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Educ. Sci., Volume 13, Issue 11 (November 2023) – 97 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Generative artificial intelligence is transforming higher education, creating opportunities and challenges for academic integrity and impacting students. ChatGPT and other AI models may revolutionize learning, but they also raise concerns about detecting AI generated content. While AI enables language and accessibility support for international students, they may also be disproportionately impacted by model biases. Educators must consider AI literacy, ethics, and cultural competence to ensure technologies promote equitable access and outcomes for all groups. This paper explores GAI's ramifications for international students. An AI literacy framework extension is offered to help educators navigate cultural competence and equitable uses of AI in teaching. View this paper
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12 pages, 535 KiB  
Article
Embedding Experiential, Practical and Scientific Knowledge on Care for Families with Multiple Problems into the Curriculum of Universities of Applied Sciences
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111163 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Child and family welfare organizations providing care for families with multiple problems (FMPs) in the Netherlands conclude that future practitioners are often not sufficiently equipped to work with this complex target group. The aim of this study is threefold: (1) to combine experiential, [...] Read more.
Child and family welfare organizations providing care for families with multiple problems (FMPs) in the Netherlands conclude that future practitioners are often not sufficiently equipped to work with this complex target group. The aim of this study is threefold: (1) to combine experiential, practical and scientific knowledge on care for FMPs, (2) to find out, by using a design-oriented research method, which type of blended learning materials are suitable for the curricula of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) and (3) ascertain what facilitating and obstructive factors play a role in the process of implementation. In this study, we adopted a phased approach with four steps: (1) a scoping review, (2) a Delphi study, (3) an inventory of the curricula and (4) a design-oriented research approach. Various stakeholders such as adolescents, parents, teachers, students, practitioners and researchers were involved. The four steps resulted in various products such as informational videos and factsheets, a serious game and an implementation roadmap. We also provide an overview of the facilitating and obstructive factors that played a role in this process. The materials developed in this study contribute towards the training of future professionals in terms of being more reflective about their own way of working with these families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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11 pages, 773 KiB  
Article
The Resilient Teacher: Unveiling the Positive Impact of the Collaborative Practicum Model on Novice Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111162 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
The present quantitative, non-experimental comparative study, delves into the long-term effects of the collaborative practicum model (specifically the “academy-class” model) on novice teachers. The research aims to discern disparities in the professional self-efficacy of novice educators who underwent training within the collaborative practicum [...] Read more.
The present quantitative, non-experimental comparative study, delves into the long-term effects of the collaborative practicum model (specifically the “academy-class” model) on novice teachers. The research aims to discern disparities in the professional self-efficacy of novice educators who underwent training within the collaborative practicum model as opposed to those who adhered to the conventional teaching model. This comparative analysis is based on three variables: perception of the teaching profession, professional self-efficacy, and socio-economic security. Furthermore, the study examines whether the collaborative model contributes to cultivating more favorable attitudes toward the teaching profession and a greater inclination to continue teaching for an extended period exceeding three years. The study encompasses a cohort of 436 Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) graduates from 22 Israeli Higher Education Institutions who completed their degrees within the past five years. The research findings underscore a higher level of teaching efficacy, socio-economic security, and a more positive outlook among those who participated in the collaborative practicum and expressed their intent to persist in the teaching profession. These outcomes underscore the vital role of the collaborative practicum model, hinting at its potential to positively influence the retention rate within the teaching profession. Furthermore, it underscores the crucial connection between comprehensive and meaningful training within a collaborative practicum framework and the sustainable professional growth of educators. This robust training approach can potentially secure the continued presence of dedicated and enthusiastic educators in the field over the long term. Full article
9 pages, 211 KiB  
Concept Paper
STEAM Activities in the Inclusive Classroom: Intentional Planning and Practice
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111161 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 774
Abstract
The promotion of equity and access for all children to learn science is critical in early childhood settings. Considering the benefits of teaching science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), it is important that educators embed this pedagogy across early childhood settings. In [...] Read more.
The promotion of equity and access for all children to learn science is critical in early childhood settings. Considering the benefits of teaching science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), it is important that educators embed this pedagogy across early childhood settings. In order to promote access in inclusive early childhood settings that include young children from birth to 8 years of age with or without disabilities to STEAM pedagogy, educators need to be intentional about their practice. This article provides a four-step approach to using an intentional framework, universal design for learning (UDL), to plan for and implement STEAM pedagogy in the inclusive classroom. Practical implications are illustrated through examples of an early childhood educator and a child with autism in an inclusive urban education setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pedagogical Possibilities for Early Childhood Education)
14 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Experiences of Anti-Blackness in Islamic Educational Spaces: Implications for Islamic Teacher Education
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111160 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
This paper is an initial examination of anti-Blackness within a specifically Muslim context, and it presents the experiences of some Black community members who attended one U.S. city’s primary local mosque’s weekend school program and who either attended or had children who attended [...] Read more.
This paper is an initial examination of anti-Blackness within a specifically Muslim context, and it presents the experiences of some Black community members who attended one U.S. city’s primary local mosque’s weekend school program and who either attended or had children who attended the city’s sole Islamic school. During this ethnographic project, 18 participants who identified as part of the Muslim community of the city were interviewed; semi-structured interviews and snowball sampling were used to obtain data. Research participants included parents of children in the Islamic school or weekend school program at the affiliated mosque, former students of the Islamic school or the mosque’s weekend school program, and former or current leaders in the community. The findings demonstrate that anti-Blackness in Islamic community spaces often manifests through the targeting of Black children for perceived misbehavior in educational spaces and through practices of exclusion toward Black community members. The findings also indicate that there is a need for increased education and training related to anti-Blackness and a need for the implementation of an anti-racist pedagogy in Islamic educational settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Education for Islamic Education and Schooling)
18 pages, 298 KiB  
Article
Evidence of the Development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Chemistry Teachers about Redox Reactions in the Context of a Professional Development Program
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111159 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 768
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the impact of a continuing professional development program (CPD) on the development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of chemistry teachers regarding the topic of redox reactions. For this purpose, a CPD program designed to develop teachers’ PCK on [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the impact of a continuing professional development program (CPD) on the development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of chemistry teachers regarding the topic of redox reactions. For this purpose, a CPD program designed to develop teachers’ PCK on redox reactions was examined. During the course, teachers were observed and their activities were analyzed. The data collected were based on responses to the CoRe instrument, lesson plans, vignettes, and audiovisual records of the CPD program. Qualitative thematic analysis was employed to analyze the data, focusing on the five components of PCK proposed by Park and Oliver. The results demonstrate that teachers, after participating in the continuing education program, were able to independently develop the components of PCK at different levels, with the knowledge of instructional strategies showing the most prominent improvement. Additionally, it was observed that the components could potentially be integrated, suggesting the potential for enhancing PCK in the context of redox reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Teacher Education)
18 pages, 519 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Math Efficacy and Performance of Minority Students through Student Class Preparation and Teacher Support
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111158 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 838
Abstract
This research investigates how minority students demonstrate their math self-efficacy and performance, shaped by factors such as class preparation and math teacher support. Leveraging a comprehensive US national dataset, this study aims to provide broadly applicable insights and suggestions for students from diverse [...] Read more.
This research investigates how minority students demonstrate their math self-efficacy and performance, shaped by factors such as class preparation and math teacher support. Leveraging a comprehensive US national dataset, this study aims to provide broadly applicable insights and suggestions for students from diverse racial and linguistic backgrounds. The findings underscore the substantial influence of high school students’ class preparation on teacher support, math self-efficacy, and math performance. Notably, teacher support exhibits a positive impact solely on math self-efficacy but does not extend to their math performance. Upon examination of various demographic groups, this research identifies noteworthy disparities in the effects experienced by different racial and linguistic groups. This study’s results carry practical implications for educators and practitioners, shedding light on strategies to enhance various minority students’ math self-efficacy and outcomes. Full article
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16 pages, 943 KiB  
Article
Courage, Honesty, and Evaluation in the Apprehensive University
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111157 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 712
Abstract
A consistent question in education is how to evaluate the degree to which universities and their programs are meeting the claims they make on their webpages and other materials, which entice students and faculty alike to join their collegiate community. Misalignments between what [...] Read more.
A consistent question in education is how to evaluate the degree to which universities and their programs are meeting the claims they make on their webpages and other materials, which entice students and faculty alike to join their collegiate community. Misalignments between what is promised and what is provided harm all community members but have disproportionate effects on students of color. It is therefore an ethical imperative for the higher education sector to undertake system wide evaluations because of the ever-rising financial and emotional costs of graduate education. For educators and administrators alike, this means systematically interrogating data to identify unseen patterns, challenge assumptions, and ask both critical and highly uncomfortable questions; for educators, this may include a truthful assessment of our own practices and assumptions. We propose drawing from the field of program evaluation and using theory-driven evaluation as a specific framework to understand graduate education process and outcomes. This conceptual paper links together existing literatures and is augmented by the authors’ reflection and dialogue about their experiences designing and implementing graduate education across several institutions. We end with a call for courage and honesty in carefully evaluating graduate education for the betterment of all students, faculty, and administrators. Full article
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13 pages, 587 KiB  
Article
Digitalization of Classrooms: A Comparative Study on Teachers’ Perceptions about the Use of Digital Teaching Materials in Early Childhood and Primary Education
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111156 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 924
Abstract
The incorporation of digital didactic materials into the teaching and learning process of students, both in Early Childhood and Primary Education, inevitably entails changes. Some of them concern teacher training, others the interactions and roles of the members of the educational community, and [...] Read more.
The incorporation of digital didactic materials into the teaching and learning process of students, both in Early Childhood and Primary Education, inevitably entails changes. Some of them concern teacher training, others the interactions and roles of the members of the educational community, and others the innovation, a priori, of the educational process itself. In this context, characterized by the digitization of classrooms, questions arise that this research aims to answer: What vision do teachers have of the incorporation of these media? In what learning situations are they used and for what purposes? Are there differences between the use of digital resources in the infant and primary school stages? This article aims to analyze and compare the perceptions of teachers in two different contexts: the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands and the Valencian Community. By means of a qualitative study, the focus is on knowing the teachers’ assessment of the usefulness of these resources and on identifying the uses given to them in classroom practices. The results show how, despite the widespread use of digital materials in both stages, some teachers are rethinking their use with students at an early age. Full article
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18 pages, 531 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Generative AI Platforms on Undergraduates’ Narrative Intelligence and Writing Self-Efficacy
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111155 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2096
Abstract
Digital storytelling and generative artificial intelligence (AI) platforms have emerged as transformative tools that empower individuals to write with confidence and share their stories effectively. However, a research gap exists in understanding the effects of using such web-based platforms on narrative intelligence and [...] Read more.
Digital storytelling and generative artificial intelligence (AI) platforms have emerged as transformative tools that empower individuals to write with confidence and share their stories effectively. However, a research gap exists in understanding the effects of using such web-based platforms on narrative intelligence and writing self-efficacy. This study aims to investigate whether digital story creation tasks on web-based platforms can influence the narrative intelligence and writing self-efficacy of undergraduate students. A pretest–posttest comparison study between two groups was conducted with sixty-four undergraduate students (n = 64), majoring in Primary Education. More specifically, it compares the effects of the most well-known conventional platforms, such as Storybird, Storyjumper, and ZooBurst (control condition), and generative AI platforms, such as Sudowrite, Jasper, and Shortly AI (experimental condition) on undergraduate students, with an equal distribution in each group. The findings indicate that the utilization of generative AI platforms in the context of story creation tasks can substantially enhance both narrative intelligence scores and writing self-efficacy when compared to conventional platforms. Nonetheless, there was no significant difference in the creative identity factor. Generative AI platforms have promising implications for supporting undergraduates’ narrative intelligence and writing self-efficacy in fostering their story creation design and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence in Education)
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12 pages, 1414 KiB  
Article
College Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Prior to and during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111154 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 910
Abstract
Student mental health was a growing concern globally prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the pandemic and associated restrictions on the psychological wellbeing of college students. Baseline data were collected [...] Read more.
Student mental health was a growing concern globally prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the pandemic and associated restrictions on the psychological wellbeing of college students. Baseline data were collected pre-pandemic in September 2019 among students attending a university in Northern Ireland and an Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland. Surveys were also conducted with this cohort during the pandemic, at the start of the academic years 2020 and 2021 (499 students fully completed all three waves). A follow-up survey was conducted at the end of their third year, in summer 2022 (n = 229). High levels of mental health problems were already present among students commencing college. The subsequent pandemic had a very negative impact on student’s academic experience and other aspects of life. Rates of depression (PHQ-9) increased significantly from the onset of the pandemic and remained high. Anxiety (GAD-7) initially decreased but then escalated at the end of college. The study highlights the importance of early intervention and makes recommendations for addressing the needs of students during times of stress. Additional supports may be required to deal with the long-lasting impact of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health of College Students in the Post-pandemic Era)
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10 pages, 476 KiB  
Article
Improving Student Success through Supplemental Instruction in an Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111153 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Anatomy and physiology courses have been identified as a major barrier to the persistence and graduation of undergraduate students seeking careers in the health professions. This break in the health profession’s educational pipeline may have implications for perpetuating racial/ethnic educational attainment disparities that [...] Read more.
Anatomy and physiology courses have been identified as a major barrier to the persistence and graduation of undergraduate students seeking careers in the health professions. This break in the health profession’s educational pipeline may have implications for perpetuating racial/ethnic educational attainment disparities that further health disparities through a lack of representation in healthcare providers. Although Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a well-developed, evidence-based program for improving student success, it has traditionally been used primarily in lecture-based courses. In addition, much of the literature on peer-assisted learning in anatomy and physiology focuses on medical school students. Therefore, it is difficult to extrapolate the effectiveness of SI on freshman and sophomore undergraduate students in a laboratory-based course. Here, we describe the expansion of our SI program, in conjunction with a complete curricular redesign, to address student success in an undergraduate gateway anatomy and physiology laboratory. Students who participated in the SI laboratory sessions held outside of instructor-led class time were significantly more likely to be high performers in the course, and there were no students who participated in SI sessions who earned a final course grade below a C. In addition, students expressed high satisfaction with the SI program and indicated that SI leaders provided both content and emotional support. In conclusion, SI is a valuable program to address student success in a laboratory-based course, particularly when integrated thoughtfully and intentionally with other evidence-based best practices in curriculum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postsecondary and Tertiary Peer Assisted Learning)
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17 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
Academic Emotions and Regulation Strategies: Interaction with Higher Education Dropout Ideation
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111152 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 744
Abstract
(1) Introduction: This article addresses the relationship between students’ emotional experiences—mediated by their regulation strategies—and their intention of dropping out. (2) Materials and Methods: An ad hoc questionnaire was designed based on Pekrun’s Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions focusing on three different settings [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: This article addresses the relationship between students’ emotional experiences—mediated by their regulation strategies—and their intention of dropping out. (2) Materials and Methods: An ad hoc questionnaire was designed based on Pekrun’s Control-Value Theory of Achievement Emotions focusing on three different settings (study, classroom, and exam). Data were collected from 2183 university students. Descriptive, frequency, and correlation analysis were conducted. Also, linear regression analyses and scatter plots were performed. A comparative regression analysis was used with the aim of facilitating the understanding of the mediating effect of emotional regulation strategies. (3) Results: Academic emotions were found to have a significant impact on dropout ideation. The effects of emotional regulation strategies as significant moderators in this relationship were observed, exhibiting variations depending on the context. (4) Discussion: Dropout ideation escalates in the presence of elevated levels of unpleasant emotions and diminished levels of pleasant emotions. The utility of possessing effective emotional regulation strategies becomes evident in mitigating dropout ideation during emotionally challenging academic situations. Full article
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22 pages, 939 KiB  
Article
Modeling Students’ Perceptions of Chatbots in Learning: Integrating Technology Acceptance with the Value-Based Adoption Model
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111151 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2112
Abstract
As technology continues to advance, chatbots are likely to become an increasingly vital tool in education. This study digs further into how students perceive and accept chatbots for use in learning activities. The study examines the integrated relationships between the constructs of the [...] Read more.
As technology continues to advance, chatbots are likely to become an increasingly vital tool in education. This study digs further into how students perceive and accept chatbots for use in learning activities. The study examines the integrated relationships between the constructs of the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the constructs of the value-based model (VAM), including perceived enjoyment, perceived risk, and perceived value, to predict students’ attitudes and, consequently, their acceptance of chatbots for learning in higher education. A total of 432 respondents participated in an online survey, and the proposed hypotheses were evaluated through structural equation modeling (SEM-PLS). The study offers useful insights on chatbot adoption in Saudi higher education, as the results highlight important drivers of chatbot acceptance among students, including perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude, perceived enjoyment, and perceived value. Perceived risk was not a significant predictor of students’ attitudes or their acceptance of chatbot use in learning. The results are expected to foster the adoption of chatbot technology in supporting distance learning in Saudi Arabia’s higher education. Full article
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11 pages, 1086 KiB  
Article
Promoting Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration among Mathematics and Special Education Researchers
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111150 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 704
Abstract
This manuscript provides a theoretical framing of a collaborative research design effort among mathematics education and special education researchers. To gain insight into the current state of research on mathematics learning, we drew on how researchers in mathematics education and special education have [...] Read more.
This manuscript provides a theoretical framing of a collaborative research design effort among mathematics education and special education researchers. To gain insight into the current state of research on mathematics learning, we drew on how researchers in mathematics education and special education have defined and operationalized the term ‘mathematical concept’ related to the learning of fractions. Using this information, we designed a future study that focuses on and connects prior research in mathematics and special education. We conclude by discussing the implications of such collaborative research efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematics Education for Students with Learning Disabilities)
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45 pages, 4534 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Study into Teacher–Student Interaction Strategies Employed to Support Primary School Children’s Working Memory
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111149 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2116
Abstract
The current qualitative study examined the teacher–student interaction and its influence on children’s working memory in primary schools in Belgium and the Netherlands. Eighteen primary school teachers participated in semi-structured interviews focusing on strategies employed to support students with working memory difficulties. The [...] Read more.
The current qualitative study examined the teacher–student interaction and its influence on children’s working memory in primary schools in Belgium and the Netherlands. Eighteen primary school teachers participated in semi-structured interviews focusing on strategies employed to support students with working memory difficulties. The study offered a comprehensive overview of the strategies, categorised into instructional support, classroom organisation, and emotional support (based on the Teaching Through Interactions framework) that teachers use when dealing with working memory-related difficulties. Additionally, it provided unique insights into teachers’ underlying beliefs and rationales about the effectiveness of these strategies. Lastly, factors influencing the use and efficacy of these strategies (based on the Multilevel Supply–Use model) were explored. By integrating teachers’ voices and experiences, this research provides a unique opportunity to bridge theory and practice, and enrich the current understanding and interpretation of the teacher–student interaction and its implications for improving working memory performance in primary school students. Overall, the holistic approach, taking into account both direct and indirect approaches, offered a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted challenges faced by students with working memory difficulties and the diverse strategies teachers can employ to address them, which can further inform classroom practices, professional development, and policy-making. Full article
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20 pages, 985 KiB  
Article
Teaching Kindness and Compassion: An Exploratory Intervention Study to Support Young Children’s Prosocial Skills in an Inclusive ECEC Setting
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111148 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1223
Abstract
In this exploratory intervention study, the aim was to teach 5–7-year-old children prosocial skills in an inclusive Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) setting. The intervention programme was based on previous studies and helps fill a gap in how to promote prosocial [...] Read more.
In this exploratory intervention study, the aim was to teach 5–7-year-old children prosocial skills in an inclusive Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) setting. The intervention programme was based on previous studies and helps fill a gap in how to promote prosocial behaviour in an ECEC setting encompassing children with diverse needs. The theoretical framework draws on research on character strengths in the field of positive psychology, particularly what the literature refers to as the strengths of the heart, namely kindness and compassion. The study follows the methodological framework of pragmatism and a mixed-methods research perspective. Research methods include questionnaires and interviews with children (n = 23), some of their guardians (n = 8) and ECEC teachers (n = 2). The results were two-fold. With the picture-based questionnaire, the pre–post measures showed little advancement. However, individual interviews revealed developments in children’s prosocial thinking that also translated into concrete actions. These findings were further supported by the positive feedback received from teachers and guardians. The contents of the programme can be integrated into daily, inclusive ECEC pedagogy. Methodologically, the intervention design serves as a starting point for the further development of data collection practices that capture children’s voices in ECEC. Full article
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17 pages, 984 KiB  
Article
Between the Lines: An Exploration of Online Academic Help-Seeking and Outsourced Support in Higher Education: Who Seeks Help and Why?
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111147 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 626
Abstract
The growth in online higher education has seen the ‘unbundling’ of some services as universities have partnered with private companies in an effort to enhance their services. This paper explores university students’ use and perceptions of the third-party online learning support platform, Studiosity, [...] Read more.
The growth in online higher education has seen the ‘unbundling’ of some services as universities have partnered with private companies in an effort to enhance their services. This paper explores university students’ use and perceptions of the third-party online learning support platform, Studiosity, at Dublin City University. Studiosity was engaged to support undergraduate and postgraduate distance students, by offering support beyond existing campus-based services. This research employs a primarily inductive research design drawing on data collected through the third-party provider (2018–2020), supplemented by an in-house online survey (2019). Students were overwhelmingly positive about Studiosity. Postgraduate students, arguably students with good academic skills, used the service more than first-year undergraduate students. However, first-year undergraduates, a group the literature suggests are reluctant users of institutional support, were also strong users. Questions emanating from postgraduate students demonstrated expedient help-seeking. First-year undergraduate students were more concerned with explanations to help their understanding in order to persist with their studies. This paper posits that all other things being equal, those who already have strong academic capital will be the greatest users of academic support services. Proactive, less formal academic support strategies to encourage use by those who need help most, remain critical. Full article
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12 pages, 1462 KiB  
Article
Indian Parents’ Perceptions of Children’s Psychological Wellbeing and Academic Learning during COVID-19
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1146; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111146 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 894
Abstract
Indian children experienced large-scale disruption in educational, psychological, and social welfare access when schools abruptly closed due to COVID-19. In addition to education, the Indian public school system provides services such as meals and benefits related to improving gender parity and indirectly preventing [...] Read more.
Indian children experienced large-scale disruption in educational, psychological, and social welfare access when schools abruptly closed due to COVID-19. In addition to education, the Indian public school system provides services such as meals and benefits related to improving gender parity and indirectly preventing child labor, child marriages, and abuse. Therefore, sustained school closures led to an unfolding disaster in terms of learning loss and multiple unknown effects on children’s social and psychological wellbeing. This descriptive study attempts to understand these consequences by asking Indian parents about the emotional, psychological, and academic impacts on their children. Results suggest an adverse impact on children’s education and wellbeing. Families reported higher levels of psychological distress, anxiety, and aggression among children. However, the manifestations and ramifications seem to be different—while families from low-income segments struggled to get access to digital devices, others in upper-income segments had to confront excessive device time use. The results suggest that there is a need for a concerted, sustained, multipronged, differential response from the government and civil society to ensure that families can handle these challenges accordingly. Full article
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14 pages, 236 KiB  
Project Report
The Confluence of Supplemental Instruction (SI) Programme Factors on Selected Student Outcomes in a Historically Disadvantaged University
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111145 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 656
Abstract
This paper sought to describe the combined influences (confluence) of the various aspects of the supplemental instruction (SI) programme on selected student outcomes. It points out that the SI programme’s influence goes beyond the reports about the improvement of marks, throughputs, and retention. [...] Read more.
This paper sought to describe the combined influences (confluence) of the various aspects of the supplemental instruction (SI) programme on selected student outcomes. It points out that the SI programme’s influence goes beyond the reports about the improvement of marks, throughputs, and retention. It shows that the SI programme bears on the development of academic literacies, graduate attributes, the building of a sense of community, and the inculcation of ethos and practices necessary for academic success. Framed in the positivist paradigm and a quantitative approach, aspects of the supplemental instruction programme such as instructional methods, lecturer’s attitude towards SI, accessibility of the SI leaders, lecturer and departmental involvement, and student–facilitator relationship were correlated with the variables of students’ outcomes. The students’ outcome variables were measured by the acquisition of academic literacies and competencies, improved performance in assessment tasks, sense of community and belonging, and assimilation into a university’s culture and ethos. Using purposive/convenient sampling, 122 students who made extensive use of the SI programme were selected to participate in a survey. Data were analysed statistically using ordinal regression. The study’s findings highlight the need to consider different constructs in the planning and implementation of the SI programme. It provides evidence of students’ successful engagement with supplemental instruction and the factors that contribute to such success. This study helps foster an understanding of the various planning, design, and delivery aspects of the supplemental instruction programme, so that ways of making the SI programme effective are devised. The identified significant factors form the basis for the construction of an SI implementation conceptual framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
11 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
The Perceived Impact of Leading Supplemental Instruction on Student Leaders at a Hispanic-Serving Institution
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111144 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 689
Abstract
Supplemental Instruction is an evidence-based academic support program which improves the success of higher education undergraduate students who participate in the program, including students from historically underrepresented populations. Sessions are led by near-peer leaders who have previously successfully completed the course. While the [...] Read more.
Supplemental Instruction is an evidence-based academic support program which improves the success of higher education undergraduate students who participate in the program, including students from historically underrepresented populations. Sessions are led by near-peer leaders who have previously successfully completed the course. While the impacts of leading SI programs have previously been demonstrated, there is little research on the specific impacts on historically underrepresented student leaders at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Our study aims to elucidate the impact of leading SI on our diverse population of SI leaders at the largest private HSI in New York State. Data were collected from SI leaders on their reflective perceptions about their experiences as SI leaders through both surveys and focus groups. Our data demonstrate that our diverse SI leaders feel positively about their experiences in the SI program with a focus on three areas of perceived self-improvement: confidence, communication and community. These areas of perceived self-improvement are particularly important as they may lead to higher retention and graduation rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postsecondary and Tertiary Peer Assisted Learning)
19 pages, 2034 KiB  
Article
Digital Learning Transformation in Higher Education: International Cases of University Efforts to Evaluate and Improve Blended Teaching Readiness
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111143 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 982
Abstract
The global pandemic of 2019 brought heightened awareness to institutions of higher education of the need to engage in a digital transformation that extends beyond university business operations to the pedagogy of the classroom. This paper is a case study that explores three [...] Read more.
The global pandemic of 2019 brought heightened awareness to institutions of higher education of the need to engage in a digital transformation that extends beyond university business operations to the pedagogy of the classroom. This paper is a case study that explores three international cases of universities in Colombia, Brazil, and Mongolia that are at different stages along the path of a digital pedagogical transformation. This article tells each story, including (1) what is driving the local need to engage in digital transformation, (2) what the major challenges and barriers are to achieving a transformation, and (3) what efforts are being made to help each university to move along the path towards adoption and change. It concludes with discussing three major themes that emerged from the case studies: (1) the role of local policy in shaping digital transformation, (2) the importance of developing human capacity with technology, and (3) the potential for digital transformation to bring hope. Full article
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20 pages, 3243 KiB  
Article
What We Know about Successful School Leadership from Australian Cases and an Open Systems Model of School Leadership
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111142 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1103
Abstract
In three devolved Australian school systems, for over 20 years, Australian researchers have been interested in understanding how successful school leaders lead schools that have a broad range of student and school outcomes that are above expectations. This paper draws upon findings from [...] Read more.
In three devolved Australian school systems, for over 20 years, Australian researchers have been interested in understanding how successful school leaders lead schools that have a broad range of student and school outcomes that are above expectations. This paper draws upon findings from five Tasmanian, 18 Victorian, and one Northern Territory multiple-perspective case studies of successful primary, secondary, and special school principals. All cases are part of the International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP) and follow the methodologies of the ISSPP. At each school, data collected included interviews with the principal, senior teachers, teachers, students, parents, and school council members and document analysis. In addition, nine cases included observation of school activities, and two cases included a teacher survey. The cases reveal a complicated pattern of leadership activities by the principal and other school leaders that includes setting school directions, building positive cultures, developing supportive organisational structures, enhancing personal, professional, organisational, and community capacity, and developing networks, collaborations, partnerships, and stakeholder engagement. These areas of leadership action interact with school, staff, family, and broader contextual factors to develop outstanding teaching and learning that results in a wide array of positive student and school outcomes. Student outcomes include academic, extra-curricular, co-curricular, personal, and social areas. School outcomes include reputation, learning environment, resource allocation, community empowerment, and teacher quality areas. Successful school leadership is shown to be a complex endeavour, led by the principal but involving many and able to be sustained successfully over many years, leading to important and diverse student and school outcomes. Full article
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19 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Finding a Way: What Crisis Reveals about Teachers’ Emotional Wellbeing and Its Importance for Education
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111141 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 796
Abstract
In crisis, teachers are often positioned as frontline workers serving the community’s needs. The emotional work of teaching is widely recognised, an acknowledgement that teachers mediate emotionally loaded relational dynamics. A fast-growing body of research investigates strategies and interventions to emotionally support children [...] Read more.
In crisis, teachers are often positioned as frontline workers serving the community’s needs. The emotional work of teaching is widely recognised, an acknowledgement that teachers mediate emotionally loaded relational dynamics. A fast-growing body of research investigates strategies and interventions to emotionally support children and young people in times of crisis. Less explored is teachers’ emotional wellbeing during times of crisis. This research aims to better understand teachers’ needs to support their wellbeing in times of crisis. It utilises a narrative approach, threading together thematically analysed Twitter posts from teachers and teacher representative bodies engaged in discussion of their profession across the USA. Our findings show that teachers experienced a range of emotions around the pandemic when their daily work pivoted to accommodate government-mandated responses. Teaching is, of its nature, an emotionally taxing role, and this is heightened in crisis. Our research highlights the importance of teachers finding a way toward self-care that is nested within an institutional culture of collective care. Full article
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13 pages, 1923 KiB  
Article
Let’s Ask the Other Side: Teaching Gymnasium Plant Biology from a Teacher’s Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111140 - 14 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 847
Abstract
It has been repeatedly found that plant biology is less attractive for students than other biology fields. We, therefore, focused on the opposite and, through an online questionnaire, we asked biology teachers at gymnasia throughout Slovakia how they teach plant biology and where [...] Read more.
It has been repeatedly found that plant biology is less attractive for students than other biology fields. We, therefore, focused on the opposite and, through an online questionnaire, we asked biology teachers at gymnasia throughout Slovakia how they teach plant biology and where they experience problems. Almost 30% of teachers characterized technical equipment as insufficient but use some visual aids for ca. 50% of lessons. Despite the dominant use of microscopy, teachers admit that students’ biggest shortcomings are found in the anatomy of organs, photosynthesis, ontogenesis and its regulation by exogenous/endogenous factors, or when connecting knowledge about tissues with their functions. About half of the teachers rate their knowledge of plant anatomy and physiology as sufficient, but these teachers rate only about 20% of their students in the same way. Based on the negative correlation between the use of aids and the lack of student knowledge, and, at the same time, the positive correlation between the activity of teachers and better technical equipment, we conclude that the mainly neglected technical infrastructure does not allow for a better practical education (e.g., only 13.7% of gymnasia have analytical balances and only 1.6% a spectrophotometer). Furthermore, almost 90% of teachers mentioned that online education during COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected students’ knowledge. We hope that our research can contribute to changes in the Slovak educational curriculum focused on plant biology in a more scientific direction and inspire research in other countries, with the aim of exchanging knowledge regarding the species diversity of plants around the world and their importance for people and the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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14 pages, 668 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Impact of Integrated STEAM Education on Arts Education: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111139 - 14 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
Integrated Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Mathematics (STEAM) education, an educational approach that is steadily expanding and bringing positive results within various scenarios, is successfully implemented and promoted in various countries. However, it has often been noted in the specialized literature that the incorporation of the arts into [...] Read more.
Integrated Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Mathematics (STEAM) education, an educational approach that is steadily expanding and bringing positive results within various scenarios, is successfully implemented and promoted in various countries. However, it has often been noted in the specialized literature that the incorporation of the arts into STEAM proposals is often at the service of the other disciplines, in that authentic artistic content is scarce or non-existent. It is therefore necessary to ascertain the place of the arts within this approach, so as to move towards their inclusion in an authentic manner. Thus, with the aim of knowing the characteristics of STEAM educational proposals and determining the impact of integrated STEAM education on the development of artistic competencies, this study presents a systematic review of STEAM proposals within Primary and Secondary Education. The results show the very limited impact of this approach on arts education; although the evaluation of artistic competency development has had positive impacts, it has been contemplated in very few studies. Our conclusions reflect on some necessary considerations with which to achieve an authentic and meaningful integration of the arts within STEAM education, opening the door to a conversation on what was previously a gap in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Integrated STEAM Education)
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15 pages, 903 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Interleaving and Variability Effects: A Cognitive Load Theory Perspective
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111138 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
The interleaving effect indicates that students learn better from multiple areas that are interleaved rather than blocked. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that the effect is because interleaving facilitates comparisons between areas and is a variation of the variability effect that increases intrinsic [...] Read more.
The interleaving effect indicates that students learn better from multiple areas that are interleaved rather than blocked. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that the effect is because interleaving facilitates comparisons between areas and is a variation of the variability effect that increases intrinsic cognitive load. Experiment 1 used an interleaved design with two obviously different topics and found no interleaving effect. Experiment 2 used a similar design but used topics that were more difficult to discriminate between, resulting in a clear advantage for the interleaved group associated with an increase in cognitive load. These results support the hypothesis that the interleaving and variability effects are closely related. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Load Theory: Emerging Trends and Innovations)
16 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Ethical Competence in Master’s Degrees: Definition and Shaping Factors
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111137 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 616
Abstract
The inclusion of ethical competence in the training of master’s degree students remains a challenge. It has important links to the professionalization process, but unevenness has been found in its development and implementation, and this appears to generate shortcomings in training processes. The [...] Read more.
The inclusion of ethical competence in the training of master’s degree students remains a challenge. It has important links to the professionalization process, but unevenness has been found in its development and implementation, and this appears to generate shortcomings in training processes. The aim of this study is to understand the meaning of ethical competence and to identify factors that facilitate its inclusion in master’s degree programs. A multicentre phenomenological study was carried out at universities in Spain and Argentina. Students and faculty from ten master’s degree programs in different subjects participated. Three broad overall categories emerged from our analysis: competencies related to the professional profile; factors in the professionalizing process; and training in ethical competence. These categories suggest that ethical competence is a core rather than an added value for any professional, thereby stressing the need to address its pedagogical importance in education. Full article
13 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
Teachers’ Experiences of Inclusion in Classroom Settings
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111136 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 909
Abstract
Inclusion, as a general term, touches upon the most important social aspects of human life—the experience of being valuable and the sense of belonging. The aim of the study was to examine the assessments of teachers at dyslexia-friendly schools (DFS) on how their [...] Read more.
Inclusion, as a general term, touches upon the most important social aspects of human life—the experience of being valuable and the sense of belonging. The aim of the study was to examine the assessments of teachers at dyslexia-friendly schools (DFS) on how their students are being included and accepted by other students in class, and if these experiences differ between teachers that work in primary schools, secondary schools, and upper secondary schools. A questionnaire was administered to 433 teachers in Norway working at ordinary schools that were certified as DFS. A main finding was that almost all of the teachers reported a high, or very high, acceptance of differences regarding social and intellectual skills among students with special educational needs (SEN). Our findings about the high levels of social inclusion among students with SEN in DFS point towards the importance of including students with SEN in ordinary classes, not in special schools. Another main result was that teachers from primary schools reported a higher level of inclusion among SEN students than teachers from secondary schools. We argue that an explanation of this finding is that teachers working in primary schools have a relatively greater focus on inclusion in their teacher education. Other explanations may be a lower number of SEN students at primary schools, and that students at secondary schools experience environmental and biological changes that may affect their inclusion. In accordance with previous research, we find that in terms of inclusion in the classroom, the teacher’s role and behavior are of critical importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Special and Inclusive Education)
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13 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Nature-Based Solutions and the Decline of Pollution: Solving Problems to Learn Sustainable Development Goals
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111135 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 580
Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are important issues that should be learned about in school, particularly those related to sustainable cities and communities. Target 6 of the 11th Goal mentions the special attention that should be paid to air quality. Nature-based solutions are [...] Read more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are important issues that should be learned about in school, particularly those related to sustainable cities and communities. Target 6 of the 11th Goal mentions the special attention that should be paid to air quality. Nature-based solutions are a current theme that should be learned in school to empower students to contribute to planetary sustainability. In this context, a pedagogical intervention was developed through problem-based learning addressing air pollution. After two lessons of 50 min each, students presented a worksheet answered in groups, a group snapshot reflection, and the results of filling out a digital mural before and after the intervention. After a content analysis, the results of this evaluation study were reflected in the 105 students’ increasing knowledge about nature-based solutions to improve air quality. A positive appreciation of problem-based learning as an active methodology that motivates and increases students’ participation was also referred to. Full article
20 pages, 501 KiB  
Article
Accounting Students in the Role of Equal-Status Team Teacher for the Purpose of Knowledge and Competency Development
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13111134 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 649
Abstract
This study investigates the impact of engaging accounting students in a team-teaching role on their knowledge and competency development in a higher education setting. The research quantifies the knowledge gains from this learning-by-team-teaching intervention and explores students’ experiences with this intervention through survey [...] Read more.
This study investigates the impact of engaging accounting students in a team-teaching role on their knowledge and competency development in a higher education setting. The research quantifies the knowledge gains from this learning-by-team-teaching intervention and explores students’ experiences with this intervention through survey data. The findings suggest that engaging students in a team-teaching role, specifically a sequential equal-status team-teaching role incorporating interactive teaching styles, significantly enhances knowledge development, particularly among lower-performing students. Students reported a largely positive experience across all performance levels, attributing their growth to improved knowledge, teamwork, and communication skills provided by the intervention. The study recognizes the benefits derived from the team-based design of the intervention, such as enhanced social constructivist knowledge development. Overall, this study contributes to the existing body of knowledge on learning-by-teaching strategies. It emphasizes the potential of engaging students in a team-teaching role to enhance their academic performance and the development of key professional competencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Team Teaching: A Powerful Strategy?)
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