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Grading of Pupils in History: One-Year Research in the Czech Republic

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the research was to point to a wide range of factors of the pupils’ grading in History classes and to find out if this grading on the given sample corresponds with the context of the independently selected variables: pupils’ weight, inclination to the Socratic type of values, type of family, and parents’ education. Methods: A sample of 1819 7th grade pupils was made up of the pupils of randomly addressed primary schools willing to cooperate. In the course of one school year, a questionnaire survey was carried out on this sample: each of the 14 regions of the Czech Republic was represented by 5 to 9% of the respondents. Data were evaluated at a 5% level of significance by means of the Chi-squared test. Results: In all the monitored cases, a statistically significant link was demonstrated between the dependent variable (pupils’ grading) and independent variables, i.e. the results in History have a wide-spectrum effect. Discussion: The research findings correspond with the results obtained by other scholars, and external factors (independent variables) significantly affect the pupils’ school success regardless of their mental and intellectual dispositions. Limitations: School success is simply monitored through numerical grading of pupils, which does not always and completely reflect the pupils’ progress in terms of their development. It was not a longitudinal survey but only a single one-year research from which no major conclusions can be drawn. Conclusions: It was confirmed that the results of pupils in History, or their historical knowledge, represent a broad-spectrum matter in which the multiplication effect of external influences must be counted. In the future, research should be carried out in longer time ranges and with a greater emphasis on the causality of the phenomena.

Open access
Physical Games as a Means of Developing Children’s Social Skills in Kindergarten

Abstract

Introduction: The text presents the results of a study conducted in the years 2015 - 2016. The objective of the study was to examine a programme of physical activities aimed at developing children’s social skills. Methods: The research was conducted in a kindergarten. This was a deliberate choice on the basis of availability. The experimental group comprised of 24 children, the control group comprised of 11 children. A 12-lessons programme of physical activities was applied, with a frequency of 1 lesson per week. Entry and exit measurements were taken before the commencement of the programme and after its end, with the help of structured observation, CATO projective tests and interviews with teachers. The data were processed by means of a descriptive statistics level by comparing the average levels. The achieved changes in the level of social skills were subsequently displayed through percentage values. Results: The results indicate that physical activities have a positive effect on the development of children’s social skills. Although the changes are not significant, the experimental group recorded greater changes than the control group in all the evaluated areas; in terms of the overall results, it was actually more than twofold. Discussion: The results cannot be generalized. The results are only valid for our group of children. The reason is the insufficient size of the research sample. Limitations: A significantly limiting factor showed to be the low number of children in the control group. This caused a lack of balance between the two groups in terms of the number of children and their entry level. The length of the intervention program was another limit. Conclusions: Despite the limits of the study, the authors view the results as positive. The reason is the improvement in all the children’s social skills in all the monitored areas, and the more than twofold improvement by the experimental groups compared to the control group.

Open access
Prosocial Behavior Education in Children

Abstract

Introduction: It is paradoxical that more attention is currently paid to negative features in children’s and adolescents’ behavior (aggressive behavior, bullying) than to the positive ones (helping, social support). Purpose: This literature review describes how children’s sensitivity to helping other people develops and how children acquire competences in helping. Methods: The literature search was conducted in databases using keywords “child”, “prosocial development” and “prosocial behavior”. Publications (papers or monographs) published in English or Czech between 1989 and 2016 were retrieved. Conclusions: The study identified the following sources of prosocial behavior: use of fairy-tale motifs in the case of babies (e. g. the motif of good deeds) and targeted family education with the use of direct and indirect procedures. Targeted education of children in preschool was accomplished by experienced teachers. Education in providing help and social support to schoolmates (including the socalled partnership and peer teaching) at elementary school was identified as a special case.

Open access
Social-Emotional Health of University Students and the Importance of Its Research

Abstract

Introduction: Health and well-being are crucial for individuals, a particular country as well as the whole society. Therefore, it is important to focus research on it, and the Social-Emotional Health Survey - Higher Education used on the sample of university students is a good example of it. Purpose: The aim of the article is to bring information on the current issues of social-emotional health in Slovakia and the possibilities of its measuring with the emphasis on the brand new international questionnaire method Social-Emotional Health Survey - Higher Education (SEHS-HE) by M. Furlong. Methods: The method measures four basic dimensions and twelve psychological indicators of social-emotional health of university students. It helps to find the strengths and health predictions of students. Conclusions: Mental health of young people is the priority of the Slovak National Treating Program for Children and Youth, from which goes the necessity to identify the mental health of various groups of people especially of children and youth, to support it and to create the conditions for its optimal development.

Open access
Speech Therapy Prevention in Kindergarten

Abstract

Introduction: This contribution presents the results of a research focused on speech therapy in kindergartens. This research was realized in Zlín Region. It explains how speech therapy prevention is realized in kindergartens, determines the educational qualifications of teachers for this activity and verifies the quality of the applied methodologies in the daily program of kindergartens. Methods: The empirical part of the study was conducted through a qualitative research. For data collection, we used participant observation. We analyzed the research data and presented them verbally, using frequency tables and graphs, which were subsequently interpreted. Results: In this research, 71% of the teachers completed a course of speech therapy prevention, 28% of the teachers received pedagogical training and just 1% of the teachers are clinical speech pathologists. In spite of this, the research data show that, in most of kindergartens, the aim of speech therapy prevention is performed in order to correct deficiencies in speech and voice. The content of speech therapy prevention is implemented in this direction. Discussion: Awareness of the teachers’/parents’ regarding speech therapy prevention in kindergartens. Limitations: This research was implemented in autumn of 2016 in Zlín Region. Research data cannot be generalized to the entire population. We have the ambition to expand this research to other regions next year. Conclusions: Results show that both forms of speech therapy prevention - individual and group - are used. It is also often a combination of both. The aim of the individual forms is, in most cases, to prepare a child for cooperation during voice correction. The research also confirmed that most teachers do not have sufficient education in speech therapy. Most of them completed a course of speech therapy as primary prevention educators. The results also show that teachers spend a lot of time by speech therapy prevention in kindergartens. Educators often develop the communication skills of children by interesting ways and methods.

Open access
Study Circles in Online Learning Environment in the Spirit of Learning-Centered Approach

Abstract

Introduction: In the era of information society and knowledge economy, learning in non-formal environments gets a highlighted role: it can supplement, replace or raise the knowledge and skills gained in the school system to a higher level (Forray & Juhász, 2008), as the so-called “valid” knowledge significantly changes due to the acceleration of development. With the appearance of information technology means and their booming development, the possibilities of gaining information have widened and, according to the forecasts, the role of learning communities will grow. Purpose: Our starting point is that today, with the involvement of community sites (e.g. Google+, Facebook etc.) there is a new possibility for inspiring learning communities: by utilizing the power of community and the possibilities of network-based learning (Ollé & Lévai, 2013). Methods: We intend to make a synthesis based on former research and literature focusing on the learning-centered approach, online learning environment, learning communities and study circles (Noesgaard & Ørngreen, 2015; Biggs & Tang, 2007; Kindström, 2010) Conclusions: The online learning environment can be well utilized for community learning. In the online learning environment, the process of learning is built on activity-oriented work for which active participation, and an intensive, initiative communication are necessary and cooperative and collaborative learning get an important role.

Open access
Career Plans of Novice University Teachers: The Research Perspective

Abstract

Introduction: The career trajectories of young university teachers have been a relatively frequent research target in North American and Western European countries but an entirely neglected topic of the Czech and Slovak educational research. This paper’s ambition is to narrow the gap. The research goal is to describe one aspect of career advancement of young university teachers - their professional plans after their entry to an academic position at a university after completion of their doctoral studies.

Methods: This qualitative investigation was concentrated on a sample of ten young university teachers currently employed in Czech universities. The data were gathered through in-depth interviews, sound recordings were converted to written transcripts, and then open- and category coded.

Results: The findings show how the young teachers adapted to the workplace environment, how they struggled with the double roles in academia, i.e., an instructor and a researcher, and which personal decisions they made for the next years in employment. I was revealed how the desire to attain assistant professorship overwhelmed their professional, occupational and personal decisions.

Limitations: As concerns the limitation of the findings, the qualitative investigation went deeply into the thinking and decision making of the study participants but was unable to draft wide generalisations.

Open access
Gaming Methods in the Management Teaching at Secondary Schools

Abstract

Introduction: The paper deals with the design of gaming methods for teaching Management at secondary schools and the importance of using effective games in the process secondary education.

Methods: The authors analysed and summarised the relevant findings collected during the fifty-year history. For the purposes of the investigation, a questionnaire survey was carried out between April 11, 2016 and April 22, 2016. Finally, interviews with teachers were conducted.

Results: Specific gaming methods for teaching Management were implemented in classrooms which helped to identify the strengths and the weaknesses of the gaming methods.

Limitations: The limits of the survey were given by the small number of respondents (100) and by the fact that only 6 questions were asked.

Conclusions: The gaming methods are attractive not only for pupils and students but also for adults and represent one of the most attractive teaching methods. There is a connection between gaming methods, didactics and andragogy.

Open access
Generation Alpha: Marketing or Science

Abstract

Introduction: The transition from the limited information environment to the extended information world has fundamentally transformed the communication and information-gathering processes. The new learning spheres (non-formal and informal learning, i.e. lifelong learning) require rethinking learning strategies.

Purpose: The generation logic and knowledge of different generations can help making the learning process more effective and efficient. It also helps, if we know which generation exists and which one is a “fictious generation”. According to theory of Mannheim and the model of Prensky, we can describe Generation X, Y and Z, but now the name of the next generation is being established.

Methods: With the help of traditional desk research, such as literature search, data mining and web search, this article covers the origin of Generation Alpha (Alfa), the possible characteristics attributed to this age group, and tries to discern if this concept is meaningful in terms of the generation paradigm.

Conclusions: Overall, it is apparent that while the existence of X, Y, and Z generations is demonstrable, the naming and characterizing the Alfa generation is important for marketing purposes, scientifically there is no evidence for “Generation Alpha”.

Open access