- Journal Details
- First Published
- 04 May 2009
- Publication timeframe
- 2 times per year
- Open Access
Teachers’ Perceptions of Sustainability of the Social Emotional Learning Program in Latvia: A Focus Group Study
Page range: 5 - 20
The aim of this study was to provide an initial evaluation of the sustainability of the first Social Emotional Learning (hereafter SEL) program in Latvia, which to date is still the only SEL program in our country. Initiated during the 2012/13 academic year, this program has already been implemented in 41 Latvian schools. In order to address the teachersí perceptions of program effectiveness and sustainability seven focus groups were organized. Thematic analysis of the focus group discussions pointed to various benefits of the program, including a general dissemination of SEL principles, and teachersí reflections on the importance of their own active role in the process of social and emotional learning. The value of the support of the school administration for program sustainability was also noted. The views expressed by the teachers were aligned with previous studies, indicating the importance of external support, the teachersí own understanding of SEL principles, and the willingness to be actively engaged in facilitating quality maintenance of the program.
- social emotional learning
- teachersí perspective
- focus groups
- Open Access
Page range: 21 - 35
Teachersí cultural identity is among the forepart issues within the realm of teacher education studies. The research about teachersí identity has been done using teacherauthored narratives. That said, the purpose of this study was to investigate the role of negotiation in the student-teachersí cultural identity formation. To that end, three studentteachers (two males and one female student-teachers), majoring in English language teaching participated in this study. During four months, the student-teachers participated in a negotiation program on cultural identity. They were sent some academic papers to study, then, they participated in discussions about cultural variations and the ways to address them in classrooms. The student-teachers where asked to write their narratives. Then the narratives where analyzed based on the semantic expressions. The qualitative analysis of the student-teachersí narratives showed that their cultural identity changed during the negotiation period. By analyzing the student teacher-authored narratives, it appeared that they addressed cultural variations in different ways includingusing cultural varieties in teaching, identifying the gaps between cultural contexts, reconceptualization of cultural concepts, cultural transformation, new modes of using culture, internalization of cultural issues, and cultural awareness, each of which is discussed in the current study. It can be concluded from the obtained information that cultural identity is a dynamic one and open to change. The research bears some implications for teacher education policy makers to introduce sustainable teacher education program in general, and sustainable second language teacher education program in particular.
- sustainable teacher education
- teacher-authored narrative
- Open Access
An Analysis of Transformation of Teaching and Learning of Japanese Schools that Significantly Addressed Education for Sustainable Development
Page range: 36 - 50
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) requires learner-centred and interactive teaching strategies such as critical thinking, participatory decision-making, value-based learning, and multi-method approaches, all of which to some degree contrast traditional lecture-based teaching practices. As there is very little evidence providing international comparison across different educational backgrounds, the research digs deeper into the effects of a pluralistic ESD approach to teaching in the context of Japanese primary and secondary education. Based on answers from a questionnaire administered by head teachers in 469 ESD schools, the present research shows that teachers recognise that at least in relation to the local environment, community welfare, and depopulation of communities, the students are increasingly aware of their role and the need to act ambitiously to create a sustainable society. In these teacher comments about ESD methods, the main emphases were on the whole system, for example, the use of integrated studies (referred to 37 times), cross-curriculum development (13), and the ESD calendar (12). The fact that ESD is learner-centred (26), learning in the society (23) focused on collaboration with local community, and based on active learning (20) also frequently appeared. The research also reveals that by using local resource materials and conducting experiential activities, studentsí awareness of their local district deepens, and students then start to tackle with difficulties of local society such as declining population, protection of natural environment, and preservation of traditional culture by themselves. However, it cannot be said that teachers clearly understand their role as coaches and change agents, and there were no reported cases of teachers and students collaboratively designing school activities. Thus, there is still space for more profound teaching and learning growth in ESD in Japan.
- ESD methodology
- behaviour changes
- learner-centred study
- integrated study
- Open Access
Page range: 51 - 68
Despite the challenges to develop school-based sustainable teacher training and development and the diverse demands to execute this type of teacher professionalism to achieve sustainable teacher development, this new trend seems indispensable both for Jordanian teacher education and many other similar world educational systems. The present qualitative study robustly relied on a set of self-reports developed by 12 doctoral students who took a teacher education course at the University of Jordan in the second semester, 2017. They self-reported on their perspectives on school-based teacher training in terms of its significance, requirements, challenges and possible solutions to develop this route to teacher training in a country which like several other educational systems worldwide was dominated by an academic theory-based route to teacher preparation and qualification. Their self-reports were analysed and their patterns concerning the reasons behind adherence to school-based teacher training and the facilities to promote it and the challenges for school based teacher training were collected and meticulously probed. The findings of the study noticeably advocate school-based teacher training as a major route to teacher training. The participants of the study obviously considered this training route a method to transfer training experience to the teachersí classroom instruction. Some recommendations were proposed calling for adopting this new training approach and conducting further research in this emerging paradigm.
- teacher education
- school-based teacher training
- sustainable professional development
- Open Access
A Study on Singapore Chinese Language Teachers’ Professional Proficiency and Training Needs for Sustainable Development
Page range: 69 - 89
Continuous professional development can help teachers become responsible mentors for sustainable education. Taking into account subject characteristics and concentrating on investigation of professional proficiency and training needs of the Chinese language teachers in Singapore, this study seeks to shed light on providing more targeted in-service training and workplace learning support for teachers to attain the goals for sustainable development. An explanatory mixed methods approach was adopted in this study. A total of 1054 Chinese language teachers completed the questionnaire on subject content and professional knowledge, Chinese teaching practice and pedagogy, and knowledge of technology and its application. Focus group discussions and interviews of 112 teachers were conducted to further explore the results from the survey data. The findings of the study provide insights into shaping the forms and priorities of in-service training for teachers to be a powerful agent of sustainable teaching.
- teachers’ professional proficiency
- training needs
- Singapore Chinese language teachers
- second language teaching
- sustainable development
- Open Access
Investigating the Effect of Teaching Aesthetic Skills to Faculty Members on Development of Their Effective Teaching Performance1
Page range: 90 - 106
This quasi-experimental study investigated the effect of teaching aesthetic skills to faculty members on development of their effective teaching performance through a two-group pretest-posttest design. The sample included 32 faculty members at a major Iranian university who were divided into the experimental (11 participants) and control groups (21 participants). The experimental group was taught to use aesthetic skills in the teaching and learning processes; however, no intervention was applied to the control group. To evaluate the effective teaching performance of the faculty members, a tailor-made questionnaire was used in two pretest and posttest stages, where randomly chosen students were asked to express their opinions about the faculty membersí performance. The sample size of the students was 1096 in the pretest stage and 935 in the posttest stage. Paired t-test results showed that there was no significant difference between the mean effective teaching scores of the faculty members in the control group in the pretest stage and in the posttest stage. However, the mean effective teaching scores of the faculty members in the experimental group were found to be significantly higher in the posttest. In addition, although there was no significant difference between the mean effective teaching scores of the two faculty groups in the pretest, faculty members in the experimental group outperformed their counterparts in the control group. Based on the findings, applying aesthetic skills by faculty members in the teaching and learning processes can pave the way for sustainable development of their effective teaching performance. Therefore, faculty members are recommended to acquire the required knowledge and skills to better use aesthetic skills in the teaching process.
- higher education
- faculty members
- effective teaching
- aesthetic skills
- Open Access
Page range: 107 - 120
The important thing for teachers is to solve conflicts with students correctly and effectively without damaging the relationship, losing the cooperation with students or disrupting educational process. Although there is a great concern about the way a teacher manages students’ behaviour, there is very little relevant data concerning teacher-student conflict. The article aims at revealing the characteristics of conflict resolution between students and teachers from the students’ point of view. To investigate the process of conflict between a teacher and a student, a case study method was used. Respondents were asked to recall a conflict occurring between them and a teacher during the school years, describe how the incident was handled, and the consequences of it. The number of respondents constituted 30 students. Students and teachers actually engage in a range of behaviours. In accordance with the theoretical framework, the four behavioural categories were grouped. Students reported that during the teacher-students conflict a full palette of strategies (dominating, integrating, accommodating and avoiding strategies) was used. Findings revealed that forcing was expressed by arguments, involving a third party and aggression. Avoiding was expressed by crying, avoiding the contact. Accommodating was expressed by pretending and giving in. Apologising, making a compromise, compensation, talking about the problem were examples of an integrating strategy. The results indicated that participants reported 28 behavioural reactions to a classroom conflict. Among them, 12 were those of teacher engagement, and 16 of student engagement. In line with the conglomerated conflict behaviour framework, students reported that both conflict parties (students and teachers) in the case of active student position engaged in more than one type of behaviour in response to a single incident. Understanding students’ experience would allow teachers to better respond and manage students’ reactions, as well as help teachers prevent behaviours such as aggression and promote other behaviours such as motivation.
- Open Access
Page range: 121 - 137
The theoretical framework of the present research is based on the socio-psychological model of sustainable behaviour by Juárez-Nájera (2010). For the purposes of this paper, just part of the research is related to personal norms. The paper provides the results of the awareness of consequences and the attribution of responsibility for environmental/ sustainability problems among students of the four Faculties of Teacher Education in four countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia. Research results indicate that students from Croatian and Slovenian Faculties of Teacher Education are characterised by a more pronounced awareness of environmental/sustainability problems than the students from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The responsibility for environmental/sustainability problems is higher among the students of the Faculty of Teacher Education from Croatia and Serbia than among students from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. It seems that a country is the major determiner of awareness and responsibility for environmental/sustainability problems. In general, the results of the present research provide significant guidelines for the reflection on the future of initial teacher education for sustainability and need for conducting interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research on personal norms and sustainable behaviour.
- education for sustainable development
- sustainable behaviour
- university students of initial teacher education
- Open Access
Page range: 138 - 153
Considering the gender identity as a crucial aspect of the culture that shapes our daily life and recognising the research gap on this topic in the context of sustainable education, the paper describes the quantitative cross-sectional study on gender identity of students and teachers comparing the respondents by their age and sex. Three age groups (106 female and 62 male) participated in the study: 18-19-years-old pupils from comprehensive and vocational schools (n=59), 20-15-years-old university students (n=52) and 24-64- years-old teachers working at respective schools and universities (n=57). The original Bem Sex Role Inventory was administered to measure the individual gender identity types of masculinity, femininity, and androgyny. The majority of respondents from all age and sex groups described themselves as androgynous. Male and university students featured the scattering of scores more toward masculinity, while the scores of female, pupils, and teachers were more inclined toward femininity. No statistically significant differences were found among the three age groups, while sex appeared to be more influential factor causing significant differences between male and female in terms of gender identity with male’s inclination toward masculinity and female’s inclination toward femininity. Dominance of androgynous individuals challenges the current approaches to the gender education in the context of sustainable development.
- gender identity
- education for sustainable development
- Open Access
Education towards Urban Sustainability: Lessons Learned from the Welfare Business Models of Kanazawa City, Japan
Page range: 154 - 164
Education is considered a driving force for urban sustainable development and there is an urgent need to use different approaches to increase the awareness level in younger generations. Teaching about sustainability requires an integrated approach due to its complex concept, and in this study to show the interconnection of the social, environmental and economic sectors of the city the author decided to conduct fieldwork activities in the welfare business sectors, which is one of the leading practices used in the aging Japanese population. Japan’s population is aging with a declining birth rate, and the country is becoming a “super-aging” society with one out of every four persons aged above 65 years. There are crucial issues to provide social services, such as care for the elderly, child support programmes to reduce the child-raising anxieties, care for mentally and physically disabled people and others. In this study, the objectives were 1) to provide the fieldwork in small-scaled private and town-scaled business sectors and 2) to observe the interconnection of urban sustainability practices through the welfare with environmental, social and economic sectors. Private and public sectors were visited by 15 international students with different educational backgrounds, who had no idea about urban sustainability. In total, four welfare business sectors were visited by the students: two sectors were related to the farming activates together with care for disabled people, and the other two field trips were related to urban community-development business sectors. After the field trips, students evaluated a linkage among social, environmental and business sectors related with welfare practices. The awareness level of the students increased (85 %) towards the issue of sustainable urban development, and they were able to provide the recommendations for the inclusive, safe and resilient cities. These field trips showed very positive feedback, to educate the youth. In this study, the author presents the qualitative transdisciplinary field trip approach. However, to improve the methodology a cohort analysis with a quantitative data analysis will be performed in the further study.
- urban sustainability
- field trips
- community-oriented business
- Open Access
Page range: 165 - 179
The article addresses the issue of children and young people’s well-being at school. The issue has been known as topical for already some time. In recent decades, in order to be able to determine the true nature and essence of the phenomenon of well-being, the necessity to find the ways for identification of children and young people’s self-assessment of well-being at school has become very important. There are many challenges related to conducting new longitudinal studies on children and young people’s well-being. The phenomenon of well-being at school cannot be seen only in the context of local situation; it is deeply contextual. Its essence is also determined by the content and values that have emerged in the development of wider global or regional relations and attitudes. Therefore, for the formation of a broader perspective of the article, such phenomena as sustainability and unsustainability were used. This made it possible to refer to the trends of sustainability and unsustainability that had long been highlighted in the studies of global development and education. The analysis of the phenomenon of well-being at school is offered based on the research results within EU FP7 project “Measuring Youth Well Being” (MYWeB) that took a balanced approach to assessing the feasibility of a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People through prioritising both scientific and policy imperatives and was carried out in cooperation with eleven European countries. The aim of the article in accordance with one of the specific tasks of the project is to find out the meaning and significance that children and young people allocate to well-being. The article discusses one of the most relevant domains of wellbeing - school, and how it relates to happiness, life-satisfaction and psychological wellbeing of children and young people. The article outlines the results of fieldwork undertaken in project consortium countries (Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom) with the goal to understand the subjective experiences of children and young people from different age groups, regions and socio-economic backgrounds. The results of the research confirmed that educational spaces could take a more significant role in promoting well-being of children and young people; in its turn, the education system must rebalance academic learning and emotional well-being.
- domains of well-being
- longitudinal study
- education sustainability and unsustainability