Koulunkäynninohjaaja perusopetukseen valmistavan opetuksen luokassa: koskettaminen ohjaamisen tukena

Teaching assistant in the preparatory classroom: touch episodes as scaffolding practices


  • Maria Ahlholm Helsingin yliopisto
  • Ulla Karvonen Helsingin yliopisto


alakoulu, kosketus, koulunkäynninohjaajat, valmistava opetus


The article presents a microethnographic study on touch episodes between teaching assistants and pupils in the context of immigrant students' preparatory classroom. The data consist of 16 classroom lessons, 45 minutes each, with 7–12-year-old participants, 4–7 pupils at a time. We calculated all touches, categorizing them by touch initiators, and classified various physical types of touch. In three vignettes, we outline how the teaching assistant implemented teacher's verbal instruction in verbal-tactile mode, made discreet tactile interventions to disturbing or passive students, and thus enabled the classroom dialogue to continue. The institutional roles of the teacher and the assistant are evident in their different ways of touching, rather than in their frequency: the teaching assistant's touch episodes were often long-lasting, or series of different touches, even with two hands, while the typical way for a teacher to touch was a light one-hand-touch on a pupil's shoulder.