Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3138

Search results for: teachers’ beliefs and perceptions

3138 Iranian Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Effective Foreign Language Teaching

Authors: Mehrnoush Tajnia, Simin Sadeghi-Saeb

Abstract:

Students and teachers have different perceptions of effectiveness of instruction. Comparing students’ and teachers’ beliefs and finding the mismatches between them can increase L2 students’ satisfaction. Few studies have taken into account the beliefs of both students and teachers on different aspects of pedagogy and the effect of learners’ level of education and contexts on effective foreign language teacher practices. Therefore, the present study was conducted to compare students’ and teachers’ perceptions on effective foreign language teaching. A sample of 303 learners and 54 instructors from different private language institutes and universities participated in the study. A questionnaire was developed to elicit participants’ beliefs on effective foreign language teaching and learning. The analysis of the results revealed that: a) there is significant difference between the students’ beliefs about effective teacher practices and teachers’ belief, b) Class level influences students’ perception of effective foreign language teacher, d) There is a significant difference of opinion between those learners who study foreign languages at university and those who study foreign language in private institutes with respect to effective teacher practices. The present paper concludes that finding the gap between students’ and teachers’ beliefs would help both of the groups to enhance their learning and teaching.

Keywords: effective teacher, effective teaching, students’ beliefs, teachers’ beliefs

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3137 The Impact of Teachers’ Beliefs and Perceptions about Formative Assessment in the University ESL Class Assistant Lecturer: Barzan Hadi Hama Karim University of Halabja

Authors: Barzan Hadi Hama Karim

Abstract:

The topic of formative assessment and its implementation in Iraqi Kurdistan have not attracted the attention of researchers and educators. Teachers’ beliefs about formative assessment as well as their assessment roles have remained unexplored. This paper reports on the research results of our survey which is conducted in 20014 to examine issues relating to formative assessment in the university ESL classroom settings. The paper portrays the findings of a qualitative study on the formative assessment role and beliefs of a group of teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in the departments of English Languages in Iraqi Kurdistan universities. Participants of the study are 25 Kurdish EFL teachers from different departments of English languages. Close-ended and open-ended questionnaire is used to collect teacher’s beliefs and perceptions about the importance of formative assessment to improve the process of teaching and learning English language. The result of the study shows that teachers do not play a significant role in the assessment process because of top-down managerial approaches and educational system. The results prove that the teachers’ assessment beliefs and their key role in assessment should not be neglected. Our research papers pursued the following questions: What is the nature of formative assessment in a second language classroom setting? Do the teacher’s assessment practices reflect what she thinks about formative assessment? What are the teachers’ perceptions regarding the benefits of formative assessment for teaching and learning English language at the university level?

Keywords: formative assessment, teachers’ beliefs and perceptions, assessment, education reform, ESL

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3136 The Role of Motivational Beliefs and Self-Regulated Learning Strategies in The Prediction of Mathematics Teacher Candidates' Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) Perceptions

Authors: Ahmet Erdoğan, Şahin Kesici, Mustafa Baloğlu

Abstract:

Information technologies have lead to changes in the areas of communication, learning, and teaching. Besides offering many opportunities to the learners, these technologies have changed the teaching methods and beliefs of teachers. What the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) means to the teachers is considerably important to integrate technology successfully into teaching processes. It is necessary to understand how to plan and apply teacher training programs in order to balance students’ pedagogical and technological knowledge. Because of many inefficient teacher training programs, teachers have difficulties in relating technology, pedagogy and content knowledge each other. While providing an efficient training supported with technology, understanding the three main components (technology, pedagogy and content knowledge) and their relationship are very crucial. The purpose of this study is to determine whether motivational beliefs and self-regulated learning strategies are significant predictors of mathematics teacher candidates' TPACK perceptions. A hundred seventy five Turkish mathematics teachers candidates responded to the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) and the Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) Scale. Of the group, 129 (73.7%) were women and 46 (26.3%) were men. Participants' ages ranged from 20 to 31 years with a mean of 23.04 years (SD = 2.001). In this study, a multiple linear regression analysis was used. In multiple linear regression analysis, the relationship between the predictor variables, mathematics teacher candidates' motivational beliefs, and self-regulated learning strategies, and the dependent variable, TPACK perceptions, were tested. It was determined that self-efficacy for learning and performance and intrinsic goal orientation are significant predictors of mathematics teacher candidates' TPACK perceptions. Additionally, mathematics teacher candidates' critical thinking, metacognitive self-regulation, organisation, time and study environment management, and help-seeking were found to be significant predictors for their TPACK perceptions.

Keywords: candidate mathematics teachers, motivational beliefs, self-regulated learning strategies, technological and pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge

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3135 Teachers' Beliefs About the Environment: The Case of Azerbaijan

Authors: Aysel Mehdiyeva

Abstract:

As a driving force of society, the role of teachers is important in inspiring, motivating, and encouraging the younger generation to protect the environment. In light of these, the study aims to explore teachers’ beliefs to understand teachers’ engagement with teaching about the environment. Though teachers’ beliefs about the environment have been explored by a number of researchers, the influence of these beliefs in their professional lives and in shaping their classroom instructions has not been widely investigated in Azerbaijan. To this end, this study aims to reveal the beliefs of secondary school geography teachers about the environment and find out the ways teachers’ beliefs of the environment are enacted in their classroom practice in Azerbaijan. Different frameworks have been suggested for measuring environmental beliefs stemming from well-known anthropocentric and biocentric worldviews. The study addresses New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) by Dunlap to formulate the interview questions as discussion with teachers around these questions aligns with the research aims serving to well-capture the beliefs of teachers about the environment. Despite the extensive applicability of the NEP scale, it has not been used to explore in-service teachers’ beliefs about the environment. Besides, it has been used as a tool for quantitative measurement; however, the study addresses the scale within the framework of the qualitative study. The research population for semi-structured interviews and observations was recruited via purposeful sampling. Teachers’ being a unit of analysis is related to the gap in the literature as to how teachers’ beliefs are related to their classroom instructions within the environmental context, as well as teachers’ beliefs about the environment in Azerbaijan have not been well researched. 6 geography teachers from 4 different schools were involved in the research process. The schools are located in one of the most polluted parts of the capital city Baku where the first oil well in the world was drilled in 1848 and is called “Black City” due to the black smoke and smell that covered that part of the city. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teachers to reveal their stated beliefs. Later, teachers were observed during geography classes to understand the overlap between teachers’ ideas presented during the interview and their teaching practice. Research findings aim to indicate teachers’ ecological beliefs and practice, as well as elaborate on possible causes of compatibility/incompatibility between teachers’ stated and observed beliefs.

Keywords: environmental education, anthropocentric beliefs, biocentric beliefs, new ecological paradigm

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3134 Investigating the Influences of Preschool Teachers’ Self-Efficacy on Their Perceptions of National Preschool Standard Curriculum (NPSC) Implementation in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur

Authors: Pei Xin Ker

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of teachers’ self-efficacy (TSE) on teachers’ perceptions of the levels of implementation of the NPSC. A total of 187 respondents were selected by using purposive homogeneous sampling to represent preschool teachers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. This study involved a cross-sectional survey in which quantitative data were collected and analysed using descriptive statistics. The survey was containing 74 questionnaire items created using Google Form and distributed through online platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger. The results indicated a high level of overall self-efficacy among the preschool teachers and the overall teachers' perceived level of NPSC. The findings also showed a significant and positive relationship at a high level between TSE and teachers' perceptions of the level of implementation of NPSC. Student involvement was one of the TSE factors that had the greatest influence in shaping teachers' perceptions of the level of implementation of NPSC. The findings of the predictors to teachers' perceptions of the implementation of NPSC within this study can be used as an indication to the researchers to reassure the validity of this study by repeating with similar research settings. Further studies to include other factors are also encouraged to explore the possible factors that may influence the teachers' perceptions of the implementation of NPSC.

Keywords: teachers’ self-efficacy, national preschool standard curriculum, preschool teachers, preschool education

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3133 Pre-Service Science Teachers' Perceptions Related to the Concept of Laboratory: A Metaphorical Analysis

Authors: Salih Uzun

Abstract:

The laboratory activities are seen an indispensable part of science, teaching, and learning. In this study, the aim was to identify pre-service science teachers’ perceptions related to the concept of laboratory through metaphors. It is expressed that metaphors can be used as a powerful research tool in order to understand personal perceptions. Therefore, metaphors were used with the aim of revealing a picture regarding how pre-service science teachers perceive laboratory. Within the scope of this aim, phenomenographic research design was adopted for this study and an answer was sought to the question; ‘What are pre-service science teachers’ perceptions about the concept of laboratory?’. The sample of this study was a total of 80 pre-service science teachers at various grade levels in Turkey. Participants were asked to complete the sentence; ‘Laboratory is like…; because…’. Documents including pre-service science teachers’ answers to the open-ended questions were used as data sources and the data were analysed with content analysis.

Keywords: laboratory, metaphor, phenomenology, pre-service science teachers

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3132 Factors Impacting Technology Integration in EFL Classrooms: A Study of Qatari Independent Schools

Authors: Youmen Chaaban, Maha Ellili-Cherif

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teachers’ individual characteristics and perceptions of environmental factors that impact their technology integration into their EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms. To this end, a national survey examining EFL teachers’ perceptions was conducted at Qatari Independent schools. 263 EFL teachers responded to the survey which investigated several factors known to impact technology integration. These factors included technology availability and support, EFL teachers’ perceptions of importance, obstacles facing technology integration, competency with technology use, and formal technology preparation. The impact of these factors on teachers’ and students’ educational technology use was further measured. The analysis of the data included descriptive statistics and a chi-square analysis test in order to examine the relationship between these factors. The results revealed important cultural factors that impact teachers’ practices and attitudes towards technology in the Qatari context. EFL teachers were found to integrate technology most prominently for instructional delivery and preparation. The use of technology as a learning tool received less emphasis. Teachers further revealed consistent perceptions about obstacles to integration, high levels of confidence in using technology, and consistent beliefs about the importance of using technology as a learning tool. Further analyses of the factors impacting technology integration can assist with Qatar’s technology advancement and development efforts by indicating the areas of strength and areas where additional efforts are needed. The results will lay the foundation for conducting context-specific professional development suitable for the needs of EFL teachers in Qatari Independent Schools.

Keywords: educational technology integration, Qatar, EFL, independent schools, ICT

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3131 Situated Professional Development: Examining Strengths, Challenges, and Ways Forward

Authors: Youmen Chaaban

Abstract:

The study examined the influence of a situated professional development program (PD) aimed at enhancing English language teachers’ knowledge and skills and improving their instructional practices. The PD model under examination was developed upon sound theoretical underpinnings, taking into consideration research-based principles of effective PD. However, the implementation of the PD model within several school contexts required further investigation from the perspectives of the teachers, who were receiving the PD activities, and the instructional coaches, who were providing them. The paper, thus, presents the results of a qualitative study examining the perceptions of seventeen English language teachers and nineteen instructional coaches about the strengths of the PD program, the challenges they faced in the implementation of the program, and their suggestions for the improvement of the program’s implementation and outcomes. Comparisons were further made between the two groups of participants to uncover agreements and contradictions in their perceptions. Data were collected from the teachers through in-depth interviews and observations, while the data collected from the instructional coaches were open-ended surveys followed by focus group interviews. The findings of the study confirm the necessity of structuring PD activities around sound theoretical underpinnings. However, practical considerations specific to the contexts where the PD activities take place should be considered when evaluating the PD’s effectiveness. Finally, the study provides several recommendations for maximizing the influence of the PD program on teachers’ practices and beliefs.

Keywords: English language teachers, situated professional development, teacher beliefs, teacher practices

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3130 A Consensus Approach to the Formulation of a School ICT Policy: A Q-Methodology Case Study

Authors: Thiru Vandeyar

Abstract:

This study sets out to explore how teachers’ beliefs and attitudes about ICT policy influence a consensus approach to the formulation of a school ICT policy. This case study proposes Q- methodology as an innovative method to facilitate a school’s capacity to develop policy reflecting teacher beliefs and attitudes. Q-methodology is used as a constructivist approach to the formulation of an ICT policy. Data capture was a mix of Q-methodology and qualitative principles. Data was analyzed by means of document, content and cluster analysis methods. Findings were threefold: First, teachers’ beliefs and attitudes about ICT policy influenced a consensus approach by including teachers as policy decision-makers. Second, given the opportunity, teachers have the inherent ability to deconstruct and critically engage with policy statements according to their own professional beliefs and attitudes. And third, an inclusive approach to policy formulation may inform the practice of school leaders and policymakers alike on how schools may develop their own policy.

Keywords: ICT, policy, teacher beliefs, consensus

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3129 Teaching Vietnamese as the Official Language for Indigenous Preschool Children in Lai Chau, Vietnam: Exploring Teachers' Beliefs about Second Language Acquisition

Authors: Thao Thi Vu, Libby Lee-Hammond, Andrew McConney

Abstract:

In Vietnam, the Vietnamese language is normally used as the language of instruction. The dominance of this language places children who have a different first language such as Indigenous children at a disadvantage when commencing school. This study explores preschool teachers’ beliefs about second language acquisition in Lai Chau provinces where is typical of highland provinces of Vietnam and the proportion of Indigenous minority groups in high. Data were collected from surveys with both closed-end questions and opened-end questions. The participants in this study were more than 200 public preschool teachers who come from eight different districts in Lai Chau. An analysis of quantitative data survey is presented to indicate several practical implications, such as the connection between teachers’ knowledge background that gained from their pre-service and in-service teacher education programs regarding second language teaching for Indigenous children and their practice. It also explains some factors that influence teachers’ beliefs and perspective about Indigenous children and pedagogies in their classes.

Keywords: indigenous children, learning Vietnamese, preschool, teachers’ beliefs

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3128 Teachers’ Personal and Professional Characteristics: How They Relate to Teacher-Student Relationships and Students’ Behavior

Authors: Maria Poulou

Abstract:

The study investigated how teachers’ self-rated Emotional Intelligence (EI), competence in implementing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills and teaching efficacy relate to teacher-student relationships and students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Participants were 98 elementary teachers from public schools in central Greece. They completed the Self-Rated Emotional Intelligence Scale (SREIS), the Teacher SEL Beliefs Scale, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES), the Student-Teacher Relationships Scale-Short Form (STRS-SF) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for 617 of their students, aged 6-11 years old. Structural equation modeling was used to examine an exploratory model of the variables. It was demonstrated that teachers’ emotional intelligence, SEL beliefs and teaching efficacy were significantly related to teacher-student relationships, but they were not related to students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Rather, teachers’ perceptions of teacher-students relationships were significantly related to these difficulties. These findings and their implications for research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, social and emotional learning, teacher-student relationships, teaching efficacy

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3127 Saudi Teachers’ Perceptions of Rough and Tumble Play in Early Learning

Authors: Rana Alghamdi

Abstract:

This study explored teachers’ perceptions of rough-and-tumble (R&T) play in early childhood education in Saudi Arabia. The literature on rough-and-tumble play in Saudi Arabia is limited in scope, and more research is needed to explore teachers’ perceptions on this type of play for early learners. The pertinent literature reveals that R&T play, which includes running, jumping, fighting, wrestling, chasing, pulling, pushing, and climbing, among other rough playful activities, can positively impact learning and development across psychosocial, emotional, and cognitive domains. Teachers’ understanding of R & T play is key, and the attitudes of Saudi early childhood teachers who are responsible for implementing curriculum-based play have not been fully researched. Four early childhood teachers from an urban Saudi preschool participated in the study. The data collected in this study were interpreted through a sociocultural lens. Data sources included in-depth interviews, photo-elicitation interviews, and participant-generated drawings. Three overarching themes emerged: teachers’ concerns about rough-and-tumble play, teachers’ perceptions about the benefits of rough-and-tumble play, and teachers’ expression of gender roles in R & T play as contextualized within Saudi culture. Saudi teachers’ perceptions are discussed in detail, and implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are put forth.

Keywords: rough and tumble play, gender, culture, early childhood, Saudi Arabia

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3126 SHIFT: Examining Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions on Digital Citizenship Education

Authors: Cachanda K. Orellana

Abstract:

This study examined preservice teachers’ perceptions of their role in digital citizenship education. Data was gathered via surveys and coursework from the preservice teachers’ instructional technology course. Pre-service teachers were asked about their role in digital citizenship education during a unit on digital dilemmas. Findings suggest that teacher education programs should consider digital citizenship education as more than the acquisition of a set of skills and behaviors and prepare preservice teachers to support students’ ability to engage in ethical decision-making in digital spaces.

Keywords: digital citizenship, digital dilemmas, pre-service teachers, teacher education

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3125 Unpacking Chilean Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs on Practicum Experiences through Digital Stories

Authors: Claudio Díaz, Mabel Ortiz

Abstract:

An EFL teacher education programme in Chile takes five years to train a future teacher of English. Preservice teachers are prepared to learn an advanced level of English and teach the language from 5th to 12th grade in the Chilean educational system. In the context of their first EFL Methodology course in year four, preservice teachers have to create a five-minute digital story that starts from a critical incident they have experienced as teachers-to-be during their observations or interventions in the schools. A critical incident can be defined as a happening, a specific incident or event either observed by them or involving them. The happening sparks their thinking and may make them subsequently think differently about the particular event. When they create their digital stories, preservice teachers put technology, teaching practice and theory together to narrate a story that is complemented by still images, moving images, text, sound effects and music. The story should be told as a personal narrative, which explains the critical incident. This presentation will focus on the creation process of 50 Chilean preservice teachers’ digital stories highlighting the critical incidents they started their stories. It will also unpack preservice teachers’ beliefs and reflections when approaching their teaching practices in schools. These beliefs will be coded and categorized through content analysis to evidence preservice teachers’ most rooted conceptions about English teaching and learning in Chilean schools. The findings seem to indicate that preservice teachers’ beliefs are strongly mediated by contextual and affective factors.

Keywords: beliefs, digital stories, preservice teachers, practicum

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3124 Self-Efficacy Perceptions and the Attitudes of Prospective Teachers towards Assessment and Evaluation

Authors: Münevver Başman, Ezel Tavşancıl

Abstract:

Making the right decisions about students depends on teachers’ use of the assessment and evaluation techniques effectively. In order to do that, teachers should have positive attitudes and adequate self-efficacy perception towards assessment and evaluation. The purpose of this study is to investigate relationship between self-efficacy perception and the attitudes of prospective teachers towards assessment and evaluation and what kind of differences these issues have in terms of a variety of demographic variables. The study group consisted of 277 prospective teachers who have been studying in different departments of Marmara University, Faculty of Education. In this study, ‘Personal Information Form’, ‘A Perceptual Scale for Measurement and Evaluation of Prospective Teachers Self-Efficacy in Education’ and ‘Attitudes toward Educational Measurement Inventory’ are applied. As a result, positive correlation was found between self-efficacy perceptions and the attitudes of prospective teachers towards assessment and evaluation. Considering different departments, there is a significant difference between the mean score of attitudes of prospective teachers and between the mean score of self-efficacy perceptions of them. However, considering variables of attending statistics class and the class types at the graduated high school, there is no significant difference between the mean score of attitudes of prospective teachers and between the mean score of self-efficacy perceptions of them.

Keywords: attitude, perception, prospective teacher, self-efficacy

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3123 Evaluation Practices in Colombia: Between Beliefs and National Exams

Authors: Danilsa Lorduy, Liliana Valle

Abstract:

Assessment and evaluation are inextricable parts of the teaching learning process. Evaluation practices concerns are gaining popularity among curriculum developers an educational researchers, particularly in Colombian regions where English language is taught as a foreign language EFL. This study addressed one of those issues, which are the unbalanced in –services’ evaluation practices perceived in school classes. They present predominance on the written test among the procedures they use to evaluate; therefore, the purpose of this case study was to explore in-service teachers’ evaluation practices, their beliefs about evaluation and to establish an eventual connection between practices and beliefs. To this end, classroom observations, questionnaires, and a semi structured interview were applied to three in-service English teachers from different schools in a city in Colombia. The findings suggested that teachers’ beliefs indicate a formative inclination and they actually are using a variety of procedures different from test but they seem to have some issues regarding their appropriateness for application Moreover, it was found that teachers’ practices are being influenced by external factors such as school requirements and national policies. It could be concluded that the predominance in using tests is not only elicited by teachers’ beliefs but also by national test results 'Pruebas Saber' and law 115 demanding. It was also suggested that further quantitative research is needed to demonstrate connections between overuse of testing procedures and 'Pruebas Saber' national test.

Keywords: beliefs, evaluation, external factors, national test

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3122 E-Learning in Primary Science: Teachers versus Students

Authors: Winnie Wing Mui So, Yu Chen

Abstract:

This study investigated primary school teachers’ and students’ perceptions of science learning in an e-learning environment. This study used a multiple case study design and involved eight science teachers and their students from four Hong Kong primary schools. The science topics taught included ‘season and weather’ ‘force and movement’, ‘solar and lunar eclipse’ and ‘living things and habitats’. Data were collected through lesson observations, interviews with teachers, and interviews with students. Results revealed some differences between the teachers’ and the students’ perceptions regarding the usefulness of e-learning resources, the organization of student-centred activities, and the impact on engagement and interactions in lessons. The findings have implications for the more effective creation of e-learning environments for science teaching and learning in primary schools.

Keywords: e-learning, science education, teacher' and students' perceptions, primary schools

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3121 Using Assistive Technologies in Teaching Children with Disabilities in Jordan: Teachers' Perceptions

Authors: Kholoud Adeeb. Al-Dababneh

Abstract:

This study aimed at investigating teachers' perceptions of using assistive technologies in teaching children with disabilities in Jordan. The researcher developed a study instrument (questionnaire) to examine teachers' perceptions regarding the use of assistive technologies in teaching children with disabilities. The validity and reliability of the research instrument were checked. A random sample of 260 teachers who teach children with disabilities participated in the study by completing the questionnaire; fifteen teachers were later interviewed. Results revealed that the use of assistive technology by teachers in teaching children with disabilities was high. The results also revealed that there are statistically significant differences at (α= .05) according to the type of disability in favor of teachers of children with specific learning disabilities (SLD), according to educational settings in favor of local public schools (inclusion settings). The results revealed that there were no statistically significant differences attributed to the teacher's level of education and teachers' gender. In light of the study results, the researcher addressed several recommendations and future implications.

Keywords: assistive technologies, children with disabilities, Jordan, teachers

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3120 Examining the Links between Established Principles, Iranian Teachers' Perceptions of Reading Comprehension, and Their Actual Practice in English for Specific Purposes Courses

Authors: Zahra Alimorad

Abstract:

There is a strong belief that language teachers' actual practices in the classroom context are largely determined by the underlying perceptions they hold about the nature of language and language learning. That being so, it can be envisaged that teaching procedures of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) teachers teaching reading comprehension will mainly be driven by their perceptions about the nature of reading. To examine this issue, four Iranian university professors holding Ph.D. in either TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or English Literature who were teaching English to Engineering and Sciences students were recruited to participate in this study. To collect the necessary data, classroom observations and follow-up semi-structured interviews were used. Furthermore, the materials utilized by the teachers such as textbooks, syllabuses, and tests were also examined. Although it can be argued that their perceptions were partially compatible with the established principles, results of the study pointed to a lack of congruence between these teachers' perceptions and their practices, on the one hand, and between the established principles and the practices, on the other. While the literature mostly supports a metacognitive-strategy approach to reading comprehension, the teachers were mainly adopting a skills-based approach to the teaching of reading. That is, they primarily focused on translation as the core activity in the classroom followed by reading aloud, defining words, and explaining grammatical structures. This divergence was partly attributed to the contextual constraints and partly to students' lack of motivation by the teachers.

Keywords: English teachers, perceptions, practice, principles, reading comprehension

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3119 A Mixed Method Approach Investigating EFL Teachers' Beliefs and Practices towards Classroom-Based Assessment in Saudi Higher Educational Institutions

Authors: Mashael AlSalem

Abstract:

While research into language assessment has expanded in recent years, few if any studies to date have targeted the nature of thought processes used by teachers when constructing classroom-based assessment. This study reports on teachers’ conceptions of English grammar assessment and their classroom assessment practices in their Saudi higher educational facilities. A mixed-method approach using both qualitative and quantitative research instruments was employed to elicit teachers’ perceptions of English grammar assessment and their relationship to their current practices. Participants of the study included EFL teachers from 4 different educational facilities: King Saudi University, Princess Noura University, Imam Mouhamed Islamic University, and Institute of Public Administration. Data collection involved questionnaire (N=100), semi-structured interviews (N=30), retrospective thinking (N=20), and document analysis (N=20). Activity theory is used as an interpretive framework to explore and investigate the entire system of constructing classroom-based assessment. Preliminary findings reveal several similarities and differences between the participants’ stated beliefs and their current practices of assessing English grammar. Findings also showed that teacher participant’s beliefs about how English grammar should be assessed are influenced mostly by prior learning experience as well as their teaching instruction practices. Their practices, on the other hand, was more guided by educational policies and lack of teacher training in the field of assessment, among other factors. This research makes a significant contribution to knowledge in three different areas: it enriches the literature on language teacher cognition; it builds on the body of research on language classroom assessment, and it expands on the possibilities to use AC to investigate the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices.

Keywords: activity theory, classroom-based assessment, language teacher cognition, mixed method approach

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3118 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Efficacy of Social Stories in the Development of Social Skills for Students with Autism in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Faihan Alotaibi

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This study explores Saudi teachers’ perceptions of the efficacy of social stories in the development of social skills in students with autism in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in two phases. Data were collected in sequential quantitative and qualitative phases. Participants in this study were 100 teachers in the quantitative phase and 15 teachers were interviewed. In this poster, the researcher will present the data result in the qualitative second phase in which an understanding of teachers’ experiences was deepened by conducting semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of fifteen teachers of diverse experience, covering six initial themes: the social story concept, sources of social stories, the effectiveness of social stories in improving social skills in students with autism, barriers to using social stories for students with autism, cultural consideration and context of social stories, and factors which contribute to the best use of social stories to developing of social skills for students with autism.

Keywords: autism, social storyteachers’ perceptions, intervention, social skills

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3117 Walking the Talk? Thinking and Acting – Teachers' and Practitioners' Perceptions about Physical Activity, Health and Well-Being, Do They 'Walk the Talk' ?

Authors: Kristy Howells, Catherine Meehan

Abstract:

This position paper presents current research findings into the proposed gap between teachers’ and practitioners’ thinking and acting about physical activity health and well-being in childhood. Within the new Primary curriculum, there is a focus on sustained physical activity within a Physical Education and healthy lifestyles in Personal, Health, Social and Emotional lessons, but there is no curriculum guidance about what sustained physical activity is and how it is defined. The current health guidance on birth to five suggests that children should not be inactive for long periods and specify light and energetic activities, however there is the a suggested period of time per day for young children to achieve, but the guidance does not specify how this should be measured. The challenge therefore for teachers and practitioners is their own confidence and understanding of what “good / moderate intensity” physical activity and healthy living looks like for children and the children understanding what they are doing. There is limited research about children from birth to eight years and also the perceptions and attitudes of those who work with this age group of children, however it was found that children at times can identify different levels of activity and it has been found that children can identify healthy foods and good choices for healthy living at a basic level. Authors have also explored teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning and found that teachers could act in accordance to their beliefs about their subject area only when their subject knowledge, understanding and confidence of that area is high. It has been proposed that confidence and competence of practitioners and teachers to integrate ‘well-being’ within the learning settings has been reported as being low. This may be due to them not having high subject knowledge. It has been suggested that children’s life chances are improved by focusing on well-being in their earliest years. This includes working with parents and families, and being aware of the environmental contexts that may impact on children’s wellbeing. The key is for practitioners and teachers to know how to implement these ideas effectively as these key workers have a profound effect on young children as role models and due to the time of waking hours spent with them. The position paper is part of a longitudinal study at Canterbury Christ Church University and currently we will share the research findings from the initial questionnaire (online, postal, and in person) that explored and evaluated the knowledge, competence and confidence levels of practitioners and teachers as to the structure and planning of sustained physical activity and healthy lifestyles and how this progresses with the children’s age.

Keywords: health, perceptions, physical activity, well-being

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3116 Barriers That Special Education Teachers Faced When Working with Students with Intellectual Disabilities in an Inclusion Schools

Authors: Faris Algahtani

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Every child has a right to education. This is one of the laws in the constitution and it empowers every child to access knowledge but it does not, however, allocate special interest to the rights of education for children with disabilities. It also does not address the challenges that teachers of such children face while trying to educate them. This study was conducted at government schools of Saudi Arabia. As the teaching profession is the most valuable profession and deserves to have its challenges tackled. This paper explores the challenges that teachers face as they try to teach students who have intellectual disabilities (ID). It looks at the daily challenges of a teacher who has to teach both children with disabilities and those without. The literature review shed light on the various aspects of mainstream education from the classroom to the outside environment to the teachers involved in mainstream education. The study employed qualitative methods in which Focus Group Discussions were utilized and Twenty (N=20) special education teachers were randomly sampled from primary schools through 6 groups of teachers from 6 different schools were interviewed through semi-structured interviews with the aim of drawing collective perceptions rather than personal perceptions about the challenges. The study found that most teachers had similar perceptions about the challenges that teachers face as they educate students with intellectual disabilities. The study recommends that The Ministry of Education should consider increasing the availability of special needs courses, workshops and conference for special education teachers.

Keywords: intellectual disabilities, inclusion, mainstream schools, disabilities, special education teachers

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3115 An Investigation into Kenyan Teachers’ Views of Children’s Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Authors: Fred Mageto

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A great number of children in mainstream schools across Kenya are currently living with emotional, behavioural difficulties. This study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions of children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and their attributions of the causes of EBD. The relevance of this area of study to current educational practice is illustrated in the fact that primary school teachers in Kenya find classroom behaviour problems one of the major difficulties they face. The information presented in this study was gathered from 182 teachers that responded back to the survey, of whom 27 teachers were later interviewed. In general, teachers’ perceptions of EBD reflect personal experience, training, and attitudes. Teachers appear from this study to use words such as indifferent, frightened, withdrawn, aggressive, disobedient, hyperactive, less ambitious, lacking concentration, and academically weak to describe pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD). The implications of this study are envisaged as being extremely important to support teachers addressing children’s EBD and shed light on the contributing factors to EBD for a successful teaching-learning process in Libyan primary schools.

Keywords: teachers, children, learning, emotional and behaviour difficulties

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3114 An Investigation into Libyan Teachers’ Views of Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties

Authors: Abdelbasit Gadour

Abstract:

A great number of children in mainstream schools across Libya are currently living with emotional, behavioral difficulties. This study aims to explore teachers’ perceptions of children’s emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD) and their attributions of the causes of EBD. The relevance of this area of study to current educational practice is illustrated in the fact that primary school teachers in Libya find classroom behavior problems one of the major difficulties they face. The information presented in this study was gathered from 182 teachers that responded back to the survey, of whom 27 teachers were later interviewed. In general, teachers’ perceptions of EBD reflect personal experience, training, and attitudes. Teachers appear from this study to use words such as indifferent, frightened, withdrawn, aggressive, disobedient, hyperactive, less ambitious, lacking concentration, and academically weak to describe pupils with emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD). The implications of this study are envisaged as being extremely important to support teachers addressing children’s EBD and shed light on the contributing factors to EBD for a successful teaching-learning process in Libyan primary schools.

Keywords: children, emotional and behavior difficulties, learning, teachers'

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3113 Foreign Language Anxiety: Perceptions and Attitudes in the Egyptian ESL Classroom

Authors: Shaden S. Attia

Abstract:

This study investigated foreign language anxiety (FLA) and teachers’ awareness of its presence in the Egyptian ESL classrooms and how FLA correlates with different variables such as four language skills, students' sex, and activities used in class. A combination of quantitative and qualitative instruments was used in order to investigate the previously mentioned variables, which included five interviews with teachers, six classroom observations, a survey for teachers, and a questionnaire for students. The findings of the study revealed that some teachers were aware of the presence of FLA, with some of them believing that other teachers, however, are not aware of this phenomenon, and even when they notice anxiety, they do not always relate it to learning a foreign language. The results also showed that FLA was affected by students’ sex, different language skills, and affective anxieties; however, teachers were unaware of the effect of these variables. The results demonstrated that both teachers and students preferred group and pair work to individual activities as they were more relaxing and less anxiety-provoking. These findings contribute to raising teachers' awareness of FLA in ESL classrooms and how it is affected by different variables.

Keywords: foreign language anxiety, situation specific anxiety, skill-specific anxiety, teachers’ perceptions

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3112 Studying Educational Processes through a Multifocal Viewpoint: Educational and Social Studies

Authors: Noa Shriki, Atara Shriki

Abstract:

Lifelong learning is considered as essential for teacher's professional development, which in turn has implications for the improvement of the entire education system. In recent years, many programs designed to support teachers' professional development are criticized for not achieving their goal. A variety of reasons have been proposed for the purpose of explaining the causes of the ineffectiveness of such programs. In this study, we put to test the possibility that teachers do not change as a result of their participation in professional programs due to a gap between the contents and approaches included in them and teacher's beliefs about teaching and learning. Eighteen elementary school mathematics teachers participated in the study. These teachers were involved in collaborating with their students in inquiring mathematical ideas, while implementing action research. Employing educational theories, the results indicated that this experience had a positive effect on teacher's professional development. In particular, there was an evident change in their beliefs regarding their role as mathematics teachers. However, while employing a different perspective for analyzing the data, the lens of Kurt Lewin's theory of re-education, we realized that this change of beliefs must be questioned. Therefore, it is suggested that analysis of educational processes should be carried out not only through common educational theories, but also on the basis of social and organizational theories. It is assumed that both the field of education and the fields of social studies and organizational consulting will benefit from the multifocal viewpoint

Keywords: educational theories, professional development, re-education, teachers' beliefs

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3111 Teachers’ Perceptions Related to the Guiding Skills within the Application Courses

Authors: Tanimola Kazeem Abiodun

Abstract:

In Nigeria, both formal education and distance learning opportunities are used in teacher training. Practical courses aim to improve the skills of teacher candidates in a school environment. Teacher candidates attend kindergarten classes under the supervision of a teacher. In this context, the guiding skills of teachers gain importance in terms of shaping candidates’ perceptions about teaching profession. In this study, the teachers’ perceptions related to the guiding skills within the practical courses were determined. Also, the perceptions and applications related to guiding skills were compared. A Likert scale questionnaire and an open-ended question were used to determine perceptions and applications. 120 questionnaires were taken into consideration and analyses of data were performed by using percentage distribution and QSR Nvivo 8 program. In this study, statements related to teachers’ perceptions about the guiding skills were asked and it is determined that almost all the teachers agreed about the importance of these statements. On the other hand, how these guidance skills are applied by teachers is also queried with an open-ended question. Finally, thoughts and applications related to guidance skills were compared to each other. Based on this comparison, it is seen that there are some differences between the thoughts and applications especially related with time management, planning, feedbacks, curriculum, workload, rules and guidance. It can be said that some guidance skills cannot be controlled only by teachers. For example, candidates’ motivation, attention, population and educational environment are also determinative factors for effective guidance. In summary, it is necessary to have prior conditions for teachers to apply these idealized guidance skills for training more successful candidates to pre-school education era. At this point, organization of practical courses by the faculties gains importance and in this context it is crucial for faculties to revise their applications based on more detailed researches.

Keywords: teacher training, guiding skills, education, practical courses

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3110 English Language Teachers' Perceptions of Educational Research

Authors: Pinar Sali, Esim Gursoy, Ebru Atak Damar

Abstract:

Teachers’ awareness of and involvement in educational research (ER) is regarded as an indispensable aspect of professional growth and development. It is also believed to be a catalyst for effective teaching and learning. This strong emphasis on the significance of teacher research engagement has sparked inquiry into how teachers construe ER and whether or not they practice it. However, there seems to exist a few researches on teachers’ perceptions of and experience with ER in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). The present study thus attempts to fill this gap in the ELT literature and aims to unearth English language teachers’ perceptions of ER. Understanding these perceptions would undoubtedly aid in the development of strategies to promote teacher interest and involvement in research. The participants of the present study are 70 English language teachers in public and private schools in Turkey. A mixed-method approach has been used in the study. Both qualitative and quantitative data have been gathered by means of a questionnaire consisting of two parts. The first part of the questionnaire consists of 20 close-ended items of Teachers’ Attitude Scale Towards Educational Research (TASTER). The second part of the questionnaire has been developed by the researchers via an extensive literature review and consists of a mixture of close- and open-ended questions. In addition, 15 language teachers have been interviewed for an in-depth understanding of the results. Descriptive statistics and dual comparisons have been employed for the quantitative data, and the qualitative data have been analyzed by means of content analysis. The present study provides intriguing information as to the English language teachers’ perceptions of the usefulness and practicality of ER as well as the value they attain to it. The findings are discussed in relation to language teacher education. The research has implications for the teacher education process, teacher trainers and policy makers.

Keywords: attitudes toward educational research, educational research, language teachers, teacher research

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3109 Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Designing Negotiated English Lesson Plans

Authors: Joko Nurkamto

Abstract:

A lesson plan is a part of the planning phase in a learning and teaching system framing the scenario of pedagogical activities in the classroom. It informs a decision on what to teach and how to landscape classroom interaction. Regardless of these benefits, the writer has witnessed the fact that lesson plans are viewed merely as a teaching document. Therefore, this paper will explore teachers’ beliefs and practices in designing lesson plans. It focuses primarily on how both teachers and students negotiate lesson plans in which the students are deemed to be the agents of instructional innovations. Additionally, the paper will talk about how such lesson plans are enacted. To investigate these issues, document analysis, in-depth interviews, participant classroom observation, and focus group discussion will be deployed as data collection methods in this explorative case study. The benefits of the paper are to show different roles of lesson plans and to discover different ways to design and enact such plans from a socio-interactional perspective.

Keywords: instructional innovation, learning and teaching system, lesson plan, pedagogical activities, teachers' beliefs and practices

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