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 -
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
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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 -
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
Open AccessArticle
Dewey on Seriousness, Playfulness and the Role of the Teacher
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 16; doi:10.3390/educsci7010016 -
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
Open AccessArticle
When Legitimacy Shapes Environmentally Responsible Behaviors: Considering Exposure to University Sustainability Initiatives
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 13; doi:10.3390/educsci7010013 -
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
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Education Sciences in 2016
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/educsci7010014 -
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 AccessEssay
Inclusive Education as a Democratic Challenge—Ambivalences of Communities in Contexts of Power
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 12; doi:10.3390/educsci7010012 -
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
Open AccessArticle
Teaching for Justice in a Contradictory World
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 10; doi:10.3390/educsci7010010 -
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
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 -
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
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 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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
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 -
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
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Open AccessArticle
Democracy and Bildung/Erziehung—Towards a Universal Theory of Education
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 5; doi:10.3390/educsci7010005 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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
Open AccessArticle
Evidence of Sustainable Learning from the Mastery Rubric for Ethical Reasoning
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/educsci7010002 -
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
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 -
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
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Open AccessArticle
Delphi Research Methodology Applied to Place-Based Watershed Education
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 42; doi:10.3390/educsci6040042 -
Abstract
This research focuses on the results of the Flathead Watershed Delphi survey, a consensus-building methodology used to establish foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions for the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide, a place-based watershed curriculum for middle school grades based on the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook.
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This research focuses on the results of the Flathead Watershed Delphi survey, a consensus-building methodology used to establish foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions for the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide, a place-based watershed curriculum for middle school grades based on the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook. Survey participants (n = 33) were chosen based on their expertise as educators, resource managers and scientists living and practicing in the Flathead Watershed in northwestern Montana, USA. Participants’ responses were gathered through a three-round survey conducted by the Montana State University (MSU) research team using MSU’s online course management system, Desire 2 Learn (D2L), an anonymous, asynchronous platform with distance accessibility. Round One responses gathered through the D2L discussion tool allowed participants to read responses and reply if desired. Round One discussion responses were reformatted into statements, which were then rated through two successive rounds using a 1–5 Likert scale. Of the initial 142 statements, 91 statements were retained in the final round. Final statements were cross-referenced with the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook to identify learning objectives for the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide. Final statements identified the knowledge, skills, and dispositions deemed most important for students in the Flathead Watershed to learn. Statements supported the need for place-based watershed education in fostering positive attitudes toward conservation and protection of the natural environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Epistemology as Education: Know Thyself
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 41; doi:10.3390/educsci6040041 -
Abstract
In his Introduction to this Special Edition of Education Sciences, Andrew Stables points out that often, epistemological questions in education have been pursued in isolation from ethics and other social concerns. In part, this problem has been addressed by ‘local’ epistemologies—feminist, queer,
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In his Introduction to this Special Edition of Education Sciences, Andrew Stables points out that often, epistemological questions in education have been pursued in isolation from ethics and other social concerns. In part, this problem has been addressed by ‘local’ epistemologies—feminist, queer, post-colonial, postmodern and others—which try to establish how different knowledge can look when not grounded in presuppositions of consciousness, or rationality, or gender, colour, etc., all of which exclude and suppress that which they deem to be ‘other’. However, perhaps it is not just these local knowledges that are excluded from epistemological work in education. Perhaps, remarkably, epistemological questions pursued in education are habitually carried out in isolation from education, as if education were nothing in its own right. This ‘otherness’ of education to philosophy in general, and to epistemology in particular, contributes to the latter often seeming to be nugatory with regard to the inequalities borne within modern social and political relations. With this is mind, the following contribution reflects not so much on the relation of epistemology and education, or on epistemology in education, but rather on epistemology as education. Primarily this concerns the question of how epistemology, the science of knowledge, can have knowledge of itself and of the educational significance carried in trying to do so. This challenge of epistemology as education commends epistemology to heed the Delphic maxim: know thyself. It is to these efforts that the following essay is directed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Relevancy of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Sustainable Energy for Adolescents
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 40; doi:10.3390/educsci6040040 -
Abstract
Sustainable energy is one of the biggest global challenges today. This paper discusses how we can promote adolescents’ learning of sustainable energy with the help of an international massive open online course (MOOC). The aim of this case study is to understand: (i)
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Sustainable energy is one of the biggest global challenges today. This paper discusses how we can promote adolescents’ learning of sustainable energy with the help of an international massive open online course (MOOC). The aim of this case study is to understand: (i) What do the adolescents find relevant in the MOOC course about sustainable energy? and (ii) What are the opportunities and challenges of the MOOC for the adolescents to learn sustainable energy? In our study, 80 voluntary adolescents around the world, who were at least 15 year old, took part in two surveys. The themes of our MOOC course were, e.g., sustainable growth, solar power, wind power, biofuel production and smart power generation. This 38 work-hour, free of charge, online course includes an introduction video, interviews of specialists, lecture videos, reading materials of the newest research and multiple choice questions on the topics. Research data was classified by using content analysis. The study indicates that adolescents feel that both the MOOC course and sustainable energy as a subject are relevant to them. Their decision to take part in an online course was mostly influenced by individual relevance and partly influenced by both societal and vocational relevance, according to the relevancy theory used. The MOOC was experienced to be relevant for the three following reasons: (i) good content (e.g., energy production) and implementation of the course; (ii) the course makes it possible to study in a new way; and (iii) the course is personally useful. The characteristics of the MOOC, such as being available anywhere and anytime, free access, and online learning, bringing out a flexible, new way of learning and thus promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the context of sustainable energy at school level around the world. This MOOC provided the school students with choice-based learning and expanded their learning opportunities in understanding sustainable energy. In the designing of MOOCs for studying sustainable energy, it is important to take the following things into consideration: (i) the balance between theory and practical examples; (ii) the support for interaction; and (iii) other support (e.g., technical and learning strategies) for students. Communication with other learners and getting feedback from teachers and tutors remain the vital challenges for the developers of MOOCs in the future. Full article
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