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Educ. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Education Sciences in 2016
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/educsci7010014
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract The editors of Education Sciences would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial e-Vocabulary and e-Learning
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 34; doi:10.3390/educsci7010034
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
A vocabulary is a linguistic resource that helps manage, query and retrieve information and/or knowledge via words. If vocabularies are built and used in electronic format, they are referred as e-vocabularies. E-vocabularies have been used in Education to help teachers and students to,
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A vocabulary is a linguistic resource that helps manage, query and retrieve information and/or knowledge via words. If vocabularies are built and used in electronic format, they are referred as e-vocabularies. E-vocabularies have been used in Education to help teachers and students to, amongst many issues, (1) comprehend and relate the concepts and the objects of a given knowledge domain; (2) understand and learn languages, be they specialized or not; and (3) identify, describe and query knowledge and digital educational resources. Despite its utility, it is in this field where vocabularies seem to be less systematically developed, known, studied, analyzed, compared and/or linked. For this reason, we thought it was an opportunity to edit a dedicated volume with real experiences concerning the construction, use and evaluation of electronic vocabularies relating to education, and their application to the Internet and e-learning. The result is, finally, this Special Issue with five papers that represent part of the current state-of-the-art in the construction and use of e-vocabularies and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue e-Vocabularies and e-Learning)
Open AccessEditorial Multilingual Researchers Internationalizing Monolingual English-Only Education through Post-Monolingual Research Methodologies
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 29; doi:10.3390/educsci7010029
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
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Abstract
The argument advanced in this Special Issue of Education Sciences favors democratizing knowledge production and dissemination across the humanities and social sciences through the mainstreaming of multilingual researchers capabilities for theorizing using their full linguistic repertoire. An important contribution of the papers in
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The argument advanced in this Special Issue of Education Sciences favors democratizing knowledge production and dissemination across the humanities and social sciences through the mainstreaming of multilingual researchers capabilities for theorizing using their full linguistic repertoire. An important contribution of the papers in this Special Issue is the promise that post-monolingual research methodology holds for collaborative projects among multilingual and monolingual researchers that tap into intercultural divergences across languages. Together these papers give warrant to multilingual researchers, including Higher Degree Researchers develop their capabilities for theorizing using their full linguistic repertoire, an educational innovation that could be of immense benefit to scholars working predominantly monolingual universities. Through their thought provoking papers presented in this Special Issue, these researchers invites those working in the education sciences to seriously consider the potential benefits of multiplying the intellectual resources used for theorizing that is possible through activating, mobilizing and deploying researchers’ multilingual resources in knowledge production and dissemination. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Learning by Undoing, Democracy and Education, and John Dewey, the Colonial Traveler
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 20; doi:10.3390/educsci7010020
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
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Abstract
The centennial anniversary of John Dewey’s Democracy and Education has been celebrated this year in a reconstructive and utility-based spirit. The article considers this spirit and the need to complement it with a critical-deconstructive and ‘use-less’ prism that will reveal shortcomings in Dewey’s
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The centennial anniversary of John Dewey’s Democracy and Education has been celebrated this year in a reconstructive and utility-based spirit. The article considers this spirit and the need to complement it with a critical-deconstructive and ‘use-less’ prism that will reveal shortcomings in Dewey’s and our own political pedagogies. Gleanings from Dewey’s book allow us to begin with what most educational theorists today treat as strong points of Dewey’s politics and then to explore how such points appear or disappear when Dewey’s ideas travel and how they relate to colonial and developmentalist elements in Dewey’s pragmatism. The article reveals how such elements operate in one of Dewey’s educational policy writings and in his related travel narratives. The main aim of the article is to indicate that we often require a ‘learning by undoing’ to obtain a heightened view on the stakes and challenges of old and current progressive pedagogies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
Open AccessArticle Is Subjective Knowledge the Key to Fostering Sustainable Behavior? Mixed Evidence from an Education Intervention in Mexico
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 4; doi:10.3390/educsci7010004
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
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Abstract
Educational interventions are a promising way to shift individual behaviors towards Sustainability. Yet, as this research confirms, the standard fare of education, declarative knowledge, does not work. This study statistically analyzes the impact of an intervention designed and implemented in Mexico using the
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Educational interventions are a promising way to shift individual behaviors towards Sustainability. Yet, as this research confirms, the standard fare of education, declarative knowledge, does not work. This study statistically analyzes the impact of an intervention designed and implemented in Mexico using the Educating for Sustainability (EfS) framework which focuses on imparting procedural and subjective knowledge about waste through innovative pedagogy. Using data from three different rounds of surveys we were able to confirm (1) the importance of subjective and procedural knowledge for Sustainable behavior in a new context; (2) the effectiveness of the EfS framework and (3) the importance of changing subjective knowledge for changing behavior. While the impact was significant in the short term, one year later most if not all of those gains had evaporated. Interventions targeted at subjective knowledge will work, but more research is needed on how to make behavior change for Sustainability durable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
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Open AccessArticle Multimodal Languaging as a Pedagogical Model—A Case Study of the Concept of Division in School Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 9; doi:10.3390/educsci7010009
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to present a multimodal languaging model for mathematics education. The model consists of mathematical symbolic language, a pictorial language, and a natural language. By applying this model, the objective was to study how 4th grade pupils (
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The purpose of this study is to present a multimodal languaging model for mathematics education. The model consists of mathematical symbolic language, a pictorial language, and a natural language. By applying this model, the objective was to study how 4th grade pupils (N = 21) understand the concept of division. The data was collected over six hours of teaching sessions, during which the pupils expressed their mathematical thinking mainly by writing and drawing. Their productions, as well as questionnaire after the process, were analyzed qualitatively. The results show that, in expressing the mathematical problem in verbal form, most of the students saw it as a division into parts. It was evident from the pupils’ texts and drawings that the mathematical expression of subtraction could be interpreted in three different ways. It was found that the pupils enjoyed using writing in the solution of word problems, and it is suggested that the use of different modes in expressing mathematical thinking may both strengthen the learning of mathematical concepts and support the evaluation of learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Subject Teachers as Educators for Sustainability: A Survey Study
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 8; doi:10.3390/educsci7010008
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 18 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability education (SE) is included in school curricula to integrate the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development (SD) into all education. This study investigates lower secondary school subject teachers as educators for sustainability. A survey was used to study the perceptions of
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Sustainability education (SE) is included in school curricula to integrate the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development (SD) into all education. This study investigates lower secondary school subject teachers as educators for sustainability. A survey was used to study the perceptions of 442 subject teachers from 49 schools in Finland. There were significant differences between the subject teachers’ perceptions of their SE competence, and the frequency with which they used different dimensions of SE (ecological, economic, social, well-being, cultural) in their teaching varied. Teachers’ age had a small effect, but gender, school, and its residential location were nonsignificant factors. Teachers could be roughly classified into three different subgroups according to their perceptions of the role of SE in their teaching; those who considered three SE dimensions rather often and used holistic sustainability approaches in their teaching (biology, geography, history); those who considered two or three dimensions often but were not active in holistic teaching (mother tongue, religion, visual arts, crafts, music, physical and health education, and home economics) and those who used one SE dimension or consider only one holistic approach in their teaching (mathematics, physics, chemistry and language). Subject teachers’ awareness of their SE competence is important to encourage them to plan and implement discipline-based and interdisciplinary SE in their teaching. The specific SE expertise of subject teachers should be taken into account in teacher training and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Religious Education towards Justice: What Kind of Justice Is to Be Taught in a Christian Context?
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 30; doi:10.3390/educsci7010030
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
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Abstract
Education is a human right. It prepares human beings for life, helps to develop individual abilities and opens up social opportunities—e.g., earning one’s own living. Religion interprets our human existence in connection to a transcendental dimension. Religion can also influence moral values and
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Education is a human right. It prepares human beings for life, helps to develop individual abilities and opens up social opportunities—e.g., earning one’s own living. Religion interprets our human existence in connection to a transcendental dimension. Religion can also influence moral values and behavior. The Christian religion established a basis for social life, and thus deals with religious and moral justice. As the Christian faith is understood as the identity of the qualities of love of God, of your neighbor and even of your enemy, it has to look for justice in the world. Modern Christian ethics does unfold interpersonal and global justice for all people and tries to give good reasons for moral claims. Religious education in a Christian context has to answer the question of what kind of justice is to be taught and by what means justice, as a goal of education, can be reached within such a setting. This article will unfold, from an ethical point of view, what kind of knowledge and competence teachers must have and what kind of goals can be followed with regard to their pupils or students. The results of this reflection imply certain pedagogical methods and means and exclude others—although it is not possible to go more deeply into a pedagogical discussion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Justice)
Open AccessArticle How the Mastery Rubric for Statistical Literacy Can Generate Actionable Evidence about Statistical and Quantitative Learning Outcomes
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 3; doi:10.3390/educsci7010003
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
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Abstract
Statistical literacy is essential to an informed citizenry; and two emerging trends highlight a growing need for training that achieves this literacy. The first trend is towards “big” data: while automated analyses can exploit massive amounts of data, the interpretation—and possibly more importantly,
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Statistical literacy is essential to an informed citizenry; and two emerging trends highlight a growing need for training that achieves this literacy. The first trend is towards “big” data: while automated analyses can exploit massive amounts of data, the interpretation—and possibly more importantly, the replication—of results are challenging without adequate statistical literacy. The second trend is that science and scientific publishing are struggling with insufficient/inappropriate statistical reasoning in writing, reviewing, and editing. This paper describes a model for statistical literacy (SL) and its development that can support modern scientific practice. An established curriculum development and evaluation tool—the Mastery Rubric—is integrated with a new, developmental, model of statistical literacy that reflects the complexity of reasoning and habits of mind that scientists need to cultivate in order to recognize, choose, and interpret statistical methods. This developmental model provides actionable evidence, and explicit opportunities for consequential assessment that serves students, instructors, developers/reviewers/accreditors of a curriculum, and institutions. By supporting the enrichment, rather than increasing the amount, of statistical training in the basic and life sciences, this approach supports curriculum development, evaluation, and delivery to promote statistical literacy for students and a collective quantitative proficiency more broadly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consequential Assessment of Student Learning)
Open AccessArticle Democracy and Bildung/Erziehung—Towards a Universal Theory of Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/educsci7010005
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 17 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
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Abstract
Dewey’s Democracy and Education is re-read as an attempt to develop a universal theory of education that, on the one hand, gives the broadest, most general view on education and, on the other hand, contextualizes every observation by binding it to the assumed
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Dewey’s Democracy and Education is re-read as an attempt to develop a universal theory of education that, on the one hand, gives the broadest, most general view on education and, on the other hand, contextualizes every observation by binding it to the assumed perspective. Dewey’s broad concept of education encompasses two dimensions that in the German discourse are usually connected to the distinction of Erziehung and Bildung. In its first dimension, it avoids a widespread “scholastic” view of education by focusing not only on formal but also on informal education. In its second dimension, it also avoids a widespread individualistic view on education by referring not only to growth of the individual, but also to growth of the social setting (democracy) on the whole. This outlook allows for investigating and reflecting any subject matter with respect to its educational aspects—including the process of theorizing itself. This reflective turn of theorizing education has consequences for the understanding of education as an academic field. A universal theory of education is at odds both with a disciplinary approach and the idea of education as an applied field for foundational disciplines. At the same time, it has the potential to reconnect to both configurations of the academic field if these configurations are understood slightly different than today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
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Open AccessArticle Teaching for Justice in a Contradictory World
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/educsci7010010
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
School today is caught in the dilemma of being expected to educate young people so that they can be integrated into modern industrial society. Because of structural injustices in society, not all students have equal chances in this integration process. Education in school
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School today is caught in the dilemma of being expected to educate young people so that they can be integrated into modern industrial society. Because of structural injustices in society, not all students have equal chances in this integration process. Education in school is also expected to impart proficiency in skills which go beyond the functional skills which a productive society needs. These softer skills can threaten the aims of modern society because they have the potential to question its underlying rationale. Young people learn these skills in their everyday lives with their peers outside of school. They form part of the cultural wealth which students bring with them to school. It is up to school to draw on this cultural wealth of students and to foster the various forms of cultural capital contained therein so that students learn not to be victims of a one-sided schooling which reproduces those injustices that pervade modern society by placing excess value on cultural assets which are favored by dominant groups in society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Justice)
Open AccessArticle Networking Theories on Giftedness—What We Can Learn from Synthesizing Renzulli’s Domain General and Krutetskii’s Mathematics-Specific Theory
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/educsci7010006
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
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Abstract
Giftedness is an increasingly important research topic in educational sciences and mathematics education in particular. In this paper, we contribute to further theorizing mathematical giftedness through illustrating how networking processes can be conducted and illustrating their potential benefits. The paper focuses on two
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Giftedness is an increasingly important research topic in educational sciences and mathematics education in particular. In this paper, we contribute to further theorizing mathematical giftedness through illustrating how networking processes can be conducted and illustrating their potential benefits. The paper focuses on two theories: Renzulli’s domain-general theory on giftedness as an interplay of creativity, above-average ability, and task commitment; and Krutetskii’s mathematics-specific theory on gifted students’ abilities. In a “proof of concept”, we illustrate how the abilities offered in Krutetskii’s theory can be mapped to the three traits described by Renzulli. This is realized through a mapping process in which two raters independently mapped the abilities offered by Krutetskii to Renzulli’s traits. The results of this mapping give first insights into (a) possible mappings of Krutetskii’s abilities to Renzulli’s traits and, thus, (b) a possible domain-specific specification of Renzulli’s theory. This mapping hints at interesting potential phenomena: in Krutetskii’s theory, above-average ability appears to be the trait that predominantly is addressed, whereas creativity and especially task-commitment seem less represented. Our mapping demonstrates what a mathematics-specific specification of Renzulli’s theory can look like. Finally, we elaborate on the consequences of our findings, restrictions of our methodology, and on possible future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gifted and Talented and Creativity Research)
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Open AccessArticle Evidence of Sustainable Learning from the Mastery Rubric for Ethical Reasoning
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/educsci7010002
Received: 8 July 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
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Abstract
Interest in sustainable learning has been growing over the past 20 years but it has never been determined whether students—whose learning we are trying to sustain—can perceive either the sustainability of their learning or any of the features of this construct. A four-item
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Interest in sustainable learning has been growing over the past 20 years but it has never been determined whether students—whose learning we are trying to sustain—can perceive either the sustainability of their learning or any of the features of this construct. A four-item survey was developed based on a published definition of “sustainable learning”, and was sent to the 12 graduate students who have completed a new seminar in ethical reasoning. A thematic analysis of the narrative responses was submitted to a degrees-of-freedom analysis to determine the level and type of evidence for student perception of sustainability. Respondents (n = 9) endorsed each of the four dimensions of sustainable learning—and each gave examples for each dimension outside of, and after the end of, the course. One respondent endorsed all dimensions of sustainable learning, but was uncertain whether the course itself led to one particular sustainability dimension. While these results must be considered preliminary because our sample is small and the survey is the first of its kind, they suggest that graduate students can and do perceive each of the four features of sustainability. The survey needs refinement for future/wider use; but this four-dimensional definition could be useful to develop and promote (and assess) sustainable learning in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consequential Assessment of Student Learning)
Open AccessArticle With Socrates on Your Heels and Descartes in Your Hand: On the Notion of Conflict in John Dewey’s Democracy and Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 7; doi:10.3390/educsci7010007
Received: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 3 January 2017
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Abstract
This paper is about the notion of conflict in the work of John Dewey. Special attention is given to Democracy and Education (1916) because of its centennial and its acclaimed status of “magnum opus”. After depicting “conflicts as gadflies” that stir thinking—reflection and
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This paper is about the notion of conflict in the work of John Dewey. Special attention is given to Democracy and Education (1916) because of its centennial and its acclaimed status of “magnum opus”. After depicting “conflicts as gadflies” that stir thinking—reflection and ingenuity—and relating it to Socrates, in particular, we present a definition of conflict that guides our research. From then on a detailed analysis is carried out on the different notions of conflict in Democracy and Education. It is concluded that Dewey spends considerable attention to the place of conflict in education in Democracy and Education. We identified 14 distinct references to conflict. The notions range from conflicts between traditional and modern education, retrospective and prospective aims of education, the conflict between closing off and opening up of education, social and national aims of education, conflicts between certain knowledge and thinking, between ready-made and problem-posing education, between holding to customs and tradition or aiming at social change, between easy to chew education or allowing to make mistakes, between researching contrary beliefs or following proclaimed truth, conflicts between individual aims or the aim of society, and vocational versus intellectual education. Conflicts are conditional for “reflection and ingenuity” is Dewey’s most iconic conception of conflicts. Conflicts challenge thought by questioning and doubting certain knowledge. The act involves a risk. We ask two questions at the end of this paper. The first is about the nature of contradictions and the second is about the use of conflicts in education. We propose that Dewey was too engaged in resolving contradictions and dualism to understand the positive, constructive, and conditional nature of conflicts for education. We need our opponents to grow and we suggest that we probably do not use them enough in education. Concerning the practical use of conflicts in education, Dewey expects a lot from dialogical cooperation and communication which will bring agreement and certainty. Dewey does not engage in confronting power, though he has a clear view on injustice in society, neither does he give prolific directions for including conflicts as a teaching method in education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
Open AccessArticle Educational Justice Due to More Education? Requests for a Solution Strategy
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 21; doi:10.3390/educsci7010021
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
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Abstract
Why does education fail to realize educational justice? Why does religious education not play a part in contributing to educational justice to some degree, as it is technically located in the logic of its handed down biblical message? On the one hand, education
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Why does education fail to realize educational justice? Why does religious education not play a part in contributing to educational justice to some degree, as it is technically located in the logic of its handed down biblical message? On the one hand, education is socially testified as being at a crucial moment of educational justice, on the other hand, it is not only political and institutional determinants that seem to be opposed to that. In class, there are moments that counteract the abolition of educational injustice. Because of its complexity, confinement of interest and inner differentiation, the pressing problem of injustice in educational processes can only be processed in the complex access at the macro-, meso- and micro-level. The concern of the thoughts at hand is on their interpenetration of analytical, hermeneutical and pragmatical factors and, in that respect, we look to outline the demands on religious educational processes in religious education in schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Justice)
Open AccessArticle Realizing a Democratic Community of Teachers: John Dewey and the Idea of a Science of Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 11; doi:10.3390/educsci7010011
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, I make the case that John Dewey’s philosophy of education aims to bring about a democratic community of teachers capable of creating a science of teaching. To make this case, I will do a three things. First, I will discuss
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In this paper, I make the case that John Dewey’s philosophy of education aims to bring about a democratic community of teachers capable of creating a science of teaching. To make this case, I will do a three things. First, I will discuss Sources of a Science of Education and argue that this work is deeply connected to a work written at about the same time, Individualism Old and New. As I will show, the creation of a science of education is a complex endeavor that is premised on an ability to create a democratic community that reconstructs outmoded notions of individuality. Second, I will argue that the position put forward most directly in these later works is not a deviation from Dewey’s overall educational philosophy by offering a reading Democracy and Education. I will argue that Dewey’s thinking on a science of education is held nascent within Democracy and Education, especially in his discussion of individualism and democracy. Finally, I will assess whether and how current work in teacher education is consonant with Dewey’s philosophical project, and draw out implications for philosophers of education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
Open AccessArticle High Performance Education Fails in Sustainability? —A Reflection on Finnish Primary Teacher Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 32; doi:10.3390/educsci7010032
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability is internationally often emphasized as an essential aim of higher education, but more as a principle than on the practical level. This is also obvious in the academic education of primary teachers in Finland. Therefore, it is a great challenge for Finnish
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Sustainability is internationally often emphasized as an essential aim of higher education, but more as a principle than on the practical level. This is also obvious in the academic education of primary teachers in Finland. Therefore, it is a great challenge for Finnish teachers to include sustainability in their teaching and everyday life in schools. The aim of this article is to critically analyze why the implementation of sustainability in teacher education is so intricate and to discuss possible solutions with Finland—a country highly valued for its education—as an example. The article reports outcomes from educational policy documents and research on educational, philosophical, scientific and social aspects of sustainability, including evaluation of how sustainability has been implemented in schools and at universities, especially among teacher educators. In addition, the article builds on analyses of comprehensive university strategies and primary school teacher education programs. We found these reasons for the ignoring of sustainability in the Finnish teacher education: sustainability is in conflict with overall trends in society and politics, teacher education takes place at universities and is based on separate academic disciplines. Sustainability is also intricate because it is strongly connected to ecological literacy and it is value dependent. Universities need to overcome these obstacles and become forerunners in the sustainability process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Debating the Capabilities of “Chinese Students” for Thinking Critically in Anglophone Universities
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 22; doi:10.3390/educsci7010022
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
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Abstract
There are media and research reports of international students from the People’s Republic of China as being deficient in the capabilities for thinking critically. This paper argues for a shift in the frame for researching their critical thinking, moving the focus from the
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There are media and research reports of international students from the People’s Republic of China as being deficient in the capabilities for thinking critically. This paper argues for a shift in the frame for researching their critical thinking, moving the focus from the ethno-national label of “Chinese students” to “multilingual students” and their full linguistic repertoire. This opens up possibilities for exploring definitions of modes of critical thinking in Zhongwen (the official language of China) and English, and the importance of critical thinking in higher education in Australia, China and elsewhere. Attention then turns to constructions of “Chinese students” as uncritical, with explanations for their learning deficit including poor English language proficiency, lack of relevant knowledge, inappropriate assessment and deficiencies in China’s educational system. This paper concludes by suggesting research into post-monolingual education may find a theoretic-pedagogical framework that sees multilingual students use their full linguistic repertoire to develop modes of critical thinking while dealing with the tensions posed by English-only monolingual education. Full article
Open AccessArticle Divergence of Languages as Resources for Theorizing
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 23; doi:10.3390/educsci7010023
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper investigates the potential of conceptual divergences within and between languages for providing intellectual resources for theorizing. Specifically, it explores the role of multilingual researchers in using the possibilities of the plurality of intellectual cultures and languages they have access to for
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This paper investigates the potential of conceptual divergences within and between languages for providing intellectual resources for theorizing. Specifically, it explores the role of multilingual researchers in using the possibilities of the plurality of intellectual cultures and languages they have access to for theorizing International Service Learning (ISL). In doing so, this investigation of conceptual divergence within/between languages shows how it is possible for multilingual researchers to extend their capabilities for theorizing; to bring forward possibilities for theorizing ISL in languages other than English; and to potentially bring new perspectives to a field of enquiry which lays claim to being “international”. The process of developing the capability for theorizing begins by exploring the divergence in languages of key concepts. In this instance, the analysis focuses on the English concept of “service learning” which is rendered in Tiếng Việt (i.e., Vietnamese language) as học tập phục vụ cộng đồng. The analysis of the conceptual divergence represented by these Tiếng Việt concepts opens up insights into ways of developing the capabilities that multilingual researchers have for theorizing. In effect, this paper contributes to the knowledge about the options multilingual researchers have for using their full linguistic repertoire for the purpose of theorizing. The study has significant implications for multilingual education, multilingual research and theorizing ISL in universities which privilege English-only monolingualism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle When Legitimacy Shapes Environmentally Responsible Behaviors: Considering Exposure to University Sustainability Initiatives
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 13; doi:10.3390/educsci7010013
Received: 9 October 2016 / Revised: 2 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
This study examines how perceptions of the legitimacy of university sustainability efforts—support by the administration (authorization) or from students’ peers (endorsement)—as well as the physical context in which students live, matter in shaping students’ environmentally responsible behaviors (ERBs). Using survey data collected from
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This study examines how perceptions of the legitimacy of university sustainability efforts—support by the administration (authorization) or from students’ peers (endorsement)—as well as the physical context in which students live, matter in shaping students’ environmentally responsible behaviors (ERBs). Using survey data collected from fourth-year students at a university in the Southeastern US, we employ Seeming Unrelated Regression to analyze the impact of perceived legitimacy and context on recycling and conservation behaviors, controlling for demographic characteristics, pro-environmental attitudes, and environmental identity. Our findings indicate that students’ perceptions of what university administrators support affect the likelihood of students to enact recycling and conservation behaviors, and peer support influences conservation behaviors. This research contributes to the literature on legitimacy by examining how legitimacy processes work in natural, rather than experimental, settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
Open AccessArticle A Dui Hua (对话) Standpoint to Multilingual Educational Theorizing
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 24; doi:10.3390/educsci7010024
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 31 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
New forms of intellectual inequality have become evident with the internationalisation of higher degree researchers (HDRs) education, in particular theoretical dominance and dependency. However, the linguistically and theoretically based inequalities associated with local/global currents of standardized monolingual English HDRs education are gradually opening
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New forms of intellectual inequality have become evident with the internationalisation of higher degree researchers (HDRs) education, in particular theoretical dominance and dependency. However, the linguistically and theoretically based inequalities associated with local/global currents of standardized monolingual English HDRs education are gradually opening up to scholarly debates. In the field of education, bilingual HDRs have the potential disposition, and some have the capabilities for multilingual theorizing. Some make use of their knowledge of more than one language to extend the possibilities for theorizing educational phenomena or otherwise naming and making sense of problems. This multilingual theorizing may provide another path to transform the problems with uniformized, Anglophone HDRs education. With this concern, this paper reconsiders the universalisation of Euro-American theories through their embodiment in monolingual English in HDR education. A Dui Hua (对话) standpoint to other languages and theoretical knowledge is outlined and debated to highlight the divergences of languages and thoughts. Thus this paper probes into the possibilities of multilingual educational theorizing, whereby bilingual HDRs generate original conceptual tools that benefit the wider educational research community. Full article
Open AccessArticle Critical Consciousness and Schooling: The Impact of the Community as a Classroom Program on Academic Indicators
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 25; doi:10.3390/educsci7010025
Received: 22 July 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
The present study investigates the extent to which a program guided by the principles of critical pedagogy, which seeks to develop critical consciousness, is associated with the improved academic performance of students attending a low-performance middle-school in Buffalo, New York. The students were
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The present study investigates the extent to which a program guided by the principles of critical pedagogy, which seeks to develop critical consciousness, is associated with the improved academic performance of students attending a low-performance middle-school in Buffalo, New York. The students were enrolled in an in-school academic support program called the Community as Classroom, which used critical project-based learning to show students how to improve neighborhood conditions. The study found that the Community as Classroom program bolstered student engagement as reflected in improved attendance, on-time-arrival at school, and reduced suspensions. Although class grades did not improve, standardized scores, particularly in Math and Science, dramatically improved for these students from the lowest scoring categories. We suspect that given increased student engagement and dramatically improved standardized test scores, teacher bias might be the cause of no improvements in class grades. We conclude that critical pedagogy, which leads to increased critical consciousness, is a tool that can lead to improved academic performance of students. Such a pedagogy, we argue, should be more widely used in public schools, with a particular emphasis on their deployment in Community Schools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Learning and Living Overseas: Exploring Factors that Influence Meaningful Learning and Assimilation: How International Students Adjust to Studying in the UK from a Socio-Cultural Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 35; doi:10.3390/educsci7010035
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
There is a considerable amount of research investigating students’ transition from college to university but it is important this focus is directed specifically towards the transition of international students, as the difficulties they face are profound. The literature surrounding international students seems to
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There is a considerable amount of research investigating students’ transition from college to university but it is important this focus is directed specifically towards the transition of international students, as the difficulties they face are profound. The literature surrounding international students seems to lack an in-depth understanding of how multiple contextual factors influence how students adjust to Higher Education. Therefore, the present study utilizes Bronfenbrenner’s (2009) ecological theory of human development in order to understand both immediate and distal environmental influences and how they interact to impact on the individual’s development from a holistic perspective. Five international students participated in a time line interview. Findings suggest that international students face a number of challenges when transitioning from their home country to study in higher education in the UK, particularly in the areas of language competence; cultural assimilation and social relationships. This in turn prevented meaningful learning occurring. Applying Bronfenbrenner’s theory, the participants’ broader environment was analysed, which encouraged an examination of the challenges they faced which regards to cultural influences, government influences and university policies, as well as influences from within their immediate environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consequential Assessment of Student Learning)
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Open AccessArticle Sàng khôn as A Theorizing Tool in Mobility Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 26; doi:10.3390/educsci7010026
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
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Abstract
The current virtual and physical mobility of humans, ideas, knowledge and epistemologies has major implications for education, especially in settings where English is seen as the default medium of instruction. While diversity is inherent in mobility, English-only pedagogy is a denial of the
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The current virtual and physical mobility of humans, ideas, knowledge and epistemologies has major implications for education, especially in settings where English is seen as the default medium of instruction. While diversity is inherent in mobility, English-only pedagogy is a denial of the richness and potential of diverse resources learners bring with them through their mobility. This paper reports a philosophical stance and pedagogical practices employed by a lecturer in English language education at an Australian university. It argues that students’ full linguistic resources and epistemologies, known as sàng khôn, contribute to their agency and can be used as tools to theorise new knowledge in the context of their mobility education. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dewey on Seriousness, Playfulness and the Role of the Teacher
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 16; doi:10.3390/educsci7010016
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
The chapter that John Dewey dedicates to consideration of play and work in the curriculum in Democracy and Education echoes his thoughts on the same subject in How We Think, which preceded Democracy and Education by six years. Dewey closes How We
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The chapter that John Dewey dedicates to consideration of play and work in the curriculum in Democracy and Education echoes his thoughts on the same subject in How We Think, which preceded Democracy and Education by six years. Dewey closes How We Think with a more expansive treatment of the topic and is keen not only to recast the traditional dichotomy of work and play as distinct kinds of educational activity but to challenge the hierarchical status of the accompanying mental states of seriousness and playfulness. Dewey argues that a combination of playfulness and seriousness represents the ideal mental attitude of the artist: teaching is an art, therefore the teacher is an artist and the ideal mental attitude of the teacher to his or work combines the playful and the serious. It is the task of the teacher to inculcate such habits of mind in his or her students for whom it is implicitly the ideal mental state for learning. It is in the light of this that we should understand what characterises play and work as features of educational activity. Consideration of what Dewey meant is accompanied by an example from contemporary educational practice intended to illustrate Dewey’s sense of purposeful activity in which a playful approach creates the kind of embodied experience that will help students to achieve desired educational outcomes. This will lead to reflection on how the role of the teacher as an artist might be conceived, resisting both the temptation towards an instrumental characterisation of playfulness derived from the application of discoveries in cognitive science to classroom practice and goal-directed notions of seriousness. I will argue that alongside the conventional classroom skills of the teacher, what is required is an authentic presence that is attuned to the nature of what is being taught, together with a concern for the outcomes to be achieved. Such an attunement would allow for playfulness and humour as well as seriousness. It is an attunement between both the individual and others in mutuality and with him or herself. These thoughts will be developed via extended reflection upon two scenes from Alan Bennett’s The History Boys (2006). These scenes draw attention to the importance of conversation for both the teacher/student relationship and as a medium for playful and serious exploration of academic content. If we only think of the Deweyan attitude of the artist in an impersonal sense then the kind of seriousness that is internal to the personal expression of claims about art, ethics, morality, politics, even history, remains unheard, at least in an educational context. It is to this that I turn through consideration of conversation and mutuality in the work of Stanley Cavell via Michael Oakeshott’s observations about seriousness and playfulness in conversation and further comments offered by Paul Standish on what it means to say something. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
Open AccessArticle Learning Economics and Attitudes to Market Solutions to Environmental Problems
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 36; doi:10.3390/educsci7010036
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Climate change challenges governments to reduce emissions, and to gain support for such actions from their citizens. This can be in the form of taxation or legislation, or other forms of government interventions. In previous research, several instruments have been developed to capture
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Climate change challenges governments to reduce emissions, and to gain support for such actions from their citizens. This can be in the form of taxation or legislation, or other forms of government interventions. In previous research, several instruments have been developed to capture attitudes towards the roles of markets and governments in the economy. Some of these instruments have assumed that respondents will have the same attitude towards the role of markets and governments, regardless of the context (e.g., welfare, environment, health) or the form of government intervention (law, taxation, subsidy, spending etc.). However, these studies have not examined attitudes towards, or belief in, the efficacy of government intervention in markets, through microeconomic policies on taxation (e.g., duties levied on particular products) or subsidies. This paper reports on the results of taking such a specific focus, that is, investigating economics students’ knowledge of, and attitudes towards, government interventions in markets, specifically addressing the problem of climate change. We make use of unique, two-wave longitudinal data from Swedish university students. The data were collected during their initial semester at the university. The first data collection was performed at the beginning of the semester, August/September 2014, and the second wave of data collection was performed in December/January 2014/2015, at the end of the semester. We were able to match 414 students between the first and second survey. The results show that students of economics change their policy attitudes and become more knowledgeable in economics. After one semester, they are more likely to think of economic instruments/incentives (taxes and subsidies) as good and efficient policy instruments, and less likely to think that other instruments (regulation and information) are good and efficient policy instruments. However, further analyses show that knowledgeable students do not have different attitudes toward environmental policy instruments, compared to students who do not answer the questions correctly. Hence, there seems to be some other factor affecting students in economics during their first semester, that changes their attitudes towards environmental policy instruments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
Open AccessArticle Perceptions of Digital Competency among Student Teachers: Contributing to the Development of Student Teachers’ Instructional Self-Efficacy in Technology-Rich Classrooms
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 27; doi:10.3390/educsci7010027
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
Adequate self-efficacy is useful for motivating individuals to engage in continued improvement. This study explores the potential antecedents of instructional self-efficacy beliefs among Norwegian student teachers attending a programme for secondary school teachers. The most important finding was the strong association between the
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Adequate self-efficacy is useful for motivating individuals to engage in continued improvement. This study explores the potential antecedents of instructional self-efficacy beliefs among Norwegian student teachers attending a programme for secondary school teachers. The most important finding was the strong association between the student teachers’ perceptions of digital competency to resolve challenges relating to information and communication technology (ICT) in schools and their instructional self-efficacy, which was explored via two dimensions: (1) self-efficacy for maintaining discipline and (2) self-efficacy for influencing students’ use of ICT in the service of learning. Implications for practice are discussed. We argue that digital competency among student teachers is important for sustaining instructional self-efficacy in technology-rich classrooms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Influence of Nature Relatedness and Perceived Science Knowledge on Proenvironmental Behavior
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 17; doi:10.3390/educsci7010017
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 2 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
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Abstract
This study was undertaken to investigate the factors influencing proenvironmental behavior of individuals residing in the Northern Rocky Mountains (N = 267). Measures of relatedness to nature and perceived science knowledge were collected through a convenience sample approach using multiple avenues such
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This study was undertaken to investigate the factors influencing proenvironmental behavior of individuals residing in the Northern Rocky Mountains (N = 267). Measures of relatedness to nature and perceived science knowledge were collected through a convenience sample approach using multiple avenues such as city email lists, organizational newsletters, and social media channels. Analysis of the data was conducted using both partial least squares and covariance based structural equation modeling to explore the relationships between the constructs. Additionally, qualitative definitions of proenvironmental behavior were investigated in order to address potential gaps between self-reported and observed behaviors. Quantitative findings show a renewed positive connection between science education, nature relatedness, and proenvironmental behaviors. Furthermore, qualitative findings suggest positive relationships between how publicly people are willing to share their passion for the outdoors and their willingness to engage in proenvironmental behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
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Open AccessArticle Variations of Reasoning in Equal Sharing of Children Who Experience Low Achievement in Mathematics: Competence in Context
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 37; doi:10.3390/educsci7010037
Received: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
For children with persistent mathematics difficulties, research and practice espouses that an altered kind of mathematics instruction is necessary due to sustained performance differences. Yet, a critical issue in mathematics education rests in the question of why research locates the problem within these
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For children with persistent mathematics difficulties, research and practice espouses that an altered kind of mathematics instruction is necessary due to sustained performance differences. Yet, a critical issue in mathematics education rests in the question of why research locates the problem within these children. In this paper, we challenge a longstanding assumption about the type of mathematics children with low achievement in mathematics “need” along with how these children are positioned in terms of mathematical thinking and reasoning. Our aim in this work is to identify ways of reasoning evident in the partitioning activity of 43 fifth-grade children as they solved equal sharing situations independent of instruction over ten sessions. Results reveal three themes of reasoning that show a resemblance between these children’s reasoning and existing frameworks of reasoning in equal sharing problems found in prior research among children who did not show low achievement in mathematics. We discuss the results in terms of the problem of a continued conceptualization of low achieving students’ need for specific kinds of teaching and learning experiences and/or detached instructional experiences in school. We advocate for an increase in research that examines how teachers can support participation of these children in mathematics classrooms such that children might develop powerful mathematics conceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues in Mathematics Education)
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Open AccessArticle An On-Campus Botanical Tour to Promote Student Satisfaction and Learning in a University Level Biodiversity or General Biology Course
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 18; doi:10.3390/educsci7010018
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
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Abstract
Outdoor, hands-on and experiential learning, as opposed to instruction-based learning in classroom, increases student satisfaction and motivation leading to a deeper understanding of the subject. However, the use of outdoor exercises in undergraduate biology courses is declining due to a variety of constraints.
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Outdoor, hands-on and experiential learning, as opposed to instruction-based learning in classroom, increases student satisfaction and motivation leading to a deeper understanding of the subject. However, the use of outdoor exercises in undergraduate biology courses is declining due to a variety of constraints. Thus, the goal of this paper is to describe a convenient, no-cost and flexible exercise using an on-campus botanical tour for strengthening specific knowledge areas of major plant groups. Its assessment on conduct and coverage, and student-perceived and actual knowledge gain is also described. Data presented derived from traditional biology undergraduates in sophomore year over nine fall and three spring semesters. Conduct and coverage was assessed using a summative survey including open-ended questions administered to 198 students. A pre- and post-exercise survey addressing 10 knowledge categories was administered to 139 students to evaluate student-perceived knowledge gain. Quiz grades from the on-campus tour exercise were compared with average quiz grades from two in-class plant-related labs of 234 students to assess actual knowledge gain. Each student reporting on the conduct and coverage indicated either one or a combination of outcomes of the exercise as positive engagement, experiential learning, or of interest. Student-perceived improvement was evident in all ten knowledge categories with a greater improvement in categories learned anew during exercise compared to subjects reviewed. Quiz grades from the exercise were >11% greater than quiz grades from the two in-class plant-related labs. Active learning with interest likely contributed to the increased perceived and actual knowledge gains. Suggestions for adoption of the exercise in different settings are presented based on both student comments and instructor’s experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Universities and Epistemology: From a Dissolution of Knowledge to the Emergence of a New Thinking
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 38; doi:10.3390/educsci7010038
Received: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines the relation between epistemology and higher education. We shall start by briefly examining three classical texts on the understanding of knowledge at universities, as well as noting some others, and go on to sketch a version of our own. Our
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This paper examines the relation between epistemology and higher education. We shall start by briefly examining three classical texts on the understanding of knowledge at universities, as well as noting some others, and go on to sketch a version of our own. Our argument is as follows: the world is such that the relationship between the university and knowledge remains fundamental but that it needs to be reconceptualised. In particular, the 21st century is seeing the emergence of digital reason, which could be said to be a form of non-reason. It may appear, therefore, that we are witnessing the dissolution or severing of the relationship between the university, on the one hand, and knowledge and truth on the other hand. To the contrary, we argue for what we term an ecological perspective on knowledge, with the concept of ecology being treated in the most generous way, partly as a way of rethinking the university into the future. The idea of knowledge as a defining concept of the university still has mileage in it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epistemology and Education)
Open AccessArticle Post-Monolingual Research Methodology: Multilingual Researchers Democratizing Theorizing and Doctoral Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 28; doi:10.3390/educsci7010028
Received: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper reports on the ground-breaking research in the study of languages in doctoral education. It argues for democratizing the production and dissemination of original contributions to knowledge through activating and mobilizing multilingual Higher Degree Researchers’ (HDRs) capabilities for theorizing through them using
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This paper reports on the ground-breaking research in the study of languages in doctoral education. It argues for democratizing the production and dissemination of original contributions to knowledge through activating and mobilizing multilingual Higher Degree Researchers’ (HDRs) capabilities for theorizing through them using their full linguistic repertoire. This paper contributes to this study’s development of post-monolingual research methodology which provides a theoretic-pedagogical framework for multilingual HDRs (a) to use their full linguistic repertoire in their research; (b) to develop their capabilities for theorizing and (c) to construct potentially valuable theoretical tools using metaphors, images, concepts and modes of critique. This paper is based on a longitudinal program of collaborative research whereby monolingual Anglophone and multilingual HDRs jointly developed their capabilities for theorizing through producing Anglo-Chinese analytical tools, and the associated pedagogies for using their languages in doctoral research. This longitudinal research program has been undertaken in the field of doctoral education to further a defining feature of democracy, namely linguistic diversity. This research has been conducted with the aims of promoting the multilingualism of Australian universities and activating linguistic communities of scholars to use their full linguistic repertoire in their research. The main finding arising from this program of research has been the development of post-monolingual research methodology which (a) uses the divergences within and between languages to undertake theorizing and (b) in co-existence with the tensions posed by monolingualism, especially the insistence on using extant theories available in only one language. Doctoral pedagogies of intellectual/racial equality provide multilingual HDRs with insights into the debates about the geopolitics governing the use of languages in the production and dissemination of theoretical knowledge and the capabilities for theorizing. Often, from an English-only monolingual mindset, difference and divergence are seen as a recipe for deficits and dissonance. However, this paper challenges such mistaken beliefs by showing that multilingual HDRs can deepen and extend their capabilities for theorizing by using their own linguistic repertoires. Post-monolingual research methodology is to be of enormous benefit to multilingual researchers and scholars engaged in intellectual labor in predominantly English-only monolingual universities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trans-Cultural, Trans-Language Practices: Potentialities for Rethinking Doctoral Education Pedagogies
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 19; doi:10.3390/educsci7010019
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
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Abstract
Over the last decade, there has been a rapid increase in doctoral enrolments of Asian international students in Australian universities. While policies have been developed to meet the needs of these students, there seems to be some confusion around the terms internationalisation, globalisation,
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Over the last decade, there has been a rapid increase in doctoral enrolments of Asian international students in Australian universities. While policies have been developed to meet the needs of these students, there seems to be some confusion around the terms internationalisation, globalisation, bi-cultural, inter-cultural, multi-cultural, and trans-cultural within these policies. In this paper, we define these terms and advocate for a policy position which orients to a futurist definition of culture. We then review the work of Michael Singh and his research team at Western Sydney University who have responded to this rapid increase in Asian international student doctoral enrolments in Australian universities by developing pedagogic principles around notions of trans-language and trans-cultural practices. In the final section of the paper, we then draw on our own experiences of doctoral supervision in Australian universities to reflect on our positioning within the pedagogic principles around trans-language and trans-cultural practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle Beyond Interpersonal Competence: Teaching and Learning Professional Skills in Sustainability
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 39; doi:10.3390/educsci7010039
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement, among others. These professional skills extend beyond content knowledge and methodical expertise. Current
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Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement, among others. These professional skills extend beyond content knowledge and methodical expertise. Current sustainability programs do not sufficiently facilitate students’ acquisition of such skills. This article presents a brief summary of professional skills, synthesized from the literature, and why they are relevant for sustainability professionals. Second, it presents how these skills have been taught in an undergraduate course in sustainability at Arizona State University, USA. Third, it critically discusses the effectiveness and challenges of that exemplary course. Finally, the article concludes with outlining the lessons learned that should be incorporated into future course offerings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
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Open AccessReview Techno-Mathematical Discourse: A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Classroom Discussions
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 40; doi:10.3390/educsci7010040
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
Extensive research has been published on the nature of classroom mathematical discourse and on the impact of technology tools, such as virtual manipulatives (VM), on students’ learning, while less research has focused on how technology tools facilitate that mathematical discourse. This paper presents
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Extensive research has been published on the nature of classroom mathematical discourse and on the impact of technology tools, such as virtual manipulatives (VM), on students’ learning, while less research has focused on how technology tools facilitate that mathematical discourse. This paper presents an emerging construct, the Techno-Mathematical Discourse (TMD) framework, as a means for analyzing and interpreting aspects of learning when students use technological representations to mediate mathematical discussions. The framework focuses on three main components: classroom discourse, technology tools, and mathematical tasks. This paper examines each of these components, and then illustrates the framework using examples of students’ exchanges while interacting with virtual manipulatives. The TMD Framework has applications relevant to teachers, teacher educators, and researchers concerning how technology tools contribute to discourse in mathematics classrooms. The TMD framework addresses a critical issue in mathematics education, in that classroom teachers and researchers need to understand how technology facilitates classroom interactions and how to best leverage technology tools to enhance students’ learning of mathematics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues in Mathematics Education)
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Open AccessReview Teaching Methods in Biology Education and Sustainability Education Including Outdoor Education for Promoting Sustainability—A Literature Review
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/educsci7010001
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
There are very few studies concerning the importance of teaching methods in biology education and environmental education including outdoor education for promoting sustainability at the levels of primary and secondary schools and pre-service teacher education. The material was selected using special keywords from
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There are very few studies concerning the importance of teaching methods in biology education and environmental education including outdoor education for promoting sustainability at the levels of primary and secondary schools and pre-service teacher education. The material was selected using special keywords from biology and sustainable education in several scientific databases. The article provides an overview of 24 selected articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals from 2006–2016. The data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Altogether, 16 journals were selected and 24 articles were analyzed in detail. The foci of the analyses were teaching methods, learning environments, knowledge and thinking skills, psychomotor skills, emotions and attitudes, and evaluation methods. Additionally, features of good methods were investigated and their implications for teaching were emphasized. In total, 22 different teaching methods were found to improve sustainability education in different ways. The most emphasized teaching methods were those in which students worked in groups and participated actively in learning processes. Research points toward the value of teaching methods that provide a good introduction and supportive guidelines and include active participation and interactivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessReview The Use of Learning Map Systems to Support the Formative Assessment in Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 41; doi:10.3390/educsci7010041
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 16 March 2017
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Abstract
Despite much theoretical support, meta-analysis of the efficacy of formative assessment does not provided empirical evidence commensurate with expectations. This theoretical study suggests that teachers need a better organizing structure to allow a formative assessment process to live up to its promise. We
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Despite much theoretical support, meta-analysis of the efficacy of formative assessment does not provided empirical evidence commensurate with expectations. This theoretical study suggests that teachers need a better organizing structure to allow a formative assessment process to live up to its promise. We propose that the use of learning map systems can provide that structure, and we describe aspects of using learning map systems to support mathematics instruction in two projects: the Dynamic Learning Maps® alternate assessment (DLM) and the Use of Learning Maps as an Organizing Structure for Formative Assessment (also referred to as Enhanced Learning Maps, or ELM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues in Mathematics Education)
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Open AccessReview The Role of E-Vocabularies in the Description and Retrieval of Digital Educational Resources
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 33; doi:10.3390/educsci7010033
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Vocabularies are linguistic resources that make it possible to access knowledge through words. They can constitute a mechanism to identify, describe, explore, and access all the digital resources with informational content pertaining to a specific knowledge domain. In this regard, they play a
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Vocabularies are linguistic resources that make it possible to access knowledge through words. They can constitute a mechanism to identify, describe, explore, and access all the digital resources with informational content pertaining to a specific knowledge domain. In this regard, they play a key role as systems for the representation and organization of knowledge in environments in which content is created and used in a collaborative and free manner, as is the case of social wikis and blogs on the Internet or educational content in e-learning environments. In e-learning environments, electronic vocabularies (e-vocabularies) constitute a mechanism for conceptual representation of digital educational resources. They enable human and software agents either to locate and interpret resource content in large digital repositories, including the web, or to use them (vocabularies) as an educational resource by itself to learn a discipline terminology. This review article describes what e-vocabularies are, what they are like, how they are used, how they work, and what they contribute to the retrieval of digital educational resources. The goal is to contribute to a clearer view of the concepts which we regard as crucial to understand e-vocabularies and their use in the field of e-learning to describe and retrieve digital educational resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue e-Vocabularies and e-Learning)
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Open AccessReview A Review of Research Evidence on the Antecedents of Transformational Leadership
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 15; doi:10.3390/educsci7010015
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 December 2016 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
As the most-studied form of leadership across disciplines in both Western and Chinese contexts, transformational school leadership has the potential to suit diverse national and cultural contexts. Given the growing evidence showing the positive effects of transformational leadership on various school outcomes as
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As the most-studied form of leadership across disciplines in both Western and Chinese contexts, transformational school leadership has the potential to suit diverse national and cultural contexts. Given the growing evidence showing the positive effects of transformational leadership on various school outcomes as it relates to school environment, teacher and student achievement, we wanted to explore the factors that gave rise to transformational leadership. The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the antecedents fostering transformational leadership in the contexts of both the United States and China. This paper reviews and discusses the empirical studies of the last two decades, concentrating on the variables that are antecedent to transformational leadership mainly in the educational context, but also in public management, business and psychology. Results show that transformational leadership is related to three sets of antecedents, which include: (1) the leader’s qualities (e.g., self-efficacy, values, traits, emotional intelligence); (2) organizational features (e.g., organization fairness); and (3) the leader’s colleagues’ characteristics (e.g., follower’s initial developmental level). Some antecedents were common to both contexts, while other antecedents appeared to be national context specific. The implications of the findings for future research and leader preparation in different national contexts are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Leadership: A Global Perspective)

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Open AccessEssay The Test of Practice–An Essay
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 31; doi:10.3390/educsci7010031
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
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Abstract
This essay starts in medias res, in the puzzling reappearance of the classical metaphor of Bildung as the transformation of man’s “first” animal nature into the “second” cultivated one. I call it the two-natures metaphor. I think it misrepresents children by prescribing form
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This essay starts in medias res, in the puzzling reappearance of the classical metaphor of Bildung as the transformation of man’s “first” animal nature into the “second” cultivated one. I call it the two-natures metaphor. I think it misrepresents children by prescribing form rather than asking what actually takes form in the child’s mind—in his/her relationship with adults. It made me wonder whether this mistake also lingers on in the current discourse on education. I then turn to aspects of John Dewey’s subtle and revolutionary critique of the classical theory of formation, but also to make the controversial point that he, too, seems to miss the importance of the child’s internal point of view. The importance of the subjective life of the child is suggested first by reinscribing Rousseau and Kant into the intersubjective theories of Hegel and Dewey; second, by reference to recent studies in developmental psychology that offer detailed and in-depth descriptions of our relationship with children. My basic point of departure is the existential encounters between children and adults, for example, as part of classroom practices. The title has a double connotation. It means that theory must be taken as the measure of practice. It means, too, that practice must work as the measure of theory. I will, in the main, try and pursue the last course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
Open AccessEssay Inclusive Education as a Democratic Challenge—Ambivalences of Communities in Contexts of Power
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 12; doi:10.3390/educsci7010012
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
Our essay is keyed to the second and fourth chapter of Dewey’s Democracy and Education. We start by looking at education as a social function and close with education as growth. References will be made to other writings of Dewey’s, especially from the
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Our essay is keyed to the second and fourth chapter of Dewey’s Democracy and Education. We start by looking at education as a social function and close with education as growth. References will be made to other writings of Dewey’s, especially from the later works. We connect Dewey’s classical approach with inclusion as a feature of contemporary debates in educational theory and practice. Within this frame, we also draw critical connections to selected perspectives from Michel Foucault and Zygmunt Bauman. The aim is twofold: First, we wish to show the lasting relevance of Dewey’s approach in and for our time. Second, we intend to invite some perspectives for reconstructing the Deweyan tradition in accordance with more recent developments and challenges, including the ambivalences of communities in modernity, especially in times of liquid modernity as described by Bauman. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)

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