• Teacher Design Using Online Learning Resources: A Comparative Case Study of Science and Mathematics Teachers

      Mimi Recker; Linda Sellers; Lei Ye (Hindawi Limited, 2013-01-01)
      Using a comparative case study design, this paper explores the impacts of a technology-related professional development (TTPD) design aimed at helping science and mathematics teachers design classroom activities using the wealth of resources available on the Internet. Using the lens of curricular adaption and the notion of teachers’ varying pedagogical design capacity, we analyzed the experiences of four teachers in terms of the kinds of instructional activities teachers designed, how these were supported with online resources, and teachers’ perceptions of impacts on student learning. Findings suggested that participants used a variety of personally relevant design strategies when applying TTPD concepts to their contexts. In particular, the teachers discussed how they tailored instruction to fit their students’ needs and interests, and how they incorporated instructional games, simulations, and interactive resources to enhance motivation and provide self-paced instruction.
    • Teacher Efficacy as a Multigroup Model Using Latent Class Analysis

      Colleen Eddy; DONALD EASTON-BROOKS (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Research measuring teacher efficacy suggests that participants are representative of one-efficacy group. Of the few studies, which measures efficacy as a multidimensional occurrence, teachers are presented as having either low or high efficacy. These studies often use mean or median splits to determine low and high efficacy groups. What is of concern is whether there is a significant probability that those in the low and high groups are actually representative of the data Further, a question exists of whether teacher efficacy is statistically representative of one-efficacy group or representative of more than two efficacy groups. Using Latent Class Analysis (LCA), this study found that mathematics efficacy groups of preservice teachers vary based on where they were in their academic program.
    • Teacher Informal Collaboration for Professional Improvement: Beliefs, Contexts, and Experience

      Beatrice Avalos-Bevan; Martín Bascopé (Hindawi Limited, 2017-01-01)
      The article presents results of a study on teachers’ views, beliefs, and experience on school-based informal collaboration for professional improvement. It explores the relationship of teacher beliefs in the collective efficacy of their colleagues and school’s capital and culture with their beliefs and experience in school-based collaborative learning. The key source of evidence used is a survey of 1025 primary and secondary teachers in three geographical regions of Chile. Main results show that teachers hold positive beliefs about the collective efficacy of their colleagues and students in their schools but more negative ones regarding the contribution of parents. In terms of collaboration, teachers hold positive beliefs in general about its role for professional learning but indeed engage more in the “weaker” types of collaboration such as “sharing ideas” and “talking about teaching problems” and less in the more demanding ones such as “mutual lesson observation” and “team teaching.” Differences in teachers’ views, beliefs, and experience were examined in terms of level of teaching (primary/secondary), urban/rural location, school type (public and private), and school size.
    • Teacher Learning within a Multinational Project in an Upper Secondary School

      Liisa Ilomäki; Minna Lakkala; Auli Toom; Hanni Muukkonen (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2017-01-01)
      In this case study, we investigated teachers’ professional learning within a multinational project in an upper secondary school. The aim of the study was to investigate how the participating teachers adopted and applied the trialogical approach (TLA) in their pedagogical practices and their challenges in doing that. The mixed method approach was used for data collection and analysis. About one-fourth of the teachers participated in the activities, ten females and three males. Three groups were identified, based on their activity in the project: pilot teachers, active adopters, and adopters. Altogether 79 students (38 males and 41 females) answered a questionnaire concerning the pedagogical practices. The pedagogical revisions were well in line with TLA; the revised courses as well as new iterations and new ideas were indicators of the teachers’ creative implementation processes. However, some of the TLA ideas were more difficult to apply in an upper secondary school context; for example, the implementation of ideas involving cross-fertilization with other organizations and cultures was rare. In order to learn new pedagogical practices, teachers need organized time for collaborative planning, for reflecting, and for sharing.
    • Teacher Support as a Moderator of Behavioral Outcomes for Youth Exposed to Stressful Life Events

      Rebekah S. Huber; Sarah K. Sifers; Daniel Houlihan; Rachel Youngblom (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      The present study examined the relationship between teacher support, life stress, and behavioral outcomes in 103 youth. Participants completed questionnaires regarding life events, social support, personality, and behavior. Moderated regression analyses were conducted using youth perceptions of teacher support and negative life events to predict externalizing and internalizing problems. Results revealed a significant interaction between teacher support and life stress, indicating teacher support successfully moderated the effect of stress on externalizing problems. Main effects for life stress were consistent with previous literature suggesting that higher amounts of stress predict greater externalizing and internalizing problems. Implications for teacher support are discussed.
    • 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.
    • Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusion in a Pilot Inclusive Education Program: Implications for Instructional Leadership

      Zachary Y. Mngo; Agnes Y. Mngo (Hindawi Limited, 2018-01-01)
      The opinions of general education secondary school teachers in seven select schools involved in a pilot inclusive education program in the Northwest Region of Cameroon were sought. The findings reveal that most teachers in Cameroon still prefer separate special education institutions to inclusive ones. These conclusions contradict earlier research which showed that resistance to integrated classrooms was emanating from beliefs and customs. Teachers with some training on teaching students with disabilities and more experienced and highly educated teachers were more supportive of inclusive education indicating that resistance to the practice is linked to inadequate or complete lack of teachers’ preparedness. Younger, less experienced teachers with no training in special education indicated less enthusiasm regarding the benefits of inclusion, their ability to manage integrated classrooms, and teach students with disabilities. The implication of these findings for future research, institutional support systems, institutional policies, and overall instructional leadership is discussed in this article.
    • Teachers’ Professional Identities in an Era of Testing Accountability in Japan: The Case of Teachers in Low-Performing Schools

      Masaaki Katsuno (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      This paper presents tentative findings and discussions arising from an ongoing study on whether and how Japanese teachers’ professional identities have shifted in the context of heightened testing accountability. After a brief description of policy development that led to the introduction of national testing in 2007, previous studies of teacher identity are reviewed. Having explored some ambiguity in the existent theories regarding the trajectories and consequences of identity work, the paper goes on to report and to analyse the cases of six teachers from three low-performing elementary schools in a northern Japanese administrative region. With the limited size and scope of the sample, the present research cannot claim generalisability, but it can still raise a number of theoretical issues for further investigation, such as the precariousness of teachers’ strategies for sustaining their professional identities and the need for locating teachers’ identity work in the micropolitics of schools.
    • Teaching Cell Biology in Primary Schools

      Francele de Abreu Carlan; Lenira Maria Nunes Sepel; Elgion Lucio Silva Loreto (Hindawi Limited, 2014-01-01)
      Basic concepts of cell biology are essential for scientific literacy. However, because many aspects of cell theory and cell functioning are quite abstract, students experience difficulties understanding them. In this study, we investigated whether diverse teaching resources such as the use of replicas of Leeuwenhoek’s microscope, visualization of cells using an optical microscope, construction of three-dimensional cell models, and reading of a comic book about cells could mitigate the difficulties encountered when teaching cell biology to 8th-grade primary school students. The results suggest that these didactic activities improve students’ ability to learn concrete concepts about cell biology, such as the composition of living beings, growth, and cicatrization. Also, the development of skills was observed, as, for example, the notion of cell size. However, no significant improvements were observed in students’ ability to learn about abstract topics, such as the structures of subcellular organelles and their functions. These results suggest that many students in this age have not yet concluded Piaget’s concrete operational stage, indicating that the concepts required for the significant learning of abstract subjects need to be explored more thoroughly in the process of designing programs that introduce primary school students to cell biology.
    • Teaching Cell Biology in Primary Schools

      Francele de Abreu Carlan; Lenira Maria Nunes Sepel; Elgion Lucio Silva Loreto (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2014-01-01)
    • Teaching Mathematics through Concept Motivation and Action Learning

      Sergei Abramovich; Arcadii Z. Grinshpan; David L. Milligan (Hindawi Limited, 2019-01-01)
      This is a practice-led, conceptual paper describing selected means for action learning and concept motivation at all levels of mathematics education. It details the approach used by the authors to devise insights for practitioners of mathematics teaching. The paper shows that this approach in mathematics education based on action learning in conjunction with the natural motivation stemming from common sense is effective. Also, stimulating questions, computer analysis (internet search included), and classical famous problems are important motivating tools in mathematics, which are particularly beneficial in the framework of action learning. The authors argue that the entire K-20 mathematics curriculum under a single umbrella is practicable when techniques of concept motivation and action learning are in place throughout that broad spectrum. This argument is supported by various examples that could be helpful in practice of school teachers and university instructors. The authors found pragmatic cause for action learning within mathematics education at virtually any point in student academic lives.
    • Technology in the Aid of Delivering Economic Content to Teachers: Virtual Economics v. 3

      John R. Swinton; Benjamin Scafidi (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      We examine the impact on student achievement of a face-to-face teacher workshop that also provides economics instructors with access to an electronic library of instructional and reference material for their economics classroom—Virtual Economics v. 3 (VE3), offered by the Council for Economic Education. Based on evidence using student and teacher-level administrative data from the Georgia Department of Education and controlling for students’ prior achievement in mathematics, we find evidence that the VE3 workshop experience increases student achievement in high school economics. Our difference-in-differences estimates suggest that teacher participation in the VE3 workshop increases student achievement by 0.061 standard deviations on Georgia’s high stakes economics end-of-course test. Future research should seek estimating the effect of treatments in education such as the VE3 workshop using randomized controlled trials (RCT).
    • Test Accessibility: Item Reviews and Lessons Learned from Four State Assessments

      Peter A. Beddow; Stephen N. Elliott; Ryan J. Kettler (Hindawi Limited, 2013-01-01)
      The push toward universally designed assessments has influenced several states to modify items from their general achievement tests to improve their accessibility for all test takers. The current study involved the review of 159 items used by one state across four content areas including science, coupled with the review of 261 science items in three other states. The item reviews were conducted using the Accessibility Rating Matrix (Beddow et al. 2009), a tool for systematically identifying access barriers in test items, and for facilitating the subsequent modification process. The design allowed for within-state comparisons across several variables for one state and for within-content area (i.e., science) comparisons across states. Findings indicated that few items were optimally accessible and ratings were consistent across content areas, states, grade bands, and item types. Suggestions for modifying items are discussed and recommendations are offered to guide the development of optimally accessible test items.
    • The Affective Dimensions of Mathematical Difficulties in Schoolchildren

      Morena Lebens; Martin Graff; Peter Mayer (Hindawi Limited, 2011-01-01)
      Mathematical difficulties (MDs) are frequently characterised by cognitive deficits such as ineffective problem solving strategies and a lack of computational fluency. The established literature indicates that mathematical achievement is not only a function of cognitive factors but it also points to the importance of affective factors for the development of mathematical achievement. In the light of this evidence, the exploration of children's affective responses towards mathematics becomes a central issue. Whereas previous studies tended to research affective motivational constructs such as self-efficacy in isolation from other related constructs, the literature suffers from a shortage of research on the relationship between different affective motivational variables and their impact on mathematical achievement in different age and achievement bands. The present paper aims to address this aim by employing a newly developed instrument to measure affective motivational variables. Overall, the present findings support the assumption that children of average ability are less influenced by affective factors than children with mathematical difficulties.
    • The Assessment of Critical Thinking Critically Assessed in Higher Education: A Validation Study of the CCTT and the HCTA

      An Verburgh; Sigrid François; Jan Elen; Rianne Janssen (Hindawi Limited, 2013-01-01)
      Although critical thinking (CT) is generally acknowledged as an important aim of higher education, no validated instrument to assess CT in Dutch is available. Moreover, most instruments are validated on a broad sample with people of diverse educational backgrounds. This possibly hampers the reliability of assessing effects of instructional interventions within educational programmes, where diversity is less. This study investigates the psychometric quality of a translation of the Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTT) and the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (HCTA) in a sample of Dutch speaking freshmen majoring in educational sciences. Results show a higher content validity and preference by students for the HCTA. The CCTT, however, takes less time to administer and score, which makes it easier to use the CCTT on a larger scale. Neither of the two tests shows a high overall reliability. The strength of the correlations between the constructed-response items and the forced-choice items of the HCTA with the CCTT calls for further research on the precise relation between CT skills and dispositions and the ability of the HCTA to assess both independently.
    • The Assessment of Written Phrasal Constructs and Grammar of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students with Varying Expressive Language Abilities

      Lisa M. Bowers; Hannah Dostal; Kimberly A. Wolbers; Shannon C. Graham (Hindawi Limited, 2018-01-01)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the written phrasal constructs and grammar usage of deaf and hard of hearing students with varying expressive language skills. Twenty-nine d/hh middle school students attending a residential school for the deaf were divided into three language groups: students using spoken English, ASL/English bilinguals, and language delayed learners. Personal narrative writing samples were collected at the beginning, middle, and end of the academic year. The samples were divided into T-units and coded for language variables, including word efficiency ratio (WER) scores according to the Structural Analysis of Written Language (SAWL) and phrasal errors. The repeated measures ANOVA for WER III showed a statistically significant main effect with no between-subjects factor, demonstrating that students from all three language groups made positive gains in their written outcomes over one academic year. There was a reduction in phrasal errors over the course of the year for all language groups. Differences in word efficiency ratio scores by language groups are discussed. Findings from this study suggest that SAWL is an effective tool in assessing the grammaticality of written compositions for d/hh students with varying language abilities over time. Instructional implications are discussed.
    • The Better You Feel the Better You Learn: Do Warm Colours and Rounded Shapes Enhance Learning Outcome in Multimedia Learning?

      Hannes Münchow; CHRISTOPH MENGELKAMP; Maria Bannert (Hindawi Limited, 2017-01-01)
      The aim of the present study was to examine whether fostering positive activating affect during multimedia learning enhances learning outcome. University students were randomly assigned to either a multimedia learning environment designed to induce positive activating affect through the use of “warm” colours and rounded shapes (n=61) or an affectively neutral environment that used achromatic colours and sharp edges (n=50). Participants learned about the topic of functional neuroanatomy for 20 minutes and had to answer several questions for comprehension and transfer afterwards. Affective states as well as achievement goal orientations were investigated before and after the learning phase using questionnaires. The results show that participants in the affectively positive environment were superior in comprehension as well as transfer when initial affect was strong. Preexperimental positive affect was therefore a predictor of comprehension and a moderator for transfer. Goal orientations did not influence these effects. The findings support the idea that positive affect, induced through the design of the particular multimedia learning environment, can facilitate performance if initial affective states are taken into account.
    • The Correlation Study of Interest at Physics and Knowledge of Mathematics Basic Concepts towards the Ability to Solve Physics Problems of 7th Grade Students at Junior High School in Ambon Maluku Province, Indonesia

      Izaak Hendrik Wenno (Hindawi Limited, 2015-01-01)
      The purpose of the study is to determine the relation between interest at Physics and knowledge of Mathematics basic concepts with the ability to solve Physics problems. The populations are all students in the 7th grade at the junior high school in Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia. The used sample schools are Junior High Schools 8, 9, and 10 during 2013/2014 academic year with 44 students per school. Two independent variables and one dependent variable are studied. The independent variables are the interest at Physics (X1) and the knowledge of Mathematics basic concepts (X2), while the dependent variable is the ability to solve Physics problems (Y). Data collection technique for X1 is an interview with questionnaire instrument, while for the X2 and Y is using the test technique with test items instrument. The obtained data from the measurements were analyzed with descriptive analysis and inferential analysis. The results show that there is a positive relation between interest at Physics and knowledge of Mathematics basic concepts with students’ ability to solve Physics problems.
    • 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.
    • The Effect of an Educational Computer Game for the Achievement of Factual and Simple Conceptual Knowledge Acquisition

      Luis C. Almeida (Hindawi Limited, 2012-01-01)
      This paper presents findings of a quantitative investigation of how games affect achievement of an educational objective based on the foundations of information processing. The results suggest that games can be used to assist achievement of classroom content. The results of this experimental quantitative study pointed to the overwhelming evidence that games outperformed the control group (nongames) in the achievement of factual knowledge in a group of freshman education students at a medium-size university.