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Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 48 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this globalization-focused era, the demand for globalized engineers in the creation of borderless societies is increasing. For many years, internships have been used globally as a platform for training and educating future engineers, but only a few studies have examined the proactive transformation from domestic to international internships. This article reports and offers evidence of a Japanese engineering university’s rapid global internship reform strategy for the expansion of international internships in Penang state, Malaysia. This article provides insights into the requirements and process, from the initial setup to implementation of the internship program covering all the necessary preparation and support. Finally, future perspectives and outlooks of internships are also described. View this paper
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Article
Mathematics Education Students’ Experiences during Lockdown: Managing Collaboration in eLearning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 191; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040191 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
The current world crisis of COVID-19 has enforced international lockdowns in educational institutions, necessitating that these institutions quickly transition to online learning. In mathematics education studies, where collaborative problem-solving is considered a necessary pedagogical approach, lecturers have had challenges incorporating collaborative problem-solving in [...] Read more.
The current world crisis of COVID-19 has enforced international lockdowns in educational institutions, necessitating that these institutions quickly transition to online learning. In mathematics education studies, where collaborative problem-solving is considered a necessary pedagogical approach, lecturers have had challenges incorporating collaborative problem-solving in an authentic manner. There are now also complex living and learning contexts in which the students have to undertake their learning processes. This paper examines students’ experiences of the rapid transition to online learning and their perceptions of the advantages and barriers that ensued. A small comparative case study was used to explore the complexity of the situation, within rich, authentic settings. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used. The participants found that personal circumstances related to having children and partners at home while they studied, and aspects such as not interacting directly with other students to clarify and mediate their thinking, led to major initial frustrations with collaborating. While some of these continued throughout lockdown they did adjust and recognize that the advantages, such as a mix of formal and informal digital pedagogical media, gave them greater flexibility and led to deeper reflective thinking. We contend that some elements related to the adaptions made should become permanent features of face-to-face learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education and Implications to Educational Psychology)
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Article
Digital Experiments in Higher Education—A “How to” and “How It Went” for an Interactive Experiment Lecture on Dental Materials
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 190; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040190 - 19 Apr 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
A digital lecture with motivating experiments—how can this be done in practice? This question shall be answered in the context of a case report from the field of material science. A digital experimental lecture as a substitute for a lecture with student experiments [...] Read more.
A digital lecture with motivating experiments—how can this be done in practice? This question shall be answered in the context of a case report from the field of material science. A digital experimental lecture as a substitute for a lecture with student experiments was evaluated by students to provide information on whether an adequate substitute for experiments in the digital teaching context is possible. This paper addresses the question of how to transfer a demonstrative experimental lecture to the digital space on two levels: (a) the procedure of an experimental lecture in the digital space with a focus on implementation, student activation, and audience response. A self-reflective assessment by the lecturer/author and an evaluation by the participating students was performed to judge the suitability of the digital experimental lecture in terms of students’ motivation. (b) Subject-specific experiments from the field of dental materials and their transfer from “students do it themselves” to a series of demonstration experiments. The detailed explanations of the procedure and the observed results shall serve as a basis for adaptation for other experiments or lectures. In conclusion, methods and tools (audience response systems such as joined blackboards, chat, and voting) suitable to activate students in partaking in the lecture by suggesting experimental parameters or speculating on the outcome of experiments are presented. The evaluation showed that with the help of these systems a demonstrative experimental lecture in the digital space can still be perceived as adequate experimentation if a certain student influence and animating approach to the audience is integrated, which might result in the students’ conclusion of, “It felt like you were “live” on site.”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Assessing Undergraduate Students’ e-Learning Competencies: A Case Study of Higher Education Context in Indonesia
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 189; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040189 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1987
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic that occurred in early 2020 around the world has implications for Indonesia’s education sector. This pandemic led to the Indonesian government policy to study from home at all academic levels using a distance learning approach. Studies on e-learning preparedness in [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic that occurred in early 2020 around the world has implications for Indonesia’s education sector. This pandemic led to the Indonesian government policy to study from home at all academic levels using a distance learning approach. Studies on e-learning preparedness in Indonesia involving more comprehensive samples of universities during the pandemic are still limited. This study extended samples from several public and private universities in Indonesia to get a broader picture of e-learning readiness in various faculties with diverse university online learning cultures. This study used Rasch analysis to determine the validity and reliability of the instrument and differential item functioning (DIF) analysis to identify responses based on students’ demographic profiles. The results show that most students were ready to study online, but a few were not ready. Moreover, the results show significant differences in students’ e-learning readiness based on the academic year at university, the field of study, the level of organizational e-learning culture of the university, gender, and region. This work provides an insight into student readiness to study online, especially in higher education in Indonesia. The article presents the implications of online learning practices in universities and recommendations for future e-learning research. Full article
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Article
Planning and Strategic Management of Higher Education Considering the Vision of Latin America
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 188; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040188 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Nowadays, many universities are employing metrics that are used by other countries as the focus moves towards academic management. A shared vision and collaboration is required to identify success cases. Leaders at senior and middle management need to be guided by a road [...] Read more.
Nowadays, many universities are employing metrics that are used by other countries as the focus moves towards academic management. A shared vision and collaboration is required to identify success cases. Leaders at senior and middle management need to be guided by a road map to get a clear vision, a list of different strategies and successful outcomes. Consequently, this article proposes an academic management strategy to guarantee student-centred education. This strategy has an emphasis on hierarchical process in layers, in order to optimise and achieve efficiency, reliability and resilience. In this paper, the “what”, “ how” and “where” are taken into account in order to respond to academic and administrative adjustments which are necessary to reduce the risk of investment in training and formation of human capital, which warns about the need to acquire knowledge, especially from countries with scientific expertise. It is also shown the indicators that motivate the effort based on the merit that human capital produces. A methodology of flipped learning or blended learning is applied to presume a human capital that is able to break down barriers, such as: English as a universal language. A bibliometric analysis has been based over 2000 scientific articles from the Web of Science and Scopus databases. So It was possible to identify countries, universities and researchers specifically for each area of knowledge based on the results of this analysis. Besides, university careers can even be validated according to the development and scientific interest that is presented by the bibliometric analysis, which could be compared with studies based on economics and wealth from sources such as Forbes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Perception and Attitude of Teachers towards the Inclusion of Students with Hearing Disabilities
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 187; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040187 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 682
Abstract
The aim of this study is to demonstrate the attitudes and perceptions of teachers regarding the educational inclusion of students with hearing disabilities. The study sample consisted of 128 teachers from the Canary Islands, of which 72 worked in ordinary centers and 56 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to demonstrate the attitudes and perceptions of teachers regarding the educational inclusion of students with hearing disabilities. The study sample consisted of 128 teachers from the Canary Islands, of which 72 worked in ordinary centers and 56 in Ordinary Centers for Preferential Educational Attention for Hearing Disability (COAEPHD). A quantitative cut methodology was used, based on the use of the Questionnaire of Opinions, Attitudes and Competencies of Teachers towards Disability (CACPD). The results of this study do not allow us to affirm that the teachers showed positive attitudes towards inclusion, expressing concern about offering a correct and adequate response to the students with hearing disabilities. They considered that educational inclusion requires important improvements focused on the training and specialization of teachers in the field of inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Inclusive Education)
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Article
“Is This a Safe Space?”: Examining an Emotionally Charged Eruption in Critical Language Pedagogy
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 186; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040186 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
Unexpected conflicts, or eruptions, in class during discussions of controversial issues are not uncommon in the field of English language teaching (ELT). This can be especially true for critical English language teachers who hope to address social justice issues in their classrooms. Existing [...] Read more.
Unexpected conflicts, or eruptions, in class during discussions of controversial issues are not uncommon in the field of English language teaching (ELT). This can be especially true for critical English language teachers who hope to address social justice issues in their classrooms. Existing literature of these events often mentions emotional responses of teachers and students, without fully analyzing the ways in which emotions are processed and constrained around these eruptions. This article examines a homophobic incident during an in-service English language teacher course taught by the author to illustrate ways in which emotions shaped the response to the incident, and how social justice aims can be achieved for critical language teachers in emotionally challenging environments, where there may be competing claims of injustice and narratives of oppression. Drawing on feminist theories of emotion, the case is made for a conceptualization of emotions not as private, individual experiences, but rather as public, socioculturally and materially mediated experiences. Social justice is theorized as an active fight against injustices that cannot be seen as an individual, isolated effort. Implications for critical language educators are shared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Language Pedagogy)
Article
Analysing Students’ Spatial Abilities in Chemistry Learning Using 3D Virtual Representation
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 185; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040185 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
Students often have difficulty understanding abstract concepts in chemistry and a low spatial ability, especially in visualizing intermolecular interactions at the submicroscopic level. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the spatial ability of students by using a 3D virtual representation as they study [...] Read more.
Students often have difficulty understanding abstract concepts in chemistry and a low spatial ability, especially in visualizing intermolecular interactions at the submicroscopic level. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the spatial ability of students by using a 3D virtual representation as they study the curriculum topic of molecular geometry. The research was conducted with 13 male and 23 female year 10 secondary students in Jakarta, Indonesia. A qualitative methodology was employed to analyze students’ spatial abilities while they undertook learning activities using 3D virtual representation. Data collection included a spatial assessment, a quiz about prior knowledge, student worksheets, interviews, observation sheets, reflective journals, and a molecular geometry test. Learning was carried out in three stages; engage, explore, and explain. The results of the research show that students’ ability in spatial orientation is low whereas their ability in spatial relationships that involve using mental manipulation and rotation of 2D or 3D objects is more developed. Students employ this approach to develop their understanding of molecular geometry. Full article
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Article
Visual Arts in the University Educational Ecosystem: Analysis of Schools of Knowledge
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040184 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 668
Abstract
Throughout history, the visual arts have allowed for a dynamic of aesthetic feedback, cultural plurality, and a standardization of the artistic phenomenon. The objective of this study is to analyze the current lines of research at the international level, during the period 1952–2020, [...] Read more.
Throughout history, the visual arts have allowed for a dynamic of aesthetic feedback, cultural plurality, and a standardization of the artistic phenomenon. The objective of this study is to analyze the current lines of research at the international level, during the period 1952–2020, on the visual arts in the university educational ecosystem. Bibliometric techniques were applied to 1727 articles in the thematic area of the “Arts and Humanities” to obtain the findings included in this report. Scientific production has increased mainly in the last decade, making up around 70% of all publications. Five schools of knowledge have been identified that generate articles on this topic related to art, visual culture, modernity, music, and history. The growing trend of scientific production worldwide shows the interest in developing aspects of this field of study. This article contributes to the academic, scientific, and institutional discussion on the role of the visual arts in contemporary society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Ecosystems in Higher Education)
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Article
Design and Validation of a Questionnaire on Influence of the University Classroom on Motivation and Sociability
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040183 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 749
Abstract
In recent years, the changes experienced in the educational and social field have been reflected in the growing interest in defining how the attributes of the learning space affect students. This study seeks to determine the influence exerted by the design and organization [...] Read more.
In recent years, the changes experienced in the educational and social field have been reflected in the growing interest in defining how the attributes of the learning space affect students. This study seeks to determine the influence exerted by the design and organization of the university classroom on motivation and social interaction. The objective was to develop and validate a measurement instrument to evaluate the impact of the university classroom design on the student, considering their physical, environmental, perceptual, and motivational attributes. The questionnaire was applied to a sample of 402 students from the University of Almeria (Spain). The reliability and content validity of the construct were analyzed. Reliability was demonstrated by a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.938 for the dimensions with quantitative cut items, being highly satisfactory. The Chi-square goodness of fit test analyzed the qualitative items. Content validity was subject to expert judgment. It is concluded that the presented instrument meets the required technical attributes, to be considered a reliable and valid educational tool for measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Ecosystems in Higher Education)
Article
Educational Rationality: Measurement, Correlates, and Consequences
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040182 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
This paper introduces and empirically tests the model of tetragonal educational rationality that consists of four interrelated categories: hermeneutic, emancipatory, praxeological, and negational rationalities. Based on a large longitudinal study on primary and middle school students (total N = 1990), we investigated the [...] Read more.
This paper introduces and empirically tests the model of tetragonal educational rationality that consists of four interrelated categories: hermeneutic, emancipatory, praxeological, and negational rationalities. Based on a large longitudinal study on primary and middle school students (total N = 1990), we investigated the psychometric properties of the Educational Rationalities Questionnaire (ERQ) and examined relevant correlates, antecedents and longitudinal consequences of the four rationalities. Confirmatory factor analysis corroborated the four-factor structure of the ERQ. Praxeological rationality was more prevalent than hermeneutic rationality, which was accepted more often than emancipatory and negational rationality. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that hermeneutic rationality was primarily driven by participants’ academic self-concept in their native language, as well as extraversion, neuroticism, and valuing creativity. Emancipatory rationality was linked to academic self-concept, valuing creativity, and agreeableness, while praxeological rationality was predicted by extraversion, school achievement, and valuing creativity. Finally, negational rationality was inversely linked with several individual characteristics: academic self-concept, agreeableness, and school achievement. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated that negational rationality was associated with lower grades and more negative emotions during lessons, while hermeneutic rationality was associated with school grades improvement. Emancipatory rationality was related to positive emotions felt during classes, yet negatively with grades. We discuss potential reasons and consequences of these findings. Full article
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Article
Bridging Digital Inequalities in Rural Schools in Germany: A Geographical Lottery?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040181 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 733
Abstract
Repeatedly, it has been argued that advancements in digitalisation could be beneficial for rural areas. However, digital inequalities persist and affect rural communities as well. Schools can play a key role in bridging digital inequalities, but little attention has been paid to the [...] Read more.
Repeatedly, it has been argued that advancements in digitalisation could be beneficial for rural areas. However, digital inequalities persist and affect rural communities as well. Schools can play a key role in bridging digital inequalities, but little attention has been paid to the specific conditions rural schools find themselves in when facing continuous digital developments. Therefore, we apply the digital inclusion lens and explore the impact of digital developments on rural schools in the German context. In 2019, we conducted 16 in-depth interviews with heads and teachers from rural elementary and secondary schools in Baden-Wurttemberg and Lower Saxony. We found that smaller rural schools especially can experience difficulties and conclude that the contribution of schools to a digital-included society is subject to a geographical lottery. This could eventually increase existing rural–urban digital inequalities and these findings are also relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing a sudden switch to distance learning. Full article
Article
Preschool Children’s Reasoning about Sound from an Inferential-Representational Approach
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 180; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040180 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 726
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to present an analysis to identify the reasoning processes and representations that preschool students develop about sound based on the inferential-representational approach. Participants were 18 preschool students between the ages of four and five attending three rural [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to present an analysis to identify the reasoning processes and representations that preschool students develop about sound based on the inferential-representational approach. Participants were 18 preschool students between the ages of four and five attending three rural schools located in the Sierra Norte of Puebla, Mexico. Data were obtained through a 14 question semi-structured interview. From children’s answers to the formulated questions, an inferential analysis method was applied to identify intentionality, representation elements, sign-material expressions, representations, inferences, and coordination rules in students’ constructions. The results show that children build a basic set of epistemic tools to give meaning to their interpretations and can use them as surrogate reasoning to make inferences. This research constitutes the first approximation toward the understanding of preschool children’s reasoning forms with an inferential-representational approach and constitutes a new approach that puts forward new referents to analyze students of different ages. We consider that the described results and analysis have implications on science education at this educational level. Full article
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Perspective
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Company Staff Vocational Training—The Case of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) INEBB Project
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040179 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Education for sustainable development (ESD) plays a significant role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and simultaneously tackling the current global ecological challenges. Integration of ESD in Vocational Education and Training (VET) offers opportunities for private sector actors to contribute to [...] Read more.
Education for sustainable development (ESD) plays a significant role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and simultaneously tackling the current global ecological challenges. Integration of ESD in Vocational Education and Training (VET) offers opportunities for private sector actors to contribute to reaching these global goals. The dual structure of business-integrated training in Germany further exemplifies a business case and the numerous opportunities available to private companies for engaging with the SDG framework. This briefing paper highlighted available evidence from the ESD literature on VET skills development in advancing the SDGs. Outcomes from best practices were based on the tried-and-tested länder—federal states—piloted vocational training of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) INEBB1 project (INEBB), demonstrating the conditions necessary for vocational education training in sustainability and plausible transfer mechanism within companies. These conditions included (1) the application of deductive concepts, (2) the establishment of blended-learning platforms (place-based and digital), and (3) the adaptation of the criteria and contents from the German Sustainability Codex (DNK) in curriculums designed for the training. This innovative vocational course and certification as specialist training for sustainable development was a model case in bringing the SDGs closer to German companies’ vocational education. INEBB2 sought to upscale applicable and task-based instructions from the experimented model project INEBB1 within different companies through regional, lateral, and vertical transfer strands. The INEBB project model in the review suggested there was a need for further empirical work and policy discourse on educational transfer research in the framework of VET for sustainable development. The INEBB project model integrated the new standard occupational profile items of the environmental protection and the sustainability and digitalised world of work across occupational competencies in the German dual system of vocational education and training that will come into force in August 2021 for all 326 dual training professions. Full article
Review
Early Childhood Science Education from 0 to 6: A Literature Review
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040178 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Over the past three decades, our understanding of science learning in early childhood has improved exponentially and today we have a strong empirically based understanding of science experiences for children aged three to six years. However, our understanding of science learning as it [...] Read more.
Over the past three decades, our understanding of science learning in early childhood has improved exponentially and today we have a strong empirically based understanding of science experiences for children aged three to six years. However, our understanding of science learning as it occurs for children from birth to three years, is limited. We do not know enough about how scientific thinking develops across the first years of life. Identifying what we do know about science experiences for our youngest learners within the birth to three period specifically, is critical. This paper reviews the literature, and for the first time includes children in the birth to three period. The results are contextualised through a broader review of early childhood science education for children aged from birth to six years. Findings illustrated that the empirical research on science concept formation in the early years, has focused primarily, on children aged three to six years. The tendency of research to examine the process of concept formation in the birth to three period is also highlighted. A lack of empirical understanding of science concept formation in children from birth to three is evident. The eminent need for research in science in infancy–toddlerhood is highlighted. Full article
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Article
Teaching Mathematics during the COVID-19 Lockdown in a Context of Historical Disadvantage
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040177 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
The COVID-19 global pandemic widely affected education across the world and engendered unprecedented scenarios that required expeditious responses. In South Africa, the pandemic came on top of pre-existing inequalities in the education system. Using a qualitative research method of exploratory and descriptive nature, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 global pandemic widely affected education across the world and engendered unprecedented scenarios that required expeditious responses. In South Africa, the pandemic came on top of pre-existing inequalities in the education system. Using a qualitative research method of exploratory and descriptive nature, this study engaged a social justice framework to explore the teaching and learning of mathematics during the COVID-19 lockdown in a context of historical disadvantage. A sample of twenty-three Grade 12 mathematics teachers at various public secondary schools in Gauteng, South Africa was used in the study. The teachers were selected through purposive sampling. A Google-generated open-ended questionnaire and follow-up telephonic interviews were used to collect data. Data were analysed thematically in five steps. The findings revealed that the WhatsApp platform is a valuable tool that can support the teaching and learning of mathematics beyond the classroom in the contexts of historical disadvantage. The findings also provided insights into how mathematics teachers became learners themselves during emergency remote teaching (ERT) as they had to adapt to digital teaching, find solutions to unfamiliar problems and acquire knowledge from a larger mathematics education community around the globe. The article discusses these findings and teachers’ challenges of transitioning from traditional face-to-face classrooms to ERT and how they were addressed. At the time of publishing the article, most learners in South Africa had started going to school on a rotational basis. Nonetheless, the study reported in this article is of importance as ERT in the context of historical disadvantage has foregrounded issues of inequality in the South African education system that must be dealt with urgently. Full article
Article
Development and Student Perception of Virtual Reality for Implant Surgery
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 176; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040176 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
(1) Introduction: New and innovative approaches to dental education have continued to improve with time. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced dental education to change as social distancing implementations were enforced. Virtual reality was used as a resource before the COVID-19 pandemic, [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: New and innovative approaches to dental education have continued to improve with time. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced dental education to change as social distancing implementations were enforced. Virtual reality was used as a resource before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become more essential due to social restrictions. Virtual reality can allow students to be fully immersed in a clinical environment without leaving their homes. (2) Methods: The development of virtual reality (VR) for implant surgery was described. Selected students filled out a survey before and after using the program. Then, a focus group discussion for the students was held to analyze the program further. (3) Results: Seven dental students enrolled in the Advanced Predoctoral Implant Program (APIP) participated in the study. Qualitative analysis of this study suggests that virtual reality can be used as a supplemental resource to enhance student learning of specific topics. Additionally, the students had positive outlooks for using virtual reality as a resource in dental education and were hopeful to use it in the future for particular topics and subjects. (4) Discussion: The advantages and disadvantages of VR application in education were described. This application allows the students to be immersed fully with virtual dental operatory. The application provides the student with an enhanced learning experience in implant dentistry. Students displayed supportive attitudes towards the applicability of VR in dental education but considered this application as an adjunctive tool for learning. (5) Conclusion: The application of this technology in dental education is promising. The use of virtual reality in teaching and learning implant dentistry offers positive enhancement, especially during these challenging times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technology Enhanced Education)
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Article
Schools, Universities and Large-Scale Assessment Responses to COVID-19: The Swedish Example
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040175 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 859
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to describe, analyze, and discuss how Swedish schools and the national tests in schools, university teaching and examination, and the college admissions test, Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT), have been affected by the COVID-19 situation. A further [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to describe, analyze, and discuss how Swedish schools and the national tests in schools, university teaching and examination, and the college admissions test, Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT), have been affected by the COVID-19 situation. A further aim is to discuss the challenges in schools, universities and in the admissions test process in Sweden which are due to the COVID-19 situation. Contrary to many other countries, Swedish schools remained open, except for upper secondary school and universities where teaching went online. However, the spring administrations of the national tests and the high-stake college admission test, SweSAT, were cancelled, which had impact on admissions to universities in the fall. By using documentation from the news, school, and university authorities, as well as governmental reports of the events and a student survey, challenges are discussed. The novelty of this study includes a discussion of the events and their upcoming challenges. A discussion of what could be learned and what to expect in the close future is included, as well as conclusions which can be drawn from this situation. Full article
Article
The Effects of L2 Proficiency on Pragmatic Comprehension and Learner Strategies
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 174; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040174 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 617
Abstract
The present study aimed to examine the effect of proficiency on the pragmatic comprehension of speech acts, implicatures, and routines, as well as the way learners of different proficiency levels employ strategies when comprehending a pragmatic task. Thirty-three high-proficiency and forty-one low-proficiency Chinese [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to examine the effect of proficiency on the pragmatic comprehension of speech acts, implicatures, and routines, as well as the way learners of different proficiency levels employ strategies when comprehending a pragmatic task. Thirty-three high-proficiency and forty-one low-proficiency Chinese learners of English completed a multiple-choice discourse completion task (MDCT). Of the participants, six were selected from the two proficiency groups to perform verbal retrospections to probe their strategy use in the MDCT task. The quantitative results showed that the high-proficiency group performed significantly better than the low-proficiency group on speech acts, implicatures, and routines. In addition, the analyses of verbal reports identified eight major strategies the learners used while performing the task, including sociopragmatics, hearer’s response, relevance, keyword/key phrase, life experience/world knowledge, amount of information, intuition, and multiple strategies. The high-proficiency group showed a significant use of multiple strategies, life experience/world knowledge, amount of information and relevance. The low-proficiency group, on the other hand, indicated a significant use of intuition. Close examination further revealed that the high-proficiency group showed more flexibility in strategy use, thus leading to more accurate performance. Conversely, the low-proficiency group did not vary their strategy use, which normally led to incorrect responses on the task. Finally, the study closes by providing pedagogical implications for language teachers as to how strategy instruction can be implemented in L2 pragmatics classrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foreign Language Teaching and Learning)
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Article
Analysis of University STEM Students’ Mathematical, Linguistic, Rhetorical–Organizational Assignment Errors
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040173 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Although Error Analysis (EA) has been broadly used in Foreign Language and Mother Tongue learning contexts, it has not been applied in the field of engineering and by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students in a systematic way. In this interdisciplinary pilot [...] Read more.
Although Error Analysis (EA) has been broadly used in Foreign Language and Mother Tongue learning contexts, it has not been applied in the field of engineering and by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students in a systematic way. In this interdisciplinary pilot study, we applied the EA methodology to a wide corpus of exercises and essays written by third-year students of mechanical engineering, with the main purpose of achieving a precise diagnosis of the students’ strengths and weaknesses in writing skills. For the analysis to be as exhaustive as possible, the errors were typologized into three main categories (linguistic, mathematical, and rhetorical–organizational), each of which is, in turn, subdivided into 15 items. The results show that the predominant errors are rhetorical–organizational (39%) and linguistic (38%). The application of EA permits the precise identification of the areas of improvement and the subsequent implementation of an educational design that allows STEM students to improve their communicative strategies, especially those related to the writing skills and, more precisely, those having to do with the optimal use of syntax, punctuation, rhetorical structure of the text, and mathematical coherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated STEAM Education: A Global Perspective)
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Review
Tourism and ICT. Bibliometric Study on Digital Literacy in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 172; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040172 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
The scientific production of digital literacy at the university level published in the Scopus database is analyzed, with a special emphasis on studies on tourism due to the relevance of information and communication technology (ICT) in said professional sector. For this, a bibliometric [...] Read more.
The scientific production of digital literacy at the university level published in the Scopus database is analyzed, with a special emphasis on studies on tourism due to the relevance of information and communication technology (ICT) in said professional sector. For this, a bibliometric study of a pertinent sample is undertaken using a mixed methodology and based on a series of variables related to formal and content aspects. The last variable, reserved for the academic field under study, directly addresses the main objective as regards tourism. The results show a great global and multidisciplinary interest in digital literacy (DL), mainly from students. There is also a parallel between the integration of ICT into society and the growing evolution of case studies, as well as little interest in their development in specific areas such as tourism studies. Despite good results in general terms, the lack of specialization poses challenges that require greater involvement of training institutions in the sense of providing future professionals with the necessary tools to face them successfully, especially in sectors such as tourism where ICTs are a key piece. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Media Education and Digital Literacy)
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Article
From STEAM to CHEER: A Case Study of Design Education Development in Taiwan
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 171; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040171 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2104
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to provide other developing countries in the region a reference on the successful design education reformation in Taiwan. The study first reviews Taiwan’s economic and design development to show their interconnection with local culture and the global [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to provide other developing countries in the region a reference on the successful design education reformation in Taiwan. The study first reviews Taiwan’s economic and design development to show their interconnection with local culture and the global market. Next, the study explores Taiwan’s design education development which transforms from adopting STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) in secondary school, and understands how it overcomes challenges by the help of both public and private sectors. Last, a conceptual framework is proposed to present and study Taiwan’s design education development. The result from case studies validates that STEAM can reach SAD (science, arts, and design) in higher education and CHEER (collaboration, humanity, empathy, ecology, and renaissance) in design practice. Therefore, the result and implications provided by this study can serve as a reference for other countries in the region who share similar cultural and socioeconomic development and future goals as Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated STEAM Education: A Global Perspective)
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Article
Methodology to Evaluate Economic Viability Plans and Digitalization Strategies in Private Social Education Centers
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040170 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
The Spanish educational system is characterized by the coexistence of three different models of production and provision of education: public, subsidized and private. Within the privately-owned centers not under the subsidized system, private schools of a social nature stand out. These schools, whose [...] Read more.
The Spanish educational system is characterized by the coexistence of three different models of production and provision of education: public, subsidized and private. Within the privately-owned centers not under the subsidized system, private schools of a social nature stand out. These schools, whose main source of financing comes from the fees paid by the students’ families, must implement financial strategies that guarantee their economic viability and allow them to develop their educational project. In a highly competitive environment, the implementation of sound financial strategies and the development of educational innovation policies are critical to ensure their survival. In this context, this study analyzes a methodological proposal that can contribute to guide this strategic policy based on two fundamental pillars: the financial viability of the center and educational innovation through the application of new technologies and innovative teaching strategies. To this end, the case method has been used as the main methodology, obtaining results that considerably improve student satisfaction and that represent economic improvements of more than €100,000 per year. From these results it has been possible to identify different possible scenarios that can condition the financial viability of the educational center, the dropout rate and the academic performance of the students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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Article
Leading Inclusive Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Post-Primary Schools in Ireland: Does Provision Mapping Support an Integrated, School-Wide and Systematic Approach to Inclusive Special Education?
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040168 - 05 Apr 2021
Viewed by 2287
Abstract
A parallel system of inclusive and special education persists in Ireland despite attempts to move towards integrated provision for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) along a flexible continuum of support. Even in mainstream schools, duality exists and discrete delivery of [...] Read more.
A parallel system of inclusive and special education persists in Ireland despite attempts to move towards integrated provision for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) along a flexible continuum of support. Even in mainstream schools, duality exists and discrete delivery of special education continues to create ‘siloed’ approaches to education for some students. This paper outlines a research and knowledge exchange initiative involving a higher education institution and a management body for post-primary schools in Ireland attempting to develop integrated, school-wide, systematic and collaborative approaches to inclusive and special education. Theoretically underpinned by Hornby’s model of Inclusive Special Education (2015) and a conceptualisation of the SENCO role in the Irish context, a pilot process was implemented to support the development of an integrated response to a continuum of need. A year after initial implementation a review was undertaken. Focus group and individual interviews with SENCOs, Curriculum Leaders and Principals in six schools indicate that the initiative, while still in its infancy, raised awareness about inclusive special education amongst staff and provided data-informed approaches to education. The centrality of leadership in promoting school-wide approaches to inclusive special education also emerged. Finally, the importance of situated community of practice approaches to professional learning were identified as critical to leading change in schools. Full article
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Article
Inclusive Education in Portugal: Teachers’ Professional Development, Working Conditions, and Instructional Efficacy
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040169 - 04 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Inclusive education policies thin the boundaries of special and regular education as well as teachers’ roles and competencies. The present study, using data from TALIS 2018, aims to find out whether Portuguese teachers working in classes directed entirely or mainly to special education [...] Read more.
Inclusive education policies thin the boundaries of special and regular education as well as teachers’ roles and competencies. The present study, using data from TALIS 2018, aims to find out whether Portuguese teachers working in classes directed entirely or mainly to special education needs students (SENS) differ from teachers working in classes with few or no SENS in the following areas: (a) professional development needs in special education; (b) perceived barriers to professional development; and (c) teaching and work features related to SENS. The results show small but significant differences between teachers working and teachers not working entirely or mainly with SENS in professional development needs, perceived opportunities for professional development, and stress involved in modifying SENS lessons. No other significant differences were found. Still, the results show that both groups of teachers perceive significant professional development needs and barriers to professional development but are optimistic about the quality of professional development, job satisfaction, and self-efficacy in instruction. However, teachers of both groups are pessimistic about professional collaboration, a key element of inclusive education. Overall, it seems that some critical elements of inclusive education are still to be implemented in Portuguese schools. Full article
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Article
The Role of Competitive Robotics in Providing Context to Classroom Learning and Technical Skill Development in School Age Students—A Survey of Current Avenues, Assessment, and Path Forward with Systematic Implementation
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 167; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040167 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Finding context, examples, and ample hands-on experimentation is fundamental for understanding complex ideas in subjects such as science and math. Recent popularity of competitive robotics has become a catalyst in the development of DIY and hobby kits. Manufacturers have made available easy to [...] Read more.
Finding context, examples, and ample hands-on experimentation is fundamental for understanding complex ideas in subjects such as science and math. Recent popularity of competitive robotics has become a catalyst in the development of DIY and hobby kits. Manufacturers have made available easy to work, re-configurable, and functional, structural elements as well as control electronics. Additionally, extensive participation from the open-source software community is providing cutting edge and effective software. Despite all the right ingredients, competitive robotics continues to be unregulated and non-standardized. Additionally, in absence of regulations and standards, the organizers, suppliers, educators, and participants are left to their own means and resources that necessarily may not align with systematic learning. The cost of approved competitive kits as well as field kits becomes inhibitive for students from poorer communities. This paper surveys a wide range of competitive robotics avenues available to school-age students. A survey with various stake holders including participants, mentors, referees, and organizers is done and findings are included. A path for standardizing competitive robotics within the framework of the World Robotics League is found to be an effective tool to train the students. A description of the World Robotics League framework and initial findings are reported. Full article
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Article
Designing and Implementing an In-Service Training Course for School Teams on Inclusive Education: Reflections from Participants
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040166 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
Significant and effective implementation of inclusive education (IE) has been a major challenge in many countries during the last decades. Although teachers’ knowledge and skills are considered a key factor for successful inclusive practice, the whole school staff commitment and contribution to implementing [...] Read more.
Significant and effective implementation of inclusive education (IE) has been a major challenge in many countries during the last decades. Although teachers’ knowledge and skills are considered a key factor for successful inclusive practice, the whole school staff commitment and contribution to implementing IE policies are equally important. Collaboration between different professionals such as teachers, school leaders, and support specialists is crucial. This study aimed to design and implement an in-service training course for school teams (teachers, support specialists, school leaders) on IE in the Estonian context and to explore how participants experienced learning as a team in this course. The results of this study showed that the main aspects of the in-service training for school teams valued by participants were: (1) All topics covered in a systematic and coherent way gave a good opportunity to focus on relevant issues, which should be considered in the schools’ self-development activities in the field of IE; (2) practical approach to training structure helped to identify priority areas that need to be developed in particular schools; (3) learning from each other both within their own school team and across school teams contributed to finding the best solutions for meaningful implementation of IE. The implication of these findings is further discussed in the paper. Full article
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Communication
Redesigning Mathematical Curriculum for Blended Learning
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 165; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040165 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown public schooling into crisis, trying to juggle shifting instructional modes: classrooms, online, home-schooling, student pods, hybrid and blends of these. This poses an urgent need to redesign curriculum using available technology to implement approaches that incorporate the findings [...] Read more.
The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown public schooling into crisis, trying to juggle shifting instructional modes: classrooms, online, home-schooling, student pods, hybrid and blends of these. This poses an urgent need to redesign curriculum using available technology to implement approaches that incorporate the findings of the learning sciences, including the emphasis on collaborative learning, computer mediation, student discourse and embodied feedback. This paper proposes a model of such learning, illustrated using existing dynamic-geometry technology to translate Euclidean geometry study into collaborative learning by student pods. The technology allows teachers and students to interact with the same material in multiple modes, so that blended approaches can be flexibly adapted to students with diverse preferred learning approaches or needs and structured into parallel or successive phases of blended learning. The technology can be used by online students, co-located small groups and school classrooms, with teachers and students having shared access to materials and to student work across interaction modes. Full article
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Article
Universal Design for Learning: The More, the Better?
by , and
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 164; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040164 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
An experimental study investigated the effects of applying principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Focusing on epistemic beliefs (EBs) in inclusive science classes, we compared four groups who worked with learning environments based more or less on UDL principles and filled [...] Read more.
An experimental study investigated the effects of applying principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Focusing on epistemic beliefs (EBs) in inclusive science classes, we compared four groups who worked with learning environments based more or less on UDL principles and filled out an original version of a widely used EBs questionnaire or an adapted version using the Universal Design for Assessment (UDA). Based on measurement invariance analyses, a multiple indicator, and multiple cause (MIMIC) approach as well as multi-group panel models, the results do not support an outperformance of the extensive UDL environment. Moreover, the UDA-based questionnaire appears to be more adequately suited for detecting learning gains in an inclusive setting. The results emphasize how important it is to carefully adopt and introduce the UDL principles for learning and to care about test accessibility when conducting quantitative research in inclusive settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Special and Inclusive Education)
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Article
From Resistance to Digital Technologies in the Context of the Reaction to Distance Learning in the School Context during COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040163 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
In the relationship between teachers and distance learning in the context of COIVD-19, a series of unprecedented dynamics have emerged relating to a process of open-air experimentation that is going on in the world of school. The main constructs investigated in this paper [...] Read more.
In the relationship between teachers and distance learning in the context of COIVD-19, a series of unprecedented dynamics have emerged relating to a process of open-air experimentation that is going on in the world of school. The main constructs investigated in this paper concern the professional perceptions of teachers in terms of their skills and resistances towards digital technologies. To investigate this topic, a questionnaire on distance learning was administered to a sample of 658 teachers. From a methodological point of view, factor and reliability analyses and correlation and regression analyses were conducted. From the analysis of the results, it emerged that the questionnaire measures the resistance of teachers to distance learning and focuses on three main dimensions (two positive and one negative) that link teachers’ perceptions to the resistance to distance learning. In conclusion, the theme of the acceptance of technologies in the practice of teachers is still a subject full of meaning for professional perception and vision. A second issue concerns precisely the relationship between digital technologies and users, which must no longer focus only on the relationship with students but also on the perspective of the other training actors, including teachers. Full article
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Article
Differences in Graphomotor Skills by the Writing Medium and Children’s Gender
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 162; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci11040162 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Factors of graphomotor skills may serve as indicators to determine a writer’s handwriting proficiency or acclimation to different writing surface textures. This study examines differences in children’s graphomotor skills based on types of writing medium and gender. Participants were 97 six-year-old Korean preschool [...] Read more.
Factors of graphomotor skills may serve as indicators to determine a writer’s handwriting proficiency or acclimation to different writing surface textures. This study examines differences in children’s graphomotor skills based on types of writing medium and gender. Participants were 97 six-year-old Korean preschool children who had not received formal writing training prior to the study. Writing tasks were completed on a tablet screen and paper. Writing samples were analyzed using the Eye and Pen software to investigate spatial, temporal, and pressure exertion exhibited during the writing tasks. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed differences in graphomotor skills such as print size, writing speed, and writing pressure. Writing on a tablet screen decreased clarity of writing; print size and speed increased as the stylus slides across the tablet surface with relatively less friction, thereby decreasing the exertion of writing pressure. Analysis of writing differences according to gender indicated that boys generated larger print sizes than girls. Results suggest that while simple writing tasks may be feasible on the tablet screen, providing children with a larger writing medium and encouraging larger print sizes for writing practice, especially for boys, may be beneficial in the development of graphomotor skills among young learners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Digitalized K-12 Classroom in the Age of AI, Analytics and IoT)
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