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Educ. Sci., Volume 9, Issue 4 (December 2019) – 54 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A large body of scientific literature has addressed trainee teachers’ study and perceptions of as well as training and competence in ICTs. All these studies note the need for change within teaching qualifications so that they are suited to today’s information and communication society (ICS). Technology must be integrated appropriately in the educational context by following teaching and learning models that propose the correct inclusion of technology, like the TPACK framework. We believe that it is essential to understand the use of ICTs and LKTs in the university faculties and schools where teachers are trained, as well as to assess their technological competence in order to analyze their adaptation to changes in the ICS of the twenty-first century. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Teacher Attrition: Differences in Stakeholder Perceptions of Teacher Work Conditions
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040300 - 15 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify differences in perceptions between three stakeholder groups—principals, K-12 teachers, and parents—regarding the effect of workplace conditions on teacher attrition. All three groups agreed that workplace conditions are important, but they disagreed about (a) which workplace [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify differences in perceptions between three stakeholder groups—principals, K-12 teachers, and parents—regarding the effect of workplace conditions on teacher attrition. All three groups agreed that workplace conditions are important, but they disagreed about (a) which workplace conditions are most problematic for teachers, (b) the magnitude of these problems, and (c) the degree to which these problems may contribute to teachers leaving. The greatest disagreements occurred in perceptions of (a) teachers’ involvement in decision-making, (b) protection of teacher preparation time, (c) administration’s management of student discipline, (d) adequacy of resource availability, (e) the degree to which a trusting and supportive school environment existed within the school, and (f) whether teachers’ expectations were reasonable. Overall, principals believed that work conditions are relatively good for teachers, while many teachers disagreed with these perceptions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Gamification and Flipped-Classroom Program for Teachers in Training on Motivation and Learning Perception
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040299 - 15 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
We present the results of a training program with future Primary Education teachers on the impact on motivation and perception of learning achieved through strategies and techniques associated with gamma and flipped-classroom. The program was run in four classroom groups (n = [...] Read more.
We present the results of a training program with future Primary Education teachers on the impact on motivation and perception of learning achieved through strategies and techniques associated with gamma and flipped-classroom. The program was run in four classroom groups (n = 210) at the University of Murcia (Spain) and the aim was to analyze the effect that the gamification-based and flipped-classroom program has on motivation and learning. Information was collected through a perceptions questionnaire. Descriptive statistics are shown; mean tests (t of Student and ANOVA of a factor) and Pearson correlations between subscales. The data show a very positive impact on motivation, the learning achieved, and the strategies applied in the program. Some differences between group-class and gender are discussed, and some future improvements of the program are put forward. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Challenges for Teaching Wireless Communications Standards at the Graduate Level
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040298 - 15 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1274
Abstract
Telecom operators and companies ask for graduates with a specific education on the standards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) or the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and the University curricula must consider these needs. The standards are written [...] Read more.
Telecom operators and companies ask for graduates with a specific education on the standards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) or the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and the University curricula must consider these needs. The standards are written in a technical form, in a language understandable only by experts, and the technical details and algorithms are not often outlined. Therefore, a new educational methodology must be applied because the teachers have to bridge the gap between the basic knowledge (and the poor technical language) of students and the technical specifics of the standards. The paper presents a structured methodology to provide innovative teaching of the wireless standards for the Engineering Master’s degree, according to the Conceive, Design, Implement, and Operate (CDIO) initiative and project based learning. The methodology is organized in three learning phases to understand the standardization process and improve students’ skills to implement standard compliant communications systems. This challenge can be only won with laboratory activities to assist students in understanding wireless standards and with hands-on experiences during the internship period at telecom operators with the vision of a close cooperation between universities and telecom operators. Only in this way can the students achieve a solid background in designing and developing prototypes compliant with wireless communications standards and working skills for their future professional engineering careers. The effectiveness of the adopted educational methodology to provide innovative learning of wireless standards is evaluated by questionnaires filled in online by students and by the achieved skills implemented as confirmed by telecom operators. In this vision, the paper provides decision support to leaders in educational organizations to teach wireless standards effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering Education Addressing Professional Challenges)
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Open AccessArticle
Nonscientific University Students Training in General Science Using an Active-Learning Merged Pedagogy: Gamification in a Flipped Classroom
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040297 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2199
Abstract
Innovative teaching strategies are designing a new and promising landscape in education. They fill lessons with creativity and imagination for either the students or teachers. This article addresses an attempt to make the approach to science easier in a nonscientific environment: primary education [...] Read more.
Innovative teaching strategies are designing a new and promising landscape in education. They fill lessons with creativity and imagination for either the students or teachers. This article addresses an attempt to make the approach to science easier in a nonscientific environment: primary education at university level. Gamification methodologies were combined with a flipped classroom in order to free up in-class time and engage the students with the taught courses. A qualitative study was merged with quantitative measures of emotional and motivational parameters. These results were improved with four semistructured interviews. The results clearly showed a rise in the students’ motivational levels, an acknowledgment of good teaching practices, and an evident enhancement of felt positive emotions toward science teaching and scientific issues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Undergraduate Research into Social Science Curriculum: Benefits and Challenges of Two Models
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040296 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1321
Abstract
Evidence shows that undergraduate research is beneficial to students during their college years and beyond. This study evaluates two models for integrating undergraduate research into the college curriculum: (1) integrating a community-based research project into a social science course and (2) designing a [...] Read more.
Evidence shows that undergraduate research is beneficial to students during their college years and beyond. This study evaluates two models for integrating undergraduate research into the college curriculum: (1) integrating a community-based research project into a social science course and (2) designing a senior seminar course as an undergraduate research experience. Findings show that students benefit from a hands-on research experience that deepens their understanding of both survey methods and social issues. While, students who participated in the community-based research project enjoyed interacting with community members and learning about community concerns, students in the senior seminar research experience ranked all aspects of the research project more favorably than students participating in the community-based research project. We discuss the benefits and challenges of both models as well as the implications of these findings and the steps instructors can take to improve the learning experience of undergraduates in the social sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Re-Thinking the “Problem” in Inquiry-Based Pedagogies through Exemplarity and World-Oriented
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040295 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
This paper conducts a theoretical exploration of the inquiry-problem in problem-oriented pedagogies. Specifically, the article draws on a critical reflection of the addition of a global and internationalisation dimension to the problem-oriented project learning (PPL) pedagogic model at Roskilde University in Denmark. While [...] Read more.
This paper conducts a theoretical exploration of the inquiry-problem in problem-oriented pedagogies. Specifically, the article draws on a critical reflection of the addition of a global and internationalisation dimension to the problem-oriented project learning (PPL) pedagogic model at Roskilde University in Denmark. While the tradition of PPL has always promised a world-oriented and transformative alternative to traditional higher education, the article argues that this new global dimension presents an opportunity to renew the transformative potential of PPL. In particular, it argues that it can facilitate new ways of conceptualising the inquiry-problem in relation to the pedagogic idea of exemplary problems. Furthermore, problem-oriented approaches can generally be articulated with a more values-based conception of internationalisation and global justice, in order to enhance the transformative potential of these pedagogies. The article proposes that this enhanced conceptualization of world-orientation is an appropriate answer to the call for pedagogic responses to the existential threat posed by the climate crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Problem-based Pedagogies in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Didactic Focus Areas in Science Education Research
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040294 - 12 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1501
Abstract
This study provides an overview of the didactic focus areas in educational research in biology, chemistry and physics, seeking to identify the focus areas that are investigated frequently and those that have been studied rarely or not at all. We applied the didactic [...] Read more.
This study provides an overview of the didactic focus areas in educational research in biology, chemistry and physics, seeking to identify the focus areas that are investigated frequently and those that have been studied rarely or not at all. We applied the didactic focus-based categorization analysis method (DFCM), which is based on an extension of the didactic triangle. As the data set, we used 250 papers published in the Nordic Studies in Science Education (NorDiNa) between 2005 and 2013, and the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) 2013 conference proceedings covering education at upper secondary and tertiary levels. The results show that the teacher’s pedagogical actions and the student–content relationship were the most frequently studied aspects. On the other hand, teachers’ reflections on the students’ perceptions and attitudes about goals and content, and teachers’ conceptions of the students’ actions towards achieving the goals were studied least. Irrespective of the publication forum, the distributions of foci to different categories were quite similar. Our historical analysis completes the recent studies in the field as it is based on the theory driven categorization system instead of the data driven approaches used by the previous researchers. Moreover, our further observations on more recent publications suggest that no significant changes have taken place, and therefore wider discussion about the scope and the coverage of the research in science education is needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
‘It Depends’: Technology Use by Parent and Family Educators in the United States
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040293 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1320
Abstract
Using data from a national sample of parent and family educators in the US (n = 697), this comparative study examines professionals’ practices and technology-related attitudes, skill and workplace conditions. Overall, professionals report positive attitudes about the value of using technology in [...] Read more.
Using data from a national sample of parent and family educators in the US (n = 697), this comparative study examines professionals’ practices and technology-related attitudes, skill and workplace conditions. Overall, professionals report positive attitudes about the value of using technology in practice and view themselves as proficient. They most frequently use technologies like the email and document preparation software, and less frequently social media and even virtual reality. Workplace resources vary significantly, educators are not motivated by employer expectations and most report self-training as more valuable than formal sources. Mean comparisons by family educator type validate differences by context. Parenting educators, occasional family educators (e.g., teachers, counselors) and Family Life Educators vary from those in Higher Education/Administration. Those in Higher Education/Administration have more technology resources, report more positive attitudes, are more confident about their skills, and view formal technology training as useful. Conclusions suggest the need for the field of parent and family education to join other educational professions (e.g., licensed classroom teachers) to embrace technology use as a critical competency and advocate for the necessary resources in the preparation and ongoing service training of professionals. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Preparation of Stewards with the Mastery Rubric for Stewardship: Re-Envisioning the Formation of Scholars and Practitioners
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040292 - 09 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1248
Abstract
A steward of the discipline was originally defined as “someone who will creatively generate new knowledge, critically conserve valuable and useful ideas, and responsibly transform those understandings through writing, teaching, and application”. This construct was articulated to support and strengthen doctoral education. The [...] Read more.
A steward of the discipline was originally defined as “someone who will creatively generate new knowledge, critically conserve valuable and useful ideas, and responsibly transform those understandings through writing, teaching, and application”. This construct was articulated to support and strengthen doctoral education. The purpose of this paper is to expand the construct of stewardship so that it can be applied to both scholars and non-academic practitioners, and can be initiated earlier than doctoral education. To accomplish and justify this, we describe a general developmental trajectory supporting cross-curriculum teaching for stewardship of a discipline as well as of a profession. We argue that the most important features of stewardship, comprising the public trust for the future of their discipline or profession, are obtainable by all practitioners, and are not limited to those who have completed doctoral training. The developmental trajectory is defined using the Mastery Rubric construct, which requires articulating the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to be targeted with a curriculum; recognizable stages of performance of these KSAs; and performance level descriptors of each KSA at each stage. Concrete KSAs of stewardship that can be taught and practiced throughout the career (professional or scholarly) were derived directly from the original definition. We used the European guild structure’s stages of Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master for the trajectory, and through a consensus-based standard setting exercise, created performance level descriptors featuring development of Bloom’s taxonometric cognitive abilities (see Appendix A) for each KSA. Together, these create the Mastery Rubric for Stewardship (MR-S). The MR-S articulates how stewardly behavior can be cultivated and documented for individuals in any disciplinary curriculum, whether research-intensive (preparing “scholars”) or professional (preparing members of a profession or more generally for the work force). We qualitatively assess the validity of the MR-S by examining its applicability to, and concordance with professional practice standards in three diverse disciplinary examples: (1) History; (2) Statistics and Data Science; and (3) Neurosciences. These domains differ dramatically in terms of content and methodologies, but students in each discipline could either continue on to doctoral training and scholarship, or utilize doctoral or pre-doctoral training in other professions. The MR-S is highly aligned with the practice standards of all three of these domains, suggesting that stewardship can be meaningfully cultivated and utilized by those working in or outside of academia, supporting the initiation of stewardship prior to doctoral training and for all students, not only those who will earn PhDs or be scholars first and foremost. The MR-S can be used for curriculum development or revision in order to purposefully promote stewardship at all levels of higher education and beyond. The MR-S renders features of professional stewardship accessible to all practitioners, enabling formal and informal, as well as self-directed, development and refinement of a professional identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for the Professions in Times of Change )
Open AccessConcept Paper
Nature in the Eye of the Beholder: A Case Study for Cultural Humility as a Strategy to Broaden Participation in STEM
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040291 - 08 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines suffer from chronically low participation of women and underrepresented minorities. Diversity enhancement initiatives frequently attempt to mitigate skill deficits such as math skills in an attempt to improve preparedness of these students. However, such interventions do [...] Read more.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines suffer from chronically low participation of women and underrepresented minorities. Diversity enhancement initiatives frequently attempt to mitigate skill deficits such as math skills in an attempt to improve preparedness of these students. However, such interventions do not address cultural or social barriers that contribute to the isolation and marginalization that discourage continued participation in STEM. Science exists and is developed within social constructs.; because of this, cultural conflicts can occur pertaining to contrasting cultural belief systems between educators and students, or to socially-biased perspectives that are embedded in disciplinary values. These conflicts are implicated in the low recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in STEM. To address the relationship between culture and STEM diversity, I present a case study that examines the role of culturally-biased views of nature on the lack of diverse participation in ecology and environmental biology. I conclude by advocating the use of inclusive, culturally-sensitive teaching practices that can improve the climate for underrepresented students and increase diverse recruitment and retention in STEM. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Utilising the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Framework to Gauge Social Value in the Fast Forward Program
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040290 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1364
Abstract
A market paradigm shift towards a ‘knowledge-based economy’ means Australia is moving towards a major skills crisis whereby the workface will lack skills attainable from higher education. Moreover, those from low socio-economic backgrounds, and who are confronted with disadvantage, still face challenges in [...] Read more.
A market paradigm shift towards a ‘knowledge-based economy’ means Australia is moving towards a major skills crisis whereby the workface will lack skills attainable from higher education. Moreover, those from low socio-economic backgrounds, and who are confronted with disadvantage, still face challenges in gaining entry to university. The Fast Forward Program (FFP) aims to increase attainment of higher education for X high school students in years 9–12, with a focus on dismantling the social barriers preventing attainment. To achieve this aim, the program hosts a range of student and parent in-school workshops and on-campus visits. To capture the social impact of the program for all participants, the social return on investment (SROI) methodology was implemented. The SROI ratio is represented as a return in dollar value for every dollar invested; due to the success of the program, the investment represented $5.73 for every $1 spent. The key findings indicated that students and parents gained a deeper familiarity and understanding of university which, in turn, created a deeper confidence and motivation for students to enter higher education. Additionally, participants reported being able to better use their time to cater for study, and were more comfortable about going onto a university campus. Full article
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Open AccessReview
How do Online Learning Networks Emerge? A Review Study of Self-Organizing Network Effects in the Field of Networked Learning
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040289 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
In this article we want to understand in more detail how learning networks emerge in online networked learning environments. An adage in Networked Learning theory is that networked learning cannot be designed; it can only be designed for. This adage implicitly carries the [...] Read more.
In this article we want to understand in more detail how learning networks emerge in online networked learning environments. An adage in Networked Learning theory is that networked learning cannot be designed; it can only be designed for. This adage implicitly carries the idea that networked learning is seen as learning in which information and communication technology is used to promote (emergent) connections between learners and their peers, learners and tutors and learners and learning resources. Emergence entails a self-organizing component. However, there is no comprehensive understanding of how self-organizing network effects occur in networked learning environments, how they influence possible learning outcomes and how these network effects can be enhanced or frustrated by the design elements of different networked learning environments. By means of a review we investigate how the three most known self-organizing network effects occur in networked learning environments, namely preferential attachment, reciprocity and transitivity. Results show that in most studies self-organizing network effects are significantly present. Moreover we found important (design) elements related to the people, the physical environments and the tasks of the learning networks that could influence these self-organizing network effects. Studies that looked at learning outcomes are limited. Based on the review study future research directions for the field of Networked Learning are addressed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Entropy Analysis of Classroom Conditions Based on Mathematical Social Science
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040288 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1687
Abstract
In classroom management, it is well-known that students’ mental states are strongly related to classroom conditions. There are many ways to describe human behavior in mathematical modeling in sociology. In social science, a model to describe human behavior has been developed by an [...] Read more.
In classroom management, it is well-known that students’ mental states are strongly related to classroom conditions. There are many ways to describe human behavior in mathematical modeling in sociology. In social science, a model to describe human behavior has been developed by an analogy with the ferromagnetic spin model in statistical physics. Entropy, on the other hand, can express the order and/or disorder in many-body systems. The concept of entropy can be extended to continuous random variables in the information theory, which is called “differential entropy” and has been a powerful tool in many stochastic systems. Here, we show that classroom conditions can be expressed by the differential entropy, based on the model used in social science. To assess the applicability of this method to real classroom conditions, we investigated fluctuations in students’ minds with pictures and a questionnaire relating to school life, and then applied this to the present method, and calculated the differential entropy. The results correspond well with real classroom conditions, and suggest the usefulness of the present method. The significance of the present research is the proposal of a new method which has not yet been used in educational psychology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Academic Approach to Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Conditions for Enhancing Critical Thinking in Networked Learning: Findings from a Secondary School Learning Analytics Environment
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040287 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
Networked learning provides opportunities for learners to develop their critical thinking, an important 21st century competency, through dialogue with fellow learners to consider other perspectives and negotiate and critique ideas and arguments. However, much extant literature has not examined networked learning environments among [...] Read more.
Networked learning provides opportunities for learners to develop their critical thinking, an important 21st century competency, through dialogue with fellow learners to consider other perspectives and negotiate and critique ideas and arguments. However, much extant literature has not examined networked learning environments among younger learners nor the optimal conditions for enhancing critical thinking. Therefore, a study was carried out to investigate these conditions. A learning analytics networked learning environment was designed and 264 secondary three students participated in the 10-week long intervention as part of their English curriculum. Individual and collective social network metrics, critical reading scores, and self-reported survey data were used to quantitatively evaluate students’ critical reading performance in relation to their participation in networked learning. Results highlight several optimal conditions, notably that it is not just participation of the learner that enhances critical thinking but the learners’ reciprocity in replying and the distance of those posts in the network. Discussions and implications of the findings follow to provide insightful understanding of how the rich and complex settings of networked learning can enhance critical thinking capacities in secondary schooling. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Conclusion: Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Deafness
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040286 - 01 Dec 2019
Viewed by 1635
Abstract
As indicated in this Special Issue, there has been much debate on the development of English language and literacy in d/Deaf and hard of hearing (d/Dhh) students. Questions remain on the nature of the first language and the relation of this language to [...] Read more.
As indicated in this Special Issue, there has been much debate on the development of English language and literacy in d/Deaf and hard of hearing (d/Dhh) students. Questions remain on the nature of the first language and the relation of this language to the development of English literacy. There is also considerable controversy on the role of English phonology. Adding to the complexity is the increase of d/Dhh children for whom English is not the home language and the ongoing challenge of addressing the needs of those with disabilities or additional disabilities. After describing English literacy and the need for documenting desirable research characteristics, the authors of this conclusion article utilize a construct named the Qualitative Similarity Hypothesis (QSH) as the guiding framework for addressing issues such as the role of phonology and the nature of the through-the-air form of the language of print. The QSH asserts that d/Dhh students need to master the same set of fundamentals as typical English literacy learners. These fundamentals include code-related, language-related, and comprehension-related skills. One major assertion is that proficiency in the through-the-air form of English is essential for achieving proficiency in conventional English literacy skills. It is argued that the importance of English language proficiency has been emphasized in literacy models that delineate the strong connections among language, reading, and writing, even for second language learners of English or English learners. Another major assertion is that proficiency in English phonology is necessary (albeit not sufficient) for the development of emerging decoding skills. The use of English phonology facilitates the early and advanced literacy comprehension skills. The article concludes with recommendations for additional research, including the understanding of the visual representation of the structure of English, the development of comprehensive English language assessments, and the exploration of literacy-related skills such as decoding and comprehension. Finally, the validity of the QSH also needs to be further investigated. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Confirmatory Evaluation of an Educational Orientation Tool for Pre-University Students
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040285 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1195
Abstract
This study incorporates the design and validation of a questionnaire for the evaluation of Careers Advisory Services and the systematic processes that influence it (family, peer groups, socioeconomic status, etc.). In addition, it examines its psychometric properties within a multicultural population of students [...] Read more.
This study incorporates the design and validation of a questionnaire for the evaluation of Careers Advisory Services and the systematic processes that influence it (family, peer groups, socioeconomic status, etc.). In addition, it examines its psychometric properties within a multicultural population of students attending educational centres in the south of Spain. It seeks to create a valid instrument that is reliable as a measurement tool and useful for evaluating decision making situations relevant to the future working context. A perspective of working life is given through consideration of the degree choices made by those involved in the decision-making process. The metrics used showed high content and construct validity. Structural equation modelling (SEM) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were employed. Indicators described by Wald and Lagrange were used to examine and modify the model in order to obtain a model that best fits relevant theory and goodness of fit criteria. Full article
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Open AccessReview
If a Tree Falls: Business Students Learning Active Citizenship from Environmentalists
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040284 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1605
Abstract
This article presents and discusses student assignments reflecting on the documentary film If a Tree Falls, written as part of the Business Ethics and Sustainability course at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. This article follows two lines of inquiry. First, it challenges [...] Read more.
This article presents and discusses student assignments reflecting on the documentary film If a Tree Falls, written as part of the Business Ethics and Sustainability course at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. This article follows two lines of inquiry. First, it challenges mainstream environmental education, supporting critical pedagogy and ecopedagogy. These pedagogies, which advocate pedagogy for radical change, offer a distinct and valuable contribution to sustainability education, enabling students to critically examine normative assumptions, and learn about ethical relativity, and citizenship engagement from environmentalists. The discussion of “lessons of radical environmentalism” is pertinent to the question of what types of actions are likely to achieve the widely acceptable long-term societal change. While this article focuses on student reflection on a film about radical environmentalism, this article also discusses many forms of activism and raises the question of what can be considered effective activism and active citizenship in the context of the philosophy of (environmental or sustainability) education in connection didactics and curriculum studies. Second, this article argues for the need for reformed democracy and inclusive pluralism that recognizes the needs of nonhuman species, ecocentrism, and deep ecology. The connection between these two purposes is expressed in the design of the student assignment: It is described as a case study, which employs critical pedagogy and ecopedagogy. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Role of L2 and Cultural Mediation in the Inclusion of Immigrant Students in Italian Schools
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040283 - 28 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this research is to analyze the perception of teachers and their thinking about two specific and functional issues which are often deemed to be controversial, that is, the acquisition, by recently arrived migrant students of the host language and [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this research is to analyze the perception of teachers and their thinking about two specific and functional issues which are often deemed to be controversial, that is, the acquisition, by recently arrived migrant students of the host language and the role that the professional services of a cultural mediator may have in said school context. The methodology used has been a case study by means of the technique of in-depth interview. To this end, twelve teachers from an Italian comprehensive school in the region of Sicily who for several years have been immersed in the relatively abrupt arrival of immigrant students have been interviewed. Results: There is evidence of some teachers adopting the position from a classic epistemological approach in the field of interculturality. For example, while the attitude and involvement of teachers seems to be consolidated, the teachers think that a key element of real inclusion should include practical measures such as early immersion in the host language, in this case Italian, and that considerable and external professional efforts are necessary, particularly from cultural mediators, which could make the inclusive project more viable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intercultural Education)
Open AccessArticle
Teacher Recruitment: Factors That Predict High School Students’ Willingness to Become Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040282 - 28 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1290
Abstract
This study examines factors that influence high school students’ willingness to consider teaching as a career. Using predictive modeling, we identified five factors that are highly predictive of a students’ willingness to consider teaching and their belief that teaching is their best career [...] Read more.
This study examines factors that influence high school students’ willingness to consider teaching as a career. Using predictive modeling, we identified five factors that are highly predictive of a students’ willingness to consider teaching and their belief that teaching is their best career option. Results indicated that high school students were more likely to consider teaching when they had confidence in their ability to be good teachers, when family members and others encouraged them to become teachers, and when they felt their community supported teachers. Most of those who considered teaching thought of themselves as average students. Less impactful factors included gender and pay. Additionally, this study found students less likely to consider work conditions for teachers when making career choices. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Knowledge Acquisition of Biology and Physics University Students—the Role of Prior Knowledge
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040281 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
This study investigates the knowledge acquisition of biology and physics freshmen students with special regard to differences between high school (HS) high performing and low performing students. Our study is based on a prior knowledge model, which describes explicit knowledge as a composite [...] Read more.
This study investigates the knowledge acquisition of biology and physics freshmen students with special regard to differences between high school (HS) high performing and low performing students. Our study is based on a prior knowledge model, which describes explicit knowledge as a composite of four knowledge types: knowledge of facts, knowledge of meaning, integration of knowledge, and application of knowledge. As a first outcome-oriented approach, we operationalize knowledge acquisition via the changes in these knowledge types between the beginning and the end of the first year. To investigate the knowledge acquisition, a test set was constructed that covers these knowledge types. It was administered to 162 biology and 101 physics students at university. We used an Item Response Theory approach to scale the data. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to analyze the acquisition of the knowledge types. We separated HS low, medium, and high achievers by high school grade point average (HS GPA). The knowledge acquisition of the HS low achievers did not differ from other groups. However, the HS low achievers did not only start with less prior knowledge but also were not able to reach the prior knowledge of the HS high achievers within the first year. Our findings concerning knowledge acquisition may be used to support and improve students’ knowledge acquisition in a targeted way by focusing on selected knowledge types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Supportive Peer Feedback in Tertiary Education: Analysis of Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040280 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1447
Abstract
To acquire knowledge about student-mediated peer-to-peer collaborative activities, pre-service teachers’ perceptions of peer feedback are analyzed and categorized as receiver, provider, or cognitive feedback. A questionnaire of 15 survey questions concerning supportive feedback from peers was designed and validated using assessments from more [...] Read more.
To acquire knowledge about student-mediated peer-to-peer collaborative activities, pre-service teachers’ perceptions of peer feedback are analyzed and categorized as receiver, provider, or cognitive feedback. A questionnaire of 15 survey questions concerning supportive feedback from peers was designed and validated using assessments from more than 200 pre-service teachers. The questionnaire was aligned with the activities promoting supportive feedback between pre-service teachers from three bachelor’s degrees at a tertiary education institution. Their perceptions were then quantified in terms of the peer feedback categories. While there were significant correlations between the scores for all 15 questions, real insights were produced when the highest correlations were analyzed. As such, being involved as both feedback providers and receivers was highly rated. The self-efficacy of pre-service teachers receiving feedback, (i.e., the extent to which peer instructional strategies and the selected learning tasks were cognitively challenging so as to improve receiver feedback), proved to be correlated with their perceptions of involvement, autonomy, and structure. Likewise, motivation for providing or receiving feedback was also closely correlated with the self-efficacy of pre-service teachers providing feedback. Finally, all three questions in the cognitive feedback category were highly correlated. The pre-service teachers were, thus, motivated to improve their learning and considered feedback as a useful task and as a way to strengthen their relationships with their peers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Learning Dispositif and Emotional Attachment: A Preliminary International Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040279 - 23 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
This research investigated the significance of learning dispositif (LD) and emotional attachment (EA) on perceived learning success (LS) across a diaspora of Western, Russian, Asian, Middle Eastern and Chinese student cohorts. Foucault’s LD captures the disparate socio-cultural contexts, institutional milieus and more or [...] Read more.
This research investigated the significance of learning dispositif (LD) and emotional attachment (EA) on perceived learning success (LS) across a diaspora of Western, Russian, Asian, Middle Eastern and Chinese student cohorts. Foucault’s LD captures the disparate socio-cultural contexts, institutional milieus and more or less didactic teaching styles that moderate learning. EA is a multi-dimensional notion involving affective bonds that emerged in child psychology and spread to marketing and other fields. The sequential explanatory research reviewed the learning and EA literatures and generated an LD–EA framework to structure the quantitative phase of its mixed investigations. In 2017 and 2018, the research collected 150 responses and used a range of statistical techniques for quantitative analysis. It found that LS varied significantly across cohorts, intimating that dispositifs influence learning. Nonparametric analysis suggested that EA also influenced learning, but regressions were inconclusive. Exploratory techniques hint at a dynamic mix of emotional or cognitive motivations during the student learning journey, involving structural breaks in student/instructor relationships. Cluster analysis identified distinct student groupings, linked to years of learning. Separately, qualitative analysis of open-ended survey questions and expert interviews intimates that frequent teacher interactions can increase EA. The synthesis of quantitative with qualitative results and pedagogical reflection suggests that LD and EA both influence learning in a complex, dynamic system. The key constituents for EA are Affection, Connection, Social Presence (SP), Teaching Presence (TP) and Flow but student emotional engagement is conditioned by the socio-cultural milieu (LD) and associated factors like relationships and trust. Unlike in the Community of Learning framework, in the EA framework Cognitive Presence (CP) is an outcome of the interaction between these EA constituents, associated factors and the socio-cultural milieu. Finally, whilst awareness of culture and emotions is a useful pedagogical consideration, learning mainstays remain inclusive educational systems that identify student needs and support well-designed programmes. Within these, scaffolded modules should include a variety of engaging learning activities with non-threatening formative and trustworthy summative feedback. We acknowledge some statistical study limitations, but its tentative findings make a useful preliminary contribution. Full article
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Open AccessReview
An Overview of Teaching Physics for Undergraduates in Engineering Environments
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040278 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
This paper is an overview of approaches to teaching physics courses delivered to students of engineering disciplines. It addresses, first, the history of teaching physics to engineering students starting in the early 20th century, then reviews the main issues presented and discussed over [...] Read more.
This paper is an overview of approaches to teaching physics courses delivered to students of engineering disciplines. It addresses, first, the history of teaching physics to engineering students starting in the early 20th century, then reviews the main issues presented and discussed over the last decade in a series of conferences on Physics Teaching in Engineering Education (PTEE). Finally, this paper discusses more contemporary views on the subject, including the latest technologies and new methodologies. It is not a critical review of teaching physics to engineering students, but rather a summary of various views and approaches over the span of the entire century. The common denominator of the study is the relevance to the competency-based approach: how the papers focus on teaching engineers the principles of physics in a manner that contributes to success in their professional careers. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Engineering Education and Technological/Professional Learning
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040277 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
The focus of this Special Issue is aimed at enhancing the discussion of Engineering Education, particularly related to technological and professional learning [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Concept of Active Learning and the Measurement of Learning Outcomes: A Review of Research in Engineering Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040276 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
Active learning has gained growing political, instructional, and research interest. However, the definitions of active learning are wide. The learning outcomes related to it have been mostly positive but the measurement methods are not without problems. This review provides an overview of active [...] Read more.
Active learning has gained growing political, instructional, and research interest. However, the definitions of active learning are wide. The learning outcomes related to it have been mostly positive but the measurement methods are not without problems. This review provides an overview of active learning, especially in the context of engineering higher education, by answering two research questions: (1) How is the concept of active learning defined and justified in engineering higher education research? (2) What are the learning outcomes connected to active learning and how is learning measured in engineering higher education research? Sixty-six empirical articles were analyzed inductively with qualitative content analysis. The analysis showed that active learning was defined in various ways, and in some articles, it was not defined at all. In addition, justification (theoretical or empirical) for the use of active learning was seldomly reported. Finally, the indicators used to measure the impact of active learning on students’ learning outcomes were mostly based on students’ self-report data and focused on course specific development in subject-related knowledge. More thorough descriptions and theoretical justifications, as well as the consideration of learning outcomes with appropriate research methods, could reinforce the transparency of empirical interventions and the application of active learning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predictive Models for Imbalanced Data: A School Dropout Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040275 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1768
Abstract
Predicting school dropout rates is an important issue for the smooth execution of an educational system. This problem is solved by classifying students into two classes using educational activities related statistical datasets. One of the classes must identify the students who have the [...] Read more.
Predicting school dropout rates is an important issue for the smooth execution of an educational system. This problem is solved by classifying students into two classes using educational activities related statistical datasets. One of the classes must identify the students who have the tendency to persist. The other class must identify the students who have the tendency to dropout. This problem often encounters a phenomenon that masks out the obtained results. This study delves into this phenomenon and provides a reliable educational data mining technique that accurately predicts the dropout rates. In particular, the three data classifying techniques, namely, decision tree, neural networks and Balanced Bagging, are used. The performances of these classifies are tested with and without the use of a downsample, SMOTE and ADASYN data balancing. It is found that among other parameters geometric mean and UAR provides reliable results while predicting the dropout rates using Balanced Bagging classifying techniques. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Literacy of Teachers in Training: Moving from ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) to LKTs (Learning and Knowledge Technologies)
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040274 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
This study is based on the need to work on the digital literacy of our Infant Education degree, Primary Education degree and Master in Secondary Education students so that, as future teachers, they are able to make the necessary transition from ICTs (Information [...] Read more.
This study is based on the need to work on the digital literacy of our Infant Education degree, Primary Education degree and Master in Secondary Education students so that, as future teachers, they are able to make the necessary transition from ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) to LKTs (Learning and Knowledge Technologies) Through a mixed methodology, knowledge and perceptions of basic technological concepts and tools of our trainee teachers are identified. The instrument used has been a Likert scale questionnaire, adapted and validated by experts from the participating universities. Its internal consistency demonstrates its worth and functionality for the proposed analysis (α = 0.958). The first results show a clear lack of knowledge of certain technological concepts essential for their future teaching work and, in turn, show significant differences regarding the knowledge of ICTs according to the age of the participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Learning in Open and Flexible Environments)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Nontraditional Teaching Methods: Flipped Classroom, Gamification, Case Study, Self-Learning, and Social Media
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040273 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2590
Abstract
Traditional teaching methods rely solely on the use of textbooks, but teaching effectiveness assessment methods have demonstrated that most students taught by this method do not absorb the course content up to the expected level. Multiple researchers have introduced nontraditional teaching methods, but [...] Read more.
Traditional teaching methods rely solely on the use of textbooks, but teaching effectiveness assessment methods have demonstrated that most students taught by this method do not absorb the course content up to the expected level. Multiple researchers have introduced nontraditional teaching methods, but there is no scientific consensus on the best nontraditional teaching methods that are tailored to learners’ abilities while most effectively addressing the course objectives. Therefore, the goal of this review was to address the following questions across all engineering disciplines, based on learners’ abilities and the course objectives: (a) What are the benefits of nontraditional teaching methods? and (b) How would you categorize the benefits of nontraditional teaching methods? A qualitative review was conducted to achieve these goals, and the initial search for papers, using relevant keywords, resulted in more than 2000 peer-reviewed articles that were published between 2000 and 2017. A total of 125 peer-reviewed articles pertaining to the most frequently studied nontraditional teaching methods were comprehensively studied and analyzed. The analysis resulted in practical guidelines, including a list of the benefits of the five studied nontraditional teaching methods (flipped classroom, gamification, case study, self-learning, and social media) belonging to four categories: technical/professional, personal skills/ability, personal attitude, and time and space. Based on the results, the authors established significant guidelines for instructors who aim to optimize learners’ achievements by adopting the most effective teaching styles, based on their course objectives and the learners’ abilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reimagining the Place of the Professional, before It Is too Late: Five Dystopias and an Oxymoron?
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040272 - 14 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
The trustworthiness and expertise of professionals is much in demand even while they are derided as members of slippery, credentialized and self-serving elites. Eliot Friedson’s three ‘logics’ provide a contextual lens for this deconstruction of ‘professional’ and are updated by adding Artificial Intelligence [...] Read more.
The trustworthiness and expertise of professionals is much in demand even while they are derided as members of slippery, credentialized and self-serving elites. Eliot Friedson’s three ‘logics’ provide a contextual lens for this deconstruction of ‘professional’ and are updated by adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) as putative fourth logic to provide a contextual background—so, Markets, Bureaucracy and AI are seen as alternatives to and influences on professionalism. This context suggests that it may already be too late to save ‘professionals’, but them paper confronts a significant conceptual deficit by using a second interdisciplinary lens, Clarke’s Place Model, to critically deconstruct the ‘place’ of professionals to reimagine a commodious and accessible conceptualization, consisting of five dystopias and a potentially potent oxymoron—inclusive professional. The Place Model is presented as an example of a Geographical Imagination (Massey), combining two conceptions of ‘place’: place as esteem and place as a changing position on the expanding horizons of a career-long growth of expertise. This novel conceptualization is then used to examine the dystopias and potential ideals of ‘professional’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for the Professions in Times of Change )
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Open AccessArticle
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss? The Case of Mature Students in Higher Education and Their Plurilingual Repertoires
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040271 - 11 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1308
Abstract
This study diagnoses how the plurilingual repertoires of mature students (MS) in higher education (HE) are constructed throughout their lives. It addresses the main characteristics of MS; the contexts in which they move throughout their lives, and the situations they contact with languages. [...] Read more.
This study diagnoses how the plurilingual repertoires of mature students (MS) in higher education (HE) are constructed throughout their lives. It addresses the main characteristics of MS; the contexts in which they move throughout their lives, and the situations they contact with languages. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire, mostly comprising open-ended questions. The questionnaire was emailed to 485 MS and was filled in by 195 (40.2%). The results highlight the intrinsic relationship between the MS’ life histories and the construction of their plurilingual repertoires. The findings reinforce the relevance of considering the MS’ plurilingual repertoires and life histories in the development of educational linguistic policies in HE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Language Education in the 21 Century)
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