ISSN / EISSN : 2227-7102 / 2227-7102
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 1,775
Latest articles in this journal
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100647
We investigated the scientific reasoning competencies of pre-service science teachers (PSTs) using a multiple-choice assessment. This assessment targeted seven reasoning skills commonly associated with scientific investigation and scientific modeling. The sample consisted of 112 PSTs enrolled in a secondary teacher education program. A latent class (LC) analysis was conducted to evaluate if there are subgroups with distinct patterns of reasoning skills. The analysis revealed two subgroups, where LC1 (73% of the PSTs) had a statistically higher probability of solving reasoning tasks than LC2. Specific patterns of reasoning emerged within each subgroup. Within LC1, tasks involving analyzing data and drawing conclusions were answered correctly more often than tasks involving formulating research questions and generating hypotheses. Related to modeling, tasks on testing models were solved more often than those requiring judgment on the purpose of models. This study illustrates the benefits of applying person-centered statistical analyses, such as LC analysis, to identify subgroups with distinct patterns of scientific reasoning skills in a larger sample. The findings also suggest that highlighting specific skills in teacher education, such as: formulating research questions, generating hypotheses, and judging the purposes of models, would better enhance the full complement of PSTs’ scientific reasoning competencies.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100639
In this study, we investigated participants’ reactions to supportive and anomalous data in the context of population dynamics. Based on previous findings on conceptions about ecosystems and responses to anomalous data, we assumed a tendency to confirm the initial prediction after dealing with contradicting data. Our aim was to integrate a product-based analysis, operationalized as prediction group changes with process-based analyses of individual data-based scientific reasoning processes to gain a deeper insight into the ongoing cognitive processes. Based on a theoretical framework describing a data-based scientific reasoning process, we developed an instrument assessing initial and subsequent predictions, confidence change toward these predictions, and the subprocesses data appraisal, data explanation, and data interpretation. We analyzed the data of twenty pre-service biology teachers applying a mixed-methods approach. Our results show that participants tend to maintain their initial prediction fully or change to predictions associated with a mix of different conceptions. Maintenance was observed even if most participants were able to use sophisticated conceptual knowledge during their processes of data-based scientific reasoning. Furthermore, our findings implicate the role of confidence changes and the influences of test wiseness.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100638
Students with disorders of intellectual development (ID) experience challenges in reading and writing, indicating the need for research-based interventions. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of reading and writing interventions for students aged 4–19 with disorders of ID using randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental designs (QEDs). We conducted electronic searches of relevant databases, backward and forward searches, and contacted experts in the field. Based on predefined criteria, nine studies were included in the systematic review, and seven were included in the meta-analysis. The reading interventions included decoding strategies, often combined with sight-word and supplemental instructions appropriate to the participants’ adaptive and cognitive skills. None of the studies aimed to increase writing skills. The overall mean effect size from the reading interventions for trained reading was large (g = 0.95, 95% CI = [0.51, 1.38]), for transfer reading small-to-moderate (g = 0.49, 95% CI = [0.20, 0.78]) and for transfer writing small (g = 0.04, 95% CI = [−0.36, 0.44]). Students with disorders of ID can benefit from reading interventions combining decoding strategies and sight word reading. There is a need for RCT and QED studies investigating writing interventions for students with disorders of ID only.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100641
Among the requirements for engineering programs, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria for student outcomes require students to have the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, recognize ethical and professional responsibilities, function effectively on a team, and apply new knowledge. A review of literature for skills comprised within these ABET criteria determined 26 topics necessary for the entry-level and continued success of engineers. Nearly 500 companies and organizations rated the importance and proficiency of their recent entry-level engineers for these 26 identified soft (professional) skills. The findings suggest that although entry-level engineers have proficiency in all of these ABET required skills, the entry-level engineers were not meeting the level of importance expressed by the organization for 24 of these 26 skills. A specific ABET required skill, the ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups of people, has the greatest difference between the level of proficiency and the level of importance. Analysis of variance was conducted using each of the demographic variables to determine the effect sizes in the ratings of importance, proficiency, and the differences between importance and proficiency. These results were shared with industry members to confirm the relevance of the survey findings during the pandemic. This survey research has implications for any university engineering department where students are seeking entry-level engineering positions after graduation.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100644
Digital technologies play a key role in the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda. However, their contribution to this goal depends on the digital culture of society. In this context, future teachers’ knowledge of e-sustainability is of paramount importance, as the responsible and sustainable behaviour of future generations largely depends on their skills in this area. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the existence of possible differences in digital competences in sustainability among trainee teachers. The study involved the participation of 348 students in the 2nd year of their Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University of Alicante (Alicante, Spain), who filled out a questionnaire on this topic. The SPSS v. 25 statistical programme, with which a comparative analysis was carried out, was used to process the data. On the basis of the results, the students of the Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education generally presented a higher level of e-sustainable competences, especially with regard to general competences and the economic dimension of digital sustainability. Despite this, and given the small size of the differences, we conclude that there is a need to design didactic proposals to favour the acquisition of these competences among future teachers at both stages.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100646
This paper studies Greek junior high school students’ alternative ideas, both initial and synthetic, on geodynamic phenomena. It comments in detail on students’ concepts on Earth structure, earthquake occurrence, volcano formation, and relief change. Additionally, it attempts to trace and interpret how and why these ideas form (concept development), presenting that initial and synthetic ones are indissolubly attached and utterly directed by environmental interaction. Data analysis verifies that curriculum inadequacy and false scientific terminology in textbooks enforce the generation of alternative ideas. New synthetic alternative ideas on geodynamic phenomena are presented which are mainly characterized by intermittent and fragmentary perspective. Furthermore, the characteristics of both initial and synthetic alternative ideas are outlined, giving emphasis on the facts that students represent geodynamic phenomena as instantaneous events and that they are able to describe the repeatability of the phenomena, but they show difficulty in capturing their continuity. Finally, more factors that control alternative idea development on geodynamic phenomena are highlighted—such as (i) lack of continuous thinking, (ii) distribution, intensity and frequency of geodynamic phenomena, and (iii) current affairs (i.e., pollution, technology evolution, human intervention)—hoping that their revelation will lead to alternative ideas’ decomposition and thus to pure scientific knowledge.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100645
This essay offers a broken narrative concerning the early history of anti-oppressive practice as an approach in the U.K. to youth and community work and the struggles over this in the context of UK higher education between the 1960′s and the early 2000’s. Educating informal educators as youth and community workers in the UK has been a site of contestation. Aspects of a genealogy of that struggle are presented in ways which link publicly available histories with personal memories and narratives, through the use of a personal archive developed through collective memory work. These are chosen to illuminate the links between theory and practice: on the one hand, the conceptual field which has framed the education of youth and community workers, whose sources lie in the academic disciplines of education and sociology, and, on the other hand, the social movements which have formed the practice of informal educators. Six have been chosen: (1) The long 1968: challenging approaches to authority; (2) the group as a source of learning; (3) The personal and political: experiential learning from discontent; (4) Paolo Freire and Critical Praxis; (5) A critical break in social education and the reality of youth work spaces as defensive spaces; (6) New managerialism: ethics vs. paper trails. The approach taken, of linking memory work with present struggles, is argued to be a generative form for current critical and enlivening practice.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100640
Currently, a growing number of learning institutions at all educational levels are including problem-based learning (PBL) in their curricula. PBL scenarios often utilise technology and socio-scientific Issues (SSI), which enables the simultaneous learning of content and creative thinking and working skills needed in generating new knowledge for the future. In this sense, using SSI and technological tools in PBL learning environments can be viewed as a starting point for acquiring and integrating new knowledge. However, there is no comprehensive knowledge regarding the possibilities of this approach. The objective of this systematic review is to produce this knowledge via the PRISMA method. The strategy is used to explore the effects of the described approach through implementations conducted at secondary and undergraduate levels. The data consisted of 33 research articles that were categorised via qualitative content analysis. According to the results, PBL scenarios exploit mainly local SSIs that link scientific knowledge with a meaningful context for students. Technology is principally used in offering technical support for teaching tasks. Lastly, these results are discussed from the technological pedagogical science knowledge (TPASK) framework perspective, which proposes guidelines for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100642
Lifestyle sports can contribute to national sport and physical activity agendas. However, schools in the United Kingdom (UK) have generally resisted the implementation of such activities within the physical education (PE) curriculum. This may stem from PE teachers’ limited knowledge and restricted engagement with lifestyle sports continuing professional development (CPD), coupled with the dominance of traditional team sports within the PE curriculum. Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the opportunities and challenges PE teachers in the UK encounter when delivering lifestyle sports, in addition to understanding their current professional development needs to enhance their practice. Data were collected via an online qualitative survey involving 53 UK-based PE teachers. Following a reflexive thematic analysis process, three themes were developed: (1) PE teachers’ understanding, conceptualisation, and delivery of lifestyle sports; (2) challenges to delivering lifestyle sports within the PE curriculum; and (3) the learning needs and CPD preferences of PE teachers. Findings indicated that the participants possessed diverse conceptualisations of lifestyle sports, while faced with logistical, contextual, and personal factors which impacted their practice. Furthermore, the participants outlined their preferences towards lifestyle sports CPD and the challenges restricting their engagement with learning opportunities. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
Education Sciences, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100643
One of the problems regarding MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is the high dropout rate. Although dropout periods have been studied, there is still a lack of understanding of how dropout differs for MOOCs with different levels of difficulty. A quantitative study was conducted to determine the periods with the highest dropouts in computer programming MOOCs and the performance of the dropouts on the course before dropping out. Four occurrences of three MOOCs, with different durations, difficulty of the topic, and the degree of supportive methods, were included. The results showed that dropout was highest at the beginning of all studied courses. Learners also dropped out before the project. In the easier and shorter courses, most dropouts were successful until they quit the course. In longer and more difficult courses, learners mainly dropped out in the week they started due to experiencing problems with the course activities. It is suggested to recommend that learners take courses at a level that suits them if their current course is too easy or difficult and encourage learners to use course resources for help. It would be a good idea to provide learners with example topics to assist them in starting with a project.