Hannu Savolainen

by Maija Reeta Airio last modified Nov 10, 2015 10:25 AM

Thesis group: Behavior, learning and well-being in school.

This thesis group is bi-lingual (Finnish / English) and recruits (2-3) new students every autumn and spring. All incoming students are expected to find a topic related to the theme and they have the advantage of using existing data, when applicable.

The work in the group is related to two projects, ProKoulu and ISKE. ProKoulu is an ongoing large research project implementing School Wide Positive Behavior Support in Finnish schools. The research is based on randomized delayed control experimental design. Data is collected from the schools (students and teachers) twice every year including measures e.g. on working climate, well-being, behavior issues, learning context and the intervention. Current thesis topics will be related mainly to the base-line measurement, but there are opportunities to use also longitudinal data.

Before ProKoulu another project collected data on students learning and behavior and attention problems in schools. This data includes three cohorts (grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-7). Measures included e.g. SDQ (strengths and difficulties questionnaire), BERS-2 (Behavior and emotional rating scale -measuring behavioral strengths of pupils) that were filled in by students, their parents and teachers. In addition to this all cohorts were tested for mathematics (Banuca, RMat) and reading skills (Allu) and information on their special education support status and school grades and self-concept (Marsh SDQ-1) were received from every year.

Following are examples of possible thesis topics, other options within the theme are available too:

  • Do behavioral strengths function as a protective buffer for the negative consequences of attention / behavior problems on well-being, learning or self-concept?
  • Is the working climate (työrauha) of a school class related to the well-being of students?
  • Is the working climate (työrauha) of a school class related to the well-being or job satisfaction of teachers?
  • Is there a relationship between teacher well-being and the class heterogeneity (e.g. number of students with special needs, student with behavior problems, class size)