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Evaluation of Disabled STEAM -Students’ Education Learning Outcomes and Creativity under the UN Sustainable Development Goal: Project-Based Learning Oriented STEAM Curriculum with Micro:bit

Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020679
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Rekha Koul
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020679
Received: 24 November 2021 / Revised: 1 January 2022 / Accepted: 2 January 2022 / Published: 8 January 2022

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

With wide and grand but poorly substantiated claims and such a small sample, this paper is really better suited to a special needs journal for students with special needs as it fails to have relevance in this space. It fails to consider any details around what is STEM and how it can be integrated when they are working with 'paper cutting' which is skill-based activity.

It is almost as if the authors have tried to include all the key buzz words, including STEM and it fails to make this link, SDGs which is thrown in for good measure, and creativity and critical thinking which are poorly defined. The RQ lack depth and coherence and the final Q 'to understand their feedback about PBL.' is not explained whose feedback they are seeking. 

 

 

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 1 Comments

 

Point 1:With wide and grand but poorly substantiated claims and such a small sample, this paper is really better suited to a special needs journal for students with special needs as it fails to have relevance in this space. It fails to consider any details around what is STEM and how it can be integrated when they are working with 'paper cutting' which is skill-based activity.

 

Response 1:

Thanks for your commands. STEAM curriculum is important to all students regardless of whether they have special needs. We believe that despite this study focusing on students with special needs, the obtained results can still serve as a reference for promoting STEAM curriculum targeting mainstream elementary education in the future; accordingly, our manuscript satisfies the journal’s submission requirements. We applied PBL for the integration of STEAM curriculum design; please refer to 2.2.1. PBL Curriculum Design Process (lines 173) for more details. ‘Paper cutting’ is more than just a skill-based activity—it is a part of arts training included in STEAM curriculum that can enhance the demonstration of creativity (added in lines 176-179).

 

Point 2:It is almost as if the authors have tried to include all the key buzz words, including STEM and it fails to make this link, SDGs which is thrown in for good measure, and creativity and critical thinking which are poorly defined. The RQ lack depth and coherence and the final Q 'to understand their feedback about PBL.' is not explained whose feedback they are seeking.

 

Response 2:

Thanks for your commands.  The final Q was changed as follows:to understand the feedback from participants after the intervention of PBL-oriented STEAM curriculum.

Reviewer 2 Report

ABSTRACT

The study objective is well defined and identified in both the summary and the introduction.

INTRODUCTION:

The subject under investigation is of growing scientific and social interest. The investigation is current.

MATERIALS, METHODS and RESULTS:

I think they are well described, developed and analysed.

DISCUSSION and CONCLUSION:

I consider that they are correct, and that they are well extracted and defined.

Author Response

Thanks for your commands. 

We will endeavor to revise our manuscript to sufficient quality for publication.

Reviewer 3 Report

the apper under review is of significance to educational researchers and should be of interest to researchers in STEM/STEAM education. However, the very basis of every research study are the study aims and/or questions. the research questions for this study are vague,  need reframing and being explicit on what is being investigated. Second, author/s need to come up with a conceptual framework for the study, explaining how research aims will be addressed and why the chosen framework is best suited for the study. Last but not least paper needs to get this paper edited for language errors, which this paper has plenty.

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 3 Comments

 

Point 1:the apper under review is of significance to educational researchers and should be of interest to researchers in STEM/STEAM education. However, the very basis of every research study are the study aims and/or questions. the research questions for this study are vague,  need reframing and being explicit on what is being investigated.

 

Response 1:

Thanks for your commands. 

This study aims to propose a curriculum designed on the basis of the PBL model. The effect of the intervention (i.e., STEAM curriculum) on students with learning disabilities was explored. Specifically, we compared the difference in students’ learning result and creativity before and after the intervention.

 

Point 2:Second, author/s need to come up with a conceptual framework for the study, explaining how research aims will be addressed and why the chosen framework is best suited for the study.

 

Response 2:

Thanks for your commands. 

This study employed a single-subject withdrawal design as the research framework because of the small sample size and large individual differences, which renders the implementation of quantitative research difficult. Single-subject research—a quantitative experimental design commonly used in the event of a limited sample size—comprises baseline, treatment, and maintenance phases with repeated measurements of causality. The proposed intervention was found to exhibit favorable reliability and validity. We have added more description to 2.4. Experiment Design (lines 209-215).

 

Point 3:Last but not least paper needs to get this paper edited for language errors, which this paper has plenty.

 

Response 3:

Thanks for your commands. 

Because of time constraints, the language of our manuscript has yet to be fully edited. After the revision, a native English editor will be hired to refine our manuscript.

Reviewer 4 Report

I find the article very difficult to grasp, there are so many parameters that is taken for granted that the reader know what it means. And what is the relationship to UN Agenda 4.4, you never came back to this in the interpretation.

What is it that make these three children learn? Is it the curriculum? Is it BPL, or the micro- paper cutting that support children’s learning. And the more someone know about something the greater possibilities to be creative. I am not convinced that they become more creative, they maybe solve the problems more creative, which is something else than developing creativity as a skill.

It also feels wrong to talk about groups when you have 3 children.

Is it the researchers who make the intervention and then evaluate at the same time?

Table 2, how was this test made, what is a TTCT ?

Many different thing in the article are taken for granted that the reader already know, so from my perspective there is a lot of work to do for getting it possible to publish.

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 4 Comments

Point 1:I find the article very difficult to grasp, there are so many parameters that is taken for granted that the reader know what it means. And what is the relationship to UN Agenda 4.4, you never came back to this in the interpretation.

Response 1:

Thanks for your commands. 

Description about the relationship to UN Agenda 4.4 has been added in the discussion section(lines 349-364). Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) is the education goal, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” The core connotations of SDG 4 are as follows: All people, irrespective of socioeconomic background, place of residence, sex, and ethnicity, should have equal access to educational resources and quality education, thereby ensuring that everyone’s talent and potential can be fully realized. In addition, the UN hopes to cultivate lifelong learning skills to realize the philosophy of and achieve a lifestyle of sustainable development. Focusing on quality education for students with special needs, this study aligns with Target 4.4 of SDG 4—‘By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.’ Specifically, UN aims to ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities and socially/financially vulnerable children. The proposed curriculum can enhance the information technology skills, artistic ability, and technical and vocational skills among students with special needs.

Point 2:What is it that make these three children learn? Is it the curriculum? Is it BPL, or the micro- paper cutting that support children’s learning. And the more someone know about something the greater possibilities to be creative. I am not convinced that they become more creative, they maybe solve the problems more creative, which is something else than developing creativity as a skill.

Response 2:

Thanks for your commands. 

Researchers claimed that the result is attributable to the interaction of the aforementioned factors. Discussing the effects of a certain parameter alone is meaningful for the research. However, in clinical teaching, package teaching that incorporates more than one curriculum design and teaching strategy is common. From the perspective of clinical teaching, this study proposed a curriculum design model for teachers to follow. We have added content to the research limitation section to indicate that the result is attributable to package teaching and that inferencing the effect of a single factor is infeasible (lines 393-395).

Point 3:It also feels wrong to talk about groups when you have 3 children.

Response 3:

Thanks for your commands. 

We have revised all instances of ‘group’ in our manuscript to ‘small group’.

Point 4:Is it the researchers who make the intervention and then evaluate at the same time?

Response 4:

Thanks for your commands. 

Single-subject research design was adopted in this study. Learning effect was evaluated after each intervention to assess its immediate effect (added in lines 233).

 

 

Point 5:Table 2, how was this test made, what is a TTCT ?

Response 5:

Thanks for your commands. 

Creativity is characterized by fluent, flexible, and original thinking, which can be used as indicators to evaluate creator characteristics (Torrance, 1974). Despite criticized for its lack of predictive validity and discrimination validity, TTCT remains the most common assessments of creativity in the United States and 35 other countries around the world (Millar, 2002). Domestic researcher Lee (2006) revised the reliability and validity of Figural TTCT and reported a scorer reliability of 0.911–0.991, a test-retest reliability of 0.401–0.724 6 weeks after, and an alternate-form reliability of 0.598–0.951, all of which reached the .05 significance level. In terms of validity, concurrent validity was established based on creative thinking activities of Williams Creative Thinking Test; the correlation coefficient ranged between 0.574 and 0.812 and reached the .05 significance level. Table 2 shows the results obtained from the TTCT (added in lines 139-149).

 

References

  1. Torrance, E. P. Torrance tests of creative thinking: Norms-technical manual. Lexington, MA:Ginn, 1974.
  2. Millar, G.W. The Torrance kids at mid-life: Selected case studies of creative behavior. Wesrport, CT:Ablex, 2002.
  3. Li, I.M. Torrance tests of creative thinking in graphs. Taipei, Taiwan: Psychological, 2006.

 

Point 6:Many different thing in the article are taken for granted that the reader already know, so from my perspective there is a lot of work to do for getting it possible to publish.

Response 6:

Thanks for your commands. 

 

We will endeavor to revise our manuscript to sufficient quality for publication. 

Round 2

Reviewer 4 Report

The authors have made clarifications that are satisfied with

Author Response

Point 1:The authors have made clarifications that are satisfied with

Response 1

We thank you for your insightful comments, which have helped us to improve our manuscript.

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