Ongoing doctoral dissertations

Camila Rosa Ribeiro: Creating futures  – temporality, desire and performances in postcolonial memories (Re-connect / Re-collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods)
Supervisors: Professor Zsuzsa Millei, Associate Professor Nelli Piattoeva

This study investigates how visions of future are created in memories of people raised in postcolonial places. Future here is seen as a constructed narrative, created from the enmeshment of contextual and experiential knowledges with more-than-human worlds. By taking into account the affective and material effects of colonialism, the research delves into memories as rich entry points into the entanglements of temporality and non-white subjectivity. Altogether, the project brings forward intersectional insights to educational research.


Devi Prasad Bhattarai: Exploring the School Experiences of Ethnic Minority Students of Nepal: An Ethnographic Study
Supervisors: Professor Zsuzsa Millei, Dr Mervi Kaukko 

This doctoral project focuses on minority students who bring cultural values and views of the world into schools that often clash with those underpinning the school curriculum. The project assumes that minority students come to schools with their own ethnic, linguistic, and cultural backup, but they experience strangeness as they encounter Nepali language and mainstream Hindu-based culture in schools’ practice. The project, therefore, brings forth the cultural perspectives of ethnic minority students on their education and classroom experiences gained through an ethnographic study.


Eerika Rouvinen: ”What would make me stay?” – Early Childhood Education Teachers’ Professional Well-Being and Turnover
Supervisors: Assistant Professor Mari Saha, Professor Rebecca Bull (Macquarie University)

This doctoral study examines what kind of the professional well-being factors and the organizational factors buffer early childhood education (ECE) teachers’ turnover or encourage it. In this study, the concept of ECE teachers’ turnover means leaving the field of the early childhood education and care. The study will be carried out as quantitative research by collecting both cross-sectional data and longitudinal data about ECE teachers’ professional well-being and turnover.


Eeva Järventausta: Quality of early childhood education and parents’ participation in employment. Parents’ perception of the quality of early childhood education as part of families’ work and childcare arrangements
Supervisors: Professor Kirsti Karila, Assistant Professor Maiju Paananen 

The purpose of the research is to examine how parents´ perceptions of the quality of early childhood education are entangled with the various social and material factors. These bundles of social and material factors are reflected in parents’ decisions about childcare arrangements and participation in working life. In this research project they are conceptualized as assemblages consisting of different semiotic, social, material, human and nonhuman entities. The research material consists of interviews with parents of one and four-year-old children produced in the CHILDCARE research project.


Hanna Toivonen: Data governance in early childhood education
Supervisors: Assistant Professor Maiju Paananen, Professor Zsuzsa Millei

The study examines data governance in early childhood education and how it intertwines with municipality’s economy policies. The focus is to study what kind of tools are used to generate and interpret data for governing and how they interplay with each other. The aim is to designate how such mundane policies materialize and what kinds of influences they have in everyday life of the preschool. The research utilizes post-structural framework and sociomaterial theories and delves into multi-layered governance system by using ethnographic methods such as preschool directors autoethnographic diary, document data and interviews.


Mervi Eskelinen: Constructing gender equality in ECEC governing system
Supervisors: Assistant professor Maiju Paananen, professor Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen& senior lecturer Susanna Itäkare

This doctoral study examines how gender equality becomes constructed in the governance of Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC), and how these constructions become materialized in pedagogical practices in ECEC centres described by ECEC teachers. This qualitative study uses legislative documents, local curricula and ECEC practitioners’ interviews as data.


Mervi Hakoniemi: Gendered and intergenerational parenting and early childhood education in Peruvian indigenous populations
Supervisors: Professor Zsuzsa Millei, Professor Kirsti Karila 

This thesis explores the intersections of early childhood education and parenting amongst indigenous peoples in Peru by specifically focusing on the gendered (gender of the caregiver and the child) and intergenerational nature of those. The Peruvian context is characterized by a strong inequality between the genders and the co-existence of a large number of different cultures that shape parents’ expectations and ECEC services, provided either by the State, private sector or civil society. 


Mirka Kivimäki: Discourses of the ECEC services in Finnish municipalities
Supervisors: Professor Kirsti Karila, Professor Maarit Alasuutari (University of Jyväskylä) 

Mirka Kivimäki`s doctoral thesis examines the early childhood education services in Finland from a discursive point of view. The focus is on talk concerning ECEC in day care centre, family day care and open ECEC by key local actors in Finnish municipalities. The thesis asks what kinds of distinctions it is drawn between different services and inside them, what kinds of tasks are set for the services and to whom are they targeted to in municipal and local level. The study is based on the wide thematic interviews of the municipal officials responsible for the ECEC services, the parents of small children and the professionals executing the ECEC in several municipalities.  


Muchammad Tholchac: Male early childhood teachers’ perception about work and professionalism in Indonesia
Supervisors: Professor Kirsti Karila, Professor Zsuzsa Millei 

Teaching workforce in the Early childhood education is regarded as women’s area. the involvement of male educators in this setting is a rarity. Accordingly, the way male educators survive, customize, and comply themselves with the related provision, practices, and policies would be interesting to investigate. Employing the interview study, this inquiry will investigate the experience of developing professional expertise among male early childhood educators in Indonesia. 


Salla Fjällström: Barriers of access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) in a context of universal ECEC system (CHILDCARE)
Supervisors: Professor (emerita) Kirsti Karila, Assistant Professor Maiju Paananen 

This doctoral dissertation aims to examine access in ECEC among four-year-old children in Finland. The focus is on to what extent and what kind of differentiation can be found in the use of ECEC services among four-year-old children, and what kind of rationalities and conditions are being constructed for the participation in ECEC services concerning the children at this age. The data consist of parent survey data, and the interviews of parents and municipal ECEC administrators. The data is collected as a part of CHILDCARE project in 2019, and is analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. 


Temisa Isufi: A Post-colonial history of Albanian ECEC: From communism to pushed democratization
(Re-connect / Re-collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods)
Supervisors: Professor Zsuzsa Millei, Associate Professor Nelli Piattoeva 

This research explores the history of Albanian ECEC from the communist regime taking over to the present and highlight shifts in its visions for a good society, the role of ECEC related to that and notions of childhood from a post-colonial perspective.


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