Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Master's theses

Recent Submissions

  • Christiansen, Emilia (2020)
    There is a shortage of staff in the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Finland in the time of this study. A shortage of qualified workers and the revised Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (580/2018) have created dissatisfaction as eligibility requirements have been tightened. The vocational designations have also been changed, and the title kindergarten teacher has been changed to Early Childhood Education (University, bachelor’s degree) or Bachelor of Social Services (University of Applied Sciences). The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors (challenges and resources) that influence a change of work field from ECEC based on the theoretical model Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) and previous research in subjects such as educational leadership, work communities and the Finnish ECEC control documents. The data was collected in the spring of 2018 with an online survey that was sent to trade unions Talentia, SuPer and the Early Childhood Education Teacher’s Union of Finland (ECE Teachers Union). The survey was forwarded to 3635 people working in ECEC in Finland. The survey was answered by N = 643 persons which gave a response rate of 17.6%. The material was part of a pilot study for the research project ENJOY your work! which is conducted at the University of Helsinki. For this study, the material was limited from eight (8) to two (2) open questions, 749 individual responses were analysed, and qualitative content analysis was used as a method in this final thesis. The results showed that regardless of professional designation or plans to change the working field, the demands and resources of the respondents in the early childhood education were similar. The educators saw the children, good cooperation within the work team, positive feedback from the supervisors (day care managers) as energizing resources in the work. The requirements in ECEC were physically heavy work, incompetent foremen, unauthorized staff, time pressure, no opportunities for planning and a lack of appreciation from society. The demands were physically heavy work, incompetent supervisors, unauthorized staff, time pressure, no opportunities for planning and a lack of appreciation from society.
  • Paro, Anni (2020)
    Since the nature of work is constantly changing, many people might have to educate them-selves again or even change their career. Up to 60% of Finland’s working population has changed their profession or branch of industry during their career and about half of those have re-educated themselves. When changing the career or work, one has to acquire a new professional identity. Construction of a new professional identity is a long process and is affected by many different factors. Since the change of career is common and the construction process of professional identity long and complex, it is important to study this topic. The aim for this study is to examine how career changers can acquire a new professional identity. In addition, I will examine how education provider and workplaces can support the development of a new professional identity among career changers. The data was collected by using qualitative research methods and a phenomenographic approach was used. The data was collected between December 2019 and January 2020. The sample consisted of seven interviewees, who all had changed careers and participated in a short training within IT- industry. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and was analyzed through thematic analysis. The results showed that the interviewees could easily acquire their new professional identity after changing their career. Affecting factors were weak engagement with the previous career, motivation for and engagement in the new career as well as support from both the edu-cation provider and workplace. The education provider was able to support the identity pro-cess through offering an education with clear structure and aim, a comfortable atmosphere and activities which prepared the participants for working life. Furthermore, the education provider was able to support participants in recognizing their own strengths and weakness-es, which supported the construction of the new professional identity. Workplaces could support the process by providing opportunities for discussion, a supportive team and a clear structure in the work. Colleagues attitudes played a big part as well.
  • Mansner-Lönnqvist, Anna (2020)
    Purpose. The law on equality between women and men forms the basis of the schools' gender equality work. The law also aims to prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or expression. Previous research has shown that to conduct successful gender equality work it is not sufficient that teachers have a personal interest in gender equality since this often leads to temporary and random efforts and great confusion about how gen-der equality work should be done. The purpose of the study is to describe, analyze and interpret how gender is expressed in schools' gender equality plans, as both the Act on Gender Equality and the curriculum foundations can be considered to require a diverse gender perspective in all school activities. Methods. The survey was conducted as a critical discourse analysis by analyzing the gender equality plans of seven Finnish Swedish primary schools. As an analysis model, Fairclough's three-dimensional analysis model was used. Results and conclusions. The survey culminated in three gender discourses: the gender inequality discourse, the two-gender discourse and the discourse of fear. The texts showed a clear division between girls and boys and a lack of gender diversity. A fear of making mistakes in the work on gender equality also emerged. The survey shows that gender equality work focuses on girls and boys and that those who do not identify themselves as girls or boys remain invisible.
  • Thurin, Jessica (2020)
    At the time of conducting this study, the Finnish upper secondary schools were facing a major change in the school system. Universities were changing their admission system, and a reform in upper secondary education resulted in a new curriculum for the school year 2021, five years after the current curriculum was put into use in 2016. Guidance counseling has gained a more prominent role in the curriculum and individual counseling and development has become increasingly emphasized. The proportion of upper secondary school teachers who often experience stress has risen from 14% to 17% between 2017 and 2019, and previous research indicates that guidance counselors are at risk of burnout. Stressors have been discovered to be lack of timely resources, lack of role clarity and a large workload. The purpose of this study is to investigate the Finnish guidance counselors’ well-being at work, and how they experience their workload. This is explored on the basis of the variables job satisfaction, satisfaction regarding job duties, social support, time resources, access to further training, experienced challenge and experienced stress. The data was collected with an electronic questionnaire sent out to the guidance counselors in Swedish speaking upper secondary schools in Finland, a total of N = 42. The questionnaire was answered by a total of N = 22, all of which were analyzed in the study. The program IBM SPSS 25 was used in the processing and analysis of the data. All group comparisons are performed with nonparametric tests: Mann-Whitney U-test, Kruskal-Wallis test by ranks and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The results showed that the guidance counsellors generally experienced a high level of job satisfaction. Symptoms of stress or perceived burnout had a negative correlation with several factors: job satisfaction, perceived social support, timely resources at hand, and a higher experience of stress and challenge. Work experience was also significant for job satisfaction. Despite this, the guidance counselors with experiences of stress or burnout reported a high job satisfaction.
  • Schultz, Melinda (2020)
    Digital learning environments were introduced in the 1990s and have since then become a well-established part of today´s education. This study is written as the use of virtual learning environments increases rapidly, although it is still surrounded by challenges and uncertainty in regard to experiences, results and efficiency. Simultaneously, our society demands more of Finland´s educators than ever before, and the teaching staff is in greater need of support to manage the complexity of their work. The need for flexible, well-functioning in-service training was evident already at the beginning of the 2000s, which this study and the larger project are a response to. The aim of this study was to examine the efficiency of in-service training in a virtual context, to bring light to the challenges the participants still face, and to examine how the participants experience meaningful learning. The theoretical basis was Ausubel´s theory of meaningful learning, with additions by Jonassen as well as Ruokamo and Pohjolainen. The experience of meaningful learning was examined by five categories: commitment to teamwork, interest for the subject, discussion, professionalism and evaluation. The study is a part study in the LUMATIKKA-project, which is a cooperation between the Finnish National Agency for Education and a large number of universities. The data used in this study was gathered in 2018, through a survey sent out to participants in five courses within the project. The survey was completed three times per course to measure the experience of the participants and was filled out by N= 102 individuals. The statistical programme SPSS was used to process and analyse the material. The results showed that the participants had a positive experience in the LUMATIKKA-project, although the means of the categories commitment to teamwork and discussion declined during the courses. The participants who took part in the courses targeted at their specific school level were more satisfied than their colleagues in the general courses. No differences were found between the sexes. Differences were found in regard to age, showing that the younger participants were more negative than their older colleagues. Differences were found in regard to educational stage, stating that the teachers in grades 7-9 were more negative than their colleagues. Despite the differences in the sample, all participants were overall positive and stated that the courses felt meaningful to them. By offering well-functioning in-service training to teachers, we can support them in their profession and increase their competencies needed to educate the people of tomorrow.