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Browsing by Subject "early childhood education"

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  • Aroranta, Sonja (2019)
    Objectives. In recent years worldview education in early childhood education and pre-school education has turned from religious education into non-confessional worldview education. The aim of this study is to examine what worldview education is like in early childhood education and pre-school education in Helsinki. This study investigated worldview education in national and local curricula of early childhood education and care and pre-school education. In addition, this study explored how worldview education is put into practice in the early childhood education and pre-school education in Helsinki. Methods. The data was collected in spring 2019 by analysing the curricula for early childhood education and care and pre-school education and by a qualitative survey sent to the workers of the early childhood education and pre-school education in Helsinki. The data was analysed by using qualitative content analysis. Results and conclusions. The National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care (2016) emphasized familiarizing oneself with different cultures and worldviews, acting in the diverse Finnish society and enhancing equality. Helsinki’s local Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care (2017) had the same themes but they were emphasized differently. The themes in worldview education in the National Core Curriculum for Pre-School Education (2014) were uniform with The National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Educa-tion and Care. Also, Helsinki’s local Curriculum for Pre-School Education (2016) was the same as the national curricula. In practice, the implementation of worldview education in both early childhood education and pre-school education differed from the legally binding curricula. In early childhood education the worldview education was not predominantly put into practice at all, or it was shown as conversations, as Christian education or as restrictions in the every-day life. In pre-school education the worldview education was most often shown as conversations but also as Christian education, as restrictions in everyday life or was not implemented at all. Therefore, in practice, worldview education meets many, but not all, of the objectives set by the curricula. In pre-school education the worldview education corresponds the curriculum slightly more than in early childhood education. Nonetheless, the practices in both early childhood education and pre-school education need to be developed when the practice is wanted to correspond the legally binding curricula.
  • Könönen, Kirsi (2007)
    The main idea of this study was to find out how immigrants understand and define successful co-operation and professional partnership in early childhood education. Another target of this research was to think over how the parents see professional partnership from their viewpoint, and how willing / ready the they are in engaging in the professional partnership with the day care personnel. The theoretical part of this research is based on theories of immigration and theories of it's different forms, theories of cultural varieties and theory of modernizing co-operation through using professional partnership. Also guidelines and policies for day care and early childhood education play a part in the theory section. Theory part is written to support research problems. The research method used in this study is peer interview. The interviewed are both immigrants and customers of day care services. The data collected is comprised of materials from peer interviews and personal background information. The interviewed were of Somalia and Russian ethnic groups. Interview were carried out in each group in the participants own mother tongue. These peer interviews showed that parents were interested and willing to discuss professional partnership. From this research one can conclude that the term professional partnership is seen as a complex term, and as a term difficult to understand. From the results it is seen that quite often the principles of professional partnership are not carried out in practise. According to the material gathered, the parents feel that lack of common language and prejudice against immigrants effectively prevents the professional partnership from being formed. The cultural differences can become challenging in a professional partnership. Based on this research, one can conclude that when different cultures meet, there has to be mutual will to understand and to be understood in order to make sure that the children's development, both educational and physical, is supported in a best possible way.
  • Hannuniemi, Tiina (2011)
    Nonstandard hour child care is a subject rarely studied. From an adult's perspective it is commonly associated with a concern for child's wellbeing. The aim of this study was to view nonstandard hour child care and its everyday routines from children's perspective. Three research questions were set. The first question dealt with structuring of physical environment and time in a kindergarten providing nonstandard hour child care. The second and third questions handled children's agency and social interaction with adults and peers. The research design was qualitative, and the study was carried out as a case study. Research material was mainly obtained through observation, but interviews, photography and written documents were used as well. The material was analysed by means of content analysis. The study suggests that the physical environment and schedule of a kindergarten providing nonstandard hour child care are similar to those of kindergartens in general. The kindergarten's daily routine enabled children's active agency especially during free play sessions for which there was plenty of time. During free play children were able to interact with both adults and peers. Children's individual day care schedules challenged interaction between children. These special features should be considered in developing and planning nonstandard hour child care. In other word, children's agency and opportunities to social interaction should be kept in mind in organising the environment of early childhood education in kindergartens providing nonstandard hour child care.
  • Virtanen, Marjo (2015)
    Targets. The purpose of this Master's Thesis is to clarify how the tasks of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) educators are shared during the first half of the day when their work is focused on a group of children. In this study, it was examined how the activities of the ECEC educators at daycare are related to the activities of the children in, among other things, basic care situations, eating and different play situations. The theoretic basis of the study consists of documents guiding the ECEC education, the child's growth and development, the ECEC pedagogy and the communication skills of the educators. The adults, who are close to the child, must create a safe environment which supports the child's growth and development, and where the child can grow and develop, play and learn with confidence. In the theory section, the child's involvement and small group activities at the daycare were examined, too. Methods. The research material is based on the observation material of daycare collected from the municipalities, which were involved in the Orientation Project (Reunamo, 2014). The material was collected in spring 2010 in Uusimaa and Hämeenlinna. The total of 892 children, aged 1–7 year, from 65 different day care, ECEC or family care groups participated in this study. The observations were systematically made in spring 2010, and they were made by the kindergarten teachers who participated in the study. This study focuses on the ECEC educator, who is closest to the child during the observation period. By observing the activity of the educators we learn about their behaviour in different situations. This study represents a quantitative study of the activities of ECEC educators of daycare. Results and conclusions. This study showed that the educators are the closest to the children of age 1-3 years. As the children grow, the time of interaction with one or more children reduces. The study found that the educators very seldom play an interactive role in the children's games. 36.5% of the educators leave the children to play by themselves or other children inside. The children received most of the attention of the adults in different teaching situations. Indoors, the play activities directed by the educators represented 2% of the daily activities. The main part of the play was directed and selected by the children by themselves, the part of the guided outdoors play was 3%.
  • Kopperi, Heini-Mari (2014)
    Targets. Lately more emphasis than ever before has been given to bringing forth and taking into account children’s perspective in matters that concern them. It is also purpose of this study to give the voice to children and shed light on their perspective. This study is a part of extensive early childhood education development and research project, Orientaatioprojekti, operated by Helsinki University (Department of Teacher Education), ten municipalities in Keski-Uusimaa area and Hämeenlinna. The research is related to the day care quality evaluation (spring 2012). The main interest of the study was to examine things and situations children told they found unpleasant in day care center, also in relation to child’s gender and age. To better understand the results, the narrations and the consistency of the answers as well as children’s general satisfaction towards the day care were also examined. Methods. The research participants were 573 children, ages ranging from 1 to 8. Parents collected the data by interviewing. Two closed and one open-ended questions were analysed in this research and those questions dealt with children’s general satisfaction in day care center and what do they found unpleasant there. Parents recorded the answers to the web form and the data was then transferred to Excel software. Answers of the closed questions were examined through basic descriptive statistics. The unpleasant things and situations in the open-ended question were analysed through qualitative content analysis. Additionally, the appearance of the answers was also analysed. Used methods there were mostly outlined by researcher herself but some features of discourse analyse were also utilized. Results and conclusions. Most of the children stated that they feel mainly comfortable in day care center. The children mentioned different types of unpleasant things and situations and those were explained in various ways. Above all the challenges in peer relationships were on children’s mind. The peer group pointed out significant but the interaction was not always trouble-free. It seems to be important for children to practice and develop their social skills. Besides of these answers many children found the nap time as a single daily routine to be unpleasant. The number of nap time mentions varied a lot between different sexes and ages. There were also some other differences between the answers of children of different sexes and ages. For example, relatively many of the youngest ones did not answer to the open question at all.
  • Tuunanen, Pirjo (2016)
    This study examines how Day Care personnel can develop together they work and skills with this research project. This study was part of VKK-Metros research project 2009. The research included inquiries in all research day cares and in addition there was a discussion the in the beginning and in the end of process. The development process was successful. Personnel.s professional.s skills increased and they got new methods and ways to do they work. The day care personnel discussed and thought more professional subjects than before. The collaboration increased also among day care personnel.
  • Byman, Jenny (2019)
    The different forms of creating, sharing and analysing information have globally evolved and expanded in meaning. Previous research suggests that teachers have found it challenging to integrate these new forms of communication into their teaching practices. The pedagogy of multiliteracy, which the new Finnish core curriculum emphasizes, has been one of the measures taken towards meeting these changes. The role of the teacher is central in promoting multiliteracy, as the given support and guidance affect the child's motivation, attitudes and interest in the learning process. The aim of the study is to explore how teachers in early childhood education, pre-primary and primary education (Year 1-2) define multiliteracy and how their understanding is reflected in different teaching practices, which aim to promote children's learning opportunities in the area of multiliteracy. The need for this study is important as little research exists on teachers' understanding of the concept of multiliteracy in their teaching. This study draws upon a research and development program The joy of learning multiliteracies (MOI), at the University of Helsinki. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the pedagogy of multiliteracy and the dynamic literacy theory. The qualitative research design was selected to get an insight into teachers' experiences and thoughts. The study has been conducted by using semi-structured interviews based on video-stimulated recall and a group interview to investigate seven teachers' definition on multiliteracy. The results of the study suggest that the teachers have formed their own views of the concept multiliteracy and that these interpretations are visible in their teaching practices. Multiliteracy was defined by the teachers as a wide multimodal ability to express oneself, which requires children to be able to analyse, interpret and apply diverse forms of information and communication. The children's curiosity and joy are perceived as the foundation for promoting multiliteracy. The teachers' own commitment and enthusiasm were considered crucial. Digital tools and implementing of media education were emphasized as one of the development areas regarding multiliteracy. The ability to take into account the cultural contexts of texts, were in accordance with the Finnish curriculum, yet the teachers did not recognise it as a part of multiliteracy. Cultural literacy is however an important part of the pedagogy of multiliteracy. The results of the study confirm that further reinforcement of teachers' expertise in developing multiliteracy is essential both in working life and in teacher education, especially regarding how to include and promote cultural literacy.
  • La Serna Kanevets, Liudmila (2018)
    The study examines sensitivity in the everyday interactive situations with multicultural children under 3 years of age in early childhood educational context. The research problem focuses on figuring out in which ways sensitivity occurs and what are the contextual factors related to sensitive and non-sensitive situations. Sensitivity refers to early childhood educator’s ability to detect and take into account the emotional needs of the child (Laevers according to Kalliala, 2008). The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Helsinki LASSO project and a kindergarten in Helsinki, where the research material was collected by videorecording three early childhood educators and two children in their everyday life at the kindergarten. The research material was colleted between the late autumn 2014 to early spring 2015. The qualitative data were analysed by utilizing theory-driven approach. The basis of the analysis is in AES (adult engagement scale) and especially the sensitivity part of the scale, as well as EA (emotional availability) scale. LIS-YC scale was also used in observation of children (Kalliala, 2008). The results showed that sensitivity is a small part of everyday interactive situations. Differences in results were seen in the quality of the interaction. The majority of the interaction with the first participant was neutral, and more than half of the interactions were sensitive. In contrast, only half of the other participant’s interaction was neutral, and also half was non-sensitive. The differences were also found in the ways in which the sensitive and non-sensitive situations appeared in the participants' everyday life. For the first participant, the sensitivity was constructive, and adults made huge efforts to interact with the child. The insensitive moments were not numerous, but they could not be classified as accidental. The second one’s sensitive moments were supportive in nature but relatively rare. Insensitive situations were somewhat accidental, and for some reason, educators failed to notice the child’s needs. Based on the results, a study related to sensitivity between educators and children comparing Finnish and multicultural children would be important to conduct.
  • Teräs, Tiina (2010)
    Previous studies (Eidevald 2009, Lappalainen 2006, Odenbring 2010, Värtö 2000 and Ylitapio-Mäntylä 2009) have shown that early childhood educators have different attitudes towards girls than towards boys. In this study I examine gender and equality in child day care in Finland. The study is a multimethodic feminist and educational study. It has been conducted using content analysis as well as aspects of ethnographical research, conversation analysis and discourse analysis. The research material was collected in a Helsinki nursery school where I spent three days observing and videotaping three educators working with a group of children aged 3–5 years. I also carried out interviews with the educators. The analysis focuses on the educators’ verbal interaction with the children and their thoughts on gender and equality and how these have been taken into account in the early childhood education practices. In verbal communication I paid particular attention to the way the educators praised the girls and boys. I also examined which gendered expressions were used. In addition, I analysed two phenomena which were shown in the empirical material: boys and technology and a girl who on a few occasions was left almost entirely without attention. I divide the data from the interviews into two themes: the educators’ thoughts on girls and boys, and their views on the nursery school’s gendered and equality practices. I was also interested in finding out the educators' opinion of the way the children's parents collaborate with the nursery school. The analysis shows that the educators praise boys more than girls. Praise content and structure were also different when praising boys than when praising girls. The results confirmed earlier research findings on gendered practices in early childhood education. The interactions strengthened the view that technology belongs to boys. The girls were expected to be more independent in, for example, dressing and undressing situations. In the interviews the educators described boys more active and girls as more skillful in tasks requiring precision. They mentioned also that nowadays fathers get more involved in the collaboration with the nursery school than before. Although the educators opinion was that the nursery school promotes equality, a detailed analysis shows that equality doesn’t exist in all early childhood practices. Further studies on gender and equality are definitely needed in the field of early childhood education.
  • Stalchenko, Natalia (2022)
    Some previous findings suggest the effectiveness of physical activity (PA) on children's cognitive outcomes. Studying preschool PA enables to understand children’s considerable part of daily PA and to examine its relation to other skills specifically within preschool context. Early numeracy (EN) refers to young children’s mathematical proficiency, including relational and counting skills, as in understanding and operating with quantities, number relation, classification, and the concept of numbers. EN skills are shown to strongly predict later mathematical competence and academic achievements. Thus, it is important to study and support the development of children’s EN skills. However, previous research has mainly focused on school-age children, while research in early ages is scarce. No previous studies have used device-based measurement of PA with an individual test of EN to understand the associations between young children’s preschool PA and EN performance. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the relationship between PA during preschool hours and EN performance in children aged 4 to 5 years. More specifically, the following research questions are addressed: 1) How are PA intensity levels during preschool hours associated with EN performance in 4- to 5-year-old children? 2) What kind of profiles regarding PA intensity levels during preschool hours and EN performance can be identified among 4- to 5-year-old children? The sample consisted of children (N = 95, Mage = 4.6) attending preschools in Helsinki, Finland. PA was measured during 5 consecutive preschool days using hip-worn accelerometers, while EN performance was assessed using Van Luit and colleagues’ (2006) Finnish Early Numeracy Test. The data is analysed using quantitative research analysis. To answer the first research question, correlation matrix is performed to reveal relation between the variables of interest. For the second research question, latent profile analysis is used to identify children’s profiles according to their PA data and EN test scores, while the differences in profiles are compared using ANOVA. The results of the correlation analysis revealed no significant correlation between PA level during preschool hours and EN scores in children of ages 4 to 5 years. Latent profile analysis identified three profiles of children with high, medium, and low PA, whereas EN performance did not significantly differ among the profiles. In conclusion, while the results show significantly different amounts of PA among children during preschool, the main finding of the current study is in line with previous research, suggesting no direct relation between preschool PA and EN performance. Further research controlling for other factors that may influence the results is needed to examine how variation in PA level is related to EN performance in preschool.
  • Nimbekar, Emma (2016)
    The purpose of this research is to explore neohumanist philosophy by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar in order to produce new information to the early childhood education in Finland. It is an educational philosophy, which neohumanist education is based on, and it is relatively unknown to the professional educators. The values and educational ideas guide the practical work of educators and that is why profound knowledge of different kinds of educational philosophies helps the educator to make the right choices in the practical work. This research is focused on clarifying the central concept of universalism. The purpose is to find out how Sarkar describes universalism in his writings. A commentary was written of the book Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism to separate and clarify the concepts of neohumanist philosophy. Concept of universalism was found to be a central concept and it was chosen as the focus of this research. A systematic analysis was done of writings where the concept of universalism was mentioned. The main material was the book Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism where the central concepts of neohumanist philosophy were introduced by P.R. Sarkar. Secondary materials were writings from The Electronic Edition of the Works of P.R. Sarkar V7.5 where the concept universalism was mentioned. All together there were 36 quotes from 28 different articles which were included in this research. These quotes were analyzed to clarify how Sarkar describes the concept of universalism. The results show that Sarkar describes quite consistently universalism as a spiritually based love towards all beings. The concept of universalism, neohumanist philosophy and neohumanist education were discussed in the context of Finnish early childhood education.
  • Heikkilä, Aada (2022)
    Objectives. The purpose of this article- based master´s thesis is to study the connection between the years children spent in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and their social behaviour. The research problems were formed based on the fourfold table of social orientations by Jyrki Reunamo (2020) and the research material. In this research I decided to concentrate on the years children spent in ECEC because earlier research concerning children´s social behaviour is often focused on the quality of ECEC. This research presents one perspective to the social debate about how ECEC affects children´s growth and development by describing how the years spent in ECEC affect children´s social orientations and their main object of attention and contact. Methods. The data used in this research is a part of already existing research material collected within the Progressive Feedback project. The data was collected by observing children in ECEC units in 2017- 2021. About 200 specially trained ECEC professionals performed the observations. The research data includes 20 457 observations of 972 six-year-olds from 360 child groups in 18 municipalities in Finland. The material was analysed with IBM SPSS Statistics 27 programme with crosstabulation function using the years of attendance in ECEC, social orientation, child´s main object of attention and contact, closest social child contact and child´s gender as variables. Results and conclusions. According to this research, the years children spent in ECEC have a connection to their social orientations and their main object of attention and contact. The longer the children had been in ECEC, the less adaptive behaviour was observed. The children that had been in ECEC for under a year were observed to be less participative than other children. Dominant orientation increased the longer the children had been in ECEC. The children that had been in ECEC for over four years aimed their attention more rarely to non-social objects and adults. These same children aimed their attention more often to several children than their peers that had spent fewer years in ECEC. The years spent in ECEC seem to affect girls´ and boys´ social orientations and main object of attention and contact differently. The results could be useful when political decisions concerning ECEC, for example the two year-long pre-primary education, are made. The article The years children spent in early education in relation to their social relations and objects of attention is supposed to be published in European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (EECERJ)
  • Multala, Maarit (2013)
    Educational partnership is a working concept introduced in 2003 for the Finnish early childhood edu-cation services. The objective of my research is to study how early child-hood educators describe in their talks cooperation with parents in the context of educational partner-ship. I try to answer to the following questions by analyzing mutual shared cultural concepts used by the educators to structure their daily actions: What is the role of educational partnership in respect to the nature of their relationship with parents, their subject position, scope of their work, objectives of their work and their agency? I collected the research material by means of group interviews carried out in eight day-care centers located in the metropolitan area. The methodology of the research is based on social constructionism and discourse analysis. The analysis is qualitative, material based, detailed analyses of the early childhood educators discourse. The educators described their work through efforts towards equality with parents as well as occupational and professional expertise. Working as equal partners with parents means balancing between conflicting ways of working, thus a change in the professional and expert-focused way of working. The aim to support the growth and development of a child was viewed mainly through the aspects of structure of day care, parental, family, customer orientation and interaction. In the educational partnership talk seems not to have much room for the pedagogy deliberation when the language resources are directing educators attention away from child. Working according to the ideal of educational partnership was interpreted as a change to the early childhood care whereby the customer- and help-oriented as well as unofficial and trust-building cooperation has got foothold. Thus, the educational partnership gives room for expansion of the tasks of the workers. The contextual factors were seen as limiting as well as enabling aspects of educators agency. The responsibility of the education and interfere to the activities of parents was seen problematic, limiting the agency of the workers. On the other hand working as partner was seen as acceptable way to get access to the educational questions concerning families.
  • Jormanainen, Taru (2021)
    In this study, my aim is to examine how the profitability of private early childhood education is defined and how the status of the child is determined in the news related to the corporate restructuring of a private Touhula kindergarten company. The ethos of neoliberalism influences early childhood education, and its marketization, bringing with goals related to competition, freedom of choice, and requirements of efficiency. The privatization of early childhood education is part of the marketization development. Previous research has shown that the marketization and privatization of early childhood education affects the child, families, teachers, leadership, and learning in general. In Finland, the privatization of early childhood education is on the rise. Previous studies in Finland have highlighted the unequal status of the child in private early childhood education, as there have been variations in the implementation of support and quality. The research material consisted of eighty (80) media reports related to the corporate restructuring of Touhula. In the analysis of the research material, I utilized critical discourse analysis and discursive-deconstructive reading to search for answers to my research questions. I used ATLAS.ti-software as a tool when doing the analysis. Based on my analysis, the profitability of private early childhood education and the status of the child in private early childhood education were determined in many ways. The discourses were polyphonic, overlapping, parallel, and partly contradictory. Both the profitability of private early childhood education and the status of the child reflected an economic perspective, and discourses based on measurement and quantity were on display. The discourses highlighted both the municipality's responsibility for organizing early childhood education and the profitability of private early childhood education from the municipality's point of view. The status of the child was determined to be silent and passive. The child's right to early childhood education was also raised. The research reveals the importance of language in describing reality and the power of the media in constructing this reality. The results of the study can be viewed as one picture of private early childhood education and the status of the child, but more research on the marketization and privatization of early childhood education is needed in the Finnish context.