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Browsing by Author "Mikkola, Ann-Mari"

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  • Mikkola, Ann-Mari (2014)
    Previous studies have reported that children are globally very happy. Happiness studies with Finnish students have shown that Finnish children are also very happy but their happiness and school related happiness decrease during secondary school. The purpose of this study is to explore happiness and school related happiness among sixth and ninth graders in Steiner school. Secondly, the purpose is to explore which factors would increase students' happiness in their opinions. Furthermore the purpose is to explore if the level of happiness among ninth graders changes after sixth grade. The hypothesis of this study is that Steiner school students are happier due the conception of human in Steiner school, Steiner pedagogy and the model of comprehensive school that has less pressure in school transitions than in compulsory school. Steiner pedagogy is alternative pedagogy which interests a student of special pedagogy. In this study happiness and school related happiness were measured among 282 students from six different Steiner schools. There were 142 sixth graders and 138 ninth graders who answered the questionnaire. Students filled out the questionnaire which included the Subjective Happiness Scale and the Finnish version of the School Children's Happiness Inventory. In addition, students chose the factors that would increase their happiness. Ninth graders were also asked if the level of their happiness had changed after sixth grade and what they think the reasons for the change might be. The quantitative material was analyzed with SPSS-program and open answers were organized with qualitative methods. Sixth and ninth graders in Steiner school were less happy than in previous happiness studies but their school related happiness was on about the same level than in previous studies. The students' happiness and school related happiness decreased during secondary school. In the ninth grade, the girls' happiness was on a lower level than the boys'. The factors that increased happiness differed little among sixth and ninth graders and also among boys and girls. The factors that the girls consider to influence their happiness might tell us something about their lower happiness