University of Oulu

Teacher-student relationships and students’ motivation in Finnish Islamic Education public classrooms

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Author: Anniwa, Shayibai1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8 MB)
Pages: 108
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : S. Anniwa, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-04-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Siklander, Pirkko
Reviewer: Siklander, Pirkko
Kurki, Kristiina


Only one type of Islam course, General Islam, is taught for Muslim students of various backgrounds in Finnish public schools. There are not enough teachers for this course and currently their relevant teaching qualifications are hard to be ensured. With such challenges, how these teachers make pedagogical choices and how does it influence students’ motivation are questions yet to be dealt with in current literature on Finnish religious education (Rissanen, 2014). So, this study aims to examine the provision of teacher support to students, how students perceive such support and how they affect students’ motivation to study in Finnish Islamic Education (IE) courses. Teachers’ provision and students’ perception of teacher support and their motivational outcomes are studied from social support perspectives by using Models of Multiple Dimensions of Social Support (Wentzel, 2004), and with Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2000). The author conducted a qualitative case study in an IE course in a local public international school. Participants are five foreign-background 8–12 years old Muslim students from primary and secondary education programs, and one female teacher of an immigrant background who teaches these students IE class. The author collected qualitative data from semi-structured interviews. By combining approaches from grounded theory and thematic analysis, the author analyzed the data and gained insights into the kind of support available to students from teacher in the targeted context; how it fosters students’ classroom goal pursuit; how it affects students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The result shows that the teacher provided a good amount of structure, help, advice, instruction, clear expectations, opportunities, clear communication, and emotional support, but autonomy support was insufficient; student participants 1 and 2 have better perceptions of teacher support than student participants 3, 4, and 5; such difference is in line with their motivational outcomes with student participants 1 and 2 demonstrating stronger motivations in terms of classroom goal pursuit and having higher intrinsic motivation or better integration than the rest of the student participants. The results also indicate there could be other factors influencing students’ motivations. Such results provide valuable insights for IE teacher training programs and for future empirical studies regarding this context.

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