Browsing by Subject "kasvatuspsykologia"

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  • Stubb, Jenni Katarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    This dissertation focused on exploring doctoral students conceptions of the scholarly community and research, and further, on analysing the relation between these conceptions and well-being as well as study persistence in the doctoral process. The first two studies concentrated on analysing students conceptions of the scholarly community and their meaning with respect to one s own thesis process. The last two studies focused on students conceptions of the personal meaning of the thesis work and conceptions of research in the context of their own doctoral journeys. The data were collected by surveys and interviews. Altogether 669 students from different disciplines participated in the surveys and 32 in the interviews. The analysis was conducted by combining both qualitative and quantitative methods. Study I examined how doctoral students perceived their own role in the scholarly community and their experiences of their learning environment. The relation between their experienced role in the community and well-being as well as study persistence was also analysed. The results indicated that the experienced role in the community varied from a sense of belonging to feeling like an outsider and perceiving one s own role as incoherent or contradictory. Students who experienced a sense of being part of the academic community also reported experiencing their learning environment in a more positive way. These students also reported less stress, anxiety, and exhaustion and greater interest in their own doctoral projects. Moreover, students who felt themselves to be part of the community had considered interrupting their studies less often than others. Their conceptions were also related to the faculties in question. Study II took a more in-depth look at students experienced socio-psychological well-being by focusing on how they saw the scholarly community in terms of one s own doctoral process. The results suggested that experiences of the community varied from perceiving it as empowering to experiencing it as a burden. Seeing one s own scholarly community as empowering was related to lower levels of reported stress, anxiety, and exhaustion and higher levels of interest in one s own doctoral project. The students who experienced empowerment had also considered interrupting their studies less often. Study III explored the thesis work s personal meaning for the doctoral students and its relation to the experienced well-being as well as study persistence. The relations between the personal meaning of the thesis work and discipline were also looked at. The results suggested that personal meaning varied between emphasizing the process, the product, or both. Highlighting the meaning of the process was related to lower levels of reported stress, anxiety, and exhaustion, but to higher levels of interest. Students who emphasized the meaning of the process had considered interrupting their doctoral studies less often than other students. Differences were also apparent between faculties: students in medicine emphasized the meaning of the end-product more often than students in other faculties. Study IV analysed doctoral students conceptions of research and whether these were discipline-related. The results indicated that research was most often seen as a personal journey. Rather typical was also seeing it as a job to do , as answering certain demands. Research was also seen as a means to qualify oneself or as making a difference by contributing to the discipline or to society. The students conceptions were found to be related to the discipline: students in medicine most often described research as a job to do while those in natural science and behavioural sciences emphasized research as a personal journey. The results suggested that doctoral students experienced the meaning of research and the academic community very differently. Their conceptions were related to well-being and study persistence during the Ph.D. process, and were found to be discipline-related. The results encourage viewing the doctoral process not only as a cognitive effort but also as a process that is mediated by experiencing a sense of belonging and meaningfulness.
  • Nieminen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Study orientations in higher education consist of various dimensions, such as approaches to learning, conceptions of learning and knowledge (i.e. epistemologies), self-regulation, and motivation. They have also been measured in different ways. The main orientations typically reported are reproducing and meaning orientations. The present study explored dimensions of study orientations, focusing in particular on pharmacy and medicine. New versions of self-report instruments were developed and tested in various contexts and in two countries. Furthermore, the linkages between study orientations and students epistemological development were explored. The context of problem-based (PBL) small groups was investigated in order to better understand how collaboration contributes to the quality of learning. The participants of Study I (n=66) were pharmacy students, who were followed during a three-year professionally oriented program in terms of their study orientations and epistemologies. A reproducing orientation to studying diminished during studying, whereas only a few students maintained their original level of meaning orientation. Dualism was found to be associated with a reproducing orientation. In Study II practices associated with deep and surface approaches to learning were measured in two differing ways, in order to better distinguish between what students believed to be useful in studying, and the extent to which they applied their beliefs to practice when preparing for examinations. Differences between domains were investigated by including a sample of Finnish and Swedish medical students (n=956) and a Finnish non-medical sample of university students (n=865). Memorizing and rote learning appeared as differing components of a surface approach to learning, while understanding, relating, and critical evaluation of knowledge emerged as aspects of a deep approach to learning. A structural model confirmed these results in both student samples. Study III explored a wide variety of dimensions of learning in medical education. Swedish medical students (n=280) answered the questionnaire. The deep approach to learning was strongly related to collaboration and reflective learning, whereas the surface approach was associated with novice-like views of knowledge and the valuing of certain and directly applicable knowledge. PBL students aimed at understanding, but also valued the role of memorization. Study IV investigated 12 PBL tutorial groups of students (n=116) studying microbiology and pharmacology in a medical school. The educational application was expected to support a deep approach to learning: Group members course grades in a final examination were related to the perceived functioning of the PBL tutorial groups. Further, the quality of cases that had been used as triggers for learning, was associated with the quality of small group functioning. New dimensions of study orientations were discovered. In particular, novel, finer distinctions were found within the deep approach component. In medicine, critical evaluation of knowledge appeared to be less valued than understanding and relating. Further, collaboration appeared to be closely related to the deep approach, and it was also important in terms of successful PBL studying. The results of the studies confirmed the previously found associations between approaches to learning and study success, but showed interesting context- and subgroup-related differences in this respect. Students ideas about the nature of knowledge and their approaches to learning were shown to be closely related. The present study expanded our understanding of the dimensions of study orientations, of their development, and their contextual variability in pharmacy and medicine.
  • Juuti, Sini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The study as a whole examined piano musicians identity negotiations in the context of their music studies and their transition to working life. This research report and the articles accompanying it also introduce a socio-culturally oriented approach to the study of musical identities. Study I explored adult instrumental students identity work while negotiating entry to a prestigious music academy. The specific focus was on how students accounts of their competencies vis-à-vis their peers are implicated in their musical identity work, and how students accounts of their own and others participation in and engagement with the musical practices of the academy resourced their musical identity work. A further concern was how students accounts of life-courses and trajectories were implicated in their musical identity work. Study II focused on how solo piano students identity projects were mediated within the student-teacher relationship. It examined how solo piano students identity projects were mediated within and in relation to their interpretative work on the canon, undertaken along with their teacher, and further, how their identity as a solo piano student was negotiated in relation to other ongoing musical identity projects. Study III focused on career-young professional pianists talk about the transition from study within a music academy to working life. The focus was especially on the ways in which they characterised the nature and significance of this transition, from very traditional practice, and how they (re-)negotiated their professional identities as working musicians and pianists in their contemporary working lives. The participants of the overall study were ten solo piano students who were interviewed once during their studies at the Sibelius Academy. Four of these original participants were followed up for about eight years from the original interviews when entering professional working life. The starting point for the methods used in the study was the socio-cultural framework plus qualitative thematic analysis. Within this study, identity negotiations and the relation between individual and social aspects of identity were researched through the collection of the musicians accounts of their musical histories and experiences situated in the daily practices of their study and work. The analytical method involved the initial identification of key themes, with the detailed analysis then focusing on the particular ways in which the participants talked about the process of becoming musicians. The results showed how identity work is a complex, mediated process. The comparative dynamics amongst peers were seen as a key mediator of the identity work done during studies at the academy. Furthermore, student-teacher interactions emerged as crucial sites for identity negotiations. It seemed that a collegial and collaborative approach to the interpretation of music, and the associated understanding that came with it, fostered professional growth and enhanced artistic confidence. This work also highlighted the conflicts and problematic identity positions that emerge in the creative relationship between the teacher and the student a relationship in which visions and insights are not necessarily shared. The analyses also exemplify how in some circumstances the envisaged reactions of the teacher and the associated risk of troubled identity positions problematised students engagement with popular forms of music-making. Furthermore, it was observed that the creation of novel interpretations of pieces from the canon form a central aspect of one s personal musical identity and is a socially and culturally situated act. The results of this study also highlighted how, especially during the students transition to the music community, they seemed unable to define community-level norms and expectations. Moreover, they talked against some of these. Talking against emerged as strongly agentic identity work. Thereafter, in the context of the transition from music studies to working life, there was clear evidence of the emergence of the informants own stories , own ways and the use of inner resources. Agency was thus clearly observable in the career-young professional musicians construction and re-construction of their own creative practices and paths. These paths were not fixed or dependent on communal expectations; rather, they reflected freedom, widening perspectives and independence, the embracing of multiple influences, and the anchor- ing of individual lives in more holistic ways. One of the key elements in the process of becoming agentic seemed to be the acceptance of multiplicity.
  • Litmanen, Topi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation explores how higher education students experience their studies. Experiences were studied at three interconnected levels: cognitive, motivational and emotional; they were defined respectively as the student s perceptions of the learning environment, study-related personal goals and emotional experiences in the learning situation. The general research questions were: 1) What are the components of successful and unsuccessful engagement with the learning environment? 2) How do students experience different kinds of learning environments, and what kinds of roles do experiences and emotions have in the learning process? 3) To what extent are experiences of the learning environment related to the features of the faculty and student qualities? Four empirical studies were conducted to address these questions. Studies I, II and IV were quantitative and applied self-report questionnaires, and Study I also had a follow-up setting. Study III was also a follow-up study, in which experience sampling conducted with mobile phones was accompanied with qualitative interview data. Study I explored what kinds of study-related goals students have at the beginning of their studies and how they relate to their study progress. The participants (N=133) were theology students, who at the beginning of their studies were asked to complete a questionnaire about their personal goals. Study success was followed for the first three years of their studies. The results showed that students whose study-related goals were important and stressful, and who reported progress in achieving them, advanced more rapidly in their studies. Study II focused on how students experiences of their learning environment are related to their well-being and academic self-concept. The participants were 610 medical students. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the relationships between the variables under study. Experiences about the learning environment were related to how interested the students were in their studies or how exhausted they had become as a result of them. In turn, interest and exhaustion were related to higher levels of academic self-concept. A cross-sectional design was used to compare experiences between different medical schools. Novice PBL (Problem Based Learning) students experienced higher levels of exhaustion, no differences were found in the later phases of studies. Thus, the PBL environment appeared challenging, but only during the first years of study. Study III followed the experiences of nine student teachers for two 14-day follow-ups. The first follow-up consisted mostly of lectures and ordinary small-group work. The second period ran parallel to the completion of an intensive inquiry-based project that was the focus of the present study. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed that studying during the inquiry-based period produced stronger experiences of being challenged as well as more negative emotional experiences than the teacher-centred period. However, the interview data indicated that the participants enjoyed the inquiry-based period. In Study IV, the objective was to study the relations between approaches to learning and both the disciplines of the students and their perceptions of the learning environment. Altogether 2,509 students from different fields participated in the study. The results indicated that both approaches to learning and the discipline have an effect on students experiences of the learning environment. The dissertation showed that combining different cognitive, motivational and emotional perspectives and using a variety of methodologies helps to build a more comprehensive picture of how higher education students experience their studies. The most important findings of this thesis were: 1) Successful engagement with the learning environment is not merely about seeing the studies as important, being satisfied with the faculty or career choice, or seeing oneself as capable of achieving the tasks. Stress, worry about competence and to some extent exhaustion are important components of engagement in studies. 2) Negative affects, experiences of high levels of challenge and exhaustion may be essential parts of the process of gradually learning to take responsibility for both individual and collaborative learning processes. 3) Students experiences of their learning environment are not related to a single feature or set of features, but are connected to both their approaches to learning and the characteristics of the learning environment, such as the pedagogy used.
  • Heikkilä, Annamari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This dissertation empirically explores the relations among three theoretical perspectives: university students approaches to learning, self-regulated learning, as well as cognitive and attributional strategies. The relations were quantitatively studied from both variable- and person-centered perspectives. In addition, the meaning that students gave to their disciplinary choices was examined. The general research questions of the study were: 1) What kinds of relationships exist among approaches to learning, regulation of learning, and cognitive and attributional strategies? What kinds of cognitive-motivational profiles can be identified among university students, and how are such profiles related to study success and well-being? 3) How do university students explain their disciplinary choices? Four empirical studies addressed these questions. Studies I, II, and III were quantitative, applying self-report questionnaires, and Study IV was qualitative in nature. Study I explored relations among cognitive strategies, approaches to learning, regulation of learning, and study success by using correlations and a K-means cluster analysis. The participants were 366 students from various faculties at different phases of their studies. The results showed that all the measured constructs were logically related to each other in both variable- and person-centered approaches. Study II further examined what kinds of cognitive-motivational profiles could be identified among first-year university students (n=436) in arts, law, and agriculture and forestry. Differences in terms of study success, exhaustion, and stress among students with differing profiles were also looked at. By using a latent class cluster analysis (LCCA), three groups of students were identified: non-academic (34%), self-directed (35%), and helpless students (31%). Helpless students reported the highest levels of stress and exhaustion. Self-directed students received the highest grades. In Study III, cognitive-motivational profiles were identified among novice teacher students (n=213) using LCCA. Well-being, epistemological beliefs, and study success were looked at in relation to the profiles. Three groups of students were found: non-regulating (50%), self-directed (35%), and non-reflective (22%). Self-directed students again received the best grades. Non-regulating students reported the highest levels of stress and exhaustion, the lowest level of interest, and showed the strongest preference for certain and practical knowledge. Study IV, which was qualitative in nature, explored how first-year students (n = 536 ) in three fields of studies, arts, law, and veterinary medicine explained their disciplinary choices. Content analyses showed that interest appeared to be a common concept in students description of their choices across the three faculties. However, the objects of interest of the freshmen appeared rather unspecified. Veterinary medicine and law students most often referred to future work or a profession, whereas only one-fifth of the arts students did so. The dissertation showed that combining different theoretical perspectives and methodologies enabled us to build a rich picture of university students cognitive and motivational predispositions towards studying and learning. Further, cognitive-emotional aspects played a significant role in studying, not only in relation to study success, but also in terms of well-being. Keywords: approaches to learning, self-regulation, cognitive and attributional strategies, university students