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Browsing by study line "Subject teacher in Biology"

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  • Tammisto, Eveliina (2022)
    The climate crisis is such major environmental threat that it has negative impacts on both nature and people. Recently, the effects of climate change on people’s mental health have also been noticed. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable group in terms of climate anxiety. The amount of climate anxiety among youth has been found to be increasing, yet the studies on it are still scarce. It is important to find out how much climate anxiety there is among youth and does it influence their behavior. The objective of this master’s thesis is to find out how much climate anxiety there is and is climate anxiety interconnected with the pro-environmental behavior among youth. Also, its aim is to find out whether attending the climate course affects the amount of climate anxiety. In addition, the study focuses on whether gender, home country and parental education level are interconnected with the amount of climate anxiety. This study was conducted as part of the D.Game project which includes a climate course for youth aged 12–18 years. Data for this research was collected through a survey during the climate course. The schools and students participating in the D.Game climate course and the climate anxiety survey were selected through an open recruitment during autumn of 2021. The data consists of 48 students who responded to the pre survey and of 13 students who responded to the post survey. The participants were 15–17 years old. On the contrary to other research, there is not much climate anxiety among youth. There is also a strong positive correlation between climate anxiety and pro-environmental behavior, which differs from other research. On the other hand, there were no significant differences in climate anxiety between the groups divided by divided by gender, home country and parental education level, which was expected result. Based on the data, the climate course did not have statistically significant effect on the amount of climate anxiety among youth. Also, there is need for further research. Larger sample could provide more valid results. The causality of the correlation between climate anxiety and pro-environmental behavior would be interesting to resolve. Whether attending to a climate course affects the amount of climate anxiety could be found out by development of climate courses and comparing different courses.
  • Gustafsson, Michelle (2023)
    Adolescent ill-being has in recent years become a prominent health concern globally. Ill-being during adolescence can have negative consequences for future health and wellbeing, as important patterns of health are formed during this time. This highlights the importance of early identification of risk factors and overarching patterns of mental and physical ill-being and arguments for early intervention during adolescence. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors and co-occurrence of subjective ill-being symptoms in the form of depressive symptoms and subjective health complaints. This study also examined whether the subjective ill-being of students was reflected in cortisol patterns in a naturalistic setting. This since stress has been identified as a key etiological factor in ill-being, through the damaging effect of prolonged exposure to elevated cortisol levels. By applying a novel measure of school atmosphere, the study also aimed to examine the potential protective role of the social atmosphere in school on subjective ill-being and cortisol levels. A total of 329 students from eleven Finnish-Swedish upper secondary schools participated in the cross-sectional study by answering a questionnaire. The salivary cortisol samples were collected from a subsample of the participants, with of a total of 209 participant that met the salivary sampling criteria applied in the study. The methodological framework for the statistical analysis of the study consisted of independent samples t-test, ANOVA, Pearson’s correlation, and multiple linear regression. The results showed a higher prevalence of ill-being in girls and second year students. A significant co-occurrence was found for the subjective ill-being measures of depressive symptom and subjective health concerns. The subjective ill-being was however not reflected in the daily cortisol patterns of students in a naturalistic setting. Furthermore, a positive school atmosphere was significantly negatively associated with subjective ill-being of student in the form of depressive symptoms and subjective health complaints. When controlling for covariates, the subjective meaning of school experienced by the students was identified as a significant protective factor against symptoms of ill-being. These findings identify students in need of additional support and highlights the need of applying an overarching view on student ill-being in future adolescent research. Since no associations was found between daily cortisol patterns and subjective ill-being this study contributes to the understanding of HPA axis in early disorder onset. This study also highlights the importance of subjective meaning in a school context and posits increasing the subjective meaning as a prominent strategy to decrease ill-being among Finnish-Swedish upper secondary school students. Further studies are however needed to assess the causality and to examine these relationships further.
  • Nivalainen, Pinja (2022)
    Eläinten tunnemaailma on meille melko vieras. Sen takia on tärkeää tutkia, millaiset asiat vaikuttavat siihen, miten tulkitsemme niiden tunteita. Tunteiden tulkintaan voivat vaikuttaa tulkitsijan omat kokemukset. Tämän tutkielman tarkoituksena on tutkia sitä, mitkä asiat vaikuttavat siihen, kuinka hyvin eläintarhakävijät tunnistavat villieläinten tunteita. Erityisesti keskityn siihen, miten vastaajan sukupuoli, ikä, kasvuympäristö ja lapsuuden ja aikuisuuden aikaiset eläinkokemukset vaikuttavat eläintarhakävijöiden kykyyn tunnistaa eläinten tunteita. Tutkimus tehtiin kyselytutkimuksena Korkeasaaren eläintarhassa kesällä 2021. Osallistujille näytettiin videolta eläin ja heidän tuli kertoa, onko eläimen tunnetila neutraali, myönteinen vai kielteinen ja onko se rauhallinen vai kiihtynyt. Tutkimuksessa tutkittiin tiikereiden, berberiapinoiden ja markhorvuohien tunnetilan tunnistamista. Osallistujista kerättiin taustatietoja, kuten ikä ja sukupuoli. Tulosteni perusteella eläinlajilla on vaikutusta tunnetilan tunnistamiseen. Tiikerin myönteisyys tai kielteisyys osattiin arvioida huonommin kuin berberiapinan. Myös vastaajan ikä vaikuttaa tunteiden tunnistukseen. Vanhemmat tunnistivat myönteisyyden tai kielteisyyden nuorempia ihmisiä heikommin. Sukupuoli vaikuttaa yhdessä iän kanssa kiihtyneisyyden tunnistamiseen. Kiihtyneisyyden tunnistivat paremmin 18–30-vuotiaat naiset kuin 61–75-vuotiaat naiset, mutta muiden ryhmien välillä ei havaittu merkitseviä eroja. Kiihtyneisyys tunnistettiin myös paremmin, jos eläimet ovat olleet osana vastaajan elämää vain lapsuudessa sen sijaan, että ne olisivat olleet aina osana elämää. Tulosten perusteella voidaan päätellä, että ihmiset tunnistavat eri eläinten tunteet eri tavalla ja ihmismäisempien eläinten tunteet ovat muita helpommin tunnistettavissa. Iällä ja sukupuolella voi olla vaikutusta ihmisten kykyyn tunnistaa eläinten tunteita. Myös eläinkokemus vaikuttaa ihmisten kykyyn tunnistaa tunteita ja kokemus ei ole sama kuin tiedon omaksuminen. Tuloksiani voidaan hyödyntää esimerkiksi ympäristökasvatuksessa.
  • Aulio, Mikko (2023)
    Supplementary bird feeding is a popular pastime, as well as one of the most important types of human–wildlife interaction, in Western countries. Bird-feeder sites are visited by birds, mammals, as well as other animals; some of these species are wanted visitors, some unwanted. Supplementary food at feeding sites offers visitors benefits, at least during winter. However, effects at the species, population and community level can be complex, and none of these levels necessarily benefit automatically from supplementary feeding. On the other hand, bird feeding generally increases human wellbeing. Animal attitudes affect the way we think about non-human animals. It has been discovered that how we view animals visiting feeding sites affects the ways in which people feasibly change the supplementary feeding they provide. Research on the subject has mostly been Anglo-American in context to date. Animal attitudes also affect official rules and regulations that govern the supplementary feeding or control measures of wildlife, for example. In this thesis, I have investigated the responses from a 2021 survey by the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus) and BirdLife Finland. The survey was concerned with supplementary bird feeding and recent changes thereof. The survey got over 14,000 responses, over 9,000 of which included answers to open-ended questions. I sifted through the open-ended responses to find out which animal species and other organisms affect supplementary bird feeding provided by the respondents, and why. I utilised both quantitative and qualitative research methods to uncover such organisms and their effects. I used qualitative content analysis as my main method. I discovered that there are many types of primarily animal-/organism-related reasons behind changes in bird-feeding behaviour. I categorised these 28 reasons under seven subcategories within three main categories. Many of the reasons can have both negative (stop/decrease/shorten) and positive (start/increase/extend) effects on supplementary feeding. A discernible portion of the reasons are propped by one animal attitude or another. The category-based assortment of reasons acts as the main finding of this study, and it reflects the complexity of animal attitudes. I have additionally listed all taxons (species/groups of organisms) found in the survey responses along with their effects on supplementary feeding. I have produced novel information on which animal-related factors affect supplementary bird feeding in Finland, and why. Were we to better understand the inherent complexity of animal attitudes, authorities’ facts-based decision-making and a favourable general attitude towards endangered-species conservation could be enhanced. Zoonosis control could also gain new perspectives from novel information.
  • Uimonen, Konsta (2022)
    Finnish matriculation examination in biology transitioned into a digital examination from traditional pen-and-paper examination in spring of 2018 as a part of larger process aiming to digitalize the entire matriculation examination. Tthe requirements for the exam have also changed: in addition to subject knowledge, the digital examination also requires the candidate to also be master the digital skills outlined in the Finnish high school curriculum, for example the use of image- and data processing programs. It has been suggested hat candidates from higher socioeconomic background benefit more from digital skill teaching. It has also been shown that some teachers overestimate the digital skills of the students, omitting parts of the teaching process that are integral for learning. Tthis study examines whether the matriculation examination answers requiring digital skills differ from questions that can be answered without advanced digital skills. Statistically significantly worse performance in questions requiring digital skills might indicate digital skill teaching that is insufficient compared to the skill level required in matriculation examination. Insufficient teaching may disproportionately affect those from lower socioeconomic background. The data of this study consists of 30 full-length answers from matriculation examinations of spring 2018, autumn 2018 and spring 2019, for a total of 90 full-length answers. The data was a randomized sample provided by Ylioppilastutkintolautakunta (Finnish Matriculation Examination Board). The differences were analysed with Mann-Whitney U-test and Fisher’s z-transformation. The study found that questions requiring digital skills were statistically significantly more popular than questions that didn’t require digital skills. Although the level of cognitive processing outlined by Bloom’s Taxonomy was lower in questions requiring digital skills, there was no statistically significant difference in the success (measured by attained score) between the answers. According to results, the digital proficiency of the candidates was at a sufficient level to answer to the questions.. The study also speculates on factors that could explain the observed differences in answer popularity, cognitive depth and difficulty level of the questions.
  • Kuoppalaakso, Timo (2023)
    Women have exhibited higher levels of math anxiety (MA) compared to men. Despite the relationship between MA and sex differences being topic of interest for over twenty years, the focal point has mostly been on the psychological causes. This review investigates the biological underpinnings of the social phobia and identifies numerous possible correlates which could inform future efforts to support students experiencing math anxiety and encourage more females to pursue STEM related careers. Articles that investigated sex differences in the context of MA were selected for the study using PRISMA guidelines. Females were found to experience higher levels of math anxiety compared to males. Age was shown to influence the prevalence of MA between sexes, with sex differences in MA being more infrequent in children and increasing towards adulthood. The findings suggest that a diverse set of biological sex differences related to to brain function, cognition and sex hormones can, in part, explain the higher prevalence of MA among females and age-related deviations. By shedding light on possible biological factors contributing to sex differences in MA, this review represents a valuable step toward a more comprehensive understanding of this complex issue.
  • Silfverberg, Paula (2022)
    Toimiva vesihuolto on yhteiskunnalle elintärkeä. Tärkeimpinä vesihuollon tavoitteina on puhdistaa juomavesi ja vähentää jätevedestä aiheutuvaa ympäristökuormitusta. Kemianteollisuudella on keskeinen rooli tuottaa kemikaaleja vesihuollon käyttöön. Vedenpuhdistus on yksi osa kemikaalien arvoketjua, jossa useat eri toimijat osallistuvat kemikaalien raaka-aineiden valmistukseen, kemikaalien tuottoon, kuljetukseen ja käyttöön, sekä jätteiden loppusijoitukseen. Kemikaalien arvoketjulla on vaikutuksia ympäristöön. Vedenpuhdistuskemikaalien arvoketjua ei ole tutkittu kemikaalien valmistajien ja ostajien välisessä suhteessa. Tutkimuksessani selvitin, kuinka biodiversiteetti näkyy vedenpuhdistuskemikaalien arvoketjun päätöksenteossa ja miten se vaikuttaa kemikaalien ostopäätöksiin. Biodiversiteetti takaa ihmistoimintaakin ylläpitävien ekosysteemipalveluiden toiminnan, kuten veden kiertokulun. Merkittävimpiä uhkia biodiversiteetille ovat vieraslajit, ilmastonmuutos, ravinnekuormitus, ympäristömyrkyt ja roskaantuminen, elinympäristöjen muutokset ja luonnonvarojen liikakäyttö. Kestävillä ratkaisuilla arvoketjun eri toimijat voivat vaikuttaa biodiversiteettiin positiivisesti. Tutkimuksessa haastattelin kuutta vedenpuhdistuslaitoksissa ja kemikaaleja valmistavassa yhtiössä työskentelevää osto- ja myyntipuolen asiantuntijaa puolistrukturoiduilla asiantuntijahaastatteluilla. Lisäksi tarkastelin yhtiöiden vastuullisuusraportteja. Analysoin aineistoa teema-analyysin keinoin. Keskeisimpänä tuloksena havaitsin, että vesikemikaalien arvoketjussa päätettäessä kemikaalien ostamisesta ja myymisestä, toimijat asettavat kemikaalien hinnan ja toimitusvarmuuden ympäristöasioiden edelle. Biodiversiteettiä pidetään tärkeänä, mutta ostopäätöksiin se ei vielä vaikuta. Kemikaalien kehittämiseen ja hankintoihin tarvitaan lisää tietoa biodiversiteettivaikutuksista läpi koko kemikaalien arvoketjun.
  • Laisi, Tiia (2021)
    The aim of this master’s thesis was to examine university teachers’ professional vision and misconceptions from the perspective of the role of students’ prior knowledge in learning. We also examined how participants’ professional vision and concepts changed during the pedagogical course. University students can also have a lot of misconceptions which differ from scientific view. Those misconceptions can make learning harder and even hinder it. Teachers should recognise these misconceptions and they should be able to support students’ conceptual change in their teaching. Participants (N=73) were life science university teachers. They were selected to this study because they participated in two university pedagogical courses with the same content. Participants’ professional vision, conceptions and beliefs were investigated with a video annotation and two questionnaires. Study is quasi-experimental research with pretest-posttest design. Video annotation and one of the questionnaires were tested before and after the pedagogical course. The delayed questionnaire was collected six months after the course. Purpose of the delayed questionnaire was to know if the teachers have been using the things they learn in a course in their own teaching. At the analysis phase participants were divided in to three groups according to their previous teaching experience and pedagogical courses (novices, experienced teachers, and most experienced teachers). Then we were able to compare these three groups and examine if the teaching experience had any effect on the answers. This study utilized a mixed methods approach and analysis was made with both quantitative and qualitative methods. The results show that pedagogical course changed teachers’ concepts considering learning and teaching. All participants’ groups got better scores in professional vision after the pedagogical course despite their previous teaching experience or pedagogical courses. Novices got lowest scores in the pretest which was expected because they didn’t have any previous experience. Their answers changed significantly in all research aspects. Experienced and most experienced teachers also got better scores in posttest especially in professional vision. Developed professional vision was related to more constructivist beliefs of learning. These findings support previous studies that even short pedagogical course can change teachers’ beliefs and concepts about teaching and learning.
  • Pikkarainen, Pinja (2023)
    Microbiology is included in the subject of biology in lower secondary school as part of the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (POPS). Microbiology teaching has traditionally relied on inquiry-based methods and practical work, where inquiry is highlighted in POPS. In this study, a survey of teachers investigated microbiology teaching and inquiry-based methods in lower secondary school. The study focused on these areas: 1. What groups of microbes are mentioned and in what biological contexts? 2. What methods are used in teaching microbiology? 3. How much are inquiry-based methods used and does the amount vary regionally? 4. What type of inquiry-based teaching is used? and 5. What are the potential limitations in delivering inquiry-based teaching? The data were collected by an online survey for biology teachers in lower secondary schools around Finland and 36 responses were received. The data were analyzed mainly by qualitative content analysis which was supported by quantitative and regional analysis. According to the results, the coverage of microbial diversity is wide in biology teaching but Archea may receive less attention. Microbiology is taught well in many biological contexts but least in the context of evolution and development of life. The teaching methods are diverse, and many different practical activities are carried out. Inquiry-based methods were utilized by 97.2% of teachers and the amount does not vary regionally. Structured inquiry is used the most in microbiology teaching and the majority of the teachers found inquiry-based methods valuable. The amount of inquiry is limited by a lack of time, size and heterogeneity of the student groups, lack of equipment and workspace. The results indicated that the teaching of microbiology in lower secondary school is diverse and inquiry-based methods are common, but limitations were expressed. Solutions in response to these concerns could be, for instance, virtual activities, improved learning materials and more collaboration between universities and schools which is now poor. There are so far no other published studies about this in Finland. In the future, it would be interesting to study further how inquiry-based methods and the teacher’s self-efficacy and own training in these areas affect the outcomes of microbiology education. Such research could then be used to improve teacher education to address the limitations presented in this thesis.
  • Göransson, Johanna (2022)
    Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet (POPS) painottaa biologian opetuksen kohdalla tutkivaa oppimista ja tutustumista biologialle ominaisiin tutkimusmenetelmiin. POPS:n biologian sisältöalueisiin kuuluu myös mikrobiologiaa. Tässä tutkimuksessa selvitettiin sisällönanalyysin keinoin miten yläkoulun biologian Koodi- ja Elo-oppikirjasarjojen tehtävissä ilmeni mikrobiologia ja tutkimuksellisuus. Tutkimuskysymykset olivat: 1. Kuinka paljon mikrobiologiaan liittyviä tehtäviä on ja mihin aiheeseen ne liittyvät? 2. Kuinka paljon mikrobiologian tutkimuksellisia tehtäviä on ja millaista tutkimuksellisuutta ne edustavat? 3. Onko mikrobiologian tehtävien määrällä ja laadulla eroavaisuutta kirjasarjojen välillä? Tulosten perusteella pohdittiin vastasivatko oppikirjat POPS:n sisältöjä ja tavoitteita mikrobiologiaan liittyvien tehtävien osalta. Molemmissa kirjasarjoissa oli mikrobiologiaan liittyviä tehtäviä lähes yhtä paljon. Koodi-kirjasarjassa tehtäviä oli selvästi eniten Elämä-kirjassa ja Elo-kirjasarjassa tehtäviä oli eniten Ihminen-kirjassa. Koodi-kirjasarjassa erilaisia mikrobiryhmiä oli käsitelty hieman kattavammin ja tasaisemmin kuin Elo-kirjasarjassa. Elo-kirjasarjasta myös puuttuivat kokonaan yhteen POPS:n sisältöalueeseen, elämän kehitykseen ja evoluutioon, liittyvät mikrobiologiset tehtävät, joita Koodi-kirjasarjassa oli useita. Sen sijaan vain Elo-kirjasarjassa oli POPS:ssa mainittua biotekniikka-sisältöä mikrobiologiaan liittyen. Tutkimuksellisia tehtäviä oli molemmissa kirjasarjoissa vähän alle puolet mikrobiologian tehtävistä. Elo-sarjassa niitä oli hieman enemmän, tutkimuksellisuus oli monipuolisempaa ja myös kokonaisia tutkimuksia oli useita, toisin kuin Koodi-kirjasarjassa. Molemmissa kirjasarjoissa oli useita mikroskopointitehtäviä. Tuloksista voitiin päätellä, että molemmat kirjasarjat vastaavat POPS:n tutkimuksellisuustavoitteeseen, vaikkakin Elo-kirjasarja hieman paremmin. Mikrobiologian aihesisältöjen osalta kirjoissa oli painotuseroja ja joitain puutteita verrattuna POPS:n sisältöihin. Tutkimuksen tulokset voivat olla biologian opettajan apuna oppikirjan valinnassa ja sen POPS:n vastaavuuden tarkistamisessa. Jatkotutkimuksena oppikirjojen tekstin analysointi antaisi kokonaiskuvan oppikirjojen mikrobiologian sisällöstä. Oppikirjojen mikrobiologian sisältöjen näkymistä opetuksessa voisi myös tutkia.
  • Carpelan, Mathilda (2022)
    Studerande i början av sina akademiska studier har en varierande nivå av förhandskunskaper och det är väl rapporterat inom pedagogisk forskning att den tidigare kunskapen påverkar studerandens inlärning av olika koncept. Den konstruktivistiska inlärningsteorins grundprincip är att all ny kunskap byggs ovanpå den tidigare kunskapen och därför kan den tidigare kunskapen i stor mån förutspå hur väl inlärningen sker. Teorier kring konceptuell förändring bygger vidare på den konstruktivistiska inlärningsteorin och förklarar konceptuell förändring som den delen av inlärningen där mottagningen av den nya kunskapen leder till en omorganisering av den tidigare erfarna kunskapen, så att den tidigare kunskapen bearbetas och revideras så att den passar in med den nya kunskapen. De olika teorierna kring konceptuell förändring lyfter också fram att den tidigare kunskapen kan stå i strid med den nya kunskapen, och att det i dessa fall kan leda till att inlärningen av den nya kunskapen försvåras. I denna avhandling används begreppet missuppfattningar då man avser förståelse av koncept där tidigare kunskap står i strid med den nya kunskapen. Missuppfattningar kan delas in i faktuella och robusta missuppfattningar baserat på hur grova de är och i fyra olika kategorier enligt deras typ: felaktiga antaganden, bristfälliga mentala modeller, misskategorisering och avsaknad av schema. Denna studie undersökte utvecklingen av studerandes förståelse mellan det första, andra och tredje akademiska studieåret och förekomsten av missuppfattningar under det tredje akademiska studieåret. Studerandena som deltog i studien började studera i kandidatprogrammet i miljövetenskaper år 2019 och har besvarat studien under hösten i tre år i rad: år 2019 (N = 46) , 2020 (N = 37) och 2021 (N = 34). Studerandena besvarade ett frågeformulär med åtta öppna frågor som gällde centrala biologiska koncept: fotosyntesen, cellandningen, växternas roll ur näringskedjans perspektiv, växternas roll ur atmosfärens perspektiv och evolutionen. Svaren analyserades sedan kvantitativt för att undersöka utvecklingen av studerandenas förståelse mellan det första, andra och tredje akademiska studieåret. Dessutom analyserades svaren från det tredje (N = 34) akademiska studieåret kvalitativt för att undersöka vilka (miss)uppfattningar som förekom hos studerandena. Resultaten visar att studerandena klarade sig bättre i de uppgifter som mätte förmågan att ange fakta och sämre i de uppgifter som mätte förmågan att tillämpa kunskap. Det var en större variation mellan studerandenas svar i de faktabaserade uppgifterna, vilket överensstämmer med tidigare studiers resultat. I de tillämpade uppgifterna var studerandenas svar ganska korta och ytliga. Studerandenas prestationer under det tredje året varierade beroende på uppgift, och som förväntat baserat på tidigare studiers resultat hade den största utvecklingen skett i uppgiften som handlade om växternas roll ur näringskedjans perspektiv, medan studerandena i uppgiften om evolutionen presterat sämre under tredje året än under andra året. Evolutionen var också det koncept som hade flest grova missuppfattningar av typen avsaknad av schema, vilket indikerar att det finns en bristfällig förståelse för evolutionen. Då man känner till hur viktig roll den tidigare kunskapen har för inlärningen och hur väl kunskapen i början av de akademiska studierna kan förutspå studerandens inlärningsförmåga och prestationer i fortsatta akademiska studier förstår man hur viktigt det är att förstå sig på konceptuell förändring.
  • Vanhanen, Sonja (2021)
    Ympäristöön sopeutuminen on laaja käsite, joka pitää sisällään sekä pitkällä aikavälillä tapahtuvan evolutiivisen sopeutumisen että yksilöissä lyhyellä aikavälillä tapahtuvan fenotyypin sopeutumisen. Evolutiivisessa sopeutumisessa keskeisenä mekanismina toimivan luonnonvalinnan on havaittu olevan monille opiskelijoille haastava käsite ymmärtää, ja siihen tiedetään liittyvän paljon virhekäsityksiä. Kuitenkin suomalaisten opiskelijoiden virhekäsityksiä ja ymmärrystä aiheesta on tutkittu vain vähän. Tässä tutkimuksessa selvitettiin suomalaisten peruskoulun yhdeksäsluokkalaisten osaamista liittyen eläinten sopeutumiseen ja evoluution mekanismeihin. Lisäksi tutkimuksessa tarkasteltiin erilaisten tekijöiden, kuten oppikirjasarjan ja oppilaan luontoharrastuneisuuden, yhteyksiä aiheen osaamiseen. Tutkimusaineisto (N=90) kerättiin sähköisen kyselylomakkeen avulla. Tutkimukseen osallistui yhdeksäsluokkalaisia neljästä eri koulusta. Kyselylomake koostui sekä monivalintatehtävistä että avoimista kysymyksistä, ja aineisto analysoitiin kvantitatiivisia sekä kvalitatiivisia menetelmiä käyttäen. Kvantitatiivisessa analyysissä vastaajien kokonais- ja tehtäväkohtaisia pisteitä vertailtiin eri ryhmien, kuten eri sukupuolten ja eri kirjasarjoja käyttäneiden, välillä. Lisäksi tarkasteltiin mm. luontoharrastusten ja biologian arvosanan yhteyksiä kyselyssä menestymiseen. Kvalitatiivisessa analyysissä avoimen tehtävän vastauksista eriteltiin oppilaiden virhekäsityksiä luonnonvalinnasta, ja virhekäsitykset luokiteltiin vakavuuden perusteella eri tasoihin. Vain pieni osa yhdeksäsluokkalaisista menestyi evoluutiota ja sopeutumista koskevassa kyselyssä hyvin ja osasi vastata luonnonvalinnan mekanismeja koskevaan avoimeen kysymykseen tieteellisen käsityksen mukaisesti. Suurella osalla tutkittavista havaittiin vakavan tason virhekäsityksiä luonnonvalinnan mekanismeista. Luonnonvalinnan eri osa-alueista oppilaat ymmärsivät heikoiten populaation muutoksen, muuntelun alkuperän ja lajiutumisen. Fysiologiseen sopeutumiseen liittyvissä tehtävissä oppilaat suoriutuivat hieman paremmin kuin evolutiivista sopeutumista koskevissa tehtävissä. Oppilaan viimeisimmän biologian arvosanan ja kyselyssä menestymisen välillä havaittiin positiivinen riippuvuus. Tulosten perusteella opetussuunnitelman keskeiset, evoluutiota koskevat tavoitteet eivät näytä toteutuvan kuin harvojen oppilaiden kohdalla, ja siten peruskoulun evoluutio-opetusta olisi yhä syytä kehittää. Saatuja tietoja evoluution ymmärtämisen ongelmakohdista ja yleisimmistä virhekäsityksistä voidaan hyödyntää opetuksen kehittämisessä. Jatkossa olisi tärkeää kehittää evoluutio-opetukseen uusia, erilaisia opetusmenetelmiä sekä selvittää niiden toimivuutta tämän haastavan aiheen oppimisessa.
  • Tornikoski, Taru (2023)
    Social behaviour can be divided into neutral, positive, and negative, depending on the social context. Positive social behaviour involves affiliative prosocial interactions that encourage social and emotional cohesion. Rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a globally distributed common rodent species adapted to living near humans. Rats are intelligent and social animals with reciprocal prosocial behaviour. However, research on the social behaviour of rats is concentrated in laboratory settings and very little is known about the social behaviour of free-living rats. Rats arouse strong prejudice in humans and are considered aggressive. Despite a long history of coexistence, there are still strong conflicts between humans and rats. In this study, I used camera trap data to investigate the types of social behaviour in free-living rats and the time allocation of different behaviours. I investigated how the rats' behaviour is divided into socially neutral or positive and negative behaviour in relation to the total time spent on the behaviour. I also investigated the types of social behaviour that occur when rats approach each other and the frequencies of these different behavioural models. For the behavioural analyses, I used data-driven ethograms that I made and the behavioural analysis software BORIS. I found that the majority (over 96.2 %) of the social behaviour of the free-living rats in my study population was neutral or positive behaviour as measured by the duration of the behaviour categories. I also found that the most significant proportion of social behavioural models in rats was socially neutral or positive. Agonistic behavioural models were rare and occurred mostly between adults. In contrast, rats exhibited a moderate amount of prosocial behaviour, particularly in the form of food sharing and muzzle touching. My study brings new information to the limited previous research on the behaviour of free-living rats. The results suggest that most of the social behaviour in free-living rats would be neutral or positive behaviour, and agonistic behaviour in rats would be relatively rare. To the best of my knowledge, this work is the first study to analyse the social behaviour of free-living rats from camera trap data. Objective research data on the social behaviour of rats may mitigate prejudice against rats and attitudes towards rats may become more positive. This can mitigate conflict between humans and rats and promote peaceful coexistence. This work can be used as a pilot for future studies. The information this work provides can also be used, for example, to educate people about their attitudes towards rats.
  • Malmberg, Jenny (2022)
    Many maternally inherited bacterial infections in insect species can have negative or positive effects on their hosts. One of the diverse phenotypes these bacteria can induce in their hosts is the selective death of the male offspring at early development stages. Male-killing (MK) symbiotic bacteria have been reported in diverse insect species, and these symbionts have been shown to play important roles in shaping the ecology and evolution of diverse host species. One such species is the African Monarch butterfly: Danaus chrysippus, the target species of my study. There are four subspecies of D. chrysippus, which are geographically loosely isolated in different parts of Africa. However, they do interbreed in a hybrid zone located in central Africa. The MK phenotype in D. chrysippus is caused by a Spiroplasma bacterium, which is highly prevalent in the host hybrid zone, where the MK phenotype is so strong that females can only reproduce thanks to a few males that migrate from the surrounding subspecies. Other studies have found a correlation between the size of the female (wingspan) and infection rate. In my thesis the main objective is to study parts of the internal female structures, aiming to investigate if the size of the female reproductive organs correlates with infection as well. My hypothesis is that the female reproductive organs are smaller in highly infected areas because the rare males produce small and resource-depleted spermatophores. This study considered if D. chrysippus females collected from different populations (with different infection rates and sex-ratios) showed a difference in the size of their reproductive organs (corpus bursae and signa). Some females were also dissected to count the amount of spermatophores, and to measure their size. My study includes photographs of these particular organs (corpus bursae and signum) because those have not been published before. The results showed that (A) Danaus chrysippus has two signa, one on the ventral- and one on the dorsal side of the corpus bursa, and they are covered with spike-like structures; (B) spermatophores varied in size between females, but that population, female infection status and population sex-ratio did not significantly affect spermatophore count nor spermatophore size, and (C) in Rwanda, where the sex-ratio is slightly female-biased, the signa covered a significantly smaller portion of the females’ corpus bursa than observed in females from other populations showing either no or a strong female sex-ratio bias.
  • Tiihonen, Eeva (2023)
    It has been observed that children’s interest towards natural sciences decreases as they grow up and start middle school. The decrease of interest towards natural sciences and studying them has led to a situation, where science and technology students’ relative share of higher education students has been falling in some of the OECD countries. Formal education needs support to carry out fascinating science education for children and to maintain their interest towards natural sciences. One of the opportunities to fascinate children towards sciences are science centers and their activities either combined with formal education or organized in an informal form like science camps. The aim of this research is to survey the biological knowledge, the interest towards biology and the ability to apply the biological knowledge of science campers (mainly 5th and 6th graders) and to study the connections between them. At the same time, the effect of age and gender of the science campers is studied. To survey the biological knowledge of the campers, multiple-choice test was used and the fascination with biology was investigated with Likert scale variables. The ability to apply the biological knowledge was investigated with drawings that were produced during a biology-themed science camp program. The data was analyzed using quantitative methods. The results indicated that the science campers were relatively fascinated with biology and that they master biological knowledge quite well but the ability to apply the knowledge was varying. There were no differences between different ages nor genders but there are many factors such as the economic status of campers’ families that might have affected on the results. There was found a statistically significant connection between biological knowledge and fascination with biology, which is not surprising, but it speaks in favor of the importance of supporting fascination in terms of learning.
  • Österholm, Kaisa (2021)
    Study-related burnout is a growing problem among university students. Study-related burnout is defined by exhaustion related to studying, a cynical attitude towards studying and feelings of inadequacy. Burnout can be caused by an overtaxing workload and by a lack of personal, social, or material resources. Stress is a natural part of life, but chronic stress can lead to illness and burnout. Students experience stress in their studies and interventions aiming to reduce stress and prevent burnout are therefore necessary. Psychological flexibility increases wellbeing and prevents burnout and is also related to enhanced learning. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is focused on improving psychological flexibility. Good study skills can also prevent burnout. The aim of this study was to examine university students’ experiences of an online ACT-based intervention that aims to increase psychological flexibility and enhance wellbeing and learning. The aim was also to compare the experiences of two groups of students based on their change in study-related burnout during the course. The participants wrote reflective diaries that were qualitatively analyzed using inductive category development and categories that describe students’ experiences of the intervention were formed. The result of this study shows that students had benefited from the course and described effects on both wellbeing and learning. Students in both study groups experienced effects on wellbeing and learning. The importance of peer-support during studying was discussed, which highlights the need for support from peers who experience similar difficulties and concerns. There were also mentions of negative experiences which the students gave as explanations to why a part of the course had not been effective in enhancing their wellbeing and learning. These categories were more often discussed by students whose risk for burnout had increased during the course. Several categories under the themes of positive experiences of effects on wellbeing and learning were more often discussed by students whose risk for burnout had decreased during the course. The result of this study shows that the ACT-based intervention can be regarded as effective in improving wellbeing and studying, and experiences of the intervention were in general positive. Integration of similar interventions in study programs would be beneficial.
  • Kettunen, Paavo (2023)
    Education for sustainability has come to be seen as an important part of achieving the sustainability goals, also in universities. However, the challenge for sustainability education is that sustainability is an ever-changing and highly complex concept. One theoretical approach for studying the learning of such complex concepts and phenomena is the conceptual change research tradition. The theory of conceptual change stems from the constructivist approach to learning, according to which learning takes place by modifying and completing existing knowledge structures. Sometimes these prior knowledge structures of the learner conflict with scientific knowledge, and in order to reach a new understanding, the learner has to change and reorganize their existing conceptions. With a new conception comes a whole new way of understanding a phenomenon, as related concepts take on new meanings. The process described above is called conceptual change. This thesis studied what kind of conceptions university students had about sustainability before the University of Helsinki's Sustainability Course (SUST-001, 3 cr) in autumn 2021, and how these conceptions had changed after the course. In addition, we investigated whether there were differences between students in human and natural science-oriented disciplines in the above-mentioned aspects. Conceptions were investigated using a baseline and endline measurement design. The study sample was students enrolled in a sustainability course at the University of Helsinki (N = 109). The data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Based on the results, the students' perceptions were quite narrow at the beginning of the course, although the responses showed that most students came to the course with some prior knowledge of sustainability. In addition, three narrow conceptions similar to misconceptions of the conceptual change were identified from the initial survey: ecology-limited, anthropocentric and weak sustainability conceptions. In the final measurement, students' perceptions of sustainability improved and, in particular, students' understanding of the different dimensions of sustainability, the interlinkages between them and the complex nature of sustainability in general increased. About half of the narrow conceptions also changed, although the anthropocentric conception was slightly more persistent. In the cross-disciplinary analysis, attention was drawn to the tendency of students in natural science-oriented disciplines to change their narrow view in comparison to students in human science-oriented disciplines. Based on the results, the Sustainability course can be seen as successful in teaching many of the key contents of the concept of sustainability. There were also indications of conceptual change. However, there is a need to further develop the course and to integrate sustainability more broadly into the different educational programs. Furthermore, it is very important to continue to study the success of this integration and of sustainability education also in the future.