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Educ. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 10 (October 2022) – 96 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The ability to initiate and engage in relationships is a critical landmark and predictor of children’s development and well-being. This study examined the relationship between the quality of kindergartens’ outdoor physical environments and preschoolers’ social functioning. Two Portuguese kindergartens participated according to different levels of their outdoor physical environment quality. The social proximity of twenty-six children (aged 3–6, 10 boys) at the playground was measured through Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID). In the higher quality outdoor area, children spent less time alone and more time in social proximity in smaller groups and with different genders. These outcomes highlight the importance of guaranteeing more challenging and diverse kindergarten outdoor settings to support preschoolers’ social needs. View this paper
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Article
Characterizing the Identity Formation and Sense of Belonging of the Students Enrolled in a Data Science Learning Community
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100731 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Student attrition is a challenge experienced by higher education institutions. One of the key reasons for student attrition is the inability of students to develop an identity and a sense of belonging. This study aims to understand the role of a data science [...] Read more.
Student attrition is a challenge experienced by higher education institutions. One of the key reasons for student attrition is the inability of students to develop an identity and a sense of belonging. This study aims to understand the role of a data science learning community in helping students to develop identity and a sense of belonging. The study used a mixed-methods approach to collect and analyze the data. The study used a pre–post survey to understand students’ perceptions regarding identity formation and sense of belonging. The results of the survey study indicated that the perception of identity formation and sense of belonging increased as students progressed through the semester. To further investigate the reasons for the increase in the perception of identity formation and sense of belonging, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. The results of the interview revealed that living in the data science learning community, participating in various events and interacting with faculty, staff and working with peers of similar interest helped students to develop a data science identity and leader identity, as well as experience sense of belonging. Full article
Commentary
STEM Education in Australia: Impediments and Solutions in Achieving a STEM-Ready Workforce
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100730 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Recent government and industry priorities have led to a call to raise the quality of STEM learning to meet the future needs of industry and workforce skills. In Australia, education jurisdictions have responded to this challenge. Consequently, education is now considered critical in [...] Read more.
Recent government and industry priorities have led to a call to raise the quality of STEM learning to meet the future needs of industry and workforce skills. In Australia, education jurisdictions have responded to this challenge. Consequently, education is now considered critical in developing the skills required to meet these future needs. However, several significant issues have hindered STEM education’s advancement. These impediments if not resolved may impact Australia’s future STEM workforce and subsequent economic prosperity. This paper seeks to address some of the key impediments identified within the research literature by making a series of recommendations that provide insight into possible improvement to help recalibrate future STEM education initiatives and support Australia’s long-term economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Innovation in STEM Education)
Article
Enhancing STEM Education by Integrating Research and Teaching in Photochemistry: An Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory in Spectroscopy and Photochemistry
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100729 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Molecular spectroscopy and photochemistry constitute an integral field in modern chemistry. However, undergraduate level classes provide limited opportunities for hands-on experimentation of photochemistry and photophysics. For this reason, a simple laboratory experiment was designed that may be easily implemented into undergraduate teaching laboratories [...] Read more.
Molecular spectroscopy and photochemistry constitute an integral field in modern chemistry. However, undergraduate level classes provide limited opportunities for hands-on experimentation of photochemistry and photophysics. For this reason, a simple laboratory experiment was designed that may be easily implemented into undergraduate teaching laboratories with the aim of introducing undergraduate students to UV/visible spectroscopy and photochemistry/photophysics and its possible applications. Samples of three unknown sunscreen formulations are given to students and they are asked to use a set of techniques to identify their molecular composition and to test their efficacy using basic laboratory equipment available to them. In particular, the students are asked to complete the following tasks: (i) sample preparation using solvent extraction to extract active ingredients from the sunscreen lotion, (ii) identify the extracted molecular sunscreen constituents by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and UV/visible spectroscopy, and finally (iii) study their photostability by means of steady state irradiation coupled with UV/visible spectroscopy. The students were provided with the following tools for data collection: silica-backed TLC plates, a short-wave lamp (254 nm, for TLC analysis), a UV-Vis spectrophotometer with an associated computer and software, and an LED lamp (315 nm) to irradiate the samples. Combined TLC and UV-Vis spectroscopy allowed the students to identify the extracted ingredients. UV irradiation confirmed the photostability of sunscreens. Full article
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Article
Principles of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in STEM Education: Using Expert Wisdom and Research to Frame Educational Practice
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100728 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Developing teacher knowledge, skills, and confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is critical to supporting a culture of innovation and productivity across the population. Such capacity building is also necessary for the development of STEM literacies involving the ability to [...] Read more.
Developing teacher knowledge, skills, and confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is critical to supporting a culture of innovation and productivity across the population. Such capacity building is also necessary for the development of STEM literacies involving the ability to identify, apply, and integrate concepts from STEM domains toward understanding complex problems, and innovating to solve them. However, a lack of visible models of STEM integration has been highlighted by teachers as a challenge to successfully implementing integrated STEM education in schools. Problem Based Learning (PBL) has been well-established in higher education contexts as an approach to learning in the STEM disciplines and may present an effective way to integrate knowledge and skills across STEM disciplines in school-based STEM education and support the development of students as capable, self-directed learners. However, if PBL is to effectively contribute to STEM education in schools and build teacher capacity to teach STEM, then this approach needs to be better understood. This paper aims to generate a set of principles for supporting a PBL model of STEM education in schools based on insights from the literature and expert focus groups of PBL professionals. Four principles of PBL emerged from the data analysis: (a) flexible knowledge, skills, and capabilities; (b) active and strategic metacognitive reasoning; (c) collaboration based on intrinsic motivation; and (d) problems embedded in real and rich contexts. The study outcomes provide evidence-informed support for teachers who may be considering the value of adopting a PBL approach in school-based STEM education. Full article
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Article
Engaging Students in Learning the Relations of Geographical Elements through GIS-Enabled Property Price Visualization
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100727 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Understanding the relations of urban elements is important in secondary school geography. Based on the price data of 22,684 listed apartments, this article aims to enable students to understand how geographical elements are related to the distribution of apartment prices through spatial analysis [...] Read more.
Understanding the relations of urban elements is important in secondary school geography. Based on the price data of 22,684 listed apartments, this article aims to enable students to understand how geographical elements are related to the distribution of apartment prices through spatial analysis using ArcGIS 10.8. The spatial analysis showed that apartment prices are related to their proximity to government offices, schools, hospitals and main traffic roads. The content analysis of field notes, interviews and discussions suggests that students favor geographic information system (GIS)-based teaching and feel geospatial technology is useful to visualize the relationship of apartment prices to other geographical elements. Moreover, GIS-based teaching not only improves students’ skill of generating datasets and raster maps, but also provides more room for students’ enquiries compared to conventional teaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Technology for Geography Teaching and Learning)
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Article
Learning to Teach as a Spectator or a Participant—Ideas of Vocational Learning in Policy on Teacher Education
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100726 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 319
Abstract
This article explores how ideas about teacher student learning are expressed in policy documents, especially the school-based part of teacher education in the Swedish educational system. The study concerns how these parts of the education process are outlined through two reforms, one in [...] Read more.
This article explores how ideas about teacher student learning are expressed in policy documents, especially the school-based part of teacher education in the Swedish educational system. The study concerns how these parts of the education process are outlined through two reforms, one in 2001 and one in 2011. Of particular interest in the article is how these reforms represent, and to some extent, produce ideas for learning the teaching profession in relation to the specific context of practicum, and that this context pertains to specific knowledge, theoretical and practical knowledge. However, the analysis of the documents points towards a tension between theory and practice. By additionally analyzing policy documents on a local level, where the national policy is operationalized, the tension between theory and practice becomes more explicit. By introducing the notion of spectatorship knowledge and participatory knowledge, two different visions of students’ learning emerge in policy. However, the relation between these two perspectives is problematic, as will be shown in the concluding part of the article. In conclusion, it is suggested that rather than muddling spectatorship knowledge and participatory knowledge together, teacher education programmes should provide for conditions where these knowledge forms are better taken care of. Full article
Article
Internationalization Based on Content Modification Combined with Project Management Methodology: An Application in a Spanish Postgraduate Course in Building Engineering
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100725 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Internationalizing university studies can be something of a challenge for courses related to engineering and architecture because their content is mainly focused on the standards of the country. In this regard, the content of the degree programmes in building engineering in Spain is [...] Read more.
Internationalizing university studies can be something of a challenge for courses related to engineering and architecture because their content is mainly focused on the standards of the country. In this regard, the content of the degree programmes in building engineering in Spain is based on the Spanish Building Technical Code. For this reason, this paper analyses experimentation conducted in a postgraduate course in building engineering of the University of Seville. The goal of the study was to internationalize the course content of that course appropriately. For this purpose, a combined approach was developed based on using ISO standards and including appropriately the modifications through a project management methodology to reduce risks. Experimentation was conducted for three academic years: 2018/2019–2020/2021. The results showed that ISO standards were appropriately implemented in the teaching course content and accepted by students. Likewise, the use of a project management methodology could be an opportunity to improve teaching course content, thus reducing the risk related to the modifications of this process. Full article
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Article
Motives of Student Teachers in Academic Teacher Education for Secondary Education: Research in Flanders (Belgium) on the Motivation to Become and to Remain a Teacher
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100724 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 483
Abstract
The increasing shortage of teachers in secondary education, in Flanders (Belgium) as well as worldwide, is partly due to an insufficient inflow of new teachers. This stimulates research on the motivation of students to become and remain teachers. Our research focuses on the [...] Read more.
The increasing shortage of teachers in secondary education, in Flanders (Belgium) as well as worldwide, is partly due to an insufficient inflow of new teachers. This stimulates research on the motivation of students to become and remain teachers. Our research focuses on the motives of student teachers in academic teacher education for secondary education to become a graduated teacher and how this evolves during teacher education, taking into account different profiles of students. Surveys, with closed and open questions based on our theoretical framework, were conducted at different points in time during teacher education as a basis for mixed method analyses. Compared to the period between the start and the end of the teacher education courses, it appeared that graduated student teachers attached more importance to the motives ‘subject orientation’ and ‘educational orientation’. The research shows a shift to a more realistic educational orientation among graduated students. ‘Work dynamic’ aspects as a motive to work in education were generally considered equally important by women and men but combination possibilities were more important for men. Specifically related to students with a ‘teacher in training’ [TiT] statute, graduated TiT-students considered the motive ‘idealism’ more important than non-TiT-students. Related to working students, ‘work perspective’ appeared to be more important compared to non-working students. These insights into the evolving motives of student teachers have a number of possible implications for the organization of teacher education, which can also contribute to reducing the teacher shortage. Teacher education can put extra emphasis on positive and qualitative hands-on experiences by performing a well-considered selection of internship schools and mentors. At the same time, teacher education can offer even more space and time for student teachers to dedicate to internships, by keeping other activities such as deadlines and teaching moments during internships to a minimum. Full article
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Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of the Validity of Questionnaires in Second Language Research
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100723 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Questionnaires have been widely used in second language (L2) research. To examine the accuracy and trustworthiness of research that uses questionnaires, it is necessary to examine the validity of questionnaires before drawing conclusions or conducting further analysis based on the data collected. To [...] Read more.
Questionnaires have been widely used in second language (L2) research. To examine the accuracy and trustworthiness of research that uses questionnaires, it is necessary to examine the validity of questionnaires before drawing conclusions or conducting further analysis based on the data collected. To determine the validity of questionnaires that have been investigated in previous L2 research, we adopted the argument-based validation framework to conduct a systematic review. Due to the extensive nature of the extant questionnaire-based research, only the most recent literature, that is, research in 2020, was included in this review. A total of 118 questionnaire-based L2 studies published in 2020 were identified, coded, and analyzed. The findings showed that the validity of the questionnaires in the studies was not satisfactory. In terms of the validity inferences for the questionnaires, we found that (1) the evaluation inference was not supported by psychometric evidence in 41.52% of the studies; (2) the generalization inference was not supported by statistical evidence in 44.07% of the studies; and (3) the explanation inference was not supported by any evidence in 65.25% of the studies, indicating the need for more rigorous validation procedures for questionnaire development and use in future research. We provide suggestions for the validation of questionnaires. Full article
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Article
Factors Constraining Teachers’ Wellbeing and Agency in a Finnish University: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100722 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 416
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers to undergo a sudden shift toward technology-enhanced teaching and learning, challenging their capacities for change in many ways. This study explores those factors constraining teachers’ wellbeing and agency that influenced their capacities as teachers in a Finnish university [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers to undergo a sudden shift toward technology-enhanced teaching and learning, challenging their capacities for change in many ways. This study explores those factors constraining teachers’ wellbeing and agency that influenced their capacities as teachers in a Finnish university during the first year of the pandemic. Two sets of data were collected, with an online survey in the spring (n = 297) and autumn (n = 246) of 2020. At both times, challenges with workload, time management, and interactions with colleagues were found to be the most constraining factors. Difficulties with work–life balance and home office facilities seemed more of an issue in the spring, whereas transforming teaching and adopting new technological tools were reported as more burdensome in the autumn. The findings show the need for teachers to be heard and holistically supported, particularly when extensive changes in teaching arrangements are expected on a rapid schedule. Full article
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Article
Emergency Remote Education and Its Impact on Higher Education: A Temporary or Permanent Shift in Instruction?
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100721 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 353
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to problems and upheaval throughout the higher-education sector, with university campuses ceasing face-to-face instruction and with assessments shifting to an online model for a few years. As a result, the pandemic prompted educators to teach online, utilizing online [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to problems and upheaval throughout the higher-education sector, with university campuses ceasing face-to-face instruction and with assessments shifting to an online model for a few years. As a result, the pandemic prompted educators to teach online, utilizing online lectures, narrated power points, audio snippets, podcasts, instant messaging, and interactive videos, whereas traditional universities had primarily relied on in-person courses. Evaluations, which included assignments and multiple-choice questions, were conducted online, forcing lecturers to reconsider how deliverables were set up to prevent students from having easy access to the answers in a textbook or online. Learning from college students’ experiences throughout this time period will assist higher-education stakeholders (administration, faculty, and students) in adapting future online course delivery selections for higher education. In this study, we investigated the experiences of students learning from a distance, as well as aspects of their learning. We provide recommendations for higher education. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly resulted in the largest distance-learning experiment in history. Full article
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Article
Self-Efficacy, Resilience and Distress: Challenges in Education for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in a Health Context
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100720 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 331
Abstract
The European Commission has highlighted the development of entrepreneurship competence in lifelong learning skills. In this way, the present study aims to contribute towards fostering the intrapreneurial mindset in healthcare settings. The focus of attention is on the relationship between organizational structures and [...] Read more.
The European Commission has highlighted the development of entrepreneurship competence in lifelong learning skills. In this way, the present study aims to contribute towards fostering the intrapreneurial mindset in healthcare settings. The focus of attention is on the relationship between organizational structures and processes (work-related content and content, specifically psychosocial risk factors), as well as individual wellbeing factors (distress and resilient coping) that could be relevant not only for the promotion of organizational wellbeing, but also to ensure an intrapreneurship-friendly environment (through the promotion of self-efficacy). An empirical study was conducted involving 333 formal caregivers of healthcare services. Portuguese versions of the instruments Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), Brief Resilient Coping Scale (BRCS), and Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ III, medium version) were employed. Results show that resilience and distress (at the individual level), as well as role clarity, control over working time, and job insecurity (at the organizational level) are predisposing factors for self-efficacy, which are highlighted as essential to ensure an enabling environment for intrapreneurship and wellbeing. For practical consideration, we present an entrepreneurial mindset development strategy through the implementation of cause-related marketing as a pedagogical tool for entrepreneurship within the organization, which allows for experimentation and the necessary creative flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Trends in Entrepreneurship Education)
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Article
The Interaction of War Impacts on Education: Experiences of School Teachers and Leaders
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100719 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Education, the backbone of any nation’s development, demands the presence of not only infrastructure and facilities but also a peaceful environment. The war in Yemen has had a strong, negative impact on education. In our study, we employed narrative inquiry and developed a [...] Read more.
Education, the backbone of any nation’s development, demands the presence of not only infrastructure and facilities but also a peaceful environment. The war in Yemen has had a strong, negative impact on education. In our study, we employed narrative inquiry and developed a structured interview guideline to explore the experiences of school teachers and leaders regarding the war’s impacts on education. After collecting and analyzing one hundred written narratives, we developed and conducted a semi-structured interview with four female and six male school teachers and leaders to answer the study questions. The findings highlighted the displacement and discrimination, the use of children as fighters for the future, the conflict of identities among children, the destruction of children’s physical and mental health, the exploitation of education for financial benefits, the normalization of negative behaviors, and the destruction of teacher’s dignity. These findings were also conceptualized in a simple model that showed the interaction of these war impacts on the teachers and learners. Further, focusing on how the domestic cultural and social contexts interact with these impacts is necessary to enhance understanding, solidarity, and tolerance among individuals and achieve a peaceful and cohesive society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Teacher Education)
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Article
Teacher Burnout and Collegiality at the Workplace in Higher Education Institutions in the Arab Gulf Region
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100718 - 18 Oct 2022
Viewed by 431
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of teacher burnout on collegial relationships among faculty members in two higher education institutions- one in Kuwait and the other in the United Arab Emirates. A quantitative methodology was employed using a self-constructed [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of teacher burnout on collegial relationships among faculty members in two higher education institutions- one in Kuwait and the other in the United Arab Emirates. A quantitative methodology was employed using a self-constructed online questionnaire. The results of the study showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the teachers’ perception of burnout and collegiality by gender, age group, and years of experience in teaching at a 0.05 level of significance. However, there was a statistically significant difference between the teachers in Kuwait and the UAE in their perception of burnout, although the difference was not significant for collegiality at a 0.05 level of significance. The findings also showed that the participants’ gender, age, and work experience were not predictors of collegiality, but the perception of burnout was a significant predictor of collegiality. Conclusions were drawn from the study’s findings, with implications for policy, practice, and future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Editorial
Implementation of Programmatic Assessment: Challenges and Lessons Learned
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100717 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 313
Abstract
In the past few decades, health professions education programmes around the world have embraced the competency-based paradigm to guide the education and assessment of future healthcare workers [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmatic Assessment in Education for Health Professions)
Article
“We’re Not Going to Overcome Institutional Bias by Doing Nothing”: Latinx/a/o Student Affairs Professionals as Advocates for Equity
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100716 - 18 Oct 2022
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Higher education institutions continue to be contested environments where the goals of equity and inclusion are often at odds with the permanence of institutional racism. Through a multi-case study of 19 Latinx/a/o mid-level administrators who worked at 16 predominantly white, private four-year universities, [...] Read more.
Higher education institutions continue to be contested environments where the goals of equity and inclusion are often at odds with the permanence of institutional racism. Through a multi-case study of 19 Latinx/a/o mid-level administrators who worked at 16 predominantly white, private four-year universities, the authors uncovered the ways that (a) private universities grant agency to Latinx/a/o mid-level administrators to serve student needs but restrict agency to address the inequitable organizational structures; (b) constituent groups within private universities, namely faculty, mark the racialized boundaries of power and decision-making through credentialing; and (c) private universities use silence as a means of controlling Latinx/a/o mid-level professionals administrators’ equity work. Although Latinx/a/o mid-level administrators have a significant role to play in advancing equity work inside higher education institutions, these racialized organizations will create barriers that maintain whiteness and white interests. Without addressing power structures and the bureaucracy of decision-making at private institutions, progress on equity throughout the organizational structure may be limited. Implications for research and practice for Latinx/a/o/ administrators are discussed. Full article
Article
Generational Inclusion: Getting Older Adults Ready to Own Safe Online Identities
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100715 - 18 Oct 2022
Viewed by 347
Abstract
This article presents an initiative that addresses the problem of the digital literacy generational gap, targeting older adults that struggle to integrate the digital world and are unaware of the dangers of the online environment. The article has a European scope but with [...] Read more.
This article presents an initiative that addresses the problem of the digital literacy generational gap, targeting older adults that struggle to integrate the digital world and are unaware of the dangers of the online environment. The article has a European scope but with a special attention to the Portuguese context. The methodological approach started with a theoretical research on digital and online literacy of adults, followed by the design of an innovative training program specifically designed for this target group and finished with the results of the evaluation of the impact of the training. The overall conclusion, based on the achieved results, leads us to think that it is possible to improve the digital literacy of older adults so that they become effective online users while being alert to the dangers of the online world. Therefore, the work conducted is expected to contribute to a greater awareness of the importance and socio-economic possibilities that arise from the digital and technological investment for stimulating the integration of the older generation in the digital context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology as a Tool for Inclusive Education)
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Systematic Review
Effects of Goalball on Balance: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100714 - 18 Oct 2022
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Goalball has been highlighted as a reference disabled sport from educational levels to its participation in the Paralympic Games, where the effects of this sport on balance and its relevance have been investigated. The aim of the systematic review was to systematically review [...] Read more.
Goalball has been highlighted as a reference disabled sport from educational levels to its participation in the Paralympic Games, where the effects of this sport on balance and its relevance have been investigated. The aim of the systematic review was to systematically review those studies that evaluated the effects of goalball on balance in goalball athletes. A systematic review of PubMed and FECYT (Web of Sciences, CCC, DIIDW, KJD, MEDLINE, RSCI, and SCIELO) was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The articles were included if they met the following inclusion criteria: (i) participants were goalball players; (ii) athletes playing goalball; (iii) outcomes were related to balance; and, (iv) original articles without language restriction. From the 85 studies initially identified, 7 were fully reviewed, and their outcome measures were extracted and analyzed. In conclusion, the levels of balance seem to be closely related to the success of competitions, leading coaches to consider its development during training sessions. In this sense, the general practice of goalball may be sufficient at children’s levels, while the practice of 2 days or 5 h per week seems to be an adequate reference. However, athletes with partial levels of visual loss should not be subjected to continuous blinding during training sessions because it could lead to an accelerated reduction in balance levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Education and Sport for Disabled People)
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Article
Ready for a Career in the Agriculture Sector in Egypt? Perceptions of Students, Faculty, and Employers on the Value of Essential Technical and Employable Skills
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100713 - 17 Oct 2022
Viewed by 290
Abstract
High unemployment among college graduates has been a big concern in Egypt for many years now. Mismatch in technical competencies and lack of job-oriented skills and inequity in education and career by gender pose a major constraint for Egyptian youth to find employment. [...] Read more.
High unemployment among college graduates has been a big concern in Egypt for many years now. Mismatch in technical competencies and lack of job-oriented skills and inequity in education and career by gender pose a major constraint for Egyptian youth to find employment. Information about whether the gender of the mentor has any effect on the quality of mentoring is also nonexistent. Using web and in-person survey data among agricultural students, faculty, and potential private sector agribusiness employers, this paper attempts to investigate whether there are any significant differences in the application and use of career guidance by male and female students to prepare for careers prospects and align with the industry needs. The results will validate if there are significant differences in between male and female faculty in their perception of relevance of technical and employable skills as well as the use and application of career guidance and mentoring by students to increase their prospects with employers. The findings will be used to develop interventions that would help align student skills with employer expectations as well as upgrade faculty competencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education—Series 2)
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Article
Learning and Teaching Urban Design through Design Studio Pedagogy: A Blended Studio on Transit Urbanism
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100712 - 17 Oct 2022
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Studio-based pedagogy has been central to urban design programmes as it can enable future urban designers to more effectively acquire an understanding of how cities work and critically engage with the role of design intervention. This paper aims to explore the capacities and [...] Read more.
Studio-based pedagogy has been central to urban design programmes as it can enable future urban designers to more effectively acquire an understanding of how cities work and critically engage with the role of design intervention. This paper aims to explore the capacities and challenges of learning and teaching urban design through studio pedagogy by drawing on empirical research from a blended urban design studio experiment during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. This is part of a broader exploratory project using a case study research design and mixed methods approach. This paper explains the process of designing and delivering two constructively aligned postgraduate urban design studios as part of the MA Urban Design programme at Cardiff University in the 2021–2022 academic year. It further discusses the findings of an online survey on the perceptions and experiences of students regarding blended design studio pedagogy. Designing two consecutive and constructively aligned design studios is argued to work better in comparison with designing two entirely separate stand-alone design studios engaging with different topics and sites. The paper highlights the importance of learning from cities as real urban design laboratories rather than merely analysing abstract secondary datasets. The value of policy review, small group reading discussions, and formative feedback opportunities is also highlighted as integral parts of the urban design studio pedagogy. The paper concludes by discussing a range of key issues concerning field site visit, policy review, community engagement, precedent review, student diversity, design studio topic, reading discussion, group size, formative feedback, engagement, educational background, and English language skills. The outcomes of this paper can inform future practices of developing pedagogical frameworks for blended urban design studios. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Alignment between Digital Strategies and Educational Practices in Higher Education Infrastructures
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100711 - 15 Oct 2022
Viewed by 395
Abstract
Higher education is a key pillar in constructing new knowledge economies for the 21st century, and the digitalization of higher education is a central focus area for national authorities. Visionary discourses from authorities state that the decision-making authority for digital strategies should be [...] Read more.
Higher education is a key pillar in constructing new knowledge economies for the 21st century, and the digitalization of higher education is a central focus area for national authorities. Visionary discourses from authorities state that the decision-making authority for digital strategies should be centralized to the domain of management. Digitalization is, however, driven by key features of modern technology and may also lead to the transformation of traditional educational methods as well as educational practices. Since the university contains several disciplines, different strategies can be used when products or processes within the disciplines are digitalized. It is important to consider in the ways that different disciplines can proceed to digitalize their educational practices. Based on these interests, our research question is as follows: how do digital strategies in higher education emerge, and how do they align with the educational context? Through a qualitative case study with interviews, participation in workshops, and document analyses, we investigated two digitalization efforts in the fields of medicine and law. We found that the two classical disciplines’ strategic approaches differed substantially. Based on the findings, our main contribution is a digitalization model with two archetypes, namely digital transformation strategy and digital innovation strategy. The model highlight the main object of the respective strategies, but also the institutional reaction to digitalization efforts. An implication from our study is the demonstration of how specific faculties adapt digital strategies to educational practices. This may sometimes lead to the transformation of educational practices, while other times more incremental moderate changes may be implemented. From a practical point of view, policymakers, politicians, educational management, and professionals need knowledge and expertise about the implications of digital strategies for educational practices. Our contribution, we propose, strengthens the understanding of strategies within digital infrastructures in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Harm Pre-Schoolers Learning in Portugal? Yes, but with Variations Depending on Socio-Economic Status
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100710 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 571
Abstract
The literature has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has indelibly affected student performance. However, this deterioration is not the same for all students, with students of a lower socio-economic status (SES) being the most affected. The present study aims to understand if the [...] Read more.
The literature has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has indelibly affected student performance. However, this deterioration is not the same for all students, with students of a lower socio-economic status (SES) being the most affected. The present study aims to understand if the pandemic lockdown in the last year of pre-school impacted the learning skills considered crucial for the transition to primary school, and whether this impact was moderated by SES or a quiet place to study (QPS). A total of 11,158 students belonging to 318 Portuguese schools underwent an assessment protocol composed of writing skills, maths, and motor-control tasks. A pandemic effect was observed for writing skills, especially during the first lockdown. Said effects were found to be potentiated by SES. Regarding maths, the fall in skills was only observed to be significant for less economically advantaged children. Motor tasks suffered; however, this was without any significant effect for SES or QPS. Thus, a detrimental effect of the pandemic lockdown was found on pre-school skills, particularly pre-literary abilities, and especially during the first lockdown. SES appeared to potentiate some inequalities. In other words, skills differences between individuals with higher and lower SES increased during the pandemic, particularly in the first lockdown, due to novelty, unpredictability, and the need for quick adaptation. Full article
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Article
The STEM Crisis and Teacher Practice: Exploring Responses to the Competing Discursive Arrangements of Education in the Sciences in a Catholic School Setting
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100709 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 317
Abstract
STEM has become a pervasive part of global education reform. The STEM discourse positions the purpose of scientific education as being to prepare young people for work in a hyper-competitive 21st century knowledge economy, pushing aside alternative approaches focussed on interrogating social, moral [...] Read more.
STEM has become a pervasive part of global education reform. The STEM discourse positions the purpose of scientific education as being to prepare young people for work in a hyper-competitive 21st century knowledge economy, pushing aside alternative approaches focussed on interrogating social, moral and political issues in context. This narrative does not always sit comfortably with the holistic ambitions of many state and faith-based education systems. In this paper we will argue that these tensions emerge from deeper conflicts in the cultural-discursive arrangements around education in the advanced democratic states through an exploration of the response to a STEM curriculum project in a Catholic education system. The exploration is based on a phenomenographic analysis of reflective interviews conducted with participating teachers. We conclude that while the teachers are aware of the tensions, they may benefit from access to a language for discussing the various pressures on learning design and meaning making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STEM Practices and Student Engagement)
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Article
Construction of a Participatory Model of School Accompaniment to Improve School Inclusion
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100708 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 297
Abstract
This article presents research that examines how the processes of school change and improvement are promoted in those Spanish schools that are developing educational projects based on an inclusive, participatory and democratic model. The aim is to investigate the key elements involved in [...] Read more.
This article presents research that examines how the processes of school change and improvement are promoted in those Spanish schools that are developing educational projects based on an inclusive, participatory and democratic model. The aim is to investigate the key elements involved in the processes of accompaniment of those schools that initiate processes of improvement and change from an inclusive approach, as well as the relationships established among them. Methodologically, this is a phenomenological study developed in two consecutive phases: in the first phase, the key elements are identified from the perspective of 24 inclusive education researchers participating in four focus groups and in the second phase, the study delves into their characteristic features and the relationship between them from the perspective of 19 professionals and researchers through 9 heterogeneous thematic focus groups. The analysis provides an integrated view of the actors involved: teachers, school management team, education authorities and researchers. The results show and define 8 key factors and present a model, collaboratively constructed, that links these key elements to develop more inclusive schools and helps to problematise them in order to build knowledge about what inclusive education means in a situated way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Special and Inclusive Education)
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Article
Higher Education Faculty Perceptions and Needs  on Neuroeducation in Teaching and Learning
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100707 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Being a professor at the university is associated with the acquisition of sufficient domain knowledge and skills to teach. On the other hand, there is a constant need to update and strengthen teaching skills and contribute to an effective learning process. Neuroscience research [...] Read more.
Being a professor at the university is associated with the acquisition of sufficient domain knowledge and skills to teach. On the other hand, there is a constant need to update and strengthen teaching skills and contribute to an effective learning process. Neuroscience research provides evidence on facilitating factors to student engagement and lasting, durable learning. Toward the improvement of the learning quality in Higher Education, the development of an innovative didactic proposal based on neuroscience was undertaken. For that reason, a mixed research method was designed with the purpose of exploring instructors’ opinions and practices. Participants were sixty academics from five Greek universities. Findings include the recognition of the validity and importance of neuroeducation training. It was also revealed that academics’ theoretical declarations are not always aligned with teaching practice. Equally important is their need to deepen the comprehension of memory function for the enhancement of students’ knowledge retention. Eventual misconceptions about the brain might be present, while not all employed pedagogical methods lead to desired student outcomes such as creativity and critical thinking. In addition, it is considered useful to apply alternative, creative and authentic assessment methods based on neuroscience evidence to increase students’ interest and engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning Sciences and Educational Technology)
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Article
Collaboration in East Africa: A Contextual Definition
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100706 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Collaboration is a crucial skill for the improvement of educational outcomes in adolescents. Culture affects the way people collaborate to solve problems, share challenges, and make decisions. Yet, there are only a few studies conducted in the African context that investigate local understandings [...] Read more.
Collaboration is a crucial skill for the improvement of educational outcomes in adolescents. Culture affects the way people collaborate to solve problems, share challenges, and make decisions. Yet, there are only a few studies conducted in the African context that investigate local understandings of the concept of collaboration. This article aimed at investigating the concept of collaboration in the East African context and how this resonates with the local culture. The approach used to develop this study is the qualitative comparative method. One of the most relevant results from these analyses is working together or staying together as frequently used definitions of collaboration. The local definition of collaboration underscores a dimension related to being with another person; for the East African population, collaboration can be described as a way of living and facing reality in a community while being accompanied by others. Full article
Article
Investigating Students’ Learning Experiences in a Neural Engineering Integrated STEM High School Curriculum
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100705 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
STEM integration has become a national and international priority, but our understanding of student learning experiences in integrated STEM courses, especially those that integrate life sciences and engineering design, is limited. Our team has designed a new high school curriculum unit that focuses [...] Read more.
STEM integration has become a national and international priority, but our understanding of student learning experiences in integrated STEM courses, especially those that integrate life sciences and engineering design, is limited. Our team has designed a new high school curriculum unit that focuses on neural engineering, an emerging interdisciplinary field that brings together neuroscience, technology, and engineering. Through the implementation of the unit in a high school engineering design course, we asked how incorporating life sciences into an engineering course supported student learning and what challenges were experienced by the students and their teacher. To address these questions, we conducted an exploratory case study consisting of a student focus group, an interview with the teacher, and analysis of student journals. Our analysis suggests that students were highly engaged by the authentic and collaborative engineering design process, helping solidify their self-efficacy and interest in engineering design. We also identified some challenges, such as students’ lower interest in life sciences compared to engineering design and the teacher lacking a life sciences background. These preliminary findings suggest that neural engineering can provide an effective context to the integration of life sciences and engineering design but more scaffolding and teacher support is needed for full integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Outcomes in Integrated STEM Education)
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Article
Development of a Framework to Assess Challenges to Virtual Education in an Emergency Remote Teaching Environment: A Developing Country Student Perspective—The Case of Peru
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100704 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic forced most countries’ higher-education systems to shift to distance learning, which has been called either “Corona Teaching” or, more formally, “Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT).” Students were suddenly faced with a new class format delivery and the many challenges of virtual [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced most countries’ higher-education systems to shift to distance learning, which has been called either “Corona Teaching” or, more formally, “Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT).” Students were suddenly faced with a new class format delivery and the many challenges of virtual education. The present study aims to identify and measure the challenges in three stages: (1) a qualitative method approach was used to gather the opinions of 50 students that were then analyzed and coded to identify their perceived major challenges; (2) a survey was completed by 165 students to prioritize the relative importance of the previously identified challenges using the AHP as the weighting approach; (3) an assessment framework was developed, using statistical techniques to measure the extent of the challenges for specific stakeholders based on survey responses. The main challenges students face are inadequate physical facilities at home, difficulties with the learning platforms, and financial concerns. These results are applicable beyond the present research context. For the first time, an ERT assessment framework of the challenges was developed using composite indicators derived from students’ opinions and perspectives. This ERT framework allows for the exploration of a community of students’ vulnerability to the challenges within the context of an emergency remote environment. Full article
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Article
Successful Transitions? Tracing the Experiences of Migrant School Leavers in Scotland
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100703 - 13 Oct 2022
Viewed by 353
Abstract
This paper examines the experiences and aspirations of migrant young people in Scotland. It focuses on students approaching the end of compulsory education and presents findings from a study on the outcomes of young migrants in the transition to adulthood. The research is [...] Read more.
This paper examines the experiences and aspirations of migrant young people in Scotland. It focuses on students approaching the end of compulsory education and presents findings from a study on the outcomes of young migrants in the transition to adulthood. The research is based on empirical fieldwork carried out with students in two schools (n = 95 in depth interviews). It finds evidence of unique and distinct educational pathways for school leavers with a migrant background. Three themes emerge about the practice of transition for young migrants, (1) the significance of family support and expectations, (2) the impact of the migration process and (3) the changing nature of migrant identity through transition. The study highlights the need for local and national policies which support transition for young migrants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Integration in Schools: Policies and Practices)
Article
Towards Digitalization in Early Childhood Education: Pre-Service Teachers’ Acceptance of Using Digital Storytelling, Comics, and Infographics in Saudi Arabia
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100702 - 13 Oct 2022
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Despite the promise of digital technology to enhance the teaching–learning process, integrating it into early childhood education remains a challenge. Recent literature shows that novice teachers do not fully utilize the potential of digital technology to promote student learning. Therefore, this study aims [...] Read more.
Despite the promise of digital technology to enhance the teaching–learning process, integrating it into early childhood education remains a challenge. Recent literature shows that novice teachers do not fully utilize the potential of digital technology to promote student learning. Therefore, this study aims to investigate early childhood pre-service teachers’ intentions to use three digital technology applications—Digital storytelling, digital comics, and digital infographics—As teaching tools, which critically contribute to their acceptance into and actual use in their future classrooms. A descriptive correlational approach was used to investigate the factors affecting the use intentions of pre-service teachers through the technological acceptance model (TAM). This research study seeks to contribute to the literature on digital technology integration in early childhood education in general and in the Saudi Arabian early childhood context in particular. The study results showed that how pre-service teachers perceived the ease of use of the three digital applications was significantly the major predictor of their attitudes toward using them. The study also found that pre-service teachers’ attitudes were significantly the major predictors of their behavioral intentions to use digital storytelling and comics in their future classrooms. However, attitude and perceived usefulness were equally valid predictors of pre-service teachers’ intentions to use infographics with young children. Important implications for training and teacher education programs were suggested by the findings. Full article
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