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Browsing by study line "Specialeducation"

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  • Liljefors, Annikki (2021)
    The aim of this master’s thesis was to describe special education teachers’ perceptions of the ways to support their students’ reading-related self-concepts. Reading difficulties and reading related learning disabilities create a risk for the development of students’ reading-related self-concepts. Students reading-related self-concept is in many ways related to students’ reading skills and performance in school as well as general well-being. Thus it is important to pay attention to the students’ reading-related self-concepts’ significance and to find means to support it. The theoretical framework used in the study consists of the main themes of the study, which are learning and teaching to read, reading difficulties and reading-related self-concept. The aim of this study was to examine special education teachers’ work in relation to reading difficulties and reading-related self-concept. The purpose was also to find out how special education teachers comprehend the connection between reading difficulties, school-performance and reading-related self-concept. This study focused on describing the ways in which a part-time special education teacher can support students’ reading-related self-concept. This study was a qualitative study and it was carried out using a phenomelological research method. The data was produced by interviewing part time special education teachers in elementary schools. The method of analysis was content analysis. The results showed that part-time special-education teachers’ work was multifaceted and focused on taking into account students’ individual needs and reading difficulties. Reading-related self-concept was seen to have a strong influence on students’ studies and well-being. Part-time special-education teachers used several different methods of supporting their students’ reading-related self-concept: improving students’ reading skills, motivation, collaboration with other teachers and students’ guardians, teacher-student-interaction, differentiating teaching and enabling the feelings of success as well as emotional support and positive working climate.
  • Kankaanpää, Suvi (2021)
    Immigrant mothers are at greater risk, compared to other immigrants, of being excluded from the integrative structures of the employment market and education. Immigrant mothers integrate into society by learning a second language. In this thesis, the subject of interest is the language learning of immigrant mothers in the integration training implemented, partly with their own children’s classroom, in the Parents to school! and the Our turn, Mothers! -projects. Based on previous studies, it is known that immigrant adults’ second language learning is affected by length of stay, background continent, mother tongue, educational background, age, and the amount of use of the new language. The aim is to study how these above-mentioned background variables and the number of children affected the initial Finnish language skills of immigrant mothers in terms of reading comprehension, writing, and speaking. In addition, it is examined how language proficiency developed in the project and whether the initial level of the language skills sub-areas was related to the final language skill level. The data was collected from immigrant mothers who did not speak Finnish well and who participated in the Parents to school! and Our turn, Mothers! -projects in the academic years 2017–2020 (N = 33). The data consisted of group A (n = 16) initial language tests and data collected with the background form, as well as group B (n = 17) initial and final language tests. Group A data was analyzed by examining the correlations between initial language proficiency and background variables. Group B data was analyzed by examining the development of language proficiency in Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) and by examining the correlations between language skills sub-areas in the baseline level and the final level of language skills. Data was analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. Results revealed that the Finnish language proficiency of immigrant mothers had already developed before the start of official integration training, and the development had been influenced by the length of stay and the active use of the Finnish language. In the integration training, language skills developed on average of half CEFR language proficiency level and language skills developed most among those, who scored lowest in the initial test. From language skills sub-areas, the development of language was best predicted by the initial test of speaking. The results of this thesis were in line with previous studies. The results show that integration training with children has developed the Finnish language proficiency of immigrant mothers and that the project has reached a target group that has been outside of the usual integration training.
  • Greus, Eerika (2020)
    The aim of this study was to examine what is relevant to education regarding adolescents' experiences in relation to mental health protective and risk factors, and how their speech reflects their future plans. This study examined factors that are related to well-being and mental health, which were adolescents' strengths, successes in school, experiences and atmosphere in upper comprehensive school, friendships, teacher-student relationships, and future plans. This study was conducted in collaboration with This life of mine -project. The study is qualitative and its data was collected from two schools in the Uusimaa region through free-form questionnaires (n=16) and thematic interviews (n=4) in 2019. Adolescents' in this study consisted of 8th and 9th grade students who have earlier participated in the This life of mine -workshops. Thematic design was used as the method of data analysis. The results indicated that there were many protective and risk factors of mental health in adolescents' experiences. Protective factors included the presence of friends at school, ability to name one's own strengths and successes, positive school experiences and the presence of an adult at school that adolescent can discuss with. Mental health risk factors included lack of friends at school, stress, negative school experiences, for example due to poor teacher-student relationship or too easy school assignments, and the inability to name one's own strengths and successes. It is a sign of wellbeing for adolescents' to plan their future, and most of the people in this study were able to name some of their future plans. Although 65 % of the adolescents' in this study had many protective factors in their lives, it should be noted that up to 20 % had multiple risk factors in their experiences, and 15 % had something in between. Also links between different themegroups emerged. For example, there was a clear connection between naming one's own strengths and experiences of success. Those who named their own strengths were also linked to positive and diverse plans for their future. Teacher-student relationships also had a connection with the positivity of the school experiences. Those adolescents' who did not have a close adult in school also had negative school experiences. As a conclusion there should be more strength-teaching in schools, and versatile feedback methods should be used in all school work. This would help adolescents' in the process of noticing and naming own strengths and successes at school, which would have a impact on the school experiences and well-being. Investing in teacher-student relationships also supports the well-being of students. In addition, the level of school assignments should be adjusted to the needs of each student so that the assignments would support the adolescents’ learning.
  • Jokinen, Sara (2021)
    Vocational education in Finland has gone through major changes due the reform of vocational education and training and Vocational Education and Training Act (2017/531). Students’ right to receive special support in their studies has created new obligations to both education system and teachers. This study is a part of Learner’s right – teacher’s skill project which is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The project develops teacher education within the themes of special support and multiprofessional guidance. This particular study examines what the learning support provided by teachers in a vocational school consists of, what factors influence teachers' ability to provide learning support, and how teachers develop their own skills in meeting the students’ need for special support. This study is a qualitative master’s thesis, where the target group was 29 vocational school teachers or other employees from one vocational school in Helsinki metropolitan area. The research material was collected through group interviews and questionnaires. The research material was analyzed by content analysis. Based on the results of this study, a model of teacher-provided learning support was formed. The model consists of three components, namely social support, learning support and community support. Teachers' ability to support their students was influenced by e.g. the circumstances of the institution, such as financial resources, and personal competence, which included teachers' experience of their own skills and the limits of their profession. Teachers developed their professional skills with the support of the community and through experience. More training was considered desirable, but challenges arose in applying the knowledge and theory gained from the training to practice. The overall picture of the results can be used to find the ways which teachers need to support students in their studies, and how teachers can develop their own skills as identifiers and supporters of the students’ need for support. The overall picture can also help teachers in their professional development on supporting students, as well as guide educational institutions to guide educational institutions to consider support measures in their teaching.
  • Hämäläinen, Ari (2021)
    Most of the world’s population is either bilingual or multilingual. Schools also face multilingualism, and Finland has not escaped the challenges of multilingualism either. Various programs have been developed around the world for the teaching of multilingual students. Mathematics is one of the most important subjects in school, and success in it facilitates access to postgraduate studies, and contributes to employment placement. Language skills also affect the study of mathematics. The aim of this dissertation was to investigate the effects of different bilingual programs on the achievement and development of mathematics among students of different ages. Data were collected from scientific studies. The study included CLIL programs and various immersion programs. The studies were divided into three parts: cohort studies, interventions, and studies on cognition, language exchange costs, and the use of different methods in bilingual curricula. In this dissertation, the material has been compiled by means of a systematic literature review. The research material has been collected from various databases (Eric, EBSCO, PsycINFo, Springer). 31 previous international and 2 Finnish studies were selected as research material, which dealt with the use of different bilingual programs and their effects on mathematics competence. The research material was analysed based on data. The use of CLIL and immersion programs in almost all studies had a positive effect on students ’academic achievement in mathematics. The most positive results were obtained through interventions. The results contributed to confirming the contribution of the Cummins Threshold Hypothesis to the use of bilingual curricula, i.e., learning a second language requires reaching a certain minimum level of language before a learner can benefit from language use while also studying mathematics. Teaching through a foreign language seemed to support and promote students ’mathematical thinking and learning processes. Once thought processes have evolved, the use of a foreign language as a tool for learning appears to be an advantage in cognitive development.
  • Maukonen, Laura (2021)
    The aim of the study is to by a systematic literature review investigate the effect of listening to music in order to reduce math test anxiety. The research questions are: 1. Are there any differences in music styles when trying to affect math anxiety? 2. Does background music lower anxiety in a mathematic test situation? The method of this study is a systematic literature review. The material consists of seven internationally peer-reviewed articles and dissertations. The material was collected from electronic information sources. Principles of thematic analyzing were used in the analysis. According to this study calming classical music was found to lower math anxiety in mathematic test situations, especially among persons who were measured with severe math anxiety. The Mozart effect stands up in the study, but according to this study even other slow paced classical music effects the anxiety and lowers it. However, fast paced, unpredictable music has been found out to either keeping up the anxiety or even increasing it. Low paced classical music seems to have elements, which effect math anxiety by lowering it. However, more studies would be needed on how peoples' own musical preferences or musical history effect lowering the math anxiety. Could one achieve anxiety lowering effects for example in the classroom during a math exam? In this study the subjects of study were 20-30 years old. More studies would be needed on how background music effects the math anxiety in children. Could the background music have an effect on lowering math anxiety in elementary school students during a math exam?
  • Meismaa, Lotta (2020)
    Objectives. The goal of this thesis is to examine methods in which a teacher can prevent challenging behaviour of the students in the classroom and intervene in challenging behaviour in the classroom. Previous research has shown that it would be important for the teacher to try to keep a safe environment in the classroom and to create a warm relationship with the students. Teaching distinct models for interaction in the classroom has been proven to be effective. A goal was to find out how teachers understand and perceive challenging behavior in the classroom. Methods. The research for this thesis was done as a qualitative study based on interviews. The research material contained 8 interviews, with 4 subject teachers and 4 special education teachers. The interviews were made with Zoom, Skype or teams and the teachers who took part were found from different facebook groups that teachers use. The questions about different methods were analyzed through content analysis, and the questions about the teachers’ perceptions about challenging behaviour were analyzed by using discourse analysis. Results and conclusions. The teachers’ perceptions about challenging behavior varied a lot. Some of them brought up factors about the different students when others thought more about their own ways to support the behaviour. The answers were categorized into categories or discourses based on their answers. The results cannot be generalized since the nature of this study, but many different methods were mentioned. A warm relationship and respectful attitude from the teacher towards the students has been proven to be important in preventing challenging behaviour in the classroom.
  • Kangasniemi, Anni (2021)
    This study explores how equality of education is addressed in the education policy analysis of the OECD and the European Union, while also assessing what other special educational aspects the analysis highlights. The study examines these questions in the cases of Finland, Estonia and Denmark. In previous literature, the OECD and the EU have been perceived as proponents of neoliberal educational policies, which are built on the principles of economic efficiency and competitiveness. These policies have been considered as potentially conflicting with traditional Nordic educational policies that emphasize equality. This study is a qualitative master’s thesis. The research material consists of the OECD’s Education Policy Outlooks and the European Commission’s European Semester Country Reports. The research method of this study is content analysis. The study showed that the OECD and the EU seem to have four distinct angles to equality of education in their country reports. These were the equality of students with immigrant background, socio-economic status and its effect on equality, gender equality as well as structural policies that can enhance equality. In terms of special education, the organizations emphasized student performance and questions regarding nature of schools and school quality. These two categories are further divided to more specific sub-categories. For student performance, the sub-categories are student learning results and taking part in education, whereas for nature of schools and school quality, the sub-categories consist of participation of the education system as well as schools as learning environments.
  • Vehviläinen, Emma (2020)
    Teachers play a key role in putting education system reforms into practice. An attempted change may remain superficial or not happen at all unless the teachers commit to it. Therefore, when looking at the implementation of a reform, it is useful to determine how it appears from the point of view of the teacher's work. Since 2011, Finnish primary schools have implemented a three-tier support system which is based on key principles such as the early identification of students' need for support and flexible support arrangements. Changes in support arrangements are reflected in schools, for example, as new forms of collaboration, support planning and monitoring. The public debate surrounding the change has been triggered, in particular, by the inclusion of students in need of support in mainstream classes, which has led to an increase in implementation of support measures in class and subject teachers' jobs. According to national surveys, the implementation of support seems to vary between localities and between occupational groups. The purpose of this study was to describe a city's teachers' work and community characteristics which make it difficult to implement the support as dictated by the regulations. The study used secondary data, which was originally collected as part of an electronic questionnaire given to the staff of the city's Education and Learning Department. The answers of teachers in grades 1-9 (N = 850) were analyzed by means of theory-driven computer-assisted content analysis. The results were structured and interpreted using theoretical models based on the theoretical frameworks of cultural historical activity theory and developmental work research. The results showed that barriers to the implementation of support experienced by the teachers were strongly linked to community characteristics. The structural factors and operating culture of the schools were not developed to a level that would allow the use and development of new working methods. Problems with scheduling appeared as disturbances of work. Lack of resources was seen as a factor that reduced the speed with which the implementation and planning of support could be done in all areas of the work community. Efforts were made to improve the implementation of support by improving the distribution of support and introducing new ways of working. Differences between the occupational groups were observed both in the problems of implementing the support and in the attempts to solve those problems.
  • Saarelainen, Nelli (2020)
    The aim of this study was to explore general upper secondary school students´ experiences of well-being – what it consists of and what kind of support is needed from school. Legislation of general upper secondary education has been reformed in the fall of 2019. Because of the reform, greater attention should be paid for students´ well-being and learning support, and special education in general upper secondary education is statutory. Students´ well-being has been widely in public discussion lately. In previous research school burnout has been central. In this study, the aim was to approach the topic from a welfare perspective. The focus is on the students' own experiences. This study is a qualitative master´s thesis, where the target group was 29 general upper secondary school students from three different general upper secondary school. The research material was collected through six focus group interviews and questionnaires. In the study, students were able to share their own experiences and ideas regarding educational support, well-being and coping. The research material was analyzed by content analysis. Result from the study showed that students´ well-being consist of three dimensions: life management, school conditions and social relationships. Every dimension is further divided into several parts. Life management consists of self-direction, lifestyle and health. School conditions are divided into studies, the possibility of self-realization and the physical conditions of school. Social relationships consist of students´ own support network and the general atmosphere of general upper secondary school. Every dimension needs to be balanced so that adolescent´s well-being can be achieved. The research results highlighted the students' own role, but support from the general upper secondary school is needed.
  • Ruoho, Noora (2020)
    Positive pedagogy relies on seeing the good in people and focusing on strengths. In addition to learning, the pedagogical trend aims to increase well-being and happiness. Character strength education, which is closely attached to positive pedagogy, supports everyone to grow into an incomparable person with their own unique set of character strengths. Previous research has shown that character strength education is widely associated with success in life in many different areas. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of character strength intervention based on See the good! -pedagogy developed by Finnish researchers Lotta Uusitalo and Kaisa Vuorinen. The study focused in particular on six character strengths, which were perseverance, self-regulation, perspective-taking ability, creativity, social intelligence, and teamwork skills. The study observed the possible change in students' understanding and development of the strengths during intervention. In addition, the study examined the importance of sex in possible changes produced by the character strength education. This longitudinal research was part of a larger project in Finland called #uuttakoulua. The research data was collected from students in basic education (n = 240) in two different parts with an electronic questionnaire. The study included both test group that received character strength education (n = 184) and a control group that participated in traditional education (n = 56). IBM SPSS Statistics 24 was used for data analyzes. The analysis methods were the analysis of variance of repeated measurements and the t-test of repeated measurements. The analyzes revealed that both the understanding of social intelligence and perseverance in the test group increased statistically significantly compared to the control group. There was no statistical significance in the development of strengths between the test and control groups. Despite this, self-regulation, perspective-taking ability and social intelligence improved regularly with the participants in test group. According to the analyzes, gender was not a determining factor in the study. The results suggest that the program has the potential to increase students' understanding of character strengths and develop related skills regardless of gender.
  • Relander, Annukka (2021)
    The psychometric properties, validity and reliability, of numeracy assessment have a significant role in identifying students’ special education needs in mathematics. Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the validity and reliability evidence of numeracy measures used by teachers at the elementary school for children aged 9 through 12 years. Methods: A systematic search of Cinahl, Embase, ERIC, PsychINFO and PudMed abstract databases was completed up to the March, 2020. The abstracts and articles were evaluated independently by two reviewers according to the inclusion criteria. Consensus was reached by discussions. Only peer-reviewed articles reporting psychometric properties of numeracy measures and published in English were included. Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P, 2015) guidelines were applied for reporting. The terminology and classification of psychometric properties followed the Consensus-Based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) guidelines. Three validity properties and three reliability properties were searched and extracted from the articles. Results: Of the 4763 abstracts 921 full-text articles were screened and 13 studies met the inclusion criteria of this review. Two additional studies were identified through reference search. Half of the psychometric properties of the numeracy measures were not studied and reported in the articles. All the six reliability and validity properties were found for one measure. The evidence on the psychometric properties was limited for most of the measures due to the incomplete or missing psychometric data. Conclusions: The validity and reliability of the measures is limited and further evidence and research is needed.
  • Lehtonen, Jarno (2020)
    This article-based master’s thesis describes and examines the debate around the comprehensive school through the concept of inclusion. The material was obtained from the opinion pieces, published in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in 2009-2019. The dissertation was inspired by the international MAPS (Mixed classes And Pedagogical Solutions) project, which explores the opportunities of schools to meet the challenge of inclusion from a societal perspective. The cornerstone of the dissertation was the Salamanca Statement signed in 1994, in which Finland made a commitment to improve the educational inclusion. The aim was to find out, how inclusive school is constructed in opinion pieces, how the views of different groups of writers differed from each other, and how the core of the idea of inclusion – human rights and dignity – were reflected in the writings. An essential - and also timely - topic of discussion for the dissertation was the three-tier support model that came into force in 2011, which took the comprehensive school into more inclusive direction. In total, 94 opinion pieces was analysed in this study, to increase under-standing of how inclusion is defined in public discussion. Based on the opinion pieces, the inclusion was strongly linked to the relationship between the special and general education. The school was described as a place where the resources available, as well as the resilience and adequacy of teachers, do not meet the challenge of inclusion. In the end, relatively little attention was paid to the core of the idea of inclusion, human rights and dignity. The most challenging barrier for implementing the inclusive school was the behavioral problems. Based on the research data, inclusion was not opposed as an endeavour, but it seems that there are no possibilities to implement it due the lack of resources. This seems to cause a backlash, that turns many thoughts to the opposite, an exclusive direction. To secure everyone’s learning, new ways of discipline are needed. Research article “Savings and non-compliance with international agreements. Inclusion discussion of comprehensive school at the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper opinion column in 2009-2019” is to be published in the NMI-Bulletin magazine in autumn 2020.
  • Ojala, Sonja (2021)
    The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes of general upper secondary school teaching staff towards support for learning as a part of their job. Furthermore, this study focuses on the professional agency and orientations of the teaching staff in the context of general upper secondary education reform. One of the pivotal changes in the reform is the legal right of students to receive special needs education and other support for learning in accordance with their needs. It is stated in the new core curriculum that special needs education will be provided by a special needs teacher, whereas other support for learning will be implemented by teaching staff as a whole. This study was carried out as a qualitative case study. 19 members of teaching staff in one general upper secondary school participated in the study, including subject teachers, guidance counsellors and a special needs teacher. The data was collected through six focus group interviews and an online survey. Topics covered in the interviews and the survey included providing support for learning, defining one’s role and its boundaries at work as well as values related to work. The data was analysed using content analysis. Based on the results of this study, teaching staff perceives support for learning to be important in general upper secondary education. However, their opportunities to give support in practice are influenced by multiple external and personal factors as well as factors related to the work community and students. Teaching staff finds it challenging to support their students especially due to large group sizes, lack of time, student hesitation to seek and receive support, and the limited skills of subject teachers. The results indicate that strong professional agency is especially practiced by subject teachers in class. On the other hand, as general upper secondary education undergoes several reforms, teaching staff points out that their responsibilities increase while resources are inadequate. In this study, four types of participants’ professional orientations were found regarding their perceived core tasks at work. According to the teaching staff, the main objectives of general upper secondary education are to provide students with extensive general knowledge and skills for the future as well as to support their personal growth.
  • Järvenpää, Taina (2018)
    The aim of this study was to provide visibility to everyday life challenges caused by the Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome. Through the experiences of the parents of children and adolescents with Tourettes, this research has aimed to examine what kinds of challenges Tourettes causes, how it is recognized within welfare and education, and what kinds of support are available. When compared to other neuropsychiatric disorders, very little re-search on Tourettes exists. Likewise, there is not much literature about Tourettes availa-ble in Finnish, so herein lies a need for a study such as this. Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome is a common neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple motor tics, and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. A symptom called coprolalia, the utterance of obscene words, has made Tourettes, other-wise quite a rare syndrom, famous. Symptoms of Tourettes are usually divided into mo-tor and vocal tics. This research represents a new way to divide its symptoms and high-light its challenges, i.e. internal and external symptoms. The data was collected from Facebook peer-group volunteers by using Helsinki Universi-ty’s e-form. A qualitative study of a total of 23 participants' experiences of the challeng-es of children and adolescents with Tourettes emphasizes multiple symptoms and every-day life challenges. The results indicate that most challenges are caused by internal symptoms, like aggression and tantrums. The frequency of these should be pointed out in literature. Most challenging in schools was the lack of understanding with regards to the involuntary nature of tics, and the demand of authorized diagnoses before granting pupils support for their studies. The Finnish support system is not based on medicaliza-tion, so this aspect is in need of development, since a child who has Tourettes is chal-lenging not only for their parents’ relationship, but also for their own relationship with their siblings. Therefore, more support for the family should be provided.
  • Silokangas, Karoliina (2021)
    The aim of this study was to establish which ways are used to support the learning of students whit an immigrant background and explore what kind of cooperation is done. Pupils with immigrant background are foreign language learners whose native language is different from the school's language of instruction. Language and language competency are key factors in learning. Emerging language skills can therefore create challenges for learning. Immigration has been on the rise since the 21st century and the number of foreign language learners has also been on the rise. It appears that in the future there will be a growing number of pupils in Finnish primary schools whose native language is not the same as the school's teaching language. The aim of this study is to highlight how these students are currently supported in Finnish primary school and in which ways. This study is a qualitative master's thesis. The research material was collected using an electronic questionnaire containing two open questions relating to the subject of the study. Research material was analysed using the ATLAS.TI software as an aid to analysis. In relation to the two open questions of the questionnaire, a total of 1289 respondents responded to this study, all serving as teachers in the primary school. Based on the results of the study, various means of learning support are used as support for students with an immigrant background. Cooperation of professionals from different fields of the school is also done to support those students. There are also challenges in supporting students with an immigrant backgrounds. Support for learning consisted of using individual learning material, differentiating, ensuring understanding, support for peers, and flexible teaching arrangements. In light of this as well as previous studies, support for students with an immigrant backgrounds are diverse and varied.
  • Koponen, Mari (2020)
    The purpose of this study was to describe and produce novel information on the special needs of general upper secondary school support. The new Act on General Upper Secondary Education obligates general upper secondary schools to provide stronger support for learning, studying and well-being. Previous research has focused more on identifying special support needs of students in general upper secondary schools. The research has been also focusing on revising the Act on General Upper Secondary Education. On the other hand, students' own views on the subject have been relatively little described. In the previous research, support received by general upper secondary school students has shown to be uneven: for example, the size of a school or regional difference have influenced access to support. This study aims to describe the support students have received, their experienced need for support, and to present the factors contributing to learning, studying, and well-being at school as narrated by students. 29 students from three general upper secondary schools in the metropolitan area of Helsinki participated in the study. The research material consisted of focus group interviews and electronic questionnaire. The students participated in both. The analysis was made by qualitative content analysis, which enabled the students' own views and experiences to show. The students who participated in the study described their received and experienced support similarly. Also, the factors described in more general terms that promote learning, studying and well-being at school were similar to these. Support for learning and studying was described with concrete examples and wishes, which were often focused on a particular school personnel. Responses to school well-being, on the other hand, emphasized the whole school community more broadly, and the wishes for a better school well-being were not always directed for certain personnel. Common to all these research results was the need for time and presence of staff, the support allocated individually, and functional information about the support possibilities to promote learning, study and well-being at school. At the same time, the importance of one's own know-how to get support was highlighted. The results of this study were in line with previous studies.
  • Tetri, Minna (2021)
    The aim of this study was to investigate how the language comprehension of 3-4-year-old children is related to early numeracy skills. Language has been shown to be a strong predictor of overall mathematical development, but previous research on such young Finnish-speaking children is still limited or the association has not been examined in detail across domains. This study will provide information on whether the association can be used in the future to identify children with low numeracy skills, which will be useful for early and appropriate targeting of interventions. The study data consisted of the results of the Lene test (neurodevelopmental screening method for toddlers and preschoolers), the Early numeracy test and the Lukiva test for 3-year-old children (N= 157) and 4-year-old children (N= 190) obtained in the initial sample of the Toimi ja Opi research in 2019. Correlations and linear regression analysis were used to examine the relationship between early language comprehension and early mathematical skills. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS Statistics version 26. Results and conclusions. The results of the study support previous research on the link between early language comprehension and early numeracy skills. The strongest and clearest association was found between language comprehension skills and mathematical relationship skills. The language comprehension of a 4-year-old child explained 53% of the variation in mathematical relationship skills of the same age. Another strong association was found between early reading skills and counting skills in a 4-year-old child, with a 47% explanatory power for early reading skills. This finding suggests that in the future ECEC should pay attention to the mathematical relationship skills of children with language comprehension challenges and target support to develop these skills. Early and well-targeted support prevents mathematical learning difficulties later.
  • Lahdelma, Minja (2021)
    Goals. The aim of this study was to examine the challenges autistic university students face when searching for a job, and the supporting structures that universities offer. Research on autistic graduates’ transition between university and employment is scarce. The numbers of autistic students are on the rise in higher education. It is important to evaluate the structures that universities have in place to support their transition into employment. The autism spectrum condition manifests differently with every individual but there are some common characteristics: challenges in social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive and/or restricted behaviour. These characteristics can present challenges during job application. Research shows that especially job application and the processes involving it can create barriers for autistic graduates. Methods. The data is collected as a part of the IMAGE Project. Participants were Finnish autistic university students or recent graduates (n=7) and career advisors (n=5). Data was collected through semi-structured interviews during spring 2019. The interviews were transcribed and then analysed using grounded theory. Results and conclusions. This study shows that many autistic students didn’t use career services even though they recognized needs for support in searching for a job. Three aspects affected students seeking support from career services: 1) need for support and recognising it, 2) meeting the need for support and 3) accessibility of support. Many of the support needs expressed by autistic students were met by services offered by universities, but problems with accessibility of career services created barriers which hindered students from using the services. There were structures in place that guided students into career services but often getting help demanded that students actively seek it. This demand for self-directness may form a barrier for many autistic students. Based on this study universities should create systematic structures that guide students into services as effortlessly as possible.