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Educ. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 37 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Efficient waste management is a major precondition for reaching sustainability. An educational [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Augmented Reality in Lower Secondary Education: A Teacher Professional Development Program in Cyprus and Greece
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040121 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 579
Abstract
The current article provides an overview of a Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program that has been designed, pilot tested, and implemented to investigate the impact of augmented reality (AR) on: (a) Teachers’ level of technology (AR) acceptance, adoption of inquiry-based instructional approaches, and [...] Read more.
The current article provides an overview of a Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program that has been designed, pilot tested, and implemented to investigate the impact of augmented reality (AR) on: (a) Teachers’ level of technology (AR) acceptance, adoption of inquiry-based instructional approaches, and confidence towards teaching twentieth-first century skills in STEM-related courses; and (b) students’ potential enhancement of specific twentieth-first century skills and motivation and interest during a STEM- (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)-related course supported with AR. This article focuses on the teachers’ points of view concerning the impact of their STEM-related interventions on their students’ motivation and learning, as well as the factors that influence the teachers’ technology acceptance. The TPD program has been implemented in Cyprus and Greece with twenty-five lower secondary school teachers (20 in Cyprus and 5 in Greece). The research methodology applied is Educational Design Research (EDR), including an initial phase of the TPD program and a second (improved) phase. The data collection tools consisted of questionnaires, interviews, and observation of classroom interventions. Initial findings and their implications for teaching and future research are discussed, indicating the potential benefits and challenges surrounding the integration of AR within the educational process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Augmented and Mixed Reality in Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Reflexive, Introspective and Storytelling Tools: Towards Becoming More Autoethnographic in Academia
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040120 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 697
Abstract
The aim of this article is to show how autoethnography is a useful and revealing research methodology that should be encouraged in academia, especially in higher education. With objectivity, autoethnography, which is a relatively new approach, may be a path toward deeper cultural [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to show how autoethnography is a useful and revealing research methodology that should be encouraged in academia, especially in higher education. With objectivity, autoethnography, which is a relatively new approach, may be a path toward deeper cultural discussions that are so important in everyday life. Moreover, autoethnography leads to important reflexive and critical observations made by students. Autoethnography is a readily accessible, low-cost methodology and thus very appealing to students and younger researchers. With this article, the author exemplifies autoethnographic accounts and narrates three different stories that occurred while trekking with three different trekking guides in Patagonia (El Chaltén), Argentina. Argentinian culture, in South America, is the focus. Researchers need to be careful of misleading statements in the literature, such as that in Argentina modesty is apparently not tolerated. We found that two of our guides and leaders – Mariano and Liz – both had modest (and pleasant) demeanors. Hence, we conclude that it is important to maintain an open mind and resist categorizing people. This is a vital point of cultural studies that is often not taken seriously. Cultures are made up of individuals and thus many differences can be found in the midst of an attempted standardization, and the desire to put everyone in the same “basket”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
A Theoretical Model for the Development of Mathematical Talent through Mathematical Creativity
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040118 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 546
Abstract
This study was conducted from a perspective that adopts a broad vision of mathematical talent, defined as the potential that a subject manifests when confronting certain types of tasks, in a successful way, that generate creative mathematical activity. To analyse this, our study [...] Read more.
This study was conducted from a perspective that adopts a broad vision of mathematical talent, defined as the potential that a subject manifests when confronting certain types of tasks, in a successful way, that generate creative mathematical activity. To analyse this, our study proposes a Praxeological Model of Mathematical Talent based on the Anthropological Theory of Didactics and the notion of mathematical creativity, which defines four technological functions: (1) producing new techniques; (2) optimizing those techniques (3); considering tasks from diverse angles; and (4) adapting techniques. Using this model, this study analyses the creative mathematical activity of students aged 10–12 years displayed as they sought to solve a series of infinite succession tasks proposed to encourage the construction of generalization processes. The setting is a Mathematics Club (a talent-promoting institution). The evaluation of results shows that the Praxeological Model of Mathematical Talent allows the emergence and analysis of mathematical creativity and, therefore, encourages the development of mathematical talent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Special Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Research in Moral Education: The Contribution of P4C to the Moral Growth of Students
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040119 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 849
Abstract
Moral education and moral growth are very important topics, and have been so as much in the fields of moral psychology and moral education as in the policies of governments and international institutions over the past decades. These two topics are also central [...] Read more.
Moral education and moral growth are very important topics, and have been so as much in the fields of moral psychology and moral education as in the policies of governments and international institutions over the past decades. These two topics are also central themes within the educational proposal of Philosophy for Children (P4C), as seen in theoretical reflection and in educational research. It is necessary to start from a more global approach to moral growth, focused on the development of capacities. Such abilities are to be understood as virtues or personality traits that enable us to achieve a full life, that is, to become good people. The transformation of classrooms into communities of philosophical inquiry, following the educational guidelines of P4C, can contribute to the achievement of this objective. Here we present the psychological and methodological underpinnings of an educational research project that we are applying to a small sample that includes two groups—experimental and control—in a typical classroom environment. We are administering tests at the beginning and the end of the application of a moral education model according to the basic principles of Philosophy for Children. The objective is to verify that our research design could be used to evaluate the contribution of this educational model to the students’ moral growth, understood as the consolidation of the students’ moral habits and competences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Moral Education and Identity)
Open AccessArticle
A Learning Community Involving Collaborative Course-Based Research Experiences for Foundational Chemistry Laboratories
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040117 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Numerous American national committees have recommended the replacement of traditional labs with a more engaging curriculum that inspires inquiry and enhances scientific skills (examples include the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)’s Engage to Excel program and American Association for [...] Read more.
Numerous American national committees have recommended the replacement of traditional labs with a more engaging curriculum that inspires inquiry and enhances scientific skills (examples include the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)’s Engage to Excel program and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Vision and Change, among others), due to a large body of evidence that shows significant enhancements in student learning and affective outcomes. The implementation of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) is a creative way to scale up the deployment of authentic research experiences to students. Another highly regarded high-impact practice in postsecondary education is the addition of learning communities. The integration of a three-course learning community and authentic research experiences to laboratory courses adds both a community of scholarship and a development of scientific communication and process skills. This study describes a course that blends these two high-impact practices in higher education in order to promote greater post-course gains in essential elements of a CURE curriculum. This collaborative course shows large post-course gains in essential elements, such as scientific communication and working collaboratively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Assessment Processes for Communicative Competence through an Analysis of Teachers’ Reported Practice
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040116 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 580
Abstract
This research addresses the types of assessment tasks, the assessment criteria, instruments and procedures of communicative competence used by primary school teachers in Andalusia. This multiple-case study drew on the experiences of teachers from four schools in the south of Spain. The data [...] Read more.
This research addresses the types of assessment tasks, the assessment criteria, instruments and procedures of communicative competence used by primary school teachers in Andalusia. This multiple-case study drew on the experiences of teachers from four schools in the south of Spain. The data source has been the focus groups in which the teachers took part. The transcripts were analysed thematically by three researchers who devised a system of categories designed through an iterative process. The findings reveal the paucity of tasks used to assess reading, listening and oral expression. The study also shows the diverse problems faced by teachers when it comes to evaluating communicative competence. This paper highlights the need to rethink the curricular contents and the methods applied to assess communicative competence in primary schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
Open AccessArticle
A Meta-Analysis of the Cognitive, Affective, and Interpersonal Outcomes of Flipped Classrooms in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040115 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 629
Abstract
This paper aims to quantify the effects of flipped classrooms in higher education by reviewing 43 empirical studies of students’ cognitive, affective, and interpersonal outcomes. The innovative pedagogy of a flipped classroom in higher education fosters a sustainable, interactive, and student-centered learning environment [...] Read more.
This paper aims to quantify the effects of flipped classrooms in higher education by reviewing 43 empirical studies of students’ cognitive, affective, and interpersonal outcomes. The innovative pedagogy of a flipped classroom in higher education fosters a sustainable, interactive, and student-centered learning environment (as opposed to the traditional lecture style, in which there is little room for interaction). This study’s results show the positive effects of flipped classrooms and highlight the improvement in students’ educational outcomes between 2012 and 2017. Overall, effect sizes were medium—effect size (ES) = 0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.24 to 0.47—across three outcome domains using a random effects model. In the outcomes, affective (ES = 0.59), interpersonal (ES = 0.53), and cognitive (ES = 0.24) domains were of a higher order than the effect sizes. However, the results indicated that flipped classrooms benefitted students studying chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics less than they did students studying other subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Learning Processes in Mechanics of Structures: Allying Analytical and Numerical Approaches
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040114 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
This paper reports pedagogical experiences and educational techniques in the field of Mechanics of Structures (Mechanical Engineering degree), resorting to computational tools. Several aspects are addressed, covering CAD (Computer-Aided Design) modelling systems to CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) solutions, in terms of analysis and validation [...] Read more.
This paper reports pedagogical experiences and educational techniques in the field of Mechanics of Structures (Mechanical Engineering degree), resorting to computational tools. Several aspects are addressed, covering CAD (Computer-Aided Design) modelling systems to CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) solutions, in terms of analysis and validation of mechanical resistance calculations. Therefore, structural mechanics fundamental concepts and mechanics of materials are also addressed. Particular focus is given on the development of curricula components related to Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing. Doing so, three-dimensional structural modelling is applied to study the behaviour in selected simple case-studies where an external load is applied and the corresponding deflections are evaluated. Then, analytical and numerical analyses are performed and compared. During classes, patent aversion to solve analytical problems was clearly observed on the part of the students once calculus knowledge was required. The typical trend in engineering students, skipping the manual analytical methodology to solve a problem in order to go straight to numerical simulations via commercial Finite Element (FE) codes, was observed. The main focus of this work is, therefore, to determine the pedagogical effects of allying the analytical procedures and virtual simulators. It was possible to confirm the beneficial aspects of such methodology, considering that the regular engineering student has already a scientific basis on calculus and analytical process. Such knowledge will support mechanical project decisions, from model development to the analysis, and a sounding background to perform criticism of the results provided by the software. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Teaching Materials and Their Relationship with the Metacognitive Skills of Students in Primary Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040113 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 674
Abstract
Metacognition is a construct that is noteworthy for its relationship with the prediction and enhancement of student performance. It is of interest in education, as well as in the field of cognitive psychology, because it contributes to competencies, such as learning to learn [...] Read more.
Metacognition is a construct that is noteworthy for its relationship with the prediction and enhancement of student performance. It is of interest in education, as well as in the field of cognitive psychology, because it contributes to competencies, such as learning to learn and the understanding of information. This study conducted research at a state school in the Community of Madrid (Spain) with a sample of 130 students in Grade 3 of their primary education (8 years old). The research involved the use of a digital teaching platform called Smile and Learn, as the feedback included in the digital activities may have an effect on students’ metacognition. We analyzed the implementation of the intelligent platform at school and the activities most commonly engaged in. The Junior Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (Jr. MAI) was the measuring instrument chosen for the external evaluation of metacognition. The study’s results show a higher use of logic and spatial activities. A relationship is observed between the use of digital exercises that have specific feedback and work on logic and visuospatial skills with metacognitive knowledge. We discuss our findings surrounding educational implications, metacognition assessment, and recommendations for improvements of the digital materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Participation in an Online Course about Death and Dying: Exploring Enrolment Motivations and Learning Goals of Health Care Workers
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040112 - 16 Apr 2020
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The Dying2Learn massive open online course (MOOC) was a five-week course designed for the general community covering various topics related to death and dying, developed with a sociocultural focus that encouraged personal reflection and open discussion, rather than a medical or clinical focus. [...] Read more.
The Dying2Learn massive open online course (MOOC) was a five-week course designed for the general community covering various topics related to death and dying, developed with a sociocultural focus that encouraged personal reflection and open discussion, rather than a medical or clinical focus. Yet, the majority of the participants identified as health care workers. Their motivations to enrolling in the course as well as their learning goals were examined. Responses to questions relating to their motivations for enrolment and learning goals were assigned codes and grouped into themes. We then made comparisons between the different demographic and occupational groups. The most commonly mentioned responses related to general interest in the topic of death and dying. HCWs were more likely to mention work-related motivations and improving communication skills than non-HCWs. We found that HCWs hoped to be better at talking about death and dying, which might indicate a possible gap in their formal education in this area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preventing Extremism with Extremists: A Double-Edged Sword? An Analysis of the Impact of Using Former Extremists in Danish Schools
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040111 - 16 Apr 2020
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Governments across the West have invested significant resources in preventing radicalization, and strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE) are increasingly prominent within wider counter-terrorism policies. However, we know little about their effects, especially about projects that utilize former extremists to counter [...] Read more.
Governments across the West have invested significant resources in preventing radicalization, and strategies to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE) are increasingly prominent within wider counter-terrorism policies. However, we know little about their effects, especially about projects that utilize former extremists to counter extremist narratives and increase critical thinking. Despite the prominence of interventions utilizing “formers”, there are almost no systematic, scientific evaluations of these programs. The lack of evaluation is problematic given the recognized risks and negative effects of using formers to address other social issues, such as crime prevention. This paper presents findings from the largest study to date of the effects of using former extremists to prevent violent extremism. Based on a randomized controlled effect evaluation with 1931 Danish youths, it highlights significant successes, including reducing the perceived legitimacy of political violence, as well as negative effects, including a small decrease in political tolerance. Overall, the findings suggest a need for cost–benefit analyses of P/CVE initiatives, weighing the benefits against the risks. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Flipped Learning on Cognitive Knowledge Learning and Intrinsic Motivation in Norwegian Secondary Physical Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040110 - 16 Apr 2020
Viewed by 746
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to examine if and how the introduction of a flipped learning (FL) framework in Norwegian lower and upper secondary school physical education (PE) could affect student situational motivation and health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK). 206 Norwegian students [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to examine if and how the introduction of a flipped learning (FL) framework in Norwegian lower and upper secondary school physical education (PE) could affect student situational motivation and health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK). 206 Norwegian students (48% girls) from secondary and upper secondary schools were included in a three-week-long intervention. 85 students were assigned to an intervention group and 121 students to a control group, with the intervention aimed at integrating information communication technology (ICT) through the use of online videos. The results showed a negative motivational change for male students unless the activity changes were placed within an explanatory rationale through FL. The application of FL caused more cognitive knowledge learning, resulting in higher levels of HRFK among both girls and boys. The current research provided valuable insights into Norwegian students’ motivation for PE and that cognitive knowledge learning can be affected when integrating the use of ICT in PE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of an Interview-Based Internship Class in the Construction Management Curriculum: A Case Study of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040109 - 16 Apr 2020
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Internships have been shown to be impactful tools to connect students’ learning in academia with real-world industrial needs. To help the students to get more out of their internship experience, some universities provide a summer internship class in which students do class assignments [...] Read more.
Internships have been shown to be impactful tools to connect students’ learning in academia with real-world industrial needs. To help the students to get more out of their internship experience, some universities provide a summer internship class in which students do class assignments based on their experiences during their internship. There have been numerous studies on the benefits of internships. However, the benefits of a potential internship class for students in construction management (CM) programs at universities have not yet been investigated. This paper demonstrates the structure of an interview-based internship class and investigates its effectiveness. We have focused on the CM program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as a case study. We sent online questionnaires to the intern students who took the class, students’ mentors, and the professors who taught the class. The results indicate that despite some challenges to meet the requirements of the class, the students, their mentors, and the professor found the class beneficial. The results of this paper are expected to help CM programs with the establishment and improvement of internship classes in their curriculum. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pushed Out for Missing School: The Role of Social Disparities and School Truancy in Dropping Out
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040108 - 15 Apr 2020
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Research: The goal of this study is to understand the experiences of Black and Latino former high school students who dropped out, or were pushed out, of a large urban school district in Southern California. Specifically, this paper examines the barriers students faced [...] Read more.
Research: The goal of this study is to understand the experiences of Black and Latino former high school students who dropped out, or were pushed out, of a large urban school district in Southern California. Specifically, this paper examines the barriers students faced that contributed to them leaving high school and their journey afterward. Thirty-nine former high school students who “dropped out”, or were pushed out of school, 61.5% males (n = 24) and 38.5% females (n = 15), were interviewed. Findings: The findings indicate the use of punitive truancy control for dealing with health and psychological needs of students, transportation issues, personnel–student relationships, and standardized testing. Examining the experiences of students who have been pushed out of school can help educators and policy makers address some of the inequities within schools. Results: We argue that pushout prevention can be developed by changing truancy and other discipline policies in schools. Implications from this study help us understand how we can better support students before they are pushed out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban/City Schools)
Open AccessArticle
Teaching Human Rights: Toward a Kingdom of Ends
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040107 - 13 Apr 2020
Viewed by 596
Abstract
The author argues that the current practices of human rights education produce anti-educational orthodoxies that result from a divorce between human rights and human rights education and human dignity, moral autonomy, and the right to justification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy, Justice, and Human Rights Education)
Open AccessArticle
Student Participation in Online Content-Related Discussion and Its Relation to Students’ Background Knowledge
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040106 - 13 Apr 2020
Viewed by 925
Abstract
This paper presents two novel network methods developed for education research. These methods were used to investigate online discussions and the structure of students’ background knowledge in a blended university course for pre-service teachers (n = 11). Consequently, these measures were used for [...] Read more.
This paper presents two novel network methods developed for education research. These methods were used to investigate online discussions and the structure of students’ background knowledge in a blended university course for pre-service teachers (n = 11). Consequently, these measures were used for correlation analysis. The social network analysis of the online discussions was based on network roles defined using triadic motifs instead of more commonly used centrality measures. The network analysis of the background knowledge is based on the Katz centrality measure and Jaccard similarity. The results reveal that both measures have characteristic features that are typical for each student. These features, however, are not correlated when student participation is controlled for. The results show that the structure and extension of a student’s background knowledge does not explain their activity and role in online discussions. The limitations and implications of the developed methods and results are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networks Applied in Science Education Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Courses and Teacher Training Programs on Playful Methodology in Andalusia (Spain)
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040105 - 12 Apr 2020
Viewed by 637
Abstract
In this study we analyzed the primary teaching and training experiences that observe play as a didactic resource to facilitate learning, highlighting fundamental elements and characteristics. A descriptive analysis of the different programs and contents with respect to playful methodology proposed by the [...] Read more.
In this study we analyzed the primary teaching and training experiences that observe play as a didactic resource to facilitate learning, highlighting fundamental elements and characteristics. A descriptive analysis of the different programs and contents with respect to playful methodology proposed by the Ministry of Education of Andalusian Government (Spain) is presented. The purpose of this type of descriptive idiographic research is to define, classify, catalogue, or characterize the experiences of innovation and projects on ludic methodology. The results show a total of 217 experiences and programs that deal with the use of playful methodology in the classroom. The results conclude that there are training resources interested and involved in the training of teachers in relation to play as a didactic resource. This type of training is carried out outside the university environment and has the characteristics of permanent training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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Open AccessArticle
Diagnosing Causes of Pre-Service Literature Teachers’ Misconceptions on the Narrator and Focalizer Using a Two-Tier Test
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040104 - 12 Apr 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Constructivism proposes that learners construct concepts based on prior knowledge and experiences. Numerous factors may lead to inadequate or improper concept construction, leading to misconceptions. This study provides a foundation for discussing literary misconceptions using discussions with 47 pre-service literature teachers on the [...] Read more.
Constructivism proposes that learners construct concepts based on prior knowledge and experiences. Numerous factors may lead to inadequate or improper concept construction, leading to misconceptions. This study provides a foundation for discussing literary misconceptions using discussions with 47 pre-service literature teachers on the origins of diverse misconceptions regarding the narrator and focalizer. The participants identified the narrator and focalizer in two fictional narratives and elucidated each concept. Thus, the causes and aspects of the misconceptions were identified. Misconceptions about the narrator and focalizer were found to involve four factors: over-contextualization of everyday experiences, misunderstanding of terms, transfer of misconceptions in textbooks, and miscategorization of prior knowledge. The transfer of misconceptions and miscategorization had the largest impact. Moreover, the aspects of misconceptions differed for each cause. Over-contextualization led to equating the narrator with the focalizer, and the transfer of misconceptions led to equating the narrator with the author. Miscategorization resulted in miscategorizing the narrator and focalizer as subordinate concepts of speech representation and point of view. Misunderstanding of terms interacted with other causes, leading to equating the narrator with the focalizer, as well as misclassifying them as speech representation. Based on these results, methods to overcome literary misconceptions at the curriculum, class, and teacher education levels were suggested. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Network Coherence to Assess Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Energy
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040103 - 09 Apr 2020
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Conceptual knowledge is a crucial tool for students to understand scientific phenomena. Knowledge about the structure and function of mental concepts potentially helps science educators to foster the acquisition of this tool. Specifically, the coherence of students’ mental concepts is an intensely discussed [...] Read more.
Conceptual knowledge is a crucial tool for students to understand scientific phenomena. Knowledge about the structure and function of mental concepts potentially helps science educators to foster the acquisition of this tool. Specifically, the coherence of students’ mental concepts is an intensely discussed issue within the related conceptual change discourse. While former discussions focused on the question of whether these conceptions are coherent or not, recent approaches describe them as dynamic systems behaving more or less coherently in different situations. In this contribution, we captured this dynamic behavior of individual concepts by means of network analysis. Transcribed video data of 16 pairs of students working on four subsequent experiments on energy were transformed into weighted networks, which in turn were characterized by standardized coherence parameters. These coherence parameters and more basic network parameters were correlated with students’ pre-post scores of a multiple-choice test on the energy concept. We found that the coherence parameter is significantly related to the students’ test scores. Even more intense relations are indicated if networks are calculated solely based on conceptual key terms. Implications as well as methodological constraints of this approach are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networks Applied in Science Education Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Cognitive Learning about Waste Management: How Relevance and Interest Influence Long-Term Knowledge
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040102 - 09 Apr 2020
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Efficient waste management is a major prerequisite for reaching sustainability as every one of us produces waste. Thus, educational interventions need to offer promising assistance to reduce individual waste as much as possible to promote environmentally friendly behavior beyond stereotypical notions about waste [...] Read more.
Efficient waste management is a major prerequisite for reaching sustainability as every one of us produces waste. Thus, educational interventions need to offer promising assistance to reduce individual waste as much as possible to promote environmentally friendly behavior beyond stereotypical notions about waste disposal. Those who know about all facts and circumstances are more likely to correct their behavior. Our hands-on module for fifth graders was designed and implemented to support “4R”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover, by retracing waste’s usual journey from collection management to incineration plants. The first module focused on minimizing waste by recycling, reusing and reducing it. The remaining waste was the second module’s core, which explained the waste-to-energy path using an age-appropriate functional model of how to effectively generate energy from waste. Both modules are suitable for outreach (informal) implementation as well as for formal classroom learning. The third module comprised either an onsite visit to an incineration plant or a classroom multimedia presentation. A total of 276 fifth graders participated in our three-module implementation study, completing three questionnaire cycles: two weeks before the intervention, immediately after and six weeks later. A subsequent analysis showed a clear pattern: knowledge scores increased immediately after participation and remained constant for at least six weeks. Surprisingly, no significant difference between the multimedia and outreach group appeared. When applying a semantic differential, two response pattern factors, “Relevance” and “Interest”, showed significant intercorrelations, as well as positive correlations with knowledge scores. In consequence, learning about waste management matters, and produces short- and long-term effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Digital Strategy and Management Games Can Facilitate the Practice of Dynamic Decision-Making
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040099 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
This paper examines how digital strategy and management games that have been initially designed for entertainment can facilitate the practice of dynamic decision-making. Based on a comparative qualitative analysis of 17 games—organized into categories derived from a conceptual model of decision-making design—this article [...] Read more.
This paper examines how digital strategy and management games that have been initially designed for entertainment can facilitate the practice of dynamic decision-making. Based on a comparative qualitative analysis of 17 games—organized into categories derived from a conceptual model of decision-making design—this article illustrates two ways in which these games may be useful in supporting the learning of dynamic decision-making in educational practice: (1) Players must take over the role of a decider and solve situations in which players must pursue different conflicting goals by making a continuous series of decisions on a variety of actions and measures; (2) three of the features of the games are considered to structure players’ practice of decision-making and foster processes of learning through the curation of possible decisions, the offering of lucid feedback and the modification of time. This article also highlights the games’ shortcomings, from an educational perspective, as players’ decisions are restricted by the numbers of choices they can make within the game, and certain choices are rewarded more than others. An educational application of the games must, therefore, entail a critical reflection of players’ limited choices inside a necessarily biased system. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Applications of Network Science to Education Research: Quantifying Knowledge and the Development of Expertise through Network Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040101 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 761
Abstract
A fundamental goal of education is to inspire and instill deep, meaningful, and long-lasting conceptual change within the knowledge landscapes of students. This commentary posits that the tools of network science could be useful in helping educators achieve this goal in two ways. [...] Read more.
A fundamental goal of education is to inspire and instill deep, meaningful, and long-lasting conceptual change within the knowledge landscapes of students. This commentary posits that the tools of network science could be useful in helping educators achieve this goal in two ways. First, methods from cognitive psychology and network science could be helpful in quantifying and analyzing the structure of students’ knowledge of a given discipline as a knowledge network of interconnected concepts. Second, network science methods could be relevant for investigating the developmental trajectories of knowledge structures by quantifying structural change in knowledge networks, and potentially inform instructional design in order to optimize the acquisition of meaningful knowledge as the student progresses from being a novice to an expert in the subject. This commentary provides a brief introduction to common network science measures and suggests how they might be relevant for shedding light on the cognitive processes that underlie learning and retrieval, and discusses ways in which generative network growth models could inform pedagogical strategies to enable meaningful long-term conceptual change and knowledge development among students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networks Applied in Science Education Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Latinx Student Assets, College Readiness, and Access: Are We Making Progress?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040100 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 649
Abstract
While previous research has focused on the continuing educational disparities between the growing Latinx population and other racial/ethnic groups, this study focuses on the importance of the assets and enrichment opportunities that determine variability in Latinx student college access. Using the nationally representative [...] Read more.
While previous research has focused on the continuing educational disparities between the growing Latinx population and other racial/ethnic groups, this study focuses on the importance of the assets and enrichment opportunities that determine variability in Latinx student college access. Using the nationally representative 2009–2016 High School Longitudinal Study data, the authors employed multivariate analyses to study the effects of five asset bundles considered student endowments, including indicators of college readiness, on the number of college applications and the selectivity of the institution Latinx students decided to attend. The results indicate that differences in college readiness (high school GPA, AP credits) and material resources (Pell grants, student belief in parents’ ability to afford selective colleges) are the main predictors of not only being strategic in the college application process but also result in more selective college enrollment where students’ chances of college completion are higher. Asset bundles, however, do not completely explain social identity disparities based on gender and English language learner status. Further research is needed to advance asset-based models for Latinx students and the social mobility of students from low-income backgrounds and other social identities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban/City Schools)
Open AccessArticle
Teachers and the Teaching of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL): The Emergence of an Integrative, Ecological Model of SRL-in-Context
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040098 - 06 Apr 2020
Viewed by 945
Abstract
Teachers are effective agents who can introduce and support students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) in classrooms. This qualitative study presents an integrative, ecological model of SRL-in-context from the teachers’ perspectives. Data were obtained from in-depth interviews, participant observations and informal conversations gathered from the [...] Read more.
Teachers are effective agents who can introduce and support students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) in classrooms. This qualitative study presents an integrative, ecological model of SRL-in-context from the teachers’ perspectives. Data were obtained from in-depth interviews, participant observations and informal conversations gathered from the classrooms of six teachers working in three different state primary schools located in Queensland, Australia. The model builds on teachers’ beliefs and understandings about SRL, the different ways through which they adopt SRL-supportive practices and the enactment of SRL in classrooms. It represents a complex structure of nested and mutually dependent systems with teachers having a central position, thereby forming the microsystem. However, teachers’ efforts to support students’ SRL are influenced by the exosystem (e.g., school, curriculum) and macrosystem (e.g., home, community) in a reciprocal fashion. The SRL-in-context model has implications for both theory and practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Embedding E-Learning in Accounting Modules: The Educators’ Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040097 - 06 Apr 2020
Viewed by 719
Abstract
The aim of the paper is to investigate the benefits and drawbacks resulting from the implementation of e-learning in accounting modules among educators. The primary source of data was a questionnaire conducted among 79 accounting lecturers, employed by the leading Polish economic universities. [...] Read more.
The aim of the paper is to investigate the benefits and drawbacks resulting from the implementation of e-learning in accounting modules among educators. The primary source of data was a questionnaire conducted among 79 accounting lecturers, employed by the leading Polish economic universities. The results of the survey have shown that e-learning is not widely used by accounting academics in Poland. The most important benefits of the e-courses included the enhancement of efficiency and flexibility of the teaching process. The most serious difficulties were an extensive amount of work associated with designing and updating course materials and technical problems. The effectiveness of e-learning techniques in teaching accounting subjects is determined by the easiness of e-learning delivery, more regular learning process, greater development of students’ social competences during e-learning classes and a more effective process of verification of students’ progress, in comparison with traditional classes. Furthermore, the study provides evidence that lecturers, who decided to use e-learning, perceive this way of teaching as more efficient, and at the same time more demanding, in comparison to traditional classes. The paper contributes to the understanding of the use of e-learning in accounting education and offers findings that might be useful for both policymakers and practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship Education)
Open AccessArticle
A Preliminary Study of the Influence of Game Types on the Learning Interests of Primary School Students in Digital Games
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040096 - 03 Apr 2020
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Learning is mainly based on the students’ mental activities. If they can learn spontaneously, it will help increase their interest and the effectiveness of the learning. Learning through playing will make it easier for students to learn spontaneously. The balance between gameplay and [...] Read more.
Learning is mainly based on the students’ mental activities. If they can learn spontaneously, it will help increase their interest and the effectiveness of the learning. Learning through playing will make it easier for students to learn spontaneously. The balance between gameplay and education in educational games is a key issue in designing such games. Designing educational games to be less complex and more casual makes it easier to balance education and entertainment. For courses with practical operational characteristics, combining a game with a virtual and real integration experience can increase both student interest and learning effectiveness. This research develops an augmented reality app, named "Mobile Plant", which is an app developed for the primary school plant curriculum, combining games and augmented reality to enhance students’ interest in learning. A questionnaire shows that the game has positive results in terms of game difficulty and absorption of content. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Helping Nemo!”—Using Augmented Reality and Alternate Reality Games in the Context of Universal Design for Learning
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040095 - 02 Apr 2020
Viewed by 947
Abstract
This article reports on the main experiences gained from a teaching intervention which utilised the alternate reality game ‘Helping Nemo’ in an augmented reality environment for formative assessment. The purpose of the study was to explore the ways in which the affordances arising [...] Read more.
This article reports on the main experiences gained from a teaching intervention which utilised the alternate reality game ‘Helping Nemo’ in an augmented reality environment for formative assessment. The purpose of the study was to explore the ways in which the affordances arising from the combination of alternate reality games and augmented reality, situated in the context of Universal Design for Learning, might facilitate students’ learning amongst the aspects of engagement, participation, and response to students’ variability. The study took place in a public primary school located in a rural area of Cyprus. A second-grade class consisting of 24 students aged 7–8 years old was selected to comprise the sample. A qualitative research approach was adopted. The data collection methods included classroom observations and focus groups with the students. Findings gained from the teaching intervention suggest that the creation of a multimodal environment that draws on the principles of Universal Design for Learning and combines the affordances of alternate reality games and augmented reality for formative assessment contributes towards higher levels of engagement and participation in learning of all students, including bilingual students, students with learning disabilities, and students who are currently disengaged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Augmented and Mixed Reality in Education)
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Open AccessReview
What Is the Effect of Using Mobile Augmented Reality in K12 Inquiry-Based Learning?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040094 - 01 Apr 2020
Viewed by 806
Abstract
A systematic review of the potential of implementing augmented reality (AR) in inquiry-based learning was conducted. We considered the purposes, potential advantages, application characteristics and the effects of using AR in inquiry-based learning. The findings reveal that AR, in the context of inquiry-based [...] Read more.
A systematic review of the potential of implementing augmented reality (AR) in inquiry-based learning was conducted. We considered the purposes, potential advantages, application characteristics and the effects of using AR in inquiry-based learning. The findings reveal that AR, in the context of inquiry-based learning, is mostly implemented successfully to achieve cognitive and, less often, motivational and emotional learning goals. The AR solutions have mainly been applied in the Conceptualization phase and less in the Investigation phase. The affordances of AR in the Orientation, Conclusion and Discussion phases need to be applied in further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Augmented and Mixed Reality in Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Stories of Supervision
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040093 - 31 Mar 2020
Viewed by 715
Abstract
This article centres upon experiences of supervising practitioner-researchers engaged in the first year of a Customised Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme of study. This pathway resides within a larger collaboration between the University of Sunderland’s Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT) and [...] Read more.
This article centres upon experiences of supervising practitioner-researchers engaged in the first year of a Customised Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme of study. This pathway resides within a larger collaboration between the University of Sunderland’s Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT) and the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) delivering a National Practitioner Research Programme (PRP) in England. It takes as its starting point how non-traditional research students from the further adult and vocational education (FAVE) sector experience entry into the programme and their subsequent development of scholarship and research skills as they pursue their studies at research degree level in higher education (HE). Using six guiding principles underpinning the PRP as a framework for analysis, illustrative stories of the experiences of supervisors and research students provide insights into ways in which supervision is enacted. Some key characteristics of supervision practice are described. These often bring to light differences between supervision on the Customised MPhil with that of conventional MPhil programmes. The most striking finding supports how the development of collaborative and cooperative practice helps to shift the customary dynamic of research degree study away from isolation towards a shared experience as members of an inclusive and active research community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Compulsory Education)
Open AccessArticle
Testing the Effectiveness of Transfer Interventions Using Solomon Four-Group Designs
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10040092 - 30 Mar 2020
Viewed by 736
Abstract
How to enhance the transfer of training remains an important question, and to some extent, post-training interventions can provide an answer. The purpose of this study was to validate inconclusive findings on the effectiveness of two post-training transfer interventions. This study used Solomon [...] Read more.
How to enhance the transfer of training remains an important question, and to some extent, post-training interventions can provide an answer. The purpose of this study was to validate inconclusive findings on the effectiveness of two post-training transfer interventions. This study used Solomon four-group design to filter out the effects of pretest sensitization and history, which are threats to the internal and external validity but have rarely been checked in previous transfer studies. Management study undergraduate students were randomly divided into two groups: pretested and unpretested groups. After a time management workshop, the students were randomly subdivided into three additional groups based on the following conditions: full relapse prevention (RP); proximal plus distal goal setting (GS); and the control group. Although results from both intervention groups were not significantly different from those of the control group, a significant difference was found between full RP and proximal plus distal GS in terms of self-reported time-management behavioral change. It is difficult to conclude whether post-training interventions enhance the transfer of training. Further ideas for improving research designs were explored, such as increasing the time intervals between training and interventions so that trainees have opportunities to attempt transfers before the interventions. Full article
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