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Browsing by Author "Raappana, Maria"

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  • Raappana, Maria (2016)
    Objectives. Previous studies have shown that the sensitive interaction produced by adults is connected to the self-regulation and working memory of children. This is because interactions stir emotions in children. The processing of emotions is connected to the functions of the prefrontal area of the brain. These functions include self-regulation and the working memory. Children are more easily led by their emotions when compared to adults, and they need adult support in their self-regulation. Self-regulation has been shown to be a prerequisite for metacognition, and metacognition is an important component of the learning process. This study aims to find out how the interaction produced by an adult is connected to the executive functions of a student. The results of the study can be applied to interactions between adults and children in a general level, but special emphasis has been placed on immigrant children. The importance of interaction is emphasized when the child has moved from their own culture to a foreign one. Immigrant students are over-represented when looking at the decisions related to specific support, but according to various studies, the need for specific support for these children has not been demonstrated reliably. The study examines the interactive means that adults have at their disposal and tries to shed light on the interaction produced by adults. Methods. The material of the study is part of the University of Helsinki's Long Second data. The material was videotaped during the school year 2011–2012 in a preparatory class, twice a week. The approach to the study was through a socio-cultural learning theory perspective, because the socio-cultural theory focuses on the interaction between the environment, cultural tools, the individual and the community. The method of analysis applied was discussion analysis. The analysis was supported by a questionnaire on concentration, Keskittymiskysely (Klenberg, L., Jämsä, S., Häyrinen, T. & Korkman, M. 2010) which was used to analyse executive functions. One student was picked from the video material, and the changes in the student's executive functions were monitored in relation to teacher interactions. The material that was selected for analysis included four teachers. Results and conclusions. Four different types of adult interactions were discovered in the analysis phase. One of these interaction types shows genuine interest in the child. By utilizing dialogical discussion, this type of adult interaction makes students regulate their activities and speak Finnish. The more dialogical the teacher interaction was, the better were the student's own executive functions. The study also showed that rules related to the interaction improved the student's own executive functions.