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Educ. Sci., Volume 6, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Relevancy of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Sustainable Energy for Adolescents
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 40; doi:10.3390/educsci6040040
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Sustainable energy is one of the biggest global challenges today. This paper discusses how we can promote adolescents’ learning of sustainable energy with the help of an international massive open online course (MOOC). The aim of this case study is to understand: (i)
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Sustainable energy is one of the biggest global challenges today. This paper discusses how we can promote adolescents’ learning of sustainable energy with the help of an international massive open online course (MOOC). The aim of this case study is to understand: (i) What do the adolescents find relevant in the MOOC course about sustainable energy? and (ii) What are the opportunities and challenges of the MOOC for the adolescents to learn sustainable energy? In our study, 80 voluntary adolescents around the world, who were at least 15 year old, took part in two surveys. The themes of our MOOC course were, e.g., sustainable growth, solar power, wind power, biofuel production and smart power generation. This 38 work-hour, free of charge, online course includes an introduction video, interviews of specialists, lecture videos, reading materials of the newest research and multiple choice questions on the topics. Research data was classified by using content analysis. The study indicates that adolescents feel that both the MOOC course and sustainable energy as a subject are relevant to them. Their decision to take part in an online course was mostly influenced by individual relevance and partly influenced by both societal and vocational relevance, according to the relevancy theory used. The MOOC was experienced to be relevant for the three following reasons: (i) good content (e.g., energy production) and implementation of the course; (ii) the course makes it possible to study in a new way; and (iii) the course is personally useful. The characteristics of the MOOC, such as being available anywhere and anytime, free access, and online learning, bringing out a flexible, new way of learning and thus promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the context of sustainable energy at school level around the world. This MOOC provided the school students with choice-based learning and expanded their learning opportunities in understanding sustainable energy. In the designing of MOOCs for studying sustainable energy, it is important to take the following things into consideration: (i) the balance between theory and practical examples; (ii) the support for interaction; and (iii) other support (e.g., technical and learning strategies) for students. Communication with other learners and getting feedback from teachers and tutors remain the vital challenges for the developers of MOOCs in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Methods in Science Subjects Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Epistemology as Education: Know Thyself
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 41; doi:10.3390/educsci6040041
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract
In his Introduction to this Special Edition of Education Sciences, Andrew Stables points out that often, epistemological questions in education have been pursued in isolation from ethics and other social concerns. In part, this problem has been addressed by ‘local’ epistemologies—feminist, queer,
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In his Introduction to this Special Edition of Education Sciences, Andrew Stables points out that often, epistemological questions in education have been pursued in isolation from ethics and other social concerns. In part, this problem has been addressed by ‘local’ epistemologies—feminist, queer, post-colonial, postmodern and others—which try to establish how different knowledge can look when not grounded in presuppositions of consciousness, or rationality, or gender, colour, etc., all of which exclude and suppress that which they deem to be ‘other’. However, perhaps it is not just these local knowledges that are excluded from epistemological work in education. Perhaps, remarkably, epistemological questions pursued in education are habitually carried out in isolation from education, as if education were nothing in its own right. This ‘otherness’ of education to philosophy in general, and to epistemology in particular, contributes to the latter often seeming to be nugatory with regard to the inequalities borne within modern social and political relations. With this is mind, the following contribution reflects not so much on the relation of epistemology and education, or on epistemology in education, but rather on epistemology as education. Primarily this concerns the question of how epistemology, the science of knowledge, can have knowledge of itself and of the educational significance carried in trying to do so. This challenge of epistemology as education commends epistemology to heed the Delphic maxim: know thyself. It is to these efforts that the following essay is directed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epistemology and Education)
Open AccessArticle Delphi Research Methodology Applied to Place-Based Watershed Education
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 42; doi:10.3390/educsci6040042
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
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Abstract
This research focuses on the results of the Flathead Watershed Delphi survey, a consensus-building methodology used to establish foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions for the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide, a place-based watershed curriculum for middle school grades based on the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook.
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This research focuses on the results of the Flathead Watershed Delphi survey, a consensus-building methodology used to establish foundational knowledge, skills and dispositions for the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide, a place-based watershed curriculum for middle school grades based on the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook. Survey participants (n = 33) were chosen based on their expertise as educators, resource managers and scientists living and practicing in the Flathead Watershed in northwestern Montana, USA. Participants’ responses were gathered through a three-round survey conducted by the Montana State University (MSU) research team using MSU’s online course management system, Desire 2 Learn (D2L), an anonymous, asynchronous platform with distance accessibility. Round One responses gathered through the D2L discussion tool allowed participants to read responses and reply if desired. Round One discussion responses were reformatted into statements, which were then rated through two successive rounds using a 1–5 Likert scale. Of the initial 142 statements, 91 statements were retained in the final round. Final statements were cross-referenced with the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook to identify learning objectives for the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide. Final statements identified the knowledge, skills, and dispositions deemed most important for students in the Flathead Watershed to learn. Statements supported the need for place-based watershed education in fostering positive attitudes toward conservation and protection of the natural environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability, Environment and Education)
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Open AccessArticle Mobilization and Adaptation of a Rural Cradle-to-Career Network
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 34; doi:10.3390/educsci6040034
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 4 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 October 2016 / Published: 19 October 2016
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Abstract
This case study explored the development of a rural cradle-to-career network with a dual focus on the initial mobilization of network members and subsequent adaptations made to maintain mobilization, while meeting local needs. Data sources included interviews with network members, observations of meetings,
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This case study explored the development of a rural cradle-to-career network with a dual focus on the initial mobilization of network members and subsequent adaptations made to maintain mobilization, while meeting local needs. Data sources included interviews with network members, observations of meetings, and documentary evidence. Network-based social capital facilitated mobilization. Where networks were absent and where distrust and different values were evident, mobilization faltered. Three network adaptations were discovered: Special rural community organizing strategies, district-level action planning, and a theory of action focused on out-of-school factors. All three were attributable to the composition of mobilized stakeholders and this network’s rural social geography. These findings illuminate the importance of social geography in the development and advancement of rural cradle-to-career networks. Full article
Open AccessArticle Culturally Responsive Teaching: Implications for Educational Justice
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 35; doi:10.3390/educsci6040035
Received: 14 June 2016 / Revised: 13 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
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Abstract
Educational justice is a major global challenge. In most underdeveloped countries, many students do not have access to education and in most advanced democracies, school attainment and success are still, to a large extent, dependent on a student’s social background. However, it has
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Educational justice is a major global challenge. In most underdeveloped countries, many students do not have access to education and in most advanced democracies, school attainment and success are still, to a large extent, dependent on a student’s social background. However, it has often been argued that social justice is an essential part of teachers’ work in a democracy. This article raises an important overriding question: how can we realize the goal of educational justice in the field of teaching? In this essay, I examine culturally responsive teaching as an educational practice and conclude that it is possible to realize educational justice in the field of teaching because in its true implementation, culturally responsive teaching conceptualizes the connection between education and social justice and creates the space needed for discussing social change in society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Justice)
Open AccessArticle Fostering Creativity in the Classroom for High Ability Students: Context Does Matter
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 36; doi:10.3390/educsci6040036
Received: 19 August 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 29 October 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
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Abstract
Researchers have argued for the importance of the classroom context in developing students’ creative potential. However, the emphasis on a performative learning culture in the classroom does not favour creativity. Thus, how creative potential can be realised as one of the educational goals
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Researchers have argued for the importance of the classroom context in developing students’ creative potential. However, the emphasis on a performative learning culture in the classroom does not favour creativity. Thus, how creative potential can be realised as one of the educational goals in the classrooms remains a key question. This study measured creativity across three secondary schools using the Wallach-Kogan Creative Thinking Test (WKCT). A total of 283 students enrolled in the Express programme and 290 students enrolled in the Integrated Programme (IP) volunteered in the study. The same cohort of students took the 38-item WKCT twice; once at the beginning of Secondary One and then at the end of Secondary Three. Four aspects of creativity, namely fluency, flexibility, unusualness, and uniqueness, were investigated. Our analyses showed that (i) IP students showed a greater increase in scores over time when compared to Express students; (ii) when Programme and PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) were used to predict creativity scores in a multiple regression, the predictive power of Programme increased from Secondary 1 to Secondary 3 while that of PSLE decreased; and (iii) flexibility scores were more resistant to change than fluency scores. These findings suggest that the classroom context matters and that the removal of high-stakes examination can provide room for the development of creative potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gifted and Talented and Creativity Research)
Open AccessArticle Reevaluating Bloom’s Taxonomy: What Measurable Verbs Can and Cannot Say about Student Learning
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 37; doi:10.3390/educsci6040037
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 12 November 2016
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Abstract
Faculty and assessment professionals rely on Bloom’s taxonomy to guide them when they write measurable student learning outcomes and describe their goals for developing students’ thinking skills. Over the past ten years, assessment offices and teaching and learning centers have compiled lists of
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Faculty and assessment professionals rely on Bloom’s taxonomy to guide them when they write measurable student learning outcomes and describe their goals for developing students’ thinking skills. Over the past ten years, assessment offices and teaching and learning centers have compiled lists of measurable verbs aligned with the six categories that comprise Bloom’s taxonomy. The author analyzed 30 compilations posted on web sites and evaluated how well these verbs aligned with categories in Bloom’s taxonomy. The author discusses the value of Bloom’s taxonomy as a heuristic for writing student learning outcomes and other factors faculty should consider when they articulate learning outcomes to describe levels of expertise attained by students who complete an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consequential Assessment of Student Learning)
Open AccessArticle A Cross-National Study of Implicit Theories of a Creative Person
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 38; doi:10.3390/educsci6040038
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Implicit theories can influence learning behavior, the approaches individuals take to learning and performance situations, and the learning goals individuals set, as well as, indirectly, their accomplishments, intelligence, and creativity. For this cross-cultural study, Kenyan and German students were asked to draw a
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Implicit theories can influence learning behavior, the approaches individuals take to learning and performance situations, and the learning goals individuals set, as well as, indirectly, their accomplishments, intelligence, and creativity. For this cross-cultural study, Kenyan and German students were asked to draw a creative person and rate it on a number of attributes. The data indicated considerable differences among the implicit theories according to students’ gender and nationality. Kenyan girls, in particular, frequently ascribed a gender to their prototypical creative person that differed from their own, whereas the gender of the prototypical creative people drawn by German students was more equally spread. The data offer evidence that implicit theories of a creative person are multifaceted. Kenyan students value diligence as an important attribute of a creative person. In addition, social variables were seen as important, followed by talents in languages and mathematics. By contrast, German students valued imagination and talent in artistic areas, followed by diligence and social components. Their lowest rated attributes for creativity were talents in the domains of languages, mathematics and technical areas. Future studies should further examine the influence of implicit theories on the learning behavior of gifted students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Gifted and Talented and Creativity Research)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Conceptualising Multilingual Capabilities in Anglophone Higher Degree Research Education: Challenges and Possibilities for Reconfiguring Language Practices and Policies
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 39; doi:10.3390/educsci6040039
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
In a context of the internationalisation of Higher Education (HE) driven by the high mobility of international Higher Degree Research candidates (HDRs), it is important to consider the value of HDRs’ multilingual capabilities for their learning and making of original contributions to knowledge.
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In a context of the internationalisation of Higher Education (HE) driven by the high mobility of international Higher Degree Research candidates (HDRs), it is important to consider the value of HDRs’ multilingual capabilities for their learning and making of original contributions to knowledge. This article reports on a literature study regarding conceptualisations of multilingualism and multilingual capabilities, together with multilingualism in university research education practices and policies. Key themes to emerge from the literature include divergent understandings of languages, multilingualism, and multilingual capabilities. For example, a ‘static’ language construct provides a structuralist lens through which multilingual HDRs are viewed as an accumulation of monolinguals, whereas a ‘dynamic’ language construct informs a socially and culturally constructed linguistic space where the multilingual resources of HDRs are valued. These divergences are manifested in the language-as-problem orientation and language-as-resource orientation in anglophone universities’ HDR education policies. Informed by empirical evidence of leveraging multilingual capabilities in original contributions to knowledge, this article argues that it is urgent for pertinent stakeholders in HDR education to reconfigure language practices and policies in the HDR educational context. In doing so, the voices of HDRs would be able to leverage multilingual capabilities in their research instead of being treated as deficient English learners. Full article

Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper Toward Culturally Sustaining Leadership: Innovation beyond ‘School Improvement’ Promoting Equity in Diverse Contexts
Educ. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 33; doi:10.3390/educsci6040033
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
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Abstract
Whilst school principals and educational leaders are increasingly constrained by standardized assessment results and student achievement, persistent achievement gaps continue to separate poor and historically underserved students from their wealthier mainstream peers in the United States (US) and similar countries. Unprecedented levels of
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Whilst school principals and educational leaders are increasingly constrained by standardized assessment results and student achievement, persistent achievement gaps continue to separate poor and historically underserved students from their wealthier mainstream peers in the United States (US) and similar countries. Unprecedented levels of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, racial, and gender school diversity underscore these phenomena. As a result, leadership for ‘school improvement’ has become the norm and as evidenced by chronic academic disparities, ineffective. This review article considers culturally sustaining leadership as an innovative practice to promote and advance equity in schools. Full article
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