Vuoden 2018 pro gradu- ja väitöskirjapalkinnot | The 2018 Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Awards

Julkaistu: 27.11.2018 16:11

Kasvatustieteen päivillä Tampereella jaettiin Suomen kasvatustieteellisen seuran palkinnot vuoden pro gradulle ja väitöskirjalle. Raadin perusteluihin voi tutustua alla.

The 2018 Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Awards by The Finnish Educational Research Association were announced at The FERA Conference in Tampere. The Juries’ statements can be found below.

Pro gradu palkinto | The Master’s Thesis Award by The Finnish Educational Research Association (FERA) 2018

Priyanka Patel (University of Jyväskylä): GraphoLearn India: The Effectiveness of a
Computer-assisted Reading Intervention in Supporting English Readers in India

The statement of the jury:

Priyanka Patel addresses in her master’s thesis a severe global problem, illiteracy. The
thesis sheds a light to the problem with the help of an educational intervention study and
offers one solution for further development. The aim of the theses was to determine whether
GraphoLearn, a computer-assisted reading intervention, could be used to support the
English reading skills of struggling readers in India. The research design of the study was
exceptionally demanding for the master’s thesis, due to the sophisticated methods and
conducting the study in an English-medium public school in Ahmedabad, India.

In her master’s thesis, Patel shows an excellent command of educational research, as well
as laudable ambition for a MA student. Her study is an excellent example of an intervention
project contributing to research on learning and instruction, and special education. The scale
of the project is small, but it provides first important pieces of evidence on the validity of the
intervention needed on further larger-scale projects in the Indian context. Despite the
limitations set by the size of the data, Patel successfully applies advanced statistical methods
and interprets her findings systematically within a sound theoretical framework.
Priyanka Patel’s master’s thesis exemplifies an educational research where the researcher
wants to solve global problems, makes an effort to do that, and has acquired competence to
conduct the study with great distinction.


Associate Professor Jaakko Kauko
Associate Professor Hanna Toiviainen
Associate Professor Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen

Väitöskirjapalkinto | The Doctoral Dissertation Award by the Finnish Educational Research Association (FERA) 2018

Elizabeth Eta: Educational Policy Borrowing: Adoption and Adaptation of Bologna Process Ideas in the Cameroonian Higher Education System. University of Turku.

Statement of the jury
Elizabeth Eta’s dissertation Educational Policy Borrowing: Adoption and Adaptation of Bologna Process Ideas in the Cameroonian Higher Education System looks at the adoption and adaption of the originally European reform – the Bologna process for the harmonization of higher education – in one African country with a complex colonial and post-colonial history. The dissertation consists of a summary article and four journal articles. Two co-authored and two single-authored articles constitute an exceptionally large composition which is well designed and skillfully mastered by Eta.

Eta’s study is located in the field of comparative and international education, and uses the theoretical framework of policy borrowing and lending – a central focus of empirical analysis and a commonly deployed analytical tool – in the field. The overall study shows Eta’s deep knowledge of the field of African higher education reforms, and theories of comparative and international education. The design of the dissertation represents a consistent scholarly work: each individual article signifies a coherent sub-study with a unique profile, and at the same time, the sub-studies are well-connected to each other and constitute a coherent larger whole by looking at and connecting different phases and levels of policy adoption and adaption.

The work is significant for at least two reasons – it looks at the neglected topic of Bologna transfer to non-European countries and it applies the theory of education policy borrowing and lending to a developing country context. This double innovation enables Eta to make a significant contribution to both empirical understanding and theory development in the field.

University Lecturer, Adjunct Professor (NTNU) Reijo Kupiainen
University Lecturer, Docent Terhi Mäntylä
Associate Professor Nelli Piattoeva
Professor Eero Ropo