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  • Eronen, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
    These longitudinal studies focused on investigating young adults during transition into a new educational environment. The aims were to examine: (1) what kinds of achievement and social strategies young adults deploy, (2) whether the deployment of these strategies predicts people's success in their studies, their life events, their peer relationships, and their well-being, (3) whether young adults' success in dealing with educational transition (e.g. success in studies, life events, peer relationships and well-being) predict changes in their strategies and well-being, and (4) the associations between young adults' social strategies, interpersonal behaviour, person perception, and their peer relationships and satisfaction with them. The participants were students from Helsinki university and from two vocational institutes (the numbers ranging between 92 and 303). The results revealed that achievement and social strategies contributed to individuals' success in dealing with both the academic and interpersonal challenges of a new environment. Social strategies were also associated with online interpersonal behaviour and person perception, which mediated their impact on peer relationships. Achievement and social strategies changed as a result of environmental feedback. However, they also showed high stability, forming reciprocal and cumulative associations with the feedback the individuals received about their success in dealing with educational transition: the use of functional strategies, such as optimistic, defensive-pessimistic and planning-oriented strategies, increased their success, which in turn enhanced their well-being and further deployment of functional strategies. The opposite was true in the case of dysfunctional strategies, such as self-handicapping and avoidance. Key words : Achievement strategies, social strategies, transition, young adults, life events, sociometric status, social behaviour, person perception, well-being.
  • Sothayapetch, Pavinee (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This research aims to compare science education at the primary school level between Finland and Thailand. The study is divided into three sub-studies concerning: 1) a national science curricula analysis at primary school level based on the PISA scientific literacy framework;2) an analysis of science textbooks on the electric circuit lesson at grade 6; and 3) interviews with primary school teachers regarding Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and General Pedagogical Knowledge (GPK) on the electric circuit lesson at grade 6. These three sub-studies may reflect the holistic science education of the two countries in this comparative study between them. The main research methodology used in this study is the comparative approach and a content analysis technique was used in all three sub-studies. All textual and pictorial information from the science curricula at primary school level, including science textbooks, the electric circuit lesson and the teachers transliterations, were analysed following the inductive and deductive content analysis. Semi-structured interviews were employed for the collection of the interview data. Altogether, six experienced primary school teachers participated three Finnish teachers in Helsinki and three Thai teachers in Bangkok. In addition, a quantitative method was used to describe the findings from the qualitative approach through percentages, bar charts and a Pearson s chi-squared test. The main findings revealed that Finnish science education strongly emphasised conceptual knowledge (according to all three sub-studies) while the Thai science education emphasised procedural knowledge. For example, the Thai curriculum was closer to the PISA framework than was the Finnish curriculum. The Thai curriculum emphasised the scientific process and the Finnish curriculum focused on the concepts and contexts, rather than the process. The Thai textbooks emphasised procedural knowledge, while conceptual knowledge was emphasised mostly in the Finnish textbooks. Lastly, in the interviews the Finnish teachers emphasised the teaching of concepts through textbooks and computer materials. The Thai teachers emphasised the teaching and learning of procedural knowledge and consequently used more experimentation, along with authentic materials in the school laboratory. Both Finnish and Thai curriculum designers and textbook authors could apply the findings of this comparative research. In addition to the similarities and differences, the comparison revealed particular avenues that could be developed in science education. For example, curriculum planners and science educators, not only in Finland and Thailand but also in other countries in the future, may better recognize what should be emphasised in the science curriculum, especially from the perspective of the PISA Scientific Literacy Framework as the international student assessment. Furthermore, textbook authors may apply some of the comparative results of this research to produce high-quality textbooks based on a heightened awareness of the importance of the curriculum and of teachers ideas. Finally, as regards practical issues in the classroom, the Thai teachers may learn how to avoid disciplinary problems from their Finnish counterparts. Further, the Finns may learn from the Thai teachers how to organise laboratory activities for relatively large sized classes and how to balance the learning of conceptual and procedural knowledge.
  • Bofah, Emmanuel Adu-tutu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The aim of the present set of studies in this dissertation was to examine the psychometric properties of measures of mathematics-related affect developed and normalized in one culture for use in another, how these properties transcend cross-culturally in an African context, and the methodological challenges associated with the process. Further aims were to examine the relationships between these constructs on a cross-cultural level, and to explore any associations be-tween students background variables and mathematics achievement. With these aims in mind, we conducted four original empirical studies based on different types of structural equation modeling. Studies I and II explored the problems of importing an instrument from one culture into another, and the associated methodological challenges. More specifically, Study I gives a detailed account of the processes involved in applying structural equation modeling to validate mathematics-related affective measures developed in one culture (Finland) for use in another (Ghana). Reliability estimates and confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the Ghanaian data set did not fit the original hypothesized model (seven-factor structure). A series of factor and confirmatory factor analyses indicated a four-factor structure for the Ghanaian sample. Study II examined the possible causes of the differences in the factor structures from a cross-cultural perspective. The results indicate that measurement artifacts, cultural differences, and construct validity and adaptability were possible causes of the observed differences in factor structure between the Ghanaian and the theoretical model. In conclusion, it is suggested that re-searchers should be aware of construct importation and adaptation, and of the fact that measurement errors, question order, negatively worded item, translation, and content overlap may influence the reliability and validity of survey measures. Moreover, it is necessary to consider cultural variation and the methodological approaches involved in the theoretical settings in order to make any meaningful comparative assessment. Researchers focusing on cross-cultural mathematics-related affect are recommended to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to address these issues using appropriate tools such as structural equation modeling. Study III investigated the psychometric properties (factor structure, reliabilities, method effect, and measurement invariance country and gender) of the mathematics-related affective constructs used in the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS 2011) across the five participating African countries. It also examined the relationship between these mathematically related affective constructs, as well as the associations amongst the constructs, and between the students background variables and mathematics achievement cross-culturally. The results empirically support the multidimensionality of the construct, and the measures were largely invariant across the five educational systems and gender. There was also some evidence to suggest that negatively worded items in a construct can attenuate the reliability and validity of the measures: a series of confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) revealed the need to control for the method effects associated with such items. It seems that responses to negatively worded items differ systematically across countries and are systematically linked to students achievement. The analyses also covered the relationships between the student affect, achievement, and background variables such as parental education, gender and students educational aspirations. Lower mathematics achievement was associated with students from countries reporting higher motivational belief. On the association between students mathematics-related affect, achievement, parental education, educational aspirations and gender, it seems that there are culture-specific as well as cross-cultural universal outcomes. For instance, the relationship linking parental involvement, teacher responsiveness and mathematics achievement turned out to be culture-specific whereas, boys rated their mathematics competence more highly than girls did. Parental education, gender and long-term educational aspirations also influenced student achievement and motivation, but to different extents in different countries. Study IV, based on non-recursive structural equation models, tested theoretical and methodological models of the reciprocal relationship between mathematics-related affect (e.g., self-concept) and achievement using the TIMSS 2011 cross-sectional data set. The results in different countries support the existence of a unidirectional influence of affect on achievement and of achievement on affect, and a direct feedback-loop relationship between affect and achievement. According to the evidence, the reciprocal determinism between affect and achievement is dependent on the national context. Moreover, there was a cross-cultural universal pattern among males: reporting a stronger mathematics self-concept and higher long-term educational aspirations significantly predicted higher mathematics achievement. The effects of socioeconomic status on mathematics achievement and self-concept among the students were dependent on the national context.
  • Virta, Maarit (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is developmental neurobiological disability. In adults, the prevalence of ADHD has been estimated to be about 4 %. In addition to the difficulties of attention, the problems in executive functioning are typical. The psychiatric comorbidities are common. The most extensively studied treatments are pharmacological. There is also evidence about the usefulness of the cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of adults with ADHD. There are some preliminary results about the effectiveness of cognitive training and hypnosis in children, but there is no scientific proof in adults. This dissertation is based on two intervention studies. In the first study, the usefulness of the new group CBT (n = 29) and the maintenance of the symptom reduction in the follow-up of six months were studied. In the second study, the usefulness of short hypnotherapy (n = 9), short individual CBT (n = 10) and computerized cognitive training (n = 9) were examined by comparing groups with each other and to the control group (n = 10). The participation in the group CBT and the participants' satisfaction were good. There were no changes in self-reports during waiting period of three months. After the rehabilitation, the symptoms decreased. Participants having symptom reduction during rehabilitation maintained their benefit through 6-month follow-up period. In a combined ADHD symptom score based on self-reports, seven participants in the hypnotherapy, six in the CBT, two in the cognitive training and two controls improved. Using independent evaluations, improvement was found in six of the hypnotherapy, seven of the CBT, two of the cognitive training and three of the control participants. There was no treatment-related improvement in cognitive performance. Thus, in the hypnotherapy and CBT groups, some encouraging improvement was seen. In the cognitive training group, there was improvement in the trained tasks but no generalization of the improvement. The results support the earlier results from the usefulness of CBT in the treatment of adults with ADHD. Also the hypnotherapy seems a useful rehabilitation. More research is needed to evaluate the usefulness of cognitive training. These promising results warrant further studies with more participants and with longer treatment duration. Also different measures of cognitive functioning and quality of life are needed. It is important in addition to the medication to arrange psychosocial interventions for the ADHD adults.
  • Sandberg, Erja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    ADHD in the family - The support provided by the educational, social and health sectors, and the experienced impact The aim of this study was to collect and describe the experiences of families with family members who have ADHD and are in need of support from different bodies such as educational, social and health services. The study also collected and described the co-operation between such bodies over the last six decades. With the assistance of netnography, the research data was collected in 2012 to 2014 from a social network group a nationwide ADHD peer support group. The material includes both questionnaires and interviews. The interviews were used to complement the results of the questionnaires. The main unit of analysis was the family (N = 208), and in each family, one or more members had been diagnosed with or showed symptoms of ADHD. The entire family was included in the study because ADHD affects more than just the individual him/herself. ADHD is often familial, and therefore some of the families in this study had over sixty years experience of ADHD, even though the definitions have changed over the years. Despite the increase in and specification of supportive services, the participants saw the different bodies as too bureaucratic, splintered and regionally differentiated. People showing symptoms of ADHD who had notable functional impairments were not able to find the supportive measures they needed and were not able to endure long wait times due to their worsening situation. Co-operation between the different bodies was seen as a necessity. In the research material, three out of five families described such co-operation as not being realised as it is meant to be according to the law. The difficult situations of the families were demonstrated in the research material in that every third family participating in this study included a socially excluded person or someone at risk of social exclusion. In general, a lack of education, fewer chances of finding a job and associated symptoms of ADHD all contributed to social exclusion. Becoming socially excluded is a long process and not a conscious choice. The participants stated that social exclusion is a vicious circle from which escape is difficult when no support is available. After examining the family types, it can be stated that socio-demographic background variables, particularly educational capital, and the latest information on ADHD, along with support found within the family, were seen as protective factors allowing highly educated families with ADHD a greater chance to better function in Finnish society. Keywords: ADHD, family, netnography, support services, service system, social exclusion
  • Janhonen, Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines food education from the perspectives of adolescents participation and agency. The study builds on a social constructivist understanding of learning and draws methodological inspiration from child-hood sociology. The empirical part of the study is based on two data-sets: Nordic survey data (N=1539) collected in 2006−2007 and data from a qualitative case study (2012−2013), which focused on 9th grade students in one Finnish school (14−17 years). The dissertation is compiled from four original publications. Articles I and II examine Nordic adolescents school lunch patterns and their considerations of meal choices in the family context. Articles III and IV examine adolescents school lunch practices as an educational resource and the challenges of school-based participatory research with young people. The results drawn from the comparative Nordic data-set function as a broader background, against which the results from the qualitative case study are discussed in this summary. The study is based on an interdisciplinary and multimethod research design, and has combined qualitative and quantitative data in an interpretive integration (i.e., a combination of qualitative and quantitative results at the stage of theoretical interpretation). The overall aim of the dissertation is to explore how adolescents views on their food practices could be more thoroughly used as an educational resource and how their participation and agency could be better supported in food education. This dissertation concludes that future work on adolescents participation and agency in food education would benefit from enhancing intergenerational dialogue and from approaching food-related learning as dynamic processes that reach beyond formal schooling.
  • Pölönen, Monika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The use of head-mounted displays (HMDs) can produce both positive and negative experiences. In an effort increase positive experiences and avoid negative ones, researchers have identified a number of variables that may cause sickness and eyestrain, although the exact nature of the relationship to HMDs may vary, depending on the tasks and the environments. Other non-sickness-related aspects of HMDs, such as users opinions and future decisions associated with task enjoyment and interest, have attracted little attention in the research community. In this thesis, user experiences associated with the use of monocular and bi-ocular HMDs were studied. These include eyestrain and sickness caused by current HMDs, the advantages and disadvantages of adjustable HMDs, HMDs as accessories for small multimedia devices, and the impact of individual characteristics and evaluated experiences on reported outcomes and opinions. The results indicate that today s commercial HMDs do not induce serious sickness or eyestrain. Reported adverse symptoms have some influence on HMD-related opinions, but the nature of the impact depends on the tasks and the devices used. As an accessory to handheld devices and as a personal viewing device, HMDs may increase use duration and enable users to perform tasks not suitable for small screens. Well-designed and functional, adjustable HMDs, especially monocular HMDs, increase viewing comfort and usability, which in turn may have a positive effect on product-related satisfaction. The role of individual characteristics in understanding HMD-related experiences has not changed significantly. Explaining other HMD-related experiences, especially forward-looking interests, also requires understanding more stable individual traits and motivations.
  • Karikoski, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The aim of this study was to describe school leadership on a practical level. By observing the daily behaviour of a principal minute by minute, the study tried to answer the following questions: how did the principals use their time, did they have time to develop their school after participating in the daily life of the school, and how did the previously studied challenges of modern leadership show in their practical work? Five principals in different areas of Helsinki were observed – two women and three men. The principals were chosen at random from three educational conferences. The main hypothesis of this research was that the work of the principal consists of solving daily problems and routines concerning the pupils, teachers and other interest groups and writing all kinds of bureaucratic reports. This means that the school and its principal do not have enough resources to give to a visionary development of teaching and learning – in other words pedagogical leading – even though every principal has the best knowledge about his or her own school’s status quo and the needs for development revealed by this status quo. The research material was gathered by applying the Peer-Assisted Leadership method. The researcher shadowed each principal for four days for three hours at a time. After each shadowing period, any unclear situations were clarified with a short interview. After all the shadowing periods, the principals participated in a semi-structured interview that covered the themes emerging from the shadowing material. In addition to this, the principals evaluated their own leading with a self-assessment questionnaire. The results gathered from the shadowing material showed that the actions of the principals were focused on bureaucratic work. The principals spent most of their time in the office (more than 50%). In the office they were sitting mainly by the computer. They also spent a significant mount of time in the office meeting teachers and occasional visitors. The time spent building networks was relatively short, although the principals considered it as an important domain of leadership according to their interviews. After the classification of the shadowing material, the activities of the principals were divided according to certain factors affecting them. The underlying factors were quality management, daily life management, strategic thinking and emotional intelligence. Through these factors the research showed that coping with the daily life of the school took about 40% of the principals’ time. Activities connected with emotional intelligence could be observed over 30% and activities which required strategic thinking were observed over 20% of the time. The activities which according to the criteria of the research consisted of quality management took only 8% of the principals’ time. This result was congruent with previous studies showing that the work of school leaders is focused on something other than developing the quality of teaching and learning. Keywords: distributed leadership, building community, network building, interaction, emotional intelligence, strategy, quality management
  • Kallio, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Hotti, Ulla Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Abstract The research considers the academic curriculum of subject-teacher education in 2005−2008 (Teacher Education Department, University of Helsinki) developed in the spirit of the Bologna process. The purpose was to examine from a professional point of view the symbolic and operational compatibility of the curriculum at the time as experienced and assessed by subjectteacher students. The students were questioned in 2005−2006, 2006−2007 and 2007−2008 on how the academic curriculum as a learning environment showed them how to progress from novices to experts. The main research question was How favourable has the curriculum of subject-teacher education in 2005−2008 been in which to develop into a professional according to two groups, the science-mathematics oriented and the humanisties oriented? , and three subquestions were 1) How have the students assessed the symbolic compatibility (relevance) of the curriculum? 2) How have the students assessed the operational compatibility (quality) of the curriculum? and 3) Do the assessments of two groups differ from each other statistically? The research material was comprised of the teacher students´ feedback on curriculum innovation from the academic years 2005−2008 (N=1550), gathered using feedback forms consisting of quantitative and qualitative material. The research method was content analysis and approachintegrated; the quantitative material was analysed using SPSS, and the qualitative material using Atlas-ti. The research material was examined systemically within a normative-theoretical research framework: the normative framework was constructed on European and Finnish laws concerning academic teacher education and the norms and strategies of the University of Helsinki, whereas the theoretical framework was constructed on Rogers´s (2003) Innovation and Diffusion Theory (the frame theory) and as well as essential background theories concerning academic teaching, supervision and learning to teach. The Innovation and Diffusion Theory provited a relevant perspective for examining the implementation of the subject-teacher education curriculum and how students re-innovate and re-invent it. This kind of student-cent approach and examination allowed for the students´ voices to be heard teleologically, according to the strategy of University of Helsinki (2007 09): students take part in improving the quality of teacher education curriculum. According to the research results, on the one hand the curriculum met the students´ expectations, but on the other hand did not. The pedagogical studies as regards the quality of pedagogical goals and pedagogical activities were found to be compatible, on average (subject didactics, general didactics) or greater than average (teaching practice, pedagogical study) with the students ´ expectations of evolving professionally at both the strategic and operational levels. However, the results also revealed three pedagogical competence areas not compatible with the students´ expectations: information and communication technologies in education (digital learning environment), learning-process by portfolio (self-reflection) and research-based teaching and education (research methods in education). Despite both science-mathematics- and humanisties oriented students assessing the curriculum environment quite similarly, the assessments in some areas statistically differed from each other. Keywords: academic curriculum, academic pedagogy, teacher education, subject-teacher pedagogical studies, learning environment, systemic innovation, pedagogical innovation, educational innovation
  • Räisänen, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    This study is based on the multidiciplinary approach of using natural colorants as textile dyes. The author was interested in both the historical and traditional aspects of natural dyeing as well as the modern industrial applications of the pure natural compounds. In the study, the anthraquinone compounds were isolated as aglycones from the ectomycorrhizal fungus Dermocybe sanguinea. The endogenous beta-glucosidase of the fungus was used to catalyse the hydrolysis of the O-glycosyl linkage in emodin- and dermocybin-1-beta-D-glucopyranosides. The method, in which 10.45 kg of fresh fungi was starting material, yielded two fractions: 56.0 g of Fraction 1 (94% of the total amount of pigment,) consisting almost exclusively of the main pigments emodin and dermocybin, and 3.3 g of Fraction 2 (6%) consisting mainly of the anthraquinone carboxylic acids. The anthraquinone compounds in Fractions 1 and 2 were separated by one- and two-dimensional thin-layer-chromatography (TLC) using silica plates. 1D TLC showed that neither an acidic nor a basic solvent system alone separated completely all the anthraquinones isolated from D. sanguinea, in spite of the variation of the rations of the solvent components in the systems. Thus, a new 2D TLC technique was developed, applying n-pentanol-pyridine-methanol (6:4:3, v/v/v) and toluene-ethyl acetate-ethanol-formic acid (10:8:1:2, v/v/v/v) as eluents. Fifteen different anthraquinone derivatives were completely separated from one another. Emodin, physcion, endocrocin, dermolutein, dermorubin, 5-chlorodermorubin, emodin-1-beta-D-glucopyranoside, dermocybin-1-beta-D-glucopyranoside and dermocybin, and five new compounds, not earlier identified in D. sanguinea, 7-chloroemodin, 5,7-dichloroemodin, 5,7-dichloroendocrocin, 4-hydroxyaustrocorticone and austrocorticone, were separated and identified on the basis of their Rf-values, UV/Vis spectra and mass spectra. One substance remained unidentified, because of its very low concentration. The anthraquinones in Fractions 1 and 2 were preparatively separeted by liquid-liquid partition, with isopropylmethyl ketone and aqueous phosphate buffer as the solvent system. Advantage was taken of the principle of stepwise pH-gradient elution. The multiple liquid-liquid partition (MLLP) offered an excellent method for the preparative separation of compounds, which contain acidic groups such as the phenolic OH and COOH groups. Due to their strong aggregation properties, these compounds are, without derivatization, very difficult to separate on a preparative scale by chromatographic methods. By the MLLP method remarkable separations were achieved for the components in each mixture. Emodin and dermocybin were both obtained from Fraction 1 in a purity of at least 99%. Pure emodin and dermocybin were applied as mordant dyes to wool and polyamide and as disperse dyes to polyester and polyamide, using the high temperature (HT) technique. A mixture of dermorubin and 5-chlorodermorubin was applied as an acid dye to wool. In these experiments, synthetic dyes were used as references. Experiments were also performed using water extract of the air-dried fungi as dye liquor for wool and silk. The main colouring compounds in the crude water extract were emodin and dermocybin, which indicated that the O-glycosyl linkages in emodin- and dermocybin-1-beta-D-glucopyranosides were broken by the beta-glucosidase enzyme. Apparently, the hydrolysis occurred during the drying of the fungi and during the soaking of the dried fruit bodies overnight when preparing the dyebath. The colour of each dyed material was investigated in terms of the CIELAB L*, a* and b* values, and the colour fastness to light, washing and rubbing was tested according to the ISO standards. In the mordant dyeing experiments, emodin dyed wool and polyamide yellow and red, depending on the pH of the dyebath. Dermocybin gave purple and violet colours. The colour fastness of the mordant-dyed fabrics varied from good to moderate. The fastness properties of the natural anthraquinone carboxylic acids on wool were good, indicating the strength of the ionic bonds between the COO- groups of the dyes and the NH3+ groups of the fibres. In the disperse dyeing experiments, emodin dyed polyester bright yellow and dermocybin bright reddish-orange, and the fabrics showed excellent colour fastness. In contrast, emodin and dermocybin successfully dyed polyamide brownish-orange and wine-red, respectively, but with only moderate fastness. In industrial dyeing processes, natural anthraquinone aglycone mixtures dyed wool and silk well even at low concentrations of mordants, i.e. with 10% of the weight of the fibre (owf) of KAl(SO4)2 and 1 or 0.5% owf of other mordants. This study showed that purified natural anthraquinone compounds can produce bright hues with good colour-fastness properties in different textile materials. Natural anthraquinones have a significant potential for new dyeing techniques and will provide useful alternatives to synthetic dyes.
  • Lehtonen, Esko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In the visual control of locomotion, gaze is used to sample information in an anticipatory manner. In car driving, this anticipation functions at both a short and long time distance. At the short time distance, gaze leads the locomotion with a small (1‒3 s) time headway. Many steering models have explained this behavior by interpreting that drivers track a steering point on the road to obtain visual information which is directly translated to steering actions. This gaze behaviour can be called guiding fixations, because the gaze is providing information for the online control of the steering. At the long time distance, gaze serves trajectory planning by picking up information from the road further ahead. In curves, a part of the road can be visible in highly eccentric positions relative to the typical guiding fixations direction. In these situations, the information needs of the trajectory planning can result in eccentric look-ahead fixations toward the curve. The role of these fixations in the visual control of locomotion is not well understood. In this thesis, I have developed algorithmical methods for the identification of look-ahead fixations from eye movement data collected with an instrumented vehicle on real roads. In a series of three experiments, gaze behavior in curves was studied. The effects of driving experience and cognitive load were also investigated. In general, fixation distributions do not suggest a clear division between guiding and look-ahead fixations. However, a clear tail of eccentric fixations is present in the distributions, which can be operationally defined as look-ahead fixations in curves. Look-ahead fixations target the whole visible road, but locations with a smaller eccentricity relative to the guiding fixations were more commonly fixated than those with a high eccentricity. Experienced drivers allocated more time to look-ahead fixations compared to novices. Cognitive load may negatively affect trajectory planning by interfering with look-ahead fixations. Based on the results, the role of trajectory planning in the control of steering is discussed. The results are consistent with a hierarchical model of driving behaviour, where trajectory planning supplies the intended path for the level of the online control of steering.
  • Näveri, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    From Arithmetic to Algebra. Changes in the skills in comprehensive school over 20 years. In recent decades we have emphasized the understanding of calculation in mathematics teaching. Many studies have found that better understanding helps to apply skills in new conditions and that the ability to think on an abstract level increases the transfer to new contexts. In my research I take into consideration competence as a matrix where content is in a horizontal line and levels of thinking are in a vertical line. The know-how is intellectual and strategic flexibility and understanding. The resources and limitations of memory have their effects on learning in different ways in different phases. Therefore both flexible conceptual thinking and automatization must be considered in learning. The research questions that I examine are what kind of changes have occurred in mathematical skills in comprehensive school over the last 20 years and what kind of conceptual thinking is demonstrated by students in this decade. The study consists of two parts. The first part is a statistical analysis of the mathematical skills and their changes over the last 20 years in comprehensive school. In the test the pupils did not use calculators. The second part is a qualitative analysis of the conceptual thinking of pupils in comprehensive school in this decade. The study shows significant differences in algebra and in some parts of arithmetic. The largest differences were detected in the calculation skills of fractions. In the 1980s two out of three pupils were able to complete tasks with fractions, but in the 2000s only one out of three pupils were able to do the same tasks. Also remarkable is that out of the students who could complete the tasks with fractions, only one out of three pupils was on the conceptual level in his/her thinking. This means that about 10% of pupils are able to understand the algebraic expression, which has the same isomorphic structure as the arithmetical expression. This finding is important because the ability to think innovatively is created when learning the basic concepts. Keywords: arithmetic, algebra, competence
  • Haverinen, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 1996)
    The aim of this philosophical and theoretical study is to outline a conceptual framework, which could be used to describe the qualitative characteristics of household activities from a holistic point of view. The philosophical part of the study deals with ontological and epistemological approaches. Ontological questions of existence are based on the holistic notion of man. The epistemological approach to household activities is based on the Aristotelian concept of knowledge, according to which actions are viewed as being praxis and poiesis in type. The concept of rationality is essential. As a result of the study, concepts describing the qualitative contents of the concept of mastery of everyday life are presented. Mastery of everyday life describes an individual's understanding of how to act in a household and promote the common good. The qualitative dimensions are the aims of actions, knowledge that guides actions and interaction. From the standpoint of these dimensions, the development of mastery of everyday life means an increase in the individual's sense of responsibility, so that s/he is gradually able to deal responsibility with the whole household, the immediate environment and the surrounding community and society. The quality of interaction develops so that the significance of communicative interaction becomes central. There are three levels in the mastery of everyday life, which differ from one other in respect to the development of reflective thought and the scope of understanding. The whole conceptual framework will contribute to the study of both household activities and the teaching of home economics. Key words: holistic notion of man, rationality, interaction.
  • Piirainen, Arja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Väitöskirja on fenomenologinen tutkimus koetusta asiakas-asiantuntijasuhteesta. Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on selvittää ihmisten välisiä asiakas-asiantuntijatilanteiden suhteita ja siten mahdollistaa asiakkaan hyvinvointia. Tutkimuskohteena on fysioterapiasuhde, jota aiemmin on selvitetty fysioterapeutin parantamisena, asiakkaan terveyden edistämisenä tai vuorovaikutussuhteena. Tässä tutkimuksessa mielenkiinto kohdistuu fysioterapiatilanteissa koettuihin asiakkaiden ja asiantuntijoiden välisiin suhteisiin. Tutkimukseen osallistuivat 16 fysioterapiatilanteen kokenutta asiakasta ja 16 saman tilanteen kokenutta fysioterapeuttia, jotka toimivat tutkimusajankohtana erikoissairaanhoidossa, kunnan terveyskeskuksessa tai yksityisessä fysioterapialaitoksessa. Avoimen yksilöhaastattelun tehtävänä oli kuvata mitä osanottaja koki juuri päättyneessä tilanteessa. Tutkimusaineiston analyysi etenee ensimmäisessä vaiheessa fenomenologisen tutkimuksen mukaan, yksilöllisten ihmisten välisten suhteiden koettujen merkitysten ja merkityskokonaisuuksien analyysiin ja merkitysperspektiivin synteesiin. Tutkimuksen ensimmäisen vaiheen yksilöllisten merkitysperspektiivien perusteella fysioterapiasuhde osoittautui muutossuhteeksi, mikä ei ollut erilainen eri organisaatioissa, vaan siinä ilmeni pedagogisen suhteen oppimisen ja ohjauksen piirteitä. Tutkimuksen toisessa vaiheessa vietiin pedagogisen suhteen mukaisesti yhteen ja vertailtiin yksilöllisten merkitysperspektiivien merkityksiä ja merkityskokonaisuuksia asiakkaiden ja fysioterapian asiantuntijoiden näkökulmina sekä saman tilanteen yhteisenä koettuna näkökulmana. Asiakkaiden näkökulmasta suhteen voimavarana oli hänen kokema kehollinen vieraus, mikä ohjasi asiakas-asiantuntijasuhdetta neljänlaiseen asiakkaan muutossuhteeseen. Fysioterapian asiantuntijoiden näkökulmasta asiaosaamisena oli asiakkaan parantaminen liikkeen tai toiminnan avulla, mikä ohjasi asiakas-asiantuntijasuhdetta asiantuntijan näkökulmasta erilaisiin ohjaussuhteisiin. Samassa tilanteessa asiakkaiden ja asiantuntijan yhteisenä kokemat aukeamat etenivät spontaaneista turvallisuuden ja luottavaisuuden aukeamista aktiivisiin yhteisymmärryksen ja yhteissanoituksen aukeamiin. Pedagoginen suhde avautui merkityskokonaisuuksina joko vain asiakkaalle tai asiantuntijalle tai yhteisenä koettuina pedagogisina aukeamina. Edellä mainituista kolmesta (asiakkaan, asiantuntijan, yhteisenä koettu) näkökulmasta asiakas-asiantuntijasuhde osoittautui tässä tutkimuksessa neljäksi erilaiseksi asiakkaan, asiantuntijan ja yhteytenä koetun näkökulmia yhdistäväksi pedagogiseksi prosessiksi. Tutkimuksen tulosten synteesi osoitti, että pedagogisen prosessin suuntaa muuttavat yhteytenä koettujen aukeamien väliset dialogit, joissa spontaani, yhdessä näkyvä ja yhdessä koettua sanoittava dialogihetket osoittautuivat pedagogista prosessia kääntäviksi mahdollisuuksiksi. Tämän tutkimuksen mukaan vasta aktiivinen yhteistä kieltä tuottava pedagoginen suhde mahdollistaa asiakkaan kokeman kehollisen vierauden ymmärtämisen ja yhteissanoittamisen. Sanoittamalla kokemaansa asiakas voi jakaa kokemaansa toimimattomuutta tutulla kielellä myös muiden kun tilanteessa olleiden kanssa ja siten oppia itsenäisesti ohjaamaan omaa hyvinvointiaan. Tämän tutkimusten tulosten mukaan vain yhdessä (Pentin ja Sarin) tilanteessa pedagoginen prosessi eteni yhteiseksi kieleksi. Tutkimustulokset haastavat kehittämään asiakas-asiantuntijasuhdetta siten, että pedagoginen prosessi voisi toteutua kokonaisuudessaan. Avainsanat: asiakas-asiantuntijasuhde, pedagoginen suhde, fenomenologia, kokemus, merkitysanalyysi, dialogi, fysioterapia
  • Valtonen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The main task of this teacher educational study is to explore the relationships between the pre-teacher-education socialization environments and class teacher students beliefs of quality physical education and their perceived strengths in teaching physical education in the primary school. This study focuses on gender, success in physical education, leisure physical activity, schooling and work experience in sports or teaching as socialization environments. To answer the research questions, five peer reviewed studies were published in scientific journals between years 2011 and 2015. The articles together with this synopsis form the doctoral thesis. The data were collected using an online questionnaire presented to the class teacher students at the beginning of their first year studies in physical education. The resulting 412 participants comprised 341 (83 %) female and 71 (17 %) male students and covered 88 % of the first year class teacher students at the University of Helsinki, Finland during the academic years 2006 2009. The data were categorized according to the qualitative and quantitative contents of the answers. Cross tabulation and binary logistic regression were the main statistical analyzes. The results indicate that the pre-education acculturative socialization environments are related to different emphases on the beliefs of good physical education and especially on the perceived strengths in teaching physical education. The physically advanced socialization environments tended to be related to subject-focused perceived strengths. On the contrary, the physically more modest social environments appeared more often to be connected to pupil-focused perceived strengths. Parallel, but weaker relationships between socialization environments and conceptions of good physical education were found. Teacher educators need to pay attention to these different approaches as challenges to development the teacher education studies. More research is needed to explore how the acculturative socialization environments affect teacher education and the work of teachers during the different phases of their professional career.
  • Reiman, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Failures in industrial organizations dealing with hazardous technologies can have widespread consequences for the safety of the workers and the general population. Psychology can have a major role in contributing to the safe and reliable operation of these technologies. Most current models of safety management in complex sociotechnical systems such as nuclear power plant maintenance are either non-contextual or based on an overly-rational image of an organization. Thus, they fail to grasp either the actual requirements of the work or the socially-constructed nature of the work in question. The general aim of the present study is to develop and test a methodology for contextual assessment of organizational culture in complex sociotechnical systems. This is done by demonstrating the findings that the application of the emerging methodology produces in the domain of maintenance of a nuclear power plant (NPP). The concepts of organizational culture and organizational core task (OCT) are operationalized and tested in the case studies. We argue that when the complexity of the work, technology and social environment is increased, the significance of the most implicit features of organizational culture as a means of coordinating the work and achieving safety and effectiveness of the activities also increases. For this reason a cultural perspective could provide additional insight into the problem of safety management. The present study aims to determine; (1) the elements of the organizational culture in complex sociotechnical systems; (2) the demands the maintenance task sets for the organizational culture; (3) how the current organizational culture at the case organizations supports the perception and fulfilment of the demands of the maintenance work; (4) the similarities and differences between the maintenance cultures at the case organizations, and (5) the necessary assessment of the organizational culture in complex sociotechnical systems. Three in-depth case studies were carried out at the maintenance units of three Nordic NPPs. The case studies employed an iterative and multimethod research strategy. The following methods were used: interviews, CULTURE-survey, seminars, document analysis and group work. Both cultural analysis and task modelling were carried out. The results indicate that organizational culture in complex sociotechnical systems can be characterised according to three qualitatively different elements: structure, internal integration and conceptions. All three of these elements of culture as well as their interrelations have to be considered in organizational assessments or important aspects of the organizational dynamics will be overlooked. On the basis of OCT modelling, the maintenance core task was defined as balancing between three critical demands: anticipating the condition of the plant and conducting preventive maintenance accordingly, reacting to unexpected technical faults and monitoring and reflecting on the effects of maintenance actions and the condition of the plant. The results indicate that safety was highly valued at all three plants, and in that sense they all had strong safety cultures. In other respects the cultural features were quite different, and thus the culturally-accepted means of maintaining high safety also differed. The handicraft nature of maintenance work was emphasised as a source of identity at the NPPs. Overall, the importance of safety was taken for granted, but the cultural norms concerning the appropriate means to guarantee it were little reflected. A sense of control, personal responsibility and organizational changes emerged as challenging issues at all the plants. The study shows that in complex sociotechnical systems it is both necessary and possible to analyse the safety and effectiveness of the organizational culture. Safety in complex sociotechnical systems cannot be understood or managed without understanding the demands of the organizational core task and managing the dynamics between the three elements of the organizational culture.