University studies in the adjacent tab: dimensions of students' agency and everyday life in the rural north of Finland

Maria Peltola, Teemu Suorsa, Education in the North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper focuses on the everyday life and agency of university students. The study aims to deepen the understanding of university students’ agency in the age of modern technology, especially in a rural context where studying mostly happens at home. Agency and everyday life are explored from a cultural-historical perspective. Technology and remote teaching have made it possible to study far from universities and to combine work, family and studies. Yet, everyday life and agency processes are complex and multidimensional. The research material consists of written descriptions by 39 university students of their everyday lives when studying at home. The students wrote about their lives as a part of their early childhood education studies. This article focuses on recognizing dimensions of agency in the lives of 17 students studying in northern rural Finland, far from their university. The article presents three ways in which agency is pursued: 1) by articulating participation and engagement, 2) by organizing the conditions and dealing with the possibilities and restrictions, and 3) by mapping meanings, aims and grounds. All three dimensions of agency have specific content relating to life in the rural north.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
Number of pages14
JournalEducation in the North
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • everyday life
  • early childhood education
  • northern Finland
  • remote studies
  • university studies

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