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Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 92 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Scientific reasoning is a key element of teachers’ professional knowledge. At two universities, pre-service biology and chemistry teachers in their early studies were surveyed. We collected their ideas on key decisions and actions that school students have to perform in an inquiry-based science experiment. In addition, students’ domain-specific self-efficacy expectation and attitudes regarding diagnostics were investigated. The results showed gaps in pre-service teachers' professional knowledge of school student difficulties in experimentation. No correlations were found between their knowledge and the self-efficacy expectation for diagnosing students’ scientific reasoning. Hence, science-specific procedures and epistemic constructs should be emphasized early in teacher education. View this paper
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Article
Validation of Rubric Evaluation for Programming Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100656 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 221
Abstract
In evaluating the learning achievement of programming-thinking skills, the method of using a rubric that describes evaluation items and evaluation stages is widely employed. However, few studies have evaluated the reliability, validity, and consistency of the rubrics themselves. In this study, we introduced [...] Read more.
In evaluating the learning achievement of programming-thinking skills, the method of using a rubric that describes evaluation items and evaluation stages is widely employed. However, few studies have evaluated the reliability, validity, and consistency of the rubrics themselves. In this study, we introduced a statistical method for evaluating the characteristics of rubrics using the goal question metric (GQM) method. Furthermore, we proposed a method for measuring four evaluation results and characteristics obtained from rubrics developed using this statistical method. Moreover, we showed and confirmed the consistency and validity of the statistical method using the GQM method of the resulting developed rubrics. We show how to verify the consistency and validity of the rubric using the GQM method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Digitalized K-12 Classroom in the Age of AI, Analytics and IoT)
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Article
A Qualitative Investigation of the Interactions of Students with Graduate and Undergraduate TAs in General Chemistry Laboratories
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100655 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 209
Abstract
A new teaching assistant model was adopted and qualitatively assessed for the general chemistry laboratory, in which both an undergraduate and a graduate teaching assistant provided instruction to students during the lab. Verbal interactions between graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants were recorded, transcribed, [...] Read more.
A new teaching assistant model was adopted and qualitatively assessed for the general chemistry laboratory, in which both an undergraduate and a graduate teaching assistant provided instruction to students during the lab. Verbal interactions between graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants were recorded, transcribed, and coded using the modified Laboratory Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (LOPUS). The codes were applied to capture how discussions, questioning, and explanations were conducted. In addition, the content discussed was coded to identify specific areas that pose challenges for students. Sizable differences were not observed between the number of interactions of the initiation, explanation, and questioning codes between graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. Of the interactions, 77% focused on questions and discussions regarding the experimental setup. Discussions on the implications with regards to the effective use of undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants in chemistry laboratories are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Review
The Effects of COVID-19 in the Learning Process of Primary School Students: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100654 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 215
Abstract
(1) Background: A variety of social and economic changes are happening worldwide due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, which has produced new problems and challenges for the population as a whole. These events demand new investigations and key studies for their management. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: A variety of social and economic changes are happening worldwide due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, which has produced new problems and challenges for the population as a whole. These events demand new investigations and key studies for their management. This review addresses the repercussions of COVID-19 at the educational level in the primary education stage, delving into the effects produced in teaching and different aspects related to it, such as the situation and challenges of teachers, family involvement, and the perceptions and repercussions of the learning and socio-educational development of students (especially in the case of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder). (2) Methods: The methodological design is a systematic review study, following the PRISMA guidelines, from a search carried out during the month of July 2021 in the Scopus, Dialnet, and WoS databases on the object of study. (3) Results: The selected studies were analyzed through a qualitative content analysis based on a population of 103 articles, with a final sample of 13, using the inclusion criteria: empirical studies or research in English or Spanish; free access through the Internet; categories restricted to “education/educational research” related to the proposed objectives; specific documents of the primary education stage and/or students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (4) Conclusions: The research reveals the presence of an existing digital gap in certain sectors of the student population aggravated by the pandemic, as well as the scarcity of general teacher training in this type of situation, leading to different personal and professional problems that hinder teaching and emphasize the vulnerability of the right to education, which leads to further promoting the already existing social inequalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Education)
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Article
Validation of the Academic Self-Concept Scale in the Spanish University Context
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100653 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 273
Abstract
The aims of this study were: (i) to provide evidence of reliability and validity regarding the dimensionality of the Spanish version of two correlated subscales measuring Academic Self-Concept (ASC); (ii) to analyze factorial invariance according to sex and the educational level; (iii) to [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were: (i) to provide evidence of reliability and validity regarding the dimensionality of the Spanish version of two correlated subscales measuring Academic Self-Concept (ASC); (ii) to analyze factorial invariance according to sex and the educational level; (iii) to analyze a higher-order model from the two ASC subscales; and (iv) to study the predictive relationship of the ASC to academic engagement. An observational, descriptive, and cross-sectional study was designed in which 681 undergraduate university students (Mage = 24.55; SDage = 5.35) (58% girls) and students of the Master’s in Teacher Education participated. The scale’s psychometric properties were analyzed using different exploratory and confirmatory analyses demonstrating that this instrument with two correlated factors (academic confidence and academic effort) is valid, reliable, and invariant in terms of gender and academic level. Higher-order factors from the two correlated factors showed an excellent goodness-of-fit. A regression model with latent variables was conducted showing a higher and positive prediction of academic self-concept for the two factors of academic engagement (willingness to study and satisfaction with studies). The ASC has shown itself to be a valid and reliable instrument for use with Spanish university students and may be of special interest, both to teachers and to the students themselves, as it allows us to reflect on the importance of developing confidence and effort during the students’ academic lives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Preferences and Satisfaction: Measurement and Optimization)
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Article
Individual-Centred Approaches to Accessibility in STEM Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100652 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 165
Abstract
Equitable access to high-quality higher education is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, and 10, which indicate that it is crucial for a future sustainable society. Globalisation and reductions in systemic barriers to university admission are creating increasingly [...] Read more.
Equitable access to high-quality higher education is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, and 10, which indicate that it is crucial for a future sustainable society. Globalisation and reductions in systemic barriers to university admission are creating increasingly diverse higher education classrooms, but traditional education methods may unfairly disadvantage some groups of students. Creating equity in access to high-quality education requires teaching approaches that are considerate of each student’s individual sociocultural context as it affects their educational attainment. Building on discipline-based education research (DBER) principles in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, a modified holistic approach is proposed that primarily centres on students and tailors the teaching methods to the needs of the individuals and the dynamic of the whole class. This work demonstrates that educational attainment and student confidence was improved by applying an individual-centred teaching approach in a highly diverse undergraduate engineering classroom. Trials of this approach in a pilot classroom showed clear and consistent improvement over standard active learning approaches. Best practice guidelines for individual-centred teaching in STEM classrooms are provided. Further work is needed to examine the efficacy of this approach in a generalised setting, but the positive outcomes for student attainment are in line with existing research in the literature. The best practice guidelines presented herein may serve as a starting point for other educators to become more aware of the sociocultural needs of their individual students and classrooms, which may result in a move towards equity in STEM higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Review
The Double Whammy of Pandemic and War: A Systematic Review of India’s Education Diplomacy to Address Educational Inequities in Afghanistan
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100651 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Higher education is considered an important tool for the overall development of any country, and it holds true in the context of Afghanistan as well. At the same time, a good eco-environment in terms of political will, leaders’ farsighted vision, a fair budget, [...] Read more.
Higher education is considered an important tool for the overall development of any country, and it holds true in the context of Afghanistan as well. At the same time, a good eco-environment in terms of political will, leaders’ farsighted vision, a fair budget, good infrastructure, and a good teaching community are some of the basic requirements for higher education to move in the direction of new and higher horizons. However, due to the ongoing war during the last couple of decades, the country’s education system has become out of reach for a substantial part of the population due to poverty, lack of infrastructure, refugees and internally displaced, digital division, etc., critically affecting the education equity. This systematic review examines India’s education diplomacy in addressing the inequities in Afghanistan’s education system and making them more equitable. Education was further dilapidated with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Afghanistan is caught between a war and a pandemic and suffers from a double whammy in losses. Subsequently, given their chilling effects, higher education becomes devoid of multiples equities, including education. However, because of their historical and geo-civilizational ties, India has focused on development diplomacy in general and education diplomacy (E.D) in particular to improve educational infrastructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Research on Equity and Diversity in Higher Education)
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Article
The Effect of Distance Teaching Experiences on Educators’ Attitudes toward Distance Education for Preschoolers
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100650 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 246
Abstract
The aim of the study was to explore and highlight the challenges and benefits of distance education that educators found in their practice of online teaching with preschool children during the first wave of the pandemic. An electronic questionnaire was used to collect [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to explore and highlight the challenges and benefits of distance education that educators found in their practice of online teaching with preschool children during the first wave of the pandemic. An electronic questionnaire was used to collect teachers’ perceptions of (1) their own success in facilitating online sessions; (2) attitudes towards online sessions among teachers with and without experience; (3) factors that, according to teachers with and without experience, determine the effectiveness of online sessions; (4) effectiveness of online sessions for individual mental development goals among teachers with and without such experience. A total of 623 educators participated in the study. Online sessions were of particular benefit to educators who had experience of working remotely with preschool children during the first wave of the pandemic. The results of this study indicate that the capacity of the children and the effectiveness of the online sessions themselves exceeded teachers’ expectations in many ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE 2020))
Article
The Use of the Kahoot! Learning Platform as a Type of Formative Assessment in the Context of Pre-University Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100649 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 225
Abstract
The present study aims to display how using a personal assessment environment based on the interactive Kahoot! platform actively supports the teaching–learning process. The goal is to improve the instructive–educational process by applying a learning platform based on play and digital technology that [...] Read more.
The present study aims to display how using a personal assessment environment based on the interactive Kahoot! platform actively supports the teaching–learning process. The goal is to improve the instructive–educational process by applying a learning platform based on play and digital technology that favors a qualitative educational endeavor. The use of the Kahoot! platform as form of assessment had a significant and direct positive effect on the educational process during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
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Article
Low Inter-Rater Reliability of a High Stakes Performance Assessment of Teacher Candidates
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100648 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 238
Abstract
The Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) is a high stakes summative assessment that was designed to measure pre-service teacher readiness. We examined the inter-rater reliability (IRR) of trained PACT evaluators who rated 19 candidates. As measured by Cohen’s weighted kappa, the overall [...] Read more.
The Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) is a high stakes summative assessment that was designed to measure pre-service teacher readiness. We examined the inter-rater reliability (IRR) of trained PACT evaluators who rated 19 candidates. As measured by Cohen’s weighted kappa, the overall IRR estimate was 0.17 (poor strength of agreement). IRR estimates ranged from −0.29 (worse than expected by chance) to 0.54 (moderate strength of agreement); all were below the standard of 0.70 for consensus agreement. Follow-up interviews of 10 evaluators revealed possible reasons we observed low IRR, such as departures from established PACT scoring protocol, and lack of, or inconsistent, use of a scoring aid document. Evaluators reported difficulties scoring the materials that candidates submitted, particularly the use of Academic Language. Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) is suggested as a method to improve IRR in the PACT and other teacher performance assessments such as the edTPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Teacher Education)
Article
Patterns of Scientific Reasoning Skills among Pre-Service Science Teachers: A Latent Class Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100647 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 101
Abstract
We investigated the scientific reasoning competencies of pre-service science teachers (PSTs) using a multiple-choice assessment. This assessment targeted seven reasoning skills commonly associated with scientific investigation and scientific modeling. The sample consisted of 112 PSTs enrolled in a secondary teacher education program. A [...] Read more.
We investigated the scientific reasoning competencies of pre-service science teachers (PSTs) using a multiple-choice assessment. This assessment targeted seven reasoning skills commonly associated with scientific investigation and scientific modeling. The sample consisted of 112 PSTs enrolled in a secondary teacher education program. A latent class (LC) analysis was conducted to evaluate if there are subgroups with distinct patterns of reasoning skills. The analysis revealed two subgroups, where LC1 (73% of the PSTs) had a statistically higher probability of solving reasoning tasks than LC2. Specific patterns of reasoning emerged within each subgroup. Within LC1, tasks involving analyzing data and drawing conclusions were answered correctly more often than tasks involving formulating research questions and generating hypotheses. Related to modeling, tasks on testing models were solved more often than those requiring judgment on the purpose of models. This study illustrates the benefits of applying person-centered statistical analyses, such as LC analysis, to identify subgroups with distinct patterns of scientific reasoning skills in a larger sample. The findings also suggest that highlighting specific skills in teacher education, such as: formulating research questions, generating hypotheses, and judging the purposes of models, would better enhance the full complement of PSTs’ scientific reasoning competencies. Full article
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Article
Existing and Emerging Students’ Alternative Ideas on Geodynamic Phenomena: Development, Controlling Factors, Characteristics
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100646 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 175
Abstract
This paper studies Greek junior high school students’ alternative ideas, both initial and synthetic, on geodynamic phenomena. It comments in detail on students’ concepts on Earth structure, earthquake occurrence, volcano formation, and relief change. Additionally, it attempts to trace and interpret how and [...] Read more.
This paper studies Greek junior high school students’ alternative ideas, both initial and synthetic, on geodynamic phenomena. It comments in detail on students’ concepts on Earth structure, earthquake occurrence, volcano formation, and relief change. Additionally, it attempts to trace and interpret how and why these ideas form (concept development), presenting that initial and synthetic ones are indissolubly attached and utterly directed by environmental interaction. Data analysis verifies that curriculum inadequacy and false scientific terminology in textbooks enforce the generation of alternative ideas. New synthetic alternative ideas on geodynamic phenomena are presented which are mainly characterized by intermittent and fragmentary perspective. Furthermore, the characteristics of both initial and synthetic alternative ideas are outlined, giving emphasis on the facts that students represent geodynamic phenomena as instantaneous events and that they are able to describe the repeatability of the phenomena, but they show difficulty in capturing their continuity. Finally, more factors that control alternative idea development on geodynamic phenomena are highlighted—such as (i) lack of continuous thinking, (ii) distribution, intensity and frequency of geodynamic phenomena, and (iii) current affairs (i.e., pollution, technology evolution, human intervention)—hoping that their revelation will lead to alternative ideas’ decomposition and thus to pure scientific knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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Essay
Re-Assembling Anti-Oppressive Practice (1): The Personal, the Political, the Professional
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100645 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 165
Abstract
This essay offers a broken narrative concerning the early history of anti-oppressive practice as an approach in the U.K. to youth and community work and the struggles over this in the context of UK higher education between the 1960′s and the early 2000’s. [...] Read more.
This essay offers a broken narrative concerning the early history of anti-oppressive practice as an approach in the U.K. to youth and community work and the struggles over this in the context of UK higher education between the 1960′s and the early 2000’s. Educating informal educators as youth and community workers in the UK has been a site of contestation. Aspects of a genealogy of that struggle are presented in ways which link publicly available histories with personal memories and narratives, through the use of a personal archive developed through collective memory work. These are chosen to illuminate the links between theory and practice: on the one hand, the conceptual field which has framed the education of youth and community workers, whose sources lie in the academic disciplines of education and sociology, and, on the other hand, the social movements which have formed the practice of informal educators. Six have been chosen: (1) The long 1968: challenging approaches to authority; (2) the group as a source of learning; (3) The personal and political: experiential learning from discontent; (4) Paolo Freire and Critical Praxis; (5) A critical break in social education and the reality of youth work spaces as defensive spaces; (6) New managerialism: ethics vs. paper trails. The approach taken, of linking memory work with present struggles, is argued to be a generative form for current critical and enlivening practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating Informal Educators)
Article
The Learning of E-Sustainability Competences: A Comparative Study between Future Early Childhood and Primary School Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100644 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 205
Abstract
Digital technologies play a key role in the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda. However, their contribution to this goal depends on the digital culture of society. In this context, future teachers’ knowledge of e-sustainability is of paramount importance, as the responsible and sustainable [...] Read more.
Digital technologies play a key role in the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda. However, their contribution to this goal depends on the digital culture of society. In this context, future teachers’ knowledge of e-sustainability is of paramount importance, as the responsible and sustainable behaviour of future generations largely depends on their skills in this area. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the existence of possible differences in digital competences in sustainability among trainee teachers. The study involved the participation of 348 students in the 2nd year of their Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University of Alicante (Alicante, Spain), who filled out a questionnaire on this topic. The SPSS v. 25 statistical programme, with which a comparative analysis was carried out, was used to process the data. On the basis of the results, the students of the Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education generally presented a higher level of e-sustainable competences, especially with regard to general competences and the economic dimension of digital sustainability. Despite this, and given the small size of the differences, we conclude that there is a need to design didactic proposals to favour the acquisition of these competences among future teachers at both stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Education on Digital Learning Environment)
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Article
Dropout Time and Learners’ Performance in Computer Programming MOOCs
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100643 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 230
Abstract
One of the problems regarding MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is the high dropout rate. Although dropout periods have been studied, there is still a lack of understanding of how dropout differs for MOOCs with different levels of difficulty. A quantitative study was [...] Read more.
One of the problems regarding MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is the high dropout rate. Although dropout periods have been studied, there is still a lack of understanding of how dropout differs for MOOCs with different levels of difficulty. A quantitative study was conducted to determine the periods with the highest dropouts in computer programming MOOCs and the performance of the dropouts on the course before dropping out. Four occurrences of three MOOCs, with different durations, difficulty of the topic, and the degree of supportive methods, were included. The results showed that dropout was highest at the beginning of all studied courses. Learners also dropped out before the project. In the easier and shorter courses, most dropouts were successful until they quit the course. In longer and more difficult courses, learners mainly dropped out in the week they started due to experiencing problems with the course activities. It is suggested to recommend that learners take courses at a level that suits them if their current course is too easy or difficult and encourage learners to use course resources for help. It would be a good idea to provide learners with example topics to assist them in starting with a project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies in Distance Learning Education)
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Article
Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education Teachers’ Professional Development in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Survey Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100642 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Lifestyle sports can contribute to national sport and physical activity agendas. However, schools in the United Kingdom (UK) have generally resisted the implementation of such activities within the physical education (PE) curriculum. This may stem from PE teachers’ limited knowledge and restricted engagement [...] Read more.
Lifestyle sports can contribute to national sport and physical activity agendas. However, schools in the United Kingdom (UK) have generally resisted the implementation of such activities within the physical education (PE) curriculum. This may stem from PE teachers’ limited knowledge and restricted engagement with lifestyle sports continuing professional development (CPD), coupled with the dominance of traditional team sports within the PE curriculum. Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. Data were collected via an online qualitative survey involving 53 UK-based PE teachers. Following a reflexive thematic analysis process, three themes were developed: (1) PE teachers’ understanding, conceptualisation, and delivery of lifestyle sports; (2) challenges to delivering lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum; and (3) the learning needs and CPD preferences of PE teachers. Findings indicated that the participants possessed diverse conceptualisations of lifestyle sports, while faced with logistical, contextual, and personal factors which impacted their practice. Furthermore, the participants outlined their preferences towards lifestyle sports CPD and the challenges restricting their engagement with learning opportunities. Recommendations for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lifestyle Sports and Physical Education)
Article
Soft Skills for Entry-Level Engineers: What Employers Want
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100641 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 166
Abstract
Among the requirements for engineering programs, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria for student outcomes require students to have the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, recognize ethical and professional responsibilities, function effectively on a team, and [...] Read more.
Among the requirements for engineering programs, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria for student outcomes require students to have the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, recognize ethical and professional responsibilities, function effectively on a team, and apply new knowledge. A review of literature for skills comprised within these ABET criteria determined 26 topics necessary for the entry-level and continued success of engineers. Nearly 500 companies and organizations rated the importance and proficiency of their recent entry-level engineers for these 26 identified soft (professional) skills. The findings suggest that although entry-level engineers have proficiency in all of these ABET required skills, the entry-level engineers were not meeting the level of importance expressed by the organization for 24 of these 26 skills. A specific ABET required skill, the ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of people, has the greatest difference between the level of proficiency and the level of importance. Analysis of variance was conducted using each of the demographic variables to determine the effect sizes in the ratings of importance, proficiency, and the differences between importance and proficiency. These results were shared with industry members to confirm the relevance of the survey findings during the pandemic. This survey research has implications for any university engineering department where students are seeking entry-level engineering positions after graduation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Review
The Effects of Using Socio-Scientific Issues and Technology in Problem-Based Learning: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100640 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Currently, a growing number of learning institutions at all educational levels are including problem-based learning (PBL) in their curricula. PBL scenarios often utilise technology and socio-scientific Issues (SSI), which enables the simultaneous learning of content and creative thinking and working skills needed in [...] Read more.
Currently, a growing number of learning institutions at all educational levels are including problem-based learning (PBL) in their curricula. PBL scenarios often utilise technology and socio-scientific Issues (SSI), which enables the simultaneous learning of content and creative thinking and working skills needed in generating new knowledge for the future. In this sense, using SSI and technological tools in PBL learning environments can be viewed as a starting point for acquiring and integrating new knowledge. However, there is no comprehensive knowledge regarding the possibilities of this approach. The objective of this systematic review is to produce this knowledge via the PRISMA method. The strategy is used to explore the effects of the described approach through implementations conducted at secondary and undergraduate levels. The data consisted of 33 research articles that were categorised via qualitative content analysis. According to the results, PBL scenarios exploit mainly local SSIs that link scientific knowledge with a meaningful context for students. Technology is principally used in offering technical support for teaching tasks. Lastly, these results are discussed from the technological pedagogical science knowledge (TPASK) framework perspective, which proposes guidelines for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Full article
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Article
Analysis of Data-Based Scientific Reasoning from a Product-Based and a Process-Based Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100639 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 350
Abstract
In this study, we investigated participants’ reactions to supportive and anomalous data in the context of population dynamics. Based on previous findings on conceptions about ecosystems and responses to anomalous data, we assumed a tendency to confirm the initial prediction after dealing with [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated participants’ reactions to supportive and anomalous data in the context of population dynamics. Based on previous findings on conceptions about ecosystems and responses to anomalous data, we assumed a tendency to confirm the initial prediction after dealing with contradicting data. Our aim was to integrate a product-based analysis, operationalized as prediction group changes with process-based analyses of individual data-based scientific reasoning processes to gain a deeper insight into the ongoing cognitive processes. Based on a theoretical framework describing a data-based scientific reasoning process, we developed an instrument assessing initial and subsequent predictions, confidence change toward these predictions, and the subprocesses data appraisal, data explanation, and data interpretation. We analyzed the data of twenty pre-service biology teachers applying a mixed-methods approach. Our results show that participants tend to maintain their initial prediction fully or change to predictions associated with a mix of different conceptions. Maintenance was observed even if most participants were able to use sophisticated conceptual knowledge during their processes of data-based scientific reasoning. Furthermore, our findings implicate the role of confidence changes and the influences of test wiseness. Full article
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Review
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Reading and Writing Interventions for Students with Disorders of Intellectual Development
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100638 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 331
Abstract
Students with disorders of intellectual development (ID) experience challenges in reading and writing, indicating the need for research-based interventions. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of reading and writing interventions for students aged 4–19 with disorders of ID using randomized controlled [...] Read more.
Students with disorders of intellectual development (ID) experience challenges in reading and writing, indicating the need for research-based interventions. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of reading and writing interventions for students aged 4–19 with disorders of ID using randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental designs (QEDs). We conducted electronic searches of relevant databases, backward and forward searches, and contacted experts in the field. Based on predefined criteria, nine studies were included in the systematic review, and seven were included in the meta-analysis. The reading interventions included decoding strategies, often combined with sight-word and supplemental instructions appropriate to the participants’ adaptive and cognitive skills. None of the studies aimed to increase writing skills. The overall mean effect size from the reading interventions for trained reading was large (g = 0.95, 95% CI = [0.51, 1.38]), for transfer reading small-to-moderate (g = 0.49, 95% CI = [0.20, 0.78]) and for transfer writing small (g = 0.04, 95% CI = [−0.36, 0.44]). Students with disorders of ID can benefit from reading interventions combining decoding strategies and sight word reading. There is a need for RCT and QED studies investigating writing interventions for students with disorders of ID only. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Digital Competencies of University Faculty and Their Conditioning Factors: Case Study in a Technological Adoption Context
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100637 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 248
Abstract
The rise of digital technologies and their educational applications increasingly require the development of digital skills among university faculty. This study focuses on examining the level of digital competencies of university faculty and identifying their conditioning factors. To achieve this objective, an ex [...] Read more.
The rise of digital technologies and their educational applications increasingly require the development of digital skills among university faculty. This study focuses on examining the level of digital competencies of university faculty and identifying their conditioning factors. To achieve this objective, an ex post facto methodological design with surveys is used. A sample of 216 university teachers from different regions of Ecuador was used. The non-parametric Chi-square test was used to validate the hypothesis of independence of the variables. The results obtained show that university faculty have a mostly intermediate level of digital skills, which is independent of gender, but dependent on the generational cohort. In particular, it is found that younger teachers (millennials) have a more advanced level of digital skills, although this relationship is not very strong. On the other hand, we observe the positive influence of the university’s strategic leadership in terms of technological adoption on the development of teachers’ digital skills. Universities with better technological resources and with training plans focused on the pedagogical application of technology have teachers with a more advanced level of digital skills. All of this leads to the recommendation that education policies should prioritise actions that promote the development of digital competencies among university faculty Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Education and Digital Literacy)
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Article
How Higher Education Institutions Are Driving to Digital Transformation: A Case Study
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100636 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 251
Abstract
In recent years, the rapid development of technological innovation has transformed the business world. Digital transformation improves the economic positioning of companies, contributing to society and the environment, but beyond technological evolution, it also brings social and cultural changes. With the new trends, [...] Read more.
In recent years, the rapid development of technological innovation has transformed the business world. Digital transformation improves the economic positioning of companies, contributing to society and the environment, but beyond technological evolution, it also brings social and cultural changes. With the new trends, companies saw the need to train people with digital skills and higher education institutions (HEIs) were forced to change their teaching methods to keep up with the new demands of the labour market. In this context, it is intended to identify the influence that HEIs play in the digital development of regions, in this case, the influence of Public Polytechnic Institutes of Porto in the development of the Metropolitan Area of Porto. The methodology adopted to answer the objectives of this study and research questions formulated, was an exploratory study, using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. The results obtained allowed us to verify the positive influence of HEIs in the digital development of the Metropolitan Area of Porto. As well as identify the motivations that lead companies to participate in digital transformation initiatives, identify the skills needed to meet the demands of the labour market and identify the efforts made by HEIs to keep up with the digital evolution of society. Full article
Article
Humble Hopes in Mentorship and Education: Thinking with Temporality
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100635 - 13 Oct 2021
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Abstract
This article juxtaposes mentoring with an extended concept of time, arguing against the idea of mentoring as a unilaterally forward-moving progression. We discuss how time and temporality unfold in mentoring in the teaching profession. We further explore how temporality might create different potentialities [...] Read more.
This article juxtaposes mentoring with an extended concept of time, arguing against the idea of mentoring as a unilaterally forward-moving progression. We discuss how time and temporality unfold in mentoring in the teaching profession. We further explore how temporality might create different potentialities of hope. Ultimately, we suggest the necessity of destabilising narratives of mentoring as constant and linear improvements. We use an example of an inheritance from the past as an analogy in order to provide a thematic starting point for our discussion. This example supports the exploration of how mentorship programme assignments are experienced as well as how conversations are constantly filtered through time. The article builds on the empirical elements of a study of a mentorship programme to explore potentialities that are of importance in mentorship and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy of Education: The Promise of Education and Grief)
Article
“We Respect Them, and They Respect Us”: The Value of Interpersonal Relationships in Enhancing Student Engagement
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100634 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 255
Abstract
Attempts to understand the patterns behind student disengagement and early school leaving have traditionally focussed on early school leavers’ individual characteristics. More recently, however, studies have begun to focus on the extent to which early school leaving is shaped by school-level factors, and [...] Read more.
Attempts to understand the patterns behind student disengagement and early school leaving have traditionally focussed on early school leavers’ individual characteristics. More recently, however, studies have begun to focus on the extent to which early school leaving is shaped by school-level factors, and in particular the central role of teachers and pedagogy, in (dis)engaging students. Studies have consistently shown how negative teacher–student relations can dominate the lives of young people, leading to poor attendance and behavioural issues which often culminate in them disengaging, leaving or being expelled from school. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in the role of pedagogical strategies in enhancing teacher–student relations, increasing student engagement and bringing about more socially just systems of education. Using in-depth qualitative interviews with staff working in a school engagement programme aimed at preventing early school leaving (the School Completion Programme) and young people who have left school early and who are now participating in an alternative education setting in Ireland as well as staff in those settings (the National Youthreach Programme), this paper provides a unique comparison of two approaches to learner engagement. Findings highlight the centrality of caring and respectful relationships between teachers and students across the two programmes. This paper suggests that aspects of the ‘productive pedagogies’ framework are being used to overcome barriers by placing equal emphasis on student wellbeing and formal learning. However, both programmes operate outside ‘mainstream’ education, with little scope for integration with the mainstream system. This paper concludes that at the micro level, the programmes are effective in re-engaging young people with education but argues that this has little impact at a broader level, where mainstream school practices impacting on student disengagement and early school leaving remain unchanged. Full article
Article
Online Education in the Post COVID-19 Era: Students’ Perception and Learning Experience
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100633 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Students’ learning experiences and perceptions are markedly influenced by the use of digital technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploring students’ perception of blended online learning, amid the adaptations of the higher education sector in the wake of uncertainty, has become more critical than [...] Read more.
Students’ learning experiences and perceptions are markedly influenced by the use of digital technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploring students’ perception of blended online learning, amid the adaptations of the higher education sector in the wake of uncertainty, has become more critical than ever. This paper reflects on the experience of learning and teaching the Research Methods and Techniques subject in the postgraduate programme of MA Urban Design at Cardiff University during COVID-19 in the UK. To do so, we designed and carried out an online survey to explore students’ perception of online teaching and learning activities, feedback and assessment, and digital platforms based on their experience during the subject delivery period in the 2020–2021 academic year. One of the significant findings of this paper was that students agreed with the impact of eye contact on their virtual learning experience but as long as this was aligned with their rights to see others, including their peers and instructors, rather than reciprocal rights to be seen. In addition, students felt that facilitating synchronous communication through effective interaction among diverse peers has been quite challenging in small-group online reading seminars. The majority of respondents also reported that attending live online lectures was more helpful than watching pre-recorded lectures. Online formative feedback and synchronous interim reviews also allowed students to reflect on their progress and develop their projects further before their summative assessment. The outcomes of this paper can effectively assist educators who consider delivering programmes, adopting a blended online learning environment design model, in the post COVID-19 era. The findings of this study can also provide guidance for further developments and improvements in using digital technology and blended online learning in urban design education and pedagogy. Full article
Article
Teaching Writing in Vietnam’s Secondary and High Schools
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100632 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 463
Abstract
The current study adopted features of a survey research design to examine the EFL high school teachers’ beliefs about writing and its teaching, their actual classroom practices, and the interplays between their beliefs and practices in the realm of EFL writing instruction. A [...] Read more.
The current study adopted features of a survey research design to examine the EFL high school teachers’ beliefs about writing and its teaching, their actual classroom practices, and the interplays between their beliefs and practices in the realm of EFL writing instruction. A sample of seventy-six EFL teachers from the eight selected high schools situated in Ho Chi Minh City was recruited for the current survey. The beliefs and practices of EFL writing instruction of these studied teachers were elicited through a thirty-nine-item questionnaire, which was qualitatively analyzed by SPSS 20.0. The study results showed that most of the participants held different views/orientations about writing skills and teaching writing, consisting of form-based, cognitive process-based, functional social-based, and interactive social-based views; nevertheless, the form-based orientation was still most dominant in their beliefs. On the contrary, in practice, most high school teachers followed the product approach, which underlies form-based orientation in lieu of different approaches, explicitly interpreting the writing section’s low results in the Vietnamese National GCSE examination in recent years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue English Education in Vietnamese Schooling)
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Article
Telework Experience of Pedagogues during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Strong Learning Seniors and Relaxed Leaders?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100631 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Due to the wide application of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundations of the education system have been shaken; education has entered a new era of teaching and learning on digitalized platforms. How do pedagogues evaluate their experiences when information technologies [...] Read more.
Due to the wide application of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundations of the education system have been shaken; education has entered a new era of teaching and learning on digitalized platforms. How do pedagogues evaluate their experiences when information technologies have become the main axis of carrying out their work? What impact did telework have on pedagogues as employees of an education institution or as individuals? What could be expected from older pedagogues in the shift to using digital means of teaching? These were the main questions raised in this research, the results of which are presented in this article. This research is original because the differences in experiences of telework were studied not only in terms of age and nature of work (professional/leader) but also the type of education institution. This delineation is of key importance in understanding the virtual work challenges faced by pedagogues in schools, professional education institutions, colleges, and universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies in Distance Learning Education)
Article
Helplessness among University Students: An Empirical Study Based on a Modified Framework of Implicit Personality Theories
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100630 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and within a very short period of time, teaching in the 2020 summer term changed from predominantly on-site to online instruction. Students suddenly faced having to adapt their learning process to new demands for which they may have [...] Read more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and within a very short period of time, teaching in the 2020 summer term changed from predominantly on-site to online instruction. Students suddenly faced having to adapt their learning process to new demands for which they may have had both insufficient digital skills and a lack of learning resources. Such a situation carries the risk that a substantial number of students become helpless. The aim of our empirical study was to test a hybrid framework of helplessness that includes both objective causes of helplessness and students’ subjective interpretations of them. Before lectures or courses began, students of a full-scale university were invited to participate in an online survey. The final sample consists of 1690 students. Results indicate that objective factors as well as their subjective interpretations contributed to the formation of helplessness. Full article
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Article
Professional Knowledge and Self-Efficacy Expectations of Pre-Service Teachers Regarding Scientific Reasoning and Diagnostics
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100629 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Understanding and knowledge of scientific reasoning skills is a key ability of pre-service teachers. In a written survey (open response format), biology and chemistry pre-service teachers (n = 51) from two German universities claimed central decisions or actions school students have to [...] Read more.
Understanding and knowledge of scientific reasoning skills is a key ability of pre-service teachers. In a written survey (open response format), biology and chemistry pre-service teachers (n = 51) from two German universities claimed central decisions or actions school students have to perform in scientific reasoning in the open inquiry instruction of an experiment. The participants’ answers were assessed in a quality content analysis using a rubric system generated from a theoretical background. Instruments in a closed response format were used to measure attitudes towards the importance of diagnostics in teacher training and the domain-specific expectations of self-efficacy. The pre-service teacher lacked pedagogical (didactics) content knowledge about potential student difficulties and also exhibited a low level of content methodological (procedural) knowledge. There was no correlation between the knowledge of student difficulties and the approach to experimenting with expectations of self-efficacy for diagnosing student abilities regarding scientific reasoning. Self-efficacy expectations concerning their own abilities to successfully cope with general and experimental diagnostic activities were significantly lower than the attitude towards the importance of diagnostics in teacher training. The results are discussed with regard to practical implications as they imply that scientific reasoning should be promoted in university courses, emphasising the importance of understanding the science-specific procedures (knowing how) and epistemic constructs in scientific reasoning (knowing why). Full article
Article
Using Machine Learning Approaches to Explore Non-Cognitive Variables Influencing Reading Proficiency in English among Filipino Learners
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100628 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Filipino students ranked last in reading proficiency among all countries/territories in the PISA 2018, with only 19% meeting the minimum (Level 2) standard. It is imperative to understand the range of factors that contribute to low reading proficiency, specifically variables that can be [...] Read more.
Filipino students ranked last in reading proficiency among all countries/territories in the PISA 2018, with only 19% meeting the minimum (Level 2) standard. It is imperative to understand the range of factors that contribute to low reading proficiency, specifically variables that can be the target of interventions to help students with poor reading proficiency. We used machine learning approaches, specifically binary classification methods, to identify the variables that best predict low (Level 1b and lower) vs. higher (Level 1a or better) reading proficiency using the Philippine PISA data from a nationally representative sample of 15-year-old students. Several binary classification methods were applied, and the best classification model was derived using support vector machines (SVM), with 81.2% average test accuracy. The 20 variables with the highest impact in the model were identified and interpreted using a socioecological perspective of development and learning. These variables included students’ home-related resources and socioeconomic constraints, learning motivation and mindsets, classroom reading experiences with teachers, reading self-beliefs, attitudes, and experiences, and social experiences in the school environment. The results were discussed with reference to the need for a systems perspective to addresses poor proficiency, requiring interconnected interventions that go beyond students’ classroom reading. Full article
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Article
Knowledge versus Education in the Margins: An Indigenous and Feminist Critique of Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100627 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 298
Abstract
This article highlights the perceptions and expectations of knowledge that many people, including educators and policy makers, take for granted. Our focus of understanding is Indigenous studies and gender studies. Our aim is to show how modern education undermines these fields of studies. [...] Read more.
This article highlights the perceptions and expectations of knowledge that many people, including educators and policy makers, take for granted. Our focus of understanding is Indigenous studies and gender studies. Our aim is to show how modern education undermines these fields of studies. We use an autoethnographic method, reflecting more than 75 years as pupils/students and more than 90 years as educators. We have carefully chosen narratives of exposure to knowledge outside the educational system, as well as narratives of limitations posed upon us by the educational system. This narrative approach makes it possible for us to investigate and discuss our grief about areas of knowledge that society cries for, but the educational system continuously finds ways to resist. Our conclusion is that crucial knowledge is located outside the educational system, where individuals, groups, and communities cherish, protect, and guard knowledge that the educational system marginalises or excludes. As this knowledge is fundamental for life, our message is that the educational system needs to re-evaluate its strategies to stay relevant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy of Education: The Promise of Education and Grief)
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