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Volume 5, Issue 12

Qualitative Research and Subjective Impressions in Educational Contexts
Literature Review
It is common belief that evidence produced by qualitative research is bounded by the researcher’s personal interpretation, and as such is subjective and not generalizable. Qualitative researchers’ personal involvement could highlight hidden aspects of social life and provide insight into people’s perspectives. In educational contexts, research aims to critically inform educational judgments and decisions in order to improve educational action. This study assesses the argument that qualitative research can offer no more than subjective impressions with an emphasis on structured observation as opposed to audio recordings and field notes for the purposes of observation. This discussion includes related concepts such as “point sampling”, “(negative) demand characteristics” and “participants’ reactivity” and reflexivity. The study concludes by arguing that the claim that qualitative research can offer no more than subjective impressions is a rhetorical device rather than a methodological position. Quantitative researchers strive to produce scientific data based on objective evaluations by avoiding any personal involvement in their evaluations and by investigating causal relationships in the widest possible populations. It is this growing interest in generalizability in the qualitative tradition that indicates the researchers’ concern in making their research valid and as widely accepted as possible.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1228-1233. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-10
Pub. Date: December 29, 2017
7129 Views2724 Downloads
Exploring the Factors Affecting the Integration of Mathematical Skills into Biology Learning in Copperbelt Secondary Schools of Zambia
Original Research
21st century biology is becoming increasingly quantitative, requiring students to master mathematical knowledge for them to fully understand and apply the new emerging biological concepts and skills for socio-economic development. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the factors affecting the integration of mathematical skills into biology curricula at secondary school level in Zambia. Primary data was collected using a quantitative biology assessment test for biology class pupils and survey questionnaires for both biology teachers and pupils. Secondary data was obtained from past biology examinations papers of the Zambia General Certificate of Secondary Education/O-level (GCSE) and the Cambridge University International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) for the years 2010 – 2016. The study sample was 140 biology class students and 16 biology teachers selected from 8 secondary schools in the Copperbelt province of Zambia. Statistical analyses using descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA and factor analysis were conducted using SPSS and Excel. The results of this study revealed a mean pass rate in the quantitative biology test of merely 14.3%, with the lowest mean score (6%) obtained for questions in the higher order cognitive levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. The coverage of mathematics related questions in the national biology examinations was low at 7.1% and 18.9% for GCSE and IGCSE, respectively. Overall the pupils had inadequate skills for tackling quantitative biology questions. The contributing factors for this situation included the lack of quantitative competencies amongst biology teachers and the unavailability of appropriate textbooks to guide teachers and students. The biology syllabi and assessment requirements do not compel teachers to teach mathematical biology. Consequently, students exhibited phobia and a negative attitude towards quantitative biology. Overall, Zambia requires a new educational policy framework that should drive the integration of mathematics and biology throughout the Zambian educational system.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1223-1227. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-9
Pub. Date: December 26, 2017
7426 Views3376 Downloads1 Likes
The Importance of Certification of Prior Learning. Practices at European and Non-global Level with Examples of Best Practices
Original Research
The certification of prior learning is an important tool for all countries, contributing to the wider development of the whole and of each state equally. The impact of good practices in certification is observed both in the society, the economy and, of course, education and vocational rehabilitation, even in international relations. For those reasons the EU and other countries prioritize it. Certification of prior learning is also related to the evaluation of learning and the acquisition of qualifications and training. Best practices from different countries can be used as indicative tools to promote new techniques and methods.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1218-1222. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-8
Pub. Date: December 23, 2017
4878 Views1645 Downloads
Factors, Gender and Locational Differences of Stress among Secondary School Students in Ikwerre and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of Rivers State, Nigeria
Original Research
This study was conducted to ascertain the factors gender and location differences of stress among secondary school students, in Port Harcourt and Ikwerre Local Government Areas of Rivers State. Population of the study comprised all the senior secondary school class two (SS2) and junior secondary school class two (JSS2) students in Port Harcourt and Ikwerre Local government areas of Rivers State. Simple random and stratified random sampling techniques were used to draw a sample of 272 students used for the study. The sample was made up of 136 male and 136 female students. It also comprised 136 urban and 136 rural students. The JSS students were 136 while the SSS students were 136. The instrument used for the study was titled factors of Stress among Secondary School Students Inventory (FSSS1). The instrument which measured possible factors of stress among secondary school students comprised 26 items. Cronbach Alpha was used to determine the reliability co-efficient of the instrument which was 0.84. Three research questions and two hypotheses were answered and tested respectively, using mean,standard deviation and t-test. The results obtained were as follows: The identified sources of stress among secondary school students include: poor academic performance, too much punishment in school, some teachers not teaching during their period, gossiping from school mates, poor health condition, the issue of gaining admission into the university, parents poor financial condition, not having text books, parents sickness and traffic hold-up, to and from school. There was significant difference between male and female students stress. There was also significant difference between urban and rural secondary school students stress. It was recommended among others that government should expand the infrastructural facilities in the existing universities so as to enable them offer more admission to the students in order to reduce their stress in this regard; and that rural posting allowance be paid to teachers in the rural areas. In addition, counsellors, are to counsel students on stress coping strategies.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1212-1217. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-7
Pub. Date: December 22, 2017
6760 Views3032 Downloads
Factors Causing Language Anxiety among Arab PhD Holders and Candidates: A Cultural Dimension?
Original Research
Much research has investigated foreign/second language (FL/SL) anxiety among learners belonging to various demographic backgrounds. However, very limited studies have explored this phenomenon among FL/SL users, more specifically from females’ perspectives. Additionally, the vast majority of this research has adopted quantitative techniques to identify the factors causing language anxiety. Therefore, this paper attempts to reduce this gap perceived in the literature by exploring the factors causing language anxiety among ESL users (English as a second language). A qualitative approach was adopted to collect data by conducting a focus group interview with four females, two PhD holders and PhD candidates. Remarkably, new findings were obtained by this research, where the cultural perception about women within the participants’ society was found out to be one of the reasons provoking language anxiety. Furthermore, a common belief about PhD candidates/holders to be highly proficient speakers of English and also the level of English proficiency of the listeners/interlocutors were two other interesting findings reported by the participants to increase their language anxiety. The research results are discussed and recommendations for further research are suggested.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1208-1211. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-6
Pub. Date: December 21, 2017
4767 Views1703 Downloads1 Likes
Being Pulled into the Drama - How Early Childhood Educators Motivate Children by Way of Bodily Contact and Movements
Original Research
Movement lies at the core of what it means to be human. Our most primary mode of relating to others is by way of movement. However, existing research literature has not sufficiently investigated the role of bodily interaction in the promotion of motivation in kindergartens. Typically, verbalised and intellectualised communication is emphasised with less attention paid to what can be communicated by way of bodily movements. The purpose of this article is the promotion of motivation in concrete bodily interactions between educators and children during educator-controlled activities. The study is based on a fieldwork study conducted in a Danish kindergarten. Two examples from this study are used to illustrate the profound and dramatic effect bodily interactions can have on children’s motivations. The study concludes that educators’ bodily ‘manipulative’ and dramatised engagement with children during pedagogical activities can be an effective and profound way of affecting children’s immediate experiences and motivations for participating.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1200-1207. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-5
Pub. Date: December 19, 2017
5025 Views1914 Downloads3 Likes
The Effect of Brain Based Learning Model and Creative Thinking about the Ability of Mathematics Concept of Elementary Students
Original Research
This study aims to determine the Brain Based Learning Model and Creative Thinking on the Ability of Understanding the Concept of Mathematics of Primary School Students. The research was conducted in Class IV SDN Rada Bolo Subdistrict, Bima District, NTB. Number of students is 32 students. The research design used experimental method with treatment design by level 2 x 2. Data analysis is the analysis of two-lane variance (ANOVA). The results of this study indicate that 1) There is a difference in the ability of students to understand the concept of mathematics between groups given Brain Based Learning Model and Discussion Learning Model, 2) There is an interaction between Brain Base Learning Model and the ability to think creatively with the ability to understand students' mathematical concepts, 3) Brain Based Model Learning is higher in value than Discussion Learning Model of a group of students who have high creative thinking ability towards the ability to comprehend the concept of learning mathematics of students, and 4) Brain Based Learning Model is lower value than Learning Model Diskusipada group of students who have low creative thinking ability to the ability of understanding the concept of learning mathematics students.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1195-1199. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-4
Pub. Date: December 18, 2017
5594 Views2170 Downloads8 Likes
Micro VS Macro Goal Framework in College
Special Issue
This quasi-experimental study focused on the research hypothesis that students’ individual achievement goals toward each instructional component predict their perceptions of classroom goals. A total of 173 college students from an introductory educational psychology course participated in this study. Elliot and Church’s [23] achievement goals questionnaire and Urdan’s [21] perception of classroom goals were administered at pre- and post-measures during one academic semester. Multiple regression analysis was employed to determine whether or not students’ individual achievement goals toward each instructional task predicted their perceptions of classroom goals. The results showed that participants’ achievement goals toward in-class activities were significantly associated with their perceptions of classroom goals.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1191-1194. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-3
Pub. Date: December 16, 2017
5921 Views2394 Downloads2 Likes
EFL College Students’ Perceptions toward Native and Non-Native English Speaking Teachers
Original Research
The purpose of this study was to investigate Taiwanese English as a foreign language (EFL) students’ perceptions and preferences toward Native English-Speaking Teachers(NESTs) and Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers (NNESTs) who hold a degree from a country where English is the dominant language through addressing the differences of their English instruction. This quantitative research was consisted of 184 participants who answered the questionnaire that involved of 28 Likert scale type statements. The results showed the teachers’ qualifications and experiences were seen as an important feature of excellent English teachers, regardless of his or her mother tongue language. More precisely, NESTs were perceived to be superior in their good English proficiency and ability to facilitate students’ English learning. In terms of NNESTs, they were perceived to be superior in their proficiency in students’ first language, their knowledge of students’ learning difficulties, and at communicating in general. Finally, the findings indicated that EFL programs where both NESTs and NNESTs worked cooperatively were considered an effective English learning environment for language learners.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1182-1190. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-2
Pub. Date: December 09, 2017
10180 Views3190 Downloads1 Likes
Principals’ Use of Teleconferencing and Administrative Effectiveness in Secondary Schools in Akwa Ibom State - Nigeria
Original Research
The study examined principals’ use of teleconferencing and administrative effectiveness in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State. It investigated the availability level of teleconferencing facilities in schools, the perceived benefits of principals’ use of teleconferencing and the constraints facing principals’ use of teleconferencing for administrative effectiveness. The descriptive survey design was used for the study. Three research questions and one hypothesis were postulated to guide the study. The population consist all the secondary school principals in Akwa Ibom State. Two hundred and four (204) principals were randomly selected for the study. A researcher developed instrument titled “Principals’ Use of Teleconferencing and Administrative Effectiveness Questionnaire (PUTAEQ)” was used for data collection. Using Cronbach’s Alpha statistical tool, the test of internal consistency of the instrument yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.83. Data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, percentage scores and t-test analysis. The study revealed that teleconferencing facilities were lacking in schools and that principal’s gender has no significant influence on their attitude towards the use of teleconferencing. The study went further to reveal the perceived benefits and constraints that may be encountered by principals through the use of teleconferencing. It is therefore recommended amongst others that school administrators should increase their personal competency with teleconferencing and other digital technologies by exploiting professional development opportunities and self-study provided by the technologies themselves in order to enhance personal productivity in performing instructional, professional and administrative task.
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(12), 1177-1181. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-12-1
Pub. Date: December 07, 2017
5644 Views1962 Downloads2 Likes