Patrikakou, E. N. (2008). The power of parent involvement: Evidence, ideas, and tools for student success. Chicago Academic Development Institute, DePaul University.
Pelletier, R. (2005). The predictive power of homework assignments on student achievement in grade three (Doctoral dissertation). Miami, Florida: Florida International University.
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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.
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.
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Tererai Nhokodi, Thandiswa Nqowana, Dylan Collings, Roman Tandlich and Nikki Köhly
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Luyt, C. D., Muller, W. J., & Tandlich, R. (2011a). Low-cost tools for microbial quality assessment of drinking water in South Africa. HealthMed, 5(6), Supplement 1, 1868-1877.
Luyt, C. D., Muller, W. J., & Tandlich, R. (2011b). Factors influencing the results of microbial surface water testing in South Africa. International Journal of Medical Microbiology, 301
Oscar Agbor Ambang, Sergio Alloggio and Roman Tandlich
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Significant importance has been attributed to moral judgment with regard to the moral and complex personal development of an individual. The study is focused on the moral thinking of university students, being interested in whether or not and to what extent does the university students´ specialization of study affect their moral judgment. A total of 180 students participated in the survey, half of them with technical specialization and the other half with humane disciplines. The Moral Judgment Test was used as a research tool for measuring their moral reasoning. The results showed a significant relation between the students´ moral reasoning and study specialization. Students with humane study specialization showed a much higher level of moral reasoning, referring to an input in the discussion on the method of developing university students´ moral competences.
This paper presents concept, methodology and preliminary results of a European research project on inclusive education of persons with disabilities. The project pathways to inclusion (p2i) is funded by the EU Commission and coordinated by the European umbrella organization European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD). To get an overview on legal situations, practice and progression related to inclusive education a ‘barometer assessment’ instrument was developed and applied in 10 EU countries. The barometer criteria are deducted from Art. 24 of UN CRPD, the methodology follow the idea of the Open Method of Coordination and is explained as an information based rating. Selected results of the assessment are presented. The barometer instrument has proven as an effective tool for data analysis and assessment.
Introduction: Nowadays, language and intercultural competences have become core employability skills in many fields, supporting the development of other skills which emphasizes the necessity for specific pedagogic approaches in developing online learning materials and courses that would develop learners’ language competence and other relevant 21st century skills for future employability. The current comparative summative evaluation research conducted in two higher education institutions in Latvia and Lithuania analyses students’ feedback, elicited from 200 students, on the efficiency of the methods and methodologies applied in the course development and their suitability to develop the above-mentioned skills and competences.
Methods: The research implies a mixed-model design comprising a students’ questionnaire (a quantitative tool) and students’ essays (a qualitative tool). Quantitative data analysis was done applying descriptive and inferential statistics tests by IBM SPSS 22 software, qualitative data analysis – applying discourse analysis.
Results: The findings indicate that students highly evaluate the learning platform and the courses created. They find them as useful, visually appealing, interesting, interactive, well-structured, and easy to understand. Students acknowledge that they have developed their knowledge of professional lexis, reading skills, grammar and gained useful knowledge in their field. Significant differences were found concerning students’ group, specialization and the course completed – local students vs. international students as to the evaluation of the learning platform, students of IT field vs. business fields, Latvian students vs. Lithuanian students as to the intercultural B2/C1 English course completed. The research results strengthen the cognitions derived from theory on significant issues to be observed when creating blended-learning courses.
Discussion: The course designed is an alternative way of learning and may be useful for anyone who wishes to update their language and intercultural competence either through a formal or non-formal education course or on a lifelong learning basis.
Limitations: The research period covered one semester only. Although the study materials for 16 languages have been created, the current paper analyses only the results obtained in piloting English and Spanish courses, with the predominance of learners opting for English courses.
Conclusions: The research results show that the methods and methodologies applied in the given interactive blended-learning courses have developed the students’ language competence and have fostered the development of their digital competence, team-working and collaboration skills, problem-solving skills and learning-to-learn thus motivating them to become autonomous learners. The pedagogy-based approach applied in the current research has been successful despite a few flaws in the design of the course materials.
des ADD LIFE Konsortiums (Ed.), Das ADD LIFE Europäische Tool Kit für die Entwicklung intergenerationellen Lernens im Universitäts- und Hochschulwesen (Teil 02). Graz: Universität Graz.
Kolland, F. (2011). Bildung und aktives Altern. Magazin erwachsenenbildung.at. Das Fachmedium für Forschung, Praxis und Diskurs. Ausgabe 13. Wien.
Larsson, S., & Nordvall, H. (2010). Tanulókörök Svédországban. Áttekintés a nemzetközi irodalom bibliográfiájával. Szentendre: Budapest Környéki Népfőiskolai Szövetség.