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Exploring the Classroom: Teaching Science in Early Childhood*

inquiry preschool science stem-education

Peter J. N. Dejonckheere , Nele de Wit , Kristof van de Keere , Stephanie Vervaet


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This study tested and integrated the effects of an inquiry-based didactic method for preschool science in a real practical classroom setting. Four preschool classrooms participated in the experiment (N = 57) and the children were 4–6 years old. In order to assess children’s attention for causal events and their understanding at the level of scientific reasoning skills, we designed a simple task in which a need for information gain was created. Compared to controls, children in the post-test showed significant learning gains in the development of the so-called control of variables strategy. Indeed, they executed more informative and less uninformative explorations during their spontaneous play. Furthermore, the importance of such programmes was discussed in the field of STEM education.

* Note: This paper was published as an inadvertent duplicate publication with an another journal.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.3.149
Pages: 149-164
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1471
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1461
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19

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The aim of the present study is to identify primary school principals' self-monitoring skills. The study adopted the general survey model and its population comprised primary school principals serving in the city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, while 292 of these constituted the sample. Self-Monitoring Scale was used as the data collection instrument. In data analysis, descriptive statistics, t-test, homogeneity of variances, One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's test were used. The primary school principals' mean self-monitoring score was found to be 9.72. In addition, primary school principals' self-monitoring skills did not significantly vary in terms of gender and length of service. On the other hand, primary school principals who were class teachers had a higher level of self-monitoring skills than subject teachers; Faculty of Education graduates had a higher level of self-monitoring skills than those of other faculties', teachers serving as principals had a higher level of self-monitoring skills than both principals and assistant principals at a significant level.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.4.173
Pages: 173-179
cloud_download 534
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534
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708
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2

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The study developed and standardized an Inventory for measuring Students’ Integration into University Academic Culture named Inventory for Students’ Integration into University Academic Culture (ISIUAC). The increase in dropout rates, substance use, cultism and other deviant behaviours in Nigerian universities makes it necessary for one to ask the extent to which university students are integrated into the university academic culture. This necessitates the development of standardized instrument for the assessment of students’ integration into university academic culture. The Study employed an instrumentation design in which a five point scale inventory were developed and standardized. An initial draft of 60 item instrument was developed and standardized. After corrections a 58 item instrument emerged and was administered to 500 University students. The data collected were subjected to factor analysis. The result from factor analysis showed that 27 items loaded well on three factors with minimum loading of 035.  The 27 items were administered to 1,000 students to establish norms. The norm for the entire instrument was 105.19, the norms of male and female students were 100.96 and 109.21 respectively.  Cronbach alpha statistics was used to establish the reliability of the instrument, its result shows an internal consistency of 0.926 for the 27 items. Hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics; the result shows that there is a significant difference between the norms of male and female students. The manual of the ISIUAC shows the administration and scoring procedure of the inventory and its psychometric properties. The instrument ISIUAC is recommended therefore for assessing students’ integration into the university academic culture.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.4.201
Pages: 201-212
cloud_download 673
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673
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874
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2

Self-Concept of Chilean and Portuguese University Students with Disabilities: Gender and Participation in Support Programmes

self-concept disability university gender perceived social support

Bárbara Valenzuela-Zambrano , Helena Chacón-López , María Dolores López-Justicia , Anabela Panão-Ramalho


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This study was designed to investigate the state of self-concept among Chilean and Portuguese university students with disabilities with the aim of introducing proposals to help their inclusion and academic performance. First, the two samples compared separately students with and without disabilities with their peers and subsequently both were compared with students with disabilities from both countries. The role of gender and participation in support programmes for students with disabilities was also examined. The instrument used was the AF5-Scale, which assesses five dimensions of self-concept (academic, social, emotional, family and physical) and a socio-demographic form. The results (applying a non-parametric analysis) showed that students with disabilities in both countries presented lower scores for physical self-concept than peers without disabilities, the Chilean students being those who obtained the lower scores when comparing only students with disabilities. Women showed higher academic self-concept, but worse emotional self-concept than men. Finally, it was found that students participating in support programmes have a higher physical self-concept than those who do not. It is concluded that a way to improve the deficit in self-concept in both samples could be associated with participation in these support programmes.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.5.4.213
Pages: 213-222
cloud_download 723
visibility 1048
2
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723
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1048
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2

The Effect of Performance Feedback Provided to Student-Teachers Working with Multiple Disabilities

severe disability multiple disability student teacher performance feedback

Pinar Safak , Hatice Cansu Yilmaz , Pinar Demiryurek , Mustafa Dogus


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The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of performance feedback (PF) provided to student teachers working with students with multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI) on their teaching skills. The study group of the research was composed of 11 student teachers attending to the final year of the Teaching Students with Visual Impairments Program at a university in Ankara, Turkey. A quasi-experimental design, was used in the study. These student teachers recorded their classes for pretest and posttest and these video-recorded classes were thereafter watched by the observer, who completed semi-structured observation forms for each student teacher. The results of the analysis suggested a statistically significant difference between the pretest and posttest scores of the student teachers involved in the study before and after the performance feedback. The findings of the study were discussed in the light of the relevant literature and practical recommendations were included.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.3.109
Pages: 109-123
cloud_download 551
visibility 755
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551
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755
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2

Improving the Perception of Self-Sufficiency towards Creative Drama

creative drama self-sufficiency training program

Serpil Pekdogan , Halil Ibrahim Korkmaz


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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a Creative Drama Based Perception of Self-sufficiency Skills Training Program on 2nd grade bachelor degree students’ (who are attending a preschool teacher training program) perception of self-sufficiency. This is a quasi-experimental study. Totally 50 students were equally divided into two groups as they are experimental group and control group. Experimental group has attended to 24 sessions of a course as creative drama based training program. The training program was performed by involve in four elements of Bandura’s self-sufficiency as they are; performance success, indirect experiences, verbal persuasion and emotional states. It has been prepared to promote students’ perception of self-sufficiency skills. Perception of Self-sufficiency Towards Using Creative Drama Technique (PSCDT) has been offered as pre-test and post-test to both groups in order to obtain the data. It has been found that there was significance on behalf of experimental group in the end of this study (p< ,05).

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.5.3.101
Pages: 101-108
cloud_download 530
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530
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1140
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2

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The purpose of this study was to adapt “Distributed Leadership Scale” originally developed by Davis into Turkish Language. A total of 386 participants including teachers employed in high schools in Tokat participated in the study. Explanatory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) were performed to test the structural validity of the scale. EFA results illustrated that adapted scale consisted of seven factors. In the light of the original scale form, these factors were named as “School Organization”, “School Vision”, “School Culture”, “Instructional Program”, “Artifacts”, “Teacher Leadership”, “Principal Leadership”. The scale consisted of 34 items and reliability coefficients for the subscales from .75 and .92. Results finally revealed that Distributed Leadership Scale-Turkish Adapted Form is a valid and reliable measurement tool to be used in describing the distributed leadership behaviors in schools.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.2.43
Pages: 43-52
cloud_download 705
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705
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952
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3

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Measuring the quality of the ‘product’ is elemental in education, and most studies depend on observational data about student achievement factors, focusing overwhelmingly on quantitative data namely achievement scores, school data like attendance, facilities, expenditure class size etc. But there is little evidence of learner perceptions. 553 students from two different universities, who graduated from 3 high school types, were asked to respond to two fundamental questions to reflect on school and classroom level achievement factors. 2294 responses produced eight categories in question one, teacher factors being the most preferred (n=424), followed by individual factors (n=404) and then family factors (n=395). As for liking towards a course, 1362 responses were produced, most frequent one being teacher’s attitude (n=205). Results indicate student perspective of causes of achievement is somewhat different from those expressed in quantitative studies. Girls attributed more achievement to study habits, family support whereas boys attributed more to school and technology. More emphasis is needed on perceived achievement factors for a sound evaluation of effectiveness in school.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.2.85
Pages: 85-100
cloud_download 1655
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1655
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1392
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2

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The objective of the study was to find out the effect of EI and gender on job satisfaction of primary school teachers. A total of 300 (150 male and 150 female) primary school teachers were selected randomly for the study. Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS) and Teachers’ Job Satisfaction Scale (TJSS) were used to collect the data. The study found a significant positive relationship between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction. Regression analysis showed that emotional management and emotional maturity significantly predicted the job satisfaction. The results of the two-way ANOVA showed that the interaction effect of gender and EI was not significant. Results also showed that level of EI significantly affected the job satisfaction of primary school teachers. However, there is no significant difference between male and female teachers regarding the level of job satisfaction. There are other factors which affect job satisfaction but the role of EI cannot be neglected. So the level of EI must be taken into consideration in order to select the best teachers.

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10.12973/eu-jer.5.1.1
Pages: 1-9
cloud_download 2007
visibility 1664
13
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2007
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1664
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13

Scopus

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This study provides a framework for the production of Hypermedia Instructional package. It also assessed the effectiveness of hypermedia instructional mode of delivery on students’ performance in Chemistry. This is with a view of improving the learning of Chemistry which may eventually help to improve students’ performance. The developmental study employed a pre-test, post-test control group design. The research sample consisted of 60 private secondary school students in Osun State with an enrolment of 30 students from each of the two schools selected. The students were thereafter assigned to experimental and control groups. The stimulus material used for the experimental group was the Hypermedia Instructional Package, while the Control group received instruction with similar content through the conventional method. The test instrument used was Hypermedia Learning Achievement Test (HLAT). Content and face validity of the instrument used was carried out by experts in the area of tests and measurement. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient for the HLAT gave a value of 0.72. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results obtained showed that students exposed to the Hypermedia Instructional Package (HIP) performed significantly better than those exposed to the conventional teaching method (t = 5.458, df = 58, p < 0.05). Results also revealed a significant difference in the retention ability of students in Chemistry between those exposed to the package and those that were not (t= 6.842, df=58, p<0.05). The study concluded that the use of HIP was an intervention which improved students’ performance retention and attitude towards Chemistry.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.5.1.27
Pages: 27-34
cloud_download 661
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661
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903
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2

Scopus

The Use of Pre-Reading Activities in Reading Skills Achievement in Preschool Education

pre-reading activities preschool education games

Aboagye Michael Osei , Qing Jing Liang , Ihnatushchenko Natalia , Mensah Abrampah Stephen


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Although wealth of empirical researches have covered the impact of crucial, indispensable role reading skills play in the development of individuals’ mental faculties through the acquisition of knowledge in a particular language, scientific works on the assessment of the relationship(s) between pre-reading activities (consisting of games, puzzle solving, match making) and reading skills achievement remain depressingly scanty in Ghana. This study in the light of foregoing atmosphere explored how pre-reading activities facilitate pre-reading and reading skills among preschoolers with the use of randomized experimental control groups design which adopted pre and post-test of two classes, as well as observation guides to diagnose the problem of reading among the KG children in the two groups (control and treatment groups). The findings from these experimentations clearly portrayed the significant influence that pre-reading activities exert on the level of preschoolers reading skills achievements. Upon thorough analysis, and discussions predicated on the research outcome, it has been recommended that preschool educators incorporate levelappropriate pre-reading activities to enrich Preschool Education in Ghana.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.5.1.35
Pages: 35-42
cloud_download 2785
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2785
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1278
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5

Scopus

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The paper presents an educative experience organized in a postgraduate course in a faculty of education with the aim of facilitating students’ “affective self-understanding”. Affective self-understanding is a reflective practice that allows people to comprehend their own emotions in order to gain awareness of them. Students were spontaneously engaged in a laboratory, where they were invited to reflect on their emotional lives. The educative experience was subdivided into different phases requiring writing and analysis tasks. At the end of the experience, students were asked what they thought they had learned, what had been difficult, and what had been the most important phase for learning. Students’ answers were analyzed on the basis of grounded theory through an inductive process of analysis. The theoretical framework of the research is the cognitive theory of emotions. According to this theory, an emotional education is possible because we can understand emotions by identifying their cognitive component and the actions they induce.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.4.157
Pages: 157-176
cloud_download 1651
visibility 1497
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1651
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1497
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6

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Because of the importance of intellectual disability teenagers fulfilling the daily life skills by themselves, an animation that shows the intellectual disability and autistic high school students an interactive shopping skill by means of iPad was played and its effect on providing them with the independent shopping skill was analyzed. 3 intellectual disability and autistic students attending The Umit Kaplan Vocational Education Center that offers a High School- Level Training in Ankara have participated in the research in 2013-2014 School Year. The ages of the students range between 17-19 years. The dependent variable of the research is the participants’ levels of performing the shopping skills from a supermarket. The independent variable is, however, the animation practices that indicate the interactional shopping skills presented through iPad. The design of the research is the “multiple probe design across subjects” which is one of the single-subject designs.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.4.177
Pages: 177-183
cloud_download 1228
visibility 1133
10
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1228
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1133
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10

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This paper describes a pedagogical framework that teachers can use to support students who are engaged in solving open-ended problems, by explaining how two Japanese expert teachers successfully apply open-ended problems in their mathematics class. The Open-Ended Approach (OPA) framework consists of two main sections: Understanding Mathematical Knowledge and Applying Mathematical Knowledge. The sections were cross-analyzed with students’ responses to provide a comprehensive analysis of how teachers use various techniques to support students. It is proposed that teachers can use this framework to create an environment that promotes learning with open-ended as well as other open problems in their mathematics classroom. The OPA framework can contribute to teacher education, the design of mathematics curricula and to educational research.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.3.97
Pages: 97-104
cloud_download 4357
visibility 3100
15
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4357
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3100
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15

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Facilitating effective mathematics learning and higher mathematics achievement have long been recognized as a key to the scientific and technological advancement of the African continent. While the central role that language proficiency plays in mathematics teaching and learning has received an overwhelming research attention in the literature over the past two decades, this is not the case among African policy-makers and political leaders. Drawing mainly from our professional experiences as mathematics educators and from the international research literature, our primary intent in this paper is to answer this question: How does the learning of mathematics in English at the basic school level help or hinder students’ mathematical proficiency? To answer this question, the paper is organized as follows. The first part, the introduction, gives a brief overview of the language of learning and teaching in Africa. The second part describes the method and conceptual framework undergirding the research. In the third section, we have analyzed the effects of mathematics learning and teaching through English for basic students whose mother tongue is a Ghanaian language. The conclusion offers four recommendations for developing and improving the mathematics proficiency of students in basic schools.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.3.124
Pages: 124-139
cloud_download 2187
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2187
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1923
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2

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The purpose of the research is to evaluate pre-service preschool teachers' knowledge about environment by analyzing their drawings about it. 70 first grade, 99 second grade, 56 third grade and 44 fourth grade, with a total of 269 students have been evaluated in this research. This qualitative research was made with social structuralism vision. The data used in this research were gathered by draw and tell conversation technique, where pre-service teachers were asked to draw the first thing when they think about environment and explain it. When analyzing the data, both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used. After analyzing collected data, it is seen that most used object in drawings are tree, human, house and sun, respectively. 4 themes and 12 sub-categories under these themes are detected by pre-service teachers' drawings. The most drawn theme by pre-service teachers is Theme 3: a place which affected/designed by third persons, while the least drawn is Theme 4: a place where humans, animals and plants lives together. 10 categories have seen after analyzing explanations of the drawing. Most explanation seen in the places that supports human life category. Independent variables of the research (sex and grade level) and themes and explanations of the drawings are statically and meaningfully related to each other. The most significant result of this research is that pre-service preschool teachers have human-centric system of thought about environment.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.2.57
Pages: 57-69
cloud_download 749
visibility 1096
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749
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1096
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0

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Learner and teacher beliefs play an important role in second language (L2) learning. Furthermore, the role of grammar instruction and error correction in the L2 classroom is a topic that is still debated in the literature. This study explored the beliefs of EFL learners and teachers regarding the controversial role of grammar instruction and error correction. A total of 17 instructors and 60 students at a private Turkish university participated in the study. The participants completed an open-ended questionnaire and interviewed regarding their beliefs about grammar instruction and error correction. Themes emerging from the qualitative data were identified. As a result of this study, it can be said that both learners and teachers believed in the importance of grammar in language and error correction, however there were some differences between the learners and teachers regarding the use of native language in grammar teaching and other areas of grammar teaching.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.2.70
Pages: 70-76
cloud_download 861
visibility 1045
4
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861
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1045
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4

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Effective communication between faculty members and students is one of the concerns of the educational stakeholders at the Northern Border University, Saudi Arabia. This study investigates the relationship between teachers’ effective communication and students’ academic achievement at the Northern Border University. The survey questionnaire containing 26 items was administered on 100 students, 50 males and 50 females to ask about their perception towards the effective communication of the faculty members and their academic achievement at the Faculty of Education and Arts, Northern Border University in the City of Arar, Saudi Arabia. The results of the Descriptive statistics method showed that, almost more than half of the students agreed that, the friendly and understanding position maintained by their faculty members had helped them to highly achieve academically. The results of the independent sample T-test found no statistically significant differences between the students ‘academic achievement and their faculty members’ verbal communication across the respondents’ gender and year of study. The study recommended for the Northern Border Authority as well as the Saudi Government looking into other areas that might bring about the effective communication of the staff and the students’ academic achievement in the University.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.2.90
Pages: 90-96
cloud_download 1353
visibility 1349
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1353
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1349
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3

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Personal connections to agriculture have decreased considerably in Finland during the last few decades due to struc-tural changes in agriculture. In this study, we will elucidate the understanding and conception of agriculture amongst urban pupils who have grown up during the 21st century. The research strategy consists of intervention in form of a farm visit, with pre- and post-assessment. The methods for collecting data were drawings for gaining a diversified un-derstanding of how pupils understand, experience and conceptualise agriculture. The drawings were analysed by visual content analysis. In addition, interviews, analysed by inductive content analysis method, were used to clarify the re-sults. Qualities of farms as authentic learning environments are defined and studied The study revealed that many pupils had irrational conceptions of agriculture before the farm visit (38 %), but decreased significantly after the visit. One of the explaining factors for these irrational conceptions was considered to be the influence of media sources. Farms as educational learning environments were able to correct pupils’ false conceptions. A realistic image of agriculture is of significant value for becoming an aware and responsible consumer as well as choosing a career in agriculture.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.4.1.1
Pages: 1-13
cloud_download 1850
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6
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1850
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2079
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6

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Grolnick and Ryan assume that an autonomy supportive environment leads to higher learner engagement and thus to greater achievements and deeper understanding of content. In school, knowledge acquisition (rote learning as well as conceptual learning) are regarded as most important. In this study, we examined the effects of teachers’ autonomy supportive vs. controlling behavior on knowledge acquisition as measured by reproduction as well as at higher cognitive levels. The sample consisted of seventh graders (N=85; M=12.85 years; SD=1.6 years). One week in advance to the teaching unit, the students were tested for prior knowledge using two knowledge tests. Test 1 used multiple-choice items to address rote learning and Test 2 used an open response format to address conceptual learning. One week after the teaching unit, the same knowledge tests were used to assess the learning outcome. Analysis of the knowledge tests suggests that the students taught in an autonomy supportive environment develop greater conceptual knowledge than those taught in a controlling environment. Rote learning was not affected.

description Abstract
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10.12973/eu-jer.3.4.177
Pages: 177-184
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11
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1474
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1283
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11

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