Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 268

IJLTER.

ORG
International Journal
of
Learning, Teaching
And
Educational Research
p-ISSN: 1694-2493
e-ISSN: 1694-2116

Vol.15 No.3
PUBLISHER International Journal of Learning, Teaching and
London Consulting Ltd Educational Research
District of Flacq
Republic of Mauritius
www.ijlter.org The International Journal of Learning, Teaching
and Educational Research is an open-access
Chief Editor journal which has been established for the dis-
Dr. Antonio Silva Sprock, Universidad Central de semination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the
Venezuela, Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of field of education, learning and teaching. IJLTER
welcomes research articles from academics, ed-
Editorial Board
Prof. Cecilia Junio Sabio ucators, teachers, trainers and other practition-
Prof. Judith Serah K. Achoka ers on all aspects of education to publish high
Prof. Mojeed Kolawole Akinsola quality peer-reviewed papers. Papers for publi-
Dr Jonathan Glazzard cation in the International Journal of Learning,
Dr Marius Costel Esi Teaching and Educational Research are selected
Dr Katarzyna Peoples through precise peer-review to ensure quality,
Dr Christopher David Thompson
originality, appropriateness, significance and
Dr Arif Sikander
Dr Jelena Zascerinska readability. Authors are solicited to contribute
Dr Gabor Kiss to this journal by submitting articles that illus-
Dr Trish Julie Rooney trate research results, projects, original surveys
Dr Esteban Vzquez-Cano and case studies that describe significant ad-
Dr Barry Chametzky vances in the fields of education, training, e-
Dr Giorgio Poletti learning, etc. Authors are invited to submit pa-
Dr Chi Man Tsui
Dr Alexander Franco
pers to this journal through the ONLINE submis-
Dr Habil Beata Stachowiak sion system. Submissions must be original and
Dr Afsaneh Sharif should not have been published previously or
Dr Ronel Callaghan be under consideration for publication while
Dr Haim Shaked being evaluated by IJLTER.
Dr Edith Uzoma Umeh
Dr Amel Thafer Alshehry
Dr Gail Dianna Caruth
Dr Menelaos Emmanouel Sarris
Dr Anabelie Villa Valdez
Dr zcan zyurt
Assistant Professor Dr Selma Kara
Associate Professor Dr Habila Elisha Zuya
VOLUME 15 NUMBER 3 March 2016

Table of Contents
Botswana Early Childhood Educators Perceptions on Factors associated with the Inclusion of Children with
Disabilities .............................................................................................................................................................................. 1
Mrs. Simmi Chhabra, Prof. Kabita Bose and Prof. Neerja Chadha

Curriculum Development of Environmental Education Based on Local Wisdom at Elementary School ................ 20
Afakhrul Masub Bakhtiar

Semi-Quantitative Analysis of how the Preambles in Ordinances are designed: Observing the Change of Peoples
Motivation towards Inheritance after the Great East Japan Earthquake ................................................................... 29
Noriko Kurata, Yuko Kurata and Masakazu Ohashi

Brief Multisensory Training Enhances Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition in Both High and Low
Performers ............................................................................................................................................................................. 42
Manuela Macedonia and Claudia Repetto

EFL Reading Achievement: Impact of Gender and Self-efficacy Beliefs ...................................................................... 54


Hania Al Khamisi, Thuwayba Al Barwani, Abdo Al Mekhlafi and Mohamed Osman

The Effect of Cultural and Linguistic Background on the Relationships of Pupils in two Kindergartens in Greece
................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74
Aspasia Markaki, Argyris Kyridis and Zoi Ziontaki

Assessment of Adequacy and Availability of Human and Material Resources for the Implementation of the
Nigeria New Senior Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum ............................................................................... 102
Benson Adesina Adegoke and Frederick Ebimobowei Mefun

Effectiveness of using Microteaching and Thinking style to Develop Teaching Skills in Arab Open University -
Jordan Branch ..................................................................................................................................................................... 118
Al-Takhyneh Bahjat

Why Historical Thinking Skills was not there? .............................................................................................................. 134


Rosy Talin
Citizenship Education in Colleges of Education in Ghana: A Preliminary Study into Social Studies Tutors and
Trainees Understanding ................................................................................................................................................... 143
Boadu, Kankam

The Effectiveness of Instructional Strategies Employed at Large Class Setting of the Four Selected Universities of
Ethiopia ................................................................................................................................................................................ 161
Meshesha Make Jobo

Seven Motivating Conceptions of Learning of Tertiary Students ................................................................................ 173


Terry Bowles and John Hattie

The Right to Information: Library Services and Disability at Tertiary and University Libraries in Masvingo Urban
in Zimbabwe ....................................................................................................................................................................... 191
Tofara Rugara, Shadreck Ndinde and Webster Kadodo

Student Attentive State Data Accumulation for Attention Tracker Development..................................................... 204
Chi-Jen Lin

Antecedents of Students Self-Regulatory Strength in Technology-Rich School Environments .............................. 218


Thomas Arnesen, Knut-Andreas Christophersen and Eyvind Elstad

Using the ARIADNE Interest Questionnaire to Assess Cypriot Adolescents Career Interests .......................... 242
Despina Sidiropoulou-Dimakakou and Nikos Drosos

Gender and other Determinants of Undergraduate Student Satisfaction in STEM .................................................. 256
Ossama Elhadary
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 1-19, March 2016

Botswana Early Childhood Educators


Perceptions on Factors associated with the
Inclusion of Children with Disabilities

Mrs. Simmi Chhabra


M.Sc (Child Development)
Tonota College of Education,
Tonota, Botswana

Prof. Kabita Bose


PhD (Education)
Department of Primary Education,
Faculty of Education,
University of Botswana,
Gaborone, Botswana

Prof. Neerja Chadha


PhD in Child Development
School of Continuing Education,
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU),
New Delhi, India

Abstract. The study examines the perception of Early Childhood


Educators (ECEds) on factors associated with the inclusion of children
with disabilities in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings in
Botswana. ECEds (128) completed a Support Scale for Preschool
Inclusion (SSPI) to air their views regarding the necessary/available
factors for the inclusion of Children With Disabilities (CWD) in ECE
settings. Findings of the study revealed that factors like principal
support, family involvement, appropriate materials, peer acceptance of
CWD, knowledge and skills about curriculum adaptation/
implementation, promoting positive interaction among children,
positive attitudes of school personnel for inclusion, and a few others
were considered necessary by ECDs; believed that most of them were
not available in ECE settings; and in-service training, extra time for
collaboration and reduced class size were least available. The findings
suggested professional development of ECEds along with additional in
service training necessary for successful inclusion of young CWD in
ECE settings of Botswana.

Keywords: Inclusion, Early Childhood Education, Children with


disabilities, Inclusive Education, Botswana

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


2

Introduction
In the last two or three decades, inclusion of Children With Disabilities
(CWD) has become a universal social approach that encourages all to build
societies that grow and rejoice in everyones successes (Booth, Ainscow &
Kingston, 2006). This rationale is based on the disability rights movement
(Bailey, McWilliam, Buysse & Wesley, 1998) which started in mid-20th century
and supported the ethical and philosophical rights of various people with
different abilities to participate in the variety of day-to-day tasks. This
movement included all children with right to participate in educational settings,
together with children without disabilities, which was called as
mainstreaming/integration. The terms integration and mainstreaming are identical,
indicating to the placement of a CWD into an ordinary school environment
(Yuen & Westwood, 2001). The CWD are given some additional support to
participate in the classroom activities, but the purpose is to create the situation
where children with disabilities have to adjust according to the program
(Chhabra, Srivastava & Srivastav, 2010).

In the beginning of 1990, the notion of inclusion gained popularity and


referred to the rights of CWD who could take part in mainstream educational
settings with other children (Guralnick, 2001; Odom & Diamond, 1998). The
Salamanca Framework for Action (UNESCO, 1994) adopted at the United
Nations Conference on special education emphasizes the urgency of the new
emerging trend of inclusive schooling which has brought challenges for
education system to adapt itself to the needs of children rather than expecting
them to make compromises. Inclusion is about fitting programs to accommodate
the individual needs of all children. It suggests that curriculum, instructional
practice and resources must be accustomed fairly so that all children, regardless
of capability, can successfully be involved in the regular learning programs
(Mittler, 1995).

The expanding paradigm of inclusion refers to the community, where the


entire population of children can have the right to take part in a mainstream
educational setting, and be respected as a part of that program as well
(Carrington, 2007). The overall goal of inclusion is to prepare CWD for life
outside of the school setting (NAEYC/DEC, 1993). Likewise, for preschool age
children, inclusive practices should assist the prolific involvement in the
community (Odom, 2000). CWD have the right to be a part of mainstream
education from the early childhood level and it is the responsibility of the
regular schools and Early Childhood Educators (ECEds) to provide this
education. Current research supports inclusion of children with various
disabilities in the mainstream settings (Odom, Buysee, & Soukakou, 2011).
Young CWD exhibited better social skills and academic success when they are
participating in inclusive early childhood setting (Koegal, Fredeen, Lang &
Koegal, 2011). On the other hand, children without disabilities in ECE settings
become more responsive to the needs of others, show more acceptances of
differences, may develop friendship with and feel less discomfort around people
with disabilities (Peck, Carlson, & Helmstetter, 1992; Odom, Zercher, Li,
Marquart, & Sandal, 2006). In addition, it appears that the involvement of

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


3

children without disabilities in inclusive settings may positively affect their


knowledge and attitudes about disabilities (Diamond & Huang, 2005).

Inclusion of CWD in Botswana


According to Abosi (2000), in Botswana, the education of CWD began
about 40 years ago and was started by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO).
In this country, the inclusion of CWD in mainstream education was believed to
include all children irrespective of their capability; to provide them with the
same right to be educated; and to be a part of the mainstream educational
setting. This commitment of enhancing access and equal right for education has
been highlighted in the current policy on inclusive education (Mukhopadhyay,
2014). In position with the global trend of inclusion, an all-encompassing policy
document on inclusion of CWD in the education settings has been developed in
2011. The Inclusive Education policy has five goals will be achieved through ten
statements of commitment. These goals emphasised the childrens completion of
basic education, teachers possession of necessary skills, and provision of
resources, informal educational settings, and supportive and harmonious
environment in various categories of schools (Republic of Botswana, 2011;
Mukhopadhyay, 2013). In Inclusive Education policy, one of the commitment
statements specifically caters to children with disabilities (Republic of Botswana,
2011).

Children with special needs will be encouraged and supported to attend


school and benefit from their attendance. (p. 12)

This commitment encourages the school staff to maintain a good


inclusive environment for all children and to liaise with childrens parents
regularly (Republic of Botswana, 2011). It is anticipated that after the
implementation of this policy, the number of children with different abilities in a
classroom will continually increase and therefore, it is imperative to make sure
that all educators are prepared with necessary information and services to cater
for the developmental and educational requirements of CWD.

Teachers Views on Factors Associated with Inclusion in Early


Childhood Education (ECE) Settings
Previous research studies conducted in other countries have examined
factors of inclusion (e.g. teachers knowledge, administrative support, resources,
and materials) for the successful inclusion of CWD in Early Childhood
Education (ECE) setting. Many researchers have indicated that teachers lack
awareness, training, expertise, readiness, capabilities and self-assurance that are
required to provide beneficial and suitable instruction to meet the needs of all
children in the ECE settings (McLeskey & Waldron, 2002; Paterson, 2007; Sadler,
2005).

In Bruns and Mogharrebens (2008) study, teachers in Head Start


settings reported that they possessed general skills to encourage the learning of

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


4

all children but were less confident about their skills to carry out specialised
practices associated with special education like implementing Individual
Educational Plan (IEP) goals and objectives or supporting children to use
alternative forms of communication. Moreover, teacher training is constantly
reported by many researchers as one of the most important factors in meeting
the individual requirements of all children in an inclusive programme
(Mulvihill, Shear, & Vanhorn 2002). Furthermore, many researchers have
discovered other factors that were observed by educator as necessary factors for
the effective inclusion of young children with disabilities in ECE settings.
Results suggested that in-service training, availability of resources (Avramidis,
Bayliss, & Burden, 2000), adequate staffing (Kucuker, Acarlar, & Kapci, 2006;
McConkey & Bhlirgri, 2003), administrative or principal support (Kucker
Acarlar, & Kapci, 2006; Proctor & Nieymar, 2001) and support from
professionals (Hammond & Ingalls, 2003) are vital in the implementation of
effective inclusion of children with disabilities in the inclusive classroom.

Hughes and Valle-Riestra (2007) in their study reported about the


desirable (necessary) and feasible (available) factors as perceived by the
kindergarten teachers. They reported that many kindergarten educators were
not prepared with the expertise and professional skills for the inclusion of CWD
in educational settings in inclusive classrooms. They expressed that the necessity
for implementing the instructional practice was much more than the available
factors for inclusion in the classroom.

Teachers Views on Inclusion of CWD in ECE Settings of Botswana


In Botswana, research on inclusion of CWD in preschool is scarce.
Previous researches in Botswana indicate that educators do not have positive
attitudes towards inclusion and are concerned about inadequate equipment,
large class size, inadequate training, and lack of resources in the implementation
of successful inclusion in school. They also pointed out that educators play a
very important role in the inclusion of CWD. However, most of these researches
focussed on primary & secondary teachers perceptions and did not include the
views of early childhood educators for the inclusion of young CWD in early
childhood schools (Brandon 2006; Mangope, Kuyini, & Major, 2012;
Mukhopadhyay, 2013).

The aim of this research is to find the opinions of Early Childhood


Educators (ECEds) regarding the factors that are necessary and available for the
implementation of inclusion in the ECE settings of Botswana in order to draw
meaningful implications for future practices in ECE settings that are likely to
promote successful inclusion of preschool CWD at the field level. The
information provided by these ECEds can enlighten the professionals about the
factors that are necessary and available for the inclusion of CWD. The findings
may assist in determining the types of professional opportunities ECEds may be
provided with to benefit from, and to improve the learning experiences of CWD
in ECE settings. The authors used the following two research objectives to guide
the focus of the study:

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


5

1) To examine the early childhood educators perception of the necessary


factors for the successful inclusion of CWD

2) To investigate the early childhood educators perception of the factors


that are available for the successful inclusion of CWD.

Method

Research Design
In this study, the positivist research paradigm was utilised. The research
design employed for this study was quantitative, using survey methodology to
systematically collect data from a sample of Early Childhood Educators (ECEds).
The survey methodology allows the researcher to use questionnaire as the main
method of attaining information from a particular sample so that inferences can
be made about characteristics or perceptions of the actual population (Dillman,
2000). The questionnaires are efficient to distribute when sampling multiple sites
in multiple states. This study was conducted in the Republic of Botswana at two
selected settings, namely, Gaborone and Francistown area, the largest cities of
Botswana, located in the southern and Northern part of the country. The
Gaborone region was selected as this is the capital of Botswana and is located at
southeast district whereas Francistown is the second largest city and is often
described as the Capital of North. The other reason for selecting these two
regions is that they have highest concentration of varied types of ECE settings
(Gaborone and Francistown Day Care Directory, 2011)

Participants
The purposive sampling was utilized to select the ECEds from the
inclusive ECE settings in the two regions (Gaborone and Francistown). There
were 133 ECE settings in that region and from that population, 34 inclusive ECE
settings existed and were all selected (27 Gaborone and 7 Francistown). One
hundred twenty eight (128) early childhood educators participated in the survey.

Instrument
A questionnaire was used to gather data from participants. The first
section of the questionnaire was aimed to gather general, educational and
professional experience of the participants. This section had included the
gender, age, role in the class, educational qualifications, teaching experience,
training focusing on CWD, family member with a disability, close friend with a
disability, child with a disability in class and total number of children in the
class. The second section of the questionnaire, Support Scale for Pre-school
Inclusion (SSPI) developed by Kker, Sevgi; Acarlar, Funda; Kapci, Emine
(2006), contained 34 items and is designed to assess the educators views of
factors which are essential and accessible for inclusion of CWD. The educators
were supposed to provide their views in each item for two dimensions, i.e,
necessary and available, by rating on a four-point Likert-Scale, from 1-4, where 1
stands for Not at all and 4 stands for To a great extent. The participants required

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


6

to indicate the necessity for successful inclusion followed by availably of items.


The reliability of Cronbach Coefficient Alpha for necessary and available
dimension was very high (.96 and .97 respectively).

Data Analysis

The response of the participants from the questionnaire was first coded
and then analysed quantitatively by using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social
Sciences). Descriptive analysis and inferential statistical techniques were used to
analyse the response from the questionnaires. The analysis included Mean Score,
Total Mean Score T-Test and One-Way (ANOVA) test of both the dimensions.

Results
One hundred twenty eight (128) early childhood educators (ECEds)
completed questionnaires for the study. The majority (93.8%) of the early
childhood educators was female and 6.2% was male. Teachers age ranged from
19 years to 50 years. There were 33 teachers (25.8%) in the 19-29 years. The 30-39
years and 40-49 years age groups together consisted of 82 teachers, representing
64.1% of the teachers who responded. The smallest group was the 41-50 years
age group that consisted of thirteen teachers, representing 10.1% of teachers who
responded. The majority, 88 participants (68.75%) held teacher position whereas
40 respondents (31.25%) were teacher assistant. Approximately 30.5% of the
ECEds had certificate in ECE whereas 35.9% reported having Diploma in
Primary Education followed by 17.23% having Bachelor degree. The educators
had teaching experience ranging from 2 months to 30 years suggesting that
almost half of the respondents (47.7%) had upto 5 years of teaching experience
followed by 33 respondents who had teaching experience of 6-10 years
representing 25.78% of the sample. The majority, 106 respondents (82.8%) had no
training while only 22 respondents (17.2%) had some prior training focussing on
the education of children with disabilities. The majority, 67.2% respondents had
no family member with a disability followed by 32.8% of respondents who had
family member with a disability. Almost half of the respondents, 47.7% had
either one or two CWD along with other children in the classroom.
Approximately half of the respondents (47.7%) indicated total numbers of
children including CWD were 21-25, and one fourth of participants (25.0%)
reported that they had 26-32 total numbers of children in their classroom (Table
1).

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


7

Table 1
Demographic Information of Early Childhood Educators (ECEds)

Demographic Characteristics Frequency Percentage


Gender Male 8(6.3)
Female 120(93.8)

Age 19-29 33(25.8)


30-39 42(32.8)
40-49 40(31.3)
Above 50 13(10.2)

Role Teacher 88(68.8)


Teacher Assistant 46(31.3)

Educational Qualifications Bachelor 22(17.2)


Diploma 46(35.9)
Certificate 39(30.5)
BGCSE 12(9.4)
CJSS 9(7.0)

Number of years of Teaching 0-5 61(47.7)


Experience 6-10 33(25.8)
11-15 15(11.7)
16-20 14(10.9)
Above 21 5(3.9)

Training focussing on the education of Yes 22(17.2)


CWD No 106(82.8)

Family member with a disability Yes 42(32.8)


No 86(67.2)

Close friend with a disability Yes 35(29.3)


No 85(70.8)

Child with a disability in a class Yes 61(47.7)


No 67(52.3)

Number of children in a class 6-10 1(8.0)


11.15 3(2.3)
16-20 31(24.2)
21-25 61(47.7)
26-30 32(25.0)
Figures in parenthesis indicate percentages

The findings from the analysis of the survey data provide evidence of the
early childhood educators perceptions of the necessary and available inclusion
factors. Scores generated from the necessary factors and available factors were
used as the dependent variables whereas age, role, educational qualifications,
teaching experience, family member with a disability, close friend with a

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


8

disability and child with a disability were used as independent variables. Mean,
Standard deviation, t-test and one way of analysis of variance (ANOVA) was
utilised to find out the difference between variables. Post hoc was also done to
see the difference in the categories of the significant variables.

Early Childhood Educators Perceived Necessary Factors

In order to measure the necessary factors for the inclusion of CWD, the
Participants (ECEds) rated how necessary the 34 inclusion items/factors were
for the involvement of CWD in their early childhood classrooms. The results of
the study revealed that all items/factors in necessary dimension had total mean
score of above 3, suggesting that ECEds perceived all items to be somewhat
necessary for the inclusion of CWD in ECE settings.

The participants view the principals support (3.78), family support


(3.68), appropriate material (3.68), appropriate materials for CWD (3.68), and
peer social acceptance of CWD (3.64%) as the most necessary factors for the
inclusion of children with disabilities in their classrooms. They all believe that
principal, family support and peer social acceptance is necessary for the
inclusion in school. The least necessary factors were opportunities to attend
meetings (3.39), written information on needed areas of inclusion (3.39),
followed by technological equipment to support education of CWD (3.40). Table
2 displays the most and least necessary factors as perceived by ECEds.

Table 2
Most and Least Necessary Factors for Early Childhood Educators
Most Necessary factors Mean(SD) Least Necessary Factors Mean(SD)
Support From School Principals 3.78(0.55) Opportunities to attend meetings, 3.39(0.95)
for Children with Disabilities conferences etc.
(CWD)
Family Involvement of CWD 3.68(0.70) Written Information on needed 3.39(0.88)
areas
Appropriate materials for CWD 3.68(0.70) Technological equipment to 3.40(0.87)
support education of CWD
Peer Social Acceptance of CWD 3.64(0.72) Volunteers in Classroom 3.41(0.85)
Knowledge and Skill about 3.63(0.69) Extra time for Collaboration with 3.42(0.87)
Curriculum adaptation & professionals/families/personnel
Implementation
Knowledge and Skill about 3.60(0.72) Regular meetings with families & 3.43(0.94)
promoting positive interaction specialist about CWD
among all children
Positive attitude of school 3.59(0.66) Appreciation of other in 3.43(0.85)
personnel towards inclusion workplace
One way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test was used to examine
the significance of the perception of early childhood educators on the needs or
necessary dimension for the inclusion of children with disabilities in ECE
settings. One Way ANOVA and t test showed that there are statistically
significant differences in the necessary dimension for the participants (ECEds)
characterised by their role in the class, educational qualifications, teaching
experience, training focusing on CWD, having a close friend with a disability and

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


9

having a child with a disability in the classroom. The non-significant factors were
respondents gender, age and total number of children in the class (Table 3).

Table 3
Means, Standard Deviation, t/F-test of Necessary Factors across Early Childhood Educators
Demographic variables
Variables N Mean SD t/F Sig (p)
Gender
Male 8(6.3) 3.65 .409 t=.630 .530
Female 120(93.7) 3.53 .533
Age
19-29 33(25.8) 3.47 .588 F= 1.276 .286
30-39 42(32.8) 3.46 .570
40-49 40(31.3) 3.59 .465
Above 50 13(10.2) 3.74 .321
Role
Teacher 88(68.8) 3.63 .434 t = 9.874 002**
Teacher Assistant46(31.3) 3.32 .644
Educational
Qualifications Bachelor 22(17.2) 3.66 .483 F =3.161 .016*
Diploma 46(35.9) 3.64 .409
Certificate 39(30.5) 3.49 .563
BGCSE 12(9.4) 3.37 .656
CJSS 9(7.0) 3.06 .577
Teaching Experience
on this job 0-5 years 61(47.7) 3.37 .60 F =3.405 011*
6-10 years 33(25.8) 3.59 .491
11-15 years 15(11.7) 3.79 .271
16-20 years 14(10.9) 3.75 .241
Above 21 5(3.9) 3.71 .410
Training focussing on
the education of CWD Yes 22(17.2) 3.82 .286 t =2.91 .004*
No 106(82.8) 3.47 .547
Family member with
a disability Yes 42(32.8) 3.56 .530 t = .421 .074
No 86(67.2) 3.52 .528
Close friend with a
disability Yes 35(27.3) 3.68 .408 t = 1.97 .051
No 93(72.7) 3.48 .556
Child with a
disability in a class Yes 61(47.7) 3.67 .422 t = 2.82 .005**
No 67(52.3) 3.41 .582
Number of children
in a class 6-10 1(8.0) 3.71 F= .491 .742
11.15 3(2.3) 3.69 .136
16-20 31(24.2) 3.58 .494
21-25 61(47.7) 3.50 .481
26-30 32(25.0) 3.50 .655
* p<.05 **p<.01 Figures in parenthesis indicate percentages

The data presented in Table 3 shows a significant variance of educators


views that held a position of teacher and teacher assistant (p< 0.05) on total mean

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


10

scores of all of the items in the necessary dimensions. The participants who held
a position of teacher had slightly higher mean score (n = 88, M= 3.63) than
participants with a role of teacher assistant (n = 40, M = 3.32). Similarly there
was a significant influence of education of participants on total mean scores of
all of the items in the necessary dimension [F (1, 126) = 3.161, p < .01]. The post hoc
test (Table 4) showed that the participants with a junior school certificate had a
significantly lower mean score (n=9, M= 3.06) than participants with a bachelors
degree (Mean difference =.601, p = .028) and those with diploma (Mean
difference = .577, p = .019). Likewise, the teaching experience of participants [F (5,
122) = 3.405, p < .05] also had an effect on the total mean scores of items in the
necessary dimensions. Post hoc comparison indicates that participants with 05
years of teaching experience differ significantly at p < .05 with participants of 11
-15 years of teaching experience (Mean difference = -.419, p =.038). However, it
should be added that all five groups of educators with different years of
teaching experience observed the factors as quite necessary for inclusion of
CWD (Table 4).

Table 4
Post hoc comparison of Necessary score on the basis of highest degree, teaching experience in
teaching CWD

Variable Mean difference Sig (p)


Highest Degree .
CJSS Bachelor -.60086 .028.
Diploma -.57744 - .019*
Certificate .42658 .169.
BGCSE -.30972 .642
Number of Years .
of Teaching 05 6 10 -.21805 278
Experience 11- 15 years -.41963 038*
16 -20 -.37872 .093
Above 21years -.33430 .618
*Indicates a significance at the p<.05

There was significant difference in the necessary dimensions for the


participants who had Training focussing on the education of CWD [t (126) = 2.91,
p < 0.5] and child with a disability in the class [t (126) = 2.82, p < .05). However
there was no significant difference in the total mean scores of the participants
age [F (3, 124) = 1.276, p = 0.286), gender [F (1, 126) = 0.396, p = 0.530), family member
with a disability [F (1, 126) = 0.421, p = 0.674) and close friend with a disability [F (1,
126) = 1.97, p = .051). The results are depicted in Table 3. This means that
participants with role as a teacher and with a qualification of diploma and
training focussed on education of CWD perceived the factors more necessary as
compared to the participants who are teacher assistant who had only school
level of education and no training on the education of CWD. This result shows
that for the implementation of inclusion of CWD in ECE settings in Botswana,
educators have to be qualified, knowledgeable, experienced and trained to deal
specifically with the CWD in the ECE settings. Overall, the ECEds perceived

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


11

that all of the inclusion factors were highly necessary for effective inclusion of
CWD in ECE settings.

Early Childhood Educators Perceived Available factors


The data presented in Table 5 shows participants views about the
available factors needed for inclusion of CWD on the SSPI. The early childhood
educators rated how available/accessible each of the 34 inclusion factors. It can
be observed from the Table 5 that most available items (34 items) mean scores
are below 3 indicating that educators perceived availability level of support was
less for the inclusion of CWD in ECE settings.

The most available support from the educators point of view are as
principals support (3.14) followed by the positive attitudes of school personnel
towards inclusion and peer social acceptance of CWD (2.98), whereas the reduced
class size (2.19), extra time for collaboration with professionals (2.26) and the
written information on the needed area of inclusion (2.26) were the least available
support factors for inclusion of CWD in the ECE settings (Table 5). The results of
the study shows that the total mean score of all the items was 2.65 for the available
support dimensions, which ranges between very little available and somewhat
available of the inclusion factor.

Table 5
Most and Least Available Factors for Early Childhood Educators
Most Available factors Mean(SD) Least available Factors Mean(SD)
Support From School Principals 3.14(0.82) Reduced class size 2.19(1.22)
for Children with Disabilities (CWD)
Positive attitude of school personnel 2.98(0.88) Extra time for Collaboration with 2.26(0.99)
towards inclusion professionals/families/personnel
Peer Social Acceptance of CWD 2.98(0.96) Written information on needed areas2.26(1.10)
Family Involvement of CWD 2.90(0.97) In-service training in needed areas of
2.30(1.17)
inclusion
Positive attitudes of families of Children2.85(0.90) Volunteers in Classroom 2.34(1.13)
without disabilities
Knowledge and Skill about 2.85(0.92) Training for school Personnel 2.36(1.14)
communicating with families fostering positive attitudes
Knowledge and skills about 2.84(0.93) Opportunities to attend meetings, 2.41(1.12)
Promoting positive interaction among conference etc.
all children

One way ANOVA and T-tests (Table 6) displayed no statistically


significant variances in the available dimension for most of the participant
characteristics including gender, age, teacher role, level of education, teaching
practice, training focusing on education of CWD, family member with a
disability, close friend with a disability, child with a disability in the class and
number of children in class. It shows that the views of all early childhood
educators were more or less same when it comes to availability of factors for the
inclusion. Overall, the ECEds perceived that most of the inclusion factors were

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


12

somewhat available or available very little with mean score over 2.19 for each
survey item.

Table 6
Means, Standard Deviation, t or F-test of Available Factors across Early Childhood Educators
Demographic variables

Variables N Mean SD t/F Sig (p)


Gender
Male 8(6.3) 2.54 .714 t = .-.275 .784
Female 120(93.7) 2.61 .724
Age
19-29 33(25.8) 2.64 . .850 F= .785 .505
30-39 42(32.8) 2.61 .709
40-49 40(31.3) 2.50 .710
Above 50 13(10.2) 2.85 .430
Role
Teacher 88(68.8) 2.62 .678 t = .261 794
Teacher Assistant46(31.3) 2.59 .825
Educational
Qualifications Bachelor 22(17.2) 2.43 .663 F =.920 .655
Diploma 46(35.9) 2.58 .681
Certificate 39(30.5) 2.68 .772
BGCSE 12(9.4) 2.54 .817
CJSS 9(7.0) 2.93 .707
Teaching Experience
on this job 0-5 years 61(47.7) 2.66 .774 F = 1.67 146
6-10 years 33(25.8) 2.75 .670
11-15 years 15(11.7) 2.46 .705
16-20 years 14(10.9) 2.45 .530
Above 21 5(3.9) 1.86 .460
Training focussing on
the education of CWD Yes 22(17.2) 2.81 .618 t = 1.46 .146
No 106(82.8) 2.57 .736
Family member with
a disability Yes 42(32.8) 2.73 .741 t = 1.38 .170
No 86(67.2) 2.55 .707
Close friend with a
disability Yes 35(27.3) 2.68 .729 t = .751 .478
No 93(72.7) 2.58 .720
Child with a
disability in a class Yes 61(47.7) 2.61 .734 t = .027 .979
No 67(52.3) 2.61 .715
Number of children
in a class 6-10 1(8.0) 3.71 F= .790 .534
11.15 3(2.3) 2.63 1.02
16-20 31(24.2) 2.55 .810
21-25 61(47.7) 2.66 .671
26-30 32(25.0) 2.53 .708
* p<.05
Figures in parenthesis indicate percentages

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


13

In this study, the comparisons of the necessary factor and available


factors for the mean score of all the items were conducted to identify the
relationship between the participants perceived necessary factors and their
perceptions of the degree to which those factors were available to them in their
classroom settings. The greatest difference between the total mean score of
necessary and available dimensions was 1.26 (reduced class size) and 1.25 (in-
service training in the needed areas of inclusion) indicating a higher overall level
of perceived inclusion necessity than available support. The smallest difference
was 0.61 (positive attitude of school personal towards inclusion) and 0.64
(support from school principal) demonstrating that participants perceived this
as the necessary factor as well as available support factor for the inclusion of
CWD. The total mean score of all factors/items in the necessary dimension
(3.53), and the total mean score of all of the items in the available dimension
(2.61). Thus the difference was 0.92, which signifies that the participants
observed the less availability of the inclusion factors as compared to necessary
ones for involvement of CWDs in classrooms.

Discussion
The research study examines the views of ECEds concerning the factors
that are necessary and available for the effective inclusion of CWD in the ECE
settings in Botswana. The implication from the analysis of survey data from a
sample of 128 ECEds related to the necessary and available factors are presented.
The two main findings emerge from the analysis: (1) the ECEds identified a large
number of necessary factors for successful inclusion of CWD and (2) they
perceived that availability of inclusion factors was less as compared to necessary
inclusion factors.

As per the findings of this study, it is urgent to give more attention to the
ECE settings and the inclusion of CWD. The inclusion of young CWD in ECE
settings is a relatively new idea to principal, parents and ECDs in Botswana;
although education policy of Botswana (Republic of Botswana, 1994; 2001)
suggested that as far as possible CWD must be included in the mainstream ECE
settings along with the peers without disabilities. The findings from the present
study suggests that principals support, family support and appropriate material
needed for teaching in class are the most necessary factors for the inclusion of
CWD in inclusive class as perceived by ECEd. The finding was consistent with
Villa and Thousand (2003) and Leatherman (2007) where principal support was
observed as important for the inclusion of CWD in school. Researchers reported
a significant role of parents/families involvement as a key contributing factor
that encourages positive results in teaching young CWD in inclusive ECE
program (Anderson & Mike, 2007; Bronfrenbrenner, 1979: Levy, Kim & Olive,
2006).

In this study, significant differences were found about the perceptions of


necessary factors among educators who had position of teacher than those with

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


14

a position of teacher assistant. Similarly significant differences were also found


between educators who had diploma qualification than those with school
qualifications and with educators who had teaching experience of 11-15 years
than those with less teaching experience. These educators must have attended
some course on education of CWD and maybe about inclusive practices at their
diploma level than those with school qualifications. The findings of this
research resonate well with the results of Kucker, Acarlar, and Kapci (2006)
study. The ECEds perceived high level of necessary inclusion factors were
corroborated in the early childhood inclusion research. Similar findings were
observed in the studies by Huges & Viella-Riestra (2007) and Vaughan, Reiss,
Rothlein and Hughes (1999) where kindergarten teachers observed the
instructional practice as being highly necessary (mean score of 4.96 out of 5) to
implement in the inclusive early childhood classroom. Mulvihill, Shearer and
Horn (2002) also found the same results where they discover that participants
perceptions of inclusion related requirements ranked several items like
additional staff, special equipment, more training as highly necessary for the
successful inclusion of CWD in child care programs.

The study revealed that the most available factors that are perceived by
ECEds are support from principal, positive attitudes of school personnel, peer
social acceptance and family involvement of CWD. Many researchers (Dagnew,
2013; Ross-hill, 2009; Soodak, Podell, & Lehman, 1998) in their study reported
that teachers consider the support of the principal and other school leaders
critical for the implementation of inclusion in the schools. Similar finding was
evident in the present study as the ECEds believe that principal support is
available to them for meeting the educational and social needs of all children in
the school.

The ECEds in present study identified peer social acceptance of CWD as


one of the available factor for the inclusion of young CWD in their inclusive
school. The inclusion literature also supports the importance of a positive social
climate as part of a constructive classroom environment that supports successful
inclusion. David and Kuyinin (2012) in their study mentioned that peer social
acceptance of the CWD in the inclusive school is one of the important factor to
nurture self-esteem and improved e for CWD. The other available factor
recognized by the ECEds was the family involvement of CWD. Many studies
have established that family involvement assist childrens success in inclusive
educational settings and improves developmental outcomes for children with
and without disabilities (Levy, Kim, & Olive, 2006; Salend, 2006). The least
available factors for inclusion of CWD as identified by ECEds were reduced
class size, extra collaboration with professional and in-service training in the
desired areas of inclusion. Mukhopadhyay (2013) in his study found that
primary teachers in Botswana are concerned about the pragmatic factors such as
large class size, insufficient training and lack of support that are considered to
pose major obstacles to partnership and execution of inclusion at primary
schools. Similar trend was observed in Early Childhood education (ECE) centres
in the present study. Many researchers (Soodak, Podell, & Lehman, 1998;
Korkmaz, 2011) also established that educators should be provided

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


15

opportunities to collaborate with personnel as it may compensate their personal


insecurities for the successful implementation of inclusion

The study revealed that views of all ECEds were same for the availability
of inclusion factors as no statistically significant difference was found in most of
the participants responses. The findings of study also suggest the non-
availability of inclusion factors for the effective results of including CWD in the
inclusive educational settings as perceived by the ECEds. These findings are
consistent with the author of Support Scale for Preschool Inclusion (SSPI)
measure (Kucker, Acarlar & Kapei, 2006) who similarly established that study
participants identified both a high level of inclusion needs and that they
perceived that various inclusion factors were needed and most of the factors
were unavailable for the inclusion of CWD in classrooms.

The ECEds in the present study viewed principal support, family


involvement of CWD, and positive attitudes of school personnel as factors that
are both necessary and available to them for the successful inclusion of CWD.
This might serve as foundation for getting the support and building the
professional development expertise of ECEds for meeting the needs of CWD.
These factors have in common the focus in creating the good atmosphere where
CWD are served as the respected members of classroom and provided the
support for optimal social and behavioural development. Further, when the
difference between the total mean scores of items of necessary factors (3.53) and
available factors (2.61) was compared, reduced class size, in service training of
the educators and collaborations with professionals were perceived as the highly
necessary and less available factors to the educators. Therefore, it is essential that
administrator should motivate the collaboration with educators and
professionals for the inclusion of CWD in inclusive ECE settings. Similar
findings were observed in Akalin, Demir, Sucuolu, Bakkalolu, and Iscen,
(2014) study where preschool teachers reported class size, in service training and
collaboration with professionals as important factors in the successful
implementation of inclusion in the preschool. Thus, it may also be implied that
the less availability of inclusion factors, reported in the present sample may be
linked to the point that inclusion is a new concept that is emerging in Botswana,
especially in ECE sector and more emphasis should be given to the availability
of inclusion factors by all the stakeholders in the ECE settings.

Conclusion
This study aimed to find out the factors/items that are necessary and available for
the successful inclusion of CWD in ECE settings of Botswana. The ECEds from the
inclusive ECE settings participated in this study. The study confirms that the
educators identified the necessary factors; but in reality, the availability of these
factors are scarce in the early childhood settings in Botswana. The ECEds were
concerned with the non-availability of in service training and collaboration with
the professional in implementing successful inclusion in the ECE settings. The
additional inclusion factors should be made available to the educators for the
implementation of inclusion in ECE settings. The key inclusion factors that are

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


16

most needed by the ECEds are professional development to increase their


knowledge and skills in teaching CWD in inclusive settings. Therefore, active
involvement of all stakeholders (educators, school administration & parents) and
positive interaction between the multi educational system especially at micro,
meso and macro system (the child with a disability, classroom & level of school
support) are important for the successful inclusion of CWD in ECE settings in
Botswana

The findings of this study have several implications. The present research
suggests that ECEds in Botswana perceived non-availability of a number of
factors necessary for the inclusion of CWDs. Hence, it is essential that
administrators should emphasise more on the provision of materials, resources,
support services and conducive learning environment for the CWDs in the
inclusive educational settings. The ECEds are very important stake holders, and
their training must be emphasised for inclusion CWDs in early childhood
settings in Botswana. Therefore, the MoESD and NGOs should take initiative in
organising workshops (pre-service and in-service) for ECEds that address the
knowledge and development of skills necessary to accommodate the needs of
CWD in inclusive ECE settings. The MoESD should devise strategies to
incorporate ECE into basic education so that more children especially CWD can
have access to ECE. Furthermore, there is need to monitor the policy
implementation and effectiveness of ECE programs for all children.

This research offers a basis for further investigation to provide successful


inclusive ECE services in Botswana. More qualitative researches on the inclusion
of CWDs are necessary to draw inferences regarding the factors for inclusion at
ECE settings in the Botswana.

Like the other studies, this research study also acknowledges some
limitations; including the point that sample of the study (ECEds) were selected
from the two regions of ECE settings in Botswana. In this study, only one
method of data collection, i.e. questionnaire was used. The other methods of
data collection such as interviews, focus group, case studies and observation can
also be used to obtain information from the school staff in the further studies to
obtain the holistic views of educators about the necessary and available factors
for the successful implementation of inclusion of CWD in early childhood
schools. In addition, findings from the survey data were only representative of
the population of teachers and teacher assistant, other key stakeholders such as
administrators and parents were not participated in the sample; therefore this
study represents the perspectives of the particular educators only. Admitting the
weaknesses, this study is unique because it examines the inclusive early
childhood schools in Botswana for the first time, an area that is often neglected
by the researchers.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


17

References
Abosi, C. O. (2000). Trends and issues in special education in Botswana. The Journal of
Special Education, 34 (1), 48 53.
Akalin, S., Demir, S., Sucuolu, H., & Iscen, F. (2014). The needs of inclusive preschool
teachers about inclusive practices. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 54, 39
60.
Anderson, K.J., & Minke, K.M. (2007). Parent involvement in education: Toward an
understanding of parents decision making. The Journal of Educational Research,
100(5), 311 323.
Avramidis, E., Bayliss, P., & Burden, R. (2000). A survey into mainstream teachers
attitudes towards the inclusion of children with special educational needs in the
ordinary school in one local educational authority. Educational Psychology, 20, 191
211.
Bailey, D. B., McWilliam, R. A., Buysse, V., & Wesley, P. A. (1998). Inclusion in the
context of competing values in early childhood education, Early Childhood
Research Quarterly, 13(1), 2747.
Booth, T., Ainscow, M., & Kingston, D. (2006). Index for Inclusion: Developing play, learning
and participation in early years and childcare. Manchester: Centre for Studies on
Inclusive Education
Brandon, D.P. (2006). Botswanas family and consumer science teachers attitude
towards the inclusion of students with physical disabilities. Journal of Family and
Consumer Sciences Education, 24 (1), 37 49.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1997). The ecology of human development, Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.
Bruns, D. A., & Mogharreban, C. C. (2008). Working with young children with
disabilities: Perceptions, skills, and training needs of Head Start teachers.
National Head Start Association Dialog, 11(1), 54 66.
Carrington, S. 2007. Classroom relationships, pedagogy and practice in the inclusive
classroom. In Schools and diversity. 2nd ed., ed. M. Keefe and S. Carrington, 108
27. Frenchs Forest: Pearson. Comber, B., and B. Kamler
Chhabra, S., Srivastava, R., & Srivastava, I. (2010). Inclusive education in Botswana: the
perceptions of school teachers. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 20 (4), 219
228.
Dagnew, A. (2013). Factors affecting the implementation of inclusive education in
primary schools of Bahir Dar Town administration. Educational Research Journal,
3(3), 59 67.
David, R. & Kuyini, A.B. (2012). Social inclusion: Teachers as facilitators in peer
acceptance of students with disabilities in regular classrooms in Tamil Nadu,
India. International Journal of Special Education, 27(2), 1 12.
Diamond, K.E., & Huang, H. (2005). Preschoolers idea about disabilities. Infant & Young
Children, 18, 37 46.
Dillman, D.A. (2000). Mail and internet survey: the tailored design method (2 nd ed.) New
York: John Wiley & Sons.
Guralnick, M. J. (2001). Early childhood inclusion: Focus on change. Baltimore, MD: Paul H.
Brookes

Hammond, H., & Ingalls. (2003). Teachers attitudes toward inclusion: Survey results
from elementary school teachers in three southwest rural school districts. Rural
Special Education Quarterly, 22(2) 24 30.

Koegal, L, Fredeen, R.M., Lang, R & Koegal, R. (2011). Intervention of Children with
Autism Spectrum Disorder in Inclusive school settings. Cognitive and Behaviour
Practice

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


18

Korkmaz, I. (2011). Elementary teachers perceptions about implementation of inclusive


education. US-China education Review, 8(2), 177 183
Kucuker, S., Acarlar, F., & Kapci, E. G. (2006). The development and psychometric
evaluation of a support scale for pre-school inclusion. Early Child Development
and Care, 176(6), 643 659. doi:10.1080/03004430500147524

Leatherman, J.M. (2007). I just see all children as children: teachers perceptions about
inclusion. The Qualitative Report, 12(4), 594 611.

Levy, S., Kim, A., & Olive, M.L. (2006). Interventions for young children with autism: A
synthesis of the literature. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities,
21(1), 55 62 .doi: 10.1177/10883576060210010701

Mangope, B., Kuyini, A.B., & Major, T. (2012). Assessment of learners with special needs
for inclusive education in Botswana: Issues and Challenges for school.
International Journal of Scientific Research in Education 5(2), 138 150

McConkey, R., & Bhlirgri, S. (2003). Children with autism attending preschool facilities:
The experience and perceptions of staff. Early Child Development and Care, 173(4),
445 452.

Mcleskey, J., & Waldron, N. L. (2002). Inclusion and school change: Teacher perceptions
regarding curricular and instructional adaptations. Teacher Education and Special
Education, 25, 41 54.

Mittler, P. (1995). Education for all or for some? International principles and practice.
Australasian Journal of Special Education, 19(2), 5 15.

Mukhopadhyay, S. (2014). Botswana primary school teachers perception of inclusion of


learners with special education needs. Journal of Research in Special Educational
Needs, 14(1) 33 42.
Mukhopadhyay, S. (2013). Voices of experience: Botswana primary schools teachers on
inclusive education. European Journal of Educational Studies 5(1). 73 85

Mulvihill, B. A., Shearer, D., & Van Horn, M. L. (2002). Training, experience, and child
care providers perceptions of inclusion. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 17, 197
215. doi:10.1023/B:LERI.0000037196.62475.32

National Association for the education of Young Children (NAEYC). (1993).Position on


inclusion. Downloaded October 9, 2014 from http://
www.naeyc.org/resources/position_statement/psinc.

Odom, S. (2000). Preschool inclusion: What we know and where we go from here. Topics
in Early Childhood Special Education, 20 (1), 20-27

Odom, S.L., Buysee, V., & Soukakou, E. (2011). Inclusion for young children with
disabilities: A quarter centuary of research perspectives, Journal of Early
Intervention, 33 (4), 344 356

Odom, S. L., & Diamond, K.E. (1998). Inclusion of young children with special needs in
early childhood education: The research base. Early Childhood Research quarterly,
13(1), 3 25

Odom, S.L., Zercher, C., Li, S., Marquart, J., & Sandall, S. (2006). Social acceptance and
social rejection of young children with disabilities in inclusive classes. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 98. 807 823

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


19

Paterson, D. (2007). Teachers in-flight thinking in inclusive classrooms. Journal of


Learning Disabilities, 40(5), 427 435.

Peck, C.A., Carlson, P., & Helmstetter, E. (1992). Parent and teacher perceptions of
outcomes for typically developing children enrolled in integrated early childhood
programs: A state-wide survey. Journal of Early Intervention, 16, 53 63.

Proctor, R., & Niemeyer, J. A. (2001). Pre-service teacher beliefs about inclusion:
Implications for early intervention educators. Journal of Early Intervention, 24(1), 55
66.

Republic of Botswana (1994) Revised National Policy on Education. Gaborone: Government


Printers.

Republic of Botswana (2001). Early Childhood Care and Education Policy. Government
Printers

Republic of Botswana (2011). Inclusive Education Policy, Government Printers

Ross-Hill, R. (2009). Teacher attitude towards inclusion practices and special needs
students. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs. 9(3), 188 198.

Sadler, J. (2005). Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of the mainstream teachers of children
with a preschool diagnosis of speech/language impairment. Child Language
Teaching and Therapy, 21(2), 147 163.

Salend, S. J. (2006). Explaining your inclusion program to families. Teaching Exceptional


Children, 38(4), 6 11.

Soodak, L. C., Podell, D. M., & Lehman, L. R. (1998). Teacher, student, and school
attributes as predictors of teachers responses to inclusion. Journal of Special
Education, 31, 480 497.

UNESCO (1994). The Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs.
World Conference on Special Needs Education, Access and Quality. Retrieved
from http://www.ecdgroup.com/download/gn1ssfai.pdf

UNESCO (2000). Education for all: Meeting collective commitments. Paris: UNESCO

Vaughan, S., Reiss, M., Rothlein, L. & Hughes, N.T. (1999). Kindergarten teachers
perceptions of instructing students with disabilities. Remedial and Special Education,
20(3). 184 191.
Villa, R.A., & Thousand, J.S. (2003). Making inclusive education work. Educational
Leadership, 61(2), 19 23.
Yuen, M., & Westwood, P. (2001). Integrating students with special needs in Hong
Kong secondary schools: Teachers attitudes and their possible relationship to
guidance training. International Journal of Special Education, 16(2), 69 84.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


20

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 20-28, March 2016

Curriculum Development of Environmental


Education Based on Local Wisdom at Elementary
School

Afakhrul Masub Bakhtiar


Arya Setya Nugroho
Faculty of Teacher Training and Education,
University of Muhammadiyah Gresik
Universitas Muhammadiyah Gresik,
Jl. Sumatera 101 GKB, Randu Agung, Gresik, Indonesia

Abstract. This research aims to develop environmental education


curriculum based on local wisdom. This is a research and development
(R&D) using Borg & Gall procedures (2003) namely; 1) preliminary
study, 2) planning design development, and 3) try out and revision. The
research results of Environment Education curriculum development
based on local wisdom showed satisfactory results. Based on input from
experts and assessments, the developed curriculum can be distributed to
elementary schools in the area UPTD (the District Education Office)
Kedamean, Gresik Indonesia. There are five curriculum principles that
are raised as the main characteristics of local wisdom. The five points
include: 1) the local farming systems; 2) the provision of green open
land; 3) water treatment systems; 4) the processed food products which
are based locally; 5) the livelihoods of local patterned communities.

Keywords: Curriculum, Environmental Education, Local Wisdom.

1. Introduction

Environmental damage in Indonesia is getting serious in that the condition


has directly threatened human life. The level of any nature damage increases the
risk of natural disasters. The cause of the occurrence of natural damage can be
caused by two factors, namely the result of natural occurances and consequences
of human behavior. Damage to the environment can be defined as the process of
deterioration or reduction (deterioration) environment. Environmental
detereoration is characterized by a loss of resources of soil, water, air, its
extinction of wild flora and fauna, and ecosystems (Pratomo, 2008).
Environmental damage gives immediate impact to human life. In 2004, the
High Level Threat Panel of the UNITED NATIONS, Challenges and Change,
incorporating environmental degradation is one of the top ten threats to
humanity. World Risk Report, released by the German Alliance for

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


21

Development Works (Alliance), the United Nations University Institute for


Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and The Nature Conservancy
(TNC) in 2012 mention that the environmental damage is one of the important
factors that determines the height of the low risk of catastrophe in a region. The
pollution of many different countries take place, one of them is Chinese. Offered
in a journal on Motori by Greenpeace, water conditions of China in some
provinces cannot be used as it should be, and it is estimated to occur in rivers of
Indonesia.
According to Karim (2003) and Supardi (2011), of the human side,
environmental problems are caused by the inability to develop a system of social
value and life style which are not able to make a living in harmony with the
environment. How to build your lifestyle and attitude towards the environment
in order to live in harmony with the environment is not an easy job which can be
done in a short time. Therefore the educational path is the right means to build
communities that are implementing the principles of sustainability and
environmental ethics. Educational paths can be reached starting from the pre-
formal level of education until College.
To support the principles of sustainability and environmental ethics in
education need a system that can regulate education itself. The thing that can be
done is by designing curriculum development. Based on the results of a survey
conducted by the researcher randomly in 2015, the schools (elementary, junior,
and senior high school) in Gresik Indonesia had been identified that the local
content subjects of environmental education was not completed by a
representative curriculum. Therefore environmental education is taught
following the materials from a book only. From an interview with one of the
principals, school grounds to use the book as a reference for environmental
education of learning because of the limitations in developing the curriculum.
The school never received the training of curriculum development. Moreover,
local content subjects (including environmental education) curriculum must be
developed by the school itself. This is complicated and a common problem
associated with different attitude and mindset of human resources.
In line with that, the mental revolution into social movements of the era of
the reign of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla becomes very important and urgent to change
the attitude and mindset of every citizen of Indonesia in terms of addressing the
damage to the natural environment. Mental revolution aligned with the world of
education, spearheading the first should be able to initiate social movements. To
support a mental revolution that can enter into the world of education needs to
be formulated outwardly through the education system i.e. curriculum. To
sinergize the problem in the natural environment, Environmental Education
curriculum development (PLH) is the right step. This is because the curriculum
is seen as the main reference to achieve the goal of the educational process itself.
Departing from wisdom and local problem, Environmental Education
curriculum development will impact effectively against local problem
resolution. By completing the environmental problems at the local level, it will
also impact the resolution of environmental issues at the national level even
globally. Sullivan in Bezzina (2006) states that environmental crisis is a social
issue and not simply something that is natural. Environmental education has a
very important role in addressing environmental issues that arise at the moment.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


22

In this case, this study is a development of environmental education


curriculum based on local wisdom that would have given the answer in solving
environmental problems, including helping change attitudes and mindsets of
human resources. Thus, this is also a simple step that implies the realization of
changes in behavior and attitudes to enhance the knowledge, skills, and public
awareness that will be the values of environment and environmental problems
in order to play an active role in the preservation and safety of the environment
for the benefit of the present and future generation. Therefore this is the long-
term hope for the researchers as the concrete steps leading to a mental
revolution in the field of the environment at the level of primary school.

2. Research Method
The steps taken in this study are to simplify the ten steps of Borg & Gall (1983)
into three steps namely; 1) preliminary study, 2) planning the development of
design and 3) test and revision.
The research period was from February until August 2015 carried out in
SDN 2 Kedamean, Gresik, with the subjects of research were the Group
Managers and curriculum developers i.e. principals, teachers, School
Committee, and other relevant sources. The site selection of the research was
based on input and coordination with the relevant parties including UPTD (Sub
District Education Office) of Kedamean. Both are different levels of school
achievement and still in a small-scale for area Office of education in the sub-
district of Kedamean. SDN 2 Kedamean is a School of national standards (SSN)
which has strategic long term plan to become the school of Adiwiyata, whereas
SDN 1 Lampah, is a school in a poor area in Gresik but it is much accomplished.
With the differences of their backgrounds of the school, it is expected to give a
plausable generalization of the study.

3. Findings and Discussions


a. Preliminary Study
Based on the results of the initial survey in primary schools, it was found: 1)
Environmental Education was used as companion mastery of Natural Sciences;
2) Environmental Education refers to the existing textbooks as the main
references. While doing the evaluation of the curriculum of environmental
education in elementary school, it was found that: 1) Environmental Education
curriculum was made solely as a complement to local curriculum; 2)
Environmental Education curriculum does not depart from the school's needs; 3)
Environmental Education curriculum copy and paste from other schools; 4)
environmental education curriculum was created by the purpose of school
achievement of Adiwiyata. Studies on the results of the need assessment of
teaching indicate that: 1) environmental education is not important because it is
not part of five main subjects; 2) educators are reluctant to assess the
environmental education completely. From the analysis of environmental
problems, it was obtained that: 1) the availability of clean water sources begin to
decrease; 2) the decreases of green open-land since the development of
construction and industry so that increasing environmental temperature; 3)
therefore, the heat is getting severe; 4) rivers are contaminated by wastes; 5)
agriculture as livelihood of the majority of society is not attractive to younger

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


23

generation; 6) dropping awareness towards environmental sustainability.


Analysis of local wisdom reveals some important points: 1) local farming
systems; 2) the provision of green open land; 3 water treatment systems); 4)
processed food products made locally; 5) livelihoods of local communities which
are already settled.

b. The Plan for Design Development


In drawing up the plan development of Environmental Education curriculum,
researchers at this stage, perform some activities: 1) socialization; 2) division of
tasks. Socialization was carried out by exposing preliminary study results.
Socialization is conducted openly in forums include: head of school, School
Committee, teachers, and researchers. Socializations are described
comprehensively in the need for Environmental Education curriculum
development from local wisdom. Mindset change will occur when the
socialization run smoothly. In the division of tasks, two teams of the group are
formed in that each team is from low-class curriculum and high class. Both
teams are accommodated by researchers as an important role in order the
contents will be formulated on the design of the curriculum to be sustainable.
This is in line with the opinion of Hariani (2011) stating that it needs continuity
of content of the curriculum in low grade and high grade in all subjects. Still
related to Haryani (2011), Barraza, Laura (2001) also confirms that primary
schools have an important role to instill environmental education to students
through curriculum system that is measurable, well-planned and sustainable.

c. Try Out and Revision


1) Limited Try Out
The limited try out is in SDN 2 Kedamean in which the design of curriculum-
based on environmental education of local wisdom already made can be
implemented according to the expexted plan. Nevertheless, there are special
entries i.e. the necessity of depth understanding against a master class. The
classroom teacher who previously regards the design of the curriculum is too
high to be applied, but only after satisfactory result, tested. Testing is only done
on the midterm low grade and high grade. Low grade is represented by class II
and high class is conducted on class V. The two levels of the classes indicate the
maximum results in that they are very responsive to learning with curriculum-
based on environmental education of local wisdom. At the try out, students are
very enthusiastic in learning environmental education activities. The editorial
side of the curriculum also is reasonably easy to understand.
2) Revisions Based on the Results of Limited Try Out
At this stage the researcher does not do the revisions. Limited try out results
from the editorial context are not revised. But from the side of educators
(teachers), they need persuasive understanding to give confidence that teachers
are optimistic in carrying out Environmental Education of curriculum content.
This is in line to change the mindset of teachers in accordance with the vision of
a mental revolution. The first and main thing that needs to be done is to change
the mindset. The change of mindset will affect the patterns of follow-up
activities (Sukmadinata, 1997). Before the design of the curriculum is tested,

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


24

teachers are given motivation and understanding about the content of the
curriculum in comprehensive environmental education.
3) Extended Try Out
Extended try outs are to preserve on two primary school levels, one has high
level of primary school, i.e. SDN 2 Kedamean, another one of the primary school
level is namely SDN 1 Lampah. The activity starts by giving motivation and
understanding about the content of the curriculum in comprehensive
environmental education to the teachers of both schools. Once is considered
sufficient, the next execution of the try out is extended. In SDN 2 Kedamean and
SDN 1 Lampah, Environmental Education of curriculum design based on local
wisdom then is tested throughout the class. More extensive try out is carried out
in the middle of the first half after UTS (Midterm Test). On Grade I students do
field trips on agriculture to local communities. Working on study tours they are
to observe the open land around the green environment done on grade II. While
in the rest of the class III, they are observing local wisdom related to the
preservation of the environment. For class IV, they are doing observation of
reservoirs as local wisdom. Work trips to the villages of processing food
products which are developed from local raw materials was done by students of
class V. In the sixth grade students, the field trips for villages are to know the
livelihoods of rural communities that are already settled. By doing field trips
and observations directly to the local community, this gives a special attraction
for students to have positive values for the students. For the teachers as well,
they can reflect the real pictures in which students really need a refreshing
lesson in the form of field trips and observations significantly to society.
4) The Revised Design Based on the Extended Try Out
From the extended try out results, the revised materials are as follows: 1)
the word choices need to be expanded, especially in the formulation of basic
competencies so that schools are easily to develop and apply; 2) The language
structures in the writing basic competences also need to be revised. Based on the
revised materials, the researchers improve the draft of environmental education
curriculum based on local wisdom as presented in table 1(the results of the
developed curriculum).
The development of Environmental Education Curriculum has
appropriate stages of development that is Environmental Education Curriculum
with local vision which will have global impact. This is in line with the
expectations of Apulsari (2013) in the journal of Primary Teacher Education
Program of Elementary School at the Faculty of Education, University of Riau,
which confirms that environmental education is done at the local level, but can
have global impact. This is then a curriculum should be developed by the right
team with reference to local knowledge, but still considers the strengths and
weaknesses of the previous curriculum. From the editorial context, the experts
assess that there should be no change of the content because the formulated
standards of competence are already operational and completely represented by
local wisdom. This expert opinion is supported by Mulyasa, (2006) who states
that local content should be developed from the community itself. Local content
should be able to accommodate local culture. Certainly this is not a new thing to
raise the local content including Environmental Education as a school subject
identifier, however, the developed environmental education curriculum so far is

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


25

not the result of the development of local knowledge yet but of copy and paste
from other resources which are not the representation of local wisdom (Meilani,
2011). Starting from this, the experts assess the insightful environmental
education curriculum of local knowledge is worth to be developed and
disseminated in the territory of the District Education Office of Kedamean
(UTPD).

Tabel 1. The Design of Environmental Education Curriculum Based on Local Wisdom


Class I Semester 1
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
1. Knowing the simple agriculture 1.1 Field trips on farm for local communities.
of local communities. 1.2 Conducting a simple observation of local
agriculture.
2. Farming simply in the school 2.1 Planting local vegetables.
environment. 2.2 Caring for locally grown vegetables.
Class I Semester 2
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
3. Harvesting vegetables grown 3.1 Harvesting local vegetables.
locally. 3.2 Packing the local vegetables simply.
4. Creating a simple exhibition for 4.1 Creating a simple exhibition for the
marketing. marketing of local vegetables that have been
packaged to parents / class advisors.
Class II Semester 1
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
1. Knowing the green open land 1.1 Working on field trips to observe the green
in the neighborhood. open land in the neighborhood.
1.2 Conducting simple observations of the green
open land (flora and fauna).
2. Opening the green open land in 2.1 Making simply green open land in the
the neighborhood. neighborhood.
Class II Semester 2
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
3. Maintaining the green open 3.1 Caring for the green open land in the
land in the neighborhood. neighborhood.
3.2 Observing green open land in the
neighborhood.
4. Documenting green open land 4.1 Documenting photos, video simply of the
in the treated neighborhood. green open land in the neighborhood
which had been treated.
4.2 Making a simple exhibition at the school on
green open land.
Class III Semester 1
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
1. Knowing the local knowledge 1.1 Conducting observations of local
related to environmental knowledge related to environmental
preservation. preservation.
1.2 Documenting local knowledge related to
environmental preservation.
Class III Semester 2
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
2. Practicing local wisdom related 2.1 Practicing activity that shows local wisdom
to environmental preservation. in preserving the environment.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


26

Class IV Semester 1
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
1. Knowing reservoirs as local 1.1 Conducting observations of the reservoirs
wisdom. as local wisdom.
1.2 Documenting observations of reservoirs as
local wisdom in the form of a story.
Class IV Semester 2
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
2. Creating a simple pond in the 2.1 Making a simple pond in the school
school environment to preserve environment to preserve the surrounding
the surrounding environment. environment.
2.2 Creating an ecosystem naturally.
2.3 Spreading the fish and the water filter in
the pond.
Class V Semester 1
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
1. Knowing the processed food 1.1 Doing field trips for villages that elicit
products from local raw processed food products from local raw
materials in the neighborhood. materials.
1.2 Conducting observations of processed food
products from local raw materials in the
neighborhood.
1.3 Documenting observations of reservoirs in
the form of a story.
Class V Semester 2
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
2. Making of processed food 2.1 Making of processed food products from
products from local raw local raw materials.
materials. 2.2 Marketing of processed food products from
local raw materials.
Class VI Semester 1
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
1. Knowing the livelihoods of 1.1 Doing field trips to villages to get to know
rural and patterned the livelihoods of rural and patterned
communities. communities.
1.2 Conducting observations of livelihoods of
rural and patterned communities.
1.3 Documenting observations livelihoods
sideline of rural communities in the form of
descriptive stories.
Class VI Semester 2
Standard of Competence Basic Competence
2. Membuat proyek sederhana 2.1 Membuat evaluasi sederhana pemasaran
untuk memasarkan produk pertanian lokal.
swasembada hasil pertanian 2.2 Membuat proyek sederhana untuk
lokal dengan teknologi. pemasaran produk hasil pertanian lokal
dengan teknologi.

The design of Environmental Education Curriculum Based on Local Wisdom as


presented in Table 1 can be seen from every level of elementary education
outcomes which are as follows: For class one, children will get to know the local
agricultural and farming practices, local vegetables to the harvesting and

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


27

packaging simply for marketing. The class two is expected to be familiar with
green open land and make simple green open land in the neighborhood. For
grade three, students are expected to recognize, document, local knowledge and
practice related to environmental preservation. While in grade four, students get
to know the reservoir and create a simple pond in the neighborhood. In grade
five, they are expected to know and make the processing of food products from
local raw materials. For grade six, the students are expected to be familiar with
the livelihoods of rural pattern of communities and make a simple project to
market local self-sufficiency in agricultural products with technology.
This study indicates the need of integrating local wisdom and
environmental curriculum to attarct students concerns so that this can promote
people in general to be aware of environmental problems. In line with the
opinion of Prigi (2012) the public must be able to preserve nature in a way to
know and apply it in life. Likewise Sumarmi (2008) in the journal Science of
Education asserts that it is the school responsibility to educate students to love
nature. Contextual approach can be used as a way to educate. According to
Chen (2008) that environmental education is a very important tool in providing
knowledge, positive attitudes towards the environment and to build skills to
protect and improve the environment.
Referring to the results of curriculum development for Environmental
Education above, in terms of basic competency of content that is raised can be
done by learning which is really meaningful. This is in line with the opinion of
Barlia (2008) who states that learning should be meaningful in which this will
consider the importance of learning environment in primary schools. Not only in
this level, according to Desa, et al (2012) in the journal of Environmental
Awareness and Education: A Key Approach to Solid Waste Management (SWM)
-A Case Study of a University in Malaysia, "every program in the university
environment must be rooted mainly that the process of caring for the
environment will have the greatest impact if it becomes an integral part of the
educational mission of the institution. " Ardoin & Sharon (2011) also confirm
that the incorporation of environmental education into a program is very
important because it will affect the community in decision-making to safeguard
the nature.
Results of this study certainly suggest that the Environmental Education
curriculum based on local wisdom will support the school in educating students
to act in harmony with the natural environment. This harmony with nature
would give broad or global impacts on the natural environment.

4. Conclusion
The research results of curriculum development on Environmental
Education based on local wisdom show satisfactory results in which the
development already refers to the stage of curriculum development. Based on
input from experts and assessment, the developed curriculum can be
distributed to elementary schools in the area of UPTD Kedamean (the District
Education Office). There are five curriculum contents being raised as the special
uniqueness of local wisdom. The five contents include: 1) the local farming
systems; 2) the provision of green open land; 3) water treatment systems; 4)
processed food products which are based locally; 5) the livelihoods of local

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


28

patterned communities. This environmental education curriculum design based


on local wisdom will certainly be able to resolve local issues that will impact the
global.

References
Apulsari, M. (2013). Analisis Kurikulum Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup Pada Sekolah Dasar
Riau: Primary Program Studi Pendidikan Guru Sekolah Dasar Fakultas
Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan Universitas Riau, 2.10-17.
Ardoin, M. & Sharon S.M. (2011). Environmental and Sustainability Education in Natural
World Heritage Sites: A Literature Review. Retrieved from
http://www.galapagos.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Lit-Review-
Sustainable-Educ-Ardoin-and-Ryan1.pdf
Barraza, L. (2001). Environmental Education In Mexican School: The Primary Level. The
Journal of Environmental Eduacation, Vol. 32 No. 3 31-36. Retrieved
from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249038548
Borg, W. R, & Meredith D. G. 2003. Educational Research An Introduction. New York:
Longman.
Barlia, L. (2008). Teori Pembelajaran Lingkungan Hidup di Sekolah Dasar. Subang: Royyan
Press.
Bezzina, C., Pace, Paul. (2006). School improvement, school effectiveness or scholl development.
London: Trentham Books Limited.
Chen, J., C, H (2008). Children, Teachers and Nature: An Analysis of An Environmental
Education Program. University of Florida.
Desa, A., Nor B., Abd K., & Fatimah Y. (2012). Environmental Awareness and Education: A
Key Approach to Solid Waste Management (SWM)-A Case Study of a
University in Malaysia. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/48169
Hariani. (2011). Pengembangan Konten Isi Kurikulum. Surabaya: Unesa press.
Karim, S.A. (2003). Program PKLH Jalur Sekolah: Kajian dari Perspektif Kurikulum dan
Hakekat Belajar Mengajar. Jakarta: Depdiknas.
Meilani, R. (2011). Persepsi Guru dalam Penerapan Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup di Sekolah
Dasar Sekitar Hutan Kawasan Gunung Salak Endah Kabupaten Bogor. Bogor:
Institut Pertanian Bogor.
Mulyasa. (2006). Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan. Bandung: Rosda.
Pratomo, S. (2008). Pendidikan Lingkungan. Bandung: Sonagar Press.
Prigi. (2012). Ekosistem Lingkungan Hidup. Surabaya: Ecoton.

Sukmadinata, N.S. 1997. Pengembangan Kurikum; Teori dan Praktek. Bandung: Remaja
Rosdakarya.
Sumarmi. (2008). Sekolah Hijau Sebagai Alternatif Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup Dengan
Menggunakan Pendekatan Kontekstual. Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan Jilid 15
Nomor 1 Halaman 19-25. Malang: LPTK (Lembanga Pendidikan dan
Tenaga Pendidikan) dan ISPI (Ikatan Sarjana Pendidikan Indonesia).
Supardi. (2013). Permasalahan Lingkungan Hidup. Surabaya: Unesa press.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


29

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 29-41, March 2016

Semi-Quantitative Analysis of
how the Preambles in Ordinances are designed:
Observing the Change of Peoples Motivation
towards Inheritance
after the Great East Japan Earthquake

Noriko Kurata
Tokyo University of Science, Suwa
Chino, Nagano, Japan

Yuko Kurata
Kansai Gaidai University
Hirakata, Osaka, Japan

Masakazu Ohashi
Chuo University
Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract. This paper investigated changes in the concept of "inheritance"


before and after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE). After this
disaster, there were new Fundamental Ordinances on Local Autonomy
(FOs) enacted in Japan, all of which begin with preambles. This study
analyzed the preambles to these new laws by applying a semi-
quantitative analysis methodology. GEJE was a dreadful natural disaster
known to typically occur only once every 1,000 years or so. By analyzing
the relationship between people's real experiences of the GEJE and the
preambles of the new FOs, which are considered to be supreme laws
enforced by the Japanese local governments, the findings showed that
the preambles had changed to include an increased frequency of
expressions regarding inheritance. This finding can be said to indicate
part of a change of awareness to "inheritance", which forms the
foundation of Japanese education.

Keywords: inheritance; education; local autonomy; ordinance; disaster

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


30

1. Introduction
1.1. Purposes and Characteristics of this Paper
This paper investigated changes in the concept of inheritance before and after
the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (henceforth, GEJE). After this disaster,
there were new Fundamental Ordinances on Local Autonomy (henceforth, FOs)
enacted in Japan, all of which begin with preambles. This study analyzed the
preambles to these new laws by applying a semi-quantitative analysis
methodology. GEJE was a dreadful natural disaster known to typically occur
only once every 1,000 years or so (Enomoto, 2011). By analyzing the relationship
between peoples real experiences of the GEJE and the preambles of the new
FOs, which are considered to be supreme laws enforced by the Japanese local
governments, the findings showed that the preambles had changed to include
an increased frequency of expressions regarding inheritance (in Japanese,
keish).

1.2. Disaster Damage from the GEJE


GEJE is the worst natural disaster to ever have occurred in the whole Eastern
region of Japan. The hypocenter of the earthquake was approximately 100,000
km2, reaching 500 km from North to South and 200 km from East to West,
between the offshores of Iwate Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture. The moment
magnitude was 9.0; after that, more than 9.3 m. At some points in time, it was
impossible to measure as it was followed by a gigantic tsunami (Ministry of
Internal Affairs and Communications, Fire and Disaster Management Agency,
2013). To make matters even worse, the force of these two natural events also
caused a tragic accident at the local nuclear plant.

The Japanese local governments comprised 47 prefectures with 1,724


municipalities within the prefectures (from April 1, 2011 to the present).
(Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 2014). According to a report
by the national government, 22 of the 47 local governments suffered human
casualties and property damages as did 467 municipalities. As of September 1,
2015, the death toll was 19,335; 6,219 were injured; and 2,600 people were still
missing. (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Fire and Disaster
Management Agency, 2015).

By the third day after the disaster, the largest number of evacuees was
approximately 470,000. As of August 13, 2015, 53,249 people were still
considered evacuees. Again, this disastrous confluence generated the greatest
number of evacuees of all the natural disasters that have occurred in Japan in
recorded history (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Fire and
Disaster Management Agency, 2013).

2. Literature Review on Fundamental Ordinances on Local Autonomy


2.1. Definition
According to Mr. Matsushita who proposed FOs for the first time in Japan, they
are ordinances to enhance the autonomy of Japanese local governments for
policy-making and development (Matsushita, 1996). He further defines them as

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


31

ordinances emphasizing citizen autonomy to regulate the basic structure for


formulating tasks and frameworks agreed to by all affected citizens
(Matsushita, 2002). FOs regulate basic policies arising from local decision-
making and administrative management in local government and are
considered constitutional by local governments that have enacted them
(Tsujiyama, 2002a; Kisa, & Osaka, 2003).

2.2. The Significance of the Enactment


The FOs assure the autonomy of residents governed by each local government
as a step toward decentralization and autonomous management of local
communities by citizens for such projects as town design and planning and even
municipal merging, which has recently been on the rise (Katsutoshi, 2009:
Kurata, & Kurata, 2016).

There have been some negative reactions towards the enactment of FOs. Some
argue that although administrative organizations have been established so that
local citizens would not have to engage in town building through cooperation,
such FOs may label some people as second-class citizens if they cannot
participate in town planning because of temporal, financial, or physical
restrictions (Murata, 2012). Others believe that there is a danger that FOs may
cause chaos as all citizens rarely share the same opinion when it comes to town
planning, if both the national government and local governments are assumed
to be founded upon peoples trust (The Political Affairs Research Committee in
Liberal Democratic Party, 2012).

Local communities and researchers who agree with the FOs give them high
marks as innovative ordinances because they believe that local citizens have the
right to participate directly in town planning and to regulate information
necessary for developing their own regions in cooperation with local
administrations (Matsushita, 2002; Katsutoshi, 2009; Tsujiyama, 2003;
Matsushita, 2004).

2.3. The Structure


While there is no clear standard concerning the structure of FOs due to their
character as enacted by any particular municipality as an optional ordinance
(Matsushita, 2004). Tsujiyama (2002b) argues that they should contain at least
the following as critical to the structure of a basic ordinance: 1. A preamble; 2.
principles for policy objectives and administrative management; 3. civil rights; 4.
representative and staff systems; 5. a description of a basic system of
management for the local government; 6. granting of collaboration with citizens;
7. collaboration and cooperation between local governments; 8. characteristics as
a supreme law; 9. amendments, and 10. by-laws. Matsushita is also in support of
this set of requirements (Matsushita, 2004).

2.4. The Process of Creating FOs


The original draft of an FO requires active participation of local citizens. For
instance, the contents of an FO for Shinjuku Ward were established by six
citizens, six MPs, six administrators, and an academic expert with relevant

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


32

knowledge and experience (Hirai, 2015). It took approximately three years to


reach the final form.

Another example is an FO produced by Sasayama City. According to the


research on this municipality action, it took approximately two and a half years.
The process included collecting opinions and information from local citizens by
way of inviting public comments (three times), questionnaires (once), and open
discussions (six times) (Kubota, Hoshino, Kuki, et al., 2010).

A study of an FO enactment in Tsukuba City reported that a civil working group


consisting of volunteer local citizens worked for 18 months as committee
members conducted meetings to create the first draft for submission to the
mayor. During this process, they held 38 meetings and 15 workshops for citizens
to receive their input on the process (Ueda, 2012).

Again, in Mitaka City, it took approximately three years to create an original


draft of an FO in collaboration with local citizens (Mitaka City, 2008). All of the
processes included multifaceted ways of acquiring public cooperation such as
workshops, roundtable discussions, meetings with local citizens and committee
members, and soliciting public comments before submitting the first draft to a
municipal legislature. After an in-depth discussion by the municipal legislature,
it was issued as the local FO.

2.5. Statistical Research on FOs


There are two types of statistical research on FOs. One is to look for a pattern by
conducting a principal component analysis (PCA) of the contents; it analyzes the
whole structure of an FO (Yuasa, 2008). The other is to investigate FOs by
conducting text mining of only the preambles (Moteki, 2014). There has also
been a study on FOs that identified the fact that local governments where birth
rates are low tend to create more comprehensive FOs (Kurata, & Kurata, 2016).

2.6. The Significance of this Study


This paper investigated the preambles of FOs, which are established as the
supreme law of a local government through stages of many citizens
participation, using semi-quantitative methods because preambles are typically
less structured than the other parts of FOs. Precedent research awaited further
studies that would demonstrate the future direction of FOs based upon a
chronological analysis of their characteristics (Numata, & Takagi, 2012).

One of the characteristics of an FO is that its preamble explains the background


of why and the process of how the FO was conceived and developed using
simple language rather than complicated legal terms. The background often
vividly explains geographical features, local history, primary industries, and
local culture of a region. Whereas the contents of articles are similar from one FO
to another, preambles tend to be unique to each locality where they will be
enacted. The lack of restrictions from legal expressions allows the language to
freely express the local color and local citizens. Therefore, it is the preambles that
represent the values and characteristics embraced by local citizens. However,

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


33

there has not been quantitative research on the educational impact of the term
inheritance as it is used in preambles of FOs, making this research unique to
the instant study. Another crucial element of this study is that 1,000-year
disasters such as the GEJE are clearly very rare and so remain in peoples
memories and personal stories as each person that survives it has had a very
special subjective experience. An event of such magnitude changes people in
very fundamental ways.

From this unique set of special circumstances, the hypothesis developed for this
paper is that FOs may contain more expressions about inheritance and culture,
because awareness has been raised in the local populations regarding the
importance of next generations inheriting local culture in the aftermath of such a
major disaster. In order to prove this hypothesis, this study sought to analyze
the impact of the GEJE on the preambles in new FOs using semi-quantitative
methods. From the results, a discussion is presented on how local peoples
unusual experiences of such a sequence of disasters may or may not have
affected the design of local ordinances.

3. Data Collection and Analysis


3.1. Data
Data for this study were FOs issued during the periods illustrated in Table 1.
The research data does not include prefectural FOs or municipal FOs that were
not disclosed on their websites. The prefectural FOs were excluded as they are
too large to have intimate relationships with the citizens living in them, whereas
municipalities function under basic local governments that reflect the opinions
of local citizens. Data collection was conducted according to the list of FOs
provided by an NPO Public Policy Research Institute (Koukyou Seisaku
Kenkyuujyo, 2015).

Table 1: Conditions of FOs used as Data for this Study.


Number of
Items Conditions
FOs
Dates for enactment: between April 1,
Terms 343
2001 and December 1, 2015.
Municipal FOs
Targets 341
(prefectural FOs are not included)
Disclosure FOs disclosed on municipal websites 340
The number of municipalities used in this study was 1,724 as of April 1, 2011.

3.2. Analytical Method


First, whether target FOs contained preambles was investigated and then the
existing preambles were categorized into two groups according to whether the
FO was enacted before or after the GEJE. Secondly, all of the preambles in both
groups were analyzed by text mining. Software for quantitatively conducting

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


34

morphological analysis and frequency (Higuchi, 2014) was applied for analysis.
Morphological analysis classifies a text according to parts of speech by dividing
it into words and phrases.
One term and its variations used in the analysis as conditions of the text mining
was inheritance (in Japanese, keish). The search included the noun keish,
the verbs, keish suru, hikitsugu, uketsugu (all of which mean to inherit), and
tsutaeru (to pass on, transmit), and their conjugated forms.

4. Results and Discussion


4.1. Testing the Hypothesis
Table 2 lists the target FOs according to whether or not they contained
preambles and Table 3 classifies the FOS according to the dates of enactment
(before or after the GEJE). Almost all of the FOs contained preambles, an
indicator that they are indispensable elements of the FOs. However, there were
more FOs issued before the GEJE than after.

Table 2: With or Without Preambles in the Target FOs.


Number of
Conditions
FOs
With preambles 337

Without preambles 3

Table 3: Categorization of FOs.


Number of
Categories Conditions
FOs
The date of enforcement is
Before GEJE 204
between April 1, 2001 and January 1, 2011

The date of enforcement is


After GEJE 133
between April 1, 2011 and December 1, 2015

The top 20 of the most frequently used nouns are shown in Table 4 and verbs in
Table 5. Frequently used terms indicated in Tables 4 and 5 that are related to
inheritance (keish) and culture (bunka) are displayed with an asterisk. The
number of FOs is the total number of FOs that included one or more of the
search terms. Hence, even if the term(s) was used more than once in a preamble,
it was only counted once.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


35

Table 4: Top 20 Most Frequently used Nouns in Preambles.

Before GEJE After GEJE


Rank
Number Number
Nouns Nouns
of FOs of FOs
1 Shimin (citizen) 498 Shimin (citizen) 302

2 Jichi (autonomy) 411 Chiiki (region) 237

3 Chiiki (region) 291 Jichi (autonomy) 218

4 Kihon (basis) 255 *Bunka (culture) 184

5 * Bunka (culture) 223 Kihon (basis) 159

6 Jrei (ordinance) 217 *Rekishi (history) 154

7 Chmin (townspeople) 193 Jrei (ordinance) 141

8 Shakai (society) 187 Seitei (enactment) 117

9 * Rekishi (history) 185 Chmin (townspeople) 113

10 Seitei (enactment) 181 *Senjin (ancestor) 111

11 * Senjin (ancestor) 172 Hatten (development) 108

12 Jitsugen (realization) 136 Shakai (society) 101

13 Sekinin (responsibility) 125 Kanky (environment) 88

14 Kanky (environment) 123 Shutai (subject) 84

15 Shutai (subject) 122 Jitsugen (realization) 79

16 Hatten (development) 121 Sekinin (responsibility) 79

17 Rinen (principle) 107 Chih (locality) 74

18 Chih (locality) 106 Sonch (respect) 74


Hitori hitori
19 96 *Dent (tradition) 71
(each person)
20 Yakuwari (role) 93 Jidai (era) 69
* Words used for data analysis.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


36

Table 5: Top 20 Most Frequently used Verbs in the Preambles.


Before GEJE After GEJE
Rank Number Number
Verbs Verbs
of FOs of FOs
1 Suru (to do) 1,822 Suru (to do) 1,282

2 Aru (to be) 195 Aru (to be) 181

3 Naru (to become) 143 Naru (to become) 122

4 Susumeru (to proceed) 138 Sumu (to reside) 100

5 Sumu (to reside) 132 Susumeru (to proceed) 84

6 Mamoru (to protect) 102 *Kizuku (to build) 83

7 Dekiru (to be able to) 102 Motsu (to have) 75


Megumareru
8 94 Dekiru (to be able to) 75
(to be blessed)
9 * Kizuku (to build) 93 *Hikitsugu (to inherit) 74

10 Kurasu (to live) 93 *Hagukumu (to nurture) 72


Megumareru
11 * Hikitsugu (to inherit) 92 65
(to be blessed)
12 Mezasu (to aim for) 85 Mamoru (to protect) 64

13 Motsu (to have) 80 Kurasu (to live) 63

14 Sadameru (to establish) 79 Mezasu (to aim for) 61

15 Yoru (to depend) 75 Yoru (to depend) 47

16 * Hagukumu (to nurture) 72 *Uketsugu (to inherit) 44

17 Kangaeru (to think) 64 Kangaeru (to think) 39

18 *Sodateru (to foster) 63 Sasaeru (to support) 38

19 Ninau (bear) 62 Ninau (bear) 37

20 * Uketsugu (to inherit) 55 Sadameru (to establish) 37

*Tsukuru (to make) 37


*Words used for data analysis.

Expressions relating to inheritance and culture in the top 50 most frequently


used words were analyzed by cross tabulation before and after the GEJE and a
chi-squared test was performed. (See Tables 6 and 7.) The results in Table 6 were
counted by the combinations of related verbs and nouns. For example,
tsunagaru (to connect) indicates the number of FOs where any of the

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


37

conjugated forms of tsunagaru, tsunagu, and tsunageru appears. (See the


note in Table 6 for which terms were combined.) The frequency of the term
kyoiku (education) was less than ten (10) in the preambles of the FOs;
therefore, it was not statistically analyzed in this study. Concerning expressions
relating to keish (inheritance), two verbs, tsunagaru (to connect) and
keishsuru (to inherit), showed a statistically significant increase. In another
two verbs, hagukumu (to nurture) and szsuru (to create), no significant
differences were found for either one, and the real number of how often they
were used decreased. These results indicate that these two verbs have not had
any radical change in their usage in the texts of preambles to FOs. The verbs
tsunagaru (to connect) and keishsuru (to inherit) are active verbs in
longitudinal periods of time that include the past, present, and future; whereas
the latter two tend to be used only to express time between the present and the
future.

From the analysis and characteristics of these verbs, it is believed that the
preambles that were examined were designed to emphasize inheritance
regarding the past, present, and future after the GEJE. The research clarified that
expressions with timelines only from the present to the future have not changed
in frequency of their usage in the text of preambles to FOs.

Table 6: Expressions relating to Inheritance in the Top 50


Most Frequently used Words in the Preambles Classified by Parts of Speech.
Number of Tsunagaru Keishsuru Hagukumu Szsuru
FOs (to connect) (to inherit) (to nurture) (to create)
Before GEJE
Number of FOs 204 11 136 126 137
(%) (5.4) (66. 7) (61.8) (67.2)
After GEJE
Number of FOs 133 23 103 75 89
(%) (17.3) (77.4) (56.4) (66.9)
Total
Number of FOs 337 34 239 201 226
(%) (10.1) (70.9) (59.6) (67.1)

2 value 11.29** 4.03* 0.76 0

**Significant difference at 1% *Significant difference at 5%

NOTE:
Tsunagaru includes conjugated forms of tsunagaru, tsunagu, and tsunageru.
Keishsuru includes keish, hikitsugu, uketsugu, and tsutaeru.
Hagukumu includes hagukumu, and sodateru.
Szsuru includes Sz, tsukuru, and kizuku.

As in Table 7, the word dent (tradition) showed a statistically significant


increase as an expression relating to culture. Others did not show any significant

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


38

differences. Although there was no significant difference, the rate of usage of the
term bunka (culture) in preambles to FOs before and after the GEJE were 74%
and 81%, respectively. For the post-GEJE FOs, it was frequently used in the
preambles, an indication that it has become an essential expression in FO
discourse.

Considering the semantic characteristics of these terms, the chronological


background expressed by words such as rekishi (history) and senjin
(ancestor) is in regards to the past, and they do not express events in the
present. Seikatsu (life) and sangy (industry) were mostly used in relation
to present issues, although the adjective forms of these terms were seen to be
used to explain the past as well as future matters. Expressions such as bunka
(culture) and dent (tradition) were found in both past and present tenses,
but not the future tense. Dento in particular was used to highlight the past as
it connects to the present. The analytical results and the semantic characteristics
of the words frequently used in the preambles of FOs after the GEJE tend to
emphasize the idea of tradition to be passed on to inhabitants of the present.
Also, the term bunka (culture) has become a crucial expression in FO
preambles.

Table 7: Expressions Relating to Culture in the Top 50


Most Frequently used Words in the Preambles Classified by Parts of Speech.
Number of Dent Bunka Rekishi
FOs (tradition) (culture) (history)
Before GEJE
Number of FOs 204 58 152 137
(%) (28.4) (74.5) (67.2)
After GEJE
Number of FOs 133 60 108 98
(%) (45.1) (81.2) (73.7)
Total
Number of FOs 337 118 260 235
(%) (35.0) (77.2) (69.7)
2 value 9.13** 1.68 1.33
Number of Seikatsu Senjin Sangy
FOs (life) (ancestor) (industry)
Before GEJE
Number of FOs 204 44 136 57
(%) (21.6) (66.7) (27.9)
After GEJE
Number of FOs 133 32 92 36
(%) (24.1) (69.2) (27.1)
Total
Number of FOs 337 76 228 93
(%) (22.6) (67.7) (27.6)
2 value 0.16 0.13 0.003
**Significant difference at 1%

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


39

Future-oriented expressions such as mirai (future), kodomo (children), and


jisedai (next generation) did not make it into the top 20 most frequently used
words in the preambles as shown in Table 4. This is in line with other
aforementioned results that hagukumu (to nurture) and szsuru (to create)
no significant differences were found. The preambles emphasize a chronological
perspective from the past to the present.

The results of this paper were in agreement with the aforementioned results and
found that such tendencies increased after the GEJE.

Changes in words representing changes in peoples perspectives towards society


reflect their opinions and beliefs as they evolve. It is these changes that identify
what has become important to local citizens after facing the GEJE, which are
shown in the analytical results of this study. Thus, the hypothesis of this paper,
FOs may contain more expressions about inheritance and culture as
awareness has been raised in local populations regarding the importance of next
generations inheriting local culture in the after math of such a major disaster
has been supported.

4.2 Educational Significance of this Paper


A FO with its preamble is a regulation for resident autonomy, designed and
enacted through various processes including the participation of local citizens.
Workshops are the main way to encourage active participation, providing an
opportunity for people to share opinions about regional democracy. This is one
of the steps for citizens identifying themselves as local community members to
examine in detail the contents of a local ordinance that will regulate
development in their region. Hence, these activities can be known as a place for
civic education and education for understanding democracy. Furthermore, the
preambles in FOs are the outcomes of such civic education. For these reasons,
this paper can claim to have researched changes due to new educational
awareness among local citizens before and after the GEJE experience by
collecting and analyzing the preambles of FOs as outcomes from new
experiences of civic education.

Spranger (1920) and Dewey (1998) propose that education is based upon the
inheritance of culture, which can be thought of as a foundation to the changes of
awareness from civic education experienced by people and communities that
survived the GEJE. One of the impacts from this massive disaster has been the
elevation of awareness towards the importance of their own inherited local
traditions and the responsibility to pass on those traditions to future
generations.
The GEJE caused many people and communities to experience a historical
dislocation (HD), a termination of the sequence of living history upon which
their present lives were based (Numata, & Takagi, 2012). By further interpreting
the results of this paper, it is proposed that the existing preambles of the FOs
enacted before the GEJE be redesigned to maintain them as supreme laws that
reflect the lives of local citizens as they have been altered by this unspeakable set

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


40

of events and to incorporate the historical dislocation of these people in their


motivations towards inheriting and educating communities regarding local
culture and traditions.

Although this paper investigated the change in the frequency of usage of the
terms keish (inheritance) and bunka (culture) separately, the relationship
between them was not explored. Further study could undertake discerning
whether the object of inheriting is culture or not.

References

Dewey, J. (1998). Experience and education. Kappa delta Pi. International honor society in
education. Indiana: West Lafayete.
Enomoto, A. (2011, May 16). [How do we estimate great disaster which occurs once a
thousand years?] Nikkei Shinbun. Retrieved from
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO28461180T10C11A5W02101.
Japanese
Higuchi, K. (2014). [Quantitative text analysis for social survey]. Kyoto: Nakanishiya
Syuppan.
Hirai, M. (2015). A study of the basic autonomy ordinances based on the local
governance. Jichisouken. 441, 51-68. Chihou Jichi Sougou Kenkyuujyo.
Katsutoshi, S. (2009). [A study of existing consciousness and normative characteristic
regarding fundamental ordinances on local autonomy]. Matsuyama university
readings. Matsuyama University. Japanese.
Kisa, S., & Osaka, S. (2003). [The constitution of our city challenges in Niseko Town-]. Tokyo:
Nihon Keizai Hyouronsha.
Koukyou Seisaku Kenkyuujyo. (2015, December 16). [A list of fundamental ordinances on
local autonomy across Japan]. Retrieved from
http://koukyou-seisaku.com/policy3.html. Japanese.
Kubota, K., Hoshino, S., Kuki, Y., & Hashimoto, S. (2010). Roles and interactions among
stakeholder groups in the legislative process of municipal ordinance - Case of
Sasayama basic ordinance for local government-. Journal of rural planning
association, 28, 291-296. The Association of Rural Planning.
Kurata, N., & Kurata, Y. (2016). Quantitative study on the design of ordinances enacted
by local governments in Japan: The composition of fundamental ordinances on
local autonomy and analysis of basic regional data. Journal of transformation of
human behavior under the influence of infosocionomics society. 1, 5-13. Institute of
Policy and Cultural Studies of Chuo University & the Infosocionomics Society.
Matsushita, K. (1996). [Autonomy and decentralization in Japan]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Japanese.
Matsushita, K. (2002). [Why, now, fundamental ordinances on local autonomy is
needed]. Chihoujichi shokuin kensyuu, 71, 6-21. Koushokuken. Japanese.
Matsushita, K. (2004). [Ordinances to make cooperation society; consideration to fundamental
ordinances on local autonomy, citizen participation ordinances, and citizen cooperation
support ordinances]. Tokyo: Gyousei. Japanese.
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Fire and Disaste r Management
Agency. (2013). [A collection of writings on the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake].
Retrieved from
http://www.fdma.go.jp/concern/publication/higashinihondaishinsai_kirokus
hu/index.html. Japanese.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


41

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. (2014, July 1). [Wide area administration
and merging of municipalities; detailed transition table for number of municipalities].
Retrieved from
http://www.soumu.go.jp/kouiki/kouiki.html. Japanese.
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Fire and Disaster Management
Agency. (2015, September 9). [The 152th report about the 2011 Great East Japan
Earthquake]. Retrieved from
http://www.fdma.go.jp/bn/%E3%80%90%E6%B6%88%E9%98%B2%E5%BA%
81%E3%80%91%E6%9D%B1%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E5%A4%A7%E9%9C
%87%E7%81%BD%E8%A2%AB%E5%AE%B3%E5%A0%B1%EF%BC%88%E7%
AC%AC152%E5%A0%B1%EF%BC%89.pdf. Japanese.
Mitaka City. (2008, July 2). [Progress before enactment of fundamental ordinance on local
autonomy]. Retrieved from
http://www.city.mitaka.tokyo.jp/c_service/003/003885.html. Japanese.
Moteki, Y. (2014). Mission statements in Japanese local governments: Text mining for
machizukuri basic ordinances. Journal of urban management and local government
research. Nippon Urban Management and Local Government Research
Association.
Murata, H. (2012, February 13) [Association against fundamental ordinances on local
autonomy].Japanese. Retrieved from http://ameblo.jp/risingshiningsun/entry-
11163325094.html. Japanese.
Numata, R. & Takagi, H. (2012). An Ideal Way of Politics, Public Administration, the
Local Government at the Time of a Catastrophic Disaster. Toyo Hougaku, 56(1),
259-275. Toyo University.
Spranger, E. (1920). Die bedeutung der wissenschaflichen pdagogik f r das volksleben.
In E. Spranger(Ed.). Kultur und Erziebun. (138-58). Leipzig: Quelle and Meyer.
The Political Affairs Research Committee in Liberal Democratic Party. (2012). [Wait for a
while!! Reconsider to enact fundamental ordinances on local autonomy]. Retrieved
from
http://www.jimin.jp/policy/pamphlet/pdf/jichikihonjyourei_01.pdf.
Japanese.
Tsujiyama, Y. (2002a). Matsushita, K., Nishio, M., & Shindou, M. (Eds.). [Iwanami course:
Conception of local government-4-structure] Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. Japanese.
Tsujiyama, Y. (2002b). [Judicial affairs based on policies are the pillars of local autonomy;
consideration to fundamental ordinances on local autonomy]. Asahi culture center
local autonomy course booklet. Tokyo: Koujin No Tomo Sha. Japanese.
Tsujiyama, Y. (2003). [Why fundamental ordinances on local autonomy is needed?] Tokyo:
Koujin No Tomo Sha. Japanese.
Ueda, T. (2012). [Fundamental ordinances on local autonomy and citizen learning: Case
study of decision over fundamental ordinances on local autonomy in Tsukuba
City]. Region and Education, 3, 25-33. Lifelong Learning & Social Education
Laboratory, University of Tsukuba. Japanese.
Yuasa, H. (2008). Structure and dynamics of organic home rule. Kyusyu international
university readings in law. 15, 2, 73-108. Kyusyu International University.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


42

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 42-53, March 2016

Brief Multisensory Training Enhances


Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition
in Both High and Low Performers

Manuela Macedonia
Johannes Kepler University
Linz, Austria
Max-Planck Institute for Human and Brain Sciences
Leipzig, Germany

Claudia Repetto
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Milan, Italy

Abstract. Research in the field of vocabulary acquisition has


demonstrated that enriching novel words with sensorimotor
information enhances memory outcome compared to reading. However,
it has been asserted that enrichment might exceed the cognitive load of
low performers and therefore be detrimental to them. Here, in a brief
training, thirty-two subjects learned thirty novel items of a foreign
language according to three conditions: (1) reading, (2) reading and
listening, (3) reading and listening and watching an actress performing a
gesture semantically related to the words. Conditions (2) and (3)
enriched the baseline (1) with multisensory information. Memory
performance was assessed through written tests immediately after
learning. Results indicate that both high and low performers benefit
from sensorimotor learning. The significant interaction between group
and method in one of the tests shows that low performers learn better
through enrichment than by only reading the words. Implications for
education are discussed.

Keywords: vocabulary acquisition, high and low performance, second


language learning, enrichment, memory, multisensory training, gesture,
cognitive load.

1. Introduction
Wittgenstein once wrote The limits of my language are the limits of my
universe (Wittgenstein & Russell, 1922). In many countries, multilingualism is
the key to education and to professional life. However, learning a second

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


43

language (L2), particularly learning vocabulary is time consuming and takes


dedication. Usually, vocabulary acquisition happens incidentally through
reading activities (Krashen, 2013) and by repetition of odd bilingual word lists. It
has been known for a long time that learning in lists compared to other
strategies does not lead to vocabulary size or to general language proficiency
(Gu & Johnson, 1996). However, lists are still used (Choo, Lin, & Pandian, 2012)
and people with good memory are at an advantage in this task (Papagno &
Vallar, 1995). Those who are not put a great effort into learning but achieve poor
results. Hence, for obvious reasons, methods that help low performers (LP) to
overcome difficulties in memorizing are welcome and necessary in education.

Behavioral studies have demonstrated that enriching verbal information with


multisensory stimuli enhances retention (Shams & Seitz, 2008). Paivios Theory
of Dual Encoding paved the way for enrichment. It suggests that verbal and
visual information belong to two different systems (Paivio & Csapo, 1969). By
engaging both systems while learning, memory is supported because the limited
processing capacity of the verbal system can be compensated by the visual
(Clark & Paivio, 1991). Alan Baddeleys Model (1974) proposed working
memory as a modular system with different subcomponents including the
phonological loop and the visual sketchpad. Together they contribute to
memory formation. In their Levels of Processing Framework, Craik and Tulving
(1975) claimed that retention of verbal information is dependent on the richness
with which it is presented. Engelkamp and Zimmer (1994) also described explicit
memory as a multimodal system consisting of sub-systems, i.e. the verbal and
other non-verbal systems (visual, sensorimotor, etc.). Hence, according to the
above theoretical views, engagement of more subcomponents in the process of
learning words has an impact on word retention (Macedonia, 2015). In other
words, the view that verbal memory can be enhanced if enriched with visual
and sensorimotor components has long been known in memory research.

Vocabulary learning still occurs with bilingual lists but also with enrichment.
Pictures illustrating the words semantics are successfully employed (Bisson et
al., 2014). Less known in practice is that gestures accompanying the words also
have an impact on memory. This approach is particularly effective compared to
reading and reading and listening to words in L2, in the long and short term (for
a review, see Macedonia, 2014). In a recent behavioral study by Mayer et al.
(2015), gestures were proven to be superior to pictures in supporting memory. In
the brain imaging section of the study, the authors found different neural
cortices depending on the modality of stimulus processed, i.e. visual or
sensorimotor. Thereafter, enrichment engages more brain in word learning
than unimodal learning such as reading of words from lists. From an
evolutionary point of view, it is argued that our brain is optimized for
multisensory stimulation because of the multisensory environments in which we
grow up and live (Shams et al., 2011). Accordingly, learning words by reading
bilingual lists does not exploit the capacities of the brain. Instead, learning in
lists deprives learners of modalities that support acquisition.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


44

Considering that LP may fail to acquire an L2 at a proficient level, education


needs to make use of strategies that are particularly supportive to them.
However, the issue of whether enrichment is a benefit to both high performers
(HP) and LP is still discussed. In this regard, it has been proposed that multi-
sensorial information might disadvantage LP because it increases the
perceptional and cognitive load, i.e. the amount of mental effort employed to
store information (Harp & Mayer, 1998; Mayer, Heiser, & Lonn, 2001).
Accordingly, enrichment should not be beneficial to LP. On the other hand, the
contrary has also been asserted, i.e. that multisensory learning reduces cognitive
load because it breaks up information into the different modalities and makes
retention easier (Bagui, 1998; Cherry et al., 2008).

In L2 word learning, there are only a few studies addressing this issue.
Perlmutter and Myers (1975) found that enrichment by pictures help low
performers to memorize words better than only hearing the words. Call and
Switzky (1975) achieved similar results in training and testing elderly.
Enrichment by means of iconic gestures has been investigated in a study by
Macedonia et al. (2010). There, low performers who learned vocabulary items by
self-performing iconic gestures took more advantage of enrichment than HP.
However, that study documented learning outcome after intense training, i.e.
three hours daily for five days.

Here, contrarily to other studies, we are interested in the initial phase of


learning, i.e. when learners perceive and encode a word in a foreign language
for the first few times. Our aim is to discern whether LP at this stage of learning
can benefit from enrichment and we hypothesize that LP also benefit from
enrichment at the initial phase of learning.

2. Method

2.1. Participants
Thirty-two native German-speaking subjects (mean age M = 24.45 ys, SD = 3.15,
20 females, 12 males) took part in the experiment. They were recruited from the
database of the University of Graz (Austria) and had no reported history of
language, psychiatric or neurological disorders. Participants gave written
consent to participate and received 10 as a compensation. The study was
approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Graz (Austria).

2.2. Pre-testing
Prior to the experiment, we interviewed participants regarding their experience
with L2 learning, i.e. their learning habits and the number of languages they had
acquired. Also, we administered a Wechsler verbal intelligence test (Tewes,
1998) with verbal paired associations in German, the subjects L1. Additionally,
participants accomplished a forward and a backward digit span test (Schroeder,
Twumasi-Ankrah, Baade, & Marshall, 2012). Both tests assessed the participants
working memory as predictors of language learning ability.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


45

2.3. Training materials


Thirty novel words of Vimmi, an artificial corpus, were created for experimental
purposes (Macedonia, Mller, & Friederici, 2011), every word being three-
syllabic and conforming to Italian phonotactic rules (Table 1). The words were
arbitrarily assigned a translation into German. The German words were
controlled for their familiarity according to the Wortschatzportal of the
University of Leipzig (http://wortschatz.uni-leipzig.de/). For each word,
stimulus material consisted of the written word in Vimmi and its translation into
German. Additionally audio files of the words (1s), as well as video clips (4.7s)
were recorded with a German female speaker. In the clips, an actress performed
a gesture semantically related to the word. The 30 words in Vimmi were
randomly subdivided into three blocks and assigned to three different training
conditions. In the visual condition (V), participants only read the written words;
in the audiovisual test, participants additionally heard the words in L2 (AV); in
the sensorimotor condition, besides reading the words and listening to them,
participants saw videos of the actress performing an iconic gesture related to the
words semantics (SM).

Cond. 1 Visual (V)


Vimmi German English
1 nelosi Reissverschluss zip
2 gelori Ohrring earring
3 miruwe Pfeffermhle pepper mill
4 gepesa Besen broom
5 mebeti Becher cup
6 atesi Treppe stairs
7 lofisu Foen hair dryer
8 serawo Giesskanne watering can
9 siroba Seife soap
10 botufe Taschentuch handkerchief
Cond. 2 Audiovisual (AV)
11 suneri Geige violin
12 wugezi Regal shelf
13 mewima Stempel stamp
14 guriwe Faden thread
15 sigule Tempel temple
16 lifawo Stuhl chair
17 bekoni Kaffee coffee
18 dafipo Huegel hill
19 pirumo Erde earth
20 giketa Blume flower
Cond. 3: Sensorimotor (SM)
21 magosa Shampoo shampoo
22 uladi Pullover pullover
23 dirube Zettel sheet of paper
24 ganuma Messer knife
25 nabita Welle wave

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


46

26 mesako Telefon telephone


27 midaro Spiegel mirror
28 raone Fernbedienung remote control
29 motila Banane banana
30 nukile Poster poster

Table 1: Vimmi Words used during training, their translation into German for the
participants, and into English for the readers.

2.4. Training procedure


In a larger experimental setup, our aim was to investigate the first stage of
learning, i.e. the encoding of novel words with different modalities and the
neural substrate exploiting this function (Macedonia, Repetto, & Ischebeck,
under revision). Therefore, we opted having our participants learn in a
functional Magnet Resonance (fMRI) scanner. For the present study, we used the
behavioral data acquired during the scanning procedure. Lying supine in the
scanner, subjects were instructed to memorize as many words as they could in
Vimmi and German that were presented to them via headphones (Earplug,
NordicNeuroLab AS, Norway) and via a back-projection screen mounted at the
participants feet. Participants could view the contents of the screen over a
mirror mounted on top of the head coil. The thirty items were subdivided into
three blocks, 10 items for each learning condition. In the scanner, during each
trial which lasted approx. 7s, the written word in Vimmi and its translation into
German underneath were presented (V). Additionally, in the AV-condition, the
audio-file was played. Finally, in the SM-condition, the video of the iconic
gesture was shown. Every block of words was shown three times. Within the
block, items were randomized giving a total number of 90 repetitions and a
training duration of approximately 25 minutes.

2.5. Testing
After the training, participants were given a five-minute break in a room
adjacent to the scanner. Thereafter, in the same room, they completed the
written tests.
In the German free recall, participants were instructed to write as many items as
they could remember on an empty sheet of paper, only in German, their L1.
Similarly, participants were asked to do the same for the free recall in Vimmi. In
the paired free recall in German and Vimmi, participants had to write down
pairs of words. In the cued recall German, participants were given a randomized
list of the 30 Vimmi items and instructed to translate them into German. In the
cued recall Vimmi, participants translated the German words into Vimmi. We
alternated the order of the translation from one participant to the other. Each test
lasted 5 minutes.

2.6. Statistical Analyses


For each participant we computed a performance index for each memory task
under each experimental condition; it was calculated as the percentage of
correctly recalled items over the total number of items. Thereafter, we
summarized the individual performance by calculating a global performance
index, obtained as the mean value of each participants performances in all the

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


47

memory tasks. On this basis, we split the sample in two groups based on the
global performance index, by using the Median value (34.7) as the cut-off
between groups: those who obtained scores below the cut-off belonged to the LP
group, and those who obtained scores above the cut-off belonged to the HP
group. Table 2 summarizes the descriptive statistics of the above mentioned
indexes.

Group
LP HP
Mean
Task Condition SD Mean % SD
%
V 31.25 19.28 57.50 15.71
Free German AV 42.50 12.38 58.13 15.15
SM 65.00 18.26 74.38 11.53
V 8.33 9.51 28.13 13.55
Free Vimmi AV 10.00 9.03 27.29 17.77
SM 8.96 7.86 37.92 17.76
V 6.46 7.84 29.58 13.05
Paired recall AV 11.46 11.67 27.29 18.47
SM 7.50 6.15 38.54 20.26
V 18.33 15.96 58.13 25.12
Cued recall German to
AV 19.79 15.37 46.25 27.48
Vimmi
SM 11.04 10.02 55.63 19.35
V 36.88 23.01 77.50 19.83
Cued recall Vimmi to
AV 34.38 20.65 74.38 17.11
German
SM 31.25 20.62 75.00 21.29
Global performance 22.88 8.36 51.04 13.53

Table 2: Memory performance for the HP and LP (descriptive statistics)

In order to test the impact of the different learning conditions on the memory
tasks, we conducted Repeated Measures ANOVAs, using each task performance
index as a dependent variable, the Learning Condition as within subject factor
with three levels (Visual- V; Audiovisual AV; Sensorimotor SM), and the
Group as between subjects factor with two levels (LP vs HP). Single effects
analyses and contrasts were performed when the interaction between the
Learning Condition and Group was significant.

In order to assess if the pre-test memory assessment (Wechsler paired recall,


Digit Forward and Digit Backward) was able to predict the global performance,
and thus for the HP vs LP groups, we calculated correlation indexes (Pearsons
r) between the global performance index and each pre-test. Thereafter, we

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


48

conducted a logistic regression using the Group as dependent variable and the
pre-test(s) significantly correlated with the global performance score as
predictor(s).

2. Results

For the free recall test in German, we found a main effect of the Learning
Condition, [F (2.60) = 31.68, p < 0.001, 2= 0.51]. Sensorimotor encoding proved
to be significantly superior [F(1.31)= 38.84, p < 0.001] to the other learning
conditions. The interaction between Learning Condition and Group was also
significant [F(2.60)= 3.29, p = 0.04; 2= 0.1]. Single effects analyses indicated that
the HP performed better with SM learning than with the other two modalities
[SM vs AV and V F(1.15)= 14.4 p = 0.02]. However, LP, gradually improved their
performance if learning was enriched across the conditions [AV vs V: F(1.15)=
5.65 p = 0.03; SM vs AV: F(1.15)= 37.1 p < 0.001].

In the free recall task in Vimmi and in the paired recall task, data underlined that
on the whole the Learning Condition did not impact performance, i.e. the main
effect was absent for the whole group. However, the learning condition affected
performance differently depending on the group [Learning Condition X Group
Free Vimmi: F(2.60)= 3.51, p = 0.04; 2= 0.11; Paired recall: F(2.60)= 6, p = 0.04;
2= 0.17]. In both tasks, only the HP took advantage from the SM learning
condition against V and AV conditions [Free Vimmi: SM vs AV and V F(1.15)=
6.63 p = 0.02; Paired recall: SM vs AV and V F(1.15)= 11.8 p < 0.004].

In the cued recall from German to Vimmi, the main effect was not significant,
but the interaction between Group and Learning condition was significant
[F(2.60)= 3.38, p = 0.04; 2= 0.10]; within subjects comparisons underlined that in
the learning conditions AV vs. SM, HP still take a greater advantage from SM
enrichment, whereas for LP the contrary is the case F(1.30)= 5.93, p = 0.02; 2=
0.16].
In the cued recall from Vimmi to German, the data underlined that neither the
main effect nor the interaction were significant.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


49

Figure 1: Memory performance for the HP and LP (descriptive statistics)

2.1. Pretests and correlations


We conducted correlation tests between the scores obtained in the memory pre-
tests and the global performance index. We found a significant correlation with
the Wechsler Paired recall test (r=0.63; p<0.001). As a consequence, the binomial
logistic regression model including the Wechsler paired recall test as predictor
also resulted statistical significance (2=7.6; p<0.01). The model could explain
28.0% (Nagelkerke R2) of the variance in Group and correctly classified 65.6% of
the cases. The sensitivity and specificity were 75% and 56.3% respectively.
Hence, as shown in Table 3, an increase in score in the Wechsler paired recall is
likely to be associated with the HP.

B E.S. Wald df p Exp(B)

Paired-word 0.244 0.115 4.484 1 0.034 1.276

Constant -12.296 5.902 4.340 1 0.037 0.000

Table 3: Logistic regression parameters

3. Discussion and Conclusion

The above results appear to indicate that three repetitions of 30 novel words lead
to poor results in memorization (Figure 1). This applies to both the LP and HP
groups. Considering the single tests, free recall in German scored best. It is
possible that participants first store the concept. Once it is memorized, retrieving
the concept label, the word in L1, is easy. Instead, L2, phonematics makes the
task more demanding. Hence, results are poorer compared to free recall in L1.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


50

Consequently, the results of paired recall are also affected because the word in
L2 is missing. Cued recall tests showed poor performance altogether and
learning conditions did not significantly differ from each other. Hence, these
data suggest that three repetitions of 30 novel items do not lead to good
retention for the population taking part in the experiment.

However, even if general performance was poor, the results show that
enrichment of the written words in L2 enhances their memory. In detail, high
performers significantly benefit from SM-enrichment in free recall in German,
Vimmi and in the paired free recall. Low performers take advantage of SM
encoding only in the easiest measure, i.e. the free recall in German. There, we
also found a significant interaction between the group and the learning
condition. This interaction indicates that both audio-visual enrichment impacts
their memory and sensorimotor learning, hence enrichment altogether.
Considering this interaction, it stands to reason that enrichment does not burden
LPs cognitive load. Instead, enrichment may engage more cognitive resources in
word learning and therefore might facilitate retention also for LP, as asserted in
a number of scientific papers (Paivio, 2006; Shams & Seitz, 2008; Shams et al.,
2011).

In the cued-recall test from German to Vimmi, results indicate an inverse trend
in the conditions AV and SM for both groups of participants. Whereas HP still
take advantage of enrichment, LP benefit from less enriched input. Being cued
recall a demanding task, as it creates a bottle neck by the matching of the words,
we speculate the two groups of participants might have adopted different
cognitive strategies when retrieving the words. In fact, retrieval strategies may
vary depending on the task, the capacities of learners and their age (Danielsson
et al. 2015; Touron, 2015).

The positive correlation between HP memory scores in the retention tests and
the Wechsler Paired recall test show that HP have a superior working memory
(Baddeley, 2003) for lists and strings of letters. This might have to do with their
faculty to process phonologically unfamiliar sounds (Kaushanskaya, Yoo, & Van
Hecke, 2013) but bilingualism could also contribute to this capacity
(Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009). From a brain perspective, the ability to better
learn language has been attributed to several factors including anatomy (Xiang
et al., 2012) and differences in brain function (Golestani, 2014). Specifically, a
study addressing high performance in multisensory learning of L2 words has
found that HP show higher activity in multisensory integration areas of the
brain as the angular gyrus (Macedonia et al., 2010). This ability to put the
different pieces of sensory information in a more efficient way together
(Macedonia et al., 2010; Seghier, 2012) could explain why HP show superior
results independent of the method(s) used during learning.

Taken together, our results indicate that both HP and LP take advantage of
enrichment when learning novel words in L2. In other words, additional
information related to a word is basic to its retention (Hulstijn, 2001).
Furthermore, considering also the behavioral results in a study by Macedonia et.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


51

al. (2010), LP take advantage of sensorimotor enrichment at a lower number of


repetitions if the task is not demanding. With a higher number of repetitions, LP
can take advantage in more difficult tasks.
From an educational point of view, these findings lead to the consideration that
HP having a strong working memory, master memorization easily, and take
advantage of sensorimotor enrichment. LP compensate for a weak working
memory through enrichment.
In this context, the Wechsler paired test could help to detect low performance.
Accordingly, educationalists could select appropriate activities with enrichment
and a high number of repetitions in order to support LP. Hence, multisensory
learning could possibly help to restrict the performance gap between HP and LP
but would certainly allow LP to achieve better results in L2 education and
professional development.

References

Baddeley, A. (2003). Working memory and language: an overview. Journal of


Communication Disorders, 36(3), 189-208.
Baddeley, A., & Hitch, G. J. (1974). Working memory. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The
psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 8,
pp. 4789). New York: Academic Press.
Bagui, S. (1998). Reasons for increased learning using multimedia. Journal of Educational
Multimedia and Hypermedia., 7, 3-18.
Bisson, M.-J., van Heuven, W. J. B., Conklin, K., & Tunney, R. J. (2014). The role of verbal
and pictorial information in multimodal incidental acquisition of foreign
language vocabulary. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(7),
1306-1326. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2014.979211
Call, R. J., & Switzky, H. N. (1975). Effects of auditory and pictorial-auditory stimulus
enrichment on the verbal abstracting abilities of low-SES children. American
Journal of Mental Deficiency, 80(3), 256-265.
Cherry, K. E., Hawley, K. S., Jackson, E. M., Volaufova, J., Su, L. J., Jazwinski, S. M., &
Louisiana Healthy Aging, S. (2008). Pictorial Superiority Effects in Oldest-Old
People. Memory (Hove, England), 16(7), 728-741. doi:
10.1080/09658210802215534
Choo, L. E.., Lin, D. T., & Pandian, A. (2012). Language Learning Approaches: A Review
of Research on Explicit and Implicit Learning in Vocabulary Acquisition.
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 55(0), 852-860. doi:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.572
Clark, J., & Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory and education. Educational Psychology
Review, 3(3), 149-210. doi: 10.1007/bf01320076
Craik, F. I., & Tulving, E. (1975). Depth of processing and the retention of words in
episodic memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 104(3), 268-294.
Danielsson, H., Zottarel, V., Palmqvist, L., & Lanfranchi, S. (2015). The effectiveness of
working memory training with individuals with intellectual disabilities a
meta-analytic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01230
Engelkamp, J., & Zimmer, H. D. (1994). Human memory : a multimodal approach.
Seattle: Hogrefe & Huber.
Golestani, N. (2014). Brain structural correlates of individual differences at low-to high-
levels of the language processing hierarchy: A review of new approaches to
imaging research. International Journal of Bilingualism, 18(1), 6-34. doi:
10.1177/1367006912456585

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


52

Gu, Y., & Johnson, R. K. (1996). Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Language Learning
Outcomes. Language Learning, 46(4), 643-679. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-
1770.1996.tb01355.x
Harp, S. F., & Mayer, R. E. (1998). How seductive details do their damage: A theory of
cognitive interest in science learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(3),
414-434. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.90.3.414
Hulstijn, J. H. (2001). Intentional and incidental second-language vocabulary learning: A
reappraisal of elaboration, rehearsal and automaticity. In P. Robinson (Ed.),
Cognition and Language Instruction (pp. 258-286). Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Kaushanskaya, M., & Marian, V. (2009). The bilingual advantage in novel word learning.
Psychon Bull Rev, 16(4), 705-710. doi: 10.3758/PBR.16.4.705
Kaushanskaya, M., Yoo, J., & Van Hecke, S. (2013). Word learning in adults with second
language experience: Effects of phonological and referent familiarity. Journal of
speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR, 56(2), 667-678. doi:
10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0084)
Krashen, S. (2013). Reading and vocabulary acquisition: supporting evidence and some
objections. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 1(1), 27-43.
Macedonia, M. (2014). Bringing back the body into the mind: gestures enhance word
learning in foreign language. Front Psychol, 5, 1467. doi:
10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01467
Macedonia, M. (2015). Learning Styles and Vocabulary Acquisition in Second Language:
How the Brain Learns. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01800
Macedonia, M., & Mueller, K. Mapping the body into the brain: Neural representation of
novel words learned through gestures and its impact on memory. Submitted
Manuscript.
Macedonia, M., Mller, K., & Friederici, A. D. (2010). Neural Correlates of High
Performance in Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning. Mind, Brain, and
Education, 4(3), 125-134. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-228X.2010.01091.x
Macedonia, M., Mller, K., & Friederici, A. D. (2011). The impact of iconic gestures on
foreign language word learning and its neural substrate. Human Brain
Mapping, 32(6), 982-998. doi: 10.1002/hbm.21084
Macedonia, M., Repetto, C., & Ischebeck, A. K. Depth of encoding through gestures in
foreign language word learning. Manuscript under revision.
Mayer, K. M., Yildiz, I. B., Macedonia, M., & von Kriegstein, K. (2015). Visual and motor
cortices differentially support the translation of foreign language words. Curr
Biol, 25(4), 530-535. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.11.068
Mayer, R. E., Heiser, J., & Lonn, S. (2001). Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 187-
198. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.93.1.187
Paivio, A. (2006). Mind and its evolution : a dual coding theoretical approach. Mahwah,
N.J. ; London: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Paivio, A., & Csapo, K. (1969). Concrete Image and Verbal Memory Codes. Journal of
Experimental Psychology, 80(2p1), 279-&.
Papagno, C., & Vallar, G. (1995). Verbal short-term memory and vocabulary learning in
polyglots. Q J Exp Psychol A, 48(1), 98-107.
Perlmutter, M., & Myers, N. A. (1975). Young children's coding and storage of visual and
verbal material. Child Development, 46(1), 215-219.
Schroeder, R. W., Twumasi-Ankrah, P., Baade, L. E., & Marshall, P. S. (2012). Reliable
Digit Span: a systematic review and cross-validation study. Assessment, 19(1),
21-30. doi: 10.1177/1073191111428764
Seghier, M. L. (2012). The Angular Gyrus: Multiple Functions and Multiple Subdivisions.
Neuroscientist. doi: 1073858412440596 [pii]10.1177/1073858412440596

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


53

Shams, L., & Seitz, A. R. (2008). Benefits of multisensory learning. Trends in Cognitive
Sciences, 12(11), 411-417.
Shams, L., Wozny, D. R., Kim, R. S., & Seitz, A. (2011). Influences of multisensory
experience on subsequent unisensory processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 2. doi:
10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00264
Tewes, U. (1998). Hamburg-Wechsler-Intelligenztest fr Erwachsene - (HAWIE-R)
Revision 1991 Bern, Stuttgart, Toronto: Huber.
Touron, D. R. (2015). Memory avoidance by older adults: When `old dogs' won't perform
their `new tricks'. Curr Dir Psychol Sci, 24(3), 170-176. doi:
10.1177/0963721414563730
Wittgenstein, L., & Russell, B. (1922). Tractatus logico-philosophicus : [With translation].
[S.l.]: K. Paul.
Xiang, H., Dediu, D., Roberts, L., Oort, E. v., Norris, D. G., & Hagoort, P. (2012). The
Structural Connectivity Underpinning Language Aptitude, Working Memory,
and IQ in the Perisylvian Language Network. Language Learning, 62, 110-130.
doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2012.00708.x

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


54

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 54-73, March 2016

EFL Reading Achievement: Impact of Gender


and Self-efficacy Beliefs

Hania Al Khamisi, Thuwayba Al Barwani, Abdo Al Mekhlafi and


Mohamed Osman
Sultan Qaboos University
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Abstract. Research has shown that reading is highly correlated with


students' academic performance in other disciplines. However, students'
reading attainment is influenced by many factors. The purpose of this
study is two folds: Investigating the gender gap in English as a foreign
language (EFL) reading achievement of male and female basic education
students in grades four and ten; and also examining the relationship
between these students' reading achievement and their reading self-
efficacy beliefs. More specifically, it examined the differences in these
beliefs in light of gender and grade level and the interaction between the
two. The total sample consisted of 636 students, 260 grade four students
and 376 grade ten students from basic education schools in the Sultanate
of Oman.
Two research instruments were used in this study: national
reading achievement tests obtained from the Ministry of Education and
a reading self-efficacy beliefs scale developed by the researchers.
Findings revealed that there were gender gaps in the EFL reading
achievement in favor of females in both grades four and ten. Moreover,
the findings showed that females in both grades held a superior level of
reading self-efficacy beliefs for their EFL reading achievement than
males did. Added to that, the findings showed that grade four students
reading self-efficacy beliefs for EFL reading achievement was higher
than those of grade ten. Finally, the findings showed a strong
association between reading self-efficacy beliefs and the reading
achievement of students in both grades; students with higher levels of
self-efficacy beliefs for EFL reading tended to perform better in their
reading achievement tests.

Key words: EFL Reading; Self-efficacy beliefs; Gender gap; Basic


Education; Reading achievement.

Introduction
Success in school and in later life heavily relies on the individual's ability
to read. Reading is an integral part of success in almost all academic areas as
well as in obtaining a successful career in the future (Chapman, 2010). Reading is

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


55

also the agent by which different affairs are carried out and achieved in almost
all work places. Hence, reading is considered as a crucial element for the
enhancement of both the social and economic status of different nations (White,
2007). In Oman, educational authorities are exerting huge efforts to develop
reading skills of the Omani youth, especially at school level in both the Arabic
language and the English language, which is taught as a foreign language (EFL).
Despite the educational efforts to promote reading attainments, boys' and girls'
reading achievement levels differ significantly in favor of girls causing global
concern of different policies (Watson, Kehler, & Martino, 2010). The
discrepancies in the attainment of reading of the two genders are referred to in
literature as "a gender gap in reading" and it has been described as a "universal
problem" (Sadowski, 2010, p. 11). Gender gap in reading has been revealed by
many international, national and local surveys and trends. Most of these
evaluation trends for reading achievement have reported the advantage of girls
over boys in reading attainment.
Many psychological, social, biological, affective and cognitive factors are
found to impact the reading attainments of boys and girls (Robinson &
Lubienski, 2011). Among these factors is the self-efficacy beliefs which are
defined as "beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute the course of
action required to produce given attainment" (Bandura, 1977, p. 3). In
educational settings, self-efficacy beliefs are considered as an integral element in
determining the achievement of students (Barnes, 2010). They play a vital role in
predicting the actions students perform and the amount of motivation and
efforts they would display when learning (Pajares, 2002). Thus, self-efficacy
beliefs capture the attention of researchers to study them more intensively in
relation to learning languages.
In Oman, the gender gap in the overall achievement favoring girls is
present in different age groups and different content areas at all school levels
including university level (Osman, Al-Barwani, Al-Mekhlafi, & Babikir, 2011).
For example, at school level, grade eight Omani female students outscore boys'
in math and science (International Study Center, 2007). Investigating literacy
skills in some developing countries including Oman, Griffin (2000 ) examined
the achievement in literacy for grade four Omani students and found that girls
surpass boys, and that "the mastery levels favor girls by up to 6%." (p.9).
Additionally, the Ministry of Education (MOE) national assessment results,
where objective tests were used, showed that girls outscore boys in these
assessments (MOE & The World Bank, 2012).
In the EFL context in Oman, gender gap is present among Omani
students in favor of females. For example, Osman et al. (2011) found that Omani
female students surpass their male counterparts in English language
achievement at school level, and that the difference between the two is up to 10
points of the main score. Additionally, in the academic year 2008, a national
English language test was given by the MOE in Oman to grade ten students. The
results revealed an approximately (1.7) point difference in the mean results of
the reading part between boys and girls favoring the girls. This difference was
found to be significant (Ministry of Education, 2009b). Parallel to grade ten, in
the academic year 2009, a national English language test was administered by
the MOE to grade four students which showed that there was a significant

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


56

difference in the students' performance in reading in favor of girls (Ministry of


Education, 2010c).These findings call for a serious investigation of the causes for
such gender differences in this language skill.
The underachievement of male students in EFL in general and in reading
skills in particular would have implications on the balance of the Omani society.
It would affect males' enrollment in higher education institutes as well as their
ability to meet the needs of the labor market. The high achievement of girls, on
the other hand, increases their chances for better education opportunities in
higher educational institutes and employment. Hence, there is a need for an
investigation into the factors behind such a gender gap in reading (Osman,
2012).
Coladarci and Breton (1997) argue that students' reading attainment is
not only influenced by their intellectual capacities, but also by non-cognitive
abilities like self-efficacy beliefs. Bandura (1977) identifies self-efficacy beliefs to
be the judgments people hold about their own abilities to carry out particular
actions. Such beliefs have an impact on controlling people's performance and
their functions by influencing peoples cognitive, motivational, affective, and
decisional processes" (Bandura & Locke, 2003, p. 87). Self-efficacy beliefs decide
how people conceive themselves regarding their capability or incapability to
perform certain actions, how motivated they are to face the difficulties when
doing certain tasks, what their emotional status is and what choices they make at
a specific point of time (Bandura, 1977; Bandura & Locke, 2003; Shaw, 2008). In
academic contexts, researchers state that self-efficacy beliefs give more consistent
indications of the academic achievement of students than any other self-beliefs
(Barnes, 2010; Pajares, 2003; Schunk, 2003; Shell, 1995).
In the domain of reading, reading self-efficacy beliefs are viewed as the
judgment of how effectively an individual can perform in a certain reading task
(Wigfield, Guthrie, Tonks, & Perencevich, 2004). Such judgment influences how
well the individual can work in similar reading tasks (Ferrara, 2005). Thus,
reading self-efficacy is considered as a predictor of reading achievement (Nevill,
2008). McCabe and Margolis (2001) indicate that when students have low self-
efficacy beliefs for reading, they are likely to "resist reading or apathetically go
through the motions of learning to read" (p.45). On the other hand, self- efficacy
is considered as an essential provider to motivate students to work more
diligently (Schunk, 2003). Moreover, students with high reading self-efficacy
beliefs tend to read more frequently (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997) and henceforth
increase their reading fluency and achievement.

Purpose of the study


This study aims to examine the reading achievement of male and female
students in grades four (end of cycle one) and ten (end of cycle two). It was also
to examine the disparity in the levels of efficacy beliefs held in EFL reading
achievement by both genders by the end of each cycle. More specifically, the
study answered the following questions:

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


57

1. Are there any significant differences in reading achievement between Omani


male and female students in grade four?
2. Are there any significant differences in reading achievement between Omani
male and female students in grade ten?
3. Are there any significant differences in reading self-efficacy beliefs between
Omani male and female students in grade four?
4. Are there any significant differences in reading self-efficacy beliefs between
Omani male and female students in grade ten?
5. Are there any significant differences between the reading self-efficacy beliefs of
Omani male and female students in grades four and ten?
6. Is there a relationship between male and female students' reading self-efficacy
beliefs and their reading achievement in each grade level?

Theoretical back ground

Self-efficacy Beliefs and Gender


In different aspects of life, both genders seem to vary in their general self-
efficacy beliefs. In academic contexts, Pajares (2002) looks at self-efficacy for
academic achievement of both genders with relation to their self-regulation. He
asserts that self-efficacy for the use of self-regulated learning strategies favored
females over males; results showed that females utilize strategies like doing
homework and setting goals more than males. Pajares (2002) also states that boys
tend to report high self-efficacy beliefs for the skills they do not have and higher
efficacy beliefs for skills they do possess, whereas girls are reported to be more
"modest" about their efficacy beliefs as cited in Winfield, Eccles, & Pintrich
(1996).
In language arts, studying the relationship between reading self-efficacy,
reading enjoyment, and reading achievement of students aged 8 and 12 years
old, Smith, Smith, Gilmore, and Jameson (2012) found that girls surpassed boys
in reading achievement and reading enjoyment, however, gender disparity in
self-efficacy were minimum. This supports the findings of Pajares and Valiante
(1999) where girls were found to have more competence in writing than boys.
There was, however, no significant difference found in the writing efficacy
beliefs of both genders. According to these researchers, this suggests that male
and female students use "different metrics" when they respond to efficacy scales
(P. 390).
With a similar age-group of students to the above studies, Pecjak and
Peklaj (2006) investigated the differences in motivational factors of grade three
and seven students according to their gender and reading achievements. For the
third graders, general self- efficacy, self-efficacy in oral reading, and interest in
reading were factor analyzed. Results showed that female students have higher
oral reading self-efficacy and interest in reading than males. As for seventh
graders, the identified motivational dimensions were four: extrinsic motivation,
involvement and immersion in reading, interest and reading in a social context,
and self-efficacy. The factor analysis revealed statistical gender differences in all
dimensions except efficacy beliefs where the differences were insignificant.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


58

Reading Self-efficacy and Age


As individuals grow up, many of their affective elements, including self-
efficacy beliefs, undergo many changes. A review of the literature on efficacy
beliefs and age yields that self-efficacy beliefs go through developmental
changes as individuals grow up (Hiebert, 1984; Paris & Oka, 1986; Schunk, 1991;
Shell, 1995).
Reviewed literature, however, seems to suggest that young children may
lack the ability to assess their self-efficacy beliefs. Weiner (1985) and Stipek
(1993) argue that young children may have imprecise views about the causes of
their ability and success. In other words, young children may have
misconceptions about the causes of their success and the level of their abilities.
Therefore, they may relate their success or failure to mistaken causes. Moreover,
when they are asked to estimate their efficacy beliefs, young children may over
estimate these beliefs. Paris & Oka (1986) and Stipek(1993) indicated that
previous studies have also suggested that young children tend to overrate their
efficacy beliefs. These researchers, however, indicate that as children grow up,
they become capable of giving more accurate judgments about their abilities.
The aforementioned insights about general efficacy beliefs and
achievement align with the literature's view on reading efficacy beliefs and age.
Henk and Melnick (1995), for example, shed light on the relation between
reading self-efficacy beliefs and age. They mention that the scale they developed
is appropriate for intermediate levels but not for the primary grades because
prior to grade four, students cannot attribute their achievement to proper causes
(Henk & Melnick, 1995). This corresponds to the findings of Weiner (1985) and
Stipek (1993). It could be argued, therefore, that there is sufficient
comprehensive literature that suggests that young learners lack the ability to
precisely report their efficacy beliefs.
Shell, Colvin, and Bruning (1995) examine the grade level differences of
fourth, seventh and tenth graders and their control-related beliefs with relation
to students beliefs and writing and reading achievement. To measure the beliefs
of the students, the researchers used two subscales: one to measure the task
beliefs and the other is to measure the skills beliefs. Results yield that as grade
level increases, students' task efficacy beliefs for reading relates more to
achievement in reading. Specifically, these beliefs increasingly predict reading
comprehension skill as the grade level develops.

Self-Efficacy and Reading Achievement


Bandura (1993) states that to accomplish certain tasks, people do not
merely need knowledge and skills. A good acknowledgement of one's self-
efficacy is fundamental. This could possibly explain why learners who may
possess similar knowledge and skills differ in their accomplishments in a
domain like reading (NokhbehRousta & MirSaeed, 2012). These researchers
maintain that the diversity in the level of self-efficacy beliefs held by learners for
reading is contributing to making them differ in their usage of their skills and
knowledge. Therefore, this explains why learners vary in their reading
achievement.
Wiltgen (2011) explains that the learners high self-efficacy beliefs in
reading impacts positively on their efforts to attempt any reading tasks and their

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


59

persistence in achieving such tasks. Learners with a high level of confidence in


their reading abilities are more likely to engage themselves to learn more and
show more effort and determination to face reading challenges (Wiltgen, 2011).
In difficult reading tasks, these learners modify their reading strategies and
adapt more effective strategies, control their negative emotions like anxiety and
stress, assess their reading achievement precisely and negotiate with teachers
and peers (Li & Wang, 2010). Henk and Melnick (1995) point out that reading
efficacy impacts the process of comprehending what is being read and the
overall achievement in this skill.
The above conclusions are supported by a comprehensive literature. For
instance, NokhbehRousta and MirSaeed (2012) posit that, perceived self-efficacy
beliefs held for reading are closely associated with reading performance.
Investigating related literature and data analysis from different countries, Smith
et al. (2012) conclude that self-efficacy beliefs have a strong potential influence
on reading achievement. Al Bereki and Al Mekhlafi (2015) also argue that
linguistic performance of female students would most probably be better than
male students of the same age. In fact, Shell, Bruning, & Murphy (1989) find that
reading self-efficacy beliefs are a strong predictor for the reading achievement of
students (as cited in Jones, Varberg, Manger, Eikeland, and Asbjrnsen, 2012).
Clark (2012) concludes that early researchers recognize students self-efficacy
beliefs for reading to be a key element in their reading process, and hence,
reading achievement. Because of this, Clark (2012) declares that examining the
self-efficacy beliefs students hold towards reading helps educators understand
this constructs influence on students' achievement. For the above reasons,
Walker (2003) recommends that teachers assign students with reading activities
that they can accomplish. This will result in motivating students to read more,
reflecting positively on their overall reading attainment. Self-efficacy beliefs are
seen to be a key in developing the learners intrinsic motivation for reading
(Pecjak & Peklaj, 2006). Walker (2003) also explains that students with low self-
efficacy beliefs for reading utilize a fewer strategies, acknowledging low self-
esteem about their reading capability, and hence, they are very likely to stop
trying when they face challenging tasks. In contrast, high self-efficacy belief is
connected to more reading strategy usage and engagement which results in
enhancing reading achievement (Chapman & Tunmer, 2003).
A review of self-efficacy beliefs and EFL reading does not reveal a
comprehensive literature in non-western settings (Khajavi & Ketabi, 2011). Most
of the previous empirical work on self-efficacy beliefs and reading was found in
western contexts where English is taught as a first language (Coronado-Aliegro,
2006). There are, however, some elements in literature that pointed to a link
between EFL reading and self-efficacy beliefs. For instance, Wong (2005) points
out that having a high perception of self-efficacy for reading in a foreign
language helps learners face language difficulties and achieve better in reading
tests. Li and Wang (2010) assert that readers with high self-efficacy beliefs set
goals, arrange their time, and use cognitive strategies like making inferences,
note-taking, elaboration, grouping, deduction, and transferring (p.153). Thus, a
plethora of research supports the significant role of reading efficacy beliefs in
enhancing learners reading achievement.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


60

METHODOLOGY

Research Design and Data Analysis


This is a descriptive analytic study. It describes the EFL reading
achievement of grades four and ten students and reveals the levels of self-
efficacy beliefs that these students hold for their EFL reading achievement. It
also analyzes the differences in these beliefs in light of gender and grade levels
as well as the interactions between the two.

Population and Sample


The population of this study was basic education (BE) students in grades
four and ten in the Sultanate of Oman in the academic year 2012/2013 from
different governorates of the Sultanate. It is worth mentioning that grade four
represents the end of cycle one of the BE. Cycle one students (age 6-10) attend
mixed-gender schools which are taught by female teachers. Grade ten represents
the end of cycle two (age 11-15) of the BE. Students in this grade, however,
attend single-gender schools where female students are taught by female
teachers and male students are taught by male teachers. The implementation of
the study's instruments lasted for almost 6 weeks. It is necessary to mention that
the schools involved in the study and the sample underwent some changes due
to some circumstances in the schools like the students absenteeism, the invalid
returned questionnaire and other reasons. Hence, there were a total of 260 valid
responses representing 125 males and 135 females from cycle one schools and a
total of 376 representing 188 males and 188 females from cycle two schools. Thus
constituting (87%, and 92%) of the initial samples of grade four and grade ten,
respectively.

Research Tools
Two instruments were used in this study. The first was a set of reading
achievement tests for grades four and ten BE. These are national tests in English
language administered by the Omani Ministry of Education for both grade four
and ten. For the purpose of this study, only the reading section of the test was
administered. The reliability coefficient of the reading part of the test was 0.93
for grade four, 0.65 for grade ten (Ministry of Education, 2010c, 2009b).
The second instrument was the reading self-efficacy beliefs scale developed by
the researchers based on a thorough review of relevant literature. It was used to
determine the level of efficacy beliefs for reading held by grade four and ten
students. The scale was piloted to a sample of 40 students from the target
population. The internal consistency coefficient Cronbach's "alpha", was
computed for the scale and found to be (0 .948). The scale was a seven-unit
interval with the following unit classifications: (7-6) strong confidence in doing
the task, (5-3) moderate confidence, and (2-1) weak confidence in executing the
task. The scale also included five sub-scales with the following number of items
in each sub-scale: Reading at the Level of Words (6 items), Reading at the Level
of Sentences (7 items), Reading at the Level of Texts (8 items), Independent
Reading (6 items), and Other Statements (6 items). Hence, the total number of
items became 33 in the implemented scale.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


61

Procedures

The two instruments were administered to the study sample in four basic
education schools. The reading tests were simultaneously administered in the
three selected classes in each school (40 minute duration). The tests were then
marked by two teachers to ensure the reliability of the grades assigned. The
reading self-efficacy scale was administered on the same day as the reading
achievement tests. A single code was used for each student. The data gathered
via these two instruments were then analyzed using various statistical
treatments (e.g. descriptive statistics, t-test, correlations, and linear regression).

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS


Question One
The first research question investigated gender disparity in the reading
achievement of grade four students. To answer this question data was collected
via the administered national reading test. Accordingly, comparative analysis
was carried out using the independent sample t-test. Table (1) displays a
summary of the independent sample t-test results.

Table (1)
Mean Differences, Standard Deviations and the T Value of the Reading Achievement
Test of Grade Four Students
Students N **Mean Std. T df Sig. (2-
Gender Deviation tailed)
Female 135 8.56 3.97
2.76 258 .006*
Male 125 7.23 3.79
Note. Std = Standard Deviation, t = T value and df = degree of freedom
* The mean difference is significant at .05 level
** Test total mark is 20

The results shown in Table (1) reveal a significant gender difference in


the means of reading achievement of grade four students at 0.05 level of
significance. This difference is in favor of females whose mean achievement is
(8.56) compared to the males mean achievement (7.23).
These findings correspond to the results reported by Forsthuber,
Horvath, & Motiejunaite (2010) that indicate the outperformance of fourth grade
girls over boys in reading achievement in their mother tongue. They also
correspond to the findings of Griffin (2000) who points out that grade four
Omani females surpass their male counterparts in their literacy skills. In
addition, this finding is consistent with a national English language test
administered by the Omani Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2009 to grade four
students whose results showed a significant gender difference in favor of
females (Ministry of Education, 2010c).

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


62

Question Two
The second research question investigated gender differences in reading
achievement of grade ten students. To answer this question data were collected
and treated with procedures similar to the ones done for grade four. Table (2)
shows the results of the analysis of the independent sample t-test.

Table (2)
Mean differences, Standard Deviations and the T Value of the Reading Achievement
Test of Grade Ten Students
Students Std. Sig. (2-
N **Mean t df
Gender Deviation tailed)
Female 188 13.28 4.70
4.56 374 .000*
Male 188 11.12 4.48
Note. Std = Standard Deviation, t = T value and df = degree of freedom
* The mean difference is significant at .05 level
** Test total mark is 24

Similar to the grade four results, Table (2) reveals a significant gender
difference in the means of reading achievement of grade ten students with a t-
value of (4.56) and a significant level of .000 (P < .05). This difference is in favor
of females whose mean achievement is (13.28) which is almost two degrees
higher than that of the males. Similar to grade four, a gender gap in the EFL
reading achievement also exists among grade ten students in favor of girls.
Three PISA surveys carried out with 15 year old students (similar age to
grade ten in Oman), found corresponding results to the findings of this study.
Significant differences were found in reading achievement favoring girls within
this age group (Forsthuber, Horvath, & Motiejunaite, 2010). In addition, in the
academic year 2008, a national English language test was administered by the
MOE in Oman to grade ten students showed results indicating approximately
(1.7) point difference in the mean results of the reading part between boys and
girls favoring the girls: boys mean result was (46.79) whereas the girls mean
was (48.48). This difference was found to be significant (Ministry of Education,
2009b). Consistent with grade four, these results call for more attention to be
given to reading in grade ten male students classes.
Literature has provided many justifications that could explain the
outperformance of females over males. For example, Osman, Al Barwani, and Al
Mekhlafi, (2015) point out that the instructional environments which include
school ambiance, readiness, aspiration, and study habits were found to
contribute more substantially to the gender gap in academic performance. Also,
Hunsader (2005) argues that males, socially, do not like to be seen caring about
reading and that according to the Canadian Council on Learning (2009), boys
view reading as a "feminine activity" (p. 5). Therefore, the low achievement of
boys in grade four compared to girls could be attributed to their social and
psychological views of reading. Such perceptions may negatively influence the
achievement of boys.
In addition, Robinson and Lubienski (2011) state that girls are found to
frequently read more than boys and that they are more attentive in reading

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


63

classes. In their demographic information part, grade four students were asked
to reveal whether they have English books in their home library and 65.7% of the
females reported the availability of English books in their home library whereas
only 47.6% of the males indicated having books at home. This shows that
females are more exposed to reading materials than males as they have reading
materials at home. Hence, the differences in reading achievement could be
attributed to the availability of English books at home which may reflect
positively on girls reading attainments.
A third explanation could be linked to the impact of affective factors like
motivation and positive attitudes which are found to favor girls (Forsthuber,
Horvath, & Motiejunaite, 2010). Therefore, it could be claimed that grade four
females have higher motivation and a positive attitude towards reading which
resulted in their superior reading achievement compared to grade four male
students. According to Osman, Al Barwani, and Al Mekhlafi, (2015), it is evident
most prominent gender gap in academic performance appears to be in reading,
where female students not only demonstrate higher performance in reading but
also enjoy reading more than their males counterparts.
In the demographic information section, grade ten females also reported
greater access to reading materials. For instance, 92.5% of grade ten females
reported having English books at their schools Learning Resource Center
compared to only 85.3% of the boys. A higher percentage of females reported the
availability of English books (57.4%) and computers with internet access (81.4 %)
at home compared to boys (36.7%) and (69.1%) respectively. It could be claimed
that having such available reading resources contribute to the higher
performance of grade ten females students.
The impact of affective factors like motivation and attitudes which are
found to favor girls could be a third explanation for the underachievement of
grade ten males compared to females. These factors are also mentioned by
Forsthuber, Horvath, & Motiejunaite (2010) as a possible justification for gender
differences in reading. Another important affective factor is self- efficacy beliefs,
which may explain the gender gap in reading achievement. This will be
examined in the fourth question.

Questions Three and Four


The third and fourth research questions examined gender differences at
the level of the reading self-efficacy beliefs of grades four and ten students
respectively. These two questions were answered using the reading self-efficacy
beliefs scale. Table (3) displays a summary of the independent sample t-test
results of male and female students reading self-efficacy beliefs in grades four
and ten.

Table (3)
Mean differences, Standard Deviations and the T Values of the Reading Self-efficacy
Beliefs of Male and Female Students in Grades Four & Ten
Students Std. Sig. (2-
Grade N **Mean t df
Gender Deviation tailed)
Female 135 4.44 1.34
Four

5.10 258 .000*


Male 125 3.56 1.43

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


64

Female 188 4.09 1.39

Ten
4.61 374 .000*
Male 188 3.39 1.56
Note. Std = Standard Deviation, t = T value and df = degree of freedom
* The mean difference is significant at .05 level
** The Reading Self-efficacy Beliefs Scale is a seven-unit Interval

Examining the gender differences in grade four self-efficacy beliefs as


shown in Table (3), it is clear that the mean of the females efficacy beliefs is
higher than the males by an approximately one unit difference in the means
between the two. The means t-value (5.1) indicates a significant gender
difference at p< .05. This difference is in favor of females. Thus, indicating that
grade four females hold a superior level of efficacy beliefs for EFL reading
achievement than males.
Additionally, the results also reveal that the means of the efficacy beliefs
scores of both genders range from (4.44) points for the females to (3.56) points
for the males. On the seven unit scale used to measure efficacy beliefs, this
range corresponds to the moderate category. Hence, grade four students
efficacy beliefs are at the moderate level.
Regardless of the statistical gender difference which favored females,
both genders' efficacy beliefs for EFL reading are moderate. In other words, on
average, grade four male and female students believe that they could basically
perform the EFL reading tasks. The moderate level of self-efficacy may be
attributed to the fact that reading self-efficacy beliefs are not incorporated in the
EFL reading instruction. Thus, there may be no sufficient attention given to
developing grade four self-efficacy beliefs for EFL reading. Another reason that
may account for the moderate level of reading self-efficacy beliefs is that
teachers and parents may not have solid background information about the
sources of these beliefs and their role in enhancing students achievement.
Hence, they may neglect developing such beliefs within their children.
The results of the grade ten analysis displayed in Table (3) demonstrate a
significant gender difference in reading self-efficacy beliefs favoring females
with a t value of (4.61) an at p < .05 level of significance. This indicates that
grade ten females have a higher level of reading self-efficacy beliefs than their
male counterparts.
The means of the self-efficacy beliefs are (4.09) for females and (3.39) for
males. These results fit in the moderate category in the seven unit scale that
was used to measure self-efficacy beliefs. Similar to grade four, the self-efficacy
beliefs for EFL reading of both male and female students are at a moderate level
irrespective of the statistical gender difference that favored females. Therefore,
grade ten male and female students, on average, believe that they could basically
perform EFL reading tasks. Similar reasons given for the moderate level of grade
four self-efficacy beliefs could explain the moderate level of EFL reading efficacy
for grade ten.
In the context of teaching English as a first language reading, and
examining gender differences in reading self-efficacy beliefs, similar and
contradicting results to the findings of these two questions were yielded by
studies carried out with similar age group learners to the current study sample.
For instance, Pecjak and Peklaj (2006) carried out a study to investigate reading

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


65

efficacy beliefs and reading achievement with grades three and seven where
gender was one of the variables. Grade three results analysis coincide with the
findings of these two research questions; Pecjak and Peklaj (2006) found
significant differences in the level of efficacy beliefs in favor of females. With
grade seven, however, these researchers found gender differences in reading
efficacy beliefs to be insignificant which contradicts the findings of the two
questions of our present study.
Additionally, another study, which supports the findings of these two
research questions, was conducted by Lynch (2002) in Canada where females
were reported to score a significantly higher level of reading efficacy beliefs
compared to males among eight and nine- year- old learners. However, the
study carried out by Smith, Smith, Gilmore, and Jameson (2012) found that the
gender differences in reading self-efficacy are minimal among 8 and 12- year -
old students.
Examining explanations for the higher level of reading efficacy beliefs
among female students of the current study, the researchers first link it to
sources of efficacy beliefs. Wood and Bandura (1989) state that mastery
experiences are a vital construct of efficacy beliefs. Barnes (2010) and Usher and
Pajares (2008) clarify that success in accomplishing tasks leads to building higher
level of efficacy beliefs. The results obtained by analyzing the first and second
research questions of this study, indicate that in both grades, four and ten
females surpassed males in reading achievement.
Another justification could be related to the second construct for efficacy
beliefs proposed by Wood and Bandura (1989) which is vicarious experiences.
When students observe their peers underperform in a certain task, they are more
likely to have less confidence in their abilities (Templin, 2011). As evidenced
from the results of the research questions one and two, which show the
underachievement of boys in reading tests compared to females, it could be
argued that boys may have observed each other underperform in some reading
tasks.
Another explanation could relate to Pajares (2002) argument that parents
and teachers may transfer to the students the notion that the language arts are a
feminine field causing girls to show higher self-efficacy beliefs for language
learning, in this case reading. Furthermore, Schunk and Meece (2006) maintain
that families with more educational resources are more likely to develop their
childrens efficacy beliefs. In their demographic information, which is one part of
the efficacy scale, females reported higher percentages of resources availability
than males did. Hence, it could be claimed that compared to males, females have
more educational resources that enhance their EFL efficacy beliefs.

Questions Five
The fifth research question investigated the differences in the level of
reading self-efficacy beliefs against gender and grade level (i.e. 5. Are there any
significant differences between reading self-efficacy beliefs of male and female
students in grades ten and four?). The data collected for this question was
analyzed statistically using the independent sample t-test. Table (4) shows a
summary of the obtained results of this test.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


66

Table (4)
Mean difference, Standard Deviations and the T Value of Reading Self-efficacy
Beliefs of Grades Four and Ten Students
Students Std. Sig. (2-
N **Mean t df
Grade Deviation tailed)
Four 260 4.01 1.45
2.22 634 .027*
Ten 376 3.75 1.51
Note. Std = Standard Deviation, t = T value and df = degree of freedom
* The mean difference is significant at .05 level
** The Reading Self-efficacy Beliefs Scale is a seven-unit Interval

Table (4) shows the mean of the reading self-efficacy beliefs for grade
four students at (4.01), whereas the mean of reading efficacy beliefs for grade ten
at (3.75). The difference in the means is statistically significant with a t value of
(2.22) and a significant level of .027 (p < .05). This difference is in favor of grade
four students. Thus, grade four students level of self-efficacy for their EFL
reading achievement is higher than that of grade ten students.
Smith, Smith, Gilmore, and Jameson (2012), Paris and Oka (1986) and
Stipek (1993) point out that, in general terms, younger learners show stronger
reading efficacy beliefs than older ones. Moreover, they mention that as learners
got older, their efficacy beliefs deteriorate over the school years. This
deterioration is exhibited more remarkably among adolescents than younger
learners (Smith et al., 2012). These arguments coincide with the results of this
question. Grade four students reported high efficacy beliefs. The older learners
in grade ten, however, report lower level of efficacy beliefs for the EFL reading
when compared to grade 4 students EFL reading efficacy beliefs.
Grade four students higher level of efficacy beliefs compared to those of
grade ten could be explained by linking these findings to what literature
postulates about the sources of efficacy beliefs. To start with, grade ten students
have undergone more experiences with EFL tasks than grade four students. It
could be argued that throughout these experiences, particularly reading tests
and requirements, grade ten students may have encountered many incidents of
failure. Therefore, their efficacy beliefs may have declined because of such
experiences.

Question Six
The sixth research question investigated the relationship between reading
achievement and students' efficacy beliefs in both grades. Thus, it was treated
statistically using Pearson Product- Moment Correlation in a two-fold process as
following:
Correlation between grade four students' reading self-efficacy beliefs and their
reading achievement.
Correlation between grade ten students' reading self-efficacy beliefs and their
reading achievement.
Table (5) depicts the obtained results.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


67

Table (5)
Pearson Correlation of Grades Four and Ten Students Reading Achievement and
Reading Self-efficacy Beliefs
Correlated Pearson Sig. (2-
Grade N
Variables Correlation tailed)
Reading
Achievement Four 260 .541 .000**
and
Reading Self- Ten 376 .518 .000**
efficacy Beliefs
**Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

The Pearson correlation, reveals that the Pearson r values are (.541 and
.518) for grades four and ten respectively. This value is statistically significant at
the level of .000 (r < .05) suggesting that there is a positive relationship between
reading self-efficacy beliefs and the reading achievement of students in both
grades. In other words, students with a higher level of efficacy beliefs tend to
achieve better in reading. A significant volume of literature in reading English as
a first language (e.g.Henk & Melnick, 1995; Wiltgen, 2011) and EFL settings
(e.g.Li & Wang, 2010) has suggested that highly efficacious readers adopt many
strategies when dealing with reading tasks. For instance, they set goals, arrange
their time, and use cognitive strategies like making inferences, note-taking,
elaboration, grouping, deduction, and transferring (Li & Wang, 2010, p. 153).
Moreover, they show more effort and determination to face reading challenges
(Wiltgen, 2011). These strategies enhance students attainments in reading.
From the above discussion, justifications for the correlation between
grade four and ten efficacy beliefs and their reading achievement can be
adopted. It could be argued that grade four and ten students' efficacy beliefs for
reading achievement seem to help them set and monitor reading goals, use
different strategies, and display effort and determination to face reading
challenges.
To further investigate the impact of reading efficacy beliefs on reading
achievement, another statistical analysis was carried out. Controlling the effects
of gender, a linear regression analysis was conducted to find out how much
variance in students' reading achievement can be explained by their reading self-
efficacy beliefs.
Examining the influence of self-efficacy beliefs as a predictor of reading
achievement, Table (6) illustrates regression between efficacy beliefs and reading
achievement as significant with a Beta value of (.54) and t value of (9.79) level at
.000 (p < .05). This confirms that efficacy beliefs are predictors of reading
achievement when gender is controlled. With the R valued at (.29), these beliefs
predict approximately 29% of the total variance in reading achievement. In other
words, regardless of the gender of these students, almost 29% of the difference
in reading achievement of grade four students is attributed to their reading self-
efficacy beliefs.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


68

Table (6)
Grade Four Linear Regression Analysis of Reading Efficacy Beliefs on Reading
Achievement
Model Summary
Adjusted R
Model R R Square
Square
1 .169a .029 .025
2 .541b .292 .287
a. Predictors: (Constant), student gender
b. Predictors: (Constant), student gender, self-efficacy beliefs

Coefficientsa
Unstandardized Standardized
Coefficients Coefficients
Model B Std. Error Beta t Sig.
1 (Constant) 7.23 .35 20.78 .000
student gender 1.33 .48 .169 2.76 .006
2 (Constant) 2.02 .61 3.32 .001
student gender .05 .43 .006 .11 .915
self-efficacy 1.46 .15 .539 9.79 .000
beliefs
a. Dependent Variable: reading test result

Carrying out a similar analysis for grade ten students highlighted how
much of the difference in the reading achievement of students in grade ten is
attributed to self-efficacy. Table (7) shows the Model Summary and Coefficient
of the linear regression analysis of this grade. The results in this table indicate
that the R value is (.28). The regression between efficacy beliefs and reading
achievement is significant with a Beta value of (.49) and t value of (10.88) leveled
at .000 (p < .05). This reveals that efficacy beliefs are predictors for reading
achievement when gender is controlled. With the R valued at (.28), these beliefs
predict approximately 28 % of the total variance of the reading achievement. In
other words, irrespective of the gender of these students, almost 28% of the
difference in reading achievement of grade ten students is attributed to their
reading self-efficacy beliefs.

Table (7)
Grade Ten Linear Regression Analysis of Reading Efficacy Beliefs on Reading
Achievement
Model Summary
Adjusted R
Model R R Square
Square
1 .229a .053 .050
2 .530b .281 .277
a. Predictors: (Constant), student gender
b. Predictors: (Constant), student gender, self-efficacy beliefs

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


69

Coefficients a
Unstandardized Standardized
Model Coefficients Coefficients T Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
(Constant) 11.12 .34 33.19 .000
1
student gender 2.16 .47 .229 4.56 .000
(Constant) 5.92 .56 10.57 .000
student gender 1.09 .43 .115 2.56 .011
2
self-efficacy 1.53 .14 .491 10.88 .000
beliefs
a. Dependent Variable: reading test result

The results in tables 6 and 7 illustrate that self-efficacy beliefs is a strong


indicator of the EFL reading achievement of students in grades ten and four
explaining 29 and 28% of the variance in both grades, respectively. These results
are in line with previous studies carried out in L1 context. For example, Nevill
(2008) finds that (21.5%) of the total difference in the reading achievement of his
sample is attributable to the efficacy beliefs held by the learners. This highlights
the importance of incorporating these beliefs in EFL reading instruction.

Conclusion

The findings revealed gender gaps in EFL reading achievement in favor


of girls in both grades four and ten. In congruence with previous research, the
findings of this study illustrated that younger learners show stronger reading
efficacy beliefs than older ones. The findings indicated that grade four have
superior level of self-efficacy beliefs for EFL reading achievement than grade ten
students, and consequently grade four demonstrated higher level of reading
achievement. Likewise, due to possessing higher level of self-efficacy beliefs for
EFL reading achievement, female students demonstrated higher level of reading
achievement. This suggests that there is a strong relationship between the level
of self-efficacy beliefs and EFL reading achievement. Thus, it can be generally
concluded that irrespective of students gender and their grade level, there
seems to be a causal relationship between self-efficacy beliefs students
performance. Accordingly, special attention should be paid to developing
students levels of self-efficacy in higher grade levels in general, and for all male
students in particular.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


70

References
Al Bereiki, S. and Al Mekhlafi, A. (2015). Spelling errors of Omani EFL students. Journal
of Educational and Psychological Studies, 9 (4), 660-676.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.


Psychological Review, 2 (84), 191-215.

Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning.


Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

Barnes, M. J. (2010). The influence of self-efficacy on reading achievement of General


Educational Development (GED) and high school graduates enrolled in developmental
reading skills courses in an urban community college system (Doctoral dissertation).
Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database.(UMI No.
3419333)

Canadian Council on Leaning. (2009). Why boys dont like to read: Gender differences in
reading achievement. Retrieved from: http://www.ccl-
cca.ca/pdfs/LessonsInLearning/02_18_09-E.pdf

Chapman, H. J. (2010). Factors affecting reading outcomes across time in bureau of Indian
education reading first schools. Ph.D. 3412728, Utah State University, United States --
Utah. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/744392021?accountid=27575 ProQuest
Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database.

Chapman, J. W., & Tunmer, W. E. (2003). Reading difficulties, reading-related self-


perceptions, and strategies for overcoming negative self-beliefs. Reading &
Writing Quarterly, 19(1), 5-24. doi:10.1080/10573560308205

Clark, P. I. (2012). Examining the relationship between self-efficacy and metacomprehension


strategy usage in fourth- and fifth-grade students in reading (Doctoral
dissertation).Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
database.(UMI No. 3502237)

Coladarci, T., & Breton, W. A. (1997). Teacher efficacy, supervision, and the special
education resource-room teacher. The Journal of Educational Research, 90(4), 230-
230.

Corkett, J., Hatt, B., & Benevides, T. (2011). Student and teacher self-efficacy and the
connection to reading and writing. Canadian Journal of Education, 34(1), 65-98. doi:
10.1016/j.tate.2005.01.007

Coronado-Aliegro, J. (2006). The effect of self-assessment on the self-efficacy of students


studying Spanish as a foreign language (Doctoral dissertation).Available from
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database.(UMI No. 3250979)

Ferrara, S. L. (2005). Promote reader self-efficacy. Intervention in School and Clinic, 41(1),
36-38.

Forsthuber,B. Horvath, A. Motiejunaite, A. (2010). Gender Differences in Educational


Outcomes: Study on the Measures Taken and the Current Situation in Europe.
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. Retrieved from:

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


71

http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/1
20en.pdf

Griffin, P. (2000). A Global Analysis of Achievement in Developing Nations. Dakar:


Assessment Research Centre: The University of Melbourne.

Henk, W. A., & Melnick, S. A. (1995). The reader self-perception scale (RSPS): A new
tool for measuring how children feel about themselves as readers. The Reading
Teacher, 48(6), 470-470.

Hiebert, E. H. (1984). Children's attributions for failure and success in different


aspects of reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(6), 1139-1148.

Hunsader, P. D. (2005). Lessons learned about boys' and girls' mathematical problem
solving: The solution processes, performance, linguistic explanations, self-efficacy, and
self-assessment of fifth-grade students of varying reading and mathematics abilities
(Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
(PQDT) database.(UMI No. 3188414)

International Study Center (2007). Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
(TIMSS & PIRLS). Lynch School of Education, Boston College, Boston, USA.

Jones, L. ., Varberg, J., Manger, T., Eikeland, O.-J., & Asbjrnsen, A. (2012). Reading
and writing self-efficacy of incarcerated adults. Learning and Individual
Differences, 22(3), 343-349. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2012.01.008

Khajavi, Y., & Ketabi, S. (2011). Influencing EFL learners reading comprehension and
self-efficacy beliefs: The effect of concept mapping strategy. Porta Linguarum,
1697(7467), 9-27

Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. New York:
Prentice-Hall.

Li, Y., & Wang, C. (2010). An empirical study of reading self-efficacy and the use of
reading strategies in the chinese EFL context. The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly,
12(2), 144-162.

Lynch, J. (2002). Parents self-efficacy beliefs, parents gender, childrens reader self-
perceptions, reading achievement and gender. Journal of Research in Reading,
25(1), 54-67. doi: 10.1111/1467-9817.00158.

McCabe, P. P., & Margolis, H. (2001). Enhancing the self-efficacy of struggling


readers. The Clearing House, 75(1), 45-49.

Ministry of Education & The World Bank. (2012). Education in Oman the Drive for
Quality. Ministry of Education. Sultanate of Oman.

Ministry of Education, MOE. (2009b).


.2008/2007 : [ The general report of
the national tests results of grade ten in mathematics, science, Arabic language
, and English language for the academic year 2007/2008].Unpublished report.
MOE, Tests Department, The General Directorate for Educational Assessment.

Ministry of Education, MOE. (2010c). (


.2009/2008 ) [ The report of the national tests
results of grade four ( first section: art stream. Second section: science stream

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


72

and English language) for the academic year 2008/2009].Unpublished report.


MOE, Tests Department, The General Directorate for Educational Assessment.

Nevill, M. A. (2008). The impact of reading self-efficacy and the regulation of cognition on the
reading achievement of an intermediate elementary sample (Doctoral
dissertation).Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
database.(UMI No. 3303552).

Osman, M. Al Barwani, T., and Al Mikhlafi, A. (2015). The male dilemma: Patterns of
gender disparity in academic performance in Oman. Global Journal for Research
Analysis, 4, 10, 39-43.
Osman, M. (2012). Gender gaps in student academic performance: Patterns of disparities
in the global context. A Paper presented at the ICET 56th World Assembly, Capa Coast
University. Ghana.

Osman, M., Al-Barwani, T., Al-Mekhlafi, A., & Babikir, M. (2011). Gender gaps in student
performance: Implications on the labor market and the fabric of society. Sultan Qaboos
University. Sultanate of Oman.

Pajares, F. (2002). Gender and perceived self-efficacy in self-regulated learning. Theory


into Practice, 41(2), 116-116.

Pajares, F. (2003). Self efficacy-beliefs, motivation, and achievement in writing: A review


of the literature. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 139-158. doi:
10.1080/10573560308222

Pajares, F., & Valiante, G. (1999). Grade level and gender differences in the writing self-
beliefs of middle school students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24(4), 390-
405. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/ceps.1998.0995

Paris, S. G., & Oka, E. R. (1986). Children's reading strategies, metacognition, and
motivation. Developmental Review, 6(1), 25-56.
doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0273-2297(86)90002-X

Pecjak, S., & Peklaj, C. (2006). Dimensions of reading motivation and reading
achievement in 3rd and 7th grade students. Studia Psychologica,48(1), 11-30.

Robinson, J. P., & Lubienski, S. T. (2011). The development of gender achievement gaps
in mathematics and reading during elementary and middle school. American
Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 268-302. doi: 10.3102/0002831210372249

Sadowski, M. (2010). Putting the "boy crisis" in context. Education Digest: Essential
Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 76(3), 10-13.

Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Educational Psychologist,


26(3/4), 207.

Schunk, D. H. (2003). Self-efficacy for reading and writing: Influance of modeling, goal
setting, and self-evaluation. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 159-172. doi:
10.1080/10573560308219

Shaw, E. J. (2008). The reading and writing self-efficacy beliefs of students with discrepant
reading and writing performance (Doctoral dissertation).Available fromProQuest
Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database.(UMI No. 3302121)

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


73

Shell, D. F. (1995). Self-efficacy, attribution, and outcome expectancy mechanisms in


reading and writing achievement: grade-level and achievement-level
differences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3), 386-398.

Shell, D. F., Colvin, C., & Bruning, R. H. (1995). Self-efficacy, attribution, and outcome
expectancy mechanisms in reading and writing achievement: Grade-level and
achievement-level differences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3), 386.

Stipek, D. J. (1993). Motivation To Learn: From Theory to Practice. Second Edition (pp. 292):
Allyn and Bacon, A Division of Simon & Schuster , 160 Gould Street, Needham
Heights, MA 02194.

Templin, S. A. (2011). Examining the Effects of Self-Efficacy Sources on English as a Second


Language (ESL) Self-Efficacy Beliefs and ESL Proficiency (Doctoral
dissertation).Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database.
(UMI No. 3459552)

Usher, E. L., & Pajares, F. (2008). Sources of self-efficacy in school: Critical review of the
literature and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 751-796.

Walker, B. J. (2003). The cultivation of student self-efficacy in reading and writing.


Reading &Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 173-187. doi:10.1080/10573560308217

Watson, A., Kehler, M., & Martino, W. (2010). The problem of boys' literacy
underachievement: Raising some questions. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy,
53(5), 356-361.

Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion.


Psychological Review, 92(4), 548-573.

White, B. (2007). Are girls better readers than boys? which boys? which girls? Canadian
Journal of Education, 30(2), 554-581. doi: 10.1126/science.76042771996-07176-
00110.1126/science.7604277

Wigfield, A., & Guthrie, J. T. (1997). Relations of children's motivation for reading to
the amount and bBreadth of their reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(3),
420-432.

Wigfield, A., Eccles, J. S., & Pintrich, P. R. (1996). Development between the ages of 11
and 25. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology
(pp. 148-185). New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan.

Wigfield, A., Guthrie, J. T., Tonks, S., & Perencevich, K. C. (2004). Children's motivation
for reading: Domain specificity and instructional influences. The Journal of
Educational Research, 97(6), 299-309. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.89.3.451.

Wiltgen, A. (2011). Adolescents' reading motivation and self-efficacy (Master's


thesis).Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database. (UMI
No. 1490742).

Wong, M. S.-L. (2005). Language learning strategies and language self-efficacy:


Investigating the relationship in Malaysia. RELC Journal, 36(3), 245-269. doi:
10.1177/0033688205060050.

Wood, R., & Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory of organizational


management. The Academy of Management Review, 14(3), 361.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


74

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 74-101, March 2016

The Effect of Cultural and Linguistic Background


on the Relationships of Pupils in two
Kindergartens in Greece

Aspasia Markaki
Kindergarten teacher

Argyris Kyridis
Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Zoi Ziontaki
Ph.D. student, Department of Early Childhood Education,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract. The purpose of the current paper is to examine the social


framework of the kindergarten school environment, as far as the
interpersonal relationships of preschool children that derive from
diverse cultural environments and backgrounds is concerned. The
fundamental aim is to investigate whether and how the cultural and
linguistic background interferes in the relationships of kindergarten
pupils. Thus, the observation of two different kindergartens in Greece
has taken place, in order to identify those characteristics and attitudes
that contribute to the healthy relationships between pupils of different
backgrounds. The most vital result that was derived from the interviews
with the students and teachers is the fact that racist attitudes usually
leads to rejection and social isolation of children from cultural
minorities, based mainly in racial and linguistic stereotypes that
children have towards their peers. Moreover, in the notion of the
"other" and especially in the concept of what is regarded as different,
students tend to behave with stereotypes, with impressions and
images of features of people, which simplify and generalize these
characteristics.

Keywords: kindergarten; interpersonal relationships; interviews;


intercultural education

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


75

Introduction
It is a common belief that the outbreak of the migrating wave has caused a
vast expansion of the diversion of students in the school framework.
Before the end of the 1980, a relatively small number of foreign students
appeared in schools (Nikolaou, 2011: 29). Hence, the existence of these
students did not cause a significant effect on the aims of the Greek
educational policy system. In fact, in favor of this small number, the school
environment functioned within an inclusive logic, with the ultimate
dominance of the Greek language (ibid). Nonetheless, between the end of
the 1980 and the beginning of the 1990, there was an outburst of the
migrating wave, which gradually attributed to a multicultural dimension
to the Greek society. Moreover, the development of the agricultural
economy in Greece, as well as the collapse of the political system in
Albania, are within some of the reasons that created a fertile environment
for the severe expansion of the migrating phenomenon (Tsoleridou, 2009:
84).
Our survey deals with the issue of the foreign students in the
school environment of the kindergarten. The kindergarten is considered to
play a significant role in the process of the childs primary social cognition,
since it is the environment in which the child comes in contact with its
peers (Athanasiou & Gotovos, 2002; Von Suchodoletz et. al., 2009). Besides,
according to the Gestalt theory, a group of peers is not only the sum up of
its members, but more importantly, it is a group that differs not only in
quantity but also in quality, whilst children tend to be open to the power
of group atmospheres, group dynamics and leadership (Lewin, 1938;
Lewin & Lippitt, 1938; Lippitt & White, 1943). When it comes to the school
environment, what causes interest is the fact that students have randomly
been found in the classroom, while they are in an interaction with each
other, adopting certain roles and norms of behavior (Bikos, 2011:72). The
school environment seems to have many resemblances to the social status,
since it gives the opportunity for some students to outstand, having more
power and status, while some other students have a lower position. That
depends on the ways that the other members evaluate each member and
tend to position him/ her into the complexity of the positions that have
been created within the school environment (Pellegrini et al. 2007). It is the
student that will be able to show the most powerful personality that will
be finally in position to guide the group and become a source of
interaction and influence (Bikos, 1990: 12). In this framework, it becomes
apparent that we are dealing with certain notions of sociometry, that
mainly enlighten the various types of behaviors and patterns that tend to
develop in the classroom and determine who will be the leader, which
members would be ignored, which members are more likely to be liked
and which members may be in jeopardy of violence, physical or emotional.
In any case, the most vital criterion in this case is the students attitude
towards the various norms and patterns of behaviors in the classroom.
What is of great significance is the fact that the children that are more
likely to be socially rejected are those with a foreign cultural and linguistic
environment (Tsioumis, 2003; Bikos, 2011; Milonas & Manesis, 2002).

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


76

According to several surveys, the approach that is considered to be


more appropriate to deal with the various issues that arise is that of the
intercultural education, since it helps the teachers to deal with an
environment that is multicultural and not homogenous (Vamvakidou,
Kyridis & Dinas: 2002). In parallel, intercultural education offers the type
of education that can readjust the existing social and financial inequalities
(Kyridis, 1996). This approach also serves the compensatory nature of
early childhood education, which role is to create equality on
opportunities of results", compensating for any deficiencies and possible
inequities that may occur within the classroom, before the child enters the
primary school (ibid).
According to F. Wardle (2011), teachers should be characterized by certain
qualities, such as cognition, respect and sensitivity towards anything that
is different, while the knowledge of another language is also required. In
our case, the kindergarten teacher should also be aware of the innovative
teaching methods that could plausibly escort his/ her effort in the
framework of the intercultural education (Mpakas, Pantazis &
Sakellaropoulou, 2014). On the contrary, despite the necessity for the
existence of the above qualities, the vast majority of the surveys in this
area indicate that most of the teachers do not feel secure of adequate
enough to deal with the problems that arise in the multicultural classroom
(Georgogiannis, 2004; Georgogiannis & Mpomparidou, 2006; Magos, 2014;
Mpoutskou, 2011; Mpakas, Pantazis & Sakellariou, 2014). Teachers
encounter difficulties that arise not only due to the language barrier, but
from the different culture of the immigrant pupils, combined with
practical issues, such as the large number of students in classrooms
(Georgiadis & Zisimos, 2012, Triandafyllidou & Gropas, 2007).
Kindergarten teachers are called to deal with children of the dominant
Greek language majority, as well as of the linguistic minority, for which
the minority language is a key element in the process-making of their
cultural identity (Pantazis & Sakellaropoulou, 2002; Spinthourakis, 2007)
Initially, the immigrants come from Albania, followed by Romans,
Pollands, and Egyptians. The fact is that the vast majority of immigrants
towards Greece come from Albania, mainly due to the development of the
rural economy of Greece at that time, the collapse of the political system in
Albania, the easy access to the neighbouring country and the relatively
small cultural difference compared to Greece (Triandafyllidou & Kokkali,
2010).
In this framework, the Greek educational system had to alter its
aims, goals and methods, in order to come in agreement with the needs
and necessities of the migrating students (Christodoulou, 2009: 288). Until
the 1983, the institution of the welcoming classes and the private
classrooms have prevailed (Tzortzopoulou & Kotzamani, 2008: 29), which
mainly regarded students that did not had any knowledge of the Greek
language and students that had a partial knowledge respectively
(Tsoleridou, 2009: 99). Since 1985, the establishment of the intercultural
schools has taken place, which comes in agreement with the principles of
the intercultural education. This mainly means that schools adapt to the

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


77

educational, social, cultural and cognitive necessities of the foreign


students (Tzortzopoulou & Kotzamani, 2008: 32; Trouki, 2012). Nowadays,
the above institutions are still valid, while, according to the law 3386/05,
the minimum attendance of the under-aged foreign students is considered
to be compulsory. The significant factor in the inclusion of these students
is the procedure within the Greek society has gradually been linear to the
principles of the differentiation, and more importantly to the respect of
anything that is diverse to the norm of the educational system.

The notion of differentiation in kindergarten


As mentioned above, since 1980, there has been created a multicultural
and multilingual reality in our country, with the sudden and large influx
of expatriate-'repatriated ' and immigrants who lived in former E. P. D, the
Balkans and Asia. Among those who are called as the repatriated, a large
part is the Pontiac Greeks from the former Soviet Union. A significant
number of students with Pontiac origin attends Greek school and displays
difficulties in language but also in socializing, because it is likely that the
Greek language is not used at home (sioumis, 2003). The Greeks of
Northern Epirus are also considered as Returnees. About 80.000
expatriates settled in our country in the period between 1991 and 1995 and
their children attended Greek kindergarten facing particular linguistic
problems, since in this case the Greek language may not be used at home.
Another minority that contributes to the colorful character of the Greek
kindergarten is the Muslim minority in Thrace, which is to be found in
various urban, semi-urban and rural areas of our country. Children of
Muslims who attend Greek kindergarten experience early educational
exclusion, while the number of children attending kindergarten is quite
limited, either due to reduced interest of parents towards education, either
due to low economic and educational background of parents, either
because of strong stereotypes on the part of the rest of the school
community towards these children, but also because of the very limited
knowledge of the Greek language, with which the Muslim children come
into contact for the very first time in the kindergarten class. (sioumis,
2003). The majority of these children that attend Greek kindergarten, were
born in our country or have spent a part of their lives in this, have,
however, started their studies in preschool age without any knowledge of
Greek (sioumis, 2003). A characteristic ethnic group that is often led
outside the kindergarten is the Roma children, which seem to have a
different cultural and social background, whilst the teachers, parents and
childrens attitude towards them is a fundamental reason for their
leakage (Triandafullidou, 2011).
The "leakage" of students in the transition from primary to
secondary education is evident. Many researches have shown that the
performance of foreign students differs from that of indigenous, with the
first being in a risk group for school exclusion and failure, due to the
complex factors that interact with each other, such as the low social and
economic environment for themselves and their families, the different
cultural capital, as well as the lack of knowledge of the Greek language

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


78

(Athanasopoulos, 2003, from Tressou & Mitakidou, 2003; Bikos, 2011;


Kompiadou & Lenakakis, 2014; Kyridis, 1996). Having to cope with the
lack of linguistic communicative competence, social inclusion,
prejudices and stereotypes regarding their origin, quickly create a
negative relationship with school (Sakellaropoulou, 2007). Ignorance of
the language of the host country but also the negligible value of their
mother language in the school environment, may be responsible for
many of the problems these students face, both as far as school and their
emotional state is concerned (Nikolaou, 2011:53). Moreover, due to the
linguistic and communicative difficulty, certain stereotypic
characteristics are often attributed to the bilingual pupils, such as
philistine" and "less capable in literature" (Geraris, 2011). Within the
school, a stereotype against a foreign student, an over-generalization of
characteristics in the light of social representation of the "foreign" may
lead him to social exclusion and school failure, owing to the fact that the
expectations for his behavior due to the existing stereotype, the low
incentives offered and the minimum positive feedback received leads to
the phenomenon of "self-fulfilling prophecy" (Gkasdogka, 2013: 7,
Hernandez & Fernandez 2005). Both teachers and the headmasters of
schools should not have lower expectations of students coming from
different cultural contents (Zachos & Matziouri, 2015).
As a prejudice we could define the attitude of the individual to a
social class of people that predisposes him to think or act towards it with
a positive or negative attitude (Bikos, 2007), through the activation of
positive or negative emotions. According to a popular definition of
Allport (Allport, 1954: 9), "Prejudice is an antipathy based on a faulty
and inflexible generalization. It may be felt or expressed. It may be
directed toward a group or a whole or toward an individual because he
is a group member "(Baumeister & Finkel, 2010). When negative feelings
toward a social group are translated into respective practices, then we
can talk about social discrimination -class, racial, cultural ... - (Tsioumis,
2003: 58). Prejudices, positive or negative, are born and are affected by
the conditions of competition between the groups, ie where the "victory"
or the superiority of any group requires the "defeat" or the deprivation
of some privileges of the other, as well as the distance in the social status
of people involved and the different social identities that have been
configured (Doise, 2009: 32-37, Abrams, 2010). Although many surveys
and studies have been conducted regarding the national bias of children,
there are still disagreements among researchers on key issues such as
the age that this appears and is developed, its relationship with the
psychological mechanisms and procedures, its impact on language and
social skills of children etc. (Nesdale, 1999). According to Skourtou, in
the process of approaching the school experiences of bilingual students,
we can say that "good" students are the bilinguals that develop both of
their languages, while "bad" students are the bilinguals, which denied or
has not been given the opportunity to do so (Skourtou, 1999). In fact, in
case the childs language is devalued at school, then it is plausible that
the child will reject it (Kourti- Kazouli, 1999), given the fact that we are

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


79

referring to a homogenous linguistic school environment. It is often the


case that the minority family itself rejects the language of origin, which
coincides with negative characteristics, and sees the other language as a '
lifeline ', in order to improve the poor conditions and the low life quality
of its members. (Ogbu & Simons,1998). However, this does not enhance
the self-image of the child, since the language in which he/she grew up
and developed his ties with his family, is now rejected and forbidden. In
fact, immigrant children that enter for the first time the pre-school
education have been identified as being in a stage of "grieving" and loss
of the life they had left behind in their country of origin (Giugni, 2007).
Moreover, according to Meisel, if you approach the school bilingual
students ' experiences, then we can say that "good" student becomes the
bilingual that develops both of the two languages, while a "bad" student
becomes the bilingual who denied or has not been given the opportunity
to do so (Meisel, 2004). In any case, although the friendly relations
between children of different nationalities reduce the homogeneity of
the group, such friendships are rare in preschool age (Aboud,
Mendelson, & Purdy, 2003). Moreover, the way the kindergarten
children judges and handles relations with children of different
nationality, seems to be influenced by the school environment, for
example, whether the class is culturally homogeneous or not (McGothlin
& Killen, 2010).

The purpose and hypotheses of the research


The purpose of the current research is to explore the interpersonal
relationships among children with different backgrounds in two
kindergartens in the city of Greece, and in particular to explore how the
factor of cultural diversity of the pupils affects the interpersonal
relationships, taking into account the parameter of the socio-economic
background of the child, in comparison with the broader social and
cultural background of the classroom. As indicated above, there have
been several researches in Greece that highlight the unfavorable position
of foreign children into the social fabric of the classroom of the school in
general and of the kindergarten in particular, as well as the stereotypic
attitudes of children towards foreign classmates. One of the prominent
reasons that this phenomenon occurs is, initially, the influence of the
family environment and family concepts in relation to various cultural
minorities, specified by the cultural, social and economic status of
parents themselves, causing positive or negative evaluation of the
foreign classmates.
The main questions of this research regard the ways that form the
relationships with the foreign children, whilst the main question that
arises is how the overall culture of the order affects the relationship of
foreign children with their classmates.
The assumptions of this investigation, in reference to the above
questions are as follows:

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


80

Foreign children who attend kindergarten in Greece face social


exclusion or are in a disadvantaged position with regard to relations
with their peers
Foreign children who attend kindergarten in Greece face more
unfavorable conditions in a class where the overall socio-economic level
is high, compared to a classroom where the overall socio-economic level
is low.

Research design
Forwarding to the methodological part, the current survey was
contacted in a big city of Greece. The first kindergarten was evaluated as
good, regarding the social and financial status of its students, as well
as the state of the buildings and the general materials. The
methodological approach regarded an observation of each kindergarten
for 3 days. Throughout the observation, certain data were recorded, on
the premises of the kindergarten, the program that is followed and the
practices of the teachers in the classroom, with respect to the general
administration in various difficulties and problems, as well as the
population of the children, in terms of number, gender, their relations
with the rest of their classmates, the cliques and the sub-groups that are
formed within the classroom and the socio-economic situation of their
families. In order to collect information in connection with the
friendship preferences and the detection of the phenomenon of
exclusion derived from the friendly relations of specific children, certain
socio-metric techniques were followed, where every child answered the
above questions: Who is your best friend? How do you prefer to
play during the school break? With whom would you rather not play
on the school break? How do you prefer to work in the classroom?
With whom do you prefer not to join in the classroom? The children's
responses were recorded and analyzed in graphs and socio-metric
diagrams, each of which was separately commented.

The participants
The sample is consisted of 34 kindergarten students of two different
kindergartens, 20 and 14 respectively. The basic criterions were the
existence of foreign students, as well as the social and financial
background of the pupils themselves and the prevailing background of
each kindergarten. Children and the general composition and dynamics
of each class in the two schools vary widely but also appear to have
some similarities. The first kindergarten class is composed of 20
children, 16 toddlers and 4 preschoolers, 14 girls and 6 boys, 18 children
from Greece, one from Russia and one from Albania. The kindergarten B
consists of 14 children, 9 boys and 5 girls. Among these children are
three boys who are from another country, one is Roma from Albania,
one from Syria and one from Romania, and another child is from
Bulgaria, adopted by Greek parents. In both classes no child has any
mental or learning deficiencies diagnosed. Also, in both classes, children
do not speak the Greek language efficiently. In kindergarten class A

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


81

Martin, from Russia, does not speak Greek very well, while there in
kindergarten B, there are Janis from Syria and Mario from Romania,
who are also bilingual and do not speak Greek very well.

The results
On the one hand, the first kindergarten is better equipped and has a
generally more pleasant school environment, in terms of aesthetics. For
instance, the external walls are painted with childrens paintings on the
theme of flowers and nature. Apart from this, the shared space is also
the main children's play area and has a large variety and quantity of
material for the creative occupation of children. These four different
corners, that of the ' Salon ', that of ' practice ', that of ' shop ' and the '
theatrical ' corner, are all appropriate and fully equipped for symbolic
game. The "theatrical corner" featuring fabrics, carnival outfits and
various disguises and accessories, and other corners are equipped in
accordance with their character: physicians robe, medical tools, plastic
fruits and other products, such as hairdryers and brushes. The important
aspect is the fact that this kindergarten is not only equipped in terms of
materials, but it is also characterized by a general spirit of cooperation
and coordination between the children and the two teachers. Both of the
kindergarten teachers deal with the emotional education of children.
The cooperation of the kindergarten teachers takes place on a daily
basis. In case for some reason the two kindergarten teachers are not able
to discuss, they always fill a daily diary which informs about the
activities that took place during the breakfast hours. They also decide
together on the project and the issues to be dealt with in the class, and
how to administrate the various issues that arise along the way. As far
as the foreign students is concerned, there occurs an attempt to enhance
the feeling of friendship with the assistance of frequent activities for
friendship, for example creating a song about friendship. In the
classroom there is a child, Martin, who comes from Russia, and does not
speak Greek whatsoever, since he came to Greece a few months ago.
Martin encounters a difficulty in joining in the companionship of his
classmates, and the kindergarten teachers operate in the following way:
They say "good morning" in Russian as well, while in the writing
corner, in addition to Greek, there is also the Russian alphabet.
Occasionally, they ask him different words in his language, and several
times they write words in Russian and stick them on the wall. For
example, the period before Christmas, they had written wishes in Greek
and in Russian. They have also made a separate lesson regarding Russia,
presenting photos from the Internet.
Forwarding to the social relationships between the children, they
seem to interact properly with each other. Nonetheless, there are certain
discriminations in their companionships, as well as in their choices
regarding whom to hang out with. The class consists of two large
groups, with very different characteristics among themselves, by an
even smaller company and by three children, each of which for different
reasons do not belong to any company, nor are related to each other. The

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


82

two groups are very different from each other, and rotate each around
two girls who are considered to be the most popular. In the first group,
the "key" girl is Marilia, a girl whose friendship is desired by almost of
all the girls of the class, and only two boys who prefer to interact with
each other rather than with the other boys. In another central group of
kids that are related to each other in the classroom, the company
revolves around Maritina, whose companionship is chosen by almost all
boys and a girl, who all together play intensely kinetic games at the
school break. The third company consists of three girls who do not
prefer nor are preferred by the two above groups. Moreover, there are
three boys that do not fit into any company. These are a girl from
Greece, a girl from Albania and a boy from Russia. The girl from Greece,
Olympia, is not preferred by any child, since she seems to have a
disruptive behavior. A characteristic incident is the fact that Marilia
once organized a party and prepared invitations for all the children,
except for Olympia. As described by the two teachers, she seems to be
isolated and prefers to play on her own, she sometimes do not leave the
classroom during the school break, while she rarely participates during
the collective activities, even though her knowledge of Greek is
satisfactory. She is considered to be rather shy and introvert, compared
to the rest of the children, that are shown as talkative and more active. A
rather prejudiced attitude is also shown towards Martin, although the
students do not exactly know how to justify their negative feelings. The
majority of children base their feelings on Martins background and on
the fact that he does not speak Greek, while he sometimes tends to
translate everything he hears in Russian. Nevertheless, he participates in
many ways in the life of the class and understands well enough Greek,
while he has antiquated communication and kinetic skills. A pattern that
also follows the case of Martin, as well as the above case of Marilia, is
their rejection when it comes to birthdays and other festive treats. It is
therefore evident that the requirement of adaptation to the norms of the
new social environment, as well as the rejection of the "old" and
"foreign" models and features for the more efficient integration in the
host country may lead to feelings of "self-alienation" and "self-contempt
"(Kyridis & Leontari, 1995; Dusi, Steinbach & Gonzales Falcon, 2014).
Forwarding to the second kindergarten, certain differences can be
detected regarding the outdoor space and its aesthetic appearance, since
it was not at first designed to be a kindergarten. On the contrary, the
first kindergarten was created in order to work as a kindergarten, so it
meets the respective specifications, while the second kindergarten has
several shortcomings regarding the planned features of the building site.
A key difference of the space that differentiates the experiences of
children in the classroom, is the lack of computer and audiovisual media
in the kindergarten class B, as well as the frequent and extensive use of
computer and audiovisual media in class a, allowing them to search for
songs, pictures, information, words. Ultimately, we would say that the
kindergarten A responds to a greater extend in all respects to the
specifications set for the preschool areas by international organizations

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


83

compared to kindergarten B. In terms of space, kindergarten A gives


diverse, complex and qualitative opportunities for children to exercise
their imagination, their curiosity, their need for movement, for social
contacts and for contact with nature. It is a place created for children but
also created by children, since children interfere with the layout and
decoration. Nonetheless, kindergarten b limits the activity of children in
many areas, such as the kinetic sector and the contact with nature.
According to a relevant survey (Nalbantoglou, Kyridis & Tsioumis,
2015), kindergarten teachers believe that children are motivated through
these activities because they contribute to their social, cognitive,
emotional and moral development. The majority of those teachers
argues that children are encouraged via these activities as they later
affect their social development (60,7%, =17) (e.g. children learn to
cooperate, accept differences, participate, share, reject, socialize etc.),
cognitive development (21,4%, =6) (development of critical thinking,
experimentation, creation.), moral development (10,7%, =3) (e.g.
responsibility, respect etc.) and emotional development (7,1%, =2)
(awareness, expression) (ibid:185).
The main difference between the two classes is that in kindergarten
A social exclusion seems to be more apparent, since there certain
cliques have been created cliques, that compete with each other,
while in kindergarten B such behaviors do not occur. The main reason
for this, as mentioned above in the descriptions of schools, is that school
A consists of two large groups of children who do not like each other. In
parallel, children make negative comments about one another, and have
a "common line" for what other kids around like or do not like. They
have a common view and affect each other regarding their choices and
feelings. A typical example is the words of a child who wondered why
he was asked about which classmates he likes: "Why do you ask the
same? Everyone will tell you that they do not like Olympia or Martin".
In kindergarten class B the situation is quite different. The only
criterion that seems to apply in the choices of children with whom to
hang out during breaks or in the classroom is sex. Boys make friendship
with boys, and girls with girls. There is no issue of social exclusion, since
any child is not constantly isolated nor is there a systematic exclusionary
conduct by a clique against a particular child- goal. In fact, there are
no "cliques" in the sense of the restricted group, as there are in
kindergarten A. The criteria used by the children of this school, when
expressing their dislike for a classmate, have nothing to do with the fact
that he/she may be from another country. This is the biggest difference
among the two kindergartens. In fact, in kindergarten class B, all the
girls have expressed strong dissatisfaction against Mario from Romania
and Kostas who is Roma from Albania. They usually justify their
opposition on Marios habit to chase them, in order to kiss them on the
mouth, whilst Kostas has disturbing habits, such as scratching his nose.
The kindergarten teacher confirmed those facts, indicating that "they get
very upset; they do not even want to see them!. The boys also showed
resentment towards children from other countries, but they once again

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


84

do not mention at all the fact of the language or ethnicity. Specifically,


several boys mentioned that they do not want to play with Marios, since
"he does not play nicely." The kindergarten teacher justified her view,
saying that "he is very kinetic, and do little tricks against the other
children. He may hurt them, push them or grab their game, while
looking at the same time rather innocent, smiling as if nothing had
happened ... And the other children get confused with this behavior and
get a bit more suspicious towards him. As presented in the
bibliography, for children of preschool and primary-school age, a very
important criterion is the criterion of physical violence, aggression and
the disruptive behavior, such as obstruction of the lesson course
(Lanvelotta & Vaughn, 1989). Another frequent reason for rejection can
be both antisocial behaviors, while many complaints are caused by
reactions of anxiety, since children tend to avoid any social interaction,
in the fear of rejection (Bikos, 2007 Nesdale & Dalton, 2011). In contrast,
children with high social status are prone to express their desire to make
friends with another child, as they have no feelings of insecurity that
may prevent them from doing so. That actually means that the children
that feel confident in their interpersonal relationships, tend to feel the
same emotional security among other issues and challenges of the
everyday school life as well (Gainsley, 2013). An essential criterion for
accepting a person in the community, is the behavior according to the
social norms that apply in this context (Bikos, 2007), while equally
important factors that contribute to the rejection of the individual are the
entrenched prejudices against him/her by the rest of the team, as well as
the existence of hierarchical relationships between the team members
(Mikami, Lerner & Lun, 2010).
Another example is the case of Athena, in the kindergarten class
B, for whom various complaints have been expressed, indicating that
she scratches, pokes and bites them. This behavior and other similar
behaviors seem to be fraud upon by the children of both kindergartens.
Besides, the non-verbal communication is performed and interpreted, in
a large part, unconsciously, spontaneously and in a split second,
providing a wide source of information about the communicative
situations involving the individual, implying that the participants are
fully aware of the socially defined symbolic value of messages they
receive and emit (Ambady & Rosenthal, 1998. Although a key factor in
communication is the use of language, children are particularly
susceptible to the interpretation of non-verbal messages, due to the fact
that their language development is not yet fully completed, and are thus
expressed within a deficient discourse (Agbagbla, 2012). Hence, children
of four and five years old tend to create friendships with children that
have the same interests with them, spending enough time together at
school, in common activities, while older children make greater effort to
commit in a friendship, playing more complicated games and for a
greater extend of time (Manaster & Jobe, 2012).
On the whole, the two schools differ particularly in their external
area, which is the feature that makes them have a "good" and "bad"

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


85

reputation, depending on their equipment, affecting decisively the


quality of the regulated and free activities. The kindergarten teachers of
both kindergartens use techniques that aim to the integration of
children, but these methods have certain differences. In kindergarten A,
the teachers use intercultural training techniques, while in kindergarten
B they place great importance on consultation with parents and how
they may affect or not affect their children in the way they think about
their classmates. Children in both schools also differ not only in
composition, but also in the way they treat their classmates. As
mentioned above, in kindergarten A, there are closed groups, from
which several peers are excluded, experiencing rejection. Their rejection
is based not only on the behavior and character of the child but also on
the linguistic and ethnic identity. Children in kindergarten A appear to
negatively evaluate the different nationality of a classmate and his
inability to clearly speak the Greek language. This has major
consequences in the pupils psychological state, since children that are
rejected by their peers, tend to be subjected to feelings of alienation,
participate less in the class activities and are usually more prone to
abandon school (Buhs, Ladd & Herald, 2006).

Kindergarten A: Graphs of children's answers

Graph 1: The childrens best friend

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


86

Graph 2a: With whom children prefer to spend time

The above graph represents the popularity rates of each child within the
context of the classroom. It is observed that the largest percentage is
cumulated by two girls, chosen from six different children, each one
characterized as "their best girlfriends. These two girls are very
different from each other and their relationship is not very close. Indeed,
one does not rank the other on preferences for spending time in the
classroom. One girl, Marilia, was chosen only by girls, while the other
girl, Maritina was chosen mostly by boys. According to the teacher, the
first is a "Princess", since she likes to paint, and plays symbolic games,
such as the ' home ' or ' the Salon ', wearing various outfits available for
the theatrical game, along with the other girls, while the second is more
"tomboy" and plays mainly kinetic games with boys, such as football at
almost every school break. Both of the girls are very energetic within the
classroom and have a very developed, dynamic speech, whilst they take
initiatives.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


87

Graph 3: With whom children would rather not spend time during
the school break

The graph above depicts the preferences of children regarding with


whom they would rather hang out during the school recession. As it
seems, the greater preference is gathered by Philip, chosen by 5
children. Philip was selected from across the company of Maritina,
i.e. from Socrates, Titus, Anna Maria and Maritina.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


88

Graph 4: With whom children would rather not spend time during
the school break

The above graph presents which children are less desirable during the
school breaks. The answers respond to the question "Children with
whom you don't like to hang out at the break. We observe that
Olympia and Martin are by far the less desirable companionship.
Among the 19 children, 8 do not want to associate with Olympia and 7
do not want to be friends with Martin. The answers and explanations
given are related both to the character of the children, as well as to other
elements of their identity, such as language and nationality. This finding
agrees with the findings of previous surveys conducted in the Greek
area, which also confirmed that children with certain cultural
characteristics in relation to the dominant culture of the school team are
ranked in unfavorable categories of popularity (Bikos, 2011: 213), while
international surveys suggest that the children of immigrants are often
subjected to bullying from their peers due to cultural, linguistic and
religious differences (Cocker et. all, 2009, BRYCS, 2015).
With regard to Olympia, the children focused on that she is a
rather steep and aggressive girl, which often beats the other children,
tugging their blouses, pushing them, grabbing their toys and pushing
them to include her in their games. The other children do not accept her
behavior and exclude her from the groups. Also, during the symbolic
games, they hardly interact with her. She usually imposes her presence

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


89

or complains, in order to achieve what she wants. Martin also collects


negative comments from the other children, for two main reasons. Two
children reported that Martin teases them. According to the
kindergarten teacher, "Martin is highly kinetic and can become careless,
and fall on a child as he is running. Especially with the boys, he may be
playing a bit "hard", i.e. he can cause damage, physically and verbally.
Nonetheless, the other children focus on the fact that Martin does not
speak well Greek, and that he speaks Russian and has a different
nationality. It is obvious that his nationality interferes in the ways his
behavior is evaluated as well. According to Steele & Aronson a common
sociological phenomenon is the "threat of stereotypes" (stereotype
threat), in which a person is at risk of developing a personal
characteristic that is considered as a negative stereotype of the group to
which he belongs (Steele & Aronson, 1995)
Below the sociogram of the kindergarten is represented, which
depicts the positive and negative relationships. It should be noted that
in the first sociogram, which analyzes the acceptance of children, less
darts of acceptance are assembled by Liza, Martin and Olympia,
something which is confirmed in the second sociogram of the negative
relations between children, where Martin and Olympia collect the
majority of the darts.

Sociogram of the 1st kindergarten: Positive relations

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


90

Sociogram of the 1st kindergarten: Negative relations

Kindergarten B: Graphs of childrens answers

Graph 5: The childrens best friend of the 2nd kindergarten

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


91

The above graph depicts the friendships of children in the class, namely,
who is everyones best friend and which children in the classroom are
more popular. We observe that there is not a large diversion between the
numbers. According to the graph, girls are the most popular in the class.
This is easily explained by the fact that 4 girls of this class chose each
other as their best friend, and seem to have each other pretty close.
According to the relative research, children at the age of 3 years old
show strong preference for friendly relations for children of the same sex
(Powlishta et. al., 1993) and present powerful and observable differences
in the ways of the game among themselves (Bandura & Bussey, 1999).
Specifically, the boys seem to prefer the competitive games, in groups
with expanded number of people, they are more aggressive, active, and
independent in their play than adults, while girls prefer smaller groups,
emphasize discussion, collaboration, and the relationships between
them, and often reach adults during their own game (Maccoby, 2002). In
addition, it seems that the boys compare the situation and circumstances
of the group belonging to those of other groups (Yee & Brown, 1992),
prefer members more "popular", in relation to members more "marginal"
within the classroom (Nesdade et.al. 2005) and, in addition, form a part
of the picture of themselves and of their self-esteem depending on their
position within the group (Bennet & Sani, 2008).

Graph 6: With whom children prefer to spend time with during school breaks
(2nd kindergarten)

The above graph depicts with whom children of kindergarten b prefer to


hang out during the breaks, which reveals the personal preferences of
each child. This graph is no different compared to the previous one. The

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


92

highest "score" is collected by Jason, who was chosen by 4 kids. Jason


often participates in the games and organizes the rest of the class or
determines a place to play all together. Moreover, Giannis is quite
popular, coming from Syria. He speaks Greek very well, though he
speaks much better compared to the beginning of the year. During
breaks and free activities, at least for the period of observation, he was
very talkative and energetic.
Below the sociogram of the second kindergarten is presented,
depicting the positive and negative relationships. In the first sociogram,
it seems that all girls have two-way darts, except for Athena, who is
being evaluated negatively because of her aggressive behavior. Among
the boys, only Costas has no darts toward him, as well as George who
rarely comes at school. In the second sociogram, describing the negative
relations between children, it is observed that the majority of the darts
are referring to Costas and Marios, given the fact that they have been
selected by all of the girls, due to some habits that make them
disruptive. Marios, in particular, has a relatively abrupt behavior, which
sometimes makes him annoying. In general, the relationships of young
children are changing constantly as long as both their personality and
identity, as well as their relationships with their peers is in a continuous
development and evolution, and therefore are subjected to alteration
(Parker, et. al., 2006).

Sociogram of the 2nd kindergarten: Positive relations

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


93

Sociogram of the 2nd kindergarten: Negative relations

Discussion
According to the observation of the two kindergartens and the analysis
of the childrens interviews, certain conclusions can be arisen. Especially
the comparison between them allows us to identify those qualities and
characteristics that may lead to the popularity of a certain pupil and the
opposite. One of our first hypothesis has been confirmed, that the less
popular children in each class are both children who were not born in
Greece and who do not have Greek as their native language, whether
they can speak Greek adequately or not. This finding comes in
agreement with the findings of previous surveys conducted in Greece,
which also confirmed that children with certain cultural particularities,
in relation to the dominant culture of the school group, fall into bad
categories regarding to their popularity (Bikos, 2011:213). Regarding the
concept of racial identity and racial differences, children form an initial
view as early as about 4 years old, which can remain stable up to the
preadolescent years (Parker et. al. 2011). Children of 4 years old have
developed a form of "racial consciousness", thus placing themselves in a
group, and excluding the other groups (Stergiou, 2006: 61). Various
surveys have shown that the separation of groups in other and us is
associated with some value-judgment features. Specifically, once
students have diversified group belonging and "out" groups, tend to be
positive towards their own group and negative towards the other
groups, as an augmentation mechanism of self-esteem (Athanasopoulos,
2003, from Tressou & Mitakidou, 2003). According to a relevant survey,
white four year olds generally have a more positive image of the other
white children than of children with different skin color (Vandenbroeck,
2004). The various "groups" are therefore determined according to the
social value-configured system.
Moreover, our second hypothesis was that foreign children who
attend kindergarten in Greece face social exclusion or are in a
disadvantaged position. It became apparent that racist attitudes

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


94

presented in the first kindergarten, and thus rejection and social


isolation of children from cultural minorities, are based mainly on racial
and linguistic stereotypes that children have towards their peers.
Although this phenomenon has been observed in both schools, it was
much more intense in kindergarten a, rather than in kindergarten b,
since in kindergarten the rejection of children from their peers was
evident, as well as accompanied with racist connotations, while in
kindergarten b racist attitudes from the peer group was not present.
According to previous surveys, in classes where these children are a
very small minority, such as in the first kindergarten class, the
likelihood of social isolation of these children was much higher
compared to classes where these children constituted a greater
proportion (Bikos, 2011:213).
It is established that in the topic of dealing with the "other" and
especially with the different, people tend to behave with stereotypes,
with impressions and images of features of people, which simplify and
generalize these characteristics (Bikos: 2007). In the framework of the
stereotypic thought, children simplify information that have a certain
social content, addressing the people around them not individually, but
as members of a class, which is defined by specific characteristics (Blum,
2004). Usually, there occurs a very simplified image that emphasizes and
exaggerates defamatory characteristics. This kind of perspective is
acquired at a very young age, unfortunately before the child acquires
any knowledge for this specific social group (Bikos, 2007). Kindergarten
children, despite the popular belief that they are at that age"
uncontaminated" by stereotypes and social perceptions, seem, however,
to be very well informed in respect of racial hierarchy and prejudices of
adults, through their own experiences and by observing various
behaviors that surround them (Siraj-Blatchford, 2012:25).
In our case, beyond national stereotypes in the kindergarten, a
key role was the fact that Martin, one of the two children who received
the rejection and the negative comments from his classmates, was
bilingual and spoke in the class both Russian and Greek. Perceptions
that linguistic community preserves regarding a language or a language
variety affect the reactions towards the speakers of that language and
triggers certain social and cultural stereotypes (Kompiadou &
Lenakakis, 2014:283). The way of dealing with a person's language is
directly and permanently connected to the way we all behave towards
this person, as well as with the image that this person forms in this
regard (Tsokalidou, 2007). In Martins case, the other children react
strongly towards the native language of Martin, and consider that he
allegedly speaks "English", generalizing and simplifying the particular
culture of their classmate, but also showing that they do not accept it. A
few times some kids justified their negative attitude towards their
classmate, indicating that "he is Russian and speaks English" ... This
behavior of the entire class seems to affect Martin on the sense of self-
efficacy. According to the theory of performance, it is possible to depend
our success or failure on internal and external causes (Slavin, 2007:403).

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


95

Martin himself has often placed his failure in the classroom activities,
saying that I am dumb, I don't know Greek and do not understand". It
seems, moreover, that the dynamics of the class has created a
prophecy of stereotypic perception that can cause a similar behavior,
which in turn validates a belief or a perception (Hogg & Vaughan,
1998:331). These stereotypic perceptions prevent children from
participating not only in the formal structure of the classroom, but more
importantly in the informal structure. In this framework, it becomes
evident that it is vital for pre-school children to create friendly relations,
in order to develop certain social skills in the future (Newcomb &
Bukowski, 1984).
In the same class, there was also a girl from Albania, Lisa that
was isolated from any kind of relationship in the classroom. Lisa's
parents are both from Albania and do not speak Greek as good as their
daughter does. Her father works as a builder and is seasonally
unemployed, and her mother is at home. They are the only parents in
the classroom that have no stable job and have a manual work. Lisa can
speak Greek, but she has to deal with the socio-economic and cultural
gap between her and all the rest of her classmates. It is the cultural lag,
whose meaning is twofold, involving material but also spiritual factors.
It is gap that refers to the material living conditions of children and their
families, but also regards the cultural goods, as well as the intellectual
and expressive infrastructure (Kyridis, 1996:191). In fact, culturally
deprived children lack of certain skills and experiences, with which the
children of the middle class are already familiar (Riessman, 1963). This
deficiency leads to their cultural difference from the rest, but at the same
time is perceived as a disadvantage. Some of the characteristics of such
children, which are attributed to Lisa, are the lower quality of the
expressive and verbal ability, in relation to other children in the class,
poor self-image, the minimum of social skills and the cultural
differences, compared to the other children in the class (Larson & Oslon,
1965). It is these children who, according to Zacharenakis, have "very
little energy, too little information for themselves and for their
environment, very little curiosity, very few successes, very little money
and clothes, very few games and very little reading, very little luck
(Zacharenakis, 1985: 70). The democratization of education is presented
as a process where the progress and performance of students will be
determined only by their abilities and by "nothing else": "What is meant
by" nothing else" is expressed by relevant definitions as "working
classes", "surrounding", "social situation", "geographical origin" etc. The
above can be identified as the factors most detrimental to the
democratization of school (Milonas, 2004: 113). From a sociological
perspective, the issue of equal opportunities and social mobility is
complicated, because it creates the false impression that the educational
choices can exempt the student from the "curse" of low social class. This
is what is described as the "myth of the great equalizer" as the vision
that school will eliminate social inequality (Katsikas & Kavadias, 2000:
26-27). According to this myth, the school may offer equal learning

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


96

opportunities, because even when choosing their students through the


evaluation, this is done in a spirit of equality and fairness. According to
Apple there is no doubt that schools do provide institution to promote
economic and cultural reproduction. However, the way in which this
occurs is complex. Theories that seek for the relationship between
education and the outside society fail to include essential aspects of this
complexity (Apple, 1982: 1). Bourdieu, on the other hand, sees a more
regulatory aspect of this reproductive function and summarizes the
process of the connection between school performance and family
background as follows: "The culture of the elite is so close to that of the
school, so that children from lower middle class and working class can
acquire only with great effort what is given to children of the cultured
classes: style, preferences, spirit (Bourdieu, 1974: 39). According to the
theory of cultural capital, the difference in school performance of
students is due to the fact that the school culture is much closer to the
habitus, ie the linguistic, cultural and social practices of the middle and
upper social strata. Essentially the cultural capital could be defined as a
set of features and capabilities, which cultivate not only knowledge, but
also ways of expression and social practice (Milonas, 1996: 211). As
Bourdieu indicates: The school requires from all to perform in the same
way. This includes mainly linguistic and cultural capacity and the
relationship between family and culture, a relationship that can be
produced only when the family transmits the dominant ideology
(Bourdieu, 1973: 80). Of course, the acquisition of this cultural heritage
requires the right environment and accordingly the ability of the student
to internalize all those standards and norms that will contribute to the
better integration in the school norm (Dumais, 2002: 44). The educational
system has an important role in maintaining the status quo: ... That
(education) is actually one of the most effective means to perpetuate the
existing social affairs, since they both provide a clear justification for the
social inequalities, as well as the acknowledgment of the cultural
heritage, that is perceived as a social gift and thus is treated as "natural
(Bourdieu, 1974: 32).
The social relations of children with each other and the reasons
that children include or exclude a classmate in their social circle can
witness the cause of various phenomena in the classroom, such as that of
marginalization. It is very important that the teacher be aware of the
mechanisms by which the team operates, in order to have a more
complete picture not only of the whole class, but also the specificity of
each student or trouble that each student presents, so that he/she can
confront and intervene better and more effectively (Bikos, 2007). For
instance, teacher can organize the classroom into working groups, so as
to prevent the formation of divert subgroups against children who have
little or no social contacts, and contribute to the cultivation of empathy
and students' learning and solving skills problems (Australian Primary
School Mental Health Initiative, 2013). Through organized activities of
kindergartens, such as "the hour of cycle" and the storytelling, children
can learn to listen to each other, share ideas and materials, to be

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


97

involved in various situations in game, help one another, to observe the


skills of their classmates, and all of the above through the
encouragement and contribution of teachers, in order to achieve the
desirable possible positive interaction between children (Bovey & Strain,
2003). Beyond the educational dimension, parents can assist in the
establishment of friendly relations of their children but also to the
overall positive interactions among students of a class. The positive safe
bond of children with their parents seems to enhance the positive
relationship with their peers (Schneider, Tardif & Atkinson, 2001).
Moreover, parents sometimes use a number of strategies to enhance
their children's social relations, to encourage integration of their child in
various situations, eg children's parties, and its involvement in various
"social networks", ie playing with children of the neighborhood, and
other methods such as the involvement in the game and in conflict
resolution, etc. (Yu, Ostrosky & Fowler, 2011).
The social relations of children with each other, and the reasons
that children tend to include or exclude a classmate in their social circle
can witness the cause of various phenomena in the classroom, such as
that of marginalization. It is very essential that the teacher be aware of
the mechanisms by which each group of students functions, to have a
more complete vision not only of the whole class, but also of the
specificity of each student or the difficulties that each students may
have, in order to confront and intervene better and more effectively
(ibid). According to Teresa Vasconcelos (2007 in Cordona et al., 2013:
45), the kindergarten is a fundamental territory, where children can be
fully socially and ethically educated (Nichols, 2007: 120-121).

References

Aboud, F. E., & Mendelson, M. J. (1996). Determinants of friendship selection and quality:
Developmental perspectives. In A. F. Newcomb, W. M. Bukowski, & W. W. Hartup
(Eds.), Friendship in children and adolescents. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
Agbagbla, F. (2012). The Role of Nonverbal Communication in Preschool Classroom
Interactions, Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the
Erasmus Mundus joint degree Master in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Ambady, N., & Rosenthal, R. (1998). Non verbal communication, Encyclopedia of
Mental Health, 2, 775-782.
Apple, M., W. (1982). Cultural and economic reproduction in education: essays on class,
ideology, and the state. London; Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Athanasiou, L. & Gotovos, A. (2002). Bilingualism of the different. Perceptions and
attitudes of teachers of pre-school education towards bilingualism of migrants
and repatriated students. Educational Sciences, 4, 23-44.
Athanasopoulos. (2003). Teachers talk to teachers about their experiences: the education of
language minorities: the education of language minorities. Collective work edited by E.
Tressou, S. Mitakidou. Thessaloniki: Paratiriths
Australian Primary School Mental Health Initiative. (2013). Friendship skills:
Suggestions for school staff, AU.
Baumeister, R., F. & Finkel E., J. (2010). Advanced Social Psycology. The State of the Science.
UK: Oxford University Studio Press.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


98

Bikos, K. (1990). Improvement of the social relations in the classroom: the social and pedagogical
role of school. Thessaloniki: Zygos
Bikos, K. (2007). Summary notes: Intercultural education and social interaction at
school: "Social relations, peers and cultural peculiarities. TEE N. Moudania 1, 8
and 12 February.
Bikos, K. (2011). Social relations and interaction in the classroom. Thessaloniki: Zygos.
Bourdieu, P. (1973). Cultural reproduction and social reproduction. In: Brown, R. (ed.)
Knowledge, Education and Cultural Change: Papers in the Sociology of Education.
London: Tavistock.
Bourdieu, P. (1974). School as a Conservative Force: Scholastic and Cultural Inequalities,
in J. Eggleston (ed.) Contemporary Research in the Sociology of Education, pp. 32-46.
London: Methuen .
Boutskou, L. (2011). Intercultural Competence and Preparedness of school headmasters
of the Primary Education in today's school. Retrieved from: Annual Interuniversity
Online Seminar in Management education, Amynteo: 2011, http: //www.lemonia-
boutskou.gr/data/pdf/ergasies_mou/posotiki1.pdf.
Bovey, T., Strain, P. (2003). Promoting Positive Peer Social Interactions. What Works Briefs, 8.
US: Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning.
BRYCS. (2015). Refugee Children in U.S. Schools: A Toolkit for Teachers and School Personnel.
US Department of Health and Human Services.
Bukowski, W. M., Newcomb A. F., & Hartu, W. W. (Eds.). (1996). The company they keep:
Friendship in childhood and adolescence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Bussey, K., & Bandura, A. (1999). Social cognitive theory of gender development and
differentiation. Psychological Review, 106, 676-713.
Buhs, E., S., Ladd, G., W., & Herald, S., L. (2006). Peer Exclusion and Victimization:
Processes That Mediate the Relation Between Peer Group Rejection and Childrens
Classroom Engagement and Achievement? Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1),
113. US: Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association 2006
Christodoulou, T. (2009 June). Immigrants and multicultural education in Greece. 12th
International Conference on Intercultural Education Immigration Conflict Management
and Pedagogics of Democracy, Patras, 19-21 June.
Coker T., R., Elliot, M., N., Kanouse, D., E., Grunbaum D., E., Scwebel D., C., Gilliland
M., J., Tortolero, S., R., Peskin M., F. & Schuster M., A. (2009). Perceived Racial/Ethnic
Discrimination Among Fifth-Grade Students and Its Association with Mental Health.
US:Am J Public Health. 2009 May; 99(5): 878884 doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.144329
Cordona, M. J., Nagueira, C., Vieira, C., Uva, M., & Tavares, T. C. (2013). Education Guide.
Gender and Citizenship. Pre-school. Lisbon: Commission for Citizenship and Gender
Equality.
Dumais. A., S. (2002). Cultural Capital, Gender, and School Success: The Role of habitus.
Sociology of Education, 75(1), 44-68.
Dusi, P., Steinbach, M. & Gonzales Falcon, I. (2014). Integration in Italian Primary
Schools: Immigrant Childrens Voices. The European Journal of Social & Behavioural
Sciences, 1392 1402, http://dx.doi.org/10.15405/ejsbs.123.
Gainsley, S. (2013). Building Friendships in Preschool. Highscope Extensions, 27(1), 1-18.
Georgiadis, F., & Zisimos, A. (2012). Teacher training in Roma education in Greece:
Intercultural and critical educational necessities. Issues In Educational Research, 22(1),
47-59, retrieved from: http://www.iier.org.au/iier22/georgiadis.html
Georgogiannis, P. (2004). Intercultural Competence and Readiness of Teachers. In: P.,
Georgogianni (2004) (ed.), Intercultural Education, 1st National Conference,
December 2004, Greece: Patra
Georgogianni, P., Bomparidou, Ch. (2006). Intercultural Competence and readiness of
Teachers: Theory and Research Approach. In: E. Gkasdogka (2013). The parentss

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


99

participation from different cultural backgrounds in the education of their children and the
kindergarten teachers views. Thessaloniki
Geraris, H. (2011). Integration and acceptance of foreign students through the
Intercultural Education. Ta Ekpedeftika, 99-100,
http://www.taekpaideutika.gr/ekp_99-100/03.pdf.
Giugni, M., (2007), Exploring Multiculturalism, Anti Bias and Social Justice In Childrens
Services, Retrieved April 1, 2010, from:
www.cscentral.org.au/publications/childrens-services-centralpublications.html.
Katsikas, X. & Kavadias, G. (2000). Inequality in Greek education. Athens: Gutenberg.
Kompiadou, E & Lenakakis, A. (2014). Cultural and linguistic heterogeneity in terms of
interactive and multi-sensuous practices. In: A. Kyridis (ed). Vulnerable social groups
and lifelong learning. Athens: Gutenberg.
Kourti- Kazoulli, B. (1999). From home to school: Linguistic experience of bilingual children,
retrieved from: http://www.rhodes.aegean.gr/tetradianaxou/.
Kyridis, A. (1996). A sociological approach to preschool education. Thessaloniki: Kyriakidis.
Kyridis A. & Leontari, A. (1995). Self-concept and feelings of loneliness among children of
Greek repatriates. Proceedings of the 7th National Conference of the Greek Society
for Social Pediatrics and Health Promotion, Alexandroupolis.
Lancelotta, G. X., & Vaughn, S. (1989). Relation between types of aggression and
sociometric status: Peer and teacher perceptions. Journal of Educational Psychology,
81, 86-90.
Lewin, K. (1938). Experiments on autocratic and democratic atmospheres. The Social
Frontier, IV(37), pp. 316 - 319.
Lewin, K. & Lippitt, R. (1938). An experimental approach to the study of autocracy and
democracy: A preliminary note. Sociometry, 1(3-4), pp. 292 - 300.
Lippitt, R. White, R.K. (1943). The social climate of children's groups. In R. Barker, J.
Kounin and H. Wright (Eds.), Child development and behavior. New York:
McGraw-Hill, (485-508).
Maccoby, E. (2002). Gender and Group Process: A Developmental Perspective. Current
directions in psychological science, 11(2), 324-347.
Magos, K. (2014). In the ocean without a life jacket.... Exploring Kindergarten views on the need
for training in intercultural education issues. Annual Interuniversity Online Seminar in
Intercultural Education and Research with emphasis on Teaching and Teaching
Greek as second or foreign language to students and adults, retrieved from:
http://www.kedek.inpatra.gr/seminario3/diapolitismiki.pdf.
Makri, V. (2003). Intercultural and multicultural education policy in Greece, London
School of Economics and Political Science, Hellenic Observatory, Symposium:
Current Social Science Research on Modern Greece, June 21, 2003.
Manaster, H., & Jobe, M. (2012). Bringing Boys and Girls together: Supporting Preschoolers
Positive Peer Relationships. US: National Association for the Education of Young Children
McGothlin, H., & Killen, M. (2010). How social experience is related to childrens
intergroup attitudes, US: European Journal of Social Psychology Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40,
625634. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.733.
Meisel, J. (2004). The Bilingual Child, Chapter 3: The Handbook of Bilingualism, In the
series of Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Edited by Tej K. Bhatia and William
C. Ritchie, retrieved from: http://www1.uni-
hamburg.de/romanistik/personal/pdf-Dateien/bilchild.pdf
Mikami, A., Y., Lerner, M., L., & Lun., J. (2010). Social Context Influences on Childrens
Rejection by Their Peers. Child Development Perspectives, 4(2), 123130.
Milonas, T. (1996). Sociology of education. Athens: Armos.
Milonas, T. & Manesis, N. (2002). Social exclusion begins at school. In Pacos, Th. (Eds.)
Proceedings of the International Conference: Society of the 2/3 - Dimensions of modern
social problem. Athens: Panteion University: 563-578.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


100

Mpakas, Th., Pantazis, S., X., Sakellariou, M. (2014). Intercultural Education and Training of
kindergarten teachers, Annual Interuniversity 2013-2014 Online Seminar in
Intercultural Education and Research with emphasis on Teaching of Greek as a
second or foreign language to students and adults, retrieved from:
http://www.kedek.inpatra.gr/seminario3/diapolitismiki.pdf.
Nalbantoglou, S., Kyridis, A. & Tsioumis, K. (2015). Political Socialization in the
Contemporary Greek Kindergarten: Views of Kindergarten Teachers and the
Readiness of Preschoolers. Journal of Education and Training, 2(2), 180-202.
Nesdale, D. (1999). Culture Race and Community Making It Work In The New
Millennium. Victorian Transcultural Mental Health, International Conference, August
19-21.
Nesdale, D., Maass, A., Durkin, K. & Griffiths, J. (2005). Group Norms, Threat, and
Childrens Racial Prejudice, AU: Child Development, 76(3), 652 663
Nesdale, D., & Dalton, D., (2011). Children's social groups and intergroup prejudice:
assessing the influence and inhibition of social group norms. British Journal of
Developmental Psychology, 29(4), 895-909.
Nichols, S. (2007). Children as citizens: literacies for social participation. Early Years:
An International Research Journal, 27(2), 119-130.
Nikolaou, C. (2011). Integration and education of foreign students in elementary school:
From the "homogeneity" multiculturalism. Athens: Pedio.
Ogbu, J., U. & Simons, H. (1998). Voluntary and Involuntary Minorities: A Cultural-
Ecological Theory of School Performance with Some Implications for Education.
Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 29(2), 155-188.
Pantazis, S. & Sakellaropoulou E. (2002). Bilingualism and educational program in
kindergarten. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference, Faculty of Primary
Education, University of Patras. March 2002.
Parker, J., G., Rubin, K. H., Erath, S., A., Wojslawowicz, J., C. & Buskirk, A., (2005). Peer
Relationships, Child Development, and Adjustment: A Developmental
Psychopathology Perspective. Developmental Psychopathology, 1, Theory and
Method, 2nd Edition. US: NJ John Wiley & Sons In .
Parker, J., G., Rubin, K. H., Erath, S., A., & Buskirk, A., A. (2006). Peer Relationships, Child
Development, and Adjustment: A Developmental Psychopathology Perspective.
Developmental Psychopathology: Risk, Disorder, and Adaptation, Edition: 2, Chapter:
Peer Relationships, Child Development, and Adjustment: A Developmental
Psychopathology Perspective, US: NJ, John Wiley.
Powlishta, K., K., Serbin, L., A., & Moller L., C. (1993). The Stability of Individual
Differences on Gender Typing: Implication for understanding Sex Segregation. Sex
roles, 29(11), 723-737.
Pellegrini A., D., et al. (2007). Social Dominance in Preschool Classrooms. Journal of
Comparative Psychology, 121(1), 54 64.
Sakellaropoulou, Ev. (2007). Bilingualism and management of educational praxis,
Proceedings of the 2nd Educational Conference PE.DI.EK Epirus "Language,
Thought and Practice in Education ', Ioannina 19-21 October 2007.
Schneider, B., H., Tardif, C., & Atkinson, L. (2001). Child- Parent Attachment and
Children's Peers Relations: A Quantitative Review. Developmental Psychology. 37 (1),
86-100. US: American Psychological Association
Skourtou, R. (1999). The 'good' and the 'bad' bilingual student. Retrieved from:
http://www.rhodes.aegean.gr/tetradianaxou/.
Spinthourakis, J., A., (2007), Multiculturalism, diversity and the need for tolerance and Greek
kindergarten teachers, Problemy Wczesnej Edukacji [Problems of Early Education.]
1/2(5-6), retrieved from:
http://www.elemedu.upatras.gr/english/images/jspin/Poland_2007c_FINAL_wi
th_citation.pdf.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


101

Steele C., M., Aronson, J. (1995). Stereotype threat and Intellectual Test Performance of
African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 797-811.
Stergiou, L. (2006). Prejudices in kindergarten: A field of intercultural pedagogical
intervention. Pedagogical Science-Theory and Practice, 1.
Triandafyllidou, A., & Gropas, R. (2007). Greek Education Policy and the Challenge of
Migration: An Intercultural View of Assimilation, Paper prepared for the EMILIE
project, retrieved from http://www.eliamep.gr/wp-
content/uploads/en/2008/10/greek_education_policy_and_the_challenge_of_mig
ration_triandaf_and_gropas_emilie_wp3_22_nov_07.pdf.
Triandafyllidou, A., & Kokkali, I. (2010). Tolerance and Cultural Diversity Discourses in
Greece, Florence, Italy: European University Institute Robert Schuman Centre for
Advanced Studies, retrieved from http://accept-
pluralism.eu/Documents/Research/wp1/ACCEPTPLURALISMWp1Backgroundr
eportGreece.pdf
Tsioumis, K. (2003). The Little "other": Minority groups in preschool education.
Thessaloniki: Zigos.
Tsoleridou, A. (2009). The contribution of the educational system in the integration of
immigrant pupils: The views of primary school teachers, retrieved from the National
Archive of Phd theses, http://phdtheses.ekt.gr/eadd/handle/10442/ 25164.
Tzortzopoulou, M. & Kotzamani, A. (2008). Education of foreign students: research of
their difficulties and the perspectives of solutions. Athens: Ekke
Vamvakidou I., Dinas, K., Kyridis, A., Karamitsou, K.( 2003). The end of homogeneity
and the beginning of diversity in contemporary Greek kindergarten.
Kindergarten teachers talk about the problems faced in multicultural classrooms
(p.p. 47-55). In E. Tressou & S. Mitakidou (Ed.) Teachers talking to teachers about
their experiences. Minority language education. Thessaloniki: Paratiritis.
Vamvakidou I., Kyridis, A., Dinas, K., (2002). Intercultural preschool education in
language teaching: A proposal for the Greek educational reality. Intercultural
Education, 2, 1- 12.
Vandenbroeck, M. (2004). The view of the Yeti/ the culture of respect for the "other" in
education/Michel Vandenbroeck (Translated in Greek by Christos Gemeliaris,
Giannis Vogiatzis. Athens: Nisos.
Von Suchodoletz, A., Trommsdorff, G., Heikamp, T., Wieber, F. & Gollwitzer, P., M.
(2009). Transition to school: The role of kindergarten children's behavior
regulation. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 561566, retrieved from:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/10416080
Wardle, F. (2011). Responding to racial and ethnic diversity in early childhood
programs. Exchange Magazine, March/ April,
https://secure.ccie.com/library/5019868.pdf.
Yu, S., Ostrosky, M., M., & Fowler, S., A. (2011). Childrens Friendship Development: A
Comparative Study. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 13(1),
http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v13n1/yu.html.
Zacharenakis, K. (1991). Compensatory Education for Equal Educational starting points.
Heraklion.
Zachos, D. T. & Matziouri A. (2015). School Leadership and Diversity: Perceptions of
Educational Administrators in Greece. International Journal of Education, 7(2), 109
- 125. http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ije.v7i2.7286

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


102

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 102-117, March 2016

Assessment of Adequacy and Availability of


Human and Material Resources for the
Implementation of the Nigeria New Senior
Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum

Benson Adesina Adegoke


Institute of Education,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Frederick Ebimobowei Mefun


Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council

Abstract
In this study the authors examined the level of adequacy and
availability of human and material resources for the implementation of
the Nigeria newly introduced Mathematics Curriculum. The study was
based on the premise that successful implementation of the curriculum
depends on availability and adequacy of human and material resources.
This is because if well qualified mathematics teachers and instructional
materials are not available, no matter how well structured and
intentioned the new mathematics curriculum may be, its successful
implementation may not be achieved. The sample consisted of 110
senior secondary school mathematics teachers. They were randomly
selected from Abakaliki and Ebonyi local Government Areas, Ebonyi
State, Nigeria. One reliable and valid instrument titled Mathematics
Teachers Questionnaire was used. Results show that there are not
enough of qualified mathematics teachers in the schools. A sizeable
numbers of the teachers sampled did not read mathematics and some of
those who read mathematics did not have requisite teaching
qualification. Majority of the teachers did not belong to either of the
science and mathematics teacher professional bodies in Nigeria such as
Science Teachers Association of Nigeria and Mathematical Association
of Nigeria. Many schools do not have instructional facilities and
equipment. The author recommends that teachers should be encouraged
to become members of professional bodies and teachers without
professional qualification advised to do professional courses in
education.

Keywords: Human resources, Material resources, Mathematics,


Mathematics Curriculum, Mathematics Teacher

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


103

Introduction

Prior to the advent of the Christian Missionaries and subsequent


introduction of Western-style of education to Sub-Saharan Africa, each
ethnic group in Africa used elaborate counting systems. For example,
among the Yoruba people of Southwest, Nigeria, cowry shells, stones,
sticks and other concrete objects as well folklores and market days were
used for counting in economic and social activities. To preserve this
counting system, the Yoruba people taught their young ones though in
informal ways.
According to Taiwo (1968)
The Yoruba have developed a system of counting and have used
a variety of human experience to promote practice and dexterity in
enumeration. The Yoruba child is introduced early in life to
counting by means of concrete objects, counting rhymes, folklore,
plays, and games at home and on the fieldp.10
Other ethnic groups such as the Hausa, Igbo, Fulani and Ijaw had similar
activities for their counting system and parents used various informal
ways to teach their young ones.
Formal education was introduced in Nigeria at about 1842. Since
then teaching of subjects that borders on numeracy and computation such
as arithmetic, algebra and geometry has been part and parcel of the
schools curriculum. At a time in the history of Mathematics teaching in
Nigeria schools both at the primary and post-primary school levels, each
of arithmetic, algebra and geometry was taught as a separate subject and
each had different periods on the school timetable. However, at present,
these branches of Mathematics have been fused into a single subject called
Mathematics on the schools timetable.
The teaching of Mathematics in Nigeria and indeed in most
countries in the sub-Saharan Africa has gone through several stages of
development. Indeed, several reforms had taken place in mathematics
teaching and learning, in the Sub-Saharan Africa. There have been series
of seminars, conferences; and several projects had been undertaken all in
an effort to improve teaching and learning of mathematics. A typical
example of such projects was the African Mathematics Project (AMP)
which took place in Entebbe, Uganda in 1962. A major outcome of the
African Mathematics Project (AMP) was the pilot study of teaching and
learning of Modern Mathematics in Nigeria schools. The Pilot study was
domiciled in Lagos under the Directorship of Professor Grace Alele
Williams in 1964 (Awofala, 2012).
In Nigeria, the first home-based and indigenous-initiated reform in
Mathematics education was in 1969. According to Awofala (2012), this
was when the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria charged the
newly established the Nigerian Educational Research Council (NERC)
with the responsibility of formulating the National Policy on Education

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


104

(NPE); and promoting the work of modernization of school curricula in


various subjects (including Mathematics) at primary, post primary and
post secondary school levels. Specifically in the area of Mathematics
education, the NERC organized conferences, and workshops to
familiarise primary and post primary school teachers with the content
and teaching techniques for the implementation of modern Mathematics
programme. As part of its mandate the NERC set up a national task force
in 1976 to examine the suitability or otherwise of the modern
Mathematics curriculum which was in use. This was apparently in
response to criticisms against the teaching and learning of Modern
Mathematics in Nigeria schools.
According to Awofala (2012), although the report of the Lagos pilot
study on modern Mathematics conducted, in the Western state of Nigeria,
between 1964 and 1968 indicated a huge success of the curriculum, it
could not be said for other states in Nigeria especially in the Eastern and
the Northern parts of Nigeria. Major criticisms against modern
Mathematics included acute shortage of qualified modern Mathematics
teachers and lack of adequate textbooks. Eventually in 1977 the teaching
and learning of modern Mathematics in Nigeria primary and post
primary schools was abolished.
Arising from the conferences, seminars and workshops, the NERC
developed another Mathematics curriculum for use in primary schools. In
1977, the National Council on Education (NCE) approved and adopted
the primary school syllabus and curriculum. However, the official
implementation of the primary school Mathematics curriculum did not
take effect until 1979. As part of the effort of Nigeria to improve the
quality of teaching and learning of school subjects, the Nigerian
Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) was
established by Decree 58 (now Act) of 1988. The NERDC was formed
from four major parastatals of the Federal Government of Nigeria viz:
Nigerian Educational Research Council (NERC), the Comparative
Education Study and Adaptation Center (CESAC), the Nigeria Book
Development Council (NBDC) and Nigerian Language Development
Center (NLDC). The major function of NERDC is to conduct, promote
and coordinate educational research and development programmes at all
levels of education in Nigeria.
In the reforms in the Mathematics education that had taken place in
Nigeria, the efforts of the Comparative Education Study and Adaptation
Center (CESAC) of the University of Lagos should be noted. The CESAC
was established at the University of Lagos in 1967 through the Ford
Foundation grant. In 1976, the CESAC held series of conferences and
workshops with the aim of developing a new syllabus for secondary
school Mathematics. The National Council of Education (NCE) directed
the CESAC to split secondary school Mathematics into two viz: Junior

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


105

Secondary school syllabus and senior secondary school syllabus


respectively. This was to be in line with the 6-3-3-4 system of education as
contained in the Nigeria National Policy of Education of the Federal
Government of Nigeria. In 1978 the NCE finally approved and adopted
the secondary school syllabus and curriculum developed by the NERC.
However, the official implementation of junior school Mathematics
curriculum took effect in 1982, while that of senior secondary school was
in 1985.
In 2007, the NERDC revised the old Mathematics curriculum with the
intention of producing a crop of well educated Nigerians who will be
adequately equipped to function effectively in the present world of
globalization. The decision for the revision of the curriculum was dictated
by the desire of Federal Government of Nigeria to (a) attain the goal
number two of the Millennium Development Goals (that is achieving the
universal basic education by 2015), (b) attain the targets of the National
Economic and Development Strategies (NEEDS) and (c) produce better
informed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) compliant
citizens of high ethical and educational standards. The revised curriculum
called the New Senior Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum was
approved by NCE in December, 2007 but its implementation started in
2011.
The unique features of the content areas of this new curriculum according
to NERDC, (2012) are that;
1. The new senior secondary school Mathematics curriculum has
been infused with modern topics which are relevant to the global
world and meet up the challenges of the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). Obsolete techniques in the old curriculum such as
the use of slide rules have been dropped, while the logarithm table
as calculating aid is de-emphasized with the hope of totally
replacing it with scientific calculators and other calculating devices
and computer-assisted instructional materials like semi-
programmable calculators.
2. The revised senior secondary school Mathematics curriculum
includes some topics in logic, calculus (differential and integral
equations); matrices, modular arithmetic and mapping, which in
the old curriculum were restricted to Further/Additional
Mathematics. These topics are believed to have capacity to enhance
the competence of students in the various vocations they will
pursue at tertiary level. The new curriculum accommodates the
needs of students in the commercial and technical subject areas by
including such content areas as annuities, amortization and sinking
funds.
3. The new curriculum reflects continuity with those used in
Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Colleges of

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


106

Science and Technology. In general, the curriculum aims at linking


the knowledge of Mathematics to the industry. Hence, applications
of Mathematics to health, finance, population, capital market and
commercial activities are included in the curriculum.
4. Although both the old and the new revised Mathematics curricula
are thematic, in the revised curriculum the themes have been
rearranged into four instead of the six themes in the old
curriculum. In the new curriculum, plane geometry, trigonometry,
and mensuration have been merged to form Geometry; and
Probability is now contained in Statistics. The new four themes are,
number and numeration, algebraic process, geometry and
statistics.
5. In the revised curriculum structure, Teachers Activities have been
separated from students activities while evaluation guide has been
provided for the teachers. Teacher and student activities are also
separated from materials. Hints are also provided for teachers in
each case.
6. There are many revised content areas infused in the new
curriculum to address the defects and inadequacies of the old
curriculum. These are summarized in themes.
The NERDC (2012) also stated in specific terms the general objectives of
the new senior secondary school Mathematics Curriculum. These include:
1. To achieve the National and Global reforms such as National
Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS) in
2009, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), September, 2000
and Education for All (EFA) in the year 2009.
Note: The MDG goal two aims at meeting the learning needs of all
children, youth and adults by 2015 This implies that the new
mathematics curriculum aims at improving the knowledge base of
learners so that they can transfer such knowledge to solve
problems and even generate some wealth.
2. To ensure smooth transition from secondary level to tertiary level
of the Mathematics curriculum. This curriculum has bridged the
transition gap between Senior Secondary School Mathematics and
Tertiary Mathematics curriculum.
Note: New topics such as differential and integral equations,
matrices and determinants were introduced into the new
Mathematics curriculum that will help candidates pass Unified
Tertiary Matriculation Examination easily and gain admission into
tertiary institutions. Moreover, efforts were made to remove the
dichotomy between the old senior secondary Mathematics
curriculum and the Mathematics curriculum of commercial,
technical and vocational schools.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


107

Note: Prior to the new Mathematics curriculum, there were


discrepancies in the Mathematics curricula of commercial,
technical and vocational schools. The new Mathematics curriculum
has taken care of such discrepancies. Presently commercial,
technical and vocational schools use the same curriculum.
3. To correct some deficiencies in the contents of the old curriculum e,
g. the infusion of logic reasoning to aid the teaching of theorems
and their proofs.
Note: Logical reasoning which aids the teaching of mathematical
theorems and proofs was not in the old curriculum.
4. To help the development of entrepreneurship skills in the learners.
The new curriculum requires that learners should link their
knowledge of Mathematics to industry. Hence contents are linked
to practical problems of health, finance, population, industry and
capital markets.
Note: The new mathematics curriculum emphasized that students
should be taught the practical application of Mathematics to real
life situation so as to enhance their entrepreneurial skills e. g. With
Matrices and Determinants, learners can easily determine the
prices of goods and commodity in the market.
According to NERDC (2012), (2013) and Mefun (2015) the success or
otherwise of the new mathematics curriculum depends on (a) the quality
and quantity of teachers (b) availability of functional textbooks (c)
availability and effective use of facilities and instructional materials (d)
teachers assessment practices and (d) proper supervision and monitoring
by the agencies (Federal and State Ministries of Education [FMoE/SMoE],
Local and Zonal Inspectorate of Education [LIE/ZIE], NERDC, and
School Principals) which have been mandated by the state to see to the
maintenance of standard and quality of teaching and learning in schools.
Past studies such as Ajibola (2008), Yara and Otieno (2010), Obioma
(2013) and Ogunyinka, Okeke and Adedoyin (2015) identified lack of
qualified teachers as a major challenge facing the effective
implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum.
According to Ogunyinka Okeke and Adedoyin (2015):
Many teachers in Nigeria have not measured up to the minimum
international standard. This is because a large number of
untrained and half-baked personnel are still retained in the
system, leading to a scenario in which career in teaching is not yet
professionalized. Many unqualified teachers are still in the
employment of some States. Teaching Service Boards, while most
higher education lecturers are yet to undergo training in
education (p.118)
Ajibola (2008) noted that as a result of lack of qualified teachers, some
teachers are made to teach subjects that are quite unrelated to their area of
specialization. For example, there are instances where teachers who read

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


108

chemistry at the University level are made to teach mathematics. More


important is the fact that graduates without teaching qualification are
employed to teach mathematics at the senior secondary school level (Yara
& Otieno, 2010). Though such teachers may have competency in subject
matter, but their ability to impart knowledge to students may be
questionable because of their lack of training in pedagogy. The issue of
inadequacy of trained and qualified mathematics teachers is not peculiar
to Nigeria. Research (such as Yara & Otieno, 2010; Mbugua, 2011) showed
that in Kenya, there was also inadequacy of trained and qualified
mathematics teacher. The study of Yara and Otieno (2010) even showed
that some teachers after a few years in teaching left for greener pastures in
other professions.
Specifically, in her study, Anugwo (2011) examined the relationship
between availability of expert teachers and implementation of secondary
school curriculum in Nigeria. Results showed that a significant
relationship existed between availability of subject teachers and the
implementation of skill-based secondary school curriculum. Anugwo
(2011) concluded that that there was a link between quality and quantity
of teachers and successful implementation of curriculum in Nigerian
schools.
No doubt, Mathematics teachers are involved in the implementation
of the new mathematics curriculum in line with the stated objectives.
Research such as Azuka, Jekayinfa, Durojaiye, and Sylvester (2013) has
however, shown that, some teachers may face some difficulties in the
teaching of some of the new topics introduced in the new curriculum.
Examples of such category of teachers include those who did not have
prerequisite degree in mathematics and mathematics related subjects at
the tertiary level of education. As a result of this their competency in the
subject matter maybe somewhat questionable. Among such topics include
logical reasoning, geometric construction, financial Mathematics, integral
and differential calculus and their applications, bearing and modular
arithmetic. According to Azuka et al (2013) the difficulty level of these
topics is between 60% and 85%. To ameliorate this, the NERDC has
suggested that mathematics teacher should endeavour to participate in in-
service professional development programmes such as workshops,
seminars and conferences and also belong to professional associations
such as the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria and Mathematics
Association of Nigeria. The extent to which teachers participate in these
programmes was also examined in this study.
In comparison with the biological and physical sciences, Mathematics
instruction has suffered in the past from a notable lack of special physical
facilities and special instructional devices for giving meaning to various
concepts and relations, providing motivation for the students, and
increasing the effectiveness of the instruction. This is due in part to a lack

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


109

of imagination and aggressiveness on the part of mathematics teachers,


but it is due also to the fact that until rather recent years not much
experimental work had been done in Mathematics with new media or
with non traditional methods of instruction. Traditionally, the equipment
available to the Mathematics teacher has been limited pretty much to the
textbook and the chalkboard, with perhaps a few models for use in solid
geometry and some rulers and protractors for liner and angular
measurement and some supplementary textbooks and workbooks. These
teaching aids are far from negligible, as anyone who has tried to teach
Mathematic in a room without a chalkboard can attest, but with a
chalkboard alone it is often hard even for a good teacher to accomplish all
that he envisions.
According to Yara and Otieno (2010) the teaching and learning of
mathematics in secondary school become more interesting with the use of
mathematics kit. With determination and zeal for students success and
mastery of mathematics, schools can readily purchase mathematics kit.
The kit usually contains instruments such as inclinator for measuring
angles of depression and elevation; circle theorem kit for determining the
constant of a circle and several mathematics geometrical models. All these
are multisensory teaching and learning aids.
The use of multisensory aids, when well coordinated with the other
classroom learning activities, can serve a double purpose, namely, to
stimulate interest and provide a most effective means of clarifying many
mathematical concepts and relations through the experience of
associating them directly with physical things. Thus it serves as a highly
important avenue for organic learning, as well as for motivation. Such
practice is often referred to as laboratory work in Mathematics such as
are done in Physics, Biology or Chemistry classes. It is true that the idea
of the Mathematics laboratory has not yet received the same general
acceptance as the science laboratory has, but this may well be because
Mathematics teachers have not themselves recognized and insisted upon
its importance as the science teachers have. Actually, most Mathematics
teachers have been too passive in this respect. Teachers of Science, Art,
Music, Home Economics, and other subjects do not hesitate to ask for
space and equipment for this type of work, and they get it. But most
mathematics teachers do not even ask for it, though to do so would be
both reasonable and proper.
It appears that the issue of inadequacy of teaching learning materials
may not be peculiar to Nigeria as research in other climes such as in
Kenya (for example, Bulimo, Odebero & Musasia 2010) and Uganda (for
example, Mbugua, 2011) revealed similar trends. According to Mbugua
(2011)
there are insufficient mathematics text books in secondary schools.
Schools have poor chalk boards which affects teaching and learning

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


110

of mathematics. Three dimension models or aids for teaching and


learning mathematics are lacking, those that are available are of
poor quality, and also teachers do not use them effectively well.
The chalk board is in two dimension and drawing a three
dimension on it may distort learners thinking; for example angles
that are 90o of cuboids appear different on the chalk board (p.114)

The conclusions one can draw from literature is that there appears to be
positive relationship between availability of school facilities and
successful implementation of school curriculum. That is without the
availability of functional infrastructure and instructional materials in
schools, the skill-based curriculum no matter how well it was drafted will
not be effectively implemented.
To give direction to this study, two research questions were
answered. These were:
1. What is the profile of the senior secondary school mathematics
teachers with regards to their gender, academic qualification, and
years of teaching experience, number of seminars/workshops
attended and membership of professional associations?
2. To what extent are facilities and instructional materials available
for the successful implementation of the new mathematics
curriculum?

Methods
Participants
All public senior secondary school Mathematics Teachers in senior
secondary school classes two and three (SSS 2 and SSS 3) in Ebonyi and
Abakaliki Local Government Areas, Ebonyi State, Nigeria, was the target
population. However, only one hundred and ten senior secondary schools
Mathematics Teachers selected from the sampled senior secondary
schools participated in the study. The ages of the sampled teachers
ranged between 25 and 56 years. Seventy-one percent of them were men,
while 29% were women.
Materials
One instrument was used. This was a questionnaire titled Mathematics
Teachers Questionnaire (MTQ). It has two sections. Section A and
Section B. Section A elicited information about teacher gender,
qualification, number of years of teaching experience, number of
seminars/workshops attended in the last five years and what type of
professional association the teacher belongs. Section B sought information
about availability and adequacy of equipment and instructional facilities
for the teaching and learning of mathematics (See Appendix 1)

Procedures

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


111

The second author Mefun Frederick with the assistance of two of his
colleagues at NERDC Office (Ebonyi State Office) administered the MTQ
to teachers in Ebonyi and Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi
State, Nigeria. In each school sampled, the Mathematics Teachers
cooperated very well and the return rate of the questionnaire was about
100%.

Data Analysis
Data gathered were analysed using frequency counts and percentages.

Results
The results are hereby presented in the order in which the research
questions have been stated.
Research Question One: What is the profile of the senior secondary school
mathematics teachers with regards to their gender, academic
qualification, and years of teaching experience, number of
seminars/workshops attended and membership of professional
associations?
a. In terms of gender, the ratio was lopsided in favour of men. Out of
the 110 teachers sampled, 77 (71%) were men while 33 (29%) were
women. Figure 1 gives the graphical picture of the profile of the
teachers

Profile of the Teachers in terms of


Gender
Men Women

30%

70%

Figure 1: Profile of Mathematics Teacher by Gender

b. In terms of qualification, table 1 gives the graphic picture


Table 1: Profile of Mathematics Teachers by Qualification
Qualification Number
1. B.Sc. Education/B.Ed. Mathematics 28 (25.5)
2. B.Sc. Mathematics with PGDE 15 (13.6)
3. B.Sc. Mathematics without PGDE 26 (23.6)
4. Others 41(37.3)

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


112

In terms of qualification, table 1 shows that only 43 (39.1%) of the


sampled teachers had the prerequisite qualification to teach mathematics
at the senior secondary school level. This number included the 28 who
had B.Sc./Education and B.Ed. Education in Mathematics as well as 15
teachers who had B.Sc. Mathematics with Postgraduate Diploma in
Education (PGDE). The table shows although 26 of the teachers sampled
read mathematics at the University level, they do not have requisite
teaching qualification to teach mathematics. Moreover, 41 of the teachers
sampled did not even read mathematics not to talk of having requisite
qualification to teach mathematics

c. In terms of teaching experience Table 2 gives the graphic


representation of the profile of the teachers.
Table 2: Profile of the Teachers in terms of Years of Experience
Teacher Year of Experience Number
1. 01 05 Years 34 (30.9)
2. 06 10 Years 43 (39.1)
3. 11 Years and above 33 (30.0)
In terms of teaching experience about 31% of the sampled teachers had
experience of over ten years while 69% are still relative young in the
teaching profession. When the average number of years of teaching
experience of the sampled teachers was noted, it was found out that it
was 7.9 years with standard deviation of 5.3. This means that majority of
the teachers were relatively young in the teaching profession
d. In term of number of seminars/ works attended that the sampled
teachers had attended.
It was observed that only 36 (32.7%) of the sampled teachers had attended
one seminar or the other in the last five years while 74 (67.3%) of the
teachers had not attended any seminar in the last five years.
e. Membership of Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN)
/Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN)
Analysis of results show that only 34 (30.9%) of the sampled teachers
were members of Mathematical Association while 76 (69.1%) were not. It
was also found out that only 18 (16.4%) of the teachers were members of
Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, while 92 (83.6%) were not.

Research Question Two: To what extent are facilities and instructional


materials available for the successful implementation of the new
mathematics curriculum? To answer this question, the responses of the
sampled teachers were subjected to frequency counts and percentages.
Analysis revealed the following.

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


113

Table 3: Availability of Facilities and Instructional Materials


Facilities/Instructional Materials Available Not Available
1. Mathematics Laboratory 26 (23.6) 84 (76.4)
2. Math Charts 79 (71.8) 31 (28.2)
3. Math Models 31 (28.2) 79 (71.8)
4. ICT 74 (67.3) 36 (32.7)
5. Math Periodicals in Library 102 (92.7) 8 (7.3)
6. Textbook for Teachers 95 (86.4) 15 (13.6)
7. Math Kit 6 (5.5) 104 (94.5)
Note* Number in parenthesis represents percentages.

Discussion and Recommendations


Results have shown that in terms of quantity of qualified teachers needed
for the successful implementation of the new mathematics curriculum,
though government is doing its best, not much has been achieved. This is
because out of the 110 teachers that were sampled, only 40% had the
requisite qualification to teach at the senior secondary school level. This is
grossly inadequate if one considers the number of secondary school
students that these teachers are supposed to cater for. This view was
raised by about 92% of the teachers that were sampled. Earlier researchers
in mathematics education (such as Ajibola, 2014; Anugwo, 2011) had
raised similar fears about gross inadequacy of teachers in the school
system. For example in his study, Ajibola (2008) identified lack of
qualified teachers as a major challenge facing the effective
implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum. The results of
this study therefore corroborate the findings of Ajibola (2008) that there
are not enough of qualified mathematics teachers for the implementation
of new mathematics curriculum. The results of this study is also in line
with that of Anugwo (2011) who concluded that quality and quantity of
teachers in Nigerian secondary schools tended to significantly affect the
implementation of curriculum in Nigerian schools, especially at the junior
and senior secondary level.
The importance of membership in professional associations such as
Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Science Teachers
Association of Nigeria (STAN), the results of this study clearly show that
very few teachers belong to these associations. In Nigeria, the MAN and
the STAN are the two prominent associations promoting Science and
Mathematics Education in Nigeria by developing curriculum materials
and teaching resources. Even the STAN has a mathematics section that
caters specifically for mathematics education. These professional bodies
organize seminars and workshops for their members and use such forum
to help members update their knowledge both in the subject matter
content and pedagogy. That teachers are not joining these professional
bodies can be attributed to lack of enthusiasm on the part of the teachers

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


114

themselves and probably lack of encouragement on the part of executives


of these professional bodies.
The results of the study also show that some of the teachers sampled
did not have requisite qualification to teach mathematics. More important
is the fact that though some teachers read mathematics at the University
level, they did not have teaching qualification. Such teachers should be
encouraged to enroll for professional courses in education such as
postgraduate diploma in education.
On the issue of instructional facilities and equipment, the results of
this study showed that majority of the schools sampled did not have
mathematics laboratory and Mathematics Kit. This result is in line with
that of Bulimo, Odebero and Musasia (2010) and Mbugua (2011) who also
found that there was inadequate number of teaching learning resources in
Kenya. Despite the importance of such instructional facilities and
equipment, it is quite disheartening that schools do not have functional
mathematics laboratory and mathematics kit. It is important at this
juncture to state that a mathematics laboratory may not necessarily mean
having a room or a building specifically assigned to mathematics as been
done for Physics and Chemistry. Though if such a room or building is
available the better. However, a mathematics laboratory can be any place
where practical activities in mathematics can take place. There are many
theorems and concepts that some mathematics teachers may find difficult
to explain, but with practical demonstrations using simple and
inexpensive materials, the reality of such theorems and concepts will
definitely become obvious to the students.
It is generally believed that mathematics is an abstract subject.
Mathematics teachers, therefore, must make use of readily available
resources in their immediate environnment to simplify and put meaning
into these abstract concepts. These teaching resources can be in the form
of charts, three dimensional objects (real or improvised) and plane shapes.
The results of this study show that some schools have these charts and
some schools do not have them. Schools that do not have the real charts
and models should be encouraged to improvise such materials. The
NERDC (2012) has emphasized the need for teachers to make use of
mathematical kits to explain concepts in geometry. Where such kits are
not available, NERDC (2012) has encouraged teachers to improvise by
cutting of papers, cards, charts and mathematical boards.
It is important to emphasise that there are educational resource
centers established by Federal and state governments in various parts of
Nigeria. Apart from all these, most Universities have well-established and
equipped resource centers where mathematics teachers can borrow some
of these materials. Some of the educational resources that can be found
and borrowed from these centers include supplementary books, journals

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


115

and periodicals. Mathematics teachers should be encouraged to visit such


educational resources centers.

References
Ajibola, M. A. (2008). Innovations and Curriculum Development for Basic
Education in Nigeria: Policy, Priority and Challenges of Practice and
Implementation. Research Journal of International studies, 8, 51 - 58
Anugwo, M. (2011). Revising the Curriculum for the New Secondary
School Mathematics Teacher. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 18, pp.
277 282
Awofala, A. O. A. (2012). An Analysis of the New 9-year Basic Education
Mathematics Curriculum in Nigeria. Acta Didactica Napocensia, 5 (1),
pp. 17- 26
Azuka, B. F., Jakeyinfa, O., Durojaye, D. and Sylvester, O. (2013).
Difficulty Level of Topics in the New Senior Secondary school
Mathematics Curriculum as Perceived by Mathematics Teachers.
Journal of Education and Practice, 4 (17), pp. 23 - 30
Bulimo, W. A., Odebero, S. O., & Musasia, M. M. (2010). Equity in Access
to Secondary Schools by Type of Primary Schools Attended in
Kakamega South District. In Organization for Social Science
Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA); Kenya Chapter.
1(1) 97-10
Mbugua, Z. K. (2011). Adequacy and he extent to which teaching and
learning resources for Mathematics are available and used for
achievement in the subject in secondary school n Kenya. American
International Journal of Contemporary Research, 1 (3), pp. 112 115
Mefun F. E (2015). Evaluation of the implementation of the new senior
secondary school mathematics curriculum in Ondo state, Nigeria.
Unpublished doctoral proposal, Institute of Education, University of
Ibadan, Nigeria
Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (2012).
Teachers Guide for the New Senior Secondary School Mathematics
Curriculum. A World Bank Supported Science and Technology
Education Post-Basic (SIEP-B) Project. Yaba, Lagos Nigeria: NERDC
Printing Press.
Obioma, G. O. (2013). Overview and Philosophy of the new senior
Secondary Education Curriculum Structure, Implementation
strategies and Opportunities. A paper presented at the 4-day
Capacity Building Workshop for Principals and Teachers on the
New Curriculum organized by the Ebonyi State Secondary
Education Board, Abakaliki, 4th 7th November.
Ogunyinka, E. K., Okeke T. I., Adedoyin, R. C. (2015). Teacher Education
and Development in Nigeria: An Analysis of Reforms, Challenges

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


116

and Prospects. Education Journal. Vol. 4, No. 3, 2015,pp. 111-122. doi:


10.11648/j.edu.20150403.14
Taiwo, C. O. (1968), Yoruba Mathematics, M.Sc. Dissertation, Institute of
Education, London University.
Yara, P. O. & Otieno, K. O. (2010). Teaching/Learning Resources and
Academic Performance in Mathematics in Secondary Schools in
Bondo District of Kenya. Asian Social Science, 6 (12), pp. 126 132

Attachment 1
INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN

Mathematics Teachers Questionnaire (MTQ)

This questionnaire has been developed to elicit information on teacher


variables like age, academic qualification, and professional qualification.
Please, kindly give your honest information on every item. All
information will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
Instruction: Please respond to all questions/items
Section A
1. Name of School.
2. L. G. A
3. School Location Urban.. Rural
4. Sex: Male Female.
5. Age (As at July 1, 2015)
6. How many students are in your class? .. No of Boys .. No
of Girls
7. Academic Qualification Tick as appropriate ()
i. B.Ed./B.Sc.Edu Mathematics ( )
ii. B.Sc. Mathematics with PGDE ( )
iii. B. Sc. Mathematics without PGDE ( )
iv. Others ( ) Please Specify ..
8. How long have you been teaching mathematics? ..
9. In the last five years how many seminars/workshops have you
attended?...............
10. Are you a member of Mathematical Teachers Association?
Yes ( ) No ( )
11. Are you a member of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria?
Yes ( ) No ( )

2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


117

Part One: Availability and Adequacy of Equipment and Facilities


Instruction: Indicate the availability or otherwise of the following
equipment and facilities for mathematics teaching in your school. Place a
tick in the appropriate column applicable to your school.

S/N ITEMS Not Available Number


Available Available
1. Mathematics laboratory
2. Mathematical set
3. Mathematical Charts
4. Mathematical Models
5. ICT equipment
6 Library books and
Periodicals on
Mathematics
7 Teachers reference
books on Mathematics
8 New senior secondary
school Mathematics
curriculum
9 Recommended
Mathematics textbooks
for teachers use
10 Students work book /
assignment notes
11. Scheme of work for
Mathematics
12. Diaries for Mathematics
13. Mathematics Kit

1. List three (3) problems you encounter in the implementation of the


new senior secondary school Mathematics curriculum



2. Suggest Three (3) ways of improving upon the implementation of
the New Senior Secondary School Mathematics Curriculum to
make it Achieve its desired goals


2016 The authors and IJLTER. ORG. All rights reserved.


118

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 118-133, March 2016

Effectiveness of using Microteaching and


Thinking style to Develop Teaching Skills in
Arab Open University - Jordan Branch

Al-Takhyneh Bahjat
Arab Open University Jordan Branch
Amman Jordan

Abstract. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of using


Microteaching style and Thinking to Develop Teaching Skills in Arab
Open University - Jordan Branch.
The participants were 100 of Arab Open University students _Jordan
Branch who enrolled in the elementary teaching program, categorized
into five groups based on the measurement of the used style of thinking,
the researcher developed teaching skills measurement scale and verified
its validity, both pre and post teaching skills were measured, also the
micro teaching method was used to practice the students on teaching
skills, the results were of this study showed that:
- There is statistically significance ( 0.05) between the average scores
in pre and post teaching skills in favor of post teaching skills in general
and in the synthetic, analytic , realistic, and pragmatic thinking style
levels , while there is no is statistically significance ( 0.05) between
the average scores of pre and post teaching skills in idealistic thinking
style level .
- There is no is statistically significance difference ( 0.05) between the
post average scores in teaching skills due to the used style of thinking.
The researcher recommended using the microteaching method with
Arab Open University students.
Keywords: microteaching; thinking style; teaching skills; mathematics.

Introduction
The role of mathematics is magnifying in the current time as a result of the
scientific and technological developments, which requires the preparation of
teachers in a way that develop thinking and help our children to contribute to
the development and technology. And in this context, the growing interest in
the training of teachers on modern strategies in teaching methods and
evaluation in all subjects, especially mathematics comes.
Mathematics privileged a special position in the general education curriculum, it
derives that from its usage in many scientific and technological disciplines,
which is considered the backbone of other sciences, and therefore teachers need
to be pre-service training to ensure their mastery of basic skills in teaching.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


119

One Of the pre-service teachers preparation systems is integrated system, which


allows the training of pre-service teachers, and it represented by the content of
practical education courses which are taught in the colleges of education, and
the content of these materials such as planning, implementation and evaluation
skills, which can be trained by the students during their study, study of
(alnashef and Winter, 2007), confirms the need to use micro teaching and
increase the number of assigned classes for micro teaching.
Microteaching, a teacher training technique currently practiced worldwide,
provides teachers an opportunity to perk up their teaching skills by improving
the various simple tasks called teaching skills, and it represents a microcosm of
the lesson or part of its parts, or a skill of its skills, under controlled conditions,
and offers a limited number of educated or trained teachers, a micro teaching is
divided into different types which they are: early training on the micro teaching,
and training while teaching service, continuous micro teaching, final micro
teaching, oriented micro teaching, free micro teaching, general micro teaching,
and private micro teaching. And it is offered as mini-stages which they are:
teaching, guidance and direction, viewing, preparation for the lesson, teaching,
dialogue and discussion, re-teaching, evaluation, and the transition to integrated
teaching (Ambili, 2013).
Micro teaching has many skills including: preparation skills, skills to choose
teaching materials, distribution and organization skills, presentation skills the
thrill of connectivity, annotation skills, enhancement skills, and skills of
questions and answers, taking into account individual differences, the skills of
movement, and the skills to use teaching techniques, and skills of training and
Calendar.
Microteaching (Jezebel and Jane, 1997), is a multi-faceted complex process, the
students represent several roles during in the microteaching workshop,
including commander of the debate classroom, and an expert of the educational
community, librarian ,an instructor to students and the planner of the lessons,
the responsible of classroom and the school system and, of course, the students
mastery of these roles cast them a continuous consequences so the student
should focus on classroom lessons planning and choose the appropriate way to
the situation of education and the education individualization.
The microteaching is based on an education analysis process to a set of skills and
to apply them, which leads to the departure of teacher in skill learning from
using trial and error method, and leads to the acquisition of the required skill to
become part of the training behaviors.
Micro teaching has a set of features represented in that it is a real education
gives an opportunity for everyone to practice teaching and depends in its
training for students on teaching skills in accordance to the mastery teaching in
addition to being specified learning situation in according to the steps and
procedures which makes the trainer more satisfied, and provides an
opportunities for immediate promotion and trains students on basic teaching
skills such as : taking into account individual differences, to raise motivation, the
goals showing, teaching methods and strategies, assessment strategies, feedback
(Arab Open University, 2007).

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


120

Micro Teaching is passing a series of mini-stages:


Identify the required skill by watching it.
discuss the skill dimensions and the detailed steps with the supervisor.
Prepare a short lesson, which focuses on the use of this skill.
Practice in front of a number of students.
The students observe the trainer performance through video recording.
discuss the trainer in his performance.
allows the trainer to review the preparation of the lesson again in the light of
feedback.
repeated this process until the student mastered the required skill.
Styles of thinking: the thinking is defined as the studied investigation of the
experience in order to achieve a purpose, this purpose may be an understanding
or decision or planning or problem solving. And there are several styles of
thinking (Alneaimat, 2006), (Harrison & Bramson, 2002):
1. synthetic thinking: is the individual's ability to communicate to construct and
install a new ideas, different and original than practiced by others, and look at
some of the views that may allow better prepared and equipped solutions and to
link between views that seem contradictory in addition to the mastery of clarity
and innovative and possession of skills that reach for it.
2. Idealistic Thinking: It means the individual's ability to configure different
views towards things and the tendency to future-oriented and think about the
goals in addition to the interest of the individual with its needs on the one hand,
and what is useful to other family members and a tendency toward compassion
for others and listen to discussions with people and problems and lack of
demand for open conflict controversies.
3. Pragmatic Thinking: It means the individual's ability to verify what is right or
wrong for personal experience undergone by, and granted freedom and
experimentation to find new ways of doing things with the help of raw materials
available to him, in addition to take problems gradually and interest in working
and procedural aspects.
4. Analytic Thinking: means the learner's ability to cope with problems carefully
and methodically and attention to details and planning carefully before making
a decision in addition to the maximum amount of information collection and has
the ability to contribute to the clarification of things so he could get to rational
conclusions through facts that are known.
5. Realistic Thinking: It means the learner's ability to rely on observation and
experimentation through the facts perceived by, and this kind includes enjoy of
direct and real discussions of current issues and the learner prefers the scientific
aspects which related to the realism aspects.
Pre-service teacher: the pre-service teacher's means enrolled students in both the
fourth level in social studies and math sections of the Faculty of Education of
Sana'a University and who is qualified to be teachers at the secondary level
Teaching Skills: teaching skill defined as the ability of (zaytoun,2001)
performance of a particular work / activity related to the planning of
teaching, implementation and evaluation, and this can be analyzed to a set of
cognitive, motor, and social behaviors and then can be evaluated in light of the
standards of accuracy to do, speed of completion, and the ability to adapt to the

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


121

changing teaching positions, with the help of the organized observation method,
and then can be improved through training programs
Types of teaching skills:
Planning skills: include content analysis and organization of its sequence, and
analyzing the characteristics of learners, and to identify instructional goals, and
determine the teaching procedures, and the choice of teaching aids, determine
the previous requirements, and determine the calendar and homework methods.
Implementation skills: include classroom management skills, incentive
initialization, use of teaching aids, the implementation of practical presentations,
excitability of motivation, and take into account individual differences, and the
acquisition of the attention, and the use of asking questions, boosters and
summary, the use of suitable teaching strategies such as: (discovery, inquiry,
Cooperative learning, programmed education, and individual education... etc).
Evaluation skills: include the preparation of tests and its correction and analysis,
diagnosis and treatment of learning errors, monitoring grades and
interpretation, and the preparation of school evaluation cards, and the
preparation of oral questions
Previous studies:
A study was conducted by (Khalil, 1990) on the use of microteaching in
development of the general teaching skills of preserve-teachers, study sample
consisted of students teachers in Faculty of Education, Assiut, results of the
study showed that the microteaching program is better than the traditional
process of education in the development of teaching skills.
Another study was conducted by (Mahjoub,1992) to develop the skill of
question Of the science pre-service teachers using microteaching via visual
registration, study sample consisted of fourth-year students at the Faculty of
Education in Sohaj, divided into three groups , the first experimental group
which studied the skill of question theoretically and practice using the
microteaching via visual registration, while the second experimental group
studied the skill of questioning only from a theoretical side, whereas the control
group was not exposed to any of the training workers. The study results
revealed superiority of the first experimental group students on each
experimental second and control groups in the skill of the question, and the
superiority of the second experimental group on the control group students
skill of question.
(Ali, 1994) studied the effectiveness of using microteaching style on training of
the third-year students of the agricultural department, Faculty of Education IN
Almena. The sample was divided into two groups, experimental one which
trained on the use of micro- teaching style and the other was a control group
which trained using the lecture method and practical presentation, study results
showed superiority of microteaching style on lecture and practical presentation
style in the development of teaching skills.
(Mohammed,1995) investigated the development of some of teaching skills of
the teachers student in the Arabic language department by using microteaching
method , study sample consisted of students teachers of Arabic Language
department in the Faculty of Education, King Saud University, the results of the
study showed the superiority of the experimental group that used microteaching
style on the students of the control group in the development of question skills

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


122

and the use of teaching aids, and classroom management skill, and did not show
differences in each of the boot skill, and skill of lesson ending.
(Nassar,1999) discussed the effectiveness of using video tube as a media in the
microteaching to prepare teachers to use the skill of probe question, a sample of
Balqa University students in Jordan, study results showed the superiority of
sample that used the video as a means of media in microteaching and skill of
probe question in Education .
(Hindi, 2000) conducted a study to investigate the effectiveness of using a
proposed training program using microteaching method in the development of
teaching skills of Agricultural Sciences teachers, Faculty of Education, Bani Suef,
study results showed the effectiveness of the proposed training program using
the method of micro teaching in the development of general teaching skills
(Maria, 2008) made a study on the predicted perspectives of teachers about the
microteaching, the study sample formed of 74 teachers, the study explored the
perspectives of teachers about planning cycle, education, reflections, and review
of lessons, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a
questionnaire feedback and a written reports about microteaching lessons, the
results of the study showed significant improvement in the experience of
teachers to teach, and to link theory and practice, and cooperation and
reflections, and alternative points of cooperation and learning in groups.
(Stockers, 2008) investigated the effectiveness of video curriculum to develop the
reflections of students / teachers and their perspectives and methods of teaching
in the mathematics teaching methods course in the university, videotapes were
used in the study and data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, the
study showed that the use of video curriculum is a powerful approach to the
development of educational situations for mathematics teachers.

(Mohammed, 2005) prepared a paper which discusses an important issue, it


tried to answer the following question: Why is the contribution of teachers in the
development of teaching methods in the classroom is slight? Results of the study
showed that teachers did not improve their skills during the education, and
education projects are stumbling during Application stage. This paper added
different issues related to the development of mathematics teachers and their
teaching methods.

Another study was conducted by (Youngju & Jihyun,2014) to identify how pre-
service teachers' self-efficacy beliefs for technology integration (SETI) can be
improved during the coursework intervention, and which of the course factors
(instructional media development skills, knowledge on technology, and lesson
planning practice) has the highest impact on the SETI. This research also
attempted to explore a more inclusive path of the direct and indirect influences
between SETI and other non-course variables (computer use, teachers' attitude
towards computers (TAC), changes in TAC). 136 undergraduate students at a
teacher education university in Korea participated in the study. Our data
analyses illustrated significant increase of prospective teachers' SETI after their
completion of education technology course resulting mostly from lesson
planning practice. The hierarchical multiple regression revealed that the pre-
service teachers with higher positive attitudes toward computers and greater

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


123

ability for lesson planning showed higher increase in their levels of SETI. The
path analysis indicated that these two factors influenced the SETI directly, rather
than indirectly. Lesson planning practice did not affect pre-service teachers'
attitudinal growth. Implications on effectiveness of the lesson planning and
attitudinal factors on SETI, and suggestions for teacher education course design
are discussed.
(Sadiq &Ahmed, 2013) made a study aimed at investigating the views of sixty-
one female teacher trainees from the English Language Education Program in
the Faculty of Education in the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)
regarding the microteaching component offered in two courses of English
language teaching methods. A combination of quantitative and qualitative
techniques was employed for the purpose of gathering the data. Mainly, a
questionnaire and a focus group interview were used as the main tools for data
collection. Overall analysis of the findings indicated that prospective teachers
described a variety of benefits they gained from microteaching experiences.
From the previous studies, we note that there are many studies indicated to the
effectiveness of microteaching method in the development of teaching skills and
its adequacies, such as the Studies of (Khalil,1990), (Mahjoub,1992), (Ali,1994),
(Mohammed,1995), (Nassar,1999), (Hindi,2000) , ( Sadiq &Ahmed, 2013), and
(Youngju &Jihyun, 2014). also It is noted that the using of microteaching
method through videos is effective in the development of methods and
strategies of teachers education as indicated in ( stockers,2008) study,
(Mohammed ,2005) study explained that the most important education issues for
teachers is the development of motivation, and the improvement of teaching
method, (Maria, 2008) study which discussed the development of teachers
reflections about the microteaching, and to link between theory and practice and
improve instructional practices of teachers.
This study differs from previous studies since that it discussed the impact of the
use of microteaching style on a sample of Arab Open University students,
Jordan branch, where this university is characterized by the use of open
education, as well as to study the effect of the style of thinking as a variable in
the development of teaching skills. The current study is similar to previous
studies in the use of microteaching method in the education of students in
education colleges and training of pre-service teachers.
Problem of the study: The problem of study is determined by trying to answer
the following questions:
Study Questions: the study answered the following questions:
1. What is the effectiveness of using microteaching method to improve the
teaching skills of the Faculty of Education students at the Arab Open
University?
2. Is the ability of students in the College of Education at the Arab Open
University in teaching skills varies depending on the style of thinking?
Importance of study: microteaching has a significance role in education,
where this method is a real education provides a direct experiments and trains
students on education strategies and regulate education within a clear steps and
provides an instant feedback until the mastering of the needed skills achieved,
also it is considered a mastering education in terms of the need to master the
skill.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


124

mastering of necessary teaching skills by students is necessary to initiate the


practicing of the profession of education, and it avoids the teacher from
confusion and random and keeps him away from trial and error method, also
raises the teacher's self-confidence of its ability to educate and develop friendly
positive attitudes towards education.
The importance of the current study comes from the importance of practical
education courses which they are taught in the Arab Open University, as a
researcher is one of the academic stuff in the in the Faculty of Education in the
Arab Open University, teachers, and seeks to apply the best methods that
develop students' ability to different teaching skills
Terms of study:
Microteaching: a method for training and preparing of pre-service teachers on
the skills of teaching, such as planning, implementation, and evaluation skills,
which is a reduced education according to the number of students, the lesson
time, the required task that should be accomplished and skill of teaching to be
training, and provide feedback in order to master the skill, microteaching passes
through the following stages:
1) Planning stage:
Identify the skill of teaching that the students to be trained on it.
Analyze the skill into its components.
The student recognizes live written or pictorial examples of the required
skill.
The student will prepare a plan for that skill
2) Implementation stage: the student taught the required skills with a lesson on
video recording
3) Evaluation stage: providing a feedback, and displaying the microteaching
lesson to the trainer for analysis and criticism.
styles of thinking: a set of methods and intellectual strategies that the
individual used to handle the available information about himself or about his
environment and so about what is facing problems and it measured by the mark
that the student gets in the test of thinking in its five dimensions which prepared
by Harrison and Bramson and their colleagues, and these dimensions are:
synthetic, ideal, pragmatic, analytical, and realistic.
Teaching Skills: defined as the ability to perform a particular activity related to
the planning of teaching, implementation and evaluation, and this work is able
to be analyzed for a set of cognitive, motor, and social behaviors and then be
evaluated in light of the standards of accuracy to do, and the speed of
completion, and the ability to adapt to the changing teaching positions, using
organized observation method, and then can be improved through training
programs, and it is measured by the mark obtained by the student on the
evaluation card prepared by the researcher
Study limitations: Results of the study was limited to the following:
- Students of the Faculty of Education at the Arab Open University for the
academic year 2011/2012 who enrolled for the first semester.
- Training of students on teaching skills (initialization incentive, the objectives
display, a review of the previous requirements, ask questions, teaching
strategies (cooperative learning, inquiry, discovery, problem solving,

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


125

brainstorming), to raise motivation, taking into account individual differences,


structural evaluation, and the final evaluation.
- Results of the study are determined by Validity and reliability of the used
tools.
Subjects of study: the sample of the study was formed from the enrolled
students in practical education course ED441 in the first semester of the
academic year 2011/2012 of the Arab Open University, Jordan branch. 100
students were classified into five categories according to the style of thinking
and following table illustrates this:
Table (1)
Classifications of sample members according to thinking style.
Style of synthetic idealistic pragmatic analytical realistic
thinking
Number 18 16 22 20 24

Tools of the study:


The training program in microteaching: a training program in microteaching
was prepared for some basic skills, by accessing some of the world training
programs related to the training of teachers, and teachers training programs in
mathematics. This program included a focus on the following skills: taking into
account individual differences, to raise motivation, showing of goals, teaching
methods and strategies, evaluation strategies, feedback.
Microteaching passes through the following steps:
(1) Supply the teachers with theoretical information about the skill to be gained
in terms of its principles, psychological and educational concepts that underpin,
methods of its performance and conditions of use, and these includes analyzing
of the skill to its behavioral steps, and submit them to study it in details.
(2) Present a practical model for skill use in a micro educational situation, and
record comments by using the visual recording.
(3) Assign the trainer teacher to plan for an educational situation includes
teaching of skill basis on the previous two steps.
(4) The trainer teacher's implementation of the plan drawn up in the form of
microteaching lesson with visible recording of the lesson (video).
(5) Evaluation of microteaching lesson by self-assessment from the part of the
trainer, as well as from the part of the supervisor and colleagues who viewed the
lesson, by remodeling the recorded lesson directly after teaching, and this is
called stage of feedback.
(6) Re-planning and implementation and self and external assessment, so that
the trainer performed the required skill in the desired level.
(7) Using the same microteaching method for training on more complex and
interconnected skills, so that it can give the trainers the necessary teaching skills
to improve their mission performance in the teaching that achieves the desired
objectives.
Tool validity was checked by viewing on a group of arbitrators of specialists and
experts in the field of mathematics teaching, and made observations were taken
into account.
Style of thinking measurement: Bramson and Harrison scale (Harrison &
Bramson; 2002) was used, the scale of the 18 position of everyday situations

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


126

made up, by 5 phrases for each position, every position expresses the mode of
five thinking styles: synthetic, ideal, pragmatic, analytical, and realistic, and the
measure is designed to determine the prevailing style and a favorite of
individuals. Arabization of scale was made by (Habib, 2004) and applied to the
Egyptian environment and reach of the validity of scale through: construction
validity, the default configuration, factorial validity, and conjugate validity, and
the scale applied on the Jordanian Environment (Alenaimat, 2006) were the
validity of the scale was verified submitting it to the group the arbitrators.
Student evaluation in teaching skills model: a model was prepared for student
evaluation of basic teaching skills, which they are planning, implementation,
and evaluation, the model includes the following skills:
Planning skill: includes the skills of objectives formulation, identification,
objectives diversity, and coverage, and to identify ways and strategies and
methods of evaluation, and analysis of content, and determination of the
previous requirements.
Implementation skill: includes incentive initialization and raise motivation,
display goals, suspense students to learn, and the used strategies in terms of
suitability for the position of educational learning, and diversity of strategies,
and display activities and exercises which they are suitable for everyone, and
display in sequential and coherent way, ask a convergent and divergent
questions in an appropriate manner, and summarizes the most important ideas
using diagrams, giving classroom assignments and home works, as well as for
the use of feedback.
Evaluation skill: includes the use of pre-assessment skills, formative, and final,
as well as diversity in evaluation methods, and follow-up of students in solving
homework.
The tool was presented to a group of arbitrators of university professors in
Jordan, and supervisors, and made some comments were taken into account and
the tool was modified in the light of the observations.
The study methodology: the quasi-experimental curriculum was used, and one
group (pre measuring - processing- post measuring).
Statistical design: the statistical methodology of the research was based on the
following calculations: Extract averages, standard deviations, and t-test for one
set, in addition to the use of the accompanying analysis of variance (ANCOVA).
The study procedures: The present study went through the following steps:
access to educational literature and research in the field of teacher training
strategies before the service, and different styles of thinking, and a tool to
measure the style of thinking and tools to measure teaching skills.
The training program set up in the microteaching: identify its objectives, its
scope, the necessary skills to students and training them to verify the veracity
of the program by submitting it to a group of arbitrators in the field of
practical education in the Arab Open University.
Prepare a measurement scale of teaching skills, and make sure of its validity
and reliability.
Choose a sample study of open Faculty of Education, the League of Arab
students.
Apply Harrison Bramson scale to classify students into five categories
according to the style of thinking.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


127

Apply a pre scale of teaching skills on the study groups, and teaching by
using the microteaching method, and then apply the post scale on study
groups.
Use descriptive and analytical statistics to reach the results of the study.
Results of the study and discussion:
The study answered the following questions:
1) What is the effectiveness of using microteaching method to improve the
teaching skills of the Arab Open University students of the education college?
2. Is there a difference in teaching skills between the students of faculty of
education in Arab Open University depending on the style of thinking?
To answer the first question:
What is the effectiveness of using microteaching method to improve the
teaching skills of the Arab Open University students of the education college?
The mean, standard deviations, and t-test were used to examine the differences
between both pre and post study groups and each style of thinking, as shown
in the following table:
Table (2)
T-test results that examine the difference between the pre and post means of the
students in teaching skills
group number The Std.dev t-Calculated Significance
mean level
Pre-teaching 100 83.5 18.5 5.19 0.000
skills
post-teaching 100 95.5 15.1
skills
Significance at level (0.05)
It is noted from the previous table, that there is a statistically significant
differences ( 0.05) between the means scores of students in both pre and post
teaching skills as the value of t calculated is (5.19) and in favor of post skills due
to used method of teaching (microteaching).
Table (3)
T-test results that examine the difference between the pre and post means of the
students having a synthetic thinking style in teaching skills
group number The Std.dev t-Calculated Significance
mean level
Pre-teaching 18 76.3 18.9 3.07 0.004
skills
post-teaching 18 93.2 13.7
skills
Significance at level (0.05)
It is noted from the previous table, that there is a statistically significant
difference ( 0.05) between the means scores of students having a synthetic
thinking style in both pre and post teaching skills as the value of t calculated is
(3.07) and in favor of post skills due to used method of teaching
(microteaching).

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


128

Table (4)
T-test results that examine the difference between the pre and post means of the
students having an ideal thinking style in teaching skills
group number The Std.dev t-Calculated Significance
mean level
Pre-teaching 16 89.0 19.5 1.44 0.161
skills
post-teaching 16 98.4 17.6
skills
Significance at level (0.05)
It is noted from the previous table, that there is no statistically significant
difference ( 0.05) between the means scores of students having an ideal
thinking style in both pre and post teaching skills as the value of t calculated is
(1.44).
Table (5)
T-test results that examine the difference between the pre and post means of the
students having a pragmatic thinking style in teaching skills
group number The Std.dev t-Calculated Significance
mean level
Pre-teaching 22 79.6 19.8 2.06 0.046
skills
post-teaching 22 89.9 12.4
skills
Significance at level (0.05)
It is noted from the previous table, that there is a statistically significant
difference ( 0.05) between the means scores of students having a pragmatic
thinking style in both pre and post teaching skills as the value of t calculated is
(2.06) and in favor of post skills due to used method of teaching
(microteaching).
Table (6)
T-test results that examine the difference between the pre and post means of the
students having an analytical thinking style in teaching skills
group number The Std.dev t-Calculated Significance
mean level
Pre-teaching 20 85.7 16.3 2.46 0.018
skills
post-teaching 20 98.5 16.6
skills
Significance at level (0.05)
It is noted from the previous table, that there is a statistically significant
difference ( 0.05) between the means scores of students having an analytical
thinking style in pre and post-teaching skills as the value of t calculated is
(2.46) and in favor of post skills due to used method of teaching
(microteaching).

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


129

Table (7)
T-test results that examine the difference between the pre and post means of the
students having a realistic thinking style in teaching skills
group number The Std.dev t-Calculated Significance
mean level
Pre-teaching 24 85.2 17.4 2.7 0.01
skills
post-teaching 24 97.8 14.9
skills
Significance at level (0.05)
It is noted from the previous table, that there is a statistically significant
difference ( 0.05) between the means scores of students having a realistic
thinking style in pre and post-teaching skills as the value of t calculated is (2.7)
and in favor of post skills due to used method of teaching (microteaching).
Summary of the first result: there is a statistically significant difference ( 0.05)
between the mean scores of students in both pre and post teaching skills in favor
of a post teaching skills in general and especially in each of synthetic, pragmatic,
analytical and realistic thinking style due to the used method of Teaching
(microteaching), while there was no statistically significant difference ( 0.05)
between the mean scores of students having an ideal thinking style in both pre
and post teaching skills.
This explains the importance of microteaching method, as this method also
pointed to that educational literature and develop the students ability to learn
teaching skills of planning, implementation and evaluation, and provides a
practical application carried out by the students themselves and provide them
with immediate feedback, a real education provides real experiences directly, It
is a mastery education in terms of the need to master the skill.
This result is consistent with the results of some studies (Khalil, 1990), (Mahjoub,
1992), (Ali, 1994), (Mohammed, 1995), (Nassar, 1999), (Hindi, 2000), which shows
the importance of using microteaching style in the Arab Open University in the
development of educational skills.
As for the students with an ideal thinking style, the results did not indicate to a
difference between the student average scores in both pre and post due to the
used method of microteaching, this can be explained by the fact that the students
with an ideal thinking are always thinking in achieving of goals and attention to
the needs of the individual, and what is beneficial to other members and tilt
about respect for others and enjoy discussions with people and their problems.
To answer the second question:
Is there a difference in teaching skills between the students of faculty of
education in Arab Open University depending on the style of thinking?
The mean, standard deviations, and Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were
used to examine the differences between the means scores of students in
teaching skills according to the style of thinking, as shown in the following table:

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


130

Table (8)
Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) results for significance differences between the
means of thinking styles groups in teaching skills
Source of Sum of
df Mean squares F Sig
variation squares
Covariance
variable(pre- 18.5 1 132.4 0.59 0.446
teaching skills)
group 1353.5 4 338.4 1.5 0.21
error 21264.9 94
226.2
total 22636.9 99
Significance at level (0.05)
We note from the previous table that there are no statistically significant
differences at the level of ( 0.05) between the means scores of students in post
teaching skills due to the used style of thinking.
Summary of the second result: there are no statistically significant differences at
the level of ( 0.05) between the means scores of students in post teaching skills
due to the used style of thinking.
The explanation of this result is that regardless of the style of thinking the
students can master the teaching skills, all levels of thinking styles are similar in
the ability to improve the teaching skills, and there is no study according to the
knowledge of researcher opposed to this result.
This result is consistent with the result of (Funmi &Leslie, 2009) study which
emphasis on the use of on-campus microteaching to facilitate simultaneously pre
service teachers performance of effective teaching skills and their capability to
reflect meaningfully on their emergent teaching actions. In making a case for
greater focus on the implementation of microteaching in pre service teacher
preparation.
Microteaching (Ambili, 3013) provides teachers an opportunity to perk up their
teaching skills , with the proven success among the novice and seniors,
microteaching helps to promote real-time teaching experiences. The core skills of
microteaching such as presentation and reinforcement skills help the novice
teachers to learn the art of teaching at ease and to the maximum extent.
Teaching skills can be improved by using microteaching as indicated in the
study of (Youngju & Jihyun, 2014) which emphasized the using of microteaching
in various fields of education.

Recommendations: The researcher recommends the following:


- Using microteaching method for students in the colleges of education in the
process of education materials, and the training of students to teaching skills
through this method, regardless of the method used to think.
- Use other methods to develop the student's ability in different teaching skills.

References:
Alenaimat, R. (2006). Styles of Thinking of Mutah University Students and its
Relationship to Sex and Field of Study and Achievement. Unpublished MA
Thesis, Mu'tah University, Jordan.
Ali, F. (1994). Extent of Effectiveness of Using Microteaching Method on the Training of
the Third Year Students of Agricultural Division, Faculty of Education on some

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


131

teaching skills and its impact on their performance in the education process,
Journal of research in Education and Psychology, College of Education and
queens, July,1-23.
Alnashef, S.; winter, P. (2007). Effectiveness of Microteaching in the Development of
Governmental Education College Students for Teachers in the Sultanate of Oman.
Studies, 34(1), 122-129.
Ambili, R. (2013).Microteaching, an Efficient Technique for Learning Effective Teaching,
journal of research in medical sciences, 18(2): 158163.
Arab Open University. (2007). Practical Education (1), the Deanship of the Faculty of
Educational Studies, Arab Open University.
Funmi A.; Leslie I. (2009). Implementing on-campus Microteaching to Elicit Pre service
Teachers Reflection on Teaching Actions: Fresh Perspective on an Established
Practice, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(1), 27 34.

Jezebel, l.; Jane, D. (1997). Educational Supervision of Teachers, Translation: Mohammad


Eid Dirani, a review of Omar Sheikh, the University of Jordan, mainstay of
scientific research, Amman.
Habib, M. (2004). Thinking Test Methods. Instruction booklet, 2nd Floor, Arab
renaissance, Cairo library.
Harrison, A.; Bramson, R. (2002). The Art of Thinking. Berkley Books, New York.
Hindi, M. (2000). Effectiveness of a Proposed Training Program Using Microteaching
Method in the Development of Some of the Teaching Skills of Teachers in
Agricultural Science Junior, Journal of Science Education, 4(3), 41-76.
Khalil, O. (1990). Use Mini Teaching in the Development of Some of the General
Teaching Skills of Preserve-teachers, Journal of the College of Education in
Assiut,6(1), 46-76.
Mahjoub, A. (1992). Development of Question Skill for Pre-service Science Teachers
Using Microteaching Visual Register, Journal of Education, College of Education
in Sohag, 7(2), 51-89.
Maria, L.F (2008). Developing Knowledge of Teaching Mathematics through
Cooperation and Inquiry, Mathematics Teacher, 101(7), 203-215.
Mohammed, R.F. (2005). What Hinders Change in Classroom Lessons? Lessons from
the Field and Future Direction in Pakistan, Journals of In_ Services Education,
32(3), 375-385.
Mohammed, Z. (1995). Development of Teaching Skills of the Arabic Language
Students by Using the Micro-method of Teaching, research in the Journal of
Education and Psychology, College of Education and queens, 4(8), 49-70.
Nassar, T. (1991). Effectiveness of Using Videotapes as a Mean of Media to Prepare
Teachers on Using the Skill of Using Probe Questions in Jordan, Journal of the
College of Education in Zigzag, 31, 99-121.
Sadiq, A.; Ahmed, I. (2013). Student Teachers Microteaching Experiences in a Pre
service English Teacher Education Program, Journal of Language Teaching and
Research, 2(5), 1043-1051.
Stockers, S.L. (2008). Using a Video- Based Curriculum to Develop a Relative Stance in
Prospective Mathematics Teachers, Journal of Mathematics Teacher, 11(5), 373-
394.
Youngju,l.; Jihyun, l. (2014). Enhancing Pre Service Teachers' Self-efficacy
Beliefs for Technology Integration through Lesson Planning Practice, Computers, and
Education, 73, 121-128.
Zaytoun, H. (2001). Teaching skills (see the implementation of teaching). Cairo, the
world of books.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


132

Appendix
Assessment form of student / teacher in teaching skills
Assessment of class lesson
Name: ............... Grade: .......................... Course:.......................
Date: ............ school: ........................ subject: ..............................
Evaluation
No. skill Very high Very
high medium low
low
Planning
1- Formulation of lesson
objectives in an appropriate
behavioral and linguistic
manner.

2- Diversity of objectives and coverage.

3- Determination of previous
requirements.
4- Distribution of time.

5- Content analysis into: skills, concepts,


generalizations and solving problems.
6- Determination of the appropriate tools
and strategies.
7- Identifying evaluation methods.

Implementation:

8- to provide an appropriate initialization

9- Showing goals in an interesting way

10- Review of the necessary requirements of


the new learning.
11- To raise motivation and the thrill of the
students by asking provocative
questions to think about the topic.
12- Appropriation of learning tool for the
educational situation.

13- Appropriation of educational strategy


for the educational situation.
14- Diversity in teaching methods according
to the educational situation.

15- Classroom management in an


effectively, freely and democratically
way.

16- View of activities and various exercises.

17- Taking into account individual


differences among students.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


133

18- Linking of scientific knowledge with


life situations.

19- Display the subject in a way that other


substances appear.

20- Logical sequence in the content


presentation.
21- Organization of classroom
environment.

22- Full use of the time (time investment).

23- Give a clear instruction before moving


from one part to another in the course
of teaching.

24- Organization of student's answers and


follow-up.

Evaluation:

25- use the pre evaluation and identify


learning difficulties
26- Use of structural evaluation.

27- Use the final evaluation.

28- Diversity in evaluation methods.

29- Give a classroom assignments and


homework.

30- Provide feedback.

Total
The upper limit = 150, Minimum = 30
The mark of 100 = (total score 150)
100 =

Additional notes:
1.........................................................................................
2.........................................................................................
3.........................................................................................
4.........................................................................................

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


134

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 134-142, March 2016

Why Historical Thinking Skills was not there?

Rosy Talin
Faculty of Psychology and Education
University Malaysia Sabah
Sabah, Malaysia

Abstract. This qualitative study was done to understand the reasons for
the absent of historical thinking skills (HTS) from the teaching of history in
the classroom. The participants were four experience history teachers
teaching in four secondary schools. Interviews and observations were
carried out to collect the data needed. The findings showed these teachers
incorporated two of the skills; understanding chronology and exploring
the evidence. These skills are known as the lower level of HTS. The higher
level of HTS; interpretation, imagination and rationalization, were
superficially found in the teaching of two of the participants. The reasons
for the absent of the higher level of HTS as identified from the data were
the excessive used of the textbook, the focus of the teaching was to prepare
students for examination and teachers unawareness of HTS. Teachers
need to be exposed with the concept of HTS to enable HTS to be
incorporated in the teaching of history in the classroom.

Keywords: Historical thinking skills; students thinking skills; history


teaching

Background
The Malay Language subject was all the while the only compulsory subject to be
passed in the Malaysian Certificate of Education examination, a government
examination seated by upper secondary schools students in their final year.
However in 2013 the government decided to include History subject as another
compulsory subject to be passed in the examination. Since then the history
teaching has been discussed and improved. One of the improvements taken was
to emphasize more on nurturing students thinking skills because history has
been seen as a subject that could stimulate students thinking as it deals with
events in the past. In fact, the initiative to encourage thinking among the
students was already stated clearly in the history curriculum since 2003 but it
did not show the way thinking should be integrated in the teaching of history in
the classroom. The curriculum listed two types of thinking; the Historical
Thinking Skills (HTS) and the Creative and Critical Thinking Skill (CCTS). The
latest improvement showed an additional of another thinking skill that is the
Higher Order Thinking Skill (HOTS). Although it seems there are three different
thinking skills to be incorporated in the teaching and learning of history, the

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


135

objective is unison; to encourage students to use their thinking skills to


understand the historical facts in relation to todays and futures events. When
students have acquired the ability to think historically, they able to understand
the meaning of the past actions and events, and able to relate, explain and
predict the present and future activities (Miki, Kojiri and Seta, 2015; Lovorn,
2014). Reaching such ability requires students to gone through the process of
CCTS and HOTS. This article sees these three terms as interrelated and
complimented each other.

Literature review
Yeager and Foster (2001) see HTS as a powerful tool for understanding history
(p. 13), therefore, it is a vital intellectual skill (Bain, 2000) that needs to be
incorporated into the teaching. In general, HTS is a form of cognitive process.
To acquire HTS, students need to think critically and creatively to increase the
probability of a desirable outcome (Fahim & Masouleh, 2012). Paul (1994)
identified two types of critical thinking. First, the weak sense of critical thinking
which means the students have learned the skills but have not applied them in
real situation. Second, the strong sense of critical thinking where students not
only have learned the skills but also incorporated those skills in their lifes
activities. Students with strong sense of critical thinking acquired both HTS and
HOTS.

The history curriculum listed five skills of HTS, understand chronology,


explore historical evidence, interpret the evidence, imagine, and rationalize
historical events. Understanding chronology is developed as students learn
about the chronology of the past events inclusive of the date, the place, and the
people involved in the events. This knowledge helps students to understand the
historical facts. Exploring historical evidence engages students in the work of
historians. Students evaluate primary and secondary sources to confirm and to
get greater understanding of why events in the past transpired in certain ways
(Hogue, 2000). Having known the evidence, students are encouraged to interpret
the events based on the evidence they have investigated. In this activity,
students identify similarities and differences and other perspectives to assist
them in comparing or contrasting the events of the past. To give students more
understanding of certain historical events, imagination is required. Students put
themselves in the events being studied to release empathy towards the people at
the time of the events. It encourages students to appreciate what they are having
now. Finally, rationalizing the historical facts means giving thoughtful
reasoning whether to accept or to reject any possibilities of the recurrence of the
events in the present or future. Students who think historically are able to
explore the complex and abstract ideas in history, to analyze how people use
time, space, change and continuity (Centre for Curriculum Development, 2003).

The incorporation of HTS in the teaching and learning of history in the


classroom nurture students to link, rearrange and develop previous information
with new information and to determine what to believe, what to do, create a
new idea, a new object, or an artistic expression, make a prediction and solve a

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


136

non-routine problem (Lopez and Whittington, 2001). Students with these


abilities indicate they have acquired HOTS.

HTS is not a generic skill. It has to be learned and practiced. Since HTS is
emphasized in the curriculum, teachers need to incorporate HTS in their
teaching. However, in my previous articles I have shown that the teaching of
history is still very much traditional in approach (Rosy, 2013, 2014, 2015). This
approach did not allow the incorporation of any thinking in the teaching.
Therefore, this study presents factors contributing to the absent of HTS in the
history teaching and learning.

Methodology
The purpose of this study is to identify factors of the absent of HTS in the history
classroom. To meet the purpose, the qualitative approach was chosen as the
appropriate approach because the data necessary for this study lied with the
history teachers in the classroom. Therefore, classroom observation was the
primary strategy for data collection and followed by interview with each of the
participating teacher to understand the meaning of his/her activities during the
observed teaching and learning process. These two forms of data collection were
also meant to triangulate the data as to improve the data validity.

Several conditions were determined to select the participants of this


study. Those were the purpose of the research, the resources available and the
questions being asked (Patton, 1990); informative and information rich (Tellis,
1997); small in number because this study was not seeking statistical
significance, and purposeful (Tuckett, 2004). Besides those conditions, there was
another additional condition to select the participant for this study. The
participants must be trained history teachers with at least five years of teaching
history experience. It was believed teachers with this amount of teaching
experience were expert in the subject-content and rich with information. The
number of participants was not pre-determined as the data saturation (Ritchie
and Lewis, 2003) determine the ending of the data collection process. Finally,
there were four experienced history teachers from four different secondary
schools involved in providing the data for this study.

The data collection procedure started with a brief familiarization


interview with the teacher. The purpose of this interview was to get to know the
teachers, to explain the purpose and procedures of the study, to get the teachers
consent to be the participant of this study and to set a date for the classroom
observation. With the participants consent, in all of the observation sessions a
video was set up at the back of the class to capture the teaching and learning
process. The recording was meant to back up the researchers field notes and for
double checking during the data analysis. After each observation session the
participants were interviewed to understand the meaning behind their activities
and action during the observation.

The data were analysed simultaneously. After each observation and


interview session, the field note was studied and the interview was transcribed,

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


137

read, and coded. All categories found in the first data collection process were
brought to the participant in the second round of data collection process for
verification. This technique was called as member checking and it was done to
ensure the validity of the data collected (Merriam, 2001). Once the data for the
first participant was saturated, the next participant will be studied. The process
is repeated until all the data is saturated. The data collection process ended
when there was no more new data coming out from further observation and
interview of the other participants. The data for this study were saturated after
four participants were observed and interviewed. The data altogether inclusive
of ten field note observations and thirty four interview transcriptions.

The Finding
Data collected from the observations of the teaching of history showed four
interesting findings. Firstly, two out of the five skills of HTS had been
discovered incorporated in the teaching of history, though the way those skills
were incorporated were at the surface level. The two skills were understanding
chronology and explore historical evidence. The data showed teachers
emphasised on understanding the chronology of the historical events. Students
were required to understand and memorize the events based on the chronology.
To convince the chronology was correct; students were encouraged to explore
the textbook to find the evidence. These skills were done regularly in the
teaching of history. Warren (2007) agreed the teaching of the events chronology
was important and teachers were right in emphasizing it. However, this was the
lower level of the HTS. Consequently, students were not exposed on relating the
historical events or facts with the present and future events. They were
encouraged to memorize the past events in isolation from the present and future
events. Clearly, it does not eliciting students HOTS.

The second finding was each of the participating teachers in this study
delivered the content of the topic according to the textbook. The textbook was
heavily referred by both teachers and students to get the evidence and points, to
give comprehensive explanation, or to ask and to answer the questions. This
finding was not come as a surprise as other findings has also found that in the
teaching of history the textbook was the popular reference to be used (Karaagac
& Threlfall, 2001).

The interviews data showed such practice was triggered by the


participating teachers intention to prepare students for the year-end
examination. It gave them a peace of mind because they have completed the
syllabus within the given time frame, thus, their students were well prepared for
the year end examination.

This is for the examination purpose. They can master the


content and pass the examination especially the SPM
(Malaysian certificate of Education). This is to fulfil our
educational system (T1S1, int. 3:190-192)

The syllabus requires the use of the textbook in the teaching. It


helps students to understand the points. (T4S4, int 1:10-11)

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


138

The textbook teaches how to do the right explanation. It also


contains pictures, answers model, website address, and
exercises with answers attached. Everything. Complete.
(T4S4, int 2, 18-22)

Another important discovery on the heavily usage of the textbook was to


ensure students have better achievement in the examination. The achievement
was very important as it normally used to measure teachers performance.

If the students did not understand the topics according to the


textbook, I scared they might not be able to answer the
examination. The effect will get back to the teacher. (T3S3, int
1:106-108)

The third finding was, none of the participating teachers realized that
they had begun to inculcate HTS, though, it was the lower skills and at a very
surface level. When asked whether they have heard or known HTS, their
answers either they never heard of it, or it was another teaching strategy.
Without a proper understanding of HTS it was impossible for teachers to
incorporate the skills in their teaching.

No, I dont have any idea of what it is. (T1S1, int.1:90)

ah.never heard of it. There was no exposure about it. I think


it might be an approach to teach history easier (T3S3, int.
2:84,86)

Effort to incorporate the higher level of HTS was noticed in two of the
teachers teaching practice. This was the fourth important finding in this study.
These teachers were observed trying to connect the historical facts with
examples from students lives. Relating the historical facts with examples in
students life was a way to encourage a higher level of HTS (Warren, 2007). The
effort was noticed from the questions these teachers asked during the teaching.
Do you know what tajau( a big Chinese vase) was for in the
olden years? (T3S3, Obs. 2)

Mount Kinabaluit was believed the spirit of the dead will go


and stay on the top of the mountain. Do you think it has some
resemblance with the Jahiliah beliefs? (T4S4, Obs. 3)

These questions required students to interpret, to imagine and to


rationalise the possible answers because the answers could not be found in the
textbook. However, in this particular sessions, these teachers did not probing
further the students thinking. Instead, they provided the answer and showed
the relationship between the facts with the students life. As such the students
higher level of HTS was not elicited. This is the fourth finding where teachers
were unable to stimulate students thinking because the questioning strategy
was inappropriate.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


139

The main reason for the missing of probing question was again because
of these participating teachers unaware of the HTS. They did not realize that
they were actually trying to incorporate the higher skills of HTS when relating
the historical events with the contemporary examples. For them it was meant to
inculcate the patriotic and good values, other important components that need
to be inculcated in the teaching of history. Such unawareness had made these
teachers relate the historical facts with the events in the students lives
spontaneously and occasionally in the classroom.

I try to inculcate value. If I get the chance I just inculcate the


value. No need to wait until the teaching is done. (T4S4, int.
3:17-18)

Discussion
Based on the finding presented above, the excessive used of the textbook left no
rooms to refer to other reference books which might stimulate discussion.
Wholly relying on the textbook hinders the incorporation of HTS in the teaching.
Drake and Brown (2003) whom has suggested the use of three documents in the
teaching of history argued using a single document will not equip students to
think historically. Depending on one single text would not enable students to
interpret, imagine and rationalize the facts.

The absence of sensitivity to the events happening around us had ended


up with the teaching merely based on the facts alone. This has limited teachers
ability to stimulate students to make interpretation, imagination and to
rationalize the facts (Hunt, 2000). Stimulation of students thinking can be done
through appropriate questioning strategy which has been proven able to elicit
students thinking (Yang Yang, 2015). Another suggestion to incorporate
thinking in the teaching is to adopt the inquiry teaching strategy where students
are encouraged to learn history through searching for the information,
understand the information and applying the information in their situation
(Baron, 2013).

These teachers unawareness of the HTS in their teaching was due to the
lack of exposure on HTS incorporation in the teaching. Teachers shortage of
knowledge of HTS has influenced teachers readiness to teach the skills (Zahara
and Nik Azleena, 2007; Warren, 2007; Vieira, Tenreiro-Vieira, & Martin, 2011).
Though it was said that two of the HTS were in the teaching of these teachers
but it was done unintentionally, therefore, it was superficially carried out. As
such, it was not a surprise to found only the low level of HTS in the teaching of
history. According to Choy and Cheah (2009) teachers lack of understanding of
the requirement needed to inculcate thinking among students had made
teachers to think that they have encouraged students thinking. However, the
teachers were only emphasizing on students comprehension of the topic being
taught.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


140

Due to this, very little effort had been made to inculcate the higher skills
of HTS; to interpret, to imagine and to rationalize. This finding was in line with
Pattiz (2004) suggestion that in the classroom the teaching of how to think
critically was overlooked. As we are living in a different environment today,
therefore school children should be equipped with thinking skills that enable
them to compete in the job market. They need to be prepared as problem solver,
thoughtful decision maker, and independent thinkers as there are the qualities
being looked by employers today (Noor, 2008).

To inculcate the higher level of HTS, a well-planned teaching is required.


HTS is not something that springs automatically from someones psychological
development. Teachers have to be trained (Wineburg, 1999; Doreen, 2004;
Warren, 2007) and equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills then only
they could carefully plan the process of incorporating the skills so it happens
simultaneously with the teaching of the historical facts.

The higher level of HTS could be incorporated in the teaching by asking


question using the higher level of Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) taxonomy,
using more than one reference book to see the variety of points presented (Drake
and Brown, 2003), and increase teachers sensitivity to see how events
happening around could be related to the historical events and how historical
events had influenced the present and possibly future events. Students thinking
should be elicited to encourage their HOTS (Preus, 2012).

Conclusion
The initiative to incorporate HTS in the teaching of history was not fully
successful. There was only the low level of HTS noticeable in the teaching of
these participating teachers teaching. It was hampered by these teachers
concern to well-prepared their students for the year end examination. Though
effort to incorporate the higher HTS was there but due to teachers unawareness
of HTS and lack of exposure on its incorporation in the teaching had hindered
the effort. Research is needed to find solutions to help teachers incorporating
HTS in their history classroom teaching. It should start with study that focuses
on how teacher training institutions can prepare themselves to produce teacher
trainees that innovative enough to teach thinking in the classroom.

For thinking skills to be well incorporated in the teaching and learning of


history, relevant parties should work hand in hand to prepare and equip these
teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills. Besides, more study should be
given in teaching and learning environment that gives trust to the students to
lead their own study. Such environment will give room for an effective
inculcation of HTS in the teaching and learning process.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


141

References
Anderson, L. & Krathwohl, D. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and
Assessing: A Revision of Blooms Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New
York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
Bain, R. B. (2000) Into the Breach: Using Research and Theory to Shape History
Instruction. In Stearns, P. N., Seixas, P. and Wineburg, S. (eds) Knowing
Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives. New
York: New York Press.
Baron, C. (2013) Using inquiry-based instruction to encourage teachers historical
thinking at historic sites. Teaching and Teacher Education, 35. 157- 169.
Choy, S. C., & Cheah, P. K. (2009). Teacher Perceptions of Critical Thinking Among
Students and Its Influence on Higher Education. International Journal of
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(2). 198-206.
Curriculum Development Centre (2003) History Curriculum, Form 4. Ministry of
Education.
Dorren Tan, (2004) Singapore Teachers Characterictic og Historical Interpretations and
Enquiry: Enhancing Pedadogy and Pupils historical Understanding.
International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research. 4(2).
Drake, F & Brown, S. D (2003) A Systematic Approach to Improve Students Historical
Thinking. The History Teacher. 36(4)
Fahim, M. & Masouleh, N. S., (2012) Critical Thinking in Higher Education: A
Pedagogical Look. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 2 (7). 1370-
1375.
Karaagac, M. K. & Threlfall, J. (2004) The Tension Between Teacher Beliefs and Teacher
Practice: The Impact of the Work Setting. Proceedings of the 28th Conference of
the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematic Education. 3. 137-144.
Lopez, J. & Whittington, M. S., (2001) Higher Order Thinking in a College Course: A
Case Study. NACTA Journal.
Lovorn, M. (2014). Deepening Historical Themes in the Elementary School: Four
Developmentally Appropriate Ways to Engage Young Students in Historical
Thinking and Historiography.Childhood Education. 370-374
Merriam, S.B. (2001) Qualitative Research and Case Study Application in Education. San
Francisco: Josey-Bass
Miki, Y., Kojiri, T. & Seta, K. (2015) If Thinking Support System for Training Historical
Thinking. Procedia Computer Science 60. Pg 1542 1551. Available online at
www.sciencedirect.com
Noor, A. M. (2008). Teaching Thinking SkillsRedesigning Classroom Practices. Brunei:
Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
Pattiz, A. E. (2004) The Idea of History Teaching: Using Collingwoods Idea of History to
Promote Critical Thinking in the High School History Classroom. The History
Teacher. 37(2).
Patton, M.Q. (1990) Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA;
Sage Publication.
Paul, R. (1994). Teaching critical thinking in the strong sense. In S. K. Wlaters (Ed), Re-
Thinking Reason: New Perspectives in Critical Thinking. Albany: SUNY Press.
Preus, B. (2012) Authentic Instruction for 21 century Learning: Higher Order Thinking in
an Inclusive School. American Secondary Education. 40 (3)
Ritchie, J. & Lewis, J. (2003) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Sciences
Students and Researchers. London: Sage Publication.
Rosy Talin (2015) Historical Thinking SkillsThe Forgotten Skills? In International
Journal of Learning and Teaching 7 (1), 15-23

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


142

Rosy Talin (2014) The Teaching Of History In Secondary Schools. In International


Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research.Vol. 2, Issue 3. 72-78
Rosy Talin (2013) Students preferences in learning history. In Global Advanced
Research Journal of Arts and Humanities (GARJAH) Vol. 2(2). 014-019.
Tellis, W. (1997) Application of a case study Methodology. The Qualitative Report
(Online serial), 3(3). Http://www.nova.edu.ssss/QR/QR3-3/tellis2.html.
Tuckett, A. (2004) Qualitative Research Sampling: The Very Real Complexities. Nurse
Researcher. 12(1). 47-61.

Vieira, R., Tenreiro-Vieira, C., & Martins, I. (2011). Critical thinking: conceptual
clarification and its importance in science education. Science Education
International, 22(1). 4354.
Warren, W. J. (2007) Closing the Distance Between Authentic History Pedagogy and
Everyday Classroom Practice. The History Teacher. 40 (2).
Wineburg, S. (2000) Making Historical Sense. In Stearns, P. N. Seixas, P. and Winebury S.
(eds). Knowing Teaching and Learning History: National and International
Perspectives. 307-325.
Yang Yang (2016) Lessons learnt from contextualising a UK teaching thinking program
in a conventional Chinese classroom. Thinking Skills and Creativity 19. 198209.
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Yeager, E.A., & Foster, S. J. (2001) The Role of Empathy in the Development of Historical
Understanding. In Davis Jr, O.L., Yeager, E. A., Foster, S. J. (eds) Historical
Empathy and Perspective Taking in the Social Studies. USA: Rowman & Little
Field.
Zahara Aziz & Nik Azleena Nik Ismail. (2007) Kajian Tinjauan Kesediaan Guru-guru
Sejarah Menerapkan Kemahiran Pemikiran Sejarah kepada Para Pelajar. Jurnal
Pendidikan. 32. 119-137.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


143

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 143-160, March 2016

Citizenship Education in Colleges of Education


in Ghana: A Preliminary Study into Social
Studies Tutors and Trainees Understanding
Boadu, Kankam
Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education
University of Cape Coast
Cape Coast, Ghana
E-mail: kankam21265@gmail.com
kankam.boadu@ucc.edu.gh
Tel: +233(0)244708348

Abstract. The study examined the perceived views of tutors and student
trainees of Social Studies within the Colleges of Education within the
context of Ghana with regard to the meaning and teaching methods that
are most appropriate to teach citizenship education. The research drew
upon social capital, ecological, and cognitive psychological theories to
generate the conceptual framework for analysing the quantitative and
qualitative data. The views of 36 tutors of social studies from eight
colleges of education were surveyed through the multi-stage sampling
technique, and eight respondents were interviewed to further
understand the groups perception of citizenship education. The major
findings were: (i) tutors generally agreed on the components of
citizenship education, (ii) tutors generally agreed on the characteristics
of a good citizen. (iii) There was general agreement between the tutors
and trainees that various classroom activities were important in the
teaching of citizenship education and were being taught effectively.
There were some differences between the groups on certain specific
teaching methods and the effectiveness of the teaching of those
activities. It was recommended that a policy be put in place for social
studies teachers to have a regular in-service training on current issues in
citizenship education. And that citizenship education should be
introduced as a programme on its own in schools, colleges and
universities and examined externally.

Keywords: Citizenship education; Colleges of education; Tutors;


Student trainees

Introduction
The social studies programme, which focuses on citizenship education,
was introduced in Ghanas education system as one of the measures to address
the problems of the preference for white-color jobs and negative attitudes
toward agriculture and manual work. It was to help inculcate the spirit of
patriotism among the youth. Many researchers have pointed out that the social
studies programme would enable students to acquire specific knowledge, skills

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


144

and values which make them think critically and eager to contribute towards the
survival of their nations (Kankam & Kendie, 2004; Aggarwal, 2001). Pryor,
Ghartey, Kutor and Kankam (2005) made a similar claim in stating that the
systematic pursuit of knowledge in social studies is an essential ingredient for
the improvement of human relationships within both the social and physical
environment. Hence, the relevance and social utility of social studies as part of
the school programme in Ghana cannot be underestimated.

Based on the widely held rationale on the important place of social studies
in a democratic development, it became one of the core subjects at the Junior
Secondary Schools (JSS) and Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) in Ghana with the
implementation of the 1987 Education Reforms. This was an attempt to
introduce the youth to democratic citizenship while they were in school
(Kankam, 2012). Topics such as leadership style, rights and responsibilities of
the child, attitudes and responsibilities for nation building as well as human
rights are incorporated in the social studies syllabuses in the JSS and SSS levels
for the purposes of citizenship education.

With the ushering in of the 2007 education reform, emphasis is currently


laid on citizenship topics at the basic education level, starting from class four to
class six (Kankam, 2012). This is intended to help children appreciate basic
concepts and values that underlie a democratic political community as well as
inculcate citizenship and a sense of national pride in them (Anamuah-Mensah,
2008).

The social studies programme, as a field of study, and with its main focus
on citizenship education, was introduced into the curriculum of colleges of
education in Ghana as far back as the 1940s (Kankam, 2004; Kankam,2012). The
teaching of social studies during this period was experimented in the
Presbyterian Training College (Akropong), Wesley College (Kumasi) and
Achimota Training College (Accra). This experiment, according to Agyemang-
Fokuo (1994) was, however, not allowed to blossom due to both teachers and
students negative perception and attitudes toward the social studies
programme because it was not examinable.

Education is a unique tool for bringing about change and development in


economic growth. Despite the provision made for the teaching of democratic
citizenship in Ghanaian schools and colleges, it is widely acclaimed that very
little attention is given to citizenship education by social studies teachers,
especially those in the junior high and senior high schools where the subject is
core. It is the teacher trainees who graduate from the colleges of education who
are likely teach at the Basic Schools. Both teacher trainees and tutors
perceptions on citizenship education during learning and teaching at college are
likely to affect their teaching at basic levels. Some Ghanaians are of the opinion
that the upsurge of moral decadence among the youth of Ghana which the
newspapers (Daily Graphic, 16th November 2008, The Ghanaian Times, 7th June
2009) also gave prominence to this same idea, could be explained that
citizenship education is either untaught or under taught in the
schools/colleges.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


145

The 1987 Education Reform Review Committee which was born as a result of
the experimentation of some of the recommendations of the 1972 Dzobo
Committee has an influence in the stabilization of social studies in Ghana. The
Review Committee Report of 1987 made the recommendations that the Ghana
education system be run 6-3-3 meaning a six-year primary school education, a
three-year junior secondary school education and a three-year senior secondary
school education at the pre-tertiary level. The recommendation was
implemented in 1987, which led to all middle schools being turned into junior
secondary schools. With this new reform in education, social studies which was
introduced in 1948 (Tamakloe,1991) was re-introduced in the teacher training
colleges in 1988 as one of the elective subjects to train students to teach social
studies at the junior secondary schools. The 1987 Education Reform Programme
aimed at changing the content of education at the basic level and to ensure its
relevance to individual and societal needs (GES, 1987). Based on this, the New
Education Reform Programme has brought in its trail social studies to be taught
at the primary and junior high levels of education in Ghana.

The introduction of social studies in the Ghana education system necessitated


the training of more teachers to have sound basis in the content for the courses.
Consequently, by the year 1990, the then Teacher Training Colleges in Ghana
embarked on teaching of social studies after a new programme of instruction
had been designed. The aims and objectives of the teacher training college social
studies syllabus are to help the teacher trainees to be equipped with both content
and pedagogy to handle confidently the new social studies programme at the
basic level of education. Hence, the goal in teaching social studies in the Teacher
Training Colleges should be to help students to acquire knowledge and to effect
a change in their attitudes and values in their society and the environment. It is
also to equip them with the skills to teach for changes in the values and attitudes
of pupils (GES, 2002: 1). It is clear that social studies tutors and teacher trainees
require sound background knowledge of citizenship education. However, how
they perceive the knowledge acquired will influence their mode of delivery. This
study is based on an assumption that little emphasis has been placed on the
centrality of tutors and their trainees perception to their task (Mellor, 2003). The
development of such perception takes place in a social and political climate that
is constantly changing. This constant flux of climate provides a background that
underpins this research. Of special importance in the political climate are the
different dimensions of the term citizenship. Citizenship is a term that has
many meanings within the broader society. This has become evident as the
Ghanaian society is struggled with different political ideologies and agonized
over issues concerning socialism and capitalism.

Tutors need to address societal concerns about the perceived deficit in


trainees citizenship education knowledge. Even when educators accept that
trainees lack knowledge in government structures (Martin, 2008), there is little
agreement about the types of knowledge that are most appropriate for young
adolescents. There is also increasing awareness that knowledge is not the only
requirement of young adolescents (Ochoa-Becker, 2007). Attitudes and skills are
equally essential in the development of informed and active citizens.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


146

Given the developmental and pedagogical issues raised so far, it is clear that
citizenship education cannot be delineated from the social realities of the world
in which teachers generally operate. It is argued that the knowledge on
citizenship document and teachers commitment to their teaching are essential in
citizenship education (Dilworth, 2004). Understanding the perception of social
studies tutors and trainees on citizenship education is likely to show the kind of
commitment teachers have towards the programme.

If the social studies programme is to succeed and for the innovation in the
reform to gain the desired impact, the people for whom the programme is
intended (teacher trainees) as well as the implementers (tutors) must be able to
perceive clearly what the programme is all about. When this is achieved, the
implementers would be in a better position to embrace the programme fully. In
order to achieve this, a positive attitude must be developed towards the
programme by both teachers and students to make the programme succeed
(Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). These notwithstanding, no concrete attempts have
been made to explore how tutors and teacher trainees perceive the social studies
programme in terms of citizenship education in the colleges of education in
Ghana. The current research questions were as follows:

i. What perception do teacher trainees and tutors have on citizenship


education?
ii. How do tutors and teacher trainees perceive the characteristics on a
good Ghanaian citizen?

Perceptions on Citizenship Education by Teachers


A number of empirical studies have been conducted on citizenship
education across countries, including United States, England, Israel and Hong
Kong, and have employed different methodological techniques, basically on
how teachers perceive the introduction of citizenship education in schools and
colleges. Anderson, Pederson, Smith and Sullivon (1997) sought to explore the
way social studies teachers conceptualized citizenship education and the models
with which they are associated. The finding of research showed that educators
were not interested in some aspects of citizenship programmes. Rather, they
expressed interest in a set of elements belonging to various citizenship models.
In the national sample, teachers held elements of four perspectives: critical
thinking, legalism, cultural pluralism and assimilation.

A qualitative study to explore how English secondary schools are


approaching the introduction of citizenship education was conducted by
Leighton (2004) in England. His findings revealed that not all English schools
had yet implemented the introduction of citizenship education, and generally
most of the teachers in these schools had no previous training in the field of
citizenship education, which was reflected in their evaluation of the importance
of the subject. Teachers attitudes toward social studies varied greatly; those
working in schools that had a long tradition of teaching social science subjects
expressed more confidence and support for the implementation of civics, while
others perceived this as a threat to their own subject because they lacked

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


147

confidence in delivering this new subject without training and previous


experience in relative subjects.

A study by Leung and Print (2002) was conducted in Hong Kong. Its
main thrust was to explore teachers perception of nationalistic education and
the possible differentiation between pro-China school teachers and non-pro-
China school teachers. The study was guided by a framework that considered
nationalistic education in Asian countries broken down into five types:
cosmopolitan nationalism, civic nationalism, cultural nationalism, anti-colonial
nationalism and totalitarian nationalism. The study found strong teacher
support for cosmopolitan (91.3%), civic (89.8%) and cultural (90.4%) nationalism,
while anti-colonial nationalism was moderate (69%), and very low for
totalitarian nationalism (6.3%). In addition, it showed strong correlations
between the first three models (.644) and (.420). These results are compatible
with the pluralistic nature of Hong Kong society. Nevertheless, it would be
argued that the theoretical framework in this study shows some kind of
replication and overlapping between different models of nationalistic education.

On the examination of citizenship education of the secondary schools in


England, Whiteley (2015) concluded that citizenship education had an impact on
efficacy, political participation and political knowledge. He added that students
perception of the amount of citizenship education were associated with
increased civic and political engagement. A study was also done in Israeli
context by Ichilov (2003) that sought to find out the differences between civics
teachers qualifications, perceptions on citizenship education, and on school
climate in different school systems in Israel. The researcher analyzed the data
collected for the IEA study of civic education in 28 countries. The results,
nevertheless, did not show great differences between teachers professional
qualifications in the different schools. Generally, teachers appeared highly
qualified in their area of teaching. Moreover, there was no particular difference
in terms of perception of their school environment and classroom activities.
They demonstrated their support for open classrooms and encouragement of
student participation and contribution to the learning process. However, great
differences emerged regarding perception of citizenship education and political
issues between teachers in Arab schools and their counterparts in Hebrew
schools. Arab teachers showed little support for patriotism and national
symbols. Again, they attached less importance to issues related to conduct of
army, immigration, global anti-Semitism and Zionist historical narratives. In the
other hand, teachers in Hebrew schools, both religious and public, showed
greater support in the opposite direction. As regards their perception of the
ability of students to make decisions about school life and to express their
opinions about political issues without teacher supervision, teachers in both
Arab and religious Hebrew schools were more conservative than their
colleagues in public state schools. From all these findings, Ichilov expressed
concern about the applicability of having national civics curriculum that aimed
to contribute to shaping a uniform national identity, with these considerable
differences among teachers in Arab and Hebrew schools.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


148

In the European context, Arnot, Araujo, Deliyanni-Kouimtzis, Ivinson,


and Tome (2000), conducted a comparative qualitative study in four countries:
Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The focus of the study was to
assess the possible effect on national-cultural traditions on teachers values on
citizenship, gender relation, and the goals of education. Participants were a
selective sample of student teachers (14 Greek, 40 British, 9 Spanish, and 10
Portuguese). The main finding of this study was that there were great
differences in the focus of citizenship in the different contexts due to the political
agenda of the state and the political experience of its people. For example, the
discourse of critical citizenship appeared much clearer in countries that had
experienced dictatorship and totalitarian regimes, while in stable democratic
nations, like the United Kingdom, student teachers seemed more skeptical than
critical. The authors related these two distinct cultural, political and historical
experiences among nations, as well as to differentiated execution of civic
curriculum.

The relevance of teachers theories of action is noted in a study by


Dunkin and Welch (1996) that stresses four case studies of teacher knowledge in
citizenship education. Through interviews, using stimulated recall, the
researchers investigated key ideas of pedagogical knowledge, emphasizing the
teachers pedagogical background and their knowledge of teaching and learning
strategies. The study by Dunkin and Welch (1996) suggests a set of anticipated
propositions with relevant segments for teachers of citizenship education. They
reported that:

When experienced teachers are asked to teach material with which


they are unfamiliar, they are asked to implement new syllabuses
involving content with which they are unfamiliar; they tend to
interpret the syllabus as being more prescriptive than they are
intended to be. Thirdly, when teachers lack confidence in their
knowledge of subject matter, they tend to adopt teacher-centred
methods (Dunkin & Welch, 1996).

All these findings have obvious implications for professional development


courses in citizenship education (Ahmad, 2006).

Research suggests that perception and beliefs about subject matter


influence teacher selection of content and pedagogy. Dinkelman and Hoge
(2004) for example, noted that when teachers are prepared on topics such as
citizenship, government, and politics, they are better equipped with confidence
to teach. In their study, Torney-Purta, Richardson, Barber (2005) explored how
teachers knowledge and teachers beliefs relay to students civic knowledge and
they found that having confidence about a topic may be related to the ability to
convey information to students. They commented again that increasing the
extent of teachers preparation in civic related subject matter could be a viable
strategy to improve civic knowledge.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


149

Oulton et al. (2004) investigated teachers readiness to use controversial


issues in the context of citizenship in the classroom. The research included focus
groups and questionnaires which were applied to a sample of 205 teachers. The
researchers found that many teachers were unprepared and felt constrained in
their ability to handle controversial issues concerning citizenship in the
classroom.

In a study conducted by Doppen, Feinberg, Lucas, Bohan, and Ogawa


(2011) on the social studies pre service teachers knowledge and perceptions of
the U.S. naturalization test, it was found that the pre service teachers had a
limited conceptions on citizenship education issues. The authors discussed the
implication of the results and suggested ways to broaden citizenship education
in the development teacher preparation programmes.

If, as the literature suggests, perception about a subject matter in teaching


is a concern of teachers in their pedagogy about and for citizenship education,
then research that has as its aim at the exploration of how tutors and teacher
trainees perceive citizenship education in the colleges of education has critical
implications for education and development.

Students perceptions of citizenship education


A study conducted by Ozbek and Kokssalan (2015) on the evaluation of
the pre-service teachers opinions on the objectives of citizenship education
revealed among others that the objectives should be applicable rather than
theoretical. It was also recommended in the study that democracy education in
the curriculum should be given more serious place in planning the curriculum.
The perceptions of young people on citizenship were also considered in the
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)
study (Torney-Purta et al., 2001), which provided a framework for the English
IEA study (Kerr et al., 2002) and the DfES commissioned longitudinal study
(Kerr et al., 2004; Cleaver et al., 2005). These surveys gathered data through
questionnaires and concentrate on elements of citizenship knowledge such as
political and legal processes and institutions, voting, including voting intentions,
and political representation and legal rights. For example they suggested a
decline in levels of awareness of political processes and institutions, a low level
of trust in the European Union and little intention of engaging in future political
activity (Cleaver et al., 2005).

An ESRC-funded questionnaire survey in one LEA likewise reported low


levels of political knowledge, interest, trust and efficacy among young people,
but the authors note that the findings do not confirm a lack of engagement with
the wider social world (Halpern, et al., 2002; Morris et al., 2003). However, these
findings were challenged by a Home Office survey (Farmer & Trikha, 2005), that
found wide variations in levels of political engagement among young people.
Farmer and Trikha (2005) analysed the results from a sample of nearly 1,700
young people and concluded that levels of trust in institutions such as the police
broadly match that of the adult population. Although a significant minority of
young people (41 per cent) was dismissive of politicians, the vast majority (81

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


150

per cent) wanted involvement in decision-making. This study found that young
people played an active role in their communities, with half engaging in civic
activity. Young people from minority ethnic groups were particularly likely to
make contributions within their homes, families and communities, the highest
rates of participation in civic activities being recorded by black Caribbean and
mixed race respondents. This confirms evidence from the DfES study, which
found that students from perceptible subgroups inclined to have more positive
views about volunteering (Cleaver, et al., 2005). Intellectual questions can only
be supported when there are supporting confirmation and often sophisticated
understanding that young people do have of their roles in the world and their
relationships to society, local, national and global. Osler and Starkey (2003) and
Hudson (2005) confirmed young peoples readiness to involve in dogmatic
matters at all stages from the national to the international world.
In Botswana, Adeyemi, Boikhutso and Moffat (2003) explored the level
with which the intentions of citizenship education have been understood. The
authors drew on interviews and observations of thirty two social studies
teachers from eighteen junior schools. The majority of the teachers felt that the
objective of working to produce good citizens had been minimally or
satisfactorily achieved. About half of the social studies teachers thought they
had undergone sufficient training on the concepts involved in citizenship
education but they highlighted the challenges of irrelevant instructional
materials, job dissatisfaction and large class size.

In mixed-methods study, Martin and Ohiodo (2007) researched into


attitudes about citizenship by considering 333 eighth grades and 362 eleventh
grades from five rural school districts in a Southwestern state. They also
conducted 54 interviews. It came out from the study that helping people was
alleged to be the most essential part of good citizenship, with obeying rules and
laws being the next.
In England, Keating and Janmeat (2016) from their citizenship education
longitudinal study found that school activities can have impact on the youth, not
just in the short term but also in the medium team. Martin (2008) conducted a
comparative study on teacher education students views on citizenship
education in Denmark. Seventy-seven teacher trainees comprising 28 men and
49 women were interviewed on citizenship education. It was found that some
participants disregarded citizenship education and considered the necessity to
pay attention on only the subject matter; the majority explained how citizenship
preparation and mastery of content were in agreement with the national aims of
their organizations.

In Ghana, Kwenin (2010) conducted a quantitative research on secondary


school students perceptions on citizenship education in the Ashanti region. The
study revealed that majority of the students demonstrated positive perception
about citizenship education. The major problem they faced with the learning of
citizenship education was inadequate teaching /learning resources for better
illustrations.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


151

Research explicitly exploring the perception of teacher trainees and


tutors in the colleges of education in Ghana has thus far been rare and isolated in
literature. What seems to exist is foreign discourse on citizenship education.
There is the need to add to the literature the perceptions and commitment of
both trainees and trainers on citizenship education in the colleges of education
in Ghana. At least, the controversies surrounding citizenship education in the
literature set the researcher into examining the ways in which tutors and teacher
trainees perceive the conceptual and methodological issues to strengthen the
fragile democracy of Ghana.
The research drew upon contemporary psychological and sociological
theories, namely Bronfenbrenners (1988) ecological approach to studying
development and cognition formation. The cognitive strategy model has also
been used to understand civic participation by university students (Martin,
2008). Martin explored 39 elementary versus 36 middle and secondary
education students perceptions through a case study methodology at a
Southern University.
This research has four contextual elements, namely tutors, teacher
trainees, citizenship education and national development. It suggests that tutors
and teacher trainees perceptions are influenced by the relationships of
knowledge, skills, and values of citizenship education through formal and
informal instructions. The framework in this research is unique in that it is based
on actual experience with the development of teachers who are shaping and will
continue to shape educational practice in the field of citizenship education.

Samples for the research


The study is a survey and in order to give the sample a national
representation, attempts were made through appropriate sampling
procedures to ensure that teacher trainees and tutors from different colleges of
education in Ghana were captured. To achieve this, colleges of education in
Ghana were clustered into three ecological zones such as Southern zone,
comprising: the Western Region, the Central Region, the Greater Accra Region
and the Volta Region; Middle zone, made up of Ashanti Region, Eastern Region
and Brong- Ahafo Region; and Northern zone consisting of Northern Region,
Upper West Region, and Upper East Region. Through simple random sampling
(lottery approach), one region was selected from each of the three zones. Thus,
the Ashanti, Central and Northern Regions were selected for the study.

In selecting the teacher trainees and tutors for the study, multi-stage
stratified random procedure was used to ensure that the sex types (mixed and
single-sex) of colleges in each region were captured. For each region, two mixed
colleges and a single sex college were randomly selected. This was to ensure that
the views of all categories of students were represented. In the case of the
Northern zone, however, only two mixed colleges were selected to participate
because there was no single sex college. This resulted in the selection of eight
colleges.

After selecting the regions and the sex-type colleges, the colleges were
further stratified into years of establishment, where the oldest and the newest
colleges of education were purposively selected. This was to make provision for

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


152

both the new and old colleges views to be captured. In all, 255 out of 332
questionnaires were returned by the trainees given the return rate of 77%. On
the part of the tutors, the return rate was 94.44%. The data collection was done
November, 2010 to January, 2011. The data collection took seven weeks to
complete.

Results and discussions


Tutors and teacher trainees perceptions of citizenship education
This section looks at the perceptions of both tutors and teacher trainees in
eight sampled colleges of education in Ghana. This is to help identify in broad
terms and in percentages the knowledge both tutors and teacher trainees have
on citizenship education for the purposes of comparisons and policy making.
Information obtained is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Tutors and teacher trainees perceptions of citizenship


education

Statement Tutors Teacher-trainees

Citizenship education means YES NO YES NO

N % N % N % N %

Developing ideas, beliefs, 34 100 0 0 231 90.6 24 9.4


desirable behaviour and
attitude of students

Providing students with 34 100 0 0 242 94.9 13 5.1


sufficient knowledge and
understanding of national
history and politics

Inculcating certain basic skills 34 100 0 0 247 .9 8 3.1


and tools in solving societal
problems

Providing the knowledge of the 34 100 0 0 246 7.2 7 2.8


institution, its principles,
values, history and application
of contemporary life

Preparing equal the young for 34 100 0 0 212 83.1 43 16.9


their roles and responsibilities

Making conscious attempt to 34 100 0 0 190 74.5 65 25.5


provide knowledge respect for
political institutions

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


153

Making the conscious effort to 34 100 0 0 226 88.8 29 11.4


offer young generation moral,
social and intellectual
knowledge about cultural
heritage

Developing skills of 34 100 0 0 231 90.6 24 9.4


participation in both private
and political spheres

Table 1 shows that all the tutors in the sampled colleges of education had
100% agreement in the items that described citizenship education. However, for
the teacher trainees, there were differences in their perceptions. For instance, on
the statement developing ideas, desirable behaviour and attitude of students,
while 231(90.6%) agreed with the statement, 24(9.4%) did not agree on the
statement. Again, while 242(94.9%) admitted that providing students with
sufficient knowledge and understanding of national history and politics,
13(5.1%). What is more interesting is that, the teacher trainees seemed to
disagree more on the statement citizenship education is making conscious
attempt to provide and respect political institutions. On this statement,
65(25.5%) disagreed with the statement. The tutors who responded 100%
probably understood how citizenship education has enhanced political
institutions over the years. Afari-Gyan (2002) argued that peoples knowledge in
citizenship education promotes their rights and responsibilities in their dealings
with political institutions. Some of the teacher trainees perhaps have not come to
realise the role citizenship education plays in political institutions (Arnot,et al,
2010; Groth, 2006). One would have taught that with the tutors 100%
knowledge in the concept, all the teacher trainees would have also come to that
level. Nevertheless, it is one thing teaching it and another thing learning it based
upon ones perception and commitment. Arthur (2003) argues in a study by
Leenders ,Veugelers and De Kat (2007) that the teacher in education is a role
model though, students are not obliged to heed to this model.

The teacher trainees 246(97.2%) and 247(96.9%) respectively came close to


the perception of tutors on the statements providing knowledge on the
constitution, its principles, values, history and application to contemporary life
and inculcating essential skills and tools in solving problems of society. These
might be attributed to the perceptions they have on these statements based on
what they have learned and the importance they attach to them. The findings
confirm most of the studies done on citizenship education (Arnot, et. al, 2010;
Martin, 2008; Groth, 2006; Torney-Purta & Barber, 2004). In a study done by
Arnot, et. al (2010) in Ghana and Kenya, it was revealed that learners knew the
importance of citizenship education as helping them to acquire knowledge,
values and skills, to integrate well in society and to solve their political
challenges.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


154

Differences in perceptions between tutors and teacher trainees of


citizenship education
As one of the ways for addressing the objectives, it was hypothesized
that: There is no significant difference between teacher trainees and tutors
perceptions of Citizenship Education. To test this hypothesis, the Mann-Whitney
U Test, a non-parametric alternative to the t-test for independent samples was
used for the analysis. The test was run at an alpha level of 0.05 to determine
teacher trainees and tutors score on their perceptions of citizenship education.
The results of the test showed a significant difference between teacher trainees
and tutors perceptions on citizenship education. This suggests that teacher
trainees and tutors differ significantly in their perception on citizenship
education with tutors group scoring higher (see Table 2 for data).

Table 2: Mann- Whitney U Test for teacher trainees and tutors score on
the perception of Citizenship Education

Category N Mean Rank Sum of U p-value


Ranks

Teacher trainees 255 136..80 34884.00 .000

2244.00

Tutors 34 206.50 7021.00

From Table 2, it can be concluded that there is a statistically significant


difference between teacher trainees and tutors groups recorded at the 0.05 level
of significance as far as perception on Citizenship Education is concerned (U =
2244.000, z=-5.11, p <0.05).The test result with specific reference to the mean
ranks, revealed that the tutors group (MR = 206.50) had a higher perception on
CE than the teacher trainees (MR =136.80). Therefore, we rejected the null
hypothesis and conclude that there is a significant difference between the
teacher trainees and tutors perceptions on citizenship education.

This may be attributed to the fact that tutors have gained more
perception through their training during the university days as well as teaching
and might have read extensively on the topic. For it is said that as one teaches
he/she learns better at the same (Tamakloe, Atta & Amadehe 1996). It means
that tutors are more familiar with citizenship issues from the school community,
wider community, co-curricular activities and common curriculum; hence, they
will have greater knowledge in citizenship education because of their wide
exposure. The argument is that once the tutors have gained higher perceptions
on citizenship education, it is most likely that they will translate it into their
teaching to enhance human resource development. Similarly, it is likely that the
tutors might have taught their teacher trainees with the knowledge they have
acquired. It can even happen that the teacher trainees might have gotten access
to additional information through the internet since technology is advancing.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


155

Difference in teacher trainees and tutors perception on a good Ghanaian


Again, in order to evaluate the hypothesis that there is no significant
difference in the samples drawn from teacher trainees and tutors population
about the perception on a good Ghanaian citizen, the Mann-Whitney U tests was
employed. The test result showed a statistically significant difference between
teacher trainees and tutors perception a good Ghanaian citizen, U=3117.000, z=-
2.68, p< 0.05(see Table 3 for data).

Table 3: Mann-Whitney test on teacher trainees and tutors scores on


perceptions on good Ghanaian citizen.

Identity N Mean SR U p-value


Rank

Teacher 255 140.22 3117.00


trainees
3117.000 0.007

34 180.82 6148.00
Tutors

P< 0.05(Significant difference)

From Table 3, it is noted that there is a significant difference between


teacher trainees (MR=255) and tutors (MR=34) treatment groups with respect to
who a good Ghanaian citizen should be (U =3117.000, z=-2.68, p=0.007). The test
result with specific reference to the mean ranks, revealed that the tutors group
(MR = 180.82) had a higher knowledge in perception on good Ghanaian citizen
than the teacher trainees (MR =140.22). That is, teacher trainees and tutors
significantly differed in their perceptions on the characteristics of a good
Ghanaian citizen. It can be further concluded that the teacher trainees elicited
significant lower perception on the characteristics of a good Ghanaian citizen
than the tutor group. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected and it was
concluded that there is a significant difference in the perception of teacher
trainees and tutors on the characteristics of a good Ghanaian citizen. This shows
that the tutors have a highly positive perception on which a good Ghanaian
citizen should be than the teacher trainees. This could be attributed to the fact
that tutors have more knowledge and perception on a good Ghanaian and rather
impart this to teacher trainees.
The Heads of Department and interviewed also agreed with views of the
respondents as the following comments by some of them suggest:
a good citizen is any person who observes the rules and regulations of the country
As well as thinking of the development and advancement of the country [ HoDM 4}.
a good citizen performs the responsibility as member of a country, pays taxes,
Protects property, votes and helps the police to do investigations [TTF2]

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


156

Tutors are supposed to be skillful and knowledgeable in their field of


study so that they can impart unto the students they teach. Ones perception is
directly linked with skills and knowledge (Kankam, 2004). This explains why in
a study conducted by Leighton (2004) regarding the introduction of citizenship
education in England, teachers were found to have positive perception on
citizenship education due to their background knowledge and skills in social
studies. What can be gathered in this study is that the finding supports empirical
studies conducted by Ichilov (2003) and Leung and Print (2002), which
established that teachers had positive perception on citizenship education in
Israel and Hong Kong respectively.
Ecological zones of colleges in relation to knowledge and perception
Attempt was made to investigate whether differences existed in the
participants perceptions on citizenship education and characteristics of a good
citizen by the ecological zones (Northern, Middle and Southern). To investigate
the difference, Kruskal-Wallis Test was conducted. The results of the analysis
showed that there is no statistically significant difference between participants
knowledge and perception in relation to the ecological zones of the colleges of
education. For perception on citizenship education, H (2) =1.25, P>0.05, and
perception H (2) =1.28, P>0.05.

As regards their ecological zones, teacher trainees do not differ in terms


of perceptions of citizenship education and characteristics of a good citizen (see
Table 3 for data).

Table 4: Mean ranks for perceptions on citizenship education and


characteristics of good citizen by teacher trainees in the ecological
zones

North Middle Central

Citizenship Mr 122.19 126.59 133.96


education
No. 69 96 90

Perception Mr 129.09 121.76 133.83

No. 69 96 90

The similarity in perceptions on citizenship education and good citizen


among the teacher trainees in the three ecological zones could be explained
diversely. It might imply that all the teacher trainees had been taught by tutors
who graduated from universities with the same or similar pedagogy, content
and learning experience and that zones where colleges were located did not
matter. Another possibility is that, the same syllabus was being used in all the
colleges of education in Ghana and all colleges were adhering to it. One can also

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


157

adduce that the teacher trainees did not reside in ecology zones permanently
and that during holidays, trainees met with their counterparts in the other zones
and compared notes.

A similar Kruskal-Wallis Test was calculated to investigate the ecological


zones effect on tutors knowledge and perception. For perception on citizenship
education, H (2) =0.00, P<0.05 and perception on good citizen, H (2) =.69, P>.05.
In terms of their ecological zones, the tutors also do not differ in terms of both
perceptions on citizenship education and characteristics of good citizen (See
Table 5 for data).

Table 5: Mean ranks for perceptions on citizenship education and characteristics of a


good citizen by tutors in the ecological zones

North Middle Central

Citizenship Mr 17.50 17.0 17.50


education
No. 15 14 14

Good citizen Mr 20.70 17.00 16.90

No. 15 14 15

Table 5 shows that all the tutors from the three ecological zones generally
agreed on the perception on the meaning of citizenship education. This
suggested that where colleges of education were located did not have any
influence on tutors perception on citizenship education. This might be linked to
the fact that the tutors probably, graduated from the same universities and were
therefore taken through similar content and pedagogy. Again where tutors in
their colleges followed the same syllabus in their teaching, it was most likely that
their knowledge in citizenship education would not differ as being found in the
present study. The finding of this study supports Ichilovs (2003) study in Israeli
context on the knowledge of teachers from different geographical locations of
schools. Her results did not show any difference in the knowledge of the
teachers.

On the perception of good citizen, tutors from the northern zones seemed
to have a higher positive perception on who a Ghanaian is. For instance, while
tutors from the northern zones had a mean rank of 20.70, those from the middle
and central respectively had mean ranks of 17.00 and 16.90. This is quite
interesting, the universities tutors are trained to teach in teacher training colleges
in Ghana are located between the middle and central zones. One would have
thought the location of such universities would have influenced the perception
of tutors who have proximate advantages to the universities.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


158

Conclusions
From the findings of the study, it can be concluded that both tutors and
teacher trainees have understanding and substantial agreement on what is
meant by citizenship education. Again it has been found that tutors and teacher
trainees have considerable agreement about who a good Ghanaian citizen is. The
study has revealed that where colleges did not seem to influence teacher
trainees responses to the survey questions. But for tutors, location has an
influence on their perceptions.

Both teacher trainees and tutors are in agreement that abiding by the
rules and regulations, showing loyalty towards college authority, respecting the
views of both teachers and colleagues as well as protecting the environment, are
some of the ways through which citizenship education is practised in the
colleges of education.

Policy implications recommended


The following recommendations are made:

1. It is recommended that a policy be put in place for social studies teachers to


have a regular in-service training on current issues in citizenship education. This
will enable teachers to sustain the knowledge they have obtained.

2. It should be emphasized that the learning of citizenship virtues is a collective


effort involving educators, administrators, teachers, curriculum planners,
students and other stakeholders

3. An emphasis of the importance of citizenship education, for both tutors and


teacher trainees should be considered in designing the social studies
programmes and other related programmes such as geography and history. If
one accepts the assumption that what one is interested in greatly affects the
quality of his learning, then it follows that both tutors and trainees views must
be incorporated in designing the social studies programme.

References
Adeyemi, M.B., Boikhutso, K., & Moffat, P. (2003). Teaching and learning of citizenship
education at the junior secondary level in Botswana. Pastoral Care, 35-40.
Aggarwal, J.C. (2001). Teaching of social studies. A practical approach. New Delhi: Vikas
Agyemang-Fokuo, A. (1994). Social studies teaching: Issues and problems. Accra: Ghana
Universities Press.
Ahmad, I. (2006). Teaching government in social studies: Political scientists
contributions to citizenship education. The Social Studies, 97(1), 8-15.
Afari-Gyan, K. (2002). Introduction to constitutional rule in Ghana. Accra: Sedco Publishing.
Anamuah-Mensah, J. (2008). The role of the teacher education in the new educational reform. A
paper presented at the maiden nationalchristian teachers conference, July 5,
Legon, Accra.
Anderson, A.P., Pederson, P., Smith, E., & Sullivan, J. (1997). Divergent perspectives on
citizenship education: A q-study and survey of social studies teachers. American
Educational Research Journal, 34(2), 333-364.
Arnot, M. (2003). Citizenship, briefing paper for UNESCO gender equality: EFA Global
Monitoring Report. Paris: UNESCO.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


159

Arnot, M., Casely-Hayford, L., Wainaina, P.K., Chege, F., & Dovie, D.A. (2007). Youth
citizenship, national unity and poverty alleviation: East and West African
approachesto the education of a new generation. Research Consortium on
Educational Outcomes & Poverty, 26, 1-56.
Arnot, M., Araujo, H., Deliyanni-Kouimtzis, K., Ivinson, G., & Tome, A. (2000).
Challenging democracy: International perspectives on gender, education and citizenship.
London: Routledge Falmer.
Arthur, J. (2002). Editorial: Professional value commitments. British Journal of Educational
Studies, 51(4), 317-319.
Bronfenbrenner, U.,(1988). Interesting system in human development. In C. Bloger, C.
Caspi, G. Downey & M. Moorehouse (Eds.), Persons in context: Developmental
processes (pp. 25-49). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Cleaver, E., Ireland, E., Kerr, D., & Lopes, J. (2005). Citizenship education in longittdinal
study: Second cross-sectional survey 2004. Listening to young people: Citizenship
education in England, DfES Research Report 626, London: DfES
Dilworth, D.D. (2004). Multicultural citizenship education: case studies from social
studies classrooms. Theory and Research in social education. 32(2), 153-186.

Dinkelman, T., & Hoge, J. (2004 November). Civics teacher education: The troubed
intersection of content knowledge and pedagogy. Paper presented to the College and
University Faculty Assembly at the annual meeting of the National Council for
the Social Studies, Bathmore, MD
Doppen, F.H., Misco, T., & Patterson, N. (2008). The state of K-12 social studies
instruction in Ohio.Social Studies Research and Practice, 3(3). Retrieved from
http://socrstrp.org/issues/showissue.cfm?VollD=3&IssueID=9
Doppen, F.H, Feinberg, J.R., OMahony, C., Lucas, A.G., Bohan, C.H., Lipscomb, G., &
Ogawa, M. (2011). Social studies preservice teacherscitizenship knowledge and
perceptions of the U.S.naturalization test. Action in Teacher Education, 33, 81-93.
Farmer, C., & Trikha, S. (2005). 2003 Home office citizenship survey: top-level findings from
the childrens and young peoples survey. London: Home and DfES.
Fishbein, M., Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief attitude, theory and research. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Addison Wesley.
Ghana Education Service (GES) (2007). The social studies syllabus for JSS. Accra:
Curriculum Research and Development Division.
Ghana Education Service (GES) (2002). The social studies syllabus for JSS. Accra:
Curriculum Research and Development Division.
Groth, J. L. (2006). Adolescents perceptions of citizenship and democracy in Ghana.
Unpublished PhD dissertation presented to the College of Education. University
of Kentucky.
Ichilov, O. (2003). Teaching civics in divided societies, the case of Israel, International
Studies in Sociology of Education, 13(3), 219-243.
Hudson, A. (2005). Citizenship education and students' identities: a school-based action
research project, In: A. Osler (Ed) Teachers, Human rights and diversity: educating
citizens in multicultural societies (Stoke-on-Trent, Trentham), 115-132.
Kankam, B. (2004). Tutors perception on the social studies subject in teacher training
colleges in Ghana. Journal of Education and Teaching, 1(3), 73-83.
Kankam, B., & Kendie, S.B. (2004). Ghanaian teacher trainees perception of the official
social studies curriculum and the resources available for its implementation.
GEMTAJ, 6, 43-53.
Kankam, B. (2012). Issues in citizenship education in Ghana: What adolescents need to
know? African Journal of Educational Studies 2(2) 1-30

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


160

Kankam, B., & Kwenin, I.A. (2009). Achieving citizenship education in schools: Re-
focusing social studies education in Ghana. Ontario Journal of Africa Educational
Research. 2, 1-18.
Kankam, B., (2012). Citizenship education in colleges of education Ghana. An exploratory study
of the perception of student teachers and tutors of social studies. Unpublished PhD
Thesis. University of Cape Coast.
Kerr, D. (2002). Citizenship education: An International comparison across sixteen
countries. The International Journal of Social Education: Citizenship Education, 17(1),
1-15.
Keating, A., & Janmeat, J.G.,(2016). Education through citizenship at school: Do school
activities have a lasting impact on youth poitical engagement? Parliamentary
Affair 69(20) 409-429
Kwenin, I. (2010). Secondary schools teachers perception on citizenship education.
Unpublished Masters Thesis. University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast.
Leenders, H., Veugelers, W., & De Kat, E. (2007). Teachers views on citizenship
education in secondary eduction in the Netherlands. Cambridge Journal of
Education, 38(2), 155-170.
Leighton, R. (2004). The nature of citizenship education provision: An initial study.
TheCurriculum Journal, 15(2), 167-181.
Leung, Y., & Print, M. (2002). Nationalistic education as the focus for civics and
citizenship education: the case of Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Education Review, 3(2),
197-209.
Martin, L.A. (2008). Elementary and secondary teacher education studeents perspectives
on citizenship education. Action in Teacher Education, 30(3), 56-63.
Martin, L.A., & Chiodo, J.J. (2007). Good citizenship: What students in rural schools have
to say about it? Theory and Research in Social Education, 35(1), 112-127.
Mellor, S,(2003). What can history contribute to the development of citizenship
curriculum? In Unicorn. Vol. 22: 1 March
Ochoa-Becker, A. (2007). Democratic education for social studies: An issue centered education
making curriculum. Greenwich, CT: Information Age
Osler, A., & Starkey, H. (2003). Learning for cosmopolitan citizenship: theoretical debates
and young peoples experiences, Educational Review,55(3),243-254
Oulton, C., Day, V., Dillon, J., & Grace, M. (2004). Controversial issues- teacters attitudes
and practices in the context of citizenship education. Oxford Review of Education,
30(4), 490-507.
Ozbek, R.,& Koksalan, B. (2015).The evaluation of the pre-service teachers opinions on
the objectives of citizenship education. Electronic Journal of Social Sciences
55,220-230
Pryor, J., Ghartey Ampiah, J., Kutor, N., & Kankam, B. (2005). Student councils in Ghana
and the formation of the liberal democratic citizen. In C. Szymanski & K. Mutual
(Eds.). Forefronts in research. Information Age.
Torney-Purta, J.,Richardson, W.,& Barber, C. (2005). Teachers educational confidence in
relation to students civic knowledge countries. International Journal of Citizenship
and Teacher Education. 1(1), 32-57
Whiteley, P. (2014) Does Citizenship EducationWork? Evidence from A Decade of
Citizenship Education in Secondary Schools in England, Parliamentary Affairs, 67

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


161

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 161-172, March 2016

The Effectiveness of Instructional Strategies


Employed at Large Class Setting of the Four
Selected Universities of Ethiopia

Meshesha Make Jobo


Assistant Professor of English Language and Indigenous Studies,
College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Wolaita Sodo University
E-mail: mesheshamake46@gmail.com
Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia

Abstract. This study was intended to investigate the effectiveness of


instructional strategies employed in Large Class Setting (LCS) of the
four selected Universities of Ethiopia (FSUE). It investigates the major
instructional strategies currently used in LCS, examines their
effectiveness and proposes effective ones that are suitable for the context
of LCS at FSUE. The subjects used for this study were 700 university
students who were selected using simple random sampling (lottery
method) from four selected Ethiopian universities and 12 university
teachers who were selected using stratified random sampling. The
researcher used descriptive survey research design to conduct this
study. The two approaches of data analysis (quantitative and
qualitative) were used for the analysis of pertinent data that were
collected through questionnaire, face-to-face interview and observation.
The result indicated that teachers of FSUE use lecturing as the
predominant instructional strategy for running teaching at LCS without
giving any credit to students learning preferences which is considered
ineffective. There are different factors responsible for the use of such
ineffective instructional strategy: clear gap in teachers pedagogical
skills, clear gap in making professional teachers to teach in LCS and
mismatch of students population and the infrastructure needed for
running teaching-learning process in LCS. Based on these findings,
therefore, pertinent pedagogical training that promote teaching at LCS
and the fulfillment of infrastructure that accommodate students
population in LCS are recommended for concerned management bodies
of FSUE.

Keywords: Large class size; instructional strategies; higher learning


institutions

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


162

1. Introduction

Large class size is a reality in higher learning institutions of developing countries


(Esia-Donkoh and Antwi, 2015). UNESCO (2006) presents many reasons for the
question why higher learning institutions of developing countries are
characterized by large class size. As they argue, first, it is because of lack of
political motivation that gives attention to the provision of adequate number of
teachers and classrooms which incorporate a large number of students. Second,
higher education and access to it are considered as key elements in national
development in those countries. Third, there are less economic resources
available to fund higher education institutions adequately. These arguments,
directly or indirectly, touches the real scenario of large class size in the four
selected universities of Ethiopia.

In a commonly perceived and long-standing conventional wisdom of students,


teachers and parents, large class size at higher learning institutions is totally an
impairment to the quality of the learning environment (without having any
significant advantage to learners or to their teachers). With similar contention,
some scholars (Aagard et al, 2010; Ehrenberg et al, 2001; Adrian, 2010; Cooper
and Robinson, 2000 and Mulryan Kyne, 2010) state that large class setting at
higher learning institutions highly affects students' performance and
achievement. The rationale most of these scholars provide to their argument is
that large class setting at higher learning institutions invites teachers to use
monotonous traditional lecturing method which hinders personal interactions
between students and their teachers (Spiller, 2014), hampers students'
engagement in learning (that induces students' passivity), obstructs
individualized instruction, reduces the opportunity of providing feedback to
each student and decreases monitoring of each student's behavior and learning
opportunities; hence they advocate small class size.

However, scholars like Kerr (2011); Exeter (2010); Biggs (1999); and Boulton-
Lewis (1998) argue that simply reducing the number of students in a class
cannot be a guarantee to improve the quality of learning environment. A lecture
presented to twenty students will probably not be much different from a lecture
presented to one hundred students. Rather, what makes teaching fruitful at
higher learning institutions is the way how it has been presented to the students
(i.e. instructional strategies). UNESCO (2006) strengthens the same idea arguing
that there is a loosened relationship between class size and students' learning. As
to them (Ibid), students in large classes can learn just as the same as those in
small ones. This implies that the matter is not the size of the class, but the
effectiveness of the teaching strategies the teacher employs in his/her actual
classroom (Davis, 2009; Mclver, Fitzsimmons and Flanagan, 2016).

As to many scholars (For example, Wehrli and Nyquist, 2003; Lowman, 1995),
there are large number of instructional strategies that have been used by
teachers in diverse learning environments. Among them, the appropriateness of
a given instructional strategy that a teacher uses, in a certain learning
environment, is determined based on class size, maturity level of students, styles

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


163

of learning students use, and the nature of a course a teacher covers in a given
period of time (Aburahma, 2015, Carpenter, 2006). As to the knowledge of the
researcher, the effectiveness of instructional strategies at large class setting is the
least researched aspect of higher learning institutions in Ethiopia in general and
the four selected Ethiopian universities in particular. Even, the researcher hasn't
found any study that has been carried out on the issue at the proposed level of
education vis--vis teachers' continuous complaint on their students'
achievement at large class setting. Thus, the current study was planned to
explore the effectiveness of instructional strategies that the teachers of the four
selected Ethiopian universities frequently use at large class setting and to
propose workable solutions for the identified problems.

2. Research Methodology

2.1 The Study Design

The researcher used descriptive survey research design for the current study.
The assumption is that it is suitable to assess and disclose the effectiveness of
instructional strategies that university teachers employ at their actual large
classroom setting in four selected universities of Ethiopia. Pertinent data were
collected from the sample of students and teachers using three tools of data
collection: observation, questionnaire and interview. Then the researcher used
mixed method of data analysis (both qualitative and quantitative) for analysis
and interpretation of the data collected.

2.2 The Research Setting

The study was conducted in four selected Ethiopian universities: Wolaita Sodo,
Arba Minch, Hawassa and Dilla. These universities train students in different
disciplinary areas having more than 35 departments each. All (four) of the
universities are situated in Southern Nation, Nationalities and Peoples Regional
Government of Ethiopia.

2.3 Subject of the Study

The study used students and their teachers of the four selected Ethiopian
universities as its population. More specifically, the population of this study is
the teachers and their students who are running their teaching-learning process
under large class setting of the four selected Ethiopian universities.

2.4 Sampling Technique

Stratified random sampling technique was used to draw sample of teachers from
different academic backgrounds, sex, experience and area of specialization to
respond interview. Sample of students were drawn by using simple random
sampling technique (lottery method) to fill the questionnaire and purposive
sampling method was used to select sections with large class setting for
observation. The researcher used the aforementioned sampling techniques to
collect pertinent data from students and teachers. Questionnaire data was

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


164

collected from 700 students, observation data was collected from 42 sessions and
interview data was collected from 12 teachers.

2.5 Tools of Data Collection

The researcher used three tools of data collection for the current study:
observation, questionnaire and interview. Using these tools, pertinent data were
collected from the sample of population.

2.6 Data Analysis

Mixed (both quantitative and qualitative) approach of data analysis was used for
the current study. The researcher quantitatively analyzed the data collected
through close-ended parts of the questionnaire. He used descriptive statistics
(frequency counting and percentage) for interpretation of the quantitative data.
The data via the open-ended parts of the questionnaire, interview and classroom
observation were analyzed in a qualitative approach. Then, the discussion was
made by integrating both quantitative and qualitative data.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1 Instructional Strategies Currently Practiced at Large Class Setting of the


Four Selected Universities of Ethiopia

Table 1. Questionnaire responses of the students on the instructional strategies


currently practiced at large class setting of the four selected universities of
Ethiopia

No Items <50 >50 Yes No L D QA GW PW B RP PS


f f f f f f f f f f f f
% % % % % % % % % % % %

1 In average, how many 0 700


students are learning 0 100
with you in your class?
2 Do you believe that 650 50
such the class size you 92.9 7.1
are learning is large?
3 In average, which one 560 30 33 26 28 6 12 5
of the following 80 4.3 4.7 3.7 4 0.9 1.7 0.7
instructional strategies
do your instructors
most commonly use for
teaching you in such
large class setting?
* In the table, L=lecturing D=demonstration
QA=questioning and answering
GW=group work PW=pair work B=brainstorming RP=role play PS=problem
solving

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


165

Students were asked to show how many students were learning in their specific
classroom. 700(100%) of them reported that it was more than 50 which is the
upper maximum of most of Ethiopian higher learning institutions. Out of these
700 (100%), 650 (92.9%) indicated their belief that their classroom is large.
Underlining similar idea, one of the interviewed teachers reported that he
teaches four sections each having more than 60 students. As he revealed, each of
the classes he teaches is large in size. It is not the mere count of students in each
of my teaching classrooms that worries me; rather the mismatch between the
resources that we have and such great number of students assigned to each
classroom. I can say it is losing rather than gaining, the teacher argued. Another
interviewed teacher also indicated similar argument but he reported that he
teaches more than 80 students in each of his Communicative English classrooms.
The classroom observation also indicated the same reality almost in all of its
sessions.

One of the interviewed teachers indicated his argument that a large class size is
considered as an advantage when we run it using effective instructional
strategies. It is the clear setting through which students learn a lot from each
other and share their diversified background, said the teacher. As confirmation
to this idea, another interviewed teacher presented an argument that A large
class size is not a gain or a loss in a mere sense of saying; rather it is judged
based on the instructional strategies that we use for running it. However, it was
observed in the classroom observation sessions that majority of teachers failed to
contextualize their instructional strategies to their class size. For example, most
of the teachers in the observation sessions frequently lecture their days lessons
rather than setting students into different types of groups and helping them to
learn through engagement.

When asked the reason why most of the teachers do not contextualize their
instructional strategies to their class size, one of the interviewed teachers stated
that teachers consider lecturing as the predominant instructional strategy that
fits the teaching of large class size (which is also reported by 560(80%) of
students in their questionnaire). However, according Fosnot (1998), lecturing is
not the predominant instructional strategy for the teaching of large class size.
Even scholars like Carpenter (2006) magnify the disadvantages of using
lecturing as an instructional strategy in large class setting.

On the other hand, Kerr (2011) argues that instructional strategies like
demonstration, questioning and answering, group work, pair work,
brainstorming, role play and problem solving are effective instructional
strategies to be used in large class setting. However, students questionnaire
result indicated that these strategies are very rarely used in their classrooms (as
4.3% of students responded demonstration, 4.7% questioning and answering,
3.7% group work, 4% pair work, 0.9% brainstorming, 1.7% role play and 0.7%
problem solving respectively). Similar was observed in almost all observation
sessions. Teachers interview also confirmed that they use lecturing as the most
suitable instructional strategy of teaching in their large class setting.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


166

Teachers present different reasons for why they rely on lecturing for teaching at
large class setting. One of the interviewed teachers presents his reason saying,
Lecturing, as I believe is the predominant instructional strategy for managing
teaching in large class setting. I always use lecturing with the assumption that
other instructional strategies do not work well in large class setting because
large population of students in class and their diversified learning to be
addressed. Many of the interviewed teachers have similar belief that they
consistently use lecturing as a salient instructional strategy for teaching in large
class setting. One of the interviewed teachers remarked that he knows the
disadvantages of relying on lecturing for running teaching in large class setting.
However, he uses it because of mismatch of students population in large class
and the resources available for using other instructional strategies.

From the above discussion, one can generalize a conclusion that lecturing is the
predominant instructional strategy that has been practiced in large class setting
of four selected universities of Ethiopia. Almost in all of these four selected
Ethiopian Universities, teachers ignore effective instructional strategies of
teaching in large class setting: demonstration, questioning and answering, group
work, pair work, brainstorming, role play and problem solving with their
assumption that they cant handle them in large class setting due to mismatch
between students population and the resources available for using other
strategies.

3.2 The Effectiveness of Instructional Strategies Currently Practiced at Large


Class Setting of the Four Selected Universities of Ethiopia
Table 2. Questionnaire responses of the students on the effectiveness of
instructional strategies currently practiced at large class setting of the four
selected universities of Ethiopia

No Items Yes No L D QA GW PW B RP PS
f f f f f f f f f f
% % % % % % % % % %

1 From different types of 112 398 423 568 538 340 320 357
instructional strategies to be used 16 56.9 60.4 81.1 76.9 48.6 45.7 51
in large class setting, which one do
you think is the most effective for
your learning needs in your class
setting?
2 In average, do most of your 80 620
instructors; participate you 11.4 88.6
frequently in different academic
tasks during instructional process?

3 In average, do your instructors 52 648


give you chance for asking them 7.4 92.6
questions during their
instructional process?

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


167

4 In average, do your instructors 76 624


frequently ask you questions 10.9 89.1
during their instructional process?
5 In average, do your instructors 39 641
frequently answer each of your 5.6 94.4
questions during their
instructional process?
6 Do you believe that the 46 654
instructional strategies your 6.6 93.4
instructors most commonly use at
your large class setting satisfy
your learning needs?

* In the table L=lecturing D=demonstration QA=question and answering


GW=group work PW=pair work B=brainstorming RP=role play PS=problem
solving

As clearly indicated in the above table (Table 2, item 1), 81.1% of the students
responded that group work is the most effective instructional strategy for their
learning needs in large class setting. Next to group work, 76.9% of students
responded that pair work is another effective instructional strategy for their
learning needs in large class setting. Sequentially, 60.4%, 56.9%, 51%, 48.6% and
45.7% of students responded that questioning and answering, demonstration,
problem solving, brainstorming and role play as effective instructional strategies
for their learning needs in their large class setting respectively. Even though
teachers of those four selected universities of Ethiopia use lecturing as a
predominant strategy of teaching in large class setting (as indicated above), only
16% of students responded that it is an effective instructional strategy that
satisfies their learning needs. Thus there is a clear gap between students choice
of instructional strategies for their learning needs and teachers actual use in
large class settings of those selected four Ethiopian universities.

In terms of the most and least valuable instructional strategies that satisfy the
learning needs of students, students questionnaire result indicated that group
work is the most effective and lecturing is the least effective. In line with this,
93.4% of students (see table 2, item 6) replied that the instructional strategies that
their instructors most commonly use (lecturing) doesnt satisfy their learning
needs. As the students revealed in the qualitative items of the questionnaire,
such the instructional strategy (lecturing) doesnt give students any opportunity
to fully engage in learning activities of their education. As one of the students
remarked in the open-ended parts of the questionnaire, each of their teachers
tells them what he/she has prepared for the class via lecturing and leaves the
class; without giving any credit to their learning preferences.

As proof to lack of students engagement in overall academic activities in large


class setting, 88.6% of students responded that their teachers do not make them
participate in different academic tasks during instructional process. Again, 92.6
% of the students responded that their instructors do not give them chance for
asking them questions during their instructional process. Furthermore, 89.1% of
the students replied that their teachers do not ask them questions during the

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


168

teaching-learning process and 94.4% of the students responded they do not get
answers from their teachers for their questions. The continuous classroom
observation sessions proved similar reality responded by the students even
though there is a paradoxical element in the responses of teachers interview.
Thus teachers interview results indicated that teachers fully engage students in
the overall learning process during their instructional processes. However, the
actual classroom observation proved the true scenario of what is happening in
the classroom.

From the above discussion, we can infer a conclusion that there is a clear gap
between students choice of instructional strategies for their learning needs and
teachers actual use in large class settings of the four selected universities of
Ethiopia. Thus teachers in those universities use lecturing as the prominent
instructional strategy of teaching at large class setting without giving any credit
to students learning preferences. As the result, the instructional strategies
currently practiced at large class settings of the four selected universities of
Ethiopia are considered ineffective.

3.3 Factors Impeding the Use of Effective Instructional Strategies at Large


Class Setting of the Four Selected Universities of Ethiopia

Table 3. Questionnaire responses of the students on the factors impeding


the use of effective instructional strategies at large class setting of the
four selected universities of Ethiopia
No Possible factors impeding the use of effective instructional Yes No
strategies at large class setting of the four selected universities of f f
Ethiopia % %
1 Gaps in teachers pedagogical skills for handling the instruction of 678 22
such large class setting. 96.9 3.1
2 Immobility of chairs in classrooms to group students for 438 262
cooperative learning. 62.6 37.4
3 Lack of machines to duplicate handouts for each of students. 467 233
66.7 33.3
4 Shortage of ready-made textbooks to handle instructional process 688 12
easier. 98.3 1.7
5 Students negative attitude towards learning at large class setting. 54 646
7.7 92.3
6 Gaps in teacher-training for handling instructional strategies of 553 147
large class setting. 79 21

As indicated in the above table (Table 3), there are different factors that impede
the use of effective instructional strategies at large class setting of the four
selected universities of Ethiopia. One of these factors is gaps in teachers
pedagogical skills for handling the instruction of such large class setting (as
responded by 96.9% of students, see item 1 in the above table). With the
observation sessions, the teachers frequently observed having difficulties to use
different instructional strategies in their large class setting. Almost in all
observed sessions, teachers were dependent on lecturing. As a confirmation of

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


169

this, one of the interviewed teachers stated I always use lecturing as I believe it
is a prominent strategy of teaching in large class setting. Another interviewed
teacher presented similar idea as argument for his frequent use of lecturing as a
suitable method of teaching and ignores other methods (demonstration,
questioning and answering, group work, pair work) saying, they are
incompatible for running teaching process in large class setting.

Students relate the pedagogical skills gap of their teachers for handling the
instruction of large class setting with teachers training (as reported by 79% of the
students, see Table 3, item 7). Similarly, almost in all of the observation sessions,
teachers were observed struggling to use effective instructional strategies
(demonstration, questioning and answering, group work, pair work,
brainstorming, role play and problem solving) for running their teaching process
in large class setting; but they were not successful. This clearly indicates that
teachers have pedagogical skills gap for handling instruction at large class
setting. Confirming this idea, one of the interviewed teachers, states, I am not
confident that I have the adequate pedagogical skills to run instruction in large
class setting. I believe that this problem streams from gaps in teacher-training for
handling instructional strategies of large class setting.

Teachers interview result also indicated that there are some materials-related
factors that impede the use of effective instructional strategies in large class
setting at the four selected universities of Ethiopia. For instance, one of the
interviewed teachers indicated that her large class suffers a lot with material
constraints. As to her, the university she teaches is typically characterized by a
large class size vis--vis severe constraint of materials: lack of machines to
duplicate handouts for students, shortage and immobility of chairs, shortage of
textbooks and references. Another interviewed teacher also worries a lot for the
provision of poor infrastructure by his university for effectively running of
instruction at large class setting. Students questionnaire result (see Table 3, items
2-5) and the researchers observation sessions proved that the classrooms of
those selected universities of Ethiopia are largely populated but poor in
infrastructure.

Regardless of teachers pedagogical skills gap and shortage of materials for


running instruction at large class setting, students at the four selected
universities of Ethiopia have no negative attitude towards learning at large class
setting (see Table 3, item 6). As observed in majority of the observation sessions,
students were eager to ask questions, role play the activities, run classroom
activities in group and like to have their learning difficulties solved by their
teachers. However, the reverse was observed in almost all of the observation
sessions; i.e. teachers simply run instructions using lecturing as a sole method of
teaching at large class setting. When asked the reason why he does not engage
each student in different academic activities of the classroom, one of the
interviewed teachers responded It is too challenging to me to engage each
student in this highly populated classroom to do every academic activity. I just
lecture the lessons that I believe important and order my students to read it by
themselves. I have no choice rather than lecturing as you see this large number
of students in my classroom which is very difficult to manage.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


170

Based on the above discussion, we can draw a conclusion that there are different
factors that impede the use of effective instructional strategies at large class
setting of the four selected universities of Ethiopia. The first one is Ethiopian
university teachers have clear gap in pedagogical skills for handling instruction
at large class setting. The second is lack of teachers training for using effective
instructional strategies for handling teaching at large class setting. Thirdly, there
is mismatch between students population in the classroom and infrastructure
needed for running teaching-learning process in those classrooms.

4. Conclusions and Recommendations

4.1 Conclusions

Teachers of selected four universities of Ethiopia use lecturing as the


predominant instructional strategy for running teaching at large class
setting. They ignore other effective instructional strategies of teaching in
large class setting (demonstration, questioning and answering, group
work, pair work, brainstorming, role play and problem solving) with
their assumption that they cant handle them in large class setting due to
mismatch between students population and the resources available for
using other strategies.
There is a clear gap between students choice of instructional strategies
for their learning needs and teachers actual use in large class settings of
the selected four universities of Ethiopia. Thus teachers in these four
selected Ethiopian universities use lecturing as the only instructional
strategy of teaching at large class setting without giving any credit to
students learning preferences. As the result, the instructional strategies
currently practiced at large class settings of those four selected
universities of Ethiopia are considered ineffective.
There are different factors that impede the use of effective instructional
strategies at large class setting of the selected four universities of
Ethiopia. The first one is the teachers of these selected four universities
have clear gap in pedagogical skills for handling instruction at large class
setting. The second is lack of teachers training for using effective
instructional strategies for handling teaching at large class setting.
Thirdly, there is mismatch between students population in the
classroom and infrastructure needed for running teaching-learning
process in those classrooms.

4.2 Recommendations

The researcher forwards the following remedies as recommendations to the


current situations of instructional strategies of large class setting at four selected
universities of Ethiopia.
Pertinent pedagogical training that promotes teaching at LCS should be
given to teachers who are teaching in those four selected universities of
Ethiopia.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


171

The concerned management bodies of the four selected universities of


Ethiopia and Federal Ministry of Education (MoE) should fulfill
infrastructure to avoid the mismatch between students population in
those classrooms and infrastructure needed for running teaching-
learning process effectively.

References

Aagard, H., Bowen,K., and Olesova, L. 2010. Hot seat: Opening the Backchannel in
Large Lectures. Educause Quarterly, 33: 3.
Aburahma, M.H. (2015). Do not Lose Your Students in Large Lectures: A Five-Step
Paper-Based Model to Foster Students Participation. Pharmacy. vol. 3: 89-100.
Adrian, L. M. (2010). Active learning in large classes: Can small interventions produce
greater results than are statistically predictable? Active learning in large classes.
The Journal of General Education, 59(4), 223-237.
Arias, J., & Walker, D. (2004). Additional evidence on the relationship between class size
and student performance. Journal of Economic Education, 4(3), 311-329.
Biggs, J. (1999). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. What the student does.
Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
Botha, L.; Fourie, N. & Geyser, H. (2005). Teaching, Learning and assessment in large
classes: a reality of educational change. Education as Change,9 (1), 60-79.
Carpenter, J. M. 2006. Effective Teaching Methods for Large Classes, Journal of Family &
Consumer Sciences Education, Vol. 24, No. 2:13-23.
Cooper, J. L., & Robinson, P. (2000). The argument for making large classes seem small.
In J. MacGregor, J. L. Cooper, K. A. Smith, & P. Robinson (Eds.), Strategies for
energizing large classes: From small groups to learning communities(pp. 5-16).
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 81. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Davis, S. (2009). Strategies of Coping with Effective Teaching and Learning in Large Classes in
Secondary Schools in Kampala District. Royal University Mengo Campus.
Esia-Donkoh, K. and Antwi, T. (2015). Instructional, Psychological and Social Effects of
Large Classes on Students of the Department of Education, University of
Education, Winneba, Ghana. European Journal of Resaerch and Reflection in
Educational Sciences. Vol. 3(3): 63-78.
Fosnot, C. (1998). Enquiring teachers, enquiring learners.New York: Teachers College
Press.
Jungic, V, Kent, D.& Menz, P. (2006). Teaching large classes: Three instructors,
One experience. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 1, 1-
15.
Kennedy, P., & Siegfried, J. (1997). Class size and achievement in introductory
economics: Evidence from the TUCE III data. Economics of Education Review,
16(4), 385-394.
Kerr, A. (2011). Teaching and learning in large classes at Ontario Universities: An
Exploratory study. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
Knapper, C. (1987). Large classes and learning. In M. G. Weimer (Ed.), Teaching large
classes well, (pp. 5-15). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc., Publishers.
Lowman, Joseph. 1995. Mastering the Techniques of Teaching, 2 nd edition. San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mclver, D., Fitzsimmons, S. and Flanagan, D. (2016). Instructional Design as Knowledge
Management: A Knowledge-in-Practice Approach to Choosing Instructional
Methods. Journal of Management Education. vol. 40(1): 47-75.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


172

Schanzenbach, D.W. (2014). Does Class Size Matter? Boulder, CO: National Education
Policy Center. Retrieved on 21/02/2015 from
http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/ does-class-size-matter.
Spiller, D. (2014). Maximizing Learning in Large Groups: The Lecturer Context. The
University of Waikato Press.
Toth, L., &Montagna, L. (2002). Class size and achievement in higher education: A
summary of current research. College Student Journal, 36(2), 253-261).
UNESCO. (2006). Practical Tips for Teaching Large Classes: A Teachers Guide. Bangkok,
UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.
Ur, P. (1996). A course in language teaching: Practice and theory. Cambridge University
Press.
Wehrli, G. and Nyquist, J.G. (2003). Creating an Educational Curriculum for Learners at
Any Level. AABB Conference.
Yoder, J. & Hochevar, C. (2005). Encouraging active learning can improve students
performance on examinations. Teaching of Psychology, 32(2), 91-95.

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


173

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 173-190, March 2016

Seven Motivating Conceptions of Learning of


Tertiary Students
Terry Bowles and John Hattie
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
University of Melbourne

Abstract. Of the various ways of defining learning, few use students own terms
as the foundation for the definition of factors. Based on data derived from
students descriptions of concepts of learning a questionnaire was developed.
Responses from 252 tertiary students were used to evaluate and validate the
conceptions of learning. Exploratory and confirmatory analysis showed that the
seven concepts of Interest, Performance, Effort, Understanding, Ease, Natural
Ability, and Preoccupation were acceptable as were levels of reliability. The
consistency of the factors was tested over the duration of a semester with no
significant differences between times 1 and 2 and no significant gender
differences. The implications for further development and application are
discussed as is the similarity of the seven factors with previous explanations of
learning.

Keyword: metacognitive skills; conceptions of learning; motivation to


learn; characteristics of learning; approaches to learning; prompts to
learning.

Correspondence to:
Terry Bowles PhD FAPS
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
The University of Melbourne
VIC 3010 Australia
tbowles@unimelb.edu.au

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


174

Introduction
There have been three main approaches to describing how students conceive
learning, and this paper explores a fourth. First, there are approaches that describe
the conceptual steps students pass through to achieve learning for example Piagets
(1977) developmental stage approach or Von Glaserfelds (1995) research on stages of
learning. The second approach focuses on tasks in the process required to scaffold
learning (Simons et al.; 2010). Third, there are hybrid approaches based on elements
of the two previous approaches, for example, Harel and Koichi (2010, p. 118) argued
that learning is a continuum of disequilibriumequilibrium phases manifested by
(a) intellectual and psychological needs that instigate or result from these phases and
(b) ways of understanding or ways of thinking that are utilized and newly
constructed during these phases. This results in a constant framing and reframing of
what is learned and how to behave with such knowledge towards socialization into
ways of behaving in institutions such as schools. In this research we consider a fourth
approach, developed by asking students to elaborate on their conceptions of
learning. The aim of this research is to investigate a new way of conceiving learning
based on adult responses to learning in both academic and other activities.

Understanding students conceptions of learning is important as they provide a


means of understanding how students conceive of learning and how these concepts
might be carefully applied to teaching in contexts (Lonka & Lindblom-Ylanne 1996;
Richardson 1999) and importantly to develop a set of factors to use in dialogue with
students about personal learning experiences, within a range of context (Richardson
1999; Lin, Tsai, & Liang, 2012; Vermunt & Vanrijswijk 1988; Vermunt & Vermetten
2004). Recognizing and referring to students Concepts of Learning (CoLs) may assist
teachers to understand the implicit learning theories in the formal class context and
informally (Lonka & Lindblom-Ylanne 1996; Vermunt & Vanrijswijk 1988; Vermunt
& Vermetten 2004). The problem addressed in this research was whether CoLs
associated with active learning experiences of young adults systematically form
constructs in line with previous work of Bowles (2004) in developing the CoLs.

Much of this type of research into learning began with Marton and Slj (1976) on
learning as surface or deep, each applying a different strategy. Biggs (1985) expanded
the definition to include a third style of achieving and argued that each could be
subdivided into strategies and motives, leading to six categories of approaches:
Surface Motives, Deep Motives and Achieving Motives, and Surface Strategies, Deep
Strategies and Achieving Strategies. These methods are based on various strategies
when learning whereas other researchers have employed styles which are more
related to beliefs about what people do when they learn. For example, Armstrong
identified 54 styles such as reflective-impulsive, splitters-lumpers, serialists-holist,
and spatial-verbal (see also Zhang & Sternberg, 2006). These styles have been
criticized in reference to their efficacy, lack of consistency in measurement and
multiple definitions of the styles (Cuthbert, 2005; Reynolds, 1997). Further, most of
these styles were not reflective of the ways students conceive of learning.

Other ways of describing student learning refer to types of student thinking, and
includes models such as DeBonos (1986) lateral and parallel thinking tools, and
Ennis (1987) taxonomy of thinking dispositions, and various abilities exemplified by
Gardner (1999) multiple intelligences. These models have support in the literature,
but they are scholastically focused and primarily relevant for adolescent learners. In
this research the focus is on adult learners referring to concepts of learning relevant

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


175

to a broad range of activities and contexts including but not focused exclusively on
scholastic learning, in their own terms.

Learning is not a general phenomenon but is a construct dependent on experience,


context, domain, motivations, and socially and culturally established conventions
usually associated with school learning a view, to varying degrees shared by others
(Confrey, 1990; Purdie & Hattie, 2002; Reynolds, 1997; Sadler-Smith, 2001; Slj,
1987). The complexity of the explanation of learning is shown in Ainley (1993)
clustering of students scores on Biggs Surface, Deep and Achieving motives and
strategies which identified six clusters of how students engaged with learning; which
were labelled Detached, Committed, Hopeful, Engaged, Disengaged, and Keen-to-
do-well. Similarly, Entwistle and McCune (2013) investigated tertiary students
approaches to learning integrating learning processes, motivational factors and
metacognitive factors. Entwistle and McCune found that the first cluster of students
related to a disposition to understand. Other clusters related to a deep approach to
learning and varied on factors such as organized effort and monitoring.

The factors defining the constructs above are very school-based, however learning
can be conceived of differently outside school environments and these are becoming
more important for general learning (Vernon 2014) and engagement from the
perspective of the individual (Bowles, 2004; Vermunt, & Vermetten, 2004).
Importantly, as the contexts of learning change, through the transition from
adolescent to adult, the complexities of the school learning give way to a new set of
situations. The ways learning is conceived in workplaces and self-directed contexts
(Wong, Yong, & Gerber, 2001), recreational contexts (Gonzlez-Haro, Calleja-
Gonzlez, & Escanero, 2010) and different social settings (Johnson & Johnson, 2002)
may vary considerably and be accompanied by a high degree of experimentation.
The CoLs in this research were originally developed by asking adults how they
thought learning occurred when people were competent in a range of activities and
contexts (Bowles, 2004). Given this systematic method of development it is expected
that the CoLs will be relatively independent of the previous scholastically focused
factors.

Previous research has defined CoLs as thoughts, understandings, knowledge and


experiences, arising from the social and personal contexts determining the experience
of learning, from the point of view of the participant (Billett, 2009; Olsson, 2011;
Richardson, 1999). While there is no theory of CoLs research has shown that a
students CoLs (e.g. understanding) is predicted by epistemological beliefs (e.g. fixed
ability) and, in turn predicts specific approaches to learning (surface approaches;
Zhu , Valcke, & Schellens, 2008). There is considerable diversity in the combinations
in which such learning occurs. For example, Bowles (2004) asked respondents how
individuals that were observed to be proficient in nine different talents gained and
maintained their competence. The structured interviews resulted in a range of
responses which were systematically summarized into the seven CoLs of adults:
Effort, Understanding, Interest, Natural Ability, Performance, Pre-occupation, and
Ease. In Bowles (2004) research a constructivist approach was used to establish
adults CoLs. Constructivism has become a common theoretical frame to explain how
people learn (Semerci, & Batdi, 2015) and lends itself to the development of research
questions less constrained by extant theories and more privileging of the
construction of the idea construed by the respondent (Johnson, & Onwuegbuzie,
2004) through interactions, observations and reflection on real life experiences

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


176

associated with learning and how learning occurs (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Butler,
Miller, Lee, & Pierce, 2001; Jaleel, & Verghis, 2015).

The seven CoLs have association with previous research in which Interest means
learning by focusing on enjoyment, interest, and liking the subject and process.
Interest is dependent on the interaction with the activity (Chen, Darst, & Pangrazi,
1999: Krapp, Hidi, & Renniger, 1992). Understanding means thinking, reflecting and
seeking knowledge. Reflective learning for understanding is an important feature of
effective teaching and learning (Diaz-Lefebvre, 2004). Ease is learning comfortably,
suitably and calmly. It has become a major means of imagining learning and is
associated with flow, to facilitate engagement and optimizing effort across a range of
contexts and media (Davis & Lang, 2012). In essence Ease reflects accessibility and
efficiency in an unaroused, paced state of learning (Stevens, Anderson, ODwyer &
Williams, 2012). Natural Ability is defined as believing in and having natural ability.
Performance means focusing on the process effectively by training, performing and
exercising skills. Usually, performance is associated with the outcome of the learning
process whereas Concepts of Learning Questionnaire (CLQ) situates performance at
the micro skill level as well as associating it with the longer term outcome, mastery,
and goals(Lam, et. al., 2012;). Performance goals are strong predictors of academic
achievement (Richardson, Abraham, & Bond, 2012). Pre-occupation means having a
love for it, having to have it and approaching with a thirst. It is little researched but it
is a powerful factor for both proficient athletes and people who need an intense focus
to learn. An overly engaged response and extreme commitment is usually associated
with extreme performance. Effort means approaching with motivation, persistence,
and commitment and is very commonly examined in the literature and is a strong
predictor of grades (Richardson, Abraham, & Bond).

Each CoL described above is conceptually independent of other Cols and are
relatively independent of factors from existing explanations of learning (see Table 1).
The seven Cols share little similarity with Saljos five factors (1979) of increase of
knowledge, memorizing, acquisition of facts or procedures, abstraction of meaning,
and an interpretative process aimed at understanding reality. They are also
dissimilar to Marton, DallAlba, and Beaty six CoLs (1993) and the models of Purdie
and Hattie (2002) and Lee, Johanson, and Tsai (20080. It is because of this
independence from previous research that more research into CoLs is warranted. The
one common factor across the five models was understanding.

Previous research involving CoLs showed a small but statistically significant gender
differences with females higher on natural ability and males higher than females
claiming to acquire and maintain their proficiency via understanding and
performance (Bowles, 2004). This is consistent with previous research showing no
significant or relatively small differences in magnitude by gender (Dey, Shruti,
Kaundinya, & Sinha, (015).

Finally, there has been little investigation of the influence of non-cognitive factors in
tertiary settings, such as CoLs and motivational factors (Chamorro-Premuzic &
Furnham, 2008) but such factors have been proposed as salient (Bowles, Hattie,
Dinham, Scull & Clinton, 2014; Sautelle, Bowles, Hattie, Arifin, 2015; Kennedy, 2013).
What has been shown is that many factors such as personality, , learning approaches,
self-regulation, and preferred modality do not predict gains in GPA directly, whereas

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


177

Table 1. List of factors of five Conceptions of Learning.


Bowles Slj Marton, DallAlba, and Purdie and Hattie Lee, Johanson, & Tsai,
(2004) (1979) Beaty (1993) (2002) (2008)
Interest
Performance
Effort
Ease
Natural Ability
Preoccupation
Understanding An Interpretative Process Understanding (Using and) Understanding Understanding
Aimed at Understanding
Reality
Memorizing Memorizing And Remembering Memorizing
Reproducing
Knowledge Increase of Knowledge Increasing One's
Knowledge
Acquisition of Facts or Acquiring Information
Procedures
Abstraction of Meaning
Applying Information Using (and Understanding) Applying
Changing as a Person Personal Change
Seeing Something in a Seeing In A New Way
Different Way
Duty
A Process Not Bound by
Time or Place
Social Competence.
Calculating And Practicing
Tests

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


178

motivation, a deep learning approach, and (younger) age have been


correlated with GPA (Cassidy, 2004; 2012) and learning approaches and
personality have been shown to be influential in longitudinal studies
(Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2008). Many of these factors interact and
form complex interplays over time (Ning, & Downing, 2010). So, the evidence
about the benefits of factors such as CoLs is mixed and deserves further
consideration. This research aims to provide some evidence of the utility of
CoLs to learning for adults learners.

The problem under investigation in this research was whether CoLs


associated with adult learning experiences form constructs, suggesting an
alternative pattern of CoLs. This is tested first by operationalizing terms used
by students to describe their observation of learning across a range of
activities. The second aim is to establish whether the structure of the
questionnaire can be validated. The specific research questions relevant to
this study are:
1. Do the previously defined CoLs (Bowles, 2004) form a pattern seven
factors when responses form adults are analyzed?
2. Is the factor structure of the CoLs replicated and validated by a
confirmatory factor analysis using a cross-validated sample?
3. How stable are these CoLs over time and do they change even though
there is no teaching related to their application?
4. Are there gender differences reflected in the scores?

Method

Participants
A convenience sample of 236 tertiary students (mean age: 22.90; SD = 6.77)
participated in this research. Of these 152 were female with a mean age of
22.47 (SD = 6.94) and 84 were males with a mean age of 23.47 (SD = 6.13). The
respondents were students studying either Arts or Sciences in the second and
third year of their degrees, at a metropolitan, English speaking university in
Australia.

Questionnaire
The 56 items describing the CoLs were derived from the items associated with
the seven factors that were previously defined (Appendix 1; Bowles, 2004).
Each item was rated in regard to the stem, Please think of a time when you
have had to actively learn a new skill. How frequently did you? The list of 56
items were then listed to be rated against a Likert-type scale: (1) = Never, (2)
Almost Never, (3) Infrequently, (4) Sometimes, (5) Frequently, (6) Almost
Always, to (7) = Always. Examples of the items are, Show interest, Take the
opportunity, Practice.

Procedure
The students were invited to participate in the research on the first week (t1)
of the semester and the twelfth week of the semester (t2). The response rate
for returning data from t1 to t2 was 52.72%.

An exploratory maximum likelihood with oblique rotation (Hair, Black,


Babin, Anderson, & Tatham, 2006; Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007) was used to

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


179

investigate the factor structure using the time 1 data (t1). Items contributing
to each factor were then specified into a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to
validate and further refine the structure of the factors (with AMOS 6) using
time 2 data (t2). The application and procedure for CFA has been described
previously (e.g., Arbuckle, 2003; Byrne, 1998; 2001; Joreskog & Sorborm,
1993). The goodness of fit of the proposed models were evaluated in line with
the recommendations of previous researchers (Byrne, 2001; Marsh, Balla, &
Hau, 1996; Hooper, Coughlan, & Mullen, 2008). A range of fit-indices were
chosen to assess the overall fit of the proposed models, including the ratio of
chi-square to degrees of freedom ( 2/df < 2.0 indicating a good fit (Hooper,
Coughlan, & Mullen, 2008), the goodness-of-fit index (GFI), the adjusted
goodness-of-fit index (AGFI), the comparative fit index (CFI), and the Tucker
and Lewis index (TLI) were selected to comprehensively evaluate the fit of
the model (Tanaka, 1987; Tucker & Lewis, 1973). For GFI, AGFI, CFI and TLI,
acceptable levels of fit are above 0.90 (Marsh, Balla & McDonald, 1988). For
root mean square error approximation (RMSEA), evidence of good fit is
shown by values less than 0.05 with values of 0.05 to 0.08 indicating a
moderate fit (Browne & Cudeck, 1993).

Results
The best fitting exploratory factor model that made most sense was a seven-
factor solution which also corresponded to the factors expected from the
analysis. The seven factors explained 61% of the total variance and each item
loaded on its expected factor (Table 2). An aim was to have three items per
factor so items that were closest in, or repeated word meaning were deleted
(Items 23, 7, 14, and 52). A confirmatory factor analysis was then performed
on the data from the second time period and this led to very good fit. The
CFA fitted the data well relatively (2 (185, N = 253) = 380.91, p = .001), 2 /df =
1.93, GFI = .873, AGFI = .829; CFI = .920, TLI = .902; RMSEA = .066 indicating
a relatively good model fit. The coefficients of the CLQ are shown in Figure 1.

Table 2: Items and Loading on Factors of the CLQ Questionnaire.


Factor
Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C2
1 Interest
22 Enjoy doing it. .993 -.072 .015 -.041 -.026 .072 -.047 .99
15 Like doing it. .811 .027 .006 .055 -.009 -.018 .035 .70
1 Show interest. .504 .071 .078 .045 .162 -.092 .136 .52
2 Understanding
32 Reflect on it. .040 .894 -.027 .022 .025 -.049 -.037 .55
25 Think about it. -.061 .630 .074 -.006 -.035 .140 .031 .72
39 Gain knowledge. .053 .392 -.086 .015 .098 -.116 .365 .49
3 Ease
23 Stay relaxed. .076 -.049 .862 .012 .009 -.013 -.006 .68
51 Stay calm. -.012 .056 .819 -.057 .121 -.015 -.052 .70
30 Stay comfortable. .038 -.001 .626 .090 -.000 -.121 .179 .63
37 Do what suits me. .048 .026 .254 .106 -.180 .159 .035 .22
4 Natural Ability
7 Show natural ability. .032 -.039 .019 .892 .037 -.121 -.107 .76

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


180

14 Show I am born with it. -.030 -.008 .010 .809 -.058 .062 .-004 .65
35 Show a natural .021 .000 .047 .783 -.051 .126 -.004 .70
disposition.
21 Show talent. .068 .089 -.032 .629 .074 .015 .062 .59
42 Show ability. .001 .033 -.037 .605 .127 .010 .157 .65
5 Performance
54 Exercise the skill. .055 .070 .103 .008 .721 .131 .083 .65
12 Perform the skill. .030 -.014 .156 .222 .541 -.061 .075 .50
5 Train. .067 .083 -.066 .038 .429 .228 .105 .52
6 Preoccupation
55 Become compulsive. .023 .138 -.017 .059 .090 .527 -.077 .44
41 Having to have it. -.032 -.025 -.019 .006 .117 .515 .270 .37
34 Having to love it. .215 .064 -.058 .117 -.071 .506 .054 .56
7 Effort
45 Stay committed. .042 -.023 .004 -.005 -.065 .065 .761 66
38 Show persistence. -.005 .056 .068 .011 -.024 .067 .707 .61
52 Show determination. .119 .036 .016 .072 -.067 .015 .600 .64
31 Stay motivated. .171 .159 .151 .063 .016 -.068 .557 .64
Correlations between the factors
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 Interest .26** .31** .14* .19** .33** .19** .27** .33**
2 Understanding .39** .43** .15* .26** .43** .24** .31** .38**
3 Ease .35** .23** .39** .19** .20** .05 .19** .25**
4 Natural Ability .51** .30** .35** .41** .29** .19** .20** .32**
5 Performance .54** .51** .20** .53** .54** .21** .35** .36**
6 Preoccupation .37** .43** .09 .41** .45** .55** .23** .38**
7 Effort .51** .56** .24** .41** .62** .57** .37** .39**
8 Average of Conceptions .74** .70 .48** .72** .78* .70** .79** .49**
Note: Below the diagonal is t1, above is t2; significance level ** = .001, * =.05.
Underlined are test-retest correlations

The estimates of internal consistency reliability (coefficient alpha) for the t2


final measures are all sufficiently high to provide confidence in using total
scores from these scales: Interest was .86, Understanding .74, Ease .76,
Natural Ability .83, Performance .79, Preoccupation .67, and Effort .81 and the
Average of Conceptions was .92 (Table 2), whereas the test retest reliability
ranged from .26 to .55.

Table 3 shows the factor means from t1 and t2. A MANOVA was used to
investigate the likelihood of group differences in a 7 (approach by time t1/t2,
within) and 2 (gender, between) analysis. The multivariate between subjects
tests for gender and time (t1/t2; one semester) were not significant and the
interaction was not significant. Hence, only main effects are shown in Table 3.
There was strong consistency (little difference) in the CoLs over time and
Cohens d also indicating the absence of change.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


181

X1 .36 1 Enjoy .89


X2 .49 1 Like .83 1.45
X3 .61 1 Interest .75 Interest
X4 .33 1 Reflect .89
.69
X5 1.25 1 Think .69 1.12
.55
X6 .57 1 Know .54 Understanding
X7 .83 1 Calm .77 .74
.24
.83 1 Comfort .78 .85
X8 .59
.40 1 Suits .34 Ease .55
X9
.63
X10 1.19 1 Relax .85 .52 .50
X11 .58 1 Natural .79 .99
.47 .66
X12 55 1 Talent .55 Natural Ability .26
X13 .37 1 Ability .84 .50
.41 1 Exercise .77 .61 .21
X14 .65
X15 .44 1 Perform .76 Performance .39
X16 .81 1 Train .70 .26
.31
X17 1.65 1 Compel .55 .52 .45
X18 1.38 1 Have it .58 Preoccupation .51
X19 1.01 1 Love it .76
.39
X20 .42 1 Commit .77 .61
X21 .40 1 Persist .74 Effort
X22 .44 1 Motivate .74

Figure 1: Path Diagram of the Items Contributing to the CLQ Factors.

Table 3: Means, and Standard Deviations for Conceptions of Learning Compared at 2


Time Points and With the Average of Conceptions of Learning.
Time 1 Time 2
F p p d
Mean SD Mean SD
Interest 5.53 1.00 5.473 1.10 .32 .57 .002 .06
Performance 5.31 .89 5.36 .89 .73 .39 .003 -.06
Effort 5.26 .90 5.35 .88 1.76 .19 .008 -.10
Understanding 5.07 .97 5.16 .99 1.65 .20 .008 -.09
Ease 4.89 .89 4.83 .92 .01 .92 .001 .04
Natural Ability 4.71 .97 4.64 1.03 .32 .57 .002 .07
Preoccupation 4.14 1.11 4.16 1.13 .11 .74 .001 -.02
Average of
4.99 .68 5.01 .73 .22 .66 .001 -.02
Conceptions

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


182

Note: 1 Indicates the statistics for the between time 1 and time 2 comparison
(df = 1, 217). N = 136 females and n = 75 males.

Discussion
The findings of the analyses showed that the expected seven factors emerged
with high face validity, high internal reliability and stability over time as
there were no differences between mean between the two time periods and
no differences between the genders.

The terms in each factor were derived from the previous research (Bowles,
2004) and used to develop the factors that defined the seven CoLs. The terms
and factors provide a broad array of CoLs which conforms to Olsons (2003)
and Hatties (2012) view that adult learners bring to the learning process their
own ways of making meaning which is different to the previous
conceptualizations based on adolescent research. The factors form a new,
alternate approach to considering the CoLs of adult and contribute to the
debate by broadening the definition of learning. The CoLs are important as
they represent personal learning experiences including but exclusive to
formal learning settings (Bowles, 2004; Richardson 1999). The CoLs indicate
the learners frame of reference (Lin, Tsai, & Liang, 2012) within a context
that reflects the implicit learning theory/ies held by the learner (Lonka &
Lindblom-Ylanne 1996; Vermunt & Vanrijswijk 1988; Vermunt & Vermetten
2004) and affirm the original set of seven concepts derived from the
constructivist approach explaining how people learn from their own
experience (Semerci, & Batdi, 2015).

The statistical analysis also showed that there was no significant difference
between t1 and t2 means indicating no change in the frequency of use of the
concepts when learning. The test-retest correlations ranged from .26 to .55
and showed that while valid the factors were influenced by transient error
(Fleeson, 2001; Schmitt, 1996; Sijtsma, 2009) in which the timeframe or
changes within the test retest period and state based nature of the construct
renders them less consistent over time. The plausibility of this explanation
rests with the nature of learning, how we go about doing it and how we
conceive of doing it. The absence of changes from t1 to t2 suggests that there
is relative stability in the ways adult learners conceive of their learning. It is
most possible that concepts of learning are used and re-applied consistently
as self-guides from a relatively early age and that without direct intervention
students will continue to apply the same concepts about the way they learn.
Gently challenging these perceptions and practicing alternatives ways of
thinking about learning is likely to be beneficial. The statistical analysis also
showed that the CoLs had a high internal consistency (validity) with
Cronbach alphas ranging from .74 to .82 with an average of all concepts being
.92.

Despite the statistical reliability, the consistency or variability of the factor


scores over time is likely to be advantageous as it is indicates an absence of
rigidity and a flexible approach to learning contexts. Over time effortful
learning usually becomes easier, an interest may become a preoccupation and
move the learner into a high level of mastery, similarly the focus on micro
skills such as, learning a golf swing or plucking a musical instrument may

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


183

give way to automaticity with practice and result in entirely different ways of
thinking about further learning. This means that as learning occurs so will the
processes that scaffold that learning change and our understanding of them,
after reflection. Providing a broad array of concepts of learning and
prompting experimentation with the concepts and their application could
enhance self-directed learning. The CoLs could be useful in facilitating
reflection, exploration and adjustment to implicit learning theories to refine
how students conceive learning within contexts and between contexts. CoLs
have many combinations and may be applied sequentially and/or
concurrently, and bringing to consciousness how adult learners think about
their learning in various situations can be an important beginning to
enhancing their learning, engagement and outcomes.

For learning to occur a number of factors need to be applied individually or


concurrently (Hattie, 2009), however the student has control over only some
of these pertinent factors. Given that most students receive a similar learning
experiences (classes/groups), those who achieve best make the best choices
to apply the most appropriate CoLs when required to demonstrate
proficiency (Bowles, 2004). By applying appropriate conceptions more
frequently, more effectively, and with greater potential diversity, in response
to the demand characteristics of the learning task, optimal learning is more
likely to occur. Broadening of the repertoire of CoLs may allow students to
facilitate more self-directed learning (Hattie, 2009).

Together, the seven factors form an array of CoLs fit for application in a
range of contexts and applications related to three principles of learning. The
first general principle of learning issuggested by Harel and Koichis (2010).
They associate understanding and natural ability with the principle of
thinking and understanding. The second principle of intellectual needs for
learning new knowledge may be related most to the conceptions of interest
and pre-occupation. Finally, repeated reasoning and internalization are most
likely associated with ease, performance, and effort. Despite this similarity
only one of the seven factors, understanding, is consistently found in the four
models from Table 1. This illustrates the relative independence of the factors
in this model. The independence of the seven factors in comparison with
previously published models is most likely the result of the systematic
method used to derive the factors of the CoL. In the previous research
(Bowles, 2004, 2008) the seven factors emerged from an open coding and
systematic reduction of terms freely expressed by respondents. This means
that the language and terms used were noted in the language of the
respondents and the resulting factors retained these common speech terms.

The application of the factors is mainly in identifying which concepts a


respondent may score high and which low and coaching them about how to
interpret and use the information to advantage. Comparison of high and low
scores from a single respondent may be used to expand a repertoire of ways
of approaching learning. Discussion with a respondent about a new learning
experience may consider which concept provides the best approach to
imagine learning within that learning context (Richardson 1999; Lin, Tsai, &
Liang, 2012; Vermunt & Vanrijswijk 1988; Vermunt & Vermetten 2004).
Profiles that are inappropriately, consistently low or high will require

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


184

validation and further work on how to imagine capabilities, task difficulty


and how to imagine learning occurring to benefit the learner. At the most
general level, the relevance of the COLs to adult learners and those who teach
them is to take account of the rank of the CoLs, which was: Interest,
Performance, Effort, Understanding, Ease, Natural Ability and
Preoccupation.

The two most important contributions this research makes is identifying the
seven CoLs for adult learners and thereby advancing the definition of CoLs
for young adults learning through work and self-directed activities (Wong,
Yong, & Gerber, 2001), tertiary study, social settings (Johnson & Johnson,
2002), and recreational pursuits (Gonzlez-Haro, Calleja-Gonzlez, &
Escanero, 2010). This research broadens the definition of CoLs and adds to
the debate about the constructs used to conceptualize learning. Further
clarifying research will be necessary to establish the utility of these constructs
against factors defined in the previous models, such as those listed in Table 2.
The second important contribution is in the utility and accessibility of the
factors as tools within various learning contexts. The seven factors make the
process of learning more inclusive of activities that are associated with
learning within and outside formal learning. In tertiary study these terms
may be used to explore and develop the range of ways that students and
teachers can engage in learning and discuss their engagement. Further,
raising awareness of, and future research into the utility and impact of CoLs
from the perspective of teachers and students is important and how such
perspectives relate with and may change in reference to current and future
technologies and advances in neuroscience (Peterson, Rayner & Armstrong,
2009).

There are a number of caveats to this research. First, it was self-report and
this has inherent limitations associated with self-knowledge, integrity and
bias. Despite these limitations self-report is appropriate given that the aim
was to gain a perspective into how adult students report CoLs. These
conceptions should not be confused with the actual strategies students use
(such as Biggs LPI, 1985). Further, the research was completed on tertiary
students within an educational setting and may not generalize to primary
and high school or to adults in non-educational settings.

Conclusion
The implications and applications of the findings deserve further exploration
to establish the utility of and links between the conceptions. Does
understanding come through effort or through interest or both? Why is the
correlation of effort with other conceptions higher at time 1 than at time 2
when effort would usually be associated with a strong finish at the end of the
semester? Is there a model of learning that may be derived from the seven
concepts and are they specific to subjects as suggested by the previous talent
research? Should CoLs be incorporated into teaching plans or profiles of
scores be provided to students to encourage broadening of use of conceptions
of learning? Future research into the utility of the approaches and the
selective use of approaches within specific contexts would provide evidence
that context bound and selective application facilitates learning and possibly
learning outcomes. Comparing the factors to outcomes, such as grades and

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


185

other work and recreational performance indicators will further


demonstrates the utility of the measure. Validating the measure and the
profile with other measures learning and learning outcomes would build
confidence in the fidelity and validity of the constructs. While transition error
is a likely explanation for the low to moderate test-retest coefficients further
measurement of the error accounted for in test-retest score is required. The
CLQ may also provide information when screening students at entry to
programs to moderate their beliefs, attitudes and observations. Investigating
the precursors of CoLs such as values and perceptions of self (Lietz &
Matthews, 2010; Matthews, Lietz, & Darmawan, 2007) would also assist in
expanding understanding of the development and utility of such concepts.
Finally, as learning is both a general phenomenon and specific activity, tasks,
contexts and mood associated research with the CLQ could be completed to
establish when and which CLQ factors are worth applying and in which
situations (Confrey, 1990; Purdie & Hattie; 2002; Slj, 1987).

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


186

References
Ainley, M. (1993). Styles of engagement with learning: multidimensional assessment
of their relationship with strategy use and school. Journal of Educational Psychology,
85(3), 395-405.
Arbuckle, J. L. (2003). Analysis of moment structures (AMOS), users guide version
5.0. Chicago, IL.: SmallWaters Corporation.
Biggs, J. (1985). The role of metalearning in study processes British Journal of
Educational Psychology, 55, 185-212.
Biggs, J. (2012). What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning. Higher
Education Research & Development, 31(1), 39-55.
Billett, S. (2009). Conceptualizing learning experiences: Contributions and mediations
of the social, personal, and brute. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 16, 3247.
Bowles, T. (2004). Adult approaches to learning and associated talents. Australian
Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 4, 1-12.
Bowles, T. (2008). Self-rated estimates of multiple intelligence based on approaches to
learning. Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 8, 15-26.
Bowles, T., Hattie, J., Dinham, S., Scull, J., & Clinton, J. (2014). Proposing a
comprehensive model for identifying teaching candidates. The Australian
Educational Researcher, 1-16.
Browne, M. W., & Cudeck. R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In K. A.
Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equations models (pp. 3662). Newbury
Park, CA: Sage.
Byrne, B. M. (1998). Structural equation modeling with LISREL, PRELIS, and SIMPLIS:
Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts,
applications, and programming. London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Brooks, J. G., & Brooks, M. G. (1993). In search of understanding the case for constructivist
classrooms. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD Publications.
Butler, F. M., Miller, S. P., Lee, K. H., & Pierce, T. (2001). Teaching mathematics to
students with mild-to-moderate mental retardation: A review of the literature.
Mental Retardation, 39(1), 20-31.
Cassidy, S. (2012). Exploring individual differences as determining factors in student
academic achievement in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 37(7), 793-
810.
Cassidy, S. (2004). Learning Styles: An overview of theories, models, and measures.
Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational
Psychology, 24(4), 419-444. doi: 10.1080/014434104200022883
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Furnham, A (2008). Personality, intelligence and
approaches to learning as predictors of academic performance. Personality and
Individual Differences, 44, 1596-1603.
Chen, A., Darst, P. W. & Pangrazi, R. P. (1999). What constitutes situational interest
validating a construct on physical education. Measurement in Physical Education
and Exercise Science, 3(3), 157-180.
Confrey, J. (1990). A review of the research on student conceptions in mathematics,
science, and programming. Review of Research in Education, 16, 3-56.
Cuthbert, P. F. (2005). The student learning process: Learning styles or learning
approaches? Teaching in Higher Education, 10(2), 235-249.
Dabbagh, N. & Kitsantas, A. (2012). Personal learning environments, social media,
and self-regulated learning: A natural formula for connecting formal and informal
learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(1). 3-8.
Davis, R., Lang, B. (2012). Modeling game usage, purchase behavior and ease of use.
Entertainment Computing, 3, 2736.
De Bono, E., (1986). The CoRT thinking program, Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Dey, C. K., Shruti, R. P., Kaundinya, S. D., & Sinha, S. (2015). Assessment of effect of
gender on learning style preferences among first year medical students.
International Journal of Scientific Study, 3(2), 73-78.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


187

Diaz-Lefebvre, R. (2004). Multiple intelligences, learning for understanding, and


creative assessment: some pieces to the puzzle of Learning. Teachers College Record
Volume 106(1), 4957.
Ennis, R. H. (1987). A taxonomy of critical thinking dispositions and abilities. In J. B.
Baron and R. J. Sternberg (eds), Teaching Thinking Skills: Theory and Practice (New
York: Freeman), 9-26.
Entwistle, N. & McCune, V. (2013). The disposition to understand for oneself at
university: Integrating learning processes with motivation and metacognition.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(2), 267-279. DOI:101111/bjep.12010.
Fleeson W. (2001). Toward a structure- and process-integrated view of personality:
Traits as density distributions of states. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
80, 10111027.
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the twenty-first
century. New York: Basic Books.
Gonzlez-Haro, C., Calleja-Gonzlez, J. & Escanero, J. F. (2010). Learning styles
favoured by professional, amateur, and recreational athletes in different sports.
Journal of Sports Sciences, 28(8), 859-866. doi: 10.1080/02640411003734077
Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R., L. (2006).
Multivariate Data Analysis. (6th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Harel, G., & Koichi, B. (2010). An operational definition of Learning. The Journal
of Mathematical Behaviour, 29, 115-124.
Hattie, J. A. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-analyses relating to
Achievement. London: Routledge.
Hooper, D., Coughlan, J. and Mullen, M. R. (2008). Structural equation modelling:
Guidelines for determining model fit. The Electronic Journal of Business Research
Methods Volume 6 Issue 1 2008, pp. 53 60.
Jaleel, S., & Verghis, A. M. (2015). Knowledge Creation in Constructivist
Learning. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(1), 8-12.
Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research
paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.
Joreskog, K. G., & Sorbom, D. (1993). LISREL 8: Structural equation modeling with
SIMPLIS command language. Chicago: Scientific Software International.
Johnson, D. W & Johnson, R. T. (2002). Learning together and alone: Overview and
metaanalysis. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 22(1), 95-105. doi:
10.1080/0218879020220110
Kennedy, G. J. (2013). The Elephant in the Hall: Motivating the Study of Student
Motivation and Self-regulation in Studies of Academic Achievement and
Persistence in Higher Education. International Journal of Higher Education, 2(4),
179-190.
Krapp, A., Hidi, S., & Renniger, K. A. (1992). Interest, learning, and development.
In K. A. Renninger, S. Hidi, & A. Krapp (Eds.). The role of interest in learing and
development (pp. 1-26). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
Lee, M. H., Johanson, R. E., & Tsai, C. C. (2008). Exploring Taiwanese high school
students' conceptions of and approaches to leaming science through a
structural equation modeling analysis. Science Education, 92, 191-220.
Lietz, P., & Matthews, B. (2010). The effects of college students personal values
on changes in learning approaches. Research in Higher Education, 51(1), 65-87.
Lin, C. L., Tsai, C. C., Liang, J. C (2012). An investigation of two profiles within
conceptions of learning science: an examination of confirmatory factor
analysis. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27, 499521.
Lonka, K., Joram, E., & Bryson, M. (1996). Conceptions of learning and
knowledge: Does training make a difference? Contemporary Educational
Psychology, 21(3), 240260. doi:10.1006/ceps.1996.0021.
McCrae, R. R., Kurtz, J. E., Yamagata, S., & Terracciano, A. (2010). Internal
consistency, retest reliability, and their implications for personality scale
validity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15, 28-50.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


188

Marsh, H. W. Balla, J. R., & McDonald, R. P. (1988). Goodness-of-fit indexes in


confirmatory factor analysis: The effect of sample size. Psychological Bulletin,
103, 391410.
Marton, F., DallAlba, G., & Beaty, E. (1993). Conceptions of learning.
International Journal of Educational Research 19, 227300.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08830355/19/8
Marton F. & Slj R. (1976). On qualitative differences in learning. I Outcome
and Process. British Journal of Educational Psychology 46, 4-11.
Matthews, B., Lietz, P., & Darmawan, I. G. N. (2007). Values and learning
approaches of students at an international university. Social Psychology of
Education, 10(2), 247-275.
Ning, H. N. & Downing, K. (2010). The reciprocal relationship between
motivation and self-regulation: A longitudinal study on academic
performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 682-686.
Olsson, U. (2011). Lecturers Conception of Learning and Use of Methods in
Blended Learning Courses at Three Swedish Universities. Seminar.net: Media,
Technology & Lifelong Learning, 7, 34-45).
Olson, D. R. (2003). Psychological theory and educational reform: How school remakes
minds and society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Peterson, E. R., Rayner, S. G. & Armstrong, S. J. (2009). Researching the
psychology of cognitive style and learning style: Is there really a future?
Learning and Individual Differences 19, 518523.
Piaget, J. (1977). The development of thought: Equilibration of cognitive structures. New
York: The Viking
Purdie, N. & Hattie, J. (2002). Assessing Students. Conceptions of Learning.
Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology, 2, 17-32.
Reynolds, M. (1997). Learning styles: A critique. Management Learning, 28(2), 115-133.
Richardson, J. T. E. (1999). The concepts and methods of phenomenographic research.
Review of Educational Research, 69(1), 5382.
Richardson, M., Abraham, C., & Bond, R. (2012). psychological correlates of university
students academic performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Psychological Bulletin, 138(2), 353387.
Sadler-Smith, E. (2001). A reply to Reynoldss critique of learning styles. Management
Learning, 32(3), 291-304.
Slj, R. (1979). Learning about learning. Higher Education, 8(4), 443451.
doi:10.1007/BF01680533.
Slj, R. (1987). The educational construction of Learning. In J. T. E. Richardson, M. W.
Eysenk, & D. W. Piper (Eds.), Student learning. Milton Keynes: Open University
Press.
Sautelle, E., Bowles, T., Hattie, J. Arifin, D. N. (2015). Personality, Resilience, Self-
Regulation and Cognitive Ability Relevant to Teacher Selection. Australian Journal
of Teacher Education, 40(4), 54-71.
Schmitt N. (1996). Uses and abuses of coefficient alpha. Psychological Assessment, 8, 350
353.
Shuell, T. J. (1986). Cognitive conceptions of Learning. Review of Educational Research, 56,
411436.
Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one.
Educational Researcher, 27, 413.
Semerci, ., & Batdi, V. (2015). A Meta-Analysis of Constructivist Learning Approach
on Learners Academic Achievements, Retention and Attitudes. Journal of
Education and Training Studies, 3(2), 171-180.
Sijtsma K. (2009). On the use, the misuse, and the very limited usefulness of Cronbach's
alpha. Psychometrika, 74, 107120.
Lam, S. F., Jimerson, S., Kikas, E., Cefai, C., Veiga, F. H., Nelson, B., ... & Zollneritsch, J.
(2012). Do girls and boys perceive themselves as equally engaged in school? The

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


189

results of an international study from 12 countries. Journal of school psychology,


50(1), 77-94.
Simon, M., Saldanha, L., McClintock, E., Akar, G. K., Watanabe, T., & Zembat, I. O.
(2010). A developing approach to studying students learning through their
mathematical activity. Cognition and Instruction, 28(1), 70112.
Skinner, B. F. (1950). Are theories of learning necessary? Psychological Review, 57, 193
216.
Stevens, D., Anderson, D. I., ODwyer, N. J. & Williams, A. M. (2012). Does self-efficacy
mediate transfer effects in the learning of easy and difficult motor skills?
Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 1122-1128.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics. (5th ed.). Boston:
Allyn and Bacon.
Tanaka, J. S. (1987). How big is enough? Sample size and goodness of fit in structural
equation models with latent variables. Child Development, 58, 134146.
Tucker, L., & Lewis, C. (1973). The reliability coefficient for maximum likelihood factor
analysis. Psychometrika, 38, 110.
Vermunt, J., & Vanrijswijk, F. (1988). Analysis and development of students skill in self-
regulated learning. Higher Education, 17(6), 647682. doi:10.1007/BF00143780.
Vermunt, J. D., & Vermetten, Y. J. (2004). Patterns in student learning: Relationships
between learning strategies, conceptions of learning, and learning orientations.
Educational Psychology Review, 16(4), 359-384. doi:10.1007/s10648-004-0005-y.
Vernon, P. E. (2014). Intelligence and Cultural Environment (Psychology Revivals).
Routledge.
Wong, J., Yong, Y. & Gerber, R (2001). Conceptions of Self-Directed Learning of Social
Studies Teachers in Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 21(1), 75-87. doi:
10.1080/02188791.2001.10594644
Zhang, L.-F., & Sternberg, R.J. (2006). The nature of intellectual styles. Mahwah, NJ:
Erlbaum.
Zhu , C., Valcke, M. & Schellens, T. (2008). The relationship between epistemological
beliefs, learning conceptions, and approaches to study: a cross-cultural structural
model? Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28:4, 411-423. DOI:
10.1080/02188790802468823

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


190

Appendix 1. Terms Most Frequently Contributing to the Seven Categories Explaining Learning.

Categories Explaining Learning

Interest Understanding Ease Natural Ability Performance Pre-occupation Effort

Being interested Understanding Comes easily Natural ability Training Pre-occupied Practice

Involvement Experience Opportunity Born with it Performance Passion Do it

Like it Learning Content Talent Skill development Need Effort

Enjoy it Reflection Relaxed Creative Achievement Drive Study

Listening Thinking Comfortable Natural disposition Competitive Love it Motivation

Curiosity Knowledge Suits them Ability Challenge Have to have it Persistence

Open minded Awareness As they are Aptitude Competence Really focused Committed

Participate Imagination Calm Inherit skills Exercise it Compulsion Determination

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


191

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 191-203, March 2016

The Right to Information: Library Services and


Disability at Tertiary and University Libraries in
Masvingo Urban in Zimbabwe

Tofara Rugara, Shadreck Ndinde and Webster Kadodo


Great Zimbabwe University
Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Abstract. This article argues that accessibility to, and of information in


institutions of learning is as much a right as is education to all human
beings. The premise for this deductive declarative observation is based
on the understanding that information is a facility that enhances
learning without which we can hardly talk of education. Many countries
in the world, Zimbabwe included, ratified and signed protocols on
equal access to education for all their citizens. For that reason,
Zimbabwe formulated regulatory policies on inclusive education as a
way of discouraging discrimination in education and society at large. In
short, the implied value of inclusivity is equal access to education in
spite of mental, physical challenges or otherwise. These researchers
argue that equal access to education is much more than having the
various categories of learners in one class, one group or same
institutions or signing protocols but includes all the support services
that should act as equalization facilities. This research, therefore,
examined to what extent tertiary and university libraries in Masvingo
urban fulfill this mandate.

Keywords: Inclusivity; human rights; information; library; disability.

1. Introduction
The absence of disabled people in development discourse has been seen as
evidence of discrimination in society (Yokoyani, 2001). As reaction, equity and
equality in education have become major components of the rights discourse in
modern day society (Samkange, 2013). These have become catch-phrases
epitomizing various countries commitment to their peoples rights to education
irrespective of their physical and/or mental states. This led to the adoption of
UNESCOs Salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs
education advocating for the inclusion of learners with disabilities in
mainstream groups (Chireshe, 2013; Samkange, 2013; UNESCO, 1994). By
inclusion, we mean children with special educational needsattend

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


192

mainstream schools they would have [naturally] attended if they did not have a
disability (Chireshe, 2013, p.223). Inclusive education can, therefore, be viewed
as a new human rights and social justice approach to education and disability
(Bunch, 2008). Inclusion, in this sense, involves restructuring the cultures,
policies and practices in education so as to respond to the diversity of students
in their locality irrespective of their physical or mental states (Chireshe, 2013;
Booth & Ainscow, 2002), that is, rights of all learners to mainstream learning
institutions. Mainstreaming is the educational equivalent of the normalization
principle based on the view that people living with disability have the right to
the same life experiences as their peers (Swart & Pettipher, 2001). The concept of
mainstreaming, however, needs to be pruned off its reliance on the medical
perspective in which the barriers to equal access are seen as caused by the
disability of the affected persons with no regards to how the institutional
environment may be contributing to disabling them (Pieterse, 2010). Evidently,
the underlying philosophy for inclusivity germinates from equal access and
education for all movements in which education is seen as a right for every
human being (UN, 2006). The above is tantamount to also declaring that every
human being has right to information (Ndinde & Kadodo, 2014). In other words,
the provision of information is as much a human rights issue as is provision of
education. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities of 2008 reinforced our understanding of disability as a human
rights and development priority (World Health Organization, 2011, p.5). We
note here that inclusion extends beyond the physical placement of people with
disability to include moral issues of human rights and values (Pieterse, 2010;
Clough, 1998; UNESCO, 1994). Inclusivity, in this regard, is a move away from
the deficit perspective (a move from blaming the victim) to a systemic authentic
change (Lomofsky & Lazarus, 2001) where people living with disability are
viewed, accepted and included for what they are. Inclusive education in learning
institutions should be understood as an integral component of a democratic
society (Engelbrecht & Green, 2001; Dyson & Forlin, 1999). The hallmark of a
fully inclusive community is where people with disability can declare that we
are everywhere these days, wheeling and looping down the street, tapping our
canes, sucking on breathing tubes, following our guide dogs, puffing and
sipping on the mouth sticks that propel our motorized chairs (Heyer, 2007,
p.261; Linton, 1998, p.4). This includes accessing and sharing information in
same learning institutions.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability


(UNCRD) (UN, 2006) set the tone for member states to adopt, adapt and develop
their own models of the rights of those living with various forms of disability for
integration in mainstream systems. The UNCRD defines disability as evolving
from interaction between persons living with impairments, attitudinal and
environmental barriers that hinder their complete and effective participation in
society on an equal basis with others (UN, 2006). Impairment, as Chataika (in
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, 2014) notes ranges from physical, sensory, neurological,
intellectual, multi-impairments to mental illness or psychiatric. In other words,
impairment is a long-term limitation of a persons physical, mental or sensory
function (http://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/our-brand/social-model-of-disability

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


193

downloaded 31/03/2015). In Zimbabwe, the spin at making education a right for all
its citizens was visible in the 1987 Education Act that declared education for all
seen as a corrective measure to empower the formerly disadvantaged group(s)
in society. As regards disability, a SINTEF study carried out in 2003 (Choruma,
2006; SINTEF 2003b) indicated that 32% of the people with disabilities in
Zimbabwe had no schooling, 36% had some primary schooling and 32% had
some education beyond primary level. This acted as catalyst for activism on the
rights of learners with various forms of disabilities. The logic informing this
move rested in the recognition of education as human rights issue in which
equal access became the catch phrase. The concept of equal access, however, can
never be achieved without incorporating the rights of those with impairments.
In order to facilitate the integration of learners with various forms of impairment
into mainstream education, Zimbabwe (being a signatory to the Salamanca
declaration for action on special needs education) developed a national
framework to this end (Chireshe, 2013, 2011; Musengi et al., 2010; Mpofu et al.,
2007).

Zimbabwe does not have a specific policy on inclusive education but has
inclusive education related policies, for instance, the 1996 Education Act and the
Zimbabwe Disabled Persons Act of 1996 that advocate for non-discrimination of
people with disability in the provision of education (Chireshe, 2013). This
research, however, notes that inclusivity is much more than ratifying protocols
and designing policies, or having a range of learners together in same
institutions. To fully embrace the concept of inclusivity, it is equally necessary to
ensure all other equalizing aspects are taken into account. Unless this is ensured,
inclusivity would just remain a principle that has very little relevance to reality
on the ground. For instance, Stofile and Green (2007) report on implementation
problems of inclusivity owing to lack of adequately trained educators in South
Africa, Griender (2010) reports on lack of logistic coordination amongst
stakeholders in Malawi, whilst Musengi et al. (2010; see also Chireshe, 2013) note
that lack of resources, relevant manpower training, policy makers and
politicians commitment to inclusivity as serious hindrances to successful
implementation in Zimbabwe. This research looks at both accessibility of
physical library structures and information in libraries as key to inclusivity.
These are components that, together with others, should act as equalizing
aspects for inclusivity to be realized.

1.1 Theoretical framing of disability


Assessing the extent to which institutional libraries support inclusivity (or
thereof lack of it), requires an understanding of how disability is framed because
that inadvertently influences how libraries provide for various groups of its
clientele. There are three perspectives that are used to frame disability. These are
the Medical model, the Charity model and the Social model (Deaf Zimbabwe
Trust [DZT], 2014). Some researchers like Yokoyani (2001), classify these
perspectives into two, that is, the Medical and the Social where the Charity
model is subsumed in the Medical model. In this research, we prefer to
concentrate on the Medical and the Social because we are convinced that the
Charity model comfortably sits within the Medical model. For convenience, we,

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


194

however, begin with an outline of the three. As noted earlier, impairment is in


various forms such as physical impairment, sensory impairment, neurological
impairment, intellectual impairment, multi-impairments, mental illness or
psychiatric impairment (Chataika, 2014 in Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, 2014). It is
beyond the scope of this research to assess which impairment types could be
handled in what way(s) or with what ease or difficulties for inclusivity to
succeed. Rather, our purpose is to assess whether tertiary and university
libraries in Masvingo urban are fulfilling their role to support inclusivity using
infrastructural and informational accessibility for all users.

1.1.1 The Medical Model


This perspective sees impairment as the problem and therefore regards
problems of disability as situated in disabled individuals (Yokoyani, 2001). This
view emphasizes individual deficits resulting in individuals needing to be cured
and cared for. The model conceives that such individuals require medical
treatment from doctors, physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational
therapists etc. whilst their caring requires rehabilitation centres, special schools,
social workers, sheltered workshops, educational psychologists, specialized
transport, sympathy and charity (Yokoyani, 2001; Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, 2014).
This perspective places greater emphasis on the impairment than the capabilities
and needs of the person (Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, 2014). The perspective sees
individual deficit rather than the limitations of suitable provisions for personal
needs (Yokoyani, 2001) as the problem. In short, in this perspective, the victims
are blamed for being victims and are seen as only suitable for peripheral charity.
They are viewed as passive recipients who should be cured and cared for by
professionals within specialized settings manned by specialists. The exclusion is
not viewed as discriminatory but as a natural outcome of a persons physical or
mental deviation from the nondisabled norm (Heyer, 2007, p.265). Given the
views above, what could this mean regarding service provision for impaired
users in a carelessly envisioned library?

1.1.2 The Charity Model


The model sees charity as the only logical way of helping persons with
disabilities (Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, 2014). Charity is envisioned as necessary to
create separate specialized facilities located away from mainstream
community life. A typical example in Zimbabwe has been the establishment of
Jairos Jiri Shelters for the physically impaired away from the so called
mainstream society. The charity discourse is underpinned by the medical model
of disability thus, does not foster self-esteem but instead opiates disability. As
already stated above, we believe that the very characteristics that define this
model situate it squarely as a subset of the medical model that rely on cure and
care that come through charity from the able and the haves.

1.1.3 The Social Model


The emphasis in this perspective is on the socio-political environment in which
problems of disability are situated in social structures (Yokoyani, 2001). The
structures are seen as unyielding and unsupportive of people living with
disabilities. These structures, rather than being enablers, they actually become

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


195

disablers and tend to lower impaired peoples self-esteem creating a sense in


which the so called mainstream society seem to say, It is alright, we understand
that you cant do much within the normal environments. This becomes an
excuse for the many badly designed social structures and mind-sets that are
exclusionist. From the library point of view, exclusion occurs primarily due to
both the physical buildings and institutional inaccessibility for impaired people
(Yokoyani, 2001).

Attitudinal segregation that are coupled with prejudiced views, are deep-sited in
cultural and religious beliefs, and tend to diminish and erode impaired peoples
self-belief that they can actually achieve a lot of progress primarily from their
own individual efforts. In other words, social structures create the dependency
syndrome in people living with disability. In this way, self-assertiveness
diminishes and self-pity and blame sets in. As Harvey (1992 in Yokoyani, 2001)
notes, the situation will not be fully changed until the social structures and
peoples mind-sets towards disability are changed. Unfortunately, the Disabled
Persons Act in Zimbabwe does not have adequate provisions nor powers to
compel services infrastructure and public transport owners to ensure that their
facilities allow free access by impaired people (Mandipa,2014 in Deaf Zimbabwe
Trust, 2014). We believe that when disablers/barriers are removed or minimised,
impaired people can exercise their independence and experience equal access
with a measure of choice and control over their own lives
(http://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/our-brand/social-model-of-disability downloaded
31/03/2015). Drawing from an amalgam of disablers/enablers outlined in the
social model ranging from cultural and religious, segregation, inaccessibility and
social prejudice, this research examines how libraries in the research location
handle two critical enablers/disablers; accessibility of facilities and accessibility
of information for impaired people. Depending on how each is treated, these can
work as either enablers or disablers. One critical assumption of the social model
is that once the nondisabled majority gains increasing contact with their disabled
peers, discriminatory attitudes and fears of the unknown will disappear (Heyer,
2007).

1.2 Libraries, disability and inclusivity


We note that the user is the life-blood of any 21st century library the world over.
The library itself is in fact the heart if not aorta of any institute of learning
(Sharma, 2012, p.222). The inclusive movement recast the mandate of libraries as
an important component of the equalization process. Libraries, as centers of
information provision, aim at providing timely, pertinent and reliable
information for their users without discrimination. It cannot be overemphasized
that the library is the hub of any learning institute. The library has mandate to
collect and provide information to the whole range of their clientele. Wright
(1997) posits that all library facilities and information services should be
available to all library users. What this implies is that the facilities and services
that libraries offer should be in tandem with the needs of all their users. This
research examines whether this equalization desire is fully supported on the
ground. We examine the nature of service charters, what James Cook University
Library (downloaded 08/01/2016) sets out as development of standards that
each of the libraries in the research site has and to what extent these are evident

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


196

of equalization in services provision. We also look at in-house and external


training that the library staff undergo to strengthen their service delivery. In
addition, we look at accessibility of the physical infrastructure and whether
information is properly coded for the various readers to fulfill the librarys
mandated service delivery to all its clients. As noted earlier, there are various
categories of impairment that the library needs to cater for in its quest for
inclusivity. They range from cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional,
developmental, to multi-impairment. This implies physical access to buildings
and service areas, workstations, reading rooms, relevant visual/audio materials,
relevant information technology gadgets for various library user-categories,
specialized software etc. (Atiles et al., 2004). Some researchers like Williamson et
al. (2007) observe that libraries have had problems in providing information for
people with disabilities.

2 Research question
Having noted the presence of library clients with various forms of disability,
these researchers were left wondering as to what extent the said libraries were
copying. We, thus, decided to carry out a research guided by the following
question. To what extent are tertiary and university libraries in Masvingo urban
supporting inclusive education?

3 Research methodology
The current research employed qualitative methodology to assess the role of
libraries within inclusivity education discourse. Qualitative research is a
situated activity that locates the observer in the world[it]involves an
interpretive, naturalistic approach to the world[where]researchers study
things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, interpreting
phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them (Denzin & Lincoln,
2011, p.3; Creswell, 2013, p.43-4). The theme of inclusive education is social
discourse whose comprehension requires understanding of the social world
that people have constructed and which they reproduce through their activities
and interactions (Blackie, 2007, p.124). As Blackie (2007) notes, qualitative
research allows us to understand the meanings of social situations, interpreting
peoples actions and meanings of human-created worlds. Situating ourselves
physically as researchers in the research environment allowed us to interpret
and comprehend the underlying perceptions influencing the way libraries in the
research site deal with education inclusivity and disabled library users. Through
the interpretive paradigm, we sought to understand socially constructed reality
(Yanow & Schwartz-Shea, 2011; Denzin & Lincoln, 2011; Creswell, 2013; Thahn
& Thahn, 2015) from the point of view of both library staff and impaired library
users. We were convinced that we could discover their reality through
participants views, their own backgrounds and experiences as well as through
our own observations (Yanow & Schwartz-Shea, 2011; Creswell, 2003). It was for
that reason that we employed semi-structured interviews and observation as
data generating methods.

The current research took the form of a qualitative descriptive survey design.
The design helped us to understand how things are and what obtains on the

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


197

ground (Denscombe, 2010). In short, this design was very useful in providing
information about the current state of affairs (Kadodo, 2013, p.509) regarding
library services in the defined research site. Information was given directly by
participants (which helped us to assess the underlying attitudes of individuals)
and through observation of situations on the ground (Kadodo et al., 2012).

3.1 Semi-structured interviews and observation


An interview can be effectively used for gathering data about a persons
knowledge, values, preferences and attitudes (Gray, 2014, p.383). Commenting
on semi-structured interviews Brenner (2006), notes that the method allows
researchers to ask all participants the same core questions with the freedom to
follow-up questions that build on the responses received. Since the required
information was located in social realities, semi-structured interviews helped to
elicit highly personalised information that may otherwise not have been got
through other data collection procedures (Gray, 2014). Participants expressed
their views and feelings regarding whether libraries involved in this research
were adequately catering for all their library users. Semi-structured interviews
are flexible in that participants can expand their answers to clarify their
meanings and reasons.

Denzin and Lincoln (2011, p.467) note that observation is the mainstay of the
ethnographic enterprise in which researchers are observers of both human
activities and of the physical settings in which such activities take place.
Through observation, we were able to see beyond participants opinions and
self-interpretations of their attitudes and behaviours (Gray, 2014, p.413). This
data generating method allowed the researchers to observe the physical set-up
of libraries. This data generating method moved us towards an evaluation of
their [participants] actions in practice (p.413).

Use of the two methods allowed us to triangulate and further move us to a


deeper understanding of what really obtains (and why) in libraries in the
research site. It was for these reasons that we used semi-structured interviews
and observations to generate data for this research.

Data collection was done by the researchers. Questionnaire items were


developed around three key areas, namely the availability of client service
charters in libraries, physical infrastructural accessibility and informational
infrastructural accessibility. The researchers developed and administered the
questionnaire and interviews.

3.2 Research participants


Participants in this research comprised eight library staff, four impaired library
users and two impaired lecturing staff. Of the eight library staff, two were
Deputy Librarians whilst six worked at materials issuing as well as help desks.
Their years of experience was two years and above. This selection decision
ensured that we collect data from information rich participants regarding the
phenomenon under study. The experience of the two lecturers was between
three and five years in tertiary and university teaching. Two of the four library
users were in their first year whilst the other two were in their second year of

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


198

study. All participants were drawn from the four libraries that took part in this
research; namely Great Zimbabwe University Library, Zimbabwe Open
University Library, Masvingo Teachers College Library and Masvingo
Polytechnic Library, all located in Masvingo urban.

All research participants were purposively selected from libraries that took part
in this research. We opted to purposively sample participants to ensure that only
knowledgeable people take part in interviews (Cohen et al., 2011, p.157). We
were convinced that we would get valuable information through focusing on a
relatively small but information-rich group (Denscombe, 2010, p.34) allowing
us to understand how the libraries are fulfilling the inclusive education
mandate.

4 Findings and discussions


Results for this research are organized into three thematic categories, that is,
client service charter for inclusivity, physical infrastructural accessibility and
informational accessibility. The results discussed here should be understood
within the context of the tertiary and university libraries that participated.
Although the same results may obtain in other localities beyond this research
area, we emphasize on the trustworthiness and credibility of results than the
transferability of them owing to the uniqueness of each library locality (Gray,
2014, p.186; Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p.120).

Data was analysed qualitatively and the discussion of findings was organized
into themes. The results are thus discussed under three thematic categories
namely, client service charter for inclusivity, physical infrastructural accessibility
and informational accessibility.

4.1 Client service charter for inclusivity


Library client service charter is a document that spells out in succinct terms the
nature and quality of service provision, relational partnership of library staff and
users and the inclusivity of service provision. The State Library of Queensland,
Australia, in its draft charter notes that a Customer Service Charter is an
excellent opportunity to spell out your services and objectives referring to any
existing library policies e.g. internet policy, and any library rules or regulations
(State Library of Queensland, download 08/01/2016). It further notes that the
charter should be clearly displayed in the library, on the library website and on
appropriate library promotional materials to facilitate maximum exposure to the
library community. A client service charter is part of an organizations
continual efforts to improve client services in line with high standards of
quality (Dubai Customs, downloaded 08/01/2016). James Cook University
Library client service charter, for instance, states that it provides an
environment that is inclusive and diverse assuring its clients living with
disability (James Cook University Library, downloaded 08/01/2016).

The results from interviews with library staff and observations that we carried
out revealed that none of the libraries taking part in this research had any client
service charter in place. The interviewed library staff professed ignorance on the

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


199

desirability of a client service charter for, and in the library. What we noted from
some of the libraries were very brief mission statements adapted from
organizational mission statements. For example, one such mission statement
displayed on one librarys website reads to support the teaching, learning
and research programmes by acquiring and organizing access to information
resources in a variety of formats. This is just about all that talks about this
librarys service provision to its clients. The mandate of inclusivity for libraries is
left to speculation with no clearly put across commitment by the said libraries.
This, contrasted with, e.g. the James Cook University Library Charter that reads,
as one among several of its key functions, that We provide an environment that
is inclusive and diverse (James Cook University Library, downloaded
08/01/2016) makes it sound like some libraries operate in the mode of business
as usual with no particular urgency nor are under any pressure to be
accountable to their clients. It is our conviction that modern libraries in the 21st
century must be answerable to the demands of inclusivity as much as they
should to their clients. We strongly believe that libraries should design client
service charters that spell out the expected service partnership with their library
clients. As libraries we must focus on the needs of our clients (University of
Technology Sydney, downloaded 08/01/2016) ensuring that they are all catered
for. A client service charter acts as both a guide and reminder for the library staff
and library users of the essential cardinal rules of service partnership and
provision.

In a related issue, participants revealed that the current crop of library staff is
not capacitated enough to attend to the needs of users with disability. The World
Health Organisation, 2011, p.9) notes that weak staff competencies can affect
the quality, accessibility, and adequacy of services for persons with disability.
One participant in this research noted that There is no specific training geared
towards servicing users with disabilities and that it was out of human heart
that we strive to help them under difficult circumstances. The greater number
of interviewed library staff felt that libraries should employ specialist library
staff capable of assisting users with disability. Another participant weighed in
that Its a forgotten tribe in librarianship referring to disabled library users.
We, however, do not share the same views of employing library specialists to
cater for the disabled users because that would perpetuate discrimination and
derail inclusivity and equal access. This path, in our view, is shaped by the
Medical (including the Charity) model where lack of equal access to service in
the library is blamed on the disability of users than social structures that prefer
keeping disabled users as a separate group needing specialist personnel to care
for them. We rather suggest that all library staff be capacitated to deal with all
groups of users to avoid this subtle form of discrimination. As a community, we
need mentality/attitudinal shift to see all users as deserving equal treatment.
Unless we are ready to embark on this counter-attitudinal shift, we must openly
make our goodbyes to inclusive education.

4.2 Physical infrastructural accessibility


Physical infrastructural accessibility relates to accessibility of buildings, services
space and work stations. This also includes transport systems, all which should

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


200

act as equalization factors. Unless these factors are attended to, then equal access
and inclusive education are not possible in our communities. For the purpose of
this research, we did not include transport and parking issues because we felt
that this was outside the scope of institutional libraries. Data from interviews
and observations revealed that of the four libraries, two had constructed ramps
as an after-thought. The situation at one other library was particularly worrying.
At this library, both the entry and exit points are fitted with rotational single,
upright entry requirement facilities. Obviously, this does not accommodate
wheelchair-bound users and is likely to give crutch-aided library users access-
problems. Our observations at this library deed not reveal any other entry
options to this library. One impaired user we interviewed revealed that such
users relied on the charity of friends who, after borrowing library materials
would share with them. We also noted that at another library, though a ramp
has now been constructed, those with mobility impairment were limited to the
ground floor because there are no elevators. The only means of access to the first
floor is a flight of steps. On the plus side, we noted that one of the four libraries
has purpose-built restrooms but the other three still have to make such
provisions. Interviews with both library staff and impaired users, and our
observations revealed that in all libraries there were no height-adjustable tables
for users with such requirements. We also noted that access to some
workstations and services desks was not guaranteed for some impaired users
owing to infrastructural designs.

In his Foreword to the Report of the World Health Organization, Professor


Stephen W Hawking notes that My house and my workplace have been made
accessible for me (World Health Organization, 2011, p.3) indicating that for
equality and inclusivity to be realized we need to make deliberate efforts to
adjust physical infrastructure to be accommodative of all library users. The
World Health Organization (2011) notes that reports from even countries with
laws on accessibility, even those dating as far back as from twenty to forty years
ago, confirm a very low level of compliance with these requirements. What this
tells us is that we need to double our efforts for inclusive education and equal
access to be realized.

6.3 Informational accessibility


Informational accessibility refers to accessibility of information in formats
consistent with the requirements of each library-user categories. Interviews and
observations yielded data that revealed that the great bulk of library information
was not available in formats accessible to some impaired library users. For
example, speech to text and/or text to speech computer software, speech
synthesizers, magnification equipment, large print and braille were
conspicuously absent from the four libraries. Only one library had some
software for the partially-blind. There were equally no capacitating sign
language interpreters or displayed signs for the deaf and those hard-of-hearing
(dumb). In short, the libraries in the whole did not have special format materials
and technical aids for those impaired. While the four libraries had computers
and other electronic gadgets, they did not have any adaptive technology and
software for impaired library users. The World Health Organizations (2011,

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


201

p.10) report also notes that reports from elsewhere indicate that Little
information is available in accessible formats, and many communication needs
of people with disabilities are unmet. Most of the interviewed library staff sited
lack of resources and funding as a major handicap.

5 Conclusion and recommendations


This research notes that the current position of the four participating libraries is
that they are not offering adequate services to some of their library users. It was
discovered that some user-categories are not fully catered for. As noted by
various research participants, one of the noted problems is funding for libraries
to make necessary physical infrastructural alterations to allow free access to
services and facilities by impaired users as well as for the procurement of
technologies and information in formats consistent with the needs of various
groups of impaired users. However, in our view, this problem goes deeper than
meets the eye where we may be framed to see the library and its environs as
the problem. The issues go deeper than just the provision of the physical
infrastructure and informational access. These issues need also to be understood
at the attitudinal level for library staff, institution managers and policy makers.
Unless commitment to inclusivity is demonstrated and vigorously supported
from the national executive (politicians) there will be very little progress in
realizing equal access in the area of education, and libraries in particular.
Ratification and implementation of policies should be translated into practical
actions that are backed by the executive at national level. In our view, we need
to move away from seeing impairment from a deficit position to enabling social
structures that allow impaired people to unleash their potentials. Meaningful in-
housing training for library staff can only be realized when attitudes to impaired
people are positive. As Engel and Munger (2003, p.80) notes, rights shape
identities and these determine how the rights can be turned into rights as a
framework interpretingexperiences of unfairness. We believe that by
positively framing impairment, we move a step in the right direction in
equalization of both physical infrastructural and informational accessibility as
well as developing positive attitudes towards impaired library user.

Declaration
The researchers wish to declare that there was no research grant attached to this
research by any organization.

References
Atiles, A.J., Trent, S.C. & Palmer, J. (2004). Culturally diversity students in special
education: Legacies and prospects. In Banks, J.A. & Banks, C.M. (eds.),
Handbook of research on multicultural education (2 nd) (pp.716-735). San
Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Blaikie, N. (2007). Approaches to Social Enquiry: Advancing Knowledge (2 nd ed.).
Malden, MA: Polity Press.
Booth, T. & Ainscow, M. (2002). Index for Inclusion. Developing Learning and
Participation in Schools. Bristol: Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.
Brenner, M.E. (2006). Interviewing in Educational Research. In American Educational
Research Association, Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education, pp.
357-370.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


202

Bunch, G. (2008). Key to successful inclusive education: A perspective from experience in


the field. Revista Education Inclusiva, 1, pp.91-101.
Chireshe, R. (2011). Trainee special needs education teachers attitudes towards inclusive
education in Zimbabwe. Journal of Social Sciences, 27(3), pp.157-164.
Chireshe, R. (2013). The State of Inclusive Education in Zimbabwe: Bachelor of
Education (Special Needs Education) Students Perceptions. Journal of
Sociological Science, 34(3), pp.223-228.
Choruma, T. (2006). The Forgotten Tribe: people with disabilities in Zimbabwe. London:
Progresio.
Clough, P. (1998). Managing inclusive education: from policy to experience. London:
Paul Chapman Publishing Limited.
Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education (7 th ed.).
London: Routledge.
Cresswell, J. W. (Ed.). (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed
methods approaches. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Creswell, J.W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five
Approaches (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust (2014). Zimbabwe Disability and Inclusive Development Forum:
Disability Awareness and Mainstreaming Workshop Report, 30-31 January 2014.
Denscombe, M. (2010). The Good Research Guide (4 th ed.). Berkshire, England: Open
University Press.
Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (2011). Introduction: The discipline and practice of
qualitative research. The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4 th ed.)(pp.1-
19). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dubai Customs,
http://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/CustomerCare/Pages/ClientServiceCha
rter.aspx (downloaded 08/01/2016)
Dyson, A. & Forlin, C. (1999). An international perspective on inclusion. In Engelbrecht,
P., Green, L., Naicker, S. & Engelbrecht, L. Inclusive education in action in South
Africa. Pretoria: Van Schaik.
Engel, D.M. & Munger, F.W. (2003). Rights of Inclusion: Law and Identity in the Life
Story of Americans with Disabilities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Engelbrecht, P. & Green, L. (2001). Promoting learner development: preventing and
working with barriers to learning and development. Pretoria: Van Schaik.
Gray, D.E. (2014). Doing Research in the Real World (3 rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.
Griender, E. (2010). Making Education Inclusive. Conference at the University of
Malawi, Chancellor College, September 2-4, 2010.
Heyer, K. (2007). A Disability Lens on Sociolegal Research: Reading Rights of Inclusion
from a Disability Studies Perspective. Law & Social Inquiry, 32(1), pp.261-293.
http://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/our-brand/social-model-of-disability
(downloaded 31/03/2015).
James Cook University Library, https://www.jcu.edu.au/ (downloaded 08/01/2016).
Kadodo, W. (2013). Homework: An Interface between Home and School. Is it a Myth or
Reality in Rural Zimbabwean Primary Schools? In British Journal of Education,
Science & Behavioural Science, 3(4), pp.504-518.
Kadodo, W., Kadodo, M., Bhala, T. & Bhebe, C. (2012). The influence of teachers and
students language attitudes towards the use of shona as medium of
instruction in secondary schools. In International Journal of English and
Literature Vol. 3(2), pp.32-39.
Linton, S. (1998). Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity. New York: New York
University Press.
Lomofsky, L. & Lazarus, S. (2001). South Africa: first steps in the development of an
inclusive education system. South African Jrn. of Education, 31(3), pp.303-317.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


203

Mpofu, E., Kasayira, J., Mhaka, M.M., Chireshe, R. & Maunganidze, L. (2007). Inclusive
education in Zimbabwe. In Engelbrecht, P. & Green, L. (Eds.). Responding to the
Challenges of Inclusive Education in Southern Africa(pp.66-79). Pretoria: Van
Schaik Publishers.
Musengi, M., Mudyahoto, T. & Chireshe, R. (2010). Sports participation by pupils with
disabilities in inclusive education settings in Masvingo Urban, Zimbabwe.
Educational Journal of Behavioral Science, 1(1), pp.4-25.
Ndinde, S. & Kadodo, W. (2014). The Role of Community-Based Information Centers in
Development: Lessons for Rural Zimbabwe. In International Journal of Learning,
Teaching and Educational Research, 2(1), pp.44-53.
Pieterse, G. (2010). Establishing a framework for an integrated, holistic, community
based educational support structure. Doctoral thesis, Nelson Mandela
Metropolitan University, South Africa.
Samkange, W. (2013). Inclusive Education at Primary School: A Case of One Primary
School in Glen View/Mufakose Education District in Harare, Zimbabwe.
International Journal of Sociology Science & Education, 3(4), pp.953-963.
Sharma, R.N. (ed.) (2012). Libraries in the Early 21 st Century: An International
Perspective, Volume 2. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter.
SINTEF (2003b). Living conditions among people with activity limitations in Zimbabwe:
a representative regional survey. Olso, Norway: Foundations for Scientific and
Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology.
State Library of Queensland, www.plconnect.slq.gld.gov.au/_.../sample_... download
(downloaded 08/01/2016).
Stofile, S.Y. & Green, L. (2007). Inclusive education in South Africa. In Engelbrecht, P. &
Green, L. (Eds.). Responding to the Challenges of Inclusive Education in
Southern Africa (pp.52-65). Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers.
Swart, E. & Pettipher, R. (2001). Changing roles for principals and educators. In
Engelbrecht, P. & Green, L. Promoting learner development: preventing and
working with barriers to learning and development. Pretoria: Van Schaik.
Thanh, N.C. & Thanh, T.T. (2015). The Interconnection Between Interpretivist Paradigm
and Qualitative Methods in Education. American Journal of Educational Science,
1(2), pp.24-27.
The 1987 Education Act. The Government of Zimbabwe.
UN (2006). The Convention in Brief,
http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=16&pid=156 (downloaded
27/03/2015).
UNESCO (1994). The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action. Paris: UNESCO.
University of Technology Sydney, WWW.LIB.UTS.EDU.AU (downloaded 08/01/2016).
UNSECO (1994). World Conference on Special Needs: Framework for Action.
Salamanca, Spain.
Williamson, P., Mcleskey , J., Hoppley, D. & Reintz, T. (2007). Educating students with
mental retardation in general education classrooms. In Exceptional Children, 72,
pp.347-361.
World Health Organization (2011). World Report on Disability. Geneva, Switzerland:
World Health Organization.
Wright, K.C. (1997). Library service to the blind and physically handicaped. Englewood:
Libraries Unlimited.
Yanow, D., & Schwartz-Shea, P. (2011).Interpretive Approaches to Research Design:
Concepts and Processes. Netherlands: Routledge.
Yokoyani, K. (2001). Promoting Inclusive Education in Neluwa, a Tea Plantation Area in
Sri Lanka, through the Community Based Rehabilitation Programme. MA thesis
in International Education, University of Sussex Institute of Education.

2016 The authors and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


204

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research


Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 204-217, March 2016

Student Attentive State Data Accumulation for


Attention Tracker Development

Chi-Jen Lin
Fo Guang University
Yilan 26247, Taiwan

Abstract. Attention is vital to learning, and attention trackers are


potentially powerful tools for education practitioners. Herein, the
promising technologies and relevant studies on attention are reviewed.
In order to realize the goals of attention trackers, this study aimed to
accumulate initial attentive state data, and to explore potential problems
in the use of the accumulated data. It was found that the gaze location
was a good estimator of the students attentive state. It was also
discovered that real-time applications of attention trackers may find that
previously obtained student attentive states must be altered at a later
time. More studies are required for the development of attention
trackers with desired characteristics. However, published results are
promising.

Keywords: Attention tracker; gaze estimation; webcam

Introduction
Attention is an indispensable factor of successful learning. Without attention,
poor learning outcomes are expected (Nissen & Bullemer, 1987). The impact of
inattention on math and reading achievement of elementary children is both
concurrent and longitudinal (Grills-Taquechel, et al., 2013; Gray, et. Al., 2015).
Therefore, student attentive state data (attentive or inattentive) are valuable to
investigate the reasons of poor student learning outcomes. In fact, student
attentive state data are also informative for investigations of how instruction
influences learning. For example, if a specific group of students in a class lose
their attention at a specific time, this may indicate that the lecture was boring or
too difficult for them at that time. Therefore, student attentive state data are
valuable for the instructors assessment and for instructional improvement
studies.

In an ordinary classroom, it is generally not feasible to track and record the


variation of attentive states of each student during the class. Even if it is
economically feasible to track students attentive states manually, it is expected
there will be increased interference during the class under such educational
settings. Hence, student attentive state data should be better obtained through

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


205

automated tools, or using the attention trackers proposed in this study. In


addition to applications in classrooms, attention trackers may also increase the
bandwidth of intelligent tutoring systems in student modeling and allow
implementation of more effective learning experiences. They may also be used to
create new types of e-learning systems.

Recent advancements in the field of computer vision, along with other


technological advancements, have facilitated the implementation of numerous
practical applications, such as body motion sensing (Zhang, 2012), eye gaze
control of computing devices (Lopez-Basterretxea, Mendez-Zorrill, & Garcia-
Zapirain, 2015), Google glasses, and self-driving cars (Greenblatt, 2016). Most of
these applications focused on commodities or entertainment. Unfortunately,
development of similar applications in the field of education has received much
lesser attention. However, based on the trend of development of these
applications, this study envisions and argues that the development of attention
trackers using webcams is promising with existing computer vision techniques.
The use of webcams is emphasized because they are currently available on most
smart phones, pad and laptop computers. Thus, all these devices can be
converted into attention trackers with the installation of dedicated software.
Relevant computer vision techniques will be reviewed in this paper to justify
this argument.

When attention trackers are eventually created, their accuracy in attention


tracking must be quantified to evaluate their usability. To quantify the accuracy
of attention trackers, a video database of student learning with the associated
attentive state labels assigned by human beings is required. The video data will
be input into attention trackers to produce attention tracking data that will be
compared with the attentive state labels stored in the database. Subsequently,
the accuracy of attention trackers will be calculated based on the comparative
results. Given that this attention tracking database does not exist currently, it is
imperative that is manually created. In addition to accumulating data for this
database, it is also significant to investigate whether consistency problems exist
in the attentive state labels assigned by different persons. This consistency study
is significant for verification of the effectiveness of the accuracy measure.

In the remaining parts of this paper, we will first review some prior literature
studies on the topic of attention, and the promising techniques for attention
tracker development. An experiment on how to accumulate student attention
data, and the generated results, are subsequently described. Discussion and
conclusions are also outlined.

Published studies on attention


Attention was extensively studied in many academic fields, including
psychology, cognitive science, special education, human-computer interface,
computer vision, etc. It was reported that more than 40,000 studies existed in a
survey of attention studies (Lin & Chou, 2010). However, concerns raised by the
published studies differed among academic fields or even within the same field
in some occasions. In the field of psychology, it was stated that the word

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


206

attention could refer to different phenomena, such as focused attention,


selective attention, attention switching, divided attention, and sustained
attention (Wickens & McCarley, 2007). Nonetheless, psychological studies
mainly focused on articulating the mental mechanisms of attention of human
beings. On the other hand, human-computer interface studies manage user
attention in order to optimize information displayed to users (Bulling, 2016),
while special education studies might focus on training of children with
attention deficit disorders (Barkley, 2013; DuPaul & Stoner, 2014; Smith, et al.,
2015). However, among the various concerns of attention studies, the topic of
visual attention intrigued the largest number of researchers, including those in
the fields of psychology, cognitive science, computer vision, and education. A
vast amount of work was conducted to study visual attention during reading,
scene perception, and visual search (Rayner, 2009; Borji & Itti, 2013). Such
studies were generally conducted with eye movement data.

This study investigates attention tracking, the mechanisms to recognize


immediately on whether students are attentive during learning, especially
during lectures. This scientific concern of attention is novel and few similar
study is dedicated to it. It is significant to discover how much information is
needed to recognized effectively students attentive states. It was indicated in
the literature that eye behavioral information, such as saccadic velocities,
fixation durations, blink rates, and pupil diameters, were beneficial for inferring
the emotional states of students (Porta, Ricotti, & Perez, 2012), which might be
also beneficial for inferring the attentive states of students. Therefore, the studies
of visual attention and eye behaviors were valuable for the study of attention
tracking. It was also known that attention could be classified into overt and
covert attention (Wickens & McCarley, 2007; Rayner, 2009; Bulling, 2016).
Behavioral traits of overt attention showed alignment between gaze position and
the object of interest, while covert attention did not. However, covert attention
was difficulty to be estimated (Bulling, 2016). Furthermore, it was claimed that
covert attention was not easy to achieve for tasks such as reading, scene
perception, and visual search (Rayner, 2009). Thus, it was practical to neglect
covert attention while inferring student attentive states for attention tracker
development.

Potential techniques and strategy for attention tracker development


Attention tracking might involve estimation of visual attention, eye behaviors,
facial expressions, and body gestures. Therefore, the task of attention tracking
was supposed to be complex and difficult. However, the techniques used to
estimate most of the aforementioned human behaviors were extensively studied
in the computer vision literature. Particularly, gaze estimation (estimation of
gaze position) with webcam data is now maturing (Li, Li, Qin, 2014; Wood &
Bulling, 2014), although the main stream studies typically use cameras with
improved specifications and an additional infrared light source to increase the
accuracy of estimation (Chennamma & Yuan, 2013; Al-rahayefh & Faezipour,
2013). Products also exist for facial expression recognition, such as the
FaceReader (for recognition of the emotion expressed by a facial expression),
and for body gestures recognition, such as the Xbox Kinect. Therefore, in order

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


207

to develop an attention tracker, it is important to learn how to discern whether


students are attentive during learning by combining all these information.

To reduce the complexity in the development of attention trackers, techniques


that could be potentially beneficial will be introduced incrementally, with a
priority placed on gaze estimation. Gaze position is believed to account for most
of the attentive states of students. If the gaze position of a student is targeted on
a reasonable area, such as the lecturer or learning material, it is plausible to
assume that the student is attentive. This hypothesis will be preliminarily
explored in the experiment reported in next section. Information obtained from
facial expressions and body gestures may be used to vindicate or override the
assumptions posed for gaze estimation. Comparing the estimation of attention
trackers with accumulated data in the attention tracking database might be
beneficial to reveal how to combine all these information. Furthermore, studies
of consistent attentive state label assignments by different people may also help
discover the knowledge possessed by humans. Therefore, the task of
accumulating student attentive state data is essential for the development of
attention trackers.

Experiment on attentive state data accumulation


As stated in the introduction section, two types of information have to be
accumulated in the attention tracking database, namely, video data of student
learning, and their attentive state labels. However, the duration of video clips
must be decided before commencing the data labeling task. In this study, video
data of student learning was logically divided into units of five-second video
clips to facilitate subsequent work. The video clips of the same student were
actually stored in the same file, but a blank frame was added to separate one
video clip from another. Each logical video clip was reviewed, and was then
independently labeled with its attentive state by two students. This video
analysis approach was suggested in the literature (Wu, Sung, & Chien, 2010).
Hence, there were two attentive state labels for each logical video clip in order to
facilitate the conduct of the consistency study. At this stage of the attention
tracker development, the best place to use the webcam for this experiment was
in PC rooms. Therefore, the experiment was conducted with students who
attended classes in PC rooms. The details and the results of the experiment are
given in the following subsections.

Experimental tools
Some software applications were developed to facilitate the experimental tasks
and to reduce the error rates in video data labeling, and labeling data
transcription. The functions of each software application are explained below.

(1) Video recording software: The main task of this software was to record
video data of student learning. Since the video data was planned to be
divided into five-second video clips, a blank frame was automatically
added every five seconds by the software. Moreover, before recording, a
calibration process was conducted to facilitate subsequent work. Firstly, a
student had to ensure that the webcam setup was able to fully capture the

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


208

user. Therefore, after launching the software, a window appeared, and


displayed what the webcam captured, as shown in Fig. 1a, in order to
facilitate adjustment of the webcam setup. Secondly, in order to facilitate
the task of attentive state labeling, some reference shots of each student
were taken when the student was looking at the teacher and at the four
corners of the screen, respectively, as shown in Fig. 1b to Fig. 1f. These
reference shots were supposed to be compared with the video clip data in
order to determine if the student was attentive or not. In Fig. 2b, the user
was asked to press the spacebar while looking at the teacher. In the
meantime, while the spacebar was pressed, a reference shot of the student
was taken while looking at the teacher. Similarly, the student was asked to
click at the disk located at the four corners of the screen. Reference shots
were taken while the student was looking at the four corners of the screen.

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

(e) (f)
Figure 1: Calibration process before video recording.

(2) Attentive state labeling software: This software was used to display video
clips stored in video files created by the video recording software, and to
assign the associated attentive state labels. After loading a video file, the
software automatically read the five reference shots and displayed them in
designated tabs, as shown in Fig. 2b to Fig. 2f. The video itself was shown in

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


209

the first tab, as indicated in Fig. 2a. The user could switch from one tab to
another freely, even during the video play. At the end of a video clip, the
video display was automatically stopped. The play button was pressed to
advance to the next video clip. However, to enable a fast search of video
clips, the number of video clips could be keyed in to allow easy navigation.
The results of attentive state labels were saved whenever the user clicked on
the save button.

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

(e) (f)
Figure 2: Interface for attentive state labeling (a), and sample reference shots (b-f).

2016 The author and IJLTER.ORG. All rights reserved.


210

(3) Gaze location labeling software: This software was used to label student
gaze location in each video clip whenever it focused on reasonable targets,
namely, on the computer screen, or on the teacher. These gaze location data
were used for comparison with attentive state data to explore how well the
gaze location data accounted for attentive state data. The interface of this
software was similar to attentive state labeling software, and only some
descriptive text labels in the interface differed.

Participants
Eleven students in total participated in the video recording experiment. Two
students failed to properly set up their webcams, and their videos did not
always include their entire heads. Unknown technical problems occurred in the
video recording for one student leading to a non-useful video file. Therefore, the
video data of these three students were not used in subsequent studies. All
students recorded their own videos while attending a class in a PC room. Four
students were hired to conduct the video labeling tasks, including the attentive
state labeling, and the gaze location labeling.

Procedures
Initially, four student workers were hired to conduct the video recording
experiment in order to identify potential problems of video recording in a PC
class. These four students positioned webcams on the top of the computer
monitors, at a position in front of the u