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Educ. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 57 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This paper considers the use of the classroom library as a means of socializing mathematics development in Turkish preschoolers. The findings indicated that Turkish preschool teachers view mathematics instruction as important to child development and are confident in their ability to teach their students mathematics. However, they rely upon their general knowledge of children and pedagogy rather than their knowledge of mathematics. Turkish preschool teachers report having classroom libraries; however, these classroom libraries have fewer mathematics books than other types of texts. While libraries were consistently present in Turkish preschool classrooms, they were not seen as venues for mathematics development in children. Finally, preschool mathematics instruction in Turkey typically appears to use whole group, explicit instruction, particularly during circle time/morning meeting. View this paper
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Article
Analysis of the Educational Administration of the Public Educational Centers of Andalusia (Spain): The Role of the Manager in the Face of New Social Challenges
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060422 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 278
Abstract
The advance and influence of neoliberalisation processes has changed the way of understanding and managing the educational system under a New Public Management (NPM) of education that integrates the values of the free market, competitiveness, accountability, external evaluation, etc. The objective of this [...] Read more.
The advance and influence of neoliberalisation processes has changed the way of understanding and managing the educational system under a New Public Management (NPM) of education that integrates the values of the free market, competitiveness, accountability, external evaluation, etc. The objective of this work is to analyse Andalusian headteachers’ perceptions of their professional practices from within the context of neoliberal and neo-conservative processes. The methodology used is based on a qualitative research approach, where we analyse the implications of neoliberal processes and NPM in the school principalship in Andalusia (Spain). The sample of participants was consolidated into 15 principals belonging to public high schools. For data collection, in-depth interview was used. Information analysis applies content analysis and its assembly with the grounded theory. The results are expressed in four categories that refer to the implications of neoliberal processes and NGP in the school principalship. There is a tendency to redefine the role of the headteacher as a manager. The discussion and conclusions point out how the neoliberal processes and the NPM are reconfiguring the school principalship towards a “manager-administrator” profile, a management instrument with administrative functions and an agent for assessment in the school. In this context, there are also processes of confrontation and discomfort with these transformations in the principal’s role. Full article
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Article
Transforming Teaching with ICT Using the Flipped Classroom Approach: Dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060421 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 368
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, educators changed their pedagogic practices, developed new teaching sequences, and blended learning approaches such as the flipped classroom. Claims have been made that the flipped classroom influences student motivation, enhances active engagement and class participation, and improves academic performance. [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, educators changed their pedagogic practices, developed new teaching sequences, and blended learning approaches such as the flipped classroom. Claims have been made that the flipped classroom influences student motivation, enhances active engagement and class participation, and improves academic performance. Three teacher educators were invited to develop flipped instructional materials for chemistry teacher education. The materials included course plans, online videos, tasks, teaching, and online and face-to-face instruction learning sequences. This study examined opportunities and barriers to using the flipped classroom approach for chemistry teaching. Teacher educators were interviewed before and after running the course using the developed instructional materials. The interviews were then analyzed to identify the teachers’ rationale, the opportunities, and the challenges of using the flipped classroom. Teacher educators found that integrating technology into their classrooms can enhance their ICT skills and that of their students. Educators believed flipped instructions could promote student-centered learning where students take responsibility for their learning, where and when it is most convenient. The teacher educators perceived that the approach helped students take an active role in their learning and enhance their participation. They also felt that it improved academic performance. Teacher educators also noted that their workload was reduced, and they had more time to interact with students. Some barriers and challenges were recognized as well. In the interviews, teacher educators described how ICT competencies and inadequate ICT infrastructures, such as poor internet connectivity and lack of ICT equipment, limited the use of the flipped classroom approach. The study provides suggestions for future research that can contribute to understanding the practical application of the flipped classroom approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
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Review
Role of Empathy in Engineering Education and Practice in North America
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 420; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060420 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 283
Abstract
Does engineering design education in North America prepare students to address the major issues of our time? In today’s political and social climate, engineers are part of multi-disciplinary teams tasked with finding solutions to complex issues like poverty, climate change, the housing affordability [...] Read more.
Does engineering design education in North America prepare students to address the major issues of our time? In today’s political and social climate, engineers are part of multi-disciplinary teams tasked with finding solutions to complex issues like poverty, climate change, the housing affordability crisis, resource depletion, and water shortages. By definition, these problems are “wicked”. If engineers are to play a role in addressing issues that exist at the intersection of technology and society, they must have a deep understanding of both technical competencies and of human factors. They must have the ability to empathize. In consideration of today’s social, political, and environmental challenges, it has never been more important to instill social competencies into engineering education and practice, particularly around engineering design. This paper analyzes the previous literature on empathy in engineering education in North America and synthesizes the data to present the conceptualization that engineers have of empathy in education and practice. Full article
Article
Connecting the Dots in Education for Newly Arrived Migrant Students in Flanders
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 419; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060419 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 286
Abstract
All over Europe, the rapidly increasing number of newly arrived migrant students (NAMS) not only transformed countries into ethnically diverse societies but also led to various challenges for the educational system in general and its schools and teachers in particular. In Flanders, education [...] Read more.
All over Europe, the rapidly increasing number of newly arrived migrant students (NAMS) not only transformed countries into ethnically diverse societies but also led to various challenges for the educational system in general and its schools and teachers in particular. In Flanders, education for NAMS has several limitations, such as an overrepresentation of NAMS in vocational tracks and a lack of interaction between reception and mainstream education teachers. The central thesis of this paper is that building up networks between the actors involved in the education for NAMS in Flanders may offer a solution for much of the formulated critiques. The paper starts off with an overview of the Flemish educational system and pays particular attention to reception education, its central actors, and the issues they are experiencing. Next, an argumentation for social networks as a potential solution for the critiques is built up, followed by a potential future agenda for education for NAMS in Flanders, riddled with network-related opportunities. The central aim of the paper is to generate fresh insight into education for NAMS, by linking its shortcomings to the strength of building up networks and collaboration, or put differently, connecting the dots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Integration in Schools: Policies and Practices)
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Article
Assessment of Actual Workload and Student Performance in the Agricultural Engineering Final Degree Project in a Spanish Higher Education Context
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 418; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060418 - 19 Jun 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Twenty years after the Bologna Declaration and a decade after Spanish university engineering degrees were updated to comply with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), there is still uncertainty on the degree of adaptation to the ECTS system of the final degree project [...] Read more.
Twenty years after the Bologna Declaration and a decade after Spanish university engineering degrees were updated to comply with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), there is still uncertainty on the degree of adaptation to the ECTS system of the final degree project (FDP) course in engineering programs, especially in terms of the workloads allocated to students. The inherent characteristics of the FDP course, with all the learning activities of an unstructured nature, make the real student workload as well as that of the FDP teachers very uncertain. This study addresses this issue by (1) identifying the nature of the unstructured student learning activities related to the FDP course, (2) measuring the time spent by students in the different FDP learning activities throughout the course, and (3) measuring the workload of FDP teachers. A user-friendly smartphone application was configured so that students and teachers in the agricultural engineering degree program at the University of Seville registered the time spent daily on each of the identified FDP learning (students) and supervising (instructors) activities. The results showed that the reported FDP workloads by students who passed the FDP course in either of the two exam periods of the academic year were not significantly higher than the nominal ECTS credit hours stipulated for the FDP course. The FDP teachers reported notably higher workloads than those stipulated by the university regulations. No significant correlation was found between student workload and FDP scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Higher Education: Improvements for a Better System)
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Article
Building Improvised Microbial Fuel Cells: A Model Integrated STEM Curriculum for Middle-School Learners in Singapore
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060417 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 505
Abstract
The benefits of STEM education for learning important knowledge, skills, and affect are widely accepted, though the former is currently absent in Singapore’s formal curriculum. This study therefore describes a model-integrated STEM curriculum at the middle-school level for developing scientific as well engineering [...] Read more.
The benefits of STEM education for learning important knowledge, skills, and affect are widely accepted, though the former is currently absent in Singapore’s formal curriculum. This study therefore describes a model-integrated STEM curriculum at the middle-school level for developing scientific as well engineering literacy. Based on design-based inquiry (DBI), it incorporated inquiry science learning with an engineering design challenge for students to build improvised microbial fuel cells (MFC). Co-planned with science teachers from various disciplines, the curriculum was implemented as a 10-week enrichment program with two groups of Grade 8 students (N = 77) from one secondary school in Singapore. Through the use of vignettes, we show how learning about/of science and engineering occurred in the conceptual, epistemic, and social domains. In addition, students applied evidence-based reasoning, various epistemic skills, and a variety of problem-solving approaches as they iteratively improved their MFC set-ups, which often outperformed commercial kits. This proof-of-concept case study represents the first successful implementation of a STEM-integrated curriculum for middle-school students and can serve as a model for the development of similar programs elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated STEM and STEM Partnerships: Teaching and Learning)
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Article
Post-COVID-19 Development of Transnational Education in China: Challenges and Opportunities
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 416; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060416 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Transnational education is education delivered to students in a country other than the country in which the awarding institution is based. While the outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly affected higher education, transnational education has exhibited its resilience against the pandemic, and has been [...] Read more.
Transnational education is education delivered to students in a country other than the country in which the awarding institution is based. While the outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly affected higher education, transnational education has exhibited its resilience against the pandemic, and has been continuously expanding in China. In parallel with the golden opportunities for the expansion of transnational education in China after the pandemic, a series of challenges resulting from the transnational context needs to be taken into due consideration, and to be properly addressed. In this paper, the opportunities and challenges for the post-COVID-19 development of transnational education in China are systematically discussed, based on the transnational education delivery at a Sino-Foreign cooperative university. Following our observations on opportunities and challenges, several suggestions are proposed, to address the potential challenges for the stable post-COVID-19 development of transnational education in China. Full article
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Article
Using Interactive Online Pedagogical Approaches to Promote Student Engagement
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060415 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 329
Abstract
The COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019 required a complete shift to online learning across all educational institutions, including universities. The rapid transition to online learning globally meant that many educators were suddenly tasked with adapting their classroom-based pedagogy to the online space. While [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019 required a complete shift to online learning across all educational institutions, including universities. The rapid transition to online learning globally meant that many educators were suddenly tasked with adapting their classroom-based pedagogy to the online space. While this was undoubtedly challenging for teachers and students, it also opened up possibilities for reimagining the delivery of content, along with creating increased access for students who had barriers for studying remotely before the impact of COVID-19. The study discussed in this paper examines the experiences of students studying at a regional Australian university that already offered online courses, and whose instructors were already using a diverse range of online delivery tools. Specifically, the study sought to investigate how instructors used interactive strategies to promote student engagement, and how the interaction between learner and content influences student engagement. With research showing that online students typically have higher attrition rates than their on-campus counterparts, engagement has been identified as an important factor in online learning. Online interaction in particular is considered to be instrumental in influencing student engagement and positively impacting student satisfaction, persistence, and academic performance. Data collected from interviews conducted with two different cohorts of students, studying two different courses (mathematics education and Chinese language) at the same university, demonstrated ways instructors utilised interactive online pedagogies to engage students with potentially challenging course content. The study has implications for online educators who are looking for ways to adapt their on-campus courses to online delivery, with a focus on engaging and maintaining online students’ interest and ongoing participation in their courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embracing Online Pedagogy: The New Normal for Higher Education)
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Article
Teaching Physiotherapy during the Initial Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Did We Learn?
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 414; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060414 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 resulted in a rapid shift to online learning for physiotherapy education in Australia and around the world. This Sydney-based qualitative study explored the reflections of physiotherapy educators and leaders involved in delivering physiotherapy programs [...] Read more.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 resulted in a rapid shift to online learning for physiotherapy education in Australia and around the world. This Sydney-based qualitative study explored the reflections of physiotherapy educators and leaders involved in delivering physiotherapy programs with the aim of gaining insight into what happened to physiotherapy education during the initial stages of the pandemic and what lessons were learnt that will inform future physiotherapy education. Many pedagogical challenges were identified including the need to rapidly shift content online whilst still meeting competency requirements, how to effectively engage students, and the challenges of teaching and assessing practical psychomotor skills. The benefits of the rapid shift were the upskilling of educators, innovations in teaching and resources, and recognising that some aspects of physiotherapy education were improved by the change. Overall educators and leaders felt time was needed to effectively design physiotherapy content to fit different delivery modes and it was important some aspects of physiotherapy education should continue to be taught in-person. Future physiotherapy education is likely to be a combination of in-person and online delivery and lessons learnt from this time need to be incorporated into physiotherapy programs to achieve the best educational outcomes. Full article
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Article
A Future Trend for Science Education: A Constructivism-Humanism Approach to Trans-Contextualisation
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 413; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060413 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Today’s society faces new challenges, especially related to sustainability, in which the role of science within society is becoming increasingly important. This study seeks to re-examine the focus of school science/STEM education in light of increasing societal challenges by introducing a trans-contextualisation component [...] Read more.
Today’s society faces new challenges, especially related to sustainability, in which the role of science within society is becoming increasingly important. This study seeks to re-examine the focus of school science/STEM education in light of increasing societal challenges by introducing a trans-contextualisation component within science education so as to go beyond the classroom and seek to impact the societal setting. In so doing, this study, through a constructivism-humanism approach, develops a theoretical 4-phase model by adding a trans-contextualisation learning phase to a literature-supported 3-stage science education teaching model. This enhanced model is put forward to enable science education to play a stronger role in impacting societal development towards building an active informed citizenry, enabling society to reflect on potential ways to meet its needs in moving towards a sustainable future. The study seeks science educator views familiar with the 3-stage teaching approach on the enhanced 4-phase model in terms of its value, feasibility and potential constraints. Such views are shown to be positive and aligned with the generally supportive views of teachers identified in a prior study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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Article
Supporting Students’ Science Content Knowledge and Motivation through Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global in a Cross-School Collaboration
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060412 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Inquiry is featured prominently in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a promising pedagogical approach. Building on current conceptions of inquiry, a mixed-methods research design was used to explore the effects of Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global on student science content knowledge, motivation, [...] Read more.
Inquiry is featured prominently in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a promising pedagogical approach. Building on current conceptions of inquiry, a mixed-methods research design was used to explore the effects of Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global on student science content knowledge, motivation, and perspectives related to inquiry in a cross-school collaboration. The data sources included pre-/post-tests on science content and student motivation (n = 75), transcripts from student focus groups (n = 26), and students’ multimodal learning products (n = 18 teams). The quantitative findings indicated School B students were more motivated by the project than School A students, which mirrored student performance. The student focus group findings generated three themes: constructing empathy, learning for impact, and navigating challenges. The discussion focuses on an integrated view of what students gained and did not gain from the PBI Global experience, including a nuanced explanation of how motivation and content knowledge may be influenced by student experiences and school contextual factors during PBI Global. Implications for instructional practice highlight how relationship building, mutual respect, and consensus making are essential components of constructing cross-school collaborations and the importance of integrating instructional frameworks with teachers and students. Future research will focus on investigating the effects of PBI Global on student learning in cross-school partnerships through experimental-designed studies, and the systemic and structural barriers to scaling cross-school inquiry-based learning. Full article
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Article
Comparing the Two Educational Systems for Visually Impaired Students in Sudan: Pros and Cons
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 411; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060411 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 280
Abstract
Students with visual impairment in Sudan are usually accepted into residential segregated schools during their pre-high school years. This schooling system remains a subject of excessive debate among those interested in this field of study. This debate is part of an ongoing conversation [...] Read more.
Students with visual impairment in Sudan are usually accepted into residential segregated schools during their pre-high school years. This schooling system remains a subject of excessive debate among those interested in this field of study. This debate is part of an ongoing conversation and discussion on the merits and demerits of integrating disabled children with non-disabled peers at regular schools. This study aimed to answer three main questions pertaining to this subject. The first one tackles whether the placement of visually impaired students in specialized schools for the blind in Sudan (henceforth specialized schools) serves their education best. The second compares the advantages and disadvantages of integrating this group of students into regular schools as opposed to separating them into specialized schools. The third question is concerned with the competencies which the teachers at the Sudanese General Basic School should have in order to fulfill the requirements of the inclusive education setting. Interviews were conducted with a group of 20 participants; 10 of these were students who joined schools for the blind and regular schools in Sudan, while the remaining participants were teachers and personnel in the field of education for the visually impaired in Sudan. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview data, which revealed that students with visual impairment, teachers who work in specialized schools, and the group of special education officials who participated in this study were in favor of inclusive education at regular schools after securing the necessary educational needs for these students to access school curricula equal to their sighted peers. Many practical solutions and suggestions have been presented to enhance the education of the visually impaired in Sudan. Full article
Systematic Review
Design-Based Research in the Educational Field: A Systematic Literature Review
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 410; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060410 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 467
Abstract
The design-based research methodology has been gaining significance, in recent years, in the field of educational research. Several authors have pointed out the potential of this methodology to support the development of research processes with strong practical applicability. Its iterative nature allows researchers [...] Read more.
The design-based research methodology has been gaining significance, in recent years, in the field of educational research. Several authors have pointed out the potential of this methodology to support the development of research processes with strong practical applicability. Its iterative nature allows researchers to organize their studies into iterative research cycles that allow them to improve products, processes, and test new resources and educational approaches. This study aimed to develop knowledge about how this methodology has been used in K-12 educational settings and in initial and continuing teacher education. Thus, a systematic literature review was carried out based on 163 selected papers, published between 2013 and 2020 and gathered from SCOPUS and ISI Web of Science Databases. The results highlighted the characterization data of DBR studies, the research contexts and settings, the DBR approaches, and the contribution for the educational field. Full article
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Study Protocol
SAGA-Supporting Social-Emotional Development in Early Childhood Education: The Development of a Mentalizing-Based Intervention
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 409; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060409 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 357
Abstract
The aim of the SAGA project is to support children’s social-emotional development and teacher mentalizing by promoting regular shared story-book reading with mentalizing dialogs in early childhood education and care (ECEC) centers. The theoretical phase, the modeling phase (Phase I), and the exploratory [...] Read more.
The aim of the SAGA project is to support children’s social-emotional development and teacher mentalizing by promoting regular shared story-book reading with mentalizing dialogs in early childhood education and care (ECEC) centers. The theoretical phase, the modeling phase (Phase I), and the exploratory phase (Phase II) of the SAGA intervention, as well as the research protocol for the final trial (Phase III), are described in the present article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Education)
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Article
The Professional Identity of Academic Lecturers in Higher Education Post-COVID-19 in Israel
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 408; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060408 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Professional identity development in higher education and its implications is a growing interest in the literature. Research indicates that the professional identity of academic lecturers has been unstable and influenced by a variety of personal and contextual factors. With a lack of a [...] Read more.
Professional identity development in higher education and its implications is a growing interest in the literature. Research indicates that the professional identity of academic lecturers has been unstable and influenced by a variety of personal and contextual factors. With a lack of a clear definition of professional identity in literature, we composed The Professional Identity COVID Scale (PI-COVID) specifically designed to measure lecturers’ professional identity in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The items focused on three components: occupational security, academic skills, and combining teaching and research. The purpose of the present study was to examine the associations between lecturers’ age, years of seniority, academic rank, and work permanence on the professional identity of academic lecturers post-COVID-19 in Israel. Participants were 95 academic lecturers teaching in universities and colleges. Using self-report questionnaires, participants filled the PI-COVID scale. Results showed that age is negatively and significantly associated with PI-COVID. Moreover, seniority years, academic rank, and work permanence are associated with more COVID-19 challenges. Findings showed that lecturers without work permanence and with lower academic rank reported higher occupational insecurity during the pandemic, which emphasizes the vulnerability of younger lecturers and their need for confidence and stability, especially during a crisis event. Thus, our study contributes to the existing literature by better understanding the post-COVID-19 professional identity of academic lecturers. Implications and limitations for future research are discussed. Full article
Article
Addressing Motivations and Barriers to Research Involvement during Medical School among Osteopathic Medical Students in the United States
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060407 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Involvement in research is regarded as a high-impact educational practice, which, for medical professionals, is associated with sharpened critical thinking and life-long learning skills, greater appreciation for evidence-based medicine, and better clinical competence scores. However, there are limited data regarding the research experience [...] Read more.
Involvement in research is regarded as a high-impact educational practice, which, for medical professionals, is associated with sharpened critical thinking and life-long learning skills, greater appreciation for evidence-based medicine, and better clinical competence scores. However, there are limited data regarding the research experience and/or interest among osteopathic medical students in the United States despite a rapidly increasing enrollment and expansion of the number of osteopathic medical schools. Thus, we administered an electronic survey examining prior research experience, interests, and perceptions about research participation during medical school to four successive classes of incoming first-year osteopathic medical students. We also performed focus groups with rising third-year osteopathic medical students around the topic of perceived barriers to and potential enablers of promoting research participation. This yielded a survey addendum where first-year osteopathic medical students provided feedback on the likelihood of specific incentives/enablers to encourage participation in research during medical school. Overall, osteopathic medical students are interested in research, view research experience as valuable, and perceive research experience as beneficial to future career development. Students perceive that the primary barrier to involvement in research is a potential negative impact upon performance in coursework. Feedback on the likelihood of specific enablers/incentives was also garnered. Our findings from a single institution may have important implications in defining the prior experiences and perceptions held by first-year osteopathic medical students. Specifically, our study indicates that research experiences intentionally designed with (1) a strong likelihood of gaining a publication, (2) financial compensation, and (3) the opportunity for short-term involvement, a flexible time commitment, and/or a dedicated time period are most likely to encourage research participation by osteopathic medical students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Learning and Teaching in Medical Education)
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Article
The Contribution of Higher Education to Sustainability: The Development and Assessment of Sustainability Competences in a University Case Study
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 406; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060406 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 327
Abstract
Universities can make a significant contribution to sustainability, and the development of sustainability competences in their graduates should be a key outcome of their courses. We propose an assessment framework for enabling and evaluating the attainment of sustainability competences in University students. We [...] Read more.
Universities can make a significant contribution to sustainability, and the development of sustainability competences in their graduates should be a key outcome of their courses. We propose an assessment framework for enabling and evaluating the attainment of sustainability competences in University students. We outline its six steps, offering tools on how to assess the alignment of University programs’ Learning Outcomes (LOs) to sustainability and how translate them into competences for sustainability. We provide approaches to evaluate existing assessment methods in terms of enabling students to develop and apply their competences, guidance on how to conduct the assessments to collect data on student performance and eventually how to use the data, and evidence collected to evaluate if the students are developing the intended competences. We illustrate the application of the assessment tool in a University case study and we draw conclusions on the evidence it offers to how higher education practitioners can benefit from its use. Full article
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Article
Remote Teaching, Self-Resilience, Stress, Professional Efficacy, and Subjective Health among Israeli PE Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060405 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
This study investigated demographic factors, teaching characteristics, psychological characteristics, school-related characteristics, professional efficacy, and subjective health perceptions among PE teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional research design. Questionnaires were distributed to PE teachers online during COVID-19 closures. PE teachers (N [...] Read more.
This study investigated demographic factors, teaching characteristics, psychological characteristics, school-related characteristics, professional efficacy, and subjective health perceptions among PE teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional research design. Questionnaires were distributed to PE teachers online during COVID-19 closures. PE teachers (N = 757) from elementary, middle, and high schools in Israel voluntary completed surveys on the topics of stress levels, self-resilience, remote teaching, professional efficacy, and subjective health perception. Sex, remote-teaching experience and clear remote school policy significantly predicted professional efficacy. Sex, teaching experience and self-resilience significantly predicted subjective health perception. This study demonstrated the need for a clear remote policy, as it likely empowers teacher professional efficacy. Transparent procedures and guidelines, along with clarifying remote policies by a supportive administration, are important for the professional efficacy of PE teachers. In addition, educational programs that are aimed at developing and strengthening the values of a healthy, positive, and balanced lifestyle are important to subjective health perception among PE teachers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
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Article
Teachers’ Attitudes towards Inclusive Education at Greek Secondary Education Schools
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060404 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Advocates of inclusive education believe in the right of all learners to education and the many benefits it delivers. Teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward inclusive education are instantly reflected in their classroom activities and practices. This research will concentrate on special and general [...] Read more.
Advocates of inclusive education believe in the right of all learners to education and the many benefits it delivers. Teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward inclusive education are instantly reflected in their classroom activities and practices. This research will concentrate on special and general education teachers in Greek secondary schools. It will investigate their attitudes toward inclusive education and how these attitudes alter as a consequence of variables such as age, gender, teaching experience, and inclusive education training. Quantitative, main, and correlational research was obtained between groups using a non-experimental technique. The sample was taken from 307 educators, who were almost equally divided between general and special education. The SACIE-R questionnaire was used to assess teachers’ attitudes toward inclusive education. The outcomes of the research demonstrated that attitudes toward inclusive education were impacted by the kind of special education received, as well as age and general education teaching experience. Furthermore, positive attitudes were impacted by gender, but negative sentiments and concerns were influenced by general education and special education teaching experience. Finally, the study revealed low levels of negative sentiments, medium levels of concerns, and high levels of favourable attitudes toward inclusive education. Full article
Article
Advances in Flipped Classrooms for Teaching and Learning Forensic Geology
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 403; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060403 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 395
Abstract
One of the most famous criminal investigations involved the use of forensic geology to assist law enforcement agencies in the homicide case of the Italian honorable Aldo Moro. Notwithstanding this important tribute to forensic geology, in Italy, the role and value of using [...] Read more.
One of the most famous criminal investigations involved the use of forensic geology to assist law enforcement agencies in the homicide case of the Italian honorable Aldo Moro. Notwithstanding this important tribute to forensic geology, in Italy, the role and value of using geological and soil materials (known as earth materials) to support law enforcement agencies in solving criminal investigations remain uncommon. This absence may be due to few educational courses for geology undergraduates/graduates devoted to laboratory and field training in forensic geology. The flipped classroom model may encourage a modern educational approach for teaching and learning forensic geology. The designed flipped classroom model applies theoretical concepts for forensic geology, which is learned by the attendees at home, whereas the class activities are devoted to laboratory and field experiences assisted by teaching staff. The laboratory activities involve techniques for collecting geological trace evidence and comparing color/sedimentological/mineralogical/microfossil features, whereas the field experiences consist of sampling strategies, search activities for burials, and field surveying. This approach has been trialed by the Messina University since 2014 and represents a successful tool for multitasking teaching and learning aimed to further develop forensic geology, encourage the inclusion of forensic geologists within the police enforcement in Italy, and improve the knowledge of law experts such as prosecutors and defense lawyers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Challenges in Teaching and Learning Applied Sciences)
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Essay
A Black Mirror of Bright Ideas: Could Media Educate towards Positive Creativity?
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 402; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060402 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 305
Abstract
With the media’s omnipresence, beneficial and detrimental effects on human behavior—including creativity—are being widely discussed. This essay presents potential benefits of passive and active media use for enhancing creative thinking and behavior. Based on the classic socio-cognitive theory of observational learning and stressing [...] Read more.
With the media’s omnipresence, beneficial and detrimental effects on human behavior—including creativity—are being widely discussed. This essay presents potential benefits of passive and active media use for enhancing creative thinking and behavior. Based on the classic socio-cognitive theory of observational learning and stressing the importance of creative self-beliefs, certain types of media content and activities are highlighted to demonstrate how traditional and modern media can shape positive creativity—contributing to novel and valuable behavior from both individual and social points of view. The discussion proceeds to link media influence with creative skills, creative self-beliefs, and group creativity, emphasizing the necessity of media education and systematic scientific research on the topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educating for Positive Creativity)
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Article
Stories That Teachers Tell: Exploring Culturally Responsive Science Teaching
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 401; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060401 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 420
Abstract
In this paper, we explore the stories teachers tell as they study and grapple with culturally responsive education in their science classrooms. This qualitative case study focuses primarily on “Stories from the Field”, a conversational routine at each professional learning group meeting where [...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore the stories teachers tell as they study and grapple with culturally responsive education in their science classrooms. This qualitative case study focuses primarily on “Stories from the Field”, a conversational routine at each professional learning group meeting where teachers shared observations, thoughts, and insights about their classroom, instruction, and school settings in the context of culturally responsive education. We found that teachers’ stories from the first year of the group surfaced themes of navigating systemic constraints and supports, connecting through science, and sensemaking and learning from developing and analyzing strategies for culturally responsive science teaching. This helped to shine a light on a critical aspect of our work exploring culturally responsive education and what that might look like in science classrooms through the stories that teachers tell. Our findings suggest that storytelling is a rich, descriptive vehicle for exploration and sensemaking amongst teachers in a professional learning group and an underused resource in studying culturally responsive education, especially in science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Story and Storytelling in Science Education)
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Article
Roma University Students in Spain: Who Are They?
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060400 - 12 Jun 2022
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Roma people in Spain face situations of high deprivation, including high unemployment and early school leaving rates. The strategies to address this situation point to education as the means to overcome poverty and social exclusion. Although efforts have been made within compulsory education, [...] Read more.
Roma people in Spain face situations of high deprivation, including high unemployment and early school leaving rates. The strategies to address this situation point to education as the means to overcome poverty and social exclusion. Although efforts have been made within compulsory education, scarce attention has been given to their performance once in higher education. Although young Roma people are reaching higher education more often than their parents, once at university they face specific barriers that hinder their opportunities. Using a mixed-methods approach, UNIROMA analyses those difficulties and formulates orientations to overcome them, thereby contributing to increasing the university graduation rates of Roma students. This paper presents the results of the quantitative fieldwork, consisting of an online questionnaire administered from May to July of 2020 to Roma students enrolled in Spanish universities. In the results, three main profiles were identified: traditional students, young students with other commitments (job and/or family responsibilities) and mature students. The results, concordant with research on other minority groups and higher education, provide evidence of the barriers that Roma students face in university due to the intersectionality of multiple factors of discrimination, namely, belonging to an ethnic minority and being more frequently first-generation, low SES and non-traditional students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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Article
Exploring the Unexpected Transition to Online Learning Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in an Ethiopian-Public-University Context
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060399 - 12 Jun 2022
Viewed by 450
Abstract
In this paper, we present the initial changes and continuing challenges that are faced by teachers and students due to the unexpected transition to online learning from the COVID-19 pandemic at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia. For this, the authors applied a phenomenological-case-study design, [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present the initial changes and continuing challenges that are faced by teachers and students due to the unexpected transition to online learning from the COVID-19 pandemic at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia. For this, the authors applied a phenomenological-case-study design, collecting qualitative data from purposively selected Ph.D. students (n = 10) and teachers (n = 4), examiners (n = 2), as well as the postgraduate coordinator. The results indicate that the teachers experienced some difficulties in effectively using learning technologies. Moreover, the students were overburdened with increased accountability and excessive challenges. However, the institutional capacity to support was relatively minimal. Despite these odds, the study participants showed higher levels of willingness and completed the program successfully. The study participants reported moderate satisfaction with their personal and professional experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to remind universities and colleges about the essential skills that students need in this unpredictable world, for example, informed decision making, creative problem solving, and adaptability. Full article
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Article
Strategies for Attention to Diverse Education in Omani Society: Perceptions of Secondary School Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 398; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060398 - 12 Jun 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
In a climate of increasing multiculturalism in education, classrooms have become more diverse, offering educators and institutions both opportunities and challenges. In response to changing advancements and trends in education, school administrators claim that classroom diversity can develop students’ learning potential when properly [...] Read more.
In a climate of increasing multiculturalism in education, classrooms have become more diverse, offering educators and institutions both opportunities and challenges. In response to changing advancements and trends in education, school administrators claim that classroom diversity can develop students’ learning potential when properly harnessed and matched with inclusive pedagogy. This research reflects how diversity within the Omani education system can be enhanced by comparing the beliefs and experiences of students in diverse classrooms. This information provides a better understanding of students’ learning needs based on their perception of diversity. A descriptive study was performed with a quantitative approach, whereby a sample of 283 students completed a survey. The results indicate that female students rated more highly on the teaching method scale in comparison to male students. Additional post hoc tests on simple effects confirmed that non-Arab students tend to rate their teachers comparatively more highly in terms of teaching methods, curriculum design, assessment techniques, and practical skills than Omani and Arab pupils across the different subjects. This study offers valuable insights and practical strategies for cultivating diversity and inclusion in diverse settings in Omani schools. Full article
Article
STEM Career Interest of Kazakhstani Middle and High School Students
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060397 - 11 Jun 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
The aim of this study is to analyze secondary school students’ career interests in STEM subjects. This survey-based quantitative research is provided to gain insight into the STEM career interests of 398 students (7–11 graders), in the Almaty region of the Kazakhstan Republic. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to analyze secondary school students’ career interests in STEM subjects. This survey-based quantitative research is provided to gain insight into the STEM career interests of 398 students (7–11 graders), in the Almaty region of the Kazakhstan Republic. Through parametric and non-parametric test analysis, the relationship between students’ STEM career interest and their gender, their parents’ occupation, parents’ education, family size, school type, and school location were revealed. Results indicated that, on average, participant students showed positive interest in STEM careers. In particular, boys’ and girls’ responses were equally positive in many sub-scales of STEM. Additionally, great interest in STEM careers was shown by village students, whereas, for private school students who are living in the city, STEM career interests were the lowest in our sample. We also found that students’ family size, parents’ education, and occupation does not relate to students’ STEM career interest. Implications for STEM education in Kazakhstan are further discussed in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
Article
What Do the Relationships between Pre-Service Biology Teachers’ Personality and Professional Knowledge Reveal about Their Innovativeness?—An Exploratory Study Using Canonical Correlation Analysis
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 396; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060396 - 10 Jun 2022
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Already in 2016, the German educational policy adopted the Education in the Digital World strategy, recommending that all teachers should become experts in using media. However, despite this initiative regarding the promotion of innovative forms of teaching using digital media, most teachers did [...] Read more.
Already in 2016, the German educational policy adopted the Education in the Digital World strategy, recommending that all teachers should become experts in using media. However, despite this initiative regarding the promotion of innovative forms of teaching using digital media, most teachers did not feel optimally prepared to successfully cope with the demands of implementing e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most empirical studies on potential barriers to innovation pertain to comparatively easy, changeable environmental factors, whereas only a few studies have focused on teachers as an individual factor so far. Since several organizational psychological studies on the relationships between innovativeness and personality traits in professional contexts identified the personality trait of openness to experience to be particularly influential on the innovative behaviors of employees’, our study aimed to explore whether comparable results can also be found in the educational context. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional survey (n = 201) to analyze to what extent the Big Five personality traits are related to pre-service teachers’ self-concept of professional knowledge and, in particular, its digitalization-related domains. The results of our canonical correlation analysis show that the two personality traits of openness to experience and conscientiousness appear to be significantly related to the overall professional knowledge of our sample. Furthermore, a dominant affinity for technology seems to be associable with the risk of lower values on personality traits that are regarded to be pedagogically relevant. However, we found that our canonical model could also get along with fewer variables since the actual digitalization-related teaching skills were not sufficiently reflected by the canonical solution but were rather caught up in the domain of pedagogical content knowledge. Interpretations of these findings as well as practical implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Teacher Education)
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Article
A Structural Model to Explain Influences of Organisational Communication on the Organisational Commitment of Primary School Staff
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 395; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060395 - 10 Jun 2022
Viewed by 338
Abstract
Organisational commitment is a job attitude frequently linked to employee morale, motivation and behaviour. High organisational commitment has been associated with increased effort and productivity, while low commitment has been associated with low productivity, absenteeism and turnover. There is evidence to suggest aspects [...] Read more.
Organisational commitment is a job attitude frequently linked to employee morale, motivation and behaviour. High organisational commitment has been associated with increased effort and productivity, while low commitment has been associated with low productivity, absenteeism and turnover. There is evidence to suggest aspects of organisational communication are important in this regard. This article reports the results of a study that investigated the relationships between a comprehensive set of aspects of organisational communication and general organisational commitment, while also identifying those that had the most important effects on organisational commitment. Participants were 1575 staff members from government and non-government primary schools across all states and territories of Australia. Data were gathered using a survey comprising the Organisational Communication in Primary Schools Questionnaire and a five-item general organisational commitment scale. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to identify and validate constructs for measurement. Structural equation modelling was used to identify important relationships. Of the ten aspects of organisational communication identified, five had significant effects on general organisational commitment. The most important of these concerned openness between principals and staff, supportive communication among colleagues (positive effects) and communication overload (negative effects). Implications for school leadership and school culture are discussed along with directions for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership Behaviour and Teacher Job Attitudes)
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Article
Capturing the Nature of Teacher and Learner Agency Demonstrating Creativity: Ethical Issues and Resolutions
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 394; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060394 - 08 Jun 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
This article will focus on the ethical dilemmas and concerns related to eliciting the nature of agency in classrooms that emerges in learning contexts. Agency is a somewhat elusive phenomena to evidence because it involves capturing signs and indications of thinking involved in [...] Read more.
This article will focus on the ethical dilemmas and concerns related to eliciting the nature of agency in classrooms that emerges in learning contexts. Agency is a somewhat elusive phenomena to evidence because it involves capturing signs and indications of thinking involved in negotiating meanings, the capacity for initiating, and constructional decision-making. These processes are often made explicit through dialogic and actional exchanges between teachers and/or learners. This includes taking account of activities engaged in, either independently or collaboratively. It also requires evidence of earlier happenings or interactions between classroom participants that might influence and shape later events. There is also concern about the ways that teachers’ and learners’ demonstrable originality or creativity are recognised and communicated for scrutiny by others. Additionally, ethical approval procedures (BERA 2018) require that research protects participants’ anonymity, confidentiality, and dignity; therefore, research has to be carried out with integrity. Ensuring benefits from research are maximised and that no-one is harmed or made to feel uncomfortable requires the utmost care and balance between eliciting insightful data while maintaining the appropriate duty of care for participants. To achieve these objectives, multiple research methods were used. Audio and video recordings were transcribed and analysed to make sense of teacher and learner agency. The findings include an events map, photographic images, and dialogic episodes illustrating the nature of contrasting teacher and learner agency. The conclusion considers tensions that emerge as researchers seeking to characterize agency without compromising privacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation and Ethical Practice for Educational Research)
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Article
Comparing Guidance via Implicit and Explicit Model Progressions in a Collaborative Inquiry-Based Learning Environment with Different-Aged Learners
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 393; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/educsci12060393 - 08 Jun 2022
Viewed by 420
Abstract
There is a need for research on the effect of different types of model progressions and learner age on learning and engagement in inquiry-based science settings. This study builds on the Scientific Discovery as Dual Search model to introduce less specific implicit model [...] Read more.
There is a need for research on the effect of different types of model progressions and learner age on learning and engagement in inquiry-based science settings. This study builds on the Scientific Discovery as Dual Search model to introduce less specific implicit model progression and compares them to the traditional explicit model progression. The data come from Finnish 8-, 10-, and 12-year-olds collaboratively using two different configurations of an inquiry-based learning environment about balance. Balance scale tasks were used to assess learning. Students also rated their situation-specific engagement. Both types of model progressions were beneficial for learning but there was no difference in the normalized change scores between them. The 12-year-olds had a higher normalized change score than the 8-year-olds. There were no differences in situation-specific engagement between the two types of model progression. These results suggest that implicit model progression offers a way to provide less specific guidance and a more open learning environment for primary-aged learners compared to the more specific explicit model progression. Full article
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