Problems of Education in the 21st Century

Problems of Education in the 21st Century

Basic info

  • Publisher: Problems of Education in the 21st Century
  • Country of publisher: lithuania
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2017/May/23

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: Education
  • Publisher's keywords: education
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF

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  • Article Processing Charges (APCs): Yes 15 EURO
  • Submission charges: No
  • Waiver policy for charges? No

Editorial information

Open access & licensing

  • Type of License: CC BY
  • License terms
  • Open Access Statement: Yes
  • Year open access content began: 2007
  • Does the author retain unrestricted copyright? False
  • Does the author retain publishing rights? False

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  • Permanent article identifier: None
  • Content digitally archived in: Nopolicy
  • Deposit policy registered in: None

This journal has '1098' articles

STUDENTS´ POINT OF VIEW OF THE BIOLOGY LECTURE TAUGHT WITH AN ICT ASSISTANCE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS

STUDENTS´ POINT OF VIEW OF THE BIOLOGY LECTURE TAUGHT WITH AN ICT ASSISTANCE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS

Authors: Milan Kubiatko, Zuzana Haláková
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Abstract

In our contribution, we focused on using of information and communication technologies in the biology lessons concretely on birds´ class. We find out the students´ points of view of this lesson. The five-point Likert scale questionnaire was used as a measurement tool. The questionnaire included 27 statements and there was a place for expressing of the own student’s opinion there. The results were processed by using of factor analysis and ANOVA. The sample consisted of 70 secondary grammar schools students. We were concerned on finding out the differences in results between gender and students´ native town. General result should goes first – it means what was found in the research? Was ICT assistance considered to be important for students/ positively appreciated? In every dimension, the students from bigger town (according to the number of inhabitants) reached more positive score in questionnaire than the other students in sample. Gender differences were generally weak.

Keywords: information and communication technologies, biology, students
THE IMPORTANCE OF COGNITIVE SELECTIVENESS IN THE AGE OF INFORMATION FLOOD

THE IMPORTANCE OF COGNITIVE SELECTIVENESS IN THE AGE OF INFORMATION FLOOD

Authors: Maria Ledzińska, Ewa Czerniawska
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Abstract

Civilization changes resulting from technological development are the causes of modifications of life conditions. The effects of technological development are perceived as ambivalent as well as positive, and negative. Psychologists are interested mainly in the latter ones, especially in the phenomenon of overproduction of information, sometimes called information overflow or information flood. This social phenomenon requires from contemporary people the ability of selecting data, their intentional choice, in line with the specificity of the realized cognitive tasks. The competences required to perform this task properly are called metacognition. They involve knowledge of cognitive functioning, i. e. higher-level skills including planning, monitoring, control and regulation of the cognitive activity. The development of metacognition seems to be a major challenge for contemporary education.

Keywords: information flood, metacognition, selectiveness
INTERACTIVE LEARNING MODELLS OF THE E-LEARNING IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION

INTERACTIVE LEARNING MODELLS OF THE E-LEARNING IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION

Authors: Lenke Tóthné Parázsó
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Abstract

The nature of the interactive teaching learning process is approached from various perspectives. First, I will talk about the nature of multimodel interactions in the eLearning teaching learning processes with systematic approach. Second, I would like to present the efficiency of using the Interactive Study System. • Third, the structured, programmed features of on-line educational materials, the visualisation of media elements, the simulation, the possibilities of testing and improving efficiency offers the introduction and application of modern electronic examination methods.

Keywords: e-learning, interactive teaching material, interactional level, problem-solving thinking, cognitive skill, individual learning situation
PURPOSE AND FORM OF REALIZATION OF THE BLENDED LEARNING SYSTEM DURING CHEMISTRY ACADEMIC COURSES

PURPOSE AND FORM OF REALIZATION OF THE BLENDED LEARNING SYSTEM DURING CHEMISTRY ACADEMIC COURSES

Authors: Anna Migdał-Mikuli, Paweł Broś, Paweł Bernard
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Abstract

In the academic year 2003/2004, the Department of Chemistry Didactics began modification of courses: ‘General Chemistry with the Elements of Physical Chemistry’ for the first year of biophysics and ‘Phase transitions in a Solid State’, intended for fourth-year chemistry students. The main reasons for modification of these courses were the unsatisfactory final grades of students in both courses. Preliminary research shows that students have difficulties in understanding the above-mentioned lectures due to lack of elementary knowledge. There is also a great differentiation between the levels of the skills and knowledge of students. Considering the above-mentioned situation, we have proposed to use elements of distance learning for equalization of the level of knowledge, the so-called blended learning system (Bonk & Graham, 2004). The full paper presents the methodology of preparing and the application of blended learning classes at an academic level, the findings of questionnaire surveys on how students find the blended learning system and statistical analyses of exams.

Keywords: blended learning, distance learning, general chemistry, learning system
PROGRAMMING ONE’S OWN STANDALONE TEACHING AIDS FOR STUDENTS OF MATHEMATICAL SUBJECTS

PROGRAMMING ONE’S OWN STANDALONE TEACHING AIDS FOR STUDENTS OF MATHEMATICAL SUBJECTS

Authors: Michal Novák
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Abstract

The article encourages teachers to program their own applications – mathematical teaching aids. It discusses the issue of teaching aids for students in mathematical subjects from the point of view of their accessibility, i.e. especially what software equipment students are required to use in order to actually use the aids. A number of aids require that either specialized mathematical software such as Maple, Matlab or Mathematica is installed at the client computer – i.e. that the student bought a license of the software, or that specialized software is installed at the university server(s). The article focuses on situations when neither of the conditions is possible. Comments on programming teaching aids which can be used with minimum requirements at the client side (typically Internet connection only) are included. First, the overview of possibilities is given. Later, the issue of PHP based applications is explored. The article includes examples of existing teaching aids prepared by a non-programmer.

Keywords: e-learning, programming, teaching aids, teaching mathematics
ICT-SUPPORTED INTERDISCIPLINARITY OF SUBJECTS

ICT-SUPPORTED INTERDISCIPLINARITY OF SUBJECTS

Authors: Vlasta Rabe
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Abstract

This paper deals with new access to manage of the teaching process not only in university, regarding dramatic development information and communication technologies, and last but not least with reference to possibilities of ICT in supporting interdisciplinarity of subjects. There are submitted essence of lecturer’s and student’s standpoints on chances of exercise of e-learning in state of affairs and view of future this method in education, and the necessity of new skills in information and communication technologies.

Keywords: education process, role of teacher, research, ICT, e-learning, collaborative learning, interdisciplinarity
THE SUBJECTIVE COMPUTER EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

THE SUBJECTIVE COMPUTER EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Authors: José Domingo Villarroel Villamor
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Abstract

The subjective computer experience (SCE) construct is defined as a private psychological state reflecting the thoughts and feelings that a person ascribes to some previous or existing computing event. Information and communication technologies are currently increasing their influence in the field of education, so the SCE of teacher-treaining students is an interesting subject for analysis. The present study examines the SCE of a sample of 176 university students with different academic profiles, including a sample of students from teacher training colleges. The results show not only differences between students from different fields of knowledge, but also that participating in the design of teaching models based on the use of ICTs is related to distinct SCE profiles.

Keywords: ITCs, Computer use; Computer experience; Teacher training, web 2.0
INFORMATION CULTURE IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION

INFORMATION CULTURE IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION

Authors: Anda Zeidmane, Anna Vintere
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Abstract

One of the characteristic features of the development of modern society is a rapid growth of the information flow. It is more and more complicated to find one’s way in it at present. That is why the issue of acquiring the necessary knowledge, abilities and skills for work increase the flow of information. It means that nowadays the question about information culture is becoming more and more important. The process of forming information culture is aimed to train and develop a creative person and his self-development. In the authors’ opinion information culture is an extent of knowledge, abilities and skills connected to the search for, processing, storing and creation of information items using new information technologies, realizing the necessity of using information resources; principles and rules of the person’s behavior in information and communicative systems; vital aims, estimations and attitude to the world. The report summarizes and presents some aspects (cognitive, operational and contextual, communicative, valuable and reflexive) of information culture and describes the information culture as a methodological devise of cognition and ways of forming the person’s information culture.

Keywords: information culture, information literacy, technology literacy
REORGANIZATION OF THE SUBJECT HOUSEKEEPING AND TECHNOLOGIES 7 CLASSES AS THE OPPORTUNITY OF INTEGRATION ICT IN EDUCATION

REORGANIZATION OF THE SUBJECT HOUSEKEEPING AND TECHNOLOGIES 7 CLASSES AS THE OPPORTUNITY OF INTEGRATION ICT IN EDUCATION

Authors: Vronskaya, N
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Abstract

In the report are considered the following modern technologies: digital document camera, an interactive board, interactive response system, the interactive pen display for the teacher. A project “ICT for quality of education” has been developed for improvement of process of information of an education system in Latvia. One task of the project is increase in a parity of those teachers which can to use a computer and other newest technologies for improvement of teaching quality of the subject at a level - computer literacy. The author has compared data from the Latvian schools with data of researcher Jennifer Langdon-Pollok from schools of America on frequency of interactive technologies using and analyzed opportunities of teaching subject based on state standard with use of modern interactive technologies. Methodology of research To realize the purpose of research has been used such methods: the theoretical analysis of the educational document (state standard of the basic education), data of two researches have been checked up with help of Chi Square criterion on conformity of distribution of a variable, then data have undergone to statistical processing with help of Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, for comparison of two independent samples, on of disparity difference of one sample from other. Result of research Teacher can use interactive information technologies, for example: • Interactive board – on groups to equip a living room in computer program Paint; • Interactive response system – the group virtually lays the table and after teacher lead individual response on conformity - table layout and menu; • Digital document camera – evident demonstration in a three-dimensional mode as to embroider correctly; • Interactive pen display for the teacher – teacher corrects work of group. Discussion When the teacher uses interactive technologies there is an active involvement of all pupils into learning process. Scientist G.Kershenshtener considers that training of a subject is formed of cooperation the teacher with all pupils in group. Interactive technologies will involve all forms of perception: audio, visual and kinesthetic. K.Ushinsky considers, the teacher who wants that the pupil has something remembered, should take care in training of a subject involve all forms of perception. The main conclusion – at work with interactive technologies, the teacher always is in the center of attention and support regular interactive contact to pupils, that increase pupil engagement and efficiency of learning, develops creative abilities of pupils, maximizes learning motivation and improve pupil behavior. And it is one of the main results of each teacher work.

Keywords: interactivity, state standard of education
ELECTRONIC TUTORIALS FOR SCHOOL DISCIPLINES TEACHING AND LEARNING

ELECTRONIC TUTORIALS FOR SCHOOL DISCIPLINES TEACHING AND LEARNING

Authors: Saprykina, G
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Abstract

Equalization of opportunities for getting qualitative knowledge by schoolchildren in various regions of our planet and individualization of the educational process become the most important problems of the education system in 21-st century. Our time is characterized by intensive computeriza-tion and development of electronic communication systems. Keeping this in mind, the author considers the development of technologies of creation of electronic educational tutorials (EET) as one of the decision of these problems. In this paper the features of the some cognitive processes, such as memory and attention, are considered in the context of their rational activization while working with EET. Recommendations on inclusion in technology of creation of EET of the following ways of activization of cognitive processes are formulated: the novelty; unusual, inherently “surprising” situations; gradation of task complexity; interactivity; current control of task performance; answers to questions. The important role is played by game elements, original external envelopes and use of comfortable visual media during displaying information. EET differs from traditional printed textbooks by multiple-leveling, integrative abilities, visu-alization of presentation, mobility and availability, and variety of forms and contents. Basic principles of the development of EET on natural science subjects, which define the structure, the content and ways of presentation of the teaching material, are preconditioned by the requirements of didactics and are reflected in vertical presentation of the teaching material, mathematical modeling, demonstration of relations between studied phenomena and laws and habitual for pupils images of the surrounding reality, the nature, and understandability of the presentation of the scientific facts. Examples of the EET created with a contribution of the author in physics ("School physical experiment on PC"), in mathematics ("Algebra. Functions and graphs"), in literature ("Classics of the world literature at school lessons. 19-th century") are described. Prospects of introduction of EET in school educational process are discussed.

Keywords: activization of thinking, passive and active attention, quality of training
EDUCATION FORTUNES AND FAILURES: BETWEEN TENDENCIES AND CONTINGENCIES

EDUCATION FORTUNES AND FAILURES: BETWEEN TENDENCIES AND CONTINGENCIES

Authors: Lamanauskas, V
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Abstract

Dear Readers, It seems to be a paradox that frequently initiated political decisions in the field of education influence the expected alterations as well as a number of negative factors. Recently, the quality of education has been devoted meticulous attention. There is no doubt it is a pressing matter at all levels of the education system. Every stage is specific and encodes the fortunes and failures of the following stage. The one, who obviously failed to succeed at the very beginning, can experience arising problems in the future. First of all, in this particular case I refer to lack of certain education and therefore, probably no one can be blamed as the education system is often found guilty about the situation. The education of the post soviet countries encountered a variety of fortunes and failures. On the one hand, the reforms of the education system were an inevitable and necessary process. A worse point is that in certain cases, they became sustained, ongoing and not preserving the established order, and thus caused discontent at a varying degree. For example, applying the so called modern ICT in the education system was not always a clever idea as only later it was perceived that the technologies themselves brought no success. Skills at purposefully using them, abilities to effectively apply the required equipment in practice etc. are necessary. The rejection of the identical programmes of general education in a number of post soviet countries including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia can be accepted as success. Up to 1990, all Baltic States used the same course books as in the former Soviet Union. After gaining the independence, an underlying update of teaching content at all levels of the education system started. First original (not translated from the Russian language) course books appeared. In a few years time, first course books written by the European authors were published. However, didactically, these were not particularly suitable for Lithuanian students. For example, for more than ten years, the Latvian students of comprehensive school have been provided the possibility of choosing a learning curriculum. Although at previous times, they had a chance of selecting teaching subjects, still the latter principle did not satisfy expectations. A number of disagreements on bringing profiled teaching in practice occurred in the year 2000 (Lamanauskas, 2000b). The prospects and reality of the former education reforms taking place in Lithuania were openly discussed (2000a). It was expected that the then chosen model would ensure the individual possibilities of free choice. However, it can be stated that to a larger extent the implementation of the model in Lithuania did not succeed. After making the major transformations the initial model was withdrawn. It is clear that not all students are equally good at all subjects taught at school. Although the idea of profiling was brilliant, however, the chosen strategy for implementing things in practice had not been properly checked considering the prevailing conditions in Lithuania. Another important aspect is that this seems to be one of the ways to deny the core of comprehensive schooling. Though rather selective education systems exist in a number of European countries (for example, in Germany), too early specialization contradicts the conception of general education as the one graduating secondary school, must receive thorough education. Certainly, an opponent should state that presently, almost there is no country that should not provide a child with the possibility of choosing at least a part of educational content. Even supposing it is true, who can ensure it is a careful, well-balanced etc. choice. Since 2007, controversially evaluated profiled education in the Lithuanian establishments of comprehensive education has been changed to a less elaborated system that allows the learners to individually decide on 40% of the subjects they want to be taught. Following a new requirement, a basic school graduate first of all, must choose not the profile but at least nine subjects from the basic school curriculum and almost the same number of the optional subjects. Another failure is that up to now, no equally qualitative education has been guaranteed for students neither in Lithuania, nor in Latvia. Despite the fact, that conditionally the above mentioned countries are quite small, the level of social isolation varies to a large degree in the city site and the rural area. In the majority of cases, financial support for education institutions depends on municipalities as these promote the latter establishments and are responsible for providing the required resources which definitely worsens the quality of education in general. Secondary schools were transformed into the institutions of basic education whereas the former basic schools were either closed or reorganized into the establishments of primary education in the larger part of rural areas in Lithuania. Such situation cannot be explained referring to demographic arguments, for example a decreasing number of learners, which on the contrary, facilitates higher quality education, as having the same financial resources, the number of students remains reduced and therefore more attention can be devoted to teacher training etc. Modern technologies and a smaller amount of students in the classroom create conditions for every learner to work out an individual plan of education that helps with introducing a personal style and pace of studying. In this case, the larger part of countries supports the idea of individualized teaching. Strong competition, general instructions on enrolling in the Lithuanian institutions of higher education and students experiencing pressure of their parents ignoring natural children’s abilities to learn have a negative impact on education. To organize the process of total enrolment, all universities in Lithuania have formed an association. A number of young people break studying due to the wrong choice of a subject. For the last few years, the regulations have specified that up to 20 positions pointing out the chosen curricula of studies can be included in the application form. It is an opened lottery. The results of random enrolment are dramatic. Statistics shows that students’ options frequently do not correspond neither to their interests nor individual possibilities. The annual average of people eliminated from higher and vocational schools makes more than 20 000. For example, in the school year 2003/2004, 378 in 10 000 citizens of Lithuania were studying in universities. Under statistics provided by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, more than 70% the same year secondary school graduates are still studying in the institutions of higher education (44% - in universities and 238% - in colleges) http://www.smm.lt/. Thus, on the one hand, the number of students constantly increases, on the other hand – the required financial support cannot be guaranteed, and therefore the quality of studies remains reduced. The Rector of Vilnius University suggests that if a number of students having no motivation enter the university and study no matter what they get, logically they fail to qualitatively study (Juodka, 2007). Another evident failure of education policy is that the number of managers having a doubtful qualification is increasing while that of qualified workers is decreasing in all three Baltic States. The problem of teachers’ social status can be accepted as a serious failure in some post soviet countries. Though education in Latvia and Lithuania is considered to be a priority field, nevertheless teachers’ remunerations remain really poor. Such situation does not attract qualified teachers to work at school. They must work longer hours and sometimes increase work load twice which prevents them from raising qualification, training courses and professional advancement. For the last few years, the trade unions of the above discussed countries have been fighting for their rights so that they would be honestly paid for the work they did. Periodically performed protest actions and strikes do not help with achieving main political decisions. A positive point is that all three Baltic States are closely collaborating in the fields of policy and education. The latest statistics and research have disclosed that the achievements of Estonian students surpassed those of Lithuanian and Latvian learners. The Latvian students of upper secondary school (forms from 10 to 12) were provided with new equipment necessary for laboratory experiments in sciences which is a very complimentary decision. During the last 15 years, an interest in natural sciences has remarkably decreased, is negatively evaluated by the majority of people and certainly will have a damaging impact in the future. A relevant task that should be undertaken by the Lithuanian Government is to arrange school network and properly supply schools with necessary equipment. However, a matter of concern is frequently and motivelessly closed schools having a small number of learners. The decrease of schoolchildren is not the major argument about the closure of school. In the majority of cases, the schools located in the rural area are the only focal points of education and culture. Therefore, the space of education in the Baltic States can be more or less treated in a similar way. It is likely that a close collaboration in the fields of education and policy will be central issues in the future. The Ministers of Education and Science of the Baltic States regularly discuss achievements in education in each of the countries. The problems of education fortunes and failures have been briefly discussed. Even such a subtle point of view should encourage researchers to more critically analyze the phenomena of fortune and failure in education. Quite a few failures were obviously programmed in the past and retrospectively can be accepted as a tendency. A number of things are being programmed nowadays as this is the way to programme the future of our society. Is it a tendency, contingency or both? Sinergetically, contingency can be accepted as creative constructive antecedent. With reference to education, it has a positive shade because of the power pushing forward the tendencies stimulating the growth of education planning and efficiency. The present and future education policy is definitely related to globalization and rapid changes taking place in society which is a real information revolution connected with the use of information communication technologies. It is clear that the countries that intended to change the education system and thus society itself had approved purposes. Some goals were achieved whereas a part of those were not attained. There is no excuse for a strong wish to intercept experience of the Western countries as the latter situation prevented from solving local problems. Therefore, a pertinent question whether we have our own science and education policy and a future project or only blindly follow things occurring in the West and enthusiastically take them over arises. An objective to change things and be changed is welcomed. It can be emphatically affirmed that education is able to change society. However, are the politicians competent enough to change education itself and create the required conditions for changes in education? The increase of reforms at different level is determined by gaining certain freedoms. Nevertheless, the main problem remains the same – how to combine the previously launched various projects on the reforms of education into the wholeness in order to achieve better implementation of the projects through coordinating them and how to succeed in getting the best results. Losses and failures have never been ageless as they can be treated as general systemic regularities. It is the time to take control over, predict and learn from the failures of education. In the end, a controversial question asked by A. Bloom Will future learning be in tablet form? can be repeated.

Keywords: education system, general education
FUTURE FOR SCIENCE AND ENgINEERINg EDUCATION

FUTURE FOR SCIENCE AND ENgINEERINg EDUCATION

Authors: Boris aberšek
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Abstract

School educational systems on the threshold of millennium all over the Europe are experiencing radical changes. Deliberation, which generates this changes, is mostly oriented into balancing which competences (capabilities) should educational system develop with the students, so they can successfully perform roles, that can be expected during their life, and therefore to create their own prosperity. • In this context it is exceedingly important to see curriculum aims • as global (and not as it happened at previous renovation; subjects dispersion). We have to think about a correlation of knowledge between the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and technical felds and also their role (dimension) at forming entire personality for future grown. It is not possible to deny, that humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and their application: techniques are inseparable connected, because things are getting their practicability value (become logical) only in the feld of application. (Foreign language, when or if we meet foreigner, mathematics, when we want to calculate something…). Natural science knowledge gets its meaning in application (techniques), and therefore gets its market value – that can led up to rise social welfare (prosperity). That however reflexively generates new impetus of society: art, culture, humanism…The circle is joined or even better, a vertical spiral is released (Picture 1). • it is highly important to use in this process methods, that’s support such curriculum aims. In our research we proposed Problem-Based Learning (PBS). PBS was frst established as part of the education of physicians in medical school over 40 years ago. Developed by Howard Barrows, this strategy has grown into an instructional approach which is fnding success in elementary through high school. PBL is now a prominent strategy in many elementary schools through high schools.

Keywords: curriculum design, science and enginnering, problem base learning, constructivism, educational research
REASONS BEHIND THE FINNISH SUCCESS IN SCIENCE AND mATHEmATICS IN PISA TESTS

REASONS BEHIND THE FINNISH SUCCESS IN SCIENCE AND mATHEmATICS IN PISA TESTS

Authors: Maija ahtee, Jari Lavonen, erkki Pehkonen
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Abstract

Finnish teacher educators with the research background joined in a common enterprise to gather information from the Finnish education system and used practices in teaching science and mathematics to explain the Finnish students’ success in the international PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) assessment. The items dealt with were the following: the Finnish school system and teacher education, learning environments, gender issues, influential factors outside the school, and teaching science and mathematics at the comprehensive school. From the articles by 40 authors the book “How Finns Learn Mathematics and Science?” was produced. The explanations for Finnish success based on the authors’ conceptions can be classifed into three groups: Teacher and teacher education, school and curriculum, and the national developmental projects. Most probably a true explanation will be a combination of several factors as no single clear explanation was found, although research-based teacher education seems to be a rather influencing factor.

Keywords: explanations for Finnish success, PISA program, teacher education
THE ROLE AND ASSESSmENT OF TEXTBOOKS IN mATHEmATICS EDUCATION

THE ROLE AND ASSESSmENT OF TEXTBOOKS IN mATHEmATICS EDUCATION

Authors: Soňa Čeretková, Ondrej Šedivý, Josef Molnár, Dalibor Petr
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Abstract

Authors of the article are experienced authors of mathematics textbooks for upper primary schools (Slovaks) and lower and upper primary schools (Czechs). Both textbooks are used in everyday school practice and are very popular in their countries. The article presents general ideas and authors experience about: • school curriculum and standards and their influence on maths textbooks content, • competencies of pupils and their teachers in mathematics and the place of competencies in textbooks, • problem solving and maths textbooks • concept maps in mathematics and mathematics textbooks, • main principles and examples of maths textbooks assessment, • textbook research, • requirements set upon mathematics textbooks, • different conceptions of creation maths textbooks. Some ideas how to prepare math textbooks and suplement materials innovation using ICT and internet is also mentioned in the article.

Keywords: concept maps, didactic functions, mathematics textbooks, problem solving, reasoning, textbook assessment, textbook research
THE ROLE OF THE ACADEmIC CAmPUS IN mODIFyINg RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CONFLICTED POPULATIONS – THE CASE OF ISRAEL

THE ROLE OF THE ACADEmIC CAmPUS IN mODIFyINg RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CONFLICTED POPULATIONS – THE CASE OF ISRAEL

Authors: nitza davidovitch, dan soen
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Abstract

Israeli academic institutions serve as an initial place of encounter between Arab and Jewish students. These populations belong to different national groupings and are in conflict outside the academic world. They have different faiths, economic-social-familial-personal histories, and academic backgrounds, resulting in different abilities to cope with their studies. The present study deals with the question of whether and to what degree an academic campus can serve as a place of encounter capable of modifying relationships between populations whose daily reality is affected by the nationalist conflict in which they are embroiled. The study seeks to examine whether and to what degree the background of Arab and Jewish students is connected to interpersonal interactions between the two populations within academic institutions. The sample-based research, comprised of 459 students from two public colleges, found that the academic campus is a signifcant factor in modifying relationships between minority and majority populations, when there is an institutional climate of equality and respect. Positive social-academic climate has a positive effect on students and fosters positive feelings on campus. However, the study also indicated that the minority still harbors various concerns, and a not insignifcant number feel the effects of discrimination. An important conclusion is that despite all the differences, the national conflict, and the complexity of majorityminority relationships, on both campuses relationships between the two groups are characterized by a positive climate. Successful modifcation of Jewish-Arab relationships is expressed by Arab students’ identifcation with the Israeli milieu, similar to their Jewish peers. The study emphasizes the signifcance of forming a comfortable institutional climate in order to constructively absorb minority groups.

Keywords: higher education, discourse of diversity, creative conflict, academic social climate, diversity, the Contact Theory

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