Open AccessArticle
A Proposed Conceptual Framework for K–12 STEM Master Teacher (STEMMaTe) Development
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040218 -
Abstract
Recent reports from federal agencies and legislation call for explicit avenues to incorporate K–12 STEM master teacher voice into the policy space. National initiatives, federal legislation, and teacher recognition programs have sought to identify K–12 STEM master teachers and harness their potential. These
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Recent reports from federal agencies and legislation call for explicit avenues to incorporate K–12 STEM master teacher voice into the policy space. National initiatives, federal legislation, and teacher recognition programs have sought to identify K–12 STEM master teachers and harness their potential. These efforts warrant a conceptual framework to quantify attributes of K–12 STEM master teachers, to foster pathways for the development of current and future leaders. Using a sample of 10 individuals from two extant programs of K–12 STEM master teachers (Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship and Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching), data from their career trajectories (sourced from Curriculum Vitae) were sequenced to construct and confirm the STEM Master Teacher (STEMMaTe) conceptual framework. This framework may be used to guide programmatic development to increase national capacity for K–12 STEM master teachers. Recommendations are discussed for the creation of pathways to develop STEM master teachers and increase their participation in the broader education system. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Pedagogical Leadership of the Mathematics Faculty: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040217 -
Abstract
Background: Research on educational leadership has transcended the international sphere. Numerous studies have been developed on this factor of educational improvement. Few is their number, contextualized in the mathematics area and specifically the teachers. Methods: This paper presents a systematic review that highlights
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Background: Research on educational leadership has transcended the international sphere. Numerous studies have been developed on this factor of educational improvement. Few is their number, contextualized in the mathematics area and specifically the teachers. Methods: This paper presents a systematic review that highlights the importance of school leadership and mathematics education, providing empirical evidence on the positive impact that the former has on the latter. The method has been adapted to the guidelines promulgated in the PRISMA declaration, to ensure its systematicity. Results: Regarding the results, most of the research included in this review has found positive leadership effects on teacher professionalism, teaching and learning processes, and student performance. Conclusions: As limitations, the prescriptive nature of legislation and organizational structures has been found, which impedes the implementation of more effective leadership modalities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eating Habits and Lifestyles in Schoolchildren from Granada (Spain). A Pilot Study
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040216 -
Abstract
The creation of healthy habits and lifestyles is fundamental in the educational field and for acquiring adequate health levels that will prevail in adulthood. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics and correlations between the level of practice of physical
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The creation of healthy habits and lifestyles is fundamental in the educational field and for acquiring adequate health levels that will prevail in adulthood. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics and correlations between the level of practice of physical activity, adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD), body mass index (BMI) and problematic use of videogames and self-concept of primary education students. This non-experimental, cross-sectional study is composed of a sample of 577 students aged 10-12 years (11.1 ± 0.638). Subjects were evaluated using the Mediterranean Diet Adherence questionnaire (KIDMED), Self-Concept Form-5 (AF-5), Experiences Related to Videogames (QERV) and anthropometric measurements were taken following the guidelines of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry. Most students have been found to be of normal weight, although one in five has problems with being overweight or experiencing obesity. Likewise, half of them need to improve their adherence to the Mediterranean diet, while they do not have a problematic use of videogames, although one tenth of them in these early ages offer severe problems and it is highlighted that students offer an adequate self-concept. It is also noted that BMI correlates positively with problematic videogame use and social self-concept. Greater addiction to videogames is associated with poorer academic performance, low levels of physical activity and poor adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Finally, it should be noted that the continued practice of physical-sports activity favors emotional competence and academic performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Implementing High-Leverage Influences from the Visible Learning Synthesis: Six Supporting Conditions
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040215 -
Abstract
Even though there is a plethora of research that can be used by educators to inform their practice, the deep implementation of evidence-based strategies remains unrealized in many schools and classrooms. The question we set out to answer was: What conditions help encourage
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Even though there is a plethora of research that can be used by educators to inform their practice, the deep implementation of evidence-based strategies remains unrealized in many schools and classrooms. The question we set out to answer was: What conditions help encourage educators to implement and adapt evidence from the Visible Learning synthesis when they encounter it? We examined two examples of the reception of the Visible Learning research in schools and identified the following six key conditions that helped foster the translation of the Visible Learning research into classroom practice in ways that demonstrated measurable impact on student learning: (1) The presence of a learning methodology; (2) clear examples of how to apply the strategies; (3) a ‘knowledgeable other’ to help assist educators in processing the research; (4) a supportive organizational environment; (5) the recognition of educators as agents of influence, and (6) the monitoring and adjustment of implementation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Final Projects in Engineering Degrees around an Industry 4.0-Oriented Flexible Manufacturing System: Preliminary Outcomes and Some Initial Considerations
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040214 -
Abstract
New paradigms such as the Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or industrial cyber-physical systems (ICPSs) have been impacting the manufacturing environment in recent years. Nevertheless, these challenging concepts are also being faced from the educational field: Engineering students must acquire
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New paradigms such as the Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), or industrial cyber-physical systems (ICPSs) have been impacting the manufacturing environment in recent years. Nevertheless, these challenging concepts are also being faced from the educational field: Engineering students must acquire knowledge and skills under the view of these frameworks. This paper describes the utilization of an Industry 4.0-oriented flexible manufacturing system (FMS) as an educational tool to develop final projects (FPs) of engineering degrees. A number of scopes are covered by an FMS, such as automation, supervision, instrumentation, communications, and robotics. The utilization of an FMS with educational purposes started in the academic year 2011–2012 and still remains active. Here, the most illustrative FPs are expounded, and successful academic outcomes are reported. In addition, a set of initial considerations based on the experience acquired by the FP tutors is provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Innovative Teaching Approaches on Biotechnology Knowledge and Laboratory Experiences of Science Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040213 -
Abstract
The current study presents an evaluation of the laboratory instructional tasks prepared based on innovative teaching approaches (research-inquiry, problem solving, project, argumentation and web-based interdisciplinary learning approaches) designed to enhance science teachers’ biotechnology knowledge, awareness and laboratory experiences. The laboratory instructional tasks developed
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The current study presents an evaluation of the laboratory instructional tasks prepared based on innovative teaching approaches (research-inquiry, problem solving, project, argumentation and web-based interdisciplinary learning approaches) designed to enhance science teachers’ biotechnology knowledge, awareness and laboratory experiences. The laboratory instructional tasks developed by the researchers aim to improve the laboratory experiences, as well as support the teaching of biotechnology through innovative teaching approaches. For this purpose, in-service training course titled Biotechnology Education Practices was conducted with the voluntary participation of science teachers (n = 17). The current study employed the embedded design. The quantitative part of the embedded design is designed as the single group pretest-posttest model and the qualitative part of it is designed as the case study. The data of the current study were collected through the Biotechnology Awareness Questionnaire, Biotechnology Evaluation Questions, The Laboratory Self-Evaluation form and worksheets. The results obtained from the analyses revealed that the instructional tasks conducted within the context of the Biotechnology Education Practices resulted in significant effects on the science teachers’ biotechnology knowledge and awareness and that the innovative teaching approaches were effective in developing the science teachers’ laboratory experiences. It would be useful to use laboratory instructional tasks enriched with innovative teaching approaches in teaching biotechnology subjects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploration of Subjective-Life of Spirituality and Its Impact
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040212 -
Abstract
This paper contributes to the discussion on how morality may be uncertain when life orientation changes, for instance, from religious belief to spirituality. Accepting the ‘subjectivation’ thesis as a key concept in understanding the contemporary world, the spiritual realm is treated as a
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This paper contributes to the discussion on how morality may be uncertain when life orientation changes, for instance, from religious belief to spirituality. Accepting the ‘subjectivation’ thesis as a key concept in understanding the contemporary world, the spiritual realm is treated as a site on which the subjective turn has made a tremendous impact. That turn is investigated particularly in a comparison between “subjective-life” spirituality and “life-as” religion. Then, this paper asks what happens to morality when people’s religious belief disappears, changes, or evolves into spiritual experience. Educational practices are also viewed as a resonant field where the subjective turn has impacted on morality. The context of this paper refers to the subjective turn, as explained by The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality. Then, the comparison of “life-as” and “subjective-life” is expressed according to their diverse values. Finally, the conclusion deals with the crucial points of morality in subjective life. In this regard, it is stressed that ‘subjectivation’ is a feature of our time, and presenting a remarkable challenge in the realm of values. Since their orientations are different, ‘subjective-lives’ have a different disposition in morality than the mode of “life-as”. Although it is impossible to generalize concerning whether or not spirituality is moral, nevertheless, it is expected that there will be challenges for religious education when dealing with spirituality. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessing English: A Comparison between Canada and England’s Assessment Procedures
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040211 -
Abstract
English as a subject used to be assessed using course-based or portfolio assessments but now it is increasingly examined through terminal tests. Canada is an exception to this rule. This paper compares the way English is assessed in England and Canada and looks
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English as a subject used to be assessed using course-based or portfolio assessments but now it is increasingly examined through terminal tests. Canada is an exception to this rule. This paper compares the way English is assessed in England and Canada and looks to the ways in which the kind of assessment undertaken affects the practices of English teachers both in the teaching of summative and formative assessment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Supervision of Undergraduate Final Year Projects in Computing: A Case Study
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040210 -
Abstract
Final Year Projects (FYPs) play a significant role in undergraduate education in the computing field of study, and most of the related university departments and schools consider them an essential contribution to this study. However, issues such as whether to assign the projects
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Final Year Projects (FYPs) play a significant role in undergraduate education in the computing field of study, and most of the related university departments and schools consider them an essential contribution to this study. However, issues such as whether to assign the projects individually or to a group of students, the procedures followed in their assignment, the supervision process and the evaluation of the outcomes have been of concern to many academics in the field. In this case study, we present the methods for activities such as assignment, supervision, and evaluation of FYPs at the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr (UKH) between the years 2009 and 2017. We discuss the development of our approach and the lessons learned during the mentioned period. Furthermore, we present our current way of managing the FYP module. The aim is to develop a platform for interested and involved academics to discuss the topic further. Sharing the experiences on managing FYPs would not only help in making the module more attractive and beneficial to the students but also in the consolidation of the guidelines and indicators of the proper supervision and a fair evaluation of this significant undergraduate study endeavor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teacher Mindframes from an Educational Science Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040209 -
Abstract
In this article, we describe the philosophical and the scientific background of teacher mindframes and we argue that educational professionalism consists not only of ability and knowledge (competence), but also of will and judgement (attitudes). To back up our argument, we present the
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In this article, we describe the philosophical and the scientific background of teacher mindframes and we argue that educational professionalism consists not only of ability and knowledge (competence), but also of will and judgement (attitudes). To back up our argument, we present the results of our current research project on this matter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond the Split between Formal School Identity and Teachers’ Personal Worldviews: Towards an Inclusive (Christian) School Identity
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040208 -
Abstract
Religious diversity within Dutch schools has greatly increased. We carried out an empirical study to offer insights into how secondary school teachers (try to) relate to the formal Protestant Christian identity of their school, the challenges they experience in relation to their own
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Religious diversity within Dutch schools has greatly increased. We carried out an empirical study to offer insights into how secondary school teachers (try to) relate to the formal Protestant Christian identity of their school, the challenges they experience in relation to their own personal worldview, and the recommendations they have to overcome these challenges. In our qualitative study, we interviewed thirty-two teachers from eight different schools. In selecting the schools, we took into account the diversity of Protestant Christian secondary education in the Netherlands. The teachers teach different subjects in a variety of disciplines (languages, creative arts, sciences, et cetera). For many teachers, their personal worldview does not align neatly with the formal religious identity of the school. As a result, teachers experience challenges in relation to, for example, the act of daily worship and (Christian) celebrations. Teachers also experience tensions regarding the extent to which schools could or should be open towards (religious) others. Teachers’ advice, among other recommendations, is to create room for an open exchange of views, opinions, and experiences between teachers and principals. Some teachers recommend that their principal reconsider the formal Christian identity of the school and search for another, more inclusive school identity with which everyone involved can better identify. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Systematizing Professional Knowledge of Medical Doctors and Teachers: Development of an Interdisciplinary Framework in the Context of Diagnostic Competences
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040207 -
Abstract
Professional knowledge is highlighted as an important prerequisite of both medical doctors and teachers. Based on recent conceptions of professional knowledge in these fields, knowledge can be differentiated within several aspects. However, these knowledge aspects are currently conceptualized differently across different domains and
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Professional knowledge is highlighted as an important prerequisite of both medical doctors and teachers. Based on recent conceptions of professional knowledge in these fields, knowledge can be differentiated within several aspects. However, these knowledge aspects are currently conceptualized differently across different domains and projects. Thus, this paper describes recent frameworks for professional knowledge in medical and educational sciences, which are then integrated into an interdisciplinary two-dimensional model of professional knowledge that can help to align terminology in both domains and compare research results. The models’ two dimensions differentiate between cognitive types of knowledge and content-related knowledge facets and introduces a terminology for all emerging knowledge aspects. The models’ applicability for medical and educational sciences is demonstrated in the context of diagnosis by describing prototypical diagnostic settings for medical doctors as well as for teachers, which illustrate how the framework can be applied and operationalized in these areas. Subsequently, the role of the different knowledge aspects for acting and the possibility of transfer between different content areas are discussed. In conclusion, a possible extension of the model along a “third dimension” that focuses on the effects of growing expertise on professional knowledge over time is proposed and issues for further research are outlined. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
E-Learning for Deaf Adults from a User-Centered Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040206 -
Abstract
Deaf individuals present differences compared to their hearing peers in terms of their learning profile. In addition, deaf adults seem to still be socially excluded nowadays, given that the transition from school to work is more difficult for people with hearing loss. This
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Deaf individuals present differences compared to their hearing peers in terms of their learning profile. In addition, deaf adults seem to still be socially excluded nowadays, given that the transition from school to work is more difficult for people with hearing loss. This study aims to analyze the cognitive characteristics of deaf adults, as well as the way they learn better, for the development of an innovative and user-friendly e-learning platform, which will be adapted to the educational needs of the target group. Fifty-three deaf or hard-of-hearing adults participated in the field research for the needs of this study. According to the results, participants prefer e-learning modules with continuity in terms of the content, which offer comprehension questions during the sessions, as well as practice exercises after their completion. Furthermore, participants had positive attitudes towards the use of special graphics and explanatory videos. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Conversations on Critical Thinking: Can Critical Thinking Find Its Way Forward as the Skill Set and Mindset of the Century?
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040205 -
Abstract
The capacity to successfully, positively engage with the cognitive capacities of critical thinking has become the benchmark of employability for many diverse industries across the globe and is considered critical for the development of informed, decisive global citizenship. Despite this, education systems in
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The capacity to successfully, positively engage with the cognitive capacities of critical thinking has become the benchmark of employability for many diverse industries across the globe and is considered critical for the development of informed, decisive global citizenship. Despite this, education systems in several countries have developed policies and practices that limit the opportunities for students to authentically participate in the discussions, debates, and evaluative thinking that serve to develop the skill set and mindset of critical thinkers. This writing examines the status of critical thinking in four different contexts across the globe as reflected in educational policies and academic experiences as a preface to investigating actual classroom practices and possible impacts the support of critical thinking skills may have on the potential development of the global citizens of the future. Each vignette reflects the contextualized difficulties that are presented by social and cultural concerns and traditions of making meaning. These stories of education also illustrate the various ways in which the skills and capacities of critical thinking are interpreted in different contexts and address the negative nuances with which thinking critically has become associated. Finally, a pedagogical model of teaching, which may support student development of the skill set of critical thinking within the boundaries of social and cultural mindsets, has been developed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Education for the Sustainable Global Citizen: What Can We Learn from Stoic Philosophy and Freirean Environmental Pedagogies?
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040204 -
Abstract
In support of sustainable development, the United Nations (UN) launched its Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) with the aims of accelerating progress towards universal access to education, good quality learning and the fostering of global citizenship. This paper explores how and to what
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In support of sustainable development, the United Nations (UN) launched its Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) with the aims of accelerating progress towards universal access to education, good quality learning and the fostering of global citizenship. This paper explores how and to what extent Stoic virtue ethics and critical Freirean ecopedagogies can advance the UN’s vision for progressive educational systems with transformative societal effects. We propose an integrated solution that provides ecopedagogical concepts a more robust philosophical foundation whilst also offering Stoicism additional tools to tackle 21st-century problems, such as climate change and environmental degradation. The result of the paper is the preliminary theoretical underpinnings of an educational framework that encompasses planetary-level concerns and offers a fuller expression of the terms “sustainable development” and “global citizen”. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to Special Issue on Universal Design for Inclusive Pedagogy and a Future Research Agenda
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040203 -
Abstract
This Special Issue seeks to address the needs of all postsecondary/tertiary students for a barrier-free learning environment to increase their academic achievement, engagement, learning mastery, and persistence to graduation. Universal Design for Inclusive Pedagogy (UDIP) is sensitive to diverse students and individual differences
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This Special Issue seeks to address the needs of all postsecondary/tertiary students for a barrier-free learning environment to increase their academic achievement, engagement, learning mastery, and persistence to graduation. Universal Design for Inclusive Pedagogy (UDIP) is sensitive to diverse students and individual differences to promote access and equity. While our colleagues in elementary and secondary education have been addressing this issue for many years, postsecondary education is a newer field for this approach. The six articles in this issue break new ground with regards to expanding the boundaries of Universal Design (UD). Areas explored in this Special Issue are transformed curriculum, innovative teaching and learning practices, cross-national and cross-cultural student interactions, application of UD to academic pathways, and UDIP embedded into the institutional culture and policies. The central themes of the articles are increased access, equity, and social justice for all students. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Mathematics Teacher Exchange and ‘Mastery’ in England: The Evidence for the Efficacy of Component Practices
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040202 -
Abstract
‘Mastery’ is central to current policy in mathematics education in England, influenced by East Asian success in transnational assessments. We scrutinise the prospects for mastery pedagogies to improve pupil attainment in English primary schools. The Mathematics Teacher Exchange (MTE)—an element of the mastery
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‘Mastery’ is central to current policy in mathematics education in England, influenced by East Asian success in transnational assessments. We scrutinise the prospects for mastery pedagogies to improve pupil attainment in English primary schools. The Mathematics Teacher Exchange (MTE)—an element of the mastery innovation—involves teachers visiting Shanghai and then hosting Shanghai teachers in their schools. Informed by programme evaluation, core component practices are analysed, which were implemented by schools belonging to the first cohort of MTE schools. These consist of: varied and interactive teaching; meaningful and coherent mathematical activity; and full curriculum access for all. These elements are supported, optimally, by collaborative, embedded, and mathematically focused professional development. Details of the implemented pedagogy and forms of professional development are reported. Differences from prevailing practice in primary mathematics in England are highlighted. Evidence is reviewed from quasi-experimental trials, reviews and meta-analyses, and rigorous observational studies of the efficacy of practices similar to the MTE mastery pedagogy components in order to assess the prospects for increases in pupil attainment. The analysis suggests that many of the specific practices, if considered individually, have the potential to improve attainment, though overall policy ambitions may not be realised. Based on the review, component practices are identified for which existing evidence justifies immediate implementation by schools and teachers. In addition, practices that would benefit from further testing and evaluation are highlighted. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Convergence Education of Medicine and Theology in a Secular Age
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040201 -
Abstract
Convergence education of medicine and theology (CEMT) is an effective religious education learning model in a secular age. The highly elaborate rationality of the secular environment encourage es dialogical discourse between science and religion. There is a mutually reinforcing relationship between medicine and
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Convergence education of medicine and theology (CEMT) is an effective religious education learning model in a secular age. The highly elaborate rationality of the secular environment encourage es dialogical discourse between science and religion. There is a mutually reinforcing relationship between medicine and theology even given each discipline’s differences from the other. In this paper, the dialogical discourse between medicine and theology about the human-genome project serves as an example of the symbiotic relevance of both disciplines. The Ebola virus shows how theological discourse can be included in what is apparently a medical concern to ultimately benefit medical efforts. An example of CEMT in the classroom shows the possibilities for enlarging the conventional horizons of religious education to overlap medicine. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Algorithm-Aided Design with Python: Analysis of Technological Competence of Subjects
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040200 -
Abstract
Difficulties in learning computer programming for novices is a subject of abundant scientific literature. These difficulties seem to be accentuated in students whose academic choice is not computation, like architecture students. However, they need to study programming, since it is part of the
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Difficulties in learning computer programming for novices is a subject of abundant scientific literature. These difficulties seem to be accentuated in students whose academic choice is not computation, like architecture students. However, they need to study programming, since it is part of the new academic curricula. The results presented here are part of a PhD research, which investigates the achievement motivation and the acquisition and transfer of programming knowledge from an online environment designed on the basis of the 4C-ID instructional design model. These results are a sociodemographic analysis, and the technological competence of these subjects. We concluded that most of the students of our sample do not know how to auto assess their ICT expertise level, because they believed that they had sufficient computational knowledge for their needs. However, most of them told that they had difficulties creating codes. However, they recognized the importance of learning to program, thought it was valuable for architectural students, and felt motivated to acquire this new skill. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Bridging Countries and Cultures through Accessible Global Collaborations
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8040199 -
Abstract
This paper discusses and provides two case studies on a postsecondary, accessible, global project among students in Russia, China, and the United States. The project design was to engage diverse students in an international conversation to explore their place in the world and
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This paper discusses and provides two case studies on a postsecondary, accessible, global project among students in Russia, China, and the United States. The project design was to engage diverse students in an international conversation to explore their place in the world and envision their future as individuals, innovators, workers, and/or leaders in this globalized world. The three countries chosen, Russia, China, and the United States, are world powers and are pivotal countries for building international bridges. This paper highlights the evolution of the project and students’ vision for developing ongoing student-centered international research projects. It is the hope of the authors that educators reading this article will be inspired to embark on other accessible global projects designed to enhance language and cultural competence with and among all college students. Full article