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Educ. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 60 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Engineering courses tend to have a low success rate, and students who take them often find them difficult and show little motivation toward them. In this context, it is essential to obtain information on the profile of students so that teaching can be adapted to their perceived needs and motivations. This research study was carried out to determine the learning profile of engineering project students through their motivational profile based on five grouping variables (gender, type of institute of origin, entrance studies, major, repeater). The instrument used was a consolidated motivational assessment questionnaire called MAPE-3. As a result, a student profile characterized by a mixed reflective–practical learning profile based on analytical and predominantly practical individuals was observed. View this paper
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Article
Tales of Doctoral Students: Motivations and Expectations on the Route to the Unknown
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040286 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 793
Abstract
This paper provides a reflection on the way changes taking place in doctoral education are being perceived and internalized by doctoral students. The Doctoral perceptions are analyzed through Ph.D. candidates’ motivations to enroll in the program and to their levels of satisfaction with [...] Read more.
This paper provides a reflection on the way changes taking place in doctoral education are being perceived and internalized by doctoral students. The Doctoral perceptions are analyzed through Ph.D. candidates’ motivations to enroll in the program and to their levels of satisfaction with the supervision experience. Comparisons between national and international students, as well as differences according to doctoral programs’ scientific areas, i.e., between students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and in Social Sciences, Languages and Humanities (SSLH) are established. Based on a case study developed in a Portuguese university, conclusions point to the dominance of a romanticized, traditional view of doctoral education, with the academic profession at its core. This view is mostly shared by international students and those from SSLH scientific areas. In turn, national Ph.D. candidates and those from STEM areas have incorporated a more instrumental view of doctoral education, aiming for training participants to professions outside academia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Trends and Challenges in Higher Education)
Article
The Relationship between Professional Environmental Factors and Teacher Professional Development in Israeli Schools
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040285 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 669
Abstract
(1) Background: This paper examines the elements essential to effective teacher professional development (TPD) and the relationship between various professional environmental factors (professional learning community perceptions, self-efficacy, professional identity, principal’s transformation leadership patterns), TDP in primary education schools, and TDP prediction. (2) Methods: [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This paper examines the elements essential to effective teacher professional development (TPD) and the relationship between various professional environmental factors (professional learning community perceptions, self-efficacy, professional identity, principal’s transformation leadership patterns), TDP in primary education schools, and TDP prediction. (2) Methods: Data were collected during the 2020 school year from 412 teachers in primary education schools in five Israeli districts. The professional learning community, self-efficacy, professional identity, transformation leadership patterns, and TPD scales were used to collect data. Descriptive statistics, Pearson moment-product correlation, and multiple regression analysis were used for data analysis. (3) Results: Overall, participants’ TPD was high (4.12 ± 0.83). Statistically significant correlations were observed between TPD and four independent variables (0.41–0.64; p < 0.0001). No significant associations were seen between TPD and work-related characteristics. TPD differences were observed in participants with different educational levels (F = 4.63; p = 0.003). Higher TPD levels were predicted by perceptions of the principal’s transformation leadership patterns, self-efficacy, the professional learning community, and education (F-ratio = 57.85; adjusted R2 = 0.50; p < 0.001). Conclusions: The present study attests to the importance of the school principal’s leadership patterns for TPD, alongside the contribution of self-efficacy, professional learning community, and professional identity. Full article
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Article
Analysis of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Knowledge of Cuban Teachers in Primary Schools and Preschools
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040284 - 17 Apr 2022
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Teachers’ knowledge of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) plays a key role in the successful inclusion of children with ASD in regular schools. The objective of this study was to analyze Cuban teachers’ knowledge of ASD of at inclusive primary schools and preschools and [...] Read more.
Teachers’ knowledge of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) plays a key role in the successful inclusion of children with ASD in regular schools. The objective of this study was to analyze Cuban teachers’ knowledge of ASD of at inclusive primary schools and preschools and to compare it with the results obtained in previous studies carried out at an international level. To do this, a cross-sectional study was conducted with Cuban teachers from urban and rural areas throughout the country. The sample was selected using a non-probabilistic technique. In total, 131 primary school and preschool teachers participated. Data were collected by applying the Autism Knowledge Questionnaire (AKQ) that measures ASD knowledge. The results indicated that Cuban teachers had an acceptable knowledge regarding ASD (0.57). Primary education teachers (17.58 ± 4.06) showed a higher level of knowledge than preschool teachers (15.35 ± 2.74). Regarding previous training, teachers who claimed to have received some type of specific ASD training (10.88 ± 3.29) made a greater number of errors than teachers who had not received specific training on ASD (8.91 ± 3.06). At the international level, Cuban teachers were observed to have similar knowledge about ASD when compared to active teachers or pre-service teachers from other countries where similar studies have been carried out. The results suggest that the training of Cuban teachers is not yet optimal to educate students with ASD in primary schools and preschools which are open to diversity. Full article
Article
Attitudes, Behavior and Relations in the Early School Years
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040283 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
In the early school years, the emphasis is more and more on cognitive output factors. Non-cognitive development is receiving less attention than before, though such factors are important determinants of academic success. This study aims at answering two questions: (1) How do young [...] Read more.
In the early school years, the emphasis is more and more on cognitive output factors. Non-cognitive development is receiving less attention than before, though such factors are important determinants of academic success. This study aims at answering two questions: (1) How do young children perform on a number of non-cognitive characteristics, more specifically, attitudes, behavior, and relationships? (2) Are there any differences with regard to those characteristics according to the pupils’ social and ethnic/immigrant background? To answer the questions, data from the Dutch large-scale cohort study COOL5-18 were analyzed. The main sample included nearly 6500 grade 2 pupils (6-year-olds). Teachers answered questions about their pupils’ attitudes, behavior, and relationships. One- and two-way analyses of variance were employed, and effect sizes were computed. The results showed that the teachers rated their pupil’s work attitude as lower than their behavior and popularity. They were more positive regarding their relationship with the pupils. More important was that there were differences according to the pupils’ social and ethnic/immigrant backgrounds: ethnic minority/immigrant pupils scored less positive on all non-cognitive characteristics than native Dutch pupils, and the higher the parental educational level, the more favorable their children performed on the non-cognitive characteristics. These findings are discussed and possible solutions are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Education)
Article
Exploring Relationships between Professional Development and Teachers’ Enactments of Project-Based Learning
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040282 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 650
Abstract
This paper examines whether teachers’ prior professional development (PD) in Project-Based Learning (PBL) significantly related to teachers’ enactments of PBL practices within the classroom. Teachers (N = 40) were recruited based on their commitment to enacting PBL in their classrooms. Teachers were surveyed [...] Read more.
This paper examines whether teachers’ prior professional development (PD) in Project-Based Learning (PBL) significantly related to teachers’ enactments of PBL practices within the classroom. Teachers (N = 40) were recruited based on their commitment to enacting PBL in their classrooms. Teachers were surveyed regarding the extent to which they had experienced prior PD in PBL and asked to submit two videos of their classroom instruction. Videos were coded according to teachers’ quality enactment of PBL practices during instruction. Results suggest that teachers who had prior PD in PBL enacted more structure-driven PBL practices (e.g., setting up and managing projects) and incorporated more collaboration practices. However, for other purpose-driven practices of PBL (e.g., supporting student choice, supporting students to make personal connections), teachers with prior PD were no different from teachers without prior PD. The results suggest that teachers may need more intensive and fine-grained, practice-based PD in purpose-driven PBL practices. Full article
Article
Design, Development, and Evaluation of a Virtual Reality Serious Game for School Fire Preparedness Training
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040281 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Immersive virtual reality (VR) is a technology that can be effective for procedural skills training through game-based simulations such as serious games. The current study describes the instructional design, development, and evaluation of the FSCHOOL fire preparedness serious game in a cave automatic [...] Read more.
Immersive virtual reality (VR) is a technology that can be effective for procedural skills training through game-based simulations such as serious games. The current study describes the instructional design, development, and evaluation of the FSCHOOL fire preparedness serious game in a cave automatic virtual environment (CAVE-VR) for elementary school teachers. The main game mechanics include a storytelling scenario, enhanced realism, freedom of movement, levels, and points corresponding to the learning mechanics of instruction, action, simulation, discovery, repetition, and imitation. The game was developed in Unity 3D with the help of the Fire Dynamics Simulator and a script to emulate and visualize fire propagation. The game featured three levels to respond to school fire safety regulations and was evaluated by elementary school teachers (N = 33) in Greece. A comparative quantitative study was conducted with experimental and control groups. The results indicate that the VR serious game is appropriate for training, providing challenge, enjoyment, and mastery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Novel Methods for Education in the Era of Industry 4.0)
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Article
Teachers’ Global Perceptions and Views, Practices and Needs in Multicultural Settings
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040280 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Multiculturalism and globalization are common traits of western societies, and affect the way people interact and communicate. In such a context, this study comes to investigate teachers’ perceptions, practices and needs towards global and intercultural competences. This study was designed and implemented in [...] Read more.
Multiculturalism and globalization are common traits of western societies, and affect the way people interact and communicate. In such a context, this study comes to investigate teachers’ perceptions, practices and needs towards global and intercultural competences. This study was designed and implemented in order to shed light on major issues which are associated with the context of global competences as an umbrella term, which arose during the researchers’ participation at an Erasmus plus European project. The research took place at the region of Attica and thirteen teachers (N = 13) of reception classes—Zones of Educational Priority (ZEP)—participated in the interview. A qualitative case study followed, focusing on a specific geographic region, and the semi-structured interview tool was used. The findings of the research indicate that educators do not feel certain about the differences between global and intercultural competences. However, they consider that these competences are of great importance and they recognize the contribution of schools to their development. Regarding their practices, they mostly refer to the dialogue and discussion techniques, the role playing, and the project-based teaching. Finally, participants consider that they are not sufficiently prepared to teach global and intercultural competences. Thus, participation in relevant training programs is important. Full article
Article
Fostering Teamwork through Design Thinking: Evidence from a Multi-Actor Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040279 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
This study examines the effects of a design thinking intervention on first-year students’ teamwork skills from a multi-actor perspective. A design thinking course was evaluated throughout a semester. Six-hundred-and-forty university students participated, guided by twenty-six facilitators. The students received in-class training and worked [...] Read more.
This study examines the effects of a design thinking intervention on first-year students’ teamwork skills from a multi-actor perspective. A design thinking course was evaluated throughout a semester. Six-hundred-and-forty university students participated, guided by twenty-six facilitators. The students received in-class training and worked in multi-disciplinary teams to develop a solution for a real-life problem. In this quasi-experimental study, data were collected twice: in the middle (t1), and at the end (t2) of the course. Each time, students were rated by their teammates, themselves, and the course facilitator, using a rubric to map teamwork skills. The results show a significant improvement in teamwork skills, as consistently observed in the three ratings. The results also show a significant effect of sex on the improvement over time. Female students showed more considerable progress than male students. This study addresses researchers’ demands regarding the lack of robust evidence to assess the impact of design thinking in higher education settings. Furthermore, building on the data from a large sample size and an intervention designed in a replicable way, this study contributes to the available empirical evidence that helps one to adopt and implement design thinking in universities to develop essential skills, such as teamwork. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
An Analysis of Student Anxiety Affecting on Online Learning on Conceptual Applications in Physics: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040278 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 640
Abstract
This study examines the impact of students’ anxiety, due to online learning, in different learning environments: a synchronous (Zoom) and asynchronous learning environment (YouTube) to compare students’ conceptual understanding of electric circuits. Multiple linear regression and factor analyses were conducted to examine the [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of students’ anxiety, due to online learning, in different learning environments: a synchronous (Zoom) and asynchronous learning environment (YouTube) to compare students’ conceptual understanding of electric circuits. Multiple linear regression and factor analyses were conducted to examine the factor of students’ anxiety and conceptual understanding. A sample of 99 vocational students participated in the study, including YouTube (n = 49) and Zoom (n = 50) groups. The DIRECT was used to diagnose test for conceptual understanding in the electric circuits, and OTAI was used to assess anxiety in online learning test. The OTAI consists of three factors: psychological, physiological, and online. The results showed that students’ anxiety, in some factors, affected their conceptual understanding of the electric circuits in both groups. However, there was a significant increase in conceptual understanding in both treatment groups. Although the students’ conceptual understanding had a slight increase, online learning has to improve to reduce the anxiety of learners. Full article
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Article
Employability within an Education for Sustainability Framework: The Ocean i3 Case Study
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040277 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 667
Abstract
The Council of the European Union recalls that higher education plays a fundamental role in shaping the future of Europe. Therefore, curricula are required to take into account the competences demanded by the job market so that future workers can effectively undertake their [...] Read more.
The Council of the European Union recalls that higher education plays a fundamental role in shaping the future of Europe. Therefore, curricula are required to take into account the competences demanded by the job market so that future workers can effectively undertake their professional activities and form part of an active, responsible, ecological, sustainable, and resilient society. Ocean i3 is a cross-border project with the aim of achieving sustainability in the oceans by training students to become environmentally concerned and responsible professionals. This study explores the perception of students and teachers regarding their participation in Ocean i3 and their understanding of employability. A qualitative methodological approach has been used, based on a case study in which semi-structured interviews have been carried out and the Elevator Pitch presentation technique has been applied. Nine students and four teachers from the University of the Basque Country and the University of Bordeaux have been interviewed. The results highlight the importance of the participants’ first contact with the project, the need to be explicit regarding competences that favour employability during the development of the experience, and the need to increase and reinforce internships at social entities located in the territory. It is concluded that the project should focus more explicitly on the concept of employability to raise students’ awareness of the impact that their current participation in Ocean i3 can have on their professional future and insertion in the workplace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transversal Competencies, Higher Education and Employment)
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Article
Models as Epistemic Artifacts for Scientific Reasoning in Science Education Research
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040276 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Models are at the core of scientific reasoning and science education. They are especially crucial in scientific and educational contexts where the primary objects of study are unobservables. While empirical science education researchers apply philosophical arguments in their discussions of models and modeling, [...] Read more.
Models are at the core of scientific reasoning and science education. They are especially crucial in scientific and educational contexts where the primary objects of study are unobservables. While empirical science education researchers apply philosophical arguments in their discussions of models and modeling, we in turn look at exemplary empirical studies through the lense of philosophy of science. The studied cases tend to identify modeling with representation, while simultaneously approaching models as tools. We argue that such a dual approach is inconsistent, and suggest considering models as epistemic artifacts instead. The artifactual approach offers many epistemic benefits. The access to unobservable target systems becomes less mysterious when models are not approached as more or less accurate representations, but rather as tools constructed to answer theoretical and empirical questions. Such a question-oriented approach contributes to a more consistent theoretical understanding of modeling and interpretation of the results of empirical research. Full article
Article
Educational Gardens and Climate Change Education: An Analysis of Spanish Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 275; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040275 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Educational gardens are powerful outdoor learning environments to address the subject of climate change and foster climate action. Using an online questionnaire, this study examines the influence of the main sociodemographic and academic factors, and the role of connectedness to nature, on the [...] Read more.
Educational gardens are powerful outdoor learning environments to address the subject of climate change and foster climate action. Using an online questionnaire, this study examines the influence of the main sociodemographic and academic factors, and the role of connectedness to nature, on the perception of educational gardens as contexts of climate change education (CCE) among Spanish preservice teachers (PSTs). The sample consisted of 889 PSTs enrolled in 9 university campuses of Spain. The statistical analyses performed evidenced that women are more likely to use educational gardens than men and that there is a progressive decrease in the positive perception of PSTs about the usefulness of gardens for CCE as the educational level at which they are being trained increases. Statistics also revealed that the variable connectedness to nature and the rating of the importance of educational gardens in CCE are not significantly related. Nevertheless, the Mann–Whitney U test indicated that PSTs who scored higher on connection to nature wished to broaden their knowledge of sustainable agriculture and, thus, connectedness to nature could be considered a predictor of environmental attitudes, each influencing the other. Based on these findings, recommendations for PSTs’ training in the CCE context are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gardens as Innovative Learning Contexts)
Article
A Novel, Modular Robot for Educational Robotics Developed Using Action Research Evaluated on Technology Acceptance Model
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 274; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040274 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 604
Abstract
This research evaluates a novel, modular, open-source, and low-cost educational robotic platform in Educational Robotics and STEM Education. It is the sequel of an action research cycle on which the development of this robot is based. The impetus for the need to develop [...] Read more.
This research evaluates a novel, modular, open-source, and low-cost educational robotic platform in Educational Robotics and STEM Education. It is the sequel of an action research cycle on which the development of this robot is based. The impetus for the need to develop this came from the evaluation of qualitative and quantitative research data collected during an educational robotics event with significant participation of students in Athens, which showed an intense interest in students in participating in educational robotics activities, but—at the same time—recorded their low involvement due to the high cost of educational robots and robotic platforms. Based on the research’s findings, this robot was designed to suit the whole educational community; its specifications came from its members’ needs and the processing and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. This paper presents an evaluation of the robot using the Technology Acceptance Model. The robot was exposed to 116 undergraduate students attending a pedagogical university department to evaluate its handling according to the model’s factors. Research results were promising and showed a high degree of acceptance of the robot by these students and future teachers, providing the impetus for further research. Full article
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Case Report
Embedding a Coaching Culture into Programmatic Assessment
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040273 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Educational change in higher education is challenging and complex, requiring engagement with a multitude of perspectives and contextual factors. In this paper, we present a case study based on our experiences of enacting a fundamental educational change in a medical program; namely, the [...] Read more.
Educational change in higher education is challenging and complex, requiring engagement with a multitude of perspectives and contextual factors. In this paper, we present a case study based on our experiences of enacting a fundamental educational change in a medical program; namely, the steps taken in the transition to programmatic assessment. Specifically, we reflect on the successes and failures in embedding a coaching culture into programmatic assessment. To do this, we refer to the principles of programmatic assessment as they apply to this case and conclude with some key lessons that we have learnt from engaging in this change process. Fostering a culture of programmatic assessment that supports learners to thrive through coaching has required compromise and adaptability, particularly in light of the changes to teaching and learning necessitated by the global pandemic. We continue to inculcate this culture and enact the principles of programmatic assessment with a focus on continuous quality improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmatic Assessment in Education for Health Professions)
Article
Preservice Teachers’ Online Self-Regulated Learning: Does Digital Readiness Matter?
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 272; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040272 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 550
Abstract
(1) Background: Teaching in today’s schools asks teachers to foster self-regulated learning and digital competences in children and young people. In order to do so, teachers first need to acquire and use these competences themselves. (2) Methods: Based on a mixed-methods approach, the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Teaching in today’s schools asks teachers to foster self-regulated learning and digital competences in children and young people. In order to do so, teachers first need to acquire and use these competences themselves. (2) Methods: Based on a mixed-methods approach, the study investigates self-regulated learning in online courses of N = 129 preservice teachers at a German university. (3) Results and conclusions: Perceiving their digital readiness as generally high, preservice teachers appear to not overly self-regulate their learning in the online environment. Finally, preservice teachers’ digital readiness was related only weakly to their online self-regulated learning. A discussion is offered which shows teacher education as a broader phenomenon and implies the need for professional development for teacher educators. Additionally, it is argued to link research on self-regulated learning more closely to research on online learning environments in teacher education. Full article
Article
A Schema-Based Instructional Design Model for Self-Paced Learning Environments
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 271; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040271 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Although research on schema has been widely investigated for the past decades, little research has addressed the development of a systematic instructional design theory using schema principles and processes. This study proposes a systematic schema-based instructional design model, including general and schema analysis, [...] Read more.
Although research on schema has been widely investigated for the past decades, little research has addressed the development of a systematic instructional design theory using schema principles and processes. This study proposes a systematic schema-based instructional design model, including general and schema analysis, schema-based design, and development processes and techniques for evaluating a learner’s acquired schema. By synthesizing empirical studies, this study comprehensively reviews literature on schema and foundational principles for learning. The goal of the study is to enrich the knowledge base of schema-based instructional design for different learning environments. Thus, the study is concluded by a discussion on how to utilize a schema-based instructional design for self-paced learning environments with additional implications and further recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
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Article
Effects of Japanese Special Moras Education Using Evernote
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 270; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040270 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
In this study, we designed a class model using the Evernote application for the pronunciation learning of special moras, and applied it to a class to verify the learner’s recognition of special moras and the effectiveness of pronunciation duration. This study consisted of [...] Read more.
In this study, we designed a class model using the Evernote application for the pronunciation learning of special moras, and applied it to a class to verify the learner’s recognition of special moras and the effectiveness of pronunciation duration. This study consisted of 30 students who took an intermediate Japanese language class, which started in the first semester of 2019, and Japanese literature majors who had not yet been in Japan for more than 6 months. We conducted special mora pre- and post-tests and surveyed them. Positive results were obtained based on the research question of whether the application affects the self-awareness of special moras, which represented a significant academic achievement in terms of pronunciation duration. In addition, it was observed that learning using Evernote enabled a significant change in lecture satisfaction through one-to-one feedback work with learners. Although the research results were limited by the small size of the group, it was possible to suggest a method of special moras learning using Evernote, and it is believed that it will help in-class learning in the future. Full article
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Article
Assisted Discovery Based Learning of the Electric Force with Scaffolding for Novice Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 269; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040269 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Despite being one of the pillars of physics and a well-known subject, the electric force is sometimes not immediately evident to students. Discovery-based learning has proven to be very effective in science education; nevertheless, it can become stressful for students if they don’t [...] Read more.
Despite being one of the pillars of physics and a well-known subject, the electric force is sometimes not immediately evident to students. Discovery-based learning has proven to be very effective in science education; nevertheless, it can become stressful for students if they don’t have the necessary scaffolding and training to construct knowledge by themselves. In this work, examples of obstacles to students were the absence of the necessary background knowledge, distractions in multimedia environments, and that some students prefer regular instruction in order not to be left alone in the face of active learning dynamics. Therefore, we designed and implemented an assisted active learning sequence that includes moderated intervention from two different lecturers on an Electricity and Magnetism course at a private university in Mexico to compare the normalized learning changes with a standard directed lecture. The primary objective of the active learning sequence was to introduce students to the discovery of the electric force via a simulated experiment using a web-based physics simulation, Newtondreams. By comparing normalized learning changes between four groups, two control, and two experimental groups, we show that students in the experimental groups performed significantly better than the control groups (c = 0.469 and 0.435 for the experimental groups, and c = 0.08 and 0.077 for the control groups). We performed a Wilcoxon Rank-Sum Test to examine the normalized gains between the groups. Observed p-values show that there is significant difference between experimental and control groups: CG1 vs. EG1 (p = 0.00109), CG2 vs. EG2 (p = 0.00079). On the contrary there are no observed significance on the effect of the instructor CG1 vs. CG2 (p = 1), EG1 vs. EG2 (p = 1). Then, that active learning is more effective than regular instruction. Studying the concentration factors we also found that active learning develop better comprehension that regular instruction lecture. At the end of the experiments, we performed student interviews that also showed they felt less stressed and more involved when using the assisted active learning sequence, making the learning experience more amenable when the instructor changes their role from presenter to a guide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Twice-Exceptional Children and Their Challenges in Dealing with Normality
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 268; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040268 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 772
Abstract
This article defines the term twice-exceptional as being gifted (highly able) and having challenges with learning or physical disabilities. The focus is on understanding these children, who are brilliant in one way but at the same time in some situations are at risk. [...] Read more.
This article defines the term twice-exceptional as being gifted (highly able) and having challenges with learning or physical disabilities. The focus is on understanding these children, who are brilliant in one way but at the same time in some situations are at risk. The biggest challenges they face are misunderstanding and misdiagnosis. This article will assist those involved in the life and education of twice-exceptional children to help light the way towards better understanding them, focusing on their strengths and supporting them individually to change their life in an optimal direction. One million of our nation’s most promising, innovative thinkers—children who learn differently, not “deficiently”—constitute a neglected national resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gifted Education, Creativity and Leadership Development)
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Communication
Competency-Based Education as Curriculum and Assessment for Integrative Learning
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 267; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040267 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Integrative learning and competency-based education are both evolving as major themes in education. Integrative learning emphasizes that knowledge from different domains and contexts are brought together to enhance the learner’s experience. The emphasis on integrated learning has sparked the development of integrative curriculum, [...] Read more.
Integrative learning and competency-based education are both evolving as major themes in education. Integrative learning emphasizes that knowledge from different domains and contexts are brought together to enhance the learner’s experience. The emphasis on integrated learning has sparked the development of integrative curriculum, which methodically brings knowledge and skills together in ways that reinforce learning. Competency-based medical education (CBME) is an educational method that assumes integrative learning by relying on defined competencies for learners to master during their education. CBME is an illustration of both integrated learning and integrated curricula. In CBME, learners progress through their program by demonstrating acquisition of competencies, which are often integrative statements in themselves. In integrative learning, the question of how to assess a learner’s progress through their program remains a challenge. Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) are one tool utilized to assess learning in CBME. EPAs are defined, observable tasks that learners should be able to demonstrate upon entering their profession. Understanding EPAs and how they are used in CBME may provide a framework for assessing integrative learning in diverse educational contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Professions Education & Integrated Learning)
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Article
Assessing Students’ Mathematical Knowledge with Fuzzy Logic
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040266 - 10 Apr 2022
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Assessing student mathematical knowledge is an important factor in the mathematics learning process because students obtain important feedback to improve their knowledge and learning. Despite the importance of student assessment, several researchers have shown that student grades comprise noncognitive and metacognitive factors and [...] Read more.
Assessing student mathematical knowledge is an important factor in the mathematics learning process because students obtain important feedback to improve their knowledge and learning. Despite the importance of student assessment, several researchers have shown that student grades comprise noncognitive and metacognitive factors and teachers’ prejudices and beliefs. One method to obtain a more objective view of student mathematical knowledge is through standardized assessments. In this paper, we analyze two methods of assessing student mathematical knowledge by considering their written and oral grades and achievements on the Italian National Assessment of Knowledge (INVALSI). The final grade was produced using the fuzzy logic inference system. It was tested on a sample of 2279 Grade 13 Italian high school students, who had both an oral and written grade in mathematics and who took the INVALSI assessment in the school year 2020–2021. Both tested fuzzy-logic-based assessment methods lowered the mean grades. Full article
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Article
Transversal Competences and Employability of University Students: Converging towards Service-Learning
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 265; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040265 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 672
Abstract
We are living in times of great transformations within the field of education and the labor market. These changes are connected and have to do with an expanded knowledge society, whose implications reach the levels of employability in times of uncertainty. Within this [...] Read more.
We are living in times of great transformations within the field of education and the labor market. These changes are connected and have to do with an expanded knowledge society, whose implications reach the levels of employability in times of uncertainty. Within this framework, the main purpose of our study is to perform a theoretical analysis and an empirical approach to the influence that transversal competences (soft skills) may have on the degree of employability of university students. We have identified some of those competences and we have tested them with a sample of 83 employers and 1249 students using a Likert scale. Our results show the interest of employers in the mastery of transversal competences and inequalities in terms of students’ perception thereof. We did not find any significant differences between students starting their degree and those who were about to complete it. However, we did find differences between the students who participated in experiential activities and those who did not, in favor of the former. Due to the importance of experiential learning in our results, we dedicate our discussion to theoretically exploring whether the pedagogical approach of Service-Learning (SL) might contribute to a better connection between transversal competences and employability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transversal Competencies, Higher Education and Employment)
Article
Responsible Reading: Children’s Literature and Social Justice
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 264; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040264 - 08 Apr 2022
Viewed by 742
Abstract
In high accountability cultures, primary phase literacy education tends to focus on improving children’s test scores. Driven by each country’s performance in international league tables, this results in narrow, predominantly skills-based programmes designed to address attainment gaps. While scores may have been enhanced [...] Read more.
In high accountability cultures, primary phase literacy education tends to focus on improving children’s test scores. Driven by each country’s performance in international league tables, this results in narrow, predominantly skills-based programmes designed to address attainment gaps. While scores may have been enhanced in recent years, there is little evidence that policy directives have positioned literacy in the lives of learners in ways that have become meaningful for them or been transferred into ways of thinking that promote social equity. Indeed, teaching practices that exacerbate the challenges for those young people who are already disadvantaged by circumstance have become more prevalent. Teachers, therefore, have an ethical responsibility to redress this through their teaching. This paper argues that literature is core to more equitable literacy development. As not all reading practices are equal, developing literacy education for a more socially just society needs to challenge the dominant pedagogic hegemony. Literature has the potential to spark the kind of mindful disruption necessary to shift standardised paradigms of thought, so literacy education should have children’s literature at its heart. By examining the value of literature through a set of complementary lenses, this paper seeks to reveal its affordances in young people’s lives. Then, through commentary taken from a pair of vignettes drawn from professional learning contexts, we illuminate shifts in teacher perception gained through scaffolded introduction to reading literary texts. The insights teachers gained reveal reconceptualisation of reading and the role of literature in primary education. This has the potential to redirect their future classroom practice. Consequently, we propose that for teachers to be adept at improving literacy outcomes through productive adoption and use of literary texts, they need: an aesthetic appreciation and knowledge of children’s literature; personal experience with reading such literature as social practice; and pedagogic insight into how to use literature to teach literacy and develop volitional readers. We call this knowledge set the additive trio, noting that no ‘step’ or understanding is sufficient on its own, and that together they can enable the development of Reading Teachers who work with literature to advance the social justice agenda. Full article
Article
Young Children’s Ideas about Heat Transfer Phenomena
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 263; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040263 - 08 Apr 2022
Viewed by 636
Abstract
In this article, we present kindergarten children’s ideas about thermal phenomena before any educational intervention took place. In order to capture and account for the heterogeneity of the kindergarten group in this study, first teachers observed children’s exploration behavior, task orientation, science interest, [...] Read more.
In this article, we present kindergarten children’s ideas about thermal phenomena before any educational intervention took place. In order to capture and account for the heterogeneity of the kindergarten group in this study, first teachers observed children’s exploration behavior, task orientation, science interest, and language comprehension in everyday kindergarten life using a structured observation form. Then, 24 children aged between 3.8 and 6.0 years were interviewed individually about three situations focusing upon water temperature and its changes. The results show that interest in science and language comprehension are significantly related to children’s understanding of thermal phenomena, while task orientation and exploratory behavior are not. In general, the kindergarten children did not yet use the word “heat” in their descriptions and explanations but were more or less able to describe the water temperature and its changes in a differentiated way. Full article
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Article
An Examination of Practice-Based Virtual Simulations and Pre-Service Mathematics Teaching Efficacy and Outcome Expectancy
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 262; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040262 - 07 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 568
Abstract
Authentic practice in pedagogical approaches is essential for preparing teachers to design effective learning experiences that foster student engagement during this digital era. There is an opportunity to explore novel and effective designs of virtual experiences that may augment or better prepare preservice [...] Read more.
Authentic practice in pedagogical approaches is essential for preparing teachers to design effective learning experiences that foster student engagement during this digital era. There is an opportunity to explore novel and effective designs of virtual experiences that may augment or better prepare preservice teachers for field placements in physical classrooms. We proffer that virtual classroom simulations can and should be further explored and leveraged, now more than ever. In this paper, we examined a model of the impact of perceptual variables on instructional effectiveness that can enhance teaching efficacy and outcome expectancy when preservice teachers engage in practice teaching experiences in a virtual classroom simulation. The relationships between perceptual variables (presence, instructional time, and engagement) and teaching efficacy and outcome expectancy, as they relate to instructional effectiveness, were analyzed using the structural equation modeling approach. The results supported all of the hypothesized relationships. For example, presence and instructional time strongly and positively influenced engagement. Engagement was strongly related to instructional effectiveness. Instructional effectiveness was strongly and positively related to teaching self-efficacy, as well as outcome expectancy. The results support that virtual world classroom simulations can be an effective space for practice teaching for prospective mathematics teachers. Furthermore, this study provides insights for teacher educators, developers, and instructional designers interested in designing and utilizing practice-based simulations. Full article
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Article
COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact of the Social Media Technology on Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 261; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040261 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1128
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic led universities to transform the traditional teaching methodologies into distance education. Therefore, social media has become progressively prominent as teaching and learning resources in universities. Several studies have been conducted for the development of social media as a learning tool. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic led universities to transform the traditional teaching methodologies into distance education. Therefore, social media has become progressively prominent as teaching and learning resources in universities. Several studies have been conducted for the development of social media as a learning tool. However, there is limited empirical evidence supporting this claim. The present study bridges the gap in the literature concerning the value of the use of social media in higher education. This research seeks to examine the impact of the use of social media in (a) enhancing teaching and learning in universities, (b) motivating and supporting students and (c) developing community connection. A qualitative methodology was adopted. Specifically, in-depth interviews were conducted to assess the effectiveness of social media on students learning in higher education. The results showed that the use of social media by higher educational institutions positively impacts the educational process by (a) promoting teaching and learning, (b) motivating students to be active participants, and (c) establishing connections in the university community. Some obstacles in the teaching and learning process were also identified. Future areas of research are proposed. Full article
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Article
Participatory Research and the Ethics of Anonymisation
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 260; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040260 - 04 Apr 2022
Viewed by 662
Abstract
Research in the UK is increasingly regulated by ethics review committees (RECs) which require researchers to seek ethics approval before commencing research. These RECs routinely expect researchers to anonymise data as part of standard ethical research practice. However, the anonymisation of data may [...] Read more.
Research in the UK is increasingly regulated by ethics review committees (RECs) which require researchers to seek ethics approval before commencing research. These RECs routinely expect researchers to anonymise data as part of standard ethical research practice. However, the anonymisation of data may sit in tension with participatory approaches to research which prioritise shared ownership of the research. In particular, the need to make decisions relating to ethics prior to the start of research makes it difficult for researchers to meaningfully share decision-making power with their participants—a fundamental principle of participatory approaches. This paper uses a participatory research study as a case study to explore this tension. In the study, the decision to anonymise data was made as part of the ethics approval process. However, over the course of the study, the researcher questioned whether this was the correct decision for this study. In order to afford researchers the flexibility required to involve participants in decision making, this paper argues for a dialogic and situational approach to ethics regulation. Allowing researchers to delay key decisions would mean that researchers could involve participants in the decision-making process rather than purely informing them of the results of decisions made on their behalf. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation and Ethical Practice for Educational Research)
Article
Connecting Higher Education to the Labour Market: The Experience of Service Learning in a Portuguese University
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 259; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040259 - 04 Apr 2022
Viewed by 665
Abstract
The mission of higher education institutions (HEI) includes fostering conditions that enable student participation, and a commitment to their professional success. Pedagogical strategies which combine learning that goes beyond the university and involves a service-learning (SL) course carried out in the context of [...] Read more.
The mission of higher education institutions (HEI) includes fostering conditions that enable student participation, and a commitment to their professional success. Pedagogical strategies which combine learning that goes beyond the university and involves a service-learning (SL) course carried out in the context of a pedagogical innovation programme of the University of Porto were examined. This examination included interviews with teachers, a focus group discussion with students and the analysis of logbooks and final reports to realize the potential of SL for improving employability. The results put into perspective the weaknesses and potentialities of SL courses at HEI and show that when academic learning is integrated with community experience, students gain both personal/social and academic skills. They also develop leadership and communication skills and critical awareness on the one hand and time and resources management and the ability to adapt and respond to challenges of the real world on the other, all seen as beneficial for the transition into the labour market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transversal Competencies, Higher Education and Employment)
Article
Supporting the Development of Pre-Service Primary Teachers PCK and CK through a STEM Program
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 258; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040258 - 04 Apr 2022
Viewed by 653
Abstract
STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) education has received great attention in recent years not only for promoting interest and learning in these areas but also for encouraging children and young people to pursue careers in them. This research explored the effects of a STEM program in [...] Read more.
STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) education has received great attention in recent years not only for promoting interest and learning in these areas but also for encouraging children and young people to pursue careers in them. This research explored the effects of a STEM program in developing the primary pre-service teachers’ Content Knowledge (CK) and Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) about sound. A qualitative and interpretative study analyzed the impact of a STEM program on the CK and PCK of 18 pre-service primary teachers that were attending a master’s degree program in a Portuguese higher education institution. The data was collected from their lesson plans, field notes, a focus group interview, and participants assignments throughout the STEM activities carried out. Findings revealed several scientific misconceptions and weaknesses in the participants’ PCK. Nevertheless, there was a clear positive impact on pre-service teachers’ CK and PCK, specifically regarding the principles underlying STEM integration that was proposed in the conceptual framework. Full article
Article
Exploring How a University Mathematics Teacher’s Digital Relational Competence Can Be Manifested: A Micro-Analytical Study
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 257; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12040257 - 04 Apr 2022
Viewed by 750
Abstract
In recent years, daily practice at universities all over the world has involved online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teaching online requires knowledge of new ways to engage with the students, but limited research concerning pedagogical aspects of online formats has been [...] Read more.
In recent years, daily practice at universities all over the world has involved online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teaching online requires knowledge of new ways to engage with the students, but limited research concerning pedagogical aspects of online formats has been conducted to examine this further. Research shows that the teacher–student relationship is a critical factor in a student’s development and learning in both traditional and online teaching. Limited research has examined teacher–student relationships in online teaching at universities further. In the present pilot study, a university mathematics teacher’s digital relational competence is examined and visualized by using Halliday’s Systematic Function Linguistics to explore what is said, the verbal language, and Burgoon and Hobbler’s framework to visualize how it is said, i.e., the nonverbal language. Data were collected in autumn 2020 and involved a seminar with ten pre-service special educators in mathematics in Sweden; approximately 3 h of video-recorded material was collected. The result shows that the teacher’s verbal language, such as the choice of questions, personal pronouns, and being personal, but also her nonverbal language, involving gestures, facial expressions, and paralanguage, are essential when building supportive teacher–student relationships in mathematics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education in High School and University)
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