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Browsing by master's degree program "Muuttuvan kasvatuksen ja koulutuksen maisteriohjelma"

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  • Qiu, Yue (2022)
    Many studies have shown that it is important to understand teachers' epistemic beliefs in educational reform because their epistemic beliefs often influence teachers' behaviours. Based on previous study, there were two kinds of teachers’ epistemic beliefs: reflective-collaborative and knowledge transmission. Teachers’ teaching practices could be learning-focused or content-focused. The aim of this study was to find out Chinese high school teachers’ epistemic beliefs and their teaching practices and how they were related to each other. In this study, the participants were 10 high school teachers from China. Interviews were conducted online in their mother tongue. The interview questions were adapted from previous research, and content analysis was used to analyze the transcripts. The results showed that the teachers held both epistemic beliefs. Metacognition and reflection were important, but so was the transmission of knowledge. In their self-reports, teachers would use different teaching methods depending on the situation, trying to find a balance between their own beliefs and the exam-oriented social context. For most teachers, there was no strong link between teachers' epistemic beliefs and practices, which might be caused by the socio-cultural context and the lack of adequate competencies.
  • Li, Qin (2022)
    Teachers’ epistemic beliefs may play a role in their own ICT use for learning as well as their students’. This study, focusing on how teachers’ epistemic profiles are related to teachers’ and their students’ ICT use reported by their teachers, is a new attempt to investigate teachers’ ICT use as a learning tool. The participants were 157 subject-matter teachers in Finland filled in a Likert-type questionnaire measuring epistemic beliefs and categories of ICT use based on the three metaphors of learning: knowledge acquisition, participation, and knowledge sharing and building. First, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to assess the validity of the ICT instrument. Concerning teachers’ epistemic profiles, a person-oriented approach was applied. Based on latent profile analysis, means of all variables in ICT use scales between profiles were compared to examine the relation between epistemic profiles and ICT use for learning. The results showed that in terms of ICT use reported by teachers in two scales, knowledge acquisition was dominant as compared to the other two categories. Two epistemic profiles were defined among Finnish teachers: Knowledge-transmission and Reflective-collaborative profiles. By comparing teacher reported ICT use across the two profiles, the results demonstrated that teachers in the reflective-collaborative group were more likely to report using ICT for their own learning and for supporting their students’ learning.
  • Nyyssönen, Mihaela (2022)
    Objectives. Pedagogical planning is an essential process in early childhood education provision. It is also a space to embed child-centered pedagogy in practice. Connections between early childhood educators' well-being, children's well-being, and their participation in pedagogical planning have been found by prior research. Examining the dynamics between these phenomena sheds light on how important the well-being of all the early childhood education community members is in the process of education provision. This study aimed to look at the connection between children's psychosocial well-being, early childhood educators' subjective well-being, and the levels of child-centered pedagogical planning. The hypothesis predicted a positive association between the items mentioned above. Methods. The participants of the study were 43 early childhood educators and 165 children. The study was conducted in 15 groups within nine daycares across Finland. The data was collected through three questionnaires: SDQ (child's psychosocial well-being), WHO-5 (educators' subjective well-being), and Reunamo learning environment questionnaire (child-centered pedagogical planning). The statistical analyses were conducted with IBM SPSS Statistics. A quantitative item analysis was done to establish a child-centered pedagogical planning indicator. Three levels of this measure were identified (low, medium, and high). The analysis continued with performing a one-way analysis of variance between the levels of child-centered pedagogical planning indicator, the children's psychosocial well-being sum score, and the early childhood educator's subjective well-being sum score. Results and conclusions. The results highlighted that a high level of early childhood educators' well-being was positively connected with the high levels of child-centered pedagogical planning. However, regarding the children's psychosocial well-being and its association with the levels of child-centered pedagogical planning, a positive non-significant trend was observed. These findings raise awareness of the important connection between children's psychosocial well-being, early childhood educators' well-being and education provision. Additionally, they can be used in developing early childhood education practices.
  • Lucendo Noriega, Alicia (2022)
    Objectives. The world population aged over 60 years is estimated to increase to 1.4 billion by 2030. This increasing trend evidences the current need for promoting healthy ways of living and aging. Previous research has studied music as a protective factor for several aspects in aging-associated neurological illnesses. This thesis aims at researching if healthy amateur choir singers and controls across age in adulthood differ in self-reported cognitive functions, social support and quality of life. It is hypothesized that amateur choir singers will report higher values of the three aspects mentioned above. Methods. Participants (N=93) were recruited from two general population groups, amateur choir singers (N = 54) and controls (N = 46), from 3 age groups split as follows: young adults: 20–39 years (N=34, mean = 29.79, SD = 5.65); middle-aged adults: 40–59 years (N=32, mean = 50.31, SD = 6.47); and older adults: 60–90 years (N=27, mean = 69.37, SD = 7.62). Outcome measures were questionnaires on quality of life (WHO-QOL-BREF), social support (Social Provisions Scale, SPS), cognitive functioning (Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, CFQ; Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire, PRMQ). Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS. Results and conclusions. The variable “total years of education” was included as a covariate when comparing the age groups, due to significant difference in the demographic pre-analysis. When studying the effects of amateur choir singing (choir vs controls), none of the results were significant. In comparing the three age groups (young, middle-aged, old), significant group differences were found in all the domains of theCFQ (cognitive failures) questionnaire except for Names, with young adults scoring higher (indicating more cognitive failures) than the middle-aged and older adults. A significant singing x age interaction was observed in all CFQ domains (except Names) as well as in the Reliable alliance subdomain of the SPS, with choir singers showing a more positive trend (less cognitive failures, more social support) across the age groups compared to the control group. These findings suggest a possible protective effect of amateur choir singing on subjective cognitive and social functioning in aging, which should be further studied.
  • Tähkä, Inka (2022)
    Youth mental health has become a central topic of public discourse. However, the significance of social structures, such as gender norms, for emotional wellbeing remains understudied in Finland. Previous research on men’s mental health has shown that conformity to traditional masculinity ideals can cause men to undermine their health or lessen their likelihood to seek help. However, these studies often lack the perspective of men’s agency in reproducing and challenging these ideals. To address this gap in research, the first objective of this thesis was to examine what kind of masculinity discourses young Finnish men produce. By analysing these discourses, I studied how young men view the gendered expectations to be connected to their presumed mental health. My second objective was to analyse what kind of reactions young Finnish men have to the public mental health discourses. Thus, the context of this study is within the broader mental health and gender discourses in Finland. The study was conducted applying a thematic discursive approach to the open answers in a large questionnaire data about young men’s mental health gathered by Nyyti ry and the Family Federation of Finland in November 2020. Thematisation served mainly as a tool to organise the data, while the discursive approach allowed me to examine how the masculinity and mental health discourses in the data were constructed, and to analyse the ideas and practices within these discourses that shape social reality. Young men produced three lines of masculinity discourses, which highlight how the traditional hegemonic masculinity ideals remain strong in Finnish society, upheld with narrow representations of masculinity. These ideals were portrayed as restricting, limiting the actions of young men, and to create gendered conditions of opportunity to show weakness, ask for help, and talk about mental health. As a reaction to the public mental health discourses, young men produced critical discursive reactions, illustrating how the prevailing mental health discourses are insufficient in quality and quantity, too individualised, and seen as discriminatory towards men. This research indicates a need to address the structural, gendered expectations in order to widen the positions available for men in society and to find useful solutions to support the mental health of young men.
  • Nenonen, Mirka (2022)
    Objectives. The purpose of this thesis was to study the experiences of former lower secondary school pupils related to their school attendance problems (SAPs). The research seeks to provide information related to the phenomenon and the role of school-related factors in the Finnish context. Previous research has shown that teachers and other school personnel highlight the role of individual and family factors when explaining the reasons for school attendance problems and the pupils emphasize the importance of school-related factors. As such, the research questions are 1. How did school-related factors influence the pupils’ SAPs? 2. What kind of support was offered to the pupils when they were having SAPs? 3. What kind of support the pupils would have wished to get from the school personnel when having SAPs? Methods. Five former lower-secondary school pupils were interviewed during October and November 2021. The youth were 15-17 years old and had completed their basic education in a middle-sized southern city in Finland in 2020 or 2021. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using the phenomenological interview method and analyzed by interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results and conclusions. All the pupils had lower academic achievement because of being absent from school. The participants considered their pupil-teacher relationships important. They highlighted the importance of being supported and seen as an individual. Some thought that their teachers did not believe them and their explanations for SAPs. Peer relationships were important for all the youth but there was also bullying and discrimination from peers. Some pupils were absent together with their peers, while for some the support gotten from the peers was important. The pupils would have wanted
  • Helaskoski, Linda (2022)
    Finland’s highly egalitarian educational system lacks official definitions and policies regarding gifted students. The Finnish National Core Curriculum proposes differentiation as the method by which to meet the diverse needs of students in the inclusive Finnish classroom. Previous research indicates that many Finnish teachers lack adequate knowledge about how to support and differentiate instruction for the gifted. This thesis focuses on gifted students’ experiences of differentiation in mixed-ability public schools in Finland. Four gifted students in grades 5 and 6 participated in one semi-structured interview where they were asked questions about assignments in school. The transcripts from the interviews were analyzed with a thematic analysis method and a hermeneutic-phenomenological research approach. Through the thematic analysis, six themes were generated from the material: Acceleration and ability grouping, lack of differentiation, finishing assignments early, inaction and unawareness in teachers, support from teachers, and dealing with peers. The results show that while all students had acceleration measures in place, the students did not seem to receive sufficiently differentiated instruction in school. They found assignments unchallenging, and finished their work early, leading to a lot of idle time in class spent doing things unrelated to the current lesson. Furthermore, the students described their teachers as passive and even unaware of the fact that assignments are too easy. Frustration and boredom seemed to be common feelings in the lived experiences of gifted students in the mixed-ability classroom, which further points toward the need for effective differentiation for gifted students.
  • Candolin, Heidi (2022)
    The aim of this study is to examine parents' beliefs on what impact Covid-19 has had on our young children's physical activity. With the term young children, I refer to children aged from one to six years old. The research questions for this study are the following: 1. How do parents view the impact Covid-19 has had on children's physical activity? 2. What kind of change in the child’s physical activity can be seen? 3. Is there a change in the child’s attitude towards physical activity? In the chapter physical activity some background on how children master physical movements will be presented. The chapter contains children’s physical development, as well as benefits and the needs for physical activity. Physical development and physical activity go hand in hand, developing physically often leads to the child becoming more physically active. In the chapter Covid-19 and everyday life, viewpoints on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected young children’s everyday life and especially physical activity are examined. The Covid-19 pandemic led to activities organized for families with children, such as story-time in library, music-play at the library/church and family café etc. stopped to decrease the spreading of the Covid-19 virus. A short complete lockdown took place in the beginning of spring 2020, where early childhood centers closed, and only parents/guardians who could not stay at home with their children had the right to bring their child to early childhood education. The parents that had the opportunity to stay home with their child were offered online early childhood education via the early childhood education center that they normally attend to. How much activities were sent out depended on the early childhood centers approach and beliefs (Hilppö, et al. 2020; Nurhonen et al. 2021). However, it was decided later that early childhood education centers remained open during the pandemic, and children were offered everyday life as normal as possible. Even though, early childhood education centers opened, the Covid-19 restrictions still existed (Nurhonen et al. 2021). How these restrictions were followed depended on the family. With the use of questionnaire, that were sent out to early childhood education centers and parent-child activities I have tried to get a view on how parents view the impact Covid-19 has had on young children’s physical activity. Has the pandemic affected young children’s physical activity? What are the parents’ beliefs? and how well with Covid-19 going on can children be physically active? I collected 103 answers from the questionnaire. Looking at the collected data I have also tried to see how and what attitudes towards physical activity children have. Do they enjoy being outdoors, physically active and has this changed during the pandemic? What can be concluded from this study is that even though the Covid-19 pandemic has been going on for 2 years it has not, according to the parents of the children, affected young children's physical activity that markedly. The children of this study seem to be as physically active as before the Covid-19 pandemic. This study is only a sample of a specific number of people, trying to explain how Covid-19 has affected the daily lives of children. Further study is needed to fully understand the changes made by Covid-19.
  • Virtasalo, Iiris (2022)
    Finnish principals experience high levels of stress in their work, which has raised a strong interest to identify factors that could support principal well-being. This study explores, first, the connection between principals’ perceived self-efficacy and physiological stress, and second, the changes in the stress and self-efficacy levels from 2019 to 2020. As earlier research has mostly focused on the self-reported stress and self-efficacy, this study raises further implications on the link between perceived self-efficacy and the physiological stress on school principals. The theoretical framework of the study is the social cognitive theory by Albert Bandura. Bandura suggests that the stress-protective role of self-efficacy should result in diminished physiological stress responses. Present study tests two hypothesis. According to the first hypothesis, principals with high self-efficacy are less stressed than principals with lower self-efficacy. According to the second hypothesis, the self-efficacy of the principals’ stays relatively stable from 2019 to 2020. Data of the study consists of questionnaire data and physiological measurements. The self efficacy levels of the participants were measured by using the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire-II. The physiological measurements were collected with mobile heart rate monitoring device Firstbeat BodyGuard 2. Altogether 30 principals participated the study in 2019 and 14 principals in 2020. In the study, statistical analysis was conducted with the SPSS Statistics programme. The data was analysed using the Pearson correlation, linear regression analysis and paired sample t-test. The study showed that the self-efficacy levels and physiological stress levels are statistically significantly connected. Consistent with the first hypothesis, principals with high self-efficacy are less stressed during office hours than principals with lower self-efficacy on both years. In addition, the connection between age and the stress levels and self-efficacy levels were studied. The analysis shows that principals with higher age had more physiological stress than their younger colleagues in 2019. However, in 2020, age was not connected to higher stress levels. The results indicate that the self-efficacy levels and age of the participants are not connected in both years. No evidence was found that the stress and self-efficacy levels of the Finnish principals would have changed from 2019 to 2020. This study contributes to a comprehensive understanding of self-efficacy and stress of Finnish principals, and these findings could support principals’ wellbeing and their commitment to work.
  • Eshraghi, Banafsheh (2022)
    Students’ challenging behavior is of significant concern to teachers and principals in Finland. Youth’s challenging behavior at school has negative effects on teachers’ classroom management, classroom climate and other students. To manage behavioral challenges at school, different school-wide approaches are used. The Multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) is one of these school-wide approaches. With three tiers, this model focused on the early detection of learning issues, early intervention and collaboration between school personnel. This thesis explores tier one (Universal behavioral support). This research provides a national picture of primary schools’ teachers’ and principals’ views in Finland with regards to addressing students’ behavior. This study answers three research questions: (1) How do teachers and principals compare with regards to their views on using school-wide components to address students’ behavior, (2) how do teachers and principals compare in their views of teachers’ responsibility to promote appropriate youth behavior and (3) how do teachers and principals compare with regards to their views on identifying and supporting students that are not responding to universal behavioral support. A sample of 88 teachers and 101 principals from comprehensive primary schools in Finland participated in this study. A series of independent t-test, ANOVA and Chi-square were utilized to determine if any statistically significant difference existed between teachers’ and principals’ views. It was discovered that no statistically significant difference existed between teachers’ and principals’ views except in two items of the survey: participants’ views differed about teachers’ responsibility to encourage students to behave as expected and about using Interventions as a behavioral support approach for students that are not responding to universal behavioral support.
  • Molina Bustamante, Susana (2022)
    This study aims to reveal how executive functions are related to early numeracy skills. Several articles have been published in this respect. The present one focuses on just two executive functions, inhibition and switching, and two early numeracy skills, counting and numerical relational skills. The study wants to determine how the accuracy and reaction time in inhibition and switching tasks correlate with the counting and numerical relational skills in four-year-old preschoolers, and if there is any general latent condition under which these relations are modified. The participants of this study are 4-year-old preschoolers (N=189) from preschools in the Helsinki Area (N=21), Finland. They have done two different tests that have been used to gather the data. A digital version of the Flanker tasks (modified from Fan, et al. (2002)) has measured inhibition and switching accuracy and reaction time. The Early Numeracy Test (Aunio, Hautamäki, Heiskari, & Van Luit, 2006) has measured the preschoolers’ performance in counting and relational skills. The data has been quantitatively analysed with SPSS and R. A correlation analysis has been performed to understand how the variables are related (calculation of Spearman’s rank correlation). A latent profile analysis has been run using the mclust package, to see if there could be extracted any latent variable that could drive the correlation in different directions. The main results reveal that accuracy in inhibition and switching tasks have a weak to moderate positive correlation with the successful use of counting and relational skills in 4-year-old preschoolers. Reaction time seems to be a variable whose implications change depending on the participants’ EN-performance, as visible in the latent profile analysis. However, there have not been yielded any robust conclusions about the existence of latent variables.
  • Tops, Floriaan (2022)
    The purpose of this study is to obtain information from a case to shed light on the potential contribution of theatre and Outdoor Education to Sustainability education. Making the transition towards a sustainable world has been labelled as urgent for many decades now. The role of education in this process has been written out multiple times, in various ways. Despite these intentions of transitioning to a more sustainable way of living, literature shows that a satisfactory result has not been obtained yet. The sustainability crisis is a complex problem, and no easy solutions are at hand. Theatre and outdoor education have both different ways of contributing to learning. In this study, experts from both fields, with teachers as education experts, share their ideas and views on what sustainability education is, and how theatre and outdoor education can help to reach the goals it aims at. Experts from theatre, outdoor education, and primary education, are brought together in this study. They all share the experience of an outdoor theatre project aimed at children called ‘Spöket på Lillklobb / Lillklobbin kummitus’. The experts participating in this research were either part of creating this project or participating in it with a group of children under their responsibility. By organising a focus group discussion, the views and ideas of the experts related to the research questions are gathered. This data has then been subject to a thematic analysis. This thematic analysis resulted in the developing of a model for sustainability education: The Laptop model. This model represents the three main themes of sustainability education: the cognitive aspect, the social- and emotional aspect, and the aspect of actions. There are several ways in which theatre and outdoor education can contribute to sustainability education, as presented by the Laptop model. Most importantly, both theatre and outdoor education should be seen as an experience. It is the fact that the children have ‘an experience’ that makes it most valuable. Outdoor theatre is found to contribute holistically to the Laptop model, and make the different parts of the model to interrelate.
  • Seppänen, Elisa (2022)
    In order to follow the principles of sustainable education, the well-being of students should be established as its core factor. In searching to alleviate stress, educators pay attention to students’ self-agency skills and effective study methods in order to regulate learning and maintain a meaningful life. Recent research shows that music is a powerful motor in building young people's identity, and it is consequential that educational stakeholders must create new structures and enable the study of music in a comprehensive way. One of these opportunities is the ongoing reform of the general upper secondary school diplomas, conducted by the Finnish National Agency for Education EDUFI [Opetushallitus, OPH]. This study aims to reveal the current reform process of the upper secondary school diploma in music and its possible effect on the Finnish education system and adolescence well-being. This reform will inevitably affect the educational culture and society in several sectors. For this purpose, experts involved in the reform mentioned were interviewed. The participants of the study were invited to discuss the essential questions of the reform in order to clarify the current status of the process, and its prospects. The data from the interviews draws on experts’ opinion on proposing a reform to the current upper secondary diploma in music. Interviews are analyzed in connection with previous research and the current state of the reform. This paper reinforces insights into how music plays a role in adolescent identity modification. In addition, music diploma reform has the potential to make it visible and appreciated. In connection with the interviews, visions and suggestions for implementing the diplomas in the future will emerge. However, the shared understanding of the meanings of music education for the benefit of young people emerges from the interviews, appearing as the most significant discovery of this study.
  • Punkari, Kerttuli (2022)
    Objectives. Recently, an increasing number of comprehensive schools in Helsinki have launched social media accounts, which they use to share visual images during the school days. The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the ways in which schools portray themselves on the photo-sharing site Instagram, and how these visualisations represent the narratives of the Finnish comprehensive school and the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education. This analysis of Instagram images complements the research on the Finnish comprehensive school system, providing a new and authentic perspective on how schools wish to represent themselves through social media. Methods. This qualitative research is based on a data-driven visual content analysis. The material consists of 766 media images published on the Instagram accounts of seven comprehensive schools in the City of Helsinki during the three-month period between January and March 2021. The visual media were analysed using image analysis and thematic analysis. Results and Conclusions. The results of the analysis indicate that at the time of data analysis the visualisations by selected comprehensive schools in Helsinki are highly diverse. A series of images (Instagram carousel post) is the most common kind of post (83%). In half of the images (50%) there are no people. Of images containing people, groups of students (22%) are presented more often than individuals (5%). As a rule, the people in the images cannot be identified. The classroom (51%) is the most photographed learning place, and the next most frequent image location is outdoors (17%). Furthermore, five main themes emerge from analysis of the images: Steps of Learning (34%), Exhibition (24%), Our School (17%), Outdoor Activities (17%), and Current Topics (8%). The learning process, especially in arts, crafts, and home economics, is displayed in the images, as are the students’ learning outcomes.