Education Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. A Cross-National Study of Students’ Understanding of Genetics Concepts: Implications from Similarities and Differences in England and Turkey Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:41:51 +0000 This research is aimed at exploring 16- to 19-year-old students’ understanding of fundamental genetics concepts, which has considerable importance for developing conceptual understanding of genetics related phenomena. A cross-national descriptive research method was used to explore English and Turkish students’ understandings of genetics concepts. Data were collected by a two-tier multiple choice diagnostic instrument, The Two-Tier Genetics Concept Test, which required students to justify their choice of option by giving a reason. The results indicate that there are some differences between the English students’ and Turkish students’ understanding of fundamental concepts of genetics; however, there are some notable similarities between the alternative conceptions held by students in the two samples. The common alternative conceptions seen in both of the groups indicate that understanding the concepts occurred regardless of contextual factors. Nevertheless different proportions of the common alternative conceptions and different levels of understanding suggest that conceptualisations develop under the influence of different educational contexts. Didem Kılıç, Keith S. Taber, and Mark Winterbottom Copyright © 2016 Didem Kılıç et al. All rights reserved. Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers Thu, 14 Jan 2016 14:16:55 +0000 The current study aims at better understanding the factors that promote and hinder chemistry teachers in teaching a gifted student in their regular chemistry class. In addition, it provides evidence of ways that teachers perceive a professional development course dealing with a gifted student in a mixed-abilities science classroom. Eighty-four photonarratives were collected from 14 chemistry teachers that participated in the course about teaching a gifted student in a regular classroom (41 promoting, 43 hindering factors). Factors that concern chemistry education specifically as well as general practices were raised by the teachers. The teachers were asked to “take a picture” (namely, of an external object or person); they considered most of the factors to be internal factors that are dependent on themselves and therefore concluded that they have the power to influence them. The internal factors can be addressed in the PD course; however the external factors should be managed by the school principal and district educational administration. Naama Benny and Ron Blonder Copyright © 2016 Naama Benny and Ron Blonder. All rights reserved. Self-Efficacy, Learner Satisfaction, and Associated Factors of Simulation Based Education among Midwifery Students: A Cross-Sectional Study Tue, 22 Dec 2015 07:36:39 +0000 Introduction. Midwifery training needs intensive skill practice. Simulation based teaching is found to be a good alternative to fill skill teaching gaps and to safeguard human patients. Objective. To assess self-efficacy, learner satisfaction, and associated factors of simulation based education among Midwifery students in Gondar University, 2015. Methods. Cross-sectional study was conducted among Midwifery students. A total of 144 students participated in the study. SPSS version 20 statistical software was used for analysis. Binary and multivariable logistic regression analysis were done to assess associations of explanatory variables with outcome variables. Finally the strength of association was determined by adjusted odds ratio with 95% confidence interval and value < 0.05. Result. In this study the proportion of satisfaction and confidence in simulation learning was 54.2% and 50.7% among participants, respectively. Students who perceived instructors’ assistance during skill practice as “good” showed statistically significant satisfaction, while those students who were satisfied and perceived instructors’ assistance as “good” showed statistically significant confidence during skill practice. Conclusion and Recommendation. levels of satisfaction and self-efficacy of simulation based teaching among Midwifery students are low. Designing a mechanism to improve instructors’ assistance at simulation based teaching is recommended. Temesgen Worku Gudayu, Marta Berta Badi, and Mengstu Melkamu Asaye Copyright © 2015 Temesgen Worku Gudayu et al. All rights reserved. Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Factors Leading to Poor Clinical Skill Development in Medical Education: A Descriptive Study Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:28:18 +0000 Background. Our study was taken up to explore the possible factors influencing poor performance of undergraduate students in clinical skill demonstration. Aims. Identification of factors leading to poor clinical skill development in undergraduate medical students. Settings and Design. This is an observational study. Methods and Material. The study population comprised the undergraduate students and teachers of the Department of Medicine. All were provided with structured questionnaires who responded anonymously which were then interpreted with the help of software statistical calculator. Results. Of the 145 students, only 57 (39.3%) actually attended medicine ward. The major factors that the students reported were large groups of students around a patient (94.74%  ± 4.67), inadequacy of information in books of clinical medicine (78.9%  ± 8.53), overcrowded unclean wards (73.7%  ± 9.2), lack of practice of clinical methods at home (50.8%  ± 10.4), and timing of classes (42.1%  ± 10.3). Teachers cited poor attendance of students to wards (76.2%  ± 17.1), poor condition of wards and lack of separate enclosures to teach (100%), and large groups around a single patient (66.67%  ± 17.9). Conclusions. Absenteeism of students, overcrowding of wards, and lack of uniformity of study materials were prime factors. Chatterjee Nandini, Das Suvajit, Mukhopadhyay Kaushik, and Chatterjee Chandan Copyright © 2015 Chatterjee Nandini et al. All rights reserved. Leadership Style: School Perspective in Cameroon Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:32:59 +0000 This paper examines leadership styles of secondary school principals in Cameroon, in terms of transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles. This paper discusses the leadership styles in Cameroon and puts forward ideas for continuous improvement. A qualitative approach, using a semistructured interview, was adopted. It was conducted on ten principals, ten teachers, and ten students. Majority of respondents from schools described their principals as transformational leaders. Doubts are cast on the nature of transformational leadership in schools in Cameroon, since there is less training and development for leadership in schools. Asan Vernyuy Wirba Copyright © 2015 Asan Vernyuy Wirba. All rights reserved. Developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Lessons Learned from Intervention Studies Thu, 13 Aug 2015 09:49:43 +0000 Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is generally accepted as positively impacting teaching quality and student learning. Therefore, research on PCK development in (prospective) teachers is highly relevant. Based on a search in three databases (ERIC, PsycInfo, and Web of Science), a systematic review is conducted on intervention studies aiming at PCK development. The research questions are threefold: (1) How are the studies designed? (2) How are the interventions designed? and (3) What elements of interventions contribute to PCK development? The results show that most intervention studies are conducted in math and science education and use a qualitative methodology. Reflection, PCK courses, contact with other teachers, and experiences in educational practice are typically part of effective interventions. The review enables the identification of clear guidelines that may strengthen future research on stimulating PCK. Marie Evens, Jan Elen, and Fien Depaepe Copyright © 2015 Marie Evens et al. All rights reserved. Motives of Masters for the Teaching Profession: Development of the MMTP Questionnaire Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:58:52 +0000 Increasing teacher shortages provide incentives for conducting research into the motives of future teachers aspiring to work in education. The present study builds on previous research into motivation for entering the teaching profession. Given the shortage of studies carried out with direct empirical foundations, multiphase factor analyses, and large respondent groups, the present research focuses on developing the questionnaire Motives of Masters for the Teaching Profession (MMTP) while meeting these methodological criteria. Master’s students described their motivations for entering the teaching profession. Confirmatory factor analysis was carried out in order to confirm the factor structure produced by the exploratory factor analysis . On the basis of content and statistical arguments, a 7-factor solution was obtained and a 35-item questionnaire was produced. Future cross-contextual research on the MMTP should attempt to improve the generalizability of the questionnaire. Wil Meeus, Marlies Baeten, and Liesje Coertjens Copyright © 2015 Wil Meeus et al. All rights reserved. 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 Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:50:32 +0000 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. Izaak Hendrik Wenno Copyright © 2015 Izaak Hendrik Wenno. All rights reserved. Korean-Origin Kindergarten Children’s Response to African-American Characters in Race-Themed Picture Books Mon, 06 Apr 2015 08:53:08 +0000 In spite of the contributions of previous studies about multicultural education, children’s literature, and teaching for social justice, no study had investigated their intersection. This qualitative case study explores how kindergarten-age Korean children respond to African-American characters in picture books during read-alouds. The data were collected by audio-recordings, open-ended interviews, children’s artifacts, and observational field notes. One of the findings was that the children exhibited resistance to black characters, and their resistance was shaped within their larger social and cultural surroundings such as the parents’ racial views towards black people and the dominant racial discourse of Korean community. Findings suggest that the goal of a literacy program in bilingual children’s classrooms has to be that students learn not only about biliteracy skills but also about the value and meaning of the human experience in our pluralistic society. So Jung Kim Copyright © 2015 So Jung Kim. All rights reserved. Patterns, Consequences, and Possible Causes of Dropout in Upper Secondary Education in Mexico Wed, 18 Mar 2015 08:55:08 +0000 The present study provides a detailed analysis of upper secondary education dropout patterns in Mexico, exploring its consequences and possible causes. To perform the analysis we combine different databases and statistical methods ranging from the use of surveys with information on specific individuals to data aggregated at the municipal and state level. The main value added is the simultaneous analysis of the influence of individual-family, community, and macroaggregate factors, on school dropout in the country. Raja Bentaouet Kattan and Miguel Székely Copyright © 2015 Raja Bentaouet Kattan and Miguel Székely. All rights reserved. Developing an Algorithm Learning Tool for High School Introductory Computer Science Sun, 15 Mar 2015 14:16:31 +0000 This paper presents the initial stage of developing an algorithm learning tool for the students of the Information Systems course at Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology in Japan. The tool applies the concept of Algorithm Visualization (AV) technology and was used as an aid for learning basic algorithms such as searching and sorting. Two AV types were included in the tool, one with more input options and control and the other with less. Previously proposed AV evaluation properties and the Categories of Algorithm Learning Objectives (CALO) were considered in designing the tool’s evaluation questionnaire. Written tests based on CALO were also designed. Posttest results indicate moderate improvement in the performance of the students. Test results also show that student abilities match some of the algorithm learning objectives. The students who used the AV with more options have a slightly higher gain score average in the posttest compared with those who used the AV with limited control. Overall assessment indicates a positive evaluation of the tool and signifies the students’ preferred AV characteristics. After factor analysis of the evaluation questionnaire, three factors were extracted which correspond to the suggested AV evaluation properties. These results may be used in improving the learning tool and the evaluation questionnaire. Aimee Theresa Avancena, Akinori Nishihara, and Chika Kondo Copyright © 2015 Aimee Theresa Avancena et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Mathmatics Courses in the Assessment Process of Engineering ABET-Outcomes Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:59:46 +0000 This paper deals with the mathematics courses offered to the engineering students at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). The paper focuses essentially on the level of achievement by the students of the outcomes of the mathematics and how this reflects on the satisfaction of the engineering ABET-outcomes. Mapping between the course outcomes of the different math courses offered at UAEU to engineering students and the engineering ABET criteria ((a)–(k)) was made. It is found that most of the ABET-outcomes are to a great extent in-line with the outcomes of our mathematics courses. This encourages us to use the achievement of the courses outcomes as an assessment tool for the engineering ABET-outcomes. We considered both direct and indirect assessment tools to assess the level of satisfaction of the math courses outcomes. The performances of the students according to both methods are then used to assess the achievements of the ABET-outcomes. The results generally show very good level of achievement of the outcomes, although few ABET-outcomes were not achieved well according to our performance criteria. Accordingly, we provide some comments and recommendations aiming at the improvement of the program. Salah-Addin B. Al-Omari, Qasem M. Al-Mdallal, Youssef El-Khatib, and Basim Abu-Jdayil Copyright © 2015 Salah-Addin B. Al-Omari et al. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Primary School Teacher and Student Attitudes towards Science and Technology Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:33:48 +0000 This study focuses on the effects of teachers’ attitudes towards teaching about science and technology on student attitudes towards science and technology. A one-year longitudinal study involving 91 teachers and 1822 students from the higher years of Dutch primary schools showed that students develop less positive attitudes towards science and technology during their primary school years and that girls showed less positive attitudes than boys. Female teachers showed less positive attitudes towards teaching about science and technology than male teachers. Girls appeared to be susceptible of their teacher’s attitudes and especially developed less positive attitudes when their female teacher showed less enthusiasm for teaching science and technology. Implications for teacher education and teacher recruitment are discussed. Eddie Denessen, Nienke Vos, Fred Hasselman, and Monika Louws Copyright © 2015 Eddie Denessen et al. All rights reserved. International Student’s Challenge and Adjustment to College Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:06:55 +0000 International students’ enrollment in higher education in the US has expanded considerably in the last decades. In this study, international students’ experiences were examined in academic and sociocultural settings. Through qualitative interviews, the findings revealed that international students deal with academic challenges, social isolation, and cultural adjustment. Specifically, academic challenges included communication with professors, classmates, and staff. Consequently, they have to deal with social isolation when engaging in different group activities. Culturally, they need to confront the different ways of thinking and doing in the US. In order to overcome these challenges, students have adopted resources that mainly are derived from the university to overcome these challenges. Thus, as demonstrated in this study, having a better understanding of these students’ academic challenges, university faculty and staff can recognize students’ needs and effectively offer supportive campus resources and services. The university needs to be prepared to meet students not only academically but also socially and culturally. This study also suggests that some preparations need to be made by the university that will embrace international students upon their arrival. Hsiao-ping Wu, Esther Garza, and Norma Guzman Copyright © 2015 Hsiao-ping Wu et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Students’ Effort Scores in a Structured Inquiry Unit on Long-Term Recall Abilities of Content Knowledge Wed, 18 Feb 2015 06:20:54 +0000 The influence of students’ investment and perception during participation in structured inquiry-based learning on their long-term retention was analyzed to gain more insights into the underlying reasons for long-term retention through structured inquiry learning. Therefore achievement was correlated to effort, lesson rating and perceived competence for learning (PCL), and subject grades. 126 ninth graders participating in a structured inquiry-based interdisciplinary Biology and Physics module were analyzed. Students’ knowledge was even measured four times: 2 weeks before, directly after, and six and 12 weeks after module participation. Effort, usefulness, and PCL were observed once, directly after module participation. The invested effort during the lesson correlated positively with the knowledge score measured six weeks and twelve weeks after the lesson. Thus, high effort individuals achieved high knowledge scores at the medium and the long-term measurement. Therefore, effort is a variable that seems to be linked to long-term achievement. Furthermore, Biology and Physics grades reflected individual abilities to acquire long-term knowledge, while a high preknowledge level did not. This result indicates learning strategies as possible core concept underlying individual achievement levels. Sarah Schmid and Franz X. Bogner Copyright © 2015 Sarah Schmid and Franz X. Bogner. All rights reserved. South Korean Teachers’ Perceptions of Integrating Information and Communication Technologies into Literacy Instruction Mon, 02 Feb 2015 08:46:02 +0000 We investigated South Korean literacy and language arts teachers’ perceptions about integrating interactive communication technologies (ICTs) into instruction. The survey addressed their access to various applications and technologies associated with ICTs, access to technological support, frequency and importance of use, and obstacles to and conceptions of integrating ICTs. Descriptive and correlational data are reported suggesting that although classroom use of ICTs is mandated at the national level, South Korean teachers perceive access to some tools and applications, as well as the availability of technical assistance at both the school and district level, to be limited. We compare data from this study to our findings from a similar study conducted in the USA and discuss what the findings reveal about integration of ICTs into literacy instruction in South Korea. The implications for education policy in South Korea and for continued research to clarify findings across national and cultural boundaries are discussed. For example, despite reporting greater impact of obstacles and less technical support than their US counterparts, South Korean teachers reported using ICTs more frequently than teachers from the USA. Sangho Pang, David Reinking, Amy Hutchison, and Deanna Ramey Copyright © 2015 Sangho Pang et al. All rights reserved. A Study on the Relationship between English Reading Comprehension and English Vocabulary Knowledge Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:33:00 +0000 The present study aimed to investigate the overall and relative contribution of four subcomponents of vocabulary knowledge to reading comprehension. The four vocabulary subcomponents were vocabulary size, word association knowledge, collocation knowledge, and morphological knowledge. The participants were 124 college students from a university in Taipei, Taiwan. Six instruments were employed: (1) a reading comprehension test, (2) a vocabulary size test, (3) a test on word association knowledge and collocation knowledge, (4) a test of morphological knowledge, (5) motivation attitude scale, and (6) a self-efficacy scale. The results can be summarized as follows. First, after the effects of motivation and self-efficacy have been controlled, the four vocabulary subcomponents altogether contributed significantly (20%) to reading comprehension performance. Moreover, depth of vocabulary knowledge (including word association knowledge, collocation knowledge, and morphological knowledge) provided an additional explained variance (6%) in reading comprehension performance over and above vocabulary size. Finally, among the three subcomponents of depth of vocabulary knowledge, collocation knowledge explained the most proportion of variance (5.6%) in contributing to performance on reading comprehension. Based on these findings, some implications and suggestions for future research were provided. Yu-han Ma and Wen-ying Lin Copyright © 2015 Yu-han Ma and Wen-ying Lin. All rights reserved. A Survey on the Permanence of Finnish Students’ Arithmetical Skills and the Role of Motivation Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:52:07 +0000 This study concerns the permanence of the basic arithmetical skills of Finnish students by investigating how a group () of the eighth and eleventh year students and the university students of humanities perform in problems that are slightly modified versions of certain PISA 2003 mathematics test items. The investigation also aimed at finding out what the impact of motivation-related constructs, for example, students’ achievement goal orientations, is and what their perceived competence beliefs and task value on their performance in mathematics are. According to our findings, the younger students’ arithmetical skills have declined through the course of ten years but the older students’ skills have become generic to a greater extent. Further, three motivational clusters could be identified accounting for 7.5 per cent of students’ performance in the given assignments. These results are compatible with the outcomes of the recent assessments of the Finnish students’ mathematical skills and support the previous research on the benefits of learning orientation combined with the high expectation of success and the valuing of mathematics learning. Timo Tossavainen, Pertti Väisänen, Jorma K. Merikoski, Tuija Lukin, and Hannele Suomalainen Copyright © 2015 Timo Tossavainen et al. All rights reserved. Increasing Trends in Orthopedic Fellowships Are Not due to Inadequate Residency Training Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:56:20 +0000 Orthopedic residents have one of the highest fellowship participation rates among medical specialities and there are growing concerns that inadequate residency training may be contributing to this trend. Therefore, a mixed-exploratory research survey was distributed to all 148 graduating Canadian orthopedic residents to investigate their perceptions and attitudes for pursuing fellowships. A response rate of 33% () was obtained with the majority of residents undertaking one (27%) or two (60%) fellowships. Surgical-skill development was reported as the most common motivating factor, followed by employment and marketability; malpractice protection and financial reasons were the least relevant. The overwhelming majority of residents (94%, ) felt adequately prepared by their residency training for independent general practice, and 84% () of respondents did not feel that current fellowship trends were due to poor residency training. Three common themes were expressed in their comments: the growing perceived expectation by healthcare professionals and employers to be fellowship-certified, the integration of fellowship training into the surgical education hierarchy, and the failure of residency training curriculums to accommodate for this trend. In conclusion, Canadian orthopedic residents are confident of their residency training and are increasingly pursuing fellowships to primarily develop their surgical skills and expertise. K. A. Almansoori and M. Clark Copyright © 2015 K. A. Almansoori and M. Clark. All rights reserved. Self-Regulation and Rubrics Assessment in Structural Engineering Subjects Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:21:24 +0000 Present-day university systems need to educate graduates who are confident and highly independent, attributes that are especially relevant to engineering. We need to develop active methods that can analyze the prior knowledge of students and that impart teaching based on self-regulation and self-assessment by the student. In this study, we work with a sample of 116 students of architecture following a Structural Engineering subject module (61 in the experimental group and 55 in the control group). The objectives of the investigation are (1) to test whether significant differences exist in the knowledge of students after a training program in self-regulation and (2) to test whether the use of rubrics will improve the perceptions of students with regard to their own knowledge. We found that students trained in self-regulation methodologies improved their procedural knowledge in the field of structural engineering. Likewise, student self-perceptions of their own knowledge increased in relation to the design and expert assessment of structural elements and the graphic representation of constructive elements. María Consuelo Sáiz Manzanares, Miguel Ángel Sánchez Báez, Vanesa Ortega-López, and Juan M. Manso Villalaín Copyright © 2015 María Consuelo Sáiz Manzanares et al. All rights reserved. Concept Maps for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in Electronics Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:32:10 +0000 The paper describes how to employ the concept mapping technology in engineering education in the field of Electronics. The overall knowledge domain ontology in the field is shown. It is underlined that the concept maps serve as a suitable tool to support instructors in promoting students’ comprehension of the studying material and in improving their understanding of new concepts. Introduction of an original educational thesaurus is proposed. Such a thesaurus helps learners to see what they have acquired from the lessons. It supports them in making connections between new and prior concepts and reinforces knowledge integration by such a promotion. The developed concept maps are regarded as a valuable instrument of many assessment procedures. They represent learners’ knowledge providing informative and reflective feedbacks tailored to learners’ personal styles and requests. Valery Vodovozov and Zoja Raud Copyright © 2015 Valery Vodovozov and Zoja Raud. All rights reserved. Preparedness and Practice Management Skills of Graduating Dental Students Entering the Work Force Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:22:58 +0000 Dental education aims to produce competent graduates with the ability to provide quality care to the patients and facilitate the smooth integration into professional practice. The objective of this study was to explore the overall preparedness of graduands for integrating into professional practice. The survey was tested for reliability and analysed the career paths, learning preferences, overall knowledge, and confidence amongst graduating dentists in integrating and managing a dental practice on graduation. Sixty-nine students (89.6%) in age group of 20–50 years participated in the study. Students indicated a high level of confidence in their skills and ability to work in a team in a practice or collaboratively with other colleagues and specialists but expressed some reservation on their practice management skills (73.1%). Challenges in gaining employment and pressures to repay educational debts are amongst the reasons for graduands preferring a paid job immediately on graduation regardless of demographics. Students indicated that an increase in speciality training and clinical/outreach placements could enhance employability. This study explores the students’ perception of their confidences, knowledge, learning preferences, and practice management skills as a method of evaluating their preparedness to practice on graduation and provides a base line for curriculum structuring to prepare graduands to enter the competitive dental work force. Jane Manakil, Selwa Rihani, and Roy George Copyright © 2015 Jane Manakil et al. All rights reserved. Management and Administration Issues in Greek Secondary Schools: Self-Evaluation of the Head Teacher Role Wed, 31 Dec 2014 06:14:53 +0000 This study investigated the importance school headmasters attach to a number of activities associated with the effective performance of their duties. This recording aims to examine the potential of these school headmasters to exercise their role and work within the highly bureaucratic and hierarchical Greek educational system. These activities include (a) establishment and realization of a common vision and mission of the school unit as well as its culture identification and formation, (b) teaching and tutoring of students, (c) management and development of the educational personnel, (d) conducting of administrative affairs and management of resources, and (e) good relations with parents, entities of external environment of the school unit, and the local community. The study found that the headmasters consider activities concerning their bureaucratic/conductive role as well as their leading behaviour as “very important” at very high percentages (over 70.0%). However, tasks involving them in administrative issues are, according to them, “less” up to “least important” so that their role is effectively fulfilled. Statistically significant diversifications have been observed in certain activities associated with the efficient performance of their duties in relation to their gender, years of experience in leadership position, and the size of the school unit. Argyrios Argyriou and George Iordanidis Copyright © 2014 Argyrios Argyriou and George Iordanidis. All rights reserved. English Language Learner Boys and Girls Reading and Math Achievement as a Function of Early-Exit and Late-Exit Bilingual Programs: A Multiyear, Statewide Analysis Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:49:08 +0000 We examined the reading and math performance of English Language Learner boys and girls in Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 as a function of early-exit or late-exit transitional bilingual education program. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Reading and Mathematics scores of all English Language Learner boys and girls who were enrolled in either early-exit or late-exit bilingual education programs were analyzed for the 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 school years. Results were not consistent across reading and math, across the 4 grade levels, and across the 3 school years. On the TAKS Reading test, 5 instances were present in which statistically significant differences were revealed for boys and 11 for girls. On the TAKS Mathematics test, 8 statistically significant results were revealed for boys and 6 for girls. These statistically significant differences were not consistently in favor of either the early-exit or the late-exit bilingual education programs. Moreover, the differences that were present reflected small to trivial effect sizes. As such, neither the early-exit nor the late-exit bilingual education program was demonstrated to be more effective than its counterpart. Rosa Maria Martinez, John R. Slate, and Cynthia Martinez-Garcia Copyright © 2014 Rosa Maria Martinez et al. All rights reserved. Transforming a Course to Blended Learning for Student Engagement Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:04:53 +0000 The rising costs of higher education, along with the learning styles and needs of modern students, are changing the instructional landscape. Students of today do less and less well in the “lecture only” format, and staffing this format with live faculty is extremely expensive. MOOCs and other technology-heavy options are low cost but quite impersonal. Blended instruction has promise, with the ultimate goal of cost-efficient student engagement. This paper reports on a major course transformation to achieve student engagement in a large, formerly lecture-only course. The resulting blended-learning course features clickers, web-based operationalization of students helping students, media-rich interactive online materials, event credit, and newly added student-produced video tutorials. Results show that the addition of the student-produced video tutorials increased the student engagement in the course. Charles E. Downing, Julia Spears, and Michaela Holtz Copyright © 2014 Charles E. Downing et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Study to Evaluate the Educational Impact of E-Learning Tools on Griffith University Pharmacy Students’ Level of Understanding Using Bloom’s and SOLO Taxonomies Tue, 09 Dec 2014 00:10:17 +0000 Objectives. To design a series of e-learning tools within the framework of a defined educational pedagogy to complement the conventional pharmacology curriculum at Griffith University and evaluate the impact of this strategy on student level of understanding through taxonomic classification of student final exam answers. Methods. A series of 148 e-learning tools was designed for 3rd year undergraduate pharmacy students and incorporated into their curriculum during 2012. The educational benefits of the e-learning tools were evaluated by analyses of student level of understanding (by SOLO taxonomy) at the final exams between the control group (standard curricula) in 2011 and the intervention group (standard curricula + e-learning tools) in 2012. Results. Backward linear regression analysis demonstrated GPA to be the most significant predictor of level of understanding, while the intervention group was a highly significant predictor for greater level of understanding in semester two. Conclusion. E-learning tools appeared to significantly improve student level of understanding as scored by the SOLO taxonomy when students engaged highly with the tools. Abdullah Karaksha, Gary Grant, S. Niru Nirthanan, Andrew K. Davey, and Shailendra Anoopkumar-Dukie Copyright © 2014 Abdullah Karaksha et al. All rights reserved. Preservice Education: Perspectives about Integrating Caregivers Mon, 08 Dec 2014 00:10:16 +0000 A disconnect is present between philosophical desire to actively involve caregivers in early intervention (EI) and implementation by EI providers. Preservice education may shape beliefs and build knowledge and skills supporting active participation of caregivers. Two graduate clinicians in speech-language pathology completed a practicum with a two-year-old child, Sam, and his family with half of the sessions including active participation by the caregivers. Analysis of progress notes, individual reflections, and interview transcript yielded clinicians reporting beliefs in collaboration with caregivers and building relationships with caregivers as key to involving caregivers. The clinicians demonstrated knowledge regarding intervention techniques with differences in progress notes based on the presence of the caregiver in sessions. This practicum opportunity promoted development of beliefs, knowledge, and skills about actively involving caregivers in early intervention. Valerie E. Boyer Copyright © 2014 Valerie E. Boyer. All rights reserved. Against the Standards: Analyzing Expectations and Discourse of Educators regarding Students with Disabilities in a Kindergarten Classroom Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:32:30 +0000 This two-year ethnographic case study critically examines the language educators use to describe students with disabilities who are considered to present challenging behaviors in one classroom. Focusing on the language and practices used by one special education teacher and three teaching assistants, this paper explores how educators respond to students’ behaviors by analyzing educators’ utterances and the implication of such use for the education of the students. Using critical discourse analysis, this paper highlights how educators’ language in the classroom reflects a discourse of expectations that is based on various social standards and pressures that educators have to juggle. Educators expressed academic and behavioral standards by comparing students’ performance to the expected norm as well as through comparisons between students. Based on such comparisons, some students were constructed as always lacking and ultimately defined by the adjectives originally used to describe them. Students were perceived to embody defiance or smartness, the characteristics by which they were defined. Fernanda T. Orsati Copyright © 2014 Fernanda T. Orsati. All rights reserved. The Effects of Training on the Competitive Economic Advantage of Companies in Spain Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:29:29 +0000 The search for factors that lead to competitive advantage in a company in relation to its competitors is a widely debated subject; a wide range of issues have been examined to determine which factors are the most influential. The aim of this paper is to study training effect on business results (particularly on firm’s financial turnover). For the present research, the classical model of Industrial Economy as a frame of reference has been used. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire sent to 381 large organizations in Catalonia (Spain) during 2009 and 2010. The empirical section of the present article was developed using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results relate training to company’s financial turnover in a positive way. The General Expenditure and Costs is the variable that most contributes to the explanation of firms’ financial turnover. The Organization of Training variable is the second most important construct to account for financial turnover However, training is required to be well organized as well as properly financed. Maria Luz Marin-Diaz, Xavier Llinas-Audet, Luis Chiaramonte-Cipolla, and Josep-Oriol Escardibul Copyright © 2014 Maria Luz Marin-Diaz et al. All rights reserved. Sri Lankan Medical Undergraduates Awareness of Nanotechnology and Its Risks Thu, 04 Dec 2014 08:44:36 +0000 This study examines students’ understanding of the normative connections between key concepts of nanotechnology in nanomedicine and underlying biological principles that are critical for an in-depth understanding of its therapeutic application in medical field. A structured questionnaire was distributed among randomly selected undergraduates at the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, University of Rajarata, Sri Lanka. A total of 80 students participated in this study and completed written questionnaire on nanomedicine. The outcome of this study shows that there is a strong positive response on basic knowledge on nanoscale, but the undergraduates had an average knowledge on therapeutic application related to nanomedicine. Almost all students had a good knowledge on nanoscale but they lack knowledge of the relationship between nano and nanomedicine. Specifically, students were challenged to demonstrate an integrated understanding of the nanomedicine therapeutic application. Almost 58% of them were unable to give an example of it. Also some students struggled to explain it. Furthermore, in this study it was observed that there is a positive correlation in risk benefit section related to nanomedicine. Although the outcome is preliminary in nature, the results provide cause for concern over the status of nanotechnology education in Sri Lanka which needed to be uplifted. Faiz M. M. T. Marikar, Piyumi I. P. W. Ilangakoon, Sri H. K. M. N. Jaliya, Lalinda D. Jayasena, Supun K. P. B. Kalavitigoda, K. I. S. Koralagedara, and Sanjaya P. S. N. Kulathunga Copyright © 2014 Faiz M. M. T. Marikar et al. All rights reserved.