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Volume 7, No. 4 Articles
Title Authors Pages
Contributions of Islamic scholars to the scientific enterprise
Faruqi, Y.M. 391-399
This paper presents a discussion regarding the role that Muslim scholars played in the development of scientific thinking in the Middle Ages. It argues that the Muslims were not just the preservers of the ancient and Greek knowledge, but that they contributed original works to the different fields of science. They were inspired by the Islamic view of nature that is, mankind had a duty to 'study nature in order to discover God and to use nature for the benefit of mankind'. This knowledge was transferred to Western Europe and subsequently played an important role in revitalising a climate of learning and exploration in Europe, leading to the Renaissance in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Muslim scholars, scientific thinking, Islamic view of nature, knowledge transfer, Western science
Motivation in cross-cultural settings: A Papua New Guinea psychometric study
Nelson, G.F., O'Mara, A.J., McInerney, D.M. and Dowson M. 400-409
There is a paucity of research on motivation and education in developing countries. Although psychological constructs relating to academic engagement and achievement have been identified and researched in a number of cross-cultural settings this body of research has rarely been extended to the developing world. The processes by which students from majority, indigenous and under-developed nations are motivated in school are unclear. The current research sought to identify what motivates students from such demographics by investigating the psychometric properties of two instruments measuring student motivation. Three-hundred and fifty-five students from Papua New Guinea completed the Inventory of School Motivation and the General Achievement and Goal Orientation Scale. These instruments measured students' endorsement of academic (mastery and performance) and social goal orientations. Results supported the a-priori factorial structure and reliability of the instruments and deemed them to be satisfactory and useful measures of motivation in Papua New Guinea. Results are discussed in the light of motivational goal theory. Motivation, Papua New Guinea, confirmatory factor analysis, cross-cultural education
Attending to feeling: Productive benefit to novel mathematics problem-solving
Aldous, C.R. 410-422
What does attention to feeling have to do with solving problems in mathematics? Can feeling be used to navigate a path to a solution? What is meant by a feeling anyway? To what kind of problem does this productive benefit refer? A study of 405 middle school students solving two novel mathematics problems found that individuals utilising a feeling or free-flowing approach to reasoning were more likely to be successful in reaching a solution than those who did not. Indeed, feeling cognitions were found to have both a direct and indirect effect on the generation of a solution depending on whether mainly spatial or verbal processing was required. This finding is consistent with neuroscience research. Problem solving, feeling cognitions, mathematics, causal model
Very young children's body image: Bodies and minds under construction
Birbeck, D. and Drummond, M. 423-434
In recent years research has recognised that notions of body image, body image ideals and body dissatisfaction develop much earlier than was once thought. Forty-seven children (25 male; 22 female) aged between 5 and 6 years were interviewed on three occasions over 12 months regarding their perceptions of body image. The interviews revealed strong negative perceptions of fatness. However, being overweight or even obese was not always correlated with being unhealthy. Conversely, the desire towards cultural ideals of thinness, while apparent, was not as clear. Body image, early childhood, health, obesity, symbolic interactionism
An investigation into the effect of English learners' dictionaries on international students' acquisition of the English article system
Miller, J. 435-445
Learners' dictionaries are a resource which is often overlooked by both students and teachers of English as a Second Language. The wealth of grammatical information contained within them, however, can help students to improve their English language skills and, ipso facto, their academic writing. In this study, four groups of university ESL students participated in a session to improve their use of the English article system. Two of the groups used English learners' dictionaries and two did not. The results of the study indicate that the students who used the dictionaries achieved a slightly higher number of correct answers in the given article exercises, and expressed a higher level of satisfaction with the session, than those who had not used dictionaries. It is therefore suggested that greater use be made of learners' dictionaries in ESL grammar classes and that more teaching time be allocated to exploring and utilising this valuable resource. Articles, countability, ESL, teachers, learners' dictionaries
Heterotopia and its role in the lived experiences of resettlement
Rossetto, M. 446-454
Place, as a metaphor, can be experienced in different ways, existing or created. If created, space can be Foucault's 'placeless place', a utopia. A place that exists, however, can be a heterotopic space. A heterotopia is what we as individuals interpret it to be: it can be a space for reconstituting the self, rewriting the scripts of identity and placing the self within a context. This paper looks at the experiences of 18 Greek and Italian women who found a heterotopic space in which to build new friendships and establish themselves in a local community, creating and weaving their experiences into a tapestry that tells their stories of immigration and resettlement. Heterotopia, space, identity, experiences, immigration
English in minority areas of China: Some findings and directions for further research
Gil, J. 455-465
This paper discusses a neglected aspect of English in China, its impact on ethnic minorities and their languages. It begins with an overview of the current situation of the minorities and their languages then, based on fieldwork conducted in Jilin and Guizhou Provinces, it shows two trends: English currently has a limited presence in minority areas and there is a strong desire to learn it. However, achieving additive bilingualism is made difficult by lack of minority cultural content on the curriculum and lack of educational resources. It is argued that the Context Approach (Bax, 2003) can be used to help overcome these difficulties and as a guide for further research. China, ethnic minorities, English language teaching and learning, Context Approach, additive bilingualism
Towards the making of education policy in Kenya: Conclusions and implications
Oduol, T. 466-479
This paper uses the SACMEQ II data to carry out an analysis of classroom context factors that accounted for student scores in reading and mathematics as well as a review of methods used to derive policies in Kenya in order to emphasise the need for evidence-based research for the derivation of policies for the leadership and management of primary education in Kenya. The paper goes further to explain the advantages of the approach as well as some of the impediments. Some suggestions of measures needed to foster the approach are provided. It emphasises that this approach is a necessary ingredient for effectiveness and efficiency in education. Evidence-based research, policy-making, management of education, school effectiveness, Kenya
Some rural examples of place-based education
Bartholomaeus, P. 480-489
There are important issues for rural communities in Australia in relation to the provision of education for their young people (HREOC, 2000). This is particularly so in an era when successful completion of education is becoming increasingly vital as the pressures of a globalised economy mean that many rural and farming businesses are struggling to prosper. The term 'place-based education' is used by educators and researchers who have a focus on the well-being and effective learning of students. This paper explores what is meant by 'place-based education' and how this concept of education is being implemented in some rural schools in Australia, although usually without using this term. A review of literature about effective literacy learning demonstrates why teaching that is place-based is important for rural students. What the implementation of place-based education might look like in rural schools is also explored. Place-based education, pedagogy, rural education, rural schools, rural community
Towards a spatial 'self-help' map for teaching living in a rural context
Halsey, R.J. 490-498
For many teachers, an appointment to a rural school is their first experience of living and working in a context where they are highly visible and are likely to be known of and known about by far more people than they know of and know about. Space for "making errors" and recovering from them without impairment to becoming an effective teacher, is very limited compared to teachers and other professionals who work in cities and can become largely anonymous once they leave their working contexts. The concept of a mental map is derived from my own experience as a teacher in a rural town and Soja's (1996) challenge to think differently about space and spatiality. It focuses on three domains- personal, professional and public-and is presented as a way of supporting teachers to navigate and negotiate rural places which, contrary to some popular views, are very complex and challenging. Context, domains, map, rural, space
The relationship among Egyptian adolescents' perception of parental involvement, academic achievement, and achievement goals: A mediational analysis
Abd-El-Fattah, S.M. 499-509
A structural equation modelling analysis was used to test the mediating effect of achievement goal factors on the relationship between Egyptian adolescents' perception of parental involvement and academic achievement. The perception of Parental Involvement Scale and Achievement Goal Questionnaire was administered to a sample of 255 first-year students (135 males and 120 females) enrolled in a high school in El-Minia city in Egypt during 2005. Achievement scores were obtained from students' school records. Results of the study revealed that students' performance-approach and mastery goals were the most important predictors of students' academic achievement, followed by at-home parental involvement, at-school parental involvement, and finally performance-avoidance goals. At-home parental involvement had an indirect effect on students' academic achievement through mastery goal. At-school parental involvement had an indirect effect on academic achievement through mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals. Implications of these findings for students' academic achievement are discussed. Adolescents, parental involvement, academic achievement, achievement goals
Qualitative approaches to educational evaluation: A regional conference-workshop
Banfield, G. and Cayago-Gicain, S. 510-513
This paper reports on a conference held at the Leyte Institute of Technology, Tacloban City, The Philippines. Entitled: Qualitative Approaches to Educational Evaluation, it was a cooperative venture between the College of Arts and Sciences at the Leyte Institute of Technology and the School of Education at Flinders University. A central purpose of the conference was to introduce participants to the possibilities that qualitative approaches to research offer educational evaluation. However, it provided more than an opportunity to simply explore the application of qualitative techniques to educational evaluation. The conference situated those techniques within a broad, Action Research, planning framework so that by the end of the conference, participants would be able to design, implement, and manage entire evaluation projects. Educational evaluation, qualitative research, action research
"I know they are manipulating me…" Unmasking indirect aggression in an adolescent girls' friendship group: A case study
Huntley, J. and Owens, L. 514-523
Adolescence marks the beginning of a significant shift away from the world of parental support to the formation of intimate friendships with peers. Developmentally, this is an important time for adolescents as they seek to develop interpersonal skills, share activities and develop a deeper sense of understanding of themselves and others through shared confidences and self-disclosure. This is particularly the case for adolescent girls, who value the intimacy they find in small close-knit friendship groups. However, these groups, due to their intimate structure, can become a breeding ground for conflict including indirect aggression. This paper examines one girl's experience of the hurt and alienation she suffered within her friendship group. An interventionist approach using Narrative Therapy and the practices associated with externalising the problems within her friendship group allowed this girl to reclaim her sense of self and reconstruct new expectations for the inclusion of new friends in her life. Adolescence, girls, narrative therapy, externalising, indirect aggression
Administering self-concept interventions in schools: No training necessary? A meta-analysis
O'Mara, A.J., Green, J. and Marsh, H.W. 524-533
A meta-analysis of 105 studies reporting 152 self-concept interventions in school settings was conducted. The aims of the study were twofold: to explore the construct validity approach to self-concept interventions, and to examine aspects of the administration of the interventions, namely treatment setting, administrator type, administrator training, and implementation standardisation procedures. In support of the multidimensional perspective of self-concept, results of the random effects model analyses suggest that targeting specific self-concept domains when measuring self-concept outcomes lead to higher effect sizes (p < 0.001). Interestingly, the treatment setting, intervention administrator type, administrator training, and the use of standardisation procedures were not significant moderators. The implications for self-concept intervention administration in school settings are discussed. Self-concept, self-esteem, meta-analysis, intervention, training
The causal ordering of self-concept and academic motivation and its effect on academic achievement
Green, J., Nelson, G., Martin, A. J. and Marsh, H 534-546
Critical questions in educational psychology research to be addressed in this paper concern the casual relationship between academic self-concept, academic motivation and its effect on academic achievement. Do changes in academic self-concept and academic motivation lead to changes in subsequent academic achievement? Various studies have attempted to answer this question by examining the causal relations between academic self-concept and academic achievement as well as academic motivation and academic achievement. Less integral to research however has been the investigation of the relationship between both academic self-concept and academic motivation and their combined effects on academic achievement. For this reason, this paper aims to elucidate further the relationships among self-concept, motivation and academic achievement by proposing a longitudinal design by which self-concept and motivation are measured from a multidimensional perspective. The theoretical and practical implications of this important question will be discussed. Self-concept, academic motivation, causal ordering, academic achievement
The implicit theories of intelligence: A review of Dweck's motivation process model
Abd-El-Fattah, S.M. 547-552
This paper reviews the theoretical bases of Dweck's implicit theory of intelligence within the framework of the motivation process model. The motivation process model is intended to explain the full range of adaptive behaviours in achievement contexts, ranging from a mastery behavioural pattern at one extreme to a helpless behavioural pattern at the other. Specifically, the central explanatory construct is of a cognitive nature, the implicit personality theory of intelligence that acts as a meaning system influencing the whole action process. The central construct concerns the individuals' beliefs about the malleability of human traits. The motivation process model encompasses the entire behavioural process. That is the implicit personality theory of intelligence determines goal development and information processing, which in turn determine, in concert with confidence in one's intelligence, overt behaviour. Implicit theories of intelligence, Dweck, motivation process model
An exploration of common student misconceptions in science
Thompson, F. and Logue, S. 553-559
This study formed the basis of an assignment for a teacher-training course. The objectives of the study were to define three scientific concepts and identify for each some of the misconceptions that students commonly have. Six students, representing three distinct age groups were interviewed, using a predetermined set of questions and activities for each concept. Student responses were recorded and evaluated in an attempt to understand what misconceptions were held by the students, how they acquired them. The study showed that the level of misconceptions varied between concepts. There appeared to be some patterns in the level and type of misconceptions between the three age groups, suggesting that a more rigorous study in this area would be of value. Science, misconceptions, teacher training, students
Is motivation a predictor of foreign language learning?
Taguchi, K. 560-569
This article reports an investigation into the factors that facilitate language learning. The first strand examines whether motivation is a predictor of as is widely accepted. In order to confirm this, Grade 10 students' motivation level was measured using two questions. Language gains were also measured and compared with the motivation level. The other strand aims to discover, by observing classes using Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching (COLT) what other factors facilitate learning outcomes. Statistical analyses of the relationship between the two variables, motivational level and language gains indicate that motivation was not a predictor for the Grade 10 students in the study. Nor were many of the language class features included in the COLT. The most powerful predictors of language gains were found in more implicit teachers' beliefs about their students' capacities and their expectations of their students' achievement. Motivation, measuring motivation, language learning outcome, teacher' expectation, self-fulfilling prophecy
Chinese Culture Curriculum planning
Wang, C. 580-597
Using the Rasch Rating Scale model, data collected from 200 ninth grade students in North Sulawesi Indonesia were analysed. This analysis sought to validate instruments developed to measure the Democratic Climate of Civic Education Classrooms (DCCEC) and Student Engagement in Civic Education Classrooms (SECEC). Category used, item and person separation reliability (ISR and PSR), item and person separation index (ISI and PSI), item ordering, person and item fit were examined in the analysis. The results indicated the reliability of items to be used in other studies that involved students from classrooms with similar climates. Civic education, democratic climate, classroom engagement, Rasch rating scale analysis, Indonesia
Developing and validating instruments for measuring democratic climate of civic education and student engagement
Mappiasse, S. 580-597
Using the Rasch Rating Scale model, data collected from 200 ninth grade students in North Sulawesi Indonesia were analysed. This analysis sought to validate instruments developed to measure the Democratic Climate of Civic Education Classrooms (DCCEC) and Student Engagement in Civic Education Classrooms (SECEC). Category used, item and person separation reliability (ISR and PSR), item and person separation index (ISI and PSI), item ordering, person and item fit were examined in the analysis. The results indicated the reliability of items to be used in other studies that involved students from classrooms with similar climates. Civic education, democratic climate, classroom engagement, Rasch rating scale analysis, Indonesia
Learner-centeredness and EFL instruction in Vietnam: A case study
Dang, H.V. 598-610
Although learner-centeredness has been widely applied in instruction in the world, this approach has only been cautiously adopted in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teaching at some institutions in Vietnam. Taking a social constructivist view, this case study explores how a learner-centred perspective is employed in EFL teaching at a teacher training college in Vietnam. The study is based on data generated with EFL teachers and students of an advanced level class through classroom observations, in-depth interviews, group discussions and document reviews. The data have been qualitatively analysed to show how learner-centeredness is successfully employed to get the students actively involved in learning. Implications are drawn in regard to EFL teaching and learning, and also curriculum and materials development. English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Learner-centeredness, social constructivist view, learner involvement and activity, willingness

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