Ten theses of the joy of learning at primary schools
Taina Rantalaa and Kaarina Määttäb
The aim of this paper is to decipher the essence of the joy of learning and the ways to enhance it at school. In the field of educational psychology, research on feelings is lacking, and the little that does exist has focused more on negative rather than positive feelings. The present paper is based on ethnographic and observational research of a Finnish school class (N = 19) and the data were collected by videotaping and photographing first- and second-grade pupils (aged 7–8) studying in the school and lessons from the autumn of 2003 until spring 2005. Based on the children’s expressions of feelings and experiences, a detailed description of their experiences of joy of learning or lack of it in primary education was comprised by the video data by way of photos (N = 754). This method is known as the ethnography of experience. Ten theses of the joy of learning were created from the transcription of pupils’ emotional talk and actions that were reflected by previous research. These resulted in 10 conclusions regarding teachers’ work, which contained the idea that a teacher could provide circumstances that are favourable to the joy of learning at primary school.