Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

curricular reform Related Abstracts

3 Social Skills as a Significant Aspect of a Successful Start of Compulsory Education

Authors: Eva Šmelová, Alena Berčíková

Abstract:

The issue of school maturity and readiness of a child for a successful start of compulsory education is one of the long-term monitored areas, especially in the context of education and psychology. In the context of the curricular reform in the Czech Republic, the issue has recently gained importance. Analyses of research in this area suggest a lack of a broader overview of indicators informing about the current level of children’s school maturity and school readiness. Instead, various studies address partial issues. Between 2009 and 2013 a research study was performed at the Faculty of Education, Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic) focusing on children’s maturity and readiness for compulsory education. In this study, social skills were of marginal interest; the main focus was on the mental area. This previous research is smoothly linked with the present study, the objective of which is to identify the level of school maturity and school readiness in selected characteristics of social skills as part of the adaptation process after enrolment in compulsory education. In this context, the following research question has been formulated: During the process of adaptation to the school environment, which social skills are weakened? The method applied was observation, for the purposes of which the authors developed a research tool – record sheet with 11 items – social skills that a child should have by the end of preschool education. The items were assessed by first-grade teachers at the beginning of the school year. The degree of achievement and intensity of the skills were assessed for each child using an assessment scale. In the research, the authors monitored a total of three independent variables (gender, postponement of school attendance, participation in inclusive education). The effect of these independent variables was monitored using 11 dependent variables. These variables are represented by the results achieved in selected social skills. Statistical data processing was assisted by the Computer Centre of Palacký University Olomouc. Statistical calculations were performed using SPSS v. 12.0 for Windows and STATISTICA: StatSoft STATISTICA CR, Cz (software system for data analysis). The research sample comprised 115 children. In their paper, the authors present the results of the research and at the same time point to possible areas of further investigation. They also highlight possible risks associated with weakened social skills.

Keywords: Social Skills, Compulsory Education, school curriculum, pupil, school readiness, curricular reform, educational diagnostics, school maturity

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2 Gravitrap for Surveillance of Mosquito Density in Kaohsiung

Authors: Meng-Yu Tsai, Jui-hun Chang, Wen-Feng Hung, Jing-Dong Chou

Abstract:

The objective of this paper was to use gravitrap to survey the mosquito density in Kaohsiung. Gravitrap is one of the tools for surveillance the mosquito density. Gravitrap not only monitor the mosquito density but also decrease the mosquito density. Kaohsiung Environment Protection Bureau (KEPB) used gravitrap to monitor the mosquito density in 2016. KEPB put gravitrap in five districts which had the more confirmed dengue cases in 2015. The results indicated that (1)the highest positive rate (PR) of gravitrap was in Gushan district, the PR of gravitrap in Gushan district was 19.25%. (2) the lowest PR of gravitrap was in Sanmin district, the PR of gravitrap in Sanmin district was 8.55%. (3) compared these two districts, the most important factor to influence of PR of gravitrap was the knowledge of dengue prevention. Therefore, the PR of gravitrap was one of the references for making dengue prevention policy.

Keywords: continuous assessment, curricular reform, course integration, student feedback

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1 Student Feedback of a Major Curricular Reform Based on Course Integration and Continuous Assessment in Electrical Engineering

Authors: Heikki Valmu, Eero Kupila, Raisa Vartia

Abstract:

A major curricular reform was implemented in Metropolia UAS in 2014. The teaching was to be based on larger course entities and collaborative pedagogy. The most thorough reform was conducted in the department of electrical engineering and automation technology. It has been already shown that the reform has been extremely successful with respect to student progression and drop-out rate. The improvement of the results has been much more significant in this department compared to the other engineering departments making only minor pedagogical changes. In the beginning of the spring term of 2017, a thorough student feedback project was conducted in the department. The study consisted of thirty questions about the implementation of the curriculum, the student workload and other matters related to student satisfaction. The reply rate was more than 40%. The students were divided to four different categories: first year students [cat.1] and students of all the three different majors [categories 2-4]. These categories were found valid since all the students have the same course structure in the first two semesters after which they may freely select the major. All staff members are divided into four teams respectively. The curriculum consists of consecutive 15 credit (ECTS) courses each taught by a group of teachers (3-5). There are to be no end exams and continuous assessment is to be employed. In 2014 the different teacher groups were encouraged to employ innovatively different assessment methods within the given specs. One of these methods has been since used in categories 1 and 2. These students have to complete a number of compulsory tasks each week to pass the course and the actual grade is defined by a smaller number of tests throughout the course. The tasks vary from homework assignments, reports and laboratory exercises to larger projects and the actual smaller tests are usually organized during the regular lecture hours. The teachers of the other two majors have been pedagogically more conservative. The student progression has been better in categories 1 and 2 compared to categories 3 and 4. One of the main goals of this survey was to analyze the reasons for the difference and the assessment methods in detail besides the general student satisfaction. The results show that in the categories following more strictly the specified assessment model much more versatile assessment methods are used and the basic spirit of the new pedagogy is followed. Also, the student satisfaction is significantly better in categories 1 and 2. It may be clearly stated that continuous assessment and teacher cooperation improve the learning outcomes, student progression as well as student satisfaction. Too much academic freedom seems to lead to worse results [cat 3 and 4]. A standardized assessment model is launched for all students in autumn 2017. This model is different from the one used so far in categories 1 and 2 allowing more flexibility to teacher groups, but it will force all the teacher groups to follow the general rules in order to improve the results and the student satisfaction further.

Keywords: continuous assessment, curricular reform, course integration, student feedback

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