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Educ. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 22 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) How does a creative activity in a public library introduce children to future roles in society as [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Venues for Analytical Reasoning Problems: How Children Produce Deductive Reasoning
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060169 - 24 Jun 2020
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Abstract
The research on deductive reasoning in mathematics education has been predominantly associated with the study of proof; consequently, there is a lack of studies on logical reasoning per se, especially with young children. Analytical reasoning problems are adequate tasks to engage the solver [...] Read more.
The research on deductive reasoning in mathematics education has been predominantly associated with the study of proof; consequently, there is a lack of studies on logical reasoning per se, especially with young children. Analytical reasoning problems are adequate tasks to engage the solver in deductive reasoning, as they require rule checking and option elimination, for which chains of inferences based on premises and rules are accomplished. Focusing on the solutions of children aged 10–12 to an analytical reasoning problem proposed in two separate settings—a web-based problem-solving competition and mathematics classes—this study aims to find out what forms of deductive reasoning they undertake and how they express that reasoning. This was done through a qualitative content analysis encompassing 384 solutions by children participating in a beyond-school competition and 102 solutions given by students in their mathematics classes. The results showed that four different types of deductive reasoning models were produced in the two venues. Moreover, several representational resources were found in the children’s solutions. Overall, it may be concluded that moderately complex analytical reasoning tasks can be taken into regular mathematics classes to support and nurture young children’s diverse deductive reasoning models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extending Learners’ Mathematical Thinking: Venues and Ventures)
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Open AccessArticle
For a Healthy (and) Higher Education: Evidences from Learning Outcomes in Health Sciences
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060168 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 321
Abstract
Increased recognition of outcomes, or competency-based education, has evolved across higher education on health sciences. However, there is significant diversity in the current study of Portuguese programmes. Considering learning outcomes (LO) as indicators of knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and the understanding that the [...] Read more.
Increased recognition of outcomes, or competency-based education, has evolved across higher education on health sciences. However, there is significant diversity in the current study of Portuguese programmes. Considering learning outcomes (LO) as indicators of knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and the understanding that the student will gain as a result of an educational experience, this study aims to explore which LO are emphasised on the study programmes of health sciences in Portugal. Through a qualitative methodology, carried out through MAXQDA software, all LO of all Portuguese health sciences study programmes submitted to quality accreditation to the Portuguese Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES) since 2009 until 2016 were analysed. Although specific knowledge was the most referenced LO, transversal skills were also emphasized, such as critical and reflexive analysis/critical thinking, research, ability to organize and plan and professional ethics. Significant differences were found between LO selection when the analysis was made by comparing the diverse study programmes. This required assortment of knowledge and skills seems to reflect not only the specificities of each health science programme but also the challenging demands on professionals in the 21st century, along with the necessary changes imposed by society, fostering intercultural understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and an ethic of global citizenship and shared responsibility, crucial enablers of educational development for all in the scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
Open AccessArticle
Sport and Its Relationship with Oncology in Future Primary Education Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060167 - 23 Jun 2020
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Abstract
This essay is aimed at analyzing the existing relationships between oncological problems and sport in future primary education teachers. This relationship was validated and confirmed by realizing a factorial analysis using an ad hoc-created Likert scale. To come up to certain conclusions, a [...] Read more.
This essay is aimed at analyzing the existing relationships between oncological problems and sport in future primary education teachers. This relationship was validated and confirmed by realizing a factorial analysis using an ad hoc-created Likert scale. To come up to certain conclusions, a non-experimental, descriptive, explanatory and correlational investigation process was carried out. The instrument used to collect the data have been made through Likert scale, which was validated in contents and with an excellent Cronbach’s alpha (0.952). The validity of construct was made with factorial analysis exploratory (KMO (0.722), Bartlett (0.000), determinant (3.266E−23)). Three different samples have been taken from 900 students (years 2017–2018–2019), being 896 subjects for research. Those persons were students from the fourth year of primary education degree at University of Jaen. The Kruskal–Wallis test allows us to keep the null hypothesis and make the P of Pearson. As a conclusion, we emphasize that there is a relationship between oncological problems and sport and future primary teachers should be informed about this relationship, as well as the importance of cancer and bones tumors and their relationship with sport, the media used to train in oncological problems may be less important. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Didactic Visualization of Routing Problems
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060166 - 21 Jun 2020
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Abstract
The Traveling Salesman and Vehicle Routing Problems are integral parts of bachelor and master programs related to Operations Research/Management Science. This is due to their relevance in both practical applications and research. For students, it is essential to gain a deep understanding of [...] Read more.
The Traveling Salesman and Vehicle Routing Problems are integral parts of bachelor and master programs related to Operations Research/Management Science. This is due to their relevance in both practical applications and research. For students, it is essential to gain a deep understanding of the problems’ inherent complexity. For this, several tools are available online. A systematic classification of both the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) and Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) teaching material is provided and discussed. This classification takes target groups as well as learning objectives into account. Recommended choices depending on the teaching context are provided. A special focus lies on interactive visualizations, which seem to be most useful for supporting students in their solution-oriented competencies. We observe that didactic visualization tools for vehicle routing are scarce. This is surprising since, in practice, this problem is prevalent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical Modeling in Education with the Use of Digital Tools)
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Open AccessArticle
COVID-19 School Closure-Related Changes to the Professional Life of a K–12 Teacher
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060165 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 549
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic forced K–12 school closures in spring 2020 to protect the well-being of society. The unplanned and unprecedented disruption to education changed the work of many teachers suddenly, and in many aspects. This case study examines the COVID-19 school closure-related changes [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced K–12 school closures in spring 2020 to protect the well-being of society. The unplanned and unprecedented disruption to education changed the work of many teachers suddenly, and in many aspects. This case study examines the COVID-19 school closure-related changes to the professional life of a secondary school teacher in rural Alaska (United States), who had to teach his students online. A descriptive and explanatory single case study methodology was used to describe subsequent impacts on instructional practices and workload. Qualitative and quantitative data sources include participant observations, semi-structured interviews, artifacts (e.g., lesson plans, schedules, online time), and open-ended conversations. The results of this study demonstrate an increase and change in workload for the teacher and that online education can support learning for many students but needs to be carefully designed and individualized to not deepen inequality and social divides. The forced move to online learning may have been the catalyst to create a new, more effective hybrid model of educating students in the future. Not one single model for online learning will provide equitable educational opportunities for all and virtual learning cannot be seen as a cheap fix for the ongoing financial crisis in funding education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning During Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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Open AccessArticle
Teacher Interventions for Advancing Students’ Mathematical Understanding
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060164 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 317
Abstract
The relationship between teacher interventions and students’ mathematical thinking has been the subject of inquiry for quite some time. Using the Pirie–Kieren theory for dynamic growth in mathematical understanding, this study documents teacher interventions that support students’ growth toward developing a general understanding [...] Read more.
The relationship between teacher interventions and students’ mathematical thinking has been the subject of inquiry for quite some time. Using the Pirie–Kieren theory for dynamic growth in mathematical understanding, this study documents teacher interventions that support students’ growth toward developing a general understanding of a mathematical idea in a designed learning environment. By studying the interactions of seven middle school students and the teacher-researcher working on a two-week unit on geometric transformations within a dynamic geometry environment, this study identified nine major categories of teacher interventions that support and extend students’ investigations of mathematical ideas around geometric transformations. The typology of teacher interventions reported in this study provides a cognition-based framework for teacher moves that extend and advance students’ mathematical understanding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extending Learners’ Mathematical Thinking: Venues and Ventures)
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Open AccessArticle
Are Physical Experiences with the Balance Model Beneficial for Students’ Algebraic Reasoning? An Evaluation of two Learning Environments for Linear Equations
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060163 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 316
Abstract
The balance model is often used for teaching linear equation solving. Little research has investigated the influence of various representations of this model on students’ learning outcomes. In this quasi-experimental study, we examined the effects of two learning environments with balance models on [...] Read more.
The balance model is often used for teaching linear equation solving. Little research has investigated the influence of various representations of this model on students’ learning outcomes. In this quasi-experimental study, we examined the effects of two learning environments with balance models on primary school students’ reasoning related to solving linear equations. The sample comprised 212 fifth-graders. Students’ algebraic reasoning was measured four times over the school year; students received lessons in between two of these measurements. Students in Intervention Condition 1 were taught linear equation solving in a learning environment with only pictorial representations of the balance model, while students in Intervention Condition 2 were taught in a learning environment with both physical and pictorial representations of the balance model, which allowed students to manipulate the model. Multi-group latent variable growth curve modelling revealed a significant improvement in algebraic reasoning after students’ participation in either of the two intervention conditions, but no significant differences were found between intervention conditions. The findings suggest that the representation of the balance model did not differentially affect students’ reasoning. However, analyzing students’ reasoning qualitatively revealed that students who worked with the physical balance model more often used representations of the model or advanced algebraic strategies, suggesting that different representations of the balance model might play a different role in individual learning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Yoga as an Inclusive Sport in Educational Contexts
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060162 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Yoga is a growing sport in our current society, but we know little about it; what repercussions it has, what benefits its practice brings, repercussions in the educational environment, etc. Therefore, the objective of the article was to analyze if it is possible [...] Read more.
Yoga is a growing sport in our current society, but we know little about it; what repercussions it has, what benefits its practice brings, repercussions in the educational environment, etc. Therefore, the objective of the article was to analyze if it is possible to design a scale of perception that relates yoga, teacher training, sport, benefits of yoga, and inclusive sport. The objective was to analyze and demonstrate the relationship between variables determining how the academic performance of the students can be improved, since the practice of yoga influences on diverse areas that cause changes at brain level in the students, and it can lead to better attentiveness, memory, etc. For this, a descriptive, explanatory, and correlational research project has been carried out with a quantitative methodology. The analysis sample was made up of 1575 subjects, distributed as follows: 1191 students of the Degree in Primary Education of the University of Jaén (from first to fourth course) and 384 teachers corresponding to different public centers of the province of Jaén. In order to investigate the objective, an operational table was created to construct the Likert scale. The original scale consisted of 20 items reporting an alpha of 0.826, we achieved a reduction of four items, with a higher reliability (0.846), divided into five different dimensions. Likewise, construct validity was checked from a factorial analysis (KM0 = 0.787, Bartlett 0.000). The results of the research have been satisfactory, given that when analyzing the variables proposed in the initial objective, a high degree of correlation has been obtained between them, which supposes, applying it to the educational scope, a great incentive to carry it out in the educational centers, and, therefore, to improve the academic, personal, and social performance of the student. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Problematic Internet Use among Youths
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060161 - 15 Jun 2020
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Problematic Internet Use (PIU) has of late come to the major attention of researchers of risky behaviours. For parents and teachers in turn, the various pathological forms of Internet use have become more and more noticeable. In recent years, the operationalisation of the [...] Read more.
Problematic Internet Use (PIU) has of late come to the major attention of researchers of risky behaviours. For parents and teachers in turn, the various pathological forms of Internet use have become more and more noticeable. In recent years, the operationalisation of the term PIU has also been discussed and attempts to measure its various phenomena have been made. In our study, we used the quantitative method—a diagnostic survey designed on the basis of a tool of the Supreme Audit Office and Scientific and Academic Computer Network (Naukowa i Akademicka Sieć Kompureowa NASK), The survey was conducted in the first half of 2017 in Poland, among 3569 adolescents (median 16, SD = 1.28). The purpose of the research was to investigate the scale of PIU among Polish youths. For most young people, PIU is a major social problem. The majority also declare that more than half of their friends have problems with using electronic media (smartphones and the Internet in particular). On the basis of the data collected, it is estimated that 60% of adolescents use media in a functional way, whereas 40% of young electronic media users show visible PIU symptoms, of which 5% do so at a destructive level (all symptoms). Gender does not co-occur with PIU; however, family structure (where both parents are present), the setting of rules for the use of electronic media, and the place of residence are all protective factors. There is a need for constantly improved tools for measuring PIU, as well as preventive programs focused on developing self-control and helping young people understand their own emotions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Lean Teaching: Non-Value-Added Issues in Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060160 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Lean Thinking is a methodology based on improving the efficiency of productive processes by removing non-value-added issues. This methodology was firstly applied in the manufacturing industry, but it has also been applied to many service companies, bringing very good results. In the last [...] Read more.
Lean Thinking is a methodology based on improving the efficiency of productive processes by removing non-value-added issues. This methodology was firstly applied in the manufacturing industry, but it has also been applied to many service companies, bringing very good results. In the last decade, some works have tried to research the adaptation of Lean principles and practices to teaching, especially in technology and other STEAM subjects. In this sense, the aim of this work is to deepen this new trend by establishing what issues are non-value-added (waste) ones in education and classifying these kinds of waste in order to be able to analyze how to eliminate them. For this purpose, we adapt the classification made in other kinds of processes and extend other authors’ findings regarding this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in STEM Education)
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Open AccessArticle
“Keep Walls Down Instead of Up”: Interrogating Writing/Making as a Vehicle for Black Girls’ Literacies
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060159 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Drawing on data generated following the 2016 United States presidential election, in this article the author considers how a classroom makerspace made Black girls’ literacies visible in new ways. During a six-week integrated humanities unit in a third-grade public school classroom in the [...] Read more.
Drawing on data generated following the 2016 United States presidential election, in this article the author considers how a classroom makerspace made Black girls’ literacies visible in new ways. During a six-week integrated humanities unit in a third-grade public school classroom in the Midwestern U.S., four Black girls used making to create a space for themselves to collaboratively make sense of contemporary (im)migration issues. In the findings, the author provides two analytic snapshots to illustrate how the girls’ making exemplified the six components of the Black Girls’ Literacies Framework—an asset-oriented framing that highlights how Black girls’ literacies are (1) multiple, (2) connected to identities that are (3) historical, (4) collaborative, (5) intellectual, and (6) political/critical (Muhammad & Haddix, 2016). In closing, the author offers provocations for educational researchers and practitioners to consider, as they facilitate school-based opportunities for Black girls’ literacies to be made visible through making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Doing Inventing in the Library. Analyzing the Narrative Framing of Making in a Public Library Context
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060158 - 10 Jun 2020
Viewed by 439
Abstract
In this article, we examine how creative making is framed in a public library setting. We pursue this topic by focusing on the trajectory of a group participating in “The Inventor Course” during a school trip to a library. Video recordings of the [...] Read more.
In this article, we examine how creative making is framed in a public library setting. We pursue this topic by focusing on the trajectory of a group participating in “The Inventor Course” during a school trip to a library. Video recordings of the maker activity comprise the primary data for analysis, supplemented by ethnographic notes. Analysis of the group’s interactions shows how different frames for inventing are acted out and intersect during the activity. We describe these frames as inventing as invention, inventing as exploration and inventing as narrative. Findings indicate that a narrative frame is a fruitful approach to making in a library setting and that narratives performed in dialogue with children help them to make sense of their explorations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Spanish Adaptation of Motivational Climate in Education Scale with University Students
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060157 - 09 Jun 2020
Viewed by 426
Abstract
The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the validity and reliability of the dimensionality of the Spanish adaptation of two correlated subscales to assess motivational climate in the university education context: Mastery motivational climate and performance motivational climate. Two different [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the validity and reliability of the dimensionality of the Spanish adaptation of two correlated subscales to assess motivational climate in the university education context: Mastery motivational climate and performance motivational climate. Two different studies with cross-sectional design and different samples of university students were used to accomplish this research (Study 1: 181 students, mean age = 20.83, SD = 1.76; Study 2: 354 students, mean age = 21.84; SD = 1.98). In Study 1, Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and reliability analysis of the scale were conducted. In Study 2, CFA, reliability analysis, discriminant validity, temporal stability, factorial invariance across gender, and nomological validity were managed through a regression model measuring the relationships between democratic and autocratic behavior, mastery climate, and performance climate. The final version of the Motivational Climate in Education Scale showed acceptable goodness of fit and values of discriminant validity, reliability, temporal stability, and invariance across gender. According to its nomological validity, democratic behavior was shown to be a statistically significant predictor of mastery climate, and the teacher’s autocratic behavior was shown to be a statistically significant predictor of performance climate. This scale is a valid and reliable instrument to assess mastery climate and performance climate in the Spanish university educational context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Development, Implementation, and Assessment of a Creative Additive Manufacturing Design Assignment: Interpreting Improvements in Student Performance
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060156 - 09 Jun 2020
Viewed by 382
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to present a design for additive manufacturing assignment focused on creativity rather than functionality and to analyze its results (N = 70) acquired during five years. The assignment teaches the unique advantages of additive manufacturing to [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to present a design for additive manufacturing assignment focused on creativity rather than functionality and to analyze its results (N = 70) acquired during five years. The assignment teaches the unique advantages of additive manufacturing to engineering students and encourages learning from failure to achieve designs that are possible to manufacture. The students of the course assignment were in their fourth year of studies and pursued master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. The article presents the design for additive manufacturing course assignment in enough detail for it to be applied by educators in the sphere of additive manufacturing. The result assessment is performed with a numerical method and a jury method. The statistical significance of the correlation of the numerical approach with the jury approach is evaluated. The study conducts a multi-point creativity assessment on a large sample of parts created by students acquired over five years with the support of 10 jury members. This assessment process gives insight on how creativity in design for additive manufacturing can be quantified and can be readily applied by educators. The data of the jury evaluation are verified with an interrater reliability evaluation. Our results indicate that conducting the course assignment for multiple years increases the quality of the student work. The improvement of the results is theorized to be partly due to students gaining inspiration from an increasing number of high-quality parts from previous years of the assignment. The numerical method of result assessment can be used for evaluation when resources are scarce; however, the jury method should be used if possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Fluency: Deep Roots in Reading Instruction
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060155 - 03 Jun 2020
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Over the past two decades, reading fluency has been increasingly recognized as an important instructional variable for success in reading. Yet, this has not always been the case. This article presents a historical review of the nature and role of fluency instruction in [...] Read more.
Over the past two decades, reading fluency has been increasingly recognized as an important instructional variable for success in reading. Yet, this has not always been the case. This article presents a historical review of the nature and role of fluency instruction in the United States. The roots of oral reading fluency began in an age when texts and other forms of entertainment and information were limited. Historically, in America, oral reading was the predominant means for conveying ideas and passing the time at home with the family. In the 1800s, American education’s primary method of instruction emphasized the need for being able to read aloud with expression and fluency, in order to hold the listeners’ attention and convey information. As texts and other forms of information became more available, oral reading became deemphasized, and silent reading was viewed as a better approach to developing readers’ comprehension at the cost of fluency development. With continued research and national reports that indicate the significant contributions of oral reading fluency to reading comprehension and academic proficiency, it is clear that the roots of oral reading run deep, and that fluent reading development is important to learners’ academic achievement and reading comprehension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reading Fluency)
Open AccessEditorial
Special Educational Needs, Distance Learning, Inclusion and COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060154 - 03 Jun 2020
Viewed by 581
Abstract
In the last two months, school closure has been one of the more used worldwide “not-pharmacological mitigation strategies” to prevent and limit infection from COVID-19, and to delay the outbreak’s peak [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
High School and College Choice Factors Associated with High-Achieving Low-Income Students’ College Degree Completion
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060153 - 02 Jun 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Gaps in college degree completion between low-, middle-, and high-income college students are typically attributed to differences in academic preparation and ability. However, high-achieving, low-income students are still less likely to graduate from college than their high-achieving, high-income counterparts. This study explores completion [...] Read more.
Gaps in college degree completion between low-, middle-, and high-income college students are typically attributed to differences in academic preparation and ability. However, high-achieving, low-income students are still less likely to graduate from college than their high-achieving, high-income counterparts. This study explores completion rates at the end of the Great Recession, using a community cultural wealth framework to examine additional pre-college factors and college attendance behaviors that contribute to the degree completion of high-achieving, low-income students. Longitudinal data using the Freshmen Survey and National Student Clearinghouse were collected from 2004 to 2010, comparing 9300 high-achieving students entering 455 colleges from low-, middle-, and high-income backgrounds. Hierarchical linear modeling (HGLM) was used to identify student and institutional factors that predict college completion during this era. Findings indicate that navigational capital and college attendance patterns (attending a summer session, selective college, and/or private institution) are key factors for high-achieving, low-income student completion. Cultural wealth anti-deficit measures could not explain the low-income Latinx lower likelihood of college completion nor gender differences across income groups. Implications of the results address concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic recession in terms of what institutions can do to support students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban/City Schools)
Open AccessArticle
Where to from Here? Women Remain Absent from Senior Academic Positions at Aotearoa New Zealand’s Universities
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060152 - 01 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1473
Abstract
In light of policies and programs designed to address the domination of academic positions by male, frequently white individuals, we review the participation of women, one of multiple minority identities within the academy, in Aotearoa New Zealand’s academic workforce using employment data from [...] Read more.
In light of policies and programs designed to address the domination of academic positions by male, frequently white individuals, we review the participation of women, one of multiple minority identities within the academy, in Aotearoa New Zealand’s academic workforce using employment data from eight universities from 2002–2017. While the number of women employed continues to improve, the rate has slowed in recent years and senior roles remain heavily dominated by men. Women were more likely to be employed at lower levels of seniority, to advance to seniority more slowly than male colleagues, and were more likely to be employed part-time. We call for active strategies to address the cultural and structural bias in universities that favour the hiring and promotion of men to improve workforce diversity at all levels of seniority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Content-Based and Cognitive-Linguistic Analysis of Cell Membrane Biology: Educational Reconstruction of Scientific Conceptions
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060151 - 28 May 2020
Viewed by 608
Abstract
By means of their pivotal role in the outbreak of a variety of diseases, such as, recently, COVID-19, the molecular aspects of cell membrane function have gained considerable attention from researchers in recent decades. The resulting information explosion and the growing interdisciplinary character [...] Read more.
By means of their pivotal role in the outbreak of a variety of diseases, such as, recently, COVID-19, the molecular aspects of cell membrane function have gained considerable attention from researchers in recent decades. The resulting information explosion and the growing interdisciplinary character of cell biology seems, however, to not be represented in science classrooms. Hence, there appears to be a gap between what is scientifically known and what is actually taught in classrooms. Framed by the model of educational reconstruction (MER), the aim of our study is therefore to identify scientific core ideas of cell membrane biology from an educational point of view. This is achieved by conducting qualitative content analysis of relevant cell biology literature. By using Conceptual Metaphor as a theory of understanding, we additionally illuminate the experiential grounding of scientific conceptions. Our results propose that cell membrane biology can be structured into three core ideas, comprising compartmentalisation, physical and chemical properties, and multicellular coordination interrelated by evolution as a key aspect. Our results show that scientists conceive these ideas metaphorically. Embodied part-whole relations seem, for example, to lay the grounds for their understanding of biological function. The outcomes of the study may inform future cell membrane teaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Undergraduates Interested in STEM Research Are Better Students than Their Peers
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060150 - 26 May 2020
Viewed by 539
Abstract
In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), undergraduate research experiences provide students with invaluable opportunities to improve scientific skills. However, less is known about its impact on higher-order thinking skills. Therefore, we sought to determine if engagement in undergraduate research would improve academic [...] Read more.
In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), undergraduate research experiences provide students with invaluable opportunities to improve scientific skills. However, less is known about its impact on higher-order thinking skills. Therefore, we sought to determine if engagement in undergraduate research would improve academic performance in students engaged in research compared to those that were not. To accomplish this, biology majors were enrolled in courses that taught research methodology and techniques. Results indicated that students who were selected for the research program outperformed their peers in their other classes during the research program, based on t-test statistics. However, these students had also outperformed their peers during the previous fall semester, prior to receiving additional instruction. Furthermore, students who merely applied for inclusion in the program had significantly higher grades than students who did not apply. In addition, writing samples from research and non-research students were significantly different. Taken together, these data suggest that while undergraduate research may indeed enhance a student’s academic performance and interest in science, a student’s personal interest and drive for research may themselves indicate superior academic performance. Further, science departments aiming to offer research early in their curricula may benefit from such a self-selection strategy, especially in cases where there are limited resources available for undergraduate research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in STEM Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Children’s Augmented Storying in, with and for Nature
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060149 - 26 May 2020
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was [...] Read more.
Drawing on a relational ontology and scholarship of new literacies, we investigate the materiality and performativity of children’s augmented storying in nature. Our study is situated in a Finnish primary school in which a novel, augmented reality application (MyAR Julle) was utilized as a digital storytelling tool for children (n = 62, aged 7–9), allowing them to explore, interact, and imagine in nature and to create/share their stories. The data corpus consists of their narrations of their augmented stories in nature, their augmented story artefacts, and video/observational data from their construction of such stories in nature. Narrative analysis reveals how the children’s augmented storying in nature was performed through playful, affective, and sensuous, identity, cultural, and critical literacies, which were imaginatively constructed into being at the nexus of their sensed reality and fantasy. These literacies make visible human–material–spatial–temporal assemblages during which the children played with/through the augmented character Julle, felt and sensed with/through Julle, and re-storied their experiences, cultural knowledge, and identities with/through Julle. They also engaged in critical thinking with/through Julle. The study contributes to knowledge on the meaning of materiality in children’s storying in, with, and for nature and the educational possibilities of augmented storying for children’s (eco)literacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Children, Maker Literacies and Social Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Validation of Cultural and Academic Experience Questionnaire: A study of East Asian Research Students at Australian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10060148 - 26 May 2020
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Abstract
This article documents the development of a questionnaire designed to measure the cultural and academic experiences (CAEQ) of East Asian research students enrolled at Australian universities. The CAEQ comprises three subscales: sense of belonging, learning strategies and perception of progress. The scale was [...] Read more.
This article documents the development of a questionnaire designed to measure the cultural and academic experiences (CAEQ) of East Asian research students enrolled at Australian universities. The CAEQ comprises three subscales: sense of belonging, learning strategies and perception of progress. The scale was designed based on literature studies and ideas from previous scales. The target groups were doctoral students from Bangladesh, China, India, and Pakistan enrolled at Australian universities. Initially, 295 students responded to an online survey and 211 research students completed it. A factor analysis was conducted to explore the components of each scale. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed that there are 2–4 significantly correlated components of each subscale. The developed scales in this study can be used by universities to monitor the academic progress and research progress of their international students from the East Asian region, along with ensuring that these students have improved cultural and academic experiences in the Australian higher education sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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