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Browsing by study line "Yleinen ja aikuiskasvatustiede"

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  • Nyberg, Lina (2022)
    Horse enthusiasts have insufficient knowledge about horse behaviour and welfare (BW) and learning and human-horse communication (LC), which poses a risk for both human safety and horse welfare. The main objective of this study was to investigate why riding school pupils participate or do not participate in non-riding education in BW and LC, using Self-determination theory (SDT). SDT posits that the quality of motivation is related to the individual’s basic psychological needs. A convenience sample of 568 riding school pupils from Finland and Sweden completed an online questionnaire. The results show that forty percent of the riding schools offered education in BW, and thirty-two in LC. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents had participated in education in BW, and twenty-five in LC at the riding school. The respondents were autonomously motivated to participate in education, i.e., they would participate because it is interesting and personally important. Perceived needs satisfaction at the riding school predicted autonomous motivation to participate. Education was offered to a greater extent in Swedish riding schools and Swedish participants participated more, experienced more autonomous motivation, and relatedness and competence satisfaction. To our knowledge, this study is the first to explore riding school pupils’ motivation towards non-riding education.
  • Heinonen, Rose (2023)
    Aims. It is generally known fact that personnel training is the most extensive form of adult training in Finland, and for many organizations, competent personnel is mandatory and ensures competitiveness. The goal of the study was to find out what kind of meanings personnel training has for people working in the personnel service sector and what factors encourage and discourage them to participate in the training offered by the employer. The research examines the meanings employees attach to personnel training and their effects on the employees’ own, subjective experiences. The key here is how employees value personnel training. The review also includes what kind of factors guide employees to apply for training offered by the employer and, on the other hand, what factors slow down applying for training. Methods. The material used was the interview material, which consists of interviews with nine people working in a company in the personnel service sector. Five of the interviewees were female and 4 were male. The interviews were carried out using a Teams connection in the spring and summer of 2021. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. The interviewees were treated anonymously throughout the research process, as was the company where they work. The analysis method of the data was material-based discourse analysis, and discourse categories containing different meaning systems were constructed from the speech of the interviewees. The starting point here was the speech of the interviewees and the social reality built up in their speech and its examination and analysis. Results and conclusions. The research showed that for all interviewees, personnel training is extremely important and is considered an intrinsic value and self-evident part of the organization. The interviewees see themselves and the organization as active and reciprocal actors and consider themselves responsible for their own competence. Many interviewees built their views on personnel training using the 70/20/10 model. The incentives for applying for training were seen as the development of one’s own competence and the efficiency of operations, as well as collectivity. On the other hand, online mediation, scheduling challenges and content and implementation irrelevance were seen as discouraging factors. On-site training that connects colleagues and develops one’s own core competence is seen as a desirable. On the other hand, online training offered a short notice with irrelevant content is one that you don’t want to participate in. The basis of all this is employee’s strong idea that learning and skill development are seen as positive self-values.
  • Hildén, Sofia (2023)
    The purpose of this master's thesis is to study experiences and impact of racism in the school environment on Finnish, racialized people who identify themselves as men. The thesis recognizes the impact of sex in experiences of racism, and I was interested in knowing what kind of meaning the interviewees gave to their experiences. The thesis follows the theory of hegemonic masculinity by sociologist Raewyn Connell as well as the theory of racialization by Robert Miles. Earlier studies have shown that the Finnish schooling system entertains discriminating practices and racism. The experiences of racism of immigrant boys in schools and learning institutions have also been studied. It is however important to note that racism affects not only immigrant pupils, but also racialized Finnish students. The study is conducted as a group interview. There were five participants and the group interviews organized via Teams took place in the spring of 2023. Themes discussed in the interviews were identity and its formation, the interviewees experiences of racism at school as well as how it was intervened and what kind of antiracist actions the interviewees recognized from schools and learning institutions. The analysis of the interviews was made with thematic methodology. All of the interviewees had experienced racism at school and described that sex mattered in their experiences of racism. According to my results the experiences of racism shaped the young men's conception of themselves, their identity and their inclusion in Finnish society. Operating in a group of racialized men and identifying themselves as part of it defined what kinds of meanings the interviewees gave to racistic situations in school context as well as how and with whom they verbalized their experiences.
  • Salmijärvi, Linda (2024)
    Prolonged higher education studies and delayed graduation is a relatively widespread problem in Finland. Many higher education students fall behind in their pace of studies, and many distinct factors contribute to this. The purpose of this study was to gain understanding of the factors that hinder or promote studies and explore the variety of study paths that slow progressing students have had. In particular, the study explores stu-dents' perspectives on the events that have influenced the pace of their studies. The study used pre-collected longitudinal interview data set from four students whose study pace was slower than recommended and whose study progress had been followed over a three-year period. The participants were humanities students at the University of Helsinki. Two interviews were conducted with each student participating in the study. The first interviews were conducted in 2011 and the second interviews in 2013. The data consists of a total of eight interviews, which were analyzed using a theory-based content analysis approach. The research questions were: 1) Which factors promote or hinder slowly progressing students' study progress? 2) What kind of learning paths do slowly progressing students have and what are the meaningful events in their learning paths? Results of the study show that the factors that promote studies can be divided into factors related to the university and factors related to the students. University-related factors included, for example, effective course arrangements and adequate guidance. Student-related factors were divided into internal and external factors. Student-related factors included a high level of motivation, enthusiasm towards learning and finding a direction in their studies. Factors that hinder learning were also divided into university-related factors and student-related factors. University-related challenges included overlapping courses, insufficient guidance, and difficulty in finding information. Student-related challenges included lack of priorities in studies, a general lack of ambition in studies and working while studying. In summary, students need more support and guidance from the university as an organization, as well as clearer teaching arrangements. To make higher education studies progress as smoothly as possible and within time limits, we need more focused and purposeful guidance throughout each student's study path.
  • Rissanen, Nenna (2020)
    The purpose of this study was to examine how HR professionals working in private employment sector view and experience their own expertise. Expertise is a phenomena that can be interpreted in many ways and it has been studied a lot from different perspectives. In this study the focus was on professional expertise and on experience of having expertise. My research question was: What kind of perceptions HR professionals have of their own expertise? With this research question I wanted to find out how the HR professionals view their own expertise, what are the main elements of it and what kind things and experiences affect the development of their expertise. This research was a qualitative case study. The research data was collected by interviewing eight HR professionals working for a private employment company WorkPower Oy. I used thematic interviews as a data collecting method. The research data was analysed with a phenomenographic analysis. The phenomenographic analysis focuses on individuals’ perceptions and experiences on certain phenomena. The results of this study show that the expertise of the HR professionals consists of many different elements. Wide enough knowledge, capacity to act, social skills and ability to reflect one’s actions and know-how are key elements of HR professionals’ expertise. Also the ability to find the right words in different situations is vital, since the work in human resources is mainly based on interaction with different people. In addition, this study showed that constant learning and development of one’s skills and knowledge is also important to the expertise of HR professionals. There are several different challenges to the development of expertise, such as a busy working schedule, constant changes in one’s daily work and insufficient support. According to this study, practical experience and work-based learning are crucial for the development of expertise for the HR professionals working in private employment sector.
  • Hyttinen, Heini (2022)
    This master’s thesis aimed to identify and analyse the most relevant job resources that support and promote workplace well-being in knowledge work, focusing on the social and organisational aspects as well as their functional prerequisites. Previous studies have shown that job resources help cope with work goals, alleviate job demands and mental and psychological stress, as well as encourage growth and development. This thesis is based on a resource-centred approach by approaching workplace well-being from the view of positive psychology – seeing that workplace well-being forms in the interplay of social and organisational practices as well as the job itself, which the individual interprets from their own perspective. The study utilises the Job Demands Resources Model (JD-R) as well as Perceived Organisational Support Theory. The research material was collected through a semi-structured thematic interview of eight knowledge workers. The interviewees worked as architects, designers, engineers and in HR. The analysis of the interviews was conducted through a theoretically guided content analysis. The most essential social aspects supporting the interviewees’ workplace well-being were organisational culture and work atmosphere as well as workplace communication. The most essential organisational resources were autonomy and perceived organisational support. The most important perquisites for these resources were general attitude, allocated time resources and work community skills. The organisational and social aspects are best able to support the workers’ well-being when the individual’s, work community’s and organisation’s attitudes, action and allocated time meet. The results are in line with previous research and support the JD-R model and Perceived Organisational Support Theory.
  • Hormu, Riikka (2024)
    Working life has changed over the last few decades and the demands placed on the employee have increased. The well-being of working-age people in Finland has weakened and one in four Finns are at risk of burnout. This challenges the implementation of corporate social responsibility in a sustainable way. The psychologisation of society and individualism is emphasized which enables the use of therapeutic ethos in our society. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the manifestation of therapeutic ethos in the corporate world, specifically in corporate responsibility work. The focus was on the ideal of employee extended to the ideal of citizenship, for which I created a new concept, hybrid citizenship, based on theoretical framework. My research questions were 1) How is therapeutic ethos manifested in the sustainability reports of professional services companies? 2) What kind of hybrid citizenship is conveyed in the sustainability reports of companies provoiding professional services? The data of the thesis consisted of the sustainability reports of four international companies provoiding professional services and operating in Finland. The documents covered the companies’ sustainability activites in the previous year or the previous financial year. These reports are from the time period 2021–2023. The thesis was conducted as a qualitative study using discourse analysis. The thesis results showed that the corporate sustainability reports of the companies reflect the ideal of hybrid citizenship and indicate the realization of therapeutic ethos in the operations of these companies. Hybrid citizenship was expressed as an ideal of a healthy, committed and courageous top performer, whose realization demanded excellence, continuous self development and well-being. The therapeutic ethos was manifested through the methods of free liberal governance revealed in the documents. These findings can be used to plan corporate social responsibility measures. In addition, the thesis can help companies to look at sustainability objectives and measures from critical perspective and develop the effectiveness of social responsibility components in terms of the company’s responsibility in achieving the sustainability development goals at both company and societal levels.
  • Niskanen, Tiina (2021)
    Previous studies indicate that a background in elite sports is seen as a positive experience in recruitment. However, concurrently many elite athletes feel that finding the first job after a sports career is both challenging and time-consuming. Studies addressing generic skills have shown that skills especially valued in work-life in today`s society are good co-operative skills, goal orientation, persistence, and commitment. Studies made in the field of elite sports show that these skills are found and highlighted precisely among employees who have an elite sports background. The purpose of this study is to examine recruiters’ viewpoints on how they find a job applicant’s experience in elite sports and what type of generic skills they associate with elite athletes. Moreover, the purpose is to clarify how recruiters feel that their own background influences their perspective as recruiters. There were eight recruitment consultants from an international company in the recruitment industry participating in the study. The study used qualitative research method and the data was collected using semi-structured theme interviews and analysed using a theory-based content analysis. The analysis was guided by the data as well as the hypothesis formed based on Mustonen (2016) whereby a sports background of a recruiter is felt to have an influence when recruiting elite athletes. Theoretical background was also conducted by previous research on present-day generic skills and elite athletes’ transition from sports into working life. Recruiters who are former athletes felt that they understand the demands and sacrifices of elite sports and value the skills gained through sports. Recruiters that did not have a sports background comprehended elite sports more often as a hobby or as an experience similar to collective activities, whereas recruiters with sports background saw elite sports as work experience. The recruiters had rather similar views on elite athletes’ generic skills, which highlighted good interpersonal skills, co-operative skills, commitment, and goal orientation, as in the earlier research. The study showed that elite sports experience is seen in varying ways depending on the recruiter, and it articulated the importance of the ability of job applicants with elite sports background to verbalize their generic skills during a recruitment process.
  • Jantunen, Maria (2022)
    Objectives. Parents of preschool children need to consider several questions concerning the children’s use of digital media. Should they limit the screen time strictly or act more freely according to the situation? The existing research on the topic is varied and mostly concerns school aged children and adolescents. The aim of the study was to find out whether parents of preschoolers consider themselves get enough support and information to help in decision making concerning digital media use. Research questions were: What kind of experiences do parents of preschoolers have of their children’s digital media use? What kind of support do parents wish to have and what kinds of wishes do they have? Methodology. The research material was attained through interviewing five parents of preschool children concerning their experiences of children’s digital media use. The material was analyzed through content analysis. Results and conclusions. The parents identified several positive and negative effects that digital media use has on children. They had diverse, well-functioning procedures when it comes to screen time, restrictions and rules. Both the parents applying strict restrictions and the ones who restrict only a little did implement principles of dialogical parenthood. Parents expressed a need to get much more material and support for preschoolers’ media education than they do at present. They wished to get more support both from child welfare clinics and from daycare. Parents of preschoolers could be supported in media education through available material and support at child welfare clinics and at daycare. The effects of this kind of support on the everyday life of families and parents’ experiences of media education could be further researched for example through intervention or case study.
  • Vaittinen, Henriikka (2022)
    The aim of this research was to find out how the digital media use of Finnish children and young people has been researched and which themes and topics are emphasized in it. The research questions were guided by the generally noted problems and the prevalence of the concern-based research in the research field. Previous research has highlighted, that the theory and methodology of digital media research should be improved (Orben ym., 2020; Granic ym., 2020). Digital media has caused wide concern generally, but especially with children and young people using it (Orben, 2020b). This way of thinking can be seen in the research as well (Orben, 2020b). This research focuses on gaps of the research on the digital media use of Finnish children and youth. The research questions were answered using metascience, which aims to evaluate and improve research practices (Ioannidis ym., 2015). The data is composed of 119 research articles published between 2015 and 2020. Classification and thematic analysis were used to analyze the data. The results had a lot in common with the earlier research. Digital media was a popular research topic, cross-sectional studies and self-reported measures were common and open science approaches (Avoimen tieteen koordinaatio, 2020) were rare. Also the age groups of young people and adults were comparatively common, most of the journals were of the basic level (Julkaisufoorumi, 2022) and quantitative research methods were used more often than qualitative methods. The most highly researched theme was digital media use in general. This shows what a diverse phenomenon digital media is. The diversity adds to the need to be thorough with concept definitions used. The research themes showed signs of concern-based research. This point of view stood out from the themes of threats of digital media use and problematic use of digital media. Future research should address these research gaps, add the use of the open science approach and diverse the research themes of digital media use.
  • Hänninen, Minna (2023)
    According to the results, female entrepreneurs define their entrepreneurial identity in many ways. Both individual and social factors are part of the negotiation of entrepreneurial identity. In the entrepreneurship of women entrepreneurs, self-listening and realization are meaningful. In addition, societal factors is also a factor of formation of one's own entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial identity. Balance between one's own well-being and self-fulfillment is important in the entrepreneurship. The study supports previous research on women's holistic way of acting as entrepreneurs (see Kyrö 2004). Some of the female entrepreneurs wanted to keep the size of their company small, which supports previous research. However, in this study, there were also female entrepreneurs whose goal was to grow their business, or their business had already expanded internationally, which differs from previous research data. In addition, with this study, it was revealed that for the female entrepreneurs in the study, taking care of their own well-being is an important part of their entrepreneurship.
  • Meriläinen, Pauliina (2020)
    Background: The purpose of this study is to bring understanding of what elements enable experts' knowledge sharing in digital service organizations. In digital service organizations the organizational structure is often project-based. Customer projects start and end throughout the calendar year, and the employees working within them may change along with the new projects. In addition, digital service companies have been actively hiring new employees. Rapidly grown number of new employees and the fact that the closest co-workers change throughout the year may cause challenges to the employees’ knowledge sharing within projects and beyond them to the wider organization. The elements which interrelation with employees’ knowledge sharing is examined in this study are self-determination theory’s three basic psycholog-ical needs, empowering leadership, and psychological safety. The theoretical framework is based on the concepts of knowledge and expertise, and on the previous research about the basic psychological needs and autonomous motivation, empowering leadership, and psychological safety at work. Problem: The aim of this research is to gain more understanding of what elements enable employees’ knowledge sharing in digital service organizations. The viewpoint is in the conditions where the employees operate at work. Methods: The nature of the research is qualitative interview study. The research material was collected by interviewing eight employees in one digital service company in spring 2020. Empirical data was analysed by theory- and data-driven content analysis. Results: The results of this study imply that the informants’ views on knowledge sharing at work were in line with the previous studies. All the elements examined interrelated with employees’ knowledge sharing as enabling it. Significance: The results bring understanding of what elements in organizations can enable employees’ motivation, ability, and opportunity to share their knowledge at work.
  • Tukiainen, Miili (2021)
    The aim of this study was to examine what type of assumptions leaders working in central government agencies and institutions have when it comes to the qualities and abilities of a manager as a coach. The other aim was to observe its effects on well-being capital. The study introduces a current issue because modern organizations are more interested than ever in taking their leadership culture one step further and going into an interactive and individualized working environment. Managerial coaching provides an implement for this need. This study’s qualitative material was collected in the spring of 2021, with the use of theme interviews. The material included interviews of eight leaders, working in central government agencies and institutions. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using the dialogical thematic analysis method. It provided the theoretical insights and earlier research results to interact with the collected material as well as with the researcher’s own assumptions. The formed categories (28) were created from the interview material, and the analysis ended up with five themes. These themes described the viewpoints, qualities, and abilities of managerial coaching as well as its impact on competence development and coaching interaction. The well-being capital formed a theme of its own, including the examination of the extended view on the intellectual capital. The results of this study were found through the dialogue of the materials from the interviews and the earlier theory and research findings. The five themes described the viewpoints on the managerial coaching qualities and skills, such as value systems, the importance of feedback and the emotional skills. The competence development was treated as a fundamental part of managerial coaching processes and it was associated with the phenomena of productivity and well-being. Interaction was considered as a special enabler of the managerial coaching processes and it was also attached to the praxes of well-being at work. The factors attached to well-being capital were also recognized both from the study’s material and from the theory context. This study was commissioned by a coaching company so the results of this study can be used in the field of managerial coaching education in the future. It also provides insights to the leadership development of the central government, due to the interviews of the eight leaders working in central government agencies and institutions.
  • Nyman, Linda (2021)
    Objective of the study. The goal of the Finnish government is to solve all kinds of problems related to complex phenomena that occur in our society. These phenomena should be approached in a holistic manner. There’s a long history in the structure and procedures of the Finnish government but they don’t often match with the challenges that our global information society has brought us. This requires phenomenal-based working. The focus of this study is to clarify what kind of perceptions Finnish public officers have about phenomenal-based working. The aim of this study is also to find out which factors increase and decrease phenomenal-based working from the viewpoint of public officers. Methods. Nine public officers participated in this study. 7 public officers had a position in a Finnish department whereas 2 participants worked for a bureau or a public institution. The data was collected by interviewing the participants. After collecting the interview data, it was qualitatively content analysed using both inductive and abductive analysis. Results and conclusions. Based on the results of this study, the perceptions of the public officers of phenomenal-based working highlighted the structures and control mechanisms used in the government such as budget and government programme. Megatrends, systemic apprehension, collaboration with different public organizations and the ability to look at things from different perspectives were also emphasized in the perceptions of the intervieews. The public officers saw that cooperative projects across the government, work rotation, experimental culture, diverse expertise, network management, participatory collaboration and agile processes played a big role in phenomenal-based working. The communication and facilitation skills were appreciated in the government. Hidden agendas and the competition between the public organizations were rooted deeply in the culture of the Finnish government. The aforementioned factors made the collaboration of the organizations difficult in different domains.
  • Åhman, Monica (2023)
    The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the everyday life of teaching professionals. Induction phase teachers’ commitment to the profession takes place specifically during the first years of their career, which COVID-19 pandemic has been threatened. Previous studies have shown that the professional agency in the classroom is an important part of teachers’ professional identity and commitment to work among induction phase teachers. Work engagement is a concept related to work well-being, which is used to studying well-being through the meaningfulness of the work. Based on the results of previous studies, teachers experience work engagement, also during the COVID-19 pandemic. Work stress, a phenomenon that weakens work engagement, has increased among teachers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers’ work stress has increased. The feeling of inadequacy in the teacher-student interaction is a part of comprehensive work burnout, and based on the results of previous studies it has been found to be negatively related to teachers’ experiences of professional agency in the classroom. The aim of this thesis is to provide information about induction phase teachers’ professional agency in the classroom, work engagement, work stress and feeling of inadequacy in the teacher-student interaction connections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The material used in this study was collected as a part of a wider international research project “Early Career Teachers’ Professional Agency Across Four European Countries” (Soini, Pietarinen, Pyhältö & Toom, 2018-2022). The target group of the research project were elementary school teachers, subject teachers working in middle school and special education teachers in elementary school (grades 1-9). The research material was collected between the years 2020-2021 from Finnish teachers, and 209 teachers responded. The IBM SPSS Statistics 28 -program was used in the analysis of the data. Sum variables were formed (professional agency in the classroom, vigor, dedication, absorption and feeling of inadequacy in the teacher-student interaction). Connections between variables were examined using Pearson’s correlation coefficients. Differences in background variables (gender and teacher group) were examined by using t-tests. The results of this study showed that there were statistically significant connections between the examined variables. Teachers in the induction phase who experience strong professional agency in the classroom reported that they experienced work engagement together with a lesser work stress and feeling of inadequacy in the teacher-student interaction. Those teachers who experience work engagement reported lesser work stress and feeling of inadequacy in the teacher-student interaction. There were no statistically significant results between gender and teacher groups.
  • Walinen, Päivi (2024)
    Objective of the study. Teachers' professional agency can be used to examine how teachers learn in their work. There exists little earlier research on the professional agency among teachers in the induction phase, even less has it been studied during the global pandemic. It was therefore necessary investigate the topic in detail. This study had two research questions. The first step was to examine what kind of key learning experiences basic education teachers had during the Covid-19 pandemic in their teacher-student interactions. Second, it was examined how the professional agency of basic education teachers appeared in their teacher-student interaction situations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Methods. The research material consisted of eleven individual interviews with basic education teachers in the induction phase. The data were collected as part of the " Early Career Teach-ers' Professional Agency Across Four European Countries – Key for Sustainable Educational Change? research project carried out in 2018–2022 funded by the Suomi Akatemia. The inter-view had three themes which related to the interviewees' 1) significant learning experiences and professional development, 2) the professional community in the early stages of their ca-reers, and 3) working during the Covid-19 pandemic. The interviews were analyzed using the method of qualitative theory-driven analysis. Results and conclusions. The results of the study showed that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the key learning experiences of induction phase teachers were related to remote and in-person classroom situations with groups of students and individual students. The professional agency of the teachers in the induction phase was strongest in classroom situations. The independent activities of teachers were emphasized in the chosen strategies. Teachers were motivated by commitment to students. Teachers' self-efficacy was illustrated by coping with work tasks dur-ing the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to previous studies, this study especially highlighted teachers' willingness to meet their students individually. The teachers had a positive attitude towards the use of new IT applications and platforms, which they planned to utilize even after the exceptional circumstances. The findings can be applied to supporting the professional agency of teachers at the beginning of their careers and in the versatile implementation of teaching outside the exceptional circumstances.
  • Tuovinen, Sanna (2019)
    The aim of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the social engagement scale among students at Finnish comprehensive schools. Another aim was to examine the interaction effect of social engagement and introversion on self-esteem, schoolwork engagement and burnout. The purpose of this was to understand how introverts with higher social engagement perform in terms of their self-esteem, schoolwork engagement and burnout in comparison to introverts with lower social engagement. The theory of this study focused on social engagement, which has been suggested the fourth dimension of school engagement. Social interactions help students’ learning, and enhance critical thinking and problem solving. Introversion was selected for this study as introverts are usually stereotypically seen as unsocial and unwilling to work with other people. The data for this study were collected through questionnaires of the Mind the Gap Research Group of the University of Helsinki in 2013–2016. Sample size was 862 students. The analytical methods were confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and hierarchical multiple regression. The results indicated that a two-factor model best fit the social engagement scale. These two dimensions were named the social engagement approach and social engagement avoidance. When examining self-esteem, the interactions between the social engagement approach and introversion were significant. This suggests that introverts with high social engagement have higher self-esteem than introverts with low social engagement. Interaction terms for the social engagement approach and social engagement in terms of schoolwork engagement and burnout were not found.
  • Wallden, Nina (2022)
    The aim of this master’s thesis was to describe mediation activities as part of a group discussion task in an academic English course. In addition, the goal was to investigate how successful mediation affects interaction. The perspective on mediation in this study is guided by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and mediation is defined through the CEFR descriptors for mediation. The descriptors were added in the CEFR, and mediation presented as one of the modes of language, in the 2018 CEFR Companion Volume. The new volume, as well as the concept of mediation, further emphasizes the communicative and action-oriented approach to language learning. Mediation refers to co-creation of meaning, facilitating understanding and communication between participants in interaction. The hypothesis in this thesis was that successful mediation has a positive effect on interaction whereas problems in mediation have the opposite effect. The participants (N=51) were students from three different academic English courses in the University of Helsinki Language Centre. The data were gathered as part of a course task consisting of small group discussions. The data consist of students’ answers to post-discussion questionnaires as well as video recordings of the discussions. Mixed methods approach was used in this study, and qualitative data were analyzed both inductively and deductively. This study concretizes the concept of mediation and makes mediation activities visible. It al-so shows how mediation activities can be described and assessed from the perspective of the CEFR descriptors. The results show that mediation can be taught and practiced, and that the CEFR descriptors can be used in defining different types of mediation. In addition, the descriptors can be used as a guideline in students’ self-assessment. However, the view on language learning the concept of mediation represents is seen as more significant than the specific descriptors. Mediation embodies a communicative approach that emphasizes the social nature of learning, cultural competence and the active role of the language learner. The conclusion in this thesis is that adopting a mediation-perspective towards classroom activities contributes to a more communicative approach to language learning and teaching.
  • Nurminen, Kamilla (2022)
    The research task of this master's thesis is to describe shared expertise in a distributed team during the corona pandemic. The thesis is based on the theory of distributed work. It is examined from the perspective of shared expertise, taking into account the impact of the corona pandemic on the work of experts. The research questions of the thesis are 1) how has the corona pandemic affected experts' experiences of working in a distributed team and 2) which factors support shared expertise in a distributed team? The thesis focuses on experts' experiences of the phenomenon. The material for the thesis was collected through semi-structured thematic interviews of six experts. The interviewees worked in the HR team of a large corporation, which has operated distributed work before the corona pandemic. The analysis of the data was carried out using a theory-driven content analysis. The results of the study showed that the corona pandemic has affected the work of an already distributed team. The work became even more distributed and this seemed to increase the efficiency of work, task-orientedness and independence. In distributed work, the versatile use of communication technology supports team cooperation and reduces experiences of the challenges brought by physical distance. Shared roles and the competence based on them, as well as jointly shared operating methods and communication practices, increased interaction and cooperation in a distributed team and promoted shared expertise. However, in a distributed team, spontaneous ideation and sharing tacit knowledge was perceived as challenging, so sufficient time must be arranged for this. Good team spirit and trust also emerged as important factors for the success of the work.
  • Mellin, Sandra (2022)
    The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the concepts equality, gender equality and diversity are discussed in equality plans within university education in Finland. My research questions follow the purpose; what kind of discourses, regarding the three concepts, are found in the documents. My research is based on critical theory and critical discourse analysis. Previous research shows that legislation often plays a central role in equality plans. Research also shows that the concepts might sometimes be used for marketing purposes by organisations and institutions. Using Fairclough's (1992) critical discourse analysis, I analysed four Finnish universities' equality plans in Swedish. The research was a case study, and the sample was based on that the plans must be available in Swedish. The plans were reviewed as a whole, and in total they consisted of 96 pages. The equality plans were publicly published on the websites of the universities during 2018 – 2021. I focused on how the analysed concepts took shape in larger contexts within the documents. With the help of various linguistic analysing tools, I read through the plans several times, took notes, and highlighted relevant sections in the documents. Finally, I categorized the highlighted sections. The legislative discourse in the equality plans was evident. However, an interpretive discourse and signs of market discourse also appeared in the documents. The results showed that equality, gender equality and diversity were viewed as overarching goals for the universities. Gender differences were emphasized within specific problem areas, while equal treatment was used when discussing the organisation as a whole. In terms of diversity, internationalization was often pronounced. Discourses regarding Othering were also found in the documents. As a conclusion, it can be stated that the universities comply to equality and gender equality values that are based on equal treatment and equal opportunity. However, they simultaneously compete on a competitive market which lead to contradictions in the way they expressed themselves. Since the language in the equality plans reflects the universities’ values and operations, it is important that the wording is consistent and comprehensible, not only for the sake of the reader but mainly for the organization to have a distinct and clear vision of what it is pursuing.