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Browsing by study line "Early Education"

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  • Kaunisaho, Erika (2022)
    Objectives. This study examines career change into early childhood education (ECE) teaching. According to research literature, second career teachers differ significantly from first career teachers. In the field of ECE, the phenomenon has not been examined before. The purpose of this study is to find out second career ECE teachers´ career choice motives; examine the fulfillment of their expectations of ECE teaching and satisfaction of their career change; and investigate factors that increase their job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The theoretical framework is based, among other things, on the Factors Influencing Teaching Choice -scale (Watt & Richardson, 2007) and Herzberg's motivation theory (1957). According to previous studies, the career choice of ECE teachers is influenced by internal motives, such as teaching as a calling and the desire to work with children. Children, the social dimension of work, perceived autonomy at work and skilled leadership increases teachers' job satisfaction. Job dissatisfaction is caused by insufficient resources, unclear job description, the structure of ECE and dysfunctional teamwork. Methods. This research was carried out as an electronic survey research (n=76). The data was collected on Facebook through groups of the student organizations of the universities of Helsinki and Tampere and two groups on early childhood education. In addition, the survey was sent to second career teacher students at the University of Helsinki. The data was analyzed using data-based content analysis, cross-tabulation and Spearman's correlation coefficient. Results and conclusions. The most significant career choice motives of second career ECE teachers were interest, meaning, employment prospects and stress from previous work. Interest towards ECE teaching acted as a protective factor against new career change intentions. The second career ECE teachers were quite satisfied with their career changes, and their expectations of the work as an ECE teacher had been fulfilled quite well. Still, 46% of second career ECE teachers considered changing fields again. The most significant factors leading to job satisfaction were children, job description, positive feelings related to the job and social factors. Job dissatisfaction was experienced because of insufficient resources, salary and high job demands.
  • Ohraluoma, Jenna (2021)
    Objectives. A lot of research has been done during recent years on children’s language development and creative ways to support it during early childhood. Studies have shown that one significant factor which can support children in learning to read and write is music. The objective of this Master´s thesis is to study music education’s effect on under school age children´s language development measured by Rapid Automatized naming test. In addition, I investigate if there are differences in development between boys and girls or native Finnish speakers and children who speak Finnish as a second language during the two-year longitudinal research. Data for this Master thesis has been collected as a part of Tanja Linnavalli´s dissertation (2019) “Effects of musical experience on children’s language and brain development” which studied the effect of music intervention on children’s language development. Methods. There were 72 participants who were between four-to-five-year-old in the beginning of the study. Data was collected during 2014-2017. There were three study groups: one receiving music play-school, another group receiving dance classes and a third group that acted as a passive control group. Children were evaluated four times during the two-year long research for their speed in naming colours and objects by Rapid Automatized naming test by Niilo Mäki Institute. This Master´s thesis compares the differences between the groups using independent samples t-test. Results and conclusions. The study shows that children who participated to music playschool improved more on naming tests during the follow up than the other groups. Girls improved statistically significantly more than boys and Finnish as a second language speakers improved slightly better than native Finnish speakers. The results support the view that music has a positive impact on the development of language skills. In early childhood education and care, it is important to understand the support music education may offer to language development e.g., children with Finnish as a second language or learning challenges on reading and writing.
  • Valosaari, Elina (2021)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat – Abstract Several studies show that early childhood education and care, and in particular pre-primary education, play a key role in supporting and preventing learning difficulties. However, it is common for a child to not receive a learning difficulty diagnosis before school age. Late diagnosis is often caused by the individuality and comorbidity of learning difficulties with other developmental challenges. It is important that early childhood education teachers, who work in pre-primary education, identify children at potential risk of learning difficulties. At the same time, they must also be familiar with the mechanisms of learning difficulties and effective methods for supporting and preventing potential difficulties at school. The aim of this study was to study the methods used in pre-primary education to support and prevent learning difficulties. The aim was also to find out how consciously and on what grounds preschool teachers choose different methods to support their teaching. At the center of this study were methods related to reading and mathematical skills. Three research questions were used to find answers to these topics. The research data was collected in December 2020 and January 2021 by interviewing five early childhood education teachers. They all worked in a preschool from the City of Helsinki daycare. The data was collected by a semi-structured theme interview and the analysis method was the qualitative content analysis. Based on this study, teachers considered it important to support and prevent learning difficulties already in pre-primary education. They felt that they had sufficient capacity and knowledge regarding learning difficulties and that they could identify the children who might need support for learning. Teachers used mostly general pedagogical methods to support children's learning in reading and mathematics. Methods were mostly based on curriculum for the primary education. Teachers emphasized physical activity, functionality, and integration with other learning content to support reading and mathematical skills. Awareness of available methods related to the prevention of learning difficulties was clearly low and incomplete. Furthermore, the use of various materials and methods was not clearly justified in relation to the prevention of possible difficulties. Teachers chose methods, based on their own habits and material that was available in the daycare center. Preschool-teachers' overall awareness of learning difficulties, their occurrence, and preventive factors and methods, appears to be low and incomplete.
  • Kuosmanen, Jani (2022)
    Growth folder is a tool based on the definition of portfolio, that has been used in the early childhood education since the 90’s. With the development of digital technologies, a digital option has developed alongside the paper-based growth folder, and digitality is thought in many ways to enhance its capabilities. Being a tool that is based on documenting and on processing those documents, digital growth folder in early childhood education shares common ground especially with the pedagogical documentation, but in literature there are also many other possibilities attached to it. The aim of this study was to find out what different perceptions early childhood education teachers have about the digital growth folder as well as the actual working with it. The meaning of this study is to find out, what kind of possibilities early education teachers themselves think are included in digital growth folder. The collection of research material and analysis was in this study guided by the qualitative phenomenographic framework, which states that there is just one common reality, whose phenomena each individual experiences and comprehends in individual ways. The research material was collected by interviewing six early childhood education teachers, each with at least two years of experience in using the digital growth folder in their work. The material driven analysis proceeded through the identification of meaning units and their categorization to finally form two description category systems. Based on the perceptions of early childhood education teachers interviewed, a digital growth folder is a tool or means with different uses and purposes. The purpose was influenced by early childhood education staff, the child, and the child’s family. Digitality appeared as a factor that seemed to have both negative and positive effects on the digital growth folder. Based on teachers’ perceptions, working with the growth folder appeared as a process, that contained documenting but also processing those documents. The working with the growth folder was affected on the one hand by the resources related to digital devices and time, on the other hand the organizing the work.
  • Nirkko, Ruusu (2021)
    Climate change is a fundamental phenomenon and challenge of our time and it should be dealt with in all areas of life. However, climate change education is being implemented very limitedly. During recent years there has been increasing amount of research on climate change education, but climate change education in early childhood education has been studied very sparingly. According to previous research, news about climate change can arouse many kinds of emotions and thoughts in children. Based on research, it has been proposed that through art-driven teaching methods it is possible to deal with emotions and thoughts aroused by climate change and strengthen hopefulness and belief in one’s own influence. Of the forms of art education, drama education as a method of climate change education has hardly been studied. The aim of this study was to add knowledge of what climate change education could be in early childhood education. The study investigates early childhood education specialists’ definitions of climate change education and their views on what possibilities drama education methods can offer for implementation of climate change education. I designed and implemented climate drama workshops for early childhood education specialists and collected the research data in the context of the workshops. Participants of the study produced short writings and in addition two of the workshops were videotaped. I analyzed the writing data and the video data qualitatively using the method of theory-based content analysis. Aa a basis for the analysis I used primarily the holistic bicycle model on climate change education (Tolppanen ym. 2017). The early childhood education specialists who participated in the study defined adding knowledge and understanding, encouraging to action, developing values and conceptions of the world and dealing with emotions as contents of climate change education. Specialists’ uncertainty and worries about arousing difficult emotions in children appeared as barriers for implementing climate change education in early childhood education. From the perspective of the study subjects, drama education methods seemed to have possibilities for implementing several parts of climate change education. Drama educations possibilities related to adding knowledge, developing thinking skills, building conceptions of the world, empowering and dealing with emotions were brought up. Methods of drama education offer practical ways for implementing and developing climate change education in early childhood education.
  • Inkinen, Milla (2021)
    Previous research has shown that there is deficiency in the quality of early childhood education of children under the age of three. The purpose of this study is to describe with discourse analysis what kind of meanings teachers give to successful pedagogy in their narratives. In addition to discourse analysis, I reason the meanings given to successful pedagogy with National Evaluation Center’s (Karvi) process factors of quality (Vlasov ym., 2018). The main question of this study is how teachers working with children under the age of three speak about successful pedagogy. The material of the study was collected with a questionnaire that was shared in two early childhood education related Facebook groups. The material consisted of 32 narratives where teachers that work with children under the age of three talk about a pedagogically successful day. The material was analyzed with discourse analysis. The analysis and interpretation were strongly based on social constructionism that emphasizes the material as the object of the study. Four larger interpretative repertoires were found from the narratives of the teachers. These repertoires were: Adult meets child, Learning is holistic, Everyone knows what they are doing and The repertoire of insufficiency. These interpretative repertoires represented the most crucial meanings given to successful pedagogy. The repertoires performed in the narratives partly overlapped and parallel. The teachers of early childhood education emphasized sensitive and individualized encounter and interaction that takes a child's interests into account. Learning was seen holistic, and it was typically placed in situations of basic care and small group action. In the aspect of Karvi’s process factors of quality there is still need for improvement in the quality of early childhood education of children under the age of three. The lack of goal-directed pedagogy and support of peer interaction in the narratives arouses a question whether the concept of participation is understood inadequately.
  • Jukkala, Silja (2020)
    Aims The purpose of this study is to describe the interaction between a special education teacher and a child with a developmental disability in special needs groups. The aim of the study is to find out how the teacher engages interaction with the child in different situations, and how the reciprocal interaction manifests. The study is based on theories of social interaction. Methods The ethnological approach was chosen, as the aim of the study was to describe the interaction between the teacher and child in everyday situations. The data was collected from three special needs groups in early childhood education, in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The data included 351 video recordings, about 4 hours in total. The analysis was limited to 2 hours 42 minutes of video. Data was analyzed in two steps. First the teachers´ engagement to interaction with the child was analyzed using the Suhonen's (2009) form, which is based on the AES (adult engagement scale) developed by Pascall (1995). Then the 17 video literates were analyzed with conversational analysis. The analysis focused on the elements of social interaction, teacher-child interaction initiatives, responding to initiatives and the formation of reciprocal interaction. Findings and conclusions Teachers’ engagement to interaction with the child varied according to situation. Engagement was strongest in teaching activities and weakest in care situations. Successful interaction was formed when the teachers were able to throw themselves in, enable the child's natural initiatives and succeed in recognizing and responding to them. The use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strengthened the interaction. Most genuine connection was formed in idle moments, when spontaneous plays formed between teacher and child. Interaction between a teacher and a child with developmental disabilities is built on the pedagogical activities of the more skilled interaction partner, the teacher. Forming a connection takes time and sensitivity in recognizing the natural interaction methods of the child.
  • Lahtela, Elina (2021)
    Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government of Finland declared a state of emergency for the time between 18th March and 16th June, 2020. However, pre-primary education groups were held in operation, but – according to the government’s policy – the children were to be kept home if it was possible considering the parents’ work. (Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, The Finnish Government Communications. 2020; The Finnish Government 2020.) As a consequence, the organisation of pre-primary education varied in different parts of Finland. Some children had contact instruction, some children stayed at home and received distance instruction by pre-education unit, and some children relied completely on possible home instruction. The purpose of this study is to find out the different ways pre-primary education was executed across the country during the state of emergency. It also brings forth the views the pre-primary teachers who attended this study have on how educational equality is actualised in their groups. The study further examines their views on the possible effects the state of emergency had to the process of proceeding to primary school, and how the state of emergency has affected settling in to school. The data for this study was collected with a questionnaire from two early childhood education themed Facebook groups in Spring 2021. The questionnaire was answered by sixteen pre-primary teachers who had worked with pre-primary education groups during the 2020 state of emergency. The collected data was analysed with data-driven content analysis. The pre-primary education organized during the state of emergency is examined by dividing the questionnaire results into four categories emerging from the data; teaching during the state of emergency, actualization of educational equality, and proceeding to primary school after the state of emergency. Based on the findings of the study, it is noticeable that – between municipalities as well as pre-primary education units – there are clear differences in the amount and quality of activities, as well as in the used teaching methods. According to the study, the teachers experienced challenges with the fulfillment of educational equality during the state of emergency; this was affected by, for example, the conditions, the differences between families and the resources available. The data shows that there were cases in which it was impossible to organize any kind of school introductions, and in other cases they were carried out with varying means. Moreover, starting school was mainly considered to be harder after the state of emergency, compared to normal conditions. The findings of the study could be utilised when planning possible preparations for similar future events.
  • Saresvuo, Salla-Maj (2023)
    The physical activity of children has a significant meaning impact in the holistic and safe growth, development, and learning of children. Children’s natural way to release energy and emotions is through exercise. The aim of physical education is for the child to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle, gain positive experiences from exercise and learn physical skills. Physical activity has a positive effect on a child's health and wellbeing. The aim of this qualitative case study is to investigate the views of preschool children about physical activity and to determine what they think physical activity is. The theme is current and significant, because only 10-20 percent of children under school age achieve the amount of physical activity required for normal growth and development. The study also considers the effect of gender on physical activity. 23 preschool-age children, 13 girls and 10 boys, participated in the study. The data collection method was an interview and the analysis method was quantification. The research results show that exercise is a happy thing for children. Only a few children experience fear when they exercise. The majority of preschool children like physical activity and feel that they are good at it. There are differences in the results between genders; boys experience physical activity more positively than girls do. All children can describe physical activity in some way and most of the children have a sports hobby.
  • Olli, Lilli (2022)
    The purpose of this qualitative research was to describe and interpret the meaning and grounds of worldview education from the guardians perspective and their wishes regarding worldview education in early childhood education. Previous research has shown worldview education to be a tense content area within early childhood education. Studies have focused mostly on the professionals point of view. Whereas little attention has been given to the guardians perspective. The research questions were as follows: 1. What meanings do guardians give to worldview education in early childhood education? 2. What grounds do guardians present for worldview education in early childhood education? 3. What wishes do the guardians express towards early childhood worldview education? The data consisted of four thematic interviews and open-ended entries of the questionnaire. 11 guardians answered the questionnaire. The data was analyzed using theory-driven content analysis, and utilized methods based on discourse analysis. The results were mirrored with Balčin et al.'s (2021) model of the worldview dimension of worldview education. The data shows that guardians see multi-perspective worldview education as a way of promoting accepting differences and as a mediator of a model of a good person. The necessity of the content area was questioned as early childhood education resources are critical. The meanings were built from a secular and pluralistic dimension. The guardians' grounds for worldview education focused on a shared Finnish value base, the nurturing of cultural tradition and the rights of the child. The grounds were located in the secular and monovalent dimension. The guardians expressed a preference for religious sensitivity and valued a high level of competence in worldview education from the professionals, nonalignment of worldview education, uniform practices, caution on trips to other worldview communities and stronger description of worldview education and discussion about it. The wishes were focused on the secular dimension. The guardians had a positive attitude to multi-perspective worldview education, but the practices related to its implementation revealed tense questions and attitudes in which the interpretation of one's own background in worldview education was highlighted. This thesis reveals that discussion about world-view education between guardians and personnel in early childhood education is in major role promoting multi-valued society which allows different worldviews. Discussion requires personnels' competence of worldview reflection and sensitive attitude towards religion and worldviews. In the light of this thesis, these previous skills should be supported among personnel in early childhood education.
  • Solaranta, Tiia (2023)
    Objectives. The aim of this study was to find out how the day-care centre managers define inclusive early childhood education and what kind of thoughts inclusion evokes in them. The study also examines how the day-care centre managers (both managers and deputy managers) guide and support their employees towards an inclusive way of working. The starting point for the study was the interest in how the renewed National core curriculum for early childhood education and care (drawn up by the Finnish National Agency for Education, OPH, 2022) emphasize the implementation of inclusive early childhood education as part of the value base. Methods. The research was carried out as a mixed methods research in which the material was handled both qualitatively and quantitatively. The research material was collected using an electronic questionnaire (N=23). Quantitative research data was analyzed using statistical methods, whereas qualitative research data was analyzed using data-driven content analysis. The survey was carried out using an e-form for managers and deputy managers of Finnish-speaking day-care centres in the city of Helsinki. Results. The results showed that the views described by the managers and deputy managers of day-care centres towards inclusive early childhood education are versatile. The respondents were mainly unanimous about the value of inclusive early childhood education in furthering the development of participation, equality and equitable treatment. However, inclusive early childhood education was seen from various perspectives among the respondents considering the amount of support measures and resources available for the operation. According to the results, managers see themselves playing a key role in the implementation of inclusive early childhood education as a part of the everyday life of the day-care centres. Nevertheless, the means to promote the realization of inclusion were seen very differently depending on the respondent, and there are no official policies set on the matter on behalf of the city.
  • Arokanto, Chantal (2020)
    Climate change related teaching, so called climate education, has lately been promoted and further developed in Finland in subject teaching and basic education. The perspective of early childhood education, however, has received little attention. The aim of this study is to explore the views of educators interested in environmental matters about climate change in early childhood education. The purpose is to research what climate related content, approaches and methods work well and what kind of climate activities could be used in early childhood education. The empirical data set was collected both as an online survey and as interviews. The survey was published in six social media communities focusing on environmental education. A total of 26 respondents took part in the survey, of which seven also participated in a thematic interview by phone. The group consisted of early childhood professionals with different educational backgrounds, most also having some additional training or special expertise in environmental education. The participants felt that it was important to strengthen children’s relationship with nature and raise awareness about climate change. According to participants, outdoor activities and forest trips were the best methods and learning environments for climate education. Teaching scientific knowledge about climate change to children was not perceived as important as teaching climate friendly values. The educators emphasized that climate education is included in all activities such as everyday consumer choices and climate actions. According to them, climate education should be practiced by giving a hopeful and positive vision for the future. In addition, the participants emphasized the role of a safe atmosphere in which to conduct climate education; that is, protecting children from feelings of anxiety and hopelessness. According to them, educators are important role models when it comes to climate education. Therefore, the educator has a great role and responsibility in acting as an example for children.
  • Harjola, Aava (2024)
    The objective of this research is to study cultural imagery within inclusivity driven learn-ing environments, particularizing in visual aid and the representation of diversity. The subject of the research is visual aid pictures found in the learning environments of public day care centers in Helsinki. The focus of the research is to examine what kind of visual aid pictures are selected to be used in the public areas of the day care centers and if they portray their user. The user be-ing a diverse customer group, based on the values of inclusive early childhood education suitable for all. Do the visual aid pictures depict the features of the majority groups, or are disparities disclosed in the imagery selected? Diversity and disparities are defined accord-ing to prior theory taking into consideration the perspectives of the narratives. In which ways are the majority groups or deviation from it portrayed in Finnish early childhood education and is the opposition of these concepts visible in the selection of vis-ual aid used in the learning environments? Prior theory states that the main values in in-clusive early childhood education revolve around a child’s sense of being seen and heard. In order to produce a sense of being seen and heard for all children, the chosen imagery must also depict this. All children have the right to be seen and accepted for who they are and experience social cohesion within inclusive early childhood education regardless of their heritage, physical features and abilities, gender, illness, disability or belonging to any other minority group. The data was compiled between December 2022 and February 2023. The data collection was executed by photographing visual aid pictures inside of public day care centers in five different ECE districts of Helsinki. The data was analyzed by using qualitative content analysis and quantitative coding. Empirical information was formed by means of coding, responding to the research problems about the quantity of diversity visible. The research hypothesis is that the diversity visible in the used visual aid pictures varies between different ECE districts, according to the customer base and employees. If the em-ployees are qualified and adequately educated, it can be presumed that the pedagogically selected visual aid is of good quality and portrays values of inclusion well. If the customer base of the day care center is diverse, it can be assumed that diversity is seen as the norm in the visual aid pictures. The availability of visual aid pictures can be presumed to have an impact on the selection. If the results indicate that visual aid pictures are selected from a sparse source base, it will reduce the quantity and extent of diversity and disparities. The main hypothesis of the research is, that visual aid which a child relates to and reminds a child of itself increases the experience and sense of being seen and heard, advancing the actualization of the values of inclusive early childhood education.
  • Häggman, Emilia (2021)
    Aim of this study was to investigate the connection between children’s self-regulation and temperament. Additionally, the aim of the study was to determine whether a child’s age, gender or mother’s level of education modified the associations between temperament and self-regulation skills. The research material was collected in 2017 in kindergartens in Salo (N=29) and Riihimäki (N=3) as part of the DAGIS project. Data consisted of questionnaire material collected during the baseline measurement of the project. The subjects (N=802) were 3–6 years old children and their families. Children’s self-regulation skills were measured using PikkuKesky survey (challenges in self-regulatory skills) completed by early childhood education teachers or other professional (N=757). Also, parents filled a form that measured child’s cognitive and emotional self-regulation skills separately. Children’s temperament was assessed using Children’s Behavior Questionnaire (very short form). This questionnaire was filled by parents. The relationship between child’s temperament and self-regulation was analysed using linear regression analysis. In addition to that, regression analysis was used to examine whether a child’s age and gender or maternal education level had an interaction effect with temperament on self-regulation. The results of the research showed that there was a connection between children’s temperament and self-regulation. Children with high levels of surgency had more challenges in their self-regulatory skills, while better effortful control meant that the child had fewer challenges in self-regulation. This study did not find connection between challenges of self-regulation and negative affectivity. Children with high levels of effortful control as well as those with more surgency was associated to better cognitional self-regulation. In contrast, children with high levels of negative affectivity had weaker cognitive self-regulatory skills. Children with high levels of surgency or negative affectivity had weaker emotional self-regulation skills, while children with high levels of effortful control was associated to better emotional self-regulation. In this study, age, gender and maternal educational background, had no interaction between temperament and self-regulation. Children’s personal temperament needs to be taken into account when developing child’s self-regulatory skills and pay attention to supporting the self-regulatory skills of children with different temperaments - especially surgency ones - at an early stage.
  • Hovio, Eerika (2021)
    The purpose of this study was to research how the leadership of kindergarten leaders is correlated to the quality of early childhood education. The correlation between leadership and early childhood education quality was studied from the perspective of personnel and parents. In addition this paper studied how parents and personnel experience the quality of early childhood education. In addition, the correlation between personnel’s as well as parents’ views about leadership and to their understanding of early childhood education quality was studied. It is important to study the correlation between early childhood education leadership and quality because leadership styles affects early childhood education quality (Vlasov ym., 2018, 46). The aim of this study is to find out what leadership factors are correlated to early childhood education. Once you have found the leadership factors, you are able to develop these forward. Research data was collected in 2019 from one early childhood education area in Helsinki. The data was collected by electronic questionnaire from early childhood education personnel (N = 14) and parents (N = 36). The questionnaire had allegations about early childhood education quality and leadership. Personnel’s and parents’ views of the early childhood education quality were studied by descriptive analysis. The correlations between personnel’s and parents’ assessments on leadership and their understanding of the early childhood education quality were investigated by non-parametric Kendall´s tau-b correlation test. For the analysis, sums of variables were created from the claim categories of the questionnaire. There were eight sums of variables on both personnel’s and parents’ questionnaires. Seven of the sums of variables included early childhood education quality claims and one sum of variables included the leadership claims. The personnel´s and parents’ answers implied that the quality of early childhood is positive. The respondent group gave especially high points to the claims that child’s early childhood education curriculum was being fulfilled and that personnel and parents had discussed child’s growth, teaching and care. Kindergarten’s leader’s leadership correlated with early childhood education´s functionality of the premises, versatility, safety and with the premises enabling time to be alone as well as group to operate. In addition, when leadership was seen as high-quality, personnel were more professionally skilled and engaged to work. By taking the findings into account, kindergarten leaders should acknowledge that by their own leadership abilities they might affect the quality of early childhood education.
  • Lilja, Jenny (2021)
    The purpose of this study was to find out how diversity is presented in contemporary chil-dren’s picturebooks. The theoretical background of the study was based on feminist peda-gogy, gender studies and cultural studies. The aim of the study was to describe, analyze and interpret the discourses of diversity in children's picturebooks written in 2012–2021. The main interest was in the means of making diversity a part of everyday life’s representa-tion. The phenomena were examined intersectionally. Previous studies (see e.g., Pesonen 2015a, 2015b, 2017; Heikkilä-Halttunen 2013; Rastas 2013, Beezmohun 2013; Kokkola & Österlund 2014; Österlund 2008) have found that diversity is often presented in an exotic and ethnocentric way – through differences – but discourse is changing to describe diversity as a normal part of society. Representations of socially constructed categories such as citi-zenship, “race,” and gender are changing. The research material was produced by selecting picturebooks that presented diversity in some way as a principle. The purpose in studying discourses was to increase understand-ing of how hegemonic and dominant discourses were challenged in the selected picture-books. Poststructuralist feminist discourse analysis was used to analyze the material. Es-pecially power positions and agencies were examined. The study showed that in the ten children's picturebooks examined, diversity is mostly pre-sented as a normal, everyday and pervasive phenomenon. Three main discourses could be distinguished from the material, which were 1) children challenging the hegemonic norma-tive, 2) diversity as a normal part of society, and 3) requirement of equality: everyone has the right to be their own self. Modern children’s literature actively challenged dominant con-cepts of gender, “race,” ethnicity, language, age, and health status, but at the same time might have produced binary gender dichotomy. Nevertheless, all the books studied also created a new kind of diversity discourse and, in other words, actively reproduced concept of diversity.
  • Innala, Heidi (2022)
    To a large extent, teaching is guided by the teacher's perception of the child's learning. The concept of learning guides, among other things, how the teacher acts and what kind of teaching methods they choose. The learning concept of the national core curriculum for early childhood education and care is based on a socioconstructive concept of learning, which determines that learning takes place in social interaction, so that the child is an active actor. Early childhood education and care is seen as an important channel to support a child's learning; emphasise a sense of community, peer learning and play. This study examined discourses on child learning produced by early childhood educators. The subject is important because research in this area is scarce. The research design was qualitative discourse analysis of written material collected by invitation. Twenty early childhood education teachers participated, and the study resulted in three discourses that describe the meanings that teachers produce for learning and, at the same time, create a social reality of learning in early childhood education. Discourses were the positions of learning, interaction and emotions as well as learning in context. The discourses produced by teachers largely correspond to socioconstructivist and sociocultural approaches to learning. They are also very much in line with the concept of learning in the national core curriculum for early childhood education and care. In these discourses, the adult is seen as very relevant in the child's learning and its support; emphasis on interaction between the adult and the child and the child's own activity and motivation are similarly seen as important. The results also highlight how the discourses articulating the teachers' concept of learning emphasized the child's interests but paid little attention to the importance of the child’s previous experiences. Mention of the treatment of communality, peer learning, and play was similarly scarce in teachers’ discourses. Based on the results of this study, it is important for teacher education and on-the-job learning to further strengthen teachers' perceptions of the importance of collaborative learning, peer interaction, and support for play in a child's learning.
  • Peltonen, Tuulimaria (2024)
    In the Finnish society, the trial of two-year pre-primary education implemented by the Ministry of Education and Culture began in 2021. The trial, which will run until 2024, will involve children from four to seven years old from selected municipalities. The basis of the trial is the law and the experimental curriculum developed for it. The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of children's parents from the trial of two-year pre-primary education and their participation. The aim is to analyze what kind of meanings parents give to the implementation of the two-year pre-primary education trial. In addition, the study will examine how the parents perceive their own participation in the cooperation with daycare centre. The research is a continuation of my earlier research related to two-year pre-primary education. The study was conducted as qualitative research, the material of which was collected interviewing parents with a semi-structured thematic interview. A total of 16 parents from the trial daycare centers in the city of Helsinki participated in the individual and group interviews. When focusing on people's experiences, the research is phenomenological-hermeneutic in nature. The parents' conversation was analyzed using content analysis. The results showed that the parents mostly had a positive attitude towards the pre-primary trial. The trial was seen as an opportunity for the child and as a reinforcement of the learning path. On the other hand, the communication concerning of the trial was perceived as unclear, the resources insufficient, and the expectations and obligations directed at families were perceived as concerns. Some of the parents did not see the activity during the trial as different from their previous experiences related to early childhood. The parents were quite committed to the trial, even though they felt their involvement was minimal what they have wished. Parental experiences of the participation was also associated with uncertainty and feelings of trust. The results of the study can be used in making further plans for developing two-year pre-primary education. In addition, research results can contribute in creating new practices for informing parents. The article “The realization of two-year pre-primary education trial and participation from the parents' point of view” is to be published in the Journal of Early Childhood Education Research.
  • Laaksonen, Anna (2019)
    This study examines co-regulation during clean-ups and transitions between activities in ECEC. The main interest of this study was to describe co-regulation and to promote knowledge and understanding of it in these specific situations. This study also investigates the ways teachers co-regulate children’s emotion, behaviour and attention. In this study co-regulation is approached from a socio-cultural perspective, and it is considered an important factor in child’s development and learning. The videodata used in this study was collected in a daycare center in Southern Finland in spring 2017. Data of this study consist of 24 episodes that were identified from the original 51 h video corpus. Children who participated in this study were between 1 to 4 years old. This study employes an ethnomethodological approach and multimodal interaction analysis was used as a method of data analysis. Co-regulation during clean-ups and transitions between activities in ECEC was identified as a specific event which had clearly distinguishable beginning and ending. The situations where co-regulation occurred were different in relation to which situational factors invited teacher to co-regulate with specific child or group of children. Teacher used mostly active-related strategies while co-regulating, and active-related strategies were identified more than emotion-related strategies. The situations where co-regulation occurred ended successfully satisfying both teacher and child. The results indicate that co-regulation during these specific situations in ECEC had an important role in children’s development and learning. Co-regulation supported and scaffolded the children’s participation in these ECEC activities, helped the children to complete tasks and to overcome disappointments and frustrations.
  • Taivainen, Anni (2021)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract The concept of multiculturalism is often used in the world of education. In connection with this concept, we also often talk about immigrants. However, every child, group of children, or work community, for example, can be thought of as multicultural. For this reason, when using the term multiculturalism, one should be particularly sensitive and define what kind of phenomenon the concept describes. Each pre-school group has children from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and children are influenced by a wide range of cultures outside the pre-school. Pre-primary education should therefore be culturally and linguistically aware, it should take into account the linguistic and cultural background of each child and family, so that each child receives support in building and developing their cultural identity. Diversity should therefore be a prerequisite for learning, allowing each child to build and grow his or her own cultural identity on an equal footing, and through which children can also perceive and experience different cultures and languages in a safe environment. The purpose of this master's thesis was to find out what kind of things children bring up from their own cultural background and what kind of things they notice in their peers. The dissertation focuses especially on the interaction between children in the daily life of pre-school education in a group where 16 children spoke a language other than Finnish as their native language. The dissertation was carried out as an ethnographic observational study. Participatory observation as well as covert observation have been used as observation means, various interaction situations between children have also been videotaped. The material has been analyzed in the way of a discussion analysis, and the observations have been divided into four different categories according to the principles of thematic design. The material consists of observations collected during the spring of 2021 in a pre-school group in Helsinki. With the written permission of the guardians, 19 pre-school children participated in the study. Based on the observational data, it can be concluded that the children of the preschool group were interested in each other’s cultural backgrounds and were proud of their own backgrounds, especially their knowledge of different languages. The children asked each other about their mother tongue, were interested in learning them and, for example, wanted to teach each other their own mother tongue. Children discussed ways of different countries as well as different religions, especially in eating situations, comparing, for example, what kind of food was offered in pre-school education and what was eaten at home or wondering why some children ate pork and some did not. Religions also appear in the observational material in discussions about gods of different religions or searching for children from the same religion in a group. The importance of a sense of belonging is emphasized in the material strongly. The children care about belonging to their own group, but also take care of the other children in the group. This can be seen, for example, in noticing a lack of common language skills, for example during play time. From the observational data, it can be concluded that the feeling of belonging to a group is important for children and children may distort their language skills or say that they belong to a religious group to which they did not really belong in order to feel part of the group.