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Educ. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2021) – 87 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The blended approach is likely to be one of the most popular trends in the near future. Blended does not only mean mixing online and offline modes of teaching, tools, and media, but also learning contexts such as academic and professional contexts. In this study, to achieve an effective blend of learning contexts, university students were monitored by academic and company tutors through an instant messaging app. Qualitative analysis of chats and interviews revealed that the company tutor contributed to both the traditional blended dimension (mixing online and offline) and to the blend of the academic and professional contexts. The company tutors considered the opportunity to blend academic and professional contexts as a strength for both themselves as educators/company representatives, and for the students. View this paper
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42 pages, 462 KiB  
Review
Remote and Blended Teacher Education: A Rapid Review
by Thomas Perry, Madeleine Findon and Philippa Cordingley
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080453 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4531
Abstract
Initial and continuing teacher education are increasingly making use of remote and blended modes of education. Conducted in the summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, this rapid review brings together literature and evidence to inform planning for remote and blended teacher education [...] Read more.
Initial and continuing teacher education are increasingly making use of remote and blended modes of education. Conducted in the summer of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, this rapid review brings together literature and evidence to inform planning for remote and blended teacher education during restrictions in face-to-face teaching activity. The review consists of three main parts: first, a descriptive framework of modes of remote and blended teacher education; second, an exploratory review of the affordances and limitations of remote and blended approaches connecting the literature on effective teacher education with reviews of remote and blended approaches; third, a rapid review of evidence on the efficacy of remote and blended approaches, including of a small number of studies comparing these to face-to-face equivalents. We conclude that remote and blended teacher education is likely to become an increasingly important part of the teacher education landscape and there are plausible theoretical reasons suggesting that it can be effective with suitable design. However, we find too few studies presenting robust evidence to enable firm conclusions to be drawn on the relative effectiveness of modes and approaches. The review provides a foundation for further research and practice in this area. Full article
11 pages, 760 KiB  
Article
Digital Resources and Digital Competence: A Cross-Sectional Survey of University Students of the Childhood Education Degree of the University of Jaén
by María del Carmen Martínez-Serrano, María Teresa Ocaña-Moral and Eufrasio Pérez-Navío
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080452 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2366
Abstract
This work is part of a broader investigation whose main objective is to determine the domain and preferences of the students of the Childhood Education Degree of the University of Jaén regarding digital competence. The research was focused on the “use of digital [...] Read more.
This work is part of a broader investigation whose main objective is to determine the domain and preferences of the students of the Childhood Education Degree of the University of Jaén regarding digital competence. The research was focused on the “use of digital resources” dimension and was developed under a quantitative and descriptive methodology, of basic type and non-experimental cross-sectional design. We worked with a sample of 135 students from the four courses of the Childhood Education Degree of the University of Jaén, who answered a developed questionnaire voluntarily and anonymously. Data collection was carried out using a virtual questionnaire on the Google Form platform. In addition, the measurement instrument was considered valid and reliable, having obtained a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient (α) of 0.925 and a Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin sampling adequacy index (KMO) of 7.741. The results show that there are no significant differences based on the independent variables studied among most of the analyzed items. The use of ICT is beneficial for students’ participation in research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Education)
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19 pages, 1266 KiB  
Article
Classification and Analysis of Pre-Service Teachers’ Errors in Solving Fermi Problems
by Carlos Segura and Irene Ferrando
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080451 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
Fermi problems are useful for introducing modelling in primary school classrooms, although teachers’ difficulties in problem solving may hinder their successful implementation. These difficulties are associated with the modelling process, but also with the estimation and measurement skills required by Fermi problems. In [...] Read more.
Fermi problems are useful for introducing modelling in primary school classrooms, although teachers’ difficulties in problem solving may hinder their successful implementation. These difficulties are associated with the modelling process, but also with the estimation and measurement skills required by Fermi problems. In this work, a specific categorization of errors for Fermi problems was established, and it allowed us to analyse the errors of N = 224 pre-service primary school teachers. The results showed that prospective teachers make a large number of errors when solving this type of task, especially conceptual ones, which are associated with the process of simplifying/structuring the real situation and the mathematization process. They also showed that there is a significant relationship between the characteristics of the problem context and the error categories. Knowing the types of errors that prospective teachers make and designing task sequences that make them emerge so that prospective teachers learn from them could be an effective way to improve initial teacher education in modelling and estimation problem solving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fermi Problems in Mathematics and Science Education)
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16 pages, 637 KiB  
Article
Context-Based Testing as Assessment Tool in Chemistry Learning on University Level
by Boris Bortnik, Natalia Stozhko and Irina Pervukhina
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080450 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2824
Abstract
Testing as an assessment technique has been widely used at all levels of education—from primary to higher school. The main purpose of the paper is to evaluate the effect of context-based testing in teaching and learning of analytical chemistry in a Russian university. [...] Read more.
Testing as an assessment technique has been widely used at all levels of education—from primary to higher school. The main purpose of the paper is to evaluate the effect of context-based testing in teaching and learning of analytical chemistry in a Russian university. The paper formulates the objectives of context-based testing, discusses its features and compares with conventional testing; proposes a model of constructing and administering context-based testing; provides examples of context-based tests. The experiment was conducted at the Ural Sate University of Economics (Russia) with bachelor’s degree students with nonscience majors. Students were assigned to one of the experimental conditions: in the control group, traditional tests were carried out, while the experimental group students experienced context-based testing. The statistical data—students’ test scores—obtained at all stages of the experiment were analyzed on the basis of statistical criteria (Shapiro–Wilk, Student’s T, Fisher). The findings of our experiment enable us to answer the guided research questions. Context-based testing may be considered as an essential component of context-based teaching and learning. In comparison with conventional testing, context-based testing could impact developing knowledge of fundamental analytical chemistry concepts and contribute to more solid knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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16 pages, 6744 KiB  
Article
Design, Validity and Effect of an Intra-Curricular Program for Facilitating Self-Regulation of Learning Competences in University Students with the Support of the 4Planning App
by Karla Lobos, Fabiola Sáez-Delgado, Daniela Bruna, Rubia Cobo-Rendon and Alejandro Díaz-Mujica
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080449 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2953
Abstract
Background: Smartphone applications have the potential to support university students for the benefit of learning in higher education. Objective: To design and evaluate the effect of an intra-curricular program using a mobile application on self-regulated learning strategies in university students. Method: The 4Planning [...] Read more.
Background: Smartphone applications have the potential to support university students for the benefit of learning in higher education. Objective: To design and evaluate the effect of an intra-curricular program using a mobile application on self-regulated learning strategies in university students. Method: The 4Planning mobile application was designed following a systematic literature review, expert judgement and application. The instrument to assess the effect of the intervention was the SRL Readiness Practices Scale, with a one-factor structure (CFI = 0.98; TLI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.05) with reliability of α = 0.89. The design was quasi-experimental with pre- and post-test measures and experimental and control groups. The sample consisted of 473 first-year university students (37.02% male) from seven Chilean universities with a mean age of 19.35 (SD = 2.49). Statistical analysis was an ANOVA performed in R software version 4.0.3. Results: Statistically significant differences were identified in the levels of self-regulated learning between the experimental group compared to the control group. Conclusion: The development of the 4Planning app proved to be effective in promoting the development of self-regulated learning strategies in university students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smartphones: Challenges and Opportunities for Learning)
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18 pages, 1255 KiB  
Article
Using Operational Scenarios in a Virtual Reality Enhanced Design Process
by Katie Aylward, Joakim Dahlman, Kjetil Nordby and Monica Lundh
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080448 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3372
Abstract
Maritime user interfaces for ships’ bridges are highly dependent on the context in which they are used, and rich maritime context is difficult to recreate in the early stages of user-centered design processes. Operations in Arctic waters where crews are faced with extreme [...] Read more.
Maritime user interfaces for ships’ bridges are highly dependent on the context in which they are used, and rich maritime context is difficult to recreate in the early stages of user-centered design processes. Operations in Arctic waters where crews are faced with extreme environmental conditions, technology limitations and a lack of accurate navigational information further increase this challenge. There is a lack of research supporting the user-centered design of workplaces for hazardous Arctic operations. To meet this challenge, this paper reports on the process of developing virtual reality-reconstructed operational scenarios to connect stakeholders, end-users, designers, and human factors specialists in a joint process. This paper explores how virtual reality-reconstructed operational scenarios can be used as a tool both for concept development and user testing. Three operational scenarios were developed, implemented in a full mission bridge simulator, recreated in virtual reality (VR), and finally tested on navigators (end-users). Qualitative data were captured throughout the design process and user-testing, resulting in a thematic analysis that identified common themes reflecting the experiences gained throughout this process. In conclusion, we argue that operational scenarios, rendered in immersive media such as VR, may be an important and reusable asset when supporting maritime design processes and in maritime training and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Maritime Education and Training)
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18 pages, 2968 KiB  
Article
Internship of Accounting Students in the Form of E-Learning: Insights from Poland
by Arkadiusz Januszewski and Małgorzata Grzeszczak
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080447 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7990
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on us not only e-learning with higher education providers, but also triggered considerable difficulties in organization internships. Institutions and enterprises that used to be eager to take interns have refused to do so. In these conditions, the key [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on us not only e-learning with higher education providers, but also triggered considerable difficulties in organization internships. Institutions and enterprises that used to be eager to take interns have refused to do so. In these conditions, the key objective for the Faculty of Management at the UTP University in Bydgoszcz was to organize e-internships to ensure a working environment similar to the real working conditions of the accounting department. A new internship program was developed that implemented the assumptions of active learning, by virtue of the case study approach, computer-based learning environments, and a comprehensive task simulating the work of the accounting department in the form of a multi-step project. The key objective of this article is to present the results of research in the form of a survey on how the students majoring in Finance and Accounting perceive the proposed internship method. The results show that an internship in the form of e-learning with the proposed education methods is appreciated by the students. E-learning does not necessarily have to be less effective than traditional learning. The use of platforms and the selecting of adequate methods can enhance the activity of students, supporting self-education and independent task performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories)
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15 pages, 1125 KiB  
Article
Higher Education during the Pandemic: The Predictive Factors of Learning Effectiveness in COVID-19 Online Learning
by Jenny T. Y. Tsang, Mike K. P. So, Andy C. Y. Chong, Benson S. Y. Lam and Amanda M. Y. Chu
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080446 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 12791
Abstract
The global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak forced a shift from face-to-face education to online learning in higher education settings around the world. From the outset, COVID-19 online learning (CoOL) has differed from conventional online learning due to the limited time that students, instructors, [...] Read more.
The global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak forced a shift from face-to-face education to online learning in higher education settings around the world. From the outset, COVID-19 online learning (CoOL) has differed from conventional online learning due to the limited time that students, instructors, and institutions had to adapt to the online learning platform. Such a rapid transition of learning modes may have affected learning effectiveness, which is yet to be investigated. Thus, identifying the predictive factors of learning effectiveness is crucial for the improvement of CoOL. In this study, we assess the significance of university support, student–student dialogue, instructor–student dialogue, and course design for learning effectiveness, measured by perceived learning outcomes, student initiative, and satisfaction. A total of 409 university students completed our survey. Our findings indicated that student–student dialogue and course design were predictive factors of perceived learning outcomes whereas instructor–student dialogue was a determinant of student initiative. University support had no significant relationship with either perceived learning outcomes or student initiative. In terms of learning effectiveness, both perceived learning outcomes and student initiative determined student satisfaction. The results identified that student–student dialogue, course design, and instructor–student dialogue were the key predictive factors of CoOL learning effectiveness, which may determine the ultimate success of CoOL. Full article
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15 pages, 1352 KiB  
Article
Organizational Differences among Universities in Three Socioeconomic Contexts: Finland, Spain and Ecuador. Relational Coordination Approach
by Cristina Checa-Morales, Carmen De-Pablos-Heredero, Angela Lorena Carreño, Sajid Haider and Antón García
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080445 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
The knowledge of local culture is essential to establish competitive strategies in higher education. The objective of this research was to identify the organizational differences among three universities with different international contexts and satisfaction level. An approach was made regarding Relational Coordination (RC) [...] Read more.
The knowledge of local culture is essential to establish competitive strategies in higher education. The objective of this research was to identify the organizational differences among three universities with different international contexts and satisfaction level. An approach was made regarding Relational Coordination (RC) attributes: accurate, frequent and problem-solving communication, shared knowledge, mutual respect and shared goals, by discriminant analysis method. A random sample of 300 students, 100 belonging to each university, was surveyed on the 23 RC variables in 2017–2018. First, the RC variables were evaluated by general linear model (GLM). The three universities—Arcada University of Applied Science (ARCADA) in Finland, University of Cordoba (UCO) in Spain and Agricultural Polytechnic of Manabi “MFL” (ESPAM) in Ecuador—and the two levels of student satisfaction—Low and High—were used as fixed factors. Second, a discriminant model was built with RC variables. A higher level of RC practices concerning to accurate, frequent and problem-solving communication achieved higher levels of satisfaction, regardless of the universities’ socioeconomic context. RC differentiation among three universities showed that shared goals with lecturers and administrative officers and problem-solving communication among classmates were the variables with the highest discriminant power. Two clusters were obtained, where UCO was the most differentiated university. In conclusion, organizational practices made a difference among the three universities. Discriminant analysis can be adapted and extended to different universities to improve quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education)
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16 pages, 2101 KiB  
Article
Improving the Performance of Student Teams in Project-Based Learning with Scrum
by Sandra Fernandes, José Dinis-Carvalho and Ana Teresa Ferreira-Oliveira
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080444 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4639
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of Scrum for project and team management in PBL teams in higher education. To attain this goal, a study was carried out to analyze students’ perceptions about Scrum as an effective method for [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of Scrum for project and team management in PBL teams in higher education. To attain this goal, a study was carried out to analyze students’ perceptions about Scrum as an effective method for PBL teams. Based on two different editions of PBL that used the Scrum method with different characteristics in each approach, this paper aims to identify the best practices for effective team and project management and draw recommendations for successful use of scrum in PBL approaches. The authors used an exploratory case study carried out within an engineering program at the University of Minho, Portugal. The research design was based on an explorative quantitative and qualitative approach. Implementing Scrum in PBL teams helps students to keep the project running smoothly and draws greater awareness on how to manage the project and teams in a more effective way. Findings show that task assignment, performance monitoring, visual management and regular feedback were considered the main advantages of using Scrum in PBL teams, which had a positive impact on student performance. However, for the success of Scrum, students recognize the role of the Scrum Master and Project Owner as vital to guide the teams in a sustainable way. Research on the application of Scrum in Education is scarce and mostly exploratory. This paper is among the very few empirical studies consolidating knowledge on the implementation of Scrum approaches to improve learning in higher education. More specifically, it brings a valuable contribution on how to improve specifically team performance in PBL teams with the use of agile approaches such as Scrum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Preferences and Satisfaction: Measurement and Optimization)
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15 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
Mapping K-12 Computer Science Teacher’s Interest, Self-Confidence, and Knowledge about the Use of Educational Robotics to Teach
by Nuno Dorotea, João Piedade and Ana Pedro
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080443 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2941
Abstract
This paper reports a case study, developed in K-12 Portuguese Education, that aimed to analyze the computer science teachers’ knowledge, interest, and self-confidence to use educational robotics and other programable objects in classroom activities to teach computer science concepts and to promote students’ [...] Read more.
This paper reports a case study, developed in K-12 Portuguese Education, that aimed to analyze the computer science teachers’ knowledge, interest, and self-confidence to use educational robotics and other programable objects in classroom activities to teach computer science concepts and to promote students’ computational thinking skills. The research design was organized into a descriptive and exploratory quantitative approach. The participants were 174 in-service computer science teachers of Portuguese public education. The data was gathered from the participants, through the online application of the Robotics Interest Questionnaire scale (RIQ). Very positive levels of teacher’s knowledge, interest, and self-efficacy to use educational robotics for teaching purposes were reported in the study outcomes. These constructs were underlined in several studies as relevant factors to promote the use of educational robotics and other similar technologies by the teachers. Despite the study limitations and the small context, a set of relevant results was highlighted on computer science in-service teachers’ interest and preparation to use robotics and to support their students in learning activities with these artifacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated STEAM Education: A Global Perspective)
17 pages, 1992 KiB  
Article
Learning and Well-Being in Educational Practices with Children and Adolescents Undergoing Cancer Treatment
by Paulo Ricardo dos Santos, Débora N. F. Barbosa, Eduardo G. Azevedo Neto, Jorge L. V. Barbosa, Sérgio D. Correia and Valderi R. Q. Leithardt
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080442 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
The use of information communication technologies (ICT) in education brings up new possibilities of promoting learning and health experiences. In this sense, education contexts of the 21st century must consider these two areas of knowledge, especially their integration. This article presents learning practices [...] Read more.
The use of information communication technologies (ICT) in education brings up new possibilities of promoting learning and health experiences. In this sense, education contexts of the 21st century must consider these two areas of knowledge, especially their integration. This article presents learning practices developed with mobile devices and games in order to improve learning and well-being in children and adolescents undergoing cancer treatment in a non-formal educational setting. The methodology is based on qualitative case studies with content-based data analyses, involving informal interviews and observation methods. The study considers data from five patients who participated in the research between 2015 and 2019. The results demonstrate a positive influence of the practices with mobile technologies and games in terms of learning and in the well-being experience of patients during the treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ICT in Education Contexts of 21 Century)
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14 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
The Assessment Evaluation Rubric: Promoting Learning and Learner-Centered Teaching through Assessment in Face-to-Face or Distanced Higher Education
by Rochelle E. Tractenberg
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080441 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3555
Abstract
It is common to create courses for the higher education context that accomplish content-driven teaching goals and then develop assessments (quizzes and exams) based on the target content. However, content-driven assessment can tend to support teaching- or teacher-centered instruction. Adult learning and educational [...] Read more.
It is common to create courses for the higher education context that accomplish content-driven teaching goals and then develop assessments (quizzes and exams) based on the target content. However, content-driven assessment can tend to support teaching- or teacher-centered instruction. Adult learning and educational psychology theories suggest that instead, assessment should be aligned with learning, not teaching, objectives. To support the alignment of assessments with instruction in higher education, the Assessment Evaluation Rubric (AER) was developed. The AER can be utilized to guide the development and evaluation/revision of assessments that are already used. The AER describes, or permits the evaluation of, four features of an assessment: its general alignment with learning goal(s), whether the assessment is intended to/effective as formative or summative, whether some systematic approach to cognitive complexity is reflected, and whether the assessment (instructions as well as results) itself is clearly interpretable. Each dimension (alignment, utility, complexity, and clarity) has four questions that can be rated as present/absent. Other rating methods can also be conceptualized for the AER’s 16 questions, depending on the user’s intent. Any instructor can use the AER to evaluate their own assessments and ensure that they—or new assessments in development—will promote learning and learner-centered teaching. As instructors shift from face-to-face toward virtual or hybrid teaching models, or as they shift online instruction (back) to face-to-face teaching, it creates an ideal opportunity to ensure that assessment is optimizing learning and is valid for instructional decision-making. Full article
16 pages, 591 KiB  
Article
High-School Students’ Topic-Specific Epistemic Beliefs about Climate Change: An Assessment-Related Study
by Eija Yli-Panula, Eero Laakkonen and Marja Vauras
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080440 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
This study belongs to assessment-related research and aimed to investigate Finnish high-school students’ (n = 211) topic-specific epistemic beliefs about climate change and whether the Norwegian topic-specific epistemic beliefs questionnaire (TSEBQ) was also valid among Finnish respondents. Thus, research data were not [...] Read more.
This study belongs to assessment-related research and aimed to investigate Finnish high-school students’ (n = 211) topic-specific epistemic beliefs about climate change and whether the Norwegian topic-specific epistemic beliefs questionnaire (TSEBQ) was also valid among Finnish respondents. Thus, research data were not only derived from the TSEBQ but also from topic knowledge tests and students’ views on their favorite school subjects and interest in science subjects. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the statistical model, originally based on 49 questions, was congruent with the Norwegian four-factor model (Certification, Source, Justification and Simplicity). However, according to the reliability analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the performance of the Simplicity factor was unclear. In CFA, the three-factor structure (without Simplicity) was supported. The effects of topic knowledge, topic interest and gender on the TSEBQ factors were examined by using hierarchical regression analysis (HRA). The TSEBQ was shown to be a reliable tool for measuring the topic-specific epistemic beliefs of Finnish students. More specifically, the results support the claim that topic-specific epistemic beliefs can be educationally and culturally bound. HRA showed that students’ topic knowledge in chemistry and biology was related to certainty of knowledge and justification for knowing. Moreover, female students performed significantly better in topic knowledge and more often planned to pursue a science career in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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16 pages, 432 KiB  
Article
Roles of the School Psychologist–Current versus Preferred Roles in the Greek Schools: A Case Study from the Island of Crete
by Maria Panteri, Juan Calmaestra and Verónica Marín-Díaz
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080439 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3784
Abstract
In the international literature it is frequently reported that school psychologists would like to reduce their involvement in evaluation and assessment activities in favor of an increase in other services and roles. The present study examines the perceptions of teachers and school psychologists [...] Read more.
In the international literature it is frequently reported that school psychologists would like to reduce their involvement in evaluation and assessment activities in favor of an increase in other services and roles. The present study examines the perceptions of teachers and school psychologists regarding the roles of school psychologists on the island of Crete, Greece. For this purpose, an online questionnaire about the current and preferred roles of the school psychologist was distributed. Two hundred and seventy-nine (279) teachers and fifty-seven (57) school psychologists participated in this research study. The analysis and comparison of the participants’ responses revealed significant differences in their beliefs about the current and preferred roles of the psychologist. Emphasis was placed by psychologists on systematic interventions such as consultation and by teachers on counseling for their personal problems. Overall, respondents in this study recognized the usefulness of the school psychologist in the educational sector. A unified framework of reference for the range of the schools’ psychological services would enhance common understanding and facilitate the professional role of school psychologists and effective student referral to the related professional services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Education)
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31 pages, 2594 KiB  
Article
Comprehension-Oriented Learning of Cell Biology: Do Different Training Conditions Affect Students’ Learning Success Differentially?
by Lukas Bernhard Becker, Virginia Deborah Elaine Welter, Ellen Aschermann and Jörg Großschedl
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080438 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6995
Abstract
Concept Mapping (CM) is a learning strategy to organize and understand complex relationships, which are particularly characteristic of the natural science subjects. Previous research has already shown that constructing concept maps can promote students’ meaningful learning in terms of deeper knowledge and its [...] Read more.
Concept Mapping (CM) is a learning strategy to organize and understand complex relationships, which are particularly characteristic of the natural science subjects. Previous research has already shown that constructing concept maps can promote students’ meaningful learning in terms of deeper knowledge and its more flexible use. While researchers generally agree that students need to practice using CM successfully for learning, key parameters of effective CM training (e.g., content, structure, and duration) remain controversial. This desideratum is taken up by our study, in which three different training approaches were evaluated: a CM training with scaffolding and feedback vs. a CM training without additional elements vs. a non-CM control training. In a quasi-experimental design, we assessed the learning outcome of N = 73 university students who each had participated in one of the trainings before. Our results suggest that an extensive CM training with scaffolding and feedback is most appropriate to promote both CM competence and acquisition of knowledge. From an educational perspective, it would therefore be advisable to accept the time-consuming process of intensive practice of CM in order to enable students to adequately use of the strategy and thus facilitate meaningful learning in terms of achieving sustained learning success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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17 pages, 608 KiB  
Article
Collaborative Video-Based Learning Using Tablet Computers to Teach Job Skills to Students with Intellectual Disabilities
by David Roldán-Álvarez, Estefanía Martín and Pablo A. Haya
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080437 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2890
Abstract
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide different opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities and to professionals who work with them. However, few studies address the use of collaborative learning platforms and handheld devices to enhance the integration of people with intellectual disabilities in [...] Read more.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide different opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities and to professionals who work with them. However, few studies address the use of collaborative learning platforms and handheld devices to enhance the integration of people with intellectual disabilities in the labour market. We present a learning experience where active methodologies, such as collaborative work, are combined with the use of iPads and a learning management system following a video self-modelling methodology. The goal of this study was to determine whether the combination of traditional methodologies and new could be appropriate for students with intellectual disabilities and how they behave when having to rate their partner’s work. The results show that the combination of active learning methodologies, video self-modelling and the use of learning platforms and tablets is promising for teaching job related skills to students with intellectual disabilities, as participants experienced increased motivation to complete the tasks, improving their skills in the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology-Enhanced Learning for People with Disabilities)
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23 pages, 1075 KiB  
Article
The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Acceptance of E-Learning among University Students: The Role of Precipitating Events
by Prageeth Roshan Weerathunga, W. H. M. S. Samarathunga, H. N. Rathnayake, S. B. Agampodi, Mohammad Nurunnabi and M. M. S. C. Madhunimasha
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080436 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5242
Abstract
This study examined the effect of the COVID- 19 pandemic and related events on the use of e-learning, as well as other key determinants of it. The data were collected from 1039 university students in Sri Lanka. To examine the influence of the [...] Read more.
This study examined the effect of the COVID- 19 pandemic and related events on the use of e-learning, as well as other key determinants of it. The data were collected from 1039 university students in Sri Lanka. To examine the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was viewed through the lens of precipitating events, on the intention–behaviour relationship, we employed the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) with the inclusion of a moderating variable. While the findings indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic had clearly increased the usage of e-learning, we found no evidence to establish a moderating impact on the intention–behaviour relationship. The empirical model, however, was well fitted to the data, and the key components of the TAM were likewise adequately described by the relevant predictors. Furthermore, attitudes toward e-learning and perceived ease of use emerged as the most important factors in explaining behavioural intention, whereas relevance and experience were shown to be more significant in relation to perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. Our work is significant because it adds to the existing empirical evidence on e-learning and supports the relevance of TAM in understanding the usage of e-learning even in extreme situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research has significant implications for educators and other higher education authorities. Full article
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12 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Restrictions on the Social-Emotional Wellbeing of Preschool Children and Their Families
by Tanja Linnavalli and Mirjam Kalland
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080435 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 7769
Abstract
In the spring of 2020, as a result of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many children dropped out of daycare and early education in Finland, and parents had to balance work and childcare for months. The wellbeing of families during the [...] Read more.
In the spring of 2020, as a result of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many children dropped out of daycare and early education in Finland, and parents had to balance work and childcare for months. The wellbeing of families during the lockdown has been studied to some extent, but few studies have focused on children under school age. In May 2020, we sent a survey to the 82 families originally recruited in our study on supporting social-emotional development in early childhood education units, which had been interrupted by the pandemic. Twenty families responded to questionnaires about the impacts of the lockdown on the wellbeing of the children and their parents. Parents reported a decline in children’s prosocial behavior compared to the time before the pandemic and assessed that the children who stayed at home were lonelier than children who remained in daycare. Otherwise, being at home or in care was not associated with children’s physical or mental wellbeing. Parents had experienced increased mental strain and increased problems in marital relationships and the disruption of children’s participation in daycare was associated with deterioration in the parent–child relationship. Due to the small sample size, these results should be interpreted with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood Education)
20 pages, 1472 KiB  
Article
Addressing Collaboration Challenges in Project-Based Learning: The Student’s Perspective
by Bassam Hussein
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080434 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 7711
Abstract
Project-based learning has been explored in a variety of contexts and different phases of education. Several implementation challenges are associated with project-based learning. Among these challenges is ensuring collaboration between students enrolled in a project assignment. The purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
Project-based learning has been explored in a variety of contexts and different phases of education. Several implementation challenges are associated with project-based learning. Among these challenges is ensuring collaboration between students enrolled in a project assignment. The purpose of this study was to present several practical insights on how to tackle collaboration challenges in project-based learning. The study is based on the qualitative analysis of 67 reflections reports submitted by students who were enrolled in a project-based learning assignment in engineering education. The results suggest that collaboration challenges can be traced to priority conflicts between students as well as to the uncertainty in the project assignment. The results further suggest that these challenges can be successfully addressed by applying a structured project-management approach to planning, communication, and follow up. In addition, the findings suggest this structured approached should be supported by a mindset that recognizes the importance of adaptations and flexibility as the project develops. Moreover, the findings suggest that a collaboration environment based on inclusion, openness, and support enables students to respond to emerging problems and disagreements. The paper outlines several recommendations on how to improve students’ collaboration ability within project teams in the context of project-based assignments. Full article
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24 pages, 1636 KiB  
Article
Delivering Music Education Training for Non-Specialist Teachers through Effective Partnership: A Kodály-Inspired Intervention to Improve Young Children’s Development Outcomes
by Lindsay Ibbotson and Beng Huat See
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080433 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6346
Abstract
A priority area identified by the Department of Education (England) and the Economic Social and Research Council is the development of teachers, especially in primary music education where the limited opportunities for training offered by teacher training providers have raised concerns. This paper [...] Read more.
A priority area identified by the Department of Education (England) and the Economic Social and Research Council is the development of teachers, especially in primary music education where the limited opportunities for training offered by teacher training providers have raised concerns. This paper reports on an evaluation of a collaborative partnership training of non-specialist teachers, using a Kodály-inspired pedagogy to teach music in a classroom setting. Participants included 54 teachers (and 1492 pupils, aged 5–6), selected from 55 schools, as part of a large randomised control trial (RCT) in the north of England. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study that was conducted alongside the RCT, but which was not part of the RCT itself or the RCT’s implementation and process evaluation. Results from the study, which include a pre-post survey of teachers, focus group interviews and reflective journals, suggest promising effects on teachers’ pedagogical skills, their self-efficacy and competence, and children’s self-confidence and disposition for learning. Full article
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16 pages, 630 KiB  
Article
Exploring Academic Self-Concepts Depending on Acculturation Profile. Investigation of a Possible Factor for Immigrant Students’ School Success
by Nanine Lilla, Sebastian Thürer, Wim Nieuwenboom and Marianne Schüpbach
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080432 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Academic achievement and academic self-concepts are reciprocally related; hence, investigating academic self-concepts should offer a potential approach for gaining a better understanding of immigrant students’ (lack of) school success. Proposing that immigrant students’ acculturation orientations need to be taken into account, in this [...] Read more.
Academic achievement and academic self-concepts are reciprocally related; hence, investigating academic self-concepts should offer a potential approach for gaining a better understanding of immigrant students’ (lack of) school success. Proposing that immigrant students’ acculturation orientations need to be taken into account, in this study, we empirically investigate whether immigrant students’ general and domain-specific academic self-concept facets differ from those of non-immigrant students depending on their acculturation profile. Based on data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), we find initial indications that immigrant students’ academic self-concept facets are subject to their acculturation profile. The idea that acculturation may influence the known comparisons relevant for self-concept development will be discussed. Full article
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17 pages, 705 KiB  
Article
Career Exploration as Social and Emotional Learning: A Collaborative Ethnography with Spanish Children from Low-Income Contexts
by Soledad Romero-Rodríguez, Celia Moreno-Morilla, David Muñoz-Villaraviz and Marina Resurrección-Pérez
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080431 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3277
Abstract
Children’s career exploration is a critical aspect of career development. Through it, children explore the interplay between their different life roles, including those related to work (in a broad sense), learning, and education. Through career exploration, children can (re)construct the emotions derived from [...] Read more.
Children’s career exploration is a critical aspect of career development. Through it, children explore the interplay between their different life roles, including those related to work (in a broad sense), learning, and education. Through career exploration, children can (re)construct the emotions derived from the interactions between personal and contextual factors by giving meaning to life experiences. This process involves cognitive and affective activities. Evidence suggests that children from low-income contexts are more likely to drop out of school and show lower educational aspirations. Providing career exploration interventions introduces an intentional learning that allows children to develop a higher level of career awareness and increase their aspirations for the future. The sample analyzed consisted of students between 6 and 8 years old from a low-income school in Seville (Spain). The data collection methods used have been those of collaborative ethnography (e.g., unstructured interviews, student productions, and photographs). Co-analysis was the chosen method for systematizing the information used in this research. Our results have revealed a system of influences which plays an important role in the different contexts and emotions that the children derive from their interactions with different spaces and socialization agents. In short, through career exploration, children mobilize exploratory behaviors, providing emotional responses. Collaborative ethnography has been shown to be a valid process for research on career exploration as social and emotional learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Education in Schools)
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17 pages, 1307 KiB  
Article
Education for Sustainability, Peace, and Global Citizenship: An Integrative Approach
by Constantinos Yanniris
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080430 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4271
Abstract
The complex nature of contemporary challenges requires a culture of cooperation between academic disciplines. However, to what extent do educational systems prepare students to think beyond the boundaries of austerely defined and often entrenched academic fields? UNESCO has successively called for Environmental Education, [...] Read more.
The complex nature of contemporary challenges requires a culture of cooperation between academic disciplines. However, to what extent do educational systems prepare students to think beyond the boundaries of austerely defined and often entrenched academic fields? UNESCO has successively called for Environmental Education, Education for Sustainable Development, and Education for Global Citizenship to incorporate complex socio-environmental issues into mainstream education. Despite the presence of strong institutional support by governments and international organizations, the introduction of these interdisciplinary approaches into actual educational settings has been slow. With no intention to underestimate the pertinence and agency of strong political will in promoting educational change, we explore the presence of deeper, epistemological issues that may account for the generally slow progress of interdisciplinary pedagogies. To elaborate on this discussion, we focus on pragmatic solutions that can promote the integration of environmental, sustainability, and global citizenship education into the existing educational ethoi. Full article
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15 pages, 3432 KiB  
Article
Revealed Preferences of Fourth Graders When Requesting Face-to-Face Help While Doing Math Exercises Online
by Roberto Araya and Raúl Gormaz
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080429 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2410
Abstract
When in doubt, asking a peer can be very helpful. Students learn a lot of social strategies from peers. However, stated preference studies have found that for elementary school students with math questions, they prefer to ask their teacher for help. In this [...] Read more.
When in doubt, asking a peer can be very helpful. Students learn a lot of social strategies from peers. However, stated preference studies have found that for elementary school students with math questions, they prefer to ask their teacher for help. In this paper, we study revealed preferences instead of stated preferences. We analyzed the behavior of fourth-grade students seeking face-to-face assistance while working on an online math platform. Students started by working independently on the platform, before the teacher selected two or three tutors from among those who have answered 10 questions correctly. Each student was then able to choose between the teacher or one of these tutors when requesting assistance. We studied the students’ preferences over 3 years, involving 88 fourth-grade classes, 2700 students, 1209 sessions with classmate tutors, and a total of 16,485 requests for help when there was an option to choose between a teacher or a classmate. We found that students prefer asking classmates for help three times more than asking their teachers when given the choice. Furthermore, this gap increases from the first to the second semester. We also found that students prefer to request help from classmates of the same sex and of higher academic performance. In this context, students from the two highest tertiles sought help from classmates in the same two tertiles, and students from the medium tertile prefer to seek help from students of the highest tertile. However, students in the two lowest tertiles do not prefer asking for help from students from the top tertile more than from their own tertiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Preferences and Satisfaction: Measurement and Optimization)
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12 pages, 2693 KiB  
Article
Effect on Procrastination and Learning of Mistakes in the Design of the Formative and Summative Assessments: A Case Study
by Fidel Salas Vicente, Ángel Vicente Escuder, Miguel Ángel Pérez Puig and Francisco Segovia López
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080428 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3425
Abstract
The design of the formative and summative assessment processes is of paramount importance to help students avoid procrastination and guide them towards the achievement of the learning objectives that are described in the course syllabus. If the assessment processes are poorly designed the [...] Read more.
The design of the formative and summative assessment processes is of paramount importance to help students avoid procrastination and guide them towards the achievement of the learning objectives that are described in the course syllabus. If the assessment processes are poorly designed the outcome can be disappointing, including high grades but poor learning. In this paper, we describe the unexpected and undesirable effects that an on-demand formative assessment and the timetable of a summative assessment that left the most cognitively demanding part, problem-solving, to the end of the course, had on the behavior of students and on both grading and learning. As the formative assessment was voluntary, students procrastinated till the last minute. However, the real problem was that due to the design of the summative assessment, they focused their efforts mainly on the easiest parts of the summative assessment, passing the course with ease, but achieving a low learning level, as evidenced by the low scores of the problem-solving part of the summative assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education)
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10 pages, 652 KiB  
Article
Identifying Students at Risk to Academic Dropout in Higher Education
by María Gómez Gallego, Alfonso Palazón Perez de los Cobos and Juan Cándido Gómez Gallego
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080427 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3174
Abstract
A main goal of the university institution should be to reduce the desertion of its students, in fact, the dropout rate constitutes a basic indicator in the accreditation processes of university centers. Thus, evaluating the cognitive functions and learning skills of students with [...] Read more.
A main goal of the university institution should be to reduce the desertion of its students, in fact, the dropout rate constitutes a basic indicator in the accreditation processes of university centers. Thus, evaluating the cognitive functions and learning skills of students with an increased risk of academic failure can be useful for the adoption of strategies for preventing and reducing school dropout. In this research, cognitive functions and learning skills in 284 university students were evaluated. Academic performance predictors were identified, and conglomerates analysis was carried out to establish groups according to those variables. The stability and validity of the conglomerates were tested with discriminant analyzes and comparison tests. The variables associated significantly to academic performance were: attention, intelligence, motivation, metacognition and affective components. The conglomerate analysis suggested a three-group solution: (1) students with cognitive skills of moderate to high, but deficient learning strategies; (2) students with cognitive and learning capabilities of moderate to high; (3) students with cognitive functions low and moderate learning capacity. Students from groups 1 and 3 showed worse academic performance; 83.3% of students at risk of desertion belonged to such groups. Two groups of students have been identified with the highest risk of academic failure: those with poor cognitive capacity and those with bad learning skills. Full article
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10 pages, 988 KiB  
Article
Online Escape Room during COVID-19: A Qualitative Study of Social Education Degree Students’ Experiences
by Ana Manzano-León, José Manuel Aguilar-Parra, José M. Rodríguez-Ferrer, Rubén Trigueros, Rocío Collado-Soler, Cristina Méndez-Aguado, María Jesús García-Hernández and Laura Molina-Alonso
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080426 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3894
Abstract
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened an educational shift from face-to-face to online classrooms. This distanced education seeks to achieve learning goals mediated by technology as they would be achieved in the face-to-face classroom, without ignoring the psychological and social impact [...] Read more.
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened an educational shift from face-to-face to online classrooms. This distanced education seeks to achieve learning goals mediated by technology as they would be achieved in the face-to-face classroom, without ignoring the psychological and social impact that COVID-19 has had on students and teachers. Faced with this situation, the use of online educational escape rooms has been proposed as a motivating strategy for students to review curriculum content in a cooperative and fun way. A qualitative investigation was carried out to explore the perceptions of university students in the Social Education degree program after the implementation of an educational escape room. Our main findings are that most students found that it allowed them to interact with their peers beyond traditional education, that it was useful for their learning and that it was a pleasant activity. However, it was also mentioned that it can be a stressful activity as being an online activity, some students may have connectivity problems. It is concluded that online escape rooms can be active and effective learning strategies for university students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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22 pages, 5634 KiB  
Article
Knowledge Building in Online Mode: Insights and Reflections
by Dina Soliman, Stacy Costa and Marlene Scardamalia
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080425 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3507
Abstract
It seems certain that blended learning will be on the rise in higher education, with in-person meetings increasingly precious time, and online synchronous and asynchronous sessions used to complement them. This paper examines Knowledge Building in two graduate courses conducted during the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
It seems certain that blended learning will be on the rise in higher education, with in-person meetings increasingly precious time, and online synchronous and asynchronous sessions used to complement them. This paper examines Knowledge Building in two graduate courses conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no in-person sessions; rather, synchronous Zoom sessions were combined with asynchronous work in a knowledge building environment–Knowledge Forum. Knowledge Forum is designed to make transparent and accessible means by which deep understanding and sustained creative work proceed. Accordingly, for example, rise-above notes and view rearrangement support synthesis and explanatory coherence, epistemic markers support knowledge-advancing discourse, and analytics support self-and group-monitoring of progress as work proceeds. In this report, we focus on these aspects of Knowledge Building, using a subset of analytics to enhance understanding of key concepts and design of principles-based practices to advance education for knowledge creation. Overall, we aimed to have students take collective responsibility for advancing community knowledge, rather than focus exclusively on individual achievement. As we reflect on our experiences and challenges, we attempt to answer the following questions: Do courses that introduce Knowledge Building in higher education need an in-person or synchronous component? In what ways can we leverage in-class time and Knowledge Forum work to engage students in more advanced knowledge creation? We conclude that synchronous and asynchronous Knowledge Building can be combined in powerful new ways to provide students with more design time and deeper engagement with content and peers. Full article
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10 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Context Matters in Gifted Education
by Bruce M. Shore
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080424 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3595
Abstract
Bruce M. Shore’s research contributions in gifted education have focused on three contexts that impact how giftedness is understood and the instructional environments that serve gifted learners’ educational needs. This article describes these contributions and provides selected examples plus a more complete Supplemental [...] Read more.
Bruce M. Shore’s research contributions in gifted education have focused on three contexts that impact how giftedness is understood and the instructional environments that serve gifted learners’ educational needs. This article describes these contributions and provides selected examples plus a more complete Supplemental Online bibliography. First, giftedness benefits from being conceptualized in terms of theories that address the development of expertise. Featured expert–gifted parallels include interconnectedness of knowledge, metacognitive processes, perspective taking, active learner roles, affinity for novelty and complexity, and task representation and planning. Illustrative research is described from preschool age through higher education, including connections to creativity research. Second, gifted education benefits when guided by social-constructivist theory of education and its expression in inquiry-based instruction. Examples include building upon learner interests, question asking, collaborative inquiry, and active learner roles. Desirable specific instructional practices are framed by the above theories and by being considered in the contexts of widely recommended and best practices with their research support. Third, gifted education, at all levels including higher education and teacher education, needs to be an integral part of the context of general education. Most specific gifted education practices also work in general education, including learning high-level skills within subject matter. Nineteen examples are cited about how gifted education contributes to the quality of general education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gifted Education, Creativity and Leadership Development)
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