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Volume 12 (2010): Issue 1 (June 2010)

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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1691-5534
ISSN
1691-4147
First Published
04 May 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 12 (2010): Issue 1 (June 2010)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1691-5534
ISSN
1691-4147
First Published
04 May 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

7 Articles
Open Access

Self-Evaluation as a Tool in Developing Environmental Responsibility

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 5 - 26

Abstract

Self-Evaluation as a Tool in Developing Environmental Responsibility

The purpose of the paper is to share the findings of an action research project aimed at exploring the impact of transformative pedagogies on pre-service teachers following an environmental education programme (EEP), offered by the University of Malta. Assessment and evaluation practices of environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable education (ESD) programmes tend to cater just for knowledge content and skills, usually failing to target the development of attitudes and values that promote sustainable lifestyles. The EEP was specifically designed to target the development of pro-environmental values by actively involving students in their learning mainly and providing opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation. The paper analyses qualitative research data obtained from evaluation questionnaires about every study unit in the programme; reflective questionnaires drawing upon the students' reflective journals; a focus group interview and in depth one-to-one interviews with individual students. The paper provides students' evaluations about the course design and effectiveness that should provide insights for course developers and evaluators seeking to develop EE/ESD programmes that address individual needs through learner centred pedagogies.

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • environmental education
  • transformative pedagogies
  • self-evaluation
  • journal keeping
  • reflective writing
Open Access

Environmental Responsibility: Teachers' Views

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 27 - 36

Abstract

Environmental Responsibility: Teachers' Views

This research paper investigates the views of the teachers of elementary and secondary schools in Greece with regard to who bears the responsibility for the state of the environment, as well as who should bear the cost of its protection. The research was carried out at the Environmental Education Centre of Kissavos-Mavrovounio. The research subjects were 144 teachers undergoing training in environmental education. The teachers believe that today the quality of both the natural and the urban environments worsens with those most responsible, in order of importance, being the industrialists and businesses, public administration and control mechanisms, politicians and laws, the citizens as consumers, judges and the judicial system and the farmers as producers. According to the respondents, the parties less responsible are the journalists and the mass media, researchers and scientists and, finally, teachers and the educational system in general. With regard to who should bear the cost of environmental protection, the vast majority think that the government should be the one to pay. The ideas of indirect and direct taxation, the adoption of a lower standard of living are much less accepted.

Keywords

  • environmental responsibility
  • natural environment
  • urban environment
  • environmental protection
Open Access

Inspiring Teachers for Energy Education: An Illustrative Case Study in the Latvian Context

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 37 - 50

Abstract

Inspiring Teachers for Energy Education: An Illustrative Case Study in the Latvian Context

Energy education has become a priority in light of the aims and tasks of the second half of UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. This paper focuses on the case of inspiring teachers for energy education in the Latvian context, implemented within the COMENIUS project Inspire School Education by Non-formal Learning. The structure and content aspects of the in-service teacher training course are provided after the introduction to the theme. The methodological approach used in this study is integration of illustrative case study with the elements of programme implementation and programme effects case study. The data were collected by survey, focus group and questionnaire to obtain the teachers' feedback on the training course, its materials and to receive the teachers' self-evaluation on the implementation of the lesson units at their schools. It was concluded that the course had been very successful both from the point of view of the teachers and the course leaders. The described case study could serve as an example for those who would be interested in the design and implementation of similar courses in other contexts and circumstances.

Keywords

  • teachers
  • energy education
  • training course
  • lesson unit
  • case study
  • sustainable development
Open Access

Teachers as Researchers: Bringing Teachers' Voice to the Educational Landscape

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 51 - 65

Abstract

Teachers as Researchers: Bringing Teachers' Voice to the Educational Landscape

There are a number of studies addressing the possible benefits of teachers being engaged in research, but there is little research that explores what teachers themselves think about their role as researchers and how they evaluate themselves as researchers. The aim of this study is to present a small scale investigation into teachersí self-perception of doing research in mainstream schools. By doing research, teachers express their voice; teachers' voice is an expression of their frames of reference. This is also a way of making their perspective public. In Latvia, teachers do not have an active voice in the educational theory and research. This research indicates that research initiated by teachers provides a framework for strengthening teachers' voice. The research data present an analysis of teachers' self-evaluation of their research competency, ability to organize their own research activity and that of their children. The study highlights the factors that determine teachers' willingness to engage in doing research, as well as their expertise to organize and motivate children's research. The data from group interviews and questionnaires show a genuine degree of agreement on a number of main issues, such as teachers' motivation in doing research, their expertise to motivate children in doing their research, as well as teachers' openness to creative and imaginative insights brought about by the primary school children in their research projects. This study highlights several significant correlations between teachers' ability to carry out their own research and their ability to engage children in a meaningful research.

Keywords

  • research skills
  • creativity
  • teachers' voice
  • research environment
Open Access

Sustainable Leadership of Senior Students: The Case Study of Madeira

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 66 - 74

Abstract

Sustainable Leadership of Senior Students: The Case Study of Madeira

Secondary education plays a key role in developing sustainable leadership skills in students. This research analyses the characteristics of sustainable leadership of students at 2 secondary schools in Madeira Island (Portugal) in order to determine whether the type of school or gender of the students affect eight distinct domains: 1) self management; 2) interpersonal relations; 3) problem solving/decision making; 4) cognitive critical development/analysis; 5) organization and planning; 6) self-confidence; 7) diversity awareness; 8) technology. The Student Leadership Outcomes Inventory (SLOI) (Vann, 2000) was used to measure the leadership experiences of 158 senior students in these eight areas. Participants revealed moderate levels of sustainable leadership in the eight sub-scales. The findings show that students of Madeira Island who finish secondary education possess several well-developed sustainable leadership skills.

Keywords

  • sustainable leadership
  • sustainable leadership skills
  • sustainable leadership abilities
  • competencies
Open Access

Teachers' Perceptions on What Inclusion Needs

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 75 - 84

Abstract

Teachers' Perceptions on What Inclusion Needs

A decade has passed since the equal right of all children to quality education regardless of their mental or physical abilities was declared by the Education Law (Izglītības likums, 1998). During that interlude, the Latvian educational system went through a period of tremendous change from total segregation of children with special needs in special schools to so-called "correction" classes in general schools, then to the special classes in general schools and finally to inclusion of special needs children in regular classrooms. Thus, the idea of inclusive education has been developed and implemented in various forms, which causes people to have a different understanding of what inclusive education means and impedes children with special needs from learning together with their peers in general classrooms. This article reflects on the findings of a qualitative study that was designed and conducted to investigate different perceptions of pre-school and primary school teachers on the preconditions for inclusive education.

Keywords

  • inclusion of children with special needs
  • inclusive school
  • inclusive school culture
Open Access

2010

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 85 - 99

Abstract

2010

This study explores pre-service teachers' views on the features and causes of social exclusion in the context of educational unsustainability. The data from expert questionnaires, assessment of research participants' personal experience with social exclusion in educational setting, their current understanding of the problem and individual suggestions for solving it were analysed qualitatively. The results indicate that, in teachers' opinion, social exclusion in education can be caused by subjective and objective factors – pupils' personal characteristics, school climate, parental influence and social causes. The research participants particularly emphasise teacher's role in reducing pupils' social exclusion by adhering to values, such as fairness, equality, empathy, cooperation and respect. The research results highlight the need for addressing the issue of social exclusion in teacher education programmes by raising future teachers' awareness of the problem and their responsibility to overcome it.

Keywords

  • social exclusion
  • educational unsustainability
  • pre-service teachers
  • teacher education
7 Articles
Open Access

Self-Evaluation as a Tool in Developing Environmental Responsibility

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 5 - 26

Abstract

Self-Evaluation as a Tool in Developing Environmental Responsibility

The purpose of the paper is to share the findings of an action research project aimed at exploring the impact of transformative pedagogies on pre-service teachers following an environmental education programme (EEP), offered by the University of Malta. Assessment and evaluation practices of environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable education (ESD) programmes tend to cater just for knowledge content and skills, usually failing to target the development of attitudes and values that promote sustainable lifestyles. The EEP was specifically designed to target the development of pro-environmental values by actively involving students in their learning mainly and providing opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation. The paper analyses qualitative research data obtained from evaluation questionnaires about every study unit in the programme; reflective questionnaires drawing upon the students' reflective journals; a focus group interview and in depth one-to-one interviews with individual students. The paper provides students' evaluations about the course design and effectiveness that should provide insights for course developers and evaluators seeking to develop EE/ESD programmes that address individual needs through learner centred pedagogies.

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • environmental education
  • transformative pedagogies
  • self-evaluation
  • journal keeping
  • reflective writing
Open Access

Environmental Responsibility: Teachers' Views

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 27 - 36

Abstract

Environmental Responsibility: Teachers' Views

This research paper investigates the views of the teachers of elementary and secondary schools in Greece with regard to who bears the responsibility for the state of the environment, as well as who should bear the cost of its protection. The research was carried out at the Environmental Education Centre of Kissavos-Mavrovounio. The research subjects were 144 teachers undergoing training in environmental education. The teachers believe that today the quality of both the natural and the urban environments worsens with those most responsible, in order of importance, being the industrialists and businesses, public administration and control mechanisms, politicians and laws, the citizens as consumers, judges and the judicial system and the farmers as producers. According to the respondents, the parties less responsible are the journalists and the mass media, researchers and scientists and, finally, teachers and the educational system in general. With regard to who should bear the cost of environmental protection, the vast majority think that the government should be the one to pay. The ideas of indirect and direct taxation, the adoption of a lower standard of living are much less accepted.

Keywords

  • environmental responsibility
  • natural environment
  • urban environment
  • environmental protection
Open Access

Inspiring Teachers for Energy Education: An Illustrative Case Study in the Latvian Context

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 37 - 50

Abstract

Inspiring Teachers for Energy Education: An Illustrative Case Study in the Latvian Context

Energy education has become a priority in light of the aims and tasks of the second half of UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. This paper focuses on the case of inspiring teachers for energy education in the Latvian context, implemented within the COMENIUS project Inspire School Education by Non-formal Learning. The structure and content aspects of the in-service teacher training course are provided after the introduction to the theme. The methodological approach used in this study is integration of illustrative case study with the elements of programme implementation and programme effects case study. The data were collected by survey, focus group and questionnaire to obtain the teachers' feedback on the training course, its materials and to receive the teachers' self-evaluation on the implementation of the lesson units at their schools. It was concluded that the course had been very successful both from the point of view of the teachers and the course leaders. The described case study could serve as an example for those who would be interested in the design and implementation of similar courses in other contexts and circumstances.

Keywords

  • teachers
  • energy education
  • training course
  • lesson unit
  • case study
  • sustainable development
Open Access

Teachers as Researchers: Bringing Teachers' Voice to the Educational Landscape

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 51 - 65

Abstract

Teachers as Researchers: Bringing Teachers' Voice to the Educational Landscape

There are a number of studies addressing the possible benefits of teachers being engaged in research, but there is little research that explores what teachers themselves think about their role as researchers and how they evaluate themselves as researchers. The aim of this study is to present a small scale investigation into teachersí self-perception of doing research in mainstream schools. By doing research, teachers express their voice; teachers' voice is an expression of their frames of reference. This is also a way of making their perspective public. In Latvia, teachers do not have an active voice in the educational theory and research. This research indicates that research initiated by teachers provides a framework for strengthening teachers' voice. The research data present an analysis of teachers' self-evaluation of their research competency, ability to organize their own research activity and that of their children. The study highlights the factors that determine teachers' willingness to engage in doing research, as well as their expertise to organize and motivate children's research. The data from group interviews and questionnaires show a genuine degree of agreement on a number of main issues, such as teachers' motivation in doing research, their expertise to motivate children in doing their research, as well as teachers' openness to creative and imaginative insights brought about by the primary school children in their research projects. This study highlights several significant correlations between teachers' ability to carry out their own research and their ability to engage children in a meaningful research.

Keywords

  • research skills
  • creativity
  • teachers' voice
  • research environment
Open Access

Sustainable Leadership of Senior Students: The Case Study of Madeira

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 66 - 74

Abstract

Sustainable Leadership of Senior Students: The Case Study of Madeira

Secondary education plays a key role in developing sustainable leadership skills in students. This research analyses the characteristics of sustainable leadership of students at 2 secondary schools in Madeira Island (Portugal) in order to determine whether the type of school or gender of the students affect eight distinct domains: 1) self management; 2) interpersonal relations; 3) problem solving/decision making; 4) cognitive critical development/analysis; 5) organization and planning; 6) self-confidence; 7) diversity awareness; 8) technology. The Student Leadership Outcomes Inventory (SLOI) (Vann, 2000) was used to measure the leadership experiences of 158 senior students in these eight areas. Participants revealed moderate levels of sustainable leadership in the eight sub-scales. The findings show that students of Madeira Island who finish secondary education possess several well-developed sustainable leadership skills.

Keywords

  • sustainable leadership
  • sustainable leadership skills
  • sustainable leadership abilities
  • competencies
Open Access

Teachers' Perceptions on What Inclusion Needs

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 75 - 84

Abstract

Teachers' Perceptions on What Inclusion Needs

A decade has passed since the equal right of all children to quality education regardless of their mental or physical abilities was declared by the Education Law (Izglītības likums, 1998). During that interlude, the Latvian educational system went through a period of tremendous change from total segregation of children with special needs in special schools to so-called "correction" classes in general schools, then to the special classes in general schools and finally to inclusion of special needs children in regular classrooms. Thus, the idea of inclusive education has been developed and implemented in various forms, which causes people to have a different understanding of what inclusive education means and impedes children with special needs from learning together with their peers in general classrooms. This article reflects on the findings of a qualitative study that was designed and conducted to investigate different perceptions of pre-school and primary school teachers on the preconditions for inclusive education.

Keywords

  • inclusion of children with special needs
  • inclusive school
  • inclusive school culture
Open Access

2010

Published Online: 07 Jun 2010
Page range: 85 - 99

Abstract

2010

This study explores pre-service teachers' views on the features and causes of social exclusion in the context of educational unsustainability. The data from expert questionnaires, assessment of research participants' personal experience with social exclusion in educational setting, their current understanding of the problem and individual suggestions for solving it were analysed qualitatively. The results indicate that, in teachers' opinion, social exclusion in education can be caused by subjective and objective factors – pupils' personal characteristics, school climate, parental influence and social causes. The research participants particularly emphasise teacher's role in reducing pupils' social exclusion by adhering to values, such as fairness, equality, empathy, cooperation and respect. The research results highlight the need for addressing the issue of social exclusion in teacher education programmes by raising future teachers' awareness of the problem and their responsibility to overcome it.

Keywords

  • social exclusion
  • educational unsustainability
  • pre-service teachers
  • teacher education

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