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Journal Vol. III (LXV) - No. 2/2013

Pre-service teacher training of Romanian students in English and Physics from an inter-, pluri-, transdisciplinary perspective

Dana Craciun, Monica Oprescu, Florin Oprescu
Teacher Training Department, West University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania,
Faculty of Letters, History and Theology, West University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania
The need for real communication between different disciplines became concrete with the emergence of pluridisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in the 20th century when another concept is born – transdisciplinarity, trying to explain what lies within disciplines, inside, but also beyond them. Pluri-, inter- and transdisciplinarity are closely linked to reality, its complex structure and knowledge. This study presents the manner in which students of the Faculty of Physics and the Faculty of Letters in Timisoara, Romania, approach teaching and are instructed to become teachers during university formation: inter-, pluri- and transdisciplinary activities are proposed, leading to the development of teaching competences.
Keywords: pre-service teacher training; students’ attitudes; interdisciplinarity; pluridisciplinarity; transdisciplinarity.

Students’ attitudes towards reading Literature. A case study

Diana Presada
Petroleum – Gas University of Ploiesti, Ploiesti, 100680, Romania
Teaching and learning literature represent a major component of the instructional process in the philological departments of Romanian universities. As practising teachers, we have noticed that learners are not intrinsically motivated for reading literature, in spite of the cultural and aesthetic experience they might enjoy. Our study aims to identify and examine students’ views about reading and studying literature in the context of the higher education reform in Romania. It also attempts to assess the extent to which modern teaching literature techniques have been implemented in academic instruction contributing to the increase of learners’ interest in reading literary works.
Keywords: literature; reading; motivation; reform; higher education

Assessment of laboratory courses using fuzzy reasoning

Samaneh S. Musavian
Faculty of education and psycholoy of Allame Tabatabaie university, Tehran, Iran
A new method is presented for laboratory courses assessment using fuzzy reasoning. Instructors often encounter problems when assessing students in the lab. Instructors know items that impress on the assessment ambiguously in the form of some vague expressions. These are called linguistic expression in the fuzzy logic field. Also the result of assessment can be easily expressed ambiguously using some expression such as satisfied, unsatisfied, good and so on. Instructors (that are experts in our fuzzy system) can relate input expression to output expressions. In this work we present a fuzzy method for assessment of laboratory courses that is performed during the course instead of doing that at the end of the course.
Keywords: Assessment; student- centered assessment; Laboratory courses assessment; fuzzy reasoning; fuzzy sets.

Moving child from street to school: attitude of community members and primary teachers towards mid-day meal programme

Gyanendra Kumar Rout
Govt. Degree College, Rikhinikhal, Pauri Garhwal,Uttarakhan, India
Poverty in India accumulated health hazards in school children which ultimately reduced their study urge. To avoid this problem Government of India started school mid day meal programme in primary schools. The partnership of community members and teachers is necessary to develop effective school food interventions to fulfil the mission of education for all. The present study seeks to examine the opinion of community members as well as teachers on school food programme and its impact on student’s attendance and retention. One case study is also conducted to examine the management of mid -day meal programme in schools. To gather opinion of community members as well as teachers on such programme 200 community members and 200 primary teachers were taken as the sample of the study. An attitude scale along with one case study schedule was used. The findings of the study revealed that both the primary teachers and community members show high favourable attitude towards MDMP. The attitude of primary teachers towards MDMP is more favourable compared to the attitude of community members. The MDMP has influenced increase in attendance and retention of the students. The MDMP has helped the poor people of the community to a great extent by enhancing the enrolment rate in that community and accelerated the process of universalization of elementary education
Keywords: community members; teachers; mid day meal programme; primary school; attendance & retention.

Collaborative disciplinary measures between teachers and pupils in improving academic performance: a case study of Mmofraturo girls’ school, Kumasi

Kwenin, W. K. J., Assan, J., Dzomeku B.M.
College of Agriculture Education, University of Education, Winneba, P.O. Box 40, Mampong-Ashanti, Ghana, West Africa
Crops Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), P.O. Box 3785, Kumasi, Ghana
Indiscipline in general adversely affects academic work and this has lead to a decline in academic performance of pupils in Junior Secondary Schools in Ghana. This study was conducted to assess the extent of indiscipline in Mmofraturo Girls’ School and its adverse effects on pupils’ academic performance so as to provide solutions. The study sample included pupils and teachers of the Junior Secondary School Department. The study used mixed method of data - observation, interviews, test items, examination records and questionnaires for teachers and pupils. Results showed that pupils’ misbehaviour included talking, lateness to class, absenteeism and rudeness. Others were eating in class, quarrelling, deliberate refusal to answer teachers’ questions, carelessness and inattention. With respect to teachers, laziness, lateness/absenteeism, poor teaching methods and unfriendliness were some common attributes. Other behavioural problems associated with teachers were discrimination, use of abusive language, flirting with pupils, improper dressing and lack of self-discipline. Varieties of interventions were employed to improve the situation. They included guidance and counseling, setting of rules and conduct in class, remedial tuition, adequate preparation by teachers before lessons, self discipline and use of polite words by teachers. There was a need for consistent in-service courses on classroom indiscipline in Junior Secondary Schools. Instituting a vibrant guidance and counseling unit in all Basic schools to deal with disciplinary problems was necessary.
Keywords: basic school; school discipline; pupil’s performance; guidance and counseling.

Self-regulated learning of pre-university students in mathematics classrooms

Eng Loong Tang
Sunway College, Petaling Jaya 46150, Selangor, Malaysia
Central to this study is to evaluate the pattern in the use of self-regulated learning (SRL) between highand low-mathematics achievers in classrooms of two pre-university mathematical subjects with different levels of difficulty. The study involved 164 and 135 students in classes of low and high-level mathematical subjects respectively. High achievers practiced more SRL than low achievers in classes of the low-level mathematical subject particularly in significantly reducing anxiety level, possessing positive attitude, and having better time management skills. In classes of the high-level subject, high achievers were significantly better than low achievers in test taking strategies. However, there was no tendency among high achievers to use will, self-regulation, and skill components than low achievers for both mathematical subjects.
Keywords: self-regulated learning; mathematics performance; pre-university students.

Effect of teacher and school variable on use of community resources in science teaching at middle level

Shri Krishna Mishra, Badri Yadav
Shri Kanwartara Institute for Teacher’s Training, Shri Nagar Colony, Mandleshwar, Tehsil-Maheshwar, Dist.Khargone (M.P.), India 451221
According to the findings of this study, the following conclusions can be derived. First, majority of social studies teachers made little or no use of community resources in enhancing their teaching of social studies. Second, the teachers identified such factors as lack of fund, inadequate training, lack of technological skills, and low teachers morale as inhibiting factors against the effective use of community resources. Thus, teachers’ lack of community resources may be accounted for the constraints, which they face in using community resources. However, teachers’ qualification had no significant effect on their use of community resources. The interest of learners towards science can be ensured by the dedicated effort of all concern with the educational process.
Keywords: variable on use of community resources; effect of teacher and school.

Factors affecting entrepreneurial motivation of agricultural students: a case from Iran

Nematollah Shiri, Amirhossein Alibaygi, Mojgan Faghiri
Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran
The main purpose of this study was to investigate factors affecting entrepreneurial motivations of agricultural students at Razi University. Statistical population of this study consisted of all agricultural fourth-year undergraduate students (N=186), that 164 of them were selected as research sample using proportionate stratified sampling method. The main instrument in this study was questionnaire which its validity was confirmed by the panel of experts and its reliability was established by Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Data was analyzed by SPSSWin20 software. Findings revealed that agricultural students at Razi University have the entrepreneurial motivations at moderate to high level. In addition, multiple regression analysis showed that three variables including the attitude toward entrepreneurship, the role model, and the courses of entrepreneurship education can be explaining 35.5 percent of variances of the student's entrepreneurial motivations. Results of this study have applications for planners of higher agricultural education system in order to improving the agricultural student's entrepreneurial motivations.
Keywords: entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial motivation; agricultural students.

Education and Ethology

Emil Stan
Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Bucuresti Blvd., 39, Ploiesti, 100680, Romania
Although ethology is well-defined science, the language and ideas that are promoted further scandalize a number of representatives of education science. Referring to how Konrad Lorenz defines aggression (as „the fighting instinct directed against individuals within the same species”), the authors of a prestigious article wrote: „... the main issue raised by Lorenz’s definition is that both in humans and in animals, the term „instinct” implies the existence of an innate, genetically pre-programmed component. While for many of us it is easy to accept this fact in case of animals, when it comes to people we prefer the assumption of free will.” (1, p. 93)
In a much more sarcastic manner, Alfie Kohn tries to draw the boundary between humans and animals criticizing Skinner: „B. F. Skinner could be described as the man who conducted most of his experiments on rodents and pigeons and wrote most of his books about people.” (2, p. 6)
In this study, we use some results of ethological research to develop a hypothesis about the causes of under motivation (under stimulation in Desmond Morris’s words) of students in Romanian schools.
Keywords: Ethology; under motivation; demotivativation; education; school; boredom.


Applying confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate the fit of measurement models in education and psychological assessment
Wahyu Widhiarso, Jiri Kozeny
Gadjah Mada University, Jl. Humaniora No 1, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Prague Psychiatric Center, Ustavni 91, Prague 8 – Bohnice, 181 03 , Czech Republic
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to verify three measurement models as defined by classical test theory for three scales that represent a wide range of individual attributes and are manifested in various indicators. The congeneric measurement model represents a general true score model whereas the others represent restrictions on congeneric model it. It is assumed that congeneric model will match the characteristics of all of these measures. Accordingly, we hypothesized that the congeneric model will fit to the data. Analysis results suggest that the congeneric measurement model appears to be the best fit for the data. Based on our findings, we recommend that it is important to make a distinction of which measurement model fits to the data before continuing into further analysis.
Keywords: statistics; model; measurement; congeneric; personality.

Psychological defense mechanisms and coping mechanisms in non-psychotic major depressive disorder

Danut I. Crasovan
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, PhD Department of Psychology and
Methodology Studies, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Blv. Panduri no. 90, Romania.
Post - Graduate Research Center COMMSCIE, West University of Timisoara, Blv. V. Parvan, no. 4, 300223, Timisoara, Romania.
Objective. The study aims to identify the relationship between psychological defense mechanisms and coping mechanisms considered specific to non-psychotic major depressive disorder. Method. The clinical sample used includes patients diagnosed with non-psychotic major depressive disorder hospitalized in the Psychiatry Clinics Timisoara and other psychiatric clinics in western Romania and the private practice medical offices of psychotherapy and psychiatry in Timisoara. In line with the objective of the study, the following tools were used: Demographic Questionnaire, COPE Questionnaire (Romanian version [Crasovan & Sava, 2013]), and Defense Style Questionnaire – 60/DSQ 60 (Romanian version [Crasovan & Maricutoiu, 2012])
Results. The results obtained support the existence of a positive correlation between reaction formation and religious approach to the whole clinical group and also for the clinical group of men, and a positive correlation between denial and mental disengagement for the entire clinical group.
Conclusions. The results obtained indicate the existence of a positive correlation between reaction formation and religious approach to the whole clinical group and also for the clinical group of men, and a positive correlation between denial and mental disengagement for the entire clinical group.
Keywords: non-psychotic major depressive disorder; psychological defense mechanisms; coping mechanisms; DSQ 60; COPE.

Investigating the effect of literacy on adults’ working memory performance

Kamal Dorrani, Iraj Azizi, Mohsen Nazarzadeh Zare
Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran, Iran
This study examined the effect of literacy on adults’ working memory performance and its subsystems (phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad and central executive) in Kurdestan, Iran. The study was based on a descriptive methodology, using a causal-comparative method. The sample consisted of adult students in the final course of Nehzat Savad Amouzi Organization (NSAO) in Kurdestan, made up of 76 individuals who constituted the literate group and were matched with 76 other students who constituted the illiterate group. The 67 adults in each group were matched for age, gender, job, and intelligence. For investigating the differences between the two groups, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used. The results of the MANOVA analysis indicated that there was a significant difference (p less then or equal to 0.001) between the groups in working memory performance and all its subsystems. This study suggests that, literacy could be the main factor in improving the working memory performance in adulthood.

Keywords: literacy; working memory; phonological loop; visuo-spatial sketchpad; central executive.

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