Kasvatustieteellinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Karjalainen, Alina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Objectives. Regular news reports from the Middle East, as well as the refugee question in Europe followed by hate speech against refugees made me ponder the relationship between education in schools and the Middle East. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate how the Middle East is being viewed in upper secondary school history textbooks. As a theoretical framework I used postcolonial theories. The critical approach to Orientalism worked as the basis for my study. Moreover, the concept of place, imaginative geography and power geometry played an important role. Methods. The research data consisted of four upper secondary school history textbooks representing two widely used textbook series from different publishers. The textbooks are based on the curriculum for upper secondary schools that came into effect in 2016. I analyzed the data by doing critical discourse analysis on the textbooks. Results and conclusions. Based on the data I formed four discourses: west discourse, problem discourse, movement discourse and religionization discourse. Within the west discourse the Middle East was mainly viewed from the perspective of the West which appeared by presenting the West as a subject and the Middle East as an object, ignoring the experiences of the Middle East, making confrontations and using west-oriented concepts such as “Third World nations” and “the Arab Spring”. According to the problem discourse, the Middle East was constructed as an area with a number of problems including, for example, excessive population growth, while the West was described as a victim suffering from them. The movement discourse juxtaposed the threatening and restricted movement of the Middle East with natural phenomena, whereas the movement of the West was presented as justified and self-evident. Finally, the religionization discourse observed the Middle East through religion and defined it as Islamic world. The discourses in my study show that the Middle East is viewed from the eurocentric standpoint and constructed as a problematic, religious and uncontrollably moving image.
  • Vahlroos, Henna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The goal of this study was to examine the conceptions of teachers working as a part of the co-operation between preschool and school in Järvenpää during the school year 2016–2017. In addition, the study aimed to find out teachers’ thoughts about the development of the co-operation along with the matters that affect their motivation to co-operate. The collaboration between preschool and school has been investigated also earlier in Järvenpää from the teachers’ points of view at the beginning of the 21st century. The new local curriculums were put to use in Järvenpää on the 1st of August 2016. Examining the conceptions of the preschool teachers and classroom teachers is currently significant because the co-operation has been under inspection and developmental process in Järvenpää. The meaning of this study is to make visible the experiences and the conceptions of the teachers so that it is possible to keep on working for even more beneficial collaboration between preschool and school. In this study the co-operation between preschool and school is seen as working on a boundary which requires relational agency from the teachers. The school culture differs from the preschool culture so the change from a learning environment to another creates a transition in a child’s life. The collaboration is important for the sake of a smooth transition and an educational path without any thresholds. The study was conducted as a web enquiry in the end of the spring semester 2017. 20 teachers (9 preschool teachers, 11 classroom teachers) took part in the study. Most of the questions were open-ended and they were analysed using data based content analysis. The matters that affect teachers’ motivation to co-operate were investigated with close-ended questions. The teachers thought that the collaboration between preschool and school aims to a smooth transition and a continuum of learning but also taking care of a child’s needs and sense of security, familiarization to school, sharing information, expertise and the know-how, and abridging the cultural differences between preschool and school. As a result of co-operation the child gets in contact with school as a physical, mental, social and cultural environment. The study discovered matters that may strengthen teachers’ motivation and some that may weaken the motivation to co-operate. The developmental process of the collaboration between preschool and school has been succeeded in Järvenpää but there are still some challenges and improvement needed.
  • Peltola, Mirka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Objective The reduction of physical activity and simultaneous increase in screen time has been a source for concern in recent years. The significance of schools for increasing physical activity has grown and previous research has demonstrated a positive link between physical activity, cognitive behaviour and learning. The link between screen time and cognitive behaviour has also been researched and the results are partially contradictory. This study focuses on the connection between attention and self-assessed physical activity and screen time. It also explores the significance of an acute, coordination developing physical activity session in relation to attentiveness Methods The study was carried out as quantitative research including a questionnaire and an intervention study. The questionnaire was a self-assessment filled out by 78 pupils of 3rd and 4th grade examining levels of physical activity and screen time. The intervention study was made up by 30 children in the experimental, physically active, group and 30 children in the control, physical passive, group. The study examined the connection between self-assessed physical activity and screen time with the success in an ACT attention test and the potential influence physical intervention might have in a repeat test. Outcome and conclusion The results of this study supported previous research findings on physical activity on children and adolescence; some children are very active whilst others lack physical activity almost entirely. Most of the children and adolescence also went over the maximum recommended daily screen time limit of 2 hours, both during the week and at weekends. There was no link between overall physical activity and total screen time in relation to the success of the attention test. In the intervention part of the study, there was no noticeable difference in the results of the attention test between the experiential and control groups.  Previous research material on the links between physical activity and screen time on attention is partially conflicting so further research is recommended. It has however been established, that physical activity during lessons does not lower academic results, meaning that they can be used to increase overall physical activity of individuals even if the link to cognitive behavior has not been confirmed.
  • Järvinen, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Aim and background. This research aims to give a voice for children in the field that studies children’s participation. Many studies have primarily used adult’s views on participation and studied how this kind of participation is practiced in children’s communities. These assumptions often miss children’s complex and variable views of participation in their different environments. The aim of this research is to create a better understanding of the phenomenon of children’s participation in school and scouting and guiding. By studying two environments this research tries to open children’s views about participation as a phenomenon that children experience differently in their diverse social contexts. In this way the phenomenon is studied more widely and attempted to understand it as a part of children’s lifes everywhere, not just at school. By creating the phenomenon of participation as children see it aims also to give better understanding about how to evolve children’s participation both in school and scouts and also in the educational research. Methods. The research material was collected in the spring of 2017 in semi-structured interviews with five 5th graders who were also scouts. Every interviewee was interviewed twice: once at the scouts meeting place about scouting environment and once at school about school environment. Before the interview the children filled out a short sheet about how they feel about the interview and how much they know about certain concepts (for example local group or student council) they were to be asked about in the interviews. Every interview included a storycrafting assignment aimed to make the social encounter more equal between the researcher and the child. The research was carried out as a phenomenographic analysis. Conclusions. According to the results children experience both scouts and the school environment to be child centered communities, though are in fact separated from the decision-making processes. In both environments children participated in the decision-making only in certain places that were specifically meant for them. These places do not penetrate the decision-making of the communities but only include a part of it. Based on the analysis children saw their role in the decision-making and participating mainly to be sufficient and fair. They did not see that children could nor needed to have a bigger role as members of studied communities. Whereas children had some expectations towards school as an enabler of children’s participation in society, scouting was not seen to have a similar role. Scouting was seen as a friendlier environment that allows children more freedom than school or other environments. The results show that there is a need for qualitative research about participation of children also in other environments than schools. Studies about participation of children also need more understanding about how children themselves experience participation so that the results would be more compatible in the light of the theoretical understanding of participation
  • Airaksinen, Anna Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study aims to explore how power relations are produced, maintained and challenged in a primary school classroom context. Theoretically, the study is framed around post-structuralist theories about the subject and power, whereby power is understood both as controlling the subject but also enabling the subject to act. Judith Butler’s concept of performativity is used to analyse the power structures in the classroom in detail. The research was conducted by using ethnographic research methods, mainly participatory observation and group interviews. The data was collected in a primary school 6th grade classroom in the Helsinki region. The fieldwork for the study was conducted between March and May 2015. Power relations were performatively constituted by repetitive actions, for example by using repetitive disciplinary methods. Challenging power relations was possible by varying these repetitive actions. Power relations in the classroom were deeply gendered. The study adds to the body of research on schools, power and agency. By analysing how power relations in the classroom are challenged, the research provides one perspective into how agency can be understood in school. The wider social context of the research relates to the role and agency of children in society. The study aims to explore the connection between agency that is enabled in the classroom and agency in society in general. The study suggests that power relations in the classroom are related to how children view their role in society at large.
  • Hemgård, Julia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Along with the technological development, and the transition to knowledge society, our way working has changed. Due to digital solutions and advanced technology employees have the ability to work in a much more flexible work environment. Activity-based working gives employees the opportunity to choose how and where they work. At activity-based workplaces, no one has their own desk. Instead, the concept of free seating is used. Activity-based working creates options and independence for employees, but at the same time activity-based working can be perceived as challenging. In the thesis, a phenomenographic approach was used, and as a researcher, I focused on employees’ different conceptions of activity-based working. The purpose of the study was to get a deeper understanding about employees’ conceptions of activity-based working, and moreover, how the way of working influences the organisational culture and work identity. The theoretical framework consisted of earlier studies about activity-based working, as well as theories regarding organisational culture and work identity. The data were gathered during spring 2017, and involved 9 interviews with 9 employees, who work at activity-based organisations. The method of analysis was the phenomenographic approach. The employees sense, that activity-based working influences organisational culture, and work identity positively, as well as negatively. It appeared that employees find activity-based working as motivational. In addition, the employees find that activity-based working bring openness to the work culture, and enhance the communication. The employees also sense that activity-based working affects work identity, and that the work role becomes more dynamic and task orientated. However, some employees perceived activity-based working as challenging, and that it causes a formal work environment, constructed by unintended social structures. The results also showed conceptions of activity-based working causing anonymous work identity. Over all, the study proves that the conceptions of activity-based working, and how it affects organisational culture and work identity, differ. Yet, even though the results reveal conceptions of activity-based working coursing formal work environment, and anonymous work identity within the workplace, the employees value activity-based working and the ability to choose where and how they work.
  • Ollikainen, Meri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This qualitative research addresses a three-week pioneering intervention which is based on positive pedagogy and was conducted in a day-care centre in Eastern Finland. A pre-school group of nine children took part to the intervention but four of them attended as research participants and were given pen names. Adam and Bella were studying according to the general education plan, Carrie had intensified support and David received special support. During the intervention, the pre-schoolers were taught about the character strengths of self-regulation and honesty via various stories, poems and pictures which transitioned to reciprocal conversations among the child group. Through different kinds of child plays the pre-schoolers had the opportunity to train those skills in action and in touch with creative documentation exercises they built perceptions of the terms themselves. The material was collected through semi-structured interviews and a concentration questionnaire called pikkuKESKY. As a result of analyses each participant got personal profiles which illustrate their skills and development. The results indicate that the students who needed the most support in learning about self-regulation and honesty showed individual improvement during and after the intervention. Many themes in the teachers last interview often came back to the feeling of success which seemed to be widely in a key role when strengthening the pre-schoolers self-esteem.
  • Saarentaus, Stella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of a group of company agents who participated in a training organized by their company, from the perspective of activity theory. Activity theory aims to understand the interaction between the mind and activity, through expansive learning among other things. The subjects of the study are Vainio Oy (pseudonym) and the company agents who took part of the training. A significant amount of studies on organizational learning has been made in different contexts, including organizational management. Studies of internal training and usage of collected data within organizational learning are less frequent, though. Thus, the aim of this study is to increase information concerning the ways of development for organizational training from an activity theoretical perspective. The research is a qualitative study, and the methods used for gathering data were thematic interviews. There were eight company agents from all over Finland who participated in the interviews. All of the informants took part of the company’s training. The data were analyzed by using content analysis. A phenomenological hermeneutic approach was applied during the research analysis. The study shows that the training was a success. Significance was given for teachers proficiency, given support and specific educational methods, for instance using online assignments. On the other hand the defined agenda and the company agents’ expectations of the training did not meet. The company agents preferred a training with a more sales point of view. It is possible to develop the training from an activity theoretical perspective, either with the help of a process-innovation model or system innovation model. Expansive learning is only fulfilled when the activity system, i.e. the training program, is reformed so that the objectives of the training provider and the participants are integrated.
  • Huang, Jing (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Objectives. This research investigates the challenging changes, learning processes, and strategic adjustments made by consulting companies in Finland during the recent global economic crisis of 2009 onwards. In particular, this research aims to answer the following questions: a) What major changes have consulting companies encountered in the economic crisis? b) What strategic adjustments did the companies make in response to these changes? Were novel strategies developed in response to the changes? c) how can the changes and strategies be interpreted from an Activity Theory perspective? d) did the companies exhibit Expansive Learning in the development of novel strategies and in what forms? Methods. This work analyzed five management consulting companies of different sizes and business scope with representation in Finland. The data for the reported analysed consisted of interviews with managers from these firms. The analysis of the data proceeded in three steps: First, themes relating to changes and strategies were extracted from the transcribed interviews using Thematic Analysis; second, the themes identified were interpreted using the framework of Activity Theory in order to identify changes encountered and strategic responses developed by the companies; third, the themes were interpreted within the Expansive Learning framework, identifying individual Expansive Learning cycles and the overall structure of the learning processes. The empirical analysis was complemented by a discussion of the origins and characteristics of management consulting and consulting companies. Results and conclusions. Several of the consulting companies displayed features of Expansive Learning in understanding and responding to the changing economic situation. Deviating from the historically established consulting culture, these companies implemented systematic and proactive selling and marketing of their services. In addition, several companies changed the structure of their products and services. However, when reflecting on the situation of their companies, most managers primarily emphasized cost pressures and a need for improved efficiency. Efficiency improvements not accompanied by structural changes were not generally considered representative of expansive learning. It is found that the interviewed companies fail to engage in expansive learning process and are unwilling to make feasible changes until pressured by the economic crisis. Indeed, a greater sense of threat appears to have made companies more likely to embrace expansive learning.
  • Turu, Mia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this study is to examine, how milliner entrepreneurs have built their business activities and what kind of similar commonalities there is possible to find. According to former studies you can see that handicraft entrepreneurship differs of other businesses, even though the principles of the businesses remain the same. The handicraft entrepreneurs start their businesses usually because of the want to provide themselves with the work they feel as a passion. In this situation, the focus of the business is making crafts, not the company. Milliners are marginal group of artisans, whom are not researched previously. This is the reason why it is important to research, if there is similarities between craft and milliner en-trepreneurs businesses. In this study, there were interviewed nine milliner entrepreneurs from Helsinki, Tampere, Hämeenlinna and Turku. The material for this study was collected with half structured theme interview. During the interviews, there were also an drawing assignment, where were in-tended to draw the significant moments of their own entrepreneurships. The aim of this assignment was to find out more information from the features of milliner businesses. Material was analyzed with qualitative theory based content analysis. The milliner entrepreneurs thought that making hats and other accessories is their passion and having a company is mainly the way to enable it. Part of the milliner entrepreneurs were making and selling only hats, but it was common to make and sell other handcrafts as well. The most common company form was sole trader and most of the milliner entrepreneurs were started their businesses as a half-time job. The good parts of the entrepreneurship were decision making power and the freedom to do what they want to. Among other things the challenging parts were financial insecurity and economics. The aims of this study follow the former studies of handcraft entrepreneurship.
  • Härkönen, Pia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Goals. The intention of my research was to analyze and increase understanding of the well-being theory by PhD Martin Seligman. Seligman is one of the leading characters and contributors of positive psychology and his theories and insights are widely cited among the researches and articles discussing positive psychology. Positive psychology has raised a lot of attention as a novel field of research and it is reasonable to take an analytical review at the theoretical elements it is built on. Hence the aim of this research is to further analyze the content and foundation of Martin Seligman’s theory. Methods. My research was theoretical-conceptual in nature and the chosen research method was systematic analysis. Systematic analysis enables theoretical investigation and interpretation of the literary material. The aim is to get a deeper understanding of the research object through clarification and reconstructuring of the logical entity of the theory. The object of research and primary research material of this study was Martin Seligman’s publication Flourish, A Visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being (2011). The analysis focuses on clarifying Seligman’s well-being theory. The most essential concepts, their relations and theoretical coherence are examined in the study together with Seligman’s argumentation. Results and conclusions. As the result of my research I will represent a reconstruction of the well-being theory based on the conducted analysis. The reconstruction describes the essential concepts of the theory together with their relations. The results of the research also indicate, that even though Seligman’s theory contains a new and interesting conceptual point of view for observing positive psychology and well-being, it also contains some incoherence and even faults. These shortages weaken the credibility and reliability of the theory. Firstly, the theory’s essential concept “flourishing” has not been defined explicitly. Secondly, Seligman indicates two separate roles for flourishing, which seems incoherent. Thirdly, Seligman describes his theory as descriptive although it seems to be normative. Consequently, it seems uncertain whether Seligman is aiming at a neutral description of decisions leading to well-being or giving recommendations of what people should choose for being well. The fourth problem is how Seligman argues the comprehensiveness of the well-being theory by comparing it to his preceding Authentic happiness -theory (2004). This comparison of the two theories seems however bias. The fifth problem in the theory is how Seligman describes whether the engagement-element can be evaluated only subjectively or both subjectively and objectively. As a conclusion, it may be stated that Seligman’s theory should be further critically analyzed and developed to enable its utilization as the foundation for positive psychology.
  • Helén, Evelina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    A rapidly changing society imposes demands on the individual person. There are constant changes concerning technology and innovations, changes that concern and affect our work life and methods. These require constant ability to adapt and develop skills. Furthermore, we live in a society where education and knowledge are considered as key factors for the development of society and for this current change boom. As these changes occur, it has become more common to participate in in-service training to keep updated in one’s field of work. The purpose of this study was to examine how participation in an in-service training concerning supervision has been experienced by the informants, and what influence it had on them. The influence was examined in accordance with the theory of the different forms of capital. The informants have participated in in-service training to receive tools and advice concerning their own work or as a result of a changed work role. Additionally, the purpose of the study was to describe how the informants relate to the phenomenon of lifelong learning, and what it means in today’s society seen from the informants’ perspective. To achieve the purpose, the following research questions were answered: 1) How have the informants experienced the in-service training?, 2) On what levels has the in-service training influenced the informants? and 3) How do the informants relate to the phenomenon of lifelong learning? The material for the study consisted of interviews with eight (N=8) informants. The study was conducted qualitatively and proceeded from the phenomenological approach. The material was analyzed using the qualitative content analysis. The most central results were that three of the informants experienced that the in-service training was too theoretical and academic. These informants had wished for a training with more practical content. Furthermore, three of the informants experienced that there was a gap between the lecturers and oneself. The effects of the training were evident in that five of the informants acquired social capital, five acquired human or cultural capital and three acquired identity capital as a result. The informants were positive towards learning, and experienced that today’s rapidly changing society and working life requires adaptability by the individual in terms of lifelong learning, even though three informants experienced that lifelong learning to some extent has lost its meaning and content. Furthermore, the informants desired more support from the employer to update one’s knowledge and skills.
  • Tuomala, Anniina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Goals. The objective of this thesis is to study if poor language proficiency can be differentiated from reading disability by underlying cognitive processes. According to previous studies it is challenging for teachers to differentiate reading disability from poor language proficiency, and there are no tests for that in schools. The specific interest in this study is to examine if there are statistically significant relations between working memory, attentional capacity and reading skills among S1- (finnish as a first language) and S2-groups (finnish as a second language), and compare the groups' results for statistical differences. The native language teachers' assessments of S2-students' language skills are also examined. The hypothesis is that there is no statistical difference in attentional capacity between the S1- and S2-groups, but there is a difference in finnish reading skills between the groups. Methods. The participants consisted of 3rd graders from nine classes and four schools (N=159). Attentional capacity was measured by Attention Concentration Test and working memory by a computer-based test. Native language teachers' assessments were collected by a questionnaire. The results of ALLU-test, which measures reading skills, were received from the schools. The data was analysed by crosstabs, correlation and multivariate methods. Results and conclusions. According to the hypothesis, S1-group had statistically significantly higher results in reading skills than S2-group. S2-boys had the poorest results in ACT and working memory. S2-boys' ACT-results correlated positively with reading comprehension and S1-boys ACT-results correlated negatively with reading skills, so ACT-results aren't unambiguously related to reading skills. The varying results may imply the importance of process speed to reading skills. S2-boys seemed to benefit from slower working pace: the slower they were in Attention Concentration Test, the better reading comprehension results they got. S1-boys' high speed on the other hand related to higher results in decoding skills and high accuracy to higher reading comprehension results. In further studies the test measuring working memory should be more challenging for 3rd graders: in this study it wasn't difficult enough to separate pupils' working memory skills. S2-boys' native language correlated with working memory results and S2-girls' native language speaking skills correlated with finnish decoding skills. According to the regression analysis the variables predicting reading comprehension were ACT1, ACT2, native language and decoding skills.
  • Robari, Marika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this study is to describe the interaction between children and adults in a kindergarten's toddler group from a pedagogical sensitivity perspective. The study describes the interaction between children and adults before the intervention, aimed at increasing pedagogic sensitivity (the PedaSens-intervention of the Lasso project), after the intervention, and one year after the initial intervention. Previous research has shown that little children need to have a lot of adult support and guidance in everyday life while in kindergarten. It is crucial that the adult has an ability to recognise the initiatives of the children and to answer them in a way that supports the development of the child. In addition, the ability of an adult to follow the movements of the child's mind and to support the development of the child's self-regulation skills has been shown to be of great importance to the child's development and well-being. The material of the study were the videos filmed for the PedaSens-intervention showing two pairs each consisting of a child and an adult. Both pairs included video material before the intervention, after the intervention, and videos filmed one year later. For this study, only the mutual initiatives taken by children and adults and the responses to these were analysed. Different forms of interaction between children and adults varied depending on the ongoing activities and the developmental phases of the children. In the case of the first adult-child pair, the interaction increased from one measurement to another. In addition, when a child made more adult-oriented initiatives, the adult reduced her own child-oriented initiatives. The adult became more expressive after the intervention and this state also remained in the final measurements. For the second pair, the interaction was most pronounced after the intervention. The number of initiatives taken by the adult appeared to depend on the amount of support and guidance that the child needed. In the adult way of interacting, there was no clear difference from one measurement to another.
  • Niilekselä, Pia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Entrance to academic studies does not automatically lead to commitment in one’s studies. There may be differences in student commitment across different learning environments. In the present study, combinations of problems in studying medical students experience were investigated in a lecture-based learning environment (n = 246) and in a problem-based learning environment (n = 231). Also differences between the combinations in task avoidance and differences between the combinations in academic achievement were investigated in each learning environment. Medical students were classified in different learning environments by K-means cluster analysis by cases into groups based on the following variables: exhaustion, lack of self-regulation, lack of interest and distress. Three groups of commitment among medical students were identified in the lecture-based learning environment: committed, carefree and dysfunctional students. The profiles were related to task avoidance but not to study success. The committed students expressed less task avoidance than the carefree students and the dysfunctional students. The latter two groups of medical students did not differ from each other in this case. Also three groups of commitment among medical students were identified in the problem-based learning environment: committed, committed carefree and dysfunctional students. The profiles were related to task avoidance and study success. The dysfunctional students expressed more task avoidance than the committed carefree students and the committed students. The latter two groups of medical students did not differ from each other in this case. The committed students and the committed carefree students gained better grades than the dysfunctional students. However, the former two groups of medical students did not differ from each other in this case. The implications of the study for research are discussed.