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Educ. Sci., Volume 14, Issue 4 (April 2024) – 101 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Distance learning challenges have been studied as an educational issue that influences students’ learning when they use distance platforms. This issue is especially crucial in emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper uses Focus Group Discussion (FGD) as a qualitative methodology to study these challenges. In doing that, the present paper considers the following aspects of FGD: the type of agreement and disagreement in FGDs, the reasons for agreement and disagreement in FGDs and the function of the moderator in FGDs. The analysis of FGDs was performed on discussion sessions that Ph.D. students, who were part of an educational administration program, participated in to address distance learning challenges met by the schools in emergency education. View this paper
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17 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Role of Physical Activities during Working Hours in Promoting Planetary Health
by Annukka Tapani, Elina Östring and Merja Sinkkonen
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040438 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Work can be a source of a meaningful life and well-being. It can also be a source of stress and mental illness. The trends concerning working life development involve intensification and individualisation, and, at the same time, the demands of expertise work are [...] Read more.
Work can be a source of a meaningful life and well-being. It can also be a source of stress and mental illness. The trends concerning working life development involve intensification and individualisation, and, at the same time, the demands of expertise work are such that they need collaborative actions. With respect to well-being, there is a need for individuals to see themselves members of the community. In this study, we identified vocational education staff types by studying the connections between physical activities and experienced workload. The data were collected by using empathy-based stories. The method of analysing the data can be described as a discursive–narrative approach based on qualitative and thematic content analyses. Based on the data, four story types were established: Forerunner, Exhausted, Leisure-Time Enthusiast, and Thinker. Individual conceptions of breaks, workload, free time, and awareness of one’s well-being were found to be important in the creation of a healthy working life. There is a need to discuss realistic work demands in the vocational education context. Education and active teacher members could be key actors in achieving sustainability goals and improving planetary health. Full article
18 pages, 455 KiB  
Article
Does Private School Choice Threaten Democracy? Evidence from Private and Public Schools in New York City and Dallas/Fort Worth
by Daion L. Daniels and Patrick J. Wolf
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040437 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1007
Abstract
A major concern in the ongoing debate over school choice is whether private schools help to increase their students’ levels of tolerance necessary for a functioning democracy in the United States. Over 40 years ago, scholars at the University of Minnesota created a [...] Read more.
A major concern in the ongoing debate over school choice is whether private schools help to increase their students’ levels of tolerance necessary for a functioning democracy in the United States. Over 40 years ago, scholars at the University of Minnesota created a survey which measured political knowledge, political tolerance, perceived threats from opposing groups, and support for democratic norms anchored in each respondent’s view of the political group they find most distasteful. In 1997, researchers at various universities used a similar survey instrument to derive responses from students in eighth-grade social studies classes who were enrolled in seven public and twenty-four private schools in New York City and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Those original data remained archived and unexamined for decades. We analyze those data using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and rigorous Nearest Neighbor Matching (NNM) methods based on propensity scores. We find that students who attended private schools demonstrate higher levels of political knowledge and stronger support for democratic norms when compared to observationally similar students who attended public schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Education for Civic Renewal: Challenges and Prospects)
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9 pages, 577 KiB  
Article
Academic Satisfaction and Meaning in Life: The Mediating Roles of Personal Growth Initiative and Career Adaptability
by Tiantian Li, Hsiu-Lan Shelley Tien and Juanjuan Wang
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040436 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 520
Abstract
The present study examined the relationship between academic satisfaction and meaning in life. To further explain the relationship between these factors, we examined personal growth initiative and career adaptability as mediator variables. A total of 691 undergraduate students were invited as participants. They [...] Read more.
The present study examined the relationship between academic satisfaction and meaning in life. To further explain the relationship between these factors, we examined personal growth initiative and career adaptability as mediator variables. A total of 691 undergraduate students were invited as participants. They completed the following four inventories: the Meaning in Life Scale, the Academic Satisfaction Scale, the Career Adaptability Scale, and the Personal Growth Initiative Scale. The results indicated the following: (a) Chinese undergraduate students’ academic satisfaction could positively predict their presence of meaning in life and search for meaning in life. (b) The relationship between academic satisfaction and presence of meaning in life among Chinese undergraduate students was mediated by personal growth initiative and career adaptability, but the relationship between academic satisfaction and searching for meaning in life among Chinese undergraduate students was only mediated by personal growth initiative. This study demonstrated that academic satisfaction promoted meaning in life not only directly but also indirectly through the mediating effect of personal growth initiative and career adaptability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
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17 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Pre-Service EFL Teachers’ Self-Efficacy through the Use of ELF in a Multilingual World
by Shoichi Matsumura and Taichi Tatsuyama
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040434 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 693
Abstract
The teaching practicum, a psychologically demanding phase of professional development, yields diverse self-efficacy outcomes for pre-service teachers. While it is crucial to view the practicum as a cornerstone for shaping teaching beliefs, there exists a research gap in understanding its influence on the [...] Read more.
The teaching practicum, a psychologically demanding phase of professional development, yields diverse self-efficacy outcomes for pre-service teachers. While it is crucial to view the practicum as a cornerstone for shaping teaching beliefs, there exists a research gap in understanding its influence on the self-efficacy of pre-service English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) teachers in East Asia and delving into the cognitive processes during this period. This mixed-methods study (n = 18) aimed to address this gap. The quantitative results revealed an overall increase in participants’ self-efficacy, notably in classroom management. The qualitative findings uncovered challenges faced by those with lower self-efficacy, particularly when discrepancies arose with mentor teachers over teaching English through a communicative approach. Conversely, individuals with linguistically and culturally diverse pre-practicum experiences exhibited resilience while maintaining robust beliefs about their own teaching. The findings suggest the necessity for tailored teacher preparation programs aiming at nurturing a multilingual perspective through interaction in English as a lingua franca. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue English Language Teaching in a Multilingual World)
22 pages, 1244 KiB  
Article
Cognitive Profiles in Preschool Children at Risk for Co-Occurring Dyslexia and ADHD
by Silke Kellens, Dieter Baeyens and Pol Ghesquière
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040435 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Developmental dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) co-occur in 15–40% of individuals diagnosed with one disorder. Despite substantial research on the cognitive profiles of preschoolers at risk for either dyslexia or ADHD, studies have neglected children at risk for co-occurring dyslexia and ADHD. Thus, [...] Read more.
Developmental dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) co-occur in 15–40% of individuals diagnosed with one disorder. Despite substantial research on the cognitive profiles of preschoolers at risk for either dyslexia or ADHD, studies have neglected children at risk for co-occurring dyslexia and ADHD. Thus, our study compared the cognitive profile of preschoolers at risk for dyslexia with the profile of children at risk for co-occurring dyslexia and ADHD. We assessed 50 preschoolers at dyslexia risk (DR), 50 at dyslexia + ADHD risk (DAR), and 48 without risk (NR) (Mage = 67 months). Our assessment encompassed phonological processing, executive functioning (EF), receptive vocabulary, and processing speed. Principal component analysis revealed two distinct components within the measures of EF, a verbal short-term memory and an EF component. ANOVA revealed that the NR group outperformed risk groups across measures, except for cognitive flexibility and delay of gratification. Notably, the DR and DAR groups did not differ in most measures but showed near-significant differences on the EF component, with the DR group having higher composite scores than the DAR group. In conclusion, ADHD risk did not impact the cognitive performance of children at risk for dyslexia but might amplify EF problems that at-risk preschoolers encounter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Education and Psychology)
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20 pages, 3428 KiB  
Article
Benefits and Challenges of Collaboration between Students and Conversational Generative Artificial Intelligence in Programming Learning: An Empirical Case Study
by Wanxin Yan, Taira Nakajima and Ryo Sawada
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040433 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
The utilization of conversational generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) in learning is often seen as a double-edged sword that may lead to superficial learning. We designed and implemented a programming course focusing on collaboration between students and Gen AI. This study explores the [...] Read more.
The utilization of conversational generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) in learning is often seen as a double-edged sword that may lead to superficial learning. We designed and implemented a programming course focusing on collaboration between students and Gen AI. This study explores the dynamics of such collaboration, focusing on students’ communication strategies with Gen AI, perceived benefits, and challenges encountered. Data were collected from class observations, surveys, final reports, dialogues between students and Gen AI, and semi-structured in-depth interviews. The results showed that effective collaboration between students and Gen AI could enhance students’ meta-cognitive and self-regulated learning skills and positively impact human-to-human communication. This study further revealed the difficulties and individual differences in collaborating with Gen AI on complex learning tasks. Overall, collaborating with Gen AI as a learning partner, rather than just a tool, enables sustainable and independent learning, beyond specific learning tasks at a given time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Artificial Intelligence for Education)
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16 pages, 5394 KiB  
Article
Elementary Students’ Understanding about How Convex Lenses Affect Light Propagation
by Aggeliki Kottara, Maria Dimitrakou and Ioannis Starakis
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040432 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1000
Abstract
In the present study, K-3 and K-4 students’ understanding of the effects that convex lenses have on light propagation is investigated. Specifically, the study examines the extent to which these students are able to construct a scientifically accepted explanation for the role convex [...] Read more.
In the present study, K-3 and K-4 students’ understanding of the effects that convex lenses have on light propagation is investigated. Specifically, the study examines the extent to which these students are able to construct a scientifically accepted explanation for the role convex lenses play in converging rays of light and creating inverted images in the case of both self-luminous and hetero-luminous objects. Eight students from two primary schools run by the Municipality of Piraeus in the region of Attica (Greece), took part in the survey. They were divided into groups of two. The research was conducted using the teaching experiment method, which combines elements of the clinical interview and formal teaching. According to the results, students of this age recognise the convergence of light as a process that takes place through a convex lens. However, they have difficulty attributing the aforementioned convergence to the light refraction that takes place during the interaction of the light beams with the converging lens. At the same time, while they can easily ascertain that light beams continue along the same straight line after the convergence point, they find it difficult to relate this conclusion to the creation of an inverted image of a hetero-luminous object. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Curriculum and Instruction)
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16 pages, 530 KiB  
Article
Effective Principal Leadership Behaviors That Enhance Teacher Collective Efficacy
by Robert H. Voelkel, Jr., Kyla J. Prusak and Frances Van Tassell
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040431 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 610
Abstract
This qualitative case study explored teachers’ perceptions regarding the impact of principal leadership behaviors that helped to enhance teacher collective efficacy (TCE). Through analysis of focus group and individual, in-depth interviews, four leadership behaviors supporting enhanced TCE emerged: (1) relationship building, (2) trust, [...] Read more.
This qualitative case study explored teachers’ perceptions regarding the impact of principal leadership behaviors that helped to enhance teacher collective efficacy (TCE). Through analysis of focus group and individual, in-depth interviews, four leadership behaviors supporting enhanced TCE emerged: (1) relationship building, (2) trust, (3) collaboration, and (4) empowerment. The findings suggest that site and district leaders should focus on these four leadership behaviors to enhance TCE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Leadership in School Improvement)
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12 pages, 1059 KiB  
Article
Values-Based Education and the Promotion of Social Participation in Children’s Educational Leisure Organisations
by Idurre Lazcano Quintana and Aurora Madariaga Ortuzar
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040430 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 464
Abstract
As recent research has shown, the importance of integral development during childhood is a highly relevant issue linked to promoting values and participation styles in healthy and safe leisure environments, which serve as significant educational spaces for participants. Research shows that education in [...] Read more.
As recent research has shown, the importance of integral development during childhood is a highly relevant issue linked to promoting values and participation styles in healthy and safe leisure environments, which serve as significant educational spaces for participants. Research shows that education in values is a foundation for citizens to commit to others and embrace diversity as a value and an enriching circumstance. In educational leisure spaces for children, personal and group identities are built around equity, justice, and inclusion, all of which generate greater social cohesion. The study universe of this work was made up of non-profit organisations working in the field of children’s educational leisure in the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid. The methodology used was mixed and developed in three phases. The results presented here correspond to the first phase of the study (qualitative method) and focused on a content analysis, for which the categories of analysis related to education in values and the promotion of social participation were identified. Likewise, the results correspond to a specific territorial context, the historical territory of Bizkaia (northern Spain), specifically to ten non-profit organisations that develop their activity in the field of educational leisure time. The results have been organised around education in values, spaces and dynamics for social participation, and the vision of the sector’s future. The results highlight the entities’ role in methodological innovation, ethical commitment, the transmission of values, and the cultivation of participation from an early age through different activities. In conclusion, it emphasises the need for the children’s educational leisure sector to address the challenges of contemporary society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leisure in Education: A Multi-Contextual Tool)
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32 pages, 6941 KiB  
Review
The Intellectual Evolution of Educational Leadership Research: A Combined Bibliometric and Thematic Analysis Using SciMAT
by Turgut Karakose, Kenneth Leithwood and Tijen Tülübaş
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040429 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 855
Abstract
This study aims to describe the century-long trajectory of educational leadership research (ELR), including changes over time in its main and subsidiary themes, as well as its most influential authors, papers, and journals. The study combines the bibliometric performance and science mapping analysis [...] Read more.
This study aims to describe the century-long trajectory of educational leadership research (ELR), including changes over time in its main and subsidiary themes, as well as its most influential authors, papers, and journals. The study combines the bibliometric performance and science mapping analysis of 7282 articles retrieved from the Scopus and WoS databases. SciMAT software (version 1.1.04) was used to analyze changes over four sequential time periods and to exhibit the thematic evolution of the field—Period 1 (1907 to 2004), Period 2 (2005 to 2012), Period 3 (2013 to 2019), and Period 4 (2020–2023). Research during Period 1 focused on principals and included efforts to distinguish between their administrative functions and forms of ‘strong’ leadership contributing to school improvement. Period 2 included research aimed at understanding what strong principal leadership entailed, including the development and testing of more coherent models of such leadership. While instructional and transformational leadership models were prominent during Periods 1 and 2, Period 3 research invested heavily in conceptions of leadership distribution. Early research about ‘social justice leadership’ appeared during this period and eventually flourished during Period 4. While principals were an active focus through all Periods, the leadership of others gradually dominated ELR and accounted for the broader leadership theme found in all four periods. The results point to the evolutionary nature of ELR development, which eventually produced a relatively robust knowledge base. Experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic suggest that crises such as this might prompt more revolutionary orientations in the ELR field. Full article
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16 pages, 4080 KiB  
Article
Preparing General Education Teachers for Inclusive Settings: Integrating High-Leverage Practices and Mixed-Reality Simulation in Pre-Service Coursework
by Melissa K. Driver, Kate E. Zimmer, Osman Khan, Jasmine V. Sadler and Emily Draper
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040428 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1045
Abstract
Students with disabilities are increasingly being educated in general education classrooms. This exploratory study investigates the efficacy of using mixed-reality simulation (MRS) to provide deliberate practice on high-leverage practices (HLPs) for pre-service general education teachers. Results indicate significant shifts in pre-service teacher understanding [...] Read more.
Students with disabilities are increasingly being educated in general education classrooms. This exploratory study investigates the efficacy of using mixed-reality simulation (MRS) to provide deliberate practice on high-leverage practices (HLPs) for pre-service general education teachers. Results indicate significant shifts in pre-service teacher understanding of and perceived readiness to implement HLPs in favor of the mixed-reality treatment group. Examining the influence of this innovative technology on pre-service teacher lesson planning yielded mixed results. Findings hold implications for the preparation of special and general education teachers across all content areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Mixed Reality Simulations in Teacher Education)
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15 pages, 233 KiB  
Article
“Don’t Touch Race”: Nice White Leadership and Calls for Racial Equity in Salt Lake City Schools, 1969–Present
by Maeve K. Wall
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040427 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
This paper examines school leaders’ evasive attitudes towards race in Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah, between 1969 and 1975. Salt Lake’s unique demographic status as predominantly white and Mormon underscored elements of white anti-Black racism under the guise of innocence. Utilizing critical whiteness [...] Read more.
This paper examines school leaders’ evasive attitudes towards race in Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah, between 1969 and 1975. Salt Lake’s unique demographic status as predominantly white and Mormon underscored elements of white anti-Black racism under the guise of innocence. Utilizing critical whiteness theory and historical inquiry to analyze archival documents and interviews, I highlight one white superintendent, Arthur Wiscombe, and his failed attempts to confront anti-Blackness in schools as he navigated his conflicting values of racial justice, good intentions, and white Niceness. Framing the past as prologue, I uncover the historical legacy of white supremacy’s influence on local school policies and leaders’ actions, and make explicit connections to the repetition of these patterns today. Contemporary iterations of white supremacy rely on the same tools of whiteness used during intense periods of integration and racial awareness in Salt Lake City in the 1960s and 1970s. I conclude that white educational leaders must look more closely at the ‘nice’, color-evasive discourse that enables them to maintain power and privilege in their communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Niceness, Leadership and Educational Equity)
13 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Relationships and Gender Differences in Math Anxiety, Math Self-Efficacy, Geoscience Self-Efficacy, and Geoscience Interest in Introductory Geoscience Students
by Molly M. Jameson, Julie Sexton, Dina London and Jennifer M. Wenner
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040426 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1110
Abstract
While the role of affective factors in learning is well understood in geoscience, math attitudes have been overlooked. This study sought to explore the relationships between math attitudes and geoscience attitudes, namely math anxiety, self-efficacy, and geoscience interest. Baseline data were collected from [...] Read more.
While the role of affective factors in learning is well understood in geoscience, math attitudes have been overlooked. This study sought to explore the relationships between math attitudes and geoscience attitudes, namely math anxiety, self-efficacy, and geoscience interest. Baseline data were collected from 245 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory geoscience courses at three colleges and universities in the United States, with self-report measures of math anxiety, math self-efficacy, geoscience self-efficacy, geoscience interest, and demographic information. Results show strong relationships and predictive values of math attitudes for students’ geoscience attitudes, particularly for female-identifying students. This research provides important empirical support for the study of math attitudes in geoscience; additionally, educators can use this knowledge to inform their understanding of their students’ math attitudes and possible interest in geoscience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
17 pages, 681 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Teachers’ Interdisciplinary Professional Development through Teacher Design Teams: Exploring Facilitating Conditions and Sustainability
by Tina Gryson, Katrien Strubbe, Tony Valcke and Ruben Vanderlinde
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040425 - 18 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 701
Abstract
Teachers in secondary vocational education face challenges in interdisciplinary teaching due to their traditional teacher education within specific subject domains. Collaborative efforts—like those implemented in Teacher Design Teams (TDTs)—can prepare and support teachers for interdisciplinary teaching. Research has demonstrated the factors determining the [...] Read more.
Teachers in secondary vocational education face challenges in interdisciplinary teaching due to their traditional teacher education within specific subject domains. Collaborative efforts—like those implemented in Teacher Design Teams (TDTs)—can prepare and support teachers for interdisciplinary teaching. Research has demonstrated the factors determining the effectiveness of TDTs. However, it is noted that the sustainable continuation of TDTs remains uncertain over the years. This research investigates the conditions that facilitate the sustainability of TDTs within the context of interdisciplinary teaching. Over the course of three school years, this qualitative study monitored 14 teachers participating in four TDTs within the context of an interdisciplinary vocational education course. During the initial two school years, the TDTs received external support from the main researcher, transitioning to an autonomous operation in the third school year. A yearly interview with each participating teacher and meeting reports were collected and analysed with thematic analysis. One of the main findings reveals that while the internal coach contributes to supporting TDTs’ progress, the support of the school leader is particularly crucial for sustainability. Although this study focused on school-based TDTs, it underscores the importance of support from outside the school for TDTs’ sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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20 pages, 543 KiB  
Article
Leaders’ Social and Disability Justice Drive to Cultivate Inclusive Schooling
by Chelsea P. Tracy-Bronson
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040424 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 980
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to understand administrators’ personal beliefs and experiences related to inclusive education and social justice that are critical to their commitment, the leadership provided, and types of special education services that prevail in their districts. This study is [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to understand administrators’ personal beliefs and experiences related to inclusive education and social justice that are critical to their commitment, the leadership provided, and types of special education services that prevail in their districts. This study is embedded within a conceptual framework centered on inclusive education, and existing theoretical framings of leadership for social justice and disability studies in education. Further, it contributes to the conversation in a recent call to reimagine educational approaches in the United States that challenge systems, focus on racial and disability justice, and serve the public good. A qualitative research methodology with in-depth interviewing as the data collection method was used to understand the lived experiences and practices of seven district-level special education leaders. It specifically looks at the leaders’ drive to carry out social justice work and their overall value-based mission of socially just, equity-oriented inclusive education at the district level. It provides a research study on (1) how leaders come to carry out social justice and disability justice work in schools, (2) poignant career events that shape their justice work, and (3) their intentions to prepare under-represented and traditionally marginalized students to engage in society. The overall premise is that since district-level leaders are vital in shaping public schooling spaces, understanding their social and disability justice grounding is critical to disrupt marginalizing practices in PreK-12. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Making Our Way: Rethinking and Disrupting Teacher Education)
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22 pages, 12088 KiB  
Article
Learning Multiplication by Translating across Microworlds
by Sheena Tan, Sean Chorney and Nathalie Sinclair
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040423 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 522
Abstract
In this article, we explore students’ experiences of using two different digital microworlds of multiplication, which can be found in the multitouch application TouchTimes. We draw on Diagne’s notion of translation to frame our study, focusing on the learning that occurs in the [...] Read more.
In this article, we explore students’ experiences of using two different digital microworlds of multiplication, which can be found in the multitouch application TouchTimes. We draw on Diagne’s notion of translation to frame our study, focusing on the learning that occurs in the movement between the two microworlds. We study translation in terms of actions, strategies, perceptions, and preferences and highlight both the translatables and the untranslatables that emerged in the pair-based interviews that were conducted with grades 3–4 students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Tools in Mathematics Education)
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18 pages, 942 KiB  
Article
Examining Front-Line Administrative Services in a Selected Public Higher Education Institution
by Mthokozisi Luthuli, Ntando Nkomo and Smangele Moyane
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040422 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 666
Abstract
The South African government’s commitment to people-friendly public service since 1994 has influenced the quality of service provided by front-line administrative staff in public higher learning institutions. This study explores the experiences of front-line administrative staff at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), [...] Read more.
The South African government’s commitment to people-friendly public service since 1994 has influenced the quality of service provided by front-line administrative staff in public higher learning institutions. This study explores the experiences of front-line administrative staff at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), focusing on the challenges faced and their impact on teaching, learning, and overall academic activities. Against the backdrop of public higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa, the study addresses the persistent challenges in service delivery and the crucial role of front-line administrative staff. Employing a post-positivist paradigm, the research adopts a hybrid methodological approach, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. A survey design is utilized to gather data from first-time entry students (FTENs) enrolled in the Business and Information Management program at DUT, employing convenience sampling and a self-administered questionnaire. The study’s findings illuminate the inefficiencies in front-line administrative services, elucidating their impact on diverse stakeholders and emphasizing the pressing need for enhancement. The study found that the majority of students perceived the services positively, with only a small number expressing dissatisfaction and nearly all participants noted the institution’s adherence to the Batho Pele Principles positively, though a few had contrasting experiences. The findings further revealed areas of improvement for the service. By focusing on the experiences of FTENs, the study contributes to the broader discourse on enhancing service delivery in public higher learning institutions. Addressing these challenges is crucial for the fulfilment of the core mission of HEIs providing quality education and fostering a positive learning environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Trends and Challenges in Higher Education)
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24 pages, 2135 KiB  
Article
How a Phonics-Based Intervention, L1 Orthography, and Item Characteristics Impact Adult ESL Spelling Knowledge
by Katherine I. Martin
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040421 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Spelling ability is a key dimension of orthographic knowledge and a crucial component literacy skill that supports automatic word recognition and fluent reading. There has been substantial research on first language (child) English speakers’ spelling ability, including the effectiveness of instruction interventions for [...] Read more.
Spelling ability is a key dimension of orthographic knowledge and a crucial component literacy skill that supports automatic word recognition and fluent reading. There has been substantial research on first language (child) English speakers’ spelling ability, including the effectiveness of instruction interventions for improving spelling knowledge. However, there is relatively little research on spelling in adult learners of English as a second language, and even less examining instructional interventions for improving their spelling. The current study addressed this gap by implementing an adaptation of a phonics-based instructional intervention in a university-based intensive English reading class. Compared to two different control cohorts, the cohort receiving the intervention significantly improved their ability to accurately identify whether an English word was spelled correctly or not. Analyses also considered the influence of a variety of lexical characteristics as well as participants’ L1 writing system. The results demonstrate the efficacy of this intervention in adult L2 English learners and also highlight the importance of considering word characteristics and participants’ language background when examining spelling performance. Full article
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14 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Nice for What? The Contradictions and Tensions of an Urban District’s Racial Equity Transformation
by Patricia Virella and Román Liera
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040420 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Diversity, equity, and inclusion training has exploded over the last decade. While many districts invest considerable resources in developing their leaders’ knowledge and skills on equity issues, “niceness” can perpetuate whiteness and present formidable obstacles to meaningful progress. Investigating a large urban-emergent district [...] Read more.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion training has exploded over the last decade. While many districts invest considerable resources in developing their leaders’ knowledge and skills on equity issues, “niceness” can perpetuate whiteness and present formidable obstacles to meaningful progress. Investigating a large urban-emergent district as a case study, we examine the efforts to eliminate the racial barriers perpetuated by its leaders and explore the contradictions that arise after a year of professional learning geared towards antiracist district transformation. We employ a theory of racialized organizations, seeking to understand how whiteness as niceness impeded school leaders’ efforts to engage in antiracist change work. The study provides valuable implications for policy, practice, and future research in education and equity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Niceness, Leadership and Educational Equity)
14 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Hybrid Education in Peruvian Public Universities: The Challenges
by Félix Colina-Ysea, Nathalí Pantigoso-Leython, Irene Abad-Lezama, Kriss Calla-Vásquez, Soledad Chávez-Campó, Fanny Miriam Sanabria-Boudri and Colbert Soto-Rivera
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040419 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Digital competencies and hybrid education have become fundamental tools to promote new learning styles in the context of higher education. The objective of the research was to evaluate the challenges that hybrid education creates with respect to the digital competencies of Peruvian university [...] Read more.
Digital competencies and hybrid education have become fundamental tools to promote new learning styles in the context of higher education. The objective of the research was to evaluate the challenges that hybrid education creates with respect to the digital competencies of Peruvian university teachers in times of uncertainty. The approach used was mixed in order to collect both numerical and qualitative data. The population and sample were composed of 189 teachers from three national universities. The techniques used were a survey for quantitative data and an interview for qualitative data. The instruments used were a questionnaire and an interview protocol. The results show that the challenges that universities in Peru must face are the recognition of their own potential, technical–technological capacity, interpretation of the felt needs, the formative development of human talent, and reflecting themselves as a dynamic node that responds to the changes in society. It was concluded that Peruvian universities must proactively address the challenges presented by hybrid education and the development of digital competencies to ensure a high quality education that prepares students for the world of today and the world of tomorrow. Full article
20 pages, 3363 KiB  
Article
Bloom’s Taxonomy Student Persona Responses to Blended Learning Methods Employing the Metaverse and Flipped Classroom Tools
by Fotis Kilipiris, Spyros Avdimiotis, Evangelos Christou, Andreanna Tragouda and Ioannis Konstantinidis
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040418 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 729
Abstract
The paper aims to identify and analyze the correlation between student personality types and the use of metaverse and flipped classroom blended learning methods (BLMs) and tools by formulating a series of research hypotheses. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy, the most influential and standard theory [...] Read more.
The paper aims to identify and analyze the correlation between student personality types and the use of metaverse and flipped classroom blended learning methods (BLMs) and tools by formulating a series of research hypotheses. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy, the most influential and standard theory of learning in the education cognitive field and toward this objective, the authors extracted the personality types of students and employed a mixed-methods research methodology JASP software (v.0.17.1) involving both qualitative and quantitative tools. The qualitative component involved direct observation of synchronous classroom teaching to students, while the quantitative aspect utilized structured questionnaires administered to 634 students of the International Hellenic University enrolled to attend the “Human Resource Management” course. The acquired qualitative data were processed using (a) network analysis JASP software (v.0.17.1) software in order to address the student personas through nodes, connections, and centralities and (b) structural equation software in order to identify the correlations between types of students and the variables of the metaverse and flipped classroom methods. The findings reveal that the four types of students identified have a direct and strong correlation with the use of flipped classroom and metaverse teaching methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Teaching and Learning: Educational Trends and Practices)
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17 pages, 2900 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Teachable Machine on Middle School Teachers’ Perceptions of Science Lessons after Professional Development
by Terri L. Kurz, Suren Jayasuriya, Kimberlee Swisher, John Mativo, Ramana Pidaparti and Dawn T. Robinson
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040417 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Technological advances in computer vision and machine learning image and audio classification will continue to improve and evolve. Despite their prevalence, teachers feel ill-prepared to use these technologies to support their students’ learning. To address this, in-service middle school teachers participated in professional [...] Read more.
Technological advances in computer vision and machine learning image and audio classification will continue to improve and evolve. Despite their prevalence, teachers feel ill-prepared to use these technologies to support their students’ learning. To address this, in-service middle school teachers participated in professional development, and middle school students participated in summer camp experiences that included the use of Google’s Teachable Machine, an easy-to-use interface for training machine learning classification models. An overview of Teachable Machine is provided. As well, lessons that highlight the use of Teachable Machine in middle school science are explained. Framed within Personal Construct Theory, an analysis of the impact of the professional development on middle school teachers’ perceptions (n = 17) of science lessons and activities is provided. Implications for future practice and future research are described. Full article
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10 pages, 2262 KiB  
Article
Learning from Mistakes—Dental Students’ Learning Experiences from Adverse Clinical Events
by Hiroshi Ishikawa, Layra Valdes, Juanna Xie, Hiroe Ohyama, Isabel Tate, Masahiko Maeno, Takahiko Shiba and Shigemi Nagai
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040416 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Clinical training in the teaching practice is essential for developing patient-specific skills, yet the transition from preclinical to clinical training presents significant challenges for students. This study aimed to comprehend the challenges and issues faced by students at the onset of clinical training. [...] Read more.
Clinical training in the teaching practice is essential for developing patient-specific skills, yet the transition from preclinical to clinical training presents significant challenges for students. This study aimed to comprehend the challenges and issues faced by students at the onset of clinical training. It retrospectively investigated adverse events presented at the advanced dentistry course by third-year pre-doctoral students from classes 202A, 202B, and 202C during their initial ten months of clinical practice at the teaching institution. In this study, adverse events were defined as any undesirable experiences or incidents associated with a clinical treatment and administrative procedures. A total of 279 adverse events presented were categorized into eight disciplines: Treatment planning (TP), Operative (OP), Periodontics (PER), Endodontics (EN), Oral Surgery (OS), Fixed Prosthodontics (FP), Removable Prosthodontics (RP), and Patient Management (PM). The distribution of events was as follows: TP (11.5%), OP (17.7%), PER (13.1%), EN (6.9%), OS (6.2%), FP (24.2%), RP (5.0%), and PM (15.4%), with FP, OP and PM experiencing the highest rates of adverse events. The distribution pattern within the disciplines was consistent, and no statistical difference was observed. Across these disciplines, a lack of clinical skill competency was identified as a primary cause of adverse events. Other contributing issues included miscommunication, insufficient explanations to patients, a lack of administrative support, case complexity, and a deficit in diagnostic examinations and skills. The frequency of causes varied across the three classes, but no significant differences was noted in OP, FP and OS, in which over 80% of causes were related to clinical skill competency. Adverse events in clinical settings are frequent. Knowing these beforehand can aid students’ performance. Students should prepare thoroughly before clinical practice and understand common causes of errors. Educators should recognize the challenges inexperienced students encounter. Awareness of typical mistakes can enhance success in demanding clinical scenarios. Full article
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27 pages, 3372 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Complexity of Adaptive Teaching Expertise within Knowledge Generation Environments
by Jee Kyung Suh, Brian Hand, Jale Ercan-Dursun, Ercin Sahin and Gavin Fulmer
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040415 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 705
Abstract
The shift towards Next Generation Science Standards represents a paradigmatic change in teaching, transitioning from knowledge transmission to knowledge generation approaches. This reform underscores the complexity of teaching expertise, extending beyond mere knowledge to require a profound comprehension of generative learning environments. In [...] Read more.
The shift towards Next Generation Science Standards represents a paradigmatic change in teaching, transitioning from knowledge transmission to knowledge generation approaches. This reform underscores the complexity of teaching expertise, extending beyond mere knowledge to require a profound comprehension of generative learning environments. In this study, we explore Adaptive Teaching Expertise (AdTex), defining it as a teacher’s capacity characterized by fluidity and reflexiveness in teaching dynamics, rather than just flexibility. Through a complexity framing approach, we delineate three layers of AdTex: the visible actions of teachers, the semi-visible use of epistemic tools such as language, dialogue, and argument, and the tacit orientations towards learning that encompass epistemological, ontological, and axiological dimensions. Our research primarily investigates the intricate relationship between the epistemic tool and orientation layers. Our findings highlight the significance of an interconnected understanding and the impact of philosophical orientations on adaptive teaching practices. A notable contribution of this study is the development of a framework that articulates the belief and knowledge systems crucial for fostering generative learning environments, alongside the introduction of complexity maps to illustrate the interplay among these subsystems. Full article
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26 pages, 3717 KiB  
Article
Children and Practitioners as Truth Seekers and Truth Tellers: Innovative, Counter-Hegemonic Approaches to Evaluating National Inclusion Policies
by Deborah Robinson and Geraldene Codina
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040414 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
This paper describes and defends the counter-hegemonic methods applied to the investigation of a high-profile national policy for Early Education and Care (ECCE) in Ireland. The policy, the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) seeks to ensure the full inclusion and meaningful participation of [...] Read more.
This paper describes and defends the counter-hegemonic methods applied to the investigation of a high-profile national policy for Early Education and Care (ECCE) in Ireland. The policy, the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) seeks to ensure the full inclusion and meaningful participation of children with disabilities in mainstream, state funded ECCE. It makes a significant contribution to data and debate on how research about inclusion can become inclusion in the context of policy evaluation. The design of the policy evaluation included surveys, in depth interviews and qualitative case studies of pre-schools and children supported by AIM which were deliberately designed to be counter-hegemonic through the recruitment of practitioners as co-researchers (as expert representatives within a feminised workforce), and the use of a participative method of elicitation that sough the perspectives and lived experiences of inclusion among fourteen children supported by AIM. This method was multi-modal mapping. With a focus on these counter-hegemonic elements, the paper poses questions about how the approach was counterhegemonic in terms of its theoretical underpinning, practical approach, and outcomes. Thematic analysis of the data collected by practitioner researchers for the child case studies showed that the approach did achieve counter-hegemony through the achievement of redistribution, representation, and recognition in both the enactment of the research, and in the reporting of children’s lived experience in the study as a whole. However, the extent of counter-hegemony achieved was limited when practitioner researchers were unable to deploy the multi-modal mapping method because of limited time, or because the child was not a speaker of English or was as yet, non-speaking. In a context where policy makers have a preference for positivist and rationalist approaches to evaluating the impact of policies, we assert that research about policies for inclusion, should be enacted as inclusion and social justice through the deliberate deployment of participatory and counter-hegemonic methods. We also assert that multi-modal mapping holds particular promise for researching the lived experience of inclusion and participation from the perspective of children and argue that more work needs to be done on developing these methods so that they are effective with all children, including those who are non-speaking. Finally, we posit that Fraser’s triune model of social justice can be applied as a benchmark for designing and evaluating counter-hegemonic modii and outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Enhance Inclusive Education)
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13 pages, 570 KiB  
Article
Connecting Prescriptive Analytics with Student Success: Evaluating Institutional Promise and Planning
by Catherine A. Manly
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040413 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 640
Abstract
Data-driven educational decisions enabled by online technologies hold promise for improving student performance across the full range of student dis/ability, even when efforts to design for student learning requirements (such as through Universal Design for Learning) fall short and undergraduates struggle to learn [...] Read more.
Data-driven educational decisions enabled by online technologies hold promise for improving student performance across the full range of student dis/ability, even when efforts to design for student learning requirements (such as through Universal Design for Learning) fall short and undergraduates struggle to learn course material. In this action research study, 37 institutional stakeholders evaluated the potential of prescriptive analytics to project student outcomes in different simulated worlds, comparing hypothetical future learning scenarios. The goal of these prescriptions would be to make recommendations to students about tutoring and to faculty about beneficial course redesign points. The study’s analysis focused on the alignment of resources, processes, and values for feasible institutionalization of such analytics, highlighting institutional core values. In the postpandemic mix of online and on-campus learning under increasingly constrained resources, educational leaders should explore the potential competitive advantage of leveraging data from online technologies for greater student success. Full article
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15 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
The (Im)Possibility of Interrupting Midwest Nice in a Predominantly White, Small-Town School District
by Emily O. Miller
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040412 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 663
Abstract
As school and district leaders are confronted with explicit opposition to racial equity and inclusion policies and practices, they also continue to contend with Nice resistance. In this ethnographic case study, I draw on interviews with teachers and administrators as well as observations [...] Read more.
As school and district leaders are confronted with explicit opposition to racial equity and inclusion policies and practices, they also continue to contend with Nice resistance. In this ethnographic case study, I draw on interviews with teachers and administrators as well as observations of meetings and professional learning sessions to explore how educational leaders in a predominantly white, small, Midwestern town navigated a culture of Niceness characterized by good intentions, comfort, and avoiding conflict. Though most educators said they supported equity and inclusion, they resisted the administration and the policies and practices administrators implemented. Leaders challenged the culture of Niceness in the school district by focusing on impacts, pushing teachers to do things they were not comfortable with, and having direct conversations. Ultimately, several administrators left the district, and some equity and inclusion efforts were stalled or rolled back. Based on the findings of this study, I conclude that it is difficult to interrupt Niceness in the interest of advancing racial equity and inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Niceness, Leadership and Educational Equity)
17 pages, 1216 KiB  
Article
Equipping Teachers for Integrated Language, Science and Technology Instruction: The Design of a 4C/ID-Based Professional Development Program
by Miriam J. Rhodes, Hanno Van Keulen, Martine A. R. Gijsel and Adrie J. Visscher
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040411 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Integrated language, science and technology (ILS&T) instruction is a complex task for primary school teachers that requires professional development. Task-centered educational approaches such as the four-component instructional design (4C/ID) model are well suited for the development of complex professional skills. This article describes [...] Read more.
Integrated language, science and technology (ILS&T) instruction is a complex task for primary school teachers that requires professional development. Task-centered educational approaches such as the four-component instructional design (4C/ID) model are well suited for the development of complex professional skills. This article describes the application of the Ten Steps approach to the 4C/ID model in the domain of teacher education. The findings describe a blueprint for a 4C/ID-based teacher professional development program aimed at equipping in-service primary school teachers with the competences for ILS&T instruction, which can support instructional designers, teacher educators and researchers in making informed instructional design decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shaping the Future of Science Education)
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13 pages, 1055 KiB  
Article
Responding to the Current Capricious State of Australian Educational Leadership: We Should Have Seen It Coming!
by Christopher M. Branson, Maureen Marra and Paul Kidson
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040410 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 873
Abstract
The capricious state of Australian educational leadership is evidenced in the publication, “The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Survey 2022 Data”, which highlights unsustainable adverse health outcomes for an increasing number of school leaders. According to this report, the [...] Read more.
The capricious state of Australian educational leadership is evidenced in the publication, “The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Survey 2022 Data”, which highlights unsustainable adverse health outcomes for an increasing number of school leaders. According to this report, the accumulation of stress caused by the sheer quantity of work, the lack of time to focus on teaching and learning, a lack of sufficient teachers, and having to care for an increasing number of staff and students with mental health issues were the main causes of professional disillusionment and burnout among Australian school leaders. Moreover, the level of destabilisation and chaos that this situation could cause, should it continue to rise, is compounded by current research highlighting an ever-decreasing number of applicants for school leadership positions. To assign blame for this serious predicament on the excessive school leadership demands during COVID-19 is to ignore the abundant pre-existing evidence already pointing to this eventuality. However, the way in which Australian school leaders were able to constructively lead during the intensely demanding COVID-19 period does provide additional compelling support for the adoption of a far more relational foundation for leadership theory and practice. Hence, in response to this understanding, this article first presents during-COVID-19 and pre-COVID-19 Australian school leadership research literature to not only describe the evolving concerning issues but also to present the demand for a more relational approach to leadership. Then, the article proceeds to justify and illustrate a new relational approach to the practice of school leadership informed by our theory of organizational ecology. It is proposed that this new way of leading relationally will enable Australian school leaders to ultimately overcome the myriad of complex and stressful crises that now confront them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Leadership in Turbulent Times)
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18 pages, 1563 KiB  
Article
How Learning to Speak the Language of a Computer-Based Digital Environment Can Plant Seeds of Algebraic Generalisation: The Case of a 12-Year-Old Student and eXpresser
by Anna E. Baccaglini-Frank, Eirini Geraniou, Celia Hoyles and Richard Noss
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040409 - 14 Apr 2024
Viewed by 694
Abstract
When learning in a digital interactive mathematics learning environment (DIMLE) designed to foster the development of specific mathematics content, students come to express their ideas through different languages and representations. We devise a method based on the Theory of Instrumental Genesis (TIG) to [...] Read more.
When learning in a digital interactive mathematics learning environment (DIMLE) designed to foster the development of specific mathematics content, students come to express their ideas through different languages and representations. We devise a method based on the Theory of Instrumental Genesis (TIG) to analyse aspects of a middle school student’s learning about algebraic generalisation in a DIMLE called “eXpresser”. Our analytic scheme allows us to capture changes in her instrumented schemes when accomplishing a certain task repeatedly, gradually modifying her interactions with the system. The results concern both insights into a specific mathematics learning journey in a DIMLE, and methodological progress at a more general level. Indeed, the method we devised and explored in this specific case can be applied to infer students’ schemes from their actions as they interact with other DIMLEs. This possibility yields great potential because more and more actions can now be recognized directly by software. This has important implications for computer-supported personalised learning, and AI in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods and Tools in Mathematics Education)
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