Monthly Archive: July 2013

Context Sensitivity and Language Specificity of Arabic Verb-Preposition Structure: The Case of English Learners of Arabic

Several studies have dealt with the Arabic verbal system and Arabic prepositional phrases (although separately). Nevertheless, no study, to date, has been devoted to tackling the question of the context sensitivity and language-specificity of Arabic verb-preposition structure per se. The lack of such studies was the principle motivation for undertaking this study. Additionally, being a teacher of Arabic language and literature for many years in different universities (The University of Sydney, The Australian National University and The University of Western Sydney), I noticed the enormous struggle of English learners of Arabic when tackling the phenomenon of verb-preposition structure. Due to the lack of awareness of the context sensitivity and language-specificity of such structures, students quite often confuse the usage of Arabic prepositions with that of English. Hence, the finding and recommendations of this study will be of great benefit and interest to English learners of Arabic since it will raise their awareness of the issues at hand, and, in turn, help them avoid getting the wrong message of Arabic texts owing to misinterpreting the Arabic prepositions which collocate/colligate with verbs.

Prepositions in English are particles which express “a relation between two entities, one being that represented by a prepositional complement, the other by another part of the sentence. The prepositional complement is characteristically a noun phrase, a nominal wh- clause, or a nominal ing clause” (Quirk et al. 1985, p. 657). English prepositions are of five types, they are: 1) time, as in: during the exam; 2) place, as in: against the wall; 3) manner, as in: with ease; 4) agency, as in: by the mechanic; and 5) recipience, as in: to a friend (Collins, 1998, p. 32). It is worth noting that a number of English prepositions may play the role of adverbs in some contexts especially when combining with verbs to form what is known as English phrasal verbs (Bolinger, 1971; Cowie and Mackin, 1993 and Aldahesh, 2009a). Bolinger (1971) labels such particles of dual functions as ‘Adpreps’, which “form the most typical phrasal verbs [... and] function now as adverbs, now as prepositions” (p. 23). The English prepositions used to form phrasal verbs are listed by Cowie and Mackin (1993) as follows:

Aboard, about, above, across, after, against, ahead of, along, alongside, among, around, as, as far as, astride, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, for, from, in, in front of, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, on top of, out of, outside, over, past, round, through, to, toward(s), under, underneath, up, upon, with, within, without (p. vii).

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(Author: Ali Yunis Aldahesh

Published by Macrothink Institute)

A Lesson Study as a Development Model of Professional Teachers

An effort of improving educators’ qualification takes such factors as teachers’ intention, students, methods, strategy, media, facilities, library, laboratory, surrounding and management, and development models. The improvement in teacher’s learning quality with collaborative model at every education level will take an impact on learning quality. So, it is expected that it will improve students’ academic achievement and ultimately result in the improvement in the Indonesian education quality where this quality is lower than other countries’ one.

According to Subadi (2009: 19), of the 146,052 Primary Schools in Indonesia, there are only 8 schools to be accepted as a world level in the Primary Years Program (PYP). Of the 20,918 Junior High Schools and 8,036 Senior High Schools, there are only 8 and 7 schools to be accepted as a world level in the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the Diploma Program (DP), respectively. In reference to the data of the 2002-2003 teachers qualification, the reasonable teachers for the students of Primary Schools, Junior High Schools, Senior High Schools, and Vocational Schools amounted to 21,07% (state teachers) and 28,94% (private teachers), 54,12% (state teachers) and 60,09% (private teachers), 65,29% (state teachers) and 64,73% (private teachers), and 55,49% (state teachers) and 58,26% (private teachers), respectively.

The low educational quality indicates that there are problems in Indonesian educational system, including educational paradigm as a basis of whole educational system, development model of teachers and learning strategy, and practical aspects of education such as cost, facilities, and teachers’ welfare. In response to the low quality, the government passes the Act of the Republic of Indonesia No. 14/2005 about Teachers and Lecturers. The Act stipulates an implementation of educational system and development of teachers and lecturers in order to be professional. A teacher or lecturer to be professional must meet academic qualifications, have an educational certificate, and be competent; and consequently he or she will get a high reward.

Apart from the Act, as a development model of teachers the lesson study in Japan can also be useful as a model in Indonesia. In this study, the lesson study is a development model of teachers as a process of teachers training in circle and continuity beginning with teachers in collaboration with other teachers for plan, action, and reflection.

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(Author: Tjipto Subadi, Rita Pramujiyanti Khotimah, Sri Sutarni

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Psychological Counselling needs and Academic achievement of students at the Secondary level

The need for psychological counselling as a practice for promoting adolescent health has been documented worldwide. However, the specific ways by which psychological counselling can be practiced, the optimal settings where psychological counselling can work in the education context, and how successful such programmes are in ensuring gender equity and equality remain largely not discussed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Establishing psychological counselling programmes in schools and incorporating gender responsiveness in the context of psychological counselling programmes in secondary education are vital to the achievement of larger education objectives. The term ‘school counselling’ broadly refers to the process of meeting the needs of students in several areas of development, such as academics, career, and personal. Experts agree that professional school counselling programmes should be comprehensive in scope, preventative in design and developmental in nature.

The term ‘guidance’ refers to a more specific trajectory within the field of counselling, a pathway to help students choose a vocational or career path. Guidance is the process of helping people make important choices that affect their lives, such as choosing a preferred life-style. One distinction between guidance and counselling is that while guidance focuses on helping individuals choose what they value most, counselling focuses on helping them make changes.

Early adolescence is a turbulent period. To survive this period, adolescents need guidance and honest assistance. At this stage of life, an adolescent is besieged with multifarious challenges and if these challenges are not resolved, he/ she may become a social misfit. These challenges may adversely affect the academic achievement of adolescents. Education is one of the factors of rating an advance nation and hence the common saying that education is the bedrock of any society.

Ironically, school no longer means much to most adolescents as they are so much engrossed with social life. A society whose adolescents are not academically oriented may be classified as under developed. Consequently, adolescents need to be re-integrated academically into their classes and counselling programmes serve as a bridge towards improving academic achievement which in turn will aid in the long run toward national development. There is therefore a need to investigate the relationship between social life adjustment of the adolescent and academic achievement in secondary schools of Chennai city and in this context, the following research questions were raised.

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(Author: Sahaya Saila, T., Chamundeswari, S.

Published by Macrothink Institute)

A Political Economy of the African School as a Learning Organization

Schools are a significant part of industrial and post-industrial human societies, they reflect their environments, strengthen contemporary adaptation processes and needs, and help secure the future. However as knowledge and information technology advance and change the nature of business, finance,, politics etc, the question arises as to whether or not schools have been insulated from the types of changes that other institutions have recently undergone or experienced, how much of a learning organization the school is and how much of class bias is in this. In this work, the focus is on the Nigerian school as a learning organization and the dialectics of the social relations of production inherent in this. The methodology is the application of the political economy approach to the school and the social relations there.

Enterprise is the new metaphor for schooling in post-industrial societies. Schools must compete, must search and research and be chartered. Unlike in the colonial past when schools were managerially inactive and always dependent on government’s directives and supervision, twenty-first century schools are internally, self-driven and often profit oriented. The impact of enterprise and the profit bias is found in the situation whereby in several African states schools are often of two types: public and privately owned schools. Public schools still live in the past, dependent on the government and lacking basic equipment and facilities, while private schools are entrepreneurially driven, with better basic facilities and equipment and charging fees determined by their proprietors (and management).

The consequence is that in several African states, the (good) private school is priced out of the reach of the lower class. Whereas in Africa schools of today are not generally different from those of the immediate post-independence era, in the west, the international trend towards devolution of many of the decisions and responsibilities for managing schools to the school itself-with the end-point being self-managing or self governing public schools has been perhaps the most powerful influence changing the understanding of the management of education over the past two decades. |’Instances can be seen in Canada, where the Edmonton school district pioneered many of the features we see today; in the United Kingdom, with grant-maintained (GM) and locally managed (LM) schools, in the United States, with the charter-school movement; and in New Zealand, which adapted the Canadian model as a means for developing a natural system of self-managing schools called schools of tomorrow’ (Townsend 1998: xx).

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(Author: AOK Noah

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Reference List Errors in Manuscripts Submitted to a Journal for Review for Publication

Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, and Frels (2010) discussed the findings of Onwuegbuzie and Combs (2009), who identified the 60 most common American Psychological Association (APA) errors among 110 sets of authors who submitted manuscripts to Research in the Schools, a nationally refereed journal, over a 6-year period. Of the 60 APA errors that were identified, the most prevalent error was the incorrect use of numbers, which occurred in 57.3% of the manuscripts, which, as concluded by Onwuegbuzie et al. (2010), represents an extremely large effect size. However, it should be noted that Combs et al. examined APA errors committed in the body of the manuscript and did not examine APA errors pertaining to reference lists.

Over the last four decades, several researchers have investigated the accuracy of reference lists in published articles across numerous fields (e.g., business, economics, medicine, social work, psychology, library information science) by comparing each reference contained in the reference list to the original work (e.g., Adhikari, & Bhandari, 2011; Faunce & Job, 2001; Gatten, 2010; Kristof, 1997; O’Connor & Kristof, 2001; Spivey & Wilks, 2004; White, 1987). Most of these researchers have reported unacceptably high rates of errors, despite the fact that, presumably, these articles had undergone a copyediting process. Thus, it is likely that manuscripts submitted to journals that have not yet been professionally copyedited in general and manuscripts that end up being rejected in particular would have even higher error rates in the reference lists. However, to date, no researcher has examined the accuracy of reference lists of manuscripts submitted to journals. Moreover, as yet, no researcher has examined the extent to which reference lists in works—whether published or unpublished—conform to the style guides of the respective journals. This was the goal of the present study. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to determine the frequency and characteristics of APA errors committed in the reference lists of manuscripts initially submitted to a nationally refereed journal, and to explore relationships between reference list errors and selected manuscript variables (e.g., number of authors, editor decision).

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(Author: Anthony J Onwuegbuzie, Eunjin Hwang

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Peer Coaching: A More Beneficial and Responsive Inquiry-Based Means of Reflective Practice

Farrell (2007) argues that basically, peer coaching was claimed as a follow-up to traditional training, and had three different stages: a scientific assessment of a teacher‟s skill and his readiness level, prepration in a specific method that he should relate in classes, and classroom observations to establish that the teacher is utilizing the model into his lessons.

On the other hand, Díaz-Maggioli ( 2004, p. 79) suggests “a departure from the conventional approach to peer coaching, which reinforces an outmoded view of supervision and professional development by adhering to a transmission model. In the traditional view, the coach is the expert who “transmits” expertise to the novice while at the same time evaluating the novice‟s performance on prescribed skills”. What‟s more is that it further supports the idea that teachers should be fixed, and nothing is remained for a modality of teacher growth focused on teachers‟ needs.

But in a more updated view towards peer coaching and as the name indicates according to (Valencia & Killion, 1988, cited in Johnson, 2009) it is a process where groups of teachers usually scrutinize one another and give support, companionship, feedback, and help. Johnson (2009) believes that such teaching observations can result in positive teacher growth and improved instructional practice.

In the same vein Vidmar (2005) proposes another definition for peer coaching. He claims that Reflective peer coaching is kind of a formative model to make the teaching and learning better by means of determining intentions before teaching, then thinking upon the experience. Based on this definition, the aim of reflective peer coaching can be regarded as supporting self-assessment and collaboration for better teaching and eventually improved learning can be the result of this process.

Moreover, Bell (2002, cited in Carolan & Wang, 2011) states that Peer review of teaching can be used in order to develop teaching and learning-as kind of a learning activity for teachers as well as a way to extend collegiality and contributes developing teacher skills.

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(Author: Mansoor Fahim, Sepideh Mirzaee

Published by Macrothink Institute)

The Life Long Learning Policy in Greece under Deliberation: Aspects of a Formal Exchange of Views

The systematic promotion of the investment policy in the human capital has been evident in the European Union since 2000. This theoretical framework is associated with Lifelong Education concentrating on a model of knowledge provision and training of broader population strata. Educational systems competitiveness and efficiency is tied to the broader draft of harmonization of economy and education. In the Lisbon and Barcelona (Dehmel, 2006) Meetings, strategies about the reforms of the educational systems aiming at the improvement of quality and effectiveness (Preece, 2011) were developed. The society of knowledge was schematically defined (Raju, 2010; Al-Hawamdeh & Hart, 2001), namely a standardized knowledge focusing on economic objectives while the humanistic dimensions that would eventually change the educational environment of the European Union countries was overlooked (Riddell, Markowitch, & Weedon, 2012).

An open dialogue system with the local society was introduced by the G. Papandreou Government so that public sector reformation issues or reforms were promoted. A channel of communication about issues related to voting laws deemed to be integrated into the innovative views about Education or Administration was introduced. Deliberation was considered to be innovative for the Greek political system as the submission of a draft in the parliament and its voting or rejection by the parliament members was foreseen for the change in the policy or the institution of laws.

The issue of deliberation is related to the more general government intentions for the citizens’ society function within the framework of internet society; that is, the citizens that would utilize the possibilities of technology conducive to the formulation of views and standpoints about political issues. The systematic implementation of deliberation by the Ministry of Education was observed following a model that foresaw: a) keynote questions and b) individual observations. Open questions were characteristically chosen so that argumentation would be provided by all citizens, carriers or pressure groups about the views formulated. The deliberation outcome was published on the internet and could theoretically function as political texts of consideration and dialogue.

Special emphasis was placed on Lifelong Learning by the Ministry of Education, an issue also associated with the addition of Lifelong Learning to its responsibilities and after which it has been called Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religion. In July 2010 the “Review of Law Draft Principles related to Lifelong Learning Development” was posed under public deliberation by the Ministry of Education. In particular, carriers and individuals were invited to present their views on the basis of the following questions. Views and suggestions for the particular deliberation were posed by 8 carriers and 49 individuals as it is shown by the publication of the deliberation.

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(Author: Olga Haitidou, Evagelia Kalerante, Argyris Kyridis, Christos Zagkos, Nikos Fotopoulos

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Irreversibility, Option Demand and Environmental Preservation

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the government’s choice on whether to preserve or to construct a hydroelectric dam when there is a willingness to pay for retaining the option to usetheenvironmentalarea.Extendingthemodelusedby Maler& Fisher(2005)toexplore the problem of choosing whether to preserve or to develop a tract of land, I show that in the context of uncertainty about future benefits, the government would choose to preserve the land when there is an option demand to refrain from using the environmental site.

Cameroon’s government has launched in June 2012, for a value of US $ 840 million, the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Memve’ele waterfalls in order to boost the electricity supply. Memvele’ele waterfalls are one of the richest biodiversity areas of the Campo-Ma’an landscape. The Campo-Ma’an is located in the southwestern corner of Cameroon bordering to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The Campo-Ma’an features a National park containing 80 animal mammals such as forest elephants, leopards and gorillas; 302 bird species; 122 reptile species and 250 fish species. The Campo-Ma’an also contains a coastline of 65 km with attractive beaches, diverse ethnic groups with different cultural heritage and archaeological sites.

The particularity of Memve’ele waterfalls is that they are very close to the biologically part of the Campo-Ma’an National Park. The proximity of the Memve’ele hydroelectric dam with the park is then a great concern. A simulation of the zone of impact of the Memve’ele dam within a radius of 25 km shows that the park’s richest part in terms of wildlife will be seriously affected by the dam construction (World Wildlife Fund [WWF], 2008).

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(Author: Etienne Bienvenu Akono

Published by Macrothink Institute)

The School Health Approach in Quebec: Perceptions of Students’ Parents

In Quebec, the Healthy School and Global Health approaches, situated at the crossroads of education and health, attract attention for their global and integrated promotion of young people’s health. Within the context of these emerging approaches, this questionnaire-based study aims to describe how parents (N=573) perceive health in the school setting, their role with regard to health and the ways they engage with their child in this regard.

The collected data have been analyzed using a socio-ecological framework; findings reveal that parents have a positive view of school health, but do not necessarily associate it with the approach recommended in the environment as a whole. Generally speaking, they link health to lifestyles, particularly healthy diet and exercise, and demonstrate their involvement in various ways depending on their socio-economic status. This discussion examines the communication strategies employed to familiarize parents with said approaches in school-family relationships and highlights the importance of developing their critical thinking so that parent-child interactions will prove relevant and constructive in the promotion of health. Concerted action and a shared vision for health education among stakeholders in the school and family environments are suggested to optimize the impacts on young people’s day-to-day life.

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(Author: Marie-Claude Rivard, Sylvain Turcotte

Published by Macrothink Institute)

Challenges encountered by Principals during Implementation of ICT in Public Secondary Schools, Kenya

Information Communication Technology (ICT) has contributed greatly to advancement of education in schools globally. However, in Kenyan schools barely use ICT tools to raise teacher productivity, or manage the quality of output, or reduce costs through analyzing expenditures. This is attributed to many challenges facing most schools with regards to implementation of the technology which has resulted to slow rate of adoption and use of ICT, despite its promise and potential in education. This study surveyed some of the challenges principals faced during its implementation.

The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population included 350 public secondary school principals in Meru County. One hundred and five (105) respondents which represented 30% were sampled using stratified and simple random sampling. Questionnaires were used as main instruments for data collection. Validity of the questionnaires was ensured through judgment of experts, while reliability was established through test and re-tests method during pilot study. Ninety (85.71%) questionnaires were appropriately filled and return. Data analysis employed both inferential and descriptive statistical techniques after which the results were presented in tables supported by some discussions.

The study findings established that although principals encountered numerous challenges during implementing ICT in schools, they appeared to have positive attitudes towards its implementation. Principals’ interest; their commitment and championing implementation of ICT programs in schools positively influenced the whole process. A tailor-made in-service training should be regularly arranged for them in order to shift their theoretical interest in ICT into practice.

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(Author: Lisbeth Lindström

Published by Macrothink Institute)