University of Oulu

Käsitteiden oppimisesta merkitysten tulkintaan : lasten aika-käsitteisiin liittyvien oppimisprosessien fenomenologinen kuvaaminen

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Author: Mutanen, Aino1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Kajaani Department of Teacher Education
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4 MB)
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Language: Finnish
Published: 2000
Publish Date: 2000-06-22
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Esitetään Oulun yliopiston kasvatustieteiden tiedekunnan suostumuksella julkisesti tarkastettavaksi Kajaanin opettajankoulutusyksikön Martti Helan salissa, 1. syyskuuta 2000 klo 12.
Reviewer: Professor Juhani Aaltola
Professor Pertti Kansanen


A description is provided of children’s concepts and conceptions of time and the processes by which these are learned. Learning is approached from a phenomenological frame of reference in which the main concepts are intentionality, meaning, the creation of meaningful relationships and learning experiences. This philosophical and theoretical approach also draws attention to language and action and to cognitions and emotions in connection with learning. The empirical analysis of meaningful relationships and learning experiences is based on encounters between the individual and various factors in the learning environment such as the teacher, other pupils and learning tasks. The descriptive problems addressed here were focused on the products of learning, the learning process and the context. The intentions of the individual with regard to his or her situation are examined in the contexts of environmental inquiry, activity and voluntary working.

The material was compiled in three stages. A preliminary survey was conducted in 1993–1994 with 22 second-grade pupils, after which the data acquisition proper took place in the didactic process laboratory of the Department of Teacher Education in Kajaani in 1994 and 1995 with a group of 10 first-grade pupils. The early stages comprised largely basic research, while the final stage of data acquisition performed in the light of the previous experiences resembled action research. Video recordings of the learning process were transcribed and analysed to produce content analysis. Material from the last round of data acquisition were analysed using a computerized observation program. The concepts and conceptions acquired by the pupils were deduced from the learning tasks and their experiences were gathered from pupil and teacher evaluations. The longitudinal study was monitored by means of field notes.

All the pupils achieved conceptualization after the teaching period in accordance with the goals of the learning event. The principal nodes in the inquiry process were described as being formulation of the problem to be studied and conceptualization of the information. A meaningless problem would be reflected in direct copying of another pupil’s question or of text from a source of information. The teacher occupied an important position in supporting conceptualization and sharing experiences in all the contexts, while the guiding process was structured by symbols recorded by the pupils. The girls in particular expressed a desire to share their experiences with others, although this sociability did not always imply sharing the meanings. The most important aids in the boys’ meaningful learning experiences were computers, while the girls favoured concrete activities such as drawing or modelling. The tasks differed in the kinds of discussions that they aroused, with the investigatory tasks and demonstrations leading to the greatest amounts of purposeful discussion.

Language had an important function for coping with the learning environment and for the expression of learning intentions. On the other hand, linguistic expressions alone tended to convey misleading impressions of either the progress of the pupil’s conceptualization process or his or her meaningful experiences.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. E, Scientiae rerum socialium
ISSN-E: 1796-2242
ISBN: 951-42-5708-1
ISBN Print: 951-42-5707-3
Issue: 43
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2000. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.