The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

Online ISSN: 0119-5646
Publications
Article
Existing research from Western countries has consistently shown that the learning environment is an important factor for academic motivation. Self-determination theory, which serves as a theoretical foundation of the present study, suggests that teachers’ involvement is an important element of students’ learning, regardless of the cultural context, because interpersonal involvement is a source for students to fulfil their needs for relatedness. However, we lack scientific evidence whether teachers’ involvement is equally important for students in the non-Western context. In the present study, we examined the longitudinal link between teachers’ involvement versus rejection and students’ academic motivation among Indonesian secondary school students. Thirteen teachers teaching mathematics and English were videotaped 12 times across the school year. Afterwards, four videos of each teacher representing four different videotaped teaching occasions across the school year were selected randomly and included in the analysis. An existing coding protocol of teachers’ involvement versus rejection was used. A total of 411 students (age 11–13 years old) filled in the questionnaire for motivational dimension across the school year as well. Multilevel growth curve modelling was applied. Consistent with findings in the Western context, we found that teachers’ involvement is a significant predictor of autonomous motivation. However, we found that teachers’ involvement is a significant predictor of controlled motivation as well. Similarities and differences in findings and implications are discussed.
 
Article
Optimism is a positive psychological trait which may help individuals to cope with stressful and adverse situations. This study examined the associations of dispositional optimism, academic self-efficacy, self-esteem, and gender on high-ability students’ stress perception of academic expectations. 298 high-ability senior high school students in Singapore participated in this study by completing a self-report questionnaire. Results revealed a significant negative association between optimism and academic stress perception among students. There were significant variations among variables, gender, self-esteem, academic self-efficacy and dispositional optimism, in predicting the two dimensions of academic expectations stress among high-ability adolescents. Possible explanations for the results were suggested and implications of the findings were discussed.
 
Article
This article focuses on a comparative study of how diverse subject disciplines in different higher education institutions in Australia and Hong Kong approached the challenge of internationalising the curriculum (IoC). Case study analysis identifies five conditions conducive to improving intercultural student interaction, engagement and adaptation through an internationalised higher education curriculum. The findings suggest that opportunities for IoC, such as those outlined, afford multiple benefits for both domestic and international students in higher education. These include, better cross-cultural mixing, intercultural competency development and adaptation to different higher education contexts. Implications for higher education institutions interested in creating conditions that facilitate an internationalised curriculum are discussed.
 
Article
Adults who enter or re-enter Korea National Open University (KNOU) with a prior major break in their formal involvement in learning tend to seek a focused course of academic study, advanced knowledge, and the subsequent awarding of a degree, certificate, or credential that reflects their specialized knowledge and expertise. This research draws upon life-history analysis to investigate KNOU students’ pre-institutional experiences of exclusion and alienation in education and society in relation to their current motivations to attend the open and distance higher education. The participants’ life stories illuminate how Korean social and cultural barriers prevented them from educational progress, as well as what motivated them to attend KNOU as adults. Each participant’s life history describes the actual phenomenon of exclusion and alienation in education at the individual level; this study also implies how sociocultural discrimination in Korean society impacted each participant’s life. Given the participants’ critical viewpoints of the incompatible roles that KNOU plays in Korean society, this study argues that the positive social function of open and distance higher education, which is widely taken for granted, needs to be reconsidered as this national approach to higher education for adults may reinforce the current social relation highly affected by educational credentials.
 
Article
Service learning has been utilized as an effective type of pedagogy, and students involved in service learning projects gain real-world experiences outside the classroom. Research suggests that intergenerational service learning projects are becoming increasingly common and such projects are likely to enhance the quality of both academic and civic outcomes for students. There is, however, relatively little research on the learning outcomes of event management students involved with physically active older adults. This study investigated the learning outcomes of undergraduate students who facilitated a sporting event for older adults. Students participated in structured service learning opportunities at the Indiana Senior Games, a multi-sport event for those aged 50 and older. Three investigators independently used content analysis methodology to analyze 142 student reflection papers. It was found that the students developed relationships with older adults, were less likely to negatively stereotype older adults, and realized the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle when they grow old. Service learning opportunities with older adults are a promising practice for undergraduate students, as self-esteem and a sense of social responsibility may be affected.
 
Article
This study aims to discover how the cultural backgrounds of the marriage market affect school dropout outcome among girls in secondary school level in Bangladesh. This study focuses on the practice of dowry payments that a bride’s family pays to the groom’s family. Previous research has indicated that the dowry practice in marriage market hinders girls’ education in Bangladesh. This study examines how parents’ hypergamic tendency (i.e., insuring that the groom’s educational level is higher than or equal to the bride’s education level) and dowry payment expectation influence school dropout outcomes for girls and relate to the parents’ class background factors. Data were collected in September, 2010 using questionnaires from parents of female students in the sub-district Pirgonj in Bangladesh. “structural equation modeling” was conducted to test direct and indirect associations among variables. The results show that parents’ hypergamic tendency and dowry payment expectation are both negatively associated with their daughters’ school dropout outcomes. Compared with employed parents, unemployed parents are less hypergamic and less likely to expect to a higher dowry payment than the employed parents. The main reason for this difference is that unemployed parents prefer their daughters to leave school earlier to marry grooms who have lower level of education, as higher-educated grooms demand a higher dowry price in the marriage market in Bangladesh.
 
Goodness-of-fit measures 
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the department identification, professional identification, and attitude toward agriculture of agriculture students. As the scope of agricultural higher education has been readjusted to focus on a system of content-related innovations instead of primary production, it is also an aim of the study to probe how students see themselves in agriculture. A total of 632 survey questionnaires were obtained from 349 sophomores and 283 seniors, equaling 25 % of the total amount of students (N = 2,554) enrolled in a college of agriculture. The results revealed the backgrounds of the agriculture students as well as their responses on all scales, and the responses of different groups of students were compared. Differences in department identification and professional identification and student attitudes toward agriculture were found among students of different ages, class levels, and study areas. Admission pathway and agriculture-related experience showed no significant differences in three study variables. Advanced SEM analysis showed that department identification significantly affects professional identification, and the effect of department identification on attitudes toward agriculture is mediated by professional identification. Consequently, the department identification of agriculture college students affects their professional identification and attitudes toward agriculture. To change college students’ attitudes toward agriculture, an effective intervention could be to focus on social identity or group cohesion.
 
Article
Knowledge about students’ conceptions is one of the requisite components of pedagogical content knowledge. A keen awareness of students’ alternative conceptions provides teachers with information about prospective difficulties students may incur as they make attempts to learn more accurate scientific representations of critical concepts. In this study, we investigated elementary school teachers’ understanding of their students’ alternative conceptions about change of states and dissolution. The subjects were 152 elementary school teachers and 529 sixth graders in Korea. A conceptions test and the test of the understanding about students’ conceptions were administered in order to examine students’ alternative conceptions and the teachers’ awareness of their students’ alternative conceptions, respectively. The effects of teachers’ characteristics such as teaching experience, highest academic degree, science teaching efficacy, and views about teaching and learning (i.e., constructivist and traditional) in relation to their awareness of students’ alternative conceptions were also investigated. The results indicated that the teachers tended to overestimate the number of students with scientifically accepted conceptions. The teachers also did not possess adequate knowledge about the existence and the distribution of their students’ alternative conceptions. It was found that teaching experience, highest academic degree, science teaching efficacy, and the level of teachers’ adoption of a constructivist view about teaching and learning were not significantly related to the their awareness of students’ alternative conceptions. It was found, however, that there is a significant relationship between the level of teachers’ traditional view about teaching and learning and their awareness of students’ alternative conceptions. Educational implications are discussed.
 
Article
Beliefs, a complex web of multifaceted dimensions, have a tremendous impact on the expectations learners hold and the learning actions they take. Learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) hold different preconceptions and sometimes misconceptions about language and language learning that may influence their learning experience negatively. Despite the abundance of many studies that investigated EFL learners’ beliefs, there is a paucity of studies on discipline-specific learner beliefs. Therefore, this study investigates prospective EFL teachers’ beliefs about EFL learning using a 40-item revised version of the beliefs about language learning inventory on a sample of 200 (75 males and 125 females) who represent the four-year program they are enrolled in and three proficiency levels (low, intermediate, and advanced). Results indicate that the beliefs of motivation are the strongest, while those associated with the difficulty of language learning are the weakest. Additionally, the findings support differences associated with gender, proficiency level, and academic year.
 
Article
A number of recent studies have identified classroom blogging as a promising approach to teaching writing in English as a second language (ESL) in non-Anglophone higher education settings. However, many of these research designs are methodologically inadequate and their results suffer from overestimated effects on students’ learning performance. In this regard, whether or not classroom blogging can be safely recommended as an effective approach to teaching writing in the ESL classroom, as suggested by previous researchers, needs a well-designed empirical reassessment. For this very purpose, this paper reports on a study which attempts to overcome these limitations by conducting a 36-week, comparative experiment recruiting two groups of ESL undergraduates. The experimental group (EG) was taught how to write in English using a blog-based approach, while the control group (CG) was taught using traditional paper-based materials and methods. The writing performance, learning motivations, and self-efficacy beliefs of both groups were assessed using two sets of pre- and post-tests in terms of writing tasks and a questionnaire. The data collected were analyzed using paired-sample t tests, analysis of covariance, and multivariate analysis of covariance. The results of the study show that (1) both groups made significant improvements in all of their performance in writing and in their learning motivations and self-efficacy beliefs; (2) no significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of their writing proficiency; but a closer examination shows that (3) the CG significantly outperformed the EG in terms of learning motivation.
 
Article
Improving school capacity building has become one of the major themes in research on educational effectiveness. This study investigates the implementation of the International Standard School (SBI) policy in Indonesia which can be seen as an example of the efforts of a particular country to improve school capacity building. Disappointingly little is understood about people’s perception about educational activity, in this case, pertaining to international standard schools. Using the program coherence dimension of a capacity building framework, a qualitative study was conducted in a secondary school located in a small region in West Java, Indonesia, that is involved in the program. This study found that the interpretation of the SBI policy was changing, and that establishing international standard classrooms is the salient aspect of the implementation of the policy. This study revealed that becoming an SBI school has positive consequences with regard to the acknowledgment of its quality by the central government. One consequence is that the SBI School can collect from parents extra funds amounting to about ten times more than the school receives from the central government. The document analysis reveals the SBI School’s major difficulty in fulfilling the ‘international requirements’ is the mastery of the English language by their teachers.
 
Article
As an initial effort to reorient the current Malaysian chemistry curriculum, green chemistry was developed. In this study for the purpose of investigating the effectiveness of the green chemistry curriculum on secondary school students’ understanding of chemistry concepts a quasi-experimental design was used. One-group pretest posttest design was used to measure the changes in the motivation before and after the treatment. Two classes were randomly assigned to experimental (N = 35) and control group (N = 32). Following the intervention, an ANCOVA with pre-test as the covariate showed the experimental group achieved significantly higher (M E = 23.40, SD E = 1.39) than the control group (M C = 12.78, SD C = 1.71), F = 1,018.26, p < 0.0001. The effect size was very large, d = 18.7. The unbiased JCS Bayes factor (JCS ≪ 1/100) suggests that the evidence is substantial in favor of the alternative hypothesis of group differences. The analysis of the pre-post semi-structured interviews, concerning motivation found that a significant number of students changed from low to high self-efficacy belief, high task value belief, transformed their goals of learning toward mastery orientation, and were more interested toward learning chemistry after the intervention.
 
Article
Although the school mapping restructure (SMR) program in rural China mainly aims to improve the efficiency of education, this paper aims to show that the principle of educational equity should be given more attention, as evidence suggests that some children lose the opportunity to learn at a local village and rural families have different preferences regarding merged and unmerged schools. The study on which this paper is based aims to understand the family school choice preferences under SMR, through a combination of questionnaires, interviews, and document analysis. Participating in the study were 10,000 parents whose children were in merged and unmerged primary schools (a total of 986 schools), from 178 towns in 38 counties of six provinces in mid-western China. Data were collected mainly by questionnaires and analyzed by a binary logistic regression model as a tool to estimate school preference probabilities. The study finds that in the context of SMR, several related factors impact the willingness of families to choose certain schools for their children. Although many merged schools have better facilities and more qualified teachers, a number of families still prefer unmerged schools for their children due to shorter commuting distances and smaller school sizes, factors which offer improved school accessibility. This study also reveals that other related factors including parents’ education, economic condition, etc., are strong influencers of family schooling preferences. Based on the results, the policy implications are that integration of both points of efficiency and equity of education when enacting SMR should be considered.
 
Article
In this paper, we examine gender difference effects of education on first occupational achievement after completing final education in South Korea. Although numerous researchers have examined women’s labor market outcomes, few studies have focused systematically on the impacts of gender on occupational achievement. Using the 1998 and 2001 Korean Labor and Income Panel Survey data sets, we found better performance for women than men except for junior secondary level and below education. We also found a disruption of gap years between starting jobs and graduation to occupational prestige score for women only, and that the negative effect was worse for tertiary-educated women. We further found that women entering the labor market much later after graduation obtained fewer benefits than their peers. We suggest that our specific focus on Korea actually adds to the understanding of all women’s education and occupational achievement internationally. We therefore conclude that the interrelationship between gender, education, and the time gap should be considered when studying occupational achievement. The implication of these interrelationships is discussed.
 
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between fourth and eighth grade students’ self-concept and achievement in mathematics and science within one educational system based on the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE) model. The samples were from the data of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2011, and hierarchical linear modeling was used to differentiate the effects of the student-level and school-level achievement on student self-concept of learning in Taiwan. The results indicated that the self-concept of students of both grade levels is positively associated with individual achievement in mathematics and science. However, there is generally a statistically significant and negative correlation between student self-concept and school mean achievement. At the same time, the results also showed that the correlation was stronger for the eighth than for the fourth grade students, and for mathematics than for science. The findings of this study document the different degree of BFLPE on students of different grades and on different academic subjects.
 
Article
In South Korea, academic high school students are placed in either the Munka ( ) track or the Yika ( ) track. Both tracks diverge greatly in their mathematics and science curricula. Advanced math and science subjects are only taught in Yika. For this reason, track placement determines students’ college majors and career choices. Since little is known about how students choose their high school tracks and college majors, this study explores how academic high school students made these choices. Factors influencing students’ choice of high school tracks and college majors were also examined. The results indicate that students generally chose college majors relevant to their track placement. Students’ gender, parental education, subject matter preferences, and school size were significant factors affecting students’ track placement and decision on college majors. Implications for educational policy and practice are also discussed.
 
Article
This study examined the relationships between student engagement in academically relevant activities and their academic achievement in the first year of university in Cambodia, and tested the presence of conditional effects of student engagement on achievement by students’ gender, geographical origin, and pre-university academic experience. The participants were 919 first-year students at nine universities in Phnom Penh City. Student engagement was measured using a revised version of the National Survey of Student Engagement and the College Student Experiences Questionnaire. The regression analyses revealed that the student engagement in time spent on out-of-class course-related tasks, homework/tasks, and active participation in classroom settings added significant values to Cambodian student achievement. Contrary to the extensive student engagement literature in developed countries, student engagement in out-of-class peer learning and extensive reading did not make any meaningful impacts on student achievement in the present study. Certain effects of student engagement on achievement tended to differ in magnitude by students’ pre-university academic experience and geographical origin. Implications for policy are discussed with a call for solid programs to promote and enhance the quality of student engagement activities on-and off-campus, especially among the academically disadvantaged students.
 
Article
Capitalizing on the power of qualitative approach in drawing out the multiple layers of meaning entrenched in subjective realities, this phenomenological inquiry described the lived experiences of 12 Filipino medical technology deans, as they face their struggles in managing their organization. An in-depth, semi-structured one-on-one interview which lasted for 1–2 h was conducted. Field texts were transcribed and analyzed using a repertory grid and through constant comparative analyses, an interesting model and a set of conceptual themes about deanship struggles were emerged. The 3-D model of deanship struggles, which is a product of the sharing of the respondents, provides a panorama of how Filipino medical technology deans balance (i) superiority and relationality; (ii) rule and role; (iii) obligation and allocation; (iv) personal and professional life; and (v) scholarship and leadership in an educational milieu of (i) prudence; (ii) transparency; (iii) justice; (iv) productivity; and (v) excellence using the gifts of (i) understanding; (ii) flexibility; (iii) bargaining; (iv) hard work; and (v) risk taking. Findings in this paper provide a valuable lens through which the Filipino medical technology deans’ mindset as organizational managers could be viewed and understood
 
Article
There are two main exams in Turkish educational system. One is at the end of middle school for entrance to selective high schools and the other is after high school to enter universities. Both exams are compulsory, both have four subtests (mathematics, natural sciences, Turkish and social sciences) and all the questions have to be from the shared curriculum. In this study high school entrance exam (HSEE) and university entrance exam (UEE) results of 34,479 students in 570 schools of three selective school types (Anatolian High Schools, Science High Schools and Anatolian Teacher Training High Schools) were compared to test the effectiveness of the types of school concerned with respect to academic achievement as determined by four subtests of HSEE and UEE. The relationship (correlation) and the difference (mean) between achievement levels for school types, for subtests and for gender were investigated. Correlations between HSEE and UEE-1 scores were the highest in Anatolian high schools for three subtests. One-way Anova and post hoc Scheffé test results showed there is significant difference in mean scores among school types. As for mean differences, Anatolian High Schools scored better than the other two school types. School type and focus on a subtest are related, and exam achievement of girls in science high schools is higher than achievement of boys.
 
Article
The academic deanship is a unique position within a university and is one of the most difficult and misunderstood positions in higher education (Mc Daniel, Peabody J Educ 55(4):358–363, 1978; Gmelch et al., Res High Educ 40(6):717–740, 1999; Bray, J High Educ, 81(3):284–316, 2010). Cognizant of the challenging and difficult position occupied by these academic leaders, this phenomenological study has eidetically captured the collective experiences of 12 Filipino medical technology deans as they manage relationships in their organization. Driven by the central question, “What typifies Filipino medical technology deans’ portrayal of their roles as relationship managers in their institution?, a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Field texts were transcribed and subjected to phenomenological reduction via thematic analysis. Through constant comparison method, four relational roles portrayed by Filipino medical technology deans were surfaced, namely: the persona of a truth-seeker, the persona of an opportunity provider, the persona of an authoritative leader, and the persona of a reflective practitioner. The emerged role typologies which are products of the individual and collective experiences of the respondent deans provide valuable lenses in understanding the decanal role as relationship managers. On the whole, an analysis and understanding of these relational roles offer a vibrant perspective through which deanship in terms of relationship management could be viewed, thus, transcending one’s experience to meaning-making.
 
Differences in transformational leadership behaviors of academic and business organizations
Article
This study examined the differences in transformational leadership and commitment to change among academic and business organizations that had undergone organization transformation in the past 5 years. Surveys were administered to 305 employees from eight higher education academe institutions and 267 employees from eight business organizations in the services industry. As hypothesized, there were significant differences in transformational leadership between academic and business organizations. Academic respondents rated their leaders higher in terms of challenging the status quo, inspiring a shared vision, modeling the way, and encouraging the heart. Academic organizations also reported greater leadership support for changes than respondents from business organizations. In addition, the study found differences on the nature of influence of leadership and change management on employee commitment to change.
 
Article
This study used a lesson unit of an academic subject to understand the quantity and quality of college students’ in-class and after-class lecture notes, and to explore the effects of note quantity and quality on academic performance. Thirty-eight freshmen students of a general psychology class in a university in southern Taiwan were recruited as participants. Their lecture notes and test scores on the lesson “Memory” were collected. The findings indicated that the quality of students’ lecture notes was poor. The quality level of in-class plus after-class notes was less than half the desired overall quality. In addition, both the in-class predictive model and in-class plus after-class predictive model could explain the variances of academic performance. In both models, the quality of in-class notes was the only significant predictor of academic performance.
 
Article
The objective of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Filipino version of the Academic Delay of Gratification Scale (ADOGS; Bembenutty and Karabenick, Learn Individ Differ 10:329–346, 1998). This instrument measures the degree to which students postpone immediately available opportunities to satisfy their impulses in order to pursue important goals that are temporally remote but ostensibly more important. Filipino high school students (N = 425) completed the ADOGS. Both within-network and between-network approaches to construct validation were used. Responses to this questionnaire were shown to have good internal consistency reliability and support is provided for its construct validity in terms of its correlations with other theoretically relevant educational constructs such as cognitive and metacognitive strategies. Multigroup tests showed strong invariance across year levels and partial invariance across genders. Implications for cross-cultural research are discussed.
 
Article
In South Korea, academic high school students are placed in either the Munka (文科) track or the Yika (理科) track. Both the tracks diverge greatly in their mathematics and science curricula. Advanced math and science subjects are only taught in Yika. For this reason, track placement determines students’ college majors and career choices. As little is known about how students choose their high school tracks and college majors, this study explores how academic high school students made these choices. Factors influencing students’ choice of high school tracks and college majors were also examined. The results indicate that students generally chose college majors relevant to their track placement. Students’ gender, parental education, subject matter preferences, and school size were significant factors affecting students’ track placement and decision on college majors. Implications for educational policy and practice are also discussed.
 
Article
Research capacity building has become a prominent theme in higher education institutions across the world. To build research capacity, it is necessary to identify areas of challenges academics face within the academia. This case study focuses on Chinese teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) academics with the purpose of identifying factors that influence their research capacity building. Six TEFL academics from a Chinese national university were interviewed and institutional research documents were analysed. Findings showed that obstacles and difficulties in conducting research were more related to departmental factors than individual characteristics. The institution was keen on developing a research culture, and encouraged research and publications. Departmental support for research was improving, but it seems that it was more generic than tailored to individual needs. The findings of this study provide implications for research administrators in further supporting TEFL academics’ research capacity building.
 
Results of the measurement model
Good-of-fit indices for the measurement model
Discriminant validity for the measurement model
Good-of-fit indices for the structural model
Article
A review of the literature shows that the model for the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) has received only limited validation in educational contexts. This limitation led to this study to determine the applicability of the UTAUT model with an educational perspective and to statistically explain the factors affecting student teachers’ intentions to use interactive whiteboards. The research project comprised a cohort of 159 student teachers who undertook a questionnaire designed to measure their responses to performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating condition and behavioural intention. Structural equation modelling was used as the main technique for data analysis. According to the result of the goodness-of-fit test, the findings led to the conclusion that the model was endorsed by the data. Overall, the model accounted for 59.6 % of the variance in intention of student teachers to use interactive whiteboards in their teaching. The findings also demonstrated the important distinction of performance expectancy, effort expectancy and user’s experiences in interactive whiteboard adoption amongst student teachers. The theoretical and practical implications of the model are discussed.
 
Article
The research study seeks to explore college students’ motivation for visiting Self-Access English Learning Center (SAC) and how learner autonomy might be developed through SACs. Data were collected by interviewing students and English instructors to identify the role that SACs play in learning English. A total of 24 juniors and four English teachers from four universities in Taiwan joined the focus group interviews and in-depth interviews, respectively. Findings reveal that students’ motivation for visiting SACs is mainly instrumental since meeting course requirement and preparing for English proficiency tests were most commonly mentioned. Most teachers try to enhance the links between the taught English course and self-access learning at SACs, so participants generally perceive the usefulness of SACs but tend to be dependent on teachers in learning. The findings indicate the discrepancy between the prospective role of SACs and the role they actually play. Furthermore, the establishment of SACs does not necessarily result in autonomous learning among their users. In the context of Taiwan, autonomous learning needs to be encouraged with sufficient and ongoing support from teachers so that SACs would play a better role in developing autonomous and independent learners.
 
Article
The current study examined the impacts on students’ cognitive performance of the key versus ordinary school system in China, using an analytic approach that combines hierarchical linear modeling with propensity score stratification. The results show that students from key schools score significantly higher on a mathematical achievement test than their counterparts in ordinary schools, after controlling for student characteristics and their family background. The specific magnitude of the school effect varies substantially across the geographic locations of the school. The advantages of key schools over ordinary schools are found to be generally greater among urban schools compared with suburban schools. The results are noteworthy as both key and ordinary schools are state-funded and the system was formed directly by policy initiatives and differential resource allocation. As such, they bear important policy implications on systematic-level school management in general.
 
Article
This study aimed to investigate the antecedents and consequences of achievement goals by proposing a path model. While self-efficacy, task value, fear of failure, perceived parents’, and teachers’ achievement goals were investigated as antecedents of achievement goals in science, students’ metacognition and coping strategies were examined as consequences of achievement goals in science. A total of 977 Turkish middle school students participated in the study. According to the results, students’ higher levels of task value, perceived parents’ mastery goals, and perceived teachers’ mastery goals were positively related to mastery approach goals. Additionally, students’ higher levels of perceived parents’ mastery goals, fear of shame and embarrassment, fear of devaluing one’s self-estimate were positively related to mastery avoidance goals. Concerning to performance goals, the model suggest that higher levels of self-efficacy and perceived parents’ performance goals were positively related to performance approach goals. Furthermore, students’ higher level of task value, perceived parents’ performance goals and fear of upsetting important others were positively related to performance avoidance goals. The path model also suggested that students who adopt mastery approach goals tend to use more adaptive coping strategies, and less maladaptive coping strategies. Besides, students who adopt mastery avoidance goals tend to use maladaptive coping strategies when they face an academic failure in science. Moreover, students’ performance approach goals are related to both adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies. Lastly students’ performance avoidance goals positively associated to metacognition.
 
Means, standard deviations, maximum scores, ranges and reliabilities of internal consistency for all measures at pretest (N = 94) 
Correlations among all scores at pretest after controlling for age and non-verbal intelligence (Raven) (N = 94) 
Article
Phonological awareness has been repeatedly reported as important for learning to read in different orthographies. It is important to understand what specific levels of phonological awareness are involved in Chinese and English for Chinese children who learn English-as-a-second-language (ESL). Measures of phonological awareness, word reading, letter name knowledge, receptive vocabulary, and non-verbal intelligence were administered to 94 Hong Kong Chinese ESL kindergarteners. In terms of within-language associations, phoneme awareness but not syllable and rhyme awareness explained unique additional variance in English word reading. Tone awareness but not rhyme awareness uniquely explained Chinese word reading. Regarding cross-language associations, L2 syllable awareness but not L2 phoneme and rhyme awareness had significant unique contribution to Chinese reading and L1 tone awareness had significant unique contribution to English reading. Phonological awareness at different grain sizes is involved in Chinese and English reading among young ESL children. The current findings support the psycholinguistic grain size theory that language-specific phonological awareness skills are involved in reading acquisition of different orthographies. The demonstrated bi-directional cross-language transfers of phonological awareness at specific linguistic levels partially support the idea that general phonological sensitivity is necessary for beginning reading acquisition.
 
Article
Using data drawn from the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted in 2009, the present study sought to examine the mediating effects of three kinds of variables in order to account for the relationships between gender and the digital reading performance of students. The three kinds of variables are (1) online reading activities, (2) information and communication technology (ICT) use at school, and (3) ICT use at home, for schoolwork and for leisure. Economic, social, and cultural status and the student’s print reading literacy performance served as control variables in the mediation analyses. Because Korea and Hong Kong were both high-performing economies in PISA 2009, the underlying ICT-related mechanisms unveiled in the mediation analyses can show educational practitioners why, from a comparative education perspective, the digital reading gender gap that favors females is substantially smaller than that seen in print reading. The two key findings are as follows. First, the observed gender difference in digital reading performance favoring females in Hong Kong can be attributed to gender differences in the students’ engagement in online reading activities and their ICT use at home for leisure. Second, the observed gender difference in digital reading literacy performance favoring females in Korea can be attributed to gender difference in the ICT use of students at home for leisure, but not students’ engagement in online reading activities. The present study highlights the importance of guidance and counseling regarding the ICT use of students at home for leisure.
 
Article
Efforts to make effective use of technology offer a promising direction for science education research. In this study, we investigated how a teacher and students used an inquiry-based, visualization-focused chemistry unit. The chemistry unit was designed for American students and takes advantage of dynamic, interactive computer visualizations. Features of the unit enable innovative learning activities such as online construction and critiquing of dynamic visualizations of chemical reactions. These kinds of activities are unfamiliar to teachers and students who are used to traditional teacher-centered instruction. We investigated how a teacher in Taiwan customized and implemented the unit to address the needs of her teaching in Taiwan, and what the impact of the unit was on the students’ understanding of chemical reactions. The results provide insights into the impact of innovative practices that new technology brings to local classrooms, and reflections on the adaptation of reform-based science instruction are made.
 
Percentage increase of students from each school decile and individual socio-economic status (SES) entering under the Dual Admissions model compared with the current credit-based model; (adapted with permission from Shulruf 2007)
Regression-based dual entry criterion, cohorts 2005-2006; (adapted with permission from Turner et al. (2008)
Article
Equity in higher education is mostly related to the context in which it is discussed. Most commonly, equity is sought for enhancing access to higher education for under-represented groups such as minorities, low income groups, or any other type of disadvantaged group of people. The plethora of research in this area mostly focuses on different types of affirmative action aiming to enroll more under-represented groups in higher education, whereas in the research on equity, within the context of educational outcomes and quality, the interaction between equity and quality in higher education is scarce. This paper discusses the entangled issues of equity and quality in higher education and explores the possible solutions to promoting both. It concludes that admission models aiming to achieve equity in higher education should be more outcomes-based (e.g., increase success) rather than process-based (e.g., increase participation).
 
Article
Authentic language learning materials become prevalent in foreign and second language (L2) classrooms. Since these materials are not altered to suit the proficiency level or needs of L2 learners, they are likely to cause difficulties in comprehension. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of advance organizers in conjunction with the cognitive theory of multimedia learning as a presentation principle on L2 learners’ comprehension of English-language DVD soundtrack material. A total of 136 intermediate university-level L2 students participated as intact groups in the study. They were placed in a control condition or one of the two experimental conditions prior to viewing a DVD, including (1) a 5-min film preview with captions followed by brainstorming and (2) a set of 20 cards (10 printed with episodic photos and 10 with a caption in the form of a line from the film) for each small group to match them and then to rearrange the 10 well-matched pairs of cards in chronological order of the film plot based on their initial guesses. Two dependent measures, a written summary and a multiple-choice listening test, were used. The results show that the advance organizer groups performed at a substantially higher level than the control group on both dependent measures; however, the two experimental groups differed only on the written protocol, not on the multiple-choice listening test. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are also discussed in this article.
 
Article
This study examines the institutionalization of policies and curriculum standards for multicultural education across countries. We used two sources of cross-national data on education: the World Data on Education (WDE) compiled by the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (World data on education, 2007) and the data from the Curriculum Questionnaire of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007. WDE was used to gather country profiles regarding policies for multicultural education, and the data from the TIMSS 2007 Curriculum Questionnaire allowed us to look cross-nationally at multicultural curriculum standards for mathematics and science. The main findings of this study show that countries with more linkages to global civil society were significantly more likely to have national policies and curriculum standards for multicultural education. The significant effect of the linkages to global civil society persisted even after a range of other national-level characteristics were held constant. Such a persistent effect suggests the possibility that individual countries’ adoption of multicultural education policies and related curriculum standards may not simply be a national functional response; it may also be an institutional embodiment of universalistic world models and principles that emphasize the ontological status of the individual as the primordial constituent of global civil society.
 
Article
Cronbach’s coefficient alpha has been widely known and used in educational research. Many education research practitioners, however, may not be aware of the potential issues when the main assumptions for coefficient alpha are violated in research practice. This paper provides a brief discussion about two assumptions that may make the use and interpretation of coefficient alpha less appropriate in education research: violations of the tau-equivalence model assumption and the error independence assumption. Violation of either or both of these assumptions will have negative effects on the precision of coefficient alpha as reliability estimate. The paper further presents two alternative reliability estimates without the assumptions of tau-equivalence or error independence. Research practitioners may consider these and other alternatives, when measurement data may not satisfy the assumptions for coefficient alpha.
 
Article
Previous research suggests that student–teachers graduate from initial teacher education programmes with varying degrees of motivation to teach. In recent literature, there are student–teachers described to be ambivalent regarding motivation for teaching. More understanding about these cases will inform the design of initial teacher education programmes and the provision of measures to support beginning teachers. Moreover, in-depth research is required such that the meaning of ambivalence regarding motivation for teaching can be better defined. This article reports findings from a 4-year longitudinal study on student–teachers engaged in an initial teacher education programme. Cases showing ambivalence regarding motivation for teaching are identified. The article provides the meaning of ambivalence and analyses the programme experience of student–teachers who are ambivalent regarding teaching. The findings inform us as to whether ambivalence changes at the beginning, the end and/or during the teacher education programme, and the factors affecting the perceptions of ambivalence. The factors are concern about career prospects; lack of confidence in their ability to fulfil the role of a teacher; and influence from the social context. The analysis suggests that ambivalence regarding motivation to teach needs to be addressed beyond the initial teacher education programme level. Implications for ways to build up student–teachers’ confidence and enhance their motivation for teaching are discussed.
 
Article
The seeming dearth of computer literacy skills amongst Japanese university students has caused much academic interest recently (see for example Lockley, JALT CALL J, 7(1):93–103, 2011a; Williams, Stud Humanit Cult, 14:78–91, 2011; Taynton, Teach English Technol, 12(1):3–19, 2012). One thing all these studies have concluded though is that students are actually more proficient than they are perceived to be. Whilst these and other researchers have exposed the mismatch between educator perception and student reality, the factors involved are still not fully understood. The central questions revolve around what students are learning in schools before they come to university and the contribution of educational culture. This article seeks answers to these questions to allow a fuller understanding of why this dissonance and misperception of Japanese students exists and to find ways of dissipating it. It furthermore goes on to look at some possible solutions, including the exciting possibilities presented by mobile learning.
 
Article
Educational institutions are increasingly turning to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to promote the development of a technologically literate nation. In line with this stance, teachers are expected to use ICT tools to facilitate instruction in the classroom. This paper sought to determine the antecedents of attitude towards laptop use among the Science and Mathematics teachers in Malaysian secondary schools. Hereto, the Technology Acceptance Model served as theoretical framework and six hypotheses were put forward. An investigation was carried out among 292 Science teachers and 278 Mathematics teachers in selected schools. Perceived usefulness was shown to be a good predictor of attitude towards laptop use, whereas perceived ease of use did not directly impact teachers’ attitude towards laptop use. The findings were found to be similar for both Science and Mathematics teachers.
 
Article
Vietnamese immigrant women in Taiwan are at increased risk of anxiety, and community-based group interventions can provide them an accessible form of assistance. Understanding and serving the counseling needs of Vietnamese immigrant women is a new challenge for Taiwan counseling professionals. This study presents the results of outreach efforts by the university counseling staff member offering counseling services for immigrant women in a rural community. A support group is used to address the anxiety among Vietnamese immigrant women. A sample of ten Vietnamese immigrant women participated in the intervention group, and their participation was subjected to quantitative study and analysis using the subscales of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS). Results indicated no significant changes for the STAI-State and the STAI-Trait, but a significant change for the SIAS, suggesting that the social interaction anxiety measures may be the more relevant outcome indicators than the measures of state and trait anxiety in supporting group intervention. Implications are considered for current group intervention practices in rural communities with the aim to help the counseling professionals better understand the practice of group intervention in the context of immigrant women suffering from anxiety.
 
Article
The present study investigated the contribution of epistemological beliefs about learning and Asian values on pre-service teachers’ value for education. The relationship of epistemological beliefs and valuing education is based on Schwartz and Bilsky’s (1987; 1990) theory of human values. The participants were 362 pre-service teachers from different universities in Manila, Philippines. It was found in a standard regression analysis that both complexity and structured belief about learning significantly predicted valuing one’s education. Higher expectation for achievement, filial piety, and emotional restraint were also significant. A hierarchical multiple regression was used to test the order of contribution of Asian values (filial piety, hierarchical family structure, collectivism, emotional restraint, perseverance and hard work, higher expectation for achievement, respect for authority, and respect for education) on valuing education. The results showed that the order of Asian values based on the theory of Schwartz and Bardi (2001) significantly explained the variation on valuing education (Adjusted R2=.35). The contribution of each Asian value increased the variation on valuing education but it remained stable with the inclusion of respect for education and respect for authority.
 
Article
This study cross-culturally explored the way that East Asian lower-secondary school students perceive the peculiar matters of Asian civic values specific to Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong using the Asian Regional Module data of the 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study. Methodologically, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were employed to explore the factor model that successfully fits the three East Asian societies. Latent mean analysis was then conducted to measure between-nation mean differences. Overall, East Asian students tended to be negative against an undemocratic government and unfairness based on guanxi and moderately critical of the issues related to the independence of the judiciary. Asian identity and democratic values for a civil society were both accepted as valuable with moderate respect for the morality of politicians and the preservation of traditional culture. As perceiving collectivist and Confucian contexts positively, these societies have also developed some aspects assimilated from Western democratic contexts. However, the degree to which the students perceive was similar for some civic values but different for some others.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate questions submitted by users of a website that is popular with Turkish students learning about chemistry and thereby to inform teachers about trends in student interest. The website contains articles and information about chemistry and encourages visitors to “Ask a Scientist” questions about the subject. Over 1,500 enquiries, submitted over a 5-year period between 2006 and 2011, were classified according to field of interest in chemistry, type of information requested in the question, and motivation for asking the question. The most popular category was basics of chemistry (27.1 %), followed by nuclear chemistry and chemistry of the elements (19.1 %). We found that 37.3 % of the questions sought factual information and 20.1 % explanatory information. Our analysis of enquirers’ motivation for asking their questions indicated that 55.6 % were asked for non-applicative, while 26.8 % were asked for applicative reasons. With respect to gender, males asked 54.44 % of the questions.
 
Article
This report describes the development and validation of an instrument, the University Mathematics Classroom Environment Questionnaire (UMCEQ), for assessing the mathematics classroom environment in tertiary institutions in China. Through the use of multiple methods, including exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, on two independent samples of 1,476 and 1,024 tertiary students, results show that the 48-item UMCEQ finalised in this study has a stable factor structure and good psychometric qualities, including reliability, discriminant validity and construct validity. The concurrent validity of the UMCEQ is also examined through its correlations with students’ approaches to learning. These eight factors cover all three categories for conceptualising human environments, i.e. relationship, personal development and system maintenance and change. Four dimensions are suggested to understand the characteristics of classroom environment in Chinese tertiary institutions. The implications and suggestions for future research are finally put forward.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between reflection performance and the learning effect with learners in a web-based portfolio assessment environment. The participants were 45 eighth graders randomly selected from computer classes at a middle school in Taiwan. The reflection performance in this study included frequency of reviewing peers’ reflections, time spent reading peers’ reflections, and grades awarded for those reflections, whereas the learning effect included the project, test, and attitude. The data collection was conducted through an online portfolio assessment (including reflection, project, and attitude) and a final test. The results by Pearson’s correlation approach revealed that (a) the frequency of reviewing peers’ reflections was significantly and positively related with attitude; (b) the time spent reading peers’ reflections was significantly and positively related with project and attitude; and (c) the grade awarded for reflection was significantly and positively correlated with project and attitude. Overall, among the three aspects of learning effect, attitude had the strongest relationship with reflection performance, followed by project and test.
 
Article
While advantages of self-assessment (SA) for young learners of English have been addressed, the factors that could determine the effect of SA have not been much examined. To this end, this study focuses on learners’ English proficiency level and examines the effects of SA on three groups of Korean EFL learners with different proficiency levels. A total of 184 sixth-grade students from seven classes of mixed proficiency levels participated in the study. The students were provided with an 11-week course of English instruction in which they were instructed to self-assess their learning progress at the end of each class. Based on the results of pre-test results, students were classified into three groups of low, intermediate, or high level of English proficiency. It was found that the effect of the SA intervention on language learning was positive, but it was greater for low- and intermediate-level learners than for high-level learners. In terms of student motivation, confidence, and anxiety with regard to language learning, there was a significant positive effect of SA regardless of the learner’s L2 proficiency level. Further pedagogical implications are suggested.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to identify dimensions of students’ communication satisfaction in an asynchronous discussion forum. An asynchronous discussion may be defined as text-based human-to-human communication via computer networks that provides a platform for the participants to interact with one another to exchange ideas, insights, and personal experiences. Two sets of samples (336 and 304 college students) served to explore and confirm the constructs of the Asynchronous Discussion Communication Satisfaction model proposed by this study. The model has been empirically validated via Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factory analysis. This study’s concept of communication satisfaction has been a relatively new one, which functions in academic settings as a facilitator of future investigations into the emotional reactions that students have while interacting in asynchronous discussion forums.
 
Article
This paper compares risk perception and risk-taking attitude between Hong Kong and mainland China undergraduate students using a Chinese version of the 30-item domain-specific risk-taking (DOSPERT) scale (Blais and Weber 2006b). Compared with their counterparts from mainland China, Hong Kong university students reported higher levels of risk perception in the social, recreational, health/safety, and ethical domains. In contrast, mainland Chinese university students reported higher levels of risk-taking attitude than their Hong Kong counterparts in the social, recreational, health/safety, and financial domains. Regarding the interaction effects of location by gender, males reported higher levels of risk-taking attitude in the financial domain than did females for the Hong Kong sample, whereas the opposite was found for the mainland Chinese sample. Moreover, though females from both locations perceived higher levels of risk in the health/safety domain than did their male counterparts from the same location, the difference between genders was greater in the mainland Chinese sample than in the Hong Kong sample.
 
Top-cited authors
Ching Sing Chai
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Timothy Teo
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chin-Chung Tsai
  • National Taiwan Normal University
Huang-Yao Hong
  • National Chengchi University
Joyce Hwee Ling Koh
  • University of Otago