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Abstract

Introduction: The concept of empathy has been described in many ways by researchers. According to some, it is the basic cognitive function or ability of being aware of others’ thoughts and feelings. Empathy refers to being able to respond to emotions, sharing the feelings of individuals, and reflecting them as if in a mirror. It also helps to establish good relationships with people, to understand them, and share their feelings. The use of empathy in the classroom, especially in life skills courses help students to make connections between school and everyday life.

Methods: This study aimed to investigate how an empathy-based education programme implemented in the life skills teaching course affected the empathy skills of prospective classroom teachers in Turkey. For this purpose, using a mixed-methods research design, the participant prospective classroom teachers received empathy-based education programme 12 class hours. The data collection tools used in the study were the Empathy Quotient Scale, document analysis and open-ended questionnaire. The study was conducted with 64 prospective classroom teachers attending at Istanbul University, Turkey. The dependent t-test was employed to analyze the quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data.

Results: As a result, it was seen that the qualitative data supported the quantitative data. According to the quantitative data, after receiving empathy-based education programme, the students developed the skills of empathy. According to the qualitative data, it was determined that prospective teachers understood the importance of empathy and put themselves in the place of others. In addition, the prospective teachers considered that empathy would have several positive contributions to their future primary school students. It is thought that the results obtained from this study will guide teaching practices involving empathy-based activities.

Discussion: According to the findings obtained from the quantitative data, the empathy-based education programme provided for the prospective teachers caused a significant increase in their empathy levels. Similarly, in a study who applied a critical thinking programme and empathic tendency scale to prospective teachers, reported a positive correlation between critical thinking and empathic tendency at a low-level significance. According to the findings obtained from the qualitative data, the topics chosen for the preparation of empathy-based activities were mostly from the life skills subjects of the first grade of primary school, followed by second and third grades. This may be because the prospective teachers considered it appropriate to perform empathy-based activities with children from the earliest age. Furthermore, a higher number of participants chose to prepare written empathy-based activities, followed by drawing and photography, which might be attributed to their belief that they could better express themselves through writing, rather than drawing or taking/showing pictures.

Limitations: The study group covered in the third year of the classroom teaching programme in the selected university only. Although the empathy-based education programme prepared by the researcher was implemented with the prospective teachers as part of the life skills teaching course in 10 class hours.

Conclusions: In conclusion, empathy is considered to be very important especially in the education of children of young age. As revealed by the review of literature, empathy skills also affect many positive elements. For this reason and considering that the available research in the literature is based either on quantitative or on qualitative data, more mixed-design studies are needed to investigate the effects of similar empathy-based education programmes integrated into life skills and social studies courses. In addition, it is as important to conduct empathy-based activities in other courses of the primary and middle school as in life skills and social studies courses. It is also suggested that empathy-based education should also be provided for teacher candidates enrolled in science teaching programmes, as well as those in social studies.

Abstract

Introduction: This study reviews the most commonly used Hungarian terminology of pedagogical folklorism terms, their interpretations and the conceptual debates around them, as well as the possible imprecisions related to them. With the help of Hungarian and international examples, it places the technical terms of the ethnography-folk tradition-pedagogy triangle into a system and finally, it gives recommendations on the scientific terminology to be used to describe the phenomenon.

Purpose: The focus of this contribution is to create a system in the expressions that refer to the relationship between folk tradition and pedagogy and to carry out the systematisation of pedagogical activities related to folk tradition/ethnography and to rethink them in a modern and terminology-critical manner.

Methods: In the present study, we applied source analysis, content analysis, logical operations (analysis, synthesis, comparison).

Conclusions: Researchers of the issues at the intersection of pedagogy, ethnography, ethnology and anthropology have more or less consistently been applying the term ethnopedagogy for this interdisciplinary research area. It would be expedient to carry out the systematization of pedagogical activities related to folk tradition/ethnography and to rethink them in a modern and terminology-critical manner with the introduction of the term “ethnopedagogy.” This term may be able to connect the partially overlapping, sometimes parallel (at others, contradicting) terms related to the pedagogy of folk tradition without the risk of homogenisation.

Abstract

Introduction: Studies on the relationship between ideology, hegemony and textbooks in applied linguistics have been incremental in recent decades because emergence of critical theory, critical pedagogy, and critical thinking skills from the 1920s on has led scholars to develop a critical perspective towards EFL (English as a Foreign Language) textbooks taking the elements of ideology and hegemony into consideration. These two terms encompass an innumerable number of elements or compounds ranging from nationalism to religion. The importance of meta-narratives originating from the tenets of modernism or modernization has been downgraded from 1960s on because it has been postulated that the world has entered a new age called postmodernism and post-structuralism that have emphasized the role of individuals and criticized the efforts to reinforce post-colonialism, the effects of which can be seen in EFL textbooks. Therefore, it remains crucial to analyze EFL textbooks taking the main elements of ideology and hegemony into account. The aim of this study is to investigate the ideological and hegemonic practices included in globally and locally written EFL textbooks.

Methods: Using a mixed method research design, ideological and hegemonic representations included in EFL textbooks were examined qualitatively through descriptive content analysis technique employed to make valid assumptions by interpreting and coding content of textual materials. For the qualitative data, based on a descriptive research design, textbook analyses, documentary analysis, were conducted. As for the inductive content analysis, both globally and locally EFL textbooks were examined. The themes were extracted with the help of the experts since this study entailed inductive content analysis. Each theme was analyzed and perused by the experts. After a rigorous analysis, each theme was compared, and in the last stage common themes were formed.

Results: The findings of the present study show that ideology and hegemony of inner and expanding circle cultures are dominant in EFL textbooks. While the expanding circle culture is dominant in the locally written EFL textbooks, the inner circle culture is extensively included in the globally written ones. However, outer circle countries are excluded and marginalized. Besides, while specific ideologies such as economy and history were highly included in both globally and locally written textbooks, some of them such as law and gender were weakly detected.

Discussion: This present study showed that locally written textbooks dwell more on expanding circles, whereas globally written textbooks except for national geographic textbooks, to a large extent, mention only inner circle. Correspondingly, Abdullah (2009) scrutinized the textbooks in Malaysia and concluded that their textbooks covered local cultures from expanding circles. A similar finding was detected in various textbooks in Chile also including the local culture instead of the target one (McKay, 2003). In our study, the most dominant ideological component was culture (75.87% in global textbooks and 77.80% in local textbooks) whose components contain social norms, traditions, beliefs, social values (Williamson, 2000). Surprisingly, in both locally and globally written textbooks, the ideology of culture was prevalent (75.87% in global textbooks and 77.80% in local textbooks). This component was both implicitly and explicitly presented in the textbooks analyzed in this study.

Limitations: Taking the extent of the study into consideration, specific limitations already subsist in hand. Initially, choosing textbooks for the analysis of the existing ideological and hegemonic practices in the materials is a difficult task; hence, a particular and convenience selection criterion was selected. Additionally, as the scope of the study is constructed on English as a foreign or second language - a lingua franca, the selection was built on textbooks written globally and locally.

Conclusion: In locally written textbooks, multiculturalism and law-related issues were barely mentioned, while few religion, politics and gender-related issues were directly mentioned. Some topics, although they were very pivotal across the globe, were never mentioned. The topics of poverty, slavery, and racism were by no means focused on in the textbooks. Thus, it can be said that some topics are underrepresented or never represented owing to the fact that these topics might be too risky. As for the ideology of language, this element was emphasized in both global and local textbooks. The element of education was moderately stressed. Another important element is sport that is prevalent in both global and local EFL textbooks.

Abstract

Introduction: In this study, it was aimed to examine the expectations of elementary and secondary school parents from the mathematics education and their engagements in the education and the mathematics homework habits of their children.

Methods: The research data was collected by “A Scale to Determine Parents’ Expectation from Mathematics Education”, “Mathematics Homework Behavior Scale” and the “Personal Information Form” prepared by the researcher. The data of this study executed and conducted by survey model was analyzed by SPSS 16.

Results: In the study, it is revealed that the expectations of parents from Mathematics education and the mathematics homework habit of their children are high. There is no difference based on the levels of the children and parentage status of the parents, regardless of being mother or father, the mathematics homework habit of the children who favor mathematics lesson and at the same time thrive on is more favorable and positive than the ones who do not favor mathematics lesson and at the same time fail to thrive on, the homework habit of the children whom are supported sufficiently in the mathematics lesson is more favorable and positive. Last but not least, there is no correlation between the expectations of the parents from Mathematics education and the homework habits of their children.

Discussion: High expectations of parents from mathematics classes may suggest that they trust their children and their teachers. It may also suggest that they are involved in the education process and that they find it sufficient. Based on the findings of this study, according to which the level of homework habits of the parents’ children is high, it can be assumed that the students do their homework willingly and they have no problems with doing their daily homework. Parents’ help their children’s with homework occasionally to make them feel that they are not alone in this process. Lower expectations from their children and lower engagement of parents at upper levels may be caused by the fact that they cannot support their children sufficiently due to the complexity of subjects. In elementary schools, since their children are smaller in terms of age, parents may think that their children need more help and they can be more active in education because the subjects in elementary school are not as complicated as in higher classes. The math homework habits do not differ according to the education level of students’ but, based on the scores, we can say that they are more favourable in the elementary school since the children are younger and besides, in Turkey, children are assigned homework more regularly and the homework habits start to emerge at the elementary school level. Just depending on the scores, it is interesting to note that the expectations of fathers from mathematics education and their engagement in the process are higher than those of mothers. This may suggest that the expectations of fathers from their children may be due to the higher goals they set for them and perhaps since they are more perfectionist, they are more involved in the children’s education than mothers. To like a lesson, can be considered a precondition for doing the assigned homework more willingly. Children do their homework more willingly in the courses at which they consider themselves successful. That is why the results of this study are not surprising. The homework habits of the children sufficiently supported in mathematics are expected to be more favourable. The expectations of parents from mathematics lesson were not related to their children’s homework habits. The absence of homework habits, in the parents’ expectation from mathematics lesson, may be due to not getting a clear answer from the parents with respect to the question whether homework should be assigned in education or not.

Limitations: These research and data collection tools used are limited only by the thoughts of parents of primary and middle school students in Turkey.

Conclusions: The child, being aware that he is not alone in the process, will be more confident if he knows that there is a family support behind him in overcoming mathematics.

Abstract

Introduction: The article presents the results of a research project the aim of which was to describe the level of kindergarten teachers’ work with educational objectives in connection with the application of a differentiated curriculum for the development of gifted children.

Methods: The research tool was a questionnaire in which the teachers selected one of three answers possible and matched their pedagogical activities in kindergarten the most. 345 teachers from kindergartens in the Czech Republic took part in the research. Data was processed using computer software SPSS.

Results: It was discovered that most of them can differentiate their instructions, however, at least a half of them do not respect the rules of inclusive education and their instructions result in an unwanted labelling of the gifted children. We have also proved that the level of the teachers’ work with the educational objectives is positively influenced by their longer than 10 years’ experience, work with heterogeneous class age-wise, and their having attended a seminar focused on the topic of giftedness.

Discussion: The discussion focuses on the description of variables affecting the level of work with educational objectives in connection with the application of a differentiated curriculum for the development of gifted children.

Limitations: The limitation is the simplification of the pedagogical reality into 3 possible answers and the artificial metrization of this data. Another problem was that our questionnaire was focused only on selected aspects of pedagogical work with gifted preschoolers, which were related to the curriculum modification and inclusive education. Furthermore, despite the big amount of validly filled in questionnaires (345) the research cannot be considered to be large area survey and the results cannot be generalized.

Conclusions: Gifted children should have the maximal space for the development of their own potential. It is also necessary to increase the teachers’ skills to apply the differentiated curriculum with the features of inclusive education in order to develop the giftedness of all the children as much as possible. One of the possibilities is the kindergarten teachers’ attendance to educational events on the topic of giftedness, which is one of the variables which significantly influence the quality of their work.

Abstract

Introduction: Students of English as a foreign language must possess intercultural communicative skills in order to be able to interpret and discuss the cultural diversity that surrounds them when they use English for communicational purposes. This paper claims, and is based on the conviction, that the development of these skills takes place primarily through teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in most educational contexts. This approach is facilitated by the fact that the English language functions as the most widely used foreign language in the context of culture teaching.

Methods: Based on these considerations and with a view to theoretical and practical aspects concerning teaching material development, the presented study discusses some fundamental concepts associated with the relationship between teaching EFL, teaching cultural information and developing students’ intercultural skills. After reviewing potential theories, it adopts Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model as a theoretical foundation for creating teaching materials for the purpose of developing students’ intercultural communicative skills.

Results: The study presents the results of this endeavour through the example of author-designed worksheets focusing on Canadian content, and analyses a worksheet that covers Korean immigrant culture in Canada in order to demonstrate, with the help of this example, how theoretical considerations can be put into practice in the scope of developing teaching materials with Canadian content focusing on the development of intercultural communicative skills.

Discussion: Within the scope of English as a foreign language, Byram’s (1997, 2008) Intercultural Communicative Competence model proves a very practical model to be used for the purpose of designing worksheets that develop students’ intercultural communicative skills: this is proved on the basis of the analysis of the above-mentioned worksheet. It is also demonstrated that teaching intercultural communicative skills through Canadian contents is a feasible and practicable way of introducing students to the concept of interculturality through the cultural heritage of an English-speaking country.

Limitations: The theoretical background and the teaching material development project described below can serve as a potential model for designing similar worksheets, but the actual use and efficiency of this and similar worksheets depends on the applicable national curriculum and the specificities (primarily the language and motivational levels) of the class where such materials are intended for use. This also means that some aspects of the project are worth reconsidering when one intends to design their own teaching materials.

Conclusion: For the design of worksheets developing intercultural communicative skills, this study provides a tried and tested methodological model to follow and presents a worksheet that can function as a potential model. In addition, this paper hopes to generate further research in the field of developing teaching materials focusing either on the development of intercultural communicative skills or on Canadian culture, and, through setting an example, it encourages the creation of worksheets of a comparable design or topic.

Abstract

The article deals with issues related to contemporary education towards selected phenomena using the case study method. In recent years, the proposed topic is important. Very often, the presentation of aspects related to the case study in a much better perspective illustrates difficulties and problematic issues concerning social, medical or psychological phenomena. Analysis of a single case, using a detailed description, which is usually a real case, allowing to draw conclusions about the causes and results of its course and technical, cultural, social conditions, etc. The phenomenon of suicide is a very complicated process. To understand this issue thoroughly, modern teaching methods are used, thanks to which the adoption and understanding of even difficult material is used. The work is therefore of a theoretical and practical nature, as examples of case studies from conducted scientific research carried out on a group of people after suicide attempt from 2014 will be presented.

Abstract

The article entitled The Directions of the Development of the Russian System of Education in the 21st century came into existence as a result of the continuation of research on the Russian education initiated with publishing of the series of articles in the 1990s as well as the book Democratic Transformation of Education in Russia, Krakow 2003. The first section of this article is devoted to the current structure of Russian education emphasizing its differences while comparing it to Polish education. The second section is a critical analysis of the state of Russian education at its all levels during the first two decades of the 21st cent., taking into account the changes the system has undergone since the period of Perestroika (1985-1989). The analysis is conducted from the perspective of the social situation of Russia undergoing disadvantageous demographic transformations, with the education influenced to a great extent by ineffective economy as well as Russia`s accession to the Bologna Accords. The final section presents the tendencies of the development of the Russian system of education taking into consideration its unfavorable socio-economic conditions and the lack of stabilization in the country. These are the main directions of the development of global and specific character, resulting from multicultural needs of citizens of this multinational state.

Abstract

We live in an ageing society that is technologically characterized at the same time In order to function well in it, one must have appropriate competences. Those can be acquired through media education. This is vital for older people who are exposed to digital marginalization. The exclusion occurs when some individuals or groups are not free to participate fully in the network society. The aim of this article is not only to prove that media education in practice affects the reduction of the digital divide but also that seniors can use media spaces to the same extent as younger generations. It is also intended to sensitize the society to the presence of seniors in the virtual space.