Original ArticlesTeacher preparation and school partners: Pre-service teachers’ impact on third to eighth grade students identified with reading challenges
James E. Gentry & Chris Sloan
pp. 1 - 17
School partnerships are essential to teacher preparation programs. Within respective school settings, pre-service teachers have opportunities to experience authentic, problem-based learning (PBL) situations with students who are identified with reading challenges (SIwRC). Educators providing SIwRC research-based reading interventions selected from data-based decision making (DBDM) processes are crucial to teacher preparation curriculum. This study investigated the holistic impact of a university-based partnership with public schools serving 3rd-8th grade SIwRC. This partnership involved 123 tutors (i.e., pre-service teacher) applying research-based reading interventions from DBDM reflective processes. Tutees’ respective independent reading grade levels and reading comprehension measures significantly increased. The results support the need for providing pre-service teachers opportunities to practice DBDM processes when applying research-based reading interventions with SIwRC.
Keywords: Teacher Preparation, Partner Schools, Reading Interventions
A pilot study on the development of a multicultural education paradigm scale for public school teachers in Iloilo Province, Philippines
Donne Jone Panizales Sodusta
pp. 18 - 41
This paper reports the salient results of a pilot study aimed at developing a Multicultural Education Paradigm Scale (MEPS). Initially, a total of 60 public school teachers from the Iloilo Province of the Western Visayas region of the Philippines took part in the pilot study but only 49 valid responses were gleaned. The 30-item scale obtained a Cronbach’s alpha (α) reliability coefficient of 0.899. Weak items were singled out. The participants had a generally positive attitude towards multicultural education based on their mean scores. Also, no significant differences in their means were found across the demographic and professional groupings except for the weekly number of hours spent lesson planning. Only two factors, the weekly number of hours spent lesson planning and the weekly number of hours spent in non-teaching related work had the positive and significant relationship with attitude towards multicultural education. The Multi-factor paradigm was the most subscribed while the Cultural Ecology paradigm was least subscribed among the participants. Data shows that the weak items were the theoretical and sociological bases of their respective multicultural education paradigms.
Keywords: multicultural education, teacher training, in-service teachers
Music Down Here: A Project Based Learning Approach
Rahime Filiz Ağmaz & Funda Ergulec
pp. 42 - 53
In this study, the subject of music and musical instruments has been studied with a project-based approach and a practical training program has been organized in a kindergarten classroom. This paper describes a semester long curricular and instructional design project focusing on the design and implementation of a Music Down Here Project using Project Based Learning approach into a kindergarten classroom. The project took place in a university-affiliated child care setting in the Midwestern United States. The classroom had one classroom teacher, one teaching assistant, and 16 kindergarten students (10 girls, 6 boys). The project was performed in three stages and the topic of musical instruments was selected by the children participating in the project. In this study, activities were planned in line with the interest of children towards musical instruments. According to the findings of the study, the students’ interest towards musical instruments increased as a result of the project. The project-based learning approach positively affected children's cognitive development about music and musical instruments. The project itself offered several opportunities for parents to get involved in children’s education. It is suggested that preschool teachers might be encouraged to design and use project-based learning approach in their lesson plans.
Keywords: kindergarten, pre-school, music, musical instruments, project-based learning, design case.
The effect of adopting some medium esl-lab.com episodes on developing listening comprehension skills of English major university students
pp. 54 - 77
This study investigates the effect of adopting some esl-lab.com episodes on developing listening comprehension of the third year English major students at l-Azhar University- Gaza .
The researcher uses one major tool which is the listening achievement test. A list of the most important listening micro skills was established, and then the researcher chooses four listening comprehension micro skills to build the test depending on the way medium esl-lab.com presents the listening exercises and the university listening course description. Then the test was delivered to a number of juries from different universities to assure it's validity and suitability to the four chosen sub skills.
The study sample was a 48 female students studying listening and speaking course during the second semester of the academic year 2010-2011. The study sample was divided into the experimental group(24) and the control group(24) who was pretested before the implementation of medium ESL episodes. The experimental group proceed the experiment in the university lab to practice medium ESL episodes via direct internet access to esl-lab.com website,while the control group proceeds the experiment in class to practice the same medium esl-lab.com episodes via an ordinary way of teaching . The experiment lasts for eight weeks , then a post test was applied to see how much students get improved. The results were statistically analyzed.
The study findings revealed that there were significant differences in listening comprehension achievement for the favor of the post test results due to online practice on medium esl-lab.com episodes. Findings also revealed that online medium esl-lab.com episodes have large effect on students' achievement. Based on the above findings the researcher presents a number of recommendations and suggestions for university system, English language department, teachers and English majors as well.
A comparative study of different levels of input on foreign language learners' reading comprehension: Reading motivation in focus
Ehsan Namaziandost & Mehdi Nasri
pp. 78 - 97
Considering the vital role of comprehensible input, this study attempted to compare the effects of input with various difficulty levels on Iranian EFL learners’ reading comprehension and reading motivation. To fulfil this objective, 54 Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners were selected from two intact classes (n = 27 each). The selected participants were randomly assigned to two equal groups, namely “i+1” (n=27) and “i-1” group (n=27). Then, the groups were pretested by a researcher-made reading comprehension test. After carrying out the pre-test, the treatment was practiced on the both groups. The participants in “i+1” group received reading passages beyond the current level, on the other hand, the “i-1” group received those reading passages which were below their current level. After the instruction ended, a posttest was conducted to determine the impacts of the treatment on the students’ reading comprehension. The obtained results indicated that there was a significant difference between the post-tests of “i+1” and “i-1” groups. The findings showed that the “i+1” group significantly outperformed the “i-1” group (p < .05) on the post-test. Moreover, the findings indicated that “i+1” group’s motivation increased after the treatment. The implications of the study suggest that interactive type of input is beneficial to develop students’ language skills.
Keywords: Comprehensible Input, Extensive reading, Foreign language reading anxiety, Input, Reading comprehension, Text difficulty level
Pre-service teacher’s self-regulated learning, active procrastination and goal orientation: A path analysis
pp. 98 - 109
Increasing competition of modern day has evolved as a threat to students’ academic achievement. When students postpone some actions to future, they involve in procrastination. Researchers have viewed procrastination as a common impediment of academic achievement and wellbeing of students (Steel, 2007). Procrastination can be defined as “a trait or behavioural disposition or delay in performing a task or making decisions” (Milgram et al., 1998; Haycock et al., 1998; Kachgal et al., 2001). Contrasting to this, active procrastination is “an intentional decision to procrastinate in order to cope and focus on to the task at hand and experience performance pressure”. What is the student’s awareness about their own learning; are they becoming master of this and are they trying for lifelong learning. These are the few questions before today’s students, which are answered by self-regulated learning (Jeyavel & Kadhiravan, 2013). Another important motivational variable under research in the past decade is goal orientation. It is one’s goal preference in achievement setting. It can be expected that motivated students won’t entertain in procrastination. This study made an attempt to find out the impact of pre-service teachers’ goal orientation and self-regulated learning on their active procrastination. 145 students (72 males, 73 females) studying in two colleges of Education in Kalaburagi city, Karnataka state, India are the sample of this study. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was executed through AMOS software. The findings were analyzed based on the hypothesized structural model with good model fit and revealed that active procrastination and performance avoidance orientation are the negative predictor of pre-service teachers’ organizing and transforming SRL strategy and their environmental structuring. Whereas, active procrastination and learning orientation have predicted positively organizing and transforming SRL strategy and environmental structuring.
Keywords: Active procrastination self-regulated learning strategy use, performance orientation, environmental structuring, organizing and transforming
Investigating teachers’ practices of critical pedagogy: A phenomenological study
Achamyeleh Getnet Wubu
pp. 110 - 121
The purpose of this study was to investigate the practice of critical pedagogy to enhance quality teaching in social sciences classrooms. To achieve this purpose, a phenomenological approach was employed. Tana Hayk Preparatory School which is found in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia was chosen using simple random sampling technique. Using lottery method, ten participants were selected from 5 departments which were taken using convenient sampling technique. An in-depth interview was employed to collect rich data. The results were analyzed through thematic analysis technique using interpretations and direct quotations. The findings of the study, therefore, revealed that teachers limit the students to bring their personal experiences to the class. It also revealed that there is top- down power relationships between the teacher and students wherein students are regarded as the only knowledge receivers from the teacher who is regarded as all-knower. Moreover, the finding showed that the banking model of education still exists in the teachers’ classrooms. In addition, teachers seemed to accept the idea that the primary purpose of education is to transform the society into one that is more socially just; however, they were not in a position to ground these issues in their classroom. Thus, it is suggested that teachers should value the basic tenets of critical pedagogy in their teaching. It is also recommended that the school principals should prepare training sessions whereby teachers can integrate the masterpieces of critical pedagogy in their classroom teaching.
Keywords: quality teaching, critical pedagogy, phenomenology, Paulo Freire
Capstone course: A qualitative view into instructor’s role and teaching practices
Roofia Galeshi & Jung-Ah Choi
pp. 122 - 135
Capstone courses provide an opportunity for preservice teachers to synthesize their undergraduate learning. Faculty utilize capstone environment to facilitate students successful transition from higher education into the school environment by providing opportunity to reflect and practice students’ accumulated knowledge while providing individualized support. Faculty use the capstone environment to help preservice teachers elicit, reflect, and interpret their own understanding of mathematics and to relate it to the secondary mathematics content. This article presents the findings from a series of semi-structured interviews with capstone instructors. Our goal is to entice a conversation related to role of capstone within teacher education programs.
Keywords: Capstone, teacher education, mathematics teachers, instructors' role, mentoring, preservice teachers