Browsing by Subject "aikuiskasvatustiede"

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  • 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
  • Teräs, Marianne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The number of immigrant students in vocational education and training is steadily increasing in Finland. This poses challenges for teachers and schools. This research focuses on emerging questions of intercultural learning in the context of immigrant training, and on a method the Culture Laboratory that was developed in an attempt to respond to the challenges. The main methodological and theoretical framework lies in cultural-historical activity theory, developmental work research, and in the concepts of the intercultural and hybridity. The empirical material consists of videotaped recordings of discussions in the Culture Laboratory. The five main research questions focused on the strengths and limitations of the Culture Laboratory as a tool for intercultural learning, the significance of disturbances in it, the potential of suggestions for intercultural learning, paper as a mediating artifact , and the concept of intercultural space. The findings showed that the Culture Laboratory offered a solid background for developing intercultural learning. The disturbances manifested revealed a multitude of scripts and activities. It was also suggested that the structure of expansive learning could start from externalization instead of internalization. The suggestions the participants made opened up a hybrid learning space for intercultural development, and offered a good springboard for new ideas. Learning in Paperland posed both challenges and opportunities for immigrant students, and different paper trails emerged. Intercultural space in the Culture Laboratory was a developmental zone in which a hybrid process of observing, comparing, and creating took place. Key words: intercultural learning, immigrant training, cultural-historical activity theory, developmental work research,
  • Koistinen, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    In the 1990 s the companies utilizing and producing new information technology, especially so-called new media, were also expected to be forerunners in new forms of work and organization. Researchers anticipated that new, more creative forms of work and the changing content of working life were about to replace old industrial and standardized ways of working. However, research on actual companies in the IT sector revealed a situation where only minor changes to existing organizational forms were seen .Many of the independent companies faced great difficulties trying to survive the rapid changes in the products and production forms in the emerging field. Most of the research on the new media field has been conducted as surveys, and an understanding of the actual everyday work process has remained thin. My research is a longitudinal study of the early phases of one new media company in Finland. The study is an analysis of the challenges the company faced in a rapidly changing business field and the attempts to overcome these challenges. The two main analyses in the study focus on the developmental phases of the company and the disturbances in the production process. Based on these analyses, I study changes and learning at work using the methodological framework of developmental work research. Developmental work research is a Finnish variant of the cultural-historical activity theory applied to the study of learning and transformations at work. The data was gathered over a three-year period of ethnographic fieldwork. I documented the production processes and everyday life in the company as a participant observer. I interviewed key persons, video and audio-taped meetings, followed e-mail correspondence and collected various documents, such as agreements and memos. I developed a systematic method for analyzing the disturbances in the production process by combining the various data sources. The systematic analysis of the disturbances depicted a very complex and only partly managed production process. The production process had a long duration, and no single actor had an understanding of it as a whole. Most of the disturbances had to do with the customer relationships. The nature of the disturbances was latent; they were recognized but not addressed. In the particular production processes that I analyzed, the ending life span of a particular product, a CD-ROM, became obvious. This finding can be interpreted in relation to the developmental phase of the production and the transformation of the field as a whole. Based on the analysis of the developmental phases and the disturbances, I formulate a hypothesis of the contradictions and developmental potentials of the activity studied. The conclusions of the study challenge the existing understanding of how to conceptualize and study organizational learning in production work. Most theories of organizational learning do not address qualitative changes in production nor historical challenges of organizational learning itself. My study opens up a new horizon in understanding organizational learning in a rapidly changing field where a learning culture based on craft or mass production work is insufficient. There is a need for anticipatory and proactive organizational learning. Proactive learning is needed to anticipate the changes in production type, and the life cycles of products.
  • Ylisassi, Hilkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The possibilities of developmental rehabilitation. A study on the construction of work relatedness and the customer in Aslak rehabilitation The challenge of work-related rehabilitation is to anticipate the factors threatening work ability and to affect them. The purpose of this study was to analyze how work-related rehabilitation is constructed in practice and what are the challenges and, at the same time, the possibilities of an innovative transformation of rehabilitation when trying to achive this goal. The theoretical basis is cultural-historical activity theory and developmental work research. Based on a historical analysis, I studied rehabilitation activity empirically using the data gathered from one Aslak programme (Aslak = occupationally oriented medical rehabilitation) over two years. I described and analysed the construction of Aslak using ethnographic data and interviews. The data includes audio- and video-recordings of the Aslak course, fieldnotes, documents and other materials used in the course. The study aimed to reveal rehabilitation practices from different perspectives carried out by different stakeholders and participants in the Aslak course. It focused on the Aslak trajectory produced by a multiorganizational subject. I analyzed the rehabilitation activity using the method of ethnographic analysis of infrastructure. The method of analyzing the construction of the object of rehabilititation the customer was a membership categorization analysis (MCD) based on the ethnomethodological research tradition. I analyzed the meanings denoting customers given by different parties during one Aslak process and the relations between the meanings. Based on this analysis, I studied the disturbances, ruptures, and innovations in the rehabilitation activity. The results of the study show that the infrastructure of Aslak has different basic ideas. Aslak is constructed most explicitly on the infrastructure of medical rehabilitation. The second layer has been provided with some tools of identifying and preventing well-defined occupation-specific load factors. However, it has failed to perform a new structure, as Aslak has encountered, at the same time, rapid changes in working life. The study identified some promising markers representing new kinds of work-related rehabilitation ideas, but they proved to be incomplete and fragile. As a consequence of the multilayered infrastructure, the contents of the Aslak course were split into fragmented phases and disconnected themes, which were blocked in by the master idea of medical orientation. Its relationship to work remained weak and obscure. The categorizations of customers in Aslak were manifold and contradictory. According to the results, the possibilities for transforming work-related rehabilitation lie both in changing the orientation to the customer to be more relevant to changing working life and forging the infrastructural innovations related to this change. The results showed that a new work-relatedeness would be difficult but possible to construct. What is needed is the construction of an infrastructure that will support a coherent master idea of work-related rehabilitation over the entire trajectory of a process. A shared idea of a rehabilitation object must be constructed in close collaboration between different stakeholders, such as Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland), occupational health services, work organizations, and rehabilitation institutes. Key words: Aslak rehabilitation, work-related rehabilitation, development of rehabilitation, customer of rehabilitation, developmental work research, analysis of infrastructure, membership category analysis
  • Hyrkkänen, Ursula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This study deals with the formation of the idea of research and development (r&d) activity at one particular university of applied sciences in Finland. In this study I proceed from examining the conceptions of management regarding r&d-activities to exploring the development of the complex concept that guides these r&d-activities. The aim of this study is, first, to describe conceptions of r&d-activities, and then, second, to describe the formation of a new concept for r&d-activities in one field of study at the university of applied sciences. I used phenomenographic analysis to elucidate the conceptions and collected the data in interviews of personnel (22) who belong to the management of the university of applied sciences. The data for analysing the obstacles faced and the ways of overcoming them during the formation process of the new concept consist of the video-recorded material from ten change laboratory sessions held for the specific field of study at the university of applied sciences. In researching the formation of the concept of the activity, such research and analysis methods are used in which the concept is understood as a material construction, and with the help of which one can work out the formation of the concept during the development process. When the systematic development of the r&d-work was underway, the management of the university of applied sciences held differing views regarding the content, target, factors and organisation of the r&d-activities, as well as regarding the position of dissertations as a part of r&d-activity. Obstacles for developing rd concerned the unclear object and outcomes of the new activity, not having the tools (such as adequate know-how) for the new activity and not having found the necessary solutions for the distribution of work. In addition the rules that quide the activities of the university of applied sciences did not support working according to the new way. To improve r&d-activity, the school’s management defined three development strategies to encourage adequate rd-activity to support working life, regional development and learning. The strategies were based on the expansion of existing methods, such as service activities, dissertation work and the research activities of the teachers. Of the three possible routes, the concept of dissertation in this study was expanded to integrate the services of organisation development and the occupational growth of the students. A group of teachers in the field of social and health studies participated in the development work. The change laboratory method was used as a tool for this work. Analysis of the cognitive trails indicated that, in addition to the cycle of expansive learning activities, microcycles with different purposes can exist. According to Cussins (1992), something already in existence in each microcycle is destabilised, and something else is stabilised to replace it. In this study three microcycles were identified, during which the teachers first destabilised the existing concepts of dissertation work that guided their thinking, and then began to use new concepts to structure their thinking. Secondly, they undermined the existing concepts with material structure that defined their practical work, and developed new practical models to replace them. Thirdly, the problems accumulating in researching and testing the new activities caused the developers to destabilise the r&d-strategies of the university of applied sciences and to define a new conceptual model for r&d-work in the field. During this third cycle, the teachers developed a research arena model, which was a significant expansive innovation. In the cognitive trails developing the new concept for the r&d-activity, the teachers indeed faced the obstacles the management had described as their conceptions. These obstacles manifested themselves as contradictions. During the development process, the nature of the obstacles (i.e. contradictions) changed as the development proceeded. Solving the first and second degree contradictions highlighted the third and fourth degree contradictions. To overcome the obstacles, the teachers had to to articulate the value and motive of the development work throughout the development process. Developing the new concept for r&d-activity required many reconfigurations of practical solutions to overcome the obstacles. Developing the new concept for r&d-activity, both at the level of representations and of new practices, requires universities of applied sciences to adopt new methods in which the actors are partake in construction of new concepts of activity through adequate discussion, analysis and debate. R&d -activity can progress, if instead of implementing partial solutions, the totality of the activities (i.e. the group of partial solutions acting together) will be constructed. The development of the activity system requires many simultaneous changes as well as wide-ranging know-how and discussion related to these changes. What is perhaps most important, however, is that the group of developers mature into a determined collective actor which can engage in many agentive actions. The development of the agency is fundamental to progress.
  • Pereira Querol, Marco Antonio (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This study is about the challenges of learning in the creation and implementation of new sustainable technologies. The system of biogas production in the Programme of Sustainable Swine Production (3S Programme) conducted by the Sadia food processing company in Santa Catarina State, Brazil, is used as a case example for exploring the challenges, possibilities and obstacles of learning in the use of biogas production as a way to increase the environmental sustainability of swine production. The aim is to contribute to the discussion about the possibilities of developing systems of biogas production for sustainability (BPfS). In the study I develop hypotheses concerning the central challenges and possibilities for developing systems of BPfS in three phases. First, I construct a model of the network of activities involved in the BP for sustainability in the case study. Next, I construct a) an idealised model of the historically evolved concepts of BPfS through an analysis of the development of forms of BP and b) a hypothesis of the current central contradictions within and between the activity systems involved in BP for sustainability in the case study. This hypothesis is further developed through two actual empirical analyses: an analysis of the actors senses in taking part in the system, and an analysis of the disturbance processes in the implementation and operation of the BP system in the 3S Programme. The historical analysis shows that BP for sustainability in the 3S Programme emerged as a feasible solution for the contradiction between environmental protection and concentration, intensification and specialisation in swine production. This contradiction created a threat to the supply of swine to the food processing company. In the food production activity, the contradiction was expressed as a contradiction between the desire of the company to become a sustainable company and the situation in the outsourced farms. For the swine producers the contradiction was expressed between the contradictory rules in which the market exerted pressure which pushed for continual increases in scale, specialisation and concentration to keep the production economically viable, while the environmental rules imposed a limit to this expansion. Although the observed disturbances in the biogas system seemed to be merely technical and localised within the farms, the analysis proposed that these disturbances were formed in and between the activity systems involved in the network of BPfS during the implementation. The disturbances observed could be explained by four contradictions: a) contradictions between the new, more expanded activity of sustainable swine production and the old activity, b) a contradiction between the concept of BP for carbon credits and BP for local use in the BPfS that was implemented, c) contradictions between the new UNFCCC1 methodology for applying for carbon credits and the small size of the farms, and d) between the technologies of biogas use and burning available in the market and the small size of the farms. The main finding of this study relates to the zone of proximal development (ZPD) of the BPfS in Sadia food production chain. The model is first developed as a general model of concepts of BPfS and further developed here to the specific case of the BPfS in the 3S Programme. The model is composed of two developmental dimensions: societal and functional integration. The dimension of societal integration refers to the level of integration with other activities outside the farm. At one extreme, biogas production is self-sufficient and highly independent and the products of BP are consumed within the farm, while at the other extreme BP is highly integrated in markets and networks of collaboration, and BP products are exchanged within the markets. The dimension of functional integration refers to the level of integration between products and production processes so that economies of scope can be achieved by combining several functions using the same utility. At one extreme, BP is specialised in only one product, which allows achieving economies of scale, while at the other extreme there is an integrated production in which several biogas products are produced in order to maximise the outcomes from the BP system. The analysis suggests that BP is moving towards a societal integration, towards the market and towards a functional integration in which several biogas products are combined. The model is a hypothesis to be further tested through interventions by collectively constructing the new proposed concept of BPfS. Another important contribution of this study refers to the concept of the learning challenge. Three central learning challenges for developing a sustainable system of BP in the 3S Programme were identified: 1) the development of cheaper and more practical technologies of burning and measuring the gas, as well as the reduction of costs of the process of certification, 2) the development of new ways of using biogas within farms, and 3) the creation of new local markets and networks for selling BP products. One general learning challenge is to find more varied and synergic ways of using BP products than solely for the production of carbon credits. Both the model of the ZPD of BPfS and the identified learning challenges could be used as learning tools to facilitate the development of biogas production systems. The proposed model of the ZPD could be used to analyse different types of agricultural activities that face a similar contradiction. The findings could be used in interventions to help actors to find their own expansive actions and developmental projects for change. Rather than proposing a standardised best concept of BPfS, the idea of these learning tools is to facilitate the analysis of local situations and to help actors to make their activities more sustainable.
  • Kontinen, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have gained an important role in development co-operation during the last two decades. The development funding channelled through NGOs has increased and the number of NGOs engaged in development activities, both North and South, has been growing. Supporting NGOs has been seen as one way to strengthen civil society in the South and to provide potential for enhancing more effective development than the state, and to exercise participatory development and partnership in their North-South relationships. This study focuses on learning in the co-operation practices of small Finnish NGOs in Morogoro, Tanzania. Drawing on the cultural-historical activity theory and the theory of expansive learning, in this study I understand learning as a qualitative change in the actual co-operation practices. The qualitative change, for its part, emerges out of attempts to deal with the contradictions in the present activity. I use the concept of developmental contradiction in exploring the co-operation of the small Finnish NGOs with their Tanzanian counterparts. Developmental contradiction connects learning to actual practice and its historical development. By history, in this study I refer to multiple developmental trajectories, such as trajectories of individual participants, organisations, co-operation practices and the institutional system in which the NGO-development co-operation is embedded. In the empirical chapters I explore the co-operation both in the development co-operation projects and in micro-level interaction between partners taking place within the projects. I analyse the perceptions of the Finnish participants about the different developmental trajectories, the tensions, inclusions and exclusions in the evolving object of co-operation in one project, the construction of power relations in project meetings in three projects, and the collision of explicated partnership with the emerging practice of trusteeship in one project. On the basis of the empirical analyses I elaborate four developmental contradictions and learning challenges for the co-operation. The developmental contradictions include: 1) implementing a ready-made Finnish project idea vs. taking the current activities of Tanzanian NGO as a starting point; 2) gaining experiences and cultural interaction vs. access to outside funding; 3) promoting the official tools of development co-operation in training vs. use of tools and procedures taken from the prior activities of both partners in actual practice; and 4) asymmetric relations between the partners vs. rhetoric of equal partnership. Consequently, on the basis of developmental contradictions four learning challenges are suggested: a shift from legitimation of Finnish ideas to negotiation, transcending the separate objects and finding a partly joint object, developing locally shared tools for the co-operation, and identification and reflection of the power relations in the practice of co-operation. Keywords: activity theory; expansive learning; NGO development co-operation; partnership; power
  • 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
  • Holma, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The study is a philosophical analysis of Israel Scheffler’s philosophy of education, focusing on three crucial conceptions in his philosophy: the conception of rationality, the conception of human nature, and the conception of reality. The interrelations of these three concepts as well as their relations to educational theorizing are analysed and elaborated. A conceptual problem concerning Scheffler’s ideal of rationality derives from Scheffler’s supposition of the strong analogy between science education and moral education in terms of the ideal of rationality. This analogy is argued to be conceptually problematic, since the interconnections of rationality, objectivity, and truth, appear to differ from each other in the realms of ethics and science, given the presuppositions of ontological realism and ethical naturalism, to which Scheffler explicitly subscribes. This study considers two philosophical alternatives for solving this problem. The first alternative relates the analogy to the normative concept of personhood deriving from the teleological understanding of human nature. Nevertheless, this position turns out to be problematic for Scheffler, since he rejects all teleological thinking in his philosophy. The problem can be solved, as it is argued, by limiting Scheffler’s rejection of teleology – in light of his philosophical outlook on the whole – in a manner that allows a modest version of a teleological conception of human nature. The second alternative, based especially on Scheffler’s later contributions, is to suggest that reality is actually more complex and manifold than it appears to be in light of a contemporary naturalist worldview. This idea of plurealism – Scheffler’s synthesis of pluralism and realism – is represented especially in Scheffler’s contributions related to his debate with Nelson Goodman dealing with both constructivism and realism. The idea of plurealism is not only related to the ethics-science-distinction, but is more widely related to the relationship between ontological realism and the incommensurable systems of description in diverse realms of human understanding. The Scheffler-Goodman debate is also analysed in relation to the contemporary constructivism-realism debate in educational philosophy. In terms of educational questions, Scheffler’s plurealism is argued as offering a fruitful perspective. Scheffler’s philosophy of education can be interpreted as searching for solutions to the problems deriving from the tension between the tradition of analytical philosophy and the complexity and multiplicity of educational reality. The complexity of reality combined with the supposition of the limitedness of human knowledge does not lead Scheffler to relativism or particularism, but, in contrast, Schefflerian formulations of rationality and objectivity preserve the possibility for critical inquiry in all realms of educational reality. In light of this study, Scheffler’s philosophy of education provides an exceptional example of combining ontological realism, epistemological fallibilism, and the defence of the ideal of rationality, combined with a wide-ranging understanding of educational reality.
  • Harlamov-Elo, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The study examines the personnel training and research activities carried out by the Organization and Methods Division of the Ministry of Finance and their becoming a part and parcel of the state administration in 1943-1971. The study is a combination of institutional and ideological historical research in recent history on adult education, using a constructionist approach. Material salient to the study comes from the files of the Organization and Methods Division in the National Archives, parliamentary documents, committee reports, and the magazines. The concentrated training and research activities arranged by the Organization and Methods Division, became a part and parcel of the state administration in the midst of controversial challenges and opportunities. They served to solve social problems which beset the state administration as well as contextual challenges besetting rationalization measures, and organizational challenges. The activities were also affected by a dependence on decision-makers, administrative units, and civil servants organizations, by different views on rationalization and the holistic nature of reforms, as well as by the formal theories that served as resources. It chose long-term projects which extended to the political decision-makers and administrative units turf, and which were intended to reform the structures of the state administration and to rationalize the practices of the administrative units. The crucial questions emerged in opposite pairs (a constitutional state vs. the ideology of an administratively governed state, a system of national boards vs. a system of government through ministries, efficiency of work vs. pleasantness of work, centralized vs. decentralized rationalization activities) which were not solvable problems but impossible questions with no ultimate answers. The aim and intent of the rationalization of the state administration (the reform of the central, provincial, and local governments) was to facilitate integrated management and to render a greater amount of work by approaching management procedures scientifically and by clarifying administrative instances and their respon-sibilities in regards to each other. The means resorted to were organizational studies and committee work. In the rationalization of office work and finance control, the idea was to effect savings in administrative costs and to pare down those costs as well as to rationalize and heighten those functions by developing the institution of work study practitioners in order to coordinate employer and employee relationships and benefits (the training of work study practitioners, work study, and a two-tier work study practitioner organization). A major part of the training meant teaching and implementing leadership skills in practice, which, in turn, meant that the learning environment was the genuine work community and efforts to change it. In office rationalization, the solution to regulate the relations between the employer and the employees was the co-existence of the technical and biological rationalization and the human resource administration and the accounting and planning systems at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. The former were based on the school of scientific management and human relations, the latter on system thinking, which was a combination of the former two. In the rationalization of the state administration, efforts were made to find solutions to stabilize management ideologies and to arrange the relationships of administrative systems in administrative science - among other things, in the Hoover Committee and the Simon decision making theory, and, in the 1960s, in system thinking. Despite the development-related vocabulary, the practical work was advanced rationalization. It was said that the practical activities of both the state administration and the administrative units depended on professional managers who saw to production results and human relations. The pedagogic experts hired to develop training came up with a training system, based on the training-technological model where the training was made a function of its own. The State Training Center was established and the training office of the Organization and Methods Division became the leader and coordinator of personnel training.
  • Postareff, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The aim of this dissertation was to explore teaching in higher education from the teachers’ perspective. Two of the four studies analysed the effect of pedagogical training on approaches to teaching and on self-efficacy beliefs of teachers on teaching. Of these two studies, Study I analysed the effect of pedagogical training by applying a cross-sectional setting. The results showed that short training made teachers less student-centred and decreased their self-efficacy beliefs, as reported by the teachers themselves. However, more constant training enhanced the adoption of a student-centred approach to teaching and increased the self-efficacy beliefs of teachers as well. The teacher-focused approach to teaching was more resistant to change. Study II, on the other hand, applied a longitudinal setting. The results implied that among teachers who had not acquired more pedagogical training after Study II there were no changes in the student-focused approach scale between the measurements. However, teachers who had participated in further pedagogical training scored significantly higher on the scale measuring the student-focused approach to teaching. There were positive changes in the self-efficacy beliefs of teachers among teachers who had not participated in further training as well as among those who had. However, the analysis revealed that those teachers had the least teaching experience. Again, the teacher-focused approach was more resistant to change. Study III analysed approaches to teaching qualitatively by using a large and multidisciplinary sample in order to capture the variation in descriptions of teaching. Two broad categories of description were found: the learning-focused and the content-focused approach to teaching. The results implied that the purpose of teaching separates the two categories. In addition, the study aimed to identify different aspects of teaching in the higher-education context. Ten aspects of teaching were identified. While Study III explored teaching on a general level, Study IV analysed teaching on an individual level. The aim was to explore consonance and dissonance in the kinds of combinations of approaches to teaching university teachers adopt. The results showed that some teachers were clearly and systematically either learning- or content-focused. On the other hand, profiles of some teachers consisted of combinations of learning- and content-focused approaches or conceptions making their profiles dissonant. Three types of dissonance were identified. The four studies indicated that pedagogical training organised for university teachers is needed in order to enhance the development of their teaching. The results implied that the shift from content-focused or dissonant profiles towards consonant learning-focused profiles is a slow process and that teachers’ conceptions of teaching have to be addressed first in order to promote learning-focused teaching.
  • Lehenkari, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This study addresses four issues concerning technological product innovations. First, the nature of the very early phases or "embryonic stages" of technological innovation is addressed. Second, this study analyzes why and by what means people initiate innovation processes outside the technological community and the field of expertise of the established industry. In other words, this study addresses the initiation of innovation that occurs without the expertise of established organizations, such as technology firms, professional societies and research institutes operating in the technological field under consideration. Third, the significance of interorganizational learning processes for technological innovation is dealt with. Fourth, this consideration is supplemented by considering how network collaboration and learning change when formalized product development work and the commercialization of innovation advance. These issues are addressed through the empirical analysis of the following three product innovations: Benecol margarine, the Nordic Mobile Telephone system (NMT) and the ProWellness Diabetes Management System (PDMS). This study utilizes the theoretical insights of cultural-historical activity theory on the development of human activities and learning. Activity-theoretical conceptualizations are used in the critical assessment and advancement of the concept of networks of learning. This concept was originally proposed by the research group of organizational scientist Walter Powell. A network of learning refers to the interorganizational collaboration that pools resources, ideas and know-how without market-based or hierarchical relations. The concept of an activity system is used in defining the nodes of the networks of learning. Network collaboration and learning are analyzed with regard to the shared object of development work. According to this study, enduring dilemmas and tensions in activity explain the participants' motives for carrying out actions that lead to novel product concepts in the early phases of technological innovation. These actions comprise the initiation of development work outside the relevant fields of expertise and collaboration and learning across fields of expertise in the absence of market-based or hierarchical relations. These networks of learning are fragile and impermanent. This study suggests that the significance of networks of learning across fields of expertise becomes more and more crucial for innovation activities.
  • Mälkki, Kaisu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    For the past decades reflection has been the buzzword of adult and higher education. Reflection is facilitated in many practices and there is abundant research on the issue. Despite the popularity of the concept, the reasons why bringing about reflection in educational practices is difficult remain unclear. The prevailing theories inform of the process in its ideal form. However, to a great extent, they fail to offer conceptual tools for understanding and working with the actualities of reflection. The aim of the doctoral thesis was to explore the challenges and prerequisites of reflection in order to theorize the nature of reflection. By the term reflection it is here referred to becoming aware of and questioning the assumptions that orient our thinking, feelings and actions. The doctoral thesis consists of five studies that approach these questions from different viewpoints and within different contexts. The methods involve both a philosophical and an empirical approach. This multifaceted approach embodies the aim of both gaining a more thorough grasp of the phenomenon and to develop the methodology of researching reflection. The theory building is based on conceptual analysis and rational reconstruction (see Davia 1998; Habermas 1979; Rorty1984) of Mezirow s (1981; 1991; 2000; 2009) theory of transformative learning. In order to explore the aspects which, based on the analysis, appeared insufficiently considered within Mezirow s theory, Damasio s (1994; 1999; 2003; 2010) theory on emotions and consciousness as well as Clausewitz s (1985) view on friction are used as complementary theories. Empirical analyses are used in dialogue with the theoretical, in order to challenge and refine the emerging theorization. Reflection is examined in three different contexts; regarding university teachers pedagogical growth, involuntarily childless women recovering from a life-event crisis, and soldiers preparing to act in chaotic situations of the battlefield as well as recovering from it. The choice of these contexts is based on Mezirow s notion of disorienting dilemma as a trigger for reflection. This notion indicates that reflection may more naturally emerge in association to life-event crises or other cumulative sets of instances, which bring our worldview and beliefs under question. Nevertheless, reflection is often being promoted in educational contexts in which the trigger conditions may not readily prevail. These contextual issues as well as the differences between the facilitated and non-facilitated contexts have not, however, been considered in detail within the research on reflection (or transformative learning). The doctoral thesis offers a new perspective into reflection which, as a further development on Mezirow s transformative learning theory, theorizes the nature of reflection. The developed theory explicates the prerequisites and challenges to reflection. The theory suggests that the challenges of reflection are fundamentally connected to the way the biological life-support system affects our thinking through emotions. While depicting the mechanisms that function as a counterforce to reflection, the developed theory also opens a perspective for considering possibilities for carrying out reflection, and suggests ways to locate and deal with the assumptions to be reflected on. The basic dynamic of the challenges to reflection was explicated by conceptually bridging the gap between Mezirow s and Damasio s theories, through exploring the connections between the meaning perspective and the biological functions of emotions. The concepts of comfort zone and edge-emotions were formed so as to depict the emotional orientation of our thinking, as part of the explanation of the nature of reflection.
  • Koli, Annarita (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This dissertation concerns work-related well-being of vocational teachers and the possibilities for well-being promotion in changing work activity. Previous studies concerning teachers’ occupational well-being and change have focused either on individual teachers as recipients of change, or on the characteristics and reforms of teaching work on a general level. Only rarely has work-related well-being of teachers been studied from the viewpoint of work community and changing work activity. In my thesis, I study teachers’ work-related well-being as a phenomenon emerging in collective and changing work activity. I develop a method for promoting work-related well-being in the joint development of work activity. In this method, the work community is considered as an active agent in developing their work and promoting their well-being. I employ cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), the methodology of developmental work research (DWR) and theoretical concepts that have been developed within them for studying work-related well-being. The activity-theoretical concept of object-dependent well-being emphasizes the personal sense of work and the employee’s successful work in experiencing work-related well-being. However, it is still unclear how an individual may find a new personal sense in his or her work in significant workplace transformations. My research task is: how is it possible for the teacher community to develop and reshape their work activity in order to promote their work-related well-being at the same time? My empirical research site is a work community of beautician teachers in a vocational school. I studied their work using ethnographic research methods 2002-2004, as part of a research and development project called “On the threshold of new expertise – personnel as the workplace change agent.” My dissertation consists of a theoretical part and four empirical articles. In the articles I analyze teachers’ changing work activity and their work-related well-being from different viewpoints. In the summary part of the thesis I develop a theory for studying and promoting work-related well-being that is based on both empirical articles’ findings and theoretical concepts of activity theory. In my dissertation, I study teachers’ work-related well-being as a developing relationship between the personal sense of work and collective object of teaching. The fragmental development of teaching appeared in the everyday work of teachers as disturbances, contradictory demands, and problems in their personal sense of work. In significant workplace transformations the relationship of the individual to his or her work may culminate in the experience of a personal double-bind and contradictory motives that threaten work-related well-being. My study shows that the teacher community did not have sufficient opportunities for working out a shared conception of the changed object of their work. Hence, also the development of new work practices and new sources of personal sense were not consolidated. My study also shows, however, that with the help of appropriate developmental tools, teachers may construct a shared understanding of the developmental needs of work activity and so promote their work-related well-being by jointly generating the future of their work activity. In significant workplace transformations, employee well-being can be promoted by supporting work communities in constructing a shared conception of the object of joint activity. This conception creates the ground for reshaping organizational practices, but it also offers an opportunity for individuals to construct a new relationship to their work and for finding new sources of work-related well-being in the changed work activity. During change even strong individual experiences of contradictory motives are not a negative phenomenon, but an important prerequisite for both individual and collective development. My study helps to understand individuals’ well-being experiences in changing work activity and shows the meaning of collective development in the promotion of work-related well-being.
  • Kantasalmi, Kari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Openness and reflexivity of university education in the analysis of structuration of Finnish university adult education This research has been organised on three levels around a specific theoretical theme of the reflexivity of schooling. The argument developed has the same layered structure. At the first level, within the theoretical disposition of structuration, I develop methodological solutions, which allow the theme of reflexivity to be taken into account in the research concerning the organisational change of schooling. The conceptual work has been carried out in the research setting “morphogenesis vs. structuration”, which was initially formulated by Margaret Archer. Following this setting, structuration is taken to be a concern of the theoretical thinking of both Anthony Giddens and Pierre Bourdieu. The essential results achieved at this research level are presented as developing a synthesis of the theoretical thinking of Giddens and Bourdieu. I am arguing in favour of meta theoretical possibility and the empirical fertility of such a synthesis. The latter is especially the case, when the aim is to grasp the cultural dynamics in the processes of organising schooling. At the second level of empirical-historical theorising about schooling I confine the treatment of the theme of reflexivity to the topic of the openness of university education. While operating through the level of substantive theorising of schooling, I am constructing a cross disciplinary point of view on the phenomenon of openness and its empirical research. This is done in such manner that demonstrates how the structuration approach, understood as synthesising the meta theory of Giddens and Bourdieu, can take into account the theme of the reflexivity of schooling. In the actual empirical part of the study, the third level, I explore the genesis of the Finnish open university. This leads to narrowing down the topic of openness and to focussing on how adult education is organised. The analysis of structuration is supported by the ideal type -like notion of university adult education, since this allows the comparative and historical research strategy required for the task. I argue the importance of such a notion at the level of substantive theorising of schooling. The results of my historical analysis are presented through three articles and a commentary chapter.