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Volume 12 (2010): Issue 2 (December 2010)

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 2 (December 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

10 Articles
Open Access

Finding a Place for Environmental Studies: Tertiary Institutions as a Locus of Practice for Education for Sustainability

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 5 - 16

Abstract

Finding a Place for Environmental Studies: Tertiary Institutions as a Locus of Practice for Education for Sustainability

Education for sustainability (EfS) involves not only curriculum, but also demands responses in terms of management of resources and of grounds. It is asserted here that inclusion of education for sustainability in the curriculum, whether in a school or university context, is hollow and insincere in the absence of practical and social action on site and perhaps beyond. The present study focuses on students' views of opportunities and barriers with regard to issues, such as maintenance of grounds and management of resources in a tertiary institution context. A cohort of approximately 140 third year primary teacher education students were surveyed to ascertain their views on the value of, barriers to and opportunities for practical sustainability projects conducted by students in their tertiary context. Such projects are a precursor to similar endeavours that could be undertaken in the students' school contexts.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • education
  • environment
  • engagement
  • students' consultation
Open Access

Developing and Applying a Critical and Transformative Model to Address ESD in Teacher Education

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 17 - 26

Abstract

Developing and Applying a Critical and Transformative Model to Address ESD in Teacher Education

A reflective case study approach, including focus interviews, reflective/reflexive journals and analysis of project-based works of 30 pre-service teachers participating in an undergraduate course was employed to investigate the discrepancy between the teachers' constructivist conceptions and the actual practice. The identified discrepancy seemed to be an outcome of the difficulty translating constructivism into teaching practice, but also of the misleading conception of constructivism as a homogeneous philosophy. Through reflective practice, participants were able to deconstruct and reconstruct their theories and practices of teaching in more emancipatory ways addressing issues of education for sustainable development (ESD). This case study helped understand the nature of change process towards teaching and learning for more sustainable futures.

Keywords

  • ESD
  • teacher education
  • transformative learning
  • action research
  • teaching methodology
Open Access

Qualitative Education for Roma Students: A Pedagogical Model for Sustainable Development

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 27 - 37

Abstract

Qualitative Education for Roma Students: A Pedagogical Model for Sustainable Development

Inclusion of Roma students in general classrooms at an early age (5-7 years) is the focus of this research to study the impact of parent and Roma teacher-assistants' involvement on the learning process of Roma minority students. Though Roma people have inhabited Latvia for centuries, a deeply ingrained prejudice towards Roma is persisting among the population at large, resulting in direct and indirect social discrimination. One of the most odious forms of discrimination against Roma is the practice of consigning Roma students to special schools after ‘their failure’ in the first years of regular elementary schools. Schools, as the primary formal societal institutions that students encounter, have an enormous responsibility in helping to forge a culture of equality, pluralism, tolerance and unity in diversity. This study investigates the development of intercultural learning and anti-bias classroom organisation in order to prevent institutional discrimination and promote the benefits of a culturally heterogeneous society.

Keywords

  • pedagogical model for inclusion
  • Roma students
  • multicultural education
  • inclusive classroom
  • Roma teacher-assistant
Open Access

Students' Independent Professional Activity in Pedagogical Practice

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 38 - 58

Abstract

Students' Independent Professional Activity in Pedagogical Practice

The topicality of the research is determined by the need for changes in higher education concerned with implementing the principles of sustainable education. The article focuses on teacher training, highlighting the teacher's profession as an attractive choice of one's career that permits to ensure the development of general and professional skills and an opportunity for new specialists to align with the labour market. The empirical study of students' understanding of their professional activity and of the conditions for its formation is conducted by applying structured interviews (of practice supervisors, students, academic staff); students and experts' questionnaire. Comparative analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and triangulation were used in case studies. As a result, a framework of pedagogical practice organisation has been created in order to form students' independent professional activity. The criteria and indicators of independent professional activity have been formulated and suggestions for designers of study programmes and organisers of the study process have been provided.

Keywords

  • students' independent professional activity
  • pedagogical practice
  • participatory action research
Open Access

The Relationship Between Teachers' Evaluations and Students' Learning Outcomes Using Multimedia Drills in Primary Education

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 59 - 69

Abstract

The Relationship Between Teachers' Evaluations and Students' Learning Outcomes Using Multimedia Drills in Primary Education

The present study highlights the implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) in education via the use of many educational software programs from the Internet, which every teacher can use with their students. Some learning materials are produced by individuals who are not aware of the pedagogical principles and do not know how to produce effective educational software. Therefore, the question arises: Are the teachers competent in choosing multimedia learning materials? And if they compose multimedia learning materials by themselves, are they aware of the features of multimedia which are effective or which hinder learning? The study was carried out to seek answers to these questions and find out the relationships between the teachers' evaluation of software used and the learning outcomes by students in primary education. The results are based on a correlation study where 34 multimedia drills and practice materials were used for learning. Each multimedia drill was evaluated by ten primary teachers, who had used these drills with their students and saw how the students managed with each particular drill. The evaluations by the teachers were gathered by means of questionnaires, using a 10-point scale covering 17 aspects of the drills. Each drill was used by 80 students of the 3rd form from the same schools. The learning outcomes provided by the students were evaluated by pre- and post-tests. The results of the study imply that the teachers were not able to recognise efficient multimedia learning materials.

Keywords

  • primary education
  • teachers' evaluation
  • learning outcomes
  • multimedia drills
Open Access

The Factors of Well-Being in Schools as a Living Environment According to Students' Evaluation

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 70 - 88

Abstract

The Factors of Well-Being in Schools as a Living Environment According to Students' Evaluation

How do students describe their quality of school life, based on their views about what is pleasant and unpleasant about the school? How is student welfare related to education for sustainability? Theories of the quality of school life and authentic identity constitute the theoretical background of this study. The school experiences of 185 Estonian and 161 Finnish students of different school types were studied by a semi-structured open questionnaire. The answers were analysed by the qualitative phenomenological method. The quality of school life of the students is diminished by the routine hierarchical working system and bad relations. It is supported by a cooperation-orientated atmosphere and meaningful learning experiences. The meaningfulness of school is sensed to be the most important factor in the students' evaluation of their school experiences.

Keywords

  • school experiences
  • pedagogical well-being
  • the meaning of school
  • ipseidentity
Open Access

Obtained General Competence of Students in Language Immersion Classes

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 89 - 96

Abstract

Obtained General Competence of Students in Language Immersion Classes

One of the key ideas of the language immersion methodology is to guarantee sustainable development for children from non-Estonian families in respect to their linguistic and social development. The most important conditions are creating flexible possibilities to participate in language immersion groups and classes and applying the language immersion methodology in everyday teaching process systematically. The present research seeks to highlight teachers' views on the sustainability of general competences of children who have completed the language immersion group in the kindergarten. The domain of general competences includes 32 sub-skills related to learning to learn and social skills, which were assessed by the teachers on a 5-point scale. For the sake of clear data analysis, the general competences have been divided into general competences fostering learning and learner-centred general competences. The present study showed that language immersion methodology favours applying child-centred pedagogy in the actual teaching process and supports the sustainability of children's linguistic and social development.

Keywords

  • language immersion
  • general competence
  • sustainable development
  • teaching process
  • coping
Open Access

Effecting Change Through Learning Networks: The Experience of the UK Teacher Education Network for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship (GC)

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 97 - 109

Abstract

Effecting Change Through Learning Networks: The Experience of the UK Teacher Education Network for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship (GC)

The article discusses and evaluates the experience of the UK Teacher Education Network for education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship (GC) as a community of practice dedicated to embedding ESD and GC across teacher education in the UK. The article sets out the global and UK policy context for ESD and GC and outlines the differing government support and guidance for ESD/GC within teacher education across the four nations of the UK. The development and activities of the Network as a community of practice are evaluated in relation to the original aims of the Network with respect to the development and sharing of good practice and the embedding of ESD/GC across teacher education in the UK. The article concludes by arguing that the Network is successful in the first of the aims as there is now a vibrant UK wide teacher education community of practice in ESD/GC whereby radical practice can be explored, questioned and shared. However, the rapidly changing government policy context for education particularly in England makes it difficult to predict how effectively the Network can affect policy change and/or long lasting change in course content so as to embed ESD/GC in teacher education across the UK. The authors suggest that the Network will need to work alongside new and existing alliances to try to convince policy makers of the critical need to ensure that new teachers are equipped to develop effective ESD/GC in schools.

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • global citizenship
  • community of practice
  • teacher education
Open Access

Maltese Youth and the Environment: A Qualitative Study

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 110 - 129

Abstract

Maltese Youth and the Environment: A Qualitative Study

The present study attempted to highlight the main processes of the acquisition and development of various environmental perspectives and puts forward suggestions on how youth can be better addressed in the light of the research findings. The present paper involved the use of a number of focus groups and a contextual study that examined the development of environmental education on the Maltese islands, considered the main local environmental issues and subsequently analysed the main causes and mechanisms that have shaped the development of the local environment and the Maltese people. The present research identifies a number of geographic and socio economic trends which have a strong impact on young people's knowledge. The results indicate relatively low positive behaviour towards the environment, and the main issue appears to be what is seen as the ‘costs’ involved in performing such pro-environmental actions. A pervasive sense of futility in environmental actions emerged with issues relating to the Maltese government and politics being the main reasons for this feeling. An environmental perspectives model was designed employing the technique of graphical display. The model illustrates how young people perceive the future of the Maltese environment through three Cartesian axes.

Keywords

  • environmental education
  • attitudes
  • behaviour
  • youth
Open Access

Washback Effects of Handouts on the Teaching and Learning Process in Higher Education Institutions in Ethiopia: Adama University in Focus

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 130 - 142

Abstract

Washback Effects of Handouts on the Teaching and Learning Process in Higher Education Institutions in Ethiopia: Adama University in Focus

The present study investigates the washback effects of handouts on the teaching and learning process in the higher education institutions of Ethiopia, particularly in Adama University. A descriptive survey and analytical research methods were employed in the present study. The subjects of the study included instructors and some selected students of the university. A questionnaire, an interview, a document and content analysis were employed to collect data. The data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The data collected through close-ended items of the questionnaire were analysed quantitatively using a chi-square. Whereas the data collected via some interview guides and some items of the questionnaire were analysed using percentage. Besides, the qualitative data gathered via open-ended items of the questionnaire, some items of the interview, content and document analysis were analysed qualitatively. The research results revealed that the way handouts are being prepared and used in higher education institutions of Ethiopia does not encourage active and independent learning. Some recommendations which are deemed crucial for alleviating the problem are suggested.

Keywords

  • handout
  • washback effect
  • teaching and learning process
  • higher education institution
10 Articles
Open Access

Finding a Place for Environmental Studies: Tertiary Institutions as a Locus of Practice for Education for Sustainability

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 5 - 16

Abstract

Finding a Place for Environmental Studies: Tertiary Institutions as a Locus of Practice for Education for Sustainability

Education for sustainability (EfS) involves not only curriculum, but also demands responses in terms of management of resources and of grounds. It is asserted here that inclusion of education for sustainability in the curriculum, whether in a school or university context, is hollow and insincere in the absence of practical and social action on site and perhaps beyond. The present study focuses on students' views of opportunities and barriers with regard to issues, such as maintenance of grounds and management of resources in a tertiary institution context. A cohort of approximately 140 third year primary teacher education students were surveyed to ascertain their views on the value of, barriers to and opportunities for practical sustainability projects conducted by students in their tertiary context. Such projects are a precursor to similar endeavours that could be undertaken in the students' school contexts.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • education
  • environment
  • engagement
  • students' consultation
Open Access

Developing and Applying a Critical and Transformative Model to Address ESD in Teacher Education

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 17 - 26

Abstract

Developing and Applying a Critical and Transformative Model to Address ESD in Teacher Education

A reflective case study approach, including focus interviews, reflective/reflexive journals and analysis of project-based works of 30 pre-service teachers participating in an undergraduate course was employed to investigate the discrepancy between the teachers' constructivist conceptions and the actual practice. The identified discrepancy seemed to be an outcome of the difficulty translating constructivism into teaching practice, but also of the misleading conception of constructivism as a homogeneous philosophy. Through reflective practice, participants were able to deconstruct and reconstruct their theories and practices of teaching in more emancipatory ways addressing issues of education for sustainable development (ESD). This case study helped understand the nature of change process towards teaching and learning for more sustainable futures.

Keywords

  • ESD
  • teacher education
  • transformative learning
  • action research
  • teaching methodology
Open Access

Qualitative Education for Roma Students: A Pedagogical Model for Sustainable Development

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 27 - 37

Abstract

Qualitative Education for Roma Students: A Pedagogical Model for Sustainable Development

Inclusion of Roma students in general classrooms at an early age (5-7 years) is the focus of this research to study the impact of parent and Roma teacher-assistants' involvement on the learning process of Roma minority students. Though Roma people have inhabited Latvia for centuries, a deeply ingrained prejudice towards Roma is persisting among the population at large, resulting in direct and indirect social discrimination. One of the most odious forms of discrimination against Roma is the practice of consigning Roma students to special schools after ‘their failure’ in the first years of regular elementary schools. Schools, as the primary formal societal institutions that students encounter, have an enormous responsibility in helping to forge a culture of equality, pluralism, tolerance and unity in diversity. This study investigates the development of intercultural learning and anti-bias classroom organisation in order to prevent institutional discrimination and promote the benefits of a culturally heterogeneous society.

Keywords

  • pedagogical model for inclusion
  • Roma students
  • multicultural education
  • inclusive classroom
  • Roma teacher-assistant
Open Access

Students' Independent Professional Activity in Pedagogical Practice

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 38 - 58

Abstract

Students' Independent Professional Activity in Pedagogical Practice

The topicality of the research is determined by the need for changes in higher education concerned with implementing the principles of sustainable education. The article focuses on teacher training, highlighting the teacher's profession as an attractive choice of one's career that permits to ensure the development of general and professional skills and an opportunity for new specialists to align with the labour market. The empirical study of students' understanding of their professional activity and of the conditions for its formation is conducted by applying structured interviews (of practice supervisors, students, academic staff); students and experts' questionnaire. Comparative analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and triangulation were used in case studies. As a result, a framework of pedagogical practice organisation has been created in order to form students' independent professional activity. The criteria and indicators of independent professional activity have been formulated and suggestions for designers of study programmes and organisers of the study process have been provided.

Keywords

  • students' independent professional activity
  • pedagogical practice
  • participatory action research
Open Access

The Relationship Between Teachers' Evaluations and Students' Learning Outcomes Using Multimedia Drills in Primary Education

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 59 - 69

Abstract

The Relationship Between Teachers' Evaluations and Students' Learning Outcomes Using Multimedia Drills in Primary Education

The present study highlights the implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) in education via the use of many educational software programs from the Internet, which every teacher can use with their students. Some learning materials are produced by individuals who are not aware of the pedagogical principles and do not know how to produce effective educational software. Therefore, the question arises: Are the teachers competent in choosing multimedia learning materials? And if they compose multimedia learning materials by themselves, are they aware of the features of multimedia which are effective or which hinder learning? The study was carried out to seek answers to these questions and find out the relationships between the teachers' evaluation of software used and the learning outcomes by students in primary education. The results are based on a correlation study where 34 multimedia drills and practice materials were used for learning. Each multimedia drill was evaluated by ten primary teachers, who had used these drills with their students and saw how the students managed with each particular drill. The evaluations by the teachers were gathered by means of questionnaires, using a 10-point scale covering 17 aspects of the drills. Each drill was used by 80 students of the 3rd form from the same schools. The learning outcomes provided by the students were evaluated by pre- and post-tests. The results of the study imply that the teachers were not able to recognise efficient multimedia learning materials.

Keywords

  • primary education
  • teachers' evaluation
  • learning outcomes
  • multimedia drills
Open Access

The Factors of Well-Being in Schools as a Living Environment According to Students' Evaluation

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 70 - 88

Abstract

The Factors of Well-Being in Schools as a Living Environment According to Students' Evaluation

How do students describe their quality of school life, based on their views about what is pleasant and unpleasant about the school? How is student welfare related to education for sustainability? Theories of the quality of school life and authentic identity constitute the theoretical background of this study. The school experiences of 185 Estonian and 161 Finnish students of different school types were studied by a semi-structured open questionnaire. The answers were analysed by the qualitative phenomenological method. The quality of school life of the students is diminished by the routine hierarchical working system and bad relations. It is supported by a cooperation-orientated atmosphere and meaningful learning experiences. The meaningfulness of school is sensed to be the most important factor in the students' evaluation of their school experiences.

Keywords

  • school experiences
  • pedagogical well-being
  • the meaning of school
  • ipseidentity
Open Access

Obtained General Competence of Students in Language Immersion Classes

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 89 - 96

Abstract

Obtained General Competence of Students in Language Immersion Classes

One of the key ideas of the language immersion methodology is to guarantee sustainable development for children from non-Estonian families in respect to their linguistic and social development. The most important conditions are creating flexible possibilities to participate in language immersion groups and classes and applying the language immersion methodology in everyday teaching process systematically. The present research seeks to highlight teachers' views on the sustainability of general competences of children who have completed the language immersion group in the kindergarten. The domain of general competences includes 32 sub-skills related to learning to learn and social skills, which were assessed by the teachers on a 5-point scale. For the sake of clear data analysis, the general competences have been divided into general competences fostering learning and learner-centred general competences. The present study showed that language immersion methodology favours applying child-centred pedagogy in the actual teaching process and supports the sustainability of children's linguistic and social development.

Keywords

  • language immersion
  • general competence
  • sustainable development
  • teaching process
  • coping
Open Access

Effecting Change Through Learning Networks: The Experience of the UK Teacher Education Network for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship (GC)

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 97 - 109

Abstract

Effecting Change Through Learning Networks: The Experience of the UK Teacher Education Network for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship (GC)

The article discusses and evaluates the experience of the UK Teacher Education Network for education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship (GC) as a community of practice dedicated to embedding ESD and GC across teacher education in the UK. The article sets out the global and UK policy context for ESD and GC and outlines the differing government support and guidance for ESD/GC within teacher education across the four nations of the UK. The development and activities of the Network as a community of practice are evaluated in relation to the original aims of the Network with respect to the development and sharing of good practice and the embedding of ESD/GC across teacher education in the UK. The article concludes by arguing that the Network is successful in the first of the aims as there is now a vibrant UK wide teacher education community of practice in ESD/GC whereby radical practice can be explored, questioned and shared. However, the rapidly changing government policy context for education particularly in England makes it difficult to predict how effectively the Network can affect policy change and/or long lasting change in course content so as to embed ESD/GC in teacher education across the UK. The authors suggest that the Network will need to work alongside new and existing alliances to try to convince policy makers of the critical need to ensure that new teachers are equipped to develop effective ESD/GC in schools.

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • global citizenship
  • community of practice
  • teacher education
Open Access

Maltese Youth and the Environment: A Qualitative Study

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 110 - 129

Abstract

Maltese Youth and the Environment: A Qualitative Study

The present study attempted to highlight the main processes of the acquisition and development of various environmental perspectives and puts forward suggestions on how youth can be better addressed in the light of the research findings. The present paper involved the use of a number of focus groups and a contextual study that examined the development of environmental education on the Maltese islands, considered the main local environmental issues and subsequently analysed the main causes and mechanisms that have shaped the development of the local environment and the Maltese people. The present research identifies a number of geographic and socio economic trends which have a strong impact on young people's knowledge. The results indicate relatively low positive behaviour towards the environment, and the main issue appears to be what is seen as the ‘costs’ involved in performing such pro-environmental actions. A pervasive sense of futility in environmental actions emerged with issues relating to the Maltese government and politics being the main reasons for this feeling. An environmental perspectives model was designed employing the technique of graphical display. The model illustrates how young people perceive the future of the Maltese environment through three Cartesian axes.

Keywords

  • environmental education
  • attitudes
  • behaviour
  • youth
Open Access

Washback Effects of Handouts on the Teaching and Learning Process in Higher Education Institutions in Ethiopia: Adama University in Focus

Published Online: 21 Feb 2011
Page range: 130 - 142

Abstract

Washback Effects of Handouts on the Teaching and Learning Process in Higher Education Institutions in Ethiopia: Adama University in Focus

The present study investigates the washback effects of handouts on the teaching and learning process in the higher education institutions of Ethiopia, particularly in Adama University. A descriptive survey and analytical research methods were employed in the present study. The subjects of the study included instructors and some selected students of the university. A questionnaire, an interview, a document and content analysis were employed to collect data. The data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative approaches. The data collected through close-ended items of the questionnaire were analysed quantitatively using a chi-square. Whereas the data collected via some interview guides and some items of the questionnaire were analysed using percentage. Besides, the qualitative data gathered via open-ended items of the questionnaire, some items of the interview, content and document analysis were analysed qualitatively. The research results revealed that the way handouts are being prepared and used in higher education institutions of Ethiopia does not encourage active and independent learning. Some recommendations which are deemed crucial for alleviating the problem are suggested.

Keywords

  • handout
  • washback effect
  • teaching and learning process
  • higher education institution

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