Challenges of Teaching in Today’s Society: Factors Involved in Educational Quality

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 13435

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Evolutive and Education Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: education; psychology; social sciences; educational innovation

E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Department of Philology and its Didactics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: education; foreign language acquisition; gender; critical discourse analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a subtle difference between what society is concerning its social, cultural, and historical characteristics, and what it aspires to become as a society. There is a wide range of factors that determine and define society and the configuration of the educational model is a key element that helps to mold its future course. The education system embeds the desires and expectations of the society in which it operates. Hence, the role education plays in the progress of a society is paramount, and its analysis must be a priority in the field of social sciences. 

Education is inextricably linked to the world around it, particularly the sociocultural movements that arise naturally. Thus, education does not take place in a vacuum; rather, it defines the intentions of the members of society and what those members are.

Today’s society is characterized by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease outbreak has considerably modified current society and particularly human interactions. Nevertheless, the pandemic is not the only element that defines modern society since many other significant events have shaped it, such as information and communication technologies (or ICT), globalization, or new social demands in response to cultural pluralism. Considering the above, teachers should act as effective mediators or guides for new generations, helping them to assimilate the sociocultural processes that surround them. It is then crucial to understand and describe the challenging issues facing our society. 

This Special Issue aims to define how current societal challenges are associated with educational quality in a bidirectional relationship. Researchers are invited to submit manuscripts related to, but not limited to, the following topics:

•    Challenges of education today;
•    The role of the teacher in today’s society;
•    Social implications of education policies;
•    ICT and education;
•    Impact of globalization and multiculturalism on education;
•    Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education;
•    Multiculturalism and teacher training;
•    Intercultural communication;
•    Linguistic and cultural diversity in the classroom;
•    Equity in education;
•    Code-switching practices in multilingual classrooms.

Dr. Roberto Sánchez-Cabrero
Dr. Lidia Mañoso-Pacheco
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • teaching
  • teachers
  • education
  • social challenges
  • psychology
  • students
  • educational innovation
  • educational quality

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial Introduction to Challenges of Teaching in Today’s Society: Factors Involved in Educational Quality
by Roberto Sánchez-Cabrero and Lidia Mañoso-Pacheco
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020102 - 7 Feb 2024
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Contemporary Western societies coexist with diverse factors that continually redefine and transform them in response to the myriad social demands they face [...] Full article

Research

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18 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
Are Schools Learning Organizations? An Empirical Study in Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, and Turkey
by María Luisa Sierra-Huedo, Ana C. Romea and Marina Aguareles
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(9), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12090495 - 1 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1252
Abstract
The aim of this empirical research, which is the first phase of an Erasmus project, is to analyze how educational institutions are configured, as learning organizations, through a systems perspective. The methodology employed was qualitative, utilizing prominent examples of schools in Spain, Bulgaria, [...] Read more.
The aim of this empirical research, which is the first phase of an Erasmus project, is to analyze how educational institutions are configured, as learning organizations, through a systems perspective. The methodology employed was qualitative, utilizing prominent examples of schools in Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, and Turkey. Semi-structured personal interviews were conducted with experts in the field of education, members of school management teams, and teachers, resulting in a total of 63 participants. The findings reveal that, in all four countries, there are barriers preventing educational institutions from becoming learning organizations, including the rigidity of the educational curriculum and an individualistic teaching culture. Transformational opportunities lie in the creation of networks and the ability to share knowledge among educational institutions. In essence, it is necessary to continue working towards the implementation of a systems perspective in educational institutions, which, for its development, must be complemented by transformational leadership and an engaged educational community that is focused on enhancing student learning. Full article
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19 pages, 1925 KiB  
Article
Gender-Differentiated Perceptions of Teaching among Preservice Teachers of Secondary Education
by Roberto Sánchez-Cabrero, Lidia Mañoso-Pacheco and Ana Cristina León-Mejía
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(8), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12080431 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1369
Abstract
The decision to pursue a career in teaching is usually driven by vocational interests, with the social image of teachers playing a pivotal role in this choice. This study endeavors to explore the influence of gender on the perception of teaching and its [...] Read more.
The decision to pursue a career in teaching is usually driven by vocational interests, with the social image of teachers playing a pivotal role in this choice. This study endeavors to explore the influence of gender on the perception of teaching and its impact on the inclination of preservice teachers towards vocational training. The research, based on a sample of 1469 participants, aims to evaluate attributive factors related to the decision to become a secondary school teacher, perceptions of the training received during the master’s degree, and gender disparities when recalling their previous teachers. To achieve this, an ad hoc questionnaire was employed. The data obtained were analyzed using Student’s t test, Chi-square, Somers’ D, and Chaid Tree. The results reveal gender differences by age and academic specialization, as well as a more negative evaluation of former high school teachers by female participants compared to their male counterparts. Overall, the study suggests that female students tend to retain more negative memories of secondary school instructors, a phenomenon that could be influenced by the prevailing unfavorable social image of teachers and their perceived struggle to compensate for past educational deficiencies upon embarking on a teaching career. Given that gender proves to be a relevant factor in the work of secondary school teachers, it is strongly recommended that the training of future educators address this issue with utmost diligence and depth. By sensitizing aspiring teachers to the potential challenges related to gender perceptions, teacher preparation programs can better equip them to navigate these complexities in the classroom and foster an inclusive learning environment. Full article
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10 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Teaching Inclusive Thinking through an Embodied Metaphor: A Developmental Study
by Pablo Herranz-Hernández and María Naranjo-Crespo
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(5), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12050267 - 2 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
The studies framed in embodied cognition that analyze the metaphor of temperature and its relationship with the feeling of inclusion or exclusion always do so in the first person. That is, they take the perspective of the protagonist who is made to feel [...] Read more.
The studies framed in embodied cognition that analyze the metaphor of temperature and its relationship with the feeling of inclusion or exclusion always do so in the first person. That is, they take the perspective of the protagonist who is made to feel included or excluded to see how it affects his or her body thermally. However, there are no studies in which the participants morally evaluate other protagonists who are the ones who feel the inclusion or exclusion and the temperature, projecting these feelings onto them. This paper analyzes the relationship between terms related to temperature (cold or heat) and the moral judgements made toward a person who helps and another who does not help. All this occurs in a situation in which the person making the judgement is not involved in the first person and has to put themself in the place of the other. In addition, the possible difference in these judgements is examined by comparing children in the fourth grade of primary school with those in the sixth grade. The results indicate that older children give less extreme responses, but these are more influenced by temperature when it comes to morally judging a lack of help. When the behavior is helpful, they judge it morally the same regardless of temperature. In addition, interaction between the two variables appeared. These results have implications in promoting helping in the classroom in order to promote inclusion and represent a useful and accessible resource for such promotion. Full article
13 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
University College Students’ Experiences with Online Teaching One Year after COVID-19 Lockdown in Spring 2020
by Carsten Kronborg Bak and Simon Schulin
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(3), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030156 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore university college students’ experiences with online teaching one year after the lockdown in spring 2021.With quantitative cluster analysis, we have identified a “learning gradient” among students, showing that cluster 1 students have the most positive [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore university college students’ experiences with online teaching one year after the lockdown in spring 2021.With quantitative cluster analysis, we have identified a “learning gradient” among students, showing that cluster 1 students have the most positive preferences towards online teaching and the highest degree of self-regulation and learning outcome, cluster 2 students are mixed (both positive and negative experiences), and cluster 3 students have the most negative preferences and the lowest self-regulation and learning outcome. In this study, we used 5 focus group interviews with 29 students based on their preferences towards online teaching to discuss and reflect on their own study planning, the shift in the learning environment, their perceived learning outcome, and positive and negative experiences from online teaching. The results from this study have shown that students’ self-regulated learning strategies during online teaching environment are important for their learning outcome. Thus, we demonstrate the disjunction between students’ learning outcome and the classroom as a fixed place for learning. Full article
16 pages, 343 KiB  
Article
Signs of a Manager’s Leadership in a Quality Educational Institution: Cases of the City and District Centre of Lithuania
by Daiva Jakavonytė-Staškuvienė and Viktorija Strazdauskienė
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030138 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
One of the problems in Lithuania is the shortage of heads of educational institutions; many schools are looking for teachers, and there is a constant shortage of teaching staff. In addition, the issue of quality education is often debated. The article analyses the [...] Read more.
One of the problems in Lithuania is the shortage of heads of educational institutions; many schools are looking for teachers, and there is a constant shortage of teaching staff. In addition, the issue of quality education is often debated. The article analyses the concept of a quality educational institution: the attributes and personal qualities of a manager-leader. The research was conducted in two schools in Lithuania (a large city and a district centre), which are characterised as high-quality educational institutions. These schools in Lithuania are highly rated in terms of pupil achievement, external audit data, and statements made by school communities in public space and social networks. The aim of the study is to investigate the attributes of a leader of a quality educational institution and its leader. The study used a qualitative methodology: semi-structured interviews with school leaders, teachers, and parents of students belonging to the school council. Qualitative research was chosen because it would be difficult to reveal the meaning of the problem using a quantitative method, as each respondent has his or her own individual opinion, which depends on his or her experiences. The data were analysed according to coding categories. According to the study, it can be stated that for a leader of a quality educational institution, it is very important to follow such principles as respect for others, knowledge of others, democratic values, belief in colleagues and their abilities, and lifelong learning should be part of the daily life of the educational community. Full article

Review

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19 pages, 2695 KiB  
Review
Use of Virtual Tools in Teaching-Learning Processes: Advancements and Future Direction
by Vanessa Botero-Gómez, Luis Germán Ruiz-Herrera, Alejandro Valencia-Arias, Alejandra Romero Díaz and Juan Carlos Vives Garnique
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12020070 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2134
Abstract
Teaching-learning processes have been affected by the changes that the introduction of information and communication technologies are making to the current global dynamics. This study examines the trends and evolution of the application of virtual tools in teaching-learning processes. Using a bibliometric analysis, [...] Read more.
Teaching-learning processes have been affected by the changes that the introduction of information and communication technologies are making to the current global dynamics. This study examines the trends and evolution of the application of virtual tools in teaching-learning processes. Using a bibliometric analysis, 104 articles retrieved using a search equation defined under the PRISMA methodology were analysed. The results allowed the identification of the most influential contributions, authors, and journals, as well as the trends of research carried out in the field, identifying the authors García-Peñalvo, Sánchez-Prieto and Olmos-Migueláñez as the main references in terms of productivity and impact, as well as the journal Computers in Human Behaviour as the most important in academic impact; additionally, it is identified that COVID-19 and online education are among the main emerging concepts, and higher education and the TAM are among the most solid in the research field. Similarly, the research carried out can be classified into four categories based on their main topic: the acceptance of technology; the design of instruments; the design of platforms; and relevant content. Among the main conclusions, it is mentioned that these tools provide aspects of flexibility, coverage and accessibility at all educational levels. Full article
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Other

28 pages, 1136 KiB  
Systematic Review
Systematic Review on New Challenges of University Education Today: Innovation in the Educational Response and Teaching Perspective on Students with Disabilities
by María Dolores Pérez-Esteban, Jose Juan Carrión-Martínez and Luis Ortiz Jiménez
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040245 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
Offering a suitable educational response to students with disabilities continues to be a challenge for higher education institutions, where the teaching attitude, the educational strategies to deal with diversity and the obstacles or difficulties continue to condition the commitment to inclusive education at [...] Read more.
Offering a suitable educational response to students with disabilities continues to be a challenge for higher education institutions, where the teaching attitude, the educational strategies to deal with diversity and the obstacles or difficulties continue to condition the commitment to inclusive education at universities. This systematic review has been carried out following the indications of the PRISMA method. The main objective is to present critical information about the educational response offered to students with disabilities at higher education institutions. Fourteen articles dealing with teaching attitude, difficulties and strategies used were reviewed. The results show how there is a positive attitude towards students with disabilities in some areas, various inclusive strategies are established in the classroom and there are still obstacles that make it difficult to meet all students’ needs. In conclusion, inclusive education continues to be a pending issue for university institutions, which are moving towards inclusion, yet at a slower pace, in comparison to other education levels. Full article
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