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Browsing by study line "Specialpedagogik"

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  • Rautaoja, Inka (2022)
    Goals. The aim of this thesis was to examine the relationship between the assessments made on the teacher rating scale and the results of the direct measures of language development when assessing 4-year-old children’s language skills. The second aim was to find out how well early educators identify 4-year-old children who are at risk and those not at risk for language skills when using the teacher rating scale. Previous research has shown that form-based assessment tools are considered practical and efficient ways to assess children’s early language skills. The accuracy and consistency of the assessments have not been thoroughly investigated. This thesis will provide information on whether early educators identify those children who are at greater risk for language problems than their peers. Early identification is important to targeting the right kind of support. Methods. This study is a quantitative Master’s thesis. The research data included the results of the Lene and the Lukiva tests and the assessments made on the teacher rating scale for 4-year-old children (N=189) obtained in the initial sample of the Toimi ja opi research in 2019. The relationship between the assessments made on the teacher rating scale and the results of direct measures of language development was examined using Spearman’s and Pearson’s correlation analyses. The ability of early educators to identify 4-year-old children who are at risk and those not at risk for language skills was examined through configural frequency analysis. IBM SPSS Statistics 27 and Excel were used for data analysis. Results and conclusions. The results of the Master’s thesis showed a moderate and statistically significant relationship between the assessments made on the teacher rating scale and the direct measures of language development. The strongest connection was measured between the teacher rating scale and the Lene’s language comprehension test. The results also showed that the early educators were able to identify those 4-years-old children who are at risk and those not at risk for language skills when using the teacher rating scale. The findings show that the teacher rating scale is a viable tool for early educators to assess children’s language skills and to identify those who are at risk for language problems.
  • Suomalainen, Iina (2021)
    The symptoms of ADHD can cause many challenges for children and adolescents in school. Today, traditional learning environments are challenged by more open, flexible learning environments. However, there is only little earlier research on classroom experiences in flexible learning environments and classroom experiences comparing traditional and flexible learning environments have not been studied from the perspective of students with ADHD symptoms. In addition, previous research has shown that students with symptoms of ADHD often experience lower self-esteem than their peers. It is also known that girls are more likely to report lower self-esteem than boys. The purpose of this study is to examine how students at risk for ADHD experience their self-esteem, engagement, autonomy, relatedness and competence in traditional and flexible learning environments. In addition, this study examines whether there is a gender difference in the above-mentioned experiences. The theoretical basis of the research is the self-determination theory, to which autonomy, competence, relatedness and engagement are essentially connected. The data was collected from students in grades 7 and 8 who had participated in the Learning, grouping, evaluation and well-being in large learning areas project of the city of Vantaa and the University of Helsinki Education Assessment Center in 2019–2020. Of all 7–8th graders (N 1446), students at risk of ADHD (n 113) were selected for the study. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to examine the connections between attention, self-esteem, and the components of self-determination theory. Next, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine whether there is a difference between traditional and flexible learning environments in self-esteem, autonomy, competence, relatedness and student engagement in students at risk for ADHD. The same method of analysis was used again to examine whether there is a gender difference in self-esteem, autonomy, competence, relatedness and student engagement in students in the risk group of ADHD. The data was analyzed by using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. The results showed that the experiences of self-esteem and the components of self-determination theory (student engagement, autonomy, relatedness and competence) did not differ depending on the learning environment in students at risk of ADHD between traditional and open plan (flexible) learning environments. However, experiences of self-esteem, autonomy and engagement among at-risk students in ADHD differed between the sexes, with girls having lower self-esteem and experiencing less autonomy and engagement than boys.
  • Ylikopsa, Venla (2020)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract Objective. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is developmental neurobiological disability. The aim of the current study was to examine what symptoms women diagnosed as adults with ADHD recognize emerged in their childhood before puberty, which symptoms were reported to manifest together and whether the reported symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria used by health care. In addition, the aim was to find out which were the most common reasons to apply for support as an adult. Untreated ADHD has been found to be associated with depression, exclusion from education, and an increased risk of substance use. Early identification and proper targeting of support measures can reduce health risks and improve quality of life. Method. The data were collected through the online survey, that the Finnish ADHD Association published on social media carried on the social network service Facebook in April 2020. The questionnaire was made based on previous research for this study, and was created with the E-lomake -program of the University of Helsinki. The participants (n = 360) were women diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood, aged 20 to 50 years, who retrospectively assessed their own ADHD symptoms in childhood. The data thus gathered was analysed using statistical methods in the IBM SPSS Statistics 25 -program. Results and conclusions. The most commonly reported symptoms of ADHD included attentional regulation, systemicity, minor motor restlessness, and emotional and verbal impulsivity. The most common symptoms were reported to be co-occurring, but the review of also showed large variability for some symptoms. Of the eleven most commonly reported symptoms, only three were directly related to the diagnostic criteria in use. The most common reasons for applying assessment of ADHD as an adult were the identification of one's own symptoms, previously diagnosed depression, and feedback from close relatives. Based on this thesis, the diagnostic criteria in use do not adequately cover the dimensions of girls ’ ADHD symptoms are expressed. Two of the common symptoms were absorption in games intense and losing sense of time, that is comparable to with hyperfocusing, and clinging to details. The results are consistent with previous research data; the diagnostic criteria are based on research data obtained from boys with ADHD.
  • Hyyrynen, Kirsi-Maria (2021)
    The purpose of this thesis is to review the quality of intervention studies training numeracy skills using technology in primary schools. To find the best methods to support children’s numeracy skills, it is worth paying attention to the quality of empirical intervention studies that examine the effectiveness of interventions by learning results. In this thesis the quality of intervention studies is reviewed by using categories that were made based on the EPHPP tool (e.g. Thomas et al., 2004): generalizability of results, research design, exposure to intervention, assessment tools, realization of intervention and effectiveness. The intervention studies were collected from psycINFO and Eric (ProQuest) databases. The PRISMA directions (Moher et al., 2009) were utilized in making the systematic literature review. All intervention studies had to be published five years before the final search day (1.12.2020) and they were written in English, peer reviewed, contained an abstract and the sample consisted of children aged from 6 to 12. In addition, the criteria included the following: 1) the article is an empirical intervention study containing practicing of numeracy skills; 2) the intervention is implemented for the most part using technology and it is based on either computer-assisted instruction, intelligent tutoring systems or gamification; 3) the effectiveness of a certain program is reviewed in the study; 4) the results of the intervention are reviewed by learning results; and 5) the article doesn’t consist of several separate sub-studies. There was a great deal of variation in the quality of the intervention studies, especially concerning the generalizability of results, research design, exposure to intervention and effectiveness. For instance, sample sizes, principles of forming groups, exposure times and measurement of effectiveness varied widely. In many studies there was a lack of information about the reliability and validity of assessment tools, implementers of the intervention and the methods to gather the sample. In addition, there was missing information about the relations between the intervention and other learning. In future studies it is recommended to make those kinds of choices that potentially influence the quality of interventions positively. It is also recommended to report all aspects clearly and comprehensively.
  • Mattila, Helmi (2022)
    This qualitative study examined professional agency during teacher studies in the context of part time special education. The study aims to answer following questions: How does professional agency occur in the context of practical training in teacher studies? What kind of dimensions does professional agency consist of and how do these dimensions relate to each other? Agency can broadly be described as an ability to act intentionally defined by autonomy, will, freedom and choice. Professional agency occurs when professional subjects make choices, use their possibilities to influence and take a stand in ways that effect their work and professional identities. Professional agency is implemented purposefully, and it is defined by dynamic factors of the workplace. Professional agency does not occur merely as accommodation to external demands but also as realistic and critical understanding of personal boundaries and acting in accordance with them. Professional agency has been suggested as a tool for teachers to face educational reforms as it has been seen to enable cultivation of new work forms. Previous research claims that teachers’ agency should be defined in more detail. Teacher training and first years at work are significant phases in cultivating professional agency, yet research in this context is narrow. In addition, Finnish studies regarding part time special education are few. Research material consisted of 13 reports written by teacher students. Reports were produced as a part of the compulsory practical training in the pedagogical studies of special education teacher training between spring 2020 – fall 2021. The study was conducted using qualitative theory driven content analysis. In the context of special education practical training professional agency manifested in four dimensions that were agency in the workplace framework, agency in the immediate social community, agency as identity work and agency as emotional work. Furthermore, professional agency occurred in two levels, community level and individual level, within which agency has divergent goals. At the community level professional agency appeared to aim for a functional work community and pupils’ learning. At the individual level it appeared to aim for teacher students’ professional development and personal wellbeing. Results suggest that interaction in the immediate social community and emotional factors are central to the enactment of professional agency. Results are in accordance with previous studies that claim professional agency to manifest in the framework of dynamic factors at both community level and individual level. The results of this study suggest that more research on the relation between community and individual level as well as on the importance of immediate social community and emotional factors are needed.
  • Toikka, Joanna (2022)
    Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the experiences of adults on the autism spectrum of being themselves and the factors related to masking in higher education and transitioning to working life. Previous studies have shown that many people on the autism spectrum feel the need to mask their characteristics typical of the autism spectrum. It has been found that masking can have negative effects on the mental health and wellbeing of the person who masks. This study reveals the experiences of adults on the autism spectrum of being themselves and which factors are related to masking. Methods. The data of the study consisted of the interviews collected for the international IMAGE project. The participants were adults on the autism spectrum from Finland (n=7) and the United Kingdom (n=5). The data was analyzed in the phenomenological framework using qualitative, data-driven content analysis. Results and conclusions. The results showed that the diagnosis of autism spectrum was reported mainly for a specific reason, not spontaneously. Experiences of being accepted ranged from positive to negative, and it was particularly challenging to be oneself in extracurricular activities. Three themes emerged in the factors related to masking. First, masking and openness on the other hand were associated with the concern about their consequences: participants considered possible negative consequences on job search, other people and themselves. Another factor related to masking was social environment. Masking increased when the person on the autism spectrum did not know their company, while knowledge about the autism spectrum and friendly attitude reduced it. What is more, one’s own opinion of the autism spectrum was related to masking. A positive attitude towards the autism spectrum reduced the need for masking, while one's own or others' negative experiences of being open about the autism spectrum increased its hiding. In higher education and workplaces, it would be important to reinforce factors that increase the possibility for the people on the autism spectrum to be themselves and not mask if they wish so.
  • Korhonen, Julia (2021)
    The purpose of the study is to find out how guardians of children with autism spectrum experience the implementation of support in early childhood education. In the past few years, the diagnosis of autism spectrum has become more common in children of early childhood age, so the number of children diagnosed has increased in early childhood education. Children have been placed in different kindergarten groups, taking into account support needs, but the educating community with know-how may be absent from the groups. In this case, the child’s personally directed support also suffers. In the past, the views of early childhood educators on the rehabilitation of children with autism spectrum disorder in early childhood education have been studied more, but the guardians’ thoughts on the implementation of support and early childhood education are few. The aim of the study is to find out whether the child’s personal support needs have been taken into account in the group and whether the child receives enough support in the opinion of the guardians. The study was conducted through individual interviews by remotely interviewing guardians of children with autism spectrum in early childhood education. The research was carried out using qualitative methods and the research material was analyzed on the basis of data by means of content analysis. The theoretical background of the study is based on the forms and arrangements of support for early childhood education, research data on the autism spectrum, laws, regulations and policies related to the early childhood education of children with autism spectrum and early childhood education in general. The results of the study on the experiences of guardians of autism spectrum children about the support received by the child in early childhood education or pre-school education were expressed by the guardians'views on gaps in support, reinforcing factors in support and guardians' wishes for good and adequate support. The guardians felt that the input of certain employees, the close co-operation between the kindergarten educators and the family, and the consideration of individual support needs were positive things. The guardians felt that the lack of information, insufficient resources and a lack of knowledge about the children were negative things in support. In addition, the guardians described that not enough children's special means of communication were used. In particular, carers wanted more resources, stronger staff training and the necessary support services to support early childhood education.
  • Vessonen, Terhi (2020)
    Fraction knowledge is central for daily activities, such as cooking and personal finance, but many students have difficulty with fractions. Fraction knowledge has been found to predict later mathematical performance in comprehensive school. Virtual manipulatives (VM) and concrete manipulatives (CM) are effective approaches to teaching fractions, but previous research has not been able to reach a consensus on which manipulatives are the most effective. This quasi-experimental study employed a pre- and post-test design to investigate the differential effects of VM and CM in a fraction intervention on students’ fraction skills. In addition to fraction skills, students’ arithmetical fluency was measured. Fidelity of intervention, social validity and time-efficiency of the manipulatives were also investigated. Fourth and fifth grade participants (N = 115) from Southern Finland were assigned to VM and CM intervention groups. The intervention was implemented during six 45-minute lessons over two weeks. Lesson contents were the same for both groups in spite of the manipulative. Results revealed that the CM group outperformed the VM group in fraction skills, which suggests that CM should be favored in fraction interventions. Additional implications for research and practice are discussed.
  • Hirvonen, Satu (2022)
    Objectives. The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to assess the methodological quality of intervention studies examining the effect of digital learning games on the reading skills of children with or at risk of reading difficulties. Learning games can serve as a tool to motivate and engage in learning when a child needs more time and repetition to learn. Learning games are utilized in teaching, but the results for their effectiveness vary. The target groups for special needs education are small and heterogeneous in their skills, which makes it challenging to demonstrate the effectiveness of interventions. Methods. The dissertation was carried out as a systematic literature review using PRISMA guidelines. The studies to be evaluated were retrieved from the databases ERIC (Proquest), PsycINFO (Ovid), SCOPUS (Elsevier), Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) and Web of Science. The studies selected for review (n = 13) were published between years 2011 and 2022, were peer-reviewed and English-language intervention studies. The target group was children with reading difficulties or at a risk of reading difficulties, and the intervention sought to influence reading skills through digital learning games. The evaluation was carried out based on the criteria of the EPHPP framework. Results and conclusions. The majority (8) of the intervention studies were rated as strong, three as moderate and two as weak. For the study design, all were assessed as strong for evaluation, while for selection bias and blinding, all studies were rated as only moderate. For confounders, all but one was rated as moderate. Weak ratings were given to only a few studies for data collection methods and withdrawals and dropouts. Based on the results of this study, there is the most room for improvement in the reporting of these two parts to ensure the reliability of the studies.
  • Immonen, Waltteri (2021)
    The special education reform and development to support in learning and school attendance has resulted in major changes in the job description of Finnish special education teachers (SET). The distribution of resources to schools has also changed. Previous researchers have found a lack of resources in special education. Teachers also experience a lack of time in their work. To date, barely any quantitative research has been conducted on the challenges SETs face in their job in Finland. The aim of the study was to answer two questions: (1) What challenges do special education teachers find to have the biggest effect on their job? (2) Was there a connection between certain background variables and the teachers’ experiences of these challenges? All persons working as SET from early childhood education to secondary education were considered suitable respondents. The responses were collected via electric questionnaires. The first research question was answered by compiling the questionnaire answers and comparing their answers based on the means and frequencies. The second research question was answered using multivariate methods (one-way analysis of variance, Kruskal-Wallis test, two-way analysis of variance, t-test, Post Hoc test, Analysis of Simple main effect). In the questionnaire, SETs (N = 339) assessed how much each challenge affected their work. Judging by the responses, SET’s find that their work is affected by the expansion of their work as well as excessive differences between municipalities. In addition, several answers related to the inadequacy of time received high values in the responses. Because of this, SETs feel that collaboration does not work well enough and that there are not enough resources for supporting students. Students’ individual characteristics and behaviour is also considered challenging. Of the background variables, the level of education clearly distinguished the respondents most effectively. The SETs also experienced challenges in different ways depending on the age group they were in charge of. The experience with special education and the job title had an impact as well. Differences were also found based on the method of education and the population of the municipality the teacher worked in. However, the effects accounted for by these factors were small. The study also found synergies between variables. These included synergy between the level of education and the professional title, as well as the professional title and the education route. However, the effects of these factors were also small. On the other hand, no connection was found between experiences of the challenges and the teacher’s overall teaching experience.
  • Dammert, Hanna (2020)
    The aim of the study was to analyze the debate on special education in the context of social decision-making. The purpose was to find out how special education comes up in the discussions of the Helsinki City Council and whether any topic related to special education comes up more in the speeches of the delegates. The research focuses on the discussion of special education in preschool education, primary and secondary education, as well as interprofessional collaboration. The city council decides on the municipality's policies and priorities, so the topics of discussion and contents arising from the speeches of the delegates are very interesting from the point of view of the residents. The approach of the study was a case study. The Helsinki City Council consisted of delegates representing different political parties and their deputies. The public speeches of the members of the Helsinki City Council were approached through a qualitative, material-based content analysis. The subject of the study was the minutes of the discussion of the public council meetings of the Helsinki City Council from 2011–2019. The content of the speeches of the Helsinki City Council delegates on special education emphasized three perspectives: the resource perspective (52%), the quality perspective (31%) and the value perspective (17%). The resource perspective was divided into three levels: support for learning, availability of preschool education and study places, and targeting of support. The quality perspective, in turn, was divided into two levels: teaching and the organization of preschool education and training (equity). The value perspective was divided into two levels: inequality and integration and inclusion. In this perspective, the jointly agreed goals of the council delegates and the parties' own values were reflected in the speeches of the delegates. The views and policies of the parties were also largely in line with the stated educational policy guidelines. There were differences in the number of speeches and the emphasis on the subjects of the discussion. Inclusion was mentioned in Helsinki's stated goals for education and training. However, there is still a long way to go before inclusion is achieved.
  • Visti, Ruut (2022)
    Aims. The purpose of this master’s thesis was to study how the chosen theoretical frame-work of inclusion (by Ainscow et al, 2006) fits to describe news about special education and the need for support in comprehensive school. Both nationally and internationally, inclusion is one of the main values that guides the organization of education. In research inclusion and special education are usually linked together and inclusion has different definitions. In this thesis special education is seen as a part of inclusion and it is analyzed through the chosen inclusion model. The aim is to find out what different dimensions of inclusion can be found in the data, which groups are mentioned in the news and what kind of similarities and differ-ences can be found between the groups. Methods. The data was collected by using selected topic tags from the website of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle). The news that was used as a data in this thesis was published 2011–2021 (N =164). The method used in this qualitative thesis is theory-based content analysis. Results and conclusion. The selected inclusion model suited well to describe different dimensions of news about special education and need for support. The analysis was based on the inclusion model by Ainscow et al (2006) and the dimensions of the model were found in the data. In the model, special education and the need for support are seen in two different ways. First, inclusion can be seen as support for different groups of pupils, that need support for their learning and schoolgoing. On the other hand, inclusion can be seen as values and actions towards more inclusive school for all. In the data inclusion was seen in both ways, but more often by groups than by values and actions that make school more inclusive for all. There were more similarities than differences between the groups, and it was found that news handled pupil groups by three dimensions: 1) ways to support pupils, 2) how to recognize need for support and factors that are behind the need for support, and 3) the lack of support. In studies, inclusion is often understood by the placement of students with special educational needs (SEN) and therefore the placement of SEN-students dominates discussion. The discussion about the placement of SEN-pupils was also strongly present in the data of this thesis.
  • Tapio, Hanna-Sofia (2022)
    The objective of the thesis is to find out how different environmental factors and the quality of school adults' interaction affect the well-being of students and the easing and escalation of challenging situations. The topic of the thesis is important because the mental symptoms and challenging situations of students have been perceived to have increased in the school world. Data was collected through interviews (n = 4). The interviewees were young people who had completed primary school and who had received support from a special rehabilitation class for mental symptoms. The study is phenomenological and its research design is data-driven content analysis. The material has been systematically analyzed by coding and classification. The core of the thesis was the interaction chains observed in the data and the well-being factors. The chains of interaction that ended in a negative outcome included a school adult’s blaming, indifferent, punitive, derogatory, uncertain, or unknown response. Interactions with a positive outcome included seeking a solution, being compassionate, or strengthening positive behavior. In addition to the quality of the interaction, the well-being factors at school also had a particular impact on the prevention of challenging situations and the promotion of pupil well-being. The most significant well-being factors that emerged from the data were the small group, the close-knit group in the class, the best friend in the class, a few friends in the class, differentiated and individualized tasks, and the ability to choose one’s own doing or task. These factors were able to prevent, e.g., challenging social situations as well as challenging school tasks, which often occurred in the triggers of the chains of interaction. In addition, the importance of permanence in the school world was emphasized in the well-being factors.
  • Mattila, Venla (2022)
    Aims. The aim of this master’s thesis was to examine the association between poor gross motor skills, fine motor skills and early mathematical skills in 4-years-old-children. Previous research has shown that both gross and fine motor skills are associated with academic performance at school age, especially in mathematics, but research is still limited for under school age children. This study provides additional information on how poor gross motor skills are associated with fine motor skills and early mathematical skills before school age. Methods. This study was conducted using quantitative methods. IMB SPSS Statistics 27 was used for the data analysis. The data of this thesis was obtained from the Toimi ja opi -study and included 188 Finnish children aged four years in 2019. The research data was test results of the FMS (fundamental motor skills) test, fine motor skills tests and the Finnish Early Numeracy Test (Lukukäsitetesti). Gross motor skills were measured using the FMS (TGMD-3, KTK, MABC) -test. Fine motor skills were measured with three fine motor skills (LENE, BAS, WISC-3) tests. Early mathematical skills were measured using the Finnish Early Numeracy Test, that is based on number sequence skills and relational skills. In the results, means were examined with correlations and one-way analysis of variance. The association and relationship between the FMS and the Finnish Early Numeracy Test were analysed with Pearson correlation coefficients and the one-way ANOVA. Results and conclusions. The results of this master's thesis showed a statistically significant correlations between gross motor skills, fine motor skills and early mathematical skills. The results showed a statistically significant difference between poor gross motor skills and normally developing gross motor skills in the mean scores of the fine motor skills test and the Finnish Early Numeracy Test. The lower the score the child scored on the gross motor skills test, the lower the scores were on the fine motor skills test and early mathematical skills test. Results showed that the association between these skills can be seen already before school-age. Results underline the notion that in early childhood education should pay attention to identify the poor performance in motor skills in children and when they are observed, need the possible other difficulties be surveyed, so the support can be started at early stage. Early support can prevent the later difficulties in learning and development.
  • Majuri, Hanna (2022)
    The purpose of this study is to elucidate the experiences of parents of children with special needs when encountering professionals and to understand the meaning of these encounters. Child’s special needs affect parents in many ways and there is more parental burnout among parents of children with special needs. Parents of children with special needs regularly encounter professionals from social services, health services and schools and family-centeredness has become one of the values that conduct services planning. Family-centered practices recognizes parents as the experts on their child, acknowledges the individuality of the families, promotes partnership, and are based on the family’s strengths. In previous studies parents described parents as the experts on their child but stated that professionals do not always acknowledge their expertise. System is described fragmented, and parents experience that professionals do not see the complexity of their lives. The study is based on thirteen semi-structured qualitative interviews with parents of children with special needs. The interview material was analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results showed that when encountering professionals parents experienced that parents and professionals had different roles. The roles of the professionals were companion, expert, know-it-all, and border guard. The roles of the parents were expert, organizer, and fighter. System affected encounters as it was experienced fragmented, and it contained different rules. Also, diagnosis and resources affected encounters. Encounters, occupational skills, services, and information sharing were experienced coincidental. Encounters evoke emotions and emotions affected encounters. Based on the results, it can be concluded that from parents’ perspectives there are issues that hinder family-centered practices. Encounters also have issues that increase parents’ burden. System should be improved so that it matches better the needs of the families, for example there could be a coordinating professional. Professionals should acknowledge parents’ expertise and consider parents’ emotions when encountering them.
  • Ronnholm, Helena (2020)
    In this research I have examined how multilingual students are met in Swedish speaking secondary school in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. I have looked at the challenges and possibilities the minority schools have in offering education for a minority group. My research is based on interviews with seven special education teachers in four different secondary schools in the area, as the special educations teacher plays a major role in the multilingual students educational path. As a base in my research I used Cummins framework for school language policy development. Cummins states that a successful language acquisition requires both cognitive engagement and identity investment. These two correlate, as they strengthen or weaken each other. The material was thematized in two categories according to Cummins model for learning the knowledge-oriented language. The first category, Relationships between teaching and learning, consists of measures and structures that either support the multilingual student's knowledgeoriented language learning in school, or do not. The second category, The strengthening of the student's self-image, consists of the action or structures found in the schools that either support the multilingual student's self-image and identity development, or do not. The strong role that the Finnish language has in the Swedish speaking schools in the Capital Region can have both a positive and a negative impact on the multilingual pupils' schooling. On the one hand, the Finnish language acts as an axcluding factor in the school community, but at the same time there is evidence that the teaching in these bilingual schools has been formed to be language supporting, which could benefit the multilingual students.
  • Talosela, Minttu (2021)
    Finnish special class teachers and special teachers in primary and secondary education work in various settings. The reform of special education has changed the work. Lacking normative work descriptions, the tasks and responsibilities of special education teachers can vary vastly. On the other hand, there can be recognized a historical continuum of the work models of special class teachers and special teachers. The purpose of this study was to explore the conceptions of special class teachers and special teachers associated to work descriptions along with the perceptions of their everyday work and its tasks. A qualitative research approach was used. Research data consisted of six interviews in total with both special class teachers and special teachers. Qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis were used to analyze the data. Following the content analysis, the work of both special education teacher professions can be conceptualized in the categories of teaching, co-operation, and background work. Teaching was considered the primary objective of the work of special education teachers. Two new categories, meta-work and community building were suggested based on the interview data. In thematic analysis, the inclination of special education teachers to pursue the good of their students was found in close relation to their perceived working mandates.
  • Riuttanen, Juulia (2022)
    Goals. The aim of this thesis was to find out how practicing mental health skills impacts on students’ experience of their well-being and mental health skills. Mental health skills include socioemotional skills, resilience, coping skills, self-esteem, recognizing and using strengths together with everyday wellness skills. Previous research has shown that mental health promotion programs have succeed to promote students’ well-being and mental health skills for example, peer relationships, self-esteem as well as resilience and coping skills. However, these mental health promotion programs have also shown uneven effect on students’ well-being. In some cases, only part of the students participated in the program reports the positive effect or there is no reported effect at all. Methods. This study is a quantitative master’s thesis. The research data was collected in one primary school in Uusimaa in Finland. The data consists of survey results that were collected during the school year of 2021-2022 from 229 primary students. The students practiced mental health skills with “The Mental Health Skills Badge” -learning and teaching module during one school year. Students estimated their well-being and mental health skills before (in August) (N=229) and after (in May) (N=203) the practicing. The survey was conducted by Webropol survey tool. The data was analyzed by IMB SPSS Statistics 27-program. The analysis method of the study was a t-test. The differences between the students’ initial and final measurements were also investigated by comparing the deviations of the answers. Results and conclusions. The results of the study showed that practicing mental health skills during one school year does not have impact on students’ well-being or mental health skills. These results show that promoting students’ well-being and mental health skills is a very challenging task. In the future, Finnish basic education should pay attention to teaching mental health issues systematically and effectively. These findings also show that when introducing a new set of teaching and learning materials, attention should be paid to its complete implementation.
  • Leinos, Minna (2022)
    Teacher education is a continuum of initial teacher education, induction and in-service training. The development of the teacher education has been set as a goal in the Education policy report in 2021. Several projects have been started to support the development work. Earlier research has mainly focused on new teachers induction education and to the needs of new teachers. Also, the need of in-service training for teachers has been studied. There have been very few studies focusing on the in-service training needs of special education teachers. The aim of this study is to find out what kind of professional advice special education teachers ask for in a social media group, and what kind of in-service training needs emerge in these conversations. The Facebook group called Erkkamaikat is a closed group of appr. 8.6 thousand members. The group is intended for special education teachers. The discussion in Erkkamaikat group is lively, and many participants request help for their job as a special education teacher. The discussion also includes topics of which participants need more information or training. The research material contains dicussions which have been started in Erkkamaikat group 1.8.2021-30.11.2021, and comments of those discussions. Material was collected during November and December at 2021. The material was analysed using the qualitative content analysis. The conclusion of analysis was that the themes of the professional questions of special education teachers could be divided into three main categories: work framework, background work and hands-on work. Each main category contained sub-categories. In addition, there was a category called sundries that includes questions that could not be included in any other sub-category and did not join up with each others. Many categories of the questions of special education teachers can also be seen as a need for in-service training. Additionally, participants required in-service training about holding a pupil, and extension of compulsory education. Many of participants also liked to have a peer to share experiences with. It seems that the special education teachers in the social media group ask help for themes of which the information can be found in professional literature or by education but also for themes from which t is better to ask advice from the peers. Also, the need for peer-mentoring occurred in the discussions.
  • Sainomaa, Aapo (2020)
    Informal learning is learning that takes place outside the school system. It happens in everyday situations that were not meant to be educational in the first place. Out-of-school environments are considered to produce positive effects on pupils’ interest, motivation and attitudes. The main aim of this study was to find out how math worth and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education differed among 12-year-old pupils before and after visiting an Informal Math and Art Exhibition. Additionally, the aim was to find out if it is possible to utilize an out-of-school environment to teach 21st century skills. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (STEAM) pedagogy aims to improve pupils’ skills in innovation and creativity by combining elements from science and art. STEAM combines reality and education and aims to provide understanding of how things work while simultaneously guiding pupils’ technology skills. The learning context was a Math and Art Exhibition that was part of international CREATIONS-project. In this study, there were 256 12-year-old pupils from five different schools in Jyväskylä, Finland. The research material was gathered in 2 parts: pretests one week before the exhibition visit and posttests around a week after the visit. Nine out of ten students felt that the exhibition increased their interest in STEM. Boys who succeeded well in the Raven-test were the most interest in STEM. The increase in interest was, however, unrelated to gender or prior interest in STEM. Math worth was low among pupils who achieved low grades at school and scored low points on the Raven test. Math worth did not increase because of the exhibition visit, but differences in math worth were diminished. Pupils’ autonomous experience and situational interest were key factors regarding both math worth and interest. According to this study, even short-term out-of-school learning increases interest and evens out pupils’ math worth. In the light of this study the out-of-school learning environment can be seen as a fruitful and interesting way to learn that could also work as an excellent way to teach 21st century skills.