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Educ. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 9 (September 2020) – 47 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): As educational institutions switched to E-learning during COVID-19, it is essential to realize the critical success factors for E-learning during the pandemic to enhance the educational process. E-learning managers were interviewed based on defined evaluation criteria and E-learning methods and then multi-criteria decision analysis tools, Viz., Analytic Hierarchy Process, and Technique of Order Preference Similarity to the Ideal Solution, were applied. The study found that technology management, management support, student awareness to use E-learning systems, and a high level of IT from all parties are the most critical factors of E-learning. Among the learning systems, blended learning is the most suitable to practice. The result has shown that regardless of how extraordinary the technology is; the readiness of E-learning execution plays a big role in boosting the educational process. [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Ethics and Deontology in Spanish Public Universities
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090259 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
The existence of ethical and deontological codes is a reality integrated in highly competitive sectors, such as the medical sector or the legal profession. Most studies on ethics and deontology focus on the way in which they are communicated and their effectiveness. However, [...] Read more.
The existence of ethical and deontological codes is a reality integrated in highly competitive sectors, such as the medical sector or the legal profession. Most studies on ethics and deontology focus on the way in which they are communicated and their effectiveness. However, no special interest has been paid to the existence, application and content of ethics and deontology in the university sector and its relationship with the transmission of ethical and deontological principles to students. Professionals, employees and managers who will play their role in society, perform their work in companies or develop strategic plans, are trained at universities, which must play an important role in the ethical and deontological training of future social actors. Therefore, it is necessary to respond to whether public universities have codes of ethics and whether the fact of having these codes implies a greater commitment to the inclusion of ethical values in their training programs. To this end, Spanish public universities are analyzed and the results, which are grouped by areas of knowledge, are presented. The results achieved provide useful insight for university managers concerned with implementing ethical and responsible policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Challenges in Leading Higher Education Organizations)
Open AccessArticle
Inclusive Vision Versus Special Education Reality
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090258 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
The reasons are examined for the disparity between the inclusive vision espoused by Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the reality of the limited extent of inclusion in education systems worldwide. First, the leadership [...] Read more.
The reasons are examined for the disparity between the inclusive vision espoused by Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the reality of the limited extent of inclusion in education systems worldwide. First, the leadership of key senior academics in the field of special education is considered to have been misguided in promoting a vision of full inclusion despite the lack of research evidence for the benefits of inclusive education over traditional special education provision. Second, attitudes toward and the treatment of people with disabilities have a long and complex history, and in this, many proponents of inclusion have been critical of 20th century special education. In particular, they claim that the sorting, labelling and categorizing required by special education have negative implications. Third, educators have been encouraged to imagine a system of education that is limitless, in the sense that all children with disabilities can be included in general education. This is because it is envisaged that general education classrooms will become so flexible that there will be no limits to the accommodation of students with disabilities, regardless of the nature or severity of their special educational needs. Fourth is the issue that deciding a student’s placement for education requires a judgment call and that, since human judgment is fallible, errors of judgment will always be made. Fifth, commitments to inclusion require that educators consider the practical, reality-based implications, whereas this has not been the case for many supporters of full inclusion. In conclusion, inclusion in the sense of students being physically present in general education classrooms is not considered as important as inclusion in the reality of being engaged in a program of instruction that is meaningful and challenging. Therefore, we consider that, rather than becoming extinct, special education needs to continue to be developed, disseminated and rigorously implemented in schools. Key special education strategies and approaches must co-exist with those from inclusive education, in order to provide effective education for all young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Entrepreneurship Education and Students’ Entrepreneurial Intention in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090257 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Facing the challenging employment situation and the changing labor market, developing student entrepreneurial intention has attracted significant policy consideration in China. This study describes the background of entrepreneurship education in China’s higher education institutes and explores the influences of entrepreneurship education on student [...] Read more.
Facing the challenging employment situation and the changing labor market, developing student entrepreneurial intention has attracted significant policy consideration in China. This study describes the background of entrepreneurship education in China’s higher education institutes and explores the influences of entrepreneurship education on student entrepreneurial intention. Using data from a survey on students in China, this study finds that students in different types of institutions and different major fields had a different level of engagement in entrepreneurship education. Further, the higher the level of entrepreneurship education the students received, the stronger their self-efficacy of entrepreneurial decision-making was, and the stronger their entrepreneurial intention was. Student entrepreneurial decision-making self-efficacy played a mediating role between entrepreneurship education and student entrepreneurial intention. We found that entrepreneurship education has a positive effect on entrepreneurial intention. Entrepreneurship education course-taking has a positive effect on entrepreneurial decision-making. Furthermore, the positive effect of self-efficacy of entrepreneurial decision-making on entrepreneurial intention was also confirmed. We also found that self-efficacy of entrepreneurial decision-making played the significant role of mediator between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intention. The findings also showed a difference between the current China context and the western context that taking entrepreneurship-related classes had more considerable influences on student entrepreneurial intention than entrepreneurship-related practicum. We discuss the implications of the improvement of higher education in China and relevance to other contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship Education)
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Open AccessArticle
The Quality of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis: Families’ Views
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090256 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 783
Abstract
The birth of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to strongly disrupt family dynamics and functioning. However, the severity of the impact may be softened if the family feels supported during the diagnostic process. The Valencia region (Spain)—where this study [...] Read more.
The birth of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to strongly disrupt family dynamics and functioning. However, the severity of the impact may be softened if the family feels supported during the diagnostic process. The Valencia region (Spain)—where this study is located—recently put in place a protocol to improve ASD detection and support for families. The aim of this study was to identify these families’ views on the quality of the process experienced and the operation of the new system. The participants were 34 families with a child who had been diagnosed with this condition. A mixed methodological approach was adopted. A descriptive analysis and an interpretative-phenomenological study were performed using SPSS v. 25 and AQUAD 7, respectively. The results showed that while families seemed to be relatively satisfied, there is still room for improvement in some important areas such as guidance and emotional support, the training of the professionals involved, and waiting time. It was concluded that significant improvements must be implemented in the new diagnostic model to successfully meet the demands of families in a context characterized by a paucity of studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Inclusive Education)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of the General Knowledge and Skills Displayed by Students Participating in International Geopolitical Competitions
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090255 - 18 Sep 2020
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Three years ago, the Polish Geopolitical Society began an initiative focused on students, PHD candidates and interested academic societies, who wished to co-operate in popularizing the subject area of geopolitics. This initiative sought to serve as a forum for such groups and individuals [...] Read more.
Three years ago, the Polish Geopolitical Society began an initiative focused on students, PHD candidates and interested academic societies, who wished to co-operate in popularizing the subject area of geopolitics. This initiative sought to serve as a forum for such groups and individuals to compete with other interested colleagues and groups from around the world. During the process, students strive to prove their level of professional knowledge, while their teachers assist them in preparing for their best presentations. All participants then meet during the final stages of the competition in order to exchange their experiences. This, in turn, benefits the development of general approaches and methods of study regarding the discipline of geopolitics. The question addressed in this paper then, is how such international competitions can improve the overall skills and knowledge of the subject area at hand among those participating. The importance of this question is underscored by various initiatives undertaken that attempt to measure the quality of higher education. The research presented in this article, then, is based upon interviews with both participants and organizing committee members, which attempt to gauge the experiences and results achieved during such competitions. The results show both the positive and negative aspects of organizing such gatherings. Most certainly, one could draw the conclusion that such events are the most attractive to the most ambitious of students and teachers, who consider education a privilege and as a process, which continues throughout one’s lifetime. Adversely, for those who place education in the same category as a material good, to be bought and sold, such competitions have little appeal especially when focused upon a narrow field of study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Considering Students’ Abilities in the Academic Advising Process
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090254 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Academic advising is time-consuming work. At the same time, it needs to be efficient and productive in assisting the students to choose appropriate academic courses towards the completion of their selected programs in a beneficial manner. In addition, both private and public educational [...] Read more.
Academic advising is time-consuming work. At the same time, it needs to be efficient and productive in assisting the students to choose appropriate academic courses towards the completion of their selected programs in a beneficial manner. In addition, both private and public educational institutions are, currently, operating in an extremely competitive market and are, thus, faced with various challenges. Among these are the twin challenges of student retention and the rate of success in completion of their chosen academic courses. The mentioned challenges have a direct bearing on the quality of academic advising and services provided to the students, by the individual academic institution. A number of research studies have been carried out suggesting various online academic advising systems for undergraduate and graduate programs. In this context, we develop and present, here, an academic advising system which differs from and improves upon previously suggested methodologies with the inclusion of the facility to track individual students’ performance and, thus, ability in educational subjects and programs, taken in the previous academic terms. Our suggested methodology is based on the use of this facility to guide students in the selection of courses that they may register for the forthcoming academic term. We believe that the consideration of individual students’ past academic preformation, in our suggested methodology, is a significant improvement and will assist students in making more beneficial choices when registering for academic courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Technology in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
International Understanding among Nursing and Pharmacy Students in Japan
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090253 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 682
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to establish a model for assessing interest in international understanding among nursing and pharmacy students in Japan. The study design was a cross-sectional survey of nursing and pharmacy students in their first to fourth years at Josai [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research is to establish a model for assessing interest in international understanding among nursing and pharmacy students in Japan. The study design was a cross-sectional survey of nursing and pharmacy students in their first to fourth years at Josai International University. The International Understanding Scale (IUS2000), consisting of four domains (respect for human rights, understanding international culture, awareness of world solidarity, and understanding foreign languages) with 27 items, was used. A path analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used to model international understanding. The model of international understanding of nursing and pharmacy students was established as the second-order four-factor mode. The international understanding of nursing and pharmacy students was mainly composed of respect for human rights and awareness of world solidarity and was less affected by understanding foreign languages. Nursing students in our study had a higher international understanding than pharmacy students. International understanding was considered relevant to students’ learning about the importance of interprofessional collaboration as well as their interests in global learning environments for healthcare professionals. The relationship between international understanding and future progress in healthcare performance needs to be studied to show the importance of international understanding education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Usage of Terms “Science” and “Scientific Knowledge” in Nature of Science (NOS): Do Their Lexicons in Different Accounts Indicate Shared Conceptions?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090252 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Nature of science (NOS) has been a central theme in science education and research on it for nearly three decades, but there is still debate on its proper focus and underpinnings. The focal points of these debates revolve around different ways of understanding [...] Read more.
Nature of science (NOS) has been a central theme in science education and research on it for nearly three decades, but there is still debate on its proper focus and underpinnings. The focal points of these debates revolve around different ways of understanding the terms “science” and “scientific knowledge”. It is suggested here that the lack of agreement is at least partially related to and reflected as a lack of common vocabulary and terminology that would provide a shared basis for finding consensus. Consequently, the present study seeks motivation from the notions of centrality of lexicons in recognizing the identity of disciplinary communities and different schools of thought within NOS. Here, by using a network approach, we investigate how lexicons used by different authors to discuss NOS are confluent or divergent. The lexicons used in these texts are investigated on the basis of a network analysis. The results of the analysis reveal clear differences in the lexicons that are partially related to differences in views, as evident from the debates surrounding the consensus NOS. The most divergent views are related to epistemology, while regarding the practices and social embeddedness of science the lexicons overlap significantly. This suggests that, in consensus NOS, one can find much basis for converging views, with common understanding, where constructive communication may be possible. The basic vocabulary, in the form of a lexicon, can reveal much about the different stances and the differences and similarities between various disciplinary schools. The advantage of such an approach is its neutrality and how it keeps a distance from preferred epistemological positions and views of nature of knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Me and My New World: Effects of a School Based Social-Emotional Learning Program for Adolescents in Panama
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090251 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Gender inequalities still affect the health and well-being of young people worldwide. Given the apprehensions among government and educators in a conservative context like Panama to implement comprehensive sexual education, there is a need for other educational efforts to stimulate healthy and respectful [...] Read more.
Gender inequalities still affect the health and well-being of young people worldwide. Given the apprehensions among government and educators in a conservative context like Panama to implement comprehensive sexual education, there is a need for other educational efforts to stimulate healthy and respectful intimate relationships between adolescents. This article examines to what extent a newly developed Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program, Me and My New World, provides a context in which students can learn to recognize and manage emotions, to care about others and themselves, make responsible decisions, develop social awareness. The program could additionally facilitate behavioral changes of young people towards more gender equality. Specifically, we focused on equal gender roles, equal rights in relationships and nonviolent problem solving, and present the qualitative effect evaluation among adolescents in Panama. The findings suggest that SEL-based lessons might broaden views on how young people experience the process of exploring identity formation, how assumptions of inequalities can be recreated through the lessons, and that SEL can emphasize the significance of choice and decision-making in interpersonal relationships. The perspectives, needs, and limitations highlighted by the adolescents living in a conservative context are highly valuable for improving future learning strategies for the development of healthier relationships. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Joy of Having a Book in Your Own Language: Home Language Books in a Refugee Education Centre
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090250 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
In 2018, Aotearoa/New Zealand increased its annual refugee quota to 1000. When refugees arrive in Aotearoa/New Zealand they spend six weeks in a resettlement programme. During this time, children attend an introduction to schooling. First language (L1) literacy support for children experiencing education [...] Read more.
In 2018, Aotearoa/New Zealand increased its annual refugee quota to 1000. When refugees arrive in Aotearoa/New Zealand they spend six weeks in a resettlement programme. During this time, children attend an introduction to schooling. First language (L1) literacy support for children experiencing education in a medium that is not their Home Language has been identified as essential for children’s educational success. This knowledge is reflected in Principle 4 of the International Literacy Association’s Children’s Rights to Read campaign, which states that “children have the right to read texts that mirror their experiences and languages...”. In 2018, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)-Yamada Foundation granted funding to IBBY in Aotearoa/New Zealand (IBBYNZ)/Storylines to supply books in the Home Languages of the refugee children in the introduction to school programme. Over 350 books were sourced in a range of languages including Farsi, Arabic, Tamil, Punjabi, Burmese, Karen, Chin, and Spanish. In this article, the sourcing of these books and their introduction to children in a refugee resettlement programme is described. Interviews with five teachers in the resettlement programme concerning the use of the books and how children and their families have been responding are reported. Future programme developments are outlined. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Optimizing Student-Driven Learning (SdL) through a Framework Designed for Tailoring Personal Student Paths
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090249 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Our ever-changing and developing society constantly requires professions that did not exist 20 years ago. Students have to become professionals capable of steering their own career development and controlling their own learning process, at university and in their future profession. In order to [...] Read more.
Our ever-changing and developing society constantly requires professions that did not exist 20 years ago. Students have to become professionals capable of steering their own career development and controlling their own learning process, at university and in their future profession. In order to reach these goals, lecturers have to understand the different needs of students in terms of knowledge and interests. This research offers a framework to help students deal with possible knowledge gaps and account for personal interests to match defined learning goals, utilizing the author’s master’s course in design for maintenance operations (DfMO) at the University of Twente as a basis for validation. First, a literature review was conducted on successful modern techniques of student-driven learning (SdL) to identify the best practices to use and possible pitfalls to avoid. Second, an analysis of the target group was carried out. Third, the research identified the most effective way to create such a tool (framework), taking into account the possible entry points of students. In particular, the research tried to understand to what extent it is possible and valuable to offer a student-driven approach. Finally, the tool was evaluated by representatives of the target group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Online Mathematics Teacherpreneurs Developers on Teachers Pay Teachers: Who Are They and Why Are They Popular?
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090248 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Online teacherpreneurs are teachers who use social media platforms to create, sell, and distribute educational resources to others. For many teachers, they have become the new curriculum developers in our virtually intensive world. Curriculum development in mathematics education has a large impact on [...] Read more.
Online teacherpreneurs are teachers who use social media platforms to create, sell, and distribute educational resources to others. For many teachers, they have become the new curriculum developers in our virtually intensive world. Curriculum development in mathematics education has a large impact on how students understand concepts, but little is known about these online mathematics teacherpreneurs influences on the curriculum. Therefore, as part of a larger study investigating the top 500 free elementary mathematics educational resource developers on TeachersPayTeachers.com (TpT), we surveyed the teacherpreneurs who created these top resources. Using the constant comparative method, we analyzed 58 responses to learn more about the online mathematics TpT teacherpreneurs: who they are, how they believe they became popular, and what they believe their teacher customers want when searching for resources. We found these teacherpreneurs identified themselves as teachers with typically over 10 years of experience creating classroom resources. Many attributed their popularity to advertising their resources via social media and having a large number of products available for teachers. They identified beliefs that teachers want easy to use, free, quality materials that are visually appealing. Implications, including findings that indicate a misalignment between what teachers say they want and what the teacherpreneurs believe teachers want, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Mathematical Concepts and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing a Motion Infographic-Based Learning System for Effective Learning
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090247 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 803
Abstract
The motion infographic system combines the characteristics of continuous images and the simplification of information, which can make up for the disadvantages of content in static images, and may have the advantage of deepening the impression of infographics. As Taiwan’s elementary school resource [...] Read more.
The motion infographic system combines the characteristics of continuous images and the simplification of information, which can make up for the disadvantages of content in static images, and may have the advantage of deepening the impression of infographics. As Taiwan’s elementary school resource classes (elementary school pupils with mild disabilities or learning challenges) do not yet have exclusive learning content, resource class teachers prepare their own teaching content, but they cannot integrate existing learning lists and network resources. Therefore, this study designed and developed a motion infographic system to assist with resource class learning. The theme of this motion infographic system uses a very rare natural phenomenon in Taiwan, the Arctic oscillation, which in early 2016 brought to Taiwan the lowest recorded temperature on the flat ground. The study analyzed the learning effectiveness of this system applied to resource classes through an experimental and control group. The final result shows that the motion infographic system was different from the original content used in the resource class. The improvement in the academic achievement and the grasp of the image shapes of the experimental group was better than the control group, which verified that the motion infographic system can improve learning outcomes in a resource class. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Concept Map and Knowledge
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090246 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Based on Piaget’s genetic epistemology, Ausubel developed the assimilation theory of verbal learning [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concept Mapping and Education)
Open AccessArticle
Indicators of Regional Innovation Clusters’ Effectiveness in the Higher Education System
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090245 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Under globalization conditions, the main priority of the state education policy in many countries of the world is to ensure higher education quality. This is possible through close and efficient cooperation between the state, higher education institutions, future specialists, employers and innovative structures [...] Read more.
Under globalization conditions, the main priority of the state education policy in many countries of the world is to ensure higher education quality. This is possible through close and efficient cooperation between the state, higher education institutions, future specialists, employers and innovative structures (clusters). This study focuses on the development of indicators that can comprehensively assess the effectiveness of regional innovation clusters in the higher education system. The main attention is given to the analysis of innovations, business, education development and competitiveness, as indicators of the effectiveness of regional innovation clusters in the higher education system. The following methods have been used within the research: content analysis, statistical, correlation and regression analysis, econometric modeling and the graphical method. As a result of the research, indicators of the effectiveness of regional innovation clusters have been identified and the impact of these indicators on the higher education system has been evaluated. The authors have shown that there is a close relationship between the level of development of regional innovation clusters, indicators of business and innovations development, and the level of competitiveness. The direct impact of those on the higher education system has been established and confirmed by the provided calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering Education in Knowledge Based Society)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementing Government Elementary Math Exercises Online: Positive Effects Found in RCT under Social Turmoil in Chile
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090244 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
The impact of online math programs depends on its implementation, especially in vulnerable populations from developing countries. An existing online platform was adapted, at the request of the Chilean Ministry of Education, to exclusively include exercises previously designed and tested by a paper-based [...] Read more.
The impact of online math programs depends on its implementation, especially in vulnerable populations from developing countries. An existing online platform was adapted, at the request of the Chilean Ministry of Education, to exclusively include exercises previously designed and tested by a paper-based government program for elementary school. We carried out a cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 50 fourth grade classrooms. Treatment classrooms used the platform in a weekly 90-min math session. Due to a social instability outbreak in the country, a large unexpected disruption with huge absenteeism occurred in the second half of the semester, which turned this study into a unique opportunity to explore the robustness of the platform’s effects on students’ learning. Using multiple imputation and multilevel models, we found a statistically significant effect size of 0.13, which corresponds to two extra months of learning. This effect is meaningful for four reasons. First, it has double the effect of the paper-based version. Second, it was achieved during one semester only. Third, is half that obtained with the platform for a complete year with its own set of exercises and with two sessions per week instead of one. Fourth, it was attained in a semester with a lot of absenteeism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Open AccessArticle
A Synergy between History of Mathematics and Mathematics Education: A Possible Path from Geometry to Symbolic Algebra
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090243 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
This paper proposes an experimental path aimed at guiding upper secondary school students to overcome that discontinuity, often perceived by them, between learning geometry and learning algebra. This path contributes to making students aware of how the algebraic language, formalized in the most [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an experimental path aimed at guiding upper secondary school students to overcome that discontinuity, often perceived by them, between learning geometry and learning algebra. This path contributes to making students aware of how the algebraic language, formalized in the most powerful form by Descartes, grafts itself onto the geometric language. This is realized by introducing a problem included in a text written by Abū Kāmil before the year 870. This awareness acquired by the students, when accompanied by some semiotic considerations, allows the translation of the problem from “spoken” algebra to “symbolic” algebra, and it represents the background for a possible use of the same problem within the framework of analytic geometry. This proposition manifests a didactic and popular efficacy that supports and favors the recognition of the object it is talking about in different contexts, helping to create a unitary vision of mathematics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Teaching Mathematical Concepts and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Factors of Students’ Failure in Blended Courses by Analyzing Students’ Engagement Data
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090242 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
Our modern era has brought about radical changes in the way courses are delivered and various teaching methods are being introduced to answer the purpose of meeting the modern learning challenges. On that account, the conventional way of teaching is giving place to [...] Read more.
Our modern era has brought about radical changes in the way courses are delivered and various teaching methods are being introduced to answer the purpose of meeting the modern learning challenges. On that account, the conventional way of teaching is giving place to a teaching method which combines conventional instructional strategies with contemporary learning trends. Thereby, a new course type has emerged, the blended course in the context of which online teaching and conventional instruction are efficiently mixed. This paper demonstrates a way to identify factors affecting students’ critical performance in blended courses through a binary logistics regression analysis on students’ engagement data. The binary logistics regression analysis has led to a risk model which identifies and prioritizes these factors in proportion to their contribution to the risk occurrence. The risk model is demonstrated in the context of two specific blended courses sharing the same learning design. Additionally, the outcome of the study has proved that factors related to the e-learning part have critically affected the students’ performance in the respective blended courses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Inclusive Praxis of Outward Bound Instructors
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090241 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Equity and inclusion are critical issues that need to be addressed in outdoor adventure education. Although some literature identifies inclusive practices for enhancing equity in outdoor adventure education, most research does not situate these practices within the contexts in which they were created [...] Read more.
Equity and inclusion are critical issues that need to be addressed in outdoor adventure education. Although some literature identifies inclusive practices for enhancing equity in outdoor adventure education, most research does not situate these practices within the contexts in which they were created and used. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore outdoor adventure education instructors’ inclusive praxis, and the conditions that influenced their praxis on their courses and in their instructing experiences. To this end, we conducted semi-structured interviews with ten instructors from four Outward Bound schools in the USA. The instructors varied in their gender, school, types of programs facilitated, and duration of employment with Outward Bound. Our inductive analysis of the interview data focused on the identification of themes illustrating the characteristics of instructors’ inclusive praxis, as well as the conditions that influenced their praxis. Themes emerged from our analysis that highlighted the macro and micro conditions that set the stage for instructors’ inclusive praxis, which focused on creating spaces that fostered inclusive group cultures on their courses. The findings from this study may be a useful starting point for enhancing the instructors’ role in fostering equity and inclusion on outdoor adventure education courses. We conclude with suggestions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Adventure Education: Trends and New Directions)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Role of Gender and Culture in Vocational Orientation in Science
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090240 - 09 Sep 2020
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Females and people belonging to ethnic minorities tend to be underrepresented in science occupations. The goal of this paper was to investigate the needs of students of different gender and ethnicity in terms of vocational orientation in order to tailor future interventions to [...] Read more.
Females and people belonging to ethnic minorities tend to be underrepresented in science occupations. The goal of this paper was to investigate the needs of students of different gender and ethnicity in terms of vocational orientation in order to tailor future interventions to their needs. This paper finds that students of different gender and cultural background differ in their preferences in terms of vocational orientation in science. Two studies were conducted: (1) secondary school students (N = 450) were asked about their current activities and needs in terms of vocational orientation; (2) university students’ (N = 342) retrospective views on their vocational orientation were investigated. Among the secondary school students (1), we found no significant differences in science aspirations, when differentiating between students’ culture and their gender. However, females with migration background tended to wish for information from different sources than other students (contacts with university, teacher feedback, i.e., more formal/professional sources). Male participants without migration background tended to rely more strongly on informal sources such as online video platforms. This study (2) confirmed the finding that more professional feedback would be beneficial. These findings suggest that vocational orientation in science should be more specific to the target group in order to reach those who are currently underrepresented in science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Makey Makey as an Interactive Robotic Tool for High School Students’ Learning in Multicultural Contexts
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090239 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are immersed in the teaching and learning processes. Specifically, educational robotics is a technology with great projection in learning spaces. This educational technology has revealed great potential in educational processes in the scientific literature. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are immersed in the teaching and learning processes. Specifically, educational robotics is a technology with great projection in learning spaces. This educational technology has revealed great potential in educational processes in the scientific literature. In this study, the Makey Makey device has been used to carry out a methodological contrast at the instructional level. The objective of this study is to verify if the use of the Makey Makey robotic device influences various psycho-social and educational dimensions in the subject of physical education. A quasi-experimental research design has been used in a sample of 177 students from secondary education. A questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument. The results show the ratings made by the control group students are lower than those of the experimental group in all dimensions, although there is no relationship of significance in all dimensions. This fact only occurs in motivation, teacher–student, student–content, collaboration, resolution, and teacher-rating dimensions. Conclusions show that the teaching method in which robotics is used leads to more success in the field of physical education if we compared it to the more conventional method. The outstanding data show the teaching–learning process has the highest influence on motivation, teacher–student, student–content, collaboration, resolution, and teacher rating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intercultural Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Inclusion and Special Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090238 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2694
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to trace the historical trajectory of special education and how societal perspectives influenced the special education movement. It aims to answer if special education and inclusion have achieved their goals for all individuals, especially those with disabilities. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to trace the historical trajectory of special education and how societal perspectives influenced the special education movement. It aims to answer if special education and inclusion have achieved their goals for all individuals, especially those with disabilities. A review of historical trends, special education laws, and key constructs showed that there were both positives and negatives aspects. It also revealed that the absence of a clear definition, standards, and objectives for inclusion and least restrictive environment is just one of the roots of the problem. Moreover, the lack of empirical studies on the effectiveness of inclusion and the lack of knowledge and awareness of the provisions of special education laws by stakeholders contribute to the issues surrounding inclusion implementation. Recommendations include that all stakeholders should have historical awareness and discriminative ability, in-depth comprehension of special education laws, and adapting the same definition, standards and clear objectives in implementing inclusion programs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Monitoring the Own Spatial Thinking in Second Grade of Primary Education in a Spanish School: Preliminary Study Analyzing Gender Differences
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090237 - 06 Sep 2020
Viewed by 926
Abstract
Previous studies on metacognitive performance have explored children’s abilities during primary school (7–11 years) in abstract and mathematical reasoning tasks. However, there have been no studies evaluating the metamemory processes with spatial tasks in primary school children, and even more generally, only a [...] Read more.
Previous studies on metacognitive performance have explored children’s abilities during primary school (7–11 years) in abstract and mathematical reasoning tasks. However, there have been no studies evaluating the metamemory processes with spatial tasks in primary school children, and even more generally, only a few studies have explored spatial metacognition in adults. Taking as a preliminary study a Spanish school, the present work explores the validity of the confidence judgment model when thinking about one’s own performance in a spatial test, for boys and girls in Second Year of Primary Education (mean age of 7 years). A total of 18 boys and 15 girls applied a 4-point scale to evaluate, item by item, the confidence of their responses in the Spatial aptitude test “E” of the EFAI-1 (Factorial Assessment of Intellectual Abilities to mentally process visual stimuli). Accessibility and Accuracy Indexes were calculated for each item of the spatial task. The effect of gender was analyzed too. The tasks were administered in small groups; at the end examiners interviewed each participant, performing the confidence judgment task, item by item, of the EFAI-1 previously answered. The results (analyses carried out by SPSS) showed a high mean confidence (3 mean points out of a maximum of 4), without finding any significant differences either in the spatial performance or in the mean confidence rating between boys and girls. A significant relationship between confidence judgments and spatial task performance accuracy was found. The relationship between confidence judgments and spatial performance cannot be confirmed. The procedure adapted for testing spatial judgments about the own responses has been useful for showing the well calibrated perception about performance at this stage. The implications of the results of this exploratory study and the potential of the application of the procedure to promote thought about one’s own spatial performance and the development of strategies that modulate the effective approach of this type of spatial tasks are discussed within an educational approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education and Implications to Educational Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
A Student Primer on How to Thrive in Engineering Education during and beyond COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090236 - 05 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2066
Abstract
In this paper, we strive to provide a primer for students on how to thrive and learn effectively in engineering education in the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times following the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has disrupted the educational [...] Read more.
In this paper, we strive to provide a primer for students on how to thrive and learn effectively in engineering education in the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times following the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has disrupted the educational enterprise massively with universities physically closing in many parts of the world and students and faculty transitioning to remote learning. Although the immediate audience assumed in this paper comprises engineering students (such as those enrolled in electrical, electronics, or computer engineering programs) studying in an outcome-based education (OBE) environment—the global educational paradigm mandated by the Washington Accord that aims to standardize engineering competencies in terms of the attained student learning outcomes—the presented ideas are more general and broadly useful for learners of all types. We will describe seven evidence-based steps that the students can adopt to thrive in OBE settings in these challenging times. The main contribution of this paper is practical: we present a synthesis of the vast research literature on effective student learning in normal, online, and disrupted settings to present practical insights that students can leverage to substantially improve their learning. At the end of the paper, we also present a discussion of important issues related to remote teaching and online education such as ensuring equity and the handling of lab work for engineers in such settings (e.g., through simulators and virtual labs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Soft and Transferable Skills Acquisition through Organizing a Doctoral Conference
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090235 - 05 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
This article presents a 10-year experience of soft and transferable skills acquisition through the involvement of PhD students in the organization of an international conference. Soft and transferable skills acquisition is currently perceived as a core component of doctoral studies. Examples include writing [...] Read more.
This article presents a 10-year experience of soft and transferable skills acquisition through the involvement of PhD students in the organization of an international conference. Soft and transferable skills acquisition is currently perceived as a core component of doctoral studies. Examples include writing and communication, teamwork, time management, leadership, resource management, negotiation, problem solving, listening, planning, entrepreneurial spirit, mastering ethics awareness, etc. The need for such skills is due to the leading role that doctoral students are expected to play in society. As such, various organizations have issued recommendations for doctoral programs to include a formal component of soft skills training. In this article, an effective way of introducing soft and transferable skills acquisition in doctoral engineering education is introduced. Namely, a form of collaborative project-based learning is designed as a compulsory course. This includes a set of base lectures, a long period of parallel working groups focusing on the various aspects of organizing an international conference, running the actual conference, and performing a post-conference assessment. Results and lessons learned demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Teacher Perceptions of Training and Pedagogical Value of Cross-Reality and Sensor Data from Smart Buildings
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090234 - 04 Sep 2020
Viewed by 912
Abstract
This paper discusses elementary, and secondary (K-12) teachers’ perceptions of cross-reality (XR) tools for data visualization and use of sensor data from the built environment in classroom curricula. Our objective was to explore the use of sensor-informed XR in the built environment and [...] Read more.
This paper discusses elementary, and secondary (K-12) teachers’ perceptions of cross-reality (XR) tools for data visualization and use of sensor data from the built environment in classroom curricula. Our objective was to explore the use of sensor-informed XR in the built environment and civil engineering (BECE) field to support K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiential learning and foster BECE-related career awareness. We conducted surveys and informal questionnaires with 33 primary and secondary teachers attending an annual two-day university-based teacher professional development workshop as part of a statewide STEM afterschool program serving students in rural communities. We assessed teachers’ familiarity with, knowledge about, and appraisal of using cross-reality platforms and sensor data in classrooms and after school curricula. Findings show that, while all teachers reported relatively high interest in learning about sensor applications and innovative interactive techniques, middle school teachers in particular were most likely to see value in using these applications for teaching and learning. Implications for teacher professional development are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction and Built Environment Education in A Digital Context)
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Open AccessArticle
Is Data Literacy a Catalyst of Social Justice? A Response from Nine Data Literacy Initiatives in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090233 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
Is education and more specifically, data literacy initiatives in Higher Education, an appropriate instrument to promote social justice in a context of datafication? Education is (and has been) at the center of the debate over the achievement of social justice as a desirable [...] Read more.
Is education and more specifically, data literacy initiatives in Higher Education, an appropriate instrument to promote social justice in a context of datafication? Education is (and has been) at the center of the debate over the achievement of social justice as a desirable quality of the human society. However, which type of educational interventions should be promoted to deal with a complex, multi-layered, emergent problem, such is the case of datafication in society? Since the problem is heavily entrenched with a shifting socio-economic model (the so called “surveillance capitalism”) and the technological infrastructures connected to it, educational approaches could be diversified and even contradictory in their purpose of heralding the skills to live in a datafied society. This paper explores nine initiatives in Higher Education aimed at developing the literacies to deal with data in society. Their efforts are concentrated in promoting freedom of choice, awareness, and agency. Though their original intention is not promoting social justice, the analysis is carried out on the theoretical basis provided by Martha Nussbaum on social justice. The initiatives span educational activities with open data as open educational resources, to more formal data literacy activities such as educational engagement with students’ data and students’ personal and educational data. There emerges a still fragmented panorama in responding to the need of promoting social justice in a context of datafication. Given this fragmentation, the article provides a conceptual scheme to address further pedagogical reflection and practice with the aim of supporting social justice against datafication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploratory Study of the Obstacles for Achieving Quality in Distance Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090232 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 9320
Abstract
This study aims to reveal the obstacles to achieving quality in distance learning during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and was based on a large sample of professors and students of universities in the Arab world (Algerian, Egyptian, Palestinian, and Iraqi). The primary aim [...] Read more.
This study aims to reveal the obstacles to achieving quality in distance learning during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and was based on a large sample of professors and students of universities in the Arab world (Algerian, Egyptian, Palestinian, and Iraqi). The primary aim of this research was to investigate the various ways in which students pursued their studies at home during the university suspension as a result of COVID-19. In this paper, the researchers use an exploratory descriptive approach through a questionnaire with a conveniently selected sample of 400 professors and student’s returns out of 600 were distributed. The results indicate that the professors and students faced self-imposed obstacles, as well as pedagogical, technical, and financial or organizational obstacles. Recommendations are presented to overcome and understand these obstacles to benefit in the future during unexpected or similar problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
Open AccessArticle
Students’ Self-Efficacy, Causal Attribution Habits and Test Grades
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090231 - 02 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Why do students vary in their performance on exams? It may be that their test preparation is insufficient because they overestimate their anticipated grade. Our study investigates four issues related to performance on a final examination. First, we analyze whether students’ ability to [...] Read more.
Why do students vary in their performance on exams? It may be that their test preparation is insufficient because they overestimate their anticipated grade. Our study investigates four issues related to performance on a final examination. First, we analyze whether students’ ability to accurately predict their grade and their subjective confidence in this prediction may account for their grade. Second, we ask whether students at different levels of performance vary in their ability to accurately predict their grade, and if so, whether subjective confidence also differs. Third, we ask whether the accuracy and confidence of learners’ predictions are conditioned by self-efficacy beliefs and causal attribution habits, which serve as indices of motivation for test preparation. Fourth, we ask whether different causal attribution preferences contribute to self-efficacy. We use statistical analysis of data from a general education course at a large public university in the United States. Our results indicate that poor performers’ overestimates are likely to be wishful thinking as they are expressed with low subjective confidence. Self-efficacy is a significant contributor to the inaccuracy of students’ predicted grades and subjective confidence in such predictions. Professors’ understanding of learners’ forecasting mechanisms informs strategies devoted to academic success. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Best Practices in the Development of Transversal Competences among Youths in Vulnerable Situations
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10090230 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1139
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of Second Chance Schools (E2Cs) is to provide employment-focused training for young people who left compulsory education without any formal qualifications by encouraging them to pursue initial vocational training. Transversal Competences (TCs) are important for enabling the social inclusion [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of Second Chance Schools (E2Cs) is to provide employment-focused training for young people who left compulsory education without any formal qualifications by encouraging them to pursue initial vocational training. Transversal Competences (TCs) are important for enabling the social inclusion of young people in vulnerable situations by promoting their entry into the labour market. However, TCs are not always systematically developed. The objective of this study is to analyse good practices in inculcating these skills in this group of young people. (2) Methods: In-depth case studies were conducted in six best-practice schools. The following methods were used in the studies: questionnaires to school; a checklist to analyse the teaching materials used: an interview with the people responsible for the programme; an interview with students; and a questionnaire to representatives from the business sector. (3) Results: The six E2Cs attached great importance to TCs, which were taught specifically through a student-centred, active, varied and collaborative methodology that was periodically reviewed and adapted to students’ needs. TCs were evaluated before, during, and after the process was completed. (4) Conclusions: The results identified specific key elements for promoting the development of TCs that could be transferred to other schools and, consequently, could have implications for education policies in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Vocational Education and Training)
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