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Educ. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2020) – 26 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Finding new and improved ways of understanding and promoting academic success is a matter of the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
“Face-to-Face Trumps Everything”: An Exploration of Tutor Perceptions, Beliefs and Practice Within Blended Learning Environments
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050147 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 680
Abstract
This paper explores the practices of higher education tutors in blended learning contexts. Significantly, the influence of their perceptions on practice was considered by investigating previous teaching and learning experiences, and their views of the affordances blended learning offers adult learners. The analysis [...] Read more.
This paper explores the practices of higher education tutors in blended learning contexts. Significantly, the influence of their perceptions on practice was considered by investigating previous teaching and learning experiences, and their views of the affordances blended learning offers adult learners. The analysis was undertaken in relation to these learners’ perceptions of their tutors whilst studying part-time, vocationally relevant degrees, at a distance. A mixed methods approach was adopted to conduct a detailed exploration of eight tutors’ practice. Data analysis suggested that all tutors had negative experiences of online learning as students with these perceptions appearing to influence their practice. They generally avoided online pedagogies and adopted alternative approaches to their practice, namely a focus on face-to-face delivery with enhanced learner support, which was found to align with their described pedagogical beliefs. These tutors considered online teaching and learning as a deficit in this context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Project Manager’s Competence in the Context of Individual Competence Baseline
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050146 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 613
Abstract
This study’s aim is to determine the consistency of student opinions regarding the importance of individual skills in three areas—people, practice, and perspective—with expert assessment. The study group consisted of five-year students accredited by IPMA Poland. The team of experts was comprised of [...] Read more.
This study’s aim is to determine the consistency of student opinions regarding the importance of individual skills in three areas—people, practice, and perspective—with expert assessment. The study group consisted of five-year students accredited by IPMA Poland. The team of experts was comprised of recruiters, project management lecturers, assessors, and information technology (IT) industry project managers. Our research shows divergences in the approach to key competence that a project manager should have. This is understandable, given the specifics of the comparison. However, the analysis that has been conducted and presented will allow the curricula to be revised. The subsequent evaluation of curricula should address the changes in the labor market. Education should provide key competences, especially as modern project management requires a full spectrum of competences and approaches. Besides experience, project management is the most frequently pursued competence that is required in terms of staff recruitment criteria. The research resulting figures may be useful for recruiters, certification institutions, and universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship Education)
Open AccessArticle
Whole Class or Small Group Fluency Instruction: A Tutorial of Four Effective Approaches
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050145 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Four scientifically validated approaches to fluency instruction (Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction, Wide Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction, Fluency-Oriented Oral Reading, and Wide Fluency-Oriented Oral Reading) are reviewed. Two for the whole class and two for small groups. Key components of fluency, automaticity, and prosody are defined, [...] Read more.
Four scientifically validated approaches to fluency instruction (Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction, Wide Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction, Fluency-Oriented Oral Reading, and Wide Fluency-Oriented Oral Reading) are reviewed. Two for the whole class and two for small groups. Key components of fluency, automaticity, and prosody are defined, and their contribution to reading comprehension is discussed. Automaticity contributes through its freeing up of attention to attend to meaning, and prosody contributes through its addressing of pacing and expression that, in turn, reflect textual meaning. Four principles for effective fluency instruction are also presented: Modeling, extensive opportunities for practice, the use of scaffolding, and the incorporation of prosodic elements. The four instructional approaches presented in this article are based on two different strategies for integrating extensive opportunities to read: Repeated versus wide reading. All four approaches use challenging texts, or texts at the upper end of the learners’ zone of proximal development, thus providing learners with access to a broader range of vocabulary and concepts than would be the case if they read only instructional level texts. All four also provided highly effective procedures for either whole-class or small-group reading instruction. The goal of this summary is to provide readers with effective approaches for classroom instruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reading Fluency)
Open AccessArticle
Teacher Training for ‘Augmented Reading’: The Living Book Approach and Initial Results
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050144 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Living Book—Augmenting Reading for Life, a three-year EU-funded Erasmus + project (September 2016–August 2019), exploited the affordances of augmented reality (AR) and other emerging technologies in order to address the underachievement of European youth in reading skills. The program developed an innovative approach [...] Read more.
Living Book—Augmenting Reading for Life, a three-year EU-funded Erasmus + project (September 2016–August 2019), exploited the affordances of augmented reality (AR) and other emerging technologies in order to address the underachievement of European youth in reading skills. The program developed an innovative approach that empowers teachers from upper primary and lower secondary schools (ages 9–15) to ‘augment’ students’ reading experiences through combining offline activities promoting reading literacy with online experiences of books’ ‘virtual augmentation’ and with social dynamics. Various professional learning activities were designed within the project, aimed at strengthening European teachers’ profile and competences in effectively integrating the Living Book approach into their classroom activities, and in dealing with diversified groups of learners, particularly pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers also received training in how to involve parents, and particularly those from disadvantaged and/or migrant backgrounds, in proreading activities to back the overall Living Book strategy at home. The current article provides an overview of the main phases of the Living Book project implementation, and of the program’s key activities and outputs. It also outlines the content and structure of the ‘Augmented Teacher’ and ‘Augmented Parent-Trainer’ training courses developed within the project. Finally, it reports on the main insights gained from the pilot testing of the courses and the follow-up classroom experimentation that took place in the project partner countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Augmented and Mixed Reality in Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Making at Home: Interest-Driven Practices and Supportive Relationships in Minoritized Homes
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050143 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 671
Abstract
The maker movement advocates hands-on making with emerging technologies because of its value for promoting innovative and personally meaningful transdisciplinary learning. Educational research has focused on settings that primarily serve youth from dominant groups, yet we know surprisingly little about making among minoritized [...] Read more.
The maker movement advocates hands-on making with emerging technologies because of its value for promoting innovative and personally meaningful transdisciplinary learning. Educational research has focused on settings that primarily serve youth from dominant groups, yet we know surprisingly little about making among minoritized youth and the kinds of resources that support their making. This study sought to better understand the extent to which maker practices are present in the lives of minoritized youth and the network of resources that support their engagement. In this study, we analyzed survey responses of 52 youth from an urban, under-resourced community in Chicago and conducted an inductive thematic analysis of 20 interviews through a model of connected learning. Findings showed these youth participated in a diverse range of interest-driven, low-tech maker activities in their own homes more often than in school, after school programs, or through online resources and communities (i.e., YouTube, Internet, social media). Many youths displayed different levels of participation with intergenerational support, as parents and extended family members supported youth in their hands-on making. This work opens up pathways for fostering connected learning opportunities within minoritized communities by building on existing learning experiences within home settings and supportive relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial: Networks Applied in Science Education Research
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050142 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Science education research is, in many ways, involved with exploring relational aspects of diverse elements that affect students’ learning outcomes; at one end, the elements may be concepts to be learned, and at the other end, the relations between students in different types [...] Read more.
Science education research is, in many ways, involved with exploring relational aspects of diverse elements that affect students’ learning outcomes; at one end, the elements may be concepts to be learned, and at the other end, the relations between students in different types of learning settings and environments and, ultimately, how such elements may interact [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networks Applied in Science Education Research)
Open AccessArticle
Scanning Signatures: A Graph Theoretical Model to Represent Visual Scanning Processes and A Proof of Concept Study in Biology Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050141 - 15 May 2020
Viewed by 632
Abstract
In this article we discuss, as a proof of concept, how a network model can be used to analyse gaze tracking data coming from a preliminary experiment carried out in a biodiversity education research project. We discuss the network model, a simple directed [...] Read more.
In this article we discuss, as a proof of concept, how a network model can be used to analyse gaze tracking data coming from a preliminary experiment carried out in a biodiversity education research project. We discuss the network model, a simple directed graph, used to represent the gaze tracking data in a way that is meaningful for the study of students’ biodiversity observations. Our network model can be thought of as a scanning signature of how a subject visually scans a scene. We provide a couple of examples of how it can be used to investigate the personal identification processes of a biologist and non-biologist when they are carrying out a task concerning the observation of species-specific characteristics of two bird species in the context of biology education research. We suggest that a scanning signature can be effectively used to compare the competencies of different persons and groups of people when they are making observations on specific areas of interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networks Applied in Science Education Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Measuring Pre-Service Teachers’ Assessment Literacy Regarding Experimentation Competences in Biology
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050140 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Assessment literacy is a crucial aspect of teachers’ professional knowledge and relevant to fostering students’ learning. Concerning experimentation, teachers have to be able to assess student achievement when students form hypotheses, design experiments, and analyze data. Therefore, teachers need to be familiar with [...] Read more.
Assessment literacy is a crucial aspect of teachers’ professional knowledge and relevant to fostering students’ learning. Concerning experimentation, teachers have to be able to assess student achievement when students form hypotheses, design experiments, and analyze data. Therefore, teachers need to be familiar with criteria for experimentation as well as student conceptions of experimentation. The present study modeled and measured 495 German pre-service teachers’ knowledge of what to assess regarding experimentation competences in biology. We applied an open-answer format for the measurement instrument. For modeling we used item response theory (IRT). We argue that knowledge of what to assess regarding experimentation competences is a one-dimensional construct and we provide evidence for the validity of the measurement. Furthermore, we describe qualitative findings of pre-service teachers’ knowledge of what to assess, in particular difficulties concerning the assessment of student conceptions as well as the use of scientific terms in the assessments. We discuss the findings in terms of implications for science teacher education and further research perspectives. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to Special Issue on Increasing Participation in Higher Education STEM Programs
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050139 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 653
Abstract
This special issue highlights the work of several higher education practitioner–scholars who describe their approaches to facilitating participation in STEM courses and programs. Writing from the standpoint of chemistry, mathematics, and ecology in publicly supported universities, the authors discuss their pedagogical or curricular [...] Read more.
This special issue highlights the work of several higher education practitioner–scholars who describe their approaches to facilitating participation in STEM courses and programs. Writing from the standpoint of chemistry, mathematics, and ecology in publicly supported universities, the authors discuss their pedagogical or curricular choices with reference to the broader structures and systemic considerations that sometimes limit and sometimes enable faculty effort. In this editorial, we reflect on the ways in which these authors invoke their own practitioner agency to establish equity-based innovations in higher education STEM settings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“Preparing Them for the Road”: African Migrant Parents’ Perceptions of Their Role in Their Children’s Career Decision-Making
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050138 - 14 May 2020
Viewed by 665
Abstract
There are numerous theories on parenting styles, however, they are Western-oriented and may not be applicable to collectivist non-Western societies. A qualitative study which utilised semi-structured interviews was conducted to explore the perceived parenting roles of 26 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrant parents (both [...] Read more.
There are numerous theories on parenting styles, however, they are Western-oriented and may not be applicable to collectivist non-Western societies. A qualitative study which utilised semi-structured interviews was conducted to explore the perceived parenting roles of 26 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrant parents (both humanitarian and professional migrants) in their children’s career pathways after they migrated to Australia. Data were analysed using grounded theory methods and this process facilitated the creation of a new framework to provide an in-depth understanding of how SSA parenting styles informed the migrant children’s career choices while living in Australia. The study revealed that most SSA migrant parents maintained their style of parenting as used in their home countries. Interestingly, some parents adapted their parenting styles due to their perceptions of changed circumstances within the host country. Other parents, who would normally be authoritative, became trustful due to their perceived lack of educational expertise to guide their children. Conversely, some other parents who would normally be authoritarian employed wily tactics in influencing their children’s decision, so as to circumvent the strict Australian legal framework around children’s rights. Irrespective of parenting style applied, all the parents aimed to either guide or direct their children’s educational and career development to ensure that they become economically productive adults. From the discourse of the SSA migrants’ perceptions of their parental role, we offer potential explanations for what underpins their parenting preferences and the rippling effects on their children’s career trajectories. Direction for areas of continued research are presented, and implications of the findings are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tales from within: Gifted Students’ Lived Experiences with Teaching Practices in Regular Classrooms
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050137 - 12 May 2020
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Gifted students in regular classrooms have fewer opportunities to develop activities that are based on their characteristics as learners and address their needs; however, many of them spend most of their school time in these classrooms. The results presented here were part of [...] Read more.
Gifted students in regular classrooms have fewer opportunities to develop activities that are based on their characteristics as learners and address their needs; however, many of them spend most of their school time in these classrooms. The results presented here were part of a 2-year qualitative project that analyzed 12 Chilean gifted students’ lived experiences in regular classrooms by exploring the factors that foster and hinder their learning through the use of photos, focus groups, and interviews. The results showed students’ discontent with the national curriculum and teaching practices related to rigidity, lack of meaning, and unchallenging assessments. Nevertheless, positive experiences were reported related to teaching strategies, especially when they add novelty and move away from traditional approaches. Waiting experiences were common, but were often seen by students as opportunities for creative production. Methods for engaging gifted students in their learning are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gifted Education)
Open AccessArticle
Trust and Positive Working Relationships among Teachers in Communities of Practice as an Avenue for Professional Development
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050136 - 12 May 2020
Viewed by 618
Abstract
This study explores trust and positive working relationships among teachers in communities of practice as an avenue for professional development in high schools in South Africa. A mixed methods research approach was employed for this study with the use of a semi-structured interview [...] Read more.
This study explores trust and positive working relationships among teachers in communities of practice as an avenue for professional development in high schools in South Africa. A mixed methods research approach was employed for this study with the use of a semi-structured interview and semi-structured questionnaires as data collection instruments. Ten schools were purposively selected for this study and seventy-nine participants were selected as samples. The findings of the study show that teachers had good working relationships with their colleagues. The good working relationships they had enabled them to assist their colleagues, share their classroom challenges with them, confide in their colleagues, and they were able to get assistance from them. It was established from the study that a great number of teachers feel safe to be part of the communities of practice activities in the sampled high schools, thus, they engage in diverse of discussions with their colleagues and they were able to relate to their colleagues the difficulties they have in terms of their work. The study recommends that teachers should spend an adequate time in their meetings, see themselves as colleagues, interact as teams, and build strong ties to have good relationships and a strong level of trust among themselves. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Undecidability and the Evolution of Ideas in an Emergency Event: An Example of How to Systemically Test Organizational Effectiveness (OE) in University Groups
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050135 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 705
Abstract
The location of this research is the university, through which we are progressively channeled into a seemingly insoluble Gordian knot. What is our participation in the university and what cultural and human commitments inform this participation? More trivially, what rights and duties does [...] Read more.
The location of this research is the university, through which we are progressively channeled into a seemingly insoluble Gordian knot. What is our participation in the university and what cultural and human commitments inform this participation? More trivially, what rights and duties does the individual acquire or lose within his or her academic identities? Our main target was finding an ideal organizational practice to examine, such as an emergency event. What strategy can the university adopt? Can it realign its distortions and retain its resources? How and in what ways? What information is needed for this purpose? Which actors are relevant in this process? A systemic survey model is, therefore, presented to analyze data obtained from a sample of 200 respondents from various academic groups, including students, professors, administrative staff, and other stakeholders. Quotas were used for the primary challenge posed by the pictures representing dimensions according to a systemic schema of organizational effectiveness (OE). Respondents were then asked to judge the dimensions and pictures against their personal capacity for intellectual identity, functionalism, and materialism. During the test, the participants were expected to develop their capacity to approach phenomenal consciousness and the search for its neural correlates, thereby becoming familiar with the high-order demands and challenges posed by the current information available to them. A nine-item interval behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS) was used to develop a systemic matrix that could show the participants’ collective OE when an emergency event occurs at the university. This study aims to stimulate a broader investigation into the preparation of programs and plans that should be a priority today in the context of sustainability in educational institutions, thereby setting useful thresholds on decision-making paths. To develop the collective model, a matrix generated by each respondents’ dimensional modal values (DMVs) in the test and the overall samples’ modal values (OMMVs) were used. Borrowing from Luce’s theory of probability, we analyzed the similarity of the OE university matrix from the results in descending order, restricting our attention to modal values which were chosen for the test and demonstrate how the learning model was formulated to assume that each group with evolved behavior could respond adaptively to a conditional function thanks to its permanence in a university environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Learning Strategies and Future Orientation on Academic Success: The Moderating Role of Academic Self-Efficacy among Italian Undergraduate Students
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050134 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Promoting academic success among undergraduate students is crucial for tackling the need to foster employability competencies. Low levels of academic attainment in higher education, along with the increasing number of persons participating in tertiary education, represent crucial trends, which need to be studied [...] Read more.
Promoting academic success among undergraduate students is crucial for tackling the need to foster employability competencies. Low levels of academic attainment in higher education, along with the increasing number of persons participating in tertiary education, represent crucial trends, which need to be studied in order to develop efficient retention practices. The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between relevant factors that can foster academic success: learning strategies, future orientation, and academic self-efficacy. To this purpose, a longitudinal study was performed on a sample of N = 87 undergraduate students from one of the largest Italian universities (63.4% males, 74.2% enrolled in the first year). Participants filled in an online questionnaire at two different time points, with a time lag of 12 months. Results of a moderated mediation model indicated that the relationship between learning strategies at Time 1 (T1) and Grade Point Average (GPA) at Time 2 (T2) was mediated by students’ future orientation. Moreover, this association was moderated by T1 academic self-efficacy. These results suggest that learning strategies positively influence GPA through an enhanced future orientation, in particular when students report high or medium levels of self-efficacy. The current findings invite a thorough review of training interventions for improving academic achievement. 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
Reflections of a Practitioner—Researcher in the Field of Widening Participation in Arts Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050133 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 699
Abstract
This article provides an auto-ethnographic narrative to offer insights into my experience as a practitioner–researcher working in widening participation (WP) in post-compulsory education (PCE). It relates how I came to join the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Practitioner Research Programme (PRP). It provides [...] Read more.
This article provides an auto-ethnographic narrative to offer insights into my experience as a practitioner–researcher working in widening participation (WP) in post-compulsory education (PCE). It relates how I came to join the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Practitioner Research Programme (PRP). It provides insights into the role of WP practitioner and manager and offers a reflection upon my experiences as an early practitioner–researcher conducting research in the field of WP. Writing in the first person, I reflect upon the positionality within my professional practice as someone who is immersed in the context that is being researched. I make my story as authentic as possible in order to throw new light upon knowledge in the field of widening participation (WP) practice. This immersion has enabled me to increase my professional knowledge and to establish a stronger voice in and for WP practitioners in the profession and for learners in the WP community. This empowerment has come about as my knowledge of the factors influencing the context of my work has expanded. I hope that it will be of interest to other researchers working in the field of WP and that they will accept my invitation to contribute to this conversation and reflect upon their own journey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Compulsory Education)
Open AccessArticle
Dad as a Coach: Fatherhood and Voluntary Work in Youth Sports
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050132 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
One central issue in sports is the role of informal learning in organized child and youth sport in contrast to learning in the school context of physical education (PE). In Scandinavia, the model for organizing sports include an independent sports organization that organizes [...] Read more.
One central issue in sports is the role of informal learning in organized child and youth sport in contrast to learning in the school context of physical education (PE). In Scandinavia, the model for organizing sports include an independent sports organization that organizes child and youth training on many levels, including the grassroots level and elite competitions organized within non-profit clubs and based on non-salaried voluntary work. In contrast to the public schooling context where physical education is led by educated and professional PE-teachers, organized child and youth club sports are based on parental engagement. Drawing on ten interviews with male coaches training their own children, this study examines how fathers are handling learning in the dual position as a father and a coach. This narrative analysis focuses on the theoretical concept of dilemmatic spaces in interviews and shows how shared cultural and societal storylines are used by the parental coaches in their personal stories. The results illustrate three dilemmatic spaces of learning that the participants must rhetorically handle. The first dilemma illuminates the dual position of both being a father, and at the same time acting as a coach. In the second dilemma, the fathers are seeking to balance between care of their child and increasing performance development. The third dilemma is balancing the training as child/parent quality time and the need for children to develop autonomy. The results show how the dual position of being a father and a coach can be both an asset in the relational building but also highly problematic and, in any case, involves a relational identity change. Learning in this dual position means that the fathers cannot act entirely as a coaches and disregard or override their parental position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relation between Supplementary Education and Public Schooling)
Open AccessArticle
Perspectives of GIS Education in High Schools: An Evaluation of uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050131 - 07 May 2020
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) education in South Africa and elsewhere has been envisioned to be a strategy that can contribute to new ways of teaching, learning and understanding. However, very few studies have assessed how GIS is taught in South African high schools. [...] Read more.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) education in South Africa and elsewhere has been envisioned to be a strategy that can contribute to new ways of teaching, learning and understanding. However, very few studies have assessed how GIS is taught in South African high schools. Consequently, this study aims to analyze GIS education dynamics and perspectives in uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. A survey with both open and close-ended questions was conducted with geography educators and geography students. Questions focused on GIS content, how the content is taught, challenges in GIS education, educators’ GIS proficiency and GIS education perspectives. The sample was guided by purposive sampling that intentionally selected schools with the desired qualities. From the results, it was evident that GIS is progressively taught in secondary schools. However, the full potential of GIS education has been restricted by challenges such as inadequate resources and limited exposure of students to GIS’s practical uses. Subsequently, the study recommends that GIS education in South African schools should be accompanied by appropriate hardware, software and opportunities for exposing students and educators to practical methods of teaching and learning GIS. Furthermore, educators should also be trained to be able to adequately equip students with GIS skills and knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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Open AccessArticle
Playing with Complex Systems? The Potential to Gain Geographical System Competence through Digital Gaming
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050130 - 05 May 2020
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The current socio-ecological challenges and phenomena that are major topics of geography education, like climate change and migration, are highly complex. Maturity in these contexts requires a networked way of thinking, and a systemic competence that is difficult to develop in geography classes [...] Read more.
The current socio-ecological challenges and phenomena that are major topics of geography education, like climate change and migration, are highly complex. Maturity in these contexts requires a networked way of thinking, and a systemic competence that is difficult to develop in geography classes alone. Digital games that simulate complex systems which include the pressing issues of today’s challenges may be a useful supplement to foster systems thinking. In this study, we develop a framework to assess the complexity of in-game systems. A subsequent analysis of a selection of current commercial strategy and simulation games shows how system complexity is designed differently in the various games. Based on these results, we make recommendations for the selection and use of different games in formal and informal learning contexts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Concept Mapping in Magnetism and Electrostatics: Core Concepts and Development over Time
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050129 - 01 May 2020
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Conceptual change theories assume that knowledge structures grow during the learning process but also get reorganized. Yet, this reorganization process itself is hard to examine. By using concept maps, we examined the changes in students’ knowledge structures and linked it to conceptual change [...] Read more.
Conceptual change theories assume that knowledge structures grow during the learning process but also get reorganized. Yet, this reorganization process itself is hard to examine. By using concept maps, we examined the changes in students’ knowledge structures and linked it to conceptual change theory. In a longitudinal study, thirty high-achieving students (M = 14.41 years) drew concept maps at three timepoints across a teaching unit on magnetism and electrostatics. In total, 87 concept maps were analyzed using betweenness and PageRank centrality as well as a clustering algorithm. We also compared the students’ concept maps to four expert maps on the topic. Besides a growth of the knowledge network, the results indicated a reorganization, with first a fragmentation during the unit, followed by an integration of knowledge at the end of the unit. Thus, our analysis revealed that the process of conceptual change on this topic was non-linear. Moreover, the terms used in the concept maps varied in their centrality, with more abstract terms being more central and thus more important for the structure of the map. We also suggest ideas for the usage of concept maps in class. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Networks Applied in Science Education Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Qualitative Study of the Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Macao Students in Mainland China
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050128 - 29 Apr 2020
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Education research is increasingly paying attention to students’ cross-cultural adaption in Mainland China. As a special administrative region of China, educational systems and language of instruction of Macao are different from those of Mainland China. This study analyzes the cross-cultural adaptation of Macao [...] Read more.
Education research is increasingly paying attention to students’ cross-cultural adaption in Mainland China. As a special administrative region of China, educational systems and language of instruction of Macao are different from those of Mainland China. This study analyzes the cross-cultural adaptation of Macao students in Mainland China by using qualitative semi-structured interviews. The results show that study motivation, medium of instruction, and social integration are important factors determining how Macao students adapt to university programs. Failure to adapt to the language of instruction is the most direct, prominent, and enduring problem that Macao students encounter when studying in the Mainland. The current study’s findings have practical implications for faculties who provide support and training to Macao students in Mainland China. The study discovers that strengthening the Mandarin language skills of Macao students is currently a priority. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Warnke Method for the Diagnosis and Improvement of Phonological Competence in Special Needs Children
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050127 - 29 Apr 2020
Viewed by 709
Abstract
Speech, reading, and writing are the basic forms of linguistic communication. Therefore, it is very important to diagnose any problems with them as early and completely as possible, particularly in children with special needs. One of the methods that focuses primarily on the [...] Read more.
Speech, reading, and writing are the basic forms of linguistic communication. Therefore, it is very important to diagnose any problems with them as early and completely as possible, particularly in children with special needs. One of the methods that focuses primarily on the diagnosis and therapy of such learning difficulties is the one developed by Fred Warnke. The diagnostic solutions of the method were motivated by the following assumptions: (a) Automation of hearing, vision, and motor functions can be improved based on the level of brain activity; (b) the development and automation of phonological analysis and synthesis are based on cooperation between the two brain hemispheres. The main purpose of this paper is to present and discuss some research results that show the usefulness of diagnosis of the first stage of the Warnke method, as well as the training determined by it, in improving the phonological memory, language, and reading and writing skills of a group of four Polish children with special needs. The range of automation of each function was estimated on the basis of the values obtained in the diagnoses (initial and final). The final diagnosis showed an improvement in the levels of speech, reading, and writing. Thus, the research has confirmed that the Warnke method diagnosis may help to broaden and complement the standard evaluation methods of phonological competence for Polish children with special needs. The outcomes were so encouraging that we decided to present them to a wider audience. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Development and Application of a Novel Engineering-Based Maker Education Course for Pre-Service Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050126 - 28 Apr 2020
Viewed by 746
Abstract
This study aimed to raise awareness of maker education for pre-service teachers and discuss maker education in their major subjects by developing and applying a maker education course for pre-service teachers with various majors based on novel engineering (NE), a teaching and learning [...] Read more.
This study aimed to raise awareness of maker education for pre-service teachers and discuss maker education in their major subjects by developing and applying a maker education course for pre-service teachers with various majors based on novel engineering (NE), a teaching and learning method that combines humanities and engineering. Accordingly, the course was developed following the procedure of the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) model, and the educational effectiveness was investigated using test tools. The educational effect and difficulties were also examined through the analysis of reflective journals written by 20 pre-service teachers with various majors who participated in the course. To investigate the educational effectiveness of the developed course, the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) literacy of the participants—before and after the course—was measured, with the results demonstrating a statistically significant improvement. Analysis of the reflective journals identified a recognition of sharing effectiveness, the joy of making, and an in-depth understanding of maker education as education effects, and a lack of understanding of techniques, the burden of prototype fabrication, and the limitation of majoring subjects as difficulties experienced during the activities. This study verified that NE could be used as a significant maker education measure for pre-service teachers with various majors. Based on this verification, this study also proposes a strategy to develop more effective NE-based maker education. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Integrating CAD/CAE/CAM in Engineering Curricula: A Project-Based Learning Approach
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050125 - 28 Apr 2020
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Problem-based learning (PBL) approaches are well-accepted and disseminated and have been intensively employed in several engineering programs. This article aims to present a teaching experience in which PBL was applied in one course of a mechanical engineering graduation program. The PBL approach applied [...] Read more.
Problem-based learning (PBL) approaches are well-accepted and disseminated and have been intensively employed in several engineering programs. This article aims to present a teaching experience in which PBL was applied in one course of a mechanical engineering graduation program. The PBL approach applied is described step-by-step as well as the goals and constraints related to Computer-Aided Design, Engineering and Manufacturing (CAD/CAE/CAM) technologies employed in this particular case. The evaluation process is described, as well as the quantitative results, and also the results obtained from questionnaires answered by the students at the end of the PBL experience. Additionally, the team’s technical success in solving the proposed CAD/CAE/CAM problems was also taken into account. This PBL approach provided the students with the required autonomy to develop their argumentative skills within the team, defending their ideas, and at the same time, promoting self-criticism and ethical and impartial judgment among the other team members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering Education Addressing Professional Challenges)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Culturally Responsive Teaching: Its Application in Higher Education Environments
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050124 - 27 Apr 2020
Viewed by 811
Abstract
The application of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) in this article is used to provide a background into the instructional concept of CRT in higher educational settings and to provide examples for classroom pedagogical practice. This article provides instructional approaches that can be used [...] Read more.
The application of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) in this article is used to provide a background into the instructional concept of CRT in higher educational settings and to provide examples for classroom pedagogical practice. This article provides instructional approaches that can be used in higher education classes to promote a cultural context to engage preservice teaching candidates who are seeking initial certification to become teachers-of-record and graduate-level teachers who are certified to understand and embrace the intersection of race, gender, religion, and regional cultures that contribute to identity. This article outlines instructional activities that can be used by faculty in higher education programs to assist their students with learning to co-construct culturally responsive lessons. This type of instruction should lead to a process in which faculty in higher educational settings can assist their preservice teacher candidates and graduate-level students in understanding the community in which they will serve or currently serve and to bring the funds of knowledge of their students into positive and productive learning environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban/City Schools)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Gender Gaps in Educational Provision, Research and Employment Opportunities in the Transport Sector at the European Level
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050123 - 26 Apr 2020
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Serious gaps are found when evaluating the recognition and inclusion of gender aspects in transport strategies, research and innovation. Similar issues can be spotted in the transport labor market, where only 22% of workers are women at the European level. The roots of [...] Read more.
Serious gaps are found when evaluating the recognition and inclusion of gender aspects in transport strategies, research and innovation. Similar issues can be spotted in the transport labor market, where only 22% of workers are women at the European level. The roots of these limitations are in the low participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) studies and, therefore, in the traditionally male-dominated transport field occupations. Stemming from the European project TInnGO, the current paper proposes a descriptive analysis to evaluate the gender gaps in educational provision and research in ten European countries. Specific indicators, such as percentages in the gender composition or the presence of university courses dealing with mobility and transport, have been defined and their availability in different countries is verified. In addition, a desktop review of practices for encouraging and supporting women in STEM studies is operated, underling characteristics such as the kind of initiative, the methods and tools used, the target group or the type of promoter. The results of this activity show that a wide network of associations and mentoring operates in various European nations, mostly targeting secondary school students, trying to make females aware of their potentialities in a deeply gender-biased field like the STEM one. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Distributing Leadership or Distributing Tasks? The Practice of Distributed Leadership by Management and Its Limitations in Two Spanish Secondary Schools
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10050122 - 25 Apr 2020
Viewed by 858
Abstract
The need to explore new forms of leadership in schools, among other available alternatives, leads to the reflection upon the way in which—specifically from the principal’s office—it is developed, implemented and distributed. This paper presents two case studies in Spanish secondary schools in [...] Read more.
The need to explore new forms of leadership in schools, among other available alternatives, leads to the reflection upon the way in which—specifically from the principal’s office—it is developed, implemented and distributed. This paper presents two case studies in Spanish secondary schools in which the practices are analyzed and the limitations recognized in the exercise of distributed leadership by their principals. This study used interviews and shadowing of the principals, recording the observations of meetings and interviews with other influential agents from each school. Despite the particular differences in each case and a greater role of social interaction processes, the outcomes reflect the persistent focus on the individual action of the principals and the pre-eminence of formal and bureaucratic components in the development of distributed leadership. This situation prevents progress beyond the mere distribution of management tasks and hinders the possibilities of consolidating other forms of leadership expression that involve more agents and groups. Full article
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