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Educ. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Open AccessArticle From “Goal-Orientated, Strong and Decisive Leader” to “Collaborative and Communicative Listener”. Gendered Shifts in Vice-Chancellor Ideals, 1990–2018
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020090
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Applying a critical gendered lens, this article examines academic leadership ideals. It draws on a content analysis of job advertisements for Vice-Chancellors at Swedish higher education institutions from 1990 until 2018. The aim of the article is to investigate to what extent masculine
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Applying a critical gendered lens, this article examines academic leadership ideals. It draws on a content analysis of job advertisements for Vice-Chancellors at Swedish higher education institutions from 1990 until 2018. The aim of the article is to investigate to what extent masculine or feminine wordings have been used to describe the ideal Vice-Chancellor in these documents. The analysis reveals that a shift in the leadership ideal has taken place during the time period investigated. Before this shift, during the 1990s, the ideal Vice-Chancellor was described as competitive, bold, strong, tough, decisive, driven, and assertive. These wordings are still included in the job advertisements from the 2000s and the 2010s. However, a more communicative and collaborative leadership ideal also emerges during these decades. There is thus a significant shift in how the leadership ideal is described. This shift is analyzed from a gendered perspective, suggesting that the traditional masculine-biased leadership ideal has decreased in influence with the feminine, transformational leadership ideal acting as a counterweight. The article argues that the shift in leadership ideals, as constructed in the job advertisements, mirrors the increase of women Vice-Chancellors appointed in the Swedish higher education sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Physical Education and Play Applications on School Social Behaviors of Mild-Level Intellectually Disabled Children
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020089
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 18 June 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the influences of physical education and play practices on the school social behavior of mild-level intellectually disabled children. The quantitative research methods used were based on the pre-test, post-test, post-test-retention control group model and the
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The aim of this study was to examine the influences of physical education and play practices on the school social behavior of mild-level intellectually disabled children. The quantitative research methods used were based on the pre-test, post-test, post-test-retention control group model and the general screening model. A simple random sampling type was used when constructing the sample group. To determine school social behavior, the School Social Behavior Scale (SSBS) was used. Physical education and play lessons were applied for two hours per week for 24 weeks with the purpose of obtaining data from these scales when applied to participants. The study sample group included 20 mild-level intellectually disabled children (14 boys, 6 girls), aged seven to nine years, who were trained at the Special Education and Rehabilitation Center that serves the County of Kocaeli, in the district of Izmit, Turkey. According to the results of the SSBS, we found a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) between the social competence of present persons’ interpersonal relations, self-control, and academic skills, and the aggressive-nervous persons in the sub-dimensions of negative social behaviors, in favor of the test group. However, no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the antisocial-aggressive and destructive-demanding sub-dimensions was observed. We found that 24-week physical education and playing practices applied to mild-level intellectually disabled children had effects on children’s school social behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Valorization of Physical Education)
Open AccessArticle To Understand the “Brazilian Way” of School Management: How National Culture Influences the Organizational Culture and School Leadership
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020088
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to identify characteristics of national culture in the culture of Brazilian school management and leadership. Considering the broad literature that deals with the peculiarities of Brazilian culture and its influence on Brazilian management, it is assumed that as an institution
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This study aims to identify characteristics of national culture in the culture of Brazilian school management and leadership. Considering the broad literature that deals with the peculiarities of Brazilian culture and its influence on Brazilian management, it is assumed that as an institution belonging to a particular society, the school offers internal dynamics that are organized under influences of historical and cultural determinants of this society. This work is an exploratory study that uses secondary data found in studies on the profiles of principals, leadership, climate, and organizational culture in schools and primary data from research applied in public secondary schools located in the Federal District, Brazil. The results demonstrate that the initial premise—national culture influences the organizational culture and school leadership—has been confirmed and aspects that merit further analysis are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Societal Culture and Educational/School Leadership)
Open AccessConcept Paper Productive Disruptions: Rethinking the Role of Off-Task Interactions in Collaborative Mathematics Learning
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020087
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper confronts the myth that all off-task interactions in mathematics classrooms is detrimental to learning. To do so, this paper first explores links between participation, learning, and identity in mathematics education research that points to the importance of positional resources. Positional
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This paper confronts the myth that all off-task interactions in mathematics classrooms is detrimental to learning. To do so, this paper first explores links between participation, learning, and identity in mathematics education research that points to the importance of positional resources. Positional resources are related to identity processes and carry central functions that regulate learning and doing mathematics together. The paper then frames off-task behavior as an important positional resource in collaborative mathematics learning environments. With these ideas in mind, the paper then closes with new questions for research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dispelling Myths about Mathematics)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Constraints that Occur during Participation in Leisure Activities by High School Students: A Sample of Turkey
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020086
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this research was to determine the factors that may prevent high school students from participating in recreational activities and to investigate whether these factors differ within the scope of various variables. This study consisted of 1459 (681 women and 778
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The aim of this research was to determine the factors that may prevent high school students from participating in recreational activities and to investigate whether these factors differ within the scope of various variables. This study consisted of 1459 (681 women and 778 men) student volunteers who are educated to high school level. The easy sampling method was preferred in the present study. The face-to-face survey method was used to collect the data. The “Leisure Constraints Scale” developed by Alexandris and Carroll (1997) and adapted to Turkish by Gürbüz, Öncü, and Emir (2012) was used to determine the factors that might prevent individuals from participating in leisure activities. The data obtained for the research were first transferred to a computer and then analyzed by the SPSS program. The error margin level in the study was taken as p < 0.05. The Cronbach alpha of the study was found to be 0.91. As a result, it was found that women participated in leisure activities more than men. It was also observed that the participants met with more leisure constraints in Turkey’s eastern regions. Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper Myths of Priority and Unity in Mathematics Learning
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020085
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
How people see the world, even how they research it, is influenced by beliefs. Some beliefs are conscious and the result of research, or at least amenable to research. Others are largely invisible. They may feel like “common knowledge” (though myth, not knowledge),
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How people see the world, even how they research it, is influenced by beliefs. Some beliefs are conscious and the result of research, or at least amenable to research. Others are largely invisible. They may feel like “common knowledge” (though myth, not knowledge), unrecognized premises that are part of the surrounding culture. As we will explain, people also hold ideas in both a detailed form and in a thumbnail image and may not notice when they are using the low-resolution image in place of the full picture. In either case, unrecognized myths about how young learners develop mathematical ideas naturally or with instruction are insidious in that they persist unconsciously and so sway research and practice without being examined rigorously. People are naturally oblivious to the ramifications of unrecognized premises (myths) until they encounter an anomaly that cannot be explained without reexamining those premises. Like all disciplines, mathematics education is shaped and constrained by its myths. This article is a conceptual piece. It uses informally gathered (but reproducible) classroom examples to elaborate on two myths about mathematics learning that can interfere with teaching and can escape the scrutiny of empirical research. Our goal is to give evidence to expand the questions researchers think to pose and to encourage thoughtful reappraisal of the implications of the myths. The myths we will discuss involve the order in which mathematical ideas are learnable and the “unity” of mathematical topics, with special attention to algebra. With examples, we will show that some ideas develop at a strikingly counterintuitive and early time. Taking advantage of such unexpectedly early developments can let educators devise pedagogies that build on the logic young children already have rather than predicating learning on statistically observed learning patterns or even the apparent structure of mathematics. Acknowledging such early developments might change the questions researchers ask and change how they study children’s mathematical learning, with the possible result of changing how children are taught. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Technical Efficiency of High Schools: The Case of a Greek Prefecture
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020084
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
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Abstract
Scarce human and fiscal resources of high value are spent in the field of education. Thus, the concept of efficiency, and particularly technical efficiency, that refers to the maximization of outputs at a given set of inputs, can be a possible contribution to
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Scarce human and fiscal resources of high value are spent in the field of education. Thus, the concept of efficiency, and particularly technical efficiency, that refers to the maximization of outputs at a given set of inputs, can be a possible contribution to the design of education policy and administration; mostly at a time of economic crisis as this in Greece, research could assist in formulating proposals on how resources are actually used within education structures/services, as well as in providing guidance to those responsible for the internal allocation of funds so as to secure greater educational results and benefits. The aim of this study is to measure the degree of technical efficiency of the 23 High Schools (Lyceums) in the Prefecture of Fthiotida in Greece, using the model of Data Envelopment Analysis and explore the factors that could interrelate with these measurements. The results provide evidence that a low percentage of school units (34.8%) achieves maximum technical efficiency. Proposals for improving the technical efficiency of the specific schools are also made. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Processing Image to Geographical Information Systems (PI2GIS)—A Learning Tool for QGIS
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020083
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
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Abstract
Education, together with science and technology, is the main driver of the progress and transformations of a country. The use of new technologies of learning can be applied to the classroom. Computer learning supports meaningful and long-term learning. Therefore, in the era of
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Education, together with science and technology, is the main driver of the progress and transformations of a country. The use of new technologies of learning can be applied to the classroom. Computer learning supports meaningful and long-term learning. Therefore, in the era of digital society and environmental issues, a relevant role is provided by open source software and free data that promote universality of knowledge. Earth observation (EO) data and remote sensing technologies are increasingly used to address the sustainable development goals. An important step for a full exploitation of this technology is to guarantee open software supporting a more universal use. The development of image processing plugins, which are able to be incorporated in Geographical Information System (GIS) software, is one of the strategies used on that front. The necessity of an intuitive and simple application, which allows the students to learn remote sensing, leads us to develop a GIS open source tool, which is integrated in an open source GIS software (QGIS), in order to automatically process and classify remote sensing images from a set of satellite input data. The application was tested in Vila Nova de Gaia municipality (Porto, Portugal) and Aveiro district (Portugal) considering Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Excellence in Engineering Education)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of an International Undergraduate Honors Course on Awareness of Global Justice
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020082
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
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Abstract
How can undergraduate students be prepared for global citizenship? This question was investigated in a mixed-methods case study of an international, blended one-semester course. Undergraduate honors students (N = 22) from the USA and the Netherlands collaborated to explore what it means
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How can undergraduate students be prepared for global citizenship? This question was investigated in a mixed-methods case study of an international, blended one-semester course. Undergraduate honors students (N = 22) from the USA and the Netherlands collaborated to explore what it means to be a member of the global community. Curriculum guidelines from the social justice oriented education for global citizenship were used to analyze the course’s program and focus the case study. The research questions were as follows: 1. How did the course relate to the curriculum guidelines? 2. What and how did students learn from the course? Analyses of the program showed that the course partly reflects the social justice oriented global citizenship education, in particular by addressing intercultural sensitivity and experiential learning. Quantitative measures in a pre-post design with control groups (N = 40) showed some growth in ethical sensitivity and social awareness. Qualitative measures indicated that participants developed a broader view on society and demonstrated a more open and active attitude towards others after the course. Experiential learning was considered a powerful aspect of the pedagogical approach. The results are discussed in relation to a developmental process whereby students gain awareness of global justice issues. Full article
Open AccessArticle Empirical Evidence Illuminating Gendered Regimes in UK Higher Education: Developing a New Conceptual Framework
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020081
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Debates on the absence of women in senior organizational roles continue to proliferate but relatively little attention is paid to the Higher Education (HE) context in which women in leadership roles are seriously under-represented. However, higher education is now central to UK political
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Debates on the absence of women in senior organizational roles continue to proliferate but relatively little attention is paid to the Higher Education (HE) context in which women in leadership roles are seriously under-represented. However, higher education is now central to UK political discourse given the growing controversy around student fees, vice chancellors’ remuneration’ and Brexit. This paper draws on a collaborative research study on the experiences of 105 senior women leaders across 3 UK Universities, which elicited accounts of constraints, successes and career highlights. Our research findings present empirical insights that expose the continuing gender inequalities most notable in senior Higher Education roles. Women’s accounts include stories of diverse experiences, on-going discriminatory practices and a failure to recognise the embedded gendered inequalities that continue to prevail in these institutions. Through a critical interrogation of the narratives of female professors and building on insights from a seminal paper by Broadbridge and Simpson a conceptual framework is offered as a heuristic device to capture critical and reflexive data in future studies of equality and inequality in leadership roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
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Open AccessArticle Teaching Pre-Service Teachers How to Utilize Web 2.0 Platforms to Support the Educational Needs of Students with Disabilities in General Education Classrooms
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020080
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Abstract
It is without question that technology in schools is here to stay. Educators have always been interested in the extent to which technology can be used to transform education and enhance student learning; however, the degree to which it is utilized in teacher
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It is without question that technology in schools is here to stay. Educators have always been interested in the extent to which technology can be used to transform education and enhance student learning; however, the degree to which it is utilized in teacher preparation programs for pre-service teachers in terms of Web 2.0 use with future students is under debate. Web 2.0 use can be a particularly interesting tool for teachers to use in differentiating instructional strategies for students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Therefore, it is worthwhile for teacher preparation programs to look at how Web 2.0 platforms can further support students in special education in such settings. The following study delineates data from a study of N = 82 pre-service teachers. Throughout the course of this study, all students were administered a pre- and post-survey that asked questions specific to current knowledge of Web 2.0 and the extent to which they thought it could be used in their future teaching practices. In addition, all students completed an assignment within their respective courses that embedded a specific Web 2.0 component. This assignment required pre-service teacher candidates to utilize the Pinterest platform to find and ‘pin’ educational materials specific to students with whom they will work with in future inclusive classrooms, relative to the various categories of special education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology Enhancing the Skills of Students with Disabilities)
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Open AccessArticle The Index Number Problem with DEA: Insights from European University Efficiency Data
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020079
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
An increasing effort has been put into dealing with the question of time-series analysis regarding institutional efficiency, including in the area of higher education. Universities are important institutions for economies and societies and are expected to provide excellence as well as efficiency in
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An increasing effort has been put into dealing with the question of time-series analysis regarding institutional efficiency, including in the area of higher education. Universities are important institutions for economies and societies and are expected to provide excellence as well as efficiency in their processes and outputs. This is reflected in the context of an increased global competitive environment by more refined international university rankings. Combining the two areas, this paper points towards a methodological challenge in comparing different ranking datasets for their use in a data envelopment analysis (DEA) Malmquist index time-series efficiency analysis, namely, index-based data compared to additive data. The problem is discussed in a theoretical framework and complemented with an empirical application: calculations for 70 European universities with budget and staff input data and different ranking output data for the timeframe of 2011–2016 show that there is no evidence for a specific index data problem. Important implications regarding university management and higher education policies are outlined. Efficiency improvements among the analyzed universities are significant but also unevenly distributed and not easy to obtain for individual institutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle SavingLife: An Educational Technology for Basic and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020078
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 20 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
The development of information and communication technologies and the accessibility of mobile devices has increased the possibilities of the teaching and learning process anywhere and anytime. Mobile and web application allows the production of constructive teaching and learning models in various educational settings,
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The development of information and communication technologies and the accessibility of mobile devices has increased the possibilities of the teaching and learning process anywhere and anytime. Mobile and web application allows the production of constructive teaching and learning models in various educational settings, showing the potential for active learning in health. The objective of this study was to present the design and development of an educational technology (SavingLife, a web, and mobile-based application) for learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation and advanced cardiovascular life support for adults. SavingLife is a technological production, based on the concept of virtual learning and problem-based learning approaches. SavingLife was developed using five phases (analyze, design, develop, implement, evaluate) of the instructional systems development process. The technology presents 10 scenarios and 12 simulations, covering different aspects of basic and advanced cardiac life support skills. The contents can be accessed in a non-linear way leaving the students free to build their knowledge based on their previous experience. Each scenario is presented through interactive tools such as scenario description, assessment, diagnose, intervention and re-evaluation. Animated ECG rhythms, text documents, images, and videos are provided to support procedural and active learning considering the real-life situations. Accessible equally on small to large devices with or without an internet connection, SavingLife offers a dynamic, interactive and flexible tool, placing students at the center of the learning process. SavingLife can contribute to the student’s learning in the assessment and management of basic and advanced cardiac life support for adults, in a safe and ethical way. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Application of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension among Female Educational Leaders
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020077
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
With the exponential advancement of technology, global sharing, industrialization and economic development, national and global cultures are becoming more collective. More importantly, this fundamental paradigm shift is affecting national and global educational leadership cultures. Therefore, the power/distance index (PDI); individualism versus collectivism (IDV);
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With the exponential advancement of technology, global sharing, industrialization and economic development, national and global cultures are becoming more collective. More importantly, this fundamental paradigm shift is affecting national and global educational leadership cultures. Therefore, the power/distance index (PDI); individualism versus collectivism (IDV); uncertainty avoidance index (UAI); masculinity/femininity (MAS); and long-term orientation versus short-term orientation (LTO); are of interest when considering national and global cultures. These cultural dimensions can be exemplified in the responses of eight female educational leaders: three Canadians and one from Jamaica and Trinidad; two Grenadians and one Lebanese. This qualitative methodology in the form of a phenomenological study found that all respondents displayed varying degrees of each aspect of Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions which can be charted along a continuum from high to low index factors. Each dimension is linked to different leadership styles. PDI is linked to servant leadership, IDV is linked to shared/participatory leadership, UAI is linked to transformational leadership and emergent leadership, and MAS is linked to people versus task-oriented leadership. In each case, the slight variances in responses reflect the microcosm of the macrocosm where each country’s particular culture is mirrored. Recommendations are made for a more androgynous leadership style as well as more androgynous socialization processes if national and global educational leadership cultures are to become less gendered and more instrumental and functional based on the demands of the particular environment. It is expected that a focus could be placed on transcultural rather than intercultural studies in leadership and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Societal Culture and Educational/School Leadership)
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Open AccessArticle ‘Culture’, ‘Context’, School Leadership and Entrepreneurialism: Evidence from Sixteen Countries
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020076
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
In the face of ongoing school budget cuts, increasing student numbers and national educational policy environments that demand more from schools, like it or not, school leaders are being forced to be much more market-oriented in their thinking and ways of being than
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In the face of ongoing school budget cuts, increasing student numbers and national educational policy environments that demand more from schools, like it or not, school leaders are being forced to be much more market-oriented in their thinking and ways of being than at any other time before. A school is an important site for social development, and in some communities in some countries, there may be only one school in an entire community. Nevertheless, as countries continue to grapple with reduced government funding on education, many schools risk the threat of closure. And, as education consumers (parents) and users (students) demand more and better value and results from schools, competition between schools have simultaneously increased. Thus, the environment in which school leaders’ work is requiring and fostering entrepreneurial leadership. The findings reported in this paper, derive from a larger sixteen country, five continent study of 61 school leaders on the “Nature of School Leadership”. The main conclusions presented in this paper are that, male and female school leaders approach entrepreneurial in very different ways; “national culture” and “national context” significantly influences and shape the work, and thus the attitudes and behaviours of school leaders, who must embrace entrepreneurialism as an essential skill, and a response to changes in school funding arrangements, and the changing role of education in national educational policy agendas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Societal Culture and Educational/School Leadership)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Women Rectors and Leadership Narratives: The Same Male Norm?
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020075
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper examines how two Portuguese women rectors constructed narratives on their path to leadership positions and their performance of leadership roles. The study is based on a qualitative empirical analysis based on life story interviews with two women rectors in Portugal. The
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This paper examines how two Portuguese women rectors constructed narratives on their path to leadership positions and their performance of leadership roles. The study is based on a qualitative empirical analysis based on life story interviews with two women rectors in Portugal. The results from this research suggest that women rectors tend to develop narratives about their professional route to the top as based on merit and hard work, and tend to classify their leadership experience as gender-neutral and grounded on the establishment of good relationships with their peers along their professional path. These narratives may contribute to reinforcing the male norm that leads other women to blame themselves for not being able to progress in their career, hindering the creation of an organisational environment that is open to the development of institutional policies to improve equal opportunities. Portugal is a very interesting case study, considering that despite the long history of its higher education system and the high participation of women in higher education, there were only two women rectors in the country until 2014. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle Learning Landscapes: Playing the Way to Learning and Engagement in Public Spaces
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020074
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Children from under-resourced communities regularly enter formal schooling lagging behind their peers. These deficits in areas such as language development, reading readiness, and even in the kind of spatial skills that predict later mathematical knowledge, may persist throughout their lifespan. To address such
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Children from under-resourced communities regularly enter formal schooling lagging behind their peers. These deficits in areas such as language development, reading readiness, and even in the kind of spatial skills that predict later mathematical knowledge, may persist throughout their lifespan. To address such gaps, policymakers have focused largely on schooling as the great equalizer. Yet, children only spend 20% of their waking hours in school. How can developmental scientists and educators address this “other 80%” for the benefit of children’s development? One answer is the Learning Landscapes initiative, which involves crafting carefully planned play experiences that focus on learning outcomes, particularly for children and families from under-resourced communities. Playful learning, a broad pedagogical approach featuring child-directed play methods, provides a unique way to foster learning and engagement organically within the built environment. Learning Landscapes already incorporates several well-documented projects. The Ultimate Block Party brought over 50,000 people to Central Park to engage in playful learning activities. Supermarkets became hotspots for caregiver-child interaction by simply adding prompts for caregiver-child interaction through signage in everyday “trapped” experiences. Urban Thinkscape transformed a bus stop and adjacent lot into a hub for playful learning while families were waiting for public transportation. Finally, Parkopolis is a life-size human board game that fosters STEM and reasoning skills in public spaces. This paper reflects on data from these projects while reflecting on lessons learned and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education)
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Open AccessReview Types, Topics and Trends: A Ten-Year Review of Research Journals in Science Education
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020073
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
All reviews are selective and this one restricts itself to content analysis of articles published between the beginning of 2005 and the end of 2014 in the premier, generalist, Science-education, research journals: International Journal of Science Education; Journal of Research in Science Teaching;
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All reviews are selective and this one restricts itself to content analysis of articles published between the beginning of 2005 and the end of 2014 in the premier, generalist, Science-education, research journals: International Journal of Science Education; Journal of Research in Science Teaching; Research in Science Education; Science Education, and Studies in Science Education. The analysis relies on coding of over 2000 abstracts in terms of research method, educational level, disciplinary context and research topic. Articles were tallied within each category for each journal to produce ranks indicating the relative output for that category. Presentation of results in two five-year spans (2005–2009 and 2010–2014) allows comment on variations in output across the ten years reviewed. Such broad reviews provide a useful spur to expert reflection while also mapping the field for novices attempting to enter it. A discussion of the themes of this Special Issue: Interactive Simulations and Innovative Pedagogy for Conceptual Understanding in Science Education provides one example of such use. The paper closes with a comparison with existing reviews and suggestions for further work. This research literature has claims to wider relevance because of its location on the boundary between Science and the Humanities. Full article
Open AccessCommentary “Indefensible, Illogical, and Unsupported”; Countering Deficit Mythologies about the Potential of Students with Learning Disabilities in Mathematics
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020072
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper describes two myths that circulate widely about the potential of students with Learning Disabilities to learn mathematics: (1) that students with Learning Disabilities cannot benefit from inquiry-based instruction in mathematics, and only from explicit instruction; and (2) that students with Learning
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This paper describes two myths that circulate widely about the potential of students with Learning Disabilities to learn mathematics: (1) that students with Learning Disabilities cannot benefit from inquiry-based instruction in mathematics, and only from explicit instruction; and (2) that students with Learning Disabilities cannot construct their own mathematical strategies and do not benefit from engaging with multiple strategies. In this paper, I will describe how these myths have developed, and identify research that counters these myths. I argue that these myths are the unintended consequences of deficit constructions of students with Learning Disabilities in educational research. Using neurodiversity to frame disability as diversity rather than deficit, I assert that students with Learning Disabilities can learn mathematics to the highest levels, and that these limiting mythologies hold them back. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dispelling Myths about Mathematics)
Open AccessArticle Myths of Early Math
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020071
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Myths about early education abound. Many beliefs people hold about early math have a grain of truth in them, but as a whole are not true—they are largely myths. But the myths persist, and many harm children. In this article, we address ubiquitous
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Myths about early education abound. Many beliefs people hold about early math have a grain of truth in them, but as a whole are not true—they are largely myths. But the myths persist, and many harm children. In this article, we address ubiquitous math myths that may be negatively affecting many young students. We conclude that avoiding the myths and listening to the findings of research and the wisdom of expert practice will serve both teachers and children well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dispelling Myths about Mathematics)
Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting MOOC Usage by Students in Selected Ghanaian Universities
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020070
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
There has been widespread criticism about the rates of participation of students enrolled on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), more importantly, the percentage of students who actively consume course materials from beginning to the end. The current study sought to investigate this trend
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There has been widespread criticism about the rates of participation of students enrolled on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), more importantly, the percentage of students who actively consume course materials from beginning to the end. The current study sought to investigate this trend by examining the factors that influence MOOC adoption and use by students in selected Ghanaian universities. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) was extended to develop a research model. A survey was conducted with 270 questionnaires administered to students who had been assigned MOOCs; 204 questionnaires were retrieved for analysis. Findings of the study show that MOOC usage intention is influenced by computer self-efficacy, performance expectancy, and system quality. Results also showed that MOOC usage is influenced by facilitating conditions, instructional quality, and MOOC usage intention. Social influence and effort expectancy were found not to have a significant influence on MOOC usage intention. The authors conclude that universities must have structures and resources in place to promote the use of MOOCs by students. Computer skills training should also be part of the educational curriculum at all levels. MOOC designers must ensure that the MOOCs have good instructional quality by using the right pedagogical approaches and also ensure that the sites and learning materials are of good quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Massive Open Online Courses)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Job Satisfaction on the Turnover Intent of Executive Level Central Office Administrators in Texas Public School Districts: A Quantitative Study of Work Related Constructs
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020069
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover intent of executive level central office administrators in Texas public school districts. For the intent of this study, executive level central office administrators were defined as staff members
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover intent of executive level central office administrators in Texas public school districts. For the intent of this study, executive level central office administrators were defined as staff members who serve in one of the following roles in a school district: assistant, associate, area, or deputy superintendent. The data were collected from a random sample of 234 participants in which survey instruments of job satisfaction and turnover intent were used. Each instrument was created on a five-point Likert scale. Based on the results of the study, it was concluded that a moderate inverse relationship exists between job satisfaction and turnover intent and job satisfaction explained 41.3% of an executive level central office administrator’s intent for turnover. Research related to this employee group is lacking. Therefore, not much is known regarding how it relates to their attitude towards work-related factors. Learning more about job satisfaction and turnover intention of these individuals could have long term implications since it relates to mitigating the shortage of superintendent candidates available to fill the growing number of vacancies as well as recruitment, retention, and increased work productivity of these staff. Full article
Open AccessArticle Solving Power Balance Problems in Single-Traction Tractors Using PTractor Plus 1.1, a Possible Learning Aid for Students of Agricultural Engineering
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020068
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 6 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Tractors are used to perform jobs that require different types of agricultural tools to be attached to their rear, to their front, or both. These tools may need to be dragged, towed, or suspended above ground, and sometimes require a power supply; this
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Tractors are used to perform jobs that require different types of agricultural tools to be attached to their rear, to their front, or both. These tools may need to be dragged, towed, or suspended above ground, and sometimes require a power supply; this is usually obtained via a hydraulic system or from the tractor’s power take-off system. When tractors have to work with such tools on different types of soils and on different slopes, the need arises to calculate the power the tractor engine will have to produce. In the classroom, this is normally calculated manually with the help of a calculator. This work, however, describes a computer program (written in Delphi and operating under Windows) that rapidly solves the most common types of power balance problems associated with single-traction tractors. The value of this software as a learning aid for students of agricultural engineering is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Excellence in Engineering Education)
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Open AccessArticle The StarT Project Competition from the Perspective of Mathematics and Academic Literacy
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020067
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
This article concerns mathematical project work in the context of Finnish StarT project competition. The focus is on how well pupils achieve the learning objective of their project work: learning mathematics and practicing 21st century skills. Development of the learning objectives is considered
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This article concerns mathematical project work in the context of Finnish StarT project competition. The focus is on how well pupils achieve the learning objective of their project work: learning mathematics and practicing 21st century skills. Development of the learning objectives is considered from the viewpoint of Finnish national core curriculum and evaluated using the framework of academic literacy. The research material consists of teams’ project reports, observation, and questionnaires. Project work in the StarT competition seems to develop the learning objectives of project-based learning: pupils practice 21st century skills while studying mathematical contents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Music Education for All: The raison d’être of Music Schools
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020066
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Music schools, centres of non-formal music education, bring music to people of all ages as they work to achieve their main objective of offering practical musical training, for both instruments and voice. Their activities are centred in the town or city in which
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Music schools, centres of non-formal music education, bring music to people of all ages as they work to achieve their main objective of offering practical musical training, for both instruments and voice. Their activities are centred in the town or city in which they are located, and their impact extends beyond the educational sphere: music schools are also a social force whose activities stimulate the local cultural scene. This study explores the work carried out by these schools in the Basque Country (Spain), where they have been operating for over 20 years. The analysis focuses on the range of music education they offer, their ability to respond to different demands and needs and how they relate to their social and educational environment. Furthermore, the paper examines whether music schools see other potential areas for growth and development and explores the factors that could positively or negatively impact their ability to achieve their objectives. The study adopts a description-oriented empirical-analytical methodology and applies the SWOT system. A total of 67 schools were included in the study. The results reveal the relevance of this ever-evolving model of education and confirm music schools as a key force in both music education and the sociocultural sphere in this country. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Myth That Only Brilliant People Are Good at Math and Its Implications for Diversity
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020065
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
A common misconception about math is that it requires raw intellectual talent or “brilliance.” Only students who possess this sort of brilliance are assumed to be capable of success in math-related subjects. This harmful myth has far-reaching consequences for the success of girls
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A common misconception about math is that it requires raw intellectual talent or “brilliance.” Only students who possess this sort of brilliance are assumed to be capable of success in math-related subjects. This harmful myth has far-reaching consequences for the success of girls and children from ethnic-minority backgrounds in these subjects. Because women and minorities are stereotyped as lacking brilliance, the myth that success in math requires this trait is a barrier that students from these groups have to overcome. In the first part of this paper, we detail the pervasiveness of this myth and explore its relation to gender and race gaps in math and beyond. In the second part, we highlight some potential sources of this myth in children’s everyday experiences and offer some strategies for debunking it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dispelling Myths about Mathematics)
Open AccessArticle Leading the Academic Department: A Mother–Daughter Story
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020064
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
This article is based on conversations between a mother and daughter about academic leadership. Both authors served in different time periods and at different career points as heads of departments (“chairs”) in Canadian universities. A literature review suggested that women’s academic leadership is
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This article is based on conversations between a mother and daughter about academic leadership. Both authors served in different time periods and at different career points as heads of departments (“chairs”) in Canadian universities. A literature review suggested that women’s academic leadership is a contested topic, especially in relation to organizational cultures and associated gendered expectations. New directions were identified, as scholars move towards comparative studies, poststructural theoretical approaches, analysis of neoliberal trends in universities, and awareness of variation among women. We noted that “Canada” was largely missing from most of the literature reviewed and that middle management had received less attention than senior roles. Our method was collaborative autoethnography, a means of sharing thoughts about one’s experiences and analyzing them with regard to wider social issues. Quotations are taken from a taped discussion in early 2018 and are organized around similarities and differences in our narratives. The conclusion raises issues about the difficulties associated with performing this particular middle management role; questions around the consequences of chairing for women in different age groups; the implications of increasing reliance on contingent academic labour; apparent differences between the Canadian experience and what has happened elsewhere; and promising directions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Leadership)
Open AccessArticle Against the Odds: Insights from a Statistician with Dyscalculia
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020063
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
Students with dyscalculia are typically thought of by both researchers and educators as having deficits. The deficit language permeates studies of dyscalculia as well as assessments and documentation of students in schools. In this paper, we offer an alternative to the dominant narrative.
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Students with dyscalculia are typically thought of by both researchers and educators as having deficits. The deficit language permeates studies of dyscalculia as well as assessments and documentation of students in schools. In this paper, we offer an alternative to the dominant narrative. We understand disabilities, and dyscalculia specifically, as resulting from cognitive differences—not deficits—which lead to issues of access. We provide a case study of Dylan (second author), an individual with dyscalculia who decided to major in statistics at University of California, Berkeley and become a statistician. Although she experienced significant issues of access—both in the standard tools used to do mathematics, and in navigating the structures at the university—she developed systems to enable her to compensate. She collaborated in this research enterprise in order to share with researchers, teachers, parents, and students her experiences with dyscalculia and how she was able to succeed in higher level mathematics. Informed by previous empirical work, we collected video recordings of Dylan’s deliberate efforts to share insights and strategies with another student with dyscalculia. In this work, Dylan challenges dominant and problematic myths about ability and mathematics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dispelling Myths about Mathematics)
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Open AccessArticle Does Student Proactivity Guarantee Positive Academic Results?
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020062
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the impact of students’ proactivity on academic performance based on a sample from students enrolled in an introductory course of Political Economy at the University of Seville (Spain) in three consecutive courses (2014–2015, 2015–2016 and 2016–2017). Proactivity is measured by
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This paper analyzes the impact of students’ proactivity on academic performance based on a sample from students enrolled in an introductory course of Political Economy at the University of Seville (Spain) in three consecutive courses (2014–2015, 2015–2016 and 2016–2017). Proactivity is measured by several indicators, such as class attendance, case-study oral presentation and its delivery in a foreign language, all of them being non-mandatory activities for students who have participated in the experiment. Specifically, this study aims to assess the impact of a student’s proactivity on two academic outcomes: (i) to pass or fail the exam; and (ii) the score obtained. Impact assessment has been performed using a probit and ordered multinomial logit models. The results show that a student’s proactivity measured by class attendance and case-study presentation significantly increases the probability of passing the exam, while the impact of using a foreign language seems to be non-significant. In relation to the score obtained, the proactivity measured through the case presentation raises the probability of obtaining a higher mark more than regular class attendance. Full article
Open AccessReview The Use of Technology to Assist School-Aged Students with High Incidence Special Needs in Reading
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8020061
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper delineates some of the ways students with high incidence special needs are currently being served with technology in the United States in K–12 to learn skills or accomplish tasks related to reading. Categories examined were read aloud tools, computer applications, traditional
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This paper delineates some of the ways students with high incidence special needs are currently being served with technology in the United States in K–12 to learn skills or accomplish tasks related to reading. Categories examined were read aloud tools, computer applications, traditional instructional methods that utilized technology, and online instructional environments. The categories examined in online instructional environments include the prevalence of students with special needs, how Individual Education Plan requirements, such as accommodations and modifications, are being addressed, parental participation, and concerns in the online environments. Suggestions for future work at the intersection of reading technology and teachers of students with special needs are included, as well as conclusions from the current work. Future work with teachers of students with special needs is required to help better serve their unique learning requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology Enhancing the Skills of Students with Disabilities)
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