Maija Aksela

Maija Aksela
University of Helsinki | HY · The Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education

Ph.D. (Dr)

About

104
Publications
42,927
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,004
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2001 - present
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • I have worked since 1997 in University of Helsinki.

Publications

Publications (104)
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this multiple-case study was to research the key characteristics of project-based learning (PBL) and how teachers implement them within the context of science education. K-12 science teachers and their students’ videos, learning diaries and online questionnaire answers about their biology related PBL units, within the theme nature and en...
Article
Full-text available
By introducing the sustainable nature of chemistry to students—makers of the future—teachers, and teacher students we can promote their scientific literacy and increase understanding of the relevance of chemistry research and studies in sustainability. Ionic liquids are a topical example of innovation of green chemistry research offering many possi...
Article
Full-text available
To understand how integrated science education (ISE) can be transferred into successful classroom practices, it is important to understand teachers’ perceptions and self-efficacy. The focus of this study is twofold: (1) to understand how teachers perceive ISE and (2) to assess if science teachers’ perceptions of and experiences with integrated educ...
Article
Full-text available
Online professional-development courses such as massive open online courses (MOOCs) could bring relevant content to a wider base of teachers who might not otherwise have access to professional development. However, research on the relevance of such online courses is scarce. The main aim of this study is to investigate the relevance (individual, soc...
Article
Teaching the fundamentals of chemical kinetics on the college level is challenging to teachers and students alike due to its abstract nature of concepts and limited connection with real context applications. This study consisted of two phases starting with designing a chemistry education for the sustainable development-based learning environment of...
Article
Full-text available
Project-based learning (PBL) is a promising teaching method for integrated science education that has gained momentum in educational research and curriculum reforms, especially as a method to enhance 21st century skills and connected worldview. How teachers implement PBL greatly affects students’ content understanding and development of skills. The...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this descriptive case study was to develop pre-service chemistry teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Science Knowledge (TPASK) through novel computational chemistry modules. The study consisted of two phases starting...
Article
Full-text available
Student-led courses have been described as a promising approach to improve sustainability education. However, there is a lack of systematic studies about the benefits and challenges of such courses. This qualitative case study examines the challenges and tensions that arose in the planning of a student-led higher education course on sustainability...
Article
The aim of this case study is to demonstrate how a co-design approach could be used within design-based research (DBR) with diverse multi-stakeholders in the LUMA ecosystem to promote social creativity towards novel student-based solutions and pedagogical innovations. As a case, a national LUMA2020 development program (2019–2020), organized by the...
Article
Full-text available
Students’ questions have an important function in science learning, and in inquiry-based approaches. Inquiry teaching in which the students’ own questions are used is promising, but a holistic view of the research and practice is lacking. A systematic review was conducted on 30 articles, both research report articles as well as descriptive and eval...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The lack of relevance is a major challenge in chemistry education. In the last two decades, a lot of research and development projects for increasing the relevancy have been conducted in all educational levels, expect in chemistry teacher education. This research is filling this knowledge gap by investigating what kind of learning methods in pre-se...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to provide an understanding of context-based inquiry teaching within a humanistic perspective on science education by studying pre-service teachers’ beliefs about inquiry and their implementations of inquiry in their context-based teaching sequences. Therefore, five pre-service teachers enrolled in a university undergraduat...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this case-study was to understand how chemistry teachers experience their work in diverse classes where the needs of differentiated teaching practices are constantly growing. The deeper intention was to perceive new information in order to develop supportive methods that could better correspond to teachers' reality. Eight voluntary Finni...
Article
Full-text available
Homes have remarkable possibilities to act as science learning environments for young children (3 - 6 years old). This qualitative case study investigated what kind of support parents need to do online science activities with their children at home. Data consisted of parent’s theme interviews (n=7). As a main result, a model of parents’ need for su...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Teachers' ability to execute project-based learning (PBL) in practice determines the effectiveness of such learning. Teachers' implementation of PBL has been shown to greatly affect students' content understanding and development of skills. (Han, Yalvac, Capraro & Capraro, 2015; Kokotsaki, Menzies & Wiggins, 2016) The purpose of this qualitative st...
Article
Full-text available
School-industry collaboration can be an effective way to implement STSE issues to teaching. However, teachers´ negative beliefs, lack of knowledge, resources, support and opportunities to collaborate with companies can impede the efficient implementation. In this case-study, 42 Finnish and Slovenian pre-service teachers´ STSE beliefs were first exa...
Book
Full-text available
The science lab ChemistryLab Gadolin has been named after an internationally fa-mous Finnish Professor in Chemistry, Johan Gadolin (1760-1852), the father of Finnish chemical research. He emphasized the fact that inquiry has a central sig-nificance in the teaching of chemistry, which is why it also forms the basis for the operations of Gadolin. Joh...
Article
Science competitions, such as the International Biology Olympiad, are non-formal education targeted to upper secondary school students with high abilities. However, there is little knowledge about what is the relevance of training for a science competition. In this study, Finnish Biology Olympiad training participants were researched in the context...
Article
Non-formal science education means goal-oriented learning outside of school. The use of out of school learning environments (e.g. science camps) has been found to increase motivation and interest in natural sciences. In this study, the relevance of non-formal science education in science camps has been analyzed from the perspectives of children and...
Article
Full-text available
Learner-centered sustainability education has been advocated to be used in higher education, but the pedagogy is blurry. In the discussions, also an idea of a learner-driven approach has been promoted. The aim of this study is to study how these pedagogies have been described and suggested to be used by a group of higher education students responsi...
Article
Full-text available
Teaching chemical bonding using the octet rule as an explanatory principle is problematic in many ways. The aim of this case study is to understand the learning and teaching of chemical bonding using a research-informed teaching model in which chemical bonding is introduced as an electrostatic phenomenon. The study posed two main questions: (i) how...
Article
Full-text available
One of the greatest ways to transform education systems is to develop community-centered professional supports for in-service teachers. Given the rise of distance learning platforms such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), there is a growing potential to deliver such supports at scale. The community of inquiry (CoI) framework models the asynchr...
Article
This study uses qualitative content analysis to examine 355 open-ended questions, presented by 16–19 –year-old international students, to find out what students want to learn about climate change. The study finds that students have a high level of consideration toward scientific, societal, and ethical aspects of climate change and that students' qu...
Book
Read an e-book here (new solutions and pedagogical innovations): https://www.luma.fi/en/news/2018/02/26/new-book-in%c2%adtro%c2%adduces-research-based-sci%c2%adence-edu%c2%adca%c2%adtion-and-the-best-solu%c2%adtions-in-uni%c2%adversity-of-hel%c2%adsinki/
Article
Full-text available
The aims of this study were to determine the low-achieving students’ attitudes towards chemistry and how the attitudes differ within a low achieving group. The most preferred teaching methods was also defined. The empirical data (n = 2949) was collected by stratified sampling from fifteen-year-old Finnish lower-secondary school students as a part o...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous case studies suggest that integrating art and science education could engage students with creative projects and encourage students to express science in multitude of ways. However, little is known about art integration practices in everyday science teaching. With a qualitative e-survey, this study explores the art integration of science t...
Article
There is an evident need for in-service training in chemistry education among class teachers. The support is needed related to, for example, chemistry contents, teaching methods, practical laboratory work, and resources. The article discusses the challenges and opportunities of in-service training and presents one concrete example of how to impleme...
Article
Non-formal education has been suggested as becoming more and more important in the last decades. As the aims of non-formal education are broad and diverse, a large variety of non-formal learning activities is available. One of the emerging fields in many countries, among them Finland and Germany, has been the establishment of non-formal laboratory...
Article
Full-text available
The main purpose of this paper is to present Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of their future profession, especially with regard to their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (macro, submicro and symbolic) and their representations in chemistry learning. A total of 19 prospective teach...
Book
Molecular modeling is an essential tool for chemistry teachers. It can be used for anything from student-centred activities to teacher-oriented visualizations and evaluation. This book offers theoretical insights and hands-on modeling activities. The goal is to learn how to implement molecular modeling in chemistry teaching. The exercises are perf...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable energy is one of the biggest global challenges today. This paper discusses how we can promote adolescents’ learning of sustainable energy with the help of an international massive open online course (MOOC). The aim of this case study is to understand: (i) What do the adolescents find relevant in the MOOC course about sustainable energy?...
Article
Wtih increased focus on sustainability and socioscientific issues, dealing with issues related to citizenship is now seen as an important element of science education. However, in order to make the world a better place, mere understanding about socioscientific issues is not enough. Action must also be taken. In this study, 35 international gifted s...
Chapter
This chapter describes a study that aimed to investigate how a multimodal writing lesson impacted student learning of 13 to 14-year-old students in a science class. The research described in this chapter addresses the following research questions: (i) how does a lesson on multimodal writing affect students’ text production and use of alternative mo...
Chapter
The Finnish youth’s competence in mathematics and natural sciences is top-level among the OECD countries. However, it has been found that 15-years-old youths’ level of interest towards these subjects is quite low according to the PISA results.
Chapter
Information and communication technology (ICT) has been successfully used to promote children's, youths' and teachers' competence in mathematics, science and technology in Finland through the LUMA Centre Finland. The LUMA ecosystem (LU stands for science and MA for mathematics) is a social innovation based on collaboration between 11 universities (...
Article
Oppilaiden kysymykset ovat tärkeä osa oppijakeskeistä luonnontieteiden opetusta. Niitä korostetaan myös uusissa opetussuunnitelmien perusteissa. Oppilaiden kysymyksiä ei kuitenkaan välttämättä osata hyödyntää opetuksessa riittävästi. Tässä artikkelissa kuvataan, millainen merkitys oppilaiden kysymyksillä on, ja mitä lähestymistapoja aikaisempi teor...
Article
Vuodesta 2004 lähtien järjestetyt Valtakunnalliset LUMA-päivät järjestettiin ensimmäistä kertaa Joensuussa 1.–3.6.2015. Päivät järjestettiin ensimmäistä kertaa myös uutena ajankohtana, kesäkuun alussa heti koulutyön kesäkeskeytyksen alettua. Tapahtuma oli ensimmäistä kertaa myös kolmipäiväinen, laajan ohjelmatarjonnan vuoksi. LUMA-päiville osallist...
Article
Tieto- ja viestintätekniikan (TVT) monipuolinen käyttö on olennainen osa tulevien kemian aineenopettajien koulutusta Helsingin yliopistossa. Kemian aineenopettajakoulutusyksikön tavoitteena on kouluttaa osaavia tutkivia ja yhteisöllisiä opettajia tulevaisuuden kouluihin. Tuleville kemian opettajille pyritään läpi koko koulutuksen kehittämään hyvät...
Article
In order to develop science teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK), a better understanding of how teachers use ICT in classroom practice is needed. This paper examines Finnish chemistry teachers, knowledge, skills and beliefs on using ICT in education in comparison to other science teachers. The study shows that chemistry teac...
Article
In spring 2015, integrated chemistry education was the main focus for students attending the course The Central Areas of Chemistry Education II. The students specifically studied the interdisciplinary aspects of integration. Based on the research literature and the renewed National Curriculum (2014), they developed lesson plans supporting integrate...
Article
Kansallinen LUMA-toiminta ekosysteeminä luo uudenlaisia innovatiivisia mahdollisuuksia matematiikan ja luonnontieteiden (nk. LUMA-aineiden) opettajankoulutuksen – niin perus- kuin täydennyskoulutuksen – luovaan toteuttamiseen sekä sen kehittymiseen ja alan tutkimuksen tekemiseen formaalisen, non-formaalisen ja informaalisen tiede- ja teknologiakasv...
Article
During the 21st century, new generations of both commercial board games and digital games have appeared, and in their wake, game-based learning has been extensively studied in recent years. There has also been some research on and development of card and board games for learning chemistry. Most of this research has been conducted in the field of re...
Article
The aim of this study was to design a novel and holistic way to teach chemical bonding at the middle school level according to research on the teaching and learning of bonding. A further aim was to investigate high achieving middle school students' conceptual structures concerning chemical bonding by using a systemic perspective. Students in one me...
Article
Contextual teaching approaches can motivate students, make chemistry learning more relevant and affect the students’ career choices later in life. This article presents the needs analysis section of a design research project. This needs analysis focused on the instructions for experimental tasks (N=160) found in Finnish upper secondary school textb...
Chapter
Non-formal education is a relevant part of meaningful and holistic science education. This paper describes three programs in science, mathematics and technology education organized by the LUMA (STEM) Centre Finland. These successful programs are research-based and designed to (I) motivate children and youth towards STEM-subjects, (II) help them to...
Article
Full-text available
Correction for ‘How to measure elementary teachers' interest in teaching chemistry?’ by Jaana Kristiina Herranen et al., Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c4rp00246f.
Article
The aim of this study was to create an instrument to measure how interested elementary teachers are in teaching chemistry and in chemistry in general. This instrument, named the Interest in Chemistry Teaching Instrument (ICTI), was created to measure both the affective and cognitive components of interest. The instrument was improved further with f...
Article
The Finnish youth's competence in mathematics and natural sciences is top-level among the OECD countries. However, it has been found that 15-years-old youths' level of interest towards these subjects is quite low according to the PISA results. The National LUMA Centre (LUMA stands for the Finnish terms for natural sciences and mathematics) was laun...
Article
The aim of study is to support meaningful practical chemistry learning and research-based teaching at the upper secondary level by designing a model for in-service teacher training. Teachers were introduced the SOLO (= Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) taxonomy as a tool to estimate the quality of learning attainable for students when per...
Article
This is an introduction to a educational design research study, with a goal of creating contextual and meaningful inquiry tasks for chemistry education. The problem analysis included the evaluation of the inquiry tasks described in the textbooks as well as the relevance of a university run chemistry learning environment ChemistryLab Gadolin. The in...
Article
Many institutions of higher education are strugling with student lack of interest to continue their studies in natural sciences. The interest also seems to be diveded between girls/biology and boys/physics. Students consider research in natural sciences as important, but do not consider science as interesting. The lack of contexts for discussing th...
Article
To meet the needs of the 21st century society, there is a need to integrate together traditionally separate subjects to create knowledge and skills transferable to everyday life of the students. This article is a summary of an educational design research study on the development of chocolate-themed web-based learning material for integrating chemis...
Article
This article analyses Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in chemistry by reviewing existing challenges and future possibilities on the levels of the teacher and the student. Pedagogical frameworks that are found eligible in practice are reviewed. Lesson themes that are suitable for implementing socio-scientific issues (SSI) related to ESD...
Article
The aim of the study discussed in this paper was to link existing research about the argumentation skills of students to the teaching of life-cycle analysis (LCA) in order to promote an evidence-based approach to the teaching of and learning about materials used in consumer products. This case-study is part of a larger design research project that...
Chapter
Once a year, the LUMA (STEM) Education Center of the University of Helsinki, Technology Academy Finland and Aalto University, organizes a popular international STEM education camp in Helsinki in collaboration with some organizations and global industrial companies. The camp is aimed at gifted youth – possible future scientists – and more than a tho...
Chapter
The collaborative LUMA ecosystem encourages universities, schools, teachers, students, guardians, and the industry to collaborate and engage children and young people from age 3 to 19 in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and teachers at all levels in life-long professional development.
Article
In inquiry-based chemistry learning, students can seek answers to research questions by designing and implementing a laboratory work and evaluating the results. Microcomputer-based laboratory equipment that enable the drawing of graphs about the studied phenomenon in real-time, can be utilized in the practical work. In international COMBLAB project...
Article
In spring 2013, students attending the course The Central Areas of Chemistry Education II studied the history of key chemistry concepts as well as the research on the use of historical approach to chemistry teaching. Based on the research literature, they produced materials for chemistry teaching in secondary and upper secondary school. In addition...
Article
It is important to link societal issues to teaching in order to achieve all-round education and scientific literacy linked to it. The prerequisite for successful sustainable development education is that the themes of sustainable development are studied diversely from the perspectives of the environment, society, and economy. This article studies h...
Article
The article discusses the significance of science theatre and the role of nature of science in it, as well as the significance of history of chemistry, and different methods for popularizing it and using it in teaching. The study includes two surveys (N=45 and N=126) conducted among the audiences of “Virtanen!” play, performed in 2011. The data was...
Article
This article presents a 10-point checklist of activities for sustainable development education, and its implementation in chemistry education. The article discusses related research knowledge from the viewpoints of teachers and students. In addition, the article presents and discusses the implementation of society-based chemistry education, suitabl...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates how a multimodal writing lesson was received by 13 to 14-year-olds in a science class. The research addresses the following research questions (i) how does a lesson on multimodal writing effect students’ text production and use of alternative modes of representation in a science writing task, (ii) is there a gender differenc...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the historical development, current state, and needs future development of electronic learning environments for chemistry education. The study is by nature a theoretical literature review. Its aim is to canvass how the requirements related to chemistry learning environments have changed over time. By understanding the history...
Article
Full-text available
This case study investigated how 16–19-year-old international gifted youth felt that a non-formal educational program in math, science and technology, called the Millennium Youth Camp, supported them and what kind of long-term impact did it have on their lives. In the first part of the research, 88 international students answered an open-ended ques...
Article
Small child has a natural ability to ask, wonder, and explore. In the spring 2013, Finland’s Science Education Centre LUMA, operating within University of Helsinki, targeted its traditional Jippo science clubs for the first time for children as young as 3 to 6 years of age. This article discusses the model for the club and experiences from its impl...
Article
To enhance students’ understanding of nature of science (NOS), teachers need adequate pedagogical content knowledge related to NOS. The educational design research study presented here describes the design and development of a pre-service chemistry teacher education course on NOS instruction. The study documents two iterative cycles of problem anal...
Article
Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry education...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the present study is to improve the quality of students' environmental literacy and sustainability education in chemistry teaching by combining the socio-scientific issue of life-cycle thinking with inquiry- based learning approaches. This case study presents results from an inquiry-based life-cycle thinking project: an interdisciplinary...
Article
This article discusses how to study protein chemistry meaningfully in the context of molecular gastronomy by supporting higher-order thinking skills. The instruction also includes several myths that the students can reflect on. Inquiry-based work is performed in the style of the Top Chef competition: the objective is to prepare the lightest and flu...
Article
The aim of the new material is to support students’ learning of chemistry: acidity and pH-indicators, especially anthocyans, and their argumentation. The material presented here was tested with both teachers and students. This material can be used with elementary school students and high school students. It is also an example on how to bring molecu...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this research was to design nanotechnology teaching material that is interesting to the pupils, and brings out the significance of chemistry and technology in society as well as supports the development of scientific literacy. The research was conducted as a design research that included four phases: 1) theoretical problem analysis, 2) d...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the Finnish upper secondary school students’ opinions on the rationale of chemistry education and their reasons for choosing or not choosing advanced courses in chemistry. In first phase of the research 49 pre-service chemistry teacher students answered open questions about their opinions about the rationale of chemistry edu...
Article
Historical approach is one way of supporting the learning of concepts and phenomena of chemistry, and nature of chemistry. In this article, project works dealing with the topics to chemistry (organic reactions and synthesis, acid and alkali oxides, mass and mole, Le Châtelier’s principle, atom models, electrochemistry, gas laws, and periodic table...
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to discuss what kind of learning would be interactive as well as meaningful in teaching gifted science students. Students are identified as being gifted based on their earlier school achievements and projects (see Table 1). The research reported here is a multiple-case study of five international students who attended the...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a new collaborative model for design-based research (DBR), model-based design research (MBDR), in which the design process is carried out through model-based reasoning (MBR). The objective of the paper is to discuss how MBDR can be used as a method for educational innovation, which is a social transformation occurring when a c...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an analysis of Finnish chemistry matriculation examination questions according to cognitive complexity. The research data consisted of 257 questions from 28 matriculation examinations between 1996 and 2009. Qualitative approach and theory-driven content analysis method using Bloom’s revised Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives were...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the number and nature of gifted female and male students' scientific, societal, and moral questions concerning science. The participants ( N = 658 ) of this study were 16–19-year-old international students from 55 countries and two continents, Asia and Europe. They applied to participate in the Millennium Youth Camp held in...
Article
Full-text available
The topics of nature, for example semiochemicals, are motivating topics, which can be used to teach organic chemistry at high school level. The history, classifications, a few important applications of semiochemicals, and an semiochemical that can be synthesized in the laboratory are presented. The laboratory synthesis is carried out through the we...
Article
The aim of this study was to assess how the different aspects of nature of science (NOS) were represented in Finnish and Swedish upper secondary school chemistry textbooks. The dimensions of NOS were analyzed from five popular chemistry textbook series. The study provides a quantitative method for analysis of representations of NOS in chemistry tex...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This poster describes a pilot case study, which aim is to study how future chemistry teachers use knowledge dimensions and high-order cognitive skills (HOCS) in their pre-laboratory concept maps to support chemistry laboratory work. The research data consisted of 168 pre-laboratory concept maps that 29 students constructed as a part of their chemis...
Article
A novel professional development curriculum model has been implemented for a chemistry teacher education programme. The aim of this five-year programme is to educate future chemistry teachers as lifelong learners and researchers, capable of following developments in both chemistry and its teaching, implementing up-to-date research findings in their...
Article
This paper analyses the use of various communication channels in science teachers' professional development project aiming to develop versatile uses for ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in science teaching. A teacher network was created specifically for this project, and the researchers facilitated three forms of communication conce...