Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 62292

The Investigation on Pre-Service Teachers' Critical Thinking Dispositions in Terms of Several Variables
The purpose of this research is to examine the critical thinking dispositions of pre-service teachers in terms of several variables. In the line of this aim, we have investigated what their levels of critical thinking dispositions and whether there is any significant different in their critical thinking dispositions. Also, we have examined the relations between their critical thinking dispositions and their parents’ education statues, the number of their siblings, family income levels, and their religiosity level. 202 pre-service teachers who are studying at different departments at faculty of education at Uşak University participated in this research. In study, critical thinking dispositions scale by one of researchers was utilized and its validity and reliability was performed. The findings indicate that the level of their critical thinking dispositions was found to be .376 (arithmetic mean). On the other hand, we found that there is no significant difference in terms of their gender and the department at which they are studying. Furthermore, although there aren’t significant relationships between critical thinking dispositions and their mother education statues, their income levels, their religiosity levels and the number of their siblings; there is any significant positively at low level the relation between thinking dispositions and father educational statues. The findings obtained will be discussed together with literature and other research’ results.
The Effective Method for Postering Thinking Dispositions of Learners
Background and Purpose: Assessment of learners’ performance is an important factors in teaching-learning process. When a factor is sensitive and has high influence on life, their assessment should be done precisely. Thinking dispositions are very important factors in medical education because of its specific condition. In this study a model is designed for fostering thinking dispositions of learners in which authentic assessment is an important element. Materials and Methods: Objective based research is developmental, and such a model was not designed for curricula. Data collection and comparing approaches about assessment and analyzing current assessments offered applied proposals. Results: Based on research findings, the current assessments are response-based, that is students instead of product of response, only offers the specific response which the teachers expects; but authentic assessment is a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-word tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills. Conclusion: Because of the difficulties and unexpected problems in life and individuals needs to lifelong learning and conditions in medical course that require decision making in specific times, we must pay attention to reach thinking dispositions and it should be included in curriculum. Authentic assessment as an important aspect of curriculum can help fostering thinking dispositions of learners. Using this kind of assessments which focus on application of information and skills to solve real-word tasks have more important role in medical courses.
Cultural Biases, Cognitive Dispositions and Conception of Marriage in Indian Families: Role of Urbanization
Keeping in view a drastic change in social and cultural scenario in India, influencing the marriage patterns, preferences and the concept of marriage, the present study examined cultural biases, cognitive dispositions and conception of marriage among Indian families hailing from urban, semi-urban and rural backgrounds. Structured interviews were conducted on 15 families of Jaipur region and its nearby villages including young adults and aged family members. The sample was comprised of both male and female family members. Qualitative analyses of interview data revealed a considerable difference amongst the families on the basis of residential background and other cultural, cognitive and conceptual levels. Hence, it is concluded that Indian families hailing from different cultural and residential backgrounds differ in their conceptions of marriage.
Examining Attrition in English Education: A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Preparation, Persistence, and Dispositions in Teacher Education
Over the past three years, the researchers have been tracking a rise in the number of teacher education candidates leaving the field before completing their university’s educator preparation program. At their institution, this rise is most pronounced in English Education. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to understand English Education teacher candidates' expectations in becoming prepared educators at each phase of their four phase teacher education program at one institution of higher education in the United States. Research questions include: To what extent do we find differences in teacher candidates' expectations of their teacher training program and student teaching experiences based upon undergraduate and graduate programs? Why do (or do not) teacher candidates persist in their teacher training program and student teaching experiences? How do dispositions develop through the course of the teacher training program? What supports do teacher candidates self-identify as needing at each phase of the teacher training program? Based upon participant interviews at each phase of the teacher education program, the researchers, all teacher educators, examine the extent to which English Education students feel prepared to student teach, focusing on preparation, persistence, and dispositions. The Colorado State University Center for Educator Preparation (CEP) provides students with information about teaching dispositions, or desired professional behaviors, throughout their education program. CEP focuses these dispositions around nine categories: Professional Behaviors, Initiative and Dependability, Tact and Judgment, Ethical Behavior and Integrity, Collegiality and Responsiveness, Effective Communicator, Desire to Improve Own Performance, Culturally Responsive, and Commitment to the Profession. Currently, in the first phase of a four phase study, initial results indicate participants expect their greatest joys will be working with and learning from students. They anticipate their greatest challenges will involve discipline and confidence. They predict they will persist in their program because they believe the country needs well-prepared teachers and they have a commitment to their professional growth. None of the participants thus far could imagine why they would leave the program. With regard to strongest and weakest dispositions, results are mixed. Some participants see Tact and Judgment as their strongest disposition; others see it as their weakest. All participants stated mentoring is a necessary support at every phase of the teacher preparation process. This study informs the way teacher educators train and evaluate teacher candidates, and has implications for the frequency and types of feedback students receive from mentors and supervisors. This research contributes to existing work on teacher retention, candidate persistence, and dispositional development.
An Exploratory Case Study of the Transference of Skills and Dispositions Used by a Newly Qualified Teacher
Using the lens of a theoretical framework relating to learning to learn the intention of the case study was to explore how transferable the teaching and learning skills of a newly qualified teacher (post-compulsory education) were when used in an overseas, unfamiliar and challenging post-compulsory educational environment. Particularly, the research sought to explore how this newly qualified teacher made use of the skills developed during their teacher training and to ascertain if, and what, other skills were necessary in order for them to have a positive influence on their learners and for them to be able to thrive within a different country and learning milieu. This case study looks at the experience of a trainee teacher who recently qualified in the UK to teach in post compulsory education (i.e. post 16 education). Rather than gaining employment in a UK based academy or college of further education this newly qualified teacher secured her first employment as a teacher in a province in China. Moreover, the newly qualified teacher had limited travel experience and had never travelled to Asia. She was one of the quieter and more reserved members on the one year teacher training course and was the least likely of the group to have made the decision to work abroad. How transferable the pedagogical skills that she had gained during her training would be when used in a culturally different and therefore (to her, challenging) environment was a key focus of the study. Another key focus was to explore the dispositions being used by the newly qualified teacher in order for her to teach and to thrive in an overseas educational environment. The methodological approach used for this study was both interpretative and qualitative. Associated methods were: Observation: observing the wider and operational practice of the newly qualified teacher over a five day period, and their need, ability and willingness to be reflective, resilient, reciprocal and resourceful. Interview: semi-structured interview with the newly qualified teacher following the observation of her practice. Findings from this case study illuminate the modifications made by the newly qualified teacher to her bank of teaching and learning strategies as well as the essentiality of dispositions used by her to know how to learn and also, crucially, to be ready and willing to do so. Such dispositions include being resilient, resourceful, reciprocal and reflective; necessary in order to adapt to the emerging challenges encountered by the teacher during their first months of employment in China. It is concluded that developing the skills to teach is essential for good teaching and learning practices. Having dispositions that enable teachers to work in ever changing conditions and surroundings is, this paper argues, essential for transferability and longevity of use of these skills.
Self-Regulation in Composition Writing: The Case of Variation of Self-Regulation Dispositions in Opinion Essay and Technical Writing
The present study determines whether there will be differences in the self-regulation dispositions that learners utilize when writing different types of composition. There were 7 self-regulation factors that were used to develop a scale in this study such as memory strategy, goal setting, self-evaluation, seeking assistance, learning responsibility, environmental structuring, and organizing. The scale was made specific for writing a composition. The researcher-made scale was administered to 150 participants who all came from a university in the Philippines. The participants were asked to write two compositions namely opinion essay and research introduction/review of related literature. The zero-order correlation revealed that all the factors of self-regulation are correlated with one another. However, only seeking assistance and self-evaluation are correlated with opinion essay and technical writing is not correlated to any of the self-regulation factors. However, when path analysis was used, it was shown that seeking assistance can predict opinion essay scores whereas memory strategy, self-evaluation, and organizing can predict technical writing scores.
Parametric Study of the Structures: Influence of the Shells
The conception (design) of an earthquake-resistant structure is a complex problem seen the necessity of meeting the requirements of security been imperative by the regulations, and of economy been imperative by the increasing costs of the structures. The resistance of a building in the horizontal actions (shares) is mainly ensured by a mixed brace system; for a concrete building, this system is constituted by frame or shells; or both at the same time. After the earthquake of Boumerdes (May 23; 2003) in Algeria, the studies made by experts, ended in modifications of the Algerian Earthquake-resistant Regulation (AER 99). One of these modifications was to widen the use of shells for the brace system. This modification has create a conflict on the quantities, the positions and the type of the shells at adopt. In the present project, we suggest seeing the effect of the variation of the dimensions, the localization and the conditions of rigidity in extremities of shells. The study will be led on a building (F+5) implanted in zone of seismicity average. To do it, we shall proceed to a classic dynamic study of a structure by using 4 alternatives for shells by varying the lengths and number in order to compare the cost of the structure for 4 dispositions of the shells with a technical-economic study of the brace system by the use of different dispositions of shells and to estimate the quantities of necessary materials (concrete and steel).
Critical Thinking and Creativity of Undergraduate Nursing Students: Descriptive and Disposition in Academic Levels
Critical thinking and creativity are desirable competency for contemporary nurses although there are growing concerns supporting a disturbing paucity in its achievement. Nursing colleges in Thailand have developed teaching strategies and curricula that nurture critical thinking and creativity dispositions according academic levels. Objectives: This descriptive study identified critical thinking and creativity dispositions of Thai nursing students according academic levels. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among 515 nursing students for four academic levels. All are studying at Boromarajonani College of Nursing Chon Buri, Thailand. Descriptive and univariate general linear model analysis were applied. Results: The scores on critical thinking disposition gradually increased as academic level is rising from the junior year throughout the senior year, but its scores are neutral. Scores on creativity skill is neutral and constant thorough the four academic years. The fourth grade students had slightly higher scores on creativity when compared to others. A significant relationship between critical thinking and creativity was also found. Conclusions: The scores on critical thinking disposition gradually improved which greatly increased in the senior year. However, creativity has neutrally progressed. The findings suggest the importance of targeting the development of curriculum and teaching strategies for all grades of nursing students to increase their critical thinking and creativity skills.
A New PWM Command for Cascaded H-Bridge Multilevel Increasing the Quality and Reducing Harmonics
Power Quality has been a problem ever since electrical power was invented and in recent years, it has become the main interest of researchers who are still concerned about finding ways to reduce its negative influence on electrical devices. In this paper we aim to improve the power quality output for H- bridge multilevel inverter used with solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels, we propose a new switching technique that uses a pulse width modulation method (PWM) aiming to reduce the harmonics. This new method introduces a sinusoidal wave compared with modified trapezoidal carriers used to generate the pulses. This new trapezoid carrier waveform is being implemented with different sinusoidal PWM dispositions such as phase disposition (PWM PD), phase opposition disposition (PWM POD), and (PWM APOD) alternative phase opposition disposition and compared with the conventional ones. Using Matlab Simulink R2014a the line voltage and total harmonic distortions (THD) simulated and the quality are increased in spite of variations of DC introduced.
Relationship Between Collegiality and the EQ of Leaders
Being a collegial leader would require such a person to promote an organizational passion that identifies and acknowledges the contribution of every employee. Collegiality is about sharing responsibilities and being accountable for one’s actions. Leaders must therefore be equipped with the knowledge, skills, abilities, beliefs, and dispositions that will allow them to succeed in their organizations. These abilities should not only dwell on cognition alone, but also, equally, on the development of their emotional intelligence (EQ). It is therefore a myth that leaders are entrusted with absolute power to manage all the resources of their organizations. Workers feel confident with leaders who are adaptable, flexible and supportive when it comes to shared decision-making and the devolution of power within the organization. Research strongly supports the notion that a leader requires a high level of EQ in addition to IQ (cognitive intelligence) to achieve the goals of the organization. On the other hand, traditional managers require cognitive abilities and technical skills to get the work done by their employees. This does not imply that management is not important in organizations. However, the approach of managers becomes highly critical when the focus is purely task orientated. Enabling or empowering employees, therefore, is an important aspect in establishing emotionally intelligent collaboration, as the willing and satisfied participation of the employees can be the result of leaders’ commitment to establishing a collegial working environment as demonstrated by their behaviours. This paper therefore analyses why it matters for ideal leaders to be imbued with the traits of EQ and collegiality.
Interactive Effects of Challenge-Hindrance Stressors and Core Self-Evaluations on In-Role and Extra-Role Performance
Organizational stress is one of the vital phenomena which is having its roots deep down in has deep roots in management, psychology, and organizational behavior research. In the meanwhile, keeping its focus on the positive strength of humans rather than the traditional negativity oriented research, positive psychology has emerged as a separate branch of organizational behavior. The current study investigates the interactive effects of Challenge and hindrance stressors and core Self Evaluations (CSE’s) of the individual on job performances including the in-role performance and extra role performances. The study also aims to investigate the supporting/buffering role of the human dispositions (i.e., self esteem, self efficacy, locus of control and emotional stability). The results show that Challenge stressors have a significant positive effect on in role performance and extra role performance of the individual. The findings of the study indicate that Core Self evaluations strengthen the relationship between challenge stressors and in role performance of the individual. In case of Hindrance Stressors the Core self Evaluations lessen the negative impact of Hindrance stressors and they let the individual perform at a better and normal position even when the Hindrance stressors are high. The relationship and implication of conservation of resource theory are also discussed. The limitations, future research directions and implications of the study are also discussed.
An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis on the Concept of Friends of Children in Conflict with the Law
This research employed an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore the experiences of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) which gave light to their concept of ‘friends’. Derived from this context are the following objectives of the study: 1) determining the differentiation of the forms of friends of the CICL; 2) presenting the process of attachment towards detachment in the formation of friendship; and 3) discussing the experiences, and reflections of the CICL on the ‘self’ out of their encounter with friendship. Using the data gathered from the individual drawings of the CICL of their representations of the self, family, friends, community, and Bahay Kalinga as subjects in the meaning-making process utilizing Filipino Psychology methods of pagtatanong-tanong (interview), and pakikipagkwentuhan (conversation), data analysis produced a synthesis of seventeen individual cases. Overall results generated three superordinate themes on the differentiation of the forms of friends which include friends with good influences, friends with bad influences, and friends within the family. While two superordinate themes were produced on the process of attachment towards detachment, namely social, emotional, and psychological experiences on the process of attachment, and emotional and psychological experiences on the process of detachment. Lastly, two superordinate themes were created on the experiences, and reflections of the CICL on the ‘self’ out of their encounter with friendship. This consists of the recognition of the ‘self’ as a responsible agent in developing healthy relationships between the self and others, and reconstruction of the self from the collective experiences of healing, forgiveness, and acceptance. These findings, together with supporting theories discussed the impact of friendship on the emergence of criminal behavior and other dispositions; springing from the child’s dissociation from the family that led to finding belongingness from an external group called friends.
The Importance of Changing the Traditional Mode of Higher Education in Bangladesh: Creating Huge Job Opportunities for Home and Abroad
Bangladesh has set its goal to reach middle-income country status by 2021. To attain this status, the country must satisfy the World Bank requirement of achieving minimum Gross National Income (GNI). Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) predicts two million youths will join the labor force every year. So, the vital issue of this country is to understand how the GNI and jobs can be increased. The objective of this paper is to address these issues and find ways to create more job opportunities for youths at home and abroad which will increase the country’s GNI. The paper studies proportion of different goods Bangladesh exported, and also the percentage of employment in different sectors. The data used here for the purpose of analysis have been collected from the available literature. These data are then plotted and analyzed. Through these studies, it is concluded that growth in sectors like agricultural, ready-made garments (RMG), jute industries and fisheries are declining and business community is not interested in setting capital-intensive industries. Under this situation, the country needs to explore other business opportunities for higher economic growth rate. Knowledge can substitute the physical resource. Since the country consists of the large youth population, higher education will play a key role in economic development. It now needs graduates with higher-order skills with innovative quality. Such dispositions demand changes in a university’s curriculum, teaching and assessment method which will function young generations as active learners and creators. By bringing these changes in higher education, a knowledge-based society can be created. The application of such knowledge and creativity will then become the commodity of Bangladesh which will help to reach its goal as a middle-income country.
Chilean Business Orientalism: The Role of Non-State Actors in the Frame of Asymmetric Bilateral Relations
The current research paper assesses how the narrative of Chilean businesspeople about China shapes a new Orientalism Analyses on the role of non-state actors in foreign policy that have hitherto theorized about Orientalism as a narrative of hegemonic power. Hence, it has been instrumental to the efforts of imperialist powers to justify their mission civilisatrice. However, such conceptualization can seldom explain new complexities of international interactions at the height of globalization. Hence, we assessed the case of Chile, a small Latin American country, and its relationship with China, its largest trading partner. Through a discourse analysis of interviews with Chilean businesspeople engaged in the Chinese market, we could determine that Chile is building an Orientalist image of China. This new business Orientalism reinforces a relation of alterity based on commercial opportunities, traditional values, and natural dispositions. Hence, the perception of the Chinese Other amongst Chilean business people frames a new set of representations as part of the essentially commercial nature of current bilateral relations. It differs from previous frames, such as the racial bias frame of the early 20th century, or the anti-communist frame in reaction to Mao’s leadership. As in every narrative of alterity, there is not only a construction of the Other but also a definition of the Self. Consequently, this analysis constitutes a relevant case of the role of non-state actors in asymmetrical bilateral relations, where the non-state actors of the minor power build and act upon an Orientalist frame, which is not representative of its national status in the relation. This study emerges as a contribution on the relation amongst non-state actors in asymmetrical relations, where the smaller power’s business class acts on a negative prejudice of its interactions with its counterpart. The research builds upon the constructivist approach to international relations, linking the idea of Nation Branding with Orientalism in the case of Chile-China relations.
The Importance of Changing the Traditional Mode of Higher Education in Bangladesh: Creating Huge Job Opportunities for Home and Abroad
Bangladesh has set its goal to reach upper middle-income country status by 2024. To attain this status, the country must satisfy the World Bank requirement of achieving minimum Gross National Income (GNI). Number of youth job seekers in the country is increasing. University graduates are looking for decent jobs. So, the vital issue of this country is to understand how the GNI and jobs can be increased. The objective of this paper is to address these issues and find ways to create more job opportunities for youths at home and abroad which will increase the country’s GNI. The paper studies proportion of different goods Bangladesh exported, and also the percentage of employment in different sectors. The data used here for the purpose of analysis have been collected from the available literature. These data are then plotted and analyzed. Through these studies, it is concluded that growth in sectors like agricultural, ready-made garments (RMG), jute industries and fisheries are declining and the business community is not interested in setting up capital-intensive industries. Under this situation, the country needs to explore other business opportunities for a higher economic growth rate. Knowledge can substitute the physical resource. Since the country consists of the large youth population, higher education will play a key role in economic development. It now needs graduates with higher-order skills with innovative quality. Such dispositions demand changes in a university’s curriculum, teaching and assessment method which will function young generations as active learners and creators. By bringing these changes in higher education, a knowledge-based society can be created. The application of such knowledge and creativity will then become the commodity of Bangladesh which will help to reach its goal as an upper middle-income country.
Critical Thinking in the Moroccan Textbooks of English: Ticket to English as a Case Study
The ultimate aim of this study was to analyze a second-year baccalaureate textbook of English to see to what extent it includes elements of critical thinking. A further purpose was to assess the extent to which the teachers’ teaching practices help students develop some degree of critical thinking. The literature on critical thinking indicated that all the writers agree that critical thinking is skilled and dispositional oriented, and most of the definitions highlight the skill and disposition to select, collect, analyze and evaluate information effectively. In this study, two instruments were used, namely content analysis and questionnaire to ensure validity and reliability. The sample of this study, on the one hand, was a second year textbook of English, namely Ticket to English. The process of collecting data was carried out through designing a checklist to analyze the textbook of English. On the other hand, high school students (second baccalaureate grade) and teachers of English constituted the second sample. Two questionnaires were administered—One was completed by 28 high school teachers (18 males and10 females), and the other was completed by 51 students (26 males and 25 females) from Fez, Morocco. The items of the questionnaire tended to elicit both qualitative and quantitative data. An attempt was made to answer two research questions. One pertained to the extent to which the textbooks of English contain critical thinking elements (Critical thinking skills and dispositions, types of questions, language learning strategies, classroom activities); the second was concerned with whether the teaching practices of teachers of English help improve students’ critical thinking. The results demonstrated that the textbooks of English include elements of critical thinking, and the teachers’ teaching practices help the students develop some degree of critical thinking. Yet, the textbooks do not include problem-solving activities and media analysis and 86% of the teacher-respondents tended to skip activities in the textbooks, mainly the units dealing with Project Work and Study Skills which are necessary for enhancing critical thinking among the students. Therefore, the textbooks need to be designed around additional activities and the teachers are required to cover the units skipped so as to make the teaching of critical thinking effective.
Transformation through Translanguaging: Exploring Social and Learning Opportunities in Multiethnic, Bilingual Education Classrooms in Sri Lanka
Demonstrably, language policy in education in Sri Lanka has generated negative social outcomes, especially in terms of social cohesion. However, irrespective of policy planning at the national level, language policy at domain level microcosms such as classrooms can either bridge or widen ethnolinguistic divisions. Also, in multilingual societies where national languages exacerbate divisions, English as a medium of instruction may act as a 'neutralizer' between the rival linguistic groups in multiethnic classrooms. This paper explores one such social microcosm in Sri Lanka - bilingual education classrooms where English and mother-tongue (Sinhala/Tamil) are media of Instruction to find out social and linguistic outcomes when navigation between the languages are in practice. This paper draws data from an ethnographically informed qualitative study, which was framed by Pierre Bourdieu’s Logic of Practice. The present paper discusses how ethnocentric dispositions of the students begin to transform towards inclusive supraethnic identities in dialectic relation to the heteroglossic social conditions in classrooms where linguistic flexibility is the norm. In addition to these positive social outcomes, translanguaging facilitates scaffolding both content and language comprehension gaps. Through the analysis of Language Related Episodes, this paper illustrates the facilitating role of mother tongues in metatalk during cooperative group work in the content classroom, which promotes interdependence and reciprocity among ethnolinguistically diverse individuals. Furthermore, this paper validates both sociolinguistic and applied linguistic benefits of heteroglossic linguistic environments in multiethnic/metalinguistic pedagogies that corroborate previous second language acquisition theories (e.g., collaborative languaging, noticing the gaps, consciousness-raising, recasting, translation, advice, text-interpreting, etc. among students). Finally, suggestions are made for policymakers, curriculum designers, and the practicing teachers what good practices be promoted in multiethnic pedagogies, especially in countries that are struggling with reconciliation and cohabitation among diverse groups. Further, this paper offers guidance on how the Bourdieusian theoretical framework be applied in the fields of identity, language, and educational research.
Food Strategies in the Mediterranean Basin, Possible for Food Safety and Security
The research intends to reflect on the current mapping of the Food Strategies, on the reasons why in the planning objectives panorama, such sustainability priorities are located in those geographic areas and on the evolutions of these priorities of the Mediterranean planning dispositions. The whirling population growth that is affecting global cities is causing an enormous challenge to conventional resource-intensive food production and supply and the urgent need to face food safety, food security and sustainability concerns. Urban or Territorial Food Strategies can provide an interesting path for the development of this new agenda within the imperative principle of sustainability. In the specific, it is relevant to explore what ‘sustainability’ means within these policies. Most of these plans include actions related to four main components and interpretations of sustainability that are food security and safety, food equity, environmental sustainability itself and cultural identity and, at the designing phase, they differ slightly from each other according to the degree of approximation to one of these dimensions. Moving from these assumptions, the article would analyze some practices and policies representatives of different Food Strategies of the world and focus on the Mediterranean ones, on the problems and negative externalities from which they start, on the first interventions that are implementing and on their main objectives. We will mainly use qualitative data from primary and secondary collections. So far, an essential observation could have been made about the relationship between these sustainability dimensions and geography. In statistical terms, the US and Canadian policies tended to devote a large research space to health issues and access to food; those northern European showed a special attention to the environmental issues and the shortening of the chain; and finally the policies that, even in limited numbers, were being developed in the Mediterranean basin, were characterized by a strong territorial and cultural imprint and their major aim was to preserve local production and the contact between the productive land and the end consumer. Recently, though, Mediterranean food planning strategies are focusing more on health related and food accessibility issues and analyzing our diets not just as a matter of culture and territorial branding but as tools for reducing public health costs and accessibility to fresh food for everyone. The article would reflect then on how Food Safety, Food Security and Health are entering the new agenda of the Mediterranean Food Strategies. The research hypothesis suggests that the economic crisis that in the last years invested both producers and consumers had a significant impact on the nutrition habits and on the redefinition of food poverty, even in the fatherland of the healthy Mediterranean diet. This trend and other variables influenced the orientation and the objectives of the food strategies.
Islam and Democracy: A Paradoxical Study of Syed Maududi and Javed Ghamidi
The term ‘political Islam’ now seem to have gained the centre stage in every discourse pertaining to Islamic legitimacy and compatibility in modern civilisations. A never ceasing tradition of the philosophy of caliphate that has kept overriding the options of any alternate political institution in the Muslim world still permeates a huge faction of believers. Fully accustomed with the proliferation of changes and developments in individual, social and natural dispositions of the world, Islamic theologians retaliated to this flux through both conventional and modernist approaches. The so-called conventional approach was quintessential of the interpretations put forth by Syed Maududi, with new comprehensive, academic and powerful vigour, as never seen before. He generated the avant-garde scholarship which would bear testimony to his statements, made to uphold the political institution of Islam as supreme and noble. However, it was not his trait to challenge the established views but to codify them in such a bracket which a man of the 20th century would find captivating to his heart and satisfactory to his rationale. The delicate microcosms like selection of a caliph, implementation of Islamic commandments (Sharia), interest free banking sectors, imposing tax (Jazyah) on non-believers, waging the holy crusade (Jihad) for the expansion of Islamic boundaries, stoning for committing adulteration and capital punishment for apostates were all there in his scholarship which he spent whole of his life defending in the best possible manner. What and where did he went wrong with all this, was supposedly to be notified later, by his once been disciple, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. Ghamidi is being accused of struggling between Scylla and Charybdis as he tries to remain steadfast to his basic Islamic tenets while modernising their interpretations to bring them in harmony with the Western ideals of democracy and liberty. His blatant acknowledgement of putting democracy at a high pedestal, calling the implementation of Sharia a non-mandatory task and denial to bracket people in the categories of Zimmi and Kaafir fully vindicates his stance against conventional narratives like that of Syed Maududi. Ghamidi goes to the extent of attributing current forms of radicalism and extremism, as exemplified in the operations of organisations like ISIS in Iraq and Syria and Tehreek-e-Taliban in Pakistan, to such a version of political Islam as upheld not only by Syed Maududi but by other prominent theologians like Ibn-Timyah, Syed Qutub and Dr. Israr Ahmad also. Ghamidi is wretched, in a way that his allegedly insubstantial claims gained him enough hostilities to leave his homeland when two of his close allies were brutally murdered. Syed Maududi and Javed Ghamidi, both stand poles apart in their understanding of Islam and its political domain. Who has the appropriate methodology, scholarship and execution in his mode of comprehension, is an intriguing task, worth carrying out in detail.
An Analysis of Teacher Knowledge of Recognizing and Addressing the Needs of Traumatized Students
Childhood trauma is well documented in mental health research, yet has received little attention in urban schools. Child trauma affects brain development and impacts cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. When educators understand that some of the behaviors that appear to be aggressive in nature might be the result of a hidden diagnosis of trauma, learning can take place, and the child can thrive in the classroom setting. Traumatized children, however, do not fit neatly into any single ‘box.’ Although many children enter school each day carrying with them the experience of exposure to violence in the home, the symptoms of their trauma can be multifaceted and complex, requiring individualized therapeutic attention. The purpose of this study was to examine how prepared educators are to address the unique challenges facing children who experience trauma. Given the vast number of traumatized children in our society, it is evident that our education system must investigate ways to create an optimal learning environment that accounts for trauma, addresses its impact on cognitive and behavioral development, and facilitates mental and emotional health and well-being. The researcher describes the knowledge, attitudes, dispositions, and skills relating to trauma-informed knowledge of induction level teachers in a diverse middle school. The data for this study were collected through interviews with teachers, who are in the induction phase (the first three years of their teaching career). The study findings paint a clear picture of how ill-prepared educators are to address the needs of students who have experienced trauma and the implications for the development of a professional development workshop or series of workshops that train teachers how to recognize and address and respond to the needs of students. The study shows how teachers often lack skills to meet the needs of students who have experienced trauma. Traumatized children regularly carry a heavy weight on their shoulders. Children who have experienced trauma may feel that the world is filled with unresponsive, threatening adults, and peers. Despite this, supportive interventions can provide traumatized children with places to go that are safe, stimulating, and even fun. Schools offer an environment that potentially meets these requirements by creating safe spaces where students can feel at ease and have fun while also learning via stimulating educational activities. This study highlights the lack of preparedness of educators to address the academic, behavioral, and cognitive needs of students who have experienced trauma. These findings provide implications for the creation of a professional development workshop that addresses how to recognize and address the needs of students who have experienced some type of trauma. They also provide implications for future research with a focus on specific interventions that enable the creation of optimal learning environments where students who have experienced trauma and all students can succeed, regardless of their life experiences.
Teaching for Social Justice: Towards Education for Sustainable Development
Education for sustainable development (ESD) aims to preserve the rights of the present and future generations as well as preserving the globe, both humans and nature. ESD should aim not only to bring about consciousness of the current and future issues, but also to foster student agency to bring about change at schools, communities and nations. According to the Freirian concept of conscientização, (conscientization) — “learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions, and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality”, education aims to liberate people to understand and act upon their worlds. Social justice is greatly intertwined with a nation’s social, political and economic rights, and thus, should be targeted through ESD. “Literacy researchers have found that K-12 students who engage in social justice inquiries develop vital academic knowledge and skills, critical understandings about oppression in the world, and strong dispositions to continue working toward social justice beyond the initial inquiries they conduct”. Education for social justice greatly equips students with the critical thinking skills and sense of agency, that are required for responsible decision making that would ensure a sustainable world. In fact teaching for social justice is intersecting with many of the pedagogies such as multicultural education, cultural relevant pedagogy, education for sustainable development, critical theory pedagogy, (local and global) citizenship education, all of which aim to prepare students for awareness, responsibility and agency. Social justice pedagogy has three specific goals, including helping students develop 1) a sociopolitical consciousness - an awareness of the symbiotic relationship between the social and political factors that affect society, 2) a sense of agency, the freedom to act on one’s behalf and to feel empowered as a change agent, and 3) positive social and cultural identities. The keyword to social justice education is to expose the realities to the students, and challenge the students not only to question , but also to change. Social justice has been usually discussed through the subjects of history and social sciences, however, an interdisciplinary approach is essential to enhance the students’ understanding of their world. Teaching social justice through various subjects is also important, as it make students’ learning relevant to their lives. The main question that this paper seeks to answer is ‘How could social justice be taught through different subjects and tools, such as mathematics, literature through story-telling, geography, and service learning will be shown in this paper. Also challenges to education for social justice will be described. Education is not a neutral endeavor, but is either oriented toward the cause of liberation or in support of domination. In fact , classrooms can be “a microcosm of the emancipatory societies we seek to encourage”, education for the 21st century should be relevant to students' lives where it exposes life's realities to them. Education should also provide students with the basics of school subjects with the bigger goal of helping them make the world a better, more just place to live in.
Interdependence of Vocational Skills and Employability Skills: Example of an Industrial Training Centre in Central India
Vocational education includes all kind of education which can help students to acquire skills related to a certain profession, art, or activity so that they are able to exercise that profession, art or activity after acquiring such qualification. However, in this global economy of the modern world, job seekers are expected to have certain soft skills over and above the technical knowledge and skills acquired in their areas of expertise. These soft skills include but not limited to interpersonal communication, understanding, personal attributes, problem-solving, working in team, quick adaptability to the workplace environment, and other. Not only the hands-on, job-related skills, and competencies are now being sought by the employers, but also a complex of attitudinal dispositions and affective traits are being looked by them in their prospective employees. This study was performed to identify the employability skills of technical students from an Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in central India. It also aimed to convey a message to the students currently on the role, that for them to remain relevant in the job market, they would need to constantly adapt to changes and evolving requirements in the work environment, including the use of updated technologies. Five hypotheses were formulated and tested on the employability skills of students as a function of gender, trade, work experience, personal attributes, and IT skills. Data were gathered with the help of center’s training officers who approached 200 recently graduated students from the center and administered the instrument to students. All 200 respondents returned the completed instrument. The instrument used for the study consisted of 2 sections; demographic details and employability skills. To measure the employability skills of the trainees, the instrument was developed by referring to the several instruments developed by the past researchers for similar studies. The 1st section of the instrument of demographic details recorded age, gender, trade, year of passing, interviews faced, and employment status of the respondents. The 2nd section of the instrument on employability skills was categorized into seven specific skills: basic vocational skills; personal attributes; imagination skills; optimal management of resources; information-technology skills; interpersonal skills; adapting to new technologies. The reliability and validity of the instrument were checked. The findings revealed valuable information on the relationship and interdependence of vocational education and employability skills of students in the central Indian scenario. The findings revealed a valuable information on supplementing the existing vocational education programs with few soft skills and competencies so as to develop a superior workforce much better equipped to face the job market. The findings of the study can be used as an example by the management of government and private industrial training centers operating in the other parts of the Asian region. Future research can be undertaken on a greater population base from different geographical regions and backgrounds for an enhanced outcome.
Place-Making Theory behind Claremont Court
This paper aims to elaborate the architectural theory on place-making that supported Claremont Court housing scheme (Edinburgh, United Kingdom). Claremont Court (1959-62) is a large post-war mixed development housing scheme designed by Basil Spence, which included ‘place-making’ as one of its founding principles. Although some stylistic readings of the housing scheme have been published, the theory on place-making that allegedly ruled the design has yet to be clarified. The architecture allows us to mark or make a place within space in order to dwell. Under the framework of contemporary philosophical theories of place, this paper aims to explore the relationship between place and dwelling through a cross-disciplinary reading of Claremont Court, with a view to develop an architectural theory on place-making. Since dwelling represents the way we are immersed in our world in an existential manner, this theme is not just relevant for architecture but also for philosophy and sociology. The research in this work is interpretive-historic in nature. It examines documentary evidence of the original architectural design, together with relevant literature in sociology, history, and architecture, through the lens of theories of place. First, the paper explores how the dwelling types originally included in Claremont Court supported ideas of dwelling or meanings of home. Then, it traces shared space and social ties in order to study the symbolic boundaries that allow the creation of a collective identity or sense of belonging. Finally, the relation between the housing scheme and the supporting theory is identified. The findings of this research reveal Scottish architect Basil Spence’s exploration of the meaning of home, as he changed his approach to the mass housing while acting as President of the Royal Incorporation of British Architects (1958-60). When the British Government was engaged in various ambitious building programmes, he sought to drive architecture to a wider socio-political debate as president of the RIBA, hence moving towards a more ambitious and innovative socio-architectural approach. Rather than trying to address the ‘genius loci’ with an architectural proposition, as has been stated, the research shows that the place-making theory behind the housing scheme was supported by notions of community-based on shared space and dispositions. The design of the housing scheme was steered by a desire to foster social relations and collective identities, rather than by the idea of keeping the spirit of the place. This research is part of a cross-disciplinary project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The findings present Claremont Court as a signifier of Basil Spence’s attempt to address the post-war political debate on housing in United Kingdom. They highlight the architect’s theoretical agenda and challenge current purely stylistic readings of Claremont Court as they fail to acknowledge its social relevance.
Assigning Moral Positions Caused by Environmental Degradation in San Buenaventura Public Housing Complex in Ixtapaluca, State of Mexico, Mexico
Building companies providing public housing in Mexico, such as INFONAVIT, Casas GEO, Casas ARA, among others, provide low-interest home loans for thousands of Mexican families and individuals to buy a home. However, once this goal is achieved, these companies are not responsible for the care and maintenance of green areas and waste collection services because, technically, it is the local municipalities’ responsibility to provide these services to the community. However, this does not always occur with local municipalities. To study this problem, the San Buenaventura public housing complex was selected. This housing complex is located in the municipality of Ixtapaluca, State of Mexico (Estado de Mexico), Mexico. To our best knowledge, there are currently no formal studies about San Buenaventura that can offer effective options and/or better ways of sorting and disposing households’ wastes, as well as improving local green areas (community gardens and parks). Only a few web-blogs and periodical reports have addressed these serious problems that directly affect the social and psychological well-being of residents. The main goal of this research project aims to improve our understanding towards the existing ontological elements that emerge from residents’ discourses (in the form of informal talks and gossip) and discover the socio-physical elements that they use to assign moral positions onto others or onto themselves. The theoretical framework used in this study is based on two constructionist theories: positioning theory and site ontology. The first theory offered the opportunity to explore the rights, duties, and obligations assigned to a social role (or moral position) of the participants. The second theory provided a constructionist philosophical base that includes various socio-physical elements that are considered to assign personal or community meanings to particular contexts. Both theories contributed to defining personal dispositions and/or attitudes to carry out concrete social action or practice. The theoretical framework was guided by a relativistic ontology that allowed the researcher to better interpret the reality of the participants of this study. A descriptive-interpretative methodology was used, and two qualitative methods were arranged based on the theoretical framework proposed as follows: a semi-structured focus group interview, and direct observations. The semi-structured focus group was carried out with four residents of San Buenaventura and covert observations of public spaces and houses were carried out. These were analysed and interpreted by the researcher and assisted by NVivo software. The results suggest that the participants assigned moral traits of responsibility to other residents regarding the problem of the neglect of the green areas and waste pollution. The results suggest that all participants agreed to assign moral traits to other residents making them liable for the environmental degradation and the decay of green areas. They neither assigned any moral duty nor responsible moral traits onto themselves towards environmental protection or destruction. Overall, the participants in this study pointed out that external ontological elements such as the local government, infrastructure or cleaning services were not main cause of these environmental problems but rather the general lack of moral duty and disposition of other residents.
HydroParks: Directives for Physical Environment Interventions Battling Childhood Overweight in Berlin, Germany
Background: In recent years, childhood overweight and obesity have become an increasing and challenging phenomenon in Berlin and Germany in general. The highest shares of childhood overweight in Berlin are district localities within the inner city ring with lowest socio-economic levels and the highest number of migration background populations. Most factors explaining overweight and obesity are linked to individual dispositions and nutrition balances. Among various strategies, to target drinking behaviors of children and adolescents has been proven to be effective. On the one hand, encouraging the intake of water – which does not contain energy and thus may support a healthy weight status – on the other hand, reducing the consumption of sugar-containing beverages – which are linked to weight gain and obesity. Anyhow, these preventive approaches have mostly developed into individual or educational interventions widely neglecting environmental modifications. Therefore, little is known on how urban physical environment patterns and features can act as influence factors for childhood overweight. Aiming the development of a physical environment intervention tackling children overweight, this study evaluated urban situations surrounding public playgrounds in Berlin where the issue is evident. It verified the presence and state of physical environmental conditions that can be conducive for children to engage physical activity and water intake. Methods: The study included public playgrounds for children from 0-12 y/o within district localities with the highest prevalence of childhood overweight, highest population density, and highest mixed uses. A systematic observation was realized to describe physical environment patterns and features that may affect children health behavior leading to overweight. Neighborhood walkability for all age groups was assessed using the Walkability for Health framework (TU-Berlin). Playground physical environment conditions were evaluated using Active Living Research assessment sheets. Finally, the food environment in the playground’s pedestrian catchment areas was reviewed focusing on: proximity to suppliers offering sugar-containing beverages, and physical access for 5 y/o children and up to drinking water following the Drinking Fountains and Public Health guidelines of the Pacific Institute. Findings: Out of 114 locations, only 7 had a child population over 3.000. Three with the lowest socio-economic index and highest percentage of migration background were selected. All three urban situations presented similar walkability: large trafficked avenues without buffer bordering at least one side of the playground, and important block to block disconnections for active travel. All three playgrounds rated equipment conditions from good to very good. None had water fountains at the reach of a 5 y/o. and all presented convenience stores and/or fast food outlets selling sugar-containing beverages nearby the perimeter. Conclusion: The three playground situations selected are representative of Berlin locations where most factors that influence children overweight are found. The results delivered urban and architectural design directives for an environmental intervention, used to study children health-related behavior. A post-intervention evaluation could prove associations between designed spaces and children overweight rate reduction creating a precedent in public health interventions and providing novel strategies for the health sector.