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  • 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.
  • Talvenmäki, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
  • Therman, Sebastian (National Institute for Health and Welfare, 2014)
    Psychotic diseases are a great burden to both the affected individuals and society at large. Though psychoses are severe mental disorders, similar phenomena appear outside of the diagnosable disorders as psychotic or psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). The PLEs are on a continuum of liability and symptom expression in the population, from the healthy to the pathological, and the diagnosed disorders constitute the extreme of the distribution, rather than a clearly delineated class. Studying the psychosis continuum offers a way of understanding the underlying causes shared across the entire range. The frequent presence of PLEs before the first psychotic episode also helps in identifying a trajectory towards disease. However, the specific PLEs associated with increased psychosis risk or incipient disease require further elucidation. Though experiences similar to the positive symptoms of psychosis primarily hallucinations and delusions have been nominated as the most predictive of psychosis, these are broad categories that may contain subdivisions of varying levels of shared aetiology with psychotic disease, and varying predictive value. In this thesis, the latent dimensions of self-reported PLEs were explored in one sample of 6,611 adolescents and one sample of 31,822 adults from the general population (Studies I and II), as well as in one sample of 71 and one sample of 731 adolescents in psychiatric care (Studies III and IV). Three different PLE questionnaires were employed in the separate studies: the PROD-screen, the 92-item version of the Prodromal Questionnaire, and the positive items of the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. The clinical significance of the identified dimensions was studied via their associations with general mental health, cognitive performance, and their predictive value with respect to psychiatric hospitalization in general or for psychosis specifically. Overall, the results showed a general PLE structure of positive, negative, and disorganized dimensions similar to that of symptoms in non-affective psychotic disorders. The positive dimension further subdivided into dimensions of persecutory ideation, other delusions, and hallucinations and, in one study, depersonalization experiences. These dimensions were correlated with general psychiatric health, as assessed by lifetime depression and anxiety. In contrast, questionnaire items intended to address hypomanic, grandiose, or magical thinking appeared unrelated to psychiatric health. In a smaller sample of adolescents in psychiatric care, the positive, disorganized, and negative dimensions were not associated with cognitive performance, contrary to expectation. However, in a larger sample, especially functional disorganization, that is, impaired role functioning, was associated with later psychiatric hospitalization in general, while the depersonalization experiences dimension was the best predictor of hospitalization with a diagnosis of psychosis. The identified latent dimensions of psychotic-like experiences demonstrate the structural validity of the PLE questionnaires, while the concurrent clinical correlates and predictive value establish criterion validity. In particular, the finding of the empirically derived depersonalization dimension being specifically predictive of psychosis merits attempts at replication. Modern psychometric methods used in the present thesis improve the utility of PLE related rating scales. In future studies a more fine-grained approach to assessing PLEs is recommended, in order to improve the accuracy of psychosis prediction and our understanding of the psychosis continuum.
  • Tuovinen, Soile (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Hypertensive pregnancy disorders complicate approximately 10% of all pregnancies. They may compromise placental functioning and, thus, affect the fetal developmental milieu. It is therefore highly plausible that they have consequences for the developmental outcomes of the offspring. However, their role in the developmental plasticity phenomenon dubbed programming remains relatively unexplored. This thesis examines whether adult offspring born to mothers with hypertensive pregnancy disorders differ from their counterparts born to normotensive mothers in mental health and cognitive functioning, and whether the potential group differences vary according to sex, length of gestation, parity, and childhood socio-economic status. This thesis capitalizes on the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. The study cohort comprises 13 345 individuals born in Helsinki between 1934 and 1944. Maternal hypertension status was defined based upon blood pressure and urinary protein measurements during pregnancy and was available for 6410 individuals. Data on mental disorders come from validated national registers extending over four decades (n = 5970 eligible for this study; Study II). Depressive symptoms were measured with a standardized questionnaire (BDI) in conjunction with a clinical follow-up study at a mean age of 62 years (n = 788; Study I) and in conjunction with a further follow-up including a more detailed psychological survey at a mean age of 64 years (n = 661; Study I). Cognitive test scores were obtained from the Finnish defence forces basic ability test taken during military service at a mean age of 20 years (n = 1196; Study III) and in a re-test at a mean age of 69 years (n = 398; Study IV). Cognitive impairment was measured with psychological questionnaires (DFQ and DEX) in conjunction with a further follow-up at a mean age of 69 years (n = 876; Study V). In comparison to the offspring born to normotensive mothers, offspring born to pre-eclamptic mothers showed higher self-reported cognitive impairment (Study V). Offspring born to mothers with hypertension without proteinuria showed a higher risk of mental disorders (Study II), although they did not differ in the severity of selfreported depressive symptoms. Maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders as a diagnostic entity were associated with lower cognitive functioning (Sudy III and IV) and higher cognitive decline (Study IV). Sex, parity and childhood socio-economic status modified some of associations. Maternal pre-eclampsia was associated with higher self-reported depressive symptom scores in primiparous, but not in multiparous, offspring (Study I), and with a lower risk of mental disorders in male, but not female, offspring (Study II). Maternal hypertension without proteinuria was associated with self-reported cognitive impairment in female, but not male, offspring (Study V). Finally, the associations between maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders as a diagnostic entity and lower cognitive functioning (verbal reasoning) in young adulthood were most evident in primiparous offspring and in offspring with a high childhood socio-economic status (Study III). These study findings showed that maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders were associated with all studied mental health and cognitive functioning outcomes. Overall, maternal hypertensive disorders during pregnancy carried an increased risk of a wide spectrum of problems in mental well-being and cognitive functioning among the offspring several decades later. However, protective effects were also observed, and, in future studies, it will be important to unravel the developmental pathways and underlying biological mechanisms. Being the longest follow-up on the transgenerational consequences of maternal hypertensive disorders reported thus far, the findings highlight the role of the prenatal environment in developmental programming.
  • Attorps, Iiris (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
  • 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
  • Kushnerenko, Elena V. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
  • 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.
  • Hokkanen, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 1997)
    Acute encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, mostly caused by viral infection. A variety of cognitive symptoms may persist after the acute stage, and neuropsychological assessment is crucial in evaluation of the outcome. The most commonly reported sequelae are memory deficits. The main aims of this study were to investigate the types of memory impairment in various encephalitides, the frequency of global amnesia following encephalitis, and the changes in the deficits during follow-up. Between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 1994, 77 adult patients under the age of 75 with acute encephalitis but without alcohol abuse, or coexisting or previous neurological diseases were consecutively referred for neuropsychological examination at the Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital. The aetiology was established in 44/77 (57%) patients; 17 had Herpes simplex virus encephalitis (HSVE). Transient amnesia (TENA) at the acute stage of the disease was found in 70% of patients. Furthermore, similarly to brain trauma, TENA was found to indicate cognitive outcome. The frequency of persisting global amnesia syndrome with both anterograde and retrograde amnesia in all encephalitic patients was 6%. One patient had isolated retrograde amnesia, which is very rare. In HSVE the frequency of global amnesia was 12.5%, which is lower than expected. As a group, HSVE patients were not found to have a homogeneous pattern of amnesia, instead subgroups among all encephalitic patients were observed: some patients had impaired semantic memory, some had difficulty predominantly with executive functions and some suffered from an increased forgetting rate. Herpes zoster encephalitis was found to result in mild memory impairment only, and the qualitative features indicated a subcortical dysfunction. On the whole, the cognitive deficits were predominantly found to diminish during follow-up. Progressive deterioration was often associated with intractable epilepsy. The frequency of dementia was 12.5%. In conclusion, the neuropsychological outcome, especially in HSVE, was more favourable than has previously been reported, possibly due to early acyclovir medication. Memory disorders after encephalitis should not be considered uniform, and the need for neuropsychological rehabilitation should be considered case-by-case
  • Oksanen, Ulla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Tutkimukseni kohteena on lukiolaisten kuvataiteen harjoitustöissä ilmaisema kuvallinen näkemys aikamme suuresta kertomuksesta , tietoyhteiskunnasta. Koska tarkastelen lukiolaisten piirroksia erityisesti semiotiikan, merkkien tieteen näkökulmasta, nousevat työssäni ensiarvoisen tärkeiksi kuvatuotteisiin liittyvät merkitykset sekä se, miten ne rakentuvat tulkinnassa. Kasvatusta ja koulutusta koskien voi tällaisen tulkinnan yhteydessä puhua myös merkitysten lukutaidosta ja tässä yhteydessä etenkin visuaalisesta lukutaidosta. Viimeksi mainitun ymmärrän Seppäsen (2001) tapaan kykynä tulkita ja ymmärtää visuaalisten järjestysten kulttuurisia merkityksiä. Tässä tutkimuksessa olen (i) ottanut tehtäväkseni tarkentaa edellä mainitun lukutaidon luonnetta kehittelemällä semioottisen visuaalisen lukutaidon käsitteen viitekehystä. Sitä olen lähestynyt käytännöllistä toimintaa ja kehollisia taitoja edustavan tietää kuinka -käsitteen kautta, jota hahmotan toisaalta kulttuurihistoriallisen koulukunnan oivallusten ja nykyaikaisen toiminnan teorian näkemysten pohjalta sekä toisaalta pragmatistisen toimintateorian, oppimisen filosofian , perustalta. Tällaisen spesifimmän visuaalisen lukutaidon käsitteen viitekehyksen rakentamisessa olen omaksunut keskeiseksi lähestymistavakseni erityisesti käytäntöperustaisen semiotiikan. Tarkoitan tällä pragmatistisen semiotiikan (C.S. Peircen) sekä sosiosemiotiikan (mm. M.A.K. Hallidayn, R. Hodgen, G. Kressin, T. Van Leeuwenin ja M. O Toolen) tapaa ymmärtää merkkien merkitys niihin liittyvän käytännöllisen toiminnan yhteydessä sekä suhteessa merkkien toiminnan tehtäviin ja tarkoituksiin sosiokulttuurisissa konteksteissaan. Työtäni läpäisevänä ydinajatuksena voikin pitää näkemystä, jonka mukaan visuaalisen kulttuurin ja sen järjestysten syvällisempi ymmärtäminen ja oppiminen on mahdollista erityisesti sellaisen lukutaidon avulla, joka hyödyntää semiotiikan teoriaa ja metodologiaa. Tutkimukseni toisena tärkeänä tehtävänä pidän (ii) kahta edellä mainittua semioottista näkökulmaa yhdistävän "hybridimallin" luomista, jonka mukaisesti sosiosemiotiikan metafunktioita voi pitää myös pragmatistisen semiotiikan metodologisen soveltamisen välineinä ja näin ollen työn semioottisen analyysin ja kuvien tulkinnan työkaluina . Itse empiirisessä analyysissa olen lähestynyt piirroksia hahmottaen aluksi niiden keskeisiä kuvallisia diskursseja, joiden lähiluennassa olen soveltanut sosiosemiotiikan piirissä kehiteltyjä kuvan semioottisen analyysin käsitteitä ja menetelmiä. Tuloksena tästä analyysista erotin kuusi erilaista diskurssia: ekologiset uhkakuvat, luonnononnettomuudet, pelastusdiskurssi, teknologian voittokulku, teknologisen kehityksen vaarat ja kulttuurin mekanisaatiodiskurssi, joista valitsemaani seitsemää piirrosta tulkitsin seikkaperäisemmin semioottisessa analyysissa ja lähiluvussa. Kuvien erittelyssä kiinnitin huomiota myös kuvien retoriikkaan, kielikuvastoon, sekä erityisesti töissä käytettyihin käsitteellisiin metaforiin ja metonymioihin. Semiotiikan näkökulmasta metaforilla on ensiarvoisen tärkeä tehtävä semioottisen innovaation välineenä auttaessaan abstraktien käsitteiden, kuten esimerkiksi tietoyhteiskunnan hahmottamista ja reflektointia sekä tukiessaan ympäröivää todellisuutta koskevien kysymysten syvällistä ymmärtämistä ja ongelmien luovaa ratkaisua. Lukiolaisten kuvakerronnan semioottinen tulkinta avaa käsitykseni mukaan tärkeän ja vähän pohditun näkökulman oppilaiden subjektiivista elämysmaailmaa (umweltia) määrittäviin ja sitä ylläpitäviin laajoihin diskursiivisiin merkityksiin. Empiirisen tapaustutkimusaineistoni muodostavat eteläsuomalaisen viestintä- ja mediapainotteisen lukion oppilaiden (N=44) piirrokset, kirjoitelmat ja haastattelut. Tutkimuksen lähestymistapa on tieteidenvälinen ja sisältää aineksia mm. semiotiikasta, kuvataidekasvatuksesta, kasvatustieteestä, yhteiskuntatieteistä, kulttuurin- ja taiteentutkimuksesta sekä filosofiasta.
  • Kettunen, Joni (Helsingin yliopisto, 1999)
    The aim of the present study was to advance the methodology and use of time series analysis to quantify dynamic structures in psychophysiological processes and thereby to produce information on spontaneously coupled physiological responses and their behavioral and experiential correlates. Series of analyses using both simulated and empirical cardiac (IBI), electrodermal (EDA), and facial electromyographic (EMG) data indicated that, despite potential autocorrelated structures, smoothing increased the reliability of detecting response coupling from an interindividual distribution of intraindividual measures and that especially the measures of covariance produced accurate information on the extent of coupled responses. This methodology was applied to analyze spontaneously coupled IBI, EDA, and facial EMG responses and vagal activity in their relation to emotional experience and personality characteristics in a group of middle-aged men (n = 37) during the administration of the Rorschach testing protocol. The results revealed new characteristics in the relationship between phasic end-organ synchronization and vagal activity, on the one hand, and individual differences in emotional adjustment to novel situations on the other. Specifically, it appeared that the vagal system is intimately related to emotional and social responsivity. It was also found that the lack of spontaneously synchronized responses is related to decreased energetic arousal (e.g., depression, mood). These findings indicate that the present process analysis approach has many advantages for use in both experimental and applied research, and that it is a useful new paradigm in psychophysiological research. Keywords: Autonomic Nervous System; Emotion; Facial Electromyography; Individual Differences; Spontaneous Responses; Time Series Analysis; Vagal System
  • Raudasoja, Anu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The purpose of this research was to evaluate the special vocational training programme, which aimed at enhancing the pupils with autism spectrum to prepare themselves for work and independent life. The vocational training programme is based on TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication handicapped CHildren), which takes into account the autism spectrum disorders and autistic behaviour. TEACCH is based on the principles of structured teaching, functional teaching and preparation training for work and independent life. The TEACCH has been adapted to Finnish society and the educational system. Treatment programmes were individually designed for each student´s educational needs. There is also an important role for the AAPEP rating scale (Adolescent and Adult Psychoeducational Profile). The AAPEP has been the major tool for planning and following the courses. The AAPEP is an assessment instrument designed by the TEACCH programme, and it is used to provide an evaluation of current and potential skills. The AAPEP contains three scales: a direct observation scale, a home scale and a school / work scale. The AAPEP includes six test variables: vocational skills, independent functions, functional communication, interpersonal behaviour, vocational behaviour and leisure skills; these are evaluated at three levels: pass, emerge and fail. The subjects were 49 students (65% male and 35 % female) with autism spectrum, who have been followed and tested several times, also one year after the vocational training. The design is therefore a longitudinal one. The research data were collected 1997-2004 using the AAPEP rating scales. The teachers have used the AAPEP scales and the codings have been checked by the researcher. The results of the principal component analysis (PCA) suggested that the structure of AAPEP rating scales works quite well as a hypothesis. The factor structure of the scales of the AAPEP was almost the same in these data as in the original publications. The learning-and-changes results showed that learning is a slow process, but that there were also intended changes in several AAPEP areas. The Cohen´s kappa was used as an effect-size measure and the most important result of this research showed that the student´s skills were developing on a school / work scale; vocational skills variable (0,34), vocational behaviour variable (0,28), leisure skills variable (0,26) and on a direct observation scale; interpersonal behaviour variable (0,21). On a home scale skills of some students were developing negatively and also that effect-size was small. The results showed that the students´ vocational skills and vocational behaviour will continue to develop after school in many areas. There were differences between scales. The result of this research shows that the student´s skills were developing significantly in 3 of 48 variables on a direct observation scale and also on a home scale. On a school / work scale student´s skills were developing significantly in 17 of 48 variables. This result implies that students can do the work without extra assistance if there exist continuing supports for the skills after the vocational training. The fully independent life of students will be difficult, because their independent functions, functional communications and leisure skills regressed after the schooling. This seems to indicate that they will not manage their daily life without support. The students and their parents said that the treatment programmes were individually designed for each student s educational needs, and that they were satisfied with the programmes and services. Generally, it can be concluded that vocational special education can be developed for pupils with autistic syndrome and the detailed teaching can be done using TEACCH principles and applying the tool of AAPEP.
  • Paavola, Heini Maaria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This study reports on the realisation of multicultural education in a multicultural pre-school group of one kindergarten. The research questions were: 1) what multicultural goals and contents did the kindergarten´s own pre-school curriculum contain? and 2) how did the pre-school educators´ views on multicultural education appear in their actions in a multicultural pre-school group? The research was conducted by analysing the curricula, interviewing the educators, and observing of the preschool groups. Pre-school education is seen as part of institutionalised education which is defined through culture. Education is considered from the point of view of critical multicultural education, paying special attention to the role of society in the definition of education. The research is a case study, and it concentrates on the interpretation of the working philosophy of one preschool group with respect to its implementation. The target group consisted of 20 6-year-old pre-school pupils in a kindergarten and their four pre-school educators. The research results showed that the kindergarten´s own pre-school curriculum (1997) was in structure and form consistent with the structure and form of the National Core Curriculum for Pre-School Education from 1996. The only difference was in the classification of the various subject fields and objectives. The contents of the two curricula showed hardly any variation, and both of them contained only few goals and contents for multicultural education. According to the interviews, the educational views and learning philosophy of the pre-school educators represented a child-centred point of view that takes into consideration the individual pupil´s needs and skills. This is also one of the basic principles of multicultural education. The principle was not, however, realised in the directed activities of the pre-school group. The heterogeneity of the pre-school group was dealt with by dividing the children into smaller groups, but the contents of the tuition were not differentiated. All children were provided with the same goals and contents. Multicultural education was seen as remote and separate from the overall educational philosophy. The contents of multicultural education were interpreted by the educators as teaching Finnish as a second language and teaching the children their own mother tongue and religion. After the evaluation of the state of the kindergarten´s multicultural education using four different models, I determined that the kindergarten emerged as a representative of the model where multicultural education is seen as something meant for immigrants only. The aim of the model is a rapid integration of the immigrant children with the majority population. Keywords: education, pre-school education, multicultural education, critical multicultural education, language, culture
  • Hakala, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    From monologues to dialogue. A discussion about changing the fragmented character of the debate concerning schools to one of negotiation, in the spirit of social constructionism. The starting point for the study is the assumption that the interested parties concerning schools such as teachers, students, public servants within school administration or politics construct the idea of the school in disparate ways. It looks as if the representatives of the various interested parties perceive the school in distinctive ways or with particular emphases. Additionally, there are not many discussion forums where these different interested parties have an equal right to speak and be heard. It seems that the lack of dialogue characterizes the debate about school. At the centre of the study are negotiations concerning schools, and the conditions that promote changing the fragmented character of this school debate in a more promising and collectively responsible process of negotiation. The aims of the study are to find both an empirical and theoretical basis for more equal ways to negotiate about school, and to increase cultural self reflection. Social constructionism plays a key role in aspiring to meet these research aims. The research questions are (1) How do the informants of the study construct the idea of school in their texts, and (2) What kind of prospects does social constructionism bring to the negotiations about school. The research informants construct the idea of school in their texts in several ways. To sum up: school is constructed as a place for learning, a place for building the future, a place where ethical education is lived out, a place for social education and Bildung, and a place where the students well-being is ensured. The previously presented assumption that the interested parties of a school construct the idea of a school in disparate ways or with various emphases seems to have support in the informants texts. Based on that, a condition can be put forward: different perspectives should have an equal opportunity to be heard in negotiations about school. It would also be helpful if there was a chance for different perspectives to be documented and/or in some way, visualized. This ensures that different constructions of school are within reach of all the participants. Additionally, while making the process of negotiation transparent, this documentation becomes an important medium for self reflection. On one hand it visualizes the complexity of the school. On the other hand it protects the school and education from serving as the spokesman of any single truth that is presented as objective or universal. Social constructionism seems to offer a stable theoretical basis for changing the fragmented character of the school debate in one of negotiation. More equal and collectively responsible school negotiation presumes that certain aspects or conditions drawn from postmodernism and social constructionism have been studied. In the study, six conditions are presented that can be seen as mediums for changing the fragmented character of the school debate into one of more equal negotiation. Keywords: social constructionism, Kenneth J. Gergen, school negotiation, education policy, dialogue.
  • Poukka, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This study examines values education in Japanese schools at the beginning of the millennium. The topic was approached by asking the following three questions concerning the curricular background, the morality conveyed through textbooks and the characterization of moral education from a comparative viewpoint: 1) What role did moral education play in the curriculum revision which was initiated in 1998 and implemented in 2002? 2) What kinds of moral responsibilities and moral autonomy do the moral texts develop? 3) What does Japanese moral education look like in terms of the comparative framework? The research was based on curriculum research. Its primary empirical data consisted of the national curriculum guidelines for primary school, which were taken into use in 2002, and moral texts, Kokoro no nôto, published by the Ministry of Education in the same context. Since moral education was approached in the education reform context, the secondary research material involved some key documents of the revision process from the mid-1990s to 2003. The research material was collected during three fieldwork periods in Japan (in 2002, 2003 and 2005). The text-analysis was conducted as a theory-dependent qualitative content analysis. Japanese moral education was analyzed as a product of its own cultural tradition and societal answer to the current educational challenges. In order to understand better its character, secular moral education was reflected upon from a comparative viewpoint. The theory chosen for the comparative framework, the value realistic theory of education, represented the European rational education tradition as well as the Christian tradition of values education. Moral education, which was the most important school subject at the beginning of modern school, was eliminated from the curriculum for political reasons in a school reform after the Second World War, but has gradually regained a stronger position since then. It was reinforced particularly at the turn of millennium, when a curriculum revision attempted to respond to educational and learning problems by emphasizing qualitative and value aspects. Although the number of moral lessons and their status as a non-official-subject remained unchanged, the Ministry of Education made efforts to improve moral education by new curricular emphases, new teaching material and additional in-service training possibilities for teachers. The content of the moral texts was summarized in terms of moral responsibility in four moral areas (intrapersonal, interpersonal, natural-supranatural and societal) as follows: 1) continuous self-development, 2) caring for others, 3) awe of life and forces beyond human power, and 4) societal contribution. There was a social-societal and emotional emphasis in what was taught. Moral autonomy, which was studied from the perspectives of rational, affective and individuality development, stressed independence in action through self-discipline and responsibility more than rational self-direction. Japanese moral education can be characterized as the education of kokoro (heart) and the development of character, which arises from virtue ethics. It aims to overcome egoistic individualism by reciprocal and interdependent moral responsibility based on responsible interconnectedness.