The design of problems is crucial for the effectiveness of problem-based learning (PBL). Research has shown that PBL problems have not always been effective. Ineffective PBL problems could affect whether students acquire sufficient domain knowledge, activate appropriate prior knowledge, and properly direct their own learning. This paper builds on the 3C3R problem design model, which is a systematic conceptual framework for guiding the design of effective and reliable problems for PBL. To help practitioners apply the 3C3R model, this paper introduces a 9-step problem design process. The initial steps guide an instructional designer through analyses on learning goal, content, and context to help select problems. Later steps ensure that the problem appropriately affords the specifications identified in the analyses. The last two steps incorporate a reflection component, as well as ensure the integrity of the 3C3R components in the problem.
This review explores developments in the construct of learned hopelessness, which originated in the clinical literature dealing with depression. In that context, the model developed by Abramson, Metalsky, and Alloy [Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Alloy, L. B. (1989). Hopelessness depression: A theory-based subtype of depression. Psychological Review, 96, 358–372] has been particularly influential. The purpose of this review is to reformulate this model in the context of academic outcomes and to consider its relevance to learning and achievement. As a means of specifying the variables and paths in the reformulated model of academic learned hopeless, correlates from relevant motivational theories and research, including value-expectancy, self-efficacy, and learning strategies, will be considered.
Given the relatively high intercorrelations observed between mathematics achievement, reading achievement, and cognitive ability, it has recently been claimed that student assessment studies (e.g., TIMSS, PISA) and intelligence tests measure a single cognitive ability that is practically identical to general intelligence. The present article uses three lines of reasoning to show that the outcomes of schooling can and must be conceptually distinguished from the intelligence construct. First, the conceptual differences between student assessments and tests of cognitive ability are delineated. Second, results from construct validation studies providing strong empirical support for the multidimensionality of the achievement measures applied in large-scale educational assessments are reported. Third, data supporting the differential development of educational outcomes in different domains are presented.
This article aimed to examine the relationship between mirror neuron and theory of mind functions and to explore their possible roles in the emergence of an achievement goal contagion in educational settings such as classrooms. Based on the evidence from different lines of research such as neurobiology, neuropsychology, social psychology, and educational psychology, a multilevel model of achievement goal contagion was suggested in order to clarify the role of the goal contagion effect in achievement-related settings such as classrooms. In the model, it was assumed that the well-known effects of perceived classroom goal structures on students’ achievement goals were mediated by students’ theory of mind and mirroring abilities while the interaction between them was examined. Finally, it was concluded that the hypothesized model of achievement goal contagion may provide a solid neurobiological and psychological basis for the effects of perceived classroom goal structures on students’ achievement goals. Educational implications and directions for future research were also discussed.
The present article points to shared underlying theoretical assumptions and central processes of a prominent academic motivation perspective – achievement goal theory – and recent process perspectives in the identity formation literature, and more specifically, identity formation styles. The review highlights the shared definition of achievement goal orientations and identity formation styles as mental frames that guide interpretation of situations, define standards for action, and direct coping with challenges. Despite differences in unit-of-analysis and general focus, both perspectives emphasize the qualitative differences between mental frames that are oriented towards self-development and those that are oriented towards self-worth validation and enhancement. Also, recent theorizing in both perspectives highlights the role of contexts and situations in adolescents’ adoption of certain achievement goal orientations and identity formation styles. The article concludes with research questions concerning the potential reciprocal relations between adolescents’ academic achievement goal orientations and identity formation styles.
Previous studies on the effects on students' test scores of their peers' socioeconomic status (SES) reported varying results. A meta-regression analysis including 30 studies on the topic shows that the compositional effect that researchers find is strongly related to how they measure SES and to their model choice. If they measure SES dichotomously (e.g. free lunch eligibility) or include several average SES-variables in one model, they find smaller effects than when using a composite that captures several SES-dimensions. Composition measured at cohort/school level is associated with smaller effects than composition measured at class level. Researchers estimating compositional effects without controlling for prior achievement or not taking into account the potential for omitted variables bias, risk overestimating the effect. Correcting for a large set of not well thought-over covariates may lead to an underestimation of the compositional effect, by artificially explaining away the effect. Little evidence was found that effect sizes differ with sample characteristics such as test type (language vs. math) and country. Estimates for a hypothetical study, making a number of "ideal" choices, suggest that peer SES may be an important determinant of academic achievement.
For decades a substantial body of research on teacher reflection and action has been conducted. This research contains a wealth of information on teachers’ thinking about their daily work in classrooms. But what do these studies tell us about the linkage between thought and action in actual teaching? How do they contribute to our understanding, or do they, in the very selection of their methods, ‘tell only half the story’? To address these concerns, we have engaged in a critical appraisal to learn about the scope and limitations of research contributions and identify criteria that may shed light on exactly what aspects of teacher learning and development are being studied.This appraisal uses an analytic framework to position the various studies that have been conducted. From our analysis, which focuses on the validity criterion of closeness between type of research question and data collection methods, we conclude that the research would profit from a set of more detailed criteria to address some of the limitations inherent in approaches to studying teacher reflection and action.
This is a critical review of methodological issues in the evaluation of adult literacy education programs in the United States. It addresses the key research questions: What are the appropriate methods for evaluating these programs under given circumstances. It identifies 15 evaluation studies that are representative of a range of adult literacy contexts at various evaluation levels; and reviews each study regarding evaluation designs, data sources, learner assessment tools, and indicators of program effectiveness. It summarizes methodological lessons learned regarding the evaluation of adult literacy education and identifies areas for further research.
This paper aims at highlighting the importance for learning of one of the facets of metacognition, namely metacognitive experiences (ME) that comprise feelings, judgments or estimates, and online task-specific knowledge. The emphasis is on the affective character of ME, which has received little attention in the past. Unlike online task-specific knowledge, which is conscious and analytic, the other ME are products of nonconscious, nonanalytic inferential processes. Because of their nature, ME can trigger either rapid, nonconscious control decisions or conscious analytic ones. However, ME can make use of both the affective and the cognitive regulatory loops, and this has a series of implications for learning. Evidence is presented regarding the relations of ME with affect and cognition, and the implications of the lack of accuracy of ME for the self-regulation of learning. Particular emphasis is given on judgment of learning, feeling of difficulty, and feeling of confidence. The challenges for future research on metacognition are underscored.
This review outlines encouraging and discouraging factors in stimulating the adoption of deep approaches to learning in student-centred learning environments. Both encouraging and discouraging factors can be situated in the context of the learning environment, in students’ perceptions of that context and in characteristics of the students themselves. Results show that students in different disciplines differ in the approach to learning they adopt, with students in human sciences in general showing the deepest approach. Moreover, teachers play a role; if they are involved and oriented towards students and changing their conceptions, students are inclined to use a deep approach. With regard to perceived contextual factors, results indicate that students who are satisfied with the course quality (e.g. appropriateness of workload/assessment, teaching, and clarity of goals) employ a deep approach. Concerning the student factors, older students and students whose personality is characterised by openness to experience, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability use a deeper approach. In addition, if students are intrinsically motivated, feel self-confident and self-efficacious and prefer teaching methods that support learning and understanding, a deep approach will be more frequently adopted.
In this article we give a systematic review of the nature and design of earlier research into the impact of instructional development in higher education. Studies are clustered on the basis of the level of outcome that was measured, meaning that another synthesis technique is used than in prior reviews related to the same topic. In addition, we address some questions related to the differential impact of initiatives with varied duration, format, or target group, because these questions were left unanswered in earlier reviews. The results of our review provide a guide to improve studies of instructional development in order to get more insight into the real impact at different levels (teachers’ learning, teachers’ behavior, the institution, and the students). Some evidence is found of the influence of the duration and nature of instructional development on its impact.
The ever-changing requirements of working life require individuals to develop their competencies throughout their life cycle. This lifelong learning paradigm requires a renewed vision concerning assessment in which, besides formal learning, informal and non-formal learning experiences are also recognized. To support this lifelong learning paradigm, procedures have been developed worldwide to assess and credit prior learning experiences (APL). While research on APL stresses the importance of a high-quality standard, so far the literature has applied only a psychometric quality framework. However, from the perspective of APL, where, besides prior knowledge and skills, competencies need to be measured, it is more appropriate to use a combination of the psychometric and edumetric quality criteria. This article will analyze and describe the relationship between quality criteria and the characteristics of APL. The results have revealed that quality criteria based on both are fundamental for APL, but that some criteria are more recognized than are others. Based on this analysis, design guidelines for APL have been formulated.
Because learning and instruction are increasingly competence-based, the call for assessment methods to adequately determine competence is growing. Using just one single assessment method is not sufficient to determine competence acquisition. This article argues for Competence Assessment Programmes (CAPs), consisting of a combination of different assessment methods, including both traditional and new forms of assessment. To develop and evaluate CAPs, criteria to determine their quality are needed. Just as CAPs are combinations of traditional and new forms of assessment, criteria used to evaluate CAP quality should be derived from both psychometrics and edumetrics. A framework of 10 quality criteria for CAPs is presented, which is then compared to Messick's framework of construct validity. Results show that the 10-criterion framework partly overlaps with Messick's, but adds some important new criteria, which get a more prominent place in quality control issues in competence-based education.
This paper reviews and critiques the existing research on a widely recommended instructional approach called context-based physics, which involves placing physics material within a real-life context in an attempt to improve student motivation, problem solving, and achievement. Described first are the problems that exist with traditional physics instruction that resulted in the shift away from traditional teaching methods. This is followed by an in-depth description of context-based physics. Then the ten existing studies that have either implemented context-based physics instruction or problems in physics classrooms in order to examine student motivation, problem solving, or achievement are reviewed and evaluated. Because of the many methodological problems with the existing research, recommendations are made describing the need for more and better designed research.
The cost-effectiveness of class size reduction (CSR) was compared with the cost-effectiveness of rapid formative assessment, a promising alternative for raising student achievement. Drawing upon existing meta-analyses of the effects of student–teacher ratio, evaluations of CSR in Tennessee, California, and Wisconsin, and RAND cost estimates, CSR was found to be 124 times less cost effective than the implementation of systems that rapidly assess student progress in math and reading two to five times per week. Analysis of the results from California and Wisconsin suggest that the relative effectiveness of rapid formative assessment may be substantially underestimated. Further research regarding class size reduction is unlikely to be fruitful, and attention should be turned to rapid formative assessment and other more promising alternatives.
This paper reports a systematic literature review examining empirical studies on the effects of peer assessment for learning. Peer assessment is fundamentally a social process whose core activity is feedback given to and received from others, aimed at enhancing the performance of each individual group member and/or the group as a whole. This makes peer assessment an interpersonal and interactional process. Using this social perspective in order to study learning effects, we focus on the impact of the structural arrangement of peer assessment on learning, and the influence of interpersonal variables.The literature search, focusing on empirical studies measuring learning outcomes in a peer assessment setting, resulted in 15 studies conducted since 1990 dealing with effects (performance or perceived learning gains) of peer assessment. Our analysis reveals that, although peer assessment is a social process, interpersonal variables have hardly been studied; more specifically, they were measured in only 4 out of 15 studies. Moreover, they are not used to explain learning gains resulting from peer assessment. Finally, comparing the studies with respect to structural features reveals that, although the differences between the studies are significant, there seems to be no relation with the occurrence of learning benefits. The results of this review seem to indicate that research on peer assessment from a social perspective is still in its infancy and deserves more attention.
There has been an alarming imbalance in recent research on minority parental involvement because it has focused on parents’ variables to identify groups for effective interventions without searching for broader contextual variables. This literature review provides available research findings on the school barriers that prevent minority parents’ participation in their children's school in the United States. The following school barriers were identified: (a) teachers’ perception about the efficacy of minority parents, (b) teachers’ perception concerning the capacity of minority parents, (c) teachers’ beliefs in the effectiveness of parental involvement and developmental philosophy, (d) teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching effectiveness, (e) school friendliness and positive communication, (f) diversity of parental involvement programs, (g) school policies, and (h) school leadership. Increased understanding about the nature of minority parental involvement in their children's school will lead to a more collaborative home–school partnership and ensure the long-term success of parental involvement.
Various strands of research in educational, social and organizational psychology focus on structures of collectively created meaning that emerge in and coordinate activities of groups. Despite expanding, this field still lacks conceptual clarity, enhanced by the multitude of terms used, such as common ground, shared understanding, collective mind, team mental models, and distributed cognition.We conducted a review of the conceptual frameworks being used in empirical studies, focusing on the premises of the conceptualizations. Therefore, we connected these conceptualizations to either cognitive or socio-cultural perspectives on the social nature of cognition. Some studies are identified as representing initial ways of boundary crossing between these perspectives. To conclude, we explore ways for boundary crossing and cross-fertilization in future research.
Many countries suffer from teacher shortages. One possible solution to this problem is to recruit second-career teachers. These second-career teachers form an intriguing group. They bring an abundance of previous experiences into a new, professional domain. The purpose of this study is to identify pedagogical principles that support the training of second-career teachers. Special attention is given to the transfer of previous experiences obtained in different professional contexts. The literature on alternative certification programmes is reviewed from a pedagogical perspective. The results indicate that second-career teachers differ from first-career teachers in several respects. These differences appear to be related to their previous experiences. The differences also appear to influence their professional development. The study suggests that a tailor-made pedagogy for second-career teachers is needed, along with certain programme features, which take into account the specific needs of this group of students. Four design principles were identified, i.e.: addressing expectations, addressing challenges related to the transition to teaching, addressing transfer and developing a theory of practice.
The need for character education is apparent in the statistics regarding school violence, absenteeism, drop out rates, and achievement. The directive has been sent out by the government to get the job done. This manuscript examines a number of studies that claim to provide evidence that character education programs work, and others that provide evidence that is less supportive. These mixed conclusions are particularly difficult to synthesize because of conceptual and methodological weaknesses common in this area of research. In this review, rather than make a claim as to the effectiveness of character education programs, we point out that the research regarding character education has not examined evaluation questions with an empirically rigorous eye. We draw particular attention to the lack of behavioral outcomes reported in the existing research.
This paper reviews research literature on cognitive load measurement in learning and neuroimaging, and describes a mapping between the main elements of cognitive load theory and findings in functional neuroanatomy. It is argued that these findings may lead to the improved measurement of cognitive load using neuroimaging. The paper describes how current measures of cognitive load cannot accurately show the distinction between different types of cognitive load in different learning conditions, and existing approaches to cognitive load assessment are limited in terms of their precision and methodology. A literature review discusses the conceptual framework of Sweller's [Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and Instruction 4, 295–312; Sweller, J. (1999). Instructional design in technical areas. Camberwell, Australia: ACER Press] cognitive load theory, and describes various approaches to load measurement and their limitations. The paper then describes how the core components of cognitive load – intrinsic, extraneous, and germane load – may be observable using neuroimaging techniques, and argues for the exploration of new links between education research and neuroscience.
In this paper, we have attempted two ambitious tasks. We have undertaken a wide-ranging survey of the Network learning (NL) literature, and tried to identify the emerging themes of this work. We have selected three of these themes, and in each case tried to identify the main theoretical perspectives in use, the main directions of the studies, and the key ideas being addressed and researched. We have also tried to indicate where the main research effort might be directed in order to help to ‘fill in the gaps’ and achieve some coherence for the theme. Our second major task has arisen from our assertion that the field of Networked Learning research is theoretically fragmented. We have argued that this situation arises because Networked Learning research is a new field, and is drawing upon a wide range of theoretical perspectives. However, unless we can achieve some synthesis of these perspectives we may find it difficult to establish a coherent research programme in the field. We argue that one way of developing some coherence is to make theory and praxis interact explicitly, in other words, to ‘converse’ with each other in our research. By this we mean, to use theory to interrogate praxis, and use praxis to modify and develop theory, thus moving towards perspectives that are changing theory, modifying and improving it. As part of this argument, we have briefly surveyed the current level of Theory–Praxis Conversation, either explicit, or implicit, in the thematic research we have described. It is clear that some outstanding work is being done to make theory work, and to modify it in the light of research into praxis. However, it is also the case that much current Networked Learning research does not interrogate the theory that it uses to contextualise it. We see Theory–Praxis Conversation as a way of thinking explicitly about how we might make the work of interrogating theory in our research more explicit and systematic. In this way, our ‘Quest for Coherence’ may, we hope, help Networked Learning research to climb up to the higher ground, and give us a wider ranging view of learning in networked environments.
In this article, the potentials of advanced technologies for learning in science exhibitions are outlined. For this purpose, we conceptualize science exhibitions as dynamic information space for knowledge building which includes three pathways of knowledge communication. This article centers on the second pathway, that is, knowledge communication among visitors. We argue that advanced technologies have specific potentials to support all forms of visitor-to-visitor knowledge communication and, furthermore, allow for new forms of knowledge communication among unacquainted visitors and beyond the actual museum visit. We discuss mechanisms of collaborative learning with regard to their relevance for visitor-to-visitor knowledge communication and present prototypical advanced media applications in science exhibitions that address these mechanisms. This article both contributes to our understanding of collaborative learning in science exhibitions and the support advanced technologies can provide for visitor-to-visitor knowledge communication in science exhibitions.
Past educational improvement endeavors were fundamentally centered on the learner as an individual. This changed by the early 1990s after an increasing number of educators and researchers embraced sociocultural learning concepts such as “communities of practice,” “communities of learners,” and “knowledge-building communities.” These ideas are originally grounded in a dialectical materialist, cultural-historical theory of activity, or, as Lev Vygotsky called it, in a “concrete human [social] psychology.” However, as these concepts filtered into Western scholarship, some of their defining characteristics have been lost or downplayed. The intention of this article is thus to offer a more complete theorization of the educational notion of community that is centered on collective activity or practice mediated by history and culture/society. Two case studies, which exemplify learning communities using this lens, conclude the paper.
This meta-analysis examined 35 study results within last 10 years that directly compared the response rates of e-mail versus mail surveys. Individual studies reported inconsistent findings concerning the response rate difference between e-mail and mail surveys, but e-mail surveys generally have lower response rate (about 20% lower on the average) than mail surveys. Two study features (population type and follow-up reminders) could account for some variation in the e-mail and mail survey response rate differences across the studies. For the studies involving college populations, the response rate difference between e-mail and mail surveys was much smaller, or even negligible, suggesting that e-mail survey is reasonably comparable with mail survey for college populations. The finding about follow-up reminder as a statistically significant study feature turns out to be somewhat an anomaly. Other study features (i.e., article type, random assignment of survey respondents into e-mail and mail survey modes, and use of incentives) did not prove to be statistically useful in accounting for the variation of response rate differences between mail and e-mail surveys. The findings here suggest that, in this age of internet technology, mail survey is still superior to e-mail survey in terms of obtaining higher response rate.
Internet evolution has affected all industrial, commercial, and especially learning activities in the new context of e-learning. Due to cost, time, or flexibility e-learning has been adopted by participators as an alternative training method. By development of computer-based devices and new methods of teaching, e-learning has emerged. The effectiveness of such programs is dependent on powerful learning management systems. In this paper, a neuro-fuzzy approach is proposed based on an evolutionary technique to obtain an optimal learning path for both instructor and learner. The neuro-fuzzy synergy allows the diagnostic model to imitate instructor in diagnosing learners’ characteristics, and equips the intelligent learning environment with reasoning capabilities. These reasoning capabilities can be used to drive pedagogical decisions based on the learning style of the learner. The neuro-fuzzy implementation helps to encode both structured and non-structured knowledge for the instructor. On the other hand, for learners, the neural network approach has been applied to make personalized curriculum profile based on individual learner requirements in a fuzzy environment.
The notion of general cognitive ability (or ‘intelligence’) is explored and why the time might now be ripe for educators to re-consider the power offered by a general intellectual capacity which is itself amenable to educational influence. We review existing knowledge concerning general intelligence, including the cohabitation of general and special abilities, cognitive modules, development, and evidence for plasticity of the general processor. We examine why this knowledge is generally absent from educational practice and present a number of models that attempt to synthesise the main aspects of current psychological theories. We explore how the models might be used in educational applications and look at examples of effective cognitive stimulation considering both practicalities and theoretical notions of what in our cognitive models is affected by stimulation. We discuss finally the possible political, cultural and social barriers to the inclusion of general ability as central to educational aims.
Over the past three decades, the literature in science education has accumulated a tremendous amount of research on students’ conceptions—one bibliography currently lists 7000 entries concerning students’ and teachers’ conceptions and science education. Yet despite all of this research and all the advances in the associated conceptual change theory, there is evidence that students’ conceptual talk remains virtually unchanged by instruction even under the best conditions. In this article, I describe and exemplify discursive psychology as a theoretical alternative, which ultimately allows me to understand the solid nature of student talk about scientific phenomena and why science instruction faces such challenges in bringing about conceptual change. To exemplify the presentation of the theory, I draw on videotaped interviews that covered ground similar to the one featured in A Private Universe. This theoretical alternative questions some of the fundamental presuppositions and assumptions made in the constructivist and conceptual change literature—including the locus of the misconceptions, the relation of individual and collective, and the situated and constitutive nature of the talk eliciting (mis-, alternative, pre-, naïve) conceptions. I conclude with some sobering suggestions and recommendations for the praxis of science teaching and the possibility to bring about scientists’ science for and in all students any time in the near future.
Research exploring beliefs about creativity has produced valuable findings regarding how individuals conceptualize creativity, yet, to date, there has been no systematic synthesis of this literature. As such, the purposes of this review were twofold: (a) to explore researchers’ and teachers’ conceptualizations of creativity; and, (b) to analyze and synthesize the results of the studies examining teachers’ beliefs about creativity. To address these purposes, we analyzed peer-reviewed, empirical research studies of teachers’ beliefs about creativity appearing in the published literature. Our analysis incorporated documentation of the studies’ surface characteristics (i.e., topic, sample, design, and instruments) and identification of definitional patterns regarding the two key terms of the review namely creativity and beliefs. Based on our analysis of the reviewed studies, we propose a conceptual framework for beliefs about creativity, and overview conceptual issues derived from themes emerging in the relevant literature. Implications for instruction and research are forwarded.
Several benefits of using scoring rubrics in performance assessments have been proposed, such as increased consistency of scoring, the possibility to facilitate valid judgment of complex competencies, and promotion of learning. This paper investigates whether evidence for these claims can be found in the research literature. Several databases were searched for empirical research on rubrics, resulting in a total of 75 studies relevant for this review. Conclusions are that: (1) the reliable scoring of performance assessments can be enhanced by the use of rubrics, especially if they are analytic, topic-specific, and complemented with exemplars and/or rater training; (2) rubrics do not facilitate valid judgment of performance assessments per se. However, valid assessment could be facilitated by using a more comprehensive framework of validity when validating the rubric; (3) rubrics seem to have the potential of promoting learning and/or improve instruction. The main reason for this potential lies in the fact that rubrics make expectations and criteria explicit, which also facilitates feedback and self-assessment.
Several theories of grade inflation are discussed in this review article. It is argued that grade inflation results from the substitution of criteria specific to the search for truth by criteria of quality control generated outside of academia. Particular mechanisms of the grade inflation that occurs when a university is transformed into a commercial enterprise, an industrial workshop or an extended family (Alma Mater) are discussed in detail.
Pressures for change in the field of teacher education are escalating significantly as part of systemic education reform initiatives in a broad spectrum of economically developed and developing nations. Considering these pressures, it is surprising that relatively little theoretical or empirical analysis of learning and change processes within teacher education programs has been undertaken. In this paper, we illustrate some ways in which contemporary socio-cultural learning theory may be used as a lens for addressing these issues. Using a theoretical framework developed by Harré [Harré, R. (1984). Personal being: A theory for individual psychology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press], we show how processes of individual and collective learning led to changes in a teacher education program observed over an eighteen month period of time. Important innovations in program practice were generally found to have their sources in the creative work of individual faculty. However program level changes required negotiation of new ideas and practices within small groups of faculty, and with the larger collective of the program. We conclude that the Harré model, and the socio-cultural learning theories from which it is derived, may offer a useful theoretical framework for interpreting complex social processes underlying organizational renewal, innovation, and change.
This literature study deals with the issue of how to conceptualize the supervisory behaviour of mentor teachers in mentoring dialogues by systematically examining empirical literature on key aspects of mentor teachers’ behaviour during dialogues with prospective teachers. From the findings a model is derived which can be used to study mentor teachers’ behaviour in mentoring dialogues. The model may be helpful in the further development of the quality of mentor teachers’ behaviour in mentoring dialogues.
The article draws on findings from the PhD Examination Project at the SORTI Research Centre of The University of Newcastle, Australia. It focuses on an analysis of the roles of examiner and supervisor, in relation to the candidate, as seen through the lens of Habermas's ‘Ways of Knowing’ theory. On the basis of this, it has been postulated that the dominant text in the PhD examination process may work to constrain the generation of new knowledge rather than encourage it. The paper explores practical implications for research training and questions the current well being of the doctoral regime.
A solid understanding of inferential statistics is of major importance for designing and interpreting empirical results in any scientific discipline. However, students are prone to many misconceptions regarding this topic. This article structurally summarizes and describes these misconceptions by presenting a systematic review of publications that provide empirical evidence of them. This group of publications was found to be dispersed over a wide range of specialized journals and proceedings, and the methodology used in the empirical studies was very diverse. Three research needs rise from this review: (1) further empirical studies that identify the sources and possible solutions for misconceptions in order to complement the abundant theoretical and statistical discussion about them; (2) new insights into effective research designs and methodologies to perform this type of research; and (3) structured and systematic summaries of findings like the one presented here, concerning misconceptions in other areas of statistics, that might be of interest both for educational researchers and teachers of statistics.
“Weblogs” or “blogs” are increasingly visible in higher education settings. Some scholars suggest that blogs are useful because of their reflective nature. However, as this review indicates the research regarding blogs is largely self-report data (surveys, interviews) or content analyses. This review summarizes results of this existing research on weblogs in higher education settings. Limitations of existing empirical studies are discussed and some directions for future research related to the use of blogs in higher education settings are suggested.
In recent years, there has been a revival of interest in financial incentives to encourage students to attend school and to improve their academic achievement, graduation rates, and other outcomes. Conditional cash transfers programmes in developing countries, especially PROGRESA in Mexico, have found positive effects on attendance in large-scale randomized experiments, and this has encouraged similar initiatives throughout the world. This article reviews research on effects of conditional cash transfers and other financial incentive schemes on educational outcomes. Research in developing countries has found that providing families with significant financial incentives modestly increases secondary students’ attendance. Effects on graduation rates and on actual learning are less well documented. In developed countries the evidence is less supportive.
The paper opens by characterizing recent discourse about empirical educational research as the “new Babel”-critics, using different theoretical vocabularies and making different deep assumptions about the nature of social life, are failing to communicate with each other. After locating some of the critical positions on a left-right continuum, the main discussion focusses upon the end of this continuum where there are located the recent attempts to restore rigor to educational research by using the so-called “gold standard” of randomized field trials. It is argued that positions at this end of the continuum misrepresent the nature of science, and some examples are briefly mentioned in order to covey the point that it is fruitful to view scientists as making convincing cases, cases that appeal to a wide variety of evidence. This assessment of scientific cases is called the “platinum standard”.
Recently, research has increasingly focused on fostering self-regulated learning amongst young children. To consider this trend, this article presents the results of a differentiated meta-analysis of 48 treatment comparisons resulting from 30 articles on enhancing self-regulated learning amongst primary school students. Based on recent models of self-regulated learning, which consider motivational, as well as cognitive, and metacognitive aspects [Boekaerts, M. (1999). Self-regulated learning: Where we are today. International Journal of Educational research, 31(6), 445–457], the effects of self-regulated learning on academic achievement, on cognitive and metacognitive strategy application, as well as on motivation were analyzed. As the results show, self-regulated learning training programmes proved to be effective, even at primary school level. Subsequent analysis tested for the effects of several moderator variables, which consisted of study features and training characteristics. Regarding factors that concern the content of the treatment, the impact of the theoretical background that underlies the intervention was tested, as well as the type of cognitive, metacognitive, or motivational strategy which were instructed, and if group work was used as instruction method. Training context related factors, which were included in the analyses consisted of students’ grade level, the length of the training, if teachers or researchers directed the intervention, as well as the school subject in which context the training took place. Following the results of these analyses, a list with the most effective training characteristics was provided.
Econometric studies suggest that student achievement may be improved if high-performing teachers are substituted for low-performing teachers. Drawing upon a recent study linking teacher performance on licensure exams with gains in student achievement, an analysis was conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of requiring teacher applicants to meet a minimum 1000 SAT test score requirement, while raising teacher salaries by 45 percent in order to maintain an adequate pool of candidates. Results indicate that the cost-effectiveness of this approach to raising teacher quality is substantially lower than the cost-effectiveness of a competing approach for raising student achievement, involving the implementation of systems that provide formative assessment feedback to students and teachers regarding student performance in math and reading. The implementation of formative assessment instead of less cost-effective approaches would help to achieve the important goal of raising math and reading achievement while using fewer resources. The savings in resources may then be used to achieve other important educational goals—those that are not well-addressed through formative assessment.
This paper elaborates the role and development of personal epistemologies when learning through and for work. It does this by drawing on explanatory propositions from psychology, sociology and philosophical accounts. The aim here is to go beyond conceptions of epistemological beliefs and to position personal epistemologies as being active, intentional, derived in personally particular ways through the unique set of socially derived experiences that comprise individuals’ life histories or ontogenies. In this way, they are held to be comprehensive and encompassing as a conception to explain individuals’ learning and as constructed through social experiences, albeit in person-specific ways. Given their active and constructive character, these epistemologies are placed centre stage in the dual processes of learning and remaking culturally derived practices, such as with paid work. These propositions are discussed and elaborated through a consideration of engagement and learning in forms of work that provide, respectively, relatively weak and rich forms of direct social guidance, and which require the enactment in different ways of individuals’ personal epistemologies in the conduct of and learning through paid work.
A review of the history of working memory (WM) studies finds that the concept of WM evolved from short-term memory to a multi-component system. Comparison between contemporary WM models reveals: (1) consensus that the content of WM includes not only task-relevant information, but also task-irrelevant information; (2) consensus that WM consists of phonological and visuospatial components; (3) consensus that short-term memory storage is a function of WM; (4) disagreement as to whether an independent executive control is a necessary WM component; and (5) disagreement as to whether the control function is active or passive. Methods for measuring WM differed across studies with a preponderance of various dual-tasks; little psychometric work has been done on these measures. Correlational studies supported a close relationship between WM and measures of fluid intelligence and science achievement, but we found no experimental studies on the impact of WM training on science achievement. Finally we suggest how WM research findings may be applied to improve fluid intelligence and science achievement.
In the first part of this article, I discuss motivational variables in general, and interest in specific and propose that because of its biological roots, interest is a unique motivational variable. Furthermore, it is suggested that to demonstrate the uniqueness of interest, neuroscientific findings need to be considered. In the second section of the paper, I argue that the impact of the neuroscientific literature in the areas of social, educational and cognitive psychology has not been appropriately recognized. To support this claim, links between selected neuroscientific findings and motivational variables in general and interest in specific are discussed. Finally, some of the educationally relevant implications of interest research supported by neuroscientific findings are considered.
The article presents a thematic review of the recent research on workplace learning. It is divided into two main sections. The first section asks what we know about learning at work, and states four propositions: (1) the nature of workplace learning is both different from and similar to school learning; (2) learning in the workplace can be described at different levels, ranging from the individual to the network and region; (3) workplace learning is both informal and formal; and (4) workplaces differ a lot in how they support learning. The second section focuses on workplace learning that is related to formal education. Different models of organising work experience for students and the challenges of creating partnerships between education and working life are described. It is concluded that the worlds of education and work are moving closer each other and that the integration of formal and informal learning is an essential prerequisite for developing the kinds of expertise needed in response to the changes taking place in working life.
This article reviews research on the achievement outcomes of alternative approaches for struggling readers ages 5–10 (US grades K-5): One-to-one tutoring, small-group tutorials, classroom instructional process approaches, and computer-assisted instruction. Study inclusion criteria included use of randomized or well-matched control groups, study duration of at least 12 weeks, and use of valid measures independent of treatments. A total of 97 studies met these criteria. The review concludes that one-to-one tutoring is very effective in improving reading performance. Tutoring models that focus on phonics obtain much better outcomes than others. Teachers are more effective than paraprofessionals and volunteers as tutors. Small-group, phonetic tutorials can be effective, but are not as effective as one-to-one phonetically focused tutoring. Classroom instructional process programs, especially cooperative learning, can have very positive effects for struggling readers. Computer-assisted instruction had few effects on reading. Taken together, the findings support a strong focus on improving classroom instruction and then providing one-to-one, phonetic tutoring to students who continue to experience difficulties.
In this theoretical essay, the author addresses the existence of divergent evidence, portraying both competence and lack of competence in a fundamental realm of higher order thinking – causal and scientific reasoning – and explores the educational implications. Evidence indicates that these higher order reasoning skills are not ones that can be counted on to develop naturally among students exposed to a traditional curriculum. Instead, it is argued, such skills warrant attention in their own right as legitimate and significant educational objectives.
There is a vast body of literature on school size but comparatively few high quality empirical studies comparing outcomes in schools of different sizes. This systematic review synthesizes the results of the published research from 31 studies on the effects of secondary school size from OECD countries since 1990. Overall the directions and patterns of effect vary for different outcomes. For pupil attainment measured by exam results, and for attendance, larger schools appear to do better up to some optimal school size but estimates of this point or range are insufficiently precise to be useful. The implications of different school sizes on student behaviours are equivocal, but teachers and pupils at smaller schools are more likely to have a positive perception of their ‘school environment’. Costs per pupil appear to decrease as school size increases. The results of the review suggest that there is little empirical evidence to justify policies that aim to ‘change’ or mandate particular school sizes. However, given the evidence that there do appear to be optimal sizes for some outcomes, stakeholders should be made aware that dramatic changes in a school's size may change the characteristics of a school's learning environment.
Evidence-based practice in education entails making pedagogical decisions that are informed by relevant empirical research evidence. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss evidence-based pedagogical approaches related to the use of Web 2.0 technologies in both K-12 and higher education settings. The use of such evidence-based practice would be useful to educators interested in fostering student learning through Web 2.0 tools. A comprehensive literature search across the Academic Search Premier, Education Research Complete, ERIC, and PsycINFO databases was conducted. Empirical studies were included for review if they specifically examined the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on student learning. Articles that merely described anecdotal studies such as student perception or feeling toward learning using Web 2.0, or studies that relied on student self-report data such as student questionnaire survey and interview were excluded. Overall, the results of our review suggested that actual evidence regarding the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on student learning is as yet fairly weak. Nevertheless, the use of Web 2.0 technologies appears to have a general positive impact on student learning. None of the studies reported a detrimental or inferior effect on learning. The positive effects are not necessarily attributed to the technologies per se but to how the technologies are used, and how one conceptualizes learning. It may be tentatively concluded that a dialogic, constructionist, or co-constructive pedagogy supported by activities such as Socratic questioning, peer review and self-reflection appeared to increase student achievement in blog-, wiki-, and 3-D immersive virtual world environments, while a transmissive pedagogy supported by review activities appeared to enhance student learning using podcast.