• Teachers' Experiences with School Choice: Clashing Logics in the Swedish Education System

      Ulf Lundström; Karolina Parding (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This paper explores the school choice reform in Sweden, a country where a drastic shift in education policy has taken place that includes fast expansion of market solutions and strong state support for competition. Although there are studies examining the school choice reform, few focus on the effects of this reform from a teacher perspective, especially so in the context of Sweden. To this end, this paper examines how Swedish upper secondary teachers in independent (private) and public schools experience their work in relation to school choice reform. This study uses qualitative interviews of 58 teachers from five municipal and three independent upper secondary schools. Its theoretical framework relies on Freidson's distinction between the logic of the profession, the bureaucracy, and the market. The findings indicate that the traditional position of teachers—a position that must negotiate the tension between the logic of the profession and the logic of the bureaucracy—is now in fact challenged by the logic of the market. This study argues that values linked to the logic of the market are imposed on the teachers, and these market values clash with the teachers' values, values based on the logic of the profession.
    • Do Simulation-Based Skill Exercises and Post-Encounter Notes Add Additional Value to a Standardized Patient-Based Clinical Skills Examination?

      Michael D. Prislin; Sue Ahearn; John Boker (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Background. Standardized patient (SP) clinical assessments have limited utility in assessing higher-level clinical competencies. This study explores the value of including simulation exercises and postencounter notes in an SP clinical skills examination. Methods. Two exercises involving cardiac auscultation and ophthalmic funduscopy simulations along with written post encounter notes were added to an SP-based performance examination. Descriptive analyses of students' performance and correlations with SP-based performance measures were obtained. Results. Students' abilities to detect abnormalities on physical exam were highly variable. There were no correlations between SP-based and simulation-derived measures of physical examination competency. Limited correlations were found between students' abilities to perform and document physical examinations and their formulation of appropriate differential diagnoses. Conclusions. Clinical simulation exercises add depth to SP-based assessments of performance. Evaluating the content of post encounter notes offers some insight into students' integrative abilities, and this appears to be improved by the addition of simulation-based post encounter skill exercises. However, further refinement of this methodology is needed.
    • Differences in Student Engagement: Investigating the Role of the Dominant Cognitive Processes Preferred by Engineering and Education Students

      Ian Ball; Chris Perry (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This paper reports on a study of the differences in the dominant cognitive processes preferred by groups of engineering and education students and examines the implications of these differences for the assessment of student engagement with university courses. Concern is expressed that the items commonly used to capture student engagement data do not adequately cover the full range of the dominant cognitive processes preferred by tertiary students. The paper sets out a brief overview of student engagement along with the theory of dominant and auxiliary cognitive processes, as developed by Jung and later by Myers. Evidence is presented of the differing frequencies of the eight cognitive processes, as assessed by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, that are preferred by cohorts of students undertaking courses in engineering and education. The implications of these differences are discussed in the context of subject disciplines in university environments.
    • A Retrospective Study of Treatment Complexity and Efficiency in a Brazilian Undergraduate Comprehensive Dental Care Program

      Sandra Cristina Guimarães Bahia Reis; Laura Barbosa Santos; Cláudio Rodrigues Leles (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      The aim of the study was to explore treatment efficiency in an undergraduate comprehensive dental care program (CDCP). The study sample consisted of the records of 652 patients from the CDCP of the School of Dentistry, Federal University of Goias, Brazil, who were treated in the period from 2004 through 2009. A total of 45 clinical procedures performed by the students was listed and a panel of 19 judges, graded the perceived complexity of each procedure on a 11-point scale using an adaptation of the Thurstone method. Spearman's correlation, one-way Anova, Kaplan-Meier, and Cox regression were used to build a predictive model for time-to-event data—completion of treatment (CT). Treatment time for CT was correlated with complexity scores (=0.60; <0.001). The average estimated median months for CT was 23.0 (95%CI = 19.6–26.3) and was significantly different (<0.001) among complexity levels (low 13.0, intermediary 19.0, high 47.0). When low complexity was the reference category, estimated changes in risk for incomplete treatment were greater for intermediary (HR=0.54; 95%CI = 0.40–0.75) and high complexity cases (HR=0.32; 95%CI = 0.23–0.45). The results indicated that treatment complexity has a large influence on undergraduate CDCP efficiency and should be considered when planning organizational strategies for the clinical environment.
    • A Review of the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Secondary School Students' Academic Achievement

      Valerie J. Shute; Eric G. Hansen; Jody S. Underwood; Rim Razzouk (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between parental involvement (PI) and academic achievement, with special focus on the secondary school (middle and high school) level. The results first present how individual PI variables correlate with academic achievement and then move to more complex analyses of multiple variables on the general construct described in the literature. Several PI variables with correlations to academic achievement show promise: (a) communication between children and parents about school activities and plans, (b) parents holding high expectations/aspirations for their children's schooling, and (c) parents employing an authoritative parenting style. We end the results section by discussing the findings in light of the limitations of nonexperimental research and the different effects of children's versus parents' perspectives on academic achievement.
    • An Analysis of an EFL Teachers' Guide: A Case Study

      Ahmad Nazari (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This paper is an attempt to analyse one of the documents which may affect the classroom activities of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, namely teachers' guides. It also explores the context at which the document is aimed and critiques how EFL teachers are advised to teach as well as how EFL is taught. As such, the paper stands where critical discourse analysis and language policy come together in the study of language policies in education. The teachers' guide chosen and the analysis carried out here are not necessarily concerned with their representativeness and typicality but with the opportunity they provide to the researchers and teachers to learn about such language policy documents and how language and language teaching objectives are represented in them. The issues raised in this paper will have relevance to the EFL teachers' guides and EFL education in other contexts, as these issues are likely to be true of other EFL milieux.
    • Undergraduates' Criteria to Justify Claims Proposed after Laboratory Experiments

      Jer-Yann Lin; Ding-Ying Guo (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This study investigates the criteria undergraduates adopt to justify their claims proposed after laboratory experiments. There are two categories of justifications in the current literature, empirical consistency and plausibility of claims, but observations of college juniors in the laboratory demonstrated the need for a third category, observation reliability. This assumption was further tested by analyzing the warrants undergraduates wrote to justify their claims formed after laboratory experiments. Three students' justification criteria were identified, that is, empirical consistency, plausibility of claims, and observation reliability. The most frequently used criterion is plausibility of claims to justify good results, while that is observation reliability to justify bad results. Moreover, multiple justification, which means more than one attempt being made to justify a given claim, was also found. It reveals that multiple justification, rather than single justification, is suitable for students to make scientifically acceptable claims. The implications and suggestions of this study are also discussed.
    • The Cyclical Integration Model as a Way of Managing Major Educational Change

      Richard G. Berlach (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Where minds meet, there lies the change vector. With regard to change management, however, minds regularly fail to meet in the crucial change space. They either unwittingly zip past each other, deliberately avoid one another, or worse still, collide with excruciating impact. This paper examines the interrelated role of government, the public service and professionals in successfully transitioning major change initiatives. It is argued that unless these agencies operate in synchrony, change negotiation is likely to be hampered. To this end, a model of “Cyclical Integration” is presented and supported by driving questions for each of the three agencies facilitating the change process. Although it is considered that these questions are sufficiently broad to encompass change management across any number of enterprises, what is being considered in this paper is the arena of compulsory education.
    • Using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire and the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning in Assessing Motivation and Learning Strategies of Generation 1.5 Korean Immigrant Students

      Rosa Stoffa; Joseph C. Kush; Misook Heo (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This study examined the potential of utilizing the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) and the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) as instruments in measuring Generation 1.5 students' motivation and their use of language learning strategies. The MSLQ was of particular interest because it contains both a basic motivation subscale as well as a motivation/language learning strategies subscale. Participants of this study were 104 Generation 1.5 Korean immigrant students who were members of Korean communities located in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Participants provided general demographic information and completed both scales in a counterbalanced manner. Results indicated that while the two scales do have some similar content, the scales do not overlap entirely and appeared to measure two discrete indices. Results also indicated that a moderate correlation between MSLQ learning strategies and SILL learning strategies was found as well as between the SILL total score and the MSLQ total score.
    • Variation in Students' Conceptions of Self-Assessment and Standards

      Heng Kiat Kelvin Tan; Chua Tee Teo; Chee Shen Ng (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This paper reports the results of a phenomenographic study on the different ways that secondary students understood and utilized student self-assessment and how various ego types could affect the accuracy of self-assessment. The study sought to contribute to the growing literature which recognizes the critical role that students play in assessment processes, and in particular the different roles that they assume in student self-assessment. The results of the study provide insights into how different students experience self-assessment by articulating the variation in the perception and purposes of assessing one's own learning. This variation is depicted as a hierarchy of logically related students' conceptions of self-assessment.
    • More Private Schools for Nonnative Students? Migrant Performance in Private Schools of Differing National Contexts

      Monika Jungbauer-Gans; Christiane Gross (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Migrant children from most countries are disadvantaged in school. We investigate which characteristics of both school and societal contexts influence the achievements of migrant students. We argue that living conditions and inequality in a society as a whole may affect the chances of minority members and the function that private schools perform in the process of social reproduction of inequality. We investigate in particular the question of whether migrant students attending private schools show a better performance than those attending public schools. The analyses of the paper are based on the data collected in the PISA 2006 survey. Our main results are that the lower mathematics and reading competencies of migrant students can partly be explained by the socioeconomic status and cultural capital of the family and—to a marginal degree—by school characteristics. Initially, students in private independent schools have some advantages that disappear after controlling for country attributes. In both fields of knowledge, migrants obtain better results in private government-dependent schools (interaction effect); this, however, can be traced back to their families' socioeconomic origin and cultural capital. We detect that students in private independent schools reach lower competency levels in wealthier societies (GNP).
    • Library and Information Science Education and Training in Uganda: Trends, Challenges, and the Way Forward

      Constant Okello-Obura; I. M. N. Kigongo-bukenya (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      In today's public and private sectors, corporate governance is a key focus, and management of libraries, records, archives, and information centers is an increasingly important preoccupation. This implies that the issue of LIS education should not be taken lightly. As the economy grows, the demand for information will propel the demand for LIS professionals because of the need to manage different kinds of documents. This paper, based on relevant literature review and the authors' experience as LIS practitioners and educators, aims at discussing this subject and highlights important issues to be addressed. The paper makes a brief exploration of LIS education in Uganda, identifies the challenges, and proposes strategies as the way forward. It recommends that as LIS education and training seeks a wider role in society, there is a need to prepare students for careers in a rapidly changing world. This requires multidisciplinary education, greater emphasis on core knowledge, and fully well-articulated graduate programmes to meet the requisite of LIS professionals.
    • Challenges for Quality Primary Education in Papua New Guinea—A Case Study

      Ravinder Rena (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      There is an urgent need to reform the educational system to achieve universal primary education in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Even after 35 years of independence, PNG has been struggling to educate an estimated 2 million elementary- and primary-aged children and faces numerous challenges in providing Education for All (EFA). This study was conducted in four primary schools of Buma Yong area of Lae district of Morobe Province, PNG. The study revealed that the quality of education has been deteriorated over the past few decades. Many schools in PNG do not have classrooms, teachers, and basic facilities. As a result, the children are losing interest in going to school. The children dropped out of school so as to assist their families in the household and agricultural activities. It also reveals that the dropout rate of girls is more than that of the boys due to the gender disparity in the country. The study recommended that budgetary allocations should be increased so as to improve the infrastructural facilities and encourage the children to attend primary school and thus achieve the Millennium Development Goal/Education For All in PNG.
    • My Brother's Teacher? Siblings and Literacy Development in the Home

      Laura Sokal; Caroline Piotrowski (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Frequency of sibling literacy interactions were examined in 134 families with at least two children, where at least one of the children attended school in grade one to grade four. Parents in the majority of families reported that their children read together on a regular basis without a parent present. This held across various demographic constellations including gender of the older child. However, children from families with three or more children were less likely to read with their siblings. Implications for parents and teachers are discussed.
    • Design of Web-Based Experiments on Acceleration and Speed Transducers

      Ashish Mani; R. S. S. Prasanth; C. Patvardhan (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Remote laboratories are becoming increasingly popular in academic arena due to availability of web-based technologies and infrastructure. Remote Labs are equipped with real instruments, where experiments are performed by controlling the instruments and observing the real data from a distant location through computer networks. They provide for student centric laboratory experience as students can perform experiments at their own convenience and requirements. Further, Remote Labs reduce management of work involved in running conventional laboratories. This paper describes design and implementation of such an experimental setup for performing characterization experiments on Transducers in general and Acceleration and Speed Transducers in particular from a remote location. The experiment can be made accessible to anyone over a TCP/IP network with a standard Web Browser, relevant plugin, and permission. This paper demonstrates that traditional experiments on sensors and transducers can be successfully made available online to both on-campus and off-campus students at their own schedule and convenience.
    • Becoming Global Citizens through Bilingualism: English Learning in the Lives of University Students in China

      Yangguang Chen (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      The ongoing globalisation has led to a tremendous expansion of the English language. With China striving to become part of the world economy since the late 1970's, there has been a great emphasis placed on the education of young people to become a world citizen with fluent English. “Being a global citizen” is having strong interests in global issues, cultivating the understanding and appreciation of diverse values, and enhancing country's competitiveness. All this however needs to be realized through communication in English, the world language. Improving communicative competence among Chinese learners of English depends on how English is learnt in the FL classroom and how it gets practiced outside the classroom. Data drawn from English corners, English clubs and English church all show that those informal learning settings have a complentary role to play especially when the formal English classroom is found having various deficits. Data also confirm that informal settings offer the opportunity to close the gap between L1 and L2 learning processes, and nurtutre learners' communicative competence through social intercourse and intercultural exchanges. Moreover, EFL learning is inherently intercultural, which facilitate cross cultural perspectives through bilingualism and bridges over the indigenous cultural traditions and the western democratic values.
    • An Exploration of Foreign Language Anxiety and English Learning Motivation

      Meihua Liu; Wenhong Huang (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Perceived to be two important affective variables, anxiety and motivation have been found to be highly correlated to second/foreign language acquisition. In order to examine the relationship between foreign language anxiety, English learning motivation, and performance in English, the present study investigated 980 undergraduate students from three universities in China who answered a 76-item survey. Analyses of the data revealed that (1) the respondents generally did not feel anxious in English and were moderately motivated to learn English, (2) foreign language anxiety and English learning motivation were significantly negatively correlated with each other, and (3) both foreign language anxiety and English learning motivation were significantly correlated with students' performance in English. Among the scales, foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCAS), intrinsic motivation (IntrinM), instrumental motivation (InstruM), fear of being negatively evaluated (FLCAS1), and interest in foreign languages and cultures (IFLC) proved to be powerful predictors for the latter.
    • Sustainability of Teachers' International Experiences: Conditions for Institutionalization of International Program Outcomes

      Anatoli Rapoport (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Since World War II international exchange and training programs for educators have increasingly played an important role in developing prospective consciousness and awareness of cultural diversity and global interdependence among teachers. However, international programs have always depended on extra educational factors such as political, ideological, cultural, or financial circumstances. As a result, program sustainability and proper institutionalization of program's results that are a testimony of achieved success, are both matters of concern for program developers and alumni. This paper identifies factors and contexts that facilitate sustainable development of international programs and institutionalization of their outcomes. Two cohorts of international teacher program alumni from Russia and the United States were interviewed about the impact of exchange programs on participants' status and pedagogies. The study demonstrated that respondents consider three factors, namely, motivational, administrative, and cooperative, most critical for the institutionalization of international program results.
    • Family Care, Social Services, and Living Arrangements Factors Influencing Psychosocial Well-Being of Elderly from Selected Households in Ibadan, Nigeria

      D. Oladeji (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      This study examined family care, social services, and living arrangements factors influencing the psychosocial well-being of the elderly from selected households in Ibadan, Nigeria. The participants for the study consisted of 280 elderly persons randomly drawn from selected households in five local government areas of Ibadan metropolis. A descriptive survey design was employed in collecting the data from the respondents. Data collected were analyzed using chi-square (2) statistics. Results obtained indicated that significant relationships existed between family care (2=127.9, df = 12, <.05), social services (2=191.9, df = 12, <.05), and living arrangements (2=14.4, df = 6, <.05) and psychosocial well-being of elderly. The results implicate the need for the framework on the complex system of the elderly services. These areas of service include economic services, attitudes toward aging, roles played by the elderly, and health care services.