Developing the Pedagogy of Joy as a teacher researcher through project action research called Sleeping Beauty
Prinsessa Rosa Ruusunen (Sleeping Beauty) was a part of the National Board of Education's domestic development project of developing learning environments. The aims of this autobiographical project action research were to find answers to the following questions: How will my professionalism develop during this research? How can I develop the Pedagogy of Joy and emotional education, and how can I increase my pupils' well-being at school? How will my pupils' ability to feel and handle their emotions develop during this research? This research has actively involved me, as a teacher researcher, and my 26 pupils. The study took place in my classroom and in several other learning environments in our hometown in southern Finland between 2008- and 2011. This action research had eight phases that were implemented as spiral cycles that included planning, action, observation and reflection. Phenomenology, the theory behind my methods, emphasized researching the pupils' experiences. The data that I collected and analyzed consisted of the pupils' project journals, drawings, photographs, videotapes, the teacher-researcher's notebooks, journals and observations. The results show that both the Sleeping Beauty and cooperation with my colleague served as catalysts for my professional growth and they became key factors for my professional development. As a result of enriching interaction, pedagogic discussion and cooperation with my colleague I became empowered to use and utilize my creativity, new active learning methods and other learning environments that supported the development of the pupils' self-concept. This project and excursions increased the pupils' and the teachers' well-being at school. They helped me to see my pupils more holistically than a traditional classroom teaching. The Pedagogy of Joy brought lots of joy; self-caused, other-caused and circumstance-caused joy that supported the development process of the pupils' self-concept. The shared experiences of joy during the excursions increased the sense of community among the pupils. I discovered seven characters that describe the main origin and reason for the pupils' joy that support their self-concept. They are: Innovators, Creators, Performers, Helpers, Encouragers, Admirers and Adventurers. As the results of this research, I created a theoretical model of the Pedagogy of Joy that supports the development of a healthy self-concept that can be applied in other schools. I created a model of the development process of the pupils' sense of community that is seen very important in today's world. I also developed a model about the development process of my colleague's and my emotional closeness as a result of our cooperation. I noticed that the more there were active child-centred, creative learning methods and collaboration the more joy they felt. ...
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