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Challenges of Foreign Language Teaching and Sustainable Development Competence Implementation in Higher Education

Abstract

The article aims to emphasize the role of foreign language teaching in fostering sustainable development competence in higher education. Foreign language classes enable students to analyze actual topics about sustainable development, to discuss problems, to share personal emotions and experiences. English as a foreign language curriculum aims to build students’ basic language communicative skills with the focus on sustainability, communication for the enhancement of sustainable development competence. The present paper aims to analyze the correlation of sustainable development competence between English as a foreign language studies in the system of higher education. The article overviews the importance of the sustainable development competence development on the theoretical level as well as introduces the practices of the importance of sustainable development competence elements in foreign language classes on the empirical level. The research was planned and performed in 5 universities of Lithuania, in which the respondents studying English (average age of participants was 22 years old) expressed their opinions on the sustainable development topics and usefulness of sustainable development competence. The results of the research demonstrate that students are more engaged in topics and materials on sustainable development and it is challenging for pedagogues to constantly update their materials, to apply innovative English as a foreign language teaching strategies related to sustainable development in foreign language classroom. Therefore, the research findings with the embedded elements for sustainable development competence development encourage educators to search for innovative ways of English as a foreign language teaching in higher education.

Open access
Charisma as a Phenomenon in Social Work

Abstract

The article represents the theoretical or conceptual description of the phenomenon of charisma, which is related to social work as professional activity and is focused in social worker, who is the leader in his / her professional activity. So why it is accentuated that personal charisma of a social worker is a constellation of complex social and emotional skills that allows charismatic individuals to influence others at deep emotional levels, communicate effectively with them, and build strong interpersonal relationships. Authors of the article discuss the possible answers to the following research question: How to recognize, accept and (self)develop personal charisma in social work? In the article the interdisciplinary pont of view is provided and amotional and social skills are discussed in relation to social worker‘s charisma.

Authors conclude that Some of charisma-related skills are born innate, others are perfected over time, but the most important is proper application of skills. Charisma of a social worker is related to emotional intelligence, which consists of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Different social work situations require differently developed skills, which msut be developed through long life education, in which the self-managed learning through interactions and within the professional environment must be the priority.

Open access
Editorial Note
Open access
Implementing Ethical Principles in Social Research: Challenges, Possibilities and Limitations

Abstract

The article is based on descriptive theoretical research and focused on ethical principles in social research. It involves considerations on ethical principles and dimensions in social research as well as challenges and limitations for social researchers / scientists when they implement the social research studies. The following research questions are raised in the article: What are the challenges for social researchers / scientists and how to solve them in order to maintain the ethics of research? What commitments include ethical dimensions of social research? What ethical principles are relevant to scientific research, regardless of it‘s specific discipline? The purpose of the research is to consider the possibilities of implementation of ethical principles, limitations, obstacles, and challenges in social research. The author concludes that ethical considerations in social research are critical as they help to determine the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. The essential ethical considerations in social research ethics remains professional competence, integrity, processional and scientific responsibility, respect for research participants’ rights, dignity and diversity, and social responsibility of social researchers / scientists. In the conclusions also is accentuated that social researchers / scientists must be sensitive to cultural, individual, and role differences in serving, teaching, and studying groups of people with distinctive characteristics. In all of their social research-related or based activities they should acknowledge the rights of others to hold values, attitudes, and opinions that differ from their own. Thus social researchers / scientists should be aware of their professional and scientific responsibility to the social sciences communities and societies in which they live and work. They are responsible to apply and make public their knowledge in order to contribute to the public good.

Open access
Importance of Promoting Metacognitive Awareness at University

Abstract

The aim of this study is to furnish a reliable theoretical overview on metacognitive awareness. This research is carried out to (1) familiarize the researchers with the definition, components and sub-components of metacognitive awareness (2) discuss a brief outline of metacognitive awareness along with its origin and essence from the point of view of its historical development (3) link metacognitive awareness to a number of other constructs, including motivation (4) illustrate the features of self-regulated students and their recruited metacognitive strategies and (5) briefly examine the major challenges in the implementation of metacognitive awareness.

In conclusion, this research reveals that the analysis of metacognitive awareness and its components gives rise to a new notion of auto-noetic (self) knowledge of learners through planning, monitoring and reflectively evaluating task performance, and creates higher levels of self-efficacy which provides students with different educational contexts in which they are able to have more self-confidence, get more positive feedback both from an instructor and classmates and cultivate in learners more self-regulatory characteristics that enable them to learn autonomously, be completely equipped with motivation and be welcoming to challenges.

The study provides benefits to both learners and educators. Learners can receive guidance on how to foster metacognitive awareness for being more competent learners. Furthermore, it provides meaningful insights for curriculum developers to provide metacognitive awareness-based curricula.

Open access
A Comparative Analysis of Two Qualitative Methods: Deciding Between Grounded Theory and Phenomenology for Your Research

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to compare two qualitative approaches that can be used in different researches: phenomenology and grounded theory. This overview is done to (1) summarize similarities and differences between these two approaches, with attention to their historical development, goals, methods, audience, and products (2) familiarize the researchers with the origins and details of these approaches in the way that they can make better matches between their research question(s) and the goals and products of the study (3) discuss a brief outline of each methodology along with their origin, essence and procedural steps undertaken (4) illustrate how the procedures of data analysis (coding), theoretical memoing and sampling are applied to systematically generate a grounded theory (5) briefly examine the major challenges for utilizing two approaches in grounded theory, the Glaserian and Straussian. As a conclusion, this overview reveals that it is essential to ensure that the method matches the research question being asked, helps the researchers determine the suitability of their applied approach and provides a continues training for the novice researchers, especially PhD or research students who lack solid knowledge and background experience in multiple research methods.

Open access
The Concept of Nontraditional Student

Abstract

Nontraditional student is understood as one of the older students enrolled in formal or informal studies. In the literature, there is no detailed generalisation of nontraditional student. This article aims to reveal the concept of this particular group of students. Analysing the definition of nontraditional students, researchers identify the main criteria that allow to provide a more comprehensive concept of the nontraditional student. The main one is the age of these atypical students coming to study at the university, their selected form of studies, adult social roles status characteristics, such as family, parenting and financial independence as well as the nature of work. The described features of the nontraditional student demonstrate how the unconventional nontraditional student is different from the traditional one, which features are characteristic for them and how they reflect the nontraditional student’s maturity and experience in comparison with younger, traditional students. Key features - independence, internal motivation, experience, responsibility, determination. They allow nontraditional students to pursue their life goals, learn and move towards their set goals. University student identity is determined on the basis of the three positions: on the age suitability by social norms, the learning outcomes incorporated with age, on the creation of student’s ideal image. There are four students’ biographical profiles distinguished: wandering type, seeking a degree, intergrative and emancipatory type. They allow to see the biographical origin of nontraditional students, their social status as well as educational features. Biographical profiles presented allow to comprise the nontraditional student’s portrait of different countries. Traditional and nontraditional students’ learning differences are revealed by analysing their need for knowledge, independence, experience, skill to learn, orientation and motivation aspects. To sum up, the analysis of the scientific literature can formulate the concept of the nontraditional student. Nontraditional student refers to the category of 20-65 years of age who enrolls into higher education studies in a nontraditional way, is financially independent, with several social roles of life, studying full-time or part-time, and working full-time or part-time, or not working at all.

Open access
Editorial Note
Open access
Exploring Effective Teaching Methods in the Vocational Education of Cyprus

Abstract

The study aim was to determine which teaching methods are most effective for developing the students’ appropriate professional competencies in the culinary arts programs of Cyprus’ Senior Secondary Vocational Education (SSVE). A qualitative case study research design was considered appropriate and a criterion sampling strategy was used to select 52 participants. Findings showed that chef instructors prefer to use a combination of teaching methods by considering class dynamics and students’ personal learning style. Students learn primarily by doing and repetition and a two-day sequel laboratory could become an effective in-class activity. The positive impact of modern audio-visual means was identified as a factor, stimulating students’ learning appetite. Thus, a competitive learning environment is needed to boost class performance. However, the written examination assessment calls for change due to basic student issues and new approaches, means, and techniques that should be used for the final assessment of the SSVE students.

Open access
Editorial Note
Open access