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Faculty of Educational Sciences

 

Recent Submissions

  • Kölhi, Emmi (2024)
    The aim of this master's thesis was to find out the possible relation between self-efficacy and text comprehension skills in third graders. The goal of the thesis was also to form different groups based on the variation in the variables of self-efficacy and text comprehension of third graders and to examine the formation of these groups using background variables. The thesis' theoretical starting point was the individual psychological point of view, which was based on Kintsch and van Dijk's (1978) Construction-Integration Model and Bandura's (1987, 1997) Theory of Self-Efficacy. I had three research questions in the dissertation. First, I examined whether there is a connection between the self-efficacy reported by third graders and their performance on the text comprehension tasks of the reading test. The second goal was to find out what kind of groups can be found between the results of text comprehension tasks and self-efficacy. Thirdly, I examined how the groups differ from each other in terms of gender, studying Finnish as second language, participation in remedial education and receiving enhanced support or special support variables. For the first research question, I performed a correlation analysis and regression analysis. For the second research question, I conducted a two-step cluster analysis. For the third and last research question, I performed a cross-tabulation. The research material has been received from the CEO of Lukuseula reading test, Lauri Ståhlberg, who originally collected the data. A total of 747 respondents have participated in the data collection, of which 48% were boys and 52% were girls. 13% of the respondents were 8-year-olds and 87% 9-year-olds at the time of the answer. The responses to the data have been collected in the electronic reading test in the fall of 2022 around Finnish elementary schools. The results of the thesis showed a positive connection between students' self-efficacy and their ability to understand the text already at the beginning of the third grade. In boys, a positive statistically significant connection of self-efficacy appeared with the results of both the title task and the coherence task. For girls, there was only a positive statistically significant connection between the coherence task and self-efficacy. In boys, self-efficacy is therefore more widely connected to text comprehension skills, while in girls, the connection is probably more task specific in third grade. Between the results of the text comprehension tasks and self-efficacy, four groups could be formed: “Good self-efficacious readers” (39%), “Weak readers with average self-efficacy” (32%), “Weak readers without self-efficacy” (16%) and “Young self-efficacious and average readers” (13%). The groups differed from each other regarding the covariate of enhanced and special support statistically very significantly. There were significantly more students receiving enhanced or special support in the groups “Weak readers without self-efficacy” and “Weak readers with average self-efficacy” than students not receiving the support. The groups also differed from each other in a statistically significant way regarding the studying Finnish as a second language variable. The percentage of students who studied Finnish as a second language was the highest in the group “Weak readers without self-efficacy” where the difference to students who studied Finnish as a first language was remarkable. Remedial education variable on the other hand, had a statistically almost significant connection between the groups formed in the cluster analysis in the cross-tabulation. Gender did not affect the distribution of the groups. The results of the thesis emphasize the need to focus not only on reading skills, but also on strengthening positive reading self-efficacy at an early stage of the educational path, to prevent and reduce the challenges of Finnish children's reading and the polarization of reading skills.
  • Muta, Sanna-Mari (2024)
    Purpose. The aim of this study was to identify work passion profiles among Finnish principals. Work passion was examined within the framework of the dualistic model of passion, which posits two forms of passion, harmonious (HP) and obsessive (OP). Based on previous studies, it was assumed that at least three work passion profiles would be found. These profiles would be characterised by similar levels (mixed and low passion) or differing levels (dominant HP or OP) of HP and OP. Additionally, we examined the relationships between psychological flexibility and work passion profiles. The theoretical framework of the study was based on conservation of resources theory (COR). Methods. The data for the study consisted of a portion of a survey on principals' occupational well-being collected in the spring of 2022 (N = 666). Sixty-four percent of the respondents were female, with an average age of 51.6 (SD = 7.0) years. The data was analysed using the Mplus statistical software. Latent profile analysis (LPA) was used to identify the work passion profiles. Furthermore, multinomial logistic regression analysis (R3STEP) was used to determine whether psychological flexibility and gender predicted principals' belonging to a certain work passion profile. Results and Conclusions. Three work passion profiles were identified from the data: harmonious (65%), harmonious-dominant (25%), and harmonious-obsessive (10%). In all profiles, levels of HP were moderate, but there was more variation in the levels of OP. Principals who reported higher levels of psychological flexibility were more likely to belong to the harmonious profile than the harmonious-dominant, and female principals were more likely to belong to the harmonious-obsessive profile than the harmonious, compared to males. This study is the first to examine the relationships between psychological flexibility and work passion. Based on the results, psychological flexibility promotes experiences of HP at work. Thus, it should be considered, for example, when designing interventions to improve principals' occupational well-being. As school leaders, the well-being of principals reflects on the well-being of the entire school community and, through that, more broadly on society.
  • Lehtonen, Noora (2024)
    In Finland, there has been relatively limited research conducted on the workplace experiences of gender minorities. However, existing studies consistently highlight the pervasive influence of gender and heteronormativity in the workplace, leading to unequal treatment of individuals based on their gender identity. Previous research suggests, for instance, that due to the risk of discrimination, individuals often refrain from disclosing their gender identity to others and instead conform to the gender and heteronormative order prevalent in the workplace. This study examines the manifestations of gender and heteronormativity in the Finnish workplace and explores how the workplace narratives of gender minorities are portrayed. The data for this study consists of interviews with six individuals belonging to gender minorities, conducted using a narrative interview approach focused on the workplace. The interview data was analyzed using a thematic narrative reading approach. The findings of the study provide insight into how gender and heteronormativity, along with the closely related process of gendering, are often produced and perpetuated in the workplace through very routine and mundane repetitions. The results also shed light on the experiences of minority stress encountered by gender minority individuals in various aspects of the workplace, including job searching and actual employment. Overall, the results align with previous research findings, particularly regarding discriminatory and normative structures, but also encompass positive experiences of recognition and understanding. The data also highlighted companies' motivations and responsibility to commit to inclusivity themes and their implementation. The consideration of gender and sexual minorities was perceived to largely remain superficial, with inclusivity efforts often failing to extend to concrete actions or initiatives adequately. Regarding workplace development needs, education and awareness-raising emerged as primary areas for improvement, which should be considered in enabling a more inclusive and equitable work environment.
  • Paavola, Anne-Maria (2024)
    The purpose of this qualitative research is to find out whether experiences in school bullying has effects on the bullied persons in adulthood, more in detail concerning relationships, health, studying and working life. This research was conducted by using a narrative approach where the people participating in the study told in their own words about their experiences. The people that participated in the study were all women that had experienced school bullying in their childhood and/or in their teens and have been in working life at least few years. The objective of this study was to answer following research questions that were based on the relevant theories: In what way the school bullying has impacted in the relationships in adulthood? How the experiences in school bullying effect on the victim’s health? How the experiences in school bullying effect on studying and working life? The research material was collected by using narrative interviews. The structure for the interview was based on the research questions and were categorized into relationships, health, studying and working life. The interview structure worked as a frame for gathering the research material, but the most important outcomes of the interview were the stories that the interviewees told in their own words about their experiences. The material was analyzed by using theory guided content analysis where the material was categorized from the original expression to the main category. The results of the study show that school bullying has effect on the victim’s life as an adult. The study shows that school bullying has effect on the relationships, health, studying and working life in adulthood. The relevant findings concerning relationships are that everyone suffered from a lack of trust and a negative perception of themselves and that created chal-lenges in relationships. Concerning health, issues such as mental health problems and self-punishing due to low self-esteem and self-hate were discovered as consequences. The re-sults show that everyone participating in the study were goal-oriented and aimed into pro-fessions that are linked with their own survival of the bullying experiences and where they also get the chance to help others suffering from the same challenges that they have experi-enced.
  • Penttala, Sanna (2024)
    The objective of this master’s thesis was to discover preschool teachers’ experiences with using music as an educational tool during preparatory Finnish language lessons. Language is a tool that helps humans connect with each other and their surroundings in a meaningful way. It is especially important for children who learn through play and interactions with others. Teachers and their pedagogical choices are in key position in supporting second language learning. Music has been found to be beneficial to second language learning. The significance teachers place on music as an educational tool can be observed by defining how and when they utilize music during language teaching sessions, and how they justify its use. The aim of this qualitative study was to discover personal motivation and experiences with using music as a teaching tool. Since the objective was to acquire the most valuable research results possible, the participants were chosen based on their personal knowledge and experience with using music during preparatory language teaching lessons in preschool. Seven qualified teachers were interviewed through semi-structured face-to-face interviews that were conducted in the summer of 2023. The participants all reported having had very positive experiences with using music as a teaching tool and having noticed significant benefits it has on second language learning. Participants had observed music impacting different areas of language learning, such as vocabulary recall, pronunciation, rhythm of language and sentence structuring. The impact was described as significant by the participants, which reflects findings of prior studies. Teachers valued its influence on supporting functions of learning such as memory, motivation and focus. Previous experiences with music seem to influence how comfortable teachers are with starting to implement music into their curriculum, and that support from colleagues has a vital role in encouraging its use. Having a teammate who has a strong background in music education was a key incentive that encouraged them to start utilizing it in their work, as it allowed new teachers to witness the effect music can have on language learning.