Article

The undergraduate dissertation as a reflection of education for sustainability and professional identity: the faculty of education of Bilbao

Article

The undergraduate dissertation as a reflection of education for sustainability and professional identity: the faculty of education of Bilbao

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Abstract

Purpose The undergraduate dissertation (UD) can be considered to be a reflection of the influence of the sustainable developmental goals (SDG) and the professional identity of the students. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent to which the topics of the UD reflect the SDG, considering, moreover, that they may be related to the professional identity developed by the students throughout the degree. Design/methodology/approach This work researches the topic of 308 UDs graded as “Excellent” in the Faculty of Education of Bilbao (FEB), using a lexical analysis method. Findings The results show two main branches: one associated with Childhood and Social Education Degrees (related to gender equality and socio-educational transformation); and another linked to the Primary Education Degree (language learning, innovation and new technologies). These analyses show the influence of the 5th (40.8%) and 4th (38.4%) SDGs in the topics chosen for the UDs. Research limitations/implications The findings provide valuable insights into the current state of Education for Sustainable Development in the Faculty, but should be complemented with an analysis of the topics of all the UDs, to have a more real vision of the situation. Originality/value This study analyses, for the first time, the topics of the UDs from the perspective of sustainability, taking into account the dissertations that reach a standard of excellence in the FEB. These results provide relevant information that can be very helpful to detect the specific needs for the design and implementation of an awareness-raising action that will lead to working on sustainability in a transversal way in the education degrees of the FEB.

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine university students’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development and towards the need for the implementation of education for sustainable development into the higher education system. To that end, the paper explores in a process-oriented focus which drivers and barriers are experienced as being the most important ones and how they relate to one another. Design/methodology/approach The study is based on the questionnaire for the evaluation of attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development. This instrument consists of 9 batteries with 83 items presented in the form of the five-point Likert scale. The questionnaire evaluated different aspects of respondents’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development, but students’ attitudes in relation to the items from the following subscales will be presented for this paper: understanding the concept of sustainable development, position of sustainable development in the system of higher education, sources of information about sustainable development and entities responsible for sustainable development. The study sample consisted of students from the University of Novi Sad, specifically from the faculties with accredited programs in the field of humanities and technological sciences. Findings In general, students recognized the main determinants of sustainable development and they support an integral approach to sustainability, i.e. the need to include the knowledge, values and skills for sustainable development in the higher education programs. In addition, they identified a number of obstacles and the uncertainties of overcoming them. In this regard, the students did not recognize the responsibility of the higher education institutions as the key responsibility or their own responsibility in relation to sustainable development, which can be related to their feeling of marginalization and the doubt that their behaviour and decisions can influence the development of the local society, as well as the development of the society as a whole. On the other hand, the respondents acknowledged the role, the importance and the responsibility of the mass media in the process of developing the attitudes towards and opinions about the problems related to environmental protection and sustainable development. Practical implications The results of the study indicate the students’ attitudes towards sustainable development, thus making the directions for higher education reform clearer and in line with the present needs for sustainable development in Serbia. The obtained results can serve as a recommendation to the governing structures, i.e. to the relevant ministries of education and environmental protection, as well as to the universities in terms of which direction their process of planning and creating paths of sustainability should take. This is particularly important in the case of the Republic of Serbia, which is currently in the process of joining the European Union and responding to the requirements set by the process of negotiation for Chapter 27 in terms of improving the strategic framework and plans for the education for sustainable development and building the capacities in response to climate change. On the other hand, linking the results of this research with the results of similar studies around the world contributes to the further enrichment of the scientific knowledge base in this field and confirms the need for stronger and united efforts on the path to a sustainable future. It is a fact that, regardless of the national, economic, socio-political and cultural context, there is a global lack of success in shaping a humane and sustainable relationship between man and nature. Therefore, the results of this research should be considered as an invitation for new research initiatives regarding the ways to support the positive attitudes of students towards the concept of sustainable development and to facilitate their further development in the educational process, as well as in other academic domains. Originality/value This research is inspired by the fact that, in the Balkan countries, education for sustainable development has not been extensively discussed within the scientific discourse on higher education for sustainable development. This is one of the first papers to provide data about students’ attitudes towards the concept of sustainable development and the need for its implementation in the higher education system in Serbia. The value of the paper lies in its potential to help understand the role that different drivers and barriers play in higher education for sustainable development.
Article
A holistic distribution of leadership, where the entire community is committed both to learning and the organisation’s development, is considered an important factor in educational success. Initial teacher education should contribute towards building teachers’ identities as leaders (teacher-leaders). Our research examines how teaching competences are built with regard to coordination, leadership, and collaboration with the community during teacher training. In this paper, we present the results of a questionnaire comparing the vision and perception of these competences in the context of student teachers, university lecturers, and teachers in state school. The results show visions aligned with a holistic form of leadership distributed amongst the three groups. Moreover, they reveal a close link between the construction of the identity of teacher-leaders and the practical and specific challenges of students’ teachers, university lecturers, and teachers. This implies that the initial training must expressly include the distributed leadership competences in the teacher education course, while also providing situations in which students, together with their tutors, gain these competences.
Article
Despite embracing GCED themes, the Lebanese National Curriculum faces multifaceted challenges rooted in conflict. The 1997 curriculum is still in effect with revision attempts encumbered. Interviews with 56 public school teachers in Lebanon confirm prevalent knowledge transmission practices of prescribed civics content and lack of support for progressive teaching and critical dialogue. Findings suggest few teachers prioritise GCED constructs, while most promote nationalistic citizenship notions contributing to marginalisation. Moving forward, teacher education should develop teaching practice and mindsets for sustainable GCED with the intent of emancipating teachers and students from the limitations of national curricula.
Article
This study aimed to design and validate the Teacher Identity Measurement Scale (TIMS) for assessing primary student teachers’ professional identity. Based on identity theory and a systematic review into quantitative instruments of teacher identity, teacher identity was decomposed in four first-order constructs: motivation, self-image, self-efficacy, and task perception. This resulted in a measurement scale consisting of 46 items. The factorial design was examined by administering the TIMS to first- and second-year primary student teachers. In phase 1, involving 17 students, qualitative scale development methods were used to assess the construct validity. In phase 2, its second-order factor structure was tested and confirmed among a sample of 211 students. In phase 3, this structure was cross-validated among a new sample of 419 students. The instrument may contribute to understanding primary student teacher’s professional development and can be used as a tool to support the process of developing a professional teacher identity.
Article
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a concept that evolves in line with emerging sustainability issues. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ESD is embraced in Goal 4, Target 4.7, and reflected in other Goals and Targets. The approach towards the 2030 Agenda is important, not only because of the crucial role that education will play in the implementation of the Goals, but also in increasing its impact by orienting towards the emerging sustainability challenges. Therefore, there is a high demand for research to better understand ESD interactions with the 2030 Agenda framework in specific contexts. This study addresses the implications of Target 4.7 on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in the context of the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development as global multi-stakeholder networks. It analyses the interaction of Target 4.7 with other Goals and Targets, in order to identify the strongest connections amongst thematic sustainability issues. The findings revealed through statistical analyses and a comprehensive literature review, that the prevailing components of ESD are strongly interconnected with Goals 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 13, 15. Thus reinforcing that the multidimensional aspects of ESD in relation to the SDGs are stronger regarding the current complex issues such as, education, climate, energy, sustainable cities, natural habitat, consumption and production. Although the nature of multi-stakeholder networks allows for diverse approaches of ESD towards the 2030 Agenda, the study indicates the importance of partnership and informal learning for reflection of global sustainability issues in regional platforms.
Article
The social prestige of the teaching profession from the Primary and Secondary student teachers' perspective Resumen: El prestigio social de la profesión docente es un factor que afecta a la configuración de la identidad del docente y a la calidad educativa. Esta investigación tiene como objetivo analizar la percepción que los estudiantes del Grado en Educación Primaria (GEP) y del Máster en Formación del Profesorado de Educación Secundaria (MES) tienen sobre la imagen social del profesor. Han participado en la investigación estudiantes del GEP, 147 de primer curso y 117 de cuarto y estudiantes del MES, 59 en el inicio de los estudios y 52 a su finalización. De ellos, 44 estudiantes respondieron en ambos momentos. La consideración que los estudiantes tienen sobre el prestigio de la profesión evoluciona a lo largo de la formación inicial, siendo cada vez más conscientes de que está infravalorada. Las razones que los estudiantes argumentan para explicar la escasa consideración social del docente giran en torno a tres ideas: insuficiente impacto social, buenas condiciones laborales, sencillez tanto de las tareas y funciones que desempeñan como de los requisitos académicos para conseguir la certificación. Los resultados tienen implicaciones para la formación inicial del profesorado y para la calidad de la educación. Palabras clave: identidad profesional, imagen social del docente, formación inicial de profesorado, prestigio social de la profesión.
Article
This article explores and compares the way in which Danish and Kenyan student-teachers achieve a professional identity while training to be teachers, drawing on conceptually-related theoretical approaches of critical psychology, social theory of learning, professional literature and literature about narratives and life history. Findings from contextual comparisons of the students’ life stories suggest that the process of professional becoming may be viewed as a highly personal meaning-making and storied process following individual trajectories through teacher training; yet moments in which students change professional identification are often ingrained in social relations with tutors and other students, or take place during periods of teaching practice. Student-teachers come to acknowledge teacher training as a resource and part of a personal life project, and some students change their professional identification profoundly during teacher training.
Article
Higher education teachers’ roles and identities are constantly shifting in response to contextual change. Pedagogy, values, and professional and personal narratives of self are all affected, particularly by technological change. This paper explores the role and identity shifts of academics during the introduction of large-class videoconferencing. Their experiences of personal and pedagogical ‘doing’ and ‘being’ demonstrate how ambiguity of role, non-alignment of values with practice realities and unanticipated disruption of self-representation are variably resolved by individuals. The findings suggest that successfully negotiating identity shifts may be essential for coherent personal and professional narratives, while lack of a collective response to contextual change may explain why academic teacher identity challenges are overlooked at the institutional level. We recommend identification, discussion, and alignment of institutional, professional, and personal pedagogical goals prior to contextual change.
Book
American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants’ personal experiences. Analyzing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker’s emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy. .
Article
Adored worldwide for its ‘outstanding’ education system, Finland has relied on its excellent results in studies of the Programme for International Student Assessment to advertise and sell its education abroad. One of the keys to this success is often attributed to Finnish teachers, who are said to be ‘the best and most respected in the world’. This article questions this official narrative by examining the way teachers are perceived by Finnish society through analysing the front-page headlines of the Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat in 2000–2013. To the authors’ knowledge, the way teachers are constructed in the Finnish press has not been studied extensively, while international studies, especially from English-speaking countries, highlight negative constructions of teachers in the press and cultural products. The data consist of 81 front pages, which were analysed using three methods: content analysis, discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis. The study of the photographs used on the front covers complements the analyses. The results show that the way Finnish teachers are constructed on the tabloid front pages has changed significantly between 2000 and 2013, and they could signal changes in the way education and the status of teachers are considered in the Nordic country. They also show a shift in the way the power of teachers has been depicted.
Article
Dissertations are a common feature of final year undergraduate study. Although there is some research on students' perceptions of the dissertation, it appears there is less research concerning supervisors' perceptions of the value of the undergraduate dissertation. Data for the study was collected via a questionnaire administered to staff within two departments at the University of Huddersfield Business School in the UK; with follow-up interviews. Considerations of the study included whether lecturers perceived that students have the capacity to undertake a dissertation, the value and impact the dissertation may have upon student results, and the demands dissertation supervision places upon supervisors. Key findings are that the dissertation still has currency and offers transferable skills that may have value to employers. One emergent finding was to consider a ‘cut off’ point, in terms of previous academic performance, such that the dissertation route would be open only to the more able students.
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This article contributes to this special edition of Technology, Pedagogy and Education by looking at beliefs about knowing and learning held by 15 teacher educators with longstanding involvement in the Association for Information Technology in Teacher Education. Beliefs were challenging to identify but were ascribed to participants through examining accounts of practice on the basis of ‘what they held true’ about teaching and learning. The study uncovered a widely held core belief in knowing as constructivist and a more peripheral belief in learner-centred, or social constructivist, pedagogy. Identifying participants’ beliefs helped to understand the frameworks in which judgements about teaching and learning with ICT were made even if the impact of beliefs on every day practice could not be taken for granted. The study discusses the importance of beliefs as a stable point of reference in teaching and learning; tensions in categorising beliefs; and the particular role of beliefs in relation to engagement with ICT.
Article
The VITAE project is a four‐year (2001–2005) research study, commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, conducted with 300 teachers in 100 schools in seven local education authorities in England. The project aimed to identify factors that may affect their work and lives over time and how these factors may, in turn, impact on their teaching and subsequent pupil progress and outcomes. It combined quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis in order to define and examine notions of teachers' relational and relative effectiveness. The first part of the paper addresses the nature of effectiveness and three key themes relating to the changing contexts of teachers' work, lives and effectiveness: the challenge of reform to notions of professionalism; professional identities; changes in teachers' work and lives. The research design and early findings and their effects upon the development of the research form the second part. The final part of the paper discusses three sets of understandings which are fundamental to any consideration of teachers' work, lives and effectiveness: relative and relational effectiveness; teacher identities; teachers' life and work contexts. The research suggests that policy‐makers, school leaders and teachers themselves need to attend to these if teacher recruitment, retention and standards are to improve.
Article
ALCESTE - A Methodology of Textual Data Analysis and an Application: Aurélia by Gérard de Nerval. Beginning with a cross-tabulation with different all sentence fragments in rows and a selected vocabulary in columns for a specific corpus, the author presents: the methodology, including principle concepts and objectives of this form of analysis; the technique, the ALCESTE computer program of automatic classification based on resemblance or dissimilarity: and an application, the analysis of Gérard de Nerval's text Aurélia. The analysis distinguishes three types of fragments which are described and analyzed further.
Article
This study explores different perceptions of pre-service and beginning teachers’ professional identity in relation to their decisions to leave the profession. Teachers’ professional identity was further broken down into six factors: value, efficacy, commitment, emotions, knowledge and beliefs, and micropolitics. This study employed mixed-methods which included 84 participant surveys, and 27 interviews from four groups of participants at different stages of teaching. The findings of this study showed that pre-service teachers tended to have naïve and idealistic perceptions of teaching, and dropout teachers showed most emotional burnout. Implications for improvement of teacher education and retention of beginning teachers are discussed.
Article
The quality of the student-supervisor relationship is paramount in achieving many of the goals of postgraduate study. A self-regulatory, synergistic model of supervision is described briefly and a supervisor and student whose experiences closely fitted such a model each reflect on aspects of their roles and the outcomes, and evaluate their experience in terms of personal and professional development. The model incorporates four major aspects of the postgraduate experience-Motivation, Beliefs, Management strategies and Affect. Motivation requires a shared commitment to the usefulness of, and interest in the topic as well as mutual respect and a willingness to learn. Conceptualising the thesis topic requires a shared language between supervisor and student. Managing the process involves organisation of self and task, and selection and use of strategies and relevant resources at optimal stages of the research. In addition, the fundamental importance of Affect needs to be acknowledged in the development of strategies to address inevitable fluctuations of positive and negative feelings. Suggestions for practice that could facilitate a self-regulatory, synergistic research process are made.
Article
This study's interest relies on adolescents' social representations of unprotected sex, more precisely on the relationship between the attitude towards the preservative and the reason attribution for its non use. 1386 secondary school students took part in the study, in the Brazilian cities of Florianópolis, Itajaí and Balneário Camboriú. In order to verify reasons attributed by the students, we focused on the sample that had sexual experiences without using the condom during last year. Data was analyzed with software ALCESTE, which showed three different classes of explanations for the non use of the preservative: the moment of the intercourse (unpredictable and incontrollable), trust in the partner and the option of the contraceptive pill, instead of the preservatives, in avoiding pregnancy. The students' attitudes towards the preservative are less favourable among those who maintain sexual intercourse with known people. The results revealed two representations of AIDS: one of trust in the partner and another of the experience with sex and the preservative--the first one gives sense to the adolescents' experiences with known sexual partners and the second, with less known sexual partners.
Article
This article examines how group representations can be used strategically to induce social change. The speeches delivered by Patrice Lumumba during the decolonization of the Belgian Congo were analysed using the content analysis software ALCESTE. Lumumba used radically different descriptions of Belgians and Congolese depending on the period during which the speech was delivered and on the audience he was addressing (Congolese or Belgian). When addressing Belgians, he described their countrymen as benevolent allies who could assist the development of Congo, and the Congolese as pacific and friendly. When addressing Congolese audiences, Belgians were described as oppressors, and Congolese as victims. In addition he emphasized the unity of the country more at the end of the decolonization process than at its onset. Considering that his nationalist and pan-African aims remained stable, we suggest that this variability stems from the different actions expected from his audiences, as a function of their group membership and the political context. We argue that this performative dimension cannot be captured if group representations, including stereotypes, are only viewed in cognitive terms. In addition, we show that they should be studied not only as justifications for the existing social order but also as instruments of social change.
Student perceptions of gender mainstreaming in initial teacher training: a descriptive study
Miralles-Cardona, C., Cardona-Molt o, M.-C. and Chiner, E. (2020), "Student perceptions of gender mainstreaming in initial teacher training: a descriptive study", Educaci on XX1, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 231-257, doi: 10.5944/educXX1.23899. Sustainability and professional identity
The importance of early childhood education for a sustainable society: a sociological analysis
  • S Agnihotri
Agnihotri, S. (2019), "The importance of early childhood education for a sustainable society: a sociological analysis", Journal of Bank Management and Financial Strategies, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 26-32.