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Browsing by department "Institute of Behavioural Sciences"

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  • Ollas, Hellin (2018)
    The aim of this study was to find out how a group of kindergarten pupils and their teacher have experienced their participation in a project on multiliteracies in early childhood education, the MOI project, and to compare these experiences with the expressed aims of the MOI project. The research questions are: 1) In the opinion of the project planner, what are the aims of the MOI project? 2) Does the teacher think that participating in the project has helped the children to learn multiliteracy skills? 3) Which aspects of the project did the children find interesting? To answer the first two questions, two qualitative research interviews were conducted. One with a project planner from the MOI project, and one with the kindergarten teacher whose group took part in the project. To answer the third question, a number of children in this specific group were asked to produce a drawing of some project related activity they had found agreeable. Structured discussions about the drawings were also conducted with the children. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and categorised. The structured discussions with the children were also recorded and coupled with each drawing in question. Also this material was categorised in order to demonstrate the diversity in the children’s different ways of thinking. When the answers given by the teacher and the project planner are examined, it is found that participation in the MOI project has introduced the concept of multiliteracy to the teacher, and also inspired them to work on the matter in the future. This is also in accordance with the expressed aims of the MOI project. As for the children’s learning, the teacher found that they had become better storytellers and they questioned more. They also became more confident at dramatizing, and better at understanding one another in play situations. These are all skills considered by the teacher as relating to multiliteracy, which is also confirmed by the literature. The teacher emphasised, though, that the learning process was individual. The digital aspect of multiliteracy, such as the use of digital equipment, did not become prominent in this group. The majority of children used symbolism in their drawings, even when they were asked to draw concretely. However, thinking and drawing on a symbolic level can be seen as a multiliteracy skill. The theme of the project, “the Feelings of Nature”, was also well represented in the drawings.
  • Nyman, Maria (2016)
    Due to Finland’s economic situation, the youth of today have to grow up in a society that requires them to get an education as soon as possible, in order to quickly find work and be able to provide for themselves. Consequently, this means that e.g. high school graduates are forced to quickly decide where they would like to continue their studies. Hence, this thesis is specifically focused on high school graduates and their experiences. In order to create a greater understanding for what feelings the graduates go through during this time in their lives, the aim of this thesis is to investigate how the high school graduates experience this specific turning point; what factors lie behind the emotions they feel, and how they believe their high school has supported them in their thoughts and decisions regarding their future and education. The theoretical framework mainly consists of Ryan & Deci’s Self Determination Theory (SDT) and the theory of Locus of Control. This study is qualitative in nature; the data was collected through individual interviews with three high school students who graduated spring of 2016. The results of this study show that this particular phase in the high school graduates’ lives generates a lot of different thoughts and feelings among them. In order for them to experience this time in their lives as positively as possible, the results suggest that the graduates require a nurturing and supporting social environment. In addition, a healthy mental wellness based on intrinsic motivation and an inner locus of control is also required. Moreover, this study provides evidence for the fact that these particular elements, along with the support from the high school guidance counselling and the counsellors, support the graduates in handling this turning point in their lives. Together these elements help the graduates decide between the different choices they have to make regarding their future.
  • Lindroos, Sanna (2016)
    The aim of the study was to investigate how reading interest and reading joy is encouraged in preschools. The studies central questions were: Is the literature available to the children; if yes then in what way? How does the preschool work with literature? What are the preschools’ goals with their literature-work? What are the teachers own attitudes towards reading and literature? The data in this study were collected by qualitative interview with an open interview structure. The sample consists of three interviews with preschool teachers in Finnish-Swedish preschools in Helsinki. The results showed a clear lack of knowledge when it comes to reading interest and the importance of it. The term reading interest was in the first hand associated with learning to read and the reading development instead of the experiences and feelings involved in the reading. The teachers were more prone to associate reading joy with the children’s experiences involved in reading and the teachers reading aloud for the kids. Another interesting result was that the teachers prioritized the reading and saw it as an important part of the curriculum. Reading was thus not only an activity during naptime. Even if encouraging activities did occur, the teachers were not able to connect the activities directly to the development of reading interest. This indicates that the encouraging of reading interest does not happen deliberately. It would be important to raise the teacher’s awareness of the advantages of reading interest and teach them how to implant it in their work.
  • Laurent, Maria (2019)
    In conjunction with the new regulations in early childhood education, there has been an increasing emphasis and demand on educators’ knowledge concerning gender issues and their ability to understand how preconceived notions of gender affect how they perceive and act towards children, the pedagogical environment as well as their ability to distinguish gender norms in theory and practice, both in themselves and in others. The purpose of this study is to present Fenno-Swedish early childhood educators’ experiences of gender pedagogy after going through a gender pedagogical training program. The study investigates how they perceive and internalize gender pedagogy in theory and in practice and what kind of attitudes they hold in relation to it. Previous studies have shown that early childhood educators who consider working gender pedagogically in theory do not, in fact, do so in practice due to lack of knowledge and the need of education concerning gender issues among educators. In this study, gender pedagogy is defined in accordance with its theoretical starting point, that is, the attempt to avoid encountering and treating children and how they act and behave after assumptions that stem from gender stereotypical dichotomies such as boy/girl. A qualitative research method was used in this study and data was collected through semi-structured interviews with four early childhood educators with experiences in gender pedagogical training and practice. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and the data was analyzed through qualitative content analysis. Results show that all four informants consider that they work with gender pedagogical issues, but in different ways. Two out of four informants show tendencies towards a cautious and negative attitude towards the gender pedagogical training program. One half of the informants regard gender pedagogy as a starting point in their pedagogy while the other half perceive it as a method. The study shows that the educators’ perception of gender pedagogy play a decisive role in how they implement it in practice. The educators’ own interest and attitude towards gender pedagogy has shown to be a prerequisite in order for them to be able to internalize gender pedagogical issues and thus be motivated to put them in to practice.
  • Mansner, Lotta (2016)
    The aim of this study was to find out what role physical education plays for children aged 3 to 5 years in kindergarten environment. In this study I used quantitative research method and my research material consisted of questionnaire results gathered from several Swedish speaking kindergartens in Helsinki. From each kindergarten, responsible person of group for 3 to 5 year olds, either social worker, childminder or kindergarten teacher, was asked to answer the questionnaire. The most important result of the study is that physical education is arranged once a week in most kindergartens I studied. The distribution between different types of physical activities such as sporty play and obstacle course was quite even. Also distribution of toys and equipment used in physical education was fairly constant. As a result, I found out that most popular activity was sporty play and most regularly used toy was beanbag. In conclusion, I can state that children’s pedagogues consider physical education as a very important method in kindergarten education considering how much it affects the development of each child. Also they believe that physical education is a good tool for both children and nursery staff to have fun together. Children’s pedagogues also stated that regular physical education in kindergarten is important so that children learn exercise to be part of daily routines, also later in life.
  • Grönvall, Julia (2016)
    The purpose of this thesis was to find out what kind of literature there is at the kindergarten with children between the ages of 0 and 3. The main focus is on accessibility of the books, their versatility and durability. The theoretical frame is about children’s literature from a historical and a practical view. In the practical part there are even some examples of how a bookshelf should look like at the kindergarten. The theoretical frame emphasizes also what the national regulatory documents consider about children’s literature. The study is a structured observations in which 10 Swedish kindergarten in Helsinki city attended. The focus was the groups with children between ages 0 and 3. The result shows that the kindergartens find it important that the books are available to the children. The books are versatile but there are big differences between the kindergartens. The books could be more durable and the bookshelves should be cleaned more often to keep the books clean.
  • Lindström, Lotta (2017)
    The purpose of this study is to investigate what role children's books have in kindergartens and in what kind of situations they are being used. I wanted to know if the kindergarten teachers have pedagogical purposes behind the books that they choose to read with the children. The aim of this study is to get a whole picture of how children’s books are being used in kindergartens. The study is done by qualitative interviews with three kindergarten teachers from three different kindergartens. I have recorded, transcribed and analysed the interviews. The study shows, that the most dominating way of using children´s books in kindergartens is by reading aloud. All three kindergarten teachers find children’s books very important for the children, because of the development of language and ability to fantasize. The study also shows that these kindergarten teachers use book discussions in one way or another. They often discuss difficult words and the story itself with the children. One of the biggest challenges, according to the kindergarten teachers, is to be brave enough to choose literature out of your own comfort zone. The kindergarten teachers also highlight the fact that there is not enough time on the side of the routines to process and work with the children’s books in the way they want to. Lastly, only one of these three kindergarten teachers clearly mentions that the use of children’s books is based on the children’s initiative and interests.
  • Wegelius, Emma (2016)
    The purpose of this study is to look at bilingualism from a child orientated perspective. The study concentrates on children’s use of language and on their thoughts about Finnish and Swedish. The term language use meaning how children use languages when communicating with people and in different situations. The study is based on theories concerning children’s language development, use of language and learning of a second language. The study was carried out as a qualitative research and was based on observations and interviews. The observations were implemented in a preschool on three days in the mornings and the number of interviews was four. The choice of persons for the interviews was based on the child’s language skills in both Finnish and Swedish, with the parents’ consent in mind. The research material was analyzed in relation to the presented theory, according to the factors in an individual-oriented analysis model and by compilation of children’s comments. According to the results the children’s use of language is determined by the other person and the situation where the discussion is taking place. Even the topic of the discussion has an impact on the choice on language. Whereas code-switching has an impact both on the child and on the function of the interaction. The children’s thoughts about Finnish and Swedish show a positive attitude towards bilingualism even though Finnish seem to have a higher value among the children. The children’s thoughts seem to be influenced by the social environment and the children have a wish of going against the grown-ups rules about the spoken language.
  • Kruskopf, Sofia (2018)
    The purpose of this thesis is to get an insight in kindergarten teachers’ thoughts about children’s participation and how children can influence in kindergartens and pre-schools. The focus on this study is kindergarten teachers’ thoughts and experiences on children’s participation. The theoretical background discusses children’s participation and what it means to take a child’s perspective. National regulatory documents and previous research is also discussed. This study is a qualitative study with interviews as method. Five kindergarten teachers were interviewed, three of which work with 3 to 5-year-olds and two at pre-schools. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. The results indicate that the kindergarten teachers consider children’s participation to be important and are encouraging children to influence in kindergarten and pre-school. The age of a child is not an obstacle for them to influence, but the age affects on how they can influence. All interviewed kindergarten teachers work with projects where the theme is decided by the children. Furthermore, children’s participation can be seen in daily routines and spontaneous situations. The kindergarten teachers experience difficulties within both the child group and amongst staff when it comes to children’s participation.
  • Lang, Emilia (2019)
    The purpose with this study is to see how some kindergarten teachers are working with the theme children’s feelings and acting out behavior. The theory part is supported by the law, the national regulatory documents and scientific literature within the field. The thesis will also go deeper into the fundamental of the low arousal approach. This study is a qualitative study where the material is collected by an interview with four randomly picked kindergarten teachers. The interview questions are semi-structured and my informants have got the interview questions beforehand. The analysis of the material has been made by looking for similarities and differences between the informants’ answers. Through the analysis of the databases it did appear that the informants were thinking that the theme feelings is an important, but hard subject. The informants were largely working in the same way, but there were some differences though. One of the conclusions in the study is that kindergarten teachers perhaps could need more support and in-service training within this theme, in order to get the tools that are needed in order to work and support children’s emotional development in the best possible way.
  • Langenskiöld, Jenny (2018)
    The purpose of this thesis is to provide an introduction to the subject of children’s stress in child care settings. The paper discusses the neuropsychological foundation to stress, as well as what this implicates for the educator’s work on reducing stress in child care settings. The research questions were as following. 1. How does the stress system work in a child? 2. How can the educator use current research on stress to help children improve their stress management skills and reduce stress in child care settings? The method that has been used in this thesis is a narrative literature review. The thesis arrives at the conclusion that educators need to broaden their knowledge on how the stress system works in a child. The thesis also identifies which aspects of the child care setting and the educator’s working method that are importiant in reducing children’s stress. The thesis argues that there is need for a working method that is more conciously focused on reucing stress.
  • Kaskinen, Erica (2016)
    The purpose of this study is to give insight into, and to create a better understanding of children’s thoughts on bullying. Understanding the phenomenon from the children’s point of view is of immense importance for the educators working to prevent bullying in kindergartens. The theoretical premise for the study is bullying in kindergartens. The survey is made up of individual, qualitative interviews, conducted with the story crafting method. Ten pre–school children participated in the study. The interviews started with reading out loud from a children’s book in which the predominating theme was bullying. The children then proceeded to draw a picture of a confrontation between oppressor or oppressors and victim, together with an accompanying story. The discussion that followed was then recorded in order for it to be analyzed at a later stage. The study’s most important result implies that children mainly associate the phenomenon of bullying with verbal and physical abuse. There is also a notable difference between the children in nature of the bullying. Girls highlight verbal abuse while boys tend to focus on the physical side of it. The result also shows that bullying cause negative sentiments in the victim. The pictures that were drawn in order to illustrate their view of the phenomenon tend to employ mainly darker colors. From the study one can conclude that educators in kindergartens have an important role and a responsibility to create awareness of, and to take preventive measures against bullying.
  • Autio, Heidi (2016)
    The purpose of this thesis is to explore children´s perception of their possibilities to participate in and influence the daily activities and their learning in preschool. This study emphasizes the children´s perception by exploring the phenomenon from the children´s perspective. The theoretical background focuses on influence and participation as concepts, democratic rights and factors that have an impact on children’s possibilities to be able to affect the daily activities and their own learning. The study´s empirical part was executed as a qualitative interview with preschool children. Ten preschool children participated in the interview and the interviews were conducted in pairs at the preschool. The research approach for this study is phenomenographical, because I wanted to research children´s perceptions of their influence and participation at preschool. The study shows that children perceive limited possibilities to affect the daily activities of the preschool. An interesting result is that children perceive that it is mainly the educators who decide at preschool and that free play is the only activity in which the children feel that they can decide freely what to do. In the results differences in perceptions of the possibilities in the free play emerge since some children consider that they can decide independently while other children consider that they can decide almost independently. It is found that the children have a possibility to affect the planned daily activities to some degree. Though it is entirely depending on if the educators offers the children the opportunity. The results show that most of the children perceive that they can affect their own learning, with help from their own dedication the children can get assistance in learning.
  • Allamo, Krista (2017)
    The purpose of this study is based on the pedagogues point of view to find out how caregivers and pedagogues negotiate about children’s nap in kindergarten, what conflicts there are regarding nap and how pedagogues view the importance of the nap for children. I have studied how pedagogues experience cooperation with the caregivers about the nap at kindergarten and what importance the pedagogues feel that nap has for the child. The theory chapter deals with the basis for the study and give an idea of what the study is about. The study is qualitative in structure and was conducted by interviews and observation. In total, three different kindergartens in a small town in western Uusimaa took part. There interviews were conducted with pedagogues at the daycare department for children aged of 3–5 years and three observations of children’s nap in the same ward as the pedagogue worked. The result showed that the pedagogues agree that the nap is important for the child. One reason is that society is so stressful today that it is extra important for the child to be able to relax. The nap is needed for the child to grow normally and for their creativity, emotion, mood, concentration and immune system to develope properly. The nap is also important for the child's well-being and for strengthening. The study indicates that there are challenges in everyday life for both pedagogues and caregivers and cooperation is a tool in the work for the best interests of the child.
  • Hietala, Heini (2017)
    The aim of this thesis was to investigate how kindergarten teachers experience daycare start. Within the Swedish speaking daycare in Helsinki, the work is based on the "With the eyes of children" approach. This working model addresses following questions; how do kindergarten teachers perceive home visits, how do they experience the soft landing period in daycare and what thoughts do they have about the self-care model. The theoretical part focus on theories associated with the self-care model, previous research and hence emphasize national governing documents. A qualitative research method was used in this study and data was collected by using a semi-structured interview. Three kindergarten teachers participated in the study and the interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. The results reveals that kindergarten teachers perceive the self-care model as one of the most important tools in the field. Home visits are seen as an important trust building link between families and teachers and therefore are home visits perceived to deepen the relationship between the teacher, parent and child. Soft landing as a method creates a safe foundation for a child to start daycare as the child and teacher already have a connection with each other. Some improvement suggestions concerning the soft landing method are addressed. One improvement suggestion could be to clarify parents’ participation in the self-care model. Additionally was pointed out, that a self-caregiver at the daycare start, is quite tied up and that the self-care model does not always work out in the best possible way. This means that as a self-caregiver you have to be flexible and be able to adapt the self-care model in a neat way.
  • Valtonen, Maria (2016)
    Pedagogical documentation is used as a tool to make children’s thinking and learning visible, both for the child itself and for others. As a method it helps us in understanding every child’s individual learning process. The purpose of the study is to find out which methods of pedagogical documentation kindergarten teachers use and what the aim of the documentation is. Pedagogical documentation, in the sense it will be described in the study, has its roots in the pedagogical philosophy in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Therefore there also is an interest for how the philosophy is visible in the kindergartens. The study was executed by qualitative interviews. The informants were three kindergarten teachers all working in kindergartens with influence from the pedagogical philosophy in Reggio Emilia. The interviews were fully recorded and transcribed. In the transcribing process meaning condensation was used to make the analysing process more effortless. The result indicates that the most used methods for pedagogical documentation are taking notes and photographing. The documentation is used to make the child’s development, as well as the everyday life at the kindergarten, visible for the parents. It is also used to support the child’s learning process. The Reggio Emilia philosophy was visible in accenting the sense of community and the importance of participation. Even though the Reggio Emilia philosophy had similar characteristics in the kindergartens, it was pointed out that every kindergarten creates its own philosophy and the adaptation of Reggio Emilia-philosophy looks different in every kindergarten.
  • Hellman, Lotta (2016)
    The purpose of this thesis was to find out what kind of experiences recently graduated kindergarten teachers have about developmental pedagogy and how they can practice it in activities with children. The study brings up kindergarten teachers attitudes to developmental pedagogy, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as how they use it in practice, if they do. The theoretical frame concentrates on where the developmental pedagogy theory has arisen from, what it involves and also discusses developmental psychology’s association to developmental pedagogy. It also emphasizes what the national regulatory documents consider about children’s development and learning, as well as previous research about developmental pedagogy. The study was qualitative and based on interviews. Four recently graduated kindergarten teachers participated in the study, which work both in municipal and private kindergartens in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. The interviews were executed individually at the respective teachers work places. My research approach is phenomenological. The results show that the teachers have a positive attitude towards developmental pedagogy and they find it to be a good tool for successful activities in the kindergarten. Developmental pedagogy enriches the child’s learning and the child constitutes understanding for its surrounding world. However, developmental pedagogy is very time-consuming and it assumes that all the colleagues share the same perspective on children and work similarly.
  • Etzell, Elsa (2017)
    This study aims to investigate the perceptions of pre-school teachers regarding multicultural education in pre-schools. Multicultural education is a topical issue in Finland because of the immigration to the country. This is a qualitative study and the method for data collection is interviews. By interviewing three pre-school teachers, I have gained insight into the perceptions of pre-school teachers regarding what multiculturalism is, what kind of challenges there are in multicultural education in pre-schools, and how pre-school teachers work with multicultural education. These interviews also shed light on the current state of multicultural education in Finland. However, as this study is conducted with only three interviewees, the conclusions regarding the perceptions of the pre-school teachers about multicultural education are somewhat limited. The results of this study indicate that most pre-school teachers perceive multicultural education in pre-schools as a continuous and natural presence in the interaction with children. Moreover, there is, at least to some extent, planned multicultural education in all pre-school groups. There are challenges in multicultural education, some of which emerge intermittently while others are present on a daily basis. Most of the pre-school teachers perceived multiculturalism as a situation. The pre-school teachers perceived that in multicultural education means paying attention to, accepting and respecting differing cultures, traditions and habits.
  • Aarnisalo, Carina (2018)
    The aim of this thesis is to find out how early childhood teachers experience well-being in the working community in the field of early childhood education and care, and how well-being can be promoted. This thesis helps to increase understanding of what early childhood teachers experience as a healthy working community. In addition, the thesis contributes to knowledge about how well-being can be promoted within a work team. The background to this thesis is changes in society, the new legislation that implies changes in daily activities of early childhood education and care, which bring new challenges to early childhood teachers. In this thesis, the following research questions are central: How would early childhood teachers define a well-functioning work community in early childhood education? In what ways can well-being be promoted? The theoretical point of departure in this study is psychosocial work environment, work culture and leadership. The methodology used in this thesis is qualitative research methods with a phenomenological approach to describe four respondents’ perceptions of well-being in the working community, in two different day-care centres. This, to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon this study focuses on and to gain an idea of how early childhood teachers perceive their everyday work life. The result of this study shows that communication has a central role in a healthy working community. Other important factors are social support, cooperation, evenly allocated work, sufficient human resources and leadership.
  • Södö, Helena (2018)
    The purpose of this study is to find out the factors that have influence on wellbeing of kindergarten teachers. When the new curriculum of early childhood education was adopted, the demands on kindergarten teachers increased. There are only a few earlier studies about the wellbeing of kindergarten teachers. The main questions of this study are: 1. Which factors have impact on wellbeing of kindergarten teachers? 2. How does the wellbeing of kindergarten teachers affect educational activity? 3. Which changes may increase the wellbeing of kindergarten teachers? The study uses phenomenography as research approach. Ten kindergarten teachers from five kindergartens in the capital area were interviewed. The results of the study show that the colleagues, the job assignment and the supervisor are important to wellbeing. There’s also a relationship between wellbeing of kindergarten teachers and educational activity. If you feel uncomfortable, you can’t develop and vary the activities. Good communication, more time and continuity in the job team would increase the wellbeing.