International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 2834-7919   |  e-ISSN: 1554-5210

Volume 13 Issue 2 (June 2017)

Original Articles

American progressive education and the schooling of poor children: A brief history of a philosophy in practice

Rebecca Garte

pp. 7 - 17


This paper provides a historical analysis of the past century of progressive education, within the general socio-political context of schooling within the US. The purpose of this review is to create a social, historical and philosophical context for understanding the current narrative of progressive education that exists in educational policy discussions today. Major scholarly works related to progressive education are situated within the political climate of the times of their publication. Over the course of this discussion an argument is presented that shows how progressive education has been related to the education and emancipation of disadvantaged children at different points according to the societal emphasis of the time. The final section of the paper proposes a radical form of emancipatory teaching that requires a wide range of abilities among teachers and is matched to elements of the moments in history when progressive education was most effective for poor children.

Keywords: Inexpert raters, generalizability theory, variability of ratings, writing assessment

Comparison of Science-Technology-Society Approach and Textbook Oriented Instruction on Students’ Abilities to Apply Science Concepts

Hasan Ozgur Kapici, Hakan Akcay, & Robert E. Yager

pp. 18 - 28


It is important for students to learn concepts and using them for solving problems and further learning. Within this respect, the purpose of this study is to investigate students’ abilities to apply science concepts that they have learned from Science-Technology-Society based approach or textbook oriented instruction. Current study is based on quantitative research methodology. The participants of the study are 609 students. Science classes were designed based on STS approach curriculum for 301 students, which is called as experimental group and textbook oriented instruction was followed with 308 students as a control group. The students were from sixth grade to ninth grade (age 12-15). The Iowa Assessment Handbook for the Chautauqua Program was used to collect data. The mean differences, standard divisions and t-values were calculated and used to assess pre- and post-test results. The results indicate that students, who experienced STS based curriculum through one full semester, are able to apply basic science concepts to new situations meaningfully better than students who exposed to textbook oriented instruction.

Keywords: Science-Technology-Society, textbooks oriented instruction, middle school students, science concepts

An Educational Technology Tool That Developed in The Natural Flow of Life Among Students: WhatsApp

Levent Cetinkaya

pp. 29 - 47


This study was carried out to identify the benefits and drawbacks of using mobile social network application WhatsApp in the education of Secondary Education students. In this research, survey model was used and open-ended question form to 145 students together with semi-structured interview technique to 6 students were employed and answer to the same research question was sought by using data of different nature.The data were analysed by content analysis and phenomenologic analysis methods and some of the screenshots of students’ posts are given as they are when necessary, which made possible the inspection, comparison and verification of each data one another. The benefits and drawbacks of using WhatsApp for educational purposes, which students normally use for communication purposes, are listed under the subheadings of technique, education and academic. Results indicate that WhatsApp has the potential to provide a natural and unstructured learning environment. Accordingly, by taking the benefits and drawbacks of WhatsApp and the like into account, it is advised to support their educational use.

Keywords: WhatsApp, Instant messaging, Mobile Communication Platforms, Social Networks, Technology Integration in Education

Becoming a mathematics teacher: the role of professional identity

Hatice Akkoç & Sibel Yeşildere-İmre

pp. 48 - 59


Teachers' pedagogical practice and choices for their actions could not only be explained by their knowledge, beliefs or attitudes (Rodgers & Scott, 2008). Identity also has a crucial role in learning to teach. The aim of this study is to investigate contextual nature of preservice mathematics teachers’ professional identities. For this aim, a case study was designed. Participants are three preservice mathematics teachers in a state university in Turkey. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Pre-interviews were conducted in the beginning of the data collection process. Participants were asked questions about why they chose teaching as a profession. During the following ten weeks, preservice teachers participated in activities such as teaching in real classroom settings, interviewing pupils, mathematics teachers and school administrators. Following these activities, post-interviews were conducted. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. The findings revealed that preservice teachers’ identities were not stable throughout different contexts.

Keywords: Identity, preservice mathematics teachers, teacher education, sociology of education

Teachers’ Views about Educational Research: A Qualitative Study

Gökhan Baş & Zafer Savaş Kıvılcım

pp. 60 - 73


The purpose of this case study is to examine the views of teachers’ about educational research. The present research is designed as a qualitative case study. The group of this study is consisted of teachers (n = 27), working in primary, middle, and high schools in the province of Niğde in Turkey. An extensive literature review was made on educational research and some scales in this regard were examined in detail in order to prepare the research questions in the study. At the end of this extensive literature review, a semi-structured interview form for the study was prepared. For data collection, teachers were visited in their schools by the researchers and asked to participate in the study. The teachers in the study group were interviewed directly by face-to-face in their schools in the autumn semester. The data obtained in the study were analysed by using “descriptive analysis technique”. According to findings obtained in the study, totally four themes were acquired as a result of the descriptive analysis technique. The obtained themes were concluded as: need for educational research, importance of educational research, applicability of education research, and contribution of educational research to professional development.

Keywords: Educational Research, Views of Teachers, Qualitative Study

Development of Attitudes towards Mathematics Scale (ATMS) using Nigerian Data – Factor Analysis as a Determinant of Attitude Subcategories

Yusuf F. Zakariya

pp. 74 - 84


This study was aimed at the development of an instrument for measuring students’ attitudes towards mathematics. A survey research design was adopted involving 510 students randomly selected. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was carried out to determine the number of factors to be retained in the ATMS. The adequacy of the sample was confirmed by means of Bartlett’s Sphericity Test (BST), the Kaiser- Meyer-Olkin (KMO) index, and the matrix determinant. The BST was significant at p < 0.01 with KMO index of .93 and correlation matrix determinant of 0.00006207. The factors were extracted using principal component analysis and the components were rotated using Varimax with Kaiser Normalization and converged after 10 iterations. The final 30-item ATMS contains four attitude subcategories: perception of difficulty, feelings of anxiety towards mathematics, usefulness of mathematics, mathematics phobia and has a reliability coefficient of .91 with sufficient evidence of content and face validity.

Keywords: Attitudes, Mathematics, Scale, ATMS

The Effect of Chemistry Laboratory Activities on Students’ Chemistry Perception and Laboratory Anxiety Levels

Cemil Aydoğdu

pp. 85 - 94


Chemistry lesson should be supported with experiments to understand the lecture effectively. For safety laboratory environment and to prevent laboratory accidents; chemical substances’ properties, working principles for chemical substances’ usage should be learnt. Aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of experiments which depend on laboratory usage techniques on science teacher canditates’ laboratory anxiety and chemistry perception. The study was conducted with 41 science teacher candidates who registered General Chemistry-II course in Bartın. In the study a pre-test and post-test procedure was applied. To collect data Chemistry Laboratory Anxiety Instrument and Chemistry Perception Qestionnaire were used. Chemistry Laboratory Anxiety Instrument was developed by Bowen (1999) and adapted into Turkish by Azizoglu and Tiryaki (2006). Moreover, Chemistry Perception Questionnaire, was developed by Wells (2003) and adapted by Tosun (2013). At the beginning of the semester, the scales were administrated to science teacher canditates as pretest. During the semester, experiments which depend laboratory usage techniques have been conducted. At the end of the semester, the scales were administrated to science teacher canditates as post-test. Findings of the study revealed that, science teacher canditates’ anxiety level decreased on the other hand there was no statistically significant difference for teacher canditates’ about chemistry perception.

Keywords: Chemistry perception questionnaire, laboratory anxiety scale, experiments, science teacher candidates

Peer Response as an Effective Writing Strategy

Mark Anthony B. Austria

pp. 95 - 104


This paper presents the peer response as an effective strategy in the teaching of college writing. In the textual analyses, feedback conference and through the evaluation questionnaire, peer response strategy was assessed as dynamic and successful and that editors and writers worked constantly with each other as a matter of scaffolding wherein writers chose their editors based on perceived scholastic standing, peer relation, and shared fields of interests. It was also found out that the writers were expecting more on the suggested changes for improvement and the identification of common errors for corrections than on the estimated grade given to their works. It is therefore concluded that peer response could be an effective way of managing big writing classes, capitalizing on the editing skills of students. This decentralized writing technique empowers students to manage their own pace, control their own taste of subject matter, and discover their own style.

Keywords: peer response, peer editing, writing strategy

12-14 Aged Turkish Students’ Levels of Using Media Tools (Bad Sӓckingen Town Sample, Germany)

Erhan Görmez

pp. 105 - 115


The aim of this study was to determine the levels of Turkish students attending Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium in Bad Säckingen in the state of Baden Württemberg, Germany, in terms of using media tools. Of the qualitative data collecting tools, an interview method was applied in the research. In the context of this research, interviews were carried out with 13 students attending Hauptschule, 14 students at Realschule, and 8 students at Gymnasium, using semi-structured interview forms prepared by the researchers. The questions were prepared considering the media tools the students were using widely at the end of an observation lasting a whole year. The data acquired at the end of the student interviews was analysed using a content analysis method. The results showed a similarity in terms of the preferred media tools and the time the students spent on these media tools. It was concluded that there was a close similarity in the period students spent daily on television, on the internet, and on their mobile phones; the students attending Hauptschule and Realschule mostly preferred Turkish channels and programs, while the Gymnasium students did not in general make any distinction between the Turkish and German channels; what the students mostly preferred were TV series and game programs; students attending these three schools did not read newspapers and journals much, but sometimes books; the period spent on reading books was slightly higher in the Gymnasium students; and the students at all these three schools used the internet mostly for similar interests (such as for accessing social networks, watching and downloading videos/films, playing games, and obtaining information). 

Keywords: Media, Turkish Students, Gymnasium, Hauptschule, Realschule

Equating TIMSS Mathematics Subtests with Nonlinear Equating Methods Using NEAT Design: Circle-Arc Equating Approaches

Burhanettin Ozdemir

pp. 116 - 132


The purpose of this study is to equate Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) mathematics subtest scores obtained from TIMSS 2011 to scores obtained from TIMSS 2007 form with different nonlinear observed score equating methods under Non-Equivalent Anchor Test (NEAT) design where common items are used to link two or more test forms. The ultimate goal is to determine whether different forms of mathematics tests that administered in different years with anchor (common) items caused any inequalities with respect to students. In addition, results obtained from chained and frequency estimation based on equipercentile equating methods were compared to four different methods (Tucker, Levine, Braun-Holland and chained) based on a new nonlinear equating approach called circle-arc equating in order to see which method is the most appropriate for equating these forms. The results of different nonlinear equating methods were compared with respect to Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) index, mean of bootstrap standard errors (MBSE) and mean of bootstrap bias. Results indicates that TIMSS 2007 mathematics tests were easier than TIMSS 2011 mathematics across the score scale which indicates that results were biased against to students participated to TIMSS 2007. Moreover, equating methods based on nonlinear circle-arc equating outperformed the equipercentile equating methods and presmoothing decreased both standard error and bias associated with each method.

Keywords: TIMSS mathematics subtest, Nonlinear Equating NEAT designs, Circle-arc equating approaches

Educational Reform in Turkey

Cynthia Lindquist

pp. 133 - 142


As a country seeking admission to the European Union, this paper explores educational reforms in Turkey that enhance its possible entry into the European Union and changes still needed for it to be an equal partner. An overview of the school system in Turkey is provided including information on teacher training and preparation, special education policy, and post high school participation. Its educational system still faces significant hurdles and must address human rights issues in order to provide equal access and nondiscriminatory education for all. While strides have been made to improve educational opportunities, inequality is still a reality for many females and those of lower socio-economic status. Higher education opportunities continue to improve with infrastructure problems competing to keep pace with the number of facilities available. Turkey continues to address these educational concerns while progressing toward the goal of improving its status as a European Union candidate.

Keywords: Turkey, European Union, educational reform, teacher preparation, special education, post high school participation

Using Strategic Planning to Create the Public Good for Higher Education in Volatile Times

Angelo J. Letizia

pp. 144 - 164


The purpose of this study is to assess how public higher education institutions are serving the public good at time when economic, social and environmental conditions are increasingly becoming more volatile. While by no means the only issues of concern, Zizek (2009) argues that impending ecological threats, the growing divide between the rich and the poor, the growing instances of social turmoil and political instability and the threats associated with technology are the most serious issues facing the world today. This paper employs a “gap method” to determine how higher education institutions are serving the public good. The gap method utilizes a researcher created conceptual framework to represent the more volatile factors which have the potential to impact any notion of the public (the four listed above). The framework is used to critically evaluate three strategic plans of higher education institutions in a state on the east coast of the United States. 

Keywords: Using Strategic, Public Good, Higher Education, Volatile Times

Pre-Service Teachers’ Evaluation of Their Mentor Teachers, School Experiences, and Theory–Practice Relationship

Ecenaz Alemdağ & Pınar Özdemir Şimşek

pp. 165 - 179


This case study investigated practicum experiences of pre-service teachers by focusing on their evaluation of mentor teachers, school experiences, and theory–practice relationships. Interviews were conducted with six teacher candidates, and observations in the participants’ practice schools were made. The results revealed that mentor teachers had both positive and negative qualities with respect to social support, professional support, and role-modeling mentoring functions. Moreover, pre-service teachers reported that they mostly experienced or felt difficulty in classroom management; parallel with this difficulty, their learning gains in classroom management were the highest. These teachers also emphasized that there was no relationship between theory and practice in teacher education and that developmental psychology and communication courses and those presenting teaching-related cases were effective at building readiness for the teaching profession. Based on the findings, several suggestions for future practices were proposed in the study.

Keywords: Teacher education; cooperating teacher; teaching practice; student teachers; professional development

A Letter to White Women Teachers: an urgent plea for change

Laura Baker

pp. 180 - 192


The new Progressive Education Network mission says that Progressive Education “promotes diversity, equity, and justice.” These goals cannot be met unless there are substantial changes in the way the majority of teachers in the United States, white women teachers, think and operate. This open letter to that audience from a white woman teacher lays out five important changes that must be made if public schools are to meet and teach all students in our schools. Through stories of experience and research, the letter addresses current issues and suggested practices in teacher thinking, language and action related to the safety of targeted populations and choices made in discipline and curriculum.

Keywords: Progressive Education, White women teachers, think, operate

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