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Educ. Sci., Volume 13, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 103 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This small-scale study explores the attitudes of fifty initial teacher education (ITE) subject method tutors on the island of Ireland towards the use of virtual reality (VR) in education and considers whether VR could be a catalyst for reviewing the partnership model within ITE programmes. It offers a novel solution to ITE tutors’ challenges when managing their own technological and pedagogical development alongside preparing student teachers for technology-enhanced learning (TEL). Building on previous research on ITE tutors’ use of TEL across the island of Ireland, this paper discusses the synergy between the cognitive apprenticeship model and reverse mentoring that upends the classic co-operating teacher/student teacher hierarchy and positions all partners in ITE programmes as learning leaders at key points in the partnership process. View this paper
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25 pages, 3295 KiB  
Article
Career Profiles of University Students: How STEM Students Distinguish Regarding Interests, Prestige and Sextype
by Divan Mouton, Florian G. Hartmann and Bernhard Ertl
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030324 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Various factors may be important while individuals develop vocational aspirations. Although occupations that fit one’s personal interests appear to be attractive, contextual factors may repel groups, such as young girls, to develop towards areas such as STEM. Especially, the sextype of STEM occupations, [...] Read more.
Various factors may be important while individuals develop vocational aspirations. Although occupations that fit one’s personal interests appear to be attractive, contextual factors may repel groups, such as young girls, to develop towards areas such as STEM. Especially, the sextype of STEM occupations, that is often considered as male, could limit STEM career choice of young girls. This study investigates career profiles of n = 9277 German university freshmen based on interests, prestige, and sextype. Eleven latent profiles were found. Five profiles can be characterized by their prestige levels and two further by their sextype. Certain profiles are significantly associated with study outcomes and study satisfaction, which allows to identify at-risk profiles. Of note, especially female students in STEM subjects with a low proportion of females distributed widely across the 11 profiles. The implications of this study suggest that career choice profiles according to Gottfredson’s framework can help to identify at-risk students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sticking with STEM: Who Comes, Who Stays, Who Goes, and Why?)
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11 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Caught in the Middle—Experiences of Student Peer Mentors in Nursing Education: A Qualitative Study
by Sara Rivenes Lafontan, Peter Forde Hougaard, Unni Knutstad, Kari Toverud Jensen and Heidi Jerpseth
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030323 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1599
Abstract
The use of digital and remote teaching has expanded in higher education and reached a peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing the social component of the learning process may increase students’ isolation, loneliness, and dropout rates. This study aimed to investigate the experiences [...] Read more.
The use of digital and remote teaching has expanded in higher education and reached a peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing the social component of the learning process may increase students’ isolation, loneliness, and dropout rates. This study aimed to investigate the experiences of student peer mentors who participated in a mentoring program that was implemented to increase student well-being and prevent dropping out among first-year Bachelor of Nursing students at a university in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eleven semi-structured interviews were carried out with student peer mentors. Using a thematic analysis, four themes were identified: being someone who can ease the transition, defining roles and boundaries, developing communication strategies, and developing their own professional competence. Knowing how difficult the transition to higher education was and being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging for the mentors to set boundaries. It was also challenging to develop effective ways to communicate with the first-year students. Being a mentor was considered beneficial for developing professional skills such as empathy and communication and to gain self-confidence. There is a need for more knowledge about how to support mentors in clarifying the peer mentoring role, setting boundaries, and coping with the emotional labor involved in peer mentoring. Full article
13 pages, 438 KiB  
Article
Using Robotics in the Learning of Computer Programming: Student Experiences Based on Experiential Learning Cycles
by Reginald Gerald Govender and Desmond Wesley Govender
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030322 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1572
Abstract
The understanding of basic constructs in computer programming has always been seen by students as challenging, especially for novice programmers with no prior exposure at the school level. This paper emanates from a larger study and sets out to explore the use of [...] Read more.
The understanding of basic constructs in computer programming has always been seen by students as challenging, especially for novice programmers with no prior exposure at the school level. This paper emanates from a larger study and sets out to explore the use of robotics to enhance the learning of computer programming by asking: what are students’ experiences of using robotics when learning to program? Guided by Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle, a series of workshops were conducted that promotes hands-on learning and encourages the use of tools in the learning process for knowledge development. The site for this study was a university campus in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The sample was composed of 75 students, most of whom were first-year students who had just started a computer course and had no prior exposure to Computer Programming. The findings showed that the meaningful adoption of Kolb’s experiential learning has proven to be successful in the progressional development of computer programming constructs when using a physical component such as a robot. The use of microcontrollers that provide a robotic element offering a physical attribute during the learning of code proves to be affective. It is hoped that the findings of this study will contribute to the development of innovative methods to introduce computer programming through the use of robotics. Full article
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16 pages, 4784 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Problem-Based Instruction on Students’ Beliefs about Physics and Learning Physics
by May Lee, Cormac J. K. Larkin and Steven Hoekstra
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030321 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
To help prepare students to address future challenges in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), they need to develop 21st-century skills. These skills are mediated by their beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge and practices, or epistemological beliefs. One approach shown [...] Read more.
To help prepare students to address future challenges in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), they need to develop 21st-century skills. These skills are mediated by their beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge and practices, or epistemological beliefs. One approach shown to support students’ development of these beliefs and skills is problem-based instruction (PBI), which encourages collaborative self-directed learning while working on open-ended problems. We used a mixed-method qualitative approach to examine how implementing PBI in a physics course taught at a Dutch university affected students’ beliefs about physics and learning physics. Analysis of the responses to the course surveys (41–74% response rates) from the first implementation indicated students appreciated opportunities for social interactions with peers and use of scientific equipment with PBI but found difficulties connecting to the Internet given the COVID-19 restrictions. The Colorado Learning Attitudes towards Science Survey (CLASS), a validated survey on epistemological beliefs about physics and learning physics, was completed by a second cohort of students in a subsequent implementation of PBI for the same course; analysis of the students’ pre- and post-responses (28% response rate) showed a slight shift towards more expert-like perspectives despite challenges (e.g., access to lab). Findings from this study may inform teachers with an interest in supporting the development of students’ epistemological beliefs about STEM and the implementation of PBI in undergraduate STEM courses. Full article
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16 pages, 1461 KiB  
Article
Gratitude and Adolescents’ Mental Health and Well-Being: Effects and Gender Differences for a Positive Social Media Intervention in High Schools
by Giacomo Bono, Taylor Duffy and Erin L. Merz
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030320 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2770
Abstract
Gratitude interventions can provide cost-effective support for mental health to under-resourced schools. This study aims to better understand the effects of a promising intervention Bono et al. evaluated in 2020. Using a quasi-experimental design (where classes were assigned to a thanking app, gratitude [...] Read more.
Gratitude interventions can provide cost-effective support for mental health to under-resourced schools. This study aims to better understand the effects of a promising intervention Bono et al. evaluated in 2020. Using a quasi-experimental design (where classes were assigned to a thanking app, gratitude curriculum, app + curriculum, or control condition), that evaluation found that the full (combined) intervention impacted students’ self-reported trait gratitude, anxiety, and subjective well-being (SWB) over six weeks, compared against only the control condition. However, here, we evaluated the individual intervention components’ effectiveness on students (N = 326) using multilevel modeling. As hypothesized, the full intervention impacted students’ gratitude, anxiety, and SWB, compared to the control condition, but impacted SWB more than the app-only condition, suggesting that teaching gratitude science makes thanking more meaningful. Then, we examined if stress mediated these effects. Perceived stress partially mediated the relationships of gratitude with depression and SWB and fully mediated the relationship of gratitude with anxiety. Additionally, changes in perceived stress and SWB differed by gender. Finally, we qualitatively analyzed thanks exchanges during the intervention using informal content analysis and found themes of psychological safety—a critical feature neglected in other interventions. We conclude with recommendations for optimizing school gratitude interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Emotional Education in Schools)
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18 pages, 1004 KiB  
Article
Learning Science at University in Times of COVID-19 Crises from the Perspective of Lecturers—An Interview Study
by Anna Henne, Philipp Möhrke, Johannes Huwer and Lars-Jochen Thoms
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030319 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic changed higher education radically and challenged faculties to adapt their teaching to the new circumstances. The aim of this study is to highlight changes, in particular, the advantages and disadvantages associated with them, and to find out what conclusions were [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed higher education radically and challenged faculties to adapt their teaching to the new circumstances. The aim of this study is to highlight changes, in particular, the advantages and disadvantages associated with them, and to find out what conclusions were drawn for the future in the three experimental natural sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics at the University of Konstanz (Germany). In a guided interview, the majority of the university teachers in the bachelor’s programs were interviewed, and their statements were subsequently categorized. While lectures and tutorials in distance learning were held asynchronously or synchronously online, laboratory courses used a variety of formats. The number of disadvantages cited, as well as the number of university faculty citing the same disadvantage, is greater than for advantages. The most commonly cited drawbacks fall into the areas of workload, communication, feedback, and active student participation. Physical presence and a return to the original learning objectives in the lab courses is wanted by the majority. The results point to commonalities between the science subjects and should encourage science departments to work together on similar problems in similar formats in the future. Furthermore, there is an urgent and ongoing need for the training of natural science teachers in competence-oriented digital teaching. Full article
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15 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Interactions of Power and Social Pedagogical Recognition: An Analysis of Narratives of Pupils Who Use Alcohol and Drugs in an Upper Secondary School Context in Sweden
by Lina Olsson, Belinda Färdig and Goran Basic
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030318 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
The aim of this study is to contribute new knowledge about interactions of power and social pedagogical recognition in narratives of students who use alcohol and drugs in an upper secondary school context. In this context, the student narratives create and re-create a [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to contribute new knowledge about interactions of power and social pedagogical recognition in narratives of students who use alcohol and drugs in an upper secondary school context. In this context, the student narratives create and re-create a series of images of varied treatment by professional actors (e.g., teachers, student coordinators, counsellors). The reproduced power interactions in narratives describing the practices of professional actors are significant for student learning, teaching, nurturing, inclusion, change, discipline, and identity creation. The social pedagogical recognition of the “other party” in the pupil–professional actor relationship is especially important for achieving the aims of including pupils who use alcohol and drugs in a learning context and enacting positive change through the creation and re-creation of social pedagogical identities (e.g., successful pupil identity) in the upper secondary school context. Full article
24 pages, 345 KiB  
Article
“So, We Can’t Play”: Limitations to Play at School in Periods of Educational Transition in Chile
by Pablo Rupin, Carla Muñoz and Daniela Jadue-Roa
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030317 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
Based on a reflection on the tensions between play, education, and learning in early childhood, this article aims to identify and analyze the factors that limit or negatively condition the possibilities for play at school during the transition between early childhood education and [...] Read more.
Based on a reflection on the tensions between play, education, and learning in early childhood, this article aims to identify and analyze the factors that limit or negatively condition the possibilities for play at school during the transition between early childhood education and primary education in Chile. The study was conducted in four Chilean schools, with the transition levels of Chilean early childhood education (children aged 4 and 5) and the first two levels of primary education (children aged 6 and 7). Based on an ethnographic approach, we combined 22 ethnographic observation days spread over two consecutive years and 59 interviews of various types with children, educators, and parents. The results show structural and material limitations on school play that mainly affect children in primary education. Beyond, factors associated with routines, indications, and statements governing functioning and participation in this level tend to limit or prevent play, often considered a “non-legitimate” activity. Conclusions highlight the potentialities that children’s restricted or resisted play can present in terms of learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Early Childhood Education)
22 pages, 6320 KiB  
Article
Introduction to Light Properties and Basic Principles of Spectroscopy at the High-School Level: A Pilot Study
by Maria Antonietta Carpentieri, Gioia Fano, Sandro Jurinovich and Valentina Domenici
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030316 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2636
Abstract
Spectroscopy is the basis of many applications in chemistry; however, the basic principles of light, light–matter interaction, and the operation of spectrophotometers are rarely present in chemistry curricula at the high-school level, or they are only briefly introduced to students before focusing on [...] Read more.
Spectroscopy is the basis of many applications in chemistry; however, the basic principles of light, light–matter interaction, and the operation of spectrophotometers are rarely present in chemistry curricula at the high-school level, or they are only briefly introduced to students before focusing on analytical chemistry applications. In this work, we report the results of a study conducted over several years, aimed to design, optimise, and put into practice a didactic sequence on light phenomena such as reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, and light dispersion, as well as the basic principles of ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy and spectroscopic instruments. Difficult concepts of light phenomena and related topics were deeply investigated, focusing on the best ways to teach them to high-school students in the framework of the content-specific components identified in the topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge theoretical model. Inquiry-based learning and interactive STEM laboratory activities were combined with a historical epistemological teaching method. Short introductory videos were also recorded to help students during the remote lessons in the COVID-19 pandemic period. In this paper, we report and discuss the research strategy used in order to design and implement the sequence of educational activities, leading to a final optimised didactic sequence that was tested in a pilot study. The main results were obtained from the experimentation with several classes in two high-school technical institutes with a chemistry and material sciences curriculum, along with a group of undergraduate students during the first part of an introductory course on molecular spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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14 pages, 7513 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Relationship between Creativity in Fermi Problems Measured by Applying Information Theory, Creativity in Psychology, and Mathematical Creativity
by Hidemichi Okamoto, Mutfried Hartmann and Tetsushi Kawasaki
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030315 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Many educational institutions demand the development of creativity. However, it is still insufficient for encouraging creative work or thinking. One reason is the lack of simple tools to measure creativity in schools. This study focused on Fermi problems to solve the reason for [...] Read more.
Many educational institutions demand the development of creativity. However, it is still insufficient for encouraging creative work or thinking. One reason is the lack of simple tools to measure creativity in schools. This study focused on Fermi problems to solve the reason for this issue. Fermi problems have been suggested to be deeply related to creativity. However, few empirical studies have been conducted on their relationship. Therefore, this study conducted a survey and analyzed them by structural equation modeling. The results showed a moderate correlation between creativity in Fermi problems and creativity in psychology (r = 0.47, p < 0.01). Additionally, it was shown that there is a strong correlation between creativity in Fermi problems and mathematical creativity (r = 0.76, p < 0.01). Furthermore, regression analysis showed that creativity in Fermi problems is an important factor for measuring creativity in psychology and mathematical creativity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fermi Problems in Mathematics and Science Education)
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6 pages, 189 KiB  
Editorial
From Hi-Tech to Hi-Touch: A Global Perspective of Design Education and Practice
by Rungtai Lin, Po-Hsien Lin, I-Ying Chiang and Ching-Chiuan Yen
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030314 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Facing the change in and impact of globalization, the question of how to apply design thinking to improve people’s lives, from hi-tech to hi-touch, is becoming increasingly vital during this disquieting era [...] Full article
14 pages, 2616 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Factors Affecting Student Performance Using a Neuro-Fuzzy Approach
by Mahmoud Abou Naaj, Riyadh Mehdi, Elfadil A. Mohamed and Mirna Nachouki
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030313 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4765
Abstract
Predicting students’ academic performance and the factors that significantly influence it can improve students’ completion and graduation rates, as well as reduce attrition rates. In this study, we examine the factors influencing student academic achievement. A fuzzy-neural approach is adopted to build a [...] Read more.
Predicting students’ academic performance and the factors that significantly influence it can improve students’ completion and graduation rates, as well as reduce attrition rates. In this study, we examine the factors influencing student academic achievement. A fuzzy-neural approach is adopted to build a model that predicts and explains variations in course grades among students, based on course category, student course attendance rate, gender, high-school grade, school type, grade point average (GPA), and course delivery mode as input predictors. The neuro-fuzzy system was used because of its ability to implicitly capture the functional form between the dependent variable and input predictors. Our results indicate that the most significant predictors of course grades are student GPA, followed by course category. Using sensitivity analysis, student attendance was determined to be the most significant factor explaining the variations in course grades, followed by GPA, with course delivery mode ranked third. Our findings also indicate that a hybrid course delivery mode has positively impacted course grades as opposed to online or face-to-face course delivery alone. Full article
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24 pages, 7817 KiB  
Article
Development of Spatial Abilities of Preadolescents: What Works?
by Tibor Szabó, Bernadett Babály, Helena Pataiová and Andrea Kárpáti
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030312 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Creation in space and perception of spatial relations are important workplace skills that can be successfully developed in public education through the cooperation of art education, mathematics, and technology, the STEAM model that has been successfully employed in higher education. In a longitudinal [...] Read more.
Creation in space and perception of spatial relations are important workplace skills that can be successfully developed in public education through the cooperation of art education, mathematics, and technology, the STEAM model that has been successfully employed in higher education. In a longitudinal school-based experiment, we enhanced the spatial skills of preadolescents through a STEAM-based educational programme. To design our methods of intervention in mathematics, visual arts, and information technology, we used the structure of spatial skills identified in previous studies. Developmental methods involved two- and three-dimensional visualisation tasks in real-life and virtual learning environments. We employed a pre- and post-hoc assessment design using a spatial ability task sequence standardised in Hungary that proved to be valid for assessing Slovak students as well. Authentic assessment tasks included real-life situations when visualisations of spatial relations were used for orientation and creation. Pre-test results showed significant differences between school classes: we identified high achievers and middle-to-low achievers. Our developmental programme was aimed at personalised talent development in the high-achieving classes and the general improvement of the performance of low achievers, raising insufficient pre-test results to an average post-test performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section STEM Education)
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15 pages, 2588 KiB  
Article
Qualitative Evaluation of Scaffolded Teaching Materials in Business Analysis Classes: How to Support the Learning Process of Young Entrepreneurs
by Hiroko Oe and Chizuru Tanaka
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030311 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to test the usefulness of the scaffolding materials and to provide practical recommendations for entrepreneurship education. Following the framework of social learning theory and a semi-structured questionnaire that was developed based on the results of a literature [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to test the usefulness of the scaffolding materials and to provide practical recommendations for entrepreneurship education. Following the framework of social learning theory and a semi-structured questionnaire that was developed based on the results of a literature review concerning entrepreneurial creativity and competency issues, a thematic analysis was conducted to analyse how the template materials developed alongside the affected motivation and learning outcomes of the author’s learners. The results highlighted the following. The participants recognised that the established model of business analysis taught in lectures is a generic model that discards non-economic factors and real business situations, and that potential entrepreneurs in developing countries should pay more attention to the sociocultural context of which they are potentially or explicitly aware. The participants also appreciated that the scaffolding materials helped them understand the general conceptual model in a familiar and practical context, and that the process and output of filling out the template stimulated class discussion, deepened their understanding, and influenced their own awareness. Furthermore, they greatly appreciated that the process of discussing the template allowed them to share and reflect on their own entrepreneurial activities through storytelling, which enhanced their learning through the propagation of their own awareness. Thus, the development of scaffolding materials that focus on reflection could play an important role in reinforcing the learning outcomes of business analysis and imprinting them in students’ minds by encouraging them to think critically about prominent models in textbooks. The results of this study suggest that social learning theory can serve as an effective guide for the design, review, and improvement of learning support measures. Full article
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14 pages, 1921 KiB  
Article
Interactive Learning with Student Response System to Encourage Students to Provide Peer Feedback
by Jirarat Sitthiworachart, Mike Joy and Héctor R. Ponce
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030310 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
This study analyzed anonymous peer feedback among two groups of university students—a lower-performing class and a higher-performing class. Students used an audience response system to anonymously comment on each other’s work. Each peer feedback or comment was categorized into one of seven types: [...] Read more.
This study analyzed anonymous peer feedback among two groups of university students—a lower-performing class and a higher-performing class. Students used an audience response system to anonymously comment on each other’s work. Each peer feedback or comment was categorized into one of seven types: Praise+, Praise−, Criticism+, Criticism−, Combined Praise and Criticism, Opinion, and Irrelevant. The plus (+) and minus (−) signs were used to categorize the quality of the feedback. The learning performance of the two groups of students was also analyzed. The main result showed that the lower-performing class (based on the average midterm scores) provided more substantial Criticism+ and Opinion-type comments than the higher-performing students. Contrary to expectation, no significant difference was found between the two classes on the final exam, suggesting that anonymity allowed lower-performing students to express themselves more effectively than higher-performing students, leading them to improve their learning outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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13 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
Teacher Professional Development in Higher Education: The Impact of Pedagogical Training Perceived by Teachers
by Sandra Fernandes, Alexandra M. Araújo, Isabel Miguel and Marta Abelha
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030309 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4796
Abstract
This paper aims to analyze the impact of a pedagogical training program aimed to promote teacher professional development in a higher education institution in Portugal. Based on a mixed-methods approach, the study evaluates the satisfaction of 36 higher education teachers with the pedagogical [...] Read more.
This paper aims to analyze the impact of a pedagogical training program aimed to promote teacher professional development in a higher education institution in Portugal. Based on a mixed-methods approach, the study evaluates the satisfaction of 36 higher education teachers with the pedagogical training program offered and discusses its impact on teachers’ perceptions of teaching practices, conceptions, and professional development. The results from the questionnaires applied to participants, including multiple choice questions and open-ended answers, indicate high satisfaction with the implemented training program. Based on this case study, the authors discuss the implications of findings for teacher professional development and identify key characteristics for the design of successful pedagogical training programs in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Trends for Modern Higher Education)
22 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
Investigating Chemistry Teachers’ Assessment Knowledge via a Rubric for Self-Developed Tasks in a Food and Sustainability Context
by Roee Peretz, Dov Dori and Yehudit Judy Dori
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030308 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
We investigated the competence of in- and pre-service chemistry teachers and teacher mentors in designing sustainability- and systems-oriented online tasks for their students. Using a dedicated rubric, we evaluated their assessment knowledge (AK) as reflected in the tasks they had developed. The rubric [...] Read more.
We investigated the competence of in- and pre-service chemistry teachers and teacher mentors in designing sustainability- and systems-oriented online tasks for their students. Using a dedicated rubric, we evaluated their assessment knowledge (AK) as reflected in the tasks they had developed. The rubric is based on four attributes: integration of sustainability and chemistry, diversity of thinking skills, the variety of system aspects, and diversity of visual representations. Implementing a qualitative case study approach, we tracked the professional development of three purposefully sampled teachers in addition to using the rubric to score their tasks. Combining the rubric scorings and the qualitative investigation via feedback questionnaire revealed new insights. Besides the teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge, the case studies’ context and relevance to the teachers were found central to their ability to assess learning. This research contributes to the theoretical understanding of AK of teachers with different backgrounds and professional experiences. The methodological contribution stems from the analysis of self-developed tasks based on a designated rubric, which should be further validated. Full article
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18 pages, 1363 KiB  
Article
Relations between Math Achievement, Math Anxiety, and the Quality of Parent–Child Interactions While Solving Math Problems
by Michela DiStefano, Fraulein Retanal, Jean-François Bureau, Thomas E. Hunt, Anne Lafay, Helena P. Osana, Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk, Philip Trepiak, Chang Xu, Jo-Anne LeFevre and Erin A. Maloney
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030307 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3257
Abstract
In the current study, we used a multi-method approach to understand the quality of math homework-helping interactions between parents and their children and how parents’ and children’s own math achievement and math anxiety relate to the quality of the interaction. Forty Canadian parents [...] Read more.
In the current study, we used a multi-method approach to understand the quality of math homework-helping interactions between parents and their children and how parents’ and children’s own math achievement and math anxiety relate to the quality of the interaction. Forty Canadian parents and their children (ages 10–12 years; grades 5 to 7) completed self-report measures of math and general anxiety. Parents and children completed standardized assessments of math achievement and were then recorded as they engaged in a simulated math homework interaction. Coders assessed parent–child interaction quality during the interaction. Parent–child dyads generally performed well on the simulated math homework task. Nevertheless, task performance was correlated with the quality of the interaction, with high-quality interactions associated with high accuracy on the math task. Furthermore, the variability in the quality of the interaction was associated with parents’ and children’s math achievement and with the math anxiety of the children, but not the parents. Identifying the elements that influence parent–child interactions in math-related situations is essential to developing effective interventions to scaffold children’s math learning and attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Math Anxiety, Student Learning, and Instructional Strategies)
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14 pages, 991 KiB  
Article
Reliability and Validity of the Four Station Fundamental Motor Test (4-SFMT) for Assessing Motor Skills in Preschool Children—A Pilot Study
by Petra Pavletić Leutar, Saša Krstulović, Andrea De Giorgio and Goran Kuvačić
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030306 - 15 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1263
Abstract
The main aim of this study was to create a new test to assess the motor skills of children of preschool and early school age and to determine its reliability and validity. Thirty children (5–6 years old) were tested on two occasions 14 [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study was to create a new test to assess the motor skills of children of preschool and early school age and to determine its reliability and validity. Thirty children (5–6 years old) were tested on two occasions 14 days apart. The testing procedures included measuring the participants’ performance on the Four Station Fundamental Motor Test (4-SFMT). The newly constructed 4-SFMT tested four fundamental skills/tasks: space covering (ROLL), overcoming resistance (PULL), object control (BALL), and overcoming obstacles (CLIMB). The performance was evaluated with a 22-point scale with different criteria for each skill, and the time taken to perform the test was measured. The concurrent validity was assessed by determining the correlation with a Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2). The level of agreement across trials was statistically significant for all three raters, with two variables presenting excellent reliability (ICC > 0.9) and two variables having good reliability (ICC > 0.75 and <0.9). No significant differences were found between the test and retest scores, indicating the test’s high reliability. A factor analysis isolated only one motor factor (accounting for 43.99% of the variance with the eigenvalue of 1.768) from the four tasks. There was a large correlation (r = −0.576, p < 0.01) between the process- and product-oriented assessments of the 4-SFMT. Moreover, significant correlations were found between the 4-SFMT and TGMD-2 regarding the scores (r = 0.824, p < 0.001) and time taken to perform the tasks (r = −0.652, p < 0.001), which indicates the good concurrent validity of the newly constructed test. Small to moderate correlations between tasks (0.016 to 0.497) and no differences between boys and girls in the total score (p = 0.943) and time taken to complete the tasks (p = 0.49) were determined. The 4-SFMT appears to be a valid and reliable tool that can be used to evaluate motor skills performance in children between the ages of 5 and 6 and is reasonably simple to use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health in the School Environment)
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15 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Exploring STEM Teacher Learning in Out-of-School Settings: Sites for Learning about Relevance
by Ti’Era Worsley and Sara Heredia
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030305 - 15 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1361
Abstract
Decades of research on student’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning have highlighted the need to make science content more relevant for students. However, science teachers have described this as difficult, with large numbers of students in their classrooms and an administrative [...] Read more.
Decades of research on student’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning have highlighted the need to make science content more relevant for students. However, science teachers have described this as difficult, with large numbers of students in their classrooms and an administrative focus on achievement in high-stakes assessments. In this study, we explore the learning opportunities for two in-service science teachers when they participated in an out-of-school professional development (PD) program to design and implement a STEM after-school program (ASP) in partnership with a local university. We specifically look at how participation in the PD and the implementation of an ASP supported them in creating science content that was relevant to their students, as well as the activities and tools teachers highlighted as important for their learning. We provide a rich description through case study methodology of how both teachers learned to make the science content more relevant to students as they developed an ASP about water issues within the community. We argue that the ASP became a productive space for teachers to work with students in informal settings and acquaint themselves with their students in new and different ways to those afforded by their formal classroom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Teacher Education)
15 pages, 6142 KiB  
Article
Adolescents’ Participation in School Physical Activity before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Educational Priority
by Karel Frömel, Dorota Groffik and Josef Mitáš
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030304 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
The aim of this study was to identify the structure of weekly physical activity (PA) of adolescents with varying degrees of participation in school PA and motivation for PA before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. PA was assessed using the IPAQ-long form and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to identify the structure of weekly physical activity (PA) of adolescents with varying degrees of participation in school PA and motivation for PA before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. PA was assessed using the IPAQ-long form and motivation by using the MPAM-R questionnaire. Participants (N = 1257) were divided into groups involved and not involved in school PA. During the pandemic, the greatest decrease was observed in vigorous and moderate PA in boys (H = 98.52, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.179) and girls (H = 56.86, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.075) involved in school PA and in boys involved and not involved in school PA and in transportation PA. Physical education (PE) teachers should focus on promoting vigorous PA and home PA for boys and girls in the post-pandemic period. Student participation in school PA and an increase in overall PA should be supported through distance PE, which should be a mandatory part of PE programs and comprehensive school PA programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges and New Perspectives on Physical Education)
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22 pages, 363 KiB  
Systematic Review
Diversity in Software Design and Construction Teaching: A Systematic Literature Review
by Vitor de Souza Castro and Sandro Ronaldo Bezerra Oliveira
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030303 - 14 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Teaching in computing faces challenges concerning technological changes and strategies to encourage student engagement with the teaching–learning process. In software engineering, specifically in the construction of the solution, these challenges are even greater due to technological changes and the evolution of applications. Based [...] Read more.
Teaching in computing faces challenges concerning technological changes and strategies to encourage student engagement with the teaching–learning process. In software engineering, specifically in the construction of the solution, these challenges are even greater due to technological changes and the evolution of applications. Based on this context, the objective of this work is to present the results of a systematic literature review on the knowledge areas that are central to the software construction process, the Software Design and Construction. The methodology for developing the systematic literature review followed a review protocol in which 51 studies were selected out of 302 studies found by executing a search string in the Association for Computing Machinery and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers databases. As a main result, the diversity of teaching strategies applied to the teaching of Software Design and Construction was identified. In addition, amongst the selected studies, we identified that active methodologies are more frequent in the literature. Full article
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14 pages, 2332 KiB  
Article
Gamifying Physics Laboratory Work Increases Motivation and Enhances Acquisition of the Skills Required for Application of the Scientific Method
by Ana Okariz, Marta Huebra, Ane Sarasola, Julen Ibarretxe, Gorka Bidegain and Jose Luis Zubimendi
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030302 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Although increasing student motivation is widely accepted to enhance learning outcomes, this relationship has scarcely been studied quantitatively. Therefore, this study aimed to address this knowledge gap by exploring the effects of gamification on students’ motivation and consequently their learning performance, regarding the [...] Read more.
Although increasing student motivation is widely accepted to enhance learning outcomes, this relationship has scarcely been studied quantitatively. Therefore, this study aimed to address this knowledge gap by exploring the effects of gamification on students’ motivation and consequently their learning performance, regarding the proper application of the scientific method. To motivate students and enhance their acquisition of new skills, we developed a gamification framework for the laboratory sessions of first-year physics in an engineering degree. Data regarding student motivation were collected through a Likert-scale-type satisfaction questionnaire. The inter-item correlations and Cronbach’s alpha confirmed the internal consistency of the questionnaire. In addition, the learning outcome was assessed based on the students’ laboratory reports. Students participating in gamified activities were more motivated than those participating in non-gamified activities and obtained better learning results overall. Our findings suggest that gamified laboratory sessions boost students´ extrinsic motivation, and consequently inspire their intrinsic motivation and increase their learning performance. Finally, we discuss our results, with a focus on specific skills and the short- and long-term effects of gamification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning)
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25 pages, 3176 KiB  
Article
Interactive Peer Instruction Method Applied to Classroom Environments Considering a Learning Engineering Approach to Innovate the Teaching–Learning Process
by Jessica Rivadeneira and Esteban Inga
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030301 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4287
Abstract
Faced with the problem of a need for more student participation and motivation in the teaching–learning process (TLP) due to the persistence of traditional methods, peer instruction (PI) has emerged as an interactive teaching method. It is based on a dynamic of questions [...] Read more.
Faced with the problem of a need for more student participation and motivation in the teaching–learning process (TLP) due to the persistence of traditional methods, peer instruction (PI) has emerged as an interactive teaching method. It is based on a dynamic of questions and answers to promote student reflection and discussion. Thus, this article shows the applicability of PI, considering a learning engineering approach to innovating the TLP. For this, the historical-descriptive method is used to conduct a literature review and a bibliometric study, evaluating scientific articles in Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus between 2018 and 2022. In addition, in the second stage, the experimental method is used to apply PI in two educational institutions and evaluate its applicability with Likert scales for teachers and students following a quantitative methodology. Consequently, following the analytical-synthetic method, the results indicate that PI the stages, the most relevant aspects, and the conditions to consider in a classroom environment are highly relevant to enhancing its effects. Thus, such applicability is reflected in its positive results in the TLP, considering the learning engineering, and its representation as a flexible and innovative alternative to traditional methods. This is because PI generated benefits for teachers and students, thus encouraging greater satisfaction, motivation, interest, understanding, and student participation. Full article
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15 pages, 766 KiB  
Article
Developing and Validating a Scale for University Teacher’s Caring Behavior in Online Teaching
by Jing Zhao, Ling Zhang and Xiangquan Yao
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030300 - 13 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Teacher caring behavior in higher education has been frequently studied in the context of face-to-face instruction. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the territory of high education such that synchronous or asynchronous online instruction has become an important component of college students’ learning experience. [...] Read more.
Teacher caring behavior in higher education has been frequently studied in the context of face-to-face instruction. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the territory of high education such that synchronous or asynchronous online instruction has become an important component of college students’ learning experience. The lack of valid and reliable scales makes it difficult to quantitatively examine teachers’ caring behavior in online contexts. Building on existing literature, we designed and implemented a three-stage study that aimed to develop and validate a scale for measuring Chinese university teachers’ online caring behavior from students’ perspectives. Results from data analysis have shown that the scale has construct validity and internal consistency reliability. The scale has revealed that teacher caring behavior in an online context consists of three latent factors, namely, inclusiveness, support, and conscientiousness. This is consistent with the existing conceptualization of teacher care as a three-dimensional construct. The scale made targeted improvement of existing scales and can be used to quantitatively examine the relationship between teachers’ caring behavior and students’ academic performance, learning motivation, learning engagement, learning self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and mental health. Full article
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13 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Teachers’ Readiness to Implement STEM Education: Psychometric Properties of TRi-STEM Scale and Measurement Invariance across Individual Characteristics of Greek In-Service Teachers
by Theano Papagiannopoulou, Julie Vaiopoulou and Dimitrios Stamovlasis
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030299 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1965
Abstract
The integration of STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—education in the curricula has become a priority in contemporary education, where teachers have a decisive role. Thus, research has focused on teachers’ readiness for STEM education, where the prerequisite is to ensure valid measurements. In [...] Read more.
The integration of STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—education in the curricula has become a priority in contemporary education, where teachers have a decisive role. Thus, research has focused on teachers’ readiness for STEM education, where the prerequisite is to ensure valid measurements. In this study, we present the psychometric properties of the TRi-STEM scale, validated to measure teachers’ readiness in implementing STEM education. The proposed scale was based on questionnaires that appeared in the literature, and the final form was adopted and refined for Greek in-service teachers (N = 494), via exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. TRi-STEM comprises four dimensions: affective conditions (AC), cognitive conditions (CC), self-efficacy (SE), and STEM commitment (SC). The reliability measures of the four factors were AC (α = 0.972/ω = 0.972), CC (α = 0.976/ω = 0.976), SE (α = 0.934/ω = 0.935), and SC (α = 0.886/ω = 0.885), and confirmatory factor analysis showed a satisfactory fit [χ2(249) = 981.287, p < 0.001, TLI = 0.942, CFI = 0.948, GFI = 0.993, NNFI = 0.942, RMSEA = 0.078 (0.073–0.083), and SRMR = 0.062]. In addition, measurement invariance was carried out for gender, age, years of service, school level, and university degrees. The TRi-STEM scale is an essential and applicable tool to ensure validity in educational research and support further hypotheses testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Innovation in STEM Education)
12 pages, 987 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Literature on Emerging Technologies and Specific Learning Difficulties
by María Lozano-Álvarez, Sonia Rodríguez-Cano, Vanesa Delgado-Benito and Elvira Mercado-Val
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030298 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2638
Abstract
Educational research on emerging technologies, particularly virtual reality and augmented reality, is expanding at the moment. The purpose of this contribution is to conduct a systematic review to understand the impact of emerging technologies in the educational and social-health fields. The PRISMA 2020 [...] Read more.
Educational research on emerging technologies, particularly virtual reality and augmented reality, is expanding at the moment. The purpose of this contribution is to conduct a systematic review to understand the impact of emerging technologies in the educational and social-health fields. The PRISMA 2020 methodology was used to respond to the objective and research questions, ensuring the fulfillment of the quality criteria in the elaboration of the systematic review. This systematic review analyses the possible benefits that new technologies, specifically virtual reality and augmented reality, can have on learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD disorder, as well as their inclusion in the social sphere. In this study, articles from both the health and educational fields will be reviewed. The research focuses on highlighting the incipient benefits of these new technologies for the aforementioned learning difficulties in the school and health fields. The main conclusions drawn show that research on these emerging technologies is still scarce and incipient in the educational field, with the main results found in the healthcare field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Online Technical Applications for Non-Face-to-Face Learning)
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19 pages, 739 KiB  
Systematic Review
Integrated STEM Approaches and Associated Outcomes of K-12 Student Learning: A Systematic Review
by Hong Chung Le, Van Hanh Nguyen and Tien Long Nguyen
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030297 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5364
Abstract
Educators and researchers are increasingly recognizing the potential benefits of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to improve students’ learning outcomes, including the learning achievements, interest in STEM, learning motivation, and higher-order thinking skills of K-12 students. While there is a [...] Read more.
Educators and researchers are increasingly recognizing the potential benefits of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to improve students’ learning outcomes, including the learning achievements, interest in STEM, learning motivation, and higher-order thinking skills of K-12 students. While there is a considerable body of research on this topic, it lacks a comprehensive synthesis of the available evidence to provide a more rigorous and systematic understanding of the relationship between integrated STEM approaches and associated outcomes of K-12 student learning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the integrated STEM approaches and associated outcomes of K-12 student learning through a systematic literature review. The studies were accessed using the Scopus, ERIC, and Google Scholar databases in February 2022. A total of 47 studies were retained for inclusion in the review. We used the ecological triangulation method for data extraction and synthesis. A total of 23 ecological sentences developed from existing studies revealed that the associated outcomes of K-12 student learning occur differently when using different integrated STEM approaches. For example, STEM project-based learning activities in the science curriculum focused on improving students’ learning achievement and higher-order thinking skills, while out-of-school STEM project-based learning activities focused solely on students’ STEM career interests. Finally, we note several directions for future research related to student learning outcomes using integrated STEM approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Student Outcomes in Integrated STEM Education)
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23 pages, 2537 KiB  
Systematic Review
Learners in the Metaverse: A Systematic Review on the Use of Roblox in Learning
by Jining Han, Geping Liu and Yuxin Gao
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030296 - 12 Mar 2023
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 10735
Abstract
The development of the Metaverse has drawn much attention in education. Roblox, as an important platform in the Metaverse, attracts millions of young users, which raises the question of how its effectiveness as a learning environment can be maximized. This study aims to [...] Read more.
The development of the Metaverse has drawn much attention in education. Roblox, as an important platform in the Metaverse, attracts millions of young users, which raises the question of how its effectiveness as a learning environment can be maximized. This study aims to synthesize the available evidence to provide an overview of the current research on learning in Roblox by exploring its benefits, challenges, and existing gaps. In line with PRISMA and assisted by LDA topic modeling, we included 40 studies that were analyzed to answer our questions. The research findings show that: (1) Roblox could be combined with social interactive learning or collaborative learning environments, provide a VR environment that supports learning, and be of benefit to programming in STEM education; (2) the use of Roblox in learning has the advantages of attracting a large number of student users, eliciting the positive attitudes of students, and promoting students’ cognitive and noncognitive learning abilities; and (3) there are also challenges such as cyberbullying, cybersecurity, lack of adequate teaching design, etc. Empirical studies on this topic have only begun to emerge, and more future research is needed into different pedagogical scenarios to explore the effects, factors, outcomes, designs, etc. Full article
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12 pages, 1347 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Archetypes to Determine Time Use and Workload Profiles of Spanish University Professors
by Ismael Cabero, Irene Epifanio and Ximo Gual-Arnau
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030295 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
Allocation of time use is important to develop appropriate policies, especially in terms of gender equality. Individual well-being depends on many factors, including how time is spent. Therefore, knowing and analysing the time use and workload of academic staff is relevant for academic [...] Read more.
Allocation of time use is important to develop appropriate policies, especially in terms of gender equality. Individual well-being depends on many factors, including how time is spent. Therefore, knowing and analysing the time use and workload of academic staff is relevant for academic policy making. We analyse the responses of 703 Spanish academic staff regarding different activities of paid work and household work (unpaid). We use an innovative machine learning technique in this field, archetype analysis, which we introduce step by step while exploring our data. We identify five profiles, and we examine gender inequalities. The findings indicate that there is a higher prevalence of women in the profiles with a greater workload in household activities and teaching-related activities, but the prevalence is the same in the profile with a greater workload in research activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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