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  • Vuori, Ella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Study aims: The impact of stuttering on an individual’s life is obvious. Although quite a lot of studies have focused on the observable factors of stuttering, the features that occur under the surface have received less attention. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects that stuttering has on the quality of life of adults who stutter. In addition this study aimed to explore the connections between demographic and stuttering related factors and quality of life. Methods: This study was carried out as a survey via Helsinki University’s web questionnaire. The participants were recruited from the Association of the Finnish Stutterers. Participation was requested from adult stutterers and a total of 40 stutterers participated in the survey. The IBM SPSS Statistics 22 program was used for quantitative analysis of the data. Means, standard deviations, frequencies and percentages were computed from the multiple-choice questions. The relationships between background information and quality of life were examined using the Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test and the Spearman correlation. The qualitative analysis was based on the classification of recurring themes in the answers for the open-ended questions. Results and conclusions: Stuttering seemed to be in some kind of a relationship with all the aspects of life such as the quality and quantity of communication, social life, mental health, education and work life. The effects varied between individuals both in volume and in direction. The severity of stuttering, the age at formal diagnosis of stuttering and many demographic factors such as age, marital status and educational level were connected to how the participants thought stuttering had affected their quality of life. However gender did not seem to affect their views of their quality of life. The findings of this study increase the knowledge about stuttering’s diversity and its wide-ranging consequences. These results can be applied in developing the clinical practice of stuttering therapy.
  • Virjamo, Veera (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Objectives: Intensive language action therapy (ILAT/CILT) has been found to be effective in the treatment of aphasia, even in the chronic state of aphasia. It is based on three principles emphasising several components of therapy: massed practise, functional communicative contexts, and restriction to verbal output only. ILAT is typically practiced in group settings, but in this investigation it was performed on a single-participant design. Studies have shown that verbs and nouns can be separately impaired in aphasia, partly because of the concreteness effect: nouns are more imageable than verbs. The concreteness effect also explains that certain types of verbs are easier to produce than others (concrete versus more abstract verbs). The objective of this study was to measure the increase of concrete and more abstract verb production after the ILAT-intervention. In addition, there has been discussion about functional communication outcomes of aphasia therapy. Therefore, this study also takes into account the measurement of aphasic speaker's everyday communication using self-evaluation (Communicative Activity Log, CAL). Method: The participant of this study was a non-fluent speaker with Broca's aphasia. The quality and the amount of communication was measured two times before the treatment phase and two times after it. The treatment phase included intervention approximately four times per week for six weeks about 1,5 hours each time (30 hours in total). The changes in measured communication were evaluated with statistical tests for effect size. The functional communication was assessed with Communicative Activity Log (CAL). Results and conclusions: The results showed improvement in the production of concrete verbs. The production of abstract verbs did not increase significantly. Functional-communication measure did not demonstrate increase in communication amount and quality right after the therapy, but in the follow-up it did increase. Intensive language action method was found to be an effective treatment also as an individual therapy.
  • Rajala, Roope (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Learning agility is a concept that arose around the year 2000 as a reaction to changing challenges of work-life. Learning agility is usually defined as willingness and ability to learn from experiences in order to perform successfully in difficult situations. However, there has been criticism against this definition saying that it is rather imprecise and complex. The definition combines too many different elements of learning. This study aims to clarify the context of learning agility by defining learning agility as ability to learn quickly and flexibly. The study examines how learning agility is related to managers’ attributions of their own managerial competences and goal orientations. Goal orientations are individual tendencies that affect how people set their goals under performance conditions. In addition, it is investigated if goal orientations act as mediator between learning agility and managerial competencies, which would mean that learning agility is related to managerial competencies through goal orientations. Research environment is Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY), and the goal of this study is to provide new perspectives for RAY about how RAY can develop its leaders and supervisors. Sample consisted of RAY’s supervisors and leaders. Data was collected with electronic survey during May and June of 2015. Total of 63 supervisors and leaders answered to survey and 32 of those were male and 31 were female. Data was analyzed by using statistical methods. Analyses that were primarily used were t-test, Pearson correlation and regression analysis. In order to test the mediation 12 regression analyses were performed. Results showed that learning agility was statistically significantly related to both learning orientation and the way managers feel about their own managerial capabilities. Learning orientation was more strongly related to managerial capabilities than learning agility. Performance orientations were negatively related to both learning agility and the way manager’s feel about their managerial capabilities. Based on mediation analysis there were found three mediations of which two were partial mediations and one was full mediation. Mediators were learning orientation and performance-avoidance orientation. Results indicate that willingness to learn is at least as important as the ability to learn. Developing leadership competencies and learning should focus more on supporting learning orientation than enhancing the learning abilities. Moreover, results address a question if learning agility is in fact a combination of other learning-associated concepts such as cognitive capability and goal orientation rather than separate and independent concept.
  • Nimbekar, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The purpose of this research is to explore neohumanist philosophy by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar in order to produce new information to the early childhood education in Finland. It is an educational philosophy, which neohumanist education is based on, and it is relatively unknown to the professional educators. The values and educational ideas guide the practical work of educators and that is why profound knowledge of different kinds of educational philosophies helps the educator to make the right choices in the practical work. This research is focused on clarifying the central concept of universalism. The purpose is to find out how Sarkar describes universalism in his writings. A commentary was written of the book Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism to separate and clarify the concepts of neohumanist philosophy. Concept of universalism was found to be a central concept and it was chosen as the focus of this research. A systematic analysis was done of writings where the concept of universalism was mentioned. The main material was the book Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism where the central concepts of neohumanist philosophy were introduced by P.R. Sarkar. Secondary materials were writings from The Electronic Edition of the Works of P.R. Sarkar V7.5 where the concept universalism was mentioned. All together there were 36 quotes from 28 different articles which were included in this research. These quotes were analyzed to clarify how Sarkar describes the concept of universalism. The results show that Sarkar describes quite consistently universalism as a spiritually based love towards all beings. The concept of universalism, neohumanist philosophy and neohumanist education were discussed in the context of Finnish early childhood education.
  • Omwami, Anniliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The main goal of this study was to find out how sources of inspiration and sketching occur in fashion designers’ design process and what kind of an affect they have on the process. Earlier studies (e.g. Eckert ja Stacey, 2003; Mete, 2006) have shown that sources of inspiration can be anything between material and immaterial. Sources of inspiration have also proven to have different roles in design process: e.g. they expand idea space and help to keep the design in its context (e.g.Eckert et. al., 2000; Laamanen & Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, 2014). Earlier studies have also shown that sketching is an important part of designing. Sketching also provides a vital tool for designers’ ideation. Based on earlier studies two main questions were formulated: 1. How do sources of inspirations occur in fashion designers design process and how designers interpret and transforms them into new ideas? 2. How does sketching occur in fashion designers design process and how does it support and improve ideation? The method used in this study was the thinking aloud protocol. Three fashion designers were asked to design a spring jacket for women thinking everything aloud during their ideation. The designers were provided with 10 photographs as sources of inspiration which they could voluntarily use during their ideation process. The design experiment was also recorded on video and few of the designers’ sketches were photographed. Material from the experiment transformed into litterate. After that material was analyzed using methods of qualitative content analysis. This study was observed to support earlier studies. Sources of inspiration and sketching were detected to be an important part of designers’ ideation. The designers adapted elements from the provided sources of inspiration in their ideas. They were also proven to have abilities to use pictures as fabric materials. Sketching played an important role e.g. in adapting elements from the sources of inspiration into new ideas. It was also used as a tool to evaluate the aesthetic and functional features as well as the details of the designers’ ideas. Sketches were also proven to be one of the sources of inspiration for the designers’ ideation.
  • Tikkanen, Juhani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Objectives. The aim of this case study is to find out whether negative climate appears in pri-mary school drama lessons. Previous research has shown that climate has a huge impact on schooling. A positive climate in school gives pupils a better opportunity to learn and provides pupils with more opportunities to be creative. Drama and creativity are strongly linked together because in drama, pupils work in creative way. A negative climate in turn reduces pupils’ chances to learn and to be creative. Therefore, studying negative climate in drama lessons is of importance. In this study, I compared negative climate in drama lessons given by graduated classroom teachers’ with those given by student teachers. I measured negative climate with The Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS). During the study I also evaluated how the CLASS-scoring system worked in measuring the negative climate of the drama les-sons. Methods. My study was a qualitative case study and the method was video analysis. I analyzed eight drama lessons with another student, Pauliina Kivi. The lessons were videotaped during the autumn of 2013 and the spring of 2014. Kivi used the same videotapes as material for her study. The leve of the pupils in the videos varied from pre-school to third-grade. Four of the teachers in the videos were graduated classroom teachers who all had some kind of qualification for teaching drama. Other four were student teachers who had studied drama education as their minor subject. The videos were analyzed by using the CLASS-scoring system. A negative climate score was given to every exercise of every lesson. Results and conclusions. The results showed that negative climate took place in the observed lessons but the scores were low. One exception aside, the lessons of the teacher students received higher scores in negative climate than the lessons of the graduated teachers. However, none of the scores reached even the middle of the CLASS scale of negative climate. Therefore, according to this study, drama lessons do not have a negative climate in general. CLASS-scoring system turned out to be suitable for observing the negative climate in drama lessons. CLASS-scoring system can also be applied to evaluate how teacher or students create negative climate.
  • Louhivuori, Nelli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Objectives. The academic relevance of this study is to increase knowledge of the factors that improve the quality of drama education. The study uses Instructional Learning Formats (hereinafter referred to as ILF) as the starting point. The first research question examines what kinds of ILF’s were employed in the analysed drama lessons. The Second research question aims to find out if those ILF’s are linked to group creativity during drama. The third and final research question scrutinizes the suitability of The Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS) observation instrument to analyse drama lessons. Methods. This study is a qualitative case study. The main focus of the research were the different ILF’s employed in first to third grade drama lessons. The research material consisted of eight taped drama lessons held by specialized drama teachers. The material was analysed by using the CLASS observation instrument focusing on the use of ILF’s during drama classes and does their use generate group creativity. The main factors that were examined were the influence of teacher’s behaviour and the methods used by the teacher on student’s staying interested and committed to teaching activities. Conlusions. The examined lessons received mid and high range scores (4-6, scale being 1-7). Central factors to engaging students and increasing group creativity were the teacher’s personal involvement, presence, facilitating student’s engagement, clarity of learning objectives and creating an understanding and open-minded atmosphere in class. The best drama methods to support group creativity are those that utilize work in small groups. Especially consensual planning in small groups improves the possibility for students to participate, present their own ideas and to strive to find creative solutions together to hypothetical problems presented during drama.
  • Jussila, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The aim of this study was to examine how temperamental sensitivities and self-worth contingency predict achievement goal orientations. In this study, BIS and BAS were used for measuring temperamental sensitivities. BIS/BAS theorization refers to individual’s dispositional sensitivity to reward and non-reward and punishment and non-punishment. Contingency of self-worth reflects the domains in which success or failure leads to increases or decreases in self-esteem. In this study, self-worth contingency on academic competence was measured. Achievement goal orientations refers to individuals’ generalized tendencies’ to aim and favor for certain goals and end results in achievement situation. In this study, the purpose was gain more information about the possible factors that influence individuals’ goal choices in achievement situations.In this study, there were 506 participants (434 females and 72 males) and three different scales were used for measuring BIS/BAS, contingency of self-worth and achievement goal orientations. Sensitivity for BAS was divided into three subscales: BAS Novelty seeking, BAS Social Reward,and BAS Positive expressiveness. After preliminary analysis, a series of hierarchical analysis were run for examining the effects of BIS/BAS on achievement goal orientations in the first step, and the additional prediction of contingency of self-worth the second step. As expected, BIS/BAS sensitivities were related to achievement goal orientations. Mastery intrinsic orientation was predicted by BAS Novelty seeking, performance-approach orientation was predicted by BIS and avoidance orientation was predicted by BAS Social Reward. Contingency of self-worth was found to significantly increase the explained share of BIS/BAS relations on achievement goal orientations. Contingency of self-worth also had a direct effect on all achievement goal orientations, except for performance-avoidance orientation. Results point out, that dispositional differences are of importance, when considering individual differences in achievement-related motivation. As a practical implication, the results suggest that the learning culture should be failure permissive and encourage learning for learning’s sake.
  • Määttä, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Purposes. The purpose of this study is to construct a picture of experienced Finnish b-boys’ viewpoints on learning in breakdance culture. The theoretical framework for this study is constructivist learning theory which is used to form understandable claims for questions such as how to describe the learning framework in breakdance culture and what are the fundamentals in learning from individual and social perspective. Methods. The study was executed as a qualitative research and the used methodological philosophy was phenomenography. The research material was collected by using half structured interviews. The interviewees had at least 15 active years experience in breakdance culture. There were five interviewees in this study, though the interviews were plentiful. The analysis is based on content analysis. Conclusins. Learning in breakdance culture is a process inside the culture structures (pseudonym, rituals, movement and style, tradition). Creative and constructivist activity combined with meaningful belonging to the culture was the fundamentals in learning. There were several perceptions of teaching and a teacher. Traditionally breakdancers saw teaching as a sosioconstructivist process, where every person in the community acted as a teacher and a learner. Since the dance schools has become a notable learning enviroment, there were also a clear teacher role. B-boys and b-girls evaluated learning as a given or recieved respect from other people.
  • Inkinen, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Aims. The aim of this research was to study the reasons why novice teachers decide to leave the teaching profession only a few years after graduation. Previous studies have shown the difficulties of teacher induction and the importance of support during the induction phase. Teachers’ career changing has become a common issue, and has raised a conversation about the sufficiency of qualified teachers in the future. This demonstrates the importance of support during the induction phase. The purpose of this research is to increase to knowledge about the forbidding factors present in teachers’ work and thus give tools to successful commitment of novice teachers. Methods. This study is a qualitative case study and phenomenological in approach. The data were collected by a semi-structured theme interview on a quitting novice teacher. The teacher’s thoughts about her decision and the reasons to quit teaching were discussed during the interview. The person had worked as a teacher for a year and a half when the interview was conducted. Gathered data was analysed by using a theory-driven thematic analysis. Results and conclusions. The reasons for the teacher’s quitting were influenced by the work-place, working time, amount of work and the lack of support. Due to these factors the novice teacher’s image and the reality about teaching were not corresponding and giving her satis-faction from the work. The joy of teaching and the pupils were seen as a reason to not quit teaching. The teacher also had personal development targets and was too conscientious to quit teaching immediately. The call to teach and interest in education and school resisted the quitting decision. The novice teachers’ decision to quit seems to have arisen from various cru-cial factors, both internal and external. In all, this research gave some empirical and intimate knowledge about the phenomena that have been studied very little before in Finland. The study also demonstrated current issues and important themes for further studies and devel-opment.
  • Heimo, Paula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    There is not much research about Trageton`s method, which is learning to read through writing on a computer. In this study Trageton`s method was used among the same children when they were preschoolers and first-graders. The purpose of the study was to find out children`s experiences of the method, and to observe their interaction when working in pairs on a computer and the differences of interaction in the first and second study year. In addition, the aim was to investigate the playful use of a computer in the classroom. The study questions were: What kind of experiences do the children have in writing on a computer? What is the interaction of pairs on the lessons like? What differences are there when working in pairs as preschoolers and as first-graders? In the study group there were three pairs of children from preschool and the same pairs when they were on the first class. In addition, a control group of three other pairs was chosen from the same first class. There were eleven lessons: five at preschool, five on the first class and one for the control group. The pairs wrote a shared story and illustrated it. Except on those lessons, children did not use computers at preschool or at school. The data were collected by participant observation, video recording and by “ALLU”, the Reading test for primary school. The pairs were interviewed on both years. Discourse analysis, inductive content analysis and numerical analysis were used when analyzing the data. According to the results Trageton´s method motivates preschoolers and first-graders, also first- graders in the control group. The co-operation was difficult in the both years. One pair of preschoolers and one from the control group succeeded in pair work. All the children, who were interviewed (5 from the study group and 4 from the control group), said that writing on a computer was easier than writing with a pencil. This supports Trageton´s own opinion about his method. In the Reading test for primary school the pupils of the study group exceeded the average level of their age when identifying words and in reading comprehension they were at the average level (2 pupils) or above it (4 pupils). Conclusions can be drawn that writing on a computer can promote learning to read.
  • Salonen, Noora (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Nowadays design has an important role in people’s everyday life. The goal of design education is to help children and young people to be more aware of and to understand different forms of design in our society, and learn how to apply design methods in practice. This is the way to promote and develop important future skills, such as knowledge creation, critical thinking and problem solving skills. In the new Finnish National Curriculum for Basic Education 2014 designing is an important part of craft education. This Master´s Thesis is part of a wider design-based research which consists of work done by me and Päivi Heikkilä. Our research theme was to design and develop new design-based teaching material for secondary school craft education. The goal of the material is to inspire teachers and pupils to get familiar with the design process and to exploit it in a more holistic way in craft education. The original teaching material was designed, based on the background theory and experience, together with Päivi Heikkilä. After that we continued developing the material using the methods of user experience research. The survey for the craft teachers was part of my own Master´s Thesis. The aim of the survey was to collect opinions and development ideas from the teachers working in the schools. The beta version of Muoto & käsityö teaching material was sent to 115 craft teachers around Finland and they evaluated different features of it. They were also asked to give ideas how to develop the material. The data was analyzed using statistical and qualitative research methods. According to this research, teachers are seeing the Muoto & käsityö teaching material suitable for craft education. They see the appearance and the overall structure clear, the content suitable for the secondary school pupils and the theoretical part important introduction to understand the design process. Teachers were also pleased with the usability of the project part. All of our goals for the teaching material were achieved. Teachers are seeing the Muoto & käsityö teaching material as a current and necessary addition to craft education, especially now when the new Finnish National Curriculum for Basic Education will take effect.
  • Seuri, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Introduction. Although e-­learning is a widely discussed and studied topic both in Finland and internationally, the use of e-­learning materials in Finnish and literature has not been researched before. The objective of this study was to gather information about teachers experiences of using e-­learning materials in teaching Finnish in lower secondary school. The research questions were: 1) What e-­learning materials do teachers of Finnish and literature use? 2) What are the characteristics of good quality material and what problems appear in using e-­learning materials? Methodology. An online survey was used to map teachers experiences and opinions, and a total of 71 recipients took the survey in February 2015. Quantitative analysis was employed to organise the respondents into groups according to their use of e-­learning materials, and subsequently qualitative analysis of the respondents answers to the open‑ended questions was used to shed light on the initial results. Previous research on the evaluation of e‑learning material was harnessed when formulating the survey and analysing the results. Results and conclusions. The study clearly shows that there is a great need for e-­learning materials of both better quality and a greater variety. The majority of the respondents viewed the possibilities of e-­learning materials positively, but presently they found the variety of the material inadequate. Furthermore, some of the respondents viewed their own capabilities in the use of ICT lacking, and they were more likely than others to either not use e‑learning material or limit their use mainly to the material provided with the textbook they were using. This highlights the need for developing materials that address both the needs of teachers just learning to use ICT and those advanced in using it. Besides, the majority of the material used by all the respondents to the survey comprised of mechanical exercises, and therefore there is a need to develop a wider variety of materials. The searchability and accessibility of material should be solved; many teachers believed quality material does exist, but is not easily found with search engines. Lastly, the study of the use of e-­learning materials and ICT in general in teaching Finnish and literature should be continued, and the best practices of its application in the classroom should be mapped.
  • Vazquez Harkivi Os Vazquez Garza, Mily (2015)
    Objectives. Communication is a basic human activity, and one that is also crucial for business. For those communicating with international audiences, lack of knowledge regarding how people communicate across cultures might create misunderstandings and in the worst case, conflicts. The research purpose of this thesis was to identify cultural discourses about nature and the environment that would illustrate deeply held values and beliefs about nature. The theoretical approach utilised in the thesis was Cultural Discourse Theory. This approach originates from the Ethnography of Communication tradition and contemplates not only the linguistic aspects of discourse, but also the context in which discourse is produced, utilised and maintained. Previous research has shown that communication is cultural and that both culture and communication can influence the way nature is constructed. The research question is aimed to identify beliefs and values about nature, personhood, and relationships hold by seven Finnish professionals of the environment working in the forest company UPM. Methods. The research material was collected through seven semi-structured interviews conducted in Finnish language and translated to English. The interviews were recorded digitally and lasted approximately one hour. To ensure confidentiality, the participants were given aliases and their real names were not disclosed publicly. The research participants reviewed the excerpts of text in the original language (vernacular Finnish) and also reviewed the translations to English language. The material was displayed in both Finnish and English language and analysed applying the Cultural Discourse Analysis (CuDA) method. The CuDa method proposed five analytical tools through which the research data could be analysed: dwelling, relations, feelings, action and identity. In this thesis the data was examined in light of the tools or themes of dwelling, relations, identity, and in some cases that of action. Results and conclusions. The research results indicate that three main discourses are present in the discourse of environmental professionals about nature. For the participants nature was a place to relax and calm down, to be with themselves and to maintain a sense of continuity. The values related to these discourses were peace, privacy, autonomy, identity, spirituality, and continuity as a way to preserve what is valued. The main value hold by the participants is that of continuation or sustainability. Further research could build upon the notion of sustainability as a cultural discourse. Research related to other business areas could be useful to understand how a deeply held value about nature like sustainability is common across businesses/industries. Avainsana(t): Keywords: nature environmental communication place cultural communication sustainability cultural discourse analysis forest industry.
  • Pahkala, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Goals. Generic skills are skills that are needed in every field of study and occupation. The term generic skills has been used widely especially during the past few decades because of the rapid change in society and working life. Thus, skills mentioned above are also important study skills that every student needs during the higher education studies. The aim of this study was to find out what kind of text-related generic skills first year class teacher students have. Methods. The data used in the study was gathered as a part of the Learning Generic Skills during University Teaching and Learning research project (Hyytinen, Toom & Lindblom-Ylänne 2012). Generic skills were studied using the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) that is a standardized testing instrument designed to test critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communicational skills. The data consisted of 45 CLA answers written by the first year class teacher students in University of Helsinki, and it was gathered in Fall 2013. In order to examine students’ writing skills in a more specific way, the answers that got the highest and the lowest scores in the CLA analysis were studied using Rich feature analysis. Results & Conclusions. The study showed that the generic skills among the first year class teacher students were mediocre: the amount of the answers with low or average CLA scores were high, whereas answers with high scores were rarely found in the data. The most significant problems were found in the synthetisation of given information, but also the skills of argumentation were generally poor. The rich feature analysis showed that uses of conjunctions and different theme structures varied between the answers with high and low CLA scores, and that these had impact on the logic and the coherence of the texts. There were also differences between the two studied groups regarding to the dialogic occurring in the texts. In the answers with high CLA scores the elements of dialogic (reporting clause, summary and interpretation) could always be pointed out; in the answers with low CLA scores the dialogic was not always clear and the elements of dialogic could not always be distinguished.
  • Koskinen, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The interest in the use of games in education is increasing and game-based learning is seen as an effective way to teach knowledge and skills and to motivate students. Nowadays, the amount of games designed especially for teaching and learning purposes, the learning games, is growing and research on the impact of their use is increasing. However, the existing research data on the use of learning games is still inadequate and a pedagogical model for their use has not yet been developed. This study aims to give an overview of the research on learning games and show gaps in the research field. Furthermore, it focuses on the pedagogical use of the learning games. The research method used was qualitative meta-analysis, which allowed both the qualitative as well as quantitative studies to be synthesized. A systematic model was used to collect the research data. Prior to the data collection, key words and databases were defined. Moreover, the articles had to meet predefined inclusion criteria. Finally, the research data consisted of 35 empirical studies on learning games, which were published between 1998 and 2013 and examined the use of learning games of students under 18 years old. A special coding matrix was developed in order to code both quantitative and qualitative information. At the synthesizing stage, the coded information was grouped and compared. Based on the results of this study, the learning game research focuses on the use of learning games of over seven year old students. The studies, especially, concentrated in mathematics and were mostly single teaching experiments. From the pedagogical point of view, teacher’s role was highly important when integrating learning games into teaching. Moreover, evidence supporting the use of learning games in small groups was found to enhance learning and joint knowledge creation. The pedagogical models of learning games found in the research data were often ambiguous. Thus, in the future, the research of learning games should pay more attention to the underlying pedagogical models of learning games. In addition, it should focus more on developing a pedagogical model where playing the game is merely part of the greater teaching process.
  • Granström, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In this study I define quality of clothing and analyze how clothing companies tell about quality of their products to their customers. In the first part of the study I concentrate to clear up what quality in the context of clothing means. This part is based on scientific research. I have studied many theories of quality and on this study the most important ones are Garvin’s (1989) and Lillrank’s (1998) theories which I apply to the context of clothes. This study covers the quality of clothes from point of view of both consumers and companies. In the later part of the study I survey the quality communication of five well-known clothing companies. I collected the data from the companies’ websites that are available to anyone. I used Atlas.ti-program to for analyzing the collected data. Five categories of quality formed the framework of content analysis. Quality is a multidimensional concept that is difficult to define as it is tightly related to the context. Subjectivity is also very characteristic to quality. The quality of clothing, as well as any product’s quality, can be seen from five different angles. They are value-based, consumer-based, manufacturing-based, system-based and transcendent quality. Companies highlight all these categories on their web-sites. The data of the study presented also a new category of quality that I call quality experience. All companies concentrate mostly on telling about system-based quality of their products. Although many studies suggest that the manufacturing-based quality is the most important viewpoint to companies, my study doesn’t support that outlook. For consumers, it is difficult to evaluate the quality of clothes. Therefor they evaluate mostly the esthetic features of clothing. Companies provide quite much information of their products’ quality. The information might be helpful for consumers but it should be evaluated critically
  • Nurmi, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Previous study shows that reading motivation among Finnish children and youth has diminished. Recreational reading is known to be an essential factor in literacy development. With support of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, new ways of promoting reading are being developed. In Sweden, the municipalities formulate plans of reading promotion with the collaboration of various operators. In Finland, there is no similar system. There are no previous studies or reports to be found on the topic in Finland or in Sweden. This study examined the methods of reading promotion presented in the plans and their justification. The study aimed at considering whether there is something to be learned from the Swedish system in Finland. Plans of reading promotion of 17 Swedish municipalities were chosen as the data of this study. The method chosen was inductive content analysis. The actions of reading promotion described in the plans could be portrayed as efforts between four factors: the professionals, the parents, the children and the material. The professionals aim at both having an impact directly on the children, using methods that take place in children’s groups, and indirectly by informing and supporting the parents. They try to improve the achievability of the material by bringing the library close to the children and by offering reading that is suitable by its contents and suitably easy for each reader. The professionals also aim at improving their own actions and cooperation. The viewpoint of the librarians stands out in the plans. Cooperation with the educationalists does not seem to be widely used in planning, purchasing material or agreeing on the distribution of work. The methods are usually adult-centered. The methods, where the child becomes a subject instead of being an object, stood out clearly: the children were given an opportunity of either collaborating in purchasing the material and making it achievable or influencing each other by developing the library environment and by networking. Significant qualitative variation was found in the plans. This report offers ideas of reading promotion for an elementary school teacher and can be helpful in formulating plans of cooperation of school and library. Comparing the reading interest of Finnish and Swedish children and finding out the effects of planning on reading motivation would further contribute to the findings of this study. That information would make it more possible to evaluate if the Swedish system is worth introducing in Finland.
  • Kyrklund, Paulina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Objectives: The objective of this study was to find out what kinds of approaches to learning can be found among first year medical students and how approaches to learning are affecting study success. In addition, to find out how stressed or exhausted students are in their studies. The aim was also determine how approaches to learning and stress and exhaustion are related to study success. Previous studies have shown approaches to learning can be considered as central factors affecting students learning. Student’s approaches to learning can be divided to three: surface approach, deep approach and strategic approach. Based on previous studies, it has been indicated that approaches to learning and study success are related to each other. Surface approaches has been associated with poor study success and deep approaches has been associated with qualitatively better learning outcomes and study success. In addition, student learning approaches have been shown to be related to perceived workload. The conclusion has been that high perceived workload can induce students to employ a surface approach. Method: The participants (n=93) were first-year students of medicine at the University of Helsinki. The data were collected during spring 2011 by using a web based questionnaire. Study success information was included in the data. Correlations, regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to examine the interconnections of approaches to learning, heavy workload, stress and and their effects on the study success. Results and conclusions: Three different approaches to learning were recognized: surface approach, Deep approach and strategic approach. The highest average was found from student using strategic approach and the lowest average was from student using surface approach. Study success among medical students was extremely high. Students, who showed a surface approach to learning, felt exhausted. Medical students stress and perceived workload weren’t high. The only predictor for study success was deep approach.
  • Särkkä, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Mindfulness is regarded as the cognitive ability of being aware of what is happening at the moment, without judging or trying to reach certain goals (e.g. Napoli, 2004). Mindfulness as a part of school teaching is discussed more and more, but there is still only little academic research on the topic (Burke, 2009). Mindfulness meditation practices have been proved to positively change brain function (Davidson et. al., 2003), and to increase mental well-being, learning and self-acceptance (Grossman et. al. 2004; Chiesa, Calati & Serretti, 2011; Carson & Langer, 2006). In addition, mindfulness as a part of teaching can help pupils to discard the mindless way of learning, which restricts learning and the perception of new information (Langer, 2000). A few pilot studies have been conducted in the United States (Napoli, Krech & Holley, 2008; Flook et. al., 2010), which gave the base for this study. The aim of this study was to run a pilot study on using mindfulness meditation practices in primary school teaching, and to find out the success and usability of the method according to the experiences of the pupils and the teacher. The research questions are: 1) How did the pupils experience the mindfulness meditation practices? 2) How did the teacher evaluate the experiment and the usability of the method in class? 3) What did the experiences of the pupils and the teacher, as well as observation, reveal on the success of the experiment and on the usability of the method at school? The data of the study was gathered in a sixth grade class in primary school. 17 of the 24 pupils in the class participated in the study. The pupils took part in mindfulness meditation practices twice a week for a month. After the practices they answered a short questionnaire, and after the last practice a longer questionnaire. The teacher answered to an e-mail interview in the beginning of the study and another one at the end. Additional data was gathered by observing in the classroom. The data was arranged by using the methods of content analysis, and analyzed by the methods of discourse analysis, using also some methods of narrative analysis. The practices regarded mostly as a positive, or at least a neutral experience. Both the pupils and the teacher used a discourse that referred to achieving in school world, on the other hand both of them also spoke of the practices as a way of relaxing and finding peace of mind at school. The pupils also reported they were experiencing something new and strange, and some of them expressed need of speaking out their feelings and thoughts. The teacher regarded the practices more as a way of getting in touch with one’s inner self rather than as a way of activating attentiveness. She tended to avoid the practices in restless situations in class, even though in her opinion the method was useful and meaningful in general. The results reveal the need for mindfulness practices in schools for discarding the mindless approach to studying as something boring, which would open new possibilities for multi-dimensional learning. In addition, mindfulness practices may serve as a method in processing feelings. For best results, the teachers using the method should be given enough information on the versatility and the benefits of mindfulness meditation practices.