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Browsing by department "Soveltavan kasvatustieteen laitos"

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  • Tammi, Tuure (2009)
    The crucial questions that define democracy relate to its depth and width: who can participate in decision making and what kind of things can be commonly decided? Theories deeper than representative democracy emphasize discussion, in which by evaluating justifications it is possible to achieve consensus in ideal situation. The aim of my research is to develop tools for promoting the participation of third graders in decision making in the classroom. In addition I study the development of depth and width of democracy in the classroom, the development of skills and competencies in the decision making and the challenges of the project. My research method is participative action research. I collected my data between October 2007 and March 2008. I used videos and observation diaries as my primary data. Additional data consisted of the interviews of the students, the conversations between the adults and the material produced by the teacher. Since we discussed the matters students had highlighted in specific lessons, my analysis proceeds according to these lessons constructing a general view of the process. The width and depth of classroom democracy are difficult to define. Though the system we had created enabled third graders to discuss matters they found important the participation was unequal: some of the students couldn't among other things give justifications for their opinions. This poses challenges for models that emphasize deliberation since these theories presuppose that everyone has concordant competencies. But then again only critical citizens who are able to make justifications and to evaluate them are able to oppose indoctrination. This makes teaching these competencies justified. Different decision making procedures define the classroom democracy. Deliberation doesn't necessarily provide deeper information about the preferences of the participants than mere voting. But then again voting doesn't express the reasons which support one's preferences. Structured conversation can equalize the time used for every participant's opinions, but doesn't solve the challenge of unequal competencies. Children's suggestion box diversified the possibilities to participate, and also the silent ones used it during the research. The asymmetry in deliberation might also be caused by the social structure of the students. Teacher's directing and participation encouraging role in deliberation was significant. Diversifying the participation by different roles could equalize the asymmetry in participation.
  • Tolonen, Hanna (2006)
    The aim of the Thesis is to examine what kind of images children aged between 8 and 12 years in Ghana, Great Britain, Finland and Tanzania hold of their future. The study is a qualitative analysis based on data that consists of 214 drawings, digitally photographed and analysed using AtlasTI computer program. The data was coded and divided into " families " whose frequencies were compared in order to maintain results. The assignment was given to the children in the language used in the school and it was similar in each country. The children were introduced to the idea with a set of stimulating questions and after that they were asked to draw and colour with a pen a picture of 1) him/herself as an adult, 2) his/her future home and 3) the people and the animals they think they will be living with. The children were also asked to write down the country and the place they believe to live in their future. They were also encouraged to write down e.g. their dream profession, what they would like to have as hobbies in their adulthood and other important things in their lives. The analysis focuses on the content of the drawings instead of artistic or psychological interpretations. The differences between the drawings from different countries as well as the differences in a single country were significant. The current trends and the experiences children had lived through were present in the drawings. There were no differences in the colour of the skin and the most popular professions were doctor, police and football player. The football was very strongly present in all of the data; almost fourth of the children had either drawn or mentioned football as their future profession or hobby. Different flora was present in 84% of Tanzanian and 70% of Ghanaian drawings compared to the 23% of British and 17% of Finnish drawings. Of all the family forms a dream of the traditional nuclear family could be found among 29% of the drawings. Compared to that a total of 30% wanted either a child of their own without a spouse (15%) or a spouse without a child (15%). Also grandparents, childhood friends, other adults, animals or even space aliens were present and sharing a home with the children in the drawings. Of all children 15% wanted to live totally alone in the future. This was most typical (38%) among the Finnish boys. The cat and the dog were the most popular animals to appear in the drawings. Moving abroad proved to be purely a western phenomenon, dreamed by 57% of the British and 18% of the Finnish children. As results, a negative self-image, violence, lack of expressions of positive feelings and solitude among the Finnish boys in the data were very concerning.
  • Kukkamäki, Katriina (2007)
    The purpose of this study was to describe and get a deep understanding of pedagogical change process. The phases of pedagogical change process and the nature and the role of teacher's pedagogical thinking in it were mapped. The change process as a whole was also modeled. The previous research of teaching change process has had been scarce on an individual teacher level, but on a school level it has been investigated abundantly. The theoretical background of this study consists of theories of teacher's pedagogical thinking and action and how their thinking and action change and develop. Teacher change has been researched from the point of view of both school change and professional development. The basic principle in the theoretical frame is that change in teacher's thinking leads to change in action. Three men teachers and a woman teacher who have put change into practice took part in this study. The data consisted of two parts: teachers' essays of their change process and interviews that were based on the essays. The data was analysed by content analysis. The categorizations of both parts of the data were made separately but they were interpreted together. In this way a deep understanding of pedagogical change process could be reached. The results of this study were descriptions of the phases of pedagogical change process and the nature and the role of teacher's pedagogical thinking in it. In addition a model of pedagogical change process was presented. Pedagogical change process started up because of disorder in teacher's pedagogical thinking and action. The disorder leads to an absolute necessity to change the activities. Change activities stabilize throughout intuitive experiments and reflection-on-action. The change in a teacher's thinking is a prerequisite for the start of the process but also, a teacher's thinking develops as a result of the process. Thus, the whole process results in a real, deep level change in instruction and in the teacher's thinking. That is why pedagogical change processes are visible, significant and they have wide and extensive effects. The study gives out information of controlling the change processes. Consequently, the results of this study encourage teachers to confront change and put their new ideas into practice.
  • Leino, Anna (2006)
    Aims. Research is linked with National basis on early childhood education curriculum (2003) published by National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (Stakes). In the basis term partnership is used to describe cooperation between parents and day-care staff. Research ́s aim was to find out how parents and kindergarten teachers define this new concept and their role in the partnership. Aim was also to survey how they feel partnership is realized in care and development agreement discussions between staff and parents of under 6-year old children. Furthermore it was researched what elements on the basis of their experiences do affect partnership and what things they feel should be developed to get partnership realized better. Research was expected to raise up useful information to be used in planning, developing and realizing partnership in kindergartens. Methods. Research material was collected by theme interviews in November - December 2004. Interviews were completed in 12 kindergartens located in one social center area of Helsinki. Kindergartens were chosen randomly. One teacher from each kindergarten was interviewed and in 10 kindergartens of 12 one mother of under 6-year old child was interviewed. Interviews were based on thinking partnership in general and in thinking it with reflection on one specific care and development agreement discussion. Parents reflected partnership on their latest discussion and teachers chose one discussion of the discussions held in autumn 2004. Material was transcribed and analysed by Gillham ́s 11-point directions to content analysis. Results and conclusions. Definitions of partnership and experiences of it varied a lot. Partnership was felt very personally and many humane elements, like familiarity and characteristics of partners, were connected to partnership. Common elements in definitions of partnership were for example trust, respect and communication between partners. The care and development agreement discussion seemed to be an important situation in developing partnership. At the same time, it was also seen as a situation that had a lot to be developed. Interviewees felt that neither the care and development agreement discussion nor the form used in it, took enough account on child’s individuality and personality. Other developmental tasks mentioned were linked more on developing already existing forms of partnership activity in day-care settings. Those were for example developing the daily discussions between parents and day-care staff members. Wishes for developing new forms of partnership activity were mentioned only seldom.
  • Järvi, Iina (2007)
    The subject of my research was analyzing how psychological violence appears in educational communities in both preschool and kindergarten environments. The superiors of every daycare unit (a total of 80 units) in Vantaa were asked to tell about their own views and experiences of psychological violence in educational communities. In addition I cleared out the superior's views on what the role of workplace counseling is in clearing out cases of psychological violence. A workplace always consists of people connected through work and the workplace creates a context for psychological violence. Working is public in an educational environment, as also customers set expectations and make wishes on how the work should be done. Different thoughts on what the working community should be creates pressure for the workers. My aim was to find out about the superior's views on different types of psychological violence in the workplace, how one's personality effects on an experience on psychological violence, the superior's abilities and possibilities on noticing psychological violence in an early stage and the necessity of intervention. I also wanted to map the superior's views and experiences on the value of workplace counseling in straightening out cases of psychological violence. The research point of view used was triangulation with hermeneutical and phenomenological features. The research method used was a semistructured questionnaire with a few open questions used to seek answers for the problems that have come up in the research. I analyzed the collected data partly from quantitative and partly from qualitative point of views, and also my aim was to understand psychological violence in the workplace as a phenomena in the communities within the early phases of education and to give this worker-to-worker mobbing a face. As a result of my research, I found out that the psychological violence inside the educational communities is more passive and scheming than aggressive or straightforward. The most important outcome of my research was finding a risk factor, where the superior is in danger of being the target of workplace psychological violence. Out the superiors who answered the questionnaire, 12% told they had been the target of this psychological violence after being transferred in to an old unit to work as the new superior. I hope this result will be of use when changes similar to this are known to take place.
  • Lappalainen, Hanna (2009)
    The objective of this study was to find factors that could predict educational dropout. Dropout risk was assessed against pupil's cognitive competence, success in school, and personal beliefs regarding self and parents, while taking into account the pupil's background and gender. Based on earlier research, an assumption was made that a pupil's gender, success in school, and parent's education would be related with dropping out. This study is part of a project funded by the Academy of Finland and led by Professor Jarkko Hautamäki. The project aims to use longitudinal study to assess the development of pupils' skills in learning to learn. The target group of this study consisted all Finnish speaking ninth graders of a municipality in Southern Finland. There were in total 1534 pupils, of which 809 were girls and 725 boys. The assessment of learning to learn skills was performed about ninth graders in spring 2004. "Opiopi" test material was used in the assessment, consisting of cognitive tests and questions measuring beliefs. At the same time, pupils' background information was collected together with their self-reported average grade of all school subjects. During spring 2009, the pupils' joint application data from years 2004 and 2005 was collected from the Finnish joint application registers. The data were analyzed using quantitative methods assisted by the SPSS for Windows computer software. Analysis was conducted through statistical indices, differences in grade averages, multilevel model, multivariate analysis of variance, and logistic regression analysis. Based on earlier research, dropouts were defined as pupils that had not been admitted to or had not applied to second degree education under the joint application system. Using this definition, 157 students in the target group were classified as dropouts (10 % of the target group): 88 girls and 69 boys. The study showed that the school does not affect the drop-out risk but the school class explains 7,5 % of variation in dropout risk. Among girls, dropping out is predicted by a poor average grade, a lack of beliefs supporting learning, and an unrealistic primary choice in joint application system compared to one's success in school. Among boys, a poor average grade, unrealistic choices in joint application system, and the belief of parent's low appreciation of education were related to dropout risk.
  • Könönen, Kirsi (2007)
    The main idea of this study was to find out how immigrants understand and define successful co-operation and professional partnership in early childhood education. Another target of this research was to think over how the parents see professional partnership from their viewpoint, and how willing / ready the they are in engaging in the professional partnership with the day care personnel. The theoretical part of this research is based on theories of immigration and theories of it's different forms, theories of cultural varieties and theory of modernizing co-operation through using professional partnership. Also guidelines and policies for day care and early childhood education play a part in the theory section. Theory part is written to support research problems. The research method used in this study is peer interview. The interviewed are both immigrants and customers of day care services. The data collected is comprised of materials from peer interviews and personal background information. The interviewed were of Somalia and Russian ethnic groups. Interview were carried out in each group in the participants own mother tongue. These peer interviews showed that parents were interested and willing to discuss professional partnership. From this research one can conclude that the term professional partnership is seen as a complex term, and as a term difficult to understand. From the results it is seen that quite often the principles of professional partnership are not carried out in practise. According to the material gathered, the parents feel that lack of common language and prejudice against immigrants effectively prevents the professional partnership from being formed. The cultural differences can become challenging in a professional partnership. Based on this research, one can conclude that when different cultures meet, there has to be mutual will to understand and to be understood in order to make sure that the children's development, both educational and physical, is supported in a best possible way.
  • Riitaoja, Anna-Leena (2005)
    This study examines Finnish student teachers' images of The Middle East conflict and its parties and medias' influence on these images. The research problems are 1) how student teachers understand the Middle East as a geographical and a cultural area 2) what kind of conceptions they have of the Middle East conflict and its parties; Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs and societies and religions closely connected to them and 3) how the media has influenced on these conceptions. Theoretical background of this study concerns with different mental images, their construction and meaning, stereotypes, intercultural competence, media and its influence as well as media literacy. The methods used in this study were survey and theme interview. Also headlines of the news were analysed. The survey was directed at student teachers of the University of Helsinki (n = 75). Six of them were interviewed. The survey was conducted in February and interviews were made in the turn of May and June 2003. The headlines analysed dealt with the Middle East conflict in the newspaper "Helsingin Sanomat" in January, April and July 2003. Main results: Images of the Middle East area differed largely from respondent to another. Student teachers didn't know much about the Middle East conflict. Stereotypes occurred in the conceptions connected to the parties of the conflict. Stereotypes appeared especially in the negative conceptions of islam and muslims and one-sided conceptions of Arabs. The influence of the conflict was noticeable in conceptions related to Israelis, Israel and Palestinians. Palestinians were sympathized. Attitudes towards Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs were negative to some extend and their societies were not valued very equal, open or modern. On the basis of the research, student teachers' intercultural competence was not good enough. Media had influence on the conceptions. Also skills in critical use of media varied largely. Some trusted strongly in the objectivity of a picture and the news. It can be argued, on the grounds of the results, that teacher education should concentrate more on themes of intercultural competence and media literacy. These two are interrelated and are both needed in understanding and conceptualising the world.
  • Korenius, Suvi (2008)
    The importance of open discussion with the adopted child and his parents about adoption and ethnicity is often emphasized in adoption literature (Kirk 1964; Grotevant 1999; Carli & Dalen 1999). The child should have the possibility of constructing a harmonious view of himself, which consists of his history before adoption, ethnicity and the social environment's conception of him. The purpose of this study was to examine the Finnish adoptive parents' supportive role in relation to their child's adoptive and ethnic identity and the social environment's disposition to the child as witnessed by the parents. The first research problem was to find out how the parents support their child's adoptive identity formation. The second problem was to find out if the parents want to support the child's ethnic identity. The third problem was regarding the environment's disposition to the child and family. The hypothesis was that Finnish adoptive parents are well aware of the problems of adoption and they have been well selected, so they have the aspirations and skills to help their child with his identity formation. The focus of this study was on Finnish parents who had adopted internationally, from whom 58 answers were obtained. The data was collected with an Internet based questionnaire. The questions were mostly qualitative. The analysis was directed by the theory, so that the analysis units were obtained from the main questions of international adoption and identity formation. The results expressed that the adoptive parents want to support their child's adoption identity. They accept their child's questions regarding his history, and that they did not want to conceal any details about their child's life, even if they felt that it was a sensitive issue for them. The main problem was that there was no information available on the child's history. Contact with the biological parents was almost impossible because there was hardly any information on them. Instead the parents were in contact with the children's home because they felt that it had an important role as the child's former home. The parents felt that the child's birth culture was of importance and they mainly offered aspects of it informally daily. Parents who stressed their child's Finnish identity were concerned that their child would not form a feeling of being Finnish. However, the majority wished that their child would have a multicultural identity. The parents felt that the environment regarded the child positively and the possibility of upcoming problems was tackled by discussing them beforehand with the child and environment.
  • Lindgren, Anu Johanna (2011)
  • Honkanen, Piritta (2010)
    In recent years girls' increased violence has been a topical issue. Including the voices of the girls' themselves engaged to violent offending is therefore essential. The goal for this research was to make sense of girls' stance toward violence in the project Restless Cinderellas' discussion group for violent girls. The methodological approach was ethnographic and the data was collected by using the method of participant observation. Girls' stance toward violence was explored by asking the data following questions: 1. What is the purpose of violent behaviour? 2. Which issues motivate for violence? 3. What alternatives exist for violent behaviour? In a thick description of research material this study also aimed to chart if there was any change in girls' attitudes due to participation on violence preventative discussion group. The ethnographic data was extensive and consisted of observations, start, - middle, - and end point group discussion records, fieldnotes, self report-questionnaires and feedback documentary. The four girls that participated on this study were 14-15-years old by the time of research. They came from one elementary school in the capital region. They were chosen to the group based on NFG's youth workers interview. The girls were allocated to the group by the school's student welfare group because of their violent behaviour on school time. The analysis was qualitative and the concepts were created through theory triangulation. These concepts were exploited to exam girls' violent attitudes. The study shows that violence was used to pitch for justice, lesson and respect. The factors that motivated on using violence were experienced insult, betrayal and concatenation of violence. Alternatives for violence were the circle of success and value consciousness. In the dialectics between the research documentaries some changes in girls' attitudes heaved into sight. However, the study could not show reliable connection between the changes and participation on discussion group.
  • Costiander, Kati (2010)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the conceptions adoptive parents and kindergarten teachers have of adopted children in day care. Earlier Finnish research concerning international adoption has discussed adoption, adopted children and adoptive parents from the point of view of identity, racism and school. There has hardly been any research in Finland concerning adoption from the point of view of day care. The study focuses on how the special characteristics of adopted children are taken into consideration in day care. The ecological theory, in which a child's growth and learning environments are studied as part of the broader environment, provided the theoretical framework for the study. The study was based also on a second theory: intercultural competence or the capacity to interact with different people taking into consideration their individual characteristics and situations so that one understands and is understood. The first research problem consisted of describing the conceptions adoptive parents and day care teachers have of the special characteristics of adopted children. The second research problem was to examine adopted parents' expectations of kindergarten and of kindergarten teachers. The third research problem was to find out what kind of support day care teachers think they need when working with adopted children. The study focused on 20 adoptive parents and 15 kindergarten teachers. Research material was collected in the form of essay writings amounting to a total of 73 pages. The respondents wrote about their experiences with the help of a supporting questionnaire. The research method was qualitative and narrative. The results of the study show that adoptive parents have similar conceptions of adopted children's special characteristics concerning their character, social competence, adaptation and appearance. Adoptive parents had a better understanding of the dynamics of attachment than kindergarten teachers, in this study. When describing the special characters of adopted children, the teachers regarded adopted children in particular as needing special support. According to the results of the study, adoptive parents feel adoption matters and adoptive parenthood are something quite new and bewildering to day care teachers. Adoptive parents did not feel they got any support from the kindergarten in their parenthood. Adoptive parents regarded as particularly important the start of day care and the familiarisation process during which adopted children need time and special support due to earlier experiences of separation and abandonment. The findings of the study show that kindergarten teachers have little knowledge of adoption and the significance of adoption for a child's growth and development. Kindergarten teachers felt at a loss in dealing with adoption issues and clearly need additional support in the matter.
  • Lapila-Marcus, Aino (2010)
    The purpose of this thesis was to understand the experiences of the multiethnic people in Finland. This study explored the different aspects of the ethnic identity development process. Thesis was done in two phases. First phase studied the question of how is the ethnic identity developed in Finnish context and what aspects had affected their ethnic identity process. The second phase explored questions as what kind of ethnic identity form the multiethnic people have in Finland and do they have developed cosmopolitan global identities. The aim of this qualitative study was not to empirically measure or define the multiethnic identity, but to open new perspectives of the life and experiences through narrative research. Intention of this thesis was to give voice to 'small' stories of the minority people that are so often shadowed by the 'big' stories of the male of the majority. The first phase of this study included narratives from four multiethnic women. The narratives answered to questions who am I and where do I come from. The second phase data collection was made with narrative forms to 12 self-identified multiethnic persons. The multiethnic people were from three backgrounds: ones with parents from different ethnic backgrounds, Finnish who had lived long time abroad and people from non-Finnish background who had lived in Finland for a long time. The analyzing was made by analyzing the narratives with content analysis that based on the theory of the multiethnic people and by narrative analyzing where short narratives were created of each person. In conclusion the multiethnic identity was found to be a continuous process that lasted through lifetime. Different aspects affected the identification process, including family dynamics, social mirroring and belonging. The variety of different ethnic options in multiethnic person identity process, lacking family support for the both ethnic identities and the feeling of otherness experienced by the multiethnic people in Finland cause additional challenges to the ethnic identity process and results in some cases cultural homelessness. On the other hand the variety of cultural contexts brings flexibility to negotiate between different cultures and languages resulting to positive hybrid identity for some of the multiethnic people. Hybrid identity was sub grouped to cosmopolitan identity and multicultural identity.
  • Siponen, Laura (2005)
    The purpose of this research is to study primary school teachers’ thoughts about today’s music teaching. The aim was to acquire information and understanding about music teaching in Finland nowadays. The idea was to carry out a study on experiences and skills of the teachers, planning and evaluation in music teaching and also integration of music into other subjects in lower primary school. The intention was also to investigate teachers’ attitudes to the curriculum, the highlights of music teaching and also teachers own ideas about developing the teaching of music. The research was carried out as a survey-research. Answers were received from 15 communities in Finland. There were both multiple-choice questions and open questions about music teaching in the survey form. That was addressed mainly for teachers specialized in music teaching. The survey form was published in the Internet and the answering was done by e-mail. The answers were collected during the spring of 2005 and altogether 96 teachers took part in the research. The research data was analyzed mainly quantitatively, but the open questions were analyzed also qualitatively. According the results the teachers at lower primary school are mostly quite satisfied with the state of the music teaching in Finland nowadays. The improvements were mainly desired in time and material resources, supplementary training (f .ex band and IT-skills) and sizes of teaching groups. The teachers are basically satisfied with the music teaching curricula, although they are considered to be challenging as the resources constantly diminish. According to the teachers’ experiences the evaluation of students in music teaching is difficult. Music is often integrated with other subjects. Many teachers point out the importance of practical and art subjects especially at lower primary school.
  • Ylinen, Pauliina (2008)
    The Finnish instrumental education system is said to be one of the bests in the world. Finnish musicians have become famous and they have gained success all over the world. To produce professional musicians has been the main goal of the whole Finnish instrumental education system for a long time. This has meant that playing an instrument as a hobby has been neglected. The focus of this qualitative study is the culture of instrumental education from the view of amateuring. One of the goals is to describe the Finnish context where music lovers grow up and where they construct their identities. The other aim is to give answers to the question "How can we develop the culture of instrumental education to serve also the needs of amateurs?" The data of this study is narrative. It consists of the stories of five amateurs, who were in their thirties. In the analysis I've used two different types of analysis: the analysis of narratives and the content analysis. In the analysis of narratives the stories were seen as narrative identities. Because the main focus of this study is the culture of instrumental education, I used the qualitative content analysis to find out some themes or phenomena which should be improved from the view of amateuring. This study has shown that there are many ways to become a music lover. An essential factor in the construction of an identity of a music lover seems to be a society which values the amateuring. In this study music schools weren't that kind of societies. The present study reveals that to construct the identities of music lovers should be one of the most important aims of the music education. This means for example that, in practice, instrumental studies could be more activating, there should be more music making in groups, and the evaluation should concentrate on the whole learning process.
  • Pitkänen, Jori (2008)
    In this research pedagogical live action role playing is examined as a method of teaching history. The objective of this research is to present and define the concept of pedagogical live action role playing as a method of teaching history and examine its capability in teaching historical empathy. Pedagogical live action role playing is a teaching method under development which has elements from drama pedagogics and different learning theories. The theoretical part of this research consists of play theories and drama pedagogical theories which are relevant to live action role playing, and also the concepts of historical empathy and historical thinking. In drama pedagogics the main sources are the researches of Laakso (2004) and Heikkinen (2002, 2004). The historical part uses the researches of VanSledright (2002), Cooper (2000) and Ashby and Lee (1987) as its main sources. The research was carried out at the Viikki Teacher Training School in the class 6b during autumn 2007. The research material consists of three-phased interviews. During all phases three pupils were interviewed, and during two of the phases, also the teacher of the class was interviewed. The methods used in the interviews were thematic interview and stimulated recall -interview. The data gathered from the interviews was analyzed using content analysis. Pedagogical live action role playing has three phases when teaching history: pre-game (preparations), game (live action role play) and post-game (discussion after the game and in the classroom). The teacher's attention and carefulness is important during all phases. The mistakes made in the pre-game face e.g. in writing the characters seem to cause major problems in the pupils' game experiences. Pedagogical live action role playing is capable of teaching historical empathy, but according to my research this has some conditions, from which the most important is the pupil's historical knowledge before the game. Teaching historical empathy was based on aesthetic dualition: the pupil made decisions about the actions of his character as him/herself. The more background information the pupil had about the era they played, the more the pupil seemed to make decisions based on his historical empathy, aka his understanding of the era of the larp and of the people of the same era.
  • Kurki, Riikka (2008)
    A child learns new things, creates social relationships and participates in play with the help of language. How can a child overcome these challenges if the surrounding language is not his mother tongue? The objective of learning a new language in the Pre-school education is an active bilingualism in all fields of the language. Theoretical context of the research rises from bilingualism, learning a language, language skills and evaluating them. Object of the research was to understand language skills of a child from a different linguistic and cultural background in the final stage of Pre-school education and to clarify how learning Finnish was supported during the Pre-school year. Answers to the research issues will be searched with the following questions: 1) What kind of language skills does a child from a different linguistic and cultural backgrounds have at the final stage of Pre-school education?, 1.1) What kind of listening comprehension skills?, 1.2) What kind of speech and vocabulary skills?, 1.3) What kind of structural skills?, 2) What kind of individual differences are there in language skills of children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds?, and 3) How has a child from a different linguistic and cultural background been supported in learning Finnish during the Pre-school education? The view of language skills in this research is holistic even though it will be analysed in separate fields. The aim of this research is to form an overall impression of Finnish skills of the children participating in the research. Eight Pre-school-aged children with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and their kindergarten teachers participated in this research. The children had taken part in Finnish activities for about three years. The research material consists of the test series (KITA), which evaluate children's language skills – and of the questionnaire to the kindergarten teachers. The purpose of the questionnaire was to provide additional information on children's language skills in Pre-school teaching situations and on supporting Finnish in Pre-school education. This research is qualitative and processing of the material is based on content analysis. According to the kindergarten teachers, the children's social language skills were sufficient to cope in everyday life but children needed assistance with longer instructions. The same phenomenon could also be seen with the KITA tests – in which long and abstract instructions turned out to be difficult. Individual differences of the children were perceived in productivity skills, which were realised in fluent or influent speech. The children were supported in learning Finnish individually, in small-groups and in the activities of a whole group. 'Finnish as the second language' small-groups were the most common form of support in learning the language. The support at understanding activities was emphasized in whole group situations as well as in individual situations while assisting the child's language skills. Generally, the children's language skills were in the same level with developing basic language skills. The data of this research help to understand children's language skills after three years of adopting Finnish. The results can be utilised in planning and evaluation of teaching another language.
  • Rantavuori, Juhana (2010)
    Objectives. In this research I analyzed the learning process of teacher students in a planning meeting using the expansive learning cycle and types of interaction approaches. In activity theory framework the expansive learning cycle has been applied widely in analyzing learning processes taking several years. However, few studies exist utilizing expansive cycles in analyzing short single meetings. In the activity theory framework talk and interaction have been analyzed using following types of interaction: coordination, cooperation and communication. In these studies single interaction situations have been analyzed, in which the status and power positions of participants has been very different. Interactions of self-directed teams, in which the participants are equal, have been examined very little. I am not aware of any studies, in which both learning actions of the expansive cycle and types of interaction by analyzing the same data would have been utilized. The aim of my study was to describe the process of collaborative innovative learning in a situation where the student group tries to accomplish a broad and ill-defined learning task. I aim to describe, how this planning process proceeds through different phases of learning actions of the expansive cycle. My goal is to understand and describe the transformations in the quality of interaction and transitions which are related to it. Another goal of this study is to specify the possible similarities and differences between expansive learning and types of interactions. Methods. Data of this study consisted of videotaped meetings, which were part of the study module for class teacher degree. The first meeting of the study module was chosen to be the primary research material. Five students were present in the group meeting. Transcription of the conversation was analyzed by classifying the turns of conversation following phases of the expansive cycle. After that the material was categorized again by using types of interaction. Results and conclusions. As a result of this study I was able to trace all the phases of the expansive cycle except one. Also, I was able to identify all interaction types. When I compared the two modes of analysis side by side I was able to find connecting main phases. Thus I was able to identify the interdependence between the two ways of analysis on a higher level, although I was not able to notice correlation on the level of individual phases. Based on this, I conclude that learning of the group was simultaneously specification and formulation of the object at the different phases of expansive learning and transformation of the quality of the interaction while searching for the common object.