TOJNED - Volume 4 - Issue 3 - July 2014

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Contemporary problems of the higher legal education reform in Russia in terms of the provisions of the Bologna Declaration

Aleksey Pavlovich Anisimov, Anatoliy Jakovlevich Ryzhenkov

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Abstract: The article presents a complex analysis of problems of implementation of the Bologna Declaration in the territory of Russia. The authors analyze legal, organizational, political, philosophical and other aspects impeding the full-scale transition of Russia to European educational standards, offer constructive suggestions regarding overcoming these obstacles. Particular attention is paid to the problem of Russia ignoring European educational values, without which introduction of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs is no more than a technical and organizational solution. Implementation of our suggestions will improve the quality of teaching in the master’s degree programs of law universities in Russia, increase the academic mobility of students, as well as methods of organizing of work of legal clinics at universities. Suggestions made by the authors regarding problems of education reform and ways of overcoming them are relevant for other countries existing in the Post-Soviet area.

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Development of Educational Leadership Skills In A Project Based Data Modeling Course At Zayed University

Iman Boukhobza,Anwar Hajjaj

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Abstract: This study aims to investigate the development of educational leadership skills in a general data modeling education course using the Project Based Learning approach (PBL) at Zayed University, UAE. The research goal was completed first by reviewing the most important educational leadership skills that university students need to have in order to meet career and job challenges and second, by investigating the impact of employing the PBL methodology on students’ perception of educational leadership skills, and ultimately on their performance. The research used a class observation method as well as a quantitative survey method that was conducted towards the end of the study period. Findings and results indicated that acquiring educational leadership skills via a PBL approach is highly possible, and positive feedback was recorded as per the students' perception and performance.

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Adapting to Global Trends: Why and How Is the Ethiopian Higher Education Changing?

Ayenachew A. Woldegiyorgis

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Abstract: In the decades since the end of the Second World War visible similarities have been emerging between higher education systems of different countries, across varying economic, political and socio cultural contexts. Over these years the Ethiopian higher education has also gone through a series of changes influenced by systems of different countries and global trends in higher education. Using institutional isomorphism as analytical framework, this paper explores how the Ethiopian higher education has been changing in the past two decades. Identifying the main forces of change behind the major policy reforms and examining the modes of influence the paper shows how the Ethiopian higher education adapts to global trends. It also makes the case that being under the influence of numerous interests the Ethiopian higher education shies away from strongly demonstrating distinct features of its own.

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Analyzing Health Education Training of Human Services Students

Christine Thorpe

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Abstract: Human services programs are charged with training students to address social problems through delivering services that enhance the standard of living of all people. The coursework generally offered in accredited human services programs are within the framework of mental health and social work, yet human services workers play a critical role in health care delivery and need to convey good health practices to their clients. This study provided an analysis of accredited program curriculum across the United States, and made the argument for the importance of health education courses for field preparation. The 39 accredited human services programs were analyzed for their number of health education courses offered, the type of course, and the number of credits per course. The analysis revealed that health education courses were present in less than half of the accredited programs. While many of the programs offer one course, First Aid/CPR was the only health education course offered to students.

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A Critical Review of “our work”: Re-Thinking T eachers’ Professional Identity: Issues and Challenges

Doreen Vikashni Chandra

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Abstract: This paper focuses on issues of the professional identity of teachers’ in the teaching profession. It provides insights into various challenges imposed on teachers’ professional identity in the age of globalization and marketisation. A range of concepts and ideas will be examined through the works of the British Sociologist Basil Bernstein in structuring of knowledge related to occupational identity formation. The first part of paper highlights the dominant issues that possess a threat to the ‘notion of teacher identity’ that teachers’ had in the ‘golden age’ of teacher control. The second part focuses on the challenges to Bernstein’s identities arising from ‘regionalization’ of knowledge and ‘genericism’, educational reforms and Levi-Strauss’s bricolage. Thirdly, I suggest ways of re-constructing teacher identity in its current discussions through democratic professionalism, employing teacher activist identity and the use of teacher narratives in teaching. Lastly, the author recommends that teachers’ professional identity could be re-built through conservative ‘identity policy’ by re-designing of work environments, organisational structures and ways of thinking about and carrying out teaching.

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Assessment of Availability of the Human and Material Resources for the Implementation of the New Basic Education English Language Curriculum in Kaduna State

Hanna Onyi Yusuf

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Abstract: This study investigates the availability of human and material resources for the implementation of the new basic education curriculum in English language in Kaduna North LGEA of Kaduna State. A total number of twenty (20) teachers from ten (10) randomly selected Junior Secondary schools from Kaduna North Local Government Area were used for the study. The results of the study showed that 65% of the English teachers used for the study are qualified while 35% of the English teachers are not qualified. 65% of the teachers indicated that the number of available English Language teachers are inadequate while 35% indicated that the English Language teachers available are adequate. The findings also revealed that there is insufficient supply of instructional materials (such as students textbooks, teachers guides, charts, slides, projectors, tapes, audio and video, CDs, DVDs etc) and facilities such as language laboratories, ICT and libraries in all the schools visited. It is recommended that adequate English language teachers should be employed and deployed to schools for quality basic education curriculum delivery. It is also recommended that a comprehensive training/retraining exercise that would enable teachers undergo remedial/capacity building programmes be provided for teachers. Similarly instructional materials should be provided in sufficient quantities in all schools to facilitate the teaching-learning process.

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Forty Years of Environmental Education in the Portuguese Democracy

Hélder Spínola

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Abstract: Since the 1970’s, education is internationally recognized as the main path to tackle the growing environmental crisis. In Portugal, forty years after engaging in Democracy and, at the same time, in Environmental Education, it still a matter of discussion and calls for an analysis on the path that have been followed. Despite a reality since the very beginning of Democracy in Portugal, after the 25th April 1974, it was only in 1986, with the accession to the European Economic Community and the publication of the Portuguese Education System Law, that Environmental Education started to be included in the goals of Public School. However, since then, the course of Environmental Education has been driven mostly by external forces, from outside the education system, and has been more dependent on the involvement of teachers, individually, than on the school institution as an all. In a time in which Portuguese Public School, as many other State public services, is deeply affected by an ongoing process of “slimming” due to the financial and economic crisis, we need to understand the Environmental Education past decade’s route and analyze the most probable consequences due to the current situation.

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Texas High School Students’ Ap/Ib Performance Rates: An 11-Year Study

Janis Fowler, Julie P. Combs, John R. Slate, George W. Moore

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Abstract: This study represents an analysis of trends of Texas students by ethnicity who scored at or above the criterion on the Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations over the past 11 years. Archival data from the Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator system were analyzed for all traditional public high schools with students taking these exams. The percentage of students who scored successfully on these exams has remained unchanged over the past 11 years. Furthermore, achievement gaps by ethnicity continue to persist. Statistically significant differences were present in the percentages of students who scored at or above the criterion with medium effect sizes.

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Value-Added Imprecision

Lauren A. Menard

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Abstract: From employment termination and pay incentives to reflections on teacher preparation programs, federalism has delineated consequences for the academic growth of students— a carrot or stick for the value teaching has added. A position of this article is that value-added measures of teacher effectiveness are less objective than presumed. Quantitative, standardized, and publicly disclosed teacher effectiveness ratings rely on student growth measuring tools with recognized distortions and inconsistencies. Extant literature on the imprecision of measuring student growth was reviewed, and the following six areas were identified: (a) construct shifting, (b) measurement systems, (c) snapshot summative assessments, (d) percentage increases, (e) student characteristics, and (f) prior ineffective teaching. The present discussion opens dialogue into equitable comparisons of effectiveness among teachers and the institutions that have prepared them for the classroom.

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A Case Study of Academics' Epistemic-Pedagogic Identity in the Context of Higher Education

Melanie Miller

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Abstract: The paper explores a PhD study, conducted recently about academics' epistemic-pedagogic identity. Specifically, the paper explores three research questions. (1) How does theoretical and empirical research link the epistemological and pedagogical constructs of academic identity? (2) How do different academics experience neoliberalism in relation to their epistemic-pedagogic identities? (3) How can epistemic-pedagogic identities critically develop and engage with epistemic climates? The research engaged these questions using a single case study of academics (n = 70) in a higher education institution in Auckland New Zealand. Data collection involved documentation collection, surveys, semi-structured interviews and artefact collection. The purpose of the research was to represent and interpret diverse academics' responses to the epistemic drift in higher education. The researchers' study offers a small but potentially significant contribution to academics' professional development to now share with the global environment.

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Perceptions of Undergraduates’ about Ethical use of Computer & Internet

Dr. Mubashrah Jamil[1], Dr. Jamil Hussain Shah[2]

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Abstract: Computer and internet has brought innovative changes in education all over the world. In the universities of Pakistan, computer and IT related courses have recently been included as compulsory subjects in all disciplines at undergraduate level. Therefore, it was important to know the perceptual understanding and awareness of university teachers and undergraduate students about the ethical use of computer and internet through a survey. Total 378 teachers and 643 students from four different universities participated in the study and the results were interpreted on the bases of their demographic information. Overall, the results were not very highly appreciated regarding the awareness about computer and IT ethics. But teachers from private sector universities and male students from both private and public sector universities were found perceptually more positive than to others. It was recommended that computer ethics awareness training is needed for all the stakeholders of all universities.

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Teaching Undergraduates how to Analyze

Ryan Andrew Nivens[1], Rosalind Raymond Gann[2]

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Abstract: Analysis is typically listed in taxonomies of higher order thinking. Academics consider these taxonomies worthwhile, but they are hard to teach and we are apt to ignore them. Today higher education is criticized for “dumbing down” curriculum or lowering standards. To rectify this, many policies at the state or national level are requiring higher education institutions to change. In K-12 education, Race to the Top and Common Core requirements are placing new demands on K-12 teacher preparation, which include evaluation of the analysis skills of pre-service teachers. But professors do not always view their disciplines as the proper place for teaching analytical skills. Others become frustrated when trying to teach analysis. But if we do not teach these skills, our teacher candidates will be poorly prepared for success, a problem which will cascade throughout our society, rendering our citizens less educated. In this paper, we describe our efforts to teach analysis in two courses from widely differing subject areas, literacy and mathematics education. We are now requiring teacher candidates to analyze simulated or actual samples of student work. We have developed a sequenced process of analysis education that we believe can be generalized to many other courses.

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Project Based Learning to Promote Ecuational Leadership Skills Implementation in an Environmental Science Course at Zayed University

Iman Boukhobza[1], Anwar Hajjaj[2]

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Abstract: The main idea underlying this work is that higher education students can develop educational leadership skills throughout the learning process supported by the approach of project based learning (PBL). This method has been known to point out at the challenge of increasing students’ motivation, their involvement in the course, and looking for applications of their learning. This study shows the benefits of designing a project in an environmental science course to create a more effective learning medium. Using PBL, students who were enrolled in the introduction to the environment sciences’ course at the general education level at Zayed University, were given the responsibility of quantifying the consumption of paper, to study qualitatively and quantitatively how this consumption would affect ecological resources as well as air pollution production. Students needed afterwards to discuss the benefit of recycling and how this can affect people lives. With the use of the PBL approach, students have shown a good improvement within the area of educational leadership skills (objective, group work, motivation). Most important of all, students showed a high level performance and course satisfaction.

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Universities of China and the Countermeasures

Wang Ai Qing

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Abstract: Bilingual teaching is an import part of university’s going global and educating multinational talents. It emphasizes the communication and interaction in classroom through a foreign language used in nonverbal majors and lessons. But nowadays, the significance of bilingual teaching in Chinese universities is not fully recognized. This paper, on the basis of questionnaire survey of three universities in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, investigates the present situation of the bilingual teaching in universities of China. The existing problems include: the purpose of bilingual teaching is not clearly and correctly understood; incentive mechanism has not yet been formed; lack of classroom interaction affects students’ interest in learning; curriculum is unreasonable; bilingual teaching staff is scarce; a number of students can’t catch up with the teacher in class due to their low English proficiency; teaching materials are inappropriate. Some suggestive countermeasures are put forward to help deal with the above problems in order to promote bilingual teaching in Chinese universities.

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Lost in the Shuffle: Urban African American Students Cast Into a Rural White University in the United States

Talbot Rogers[1], Frank Smith[2], William Stevens[3], Kester Greene[4]

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Abstract: This study involves interviews of approximately six African-American students attending a southern Appalachian University which shall be given the pseudonym Mountain University. Subjects were all between 18 and 24 years of age and came from a variety of academic disciplines. All come from cities which are much larger than the town bordering Mountain University (approximately 2,000 persons). The nearest large city is 100 kilometers (66 miles) away. Only 25 African-American students inhabit this campus of approximately 1200 mostly Caucasian students. The interviews conducted indicate that the students had excellent academic records and enjoyed their classes. They expressed themselves as feeling little of the effects of racism typical of the South of a few decades ago. This finding is in direct contradiction to many previous studies. These students uniformly found themselves bored on the campus. On the weekends, most of the other students left campus for their homes nearby, but many African-American students could not leave, partially because they, by and large, did not own automobiles and partially because their homes were often several hundred miles away. Thus, they had little choice but to stay on the campus. They generally found themselves isolated and unable to make many new friendships. One of the six interviewees plans to leave the university because of this isolation. Another theme that ran through the interviews was one of adjustment: adjustment to the white student culture, to the routines embedded into a small rural university, and to their need for entertainment and friendship, particularly on weekends. Adjustment to the academic life on campus was rarely found to be a problem. Student responses to an African-American interviewer were found to be substantially the same as those given to the White interviewer .

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The Value of Experiential Learning in the Accounting Field

Rhonda McIver

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Abstract: The role of experiential learning in the accounting field is second to none. Workbooks have been used to facilitate the learning in this field for decades. Many of these workbooks are outdated, overwhelming and are not fully integrated with today’s technologies. I have created a workbook specifically tailored to meet the needs and demands of my students which can easily be utilized at other educational institutions and perhaps for training in the work environment. The intention of this workbook is to provide source documentation comparable to those found in the work environment and have the students process this documentation to create accounting ledgers and financial statements. Students benefit from tying all of the accounting concepts and practices into one project that reinforces the theory and skills learned in the classroom.

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Proposal of a Methodology For Non-Formal Competences Certification

Domenico Falcone, Alessandro Silvestri, Cristina Cerbaso, Antonio Forcina, Gianpaolo Di Bona

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Abstract: The work aims to present a methodology for certifying the competences acquired in non-formal contexts. Given the absence of a framework to respect, but following the criteria established by the “Council Recommendation of 20th December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning” (2012/C 398/01), a model, called "ABC – Competence: Analysis, Balance and Certification of Competences”, has been developed. After the professional profile identification (i.e.: ESCO - European Skills/Competences, qualifications and Occupations classification), the model allows certifying the competence level acquired by the learner as a result of participation in a training course. In the model definition it is significant: - the identification of the trainer figure; he becomes the guarantor of contents and training methodologies choice and evaluates the actual acquisition of competences by the learner; - the classification of competences (knowledge/ability; hard/soft); - the identification of competence level, according to the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning.

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Effects of Inquiry-based Instruction: Case Study of a Marine Technology School

Pai-Lu Wu[1], Yu-Ren Yen[2], Hui-Ju Wu[3], Chien-Yu, Lin[4]

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Abstract: This aim of this study was to explore the learning effectiveness of inquiry-based instruction among vocational high school students. The sample consisted of 20 students at a maritime polytechnic vocational high school in southern Taiwan, and the instruction focused on the laboratory practices for assembling and disassembling power equipment. We used a single-group design and conducted pre- and posttests to measure changes in basic capabilities, motivation for and interest in studying science, and performance on a skill examination table. The study results indicate that inquiry-based instruction significantly improved the basic academic abilities and skills of students. This improvement was especially pronounced with respect to the self- efficacy and performance goal dimensions related to the motivation to study science. No significant differences were found for the three dimensions related to interest in studying science attitude toward science, learning atmosphere, and student engagement.

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Marginal Returns to Education For Teachers

Ramlee Ismail, Marinah Awang

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Abstract: The objective of this paper is to estimate a private rate of returns to education for teachers in Malaysia. Using information from teachers’ survey for more than 5000 respondents, we deploy the Mincer’s wage equation using an ordinary least square (OLS) as a homogenous return model. The finding indicates that the private rate of returns to schooling for an additional year of schooling is about 5 percent. This result is lower compared to the previous estimation for Malaysia. Furthermore, the marginal returns shown that the different levels of teachers training obtained the different returns. Those who completed teachers training with higher credential are likely to enjoy a higher return. This result is reflecting a sheepskin effect in a labour market. However, a significantly wage different by level of academic attainments is a result from government policy to raise teachers’ income and skill by increasing their level of academic qualification.

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Education at the University - in the Opinion of Students and Teachers (2008-2012)

Justyna Truskolaska[1], Magdalena Łuka[2]

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Abstract: The paper refers to the role of teachers in education (upbringing) of students in two kinds of schools – the university and the higher vocational school. In 2008 we conducted research between students of The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and the High Vocational School in Biała Podlaska. In 2010 we undertook those problem at the same schools, but we investigated the teachers' opinions. Then we compared the students' opinions with the teachers' opinions. In general, the opinion of students and teachers are similar. But we found problems in pattern of teachers' behavior. Some of them (but not many) are little conscious of their role in educating the young, not very involved in their work, unprepared to classes, not punctual, unjust, and rude to their students. Then in 2012 we make deeper the research by asking students to write how they understand the perfection at the university.

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