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Browsing by study line "Varhaiskasvatus + varhaiserityisopettajan suuntautumisopinnot"

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  • Forss, Krista (2021)
    In the context of education, ADHD has already been studied quite a bit. However, the way that teachers understand the ADHD diagnosis and what kind of image they create in their speech about children diagnosed with ADHD has received less attention. The purpose of this thesis is to find out what kind of meanings teachers generate for the ADHD diagnosis and what kind of image teachers create about children diagnosed with ADHD. It is important to study the way teachers speak because the way they speak can have either a positive or negative impact on the well-being and learning of children diagnosed with ADHD. I have collected the material for my thesis through an e-form, which has been answered by 70 teachers working in early childhood education and basic education. Respondents to the form were found through social media. The form consisted of open-ended questions and the data was analyzed using discourse analysis methods. I identified a total of six interpretive repertoires for the diagnosis of ADHD: diagnosis as evidence of medical background, diagnosis as a provider of understanding, diagnosis as an explanation of behaviour, diagnosis as a provider of support, diagnosis as a possible label, and diagnosis as a questionable phenomenon. The diagnosis appeared to be mainly necessary and good in these interpretive repertoires, but the possible negative effects of the diagnosis were also brought up. A total of six subject positions were produced for a child diagnosed with ADHD: patient, different child, troublemaker, child in need of support, labelled child and ordinary child / misunderstood child. Teachers described children diagnosed with ADHD mainly through problems and challenges, but the writings also conveyed an empathic attitude towards the child. I hope this thesis will inspire teachers to reflect on their ways of speaking and to think about the origins and consequences of the meanings they have given to the diagnosis.
  • Viitanen, Milka (2019)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the development of children with special needs in the context of inclusive early childhood special education. In addition the other interest was to investigate the relationship between cognitive skills, behavioral and emotional skills and play behavior. The three research questions were: (1) How did the children´s cognitive and language skills, behavioral and emotional skills and play behavior develop over the course of one year? (2) How did the cognitive and language skills, behavioral and emotional skills and play behavior differ between the status groups? (3) What kind of relationship was there between the different skills? While little research has been done on the different settings of support in the Finnish early day care system, internationally several studies have been conducted about inclusive and exclusive special education. According to Rogow (1991) and Wong and Kasari (2012) children with special needs benefit social play with other kids without special needs. Previous research has highlighted the importance of play in children´s learning. Play is a way to learn cognitive and academic skills in early childhood (Bodrova, 2008). Data on 84 children attending inclusive day care in Helsinki was collected during 2016–2018. The children were supported in normal day care by an early childhood special needs teacher. The children’s special educational needs were divided into status groups: language disorder, self-regulation difficulties and severe disabilities. The data consisted of assessments of cognitive and language skills (Nepsy, WPPSI-III), behavioral and emotional skills (PreBers) and play behavior (PPBS) conducted by early childhood special education teachers. The data was analyzed by quantitative methods. The development of children was analyzed by the repeated measures ANOVA and The Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Differences between status groups were analyzed by Kruskall–Wallis H test and Mann-Whitney U –test. The relationships between variables were analyzed by Spearman’s correlation. The cognitive skills, behavioral and emotional skills and play behavior development of children were statistically significant. The language skills development was not statistically significant. There were statistically significant differences between status groups in many variables. Relations between different skills were high and statistically significant. Social communication had high relation between play behavior and emotional regulation. Relation between social communication and play in the childhood should be taken into account in early childhood settings.
  • Strodel-Paananen, Larissa (2021)
    The objective of this research was to find out how parents view daycare centers’ capabilities to recognize and support children with sensory processing disorders. When there are challenges in sensory processing, they are caused by the central nervous system. In the disorder, the brain is not able to parse, analyze, or unify information received from the senses. When the brain isn’t able to process information correctly, the human body won’t function correctly. This makes learning more difficult, as well as tolerating normal daily life and stressful situations. The challenges of sensory processing disorders have mainly been researched from the perspective of occupational therapy. There is hardly any research from educational science or special education’s point of view. This research is based on Jane Ayer’s sensory integration theory and modern research that supports it. This topic was approached from the parents’ perspective. This research was done by using qualitative methods. The data was gathered with a questionnaire and the subjects were chosen through snowball sampling. In total there were 47 subjects. The research was analyzed with the help of content analysis and narrative analysis. According to the findings of the research, daycare centers have low abilities to face children with sensory processing disorders. Understanding the challenges these children experience varied, according to the parents. The parents had experienced stigmatizing, blaming, and belittling of the issues from the daycare centers. In some cases, even the children had been blamed. According to the findings of the research, the symptoms of sensory processing disorders are diverse. Further, the problems of learning and behavior associated with the disorders are severe. One of the biggest difficulties in a daycare environment was that is extremely straining. Allowing the children to have a calm space was viewed as important. According to the research, a lack of information is the main reason why identifying sensory processing disorders is so difficult. Supporting children with these disorders in daycares is insufficient for the same reason. Therapy was seen as a tremendous help and a great asset for the whole family. There is a huge demand for further education and training.
  • Norberg, Taru (2021)
    The purpose of this study is to elucidate the experiences of ECEC center leaders about the unprofessionalism of educational interaction and the challenges it brings. In addition, the study examines the experience of tackling unprofessionalism and experiences related to managing the phenomenon. The aim is to analyze and describe the perceptions and experiences of managers, as well as their variation. The theoretical framework of the study consists of an examination of educational interaction, unprofessionalism and leadership, as well as a description in the context of early childhood education. The theory takes into account the paucity of previous research on early childhood professionalism and therefore the framework has been partially extended to look at professionalism in other fields as well, such as nursing and medicine. The starting points of the study were a multi-method and phenomenographic study, the data of which were obtained with a semi-structured e-questionnaire. The survey was addressed to municipal ECEC center leaders on the basis of the OAJ member register. In the analysis of qualitative data, context analysis was typically used for phenomenography, and the results of multiple-choice questions (Likert) are pre-sented as percentage distributions. Combining the acquisition and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data aims at a better understanding of a diverse and little-studied phenomenon. Leaders ’experiences of the unprofessional nature of educational interaction varied. However, most situ-ations were interpreted as completely unprofessional. All respondents reported unprofessionalism in their workplace and there was variation in its prevalence. Intervention in the unprofessional profession was generally perceived negatively by managers, although the task could still be perceived as important, co-ercive or obligatory. There were five experiences describing the management of challenging situations: the relationship between the manager and the employee, self-management, pedagogical management, professionalism as a phenomenon, and client work. Unprofessionalism is a multidimensional phenome-non challenging leadership and its definition and identification is important for developing the quality of early childhood education. The key tasks of a leader in terms of shared pedagogical leadership are to address unprofessional situations and to implement ethical reflection and moral decision-making in the work community.
  • Kallioniemi, Emmi (2020)
    The purpose of this research was to find out what kind of views daycare managers have on the pedagogical team leadership of early childhood education teachers, In addition, the study examined how daycare managers support and enable early childhood education teachers in working as the pedagogical team leader and what kind of possibilities and challenges are related to it. The theoretical framework was formed around describing pedagogical leadership in the context of early childhood education. The framework became more precise by examining the concepts of coaching and multiprofessional team, and the job description and work assignments of early childhood education teachers. This research is a qualitative interview survey based on content analysis. The interviews were executed as group interviews. In total there were four groups and twelve interviewees. The interviewees were part of the research and evaluation unit of the EduLeaders project. The project aims at studying and evaluating the basic-level studies in leadership in education, and based on this information, developing the above-mentioned studies and advanced-level studies of teacher education. Based on the data of this research it seems that early childhood education teachers work as pedagogical team leaders, which shows among other things in their job description. Daycare managers supported pedagogical team leadership for example by methods of coaching. The shortage of teachers and especially the shortage of qualified early childhood education teachers and matters associated with the change of culture were seen as challenges by the interviewees.
  • Hietanen, Jenny (2020)
    The Act on Early Childhood Education and care, 540/2018, obliges that early childhood education is systematic, target-oriented and pedagogically focused. The updated law determines for the first time of the principles regarding the organizing of the round-the-clock kindergartens. Previous studies show that it is necessary to study nonstandard childcare both nationally and internationally. During this study, data is collected for the first time, by using the Progressive Feedback-tool in an observation study carried out in the evening hours. Objectives. In Finland, 7% of all children participating in early childhood education are placed in round-the-clock kindergartens. The aim of this study is to find out what happens in the round-the-clock kindergartens during the day. The second aim of the study is to find out how much and what kind of activities are carried out in the round-the clock kindergartens at evenings. The third aim is to find out how it would be possible to increase children's commitment to activities in the round-the-clock kindergartens at evenings. Methods. The dissertation was conducted as a part of the Progressive Feedback-method. The data were collected in five round-the clock kindergartens in Kouvola, during the autumn of year 2019. The data collection method was observation. Five trained observers participated in the data collection. 1146 observational data were collected. The data were analyzed with statistical methods by using the SPSS 25 for MacOS software. Outcomes and conclusions. The study indicated that in the evenings, the children mainly play with different items and they are committed to these activities. The proportion of target-oriented activities in the round-the-clock kindergartens was small (5,8%) in the evening and the adults functioned mainly neutrally. Commitment to various tasks in the evening was intensive, but there were only few tasks occurring in the evenings. Children engage in activities more intensively when also adults participate in them. In learning´s perspective the most valuable activity in the kindergarten appears to be playing that is supported by an adult. Evening activities differ from the activities carried out in the mornings.
  • Koistinen, Saara (2020)
    Aims. The aim of this study was to investigate how two special needs teachers who had completed an equine-assisted social pedagogy instructor® training experienced the implementation of equine-assisted social pedagogy activities as a school intervention. Social pedagogy combined with animal and equine assisted activities served as the theoretical frame guiding this study. The research questions were: (1) What are equine-assisted social pedagogy activities from a special needs teacher's perspective, (2) What impacts have the equine activities by a special needs teacher had on individual pupils or pupil groups, and (3) Which factors emerge at the core of the implementation of the equine activities? Methods. This study was implemented using a qualitative approach applying a semi-structured interview. The data comprised the experiences of two special needs teachers. The collected data were processed using dialogical thematization. Four main themes emerged from the analysed data and were used as the basis for presenting the findings. Results and conclusions. The equine-assisted social pedagogy activities were well-suited as a school intervention and as part of special needs education, as the curriculum supports the implementation of the activities in all levels of the three-tier support model. The equine-assisted activities were perceived as a comprehensive form of social rehabilitation that promotes issues such as building a pedagogical relationship between the pupil and the teacher, and the emergence of interpersonal relationships between pupils. The teachers felt that the success of the activities was supported by the experiential features of the stable environment, opportunities for collaboration provided by the stable community, and peer support. The stable environment was perceived as a learning environment different from the traditional school environment that improves pupils’ motivation, concentration and obedience. Highlighting the interactive relationship between the pupil and horse also emerged as a significant feature of the equine-assisted social pedagogy activities. The horse was perceived as a mirror of the pupil’s emotional expression and behaviour. The pupils were observed to learn to understand their own emotions and behaviour through the horse and adapt their new behaviours from the stable to the school environment. The study revealed what sorts of experiences special needs teachers had of implementing equine-assisted activities as a school intervention. In turn, this raises awareness of the potential of using equine-assisted social pedagogy activities as part of school activities and special needs education.
  • Kosonen, Taija (2020)
    The development of a child’s eating habits is influenced by the individual characteristics of the child but also by the feeding practices used by adults during mealtimes. Feeding practices are behavioral approaches by which adults try to control what and how much children eat. Health and Joy from food – meal recommendations for early childhood education and care (VRN 2018) provides recommended feeding practices for early childhood education personnel to be used during preschool mealtimes. The purpose of this study is to determine how personnel’s background factors relate to the implementation of these mealtime recommendations. In addition, we look at how guidance related to mealtimes given from outside of the preschool affects this relationship. The study was conducted as a quantitative study. Data comprised of questionnaires filled in by preschool personnel in the cross-sectional study of the DAGIS project in 2015–2016. 379 preschool staff members from 66 preschools returned the questionnaire. Four mealtime recommendations were identified: modelling healthy eating, encouraging children to eat vegetables and fruit, helping children to recognize feelings of hunger and satiety and avoiding using food as a reward. The associations between personnel’s background factors and the implementation of mealtime recommendations was examined using logistic regression analysis. The background factors examined were level of education in early childhood education, age group, work experience in early childhood education, and knowledge of the recommended intake of vegetables, fruits, and berries for children. Respondent’s gender and municipality were used as confounding factors. The effect of guidance from outside the preschool was analyzed by including an interaction term. The results showed that respondents who did not have a degree in early childhood education were less likely to implement several mealtime recommendations than those with a preschool teacher university degree. Respondents aged 40-49 were more likely to implement more mealtime recommendations than those under 30. Other background factors were not related to the number of recommendations implemented. Guidance given from outside the preschool did not affect the association between background factors and the implementation of mealtime recommendations. The research reveals the importance of education in the fulfillment of early childhood mealtime recommendations.
  • Sohlstén-Nederström, Jemina (2021)
    The purpose of this article-based master's thesis is to provide more information on the interaction mechanisms between early childhood education and care staff’s experienced social support, stress, educational background and 3-6 years old children’s self-regulation challenges. Previous studies show that staff’s high stress can be associated with self-regulation challenges in children. Social support, on the other hand, is known to buffer stress at workplace. According to previous studies, the early childhood education and care staff’s educational background is also important for the quality of interaction in child groups, especially in stressful situations. A key hypothesis of the study was that the amount of social support received by the early education team members and team’s educational background affect their experience of stress and that has an effect to self-regulation challenges in child groups. The study’s quantitative data were collected in autumn 2017 by DAGIS research project. A total of 83 early childhood education and care teams (202 staff members) and 702 children from two municipalities in southern Finland participated in the study. Research hypothesis was tested with meditation analysis. In the research design, the social support from the su-pervisor and colleagues experienced by the early childhood education team, as well as the team's educational background, were defined as predictors, and the team’s perceived stress was defined as the mediator, which was expected to mediate the effect between children's self-regulation challenges and predictors. The results showed that the team’s experienced stress mediated associations from the social support predictors to the self-regulation challenges in children. On the other hand, the team's educational background had no direct or stress-related indirect association to the self-regulation challenges in children. Greater social support from the supervisor and colleagues was associated with less stress. Staff’s stronger stress, on the other hand, was associated with the greater self-regulation challenges among children. Based on the results, it would be justified to invest in the well-being of early childhood education and care staff as part of the pedagogical quality assessment and pay attention to the preconditions of sensitive human resource management. Further research is also needed, for example, how daycare units’ managers’ workload and stress affect to the interaction and pedagogical quality in child groups. The article " Early childhood education and care staff’s social support, stress and educational background and their associations to 3-6 years old children’s self-regulation challenges " is to be published in the Journal of Early Education Research.
  • Kaartokallio, Satu (2020)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract Children grow among digital media and its importance needs to be notified also in early education (Chaudron 2015). When young children engage with digital media, adult support and mediation in crucial to adequately balance positive and negative effects of media use (Kardefelt-Winther 2017).The motivation of this study is to research views of parents and early education professionals on children’s digital media use, its mediation and support and co-operation between home and early education environments. The three research questions were: (1) What are the views of parents and early education professionals on (1) children’s digital media use? (2) on mediation and support of children’s digital media use? (3) on collaboration between home and early year education setting? The study was conducted as an online survey in three out of ten early education districts in Helsinki, Finland in November 2019. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected in separate surveys for parents and early education professionals. Surveys were distributed through daycare unit managers to professionals and parents. The research data consists of 189 parents’ and 40 early education professionals’ answers. The quantitative analysis was conducted mainly non-parametric statistical tests. Qualitative analysis proceeded using data-oriented content analysis. The results show parents have diverse views on and attitudes towards children digital media use and that children’s media use is variable. Most children use digital media in moderation, some in considerable amount and a fraction not at all. Early education professionals see digital media use as natural part of children’s world and that parents balance well the media use of their children. Both see potential effects of digital media use on children’s self-regulation and emotional skills. Parent attitude towards digital media use by their children significantly differed by child gender, and parents of the boys had more concerns. Digital media use by adults and concern on adequate personal interaction were discerned from the results. Amount of time used on digital media and transitions from digital media use to other activities were identified as primary causes of conflict at home. Parents would like to receive more information on child-appropriate content, suitable time limits and research-based knowledge on positive and negative effects of digital media use. Early education professionals would need research-based recommendations and information on effects of media use on child development. Furthermore, they wish for clear guidelines and agreed practices for digital media use in daycare and preschool setting, as well as for digital media use -related collaboration with families. Parents had a positive view on collaboration, although experience on it was limited. Early education and preschool professionals, together with parents, would have a unique position to build moderate and many-voiced discourse on children digital media use during early years - a possibility not yet materialized to a full extent.