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Journal Vol. IX (LXXI) - No. 1/2019

BOOK REVIEW - Autoritate și educație/Authority and education, by Emil Stan
Venera-Mihaela Cojocariu

“Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Calea Marasesti, nr. 157, Bacau, 600115, Romania


Issued under the sign of a problematic conjunction, Emil Stan's work Autoritate și educație/Authority and education published by the prestigious publishing house Polirom within the Education Sciences collection is challenging and generates ongoing interrogations. Without being necessarily a matter of fashion or current trend, the question of authority, which is particularly visible under the dimension of the crisis of authority is, on the contrary, a perennial issue with broad implications on the educational process.

Learning with digital technologies in higher education
Crina Damsa
University of Oslo, Sem Sælands vei 7, PO Box 3017, Oslo, Norway
This exploratory research study proposes the notion of learning ecologies, as a space for learning where students can navigate to find knowledge by engaging with digital-material technologies. The study engages in a conceptualization of learning wherein the students are viewed as active participants, who seek knowledge and resources also outside the course contexts. The study explores this assumption in the empirical context of two higher education courses, in software engineering and teacher education.
The analyses of the qualitative data indicate that digital-material tools are a part of the students’ learning processes and shape the way they act and learn during the activities. The study proposes that pedagogical practice in higher education gives better consideration to how digital technologies can be embedded in the formal learning environments and connects students to various sites for learning.
Keywords: higher education; student learning; learning ecologies; digital technologies; qualitative research

Teaching social and emotional competencies: A pilot survey on social and emotional learning programs implemented in Romania
Ramona Buzgar, Tunde Giurgiuman
University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Calea Mănăştur 3-5, Cluj-Napoca, 400372, Romania
In the past 15 years, social and emotional development of children had gained a very important role in Romanian education. The purpose of this study is to identify if and how teachers implement social and emotional learning (SEL) programs in schools and kindergartens. 120 teachers and school counselors answered to 14 items in order to measure the main implementation features, length, and results of different programs they use. Although most of them considered that SEL is very important, analysis of the data found contradictory results regarding the way teachers use and implement SEL programs with children. Implication for education, public policies, teacher training programs and research are further discussed
Keywords: social and emotional learning; education; public policies


Student’s experience before and after teacher training
Mirela Faragau-Dragos, Nicoleta Gudea
University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Manastur street 3-5, Cluj-Napoca,
400372, Romania
Teacher training is a compulsory discipline in schooling the future teachers. Through this the future teachers develop and express psycho-pedagogics competences. In our study we wanted to stress the attitude, the feelings of the students before and after the end of the going over of the discipline. An initial and a final questionnaire were administered to the students. Considered by a great number of students as a challenge beyond their emotional limits, for many of them she becomes a self discover way, an overtake emotional communicative limits, a training empathy and harmonious communication.
Majority of students saw with restraint the teaching experience in the class because of excitability and lack of self-confidence. A part of them enter in this experience in equilibrium while another part remains restrained but for a part of them the opening, the change and a self-discovery is spectacular. The study can help to improve efficient measures in the development of this discipline.
Keywords: teacher-training; self-confidence; mentor; students; class


Pedagogical essay – a useful tool to practice reflexive thinking in higher education
Cojocariu Venera-Mihaela, Mares Gabriel
“Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Calea Marasesti, nr. 157, Bacau, 600115, Romania
The study aims to illustrate the way in which the pedagogical essay can be used as part of a summative assessment test in higher education at master level. A quantitative - qualitative analysis was applied to 35 essays. The essay semi-structured elements were: teacher's arguments to use student-centred strategies, opportunities and threats of this approach, training needs of the teacher in this direction, beliefs/personal values that support this effort. The results enable us to draw some useful conclusions for our future work: on the one hand, regarding the possibility of expanding the integration of the pedagogical essay into the didactic process; on the other hand, on how its use can help practice reflexive thinking of master students in the targeted directions; and, above all, about the impact of the pedagogical essay on building (self) reflective thinking.
Keywords: pedagogical essay; reflexive thinking; summative assessment; formative assessment;
student-centred; beliefs/personal values

Educational practices for civic engaged students: Service-Learning - from general to applied values in animal-oriented professions
Alina S. Rusu
Department of Special Education, Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education, Babes-Bolyai University, Sindicatelor 7 Street, 400029, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania
Service-Learning (SL), also known as community-based learning, is seen as an emerging pedagogical practice that combines services to community with learning opportunities offered to students, in connection to their curricula and with clear reflection component. This theoretical paper presents examples of evidence-based models of SL implementation in higher education institutions. A special attention is offered to SL in the context of European universities, by referring to the Erasmus Plus International Project (SLIHE), i.e. Service Learning in Universities - Promoting the Third Mission of Universities and Civic Involvement of Students. Also, the paper addressed the applied values of SL pedagogy to animal-related professions, such as veterinary medicine, and how animal presence in the educational context can facilitate the development of social skills in students.
Keywords: community-oriented pedagogy; Service-Learning; human-animal interactions; animal assisted activities.

The bullying phenomenon among the new generations
Giurgiuman Tunde, Buzgar Ramona
University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Calea Manastur 3-5, Cluj-Napoca
400372, Romania
Bullying as a phenomenon is not new but the intensity and ability to cope with it differs from one generation to the next. Adults generally perceive the phenomenon of bullying as a natural challenge for adapting the student to disregarding harassment as a real problem. But the new generations: the generation of Millennials, also known as the Y generation or "Generation of snowflakes" and the Generation Z have come to manage the effects of this phenomenon more and more difficult. Their hypersensitivity, narcissism, the exaggerated cult of their own identity, the image, the acute need to value, the desire for freedom, the refusal to obey in front of imposed rules and responsibilities make them increasingly vulnerable to the phenomenon that often influences their later evolution. For this study we used a qualitative research, the focus group technique. Our study revealed the perceptions of students from secondary school and from university on the phenomenon, pointing out that repeated acts: either verbal, physical or social, such as marginalization, public humiliation, etc. have a strong impact on victims, which today respond differently to the phenomenon.
In this paper we attempted to illustrate the bullying phenomenon as perceived by the new generations in order to identify strategies that are considered useful in preventing and combating the phenomenon, these results being relevant even in changing educational practices.
Keywords: bullying; emergent adult; digital native; hypersensitivity; adaptability

Emotional intelligence of students – instrument of adaptation and control of the university dropout
Darjan Sorina, Ioana Roman, Calin Vac
University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj Napoca, -5 Manastur Street, Cluj Napoca,
400372, Romania
One of the most important competences of academic performance is students’ adaptability in the university. The ability of the young student to self-regulate behaviour is the ability to manage social intelligence, interact with other academic actors, organize time and cope with stress, these are characteristics of high-level students of self-regulation. The university dropout phenomenon in USAMV Cluj-Napoca is below the average country. The development of emotional intelligence of students is the key to personal and professional success in the university, but also a positive self-image assertion, useful to find a job on the labour market.
Keywords: emotional intelligence; university droput of students; sustainable education


Game-based learning. Using board games in adult education
Ioana Boghian, Venera-Mihaela Cojocariu, Carmen Violeta Popescu, Liliana Mâţӑ
Vasile Alecsandri University of Bacӑu, Mӑrӑşeşti 157, Bacӑu 600115, Romania
Our paper relies on a literature review type of research and aims to approach several aspects related to game-based learning in the education of adults. The objectives are: to highlight the importance of play and games in human development; to briefly present learning theories that support the use of games in learning; to define the main characteristics of game-based learning; to define board games in relation to adult education – learning outcomes of board games and competences that may be built and developed through board games. This paper is part of the research within an international cooperation project that aims to develop and implement game-based learning in adult education through board games and role plays.
Keywords: game-based learning; board game; adult education; competences and skills; learning

Reading fluency norms for second grade students in Romanian language
Carolina Bodea Hategan, Dorina Talas, Raluca Trifu
Babes Bolyai University, Department of Special Education, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Romania
Iuliu Hațieganu University, Medical Educational Department, Romania
The purpose of his study was to determine new oral reading fluency norms for the second grade students for Romanian language. There were 1763 Romanian speaking second grade students included in this study, 880 boys and 883 girls. The PEAFC (Proba de evaluare şi antrenare a fluenţei în citire/The Assessment and Training of Reading Fluency Instrument, Bodea Haţegan & Talaş, 2014) was used to assess the students. This study offers new norms for oral reading fluency at the end of second grade. The norms established offer a new direction on screening for dyslexia.
Keywords: oral reading fluency; dyslexia; word reading fluency; text reading fluency; non-word reading fluency.

E-learning platform in Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca - the students’ perception in 2018
Gudea Nicoleta, Fărăgău-Dragoș Mirela, Gudea Alexandru
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Teacher Training Department, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Innovative methods in education, including veterinary medicine contribute to enhance the learning effectiveness.
Aim: This study aims to assess the attitudes towards e-learning and the effectively use of the e-learning platform of the students from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca.

Method: A questionnaire with 18 items (with closed and opened questions) was designed and delivered to veterinary students using the online program Google Forms.
Conclusion: Analysing the results we can notice all the advantages perceived while using the e-learning platform but also the problems encountered by students in relation to this. So, we can figure out some solutions to enhance the benefits of e-learning platform in increasing the self-directed learning (SDL), motivation and performance among veterinary students.
Keywords: e-learning; Moodle; student’s perception; learning effectiveness; veterinary students

The employers’ voice: technical and vocational education and training, where to?
Gabriela Carmen Oproiu, Nicoleta Lițoiu
University Politehnica of Bucharest, Splaiul Independetei Street, Bucharest RO-060042, Romania
Vocational education and training system (VET) represents a challenge for Romanian education in the current period, not only from the perspective of teacher training, but also from the perspective of the changes introduced in the curriculum. Moreover, the employers, in turn, have their perspective and demands, according to the labor market’s requirements. In spite of advanced IT development in contemporary society, it is also needed by well trained young graduates to work in technical fields.
This paper is aimed tu present employers’ opinions about TVET system in Romania. The difficulties employers believe to have faced with this system were analyzed and measures to improve vocational education and training system are proposed.
The study can help both decision-makers and practitioners to improve TVET in Romania.
Keywords: vocational education and training; TVET; labor market; employers; teacher training; technical education in Romania

The role of the Life Sciences Learning Center of USAMV Cluj-Napoca in dropout prevention
Ioana Roman, Calin Vac, Alin Raoul Roman
University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca, 3-5 Manastur Street,
Cluj-Napoca, 400372, Romania
The present study was developed within the Life Sciences Learning Center project implementation at USAMV Cluj-Napoca. The main objective of the research is to improve the academic and social support mechanisms for high-risk students and to increase the promotion rate after the first year of study from 80.91% to 85%, by applying remedial guidance and support programs. This objective is being materialized by accomplishing activities such as: career counselling, coaching, personal development, guidance and development of socio-emotional skills, personalized workshops, interactive courses and blended learning courses aimed at students with a high-risk of abandonment. As a result of the implementation, it has been observed the growth of the students’ motivation for autonomous learning and the access of students to a quality education.
Keywords: sustainable education; alternative educational programs; learning styles; individual support plan; interventions programs

The attitudes of prospective engineering teachers regarding inclusion for children with learning difficulties
Lorena Peculea
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Specialized Department with Psycho-Pedagogical Profile, Romania
This study explores the attitudes of prospective teachers regarding inclusion of children with learning difficulties (LD) into regular classrooms. Quantitative data were obtained through a questionnaire with 165 first- and third-year students in the initial teacher training program at Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. Comparisons are made between the views expressed by respondents at the beginning and at the end of the program without the experience of any study discipline on inclusive education. The results have shown that prospective teachers have slightly positive attitudes towards inclusion of children with LD. First-year students, also, seem to be slightly more positive than those in the third year and female students slightly more positive than male students. The implications for teacher training programs are discussed.
Keywords: inclusion; teacher attitudes; initial teacher training; learning difficulties.

Employers and universities - together for better graduates
Staiculescu Camelia, Lacatus Maria Liana, Richiteanu-Nastase Elena-Ramona
The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, No.6 Romana Square, Bucharest,010371, Romania
Employers often claim the poor education quality of university graduates', the excess of theory. Starting from this finding, the present paper advocates for the partnership between university and employers. The article analyses the opinion of 80 employers regarding the quality of the graduates' training as well as of the study programs. Employers surveyed also express their views on the ways in which study programs can be improved both in terms of content and ways of addressing the professional training of future graduates. Suggestions offered may be adopted in a series of measures to adapt / improve the quality of education.
Keywords: employers; professional competences; partnership

Emotional self-efficacy, resilience and psychological vulnerability: a structural equality modeling study
Zeynep Akkuş Çutuk, Rukiye Aydoğan
Department of Educational Sciences, Trakya University, Turkey
Freelance Researcher, Turkey
The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between emotional self-efficacy, resilience and psychological vulnerability in university students. The sample of the study consisted of 396 university students, 287 of whom were male and 109 were female. The data of the study was obtained by Emotional Self-Efficacy Scale, Resilience Scale and Psychological Vulnerability Scale. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the data. In the research, firstly the measurement models were tested and the proposed measurement model could be used to test the structural model.
The proposed structural model was then tested and verified based on the validated measurement models. Fit indices of the model established in the study gave good fit and the obtained coefficients were found to be statistically significant. According to the results of the structural model, there is a causal relationship between emotional self-efficacy, resilience and psychological vulnerability in university students. The findings were discussed in accordance with the related literature.
Keywords: emotional self-efficacy; resilience and psychological vulnerability

The relationship between students’ personality type and vocational choice
Cristina Tulbure, Codruța Gavrilă
BUASVM “King Michael I from Romania”, Calea Aradului nr. 119, Timişoara 300645, Romania
The paper aims at analysing the relationship between students’ personality types and vocational choices in order to continue their studies in a certain domain of higher education. In order to reach this objective, a cross-sectional investigation has been performed over a target population of 159 students registered in the 12th grade at 3 rural area high-schools from the region of Banat. An adjusted version of the Holland Occupational Preference Questionnaire was used to investigate the students’ personality type. The conclusions have revealed some significant differences concerning some personality typologies, which show a direct relationship between the students’ personality type and the vocational choice they make when they decide to continue their studies in higher education.
Keywords: personality type; vocational choice; high school; higher education.

Expressive writing as an anxiety-reduction intervention on test anxiety and the mediating role of first language and selfcriticism in a Bulgarian sample
Dennis Relojo-Howell, Stanislava Stoyanova
Psychreg, London, United Kingdom
South-West University Neofit Rilski, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
The role of expressive writing (EW) in Bulgarian as native language and self-criticism for reducing test anxiety was examined among 151 university students divided into two experimental groups (writing about test anxiety or their life goals) and one control group. Results reveal that reducing test anxiety was more related to low self-criticism and some sociodemographic peculiarities than to EW. Gender and mode of study moderated the reducing effects of EW activities on test anxiety. The result from this study will generate additional insights on the efficacy of EW and whether this could be utilised as an anxiety-reduction intervention to reduce test anxiety among students. This will also act as a pioneer in exploring the role of Bulgarian as the first language on the efficacy of EW.
Keywords: expressive writing; self-criticism; test anxiety

Intelligence and creativity: an investigation of threshold theory and its implications
Hanif Akhtar, Yuni Kartika
Faculty of Psychology, University of Muhammadiyah Malang Malang, Indonesia
Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Researchers have long been debating the relationship between intelligence and creativity. One of the most popular theories concerned about the relationship between intelligence and creativity is threshold theory which predicts a positive correlation between intelligence and creativity scores up to an IQ level of 120 and no correlation above this threshold. However, there is no clear reason why the threshold should be fixed at an IQ of 120. The main purpose of this study was to confirm the threshold theory within the samples of 222 senior high school student. Segmented regression analysis was performed to decide the optimal breakpoint of the threshold. For the criterion of potential creativity, a breakpoint was detected at an IQ of 106 points. When the threshold of IQ = 106 was tested, correlations between intelligence and creative abilities below the threshold are positive and significant (r=0,24; p<0,05), whereas above the threshold they are not significant (r=0,15; p>0,05). These results confirmed the threshold theory. Once the intelligence threshold is met, other factors become more predictive for creativity.
Keywords: threshold theory; intelligence; creativity; segmented regression; breakpoint detections

Gender differences reflected in academic achievement in higher education
Cristina Tulbure, Codruța Gavrilă
BUASVM “King Michael I from Romania”, Calea Aradului nr. 119, Timişoara 300645, Romania
Consideration of academic achievement as a relationship between the students' intellectual potential and the level of academic results expressed in the grades allows for an analysis of three categories of subjects: underachieved, achieved and overachieved students. The study aims to determine whether, according to the study hypothesis, there is a preponderance of academic over-achievement in girls and academic under-achievement in boys. The group of subjects consisted of 284 students enrolled in the first year of study. Questionnaire based investigation and test were used as methods of data collection.
The results confirmed the hypothesis that the phenomenon of under-achievement occurs predominantly in the male gender, and over-realization is more common in girls.
Keywords: gender differences; academic achievement; underachievement; overachievement.

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