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Educ. Sci., Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 88 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Relationships are critical in teaching. This autoethnographic article focuses on one international elementary school teacher’s experience of teaching online in West Africa during COVID-19. Guided by the research question, “How did online learning impact my relationship with students?”, the author utilized writing as an inquiry approach to make sense of the challenging aspects of her online teaching experiences. This paper illustrates the meaning-making steps that the author explored to appreciate the nuances within specific moments that she encountered with her student and his father. This narrative inquiry into the complexity of educational relationships offers insights into the inner workings of teacher emotions and feelings. View this paper
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17 pages, 1173 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Effectiveness of Face-to-Face versus Online Delivery of Continuing Professional Development for Science Teachers: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121251 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 914
Abstract
Purpose: This systematic review assesses the effectiveness of face-to-face and online delivery modes of continuing professional development (CPD) for science teachers. It focuses on three aspects: evaluating the effectiveness of these modes, summarizing the literature on the factors influencing them, and conducting a [...] Read more.
Purpose: This systematic review assesses the effectiveness of face-to-face and online delivery modes of continuing professional development (CPD) for science teachers. It focuses on three aspects: evaluating the effectiveness of these modes, summarizing the literature on the factors influencing them, and conducting a comparative analysis of their advantages. Methods: The research team employed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method and the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) for article quality assessment. A total of 12 articles, selected from a potential 82, were included in the study. Results: This research suggests that the face-to-face and online CPD modes are equally effective and that external factors, such as psychological variables and establishing communication communities, influence their effectiveness. Face-to-face CPD fosters communication communities, while online CPD offers geographical flexibility and cost-saving benefits. Implications: The effectiveness of face-to-face and online CPD relies on external psychosocial factors. Future research should focus on strategies to enhance participants’ communication engagement in online communities. Additionally, it is worth conducting further investigations of the potential relationships between psychosocial variables and the effectiveness of online CPD, along with the impact of digital skills on online CPD. Full article
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37 pages, 5554 KiB  
Article
Proof of Concept for a Novel Social-Emotional Learning Programming: The B.E. M.Y. F.R.I.E.N.D. Framework
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121250 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 951
Abstract
Despite the known benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL) for children, evidence-based, culturally sensitive, and multisensory SEL programs are limited. To address existing challenges in SEL for underprivileged youth, we developed the multicomponent B.E. M.Y. F.R.I.E.N.D. (BMF) framework that capitalizes on (1) cultural tailoring [...] Read more.
Despite the known benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL) for children, evidence-based, culturally sensitive, and multisensory SEL programs are limited. To address existing challenges in SEL for underprivileged youth, we developed the multicomponent B.E. M.Y. F.R.I.E.N.D. (BMF) framework that capitalizes on (1) cultural tailoring to foster acceptability, (2) tools and strategies to build healthy habits, (3) parental engagement using the Child-Mediated Health Communication Model, (4) social engagement of teachers via peer interaction during learning experiences, and (5) multisensory learning. Each letter (component) of the BMF stands for a unique SEL skill. To test the BMF framework, we developed a proof of concept (POC) focused on one component of the BMF—mindfulness and gratitude SEL (M-letter). The POC includes a description of immersive and interactive multimedia modules with tailor-made music, digital games, cartoons, and booster activities. The outcomes from the POC will inform the development of fully powered randomized studies of each component of BMF and, ultimately, the implementation and dissemination of the entire BMF program. The Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model (MMHEM) guided the design of the program. In the POC, we used a learning management system (LMS) platform to facilitate program scalability. The modules encompassed culturally and age-relevant real-world examples and were digitized and integrated with traditional learning approaches. This article presents qualitative and quantitative data evaluating feasibility, preliminary acceptability, and preliminary outcomes from the mindfulness and gratitude modules (letter “M” of the BMF). The studies were conducted with 4th and 5th-grade students (Studies 2–4) attending a New York City public school-affiliated after-school program in the Bronx and Queens and their teachers (Study 1). Study #1 presents the focus group data on teachers and principals; Study #2 shows the focus group data on minoritized students; Study #3 presents data from the pilot testing of study-specific outcome measures; and Study #4 presents data on the preliminary efficacy of the BMF mindfulness and gratitude modules using a within-subjects repeated measures pre-posttest study design. Results suggest that the “M” component (mindfulness and gratitude) of the BMF framework is feasible and highly engaging among minoritized children, with high acceptability among teachers and students. We also found a positive impact of the intervention on measures of gratitude and life satisfaction (preliminary efficacy). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Advancement and Education)
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21 pages, 1415 KiB  
Article
The Role of Emotional Intelligence, Meta-Comprehension Knowledge and Oral Communication on Reading Self-Concept and Reading Comprehension
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121249 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 833
Abstract
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is considered a fundamental variable for a person’s adequate psychosocial adjustment. In education, its importance transcends the level of interpersonal relationships, and has been proposed as a variable that somehow influences academic performance, although there is controversy about whether its [...] Read more.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is considered a fundamental variable for a person’s adequate psychosocial adjustment. In education, its importance transcends the level of interpersonal relationships, and has been proposed as a variable that somehow influences academic performance, although there is controversy about whether its effect is direct or, rather, an intermediate variable. The present research analyses, from a sample of 327 students (52.6% female and mean age = 14.5), the relationship of EI with respect to the knowledge and management of oral communication and reading meta-comprehension strategies, which should directly affect different educational outcomes. In order to assess both the direct and indirect effects of these variables, a Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) approach has been proposed, due to its versatility and the possibility of jointly analysing reflective and formative measures. The results show that EI indirectly affects reading self-concept and reading comprehension, as it is involved in the management and handling of both effective oral communication and reading meta-comprehension strategies. Full article
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17 pages, 1200 KiB  
Article
Pedagogical Assessment in Higher Education: The Importance of Training
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121248 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
The diversity of students reaching higher education, the skills required of the 21st-century citizen, the Bologna Declaration, and the pressure exerted by international organizations impose a pedagogical reconfiguration of teaching, learning, and assessment through the recognition of the pedagogical dimension as a component [...] Read more.
The diversity of students reaching higher education, the skills required of the 21st-century citizen, the Bologna Declaration, and the pressure exerted by international organizations impose a pedagogical reconfiguration of teaching, learning, and assessment through the recognition of the pedagogical dimension as a component of teacher professional development. We present the results of a study conducted at a university in Portugal with the following objectives: identifying conceptions and practices of pedagogical assessment and determining the influence of pedagogical training on these conceptions and practices. An online questionnaire (pre- and post-test) was administered to 31 teachers who had taken part in a training course on pedagogical assessment. It was found that: nearly half of the teachers experience difficulties in pedagogical assessment, with fairness being the main issue; the most commonly used instruments are written tests, research assignments, and reports; around two-thirds of teachers change the way they assess students, with the nature of the curricular units being the most influential factor in this decision; and there has been a change in the concept of assessment, in which the strict idea of testing, measuring, and classifying students’ knowledge has been replaced by the gathering of information for decision-making about the teaching and learning process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education—Series 3)
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18 pages, 1977 KiB  
Article
Model-Eliciting Activities: Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of Integrated STEM
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121247 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 848
Abstract
This study examines how experiencing model-eliciting activities (MEAs) influenced elementary pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) perceptions of an engineering-based approach to integrated STEM. The participants included 17 elementary PSTs from large public universities located in the southeastern and western regions of the United States. The [...] Read more.
This study examines how experiencing model-eliciting activities (MEAs) influenced elementary pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) perceptions of an engineering-based approach to integrated STEM. The participants included 17 elementary PSTs from large public universities located in the southeastern and western regions of the United States. The participants engaged in MEA engineering-based integrated STEM learning experiences. The data included open-ended reflections about the experience. The reflections were coded deductively using the elements of the Equity-Oriented STEM Literacy Framework: dispositions, applicability and utility, empowerment, critical thinking and problem solving, identity development, and empathy. The findings indicate that when PSTs use engineering to teach mathematics and science through MEAs and approach integrated STEM with an equity focus, they increase their knowledge about the applicability and utility of STEM while simultaneously developing their identities as STEM teachers; this positively influences their dispositions towards STEM and empowers them to be teachers of STEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Based Learning and Engineering Education)
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21 pages, 4299 KiB  
Article
School Reform: New Future-Ready Quality Outcomes and Proposed Measures
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1246; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121246 (registering DOI) - 17 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
As we increasingly emphasise the importance of developing future-ready outcomes for learners, we will need to also expand new capabilities to measure such outcomes. AI, big data, and analytics are examples of such new capabilities. Ideation is one of six habits of practice [...] Read more.
As we increasingly emphasise the importance of developing future-ready outcomes for learners, we will need to also expand new capabilities to measure such outcomes. AI, big data, and analytics are examples of such new capabilities. Ideation is one of six habits of practice we have identified that will prepare students for the future. In this paper, we present a means to computationally appraise ideation quality as one such capability. We have developed a heuristic to appraise the ideation quality of university student essays using natural language processing, a branch of artificial intelligence concerned with the understanding of human languages. Our heuristic allows for ideation quality to be quickly quantified in the form of an ideation score. So, instead of going about the process blindly, we now have a means to provide a point of reference to allow students to give measured consideration to their ideation. Unlike a learning outcome, a future-ready habit is more of a predisposition. Consequently, it is not coherent with conventional assessments, which rather seek to evaluate than to guide. This heuristic represents an outcome of our evaluation of a new problem space in education and is, at the same time, a novel expansion into a space that exploits new capabilities. Full article
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12 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Addressing Potential Conflict among University Students during Collaborative Tasks
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121245 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 683
Abstract
This study addresses potential conflicts during collaborative tasks among university undergraduate students and presents strategies to mitigate such conflicts at a university in South Africa. Drawing on the unique context of South Africa, characterised by its rich cultural diversity and historical challenges, Social [...] Read more.
This study addresses potential conflicts during collaborative tasks among university undergraduate students and presents strategies to mitigate such conflicts at a university in South Africa. Drawing on the unique context of South Africa, characterised by its rich cultural diversity and historical challenges, Social Identity Theory (SIT) was used to theorise the study within a transformative paradigm, qualitative approach and participatory research design. Ten undergraduate students were sampled and interviewed. Thematic analysis was employed to make sense of the data. The study found that a lack of a culture of open dialogue and clear guidelines and expectations leads to conflict, and the study also found that promoting a culture of open dialogue and establishing clear guidelines and expectations during collaborative projects can help prevent potential conflicts among university undergraduate students during collaborative engagement. The study concludes that promoting a culture of open dialogue and fostering establishing clear guidelines and expectations provide undergraduate students with the tools to manage group conflicts. Full article
20 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Pedagogical Resocialization of Children and Youth with Behavioral Problems
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121244 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Deinstitutionalization of care and transformation of homes represent changes and improvement in the Croatian social welfare system’s work with children and young people. In the context of the deinstitutionalization processes in this article, we consider the resocialization process of children and youth with [...] Read more.
Deinstitutionalization of care and transformation of homes represent changes and improvement in the Croatian social welfare system’s work with children and young people. In the context of the deinstitutionalization processes in this article, we consider the resocialization process of children and youth with behavioral problems, and we are focused on pedagogical resocialization as one of the main prerequisites for its successful operationalization. Therefore, this research subject is considered from the point of view of an interdisciplinary approach. The aim of the qualitative research is to analyze opinions and experiences of educational specialists and educators of the Community-based Service Center in Zadar, by conducting semi-structural interviews about the implementation of the pedagogical resocialization of children and youth with behavioral problems in the above-mentioned institution. According to the obtained results, it is possible to recognize their affirmative attitude towards resocialization processes within the framework of deinstitutionalization, whose implementation they consider as a successful simulation of family life. They also mention some shortcomings within the social welfare system; but, at the same time, the results imply that deinstitutionalization, as a kind of progress within the social welfare system, can also represent an incentive for the progress of all other factors and systems cooperating in this matter, such as the educational system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Special and Inclusive Education)
20 pages, 346 KiB  
Article
Development of Essential Competences for the Success of Inclusive Quality Teaching–Learning Processes in Higher Education
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121243 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 762
Abstract
Currently, the development of key competences has become a fundamental priority to ensure the success of inclusive quality teaching–learning processes at all levels of education. This research proposes a quantitative observational study that involved 446 Spanish, Chilean and Mexican individuals, using the INNOVAPRENDE [...] Read more.
Currently, the development of key competences has become a fundamental priority to ensure the success of inclusive quality teaching–learning processes at all levels of education. This research proposes a quantitative observational study that involved 446 Spanish, Chilean and Mexican individuals, using the INNOVAPRENDE questionnaire. Education is fundamental to provide citizens with the skills inside and outside the classroom. For this reason, the research focuses on the teachers’ perception of university students’ skills to develop Personal, Social and Learning to Learn (PSLL) competence: initiating learning, managing time, managing information and managing self-regulated learning. It was found that women (vs. men), older participants (vs. younger participants) and participants with 16–25 years of experience (vs. those with 0–5 years of experience) perceive that university students have greater knowledge and skills to deploy PSLL. The conclusion highlights the importance of teacher guidance and support, as well as expectations in relation to learners’ development of the skills that make up PSLL. Full article
12 pages, 234 KiB  
Review
Using Cooperative Learning to Enhance Students’ Learning and Engagement during Inquiry-Based Science
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121242 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Much attention over the last two decades has been given to inquiry-based learning in science as a way of capturing students’ interest and participation in learning. However, while the research on inquiry-based learning consistently demonstrates that students do attain higher learning outcomes than [...] Read more.
Much attention over the last two decades has been given to inquiry-based learning in science as a way of capturing students’ interest and participation in learning. However, while the research on inquiry-based learning consistently demonstrates that students do attain higher learning outcomes than peers who are taught by traditional transmission approaches, little research has been attached to researching the key elements of this approach that contribute to its success. This review focuses on the role of inquiry-based learning where students work in cooperative groups to investigate topics that challenge their curiosity, encouraging them to ask questions to clarify their understandings, evaluate evidence that may help to explain phenomena, and predict potential solutions to the problems at hand. The key role teachers play in inducting students into ways of thinking and reasoning and providing opportunities for them to work with others in the context of inquiry-based learning will also be discussed. Full article
15 pages, 454 KiB  
Article
A Study on Undergraduate English Program Modes in China
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121241 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 621
Abstract
While English major education is of significant importance in China, there is a lack of comprehensive research that provides a broader perspective, encompassing a thorough exploration and comparison of the diverse program modes employed across different undergraduate English programs in China. The focus [...] Read more.
While English major education is of significant importance in China, there is a lack of comprehensive research that provides a broader perspective, encompassing a thorough exploration and comparison of the diverse program modes employed across different undergraduate English programs in China. The focus of this study is to (1) discern the overarching characteristics of undergraduate English programs in China; (2) identify undergraduate English program modes in China; and (3) delve into the relationship between the identified modes and university discipline evaluation rankings. The dataset includes undergraduate English program handbooks from 50 universities in China and information on 2942 courses extracted from these handbooks. The findings suggest that English programs in universities and colleges in China exhibit a predominantly application-oriented approach. In addition, three modes were identified: Literature and Linguistics, Balanced, and High English Skills. The High English Skill mode was found to be linked with a lower ranking compared to the High Literature and Linguistics mode. The study concludes by offering implications for the design of a future English program based on the insights gained from the analysis. Full article
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12 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Reading to Young Children: Higher Home Frequency Associated with Higher Educational Achievement in PIRLS and PISA
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121240 (registering DOI) - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 753
Abstract
The benefits of reading aloud to young children for their reading development are well documented, and international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) offer an opportunity to explore its unique contribution to literacy achievement at both the primary and secondary levels. Using Portuguese data from ILSAs, [...] Read more.
The benefits of reading aloud to young children for their reading development are well documented, and international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) offer an opportunity to explore its unique contribution to literacy achievement at both the primary and secondary levels. Using Portuguese data from ILSAs, this study shows the relationship between reading to young children in the home context and their later reading performance. Specifically, we use the Program for International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2011, which tests fourth-grade students, and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018, which is used for the assessment of 15-year-olds. Data sources from these surveys include the mean reading performance of similar cohorts of students and home/parental questionnaires that include questions about the frequency of home book-reading, as well as other background variables. Linear regression analyses show a positive and significant relationship, both at the fourth-grade level and in secondary school, between students’ performance and having been read to at home during early childhood. These findings indicate that the advantages associated with book reading in the early years are maintained throughout students’ schooling. In addition, the analysis shows that, in both surveys, girls score higher than boys in reading, and that there is a positive association between parental education and reading achievement. Implications about how children’s early literacy development sets the foundation for future educational achievement are discussed, namely in the context of country-specific reading initiatives and reading practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Literacy in the Early Years)
18 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
Towards a ‘Community for Practice’—A Narrative Analysis of the Evolution of Higher Education Scholars
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121239 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 744
Abstract
In higher education (HE), collaborative activities that revolve around a core idea, practice, or knowledge base, such as learning circles, communities of practice or inquiry, peer observation, and peer-assisted teaching, are known to support professional learning. This paper explores the experiences of eight [...] Read more.
In higher education (HE), collaborative activities that revolve around a core idea, practice, or knowledge base, such as learning circles, communities of practice or inquiry, peer observation, and peer-assisted teaching, are known to support professional learning. This paper explores the experiences of eight HE scholars from Australia and New Zealand, across four years, as they recognized a new means of collaborative professional development that transcends known approaches and extends beyond an immediate focal point. The group originally formed to support the development of HE fellowship applications, but evolved to what they now consider a community for practice (CfP), where the purpose of collaboration has changed to meet the unique learning needs of each member. During their four years of collaboration, meeting discussions were recorded, and individual and community narrative reflections about participation in the group were created. A thematic analysis of these collective data sources revealed the group’s evolution, and the authors draw on their experiences to tell their story with an aim to enhance professional learning in HE. The study highlights that individuals’ distinct and varied needs can be developed and supported through scholarly, collegial engagements such as a CfP, which does not necessarily require an immediate point of practice. Full article
16 pages, 546 KiB  
Article
Let’s Get Digital: ICT Training Needs in Pre-Service Language Teaching
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121238 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 804
Abstract
During the last five years, language teaching in Europe has been heavily influenced by two major occurrences. On the one hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 forced teachers to extensively adapt many of their teaching practices to the digital world; this major paradigm shift [...] Read more.
During the last five years, language teaching in Europe has been heavily influenced by two major occurrences. On the one hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 forced teachers to extensively adapt many of their teaching practices to the digital world; this major paradigm shift is likely to have continued repercussions post-pandemic in terms of methodology and use of resources. At the same time, the publication of an updated version of the Common European Framework, commonly known as the Companion Volume focuses our attention on the real-life communicative needs of language users. The Companion Volume emphasizes digital and online communication processes throughout the development of language skills, and this focus inevitably translates into changes in national and regional curricula for language education. The present study investigates the degree to which future teachers are prepared for this new reality and explores emerging digital training needs among pre-service teachers. The investigation obtains quantitative and qualitative data from 30 pre-service teachers who have completed postgraduate studies in language education, which included a stage of school-based teaching practice. Results indicate that while pre-service language teachers have a positive view of ICT and moderate levels of general digital competence, they feel additional specific and in-depth preparation is required within their initial training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technology Challenges in Education for New Learning Ecosystem)
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13 pages, 585 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Digital Teaching Competence in Non-University Education
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1237; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121237 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 687
Abstract
The enormous influence that Information and Communication Technologies have in society, as well as the pandemic caused by COVID-19, have caused teachers to need to adapt to new educational contexts in recent years, in addition to evidencing the enormous deficiencies in the use [...] Read more.
The enormous influence that Information and Communication Technologies have in society, as well as the pandemic caused by COVID-19, have caused teachers to need to adapt to new educational contexts in recent years, in addition to evidencing the enormous deficiencies in the use of technologies. The quarantine situation made it necessary to organize the educational system so that students could continue their training away from the classroom. This article aims to assess whether teachers’ perceptions about their level of digital competence have changed after quarantine in non-university education teachers in Spain. For this, a nonexperimental quantitative method was applied using descriptive statistical techniques. The sample is made up of 168 teachers, and for data collection, a questionnaire was used covering different areas established by the DigCompEdu framework. The results show that the perception teachers have about their digital competence is that it has improved due to free training, which implies the necessary training of teachers in new technologies. These data encourage the design of a training plan from universities to comply with the resolution of 4 May 2022, of the General Directorate for Territorial Evaluation and Cooperation on updating the reference framework of digital teaching competence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Learning Innovation)
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17 pages, 502 KiB  
Article
African American Students’ Academic and Web Programming Self-Efficacy, Learning Performance, and Perceptions towards Computer Programming in Web Design Courses
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1236; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121236 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Computer programming has been included in computer literacy education in many countries in the last decade. This study examined the effects of gender and the prior programming experience of computer programming on academic and web programming self-efficacy and learning performance in the web [...] Read more.
Computer programming has been included in computer literacy education in many countries in the last decade. This study examined the effects of gender and the prior programming experience of computer programming on academic and web programming self-efficacy and learning performance in the web design course among African American students, as well as their perceptions towards computer programming. This study’s 14-week web design course taught African American students multiple web programming languages, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, in order. A one-group pretest–posttest design was adopted in the experiment. The quantitative method was primarily used in data analysis. This study revealed that African American students’ academic and web programming self-efficacy significantly increased after the web design course. Most of the African American students’ perceptions of computer programming became positive after attending the web design course. This study also found that male African American students had a significantly higher level of web programming self-efficacy than female students before the web design course. Interestingly, this difference disappeared after the course. Additionally, both gender and prior experience in computer programming did not significantly affect students’ learning performance in the web design course. The findings of this study not only contribute to the understanding of the feasibility of teaching multiple programming languages in web programming courses for African American students, they also provide evidence of the positive influence of web programming on African American students’ perceptions of computer programming. Full article
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15 pages, 472 KiB  
Article
Impact of a Low-Stakes Assessments Model with Retake in General Chemistry: Connecting to Student Attitudes and Self-Concept
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121235 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Across a variety of fields, the use of low-stakes assessments has led to reductions in achievement gaps and improved student success. Here, we probe the use of a low-stakes assessment model with a retake option for failed quizzes in a two-semester general chemistry [...] Read more.
Across a variety of fields, the use of low-stakes assessments has led to reductions in achievement gaps and improved student success. Here, we probe the use of a low-stakes assessment model with a retake option for failed quizzes in a two-semester general chemistry sequence. We find that the quiz-retake rate in general chemistry II was significantly higher for students who had completed a retake in a general chemistry I section, and the percentage of students who failed at least one quiz in general chemistry I but passed all quizzes in general chemistry II was significantly higher for students who had retaken at least one quiz in general chemistry I. However, across both semesters only 40% of students who failed a quiz and were offered a retake completed one. To examine this trend, we probed a connection to student attitudes and self-concept. As instruments, we used version 2 of the Attitudes towards Chemistry Subject Inventory (ASCIv2) and the Chemistry Subject Concept Inventory (CSCI), which were administered across all sections of our general chemistry I course in the fall 2021 semester, and the results subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. Two sections employed low-stakes assessments (quizzes), with one section offering a retake option, while the remaining two used a traditional assessment pattern of five exams. The instruments were applied again for the quiz-retake section of general chemistry II, affording a longitudinal comparison of students common to both sections. In a pairwise comparison, we find significant increases in factors corresponding to Intellectual Accessibility and Chemistry Self-Concept for students in the quiz-retake sections across semesters, with the former more pronounced for men and the latter for women. We take these results to provide additional data supporting the benefit of low-stakes assessments with a retake option, that may be particularly impactful for women in chemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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13 pages, 1924 KiB  
Article
New Possibilities of Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Language Learning (AIALL): Comparing Visions from the East and the West
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121234 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
Despite the benefits of artificial intelligence-assisted language learning (AIALL) for students and teachers, the scientific literature in this field remains relatively scarce, especially regarding the perceptions of language teachers. This paper aims to narrow this research gap by considering the potential cultural differences [...] Read more.
Despite the benefits of artificial intelligence-assisted language learning (AIALL) for students and teachers, the scientific literature in this field remains relatively scarce, especially regarding the perceptions of language teachers. This paper aims to narrow this research gap by considering the potential cultural differences between in-service language teachers by comparing and contrasting the attitudes of language teachers located in different contexts (i.e., Eastern and Western countries) towards AIALL. Following a qualitative research approach and a descriptive, transversal, and correlational method, a six-question semi-structured interview was designed and administered to unveil the perceptions of six language teachers located both in Eastern (i.e., Vietnam, Iran, and Indonesia) and Western (i.e., Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom) countries. The findings show that the participants were positive about the potential of AIALL for teaching and learning languages, although they all showed a certain anxiety regardless of their context. Moreover, and although there were shared concerns, differences were found between Eastern and Western participants, especially concerning equitable access, balance between language skills, and ethical aspects. This study reveals that teacher training is essential to introduce AIALL in the classroom, and that practitioners need to rethink assessment to avoid plagiarism and cheating, but also to take advantage of AIALL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Education in the Digital Age: An International Perspective)
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14 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Overrepresentation of Students from a Migrant Background in Special Education: Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Education
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1233; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121233 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 915
Abstract
This study analyses the overrepresentation of students from a migrant background in special education in the stage of primary education, in the region of El Campo de Gibraltar (Southern Spain). This phenomenon poses significant concerns in terms of educational equity and discrimination, as [...] Read more.
This study analyses the overrepresentation of students from a migrant background in special education in the stage of primary education, in the region of El Campo de Gibraltar (Southern Spain). This phenomenon poses significant concerns in terms of educational equity and discrimination, as well as questions about the possible underlying causes. It was decided to address this issue from a qualitative methodology through semi-structured interviews with 16 educators of educational centres that have a significant number of students from a migrant background. The results show the need of educators for specific training in attention to diversity. Likewise, many migrant families come to Spain due to the lack of adequate attention that their children receive in their home countries. Lastly, language and cultural barriers were identified, which allow for biased assessments and subjective decisions that result in the referral of students from a migrant background to special education from a multidimensional perspective. Therefore, it is fundamental to provide training to professionals, overcome the language and cultural barriers and ensure that the necessary resources are available, thus guaranteeing an inclusive and equitable education for all students, regardless of their origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Special and Inclusive Education)
24 pages, 796 KiB  
Article
Investigating Transfer Motivation Profiles, Their Antecedents and Transfer of Training
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121232 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Despite investments of companies in employee trainings, transfer of training remains low. One component influencing transfer is transfer motivation. Recent insights have shown that different components of transfer motivation possibly independently influence transfer of training. It is therefore possible that transfer motivation profiles [...] Read more.
Despite investments of companies in employee trainings, transfer of training remains low. One component influencing transfer is transfer motivation. Recent insights have shown that different components of transfer motivation possibly independently influence transfer of training. It is therefore possible that transfer motivation profiles can be distinguished. However, it is unclear whether such motivational profiles exist. In this study, we investigated motivational profiles, how these profiles differ in antecedents influencing transfer motivation and how these profiles differ in transfer intention and transfer of training. This study does so by using the unified model of task-specific motivation (UMTM). Data were collected among 1317 participants who filled in a questionnaire representing the UMTM components directly after the training and indicated transfer after six weeks. Outcomes showed that four transfer motivation profiles could be distinguished, labeled: ‘very optimistic’, ‘moderately optimistic’, ‘personal value’ and ‘conscious’. Moreover, profiles scoring higher on motivational components scored higher on antecedents of transfer motivation, transfer intention and transfer of training. These outcomes suggest that trainings and work circumstances need to be tailored differently toward different trainees to raise their transfer motivation and transfer of training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transfer of Training in Lifelong Learning Education and Beyond)
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12 pages, 507 KiB  
Article
Cooperative Teaching Practices: The Experience of Multicultural Coordination between Spain and Ecuador
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121231 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 589
Abstract
This study presents the results of an analysis of teaching practices within the Master’s Programme in Teacher Training and Development, a collaborative Master’s coordinated by the University of Salamanca (Spain) for the Ecuadorian Teacher’s professional development. The objective is to reflect upon and [...] Read more.
This study presents the results of an analysis of teaching practices within the Master’s Programme in Teacher Training and Development, a collaborative Master’s coordinated by the University of Salamanca (Spain) for the Ecuadorian Teacher’s professional development. The objective is to reflect upon and analyse the Practicum processes from the multicultural model based on cultural pluralism complemented with a socio-critical approach, paying special attention to the dimensions of cultural and educational diversity framed in cooperative processes. In addition to documentary analysis, two Delphi studies were conducted, one involving administrators of educational centres hosting student teachers, and the other involving personnel responsible for Practicum management. The findings emphasise the importance of cooperative and collaborative processes involving all professionals from both countries, for binational teaching practices to respond constructively to the educational challenges of cultural diversity arising from globalization. The evidence of the elements from the cultural pluralism model provides an excellent reference point for this. The educational challenges of diverse and multicultural societies require responses from a socio-critical approach that analyses reality from broad perspectives such as cultural pluralism that permeates educational interventions, including teaching practices. This is a multidimensional process that requires continuous communication and cooperation processes. Full article
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14 pages, 233 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Mitigating Circumstances Procedures: Student Satisfaction, Wellbeing and Structural Compassion on the Campus
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121230 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1225
Abstract
For several decades, universities have sought to promote better mental health amongst students. For example, universities now have formal institutional arrangements to postpone deadlines for students where there are mitigating circumstances, such as ill health. Such provisions might be understood as praiseworthy cases [...] Read more.
For several decades, universities have sought to promote better mental health amongst students. For example, universities now have formal institutional arrangements to postpone deadlines for students where there are mitigating circumstances, such as ill health. Such provisions might be understood as praiseworthy cases of institutional compassion. But, empirical research is needed to investigate how these measures play out in practice. This paper draws on ethnographic research in several UK universities to explore the experiences of staff responsible for the enactment of mitigating circumstance provisions. We find staff members sympathetic to the aims of the measures but also sceptical, and in some cases angry, because they find that the provisions have unwanted and undesirable effects. This paper uses the wider social science literature on bureaucracy to consider why this might be the case and raises questions about the capacity of institutions to enact ethical ideals. Full article
14 pages, 494 KiB  
Article
The Head Coach as a Coach Developer: A Coach Education Case Study inside a World Champion Futsal Team
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121229 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 985
Abstract
As teacher education, coach education is also a continuous and unfinished path by nature. This study explored how the head-coach (HC) of a world champion futsal team worked as a coach developer of their assistant-coaches (AC). Specifically, the main pedagogical strategies used, how [...] Read more.
As teacher education, coach education is also a continuous and unfinished path by nature. This study explored how the head-coach (HC) of a world champion futsal team worked as a coach developer of their assistant-coaches (AC). Specifically, the main pedagogical strategies used, how they were applied, and impacted on the perceived professional development of their staff members were investigated. An interpretative case-study was adopted since it enables an in-depth investigation of the complexity and uniqueness of this particular technical staff in educational context. Participants included four experienced coaches, one HC and three ACs. Data was gathered through semi-structured interview method and analyzed by thematic analysis. Findings highlighted an intentional structuration of sequence and timings of the pedagogical tasks and activities assigned by the HC to ACs. Evidence emphasized the (i) vision of mistakes as learning opportunities, (ii) fostering commitment of ACs to enhance team performance, and (iii) space to plan and lead in practical contexts as the main strategies adopted by the HC, who also considered reflective skills as a paramount competency and pedagogical strategy in coach education. From ACs’ perspective, these strategies largely impacted their personal and professional growth. Findings could guide the re-design of future coach education programs. Full article
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14 pages, 9760 KiB  
Article
Assessing EFL Students’ Performance and Self-Efficacy Using a Game-Based Learning Approach
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121228 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Educational technology plays a major role in today’s learning as it offers significant advantages in delivering learning content, classroom communications, and assessing learners. Assessment is a cornerstone in modern and formal education and is particularly necessary for tracking progress, measuring knowledge or achievement, [...] Read more.
Educational technology plays a major role in today’s learning as it offers significant advantages in delivering learning content, classroom communications, and assessing learners. Assessment is a cornerstone in modern and formal education and is particularly necessary for tracking progress, measuring knowledge or achievement, and planning future educational steps. This study investigates the effects of using an online game-based learning (GBL) approach in students’ assessment in terms of their performance and self-efficacy in English as a foreign language (EFL) learning. A quasi-experiment was conducted on intermediate school-level students, who were divided into two groups, namely control and experimental. Each group underwent an English language test conducted through a Google Form and a role-playing game developed to mimic the functionality of an assessment tool. The results indicate that the performance of the experiment group was neither affected positively nor negatively using the GBL assessment tool. On the other hand, the results also show that using such a tool has positively affected students’ self-efficacy levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Language and Literacy Education)
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15 pages, 589 KiB  
Article
Do Mental Health Symptoms during the Pandemic Predict University Non-Completion in a Sample of UK Students? A Prospective Study
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1227; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121227 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 801
Abstract
Mental health symptoms are highly prevalent in university students and have been further exacerbated following the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to examine the prospective prediction of five mental health symptoms (anxiety, depression, insomnia, suicidality, substance misuse risk) on university [...] Read more.
Mental health symptoms are highly prevalent in university students and have been further exacerbated following the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to examine the prospective prediction of five mental health symptoms (anxiety, depression, insomnia, suicidality, substance misuse risk) on university non-completion. Baseline data were collected between July and September 2020 following the first UK lockdown and prior to the 2020/2021 academic year. Univariate binary logistic regression analyses were performed using data from 147 participants who were due to graduate at the end of the 2020/2021 academic year. Only substance misuse risk was found to predict university non-completion, with students with a higher risk of substance misuse more likely to not complete their university course. There appears to be an association between substance misuse risk and university non-completion; however, this was attenuated once study characteristic covariates (study level, changes in study hours and study engagement) were included, indicating possible associations between these variables. Future research should further consider the role of substance use in this population and the relationship with study characteristics, engagement and university completion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health of College Students in the Post-pandemic Era)
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21 pages, 632 KiB  
Systematic Review
Flipped Learning in Higher Education for the Development of Intrinsic Motivation: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121226 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Background: Flipped learning (FL) is being considered, in terms of new educational trends, a beneficial pedagogical model in the classroom. In particular, FL and intrinsic motivation (IM) are key components to the model since they can be crucial to a high-quality education. FL [...] Read more.
Background: Flipped learning (FL) is being considered, in terms of new educational trends, a beneficial pedagogical model in the classroom. In particular, FL and intrinsic motivation (IM) are key components to the model since they can be crucial to a high-quality education. FL for the development of IM in higher education, as well as searches for potential interventions have, thus improved over the past ten years. However, no reviews that analyze the findings and conclusions reached have been published. Consequently, the objectives of this paper were to analyze the relationship between the use of FL and the IM of students in higher education, and to identify the aspects that should be present in FL models to develop the IM that contributes to high-quality education. Methods: in accordance with PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review of PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and ProQuest was carried out. Results: Of the 407 studies that were initially discovered, 17 underwent a full examination in which all findings and conclusions were analyzed. After implementation, the majority of the FL interventions improved IM results. Conclusion: many key aspects have been identified that must be followed in order to intrinsically motivate students using the FL methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Motivation for Education)
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16 pages, 3607 KiB  
Article
‘I Should Do Her Finger Here, on Her Cheek—Hmm, to Play or to Draw? That’s How One Thinks’: What Preschoolers Tell Us about Thinking through Drawing
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121225 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 825
Abstract
As the importance of developing good thinkers from an early age is widely recognised as an overarching goal of contemporary early childhood curricula, research on nurturing children’s thinking continues to grow. This study sought to gain insight into kindergarten children’s understanding of the [...] Read more.
As the importance of developing good thinkers from an early age is widely recognised as an overarching goal of contemporary early childhood curricula, research on nurturing children’s thinking continues to grow. This study sought to gain insight into kindergarten children’s understanding of the concept and process of thinking. A socio-cultural perspective that conceptualises thinking and its development as a dynamic, socially mediated process, in which signs, including drawing, guided the research. 35 children from Greece, aged 4–6 years, participated in the study and were involved in a drawing-telling activity. Thematic analysis, which included both the drawings and verbal responses of the participants, resulted in five main themes that reveal new aspects of children’s perceptions and reflect the inherent complexity of the concept of thinking. Although the findings have direct implications for teaching and learning in early childhood classrooms, the discussion calls for further research in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Early Childhood Education)
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15 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
Exploring Attitudinal Dimensions of Inclusive Education: Predictive Factors among Romanian Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121224 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Inclusive attitudes are considered an important predictor of the quality of educational inclusion. Child-related, teacher-related, and environment-related factors were measured over time in connection with teachers’ positive inclusive attitudes. This study aimed to contribute with insights from Romania to the comprehensive understanding of [...] Read more.
Inclusive attitudes are considered an important predictor of the quality of educational inclusion. Child-related, teacher-related, and environment-related factors were measured over time in connection with teachers’ positive inclusive attitudes. This study aimed to contribute with insights from Romania to the comprehensive understanding of the attitudinal dimensions of inclusive education and the factors that predict it. A quantitative, non-experimental, correlational research design was undertaken in September–October 2022 to determine the factors that can significantly predict the dimensions of inclusive attitudes. A convenience sample of 1040 Romanian teachers participated in the study. The MATIES scale was used to measure the dimensions of inclusive attitudes: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. The results showed that there are a number of universally known factors that have been found to predict inclusive attitudes, like the school environment, close relationships with people with disabilities, and training in special education. Their predictive power is relatively low, ranging between 2% and 9%, suggesting the presence of unexplored influential variables and emphasizing the need for future studies to consider additional factors. The specific and significant factor for Romanian culture was found to be the need for training in special education. The data can be informative for curriculum designers, training providers, and policymakers, signaling the need for comprehensive training in special education in the initial and continuous training of all teachers. Full article
12 pages, 1157 KiB  
Article
Using Problem-Based Learning and Gamification as a Catalyst for Student Engagement in Data-Driven Engineering Education: A Report
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121223 - 09 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
This report explores the integration of problem-based learning, gamification, and data-driven approaches in engineering education. With a focus on the course “GeoGovernment 1”, this framework aimed to engage students actively and foster self-directed learning. By tackling real-world issues like automated teller machine (ATM) [...] Read more.
This report explores the integration of problem-based learning, gamification, and data-driven approaches in engineering education. With a focus on the course “GeoGovernment 1”, this framework aimed to engage students actively and foster self-directed learning. By tackling real-world issues like automated teller machine (ATM) burglaries in Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), students gained experience in data analyses and geoinformatics technology. This approach not only motivated students but also enhanced their prospects in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, equipping them with skills necessary for their future careers. The course structure emphasized student-centered learning, with educators playing facilitative roles to provide guidance. In summary, the combination of problem-based learning, gamification, and data-driven approaches offers a promising solution to address the challenges faced by STEM education, providing an engaging and effective learning experience for students, and ultimately preparing them for the demands of the ever-evolving professional landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Project Based Learning (PBL) in Engineering Education)
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13 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Teacher Morale and Mental Health at the Conclusion of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121222 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 896
Abstract
As teachers entered the 2021–2022 school year, schools tasked teachers with the challenge of closing the learning loss gap, maintaining the same standards as a typical school year, implementing COVID-19 safety protocols and teaching to grade-level standards. The current study used the theoretical [...] Read more.
As teachers entered the 2021–2022 school year, schools tasked teachers with the challenge of closing the learning loss gap, maintaining the same standards as a typical school year, implementing COVID-19 safety protocols and teaching to grade-level standards. The current study used the theoretical framework of teacher demoralization to explore teachers’ experiences of morale and mental health at the end of the 2021–2022 school year. The participants included 830 PK-12 individual teachers from across the United States who completed an online survey. The data were analysed using Pearson’s correlation and the hierarchical multiple regression model to determine the predictor variables. The results showed significant predictors for both teacher morale and mental health. The implications focus on steps that school leaders can take to support teachers’ morale and mental health. Full article
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