Introducing the IAFOR Journal of Education: Volume 5 – Issue 3

IAFOR Journal of Education: Volume 5 – Issue 3 – Winter 2017
Editor: Bernard Montoneri, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Published: December 4, 2017
ISSN: 2187-0594

Editors’ Introduction

IAFOR Journal of Education Volume 5 – Issue 3It is our great pleasure and honour to introduce our December 2017 issue of the IAFOR Journal of Education. This issue is a selection of papers submitted directly to our journal as well as studies presented at the following conference:

1. The European Conference on Education 2016 (ECE2016). ECE2016 was held at The Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront, Brighton, United Kingdom, on June 29 – July 3. Conference Theme: “Education and Social Justice: Democratising Education.”

The first paper, entitled “Students with a foreign background in Italian Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) and the access to Italian as Second Language” is authored by Luisa Daniele, a researcher working at National Institute of Research on VET and Labour Market, Italy, a governmental agency with the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating labour market policies, including training policies for employed and unemployed adults. The article is based on the results of a 2014–2015 quantitative survey on a sample of 1,840 foreign students and 1,835 Italian students. These students attended courses in the Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) system in six Italian Regions. Some conclusive reflections on the enhancement of multilingualism in the Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) system are proposed for the development of national strategies in order to strengthen intercultural teaching and curricula, such as moving from spontaneous and scattered interventions to a systematic and formal plan to develop the provision of Italian as second language at regional and national level in primary education and for adults in the workplace.

The second paper, jointly authored by Oyetoro Oyebode Stephen and Oloyede Ezekiel Ojo, is entitled “Empirical Validation of Indices for Consideration in the Revision of Recommended Senior School Financial Accounting Textbooks in Southwestern Nigeria. This article is borne out of the need to identify specific indices of recommended Financial Accounting textbooks that need be revised and strengthened rather than cast platitudinous aspersions on the textbooks altogether. The study utilized the survey research design and the multistage sampling technique to draw out data on teachers’ evaluations of the recommended textbooks. A robust non-parametric test-Kruskal-Wallis-was used to analyse gathered data. Inferences were drawn that textbook indices where significant differences exist among textbooks are likely indices for consideration in the revision of the recommended textbooks.

The third paper, entitled “The impact of Pecha Kucha Presentations in the Assessment of a Translation Studies Unit at The University of Western Australia”, is authored by Anna Gadd Colombi. The article discusses the implementation of Pecha Kucha presentations in the assessment of a unit of Translation Studies – Translation Localisation – at The University of Western Australia, in semester 2, 2015. Pecha Kucha is comprised of 20 timed slides that appear on the screen for 20 seconds each, for a total of 6.40 minutes. Student presentations in the case study were aimed at assessing students’ knowledge of the functioning of SDL Trados, a localisation software. The results obtained in this case study suggest fruitful avenues for additional exploration. The student cohort thoroughly enjoyed the Pecha Kucha experience and felt that preparing for and presenting a Pecha Kucha helped them achieve brevity, conciseness, and made them able to deliver large amounts of information in a short time. Furthermore, presentation times were drastically reduced and students’ attention levels were extremely high during their peers’ presentations. Most importantly students felt that the Pecha Kucha assessment helped improving their overall speaking and presenting skills.

The fourth paper, entitled “Elements of Motivational Structure for Studying Mechanical Engineering”, is co-authored by Nikša Dubreta and Damir Miloš. Nikša Dubreta and Damir Miloš, found that their research interests converged in the topic of students' extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to enrol higher education; they conducted a research with freshmen at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. The survey findings imply that relatively inconsistent structure of students' extrinsic and intrinsic motivation could be seen as inherent to an ambiguous process of study enrolment. It is expected that research outcomes will be useful to faculty management to shape and promote the engineering study programme that will encourage hesitant freshmen.

The fifth paper, written by Imam Suyitno, is entitled “Cognitive Strategies Use in Reading Comprehension and Its Contributions to Students' Achievement.” In the curriculum of the study program, reading is one of the subject matters that must be programmed by students. Students are required to take the course of reading and must master reading skills well. The various literature states that the strategy of reading affects the quality of reading comprehension. For that, in an effort to overcome the obstacles faced by students, in reading lectures, a researcher conducted an empirical study on the level of student competence in understanding a text and strategies used by students in understanding the text. The results of critical reflection show that in understanding the text, the students used various cognitive strategies. The diversity of cognitive strategies used by students influences the diversity of comprehension reading scores obtained by the students. Based on these findings, it is recommended that cognitive strategies that have significant positive contributions to textual understanding need to be trained in reading lecture practice.

The sixth paper, authored by Ayobami Gideon Adeleke, is entitled “Effects of Geographic Information System on the Learning of Environmental Education Concepts in Basic Computer-Mediated Classrooms in Nigeria” adopts Environmental Geographic Information System (EGIS) in computer-mediated classroom - a modern, powerful strategy via which educational improvement might be enhanced. The study found no significant effects of intervention on performance and retention. Result reflects on Nigeria’s unfitness for EGIS in her teaching-learning process at the moment. Subsequent researches across geo-political zones of the nation are needed to reiterate the needfulness of EGIS and facilitate its implementation.

The seventh paper, entitled “Investigating the Major Effect of Principal’s Change Leadership on School Teachers’ Professional Development”, is co-written by Dian-Fu Chang, Sheng-Nan Chen, and Wen-Ching Chou. This study is based on the data collected from elementary schools in New Taipei City. The research focuses on principals’ change leadership perceived by school teachers and explored which dimension of change leadership might impact on teachers’ professional development. This study demonstrates positive relationship between the principal’s change leadership and teacher’s professional development. The result reveals when the perceived principal’s change leadership existed in schools, it can reinforce the teacher profession development in terms of their willing to participating the teaching related enhancing activities and the expected effect of participation. It is expected that research outcomes might be applied to more wide practices to improve teachers’ performance in various settings.
The eighth article, written by Birgit Phillips, is entitled “Student-produced podcasts in language learning – Exploring student perceptions of podcast activities.” As the title suggests, the paper explores student perceptions of podcasts as a learning tool, thereby contributing to research on student-produced podcasts in the language classroom. After exploring the primary pedagogical implications of student-produced podcasts in language learning, the author describes two podcast assignments and the results of surveys conducted after the course aimed at exploring the students’ level of acceptance and enjoyment of the podcast assignments, as well as the perceived learning benefits. The results indicate that incorporating student-produced podcast assignments into a course is challenging for both students and instructors. The paper addresses these challenges by presenting practical advice on how these challenges may be overcome. In addition, the article highlights some of the main learning benefits of student-produced podcasts, including increased motivation, digital literacy, language confidence, and fluency, as well as vocabulary acquisition.

Please note that we welcome original research papers in the field of education submitted by teachers, scholars, and education professionals, who may submit their manuscripts even though they did not participate in one of the conferences held by IAFOR. We also welcome book reviews, reviews of the literature in the field, and contributions introducing key educational scholars.

The IAFOR Journal of Education is an internationally reviewed and editorially independent interdisciplinary journal associated with IAFOR’s international conferences on education. Like all IAFOR publications, it is freely available to read online, and is free of publication fees for authors. The first issue was published in May 2013, and the journal continues to publish three issues per year. The next issue, Volume 6 Issue 1 is scheduled for publication on March 1, 2018; this issue will also be a selection of papers submitted during the above mentioned conferences as well as papers submitted directly to our journal. IAFOR publications are freely accessible on the IAFOR website (Open Access).

Best regards,

Bernard Montoneri, Lucy Spence, Yvonne Masters, and Massoud Moslehpour
IAFOR Journal of Education

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