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menu_book Articles in Press

Volume 7 Issue 4 (November 2021)

Designs for Learning: A Research Approach

designs for learning learning education educational design-based research

Anna Åkerfeldt , Eva Svärdemo Åberg


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In this article, we present some core ideas underpinning research that takes a Designs for Learning (DFL) approach guided by theoretical considerations and choices, as well as by practitioners’ challenges and inquiries. These choices shape, and are shaped by, DFL’s research goals and motives, theoretical orientation, research objectives, questions, and practitioners’ participation and ethical considerations. Further, we present and discuss how DFL as a research approach compares to other design-oriented research strategies. Even if a DFL research approach shares several similarities with other approaches of inquiry, we argue that it remains primarily oriented towards knowledge areas that relate to understanding and developing learning and teaching – both in formal education and in informal settings such as museums.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.547
Pages: 547-555
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This article examines how the crisis of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) became a crucible, or a means of transformation, for global educators. How teachers leverage their lived experience of teaching through the implications of COVID-19 to transform identity and practice is a new phenomenon and merits examination. Through a collection of interviews, the ways in which the life experiences of teaching through COVID-19 worked to create new identities in teachers and new practices within the classroom is examined. Data was gathered through informal interviews from eleven educators teaching through the crisis of COVID-19 across the world, including four continents and six countries. Drawing on simple thematic analysis, a narrative approach was utilized to examine the process of transformation in teachers across the globe. The findings and analysis of this research will help those working with teachers better understand how teachers leverage a crisis be it COVID-19, or another disruptive force, as a crucible for transformation.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.557
Pages: 557-570
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Response times are one of the important sources that provide information about the performance of individuals during a test process. The main purpose of this study is to show that survival models can be used in educational data. Accordingly, data sets of items measuring literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills of the countries participating in Round 3 of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies were used. Accelerated failure time models have been analyzed for each country and domain.  As a result of the analysis of the models in which various covariates are included as independent variables, and response time for giving correct answers is included as a dependent variable, it was found the associations between the covariates and response time for giving correct answers were concluded to vary from one domain to another or from one country to another. The results obtained from the present study have provided the educational stakeholders and practitioners with valuable information.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.571
Pages: 571-586
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The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the levels of occupational professionalism and occupational alienation in kindergarten teachers. Correlational survey model among the quantitative research models was used in the research. In this context, 224 kindergarten teachers were reached via convenience sampling model. The data of the research was collected via the Teacher Information Form, Teachers’ Occupational Professionalism Scale and Occupational Alienation of Preschool Teachers Scale. SPSS software and statistical measures such as independent samples t-test, ANOVA and Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation were used to analyse the obtained data. According to the research findings, both occupational professionalism and occupational alienation levels of kindergarten teachers were found to be high. Levels of occupational professionalism and occupational alienation may differ according to some demographic variables among teachers. The relationship between occupational professionalism and occupation alienation was found to be statistically significant. The same is also true for the sub-dimensions of the scales. Lastly, the findings and results obtained during the research were discussed in the light of the literature and suggestions were made.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.587
Pages: 587-601
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Measuring Purpose in Life in College Students: An Assessment of Invariance Properties by College Year and Undergraduate School

college students confirmatory factor analysis measurement invariance purpose in life

Ella Anghel , Larry Ludlow , Olivia Szendey , Christina Matz-Costa , Theresa O’Keefe , Henry Braun


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Purpose in life is a key construct in the development of young adults, particularly college students. There are many instruments measuring sense of purpose in life, but few studies have examined their measurement properties among college students. The current study compares the measurement invariance properties of the Purpose in Life (PIL) scale and the Claremont Purpose Scale (CPS) across college year and undergraduate school. Using both a unidimensional and a two-dimensional model, we found that the PIL’s interpretability is limited among college students. Using a three-dimensional model, the CPS was invariant with respect to both grouping variables. The study suggests that the CPS can be used to make meaningful comparisons among college students categorized by school year and undergraduate school. The study also has some implications about the construct of purpose in life; namely, scale structures that work well statistically and theoretically among adults might not generalize to young adults.

description Abstract
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10.12973/ijem.7.4.603
Pages: 603-614
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The following study highlights the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and provides a descriptive overview of the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) organization competencies at both the national and state level. Qualitative data was collected during a study conducted on at-risk Hispanic high school students who engaged in a mindfulness yoga program. Adolescents voluntarily participated in 12 weeks of mindfulness yoga (24 classes) and provided post essay responses to questions associated with the five core competencies of SEL: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Evidence aligned with SEL competencies after 24 mindfulness yoga sessions through implicit yoga instruction (absence of explicit direct instruction) were coded and reported accordingly. Overall, findings indicate consistencies with previous research on mindfulness yoga programs in the schools of the impactful benefits of healthy behaviors and mental wellness for adolescents at risk. Documented conclusions from this study showcase an increased positive impact on SEL categories of self-awareness, self-management, and decision making.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.615
Pages: 615-622
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The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has increased anxiety and stress among teacher education managers and has given rise to the question of whether they have the competencies to execute their operational responsibilities productively. The theories of resilience and transformational leadership underpin this study in which teacher education managers’ resilience and their responsiveness to the well-being of staff executing their operational practices in an open distance e-learning context were explored. A qualitative approach was adopted and virtual video conferencing interviews with teacher education managers were used to explore how they mitigated their strategic and operational roles and their managerial functions to ensure the well-being and organisational performance of staff working from home. Results revealed the experiences of distance managers to have been positive in that they implemented organisational strategies to mitigate the challenges faced to ensure wellness and performance among staff working from a distance. Further research applying a mixed-method design should be undertaken to determine how resilient managers and staff working from home are. That may yield different results.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.623
Pages: 623-635
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The teaching and learning of mathematics in South Africa are conducted through the authorised Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT). South Africa has eleven official languages, and English is a Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) from the Intermediate and Further Education and Training (FET) Phase. This study explores teachers' views on code-switching as a communicative technique to enhance teaching mathematics in Grade 4 in selected primary schools in South Africa. This qualitative single case study employed the interpretivist paradigm and social constructivism theory. A convenient purposive sampling technique was used to sample six grade 4 mathematics teachers from three primary schools in the Alexandra township in South Africa. Researchers collected data through the use of semi-structured interviews, which were later analysed and discussed using themes. Findings indicate that teachers often code-switch from LoLT (English First Additional Language) into Home Language (H.L.) to enhance learners' understanding of the mathematics concepts. Researchers suggested the integration of code-switching into the curriculum policy and followed by in-service training for Grade 4 mathematics teachers in code-switching.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.637
Pages: 637-648
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To explore their role in enhancing graduate employability, the study investigated the effectiveness of student internships as pedagogical practices in promoting employability skills amongst graduating students in four Social Science Degree programmes of selected universities in Zambia. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 162 participants through the questionnaires and interview guides using a mixed-methods approach. The participants included different actors in the labour industry as critical informants; graduating students taking Social Science Degree Programmes; Lecturers, and Employers. The quantitative and qualitative data were analysed using the SPSS version 24 and Atlas. Ti. Version 8, respectively. This study employed the Human Capability Approach and Human Capital theories. Findings indicated that although internship practices were considered an essential component in the social science degree programmes for skills development, their effectiveness in promoting employability skills amongst graduating students varied from one programme to the other. The findings have implications on how universities and the labour industry could work together to design and implement internship experiences for students in social science degree programmes that are more effective in promoting the acquisition of employability skills in Zambia.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.649
Pages: 649-668
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This study aims to determine the opinions of high school principals on their cultural intelligence levels, to determine the activities of these principals to increase their cultural intelligence levels, the advantages of their having a high level of cultural intelligence, the factors that prevent them from increasing their cultural intelligence levels, and their suggestions to increase their cultural intelligence levels. The data obtained from the interview forms were analyzed by the content analysis method. The findings were organized and presented under themes and sub-themes. The study group of the research consisted of 40 school principals working in Mersin central districts in the 2020-2021 academic years. According to the study results; most of the participants stated that they had a high level of cultural intelligence while some participants stated that they had a low level of cultural intelligence. Regarding the activities to increase their level of cultural intelligence, principals stated that they did activities such as increasing their knowledge, going abroad, and developing social relations. The principals expressed three different opinions on the advantages of having a high level of cultural intelligence: organizational advantages, professional advantages, and individual advantages. It was determined that factors preventing principals from increasing their cultural intelligence levels were factors unrelated to principal and factors related to principal. The principals expressed two different opinions on what could be done to increase their cultural intelligence levels: The things to be done by the superiors and the things to be done the principal.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.669
Pages: 669-682
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What are missing in the U.S. education policy of “college for all” are supporting data and indicators on K-16 education pathways, i.e, how well all students get ready and stay on track from kindergarten through college. This study creates synthetic national longitudinal education database that helps track and support students’ educational pathways by combining two nationally-representative U.S. sample datasets: Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K; Kindergarten through 8th grade) and National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS; 8th grade through age 25). The merge of these national datasets, linked together via statistical matching and imputation techniques, can help bridge the gap between elementary and secondary/postsecondary education data/research silos. Using this synthetic K-16 education longitudinal database, this study applies machine learning data analytics in search of college readiness early indicators among kindergarten students. It shows the utilities and limitations of linking preexisting national datasets to impute education pathways and assess college readiness. It discusses implications for developing more holistic and equitable educational assessment system in support of K-16 education longitudinal database.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.683
Pages: 683-696
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Various studies have shown that teachers are subject to an increased stress level and the associated physical and psychological consequences. In this article, the possibilities of coping of stressful situations in everyday school life are systematized. In addition, the knowledge and usage of available programs and trainings for coping with stress at school in German-speaking countries will be assessed. This is a descriptive study based on a survey of 32 teachers. Effects due to contextual variables (gender, school type, and work experience) were examined. The results indicate that only a few of the programs surveyed are known and used in schools. Effects in connection with the gender of the teachers as well as their professional experience could not be determined. Instead, significantly more special education teachers knew and used programs to strengthen protective context factors (school type effect). The fact that a high proportion of teachers are unaware of and do not use available programs, despite their high importance for healthy coping with personal job demands, suggests deficiencies in teacher education and training. In addition, lack of resources at schools may be limiting. The successful management of stressful situations must not be seen as a task for individual employees; rather, systemic solutions must be found. Particularly due to the increased stress experienced by teachers in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, aspects of health promotion in schools should play a significant role. The aim must be to provide more detailed information about stress management approaches in schools and to support their implementation.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.697
Pages: 697-713
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During the period of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the boundaries between the home and the school as study spaces were blurred. School studies entered the home, with the parents present and observing their children’s e-lessons and the teachers’ teaching methods. The purpose of the current study was to explore the explicit and implicit attitudes of the lesson partners: teachers, parents, and students, to e-learning. The study explores whether and to what degree the attitudes of teachers, students, and parents to e-teaching are compatible, and what are the implications for the future. The study shows that although in recent years the relationships between parents and the school and between teachers and students have waned, with regard to the separation of authorities between the home and school, the period of the COVID-19 crisis clarified the need to enhance the relationship and cooperation between the home and the school as two meaningful study spaces for independent learners. The research findings raise the paradox that not only does technology not increase the distance rather it has the potential to strengthen the relationships between parents, teachers, and the school. The study points to the need to prepare holistic guidance sessions and professional development courses.

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10.12973/ijem.7.4.715
Pages: 715-731
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