Education Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Motivational Processes in Online Learning: The Role of Tutorship for Laboratory Activities through the Semistructured Self-Evaluation Tests Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 This contribution highlights the role of  affective processes in multimedia learning conducted by e-learning platform used in the General Psychology online laboratory activities, based on semistructured self-evaluation tests following the model proposed by Domenici (2005). These tests include items with a closed- and open-ended structure requiring the student to answer within space restrictions and, in some cases, within context simulations. This enables scorers to give generally univocal and objective scores thereby assuring high test validity and reliability. The focus is on the psychological aspects of the online tutor’s role and its effects on learning levels. Students who completed the online laboratory activities through the semistructured self-evaluation tests () obtained an average score of 27.7 in the objective examination; students who did not complete the activities or who never even started them () obtained an average score of 25.7. These differences are statistically significant (; ). The advantages of online learning are highlighted: developing an active attitude towards learning, enabling the individualisation of learning, and strengthening motivation with regard to knowledge, self-assertiveness, and sociality. This motivational activation reinforces convergent and divergent cognitive skills, owing to the semistructured tests, which facilitate knowledge and study method acquisition. Valeria Biasi and Gaetano Domenici Copyright © 2014 Valeria Biasi and Gaetano Domenici. All rights reserved. The Effect of Feedback from Pupil to Teacher on Assessment for Leaning and Visible Learning: An Ethnographic Case Study in a Community School in England and the Outcome in a State High School in Queensland, Australia Thu, 27 Feb 2014 07:21:51 +0000 This study shows that there is positive regulatory effect of feedback from pupils to teachers on Assessment for Learning (AfL), classroom proactiveness, and on visible and progressive learning but not on behaviour. This research finding further articulates feedback from pupil to teacher as a paradigm shift from the classical paradigm of feedback from teacher to pupil. Here, the emphasis is geared towards pupils understanding of objectives built from previous knowledge. These are then feedback onto the teachers by the pupils in the form of discrete loops of cues and questions, where they are with their learning. This therefore enables them to move to the next level of understanding, and thus acquired independence, which in turn is reflected by their success in both formative and summative assessments. This study therefore shows that when feedback from pupil to teacher is used in combination with teacher to pupil feedback, AfL is ameliorated and hence, visible and accelerated learning occurs in a gender, nor subject non-dependent manner. Daniel Ndisang and Alan Benson Copyright © 2014 Daniel Ndisang and Alan Benson. All rights reserved. The Assessment of Critical Thinking Critically Assessed in Higher Education: A Validation Study of the CCTT and the HCTA Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:48:04 +0000 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. An Verburgh, Sigrid François, Jan Elen, and Rianne Janssen Copyright © 2013 An Verburgh et al. All rights reserved. School Accountability and Youth Obesity: Can Physical Education Mandates Make a Difference? Thu, 24 Oct 2013 13:46:08 +0000 This paper explores the effect of accountability laws under No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on obesity rates among school-aged children in the United States. Our results show that pressures due to school closures for poor performance, rewards for good performance, and assistance to schools that lag behind lead to lower levels of vigorous physical activity. This effect is significant for high school children only. We find no significant impact of school accountability laws on children in grades 3 through 8 after state characteristics such as state obesity rate are taken into account. We also find that state physical education mandates increase physical activity for children in grades 3 through 8 and mitigate the negative effect of accountability pressures on physical activity at the high school level where accountability pressures are most effective at decreasing physical activity and increasing obesity. The study shows that physical education mandates play an important role in promoting physical activity for all grades in our sample. Helen Schneider and Ning Zhang Copyright © 2013 Helen Schneider and Ning Zhang. All rights reserved. Challenges of Parental Involvement Within a Health Promoting School Framework in New Zealand Mon, 16 Sep 2013 10:33:45 +0000 The study sought to identify key issues regarding parental involvement within a health promoting school (HPS) approach directed at addressing children’s nutrition and physical activity. A case study research design was used, involving six primary schools in Auckland, New Zealand. Data were collected via six individual interviews with principals, six group interviews with a total of 26 teachers, 13 focus groups with a total of 92 children, and a survey of 229 parents. The study found that while schools agreed on the importance of schools and parents promoting the same healthy behaviours, there was a lack of agreement on the role of school staff in educating parents. School principals identified issues around managing the food brought from home and the extent to which they should regulate types of food. Parents stressed the importance of modelling healthy food and exercise practices in the home environment but identified factors that often made this difficult, a scenario that did not go unnoticed by their children. It is recommended that parental involvement be encouraged and supported so that schools and families can achieve consistency in health promotion practices across both school and home environments. Tracy Clelland, Penni Cushman, and Jacinta Hawkins Copyright © 2013 Tracy Clelland et al. All rights reserved. Career-Oriented Performance Tasks in Chemistry: Effects on Students' Critical Thinking Skills Wed, 05 Jun 2013 10:15:56 +0000 The study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of career-oriented performance task (COPT) approach against the traditional teaching approach (TTA) in enhancing students’ critical thinking skills. Specifically, it sought to find out if students exposed to COPT have higher critical thinking skills than those students exposed to the traditional teaching approach (TTA). COPT approach aims to integrate career-oriented examples and inquiry-based activities in general inorganic chemistry. The study used the quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design. The sample of the study consisted of two (2) intact sections of first-year students in a private higher education institution in Manila who are enrolled in general inorganic chemistry during the second semester of school year 2011-2012. Thirty-nine (39) students are in the COPT class while thirty-eight (38) students are in the TTA class. The instrument used in the study is the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills. The study found out that the mean posttest score in the WGCTA was not significantly higher for students exposed to COPT than for students exposed to TTA. The COPT approach in teaching chemistry was not effective in enhancing students’ critical thinking skills given the limited time of intervention. Longer exposure to intervention is necessary to enhance students’ critical thinking skills. Allen A. Espinosa, Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola, and Amelia E. Punzalan Copyright © 2013 Allen A. Espinosa et al. All rights reserved. Test Accessibility: Item Reviews and Lessons Learned from Four State Assessments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:21:57 +0000 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. Peter A. Beddow, Stephen N. Elliott, and Ryan J. Kettler Copyright © 2013 Peter A. Beddow et al. All rights reserved. Metacognitive Instruction: Global and Local Shifts in Considering Listening Input Wed, 08 May 2013 13:22:40 +0000 A key shift of thinking for effective learning and teaching of listening input has been seen and organized in education locally and globally. This study has probed whether metacognitive instruction through a pedagogical cycle shifts high-intermediate students' English language learning and English as a second language (ESL) teacher's teaching focus on listening input. Twenty male Iranian students with an age range of 18 to 24 received a guided methodology including metacognitive strategies (planning, monitoring, and evaluation) for a period of three months. This study has used the strategies and probed the importance of metacognitive instruction through interviewing both the teacher and the students. The results have shown that metacognitive instruction helped both the ESL teacher's and the students' shift of thinking about teaching and learning listening input. This key shift of thinking has implications globally and locally for classroom practices of listening input. Hossein Bozorgian and Ebrahim Fakhri Alamdari Copyright © 2013 Hossein Bozorgian and Ebrahim Fakhri Alamdari. All rights reserved. Cognitive Load of Learner Control: Extraneous or Germane Load? Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:42:45 +0000 Computer-based learning environments become more tailored when learners can exert control over one or more parts of the learning process. Learner control (LC) demands additional efforts of learners because, in addition to learning, they also have to monitor that learning. As a consequence, LC may cause additional cognitive load and even cognitive overload. The central question in this study is what type of cognitive load is induced by LC and whether the experienced load is related to learning outcomes. For this study, half of the students had control over task selection, while the other half had not. Within each condition, students were assigned to a single treatment, with the primary task to solely focus on the learning content, and a dual treatment, comprising a primary task and a secondary task. The results indicate that LC did not impose higher cognitive load as measured by secondary task scores and mental effort ratings. Mieke Vandewaetere and Geraldine Clarebout Copyright © 2013 Mieke Vandewaetere and Geraldine Clarebout. All rights reserved. The Effects of Career Choice Guidance on Identity Development Sun, 31 Mar 2013 11:30:38 +0000 We investigated the effects of a student career choice guidance on identity development. We compared the levels of identity development before and after the guidance. In addition we compared the identity development of the participants with a norm group of the same age and educational level. Following the guidance we found—as expected—that the participants showed a significant increase in commitment strength in the vocational and personal domains and in global identity. The effect size was moderate. The participants showed significantly higher increase levels than did the norm group. The initial commitment strength in the group with career choice problems was lower as compared to the norm group in the vocational and personal domain but not in the global identity. E. Saskia Kunnen Copyright © 2013 E. Saskia Kunnen. All rights reserved. Self-Perceived Teacher Efficacy around the World Tue, 19 Mar 2013 11:56:05 +0000 Hoi Yan Cheung, Michael Bender, and Walter J. Lonner Copyright © 2013 Hoi Yan Cheung et al. All rights reserved. Teacher Design Using Online Learning Resources: A Comparative Case Study of Science and Mathematics Teachers Wed, 13 Mar 2013 11:06:10 +0000 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. Mimi Recker, Linda Sellers, and Lei Ye Copyright © 2013 Mimi Recker et al. All rights reserved. New Perspectives on Integrating Self-Regulated Learning at School Sun, 10 Mar 2013 14:32:46 +0000 Bracha Kramarski, Annemie Desoete, Maria Bannert, Susanne Narciss, and Nancy Perry Copyright © 2013 Bracha Kramarski et al. All rights reserved. A Case-Based Study of Students' Visuohaptic Experiences of Electric Fields around Molecules: Shaping the Development of Virtual Nanoscience Learning Environments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 08:23:32 +0000 Recent educational research has suggested that immersive multisensory virtual environments offer learners unique and exciting knowledge-building opportunities for the construction of scientific knowledge. This paper delivers a case-based study of students’ immersive interaction with electric fields around molecules in a multisensory visuohaptic virtual environment. The virtual architecture presented here also has conceptual connections to the flourishing quest in contemporary literature for the pressing need to communicate nanoscientific ideas to learners. Five upper secondary school students’ prior conceptual understanding of electric fields and their application of this knowledge to molecular contexts, were probed prior to exposure to the virtual model. Subsequently, four students interacted with the visuohaptic model while performing think-aloud tasks. An inductive and heuristic treatment of videotaped verbal and behavioural data revealed distinct interrelationships between students’ interactive strategies implemented when executing tasks in the virtual system and the nature of their conceptual knowledge deployed. The obtained qualitative case study evidence could serve as an empirical basis for informing the rendering and communication of overarching nanoscale ideas. At the time of composing this paper for publication in the current journal, the research findings of this study have been put into motion in informing a broader project goal of developing educational virtual environments for depicting nanophenomena. Gunnar E. Höst, Konrad J. Schönborn, and Karljohan E. Lundin Palmerius Copyright © 2013 Gunnar E. Höst et al. All rights reserved. Development and Evaluation of a Computer-Based Learning Environment for Teachers: Assessment of Learning Strategies in Learning Journals Wed, 20 Feb 2013 07:23:21 +0000 Training teachers to assess important components of self-regulated learning such as learning strategies is an important, yet somewhat neglected, aspect of the integration of self-regulated learning at school. Learning journals can be used to assess learning strategies in line with cyclical process models of self-regulated learning, allowing for rich formative feedback. Against this background, we developed a computer-based learning environment (CBLE) that trains teachers to assess learning strategies with learning journals. The contents of the CBLE and its instructional design were derived from theory. The CBLE was further shaped by research in a design-based manner. Finally, in two evaluation studies, student teachers (; ) worked with the CBLE. We analyzed satisfaction, interest, usability, and assessment skills. Additionally, in evaluation study 2, effects of an experimental variation on motivation and assessment skills were tested. We found high satisfaction, interest, and good usability, as well as satisfying assessment skills, after working with the CBLE. Results show that teachers can be trained to assess learning strategies in learning journals. The developed CBLE offers new perspectives on how to support teachers in fostering learning strategies as central component of effective self-regulated learning at school. Inga Glogger, Lars Holzäpfel, Julian Kappich, Rolf Schwonke, Matthias Nückles, and Alexander Renkl Copyright © 2013 Inga Glogger et al. All rights reserved. Layers of Self- and Co-Regulation: Teachers Working Collaboratively to Support Adolescents' Self-Regulated Learning through Reading Mon, 11 Feb 2013 10:26:13 +0000 This paper reports findings from a longitudinal project in which secondary teachers were working collaboratively to support adolescents' self-regulated learning through reading (LTR) in subject-area classrooms. We build from prior research to “connect the dots” between teachers' engagement in self- and co-regulated inquiry, associated shifts in classroom practice, and student self-regulation. More specifically, we investigated whether and how teachers working within a community of inquiry were mobilizing research to shape classroom practice and advance student learning. Drawing on evidence from 18 teachers and their respective classrooms, we describe findings related to the following research questions: (1) While engaged in self- and co-regulated inquiry, what types of practices did teachers enact to support LTR in their subject-area classrooms? (2) How did teachers draw on research-based resources to inform practice development? (3) What kinds of practices could be associated with gains in students' self-regulated LTR? In our discussion, we highlight contributions to understanding how teachers can be supported to situate research in authentic classroom environments and about qualities of practices supportive of students' self-regulated LTR. We also identify limitations of this work and important future directions. Deborah L. Butler, Leyton Schnellert, and Sylvie C. Cartier Copyright © 2013 Deborah L. Butler et al. All rights reserved. Examining the Correspondence between Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Achievement: A Case Study Analysis Mon, 28 Jan 2013 18:44:17 +0000 Four high school students received 11 weeks of a self-regulated learning (SRL) intervention, called the Self-Regulation Empowerment Program (SREP), to improve their classroom-based biology exam scores, SRL, and motivated behaviors. This mixed model case study examined the correspondence between shifts in students’ strategic, regulated behaviors with their performance on classroom-based biology tests. The authors used traditional SRL assessment tools in a pretest-posttest fashion (e.g., self-report questionnaires, teaching rating scales) and gathered SRL data during the intervention using field note observations and contextualized structured interviews. This multidimensional assessment approach was used to establish convergence among the assessment tools and to facilitate interpretation of trends in students’ biology test performance relative to their SRL processes. Key themes in this study included the following: (a) the close correspondence between changes in students SRL, biology exam performance, and SREP attendance; (b) individual variability in student performance, SRL behaviors, and beliefs in response to SREP; and (c) the importance of using a multi-dimensional assessment approach in SRL intervention research. Furthermore, this study provided additional support for the potential effectiveness of SREP in academic contexts. Timothy J. Cleary and Peter Platten Copyright © 2013 Timothy J. Cleary and Peter Platten. All rights reserved. Socioscientific Decision Making in the Science Classroom: The Effect of Embedded Metacognitive Instructions on Students' Learning Outcomes Sun, 27 Jan 2013 15:37:59 +0000 The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of cooperative training strategies to enhance students' socioscientific decision making as well as their metacognitive skills in the science classroom. Socioscientific decision making refers to both “describing socioscientific issues” as well as “developing and evaluating solutions” to socioscientific issues. We investigated two cooperative training strategies which differed with respect to embedded metacognitive instructions that were developed on the basis of the IMPROVE method. Participants were 360 senior high school students who studied either in a cooperative learning setting (COOP), a cooperative learning setting with embedded metacognitive questions (COOP+META), or a nontreatment control group. Results indicate that students in the two training conditions outperformed students in the control group on both processes of socioscientific decision making. However, students in the COOP+META condition did not outperform students in the COOP condition. With respect to students' learning outcomes on the regulation facet of metacognition, results indicate that all conditions improved over time. Students in the COOP+META condition exhibited highest mean scores at posttest measures, but again, results were not significant. Implications for integrating metacognitive instructions into science classrooms are discussed. Sabina Eggert, Frauke Ostermeyer, Marcus Hasselhorn, and Susanne Bögeholz Copyright © 2013 Sabina Eggert et al. All rights reserved. Building Intercultural Competence One “Patch” at a Time Sun, 13 Jan 2013 14:36:42 +0000 This paper describes a program called Patches that was implemented to assist a group of Australian and Malaysian pre-service teachers to enhance their intercultural competence through their involvement in a series of reciprocal learning activities. Each learning experience was considered a “patch” that eventually created a “quilt of intercultural learning.” The purpose of this study was to enhance the intercultural competence of domestic and international students through organized intercultural activities, through a series of reflective writing sessions, and mutual engagement on a common project. The effectiveness of the Patches program was analysed in accordance with Deardorff’s elements of intercultural competence. The qualitative findings indicate that both cohorts of preservice teachers showed elements of intercultural competence through participation in the program, with both groups reporting a deeper appreciation and understanding of how to communicate more effectively in intercultural contexts. Rebecca Spooner-Lane, Donna Tangen, K. Louise Mercer, Erika Hepple, and Suzanne Carrington Copyright © 2013 Rebecca Spooner-Lane et al. All rights reserved. Predicting Mathematical Performance: The Effect of Cognitive Processes and Self-Regulation Factors Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:31:15 +0000 A substantial number of research studies have investigated the separate influence of working memory, attention, motivation, and learning strategies on mathematical performance and self-regulation in general. There is still little understanding of their impact on performance when taken together, understanding their interactions, and how much each of them contributes to the prediction of mathematical performance. With the emergence of new methodologies and technologies, such as the modelling with predictive systems, it is now possible to study these effects with approaches which use a wide range of data, including student characteristics, to estimate future performance without the need of traditional testing (Boekaerts and Cascallar, 2006). This research examines the different cognitive patterns and complex relations between cognitive variables, motivation, and background variables associated with different levels of mathematical performance using artificial neural networks (ANNs). A sample of 800 entering university students was used to develop three ANN models to identify the expected future level of performance in a mathematics test. These ANN models achieved high degree of precision in the correct classification of future levels of performance, showing differences in the pattern of relative predictive weight amongst those variables. The impact on educational quality, improvement, and accountability is highlighted. Mariel Musso, Eva Kyndt, Eduardo Cascallar, and Filip Dochy Copyright © 2012 Mariel Musso et al. All rights reserved. Self-Regulated Learning and the Understanding of Complex Outcomes Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Monique Boekaerts, Mariel Musso, and Eduardo C. Cascallar Copyright © 2012 Monique Boekaerts et al. All rights reserved. Leadership Practices in Effective Schools in Disadvantaged Areas of Canada Mon, 24 Dec 2012 15:13:05 +0000 Purpose. The purpose of this paper was to examine leadership practices in effective schools located in economically disadvantaged areas of three Canadian provinces: Ontario, Québec, and New Brunswick. Research Design. Our study was conducted in five successful schools selected on the basis of student outcomes on province-wide standardized exams, as well as on some risk factors such as rural area, low socioeconomic level, and proportion of Francophones (Ontario and New Brunswick). To increase the study’s validity, we used triangulation and various data sources: (1) individual interviews; (2) observation of school principals; (3) field documentation; (4) student essays; (5) internal school documents such as mission statement, rules, and directives. Participants. Participants included Department of Education heads and school board administrators, school principals and vice principals, teachers, school counsellors, educational psychologists, parent school board members, and students. Findings. Results show that leadership practices in effective schools can be grouped together around five dimensions: establishing goals and expectations; strategic resourcing; curriculum planning, coordination, and evaluation; promoting and participating in teacher supervision and development; ensuring order and support. Yamina Bouchamma Copyright © 2012 Yamina Bouchamma. All rights reserved. Affect and Cognitive Interference: An Examination of Their Effect on Self-Regulated Learning Mon, 24 Dec 2012 14:53:28 +0000 The present study examined the relationships among affect, self-regulated learning (SRL) strategy use, and course attainment in the didactics of mathematics (teaching mathematics) subject matter domain. The sample consisted of 180 undergraduate students attending a didactics of mathematics course (mean age = 21.1 years) at the School of Early Childhood Education. The participants were asked to respond to the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and the Cognitive Interference Questionnaire (CIQ). They also completed the Learning Strategies Scales of the MSLQ. Examination grades were used as the measure of course attainment. Pearson correlations and path analysis revealed that negative affect was positively related to cognitive interference, and positive affect influenced positively the use of almost all of the SRL strategies. Elaboration was the only SRL strategy found to predict the didactics of mathematics course attainment. Finally, cognitive interference was found to negatively predict course attainment. Georgia Papantoniou, Despina Moraitou, Maria Kaldrimidou, Katerina Plakitsi, Dimitra Filippidou, and Effie Katsadima Copyright © 2012 Georgia Papantoniou et al. All rights reserved. Writing about the Personal Utility of Learning Contents in a Learning Journal Improves Learning Motivation and Comprehension Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:42:21 +0000 Reflecting on the personal utility and value of learning contents is important for motivation building and engagement in high quality learning processes. We investigated the effects of a personal-utility prompt in journal writing on students’ learning motivation and comprehension in biology education. 40 students of a German secondary school took part in a quasi-experimental field study. The students kept a weekly learning journal over six weeks. For writing their journal entries, the students received a brief instruction that either did or did not include a personal-utility prompt. Results showed that the personal-utility prompt successfully supported the students in reflecting about the personal utility of the learning contents. Consequently, students in the personal-utility prompt condition reported higher degrees of learning motivation and achieved better comprehension scores as compared to students who had no personal-utility prompt available. Evidently, using journal writing to reflect upon the utility and value of learning contents is a beneficial method to support students’ learning motivation and comprehension in secondary science education. Kristin Schmidt, Julia Maier, and Matthias Nückles Copyright © 2012 Kristin Schmidt et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of an Educational Computer Game for the Achievement of Factual and Simple Conceptual Knowledge Acquisition Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:53:31 +0000 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. Luis C. Almeida Copyright © 2012 Luis C. Almeida. All rights reserved. Training Self-Regulated Learning in the Classroom: Development and Evaluation of Learning Materials to Train Self-Regulated Learning during Regular Mathematics Lessons at Primary School Mon, 17 Dec 2012 14:39:02 +0000 The aim of the intervention based on the self-regulation theory by Zimmerman (2000) was to promote a powerful learning environment for supporting self-regulated learning by using learning materials. In the study, primary school teachers were asked to implement specific learning materials into their regular mathematics lessons in grade four. These learning materials focused on particular (meta)cognitive and motivational components of self-regulated learning and were subdivided into six units, with which the students of the experimental group were asked to deal with on a weekly basis. The evaluation was based on a quasiexperimental pre-/postcontrol-group design combined with a time series design. Altogether, 135 fourth graders participated in the study. The intervention was evaluated by a self-regulated learning questionnaire, mathematics test, and process data gathered through structured learning diaries for a period of six weeks. The results revealed that students with the self-regulated learning training maintained their level of self-reported self-regulated learning activities from pre- to posttest, whereas a significant decline was observed for the control students. Regarding students’ mathematical achievement, a slightly greater improvement was found for the students with self-regulated learning training. Manuela Leidinger and Franziska Perels Copyright © 2012 Manuela Leidinger and Franziska Perels. All rights reserved. Information Updating in Working Memory: Its Effect on Teacher Efficacy Mon, 17 Dec 2012 12:11:07 +0000 Teacher efficacy has a great impact on effective teaching and has been studied in various perspectives. The updating information ability in working memory is always related with many capabilities of cognition. An experiment of N-back task and a questionnaire of teacher efficacy were conducted in this study to test the effect of the ability of information updating in working memory on the teacher efficacy. A significant difference was found in the reaction time between high teacher efficacy group and low teacher efficacy group. The results showed that teachers who scored higher in the teacher efficacy scale tended to react faster than those who scored lower based on the same accuracy. And the updating information ability could serve as a predictor of teacher efficacy. Jun Tao Copyright © 2012 Jun Tao. All rights reserved. Reviewing Teacher Evaluation of Rewards and Punishments: The Overview of Chinese Teacher Evaluation Research Wed, 12 Dec 2012 08:38:42 +0000 The authors chose the teacher evaluation pieces literature of Chinese academic studies as the research object, analyzed the domestic dynamic and the views of some experts in this field, and summarized and compiled the research approaches and research methods of the UK and USA. The study found that whether at China or abroad, the study route is basically along the reward and punishment evaluation, from developmental evaluation to the performance evaluation, and compared to the foreign study, the Chinese studies, whether in theory or in practice, are relatively backward. Combined with the domestic situation, this study proposes a number of constructive suggestions. Wang Jiayi and Cheng Ling Copyright © 2012 Wang Jiayi and Cheng Ling. All rights reserved. University-School Collaborative Networks: A Strategy to Improve the Professional Skills of Future Teachers Thu, 06 Dec 2012 09:32:28 +0000 This paper presents an experiment in teaching innovation developed at the University of Cordoba's Faculty of Education (Spain), in the second year of the Infant Education Teacher Training course, within the subject of general didactics. The innovative approach taken focused on setting up a collaborative network between infants' schools and the university. Taking Project Work as the central axis, a learning network has been built with the participation of sixteen Infant Education teachers, three hundred twenty children from this stage, seven university teachers, eighty-five trainee teachers, and two Infant Education advisers from a continuing professional development centre for teachers. The theoretical foundations that support this experiment are described along with their different stages, evaluating the benefits of each of them in facilitating the acquisition of professional competences among university students. Rosario Mérida Serrano, María de los Ángeles Olivares García, and Elena González Alfaya Copyright © 2012 Rosario Mérida Serrano et al. All rights reserved. The Study of Teacher Efficacy in Hong Kong Sub-Degree Sector Wed, 05 Dec 2012 08:41:40 +0000 Introduction. Sub-degree sector is rising in Hong Kong. The number of enrolled students was over 50000 in 2011. Students’ characteristics and teachers’ roles in the sub-degree sector are different from other sectors. It was important to investigate the factors related with teacher efficacy of sub-degree teachers. Method. Sixty sub-degree teachers were surveyed, and 58 of them were valid (33 males and 25 females). The questionnaire contained three teacher efficacy scales: Teacher Efficacy Scale (TES) (short form), Bandura’s Instrument Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale (TSES), and Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSoES) and an instrument of self-rating’s levels of concerns. Results. The teacher efficacy scales were found to be reliable in the sub-degree sector. The levels of education and educational trainings were not found to be related with any teacher efficacy scales. Level of concerns of teacher efficacy was found to be significant related with TSES’ efficacy to influence parental involvement and ToSES’s instruction strategies. Conclusion. This study found that educational trainings and levels of educations were not related with teacher efficacy and could persuade institutes not to view educational backgrounds as the most influencing factor in employment selections and design better staff developments instead of only sponsoring teachers to pursue further studies. Wai-Hung Lam Copyright © 2012 Wai-Hung Lam. All rights reserved.