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Educ. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2015) – 8 articles , Pages 255-439

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Article
Reading Comprehension Instruction for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities: A Reality Check
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 413-439; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040413 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4467
Abstract
Reading comprehension is a significant concern for adolescents with learning disabilities (LD), particularly in secondary schools in the United States (US) where content is taught primarily through textbooks. Surprisingly little is known about the actual reading instruction for students with LD in secondary [...] Read more.
Reading comprehension is a significant concern for adolescents with learning disabilities (LD), particularly in secondary schools in the United States (US) where content is taught primarily through textbooks. Surprisingly little is known about the actual reading instruction for students with LD in secondary classrooms. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the reading comprehension instruction in US secondary special education classrooms. Eight special education teachers in urban high schools were observed and interviewed. Findings showed that teachers implemented a number of reading comprehension practices, not all were considered “best practice”. The most frequently observed practices included reading aloud, questioning, seatwork, activating prior knowledge, and using graphic organizers. Explicit instruction in how and when to use reading comprehension strategies, however, was not observed. This study reveals the extent to which evidence-based reading comprehension practices are not making their way into secondary reading classrooms and offers insight into factors that teachers state as influencing their instruction for students with LD. Full article
Article
Does Higher Education Level the Playing Field? Socio-Economic Differences in Graduate Earnings
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 380-412; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040380 - 11 Dec 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
Education—and in particular higher education—is often regarded as a route to social mobility. For this to be the case, however, the link between family background and adult outcomes must be broken (or at least reduced) once we take account of an individual’s education [...] Read more.
Education—and in particular higher education—is often regarded as a route to social mobility. For this to be the case, however, the link between family background and adult outcomes must be broken (or at least reduced) once we take account of an individual’s education history. This paper provides new evidence on differences in graduates’ earnings by socio-economic background, exploiting rich individual-level data to account for more of the ways in which graduates from different socio-economic backgrounds differ from each other than has been possible in previous research on this topic. We continue to find significant differences between the earnings of graduates from lower and higher socio-economic backgrounds, even after accounting for a rich array of characteristics, skills and experiences from before individuals went to university, as well as their labour market experiences subsequently. These results suggest that it is not enough simply to encourage more young people to go to university, or even to ensure that they graduate with “good” degrees; policymakers interested in increasing social mobility also need to focus on what happens to them once they leave university to ensure that higher education is truly able to “level the playing field” between those from different socio-economic backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Widening Participation in Higher Education)
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Article
Cultivating a Value for Non-Human Interests through the Convergence of Animal Welfare, Animal Rights, and Deep Ecology in Environmental Education
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 363-379; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040363 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3170
Abstract
While the original objective of environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) acquired an awareness of the natural world and its current plight, animal welfare (AW), animal rights (AR), and deep ecology (DE) have often been absent within EE and ESD. [...] Read more.
While the original objective of environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) acquired an awareness of the natural world and its current plight, animal welfare (AW), animal rights (AR), and deep ecology (DE) have often been absent within EE and ESD. AW and AR focus their attention on individual animals, while the DE perspective recognizes the intrinsic value of the environment. In this article, we shall discuss how the integration of these three approaches within EE/ESD can and should be improved, with particular reference to the ethical underpinnings of educational scholarship and practice. This article will argue that these three positions are well placed to enhance the democratic practices of EE/ESD through the adoption of an inclusive pluralism that embraces representation of non-human species and recognizes their interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating for Sustainability Transitions)
Article
Children’s Perspectives of Play and Learning for Educational Practice
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 345-362; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040345 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5581
Abstract
Play as a learning practice increasingly is under challenge as a valued component of early childhood education. Views held in parallel include confirmation of the place of play in early childhood education and, at the same time, a denigration of the role of [...] Read more.
Play as a learning practice increasingly is under challenge as a valued component of early childhood education. Views held in parallel include confirmation of the place of play in early childhood education and, at the same time, a denigration of the role of play in favor for more teacher-structured and formal activities. As a consequence, pedagogical approaches towards play, the curriculum activities that constitute play, and the appropriateness of play in educational settings, have come under scrutiny in recent years. In this context, this study investigates children’s perspectives of play and how they understand the role of play and learning in their everyday activities. This article reports on an Australian study where teacher-researchers investigated child-led insights into what counts as play in their everyday classroom activities. Children (aged 3–4 years) described play as an activity that involved their active participation in “doing” something, being with peers, and having agency and ownership of ideas. Children did not always characterize their activities as “play”, and not all activities in the preschool program were described as play. The article highlights that play and learning are complex concepts that may be easily dismissed as separate, when rather they are deeply intertwined. The findings of this study generate opportunities for educators and academics to consider what counts as “play” for children, and to prompt further consideration of the role of play as an antidote to adult centric views of play. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Play and Learning in Early Childhood Education)
Article
Immigrant Children and Youth in the USA: Facilitating Equity of Opportunity at School
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 323-344; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040323 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3717
Abstract
A great deal has been written about immigrant children and youth. Drawing on work done in the USA, this paper focuses on implications for school improvement policy and practice. Discussed are (1) the increasing influx of immigrants into schools; (2) different reasons families [...] Read more.
A great deal has been written about immigrant children and youth. Drawing on work done in the USA, this paper focuses on implications for school improvement policy and practice. Discussed are (1) the increasing influx of immigrants into schools; (2) different reasons families migrate; (3) concerns that arise related to immigrant students; (4) prevailing school practices for addressing immigrant concerns; (5) a framework for broadening what schools and communities do; and (6) policy implications, cautions, and recommendations for embedding immigrant concerns into a unified, comprehensive, and equitable system of student and learning supports. Full article
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Article
Will the Use of Contextual Indicators Make UK Higher Education Admissions Fairer?
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 306-322; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040306 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3568
Abstract
In the UK, as elsewhere, the use of ‘contextual’ data has been strongly advocated in order to inform undergraduate admissions decision-making. More than a third of UK universities currently take the socioeconomic or other background context of undergraduate applicants’ attainment into account when [...] Read more.
In the UK, as elsewhere, the use of ‘contextual’ data has been strongly advocated in order to inform undergraduate admissions decision-making. More than a third of UK universities currently take the socioeconomic or other background context of undergraduate applicants’ attainment into account when deciding whom to shortlist, interview, make standard or reduced offers to, or accept at confirmation or clearing. Even more universities plan to do so in the future. Contextualised admissions policies are considered by many commentators to be intrinsically fairer, and to represent a potentially powerful means of addressing the persistent under-representation of HE students from less advantaged backgrounds, but their impact has not yet been rigorously evaluated. In order to be effective, the indicators must be accurate, appropriate, and complete, and policies for their use must demonstrably widen participation, presumably without compromising student achievement. This paper reviews the indicators available for judging context, and the existing evidence base on how contextually-identified students perform in higher education. It illustrates the considerable difficulties of using any available indicators, alone or in combination, in terms of trustworthiness. And it explains how their use could introduce new injustices while tackling merely the symptoms of stratified participation in HE. This is far from a counsel of despair. We need to widen participation and the use of context stills shows considerable promise. The paper therefore presents the case for a new study by the authors, looking at which of the available contextual indicators are best in practice, and what difference their use would really make to widening participation at HE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Widening Participation in Higher Education)
Article
Teenagers’ Expectations of Applying to University: How do they Change?
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 281-305; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040281 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3455
Abstract
We show how young people’s expectations about application to university change during the teenage years, drawing on the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE). We reveal the pattern of change by family background, prior attainment at the end of primary school [...] Read more.
We show how young people’s expectations about application to university change during the teenage years, drawing on the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE). We reveal the pattern of change by family background, prior attainment at the end of primary school (measured by Key Stage 2 tests) and, critically, the combination of the two. We document the relationship between expectations about university application and the decision on whether to stay on in full-time education at 16. We point to the importance of schools in sustaining or changing expectations. We relate the expectations reported by the teenagers in LSYPE to their actual university application decisions by age 20 or 21. Expectations are high but not universally high. Family background gaps in expectations widen during the teenage years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Widening Participation in Higher Education)
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Article
To What Extent do Biology Textbooks Contribute to Scientific Literacy? Criteria for Analysing Science-Technology-Society-Environment Issues
Educ. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 255-280; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci5040255 - 20 Oct 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3514
Abstract
Our article proposes a set of six criteria for analysing science-technology-society-environment (STSE) issues in regular textbooks as to how they are expected to contribute to students’ scientific literacy. We chose genetics and gene technology as fields prolific in STSE issues. We derived our [...] Read more.
Our article proposes a set of six criteria for analysing science-technology-society-environment (STSE) issues in regular textbooks as to how they are expected to contribute to students’ scientific literacy. We chose genetics and gene technology as fields prolific in STSE issues. We derived our criteria (including 26 sub-criteria) from a literature review of the debate in science education on how to increase scientific literacy. We inspected the textbooks regarding the relationships between science, technology, society, and environment, and considered the presence of the decontextualized and socially neutral view of science as distorted view. We, qualitatively and quantitatively, applied our set of criteria to two German Biology textbooks and identified, in total, 718 STSE statements. Based on the frequencies of different criteria and sub-criteria in the textbooks, we drew conclusions concerning STSE issues and the underlying conceptions of science and technology, which might hinder the furtherance of scientific literacy. The applicability of our approach in other science education contexts is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 2-MEV Model Monitoring Green Attitudes)
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