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  • Koro-Ljungberg, Mirka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Korostenskaja, Milena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Cognitive impairments of attention, memory and executive functions are a fundamental feature of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The neurophysiological and neurochemical changes in the auditory cortex are shown to underlie cognitive impairmentsin schizophrenia patients. Functional state of the neural substrate of auditory information processing could be objectively and non-invasively probed with auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) and event- related fields (ERFs). In the current work, we explored the neurochemical effect on the neural origins of auditory information processing in relation to schizophrenia. By means of ERPs/ERFs we aimed to determine how neural substrates of auditory information processing are modulated by antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia spectrum patients (Studies I, II) and by neuropharmacological challenges in healthy human subjects (Studies III, IV). First, with auditory ERPs we investigated the effects of olanzapine (Study I) and risperidone (Study II) in a group of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. After 2 and 4 weeks of treatment, olanzapine has no significant effects on mismatch negativity(MMN) and P300, which, as it has been suggested, respectively reflect preattentive and attention-dependent information processing. After 2 weeks of treatment, risperidone has no significant effect on P300, however risperidone reduces P200 amplitude. This latter effect of risperidone on neural resources responsible for P200 generation could be partly explained through the action of dopamine. Subsequently, we used simultaneous EEG/MEG to investigate the effects of memantine (Study III) and methylphenidate (Study IV) in healthy subjects. We found that memantine modulates MMN response without changing other ERP components. This could be interpreted as being due to the possible influence of memantine through the NMDA receptors on auditory change- detection mechanism, with processing of auditory stimuli remaining otherwise unchanged. Further, we found that methylphenidate does not modulate the MMN response. This finding could indicate no association between catecholaminergic activities and electrophysiological measures of preattentive auditory discrimination processes reflected in the MMN. However, methylphenidate decreases the P200 amplitudes. This could be interpreted as a modulation of auditory information processing reflected in P200 by dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems. Taken together, our set of studies indicates a complex pattern of neurochemical influences produced by the antipsychotic drugs in the neural substrate of auditory information processing in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and by the pharmacological challenges in healthy subjects studied with ERPs and ERFs.
  • Leminen, Alina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The representation of morphologically complex words in the mental lexicon and their neurocognitive processing has been a vigorously debated topic in psycholinguistics and the cognitive neuroscience of language. This thesis investigates the effect of stimulus modality on morphological processing, the spatiotemporal dynamics of the neural processing of inflected (e.g., work+ed ) and derived (e.g., work+er ) words and their interaction, using the Finnish language. Overall, the results suggest that the constituent morphemes of isolated written and spoken inflected words are accessed separately, whereas spoken derived words activate both their full form and the constituent morphemes. The processing of both spoken and written inflected words elicited larger N400 responses than monomorphemic words (Study I), whereas the responses to spoken derived words did not differ from those to monomorphemic words (Study IV). Spoken inflected words elicited a larger left-lateralized negativity and greater source strengths in the left temporal cortices than derived words (Study IV). Thus, the results suggest different cortical processing for derived and inflected words. Moreover, the neural mechanisms underlying inflection and derivation seem to be not only different, but also independent as indexed by the linear summation of the responses to derived and inflected stimuli in a combined (derivation+inflection) condition (Study III). Furthermore, the processing of meaningless, spoken derived pseudowords was more difficult than for existing derived words, indexed by a larger N400-type effect for the pseudowords. However, no differences were observed between meaningful derived pseudowords and existing derived words (Study II). The results of Study II suggest that semantic compatibility between morphemes seems to have a crucial role in a successful morphological analysis. As a methodological note, time-locking the auditory event-related potentials/fields (ERP/ERF) to the suffix onset revealed the processes related to morphological analysis more precisely (Studies II and IV), which also enables comparison of the neural processes in different modalities (Study I).
  • Palva, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The synchronization of neuronal activity, especially in the beta- (14-30 Hz) /gamma- (30 80 Hz) frequency bands, is thought to provide a means for the integration of anatomically distributed processing and for the formation of transient neuronal assemblies. Thus non-stimulus locked (i.e. induced) gamma-band oscillations are believed to underlie feature binding and the formation of neuronal object representations. On the other hand, the functional roles of neuronal oscillations in slower theta- (4 8 Hz) and alpha- (8 14 Hz) frequency bands remain controversial. In addition, early stimulus-locked activity has been largely ignored, as it is believed to reflect merely the physical properties of sensory stimuli. With human neuromagnetic recordings, both the functional roles of gamma- and alpha-band oscillations and the significance of early stimulus-locked activity in neuronal processing were examined in this thesis. Study I of this thesis shows that even the stimulus-locked (evoked) gamma oscillations were sensitive to high-level stimulus features for speech and non-speech sounds, suggesting that they may underlie the formation of early neuronal object representations for stimuli with a behavioural relevance. Study II shows that neuronal processing for consciously perceived and unperceived stimuli differed as early as 30 ms after stimulus onset. This study also showed that the alpha band oscillations selectively correlated with conscious perception. Study III, in turn, shows that prestimulus alpha-band oscillations influence the subsequent detection and processing of sensory stimuli. Further, in Study IV, we asked whether phase synchronization between distinct frequency bands is present in cortical circuits. This study revealed prominent task-sensitive phase synchrony between alpha and beta/gamma oscillations. Finally, the implications of Studies II, III, and IV to the broader scientific context are analysed in the last study of this thesis (V). I suggest, in this thesis that neuronal processing may be extremely fast and that the evoked response is important for cognitive processes. I also propose that alpha oscillations define the global neuronal workspace of perception, action, and consciousness and, further, that cross-frequency synchronization is required for the integration of neuronal object representations into global neuronal workspace.
  • Palomäki, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Poker, especially on-line poker, is a game of skill and chance that requires constant and rapid decision making under varying levels of risk and uncertainty. Poker playing skill encompasses both technical and emotional elements. In poker, it is possible to acquire enough experience and skill to win money in the long run. Yet every poker player, regardless of his/her skill, occasionally loses. Poor, out-of-control poker decision making due to negative emotions typically elicited by monetary losses is commonly known as tilting and often results in superfluous losses. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate psychological and physiological emotional processes associated with poker decision making. Studies I III were based on Internet-questionnaire data. Study I (N=60) was qualitative, and Studies II (N=354) and III (N=417) were correlative. The emphasis here was on exploring the underpinnings of the tilting phenomenon and the differences in emotion regulation abilities between experienced and inexperienced poker players. In Study IV (N=29), psychophysiological reactivity (electrodermal activity; EDA) was measured in a laboratory setting while participants played the No Limit Texas Hold'em (NLHE) poker variant on a computer. Overall, the results suggest that tilting behavior is instigated by loss-induced feelings of injustice/unfairness (moral indignation). These feelings are also associated with chasing behavior, where players attempt irrationally to regain the money that they feel is rightfully theirs. The aftermath of tilting was characterized by reports of sleeping problems and rumination over lost resources (Study I). A higher tendency to experience loss-induced negative feelings was associated with a higher reported severity of tilting (Study III). Experienced players, when compared with inexperienced ones, exhibited a more mature/impassive disposition towards losing and tilting (Studies I III), engaged in less self-rumination and more self-reflection, and made normatively better poker decisions (Study II). However, surprisingly, experienced players also reported more severe tilting (Study III). The EDA elicited while participants played poker on a computer was associated with various poker decisions (actions): Pre-decision EDA levels increased in the order of folding, calling and betting/raising. Furthermore, actions taken with strong and weak poker hands elicited higher EDA compared with actions taken with poker hands of medium/uncertain strength (Study IV). The results from Studies I III shed light on the associations between poker experience, emotion regulation abilities ( mental skills ) and tilting behavior. The results from Study IV allow for situating the game of poker within the theoretical framework of economic and neuroscientific theories of emotions and decision making by demonstrating that the EDA associated with NLHE decision making conceivably indexes the anticipated utility of the decisions.
  • Blomberg, Seija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    As a Novice Teacher at Comprehensive School: The authentic experiences of the beginning teachers during their first year of teaching The aim of this study is to explicate the novice year of teaching in the light of teachers´ authentic experiences. The subject of this investigation is the teachers´ subjective world of experience during their first academic year of teaching and the sharing of these experiences in collaborative consulting meetings. The themes discussed in the meetings were introduced into the collaborative group by the novice teachers themselves, and the progress of discussion was con-trolled by them. The research data was gathered in a consultative working group where the way a novice teacher starts to interpret, analyze and identify his/her own complex and dynamic teaching situations was observed. The research data gathered in this way illuminates novice teachers´ world of experience and mental picture as well as the unconscious sides of school life. In a theoretical frame of reference, the work of a teacher is identified, according to systemic scientific thought, as a dynamic triangle in which the basic elements are the personality of the teacher, the role of the teacher and the school as an organization. These basic elements form a whole within which the teacher works. The dynamics of this triangle in a teacher’s work are brought to light through the study of the phenomena of groups and group dynamics since a teacher works either as a member of a group (working community), as a leader of a group (teaching situations) or in a network (parent – teacher cooperation). Therefore, tension and force are always present in teaching work. The main research problem was to explain how a novice teacher experiences his/her first working year as a teacher. The participants (n=5) were teaching at five different comprehensive schools in the city of Helsinki. This was their first long-term post as a teacher. The research data consists of seven collaborative consulting meetings, as well as recordings and transcripts of the meetings. A classificatory framework was developed for data analysis which enabled a sys-tematic qualitative content analysis based on theory and material. In addition to the consulting meetings, the teachers were interviewed at the beginning and at the end of the process of collecting the research material. The interviews were used to interpret the meanings of the content analysis based on raw data. The findings show that there is a gap between teacher education and the reality of school life, which causes difficulties for a novice teacher during his/her first teaching year. The gap is rather a global educational problem than a national one, and therefore it is independent of cultural factors. Novice teachers desire a well-structured theory of teacher education and a clear programme where the themes and content delve deeper and deeper into the subject matter during the study years. According to the novice teachers, teacher education frequently consists of sporadic and unconnected study and class situations. An individual content weakness of teacher education is the lack of insufficient initiation into evaluation processes. The novice teachers suggest that a student must be provided good-quality and competent guidance during the study years and during his or her induction. There should be a well-organized, structured and systematic induction program for novice teachers. The induction program should be overseen by an organization so that the requirements of a qualified induction can be met. The findings show that the novice teachers find the first year of teaching at comprehensive school emotionally loaded. The teachers experienced teaching as difficult work and found the workload heavy. Nevertheless, they enjoyed their job because, as they said, there were more pleasant than unpleasant things in their school day. Their main feeling at school was the joy of success in teaching. The novice teachers felt satisfaction with their pupils. The teachers experienced the more serious feelings of anger and disgust when serious violence took place. The most difficult situations arose from teaching pupils who had mental health problems. The toughest thing in the teacher´s work was teaching groups that are too heterogeneous. The most awkward problems in group dynamics happened when new immigrants, who spoke only their own languages, were integrated into the groups in the middle of the school year. Teachers wanted to help children who needed special help with learning but restated at the same time that the groups being taught shouldn’t be too heterogeneous. The teachers wished for help from school assistants so that they could personally concentrate more on teaching. Not all the parents took care of their children according to the comprehensive school law. The teachers found it hard to build a confidential relationship between home and school. In this study, novice teachers found it hard to join the teaching staff at school. Some of the teachers on staff were very strong and impulsive, reacting loudly and emotionally. These teachers provoked disagreement, conflicts, power struggles and competition among the other teachers. Although the novice teachers of the study were all qualified teachers, three of them were not interested in a permanent teaching job. For these teachers teaching at a primary school was just a project, a short period in their working life. They will remain in the teaching profession as long as they are learning new things and enjoying their teaching job. This study is an independent part of the research project on Interplay – Connecting Academic Teacher Education and Work, undertaken by the Department of Applied Sciences of Education at the University of Helsinki. Key words: novice teacher, emotions, groups and group dynamics, authority, co-operation between home and school, teacher community, leadership at school, induction, consulting
  • Reinikainen, Sarianna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    This thesis studies the experiences of women who have lived in a youth home as girls. There are two main themes: 1) experiences of living in a youth home, and 2) experiences of coping as an adult. Data on the first theme is purely subjective; it derives from personal, recalled experiences. Data on the second theme is partly based on experiences and partly on facts about the current life situation of the research participants. A third theme of the thesis is concerned with the question of how the research participants’ placement in a youth home influenced their later life. The thesis contributes valuable knowledge concerning the experiences of young people who have been raised in substitute care, a topic that is rare in the literature. The empirical data of the study consists of responses to an initial inquiry and subsequent interviews. The inquiry was sent to 116 former inhabitants of a youth home. 62 altogether returned the inquiry, and 34 participated in the interview. The purpose of the inquiry was to produce an overview of the life situations of the research participants and to invite them to participate in the interview. In addition, the inquiry sought to produce an overview of how the participants enjoyed living in a youth home and how they saw its significance in terms of their later lives. The interviews concentrated on the research participants’ experiences concerning the processes of getting into a youth home, living there, and coping independently in life afterwards. The most central result relating to the first main theme was that the experiences were both shared and non-shared. Living in a youth home was characterized by six general sentiments: “wonderful, real home”, “new world!”, “safe haven”, “place to live”, “penal institution”, and “nightmare”. These sentiments seemed to be related first and foremost to whether one’s own, individual needs and expectations had been met in the youth home. The strongest and most common needs, as experienced, were the needs for safety, belongingness and respect. On the basis of the experiences, meeting these needs can be considered as the most important task of a youth home. The results relating to the second main theme of the study were examined in two different ways. Comparisons with the general female population (education, situation in working life and financial circumstances) showed that research participants had coped less well. Differences were also found to exist in family structures: nuclear families and single mother families were more unusual among research participants, and stepfamilies more common, than in the general population. More of the participants’ children than of the general population’s lived with somebody other than their parent. However, the experience of coping well was common among research participants, although the beginning of independent living had been generally experienced as difficult: feelings of loneliness, insecurity and restlessness were dominant. Later, a sense of life control developed and strengthened through joining with others (family, work, friends), through accepting one’s own life history and through creating one’s own model of living. As the most significant explanation of their coping, the research participants identified their own (innate) strength and will to cope. The majority of the research participants felt that the youth home had a positive influence on their later lives. Positive influences can be grouped in three “levels”: I) getting out of the home, II) having good experiences and learning useful things, and III) the essential effect on one’s own way of thinking and living. The second level’s influence includes strengthened self-esteem, increased social understanding and new knowledge and skills. Some research participants did not think the youth home had any significance in terms of their later lives, and some thought it had negative significance.
  • Koistinen, Matti (Opettajankoulutuslaitos, 2010)
    This is a case-study of students well-being studying in Sibelius Upper Secondary School which has got a special educational task in dance and music. The first purpose of this study is to analyse the students well-being, motivation, studying satisfaction and try to find out what kind of problems the students meet when studying in Upper Secondary School. The second purpose of this study is to try find means in counselling to help students in their Upper Secondary School Studies. The data were gathered in three parts. The first questioning was based on Allardt s (1976; 1998) well-being theory. In this questioning (N = 187) the students described their satisfaction in having (material things), loving (social relationships) and being (free time). The second data was collected by interviews (N = 19). The third data is a follow-up questioning (N = 10) for graduated students. The whole data was analysed with qualitative methods. The gathered qualitative data were compared with the quantitative data gathered by the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Results of this study indicate that the students in this case-study are mainly satisfied with their well-being, social and material things in their studying environment including counselling and teaching. The research results show that some of the students are exhausted due too muchtime spent in studying. This was verified also in the quantitative data gathered by the National Institute for Health and Welfare. These students suffer for the lack of free time and rest. Students who are motivated and have reached the autonomous way of studying do better in their Upper Secondary School Studies than those who study in unautonomous way.A quite wide range of students tend to make individual studying programmes and spend four or more years in Upper Secondary School instead of the three year programme. The individual programme gives them more time for practicing their special skills in the field of the school s special educational task and to give themselves more time for studying the basic subjects of the Upper Secondary School. Some of the students who tend to take extra years in Upper Secondary School have difficulties in their studying skills and are unsure of their studying motivation. The competition among students in Upper Secondary School with the special educational task causes stress and exhaustion for some of the studied students. These students have difficulties with integrating themselves into the social environment. For the other students the school s social environment works as a motivator for their studies and increases their well-being in their studies. According to the results of the follow-up questioning in this study the students value most the network with the other students they made while studying at the Sibelius Upper Secondary School. According to this study the students would need more counselling in all stages of their Upper Secondary School Studies. The autonomous students do quite well in their studies despite of the small amount of given counselling. They would also need more counselling in planning their further studies after Upper Secondary School. The biggest challenges to student counselling in Sibelius Upper Secondary School are helping the students to find their individual ways of studying and helping them to learn the ways of autonomous studying skills. Keywords: Upper Secondary School with a special educational task, well-being, talent, Upper Secondary School, Young person in Upper Secondary School, motivation, counselling, studying
  • Ahola, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Occupational burnout and heath Occupational burnout is assumed to be a negative consequence of chronic work stress. In this study, it was explored in the framework of occupational health psychology, which focusses on psychologically mediated processes between work and health. The objectives were to examine the overlap between burnout and ill health in relation to mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and cardiovascular diseases, which are the three commonest disease groups causing work disability in Finland; to study whether burnout can be distinguished from ill health by its relation to work characteristics and work disability; and to determine the socio-demographic correlates of burnout at the population level. A nationally representative sample of the Finnish working population aged 30 to 64 years (n = 3151-3424) from the multidisciplinary epidemiological Health 2000 Study was used. Burnout was measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey. The diagnoses of common mental disorders were based on the standardized mental health interview (the Composite International Diagnostic Interview), and physical illnesses were determined in a comprehensive clinical health examination by a research physician. Medically certified sickness absences exceeding 9 work days during a 2-year period were extracted from a register of The Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Work stress was operationalized according to the job strain model. Gender, age, education, occupational status, and marital status were recorded as socio-demographic factors. Occupational burnout was related to an increased prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders and alcohol dependence among the men and women. Burnout was also related to musculoskeletal disorders among the women and cardiovascular diseases among the men independently of socio-demographic factors, physical strenuousness of work, health behaviour, and depressive symptoms. The odds of having at least one long, medically-certified sickness absence were higher for employees with burnout than for their colleagues without burnout. For severe burnout, this association was independent of co-occurring common mental disorders and physical illnesses for both genders, as was also the case for mild burnout among the women. In a subgroup of the men with absences, severe burnout was related to a greater number of absence days than among the women with absences. High job strain was associated with a higher occurrence of burnout and depressive disorders than low job strain was. Of these, the association between job strain and burnout was stronger, and it persisted after control for socio-demographic factors, health behaviour, physical illnesses, and various indicators of mental health. In contrast, job strain was not related to depressive disorders after burnout was accounted for. Among the working population over 30 years of age, burnout was positively associated with age. There was also a tendency towards higher levels of burnout among the women with low educational attainment and occupational status and among the unmarried men. In conclusion, a considerable overlap was found between burnout, mental disorders, and physical illnesses. Still, burnout did not seem to be totally redundant with respect to ill health. Burnout may be more strongly related to stressful work characteristics than depressive disorders are. In addition, burnout seems to be an independent risk factor for work disability, and it could possibly be used as a marker of health-impairing work stress. However, burnout may represent a different kind of risk factor for men and women, and this possibility needs to be taken into account in the promotion of occupational health.
  • Jyrhämä, Riitta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Haarala-Muhonen, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The aim of this dissertation was to explore factors which affect first-year law students study success. A modified Biggs s 3P model was used as the theoretical framework. The model includes both personal and contextual factors in student learning. The participants were first-year law students from the academic years 2005-2008, and the data were collected through interviews, open-ended question and electronic questionnaires. Study I explored first-year law students spontaneous descriptions of their learning activities at the beginning of their studies as well as fast study pace law students who had already finished their first year. Even though, law students are selected through a demanding entrance examination, some of the beginner students mentioned using only one or very few learning activities, which were mainly non-generative strategies. On the other hand, it was typical for the fast study pace students to mention generative strategies and elements of organised effort in studying. Study II analysed the relationship between approaches to learning and study success in terms of earned study credits and grade point average among first-year law students in three years. Organised students and students applying a deep approach earned the highest number of credits and the highest grades, whereas students applying a surface approach and unorganised students applying a deep approach received the lowest number of credits and the lowest grades. The study confirms previous findings that organised students constitute the largest cluster among first-year law students. Study III explored factors affecting the study pace of law students during their first academic year. The factors mentioned by the students were classified into four categories of self-regulation: motivation, behaviour, cognition and context. The group of fast study pace students turned out to have good skills in all areas of self-regulation. Respectively, the slow study pace group showed more individual variation, and had weaknesses in one or more areas of self-regulation. In addition, students experienced, that other activities such as working affected their study pace, this could be constitute a fifth category. However, the slow and fast study pace students felt differently about work. According to the slow study pace students, work impeded their studying because it took up too much time. For their part, the fast study pace students were able to allocate their time effectively and felt working to be useful and a counterbalanced to their studying, as well as an opportunity to apply knowledge in practice. Study IV analysed differences in law students perceptions of their teaching-learning environments after three learning periods. The students perceptions were compared with pharmacy and veterinary students perceptions of their teaching-learning environments. The results showed that the law students experienced their teaching-learning environment more negatively than the pharmacy and veterinary students. The law students experienced that alignment, teaching for understanding, staff enthusiasm and support, along with constructive feedback were areas that could be developed at the Faculty. Together the four studies indicate that both law students learning skills and the teaching-learning environment could be further developed. The results imply that managing in the demanding teaching-learning environment of law requires student to effectively employ qualitative learning activities: organised studying and a deep approach to learning and good self-regulation skills. In addition to student counselling, it is important for students study success to direct the teaching-learning environment towards a more learning-focused than content-focused approach to teaching.
  • Venninen, Tuulikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    I have more often thought over what I am thinking and also I have often told it to others - professional development and collegial feedback on kindergarten teams. The need for professional feedback surfaces year after year in enquiries made among staff members in the field of early childhood education. Because the pressure to be effective adds to the workload of the heads of kindergartens, there are few opportunities to give staff concrete feedback on a daily basis. Because peers are able to observe each other close at hand, their reciprocal feedback can compensate for that of the kindergarten head. In this study the practical training process of collegial feedback is studied and also the opportunities for feedback as a means of supporting professional development in the context of kindergarten. The development project involving the entire kindergarten community (N=21) was implemented in 2003-2004 through three developing cycles. The Johar´s Window , produced by Luft and Jung with the Model of Situational Leadership by Hersey and Blanchard, acted as a theoretical frame of reference. It has been used in this study both for its qualitative and its quantitative methods. The data were carried out through questions, interviews, diaries, written descriptions and monthly evaluations. The qualitative and quantitative methods were also used in analysing the data. The results showed that during the training process, the staff as a giver of feedback moved from the professional basic level to the professional maturity level. Their awareness of both their own and their peers´ know-how expanded from the initial state to the final state. It became evident that team size is the essential key element in the practise of giving feedback to team members. The team atmosphere and the commitment of the team members are in significant factors in the training of giving and receiving feedback. As a result of analyses, delivering feedback was grouped into three categories: developmental feedback, descriptive feedback and either supportive or destructive feedback. Receiving feedback was likewise groupped into three categories: aspiring to develop, unaccommodating and accepting. The ability to control feelings improved along with the skills of giving feedback; it was possible to analyse development through the professional development model represented in the theory of the study. The results showed that professional know-how of other kinds also developed during the process. Giving feedback among fellow workers enables team members to receive feedback everyday. Training to give feedback means examining a field of professional know-how and also formulating shared rules. The results of this study give support to previous studies that have emphasised practical training in natural circumstances. Keywords: feedback, professional development, learning at work
  • Mansikka, Jan-Erik (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    TRANSFORMATIONS OF NATURE Science, Knowledge and Freedom in the Early Thinking of Rudolf Steiner. Perspectives on Waldorf Education in the light of the History of Ideas Waldorf Education is based on the worldview that Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) developed to a wide-ranging anthroposophical movement in the first decades of the 20th century. This thesis takes as its departure the early thinking of Rudolf Steiner that precedes anthroposophy, and its main purpose is to uncover the tradition of ideas represented in Steiner´s early life and which, in different ways, have emerged in the practice of Waldorf Education. Through systematic analysis I attempt to bring to light different aspects of Steiner’s early thinking: his concept of science, his epistemological startingpoints and his philosophy of freedom. By departing from J. W. Goethe’s qualitative concept of science, Steiner strove in his early works to formulate a monistic worldview which appears to be closely related to the Romantic Movement and its philosophy of nature. Characteristic traits of his thinking are, on the one hand, a critique of a one-sided enlightenment and, on the other hand, an aspiration to see the world as a living organic unity. Human beings can, by developing our intuitive faculties, get a deeper understanding of the indissoluble relationship between man and nature. Against this background Steiner´s early thinking can be read as a special kind of romantic development narrative. Steiner’s early thinking also opens the way for romantic perspectives on Waldorf Education. It appears that many central aims and conceptions in Waldorf Education can be illuminated by the epistemological perspective upon which Steiner elaborated early in his life. An organic curriculum, phenomenological didactics and high ideal of freedom can be considered seen as educational applications of conceptions that played an important role in Goethe and his age. Thus, Waldorf Education provides in our contemporary society an exceptional set of educational values: a holistic education with romantic undertones.
  • Kuusinen, Riitta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
    Tutkimuksessa analysoidaan teoriatasolla web-avusteisen tiedontuottamisyhteistyön kokeilutoiminnassa esiin tulleita ongelmia ja kootaan niiden viitoittamana teoriaperustaa tulevaisuuden työskentelytavalle, tietämyksen web-avusteiselle ryhmäprosessoinnille. Keskiössä on ihminen kognitiivisena tiedonkäsittelijänä ja elinikäisenä oppijana. Organisaatiossa vallitsevat toimintastrategiat, ryhmätyöskentelyn organisointi ja ryhmässä toteutuvat käytännöt muodostavat yksilön toimintaa ohjaavan sosiaalisen toimintaympäristön, joka säätelee yhteistyöprosessin onnistumista. Yhteistyötä tarkastellaan sosiaalisen tiedonkäsittelyn ryhmäilmiönä, jossa käsite yhteistyökyky kyseenalaistuu. Tuotetussa teoriaperustassa ihminen nähdään monitasoisten oppimishaasteiden ristitulessa. Koulutuksessa vallitseva absoluuttinen tietokäsitys on pystyttävä muuttamaan konstruktivistiseksi tietokäsitykseksi: yhteistä tietämystä ryhmänä tuotettaessa yksilöiden tietämys on rakennusaineena. Koulussa saatu sosiaalisen tiedonkäsittelyn malli, itsekeskeisen tiedonkäsittelyn malli, ei sovellu tietämyksen ryhmäprosessointiin. Malliin liittyviä oppeja on poisopittava samalla kun ryhmäjäsenenä on suunniteltava ja yhdessä opeteltava ryhmäkeskeisiä ja web-avusteisia tiedonkäsittelymalleja. Näin yhteistyöprosessissa toteutuu rinnakkain asiaoppimista ja toimintaoppimista. Näitä molempia on tarpeen tukea kehitettäessä uudenlaisia web-avusteisia työskentelymenetelmiä. Osassa I esitellään tutkimuksen kokemusperäisiä virikkeitä. Suhteellisen tietokäsityksen mukaisesti tämä tutkimus on kiinteästi kytkeytynyt tutkijan elinikäiseen oppimiseen ja tutkimus kuvataan tutkijan yksilöllisen tietämyksen prosessointina. Tutkimusaiheen löytymiseen johtaneet käytännön havainnot aloittavat sen takia raportoinnin. Erityisesti koulun sosiaalisen tiedonkäsittelyn organisointi on tarkastelun kohteena. Osassa II hahmotetaan tutkimusnäkökulmaa. Tutkimuskysymykset ovat lähinnä viitoittamassa tietämyksen etsintää. Tutkimusmenetelmä, kokeilutoiminnan analysointi, on saanut vahvasti vaikutteita toimintatutkimuksesta. Tutkimusasetelman perustana on toimintaan kytkeytyvä ihmiskäsitys. Kirjallisuuden avulla etsitään mahdollisia kytkeytymiä ihmisen käyttäytymisen ja sosiaalisen toiminnan organisoinnin välillä. Osa III kuvailee tutkimusaihetta koskevan ymmärryksen prosessointia. Esiymmärrys yhteistyöstä ja yhteistyökäsitteen määrittely mahdollistavat kokeilutoimintaan ryhtymisen. Uusi viestintämahdollisuus (www) nähdään yhteisessä tiedonkäsittelyssä apuvälineenä. Käytännön kokeilujaksot tarjoavat aineksia kognitiivisen tiedonkäsittelyn syvällisten periaatteiden löytymiselle. Inhimillinen toiminta ja sosiaalinen tiedonkäsittely saavat teoriatason analysoinnissa oppimiseen perustuvia tulkintoja. Osassa IV esitellään tutkimuksen tavoitteena ollutta teoriaperustaa tietämyksen web-avusteiselle ryhmäprosessoinnille. Teoriatiivistelmässä keskiöön nousee ihmisen kognitiivinen tiedonkäsittely sekä konstruktivistisen asiaoppimisen että selviytymispainotteisen toimintaoppimisen muodossa. Sosiaalinen toimintaympäristö nähdään osallisena kognitiivisessa tiedonkäsittelyssä ja selityksenä sille, että yhteinen tiedonkäsittely ei onnistu pelkästään tietoverkkoympäristössä vaan tarvitaan myös sosiaalisia tapaamisia. Kokeilutoiminnan opetuksia tuodaan esille yhteistyöprosessin keskeisten tapahtumien tarkastelussa. Tuotettua teoriaperustaa koetellaan tieteen kentällä vertailemalla sitä muiden tutkijoiden julkaisemiin käsityksiin. Tietoverkkoteknologian suhdetta inhimilliseen tiedonkäsittelyyn verrataan muualla saatuihin ja julkaistuihin käsityksiin. Avainsanat: tietointensiivinen yhteistyö, tiedontuottamisyhteistyö, yhteistyöprosessi, yhteistyökyky, yhteistyökyvyttömyys, virtuaalinen yhteistyöorganisaatio, yksilöllinen tietämys, yhteisen ymmärryksen etsintä, yhteinen tietämys, kognitiivinen tiedonkäsittely, asiaoppiminen, toimintaoppiminen, sosiaalinen tiedonkäsittely, sosiaalinen toimintaympäristö, automatisoitunut toimintamalli, yksilökeskeinen toimintamalli, itsekeskeinen toimintamalli, ryhmäkeskeinen toimintamalli, sosiaalisen tiedonkäsittelyn toimintastrategia, työympäristössä oppiminen.
  • Kaukoluoto, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Is the early childhood day care facility possible? The research considering communal development of the early education. In Finland mothers and fathers look after 400 000 pre-school children. Half of these attend day care facilities, in which 50 000 staff are employed. The aim of this research is to develop co-operation practices within the day care centre. This research refines and expands my own interest in and knowledge of day care management and content development. The basis of the research draws upon ethnographic material covering the period 1999–2005. The day care centre chosen as a central informant was the first suburban centre founded in 1963, and it provided a rich local and welfare state research perspective. It became clear that the day care facility’s co-operation practices formed the basis of bringing up children and at the same time produced a new multi-operational and multi-layered community for child participation. Adult day care centre workers bringing up the children as a professional work and solutions defining the conditions for the work are expressed in a child’s upbringing. This obviously has an impact in where as the development of communities. From the human and community scientific point of view, the group of youngest children will take up a future position as key players in communities as essential actors and reformers. The research was carried out as multiphase and multiscientific practical research and iterative data formation. The results verified that the co-operation between parents and day care staff produces important benefits for all the stakeholders. However, the day care staff has difficulties in implementing the benefits. During the research process, it became clear that conceptually day care staff saw the practices as ”very important, but not easily realised in practice”. As a result this demanded further research to address this issue and to extend this to the carefacility’s co-operation practises and their communal and social conditions. The research looks at the carefacility’s co-operation with key stakeholders. At the same time it undertakes an analytical and historical examination of carefacilitys’s with an experimental focus as two day care centres chosen as experimental objects. The results of the research showed that the benefits gained by children were determined by the day care centre’s socio-political structure and the parent’s resources. The research framework categorised early childhood education as generational and gender based structures. As part of the research, the strains endemic to these formations have been examined. The system for bringing up children was created as part of a so called welfare state project by implemented by the Day Care Act in year 1973. The law secured the subjective right for every pre-school child to have access to day care facilities. The law also introduced a labour and sosiopolitical phase and the refinement of the day care facility’s education-care concept. The latest phase that started during the early 1990´s was called the market-based social services strategy. As a result of this phase, state support was limited and the screening function of the law was relaxed. This new strategy resulted in a divisive and bureaucratic social welfare system, that individualised and segregated children and their parents, leaving some families outside the communal and welfare state benefit net. The modern day care centre is a hybrid of different aims. Children spend longer and more irregular time in day care. The families are multicultural and that requires more training for the staff. The work in day care has been enhanced, for example he level of education for the staff has been lowered and productivity has been improved. However, administrative work and different kinds of support and net work functions together with the continuous change have taken over from the work done face to face with children. Staff experiences more pressure as the management and the work load has increased. Consequently the long-term planning and daily implementation of the nuclear task of the day care facility is difficult to control. This will have an effect on both motivation and manageability of the work. Overall quality of the early childhood upbringing has been weakened. The possibilities for the near future were tested in the two day care centres chosen as an experi-ment objects. The analysis of these experiments showed that generative interaction work will benefit everyone: children, parents and employees. The main results of the research are new concepts of an early support day care centre, which can be empirically and theoretically possi-ble for development the near future. Key words: Day care facility’s co-operation practises, early childhood education as generational structure, child’s multi-operational and multi-layered community, multi-subjective operator, generative interaction work, communal composition.