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Browsing by study line "Varhaiskasvatus"

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lagercrantz, Tytti (2021)
    Aims. Play is a central part of the day in the day care centers especially as a peer group activity of children. According to the Core Curriculum (2016) adults must support children’s play also by participating in it. Very little is still known about adult-child joint play in the day care centers especially from children’s perspective. The aim of this study is to expand this knowledge by interviewing children. This study examines the ways joint play between children and adults is constructed in children’s stories and the ways participation in the play is defined. Methods. This qualitative study used a narrative approach to examine children’s perspectives. 27 children (11 girls and 14 boys) aged 4 to 6 participated in the interviews in the beginning of 2019. A thematic analysis was applied and a concept of small stories was used as an analytical tool. Results and conclusions. Joint play between adults and children in small stories was constructed especially by voluntary participation. Joint play was constructed through active engagement and commitment. Adults and children were connected in joint play when the themes of play were based on everyday life whereas themes from the media distanced adults from the play. Play was also constructed by sharing knowledge and taking roles. Adults then took for example roles that were undesirable to children. Seems that the ability of adults to take part in the joint play was limited. Other duties of adults and day care center rules restricted possibilities to participate in joint play. In one story children were took into account the conditions when it was possible to play with an adult in the day care center. Participation in play was determined through ownership of the play and also through individual characteristics. Knowledge, skills as well as physical qualities and capabilities defined participation in play. In one story the close relationship between the adult and child made it possible for the adult to participate in play.
  • Isotalo, Marianne (2021)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract Objectives. Touch is a key part of human interaction. Previous research has shown that touch has many positive effects from the perspective of a child's well-being and development. Touch is especially emphasized when working with toddlers, i.e., children under 3 years of age, as they need a lot of help with basic activities. The aim of this study was to find out how touch appears in toddlers' daytime naps. The research questions were: (1) what kind of touch is in toddlers' nap moments, (2) how is contact built between an early childhood worker and a toddler in toddlers' nap moments, and (3) what factors affect the nature of touch and the functions of touch toddlers' nap moments? Methods. This study was conducted as a qualitative interaction study. The study data included a total of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds. The material was narrowed down to moment that captured toddlers’ nap moments from going to bed to falling asleep. These moments formed 40 episodes lasting 46 minutes and 58 seconds. Multimodal interaction analysis was applied to the limited data. I transcribed the material and examined it gradually. After examining the material, I did a theory-driven content analysis. Results and conclusions. Touching appeared to be a significant mean of interaction during toddlers’ nap moments. The study found three categories of touch, which were controlling touch, soothing touch, and gentle touch. In addition, means of interaction without contact were found in the material. The construction of touch was influenced by the child's behavior and the atmosphere in the daytime nap room. This study emphasized controlling touch, the aim of which was to guide and control the child's activities. The study revealed what kind of touching methods are used in toddlers' naps and how touching was built as part of the interaction between the toddler and the early childhood education worker. Through research, early childhood education could reflect on the construction of touch from a pedagogical perspective. What kind of touch is good care and what other functions does touch have in interaction?
  • Perho, Amanda (2020)
    The purpose of the study is to find out how quality improvement is reflected in the leadership work of early childhood education and basic education. The study will also examine the key challenges for quality improvement in early childhood education and basic education. There were two research questions: (1) How do leaders describe quality improvement of early childhood education and basic education in their work? (2) What challenges are faced by leaders in quality improvement in early childhood education and basic education? The aim of the study is to produce information on how leadership in the field of education should be developed. The aim is also to produce information on how to develop high-quality early childhood education and basic education. Previous studies show that leadership can be used to support high-quality early childhood education and basic education. Previous studies also show that leaders in the field of education experience challenges in their work, which is why it is important to support leadership. The research material has been produced in the EduLeaders project, which aims to develop leadership studies in the field of education. The material of the study consisted of group interviews with the heads of day care centres and the principals, and there were a total of nine group interviews. The study extract was based on a phenomenological-hermeneutical approach and the material was analysed through data-based content analysis and theming. The results of the study showed that quality improvement was similar in the leadership work of early childhood education and basic education. According to the experiences of early childhood education and basic education managers, the challenges for quality development were also similar, although there were also differences in the challenges. The research resulted in the meaning structures describing the quality improvement and the challenges of quality improvement. The results of the research showed that quality development is a joint process of the organisation's experts. Quality improvement is carried out in cooperation with different parties, but more effective cooperation models should be developed. According to the study, management studies in the field of education should be developed and more effective management structures should be built for early childhood education. In addition, more systematic evaluation should be developed in both early childhood education and basic education.
  • Österman, Helmi (2020)
    The aim of this study is to explore a composing process as a way to support children’s creative agency in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings. The research assignment is to describe, theorize and analyze a composing process in ECE. The research questions are to find out how does the composing process appear in ECE and what factors in the teachers action support children’s creative agency. Based on earlier research, creative and musical activities enhance children’s over all growth, development and learning. The role of teachers is seen important when supporting children’s creative agency. Creative agency as a concept is still new, and earlier studies have raised a need to develop creative and musical activities in ECE. New research and methods are needed to develop abilities to support children’s creative agency. This teacher inquiry was implemented as a qualitative action research, in a group of 5-6-years old children, in an ECE center in Helsinki. Children participated in eight composing workshops that were recorded. The data consisted of seven recordings with 12 children participating in a composing process. The data was analysed as theory-driven content analyzes. The findings of this study show that a composing process can be seen as collaborative practice, where encouraging atmosphere and observing children’s initiatives are key elements. The factors that support children’s creative agency in the teachers action can be divided in two: factors concerning the interaction between the teacher and the children and factors concerning the planning, implementation and evaluation of the activities. Creative agency can be supported by breaking the authority between teacher and children and by planning and changing the activities based on children’s needs and hopes. Based on these results, teachers can support children’s creative agency with they’re own action and a composing process is one possibility to do so.
  • Kaloniemi, Ada (2022)
    The purpose of this master’s thesis is to produce information on the appearance of children’s fear and anxiety in the context of early childhood education and care (ECEC). By drawing attention to the daily actions and situations where fear and anxiety typically take place, it is possible to gather valuable information about children’s wellbeing in the various situations of ECEC. This study examines the situations in which children experience fear and anxiety and how these emotions reflect the children’s behavior. In addition, the study aims to find out how the ECEC personnel relates to the fear or anxiousness of the child. The study was conducted using the Finnish nationwide Progressive Feedback method. The research data was gathered during 2017–2021. A total of 2653 ECEC groups from 18 municipalities participated in the study. The research method used was systematic random sample observation, which included all activities in ECEC between 8 AM to 4 PM. Quantitative methods were used to analyse the data. The observations of fear and anxiety were cross-tabulated with the observations of the general frame of activity, the child’s social orientation, and the actions of the nearest adult. It was found that children show highlighted levels of fear and anxiety when being outdoors or participating in indoor guided activities. Withdrawn and independent social orientations were highlighted among children experiencing fear and anxiety. When examining adults’ reactions to children’s fear and anxiety receptive and negative attitudes were overrepresented. However, negative attitudes should be considered with caution due to the limitations of the data. A closer inspection into the matter revealed that both children’s and personnel’s attitude towards fear and anxiety was context-related. Article manuscript “Children’s observed fear and anxiety in early childhood education” is to be published in the Finnish journal of Psychology.
  • Paaso, Vilma (2021)
    Objectives. The core of early childhood education activities is the interaction between early childhood education staff and toddlers, i.e., children under 3 years of age. The relevance of the interaction is especially emphasized in the basic functions. According to previous research, a child has a need to interact with other children as well as adults. The basic functions are realized in an interaction that makes it a pedagogical event. Singing can be used as a method of pedagogical interaction in basic functions. For example, singing can activate a child as a part of activities and it is also an important goal of early childhood education. The goal of this study was to find out how singing could be used as a method of pedagogical interaction in dressing and undressing situations in a toddler group. Research questions were: (1.) How does singing appear as a method of pedagogical interaction in dressing and undressing situations in a toddler group? (2.) What are the goals of singing in the usual dressing and undressing situations of pedagogical interaction in a toddler group? (3.) What are the consequences of singing as a method of interaction in dressing and undressing situations in a toddler group? Methods. This study was a qualitative interaction study. The total quantity of the video material was 1 hour 35 minutes and 1 second. The video featured moments of singing moments before and after the actual event of singing. These moments were reduced to 24 episodes which total duration was 23 minutes and 34 seconds. Multimodal interaction analysis was used in the study of the episodes. After transcribing the material, I reviewed the material in turn and did a theory-guided content analysis. Results and conclusions. Singing as a method of pedagogical interaction appeared as a diverse method. The study found four categories describing the pedagogical goal of singing: singing as a method of entertaining, a method of soothing, a method of connecting participants in pedagogical interaction, and giving undivided attention to one child. The study emphasized the pedagogical purpose of singing to entertain a child. The research revealed the diversity of singing as a method of pedagogical interaction. In the future, it should be considered what other pedagogical goals can be achieved in early childhood education through the interaction method of singing.
  • Novitsky-Wahlroos, Noora (2019)
    The purpose of this study was to examine thematics of people’s relationship with nature, as well as the operation "Luonnossa kotonaan - At home in nature" from a scientific point of view. This thesis examines the human-nature relationship of individuals who have been part of ”At Home in Nature” daycare as children. With main intrest being on the central factors which have contributed to the human-nature relationship of the individuals, as well as how they would currently describe their relationship with nature. Previous research into the subject makes it clear that experiences with nature as well as possibilities for independent mobility within ones own environment in childhood has an impact on the human-nature relationship. For the purpose of this study, I have interviewed four adults who in their childhood, participated in ”At home in nature” daycare. The duration which the participants had spent in ”At Home in Nature” daycare varied from one to four years. The interviews were analyzed with an individuals personal human-nature relationship perspective. This perspective originates from envriomental psychology and humanistic geography where the individuals own expereinces and accounts are in the central role. In a wider perspective the way in which humanistic geography and envrionmental psychology interpret personal human-nature relationship can be seen influenced by phenomenology; reality exists and understanding its contents is possible through the individuals experiences. The pivotal point being what those individual human experiences mean for the person themself and how they interpret the world through their own experiences. The main observations of this thesis are: ”At Home in Nature” daycare and the direct experiences with nature it enables has had a positive impact on the human-nature relationship of the participants. In addition to ”At Home in Nature” daycare the human-nature relationship of the participants has been affected by multiple other things, such as their families and childhood home locations. The human-nature relationship has impacted the participants life choice in adulthood as well. The conclusion of this thesis is that the relationship with nature amongs the participants has throughout their life evolved into a strong significant part of their lives, to some it was even extremely significant.