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  • Kirjanen, Svetlana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The hypnotic phenomena have long been debated. In scientific research, disagreements on the conceptual and methodological approach have led to controversial results and interpretations which heat up the debate. Additionally, hypnotic suggestibility is often measured only behaviourally, subjects are studied in masses and the role of individual responders is largely neglected. One way to reach beyond mere behaviour to the level of experience without losing the individual variability is by combining posthypnotic suggestions, self-reports, psychophysiological measurement techniques and a case study approach. The present study examined the effects of suggested changes in the visual colour perception of simple geometric shapes in the posthypnotic and the simulation condition as measured by self-reports, reaction times, error rates and event-related potentials (ERPs). The case study approach was chosen and the focus was set on two highly suggestible hypnotic responders. The comparative data for simulation were also obtained from a set of control subjects. Results indicated differences in processing between the posthypnotic and simulation condition seen in the behavioural performance and to a lesser extent in the posterior N2 and P3 peaks of the ERP waves. Evident dissimilarities were found also among highly suggestible hypnotic responders. These results support the occurrence of inimitable hypnotic modulations in some individuals and point out the need to examine hypnotic responders on a more individual basis.
  • Sandberg, Erja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The purpose of this study was to find out what kind of status siblings have in a family in which one child has ADHD. In the background, there was a doubt regarding sibling equality in a family in which one child needs substantially more parental time and attention. In Finland, no similar studies have been made. The study used Brofenbrenner s ecological systems theory. The study involved five families with elementary school age children with ADHD. The families had a total of fifteen children. The parents and the siblings of these families were interviewed. The study was divided into four themes: (1) everyday family life, (2) feelings, (3) family roles and interpersonal skills of the family members, and (4) the importance of siblings in an ADHD child's life. The interviews were analyzed by content analysis. The research problems were: 1) How do parents and siblings perceive sibling status in their family? and 2) What is the significance of siblings in the life of a child with ADHD as assessed by the parents and the siblings themselves? Parents felt that the most significant factors as regards the status of siblings were the way the siblings take responsibly for the family s daily life, the siblings own understanding of their family, family transparency, taking the siblings into consideration and dealing with their feelings in everyday life. A tight feeling of cohesion was a factor in empowering the family. Parents considered ADHD medication an important element of their family. The meaning of the siblings for an ADHD child's life was very significant. --------- The siblings described their families as positive and lively. They had got used to the qualities and characteristics of the child with the diagnosis. They did not perceive the ADHD child as being a different child in their family. The siblings recognized their parents fatigue and thought that the parents did not have enough time for them. However, they did not feel that the parents treated them unequally. The siblings reported that they looked after the ADHD child to some degree, but they thought that this was part of family life. The siblings described cooperation as strength of their family. As compared to international studies, converging factors concerning sibling position, sibling relationships and the ideal family functioning came up in the interviews in this study. Siblings mental problems, which this investigation did not reveal, were an exception. Consistent with previous studies, parents assumptions about sibling relationships were more positive than the siblings descriptions. According to the study, an ADHD child's family relationships were a challenge, but with appropriate internal measures the position of siblings in a family can be good.
  • Åberg, Jaana-Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Goals. This master's thesis research was aiming at discovering from interaction between the employee and supervisor, the kind of information that will increase the use of protective equipment (PPE) and improve safety in the construction site. The study examined the meanings that the supervisors associate with PPE, as well as situations in which a manager should point out the employee to use protective equipment. Methods. This qualitative research belongs to socio-cultural communication research tradition. This speech communication study was carried out from the perspective of ethnography of communication. The study included five semi-structured interviews, 8 video recordings from construction sites, an online discussion, observation notes from 16 different construction work situations, as well as 10 journal articles, including photographs. The method of analysis was the cultural discourse analysis (CUDA). It was used to study how managers produce meanings re-lated to the use of protective equipment in interaction. The concept of relational work was used to study the interaction between the supervisor and the employee from the supervisor's point of view. Results and conclusions. The study showed that employee s objections to the use of protective equipment carry a strong cultural message. The study also showed two different cultural ways of speech, getting involved and taking notice . The main differences were with the meanings related to the use of protective equipment and the interaction with employees. Getting involved : managers linked the PPE with a lot of different meanings, many of which were negative. For example, PPE prevented working or the use of PPE was considered unmanly. They perceived that reminding about the use of PPE was negatively marked, impolite and inappropriate. Taking notice managers related the PPE with professionalism and safety. They also perceived that reminding about the use of PPE was unmarked or positively marked, polite and appropriate. The results can be utilized in helping the interaction between the manager and the employee associated with the PPE.
  • Niinikuru, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The early detection of hearing deficits is important to a child's development. However, examining small children with behavioural methods is often difficult. Research with ERPs (event-related potentials), recorded with EEG (electroencephalography), does not require attention or action from the child. Especially in children's ERP research, it is essential that the duration of a recording session is not too long. A new, faster optimum paradigm has been developed to record MMN (mismatch negativity), where ERPs to several sound features can be recorded in one recording session. This substantially shortens the time required for the experiment. So far, the new paradigm has been used in adult and school-aged children research. This study examines if MMN, LDN (late discriminative negativity) and P3a components can be recorded in two-year-olds with the new paradigm. The standard stimulus (p=0.50) was an 80 dB harmonic tone consisting of three harmonic frequencies (500 Hz, 1000 Hz and 1500 Hz) with a duration of 200 ms. The loudness deviants (p=0.067) were at a level of +6 dB or -6 dB compared to the standards. The frequency deviants (p=0.112) had a fundamental frequency of 550 or 454.4 Hz (small deviation), 625 or 400 Hz (medium deviation) or 750 or 333.3 Hz (large deviation). The duration deviants (p=0.112) had a duration of 175 ms (small deviation), 150 ms (medium deviation) or 100 ms (large deviation). The direction deviants (p=0.067) were presented from the left or right loudspeaker only. The gap deviant (p=0.067) included a 5-ms silent gap in the middle of the sound. Altogether 17 children participated in the experiment, of whom the data of 12 children was used in the analysis. ERP components were observed for all deviant types. The MMN was significant for duration and gap deviants. The LDN was significant for the large duration deviant and all other deviant types. No significant P3a was observed. These results indicate that the optimum paradigm can be used with two-year-olds. With this paradigm, data on several sound features can be recorded in a shorter time than with the previous paradigms used in ERP research.
  • Venesjärvi, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The objective of this study is to examine employees perceptions of participation in performance appraisal discussions, and to determine the factors that are related to it. Participation in performance appraisal discussions is perceived to influence numerous work-related phenomenona, such as employees job satisfaction, commitment and productivity. Regardless of the possible positive impacts, the attitudes towards performance appraisal discussions are often negative or indifferent. The purpose of this study is to build knowledge that the target organization may utilize in developing their performance appraisal discussions. The study was conducted using quantitative methods. The data was collected through a questionnaire that could be filled on the Internet. The research was carried out in a large Finnish manufacturing company. The invitation to participate in the study was sent via e-mail to 467 people working in the same unit of the organization. 172 (N=172) employees responded to the survey. The data was analyzed using PAWS 18 program. According to the results, the employees found that they had participated fairly well in their performance appraisal discussions. The employees also found that they had participated well enough. The perceived effectiveness of the communication and the quality of the leader-member relationship were found to be linked to empolyees participation in the performance appraisal discussion. Moreover, the leader-member relationship, the perceived effectiveness of the communication, and participation were perceived to be linked to the satisfaction towards the performance appraisal discussion. According to the results, participation is less significant than the leader-member relationship or communication effectiveness in explaining satisfaction towards the performance appraisal discussions. Based on the results, the employees appreciate an open, equal discussion and the feeling of being heard more than the opportunity to affect different decisions. It is possible, that to improve the attitudes towards performance appraisal discussions, attention must be paid to leader-member relationships and communication. The results of this study describe the perceptions of employees on performance appraisal discussions, participation and leader-member exchange relationships within the target organization. The results can be utilized in developing performance appraisal discussions in the goal organization or other similar organizations.
  • Hirvenlahti, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The purpose of this study was to discover primary teachers conceptions about singing and vocal control education and student assessment. The study was aimed to find out what kind of a role and status singing and vocal control education has in general and in relation to music education. In addition, the study examines what the teachers consider singing and vocal control education and what kind of teaching methods they used in their teaching. Furthermore, the study explores to the teachers experiences with the teaching of singing and vocal control education. Finally, the study aims to map the student assessment methods teachers used and the challenges and opportunities these methods brings with them. The data were collected trough an Internet questionnaire. The study involved 31 primary school teachers from 15 different schools in Espoo, all of which had their own class. 87 % of the examinees were 30 years or older and 77 % had worked as a teacher for at least 6 years. 14 examinees did not teach music during the research and five of the examinees did not have any kind of music related hobbies. The research was a qualitative survey. The analysis was theory-driven content analysis. The study revealed, that half of the teachers would increase the amount of time spent on the teaching of singing and vocal control, and the other half would retain the present situation. In the teachers opinions, the singing and vocal control education should begin in early childhood or primary education, at latest in the 3. Class. Only half of the teachers were able to explain how the singing and vocal control education was taken into account in their school s policy. The teachers mentioned 17 contents of singing and vocal control education, and teacher-led methods of teaching. Singing and vocal control education also appears in the native language lessons and in everyday school life. The teachers taught music because of their own enthusiasm and specialization on music education, and because of the principal s order. Half of the teachers felt that they had not received enough training to teach singing and vocal control. Methods for assessment of singing have been replaced by students personal singing tests and observation. The student assessment is a challenge because of the large numbers of students in the groups. Teachers wish to receive a coherent student assessment criteria.
  • Kangas-Lumme, Jertta (2014)
    There is very little research on the effects of memory illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on the linguistic performance of congenitally deaf sign language users. With spoken language users the effects of AD are often first found in semantics and pragmatics. Deteriorated naming skills are often an early symptom of AD. As the disease progresses the linguistic skills are widely affected and communicating becomes difficult. When studying sign language users results have shown that people with AD have corresponding difficulties of comprehending and producing signed language as spoken language users with Dementia have with spoken language. The aim of this research was to study how two Finnish Sign Language (FSL) users with AD perform in object and action naming tests. The participants were evaluated with the Boston Naming Test (BNT) and the Action Naming Test (ANT) in two consecutive years. Of each performance, the researcher recorded the total score, the number of immediate answers, the time the participant spent on the task and how the answers were given. An analysis of naming errors was made. As a result it was noted that both object and action naming skills of the participants deteriorated as Dementia progressed. Action naming skill were less affected than object naming skill. The participants made more errors and gave less immediate responses in the BNT than in the ANT. Both the signed responses and the method of answering varied with the FSL users with a memory illness: the answers were given either in varying signs, by speaking only or by both speaking and signing simultaneously, or with signs created spontaneously in test situation. Most of the errors were Other errors, especially “I don’t know” –answers in both tests. As a result of this study it is clear that there is a need for assessment tests which have been translated into sign language, since the existing naming tests are not necessarily suitable for testing signed language users without a culturally-sensitive translation. This study is the first longitudinal study in Finland focusing on evaluating Finnish Sign Language users with Dementia and the changes in their linguistic skills. It is also one of the first studies internationally on the linguistic changes of sign language users with a memory illness.
  • Hukki, Rauni (Helsingin yliopisto, 1952)
  • Siljander, Anna Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The goal of my research was to describe how adult students perceive professional knowledge and know-how, and how these diffuse among a group of students during a continuing education program. The goal was also to research the meaning of shared working life experience in improving the professional know-how of the students. My research is positioned in the field of supporting environments for adult learning with an emphasis on interaction between students in social networks. The participants of my research were 31 adult students taking part in continuing education program at the time of my study. I gathered the research data using quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative network enquiry led me to do 9 theme interviews. I analyzed the data using a network analyzing program and a content analyzing method. I examined the whole community of students, the home groups of four students and the main actors who were central for the community. The analysis focused on the distribution network of professional knowledge and know-how, the distribution network of social support and the network of reciprocal interaction. Professional knowledge and know-how that diffuse between adult students in continuing education, is mostly hands-on tips and occupational experience. The factors that promote the distribution of professional experience and know-how are structural ones and factors that emphasize co-operation relationships. The structural factors are participation in adult education and in home groups and also organizational arrangements of learning. The factors that emphasize co-operation relationships are encouragement and doing learning assignments together. The central distributors of professional know-how are adult students who have long working life experience. The meaning of the diffusion of professional experience and know-how for improving professional know-how of a single adult student is in developing his professional identity and adding his social capital. In the social interaction networks, which I studied, more relations exist inside the home groups than between them, which is congruent with earlier researches. My research can be utilized by using its research methods and emphasizing its results in adult education planning and guidance.
  • Alamäki, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Intention-based models have been one of the main theoretical orientations in the research on the implementation of information and communication technology (ICT). According to these models, actual behavior can be predicted from the intention towards the behavior. If the level of intention to use technology is high, the probability of actual usage of ICT increases. The purpose of this study was to find out which factors explain vocational teachers intention to use ICT in their teaching. In addition, teachers of media and information sciences and teachers of welfare and health were compared. The study also explored how regularly ICT was applied by teachers and how strong their intention to apply the technology was. This Master s thesis is a quantitative study and the data was collected using an Email survey and Eform. The instruments were based on a decomposed theory of planned behavior. The research group consisted of 22 schools of media and information sciences and 20 schools of welfare and health. The data consisted of 231 vocational teachers: 57 teachers worked with media and information sciences and 174 with welfare and health. The data was analyzed using Mann-Whitney U-test, factor analysis and regression analysis. In addition, categorized results were compared with previous study. In this study, the intention to use ICT in teaching was explained by the teachers attitudes and skills and the attitudes of their work community. However, the environment in which ICT was used, i.e., the technical environment, economical resources and time, did not explain the intention. The results did not directly support any of the intention-based models, but they could be interpreted as congruent with the technology acceptance model. The majority of the teachers used ICT at least weekly. They had a strong intention to continue to do that in the future. The study also revealed that there were more teachers who had a critical attitude towards ICT among the teachers of welfare and health. According to the results of this study, it is not possible to state that ICT would not suit any one profession because in every group with teachers with a critical attitude towards ICT there were also teachers with a positive attitude.
  • Solén, Taiga (2015)
    When studying hypnosis, it often needs to be known whether the subjects are hypnotizable or not. Hypnotizability can be predicted by suggestibility, which in turn can be estimated with various scales. Different scales yield different estimates of suggestibility. This creates a risk of incorrect comparison of the scores. The comparability of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS:A) and Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (WSGC) has not been studied much. Suggestibility is sometimes measured repeatedly with different scales and the order of their administration can affect the scores. This effect has not been studied on the HGSHS:A and the WSGC. This study aims to analyze whether 1) the scores yielded by these scales are affected by the order of their administration, 2) the scores are comparable and 3) corresponding suggestions and types of suggestions are passed equally often. It is expected that the order of administration does affect the scores and even more so for HGSHS:A, 2) the HGSHS:A score is higher than the WSGC and 3) the corresponding suggestions are not passed equally often. 58 subjects were studied, (67% female, 33% male). Both scales were administered to each subject. Half of the subjects were first administered the HGSHS:A and the other half the WSGC. The order of administration did affect the HGSHS:A score but not the WSGC. The hypothesis of the HGSHS:A score being higher was confirmed and the comparability of the scores proved to be less than desirable. There were no significant differences between passing the corresponding suggestions. These results imply that repeated testing might be futile if the right scale is chosen. It is recommended to use the WSGC even for subjects with not former experience of hypnosis. Alternatively, certain suggestions could be used separately to overcome the problems related to the common scales. Specific suggestions are recommended for assessing certain types of suggestibility. Furthermore, a summary of what to take into account when assessing the comparability of different studies is provided.
  • Rikabi-Sukkari, Leila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Suomen perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteita uudistetaan parhaillaan Opetushallituksessa. Uudet opetussuunnitelman perusteet tulevat käyttöön elokuussa 2016. Opetussuunnitelmassa määritellään opetuksen ja kasvatuksen arvopohja, tavoitteet sekä keskeiset opetettavat sisällöt. Opetussuunnitelma on vahvasti arvosidonnainen asiakirja, joka heijastaa ympäröivän yhteiskunnan arvoja, tapoja ja perinteitä. Uudistuksen kannalta on siis keskeistä ymmärtää yhteiskunnassa vallitsevaa arvomaailmaa ja yhteiskunnallisia muutoksia. Perusteluonnos on ollut ensimmäistä kertaa valmisteluvaiheessa vapaasti kommentoitavana Opetushallituksen www-sivuilla. Tarkastelen tutkimuksessani uuden opetussuunnitelman luonnokseen liittyvää palautekeskustelua: mitkä asiat koetaan tärkeiksi opetussuunnitelman ja koulutuksen kannalta nyt ja tulevaisuudessa? Tutkimukseni aineisto koostui 963 kommentista, jotka annettiin Opetushallituksen www-sivuilla koskien uuden perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman yleisten linjausten luonnosta. Avoin kommentointi toteutettiin 17 päivän ajan marras- joulukuussa 2012. Laadullinen aineistolähtöinen analyysi toteutettiin teemoitellen Atlas.ti -ohjelman avulla. Aineistosta löydetyt teemat käsittelivät monipuolisesti suomalaista koulua ja sen sivistystehtävää sekä kommentoijien omia arvostuksia. Päätuloksiksi nousivat 1) yhdenvertaisuus ja tasa-arvo; 2) autenttisten oppimisympäristöjen käyttö ja yhteistyö koulun ulkopuolisten tahojen kanssa; 3) suomalaisen kulttuuriperinnön ja uskonnon opetuksen asema sekä 4) kestävä kehitys ja maailmankansalaisuus. Tutkimuksen tulokset kuvastavat niitä teemoja ja arvoja, joita pidetään juuri nyt tärkeinä tulevaisuuden sekä suomalaisen koulun ja yhteiskunnan kehittämisen kannalta.
  • Perhoniemi, Riku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
    The study examined immigrants´ attitudes towards acculturation, in other words the social and cultural changes that take place in the adaptation process. The perspective of acculturation studies was also expanded by examining immigrants´ cultural values and their experiences of majority´s expectations. In addition, special interest was directed to the relations between acculturation attitudes and values and both factors´ relevance on psychological well-being. Indian born immigrants were selected as subjects as they are one of the fastest growing ethnic minorities in Finland. This minority has not been included in immigration studies previously. The seventy-five immigrants that participated as subjects represent a highly educated subgroup of Indian born immigrants. The study was carried out with posted questionnaires. Most of the subjects received an inquiry of their motivation to participate by e-mail or phone before the postal questionnaire. The results were in line with previous studies in Finland as the attitudes emphasising cultural integration were dominant. However, attitudes towards marriage, reflecting deeper and less flexible parts of culture, were dominated by separation motives. Immigrants´ perceptions of majority´s expectations reflected partly the real assimilation wishes demonstrated in previous studies. Against hypotheses, discrepancies between acculturation attitudes and experiences of majority´s expectations did not predict immigrants´ psychological well-being in a clear way. The highly educated Indian born immigrants emphasised self-direction and universalism in their values. This separates them from the traditional cultural values of India. The hypotheses made of the predictive relations between values and acculturation attitudes were partly confirmed. Also, the assumptions concerning both the stress buffering role of collectivistic values and the positive effect of achievement values on feelings of mastery were confirmed. Despite the limitations in the data, this study strengthens the view that cultural and personal values play a significant role in immigrants´ adaptation process. Information about values can benefit individuals making hard decisions and coping with cultural change as well as officials modifying Finnish immigration policy and planning the support system for immigrants.
  • Martikainen, Silja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    This thesis examines the associations between personality traits and sleep quantity and quality in young adults. Additionally the possible effects of birth status on these associations are examined. The data used in this thesis is part of a birth cohort study (Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults). The personality traits are based on the five-factor model of personality. The sleep quantity and quality are based on actigraphy assessments. Four hypothesis were made about the personality and sleep associations: (1) neuroticism is related to a lesser quality of sleep, (2) there will be more significant associations between personality traits and sleep quality than between personality traits and sleep quantity, (3) the Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) as well as, (4) the Small for Gestational Age (SGA) status will affect the associations. Linear regressions were used to study the associations between personality traits and sleep quality and quantity. Whenever an association was significant, it was tested whether this association was moderated first, by the VLBW and second, by the SGA status of the participant. The results were mostly in line with previous research especially demonstrating the negative association between neuroticism and the quality of sleep and suggesting that vulnerability to stress decreases sleep quality. Also it was found that agreeableness and conscientiousness were associated with better sleep quality and extraversion was associated with lower sleep quantity. In addition SGA status moderated the personality and sleep associations. It is proposed that there are two factors behind the interaction. First, prenatally developing mechanisms have an effect on the development of sleep as well as personality. Second, differences in the postnatal environment, for instance the parenting practices, can account for this finding. Future research could focus especially on what kind of prenatal disturbances SGA infants have in the development of mechanisms related to sleep and personality. Also focusing on the differences in parental interaction might shed more light on the results.
  • Lahti, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The objective of the present study was to increase knowledge about the atelier culture of recent history, especially about the ways in which atelier clothes were made. I look at the ways of dress-making in the production of a renowned atelier, Salon Kaarlo Forsman. I also give a general outline of the atelier. The studying method I used was triangulation, which is a typical approach in case studies of recent history. My data include 23 dresses by the Salon Forsman, theme interviews of four of the Salon workers and one mannequin, data from my research work, as well as press material and archives. The basis of the analysis of these materials was a theme frame that I had put together with the help of pre-understanding. I then completed and defined the theme frame on the basis of the analysis of the data. I also analyzed the dresses in the fashion photos in the press material. Salon Kaarlo Forsman represents a certain cultural period, the years 1937-1986, and a place where a woman could have individual clothes made for her, from hats to fur coats. The atelier was particularly known for embroidery with beads, draping, and fantastic cuttings designed by the owner, fashion designer Kaarlo Forsman. I draw an outline of the work and practices of the atelier, but also that of Kaarlo Forsman’s life work, as he had a great influence on the sewing methods atelier clothes. Mr. Forsman was able to stretch the first period of modern fashion well into the third period by refusing new, labor-saving methods and sticking to individually designer clothes to the end of his enterprise. The crucial practices in the atelier that I present in this study are fitting, designing, finishing and sewing, as well as beading and the decoration of dresses. I compare the activity, practices and dress-making methods in the Forsman atelier to that of Haute Couture in Paris, which served as model for Finnish fashion houses. I point out the similarities and differences.
  • Salomaa, Riikka-Liisa (2014)
    Objectives. In this study, the aim is to analyze whether the learning environments of drama lessons support creativity. Based on earlier research, creativity was understood as an ability that can be found in everyone. Creative environment, however, was considered to have several characteristics, two of which are; positive climate and student-centered teaching. The purpose of the study is to find out whether the drama lessons have positive climate and whether the teaching is student-centered or not. In addition, the aim is to analyze how these two phenomena function as a part of the creative environment of drama lessons. Furthermore, the aim is to test and develop The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) observation tool in the context of drama lessons. Methods. The study is defined as a qualitative case study although some quantitative measures were also made. The subject of the present study was eight drama lessons which were given to pupils ranging from first to third graders. The research material was collected by videotaping two lessons from four class teachers all specialized in drama. The material was analyzed by using two of the CLASS observation tool’s parts; one for observing positive climate and another for observing student-centered teaching. In addition to the CLASS tool, the research material was analyzed by measuring the time used for creative and student-centered action. Results and conclusions. The research shows that drama lessons support children’s creative learning as pupils generated new ideas and solutions, on average, half of the time during the lessons. The drama lessons received high grades (5–7 on a scale of 1–7) with the CLASS tool, both in positive climate and in student-centeredness. This implies that the drama lessons’ learning climate was positive and their teaching was student-centered. On average ⅔ (64%) of the time, the lessons were student-centered. The connection between student-centered teaching and creative action was clear as an average of 80 % of the student-centered action was also creative. The current understanding is that positive climate is one of the key components of creative learning environments. This is why it is justifiable to assume that the drama lessons’ high levels of positive climate were one of the reasons why their learning environments supported children’s creative learning. In conclusion, positive climate and student-centered teaching are key elements of the creative environment of drama lessons, and the CLASS tool offers one possible framework for developing a new instrument for analyzing the quality of teaching in drama lessons.
  • Mrena, Maria Kristiina (2014)
    Objectives – The objective of this study was to examine whether there is a connection between the Big Five personality traits and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Finnish adults. The MetS is a rapidly increasing syndrome among the Finnish population, which predisposes to type 2 diabetes and cardiac diseases. Previous research suggests that single personality traits may be connected to the MetS and its risk factors. However, only a few studies have examined theoretically well based personality models in relation to the MetS. Identifying the psychosocial risk factors for the MetS is important in predicting and preventing its occurrence. The following hypotheses were made based on previous research: (1) high neuroticism and (2) low agreeableness are positively associated with the MetS. Methods – This is a cross-sectional study of The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study from the year 2007. There were 1 580 Finnish adults aged 30–45 participating in the study, of which 919 were women and 661 were men. The participants answered a personality questionnaire, the Finnish version of the NEO-FFI (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Five-Factor Inventory), which measured the Big Five personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness). The MetS is diagnosed when at least three of the following five factors are present: (1) central obesity, (2) raised fasting glucose, (3) raised triglycerides, (4) lowered high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and (5) hypertension. The associations between personality traits and the MetS were examined using logistic regression analyses. Results and Conclusions – In men, low agreeableness was statistically significantly associated with higher risk of having the MetS (OR=.70, 95 % CI=.57–.87, p=.001), adjusting for age and level of education. There were no statistically significant associations found between any of the personality traits and the MetS in women. On the basis of these results, it can be proposed that men with low agreeableness, that is, men low in cooperation, empathy, and kindness, might comprise a risk group for the MetS. This study was cross-sectional by design, which precludes conclusions about cause and effect relationships. Mechanisms linking personality to the MetS were not examined in the current study, and thus, future research should examine the direction of the associations and the mechanisms linking such associations.
  • Holmström, Camilla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    According to previous research many preservice teachers are not sufficiently educated for teaching in multicultural classrooms. It is also known that preservice teachers often fail to give adequate definitions of multiculturism and multicultural education and that they lack an understanding of how these aspects could be included in the curriculum. The aim with this study is to explore the understanding of what is meant with cultural diversity in the classroom and multicultural education among preservice teachers. The research questions are: how conscious are the preservice teachers about their own cultural identity and its significance for the interaction with students? How do preservice teachers understand the meaning of cultural diversity in the classroom? What is their understanding of the meaning of multicultural education? What kind of demands do preservice teachers believe that multicultural schools places on them as teachers? The research was conducted as a qualitative interview study. The data was inductively analyzed using content analysis. The study drew on the theoretical framework of critical multicultural education. Data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with open questions. Thirty informants, both class teacher students and teachers of a special subject were recruited in connections with their Master s thesis seminars. The results of the study clearly indicate that the understandings of the preservice teachers can be characterized by a lack of complexity and critical thinking. Multicultural teaching was commonly associated with immigrant children and knowledge about foreign cultures. There was a strong belief in individualism among the preservice teachers, along with a negation of the impact of social class on the lives of the pupils in school. Religion, language and partly gender were seen as significant aspects of cultural diversity in the classroom. The majority of preservice teachers considered the demands on them in multicultural classrooms as heavier compared to traditional teaching. They also considered their knowledge of how to implement multicultural perspectives in their teaching as insufficient. As a result of the research the study also indicated a lack of awareness of the importance of the personal sociocultural background in the interaction between teachers and students. In order to reach a deeper understanding of multicultural issues, a greater effort on both theory and didactics related to multicultural education should be made in the preservice teacher education. Preservice teachers would also benefit from reflection on personal knowledge constructs and assumptions associated to a pluralistic society and culturally diverse others .
  • Bergset, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Research objectives: As the use of social media has increased, writing a blog has become more and more popular in the recent years. For the writer, a blog is a means of communication, a diary, or enabler of writing as a hobby. One blogger group consists of Finnish expatriates. Emigrating means a life change, that according to previous research causes a process of culture shock that can last for years. Integration of expatriates has been studied quite a lot. Blogs and blogging as a relatively new phenomenon has already been the object of an amount of research, but blogging while living abroad has not received much attention, yet. The purpose of this study was to find out, how blog-writing Finnish expatriates experience the significance of blogging in their current situation in life. The meanings given to the blog were viewed in relation to the writers background. The starting point for the study was an assumption, that blog-writing Finnish expatriates possibly use the blog as an aid in adaptation. Methods: The study involved 39 blog-writing Finnish expatriates, who wrote a free-form text about their blogging, guided by some general questions around the focus of this study. In addition, they answered some questions concerning their background. The texts were analyzed using content analysis. The results of the content analysis and the background information were quantified and cross tabulated to find out factors that might be connected to the significances given. Results and conclusions: The majority of significances given to blogging were connected to living abroad, especially when taking into account the subjects of blog posts and the target audience. The reasons for starting a blog were pragmatic, like communication and writing a diary, whereas the current significances also included deeper level functions. The latter were e.g. receiving peer support, pondering issues and using the Finnish language. The significances given to the blog change as time passes and integration proceeds, but it does not become less important to the writer. Many respondents indicated that communication with friends and family in Finland through the blog is often unidirectional. Communication with new connections acquired through the blog, however, was told to be bidirectional. Therefore, writing a blog may in a way close the writer outside of her former social network, but instead it helps to build a totally new network, including members in a similar situation in life. The results suggest that Finnish expatriates use the blog as an aid in integration process. The blog has instrumental value even when integration has come to an advanced stage and the difficult phases of culture shock have been passed.
  • Heikkilä, Heini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Aim: So far, most of the cognitive neuroscience studies investigating the development of brain activity in childhood have made comparisons between different age groups and ignored the individual stage of cognitive development. Given the wide variation in the rate of cognitive development, this study argues that chronological age alone cannot explain the developmental changes in brain activity. This study demonstrates how Piaget s theory and information on child s individual stage of development can complement the age-related evaluations of brain oscillatory activity. In addition, the relationship between cognitive development and working memory is investigated. Method: A total of 33 children (17 11-year-olds, 16 14-year-olds) participated in this study. The study consisted of behavioural tests and an EEG experiment. Behavioral tests included two Piagetian tasks (the Volume and Density task, the Pendulum task) and Raven s Standard Progressive Matrices task. During EEG experiment, subjects performed a modified version of the Sternberg s memory search paradigm which consisted of an auditorily presented memory set of 4 words and a probe word following these. The EEG data was analyzed using the event-related desynchronization / synchronization (ERD/ERS) method. The Pendulum task was used to assess the cognitive developmental stage of each subject and to form four groups based on age (11- or 14-year-olds) and cognitive developmental stage (concrete or formal operational stage). Group comparisons between these four groups were performed for the EEG data. Results and conclusions: Both age- and cognitive stage-related differences in brain oscillatory activity were found between the four groups. Importantly, age-related changes similar to those reported by previous studies were found also in this study, but these changes were modified by developmental stage. In addition, the results support a strong link between working memory and cognitive development by demonstrating differences in memory task related brain activity and cognitive developmental stages. Based on these findings it is suggested that in the future, comparisons of development of brain activity should not be based only on age but also on the individual cognitive developmental stage.