the children too could momentarily step out of their traditional classroom positions as pupils and initiate action to further the collective play. Engaging in this kind of unconventional activity and taking up and enacting agency was, however, very challenging for the participating children and teachers. It often contradicted the need to sustain control and order in the classroom. The study concludes that play- and drama-based pedagogies offer a unique but undeveloped potential for developing educational spaces that help teachers and children deal with the often contradictory requirements of schooling.
  • Patrikainen, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The purpose of this research was to describe and understand class teacher s pedagogical thinking and action in mathematics education. At first we investigated how teachers taught mathematics as well as their reasons for their pedagogical decisions. Based on these empirical findings, the second essential aim was to consider the quality of mathematics education relative to socio-constructivistic curriculum thinking and to model it with theoretical conceptions. The conceptualizing of mathematics education was based on the didactical relation included in the didactical triangle. The research is qualitative by nature and can be characterized as a qualitative collective multiple-case study. The participants, three class teachers, were followed up during one mathematical teaching-studying-learning process. The research material was gathered by two different methods: first the teachers pedagogical action was observed using video recordings, and then the pedagogical thinking connected to this action was depicted with the help of stimulated recall interview. The video data was analysed using a theory based set of concepts which described the mathematics teaching-studying-learning process. The purpose of the theory-bounded interview data analysis was to deepen the tentative understanding of mathematics education gained through the video analysis. The results describe the teachers pedagogical thinking and action in the context of mathematics education. All three teachers shared a constructivistic conception of mathematics teaching and learning, but each emphasized different viewpoints. These personal conceptions of teaching were defined as humanistic-constructive, cognitive-constructive and contextual-constructive. Finally, a model of mathematics education consisting of four factors was constructed. This model also included the didactical relation which was defined as the teacher s relation to the student, the content and the life-world. The research results and methodological inventions can be used in the context of school teaching, teacher education and research on teaching. Teachers and teacher students can utilize the results when reflecting on their own pedagogical thinking and action. In addition the research provides topical information concerning Finnish mathematics education as well as new perspectives for national and international research, development and curriculum work.
  • Hongisto, Lasse (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The premise of this doctoral dissertation is practical. It aims to develop the teaching of the history of science. There is, on the whole, plenty of research literature and teaching material pertaining to the history of science available for the upper secondary school level. This material has not, however, been made with the needs of the teaching of history in mind; instead it is geared towards the teaching of science. Research within the framework of the teaching of the history of science has been conducted primarily by researchers interested in the teaching of science, not history. These people claim that ever more knowledge about the general nature of science is needed in modern education. The English term for the general nature of science is the Nature of Science (NOS). This concept is closely linked to projects aiming to reform the teaching of science that by introducing the philosophy of science, the history of science and the sociology of science in to the teaching of science. Pedagogical experiments conducted within the framework of the teaching of the history of science represent two different branches of pedagogical research: Science, Technology and Society (STS) and the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). These branches examine the history of science from slightly different viewpoints: HPS emphasises the bond between the history of science and research into changes in scientifical theories, and it is closely linked to the philosophy of science. STS, on the other hand, stresses the societal nature of science and is linked to the sociology of science. One aim of this doctoral dissertation is to examine how well the pedagogical experiments conducted within these two branches of research are transferable to the teaching of history. The history of science has been employed in pedagogical experiments within the HPS and STS traditions. A third teaching method frequently used is narratives about the history of science. However, how can we avoid mythical interpretations of the history of science and opt for pedagogically acceptable themes and narratives? This requires that those devising pedagogical experiments or writing teaching materials for the teaching of science more carefully examined the big picture of nature. As a model of our research we use Design Based Research. In this type of research, the problems posed by the study of teaching are approached from a pragmatic standpoint, in an effort to come up with concrete answers applicable to teaching. One such research problem is the theme of this doctoral dissertation: the opportunities for the teaching of the history of science at Finnish upper secondary school. The teaching of the history of science is a pedagogically important topic, and it is included in syllabuses and course books. Consequently, its practical applications are worth studying.
  • Raatikainen, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The aim of this study is to explore trust at school and its meaning for 9th grade students. The intent is to investigate students views about trust and mistrust in school relationships. Three research questions are posed: 1) what meanings do students give to their experiences of trust and mistrust at school and how do they evaluate connection of these experiences to their well-being and enjoyment in the classroom? 2) what and how important, is the teacher s role according to the students writings, and 3) what might the different pedagogical and administrative structures of schools reveal about trust and mistrust in a particular school culture? The data consists of 134 writings of 9th grade students (secondary school) from three schools in one of the biggest cities in Finland. The schools differ from others in terms of their pedagogical or structural backgrounds. The study is restricted to the micro-level of, disposition of Educational Sociology, focusing on trust in schools relationships. The theoretical framework of the study is trust, as a part of social capital; however trust is also approached from the sociological, the psychological and philosophical perspective. The methodological approach is narrative research concerning school practice . Analysis of narrative consist mostly content analysis, but also some elements of holistic-content reading, thematic reading and categorical content. The analysis found three main themes: 1) individual stories of trust, 2) the teachers role in making trust possible in the classroom, and 3) school as a community of trust. According to the study trust at school (1) is a complex phenomenon consisting of people s ability to work together and to recognize the demands that different situations present. Trust at school is often taken for granted. In the students experiences trust is strongly connected to friendship, and the teacher s ability to connect with students. Students experiences of mistrust stem from bulling, school violence, lack of respect as well as teachers lacking basic professional behavior. School relationships are important for some students as source of enjoyment, but some feel that it is difficult to evaluate the connection between trust and enjoyment. The study found that students trust of teachers (2) is linked to the teacher s professional role as a teacher, a caring human being open to dialogue. In other words, the students describe teachers abilities to create a sense of trust in terms of three expectations: the teacher was better, the same or worse than expected. Better than expected, means the teacher engender a high degree of trust and has excellent communication skills. Same as expected means the teacher comes across as familiar and secure, while lower than expected means the teacher creates no trust and has poor communication skills. Finally, it was shown that trust at school (3) should not only exist between some individuals, but between (all) members of the school community. In other words, according to the study there is some evidence that trust is strongly committed to school culture. Further, trust seems to depend on (school-) cultural background, values, beliefs, expectations, norms as well as staff behaviour. The basic elements of an optimum level of trust at school are favourable school structure and pedagogical background; however, good relationships between teachers and students as well as high professional skills are also needed. Trust at school is built by good communication, working together and getting to know each other.
  • Aineslahti, Mervi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    A Journey in the Landscape of Sustainable School Development “A Journey in the Landscape of Sustainable School Development” is a story of the Sorrila School development process. This research deals with a school development project as a process, and as a part of international projects on Education for Sustainable Development, with ENSI (Environment and School Initiatives) being the most important. The main purpose of the study was to analyze the change process as a general phenomenon as well as the learning connected to it. The research describes the development period 2001–2008 at the Sorrila Primary school. The research questions are as follows: 1. What did pupils learn during the research and development period? 2. How did the coordinating teacher develop personally? 3. How were the ENSI targets and other closely linked projects reached? 4. What was the feedback from the pupils, their parents and other teachers at the school? 5. How did the developing process proceed in 2001–2008? The method used was integrating action research, which also had ethnographical elements. Narrative was the form of the data as well as the manner of reporting. The method as a whole was integrating, ethnographical action research as a story. The research data consisted mostly of Knowledge Forum notes written by the teacher-researcher. Knowledge Forum is an Internetbased collaborative knowledge-building programme. Pupils’, parents’ and other teachers’ feedback, newspaper articles and students’ writings complied the data, which consists of material from seven years. Sustainable development was the basis of the school improvement. The targets of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014) were part of the development projects. According to the research results the school was seen as part of complex systems where manifold and interactive learning took place. The learning of pupils, teachers and the school as a community can be characterised socioculturally. The school was able to reach a level of collaborative transformative learning. As well as several concrete projects, such as Comenius school project, school development consisted of networking at many levels. Along with the projects and networking, the school was able to apply the pedagogy of connection, by carrying out integrative and cross-disciplinary themes and using various learning and teaching methods. International cooperation was a natural part of the work. A figure of Aunt Green, the role model of the teacher researcher, was an innovation which resembled a change agent. The other role of the teacherresearcher as a coordinator, was important for her own professional development. According to the results the change process, which relied on sustainable school development, led the school along a road of positive renewals. It was not a series of projects but an ongoing process. The objectives of the international projects were accomplished to a great extent during the research period. According to the principles of action research, the main results were put forward in order to help others to develop their schools. Frictions and problems as well as positive experiences and rejecting dualities were seen as change forces. Keywords: education for sustainable development (ESD), sustainable school development, teacher professional development, integrating, pedagogy of connection, transformative learning
  • Antikainen, Maire (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The research examines the process by which a sense of belonging to Finnish society is constructed among women of Russian and Estonian background who are multiply marginalised in Finnish society. It does so by analysing the encounters between their nationality and 'being Finnis'. Attention is focused on the question of what kind of "journey" they take after moving to Finland, how a sense of belonging is constructed especially along the paths followed in education and at work, and what kind of agency is available to them. The thesis is connected with post-colonial research and also draws from studies on citizenship and nationality as well as the social structures of interaction, when analysing careers. As the educational system forms the most central context of the research, the work is also focused on educational sociology. The research methodology includes life history and a narrative approach. The raw data is from thematic interviews concerning the life experiences of women of immigrant backgrounds. They were studying in Finland to be practical nurses or to complete Bachelor of Social Service degree. According to the study, the women had been encountered as alien, strange, and carrying a shade of "otherness". The experience of inclusion in Finnish communities and society turned out to be conditional, an inclusion based on the notion of a citizen worker, which is defined by national needs. The person from abroad is placed in the position of someone who fills gaps in the services of the welfare state. The choice of education in the care sector and the overall necessity of obtaining Finnish education turned out to be socially directed. Gendered structures of education and working life were found to act as a frame in which the decisions of the immigrant women were made. Although national education policy emphasis as an orientation to global labour markets, the immigrant student is placed above all in the position of an object to be made suitable for the Finnish labour market. Citizenship, a goal of education, requires consent to being "socialised" into Finnish society as well as learning to be Finnish. One s only option to negotiate appearing suitable as a member is to construct oneself into someone who adopts Finnish and Western cultural values, values which favour individuality. However, Finnish education is a resource to Finnishness. Finnish education enables a sense of being Finnish, and empowers the job applicant for example, and in addition to providing cultural, human and social capital strengthen inclusion as well. The study confirms the view that the encounter of an immigrant is still characterised by its colonial nature. It shows that encounters with Finns and Finnish society place the person of immigrant background, even one receiving a Finnish education, in the position of "the other". The journey as an immigrant continues. The immigrant has access only to certain predefined subject positions, which limits agency. When categorised as an immigrant, one becomes a per-son who is different and "other", while the sense of belonging as a member of Finnish society without conditions appears to be somewhat unreachable. Yet, new arrivals are capable of acting change. An immigrant woman can challenge the positions offered to her and present herself as strong. Her life story has often included struggle, and she has the fortitude strength to change her circumstances. Key words: life story, post-colonial encounter, nationality, citizenship, the career of immi-grant, position, agency
  • Vesterinen, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The aim of the doctoral dissertation was to further our theoretical and empirical understanding of media education as practised in the context of Finnish basic education. The current era of intensive use of the Internet is recognised too. The doctoral dissertation presents the subject didactic dimension of media education as one of the main results of the conceptual analysis. The theoretical foundation is based on the idea of dividing the concept of media education into media and education (Vesterinen et al., 2006). As two ends of the dimension, these two can be understood didactically as content and pedagogy respectively. In the middle, subject didactics is considered to have one form closer to content matter (Subject Didactics I learning about media) and another closer to general pedagogical questions (Subject Didactics II learning with/through media). The empirical case studies of the dissertation are reported with foci on media literacy in the era of Web 2.0 (Kynäslahti et al., 2008), teacher reasoning in media educational situations (Vesterinen, Kynäslahti - Tella, 2010) and the research methodological implications of the use of information and communication technologies in the school (Vesterinen, Toom - Patrikainen, 2010). As a conclusion, Media-Based Media Education and Cross-Curricular Media Education are presented as two subject didactic modes of media education in the school context. Episodic Media Education is discussed as the third mode of media education where less organised teaching, studying and learning related to media takes place, and situations (i.e. episodes, if you like) without proper planning or thorough reflection are in focus. Based on the theoretical and empirical understanding gained in this dissertation, it is proposed that instead of occupying a corner of its own in the school curriculum, media education should lead the wider change in Finnish schools.