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Browsing by study line "Class Teacher (in Swedish)"

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  • Strömberg, Matilda (2023)
    Aims This study aims to explore teachers in Aland Islands,' perspectives on the relationship between students' physical activity and mental health, aiming to understand teachers' efforts to promote both aspects and raise awareness of their significance. In today's society, students tend to be increasingly sedentary, coinciding with a rise in mental health issues among them. Particularly in Aland Island,, alarming statistics have emerged in the past year, indicating higher rates of mental health challenges compared to the rest of Finland. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how teachers in Åland perceive this relationship and what measures they take to promote both physical activity and mental health among their students.To gain insights into this connection, the following research questions were formulated: What importance do teachers in Åland attribute to physical activity for students' mental health? What importance do teachers in Åland attribute to students' mental health for their physical activity? How do teachers work to increase students' physical activity and promote their mental health? How do teachers describe the relationship between students' physical activity and mental health? Methods This dissertation employed a qualitative research method with a narrative analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three active teachers in Åland for data collection. The collected material then generated three unique narratives serving as responses to the central research questions in the dissertation. Results Teachers emphasized the positive effects of physical activity on students' mental health, citing increased energy, joy, improved social interaction, concentration, and stress management. At the same time, the teachers said that students' mental health can influence their conditions, endurance, and motivation to engage in physical activity.Students facing mental health challenges might struggle to find motivation and energy to engage in physical activity. To promote both physical activity and mental health, schools in Åland participated in various events and break-time activities. Ultimately, the study participants were convinced that there was a connection between students' physical activity and their mental health, even though the extent of this connection could vary. This thesis raised awareness of the link between physical activity and mental health, providing insights into how teachers in Åland worked to support students' well-being. It also emphasized the need for additional resources and support, especially in the field of school psychology, to effectively address these challenges and promote students' health and well-being.
  • Klemola, Anni (2020)
    Goal: Inclusion is an increasingly popular and current theme within educational sciences. In earlier studies, inclusion as a term has evolved from a relatively narrow definition consisting primarily of pupils with special needs towards a wider spectrum taking all members of a school community into account. According to various theories and official documents used as sources for this thesis, inclusion additionally looks at a person from a primarily intersectional perspective. In this study, the primary goal is to look into how inclusion is percepted from the standpoint of teachers, investigate how inclusion takes its place in school on a daily basis and find out what teachers would need to be able to implement inclusion as part of their daily teaching methods. Another goal of this research is to compare the perception teachers have of inclusion to the inclusion that is presented in theories and official documents that are commonly used guidelines for inclusion implementation. Method: The methodology chosen for this qualitative research is phenomenology. Semi-structured interviews were used as the method and the interviews were supported with a predesigned interview guide. The structure of the interviews was built around the most significant themes in this research. A total of eight (8) Swedish-speaking comprehensive school teachers were interviewed. All of these interviewees were officially qualified teachers, and they were employed either in the region of Uusimaa or Pohjanmaa. The interviewees had different professional and academic backgrounds. Some of them had been active in the profession for up to 20 years, while others had less than five years of work experience. Some of these teachers had studied more special pedagogy that what is usually included in teacher studies. The research material was analyzed through a theme content analysis forming a result that was then divided into separate categories. Results: The perceptions on inclusion varied quite substantially, with some giving it quite a narrow definition and others percepted in as being a broader concept such defined by Ainscow & Booth (1998) in their book. Work experience and educational history had an impact on how the teachers defined inclusion in their schools. All participants considered inclusion as an important theme in the school world. Good co-operation and a culture of acceptance and participation were seen as important aspects to ensure successful inclusion. A lack of resources, the sense of diversity amongst pupils and their own skillset in inclusion were aspects that they felt hindered inclusion. The unified culture amongst Swedish-speaking Finns was also brought up as an example of a theme that can turn into a barrier for inclusion. In addition, some other specific features Finnish school culture were seen as problematic. Based on the research, it can be stated that the acceptance and commitment to diversity is crucial for the successful implementation of inclusion. Updating the skillset of teachers, building a stronger cooperation between various stakeholders and pushing for a cultural change in the school world are concrete examples of ways to strengthen the development of inclusion. This can be established based on both the research, but also on the theories and official documents used the build the theoretical background of this thesis.
  • Lunabba, Mauritz (2023)
    The purpose of this study was to analyze and interpret primary school teachers' perceptions of job satisfaction. The aim was also to illuminate how job satisfaction appears in daily life for teachers and how important primary school teachers believe satisfaction with their work is. Job satisfaction is the most studied variable in organizations and job satisfaction usually refers to an individual’s general perception about their job. Problems have, however, accured in studies about job satisfaction since there is no general definition of it that everyone agrees on. Now job satisfaction is current in Finland since there was a teacher strike in 2022 and since studies have shown that many teachers in Finland are thinking about career turnover. Accordingly, I saw it as necessary to find out the perceptions that primary school teachers have of job satisfaction as a concept, its relevance in the workplace and what being satisfied with their job means to them. My study was a qualitative one with a phenomenographic approach. In phenomenography the focus lays on people’s perceptions of a concept and variances between the perceptions is an outset. Research data was collected through semi structured thematic interviews of primary school teachers who in fall 2022 worked in swedish-speaking schools in Finland (N=9). The interviews were transcribed. I analyzed my data through a phenomenographic analyzing model. The results showed that primary school teachers have varying perceptions of job satisfaction even though all teachers saw it as some sort of an attitude towards one’s job. Teachers connected the word to a.i.a. being satisfied, being content, sense a meaning, thriving or succeeding with/at one’s job. Job satisfaction was perceived appearing in many different ways at the workplace, a.i.a. in surveys, conversations with the supervisor, thoughts on colleagues, teaching, other job assignments and in private life. The teachers perceived that job satisfaction is a very important concept that should saturate all things at one’s work. Being satisfied with one’s job overall was considered to help you get through everyday life, manage your job and to simply be well.
  • Mickos, Viivi (2021)
    From an ecological perspective, school can be seen as a protective factor for students with adverse home conditions. Although previous theory and research show that the school has potential for supporting students with adverse home conditions, research shows that there are challenges in how this works in practice. The aim of this research is to examine what methods school staff use to identify students with adverse home conditions, find out how school staff experience their role when meeting these students and how the multi-professional collaboration is implemented in schools when supporting students with adverse home conditions. This is a qualitative research. Semi-structured interview was used as a method. 1 principal, 1 special class teacher, 4 class teachers and 1 school counselor shared their experiences. The informants worked in Swedish-language schools in Southern Finland. Data from the interviews were analyzed through thematic analysis. Being observant was perceived as a prerequisite for identifying students with adverse home conditions. According to the informants, it is easier to identify these students when students show changes in behavior, they become anxious and are acting out. It is more difficult to identify adverse home conditions in students who are quiet, calm, and independent. Respectful approach was experienced as important with both students and parents of students with adverse home conditions. Creating trust in students and parents was perceived as a prerequisite for successful collaboration and something the school should put effort into. There was a lot of local variation regarding how the informants experienced the multi-professional collaboration. The results of this study emphasize that the role of the teacher is significant for a student with adverse home conditions. The results of the study also show that a good contact with the home, which is based on mutual respect and trust, is significant when it comes to supporting students with adverse home conditions.
  • Eriksson, Camilla (2022)
    This research clarifies managements perceptions of employees’ job satisfaction in distance work during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how this job satisfaction has been supported. At the transition to distance work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a change in the working environment for many employees. Previous research shows that change in working environment can also cause a change in job satisfaction, therefor research in job satisfaction during the Covid-19 pandemic is relevant. This research was carried out as qualitative research, with semi structured interviews and thematic analysis. The sample consisted of four (4) respondents, representing management either as CEOs or HR-managers. The respondents have worked in their position both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic and can therefor compare and give insights about employees’ job satisfaction both before and during the pandemic. All organisations were small and medium enterprises and sales organisations. The organisations had previously taken part of a work well-being questionnaire. For these attributes it was expected that the organisations had been faced with similar challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the management had similar prior knowledge about their employees’ job satisfaction. The results of this research show that in the cases where employees’ job satisfaction had not decreased after the transition to distance work, there had been many diverse types of supporting actions. In these cases communication had prioritised, and there was a strive for similar type of communication as the communication before distance work. With distance work becoming a more common alternative form of work, even post Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to be able to support distance work in an appropriate way. Furthermore, this research show that interpreting employees’ well-being is challenging, even in direct questions and discussion. Future research in how to interpret employees’ well-being and job satisfaction is needed.
  • Lindqvist, Jessica (2020)
    Homework is a part of the day-to-day activities in most schools. The use and benefits of homework is undergoing debate. Existing research in the field is limited and sometimes conflicting. The Finnish curriculum does not require homework to be used in teaching. Thus, it is the teacher who decides if, how and what kind of homework the pupils shall be assigned. Mathematics is a subject where homework is commonly used. It is therefore relevant to study how teachers think about homework within this particular subject and how the homework in use relates to the (social)constructivist view on learning that the current curriculum is largely based on. The aim of this study was to examine what kind of homework in mathematics primary school teachers assign and how they argue either in favor of or against homework in mathematics education. Focus was on effects that develop mathematics performance. In addition, the teachers’ views on the importance of parental involvement relating to homework in mathematics was studied. A questionnaire was sent to primary school teachers in three Swedish-speaking schools in the metropolitan area of Finland. The questionnaire included both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. 19 teachers responded. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis was performed. A deductive methodological approach was applied. The study showed that the teachers view learning in a social-constructive manner. The type of homework assigned does not, however, reflect this. Focus is on repetitive mechanical assignments to be performed individually. For instance, assignments including problem-solving are in limited use, although many believe that such assignments, along with repetitive ones, support learning in mathematics. Homework that these teachers assign does not to any large extent require being done outside of school. This leads to the relevant question whether homework is used due to the insufficiency of time in school. Most of the teachers argued for the use of homework in mathematics by reference to the importance of repetition. A majority viewed parental involvement as important. Despite the fact that the curriculum stresses equality, only three respondents reflected upon the risk that parental involvement might lead to inequality. Homework club at school was most commonly viewed as the remedy against the absence of support at home. Most teachers showed an unproblematic attitude towards the use of homework in mathematics education.
  • Back, J (2023)
    Objective. The aim of this thesis was to map how teachers in Åland experienced the new, integrated subject of religion and worldview education, its pros and cons, and to find out what the rest of Finland could learn about the transition from the previous teaching method to the current one. In 2021, Åland transitioned to a common subject of religion and worldview education where all students are in the same teaching group regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. Previously, Åland has the same form of religious education as the rest of Finland, where students are taught in different groups depending on their religious affiliation. According to Finnish law on religious freedom, students are entitled to non-denominational religious education of their own affiliation in school. Students who do not belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church or who do not have more than three representatives from the same religious community study worldview education. According to Eero Salmenkivi and Vesa Åhs (2022), Finland needs to renew its approach to religious education as the current approach is not sustainable in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic Finland. Salmenkivi and Åhs (2022) presented three possible models for the future teaching of religion and worldview subjects. Åland’s approach to religious education corresponds to model B out of Salmenkivi and Åhs (2022) three models. Method. Four teachers from Åland who teach the new integrated subject of religion and worldview education participated in interviews conducted on Zoom. the interviews were recorded and transcribed, and then analyzed through phenomenographic analysis. Results and conclusions. Participants had a positive experience with the new teaching method. Collaborative teaching allowed for open dialogue, and the participants viewed the discussions and equality as a strength in the new integrated subject. Challenges included the vagueness of the curriculum, unclear instructions and also the lack of teaching materials were seen as a challenge. To create inclusive religious and worldview education, religious literacy and minority representation are needed both in the planning process of the curriculum but also in the planning of the transition. Finland can learn from Åland the value of providing training during the transition and the importance of highlighting minority voices.
  • Främling, Niels (2021)
    Previous studies have shown that school fatigue and school related burnout has increased among upper secondary school students, furthermore psychological wellbeing in general has decreased among youths. Top level athletes who seek to combine studies with sports are also at a high risk of burning out in school or in sport. Earlier studies have shown that interventions based on positive psychology can support both studies and sports and thus help prevent burnout. The purpose of this study is to explore how top-level athletes in Finnish upper secondary school experience that an intervention course based on positive psychology can support them in their sport, studies and well-being in general. The research material was composed of seven (7) semi-structured interviews with top-level athletes currently studying at a general upper secondary school in Finland. All participants had completed the course “Studera starkt” during the schoolyear 2020-2021. The interviews were conducted during the spring of 2021 by videocall and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. All participants expressed that the course had supported them in their athletic career in some way. All participants except one also experienced that the course had helped them with their schoolwork. On top of this all participants expressed that the course had improved their well-being in general. The conclusion was that the course “Studera starkt” effectively supported top-level athletes who also studied at a general upper secondary school with their athletic career, schoolwork and well-being.
  • Hannula, Sandra (2019)
    Research shows that motivation is an important part of mathematics learning. Without motivation to learn math, learning outcomes would be significantly worse. The purpose of the study is to find out what the motivation factors are during the mathematics lessons for grades five and six. Since previous studies also show that the teacher has a central role in creating and maintaining the motivation for mathematics, the teacher's significance for the motivation is also examined in this study. In the survey, 28 pupils from grade five and 24 pupils from grade six participated. In total, 52 pupils from three different schools in Itä-uusimaa participated. The material was collected during the spring of 2019. The survey is mainly quantitative where the material was collected through a questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two open questions, which were analyzed through qualitative content analysis. According to the results, the students were motivated during the mathematics lessons, they perceived mathematics as important and useful. The biggest motivating factor was the teacher's activity, where the students mentioned that a good mathematics teacher is kind, happy and helpful and has good subject and educational skills. A student with high internal goal orientation experiences the mathematics lessons as meaningful. High internal goal orientation was also associated with high values of one's own mathematical skills. The differences between the sexes and the grades were small.
  • Carpentier, Carola (2020)
    Purpose. Around 3-15% of all pupils have dyslexia. According to the core curriculum, student assessment should be conducted in a comprehensive way, considering students’ individual difficulties. However, assessment instructions might be considered vague. Earlier studies have also shown that teachers may perceive assessment as complicated, particularly when it comes to students with special needs. The purpose of the study is to describe, analyze and interpret how secondary school teachers experience assessment and grading of pupils with dyslexia. The purpose is also to explore how pupils are enabled to show their knowledge in an adequate way. Furthermore, teachers’ perceptions of assessment fairness with regard to pupils with dyslexia are discussed. Methods. The research was conducted as a qualitative study with a phenomenographic research approach. The material consists of eight semi-structured, individual interviews with teachers working in two Swedish-speaking secondary schools i Finland. The collected material was analyzed using thematic analysis. Results and conclusions. Teachers expressed a genuine will to support pupils with dyslexia and they stated that they could assess pupils in a flexible way. Cooperation with special education teachers was perceived as important. The versatility of the core curriculum was regarded as an advantage for students with dyslexia. The most used accommodations were oral responses, extended time and test writing in a small group. Double assessment, prioritized content and adapted tests were also used, but teachers had different approaches. A student’s positive lesson activity could lead to a better grade. Language teachers struggled with the assessment of misspelled words. IT software was not widely used. The teachers stated that they did their best to take students’ difficulties into consideration when giving them grades, and they normally also thought their assessment was fair. The study shows that teachers do their very best to assess students with dyslexia, but there are differences in procedures between teachers, which might lead to unequal assessment.
  • Selin-Patel, Miivi (2022)
    Aim: The aim of this thesis is to investigate if an intervention in positive psychology can im-prove students’ subjective well-being and cultivate a growth mindset. The health in school study has shown that students experienced more school fatigue, difficulties with school as-signments and more anxiety and depression than before (THL, 2017; 2019; 2021). The pro-ject Study with Strength has developed an intervention course to support students in their everyday lives and my dissertation is written within this project. The study is based on two theories, positive psychology, and Mindset theory. Methods: The thesis is based on interviews of upper secondary students who participated in the Study with Strength intervention. Six students from different locations in Finland partici-pated in the study. The participants were between 16 and 19 years old. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews conducted via video. These interviews were transcribed and then analyzed with a thematic analysis. Results and conclusions. The results in my research showed that all the students felt that their conscious presence and their relationships had improved after the intervention. Fur-thermore, the students found methods to deal with their negative feelings. The students felt that finding out their strengths had improved their well-being as well as given them more self-confidence. This shows that the intervention has a positive effect on how students perceive their subjective well-being. Further results showed that the students’ belief in themselves and ability to develop had a positive change. They also viewed setbacks differently and were less scared to fail. All the students had also learnt how to manage their stress differently which lead to them feeling less stressed. Some of the students felt that they had a more positive view on challenges. Half the students had a more positive view on feedback after the intervention. The results show that the students perceived that their mindset had changed towards a more growth mindset.
  • Mattsson, Jonatan (2023)
    The aim of the current study was to broaden the understanding for the relationship between physical activity and working memory among primary school students. In addition, I aimed to investigate the level of physical activity among the students. Prior research implies that students who are more active and are in better condition, also tend to have better memory. The current study is a quantitative survey study. The survey was developed to measure students’ physical activity and was filled out by 54 sixth graders during their school day. The survey consisted of questions concerning how they go to school, school break activities, spare time activities, and hobbies. First, students filled out the questionnaire, and after that, they participated in a working memory test. The working memory test consisted of a digit span test forward and a digit span test backward. The results from the current survey study indicate that boys who are more physically active seem to have a larger working memory capacity than those less active. The differences were most noticeable in the forward digit span test. Similar differences were not observed among girls. However, the level of physical activity among the tested girls was clearly under the national average, hence, no strong conclusions can be drawn.
  • Stenqvist, Tanja (2023)
    Goal. The aim of this thesis is to map the theoretical complexity of the much discussed and researched concept of inclusive education. Furthermore, it illustrates the concept from a practical point of view, using interviews with Finnish classroom teachers. Researchers describe the search for a definition of inclusive education as a difficult and unproductive task. Regardless of this, several previous studies have attempted to map and simplify the complex topic. This complexity is highlighted through a review of definitional approaches from previous research. Beyond the theoretical complexity, the practical perspective also suggests a diversity of opinions and solutions within schools. The implementation of inclusive education is described from the Finnish point of view, making visible the principle of support for learning and schooling. It should be noted that the 2014 National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (Finnish National Agency for Education, 2014) describes teaching in Finnish schools as inclusive. However, the document does not define the meaning of inclusion, leaving perception and implementation up to educators. Interviews with eight Swedish-speaking classroom teachers aim to support the understanding of the implementation of inclusive education. The analysis of the interviews is especially based on the teachers' descriptions of practical actions related to inclusion, as well as the motives for the actions. Method. The thesis is based on qualitative content analysis of eight (8) interviews with Swedish-speaking classroom teachers from eight (8) different Swedish-speaking schools and school units in southern Finland. The material that I analyzed is fully transcribed and anonymized interviews. The material was collected in 2022, as part of the University of Helsinki's research project MÅDIG: Diversity and differentiation in comprehensive school. Interviews were conducted with 21 class teachers and principals, but I only accessed one interview with a class teacher from each school or school unit in the project. Results. The research results show that the Swedish-speaking classroom teachers use a variety of inclusive teaching strategies in order to address current issues that affect the learning of heterogeneous student groups. The interviews reveal that inclusive teaching is largely based on practical prioritization and lack of resources, as evidenced by the fact that the majority of teachers' descriptions refer to the consideration of disadvantaged pupils, rather than all pupils. Consideration of disadvantaged pupils is relevant, as the functionality of teaching is based on consideration of them to a greater extent than consideration of strong pupils. In addition to consideration of achievement level, i.e., strength in learning, the majority of classroom teachers describe consideration of pupils' variations in language level and home situation. Teachers describe the implementation of inclusive teaching strategies based on current themes using differentiation, peer support and companion teaching. In addition to consideration of learning, teachers also describe in depth the maintenance of social community within the class, the school and with the home. For example, teachers use varied joint activities and open communication to consider social community. In correlation with previous research, inclusive education is illustrated as a multifaceted and complex ideal in education. The previous research largely aims to define and understand the meaning of the concept, while the interviews show a practical view of varying solutions to inclusive education. The comparison of theory and practice shows that teachers' inclusion is largely based on what is practically possible and their descriptions can therefore be considered non-theoretical. This has the risk of leading to teachers acting according to their own perceptions of a situation, instead of the important professional theory. Several teachers describe that they lack adequate resources, but also additional training in the consideration of all students. The thesis highlights the need for further research on the implementation of inclusive education.
  • Kotka, Emma (2023)
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious psychological impact on individuals. This also applies to teachers. Previous studies have also shown that 57% of teachers are considering changing their professions, which is partly because their well-being has been deteriorating. Positive psychology, in turn, has received more attention when it comes to students' well-being. The aim of this study is to investigate what role positive psychology can play in the promotion of teachers' well-being, with a specific focus on the well-being after the COVID-19 pandemic. Six (6) teachers in basic education in Finland participated in the study. They were interviewed through semi-structured interviews. The interviews were taped, transcribed and analyzed through a hermeneutic analysis method. The results showed that all teachers were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and distance learning, although not all of them thought so themselves. What affected the teachers the most was the lack of social interaction and loneliness that the pandemic brought. The results also showed that the teachers in this study had good practices when it came to promoting their own well-being. These methods can be classified as methods belonging to positive psychology. Although teachers did not have good knowledge of what the concept of positive psychology means, these methods were used unconsciously.
  • Laaksonen, Julia (2022)
    International policy documents (FN (UN), 1989; WHO & BZgA, 2010, 2013; WAS, 2014; UNESCO, 2018) recommend that children should receive age-appropriate sexuality education, but it is unclear whether this is fulfilled in practice. There is relatively little research on sexuality education for younger students. Therefore, it is relevant to research how sexuality education for younger students is delivered. The purpose of this study is to describe how sexuality education is delivered in grades 1-2 in Finland and to examine teachers’ attitudes towards sexuality education for younger students. In this study I would like to draw attention to the potential of the Finnish curriculum when it comes to sexuality education. Five teachers, who at the time of the study taught grades 1-2 in Finnish primary schools, participated in this study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews that were recorded, transcribed, and analysed with thematic analysis. The results found that teachers had difficulties defining sexuality education. Teachers taught sexuality education across subjects, spontaneously and sometimes also unconsciously. Teachers need help defining what sexuality education is and what themes are to be addressed. Sexuality education should be made an evident part of the subject environmental studies in the Finnish curriculum. This can hopefully encourage teachers to teach sexuality education. The sexuality education was not really planned, evaluated, or developed in any of the schools. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Local plans for sexuality education should be written. The teachers had generally positive attitudes towards sexuality education for younger students, but in some situations sexuality education could be perceived as a difficult subject. Several of the teachers showed interest in promoting diversity and equal treatment in their teaching. This study failed in providing any deeper insight into how teachers work with norms in sexuality education.
  • Liljeström, Pamela (2022)
    This study focuses on how Swedish-language textbooks in history describe Westerns, especially Europe and European in relation to other parts of the world. Previous research has shown that the textbooks used in Finnish schools focus on a Eurocentric view of the world. Postcolonial theory is used as background information to highlight the issue of an Eurocentric world view and what it leads to. The textbooks are analyzed using norm pedagogical theories to enlighten which norms are presented in the books. The textbooks assume that the reader is from West and that’s why norm pedagogical theory is used together with postcolonial theory. In this study two different series of books in history for grades 5 and 6 in elementary school are analyzed. The sample consists of both text- and workbooks. The method used for the sample was thematic analysis. The method is known for identifying common themes in the sample. Recurring themes confirm the Westerners superior status in the history books. The examples that are presented in the result show that people are put in unequal positions depending on where they come from. When the textbooks talk about religion they refer to Christians, the poor are described poor on a Western scale and men are still portrayed as more superior than women. The textbooks use statements that strengthen the Eurocentric world view.
  • Hägerfelth, Jon (2023)
    Background and goal. The aim of this study is to examine which technical challenges teachers in elementary school experience while using digital tools, aswell as how the challenges affect their work. Teachers’ experience with the education for using digital tools is also a focus for this study. Earlier research suggest that network-, storage- and login difficulties are usual in the classroom, while the administrative programmes are difficult to use. These challenges mainly affect the teachers timewise and are a cause for frustration. Studies also suggest that teachers aren´t always properly educated or knowleadgable with the use of digital tools. Methods. This study is of qualitative nature. I have interviewed six elemntary school teachers (year 1-6), from two different schools in southern Finland. The answers have been analyzed with thematical analysis. Results and conclusions. Teachers experience different kinds of technical challenges with digital tools. Network-, storage- and login difficulties were common challgenes. The teachers put more emphasis on the difficulty of using the different administrative programmes, and pointed to several issues with them. Waste of time and frsutration became apparent as two main outcomes of teachers experiencing technical challenges. Regarding teacher education, most of the teachers felt quite comfortable with the use of digital tools, but pointed out some weaknesses in their knowledge, i.e. the Smartboard was a digital tool many teachers felt a bit unfamiliar with. The teachers felt the need for more education. Support was a theme that came up in many oft he interviews, where the teachers pointed out that the supporting network for technical difficulties is a bit lacking. First and foremost it isn´t easy to know who to contact with which problems, which led to the collegial support being the first choice. My study show that teachers still experience different kinds of technical challenges with digital tools. Some of my results confirm earlier studies, which show that things haven´t necessarily improved or changed, while teachers feel the need for a change in the administrative side of the work. Teacher educationwise there is a need for more availible eduaction and courses, that offer learning on different knowledge levels, aswell as the support structures may need a closer look. The support structures may need renewing or changing to reliev the teacher´s work.
  • Kullström, Emilia (2023)
    Goal. The purpose of the thesis is to identify, analyze and describe the underlying impact of digitalisation on equality and inequality between students in elementary schools. In addition, the relationship between democracy, participation and digitalisation is researched. Previous studies have shown that there are differences in teachers' and students' digital competence, technological equipment, digitalisation between different cities/schools. Studies have also shown that students' digital equipment and socio-economic background affect students’ academic success. Digital competence is a central part of the curriculum and relevant in today's changing society, as are equality matters. The remote-studies during the covid-19 pandemic and the number of digital tools in everyday life have also increased the need for digital tools in teaching. Methods. The study is a qualitative interview study within the framework of the research project "Digital literacy in development", DigiLi. The project started in the year 2021 and the research process is still active in 2022. The material received includes interviews with teachers in Swedish-speaking schools in Finland. The study uses ten semi-structured in-depth interviews with teachers in grades 5–9. In the interviews the topic of discussion was distance learning and digi-talisation, with a focus on digital resources, changes in teaching content and student participa-tion, student (in)equality, language awareness and collegial work. The audio recordings and transcriptions were analyzed using content analysis. Results and conclusions. The teachers feel that students have access to different digital tools among themselves. The economic situation of families can for example lead to weak internet connection and digital tools. The teachers also gave varying answers to questions about partici-pation in the digital environment; digitalisation and the use of digital tools can both promote democracy and participation in education as well as hinder or suppress it. The conclusions are that students have access to different teaching methods with digital tools between them, which is due to differences in the teachers' digital competence, the school's/municipality's resources and the student's (socio)economic status. The digitalisation of teaching can thus expand the already existing inequalities in society.
  • Räike, Matias (2023)
    Aim. Children’s early social-emotional maturation plays an important role in their development. A report in Finland has shown that daycare centers need tools in everyday life to support children's socio-emotional development. Thus, the SAGA intervention was created by Kalland, Linnavalli & Von Koskull (2022). In the intervention, the staff at the day care center were trained in mentalization theory. Over the course of twelve weeks, the staff at the daycare engaged in regular shared storybook reading sessions with children aged 3–5. The aim of the discussions was to support the children in reflecting on mental states and to get them interested in their own and others’ inner world. In this thesis, the discussions between teachers and children during shared storybook were analyzed. The aim of the study was to describe, interpret and analyze the way the staff at day care centers discuss with the children about the inner world. Additionally, the study aimed to examine how these discussions function as a basis for the children's mentalization. One goal was also to analyze how the staff use questions to encourage children’s reflection on the inner world. Methods. The research material was gathered by videotaping moments of shared storybook reading. Thirteen different groups of children were filmed, with a total of seven adults and 57 children featured in the 13 video clips. The video footage has been transcribed and analyzed through content analysis. Results and conclusions. The results showed that most of the teachers discussed the storybooks with the children in a way that encouraged reflection on the inner world. These discussions served as a basis for the children's mentalization. The majority of discussions about inner mental states focused on identifying and naming emotions, with less reflection on thoughts, wishes or underlying reasons. There were some reflections that required a higher level of mentalization in the children. Self-reflection and reflection based on the characters' perspective were evenly distributed in the children's reflections. The teachers asked more open than closed-ended questions about the inner world. Some groups had little or no discussion about the inner world. This seemed to be because the teachers had not mastered the content of the education, failed to get the children to participate in the discussion, or that the theme of the storybook was more abstractly connected to the inner world.
  • Ruokonen, Maija (2021)
    The appearance ideals of today are very narrow and put excessive pressure on individuals to look a certain way. The ideals are seen as so unrealistic that most people cannot reach them. This has led to an increase in body dysmorphia to a degree where it nowadays is normal to be unsatisfied with one’s body. A negative body image can have several serious consequences, such as mental health problems, eating disorders and social and economic problems. Earlier studies have shown that problems with body image also affect children: the majority of children seem to be unsatisfied with their bodies, and many try to lose weight through unhealthy methods, such as skipping meals. Therefore, there is a big need in supporting children’s body image and researchers have highlighted schools as adequate places for this work. The aim of this study is to examine primary school teachers’ comprehensions about children’s body image, as well as their comprehensions about their possibilities to support their students’ body image in school. Six teachers, who at the time of the study were working in grades 1-6 in the primary school in Finland, participated in this study. Semi-structured interviews were used, and data was analyzed by using thematic analysis that took place in the qualitative data analysis software ATLAS.ti. The teachers in this study considered body image as a highly important topic. The teachers seemed to understand what influences children’s body image and they could observe children’s body image in different situations, such as during school lunch and through paying attention to children’s behavior. They also had a strong will of supporting their students’ body image, but at the same time the teachers felt that the lack of knowledge, resources and guidelines made them feel uncomfortable with working with body image. The teachers disagreed on whether supporting children’s body image really was part of their work responsibilities, but despite of this, there was a consensus of the importance that teachers need to be good role models for their students and that teachers should work for a school where every child feels worthy and safe. Based on the results of this study, it can be said that body image needs to be more emphasized in future school curriculums and that teachers need more knowledge in body image and more tools to feel comfortable with teaching this topic. The results of this study can benefit further studies in body image and studies regarding the school’s role in the work with supporting children’s body image.