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Educ. Sci., Volume 14, Issue 6 (June 2024) – 125 articles

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24 pages, 4196 KiB  
Article
Integrated STEAM Education for Students’ Creativity Development
by Josina Filipe, Mónica Baptista and Teresa Conceição
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060676 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 267
Abstract
This study aims to explore how a learning sequence designed with an Integrated STEAM Education perspective (iSTEAM) contributes to students’ levels of creativity. The participants in this study were students from 9th and 10th grade with ages between 14 and 16 years old. [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore how a learning sequence designed with an Integrated STEAM Education perspective (iSTEAM) contributes to students’ levels of creativity. The participants in this study were students from 9th and 10th grade with ages between 14 and 16 years old. Students were challenged to produce a soundtrack for an animation video. This was achieved by building artifacts and using the phenomena of physics under study (mechanical energy) to produce sound effects. These were later digitally recorded and assembled to build the video’s soundtrack. This research work contributes to addressing the importance of STEAM education integration and of digital competence in developing students’ creativity in problem solving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue STEAM Education and Digital Competencies)
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25 pages, 18709 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Teamwork and Collaboration: A Systematic Review of Algorithm-Supported Pedagogical Methods
by Xunan Wang, Ge Song and Rami Ghannam
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060675 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 171
Abstract
In today’s interconnected world, teamwork and collaboration are becoming essential competencies across all disciplines. This review examines various pedagogical strategies aimed at nurturing these skills, with a specific focus on integrating algorithms into educational practices. While traditional approaches classify teamwork strategies as either [...] Read more.
In today’s interconnected world, teamwork and collaboration are becoming essential competencies across all disciplines. This review examines various pedagogical strategies aimed at nurturing these skills, with a specific focus on integrating algorithms into educational practices. While traditional approaches classify teamwork strategies as either instructor-led or student-led, this review introduces a third method that is based on ML algorithms, which are promising methods for optimizing team composition based on both static and dynamic student characteristics. We investigate the effectiveness of these algorithms in enhancing collaborative learning outcomes compared to conventional grouping methods. In fact, this review synthesizes the findings from 20 key studies on the implementation of these technologies in educational settings, evaluating their impact on learning outcomes, student motivation and overall satisfaction. Our findings suggest that computer-enhanced strategies not only improve the academic and collaborative experience but also pave the way for more personalized and dynamic educational environments. This review aims to provide educators and curriculum developers with comprehensive insights into leveraging advanced computational tools to foster effective teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration, thereby enhancing the overall quality of education and preparing students for the collaborative demands of the professional world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
16 pages, 351 KiB  
Article
Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Family Engagement: Insights from the Initial Teacher Education Syllabus
by Sónia Cabral, Lourdes Mata and Francisco Peixoto
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060674 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Family involvement and participation in education (FIPE) profoundly impacts the quality of students’ academic and social development. Initial teacher education contribution in fostering attitudes, skills, and strategies for effective FIPE is therefore unquestionable. We aimed to find out to what extent Portuguese pre-service [...] Read more.
Family involvement and participation in education (FIPE) profoundly impacts the quality of students’ academic and social development. Initial teacher education contribution in fostering attitudes, skills, and strategies for effective FIPE is therefore unquestionable. We aimed to find out to what extent Portuguese pre-service teachers are prepared to engage families. A document analysis was conducted to establish explicit information regarding FIPE within initial teacher education syllabi. Out of 621 syllabi across 36 master’s courses from 25 institutions, only 98 included some information on FIPE. A mere 12 syllabi, from seven institutions, exclusively addressed family–school relationships. Our study covered over 87% of the master’s courses and syllabi, exposing inconsistencies in their educational aims, content, and recommended literature. These findings highlight discrepancies within the initial teacher education syllabi and underscore the need for the enhanced training of pre-service teachers in FIPE. It is crucial to promote more in-depth and explicit syllabi to promote effective family engagement and enrich initial teacher education programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teachers and Teaching in Teacher Education)
17 pages, 5019 KiB  
Article
Bridging the Gap: An Epistemic Logical Model for Analysing Students’ Argumentation and Proof in Mathematics Education Research
by Miglena Asenova
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060673 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 257
Abstract
In this theoretical paper, an epistemic logical model for analysis of students’ argumentation and proof processes is presented. The model is conceived as a methodological tool addressed to the researcher in mathematics education that aims to shed light on the relations between argumentation [...] Read more.
In this theoretical paper, an epistemic logical model for analysis of students’ argumentation and proof processes is presented. The model is conceived as a methodological tool addressed to the researcher in mathematics education that aims to shed light on the relations between argumentation and proof, highlighting the continuities and discontinuities within and between them. It reconciles the epistemic logic approach, which takes into account the exploratory phases of a statement, linked to argumentative processes, and the deductive logic approach, which takes into account the phases linked to proof in a classical sense. The model is based on Vergnaud’s concepts- and theorems-in-action, on Duval’s distinction between the epistemic and logical value of verbalised propositions, and on elements of Oostra’s intuitionistic existential graphs, a kind of graphical topological logic rooted in Peircean thought, adapted to mathematics education research by considering also shifts in the classical existential graphs. After exposing the theoretical grounding the model is based on, some examples taken from the literature are examined to exemplify how it works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Tools in Mathematics Education)
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17 pages, 1367 KiB  
Article
Employing the Performance Evaluation Method to Examine the Efficacy of English Language Instruction: Insights from Primary Educational Institutions in Taiwan
by Kuo-Ching Chiou, Yu-Ming Huang and Andri Dayarana K. Silalahi
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060672 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 261
Abstract
The investigation examines English proficiency levels across Taiwanese primary education, revealing a significant divergence in skills characterized by an M-shaped distribution among students in the fifth and sixth grades. To address this disparity, the study employs a performance evaluation method that combines importance–performance [...] Read more.
The investigation examines English proficiency levels across Taiwanese primary education, revealing a significant divergence in skills characterized by an M-shaped distribution among students in the fifth and sixth grades. To address this disparity, the study employs a performance evaluation method that combines importance–performance analysis (IPA) and the refined Kano model, aiming to identify and improve upon the current deficiencies in English language teaching. Further analytical depth is provided by applying a three-factor theory, which re-evaluates the traditional five-factor framework of the Kano model, informed by a survey of 443 respondents. The analysis identified that, out of twenty evaluative items, four are critical and demand targeted enhancement efforts. The paper has identified four items for enhancement to improve English language instruction quality. Specifically, it suggests that two items from the importance–performance analysis are critically under resourced and require immediate intervention. Additionally, the paper recognizes two items from the Kano model that also need focused improvement. The study recommends swift and targeted actions to address these areas, with the goal of raising the overall standard of teaching. Based on these findings, the study proposes a set of practical recommendations aimed at increasing the overall effectiveness of teaching and fostering an environment that enhances student motivation. The ultimate goal of this study is to support English teachers in primary schools by providing strategic insights that can lead to the enhancement of teaching practices and the amelioration of English language education deficiencies. Full article
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14 pages, 462 KiB  
Article
Measuring Chinese English as a Foreign Language Learners’ Self-Efficacy in Vocabulary Learning: Instrument Development and Validation
by Jiajing Li and Chuang Wang
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060671 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Vocabulary is paramount to the successful learning of a foreign language; however, students’ self-efficacy in learning vocabulary has been given scarce attention. This article reports the process of the development and validation of the Questionnaire of English Vocabulary Learning Self-Efficacy (SEVL) for Chinese [...] Read more.
Vocabulary is paramount to the successful learning of a foreign language; however, students’ self-efficacy in learning vocabulary has been given scarce attention. This article reports the process of the development and validation of the Questionnaire of English Vocabulary Learning Self-Efficacy (SEVL) for Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. Data were collected from 439 senior secondary students. Evidence for the psychometric properties of the SEVL is presented. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ensured the internal consistency of the students’ responses to the SEVL model. Then, four aspects of construct validity were identified, including the content, structural, external, and generalizability aspects. The SEVL can serve as an evaluation tool to capture EFL learners’ vocabulary learning self-efficacy and as a research tool to gauge the associations between vocabulary learning self-efficacy and other achievement-related outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on Educational Measurement)
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14 pages, 477 KiB  
Article
Beliefs and Previous Concepts about Physical Education in Primary Education Undergraduate Students
by Raúl Eirín-Nemiña, Beatriz García-Antelo, Silvana Longueira-Matos and María Montserrat Castro-Rodríguez
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060670 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 209
Abstract
The approach to the personal experiences and previous ideas about physical education of future primary education teachers is a starting point of great interest for the teaching of the subject of physical education didactics. The aim of the study is to investigate these [...] Read more.
The approach to the personal experiences and previous ideas about physical education of future primary education teachers is a starting point of great interest for the teaching of the subject of physical education didactics. The aim of the study is to investigate these prior beliefs and to verify to what extent this initial perception changes after taking the “Didactics of Physical Education” course. A concurrent mixed-methods study was conducted, which included two data collection procedures: (1) a pre-experimental design with a single group featuring a pre-test and post-test; (2) the analysis of students’ autobiographical accounts of their experiences with physical education in school. The participants were students enrolled in the Bachelor’s degree program in primary education at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) who undertook the course in 2022–2023. The results obtained reveal that after taking the Didactics of Physical Education course, students gave greater value to more positive concepts of learning, socializing, participating, and playing, among others. Similarly, in the post-test, the assessment of concepts such as competitiveness and physical fatigue diminished. In their autobiographical accounts, students associated good memories with relationships with classmates and the playful socializing nature of the subject; among the bad memories, they highlight the content related to physical performance, competitiveness, and lack of attention to the diversity of students and their individual characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation in Teacher Education Practices)
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13 pages, 2628 KiB  
Article
Self-Regulated Learning in Science Classes with a Discovery Learning Environment and Collaborative Discovery Learning Environment
by Marina Balazinec, Ines Radanovic and Mila Bulic
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060669 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 229
Abstract
The study aims to compare how discovery learning and collaborative discovery learning affect knowledge acquisition, the development of understanding through phases of self-regulated learning (SRL), and the use of SRL strategies at the individual level. The sample consists of 981 eleven-year-old students. The [...] Read more.
The study aims to compare how discovery learning and collaborative discovery learning affect knowledge acquisition, the development of understanding through phases of self-regulated learning (SRL), and the use of SRL strategies at the individual level. The sample consists of 981 eleven-year-old students. The results show that both methods have a positive effect on knowledge acquisition. Collaborative discovery learning has more positive effects on the development of students’ understanding by developing collaborative skills. Motivational strategies (especially in girls) are more developed in collaborative discovery learning than in discovery learning. Students who show more pronounced negative characteristics of self-regulation also achieve poorer results in the knowledge test, and this is more pronounced in students who have participated in discovery learning. The tendency of an affirmative attitude towards the characteristics of SRL in the entire population of students indicates a proportional growth in accordance with success in learning, but in more successful students, it indicates a uniform retention of an affirmative attitude. The tendency toward an affirmative attitude regarding the characteristics of collaborative learning is inversely proportional to students’ success, with a more pronounced attitude decrease in more successful students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inquiry-Based STEM Teaching and Learning)
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13 pages, 782 KiB  
Article
Examining Mathematics Learning Abilities as a Function of Socioeconomic Status, Achievement and Anxiety
by Bernadett Svraka and Szilvia Ádám
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060668 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Our mathematical thinking sheds light on how we see our world and what knowledge we have about it. In spite of this, mathematical performance is still mostly measured in calculation skills, and this also predestines the success of learning. So at school, what [...] Read more.
Our mathematical thinking sheds light on how we see our world and what knowledge we have about it. In spite of this, mathematical performance is still mostly measured in calculation skills, and this also predestines the success of learning. So at school, what is important is how correctly we solved the task and not the way we got there. An internationally unique Hungarian-developed test (DPV—Pedagogical Examination of Dyscalculia/Diszkalkulia Pedagógiai Vizsgálata) draws our attention to the opposite of this. The special feature of the test is its criterion orientation, which emphasizes the correctness of mathematical thinking while examining the abilities necessary for learning mathematics. The aim of our study was to investigate, as a function of background variables (gender and socioeconomic status (SES)), (1) whether the abilities and thought processes required for learning mathematics function at an adequate level, (2) what effect these may have on mathematical performance, and (3) to what extent all of this is influenced by mathematical anxiety. Our background variables were gender and socioeconomic status. A total of 999 Hungarian students aged 10–15 participated in our study, including 483 boys and 516 girls. In general, we can say that the development of the skills necessary for learning mathematics is closely related to the students’ performance. Nevertheless, it happens that we encounter low performance despite good skills. In several cases, we can experience the presence of anxiety, especially math anxiety, which in most cases, regardless of the level of abilities, negatively affects the success of math learning processes. The findings confirm that socioeconomic status, gender, and performance are risk factors for mathematical anxiety. The following hypotheses have been formulated along the lines of the research objectives set out in the abstract: There are no differences in ability and mathematical performance between boys and girls. Girls are more anxious when they have to solve a mathematical problem. Socioeconomic status predicts ability level and the presence of math anxiety. Mathematical anxiety (MA) modifies the validity of mathematical ability (DPV). Full article
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20 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
School Leader Well-Being: Perceptions of Canada’s Outstanding Principals
by Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Nadia Arghash and Maha Al Makhamreh
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060667 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 230
Abstract
The decrease in well-being of school leaders has become an area of concern among scholars and practitioners around the world. Globally, increasing social, political, economic, educational, and professional demands faced by school administrators have led to an unmanageable workload, stress, burnout, and a [...] Read more.
The decrease in well-being of school leaders has become an area of concern among scholars and practitioners around the world. Globally, increasing social, political, economic, educational, and professional demands faced by school administrators have led to an unmanageable workload, stress, burnout, and a lack of work–life balance. However, some principals thrive amidst challenges and are recognized by various national and international awards as outstanding school leaders. Examining the challenges that award-winning school principals face can both prevent conditions that decrease their well-being and help understand coping strategies and support systems necessary for successful school leadership. Our study examined the sense of flourishing among the national award-winning principals in the Canada’s Outstanding Principals (COP) program that recognizes outstanding contributions of principals in publicly funded schools. In this article, we describe participants’ perceptions regarding the significance of principal well-being, barriers and challenges to their well-being, coping strategies to promote and sustain their well-being, and necessary policy and school system supports for enhanced principal well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Leadership in Turbulent Times)
16 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Partnerships in STEAM: How Collaborating with STEAM Experts Impacts K-12 Teachers’ Abilities to Implement STEAM Lessons in the Classroom
by Talia Capozzoli Kessler, Katherine L. Boice, Jayma Koval, Justina R. Jackson, Jasmine Choi, Meltem Alemdar, Sabrina Grossman, Keisha Simmons and Marion Usselman
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060666 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 257
Abstract
K-12 teacher professional development in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is often utilized to enhance teachers’ abilities to use STEAM pedagogical methods in the classroom. One such program is GoSTEAM, a five-year initiative centered on K-12 teacher professional development in STEAM. [...] Read more.
K-12 teacher professional development in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is often utilized to enhance teachers’ abilities to use STEAM pedagogical methods in the classroom. One such program is GoSTEAM, a five-year initiative centered on K-12 teacher professional development in STEAM. Teachers participating in GoSTEAM collaborate on the implementation of STEAM lessons and activities with an Innovator-in-Residence, who is an individual with experience in a STEAM field, often from a local community organization or university. This study analyzes focus group findings from teachers and school administrators to assess how the partnership with the Innovator-in-Residence impacts teachers’ professional development in STEAM. The findings suggest teachers and administrators perceived there to be several impacts on teachers’ professional development as a result of the partnership, such as the development of STEAM skills and making connections between STEAM, district standards, and real-world concepts. As such, the results of this study indicate that a teacher’s professional development in STEAM can be impacted by an ongoing partnership and collaboration with community partners and those experienced in STEAM fields. Full article
17 pages, 3331 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Effect of Drones in the Educational Process: A Systematic Review
by Pantelis Pergantis and Athanasios Drigas
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060665 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Due to COVID-19, Industry 4.0 technologies have been deeply integrated into our lives, making it possible to interact, learn, and be productive. The rise of ICT has been established for a lot of years, transforming the educational process of many students with more [...] Read more.
Due to COVID-19, Industry 4.0 technologies have been deeply integrated into our lives, making it possible to interact, learn, and be productive. The rise of ICT has been established for a lot of years, transforming the educational process of many students with more and more educators applying them in school settings and considering them an essential part of teaching. ICT constantly evolves incorporates and utilizes all the recent and cutting-edge technology to help learners interact and learn in the most engaging and motivating way. The purpose of this literature review is to investigate a very fascinating and promising piece of robotic technology called a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle and how it has been integrated and utilized in the educational process of students to date. In the introduction, the main adoptions of ICT and drones are discussed. In the main part, we explore the possibilities and the applications of drone technology in the educational path from analysis of included studies and research, as well as discussing the students’ and teachers’ perceptions of their use. The results of this study of the application of drones in education show promising effects among students and teachers, but several limitations were identified, making it still difficult to generalize their use in the educational process. Furthermore, a need for a unified framework for reference is needed to be able to accommodate their use in school and academic environments. Full article
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23 pages, 1202 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Online Interactive Teaching on University Students’ Deep Learning—The Perspective of Self-Determination
by Qingyi Zhou, Hongfeng Zhang and Fanbo Li
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060664 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
In the process of educational practice in the digital age, the higher education system has shifted to the online model, and the training of college students’ deep learning has become the core issue. While online teaching offers great possibilities for education, its inherent [...] Read more.
In the process of educational practice in the digital age, the higher education system has shifted to the online model, and the training of college students’ deep learning has become the core issue. While online teaching offers great possibilities for education, its inherent lack of interaction has always been a major limiting factor in its effectiveness. To address this challenge, interactive pedagogy is an interaction-based teaching model in which students learn knowledge more effectively through communication and interaction with teachers and classmates, which helps to improve students’ learning abilities. This study, rooted in the theoretical framework of self-determination theory and utilizing structural equation modeling for empirical analysis, seeks to investigate the influence of online interactive teaching on deep learning among university students. The research reveals that interactive teaching significantly and directly contributes to deep learning, while the fulfillment of university students’ three fundamental psychological needs indirectly fosters deep learning by fostering intrinsic motivation. This study uncovers novel dimensions of factors influencing deep learning and underscores the vital role of interactive teaching in fostering deep learning among university students. Moreover, this not only deepens the application of self-determination theory in education but also provides valuable theoretical support for online education practices. Full article
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14 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Unravelling Time in Higher Education: Exploring the Mediating Role of Psychological Capital in Burnout and Academic Engagement
by Ana Raquel Nabais, Maria José Chambel and Vânia Sofia Carvalho
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060663 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 229
Abstract
The present study aims to understand the influence of time spent in higher education on academic burnout and engagement, exploring the mediating role of psychological capital (PsyCap). To this end, a data analysis was conducted on a sample of 4242 Portuguese undergraduate students. [...] Read more.
The present study aims to understand the influence of time spent in higher education on academic burnout and engagement, exploring the mediating role of psychological capital (PsyCap). To this end, a data analysis was conducted on a sample of 4242 Portuguese undergraduate students. The results support a significant and negative relationship between time spent in higher education and PsyCap, a significant negative relationship between PsyCap and academic burnout, and a significant positive relationship between PsyCap and academic engagement. Additionally, a mediating effect of PsyCap was observed between time spent in higher education and academic burnout and engagement, to the extent that more time spent in higher education was associated with lower PsyCap, which, in turn, was related to higher burnout and lower academic engagement. However, this mediation was only fully evident in the relationship with burnout. These findings contribute to a better understanding of well-being in the university context, specifically in terms of how PsyCap changes over the time spent in higher education and its potential impact on student well-being. Limitations, suggestions for future studies, and implications derived from the results are also discussed. Full article
24 pages, 502 KiB  
Article
Navigating the Evolution of Game-Based Educational Approaches in Secondary STEM Education: A Decade of Innovations and Challenges
by Chiara Fante, Fabrizio Ravicchio and Flavio Manganello
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060662 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 278
Abstract
The need to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in secondary education is reflected in the ongoing investigation of innovative pedagogical practices, including game-based learning (GBL). Using an analysis of scholarly publications based on word co-occurrence, this study aimed to identify [...] Read more.
The need to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in secondary education is reflected in the ongoing investigation of innovative pedagogical practices, including game-based learning (GBL). Using an analysis of scholarly publications based on word co-occurrence, this study aimed to identify the main research themes addressed in the past decade by the scholarly community on game-based teaching and learning solutions in the context of STEM education in secondary schools, their evolution over time, and the key issues addressed in recent years. After a systematic selection, the titles and abstracts of the publications were collected in a text corpus and analyzed using T-LAB software version 7.2.1.4 (2022). A preliminary visual exploration of the keywords was performed to obtain an overall view of the issues addressed by the research. Specificity analysis was then applied to identify, for each subset of the corpus identified by the years of publication, the evolution of themes reflected in a change in the frequency of lemma use. Finally, to explore the most recent topics, the main thematic clusters of publications in the last three years were identified (thematic analysis of elementary contexts). The results suggest some changes in the issues addressed over the past decade, such as a shift in focus from the specific technologies and competitive elements of games to understanding how GBL can support engagement, motivation, and understanding of complex scientific concepts. The five key thematic clusters identified (“Experience”, “Application”, “Validation”, “Emotion”, and “Programming”) also indicate a stronger emphasis by the latest publications on the experiential and emotional components of learning, the need for empirical studies, and the integration of computational thinking and coding into GBL. Overall, this study indicates that GBL has the potential to become an integrated component of STEM education, evolving with pedagogical and technological innovations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
17 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
The Impact of School Classroom Chair Depth and Height on Learning Tasks
by Hsiu-Feng Chen and Chih-Yung Tsai
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060661 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 216
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the seating condition on learning tasks. This physical setting and these cognitive activities (that participants then test) are not the totality of education practice and context, but desks and chairs are important [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the seating condition on learning tasks. This physical setting and these cognitive activities (that participants then test) are not the totality of education practice and context, but desks and chairs are important physical elements for students to learn, because students always spend so much time learning at their seats. At present, the chairs purchased by the school have uniform specifications, so they cannot be customized. To provide students with more comfort, their sitting condition and backrest are commonly adjusted. This study investigated the effects of the sitting condition on the performance of short learning tasks that require high concentration, namely short-term number memorization, mathematical calculations, and logical judgment, through a two-way within-subjects design (seat depth and backrest height). Thirty adults over 20 years old, with visual acuity (including corrected visual acuity) greater than 0.7 and no history of musculoskeletal disease, participated in this experiment. The results indicated that seat depth and backrest height had an interaction effect on task performance. Sitting on the front third of a chair with a lower backrest produced excellent learning tasks outcomes; seat configuration may affect student performance on learning tasks. Thus, schools and educational institutions can try to require students to temporarily sit in this sitting condition to perform such tasks. In addition, schools can purchase chairs with a lower backrest and require that students use lumbar pads to adjust the seat depth to achieve superior learning task outcomes in classrooms. Full article
21 pages, 2779 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Using ChatGPT as a Tool to Strengthen Benefits of the Flipped Learning Strategy
by Gilberto Huesca, Yolanda Martínez-Treviño, José Martín Molina-Espinosa, Ana Raquel Sanromán-Calleros, Roberto Martínez-Román, Eduardo Antonio Cendejas-Castro and Raime Bustos
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060660 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 493
Abstract
In this study, we evaluate how ChatGPT complements and enriches the traditional flipped learning strategy in higher education, particularly in engineering courses. Using an experimental design involving 356 students from basic programming courses in undergraduate engineering programs, we compared the normalized learning gain [...] Read more.
In this study, we evaluate how ChatGPT complements and enriches the traditional flipped learning strategy in higher education, particularly in engineering courses. Using an experimental design involving 356 students from basic programming courses in undergraduate engineering programs, we compared the normalized learning gain between groups that used the ChatGPT-assisted flipped learning strategy (focus groups) and those that followed a traditional video-based flipped learning methodology (control groups). The intervention lasted ten weeks, with two sessions of two hours each week. A pre-test–post-test analysis revealed that the focus groups showed significant improvement in normalized learning gain values compared to the control groups. These results confirm that incorporating ChatGPT into the flipped learning strategy can significantly enhance student performance by providing a more active, interactive, and personalized approach during the teaching–learning process. We conclude that the flipped learning strategy, upgraded with the assistance of ChatGPT, provides an effective means to improve understanding and application of complex concepts in programming courses, with potential to be extended to other areas of study in higher education. This study opens routes for future research on the integration of artificial intelligence into innovative pedagogical strategies with the goal of scaffolding the learning experience and improving educational outcomes. Full article
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14 pages, 796 KiB  
Review
Enhancing Quality Appointment, Preparation and Support System for Malaysian Principals
by Husaina Banu Kenayathulla, Muhammad Faizal A. Ghani and Norfariza Mohd Radzi
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060659 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Educational leaders in the 21st century are under increasing pressure since they need to consistently upskill and reskill themselves so that they can adapt to rapid changes and be prepared to improve the quality of future education, as well as meet the demands [...] Read more.
Educational leaders in the 21st century are under increasing pressure since they need to consistently upskill and reskill themselves so that they can adapt to rapid changes and be prepared to improve the quality of future education, as well as meet the demands of diverse stakeholders. Previous studies in the Malaysian context mostly focused on leadership training for newly appointed school principals, but there has not been much emphasis on continuous professional development for school leaders. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the appointment, preparation, and support system for Malaysian principals. In this study, a qualitative methodology has been applied, which involves document analysis based on policy documents, media, and previously published journal articles. The findings suggest that internal and external supports are currently being provided to principals. However, it proposes a wider framework of support for principals comprising internal and external support, including smart partnerships with diverse stakeholders such as industries, non-profit organizations, and international counterparts. The results provide insights to policymakers on the importance of consistently supporting school leaders to upskill with multifaceted skills to perform multiple functions, such as technological, economic, social, cultural, political, and learning leadership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming Educational Leadership)
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14 pages, 3903 KiB  
Article
Impact of Physical Model Projects and Multidisciplinary Teams in Fluid Mechanics Education
by Aarthi Sekaran and Carolyn M. Rodak
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060658 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 287
Abstract
Fluid mechanics, a required course in many undergraduate engineering disciplines, is often described as a challenging subject as it weaves together advanced mathematics and physics to solve conventional engineering problems. This study examines the effect of incorporating a physical model project via multidisciplinary [...] Read more.
Fluid mechanics, a required course in many undergraduate engineering disciplines, is often described as a challenging subject as it weaves together advanced mathematics and physics to solve conventional engineering problems. This study examines the effect of incorporating a physical model project via multidisciplinary teams into two theory-based fluid mechanics courses to address two general questions: Does the design and construction of the physical model aid in understanding fluid mechanics concepts? Does working with students of different engineering disciplines improve student experience and comprehension? The study was conducted in Spring 2023 with a cohort of 49 mechanical and civil engineering students; each project team had a mix of both disciplines. At the end of the semester, all projects were presented at a common venue, followed by an anonymous paper-based survey. The results indicate that around 83.7% of students felt the project had an overall positive impact on their learning experience. Despite initial student apprehension about multidisciplinary teams, 72% of students appreciated the opportunity to work with engineers from other disciplines, with qualitative inputs describing the value added from varied skill sets. In conclusion, this project enabled students to apply their in-class training to a real-world model while working in multidisciplinary teams. The results provide insight into the implementation of similar projects and the value of multidisciplinary teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Project Based Learning (PBL) in Engineering Education)
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19 pages, 713 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Approach to Predicting Learning Success Based on Digital Educational History for Timely Identification of At-Risk Students
by Tatiana A. Kustitskaya, Roman V. Esin, Yuliya V. Vainshtein and Mikhail V. Noskov
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060657 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Student retention is a significant challenge for higher education institutions (HEIs). The fact that a considerable number of dropouts from universities are primarily due to academic underperformance motivates universities to develop learning analytics tools based on models for predicting learning success. However, the [...] Read more.
Student retention is a significant challenge for higher education institutions (HEIs). The fact that a considerable number of dropouts from universities are primarily due to academic underperformance motivates universities to develop learning analytics tools based on models for predicting learning success. However, the scalability of such models is limited since students’ academic performance and engagement, as well as the factors influencing them, are largely determined by the educational environment. The article proposes a hybrid approach to forecasting success in completing an academic semester, which involves creating a set of predictive models. Some of the models use historical student data, while others are intended to refine the forecast using current data on student performance and engagement, which are regularly extracted from available sources. Based on this approach, we developed an ensemble of machine learning models and the Markov-process model that simultaneously address the tasks of forecasting success in mastering a course and success in completing a semester. The models utilize digital footprint data, digital educational history, and digital personality portraits of students extracted from the databases of Siberian Federal University, and the resulting ensemble demonstrates a high quality of the forecast. The proposed approach can be utilized by other HEIs as a framework for creating mutually complementary forecasting models based on different types of accessible educational data. Full article
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20 pages, 555 KiB  
Article
ChatGPT: The End of Online Exam Integrity?
by Teo Susnjak and Timothy R. McIntosh
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060656 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 405
Abstract
This study addresses the significant challenge posed by the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT on the integrity of online examinations, focusing on how these models can undermine academic honesty by demonstrating their latent and advanced reasoning capabilities. An iterative [...] Read more.
This study addresses the significant challenge posed by the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT on the integrity of online examinations, focusing on how these models can undermine academic honesty by demonstrating their latent and advanced reasoning capabilities. An iterative self-reflective strategy was developed for invoking critical thinking and higher-order reasoning in LLMs when responding to complex multimodal exam questions involving both visual and textual data. The proposed strategy was demonstrated and evaluated on real exam questions by subject experts and the performance of ChatGPT (GPT-4) with vision was estimated on an additional dataset of 600 text descriptions of multimodal exam questions. The results indicate that the proposed self-reflective strategy can invoke latent multi-hop reasoning capabilities within LLMs, effectively steering them towards correct answers by integrating critical thinking from each modality into the final response. Meanwhile, ChatGPT demonstrated considerable proficiency in being able to answer multimodal exam questions across 12 subjects. These findings challenge prior assertions about the limitations of LLMs in multimodal reasoning and emphasise the need for robust online exam security measures such as advanced proctoring systems and more sophisticated multimodal exam questions to mitigate potential academic misconduct enabled by AI technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Researching Academic Integrity in Higher Education)
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13 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
El Cid: Can an Aesthetics Lens Save Transformational Leadership from Itself?
by Fenwick Walter English and Lisa Catherine Ehrich
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060655 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Countless articles and books have been written about transformational leadership theory since the late 1970s when it first appeared in the literature. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to illustrate that transformational leadership contains both logical and psychological problems when explaining the [...] Read more.
Countless articles and books have been written about transformational leadership theory since the late 1970s when it first appeared in the literature. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to illustrate that transformational leadership contains both logical and psychological problems when explaining the nature of leadership and as an empirically supportable and verifiable construct. It aims to show that its failure to garner evidence from a scientific methodological analysis may not invalidate its efficacy if it is viewed from an alternative lens, such as aesthetics. An aesthetic frame is one that recognizes sensuous ways of knowing since feelings and emotions are just as important as reason and logic. An aesthetic approach to leadership would see leadership as more of an art than a science. This paper is not arguing for the abandonment of transformational leadership theory; rather it is saying that an aesthetic lens is likely to yield a richer, more artistic, and more nuanced account of what is understood and enacted as transformational leadership. This way, the manifestations of transformational leadership may live on in the arts and continue to inspire and motivate us. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming Educational Leadership)
11 pages, 458 KiB  
Article
Profiles of Occupational Therapy Students: A Cluster Analysis
by Gry Mørk, Astrid Gramstad, Linda Stigen, Susanne Grødem Johnson and Tore Bonsaksen
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060654 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 475
Abstract
While studies have examined predictors of study performance in various student groups, cluster analytic studies identify groups of students with similar characteristics. The purpose of this study was to explore relevant clusters of occupational therapy students and examine profile differences between participants in [...] Read more.
While studies have examined predictors of study performance in various student groups, cluster analytic studies identify groups of students with similar characteristics. The purpose of this study was to explore relevant clusters of occupational therapy students and examine profile differences between participants in different clusters. A total of 177 first-year students from six occupational therapy programs in Norway participated in this study. Data on age, gender, study approaches, study effort, and study performance were collected. A two-step cluster analysis was conducted. Three clusters were identified. Cluster 1, the high-strategic high-performing students, comprised the successful students, mostly females, who invested much effort and used productive approaches to studying. Cluster 2, the high-surface average-performing students, consisted of less successful female students, who used poor study strategies and made little effort. Cluster 3, the low-strategic low-performing students, comprised the least successful students, who were all male, with study efforts and study strategies in the middle range. Overall, this study suggests that occupational therapy students can be classified into clusters based on a combination of measures. To enhance student learning and performance, educators should pay particular attention to male students and to students investing little effort and using poor study strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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20 pages, 2727 KiB  
Article
PBL Impact on Learning Outcomes in Computer Engineering: A 12-Year Analysis
by Pedro José Lara-Bercial, María Cruz Gaya-López, Juan-Miguel Martínez-Orozco and Silvia Lavado-Anguera
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060653 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
This article describes an evaluation of the Project-Based Learning (PBL) methodology implemented in the STEAM School of Universidad Europea in the Computer Engineering degree. The study raises research questions related to the perception of technical and soft skills acquired by students who used [...] Read more.
This article describes an evaluation of the Project-Based Learning (PBL) methodology implemented in the STEAM School of Universidad Europea in the Computer Engineering degree. The study raises research questions related to the perception of technical and soft skills acquired by students who used or considered PBL as their primary learning methodology compared to those who did not. Students’ motivation and adaptability to work after graduation have also been examined. The sample of students includes graduates from the last 20 years and therefore analyzes both the period in which the methodology was already implemented (from 2012) and some previous years. The study concludes that students who have identified or experienced PBL as their main learning methodology perceive a better acquisition of technical competencies and some soft skills, as well as better motivation and adaptability to the work environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Project Based Learning (PBL) in Engineering Education)
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14 pages, 232 KiB  
Article
Examining Relationships between Technology and Critical Thinking: A Study of South Korean EFL Learners
by Andrew Schenck
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060652 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Little research has been conducted to examine how technology shapes values concerning critical thinking (CT) in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. Due to the need for further research, this study was designed to examine the relationships between perceptions of technology and [...] Read more.
Little research has been conducted to examine how technology shapes values concerning critical thinking (CT) in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. Due to the need for further research, this study was designed to examine the relationships between perceptions of technology and attitudes about CT. A total of 80 EFL students were given two Likert surveys and two optional qualitative questions concerning CT and technology. Likert surveys were compared using Spearman’s rank correlation, whereas qualitative data were evaluated using reflexive thematic analysis. Quantitative results revealed that support for engagement with tech and laptops, along with support for using technology for career goals or IT skills development, positively correlated to a learner’s understanding and value for CT. In contrast, learners who favored using technology did not tend to value CT and were more likely to skip class if materials were provided online. Qualitative results also suggest that prosocial behaviors for engagement and clear goals promote positive attitudes toward CT, whereas overreliance on technology hampers the cultivation of CT in EFL classrooms. Implications for pedagogy have been proposed. Full article
11 pages, 209 KiB  
Article
Preschool Class Children and Grade One Pupils’ Questions about Molecules from a Digital Interactive Session at a Culture Center in Sweden
by Maria Papantonis Stajcic, Clara Vidal Carulla and Annika Åkerblom
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060651 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 306
Abstract
This study focuses on preschool class children and grade one pupils’ questions about the natural sciences. The article presents the questions that preschool class children and grade one pupils asked via a chat function in connection with a digital interactive lesson about molecules [...] Read more.
This study focuses on preschool class children and grade one pupils’ questions about the natural sciences. The article presents the questions that preschool class children and grade one pupils asked via a chat function in connection with a digital interactive lesson about molecules arranged by a culture center in Sweden. The results of the thematic analysis are discussed in relation to their didactic implications for natural science teaching with young learners. The most relevant conclusions are that children drew from their own experiences when approaching molecules, they could generalize their experiences and apply them to other contexts, and they needed time to process the content and then ask questions. Therefore, the authors suggest the use of children’s questions as a useful pedagogical tool for helping young children understand abstract concepts such as molecules. Furthermore, follow-up interviews with children are suggested as a means of mapping the origin of such questions. Full article
14 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Supporting the Teacher Identity of Pre-Service Science Teachers through Working at a Non-Formal STEM Learning Laboratory
by Outi Haatainen, Johannes Pernaa, Reija Pesonen, Julia Halonen and Maija Aksela
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060649 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 435
Abstract
This qualitative case study aims to examine the role of a non-formal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning laboratory in supporting the development of teacher identity among pre-service science teachers. With teacher identity impacting the educational responsiveness and resilience of a teacher, [...] Read more.
This qualitative case study aims to examine the role of a non-formal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning laboratory in supporting the development of teacher identity among pre-service science teachers. With teacher identity impacting the educational responsiveness and resilience of a teacher, it is important to support the professional identity of STEM educators if we are to enhance the quality of STEM education. Data collection occurred in three stages between 2017 and 2024. Qualitative content analysis through an inductive category formation was used for data analysis. The intercoder reliability was checked (Cohen’s kappa 0.802). Results suggest that non-formal STEM learning environments can enhance pre-service teachers’ professional learning and identity by allowing the autonomous practical application of theory in an authentic collaborative laboratory environment and by strengthening their self-efficacy through positive teaching experiences. Participants reported that such versatile experiences are generally not available during their formal university education. This study offers suggestions for STEM teacher education and insights into ongoing research dialogues about the role of non-formal learning in supporting the learning and identity of STEM teachers. Full article
17 pages, 669 KiB  
Article
Generating Innovative Ideas for School Improvement: An Examination of School Principals
by Miguel M. Gonzales, Tiberio Garza and Elizabeth Leon-Zaragoza
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060650 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 794
Abstract
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine school principals’ tendencies and practices that bring forth innovative ideas for school improvement. School principals (N = 124) responded to a survey, which included an open-ended question, on their innovative practices toward school improvement. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine school principals’ tendencies and practices that bring forth innovative ideas for school improvement. School principals (N = 124) responded to a survey, which included an open-ended question, on their innovative practices toward school improvement. With the Innovator’s DNA framework as a basis for generating innovation for school improvement, path analysis was used to assess how well school principals’ thinking and practices aligned with the framework. School principals believed it was important to help generate innovation through idea networking, being open-minded, and challenging the status quo. However, through path analysis, school principals’ improvement areas associated with the Innovator’s DNA framework were identified. School systems should help principals develop innovative problem-solving skills for school improvement by applying the Innovator’s DNA framework in their professional development opportunities. More research is needed that examines if and how school systems foster school innovation leadership for principals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reimagining K-20 Educational Leadership in the 21st Century)
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15 pages, 457 KiB  
Article
Observation of Student and Teacher Behaviors during a Preliminary Active Playful Learning Intervention in Kindergarten Classrooms
by Elias Blinkoff, Kimberly Turner Nesbitt, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060648 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 318
Abstract
This study describes the implementation and effectiveness of an instructional coaching program for kindergarten teachers in the State of New Hampshire that was implemented in response to the State’s play-based kindergarten mandate. Coaching was provided to 20 teachers from across the State. It [...] Read more.
This study describes the implementation and effectiveness of an instructional coaching program for kindergarten teachers in the State of New Hampshire that was implemented in response to the State’s play-based kindergarten mandate. Coaching was provided to 20 teachers from across the State. It focused on guided play, principles of how children learn, and the breadth of skills needed to achieve in the classroom and beyond. A novel adaptation of a classroom observation protocol measured classroom-, teacher-, and student-level behaviors predicted to change with coaching. Classroom-level results revealed a significant decrease in teacher-led direct instruction with a significant shift towards playful instruction, a possible precursor to guided play. Teachers did not change how students were organized in the classroom to promote this instruction, nor did they individually provide more inferential instruction or change their affect with this pedagogical shift. Yet, changes in student behaviors aligned with the coaching program. Students became more engaged with their learning, more active in their use of learning tools, and more communicative. These results offer valuable insights on the initial impacts of an instructional coaching program focused on guided play, how children learn, and what children learn. This study presents a feasible and effective model for professional development on play-based learning that is rooted in the science of learning and measurable in the classroom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Early Childhood Education)
11 pages, 227 KiB  
Article
Research, Science Identity, and Intent to Pursue a Science Career: A BUILD Intervention Evaluation at CSULB
by Hector V. Ramos and Kim-Phuong L. Vu
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060647 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 261
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of survey data to examine the association between participating in one of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity Initiative (BUILD) program and students’ intent to pursue a career in science. Data were [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analysis of survey data to examine the association between participating in one of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity Initiative (BUILD) program and students’ intent to pursue a career in science. Data were collected from students at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) to examine the effectiveness of the BUILD Scholars program. Both BUILD Scholars and non-BUILD students were surveyed. Propensity score matching was used to generate the non-BUILD comparison group. Multinomial logistic regression results revealed that students participating in the BUILD intervention were associated with significantly higher intent to pursue a career in science. Results also showed the importance of variables such as science identity and research participation when assessing interest in science careers. These findings have implications for STEM program evaluation and practice in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluation of Education Programmes and Policies)
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