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Educ. Sci., Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2016)

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Open AccessEditorial
Categories, Boundaries, and Bridges: The Social Geography of Schooling and the Need for New Institutional Designs
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030032
Received: 3 September 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2017 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As unprecedented child and family migration patterns continue, neighborhoods, hamlets, towns, cities, states/provinces, and entire nations are impacted. These impacts are especially profound when migrants’ first language is not the host nation’s dominant one; when they relocate in communities already challenged by poverty, [...] Read more.
As unprecedented child and family migration patterns continue, neighborhoods, hamlets, towns, cities, states/provinces, and entire nations are impacted. These impacts are especially profound when migrants’ first language is not the host nation’s dominant one; when they relocate in communities already challenged by poverty, social exclusion, and social isolation; and when educator-controlled, standardized, stand-alone schools continue to focus exclusively on teacher-directed, academic learning during the school day. Under these circumstances, standardized schools struggle to achieve desirable results, making it clear that relations between schools and their host locales are consequential for everyone. Using the United States as a case example, this introductory analysis provides an appreciative framework for the new designs presented in this Special Issue of Education Sciences. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Slow Shift—Developing Provisions for Talented Students in Scandinavian Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030031
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 30 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 10 September 2016
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Abstract
For decades, Scandinavian culture effectively prohibited the development of special provisions for talented students in higher education. However, in recent years, a cultural shift has gradually made more room for excellence and talent development in the national discourses. This paper analyzes the climate [...] Read more.
For decades, Scandinavian culture effectively prohibited the development of special provisions for talented students in higher education. However, in recent years, a cultural shift has gradually made more room for excellence and talent development in the national discourses. This paper analyzes the climate for talent development in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Following a first inventory of honors programs in Scandinavian higher education in which the only programs were found in Denmark, 10 experts were interviewed to analyze their national situation and reflect on the leading role of Denmark. In this country, external incentives, focus on quality, pioneers, and an open atmosphere were found to produce a culture more appreciative of excellence over the last decade. Starting from the Danish experience, the situation in Norway and Sweden is analyzed, showing that the combination of factors leading to change in Denmark is not yet present here. Lessons for other countries are highlighted, notably the importance of sharing information and exchanging knowledge at an international level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gifted and Talented and Creativity Research)
Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Effectiveness of Group Work in Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030030
Received: 23 June 2016 / Revised: 11 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
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Abstract
Group work permits students to develop a range of critical thinking, analytical and communication skills; effective team work; appreciation and respect for other views, techniques and problem-solving methods, all of which promote active learning and enhance student learning. This paper presents an evaluation [...] Read more.
Group work permits students to develop a range of critical thinking, analytical and communication skills; effective team work; appreciation and respect for other views, techniques and problem-solving methods, all of which promote active learning and enhance student learning. This paper presents an evaluation of employing the didactic and pedagogical customs of group work in mathematics with the aim of improving student performance as well as exploring students’ perceptions of working in groups. The evaluation of group work was carried out during tutorial time with first year civil engineering students undertaking a mathematics module in their second semester. The aim was to investigate whether group work learning can help students gain a deeper understanding of the module content, develop improved critical and analytical thinking skills and see if this method of pedagogy can produce higher performance levels. The group work sessions were conducted over four weeks whilst studying the topic of integration. Evaluation surveys were collected at the end of the intervention along with an investigation into the examination results from the end of semester examinations. In order to derive plausible and reasonable conclusions, these examination results were compared with an analogous cohort of first year mathematics students, also studying integration in their engineering-based degree. The investigation into the effectiveness of group work showed interesting and encouraging positive outcomes, supported by a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hypertext or Textbook: Effects on Motivation and Gain in Knowledge
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030029
Received: 4 April 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
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Abstract
Computers are considered innovative in classrooms, raising expectations of increased cognitive learning outcomes or motivation with effects on Deeper Learning (DL). The “new medium”, however, may cause cognitive overloads. Combined with gender-related variations in ability, self-efficacy or self-confidence, computers may even diminish learning [...] Read more.
Computers are considered innovative in classrooms, raising expectations of increased cognitive learning outcomes or motivation with effects on Deeper Learning (DL). The “new medium”, however, may cause cognitive overloads. Combined with gender-related variations in ability, self-efficacy or self-confidence, computers may even diminish learning effects. Our empirical study used a quasi-experimental design and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) to monitor efficacy in knowledge gain and motivation when using computer-aided versus textbook-based educational units. Our sample consisted of 393 eighth graders. One objective focused on gender effects associated with autonomous teacher-assisted learning via interactive software or an appropriate textbook. Both groups finished with a recapitulation with the teacher. A third group concluded a computer-aided lesson with a computer quiz. To provide evidence for DL we tested long-term memory after six weeks and examined its correlation with intrinsic motivation factors. In general, our intervention affected the girls’ but not the boys’ intrinsic motivation. We recorded significantly higher post-test scores in the textbook-based lesson, but the differences vanished in the retention test. The teacher-assisted consolidation phase increased long-term knowledge and positively intervened with the students’ interest. Thus, we found evidence for DL. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Institutional Resources and Agency to Support Graduate Students’ Success at a Hispanic Serving Institution
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030028
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
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Abstract
There is a growing body of evidence that links increased social capital to minority student success in college. This paper seeks to expand specifically on the graduate experience of underrepresented minorities (URM) at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) using the social capital framework. [...] Read more.
There is a growing body of evidence that links increased social capital to minority student success in college. This paper seeks to expand specifically on the graduate experience of underrepresented minorities (URM) at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) using the social capital framework. In a cross-sectional survey, 198 graduate students retrospectively considered the role of institutional resources and agents in their success towards graduation. Data revealed that motivational factors such as a sense of personal achievement, family support, peer support, career promotion, supportive faculty, program satisfaction, and faculty mentor played critical roles in the success of graduate students at HSI. Specifically, Latino students are more likely to report that faculty mentors played a significant role in their success compared to their non-Latino peers χ2(1, N = 195) = 5.33, p = 0.02. Latinos/as were also more likely to use writing support services than their non-Latino/a peers χ2(2, N = 190) = 7.59, p = 0.02. By identifying and increasing access to institutional resources and agents, underrepresented minorities in post-baccalaureate programs may encounter less barriers to graduate degree success. Full article
Open AccessReview
Reflective Practice in Healthcare Education: An Umbrella Review
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030027
Received: 14 February 2016 / Revised: 6 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4445 | PDF Full-text (549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reflection in healthcare education is an emerging topic with many recently published studies and reviews. This current systematic review of reviews (umbrella review) of this field explores the following aspects: which definitions and models are currently in use; how reflection impacts design, evaluation, [...] Read more.
Reflection in healthcare education is an emerging topic with many recently published studies and reviews. This current systematic review of reviews (umbrella review) of this field explores the following aspects: which definitions and models are currently in use; how reflection impacts design, evaluation, and assessment; and what future challenges must be addressed. Nineteen reviews satisfying the inclusion criteria were identified. Emerging themes include the following: reflection is currently regarded as self-reflection and critical reflection, and the epistemology-of-practice notion is less in tandem with the evidence-based medicine paradigm of modern science than expected. Reflective techniques that are recognised in multiple settings (e.g., summative, formative, group vs. individual) have been associated with learning, but assessment as a research topic, is associated with issues of validity, reliability, and reproducibility. Future challenges include the epistemology of reflection in healthcare education and the development of approaches for practising and assessing reflection without loss of theoretical background. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“We’re One Team”: Examining Community School Implementation Strategies in Oakland
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030026
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
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Abstract
The community school model posits that the traditional school model is not sufficient to overcome the role of poverty in equitable access to learning, and that improving student achievement requires addressing the needs of the whole child. By leveraging community partnerships to address [...] Read more.
The community school model posits that the traditional school model is not sufficient to overcome the role of poverty in equitable access to learning, and that improving student achievement requires addressing the needs of the whole child. By leveraging community partnerships to address student barriers to learning and shift relationships between schools, families, and community, the community school model represents an expanded vision of what schools are, who they include, and what they are responsible for. This paper aims to improve our understanding of community school implementation, based on qualitative research in five community schools in Oakland, California. We apply the Children’s Aid Society’s framework of four community school capacities including: (1) comprehensiveness; (2) collaboration; (3) coherence; and (4) commitment (Lubell, 2011) in our analysis. We find evidence of a collaborative culture, in which school and community partner staff worked together across traditional boundaries to serve students. Schools showed signs of coherence of vision and goals, and alignment of services and supports with the instructional core of the school. Community school strategies not only provided important school-based services but also represented an expansion of the traditional school model by leveraging and aligning community partners to improve student outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MOOCs as Change Agents to Boost Innovation in Higher Education Learning Arenas
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030025
Received: 3 April 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 6 August 2016
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Abstract
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) provide opportunities for learners to benefit from initiatives that are promoted by prestigious universities worldwide. The introduction of MOOCs in 2008 has since then transformed education globally. Consequently, MOOCs should be acknowledged as a pedagogical innovation and recognized [...] Read more.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) provide opportunities for learners to benefit from initiatives that are promoted by prestigious universities worldwide. The introduction of MOOCs in 2008 has since then transformed education globally. Consequently, MOOCs should be acknowledged as a pedagogical innovation and recognized as change agents and facilitators in the transition of opening up education, in the transition from traditional campus education to open online learning arenas, which increases learners’ access to and equity in lifelong learning. There is a need to consider MOOCs as a natural part of universities’ course offerings and business models and to recognize MOOCs as valuable for learners. Furthermore, MOOCs should be regarded as valuable learning and educational initiatives in the same way that journals and books are recognized. Learners should be able to take MOOCs either at their own university or from other providers. Moreover, MOOCs should be valued in policies, strategies, and action plans, and they should be included in processes of quality enhancement and quality assurance. This paper points out the merits of the innovative use of MOOCs in higher education. In this qualitative literature research, a content method analysis was conducted through a systematic review of the literature. Through the findings from the literature research it is suggested that MOOCs could be permanent change agents that boost innovation in higher education learning arenas. In particular, the findings revealed the benefits of MOOCs in various areas, such as lifelong learning, professional competence development, validation of learning, and degree recognition, in addition to clarifying several business models of higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Massive Open Online Courses)
Open AccessArticle
Relations between Child Poverty and New Migrant Child Status, Academic Attainment and Social Participation: Insights Using Social Capital Theory
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030024
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 1 August 2016
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Abstract
Currently, around one in five children in the United Kingdom and the United States live in poverty. This has a devastating effect on their wellbeing, education and broader socio-political participation, and life chances. In this paper, Scottish policy documentary data are used to [...] Read more.
Currently, around one in five children in the United Kingdom and the United States live in poverty. This has a devastating effect on their wellbeing, education and broader socio-political participation, and life chances. In this paper, Scottish policy documentary data are used to discuss the effects of relations amongst categories of children in poverty, migrant child status, and academic under-attainment. The study draws on social capital and intersectionalities theory to explore some of the power and knowledge relations that are effects of policy statements. The paper concludes by suggesting that addressing the issues of poverty and educational under-attainment, including for migrant children, requires a policy strategy beyond education. Disconnections across social, cultural, and economic child policy need to be redesigned in order to change the very real socio-economic-cultural-political relations which policy produces; these relations can lead to either high levels of social participation and potential academic attainment of new arrival children or to their social exclusion. Accordingly, knowledge practices aiming to improve the socio-economic-cultural-political inclusion of migrant children make central the conditions and experiences constitutive of new migrants’ lived social lives. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Latin Functionalist Dictionary as a Self-Learning Language Device: Previous Experiences to Digitalization
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030023
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract
The application of a methodology based on S.C. Dik’s Functionalist Grammar linguistic principles, which is addressed to the teaching of Latin to secondary students, has resulted in a quantitative improvement in students’ acquisition process of knowledge. To do so, we have used a [...] Read more.
The application of a methodology based on S.C. Dik’s Functionalist Grammar linguistic principles, which is addressed to the teaching of Latin to secondary students, has resulted in a quantitative improvement in students’ acquisition process of knowledge. To do so, we have used a self-learning tool, an ad hoc dictionary, of which the use in different practices has made students understand, at a basic level, the functioning of this language. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue e-Vocabularies and e-Learning)
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Open AccessArticle
A Virtual Social Learner Community—Constitutive Element of MOOCs
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030022
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 14 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have seen enormous growth throughout the last four years. This format has fundamentally enriched the traditional method of web-based teaching and e-learning. Nevertheless, there have always been skeptical voices who announce the “death of MOOCs”. We do not [...] Read more.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have seen enormous growth throughout the last four years. This format has fundamentally enriched the traditional method of web-based teaching and e-learning. Nevertheless, there have always been skeptical voices who announce the “death of MOOCs”. We do not believe in this pessimistic scenario and in this article we will explain how we came to this conclusion. E-learning already existed long before the arrival of the first MOOC. However, e-learning has often shown itself to be merely a source of downloadable learning material, leaving the learner alone in the learning phase. To get through an e-learning program and to actually finish it requires a high level of discipline and motivation. In this way, e-learning has proven itself as a learning method mainly with autodidacts. How have MOOCs changed the landscape of e-learning offers? The evolving MOOC format now combines interactive elements with short video lectures. This is done in a new and playful way with a strong focus on community building. The secret of MOOCs lies in their open accessibility and their incorporation of learning content with social media. The goal of this paper is to describe how MOOCs enforce e-learning activity in a virtual social community—whose importance for learning cannot be over-emphasized. We point out the social learning features currently used in MOOCs and the next steps that must be taken to further improve them. This article is based on the experiences we have made with the MOOC platforms openHPI and openSAP, both powered by the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perfectionism, Coping, and Underachievement in Gifted Adolescents: Avoidance vs. Approach Orientations
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030021
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
Perfectionism can influence how one approaches challenges and deals with setbacks, and, consequently, can inhibit or facilitate achievement. The present study (1) explored the relationship between Frost’s six dimensions of perfectionism and five types of coping strategies; (2) examined how dimensions of perfectionism [...] Read more.
Perfectionism can influence how one approaches challenges and deals with setbacks, and, consequently, can inhibit or facilitate achievement. The present study (1) explored the relationship between Frost’s six dimensions of perfectionism and five types of coping strategies; (2) examined how dimensions of perfectionism predict coping in response to academic stress; and (3) investigated differences between gifted underachievers and other gifted students on perfectionism and coping among 130 American gifted students in grades 6–8. Results of stepwise regression models revealed approach coping was predicted by adaptive perfectionism (Positive Strivings-notably Organization), whereas avoidance coping (Internalizing, Externalizing, and Distancing) was predicted by various combined models. Gifted underachievers displayed lower Positive Strivings perfectionism scores and lower positive coping when compared to achievers. This information is helpful when considering ways to guide gifted students to high levels of academic achievement while utilizing adaptive approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gifted and Talented and Creativity Research)
Open AccessArticle
Networked Social Enterprises: A New Model of Community Schooling for Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Facing Challenging Times
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(3), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci6030020
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
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Abstract
Community schools have long been accepted as an institutional mechanism for intervening in the relationship between poverty, poor educational outcomes, and limited life chances. At a time when public services are being retracted, and disadvantaged places are being increasingly left to struggle, community [...] Read more.
Community schools have long been accepted as an institutional mechanism for intervening in the relationship between poverty, poor educational outcomes, and limited life chances. At a time when public services are being retracted, and disadvantaged places are being increasingly left to struggle, community schools are poised to become more important in offering a response to the needs of children, families, and communities in these places. Yet, despite their apparent promise, community schools remain badly under-conceptualized. As an international field, research on community schooling has rarely articulated or questioned how—by providing additional learning and leisure opportunities and personal and social supports—community schools might create a viable intervention in the relationship between poverty and poor outcomes. This paper explicitly addresses this significant challenge. Conceptualizing empirical findings emerging from a research-practice partnership, it identifies the core features of a new institutional design for community schools which can help to clarify their potential contribution to addressing disadvantage. Marking a considerable shift from a traditional design of simply adding new services to the school day, it argues that community schools will need to operate as social enterprises with networked governance arrangements, and to develop strategies which engage with children’s social ecologies, and are risk-reducing and resilience-building within these. This, in turn, sets a new agenda for significantly advancing the field of community schooling by further defining—conceptually and empirically—the core elements of a new institutional design as identified here. Full article
Educ. Sci. EISSN 2227-7102 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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