Educational Theory

Educational Theory

  • Todd Eistetter added an answer:
    Do you know of a relationship between agency theory and K-12 principal evaluations?

    Agency theory seems to have been incorporated into the education reformation in New Zealand schools from several years ago and to some degree in the UK.  I am experiencing challenges determining its use in other countries, particularly in Canada where I am. 

    Todd Eistetter

    Thanks again Paul...the link worked.

  • Dony Saputra added an answer:
    Is structural learning necessarily category-oriented?

    In my review of the literature, I've found that most structural learning research involves concept or category learning. Is structure necessarily categorical? 

    Dony Saputra

    For unsupervise, fuzzy inference system or taxonomi it doesnt need category

  • Leona M. Ungerer added an answer:
    Can open-book tests/examinations address the problem of cheating? How about allowing students to 'Google' answers?

    The embedded post from Faculty Focus points out that students may be tempted to cheat in instances where responses to a question can be easily 'Googled'. It is suggested that open-book tests, including challenging application questions that relate directly to the course material, may help overcome this problem.

    Some even believe that students should be allowed to 'Google' information during examinations, for instance, because they have to demonstrate digital literacy (an opinion expressed in the post from The Guardian).

    Which of these approaches (if any) are acceptable? What would serve as  guidelines for good practice if either of these approaches are incorporated in teaching and learning? Would a particular approach be acceptable in different fields or at various levels of study? 

    + 1 more attachment

    Leona M. Ungerer

    Dear colleagues, interacting with your responses to these questions was indeed an enriching experience. Please see the feedback that I 'created'.

  • Tom Maxwell added an answer:
    Has anyone come across literature on the politics or micropolitics of the identification and use of 'models’ in school systems?

    The idea of a ‘model school’ is quite common in Ethiopia, and I’m interested if this kind of model is used elsewhere in the world. For example, model schools, model classrooms, model teachers, model students. I’m interested in the function these models serve, and the processes of identification, as well as the political and micropolitical uses of models.

    Tom Maxwell

    Hello Rafael, Thank you for your question. At the institution level you might be interested in:

    Maxwell, T.W. & Namgay 2014. A Bhutanese tertiary education consultancy case study: Introducing the institutional zone of proximal development: International Journal for Educational Development 37, 32-39.

    At the systems level you might look ap the phrase "policy borrowing". That might help too.


  • Janet Hanson added an answer:
    If mindset affects reaction to feedback, could it also affect the delivery of feedback?

    Research by Carol Dweck suggests that fixed mindset individuals react negatively to feedback. With this in mind, if a mentor has a fixed mindset, would this affect their ability to deliver feedback that is active and constructive?  Would they be more likely to respond with what Martin Seligman calls active and destructive; passive and destructive?

    Janet Hanson

    Yes Mark, that is what I thought. The powers that be did the same thing in the US in 2004 with the No Child Left Behind Act.  The NCLB Act of 2004 changed education and the economics of education and government.

    I left public education after that for five years because of it.

    My research is on the very thing you describe. Results show that schools are learning organizations that learn similarly to learning processes in individuals. The organization is the product of reciprocal projections of the individuals and the group.

    In order to create learning in the individuals and in the school collective the following malleable variables must be addressed: 

      (a) internal locus of control over the work environment

      (b) the group must set their own goals (focus)

      (c) that are within the zone of proximal development for that particular group

      (d) support with resources, identification of specific tasks, and opportunity to practice the new learning.

    The difficulties caused by external mandates comes from the requirements of uniformity across diverse groups (each school is different just as each student is different). The external control results in instability within groups and disrupts the process of reciprocal projection, goals setting, and work locus of control thus reducing the openness to change. Then resistance occurs within the group as a protective response to perceived threat.

    What I understand you to say about your project was you created a learning organization environment, with increased safety, and provided a mutually agreed upon focus for your group that was specific to their needs. You also provided tasks, feedback, and opportunities for practice. Well done Mark!

  • Robert Cassen added an answer:
    When and where should we use technology for education--in the classroom, outside the classroom, or both?

    I think most of us would agree that Technology Assisted Education (TAE), including both general technology and technology specifically for educational purposes, is of immense value for students of any age in any Learning Environment (LE).  However, the attached article points out some serious impediments to learning when allowing free and open access to laptops, tablets, and smart phones in the classroom.  Should these be "banned" from classrooms?  Should technology for education be focused primarily on outside class activities--homework, research, group activities, reading, testing, and the like? 

    Robert Cassen

    We have a chapter on ICT in the classroom, which will help to answer your question. Publication next week - see flyer attached.

    Best, RHC

  • Robert Cassen added an answer:
    Greetings ! Does anyone have any articles about parental involvement/family engagement in education?

    I am working on a professional paper on parental involvement models, particularly, Dr. Maria C. Paredes Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT) Model which takes the parent-teacher conferences a step further!

    Robert Cassen

    We have a chapter on parenting in our forthcoming book - see attached flyer.



  • Antoon Van Wolferen added an answer:
    Any scientific research on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000 ?

    I'm working on an introduction program voor students at the age of 14/ 15 years old in Veldhoven Holland. I use the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) as my fundament in the program. Is there any scientific research that proves that their concept is working. It is evident based, but I can't find any proof.

    Antoon van Wolferen

    Antoon Van Wolferen

    Thank you very much I will read them 

    have  a nice weekend


  • Mark E Gould added an answer:
    Does anyone know of a successful Academic Resource Centre set up in a school to support behaviour/reintegration etc?

    I'm looking to set up an Academic Resource Centre in a UK secondary school and would like to find out as much as possible about others that have been set up as possible.


    Mark E Gould

    At our school we use a double layered approach (or did, funding for the second layer disappeared this year)

    Layer 1 is based on the positive behaviour framework, which treats behaviour as just another thing to learn, and at our school we take judgenent out of the equation as much as possible and treat dysfunctional behaviours as a problem to be solved in the social context of the classroom. Some teachrs fid this very difficult and others love it.

    For those students who do not respond well to this for whatever reason, we have a withdrawn classroom, where an appropriate teacher Ispecific skill set) looks after 5 - 10 students who can' fit into the 'normal' classroom working on a self paced  semi individualised curriculum. This seems to allow these students to relax and some return to the mainstram after a year or 2 but others move on the external education or jobs. Depending on what you choose to measure, the success rate is small to moderate but acceptable.

  • Rahimi Ali added an answer:
    What are some of the implications of changing the mindset of teachers to their mission being to induce physical changes in their students brains?
    When people learn, new neural connections and new neurons are produced.
    Rahimi Ali

    Dear Antonio

    fascinating question indeed.

    modification of neurological processes   involving cerebral propensities, cognitive structures can be hugely effective in enhancing learning , human neurological structure and network is wired to favor some destructive habits like sluggishness, intellectual torpor,  mental inertia and resistance to change nonetheless. 

  • Seema Singh added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest how to measure the indication of the successful implementation of character education among students of secondary school?

    Dear Madam/Sir,

    I have am having some trouble regarding the measurement of such indication for the successful implementation of character education, mainly among adolescent in the level of secondary school; is there a standard form of its measurement?

    It is highly appreciated for your cooperation to answer that question.


    Seema Singh

    It will be difficult to measure impact of character education  by quantitative methods only, Qualitative research methods will help you in assessing the real change in behavior .Avoid direct questions..

  • Alice Sterling Honig added an answer:
    What type of reflective practices can be used for practice teaching to train B.Ed. Students?

    I am interested to know the modern reflective practices for B.Ed. practice teaching.

    Alice Sterling Honig

     Teacher reflection is particularly urgent when a child has behaved in a worrisome way for the class and for the teacher. First reflect:,think inside your head: What could be the reason for the behavior?  This will  help cool down a first feeling of anger or indignation or irritation. Also, try compassion .. Think how you could reward the child when wished-for behaviors  DO occur. Think how you can encourage self-reflection  for this child so that he or she can better inhibit unwanted behaviors.  . Reflect on  how you can help decrease stress for this student. Once  you succeed in making  a positive relationship with a troubling child,and this child trusts in your caring  and support, then there may be fewer distressing episodes in the classroom. Your words, your body language, your voice tone, convey your caring or your constant disapproval of a child. You need to practice reflection to help  decrease own stress and conjure  creative ideas to reduce a child's inappropriate or disruptive  behaviors.

  • Fatima Mitchell added an answer:
    Where can I find anything about inclusive practice for a specific learning environment for a child?

    I would like to learn about a specific learning environment for a child in an inclusive context.

    Many thanks

    Fatima Mitchell

    thank you all for your supports.

  • Kevin Larkin added an answer:
    Which analytical framework is suitable for the study of school-based in-service education and training?

    I am writing a research paper on the implementation of school-based professional development in my country. For quite a time I have struggled with developing the right theoretical framework to analyse the construct "continuous professional development:. I cant figure whether PD is a process, activity, a goal or an outcome. I was considering "socio-cultural perspective", "situated perspective" and "activity theory", they are  so confusing. Should I pick one of these or find something else? Which would be more applicable? Please advise.

    Kevin Larkin

    Hi Masota,

    I used Activity Theory in my thesis to investigate primary school teachers and it worked very well. I am happy to provide some basic references if you think it will help.


  • Judith Gill added an answer:
    Does someone know if Mael et al. have responded to the Pahlke et al. or the Signorella et al. studies?

    In 2005, Mael et al. (see reference below) published a systematic review on the single-sex vs. coeducational schooling topic. They found a little advantage for single-sex schools. However, in 2014, Pahlke et al. contradicted their results through a meta-analysis. Also, Signorella et al. published a study specifically describing the weaknesses of the Mael et al. publication. Does someone know if the 2005 authors had answered any of them? 

    • Mael, F., Alonso, A., Gibson, D., Rogers, K., & Smith, M. (2005). Single-sex versus coeducational schooling: A systematic review. (No. 2005–01). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service.
    • Pahlke, E., Hyde, J. S., & Allison, C. M. (2014). The Effects of Single-Sex Compared With Coeducational Schooling on Students’ Performance and Attitudes: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin. doi: 10.1037/a0035740
    • Signorella, M., Hayes, A., & Li, Y. (2013). A Meta-Analytic Critique of Mael et al.’s (2005) Review of Single-Sex Schooling. Sex Roles, 69(7-8), 423-441. doi: 10.1007/s11199-013-0288-x
    Judith Gill

    Comparison between schooling outcomes and school gender context must always attend to time and cultural context. Meta analyses tend to disregard both these features as they assemble numbers of studies across time and place, thus assuming sex differences comprise a constant variable. To some degree this complication explains some of the different outcomes in studies of single sex vs Coeducation and is the reason this old chestnut keeps recurring in research. Fifty years ago many western nations single sex schooling produced higher achievement levels for male and female students. Nowadays in societies less marked by gender differentiated culture one is less likely to find differences in schooling outcomes related to school gender context.

  • Anup Kumar Bandyopadhyay added an answer:
    How would you define a "model" within a theoretical research?

    For instance, if you have a particular strategy developed for addressing an education research issue, would you refer to it as a "model" or a "strategy"?

    Anup Kumar Bandyopadhyay

    @Rob Macduff

    In terms of function definition can we say that

    Theory <=> Function profile

    Model <=> semantics definition

    Strategy <=> implementation method

  • Suhasini Gazula added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest any definitive texts on burnout in teachers?

    I guess it's all in the title really...

    I'm currently lookin in detail at Fried by Borysenko, and Understanding and PReventing Teacher Burnout by Vandenberghe and Huberman. I feel I should include some of Maslach's work and some of Freudenberger as the "masters" of the field, but they've both published lots and I'm trying to isolate key texts.

    Suhasini Gazula

    Check out this publication and also the references of this. It helps to get the key texts on Burnout of Teachers

    Revisiting First-Year Teacher Burnout: New South Carolina Educators in the Era of Accountability 
    by Ilagan, Daniel J

    ProQuest LLC, 2010, ISBN 1124384162,



  • Julio Ernesto Rojas Mesa added an answer:
    Is it possible to design environments / Networks of glocal agency to learning and knowledge, from to MOOC?

    The MOOC phenomena is not exclusively an issue of Massive Online Open Course, on the conversely, it has become a scenario of new ways of getting learning and knowledge. This is radically affecting the processes of research, innovation and learning management in contemporary high education.
    New constructions of social organization generate these emerging forms. These are our theoretical and methodological ideas. Then, these forms are associated to concepts such as “ciberculture, societies and learning and knowledge ecosystems”. In that sense, MOOCs become a methodological strategy to strengthen the cultural multiplicity and diversity in “glocal” contexts, as well as interface to democratize processes of certification and legitimation of knowledge and learning in great excluded population masses, facilitating their social projection.

    Julio Ernesto Rojas Mesa

    Hello. So sorry for my late answer. I'm building a Knowledge agency concept. This concept is on a glocal context (a simultaneously local and global knowledge) inside of learning process. I will do it through a cyberculture course. In this course, I will research about the affordances proposal by Cope&Kalantzis (2009). 


  • Shafir Lobb added an answer:
    Has anyone used transformative learning in adolescence?
    I am interested in exploring a holistic approach with regards to adolescent identity.
    Shafir Lobb

    I will be doing some research in this area this coming year.

  • Olga Miščenko added an answer:
    How to quantify users‘ feeling before and after using mobile-enhanced learning environments?

    How to quantify users‘ feelings before and after using mobile-enhanced environments?

    Olga Miščenko

    Certainly, a questionnaire would help you.

    There is one more (not the last, probably) way: logs analysis. It shall take some time, besides needs approach.

    When preparing the article THE IMPORTANCE OF A TEACHER IN A DISTANCE EDUCATION AND THE PROGRESSIVE METHODS OF TEACHING IN A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT it was necessary to evaluate the results due to the students' interest towards training using the Moodle system. One week trainig demonstrated not only knowledge improvement, but also the students' appretiation of the platform.

  • David William Stewart added an answer:
    Is individual authenticity lost in education?
    We propose to have a child centred approach for much of our education. However, methods remain similar to over 100 years ago. We still seem to value outcome over the individual.
    David William Stewart


    First of all thanks for your endorsement of my earlier comments. Coming from you this was high praise indeed. I clearly have a very long way to go in my writing and research ability and contributions. 

    Having said this, I want to compliment your posting here in regards to the concepts of core common ground education.  Your observations are insightful.  Unfortunately I worry about practicality. Why?  Well to put a point on it, I live in Texas, USA. I am a "Native born Texan", which is somewhat akin to proudly stating the same for one's birth status in any country - regrettably, for those born in Texas, our pride - and politics - more or less requires our announcement as to our Texas roots over and above our national affiliation. :) - Yes, I jest, but perhaps not too much on this point.  

    I know this is not a suitable place for political commentary - and I will refrain. I would be remiss, however, to ignore the realities of the education system in the states today. In order to understand American education one has to examine the roots. Early settlement of America resulted from emigration from England - primarily- later France (mainly in Canada), Holland, and so on.  "England" of course includes Ireland, Scotland, Wales, etc.  Naturally education in America followed traditional teaching methods.  Unfortunately the design of American education and education systems  also considered the issues of - to be polite - "the minority question'.  We enjoy some of the greatest social and legal freedoms of any society on Earth. However as I am sure you know, we have literally thousands of school districts - all of which are at the mercy of local political control.  Changes are being made, and maybe one day we will see some consolidation of these many school districts into some kind of a national educational protocol.  As a consequence, I admire your perceptive analysis, but fear practical implementation.



  • Douglas R. Daugherty added an answer:
    Are there any research studies on views / experiences of young people on Black History Month in the UK?

    I am conducting a reseach on Young people's view on Black History Month in the UK. It seems that BHM is not integrated with the main curriculum in schools and there is no much evidence to show that the history of black people in the UK is covered in history or citizenship classes in the UK. Any thoughts / research papers  on this research concept is highly appreciated. Thanks so much.

    Douglas R. Daugherty


    I share the responces as to knowledge of studies made regarding youth and  BHM in the UK. This fact alone tell us something! However. what I am responding to is "integrated into main curriculum"  and a word of caution. Here in the US after a long battle BHM is still not practiced as an integrated important subject matter only the words are.  I think is an important point of demarcation as to BHM being integrated into or still waiting on the periphery.

    In soildarity


  • Douglas R. Daugherty added an answer:
    Where do I find out about Knowledge Profiling and related theories?

    I am doing a lit review with some focus on knowledge Profiling. Can anyone guide me with regards theories and research documents.

    Douglas R. Daugherty

    The idea of a knowledge profile is an interesting subject. As Mr. Said points out there is a perception as to what counts as knowledge and what does not. Would cultural information or cultural specificknowledge be seen as knowledge by another culture? Would a subjective knowledge be seen as knowledge by a person defining knowledge as objective? Would knowledge derived from non scientic means be counted as knowledge?

    Building a knowledge profile is a thought, but as seen in the three responses issues of what is knowledge and what is not are present. 

    So one suggestion I would make is define and argue for that defination. Alothough this arguement or issue is not new as one can see by examining schooling curriculum

    Good Luck


  • Dipali Mansingrao Kadam added an answer:
    Is there any method to evaluate the joy of students in the classroom teaching-learning process?
    Joy is a term related to Psychology, then how can we evaluate the joy of all students at a time. Can we evaluate through result or feedback or any other method?
    Dipali Mansingrao Kadam

    Thanks a lot  Mayur Sir & Ahmed for sharing your valuable thoughts.

  • Aysha Bey added an answer:
    Does the way we describe success in education affect students and teachers perception of their roles?

    The notion of 'personal best' drives most athletes to keep training despite the knowledge that they may never be first or best in their field. In other words, they actually maintain their effort by seeking personal improvement and thus competing with themselves. In education the description of success is nearly always in terms of comparison with others. My contention is that this view of success is counterproductive for all but the top half of the cohort and we would be better off if we described success as 'improvement through persistent effort' as an athlete does. I also contend that teachers would benefit from this paradigm shift because it better describes what we should be doing, collaborating with each individual to maximise their potential and that the current paradigm of success confuses the role by positioning us to see lower performing students as having a deficit to be repaired.

    Aysha Bey

    This is a great topic for discussion!  Filippo makes a strong point about international students who will return to their countries one day--or perhaps return faster than planned if they fail to succeed in the U.S.  I have a class of these foreign-university graduates nearly every semester, preparing to take the graduate exam (GRE) for admission to American grad schools, most often in the natural sciences. They have a year or two to get their language skills up to par and pass the test; if they don't, they return with no hope of doing graduate work in the West. The stress on them is strong especially with the GRE's emphasis upon huge lists of vocabulary.

    But the topic of particular interest to me is the mention of the athletes and any comparison to academics.  More than 10 years ago, I worked with the football offensive coordinator of our university team on developing an academic adaptation of what he did to teach his athletes from rookie to senior level or even the pros. Since no athlete has a football or basketball brain, there must be a way to use their unusually excellent transfer skills.  For instance, football players use symbolic transfer every time they read their playbook, think out the play, and then execute it. Transfer skills outside the natural sciences and math (like math and physics) are terribly difficult to teach.  I have developed some programs effective in standardized testing that use some of these "coaching" methods.  It is much harder to work with transfer skills in humanities and social/behavioral sciences.

    But then in April of this year, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article "Bringing the Locker Room into the Classroom" by Craig Owens, associate professor of English at Drake University. He had been invited to be the "honorary coach" for the girls' basketball team; entering the locker room, he expected to hear the movie-version of spirited cheering, etc.  Instead, what he saw was " question and answer, discussion and debate, part Socratic dialogue, part collaborative problem solving."  Based on the collaborative learning he saw, he developed a program called "Coaching in the Classroom" that brings professors from all over the campus to work with coaches in football, basketball, soccer, and golf. Professors were shocked at the amount of independence even in freshmen players and their quickness to "internalize the rhythm of practice."  The coaches explained that they first "taught the players the system."  Most of our students come into classes without the jargon and the background of the discipline in which they are taking classes.  I believe one of the toughest parts of the core curriculum is the variety of disciplines, each with its own language and way of thinking, presented to students all at one time (our athletes carry 15 credits per semester).  

    Dr. Owen decided to model the literary - critical system of Shakespeare to his class and quickly found that students began to respond to one another (and not just to him), following lines of thought and developing their own ideas. Moving through unfamiliar context in literature is not much different than moving through the unfamiliar landscape of a new playbook. But we academics do lack the power of muscle memory--and the power of that athlete's individual motivation. But considering the NCAA's tight rules on GPAs, eligibility and most universities' rules about repeated classes, most athletes are willing to work to get good grades, to gain skills they didn't know they had.

    Dan has hit the nail on the head about levels of performance and feedback (a major element of all sports practice, games, and team meetings).  But there is no reason why those same elements cannot be used in a classroom; of course, in a lit course, for example, we have to develop some level of relevancy to the world today--and that is not difficult since literature nearly always speaks to the human condition in one way or another.  I do believe that academic instructors can and should learn more from their coaches, who have much more experience in motivating, enhancing and developing young men and women than most of us do.

    Aysha Bey

    University of Alabama/Birmingham

  • John F. Wilhite added an answer:
    Does anyone have advice on online course development collaboration?

    Is anyone familiar with research on online course development collaboration between instructional designers and faculty developers/Subject Matter Experts? I'm looking to lit review what is known about the course development in that setting.

    John F. Wilhite


    I've seen that phrase "instructional design(ers)" used a few times but never bothered to pursue what that entails.  Your use of it has sparked an idea.  If you have time could you describe/explain it?  Is it a new major?  (You can tell I've been retired a long time!)



  • Jose Carlos Barceló added an answer:
    What hardware equipment can you recommend for capturing and streaming audio and video from lectures (microphones, webcams, streaming devices)?

    We plan to record and stream video from lectures (room for 20 students, one teacher with notebook connected to data projector). Can you recommend hardware for capturing voice of teacher and students and video of teacher and image from data projector? We do not need to record teacher and signal from data projector separately. Do you have experience with special hardware for capturing and streaming of lectures?

    Jose Carlos Barceló

    I think there are two different styles of  producing video conferences,

    Some people pretend produce videoconferences and lectures like television, uses profesional video cameras, green screens, lavaliere microphones etc.

    In the other hand  is  the low cost style, using web cams, cheap microphones, screen sharing and/0r screncast software,

    Every one have advantages and disadvantages, the firth looks more professional and  could be great in certain topics like medicine were image quality is critical.

    While the second is more flexible and can be organized by he teachers without any technical support and at a very low cost.

    Echo 360 and Camstacia or  Adobe Captivate with Adobe Conect

  • Nick Eaves added an answer:
    Has anyone used a particularly powerful allegory for narrative reflection in relation to the adolescent 'journey?'
    Allegory for adolescence?
    Nick Eaves

    Hi Douglas,

    I really appreciate this information.  Thanks so much.

About Educational Theory

Educational theory can refer to either speculative educational thought in general or to a theory of education as something that guides, explains, or describes educational practice.

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