Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1320

Search results for: teacher autonomy

1320 Bangladeshi English Teachers’ Understanding of Teacher Autonomy

Authors: Rubaiyat Jahan

Abstract:

This paper reports some findings of a study on the issues related to teacher autonomy in the Bangladeshi school contexts, and data of this research was collected from fourteen practicing English teachers of Bangladesh through semi structured interviews. The theoretical underpinning of teacher autonomy, on an apparent note, focuses on the behavioral aspects of teacher autonomy hence emphasizing mostly on the teachers’ capacity for self-directed acts of teaching and self-directed acts of professional development. Yet, a contemporary literature survey of teacher autonomy seems to be concerned more on the political interpretations of teacher autonomy. Thus, autonomous teachers are expected to generate their personal theories of teaching from their practices. The idea of personal theories of practice upholds the view that along with the teaching, teachers need to engage themselves in various classroom based research with a view to theorising from their practices. The findings of this research indicate enormous evidence of behavioral aspects of teacher autonomy. As the data of this research suggests, the participant teachers’ understanding of classroom situations, their reflections on the situational realities and opting for classroom decisions on the basis of those realizations are some good examples of teacher autonomy. Also, a few teachers’ stated teaching practices seem to reflect, though in a subtle way, their effort of outlining context embedded personal theories of teaching. This paper has got one significant pedagogical implication for the teacher education. Any teacher education must promote the conditions and capabilities for the present and prospective teachers for the role of theorisers in addition to develop their professional, procedural, and personal knowledge base.

Keywords: personal theories of practice, self-directed acts of professional development, self-directed acts of teaching, teacher autonomy

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1319 EFL Teacher Cognition and Learner Autonomy: An Exploratory Study into Algerian Teachers’ Understanding of Learner Autonomy

Authors: Linda Ghout

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The main aim of the present case study was to explore EFL teachers’ understanding of learner autonomy. Thus, it sought to uncover how teachers at the de Department of English, University of Béjaia, Algeria view the process of language learning, their learners’ roles, their own roles and their practices to promote learner autonomy. For data collection, firstly, a questionnaire was designed and administered to all the teachers in the department. Secondly, interviews were conducted with some volunteers for the sake of clarifying emerging issues and digging deeper into some of the teachers’ answers to the questionnaire. The analysis revealed interesting data pertaining to the teachers’ cognition and its effects on their teaching practices. With regard to their views of language learning, it seems that the participants hold discrete views which are in opposition with the principles of learner autonomy. The teachers seemed to have a limited knowledge of the characteristics of autonomous learners and autonomy- based methodology. When it comes to teachers’ practices to promote autonomy in their classes, the majority reported that the most effective way is to ask students to search for information on their own. However, in defining their roles in the EFL learning process, most of the respondents claimed that teachers should play the role of facilitators.

Keywords: English, learner autonomy, learning process, teacher cognition

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1318 Autonomy not Automation: Using Metacognitive Skills in ESL/EFL Classes

Authors: Marina Paula Carreira Rolim

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In order to have ELLs take responsibility for their own learning, it is important that they develop skills to work their studies strategically. The less they rely on the instructor as the content provider, the more they become active learners and have a higher sense of self-regulation and confidence in the learning process. This e-poster proposes a new teacher-student relationship that encourages learners to reflect, think critically, and act upon their realities. It also suggests the implementation of different autonomy-supportive teaching tools, such as portfolios, written journals, problem-solving activities, and strategy-based discussions in class. These teaching tools enable ELLs to develop awareness of learning strategies, learning styles, study plans, and available learning resources as means to foster their creative power of learning outside of classroom. In the role of a learning advisor, the teacher is no longer the content provider but a facilitator that introduces skills such as ‘elaborating’, ‘planning’, ‘monitoring’, and ‘evaluating’. The teacher acts as an educator and promotes the use of lifelong metacognitive skills to develop learner autonomy in the ESL/EFL context.

Keywords: autonomy, metacognitive skills, self-regulation, learning strategies, reflection

Procedia PDF Downloads 287
1317 Surveying the Effects of Online Learning On High School Student’s Motivation: A Case Study of Pinewood School

Authors: Robert Cui

Abstract:

COVID-19 has drastically changed the way students interact and engage with their environments. Students, in particular, have been forced to change from in-person to online learning. How can we ensure that students continue to remain motivated even as their mode of education transitions to online learning? In this study conducted on high school students from a small private school (n = 50), we investigate the factors that predict student motivation during online learning. Using the framework of self-determination theory, we examine the three facets of student motivation during online learning: engagement, autonomy, and competence. We find that students' perception of their peers' engagement with the curriculum, feelings of parental academic expectations, perceptions of favoritism by the teacher, and perceived clarity of instruction given by the teacher all predict student engagement in online learning. Student autonomy is predicted by the amount of parental control a student feels, the clarity of instruction given by the teacher, and also the amount to which a student is perceiving their peers to be paying attention. Finally, competence is predicted by favoritism a student perceives from a teacher and also the amount of which a student is perceiving their peers to be paying attention. Based on these findings, we provide insights on how three important stakeholders –parents, teachers, and peers can enhance students' motivation during online learning.

Keywords: academic performance, motivation, online learning, parental influence, teacher, peers

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1316 The Use of Active Methodologies as a Means to Promote Autonomy and Motivation in English as a Foreign Language High School Students

Authors: Danielle Guerra, Marden Silva

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The use of active methodologies in the teaching of English has been widely encouraged recently, due to its potential to create propitious conditions for the learners to develop autonomy and studying skills that tend to keep them motivated throughout the learning process. The constant use of technology by the students makes it possible to implement strategies such as blended learning, which blends regular classes with online instruction and practice. (Horn and Staker, 2015) For that reason, the aim of this study was to implement the blended approach in a High School second-grade English class in Brazil, in order to analyze the impacts of this methodology on the students' autonomy. The teacher's role was that of a mediator, being responsible for selecting the best resources for students to study with, and also for helping them with questions when necessary. The results show that taking learner characteristics and learning experiences into account and allowing the students to follow their learning paths at their own pace was crucial to promoting engagement that led to the desired outcomes. In conclusion, the research shows that blended learning is a helpful strategy to foster autonomy and promote motivation in EFL students.

Keywords: active methodologies, autonomy, blended learning, motivation

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1315 Applying Sliding Autonomy for a Human-Robot Team on USARSim

Authors: Fang Tang, Jacob Longazo

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This paper describes a sliding autonomy approach for coordinating a team of robots to assist the human operator to accomplish tasks while adapting to new or unexpected situations by requesting help from the human operator. While sliding autonomy has been well studied in the context of controlling a single robot. Much work needs to be done to apply sliding autonomy to a multi-robot team, especially human-robot team. Our approach aims at a hierarchical sliding control structure, with components that support human-robot collaboration. We validated our approach in the USARSim simulation and demonstrated that the human-robot team's overall performance can be improved under the sliding autonomy control.

Keywords: sliding autonomy, multi-robot team, human-robot collaboration, USARSim

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1314 Did Nature of Job Matters - Impact of Perceived Job Autonomy on Turnover Intention in Sales and Marketing Managers: Moderating Effect of Procedural and Distributive Justice

Authors: Muhammad Babar Shahzad

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The purpose of our study is to investigate the relationship between perceived job autonomy and turnover intention in sales & marketing staff. Perceived job autonomy is considered one of most studied dimension of Job Characteristic Model. But still there is a confusion in scholars about predictive role of perceived job autonomy in turnover intention. In line of more complex research on this relation, we investigated the relationship between perceived job autonomy and turnover intention. Did nature of job have any impact on this relationship. On the call of different authors we take interactive effect of perceived job autonomy and procedural justice on turnover intention. Predictive role of distributive justice to employee outcomes is not deniable. But predictive role of distributive justice will be prone in different contextual influences. Interactive role of distributive justice and perceived job autonomy is also not tested before. We collected date from 279 marketing and sales managers working in financial institution, FMCG industries, Pharamesutical Industry & Bank. Strong and direct negative relation was found in perceived job autonomy, distributive justice & procedural justice on turnover intention. Distributive and procedural justice is also amplifying the negative relationship of perceived job autonomy and turnover intention. Limitation and future direction for research is also discussed.

Keywords: perceived job autonomy, turnover intention, procedural justice, distributive job

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1313 Developing Innovations in Classrom Teaching: Process or Product

Authors: Mani Ram Sharma

Abstract:

We live in a busy world with sudden distractions and many things to think about. The rapid speed of science and technology keeps our world in constant motion. Students leaving the classroom after being taught by the teachers are thinking about a thousand things: "Did I understand what teacher taught?" However, when they come into the classroom, as teachers, we expect them to be ready to learn, ready to receive information, and retain it. There is a question that how can learners do this with so much in their learning process. It is obliviously with the use of innovation in the classroom. It fosters the students to learn innovatively to establish learner's autonomy. This article outlines the role, need, and process of innovation in the language classroom and teaching.

Keywords: distraction, foster, innovation, learner's autonomy, retainment

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1312 University Arabic/Foreign Language Teacher's Competences, Professionalism and the Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Abeer Heider

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The article considers the definitions of teacher’s competences and professionalism from different perspectives of Arab and foreign scientists. A special attention is paid to the definition, classification of the stages and components of University Arabic /foreign language teacher’s professionalism. The results of the survey are offered and recommendations are given. In this paper, only some of the problems of defining professional competence and professionalism of the university Arabic/ foreign language teacher have been mentioned. It needs much more analysis and discussion, because the quality of training today’s competitive and mobile students with a good knowledge of foreign languages depends directly on the teachers’ professional level.

Keywords: teacher’s professional competences, Arabic/ foreign language teacher’s professionalism, teacher evaluation, teacher quality

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1311 21st Century Teacher Image to Stakeholders of Teacher Education Institutions in the Philippines

Authors: Marilyn U. Balagtas, Maria Ruth M. Regalado, Carmelina E. Barrera, Ramer V. Oxiño, Rosarito T. Suatengco, Josephine E. Tondo

Abstract:

This study presents the perceptions of the students and teachers from kindergarten to tertiary level of the image of the 21st century teacher to provide basis in designing teacher development programs in Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) in the Philippines. The highlights of the report are the personal, psychosocial, and professional images of the 21st century teacher in basic education and the teacher educators based on a survey done to 612 internal stakeholders of nine member institutions of the National Network of Normal Schools (3NS). Data were obtained through the use of a validated researcher-made instrument which allowed generation of both quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the teacher image. Through the use of descriptive statistics, the common images of the teacher were drawn, which were validated and enriched by the information drawn from the qualitative data. The study recommends a repertoire of teacher development programs to create the good image of the 21st century teachers for a better Philippines.

Keywords: teacher image, 21st century teacher, teacher education, development program

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1310 Human Dignity as a Source and Limitation of Personal Autonomy

Authors: Jan Podkowik

Abstract:

The article discusses issues of mutual relationships of human dignity and personal autonomy. According to constitutions of many countries and international human rights law, human dignity is a fundamental and inviolable value. It is the source of all freedoms and rights, including personal autonomy. Human dignity, as an inherent, inalienable and non-gradable value comprising an attribute of all people, justifies freedom of action according to one's will and following one's vision of good life. On the other hand, human dignity imposes immanent restrictions to personal autonomy regarding decisions on commercialization of the one’s body, etc. It points to the paradox of dignity – the source of freedom and conditions (basic) of its limitations. The paper shows the theoretical concept of human dignity as an objective value among legal systems, determining the boundaries of legal protection of personal autonomy. It is not, therefore, the relevant perception of human dignity and freedom as opposite values. Reference point has been made the normative provisions of the Polish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as judgments of constitutional courts.

Keywords: autonomy, constitution, human dignity, human rights

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1309 Self-Reliant and Auto-Directed Learning: Modes, Elements, Fields and Scopes

Authors: Habibollah Mashhady, Behruz Lotfi, Mohammad Doosti, Moslem Fatollahi

Abstract:

An exploration of the related literature reveals that all instruction methods aim at training autonomous learners. After the turn of second language pedagogy toward learner-oriented strategies, learners’ needs were more focused. Yet; the historical, social and political aspects of learning were still neglected. The present study investigates the notion of autonomous learning and explains its various facets from a pedagogical point of view. Furthermore; different elements, fields and scopes of autonomous learning will be explored. After exploring different aspects of autonomy, it is postulated that liberatory autonomy is highlighted since it not only covers social autonomy but also reveals learners’ capabilities and human potentials. It is also recommended that learners consider different elements of autonomy such as motivation, knowledge, confidence, and skills.

Keywords: critical pedagogy, social autonomy, academic learning, cultural notions

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1308 School Autonomy in the United Kingdom: A Correlational Study Applied to English Principals

Authors: Pablo Javier Ortega-Rodriguez, Francisco Jose Pozuelos-Estrada

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Recently, there has been a renewed interest in school autonomy in the United Kingdom and its impact on students' outcomes. English principals have a pivotal role in decision-making. The aim of this paper is to explore the correlation between the type of school (public or private) and the considerable responsibilities of English principals which participated in PISA 2015. The final sample consisted of 419 principals. Descriptive data (percentages and means) were generated for the variables related to professional autonomy. Pearson's chi-square test was used to determine if there is an association between the type of school and principals' responsibilities for relevant tasks. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software, version 22. Findings suggest a significant correlation between the type of school and principals' responsibility for firing teachers and formulating the school budget. This study confirms that the type of school is not associated with principals' responsibility for choosing which textbooks are used at school. The present study establishes a quantitative framework for defining four models of professional autonomy and some proposals to improve school autonomy in the United Kingdom.

Keywords: decision making, principals, professional autonomy, school autonomy

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1307 Teacher’s Self-Efficacy and Self-Perception of Teaching Professional Competences

Authors: V. Biasi, A. M. Ciraci, G. Domenici, N. Patrizi

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We present two studies centered on the teacher’s perception of self-efficacy and professional competences. The first study aims to evaluate the levels of self-efficacy as attitude in 200 teachers of primary and secondary schools. Teacher self-efficacy is related to many educational outcomes: such as teachers’ persistence, enthusiasm, commitment and instructional behavior. High level of teacher self-efficacy beliefs enhance student motivation and pupil’s learning level. On this theoretical and empirical basis we are planning a second study oriented to assess teacher self-perception of competences that are linked to teacher self-efficacy. With the CDVR Questionnaire, 287 teachers graduated in Education Sciences in e-learning mode, showed an increase in their self-perception of didactic-evaluation and relational competences and an increased confidence also in their own professionalism.

Keywords: teacher competence, teacher self-efficacy, selfperception, self-report evaluation

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1306 Subsidiary Entrepreneurial Orientation, Trust in Headquarters and Performance: The Mediating Role of Autonomy

Authors: Zhang Qingzhong

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Though there exists an increasing number of research studies on the headquarters-subsidiary relationship, and within this context, there is a focus on subsidiaries' contributory role to multinational corporations (MNC), subsidiary autonomy, and the conditions under which autonomy exerts an effect on subsidiary performance still constitute a subject of debate in the literature. The objective of this research is to study the MNC subsidiary autonomy and performance relationship and the effect of subsidiary entrepreneurial orientation and trust on subsidiary autonomy in the China environment, a phenomenon that has not yet been studied. The research addresses the following three questions: (i) Is subsidiary autonomy associated with MNC subsidiary performance in the China environment? (ii) How do subsidiary entrepreneurship and its trust in headquarters affect the level of subsidiary autonomy and its relationship with subsidiary performance? (iii) Does subsidiary autonomy have a mediating effect on subsidiary performance with subsidiary’s entrepreneurship and trust in headquarters? In the present study, we have reviewed literature and conducted semi-structured interviews with multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiary senior executives in China. Building on our insights from the interviews and taking perspectives from four theories, namely the resource-based view (RBV), resource dependency theory, integration-responsiveness framework, and social exchange theory, as well as the extant articles on subsidiary autonomy, entrepreneurial orientation, trust, and subsidiary performance, we have developed a model and have explored the direct and mediating effects of subsidiary autonomy on subsidiary performance within the framework of the MNC. To test the model, we collected and analyzed data based on cross-industry two waves of an online survey from 102 subsidiaries of MNCs in China. We used structural equation modeling to test measurement, direct effect model, and conceptual framework with hypotheses. Our findings confirm that (a) subsidiary autonomy is positively related to subsidiary performance; (b) subsidiary entrepreneurial orientation is positively related to subsidiary autonomy; (c) subsidiary’s trust in headquarters has a positive effect on subsidiary autonomy; (d) subsidiary autonomy mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and subsidiary performance; (e) subsidiary autonomy mediates the relationship between trust and subsidiary performance. Our study highlights the important role of subsidiary autonomy in leveraging the resource of subsidiary entrepreneurial orientation and its trust relationship with headquarters to achieve high performance. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of the findings and propose directions for future research.

Keywords: subsidiary entrepreneurial orientation, trust, subsidiary autonomy, subsidiary performance

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1305 Connections among Personality, Teacher-Student Relationship, Belief in a Just World for Others and Teacher Bullying

Authors: Hui-Yu Peng, Hsiu-I Hsueh, Li-Ming Chen

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Most studies focused on bullying behaviors among students, however few research concerns about teachers’ bullying behaviors against students. In order to have more understandings and reduce teacher bullying, it is important to examine what factors may affect teachers’ bullying behaviors. This study aimed to explore the connections between different psychological variables and teacher bullying. Four variables, neuroticism, extraversion, teacher-student relationship, and belief in a just world for others (BJW-others), were selected in this study. Four hundred and five elementary and secondary school teachers in Taiwan endorsed the self-reported surveys. Multiple regression method was used to analyze data. Results revealed that teachers’ BJW-others and extraversion did not have significant correlations with teacher bullying scores. However, closed teacher-student relationship and neuroticism can negatively and positively predict teachers’ bullying behaviors against students, respectively. Implications for preventing teacher bullying were discussed at the end of this study.

Keywords: belief in a just world for others, big five personality traits, teacher bullying, teacher-student relationship

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1304 Comparative Outlook of Teacher Education in Nigeria and India

Authors: Muhammad Badamasi Abdullahi

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Teacher education, both pre- and in-service programs, is offered in many countries of the world by different teacher education institutions as declared in the Policies on Education of the countries. However, differences exist from one country to another as a result of some factors peculiar to them. Notwithstanding, there also exist similarities among them in regard to teacher education. This paper is expected to dig into teacher education programs in Nigeria and India so that areas of similarities and differences would be highlighted as well as provide a venue for possible recommendation of both countries to learn from one another. All this is directed towards providing a no -border approach in enhancing effective teaching and learning.

Keywords: teacher education, teaching and learning, pre-service, in-service

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1303 The Interrelationship between Formal and Informal Institutions and Its Impacts on the Autonomy of Public Service Delivery Units: The Case of Vietnam

Authors: Minh Thi Hai Vo

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This article draws on in-depth interviews with state employees at public hospitals and universities in its institutional analysis of the autonomy practices of public service delivery units in Vietnam. Unlike many empirical and theoretical studies that view formal and informal institutions as complements or substitutes, this article finds no evidence of complementary or substitutive relationships. Instead, the article finds that formal institutions accommodate informal ones and that informal institutions tend to compete and interfere, with the existing and ineffective formal institutions. The result of such conflicting relationship is that the actual autonomy of public service delivery units is, in most cases, perceived to be greater than the formal autonomy they are given. In the condition of poor regulation, the informal autonomy may result in unethical practices including rent-seeking and corruption. The implication of the study finding is policy-makers need to redesign and reorganize the autonomisation of public service delivery units to make informal institutions support and reinforce formal ones in a complementary manner.

Keywords: autonomy, formal institutions, informal institutions, public service delivery units, Vietnam

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1302 Teacher Professionalisation and Professionalism Discourses in Teacher Unions: A Case Study of New Zealand

Authors: Huidan Niu

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Existing research has focused extensively on teachers’ professional experience in education reforms. However, there is a lack of research on the role and influence of teacher unions in education policy. This study aimed to examine how teacher unions frame teacher professionalisation and professionalism discourses. Critical education policy scholarship study was adopted. This study positioned teacher professionalisation and professionalism discourses within their socio-political contexts to explore how the meanings of teacher professionalisation and professionalism are constructed, as well as how teacher unions, as collective actors, shape these discourses. This study examined the development of professionalisation and professionalism discourses in the two main teacher unions in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the New Zealand Educational Institute, TeRiuRoa (NZEI), and the New Zealand Post-Primary Teachers’ Association, TeWehengarua (PPTA). The data were collected from documents and archival material, as well as elite interviews. Twenty-four union leaders, including national presidents, secretaries, executives, and senior union officials, participated in the study. The data analysis followed a grounded theory method: from codes to themes. The findings of the study suggest that the teacher unions, as teachers’ collective (powerful) voices, appeared to highlight tension and confrontation between the teaching profession and governments with respect to the meanings of teacher professionalisation and professionalism.

Keywords: critical education policy scholarship, governments, teacher professionalisation, teacher professionalism, teacher unions

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1301 Autonomy and Other Variables Related to the Expression of Love among Saudi Couples

Authors: Reshaa Alruwaili

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The primary aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis presented by Self Determination theory which suggests that autonomy impacts positively the expression of love. Other hypotheses were also examined which suggest that other variables explain the expression of love, including: dyadic adjustment (dyadic consensus, dyadic satisfaction and dyadic cohesion), couple satisfaction, age, gender, the length of marriage, number of children and attachment styles. The participants were Saudi couples, which provided the opportunity to consider the influence of Saudi culture on the expression of love. A questionnaire was employed to obtain measures of all the relevant variables, including a measure of expression of love that was built from 27 items, constituting verbal, physical and caring features, and a measure of autonomy based on three features: authorship, interest-taking and susceptibility. Data were collected from both members of 34 Saudi couples. Descriptive analysis of both expression of love and autonomy was conducted. Correlation and regression were used to assess the relationships between expression of love and autonomy and other variables. Results indicated that Saudi couples who most often express their love tend to be more than somewhat autonomous. Not much difference was found between husbands and wives in expressing love, although wives were slightly more autonomous than husbands. Expression of love was enhanced by the autonomy of the participants to a greater extent when dyadic satisfaction was controlled, since the latter was negatively correlated with autonomy and had no effect on the expression of love. Basic psychological needs, dyadic consensus and dismissive-avoidant attachment improve the expression of love, while it is decreased by the number of children.

Keywords: autonomy, determination theory, expression of love, dyadic adjustment

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1300 The Need for Educational Psychology in Teacher Education for Sustainable Transformation and Security in Nigeria

Authors: Kaltume Kabir Sharrif

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Teacher education is the bedrock of educational growth and development of any nation. With development in education all human problems can be overcome. Educational Psychology, on the other hand, is in a strategic position for any programme in teacher education to be successful hence other aspects of societal issues. In other words, no teacher education can be of any help in ensuring transformation and security without adequate study in Educational Psychology. Without adequate knowledge and skills in Educational Psychology the teacher may not function effectively in the course of discharging his duty. It is in view of this, that the paper discusses some aspects of Educational Psychology that are of paramount importance in teacher education for sustainable transformation and security of Nigeria. Some recommendations were offered on the role educational psychology play in resolving security challenges facing the country. These include enriching educational psychology with topics from forensic psychology that will provide the teacher the skills of fighting crime in the school, Behavioural Science Unit should be established in each school to monitor the behavior of students, among others.

Keywords: transformation, security challenges, teacher education, educational psychology

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1299 University Lecturers' Attitudes towards Learner Autonomy in the EFL Context in Vietnam

Authors: Nhung T. Bui

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Part of the dilemma facing educational reforms in Vietnam as in other Asian contexts is how to encourage more independence in students’ learning approaches. Since 2005, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam has included the students’ ability to learn independently in its national education objectives. While learner autonomy has been viewed as a goal in the teaching and learning English as a foreign language (EFL) and there has been a considerable literature on strategies to stimulate autonomy in learners, teachers’ voices have rarely been heard. Given that teachers play a central role in helping their students to be more autonomous, especially in an inherent Confucian heritage culture like Vietnam, their attitudes towards learner autonomy should be investigated before any practical implementations could be undertaken. This paper reports significant findings of a survey questionnaire with 262 lecturers of English from 5 universities in Hanoi, Vietnam giving opinions regarding the practices and prospects of learner autonomy in their classrooms. The study reveals that lecturers perceive they should be more responsible than their students in all class-related activities; they most appreciate their students’ ability to learn cooperatively and that they consider stimulating students’ interest as the most important teaching strategy to promote learner autonomy. Lecturers, then, are strongly suggested to gradually ‘empower’ their students through the application of out-of-classroom activities; of learning activities which requires collaboration and team spirit; and of activities which could boost students’ interest in learning English.

Keywords: English as a foreign language, higher education, learner autonomy, Vietnam

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1298 Teacher Professional Development –Current Practices in a Secondary School in Brunei Darussalam

Authors: Shanthi Thomas

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This research paper presents the current practices of teacher professional development, perceived as beneficial by teachers themselves, in a private secondary school in Brunei Darussalam. This is part of the findings of a larger qualitative study on teacher empowerment, using ethnographic methods for data collection, i.e. participant observation, interviews and document analysis. The field work was carried out over a period of six months in 2013. An analysis of the field data revealed multiple pathways of teacher professional development existing in the school. The results indicate that school leaders, the teacher community in the school, students, and the teachers themselves were the agents in a school that facilitated teacher empowerment. Besides contributing to the knowledge base on teacher professional development, the results of this study provides directions for educational policy makers in their efforts to enhance professional development in secondary schools of similar characteristics. For school leaders and the teacher community, these findings offer guidelines for maximizing the opportunities for these professional development practices, by strengthening collegiality and by using the existing structures optimally for the benefit of all concerned.

Keywords: colleagues and the wider teacher community, school leaders, self-driven professional development, teacher professional development

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1297 Sociocultural Barriers to the Development of Autonomous Foreign Language Learning: Some Teaching Strategies to Overcome Such Challenges in a Mexican Context

Authors: Zaideth Zobeida Ponce Alonso, Laura Emilia Fierro Lopez, Maria del Rocio Dominguez Gaona

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The present study is part of the Master in Modern Languages at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and it aims to analyze how the sociocultural background might influence the development of learner autonomy in foreign language education in order to propose some strategies to overcome such challenges. Given the lack of research on the sociocultural barriers in learner autonomy in a Mexican context and the need to hear teachers’ voices about this issue, qualitative data was obtained from semi-structured interviews with six language teachers on their perspectives on learner autonomy, its application to the language classroom, and their experiences with Mexican and foreign learners/contexts in order to find out differences regarding learner autonomy. The results suggest three main sociocultural characteristics: preference for an authority figure, tendency towards collectivism, and low tolerance of ambiguity. Finally, nine strategies were proposed in order to help language teachers to deal with such sociocultural characteristics when fostering learner autonomy in the border city of Mexicali, where this study was carried out.

Keywords: learner autonomy, Mexican context, sociocultural influence, teachers' perspectives, teaching strategies

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1296 Investigating Reading Comprehension Proficiency and Self-Efficacy among Algerian EFL Students within Collaborative Strategic Reading Approach and Attributional Feedback Intervention

Authors: Nezha Badi

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It has been shown in the literature that Algerian university students suffer from low levels of reading comprehension proficiency, which hinder their overall proficiency in English. This low level is mainly related to the methodology of teaching reading which is employed by the teacher in the classroom (a teacher-centered environment), as well as students’ poor sense of self-efficacy to undertake reading comprehension activities. Arguably, what is needed is an approach necessary for enhancing students’ self-beliefs about their abilities to deal with different reading comprehension activities. This can be done by providing them with opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning (learners’ autonomy). As a result of learning autonomy, learners’ beliefs about their abilities to deal with certain language tasks may increase, and hence, their language learning ability. Therefore, this experimental research study attempts to assess the extent to which an integrated approach combining one particular reading approach known as ‘collaborative strategic reading’ (CSR), and teacher’s attributional feedback (on students’ reading performance and strategy use) can improve the reading comprehension skill and the sense of self-efficacy of EFL Algerian university students. It also seeks to examine students’ main reasons for their successful or unsuccessful achievements in reading comprehension activities, and whether students’ attributions for their reading comprehension outcomes can be modified after exposure to the instruction. To obtain the data, different tools including a reading comprehension test, questionnaires, an observation, an interview, and learning logs were used with 105 second year Algerian EFL university students. The sample of the study was divided into three groups; one control group (with no treatment), one experimental group (CSR group) who received a CSR instruction, and a second intervention group (CSR Plus group) who received teacher’s attribution feedback in addition to the CSR intervention. Students in the CSR Plus group received the same experiment as the CSR group using the same tools, except that they were asked to keep learning logs, for which teacher’s feedback on reading performance and strategy use was provided. The results of this study indicate that the CSR and the attributional feedback intervention was effective in improving students’ reading comprehension proficiency and sense of self-efficacy. However, there was not a significant change in students’ adaptive and maladaptive attributions for their success and failure d from the pre-test to the post-test phase. Analysis of the perception questionnaire, the interview, and the learning logs shows that students have positive perceptions about the CSR and the attributional feedback instruction. Based on the findings, this study, therefore, seeks to provide EFL teachers in general and Algerian EFL university teachers in particular with pedagogical implications on how to teach reading comprehension to their students to help them achieve well and feel more self-efficacious in reading comprehension activities, and in English language learning more generally.

Keywords: attributions, attributional feedback, collaborative strategic reading, self-efficacy

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1295 Autonomy in Healthcare Organisations: A Comparative Case Study of Middle Managers in England and Iran

Authors: Maryam Zahmatkesh

Abstract:

Middle managers form a significant occupational category in organisations. They undertake a vital role, as they sit between the operational and strategic roles. Traditionally they were acting as diplomat administrators, and were only in power to meet the demands of professionals. Following the introduction of internal market, in line with the principles of New Public Management, middle managers have been considered as change agents. More recently, in the debates of middle managers, there is emphasis on entrepreneurialism and enacting strategic role. It was assumed that granting autonomy to the local organisations and the inception of semi-autonomous hospitals (Foundation Trusts in England and Board of Trustees in Iran) would give managers more autonomy to act proactively and innovatively. This thesis explores the hospital middle managers’ perception of and responses to public management reforms (in particular, hospital autonomy) in England and Iran. In order to meet the aims of the thesis, research was undertaken within the interpretative paradigm, in line with social constructivism. Data were collected from interviews with forty-five middle managers, observational fieldwork and documentary analysis across four teaching university hospitals in England and Iran. The findings show the different ways middle managers’ autonomy is constrained in the two countries. In England, middle managers have financial and human recourses, but their autonomy is constrained by government policy and targets. In Iran, middle managers are less constrained by government policy and targets, but they do not have financial and human resources to exercise autonomy. Unbalanced autonomy causes tension and frustration for middle managers. According to neo-institutional theory, organisations are deeply embedded within social, political, economic and normative settings that exert isomorphic and internal population-level pressures to conform to existing and established modes of operation. Health systems which are seeking to devolve autonomy to middle managers must appreciate the multidimensional nature of the autonomy, as well as the wider environment that organisations are embedded, if they are about to improve the performance of managers and their organisations.

Keywords: autonomy, healthcare organisations, middle managers, new public management

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1294 Transformational Leadership and Its Effect on Teacher Job Satisfaction

Authors: Shujie Liu

Abstract:

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between teachers’ perceived transformational leadership behaviors and their job satisfaction in China after controlling for teacher self-efficacy. Hierarchical regression analysis (HRA) technique was employed to examine factors’ contributions to teacher job satisfaction with a sample of Chinese high school teachers. The finding of this study provided evidence that teachers’ perceived transformational leadership behaviors accounted for a large percentage (44.9%) of the variance in Chinese teachers’ job satisfaction. Uniquely, school principals’ sense of power was a negative significant predictor of teacher job satisfaction, meaning that the more teachers perceived their principals’ sense of power, the lower of their job satisfaction. Furthermore, this study provided evidence that teacher self-efficacy significantly contributes to teacher job satisfaction. Specifically, teachers’ self-efficacy on student engagement was found to be a significant predictor of teacher job satisfaction. The conclusions were discussed in terms of Chinese cultures. The authors pointed out that how to make teachers involved in school policy making is a challenge for China and that more shared leadership is needed in Chinese schools.

Keywords: Chinese teachers, teacher job satisfaction, teacher self-efficacy, transformational leadership

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1293 The Use of Mobile Applications for Language Learning in 21st-Century Teacher Education for Sustainable Development in Africa

Authors: Carol C. Opara, Olukemi E. Adetuyi-Olu-Francis

Abstract:

The need for ICT in Teacher Education due to the nature of 21st-century learners who are computer citizens is essential. The recent increase in the use of Mobile phones has equally revealed the importance of Mobile Applications for learning purposes. However, teacher-trainees and the trainers need to be well-grounded in basic ICT skills for an appropriate outcome. This study seeks to assess the use of Mobile Applications for language learning in Teacher Education teaching-learning process. A 22-item e-questionnaire was used to elicit information from teacher-trainers and teachers-trainees from Faculties of Education in Nigerian Universities. Major findings of this study include: That teacher-education sector is not adequately prepared for manipulative use of ICT and Mobile Applications for teaching and learning process; etc. It was recommended among others that, teacher-trainers should be trained and re-trained on the manipulative use of Mobile devices and the several applications for teaching-learning purpose, especially language education.

Keywords: information and communications technology, ICT, language learning, mobile application, sustainable development, teacher education

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1292 Teacher Education and Curriculum Innovation in Nigeria: Issues and Perspectives

Authors: Kenneth Uzochukwu Ezugwu

Abstract:

The quest for adequate teacher education is a serious task for the educational system in Nigeria because teachers are the major translators of education programmes in the classroom. The production of well trained teachers will enhance quality of the products of the school system. It is in this respect that the national policy on education posited that no educational system can rise above the quality of teachers. It is in the light of the above that this paper discusses and brought to the fore certain issues as the re-introduction of teacher training colleges, competitive entry requirement into teacher education and continuous on-the-job training as areas of needed innovation.

Keywords: curriculum innovation, issues, perspectives, teacher education

Procedia PDF Downloads 481
1291 Motivation on Vocabulary and Reading Skill via Teacher-Created Website for Thai Students

Authors: P. Klinkesorn, S. Yordchim, T. Gibbs, J. Achariyopas

Abstract:

Vocabulary and reading skill were examined in terms of teaching and learning via teacher-created website. The aims of this study are 1) to survey students’ opinions on the teacher-created website for learning vocabulary and reading skill 2) to survey the students’ motivation for learning vocabulary and reading skill through the teacher-created website. Motivation was applied to the results of the questionnaires and interview forms. Finding suggests that Teacher-Created Website can increase students’ motivation to read more, build up a large stock of vocabulary and improve their understanding of the vocabulary. Implications for developing both social engagement and emotional satisfaction are discussed.

Keywords: motivation, teacher-created website, Thai students, vocabulary and reading skill

Procedia PDF Downloads 368