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Questions related to Education Research
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Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and indulgent behaviors have great impact on learning. Is there any newer methods?
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KSA: Knowledge, Skill and Attitude which means you need competent Educator. Based on that if you a ware about the role (so you know and mastering  the competencies ) of EDUCATOR: educator, facilitator, change agent, leader, researcher, and 
for or sure you know how to be innovative I advice you to read these 2 books:
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Task-based approach to teaching writing for students of engineering
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Hi there,
Your question is quite open and so I'm not sure exactly what information you would like. I assume you know what task-based language learning is.
How about examples of implementation?
We use task-based learning for graduate student preparation, with a focus on English writing and speaking. At the program level, the task given is usually a mini research project -most often questionnaire based-, with the students required to speak, write, and present their research in English as they plan and conduct it. Final reports and presentations represent the end of the overall task cycle and are authentic practice. Language scaffolding and feedback are given over the course of the task which lasts several weeks.
At the lesson level smaller tasks are used. For example, in teaching methodology writing we have used 'egg drop' and 'paper tower' activities as engineering oriented -but fun- tasks which can be done quickly in class and provide input for the writing part of the task. The task cycle finished when the students submit their written methodologies for feedback.
Those are some ideas of how task-based learning is used in our department to help engineering students with writing in English. Our approach can be considered similar to problem-based or project-based learning. An similar approach is that of content-and-language integrated learning, and the Asian EFL journal has a special issue out in December on that topic.
If there is something more specific that you are interested in I'll try to help, if I can.
How can technology help in selection into the health professions and speciality training?
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Research and development Selection into healthcare professional education is expaning worldwide. It is a multi-disciplinary area bringing together a range of disciplines and the affordances of technology
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Specialty training - see medial simulation centers.
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The study of our mind as complex system implies the understanding of cognition in terms of socially organized phenomena. Similarly we need to observe our behavior as network of interactions, emotionally and mutually connected. Consequently in the context of educational processes we must extend the paradigm of science as shared reflection. In this perspective it's essential reconsider the qualitative aspects of educational relationship within the framework of scientific research.
Inside of debate we find keywords like mediation, communication, sharing, empathy, exchange, participation, embodiment.
What are the guidelines that we can create and share how research opportunities?
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Dear Afaq Ahmad,
Basically we could rephrase the question in the following way:
What contribution can give pedagogical reflection in the light of its experience in educational context, to further developments in scientific research, and vice versa, which methodological aid or which new perspective of formative design it can come from the neuroscience studies?
What are the actual margins of interaction between fields of study and research so apparently distant among them?
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Research questions are often the bedrock of a study. How do we improve their formulation?
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@M. Bruckner: I apply this as an "elementary" approach to developing in students the habit of taking more rigorous approach to creating thesis questions for any papers they will be asked to write in college. The result of an "evident" thesis question leaves open their argument section to lazy plagiarism, whereas, a "problematic" question tends to be more original, at times, unique. I'm not so much interested in regurgitation of facts to tell me the answer is A, B, or C, or the conclusion that is right and airtight -- so much as insightful, original, and often, genuinely the intellectual property of the student. As a literature teacher, I point out that evidence is whatever can be pointed to on the page -- this is ok for supporting an argument (say anything you like, but you will have to show me what you read or saw or heard that gave you the idea). The problem, as I see it, is, as you say, "why, how and what" -- forcing an interpretation. I feel this result is more subjective, more insightful, more rigorous, and, with properly organized and expressed evidence, a stronger question for further study. Certainly,establishing validity -- finding supporting evidence -- is taken to a higher order of thinking.
I tell them: the only really new thing in the world is how each one of us sees the world -- our subjectivity -- and that they have the responsibility to find a way to communicate this -- their value and success in their futures depends upon this.
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I realise that I have offered a dualism and that the answer is probably somewhere in between but what do colleagues think is the best fit. I certainly know colleagues who take a long 'study leave' and produce very little, so I am not sure that is the best option - neither does research easily fit around a busy work life. What do you thik?
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I agree with Pr. Fazio but all depend of the local system reality. I have had two long "period of study leaves" (sabbaticals) during the last 22 years as a regular professor in my University and each time I did took about a month or two for my own personnal professionnal development benefit, the rest of it was "eated" by catching up for just finished or ungoing granted researches and master/PhD students following. In our system (in Québec-Canada) I just don't know any colleague that did quite differently and the actual neo liberal orientation of the Universities goes in that direction so... do your best to have a personal professional development benefit from your leaves and... try to survive.
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Are cognitive skills really contextually bound? Is there any possibility that the cognitive skills are linear?
If you do not mind, please show me a reference that can help answer these questions
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Am I correct in restating your questions: What do you think about cognitive skills? Are cognitive skills really contextually bound? Is there any possibility that the cognitive skills are linear? Because if so... I'd like to take a shot at answering...
It all depends on what you mean by linear. Piaget, writes about the epigenetic development of cognition. I wish I could give you the reference off the top of my head, but unfortunately I read this several months ago. I believe it is in The Epigenetics of Epistemology. In this book I seem to remember him talking about cognitive development and skills are both a form of linearity and non-linearity. I believe his argument would sound like this:
A newborn takes in the world and the stimulation of the surrounding environment accrues and accrues in, what I believe would be something akin to your meaning of linear fashion. But at a critical point in this linear development (of distinguishing boundaries from one thing or another) the mind reaches a critical level of skills such that it is able to function in an entirely qualitatively different manner. It now is able to assess and identify certain objects and people. Eventually this identifying ability grows in linear fashion until again it reaches a critical level of competence and then again takes on new qualitative form (which again would be somewhat non-linear). Each new qualitative jump forward provides the mind with apparently new mathematico-logico skills that progress to a level of sufficiency and then a new leap forward ensues.
The contextualization that you bring to the discussion and the non-linear tone that the questions assumes, would, in my opinion, ultimately hold true, only because (a) a new environment stimulates our mind in a way unlike before, (b) we come to this context with a new set of skills upon which to tackle the issue, (c) even if the context is the same as before, our internal development acts upon it in a new way.
So, this is just my opinion, but it might be helpful to see cognitive skills as those that grow in "linear" fashion, but then take "non-linear" leaps. Hope that helps.
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This may sound an odd question and I'm hoping it is and I have just twisted myself into knots over semantics rather than just being plain wrong about concepts. But nevertheless twisted I have become, anyone care to help me unravel my poor brain?
I know Bourdieu refers to education as a field in itself but my understanding is that his conceptualization of field would allow for a distinction between formal education as the 'field of study', as in 'my research project is situated within the field of education' and the concept of 'field' as in 'the concepts of field, capital and habitus provide the conceptual framework for this project".
In this instance it is 'the structured relationships between teacher and a group of students' that I am defining as a field, and that is situated within the field of education but it just sounds .............dumb! ?
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Thank you, you may have hit the nail on the head, 'field' has different implications whether seen as a the broad scope of work or as a relational concept of Bourdieu.
Thanks, off I go to think some more.
Statistical analysis using likert scale - can anyone help?
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I am trying to analyze data obtained from a survey using Likert scales. Respondents rated from 1-5, views on perceived importance to be able to perform said task at their training level, their actual perceived ability, and adequacy of teaching (on 3 Likert scales) regarding different tasks. Superficially, using the mode response gives an indication for which topics/tasks concordance or discordance exist e.g. very important, good ability and good teaching. What would be the test of choice to further scrutinize the results?
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In contrast to Eric I would not recommend to do any "traditional" analyses that require numerical data. The mode is a good statistic to be reported. You can further give an indication of the "clumpyness" of the answers, for instance by the Gini coefficient. The three scales give a 3x5 contingency table. The distributions of answers can be thus be compared statistically using the Chi-squared test (or Fisher's exact test). It might also be very useful to analyze the differences in the personal aswers between the three scales. The McNemar test can compare two scales with paired data. Contingency tables can be visualized for instance by mosaic plots (http://statmath.wu.ac.at/projects/vcd/)
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Medical education, since long, is being provided through a system that combines classroom and hospital. In classroom students are lectured and are taught the theories about the functions (and malfunctions) of human body while in the hospital they learn to apply that knowledge in real-life scenarios under the guidance of their mentors.
Why similar methods have not become popular for business and engineering education? What can be the possible pros or cons of adopting such methods for business education?
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In some universities business students visit firms and in some, they also work at firms during their studies and get credit points for this. So, to some extent, such methods have been already used. Maybe some universities do not do that because they wish to give only 'academic' (articles- and textbooks-based) education, do not have staff interested in co-ordinating such studies (or have too much teaching staff, so they wish to keep them occupied) or have not found suitable firms (many firms are not interested in inviting students... they may be afraid that this is a waste of time, or that students may tell their business secrets to their competitors...).
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Was recently talking to a Doctoral candidate in the health sciences, with a background in psychology, who was talking about 'Habit Theory' as an alternate perspective to social-cognitive theory. Tried doing a google scholar search but couldn't find any studies that used it in the education research. The only link to help-seeking was in the health sciences area.
I've taught in secondary schools for the last 20 years and I think there is case for suggesting that a lot of teaching and learning behaviour is habitual (at least for some students and teachers/administrators). Especially in the area of Help seeking avoidance in senior secondary Mathematics classes
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Janet,
My focus is on the Learning Environments of Mathematics classrooms so I don't have many specific articles for you however you may be interested in the following:
Jonsson, A.-C., et al. (2012). "Teachers’ implicit theories of intelligence: influences from different disciplines and scientific theories." European Journal of Teacher Education: 1-14.
A sample of 226 Swedish high school teachers from various knowledge domains completed self-report measures of intelligence regarding implicit theories and scientific theories of intelligence. A mixed ANOVA showed that teachers from language, social science and practical disciplines had a significant preference for an incremental theory of intelligence compared to an entity theory of intelligence whilst the teachers in mathematics did not. One of the conclusions was that entity theories of intelligence may be more pronounced among teachers in mathematics. Second there is a significant relation between naïve beliefs in intelligence as fixed and inborn, entity theories, and the scientific g-factor theory. Last, it was the oldest and most experienced and youngest and least experienced teachers who preferred an entity theory of intelligence the most.
Also there has been a lot of research on the School Climate in the Learning Environments field where they often need to validate school level surveys. Some of these may be useful - for example
Aldridge, J. and K. Ala’I (2013). "Assessing students’ views of school climate: Developing and validating the What’s Happening In This School? (WHITS) questionnaire." Improving Schools 16(1): 47-66.
This article describes the development and validation of a six-scale survey to assess school climate in terms of students’ perceptions of the degree to which they feel welcome and connected, together with a scale to assess students’ perceptions of bullying. The development of each survey involved a multi-stage approach, including: 1) an extensive review of research related to school climate to identify components that can be considered important for effective schools made up of diverse students; 2) elucidating the scales identified in step one; and 3) writing individual items within the scales. Items from previously validated questionnaires were examined and, if appropriate, adapted. We used Trochim and Donnelly’s (2006) framework for construct validity to guide the validation of the new questionnaire. When the questionnaire was administered to a sample of 4067 high school students from eight schools, various statistical analyses ensured the questionnaire’s discriminant, convergent, concurrent and predictive validity.
I'm also interested in using Multi-level modelling to control for the Nested nature of the school learning environment: Student within Class within School. Two of the methodology focused papers I found useful are
Lüdtke, O., et al. (2009). "Assessing the impact of learning environments: How to use student ratings of classroom or school characteristics in multilevel modeling." Contemporary Educational Psychology 34(2): 120-131.
In educational research, characteristics of the learning environment (e.g., social climate, instructional quality, goal orientation) are often assessed via student reports, and their associations with outcome variables such as school achievement or student motivation then tested. However, studying the effects of the learning environment presents a series of methodological challenges. This article discusses three crucial elements in research that uses student reports to gauge the impact of the learning environment on student outcomes. First, from a conceptual point of view, it is argued that ratings aggregated at the relevant level (e.g., class or school level), and not individual student ratings, are of primary interest in these studies. Second, the reliability of aggregated student ratings must be routinely assessed before these perceptions are related to outcome variables. Third, researchers conducting multilevel analyses need to make very clear which centering option was chosen for the predictor variables. This article shows that conclusions about the impact of learning environments can be substantially affected by the choice of a specific centering option for the individual student ratings.
Marsh, H. W., et al. (2012). "Classroom Climate and Contextual Effects: Conceptual and Methodological Issues in the Evaluation of Group-Level Effects." Educational Psychologist 47(2): 106-124.
Classroom context and climate are inherently classroom-level (L2) constructs, but applied researchers sometimes?inappropriately?represent them by student-level (L1) responses in single-level models rather than more appropriate multilevel models. Here we focus on important conceptual issues (distinctions between climate and contextual variables; use of classroom L2 rather than student-level L1 measures) and more appropriate multilevel models. To illustrate these issues, we consider the effects of two L2 classroom climate variables and one L2 classroom contextual variable on two L1 student-level outcomes for 2261 students in 128 classes. Through this example, we illustrate how to apply evolving doubly latent multilevel models to (a) evaluate the factor structure of L1 and L2 constructs based on multiple indicators of classroom climate and context measures, (b) control measurement error at L1 and L2, (c) control sampling error in the aggregation of L1 responses to form L2 constructs (the average of student-level responses to form classroom-level constructs), and (d) provide guidelines for appropriate analysis of classroom climate as an L2 construct. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Educational Psychologist for the following free supplemental resources: Substantive basis of the present investigation and more detailed description of the methodology.]
Hope these were of some use. I have copies of each article if you're unable to locate them.
Regards
Roy
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Effectiveness of teaching circles in higher education
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Can you elaborate more?
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The trend of cement/concrete is to focus more on geopolymer research because of low CO2. So how we can make this material the main material in the future?
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If you are looking for a thorough, realistic vision of this aspect, I strongly recommend chapter 17 of the book edited in 2009 by J.Provis and J.Van Deventer: "Geopolymers:structure processing properties and industrial applications", Woodhead publishing in materials. this chapter (title: Commercialization of GP for construction - opportunities and obstacles) was written by Duxson and Van Deventer. among others, the experience of Australia (seems to have the most advanced level of scientific and industrial application of GP in construction, in the world) is depicted
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If your answer is 'yes', won't it be possible to construct specialized medical diagnosis simulation tools that help continuing medical education (CME)? Those tools could use real (anonymized) or virtual patients data. Advisors could monitor students improvements over time and intervene if necessary.
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Thank you Micheal for your Question, well, yes I believe it is not very easy due to multiple reasons, number one goes to the fact that large number of doctors go to CMEs to complete the requirements of their, let's say, renewal of licensure or to collect credit for their professional development, they hardly would like to spend a lot of time actually learning new stuff and implementing them in their practice, so if we provide some sort of an exam, lets say an OSCE, at the end of each CME now far less number of doctors would ever become interested in attending those CMEs, you know, if it becomes a nationwide policy that no CME credits are given unless a sort of an OSCE exam is conducted at the end, then every one would, sort of, "get forced" to take up such CMEs. the other issue, I believe, is the extent and depth of CMEs in general, some CMEs have very superficial knowledge content, some are so in depth that goes above most of the audience's head, so the content and objectives of CMEs in general are not uniform. To design any kind of exam, we need to know the content area, as well as the examinees very well, it is really difficult to judge the background knowledge of each of the participating physicians' also, it is like you conduct a grade 6 exam for a grade one student, it is correct that all those who become specialized do have some common background knowledge, but definitely this knowledge is not at the same level for all of them.
It could become possible in the future, if there is an organization that, number one, regulates all CME contents and objectives, tracks doctor's performance through continued examinations and knows their level of competence and then makes it mandatory that all CMEs should end in an OSCE exam. This means a doctor should remain a student throughout his/her career life, as it is happening today and I think it has always been like that. what do you think?
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Method and implementation
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You can get the similar or apropriate answer by searching the keyword in the GOOGLE SCHOLAR page. Usually you will get the first paper similar to your keyword.
From my experience, this way will help you a lot. If you still have a problem, do not hasitate to let me know.
Kind regards, Prof Dr ZOL BAHRI
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The research I have reviewed indicates a need to understand context across disciplines (e.g., Health, Education, etc.). Multiple frameworks offer pathways to understanding from different perspectives (e.g., Fixsen et al, Damschroder et al. Pettigrew et al). I want to better understand, and impact, successful improvement/implementation practices within the organization to create sustainable practices at the project/school-level. I see parallels with the research around principals' and teacher s' impact on student achievement but, as in those studies, little is written of the parent organization. For example, what is it about the parent organization's leadership and improvement practices that maximize conditions for principals' and teachers' impact?
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Following Popper, I am rather skeptical about absolute value of Frameworks for the advancement of science. That is, is corroboration of a 'proven' phenomenon a real contribution to science?  I think we should at least question it.   Thus the idealization of "Multiple frameworks" could also be questionable, perhaps even more. Again, following Popper, science advances by refutations (falsification) and new ways of conjecturing.
Said that, one important thing to the first part of your question: That an educational phenomenon has multiple facets, and it is entangled in a mesh of complex issues, and we should avoid lineal understanding of it is quite plausible. However, it is less convincing that a research on it requires 'multiple frameworks' all at once.  I think we can still use one single research framework. A simple example would be the Complexity Theory, which by itself allows multiple facets to entertain. (Although, as I said earlier, I am reluctant to trade me in to the idea that there is a 'super-dogmatic framework' elsewhere, and Complexity theory itself could be one such).  That a school has health problems does not mean that your research should top up a medical science framework.
Regarding your second part of the Q, the effect size  of principals (what we call vaguely as 'leaders-and-their-leadership") and teachers are rather weak according to meta-analysis (please check John Hattie's works). They are never beyond 0.4. Surprisingly, parental influence have bigger effect size (Ref. ibid.).
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning : a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London ; New York: Routledge.
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I am currently conducting a meta-analysis on this matter with a special focus on the criterion-related validity of the six Openness facets (i.e, ideas, values, fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, and actions).
Thus, data from the NEO-PI-R or the 60-item IPIP Openness scale would be especially useful, ideally with college GPA and/or course grades as the criterion.
A perfect data set would include:
a) the inter-correlations between the six Openness facets
b) the correlation between each Openness facet and the criterion
c) the respective means and standard deviations
However, other Big Five instruments (e.g. BFI, NEO-FFI) and other academic performance criteria are very welcome, too.
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openness to experience is a poorly thought out idea.  nobody is open to all experience; depends on the experience.  this is just the same trait myers briggs called judging and i called need for structure.  
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MOOCs are a fairly recent addition to the educational technology scene, but many proponents see them as the St. George to higher education's dragon. But how much actual educational research has been performed to support this perception?
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Thanks Ian! Sometimes the solution is so obvious...
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With the onset of K-12 in the Philippines, which teaching method in "SCIENCE" can be best compared for effectivity?
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If we knew what was best we would all be doing it already. The fact is there is no magic formula and you need to relate your pedagogy to the class, the subject, the context and the resources at hand. once you have considered these points you should then consider how you can engage with the students and fire up their passion for learning. Science is such an exciting subject and the potential for experiment is boundless - the last thing you want to do is teach from the book. Get the students working and learning through DOING science rather than reading about it.
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I am currently preparing an article for a journal, it will be an article designed to have very practical outcomes for day placement staff. It will be aimed at maximizing participation within a day placement service (for people with intellectual disabilities - specifically Angelman syndrome) and I need some literature based on maximizing learning outcomes in relation to participation within an educational environment. Working in the field I know this is a fact, if someone is not engaged in a program their learning outcomes will be minimal, but I need literature to back this up. Can anyone recommend a good place to start?
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I would check out Snow or Kolbe's work on conation. Also practical guidance on conation can found at the following site: http://www.conativeabilities.org/07a/index.cfm
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The value of the education that a student receives in a given course depends on the quality of the instruction and on the relevance of the subject matter. What are the trade-offs between those attributes and the cost of course development and delivery?
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High quality and high relevance are both mandatory for success. This is costly. The course development costs can be reduced by delivering over many Institutions. The cost of delivery can approach zero by invoking E-learning exclusively.
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I think using a part of your already published work should not be an issue without referencing it since the work belonged to you in the first instance. Why must it be referenced? Referencing yourself could mean blowing your trumpet too loud instead of people blowing it for you. Can someone sincerely convince me that adapting your previously published work without referencing it is a form of plagiarism which the world tagged 'self-plagiarism'?
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I think the issue is quite clear. You want to establish that you already have presented seem thoughts on the subject and also to establish that you have expertise in the field you are writing on. I believe that citing yourself is like establishing some train of thought/think that you already wrote one and are now continue to provide more in depth information to prove or disprove your previous findings. It gives the reader a chance to know your previous work and follow your chain of thoughts. Its not blowing your own trumpet but giving the chance to the reader to follow the sequence of ideas that you want to explore. The reader, if s/he doesnt understand your thoughts on the current issue can always look at your previous work to get an idea of what you are exploring. It also gives the chance for other writers to know and identify your work in their writings.
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The history of education is a history of...? As the 21st Century proceeds, and the Information/Digital Age evolves and defines and is defined, the various threads that make up the fabric of the educational process seem to remain basically the same as they have always been; yet, something seems to have happened to affect the perceptions of the fundamentals of teaching and learning that has never happened before. Are we grasping that something has changed, or are we just "grasping at straws"? For example, is this a point in human evolutionary time equivalent to the invention of "philosophy"?, or, a "retooling of the assembly line"?
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In fact, in reference to Edwards query, I think that in likely 50% of the cases around the globe--and much more-so in many lands--most teachers-to-be enter their training with hopes of modifying and doing a better job as their peers or in some cases to attempt to match their favorite teachers in the field. In some teacher training programs, some of this idealism is weeded out but in other cases, some teacher training programs add a great new spin on the fallow ground that promotes change and reform.
It is in when one is placed in the old shoe (1) of schools, (2) in school systems, and (3) in school or college cultures where the teacher becomes a victim or in some cases a victimizer or perpetrator in a system of education. The forces for this redirection in a larger system involve financial, social, cultural, and other pressures which spin the dreams of the novice in all undesired and in many cases system destructive directions. Institutions thrive but individuals--teacher, administrators, and students founder.
In the example, I noted (above) concerning the need for more experiential learning, I would include the essential requirement that administrators and leaders in the field get back to the floor regularly (and are required to do so--with a thoughtful reflective essay required of each one). It is the failure of institutional leaders to get into the shoes of the teachers and the students, that leads to institutional nausea rather than positive institutional development over time.
My experimential learning credit at the college level--which has empowered me to teach and work in over ten countries--included the following type of experiential coursework (By the way, I studied in a small liberal arts college in Kansas, USA) :
(1) Urban economics at the Urban Life Center in Chicago--one month
(2) International development in Nicaragua and Honduras --one month
(3) Rural Farm family and rural experience in France/Germany--one year
(4) Internship at KWCH TV in Wichita, Kansas-- one month
In addition, I took several language courses and did homestays in Spain and Mexico.
In every case, I had to keep a journal and write/submit a reflective paper at the end of my experiential learning.
Such methodology is neither new nor old--however--in a world that too often expects wind-up teachers to act in a certain way or in a world that has traditionally hoped that students learn in a certain manner, getting out of one's typically foot-wear and becoming the other is invigorating to every participant in the system.
Get the educators and administrators back to the floors of learning. Get the students out of the classroom and give them new tools and eyes to face the world.
Service learning and other forms of experiential learning need to fuel and refresh the educational delivery and process for all.
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I am in the process of reviewing the research literature on the influence of high stakes testing regimes on educational practices, including pedagogical practices. High stakes tests here can be either national examinations or even international tests like the IELTS or TOEFL. Any leads - including those published in local languages - would be helpful.
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You should get David Hursh's book: HIgh Stakes Testing for background info.
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I'm a 3rd year undergraduate student in the School of Public Health Systems in the University of Waterloo. I'm extremely interested in teaching and researching novel methods of education in order to tackle many of the problems students (both at a high school and university levels) face today. Some of the problems that I'm interested in researching include stress levels, depression, use of drugs on campus, the alleged ADHD epidemic, etc.
I would appreciate any input as i am quicky approaching my thesis development but I unfortunately cannot find any higher PhD students or professors who are interested in this field!
Thank you!
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I am interested. I hoped to do my dissertation on health problems and burnout in teachers and could not find anything. Hope your work with students goes better. I would be interested in finding out how the health of teachers is related to the health of their students. I would guess that many teachers are also suffering from the same maladies as students. The increasingly heavy work load is making teachers depressed and anxious as well as their students.
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I am interested in learning more about quality metrics for ALM content.
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Have you tried contacting representatives of the ALM Task Force?  They are located at Headquarters, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), G3/5/7 at Fort Eustis, VA.
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Would it be appropriate to use a poster presentation as a reference in an article? If yes, what would be the proper way of doing it? Can I just do it as I would do for an article?
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Look at this example
Charles L, Gordner R. Analysis of MedlinePlus en Espanol customer service requests. Poster session presented at: Futuro magnifico! Celebrating our diversity. MLA `05: Medical Library Association Annual Meeting; 2005 May 14-19; San Antonio, TX.
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Colleagues tell me that they are expected to produce two articles per year. Weirdly they can never cite any institutional guidelines that give this figure - it just seems to be a shared idea. But, whether policy or not, how can any institution set a certain number of expected research outputs? Not all research is the same and simply setting targets seems to miss subject nuances. What do you think?
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Antonio - a good example offered here of the type of 'madness' that emereges from 'competetive', rather than creative, academic environments. That said, do remember that the Queen Mary stipulation is measured over 4-years. From that point of view, they're not asking that much really. However, the issue of sacking, rather than supporting, academics if they fail to meet 'desirable' targets- is the real issue.
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I'm interested in your views on scientific productivity and its measurement.
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A very topical question but a tricky one to answer. One of the issues is that the measurement of quality is often reduced to quantitative terms - so output becomes graded as if there were one scale that was appropriate to all fields. Social sciencists (like natural scientists) are measured in terms of the impact factor (IF) of the journal that publishes their work. But is not eaasy to say that, because your work features in a journal with a high IF, then your work should be alloted that IF - as not all articles within a particular journal will be used by colleagues in the same way. The next way to 'measure' the impact of an article would be to use metrics like Google Scholar (and now RG) that show how often your work has been cited. Again, there are problems as these metrics are not comprehensive and certain things are not picked up on. So if you work in a theoretical feld then you may have a higher score as colleagues will use your research to inform other academic articles. But if you work in an applied field then your work might not get as many 'academic' citations but it might actually make a significant difference to day-to-day practice. The problems here are then intensified when an institution then tries to pull together all the data from its academics and produce an overall insititutional impact level. This is only the tip of the iceberg and I have been rather cursory in my overview, so I apologise for the holes in what I have just said. But you asked for my opinion, so here it is - measuring quantity is easy but measuring quality needs finesse and current systems for measuring the quality of academic output are just not refinced enough to do a precise job. So take any measure that is presented with a pinch of salt.
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I've done some googling but I don't know what are the seminal works in this area. High quality papers or literature reviews would be great time savers if anyone knows good sources. Secondary and post-secondary contexts are of interest.
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A great source for demographics and statistics in Education comes from the Nation Center for Educational Statistics at http://nces.ed.gov.
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Any examples of good exit strategies?
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In my own field (oceanography) granting agencies often demand that proposals include specific plans for data archiving.
Money is provided for the archiving work, which is important because it can be difficult to transform data into uniform formats, etc. Since archiving is part of the work plan, investigators tend to take the job seriously, for fear of establishing a poor reputation, which is the kiss of death for new proposals. (The proposal rejection rate is relatively high, so investigators take these things seriously.)
Some elaborate protocols ensure that the investigator keep sole control over the data for a reasonable time, so they can publish papers and theses. (Making data immediately available to the world is problematic ... who would do a 6-year thesis with the fear that dozens of others might be secretly competing and one of them might happen to finish a month before you, destroying your career?
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Where does your creativity come from? How much do you use heuristics? What shapes your research interests? How much are your culture and background important in your problem solving and decision-making skills?
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Intuition, as a counterpart of intelligence, plays a fundamental role when I have to decide 'how' to move from one point to another in my ideas landscape. Intelligence is something which deals with the resettlement of existing things. Intuition is my north star. And when something strange pops up in my mind that I cannot manage on my own, then I use intelligence to understand with whom I can collaborate to solve the puzzle.
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How would you define mobility? Have you experience mobility as researcher? How would you improve your mobility as researcher?
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Mobility has been defined differently: from spending at least a week abroad to spending at least a semester in the other university as a minimum. Usually, the goal of such mobility should be to teach and/or do research in the other university, conference trips do not count. Many universities have funds to support mobility, but rules may differ: e.g. some may cover all costs for their researcher who wishes to spend some time in another university, while some may demand that the receiving university (or the mobile researcher) covers some costs or even almost all costs. Rules may also differ for inviting mobile researchers from other universities.
From the researcher's perspective, it would be great if all costs would be covered (which university covers them, is not so important as long as if this does not mean too much paperwork and waiting for a long time - e.g. until the trip has ended), if the receiving university would provide good working conditions (office space, access to all databases) and if the trip would be beneficial professionally (e.g. if, as a result, several articles would be published in co-operation with inviting university's scholars). I have visited several universities (vistis have ranged between 1-6 weeks) and not always, such visits have led to joint articles.
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Sometimes it is really hard to decide what type of exam reflects students' conceptual knowledge best. From one point of view, in-class exams assess students' ability to think in fast and efficient way; on the other hand, take home exams can reveal deeper understanding of the topic through more sophisticated problems. What is your experience in this area?
Thanks!
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One needs a balance. In-class tests ensure that the students have done the work themselves, and mimics the practice in the profession where the engineer has to quickly make on-site, logical decisions. The questions can be framed to probe understanding of the principles.
Take-home projects with little limits on time and resources simulate deeper, creative professional practice by doing a complete project, given most resources. The students have to demonstrate their understanding of the system.
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What role does cultural identity play in the academic success of high school at-risk identified minority students in the suburbs?
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which constraints area measuerd or used in measuring?
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particularly I am going to conduct an explorativ study using content analisis ; the procedure is to ask secondary school teachers to write a story from their professional activity where they not according to moral norms
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in Exploratory research, the sample size depends on data saturation. data saturation will attainable when the researcher can obtain the main themes of the research. I cannot tell the specific number, but if you target research is expert people, usually, between 3 to 5 is sufficient. otherwise, more than 5 people is needed.
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Print media has been virtually overtaken by instantaneous dissemination via internet. Advertisements are providing research-work with free access to scientific publications. And yet, many high impact journals sell access to individual users on hefty payment. What future holds in store for end-user?
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Absolutely astounding impact !!!! As you have said, the audio-visual and high accessibility impact of internet has taken the dissemination of scientific information by storm ! Everything has been made apparently so easy and yet at times, so expensive too ! The end-users, in a way, I believe , will be more benefited than anything else!
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(Please include references if available, thanks).
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Quality of learning is independent for each person separately. That too this 21st century learners are in seek of wast new techniques .There is no end for the learning. Mainly to the point of measuring the quality of learning experience depends on the creativity of adopting same theory in a different way which leads to the new concept of analysis.
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Most researchers find it difficult to put their ideas to work as a result of the nonavailability of funds. So what are the possible means of surpassing this problem?
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Onyegu,
It would be nice if there would be a way to propose a research project on RG and to have a mechanism by which RG members can donated to proposal that they evaluate as worthwhile.
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I am carrying out research regarding the skills and knowledge required to teach at level 4 −6 in a mixed programme which requires delivery of academic,vocational and practice based learning
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Christine, thanks for your detailed response to why we refrain from "training" here at the brain center.
I was interested to see you raised the fact that to know a thing differs deeply from teaching that thing. Yes -- we heartily agree. In reality these two functions operate from different parts of the brain. That fact in reality, as we see it strengthens our case to facilitate and help teachers develop skills to teach what they know by respectfully walking alongside in a more mutual mentoring approach, (rather then train them).
One way we do that is by developing active learning and assessment tools to support faculty talents. Another way to to coach and support teachers to teach in ways that human brain learn best. That includes dozens of prompts to help them run from lectures and engage multiple intelligences in higher ed. Students love it, faculty love it and grades are higher:-)
Thanks for your thoughtful weigh-in:-) Ellen
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Denzin and Lincoln, as well as other authors, state that the issues of validity and reliability are important in qualitative research. However, they are treated in a different manner, as there are no intentions to establish a quantitative measure of validity and reliability (as is the case in quantitative research). Some use the terms "trustworthiness" or "credibility" in qualitative studies, and point to triangulation as a way to back them up. My questions: ¿What are the "equivalent" concepts for validity and reliability in qualitative research? Is it useful to deal with these issues in qualitative research? What are the precise methods or practices for establishing "validity" and "reliability" in a qualitative study?
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To ensure trustworthiness in qualitative research requires that you need to pay attention to coding. You need to code your responses from participants correct to identify themes and subthemes to guide your discussion of your results. In other words you need to allocate a valid code to themes. The more repeats you have for a theme the more it enhance your reliability. You must not just have one interview with your participants but go back to your other participants when new issues come up and determine how they feel about the issues. In this way you actually "test" if all participants have the same views about your themes that occur. When presented with information that you can verify with a person, do so as it enhance the "reliability" of your study. Building trust with your participants also assist in producing trustworthy results.
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Some journals only judge the educational issues and do not see the side of the arts which is uncommon
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Dear Ignacio,
I've just had some good experiences with the American Journal 'Studies in Art Education'. It combines a strong intererst both in art and in education. I hope you can agree with me.
Best regards
Danny
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We all agree that ethical concerns should be at the forefront of any research project and should continue through to the write-up and dissemination, but can ethical malpractice can exist and research be harmful?
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Dear Fathi,
Michael rightly brings your attention BERA's ethical guidelines as a good starting point, there are others too, and rightly highlights 'harm' as a key point. The issue of 'harm' can not be overstated, it is both highly important and requiring skillful attention. Concentrating 'harm' on physical and mental possibilities can manifest themselves in strange ways, especially if you combine it with Health and Safety (which I did when implementing an Ethics review policy and process at my last institution), and you must look beyond just the collection of data period. 'Harm' can have time lags; for example, we had degree students that were conducting research in their place of work (they were volunteering to get experience, etc), which raised a raft of potential hazards for students, participants and children (often these were nursery settings that the research was carried out in). Not only did the sensitivities of children under 5 yr old have to be considered and the issue of 'informed consent'/'permissions', but also these were small settings which meant there were sensitivities over the writing up of the research, as anonymity did not infer confidentiality! Due to the small numbers of staff in these settings, centre managers, who were handed a copy of dissertations by the students out of politeness and to showcase their skills, were able to chase statements back to the person who provided them ... and if they didn't follow the business line or were perceived as 'negative' by management then there could be repercussions down the line for either student or staff. Students are often very keen to distribute copies of their research, this only compounds the issue as then parents may have a window in to what staff/children say about their experiences/the organisation, which can act as a catalyst for a problem that could not have been foreseen. Hence, make sure the research dissemination boundaries are clear from the start to all (should all be in the project information sheet that you give to participants too!). So just to say that the issue of harm needs careful consideration and experience is essential when reviewing proposals at the institution's ethical review stage of the project!
Good luck,
angus
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I am working on a paper to explain the relationship between what I call Interpretative Constructivism and Transcendental Idealism. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to prepare the paper? Should I create an outline first or write the paper as a series of mini-papers regarding different portions of the overall paper?
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I think that both of your ideas are good, and not mutually exclusive.
Before you write, and especially when you aren't sure what you are writing, an outline can be helpful in organizing your ideas. If you are having trouble with the outline it is sometimes helpful to free-write, and then create your outline based on the ideas you have.
Regardless of your outline, it is also good practice to write each section of your article as a mini-paper. In larger papers, it helps to maintain coherence for the reader. There is also a strong chance that people won't read your entire article, instead skipping to the section that is relevant to them. Hence, each section can include a short introduction and/or conclusion paragraph so that the section fits cohesively within the larger work while still being readable on its own.
Organization of original research papers tends to be straightforward (IMRaD) while other articles, like a review or theoretical paper, can be a challenge to organize. It's also difficult for us to advise without seeing the actual content on the page, so try to show the paper to other people as you write and revise.
Regardless of how you organize your paper at the beginning, remember that GOOD writing is REwriting, and you should expect to write several drafts. While revising you may find that you add, delete, and rearrange quite frequently. This is not only acceptable but also highly advisable.
It is also a good idea to look at similar articles from the journal you hope to publish in. This will give you ideas about how to organize, the style of the target journal, and may provide sources already published by the target journal. Journals have expectations like word counts that you should at least consider at the outset; I'm writing a paper now that is restricted to 3500 words by the journal, while others will accept up to 10000.
You might find this short ebook, or some of the citations therein, helpful: http://www.academia.edu/2457060/Writing_Research_Articles_for_Publication
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Critcical thinking skills(dispositions and abilities) are considered important for students same is thought of ICTs Skills(Information Communicaion Technologies) today, My research is about finding meaningfull connections between the two and looking at ICT as a tool for learning specially to develop critical thinking skills as explained by Facione, 2011.
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This is a topic I share an interest in, though my interest is focused on supporting why-questioning with ICT. To your specific question, you might find it useful to look at some software that's been around for quite a few years called Rationale http://rationale.austhink.com/learn/critical-thinking
Also, it seems that this connection (between critical thinking & ICT) has been implicitly made by a number of groups behind the so-called "21st century skills" agenda.
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We were given a reading on a topic " the teacher as a researcher " and our topic for presentation is 'CURRICULUM AS A PROCESS'
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Sometimes teachers who use their students for research are not very good about integrating the things researched into future curriculum.  These two articles address this issue and present a process for curriculum design, including technology design.
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I would like to include grey literature in a scoping review I am doing and would like your input on sources.
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Dear Anique
For searching grey literature several free resources are available
1- opengrey database which is the database of European grey literature
2- google scholar: however searching in google scholar can be a real challange as it is very inefficient
The most important subscription based grey literature database is
Dissertation abstract section of Proquest which is the American counterpart of opengrey.
In my experience for locating meeting abstracts ISI web of knowledge is one of the best databases as you can search the meeting abstracts published in important journals directly. However it is not free.
Ramin
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Why almost all successful people in the world have a non-traditional education? Is a traditional education misleading? Shouldn't we combine both educations in order to get a perfect result? Or should we?
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I think that the other variable that needs more definition is 'life'. Does this, for example, mean personal life (being happy, fulfilled, economically sustained etc.), or working life (for example, possessing the kinds of skills and attitudes necessary to function in organisational environments). The two, obviously, overlap. I think that as it is currently formulated, the question is too broad to be researchable. What you probably need is to identify some element of either traditional or non traditional education, and a variable linked to life skills, and to design a study that measures the impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable.
Hope this helps.
David
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How do you measure the business value of research and how do you compare two or more projects to measure their business impact ?
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I think the bigger problem is, "when" does one do that... especially in research - the business impact is not always initially measurable. And if it is measured, how does the measure incorporate the rapid advance of technology where one doesnt always see beyond the curve in the road at the next big thing that may make the current research extremely valuable. <my simple take on it>
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In California, USA, almost half of our 13-14 year old students are programmed to take the Algebra course. I am particularly concerned with increasing the predictability of Algebra 1 success so that high school counselors can make more informed decisions about students they may not know.
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As a retired HS math teacher I always found that students well versed in the manipulation of fractions (without a computing device) did better with algebraic concepts than those less prepared.
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I am currently doing a review about home schooling in Southeast Asia. As a framework, I intend to use the ecological approach to look into each systems and how it affects the development and adoption of home schooling in Southeast Asian region. For example, the chronosystem has been affected by the colonial influences in the education system of these countries and somehow affects the current system of education, including home schooling. Another one is the macrosystem which comprises of the laws and policies and how it legalizes (or restricts) home school activities.
With all of these, do you think this kind of analysis is suited for the review I'm doing? Can you suggest other ways on how I can review this topic in an organized way?
Thank you very much!
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Please check" Uses and Misues of Bronfenbrenner'sBioecological Theory of Human Development by JONATHAN R. H. TUDGE, IRINA MOKROVA, BRIDGET E. HATFIELD, AND RACHANA B. KARNIK on http://www.uncg.edu/hdf/facultystaff/Tudge/Tudge,%20Mokrova,%20Hatfield,%20%26%20Karnik,%202009.pdf. The theory in its mature form
In a super-technical social environment is it possible to act as teacher having only pedagogical abilities or the teacher must improve his profile ?
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Is the cybernetics a possible way to integrate classical education and the education achieved using new technical non-conventional means?
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I agree with the sentence regarding the teacher's concept validity. More I'd like use the word of "obsolete"! Further, I guess it is a little to risky speaking about a competition between the Teacher and the student. First because we haven't available the set of criteria to be respected and secondly because it is obvious that one of the main duty of the teacher is to promote or launch students better than he. Regarding the teaching skills my opinion is that they are old enough and generally inadequate. That is the reason of my question.
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I am currently doing action research on teachers' research readiness and capacity. This study aims to explore the reasons why many teachers in public school cant find the time to do research.
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Dear Mr. Jaradal,
because most teachers I know have no motivation to do so. they are not compensated for it in any way, the schools do not support originality and there is not enough time to do that well and still be a good teacher in class. I suggest you check motivation before you check ability or apptitude. there are tons of tools for doing that in the behavioral or social psychology section of any good psychology department.
if you do decide to stay with ability, think about this: research is a mix of learned skills, which most any inteligent person can acquire with relative ease, and personal traits like curiosity, originality, and a good nose for catching on to worthwhile or fruitfull paths.
there are many tools for testing the first (reading comprehension, ability to summarise/get to the point/derive relevant concise conclusions from large amouts of information, control and understanding of statistical tools, familiarity with the basic principals of research and information gathering tools, etc.
but can you test for curiosity? can you test for the ability to stay interested, motivated, original, alive mentally in an environment that in no real way supports or condones this? if you do, than that would be a worthwhile research indeed!
good luck.
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The article says to contact the authors for a copy, but I have had no luck with that.
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Hi Lacey,
I am not sure how far your no luck goes. Have you contacted all the authors? Have you checked the univesity directories to make sure their contact information is still current. I did look to see if there was any chance of finding the STIN3 without contacting them, but only the original STIN seems to be on ERIC and that isn't available right now, which is something I know about because ERIC has been taking a lot of stuff down because of concerns about confidentiality. Because it doesn't come up on Google, I assume that the authors don't have it up on personal web sites either, but have you tried that? I know when I get requests for stuff like this, I don't always jump on it, and sometimes it slips through the cracks, so I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to be aggressive about pursuing this. Believe me, if you had to track me down to get one of my instruments, it would be me who felt bad about it. It's too bad it hasn't been archived somewhere. Other than what I deliberately published to be accessible, if I thought any of my instruments were worth it, I'd be thinking about getting them on some kind of archive now after seeing your question.
Good luck,
Bob
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I am interested in the relationship between anonymous questions during class lectures or expository lessons. Do reticent students engage teachers with inquiries more frequently showing student engagement if they are able to use Chat, journal, or instant message type tools? Do students of lesser capability pair with students who are more successful? and can Teachers meet the real time needs of students if they are able to glance at the back channel discussion during their presentation?
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Purdue have an application called Hotseat which may be of interest to you.
Here is a link to some info :)
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Letters that were discussion between the two on intercultural communications
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I have recently collected data about collaborative learning activities using a video recorder, audio recorder and screencast of the use of laptops. I would like to discuss methodological issues with other researchers. I am an educational researcher.
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He is also recording every class
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Comparision between 'Supervision' and 'Mentoring'.
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Hello Garima,
Please see some literature related to professional development of teachers. I hope you find it helpful.
Good luck.
Regards
Debriefing?
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Are you using, or doing research into, simulation/games (& serious games) and debriefing? If so, pls be in touch: crookall.simulation@googlemail.com. Pls also consider submitting an article to "Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal" http://sg.sagepub.com/, simulation.gaming@gmail.com. Thanks, David
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30 Dear Zol Many thanks indeed for your most useful reply.  Are we together on likedin?  Shouldn't we be?  It would be an honour for me.  Thanks, david
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Most of the kids and teens are fond of these techniques. They require more planning on the part of the teacher but results are really worthwhile. Spanish educational system is improving on this mainly with the extracurricular activities at school.
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We use conceptual maps & image schemas to teach design thinking (interiors and architecture):
Firstly it seems to be quite difficult for student to arrange their thoughts but it's getting better with every classes. This way of working gives really wonderful effects! And the students feel they make progress.
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I have developed and currently implementation a blended curriculum of surgery for undergraduate students of Dow University of Health Sciences.
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Hi Masood. I recently completed a PhD where I looked at blended learning in the context of clinical education in a physiotherapy curriculum. Are you looking for something specific, or just asking in general?
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I am interested in assisting learners to develop their academic writing skills through using a WIKI. The aim is to work in partnership with the learner to guide their academic writing skills using a formative piece of work as the framework and the WIKI as a shared authoring tool. The purpose of this fomative learning is to critique and model academic style in a safe, non-assessed environment. Does anyone have any similar experience of this or any comments about the potential value of my research?
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Lyz, one of the great benefits of using wikis for teaching & learning is that they can promote reflective writing. Knowing that your peers are critically reading what you write can stimulate improvement & a willingness to revise things over time. In a similar way to wikis, e-portfolios are also being used to cultivate reflective practice. You might find a useful resource at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/45667/ Ryan, Mary E. & Ryan, Michael (2012) Theorising a model for teaching and assessing reflective learning in higher education. Higher Education Research and Development
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An individuals habitus and the field/s they operate/d in generate social capital; and habitus can influence field and field can influence habitus so therefore could we potentially offer educational programs that generate social capital and if so what would the essential elements of such programs be?
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I find the idea intriguing and exciting. Given my background I have not considered arts education. My view has been largely centred around things like civic duty, sports, adventure education.
I would be very keen if you were able to point me towards the studies you allude to.
Great idea, thank you for your thoughts.
Steve
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Should funding be decreased that focuses on areas outside our own country? This pertains more to labor and education. Countries resent our involvement in their affairs. The education in the US is and has been on a downward trend. Would it not be prudent to clean up our own house first?
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I have been home for five years due to a wreck and have seen less dissemination than I expect. I think once I set my business up and they see what one person can do and how ineffective the agencies have been there should be some reckoning to be done.
There are great resources that should have filtered down to teachers for help in educating our children it is a shame that our children in the US have not benefited.
Bernie Han you work for the University. This is a sound no cost business way to disseminate information on resources might you make the effort to reach you Education Department in Michigan.
We all want to increase the education level of all people right?
I have assittive technology information that neither of our Oklahoma big university associated with ABle tech have dispersed to the districts.
However now as an business start up I am guarding my info.
Tell all such as the Parent Center.....you should have one...check out the Pacer Center which doesn't have this AT info either
Suggest that they get with these agencies funded to help connect people to resources get copies of teachers...and such counselors..
buy email lists...this costs nothing
Add them in...upload...not adding each individual one.
This will keep teachers up to date on resources and allow teachers to manage information at their time....which as a teacher it is hard to due but on breaks they can.
I told some to send out resource directories to hospitals ....good common business sense.
One of our groups at one of the big universities charged with helping families with a big disability....did a needs assessment...big oxymoron
It was on their website. These people will not get a copy of the special ed teachers email list. Why? Beats me?
These groups are two to 3 years behind on resource information.
I will pass along one good thing you can pass on to all consumers
http://cshcn.org Here there is a lot of information on or assistance on transition for youth with disabilites
Hold on to your seats here is one example that doesn't get from the dept of ed to state to teachers! And I have been told people are too busy....This all comes from reading and research. never mind but something is very wrong when all this doesn't get to those that can benefit...we now have beside RTi an intervention to the really bad cases....a pure waste of money and we need to cut the hands that are multiplying at bacteria logarithmic growth factors and stop the government growth of a mentality of this magnitude of 10 on a rector scale that won't listen to the citizen's it serves.
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How come all the dissemination from the research doesn't seem to filter down to those that need it? Namely the teachers and students?
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Whilst not an expert in the US system, I guess it would mirror what is increasingly happening in the Australian context. Research that is published in high-impact journals, rather then "trade" journals is more valued so more and more academics are no longer publishing in the professional journals aimed at teachers and students. The end result is that the teachers who might be able to implement some of the findings of the research often do not find the research as it is published in peer-reviewed journals often not accessible by teachers. My strategy is to try to publish two articles from any piece of research - a formal, research style article for peer-review and a more directly relevant one for classroom practice in teaching journals. Hope this helps, Kevin.
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In other words how far, narrow, long, short, etc. is a subject's capacity to believe/ give credence to ideas. (perhaps this features alongside (?) dogmatism after Rokeach et al.?)
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You should check this link:
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I am looking at the relation of civic education in school on the forms of protest of pupils, also in ideas of their future life. For my text, I will need some theoretical background to support my hypothesis.
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I think the work of my colleague Pauline Lipman might be of great interest to you - she closely follows the budget cuts and closing of schools in Chicago.  Hope this helps!
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Do you use multiple learning styles in the academic side of resident education? Do you know of any studies on the application of learning style theories in resident education? I am doing a session with PGY4s and 5s on communcation skills and I'd like to update my knowledge on learning style theory and use.
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There's not a lot of high quality evidence that 'matching' teaching to learning styles has any impact but there is some warrant for encouraging students to reflect on their instinctive approaches and to become curious about how they could expand their repertoires. Learning styles inventories (and there are hundreds!) don't offer a diagnosis - I tend to offer students several to try as a stimulus for discussion. There's a full discussion of this (theory and practice) here:
Hall, E. and Moseley, D. (2005) Is there a role for learning styles in personalised education and training? International Journal of Lifelong Education, 24, 3, 243-255
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I'm writing a book about why and how to focus on improving K-12 schools through focusing on the whole school climate: physical and emotional safety, positive trusting relationships, student empowerment, etc.
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Some of the work in Australia by 'beyondblue' and and 'kidsmatter' may be of interest - these school initiatives focus on positive school climate as one of 4 key factors in strengthening children's mental health and school competencies. e.g., see: http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/primary/research/publications
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Government policy has institutionalized many aspects of societal life, which has the effect of converting needs into commodities. Education can therefore be seen as a commodity and students as consumers. What happens with students whose place in society restricts them from being consumers?
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perhaps the problem is that we assume that the way that formal education is framed is acceptable. it could be suggested that formal education was developed from the needs of a developing industrialised nation(s) where complaint 'skilled workers' were required. What we sometimes need to do is 'stand back' and question the 'context' of education. In other words ‘What is Education for?’
I suggest Foucault (Surveillance), Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed and the Banking of Education), Gatto (characterizes as the Hegemonic nature of discourse on education and the education professions), Rosenberg (schools as life enriching) and John Holts (How children fail? And the home schooling movement) work as they challenge the central ‘design’ of modern westernised education.
Also consider democratic schools! They are really interesting and encourage participation from students in an empowering way.
School is often used as a way for society to replicate power and control through a nationally organised curriculum which has ensures that ‘everyone knows their place’ in society. Not much different than Aristotle and Socrates. In the UK we can judge a child’s earning power at 33 years of age when they are around 13 months old! School seems to ensure that this status quo.
It reminds me of the Roman Empire’s way of ensure that the population did not riot
“Give them bread and the circus” (in other words feed society physically and ensure that they are kept amused.
Caroline LH
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Do you think that developing "mathematical problem solving" skills plays any kind of role in facing those challenges?
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Hi Jacinto,
One aspect of learning that has very little research given to it is in the area of developing question asking skills for the LEARNER. The most important problem solving skill is asking the right question. Because no attention or value is given to this core learning skill right through schooling, students often are in a sate of high stress when they get to college and have to start asking their own questions and have not been helped to ask in all the ten or so years before. The average number of questions asked by school pupils is one a month. How skilful would one be at tennis for example if one only got the chance to hit a ball just once a month! One of the great blocks to student questions is the old one of "I did not want to look stupid!"
When a student asks a question, doesn't that mean they have engaged with the subject at their level of understanding? It should therefore be possible to assess a student on the questions they ask rather than their answers.
What do you think?
Laurence Smith, Independent Educator
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This question applies to all students- whether working on a dissertation or thesis, whether following the model most common in the US or that implemented in most of the rest of the world. Also I might like to quote you for my upcoming book with Sage on the topic, so may come back to you with that request.
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This is a long (and interesting) discussion tread I'm just entering. A lot of common mistakes have been pointed out and perhaps also the two that spring to my mind.
- Not having clearly defined and well formulated aims. As an examiner (MSc/PhD), I frequently come across descriptions of aims which are little more than nonsensical platitudes. "The aim of my thesis was to study...some subject", which is like saying that the aim of research is doing research. Whether your research project is a curiosity-driven fundamental science project, or an need-driven applied research project, you should be able to clearly explain why your work is important in a broader context and how your research will advance the state-of-the-art.
- Believing everything published in the scientific literature. Authors often get away with publishing papers with very assertive titles and bold conclusions, which sometimes are unfortunately based on weak, limited data and/or flawed experiments. Learning to critically examine the experimental data presented in the literature and to draw your own conclusions instead of only relying on what the authors have concluded, is a very important step in scientific maturity and it should occur no later than during the PhD period. Journal clubs are good for training critical examination of the literature.
I should add that this is not a mistake only made by students, but also much too often by the established scientific community. If conclusions which happen to be wrong are cited enough times, they become "truths" and dogmas, which may take decades to get rid of.
Why do policy makers give so much emphasis on professional education, while neglecting quality education in India?
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All countries in the world are equal competitors for elevating the status of highly developed countries. Some countries have attained more speedy progress than the other countries. India could not reach the level of other south eastern nations because of various socio-political reasons. The policies regarding professional education are good in India. In the execution of the policies are paid scant attention. So, creation of needed professional skills becomes a problem to the civic society due to implications concerning equity, quality and quantity. Can we treat higher education as a private good?
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Seconly ly it is the economicic view point that drastically affectingt he engineering educationin addition to the normal academic astandarrds you observe.
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I have been invited to take part in a conference on the role of evidence in creating science education policy. I am thinking of broadening the debate about the role of evidence in developing policy and to what extent such evidence should be 'scientific'. I have a number of questions I am working with such as, what is evidence? What evidence counts? And to what extent should it be scientific?
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Hi Cristina,
Very good question! Policy, in general, should be evidence based. But, evidence alone is not sufficient to make effective policy. That is why, for example, although there may be a positive correlation between class size and educational outcomes, not all schools have, say, 12 kids in Canadian classrooms, and while Australian government is in the process of introducing performance-based pay for Australian teachers, the move has divided the teaching profession and education scholars who – using evidence – argue for and against the policy.
“Scientific” evidence! That is a phrase by positivists who may be biased towards quantifiable evidence (e.g., school performance/ graduation rate/number of honours students etc improved by about 12% when the number of teachers or teachers’ salaries increased by 3%). That may be scientific evidence that can inform policy. How about evidence that is not quantifiable, that is not scientific such as teacher narratives of experience that may not be generalizable? Do we reject teacher experiences because they are nor scientific? I say no we cannot.
Thus, scientific evidence-based educational policy is important. But perhaps equally important are other variables such as interests of various actors and institutions (President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Mr. Hagel, is being criticized for saying that a ‘lobby’ group was too influential in policy making process by the Government of the United States); legal parameters and public acceptance (an illustration: we have ‘Afrocentric’ schools in Toronto, Canada – see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/17/toronto-africentric-school-approved.html). Using evidence, most of which is not scientific, it has been shown that such schools are effective. I personally support them. In some societies such a policy/school would be branded racist).
Best wishes
James Alan Oloo
Faculty of Education
University of Regina
Canada
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What are the ways of analyzing data from multiple case studies?
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I want to know if there are more valuable analyses than just doing the frequencies. Some researches mention that mean could be used while other said not to use the mean but the mode and I really don't know what each could indicate. Others said chi- square is useful and still others said factor analysis is better.
Could anyone help please?
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Likert-type data can be tested a number of different ways, all depending on your hypotheses. The progression should be from a research problem to a research question, to a system of research hypotheses that "surround" your hypotheses. Once you have identified your hypotheses, you will have automatically identified what your dependent variable (that which is measured) and your independent variable (that which defines your groups, or modulating variable). As an example if one hypothesis states "There was a statistically significant difference in the mean value of perception of statistical instruction (the dependent variable) between male and female students (the independent variable for this hypothesis) in XYZ statistics class. Now you use the Mann-Whitney to test for a S/S/D. If you have an independent variable that has three groups or factions, you would use the Kruskal-Wallis. Now, if you are looking for a correlation between age of students (independent variable) and the perceived value of statistics instruction (dependent variable) you would use a correlation test such as the Pearson or Spearman. So, make a long story endless, testing Likert-type data is dependent on the hypothesis that you are positing.
Ps. I teach research statistics, and would be glad to help in anyway you would like, simply email me at kinkead@msn.com and I'd be glad to work with you (no charge, I'm one of those statistics nuts that loves to see students succeed with quantitative analysis).
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To run cointegration models between literacy rate and economic growth, time series data is required, but it is impossible to get time series data on literacy rate. Therefore, can we consider primary enrollment rate as proxy variable to literacy rate? Where at least one person became literate in the society. Can we consider it in this connection? Otherwise if there is any other time series proxy variable to literacy rate please let me know.
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literacy in society to explain the level of economic development and growth is best explained by human capital proxied by secondary and tertiary education (attained or enrolment). Data on literacy rate of developed nation is misleading because of the huge gap between official data and literacy in practice
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I am interested in hearing personal experiences of people in technical professions (education or in environmental sciences) or course developers that have used blended (eLearning and live instruction) and eLearning-only modules for job training and continuing education.
Were learning outcomes for eLearning only comparable, better, or worse than blended environment? Why? Suggestions for recent, relevant journal articles would be of interest as well.
**Clarification: When I say e-learning, I am interested in the asynchronous type, self-paced, which includes automatic assessments and has interactivity throughout.**
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A lot depends on the quality of the e-learning modules and their purpose. Unfortunately, there are examples of industry or educational institutions using e-learning modules more as a method of checking a box. If they are truly interactive and allow the option of researching questions as they come up e-learning modules can be a great tool for introducing new information or practicing techniques. They also may work well for introducing nuanced change to a technology for which the student has a good foundational understanding. It is important to remember that for most technical education, the goal is that the student will be able to use the new knowledge to complete some sort of tangible project. Unless that project exists only in the virtual realm, some sort of non virtual component is needed to reinforce the learning and give confidence to the learner.
While I have used excellent asynchronous e-learning modules, I favor a blended learning approach as both a student and an educator. Human to human observation is an important component of both teaching and learning processes. Electronic communication such as Skype is second best.
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Do you think there is a potential for using social networks in collaborative learning projects (in science, languages, etc.) between schools in different locations? Any ideas? research papers? resources?
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Sure, there is lot of learning provided the LEARNERS share their challenges, insights and learning in a very simple common language. Hope such Projects could be initiated between say students of grade 8 or 9 - Science, Social Science (India) and any other similar age group students from other countries ! WOULD LOVE TO FACILITATE, any takers ? ? ?
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I am currently working on my literature review for my doctoral dissertation. I hope to bring a new perspective to ASC research.
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The following articles are not focused on struggling students in middle school, but may serve as a good starting points for your search:
Goetz, T., Cronjaeger, H., Frenzel, A., Lüdtke, O. & Hall, N. (2010) Academic Self-Concept and Emotion Relations: Domain Specificity and Age Effects. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35 (1), 44-58.
Huang, C. (2011) Self-Concept and Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Relations. Journal of School Psychology, 49, 505-528.
O'Mara, A.J., Marsh, H.W., Craven, R.G. & Debus, R.L. (2006) Do Self-Concept Interventions Make A Difference? A Synergistic Blend of Construct Validation and Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychologist, 41, 181-206.
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In particular, First Principle of Instructions; Task /Problem-Cantered, Activation , Demonstration , Application, and Integration.
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Hi Samah,
I think they are the same expectations as for any teaching enterprise. Establishing a safe learning environment, a rapport with students, and demonstrated excellence in content and pedagogy. There might be the added dimension in tertiary institutions that the teaching is based on scholarship - i.e. based on research of effective teaching.
Hope this helps, Kevin. 
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Specially cases in which it was used in a single course, Is there a good and free internet platform that you can recommend?
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Hi, i am currently implementing Eportfolio on otolaryngology residents. I created a web page i personally design (for each student) at google sites, you can also create a blog. The drawbacks of using an already created portfolio are: larger time spent, technical demands of each software and the issue of privacy (since some eportfolios can publish your results). I beleive in the reflective nature of eportfolio instead of a pure sumative approach. I find an increase in my residents´motivation and involvement in their own learning.
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I am conducting a dissertation entitled "Deployment Program for Nursing Graduates Preparing for Global Workplace".
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One great model for training needs assessment is Wedman's performance pyramid needsassessment.missouri.edu The model considers both the abilities and skills of the learners and the institutional environment necessary to support change. The link above provides information and tools for performing the assessment. Good luck on your study!
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Regarding the cooperation of the parents?
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Co-curricular activities are those outside the scope of a specific course, but that relate to the subject matter.  A good example is a student organization.  Co-curricular activities should have sole level of faculty involvement.
Extra-curricular activities, such as sports, do not generally have faculty involvement, but likely have university staff.  
Personal/social activities should have no faculty involvement or interference, for privacy reasons.
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Being a reviewer is a funny business. You don't get any real training, you just do it. And after you have sent your feedback to the editor you can be left feeling that you have been too harsh, or not harsh enough. I feel there is scope, once the editor has made their decision, for them to email both reviewers and say Reviewer A said this and Reviewer B said that (still anonymous). That way reviewers could moderate themselves and work out if they are in the middle of the bell curve or if their comments are a little extreme.
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@Naomi. Perhaps it is a discipline-specific thing! I have rarely had any feedback from editors (except for their thanks). I mainly review articles connected with HE, HE pedagogy and educational theory - do you think that might make a difference?
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Currently, I am in the process of developing an after school program to provide Art activities and lessons to middle school students in the City of Virginia Beach and would ask for any feedback or recommendations from educators who have insight in this area.
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I m running a Sunday morning school for children for art activities. Your timing should be possibly in the morning when they are not burdened with class work. Making children engage in art activities in the morning will help them warming up their brains for better attention.
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Interactive technologies (such as mobile applications, social media, games) emphasize some thinking skills such as quick response, multitasking, on the other side interactive technologies might lead us to lose other thinking skills that might be vital for creativity. Any ideas?
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One creative function of the visual aspect of IT is simply that one can see what one is thinking, and thereby, potentially, modify, manipulate, share what one is thinking; in a sense, makes the abstract concrete in a convenient, straightforward manner.
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My research project is looking at practical teaching and learning methods using drama and theatre for vocational training with adult males in a 'working prison'.
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I advised a recent dissertation on impacts of vocational training for inmates on recidivism in the state of Oklahoma in the USA. If it might be useful to you, I can send you more information and even a pdf of the dissertation. Please let me know if you are interested.
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In a correspondence analysis one evaluates which variable's category corresponds with one category of the other variable. In essence, one obtains two (or more) dimensions (or factors) that determines the hidden structure in the relation between both variables. Each category of each variable is represented by one point in a Catersian plane where the axes represent each dimension (or factor).
So, how close should the euclidian distance between two categories be to consider correspondence effective?
I think that a good approximation is:
A very strong correspondence of 0.0 to 0.1
A strong correspondence of 0.1 to 0.2
A middle correspondence of 0.2 to 0.3
A weak correspondence of 0.3 to 0.4
A very weak correspondence of 0.4 to 0.5.
Because, for example, a distance of 0.500 implicates a minimal distance in one dimension of 0.354 and a maximal distance of 0.500.
And, a distance of 0.100 implicates a minimal distance in one dimension of 0.071 and a maximal distance of 0.100.
And, a weight score of 1.000 determines completely one dimension (or factor).
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hi guys
i think in CA the most important thing is the inner product and the angle between the vectors not the euclidean distance , ofcourse if you use other metrics ( hyperbolic ) that related to angle it might helps the best
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My research is looking at the way in which we can improve vocational teacher education at the higher level. I want to assess the way in which teachers use pd in their practice and was looking at the question of whether or not pd is used as a one off or how we can measure its impact in changing teaching practice.
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There's been an interesting development in recent years within professional associations (eg., Australian Computer Society, & various Medical Colleges), Work Integrated Learning (WIL), & the use of e-portfolios (in the broad sense of the term as user-controlled spaces for managing records of achievement, career interests, reflections on professional learning, etc) as an ongoing "life long learning" & sustainable approach to *monitoring* development over time. In the case of the ACS records of continuing professional development are mapped against a set of industry-defined competencies developed internationally by SFIA. In the case of teachers in Australia 2012 saw the introduction of national standards (also described in terms of competencies) & already a number of jurisdictions are mapping CPD against these standards.
Could you help me concerning the Item Response Theory and Its item and test parameters?
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According to the Item Respons Theory, which are the item and test parameters? What are their meanings? How are they using?
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Hi Irfan, Here's a brief run-down. It's too brief and over-simplified. IRT is a big field, not one model, and no one set of assumptions, parameterization description, etc., can do it justice. But, this is probably what most people who you meet on the street and talk about IRT mean by IRT. IRT models (also latent trait models) relate test item performance to theoretical underlying quantities (abilities, traits) thought to be measured by the collection of test items. Typical output include item parameters, test characteristics, and person ability estimates. Item parameters include discrimination (a), difficulty (or threshold or level) (b), and sometimes guessing (c). Person ability is represented with theta (q). Item discrimination conveys the strength (and direction) of the relationship between the test item and the latent trait. It is analogous to a factor loading in factor analysis: the correlation between the latent trait and the item response. Item difficulty describes how hard the item is. If the item is yes/no, if you know the item difficulty you know the level of the latent trait at which a randomly selected person from the population will have even odds of answering "yes" vs. "no". It gets more complicated if the item responses are categorical. Item guessing is used in educational and achievement test settings where multiple choice test items are administered and even people of very low ability have some (random) chance of getting a correct response. Person ability is the latent variable. By convention is assumed to follow a unit normal distribution in the population (mean of 0, standard deviation of 1). Often, items will be summarized with Item response functions which are simply cumulative probability plots of the probability of responding "yes" vs "no" as a function of ability (q). Sometimes items are summarized with item information functions, which are basically plots of the first derivative of the item response function. In the case of binary items these are peaked curves that are at their max over the item difficulty and the degree of peakedness is proportional to the item discrimination. Think bandwidth-fidelity paradox. Item information and response functions are additive, and when so expressed are described as test information and response functions. Test information is a good replacement for the classical test theory conceptualization of reliability. Here's your homework: de Gruijter and van der Kamp, in Statistical models in psychological and educational testing. (Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, 1984). Hambleton and Swaminathan, Item response theory: principles and applications. 1985 Lord, 1953 Educ Psychol Meas 4:517-49 Weiss and Yoes, in Advances in educational and psychological testing: Theory and applications Hambleton et al., Eds. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 1990). Reeve B. An Introduction to Modern Measurement Theory http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/areas/cognitive/immt.pdf Wikipedia has a nice page on IRT - Rich
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High-order thinking skills vs High-order cognitive skills.
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"Cognition" is a term signifying general mental operations, such as pattern recognition, language processing, etc. "Thinking," on the other hand, is subsumed under "cognition," but it is a problematic term because of the difficulty in determining just what "thinking" is. At this point, there is a growing consensus that "thinking" occurs only during problem solving activities. What most people engage in when they believe that they are "thinking" is actually just reminiscence. When not engaged in problem solving, the brain enters what is known as its "default state," in which no thinking occurs.
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Which technique of measuring reliability is most appropriate for attitude scales?
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Hi Erlinda. A good explanation of inter-item correlation can be found here http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/reltypes.php
To do this in SPSS go to Analyze - Scale - Reliability Analysis - Statistics and then click on 'inter-item correlations'. Inter-item correlation is most useful when you are using a scale with only very few items, otherwise I'd suggest Cronbach alpha. As others in this discussion have noted an alpha score of .7 and above is generally considered to be evidence of reliability, but just be a little bit careful because when it all comes down to it the .7 number is more or less arbitrary (although, granted, widely agreed on). In general, though, the higher the better. Hope that helps.
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Vocational education and training ist a booming market, but there are only a few instruments to prove the quality seriously. I am interested in the construction of appropriate methods to prove the efficacy of various trainigs and therefore I collect indicators and quality aspects. When you think of a special training or educational concept, what are the important specific goals that must be achieved and how can they be evaluated (effectively)?
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Dear Professor,
I think one of the weaknesses in the approach of the training is to ensure monitoring and measuring the transfer of concepts delivered. Monitoring and transfer. Now this delays the certification involves more time and greater allocation of resources to try to ensure the quality of the educational process.
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My dissertation proposal seeks to examine preserice teachers attending an urban teacher resident program for dispositions that enhance teaching and learning of non-white, low income students in urban classrooms. I'm looking to determine how the embedding of culturally relevant pedagogy in the instruction and curriculum of the resident program support, extend and enhance these dispositions.
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Dear Misha,
As important as examining best support teaching in that context, is identifying if the teachers how self-efficacy they are to teach in that conditions.
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Having returned from the United States to Colombia, I have found that my students almost always use the "we-can't-do-that" expression. I wish to expose them to innovative ways of thinking. I also wish to help them see things from various perspectives and basically I wonder if Research Gate can be a good tool to enhance discovery, creativity, and innovation.
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Hi everybody here!
I have extensive experience in involving my students in various web initiatives. For the first time I did this in 2004 when, along with my students (six groups of about thirty students each), we presented seminars in the classroom on the site of circuit-fantasia.com:
In 2008, I made the biggest web experiment involving my students (ten subgroups of about 15 students each) in Wikibooks. I suggested to them to join Circuit Idea wikibook that I had started a year ago and to present the labs and lectures:
Imagine each of the ten subgroups had its own web page. Here is, for example, the page of the group 67a:
Then we created the interesting circuit story about the Ohm's experiment presented in an unusual way:
I joined ReserchGate in the beginning of this year and I decided to join my students to this scientific sociaty. During the summer semester (02 - 05.2013), I devoted a few minutes on each lecture and lab to introduce them to the development of discussions in which I participated and to consider the result (as you probably guess, I asked questions and participated in topics related to the material that I was teaching).
I spent the final part of the last lab especially to ResearchGate. My students and I, all together, composed and uploaded the interesting question below about the relation between passive and active electrical elements:
As you probably guessed, my idea was, in this way, to motivate students... and indeed the best of them were enthusiastic... but... in my opinion, the RG society is not ready for such experiments... When someone is doing something new and overcomes obstacles with much effort, he/she needs a little support ... and if does not get it, the initiative just dies...
Regards, Cyril
Has anyone looped a classroom before?
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I am doing a research paper and would like to know any positive or negative experiences you may have had, also your opinion as a parent would be helpful. I am looking also for more recent sources as I have found a lot that are from the late 1990s. I am not a teacher, I am just interested in an alternative to the classic classroom structure.
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Hello, I am an educator having taught in the US for a few years and now in Switzerland. Although I am in undergrad and grad education, my experience with looping is from the perspective of a parent. Here in Switzerland looping is the norm in public and private education. The teacher advances with the class for 2 to 3 years and my experience has been that the students benefit from this in that they have a comfort level with the teacher that enhances their learning experience. The teacher on the other hand is as well able to observe, understand and manage a child's cognitive and emotional progress better from one year to another. Based on this he/she is better able to guide, motivate and push the students based on their varying levels of development. The down side to looping in my opinion is that the child does not get exposed to different styles, skills and attitudes of teachers leading to possible high levels of complacency and comfort.
Which are the alternative assessment methods in education? Rubric, check lists, scoring key or self-assessment, peer assessment ?
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Which are the alternative assessment methods in education? Rubric, check lists, scoring key or self-assessment, peer assessment ?
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Nice list of assessment methods [cf. Zane Wubbena]. However, for several reasons, it will not be very useful for most of my colleagues. First, due to the Bologna reform in EU or other political contexts outside Europe (e.g. China), most often assessors don't have much freedom to choose their own assessment methods. It's all prescribed e.g. in so-called module descriptions (note the politically-correct euphemistic term 'description' instead of 'prescription'!). Even today-students will protest (unconsciously taking party with politics) if you would try to divert from what is prescribed in those modules, so you might have a hard time explaining faculty why you did so. Don't believe me? Try it out, I did so. Above, I was talking about summative evaluation used to yield final course grades, not just interim marks for feedback as part of the teaching-learning cycle. For such formative assessment I miss any formal / empirical evidence as to the effectiveness & efficiency of each listed method. Clearly, there are gross differences, e.g. 'annotated bibliography' versus 'project'. Furthermore, conceptually, the 'methods' belong to distinct categories, e.g. 'learning contract' vs. 'orals'. Some 'methods' may be used on their own, other 'methods' play out their strength in combination. In other words, there is no guiding principle behind the list: it looks arbitrary, without insightful recommendations when to use what and when not. The most important critique from my point of view is a complete lack of crucial information about how to apply the 'method' and how to process the diverse sorts of data (evidences of learning) that you will be collecting. Now this issue is all-important if we are talking about 'method', because it is the very essence of 'method' that it tells you 'the way to go'. E.g., take 'direct observation' or 'observation' (what's the difference, anyway?): how do you go about (directly or indirectly) observing each and any of your 50+ students such that you will have a reliable, valid and content-rich protocol of their learning (or not) of all the concepts and skills that you teach AND to give your 50+ students timely and personally feedback about their progress (or not)? Ever heard of teacher burn-out? I'm not even talking about the much neglected issue of how to turn such qualitative information into a representative score, mark or grade (although this problem is essentially solved by my performance scoring system PASS). Summing up: the list of methods is there, but it lacks structure, criteria for choosing and combining, guidelines for preparing and applying it in one's course, and examples or references. Just names, no substance, at least not on this website. My recommendation: just read one or two of the top 5 books on classroom assessment out there. Don't worry, if one of the 'methods' from the list isn't in that book: probably, the authors did consider it, but judged it to not be worthwhile writing about it.
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Student centeredness is easier to understand than to define. In other words, which criteria must be satisfied and what is the corresponding evidence that is required to attest that a course is student-centered? How could the concept of student centeredness be operationalized so that faculty can aim at maximizing it?
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What a great question! So many aspects of teaching and learning are hard to operationalize. Perhaps some measures could be: how often the instructor is responsive to student(s), how often students ask self-generated questions (and how many of these the instructor responds to), and one very good measure (in my experience teaching at the school as well as college level) is how tentative and flexible the lesson plan is - does the instructor plan different routes depending on student response(s)? Or does s/he go into class determined to do 'this this this and that'. Another suggestion: how much of the classroom discourse is by students, how much by the instructor.
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With this question I would like to reflect on both the value of more fundamental ánd the value of applied research in education. I am wondering if the value that is now so openly placed on more applied research can be traced to historic developments and maybe even economic ones?
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Fleur, as you noted, there has been a significant increase in the pursuit of practice-based approaches to educational research and program development. Mostly, this seems to result from a universal trend to support quality education with proven science. Trends in education appear to be cyclical in nature and various approaches and educational methods are often revisited ever so often. I would tend to agree with you that focuses on practice-based educational research are driven by economic reasons, with educators and educational organizations aiming to get the most out of the curricula taught in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost possible. But, I also think that the current trend we are seeing has much to do with cross-over methods that very often bleed over from other disciplines, such as evidence-based medicine in clinical areas. The overall goal of practice-based education as I understand it is to provide the highest quality education possible. The best way to do this is to research what has and has not worked and why. There was a fairly comprehensive report concerning these quality pursuits a few years ago. The report contains a great deal of interesting information. I am attaching it here for you in case you want to read it when you get a chance. :)