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Browsing by study line "Varhaiskasvatus"

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  • Lagercrantz, Tytti (2021)
    Aims. Play is a central part of the day in the day care centers especially as a peer group activity of children. According to the Core Curriculum (2016) adults must support children’s play also by participating in it. Very little is still known about adult-child joint play in the day care centers especially from children’s perspective. The aim of this study is to expand this knowledge by interviewing children. This study examines the ways joint play between children and adults is constructed in children’s stories and the ways participation in the play is defined. Methods. This qualitative study used a narrative approach to examine children’s perspectives. 27 children (11 girls and 14 boys) aged 4 to 6 participated in the interviews in the beginning of 2019. A thematic analysis was applied and a concept of small stories was used as an analytical tool. Results and conclusions. Joint play between adults and children in small stories was constructed especially by voluntary participation. Joint play was constructed through active engagement and commitment. Adults and children were connected in joint play when the themes of play were based on everyday life whereas themes from the media distanced adults from the play. Play was also constructed by sharing knowledge and taking roles. Adults then took for example roles that were undesirable to children. Seems that the ability of adults to take part in the joint play was limited. Other duties of adults and day care center rules restricted possibilities to participate in joint play. In one story children were took into account the conditions when it was possible to play with an adult in the day care center. Participation in play was determined through ownership of the play and also through individual characteristics. Knowledge, skills as well as physical qualities and capabilities defined participation in play. In one story the close relationship between the adult and child made it possible for the adult to participate in play.
  • Honkaharju, Marika (2023)
    The aim of this Master´s thesis was to study children’s experiences in social participation in day care centers. Children’s participation has long been discussed and researched in early childhood education. However, there are differences in how children’s participation is seen and promoted. Participation can be seen as some separate special tasks implemented at certain times. Social participation gives an opportunity to study participation as a way for a child to be encountered and to be part of his or her own community. This study follows the principles of qualitative research and is made by using child-perspective methods. The 5-year-old children were interviewed by the researcher and their stories are the basis of this study. The children had taken pictures of their days in the day care center and these pictures were shown to them during the interviews to help them talk about the events. The material was analyzed by interpreting the stories themselves and by using narrative analysis. Based on the children’s stories the experience of social participation does not require complicated things that are hard to implement. Children feel that they belong to a group through playing and interacting with friends. The stories showed that some children need adults’ support when interacting with their peers, although those children are not always able to express their need. As a conclusion it can be stated that social participation requires a child-friendly environment where the early childhood educators respond to children’s initiatives, support peer interaction and promote children’s individual abilities to belong to their community.
  • Isotalo, Marianne (2021)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract Objectives. Touch is a key part of human interaction. Previous research has shown that touch has many positive effects from the perspective of a child's well-being and development. Touch is especially emphasized when working with toddlers, i.e., children under 3 years of age, as they need a lot of help with basic activities. The aim of this study was to find out how touch appears in toddlers' daytime naps. The research questions were: (1) what kind of touch is in toddlers' nap moments, (2) how is contact built between an early childhood worker and a toddler in toddlers' nap moments, and (3) what factors affect the nature of touch and the functions of touch toddlers' nap moments? Methods. This study was conducted as a qualitative interaction study. The study data included a total of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds. The material was narrowed down to moment that captured toddlers’ nap moments from going to bed to falling asleep. These moments formed 40 episodes lasting 46 minutes and 58 seconds. Multimodal interaction analysis was applied to the limited data. I transcribed the material and examined it gradually. After examining the material, I did a theory-driven content analysis. Results and conclusions. Touching appeared to be a significant mean of interaction during toddlers’ nap moments. The study found three categories of touch, which were controlling touch, soothing touch, and gentle touch. In addition, means of interaction without contact were found in the material. The construction of touch was influenced by the child's behavior and the atmosphere in the daytime nap room. This study emphasized controlling touch, the aim of which was to guide and control the child's activities. The study revealed what kind of touching methods are used in toddlers' naps and how touching was built as part of the interaction between the toddler and the early childhood education worker. Through research, early childhood education could reflect on the construction of touch from a pedagogical perspective. What kind of touch is good care and what other functions does touch have in interaction?
  • Varis, Terhi (2023)
    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the early childhood education and care (ECEC) experiences of children with school attendance problems (SAP), and to identify factors that may lead to SAP. Prior research on SAP has focused largely on individual perspectives, with little consideration given to the combined effect of these factors (Gottfried & Gee, 2017; Lyon & Cotler, 2009). Additionally, previous research has primarily focused on adolescents. This study aims to draw attention to younger children and to the factors that predispose them to SAP. The aim of this study is to pro-vide a comprehensive understanding of the factors and their interrelationships that influence SAP. Methods: A phenomenological approach and narrative research sample were used in this study. Parents of children who had stopped attending school during lower primary school were invited to participate through a research invitation published on Facebook. Data was collected through interviews with two participants and anonymous free-form essays from 16 additional participants. Analysis of the data focused on identifying unifying meanings, meaning structures, and themes in the narratives of the parents. Results and conclusions: The study identified several unifying factors in the preschool and school years of children with SAP. Challenges faced by the children were a clear unifying factor; however, the differentiating factor was how these challenges had affected the child’s ECEC. Based on the parents’ narratives, the ECEC could be divided into four profiles: carefree, survivors, unsatisfied, and passive. The study also found connecting factors in the diagnoses received and the start of school absenteeism. The most significant individual unifying factors were challenges in transitional situations, sensory regulation, separation from parents, and regulation skills. The central unifying themes were overload, withdrawal, and operational control problems. The study concludes that SAP often arises from a combination of risk factors related to the child and unfavorable environmental factors. Additionally, the triggering factor can sometimes play a role in SAP. Play was found to reduce the load experienced by the child and balance the demands placed on child.
  • Perho, Amanda (2020)
    The purpose of the study is to find out how quality improvement is reflected in the leadership work of early childhood education and basic education. The study will also examine the key challenges for quality improvement in early childhood education and basic education. There were two research questions: (1) How do leaders describe quality improvement of early childhood education and basic education in their work? (2) What challenges are faced by leaders in quality improvement in early childhood education and basic education? The aim of the study is to produce information on how leadership in the field of education should be developed. The aim is also to produce information on how to develop high-quality early childhood education and basic education. Previous studies show that leadership can be used to support high-quality early childhood education and basic education. Previous studies also show that leaders in the field of education experience challenges in their work, which is why it is important to support leadership. The research material has been produced in the EduLeaders project, which aims to develop leadership studies in the field of education. The material of the study consisted of group interviews with the heads of day care centres and the principals, and there were a total of nine group interviews. The study extract was based on a phenomenological-hermeneutical approach and the material was analysed through data-based content analysis and theming. The results of the study showed that quality improvement was similar in the leadership work of early childhood education and basic education. According to the experiences of early childhood education and basic education managers, the challenges for quality development were also similar, although there were also differences in the challenges. The research resulted in the meaning structures describing the quality improvement and the challenges of quality improvement. The results of the research showed that quality development is a joint process of the organisation's experts. Quality improvement is carried out in cooperation with different parties, but more effective cooperation models should be developed. According to the study, management studies in the field of education should be developed and more effective management structures should be built for early childhood education. In addition, more systematic evaluation should be developed in both early childhood education and basic education.
  • Norberg, Lilian (2023)
    The purpose of this study is to find out the views of the early childhood education personnel of the city of Helsinki regarding the realization of the quality of early childhood educa- tion. The study examines to what extent there are differences in the quality of early childhood education and to what extent experiences of possible high or low quality have common explana- tions. The aim is to analyze how the early childhood education center, region, and the qualification of the personnel explain possible quality variation, and to examine what other reasons there are for quality variation. The theoretical reference framework of the study consists of the definition of the quality of early childhood education and the review of quality evaluation. The data of the research consist of the answers to the survey carried out by the Education De- partment of the city of Helsinki in the spring of 2023. The survey is part of the early childhood education quality, assessment and management development project and it was sent to all Finn- ish-speaking early childhood education centers in Helsinki. The responses to the multiple-choice questionnaire (Likert) were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance, the Kruskal-Wallis test, and by calculating correlation coefficients. Open answers were analyzed using content analysis methods. When investigating the connection of regional socio-economic factors to the quality of early childhood education, the income and education level of the region according to the postal code of the Statistics Finland's database were used as background variables. According to the research results there are considerable quality differences in Helsinki public early childhood education. Differences in quality were largest between individual ECEC centers and child groups, decreasing when looking at bigger regions. Of the quality factors, the sensitivity related to the interaction between the staff and the children and the identification of the child's needs were the best realized. Shortcomings were seen especially in personnel and space re- sources, in pedagogical leadership structures, and in the implementation of child support. The research results gave indications that the quality of early childhood education in higher-income residential areas is higher than in lower-income areas. The qualification of the staff also had an impact on the quality of early childhood education, but it only explained a small part of the variation in quality.
  • Österman, Helmi (2020)
    The aim of this study is to explore a composing process as a way to support children’s creative agency in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings. The research assignment is to describe, theorize and analyze a composing process in ECE. The research questions are to find out how does the composing process appear in ECE and what factors in the teachers action support children’s creative agency. Based on earlier research, creative and musical activities enhance children’s over all growth, development and learning. The role of teachers is seen important when supporting children’s creative agency. Creative agency as a concept is still new, and earlier studies have raised a need to develop creative and musical activities in ECE. New research and methods are needed to develop abilities to support children’s creative agency. This teacher inquiry was implemented as a qualitative action research, in a group of 5-6-years old children, in an ECE center in Helsinki. Children participated in eight composing workshops that were recorded. The data consisted of seven recordings with 12 children participating in a composing process. The data was analysed as theory-driven content analyzes. The findings of this study show that a composing process can be seen as collaborative practice, where encouraging atmosphere and observing children’s initiatives are key elements. The factors that support children’s creative agency in the teachers action can be divided in two: factors concerning the interaction between the teacher and the children and factors concerning the planning, implementation and evaluation of the activities. Creative agency can be supported by breaking the authority between teacher and children and by planning and changing the activities based on children’s needs and hopes. Based on these results, teachers can support children’s creative agency with they’re own action and a composing process is one possibility to do so.
  • Soininen, Satu (2023)
    Faculty: Educational Sciences Degree programme: Master’s program in Educational Sciences Study track: Early Childhood Education Author: Satu Soininen Title: Children’s perspectives and perceptions about risky play in forest school setting Level: Master’s Thesis Month and year: May 2023 Number of pages: 67 pp + 3 appendices Keywords: adventure education, early childhood education, forest school, outdoor learning, risky play, Supervisor or supervisors: Lasse Lipponen Where deposited: Helsingin yliopiston kirjasto – Helda / E-thesis (opinnäytteet) Additional information: Abstract: Objectives. Children regularly seek risks when playing and enjoy physical challenges such as climbing and jumping from high places. However, safety rules limit children’s risk-taking experiences in preschools and daycare centers. The purpose of this study was to examine through the narratives of 4–5-year-old children how they experience risky play and preferred activities in forest school settings, as well as which activities they understand to be forbidden and what are the rules when playing in forest. Methods. This study was a qualitative study that used narrative research approach to children’s perceptions of risky play. The research material consisted of narrative interviews with 19 4-5-years old children (10 boys and 9 girls). The interviews were conducted in a forest school setting during the fall of 2022. The material was analyzed by applying thematic analysis and utilizing the concept of small stories. Conclusions. In this study, climbing on trees and rocks were children’s most liked risky play activities, which they also partly perceived as dangerous type of play. The children had a clear understanding of the danger of climbing and fast -paced play. They were able to recognize the possibility of harm, injury and pain when playing risky type of play. Imagination play and role-playing were also popular among children. Forest elements such as trees, rocks, and natural materials turned into surfboards, trains, and home play areas. Children liked to build forts and dens and one of the popular types of play was to play animal families in those dens. In their stories about common rules in the forest, children talked about rules related to stick games, climbing, and running and tag games. I interpreted that the children understand the pursuit of safety in rules as well as the protection of the forest and nature. Psychological and social environmental rules also emerged in the children’s stories as rules for including all friends to play.
  • Koponen, Liisa (2022)
    Objectives. The ability to have compassion is crucial for the survival of the human spe-cies and the well-being of communities and individuals. Acts of compassion are mostly done when another person expresses displeasure. The causes of displeasure often depend on time and place. Acts of compassion have been studied extensively in early childhood education in recent years but acts of compassion in a flexible scheduled early childhood education and care have remained unexamined. Flexible scheduled ECEC offers children a different environment, and for this reason, acts of compassion that take place in that context should be studied. This study aimed to find out which moments of displeasure occur in children between the ages of 1 and 5 in flexible scheduled ECEC and which acts of compassion children and adults do in the same context. The study brings an important addition to the field of compassion research, where displeasure and compassion in flexible scheduled ECEC have not yet been studied. Methods. The material is 25 hours of video footage filmed in flexible scheduled ECEC, written notes and a photo. I have identified 42 episodes in which children express displeasure and/or children or adults show compassion. The duration of the episodes varies from a few seconds to more than ten minutes. I have processed the material using the method of qualitative content analysis. I have also analyzed interaction that happens in the moments of compassion. The method has been influenced by the ethnographic approach. Conclusions. The results complement the understanding of the development of dis-pleasure and compassion in early childhood education. Children experience displeasure, for example, in situations where their own will is not fulfilled and their abilities are limited. In times of displeasure, especially adults do acts of compassion. Children also did acts of compassion and compassion initiatives, but these differed from what adults did and there were fewer of them. Children's agency in doing acts of compassion should be strengthened. The acts of compassion they do should be given time and space. Due to the varied composition and age of the group of children in early childhood care, there are plenty of opportunities for developing compassion when the children practice working side by side with different children of different ages.
  • Vähätalo, Niina (2023)
    Objectives. The ability to show compassion has developed in humans to strengthen social relationships and to enable social functions. Compassion is conceived as a state of concern for others suffering and as a desire to alleviate it. Previous studies have determined that compassion in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) is constructed culturally and that it is dependent on the actions of the adults. This study describes how children react when they confront a crying child in the ECEC setting and explores how children take part in showing compassion to crying children. Methods. The research data was 50 hours of video footage. There was identified 27 episodes where children were crying. The children participating in the study were aged between 1-4 years old. Firstly theory-based content analysis was applied in the data and then the categories that were formed were analysed by multimodal interaction analysis. Conclusions. This study highlights the previous studies in which it was defined that compassionate acts in the ECEC are most often performed by the adults. It was determined that the children mostly continued their previous actions or gazed at the compassionate acts that were performed when other children were crying. The children could also refuse to show compassion to the crying child. The compassionate acts that the children performed were made with the support of the adults, together with the adults or independently. In this study compassion was always shown to the crying child. It should be established how to increase children’s compassion in the ECEC and how to utilize the adult’s role in it.
  • Koreneff, Kia (2023)
    Objectives. According to studies, pedagogical documentation is not implemented with sufficient quality in Finnish early childhood education. Because of this kindergartens in Helsinki have introduced digital portfolios as a new way of doing pedagogical documentation. But because portfolios are a new working method, constant evaluation and development is needed. The purpose of this study was to find out children’s experiences with digital portfolios, what is meaningful to children in portfolios and how they see their own participation in making portfolios. The results of this study were used by the city of Helsinki in a project that aimed at developing digital portfolios and having children’s participation as their active agents. Methods. This qualitative study used photo elicitation and children’s group interviews as a research method. 36 children aged between four to six participated in the interviews. The interviews were conducted in kindergartens in Helsinki in the spring of 2023. The material was analyzed using thematic analysis. Conclusions. In this study, the important thing for children were the pictures in the portfolios and especially who was shown in them. According to the children, the purpose of the portfolios is to show what has been done in the kindergarten. Based on this, it can be interpreted that portfolios mostly contain past-oriented documentation, which does not reach the criteria of pedagogical documentation. In this study children hardly mention the planning, evaluation and development that is essential in pedagogical documentation. The children’s own experiences of their participation in making portfolios appeared passive. The children felt that they were viewers of the portfolio and not active creators. Some children wished for a more active role in making portfolios. The children had many development ideas of how to make portfolios more interesting for them. They wished portfolios would be less serious and contain more pictures and colors. The children also hoped that portfolios would contain pleasant evaluation symbols such as emojis.
  • Kaloniemi, Ada (2022)
    The purpose of this master’s thesis is to produce information on the appearance of children’s fear and anxiety in the context of early childhood education and care (ECEC). By drawing attention to the daily actions and situations where fear and anxiety typically take place, it is possible to gather valuable information about children’s wellbeing in the various situations of ECEC. This study examines the situations in which children experience fear and anxiety and how these emotions reflect the children’s behavior. In addition, the study aims to find out how the ECEC personnel relates to the fear or anxiousness of the child. The study was conducted using the Finnish nationwide Progressive Feedback method. The research data was gathered during 2017–2021. A total of 2653 ECEC groups from 18 municipalities participated in the study. The research method used was systematic random sample observation, which included all activities in ECEC between 8 AM to 4 PM. Quantitative methods were used to analyse the data. The observations of fear and anxiety were cross-tabulated with the observations of the general frame of activity, the child’s social orientation, and the actions of the nearest adult. It was found that children show highlighted levels of fear and anxiety when being outdoors or participating in indoor guided activities. Withdrawn and independent social orientations were highlighted among children experiencing fear and anxiety. When examining adults’ reactions to children’s fear and anxiety receptive and negative attitudes were overrepresented. However, negative attitudes should be considered with caution due to the limitations of the data. A closer inspection into the matter revealed that both children’s and personnel’s attitude towards fear and anxiety was context-related. Article manuscript “Children’s observed fear and anxiety in early childhood education” is to be published in the Finnish journal of Psychology.
  • Paaso, Vilma (2021)
    Objectives. The core of early childhood education activities is the interaction between early childhood education staff and toddlers, i.e., children under 3 years of age. The relevance of the interaction is especially emphasized in the basic functions. According to previous research, a child has a need to interact with other children as well as adults. The basic functions are realized in an interaction that makes it a pedagogical event. Singing can be used as a method of pedagogical interaction in basic functions. For example, singing can activate a child as a part of activities and it is also an important goal of early childhood education. The goal of this study was to find out how singing could be used as a method of pedagogical interaction in dressing and undressing situations in a toddler group. Research questions were: (1.) How does singing appear as a method of pedagogical interaction in dressing and undressing situations in a toddler group? (2.) What are the goals of singing in the usual dressing and undressing situations of pedagogical interaction in a toddler group? (3.) What are the consequences of singing as a method of interaction in dressing and undressing situations in a toddler group? Methods. This study was a qualitative interaction study. The total quantity of the video material was 1 hour 35 minutes and 1 second. The video featured moments of singing moments before and after the actual event of singing. These moments were reduced to 24 episodes which total duration was 23 minutes and 34 seconds. Multimodal interaction analysis was used in the study of the episodes. After transcribing the material, I reviewed the material in turn and did a theory-guided content analysis. Results and conclusions. Singing as a method of pedagogical interaction appeared as a diverse method. The study found four categories describing the pedagogical goal of singing: singing as a method of entertaining, a method of soothing, a method of connecting participants in pedagogical interaction, and giving undivided attention to one child. The study emphasized the pedagogical purpose of singing to entertain a child. The research revealed the diversity of singing as a method of pedagogical interaction. In the future, it should be considered what other pedagogical goals can be achieved in early childhood education through the interaction method of singing.
  • Palonen, Sara (2023)
    Since the reader in child begins to form from infancy, children’s books play an important role in the language development. However, there hasn’t been much research on literature aimed at children under 3 years old. The objective of this study is to find out what type of factors are used to attract children to read picture books; how picture, text and different elements attempt to make children’s book interesting and how is it reflected in literature for under 3-year-olds. This research is conducted using discourse analysis, approaching the topic with social constructionism. As for the factors of attraction in children’s books, different discourses arose. The source material included Finnish books published between January 2021 and August 2023 for children under 3 years old, n=24. The discourses found in the study are linked to previous research findings as well as to the children’s worldview, which is reflected in children’s books. Three discourses were found as research results: the discourse of playfulness brings the element of fun to literature, the discourse of child’s development and experience reflects the child’s own world in literature and the discourse of functionality encourages the child to actively engage with the book. In the conclusion it is established that no book relies only on one factor of attractiveness, but they were used in various ways in all the different elements of the books: in pictures, text and other elements. The interaction with an adult is strongly linked to the attraction of reading as well
  • Novitsky-Wahlroos, Noora (2019)
    The purpose of this study was to examine thematics of people’s relationship with nature, as well as the operation "Luonnossa kotonaan - At home in nature" from a scientific point of view. This thesis examines the human-nature relationship of individuals who have been part of ”At Home in Nature” daycare as children. With main intrest being on the central factors which have contributed to the human-nature relationship of the individuals, as well as how they would currently describe their relationship with nature. Previous research into the subject makes it clear that experiences with nature as well as possibilities for independent mobility within ones own environment in childhood has an impact on the human-nature relationship. For the purpose of this study, I have interviewed four adults who in their childhood, participated in ”At home in nature” daycare. The duration which the participants had spent in ”At Home in Nature” daycare varied from one to four years. The interviews were analyzed with an individuals personal human-nature relationship perspective. This perspective originates from envriomental psychology and humanistic geography where the individuals own expereinces and accounts are in the central role. In a wider perspective the way in which humanistic geography and envrionmental psychology interpret personal human-nature relationship can be seen influenced by phenomenology; reality exists and understanding its contents is possible through the individuals experiences. The pivotal point being what those individual human experiences mean for the person themself and how they interpret the world through their own experiences. The main observations of this thesis are: ”At Home in Nature” daycare and the direct experiences with nature it enables has had a positive impact on the human-nature relationship of the participants. In addition to ”At Home in Nature” daycare the human-nature relationship of the participants has been affected by multiple other things, such as their families and childhood home locations. The human-nature relationship has impacted the participants life choice in adulthood as well. The conclusion of this thesis is that the relationship with nature amongs the participants has throughout their life evolved into a strong significant part of their lives, to some it was even extremely significant.
  • Krekula, Siiri (2022)
    This research was interested in early childhood education managers' professional agency in context of pedagogical and human resources leadership. In addition, the early childhood managers’ pedagogical as well as human resources leadership experiences were studied. There is still very little previous research done in terms of early childhood managers’ professional agency but studying it could help in developing the early childhood educational field because according to previous professional agency studies, managers’ professional agency is linked to the personnel. Among other things innovating, developing and taking care of the well-being of staff are part of leadership agency. The data of this Master’s Thesis is based on nine early chilhood education managers' telephone interview transcripts. The telephone interviews, that lasted approximately 30 minutes each, were executed during the autumn of 2021. Transcripts from telephone interviews were analysed using content analysis and narrative analysis. Content analysis of the data identified five categories in early childhood education managers’ experiences in pedagogical leadership (central mission, common goal, consistency, job relevancy and practice in reality) as well as in human resources leadership (service management, presence, ensemble control, discretion and responsibility). Each of the categories had professional agency in early childhood managers’ experiences which was analysed narratively. Early chilhood education managers' experienced pedagogical leadership as important part of the job and they mentioned pedagogy being close to their hearts. Managers described experiences in human resources leadership as serving others but also working under pressure. The experiences of early childhood education managers in pedagogical and human resources leadership included plenty of traits of professional agency. The traits of professional agency adapt to all key moments of previous research theory which are: 1) respecting employee views, 2) drawing conclusions through dialogue, 3) bringing up own expertise, 4) learning and 5) speaking directly. Based on this study, professional agency was an important tool in pedagogical leadership and human resources leadership. Early childhood managers’ professional agency is shown through the decisions the manager is able to make under the sociocultural circumstances at the work place and within their own personal abilities.
  • Vaara, Jenni (2020)
    The early childhood education and care (ECEC) and Basic education introduced a new national Core Curriculum by the Finnish National Agency for education in 2016. Both national norm curricula can be found confluence, and since ECEC transformed under to Finnish National Agency for education in 2015, ECEC, preschool education and basic education becomes an integral part of the lifelong path of growth and learning and of the continuum of curricula. The purpose of this study is to clarify ECE leaders’ and basic education leaders’ views on curricula and curriculum leadership. The research questions are following: (1) How does Curriculum appear in ECE leaders and basic education leaders discussion? (2) What discourses can be identified in both discussions? (3) How does Curriculum Implementation appear in both discussions? This study was conducted using qualitative methods and the used data consists of theme interview collected in the Eduleaders project training. The training involved 10 interviewees working in the context of educational leadership. The material was analyzed by a using discourse analysis with the aim of defining curricula discourses in leaders’ discussions. Four significant discourses were mentioned and can be identified as the following: 1. The discussion about curriculum as a framework 2. The discussion about curriculum as a vanguard. 3. The discussion about curriculum as a challenge. 4. The discussion about curriculum as an enabler. The research results show that both early childhood education leaders and basic education discuss about curricula within the same framework and with the same concepts. The results reveal the curriculum to be in reformation phase in which the old and the new curriculum are confronted. Furthermore, the national curriculum gained a central role as a fundament of work. The distributed leadership and pedagogical discussions occurred in the discussions of both leaders as ways to implement the curriculum. In the discussions about curriculum as challenge the leaders pointed out it being difficult to implement the curriculum in classrooms or child groups, where teachers prefer rather traditional teaching than the alternative methods of the new curriculum. Eventually the slowness and extent of development as well as short-sightness in the field were identified as challenges. However, the discussion illustrates the curriculum positively in terms of child orientation, opportunities to try new things and co-creation.
  • Föhr, Anne (2024)
    Objectives. Early mathematical skills predict future academic success. The development of mathematical skills during primary school years tends to be weaker in children learning Finnish as a second language as compared to native speakers. However, these skills beginto develop early in life, with mathematical vocabulary playing a crucial role. Given that learning the Finnish language is a time-consuming process, there is a growing demand for valid and reliable assessment methods for mathematical skills and vocabulary that do not necessitate speech production in the second language. The SMST Picture Vocabulary Test aims to assess the recognition of words related to mathematics. The first objective of this study is to analyze the reliability and validity of this test, while the second is to examine the role of age, home language, gender, and the duration of participation in Early Childhood Education (ECE) in relation to knowledge of vocabulary. Methods. The data was gathered from children who were Finnish language learners aged 5–7 years (N=100) attending public ECE centers in the capital area. The reliability of the test was evaluated through internal consistency analyses. Additionally, known-group validity and concurrent validity assessments were conducted. Knowledge of mathematical vocabulary was examined through test results, with additional background data collected from teachers. Teachers evaluated the overall language and mathematical skills of the children. The study employed a quantitative approach with statistical analysis methods using the IBM SPSS program. Main results and conclusions. The study suggests that the SMST Picture Vocabulary Test demonstrates weak reliability, yet moderate validity, to be used for children learning Finnish as a second language. Concurrent validity analysis affirms the test to be primarily a vocabulary knowledge assessment tool. The SMST test demonstrated the ability to differentiate between two pre-established groups (Finnish language learners and native speakers) in mathematical skills through knowledge of mathematical vocabulary, thereby supporting the known-group validity of the test. The duration of participation in ECE emerged as the strongest indicator for mathematical vocabulary test results, followed by age, predicting 29 % of the vocabulary knowledge. Gender differences were found, with the results favoring girls. Home language showed no significant relation to competency in math vocabulary. The findings from this study pave the way for further research into the assessment of mathematical vocabulary knowledge among Finnish language learners, with a particular focus on understanding the factors influencing this knowledge.
  • Tuominen, Pinja (2021)
    The aim of this study was to examine how the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) directors describe the pedagogy of children under the age of three and what significances the ECEC directors can give to the pedagogy of said children. The study focuses on analyzing how the pedagogy of under the age of three is discursively constructed by the ECEC direc-tors. Previous studies have shown that the shortcomings in the pedagogy are emphasized especially on the children under the age of three, although it is known that the early childhood phase is very intensive in the development of children. Thus, the pedagogy and discourse of the ECEC directors is very important, as it guides the whole pedagogic work culture. The methodology of this research was based on social constructionism and discourse analy-sis. The data for this master’s thesis was gathered by interviewing five municipal ECEC di-rectors from two municipalities of the southern Finland area. The interviews were conducted in 2020. A qualitative research method which utilized half-structured thematic interviews was used. The interviews were recorded and transcribed and the data was analyzed by discourse analysis. Four different discourses were formulated from the data of the first research problem, how ECEC directors describe the pedagogy of children under the age of three. The following dis-courses occurred in the research material: the whole day pedagogy, research-based, profes-sionalism and pedagogical leadership. Four different discourses were formulated from the da-ta of the second research problem occurred following four discourses: the basis of life, rights of children, sensitive interaction in the middle of the pedagogy and participation of the child. The ECEC directors described pedagogy of the children under the age of three as a unity of education and care. Furthermore, the importance of pedagogy, research basis, professional skills and pedagogic leadership was emphasized in the discussion. The sensitive interaction and participation of the children was the baseline of a good quality pedagogics. The pedagog-ics of the early childhood education was described as an important foundation of life and a privilege of the child.
  • Anttila, Maiju (2023)
    The purpose of this research is to find out what is published about early childhood education in the news. Previous studies have shown that Finns mainly trust the leading national news media, Helsingin Sanomat and Yle. In addition, the research find out and think about how news can influence the public. The research analyzes the topics and language of the news headlines. The research was conducted by the qualitative method, which consists of content analysis that examined online news headlines published by Helsingin Sanomat and Yle news. Through discourse analysis, I also studied the language of news headlines as well as the meanings and images they produce. The research figured out what kind of topics and how early childhood education will be reported in Yle's and Helsingin Sanomat's news in 2022. I will focus on 194 news headlines in the research that was published between the first of April and December 14th, 2022. The research material was selected by including the words early childhood education or daycare that had to be mentioned in the news title. I classified the research material into four categories: crisis, statement, neutral and positive. The results showed that my material consisted of the most of neutral news headlines. Crisis news had the next highest number, and the quantitative difference in positive news was remarkably large. There were only 12 positive news headlines from the entire material. The topics of the news headlines were mainly related to the labor shortage and informing about the spring 2022 strike. Crisis news headlines mainly related to the labor shortage and the word crisis was used a lot in the headlines. Neutral news headlines were expressed without using strong dictions or otherwise bringing out strong opinions. They were mainly related to informing about the strike or like building a new kindergarten. In particular, crisis and statement headlines used quotes or comments that were mostly expressed by ministers or researchers. The research makes me think about what kind of effect news headlines have on the attractiveness and on public opinion of the industry of early childhood education.