ISRN Education http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. An Investigation of Hand-Drawn Representations of Rivers by Fifth-Grade Students in Greek Elementary Schools Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:35:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/548365/ This paper is part of a wider study and reflects an attempt to explore the cognitive representations that Greek pupils in the 5th grade of elementary school have, as they emerge from the freehand drawing of rivers. An attempt was made to explore the extent to which the cognitive representation skills of school pupils are associated with real images of space and the extent to which intervention by the teacher who presents the structure of a river emphasizing on how it is formed can contribute to an improvement in the drawings made. Two groups of pupils (, ) took part in this study. They were taught one of two parallel lesson plans, to create representations relating to the concept of river. This was followed by an analysis of the drawings and the pre- and postteaching interviews (/group). The results indicate that pupils perceive the differences between reality and how it is conveyed in images, and they reproduce stereotypical models of rivers presented in schoolbooks without using complex structures to represent them. In addition, it was clear how encouraging use of children’s mental maps can be not only in revising existing teaching theories but also in building new ones. Apostolia Galani and Ageliki Rokka Copyright © 2014 Apostolia Galani and Ageliki Rokka. All rights reserved. Considering District and School Factors and Their Relationship to ACT Performance in North Carolina: An Examination of the ACT Pilot Results Tue, 04 Mar 2014 09:52:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/757325/ Since 2001 several states have adopted the requirement that high school students either take the SAT or ACT to assess high school programs or assist students in accessing post-secondary-educational opportunities. In 2012 the state of North Carolina adopted a new accountability program that included the ACT as a measure of college readiness. Previous research on the relationship between school districts and school level performance found that district size had a role in school achievement. This study looked at how district factors influenced the ACT performance of students across North Carolina in an effort to better understand if there were district factors other than size that may be influencing student performance and how high school reforms, given the influence of district factors is meeting the goal of increasing student college readiness. The results of this study are as follows. (1) District factors are related to school level performance, where student race and parental education levels were found to be significant predictors of achievement, (2) the traditional school level factors of race and student socioeconomic status did significantly predict ACT scores, and (3) as a high school reform model, students attending early college high schools did score higher on the ACT as compared to traditional high schools. Theodore S. Kaniuka Copyright © 2014 Theodore S. Kaniuka. All rights reserved. Inquiry-Based Education for Students with Visual Impairment Tue, 04 Mar 2014 09:10:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/361685/ The purpose of the study presented here was to identify and synthesize studies of evidence-based practices for working with students with visual impairment in the science classroom. Expanding a comprehensive literature search conducted in 1992, 10 empirical reports were found and reviewed. A synthesis of the results showed strong support for inquiry-oriented approaches to science instruction for children with disabilities. Evidence also was found that knowledge of science pedagogy for children with disabilities is continuing to increase; however, the literature to support evidence-based methodology for students with visual impairment in the science classroom is sparse. This critical review is a call for research that provides support for inquiry approaches in science education for the learner with a visual impairment. Deborah L. Rooks-Ellis Copyright © 2014 Deborah L. Rooks-Ellis. All rights reserved. Comparison of Teacher Motivation for Mathematics and Special Educators in Middle Schools That Have and Have Not Achieved AYP Tue, 04 Mar 2014 07:45:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/790179/ Mathematics and special educators who taught in middle schools that had or had not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) were surveyed to compare their motivation across three domains on a Teacher Motivation Survey: Work Environment, Professional Identity, and Career Satisfaction. Educators from schools who had met AYP reported a significantly better Work Environment, also referred to as collective efficacy, than that of educators from schools that had not met AYP. There were no statistically significant differences for special or mathematics educators, whether from a school that had or had not met AYP. Other results from the Teacher Motivation Survey are presented, including qualitative analyses from open-ended queries in the survey. Implications for expanding this research as well as more immediate applications and actions for school administrators are noted. Margaret E. King-Sears and Pamela H. Baker Copyright © 2014 Margaret E. King-Sears and Pamela H. Baker. All rights reserved. Using Technology in Elementary Mathematics Teacher Education: A Sociocultural Perspective Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/345146/ A central tenet of mathematics education reform is the integral role of technology at all grade levels. The current technological changes combined with the changes in the mathematics content and instructional method require elementary mathematics teachers to be able to design technology intensive lessons for exploration and discovery of these concepts through appropriate computer applications. In actual practice, however, most computer applications provided for mathematics education consist of software designed for a specific educational purpose: the solution in a can scenario. Furthermore, economic constraints often stand in the way of incorporating such special purpose software into an instructional setting. In this paper we will discuss an alternative to this traditional approach which shifts the instructional focus specific computer applications to more sophisticated uses of general purpose software. In particular educational uses of spreadsheets will be developed as an exemplar for this approach. Sergei Abramovich and Michael L. Connell Copyright © 2014 Sergei Abramovich and Michael L. Connell. All rights reserved. Caring for Students: What Teachers Have to Say Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:25:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/425856/ In this exploratory qualitative study we examined teachers’ perceptions of teacher behaviors that convey caring in upper elementary and middle school classrooms. Data collection included teacher interview, classroom observations, and teacher self-reflection. Major findings include specific caring behaviors perceived by teachers that are identified and described in four themes: (a) fostering a sense of belonging, (b) getting to know students personally, (c) supporting academic success, and (d) attending to physiological needs. Our findings contribute to a body of research on caring by including teachers’ voices and illuminating an authentic approach in caring for students. Our description of caring behaviors and patterns of interactions demonstrate caring in ways that may not be congruent with the norm. Thus, our findings may provide new insight for educators to examine their personal ideology. Rubén Garza, Elba Armandina Alejandro, Tucker Blythe, and Kathy Fite Copyright © 2014 Rubén Garza et al. All rights reserved. Tool Use in Computer-Based Learning Environments: Adopting and Extending the Technology Acceptance Model Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:40:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/736931/ This study adopts the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and extends it to study the effects of different variables on tool use. The influence of perceptions on tool use was studied in two different conditions: with and without explanation of the tool functionality. As an external variable, self-efficacy was entered in the TAM and the main research question thus focused on the mediating effects of perceptions (perceived tool functionality and perceived tool usability) between self-efficacy on the one hand and quantity and quality of tool use on the other. Positive effects of perceived usability on perceived functionality were hypothesized as well as positive effects of quantity and quality of tool use on performance. Positive effects were expected in the condition with explanation of the tool functionality. Ninety-three university students were provided with concept maps as the learning tools within a hypertext. Using path analysis, we found—similar to the TAM—a significant positive relationship between perceived usability and perceived functionality. Whereas perceived usability had a positive influence on the quantity of tool use, which positively influenced performance, perceived functionality had a negative influence on quantity of tool use. Self-efficacy showed a relationship with perceived usability only with the explained functionality condition. N. A. Juarez Collazo, X. Wu, J. Elen, and G. Clarebout Copyright © 2014 N. A. Juarez Collazo et al. All rights reserved. Strategic Use of English to Study Science: A Perspective from Communities of Practice Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/728153/ This research is underpinned by the sociocultural perspective of communities of practice which situates learning and students’ use of strategic actions to achieve the desired goals in the practices of their communities. Strategic use of the English language is the focus of this study and the aim of this research was to establish whether differences in the strategic use of writing skills in English exist between students of various educational backgrounds. A self-reporting questionnaire on the writing strategy use was distributed among 94 students enrolled in the Foundation Year in one university. The questionnaire items were classified into subgroups, including cognitive, metacognitive, social, affective, compensation, memory, and negative strategies. The results showed that no differences exist among students in all groups in terms of the overall strategy use and in each questionnaire subgroup. Data was analysed using the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance. All results were statistically insignificant. The findings from this study have implications for the theory of communities of practice, suggesting that sources of student choices regarding the use of English skills to study science might be related more to their individual agency rather than specific communities of practice. Aneta Hayes and Nazia Al-Amri Copyright © 2014 Aneta Hayes and Nazia Al-Amri. All rights reserved. An Exploration of Factors Contributing to the Perceptions of Preparedness for Elementary Candidates in a Clinically Based Program Thu, 09 Jan 2014 11:08:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2014/743273/ A quantitative, descriptive research model was used to investigate the perceptions of teacher candidates in a clinically based dual certification program regarding their culminating student teaching experience. Data consisted of candidates’ responses to both multiple choice and open ended survey items. Results indicated that teacher candidates within an undergraduate program leading to state teaching certification in both elementary and collaborative teaching (K-6) had positive perceptions regarding their preparedness as a result of prior experiences working in K-6 classrooms (44%) and interactions with in-service teachers (28%). In addition, teacher candidates perceived strong relationships with their university supervisors reporting that they received a greater amount of encouragement and feedback for improved teaching from their university supervisors than from their cooperating teachers. Rebecca McMahon Giles and Andrea M. Kent Copyright © 2014 Rebecca McMahon Giles and Andrea M. Kent. All rights reserved. The Culture-Transmission Motive in Minorities: An Online Survey of Adolescents and Young Adults with an Immigrant Background in Germany Thu, 26 Dec 2013 09:19:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/929058/ Central assumptions of a theory of cultural transmission in minorities proposed by the authors were tested in an online survey of adolescents and young adults with Russian and Turkish immigrant background in Germany (). The results support most hypotheses. In particular, evidence was obtained for the existence of the culture-transmission motive postulated by the theory: the appreciation of the culture of origin and the desire to maintain it and pass it on to the next generation. In addition, evidence was obtained for the anchoring of the culture-transmission motive in more basic motives, its relative stability, and its motivating function for pedagogical activities and wishes regarding cultural transmission, including the wish for culture-specific education in public schools. Irina Mchitarjan and Rainer Reisenzein Copyright © 2013 Irina Mchitarjan and Rainer Reisenzein. All rights reserved. Can We Share Multiple Choice Questions across Borders? Validation of the Dutch Knowledge Assessment in Family Medicine in Flanders Tue, 26 Nov 2013 14:49:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/840627/ Background. One of the methods to test knowledge of Family Medicine trainees is a written exam composed of multiple choice questions. Creating high-quality multiple choice questions requires a lot of experience, knowledge, and time. This study explores the opportunity to run the Dutch knowledge assessment in Flanders as well, the use of this test for formative purposes. Methods. The study test was performed in a Flemish sample of postgraduate Family Medicine (FM) trainees and FM trainers. The Dutch test, adjusted to the Flemish context, was analyzed according to the classical test theory: difficulty factor and discriminating power of the items and reliability of the test. Results. 82 of the 154 items well divided the group into two equal parts of correct and incorrect responders. The distribution of the discrimination index, of the items with an acceptable difficulty factor, was [−0.012–0.530]. The item-test-correlation shows that 52 items do not fit, and 87 items need revision in varying degrees. The test reliability was 0.917. Conclusion. The test was highly reliable, but many MC questions appeared to be too easy and poorly discriminative. Therefore, we question the test validity and recommend reconsideration of the items based on difficulty before it is applied and used as a mandatory formative test. Lynn Ryssaert, Johan Wens, and Birgitte Schoenmakers Copyright © 2013 Lynn Ryssaert et al. All rights reserved. Effective Environmental Education through Half-Day Teaching Programmes Outside School Thu, 06 Jun 2013 07:59:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/503214/ The “Green Classroom” in the Botanical Garden of the University of Ulm is a learning forum outside school. Its educational concept is based on experiential learning and is geared towards expanding students’ biological knowledge and developing positive attitudes towards small animals such as invertebrates. In the first study, we assessed attitudes towards small animals of 43 students before and after they visited the “Green Classroom”, and we compared the answers they gave in their questionnaires with those of 46 students from a control group. Although the students spent only one morning in the “Green Classroom”, some of their attitudes improved after their visit. In the second study, 102 secondary-school students (56 who had previously visited the “Green Classroom”) were asked to write an essay about small animals. Students who had visited the “Green Classroom” before portrayed more positive emotions towards small animals and showed more biological understanding than their peers. Jürgen Drissner, Hans-Martin Haase, Annette Rinderknecht, and Katrin Hille Copyright © 2013 Jürgen Drissner et al. All rights reserved. Hierarchical Models of Self-Concept across Genders and Sciences/Humanities for College Students in Taiwan Sun, 02 Jun 2013 12:07:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/960371/ The aim of this study is to examine the hierarchical model of self-concept (SC) using two operations (Models A and B). In Model A, global self-concept (GSC) is the higher-order factor of field-specific self-concepts (FSCs). In Model B, GSC is the predictor of the correlated FSCs. The data of 28,824 college students are obtained from the national database for higher education in Taiwan. The two models are examined by the use of total-group hierarchical confirmatory factor analysis (HCFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM), respectively. Multigroup HCFA and SEM are used to test whether the two models demonstrate measurement equivalence and structural invariance across female and male college students and across college students coming from different fields of study. The results of the analysis reveal three major findings. (1) The data fit Models A-B well for all the students as a whole. (2) Females and males are found not to be equivalent in the structure of both models. (3) Females from female-dominated humanities fields (education and business) are different from those in male-dominated sciences fields (engineering and natural sciences), while males from the four fields are similar in both models. Mei-Shiu Chiu Copyright © 2013 Mei-Shiu Chiu. All rights reserved. Student Perceptions of Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Undergraduate Applied Agrometeorology Wed, 22 May 2013 08:20:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/982942/ Many students do not seem to transfer their learning during formal education into applications in the real world. The objective of this ongoing study was to investigate the opinion of third-year students concerning their program through problem-based learning and to improve the module where necessary. Students attending theory classes had to apply their newly gained knowledge coupled with real-life weather data to solve a problem during practicums. Students attending practicums were given the same questionnaire thrice; thus, the answers were based on different sets of exercises. Responses by attendees for the three questionnaires were 73%, 100%, and 61%, respectively. Students preferred problem-based practicums (78%, 54%, and 72%, resp.) to other non-problem-based practicums. Most students thought that their knowledge had improved and it had prepared them better for the workplace (85%, 77%, and 92%, resp.). Generally students preferred working in groups (74%, 62%, and 56%, resp.), in contrast to those preferring to work individually. Students benefited from problem-based learning in that they thought they had improved their knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities and felt that they had learnt things that they could carry into their future lives out in the world at large and the workplace. Linda De Wet and Sue Walker Copyright © 2013 Linda De Wet and Sue Walker. All rights reserved. The Effects of Reusing Written Test Items: A Study Using the Rasch Model Thu, 16 May 2013 13:56:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/585420/ Background. Relevant literature reports no increase in individual scores when test items are reused, but information on change in item difficulty is lacking. Purpose. To test an approach for quantifying the effects of reusing items on item difficulty. Methods. A total of 671 students sat a newly introduced exam in four testing shifts. The test forms experimentally combined published, unused, and reused items. Figures quantifying reuse effects were obtained using the Rasch model to compare item difficulties from different person samples. Results. The observed decrease in mean item difficulty for reused items was insignificant. Students who self-scheduled to the last test performed worse than other students did. Conclusion. Availability of leaked material did not translate into higher individual scores, as mastering leaked material does not guarantee transfer of knowledge to new exam items. Exam quality will not automatically deteriorate when a low ratio of randomly selected items is reused. Michaela Wagner-Menghin, Ingrid Preusche, and Michael Schmidts Copyright © 2013 Michaela Wagner-Menghin et al. All rights reserved. A Critical Look at Oppositional Culture and the Race Gap in Education Sun, 12 May 2013 15:10:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/363847/ This paper offers a sociological critique of the perceived Black-White gap in education and of the theory of “opposition” that underpins it. The literature extending back a century discusses how oppressed and segregated groups adopt attitudes opposed to those who oppress and contain them. Failure to situate the current oppositional culture in this larger body of literature makes opposition seem specific to Black Americans; it is not. Further, among people with similar economic resources, Black Americans have higher educational aspirations and go to college more than comparable Whites. The continued framing of a “race gap” without reference to economic circumstances reifies race and lays the blame for educational failure on schools, teachers, families, and students, when the real culprits are social and economic issues like jobs, wages, and residential segregation. But because politically we are unwilling to deal with these larger socioeconomic issues, educational professionals are compelled to practice as if economic inequality and poverty do not matter, but in fact they do. Because Black Americans are disproportionately represented in lower economic strata, a spurious correlation exists in professional and popular discourse that mistakenly identifies Black people as “opposed” to education. Net of socioeconomic status, Black Americans are no more opposed than anyone else. William Mangino Copyright © 2013 William Mangino. All rights reserved. Comparison of Shared Reading versus Emergent Reading: How the Two Provide Distinct Opportunities for Early Literacy Thu, 02 May 2013 14:49:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/936191/ This study examined mother-child interactions across two types of reading interactions—shared reading versus emergent reading—in order to determine (a) if mothers and children provide the same amount of language input across the two interactions, (b) if the socioemotional quality is consistent across the interactions, and (c) if the language input and socioemotional quality across the two interactions are differentially associated with children’s scores on early literacy assessments. Twenty-five mother-child dyads participated in both interactions. Children were given a standardized test of early reading and an emergent reading score based on a rubric designed particularly for the book they were reading. Results indicated that during the shared reading mothers provided more language input (i.e., they talked more), but children increased their amount of talk during the emergent reading, making such input effects null. Overall, socioemotional quality was consistent across the two interactions, except mothers provide more literacy feedback during shared reading. Both language input and socioemotional quality were associated with higher scores on early literacy assessments, but the contribution of these factors varied depending across the type of reading interaction. Results are discussed in terms of education implications for literacy practices at home and school. Stephanie M. Curenton and Symonne Kennedy Copyright © 2013 Stephanie M. Curenton and Symonne Kennedy. All rights reserved. Neoliberalism, the Knowledge Economy, and the Learner: Challenging the Inevitability of the Commodified Self as an Outcome of Education Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:55:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/108705/ Neoliberalism is now a globalised agenda that underpins educational strategy and policy in many nations. The evolution of the concept of the knowledge economy and of the knowledge worker has been allied to the rise of neoliberalism as an end with respect to educational processes. This review article considers the ways in which constructs of the knowledge economy within a neoliberal agenda have given rise to specific discourses and conceptualisations of educational outcomes and aims. In particular, the value of knowledge and learning within neoliberal constructions of education will be discussed. The positioning within these constructions of the learner as a reification of economic capital will also be explored. This paper argues for a reconsideration of the purposes of education if the commodified self is to be resisted. Fiona Patrick Copyright © 2013 Fiona Patrick. All rights reserved. A Framework for Assessment for Learning: Implications for Feedback Practices within and beyond the Gap Mon, 22 Apr 2013 16:50:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/640609/ Three recurring emphases in the literature on formative assessment are (a) the importance of assessment design in prompting and sustaining students' learning, (b) giving students feedback that enables them to improve their work, and (c) clarity of standards to articulate the gap between past and desired performances. Much has been written on how each of these is important in designing and using assessment for learning. But there is considerably less attention (if any) on how these emphases should confluence each other. In this paper, I propose a framework for assessment for learning (AfL) wherein assessment standards (vertical axis), task design (horizontal axis) and feedback practices (incline) form a “triangle of practices” that construct the “space” for enhancing learning. Implications for formative assessment to extend learning beyond its triangulated frame are discussed. Kelvin Tan Copyright © 2013 Kelvin Tan. All rights reserved. Educational Attainment and Educational Mismatch in the First Employment in Spain Thu, 18 Apr 2013 14:01:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/850827/ This paper analyses the labour market entry of Spanish school leavers and the match between education and work at the early stages of working life, using a specific data set drawn from the Spanish Module Education to Labour Market Transitions (2000). Special attention is paid to university graduates, because Spain experienced a strong growth in the demand for higher education during the last decades of the 20th century. The empirical evidence shows that although over-education is a common phenomenon in the Spanish youth labour market, being a graduate seems to be associated with a lower likelihood of over-education in the first job. Our results indicate that over-education affects more women than men and foreigners than Spaniards. Marta Rahona-López and Carmen Pérez-Esparrells Copyright © 2013 Marta Rahona-López and Carmen Pérez-Esparrells. All rights reserved. Self-Efficacy Appraisals and Test-Taking Behavior of Students from Culturally Diverse Populations Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:18:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/839657/ This study examined the relationships between self-efficacy calibration and test-taking behavior as measured by the percentage of skipped items, unreached items, and incorrect responses on a mathematics test. Jewish and Arab 8th graders in four achievement levels, as defined by quartiles of the test score distribution, were compared with respect to their mathematics self-efficacy and their test-taking behavior. The results indicated that in every achievement level Arab students as compared to their Jewish counterparts tended to report higher levels of self-efficacy and to attempt more items on the test, which resulted in a higher rate of incorrect responses. The results support previous research findings pointing to the detrimental effect that overestimation of SE has on performance. The results were discussed with reference to the metacognitive processes involved in estimation of self-efficacy and in test performance. The identified gaps between the two ethnic groups were discussed in light of the learning culture that characterizes each of them. The contribution of the Israeli context, whereby students from two culturally diverse groups study according to the same mathematics curriculum but in separate schools, to understanding factors underlying culture-related group differences in mathematics test performance was underscored. Menucha Birenbaum and Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija Copyright © 2013 Menucha Birenbaum and Fadia Nasser-Abu Alhija. All rights reserved. Exploring Epistemological Trends in Students’ Understanding of Science from the Perspective of Large-Scale Studies Tue, 16 Apr 2013 13:04:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/196014/ This paper highlights how results from large-scale studies can be used to understand students’ knowledge of science. Several scholars express critique of today’s PISA framework, especially with regard to the presentation of the results as national rankings, and suggest alternative and complementary methods. The present study has used PISA data to reveal hidden patterns in the results. The results show a general descending trend in items focusing on the nature of science and how new scientific knowledge is generated. On the other hand, there is an obvious upward trend regarding tasks that measure fact-based elementary or root knowledge. These trends are slightly differentiated at a national level, as the time and magnitude of the decline or increase may vary. Anders Jakobsson, Eva Davidsson, Karl-Göran Karlsson, and Magnus Oskarsson Copyright © 2013 Anders Jakobsson et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of Students’ Alternative Conceptions of Terms and Processes of Gene Technology Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:10:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/741807/ Our study monitored students’ alternative conceptions about some fundamental terms and processes of gene technology. Novice secondary school 10th graders (144 in total) described their conceptions in an open questionnaire. Using inductive category development, we iteratively categorized their responses. We found 13 categories describing students’ conceptions. Common categories were allocated to more than one different term or process. Specific categories were found only in the context of explaining one term or process. Using the collected conceptions, we then developed a questionnaire, which we administered to monitor the students’ conceptual change during a hands-on approach in our outreach lab. Knowledge about these conceptions and their consideration within science teaching should be of value both for preservice teacher education and for professional development of in-service teachers. Gaitano Franke, Franz-Josef Scharfenberg, and Franz X. Bogner Copyright © 2013 Gaitano Franke et al. All rights reserved. A Qualitative Study of Technology Integration into Culture and Sustainability in Schools Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:26:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/967610/ Despite overall increased access to technology both in and out of the classroom, technology is often still not being used to support learning and instruction in a meaningful manner. Teachers need to be helped to change the way they teach rather than just how to use computers. The TeachUp! Program was designed by Digital Opportunity Trust to improve the use of technology in day-to-day teaching activities through the use of interns who are present in the schools as a continuous support system and who provide an informal professional development. Interns examine types of technology available and how it can be utilized as a part of the design and implementation of the curriculum to extend the existing student knowledge and learning. Purposive samples from two school districts in southern Mississippi were selected to be interviewed on their perceptions of the integration of TeachUp! technology empowerment into the ongoing culture and operation of the schools, long-term systematic change, and improvement in education outcomes. According to the respondents, the TeachUp! Program has had a major sustaining effect on the respective school systems in these areas. The climate of the learning environment has evolved into a true 21st century learning organization with an increase in the use of technology. Marie-Anne Mundy and Lori Kupczynski Copyright © 2013 Marie-Anne Mundy and Lori Kupczynski. All rights reserved. Uncertainty and the Reform of Elementary Math Education Thu, 28 Mar 2013 14:12:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/845164/ This paper investigates the notion of uncertainty as elementary teachers engage in conversations intended to develop their understanding and implementation of reform-based mathematics teaching. Using a narrative methodology, several sources of teacher uncertainty are investigated: teaching and learning, the subject, and improving one’s own teaching. The data analysis indicates two important findings. The first is the importance of substantive and syntactic subject knowledge as a necessary foundation for teachers to understand uncertainty in terms that renew their classroom practice. The second is the need to develop and sustain communities in which teachers value opportunities to critique their classroom practices. Wayne Melville, Ann Kajander, Donald Kerr, and Jennifer Holm Copyright © 2013 Wayne Melville et al. All rights reserved. Curriculum-Based Measurement: A Brief History of Nearly Everything from the 1970s to the Present Thu, 14 Feb 2013 17:09:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/958530/ This paper provides a description of 30 years of research conducted on curriculum-based measurement. In this time span, several subject matter areas have been studied—reading, writing, mathematics, and secondary content (subject) areas—in developing technically adequate measures of student performance and progress. This research has been conducted by scores of scholars across the United States using a variety of methodologies with widely differing populations. Nevertheless, little of this research has moved from a “measurement paradigm” to one focused on “training in data use and decision making paradigm.” The paper concludes with a program of research that is needed over the next 30 years. Gerald Tindal Copyright © 2013 Gerald Tindal. All rights reserved. Conceptual Integration and Measurement of Epistemological and Ontological Beliefs in Educational Research Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:56:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2013/327680/ This paper examines the conceptualization and measurement of epistemological and ontological phenomena and makes recommendations for improving the conceptual framework and methodological assessment of these phenomena. I discuss the ways educational researchers have studied beliefs and how this research can be improved through a comprehensive conceptual framework and better measurement. This paper provides definitions of epistemological and ontological beliefs and world views, discusses six complementary strategies for assessing these beliefs, compares the strengths of these strategies, and provides examples of how they have been used in the research literature. This paper discusses challenges related to the development of a comprehensive theoretical framework for beliefs, as well as ways to improve measurement of these beliefs and summarizes six emergent themes. Gregory Schraw Copyright © 2013 Gregory Schraw. All rights reserved. Race and Socioeconomic Status Differences in Study Abroad Participation: The Role of Habitus, Social Networks, and Cultural Capital Wed, 26 Dec 2012 08:37:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2012/413896/ This study examines how race and socioeconomic status contribute to disparities in study abroad participation. Our mixed methods approach provides a broad overview of the selection process into study abroad using national data. It also provides a nuanced understanding of the mechanisms that perpetuate inequality among Black and lower class students. Both quantitative and qualitative results show that students’ habitus, social networks, and cultural capital shape their study abroad experiences. We find that students with a positive predisposition toward internationalization (having foreign-born parents and/or experiencing different cultures overseas) were more likely to study abroad. Whites and high socioeconomic status students were also more likely to have family and friends who valued study abroad than were lower socioeconomic status and Black students. These advantaged students were better able to acquire and use cultural capital when accessing information from institutional agents. They were also more likely to possess the knowledge and background that complied with institutional standards. These factors contributed significantly to the race and class disparities in study abroad participation. This study contributes to the scant literature on study abroad by revealing mechanisms through which the reproduction of inequality is shaped in the university setting. We argue that patterns found to apply to this process are likely to take place in other processes in higher education as well. Jennifer Simon and James W. Ainsworth Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Simon and James W. Ainsworth. All rights reserved. Keeping Our Nation's Mathematics Teachers Mon, 17 Dec 2012 13:19:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2012/424715/ Teacher retention has been an issue that has influenced education for many years. The purpose of this research was to uncover the factors that influence a mathematics teacher’s decision to leave the teaching profession. This study compared teachers’ responses by regions of the country, as well as responses between middle school and high school mathematics teachers. Findings from the study indicate an alarmingly high rate of teachers who will be leaving the teaching field for reasons other than retirement. The role of administrators in teacher retention is significant, and implications from the research suggest that an increase in administrator training could play a major role in keeping our nation’s mathematics teachers in the classroom. Carol Curtis Copyright © 2012 Carol Curtis. All rights reserved. Evaluation of an Intervention Program to Foster Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Achievement in Latin Instruction Tue, 27 Nov 2012 11:06:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.education/2012/848562/ The study's aim was to develop two different intervention programs and to evaluate their contribution to students' self-regulated learning and academic achievement in Latin classes. The concept of our study referred to a process-focused model of self-regulated learning that divides the phases of the self-regulated learning process into different areas, which we applied to domain-specific translation strategies. Within a pre-, post-, and follow-up-test design with 109 tenth graders, self-regulated learning skills and translation competency as well as translation strategy application were assessed using both a self-regulation questionnaire and a standardized translation test. Three different conditions were compared: (a) combined training group (ComG): self-regulated learning and translation, (b) translation training only (TG), and (c) control group (CG). The intervention consisted of nine sessions spread over a period of three weeks. Results of analyses of variance with time as a repeated measurement indicated interaction effects between time and groups for self-regulated learning in favor of the intervention groups. The ComG showed marginally higher self-regulatory skills than the TG. Regarding the translation competencies as well as the strategy application, the results revealed significant training effects in comparison to the control group, with the TG showing the highest increase. Daniela Wagner and Franziska Perels Copyright © 2012 Daniela Wagner and Franziska Perels. All rights reserved.