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Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 58 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Even though cooperative learning studies have been conducted in all areas of the curriculum, few studies have investigated whether there are similar effects for students across several curriculum areas or age groups via professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities. In this study, we illustrated how research on cooperative learning can be translated into practice through our PLD work in one large school in New Zealand. We found that, by the end of the school year, students reported experiencing more cooperative learning opportunities in their classes. Teachers reported change in their practice and noted positive shifts in student engagement. Overall, our study showed that PLD opportunities can contribute to the successful implementation of cooperative learning. View this paper
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Article
Generative Unit Assessment: Authenticity in Mathematics Classroom Assessment Practices
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070366 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 926
Abstract
In our pursuit to broaden and deepen understandings of what it means to engage in an assessment activity, we explored the designing and implementing of a geometry performance task as an instantiation of authentic assessment to assess elementary school students’ mathematics learning. Using [...] Read more.
In our pursuit to broaden and deepen understandings of what it means to engage in an assessment activity, we explored the designing and implementing of a geometry performance task as an instantiation of authentic assessment to assess elementary school students’ mathematics learning. Using participatory action research, we incorporated a performance task as an end-of-unit assessment with grade 4/5 students. We found that the authenticity within what we are calling a generative unit assessment, is understood as a process that is dynamic in contrast to conventional unit tests. We established an innovative assessment practice that emerged from the student and teacher data and is illustrated through four features applicable to any content area. Through collaborative discussions and the ensuing creation of a generative unit assessment, we found spaces to authentically understand ontological growth and continual learning through assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extending Learners’ Mathematical Thinking: Venues and Ventures)
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Article
Has the Stereotype of the Scientist Changed in Early Primary School–Aged Students Due to COVID-19?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070365 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
The image that students have of scientists and their context appears distorted by multiple factors. The detection and modification of this image is important because this is related to scientific vocations. This research analyzes the drawings made by 128 early primary school–aged students [...] Read more.
The image that students have of scientists and their context appears distorted by multiple factors. The detection and modification of this image is important because this is related to scientific vocations. This research analyzes the drawings made by 128 early primary school–aged students (58 girls and 70 boys) from 6 to 8 years to determine the image they have regarding the scientist, their activity, and their environment, and how the current situation due to COVID-19 may affect this image. The analysis rubric defined in the modified Draw A Scientific Test-prompt was used. Results indicate that the image that the students have, in general, is far from the traditional one. Thus, the students draw both young women and men working in science, the girls being the ones who most habitually represent scenes broader than traditional. In addition, the influence of the COVID-19 crisis is perceived in some of the illustrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STEM in Early Childhood Education)
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Article
Emergency Distance Education in the Conditions of COVID-19 Pandemic: Experience of Ukrainian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070364 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in education worldwide throughout 2020. In Ukraine, the preparedness for this process was different. There were various technical problems such as the absence of Internet connection, computers, or educational materials on the network, and most importantly, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in education worldwide throughout 2020. In Ukraine, the preparedness for this process was different. There were various technical problems such as the absence of Internet connection, computers, or educational materials on the network, and most importantly, the unpreparedness of teachers to perform distance learning. From 28 April to 8 May 2020 at the Oles Honchar Dnipro National University (Dnipro, Ukraine), students were surveyed on the quality of distance learning organized during the quarantine period. A total of 1224 students from almost all faculties and centers took part in the survey and answered 19 questions in an online form developed in Office 365 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA). The survey algorithm is based on the principle of cross-validation. According to the survey, the most important opportunities of distance (digital) learning are as follows: the opportunity to study in a convenient place, in a comfortable and familiar environment—28.57%; the opportunity to combine work with study—16.97%; the development of self-control skills and motivation to self-educate—16.43%; and the technical level of the learning process (use of information technologies)—13.83%. The aspects that negatively affect the organization of full-scale distance learning are as follows: the large volume of tasks—16.80%; the rapid fatigue due to prolonged work in front of a computer—16.35%; the absence of necessary equipment and/or constant (stable) access to the Internet—15.33%. In conclusion, ways to overcome the difficulties of distance learning, both by universities and by the government, are suggested. Full article
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Article
Inferential Statistical Reasoning of Math Teachers: Experiences in Virtual Contexts Generated by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070363 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic generated a new scenario in education, where technological resources mediate teaching and learning processes. This paper presents the development of a virtual teacher training experience aimed at promoting inferential reasoning in practicing and prospective mathematics teachers using inference problems on [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic generated a new scenario in education, where technological resources mediate teaching and learning processes. This paper presents the development of a virtual teacher training experience aimed at promoting inferential reasoning in practicing and prospective mathematics teachers using inference problems on the Chi-square statistic. The objective of this article is to assess the implemented or intended institutional meanings and the degree of availability and adequacy of the material and temporal resources necessary for the development of the training experience. For this purpose, we use theoretical and methodological notions introduced by the Ontosemiotic Approach to Mathematical Knowledge and Instruction (OSA), among which are the notions of practice and suitability criteria. The participants of this experience were divided into three groups; one of them was comprised of practicing teachers and the other two of prospective teachers. The intervention used different virtual modalities that enabled the development of the participants’ inferential reasoning in a similar way. Full article
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Editorial
Special and Inclusive Education: Perspectives, Challenges and Prospects
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070362 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
For around 40 years, there has been intense debate about how to best educate learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) [...] Full article
Article
Learning, Student Digital Capabilities and Academic Performance over the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070361 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 8432
Abstract
During the time of COVID-19 lockdown over spring 2020, universities shifted teaching from on-campus blended learning to an emergency remote fully online approach. The aim of this study was to compare Psychology and Veterinary Science undergraduate students’ academic performance with their responses on [...] Read more.
During the time of COVID-19 lockdown over spring 2020, universities shifted teaching from on-campus blended learning to an emergency remote fully online approach. The aim of this study was to compare Psychology and Veterinary Science undergraduate students’ academic performance with their responses on a self-reported questionnaire regarding their digital capabilities, individual’s characteristics, and the role of environment on their independent learning process over the first COVID-19 lockdown period. Social-Cognitive Theory was adopted to conceptualise students’ behaviour, individuals’ characteristics, and learning environment with their academic performance to a learning framework. A total of 303 students from both disciplines (133 Psychology and 170 Veterinary Science undergraduate students) participated in this study by completing an online questionnaire after following the teaching shift from blended learning to full remote online approach at a UK University during the 2019–2020 academic year. Differences between students’ responses were identified due to their discipline’s curricular structure, students’ study behaviours (i.e., being exposed to unrelated learning activities), and students’ cognitive effort to think critically in the search, evaluation and managing of digital information. Students with high level of self-regulation and digital capabilities were able to keep focused and engaged during the lockdown. Although universities and teachers were “forced” to shift their teaching approach due to the unfortunate disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, most students have coped with the changed teaching delivery mode relatively easy with minimum guidance. However, teachers should further consider how digital technologies could enhance students’ learning flexibility promoting critical thinking. Full article
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Article
Embedding Formative Assessment in Blended Learning Environment: The Case of Secondary Chinese Language Teaching in Singapore
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070360 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1161
Abstract
The fast global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the mass disruption of teaching, learning, as well as assessment, in mainstream schools in Singapore. Teachers were caught unprepared and this jeopardised the quality of classroom delivery and assessment. The Ministry of Education has [...] Read more.
The fast global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the mass disruption of teaching, learning, as well as assessment, in mainstream schools in Singapore. Teachers were caught unprepared and this jeopardised the quality of classroom delivery and assessment. The Ministry of Education has since shifted to an online asynchronous mode of teaching whilst attempting to keep the face-to-face method of lesson delivery, to which it is called ‘blended learning’ (BL) in the local context. Besides being propelled to learn and use new technology tools for online lessons, teachers also need to quickly explore to embed formative assessment (FA) in the new BL environment to substitute traditional classroom assessment. In this context, I argue that teachers’ language assessment literacy (LAL), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and e-pedagogy are vital to the success of embedding FA in BL. Following, I also describe some tentative predictions for future challenges and opportunities of embedding FA in the BL environment of secondary Chinese Language (CL) teaching in Singapore. On this basis, I discuss the ways in which current conceptualisations of language assessment literacy will need to shift in response to these challenges. Finally, I make some recommendations for practice based on this argument. Full article
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Article
Laying the Groundwork to Investigate Diversity of Life Sciences Reading Lists in Higher Education and Its Link to Awarding Gaps
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070359 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
This study presents a case for decolonising the life sciences curriculum to improve representation of the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) scholars—a step in eliminating the race “awarding gap”. Here, we investigated diversity among authors in terms of ethnicity and gender of [...] Read more.
This study presents a case for decolonising the life sciences curriculum to improve representation of the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) scholars—a step in eliminating the race “awarding gap”. Here, we investigated diversity among authors in terms of ethnicity and gender of reading lists at the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex. We show that the reading lists are not diverse and do not represent the demography of the student body. For instance, a disproportionately high number of authors in the reading lists are white 83.40 ± 5.70% (n = 977 authors), male 75.90 ± 5.40% (n = 878 authors), and of European descent. Additionally, our analysis of the geographical locations of publications reveals that a significantly high number of our materials stem from the USA or the UK, whereas the second highest global output of scientific literature (after the USA) comes from China, which is only featured in 1.02% of the reading list. Moreover, we constructively provide potential solutions to decolonise the curriculum of the University of Sussex’s School of Life Sciences by diversifying their reading lists. This study should help to establish a foundation, along with other work that is being conducted, to address the BAME awarding gap and to better showcase the work of women and ethnically underrepresented scientists in history and in modern day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Research on Equity and Diversity in Higher Education)
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Article
Teacher Mobility in Punjab, Pakistan: Stayers and Movers within the Public and Private Schools
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070358 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1294
Abstract
Understanding the determinants of teacher mobility is important in order to implement effective policies for the recruitment, retention, and fair allocation of teachers. The teacher transfer policy implemented in Punjab, Pakistan, is intended to address corruption and a fair allocation of teachers in [...] Read more.
Understanding the determinants of teacher mobility is important in order to implement effective policies for the recruitment, retention, and fair allocation of teachers. The teacher transfer policy implemented in Punjab, Pakistan, is intended to address corruption and a fair allocation of teachers in public schools. However, the policy has implications for teacher mobility. This paper presents survey findings on teacher mobility patterns in public schools in Punjab, Pakistan, examining the extent and determinants of mobility in comparison with teachers in private schools. In the survey, 1002 in-service teachers participated, and 46% reported changing school at least once during their teaching career. The findings show that teachers who changed schools in their early career, with an average of two years of teaching experience, gained higher salary benefits by changing schools compared to experienced teachers, with an average of 14 years of teaching experience, who never changed schools. In comparison with early career teachers, experienced teachers who never changed school had lower salaries but higher satisfaction with life in general and with the school as their workplace. The most common reasons for changing school were lack of teaching resources, difficulty in commuting to school, unmanageable student–teacher ratio, and no chance of promotion in their teaching career. Teacher mobility was slightly higher in public schools compared to private schools, despite implementation of a merit-based transfer policy. A binary logistic regression model was constructed with the outcome of teacher mobility (or not), with a base figure of 54%. By adding gender, marital status, school type, length of teaching experience, and teachers’ satisfaction, the model increased correct predictions to 62%. Teacher salary and teaching workload did not explain any variation in the model. These findings have implications for teacher transfer policy in public schools and lessons for private schools to retain teachers by offering longer contracts and reliable pension schemes. Policymakers must consider facilitating teachers’ satisfaction with their workplace, particularly by making public schools in rural areas attractive places for the retention of teachers in early career phases. Full article
Article
Approach to the Formulation of the Variable Change Theorem
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070357 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 611
Abstract
This research proposes a didactic strategy to enrich the assimilation processes of the change of variable theorem in solving the definite integral. The theoretical foundations that support it are based on the contributions of social constructivism, problem solving, and treatment of theorems. The [...] Read more.
This research proposes a didactic strategy to enrich the assimilation processes of the change of variable theorem in solving the definite integral. The theoretical foundations that support it are based on the contributions of social constructivism, problem solving, and treatment of theorems. The practical validation of the strategy is carried out with students of the Higher Technical Level in Applied Mathematics at the Autonomous University of Guerrero. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Models and Tools for Math Education)
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Article
Entrepreneurial Skills to Be Successful in the Global and Digital World: Proposal for a Frame of Reference for Entrepreneurial Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070356 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
For most professionals to succeed in the current job market, they need some entrepreneurial skills (ES). This study aimed to describe and systematize these skills, considering the current globalization and digital transformation phenomena. The documental analysis and the critical reflection on the collected [...] Read more.
For most professionals to succeed in the current job market, they need some entrepreneurial skills (ES). This study aimed to describe and systematize these skills, considering the current globalization and digital transformation phenomena. The documental analysis and the critical reflection on the collected data allowed us to identify the socio-economic and socio-cultural reasons for the relevance of this problem. Consequently, to elaborate a frame of reference intended to be adequate to the needs of the professionals of the current global and digital era. The results pointed to a tripartite ES model—to be open to novelty, to create solutions to emerging problems, and to communicate effectively—which integrates the following skills: Creativity and innovation, the spirit of initiative, self-efficacy and resilience, strategic planning, and evaluation, resolution of problems and decision-making, transformational leadership, clear and visual communication, teamwork and networking, and digital communication. In the continuation of this study, an ES scale will be created and validated according to this model, which will make it possible to measure the degree of development of these competencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Trends in Entrepreneurship Education)
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Article
Variations in Circadian Rhythmicity and Students’ Gender-Related Psychological Conditions during the COVID-19 Lockdown
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070355 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced around the world, new student lifestyles have had an impact on their daily behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine post-traumatic stress associated with the initial COVID-19 crisis in students (N = 280) [...] Read more.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced around the world, new student lifestyles have had an impact on their daily behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine post-traumatic stress associated with the initial COVID-19 crisis in students (N = 280) with a mean age of 13 ± 1.70 and to determine the relationship between their reported daily behaviors in terms of their gender. The study was conducted primarily in Casablanca and Marrakech, the two cities most affected by the pandemic at the time of the study in Morocco in May 2020. Our sample consists of 133 high school students and 147 middle school students, 83.6% of whom are females. Students were asked to answer questions based on an Activity Biorhythm Questionnaire, the Post-Traumatic Stress Scale (Weathers et al., 1993), the Hamilton Scale (Hamilton, 1960), the Worry Domains Questionnaire (Tallis, Eyzenck, Mathews, 1992), and the Visual Analog Scale of Moods (VASM) (Stern et al., 1997). The results obtained confirm that there is a significant relationship between the circadian rhythm of some variables and gender in some activities such as academic study (p < 0.05) and TV and Internet use (p < 0.05) and was highly significant for physical activity (p = 0.001), while others are not significant in relation to other schedules of the same variables or in relation to others. Likewise, for the psychological conditions, significant relationships with mood states and depressive tendencies were confirmed. In lockdown, the students’ daily lives underwent changes in circadian rhythm and lifestyle. Therefore, it is necessary to treat their current psychological problems and avoid future complications. Full article
Article
Undergraduate Research Program to Recycle Composite Waste
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070354 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
With the rapid growth in the manufacturing industry and increased urbanization, higher amounts of composite material waste are being produced, causing severe threats to the environment. These environmental concerns, coupled with the fact that undergraduate students typically have minimal experience in research, have [...] Read more.
With the rapid growth in the manufacturing industry and increased urbanization, higher amounts of composite material waste are being produced, causing severe threats to the environment. These environmental concerns, coupled with the fact that undergraduate students typically have minimal experience in research, have initiated the need at the UAE University to promote research among undergraduate students, leading to the development of a summer undergraduate research program. In this study, a recycling methodology is presented to test lab-fabricated Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) for potential applications in industrial composite waste. The work was conducted by two groups of undergraduate students at the UAE University. The methodology involved the chemical dissolution of the composite waste, followed by compression molding and adequate heat treatment for rapid curing of CFRP. Subsequently, the CFRP samples were divided into three groups based on their geometrical distinctions. The mechanical properties (i.e., modulus of elasticity and compressive strength) were determined through material testing, and the results were then compared with steel for prompt reference. The results revealed that the values of mechanical properties range from 2 to 4.3 GPa for the modulus of elasticity and from 203.7 to 301.5 MPa for the compressive strength. These values are considered competitive and optimal, and as such, carbon fiber waste can be used as an alternate material for various structural applications. The inconsistencies in the values are due to discrepancies in the procedure as a result of the lack of specialized equipment for handling CFRP waste material. The study concluded that the properties of CFRP composite prepreg scrap tend to be reusable instead of disposable. Despite the meager experimental discrepancies, test values and mechanical properties indicate that CFRP composite can be successfully used as a material for nonstructural applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Research on Equity and Diversity in Higher Education)
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Article
Two Decades of STEM Education Research in Middle School: A Bibliometrics Analysis in Scopus Database (2000–2020)
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070353 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
STEM education has become important in many countries around the world. STEM education can begin while students are very young. However, earlier research has shown that one of the most important factors influencing the decision on scientific research selection is the middle school [...] Read more.
STEM education has become important in many countries around the world. STEM education can begin while students are very young. However, earlier research has shown that one of the most important factors influencing the decision on scientific research selection is the middle school science classes. In this research, we extract database from Scopus to evaluate the scientific results of publications in the field of STEM education in middle school in the period 2000–2020. A data set of 272 academic papers was indexed to monitor the development of this field by Scopus. The results of the quantitative analysis showed that researches on STEM education in middle schools have boomed in the last 5 years, mainly in the USA. The trend of research collaboration in the field of STEM education in middle schools is not strong. The research topics are quite diverse, focusing on a number of issues: gender, engineering education, curriculum, etc. This study has some limitations, including that only data from the Scopus database were selected and manually filtered, so our analyses totally depended on the quality of the input information imported from the Scopus database. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Student Engagement in Digital Textbook Use during Quarantine
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070352 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 914
Abstract
Following the suspension of classes in Morocco due to the health crisis related to COVID-19, an adaptation of the pedagogical intervention of teaching is required. Distance learning is an essential lever contributing to ensuring the educational continuity of students. In this sense, our [...] Read more.
Following the suspension of classes in Morocco due to the health crisis related to COVID-19, an adaptation of the pedagogical intervention of teaching is required. Distance learning is an essential lever contributing to ensuring the educational continuity of students. In this sense, our contribution is to ensure the educational continuity of students during the period of containment through the use of a digital manual. The digital textbook is made available to students of the 1st year of the qualifying secondary education. Through a tracking grid, we measured the student engagement during two different periods without and with the use of the digital textbook. The results show that the digital textbook was able to elicit student engagement in the completion of learning activities with a remarkable improvement of 57.1% in student engagement rate over the two periods (t (273) = 11.059, p < 0.001). Student engagement while using a digital textbook can lead to better academic performance (r = 0.743, p = 0.000 < 0.01). No one can deny the importance of distance learning as a powerful tool that allows teachers to improve their professional practices in the presence of solid, quality instruction in the classroom that promotes the acquisition of skills and the development of competencies in students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Article
Working Methodology with Public Universities in Peru during the Pandemic—Continuity of Virtual/Online Teaching and Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070351 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1697
Abstract
This article describes the consultancy provided by the UTEC-UNED-TECSUP University Consortium to six national universities in Peru, during the COVID-19 state of emergency. This action aims to promote the techno-pedagogical change from a face-to-face to a virtual/online educational context. The process consists of [...] Read more.
This article describes the consultancy provided by the UTEC-UNED-TECSUP University Consortium to six national universities in Peru, during the COVID-19 state of emergency. This action aims to promote the techno-pedagogical change from a face-to-face to a virtual/online educational context. The process consists of three stages that ensured the continuity of the virtual/online educational service: diagnosis, design, and training, to strengthen instructional and digital competencies, support, and techno-pedagogical monitoring. It includes the basic principles of constructivist and constructionist learning theories for active and quality teaching and learning for the agents involved, and, in addition, the guidelines set by the emerging Peruvian regulations during the pandemic to move towards a digital university model according to the times. After a 157-day intervention, the analysis of the results raises some reflections: the importance of the socio-cultural context and its influence on the concept and development of the instructional act; the concept of distance learning in territories where connectivity is the main difficulty, and the university institution, in terms of a non-presential educational model with open and versatile methodologies, which anticipates a long process, involves a scheduled follow-up, requires fluid communication and demands continuous feedback. Full article
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Article
Basic Geometric Concepts in the Thinking of In-Service and Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070350 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
This paper discusses a model of a mathematics teacher professional development implemented in Italy and Hungary with in-service and pre-service mathematics teachers. The model focuses on comparative geometry, and it develops with the use of an artifact: the Lénárt spheres. The teacher training [...] Read more.
This paper discusses a model of a mathematics teacher professional development implemented in Italy and Hungary with in-service and pre-service mathematics teachers. The model focuses on comparative geometry, and it develops with the use of an artifact: the Lénárt spheres. The teacher training model is the result of several years of experience of the two authors both as regards the activities in the classroom with the Lénárt spheres and as regards the training of teachers in this field. The proposed teachers’ professional development, in addition to providing ideas for activities to be implemented in the classroom, has the objective of proposing reflective activities from a community of inquiry perspective; during the activities, mediated by the artifact, both the Pedagogical Content Knowledge and the Mathematical Content Knowledge are taken into consideration (Ball et al., 2008). The model has been implemented in Italy in more than 15 training courses taught in the last 5 years, both with primary school teachers and with secondary school teachers. In Hungary, the model is at the basis of elective courses under the title ‘Ball Geometry’ at ELTE University, Budapest, for decades. These courses have been aimed at prospective preschool and elementary school teachers at the Faculty of Primary and Preschool Education, as well as future secondary teachers at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The subject of the teachers’ professional development paths corresponds to the comparative geometry between the plane and the sphere. After the presentation of the model, some examples of activities implemented in Hungary during the pandemic period will be illustrated and commented from a didactic point of view, which will serve to exemplify the path described. The described path was carried out remotely in online mode through synchronous and asynchronous activities. The distance obviously changed the way we interacted with the artifact, but it did not prevent the achievement of the courses’ objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Assessing Mathematics in a Digital World)
Article
Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning in Portugal: Preschool to Secondary School Teachers’ Perceptions
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070349 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
Emergency remote teaching and learning (ERTL) represent a critical and challenging time for teachers globally. To understand how Portuguese teachers interpreted their ERTL experiences of the first lockdown, we started by asking: What perspectives do teachers have about ERTL? Answering three open questions [...] Read more.
Emergency remote teaching and learning (ERTL) represent a critical and challenging time for teachers globally. To understand how Portuguese teachers interpreted their ERTL experiences of the first lockdown, we started by asking: What perspectives do teachers have about ERTL? Answering three open questions made available online between April and May of 2020, a sample of 305 preschool, basic, and secondary school teachers expressed their perspectives on (i) difficulties throughout ERTL; (ii) students’ constraints in participating in ERTL; (iii) the potential and benefits resulting from this exceptional period. Data were analyzed using content analysis. While Portuguese teachers perceived ERTL with concern, a majority also saw it as an opportunity. Workload, work conditions, and time management were the most frequently mentioned difficulties. Regarding students’ constraints, teachers emphasized participation, the role of parents, lack of contact, and autonomy. Despite the constraints and difficulties, teachers highlighted gains such as the development of digital competencies and the opportunity to transform teaching and learning. Only 18 teachers suggested there were no positive outcomes from this experience. Since this is an exploratory study, further studies are needed to triangulate the findings. Full article
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Article
Topology-Optimization-Based Learning: A Powerful Teaching and Learning Framework under the Prism of the CDIO Approach
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070348 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 870
Abstract
Topology optimization (TO) has been a useful engineering tool over the last decades. The benefits of this optimization method are several, such as the material and cost savings, the design inspiration, and the robustness of the final products. In addition, there are educational [...] Read more.
Topology optimization (TO) has been a useful engineering tool over the last decades. The benefits of this optimization method are several, such as the material and cost savings, the design inspiration, and the robustness of the final products. In addition, there are educational benefits. TO is a combination of mathematics, design, statics, and the finite element method (FEM); thus, it can provide an integrative multi-disciplinary knowledge foundation to undergraduate students in engineering. This paper is focused on the educational contributions from TO and identifies effective teaching methods, tools, and exercises that can be used for teaching. The result of this research is the development of an educational framework about TO based on the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement, and Operate) Syllabus for CAD engineering studies at universities. TO could be easily adapted for CAD designers in every academic year as an individual course or a module of related engineering courses. Lecturers interested in the introduction of TO to their courses, as well as engineers and students interested in TO in general, could use the findings of this paper. Full article
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Article
Teaching and Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Topic Modeling Study
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070347 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2980
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant disruption to teaching and learning activities at all levels. Faculty, students, institutions, and parents have had to rapidly adapt and adopt measures to make the best use of available resources, tools and teaching strategies. While [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant disruption to teaching and learning activities at all levels. Faculty, students, institutions, and parents have had to rapidly adapt and adopt measures to make the best use of available resources, tools and teaching strategies. While much of the online teaching pedagogies have been theoretically and practically explored to a limited extent, the scale at which these were deployed was unprecedented. This has led a large number of researchers to share challenges, solutions and knowledge gleaned during this period. The main aim of this work was to thematically model the literature related to teaching and learning during, and about, COVID-19. Abstracts and metadata of literature were extracted from Scopus, and topic modeling was used to identify the key research themes. The research encompassed diverse scientific disciplines, including social sciences, computer science, and life sciences, as well as learnings in support systems, including libraries, information technology, and mental health. The following six key themes were identified: (i) the impact of COVID-19 on higher education institutions, and challenges faced by these institutions; (ii) the use of various tools and teaching strategies employed by these institutions; (iii) the teaching and learning experience of schools and school teachers; (iv) the impact of COVID-19 on the training of healthcare workers; (v) the learnings about COVID-19, and treatment strategies from patients; and (vi) the mental health of students as a result of COVID-19 and e-learning. Regardless of the key themes, what stood out was the inequities in education as a result of the digital divide. This has had a huge impact not only in middle- and low-income nations, but also in several parts of the developed world. Several important lessons have been learned, which, no doubt, will be actively incorporated into teaching and learning practices and teacher training. Nonetheless, the full effect of these unprecedented educational adaptions on basic education, expert training, and mental health of all stakeholders is yet to be fully fathomed. Full article
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Article
Project-Based Teaching in Organic Chemistry through Blended Learning Model to Develop Self-Study Capacity of High School Students in Vietnam
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070346 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
Developing students’ self-study capacity is an urgent task of high schools in the current educational renovation period in Vietnam. This article presents research findings on developing self-study capacity for students through building and organizing teaching activities of 11th-grade organic chemistry project topics according [...] Read more.
Developing students’ self-study capacity is an urgent task of high schools in the current educational renovation period in Vietnam. This article presents research findings on developing self-study capacity for students through building and organizing teaching activities of 11th-grade organic chemistry project topics according to the blended learning model. The pedagogical experiment was conducted at three high schools in the north, central, and south regions of Vietnam with 125 students. The data obtained from the teacher’s assessment and the students’ self-assessment showed obvious development of students’ self-study capacity in experimental classes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemistry Education and the 21st Century Skills)
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Article
Lessons from Postgraduate Supervision in Two African Universities: An Autoethnographic Account
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070345 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 776
Abstract
This paper presents an evocative autoethnographic account of my postgraduate supervision experience in two African institutions while dealing mainly with students in the computing disciplines of Computer Science, Information Systems, and Information Technology. In this paper, the context of the postgraduate supervision, and [...] Read more.
This paper presents an evocative autoethnographic account of my postgraduate supervision experience in two African institutions while dealing mainly with students in the computing disciplines of Computer Science, Information Systems, and Information Technology. In this paper, the context of the postgraduate supervision, and the lessons learnt are presented based on personal reflection, students’ feedback, and retrospective analysis on my activities as an absorbed participant in the supervision process. The reflection of my supervision process offers vital lessons for all supervisors in the developing country context who are torn between the requirements for the student to do quality work and get published in top journals, and the challenges in their operational environment and students’ lives. The study also recommends some good practices that could help supervisors that are operating in similar contexts to mine. Full article
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Article
Predictors of College Enrollment across the Life Course: Heterogeneity by Age and Gender
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070344 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Undergraduate college-going is now undertaken well into adulthood, but knowledge about what leads individuals to enroll derives nearly entirely from the study of the “traditionally-aged”. I examine whether and how predictors of enrollment vary as individuals progress through the life-course using nationally representative [...] Read more.
Undergraduate college-going is now undertaken well into adulthood, but knowledge about what leads individuals to enroll derives nearly entirely from the study of the “traditionally-aged”. I examine whether and how predictors of enrollment vary as individuals progress through the life-course using nationally representative data from the United States, following a cohort from ages 18–45. Measures of social background and academic preparation are only weakly predictive beyond age 24, while the effects of gender are largest after age 35. Marriage appears to be a barrier to enrollment among males and females, but only until age 25. Involuntary job loss spurs college-going most strongly among those aged 35 or older, and particularly among women. Among those over age 25, marital dissolution predicts enrollment positively among females but negatively among males. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Economic Growth, Governance and Educational Sustainability: A VAR Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070343 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
Quality educational institutions are strategic tools for accelerating the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All the 17 SDGs are interlinked. For instance, quality education (SDG4) reduces poverty (SDG 1,2) and inequalities (SDG10) and stimulates good health and wellbeing (SDG3). The paper applied [...] Read more.
Quality educational institutions are strategic tools for accelerating the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All the 17 SDGs are interlinked. For instance, quality education (SDG4) reduces poverty (SDG 1,2) and inequalities (SDG10) and stimulates good health and wellbeing (SDG3). The paper applied unorthodox theoretical postulations such as convergence models, intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism and neorealism in explaining how functional (educational) institutions are a necessary enabling environment in accelerating the attainment of SDGs. Empirically, the paper identified unclear modus operandi, lack of political will, political instability, small and fragmented markets and economies with heterogeneous characteristics, and lack of standardization of product and procedures, among other factors, as constraints to sustainability in tertiary education. A Vector Autoregressive (VAR) model was employed using data from 51 Sub-Saharan countries. The three variables were gross domestic product per capita (GDPP), governance and tertiary education expenditure. Results indicated significant short-run unidirectional causality from gross domestic product per capita and tertiary education expenditure to governance, but joint short-run causality was not established. However, transmission effects across the three variables became significant as the number of years increased to ten years. The study recommends a holistic approach from policymakers in order to ensure sustainability in tertiary education due to interlinkages, with emphasis placed on direction of causality. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Technology Self-Efficacy of Maritime Instructors: An Explorative Study
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070342 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 884
Abstract
Maritime Education and Training (MET) is an integral part of the global maritime industry, playing an essential role in ensuring that the sector is supplied continuously with a skilled workforce. The successful outcomes of the educational content delivery in MET institutes depend, to [...] Read more.
Maritime Education and Training (MET) is an integral part of the global maritime industry, playing an essential role in ensuring that the sector is supplied continuously with a skilled workforce. The successful outcomes of the educational content delivery in MET institutes depend, to a certain extent, on the maritime instructor’s ability to create conducive learning environments utilizing all of the resources available. The self-efficacy of maritime instructors in various facets, most notably their proficiency with the use of technology in classrooms, can lead to the introduction of transformative learning practices. Accurately measuring their self-reported technological proficiency could be the initial step in this direction. This study aimed to measure the self-reported technology proficiency of maritime instructors using an established and validated scale: Technology Proficiency Self-Assessment for the 21st century (TPSA-C21). The scale was administered, using an online survey, to a sample of MET instructors within Europe and the UK, with n = 62 valid responses received. Using descriptive statistics and the evaluation of the measurement model, the study highlighted the perceived level of proficiency of the MET instructors along dimensions such as email, world-wide web use, emerging tools, teaching with technology, integrated applications, and teaching with emerging technologies. The survey also measured the perceived level of technology integration for maritime instructors according to the Concerned-Based Adoption Model–Level of Use (CBAM–LoU) classification. The results indicate a potential area of improvement for maritime instructors with regard to their self-reported proficiency, namely in the dimension of teaching with emerging technology. The implications for the MET domain, the respondent demographics and the future research directions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Maritime Education and Training)
Article
Universal Design for Learning: Is It Gaining Momentum in Irish Education?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070341 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2180
Abstract
Responding to student diversity has become a key policy priority in education systems around the world. In addition to international and national institutional policies, major changes are underway in instructional practices and pedagogy in many national contexts. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has [...] Read more.
Responding to student diversity has become a key policy priority in education systems around the world. In addition to international and national institutional policies, major changes are underway in instructional practices and pedagogy in many national contexts. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has become a key pedagogical approach used in education systems which seek to promote inclusive and equitable education in response to student diversity. Despite Ireland’s policy commitment to inclusive education, UDL has been traditionally focused on the higher education sector with little discussion about the role UDL can play at primary and second-level education to achieve inclusion. Furthermore, there has been no research to date on the extent to which education policy reforms are introducing part, or all, of the aspects of the UDL framework. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which UDL is gaining momentum in Irish primary and second-level education through an analysis of curriculum policy. This paper examines the development and evolution of UDL in Irish education policy over the past decade by exploring the use of UDL in national educational curriculum frameworks. The paper highlights how UDL is slowly and implicitly emerging in education policy at a national level but suggests further momentum could be gained from its inclusion in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and professional development programmes. By exploring the development of UDL within existing policy contexts, the paper argues for a more explicit commitment to UDL as part of ongoing curriculum reform at the primary level, the review of Senior Cycle, and Ireland’s broader inclusive education agenda. Full article
Editorial
Contemporary Teacher Education: A Global Perspective-Introduction to a Special Collection of Research
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070340 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 682
Abstract
This special issue on “Contemporary Teacher Education: A Global Perspective” contains eleven articles focused on varied current topics in teacher education all over the world [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Teacher Education: A Global Perspective)
Article
Drawing Skills of Candidates for Architectural Studies vs. Learning Outcomes of Graduates. Comparative Research Based on the Example of The Faculty of Architecture, Poznan University of Technology
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070339 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
Major changes in the organisation of the teaching process at universities in Poland had to be introduced in response to the current pandemic situation and threat of further spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This article presents the results of the research conducted at the [...] Read more.
Major changes in the organisation of the teaching process at universities in Poland had to be introduced in response to the current pandemic situation and threat of further spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This article presents the results of the research conducted at the Faculty of Architecture, Poznan University of Technology in view of the pilot, experimental entrance exam that excludes the evaluation of drawing skills of candidates for architectural studies in the 2020/21 recruitment process. The purpose of the research was to find a correlation between the quality of candidates accepted for the BSc (engineer) programme studies, evaluated on the basis of their drawing skills demonstrated during the entrance exam and the learning outcomes of graduates. For that purpose, the authors hereof have carried out an analysis with the use of the Spearman Rank Correlation formula. The comparative analysis has shown that candidates whose drawing skills were evaluated highly during the entrance exam did not necessarily rank as the top grade scoring graduates of the first degree study programme, and thus, it has further been shown that good drawing skills at the beginning of the study programme do not guarantee top learning results at the end of the studies. In effect, the research should become a starting point for a discussion in Poland on whether there are any justified grounds for entrance exams in drawing or whether a portfolio of works may replace it and be an effective recruitment criterion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Research and Trends in Higher Education)
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Article
Multimodal Technologies in Precision Education: Providing New Opportunities or Adding More Challenges?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070338 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1666
Abstract
Personalized or precision education (PE) considers the integration of multimodal technologies to tailor individuals’ learning experiences based on their preferences and needs. To identify the impact that emerging multimodal technologies have on personalized education, we reviewed recent implementations and applications of systems (e.g., [...] Read more.
Personalized or precision education (PE) considers the integration of multimodal technologies to tailor individuals’ learning experiences based on their preferences and needs. To identify the impact that emerging multimodal technologies have on personalized education, we reviewed recent implementations and applications of systems (e.g., MOOCs, serious games, artificial intelligence, learning management systems, mobile applications, augmented/virtual reality, classroom technologies) that integrate such features. Our findings revealed that PE techniques could leverage the instructional potential of educational platforms and tools by facilitating students’ knowledge acquisition and skill development. The added value of PE is also extended beyond the online digital learning context, as positive outcomes were also identified in blended/face-to-face learning scenarios, with multiple connections being discussed between the impact of PE on student efficacy, achievement, and well-being. In line with the recommendations and suggestions that supporters of PE make, we provide implications for research and practice as well as ground for policy formulation and reformation on how multimodal technologies can be integrated into the educational context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Classroom and School Learning Environments)
Article
An Environmental Education and Communication Project on Migratory Fishes and Fishing Communities
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070337 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 845
Abstract
This study aims at evaluating the environmental education (EE) and communication intervention for the valorization of migratory fish resources in an estuary of northern Portugal. The EE component intervention was implemented among Middle School pupils of that region. Students’ knowledge was quantitatively evaluated [...] Read more.
This study aims at evaluating the environmental education (EE) and communication intervention for the valorization of migratory fish resources in an estuary of northern Portugal. The EE component intervention was implemented among Middle School pupils of that region. Students’ knowledge was quantitatively evaluated with an experimental approach of pre-testing and post-testing, on the ocean and estuarine literacy (OEL) and biology of migratory species, such as sea lamprey. This study also analyzes the communication component developed via social media. Results of the EE component show an evident increment of OEL (p < 0.05). It is also highlighted that students had previous knowledge on issues that are not covered in the curriculum. Social media has shown to be an effective communication tool mostly among the scientific community (e.g., Ethnobiology). The research has various implications to OEL since it brings a new perspective towards the integration of ocean literacy in formal education; as well as the valorization of Students’ local ecological knowledge and of inter-generational dynamics. This study contributed to promoting local biodiversity, OEL, and participatory local governance of these ecosystems. Full article
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