MAKING SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTS EXPLICIT THROUGH EXPLANATIONS: SIMULATIONS OF A HIGH-LEVERAGE PRACTICE IN TEACHER EDUCATION (2018-11-23)
There is a current research interest into high-leverage teaching practices which are geared towards making concepts explicit to learners. Explanations are a common practice in science education for sharing and constructing meaning with students. However, current studies insufficiently articulate a framework for understanding pre-service teachers’ explanations; neither do they assess the practical criteria for development. This article documents various criteria for pre-service science teachers’ explanations as related to the cognitive science literature and their assessment in the context of an instrument designed for teacher education. A rubric was constructed which organized structural and supportive elements into three levels. A validation process is described, and its application in teacher education programs to detect possible patterns and changes in pre-service science teachers’ explanations. The results show the explanation strengths of pre-service teachers working with examples, graphs and images. However, difficulties were found in using and improving analogies, metaphors, and models, and also approaching mis-conceptions as a learning opportunity. Theoretical and practical issues are discussed from a cognitive perspective. We conclude that the signaling implications of using rubrics sensitive to progress-monitoring during teacher education for high-leverage teaching practices give opportunities to simulate and rehearse practices that are highly conducive to learning.
MEDIA EXPOSURE AND EDUCATION OF FIRST TO SIX GRADE CHILDREN FROM SLOVENIA - PARENT OPINIONS (2018-11-28)
The family environment plays an important role in influencing the way that children use the media and the degree of their exposure to media, however the mediating role of parents in this process is not sufficiently understood. The present paper presents the results of a 2016 Slovenian national survey in which opinions of 2,825 parents concerning their children’s exposure to media were collected and analysed using the SPSS PSAW Statistic 18 software package. Our results show that exposure to media by children from the first to the sixth grade increases with age, that children of parents who are themselves heavy media users are more likely to be heavy users and that children who are heavy media users also receive lower test scores.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE EFL COMMUNICATION: A LOOK AT SENSE-MAKING TECHNIQUES (2018-11-23)
The present “new wave” investigation tackles cutting-edge perspectives of one of the most pressing problems – breaking down the barriers to effective fluent English communication. The publication reflects a broad array of stud-ies in the area of methodology of teaching English. The investigation distills the research about sense-making techniques in the language awareness. The paper reveals obstacles and reasons for language barriers to fluent English communication. The author demonstrates an alternative way of approaching the problem of English as a foreign language acquisition. We undertake the empirical investigation of how foreign languages are learnt and taught using sense-making techniques. A foreign language should become a personal need for students allowing them to set goals, choose language improvement strategies, and exercise self-esteem and self-control. Against the backdrops of research, the experiment was carried out. Those tested were 85 students of Southern Federal University, Russia. They were split into two groups: a control group of tertiary participants who were given an instruction using traditional methods of teaching English; and a second group –experimental one implementing sense-making techniques in learning a target language.
RESEARCH OF COGNITIVE EXCHANGE SPECIFICS IN TEACHERS ACADEMIC TRAINING (2018-11-23)
The paper discusses the transformation of the educational environment issues of university pedagogical subjects. The ideas of constructivism and connectivity, of moral philosophy and social psychology, are fundamental. By defining the content parameters of the educational environment in their dichotomous condition: reproducibility – proactivity; customization – dialogue; individualization – differentiation, this research highlights the specific characteristics of the learning process, which determine the qualitative cognitive exchange in the academic training of pedagogical subjects. A compound research is conducted of the learning by registering the self-assessment and the parallel-reflecting assessment of the students in the pedagogical specialties. The analysis of the results emphasizes the urgent need to change the traditionally established patterns in the organization of the teaching process in the higher pedagogical education, the application of student-oriented practices to stimulate self-organization in learning, the development of proactive technology incorporating the characteristics of formal and nonformal education in a networked and technological environment.
MUSIC STUDENTS’ INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY TO DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS (2018-11-30)
The authors’ aim is to analyze the degree of openness to different religious convictions among students of Department of Music, Faculty of Arts in Niš, and also to test whether these students have an active attitude on overcoming religious prejudice. The research was initiated due to the fact that during their education, through various teaching activities (playing, singing, conducting, composition, listening to music and its analysis) students become familiar with religious, spiritual, and church music, as a constituent part of different religions. The assumption is that precisely through music as one of the most universal media of artistic communication students can establish and develop a positive attitude to religious differences. Research results show that students are aware of various religious convictions and affiliations, but they do not show enough sensitivity to respecting differences, and they do not take part in the struggle against prejudices that accompany those differences.
THE TRANSVERSAL COMPETENCE FOR PROBLEM-SOLVING IN COGNITIVE LEARNING (2018-11-27)
The opportunities education provides to develop the student’s ability to use cognitive skills to understand and solve problems whose solution is not obvious and the student’s willingness to engage in problem solving as a constructive and thinking citizen are essential for the realization of the approach from transversal competences to transversal personality. The study puts an emphasis on exploring the conditions for the development of transversal competence for solving educational-and-cognitive problems that is portable through different learning contents, different activities and ages. The highlights of pupils’ cognitive development have been used as a basis for turning them into subjects of problem-based training aiming at the development of transversal competence to solve problems. The here developed task system for solving integrated problems in science education allows diagnosing the level of competence of cognitive-learning problem solving as transversal. Achieving this result in school education is directly linked to the teacher’s competence to design a proactive educational environment i.e. to the requirements for the training of pedagogical specialists in existing conditions.
INEVESTIGATING TEACHING PRACTICES TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ CRITICAL THINKING IN CASS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SAUDI ARABIA (2018-12-06)
This study aims to investigate teachers’ perceptions of strategies they adopt to help their learners develop their critical thinking skills and how coherent their classroom practices are with their perceptions. The study was conducted with teachers in secondary schools in Saudi Arabia. Primary data in the form of questionnaire results, classroom observation notes and interviews was gathered to attain this goal. A total of three all-male schools participated in the study with 82 teachers completing the questionnaire, and 12 teachers (four from each school) being interviewed and observed during their classroom work. The findings suggest that positing open-ended questions to the class, focusing on performance tasks, and comparing and contrasting different perspectives were the most beneficial teaching strategies to foster students’ critical thinking skills. The findings also highlight that these capabilities are affected not only by the teaching practices, but also by other factors related to the broader academic environment, such as school resources. The results of the present study may help secondary teachers to select and implement teaching strategies and consider factors that may lead to an improvement in students’ critical thinking skills. While this study focuses exclusively on teachers working in the secondary schools in Saudi Arabia, some of the findings can be potentially transferable to other similar educational contexts.