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Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 67 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The integration of virtual manipulatives in classroom practices facilitates student learning processes. We present a learning scenario that integrates the use of virtual manipulatives in mathematical modeling tasks. It was designed and implemented during initial teacher training, with the aim of helping a group of first-year elementary school students to overcome difficulties identified in their comprehension of the meaning of subtraction. Our results suggest that differentiated instruction, minimal guidance, and scaffolding played an important role in the support provided by the pre-service teacher to students in the mathematical modeling activities that integrated virtual manipulatives. View this paper
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Concept Paper
Adaptive Intelligence: Its Nature and Implications for Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 823; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120823 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 332
Abstract
This article introduces the concept of adaptive intelligence—the intelligence one needs to adapt to current problems and anticipate future problems of real-world environments—and discusses its implications for education. Adaptive intelligence involves not only promoting one’s own ability to survive and thrive, but also [...] Read more.
This article introduces the concept of adaptive intelligence—the intelligence one needs to adapt to current problems and anticipate future problems of real-world environments—and discusses its implications for education. Adaptive intelligence involves not only promoting one’s own ability to survive and thrive, but also that of others in one’s own generation and in future generations. The article opens with a discussion of some of the strengths but also the limitations of the concept of general intelligence. It then discusses the concept of adaptive intelligence. Then, it breaks down adaptive intelligence into its constituent parts—creative, analytical, practical, and wisdom-based skills and attitudes. Finally, it discusses how the concept of adaptive intelligence can be operationalized in schools. Full article
Article
Interdisciplinary, International Exploration to Strengthen Creativity, Giftedness and Leadership
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 822; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120822 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Creativity, giftedness, and leadership are complex, important phenomena, especially in the threatening turbulence of 21st-century conditions; consequently, there is an increasing need to understand how to strengthen them. We can learn much about these phenomena from within the borders of specialized disciplines; however, [...] Read more.
Creativity, giftedness, and leadership are complex, important phenomena, especially in the threatening turbulence of 21st-century conditions; consequently, there is an increasing need to understand how to strengthen them. We can learn much about these phenomena from within the borders of specialized disciplines; however, they are too complex and multifaceted to fit within the walls of disciplinary silos. Interdisciplinary explorations can reveal theories and research findings that expand our knowledge bases about creativity, giftedness, and leadership. This analysis includes the rationale for engaging in interdisciplinary investigations for these purposes. It includes examples of the ways in which interdisciplinary thinking invigorates creativity and cognitive diversity; illuminates the benefits of visual–spatial gifts that strengthen the development of important talents in gifted students who can go on to become creative leaders; and shows how human rights can be strengthened by constraining economic and political corruption. It also describes the benefits of using interdisciplinary navigation through different levels of analysis, each of which includes a number of academic disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gifted Education, Creativity and Leadership Development)
Article
Influence of an Educational Innovation Program and Digitally Supported Tasks on Psychological Aspects, Motivational Climate, and Academic Performance
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 821; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120821 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Background: In university education, there is a need to provide students with the ability to use knowledge, and it has been shown that the cooperative model, with respect to information and communication technology (ICT), is effective. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Background: In university education, there is a need to provide students with the ability to use knowledge, and it has been shown that the cooperative model, with respect to information and communication technology (ICT), is effective. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of an educational innovation program, based on the jigsaw technique and digitally supported tasks, on the psychological aspects, motivational climate, and academic performance of university students. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted with an experimental group consisting of 100 university students (mean age: 21.84 ± 1.50 years). The motivational climate and the basic psychological needs in education, intrinsic motivation, academic self-concept, and academic performance were measured. Results: Significant increases were found in all variables after the intervention (p < 0.006–0.001), except for the variable, ego-motivational climate. The covariate perception of prior competences was significant for the model (p < 0.001). The students who had chosen a specific topic to develop with the jigsaw technique obtained a better grade than the rest of their classmates when the student’s academic performance was included as a covariate (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The psychological aspects, motivational climates, and academic performances of university students improved after the implementation of an educational innovation program, based on the cooperative learning model with the jigsaw technique, and the use of digitally supported tasks. Full article
Article
Quantitative Comparison between Traditional and Intensive Face-to-Face Education through an Organizational Model
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 820; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120820 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Face-to-face education continues to present benefits in terms of student motivation, even though in COVID-19 scenario, online education has been the model of choice. In addition to the traditional face-to-face style, the intensive face-to-face style remains, which allows greater flexibility for the student. [...] Read more.
Face-to-face education continues to present benefits in terms of student motivation, even though in COVID-19 scenario, online education has been the model of choice. In addition to the traditional face-to-face style, the intensive face-to-face style remains, which allows greater flexibility for the student. The objective of this study was to compare both educational styles and build an organizational model to improve student satisfaction. Two-way general linear model (GLM) with educational styles and satisfaction as fixed factors and discriminant analysis was applied. The selection of the most discriminant variables was made applying the F of Snedecor, Wilks’-Lambda, and the 1-Tolerance. A discriminant model was built. The four variables with the highest discriminant power were problem-solving communication with students’ representatives and shared knowledge and goals with lectures in the intensive style and frequent communication with administrative officers in the traditional style. In addition, it was found that greater face-to-face attendance did not imply greater coordination and that intensive style students show greater satisfaction. The appropriate duration of face-to-face education can contribute to the design of an innovative hybrid system in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative and Hybrid Learning Spaces)
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Article
Parental (STEM) Occupations, the Home Numeracy Environment, and Kindergarten Children’s Numerical Competencies
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 819; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120819 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Children’s early numerical competencies are of great importance for later academic achievement. Young children gain these competencies in the context of the home numeracy environment (HNE). Additionally, child characteristics and families’ socioeconomic status (SES) are associated with children’s competencies. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Children’s early numerical competencies are of great importance for later academic achievement. Young children gain these competencies in the context of the home numeracy environment (HNE). Additionally, child characteristics and families’ socioeconomic status (SES) are associated with children’s competencies. In this study, we investigated parents’ occupations (i.e., STEM or non-STEM occupation) as a specific aspect of the SES to understand whether parental occupations are associated with children’s numerical competencies and whether such an association may depend on the HNE. We analysed data from a sample of N = 190 children (Mage = 63.58 months; SD = 4.41) at two measurement points. Correlational analyses and crossed-lagged models were conducted to predict children’s numerical competencies by a global measure of the HNE and parental STEM vs. non-STEM occupations. We found significant associations between parents’ learned and current occupations and the HNE. Further, significant associations between parents’ learned occupations and children’s numerical competencies were observed. However, parents’ current occupations were not significantly associated with children’s numerical competencies. Consequently, more specific facets of the SES instead of a global measure seem to be associated with children’s numerical competencies. A greater focus on specific differences between family characteristics and their potential impact on children’s HNE and the development of their numerical competencies seems expedient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education: At Home and in the Classroom)
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Article
Remote Teaching in Professor Training: Three Latin American Experiences in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 818; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120818 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 447
Abstract
The subject matter has been based on three systematizations of experiences in teacher training through remote teaching, during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2021. They were developed in IES in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. The objective has been to show the experiences implemented to [...] Read more.
The subject matter has been based on three systematizations of experiences in teacher training through remote teaching, during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2021. They were developed in IES in Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. The objective has been to show the experiences implemented to build the teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, from online teaching practices. The theoretical framework has been the theory of collaborative and developmental learning, according to L. S. Vigotski and his followers. The work methodology has been the systematization of experiences, according to Jara and others. The results of the Brazilian experience show how it is possible for students of the degree in pedagogy to acquire didactic knowledge and develop skills, through collaborative work in virtual rooms. The Ecuadorian experience shows the effectiveness of teaching focused on autonomous work, which is based on asynchronous activities. The results of the experience in Peru show how asynchronous accompaniment is an effective means for guidance and sustained feedback by the trainer, with an impact on the process of construction of a scientific text and on the productivity of the doctoral student in Education. Full article
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Article
Study Benefits of Smartphones: Perceptions of Female Emirati Pre-Service Teacher Undergraduates
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 817; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120817 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous and can be very useful study tools. We explored female Emirati undergraduates’ perceptions of smartphone use in the classroom. Furthermore, we investigated the age at which participants received their first smartphones, the number of smartphones to which they had [...] Read more.
Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous and can be very useful study tools. We explored female Emirati undergraduates’ perceptions of smartphone use in the classroom. Furthermore, we investigated the age at which participants received their first smartphones, the number of smartphones to which they had access at the time of the study, and the influence of these aspects on the use of smartphones as a learning tool. An online survey of 189 participants revealed that the age of receiving their first smartphone, combined with the number of smartphones they owned or had access to at the time of the study, did not correlate with their perceptions of the usefulness of smartphones as a learning tool in a statistically significant manner. However, participants in their first year of study had fewer positive perceptions about the use of smartphones in the classroom than participants in subsequent study years. We surmise that this might be attributable, in part, to the further experiences older students have had or classes they have taken or to student teaching experiences in which they might have firsthand observed the benefits of phone use in the classroom as a learning tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Technologies for Teaching and Learning)
Article
Fostering Performance in Hands-On Laboratory Work with the Use of Mobile Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 816; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120816 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
The learning of laboratory skills is essential in science education, but students often get too little individual guidance in this area. Augmented reality (AR) technologies are a promising tool to tackle this challenge and promote students’ high-level learning and performance in science laboratories. [...] Read more.
The learning of laboratory skills is essential in science education, but students often get too little individual guidance in this area. Augmented reality (AR) technologies are a promising tool to tackle this challenge and promote students’ high-level learning and performance in science laboratories. Thus, the purpose of this study was (1) to design an AR-assisted learning environment to support individual knowledge construction, (2) to investigate students’ learning processes and learning outcomes and (3) to examine the usability of the system. Pharmacy students (n = 16) were assigned to experimental (n = 10) and control (n = 6) groups and performed the same laboratory work together with pre- and post-tests. The experimental group worked with AR glasses that provided additional support and timely guidance during the work with additional info-screens, questions related to choosing correct reagents and laboratory tools and think-aloud questions, whereas the control group worked in a traditional laboratory context. The results showed that AR was more effective in fostering performance in the science laboratory compared to traditional laboratory instruction and prevented most of the mistakes. The AR group considered the guidance and feedback provided by AR to be beneficial for their learning. However, no apparent differences were found in tasks measuring students’ understanding of the content knowledge. Thus, an AR environment embedded with supportive tools could partly replace the teacher in science teaching laboratories by providing individual and timely guidance for the students. Full article
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Article
Leadership in Implementing Inclusive Education Policy in Early Childhood Education and Care Playrooms in South Africa
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120815 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Leadership plays a central role in improving and sustaining quality in Early Childhood Development (ECD) settings in the South African context. This article explored the leadership of the Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) and the challenges experienced by ECD centre managers and teachers. Children [...] Read more.
Leadership plays a central role in improving and sustaining quality in Early Childhood Development (ECD) settings in the South African context. This article explored the leadership of the Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) and the challenges experienced by ECD centre managers and teachers. Children with disabilities are most vulnerable, marginalised, and denied access to early education, especially in rural communities. Grounded in Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystems theory, the study adopted a qualitative approach. The participants included three centre managers and three teachers from Early Childhood Development centres in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The findings revealed that most participants had minimal knowledge and understanding of the policy and its implementation. There was also a lack of leadership from the policymakers to ensure that the IEP was monitored, supported, and implemented. Our recommendations are that all ECD practitioners receive appropriate training and development on the policy, ongoing support and guidance in implementing the policy, and proper resources for their centres and playrooms (financial, physical, and human resources). Full article
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Article
Russian and Indian Preschool Educators’ Beliefs about Distance Education for Preschoolers
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 814; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120814 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Increasing interest in the digitization of education raises the question of the specifics of the use of digital devices in preschool education and the perception of these new practices by educators. The primary purpose of this study was to examine educators’ beliefs about [...] Read more.
Increasing interest in the digitization of education raises the question of the specifics of the use of digital devices in preschool education and the perception of these new practices by educators. The primary purpose of this study was to examine educators’ beliefs about distance education for preschool children in Russia and India, given their professional education and cultural background. These two countries were chosen to explore how the education system has dealt with emergency remote teaching in countries with social and economic diversity. The study involved 909 preschool educators (623 from Russia and 286 from India). An exploratory factor analysis of educators’ responses to the Educators’ Beliefs about Distance Education for Preschoolers Questionnaire identified three factors. The first factor reflects the degree of positive or negative beliefs about the promotion potential of distance education for preschool children’s development. The second represents educators’ beliefs about the effectiveness of distance education depending on different teacher, child, and environmental conditions. The third is manifested in the belief among educators that distance education is ineffective in preschool education. The findings suggest that the years of professional education in early childhood pedagogy impacts educators’ beliefs about distance education for preschool children. Regardless of the number of years of education training, educators in India were more likely to believe in the high promotion potential of distance education in early childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE 2020))
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Review
Perezhivanie and Its Application within Early Childhood Science Education Research
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 813; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120813 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Perezhivanie is a concept that was originally defined by Vygotsky, but it did not become a part of educational theory until recently. Today the concept has been revived, and it is now used as a way to include emotional aspects into education and [...] Read more.
Perezhivanie is a concept that was originally defined by Vygotsky, but it did not become a part of educational theory until recently. Today the concept has been revived, and it is now used as a way to include emotional aspects into education and educational research. The concept also provides a rationale for describing and forming personalised learning. The present study provides a literature review with the aim of covering the variety in definitions of the concept, as well as the different perspectives that the concept lends to research in general, and to research with focus on early years education in particular. Results show that the concept has been applied within the most common theoretical perspectives in use today (such as social, cultural and subjective perspectives) with an interesting array of outcomes, such as design of educational methods, analysis of different modes of experiencing and development of self-awareness. The use of this concept becomes a shift toward more emotional perspectives of learning and development that may not be altogether positive, as perezhivanie holds the risk of blurring the border between psychotherapy and education, which is something that would provide new challenges for education in general and especially for teacher education. Full article
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Article
The Paradox of State-Funded Higher Education: Does the Winner Still Take It All?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 812; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120812 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Contrary to the overall tendency to increase student participation in the financing of higher education, Estonia abolished student tuition fees in 2013. We study the effects of this reform on the students’ access to and progress in higher education, concentrating mostly on the [...] Read more.
Contrary to the overall tendency to increase student participation in the financing of higher education, Estonia abolished student tuition fees in 2013. We study the effects of this reform on the students’ access to and progress in higher education, concentrating mostly on the changes in probabilities of rural and remote students being admitted (extensive margin) and graduating within a nominal time (intensive margin). We distinguish between four different outcomes: admission in general, admission to vocational education, admission to high-rank curricula, and graduation within nominal time. We confirm the tendency that a high socioeconomic status increases the probability of being admitted to high-rank curricula and reduces the probability of choosing an applied curriculum, and the 2013 reform did not change that. While the reform weakly improved rural students’ tendency to graduate on time, it diminished the probability that they were admitted to high-rank curricula. So, paradoxically and contrary to the intention of the reform, higher state involvement in higher education financing has not improved the equity in university admission in Estonia in terms of either socioeconomic background or regional disparities. We claim that part of the explanation of that paradox lies in the conditionality of this reform and the combination of a scarce needs-based and a competitive merit-based student support system in Estonia. We see our broader contribution in emphasising the important role of support systems in the future analysis of the potential to improve students’ access. Full article
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Article
Measuring the Post-Impact of Programming MOOCs: Development and Validation of an Instrument
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 811; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120811 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) can potentially affect the lives of millions of people, but there is little research on how a programming MOOC could affect participants’ lives after participation. In Estonia, we have organised several programming MOOCs over the years, attended by [...] Read more.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) can potentially affect the lives of millions of people, but there is little research on how a programming MOOC could affect participants’ lives after participation. In Estonia, we have organised several programming MOOCs over the years, attended by over 14,000 people. This inspired us to develop and validate a scale for measuring the impact of programming MOOC on participants’ lives. We analysed data from 1261 MOOC participants who had completed at least one of our programming MOOCs. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to validate the developed scale. The final model fitted quite well to the data. We found that the factors that influence learners’ lives after a MOOC include acquired learning skills, interest in continuing computer science related studies, learning experience gained from the MOOC, the MOOC’s impact on work and personal life, and new contacts that are established with other participants and organisers. We also compared the means of the factors. The highest-rated factor was related to the learning experience from the MOOC and the lowest-rated was related to finding new contacts through the MOOC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies in Distance Learning Education)
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Article
Quality, Effectiveness and Outcome of Blended Learning in Dental Education during the COVID Pandemic: Prospects of a Post-Pandemic Implementation
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 810; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120810 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Blended learning is growing in popularity particularly following the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic. One of the fields that the pandemic has substantially affected is dental education. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the online [...] Read more.
Blended learning is growing in popularity particularly following the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic. One of the fields that the pandemic has substantially affected is dental education. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the online dental education. Students’ perceptions and experiences of blended learning were also investigated. Methods: A 28-question online survey was designed to gauge students’ perceptions of the effect of blended learning on their academic performance. Results: 314 participants in preclinical and clinical years completed the questionnaire (223 females and 91 males). The majority of students (89%) believed that clinical and practical courses cannot be given by the internet. In terms of students’ opinion in the assessment process, more females (65.8%) preferred traditional exams than males (50.5%) (p < 0.05). Most clinical students (83%) preferred a combination of online and traditional teaching compared to 72% of preclinical students (p < 0.05). Clinical year students were more willing to communicate electronically with their classmates and instructors. The majority of dental students (65%) reported that future dental courses should be blended. Conclusions: In the pandemic era, blended learning, should become the preferred method of education whereby theoretical knowledge is delivered through online tutorials and clinical training is resumed on-site, to ensure competency of dental graduates while maintaining safety of the dental team. Current facilities and course designs should be improved in order to improve students’ experiences with blended learning. Full article
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Article
Does a University’s Enslavement History Play a Role in Black Student–White Faculty Interactions? A Structural Equation Model
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 809; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120809 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Drawing upon Hartman’s (1997) notion of the afterlife of slavery and Critical Race Quantitative Inquiry, this study examines whether Black college students’ emotional responses to their institution’s history of slavery plays a role in contemporary interactions with white faculty. Using structural equation modeling [...] Read more.
Drawing upon Hartman’s (1997) notion of the afterlife of slavery and Critical Race Quantitative Inquiry, this study examines whether Black college students’ emotional responses to their institution’s history of slavery plays a role in contemporary interactions with white faculty. Using structural equation modeling techniques on a sample of 92 Black students from a southern U.S. institution historically involved in slavery, findings highlight the significance of background characteristics, students’ emotional responses to their institution’s slavery history, and experiences with racial microaggressions during college in predicting negative interactions with white faculty. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Application of Content and Language Integrated Learning in a Multilingual Classroom
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 808; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120808 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 421
Abstract
(1) Background: based on the constantly increasing requirements for modern university graduates, we have developed an educational model that allows us to introduce content and language integrated learning into classes with a multilingual approach, which will allow students to use several foreign languages [...] Read more.
(1) Background: based on the constantly increasing requirements for modern university graduates, we have developed an educational model that allows us to introduce content and language integrated learning into classes with a multilingual approach, which will allow students to use several foreign languages in the process of professional communication. The purpose of the paper is to evaluate the efficiency of a newly introduced integrated learning model from the perspective of students, to identify the impact of such a model on students’ professional discipline learning outcomes and to determine if the learning model contributes to an improvement in foreign language proficiency. (2) Methods: for our research we used qualitative and quantitative data from students’ records of professional discipline and Spanish testing, as well as surveys and interviews on proposed learning model efficiency. Two groups of students took part in the experiment (N = 23 and N = 24). (3) Results: results on students’ Spanish proficiency showed that the proposed learning model had a positive influence. Students from the experimental group got higher results on Listening, Reading and Speaking. According to results on professional discipline, both groups achieved approximately equal scores. Moreover, students described such a proposed learning model as efficient and progressive, giving a lot of advantages. (4) Conclusions: the experiment conducted confirmed the efficiency of the proposed learning model. In conclusion, it can be recommended for the realization of a multilingual approach, as well as the learning of a professional discipline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education)
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Article
How Can We Better Understand and Support International Students at Australian Schools? A Case Study of Chinese Learners
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120807 - 13 Dec 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Despite the rapid increase in international students in the education sector, this area remains an under-researched. In Australia, many schools welcome international learners, but are also aware that the support they can offer cannot fully address the student’s needs. Drawing on surveys ( [...] Read more.
Despite the rapid increase in international students in the education sector, this area remains an under-researched. In Australia, many schools welcome international learners, but are also aware that the support they can offer cannot fully address the student’s needs. Drawing on surveys (n = 51) and focus group interviews (n = 16), this case study considers how Chinese international students at four Australian schools understand their everyday experiences. The findings show that students learn and socialise in ways that make sense to them, based on their observations and interpretations of everyday events. Although the support from the school, teachers, and local peers were appreciated, they did not completely solve students’ problems, nor were they necessarily interpreted and accepted by our participants as intended. It is important for educators to develop a more nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by international students in everyday life, and the kind of support that the students need. Full article
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Article
Digital Competence of University Teachers of Social and Legal Sciences from a Gender Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 806; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120806 - 13 Dec 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Higher Education institutions must respond to the major challenges posed by the technological transformations of recent years. For this, one of the key aspects is that the teachers working in them are trained to incorporate these technologies in teaching–learning processes, which requires them [...] Read more.
Higher Education institutions must respond to the major challenges posed by the technological transformations of recent years. For this, one of the key aspects is that the teachers working in them are trained to incorporate these technologies in teaching–learning processes, which requires them to be digitally competent. To analyse how gender relates to the level of competence of teachers, the types of ICT tools that they use, and their attitudes towards their implementation in teaching–learning processes, this quantitative research was carried out with the participation of 121 university teachers from the Autonomous Community of Aragon, all of them from the area of Social and Legal Sciences. The results show a differentiated profile between men and women in terms of their attitudes, beliefs, and self-perception regarding their management skills and effectiveness. Full article
Article
Becoming a STEM-Focused School District: Administrators’ Roles and Experiences
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 805; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120805 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools and districts continue to emerge, and while some research highlights critical components to be included in STEM schools, there is a need to learn more about the process of becoming a STEM school or district. In [...] Read more.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools and districts continue to emerge, and while some research highlights critical components to be included in STEM schools, there is a need to learn more about the process of becoming a STEM school or district. In this study, we investigated a rural United States school district’s development and expansion of its STEM education focus, which started in the years leading up to the district’s first STEM school opening in 2012. We addressed the research question: How is a district-wide STEM education vision developed, enacted, and sustained by various administrative stakeholders? We interviewed 11 participants, all of whom had some level of administrative responsibility related to the district’s STEM mission, coded interviews based on the critical components of STEM schools, and used narrative inquiry methods to describe the district’s STEM transition from these administrators’ perspectives. Our analysis revealed that several key critical components were central to this district’s STEM mission. These components included elements related to leadership, reform-based instructional strategies, and teachers’ professional learning. By focusing on different elements at different times and prioritizing several key components throughout, this district was able to achieve its goal of providing STEM instruction to all of the elementary and middle school students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated STEM and STEM Partnerships: Teaching and Learning)
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Review
Gender Digital Divide and Education in Latin America: A Literature Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 804; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120804 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Gender equity in education is one of the main targets for social justice and sustainable development. This literature review, from a gender approach, was conducted to understand how the gender digital divide (GDD) in information and communication technologies (ICT) and education are related [...] Read more.
Gender equity in education is one of the main targets for social justice and sustainable development. This literature review, from a gender approach, was conducted to understand how the gender digital divide (GDD) in information and communication technologies (ICT) and education are related in Latin American countries. A total of 28 articles have been analyzed as a satisfactory sample of the scientific literature to examine how this relation is explored and its influence, to acknowledge political stakeholders, as well as provide information and proposals to address the digital gender divide in education research in this region. The results show the need to develop research from the pedagogical and gender perspectives in Latin America, since they are not represented within an obvious problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
Article
Belonging and Global Citizenship in a STEM University
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 803; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120803 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
For the past two decades, there has been a resurgence in the actualization of civic missions in universities; these universities have continued to demonstrate commitment to educate for the purpose of global citizenship. Global citizenship is both a skillset and a mindset. As [...] Read more.
For the past two decades, there has been a resurgence in the actualization of civic missions in universities; these universities have continued to demonstrate commitment to educate for the purpose of global citizenship. Global citizenship is both a skillset and a mindset. As universities engage in efforts to increase students’ capabilities for living and working in a diverse society, research in this area has often focused on students of social science disciplines in the United States, presenting an opportunity for an investigation into students’ sense of belonging and global citizenship in the STEM university context in the United Kingdom. Building on prior civic scholarship, which defines citizenship in part as a sense of belonging, this paper presents interview data from a longitudinal, mixed-methods study at a STEM university in the United Kingdom to explore the meanings and experiences of students’ belonging in a multicultural institution, and their attitudes about current political issues before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study presents theoretical and practical implications for citizenship education research and practice. Full article
Article
Relationship among Perceived Stress, Life Satisfaction and Academic Performance of Education Sciences Students of the University of Jaén after the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 802; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120802 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The circumstances arising from the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected all socioeconomic areas in the last two years. The field of Education has not been an exception, and the management of the situation seems to have caused an increase [...] Read more.
The circumstances arising from the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected all socioeconomic areas in the last two years. The field of Education has not been an exception, and the management of the situation seems to have caused an increase in the level of perceived stress of university students. On this basis, this research that aims, first, to analyze the student’s level of perceived stress during the de-escalation and return to normality period, secondly, to evaluate its relationship with life satisfaction and, finally, to detect the students’ needs in stress management, has been developed. An exploratory-descriptive study of quantitative and cross-sectional nature has been carried out. A total of 222 university students of the Childhood and Primary Education Degrees of the University of Jaén (Spain) have participated. The instruments, Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) have been used. The results show a moderate and partial relationship among the dimensions of the used instruments. The obtained coefficients of determination are, Academic Performance ( = 0.019) and Life Satisfaction ( = 0.402), with a mean square error (SRMR) of 0.079. These findings show the need to develop actions within the university training program in effective stress management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Preferences and Satisfaction: Measurement and Optimization)
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Article
From Cultural Heritage Preservation to Art Craft Education: A Study on Taiwan Traditional Lacquerware Art Preservation and Training
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 801; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120801 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
In Taiwan, preservation and training policies of intangible cultural assets are highly valued by the government. In this study, lacquerware art craft education as intangible cultural heritage is the subject of this study. We conducted in-depth interviews and secondary data collection to obtain [...] Read more.
In Taiwan, preservation and training policies of intangible cultural assets are highly valued by the government. In this study, lacquerware art craft education as intangible cultural heritage is the subject of this study. We conducted in-depth interviews and secondary data collection to obtain research data and carried out a grounded theory data analysis method through expert meetings to explore the passing on education strategy of “lacquerware art craft” in Taiwan. Firstly, based on Bloom’s educational objectives, the study analyzed three aspects of lacquer art education: cognitive, affection and skill, and proposed a “Lacquerware Art Passing-On Education Framework Diagram”. Later, the analysis results of the grounded theory enable us to summarize the “Lacquerware art value and learning structure diagram”. In this structure, it reveals that the Lacquerware artist’s way of thinking about the craft levels can echo the system of the Three Extremes of the Tao in the Book of Changes and divide the value levels of creation into the levels of tools of livelihood, way of living and philosophy of life. Full article
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Article
Systemic Response: Developing a Strategic Response to Support Young Men of Color during COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 800; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120800 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 538
Abstract
The aim of this work is to provide insight into the California State University Young Men of Color Consortium (CSU YMOC), which was created to explore the unique challenges young men of color face during their postsecondary experiences, as well as advance effective [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to provide insight into the California State University Young Men of Color Consortium (CSU YMOC), which was created to explore the unique challenges young men of color face during their postsecondary experiences, as well as advance effective approaches to better support them. Specifically, we focus on CSU Male Success Initiative programs and detail how campus partners worked collaboratively to support men of color during the previous academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the ways that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education across the P-16 spectrum, the MSIs were positioned uniquely to support some of the challenges that students endured. Recent reports reveal that the pandemic has exacerbated a number of difficulties, both old and new(er), that men of color experience in their college years, from accessing and transitioning to matriculating and persisting in higher education. We provide an overview of the CSU YMOC Consortium and present details about one program element (Critical Conversations) we incorporated this year as a measure to be responsive to challenges brought on by the pandemic. Finally, partners at three institutions share reflections on how their MSI shifted their efforts to meet students’ needs and provide support. Full article
Article
STEM Students’ Perceptions on Emergency Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Successes
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 799; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120799 - 07 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2020 forced many schools to switch to emergency virtual instruction. This situation provided an opportunity to explore the effectiveness of online learning from students’ perspectives. To discover best practices for online learning, [...] Read more.
Declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2020 forced many schools to switch to emergency virtual instruction. This situation provided an opportunity to explore the effectiveness of online learning from students’ perspectives. To discover best practices for online learning, 584 STEM students at California State Polytechnic University Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) were surveyed about their Spring and Fall 2020 experiences. Some of the obstacles students faced were adapting to a new lifestyle, feeling disconnected, managing schedule and workload, and overcoming distractions. Despite difficulties, 61% of students benefited from the flexibility, convenience, and increased productivity. The time students normally spent commuting to and parking on campus was instead spent getting more sleep, studying, working extra hours, spending time with family, and practicing self-care. Another major benefit was the increased accessibility to course materials posted online. Major themes from students’ responses were belonging, organization and transparency, and the need for real-world applications. Incorporating these strategies enhance the effectiveness of teaching methods. Responses along with some problem-solving suggestions that can improve the effectiveness of both online and in-person learning are discussed. Full article
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Article
Sustainability Awareness of In-Service Physical Education Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 798; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120798 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Physical Education has been described as a subject with unique characteristics that can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. However, an analysis of PE teachers’ (PETs) sustainability consciousness has not yet been conducted. For this purpose, a total of 203 PETs completed the [...] Read more.
Physical Education has been described as a subject with unique characteristics that can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. However, an analysis of PE teachers’ (PETs) sustainability consciousness has not yet been conducted. For this purpose, a total of 203 PETs completed the validated SCQ-S instrument to measure the three dimensions of sustainable development in three components of consciousness (attitudes, knowledge and behaviours). The results obtained show that the PETs have a high consciousness for sustainable development (SD), except for attitudes within the economic dimension. Sex has been identified as a variable that determines awareness in sustainability with significantly higher scores for women in all the variables evaluated, except for knowledge and behaviour in the social dimension. These findings provide new knowledge within the Physical Education and SD paradigm, serving as a link for future research that aims to harness the benefits of Physical Education for the sustainability of the planet. Full article
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Review
Women of Color Leveraging Community Cultural Wealth to Persist in Computing and Tech Graduate Education: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 797; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120797 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 591
Abstract
This paper synthesizes 20 years (1999–2019) of empirical research on women of color (WOC) in computing and tech graduate education. Using complementary theoretical frameworks of social pain and community cultural wealth (CCW), we identify factors in the research literature that affect WOC’s experiences, [...] Read more.
This paper synthesizes 20 years (1999–2019) of empirical research on women of color (WOC) in computing and tech graduate education. Using complementary theoretical frameworks of social pain and community cultural wealth (CCW), we identify factors in the research literature that affect WOC’s experiences, participation, success, and persistence. This qualitative meta-synthesis employed systematic literature search and selection methods, a hybrid approach to coding and thematic analysis. Findings include the ways in which social pain from isolation, exclusion, and hostility from peers and faculty negatively affected WOC’s experiences in their graduate programs. Often, WOC’s motivation to persist and succeed in computing came from key social actors, such as mentors and families, and from individual and social strategies, such as seeking counterspaces, that leveraged their CCW. This meta-synthesis contributes to the knowledge base about the mechanisms that support and hinder the persistence of WOC in computing graduate programs and provides recommendations for institutions and for further research. Full article
Review
Trauma-Informed School Strategies for SEL and ACE Concerns during COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 796; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120796 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 467
Abstract
The precarious circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have raised important questions concerning the potential impact on child and adolescent development. For instance, how might this disruption influence social and emotional learning (SEL) and affect adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)? Moreover, what protective practices [...] Read more.
The precarious circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have raised important questions concerning the potential impact on child and adolescent development. For instance, how might this disruption influence social and emotional learning (SEL) and affect adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)? Moreover, what protective practices may be put in place to mitigate risks? The purpose of this critical review is to engage with these questions. Relevant research findings published before and during pandemic contexts are presented. Connections between SEL, ACEs and past social disruptions are substantiated in the literature. Additionally, preliminary evidence has elucidated variables associated with ACEs and SEL concerns during the pandemic. For instance, research suggests that students from socially disadvantaged positions may be disproportionately impacted by these issues. Actionable trauma-informed recommendations for educators are discussed, including creating safe school environments and adopting a strength-based perspective. Full article
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Article
The Challenges of Struggling Writers: Strategies That Can Help
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 795; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120795 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 751
Abstract
Writing is a necessary skill in our technological world. Many people have a mobile device that they use for e-mailing, social media, as an alarm clock to start the day, reading the news, searching for information, ordering food, managing transportation (e.g., monitoring traffic, [...] Read more.
Writing is a necessary skill in our technological world. Many people have a mobile device that they use for e-mailing, social media, as an alarm clock to start the day, reading the news, searching for information, ordering food, managing transportation (e.g., monitoring traffic, accessing public transit), or for relaxing pursuits, such as watching a movie or listening to music. While these tasks are natural and almost effortless for numerous people, many students struggle with composing longer prose, especially for academic tasks. The 2021 U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress for Writing, for example, indicates that as many as 75% of students cannot write at a basic level. In this article, the author discusses recent examples from the professional literature about why writing can be a challenge for students, what is involved in writing assessment, how we can help students improve their writing skills, and how we can promote technology as part of the instruction and learning processes. Full article
Article
Ensuring Scalability of a Cognitive Multiple-Choice Test through the Mokken Package in R Programming Language
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 794; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11120794 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
This study investigated the scalability of a cognitive multiple-choice test through the Mokken package in the R programming language for statistical computing. A 2019 mathematics West African Examinations Council (WAEC) instrument was used to gather data from randomly drawn K-12 participants (N = [...] Read more.
This study investigated the scalability of a cognitive multiple-choice test through the Mokken package in the R programming language for statistical computing. A 2019 mathematics West African Examinations Council (WAEC) instrument was used to gather data from randomly drawn K-12 participants (N = 2866; Male = 1232; Female = 1634; Mean age = 16.5 years) in Education District I, Lagos State, Nigeria. The results showed that the monotone homogeneity model (MHM) was consistent with the empirical dataset. However, it was observed that the test could not be scaled unidimensionally due to the low scalability of some items. In addition, the test discriminated well and had low accuracy for item-invariant ordering (IIO). Thus, items seriously violated the IIO property and scalability criteria when the HT coefficient was estimated. Consequently, the test requires modification in order to provide monotonic characteristics. This has implications for public examining bodies when endeavouring to assess the IIO assumption of their items in order to boost the validity of testing. Full article
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