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  • Laaksonen, Julia (2022)
    International policy documents (FN (UN), 1989; WHO & BZgA, 2010, 2013; WAS, 2014; UNESCO, 2018) recommend that children should receive age-appropriate sexuality education, but it is unclear whether this is fulfilled in practice. There is relatively little research on sexuality education for younger students. Therefore, it is relevant to research how sexuality education for younger students is delivered. The purpose of this study is to describe how sexuality education is delivered in grades 1-2 in Finland and to examine teachers’ attitudes towards sexuality education for younger students. In this study I would like to draw attention to the potential of the Finnish curriculum when it comes to sexuality education. Five teachers, who at the time of the study taught grades 1-2 in Finnish primary schools, participated in this study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews that were recorded, transcribed, and analysed with thematic analysis. The results found that teachers had difficulties defining sexuality education. Teachers taught sexuality education across subjects, spontaneously and sometimes also unconsciously. Teachers need help defining what sexuality education is and what themes are to be addressed. Sexuality education should be made an evident part of the subject environmental studies in the Finnish curriculum. This can hopefully encourage teachers to teach sexuality education. The sexuality education was not really planned, evaluated, or developed in any of the schools. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Local plans for sexuality education should be written. The teachers had generally positive attitudes towards sexuality education for younger students, but in some situations sexuality education could be perceived as a difficult subject. Several of the teachers showed interest in promoting diversity and equal treatment in their teaching. This study failed in providing any deeper insight into how teachers work with norms in sexuality education.
  • Byman, Jenny (2019)
    The different forms of creating, sharing and analysing information have globally evolved and expanded in meaning. Previous research suggests that teachers have found it challenging to integrate these new forms of communication into their teaching practices. The pedagogy of multiliteracy, which the new Finnish core curriculum emphasizes, has been one of the measures taken towards meeting these changes. The role of the teacher is central in promoting multiliteracy, as the given support and guidance affect the child's motivation, attitudes and interest in the learning process. The aim of the study is to explore how teachers in early childhood education, pre-primary and primary education (Year 1-2) define multiliteracy and how their understanding is reflected in different teaching practices, which aim to promote children's learning opportunities in the area of multiliteracy. The need for this study is important as little research exists on teachers' understanding of the concept of multiliteracy in their teaching. This study draws upon a research and development program The joy of learning multiliteracies (MOI), at the University of Helsinki. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the pedagogy of multiliteracy and the dynamic literacy theory. The qualitative research design was selected to get an insight into teachers' experiences and thoughts. The study has been conducted by using semi-structured interviews based on video-stimulated recall and a group interview to investigate seven teachers' definition on multiliteracy. The results of the study suggest that the teachers have formed their own views of the concept multiliteracy and that these interpretations are visible in their teaching practices. Multiliteracy was defined by the teachers as a wide multimodal ability to express oneself, which requires children to be able to analyse, interpret and apply diverse forms of information and communication. The children's curiosity and joy are perceived as the foundation for promoting multiliteracy. The teachers' own commitment and enthusiasm were considered crucial. Digital tools and implementing of media education were emphasized as one of the development areas regarding multiliteracy. The ability to take into account the cultural contexts of texts, were in accordance with the Finnish curriculum, yet the teachers did not recognise it as a part of multiliteracy. Cultural literacy is however an important part of the pedagogy of multiliteracy. The results of the study confirm that further reinforcement of teachers' expertise in developing multiliteracy is essential both in working life and in teacher education, especially regarding how to include and promote cultural literacy.