Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Kirsi Mononen

4 Biogas Production from Lake Bottom Biomass from Forest Management Areas

Authors: Dessie Tegegne Tibebu, Kirsi Mononen, Ari Pappinen


In areas with forest management, agricultural, and industrial activity, sediments and biomass are accumulated in lakes through drainage system, which might be a cause for biodiversity loss and health problems. One possible solution can be utilization of lake bottom biomass and sediments for biogas production. The main objective of this study was to investigate the potentials of lake bottom materials for production of biogas by anaerobic digestion and to study the effect of pretreatment methods for feed materials on biogas yield. In order to study the potentials of biogas production lake bottom materials were collected from two sites, Likokanta and Kutunjärvi lake. Lake bottom materials were mixed with straw-horse manure to produce biogas in a laboratory scale reactor. The results indicated that highest yields of biogas values were observed when feeds were composed of 50% lake bottom materials with 50% straw horse manure mixture-while with above 50% lake bottom materials in the feed biogas production decreased. CH4 content from Likokanta lake materials with straw-horse manure and Kutunjärvi lake materials with straw-horse manure were similar values when feed consisted of 50% lake bottom materials with 50% straw horse manure mixtures. However, feeds with lake bottom materials above 50%, the CH4 concentration started to decrease, impairing gas process. Pretreatment applied on Kutunjärvi lake materials showed a slight negative effect on the biogas production and lowest CH4 concentration throughout the experiment. The average CH4 production (ml g-1 VS) from pretreated Kutunjärvi lake materials with straw horse manure (208.9 ml g-1 VS) and untreated Kutunjärvi lake materials with straw horse manure (182.2 ml g-1 VS) were markedly higher than from Likokanta lake materials with straw horse manure (157.8 ml g-1 VS). According to the experimental results, utilization of 100% lake bottom materials for biogas production is likely to be impaired negatively. In the future, further analyses to improve the biogas yields, assessment of costs and benefits is needed before utilizing lake bottom materials for the production of biogas.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, biogas, lake bottom materials, sediments, pretreatment

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3 A Case Study on Vocational Teachers’ Perceptions on Their Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Teaching

Authors: Kirsi Korkealehto


In Finland the transformation from homogenous culture into multicultural one as a result of heavy immigration has been rapid in the recent decades. As multilingualism and multiculturalism are growing features in our society, teachers in all educational levels need to be competent for encounters with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Consequently, also the number of multicultural and multilingual vocational school students has increased which has not been taken into consideration in teacher education enough. To bridge this gap between teachers’ competences and the requirements of the contemporary school world, Finnish Ministry of Culture and Education established the DivEd-project. The aim of the project is to prepare all teachers to work in the linguistically and culturally diverse world they live in, to develop and increase culturally sustaining and linguistically responsive pedagogy in Finland, increase awareness among Teacher Educators working with preservice teachers and to increase awareness and provide specific strategies to in-service teachers. The partners in the nationwide project are 6 universities and 2 universities of applied sciences. In this research, the linguistically and culturally sustainable teaching practices developed within the DivEd-project are tested in practice. This research aims to explore vocational teachers’ perceptions of these multilingualism and multilingual educational practices. The participants of this study are vocational teachers in of different fields. The data were collected by individual, face-to-face interviews. The data analysis was conducted through content analysis. The findings indicate that the vocational teachers experience that they lack knowledge on linguistically and culturally responsive pedagogy. Moreover, they regard themselves in some extent incompetent in incorporating multilingually and multiculturally sustainable pedagogy in everyday teaching work. Therefore, they feel they need more training pertaining multicultural and multilingual knowledge, competences and suitable pedagogical methods for teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Keywords: multicultural, multilingual, teacher competence, vocational school

Procedia PDF Downloads 20
2 The Role of Emotions in Addressing Social and Environmental Issues in Ethical Decision Making

Authors: Kirsi Snellman, Johannes Gartner, , Katja Upadaya


A transition towards a future where the economy serves society so that it evolves within the safe operating space of the planet calls for fundamental changes in the way managers think, feel and act, and make decisions that relate to social and environmental issues. Sustainable decision-making in organizations are often challenging tasks characterized by trade-offs between environmental, social and financial aspects, thus often bringing forth ethical concerns. Although there have been significant developments in incorporating uncertainty into environmental decision-making and measuring constructs and dimensions in ethical behavior in organizations, the majority of sustainable decision-making models are rationalist-based. Moreover, research in psychology indicates that one’s readiness to make a decision depends on the individual’s state of mind, the feasibility of the implied change, and the compatibility of strategies and tactics of implementation. Although very informative, most of this extant research is limited in the sense that it often directs attention towards the rational instead of the emotional. Hence, little is known about the role of emotions in sustainable decision making, especially in situations where decision-makers evaluate a variety of options and use their feelings as a source of information in tackling the uncertainty. To fill this lacuna, and to embrace the uncertainty and perceived risk involved in decisions that touch upon social and environmental aspects, it is important to add emotion to the evaluation when aiming to reach the one right and good ethical decision outcome. This analysis builds on recent findings in moral psychology that associate feelings and intuitions with ethical decisions and suggests that emotions can sensitize the manager to evaluate the rightness or wrongness of alternatives if ethical concerns are present in sustainable decision making. Capturing such sensitive evaluation as triggered by intuitions, we suggest that rational justification can be complemented by using emotions as a tool to tune in to what feels right in making sustainable decisions. This analysis integrates ethical decision-making theories with recent advancements in emotion theories. It determines the conditions under which emotions play a role in sustainability decisions by contributing to a personal equilibrium in which intuition and rationality are both activated and in accord. It complements the rationalist ethics view according to which nothing fogs the mind in decision making so thoroughly as emotion, and the concept of cheater’s high that links unethical behavior with positive affect. This analysis contributes to theory with a novel theoretical model that specifies when and why managers, who are more emotional, are, in fact, more likely to make ethical decisions than those managers who are more rational. It also proposes practical advice on how emotions can convert the manager’s preferences into choices that benefit both common good and one’s own good throughout the transition towards a more sustainable future.

Keywords: emotion, ethical decision making, intuition, sustainability

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1 Boost for Online Language Course through Peer Evaluation

Authors: Kirsi Korkealehto


The purpose of this research was to investigate how the peer evaluation concept was perceived by language teachers developing online language courses. The online language courses in question were developed in language teacher teams within a nationwide KiVAKO-project funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The participants of the project were 86 language teachers of 26 higher education institutions in Finland. The KiVAKO-project aims to strengthen the language capital at higher education institutions by building a nationwide online language course offering on a shared platform. All higher education students can study the courses regardless of their home institutions. The project covers the following languages: Chinese, Estonian, Finnish Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish on the levels CEFR A1-C1. The courses were piloted in the autumn term of 2019, and an online peer evaluation session was organised for all project participating teachers in spring 2020. The peer evaluation utilised the quality criteria for online implementation, which was developed earlier within the eAMK-project. The eAMK-project was also funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture with the aim to improve higher education institution teachers’ digital and pedagogical competences. In the online peer evaluation session, the teachers were divided into Zoom breakout rooms, in each of which two pilot courses were presented by their teachers dialogically. The other language teachers provided feedback on the course on the basis of the quality criteria. Thereafter good practices and ideas were gathered to an online document. The breakout rooms were facilitated by one teacher who was instructed and provided a slide-set prior to the online session. After the online peer evaluation sessions, the language teachers were asked to respond to an online questionnaire for feedback. The questionnaire included three multiple-choice questions using the Likert-scale rating and two open-ended questions. The online questionnaire was answered after the sessions immediately, the questionnaire link and the QR-code to it was on the last slide of the session, and it was responded at the site. The data comprise online questionnaire responses of the peer evaluation session and the researcher’s observations during the sessions. The data were analysed with a qualitative content analysis method with the help of Atlas.ti programme, and the Likert scale answers provided results per se. The observations were used as complementary data to support the primary data. The findings indicate that the working in the breakout rooms was successful, and the workshops proceeded smoothly. The workshops were perceived as beneficial in terms of improving the piloted courses and developing the participants’ own work as teachers. Further, the language teachers stated that the collegial discussions and sharing the ideas were fruitful. The aspects to improve the workshops were to give more time for free discussions and the opportunity to familiarize oneself with the quality criteria and the presented language courses beforehand. The quality criteria were considered to provide a suitable frame for self- and peer evaluations.

Keywords: higher education, language learning, online learning, peer-evaluation

Procedia PDF Downloads 7