Browsing by Title

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 212-231 of 434
  • 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.
  • Saalasti, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Asperger Syndrome (AS) belongs to autism spectrum disorders where both verbal and non-verbal communication difficulties are at the core of the impairment. Social communication requires a complex use of affective, linguistic-cognitive and perceptual processes. In the four studies included in the current thesis, some of the linguistic and perceptual factors that are important for face-to-face communication were studied using behavioural methods. In all four studies the results obtained from individuals with AS were compared with typically developed age, gender and IQ matched controls. First, the language skills of school-aged children were characterized in detail with standardized tests that measured different aspects of receptive and expressive language (Study I). The children with AS were found to be worse than the controls in following complex verbal instructions. Next, the visual perception of facial expressions of emotion with varying degrees of visual detail was examined (Study II). Adults with AS were found to have impaired recognition of facial expressions on the basis of very low spatial frequencies which are important for processing global information. Following that, multisensory perception was investigated by looking at audiovisual speech perception (Studies III and IV). Adults with AS were found to perceive audiovisual speech qualitatively differently from typically developed adults, although both groups were equally accurate in recognizing auditory and visual speech presented alone. Finally, the effect of attention on audiovisual speech perception was studied by registering eye gaze behaviour (Study III) and by studying the voluntary control of visual attention (Study IV). The groups did not differ in eye gaze behaviour or in the voluntary control of visual attention. The results of the study series demonstrate that many factors underpinning face-to-face social communication are atypical in AS. In contrast with previous assumptions about intact language abilities, the current results show that children with AS have difficulties in understanding complex verbal instructions. Furthermore, the study makes clear that deviations in the perception of global features in faces expressing emotions as well as in the multisensory perception of speech are likely to harm face-to-face social communication.
  • 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.
  • Hyytinen, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The central purpose of this doctoral thesis has been to deepen our understanding of the nature of critical thinking by combining theoretical, empirical and methodological perspectives. The concept of critical thinking has a central role both in research on the philosophy of education and in empirical research on learning and teaching in higher education. Although it is true that the philosophical and empirical analyses of critical thinking and knowledge differ fundamentally, the present thesis argues that there are shared concerns between these two scholarly traditions. The thesis consists of four studies, each of which approached this aim from different viewpoints. The methods involved both a philosophical approach and an empirical multi-method approach. The dialogue between the empirical and theoretical analyses offers new insights into conceptualising critical thinking and its prerequisites and extends our understanding of variations in critical thinking. Based on the theoretical findings of these studies, I argue that normative elements (how things ought to be) and descriptive elements (how things are) are fundamentally intertwined in the research on critical thinking. Therefore, educational research on critical thinking requires both philosophical and empirical approaches and also dialogue between these two approaches. The theoretical part of the doctoral thesis further demonstrates how philosophical research can contribute to the normative elements of the prevailing empirically-based theorisation of critical thinking, particularly by revealing some conceptual inconsistencies within this framework. The research further introduces the notion of fallibilism (human knowledge is uncertain) as a way out. Epistemological fallibilism fits the presumption of critical thinking better than relativism from the theoretical and pedagogical points of view. The empirical results revealed variation in (a) students skills and dispositions to think critically, (b) students ability to adapt their thinking and performance flexibility, (c) the nature of knowledge students consider to be relevant, (d) the knowledge that students use in problem-solving situations, as well as (e) the way students process that knowledge. Based on these variations two profiles were identified: (1) superficial processing or (2) thorough processing. Superficial processing students reproduced information in the problem-solving situation. These students did not analyse, interpret, evaluate or synthesise knowledge, and their reasoning was very poor. They palmed off justification for knowing on authorities and testimonies. In contrast to previous research, the results show that these students did not share the belief that knowledge is absolutely certain or unquestionable. Nor did these students share the view that beliefs accurately represent or correspond to reality. These students emphasised the uncertain nature of knowledge. The thorough processing students, by contrast, evaluated the quality of the information and considered its premises, as well as the implications of different conclusions. They weighed different options, analysed connections between claims, connected related ideas and gave mainly well-reasoned explanations and convincing arguments. The findings also show that the thorough processing students believed knowledge to be tentative and fallible. However, these students did not argue that all knowledge is constructed by human beings nor did they believe that all interpretations, theories and beliefs are equally right. They thus avoided slipping into relativism. The results revealed that both deeply superficial and thorough processing thinking entails problems if it is connected to an inability to adjust thinking or actions to the demands of the task. This thesis also identified several methodological challenges in assessing critical thinking. The results show that different performance-based critical thinking tests could give completely opposite pictures of a student s abilities. The results further indicated that the group-level analyses could overrun the rich variations in test performance that occurred among individual students. Additionally, the thesis reminds us that the theoretical framework has a great influence on how data are analysed and interpreted. Finally, the thesis argues that one assessment or analysis method is not enough to evaluate the complex cognitive processes of critical thinking. Instead of a sole focus on empirical or theoretical elements, more communication between the theoretical, empirical and methodological perspectives is required to deepen the understanding of critical thinking among students of higher education. Keywords: critical thinking, performance assessment, epistemology, fallibilism, relativism
  • Uusitalo-Malmivaara, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Remediation of Reading Difficulties in Grade 1. Three Pedagogical Interventions Keywords: initial teaching, learning to read, reading difficulties, intervention, dyslexia, remediation of dyslexia, home reading, computerized training In this study three different reading interventions were tested for first-graders at risk of reading difficulties at school commencement. The intervention groups were compared together and with a control group receiving special education provided by the school. First intervention was a new approach called syllable rhythmics in which syllabic rhythm, phonological knowledge and letter-phoneme correspondence are emphasized. Syllable rhythmics is based on multi-sensory training elements aimed at finding the most functional modality for every child. The second intervention was computerized training of letter-sound correspondence with the Ekapeli learning game. The third intervention was home-based shared book reading, where every family was given a story book, and dialogic reading style reading and writing exercises were prepared for each chapter of the book. The participants were 80 first-graders in 19 classes in nine schools. The children were matched in four groups according to pre-test results: three intervention and one control. The interventions took ten weeks starting from September in grade 1. The first post-test including several measures of reading abilities was administered in December. The first delayed post-test was administered in March, the second in September in grade 2, and the third, “ALLU” test (reading test for primary school) was administered in March in grade 2. The intervention and control groups differed only slightly from each other in grade 1. However, girls progressed significantly more than boys in both word reading and reading comprehension in December and this difference remained in March. The children who had been cited as inattentive by their teachers also lagged behind the others in the post-tests in December and March. When participants were divided into two groups according to their initial letter knowledge at school entry, the weaker group (maximum 17 correctly named letters in pre-test) progressed more slowly in both word reading and reading comprehension in grade 1. Intervention group and gender had no interaction effect in grade 1. Instead, intervention group and attentiveness had an interaction effect on most test measures the inattentive students in the syllable rhythmic group doing worst and attentive students in the control group doing best in grade 1. The smallest difference between results of attentive and inattentive students was in the Ekapeli group. In grade 2 still only minor differences were found between the intervention groups and control group. The only significant difference was in non-word reading, with the syllable rhythmics group outperforming the other groups in the fall. The difference between girls’ and boys’ performances in both technical reading and text comprehension disappeared in grade 2. The difference between the inattentive and attentive students cold no longer be found in technical reading, and the difference became smaller in text comprehension as well. The difference between two groups divided according to their initial letter knowledge disappeared in technical reading but remained significant in text comprehension measures in the ALLU test in the spring of grade 2. In all, the children in the study did better in the ALLU test than expected according to ALLU test norms. Being the weakest readers in their classes in the pre-test, 52.3 % reached the normal reading ability level. In the norm group 72.3 % of all students attained normal reading ability. The results of this study indicate that different types of remediation programs can be effective, and that special education has been apparently useful. The results suggest careful consideration of first-graders’ initial reading abilities (especially letter knowledge) and possible failure of attention; remediation should be individually targeted while flexibly using different methods.
  • Panula, Anne-Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The purpose of this follow-up study was to explore the occurrence and persistence of reading difficulties and their relation to school achievement as well as the reception of part time special education. The progress of literacy and the changes in school achievement among the students who had received part time special education were also examined in this study. The target group was one age cohort in a small community in southern Finland. A total of 461 students participated the study (boys 49.9% and girls 50.1%). The analysis of the results was mainly done using the data from 3rd to 9th grades of the entire cohort (N=287; boys 53% and girls 47%). The external loss of data was 18.5%. The research questions were also analysed with follow-up data collected after different lengths of time. The longest period started from preschool and continued to the end of the 9th grade (N=137; the external loss of participants over the nine years was 25.5%). Cross data was created for every measuring point (preschool, 3rd, 6th and 9th grades). Eight different reading paths were created for primary school. The preschool screening of reading abilities was done using the individual phonological test Diagnostic Tests I (Diagnostiset testit I; Poskiparta, Niemi and Lepola 1994). In primary school reading abilities were charted using the Primary School Reading Test (Ala-asteen Lukutesti; Lindeman 1998). Screening reading abilities in the secondary school was done with the Niilo Mäki Institute s Screening Test for Adolescents and Adults (Lukivaikeuksien seulontamenetelmä nuorille ja aikuisille; Holopainen, Kairaluoma, Nevala, Ahonen and Aro 2004). School reports for the 6th and 9th grades were used as indicators of school achievement. Comprehensive, dynamic and developmental aspects of reading skills formed the conceptual framework of the study. The classic Simple view of reading model (SVR-malli; Gough and Tunmer 1986; Hoover and Gough 1990) was used as a starting point for the study. The SVR model was developed into a comprehensive literacy model when it was formed using the Convergent Skills Model of Reading Development (Vellutino, Tunmer, Jaccard and Chen 2007) and Component Model of Reading (Aaron, Joshi, Gooden and Bentum 2008) models. The Finnish point of view, the orthographic characteristics of the Finnish language (high transparency of the language, or the regularity of mapping between orthography and phonology) as well as the relations between reading development, reading difficulties, Finnish culture and the education system were emphasized in the resulting reading model. The results suggest that tests in preschool can predict reading comprehension difficulties in primary school fairly well. The most used reading path among the students in primary school was the strong reading path, and the second was the so called weak reading path. Reading difficulties turned out to be quite stable through out primary education. When analysing gender differences, it was discovered that boys have more reading difficulties and that these difficulties are more stable. The average grades in theoretical subjects were statistically highly significantly weaker for students with reading difficulties compared to other students in all examinations. The reading comprehension test in 3rd grade predicted quite well (72% accuracy) whether a student would be in the group with the lowest grades at the end of the 9th grade (an average of theoretical subjects of 7.00 or less). For the boys, weak reading skills were especially related to poor school achievement. The study also brought out the joint effect of word recognition and reading comprehension with 6th and 9th grade school achievement. A positive relation between the amount of part time special education received during primary school and the changes in school achievement between 6th and 9th grade was shown in the study. In addition to individual variations, the school and individual classrooms affected the general variation in reading ability and school achievement. In the study this was demonstrated using multilevel modeling. The class level proved to be a significant factor for 3rd and 6th grade word recognition skills. Keywords: Literacy, follow-up study, reading difficulties, dyslexia, reading comprehension, school achievement, part time special education
  • 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.
  • 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