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Volume 11, December

Educ. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 60 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Computer science, cybersecurity education, and microcredentials are becoming more pervasive in all levels of education. The purpose of this study was to partner with precollegiate teachers to (1) investigate the self-efficacy of 30 precollegiate teacher participants toward computer science before, during, and after three iterations of a cybersecurity microcredential and (2) make changes to the cybersecurity microcredential to improve its effectiveness. Findings show that precollegiate teachers’ self-efficacy scores toward computer science increased, and there are areas in need of attention when creating microcredentials. The implications of this research include the importance of purposefully crafting microcredentials and professional developments, including aspects of creating effective partnerships. View this paper
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Article
A Process Evaluation of a Learning Community Program: Implemented as Designed?
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010060 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Learning communities can be useful to counter some of the challenges encountered by first-semester students as they transition to college. This 2-year process evaluation examines the launch of a campus-wide learning community initiative for developmental reading students at a community college in the [...] Read more.
Learning communities can be useful to counter some of the challenges encountered by first-semester students as they transition to college. This 2-year process evaluation examines the launch of a campus-wide learning community initiative for developmental reading students at a community college in the USA. Students, instructors, and administrators were interviewed about the implementation of the program, and program-related materials were reviewed. Findings suggested ways to enhance the effectiveness of learning communities of the linked-course variety through program implementation that is more faithful to key design aspects. Suggestions include (1) implement team-teaching across linked courses; (2) carry out an integrated curriculum across courses; (3) provide in-depth and continued instructor training as well as specialized resources; (4) expand support services available to students and require them to use at least some; and (5) create tools/methods for instructors and administrators to regularly assess processual aspects rather than just program outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition to Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities)
Article
Factors Associated with School Effectiveness: Detection of High- and Low-Efficiency Schools through Hierarchical Linear Models
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010059 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 476
Abstract
School effectiveness is a topic of interest addressed by numerous research projects focused on clarifying which variables contribute to the explanation of educational performance. This research aims to find out to what extent social, cultural, and academic variables at the student and school [...] Read more.
School effectiveness is a topic of interest addressed by numerous research projects focused on clarifying which variables contribute to the explanation of educational performance. This research aims to find out to what extent social, cultural, and academic variables at the student and school levels, as perceived by families, influence performance, and to evaluate the relevance of high residual and gross score criteria in the selection of effective or ineffective schools. Census data from diagnostic evaluations of the Mathematical Reasoning and Linguistic Communication of students in a certain Spanish region, over five academic years, have been used. The multilevel hierarchical analyses carried out have enabled the detection of centers of high and low efficiency, as well as the identification of which factors, related to the idiosyncrasy of the students and the educational center they attend, significantly influence the performance of the students. It was concluded that the socioeconomic and cultural level of the families, the family expectations, the commitment to reading and the educational agreement were significant variables in the explanation of the students’ educational performance, and that the residual score of the educational centers was a valid criterion to estimate their level of effectiveness once the socio-cultural factors have been controlled. Full article
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Article
Integrated STEM and Partnerships: What to Do for More Effective Teams in Informal Settings
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010058 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 385
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how undergraduate college students formed partnerships in informal educational teams to design and build an interdisciplinary, ill-defined, integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) project and translate it to lessons taught to a pre-collegiate student [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore how undergraduate college students formed partnerships in informal educational teams to design and build an interdisciplinary, ill-defined, integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) project and translate it to lessons taught to a pre-collegiate student (e.g., K-12 in the US) audience. The authors pursued two research questions: (a) How does an authentic research project provide space for integrating STEM disciplines? (b) How does an authentic research project impact partnerships among team members? Nine undergraduate college students were accepted into the 2020 cohort, forming three teams of three undergraduates each. Teams were roughly composed of one engineering major, one science major, and one education major. Methods of data collection included interviews and field notes. Data were analyzed by assessing the level of partnership achieved based on an already established model. Results indicate that all teams progressed through pre-partnership to at least the partnership (little p) level. Two partnership dimensions achieved the highest (big P) level: one of perception of benefit and one of products and activities. The results have implications that integration of STEM disciplines and forming partnerships could be related, and that building teamwork skills results in products of higher quality. The results are linked to previous research and recommendations for more effective partnerships are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated STEM and STEM Partnerships: Teaching and Learning)
Article
‘The Game of the Sea’: An Interdisciplinary Educational Board Game on the Marine Environment and Ocean Awareness for Primary and Secondary Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010057 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 538
Abstract
Games are a proven tool for learning at all ages and in many contexts. They increase the attractiveness of learning processes through arousing interest and enhancing motivation, and aid with the development of social skills. Educational games provide teachers with different approaches to [...] Read more.
Games are a proven tool for learning at all ages and in many contexts. They increase the attractiveness of learning processes through arousing interest and enhancing motivation, and aid with the development of social skills. Educational games provide teachers with different approaches to teaching. ‘The Game of the Sea’ is an interdisciplinary board game, specifically designed to teach its players about the marine environment, regardless of their age. Through its 68 sections, coloured according to particular topics and organised as a fish shape, players encounter a wide range of questions and activities. Through playing this game, players acquire a broad knowledge of science, the marine environment and its importance, and literature. The game uses an interdisciplinary approach with question cards on a variety of topics (including maths, physics, biology, chemistry, art, etc.). A total of 222 players (111 children, aged 11–15, and 111 adults, aged 18–72) tested the game. These players were enrolled in different formal and non-formal educational contexts and had different educational backgrounds. For a qualitative analysis of game sessions (participant observation), researchers acted as game moderators and, while doing so, made subtle observations of players playing the game. On top of this, the value of the game, as a didactic tool, was evaluated with a test that players took before and after the game. After playing the game, knowledge of the marine environment, increased in both children and adults, with a slightly higher increase in children. Therefore, ‘The Game of the Sea’ is suitable for teaching all ages about the marine environment. Further, this game can impart to its players the importance of the marine environment and the importance of protecting this environment. Full article
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Article
A Study to Evaluate Students’ Performance, Engagement, and Progression in Higher Education Based on Feedforward Teaching Approach
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010056 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Learners who enter higher education (HE) at the foundational level are susceptible to many challenges that impact their performance, engagement, and progression. Not all students who enter HE at the foundational level will progress and attain their course qualifications. In addition, many university [...] Read more.
Learners who enter higher education (HE) at the foundational level are susceptible to many challenges that impact their performance, engagement, and progression. Not all students who enter HE at the foundational level will progress and attain their course qualifications. In addition, many university lecturers struggle to give effective support to their students. This study focuses on feedforward teaching approaches that define ways to enhance learning by using advanced organisational strategies to offer relevant supporting concepts and meaningful verbal material. To date, there are insufficient literature reviews on feedforward approaches to facilitate students’ subsequent learning. Providing better academic support for students and a strong foundation for independent learning is the focus of this paper. Therefore, the main contributions of this paper are identifying the key feedforward features and suggesting effective feedforward approaches. This study was undertaken to rigorously implement feedforward approaches that would support groups of students in modules at the foundational entry-level. At the end of module delivery, different students’ data sets were analysed related to the progression rates, standard deviation, and mean. In addition, the student satisfaction questionnaire (module evaluation survey) and feedback survey were also considered for engagement and retention purposes. The outcomes from this exercise suggest that feedforward approaches allow students to increase their overall effort when attempting summative assessments and, thus, improve their performance, engagement, and retention. Full article
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Article
Prospective Primary Teachers’ Professional Noticing in Non-Formal Learning Environments: The Case of a Mathematics Fair
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010055 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Research around mathematics teachers’ professional noticing has been largely contextualised by the formal setting of the classroom. In addressing the lack of relevant studies in non-formal learning environments, this paper draws on student teachers’ observations within a Mathematics Fair, which was part of [...] Read more.
Research around mathematics teachers’ professional noticing has been largely contextualised by the formal setting of the classroom. In addressing the lack of relevant studies in non-formal learning environments, this paper draws on student teachers’ observations within a Mathematics Fair, which was part of a mathematics methods module of a primary education undergraduate programme. Working in pairs, 64 student teachers designed interactive mathematical games which upper primary school pupils had the opportunity to play in an event having taken place at our university. In this study, we analyse student teachers’ individual reflective essays written after the Fair, where they discussed important, in their view, incidents and observations. Employing a thematic analysis approach, we identified four themes discussed by students: the task; learning; teaching; non-formal environment. We conclude with the implications for teacher education and suggestions for future research. Full article
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Article
Examining Technology Acceptance in Learning and Teaching at a Historically Disadvantaged University in South Africa through the Technology Acceptance Model
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010054 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 467
Abstract
The exponential growth in the use of technology for learning and teaching in the higher education sector has imposed pressure on academics to embrace technology in their teaching. The present study sought to examine factors underlying technology acceptance in learning and teaching at [...] Read more.
The exponential growth in the use of technology for learning and teaching in the higher education sector has imposed pressure on academics to embrace technology in their teaching. The present study sought to examine factors underlying technology acceptance in learning and teaching at a historically disadvantaged university in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Premised on the mixed methods approach and undergirded by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), both a pre-coded and an open-ended questionnaire were used to collect data. Data from the pre-coded questionnaire were analysed through the descriptive statistical approach. The qualitative data from the open-ended questionnaire were analysed through content analysis. The study found that most academic staff believe and see the value that ICTs bring in their teaching and learning practices. In addition, they are aware that technology use in education improves learning and teaching, and they are willing to embrace the use of technology to improve their practices. Based on the findings, we recommend intensification of lecturer training in the use of technology for teaching and learning to enable them to embrace it in their teaching practice. Furthermore, the institution needs to put in place support systems for academic staff to empower them to have continuous access to devices and internet connection for technology integration in teaching and learning. We recommend establishment of e-learning communities of practise in the university that will allow lecturers to assist each other as well as share best practices in the use of technology for teaching and learning. Full article
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Article
Hopes and Fears of First-Year Freshman College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010053 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic made the experience of being a first-year freshman college student unique. This study aims to analyze the hopes and fears of these students concerning their current life and future goals. Participating students completed the Hopes & Fears questionnaire. Results showed [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic made the experience of being a first-year freshman college student unique. This study aims to analyze the hopes and fears of these students concerning their current life and future goals. Participating students completed the Hopes & Fears questionnaire. Results showed that students’ hopes and fears were mainly connected with domains of education and the global/collective dimension, followed by personal and family members’ health. Two new categories emerged, self-fulfillment and solidarity, reflecting the importance of the contextual dimension that these students were navigating. The findings of the current study contribute to the research of college students’ hopes and fears towards their future and accounts for the analyses of this topic as we progress to a post-pandemic phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
What Do Preschool Teachers and Parents Think about the Influence of Screen-Time Exposure on Children’s Development? Challenges and Opportunities
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010052 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 821
Abstract
Children’s exposure to screens has been increasing in recent years and so has the concern about its impact on children’s development. This study aims to analyze preschool teachers’ and parents’ views on the influence of screen-time exposure on children’s development. Semi-structured interviews with [...] Read more.
Children’s exposure to screens has been increasing in recent years and so has the concern about its impact on children’s development. This study aims to analyze preschool teachers’ and parents’ views on the influence of screen-time exposure on children’s development. Semi-structured interviews with preschool teachers (n = 9), as well as data from a previous quantitative study, based on an online questionnaire applied to parents of children in preschool (n = 266) were used for data collection. For this study, eminently of qualitative nature, the following dimensions were analyzed: children’s habits of exposure to screens at home, changes in children’s play habits at school, strategies/methodologies used by preschool teachers, use of technologies at school and children’s language development. The results from the study with parents show that screen-time exposure of children is between 1 h to 2 h of television per day, mostly to watch cartoons. Parents also report that most of the children use vocabulary in other languages at home. Most preschool teachers agreed that children are changing their play habits and mainly their behaviors and attitudes, influenced by screen-time exposure. They believe that language development is also changing, mentioning more language problems in children. Changes in pedagogic strategies and specialized training on educational technology are needed to get closer to children’s interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Education)
Article
Digital Storytelling in Sports Narrations: Employing Audiovisual Tools in Sport Journalism Higher Education Course
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010051 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 402
Abstract
The present generation of young people who nowadays attend higher education curricula are accustomed to receiving information and knowledge through audiovisual material. Creating a digital story can assist students to learn more on the subject they study as well as to help them [...] Read more.
The present generation of young people who nowadays attend higher education curricula are accustomed to receiving information and knowledge through audiovisual material. Creating a digital story can assist students to learn more on the subject they study as well as to help them overcome obstacles that hinder the presentation of their gained knowledge. The aim of this paper was to examine the use of audiovisual tools in the educational procedure of sport journalism higher education courses. Thirty-eight students in the School of Journalism at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki were asked to present a team sport in a video form. Following the general instructions from the teachers they were able to use any kind of equipment and software they chose to create the audiovisual production. Upon the completion of the projects and based on an embedded mixed research design they were asked to answer a short questionnaire and afterwards to participate in two focus group discussions. The results revealed that the employment of technological tools to create, present, and furthermore express themselves was warmly accepted and the participants stated that it provided a vivid educational environment, which besides enhancing the process of teaching, contributed to the acquisition of skills and their right utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Media Education)
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Article
Smartphones and Learning: An Extension of M-Learning or a Distinct Area of Inquiry
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010050 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 385
Abstract
The smartphone has become an integral part of the education landscape. While there has been significant smartphone research in education under the guise of m-learning, the unique role of the device suggests that m-learning may not be an appropriate characterization. The purpose of [...] Read more.
The smartphone has become an integral part of the education landscape. While there has been significant smartphone research in education under the guise of m-learning, the unique role of the device suggests that m-learning may not be an appropriate characterization. The purpose of this paper is to review the use of m-learning as a primary descriptor for smartphone- and learning-related research. In support of this goal, the paper reviews the definitions associated with m-learning, smartphones, and related technologies from the perspective of educational research. In addition, a review of author keywords of research on smartphones in education is used to provide context to the classification of the research. Finally, three theoretically guided smartphone programs are presented as evidence of the unique nature of smartphone and learning research. This review concludes with recommendations for the characterization of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Article
Gamification as a Teaching Method to Improve Performance and Motivation in Tertiary Education during COVID-19: A Research Study from Mexico
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010049 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Gamification is usually understood as a pedagogical strategy that favors student engagement and motivation. Traditionally it is composed of dynamics, mechanics, and components. The purpose of this study was to compare Engineering and Economics and Social Sciences undergraduate students in their performance (grades), [...] Read more.
Gamification is usually understood as a pedagogical strategy that favors student engagement and motivation. Traditionally it is composed of dynamics, mechanics, and components. The purpose of this study was to compare Engineering and Economics and Social Sciences undergraduate students in their performance (grades), motivation, quality of assignments, participation, and emotion when their teachers used gamification as an innovative teaching method during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pearson correlations, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and Mann–Whitney test were conducted. Additionally, four students were interviewed to describe the emotional downside of the lockdown. The main results indicate that there are higher positive relationships among variables in the Engineering undergraduate students rather than in Economics and Social Sciences and show that emotion poorly correlates with performance, especially for the Economics and Social Sciences students, as many have a negative attitude toward learning mathematics. Additionally, gender and scholarship status are not differential factors. Gamification proved to be a useful pedagogical strategy to promote participation and enhance motivation among undergraduate students, particularly in a context of academic confinement. This study gives teachers an idea of the benefits and extent to which gamification can be used in the classroom. Full article
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Article
Exploring How Secondary STEM Teachers and Undergraduate Mentors Adapt Digital Technologies to Promote Culturally Relevant Education during COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010048 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
The COVID-19 global pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to K-16 educators, including the closing of educational agencies and the abrupt transition to online teaching and learning. Educators sought to adapt in-person learning activities to teach in remote and hybrid online settings. This study explores [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 global pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to K-16 educators, including the closing of educational agencies and the abrupt transition to online teaching and learning. Educators sought to adapt in-person learning activities to teach in remote and hybrid online settings. This study explores how a partnership between middle and high school teachers in an urban school district and undergraduate STEM mentors of color leveraged digital tools and collaborative pedagogies to teach science, technology, and engineering during a global pandemic. We used a qualitative multi-case study to describe three cases of teachers and undergraduate mentors. We then offer a cross-case analysis to interpret the diverse ways in which partners used technologies, pedagogy, and content to promote equitable outcomes for students, both in remote and hybrid settings. We found that the partnership and technologies led to rigorous and connected learning for students. Teachers and undergraduates carefully scaffolded technology use and content applications while providing ongoing opportunities for students to receive feedback and reflect on their learning. Findings provide implications for community partnerships and digital tools to promote collaborative and culturally relevant STEM learning opportunities in the post-pandemic era. Full article
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Review
Mathematical and Experimental Science Education from the School Garden: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Practice
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010047 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
The much-needed interest in promoting a healthy lifestyle among school-age students has found a context for development: school gardens. There are numerous studies where using gardens as a teaching–learning context also improves students’ performance in the experimental sciences. In this study, we proposed [...] Read more.
The much-needed interest in promoting a healthy lifestyle among school-age students has found a context for development: school gardens. There are numerous studies where using gardens as a teaching–learning context also improves students’ performance in the experimental sciences. In this study, we proposed another interest that sets it apart and adds motivation: combining curricular mathematics with experimental science content in this context. The search for possible studies in the scientific literature has gave rise to the review presented herein. From this review, we obtained 21 studies, from which we extracted a series of categories: whether research was undertaken and with which tools; which curricular contents were covered and the impact produced; the ages of the participants and duration of the project; and, finally, whether the garden was cultivated. The main conclusion of this search was the lack of a clear line of research linking school gardens, the experimental sciences, and mathematics, in addition to the scant presence of studies framed in this context. For that reason, we send a call to action to the scientific community encouraging the interdisciplinarity of the two aforementioned subjects within the context of school gardens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gardens as Innovative Learning Contexts)
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Article
Attitude to Distance Learning of Schoolchildren and Students: Subjective Assessments of Advantages and Disadvantages
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010046 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Currently, during the pandemic, the forced transition to distance learning carries a number of problems. These problems affect various aspects of education, including the study of students’ attitudes to distance learning. The purpose of this research is to study the features of the [...] Read more.
Currently, during the pandemic, the forced transition to distance learning carries a number of problems. These problems affect various aspects of education, including the study of students’ attitudes to distance learning. The purpose of this research is to study the features of the subjective attitude of schoolchildren and students to distance learning. This research involved 140 secondary school students (average age M = 10.7, SD = 7.2 (66.3% men)) and 30 university students (average age M = 22.5, SD = 2.4 (20% men)). The methods used were a questionnaire, Chi-square test and Criterion φ*. Fisher angular transformation. The study showed that schoolchildren do not intend to continue studying in the distance form if they choose, with a generally positive attitude towards distance learning. The self-assessment of motivation to study in a distance format has not changed, both among schoolchildren and students. Students are more likely to have a positive attitude to distance learning than schoolchildren. The variety of choices of advantages and disadvantages of distance learning is greater among students than among schoolchildren. The perspective of this study is thus to study the factors that determine the positive and negative attitudes to distance learning. Full article
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Article
Drawing as a Space for Social-Cognitive Interaction
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010045 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Drawing is recognized as a powerful tool to learn science. Although current research has enriched our understanding of the potential of learning through drawing, scarce attention has been given to the social-cognitive interactions that occur when students jointly create drawings to understand and [...] Read more.
Drawing is recognized as a powerful tool to learn science. Although current research has enriched our understanding of the potential of learning through drawing, scarce attention has been given to the social-cognitive interactions that occur when students jointly create drawings to understand and explain phenomena in science. This article is based on the distributed and embodied cognition theories and it adopted the notion of we-space, defined as a complex social-cognitive space, dynamically established and managed during the ongoing interactions of the individuals, when they manipulate and exploit a shared space. The goal of the study was to explore the role that collaborative drawing plays in shaping the social-cognitive interaction among students. We examine this by a fine-grain multimodal analysis of a pair of middle school students, who jointly attempted to understand and explain a chemical phenomenon by creating drawings and thinking with them. Our findings suggest that collaborative drawing played a key role in (i) establishing a genuine shared-action space, a we-space, and that within this we-space it had two major functions: (ii) enabling collective thinking-in-action and (iii) simplifying communication. We argue that drawing, as a joint activity, has a potential for learning, not restricted to the cognitive process related to the activity of creating external visual representations on paper; instead, the benefits of drawing lie in action in space. Creating these representations is more than a process of externalization of thought: it is part of a process of collective thinking-in-action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
Systematic Review
Models of Instructional Design in Gamification: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010044 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Gamification allows for the implementation of experiences that simulate the design of (video) games, giving individuals the opportunity to be the protagonists in them. Its inclusion in the educational environment responds to the need to adapt teaching–learning processes to the characteristics of homo [...] Read more.
Gamification allows for the implementation of experiences that simulate the design of (video) games, giving individuals the opportunity to be the protagonists in them. Its inclusion in the educational environment responds to the need to adapt teaching–learning processes to the characteristics of homo videoludens, placing value once again on the role of playful action in the personal development of individuals. The interest that has arisen in studying the implications of gamification processes in the different educational stages, in order to determine their impact and suitability, has led to an increase in scientific publications. With the intention of studying the presence and implications of gamification in teacher training as a methodological principle implemented in the teaching–learning process, both in its initial and permanent stages, this systematic review of the literature identifies those instructional design models applied in the field of gamification, as well as its educational significance. Thus, the need to introduce gamified practices in the field of teacher training is observed, providing an experiential learning that allows teachers to apply this methodology in a relevant way in their professional development, based on their own experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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Article
Understanding the Conceptions of Engineering in Early Elementary Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010043 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 452
Abstract
There is a demand for more STEM professionals. Early elementary students’ conceptions about engineering can influence whether or not they explore STEM career paths and ultimately select an engineering career. This study examined the conceptions elementary students have regarding the work that engineers [...] Read more.
There is a demand for more STEM professionals. Early elementary students’ conceptions about engineering can influence whether or not they explore STEM career paths and ultimately select an engineering career. This study examined the conceptions elementary students have regarding the work that engineers perform. The research questions were the following: (1) what images do early elementary students associate with engineering and engineers, (2) do these associations vary from grade to grade, (3) are there gendered differences in these associations, and (4) how do the associations from this sample compare with the associations from the broader (grades one–five) Cunningham, Lachapelle, and Lindgren-Steider (2005) sample? Survey data from 1811 students in grades one–three were analyzed by comparison analysis and cluster analysis and then compared to the initial Cunningham et al. (2005) study. The results indicate two ways elementary students envision engineering: (a) creating designs or collecting and analyzing data, and (b) utilizing equipment to build and improve things. Comparison with the Cunningham et al. (2005) study suggests that there may be shifts in the way elementary students perceive engineering. Since these shifts could be attributed to a variety of factors, future work that determines what learning experiences might be contributing to students’ conceptions about engineering is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STEM in Early Childhood Education)
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Article
Pre-Service Geography Teachers’ Professional Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010042 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
The professional competencies pre-service geography teachers acquire in university influence their contribution to education for sustainable development (ESD) in their future school careers. We assessed pre-service geography teachers’ (n = 100) competencies and attitudes towards the official, German ESD orientation framework to [...] Read more.
The professional competencies pre-service geography teachers acquire in university influence their contribution to education for sustainable development (ESD) in their future school careers. We assessed pre-service geography teachers’ (n = 100) competencies and attitudes towards the official, German ESD orientation framework to determine the specific need for higher education action. The results are a high competence assessment and even higher importance assigned to the ESD-related professional competencies. In the context of ESD, pre-service teachers are most confident in their content knowledge and social and personal competencies and least confident in their pedagogical knowledge. The cross-sectional analysis shows the perceived competence level rising with the semester number and a strong positive influence of the school practice module. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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Article
Factors Affecting the Perceptions and Practices of Differentiated Curricula and Pedagogies for Gifted and Talented Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010041 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 436
Abstract
The definitions and implementation of differentiated curricula and instruction for gifted and talented students have been affected by a myriad of philosophical and institutional factors defined by educators, community members, and gifted and talented students. The ramifications of these factors affect the focus [...] Read more.
The definitions and implementation of differentiated curricula and instruction for gifted and talented students have been affected by a myriad of philosophical and institutional factors defined by educators, community members, and gifted and talented students. The ramifications of these factors affect the focus and subsequent objectives and outcomes of differentiated curricula and instruction for gifted and talented students. A set of questions regarding the structure and implications of differentiated curricula and instruction for gifted and talented students are presented. Concepts such as specificity versus generalization, transfer of training, and conflict of interests are discussed and exemplified theoretically, philosophically, and pragmatically to respond to these questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gifted Education, Creativity and Leadership Development)
Article
Educator Perceptions of Early Learning Environments as Places for Privileging Social Justice in Rural and Remote Communities
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010040 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Australia has long been associated with the concept of social justice, however, a clear understanding of what it looks like across diverse services and communities is not available. This article reports the process of inquiry, as [...] Read more.
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Australia has long been associated with the concept of social justice, however, a clear understanding of what it looks like across diverse services and communities is not available. This article reports the process of inquiry, as well as the outcomes, of a small-scale study designed to uncover the perceptions of ECEC educators working in rural and remote communities in the state of Queensland. Data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews with five educators from rural and remote settings identified as areas experiencing significant growth in population diversity. An initial thematic analysis of the data revealed three key themes. A secondary analysis using a place and space conceptual framework uncovered deeper, more sophisticated meanings of the educator experience of social justice. The research is important in bringing pedagogical conversations to the forefront regarding ECEC educator perceptions of their role in creating a socially just learning environment. In addition to identifying future research possibilities, implications from the findings indicate opportunities for re-examining and rethinking initial teacher education and ongoing professional learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Education)
Systematic Review
Computational Thinking and Educational Technology: A Scoping Review of the Literature
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010039 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Interest in computational thinking (CT) in the scientific community has increased significantly in the last 4 years, as evidenced by the numerous systematic reviews carried out. However, there is a lack of reviews that update the emerging conceptualization of CT and which also [...] Read more.
Interest in computational thinking (CT) in the scientific community has increased significantly in the last 4 years, as evidenced by the numerous systematic reviews carried out. However, there is a lack of reviews that update the emerging conceptualization of CT and which also examine the roles of the school curriculum and teachers in the face of CT. A systematic literature review (SLR) consists of a collection of research conducted according to previous criteria with the aim of answering research questions with validity and quality. For this reason, the PRISMA-ScR statement was followed. Articles published in scientific journals, from Scopus and WoS, between January 2018 and August 2021 were included, in the English or Spanish language. The initial search resulted in 492 articles, to which the inclusion-exclusion criteria were applied. The final sample of texts for the present systematic review was n = 145. The texts were analyzed from three perspectives: conceptual, documentary and pedagogical. Thus, a renewal of previous literature reviews was carried out, updating the situation with research from recent years and new data, obtained to contribute to the collective intelligence on methodological strategies (80% of the sample was divided into “plugged” and “unplugged”); educational (more than 50% studied CT evaluation); and resources, including a collection of more than 119 educational resources. Full article
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Article
Outside Training of Spanish University Students of Education for the Didactic Application of Cinema: Formal, Non-Formal, and Informal Perspectives
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010038 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Nowadays, audiovisual media play a central role in access to information and in personal relationships. Among the audiovisual media is cinema, which due to its heterogeneous nature, can fulfill diverse educational functions. The objective of this study was to learn about the training [...] Read more.
Nowadays, audiovisual media play a central role in access to information and in personal relationships. Among the audiovisual media is cinema, which due to its heterogeneous nature, can fulfill diverse educational functions. The objective of this study was to learn about the training that future teachers in Spain receive outside of their teaching degree for the didactic use of cinema. In addition, we sought to understand the influence of training on perceptions regarding the educational potential of cinema and the predisposition to its use. Using a quantitative approach, information was collected from 4659 students from 58 Spanish universities. The questionnaire used covered perceptions about the potencialities of cinema as a didactic resource in pre-school and primary classrooms (PECID). The results showed that 95.1% of the students had not received training. In addition, we found a significant influence of training on their perceptions of the educational possibilities of cinema. Furthermore, we found an influence on their predisposition to use training in their future teaching practice. Overall, it is necessary to implement training actions to fill the gaps detected in favor of a quality education with active learning and linked to society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Education and Digital Literacy)
Viewpoint
Informal Education Pedagogy Transcendence from the ‘Academy’ to Society in the Current and Post COVID Environment
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010037 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 528
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to consider the following two notions; (1) that the use of ‘informal education pedagogies’ within teaching and learning in the ‘academy’ can both support the learning process within the ‘classroom’ but also transcend to society via students; [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to consider the following two notions; (1) that the use of ‘informal education pedagogies’ within teaching and learning in the ‘academy’ can both support the learning process within the ‘classroom’ but also transcend to society via students; and (2) that synergies exist between informal education and social pedagogical concepts. The discussions are situated from the perspective of an experienced practitioner and academic who is currently teaching youth related degree courses within a Higher Education Institution. This experiential learning has informed knowledge acquisition, understanding and skills application from professional practice to the teaching environment. An experiential learning perspective will be the primary method adopted; the value of this paper lies in its potential to re-affirm that degree courses which embed a ‘practice the practice’ approach in their teaching methodology support the embedding of core values of the said discipline. The paper argues that the ethically value-based principles and practice of informal education pedagogy, and social pedagogy, are relevant for the current and post COVID-19 pandemic environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating Informal Educators)
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Article
Thrown into Deep Water: Feedback on Student Satisfaction—A Case Study in Hungarian and Romanian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010036 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 337
Abstract
As a result of the COVID-19 health epidemic, online life has exploded into our daily lives, forcing most of us to move previously seemingly irreplaceable “face-to-face” activities into “non-face-to-face” meetings and activities in many sectors. One of the biggest challenges has been in [...] Read more.
As a result of the COVID-19 health epidemic, online life has exploded into our daily lives, forcing most of us to move previously seemingly irreplaceable “face-to-face” activities into “non-face-to-face” meetings and activities in many sectors. One of the biggest challenges has been in the field of education: This sector, compared to other sectors, was less digitized. Under these circumstances, the entire education process was transferred to online space overnight, which was/is a major challenge for everyone. Thus, a questionnaire survey was conducted among students from two universities in Hungary and Romania, the results of which are included in the present article. The aim of the research was to measure students’ satisfaction and to examine the benefits of online education, for example, in terms of introducing hybrid education over the long term. Descriptive statistics as well as the Wilcoxon rank-sum test were used to analyze the database. The results showed that, from a practical point of view, there was no significant difference between the Hungarian and Romanian respondents who had a fundamentally positive view of digital education. In this respect, positive feedback can be seen as encouraging, especially for those individuals and social strata who may find online education much more attractive than traditional physical teaching. Online education could be an attractive, accessible, sustainable form of further education in the long run. Full article
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Article
Falling through the Cracks: Deaf New Americans and Their Unsupported Educational Needs
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010035 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Members of the Deaf New American community reported they arrived in the United States with no formal education, unable to read or write in their native language, and had zero fluency in English. Efforts to educate them have floundered, and the study aims [...] Read more.
Members of the Deaf New American community reported they arrived in the United States with no formal education, unable to read or write in their native language, and had zero fluency in English. Efforts to educate them have floundered, and the study aims to find out why and how to fix the problem. Interviews of eight Deaf New Americans yielded rich data that demonstrates how education policy in the form of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other laws fail to address their needs, because these laws do not include them in their coverage. The study’s main findings are the deleterious effect of the home country’s failure to educate their Deaf citizens, America’s failure to provide accessible and effective instruction, and the combined effect of these institutional failures on the ability of Deaf New Americans to master English and find gainful employment. This article is an argument for a change in education policy that recognizes the unique nature of this community and provides for a role of Deaf educators in teaching Deaf New Americans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Education Policy and Politics)
Article
Teaching Mathematics to Non-Mathematics Majors through Problem Solving and New Technologies
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010034 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 360
Abstract
The role of mathematics in several scientific disciplines is undisputed; work and everyday life take great advantage of its application. Nevertheless, students often tend to not particularly like it and to consider it of little interest. It is also believed that only people [...] Read more.
The role of mathematics in several scientific disciplines is undisputed; work and everyday life take great advantage of its application. Nevertheless, students often tend to not particularly like it and to consider it of little interest. It is also believed that only people with a certain attitude are capable of mastering the subject. In consideration of this, we aimed to help science students develop mathematical competences by designing a course specifically oriented to applications and problem solving. We administered our course to students attending the first year of a program in biotechnology, asking them to work with technologies instilling curiosity and interest, thus achieving a better proficiency as a consequence. Two questionnaires, along with access and proficiency data, allowed us to collect information about students’ attitudes, beliefs, and activity, which we analyzed by means of descriptive statistics. The promotion of the interaction among learners made them active users of the contents, thus allowing for the adaptation of their learning paths according to their personal necessities, as well as the development of teamwork skills and flexibility. Finally, students recognized the usefulness of the problem-solving approach and the role played by software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Technology in Teaching Mathematics)
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Article
The Potential to Build Collective Capacity for Organisational Learning in the Context of Teachers’ Use of Digital Technology for School Improvement
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010033 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 442
Abstract
This article considers how digital spaces focused on whole school improvement combined with supportive leadership may be mobilised towards building collective capacity for evidence-informed practice and organisational learning. This topic originated from a qualitative, multi-method design-based research (DBR) project that studied practitioners’ use [...] Read more.
This article considers how digital spaces focused on whole school improvement combined with supportive leadership may be mobilised towards building collective capacity for evidence-informed practice and organisational learning. This topic originated from a qualitative, multi-method design-based research (DBR) project that studied practitioners’ use of an online resource for primary school practitioners called Pathways for school improvement, designed by Oxford University Press (OUP). Semi-structured interviews, participant observations and a documentary analysis were conducted with teachers and senior leaders in five primary schools across England between 2014 and 2016. Connections were made with the dynamic approach to school improvement (DASI) that encourages practitioners to systematically engage with a variety of evidence in their reflections and efforts to design school and classroom improvement strategies. Pathways’ four-step system and series of systematised tasks under each step seemed to provide opportunities for practitioners to explore elements of theory and practice in conjunction with empirical and pupil performance data, and potentially guide them through how to collaborate with others in developing specific whole school approaches to improvement. Opportunities and challenges in developing collective capacity for improvement are also explored. Full article
Editorial
Philosophy of Education: The Promise of Education and Grief
by
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010032 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 269
Abstract
This is a collection of articles preoccupied with the future of education [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy of Education: The Promise of Education and Grief)
Article
University Students’ Classroom Emotional Climate and Attitudes during and after COVID-19 Lockdown
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010031 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
With the advent of COVID-19, universities around the world have been forced to move to a fully online mode of delivery because of lockdown policies. This led to a flurry of studies into issues such as internet access, student attitudes to online learning [...] Read more.
With the advent of COVID-19, universities around the world have been forced to move to a fully online mode of delivery because of lockdown policies. This led to a flurry of studies into issues such as internet access, student attitudes to online learning and mental health during lockdown. However, researchers need a validated survey for assessing the classroom emotional climate and student attitudes towards learning in universities that can be used for online, face-to-face or blended delivery. Such a survey could be used to illuminate students’ perceptions of the experiences that make up learning at university level, in terms of such factors as care from teachers, collaboration and motivation. In this article, we report the validation of a University Classroom Emotional Climate (UCEC) questionnaire and an Attitudes to Learning scale, as well as their use in comparing the classroom emotional climate and attitudes during COVID-19 lockdown (fully online delivery) with post-lockdown (mixed-mode delivery). Female students experienced the post-lockdown condition significantly more positively than during lockdown for all scales except Care, while the only significant difference for males between the during and post-lockdown was their choice to engage with learning (Control) and the degree of Challenge that they found with the learning materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Classroom and School Learning Environments)
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