Abstract: The application of a methodology based on S.C. Dik’s Functionalist Grammar linguistic principles, which is addressed to the teaching of Latin to secondary students, has resulted in a quantitative improvement in students’ acquisition process of knowledge. To do so, we have used a self-learning tool, an ad hoc dictionary, of which the use in different practices has made students understand, at a basic level, the functioning of this language.
Abstract: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have seen enormous growth throughout the last four years. This format has fundamentally enriched the traditional method of web-based teaching and e-learning. Nevertheless, there have always been skeptical voices who announce the “death of MOOCs”. We do not believe in this pessimistic scenario and in this article we will explain how we came to this conclusion. E-learning already existed long before the arrival of the first MOOC. However, e-learning has often shown itself to be merely a source of downloadable learning material, leaving the learner alone in the learning phase. To get through an e-learning program and to actually finish it requires a high level of discipline and motivation. In this way, e-learning has proven itself as a learning method mainly with autodidacts. How have MOOCs changed the landscape of e-learning offers? The evolving MOOC format now combines interactive elements with short video lectures. This is done in a new and playful way with a strong focus on community building. The secret of MOOCs lies in their open accessibility and their incorporation of learning content with social media. The goal of this paper is to describe how MOOCs enforce e-learning activity in a virtual social community—whose importance for learning cannot be over-emphasized. We point out the social learning features currently used in MOOCs and the next steps that must be taken to further improve them. This article is based on the experiences we have made with the MOOC platforms openHPI and openSAP, both powered by the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam.
Abstract: Perfectionism can influence how one approaches challenges and deals with setbacks, and, consequently, can inhibit or facilitate achievement. The present study (1) explored the relationship between Frost’s six dimensions of perfectionism and five types of coping strategies; (2) examined how dimensions of perfectionism predict coping in response to academic stress; and (3) investigated differences between gifted underachievers and other gifted students on perfectionism and coping among 130 American gifted students in grades 6–8. Results of stepwise regression models revealed approach coping was predicted by adaptive perfectionism (Positive Strivings-notably Organization), whereas avoidance coping (Internalizing, Externalizing, and Distancing) was predicted by various combined models. Gifted underachievers displayed lower Positive Strivings perfectionism scores and lower positive coping when compared to achievers. This information is helpful when considering ways to guide gifted students to high levels of academic achievement while utilizing adaptive approaches.
Abstract: Community schools have long been accepted as an institutional mechanism for intervening in the relationship between poverty, poor educational outcomes, and limited life chances. At a time when public services are being retracted, and disadvantaged places are being increasingly left to struggle, community schools are poised to become more important in offering a response to the needs of children, families, and communities in these places. Yet, despite their apparent promise, community schools remain badly under-conceptualized. As an international field, research on community schooling has rarely articulated or questioned how—by providing additional learning and leisure opportunities and personal and social supports—community schools might create a viable intervention in the relationship between poverty and poor outcomes. This paper explicitly addresses this significant challenge. Conceptualizing empirical findings emerging from a research-practice partnership, it identifies the core features of a new institutional design for community schools which can help to clarify their potential contribution to addressing disadvantage. Marking a considerable shift from a traditional design of simply adding new services to the school day, it argues that community schools will need to operate as social enterprises with networked governance arrangements, and to develop strategies which engage with children’s social ecologies, and are risk-reducing and resilience-building within these. This, in turn, sets a new agenda for significantly advancing the field of community schooling by further defining—conceptually and empirically—the core elements of a new institutional design as identified here.
Abstract: The college and university presidency is one of the most coveted positions in academe. Due to the projected retirements of current Historically Black College and University (HBCU) presidents, the researchers interviewed 21 current presidents, institutional board members, and presidential search firm personnel to explore what current HBCU leadership identifies as important mentoring/mentee practices, mentoring/mentee opportunities, and professional advice for HBCU presidential aspirants to consider. The findings, based on the coding and analysis of semi-structured qualitative interviews, revealed that self-awareness, focusing on the essential aspects of the job and not merely the perks, openness to being mentored and willingness to shadow a successful leader, experience in serving in various administrative capacities, participating in professional leadership development activities, earning of a terminal degree, displaying humility, understanding academic politics, and learning how to present oneself as an executive is important in the preparation of a leader of an HBCU.
Abstract: In this article, a massive open online course (MOOC) made by and for Swedish teachers will be presented and discussed in order to determine what possibilities and dilemmas are involved when creating and participating in an MOOC that is meant to be a community rather than a course. By analysing interviews of the organisers as well as blog posts and surveys answered by participants, the conclusions that can be drawn point to the ambiguity of the boundary created between participating in a community and in a course. The way one is expected to participate in the MOOC differs from how one is usually expected to participate in professional development courses. The social aspects of a community become the focus for the participants in the MOOC rather than the content that it is addressing. The skeletal structure of the MOOC inhibits the participation of those who are unaccustomed to the digital environment where it takes place. Furthermore, the division of labour between participants and organisers is affected by the notion of course and therefore becomes ambiguous and creates tensions for both organisers and participants.