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Master's theses

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  • Eshraghi, Banafsheh (2022)
    Students’ challenging behavior is of significant concern to teachers and principals in Finland. Youth’s challenging behavior at school has negative effects on teachers’ classroom management, classroom climate and other students. To manage behavioral challenges at school, different school-wide approaches are used. The Multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) is one of these school-wide approaches. With three tiers, this model focused on the early detection of learning issues, early intervention and collaboration between school personnel. This thesis explores tier one (Universal behavioral support). This research provides a national picture of primary schools’ teachers’ and principals’ views in Finland with regards to addressing students’ behavior. This study answers three research questions: (1) How do teachers and principals compare with regards to their views on using school-wide components to address students’ behavior, (2) how do teachers and principals compare in their views of teachers’ responsibility to promote appropriate youth behavior and (3) how do teachers and principals compare with regards to their views on identifying and supporting students that are not responding to universal behavioral support. A sample of 88 teachers and 101 principals from comprehensive primary schools in Finland participated in this study. A series of independent t-test, ANOVA and Chi-square were utilized to determine if any statistically significant difference existed between teachers’ and principals’ views. It was discovered that no statistically significant difference existed between teachers’ and principals’ views except in two items of the survey: participants’ views differed about teachers’ responsibility to encourage students to behave as expected and about using Interventions as a behavioral support approach for students that are not responding to universal behavioral support.
  • Lipponen, Sofia (2022)
    The study analyzed the actors, contexts and technology used in the Innokas Network, which focuses on school development at the grassroots level, in the light of the blog posts pro-duced by the network in 2011–2019. Teachers and their expertise play an important role in the transformation of education, and networked development communities provide an oppor-tunity for the co-development of innovations and their widespread dissemination. The Innokas Network is such a school development network whose members are school, private and third sector actors as well as researchers. The Innokas Network maintains a thematic community blog where members of the network write about the network's activities. More information is needed on networked development activities, as research has found it to be an effective way to increase people’s knowledge and skills. The research questions were: 1) which technologies do the authors of the Innokas Network blog refer to in the blog posts written in 2011–2019, 2) what kind of social and pedagogical frameworks and actors are described in the blog posts and 3) how are the different actors, pedagogical frameworks and technologies present in different social frameworks? The research data consisted of a total of 401 blog posts from 2011–2019 on the Innokas network's public blog. Blog posts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis as well as cross-tabulation. The blog post mentioned a total of 275 different technologies. The technologies most featured in blog posts were programmable robotics, programmable microcontrollers, and programming platforms. Activities were described in five different social frameworks: micro-community, school community, local community, national level and international level. The most typical pedagogical frameworks were a lesson, training, and club activities. The most typical actors were the student, the teacher and the tutor. For each social frameworks, the typical pedagogical frameworks and actors involved in the activity were outlined. Networked development activities reaches a large number of different actors and networking activities take place on several different levels and in a wide variety of frameworks. A broad range of technologies are involved in the network's activities, but there is a clear emphasis on innovative technologies such as robotics and other technologies that require programming.
  • Vainio, Ella (2022)
    Aim. Earlier studies have shown that textbooks are a crucial tool in teaching. Some theories mean that textbooks create and reproduce a specific outlook on reality. The aim of this study was to review how social studies textbooks in comprehensiveschool in Finland written in Swedish represent different occupations and how workers, employees, employers and entrepreneurs are constructed. The goal was to present who is represented in the textbooks and what kind of a notion could be constructed of workers, employees, employers and entrepreneurs in the textbooks. The study is constructed to make visible underlying discourses in the working life that are presented in social studies textbooks, so that teachers are able to adequately discuss the topic of different roles inworking life. Methods.The study includes six (6) social studies textbooks written in Swedish from Finland. For grades 4 –6 it consisted of two publishers and two publishers for grades 7 –9.In grades 4 –6 there was two textbooks per publisher. The method was a combination of a quantitative survey and a critical discourse analysis.The quantitative survey portrayed which occupations occur in the textbooks.The critical discourse analysis examined how employees, workers, employers and entrepreneurs areconstructed in social studies textbooks. Results. Altogether there are 131 occupations in the data. In the social studies textbooks for grades 4 –6 the prevalent occupations represented there, where occupations students this age could recognize form their everyday lives. In grades 7–9 the occupationswhere much broader, comparing to grades 4 –6, were there was an emphasis on occupations in the judiciary and executive fields. Otherwise,both in grades 4 –6 and 7 –9 the entrepreneur was present in the data. The employer-discourse represented the employer as actor in working life that had to be restrained and had many obligations. The employer was often represented as an impersonal and occasionally also as discriminating. The worker, employee and the employer are very intertwined. The worker-discourse described the workers vast range of action in working life, through instructions and facts for the reader. The worker-discourse was also very prevalent with rights and obligations. The employee-discourse many times portrayed employees only as measurement entity to describe another phenomenon, like businesses. The employees are also described through the working life norms, but also trough rights and obligations. The entrepreneur-discourse described the entrepreneur with many nuances, where positive and negative aspects are shown. A lot of space was given to instructions and facts regarding being an entrepreneur. The conclusion is that the employers are presented as impersonal and in a somewhat negative light, whereworkers and employees are prepared for theworking life trough norms and rights. The entrepreneurs are presented as value-charged and contain vastdescriptions of the life of an entrepreneur.
  • Routavaara, Kari (2022)
    Objective of the study Finnish elementary school student assessment is a multidimensional phenomenon that is possible to examine from the point of view of different actors and structures of the school. The basis and peripheral conditions of the assessment are presented in the curriculum thus linking itself to the broader educational policy context. From the perspective of the teacher and pupil, the assessment is often structured by three mutually supportive tasks - on the direction of diagnostic, formative and summative evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation means determining the pupil's baseline level of competence in the beginning of a learning period. Formative evaluation means feedback and guidance during the learning process. Summative evaluation, on the other hand, means evaluation at the end of the course that measures things learned. Pupil assessment is a very complex thing influenced by many different factors and operators. The purpose of this study is to understand the various dimensions of primary school pupil assessment especially from the teacher's perspective. Specifically, the objective of the thesis is to structure pupil evaluation from the perspective of pupils learning, teaching and social function. Methods Qualitative data from the study consisted of five themed interviews, involving five teachers at different career stages from different schools and municipalities. The thematic interview’s frames were based on to an earlier evaluation studies in the direction of research objectives. In the interviews, teachers were asked about experiences of evaluation, evaluation from the perspective of students’ learning and what social objectives are included in the evaluation. Interviews were held remotely due to the pandemic situation and they were about an hour long in duration. The data was analyzed using theory-guiding content analysis. Results and conclusions The study found that evaluation has quite a multidimensional function in the school system. Evaluation serves as a tool constructing the student's identity which also structures all teaching work and planning. On the other hand, assessment can also be seen to classify pupils due to the admissions system of upper secondary schools. This can have a contradictory effect when it comes to elementary schools learning goals. Evaluation is also an ongoing big equality challenge because it reflects differences between pupils, schools and municipalities. Assessment is part of the curriculum, that is a document which regulates and controls all schooling. Curricula are drawn up in collaboration with different actors and organizations about every ten years. Consequently, changes in pupil assessment needs a lot of political support and activity.
  • Sundvall, Emilia (2022)
    The digital communication between home and school has developed for a longer period besides the digitalization in our society. Studies have shown that the perception of digital communication related to school context varies and there is also an ongoing discussion about it in the media. The purpose of this study is to discover how caregivers experience the digital communication with the class teacher, and which tools are working well and not so well depending on different parts of the everyday school day. This study was executed as a qualitative study and the data was collected through an electronic form. The form was answered by 19 caregivers with children in grades 1-6 in basic education. The analysis in this study was conducted as a thematic analysis. Wilma and social media were used for digital communication between caregivers and class teachers. The digital communication tools were experienced as well functioning in informative occasions but not as well in situations that required a dialog. Lack of guidelines in the usage of digital communication tools were experienced to cause misunderstandings. Results in this study shows that awareness among caregivers and class teachers of how digital communication tools are used can conduct to a development of the digital communication to at best become an effective and smooth way to communicate. This benefits all partners. A well-reasoned usage of digital communication tools increases a feeling of participation and conducts to a feeling of welcomed in the school as a caregiver.