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Browsing by department "Institute of Behavioural Sciences"

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  • Ahtela, Pauliina (2018)
    The purpose of this Master's Thesis is to study, which factors increase or decrease the meaningfulness of learning through online courses according to the theory of meaningful learning. In addition, I will look at the features of online courses and the effect of gamification on learning online through the theory of meaningful learning. Corporations’ general attitude towards gamification is seen varied and the study explores the different ways in which gamification and learning are seen online. The aim of the study is to find meaningful learning factors for course users, companies’ supervisors and course planners in online courses. The research focuses on analyzing the opinions of the target groups. In the study, I studied three different online courses ordered by different companies. The research data is formed of 10 interviews, three of whom are users of the courses, the three supervisors of the course and four online course authors. I have collected material with a survey and thematic interviews. I ana-lyzed my results with the qualitative content analysis. According to my results, the length of the course and the extent, versatility and variability of the con-tent, and the student's own characteristics and the set goals of the courses are influenced by meaningful experience. Gamification was described as bringing interdimensional, challenging and motivational learning to online learning. Based on the results, an important aspect of learning at online courses is the personalization of learning, where gamification plays an important role.
  • Lerssi, Mira (2017)
    Objectives. The aim of the present study was to examine the differences in experiences of non-material rewards and work engagement in relation to individual- and employment factors. In addition, the study examined relationships between non-material rewards and experiences of work engagement. Non-material rewards refers to organization's policies, values and practices that individuals experience as rewarding. Work engagement is a fulfilling, positive, affective–cognitive and work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. Both, non-material rewards and work engagement have been found to be related to individuals' emotions and well-being. Based on previous research, the assumption is that the experiences of non-material rewards and work engagement differ when comparing individual- and employment factors. In line with research on well-being at work, this study assumes also that there are positive relationships between non-material rewards and the experiences of work engagement. Methods. The study involved 512 employees who work in vocational schools. Factor analysis was formed to describe the internal structures of non-material rewards and work engagement. General Least Squares analysis with Direct Oblimin rotation was performed for the non-material rewards and the solution was forced into four factors, based on the previous research. For work engagement, Maximum Likelihood analysis was performed and one factor was extracted. Because there came only one factor, the rotation could not be performed. The differences in experiences of non-material rewards and work engagement in relation to individual- and employment factors were examined by using t-test and analysis of variance. The relationships between non-material rewards and experiences of work engagement was examined with regression analysis. Results and conclusions. Experiences of non-material rewards differed by gender and form of employment relationship. Men experienced more fairness regarding rewards than women, and employees in fixed-term employment relationship experienced more appreciation and feedback at work than employees in permanent employment relationship. Experiences of work engagement differed by gender and age. Women experienced more work engagement than men, and 51-55 year-old employees experienced more work engagement than employees under 35. There was positive relationship between two of the dimensions of non-material rewards (rewards from formal competence and appreciation and feedback) and experiences of work engagement. According to the results, experiences of non-material rewards and work engagement differed between some of the individual- and employment factors. In addition, there were positive relationships between non-material rewards and work engagement. Taking these results into account when designing reward systems, can promote well-being and even work engagement in organizations.
  • Ahola, Minna (2016)
    Goals. Event schema, also known as a script, contains information about a structure of a particular event; about the sequences of events and their temporal order. With the information the scripts contain, one can anticipate and plan for future events and actions. People with traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have difficulties in the verbal planning of actions. Previous international research has shown that the scripts produced by people with TBI contain fewer actions central to the schema, than scripts produced by healthy control subjects. The aim of this study is to examine what kind of scripts Finnish speaking subjects with TBI and their healthy control subject counterparts generate in a script generation task consisting of eight scripts. This study also examines whether the script type has influence on the features of the generated scripts. Methods. Fifteen subjects with TBI and fifteen healthy control subjects participated in the study. The researcher collected the research material during the spring and summer 2015. The research material consisted of the scripts generated by the subjects and control subjects, as well as the results of the control tasks (Boston Naming Test, Rapid Automatized Naming Test, semantic and phonemic fluencies). The subjects were asked to generate event schemas for eight everyday tasks belonging to four schema categories. The categories were 'open high frequency' (go shopping, go for a walk), 'open low frequency' (apply for a job, go on a vacation), 'closed high frequency' (make coffee, brush teeth), and 'closed low frequency' (go to a doctor, go to a restaurant). Closed scripts are related to events where the actions involved in their execution are well established and tightly related to each other. Open scripts are less structured and have loose connections between the actions involved. High and low frequency scripts differ on how frequent the event is. Time given for generating each script was 60 seconds. The scripts were scored for the total number of events produced, the number of event repetitions, the informativeness of the script, and the meaningfulness and the centrality of the events. The results of the qualitative analysis were displayed in a statistical form and analyzed with the non-parametrical Mann-Whitney U -test. Results and conclusions. The results showed that the scripts produced by the subjects with TBI were less informative and contained less actions than the scripts produced by the healthy control subjects, regardless of the script type. Closed scripts were found to be more informative than open scripts, and the subjects produced more actions to the closed than to the open scripts. When the high and low frequency scripts generated by the subjects with TBI were examined, no significant difference was found between the two script types. The results of this study can be explained by the disturbances in executive functions, and disturbances in the working memory as well as the episodic memory, all of which can affect the subject's ability to produce a coherent story and recall actions belonging to a certain event.
  • Tanskanen, Katri (2015)
    People have had supernatural beliefs through the ages. Explanation for supernatural beliefs is sought in the thinking styles. Studies in this area have systematically reported that intuitive thinking style is positively related to supernatural beliefs, while findings about connections between analytical thinking and supernatural beliefs are more controversial. From standpoint of dual-process theory analytical and intuitive thinking consist several dimensions. Moreover, thinking styles have been conceptualized and assessed different ways in different studies. These might be the explanations for controversial results. Research questions were: How are thinking styles related to supernatural beliefs? Are components of analytical thinking related to supernatural beliefs in the same way? How are these components related to each other? What is the role of participant's sex and age in moderating the association between thinking styles and supernatural beliefs? Participants (n=3084) were recruited via internet discussion forums and electronic students mailing lists. Recruitment message provided a link to the online questionnaire. Thinking style was measured using CRT-, REIm- and AOT -scales. Religious and paranormal beliefs were assessed by questionnaires. This study replicated previous results in order that analytical thinking was inversely related, and intuitive thinking positively related to supernatural beliefs. When all the other sub dimensions of different thinking styles were controlled, it appeared that only actively open-minded thinking and intuitive thinking (when assessed by self-report questionnaire) showed unique effects on supernatural beliefs. Regarding sub dimensions of analytical thinking and their mutual connections, only need for cognition and ability to reflect were related to each other moderately. Ability to reflect and actively open-minded thinking, as well as need for cognition and actively open-minded thinking were connected to each other only quite weakly. Results showed that subject's sex and/or age moderated partially connections between thinking styles and supernatural beliefs: With men need for cognition was more strongly connected to paranormal beliefs, than with women. In case of actively open-minded thinking the situation was opposite. In cognitive reflection there was no such sex-differences. Respondent's sex and age moderated the association between actively open minded-thinking and paranormal beliefs. This connection didn't occur anymore with men in elder age group but with women it existed. Connection between intuitive thinking and paranormal beliefs was also moderated by subject's sex and age. With men intuitive thinking was more strongly associated to religious beliefs, than with women. The current study contributes new information concerning the moderating role of subject's sex and/or age in the association between thinking styles and supernatural beliefs.
  • Hamberg, Jarkko (2015)
    The relationship between personality and driving is a widely studied topic. These studies have emphasized the role of single personality traits, especially novelty seeking. This is a narrow view of personality. In this study, beside novelty seeking, I studied the impact of Cloninger's psychobiological theory and Gray's BIS-BAS theory on driving. Contextual mediated model was used which suggests that personality has influence on risky driving via self-assessed driving skills. Self-assessed driving skills can be divided to perceptual-motor skills and safety skills. This study was based on four previously collected samples. Personality was assessed using Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R), Zuckerman's Brief Sensation Seeking scale (BSSS) and Carver and White's BIS-BAS questionnaire. Driving behaviour was assessed using Driver Behaviour questionnaire (DBQ) and self-assessed driving skill using Driver Skill Inventory (DSI). Participants were also asked about their annual mileage, accidents and traffic violations. As previous research suggests, self-assessed perceptual-motor skills predicted risky driving and safety skills predicted safe driving. SEM models suggested that character traits of psychobiological theory predicted less violations via self-assessed driving skills in students' sample. Temperament traits did not predict risky driving besides harm avoidance. These effects were present for both genders when annual mileage was controlled. In a sample of conscripts, high activation of behavioural activation system and sensation seeking predicted high perceptual-motor skills and low safety skills. The results show that low character traits predicted risky driving. Risky drivers evaluated themselves high on perceptual-motor skills but low on safety skills. It seems to be possible that personality and self-assessed driving skills can be used to identify sub-groups of drivers that differ from the concerning risky driving.
  • Kipinoinen, Karoliina (2019)
    Goals. The aim of this study is to examine what kind of thoughts Aalto-university teachers have according to academic capitalism and entrepreneurship education in the context of inside their own university. Academic capitalism and entrepreuneurship education are relatively new phenomenon in the finnish field of education and the goal is to figure out are these new customs in disagreement with the traditional values of universities or are they suitable together. There is a lot of international studies of these topics which helped me to do my thesis and helped me to choose different kind of point of views. Methods. There were 8 univeristy teachers who took part in this study. The interview-material consisted of three group-interviews, which all had 2-3 teachers. I used qualitative content analysis as a method in my thesis. Results and conclusions. What was found out of the interviews was that the teachers had both positive and negative experiences and thoughts about academic capitalism and entrepreneurship education. Academic capitalism could benefit researchers financially but the negative affect of it was that the values of academic capitalism were often times conflicting with the traditional views of the university. Teachers saw that entrepreneurship education coud give students benefits for example teaching them worklife skills and helped them to network when they were still at university. The negative effect of of entrepreneurship education from the point of view of the teachers was that it gave a narrow view of what a good worker of the future was.
  • Aalto, Heidi (2015)
    Objectives and method The aim of this qualitative study was to describe, analyze and interpret the experienced academic emotions of students during the university studies, as well as to describe how emotions are related to studying and study progress. The data was analysed through qualitative content analysis. The research was carried out as two separate interviews of five individual students from the Faculty of Humanities at the Helsinki University, the total number of interviews being ten. Two of the students had progressed faster than average in studies during their first year and the rest three were progressing slower than average during their first year. Based on previous studies (eg. Pekrun, 2006 Hailikari et al., 2015) it was to be expected that the academic achievement emotions play a central role in university studying. Results and conclusions The results showed that the emotional aspect of learning is important for successful learning. Students' descriptions revealed a wide range of emotional expressions in descriptions of emotions, moods and feelings. There was variation in how students described situation specific emotions (emotional states) and individual ways to approach emotions (emotional traits). In addition, elements which triggered emotions were identified, such as teaching or studying as an activity. From this data, it was not possible to distinguish a clear similarities or differences between the students who progressed fast in their studies and those who progressed slowly, although some differences between these different type of students could be detected. Students progressing slowly advanced students described that, for example, uncertainty and conflicting emotional experiences caused delay in their studies, though, the data is limited. Of the two fast progressing students only one clearly emphasized positive emotions. The result corresponded to the assumption that most of the negative and hinder study progression. In turn positive emotions are mainly connected to faster study pace and better study success (eg. Pekrun et al., 2002). Weak or neutral emotions also appeared in the data. Most clearly the emotions focused on studying, planning of studying and its contents, as well as to the results and achievement of studying and its guidance. The most positive emotions were expressed in relation to teaching, while uncertainty was mostly related to future career possibilities. Based on results, it is important to be aware of differences individual students' ways of experiencing and describing emotions.
  • Ainamo-McDonald, Maria (2015)
    Due to technological evolution, our work-culture has become more expert-focused and fast-paced. Work's fast pace and abstract assignments can lead to situations where workers can't evaluate whether their own actions are meeting the expectations. Therefore, the feedback from the other people becomes more important. Feedback enables well-being at the workplace and personal development and therefore can be associated with the work community's- and, finally, the society's operability. The feedback communication at the workplace has been somewhat studied, but also has been criticized for still being one-sided, postpositivist and carried out by the same format. The aim of this study is primarily to produce new, qualitative information about the feedback communication between superiors and their subordinates primarily for the scientific community and secondly for Yleisradio. The first research goal was to describe how subordinates define feedback. The second goal was to understand and describe those perceptions and experiences that subordinates have of their superior's feedback. This thesis was a qualitative case study, and it was carried out for public broadcasting company, Yleisradio. The study was conducted using qualitative methods. The data was collected by interviewing nine (9) employees working in Yleisradio. A semi-structured theme interview was used as a research method and the data was analyzed using thematic analysis method. The interviewees' age ranged from 25 to over 60 years and had been working at Yleisradio from four to over 40 years. Some of the interviewees were manual workers and some were working as content providers. According to the results the employees had many ways of describing feedback. Nine (9) main concepts that employees used to describe feedback were found: 1) All communication, 2) verbal feedback, 3) nonverbal feedback, 4) information sharing, 5) workplace atmosphere, 6) trust and getting work tasks, 7) self evaluation, 8) rewards and 9) silence "i.e. lack of feedback". The interviewees had multiple experiences from their superior's feedback. According to the interviewees, positive feedback was rewarding, increased work motivation and the work community's positive atmosphere. On the other hand, the positive feedback alone is not yet enough and negative feedback is needed as well in order to advance at work. According to the interviewees negative feedback could be divided into constructive and destructive feedback. Constructive feedback was seen as legitimate and work related and didn't get personal. Constructive feedback was created in a dialog and solutions were co-created. Destructive feedback was inappropriate, got too personal and the receiver of the feedback was not listened to. Destructive feedback was also tenuous, no solutions were created and there were no possibilities to improve one's performance or work. Feedback was also experienced as destructive when the person giving feedback was not considered wise or up to date on the situation at hand. The results and conclusions of this study were mostly similar with the previous feedback research. On the other hand the interviewees of this study were describing feedback in more versatile ways than had been described in earlier studies. For example, information sharing has not been part of the concept of feedback in most of the studies. In this thesis the concept of feedback has been extended to be more diverse. Although it must be noted that the data of this study was relatively small and therefore no generalizations can be made based on this study. More research is needed to be conducted on the matter to be able to generalize this study's results to apply to supervisor-subordinate feedback communication in work communities in general.
  • Venesjärvi, Suvi (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 employees' 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.
  • Pekkarinen, Otto (2017)
    This study analyzed the workplace learning processes of Non-commissioned officers (NCO) in the companies of the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). Workplace learning was studied using the theoretical tools provided by cultural-historical activity theory and knowledge-creating trialogical learning. The theoretical framework was summarized in the concept of sociomaterial learning-network, defined as the set of relations between the individual, his/her community and the material artefacts formed around the common object of activity. The aim of the study was to understand how the NCOs learn through their work and how the learning is guided. The sub-questions approached workplace learning through the concepts of agency, networks and tools. The study was conducted as a case study in three companies of one brigade-level unit of the Finnish Army. The data was gathered from the unit-commanders (n=5) and the NCOs (n=10) of the studied companies with semi-structured interviews consisting structured interview parts. Additionally an egocentric network interview was conducted with the NCOs. The interview data was analyzed with abductive content analysis. The egocentric network-data was visualized with Cytoscape-software. The results suggest, that despite certain expansive features, the studied companies were mainly restrictive learning environments. The workplace learning of the NCOs was based on their own active agency and the support of their personal learning-networks. Additionally the material aspects of the activity, such as different standardized written documents and learning-materials, had a major influence on the NCOs' learning processes. A distinctive feature of the guidance of learning was the aim to standardize and unify the learning processes. A contradiction in the goal-setting of workplace learning was identified. The activity guiding standard operating procedures of the FDF emphasize comprehensive development, but the learning-practices in the unit are primarily guided by the obtaining of certain licences needed in activity.
  • Kouri, Elina (2014)
    The goal of the research was to examine how a beginner learns when he/she joins a new community. As theoretical context I used Jean Lave's and Etienne Wenger's theory about Communities of Practice, according which learning will occur when a beginner gradually turns into a full member of the community. The research problems were: how and what team members talk about, how they build and maintain culture in the community and what kind of a significance it has for a beginner's ability to learn. I collected the research material through observing and recording speech during practice and games of a women's floorball team in autumn of 2013. In addition I interviewed three players. Two of whom were beginners and one that had played floorball for several years. The material was analyzed by using methods of discourse analysis. The research material shows that the players' views about learning process of a beginner and what influences it is similar to Lave's and Wenger's ideas. It was seen as very important for learning for the beginner to be able to observe and gradually attend activities in the community of practice. For this to be possible the beginner has to be committed to the community and on the other hand the community has to give the beginner justification to attend all common activities. According to results the community which was in the focus of my research should give a beginner more space and opportunities to attend conversations between team members to be able to create the best possible circumstances for the beginner to learn. The results of the research are adaptable to any kind of community of practice.
  • Alafuzoff, Aleksander (2016)
    Background. Birth asphyxia is a pathological state that occurs if fetal gas exchange is disrupted for an extended period of time during delivery. Prolonged birth asphyxia causes brain damage and can even lead to death, but which in mild and moderate cases causes motor and cognitive disability. One of the brain regions often damaged is the hippocampus, which is known to play a major role in memory processing. Thus, damage to the hippocampus may in part explain the long-term cognitive consequences of birth asphyxia. In the neonatal brain hippocampal network activity is discontinuous, dominated by sharp waves and oscillatory bouts, of which the former are thought to be important for memory consolidation in the adult brain. Later in development sharp waves exhibit fast oscillations called ripples that organise hippocampal activity after learning. The aim of this thesis was to establish how sharp wave signalling in the neonatal hippocampus is affected by birth asphyxia. Methods. A rat model developed at the Laboratory of Neurobiology, University of Helsinki, was used to study birth asphyxia and a putative therapeutic strategy. Neonatal rat pups aged 5-8 days were used in the study. These animals were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: naive control, sham control, asphyxia, and graded restoration of normocapnia. Hippocampal network activity was measured in vivo under urethane anaesthesia using local field potential (LFP) recordings 24 hours after the asphyxic insult. Sharp waves were detected and analysed in terms of event counts, timing, size, shape and ripple properties. Results and conclusions. After asphyxia, sharp waves occurred more frequently within clusters than in isolation. In addition, sharp wave ripples were detected for the first time during early neonatal development. In asphyxiated animals, the number and magnitude of detected ripples was statistically significantly decreased. Interestingly, animals that underwent graded restoration of normocapnia after asphyxia were no different from controls, suggesting a protective effect of the treatment. The abnormal SPW development after birth asphyxia may form a mechanism contributing to the emergence of cognitive deficits.
  • 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.
  • Rautio, Laura (2015)
    Aims. This study aims to find out what kind of views vocational teachers working on second level have about their job, entrepreneurship education and actualizing entrepreneurship education. Previous research has shown many changes in vocational teaching during past decades. Changes in labour market have made entrepreneurship education more significant in education. Research questions are: 1) What kind of challenges does vocational teaching include?, 2) What kind of views do vocational teachers have on entrepreneurship education? and 3) How is entrepreneurship education part of vocational teaching? Methods. Data for this study was collected by semi-structured interviews during spring 2010. Five second level vocational teachers working in South Savo were interviewed. One of the interviewees no longer worked on second level education. Research material was analyzed by qualitative content analysis. Results and conclusions. Teachers experienced two kinds of challenges in their work. Firstly challenges rose from heterogeneity among students and big role of "raising" the students (e.g. good behaviour). Secondly challenges were caused by changes in work and lack of resources. Entrepreneurship education was viewed as necessary and beneficial, and it was part of teaching in forms of learning contents, teaching methods and learning environments. As a term entrepreneurship education was viewed problematic since it is often misunderstood as entrepreneur education (how to be an entrepreneur). For entrepreneurship education to be implemented in all teaching, should the aims and practices of entrepreneurship education be clarified to all teachers.
  • Tuominen, Tiina (2016)
    In different sectors of education percentage of school drop outs is highest in upper secondary vocational school even though dropping out has decreased in recent years. When discussed about dropping out, it's essential to recognize when it's about increasing risk of alienation and when it's necessary for individual's life. The purpose of this research it to offer a new point of view that considers life choices and turning points as process that continues individually and multidimensionally. In this research interest focus on agency behind dropping out and situational actors that lead to decisions to drop out. The theoretical framework concentrates changes in youth and working life, situational actors behind school drop outs and agency as individual's power to shape their life circumstances by choosing their actions. The research was carried out qualitatively. The data was collected in October 2015 and is based on open interviews that were analyzed using content analysis. In this research nine individual interviews were used. Interviewees were young persons who had quitted at least once in upper secondary vocational school and started another education or got employed after dropping out. Interviews indicated human agency as active operations that contain ability to picture alternative course of actions and possible future outcomes. In narrations agency can be seen as interaction that is strongly combined to time. Decision making is influenced by the past, present and future. As active and planned decision making, narrations show that agency is limited or allowed by structural and social actors that guide individual's actions and decision making. In narrations situational actors that lead to quitting, appeared to be set of various actors that eventually lead to limited agency and quitting school.
  • Kokkoniemi, Liisa (2018)
    The reform of vocational upper secondary education is mentioned to be one of the biggest development project in the field of education in Finland. It targeted to transform and update vocational upper secondary education comprehensively for instance by renewing funding system and reducing the amount of vocational qualifations. My main focus was in the questions of equality in this project and I used Capability approach as a tool for that. Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum have introduced the approach and they argue that societies that are seeking equality should offer the basic capabilities for all citizens. Inequality and deprivation are seen as an outcome of lacking enough capabilities. In Finland the approach is a new way of viewing the aspects of equality in education. One of the goals in this thesis was to figure out what are the capabilities that vocational education has to offer. The field of vocational education is wide. I focused on the viewpoint of young people who are studying vocational upper secondary qualifications. The aim of this master’s thesis is to examine how the changes that influence on younger students are constructed in the speech of reforms development phase and how the capabilities are constructed in the speech, especially the capabilities that vocational education offers to young students. The Ministry of education and culture have launched a YouTube-channel that shares video material on the current projects in education. I used the material on the reform of vocational education as the data of this research. The material includes videos that introduce the guidelines of reform and shared conversation of them. Material also shows recordings from the workshops that were held during the development process. Experts on vocational education were participated in the development phase and the data is based on their speech in recorded workshops. I analysed the data using discourse analysis. As a result I constructed five hegemonic discourses that were improved competence, educational market, individuality, offered abilities and offered possibilities. In these discourses were constructed a future where young students will be able to achieve enough capabilities and better competence, although there were many aspects of equality that weren’t discussed at all. Conclusions of this theses is that equality in vocational education still needs attention.
  • Ikonen, Katariina (2019)
    In Finland, no matter what the person’s upper secondary education is, has a right to study in university. Still, it is rare to apply from vocational school to university. For that reason, the phenomenon needs to be examined more clearly. In this thesis the aim is to examine how the university students, who’s earlier educations are vocational education, got interested of university and how they describe their studying in university. The focus is to find out what kind of meanings they give to their life course and what kind of stories they tell. The thesis was done in 2018 and six students participated. The material was collected by narrative interview and the research results were analysed by using narrative thematic analyse method. The focus of the analysis was to examine interviewee’s stories about those moments that they thought was meaningful in getting interested of university. The research results were showing that in the student’s life course had happen some specific moments that were starting to move they closer to university. Those specific moments in their life course did brought their lives to a point that they got interested to study in university. The results were also showing that their road to university has had many different phases and some sad moments too. Students also told that they had felt being outsider because of their educational background and they had doubted how they are going to perform in the studies. The results of the research were found to be consistent with theories that were underlying this research. Especially the Levinson's life course theory of the eras and transitions were part of the results of this study too.
  • Alamäki, Marko (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.
  • Pirttikoski, Virve (2017)
    In Finland, it's commonly believed that getting an education is equally possible for everyone. Education policy that highlights individuality, freedom of choice and efficiency does not acknowledge the cultural and social customs that guide young people's educational paths. At the same time, we remain concerned when they discontinue their studies. From life course perspective, discontinuing studies often only represents one phase of one's educational path. I will call this educational transition the change of study path. The objective of my thesis was to study the narrative of educational paths of young adults who discontinued their vocational studies and transitioned to another vocational education sector. I was interested in what they told about the complex educational paths and changing study paths. In addition, I was interested in the types of resources young people had as part of their educational path, i.e. what options were available to them when making choices about their education. I studied their stories through the concepts of class, resources and geographical region. My thesis is based on life course-narrative interviews of five young adults completing their vocational education. They were between the ages of 19-26 and studied in the Southern Finland educational municipality in three different educational institutions. I gathered the material for this thesis and examined it with the use of narrative inquiry methodology because I was interested in what had been told. The analytical phases were theming and reading. Educational paths and change of study paths appeared in the young adults' stories as diverse and natural parts of their life paths. Changing study path resulted in not knowing, discovering and unequal opportunities. They tried different educational options and searched for a sector that suited them. They may have benefited from having more information on different options at their disposal. The home town's educational options, long distance between home and school, and cultural practices at home had placed the young adults in unequal position. They did, however, have different resources available that helped them discover their own direction. The resources included success in school, family support for getting an education, work experience through practical application, trust based relationships with family and friends and safe home environment. Unequal opportunities to transition educational paths featured in their stories. Their significance should be taken into consideration when planning the development of secondary education education.
  • Heikkinen, Henna (2019)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat – Abstract Aims. Diverse responsibilities and expanding work environments demand teachers to learn continuously in constantly changing conditions in Universities of Applied Sciences. It is important to investigate how teachers learn at work and elaborate the most opportune learning situations. The purpose of this study is to find out how teachers at Universities of Applied Sciences learn in their work environment and how they regulate their learning in various situations. This study aims to answer the following research questions: 1. What kind of meaningful learning situations do teachers at University of Applied Sciences describe? 2.Which aspects of self- and co-regulated learning do the teachers demonstrate in these situations? 3. Which aspects of self- and co-efficacy were related to the learning situations described by the teachers? 4. How were the aspects of self- and co-regulated learning and self- and co-efficacy related to the key learning situations? Methods. The data consisted of semi-structured thematic interviews collected from eight teachers working at the University of Applied Sciences. The interviews contained questions about positive and negative learning experiences and the goals teachers set in terms of their learning and work. The interviews also aimed to find out how teachers seek to develop their own competences, to ascertain the relationship between colleagues and their own learning and competence as well as describe the factors that increase and decrease their self- and co- efficacy. The interview data were qualitatively content analysed by using an abductive strategy. The relationship between regulation and efficacy in the learning situations was then examined. Results and conclusions. The most relevant learning contexts for teachers in University of Applied Sciences were professional community, teaching context and informal learning situations. Reflection appeared as a significant component of regulation of learning among teachers. Other evident components were the substantial use of different strategies and monitoring. Examination of the relationship between regulation of learning and efficacy clarified the relationship and helped to construct a more profound understanding of teachers’ learning in various learning contexts.