International Journal of Educational Research

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0883-0355
Publications
Article
We investigated whether the sexes differ in science performance before they make important course and career selections. We collected teacher-report data from a sample of children from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) assessed at ages 9, 10 and 12 years (N>2500 pairs). In addition we developed a test of scientific enquiry and administered it to a sub-sample of TEDS (n=1135; age=14 years). We found no evidence for mean sex differences in science performance assessed by teachers, or by a test of scientific enquiry, although boys were somewhat more variable. At a time when adolescents are making important course choices, girls are performing just as well as boys.
 
Article
Most of the old Australian circuses were built on a family tradition in which circus skills were developed, shared, and passed from generation to generation. Children brought up in circus families had to concentrate upon the development of their performing skills, often to the exclusion or detriment of a formal education. Based on extensive interviews with elderly Australian circus people, this chapter explores educational practices in Australian circuses between 1847 and 1930.
 
Article
At the beginning of the 20th Century Belgium was said to be a center of the so-called paedological research. Since 1899 Medard Schuyten directed the internationally well known paedological laboratory in Antwerp; in 1912, Josefa Ioteyko founded in Brussels, as an outcome of the first world congress for paedology in Brussels in 1911, the “International Faculty of Paedology”. Mainly on the basis of these Belgian sources, this chapter demonstrates how much the human sciences at the time were captivated by natural scientific thought and scientific optimism.
 
Article
In reporting on one aspect of a national center's research on teacher education, this chapter examines two U.S. programs in which experienced teachers are expected to play major roles in the induction and socialization of beginning teachers. By exploring connections between what experienced teachers in the two projects do and the organizational and intellectual contexts within which they work, this analysis demonstrates that the contextual conditions of mentoring can lead to striking differences in the definition and enactment of mentoring roles. The final section then relates this comparative study to broader claims about the power of mentoring to improve teaching.
 
Article
In recent years, there has been a good deal of media and academic interest in the ways in which Japanese history textbooks represent Japan's wartime past. However, the discussion has tended to revolve primarily around a number of symbolic textbook issues, such as government censorship of the term ‘aggression,’ without much consideration of divisions and conflict within the state and the ruling bloc itself. Consequently, no real analysis has emerged concerning the ways in which right-wing nationalist elements have exploited the textbook issue with the aim of reinforcing their political and cultural dominance over contemporary Japan.This article presents the Japanese history textbook controversy as an ongoing cultural and political struggle. It attempts to understand the process of the textbook struggle historically, and the relations between political parties and actors, the state bureaucracy, and right-wing nationalists. In particular, the study examines the ways in which the power of right-wing nationalism has been appropriated and negotiated by the leaders and members of the Liberal Democratic Party and bureaucrats in the Ministry of Education. It also looks at the ways in which such power has been resisted by textbook authors, educators, and certain segments of public opinion.
 
Article
There is a growing body of research indicating that students who can self-regulate cognitive, motivational, and behavioral aspects of their academic functioning are more effective as learners. We studied relations between the self-regulation strategies used by a group of Italian students during the final years of high school and their subsequent academic achievement and resilience in pursuing higher education. We used the self-regulated learning interview schedule, which focuses on cognitive, motivational, and behavioral strategies used during academic learning in both classroom and non-classroom contexts. The cognitive self-regulation strategy of organizing and transforming proved to be a significant predictor of the students’ course grades in Italian, mathematics, and technical subjects in high school and in their subsequent average course grades and examinations passed at the university. The motivational self-regulation strategy of self-consequences was a significant predictor of the students’ high school diploma grades and their intention to continue with their education after high school.
 
Article
This chapter analyzes the teacher education reform in Taiwan since 1994. A case study of three elementary teacher education programs at two different institutions was conducted to examine the implementation of reforms. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the potential impact of these recent changes on the preparation of mathematics teaching at elementary school level.
 
Descriptive statistics of countries' demographic and PISA reading data.
PISA mean, standard deviation and social and economic factor index scores as a function of school entry age.
Article
Evidence regarding the effect of early reading instruction on later reading achievement is unusually sparse, given the emphasis often placed on early and intensive reading instruction. Capitalising on international differences in school entry age (SEA), international reading studies may provide such evidence; however, only one quantitative analysis has been conducted that looked at nine-year olds over 17 years ago. Therefore, data from the reading portion of the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study were re-analysed. The relative reading achievement—as a function of SEA—of 15-year-old students across 55 countries was investigated, controlling for social and economic differences. Results suggested no significant association between reading achievement and SEA. Theoretical explanations for these findings are discussed.
 
Article
A general framework is presented to help understand the relationship between motivation and self-regulated learning. According to the framework, self-regulated learning can be facilitated by the adoption of mastery and relative ability goals and hindered by the adoption of extrinsic goals. In addition, positive self-efficacy and task value beliefs can promote self-regulated behavior. Self-regulated learning is defined as the strategies that students use to regulate their cognition (i.e., use of various cognitive and metacognitive strategies) as well as the use of resource management strategies that students use to control their learning.
 
Article
The goal of this study was to investigate the relation between a set of pre-decisional beliefs including students’ task value, self-efficacy, and learning and performance goal orientations and five post-decisional, implementation strategies students use to regulate their effort and persistence for the academic tasks assigned for a specific class. A group of eighth grade students (N=114) completed a self-report survey that assessed these four motivational beliefs and the frequency that they used five motivational regulation strategies including self-consequating, environmental control, interest enhancement, and mastery and performance self-talk. Results from a series of multiple regressions indicated that the motivational beliefs, as a group, could be used to explain students’ reported use of each of the regulatory strategies examined. Further, results indicated that task value, learning goal orientation, and performance goal orientation individually explained three or more of the regulatory strategies, whereas self-efficacy was not related significantly to any of the five regulatory strategies studied. Findings are presented and interpreted in light of their significance for models specifying both motivational and volitional aspects of self-regulation.
 
Article
This chapter is a synthesis of findings from five research studies linking school learning environment and organizational characteristics to multiple indices of school effectiveness. Descriptions of a variety of new measures of school level environment characteristics are included and implications of the findings for research and theory development in the future study of school learning environments, schools as organizations and school effectiveness are discussed.
 
Article
In November 1989, there was a meeting of people who had been involved in helping to bring about fundamental restructuring in public schools. This chapter reports on one person's view of the results of that “Asilomar Conference.” It describes 15 activities that appear to enhance the success of systemic restructuring, but more importantly it describes principles or guidelines that appear to enhance the success of each activity. Hopefully, this tentative process model will contribute to building a knowledge base that will help practitioners and other stakeholders to attain a quantum improvement in the quality of their educational systems.
 
Article
A high rate of absence of teachers from their posts is a serious obstacle to delivery of education in many developing countries, but hard evidence on the problem has been scarce. This study, carried out as part of a new multi-country survey project, is the first systematic investigation in Peru into the extent and causes of teachers’ absence from schools. Data from our nationally representative survey of public primary schools, based on unannounced visits and direct observation of teachers, reveals that public school teachers in Peru are absent from their posts 11 percent of the time. While this overall absence rate is low compared with those of other survey countries, the absence rates in Peru's poorest and remotest communities are much higher—16 and 21 percent, respectively. In our multivariate analysis of the causes of public school teacher absence, we identify several important variables that are associated with increased absence: poor working conditions, such as poorer communities and infrastructure; teachers with fewer ties to the school's community; contract teaching; and, perhaps, an absence of private competition. By contrast, proxies for more vigorous top-down and bottom-up monitoring are not associated with lower absence. These results, together with the relatively high overall public school teacher attendance rates in an environment where financial incentives for performance are weak, suggest that non-pecuniary incentives are important determinants of teacher performance.
 
Article
Mathematical constructs have a dual role because they can be used as instruments to model real world situations and events, but they can also become an object of reasoning. Mathematics is a particularly abstract domain because the affordances and constraints underlying the use of mathematical constructs may be different from the affordances and constraints in real-world situations. We argue that this makes the acquisition of quantitative schemata a difficult task but also accounts for the potential to extend our understanding of the world by mathematical means. We refer to developmental, educational, and experimental studies supporting the view that new understandings and powerful ways of reasoning become possible on the basis of culturally mediated mathematical constructs.
 
Article
Conceptual coordination is a learning process that relates multiple perceptual-motor modalities (verbal, visual, gestural, etc.) in time. Lower-order categorizations are thus related by sequence and simultaneity, as shown by neurological dysfunctions. Heretofore, many theories of abstraction have only considered verbal behavior and assumed that the neural mechanism itself consists of manipulation of descriptions (linguistic models of the world and behavior). This broader view better relates physical and intellectual skills.
 
Article
It is argued that abstract cognitive processes entail the processing of relations, which differ from more primitive cognitive processes in being more accessible, more flexible, and less content-specific. A relation is a binding between a relation-symbol or predicate, and one or more arguments. Each argument corresponds to a slot which can be filled in a number of ways, so the relation is independent of specific arguments. The binding of arguments to a relation-symbol means that the relation can be an argument to other relations, and is therefore accessible to other cognitive processes based on relations. It can be shown that the building blocks of cognitive processes, such as propositions, and trees can be expressed as relations. Each argument constitutes a dimension in the space represented by the relation, and the number of arguments provides a metric for conceptual complexity. Neural net modelling shows why relational representations impose a processing load which is a function of the number of dimensions.
 
Article
The relation between generality and specificity in cognition is poorly understood. The history of science and mathematics shows that generality is not achieved by extracting similarities from particulars. To make a fresh start, we propose that objects and events are seen as similar to the extent that they fit the same abstraction and that abstractions are constructed by assembling available ideas into new structures. The function of abstraction is not to provide generality but to facilitate the assembly process and to provide a different categorization of the world than the one suggested by perceptual similarities. This view is exemplified with respect to central ideas in science, mathematics and other disciplines.
 
Article
Increasing awareness of child abuse and neglect (CAN) raises questions about how well teachers are prepared for their role in child protection. This paper assesses and differentiates training needs of first-year students (n = 216) in Northern Ireland. Multiple-choice tests were used to assess knowledge of CAN statistics; recognising and reporting; policies, procedures, and legislative frameworks; and direct work with children. Considerable gaps in knowledge were found. Results between student groups varied and provide evidence of the need to develop pre-service child protection training. The importance of differentiation between student groups in terms of training content is emphasised.
 
Article
This paper adopts an academic literacies perspective to argue for a critical approach to the writing practices of the online university classroom. It describes an on-going action research project in an online Masters in Online and Distance Education (MAODE) programme at the UK Open University, which aims to create an online writing resource to support distance learners in developing a critical awareness of the writing practices on the programme. The paper presents the results of an evaluation study of this resource during the 2005 presentation of the MAODE, and discusses the evidence from this study that such a resource can provide a space for students to critique the dominant literacies of the online university.
 
Article
This chapter describes recent changes made in the selection of university students in Estonia. The chapter also includes a description of two research studies that examine the procedures used by the faculty of two major psychology departments in Estonia (the University of Tartu and Tallinn Pedagogical University) to select students. The procedures involve some combination of general knowledge tests, group tasks, and personal interviews. The results suggest that data obtained from group tasks and personal interviews are more highly predictive of GPA than that obtained from the general knowledge tests. Furthermore, the predictive validity of the general knowledge tests depends on the academic program the student intends to enter.
 
Article
Academic literacies research has significantly informed educational practice across a range of disciplines. But this influence has largely been through a focus on genres of written language. The growth of new information and communication technologies demands a broader view of academic literacy and how it now informs situations of learning. This challenge is discussed in relation to a number of characteristics associated with computer-based communications, including representational diversity, non-linearity and new conceptions of authorship and responsibility. It is argued that educational practice must recognise new demands on reading these new forms as well as new divides and disillusionments associated with them. However, there are also new opportunities to be seized for learner participation in the creative process. Finally, examples are recruited to argue for research in this area that is both more ecological and more developmental in orientation.
 
Article
There are no provisions for routine evaluations or rankings of the universities in the Federal Republic of Germany. Consequently, it has become a matter of magazines to carry out inquiries into the opinions of students and faculty members in order to assess the quality of education at German universities. One of the first studies of this type was carried out by one of Germany's most respected magazines, Der Spiegel. The results of this study, particularly the questionnaires and validity of the given response categories, were subject to vehement criticism. In this context the exploratory study described in this chapter was conceived. Students and faculty were asked to give their personal and individual views about the academic system at their given universities. In order to guarantee the subjectivity of each individual's frame of reference, the responses of students and faculty were recorded, analyzed, and compared by means of computer-assisted content analysis. The results will be used to validate quantitative instruments of inquiry and to formulate proposals for their improvement.
 
Article
Research and practice have tended to focus on the “entrance and exit” years in schools. Transfer (that is, the move from one stage of schooling and from one school to another) has received more attention than transition (that is, the move from one year to another within the same school). Transition emerges from interviews with students as a neglected but important experience, reflecting the difficulties some students have in sustaining their commitment to learning and in understanding continuities in learning. Similarly, the relationship between friendships and student progress is given attention at transfer but tends thereafter to have a low profile. Interviews with students suggest that there is much that we can usefully learn by listening to students talk about the link between friendship and academic performance.
 
Article
The two-fold purpose of this article is: (a) to review Australian trends concerning retention rates to the final year of high school, transition rates to higher education, and the phenomena underlying these rates including the impact of political intervention; and (b) to outline a pilot study conducted to identify and describe the dynamics of the decision process stages (DPS) through which high school students proceed in choosing to undertake university study and conjoint levels of (un)certainty. Factors underlying a current perception of crisis within Australian higher education are identified. Complex patterns of predictive associations among six general categories of predictors and the DPS, which operate differently during the various years of high school, are also examined. The relationship between the two is established with some suggestions for policy.
 
Article
This chapter summarises the background, methodology and the findings of a three-phase policy research project commissioned by the Department of Education and the Arts, Tasmania.1 Since detailed findings and practical implications are presented elsewhere (Macpherson & Taplin, 1995; Macpherson, 1996a, b, c), this chapter develops recommendations and discusses the extent to which this example of cooperative policy research supports the non-foundational, pragmatist and naturalised account of the growth of knowledge proposed by Evers and Lakomski (1991). It concludes that the problem of accountability in education could relate to the quality of policy research used in systems and institutions.
 
Article
This chapter examines the sources of ideas of accountability and provides the conceptual framework for an understanding of accountability systems in the Malaysian education milieu. The educational reform initiatives which provide the impetus for the quality and accountability agenda are discussed. The importance of Vision 2020, the Public Service Development Circulars, the Educational Vision, Principal Work Targets and Annual Work Targets as the overall accountability frames of reference are reported. This chapter traces how the plethora of accountability and quality ideas are translated into practice at the system, institutional and classroom levels. It examines the unifying logic, the basis of relevance and coherence of accountability policies and practices. This chapter further examines a range of indicators used in performance measures for specific educational programs, projects and activities. The study is based on documentary analysis, surveys and participant observation in policymaking committees.
 
Article
In March, 1991, the Hong Kong Government launched a scheme entitled the School Management Initiative. As suggested by the sub-title, “Setting the Framework for Quality in Hong Kong Schools,” the concern was for quality education. In September, 1991, 21 aided secondary schools took part in a pilot scheme. The schools were asked to set up a framework for accountability. This chapter reports how the teachers in the pilot schools responded to these changes. It was found that teachers who were involved in school administration were more favorably disposed to the changes. The remaining half of the teachers who were not involved in school administration were less enthusiastic. Both groups of teachers complained about the heavy increase of work load and reported that the accountability framework failed to make any impact on the quality of teaching.
 
Article
The purpose of this chapter is to contribute to greater understanding of the relationship between new accountability projects in education and the broader purposes and processes of school improvement. The chapter reports on a study of accountability initiatives in education underway in several Canadian provinces. A monitoring framework was developed as a heuristic to frame the issues and questions identified in current research and policy making as critical components of accountability systems. The accountability reforms adopted by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training as part of the New Foundations in Education (1995) reforms were analyzed. Problems associated with the centralized development of the “Common Curriculum,” and with school delivery standards were described. The chapter outlines the implications of systemic accountability reforms for the “reinvention” of schooling.
 
Article
In this chapter, the authors propose and evaluate an accountability system based on indicators that combine elements of both inputs and outcomes. The authors stress the importance of ensuring that accountability systems in education are flexible and sensitive to the sometimes competing ends that schooling systems pursue. This approach places considerable emphasis on open inquiry and discussion between centralized authorities and constituent schooling units. The authors envision a four phase accountability strategy which attempts to move the system away from a reliance on penalties and rewards and toward a system based on cooperation and communication. An overview of an effort to implement this kind of approach in New York State is provided.
 
Article
This chapter summarises the findings of the chapters above and derives research questions. It identifies potential domains of future policy research in accountability. Since beliefs about what constitutes knowledge and how learning can be demonstrated determine how educational accountability is to be accomplished, it concludes that such research will be central in the struggle for the soul of education. It also recommends cooperative methodologies that attend simultaneously to technical, economic, cultural, political, strategic and philosophical dimensions of a communitarian concept of accountability.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine continuity and change in state-level performance reporting (PR) policies in the United States, particularly their relationship to education reform. The authors conclude that PR has become deeply imbedded in state educational policy systems, due to pressures for increasing accountability. However, numerous impediments have prevented PR from being an important driver of education reform in many states. Typically PR has not yet become fully integrated into a system of coherent state education reform policies. The authors call attention to five issues surrounding state PR which require clearer articulation.
 
Article
This paper examines research into teaching, learning and assessment (TLA) in higher education in terms of structure and agency. It argues that although issues of structure and agency are seen as crucial in social theory, they are very little discussed in research into TLA in higher education and that a consideration of structure and agency raises some important questions about this research and the quality of the explanations that it generates. It is therefore time to reconsider this research from the standpoint of structure and agency so that more sophisticated approaches to researching, and generating explanations of, teaching, learning and assessment in higher education can be developed.
 
Article
Collaborative learning environments have been analysed extensively, yet we know relatively little about how students experience their participation in long-term learning communities where learners work together over extended periods of time. This study aims to understand pre-service teacher–students’ experiences and accounts of their participation in a university-based long-term learning community. The study investigates issues of change and stability, with respect to the students’ perceptions of participation over the first 2 years of their work within the learning community. The study also addresses the relations between the students’ accounts of participation and their learning experiences in terms of ‘teachership’. A teacher–trainee group of nine students, who had studied for 3 years within a Masters level teacher education programme which had adopted an intensive community-based approach, individually appraised their participation and learning within the programme. Using empirical data derived from the learners’ own evaluations of their learning experiences, the study draws on the accounts given by students concerning their orientations to and positions within the learning community. Videotaped recordings of some of the student's seminars were used as resources to support the giving of appraisals using questionnaires which contained both closed- and open-ended questions. Results showed that the students’ qualitative accounts of their participation revealed great differences in their orientations to group activities. Considerable differences in orientations could be found with respect to: students’ relation to power; to socio-emotional involvement; to the degree of participation; to the subject-matter and to theoretical interests. These were related to the quantitatively evaluated level of participation. Based on the analysis of students’ perceived trajectories of participation over 2 years, three qualitatively different trajectories could be identified: highly involved participation, increased participation and decreased or marginal participation. A comparison of the perceived learning experiences arising from these different kinds of participation revealed considerable diversity in the students’ major learning objectives and in the social and affective aspects of their learning. The most impressive and comprehensive learning took place among those reporting increased participation. For those reporting highly involved participation, the group functioned first and foremost as a source of motivation. However, those group-members who reported decreased and marginal participation found the learning experience to be emotionally and affectively very negative. The results suggest that if students cannot have an active participatory role in the community, they are in danger of being marginalized and this in turn has consequences for learning.
 
Article
This article focuses on three general areas of research on achievement goal theory, including the definition and role of achievement goals, the role of contextual goals and factors, and the measurement and induction of goals. Issues regarding the definition of achievement goals include the generality of the approach/avoid dimension and the consequences of adopting multiple goals. Contextual issues center around the processing of classroom information related to goal adoption and the role of goals in collaborative learning groups. Measurement issues include questions about the measurement of achievement goal orientations, measuring goals in context, and the validity of contextual goal measures.
 
Article
This paper introduces a new measure of educational inequalities based on cognitive achievement data, and uses it to examine achievement inequalities in mathematics between groups of students enrolled in basic education in Brazil. The groups of students are defined by their race, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), and region of residence. The Brazilian system of basic education currently produces poor results with respect to both quality and equity. The paper recommends that Brazil should work, concomitantly, to improve the achievement levels of its students and to close the cognitive gaps observed among different groups of students. Placing emphasis on just one of these goals is not an adequate public policy at this time. Proposals for carrying out these reforms can be classified as input or management strategies and are briefly discussed.
 
Article
The low performance of Chile in the TIMSS 1998/99 international study of mathematics and science achievement was a great disappointment for that country. To investigate the likely causes for low performance in mathematics, this study (1) compared Chile to three countries and one large school system that had similar economic conditions but superior mathematics performance, and (2) examined how important characteristics of the Chilean educational system could account for poor student achievement in mathematics. The study finds that, compared to South Korea, Malaysia, the Slovak Republic, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools: (a) Chilean 8th graders had parents with fewer years of schooling and with fewer educational resources at home; (b) the Chilean mathematics curriculum covered less content and fewer cognitive skills; and (c) the meager official curriculum translated into a weaker curricular implementation. Hierarchical linear models found that, in Chile, school assets were unequally distributed across social classes, with schools in socially advantaged areas more likely to have their own mathematics curriculum and better prepared teachers who emphasized more advanced mathematics content. Schools with their own mathematics curriculum and whose teachers covered more advanced content had significantly higher student achievement in mathematics.
 
Article
This chapter summarizes an investigation of the variables connected to the math achievement of 168, 5th- and 6th-grade Japanese students enrolled in an overseas Japanese school located in New York City. A mix of family processes and prior variables, including the language patterns in the home and the time the family had been away from Japan, were incorporated into the path models for analysis. The results of the study show that the education of the fathers and mothers played differential roles for the boys' and girls' math achievement. Educated mothers were found to positively influence their sons' achievement but to negatively influence their daughters' achievement. The authors interpret this finding as an attempt by the mothers to reinforce traditional Japanese values. Highly-educated fathers were found to have positive effects on their daughters' math achievement. This finding suggests educated fathers have a more open view of their daughters' academic potential. SES was found to be much more important to the math achievement of the girls (r=0.36). For both groups, excessive perceived parental pressure and help were found to indirectly undermine children's math achievement. Intellectual resources in the home were found to benefit boys' math achievement but to negatively effect girls' achievement. Overall, a high level of differential socialization was uncovered in this overseas Japanese community.
 
Article
This chapter reviews the fundamental assumptions, main results, and major problems of research on instructional quality and cognitive student outcomes. Although considerable progress has been made in this field of research, the present theoretical state, encompassing mostly simple process-product relations, is far from satisfactory. Findings from our own research demonstrate that it is both necessary and fruitful to expand the simple process-product paradigm by including cumulative, interactive, compensatory, and contextual effects.
 
Article
Achievement goal theory suggests that the motivational processes operating in achievement settings such as PE are dependent on the achievement goals manifested in that setting. In this paper, research is reviewed examining the motivation-related correlates of task and ego (approach) goal orientations in physical education, namely (a) achievement-related beliefs (i.e., beliefs about the causes of success in and the purposes of PE, beliefs about the nature of physical ability), (b) affective responses (e.g., enjoyment), (c) self-determination (i.e., PE students’ level of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation), (d) behavioral strategies and skill development, and (e) level of physical activity engagement.
 
Article
The study was designed to investigate the relative efficacy of the guided inquiry and the expository teaching methods on the achievement in and attitude to biology of students of different levels of scientific literacy. Four research questions and four null hypotheses were posed and formulated respectively, to guide the work. It was hypothesized that effects due to teaching methods and their interactions with scientific literacy levels, were not significant (P<0.05), relative to students’ mean achievement and attitudinal scores in biology. A pre-test, post-test, non-equivalent control group design was adopted for the study. One hundred and forty-seven Senior Secondary Two (SS11) biology students from eight intact classes, randomly selected from four secondary schools in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria, constituted the sample.Three instruments namely: Scientific Literacy Test (SLT), Biology Achievement Test (BAT) and Attitude to Biology Scale (ABS), were used for data collection. The research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation scores, while the hypotheses were tested (P<0.05) using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The results showed that the guided inquiry method was significantly better than the expository method in enhancing cognitive achievement in biology for students of all levels of scientific literacy, especially the high ones. Students of different levels of scientific literacy showed positive attitude to biology, when the two methods were used. The interactive effects of teaching methods and scientific literacy levels, on both achievement in and attitude to biology, were not significant (P<0.05). The educational implications of the findings for biology teachers were highlighted.
 
Article
This study provides a developmental perspective on achievement goal orientations in writing using data obtained from 1266 students ranging in age from 9 to 17. The strength of task goal orientation decreased from elementary school to middle school and then increased in high school; performance-approach goals decreased from elementary school to middle school and stabilized; performance-avoid goals did not change. Gender differences in task goals favored girls at every level of schooling, whereas differences in performance-approach and performance-avoid goals favored boys. Students with higher self-efficacy, self-concept, and self-efficacy for self-regulation had higher task goals at each level of schooling than did students with lower self-beliefs.
 
Article
Accompanying the rise in the number of working parents is a growing demand for after-school care schemes for children. After-school care schemes, in addition to school, provide pupils with more learning opportunities than the experiences that school provides. The hypothesis is that after-school care schemes offer a better knowledge-basis for learning science than the school and home environments only. This article investigates how after-school care schemes affect learning in grades 5 and 8. While taking into account the socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds of pupils, results indicate that after-school care is of significance. The influence of after-school care is roughly explained by the increased number of learning opportunities. We discuss the implications for research and the limitations of this survey.
 
Article
This 3-year longitudinal study examined how motivational tendencies, that is, task orientation and social dependence orientation, as well as cognitive-linguistic prerequisites of reading and math skills (i.e., phonological awareness, rapid naming, oral language comprehension skills, number sequence and basic arithmetic skills) measured in kindergarten (5–6 years), in preschool (6–7 years), and in grade 1, predict decoding, reading comprehension and arithmetic achievement in grade 2. Moreover, the motivational-developmental profiles of children with prospective learning difficulties were compared to the profiles of averagely achieving children. The participants were 139 Finnish-speaking children. Results from regression analyses showed that rapid naming was a unique longitudinal predictor of later decoding skills. Oral comprehension skills accounted for a unique variance in reading comprehension at every time point examined. Motivational orientations started to make unique contributions to subsequent decoding accuracy, reading comprehension and arithmetic from preschool onwards, over and above the effects of prior linguistic and math skills. High task orientation was beneficial for beginning reading, whereas high social dependence orientation was detrimental for reading comprehension and arithmetic. Students who fell behind of others both in reading comprehension and arithmetic experienced the most unfavourable development of motivation already during the first term in grade 1. Implications for instructional practices are discussed.
 
Article
This study examines the effects of parental SES, school quality, and community factors on children's enrollment and achievement in rural areas in Viet Nam, using logistic regression and ordered logistic regression. Multivariate analysis reveals significant differences in educational enrollment and outcomes by level of household expenditures and parental education, especially mother's education. Mother's status is more important in determining school enrollment than educational outcome. In contrast, father's education increases the probability of learning. Once school quality is taken into account, differentials between the majority Kinh and ethnic minorities are not significant. Girls still do not have equal access to education, since girls doing badly in school drop out, while their male counterparts remain in school. The presence of a school in poor village does not override the effects of family background on educational enrollment. Controlling for school quality actually increases gap in educational enrollment by household expenditures and village income. Although educational costs consume, on average, one quarter of household expenditures per capita, school fees do not determine school enrollment, because many of the poor already receive exemption from or reduction in these fees.
 
Article
This study explores the effect of attending school on children's achievement in reading and mathematics and on a test of general information. The major focus was on the interaction between three variables: children's age [young (6–8 years) or old (9–12)], location (city slums or rural villages in the highland or jungle areas of Peru), and the number of years of schooling (none, 1, 2, or 3 years). A follow-up study was conducted nine years after the original testing. Schooling had a positive effect on children's performance, but the degree of influence depended upon all three of the major variables. Schooling tended to have a greater effect on the achievement scores than on the general information scores. In general, scores were highest among children residing in the city and lowest among children living in the remote jungle areas. After controlling for location, age, and years of education, family variables such as parental education and home quality had a small, but significant influence on children's knowledge of reading, mathematics, and general information.
 
Article
The analyses, publications and reports of quantitative data in education and the social sciences usually omit basic information on the construct measured. Probabilistic models for test data make it possible to delineate coherent and richly described measurement continua that facilitate interpretation of student achievement. The potential of conjoint measurement to bring about fundamental advances in educational testing practice lies in part in the opportunities it provides to build useful maps of learning domains and to use those maps in communicating student achievements. This chapter presents two applications of conjoint measurement aimed at constructing and describing achievement variables, developing insights into the structure of learning domains, and providing descriptive interpretations of students' levels of achievement within those domains. Both applications are taken from work of the Australian Council for Educational Research in Melbourne.
 
Article
In this paper the effect of interaction between learners of English as a second language during a dictogloss task on the acquisition of the passive form is investigated. Subjects were 34 Dutch high school students in their fifth year of English. The experimental group was given two dictogloss tasks, which consisted in the reconstruction in small groups of two texts read by the teacher (+interaction). The control group was submitted to the same tasks, but this time the students had to reconstruct the texts individually (−interaction). Knowledge of the passive was established by means of a pre-test. After the treatment a post-test and delayed post-test were administered. By means of a quantitative analysis it could not be demonstrated that recognition and frequency of use of the passive differ depending on the degree in which learners are encouraged to interact with each other. A qualitative analysis makes clear that numerous instances of interaction lead to the noticing of passive forms.
 
Article
In the field of second language (SL) learning there is now little argument that one of the ideal conditions for learning is the provision of ample language input, whether it is oral or written. The Fiji “Book Flood” was one of the earliest studies of the effect of the provision of opportunities for regular reading in the classroom on growth in English, an SL, and it strongly supported the above observation. This chapter will examine the debate about the provision of only comprehensible input and the need for learners to focus on form also. It will argue that the Fiji Book Flood provided ideal conditions for both comprehensible input and for focus on form. The findings showed that an enriched diet of regular reading, by students of Grades 4 and 5 in eight schools, accelerated the development of their second language proficiency in reading and listening, relative to those of matched control groups. The experiment was carried on for another year and the gains were sustained; the impact of the experiment was extended to writing and English grammar as well. Interestingly, this enhancement in SL proficiency was found to have a positive effect upon children's proficiency in the first language also.
 
Article
English is an important language for multi-racial Singaporeans, and is the medium of instruction in Singapore schools from Year 1. During an extensive research study commissioned by the Ministry of Education, the Reading and English Acquisition Program (REAP), was introduced in 1985 to Year 1 classes in 30 primary schools. REAP was an integrated book-based program aimed at improving language learning, and fostering positive attitudes. It involved elements of Shared Book and Language Experience Approaches, suitably adapted to Singapore, and a Book Flood of high interest storybooks. Teacher workshops and advisory classroom visits were used to support Singapore teachers’ classroom use of the project methodology. Numerous evaluation studies comparing REAP and NON-REAP children were conducted over several years, using individual and group tests of reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary, speaking and writing. REAP pupils consistently showed stronger performance in all language skills in Years 1–3, and the Ministry of Education resolved to extend the program to all schools in Singapore. Follow-up studies showed sustained effects, and the methodology is now integrated into the national syllabus.
 
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This chapter focuses on the issue of transfer of cognitions, motivations, and dispositions related to learning across different cultural-educational contexts. Research with learners from Confucian Heritage Culture, mainly from Singapore and Hong Kong, studying in their home country and as international students in Australia is used to establish the usefulness of the concept of socio-cultural appropriateness to understand transfer. The examples discussed reveal how some aspects of students learning travel extremely well and are congruent with the characteristics of learning valued in the host context, while others reflect ambivalent, difficult, or inappropriate transfer. The significance of mutual individual-context dynamic interactions, subjective nature of appropriateness, and emotional dimensions involved in transfer of learning is highlighted. Implications for educational practice in an international, multicultural perspective are outlined.
 
Top-cited authors
Monique Boekaerts
  • Leiden University
Noreen Webb
  • University of California, Los Angeles
John Hattie
  • University of Melbourne
David Charles Berliner
  • Arizona State University
Gavriel Salomon
  • University of Haifa