Vol. 4 Iss. 1

A Novel Approach to Integrated Science Teaching and Learning in a Selected Ghanaian Junior High School

The study was about a novel approach to Integrated Science teaching and learning in a selected Ghanaian junior high school. In this study, the approach to teaching and learning Integrated Science has been made entirely new and meaningful in the sense that the four learning behaviours (acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application of knowledge and experimental skills) which constitute profile dimensions were incorporated into the objective-stating, lesson-delivery and assessment of lessons. The researcher made use of profile dimensions in preparing lesson plans, taught students with the new strategy and assessed the impact of the new approach on students in terms of teaching and learning of science. The students were highly interested in answering low order question. About 80% of the questions were high order questions which were poorly answered. They actually showed very little interest in answering high order questions. However, as the weeks went by and the approach to teaching the new strategy was improved, students’ interests were aroused and sustained leading to students demonstrating high ability to answer high order questions conveniently. By the end of the study, the students were able to set up and conduct experiments, observe the outcome and draw their own conclusions. The students could classify items based on their characteristics and discuss issues (like balanced diet) and outline the effect of malnutrition in animals. Students’ scientific drawings were neater and clearer with less woolen lines. The implication of the finding is that, with these learning behaviours and skills, students could do analytical thinking and have the capacity to apply their knowledge to problems and issues.

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

School Principals’ Levels of Administrative Competences based on the Perceptions of Principals and Teachers

Abstract: This study aims to determine school principals’ level of administrative competencies according to the perceptions of teachers and principals. The study group consists of 134 teachers and 35 principals. The data of the research, which was designed in the survey model, were collected with the “School Administrators’ Competences Inventory”. The results revealed that school principals and teachers exhibited high levels of administrative Competencies as expected from the school principals. The opinions of the teachers and principals did not differ significantly in thecomparisons according to gender, seniority, school type, and duties (teacher vs. principal). Likewise, the correlation coefficients between the administrativecompetence subscales were estimated above a moderate level. As a result of the research, it can be said that teachers and principals have positive views about the competencies of the school administrators. However, though the Ministry of National Education and the academic community put great emphasis on it and a significant deal of knowledge and database has been accumulated about it, it is an important problem that school administration has not been defined as a profession in Turkey and no sustainable policy in this aspect has been developed yet.

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

Is Personality Related to Risks Associated with Smartphones?

This is a preliminary study investigating the risks associated with smartphone addiction by personality and type of phone. The results relate to personal background, personality, smartphone usage, smartphone satisfaction, level of exposure to risks, and correlations between the variables. A significant but partial correlation was found between personality and smartphone addiction, satisfaction, and level of risk. Smartphone addiction was found to be positively correlated with extraversion (r = .21, p < .01). Satisfaction was found to be correlated positively with extraversion (r = .28, p < .01), agreeableness (r = .41,p < .01), and conscientiousness (r = .38, p < .01), and negatively with emotional stability (r = -.57, p < .01). Risk was found to be negatively correlated with agreeableness (r = -.17, p < .05). Differences between types of phone in satisfaction, risk, and smartphone addiction were examined. A significant correlation (F(4, 145) = 2.96, p < .05) was found in the level of smartphone addiction, but no differences were found in smartphone satisfaction or the level of risk associated with smartphones (F(4, 145) = 2.96, p > .05 and F(4, 145)= .45, p > .05, respectively). According to the results, it seems that personality greatly affects phone usage and exposure to risks, regardless of the type of phone, and that reducing smartphone usage may be beneficial. However, further research using larger study samples is needed to confirm this.

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

The Role of the Capstone Project in Engineering Education in the Age of Industry 4.0 -A Case Study

Abstract: The capstone project in many academic institutions is the high point of undergraduate studies in engineering. The transition of graduates to industry is still not optimal, and there is a disparity between the needs of industry and the actual ability of academia to meet these needs. This study examines the role of the capstone project as a pedagogical tool in the age of Industry 4.0 in the field of product development, and as a bridge between academia and industry. The study combines qualitative and quantitative methods, focusing on four stakeholders (academia, industry, students and advisors). The study is based on several sources, such as: semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, observations, and more. The study results indicate that the capstone project is important and valuable for industry and academia, as well as being perceived by students as the most important undergraduate course. Nevertheless, the results reveal that it has many gaps and shortcomings and illuminate the need for a deep perceptual and structural change. Academia should reconsider projects’ length and define milestones in which independent learning is optimally enabled. The projects’ contribution to academic institution reputation, should be considered when defining the project goals. Coping with the challenges and gaps found in this study, the project can also be used in order to reduce incongruities, while preparing the students in a better way for their professional role in changing environment.

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

Children’s Interactions in Ability-based Groups in a Primary Classroom

Abstract: The article reports data from an aspect of the study which aimed to study the nature of children’s interactions and their perceptions of ability-based groups in a primary classroom in England. Previous studies on ability-based group have mainly used quantitative research designs to study children’s interactions and appeared to award less opportunities to children to talk about their experiences of working in ability-based groups. This study has used a qualitative ethnographic research design to study children’s interactions and their perceptions of working in ability-based groups. Children’s interactions were studied using participant observations and debriefing activities were used to elicit children’s perspectives on their recorded interactions. Furthermore, informal conversational interviews were also used to hear children’s perspectives on their experiences of working in ability-based groups. The article only focuses on data related to children’s interactions, which revealed that children appeared to be cooperative, non-cooperative and competitive towards their peers in ability-based groups. We noted that children interpreted the group structure and learning task distinctively when deciding whether or not to work with others in groups. In some cases, children exhibited gender-biased attitudes while interacting with their peers. Children showed cooperative attitudes towards same-sex peers and non-cooperative attitudes towards other-sex peers. The findings highlight the importance of fully understanding children’s contexts and their dynamic influences on children’s interactions during their routinely organised ability-based group work. These also highlight the importance of listening to children’s perspectives while studying their interactions in ability groups in the mainstream primary classrooms.

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

The Effect of Research-Inquiry Based Activities on the Academic Achievement, Attitudes, and Scientific Process Skills of Students in the Seventh Year Science Course

Abstract: This quasi-experimental study investigated the effect of research-inquiry based teaching strategies on students’ academic achievements(AA), attitudes, and scientific process skills(SPS). The study sample comprised50 students studying in Grade7in a secondary school affiliated with the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Bartın. In this study, experiment and control groups were selected to determine the effect of research-inquiry based teaching strategies. A draft teaching program for the “Reflection and Light Absorption in Mirrors” topic was conducted for three weeks with the experimental group in accordance with the research-inquiry based teaching philosophy and in compliance with the achievements included in the MoE curriculum. In the control group, the regular Classroom Science Course Curriculum was followed. SPSTest, AATest, and Attitude Scale were employed for the pre and post-tests of the experimental and control groups. The test results were analyzed using quantitative analysis methods. The use of research-inquiry based strategies in science courses in research was thus found to have a positive impact on students’ AA, attitudes, and SPS.

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1