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  • 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.
  • Immonen-Orpana, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the possibilities and interconnec-tions that exist concerning the relationship between the University of Applied Sci-ences and the Learning by Developing action model (LbD), on the one hand, and education for sustainable development and high-quality learning as a part of profes-sional competence development on the other. The research and learning environment was the Coping at Home research project and its Caring TV project, which provided the context of the Physiotherapy for Elderly People professional study unit. The re-searcher was a teacher and an evaluator of her own students learning. The aims of the study were to monitor and evaluate learning at the individual and group level using tools of high-quality learning − improved concept maps − related to understanding the projects core concept of successful ageing. Conceptions were evaluated through aspects of sustainable development and a conceptual basis of physiotherapy. As edu-cational research this was a multi-method case study design experiment. The three research questions were as follows. 1. What kind of individual conceptions and conceptual structures do students build concerning the concept of successful ageing? How many and what kind of concepts and propositions do they have a) before the study unit, b) after the study unit, c) after the social-knowledge building? 2. What kind of social-knowledge building exists? a) What kind of social learn-ing process exists? b) What kind of socially created concepts, propositions and conceptual structures do the students possess after the project? c) What kind of meaning does the social-knowledge building have at an individual level? 3. How do physiotherapy competences develop according to the results of the first and second research questions? The subjects were 22 female, third-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy students in Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Individual learning was evaluated in 12 of the 22 students. The data was collected as a part of the learning exercises of the Physiotherapy for Elderly People study unit, with improved concept maps both at individual and group levels. The students were divided into two social-knowledge building groups: the first group had 15 members and second 7 members. Each group created a group-level concept map on the theme of successful ageing. These face-to-face interactions were recorded with CMapTools and videotaped. The data consists of both individually produced concept maps and group-produced concept maps of the two groups and the videotaped material of these processes. The data analysis was carried out at the intersection of various research traditions. Individually produced data was analysed based on content analysis. Group-produced data was analysed based on content analysis and dialogue analysis. The data was also analysed by simple statistical analysis. In the individually produced improved concept maps the students conceptions were comprehensive, and the first concept maps were found to have many concepts unrelated to each other. The conceptual structures were between spoke structures and chain structures. Only a few professional concepts were evident. In the second indi-vidual improved concept maps the conception was more professional than earlier, particulary from the functional point of view. The conceptual structures mostly re-sembled spoke structures. After the second individual concept mapping social map-ping interventions were made in the two groups. After this, multidisciplinary concrete links were established between all concepts in almost all individual concept maps, and the interconnectedness of the concepts in different subject areas was thus understood. The conceptual structures were mainly net structures. The concepts in these individual concept maps were also found to be more professional and concrete than in the previ-ous concept maps of these subjects. In addition, the wider context dependency of the concepts was recognized in many individual concept maps. This implies a conceptual framework for specialists. The social-knowledge building was similar to a social learning process. Both socio-cultural processes and cognitive processes were found to develop students conceptual awareness and the ability to engage in intentional learning. In the knowl-edge-building process two aspects were found: knowledge creation and pedagogical action. The discussion during the concept-mapping process was similar to a shared thinking process. In visualising the process with CMapTools, students easily comple-mented each others thoughts and words, as if mutually telepathic . Synthesizing, supporting, asking and answering, peer teaching and counselling, tutoring, evaluating and arguing took place, and students were very active, self-directed and creative. It took hundreds of conversations before a common understanding could be found. The use of concept mapping in particular was very effective. The concepts in these group-produced concept maps were found to be professional, and values of sustainable development were observed. The results show the importance of developing the contents and objectives of the European Qualification Framework as well as education for sustainable development, especially in terms of the need for knowledge creation, global responsibility and systemic, holistic and critical thinking in order to develop clinical practice. Keywords: education for sustainable development, learning, knowledge building, improved concept map, conceptual structure, competence, successful ageing
  • Jokela, Markus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Depression is a complex psychiatric disorder influenced by several genes, environmental factors, and their interplay. Serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) and tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) genes have been implicated in vulnerability to depression and other psychiatric disorders, but the results have been inconsistent. The present study examined whether these two genes moderated the influence of different depressogenic environmental factors on subthreshold depressive symptoms (assessed on a modified version of Beck s Depression Inventory, BDI) and depression-related temperament, i.e., harm avoidance (assessed on the Temperament and Character Inventory, TCI). The environmental factors included measures of childhood and adolescence exposure, i.e., maternal nurturance and parental socioeconomic status, and adulthood social circumstances, i.e., perceived social support and urban/rural residence. The participants were two randomly selected subsamples (n = 1246, n = 341) from the longitudinal population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study (n = 3596). Childhood environmental factors were assessed when the participants were 3 to 18 years of age, and three years after the baseline. Adulthood environmental factors and outcome measures were assessed 17 and 21 years later when the participants were 21 to 39 years of age. The T102C polymorphism of the HTR2A gene moderated the association between childhood maternal nurturance and adulthood depressive symptoms, such that exposure to high maternal nurturance predicted low depressive symptoms among individuals carrying the T/T or T/C genotypes, but not among those carrying the C/C genotype. Likewise, high parental SES predicted low adulthood harm avoidance in individuals carrying the T/T or T/C genotype, but not in C/C-genotype carriers. Individuals carrying the T/T or T/C genotype were also sensitive to urban/rural residence, such that they had lower depressive symptoms in urban than in rural areas, whereas those carrying the C/C genotype were not sensitive to urban/rural residence difference. HTR2A did not moderate the influence of social support. TheA779C/A218C haplotype of the TPH1 gene was not involved in the association between childhood environment and adulthood outcomes. However, individuals carrying A alleles of the TPH1 haplotype were more vulnerable to the lack of adulthood social support in terms of high depressive symptoms than their counterparts carrying no A alleles. Furthermore, individuals living in remote rural areas and carrying the A/A haplotype had higher depressive symptoms than those carrying other genotypes of the TPH1. The findings suggest that the HTR2A and TPH1 genes may be involved in the development of depression by influencing individual s sensitivity to depressogenic environmental influences.
  • Leikas, Sointu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The present research focused on motivational and personality traits measuring individual differences in the experience of negative affect, in reactivity to negative events, and in the tendency to avoid threats. In this thesis, such traits (i.e., neuroticism and dispositional avoidance motivation) are jointly referred to as trait avoidance motivation. The seven studies presented here examined the moderators of such traits in predicting risk judgments, negatively biased processing, and adjustment. Given that trait avoidance motivation encompasses reactivity to negative events and tendency to avoid threats, it can be considered surprising that this trait does not seem to be related to risk judgments and that it seems to be inconsistently related to negatively biased information processing. Previous work thus suggests that some variable(s) moderate these relations. Furthermore, recent research has suggested that despite the close connection between trait avoidance motivation and (mal)adjustment, measures of cognitive performance may moderate this connection. However, it is unclear whether this moderation is due to different response processes between individuals with different cognitive tendencies or abilities, or to the genuinely buffering effect of high cognitive ability against the negative consequences of high trait avoidance motivation. Studies 1-3 showed that there is a modest direct relation between trait avoidance motivation and risk judgments, but studies 2-3 demonstrated that state motivation moderates this relation. In particular, individuals in an avoidance state made high risk judgments regardless of their level of trait avoidance motivation. This result explained the disparity between the theoretical conceptualization of avoidance motivation and the results of previous studies suggesting that the relation between trait avoidance motivation and risk judgments is weak or nonexistent. Studies 5-6 examined threat identification tendency as a moderator for the relationship between trait avoidance motivation and negatively biased processing. However, no evidence for such moderation was found. Furthermore, in line with previous work, the results of studies 5-6 suggested that trait avoidance motivation is inconsistently related to negatively biased processing, implying that theories concerning traits and information processing may need refining. Study 7 examined cognitive ability as a moderator for the relation between trait avoidance motivation and adjustment, and demonstrated that cognitive ability moderates the relation between trait avoidance motivation and indicators of both self-reported and objectively measured adjustment. Thus, the results of Study 7 supported the buffer explanation for the moderating influence of cognitive performance. To summarize, the results showed that it is possible to find factors that consistently moderate the relations between traits and important outcomes (e.g. adjustment). Identifying such factors and studying their interplay with traits is one of the most important goals of current personality research. The present thesis contributed to this line of work in relation to trait avoidance motivation.
  • Helin, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    TEACHERS` PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AS A CONTINUUM − Educational Partnership Between the University and Schools Building a continuum between teachers´ initial and in-service education is a challenge in Finland as well as worldwide. A basic principle and overall model for in-service education is missing. A possible in-service education model for the future is considered in this research. The theoretical part of the study focuses on teachers´ professional development and the partnership between university and school. This partnership includes teacher-teacher mentoring, which has recently been successfully implemented in Finland. The needs for in-service education were investigated through a systematic literature review of international in-service education models. The position of development models of Finnish in-service education in teacher education programmes was also determined. Different stakeholders including teachers, headmasters, school administrators, teacher educators in university, other teacher educators as well as state education administrators were interviewed in groups. In-service education as a continuum of professional development should be every teacher´s right, and duty, and in-service education could facilitate teachers´ tasks, improve their performance and boost their salaries. Utilizing the latest research findings in in-service education was seen by the interviewees as important, due to which universities were regarded as the most suitable organizers of in-service education. School community and mentoring in particular was seen as the main avenue for in-service education. The interviewees felt that the school community will be important in the future as teachers continue to develop together and the school becomes a learning community. The state and community were unanimously seen as the financers of in-service education. In the model proposed here, continuing in-service education contains four vertical continuums which are preceded by induction education. Following the induction phase any of the four continuums, the research-based continuum, the practice-based continuum for working life needs, the partnership continuum and the updating continuum can be selected. These continuums would guarantee flexible in-service education possibilities for the teachers. Having a number of obligatory courses would ensure that teachers educate themselves regularly. In addition to that, teachers could be provided with opportunities to educate themselves more continuously. Future in-service education on the basis of these four continuums strives for constant education based on a learning community. Keywords: pre-service education, in-service education, professional development, lifelong education, continuum, school-university partnership, learning community, mentoring, Interplay research project
  • Frilander-Paavilainen, Eeva-Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Helander, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Ahonen, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Reciprocal development of the object and subject of learning. The renewal of the learning practices of front-line communities in a telecommunications company as part of the techno-economical paradigm change. Current changes in production have been seen as an indication of a shift from the techno-economical paradigm of a mass-production era to a new paradigm of the information and communication technological era. The rise of knowledge management in the late 1990s can be seen as one aspect of this paradigm shift, as knowledge creation and customer responsiveness were recognized as the prime factors in business competition. However, paradoxical conceptions concerning learning and agency have been presented in the discussion of knowledge management. One prevalent notion in the literature is that learning is based on individuals’ voluntary actions and this has now become incompatible with the growing interest in knowledge-management systems. Furthermore, commonly held view of learning as a general process that is independent of the object of learning contradicts the observation that the current need for new knowledge and new competences are caused by ongoing techno-economic changes. Even though the current view acknowledges that individuals and communities have key roles in knowledge creation, this conception defies the idea of the individuals’ and communities’ agency in developing the practices through which they learn. This research therefore presents a new theoretical interpretation of learning and agency based on Cultural-Historical Activity Theory. This approach overcomes the paradoxes in knowledge-management theory and offers means for understanding and analyzing changes in the ways of learning within work communities. This research is also an evaluation of the Competence-Laboratory method which was developed as part of the study as a special application of Developmental Work Research methodology. The research data comprises the videotaped competence-laboratory processes of four front-line work communities in a telecommunications company. The findings reported in the five articles included in this thesis are based on the analyses of this data. The new theoretical interpretation offered here is based on the assessment that the findings reported in the articles represent one of the front lines of the ongoing historical transformation of work-related learning since the research site represents one of the key industries of the new “knowledge society”. The research can be characterized as elaboration of a hypothesis concerning the development of work related learning. According to the new theoretical interpretation, the object of activity is also the object of distributed learning in work communities. The historical socialization of production has increased the number of actors involved in an activity, which has also increased the number of mutual interdependencies as well as the need for communication. Learning practices and organizational systems of learning are historically developed forms of distributed learning mediated by specific forms of division of labor, specific tools, and specific rules. However, the learning practices of the mass production era become increasingly inadequate to accommodate the conditions in the new economy. This was manifested in the front-line work communities in the research site as an aggravating contradiction between the new objects of learning and the prevailing learning practices. The constituent element of this new theoretical interpretation is the idea of a work community’s learning as part of its collaborative mastery of the developing business activity. The development of the business activity is at the same time a practical and an epistemic object for the community. This kind of changing object cannot be mastered by using learning practices designed for the stable conditions of mass production, because learning has to change along the changes in business. According to the model introduced in this thesis, the transformation of learning proceeds through specific stages: predefined learning tasks are first transformed into learning through re-conceptualizing the object of the activity and of the joint learning and then, as the new object becomes stabilized, into the creation of new kinds of learning practices to master the re-defined object of the activity. This transformation of the form of learning is realized through a stepwise expansion of the work community’s agency. To summarize, the conceptual model developed in this study sets the tool-mediated co-development of the subject and the object of learning as the theoretical starting point for developing new, second-generation knowledge management methods. Key words: knowledge management, learning practice, organizational system of learning, agency
  • Vuoksimaa, Eero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    In humans, well-replicated and robust sex differences in cognitive functions exist for handedness and mental rotation ability. A common characteristic in human cognitive functions is the lateralization of language functions. Handedness is a common measure of laterality and is related to language lateralization. The prevalence of left-handedness is higher in males than in females, the male to female ratio being about 1.2. Among cognitive abilities, the largest sex difference is evident in the Vandenberg and Kuse Mental Rotation Test (MRT), which requires the ability to rotate objects in mental space. On average, males achieve scores one standard deviation higher than females in the MRT. The present thesis investigated the origins of the sex differences in laterality and spatial ability as represented by handedness and mental rotation ability, respectively. Two population-based Finnish twin cohorts were utilized in this study. Handedness was studied in 25 810 twins and 4068 singletons born before 1958 from the Older Finnish Twin Cohort, and in 4736 twins born in 1983-87 from the FinnTwin12. MRT was studied in a sub-sample of 804 young adult participants from the FinnTwin12 sample. The main findings of this study were: 1) the prevalence of left-handedness was higher among males than among females in both singletons and in twins; 2) males had significantly higher scores than females in MRT; 3) about one quarter of the variance in handedness and about half of the variance in MRT was explained by genetic effects, whereas the remainder of the variance in these traits was explained by environmental effects unique to each individual. The magnitude of the genetic effects was similar in both sexes; 4) left-handedness was significantly less common in female co-twins of a male than in female co-twins of a female, and female co-twins of a male scored significantly higher than did female co-twins of a female in the Mental Rotation Test. This dissertation discusses whether these differences between females from opposite- and same-sex twin pairs are due to the prenatal transfer of testosterone from the male fetus in females with male co-twins or whether they arise from postnatal socialization effects.