2016 Vol. 46. No. 4 Page 2 © Copyright by Wydawnictwo Adam

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2016 Vol. 46. No. 4 Page 2 © Copyright by Wydawnictwo Adam
2016
Vol. 46. No. 4
© Copyright by Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek
Toruń 2016
ISSN 1732-6729
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Contents
Stanisław Juszczyk
Editor’s Preface ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11
„„ Social Pedagogy
Tomasz Huk
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12. Presence in Social Media
Despite the Prohibition �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 17
Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib,
Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
The Development of Character Education Modelto Improve Students’
Academic Independence in Islamic Boarding School in Sinjai District,
INDONESIA ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 29
Blahoslav Kraus
Upbringing and Socialization in the Contemporary Family ������������������������ 40
Petr Kutáč
The Development of School Bag Weight as a Risk Factorfor Poor
Posture During School Attendance ������������������������������������������������������������������ 50
Olga V. Bezpalko, Nataliia A. Klishevych, Tetiana L. Liakh,
Roman O. Pavliuk
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality: The Results of
Expert Interview ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 61
Monika Piątkowska, Elżbieta Biernat
Does Physical Activity Protect Adolescents against Risk Behaviour? ���������� 72
Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
Social and Institutional Support as Perceivedby Female Domestic
Violence Victims Serving Custodial Sentence ������������������������������������������������ 84
Ingrid Emmerová
School Preventive Socio-Educational Work of Social Pedagogues
in the Slovak Republic and an Outline of Their Activities in the Other
V4 Countries ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 95
4
Contents
Miriam Niklová, Michaela Šajgalová
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers in Elementary Schools
in Slovakia ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 104
„„ General Didactics
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers of Vocational
Subjects With an Emphasis on The Effectiveness of Teaching ������������������ 119
Alicja Gałązka, Magdalena Trinder
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second Language
Acquisition �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 130
Cheng-Chang Tsai
A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferencesfor English
Reading from a Printed Text versus Electronic Text ������������������������������������ 142
Slavica Čepon
The Dissonance between Teachers‘ and Students‘ Viewson Speaking
Anxiety in Foreign Languages for Specific Purposes ���������������������������������� 152
Stanisław Juszczyk, Yongdeog Kim
Are Open Education and Flexible Forms of Learninga Civilisation
Requirement or a Technological Obligation? ���������������������������������������������� 163
Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua, John Rafafy Batlolona
The Development of a Thematic ModuleBased on Numbered Heads
Together (NHT) Cooperative Learning Model for Elementary Students
in Ambon, Moluccas-Indonesia ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 174
„„ Special Pedagogy
Katarzyna Ita Bieńkowska, Agnieszka Woźniak
Language Behaviours in Childrenwith Hearing Impairment
vs. the Social Functioning of their Mothers – Comparative Surveys �������� 189
Marta Licardo, Majda Schmidt
Why is Self-Determination Important for Students with and Without
Disabilities in Vocational Education? ������������������������������������������������������������ 200
Teresa Żółkowska
The ’Undisclosed’ Subject of Normalization ������������������������������������������������ 211
Contents
5
Katja Roj, Jurij Planinšec, Majda Schmidt
Effect of Swimming Activities on the Development of Swimming Skills
in Student with Physical Disability – Case Study ���������������������������������������� 221
„„ Kindergarten Education
Rasim Basak
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions of Perfectionism
in Drawings of Kindergarteners �������������������������������������������������������������������� 233
„„ Chosen Aspects of Psychology
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
Personality Types and Sense of Humor and their Association with Teachers’ Performance Improvement ������������ 247
Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence in Personality Space �������������������� 260
„„ Varia
Reviewers of the Manuscriptssent from the Czech Republic, Poland,
the Slovak Republic, and from the Whole World to “The New
Educational Review” in 2016 �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 275
Contributors
Bajtoš Ján
Prof. Ing. CSc. PhD., Technological Institute e-mail: [email protected]
in Dubnica nad Váhom, Slovakia,
Sládkovičova 533/20, 018 41 Dubnica nad
Váhom
Basak Rasim
Ph.D, Uludag University, School of
Education, Bursa, Turkey
Batlolona John
Rafafy
Master’s Degree in Physics Education,
Universitas Negeri Malang, MalangIndonesia, Adress: Jl. Nn. Saar Sopacua
e-mail: [email protected]
yahoo.co.id
Bezpalko Olga V.
Doctor of pedagogy, Professor, Director of
Institute of Human Sciences, Borys
Grinchenko Kyiv University, Ukraine, Kyiv,
17 Pavla Tychyny Str.
e-mail: [email protected]
edu.ua
Bieńkowska
Katarzyna Ita
The Maria Grzegorzewska University in
Warsaw, Department of Speech Therapy
and Educational Linguistics
Biernat Elżbieta
Professor, PhD., Warsaw School of
Economics, Al. Niepodległości 162, 02-554
Warsaw, Poland
Čepon Slavica
PhD, Assistant Prof., University of
Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Department of Languages for Business and
Economics, Kardeljeva ploscad 17, 1000
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Emmerová Ingrid
Prof. PhDr. PhD., Professor, Faculty of
Education UMB, Department of Pedagogy,
Ružová 13, 974 01 Banská Bystrica
e-mail: [email protected]
umb.sk
Front-Dziurkowska
Katarzyna
M.A., Assistant Lecturer in the Chair of
Social Pedagogy of the University of Silesia
e-mail: [email protected]
edu.pl
Gałązka Alicja
Dr. hab., Associated Professor, University of
Silesia, Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, Grażyńskiego 53, Katowice, Poland
Ghaeninejad Zahra
MA student of Educational Research,
University of Sistan and Baluchestan,
Zahedan, Iran
Huk Tomasz
Ph.D., University of Silesia, Faculty of Peda- e-mail: [email protected]
gogy and Psychology, ul. Grażyńskiego 53,
pl
40-126 Katowice, Poland
e-mail: [email protected]
sgh.waw.pl
[email protected]
8
Contributors
Ismail
Doctorate degree, Lecturer, Universitas
Negeri Makassar, Kampus UNM Gunungsari Baru, Jl. Bonto Langkasa Makassar,
90222, Indonesia
e-mail: [email protected]
gmail.com
Jenaabadi Hossein
Associate Professor, Faculty of Educational
Sciences and Psychology, University of
Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran
e-mail: [email protected]
com
Juszczyk Stanisław
Prof., Ph.D., DrSc. University of Silesia,
Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology,
Katowice, Poland
e-mail: [email protected]
us.edu.pl
Kaliská Lada
doc. PaedDr. PhD, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Matej Bel
University, Ružová 13, 974 11 Banská
Bystrica, Slovak Republic
e-mail: [email protected]
Kaliský Ján
Mgr. PhD, Department of Ethical and Civic
Education, Faculty of Education, Matej Bel
University, Ružová 13, 974 11 Banská
Bystrica, Slovak Republic
e-mail: [email protected]
Kašaiová Mária
PaedDr. Grammar School, Trebišov,
Slovakia, Komenského 32, 075 01 Trebišov
e-mail: [email protected]
Kim Yongdeog
Professor, Ph.D., Hankuk University of
Foreign Studies, Yongin, South Korea
e-mail: [email protected]
Klishevych Nataliia
A.
PhD in education, Associate Professor,
Deputy Director for Scientific-methodical
and Educational Work, Institute of Human
Sciences, Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, Ukraine, Kyiv, 17 Pavla Tychyny Str.
e-mail: [email protected]
edu.ua
Kraus Blahoslav
Prof. PhDr. CSc., Pedagogical Faculty,
University of Hradec Králové, 500 03,
Hradec Králové, Rokitanského 62, Czech
Republic
e-mail: [email protected]
uhk.cz
Kutáč Petr
e-mail: [email protected]
Doc. PhDr., Ph.D., Human Motion
Diagnostic Centre, Varenská 40a, Ostrava 1,
702 00, Czech Republic
Leasa Marleny
Lecturer of Elementary School Teacher
Department, Pattimura University,
Ambon-Indonesia, Adress: Jl. Dr. Tamaela
e-mail: [email protected]
yahoo.com
Liakh Tetiana L.
Ph.D in education, Associate Professor,
Deputy Director for Scientific Work,
Institute of Human Sciences, Borys
Grinchenko Kyiv University, Ukraine, Kyiv,
17 Pavla Tychyny Str.
e-mail: [email protected]
Contributors
9
Licardo Marta
Dr., senior lecturer, Faculty of Education,
University of Maribor, Koroska c. 160, 2000
Maribor, Slovenia
e-mail: [email protected]
um.si, website: http://www.
pef.um.si/profesor/67/
marta+licardo
Niklová Miriam
Doc. PhDr. PhD., Associate Professor,
Faculty of Education UMB, Department of
Pedagogy, Ružová 13, 974 01 Banská
Bystrica
e-mail: miriam.niklová@
umb.sk
Pavliuk Roman O.
PhD in education, Deputy Director for
Scientific-pedagogical and Social and
Humanitarian Work, Institute of Human
Sciences, Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, Ukraine, Kyiv, 17 Pavla Tychyny Str.
e-mail: [email protected]
ua
Piątkowska Monika
Assistant professor, Head of the Department of Organisation and History of Sport,
Josef Pilsudski University of Physical
Education in Warsaw, Marymoncka 34,
01-813 Warsaw, Poland
e-mail: [email protected], website:
www.piatkowska.pl
Planinšec Jurij
Full professor of kinesiology, Faculty of
Education, University of Maribor, Slovenia,
Koroška 160, 2000 Maribor
e-mail: [email protected]
Pourghaz Abdulwahab
Associate Professor, Faculty of Educational
Sciences and Psychology, University of
Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran
Ramlan Mahmud
Doctorate degree, Lecturer, Universitas
Negeri Makassar, Kampus UNM Gunungsari Baru, Jl. Bonto Langkasa Makassar,
90222, Indonesia
e-mail: [email protected]
com
Roj Katja
Primary school teacher of elementary
education, Primary School Franc Rozman
- Stane Maribor, Slovenia, Kersnikova 10,
2000 Maribor
e-mail: [email protected]
Schmidt Majda
Dr., full professor, Faculty of Education,
University of Maribor, Koroska c. 160, 2000
Maribor, Slovenia
e-mail: [email protected]
um.si, website: http://www.
pef.um.si/profesor/68/
majda+schmidt+krajnc
Sulaiman Samad
Doctorate degree, Senior Lecturer,
Universitas Negeri Makassar, Kampus
UNM Gunungsari Baru, Jl. Bonto Langkasa
Makassar, 90222, Indonesia
e-mail: [email protected]
gmail.com
Syamsul Bachri
Thalib
Professor, Senior Lecturer, Universitas
Negeri Makassar, Kampus UNM Gunungsari Baru, Jl. Bonto Langkasa Makassar,
90222, Indonesia
e-mail: [email protected]
com
10
Contributors
Šajgalová Michaela
PhDr., internal PhD. student, Faculty of
Education UMB, Department of Pedagogy,
Ružová 13, 974 01 Banská Bystrica
e-mail: [email protected]
umb.sk
Talakua Melvie
Lecturer of Elementary School Teacher
Department, Pattimura University,
Ambon-Indonesia, Adress: Jl. Dr. Tamaela
e-mail: [email protected]
yahoo.com
Trinder Magdalena
University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland
Tsai Cheng-Chang
PhD., Department of Applied Foreign
Languages, Nan Kai University of Technology, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Woźniak Agnieszka
The Maria Grzegorzewska University in
Warsaw, Department of Speech Therapy
and Educational Linguistics
Żółkowska Teresa
dr. hab., prof. US, Department of Pedagogy,
University of Szczecin, Poland
e-mail: [email protected]
Stanisław Juszczyk
Editor’s Preface
The fourth number of The New Educational Review in 2016 is the fourty-sixth
issue of our journal since the start of its foundation in 2003. In this issue there are
mainly papers from: the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Poland, Russia,
the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, and
the USA, because our journal is open for presentation of scientific papers from all
over the world.
In the present issue the International Editors’ Board have proposed the following subject sessions: Social Pedagogy, General Didactics, Special Pedagogy,
Kindergarten Education, and Chosen Aspects of Psychology.
In the subject session “Social Pedagogy” we publish nine articles. The purpose
of the study described by Tomasz Huk is to identify the number of children aged
10 – 12 who use Facebook, as well as how they use this medium. The objective of the
research and development conducted by Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib, Sulaiman
Samad, and Ramian Mahmud is to create a description of the operational model
of character education and to determine the effectiveness of a character education
model in enhancing students’ academic independence. The article by Blahoslav
Kraus looks into the process of socialization and upbringing in contemporary
families. The study described by Petr Kutáč addresses the weight of school bags
as one of the risk factors for poor posture in pupils during mandatory school
attendance. In their article, Olga V. Bezpalko et al. evaluate the criteria and indicators of the measuring of university education quality. The aim of the work by
Monika Piątkowska and Elżbieta Biernat is an evaluation of the relation between
risk behaviour of adolescents (bad eating habits, sedentary behaviour and abuse
of psychoactive substances and stimulants) and fulfilling pro-health recommendations related to physical activity. In her article Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
would like to signal that some life paths combine a few awful experiences implying
an absence of support of the immediate environment as well as of institutional
support by entities whose responsibility is to provide help. The study described by
12
Stanisław Juszczyk
Ingrid Emmerová analyses legislative possibilities and actual activities of social
pedagogues in schools in Slovakia. The research conducted by Miriam Niklová
and Michaela Šajgalová aims to monitor the current state of pupils’ aggressive
behaviour towards teachers.
In the subject session “General Didactics” we publish six articles. The purpose
of the study presented by Ján Bajtoš and Mária Kašaiová is to present research
conducted in the conditions of vocational education in the Slovak Republic,
aimed to assess the effectiveness of the use of interactive whiteboards for teaching
vocational subjects. Alicja Gałązka and Magdalena Trinder investigate the relationship between locus of control and achievement in second language learning,
when using reading and listening as the measure of learners success. The main
purpose of the study by Cheng-Chang Tsai is to investigate the preferences of
English-major students to determine their reading activities when they have the
choice of reading a printed text or an electronic text. The study conducted by
Slavica Čepon identifies the perceptions of the reasons for speaking anxiety in
foreign languages for specific purposes by Slovenian students and their teachers.
The paper by Stanisław Juszczyk and Yongdeog Kim discusses a new model of
social learning that makes use of open educational resources and flexible forms
of learning in Poland and in South Korea. In their paper, Marleny Leasa, Melvie
Talaua, and John Rafafy Batlolona examine the effectiveness and practically of
modules used to teach the elementary students in Ambon, Moluccas, Indonesia
and as a result generate a thematic module based on a Numbered Heads Together
cooperative learning model.
In the subject session “Special Pedagogy” we publish four articles. The object
and aim of the undertaken surveys described by Katarzyna I. Bieńkowska and
Agnieszka Woźniak is to assess the modifying impact of a child’s language
development on selected areas of their mother’s functioning – the appearance of
symptoms of depression, and concentration on the child’s disability. In their article,
Marta Licardo and Majda Schmidt determine differences in self-determination
between high school students with and without disabilities and determine the
influence of three predictors of self-determination in vocational education: gender,
group and grade point average. Teresa Żółkowska describes the American model
of normalization and its deconstruction. Disclosing the problems concerning the
theoretical assumptions of the concepts of this model allows for perceiving the
way in which society constructs the subject of a disabled person. The aim of the
paper of Katja Roj et al. is to examine the effect of swimming activities on the
development of swimming skills in student with physical disability and determine
whether these activities also affect the student’s general motor development.
Editor’s Preface
13
In the subject session “Kindergarten Education” we publish one article. Rasim
Basak presents two qualitative studies: the first study focused on perfectionist
characteristics in drawings of fifth graders, and the second study is designed based
on the findings from the earlier study, but it focuses on drawings of kindergarteners.
In the subject session “Chosen Aspects of Psychology” we publish two papers.
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, and Zahra Ghaeninejad examine the
relationship between personality types and sense of humour and their association
with teachers’ performance improvement. The study described by Lada Kaliská and
Ján Kaliský is based on research analyses of K.V. Petrides’ (2001) trait emotional
intelligence construct verified by his Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire.
We hope that this edition, like previous ones, will encourage new readers not
only from the Central European countries to participate in an open international
discussion. On behalf of the International Editors’ Board I would like to invite representatives of different pedagogical sub-disciplines and related sciences to publish
their texts in The New Educational Review, according to the formal requirements
placed on our website: www.educationalrev.us.edu.pl – Guide for Authors.
Social
Pedagogy
Tomasz Huk
Poland
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12.
Presence in Social Media Despite the Prohibition
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.01
Abstract
Social media, such as Facebook, play an important role in human life. More
and more often we can observe them also finding their way into the world
of children, who use them to achieve specific benefits. The research sample
consisted of children aged 10 – 12, namely those who – due to the restrictions
in the Facebook regulations – are not allowed to use it. The purpose of the
study was to identify the number of children aged 10 – 12 who use Facebook,
as well as how they use this medium. The research findings, obtained in the
diagnostic survey and the focus interview, indicate that: the vast majority of
the respondents have accounts on Facebook, and the older the child, the greater
the probability that he/she has his/her own profile. Girls have more friends and
photos on the Facebook profile than boys, and the number of friends grows
along with the users’ age. The research results presented in the article are the
benchmark for educational activities that should be undertaken in order to
regulate the usage of Facebook by children under 13 years of age.
Keywords: children aged 10 – 12, benefits, Facebook
Introduction – Theoretical Background for Selecting the Subject,
Terminological Findings
At present, new media are a permanent element of social and cultural functioning of children (Huk, 2015). More and more often, a special place in the areas
18
Tomasz Huk
of use of the new media by children is taken by social networking portals, access
to which is obtained through mobile media, such as smartphones, tablets, and
laptops. Currently, Facebook is the most popular social website, which frequently
makes it an object of scientific research (Wilson, Gosling, Graham, 2012). Due to
the fact that the medium is intended for people over 13, research in this respect
is rarely conducted among the population of children aged 10 – 12. This problem
was highlighted by Anna Brosch (2016), describing a situation in which children
begin to function on the Internet for the first time. On the other hand, Mirosława
Wawrzak-Chodaczek (2004) emphasises the role of the Internet in fulfilling the
communication needs of teenagers. The author indicates that the Internet users
“manipulate their identity” in order to make other Web participants pay attention
to them. Manipulation is often related to ascribing certain features thanks to which
the Internet user may be liked by other Internet users. The Polish research conducted in this respect indicates that contemporary teenagers are “forced to literally
construct their identity by creating their profile: selecting photos, specifying preferences, publishing general and casual self-descriptions” (Wójcik, 2013). Thanks
to the information provided by children and teenagers on such websites, we know
“who became whose friend, who ended their relationship with whom, who posted
pictures, who has a lousy day […]”. Unfortunately, such information may be used
by all Web users – regardless of their age and intentions, e.g., for cyberbullying
(Kowalski, Limber, Agatston, 2010). The research conducted in 2010 among the
group of 9 – 16-year-olds indicates that 71% of the surveyed have a profile on one
of the web portals. Additionally, on the basis of analyses, Katarzyna Makaruk
(2013) confirms that teenagers aged 14 – 17 actively participate in Internet communities. Additionally, girls have social media profiles more often than boys, and
girls devote more time to this kind of activity. The author also demonstrated the
relation between the frequency of using the social media and the dysfunctional
use of the Internet, as well as the psychological and social problems found in those
Internet users. On the other hand, the research findings presented by Magdalena
Wasylewicz (2011) describe a group of secondary school students, who, as it seems,
did not have a habit of repeatedly visiting the social media website. It turns out that
34% of the surveyed students visit such websites several times a week, 29% – once
a day, and 22% – once a week. We should add that these results may apply to the
period (before 2011) when social networking portals were not as popular as they
are now. In the opinion of Manfred Spitzer (2015), “for children, replacing real
interpersonal contacts with Internet portals [Facebook] may lead in the long run
to reducing the social modules in their brains. Therefore, there is a hazard that, in
the future, Facebook and other similar websites may lead to shrinkage of entire
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12
19
areas of our brains responsible for social functions.” The basis for the formulated
theses may be the use of Facebook among children aged 10 – 12 who make it
a habit to check their profiles within short time intervals, using a smartphone in
every possible place (e.g., at school), adding messages, photos, browsing profiles,
posts, and commenting on those posts on the social media sites. They begin to
ascribe value to the number of “likes” under their own posts and the number of
friends in their friend lists.
It was expressed to the fullest extent by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan (2011), who
believe that when we become dependent, e.g., on repeatedly checking for new posts
on Facebook, the executive area of the brain, called the anterior cingulate cortex,
loses control. This area is located in the front part of the brain, responsible for
decision-making and judgment. The authors claim that addiction therapy should
include not only regulating production of dopamine, but also strengthening the
nerve circuits of the anterior cingulate cortex, and thus it is a strictly psychiatric
activity, going beyond pedagogical activities.
An important phenomenon in the context of the use of social media is the lack
of Internet access and the related fear of missing out, called “FoMo”. Spitzer (2016)
points out that “since the beginning of social networks, where millions of people
constantly do something and inform others about it, this fear has greatly intensified”. Young people want to be kept up-to-date with the information published
by their peers on social websites, since they are the topic of conversations held in
the virtual world and in the real one, ensuring a specific social position among the
group of friends.
Constantly and excessively repeated activities related to the use of digital media,
which give pleasure to the young user and let him or her “detach” from the real
problems, may lead to addiction. Therefore, digital media have a high addictive
potential that is based on “high unpredictability of events”. Additionally, the
emergence of social media, such as Facebook, creates an opportunity for such
a situation to appear among children. “Social networking portals have a strong
influence on young people and force them to almost constantly be on the Internet,
in fear that they would miss some event” (Spitzer, 2015). Despite a number of
negative aspects, education concerns the use of Facebook in developing attitudes
(Rosen et al., 2013), knowledge and skills among children and teenagers, which
at present seems to be more efficient than using the traditional teaching methods
(Frania, 2014).
20
Tomasz Huk
Research Methodology
The research area I explore is a certain section of reality concerning participation of children aged 10 – 12 in the Internet social media networks. An example of
this section is Facebook – a social network, which may be used by people above 13
years of age. The scarce research conducted in this field indicates that such services
are also used by younger children (Makaruk, 2013). Therefore, it is important to
undertake studies that would contribute to diagnosing this phenomenon among
children below 13, as well as to expanding the scientific knowledge in this respect.
I formulated the research problems on the basis of the “uses and gratifications
theory”, pursuant to which “using the media is determined by gaining a sense
of satisfaction from them, by the needs, wishes or motives of a potential user”.
The basic needs in this case are: “information, the need for relaxation, company,
entertainment or »escape«” (McQuail, 2008). On the basis of the aforementioned
theory, I formulated the research problem: Do children aged 10 – 12 use Facebook,
and if so – how?
The conducted research was quantitative and qualitative. In order to answer
the research problems, I used: a survey questionnaire addressed to children aged
10 – 12, a focus interview with children aged 10 – 12, an interview with the parents
of the examined pupils, as well as a quantitative analysis of the Facebook profiles
belonging to children aged 10 – 12. I randomly selected the sample, in which the
general population consisted of children aged 10 – 12, attending one of the Polish
schools. The sampling frame constituted the list of children attending the given
school, and thus the results obtained in the study may be generalised only for the
general population of this school or very similar populations. Assuming the level
of significance α=0.05 and the estimate error level e=0.05, I set the minimum
sample size as 157 children. The questionnaire covered 71 girls and 86 boys. The
focus interview was conducted with 10 children with their own Facebook profiles
and 2 parents of the children from the focus group. Due to the children’s attribute,
namely having a Facebook profile, I selected the respondents for the interview in
a purposeful manner, on the basis of the data obtained from the questionnaire.
I analysed 113 profiles of children aged 10 – 12, originating from the general population, who had a Facebook account.
The children came from a Polish town with 360 thousand inhabitants. Their
families belong to the middle class. The obtained results underwent statistical
analysis. In order to determine the relation between the age of the children taking
part in the study and the surveyed having a Facebook account, the χ2 test was used.
In turn, in order to determine the correlation between the selected variables, I used
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12
21
Pearson’s r formula. I also calculated the relation between the studied variables. For
statistical calculations, I used the Statistica program, version 12.
Results
In the study, the pupils were asked to state if they had a Facebook profile
(Table 1). In the examined sample, 71.97% of the pupils admitted that they had
a Facebook profile, including 87.5% of children aged 12. Analysis of the results
in this respect indicates that the number of Facebook profile holders increases
along with age. At this point, it should be emphasised that a profile on this social
networking site may be held by people who are at least 13 years of age – as stated
in the regulations. Therefore, the vast majority of the respondents have a Facebook
account, despite the restrictions of the website’s regulations. We can thus state that,
when setting up the profile, they stated untrue data related to their age. The results
obtained in the diagnostic survey underwent a statistical analysis. An alternative
hypothesis was adopted, indicating that the age of the examined person influences
holding a Facebook profile. Since χ2 emp> χ2 tab (13.7>7.815), it is determined with
the probability of 0.95 that there are grounds to reject H0. This means that the
older the child, the greater the likelihood of him/her having a Facebook account.
The research did not demonstrate any statistically significant differences between
having a Facebook account by girls (71.83%) and by boys (72.09%).
Table 1. Children having a Facebook account, with breakdown into age N=157
Age
10 years
11 years
12 years
Total
N
%
N
%
N
%
N
%
With a FB account
32
59.26
25
64.10
56
87.5
113
71.97
Without a FB account
22
40.74
14
35.90
8
12.5
44
28.03
Source: the author’s own studies
Analysis of Facebook accounts of the examined children indicates that the
average number of Facebook friends grows along with age (Table 2). 10-year-old
children have on average 108 friends, 11-year-olds – 180, and 12-year-olds – 201
friends. Girls have on average more friends (180) than boys (156). The analysis
also covered the number of photos posted by the user and photos with the user’s
face. The examined children on average have 40 photos on their profiles, including
on average 15 photos containing the face of the examined children. The girls have
Tomasz Huk
22
more photos on their profiles (49) than the boys (33). The photographs of the
examined girls also more often present their faces (23) than the photographs of the
examined boys (9). The obtained results indicate that the number of photos posted
on Facebook by children increases along with age. This trend persists also in the
case of photographs with the user on them. An important element of Facebook’s
functioning is obtaining and leaving “likes”. On average, the respondents receive
180 “likes” under the published photos. This number increases along with the age
of the users; a great difference can be observed between the “likes” received by
the surveyed girls (245) and by the surveyed boys (90). I have observed a similar
situation in the case of “likes” obtained under posts published by the surveyed.
Therefore, the number of obtained “likes” increases along with age, and the average
number of obtained “likes” is greater in the case of the examined girls (349) than
the examined boys (132).
Table 2. Variables concerning the analysed Facebook profiles of children aged
10 – 12, N=113
10
years
11
years
12
years
Total
Average number of friends
108
180
201
169
Average number of photos posted by the user
13
43
54
40
Average number of photos posted by the user which include
the user
7
13
20
15
Average number of all “likes” under the user’s photos
53
139
231
160
Average number of “likes” under the user’s posts
79
176
341
230
Average period of the profile’s functioning in months
20
30
32
28
Age
Source: the author’s own studies
Among the drawn sample, almost all the respondents gave their true full name
in their profile. The average time the examined have been present on Facebook is
28 months. 12-year-olds have been present on Facebook the longest. No significant
difference in this respect has been observed between the surveyed girls and boys.
Table 3 presents the use of Facebook by the surveyed children. It turns out
that 70.8% of the surveyed leave “likes” under photos, posts, videos of other users.
The second most often performed activity on Facebook is “posting photos” –
39.82% of the surveyed. The respondents successively indicated: “commenting on
posts and photos of other users” – 31.86% of the surveyed, “browsing profiles of
other users” – 26.55%, “publishing posts” – 21.24%, “leaving friend invitations”
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12
23
– 15.93%, “searching for friends” 13.27%. The respondents most rarely publish
videos – 7.08%. In five out of eight categories, the examined girls performed the
specified activities on Facebook more often than the boys. On the other hand, the
activities performed on Facebook more often by the boys than by the girls include:
“browsing profiles of other persons”, “publishing posts”, and “publishing videos”.
Table 3. The use of Facebook among children aged 10, 11 and 12, N=113
Age/Gender
I leave “likes”
under photos,
posts, videos of
other people
10 years
11 years
Girls
12 years
Boys
Total
N
%
N
%
N
%
N
%
N
%
N
%
18
56.25
18
72
44
78.57
39
76.47
41
66.19
80
70.80
I publish photos
9
28.13
12
48
24
42.85
23
45.1
22
35.48
45
39.82
I comment on
posts and photos
of other people
8
25
9
36
19
33.93
17
33.33
19
30.65
36
31.86
I browse other
people’s profiles
5
15.63
6
24
19
33.93
10
19.61
20
32.26
30
26.55
I publish my
own posts
6
18.75
6
24
12
21.43
8
15.69
16
25.81
24
21.24
I invite people to
the group of my
friends
4
12.5
2
8
12
21.43
10
19.61
8
12.90
18
15.93
I search for
friends
5
15.63
3
12
7
12.5
7
13.72
8
12.90
15
13.27
I publish videos
3
9.38
1
4
4
7.14
2
3.92
6
9.68
8
7.08
Source: the author’s own studies
The focus interviews conducted with children aged 10, 11 and 12 allowed for
formulating conclusions, which expanded on the questionnaire answers described
above and the analysis of Facebook profiles. The reasons for not having a Facebook account among the group of 10-year-olds are first of all associated with age
restrictions and prohibitions of their parents. Few answers indicated other reasons.
One of the children said: “I don’t want to have a Facebook account, because I am
not 13 years old. Because someone may call us names and hate us. Someone may
call us stupid, ugly and fat. Someone may keep sending us spam”. The group of
10-year-olds also includes those with their own profiles. Their answers indicate
24
Tomasz Huk
that they are aware of the prohibition related to the user’s age, which they broke.
These answers indicate obtaining some benefits related to the use of social media.
A 10 year-old girl argues for having a Facebook profile: “I can contact my friend
through Facebook. I only accept those friends I know in real life. I browse Youtubers’ posts. Through Facebook I access Messenger, where I can talk with my
friends, my mom, my parents, but not with strangers. When I publish my photos,
they are not detailed.”
The 11- and 12-year-old children who participated in the study in their answers
did not justify their illegal setting-up of a Facebook account, since this medium is
used for communicating with their peers and building friendships.
The group of parents has both opponents and proponents of a 10 – 12-year-old
child having a Facebook account. In the conducted interview, one of the mothers
admitted that she had set up a Facebook account for her 10-year-old daughter
herself, because she did not want her daughter to be rejected by her school peers.
The mother stated that she had full control over her daughter’s account and she
reacted on a current basis to any threats created by other users of this website.
On the other hand, the reasoning of the mother who opposed to her daughter
having a Facebook account was justified by protecting the daughter against
unwanted content and vulgar posts and photos published by others. The interview
was attended by parents who were unable to answer whether their children had
a Facebook account, since they had never asked their children about that and had
not talked with them about this topic.
The conducted research also covered a statistical analysis of selected variables
concerning Facebook profiles belonging to the examined children aged 10 – 12
(Table 4). Using Pearson’s r correlation, assuming p<0.05, it was examined whether
there is a statistically important correlation between the variables. The obtained
results indicate that a positive correlation exists between all variables, and thus
the value of one variable increases along with the value of another variable. The
correlation coefficients occur within the range of a weak correlation to a nearly
complete correlation (Guilford, 1964).
The largest coefficient value occurs between the “Number of all »likes« left
on Facebook under the photos of the examined children” and the “Number of
all »likes« left on Facebook under the posts of the examined children”. We can
observe a nearly complete correlation in this case, which indicates the following
relationship: the examined children, who obtain a lot of “likes” under their photos,
also obtain a lot of “likes” under their posts. Another nearly complete correlation
can be observed in the case of the following variables: “Number of photos posted
by the user, which include the user” and “Number of all »likes« under the user’s
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12
25
Table 4. Pearson’s r correlation between variables related to Facebook profiles
belonging to children aged 10 – 12, p < 0.05, N=113
Number of
Number of all
Number of
photos posted
“likes” under
photos posted
by the user,
the user’s
by the user
which include
posts
the user
Number of
friends
Period of
the profile’s
functioning
in months
Number of all
“likes” under
the user’s
photos
0.247347
0.434746
0.553044
0.371667
0.575075
Number of
photos posted by
the user
-
0.753011
0.650170
0.294312
0.648129
Number of
photos posted by
the user, which
include the user
-
-
0.948246
0.252100
0.918117
Number of all
“likes” under the
user’s posts
-
-
-
0.230072
0.980232
Period of
the profile’s
functioning in
months
-
-
-
-
0.230360
Source: the author’s own studies.
posts”. We can assume that the number of photos with the user contributes to the
increase in the number of “likes” left under the Facebook user’s posts. This relation
is not by any means obvious, since we can encounter a situation in which a child
posts a lot of photos on his or her Facebook account and publishes many posts,
which do not receive many “likes” due to low popularity of the child among the
Internet friends. A very high correlation can be also observed in the case of the
following variables: “Number of photos posted by the user, which include the user”
and “Number of all »likes« under the user’s photos”. This correlation indicates that
Facebook friends mainly leave “likes” under photos which include the owner of
a given profile. According to the research, children aged 10 – 12 mainly post photos
including their faces, which is indicated by another observed “high correlation”
between the “Number of all photos” and the “Number of photos with the profile
owner’s face”. In addition, the “Number of photos posted by the surveyed on Face-
26
Tomasz Huk
book” positively correlates with the “Number of obtained »likes« under posts and
under those photos”. The more the photos and posts, the more the “likes” obtained.
The statistical analysis indicated that the “Number of Facebook friends” correlates
with the “Number of obtained »likes« under the user’s photos and posts” – it is
a high correlation. On the other hand, the “Number of friends” shows an average
correlation with the “Number of photos” with the user and the “Period of the
profile’s functioning”. A weak correlation can be observed between: – “Number
of friends” and “Number of photos posted on Facebook”; – “Number of photos,
including photos showing the user” and “Period of the profile’s functioning”; –
“Number of obtained »likes«” and “Period of the profile’s functioning”; – “Number
of obtained »likes« under photos” and “Period of the profile’s functioning”.
Conclusions
The conducted research allowed for describing the reality related to the use
of social media by children aged 10 – 12, despite the commonly prevailing prohibition. This situation creates many problems, which are consciously ignored by
Facebook administrators, and also by parents and teachers. Especially the latter
should have a high level of competence concerning the children’s participation
in the cyberspace (Juszczyk, Kim, 2015). The essence of the problem involves
positive benefits gained by children under 13 years of age when using social
media, which they are not allowed to use. Let us not forget that the examined
children aged 10 – 12 use Facebook because it results from their natural need
to build social interactions with their peers. This thesis is consistent with the
“use and benefits theory”, the assumptions of which are based on the positive
aspect of using the media in order to search for information, build the person’s
own identity and social relations and fulfil their needs related to spending free
time. Therefore, steps should be taken which would allow for resolving the legal
conflict related to the use of Facebook by children under 13, as well as for development of an educational programme, the main objective of which would be
for 10 – 12-year-old users to gain competences concerning the proper use of the
social media. Such a programme should be included in the obligatory educational
content implemented in Polish schools.
Use of Facebook by Children Aged 10 – 12
27
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Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib,
Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
Indonesia
The Development of Character Education Model
to Improve Students’ Academic Independence in Islamic
Boarding School in Sinjai District, INDONESIA
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.02
Abstract
The objective of this research and development is to create a description of the
operational model of character education and to determine the effectiveness of
a character education model in enhancing students’ academic independence.
There are some results of this research. First, the description of the prototype
model of character education to enhance students’ academic independence
consists of five parts, namely rationalization of character education model;
supporting theories of character education model; components of character
education model; instructions for using character education model; and
development of character education model. Second, the operational model of
character education is supported by development tools and developed at five
stages, namely analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.
Third, the character education model is effective to enhance students’ academic
independence in Islamic Boarding School, Sinjai.
Keywords: character education, academic independence, Islamic boarding school
Introduction
Students should have good character and better morals. According to Agung
(2011) “The moral degradation are symptoms indicated resources by the increase
in drug abuse, free sex, crime, violent acts, and many other disrespectful behav-
30
Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib, Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
iors.” The issue of moral decadence does not only affect the Indonesian nation but
also America as a great nation, which experienced a moral crisis. Therefore, the
character education concept is a solution in shaping and improving the morals
of every nation. According to Dorothy L. Prestwich (2012), “…the rise in violent
crime and a general feeling by the public that American children suffered a crisis in
morals led to a resurgence of character education programs across the nation….”
According to Asmani (2011: 23), another factor that makes character education critical to put into practice is the acute problem that afflicts this nation. The
morality of this nation has been separated from the norm, religious, ethics, and
noble culture.
Lickona (1991: 29) also suggests that character education is the deliberate
effort to help people understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values.” In
addition, he reveals that “character education is the deliberate effort to cultivate
virtue—that is, objectively good human qualities—that are good for the person
and good for the whole society.”
Mulyasa argues (2013: 9) that the character education goal is to improve the
quality of the process and outcomes of education. It is confirmed by Jamaluddin (2013) that “… character education is essential to the implemented national
education curriculum.” Formation of character in the context of the totality of
the psychological and socio-cultural processes can be grouped into spiritual and
emotional development, intellectual development, physical and kinesthetic development, and affective creativity and development (MONE, 2010: 9).
Sagirani (2014) confirms that attitude and behavior of characters include five
areas: first, attitudes and behavior in relation to God. Second, attitudes and behavior in relation to oneself. Third, attitudes and behavior in relation to the family.
Fourth, attitudes and behavior in relation to society and the nation. Fifth, attitudes
and behavior in relation to the environment. Thus, in the formation of character,
we know the character expected from learners.
Character education must involve the methods, techniques, and materials that
make children have no reason or desiring the good preceded by the knowledge of
the value of goodness (knowing good), so they develop the attitude to love a good
deed (loving good), and finally they are willing to carry out good deeds (acting
good) (Lickona, 1991: 71).
Children will always be faced with a situation of this modern life that is increasingly complex. According to Tilaar, the complexities of the future provide two
choices of resignation to fate or to prepare as best as possible (Yamin & Sanan,
2013: 61). By looking at the above complexities, it is the task of education to
prepare children to be qualified and to have high self-reliance. It is also stated
The Development of Character Education Model
31
in the Law on the National Education System No. 20 of 2003, Chapter II Article
3. It is declared that “the National Education functions to develop the capability,
character, and civilization of the nation for enhancing its intellectual capacity, and
is aimed at developing learners’ potentials so that they become persons imbued
with human values, who are faithful and pious to one and only God; who possess
morals and noble character; who are healthy, knowledgeable, competent, creative,
independent; and as citizens, are democratic and responsible” (Arifin, 2003: 37).
The concept of coaching is directed to improve the quality of education and the
results obtained through the implementation and outcomes obtained through the
attainment of the formation of character, ethics, and good behavior of students as
a whole according to the standard of education that has been set (Setiawan, 2013:
47). This concept is not much different from the concept of character education in
general. Character education at the level of institutions leads to the formation of
a school culture, namely values that underlie behavior, traditions, customs, daily
life, and symbols that are practiced by all citizens of the school and the surrounding community (Asmani, 2011: 26).
According to Ronger (1990: 93), people are said to be independent if they can
work alone, they think by themselves, they prepare an expression or idea that is
understandable to others, and they authorize the conducted activities emotionally
by themselves. Meanwhile, Goodman and Smart (1999: 42) state that independence includes three aspects. First, independence is defined as behavior in which
its activities are directed themselves. They do not expect the direction of another
person, and even try and solve their own problems without asking for help from
others. Second, autonomy is the right to administer one’s own set or also called
the tendency to behave freely and originally. Third, self-reliance is a behavior that
is based on self-confidence.
Research Methodology
The development model in this study was designed by using ADDIE models.
ADDIE is an acronym for analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (Branch, 2010). The analysis step is an early stage activity or a preliminary
study. At this step, there are two kinds of activities, namely the literature review
and need assessment. Need assessment involves 30 teachers and 60 students, as the
source of data or respondents.
The main activity in the design step is analyzing the need for the development
of a model or new learning methods, and the feasibility and terms of model devel-
32
Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib, Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
opment or a new learning method (Mulyatiningsih, 2014: 200). The design step
that is conducted is the preparation of the prototype model of character education
to enhance the academic independence of the students of the Islamic Boarding
School. This prototype model becomes an operational model in research on the
development of students’ character education.
The development step contains three main activities, namely validation by
some expert, empirical validation by practitioners, and revision of the hypothetical model formulation of the operational model. The intended goal at this stage
is to determine the operational model of character education through training
programs to improve students’ academic independence.
The implementation step is a step in applying the model and its devices. This
step aims at determining the practicality and effectiveness of models and their
devices. The operational model is composed of the validation and development
of the model and its devices. Furthermore, operational testing or empirical testing is conducted to determine the effectiveness of the model. This effectiveness
testing is carried out through pre-experimental designs with One- One-Group
Pretest-Posttest Design. The subjects in the implementation of the model were ten
students of the ninth grade in MTs Darul Hikmah Sinjai.
The evaluation step consists of evaluation of the activities of the implementation
and evaluation of students’ academic independence. This step aims at determining whether implementation of the character education model can improve the
students’ academic independence or not. Furthermore, completion of the model
is developed as a final step. The deployment process can be conducted through
various media.
The subjects of this study consisted of 30 educators and 60 students in the need
analysis, three education experts in the content validation activities, ten educators
in the empirical validation (practitioners) and ten students in the effectiveness
testing. The design of the test used in the study was the development of a onegroup pretest-posttest design (Sugiyono, 2008: 75).
Research Results
In the analysis step, which is the first stage in the development of this model, the
respondents were given an instrument in the form of a questionnaire. The results
of the questionnaire with 25 items had been deployed to the educators of the six
Islamic boarding schools in Sinjai and five educators represented one boarding
school. The data, which were collected on the implementation of character educa-
The Development of Character Education Model
33
tion in the Islamic Boarding Schools, show 13% Very Good, 47% Good, 23% Poor,
and 17% Very Poor. It can be concluded that according to the educators, character
education at the Sinjai boarding school has been well implemented. The data are
presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1. The implementation of character education in Islamic Boarding
School in Sinjai
Data on the implementation of character education according to the educators
is contrary to the data obtained from the students in six boarding schools in
Sinjai. Based on the data from the questionnaires distributed to 60 students, it
was found that the implementation of character education was still relatively low.
It can be seen based on the 48 item questionnaire that was sent to the students
in six Islamic boarding schools, and ten students represent one boarding school.
The data collected on the implementation of character education at the Islamic
Boarding School in Sinjai are as follows: 26.67% very good, 20.00% good, and
36.67% poor, and 16.67% very poor. It can be concluded that the implementation
of character education according to the students is still relatively low.
The second step is the design stage. The researchers designed a book for the
character education model and its devices (manual for educators and students).
It is then continued in the development step. The activities in this step consist
of a validity test and empirical test performed by experts. The summary of the
validation results can be seen in Tables 1 and 2.
Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib, Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
34
Table 1. The results of the manual of the character education model
and its devices
Validator
Model & devices which
are assessed
Decision
3
Mean
R
Score Value Valid
1
Manual of the character
education model
3.56 3.80
3.57
3.64
0.996
Very
Valid
Feasible
2
Manual for Educators
3.33 3.66
3.35
3.45
0.995
Valid
Feasible/ Minor
Revision
3
Manual for Students
3.55 3.63
3.37
3.45
0.995
Valid
Feasible/ Minor
Revision
No
1
2
Feasible /Revision
Table 2. The results of the validity of the research instrument
No.
The Types of instruments which are
assessed
Validator
1
2
3
Mean
Score
R
Value
Decision
Valid
Feasible /Revision
1
Questionnaire of
students’ academic
independence
3.48 3.52 3.56 3.52
0.989
Vey
Valid
Feasible
2
Questionnaire for the
practicability of the
model (Educators’
Response)
3.43 3.10 3.43 3.32
0.986
Valid
Feasible/Minor
Revision
3
Questionnaire for
the practicability of
the model (Students’
Response)
3.17 3.50 3.17 3.28
0.969
Valid
Feasible/Minor
Revision
4
Observation sheet for
students’ activities
3.30 3.67 3.35 3.44
0.979
Valid
Feasible/Minor
Revision
The Practicality of Character Education Model
Based on the questionnaire of the educators’ response toward the practicability
of the model which is a manual of the model, it is found that the mean score is
3.70, categorized as very good, and it means that it is easy to be applied. Based on
the achievement of the objectives of the model, it is found that the average score
is 3.35, categorized “good” or easy to be applied. In the aspect of the students’
response, it is found that the mean score is 3.47, categorized “good” easy to be
implemented. In the aspect of the adequacy of time, it is determined that the mean
score is 3.20, and it is categorized “good” or easy to be applied. As a whole, it can
The Development of Character Education Model
35
be concluded that the educators’ response to the level of the practicability of the
character education model is categorized as “good” or easy to be applied, in which
the mean score is 3.44.
Questionnaires were given to the students to determine the practicality of the
implementation of the character education model. The results of data analysis
show that the average score in the preliminary activities is 3.40, categorized as
“good” or easy to understand. In the core activities, the average score is 3.51
with very good category or very easy to understand. At the closing activities, the
average score is 3.50 with a good category or easy to understand. Overall, it can
be concluded that the students’ response to the implementation of the character
education model is in the good category or easy to comprehend.
The Effectiveness of Character Education Model
The effectiveness of the model in this research can be seen in the difference
results of the questionnaire on the students’ academic independence before and
after the implementation of the character education model.
Table 3. Paired Samples Statistics
Pair 1
Mean
N
Std. Deviation
Std. Error
Mean
Students’ academic independence
before the implementation of the
character education model
73.90
10
3.348
1.059
Students’ academic independence
after the implementation of the character education model
95.90
10
3.414
1.080
The mean score of the students’ academic independence before the implementation of the character education model was 73.90. However, after the implementaion of the character education model, the average score was 95.90. Therefore,
it can be concluded that there is a significant increase in the students’ academic
independence after the implementaion of the character education model.
Testing whether there are significant differences in the mean scores of the
students’ independence before and after the implementation of the character
education model was conducted by formulation of hypotheses.
It shows that t count = -46.669 and t table in the distribution table at the level
of 95% (α = 5 percent and therefore it is a two-sided t-test, then the value of the
referenced α is α / 2 = 5% = 0.025) and the degree of freedom (df) = n-1 = 10 – 1 = 9,
Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib, Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
36
so the t table = t (0.025; 9) = 2.262. The value of t count > t table means that it is
outside the reception area (H o). Therefore, it is decided that Ho is rejected.
To determine the criteria for the development of the students’ academic independence before and after the implementation of the character education model,
it was then calculated with the use of the equation N - gain as follows:
g = S - S pre post
S max - S pre
S pre = score on the pretest
S post = score on the posttest
S max = maximum score that can be obtained
g = gain (Evelyn & Casey, 1982)
g = 0.48
The g value is 0.48, and therefore the criteria for the development of the students’
academic independence in the Islamic boarding school of Darul Hikmah Sinjai
after the implementation of the character education model is in the fair category.
It is based on the criteria for the level of N-gain (0.3 ≤ g ≤ 0.7).
Discussion
Operational Model of Character Education
The operational model of character education is supported by guidance devices
and is developed in five steps, namely analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluations. Then a guidance model is produced that is valid and
practical. It is valid based on the results of expert validation of three experts and
ten practitioners. Practical implementation of the model relies on the results of the
educators’ response and the students’ response.
The Validity of the Model and its Devices
The average total validity is 3.64. If this value is confirmed with the criterion
of the validity of the model, it is categorized as very valid (3.5 ≤ x ≤ 4). The results
of expert validation of the manual for the educators show that the average total
validity is 3.45. Therefore, it can be concluded that the character education model
meets the validity criterion.
The Development of Character Education Model
37
The results of this empirical validation show that the character education model
and its devices are feasible. This feasibility can be seen in the results of the analysis,
which indicate that the average value of the total value of practitioners for the
book is 3.45. If this value is confirmed in the assessment criteria, it is categorized
as good or very feasible (2.5 ≤ X <3.5). The results of the analysis indicate that the
average value of the total value of the practitioners for the manual for students is
3.53. If this value is confirmed in the assessment criteria, it is categorized as very
good or very feasible (3.5 ≤ x ≤ 4). Therefore, the character education model and
its devices in all aspects meet the feasibility criteria.
Practicality of the Character Education Model and its Devices
The character education model and its devices are considered to be practical
based on the achievement of practicality indicators. The results of the analysis
explained that the average value of the educators’ responses concerning the practicality of the implementation of the character education model is 3.44. If this
value is confirmed in the assessment criteria, it is categorized as good or practical
to use (2.5 ≤ 3.5). Therefore, in terms of the implementation of the character
education model in the educators’ response, it meets the criteria of practicality.
The results of the analysis explain that the average value of the educators’ and
students’ responses concerning the practicality of the implementation of the
character education model is 3.44. Therefore, in terms of the implementation of
the character education model in the students’ response, it meets the criteria of
practicality.
The Effectiveness of Character Education Model
The effectiveness of the character education model is researched by two
instruments, namely observation of students’ activity and observation of students’
independence. The results of the analysis indicated that the average value of the
students’ activity during the implementation of the character education program
is 3.68. If this value is confirmed in the assessment criteria, then it includes the
very good category or entrenched (3.5 ≤ x ≤ 4). Therefore, in terms of the students’
activity in carrying out the process of the character education program, it meets
the effectiveness criteria.
Before the implementation of the character education model is 73.90. The
average score after the implementation of the character education model is 95.90.
To determine whether the students’ independence develops or not before and after
the implementation of the character education model, it is calculated using the
equation N – gain, and the result is 0.48 g.
38
Ismail, Syamsul Bachri Thalib, Sulaiman Samad, Ramlan Mahmud
Conclusions
Based on the research and development of the character education model to
increase the students’ independence, some conclusions can be drawn. First, the
description of the prototype model of character education to enhance students’
academic independence at the Islamic boarding school in Sinjai District consists
of five parts, namely rationalization of the character education model; supporting theories of the character education model; components of the character
education model; the instructions for using the character education model; and
development of the character education model. Second, the operational model
of character education supported by development tools and developed through
the stages of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation
produced a valid and practical development model. It is based on the results of
the experts’ and practitioners’ validation of the character education model and
development tools. It is also based on the indicators, such as the practicability of
the character education model as well as the students’ and teachers’ response to
the implementation of the model and its devices. Third, the model of character
education is effective to enhance the students’ academic independence in Islamic
Boarding School, Sinjai.
References
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Evelyn & Casey (1982). Research Methods in Education, Wadsworth Pub.Co
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Gaung Persada Press Group.
Blahoslav Kraus
Czech Republic
Upbringing and Socialization
in the Contemporary Family
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.03
Abstract
This article looks into the process of socialization and upbringing in contemporary families. First, it describes the contemporary family, which has gone
through a major transformation, just like the whole society. The contemporary
family is characterized by destabilization, democratization, and disintegration,
and all these problems affect the upbringing of children and the process of
socialization.
Keywords: family, socialization, upbringing, society, child
The State of the Contemporary Family
Family, directly and indirectly, reflects the state of society and the conditions
that society creates for it. In the course of the last twenty years, changes have been
noticed in the context of the transformation of the whole society, which were not
noticed in decades before.
According to Fukuyama, all of the serious problems that accompany the transformation of society in recent years (such as individualisms, society’s dynamics
including the shifts in standards and values, liberalisms, consumerist style of life,
etc.) have mostly affected the: a) reproduction, b) family, and c) relationships
between a man and a woman (Fukuyama, 2006, p. 48). Due to the strong decrease
in the legitimately based families, there is a growing trend of cohabitation without
Upbringing and Socialization in the Contemporary Family
41
entering into marriage. In the 1960s, 95% of children were born in marriage.
Today, by contrast, over 40% of children are born outside of marriage.
Starting a family is becoming a dilemma, especially for young women. What to
put first? How to arrange everything so she can manage her professional career and
functioning of the family with children simultaneously? (Višňovský, Hroncová et
al., 2010)
During the last decade, there has been a significant democratization in the lives
of families. Overall, however, we can observe that the emancipatory efforts “went
wrong“ to some extent, and a great part of women are increasingly showing off
their self-reliance, ability to take care of themselves, which also somewhat sends
a message that they do not need men in their lives.
One of the significant impacts of the social changes in the family life is its
disintegration. The living of the contemporary family is often described as “living
next to each other“ rather than “living together“. There is a growing number of
families where the individual members only encounter, correspond, or cease to
communicate with each other at all. For example, most families do not even gather
for a meal. 43% of families say that they gather for dinner every day, and 15% gather
only at weekends, when 45% gather even for lunch (Kraus, Jedličková, 2007, p. 302).
The problem of communication is quite fundamental for the family functioning.
Our research confirms that the family bond is mostly strengthened by factors such
as mutual communication, shared hobbies, and leisure time spent together. Only
then follows eroticism, sexuality, etc. In our research, the most frequent answer
(88%) to the question of what keeps the family together the most was “that I can
count on someone, I have emotional background“ (Kraus, Jedličková, 2007, p. 298).
There is another phenomenon that cannot be forgotten, which has impacted the
current family, and that is the media. Livingstone (2002), in relation to the family’s
lifestyle, refers to the decrease in the so-called “street culture“ and the increase
in the media-rich households, and states that children spend they leisure time at
home instead of in the freely available places outside as they used to.
Also the socio-economic situation of families today determines their lifestyle and sometimes becomes a truly risk factor for all of their members. The
importance of the socio-economic situation in the current lives of families was
also confirmed by our extensive “Lifestyle of the Contemporary Czech Family“
research (1307 families), which took place at the turn of 2013/14 and was carried
out within the ESP project “Development and Support of the Multidisciplinary
Research Team at Hradec Králové University Concerning Contemporary Family“.
The first question aiming at the mentioned issue (“How do you picture a happy
family?“) anticipated a free answer. Most of the respondents considered the health
42
Blahoslav Kraus
of all of the family members to be the most important condition for a happy
family. 51.2% of all the respondents shared this opinion. They also considered the
financial security and social background without debt and mortgage (43.4% of all
the answers) to be almost as important for a happy family. More than a third of the
respondents (36.5%) then reported a good climate in the family, based on the harmonious relationships and understanding, as another condition for a happy family.
With a certain distance (22.7%), there appeared opinions associated with the need
for spending leisure time together, vacations, and space for hobbies. Nearly 20%
of the respondents considered mutual trust, tolerance, respect, reliability between
family members to be also a condition for a happy family.
Next question: “What do you need in order to have a happy family?“ was
included, with the intention of explaining the respondents’ opinions provided in
the previous section. The dominating opinion, on the top spot with 37.4%, was
material and financial security. Second was the opinion related to the lack of time
spent together and the development of common interests (25.2%).
As a result of all the internal changes of the family, it is possible to observe
the growing number of families that function with great difficulty, or unable to
function at all. Summing up the problems in the functioning of families, a classification of the variants of types of dysfunctional families according to J. Kučírek
is suggested:
1. Asymmetrical family of type A (a father, mother, and one child, in a coalition
against the second child/children).
2. Asymmetrical family of type B (a father or mother in a coalition with all the
children against the other parent).
3. Generation gap (a strong bond between the father and mother – child/
children are strongly marginalized).
4. Uncommitted family (a family with indifferent relationships, without bonds
or family cohesion).
5. Non-integrated family (chaotic relationships, conflicts, lack of cohesion,
hostility within the family, none of the family members has responsibility).
6. Schismatic family (two coalitions, one child with father, the other child with
mother, or father in coalition with daughter and mother with son).
7. Family with unclear intergenerational borders (children are being manipulated into inappropriate roles and parents temporarily pose themselves as
“friends“).
8. Externally integrated family (immature parents who are dependent on the
social and economic support of their families and social services, and also
children dependent on their parents).
Upbringing and Socialization in the Contemporary Family
43
9. Socially closed family (excessive cohesion in families, disrupted contacts
with the outer world because of the risks of society).
10. Repressive family (anxiously neurotic, perfectionistic; family who refuses to
give vent to negative feelings so that they can be transformed into a variety
of somatic or mental symptoms).
11. Pseudo-democratic family (even relationships between parents and children,
generational boundaries, loss of parental authority) (Kučírek, 2014, p. 106)
The Process of Socialization in Families
Family is the bearer of primary socialization, and lays foundations for the child’s
personality. Right from birth, every person “absorbs“ everything that happens
around him/her that he/she perceives. It is stronger than other influences that
come later (e.g., at school).
Parental autonomy can have several variations:
1. Democratic concept - a modification of the traditional one, it also allows
for the obligation to keep to the values of parents, and gives the floor to the
discussion about other values.
2. Moderately liberal concept - assumes the parents’ right to try to make their
child adopt their value system, although, parents of a reasonable age support
their child to also freely acquaint with other value systems.
3. Consistently liberal concept of parental autonomy – the child is allowed to
keep whichever value system it chooses. Parents only protect their child
against the effects that might restrict the child’s choice (Možný, 1999, p. 132).
The mentioned changes in family life are reflected in the socialization process.
The democratization tendencies can be noticed not only in the relationship between
spouses, but also the parents - child level. It is possible to see better partnership
relationships and a much more tolerant approach to children. The question is
whether this shift is unequivocally to the child’s personality development benefit,
and whether the “camaraderie“ is not sometimes taken advantage of by the child
and does not cause the child to generally stop perceiving the authorities, and
therefore contribute to the destruction of any restraints in their behaviour.
The disintegration of family life affects mainly the children. They experience
the absence of a stable background the most. Therefore, in our research, we were
interested in the extent to which the family spends time together. Overall, the
disintegration was confirmed, as almost 40% of the cases stated that they did
not spend practically any time together. If we look at the specific activities, then
44
Blahoslav Kraus
as many as 67% showed only the sport activities (17% of which stated “with the
spouse or partner”, 30% “with the children”).
If, at all, the family members spend any time together, then the dominating
activities are walks and trips (87.9%), and watching TV (86.2%), the least frequent
joint leisure time activity in families is reading (10.8%).
Sport, as a joint leisure time activity, is preferred by 55.6% of the families
regardless of the parents’ age. Statistically significant dependence was proved in
the parents’ education (the higher the education the more the sports activities
preferred in the joint leisure time). Also, families with both parents/partners do
sport more often.
With regard to a certain commercialization of leisure time, we wondered
whether families spend their joint leisure time also in the passive way (e.g.,
collective playing of computer games), or whether active leisure time content
prevails. In the area of playing, only about 1/3 of the families play computer
games in their joint leisure time (a statistically significant difference was detected
with regard to the parents’ age), however, the answer “often” was reported only
in less than 3%.
The way of resolving conflicts plays an important role in the socialization process in families. It has been proved that the individuals living in the family with too
many open conflicts between the parents and siblings tend to have more problems
in interpersonal relationships, as opposed by the children growing up in a peaceful
family environment. A lot of blame, aggressive defence, irrelevant and emotional
discussions often occur in their families (Snyder, Patterson, 1987).
The process of emancipation of women has brought substantial changes for
women themselves, as well as for men. Over the past decade, there has been a significant equalization of the activities of both genders. Simultaneously, the shifts
in the roles, and especially the decline in the men’s and fathers’ authority may be
noted. That can also have an impact on the development of boys’ personality and
upbringing and even lead to deviant behaviour.
In connection with the issue of parental roles’ organization, we find the following three models of distribution of roles within the family, as stated by Maříková,
quite accurate:
1. The most common model is the one which may be described as: “most things
are up to the woman“. Even though men engage in the child’s upbringing and
care in this model, they function as helpers to women (mothers), not as
equal partners. In principle, they hold the traditional view that caring for
a child is primarily a matter of its mother. They take part in it only if needed,
or when they want to.
Upbringing and Socialization in the Contemporary Family
45
2) In a part of families, there is still a fairly conservative model of child care,
which might be described as: “everything is up to the woman“. She spends the most
time with the children, the major share of the responsibility for the children’s
upbringing rests on her shoulders.
Men represent the traditional father type, which, however, has two variants. The
first type is known from the past and does not really attend to the family, even
though there are no objective reasons for it. The second type is a new version of
the old type, i.e. “new traditional fathers“ whose profession and success is most
important for them (they do business, hold managerial positions). They “compensate“ their time business for a form of high financial security for the family, which
allows the women not to work.
3) The least common model is the partnership model, where the parents’ involvement in the care for the child and its upbringing is relatively the most balanced.
The men are convinced that they should actively participate in the care for the
children and the running of the household, and they do so. Some of these fathers
are on parental leave (Maříková, 2006, p. 86).
The issue of the family roles is distinctly affected by their previous development
and the current society-wide climate. The thinking in terms of “we parents and
the children” is changing into “me and maybe my partner, and alternatively the
children”, or even just “me and my children”. This suggests that the process of
individualization has affected even the families (Potančok, 2010).
We mentioned the high divorce rate. To that we must also add many breaking
up couples, which do not reflect in the statistics. Thus, we should rather speak
about the disintegration of this cohabitation in general. The vast majority of
parents live apart after the break up. The problems of when and where will the
child live arise. According to the international comparative studies, if the children
are raised by only one parent (in most cases the mother), they have more psychological and health problems, worse results at school, and their overall behaviour
is more risky.
Very often, there is an absence of the male behaviour model from the early
childhood. Such a boy lives in a female environment at home, kindergarten,
and school. At the time of coming of age, most of them realize it, and somewhat
“groping”, they either really identify with the female models, which results in an
increase in the number of men with effeminate behaviour, or they try to “throw the
switch” onto the male track, but their model is mainly the behaviour presented by
the media, which means that manliness equals presentation of power, aggression.
Another consequence of this situation is that there is a significant decrease in
the manual skills of children. It used to be common for children to participate in
46
Blahoslav Kraus
the housework with their parents. Especially boys do not have this opportunity
today. Therefore, there are only a few of those who choose apprenticeship. In addition, many apprentices are not able to finish their apprenticeship because they are
not able to manage the demands of the craft.
In the case of girls, they also lack the model of male behaviour as a model of
their future partner, and there is a similar groping when the young women actually
do not know how their partner should behave, what to expect from a man, and the
result is a difficulty in starting new relationships
Another complicated situation appears in the case where there is a stepfather
in the family. Stepfathers are the ones who often torture and abuse the children
of their partners. The process of socialization in the family is connected with the
overall socio-psychological climate in the family. Cherrie uses an even broader
concept and talks about a culture of the family. According to her, the culture
includes four basic aspects: the family atmosphere, family cohesion, communication within the family, and process of learning (Cherrie, 2008).
The Process of Upbringing in Families
Family is not only the first and deciding factor in the process of socialization, but
also in upbringing. Various styles of upbringing are being applied in the process
of family upbringing. J. Hroncová states the following: Authoritative upbringing is
based on the dominant influence of the parents and the directive effect. Uncompromising upbringing is a kind of intensified type where the parents place categorical
demands and do not allow any exceptions. Perfectionistic upbringing, where the
child is directed in its actions in every detail and is under constant pressure, and
especially the brutal upbringing, based on tough upbringing methods, both involve
corporal punishments.
A definite opposite of these approaches is the liberal upbringing, where the
children are allowed everything and there are no rules. Specific types are the
mercantile upbringing (unjustified rewarding) and the querulous upbringing
(the parents feel that the child is constantly being treated unjustly, and that
the demands placed on it are bigger compared to others and so they justify
it). Another specific type is the pathological upbringing, which takes place in
a pathological environment (alcoholism, crime, prostitution). The most appropriate is considered the democratic upbringing, which is based on the respect for
individuality, the child’s personality, and the interactive and dialogic relationship
(Hroncová, 2010, p. 134).
Upbringing and Socialization in the Contemporary Family
47
Maccoby and Martin speak, in connection with the upbringing styles, about four
basic components and their quantitative and qualitative combinations. They are
the positive and negative requirements and the degrees of freedom. The decisive
factor is the emotional attitude towards the child and the nature of the upbringing
influence (Maccoby, Martin, 1983).
Regarding the upbringing styles, we can say that the risks from the perspective
of personality shaping are always the extremes. Today, the fairly typical style is the
liberal one. It is obvious, and research confirms it, that a substantial part of the
risk children and youth comes from the families of this upbringing style, where
the child is not used to certain rules and their observing, certain commands,
prohibitions and their respecting. Such a situation occurs in the families where
only the mother provides upbringing.
The opposite extreme is too strict authoritative upbringing. It has been proved
that too tough discipline and aggressive manifestations of parents towards their
child often lead to similar manifestations of the children. The child in such a family
learns aggressiveness as an allowed kind of behaviour. This often occurs in families
where the stepfather interferes in the upbringing.
However, Nolting and Paulus add that not even the authoritative style can
in principle be considered harmful. They state that this style requires from the
children obedience, respect for authorities, and overall reasonable behaviour
corresponding with the social standards. However, everything that the parents
require needs to be justified, and the child’s feelings also need to be taken into
consideration (Nolting, Paulus, 1992).
If upbringing is to be successful, it must be based on appropriate authority.
Many parents do not realize that they cannot gain authority by creating it in an
unsuitable manner. An example of that is authority based on oppression (enforcement by crying, threatening), distance (parents do not talk with their children
much), moralizing (parents analyse every little thing so they can admonish), conceit (parents emphasize their own success, social status), but also authority based
on excessive kindness (exaggerated expressions of love), and authority built on
bribing (obedience is bought by gifts, promises, money) (Manniová, 2007, p. 36).
Covey (1999) lists four tasks that a parent needs to fulfil in order to gain authority: be a role model, give advice (to create trust), organize (to create system and
order), and strengthen the positive behaviour.
There are also other problems related to the character of upbringing in the family. A common cause of children’s failure and deviant behaviour is also inconsistent
upbringing (one time the parents punish their child for something, the other time
they do not), or upbringing interconnected by an unequal approach of the parents
48
Blahoslav Kraus
(mother has different requirements than father). Again, in this context, the situation is complicated by the fact that one of the parents is often not biological, thus
it is even harder to observe the required principles.
Not only does a large number of families show functioning troubles, but it is
also possible to observe significant problems in upbringing, in other words the
parental role or parenthood failures. Šulová (2004) divides them as follows:
Parents cannot take care of their child due to the disruption of the family as
a whole in particular (e.g., death) or due to adverse conditions (e.g., war).
Parents are not able to take care for their child, e.g., due to their own immaturity.
Parents do not want to take care for their child and do not provide the child with
necessary care. The lack of interest and even hostility is outweighing in this case,
and the neglect of the children occurs.
Parents take hyper-protective (excessive) care of their child, which can result in
a very spoiled individual who is not capable of self-reliance.
Currently, it may be stated that there are more and more problems in all of
the cases above. In the first case, it is frequent, in the context of the mentioned
socio-economic situation, particularly in such cases where there is even a disability
present, whether on the child’s or parents’ side. In the second case, we must state
that, despite all efforts, there has been no progress in the area of systematic preparation for parenting. One has to go through demanding preparation in order to be
able to drive a vehicle, the managing and upbringing of one’s own child, though,
is still more or less intuitive. In the third case, it does not have to solely consider
the antisocial cases, it can also occur in the case of two-carrier cohabitation where
there is not enough time for children.
In connection with the family’s participation in personality formation, it is necessary to search for the salutoprotective factors. I. Emmerová includes among them
the strong emotional bond between children and parents, clear rules, adequate
care, and plenty of time for the child, correct value orientation, reasonable and
clear expectations of children, functioning intergenerational relationships, natural
authority, parents’ cooperation in upbringing, plenty of desirable models, quality
interests, and a lack of socio-pathological behaviour in the family (Emmerová, ).
Acknowledgements: The paper was created within the realization of the ESF project
“Development and Support of the Multidisciplinary Research Team at Hradec Králové
University Concerning Contemporary Family“, CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0209.
Upbringing and Socialization in the Contemporary Family
49
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Petr Kutáč
Czech Republic
The Development of School Bag Weight as a Risk Factor
for Poor Posture During School Attendance
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.04
Abstract
The submitted study addresses the weight of school bags as one of the risk
factors of poor posture in pupils during mandatory school attendance. The
research group included 680 children aged 6 to 14. The weight of the school
bag was measured during one workweek from Monday to Friday. The results
showed that many early school age pupils are overburdened with an inappropriate school bag weight. The weight of the empty school bag that exceeds the
permitted weight according to the Czech national standard has a significant
effect on the total weight of the school bag. Teachers should participate in the
remedy of the situation. They should not only look for possible solutions, but
also educate the parents of the pupils in this matter.
Keywords: empty school bag, full school bag, back pain, contents of the school bag
Introduction
A healthy development of the child’s locomotor system is the foundation for
the future life quality of each individual. Locomotor defects are becoming more
and more common due to the current lifestyle and the related hypokinetic trends
related to the prevailing static load in the sitting position. Such defects are manifested by poor posture and back pain as early as in school age children (Kratěnová,
Zeliglicová, Malý, & Filipová, 2007; Ståhl, El-Metwally, & Rimpelä, 2014; Taimela,
Kujala, Salminen, & Viljanen, 1997; Troussier et al., 1999). The fact that the child
The Development of School Bag Weight as a Risk Factor
51
spends about 1/3 of daily wakefulness at school (Sigmund, Sigmundová, Hamrik,
& Madarásová Gecková, 2014) makes the school environment an important factor
that may affect the condition of the child’s bearing and locomotor system. This
implies the importance of the teacher’s role as the teacher is one of the fundamental factors in the education process who is responsible for its preparation,
organization, management and results (Průcha, Walterová, & Mareš, 2003) but
who also disposes of most of the child’s worktime. Therefore, the teacher has
a great capacity to influence and shape pupils’ positive habits that will lead to
a healthy lifestyle and therefore to the prevention of civilizational diseases that
currently include back pain. The significance of leading pupils to a healthy lifestyle
is also confirmed by the formation of the People and Health section within the
Framework Education Program (Válková, 2008; Vlček & Janík, 2010). This area
also includes the subjects of physical education and education to health. However,
that does not mean that only teachers of those subjects should participate in the
development of a healthy lifestyle and elimination of negative effects. In particular,
teachers of lower grades spend a large part of the school day with their pupils in
their class. Teachers can influence pupils, namely, in the prevention of negative
effects of the school environment on children’s bearing and locomotor system.
Such negative effects associated with long static work in inappropriate positions
during educational activities and also the school furniture, the construction of
which does not have to meet the pupils’ physical proportions (Syazwan et al., 2011).
Who else can influence the method of work and position during education than
the teacher of the specific subject? Therefore, the commonly stated professional
competences of the teacher should also include the competence related to the
area of a healthy lifestyle in addition to competences related to their field of study
and subjects: didactic and psycho-didactic; generally educational; diagnostic and
interventional; social, psycho-social and interventional; managerial and normative
(Průcha, 2002; Spilková, 2004; Vašutová, 2001). One of the other negative factors
is children’s inappropriate load in the form of learning aids and other things that
children carry in their school bags to school every day (Abrahams, Ellapen Van
Heerden, & Vanker, 2011; Forjuoh, Schumannet, & Lane, 2004). The problem is that
there is no binding legal standard for the weight of the school bag. In the Czech
Republic, there is only a national standard for the weight of an empty school bag
(CSN 796506). The permitted weight of an empty school bag is 1.2 kg for pupils at
the elementary level (6 – 11 years old) up to 1.4 kg for pupils at the secondary level
(12 – 15 years). The question is what the weight of the school bag really is and how
it affects the pupil’s total body weight. Obtaining such information, particularly
when the overburden of pupils is confirmed, is the condition for the teacher’s
52
Petr Kutáč
appropriate activity, whether it concerns a measure of the school that will reduce
the weight of the school bags, or education aimed at parents.
The objective of the study is to analyze the weight of the school bag in relation
to pupils’ changing body weight during mandatory school attendance.
Methods
Participants
The study group included 680 children, boys and girls, aged 6 – 14. The monitored pupils participated in mandatory school attendance. They were categorized
in the corresponding age group according to the WHO. An individual is assigned
to an age category when the chronological age within the annual range is exceeded
(e.g., 11 years old = 11.00 – 11.99 years old). The rates of frequency in the individual
age categories and the basic anthropometric parameters are presented in Table
1. The research only included participants whose legal representatives signed an
informed consent with the measurement.
Procedures
On the first day, the body height (BH), body mass (BM) and the weight of the
empty school bag (WSBE) of each pupil were measured. The pupils were described
the areas of their backs (neck, chest, lumbar) so that they could specify a potential
occurrence of pain. The weight of the full school bags (WSBF) was measured on
all days, recording the contents of the school bags and back pain occurrence. The
back pain occurrence table only included those pupils who suffered from back
pain every day.
The body height was measured by Anthropometer A-226 (Trystom, Czech
Republic), the body mass (BM) was measured in underwear using the Salter 9106
digital scale (Salter, HoMedics Group, UK). WSBE and WSBF were measured in the
following way: the pupil was first weighed without the school bag and then he/she
put on the school bag and was weighed again. The weight with the school bag was
deducted from the weight without the school bag.
Statistical Analysis
The results were statistically processed by PASW Statistics ver. 19.0 software
(IBM Company, USA). The normality of distribution was verified using the Shapiro-Wilk test. The normality of data distribution was not disturbed. Therefore, we
used one-way ANOVA to assess the statistical significance of the differences in
The Development of School Bag Weight as a Risk Factor
53
the means of the monitored parameters. To determine between which age groups
there were statistically significant differences, we used the post hoc test (GamesHowel test). The statistical significance level was set at α = 0.05 for all the used
tests. The values that showed statistical significance were also assessed for practical
significance. To assess practical significance, we used the effect of size (ES) by
Cohen. The recommendations for ES assessed by Cohen’s d: 0.2 = small effect,
0.5 = medium effect, 0.8 = large effect (Cohen, 1988). The practical significance
level was set at d ≥ 0.5.
The study protocol was approved by the Ethics and Research Committee of the
University of Ostrava. All the participants signed an informed consent form.
Results
Table 1 presents the basic anthropometric characteristics of the monitored
pupils and parameters related to the weight of the school bag. The mean value
of WSBF as well as the mean value of the percentage share of the weight of the
school bag in the pupil’s body mass (% BM) was calculated as a mean of the values
measured on the individual days of the school week (Monday – Friday).
Table 1. Basic Characteristics of the Monitored Pupils and Weight
of the School Bag
Age
(years)
n
BH (cm)
M±SD
BM (kg)
M±SD
WSBE (kg)
M±SD
WSBF (kg)
M±SD
% BM
M±SD
6
71
120.6±4.7
22.6±3.3
1.7±0.7
3.9±0.7
17.6±3.7
7
73
130.5±4.9
29.5±4.7
1.6±0.3
4.7±0.9
16.0±3.3
8
76
135.3±5.6
31.0±5.4
1.5±0.7
4.4±0.9
14.2±4.4
9
79
139.6±6.8
34.0±7.5
1.0±0.4
4.6±0.9
13.7±4.2
10
72
150.5±7.5
38.3±7.8
1.0±0.4
5.1±0.6
13.5±3.5
11
76
154.0±6.2
46.6±7.7
0.9±0.3
5.2±1.1
11.5±3.3
12
80
162.9±8.7
51.3±11.0
0.8±0.3
4.4±0.7
9.1±2.4
13
76
165.7±7.1
54.0±8.6
0.8±0.3
4.7±1.0
8.9±2.6
14
77
169.1±7.3
61.6±11.6
0.7±0.3
4.5±0.5
7.7±2.4
n – frequency, BH – body height, BM – body mass, WSBE – weight of the empty school bag, WSBF –
weight of the full school bag, % BM – percentage of the total body mass of the participants, M – mean,
SD – standard deviation
Petr Kutáč
54
The ANOVA results confirmed statistically significant differences with regard
to the age in all the monitored parameters (WSBE, WSBF, % BM), p<0.001. Table 2
shows the groups between which the differences were statistically significant.
Table 2. Post Hoc Test Results
Age
(years)
WSBE (kg)
WSBF (kg)
% BM
6.
7, 8, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*,
14* years
7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*,
13*, 14* years
8*, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*,
14* years
7.
6, 8, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*,
14* years
6*, 8, 10, 11 years
8, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*,
14* years.
8.
6, 7, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*,
14* years
6*, 7, 9, 14 years
6*, 7, 12*, 13*, 14* years
9.
6*, 7*, 8* years
6*, 7, 11 years
6*, 7*, 11, 12*, 13*, 14*
years
10.
6*, 7*, 8* years
6*, 7, 12*, 14* years
6*, 7*, 11, 12*, 13*, 14*
years
11.
6*, 7*, 8* years
6*, 7, 9, 12*, 14* years
6*, 7*, 8*, 9, 10, 12*, 13*,
14* years
12.
6*, 7*, 8* years
6*, 10*, 11* years
6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*years
13.
6*, 7*, 8* years
6* years
6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*years
14.
6*, 7*, 8* years
6*, 10*, 11* years
6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*years
WSBE – weight of the empty school bag, WSBF – weight of the full school bag, % BM – percentage
of the total body mass of the participants, * practical significance d ≥ 0.5
As for the weight of the empty school bag (WSBE), it was determined that
the 6-year-old pupils’ empty school bags are the heaviest. However, no practical
significance between the weight of their bags and the weight of the 7-year-old
and 8-year-old pupils’ empty bags was found. Practical significance was confirmed
between the weights of the 6 to 8-year-old pupils’ empty school bags and the 9 to
14-year-old pupils’ empty school bags (Table 2). The value of Cohen’s d was always
higher than 0.8 (large effect). Therefore, the difference found can be labelled as
large.
When compared with other pupils, the 6-year-old pupils had the lightest full
school bags (WSBF). The differences found were both statistically and practically significant (Table 2). Practical significance ranged from medium to large
(d = 0.6 – 1.8). Table 2 provides a detailed analysis of the differences in WSBF
between the individual age groups.
The Development of School Bag Weight as a Risk Factor
55
The largest share of the weight of the school bag (WSBF) in the total body mass
was found in the 6-year-old pupils. The mean difference in the percentage share
of the weight of the school bag in total mass between the 6-year-old pupils and
older pupils was statistically and practically significant. The size of the difference
was large in all cases, the value of Cohen’s d always exceeded the value of 0.8
(d = 0.83 – 3.23). The 7-year-old pupils were the only exception as no statistical
significance was confirmed in this group (Table 2). Table 2 provides a detailed
analysis of the differences in between other age groups.
Discussion
There are several professional studies that deal with the weight of the school
bag and its effect on body posture, defects of the locomotor system and back pain
(Al-Hazzaa, 2006; Dianat, Javadivala, & Allahverdipour, 2011; Macedo et al., 2015;
Rodríguez-Oviedo et al., 2012; Skaggs et al., 2006; Skoffer, 2007). However, those
studies focus on the total weight of the school bag and completely omit the weight
of the empty bag determined by its design. We can influence the contents of the
school bag but not its design weight. The only option is to select a suitable school
bag. The results of our study showed that the share of the mean weight of the
empty school bag in its total weight in the 6-year-old pupils was 43.6 %. The mean
values of empty school bags in 6- to 8-year-old pupils were higher than those
permitted by the national standard (CSN 796506). Therefore, there are school bags
on the market that are too heavy and unsuitable for pupils. The weight of the bag
decreases in older pupils (aged 9 and over) as a result of their mean weight that is
in compliance with the national standard, as well as a substantial reduction in its
share in the total weight of the school bag. This share is only 15.6% in 14-year-old
pupils.
Whether or not the total weight of the school bag is adequate may only be
assessed, with regard to the missing standards, on the basis of comparison with
recommendations of some authors (Forjuoh et al., 2004; Rodríguez-Oviedo et
al., 2012; Skaggs, Early, D’Ambra, Tolo, & Kay, 2006), according to whom the
weight of the school bag should not exceed 10% of the total mass of the pupil.
As the results showed, the mean values of the percentage share of the school bag
in the total mass of the pupil did not exceed 10% until the age of 12. A detailed
analysis showed that the level of 10% was not exceeded in two 6-year-old pupils
(2.8%), four 7-year-old pupils (5.5%), six 8-year-old pupils (7.9%), sixteen 9-yearold pupils (20.3%), sixteen 10-year-old pupils (22.2%), thirty-one 11-year-old
Petr Kutáč
56
pupils (41.0%), fifty-one 12-year-old pupils (63.8%), fifty-seven 13-year-old
pupils (75.0%) and sixty-five 14-year-old pupils (84.4%). Except for the lowest
weighing school bags of the 6-year-old pupils, the weight in other age groups
does not differ much. However, there is a gradual increase in the body mass of
the pupils, which thus decreases the share of WSBF in the total body mass. Figure
1 shows the gradual increase in the gap between the BM and WSBF curve that
demonstrates the decreasing % share of BM (Table 1). This implies that many
pupils at the early school age are exposed to an increased load from their school
bag. Similar results were obtained in a study that dealt with the weight of the
school bag in pupils aged 10 to 12. The study monitored 137 pupils and the
mean weight of their school bag was 4.8 ±1.5kg, which represented 12.6±4.6%
of their total body mass (Vidal et al., 2013). Overburdening children with heavy
school bags at the beginning of school attendance may be one of the causes of
the gradual increase in the occurrence of back pain, together with long static
loads that occur in unsuitable working positions, one-sided load and insufficient
physical activity. The occurrence of back pain is lowest at the beginning of school
attendance (6-year-old pupils). In our study group, no occurrence of pain in the
chest or lumbar spine was found; 9.9% (Table 3) suffered from pain in the neck
area. The older the children are, the more frequent the pain in all areas of the back
is. The highest occurrence was found in the area of the neck. That confirms the
trend stated by Ståhl et al. (2014). The cause is most likely long overburden of the
back muscles, namely suboccipital muscles, which control the balance movement
of the head.
Table 3. Percentage Occurrence of Back Pain in the Monitored Pupils
Back Pain
Localization
Age (years)
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Neck
9.9
11.0
11.8
13.9
15.3
18.4
22.5
25.0
28.6
Chest
0.0
4.1
5.3
6.3
8.3
11.8
13.8
14.5
16.9
Lumbar
0.0
2.7
2.6
5.1
6.9
9.2
12.5
15.8
19.5
The question is what causes the large weight of the school bag. To answer this
question, we also recorded the contents of the school bag every day within the
measurement (Table 4). The results did not only show what the pupil’s school bag
contains, but also what the possibilities of reducing its weight are. Most often, the
bag contained textbooks, notebooks and other learning aids (Table 4). That opens
Table 4. Contents of School Bags
Age (years)
Contents of
School
Bag
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
n
(%)
Slippers
44
(62.0)
51
(69.9)
48
(63.2)
50
(63.4)
44
(61.1)
42
(55.3)
42
(52.5)
38
(50.0)
39
(50.6)
PE gear
50
(70.4)
49
(67.1)
52
(68.4)
54
(68.4)
45
(62.5)
45
(59.2)
43
(53.8)
48
(63.2)
53
(68.8)
Textbooks
71
(100)
73
(100)
70
(92.1)
79
(100)
72
(100)
69
(91.0)
69
(86.3)
76
(100)
75
(97.4)
Notebooks
71
(100)
73
(100)
70
(92.1)
79
(100)
72
(100)
69
(91.0)
69
(86.3)
76
(100)
75
(97.4)
Arts
45
(63.4)
50
(68.5)
70
(92.1)
50
(63.3)
43
(59.7)
45
(59.2)
43
(53.8)
36
(47.4)
42
(54.5)
Toys
25
(35.2)
23
(31.5)
21
(27.6)
7
(8.9)
0
(0.0)
0
(0.0)
0
(0.0)
0
(0.0)
0
(0.0)
Snacks
71
(100)
70
(95.9)
67
(88.2)
75
(95.0)
67
(93.1)
69
(91.0)
62
(77.5)
72
(94.7)
48
(62.3)
Drinks
65
(91.5)
70
(95.9)
74
(97.4)
78
(98.7)
67
(93.1)
65
(85.5)
59
(73.7)
72
(94.7)
46
(59.7)
n – frequency
Figure 1. Development of Body Mass and School Bag Weight during School Attendance
58
Petr Kutáč
a space for solutions on the part of the school management and teachers. Drinks
that pupils bring to school with them are another significant item that affects the
weight of the school bag. Some pupils had 1.5 to 2 liters of beverages. With regard
to the recommendation of the total daily fluid intake for a child, such an amount is
completely unnecessary. Children’s total daily consumption is at the level of 40ml/
kg of body mass (Malina, Bouchard, & Bar-Or, 2004; Machová et al., 2009). We
cannot assess the share of the weight of toys as we did not weigh any toys.
Conclusion
The results of the research showed that the youngest pupils are mostly exposed
to the risk of overburden of the bearing and locomotor system due to the carriage
of a school bag of inadequate weight. The inadequate weight of the school bag
affects posture and becomes a risk factor in the development of poor posture,
which is subsequently projected into the increase in the occurrence of back pain.
The weight of an empty school bag is a significant factor of the total weight of the
school bag in the youngest pupils as it contributes to the total weight to a large
extent. The results of the data on school bag contents indicated opportunities for
reducing the weight of the school bag. Not only parents, but also teachers and
medical workers should get involved in this process.
Teachers should inform parents of the risk of overburden to the bearing and
locomotor system due to an inappropriate weight of the school bag as early as during enrolment, with emphasis on the weight of the empty school bag and a suitable
design. Textbooks selected for lessons should be sets that have several parts and
pupils should only bring those books that are currently used. Learning aids should
remain at school. During lessons, teachers should inform pupils of proper posture
during work and practice proper posture with them. For example, sitting with
a rounded back leads to an increased load on the suboccipital muscles that control
the position of the head, which subsequently leads to increased pain in the area
of the neck. The occurrence of pain in the area of the neck was the most frequent
in our research and it increased with age. Therefore, it would be very beneficial
if teachers were trained in posture and proper working positions during various
school activities. This area should be incorporated in further education of teachers.
Together with teachers, medical personnel should consider the implementation
of a corresponding regular fluid intake of pupils, including recommendations of
an optimal fluid intake during the stay at school so that pupils do not bring too
many drinks to school.
The Development of School Bag Weight as a Risk Factor
59
Limits of the Study
We are aware that the results of the study are influenced by the monitored group
(number and classification of participants). Also, the study could be restricted
by the fact that the measurement only took place once (in one week) and was
not repeated in another week. In spite of that we believe that the results have
a predicative value with regard to the issue in question.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the students of physical education and sport
for their help with the implementation of the research.
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Olga V. Bezpalko,
Nataliia A. Klishevych,
Tetiana L. Liakh, Roman O. Pavliuk
Ukraine
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality:
The Results of Expert Interview
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.05
Abstract
The article is devoted to evaluation of criteria and indicators of the measuring
of university education quality. On the basis of an expert interview of the teaching/academic staff of the Institute of Human Sciences of Borys Grinchenko
Kyiv University, three main criteria were identified (resourses of educational
activities, organization of educational activities, the results of specialist training)
and their indicators (the level of teaching/academic staff, students as subjects
of education, material base, information and methodological support, technologies of training and education, presentation of educational achievements,
competitiveness of graduates at the job market, professional achievements of
graduates). The proposed criteria and indicators of the quality of education
measuring made it possible to evaluate a methodology of measuring/monitoring of university education quality, which is the innovation of our research.
A wheel model, whose rung is a criterion indicator, was included in the basis
of the methodology of measuring/monitoring of the quality of education.
Each rung is also a separate indicator measuring scale and it is divided into ten
conditional labels.
Keywords: quality of education, criteria and indicators of education quality,
measuring of education quality, methodology of measuring/monitoring of education quality
62
Olga V. Bezpalko, Nataliia A. Klishevych, Tetiana L. Liakh, Roman O. Pavliuk
Introduction
The issue of education quality is associated with the general competitiveness of
the university, its rating, the prestige of graduates, level of the teaching staff, material base, quantitative indicators of students’ achievements, the presence of higher
educational institutions on the Internet, the number of research projects, etc. The
problem of education quality evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative terms
arises more and more often today.
But today the is no unified approach to defining the essence of education quality,
its indicators and criteria for monitoring, required resources, which are necessary
for successful educational activities.
Research Problem Focus
Foreign researchers investigate education quality as a multidimensional model
of evaluation of educational activities that helps to build a conceptually correct
system of quality evaluation, determine how development prospects may affect it
and provide strategic directions of education quality management (Cheng, Y.C.,
Tam, W.M., 1997). Other research (Scordoulis, M., et al., 2015) established that
education quality can be measured with the use of a set of high-quality components (reputation, academic staff, educational programs, services and additional
services, material base) that meet the requirements of students of educational
institutions. The level of the teaching/academic staff is an important component
of the overall quality of university education. Claudia S. Sarricko & Andre A. Alves
believe that the level of the teaching staff is the key indicator of the quality of
education. Here, they include the following: staff qualifications, research capacity/
intensity, individuality, accuracy/punctuality, focus on international cooperation,
vocational guidance and inbreeding (Sarricko, C.S, Alves, A.A., 2016).
Other researchers believe that the quality of education can be measured through
the system of institutional management and general management (Cardoso, S.,
Rosa, M.J., Stensaker, B., 2016). The quality of education can also be measured with
the use of such indicators as successful lecturer guidance of the teaching process,
formation of knowledge, skills and relevant competences, creating a positive attitude to learning and research and creating a favourable educational environment
(Ng, P.T., 2015).
Most foreign researchers point out that the quality of education can be measured with the use of two components: indicators/quality measurement criteria
that must comply with the specifics of a particular educational institution and be
appropriate for clients/applicants of higher education.
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality
63
Basically, the quality of education is now measured by ratings of universities,
both national and international (Kaidalova, A.V., Posylkina O.N., 2015).
We consider that the quality of education can be measured with the use of
a set of competences that determine professional ability to carry out professional
activities on a certain level of efficiency with an understanding of social responsibility for its results as the process and the result of the formation of professional
competences and professional consciousness of the future specialist.
Research Methodology
At the first stage of the research, we carried out a series of expert interviews
with university lecturers. The purpose of the expert interviews was to obtain
necessary information reflected in the knowledge, opinions and estimates of the
respondents, who are competent persons with experience in the monitoring of
educational quality. The possibility of participation was limited to the teaching
staff of the Institute of Human Sciences. It is a structural subdivision of Borys
Grinchenko Kyiv University (Ukraine) and has five departments: anatomy and
physiology; general, age and pedagogical psychology; practical psychology; special
psychology, correctional and inclusive education; social pedagogy and social work.
The respondents were invited to participate in the interviews through
announcements posted on the website of the Institute of Human Sciences and
personal letters to lecturers and heads of departments.
The grounded theory, presented in the studies of Kathy Charmez (Charmaz, K.,
2014), was the basis for data collection and for the theoretical part of the study.
The initial set of respondents was intended to secure a sample of teachers who
have different views on the necessity of monitoring of education quality and vary
in age, academic degree and position. This stage of the research interviews was
based on open questions and topics concerning how the teachers monitor the
quality of education.
According to the methodology of grounded theory, encoding occurred simultaneously with data collection. Initial encoding was open and close to the text, this
means that the codes were designed to reflect the actions, intentions and meanings
of the respondents, often using their own words. Further interview encoding was
the current use of comparative analysis that made it possible to identify such codes
into categories.
After initial isolation of the categories, it modified the process of attracting
participants. To provide the most diverse selection, participants were selected
64
Olga V. Bezpalko, Nataliia A. Klishevych, Tetiana L. Liakh, Roman O. Pavliuk
according to their ability to explain the specific issues which had been identified
in the previous study. This approach is called “theoretical sampling” (Glaser, B.G.,
Strauss, A.L., 2012) and it allows for formulating specific questions for interviews.
The list of previously investigated topics of semi-structured interviews include:
indicators of the criteria of education quality, “the level of teaching/academic staff ”,
“students as subjects of education”, “material base”, “information and methodological support”, “technologies of training and education”, “presentation of educational
achievements”, “competitiveness of graduates on the job market”, “professional
achievements of graduates”. Data collection continued in the same direction until
the answer to the question in the current study was answered and an appropriate
model was fully developed.
At this stage, the application of analysis together with data collection was continued. Encoding was re-formatted from open to theoretical encoding, which allowed
for drawing parallels between the codes and categories, categories and indicators
with further order to search definitions. Notes, including the development of models, were used to conduct comparisons. Such a methodology led to the evaluation
of the theoretical model of monitoring of the quality of education.
In order to assess the validity of the final results, five teachers (one from each
department) who had taken part in interviews were invited to analyse the model
and comment on it. The lecturers differed in decision making for the organization of monitoring of educational quality but they generally were matching
the sampling. After that another five lecturers who had not taken part in the
study (including one from each department) were invited to review and provide
comments. The responses were carefully analyzed and some minor changes were
made.
Research Results
Expert interviews were held with 55 teachers of the Institute of Human Sciences.
The interview began with questions about personal data.
Findings of this survey allowed for formulating 3 criteria groups of the quality
of education and accordant indicators, which are presented Figure 1.
The respondents suggested the following four indicators in the first criterion,
resources of the educational process: the level of the teaching/academic staff,
students as subjects of education, material base, information and methodological
support. They were asked to identify the contents of each indicator and specify the
tasks to improve its effectiveness.
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality
65
Table 1. Information about the respondents
Age range
23 – 64
Gender (%)
Male – 4 (7.3%)
Female – 51 (92.7%)
Position (%)
Assistant – 2 (3.6%)
Lecturer – 7 (12.7%)
Senior Lecturer – 13 (23.6%)
Assistant Professor – 27 (49%)
Professor – 6 (11.1%)
Education, scientific degree (%)
Higher education – 55 (100%)
PhD – 38 (69%)
Doctor of sciences – 5 (31%)
The level of
teaching/academic staff
Resources of educational
activities
Students as subjects of
education
Criteria of quality of
education
Material base
Information and
methodological support
Organization of
educational activities
The results of specialist
training
Technologies of training
and education
Presentation of
educational achievements
The competitiveness of
graduates on the job
market
Professional
achievements of graduates
Figure 1. Criteria groups of quality of education and accordant indicators
66
Olga V. Bezpalko, Nataliia A. Klishevych, Tetiana L. Liakh, Roman O. Pavliuk
The first indicator is the level of the teaching/academic staff. To ensure its quality,
according to the respondents, it is implemented: “there is a procedure for measuring of ratings of the teaching/academic staff of the University” as guarantors of the
quality of education; “there is the system of updating of electronic portfolio”; “all
research/publications of the teaching/academic staff are posted in the university
repository”; “internship opportunities based on national and international organizations” is provided with the aim to increase the level of knowledge and innovative
technologies of teaching/academic staff. The respondents stated that the objectives
of strengthening and capacity building of the teaching staff are “improving the
procedure of ratings of teaching/academic staff with transparency and accessibility to public discussion”, “motivation of teachers to professional growth and
self-improvement”, “cooperation with leading scientists from foreign countries,
international organizations, funds for participation in international research
projects”, then it needs to provide opportunities for communication through
“providing of English courses “, “providing methodological seminars and training
for the teaching/academic staff according to their professional requests and needs”.
Another indicator is the students as subjects of educational activities. This indicator was the most controversial. The respondents insisted on the importance of
“formation of students’ personal responsibility for the quality of education”. They
emphasized the “distribution of responsibility between all participants in the educational process”, insisting that “the teacher competence requirements are greater
every year, and students remain almost constant”. This leads to the fact that the
teacher is responsible for the student’s academic failure. The educational process at
the Institute of Human Sciences provides “a survey of students to determine their
moral attitudes in obtaining education”. Also, the respondents paid attention to the
need for “monitoring of the influence of the philosophy of leadership-serving on
personal and professional development of students” because Borys Grinchenko
Kyiv University professing leadership as serving as one of the key values of the
institution.
Another important aspect of this indicator is “the development of social activity
of students through attraction to volunteering and charity”. The respondents noted
that the students of the Institute can “not only take part in charitable projects
and volunteer initiatives, but produce their own charitable and volunteer projects”,
“create charity foundations and public organizations”.
The respondents also focused on the problem areas centered on the conditions
of students’ subjectivity: “providing social and psychological support to students
at the “teacher-student”, “student-student” levels, which can be realized through
the “functioning of student social and psychological services”; «arranging the
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality
67
meetings of students with graduates of the Institute whose life success stories
would inspire to study”; “evaluation of social activity of students by initiating
and participating in projects at the university, local, national and international
levels”.
Material base was the third indicator of “resources of the educational process”.
The respondents noted that the Institute of Human Sciences established “systematic replenishment of resourse centre with modern teaching materials”, «new
remote format of work (making online orders, informing about new items), we
believe that this is a highlight of our institution”, «new classes for students: practical
“Logo-simulator” training centre, diagnostic and consultative centre of practical
psychology, art studio». However, they unanimously consider that we should
work towards strengthening the material base: “we need to purchase software and
methodological support for the “Logo-simulator” centre, diagnostic and consultative centre of practical psychology, art studio that will significantly improve the
practical training component of students”, «we widely use interactive learning, and
our classes do not allow for full use of the space for interactive learning limiting
opportunities to work in groups. Therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to
arrangement of classrooms with modified furniture”, “importance of creation of
platforms for the workshops based in educational and social institutions. This is
beneficial not only to employers and universities. First of all, this would benefit
students in receiving invaluable practical experience in conditions close to real».
The respondents agreed on the need for “evaluation and implementation of fundraising programs for the material support of new disciplines (Coaching Studies,
School of professional skills, workshops, etc.)”.
And the last indicator for the above criterion is information and methodological
support. The respondents noted that the Institute is conducting now “an annual
analysis and updating of training and methodological support of the departments”,
“presentation of information-training and methodological support on e-pages of
the departments”, “the usage of certified e-learning courses in the educational
process of full-time and correspondence forms of studying”. But they pointed out
the necessity to focus on the following aspects: «supplementing of the contents
of modules of subjects, themes with the latest research, trends in professional
activities, socio-cultural situation demands of employers and students, etc.»,
“correlation of practice tasks with the disciplines of the educational program (to
avoid situations such as education separately - practice separately)”, “according to
the research-based training concept to allow the student to determine the problem
of master’s thesis”, «the usage of social networks as a resource for professional
self-development of students and lecturers”.
68
Olga V. Bezpalko, Nataliia A. Klishevych, Tetiana L. Liakh, Roman O. Pavliuk
For the second criterion – organization of educational activities – the respondents suggested two indicators: technologies of training and education, presentation
of educational achievements. According to the respondents, the Institute provides:
«forming of professional competence on visiting classes to various organizations,
institutions and services», “presenting different training courses as part of additional educational services aimed at formation of special professional competence”,
“usage of interactive learning during lectures, giving practical exercises, examples
from real life, the media, etc.”, «usage of the results of modern scientific research,
materials from abstracts of dissertations, scientific publications of lectures and
seminars”, “continuous practice of students “from volunteering - to internship” at
various educational institutions and social services (for minors in “Social Pedagogy”, “Special Education (speech therapy)”, “Social Work”)”. They noted that all
this “will enable further employment of graduates of the Institute”. There were
proposals in the respondents’ answers about transition to the new educational
quality. They include «conducting guest lectures by leading national and foreign
scientists and practitioners», «attracting potential employers to conducting lectures
and practical training, extracurricular forms of work», «reorientation of forms of
control of students’ academic achievements in core subjects into presenting of
their projects, technologies, methods, etc.», “expert survey of organizations’ specialists who are supporting students during training with the aim of monitoring
the process of practical training”.
In order to ensure the “presentation of educational achievements” indicator, according to the respondents what should be done is “constant updating of e-pages of
departments and website of the Institute with innovation, scientific and educational
achievements of students and teaching/academic staff, etc.”, «popularizing in social
networks of professional oriented, practical activities of the Institute, departments
in different directions”. What was emphasized was “create students’ V-Blog (YouTube
video channel of Students’ Parliament of the Institute of Human Sciences)”.
However, the respondents noted that the change and expansion of the popularization of the University and the Institute may be due to “creation of personal
sites, pages of lecturers, scientific schools, scientific clubs”, “further presentation of
students’ academic achievements through their own electronic journal of scientific
papers “Scientific achievements of students of the Institute of Human Sciences”,
“presentation by students and teachers of the results of their research activities in
educational institutions and social services departments”.
The third criterion – results of theeducational process - includes two indicators:
the competitiveness of graduates on the job market, and professional achievements
of graduates.
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality
69
The respondents noted that during investigation of the first indicator - competitiveness of graduates on the labour market – we should “explore opportunities
for employment of graduates in various institutions of social and educational
sphere of Kyiv, as Grinchenko University is a municipal institution”, “systematically
investigate the social needs and requests of the Kyiv community on the need for
corresponding specialists”, “promote potential of graduates at various levels and
by various means, including through social networks”, “monitor current requests
of agencies of the social and educational sphere in order to constantly update the
variable part of educational programs and systematic catalogue supplement with
additional educational services”, “enhance professional cooperation with potential
employers”.
The second indicator - professional achievement of graduates – is provided,
according to the respondents, through the “involvement of graduates in scientific
research activities within departments”, “сreating an interactive platform for
communication, advocacy of professional interests of graduates of the Institute”,
“coverage of professional achievements of graduates in social and professional
networks, Institute web-site”.
Discussion and conclusions
All the respondents pointed out the importance of elaboration of “an easy to
use methodology of monitoring the quality of education”. The proposed criteria
and indicators of education quality measurement made it possible to evaluate
a methodology of measuring/monitoring of education quality.
A wheel model (Figure 2), whose rung is a criterion indicator, was included in
the basis of the methodology of measuring/monitoring of the quality of education.
Those indicators were investigated and evaluated through the expert interview
of the teaching and academic staff of the Institute of Human Sciences of Borys
Grinchenko Kyiv University. Each rung is also a separate indicator measuring
scale. It is divided into ten conditional labels. Evaluation can be made individually
or by a group (e.g., by members of the department, by the management of the
Institute).
Measuring of achievements for each indicator is determined by choosing
a certain point on the scale of rungs. The nearer the mark is to the center of the
circle, the lower the achievement on this indicator. The further the mark is from
the center, the better the results are on the defined indicator. Indications must
be connected by a smooth line clockwise. This visualization enables participants
70
Olga V. Bezpalko, Nataliia A. Klishevych, Tetiana L. Liakh, Roman O. Pavliuk
Figure 2. Visualization of monitoring of the quality of education in higher
education institutions
to analyse the education quality assurance, achievements and failures of each
indicator, to identify the ways of improving the quality of education.
The results of the study were presented at the methodological seminar for the
teaching and academic staff of the Institute of Human Sciences. The teaching and
academic staff were invited to discuss the methodology for monitoring of the
quality of education. The participants noted that «the methodology allows for
filling the proposed criteria, investing into them modern content”, “the scheme
for monitoring of education quality is easy to use and can be used for individual
teacher self-diagnosis and for a department, institution”.
The findings of this study have some limitations. First, qualitative research
cannot be generalized. It means that the results of this study are not representative
for other institutions of Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, universities of Ukraine.
Secondly, the study was limited only to experts of teaching and academic staff of
the Institute of Human Sciences of Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University. Thus, the
experience of teaching and academic staff of other universities is not presented
in this study.
Criteria and Indicators of University Education Quality
71
Finally, this study allows for understanding that approaches to monitoring of
the quality of education should be based on how teachers evaluate the quality of
education, along with other important factors such as the resources, process, and
results of the educational process.
Acknowledgements: The research was done within the evaluation of scientific theme of
the Institute of Human Sciences “Personality in terms of social transformations of modern
Ukraine”, registration number 0116U002960, term of implementation – 5.2016 – 5.2021.
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Monika Piątkowska,
Elżbieta Biernat
Poland
Does Physical Activity Protect Adolescents
against Risk Behaviour?
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.06
Abstract
The aim of this work is an evaluation of the relation between risk behaviour of
adolescents (bad eating habits, sedentary behaviour and abuse of psychoactive
substances and stimulants) and fulfilling pro-health recommendations related
with physical activity. The survey study was conducted in 2016 in Warsaw
middle and high schools among 609 students using standardised international
tools. World Health Organisation recommendations concerning pro-health
physical activity level are met only by 24.2% of surveyed teenagers. Physical
activity is a factor protecting teenagers from sitting for over 2 hours a day
and bad eating habits. Prophylactic programs should consider promotion of
physical activity.
Keywords: physical activity, IPAQ, adolescents, sedentary behaviour, eating habits,
psychoactive substances, WHO
Introduction
Risk behaviour such as smoking, taking drugs, eating junk food or sedentary life
style (Razende et al., 2014) − raise fears over public health of adolescents (Tabak
et al., 2015). Despite being typical during juvenescence (Lavery and Siegel, 1993),
they lead to serious health, psychological and social consequences (CDCP, 2001).
They increase the risk of illnesses, disorders, accidents and injuries (Ponczek and
Does Physical Activity Protect Adolescents against Risk Behaviour
73
Olszowy, 2012), result in mental problems (Brettschneider and Naul, 2004, Kaess
et al., 2014), and often in breaking the law (McWhirter et al., 2001).
Researchers wonder whether physical activity (PA) can limit such behaviour,
be a counterweight for it. There is a clear influence of PA on smoking marihuana
(Tabak et al., 2015; Delisle et al., 2010) and taking other psychoactive drugs (Werch
et al., 2005). Pro-health behaviour is more often observed among physically
active adolescents (Ali et al., 2015; Szczerbiński et al., 2010). The sporting activity
is positively correlated with healthy nutrition (Brettschneider and Naul, 2004),
a coexistence of high PA and limitation of screen time is a factor protecting against
overweight and obesity (McMillan et al., 2015). On the other hand, excessive
eating is positively correlated with physical inactivity and sedentariness (Raithel,
2002) and a passive way of spending free time predisposes to taking psychoactive
substances (mainly alcohol); (Peltzer, 2010).
However, not all results are so unequivocal. According to the meta-analysis
conducted by Lish and Sussman (2010), among 15 studies devoted to smoking, 14
was positively correlated with PA, but only in 9 of 16 studies analysing drug abuse,
there was a negative relationship between sport activity and taking psychoactive
substances. A similar observation was made in the case of drinking alcohol, as
a negative correlation was stated only in 2 of 34 reports. Also Mazur et al. (2014)
revealed that increasing PA during adolescence is not always related to a decrease
in the use of psychoactive substances, and Marshall et al. (2002) pointed out a lack
of relation between media use and PA.
Despite these ambiguous reports, one fact is unquestioned, namely, that each
counteraction risk behaviour translates into tangible benefits and that popularisation of PA can be a healthy substitute of such behaviour , e.g., in the form of
enabling self-esteem development, acceptance among peers as well as mental
well-being (Guszkowska, 2005). Thus, the aim of this study is an evaluation of the
relationship between risk behaviour of adolescents (bad eating habits, sedentary
behaviour and abuse of psychoactive substances and stimulants) and fulfilling
pro-health recommendations related to PA. Monitoring of this phenomenon and
considering it at various levels of education (middle school, secondary technical
school, and high school) can explain numerous issues and support the quality and
efficiency of interventional and preventive programs.
Monika Piątkowska, Elżbieta Biernat
74
Research Methodology
The study was conducted in 2016 in Warsaw middle and high schools (3 middle
schools, 3 secondary technical schools and 3 high schools) − randomly selected
from the list of schools and educational institutions1. The study was conducted
among students from grades 1 – 3 (apart from middle school grade 1, due to the
condition of used International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), addressed
to people aged 15 – 69). The authors used a random survey (after initial training for
teachers realising the project). The level of PA among adolescents was estimated
on the basis of a short version of IPAQ (Biernat et al., 2007), while risk behaviour
(bad eating habits, sedentary behaviour, abuse of psychoactive substances) with
the use of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) questionnaire
(A WHO Collaborative Cross-national Study); (Mazur, 2015).
On the basis of the time and frequency of the declared vigorous (VPA), moderate physical activity (MPA) and walking using IPAQ, the respondents were divided
into those meeting (daily MVPA and walking at least 60 min) and not meeting
the pro-health activity level recommendations of the World Health Organisation
(WHO, 2010).
Bad eating habits meant everyday (during 5 school days) lack of eating breakfast,
fruit and vegetables and everyday eating of sweets, drinking soft drinks and having
a diet. Sedentary behaviour meant sitting for at least two hours a day (during 5
school days), during watching TV, using a computer or playing video games. Abuse
of psychoactive substances and stimulants meant smoking or drinking alcoholic
drinks at least once a week or smoking marihuana or hashish at least 1 – 2 times
during last 30 days.
The study was conducted on the sample of 609 students aged 15 – 19. As 38
respondents refused to participate in the study, the percentage of the questionnaires return was 93.8%. The authors followed the IPAQ Research Committee
guidelines on data cleaning and processing (IPAQ, 2005). In the cases of “don’t
know”/”refused” (n=36) or data missing (n=59), the subjects were removed from
further analysis. Outliers were excluded in all the cases where cumulative total
time of walking, and the overall MVPA was greater than 960 min. (16 hrs/day)
(n=4). Table 1 presents the characteristics of the participants (n=472).
1 The Education Office in Warsaw, as of 01/09/2015.
Does Physical Activity Protect Adolescents against Risk Behaviour
75
Table 1. Characteristics of the sample (n=472)
Type of school, class (age)
Girls
(n=230)
n
Boys
(n=242)
%
Total
(n=472)
n
%
n
%
Middle school (n=58)
II (15)
6
33.3
23
57.5
29
50.0
III (16)
12
66.7
17
42.5
29
50.0
I (17)
37
49.3
13
21.0
50
36.5
II (18)
15
20.0
12
19.4
27
19.7
III (19)
23
30.7
37
59.7
60
43.8
I (17)
20
14.6
9
6.4
29
10.5
II (18)
82
59.9
72
51.4
154
55.6
III (19)
35
45.5
59
42.1
94
33.9
Secondary technical school
(n=137)
High school (n=277)
Source: own study.
The statistical analyses were run in IBM® SPSS® Statistics, version 21. In order
to investigate the differences between the types and duration of physical activities
undertaken by Polish adolescents, the Chi2 test was used (p<0.05). Multi-variable
logistic regression analysis was performed to find the relationship between positive and negative indicators of health and the amount of exercise (daily MVPA
and walking at least 60 min) recommended by WHO (2010). The relationship
between physical activity undertaken by Polish youth and the amount of exercise
recommended by the WHO was assessed using the log-linear analysis. Strength
of the relationship was expressed by the odds ratio (OR) with the 95% confidence
interval.
Research Results
Sedentary lifestyle is the greatest problem among the analysed behaviours. As
many as 75.2% of the boys and 66.1% of the girls spend time sitting at least 2 hours
a day (Chi2=4.7; p<0.05), watching TV (63.6 and 60.4%, respectively; NS) and
playing video games (52.5 and 18.7%; Chi2=58.4; p<0.001).
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Monika Piątkowska, Elżbieta Biernat
Bad eating habits, i.e., daily lack of eating breakfast (during 5 school days)
was observed among 25.0% of the boys and 23.9% of the girls (NS), fruit – 41.7
and 36.2%, respectively, (Chi2=3.4; p<0.05) and vegetables – 43.2 and 34.5%
(Chi2=12.3; p<0.001). On the other hand, 8.3% of the boys and 9.7% of the girls
(NS) eat sweets every day, while 9.5 and 8.9%, respectively (NS) drink soft drinks.
14.8% of the respondents follow a diet − more often (Chi2=13.0; p<0.0001) the
girls (10.2%), than the boys (4.7%).
Regular smoking, i.e., at least once a week or every day, is observed among 21.9%
of the boys and 22.2% of the girls – there is no significant difference between them
as far as this issue is concerned (NS). A similar observation concerns smoking
marihuana and hashish, at least 1 – 2 times within last 30 days (10.3 and 13.0%,
respectively; NS). Alcohol is drunk at least once a week by 30.2% of the boys and
20.0% of the girls (Chi2=6.5; p<0.05).
The WHO recommendations concerning pro-health physical activity level (60
min/day MVPA) are met only by 24.2% of the surveyed teenagers. However, we
have to note that more often (Chi2=3.3; p<0.05) these are girls (27.8%), than boys
(20.7%). There are no significant differences in results for various education levels
(recommendations are met by 24.1% of the middle school students, 21.9% in the
case of technical schools and 25.3% of high schools).
Among the middle school students who meet the WHO recommendations,
20.7% walk, MPA is undertaken by 22.4% and VPA by 22.4%. In the case of secondary technical schools, the results are 19.0; 19.7 and 19.0%, respectively, and for
high schools: 24.9; 22.7 and 20.6%, respectively.
An analysis of the odds ratio of meeting PA recommendations (being an active
person) depending on the analysed variables (Table 2) revealed significant differences but only in the case of some types of schools and some variables (i.e.,
the type of activity, sedentary behaviour and eating habits). Active high school
students (in comparison to inactive ones) walk more often (nearly 15 times),
undertake MPA (nearly 3 times) and VPA (over 2 times).
The adolescents from secondary technical schools who meet the WHO recommendations over twice less often spend over 2 hours watching TV, and physically
active teenagers from high schools (over 2 times) and middle schools (nearly 5
times) spend less time using computer.
High physical activity of middle school students decreases their risk of everyday
not eating vegetables (over 11 times) and fruit (over 8 times). On the other hand,
high PA of high school students decreases the risk of not eating breakfast (nearly
twice). Physically active students from secondary technical schools over 3 times
less fail to eat fruit.
Does Physical Activity Protect Adolescents against Risk Behaviour
77
Table 2. Odds ratio of undertaking pro-health dose of physical activity *
(with the 95% confidence interval) vs. analysed variables
Factors
Odds ratio of undertaking pro-health dose of PA*
(with the 95% confidence interval) OR (95% CI)
Middle school
Secondary
technical school
High school
0.5 [0.14 – 1.74]
0.53 [0.22 – 1.24]
0.77 [0.45 – 1.33]
Walking
0.77 [0.13 – 4.48]
0.98 [0.29 – 3.23] 14.61 [1.96 – 108.69]**
Moderate physical activity
4.33 [0.51 – 37.0]
1.14 [0.29 – 4.32]
2.86 [1.23 – 6.66]**
Vigorous physical activity
3.34 [0.38 – 29.0]
1.24 [0.38 – 4.01]
2.45 [1.23 – 4.85]**
Males
Physical activity
Sedentary behaviour (≥2h/day)
TV
Computer
Video games
0.64 [0.16 – 2.53] 0.41 [0.18 – 0.93]**
1.1 [0.64 – 1.92]
0.21 [0.06 – 0.77]**
0.62 [0.24 – 1.6]
0.48 [0.26 – 0.89]**
0.75 [0.21 – 2.69]
0.37 [0.16 – 0.86]
1.24 [0.66 – 2.32]
1.64 [0.47 – 5.7]
1.04 [0.46 – 2.33]
0.56 [0.32 – 0.98]**
Bad eating habits
Daily lack of eating breakfast
Daily lack of eating fruit
0.12 [0.03 – 0.46]** 0.32 [0.12 – 0.95]**
1.54 [0.77 – 3.09]
Daily lack of eating vegetables
0.09 [0.02 – 0.35]** 0.52 [0.21 – 1.26]
0.69 [0.37 – 1.31]
Daily eating sweets
0.94 [0.25 – 3.56]
0.53 [0.19 – 1.47]
0.98 [0.48 – 2.02]
Daily drinking soft drinks
0.83 [0.22 – 3.2]
1.4 [0.44 – 4.49]
0.92 [0.46 – 1.86]
Smoking cigarettes
(≥1 time a week)
1.23 [0.28 – 5.44]
0.77 [0.27 – 2.25]
0.83 [0.43 – 1.6]
Drinking alcohol
(≥1 time a week)
0.17 [0.0 – 3.22]
0.51 [0.18 – 1.47]
1.16 [0.64 – 2.09]
Smoking marihuana and
hashish
(≥1 – 2 times within last 30 days)
0.49 [0.05 – 4.44]
0.49 [0.06 – 4.17]
1.32 [0.63 – 2.78]
Abuse of psychoactive substances
and stimulants
*By persons with a particular factor calculated in relation to other participants; ** Statistically
significant p<0.05
Source: own study.
78
Monika Piątkowska, Elżbieta Biernat
Discussion
Potential risks for health of adolescents resulting from their risk behaviour
result in the necessity of finding a solution for this difficult situation. The presented study shows that it is a quite serious problem in Warsaw schools. Nearly
70% of the adolescents spend time sitting over 2 hours a day. Nearly ¼ do not eat
breakfast and almost 40% do not eat fruit or vegetables. On the other hand, over
20% smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol and over 10% take drugs. What is more,
9% eat sweets and drink soft drinks every day. Some types of behaviour are often
characteristic of the boys, e.g., sitting for a long time (using computer, playing
video games), not eating fruit or vegetables and using alcohol, and some of the
girls, e.g., following diets. There are also some in which there are no differences
between the sexes, like watching TV, eating sweets and drinking soft drinks, and
smoking cigarettes.
However, it must be noted that the described phenomenon is not different in
Warsaw in comparison to other regions of Poland. The nationwide HBSC study
shows similar percentage of children aged 15 who smoke cigarettes (15.1%),
marihuana (10.9%) and drink alcohol (10.8%) (Mazur, 2014). It presents a comparable fraction of adolescents spending at least 2 hours a day sitting - watching
TV (63%), using computer (70.3%) and playing video games (32.5%). Among
younger students aged 15 – 16 (in Poland, third grade of middle school) taking part
in “European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs” (Sierosławski,
2011), 30% smoke cigarettes, and among older students aged 17 – 18 (second grade
of secondary schools) − nearly 42%. Alcohol is the most popular psychoactive
substance among adolescents – the number of teenagers who drink alcohol is
twice higher than the number of those who smoke. There are three times fewer
users of marihuana than those who drink alcohol. According to HBSC studies, as
many as 36.1% of teenagers do not eat breakfast (including 18.4% never eating
breakfast) (Mazur, 2014). Over 15% of persons aged 15 – 18 eat sweets and over
10% drink soft drinks (Mazur, 2014). This problem does not concern only Poland.
It is present in the case of adolescents from other European countries (Carli et al.,
2013; Kess et al., 2014), America (Grunbaum et al., 2004) and Africa (The South
African National Department of Health, 2003).
On the other hand, the WHO recommendations concerning pro-health PA level
(60 min/day MVPA) is met only by 24.2% of the surveyed teenagers. Scientists all
over the world point to the fact that many young people do not have the minimum
dose of PA (Youth risk behaviour surveillance system, 2006). The recommendation
is not met by almost a half of young Europeans (EU Physical Activity Guidelines,
Does Physical Activity Protect Adolescents against Risk Behaviour
79
2008), e.g., 3 in 10 boys and 4 in 10 girls (aged 5 – 18) in the United Kingdom
(Department of Health, 2003).
However, in the case of the youth from Warsaw, the percentage of those
insufficiently active is significantly higher – nearly 80%, regardless of the type of
school − middle school, high school or secondary technical school. Thus, such
a phenomenon is noted at each education level. Considering the above, what
do students do during physical education (PE) classes? Do not they have other
extracurricular classes? All of that indicates a significant lack in the educational
system and parent care. School education is expected to exert a definitely larger
influence on the physical education of the youth (in qualitative and quantitative
aspects, during classes as well as in leisure time). Parents should be aware that PA
of their children cannot be limited to 3 hours of PE classes per week and that it is
a too small dose to provide good health (no to mention proper development) and
that a lack of PA is also a risk behaviour.
However, the subject of our study is whether undertaking of PA (at the recommended level) can be supportive in limiting risk behaviour of adolescents living
in Warsaw. Existing research shows that it is possible in many cases, however, the
results are not always unequivocal (Lisha, & Sussman, 2010; Farb, & Matjasko,
2012). Physically active youth rarely uses psychoactive substances and is more
often engaged in various pro-health behaviour (Pate et al., 2000; Ali et al., 2015;
Szczerbiński et al., 2010). Our research studies show that such a relationship is
observed only in the case of long sitting watching TV and using computer and in
the case of bad eating habits. In the case of physically active high school students,
the risk of not eating breakfast is nearly twice smaller and long-lasting sitting
using computer (over 2 hours a day) is over twice lower. Active adolescents from
middle school, in comparison to their inactive schoolmates, sit using computer
5 times less often, as well as more rarely do not eat vegetables (over 11 times)
and fruit (over 8 times). In the case of active teenagers from secondary technical
schools, there is a lesser risk of long-lasting sitting watching TV (over twice) and
not eating fruit (over 3 times).
However, there was no stated relationship between meeting pro-health recommendations on PA and using psychoactive substances and stimulants. Different
conclusions were presented by other authors (Farb, & Matjasko, 2012; Lorente et al.,
2004). Dunn (2014) proves that participation in sport activities might be a factor
attenuating the risk of alcohol consumption. Tabak et al. (2015) made an attempt
to show that PA is a factor protecting Polish adolescents against smoking cigarettes
and marihuana, but in general only among boys. In the case of alcohol, similarly as
in our group, no significant correlation was revealed. However, according to Mazur
80
Monika Piątkowska, Elżbieta Biernat
et al. (2014), relations between a favourable pro-health behaviour (such as PA) and
a risk behaviour (like using psychoactive substances) can also depend on cultural
factors. This leads to a statement that achieving a straight correlation between PA
and using psychoactive substances may be difficult. This fact seems to explain
differences in various research results (Delisle et al., 2010).
Thus, future analyses should take more factors modifying this relation into
account. It may be also worth considerind motives for risk behaviour and perception of resulting threats (Kuntsche et al., 2006).
Conclusions
Frequent risk behaviour and a lack of PA among Warsaw adolescents clearly
indicate an urgent necessity of a system approach to popularisation of health,
including an active lifestyle. It seems unavoidable to combine the lesson content
of biology, anatomy and hygiene with physical education. And within this framework, the knowledge about the functioning of the human body and maintaining
its functions through prevention activity should be provided. The previous Polish
research shows that despite the implemention of the reform program, extracurricular and after-school PA is not at a satisfactory level, and youth represents a very
low level of knowledge about healthy behaviors and prevention actvities (Jurczak
& Jaworski, 2005). Physical activity is a factor protecting teenagers against sitting
for over 2 hours a day and bad eating habits. This means that prophylaxis programs
aimed at limitation of a sedentary lifestyle and a change of eating habits should
consider promotion of PA. It is also essential to focus more PE lessons at schools
and development of interesting sport and recreation offers, encouraging young
people to engage in active forms of spending free time. It is also necessary to
raise the awareness of adolscents by transferring the knowledge on healthy eating
and the consequences of risk behavior for the functioning of the body during
obligatory classes for students.
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żywieniowe oraz aktywność fizyczna młodzieży szkół ponadgimnazjalnych deklarujących palenie papierosów w Powiecie Sokólskim (Selected eating behavior and physical
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Tabak, I., Mazur, J., & Zawadzka, D. (2015) Physical activity as a factor protecting teenage
boys from tobacco and marihuana use. Przegl epidemiol, 69, 795 – 800
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Weekly Report ,55.
Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
Poland
Social and Institutional Support as Perceivedby Female
Domestic Violence Victims Serving Custodial Sentence
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.07
Abstract
A frequent reason for women remaining in harmful, abusive relationships is
mainly fear of revenge, losing children, sense of guilt and erroneous conviction
on abuse. Financial dependence and a lack of familiarity with forms of assistance and available support force a woman to remain in a disordered relationship, sometimes running afoul of the law. Sometimes it is the case that during
yet another bout of abuse they reach for any object at hand and give a fatal
blow to their torturer – the worst and at the same time the saddest scenario.
Both options result in “the end” of one suffering – experiencing violence and
the onset of another one related to serving a custodial sentence. In this article
I would like to signal that some life paths combine those two awful experiences
implying an absence of support of the immediate environment as well as of
institutional support by entities whose responsibility it is to provide help.
Keywords: support, domestic violence, victim, perpetrator, custodial sentence
Introduction
One of the modern social pathologies deeply rooted in social reality is violence.
In the post-war Poland social awareness of domestic violence against women was
rather low. The 1990s became the breakthrough period with first research recognising this problem conducted in 1993. The following years saw, rather systematically,
instances of domestic violence with the example of numerous diagnoses developed
Social and Institutional Support as Perceived
85
by CBOS1 – 1996, 2002, 2003, 2005, and by TNS OBOP2 – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010,
as well as the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 (http://
www.mpips.gov.pl). The research reports show a growing number of women
experiencing violence on the part of their partners: from 61% to 90% of all victims.
This group constitutes the highest percentage of victims of sexual violence 90%,
physical violence 63%, psychological violence 64% and economic violence 70%.
Police statistics additionally complete the national data showing that in 2011 out
of 131,546 domestic violence victims 70,730 were women, whereas in 2014 out of
105,332 domestic violence victims 72,786 were women (http://statystyka.policja.pl).
International reports also present alarming data. The World Health Organisation rings alarm bells regarding a global epidemic with 35% women in the world
affected by domestic violence and 40% of all women killed were murdered by
their partners (http://www.who.un.org.pl). Also Amnesty International reports
that universally more and more women aged 15 to 44 die as a result of violence,
more than due to illnesses or road accidents. This only shows how difficult it is to
conduct a detailed and accurate analysis of this phenomenon and the presented
data is only the tip of an iceberg.
Scientific literature presents many concepts explaining the pathological
relations of a victim with the perpetrator of violence. The socio-psychological
perspective constitutes a good example of a traumatic relationship showing
a strong dependence of a woman on her partner. Such a concept is based on the
assumption that physical violence may intensify a woman’s need for love and
feelings. Such motivation is strong enough to endure her partner’s oppression.
In abusive relations double addiction develops. The perpetrator needs a victim
to control and master her. The punishment system introduced by the torturer is
a good method to neutralise his partner’s unwanted behaviours. Meanwhile, for
the victim the tyrant constitutes the centre of her existence. She feels responsible
for her partner in accordance with the traditional role of the woman and she
treats the abuse as a form of domestic discipline – rationalising her torturer’s
behaviour.
1 Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej – Polish Public Opinion Research Centre
2 Ośrodek Badania Opinii Publicznej – Public Opinion Poll Centre
Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
86
Research Methodology
Research was conducted in the Penal Institution in Lubliniec at the beginning of
2013. The Prison is a closed unit with departments such as a detention centre, halfopen and open type prison for women with a capacity for 230 prisoners (http://
www.sw.gov.pl).
The main objective of the conducted research was to recognise the meaning
the women – violence victims who serve a custodial sentence – attribute to social
and institutional support. The research was particularly aimed at recognising the
social barriers women encounter when violence is interrupted and help received
in such a difficult situation. The main research problem was the question of the
scope and character of social and institutional support available for women and the
opinions and needs within that scope. Detailed questions focused on the familiarity
with assistance institutions – the scope, services type, motives, circumstances of
seeking help, reaction of the environment and its influence on further life of women
enduring violence.
In order to obtain information necessary to carry out the research objectives,
a non-categorised interview was applied. Research respondents were 11 women –
domestic violence victims serving a custodial sentence for a variety of crimes as
well as those who killed their torturer. All the research participants lived within the
province of Silesia. The respondents’ age ranged from 19 to 38. Most of respondents
completed primary, vocational and secondary education. All of the respondents
had at least one child aged 3 to 8 – one respondent had three children.
Forms of Violence Applied to the Respondents
The victims suffered from their partners/fathers the following forms of violence:
•• Physical violence: beating, kicking, strangling – with the use of a number
of tools: knives, cleavers, destroying household equipment (poking, pushing
over, severe battery once in two months” K283), (“thrown out of the window
from the 2nd floor” A38);
•• Psychological violence: humiliating, offending, insults, ridiculing, threatening, blackmailing – verbal abuse (“failure to utter a name for a year”, “insults,
belittlement”, “perpetrator presents himself as a person wronged by others and
thus forces daughter into loyalty” K28),
3 K28 – the name initial and age of respondent
Social and Institutional Support as Perceived
87
•• Sexual violence: rapes and forcing to perform sexual activities, (touching,
molesting K28, “fulfil the woman’s marital duties” A38);
•• Economic violence: full financial and residential dependence (“husband
preferred me looking after the house and the child (…) our financial situation
was very good”, “husband owned the house” A36).
All the women participating in the research experienced physical and economic
violence. Also all of them financially depended on their torturers. Only two
respondents were forced to sexual relations –partner, father. A significant aspect
is the fact that for all the female respondents their partner’s violence started some
time after the beginning of their relationship (after the birth of the second child,
8 months into her relationship, 2 to 5 years into their marriage or upon reaching
physical maturity). Leonore Walker confirms that the most characteristic feature of
violence perpetrators is apparent normality non indicative of violence use (Walker,
1979) – maintaining their image – charming, likeable, manipulating others with
ease (Vaselle-Augensteini, Ehrlich 1992, p.140).
Strategies of Handling Violence and Forms of Defence
Specialists dealing with support and help are convinced that the actions of persons experiencing violence are bound within a rather limited repertoire without
a real opportunity to interrupt violence.
The respondents’ other activities included:
•• talking to the violence perpetrator – the women attempted to emphasise
its pejorative aspect, indicating the unfavourable influence, thus evoking
the sense of guilt in their partner. The manner of talking varied, sometimes
they were short several-minute discussions, while some were lengthy
monologues or preaching. With time the female respondents abandoned
such behaviours in the absence of visible improvement or because it was
an additional argument to use violence against them (A19, K27, E30, D29,
M27, A36, A38). Most frequently, violence perpetrators did not want to
undertake any talks. Some denied the facts while others treated it as a form
of justification of their behaviour (shifting responsibility).
•• demanding promises – when talking to their partners some women tried to
achieve a promise to discontinue the use of violence against them – a promise made did not cease violence (E30, A38, A36, S29, D29).
•• threatening – the women often tried to threaten or blackmail their partner (“calling the police, moving out of the house or revealing the domestic
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Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
situation”) unless they stopped the violence. Such a threat was perceived
by the partners as “empty words” and their illusory nature influenced the
effectiveness – an argument to close their victim’s mouth (S29, A36).
•• hiding from the torturer – a strategy applied during a direct attack aimed
at providing oneself with a “relative feeling of safety” – “hiding in another
room, running out of the house”. In the opinion of the respondents it was
hardly effective – most frequently it escalated the situation or resulted in
more severe consequences – “no possibility to return home for some time,
destroyed property or vandalised joint property” (A38, A36, A19, M27, D29).
•• avoiding – the women were of an opinion that if they avoided discussion,
provocation, stayed out of the way of their partners, they would become
“less visible” and the violence would stop. Unfortunately, the result was the
opposite, it became an argument for the use of violence (A38, A36, K28,
M27).
•• active defence – two female respondents were aggressive towards their
torturer. Such a reaction was unplanned. When attacked they tried to stop
the perpetrator with all possible means. In their opinion, it was an act of
desperation at the moment of hazard to their or their child’s life in the subjective perception of the respondents. Most frequently, the consequence of
such active defence is a fatal blow taking the life of the torturer (K28, A36).
Received Help Evaluation by Female Respondents
Help is the fundamental human act constituting the expression of social solidarity (Szluz, 2006 p. 123). It is a specific form of care for another human, understood
as cooperation with the subject in a difficult situation (Dąbrowski, 2000, p. 66),
providing them in diverse manners with one’s own resources – information, good
word, financial or material means (Otrębska-Popiołek, 1991, pp. 10 – 17).
Whereas social support in a behavioural or process-like aspect is identified with
assistance behaviours as a form of meeting the needs by significant persons (Sęk
1997, p.147). This is a form of social interaction, where information, emotions,
operational tools or goods are exchanged. A form of a system between the supporter and the recipient of support develops. Such an interaction should head
towards problem solving and the guarantee of effectiveness of activities is, first
of all, appropriate help, adequate to the recipient’s needs (Sęk, 1986, pp.791 – 799).
The female respondents’ familiarity with assistance institutions was poor. Social
care was the most often recognised institution, which appeared in the social
Social and Institutional Support as Perceived
89
benefits category and the customers of the so-called underclass (a stereotype
contributing to failure to use this form of help among the female respondents).
Meanwhile, half of the women participating in the research had contact with
the police – most frequently as a telephone call to report the domestic situation
during a violent attack – with police intervention as an effect. In the opinion of
the female respondents it was the least effective form of help – poor competences
of police officers (lack of knowledge of the phenomena of violence, problem with
differentiating between a family row and violence, lack of readiness to undertake
action – sobering-up centre in the instance of an intoxicated aggressor). Following
police contact once or twice the female respondents abandoned the use of such
a form of help considering it ineffective.
In the instance of non-professional support, the vast majority of the women
participating in the research did not receive any aid from their immediate environment or it was inadequate to their needs and expectations. Types of support
according to Helena Sęk (Sęk, Cieślak, 2011, pp.19 – 20) include:
•• emotional support: messages they received most frequently had hardly
anything in common with emotional support: “you need to bear it for the
benefit of the children, the family”(A19, E30), “children must have a father”
(A36, A19, M27,) “you will not manage on your own” (A19, A36, S29, K27,
D29), “life has its worse moments” (A19, S29, A,36, M27 ), “you are not the
only and the last one” (A19, A36, S29), “I have been there and I am still alive”
(E30, M27), “clench your teeth and carry on” (S29).
•• information support, the so-called cognitive support: the female subjects
were frequently presented only the consequences of undertaking any
activities aimed at revealing the violence suffered – within the context of
institutions or other people. On numerous occasions, bleak scenarios were
presented should they attempt to leave their partner/husband: “taking the
children away” (A36, A19, S29, K27, D29), “brake-up of the relationship”
(A36, S29, A19), “loneliness” (E30, K28), “shame” (A36, A19, M27), stigmatisation – “underclass” (A19, S29, A36).
•• instrumental support, which is an exchange of information on specific manners of proceedings, and providing proceedings instruments. The women
participating in the research were informed about MOPS4 as a source of
social benefits to support family without revealing the aspect of endured
violence. However, no specific ways of solving the problem were indicated.
4 Miejski Ośrodek Pomocy Społecznej – Social Welfare Centre
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Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
•• material support – offered to the majority of the female respondents under
the condition that no activities were undertaken; only one woman could
count on shelter when escaping or financial and material help.
Analysis of the collected material shows that the vast majority of the women
participating in the research could not count on the support or help on the part
of their immediate environment. Most often they experienced intimidation or
blackmail. They were made to believe that such was the natural order they should
adjust to. Very often during their attempts to undertake action they received
a message – “this is not the way” or “look at what you are losing” or “what will
happen to you”. In effect, the female respondents withdrew from undertaking any
activity putting themselves at the mercy of their torturers. They abandoned talking
about their problems, did not seek any further help at institutions or among their
relatives, thus remaining in their abusive relationships. On numerous occasions
the consequence of such a situation among the female respondents is prison for
various crimes or killing their torturer.
Serving a custodial sentence in prison is not a convenient situation. Prison
isolation limits personal freedom of a human being and forces them to submit to
the binding rules. All of their existing activities are subjected to a sudden change
and are brought to a subordinate-superior-inmate relation (Matysiak-Błaszczyk,
2010, pp. 44 – 45).
“Free time”, isolation from relatives, specific nature of the place allows them
to make certain considerations concerning their situation in life. The women
participating in the research analysed their situation from the time perspective
and noticed certain phenomena and events in a slightly different light. Therefore,
they may have a better understanding of themselves and the surrounding reality.
Considering all the answers of the female respondents their situation in life may
be divided into two periods:
•• before getting to prison the women displayed dominance of the following:
–– Lack of knowledge of the phenomena of violence,
–– Lack of knowledge of their rights and possibilities of receiving help,
–– Lack of knowledge of assistance institutions: no unified or updated list
of assistance institutions,
–– Institutional ineffectiveness – inadequate activities, inappropriate
education of assistance institution employees – inappropriate reaction,
lack of respect for the customer’s feelings, underestimating and failing
to observe the problem and the customer’s needs, lack of individual
approach – applying template procedures to all cases,
Social and Institutional Support as Perceived
91
–– Remoteness of assistance institutions – visible in rural areas and a limited assistance offer – poor institutional resources,
–– Lack of support from relatives – inappropriate reaction or help of the
immediate environment discourages from using professional institutional help.
•• time of serving a custodial sentence:
–– Numerous programmes are carried out for convicted women:
• educational and therapeutic programme for women with an alcohol
problem,
• educational and therapeutic programme for female victims of
domestic violence (Aggression Substitution Training, Educational
programme for female victims of domestic violence) (Marczak, 2013,
pp. 354 – 356),
• domestic budget management training,
• educational programme within the scope of health promotion and
prevention of contagious diseases and diseases of modern age
• going through problems – with a psychologist, therapist,
• education, gaining professional qualifications and their improvement,
professional activation
• stress, distress, separation from family (children).
The grounds of the gathered material show that both of those periods were not
favourable times for the respondents. The period of distress, a fear for oneself and
a child, helplessness and lack of support brought them to the place where they
currently have to spend a part of their lives. Prison, which partially freed them
from domestic hell, led them to the hell of a total institution. For the women
participating in the research it is a difficult time they are not proud of, torn by the
pricks of conscience, separation from family (children), a sense of injustice while
waiting for the end of their penalty. However, even here apart from the dark side
stemming from isolation (deprivation of needs, difficulties in handling the situation of the prison, limitations subject to legal provisions and the specific character
of the institution) they may find several positive aspects (boost knowledge and
awareness of those women, opportunity to participate in numerous therapeutic
and educational programmes, personal development), which enable their reunion
with “normal life”.
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Katarzyna Front-Dziurkowska
Conclusion
Female domestic violence victims who decided to seek support and help in
their immediate environment or a professional assistance institution carry their
personal baggage of experiences, diversified needs and expectations. At this
moment a question may be posed on why support and help are so important? The
answer is simple: support and help should be available to all persons in a difficult
situation. It is a consequence of a person’s belonging to a social network through
satisfaction of needs by significant persons. Help and support increase readiness
to undertake activities interrupting violence, enhance motivation to act even at
moments of doubt or obstacles in life, interrupt further human tragedy – one
does not enter the path of crime – including the killing of one’s own torturer. The
faith of the female respondents shows how much depends on the reaction of one’s
immediate environment and the first contact, which affects seeking further help.
How important is patient, empathic listening, understanding, compassion as well
as active encouragement to act and, if necessary, painful confrontation with tough
reality (Bilska, 2012, p. ).
Research shows that the biggest problem is a lack of knowledge (what violence
really is – low social awareness of where and how to seek help), what the rights
of every citizen are and institutional inefficiency – poor resources, inappropriate approach to the problem and to the customer. When undertaking activities,
attention needs to be drawn to education, information and psychological activities
addressed to an individual, society – raising awareness of what is violence and
where to seek help. Development of a support and help system should be founded
on the following principles: the principle of unconditional support for those
suffering violence – effective countermeasures of help require a clear position
condemning any forms of violence; the principle of respect for the decision of
a woman – together with help as well as with developing an integrated institutionalised system of support it is important to consider the specific character of
a relationship based on violence and its effects. Women seeking a way out of such
a dramatic situation should not feel that someone else will make decisions for
them. They should be in control of their destiny and persons involved in helping
should respect the decisions made and not exclude further opportunities to use
the offered forms of help; the principle of personalised approach – adjusting the
forms and the scope of help provided to individual needs and possibilities of
the customer and the principle of comprehensive help – the support and help
programme should be comprehensive in nature and include activities which allow
women to become independent.
Social and Institutional Support as Perceived
93
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Bilska E., Bariery utrudniające dostęp do placówek pomocowych, „Niebieska Linia” [Barriers
preventing access to assistance institutions, “Blue Line”] No. 2/2012 http://www.niebieskalinia.pl/pismo/wydania/dostepne-artykuly/5106-bariery-utrudniajace-dostep-do-placowek-wspierajacych dostęp 20.04.2016.
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women with a custodial sentence], Cracow 2010.
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psychologicznego i pracy interwencyjnej [Aspects of a psychological crisis and intervention
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sources, selected theoretical concepts], [in:] ed. H. Sęk, R. Cieślak, Wsparcie społeczne, stres
i zdrowie [Social support, stress and health], Warsaw 2011.
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[Concepts of assistance for man in theory and in practice], Rzeszów 2006.
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Ingrid Emmerová
Slovakia
School Preventive Socio-Educational Work of Social
Pedagoguesin the Slovak Republic and an Outline
of Their Activities in the Other V4 Countries
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.08
Abstract
The profession of social pedagogue is classified as a helping profession. Social
pedagogues can prove their worth in various sectors and work with various
target groups. The study analyses legislative possibilities and actual activities
of social pedagogues in schools in Slovakia. Social pedagogues working in
Slovak elementary and secondary schools carry out primary and secondary
prevention, deal with pupils’ problem behaviour, screen for threatened pupils,
provide counselling, actively work with pupils from socially disadvantaged
environments, co-operate with pupils’ parents and with specialists. The author
also briefly elucidates school preventive socio-educational work of social
pedagogues in the other V4 countries comparable geographically, historically
and culturally.
Keywords: social pedagogue, school social pedagogue, prevention, socio-educational work
Introduction
Helping/supporting professions are a relatively wide set of different professions
characterized by direct work with people, both in the social and educational as
well as health-care areas; they are a service and mission rather than routine work.
The concept of a helping profession includes an area of professional work with
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Ingrid Emmerová
people, based on an interpersonal relationship, the essential function of which is
helping the person or group to deal with various difficult situations. The profession
of social pedagogue is also such a profession. In 1994 the OECD recommended
intensifying the development of helping professions to all post-communist countries, thus also the V4 countries - the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the
Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic.
Profession of social pedagogue as a helping profession in the V4
countries and social pedagogues’ activities in schools
The profession of social pedagogue has been closely connected with the development of social pedagogy as a science and with the definition of its subject. The
wide orientation of social pedagogy to the solution of many socio-educational
problems in the past, but also today, is reflected in various approaches to the
definition of its subject, but also in the lack of unity in the definition of a social
pedagogue’s competences and work description.
In today’s post-modern times, social pedagogy can be characterized as a science
the subject of which is socio-educational care and help to children, youth, but also
adults in difficult life situations requiring help of society. It integrates the science
of educating children and youth – pedagogy, and the science of society – sociology.
Social pedagogy participates in helping, educational, preventive and re-educational
activities. It analyses the dynamic relations between a person and the environment
and intervenes in the processes of socialization, especially in threatened and
socially disadvantaged groups of children and youth, but also adults.
In all the V4 countries, social pedagogues are trained at higher education
institutions. Graduates can be employed in managerial functions within state
administration and self-government, facilities of social services, cultural and public-education facilities, re-educational facilities, facilities of educational prevention,
and facilities of substitute education, as educational and teaching staff in the field
of socio-pathological behaviour prevention. They are also professionally trained
to be able to act as school social pedagogues.
The development of the profession of social pedagogue in the Slovak Republic
has been prompted by social need. The current state of our society is marked
by expansion of negative phenomena society must promptly respond to. Their
increase requires intervention by the so-called helping professions including also
the profession of social pedagogue. The steep rise of socio-pathological behaviour,
high unemployment rate, transformation changes of the Slovak family, change in
School Preventive Socio-Educational Work of Social Pedagogues
97
the value orientation and other impacts have called for more intense development
of helping professions assisting family and school to deal with difficult situations
they are not able to manage without help. The situation is similar in all the V4
countries.
Social pedagogues can prove their worth in many areas, including elementary
and secondary schools. Of the V4 countries, activities of social pedagogues in
schools in the Slovak Republic have the best legislative anchoring. Within the V4
countries, social pedagogy has the longest history in Poland, where it has been
developed with varying intensity since 1903, when H. Radlińska published her
contribution, but the profession of social pedagogue in school is not adequately
legislatively anchored, similarly in Hungary or the Czech Republic, where,
however, social pedagogy has a shorter history. B. Kraus (2008) believes that the
greatest boom of social pedagogy in the Czech Republic was in the period after
1990. Hungarian social pedagogy has been influenced the strongest by German
social pedagogy; Slovak and Czech social pedagogy has been strongly influenced,
in addition to German, also by Polish social pedagogy.
In Hungary, the school social pedagogue means a professional in school social
work (Fodor, L., 2016). What is highlighted is the social pedagogue’s preventive
activity (Müller, M., 2013), co-operation with insufficiently stimulating family
(Varga, I., 2014), and great emphasis is laid on protection and help to threatened
children and youth.
In Polish social pedagogy, the preventive dimension resonates strongly (Radziewicz-Winnicki, A., 2008). The profession of social pedagogue, however, is not
pursued in schools; it is substituted by school pedagogues.
In the Czech Republic, social pedagogues are employed in schools only rarely,
in particular owing to projects. Š. Moravec et al. (2015) mapped cases of the
profession of social pedagogue pursued in elementary and secondary schools.
They were mainly the OP EC project “Providing Individual Support” and the OP
EC project of Masaryk University in Brno “Creation and Innovation of Training
Programmes and Professional Practice”, within which social pedagogues were
employed in elementary and secondary schools. Their employment is not defined
legislatively. In Czech schools, socio-educational work is carried out only within
activities of educational counsellors or school methodologists for risk behaviour
prevention.
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Ingrid Emmerová
School social pedagogue in the Slovak Republic
In accordance with the Act No. 245/2008 Coll. on upbringing and education
(School Act) of May 22, 2008, Section 130, the profession of social pedagogue is
added to other components of the educational counselling and prevention system
and the Act No. 317/2009 Coll. on the teaching staff and professional staff classifies the social pedagogue as a professional. Section 24 specifies that: “The social
pedagogue performs professional activities within prevention, intervention and
counselling in particular for children and pupils threatened by socio-pathological
behaviour, from socially disadvantaged conditions, addicted to drugs or otherwise
disadvantaged children and pupils, their legal representatives, and teaching staff
at school and in other school facilities. The social pedagogue fulfils tasks of social
education, support of social, ethical behaviour, socio-educational diagnostics of
environment and relations, socio-educational counselling, prevention and re-education of socio-pathological behaviour. The social pedagogue performs expertise
activities and adult education activities.” Schools should employ professionals,
social pedagogues, to deal with prevention and problem behaviour of pupils.
Social pedagogues know the risk and protective factors of children and youth’s
optimum development; they should influence pupils’ personal development and
develop their social skills.
J. Hroncova’s (2015) empirical findings revealed that all school social pedagogues participating in her research (N=64) performed counselling, diagnostic
and preventive activities, which is in compliance with the applicable legislation.
In the 2015/16 school year we carried out interviews with 15 school social pedagogues. Based on analysis of activities performed by social pedagogues working
in elementary and secondary schools (social pedagogues had already worked
in schools in Banská Bystrica, Lučenec, Trenčín, etc. for a longer time) and in
compliance with the Slovak applicable legislation it is possible to define social
pedagogues’ activities in the school environment.
Social pedagogues carry out primary prevention of socio-pathological
behaviour, and also secondary prevention in schools with problem behaviour.
Professionalization of socio-pathological behaviour prevention in the school
environment has been accentuated in several Slovak and European documents
focused on the prevention of socio-pathological phenomena, e.g., the National
Drugs Strategy (2013 – 2020) pointing to the professional character of prevention
implementation and the EU Drugs Strategy (2013 – 2020), to mention some.
Social pedagogues are qualified to perform primary and secondary prevention,
as well as other socio-educational work.
School Preventive Socio-Educational Work of Social Pedagogues
99
Carrying out preventive work effectively requires prediction of the probability
of a given phenomenon or phenomena occurrence and consideration of the
choice of methods and forms of action in the field both of primary and secondary
prevention in the school environment.
Currently, there is still a considerable problem of elementary and secondary
school children experimenting with drugs, whether legal or illicit. TAD and
ESPAD school surveys elucidate the situation not only in Slovakia, but also in
other countries. Their outcomes show that implementation of effective prevention
of drug addiction is inevitable.
It is typical of the current situation that also new negative phenomena are
becoming widespread. Media and information technologies have a vast positive
potential; they have penetrated and keep on penetrating into many areas of
our lives. Their use has brought, in addition to many benefits, also various risks
or threats, especially to children and youth (Borowska, T., 2009, Huk, T., 2012,
Juszczyk, S., 2012). At present, a serious problem is the so-called cyber-bullying,
i.e., electronic bullying (Kyriacou, Ch., Zuin, A., 2016). It is abuse of mobile phones
and internet to send aggressive, hateful and harming messages or intimidate persons, as the case may be. Especially the anonymous environment of the Internet
is a considerable danger in this respect. Electronic or cyber bullying, despite the
absence of actual physical strength, is very mean and dangerous. The following
can be given as examples: harassing and threatening by e-mails or text messages,
posting humiliating pictures or videos on the Internet, blogs (Internet journals),
spreading false or misrepresented information, modified photos, etc., spreading
various information under the name of an unsuspecting victim, etc.
Cyber-bullying can grow into cyber-stalking. Stalking is a term meaning
repeated, long-term, systematic and escalating persecution of various forms and
intensity. We speak of cyber-stalking when the attacker uses ICT (chat, social
networks, etc. to induce a feeling of fear in the victim). Another type of risk behaviour is sexting, the possible negative consequences of which young people are not
aware of. It occurs also among preadolescents and adolescents (Kopecký, K., 2012).
Sexting is electronic distribution of text messages, selfies - photographs or videos
of oneself, with sexual content. Most frequently it is distribution of erotic photos
or videos between partners. However, after a break-up either partner may spread
such materials via mobile phones or the Internet. In relation to the virtual space,
one should be warned against cyber-grooming, which is an Internet user’s action
evoking false trust in the victim and persuading the victim to meet personally. The
purpose of such behaviour is sexual abuse, physical violence or abuse of the victim
for pornography or prostitution.
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Ingrid Emmerová
The core of the prevention of inappropriate use and risks of the Internet, computer games, mobile telephony and texting is in the following steps: recognize
early warning signs (school work getting worse, fatigue, loss of interests and good
friends), set clear rules for work with the computer, as well as use of the mobile
phone, place the computer so as for it to be seen by adults and prevent its improper
use (pornography, violent games). It should be explained to elementary and secondary school children that the Internet may be dangerous. They must be aware of
the fact that they can never know for certain who is on the other side. They should
observe the rule not to disclose personal data, photographs, financial situation, etc.
on the Internet or via the mobile phone.
Social pedagogues in schools actively participate in dealing with pupils’
problem behaviour and intervene in the case of pupils’ problem behaviour. Elementary and secondary school teachers encounter more or less serious problem
behaviour in pupils more and more often (Rahman, S. & Abdulah, Z., 2013). Pupils’
deviant behaviour and violation of school rules are becoming a serious problem
requiring continuous attention from the point of view of preventive activities as
well as effects of sanctions and effective solutions.
Currently, the increase in pupils’ aggressive behaviour is becoming a considerably serious problem (Forsberg, C. & Thornberg, R., 2016, Hollá, K. & Kurincová,
V., 2013). The aggressive behaviour of elementary and secondary children may
lead even to crime. Such conduct by pupils is getting increasingly daring and cruel.
While in the past aggressive behaviour and bullying were widespread especially
among pupils, at present there are many cases of aggressive behaviour towards
teachers.
Social pedagogues screen for threatened pupils, especially pupils threatened
by a socially disadvantaged family environment and negative peer groups. They
pay special attention to missing classes, unexplained absences, naturally, but they
are interested also in the causes of explained absences.
Social pedagogues as counsellors provide counselling to pupils, teachers and
pupils’ parents or legal representatives. Social pedagogues in schools provide
educational and social counselling.
Social pedagogues as diagnosticians carry out socio-pedagogical diagnostics.
They focus on the diagnostics of the school and classroom climate and the diagnostics of social relations in the classroom.
Social pedagogues actively work with pupils coming from a socially disadvantaged environment. In accordance with the applicable legislation, social pedagogues often perform socio-educational work in the field. Social pedagogues in
school should pay special attention to Roma pupils coming from families failing to
School Preventive Socio-Educational Work of Social Pedagogues
101
adopt common socially accepted norms and failing to provide adequate conditions
for the development of their children. Child development is determined by family
background and therefore appropriate attention should be paid to school-family
cooperation, which can be actively supported by social pedagogues. Family is the
dominant factor of socialization, and, as noted by B. Kraus (2015), socialization
may take place in an environment of a different standard, different quality, and
therefore stimuli (persons) undesirable in terms of optimum personality development may cause the resulting conduct to divert from generally accepted norms.
Precisely the family may be the source of undesirable stimuli, as well as the source
of strong protective factors (e.g., strong emotional ties between parents and children, clear rules, proper care, enough time for the child, etc.).
Social pedagogues co-operate with parents and pupils’ legal representatives.
The school-family cooperation is extremely important in general, but also in the
prevention of socio-pathological behaviour. It is inevitable when dealing with
a pupil’s problem behaviour. What is especially urgent is cooperation with families
of pupils coming from a socially disadvantaged environment. In the Slovak Republic, it concerns especially poorly socialized Roma families. At present, despite the
effort of school institutions to involve parents in the school life as actively as possible, there are still many barriers and prejudices in the family-school relationship,
in particular in Roma families. As indicated by D. Kopčanová (2014), attributes
of the school failures of Roma children make it clear that parents’ attitude to
education is of great importance. If actual cooperation is established between
parents and school, positive results are being developed within the development
of greater trust between school and family; parents and teachers work as a team
to create positive learning experience in pupils and pupils benefit from work of
adults’ cooperative teams. Good cooperation with parents supports effectiveness
of teachers’ and other professionals’ work with pupils. The cooperation should
be based on collaboration and effective communication. The relationship should
include mutual acceptance, respect and tolerance. School social pedagogues could
also contribute to the improvement of this situation. As mentioned by L. Blaštíková (2016), in the majority of schools where a social pedagogue works there is
a higher percentage of Roma pupils. Cooperation with the family from a socially
disadvantaged environment is demanding, which has been confirmed also by
the findings of the State School Inspection. Parents focus only on care for the
material welfare of their children, they care less for their academic achievement,
compulsory school attendance or help with their homework.
Social pedagogues cooperate with specialists. The head teachers of schools
employing social pedagogues emphasise the fact of being relieved by social
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Ingrid Emmerová
pedagogues of communication with specialists outside of the school, e.g., with
the Department of Social and Legal Protection and Curatorship, Centres for
Pedagogical and Psychological Counselling and Prevention, Police, etc.
Social pedagogues are actively engaged in the area of conflict mediation. They
play the role of a neutral person, a mediator, to help to settle conflicts in school.
Based on the results of the interviews with the social pedagogues, it may be
stated that teachers need help especially in dealing with pupils’ educationally
problematic behaviour and subsequently in its prevention. What is interesting is
also that no difference was found between the responses of social pedagogues
working in elementary schools and social pedagogues working in secondary
schools. There is a more obvious difference between social pedagogues financed
from projects – they are more burdened with administrative work, writing various
statements and reports.
Conclusion
The profession of social pedagogue in school has been called for by the increase
in socio-pathological phenomena within the general society, but also directly in
the school environment. Elementary and secondary schools should employ social
pedagogues to deal with prevention and solution of pupils’ problem behaviour at
a professional level. Social pedagogues have qualifications to carry out primary
and secondary prevention as well as other socio-educational work. School social
pedagogues as professional staff are helpful to pupils, school management, teachers
and parents or pupils’ legal representatives, which has been confirmed by schools
employing social pedagogues for several years (e.g., Trenčín, Lučenec, etc.).
In the 2014/2015 school year social pedagogues were employed in Slovak
elementary schools in a greater number within the PRINED project (PRoject of
INclusive EDucation). The task of the national PRINED project was to support the
inclusive environment in kindergartens and elementary schools with the aim to
prevent the unjustified inclusion of Roma pupils in the system of special schools
and to support inclusion of pupils coming from marginalized Roma communities
through formation of inclusive teams. The fact that the PRINED project finished
on 30 November, 2015 should be regarded as negative. The benefits of the function of social pedagogue are testified to also by the fact that several school head
teachers retained the social pedagogues in their schools even after the project
termination, thus found other sources for their salaries.
School Preventive Socio-Educational Work of Social Pedagogues
103
References
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pp. 87 – 116.
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prostredia. Komplexný poradenský systém prevencie a ovplyvňovania sociálnopatologických javov v školskom prostredí. No 4, pp. 28 – 39.
Kraus, B. (2008). Základy sociální pedagogiky. Praha : Portál.
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Müller, M. (2013). Szociálpedagógus a „SÉF“ Szakképző Iskolában. From: slideplayer.hu
Rahman, S. & Abdulah, Z. (2013). Meta-Behavioural Skill: Students without Problem
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Radziewicz-Winnicki, A. (2008). Pedagogika społeczna. Warszawa : Wydawnictwa
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Zákon č. 245/2008 z 22. mája 2008 o výchove a vzdelávaní (školský zákon) a o zmene
a doplnení niektorých zákonov.
Zákon č. 317/2009 z 24. júna 2009 o pedagogických zamestnancoch a odborných zamestnancoch a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov.
Miriam Niklová,
Michaela Šajgalová
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers
in Elementary Schools in Slovakia
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.09
Abstract
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers is a serious educational problem
prompting social need for its solution in the school environment. The present
research study aims to monitor the current state of pupils’ aggressive behaviour
towards teachers. The study is of a theoretical-empirical nature. At the theoretical level, the issue is relatively little treated in the Slovak professional literature.
It is paid more attention by foreign authors. The empirical section of the study
presents results of our research conducted in Slovakia in 2016 among teachers
of the elementary school second level in the Banská Bystrica and Žilina regions,
as well as among professional staff at centres for pedagogical counselling and
prevention. The research paid special attention to forms of aggressive behaviour,
gender differences and causes of these serious behavioural disorders in pupils.
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers may have a variety of forms of
which the verbal form such as back-talking and vulgarisms towards teachers is
the most frequent. Gender differences recorded in pupils’ aggressive behaviour
towards teachers showed the prevalence of boys. From the aspect of causes
of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers, those were mainly improper
parenting and a lack of teacher authority.
Key words: aggressive behaviour, pupils, elementary schools, teacher authority,
aggression, prevention
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers
105
Introduction
The origin of the term “aggression” is the Latin word “aggredi” meaning to attack.
According to L. Lachytová the term “aggression” most frequently denotes aggressive behaviour usually arising in response on an actual or only illusory threat to
one’s power, most frequently as a manifestation of anger (2011, p. 55). Z. Martínek
(2015, p. 38) describes aggressive behaviour as behaviour that is offensive, whether
physically or verbally, and that is a manifestation of the person’s aggression.
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour is a serious educational problem requiring
special attention not only at the theoretical-empirical level, but also in school
practice. According to A. Heretik (2010, p. 319) “aggression” is a behavioural
unit, a response to a stimulus, that can be characterized by such properties as
offensiveness, violence, destruction. Aggression is deliberate conduct with the aim
to harm another person, an object or an animal. According to D.L. Daly (2011,
p.5) aggression is deliberate behaviour that may cause psychological or physical
harm to others and have a variety of forms. D.L. Daly (2011), H. Mynard and
S. Joseph (2000) classify the following as the forms of aggression: physical (physical assaults, fights...), verbal (verbal assaults, bad language) and social (manipulation, isolation, spreading negative or false information). The term “aggression” is
closely connected with the term “aggressiveness”, defined by S. Kariková (2008, p.
18) as a “relatively permanent personality disposition or characteristic to behave
aggressively”. According to Kariková (2011, p. 386), aggression is manifested
externally as aggressive behaviour where “...a person asserts oneself at the expense
of another, disregards the rights of the other, tends to humiliate, insult and belittle
the other. In social relationships, the person constantly fights, manipulates and
likes to command others.”
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers continues to be a current phenomenon at Slovak schools, with a tendency of gradual increase. It is stated also
in the Report on the State of Education in Slovakia and System Steps to Promote its
Further Development (2013) by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of
the Slovak Republic (p. 50): “Threatening children’s and pupils’ safety, teaching and
non-teaching staff at school (bullying pupils, attacks on teachers by pupils or their
legal representatives) is considered a considerable problem”.
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour is paid considerable attention also abroad. According to the official report by the U.S. Department of Education (2015), approx. 20%
of teachers at public schools reported having been attacked by pupils verbally, 10%
reported having been physically threatened by pupils and 5% reported having
been physically assaulted by pupils at school.
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Miriam Niklová, Michaela Šajgalová
The authors M. Lokmic, S. Opic, V. Bilic (2013) carried out empirical research
in selected elementary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia, aimed
to monitor the occurrence of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers. In
their study, the above authors reported that 28% of their respondents (teachers)
had experience with pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards their persons at least
once a year, 25.6% of the teachers responded that they had no experience with
aggressive behaviour towards their persons and 21.3% of the teachers responded
that they experienced pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards their persons once
a week.
Methodological background and methods of research
Bullying pupils by teachers is paid considerable attention in the Slovak
professional literature, but the issue of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards
teachers, or pupils’ bullying teachers has been so far treated only marginally.
The increase in this risk behaviour, however, prompts social need to pay them
greater attention also in the field of empirical research by institutions of higher
education training future teachers for elementary and secondary schools. That
is the reason why in 2016 empirical research was carried out with the aim to
find out and examine the occurrence and forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviour
towards teachers at selected elementary schools in the region of Central Slovakia. One of the research objectives was to find out causes of pupils’ aggressive
behaviour towards teachers at elementary schools in the Banská Bystrica and
Žilina regions. Empirical data were collected using a self-designed questionnaire, containing a set of open-ended, closed-ended, combined and scaled items.
The rate of return of the questionnaires by teachers at the elementary school
second level was 92.80%.
The research sample consisted of 232 respondents – teachers at the elementary
school second level in the Banská Bystrica and Žilina regions. The research was
carried out in 21 elementary schools in Slovakia. Within the Žilina region, the
research was carried out:
•• In the town Turčianske Teplice,
•• In the villages Benice, Mošovce, Horná Štubňa
Within the Banská Bystrica region, the research was carried out:
•• In the towns Sliač, Zvolen, Banská Bystrica, Lučenec, Rimavská Sobota;
•• In the villages Slovenská Ľupča, Ľubietová, Poniky, Hrochoť, Valaská, Čierny
Balog, Halič, Janova Lehota.
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers
107
The most numerous representation in the research sample was of teachers with
teaching experience of 26 and more years (n=22%); the lowest portion was that of
beginning teachers with teaching experience of 0 to 5 years (n=10.34%).
The research objectives were specified as follows:
•• Find out the rate of incidence of pupils’ aggressive behaviour forms occurs
at the second level of selected elementary schools;
•• Find out causes of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers;
•• Find out the frequency of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers;
•• Find out whether there is a statistically significant difference between the
occurrence of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers at elementary
schools in the towns and in the country.
To find out the occurrence of forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards
teachers, the median value and average frequency of individual forms of pupils’
aggressive behaviour towards teachers at the examined schools were used.
Along with the questionnaire method, an unstructured individual interview was
used in the research, as well as content analysis of preventive educational activity
with the professional staff of centres for pedagogical counselling and prevention.
The professional staff were intentionally selected for the research sample, by the
common sign of directly co-operating with the examined schools, so that the
interviews integrated and reflected the variability of information, opinions and
experience concerning the issue studied.
Results
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour is a serious educational problem disrupting not
only the teaching-learning process, but also functioning of the whole class and that
is why it must be paid due attention. That was the reason why our research focused
on finding out forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviour.
It was found out that 25.00% of the respondents (teachers) with teaching
experience of 6 – 10 years had experienced pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards
their persons. The lowest occurrence of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards their
persons was reported by 1.29% of the teachers with teaching experience of 21 – 25
years. Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers was absent only in 20.26% of
the respondents, which is a negative finding from the pedagogical point of view.
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers occurred most frequently in male
pupils, thus boys at elementary schools in towns. Participation of pupils of the
male and feminine gender in aggressive behaviour towards teachers was 60.29%.
Miriam Niklová, Michaela Šajgalová
108
According to the teachers’ responses, pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards them
was occurring almost daily, except for a direct physical assault on a teacher (direct
physical aggression). Frequent physical aggression towards teachers by pupils was
reported by 6 respondents.
Table 1. Forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers; regional aspect
AM
Towns
Direct physical aggression
(a blow, a slap)
0.53
Villages
0.50
Total AM
Total Me
0.53
0.0
Indirect physical aggression
1.80
1.96
1.86
2.0
Mockery
2.58
2.44
2.53
3.0
Back-talk
4.08
3.60
3.88
4.0
Deliberately disobeying orders
3.58
3.28
3.46
3.5
Intimidation
1.86
1.34
1.65
2.0
Threats
1.53
1.32
1.45
1.0
Irony
2.64
2.32
2.51
3.0
Verbal insults
2.91
2.83
2.88
3.0
Vulgarisms
3.69
3.76
3.72
4.0
Offensive gestures
3.06
3.06
3.07
3.0
Raised voice
3.17
2.93
3.07
3.0
Ignoring
3.11
2.98
2.51
3.0
Deliberately invading the intimate
zone
1.46
1.36
1.42
1.0
None
0.00
0.00
0.01
0.0
0 = never. 1 = once a school-year, 2 = once a half-year, 3 = once a month, 4 = once a week, 5 = daily
In the regional aspect, a significant difference was recorded in the respondents’
option “Back-talk” as a manifestation of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards
teachers, more frequently reported by the teachers from towns (4.08) than the
teachers from villages (3.6). The most frequent manifestation of pupils’ aggressive
behaviour towards teachers was in the form of “Vulgarisms”, with similar representation in towns and villages.
The individual forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviour presented in Table 1 were
differentiated in the tables below similarly as by P. Koršňáková and J. Kováčová
(2010), by the index of pupils’ indiscipline and the index of serious transgressions.
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers
109
Tables 2 and 3 show the forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers
at the examined elementary schools, and were applied Welsh’s two-sample t-test to
compare the index of pupils’ indiscipline and the index of serious transgressions
in the regional context.
Table 2. Index of pupils’ indiscipline towards teachers
AM Town
AM Village
3. 41
3.24
t = 1. 22777 df = 205. 684
p – value = 0.221
t = value of Welsh’s test, df = degrees of freedom, p – value
Table 3. Index of serious transgressions against teachers
AM Town
AM Village
1.94
1.77
t = 1.3995 df = 188.394
P – value = 0.1633
t = value of Welsh’s test, df = degrees of freedom, p – value
Figure 1. Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers;
regional aspect
1 singular value decomposition 1, SV2 - singular value
decomposition 2, obec = village, mesto = town
Miriam Niklová, Michaela Šajgalová
110
From the regional aspect, there was no statistically significant difference
between milder and more serious forms of pupils’ aggressive behaviours towards
teachers. The average index of pupils’ indiscipline towards teachers was 3.41 at
the examined schools situated in towns and 3.24 in villages. Also in the regional
aspect, no statistically significant differences were recorded in the frequency of
pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers at the examined schools. The average
frequency of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers at elementary schools
situated in towns was once a week, while reported as once a month by the respondents in villages. From the regional aspect, the prevailing frequency of the index of
pupils’ serious transgressions against teachers at the examined schools was once
a half-year.
The tables below show the composition of the selected sample of teachers from
the examined schools by their gender and possible settlement of the occurring
conflict situations by the teachers’ gender.
Table 4. Teaching staff composition by gender
Alternatives
Teachers of the elementary school 2nd level
Women
Men
TOTAL
N
%
n
%
N
%
194
83.62
38
16.38
232
100
Table 5. Possible settlement of conflict situations by the teachers’ gender
Possible settlement of conflict situations
Cooperation with the pupil’s class teacher and
parents
Personal talk with the aggressive pupil
Effort to explain the aggressor that he/she
behaves inappropriately
Cooperation with the school management
and other institutions (e.g. Centres for Pedagogical Counselling and Prevention)
Cooperation with Prevention Coordinator/
Educational Counsellor
Note in the pupil’s mark-book
Cooperation with school professional staff
Effort to change the teaching style during
next classes
Raising voice
Ignoring
Women
n
%
221
95.25
n
6
Men
%
2.59
TOTAL
N
%
227
97.84
188
206
81.03
88.80
35
15
15.09
6.46
223
221
96.12
95.26
213
92.24
2
0.86
215
93.10
193
83.20
15
6.46
208
89.66
203
170
155
87.50
73.28
66.81
1
1
7
0.43
0.43
3.02
204
171
162
87.93
73.71
69.83
102
16
43.97
6.89
13
6
5.60
2.59
115
22
49.57
9.48
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers
111
To test the forms and methods applied by the teachers to settle conflict situations with pupils Fischer’s test was used, however, no statistically significant
difference was found from the aspect of the teachers’ gender, thus no values are
given in a table. Currently there still persists feminization of the teaching staff
documented in Table 4. Our research found out that up to 227 teachers preferred
possible settlement of conflict situations in cooperation with the class teacher
and the pupil’s parents, with the prevalence of women teachers, which is 95.25%.
Another appropriate method was the teacher’s (victim’s) personal talk with the
pupil (aggressor), reported by 188 women teachers and 35 men teachers. The
empirical research also showed a considerable difference in the strategy of conflict situation settlement by gender of the teachers at the examined schools. The
teachers were of the same opinion on appropriate settlement of conflict situations
in the form of teacher’s talk with the pupil.
When comparing the opinions of the respondents of the questionnaire research
and those of the participants of the unstructured interview concerning prevention of pupils’ aggressive behaviour, certain discrepancies were observed, giving
evidence of insufficient interest of schools in preventive activities offered by the
centres studied. The content analysis of the plans of preventive activities showed
that centres offered schools a wide range of preventive activities and programmes
in this respect for various age groups of pupils.
The teachers of the research evaluated the existing quality of the support service by the participants as relevant to their work, although they did not use it
sufficiently.
All respondents and participants in the research equally stated that the key
to the prevention of, but especially to dealing with, aggressive behaviour is the
school – family co-operation.
Discussion
In its study APA (American Psychological Association) presents results of
several surveys that are certain starting points for the national research and the
political programme of the government. One of the surveys of 2005, carried out in
254 elementary and secondary schools, focused on causes of aggressive behaviour
towards teachers by pupils at the elementary school second level. Based on the survey results, experts (D. Espelage, E.M. Anderman, V.E. Brown, A. Jones, K. Lynne
Lane, S.D. McMahon, L.A. Reddy, C.R. Reynolds, 2013) arrived at the conclusion
112
Miriam Niklová, Michaela Šajgalová
that a lack of teacher authority had the greatest influence on origination and
development of aggressive behaviour.
The results of our research founded on the Likert scale (occurrence frequency
2.75) show that at the examined schools, a lack of teacher authority was considered
a significant cause of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers, which was
reported most frequently by teachers with 11 – 15 years’ and 26 and more years’
experience. The examined teachers reported parenting faults as the most frequent
cause of pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers (1.52).
In the National Report of the OECD international research TALIS, P. Koršňáková and J. Kováčová (2010) differentiated pupils’ misbehaviour by two indices:
the index of pupils’ indiscipline (incidence rate of such behaviours as classroom
disturbance, vulgarisms / bad language, absenteeism, cheating, late-comings)
and the index of serious transgressions (incidence rate of such behaviours as
vandalism, intimidation of other pupils, theft, intimidation of teachers, physical
injuries to other pupils, use of drugs or alcohol). In Slovakia, values of the index
of serious transgressions were only half values of the index of pupils’ indiscipline
(SR: 0.27, elementary schools: 0.29, eight-year secondary grammar school: 0.14),
which means that the given transgressions occurred sporadically at the examined
schools (use of drugs or alcohol and physical injuries to other pupils were the least
frequent). The index of pupils’ indiscipline had significantly higher values - with
moderate occurrence in Slovakia (SR: 0.45, elementary schools: 0.47, eight-year
secondary grammar school: 0.36). In individual components of the index, statistically significant deviations from the Slovak average were found in the Bratislava
region (problem with pupils’ absences, index 16.8, smaller when compared to 57.8
in the Žilina region) and in the Prešov region (problem with pupils’ vulgarity and
bad language, index 14.6, smaller when compared to 53.6 in the Žilina region).
In 2015 S. Fatima, M.P. Scholar, S.K. Malik carried out research designed similarly to our research. Their research results showed that boys were more aggressive
than girls. Girls, but also boys, had low tolerance to criticism of their personality
or school performance. The main difference observed between manifestations of
aggressiveness in girls and boys was found in selection of the forms of aggression.
Girls were more inclined to verbal manifestations of aggressive behaviour towards
teachers and physical manifestations were typical of boys.
Empirical research by several authors (I. Emmerová 2014, K. Hollá 2013,
P. Munn 2009, S.R. Neill 2001 and others) shows that verbal aggressive behaviours
during classes, but also threats to teachers by pupils, pupils’ parents or other relatives are the most frequent form of elementary school pupils’ aggressive behaviour
towards teachers.
Pupils’ Aggressive Behaviour Towards Teachers
113
The Report on the State of Education in Slovakia and on the System Steps to
Promote its Further Development states that disrupted social relationships in the
classroom, underestimation of the seriousness of aggressive behaviour indications
in children and pupils appear to be a big problem and also the cause of aggressive
behaviour. The Report... further specifies the following partial tasks to be solved
for the problems to be cured:
•• Make teacher continual education more intense in the field of conflict
situation management;
•• Examine the possibilities and extent of using camera systems in schools;
•• Increase the number of professional staff for the field of prevention, and
other.
In this respect, it is also important that schools are strengthened by professionals
for the field of prevention where especially social pedagogues are helpful, as referred
to also in the Act No. 317/20019 on teaching staff and professional staff, Section 24.
For the prevention of pupils’ aggressive behaviour in schools to be effective,
it is necessary to implement long-term preventive programmes involving the
widest possible community of pupils, parents and teachers in co-operation with
professionals and institutions dealing with socio-pathological behaviour prevention at the professional level. Several authors, such as, e. g. C. David-Ferdon, 2014,
M. O´Moore, 2010, R. Green, 2010, D.L. Daly, 2011, set forth that to carry out
preventive activities, school should draw up and implement in the educational
process a strategy against aggressive behaviour and/or bullying, apply disciplinary
methods to pupils’ aggressive behaviours, intensify school supervision of pupils,
work out classroom rules, organize school meetings, inform parents and pupils
about prevention of aggressive behaviour and how it is addressed, organize events
for them, work out a plan for help to victims of aggressive behaviour, etc. The
professional staff at school should focus their preventive activities on development
of pupils’, but also teachers’ social skills, with regard to support of protective factors, effective solution of problems, development of social communication, social
perception, anger management, self-reflection, self-regulation, etc.
D. Espelage, E.M. Anderman, V.E. Brown, A. Jones, K. Lynne Lane, S.D. McMahon, L.A. Reddy, C.R. Reynolds (2013) state that prevention of pupils’ aggressive
behaviour requires teachers to apply preventive programmes at schools with
regard to conflict settlement. It is also relevant to strengthen teacher training in
institutions of higher education to produce a new generation of teachers with an
adequate amount of knowledge, managerial skills for work in the classroom. It is
necessary to provide teachers continual education and various forms of supportive
counselling.
114
Miriam Niklová, Michaela Šajgalová
Conclusion
Pupils’ aggressive behaviour towards teachers is one of serious phenomena the
occurrence of which has currently an increasing tendency. It is not uncommon,
that teachers at schools are often confronted by aggressive behaviours of pupils
towards one another, but also towards school teaching staff and professional
staff. School, as the professional educational institution, has a team of erudite
professionals, thus it should in the first place prevent pupils’ aggressive behaviour,
but also settle arising conflict situations adequately and effectively. Causes of
aggressive behaviour should be established early, diagnosed correctly and dealt
with in cooperation with professional staff, especially social pedagogues with such
competencies specified in the Act No. 317/2009 on teaching staff and professional
staff. It is especially the competence to carry out prevention, socio-pedagogical
diagnostics of environment and relationships, socio-pedagogical counselling and
behaviour re-education. Social pedagogues fulfil tasks of social education, support
of pro-social, ethical behaviour and also perform expertise activities and adult
education activities.
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Zákon č. 317/2009 o pedagogických zamestnancoch a odborných zamestnancoch.
General
Didactics
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
Slovakia
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers
of Vocational Subjects With an Emphasis
on The Effectiveness of Teaching
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.10
Abstract
The purpose of the presented study is to present research conducted in the
conditions of vocational education in the Slovak Republic, aimed to assess the
effectiveness of the use of interactive whiteboards for teaching vocational subjects. The main method of research was the pedagogical experiment; another
method used was the questionnaire method. The authors’ research findings
give evidence that students obtained significantly better results in acquired
knowledge and skills when interactive whiteboards were used for teaching
than when taught traditionally. The authors also present recommendations for
teaching practice in Slovakia.
Keywords: vocational education, interactive whiteboard, effectiveness of teaching,
pedagogical experiment
Introduction
A modern vocational school should, in the first place, teach students critical
thinking, it should develop their ability to solve problems, and a more intense link
to practice appears desirable. Vocational schools are influenced by technological
development having, on the one hand, an impact on co-operation among schools,
which is faster, more effective and less expensive in the electronic form (communication via e-mail, telebridges or other on-line transmissions of data) and, on the
120
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
other hand, also on students, the contemporary student generation being often
called the “net-generation”. It is necessary to fully adapt the educational process
at vocational schools to these facts, in particular, by the application of current
technological possibilities including also teaching with the use of interactive
whiteboards.
The subject-matter of pedagogical research was to assess the impact of the use
of interactive whiteboards for teaching vocational subjects at secondary vocational
schools on students’ acquired knowledge and skills, as well as to evaluate their
effect on the quality of the teaching process in relation to students’ motivation for
learning. Application of modern ICT-based resources consisting in examination
of the technological environment from the point of view of its interactivity enables students’ active involvement in the teaching process. In this view, creation of
an open environment is promoted, responding to students’ complex behaviour,
so-called interactivity and also multimedia presentation of knowledge.
New possibilities in technologies have gradually made teachers’ work easier
and lessons more interesting and attractive for students (Hasajová, 2014). The
technology of interactive teaching by means of interactive whiteboards is the
highest degree of object-teaching which is enriched by elements of interactivity.
Thus, the teacher and students actively enter into the teaching process and are able
to influence and adapt it to current needs. Interactive whiteboards have become
a worldwide phenomenon and recently they have been increasingly applied also
in the conditions of vocational education in Slovakia. There is a great number of
research studies worldwide, dealing with the effectiveness, but also pitfalls, of the
use of interactive whiteboards in the educational process. Since 2006, the BESA
(British Educational Suppliers Association) has been putting through the idea that
every classroom in British schools should be equipped with an interactive whiteboard (Kennewell, 2006). The effectiveness of the use of interactive whiteboards
for teaching the subjects English Language, Mathematics and Sciences was studied
by G. Moss et al. (2007). Their research concerned students’ motivation, behaviour,
engagement and learning in the classroom using an interactive whiteboard. The
results of the research indicated that most teachers used interactive whiteboards
only as a supportive medium of traditional teaching. Only a minority of teachers
perceived the interactive whiteboard technology as a possibility to innovate their
own teaching methods and procedures. The most innovative teachers were those
who had the most experience with the use of interactive whiteboards. The research
results also showed that the use of interactive whiteboards varied also depending
on the subject taught. The authors of the research explained the fact by different
availability of educational interactive programs for individual subjects. Almost
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers of Vocational
121
78% of the teachers reported that they prepared materials for interactive lessons
themselves and only 42% of the teachers used official teaching software. The effect
of interactive whiteboards on students’ learning and activity in the teaching process was studied by S. Kennewell and G. Beauchamp (2003). They found out that
teaching with the use of interactive whiteboards intensely helped to attract and
retain students’ attention. Students were considerably more active at such lessons
than at traditional ones. Research carried out in the USA by Dantzker (2002)
showed that almost 75% of students reported that the interactive whiteboard
considerably helped them in the learning process. Research results by P. Joaquin
and M.I. Iglesias (2010) indicated that an interactive whiteboard in combination
with students’ activity aroused by problem solving and by discussion created
a constructive climate in the learning process. On the initiative of the European
Commission (EC), European Schoolnet and University of Liege, a survey was
carried out in 2011 and 2012, focused on the use of information-communications
technologies in education, preferentially at European schools (Gogová, 2014). In
relation to the use of interactive whiteboards at vocational schools, the most interactive whiteboards per student are used in Norway, i. e., 28 students per interactive
whiteboard. Slovakia was placed below the European average with 200 students
per interactive whiteboard. According to the mentioned research, at Slovak vocational schools, interactive whiteboards are used for teaching 27% of students at
least once a week. The above facts relating to vocational education in Slovakia are
a good starting point for the aim of the presented research study.
Research Methodology
Research goal
The main goal of the research was to acquire, quantify and analyze the knowledge about the use of interactive whiteboards at selected secondary vocational
schools.
Research hypotheses
The following hypotheses were set up in our research:
H1: The teachers using an interactive whiteboard for teaching for a longer
time need less time to prepare for the lesson taught using an interactive
whiteboard.
H2: The frequency of using an interactive whiteboard is higher among the
teachers who have attended training in the work with an interactive
122
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
whiteboard than among the teachers who have not attended such training.
H3: Students of experimental groups, where an interactive whiteboard is used
for teaching, perform better in a didactic test than students of control
groups, where no interactive whiteboard is used for teaching.
Selected sample and organization of research
The research sample is represented by two basic groups of respondents, i.e.,
teachers and students of secondary vocational schools situated in three districts
of Slovakia. Schools in a specific district were selected by stratified sampling. The
stratification category was the number of students at the secondary vocational
school above 200. The research was carried out in five secondary vocational
schools in the towns: Pribeník, Kráľovský Chlmec, Michalovce and Košice. The
research involved a total of 182 teachers, among whom there were 76 men (41.8%)
and 106 women (58.2%) and a total of 226 students, among whom there were 167
(73.9%) boys and 59 (26.1%) girls. The research was carried out from December
2013 to December 2014; in 2015 the results obtained were processed and assessed.
Research methods
The following research methods were used in the research:
•• Analysis and synthesis of knowledge from the literature dealing with the
use of interactive whiteboards for teaching;
•• Questionnaire method – to find out students’ and teachers’ opinions on and
attitudes towards teaching with interactive whiteboards;
•• Pedagogical experiment – to compare teaching results in the control and
experimental groups of students;
•• Mathematical and statistical methods - to evaluate research results by the
Data Analysis application in the Microsoft Excel program.
Research methodology
Within the pedagogical experiment, two groups of respondents were formed:
a control group and an experimental group. The control group consisted of 23
students and the experimental one of 22 students. The control group was taught
traditionally, without the use of an interactive whiteboard, and in the experimental
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers of Vocational
123
group, an interactive whiteboard was used at lessons. The extent of the subject
matter learnt of the thematic unit “Combined Transportation” in the subject
Exercises in Logistics in Transportation was assessed by a didactic test.
An anonymous questionnaire was designed for the teachers, containing 20
items, 5 of which were closed-ended questions with “Other” and 15 closed-ended
questions. The set of closed-ended items included three two-choice items. The
other closed-ended items were multiple-choice ones. The closed-ended questions
with “Other” enabled the respondents to choose one of the given options while
enabling them to give their own opinion. The questionnaire contained data
required for the questionnaire processing and evaluation, which were included in
Item 21. Items 2 and 3 explored the teachers’ access to computers in school. Items
4, 5 and 6 explored how the school was equipped with interactive whiteboards.
Items 7, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 15 explored the use of interactive whiteboards at lessons.
Item 12 explored the subject where an interactive whiteboard was used and Item
19 explored the development of students’ competences. Items 13 and 18 explored
how the use of an interactive whiteboard influenced the students’ attitude to the
given subject. In Item 8, we wanted to get to know also whether the teachers had
attended training in the use of interactive whiteboards. The advantages and disadvantages of the use of interactive whiteboards were explored by Items 16 and 17.
Demands of preparation for lessons were derived from answers to Item 20.
Our self-designed questionnaire for the students consisted of 9 closed-ended
items. Item 1 explored how many vocational subjects used an interactive whiteboard. Items 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 asked the students whether there was any shift in
them in some indicators: it was easier for them to remember the subject matter,
they had no problem to present themselves in front of the class, they were able to
co-operate with their fellow students in solving tasks, they were able to concentrate
better on the subject matter taught, they had no problem to ask if they did not
understand something, they had to search for information more on their own to
tackle tasks. Items 2 and 9 explored the frequency and demands of work with an
interactive whiteboard.
Research Results
Analysis of results of the pedagogical experiment and questionnaire
survey
To check the students’ knowledge of the subject matter taught, a didactic test
was used, containing 21 tasks. The maximum score was 45.
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
124
Verification of the research hypothesis H1:
H1: The teachers using an interactive whiteboard for teaching for a longer
time need less time to prepare for the lesson taught using an interactive
whiteboard.
Processing method:
To test the hypothesis on the assumption that the basic data sets were of an
approximately normal distribution, a correlation coefficient was used. The first
examined data set, “the length of time of the interactive whiteboard use,” was compared with the second examined data set, “time spent to prepare for the lesson”.
The values obtained by questionnaire surveys are presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Time spent preparing for the lesson
Length of time of the interactive whiteboard use
Time spent preparing
for the lesson
Less than
12 months
13 – 24 months
More than
24 months
Total – ni.
1 hour
15
9
4
28
2 hours
24
12
11
47
3 and more hours
17
16
7
40
Total – nj.
56
37
22
115
Source: own processing.
After calculation and subsequent analysis, the correlation coefficient resulting
value of the compared data sets was k = 0.741. Since the assumption of fulfilled
conditions of a strong correlation was a correlation coefficient within the closed
interval of 0.8 ≤ k ≤ 1, with regard to the calculated value, a moderate or weak
correlation between the samples was stated. No strong correlation was confirmed,
thus no very close connection between the data sets studied could be confirmed.
The hypothesis H1 was not confirmed, which means that the teachers using an
interactive whiteboard for teaching for a longer time do not need less time to prepare
for the lesson taught using an interactive whiteboard.
Verification of the research hypothesis H2:
H2: The frequency of using an interactive whiteboard is higher among the
teachers who have attended training in the work with an interactive
whiteboard than among the teachers who have not attended such
training.
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers of Vocational
125
Processing method:
To test the hypothesis, the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank two-sample test was
used (and/or the Mann-Whitney U-test).
Table 2. Frequency of using an interactive whiteboard
Frequency of using an interactive whiteboard
Training attendance
1x/month
4x/month
12x/month
20x/month
Total
18
17
19
35
89
Yes
No
8
6
7
5
26
Total
26
23
26
40
115
Source: own processing.
Values for testing the dependence of the frequency of using an interactive
whiteboard on training attendance are presented in Table 2. The values were
arranged in a non-descending order, thus a combined sample was obtained. The
combined sample values were assigned a numeric rank. The same values were
assigned the same numeric rank calculated as the arithmetic mean of the ranks
the values would be assigned were they not the same. Totals were calculated of the
control group’s T1 rank values and of the experimental group’s T2 ranks, respectively. Values of the U1 and U2 characteristics were calculated, where m was the
number of the control group students and n was the number of the experimental
group students.
U1 = m.n + m(m+1)/2 - T1 = 1691
(1)
U2 = m.n+n(n+1)/2 – T2 = 623
(2)
The value of the testing criterion U0 = min (U1, U2) = 623. The hypothesis H0
was rejected at the significance level α = 0.05, if U0 ≤ Uα, where Uα was the critical
value of the Wilcoxon two-sample test. The critical value for m=89 was 623 ≤ 935.
With regard to the statistical methods used and the values calculated, the validity
of the hypothesis H2 was confirmed. Since the testing criterion value U0 was
623 ≤ 935, the tested hypothesis H0 was rejected at the significance level & = 0.05
in favour of the alternative hypothesis H1, which means that the validity of the
hypothesis H2 was confirmed, thus a statistically significant difference between the
frequency of using IT and the training attendance was proved.
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
126
The hypothesis H2 was confirmed, which means that the frequency of using an
interactive whiteboard is higher among the teachers who have attended training in
the work with an interactive whiteboard than among the teachers who have not
attended such training.
Verification of the research hypothesis H3:
H3: Students of experimental groups, where an interactive whiteboard is used
for teaching, perform better in a didactic test than students of control
groups, where no interactive whiteboard is used for teaching.
Processing method:
Within the pedagogical experiment, a didactic test with 21 tasks was used to
check the students’ knowledge of the subject matter taught. The maximum test score
a student could obtain was 45. As mentioned above, the students were divided into 2
groups, according to whether or not an interactive whiteboard was used for teaching.
With regard to the comparison of the observed samples, Table 3 presents selected
characteristics normally evaluated in the analysis of students’ performance.
Table 3. Summary of selected characteristics of the didactic test for the control
and the experimental group samples
Control group
Experimental group
Maximum (xmax)
38
39
Minimum (xmin)
12
16
23
32
Median (Me)
25
34 and 38
Mode (Mo)
12
34
Variance (σ )
91.91
37.289
Standard deviation (σ)
9.59
6.11
51.11%
71.72
_
Arithmetic mean (x )
2
Test score in %
Number of students with more than 70% achievement
5
15
Relative number of with more than 70% achievement
21.74 %
68.18 %
Average mark in the test
3.52
2.55
Average mark at the end of mid-year
3.48
2.41
Source: own processing.
The control group’s standard deviation σk = 9.59 is greater than the experimental
group’s standard deviation σk = 6.11. There is no evidence of a significant difference
between the mark at the end of the evaluation period of the students and the mark
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers of Vocational
127
in the didactic test in the control and experimental groups. On the basis of the
results in the didactic test and the summary evaluation, it can be stated that the
students in the experimental group have a better level of knowledge.
To verify the hypothesis, the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank two-sample test
(and/or the Mann – Whitney U-test) was used.
The didactic test results of the control group students and the experimental
group students were verified by a method similar to the verification of the second
hypothesis. Totals were calculated of the control group’s T1 rank values and of the
experimental group’s T2 ranks, respectively. Values of the U1 and U2 characteristics
were calculated, where m was the number of the control group students and n was
the number of the experimental group students.
U1 = m.n + m(m+1)/2 – T1 = 394
U2 = m.n + n(n+1)/2 – T2 = 112 (3)
(4)
The value of the testing criterion Uo = min (U1, U2) = 112. The hypothesis H0
was rejected at the significance level α = 0.05, if U0 ≤ Uα, where Uα was the critical
value of the Wilcoxon two-sample test. The critical value for m = 23, n = 22 was
U0.05 =149. With regard to the statistical methods used and the values calculated,
the validity of the hypothesis H3 was confirmed. Since the testing criterion value
U0 was 112149, the tested hypothesis H0 was rejected at the significance level
α = 0.05 in favour of the alternative hypothesis H1, which means that the validity
of the hypothesis H3 was confirmed, thus a statistically significant difference was
proved between the test results of the students in the respective groups.
The hypothesis H3 was confirmed, thus students in experimental groups, where an
interactive whiteboard is used for teaching, perform better in the test than students
in control groups, where no interactive whiteboard is used for teaching.
Discussion
Summary of research results and recommendations for teaching practice
The research results show that the use of interactive whiteboards does not
improve students’ learning outcomes rapidly. The recorded learning outcomes of
the students using an interactive whiteboard were not significantly worse than the
128
Ján Bajtoš, Mária Kašaiová
learning outcomes of the students not using any. However, it is obvious that interactivity considerably influences the learning process of students. On the basis of
the analysis of the teachers’ questionnaire results, it can be established that 59.4%
of the teachers use an interactive whiteboard for teaching vocational subjects. Out
of the total number of teachers using an interactive whiteboard, up to 31.3% also
use interactive software. Interactive whiteboards are used by the teachers at all
stages of the lesson approximately evenly; most, up to 37.7% of the teachers, use
them at the stage of new knowledge acquisition. The most significant advantage
according to the teachers is that interactive whiteboards enable more visual presentation of the subject matter; up to 29.9% of the teachers are of the opinion. The
major disadvantage according to the teachers is a shortage of interactive software;
therefore up to 49.7% of the teachers develop their own teaching material. Interactive whiteboards are beneficial also for their use increasing students’ motivation
and interest in the subject matter taught. This opinion is presented by 23.1% of the
teachers. Out of the total number, up to 63.2% of the teachers use an interactive
whiteboard for teaching regularly, and out of this number, 77.39 % of the teachers
have attended training in the use of interactive whiteboards. It is obvious from the
results of the questionnaire for students that interactive whiteboards significantly
motivate students to study vocational subjects. The results show that 42.9% of the
students see advantage in the possibility to present their knowledge and skills in
front of the class untraditionally, 24.7% of the students can remember the subject
matter better, 26.5% report that they are led to work in groups and 32.9% of the
students declare that they can concentrate on the lesson better.
Conclusions
The research results show that the students of the experimental group, where
an interactive whiteboard is used for teaching, have a better level of acquired
knowledge and their motivation to learn is significantly higher. On the basis of
our findings the following recommendations are formulated for teaching practice:
•• Provide opportunities for the development of vocational subject teachers’
skills in work with interactive whiteboards within their continual education,
because the frequency of using an interactive whiteboard is higher among
teachers who are trained in working with interactive whiteboards;
•• Support teachers of vocational subjects in their use of interactive whiteboards because the research does not confirm their apprehension about
greater demands and complexity of preparation for teaching;
Use of Interactive Whiteboards in The Work of Teachers of Vocational
129
•• Increase the use of interactive whiteboards for teaching vocational subjects
because the research confirms that students achieve a better level of knowledge where interactive whiteboards are used for teaching and interactivity
considerably influences the students’ learning process.
References
Dantzker, G. (2002). Student perception of the use and educational value of technology
at the STCC Star Počety campus: Implications for technology planning. Educational
Resources Information Centre., 2002. 39 pp. [online]. [cit. 2015 – 03 – 31]. http://www.
eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED463028.pdf
Hasajová, L. (2014). Neurovedné siete, základ nielen matematických, biologických štruktúr. In: Edukácia akcentujúca docenenie mozgu : Výskumná úloha KEGA 003UKF4/2012. Dubnica nad Váhom: Dubnický technologický inštitút, 2014. pp. 50 – 82. ISBN
978 – 80 – 89400 – 62 – 1.
Gogová, L. (2014). Využívanie informačno-komunikačných technológií v európskych
krajinách – aktuálny stav. In: Implementácia moderných technológii do výučby
odborného cudzieho jazyka. Prešov: Prešovská univerzita v Prešove, 2014, pp. 21 – 31.
ISBN 978 – 80 – 555 – 1071 – 2.
Joaquin, P., Iglesias, M. (2010): La pizarra digital interactiva (PDI) en la educación (manual
imprescindible). Madrid: Anaya Multimedia, 2010. 448 pp. ISBN 978 – 84 – 4152 – 785 – 0.
Kennewell, S., Beauchamp, G. (2003). The influence of a technology – rich classroom
environment on elementary teachers’ pedagogy and children’s learning. In: CRPIT ´03
Proceedings of the international federation for information processing working group
3.5 open conference on Young children and learning technologies. Volume 34, 2003.
Pages 71 – 76. ISBN1 – 920682 – 16 – 3. [online]. [cit. 2015 – 02 – 17]. http://portal.acm.org/
citation.cfm?id=1082071&preflayout=flat
Kennewell, S. (2006). Reflections on the interactive whiteboard phenomenon: A synthesis
of research from the UK Swansea School of Education. In: Australian Assocation for
Research in Education. Adelaide, 2006. 10 p. [online]. [cit. 2015 – 04 – 10]. http://www.
aare.edu.au/06pap/ken06138.pd
Moss, G., Jewitt, C., Levačič, R., Armstrong, V., Cardini, A., Castle, F. (2007). The Interactive Whiteboards, Pedagogy and Pupil Performance Evaluation: An Evaluation of the
Schools Whiteboard Expansion (SWE) Project: London Challenge. London: University
of London, Institute of Education, 2007. 164 s. [online]. [cit. 2015 – 04 – 17]. https://www.
education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationdetail/page1/RR816
Survey of Schools: ICT in Education Benchmarking Access, Use and Attitudes to Technology in Europe´s Schools. Final study report. A study prepared for the European
Commission DG Communications Networks, Content &Technology, European Union,
2013. ISBN 978 – 92 – 79 – 28121 – 1 [online]. [cit. 2015 – 03 – 28]. http://ec.europa.eu/
digital-agenda/sites/digital-agenda/files/KK-31 – 13 – 401-EN-N.pdf.
Alicja Gałązka, Magdalena Trinder
Poland
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second
Language Acquisition
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.11
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between locus of
control and achievement in second language learning, when using reading and
listening as the measure of success of the learners. The study was conducted on
a pilot group of 102 university students, enrolled in a master’s degree course
at a university in Poland. The students were asked to complete the Drwal
29-question test of locus of control and a number of reading and listening tests
to complete over an extended period of time in order to gain a reliable overview of their levels of achievement. The results, somewhat against the run of
expectation, indicated that there was no apparent correlation – either positive
or negative – between the orientation of locus of control of the participants
and achievement. This goes against the conventional assumption that there
should be some form of negative correlation, as previous research indicates
that sucessful learners in an academic environment are more likely than not to
have an inwardly orientated locus of control.
Keywords: locus of control, receptive skills, Second Language Acquisition
Introduction
In the 1950s and 1960s psychology sought to investigate the notion of attribution in educational processes, whereby this concept was understood as to whom
the subjects ascribed their educational successes and failures, and behaviourists
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second Language Acquisition
131
such as B.F. Skinner sought to identify how such processes worked. At the same
time, such notions as hopelessness were also the subject of much scientific interest.
From this, psychologists such as Rotter and Phares developed the notion of a sense
of perceived control – later to become locus of control (LOC).1 The concept is best
defined by Rotter (1966:2) himself who states that:
“In social theory, reinforcement acts to strengthen an expectancy that a particular behaviour or event will be followed by the reinforcement in the future.
Once an expectancy for such a behaviour-reinforcement sequence is built up the
failure of the reinforcement to occur will reduce or extinguish the expectancy. As
an infant develops and acquires more experience he differentiates events which
are causally related to preceding events and those which are not. It follows as
a general hypothesis that when the reinforcement is seen as not contingent upon
the subject’s own behavior that its occurrence will not increase an expectancy
as much as when it is seen as contingent. Conversely, its nonoccurrence will not
reduce any expectancy so much as when it is seen as contingent. It seems likely
that, depending upon the individual’s history of reinforcement, individuals would
differ in the degree to which they attributed reinforcement to their own actions.”
From this lengthy definition, we can see that LOC is the sense of how far one
feels that one is responsible for one’s own actions – a psychological construction
based on the proverbial bad workman and his tools. It is a concept based on an
internal-external scale, of which Rotter and Phares 1957 were the pioneers of
measurement and interpretation.
Locus of control in SLA
The area of psychological interest, and of crucial importance to the present
study, is the issue of the relationship between locus of control and achievement
in SLA. An excellent study to use as a point of entry would be that conducted by
Madeline Ehrman, et al. (2003:321), in which it is stated that one of the essential
components of a highly motivated learner is an internal LOC, and also that learners with high levels of internal attribution have a strong sense of self-efficacy, and
correspondingly higher levels of achievement (Hsieh and Schallert, 2008). Additionally, Williams and Burden (1997) place LOC within their complex motivational
mechanism alongside goal setting and locus of causality, echoing Ehrman’s claim
that an internal LOC is an essential constituent part of high motivation.
1 Cf., Lefcourt (2010:19 – 31) for a full description of the evolution of Locus of Control as
a distinct psychological concept.
132
Alicja Gałązka, Magdalena Trinder
What is interesting here is that, despite the fact that locus of control as a psychological concept has been generally accepted since the mid-1960s, there remains
a paucity of empirical research which seeks to investigate the relationship between
LOC and achievement in SLA.2 In an “early” study by Bonny Peirce, Merrill Swain
and Doug Hart 500 13-year-old children were examined on their perception of
the difficulty of certain tasks while involved in a French immersion program
in Canada in order to investigate the relationship between self-assessment and
LOC. The results indicated that those with an internal LOC were more likely to
have a “realistic” understanding of the level of difficulty of certain tasks (Peirce
et al., 1993), but there was no reference made to levels of achievement and the
orientation of the learner’s LOC. More recently, a number of studies have been
conducted which seek to shed light on the influence of LOC on achievement in
SLA. Kenneth Williams and Melvin Andrade investigated the relationship between
LOC and anxiety in a population of 243 Japanese university students taking
English as a foreign language subsidiary course. They concluded that levels of
anxiety increased during exercises focusing on output, and that there was a strong
statistical correlation between high levels of anxiety and internal LOC – in this
case, the learners often attributed their stress to either the teacher or their peers
(Williams and Andrade, 2008:181 – 188). Cynthia White conducted a longitudinal
study on the change in expectations of “novice” self-instructed language learners,
concluding that an internal LOC was a key predictor of success in autonomous
learning (White, 1999). In a study on the motivational role of drama in language
teaching, Gałązka demonstrated that through the use of drama as a teaching
method, Polish high-school students underwent an increase in levels of internal
LOC and were correspondingly more motivated to learn English with a resultant
increase in levels of achievement (Gałazka, 2008:77 – 95).
This aside, a battery of recent investigations conducted in Iran have focused on
the direct relationship between orientation of LOC and achievement in SLA. In
Ghonsooly and Shirvan (2011) a positive correlation was demonstrated between
internal LOC and achievement in reading and writing during the investigation of
136 students of English in Iranian universities. Fakeye (2011) sought to investigate
the correlation between general achievement and LOC using an adapted version
of a Locus of Control Scale developed by Araromi and a 50-question multiple
2 This may be due to the fact that a number of studies have proven the link between an
internal LOC and high levels of academic achievement (cf., Rotter, 1966; Lefcourt, 2010; Deci
and Ryan, 1985; Drwal, 1989; Smith, 1989 and Hrbackova, Hladik and Vavrova, 2012, among
other studies into this relationship).
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second Language Acquisition
133
choice test of grammar and vocabulary (Fakeye, 2011:550). The results indicated
that there was no significant statistical relationship between LOC orientation
and average score in the test. One methodological issue that seems to arise
from this study is that Fakeye treats LOC as a polarised dichotomous feature.
The question would be in what way it was possible to simply divide the sample
into two groups (internal and external) given that most LOC scales are arranged
according to at least three levels – internal, external and indeterminate. Another
study by Eslami-Rasekh, Rezaei and Davoudi (2012) also indicated that there
was no statistical correlation between the orientation of LOC and achievement
in school language tests. An investigation into the relationship between LOC and
the score in university entrance tests by Ghabanchi and Golparvar (2011) came
to the somewhat unsurprising conclusion that those with an internal LOC had
higher scores than those with an external orientation. Rastegar, Heidari and Razmi
(2013), entered into a more ambitious investigation in which they sought to show
the interrelationship between LOC, test anxiety and religious orientation. It was
shown in their results that there was a significant statistical correlation between
external LOC and high levels of test anxiety, and a corresponding negative relationship between internal LOC and anxiety (Rastegar et al., 2013:110). In a more
significant experiment by Najva Nejabati, it was shown that when a group of B2
level university students were subject to training to internalise LOC, not only did
the mean orientation of the experimental group change in the post-experiment
LOC test, but also the experimental group achieved a greater level of improvement
over a four-week period than the control group (Nejabati, 2014). Such experiments
are of great interest as they indicate the clear need for further investigation into
the role of LOC in SLA, but they also highlight the difficulties in treating any
phenomenon in isolation.
We may therefore conclude a number of things based upon the few studies
which have been conducted within the field of SLA on LOC. Primarily, it would
appear that the results of surveys on the relationship between academic achievement and LOC are reflected by a corresponding relationship between achievement
and internal LOC in language learning (cf., Gałązka, 2008; Ghonsooly and Shirvan,
2011; and Ghabanchi and Golparvar, 2011 as exemplary studies). In addition
to this, an orientation towards external LOC is empirically linked to increased
levels of anxiety which, as mentioned previously, is correlated with lower levels of
achievement (cf., Williams and Andrade, 2008 or Rastegar et al., 2013). Furthermore, an internal LOC is considered as an essential prerequisite for successful
autonomous learning; crucial in terms of language acquisition, which takes place
in an informal environment (White, 1999). One further positive conclusion
134
Alicja Gałązka, Magdalena Trinder
pertaining to LOC is that it is clearly a variable, and manipulation of this trait
can bring about a positive change in levels of achievement (cf., Gałązka, 2008 or
Nejabati, 2014). One further point to stress here is that it would appear that at
lower levels of proficiency it might be possible to draw the tentative conclusion
that the orientation of LOC is less important than at more advanced levels of
proficiency as lower-level learning is more dependent upon the teacher, and the
same is almost certainly true of those involved in more formalised educational
environments (such as high school), where the nature of learning is, to a large
extent, dictated by the instructor.
Research Methodology
When one considers Locus of Control (LOC), there is clear evidence to link
an internally orientated LOC to enhanced academic results (Crandall et al., 1965;
Chance, 1965; Lessing, 1969; Nowicki and Roundtree, 1971; Nowicki and Segal,
1974; Smith, 1989; Lefcourt, 2010; or Hrbackova, Hladik and Vavrova, 2012), to
a meta-analysis of 36 independent studies conducted by Bar-Tal and Bar-Zohar
(1977), indicating that only one study provided contradictory findings. Thus,
one may safely assume that LOC is a strong predictor of academic achievement
in a general sense. From the perspective of SLA, the research has, to date, been
rather meagre, but White (1999) and Hseih and Schallert (2008) demonstrated
a link between an internal LOC and levels of achievement (not to forget here the
previously mentioned studies conducted in Iran).
Research Questions and Hypothesis
Taking the above theoretical assumptions into consideration, the following
main research questions were posed, taking results in reading and listening comprehension exercises to be the dependent variable, and locus of control as being
the independent variable:
1. Is there a relationship between orientation of locus of control and performance in listening tasks?
2. Is there a relationship between orientation of locus of control and performance in reading tasks?
In addition to the two main research questions, the following specific questions
were addressed:
1. What is the general orientation of locus of control of the population?
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second Language Acquisition
135
2. Is there a discrepancy between male and female orientation of locus of
control?
3. What is the relationship between reading and listening achievement in the
sample population?
The above questions and the theoretical assumptions allowed for the formulation of the following hypothesis:
1. There should be a negative correlation between locus and control and the
level of performance.
The participants in the study were 102 master’s degree students at the University
of Rzeszow enrolled in the Institute of English Studies. The reason for choosing
students at a Polish university was to try to achieve the highest level of homogeneity possible in order to exclude certain influential variables from consideration.
The instruments used were the Drwal 29-question test of orientation of LOC and
a variety of listening and reading exercises at the C2 level.
Results
Before entering into a detailed discussion of the results, a brief explanation
is necessary in order to provide some clarity to understanding the information
contained below. For the purpose of accuracy of calculations, and because of
the relatively small population size, it was decided that instead of creating an
arbitrary internal/external dichotomy – which would seem extremely inadvisable
as the test envisages that those scoring 14 – 15 points are unclassified – the scores
were retained on a scale of 1 to 29, in which case the higher the value, the more
externally orientated the LOC. This then allows for the use of the results from
the Drwal test to be utilised parametrically, which provides greater accuracy
and clarity of reporting. Listening and reading scores have been expressed as
percentages based on the calculation of the cumulative statistical mean of each
of the participants.
To begin with the establishment of a general picture, Table 1 shows the mean
scores of the results of the three areas of investigation (LOC, reading and listening)
presented in terms of the overall population and then divided into males and
females.
Starting with some general observations, the average reading score for the population as a whole was 73.93%, with the females on average scoring 73.01% and the
males 76.62%. For listening, the average score across the population was 71.32%,
with the males again scoring slightly higher than the group average with 74.30%
and the females scoring 70.28%. The average score on the Drwal Locus of Control
Alicja Gałązka, Magdalena Trinder
136
Table 1. Averages from listening, reading and LOC
avarage reading %
avarage listening %
LOC
(1 – 29)
MEAN
73.01
70.28
14.51
MEDIAN
73.50
72.50
14.00
Gender
F
N
76
76
76
STANDARD
DEVIATION
16.275
14.578
4.110
MINIMUM
40
30
4
MAXIMUM
M
100
96
23
MEAN
76.62
74.38
13.81
MEDIAN
73.50
75.50
14.00
26
26
26
STANDARD
DEVIATION
10.241
9.745
4.454
MINIMUM
57
56
6
MAXIMUM
96
95
26
MEAN
73.93
71.32
14.33
MEDIAN
73.50
74.00
14.00
102
102
102
15.004
13.585
4.189
MINIMUM
40
30
4
MAXIMUM
100
96
26
.265
.392
.286
N
GENERAL
N
STANDARD
DEVIATION
Mann-Whitney u test (p)
Scale was 14.33, with the males having a slightly more internally orientated LOC at
13.81 than the females, 14.51. The Mann-Whitney u test3 was conducted in order
to establish the statistical significance of the results. As p>0.05, it is necessary to
state that the results, while applicable to the study population, would not be valid
for extrapolation onto the wider population.
3 In a situation where the variables are expressed in ordinal terms, the Mann-Whitney u test
is applied in order to determine the statistical significance of the data set. The p-value greater
than 0.05 indicates that the results are valid only for the test population and may not be applied
on a wider scale (cf., Bedyńska and Brzezicka, 2007:203 – 207).
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second Language Acquisition
137
Table 2. Performance of population with extreme orientation of LOC
LOC (1 – 29)
4 – 8
average listening %
average reading %
Mean
71.67
68.22
Median
78.00
57.00
N
Standard
deviation
21 – 26
9
17.168
21.672
Minimum
44
43
Maximum
91
96
Mean
76.00
78,44
Median
77.00
75.00
9
9
Standard
deviation
12.777
10.309
Minimum
54
63
N
Maximum
Total
9
96
94
Mean
73.83
73.33
Median
77.00
74.50
18
18
Standard
deviation
N
14.849
17.283
Minimum
44
43
Maximum
Mann-Whitney u test
96
96
.796
.387
With the extremities of the LOC population, it is immediately obvious that
there is no difference in the size of the populations: 9 people have a score on the
Drwal SRT test of 4 – 8 points and 9 people scored 21 – 26. In the case of both
listening and reading scores, those with the more externally orientated LOC have
a higher average, but the only significant difference is in the average reading score,
with the upper group scoring 10.22 percentage points more. What is even more
interesting here is that when one examines the difference in median reading score,
which would be entirely justified given the level of standard deviation, there is an
18% difference, which is significant in terms of the general levels of harmony of
the remainder of the statistics.
138
Alicja Gałązka, Magdalena Trinder
Discussion
It makes sense to begin the discussion by returning to the research questions.
The first of the minor questions pertains to the general orientation of LOC of
the overall population, which comes out at a statistical mean of 14.33 (with the
median score of 14). This actually comes out slightly higher than the research
study into graduates conducted by Zaidi and Mohsin (2013:18), although this
research is nothing more than a rough guideline as it was conducted on a Pakistani population, but one would expect a slightly lower mean as the generally
accepted tendency is for those involved in higher education to have a tendency
towards an internal LOC (cf., Hsieh and Schallert, 2008). The second element of
the mean calculation is that there is no significant difference between the male
and female sections of the population, and when one takes into account the mode,
both populations scored 14.00. While it is true that the population was skewed in
terms of female presence (the ratio being 76:26 female to male), this reflects the
typical makeup of a Philological course in a Polish institute of higher education,
and thus no effort was made to “balance out” the populations, as it was felt that this
would provide an artificial perspective (cf., Pritchard, 1987). Interestingly, when
one analyses the correlation between the reading and listening results for the
participants, the Spearman rho coefficient for the total population is 0.444, which
may be classed as a strong correlation in statistical terms. This is interesting from
the point of view that one would expect reading and listening abilities to differ
slightly as it is commonly accepted that such skills are not entirely dependent
on the level of competence in L2, but rather they are strongly correlated with L1
abilities, meaning that there would be a less clear relationship – as can be seen
when one analyses the male population, and the Spearman rho coefficient is just
0.039, which indicates absolutely no correlation whatsoever.
To move on to the correlations between LOC and reading and listening performance, the Spearman rho coefficient for LOC and average reading score was
0.105, while the corresponding score for listening was -0.027. In both cases these
results indicate, at the very best, an extremely weak correlation between LOC and
achievement. Even when one breaks down the population along gender lines, the
conclusions one draws must be the same: there would appear to be, at least in the
current research population, absolutely no correlation between the orientation of
LOC of the learner and results in reading and listening skills.
Locus of Control and Receptive Skills in Second Language Acquisition
139
Conclusions
There is a slightly greater cause for optimism when we examine the results of
the extreme cases, whereby the listening results for the internally and externally
orientated were very similar (71.67% and 76.00% respectively), whereas for the
reading results, we can see the beginning of a clear discrepancy, those with an
internally orientated LOC scored a mean 68.22 %, while the externals scored 78.44
%. This represents a 10 percentage point shift, but not in the direction one would
expect, whereby internally orientated learners should perform better. Obviously, as
these results are based on the analysis of the performance of 18 individuals, they
are in no way compelling, as suggested by the fact that the Mann-Whitney test
indicates that the results lack statistical significance, but they do provide food for
thought, in the sense that a larger-scale investigation is clearly desirable in order to
shed further light on the subject. For now, we shall simply conclude that, contrary
to our initial expectations, it would appear, on the basis of the present study at
least, that LOC is not a reliable predictor of achievement in foreign language
reading and writing.
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Cheng-Chang Tsai
Taiwan
A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferences
for English Reading from a Printed Text
versus Electronic Text
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.12
Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the preferences of English-major students to determine their reading activities when they have the
choice of reading a printed text or an electronic text. The participants chosen
for the study were 105 students from English reading classes at an English
department. For the purpose of finding out students’ preferences for English
reading from printed or electronic texts, a questionnaire for online reading
comprehension was employed. The result of an independent-samples t test
showed that there was no significant difference between the genders (male
and female) regarding preference for printed or electronic texts. The results
of a one-way ANOVA showed that there were significant differences between
the different proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low) regarding their
preferences for printed text or electronic text in male and female groups.
Interestingly, both the males and females in the high proficiency group preferred the printed text over the electronic text, and the students at the low
proficiency level preferred to use the electronic text over the printed text to
read. In conclusion, these results can provide educators and instructors with
text preferences for their students when they designate the reading medium
which could improve readers’ reading comprehension performance in the
long run.
Keywords: students’ preferences, printed text, electronic text
A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferences
143
Introduction
Reading is an act that we humans never stop doing and that will never change.
With the growth of knowledge as well as the increase in learning levels, we need
to face a rapidly changing world. In addition to traditionally acquired knowledge,
there are many new forms of information content and a huge variety of new
learning methods. Not only do they guide people to think more and advance the
humanities, but they also help people develop international notions. Additionally,
the possibility of e-book application to education and academia increases day by
day. E-books can be applied not only to self-learning software but also to general education; furthermore, they can be used for academic literature. Enabling
e-books to fully develop their potential features of reading and teaching not only
expands the arena of e-books but also strengthens their status as well as insight in
the educational world.
Nowadays, as the Internet blooms, a variety of dissemination methods emerges,
which changes the original ways of dissemination, and rewrites humans’ reading
habits as well as other learning habits or methods. Therefore, people begin to
emphasize the need for information, accessibility of information, and its speed of
transmission. For this reason, through technology, e-books, e-novels, e-magazines,
e-encyclopedias, etc. develop quickly, and carriers capable of receiving information
content start to appear; more and more mobile devices contain convenient e-books
for reading, such as PDAs, cell phones, handheld games, etc. According to Liu’s
(2005) definition, electronic books (e-books) are a replacement for traditional
paperback books and they require additional equipment to read, like personal
computers or electronic dictionaries. There are three characteristics of e-books:
paperless, multimedia, and abundant. Paperless indicates that e-books no long rely
on paper, which largely reduces the waste of trees and occupy less space. E-books
do not simply show texts any more but are full of numerous multimedia elements,
such as pictures, voices, images, etc., so that a wider variety of knowledge carriers
can be added. Abundant is the result of the rapid development of the Internet,
which makes traditional knowledge speed up its dissemination due to e-revolution;
accordingly, e-book readers have nearly infinite sources of knowledge. Not only
are traditional books heavy physically, they are also expensive and inconvenient to
carry and read; their information circulation speed is also not fast. As to e-books,
they are easy to carry and convenient for readers to read; if they are applied
to education, learning content will become digital and easily accessible by cell
phones, which will be used as reading tools. By means of cell phones, e-books will
present learning content in different forms to raise students’ reading interest, and
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Cheng-Chang Tsai
students can read at any time and in any place (Dyson, 2004). Because the students
in the current university student age group have grown up in an environment of
audio-visual equipment since childhood, their acceptance of e-book readers and
multimedia content tends to be higher than the older generation’s. E-book readers
and e-content can draw university students’ attention, which can lead students
to move a step further toward reading. As mentioned above, the new learning
media have allowed many researchers to explore the perception and preferences of
these new reading environments, which mostly include digital screens of various
devices. The main goal of this study is to investigate the preferences of university
students for their reading activities when they have the choice to read a text in
a printed form or from an electronic text, especially for English-major students.
The research questions are the following:
1. Is there a significant difference in English-major students’ preference between
the printed or electronic text for their reading activities based on gender
(male and female)?
2. Is there a significant difference in English-major students’ preference between
the printed text or electronic text for their reading activities based on their
English reading proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low)?
Literature Review
Definition of e-books
E-books are a type of media transferring the words that we used to read in
printed media such as books, newspapers and magazines into a digital form for
viewing. Types of data are no longer limited to the narrow category of print media,
whereas all of the data in digital form belong to the category of e-books. Therefore,
e-books are displayed in various and dynamic ways, including not only words but
also voices and images (Barker, 1992).
E-book reading tools
(1) Reader
Nowadays, e-books boast imitating the usage of the past reading habits, being
able to adjust the size of words, being able to be read in either a horizontal type or
a vertical type, and being able to add bookmarks, to make notes in the margin, and to
underline specific words or phrases. Combining e-books with the features of e-files,
users can search for specific words or phrases, make use of links quickly connecting
A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferences
145
to specific pages, press buttons moving to the last and next pages, and even can
access the Internet anytime to update the booklist (Barker, 1992).
(2) Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
It is necessary to download free e-booklists with public copyright on the PDA
manufacturers’ websites; thus, what books are owned by the manufacturers can be
viewed. Consumers do not have to pay until they intend to read the entire content
of the book (Barker, 1992).
(3) Personal Computer (PC)
We are able to read free e-books mainly with direct access to the Internet to
receive e-books and to install the relevant software. If we want to read e-books
with copyright, we need to use special programs issued by the manufactures to
view the encrypted e-books, in order to reach the target that consumers continue
placing orders with them for e-books (Barker, 1992).
Reading from the printed text versus electronic text
Digital reading has been with us for a long time. Ever since the end of the last
century, when personal computers became prevalent, people have already been
able to use different technological devices for reading, including computer screens,
web browsers, etc. Through digital technology, reading content contains words,
as well as images, audio and video (AV), hypertexts, etc. Researchers started to
explore what different forms are presented on either e-paper or traditional paper
and what different reading experiences can be brought to people by digital reading
as well as traditional paper reading (Ackerman & Goldsmith, 2011; Dundar &
Akcayir, 2012; Noyes et al., 2004). Kerr and Symons (2006) conducted a study on
the reading process of digital texts and found that digital reading led to shallow
reading, such as scanning and skimming; in particular, online reading with hyperlinks could connect to other places anytime, so that hypertext reading could hardly
gain the effect of immersive reading. Also, Johnson and Nadas (2009) obtained
similar results in their study: when reading was done digitally on a screen, people
spent more time browsing, scanning and keyword spotting, used non-linear and
selective reading, while they spent less time doing profound or devoted reading.
Kim (2013) investigated the space and properties of digital reading and analyzed
expert readers’ experiences of handling books, web pages and e-papers. He
targeted a group of academic researchers and regarded them as expert readers.
Through qualitative interviews, it was shown how expert readers dealt with and
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Cheng-Chang Tsai
used print and digital texts; the latter included the digital texts of multimedia,
such as webpages, screens, audio and video. By doing so, the differences between
digital reading and paper-based reading were explained. Furthermore, Kim
(2013) divided the digital reading experience zone into “continuous reading” and
“discontinuous reading” in terms of reading space allocation. The former means
the space in which a book is read in order from beginning to end, like novels of
the leisure type read in a continuously single way, whereas the latter is skimming,
browsing, fragmental, repetitive, and even skimming among numerous articles,
such as academic articles which need to be looked up repeatedly, thought about,
memorized, or written and read at the same time, etc. As a whole, these scholars
think that computer technology can increase the probability of more texts being
presented, while for reading itself, hypertexts as well as multi-mode and multi-function webs are not beneficial to reflective and imaginative reading, as they
reduce the feature of humanities immersion. Tseng (2008) claimed that students’
difficulties concerning reading from the screen are five-fold, including blurry eyes,
overly bright background colors, the likelihood of skipping lines, small font size,
and other reasons like the habit of reading printed text, radiation from screens,
etc. Besides, Mercieca (2004) also stated that there are three reasons for people’s
preference for print: the ease of use of paper, ability to highlight the text, and
ease of carrying. Such findings constitute the implications for further research to
improve screen readability. The argument and debate over the option of using the
printed text or electronic text will probably be ongoing and there will be some
reading preferences.
Method
Participants
The participants chosen for the study were 105 students from English reading
classes at an English department. There were 47 male and 58 female participants
in total. The English reading comprehension placement exam was measured by
a test that was patterned on a basic level mock GEPT (General English Proficiency
Test). There were a total of twenty-five questions in the reading comprehension
exam, and the testing time was about 60 minutes. The total possible exam score
was 100 points. Based on the exam results, the students were classified into three
reading proficiency levels: low, intermediate, and high. Thirty-five participants who
received scores below 60 points were classified into the low level group; 47 participants who scored between 60 – 80 points were classified into the intermediate level
A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferences
147
group; and 23 participants who obtained a score above 80 points were classified
into the high level group.
Instruments
For the purpose of finding out students’ preferences for English reading from
printed text or electronic text, the Chinese version of one quantitative instrument
was employed: a questionnaire for online reading comprehension (cf., Appendix
A). The questionnaire was translated into Chinese, so it was fully understood by
the participants. It was originally developed by Tseng (2010). It is a 5-point Likert
type scale (ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree) consisting of 10
items. To measure the reliability of the questionnaire, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient
was calculated and it was found to be .84. The questionnaire is divided into three
parts: statements 1,4,10 refer to paper-based preferences, statements 2,3,6,7,8,9
refer to electronic-based preferences, and statement 5 is neutral with no difference
between paper-based and electronic-based preferences.
Data Collection and Analysis
All the participants completed the questionnaire during class time, and the survey questionnaires took about 30 minutes to complete. The students were informed
that the survey would have no effect on their grades. In the questionnaire, relevant
data extracted were analyzed using the SPSS 11.0 (Statistical Package for the Social
Sciences). Internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) was analyzed to show
how well a group of items measured the same concept, and the overall Cronbach
alpha reliability was 0.92. An independent-samples t test was conducted to determine whether there was a significant difference of preference for printed text or
electronic text of the English-major students for their reading activities based on
their gender (male and female). A one-way ANOVA was performed to examine
whether there was a significant difference of preference between the printed text
or electronic text of the English-major students for their reading activities based
on their English reading proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low). The data
were analyzed to obtain descriptive and inferential statistics, the results of which
are reported below.
Results and Conclusions
The result of an independent-samples t test showed that there were no significant differences between genders (male and female) regarding the preferences for
the printed text and electronic text due to t(104)=1.52, p=0.13, t(104)=0.58, p=0.56
respectively (cf., Table 1).
Cheng-Chang Tsai
148
Table 1. An independent-sample t test of gender (male and female)
for students’ text preferences
text preferences
Male
Female
T value
P value
1.36
1.52
0.13
1.18
0.58
0.56
M
SD
M
SD
paper-based
2.75
1.21
3.14
electronic-based
2.84
1.11
2.97
The results of a one-way ANOVA showed that there were significant differences
between proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low) regarding the preferences
of the printed text and electronic text in the male group owing to F (2,44)=89.68,
p<.0001, F(2,44)=107.43, p<.0001 respectively (cf., Tables 2 and 3).
Table 2. One-way ANOVA of paper-based preference of various reading proficiency
levels (high, intermediate, and low) in the male group
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
SS
54.510
13.371
67.881
df
2
44
46
MS
27.255
0.303
F
89.68
P
<.0001
Table 3. One-way ANOVA of electronic-based preference of various reading
proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low) in the male group
Between Groups
Within Groups
SS
46.642
9.551
df
2
44
Total
56.193
46
MS
23.321
0.217
F
107.43
P
<.0001
Also, there were significant differences between proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low) regarding the preferences for the printed text and electronic text
in the female group because of F(2,55)=120.64, p<.0001, F(2,55)=77.15, p<.0001
respectively (cf., Tables 4 and 5).
Table 4. One-way ANOVA of paper-based preference of various reading proficiency
levels (high, intermediate, and low) in the female group
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
SS
85.243
19.431
104.674
df
2
55
57
MS
42.621
0.353
F
120.64
P
<.0001
A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferences
149
Table 5. One-way ANOVA of electronic- based preference of various reading
proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low) in the female group
SS
59.915
20.998
79.914
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
df
2
55
57
MS
29.457
0.381
F
77.15
P
<.0001
Interestingly, whether the male or female group, the results have shown that the
students at a high proficiency level preferred to use the printed text rather than
the electronic text, and the students at a low proficiency level preferred to use the
electronic text rather than the printed text. (cf., Table 6).
Table 6. Comparison of paper-based and electronic-based preferences among
various reading proficiency levels (high, intermediate, and low) and gender differences (male and female)
proficiency
levels
All
paper-based
electronic-based
Male
paper-based
electronic-based
Female
paper-based
electronic-based
M
high
SD
intermediate
M
SD
M
Low
SD
F
P
Comparison
1.56
4.24
(0.33) 3.23
(0.39) 2.53
(0.92)
(0.72)
4.57 (0.32)
4.55 (0.31)
147.2 <.0001
171.7 <.0001
L-I,L-H, I-H
L-I, L-H, I-H
1.67
4.17
(0.32) 2.63
(0.33) 2.41
(0.76)
(0.64)
4.55 (0.31)
1.68 (0.12)
89.8 <.0001
107.4 <.0001
L-I, L-H, I-H
L-I, L-H, I-H
1.47
4.31
(0.32) 3.67
(0.43) 2.62
(0.79)
(0.77)
4.58 (0.35)
1.63 (0.47)
120.6 <.0001
77.2 <.0001
L-I, L-H, I-H
L-I, L-H, I-H
According to some research projects done in this field (Dilevko & Gottlieb,
2002; Spencer, 2006; Liu, 2006), readers prefer the printed text to the electronic text
for reading, especially in early literature reviews, but the innovations in computer
and internet technology sometimes have contradicted these findings. Interestingly,
we found that there was no significant difference between the preferences for the
electronic text to the printed text in terms of gender. The finding of this study is
consistent with Kazanci’s finding (2015). Another finding has shown that the students at a high reading proficiency level preferred to use the printed text over the
electronic text, partly because they could not use reading strategies effectively and
could not concentrate on the screen. The finding of this study is similar to Solak’s
finding (2014). In conclusion, these results can provide educators and instructors
150
Cheng-Chang Tsai
with text preferences for their students when they designate the reading medium
so as to improve readers’ reading comprehension in the long run.
References
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Dundar, H., & Akcayir, M. (2012). Tablet vs. paper: The effect on learners’ reading performance. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education,4 (3), 441 – 450.
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Johnson, M., & Nadas, R. (2009). Marginalised behavior: Digital annotations, spatial
encoding and the implications for reading comprehension. Learning, Media and Technology, 34 (4), 323 – 336.
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Kerr, M.A., & Symons, S.E. (2006). Computerized presentation of text: Effects on children’s
reading of informational material. Reading and Writing, 19(1), 1 – 19.
Kim, J. (2013). Reading from an LCD monitor versus paper: Teenagers’ reading performance. International Journal of Research Studies in Educational Technology, 2 (1), 15 – 24.
Liu, Z. (2005). Reading behavior in the digital environment: Changes in reading behavior
over the past ten years. Journal of Documentation, 61 (6), 700 – 712.
Liu, Z. (2006). Print vs. electronic resources: A study of user perceptions, preferences, and
use. Information Processing & Management, 42(2), 583 – 592.
Mercieca, P. (2004). E-book acceptance what will make users read on screen? Victorian
Association for Library Automation, pp.1 – 11.
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assessment: Is workload another test mode effect? British Journal of Educational Technology, 35, 111 – 113.
Solak, E (2014). Computer versus paper-based reading: A case study in English language
teaching context. Mevlana International Journal of Education, 4 (1), 202 – 211.
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A Case Study of English-Major Students’ Preferences
151
Appendix A: Questionnaire for Online Reading Comprehension (Adapted from
Tseng, 2010)
1. It is easier to answer reading comprehension questions on paper.
2. It is easier to answer reading comprehension questions on computer screens.
3. If I had a choice, I would prefer to read articles on computer screens.
4. If I had a choice, I would prefer to read articles printed on paper.
5. To me, there is no difference between reading on computer screens and reading
on paper.
6. I think hyperlinks are helpful when I read on computer screens.
7. I think the scroll bar is helpful when I read on computer screens.
8. I think the cursors are helpful when I read on computer screens.
9. I like reading articles on computer screens.
10. I like reading articles on paper.
Appendix A: 線上閱讀問卷(中文版)
1. 用紙本的方式較容易回答閱讀測驗的問題。
2. 用電腦的方式較容易回答閱讀測驗的問題。
3. 假如我可以選擇,我寧可使用電腦的方式閱讀文章。
4. 假如我可以選擇,我寧可使用紙本的方式閱讀文章。
5. 對我而言,用電腦的方式或用紙本的方式閱讀文章,我覺得沒有差別。
6. 當我用電腦的方式閱讀時,我認為超連結是很有用的。
7. 當我用電腦的方式閱讀時,我認為捲動條欄是很有用的。
8. 當我用電腦的方式閱讀時,我認為游標是很有用的。
9. 我喜歡用電腦的方式閱讀文章。
10. 我喜歡用紙本的方式閱讀文章。
Slavica Čepon
Slovenia
The Dissonance between Teachers‘
and Students‘ Views on Speaking Anxiety
in Foreign Languages for Specific Purposes
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.13
Abstract
The study identifies the perceptions of the reasons for speaking anxiety in
foreign languages for specific purposes (FLSP) by Slovenian students and their
teachers. A survey was carried out with 335 students and 24 teachers of FLSP
from Slovenian higher education institutions. The results show discrepancies
between students’ and teachers’ perspectives regarding the reasons for FLSP
speaking anxiety. The students emphasized a lack of the knowledge of the
carrier content in FLSP, whereas the teachers stated as reasons oral tests, failure
to speak fluently and a worry about being looked down on for making mistakes
in real and carrier contents.
Keywords: foreign languages for specific purposes, speaking anxiety, carrier
content, real content, reasons
Introduction
Foreign language anxiety has been one of the key issues addressed by many
language teachers since the mid-1980s, as well as one discussed by many scholars
(e.g., Horwitz, Horwitz & Cope, 1986; Horowitz, 2001; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1994;
Yan Xiu & Horwitz, 2008; Young, 1990), who found that foreign language anxiety
is an important factor affecting students’ speaking abilities. Horwitz et al. (1986),
as pioneers and key scholars in foreign language anxiety research, have provided
The Dissonance between Teachers‘ and Students‘ Views
153
the following definition: “FLA is a distinct complex of self-perceptions, beliefs,
feelings and behaviours related to classroom language learning which arise from
the uniqueness of the language learning process” (p. 128). They emphasised that
foreign language anxiety is related to communication anxiety, fear of negative
evaluation and test anxiety (Horwitz et al., 1986). Communication apprehension,
also known as “stage fright”, is defined as the anxiety that arises on the need to talk
in front of others. Several studies have confirmed that it is the most intimidating
aspect of foreign language learning, since a competent speaker must synthesize
a variety of skills and knowledge to perform a given speech act (Horwitz et al.,
1986; Yan Xiu & Horwitz, 2008; Young, 1990). Horwitz et al. (1986, p. 127) claim
that “people who typically have trouble speaking in groups are likely to experience even greater difficulty speaking in a foreign language class, where they have
little control of the communicative situation and their performance is constantly
monitored.”
Students and teachers have different perspectives regarding the speaking
anxiety in English, as confirmed by He (2013) in his study comparing teachers’
and students’ perspectives on general English speaking anxiety. On the basis of
comprehensive data from 332 participants (302 students and 30 teachers) at two
universities in China, He (2013) identified 13 major reasons for Chinese students’
English speaking anxiety. “Speaking on an unfamiliar topic”, “fear of being tested
orally in English” and “having little time to think before speaking in English” are
very prominent reasons for English speaking anxiety strongly emphasized by both
students and teachers. At the same time, significant differences emerged from
the comparison of the perceptions of students and teachers. One of the major
differences was associated with the views about a “lack of English vocabulary” as
a reason for students’ English speaking anxiety. The differing views about the reasons for speaking anxiety in an FL between students and teachers call for attempts
at mutual understanding and communication so that all concerned can be better
informed of all viewpoints.
Studies on foreign language speaking anxiety have been carried out on foreign
language for general purposes (e.g., Boyce, Alber-Morgan & Riley, 2007; He, 2013;
Subaşı, 2010; Zhang & Zhong, 2012) and have neglected FLSP. The common
thread of all conceptualizations of FLSP has been the central role of learners’ needs
or reasons for learning an FLSP. A foreign language for general purposes is also
less specific and purpose driven than an FLSP (Widdowson, 1984, p. 1). In-depth
interviews with students and teachers of business English in the Balkans carried
out by Čepon (2016) demonstrated that two key reasons for students’ speaking
anxiety in business English are: students’ lack of real content of business English
154
Slavica Čepon
instruction and a lack of the carrier content. Thus, the learning of FLSP can launch
different anxieties in comparison with the learning of a foreign language for general purposes. We also assumed that the reasons for speaking anxiety in an FLSP
would be different from those encountered by a target group of students of general
foreign languages (He, 2013; Zhang & Zhong, 2012). Given the paucity of FLSP
empirical research into speaking anxiety, it is of great significance to make such an
attempt. Specifically, the research questions this article endeavoured to address are:
RQ1: What kind of perspectives on the reasons for speaking anxiety do FLSP
students and their teachers have?
RQ2: Are there are any differences between FLSP students’ and their teachers’
perspectives on the reasons for speaking anxiety in an FLSP?
Research Methodology
Research General Background
The study design was a questionnaire survey aiming to identify the perceptions
of FLSP teachers and students regarding the reasons for Slovenian students’ speaking anxiety in FLSP.
Research Sample
A total of 359 participants from all four Slovenian universities (335 students
and 24 teachers) took part in the survey in the winter and spring of 2016. The
FLSP teachers and students were selected as participants because they are the most
deeply involved in the daily teaching and learning of FLSP and thus most closely
related to the issues addressed in this research. FLSP teachers at Slovenian faculties
were sent an invitation to participate in the research and to invite their students to
take part in it in the form of an e-survey.
The study included 224 female and 111 male students, aged between 18 and
24, in the first or second year at various faculties, who on enrolment had to fulfil
the B1/B2 English language requirements. They had all studied general foreign
languages (English, French, Italian, German, Russian and Spanish) in primary and
secondary schools. Now, at the faculty, the carrier content of their FLSP study
involved different disciplines, such as economics, business, and management (N=
62, 15 male, 47 female), tourism (N= 52, 14 male, 38 female), maritime studies (N=
51, 30 male, 21 female), political studies (N= 34, 11 male, 23 female), sociology
(N= 31, 10 male, 21 female), communication studies and journalism (N= 26, 8
male, 18 female), law (N= 22, 7 male, 15 female), medicine (N= 19, 7 male, 12
The Dissonance between Teachers‘ and Students‘ Views
155
female), logistics (N= 14, 4 male, 10 female), transport (N= 12, 3 male, 9 female),
pedagogy and anthropology (N= 12, 2 male, 10 female). The inclusion of FLSP
teachers and students was considered necessary to ensure independent, possibly
differing perspectives on the same issue of speaking anxiety. Among the FLSP
teachers, 22 were female and 2 male, aged from 30 to 60, with 7 to 30 years of
teaching experience, who have all been awarded the habilitation degree required
for FLSP teachers at the tertiary level in Slovenia.
Instrument and Procedures
For the purpose of this study, we adopted a 5-point Likert scale, The Foreign
Language Speaking Anxiety Scale (He, 2013) for FLSP. To adapt a 13-item
questionnaire (He, 2013) to the specifics and complexity of FLSP speaking, four
new items were added, based on Čepon’s (2016) findings on important reasons
for students’ speaking anxiety in business English: “A lack of knowledge of my
academic discipline prevents me from speaking an FLSP” (item 4), “I get anxious when I have to discuss my academic discipline in general, because I have
not mastered it yet” (item 10), “I get anxious when I have to react unprepared to
a group interaction on topics from my academic discipline” (item 16) and “I feel
nervous or get anxious when I have to carry out complex professional speaking
activities based on the knowledge of my academic discipline” (item 17). The final
version of the questionnaire contained 17 structured items. To ensure the best
comprehensibility, the FLSP anxiety scale was translated into the Slovene language.
Reliability was 0.91.
In order to enable the teachers to judge their students’ anxiety levels and feelings
as independent stakeholders, a teacher version of the questionnaire was provided.
The two versions are almost the same except for some wording, since teaching and
learning are the two aspects of the research questions. For example, the item “I feel
nervous or get anxious when I have to carry out complex professional speaking
activities based on the knowledge of my academic discipline” was reworded for
the teachers as “Students feel nervous or get anxious when they have to carry
out complex professional speaking activities based on the knowledge of their
academic discipline.”
The last part of the questionnaire focused on demographics, including age,
gender, and faculty.
Data Analysis
After the main questionnaire data were collected, the response frequencies and
the means of all the items were tabulated. Rank-orders of the means for both
156
Slavica Čepon
the student and teacher groups were obtained to examine the importance of the
reasons to each group. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was also
conducted to find specific differences in the emphasis on the reasons between the
student and teacher groups. The multivariate analysis of variance is one of the
most common multivariate statistical procedures in the social science literature.
MANOVA is a member of the General Linear Model family of statistical procedures that are often used to quantify the strength between variables (Zientek &
Thompson, 2009). MANOVA, specifically, is an analysis of variance (ANOVA)
that has two or more dependent variables (Fish, 1988). This method was used to
compare the two groups (students and teachers) in terms of their means on each
of the 17 items.
Research Results
The FLSP anxiety scale items (cf., Table 1) show that for the students the most
important reasons for FLSP speaking anxiety is insufficient knowledge of the
topic (item 9) and of the academic discipline (item 10).This suggests that for the
students a key reason for FLSP speaking anxiety is a lack of the specialist carrier
content. According to them, among the top reasons for FLSP speaking anxiety
are also the necessity to speak unprepared (item 16) and the performance of
complex professional speaking activities based on the knowledge of the carrier
content related to their academic discipline (item 17). Four reasons received a 3.8
mean score: speaking an FLSP (item 7), speaking to others in an FLSP (item 8),
oral test (item 12) and too little time to prepare for speaking (item 13). Giving
important information orally got a 3.7 mean score. Five reasons received a 3.6
mean score: presumption of poor pronunciation and intonation (item 1), worry
about not getting a decent job in future without speaking an FLSP well (item 2),
not knowing enough FLSP vocabulary (item 3), a lack of the knowledge of the
academic discipline (item 4) and pressure from a peer group (item 15). At the end
of the list there are three reasons with a 3.5 mean score, which deal with foreign
language proficiency (items 5, 14, 11).
Table 2 shows that the top seven reasons for speaking anxiety observed by
FLSP teachers were: oral test (item 12), students cannot speak FLSP fluently (item
14), pressure from a peer group (item 14), giving important information orally,
speaking to others in an FLSP (item 8), being unfamiliar with the topic (item
9), and performance of complex professional speaking activities (item 17). In the
middle of the list there are the following reasons: too little time (item 13) and
Table 1. Frequencies and means for FLSP anxiety scale items for the students’
perception of the reasons for FLSP speaking anxiety (N= 335)
Items
SD (%)
9. I am nervous if I have to speak an FLSP when
4.0
I am not familiar with the topic.
10. I get anxious when I have to discuss my
6.1
academic discipline in general because I have not
mastered it yet.
16. I get anxious when I have to react unprepared
12.4
to group interaction on topics from my academic
discipline
17. I feel nervous or get anxious when I have to
7.9
carry out complex professional speaking activities
based on the knowledge of my academic discipline.
7. I would not be so anxious just to learn to read
11.7
and write in an FLSP rather than having to speak
as well.
8. I do not mind thinking aloud in an FLSP, but
10.8
I feel very uncomfortable when I have to speak to
others in it.
12. I feel nervous when having to be tested orally
13.5
in an FLSP.
13. I get worried when I have little time to think
10.5
about what I have to talk about in an FLSP.
6. I feel more nervous when having to give impor- 12.9
tant information orally in an FLSP.
1. I feel embarrassed to speak an FLSP, because
15.6
I think my pronunciation and intonation are poor.
2. I am often worried that if I cannot speak an
13.3
FLSP well I will not get a decent job in the future.
3. I feel that not knowing enough vocabulary is
12.3
the biggest problem preventing me from speaking
an FLSP easily.
4. A lack of knowledge of my academic discipline
7.8
prevents me from speaking an FLSP.
15. Others will look down on me if I make mis16.7
takes speaking an FLSP.
5. I become anxious when I get stuck on one or
17.6
two words when speaking an FLSP.
14. I get anxious when I find I cannot speak in an
11.3
FLSP fluently.
11. When speaking an FLSP, I often know all the
16.1
words I need, but still fail to express myself easily
due to anxiety.
D (%) N (%) A (%) SA (%) Means
10.0 17.7 40.1 28.8
4.0
12.0
16.8
39.2
26.4
4.0
20.2
21.9
33.6
12.7
3.9
14.4
17.7
39.5
21.0
3.9
15.6
17.2
32.0
24.0
3.8
17.1
19.2
32.6
20.7
3.8
18.6
22.2
25.5
20.7
3.8
13.5
20.7
37.1
18.6
3.8
20.4
17.1
30.0
20.1
3.8
23.4
22.2
24.6
14.7
3.6
27.4
19.8
30.1
10.2
3.6
21.4
21.6
32.7
12.6
3.6
29.0
33.4
24.2
5.7
3.6
22.7
19.4
26.9
14.3
3.6
21.5
20.0
27.5
13.4
3.5
17.6
20.6
29.6
20.9
3.5
26.3
20.6
24.8
12.2
3.5
Notes: SD: strongly disagree; D: disagree; N: neither disagree nor agree; A: agree; SA: strongly agree.
Table 2. Teachers’ response frequencies and means of the speaking anxiety scale
items for FLSP (N= 24)
Items
SD (%) D (%)
12. Students feel nervous when having to be tested
0.0
3.4
orally in an FLSP.
14. Students get anxious when they find they cannot
0.0
0.0
speak in an FLSP fluently.
15. Students think others will look down on them if
0.0
4.3
they make mistakes speaking an FLSP.
6. Students feel more nervous when having to give
0.0
4.3
important information orally in an FLSP.
8. Students do not mind thinking aloud in an FLSP, but
0.0
6.8
they feel very uncomfortable when they have to speak
to others.
9. Students are nervous if they have to speak an FLSP
4.3
4.3
when they are not familiar with the topic.
17. Students feel nervous or get anxious when they have
0.0
0.0
to carry out complex professional speaking activities
based on the knowledge of their academic discipline.
13. Students get worried when they have little time to
0.0
0.0
think about what they have to discuss in an FLSP.
10. Students get anxious when they have to discuss their 4.3
8.4
academic discipline in general, because they have not
mastered it yet.
16. Students get anxious when they have to react unpre0.0
4.3
pared to group interaction on topics from the academic
discipline.
7. Students would not be so anxious if they only had to
4.3
8.4
read and write in an FLSP and not to speak as well.
1. Students feel embarrassed to speak an FLSP, because
4.3
8.4
they think their pronunciation and intonation are poor.
11. When speaking an FLSP, students often know all
4.3
8.4
the words they need, but still fail to express themselves
easily due to anxiety.
3. Students feel that not knowing enough vocabulary is
0.0
8.4
the biggest problem preventing them from speaking an
FLSP easily.
5. Students become anxious when they get stuck on one
0.0
6.7
or two words in speaking an FLSP.
2. Students are often worried that if they cannot speak
4.3
37.6
an FLSP well, they will not get a decent job in the
future.
4. Students think that a lack of knowledge of their aca8.4
29.3
demic discipline prevents them from speaking an FLSP.
N (%) A (%) SA (%) Means
16.8 45.9 37.6
4.3
12.8
66.8
20.9
4.2
16.8
45.9
33.4
4.2
33.4
20.9
41.8
4.1
3.4
58.4
20.9
4.1
8.4
50.1
33.4
4.1
20.9
58.4
20.9
4.1
20.9
66.8
12.6
4.0
4.3
62.6
20.9
4.0
29.3
54.3
12.6
3.9
20.9
45.9
20.9
3.8
25.1
45.9
16.8
3.7
29.3
50.1
8.4
3.6
33.4
54.3
4.3
3.6
20.1
70.1
13.4
3.4
29.3
20.9
8.4
3.0
41.8
16.8
4.3
2.9
Notes: SD: strongly disagree; D: disagree; N: neither disagree nor agree; A: agree; SA: strongly agree.
The Dissonance between Teachers‘ and Students‘ Views
159
a lack of the knowledge of academic discipline (item 10) with a 4.0 mean score,
speaking unprepared in an FLSP (item 16) with 3.9 mean score, speaking as the
most difficult skill in an FLSP (item 7) with a 3.8 mean score, presumption of poor
pronunciation and intonation (item 1) with a 3.7 mean score, inability to express
easily (item 11) and not knowing enough vocabulary (item 3) with a 3.6 mean
score. At the end of the list, there are three reasons for speaking anxiety in an FLSP:
getting stuck on one or two words (item 5) with a 3.4 mean score, a worry about
not getting a decent job in the future without speaking an FLSP well (item 2) with
a 3.0 mean score and a lack of the knowledge of an academic discipline (item 4)
with a 2.9 mean score.
Table 3 shows that MANOVA at item level revealed significant differences on
nine out of the 17 items between the students and teachers. The calculations of
items 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16 did not show significant differences between the
students and teachers.
Table 3. Means and difference of item scores on which students and teachers
showed significant differences (N= 359)
Items
2. Students are often worried that if they cannot speak an FLSP well, they
will not get a decent job in future.
4. Students think that a lack of knowledge of their academic discipline
prevents them from speaking an FLSP.
6. Students feel more nervous when having to give important information
orally in an FLSP.
8. Students do not mind thinking aloud in an FLSP, but they feel very
uncomfortable when they have to speak to others in it.
12. Students feel nervous when having to be tested orally in an FLSP.
13. Students get worried when they have little time to think about what
they have to discuss in an FLSP.
14. Students get anxious when they find they cannot speak in an FLSP
fluently.
15. Students think others will look down on them if they make mistakes
in speaking an FLSP.
17. Students feel nervous or get anxious when they have to carry out
complex professional speaking activities based on the knowledge of their
academic discipline.
Ss/Ts
3.6/3.0
Means
Differences
.7**
3.6/2.9
.8***
3.7/4.1
-.5*
3.8/4.1
-.4*
3.8/4.3
3.8/4.0
-.6**
-.3*
3.5/4.2
-.8**
3.6/3.9
-.4*
3.9/4.1
-.3*
Notes: ***p < .001,**p < .01;*p < .05. Ss: students; Ts: teachers. The items used in this table are from
the students’ version of the FLSAS. For the teachers’ version, cf. Table 2.
160
Slavica Čepon
Table 3 also shows that the teacher scores were significantly higher than those
of the students on seven items. Among them, four reasons (items 6, 8, 13 and 14)
are related to the situation in which the students have to speak quickly and fluently
to others, presenting important information in an FLSP. The teachers placed significantly more emphasis than the students on oral tests (item 15) and situations
when the students have to carry out complex professional speaking activities based
on the knowledge of an academic discipline. Significantly higher mean scores on
these items indicate that the teachers were more likely than the students to regard
these reasons as important causes of speaking anxiety in an FLSP. The students
emphasized, more than their FLSP teachers, the concern about not getting a decent
job in future without speaking an FLSP well (item 2). The students also scored the
reason for a lack of the knowledge of an academic discipline significantly higher.
Discussion
If we compare the findings from the research on the anxiety of speaking English
for general purposes so far (e.g., He, 2013), we can conclude that there are not
major differences in the perceptions regarding the reasons for speaking anxiety. He
(2013) found that speaking on an unfamiliar topic was a very prominent reason
for speaking anxiety in general English. This was also strongly emphasized by both
the FLSP students and teachers in this study. However, in comparison with the
students of foreign languages for general purposes, the academic knowledge of the
carrier content is more crucial for FLSP students, where the presentation of certain
language items (real content) in all foreign language skills should rely on topics
from a particular discipline (carrier content) (Dudley-Evans & St. John, 1998).
The results of this study point towards the insufficient knowledge of the carrier
content, both in the mother tongue and a foreign language, as the key reason for
pre-experience FLSP students’ speaking anxiety: the necessity to discuss the carrier
content in a foreign language before having really mastered it in their mother
tongue, speaking on an unfamiliar topic in a foreign language, speaking unprepared in an FLSP about topics from the academic discipline and carrying out
complex professional speaking activities based on the knowledge of the academic
discipline. The teachers’ perspective is that being tested orally in an FLSP, not
speaking FLSP fluently and social pressures from a peer group are the students’
most important reasons for speaking anxiety in an FLSP. The results of MANOVA
show that the most differently scored item is “Students think that a lack of the
knowledge of their academic discipline prevents them from speaking FLSP”.
The Dissonance between Teachers‘ and Students‘ Views
161
One possible explanation for the lower levels of consonance between the
FLSP teachers’ and students’ perceptions of the importance of the carrier content
regarding speaking anxiety could lie within the postulations of FLSP instruction,
which requires teachers to accentuate the real content of FLSP instruction and
not the carrier content for which they would have to possess real knowledge of
the specialist subject content (Dudley-Evans & St John, 1998). Consequently, FLSP
teachers are inclined to over-estimate the levels of the carrier content knowledge
of FLSP students (Čepon, 2016). The apparent disregard of the FLSP teachers of
the effect of inadequate carrier content on the raised levels of speaking anxiety
may also arise simply from the negative strategy of ignoring the physical manifestations of that fear (2015).
Conclusions
The study showed that FLSP students and teachers hold different perspectives
regarding the reasons for speaking anxiety in an FLSP. The FLSP students perceived insufficient specialist subject content knowledge as the main reason for
their speaking anxiety, while the FLSP teachers’ perceptions gave priority to oral
tests, the students’ inability to speak fluently and speaking anxiety arising from
a feeling of apprehension of being looked down upon by classmates/peers for
making mistakes. To conclude, insufficient knowledge of the carrier content is
a decisive reason for FLSP speaking anxiety that teachers should acknowledge
more extensively.
These findings are likely to provide insightful information and have implications for tertiary FLSP education. The difference in perceptions of the reasons
for speaking anxiety between the FLSP students and teachers calls for further
mutual understanding with a view to becoming better informed of each other’s
perceptions.
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Stanisław Juszczyk
Poland
Yongdeog Kim
South Korea
Are Open Education and Flexible Forms of Learning
a Civilisation Requirement
or a Technological Obligation?1
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.14
Abstract
The paper discusses a new model of social learning that makes use of open
educational resources and flexible forms of learning. It presents the evolution
of the process of learning from the Cartesian model, through constructivist,
cognitivist and connectivist theories. Open education, being developed in many
countries of the world, including South Korea and Poland, is becoming a civilisation requirement, a response to the requirements of dynamically evolving
labour market.
Keywords: open education, open educational resources, flexible forms of learning,
web 2.0 technology, social learning, virtual community
Introduction
We are entering the world where constantly updated knowledge and skills in
the area of widely understood competences, including practical skills, are required
from us. It results from the fact that the methods and forms of learning used to
date have to be changed in order to effectively and in a modern manner educate
people living in this century. The role of auto-education (self-education, self-im1
This paper was supported by the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund of
2016 and by the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland.
164
Yongdeog Kim, Stanisław Juszczyk
provement) and digital media as well as indirect communications is increasing,
which contributes to preparing and developing open education, flexible learning
and open educational resources. Let us characterise these terms and discuss their
meaning in the contemporary world to answer the title question.
Open Education, Flexible Learning and Open Educational
Resources
Open education is an idea for the way in which people can produce, share
and construct their knowledge. Enthusiasts of open learning believe that each
individual should have access to high-quality educational resources, bibliographical sources and barriers to accomplish this objective should be eliminated. The
following can be acknowledged as barriers: specific manufacturing (editing and
publishing) costs of such resources, the existence of outdated resources, and also
legal standards that hinder cooperation of learners with teachers. Cooperating and
making available are becoming the most characteristic qualities of open education
because education is making knowledge available, exchanging information with
others, which can cause constructing new knowledge, gaining functional skills,
ideas and understanding the evolving world.
A synonym of open education is flexible learning, containing: the so-called
blended learning, e-learning, open and distance learning (cf., S. Juszczyk, 2002;
UNESCO, 2002), personalised learning and web-based learning. Such types of
learning play an important role in expanding educational opportunities of people
from different parts of the world. Directly, they can broaden access to higher-level
education, enhancing the effectiveness of learning by working and learning in
a social group.
Access to higher-level education is becoming a necessary element in the economic development and in the improvement of quality of life in all countries.
Therefore, we are attempting to solve this problem in different countries of the
world through global growth in the demand for access to education (J.S. Daniel,
1996).
We owe a lot to the evolution and spread of the Internet, which has become
a global “platform” that has extensive and diversified educational resources and that
broadens access to different types of information sources, containing formal and
informal educational resources, making it possible to use them by those interested.
This evolution of the Internet was called Web 2.0 and blurred the line between
content manufacturers and consumers and shifted users’ attention from access
Are Open Education and Flexible Forms of Learning
165
to information to access to other persons (i.e., free joining communities of new
users – connectivist theories describe these processes). New types of online sources,
such as: social spots in the network, blogs, wiki and virtual communities shifted
users’ attention from to date individual interests to virtual meetings, discussions,
sharing ideas and cooperation in an innovative manner – universities worldwide
changed in this manner, transformed from education centres into meeting places,
places for discourse and reflection. Web 2.0 has become a new type of medium
that allows for social participation and that enables realisation of different types of
learning, broadening also traditional education. The use of digital technologies in
education develops social aspects of learning, and also enhances them, particularly
in the education of teenagers that inhabit rural areas or cities with traditional heavy
industry and/or districts where such industry dominated until quite recently.
Such a dynamic increase in access to open educational resources began in 2001,
when William and Flora Hewlett (D. Atkins, J. Brown, A. Hammond, 2007) and
Andrew W. Mellon Foundations together introduced the MIT’s OpenCourseWare
(OCW) initiative that nowadays provides students and higher-education institution graduates with access to educational resources in different fields of knowledge
and more than 2000 courses. The initiative has inspired hundreds of colleges and
universities in the USA, and also abroad, to join this initiative and to incorporate
their own educational resources into shared knowledge bases (M.S. Marshall,
C.M. Casserly, 2006).
Open educational resources are learning resources that can be modified and
improved because their authors can make them available to others. Individuals
and/or organisations that make open educational resources available, containing
such resources as: slides, syllabuses, images, timetables, videos, maps, spreadsheets
and even entire textbooks, circumvent copyright related to their editing, which
enables free access to these resources, their repeated use, and also translation and
modifications (D. Atkins, J. Brown, A. Hammond, 2007). David Wiley presented
rules for making use of resources (information) used in open education (http://
opencontent.org./definition), among which he recognised the following:
•• retain: create, store, control copies;
•• reuse: use resources in different ways;
•• revise: users are entitled to change information, e.g. to translate it;
•• remix: combining the original with other resources:
•• redistribute: sharing original resources, their copies, revised and remixed
versions.
All of these activities are related to copyright. It seems that not respecting
copyright is an obstacle that is difficult to overcome in many countries. None-
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theless, more and more researchers and university teachers, e.g. in Poland and
South Korea, support the idea of making their scientific and teaching publications
available to interested users for free. If they have copyright reserved, they can do
so, but in most cases these are publishing houses that have copyright reserved. In
Poland, making resources available under free licences (e.g., the Creative Commons
licence) is more and more frequent, in the public domain and/or free making
resources available in the case of expiration of copyright, in particular in the case
of historical sources (but the period of waiting is several dozen years). In South
Korea, CC (Creative Commons) licences appeared along with the creation, in
2005, of their Korean version – CC Korea (Creative Commons Korea). Since then,
by spreading licences on many websites, starting from the most popular portals,
such as, e.g., Daum and Naver, CC Korea has been carrying out comprehensive
activities, aimed at making cultural output available, sharing it and encouraging
participation in it. In 2009, CC Korea became an independent and non-profit
association that has legal personality and is currently thriving, creating and
making CC licences public in accordance with the Korean law. In the situation of
copyright becoming stricter, CC licences are becoming an alternative to activities
connected with free dissemination of works. As a result, the interest in free licences
is increasing (Korea Local Information Research& Development, 2011, pp. 34 – 35).
Online courses intended for a mass recipient, i.e. a number of users larger
than the number found in an average class or in a year of studies of any higher
education institution, can be found among educational resources (Massive open
online courses – MOOCs) are courses available for everyone who has a computer
and access to the Internet. In many countries, e.g. the USA, Canada, Germany and
England, many educational organisations, colleges and universities combined their
forces to disseminate high-quality resources through MOOC. In Asia, in 2015,
MOOC online courses were made available in such countries as India, China, and
Japan. Korean universities express relatively little interest in this type of courses.
The reason for such a state of affairs is the fact that MOOC online courses were
organised by the government and limited primarily to advertising them by the
Korean Ministry of Education. Since these courses are still limited primarily to
presentations, the situation places Korea on a lower position compared to the USA,
which is the leader in the field of MOOC online courses (Park Ch., 2016, p. 123).
However, in February 2015, the Korean Ministry of Education announced that it
would start presentation of the Korean versions of online courses K-MOOC in the
second half of the year. It was argued at the time that the courses would be a good
opportunity for citizens to receive higher education at a good general level and
that, as a result of them, the quality of classes would be improved and the compet-
Are Open Education and Flexible Forms of Learning
167
itiveness of Korean universities in the international area enhanced. Therefore, by
building the K-MOOC platform (http://www.kmooc.kr), Korea has become a part
of the global trend called democratisation of education via the Internet. In 2015,
ten Korean universities received support of the Ministry of Education and started
MOOC online courses. Currently, these universities make 28 lectures public. In
2016, a new list was announced. Ultimately, 10 universities and 21 lectures were
selected. Work is being carried out on incorporating them into the programme
(S. Kim, S. Kim, 2016, pp. 97 – 98).
Teachers in many countries of the world imply that open educational resources
reduce, in a noticeable manner, the costs of course resources both in primary
schools and at higher levels of education. Creative teachers can not only use such
resources in their classes, at relatively low costs, but also modify their content
and improve them with other teachers’ and specialists’ help, making use of their
content to a specified date. Such resources can be put on the Web and made
available through the Open Access licence to all interested. In this manner, before
such a resource becomes an official textbook, copyright of which is reserved for
the author, a university and/or publishing house and/or the next, revised issue
of a scientific or teaching publication, learners can make use of the constantly
modified, updated resource so as to limit in this manner the schematic character
and often boredom of the realisation of material from the same textbook.
In Poland, the issues of self-education (auto-education) and life-long learning
were addressed at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, among others, by: Bogdan
Suchodolski, Józef Półturzycki and Ryszard Wroczyński, calling for combining
school education, extra-school education and self-education. In Europe, numerous papers on this subject were written by, among others, Ettore Gelpi, Ravindra
H. Dave, Paul Lengrand and Robert Kidd. In Korea, auto-education, as an informal
method of education outside a university, since the second half of the 1960s has
been associated with its most representative form, namely adult education, which
was separated from children education. It was aimed to improve the effectiveness
of this type of teaching and systematise it. In the 1970s, auto-education as a method
of self-education in informal conditions was incorporated into the programme of
formal teaching realised at universities and thus became more substantive. However, an initial attempt to incorporate auto-education into the system of traditional
teaching encountered many difficulties because it was not precisely known how
such an undertaking should be carried out for auto-education follows its own
rules – it is addressed to adults who, unlike most ordinary students in traditional
schools, are independent, free and driven by their own objectives. However, with
time, based on humanistic theory, researchers developed theories concerning
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auto-education that in the 1980s, based on social and cognitive theories, were
supplemented with knowledge concerning planning classes in traditional schools
so that the classes foster the development of self-education skills. Issues related to
educational technology were also incorporated into auto-education together with
the emergence of the Internet (D. Lee., Ch. Nam, S. Park, 2015, p. 529).
In 2008, the Cape Town Open Education Declaration was accepted in Poland,
as a result of which the Coalition for Open Education was set up that embraces:
Modern Poland Foundation, Interdisciplinary Centre for Modelling at the University of Warsaw (Creative Common Polska project), Polish Librarians’ Association
as well as Wikimedia Polska. Almost all universities in Poland, and also other
institutions, make their open educational resources available. It is possible to find
them, e.g., on the websites of the University of Warsaw (e.g., Fizyka wobec wyzwań
XXI wieku (Physics Faced with Challenges of the 21st Century)), the John Paul II
Catholic University of Lublin, the AGH University of Science and Technology in
Kraków (open-AGH, mathematics and computer science e-textbooks), the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (http://portal.umk.pl/web/otwarte-zasoby),
on the website, there are open educational videos, content-valuable e-learning
courses, webinars, e.g. on copyright in distant education and on the Open Access
publication model; the Educational Research Institute (base of educational tools),
Collegium Civitas (Wszechnica), Biblioteka Otwartej Edukacji (Library for Open
Education) (Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska), and the Nasz Elementarz initiative of the Ministry of National Education (A. Turowski et al., 2016). In Korea,
there are two methods in which OCW-type (OpenCourseWare) repositories are
implemented. The first is university OCW managed by separate universities, the
other is KOCW managed by the state in the form of a consortium. However, most
educational resources to open lectures at individual universities, which are made
available on university OCW websites, are also published on KOCW websites. It
can therefore be concluded that OCW websites are compatible with KOCW. The
first university in Korea that in 2007 adopted OCW was Korea University. However,
the competition around OCW between universities started in 2010, when the list
of KOCW lectures was published in official information about higher-education
institutions. Having OCW repositories became important and began to matter in
rankings of universities carried out by the Korean media and the Ministry of Education, and also in promotional materials of individual universities. It contributed
to increasing the number of lectures being made available on OCW by individual
universities. According to the data of 2015, 194 institutions made their resources
available on KOCW websites, including 160 universities that made 9,970 lectures
and 255,378 educational resources public (E. Lee, K. Kim, 2015, pp. 67 – 69).
Are Open Education and Flexible Forms of Learning
169
We would like to emphasise that the idea of open educational resources has
been developed for a long time both in Poland and Korea. For example, digitisation
was introduced to schools by the Polish government through subsequent projects,
such as: cyfrowa szkoła (digital school), the aforementioned Nasz Elementarz
(Our Primer), and since 2015 e-textbooks for general education, starting with the
first form of primary school to the last form of secondary school and technical
college (http://epodreczniki.pl). Under the influence of OER (Open Educational
Resources) world trends, also in Korea, starting with the government KOCW
repository, different projects have been prepared, which higher-education institutions can join. As a result, university OCW repositories are developing dynamically with the OCW of the best universities in the lead. Before, in 1996, for the
purposes of primary and secondary education, the Korean Ministry of Education
set up EDUNET, an organisation that makes systematised educational resources
available for free for teachers and students in the form of OER (Open Educational
Resources). On the other hand, in 2012, Korean Educational Broadcasting System
(EBS)2 developed the Educational Digital Resource Bank (EDRB)3 programme
where it makes available videoed educational resources for teachers and students
of primary and secondary schools. Open education is constantly developing in
the form of OER and OCW, which can be accessed by both teachers and learners
at all levels of education, starting from basic to higher education (H. Cha, T. Park,
2013, p.71).
Promoters of open education are extremely sceptical of the existing process of
academic publications and operations of academic publishing houses. They suggest
that anonymous reviewers be involved who make the process of reviewing more
transparent so that readers can better understand the message of a paper because
research being described would have to be presented in more detail. Open access
to scientific publications, in the opinion of enthusiasts of open education, brings
the latest research results closer not only to students, or other interested individuals from outside universities, but also to other researchers who usually have to
pay a publishing house and/or library for access to published resources. Prices
for these services are diversified, but, for example, wanting to browse through
a few papers already involves considerable costs that are paid for from the fund of
a research project and/or the fund of a scientific or academic unit. For this reason,
2
EBS is a Korean system for broadcasting educational information, aimed to supplement
school education, and also to support life-long learning.
3
EDRB is the system used by the EBS station, consisting in making available for free educational resources in the form of approximately five-minute videos.
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Yongdeog Kim, Stanisław Juszczyk
supporters of Open Access think that nowadays it is difficult for researchers to get
to know innovations in a studied discipline, read about the results of new research
and verify its results, and also to compare the results with their own results, in the
situation of an extremely significant increase in the number of scientific journals
and monographs worldwide and paid access to them.
No opportunity of free access to the latest research results has set up a movement at numerous universities aimed to create it. There are already some institutions that use the policy of free access through grant applications, e.g. The Public
Knowledge Project, which allowed for the development of an open publication
platform called Open Journal System, allowing editorial teams to give opinions
on and publish academic journals outside the traditional publishing system. In
Poland and Korea more and more scientific journals can be found on the Web
because they are published in the free-access electronic form. Numerous journals
published in a compact form, like e.g. The New Educational Review, issued by
Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek in Poland, also have their own website (www.
educationalrev.us.edu.pl) and give free access to articles published therein, not
only to their authors, but to all interested researchers from all over the world.
Social Learning
The Web 2.0 technology, open education and flexible forms of learning developed social learning. Researchers understand the term “social” in different ways.
For example, John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler (2008) interpret the term
“socially” as common participation with others and being together in the world.
Terms that refer to attempts to construct and make something with others, to
learn practical skills together with others and to interpret given answers can also
be found (J.S. Brown, A. Collins, P. Duguid, 1989).
Social learning is based on the assumption that our understanding of content is
socially constructed through discussions on this content as well as through fundamental interactions with others, around the problem and/or undertaken activities.
Learners focus their understanding not on what they learn, but how they learn.
This situation resembles diagnosing in qualitative research where the “truth” is
established socially and sometimes has little in common with the objective truth
(cf., S. Juszczyk, 2013). For this reason, researchers suggest that learners not pay
attention to styles of education used by their teachers, or details of information
transferred, but more to shaping skills and cooperating in small groups of learners.
Research revealed that those learning in groups, at least once a week, were more
Are Open Education and Flexible Forms of Learning
171
aware of the issues of their studies, in a more excellent manner prepared to speak
in front of the class and learned better than students who worked individually
(R.J. Light, 2001).
In the opinion of John S. Brown and Richard P. Adler (2008, p.18), the crux
of social learning is in opposition to the traditional, Cartesian look at knowledge
and learning that dominated in the last century. In the Cartesian perspective, it is
assumed that knowledge is a type of matter, while teaching concerns searching for
the best method for transferring this “matter” from the teacher to learners. In the
traditional (Cartesian) education system learners can spend many hours learning
a specific subject. In the 20th century, education concentrated mostly on supporting
learners in constructing knowledge from individual pieces of information (constructivist theories are about this) as well as developing cognitive skills (cognitivist
theories concern this) that learners could use in situations connected with the
content being taught. Starting from the Cartesian principle “I think, therefore I am”,
knowledge is what is transferred from the teacher to learner as a result of the use
of different methods of teaching (in more detail: pedagogical strategies), we arrive
at social learning that is included in the saying: We participate, therefore we are.
Perceiving the social aspect of learning in this manner shifts our attention from the
content of the subject of learning to learners’ activity connected with the process
of learning and human interactions around the context of the subject of learning.
Occurrences characterised are the crux of social learning in a virtual class where
the teacher’s social roles and his or her competences are particularly clearly seen.
Stanisław Juszczyk and Yongdeog Kim (2015, pp. 153 – 164) claim that social and
cultural processes taking place in a virtual class are to a large extent similar both
in Korea and Poland.
Four aspects of social learning were presented years ago by Jacques Delors
(1998) in a report of International Commission for Education for the 21st Century,
managed by him for the purposes of the UN, among which he recognised: learn to
know (get tools for understanding the surrounding world); learn to act (influence
the neighbourhood, environment); learn to live together (participate, cooperate
and collaborate on all planes of human activities) as well as learn to be (learn for
one’s own development to be a conscious participant in the process of learning
the world).
Let us analyse the last, significant aspect of social learning, which is learning to
be. Increasing an area of knowledge introduces to the process of learning not only
the aspect of “learning about” a specified substantive subject, but also “learning to
be” a full participant in the process of getting to know knowledge in a given area
and shaping practical skills (L. Toru, V.M.S. Kumar, 2008).
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Yongdeog Kim, Stanisław Juszczyk
Conclusions
The new model of social learning, making use of open educational resources,
flexible forms of learning, knowledge spread among the Internet users and their
practical skills, is becoming more and more effective, available for all learners at
different levels of education. It is becoming a new form of learning in numerous
countries, including Korea and Poland, being not only a supplement to formal
education, but also its development through life-long learning, auto-education,
fosters shaping functional skills in learners required by the dynamically evolving
labour market in different countries. Therefore, the social model of learning, which
makes use of resources and services on the Internet, is becoming a civilisation
requirement, being an indicator of contemporary education.
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Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua,
John Rafafy Batlolona
Indonesia
The Development of a Thematic ModuleBased on
Numbered Heads Together (NHT) Cooperative Learning
Model for Elementary Students in Ambon,
Moluccas-Indonesia
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.15
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the effectiveness and practicality of modules
used to teach the elementary students in Ambon, Moluccas, Indonesia and
as a result generate a thematic module based on Numbered Heads Together
(NHT) cooperative learning model. We adopted a 4D development model,
which comprises four stages: define, design, develop, and disseminate to produce
the module. A survey and interviews were conducted at the define stage and
the results proved that the students used modules which only accommodate
the traditional learning model. These modules did not provide the students
with activities which could help improve their thinking skills. At the define
stage, a thematic module was created and at the develop stage, it was revised
based on suggestions from experts and the results of the field try-outs. The
use of the module showed a significant improvement in student achievement.
The final step of the development of the module was performed by providing
teachers with a training program on teaching resources and lesson study. Future
research is expected to be empirical so that it can investigate the effect of the
thematic module on students’ higher order thinking skills.
Keywords: module, thematic, NHT, 4D
The Development of a Thematic Module
175
Introduction
Globalization has affected all aspects of human life worldwide. It thus creates
an opportunity for humans to compete in various fields, including education
(Saavedra & Opfer, 2012:8). Student achievement in science and mathematics is
its obvious example. Since it has been internationally recognized through International-Standardized Test for Science and Mathematics (PISA and TIMSS), every
country in the world has struggled to make a track. Unfortunately, the results of
a survey conducted by PISA (Programme for International Assessment) in 2014
put Indonesia into the category of lower ranked countries in mathematics and
science performance. The majority of the students in this country did not achieve
level 2 in mathematics (76 %) and science (67%). This miserable condition was
indicated by the fact that 42.3% of the students were not even at the lowest skill
level (level 1) in mathematics and 24.7% of the students were below level 1 in
science. Similarly, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
reported that mathematics and science learning in Indonesia was low-ranked
(OECD, 2015:138 – 139).
The Indonesian government, however, have made an effort to increase the quality of human resources in education. They have regularly revised the curriculum
to meet students’ needs. The curriculum has gone through some changes, from
the education unit level curriculum (KTSP) to the curriculum of 2013 (K-13),
which was signified by the integration of religious values, behaviour improvement,
and cognitive and psychometric skills enhancement into compulsory subjects at
schools. To meet the accumulation principles in learning, students’ performance in
affective and psychometric skills is organized horizontally through reinforcement
and vertically based on the sustainability principle (Kemendikbud, 2012:10).
Since K-13 was implemented three years ago, teachers have been faced with the
demands to be innovative and creative in developing their own teaching resources.
The availability of the resources is vital to the learning process. Regulation No.
4/2007 on National Standard of Learning Process suggests lesson plans, teaching
materials, and teaching media as the essence of learning for students. Professional
teachers are expected to be able to provide their students with relevant learning
resources. One way to meet this need is to generate a set of valid, effective, and
practical learning tools.
One of the learning models that have been recently implemented in elementary
schools in Ambon, Indonesia is the thematic learning model. This learning model
reflects the connection between contents of some subjects integrated through
certain competence standards. In 2014, a survey and interviews were conducted
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Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua, John Rafafy Batlolona
in 25 elementary schools in Ambon to investigate the effectiveness of this learning
model implementation. The results indicated that teachers actually faced some
difficulties in designing the syllabus, lesson plans, and materials based on this
learning model. The teachers admitted that they liked to copy-paste their colleagues’ lesson plans developed on the topic similar to theirs. It was also found
that their lesson plans did not mention the ABCD (audience, behaviour, condition,
and degree). Besides, learning objectives stated in the lesson plans only covered
the cognitive aspects of learning, and the learning process was not systematically
arranged based on the learning model used. In addition, students were mostly
required to do the paper and pencil test to assess their cognitive level. Ironically,
their metacognitive and higher order thinking levels were not carefully improved
or evaluated.
Teachers also had a tendency to only use textbooks which can be found in
bookstores or provided by schools. They were not innovative in developing students’ worksheets. Probably, teachers’ ability to design a learning experience has
not been optimized and they merely view learning as knowledge transfer. This,
therefore, can result in teacher-centered learning.
A module is actually a book written for students to learn independently. It can
be used by students at any time even when there is no guidance from the teacher
(Sungkono, 2009:51). Mulyasa (2006:73) defines a module as an independent
learning package which covers a set of learning experiences systematically planned
and arranged to assist students in learning. A module contains important materials
that allow students to learn and practice by themselves. Thus, an effective module
makes learners feel at ease when using it. Since K-13 requires elementary school
students to learn through the thematic approach (webbed model), it is necessary
to look at the development of a module which is based on the thematic learning
model.
Learning models help teachers to organize their teaching materials. In the 21st
century, students can improve collaboration and teamwork (Laal et al., 2012:1696;
Griffin & Care, 2012:11) through cooperative learning (Johnson et al., 2007:21). This
constructivist learning model meets the 2013 curriculum requirements and 21st
century learning demands (Schul, 2011:88). The following are the teaching steps
of the NHT-cooperative learning model suggested by Hunter et al. (2016:189) and
Haydon et al. (2010:224).
•• Numbering, students are divided into some groups (each group can consist
of 3 to 5 students) and are numbered.
•• Questioning, all students get a module and each of them is responsible for
a learning problem.
The Development of a Thematic Module
177
•• Heads together, every student works on a problem and then shares the
solution in a group. When they are in a group, they need to work together
with their peers to make sure that every member of the group understands
the material as a whole.
•• Answering, the student whose number is called raises his/her hand to
answer a question. Other students can provide responses to that.
The purpose of this study was to create an effective and practical thematic
module based on the NHT cooperative learning model, which can be utilized
in elementary schools. It was expected that this module could actively engage
students in classroom activities and improve their thinking skills and as a result
increase their achievement.
Research Methodology
The Development Model
This study belonged to the Research and Development study which was aimed to
produce a thematic module that can be utilized by fifth graders in Ambon, Indonesia.
This module was developed based on the 4D development model which comprises
four stages: define, design, develop, and disseminate (Thiagarajaan et al., 1974:5).
The define stage was indicated by analysing learning goals and the limitation of
the materials which would appear in the module. This stage covered five important
steps, which are: a) front-end analysis, b) learner analysis, c) task analysis, d) concept
analysis, and e) instructional objectives specification.
At the design stage, the module was composed to accommodate learning through
NHT. On the complete lesson plan complementing the module, the teacher would
find the following information: subject identity, theme/subtheme, core competence
and basic competence, learning objectives, teaching materials, learning model/
strategy, assessment, and learning resources used in the classroom (Kemendikbud,
2015:9).
The module underwent validation at the develop stage. The validation was
performed by some experts in the educational Research and Development. At the
disseminate stage, we provided training and lesson study for teachers from the K-13
pilot project schools and also for teachers from some partnership schools in Ambon.
Population and Sample
The population of this study was all the fifth grade students in Ambon and the
sample was determined based on the needs of every stage in the product devel-
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Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua, John Rafafy Batlolona
opment. At the define stage, we involved 15 teachers and 120 students in Ambon.
It was intended to elicit some information related to the implementation of the
recent K-13 curriculum and also to get feedback on learning objectives that should
be achieved by the students. At the develop stage, we chose 15 elementary schools
of the K-13 pilot project but only three of them were chosen as schools where we
conducted try-outs. Four teachers or practitioners and 30 students were involved
at this stage to revise and validate the product.
Instruments
The instruments of this study were questionnaires distributed to both teachers
and students, validation sheets, and a cognitive test. The instruments were developed by the researchers and evaluated by some experts before they were used.
Findings
At the define stage, we conducted a survey, observation, and interviews with the
principals and teachers at the schools which had implemented the K-13 curriculum. The results of this preliminary study successfully revealed some facts related
to learning. Most of the teachers could not improve their students’ thinking skills.
Since classroom activities were dominated by the teachers and tests conducted at
the schools only covered items at a low cognitive level, the students were found to
have low cognitive ability (C1-C2).
In line with the findings, Leasa dan Matitaputty (2015:271) in their research on
fifth graders’ critical thinking skills mentioned that students’ interpretation and
analysis skills were at a moderate level while their evaluation and explanation skills
were at the lowest level. The students still had some difficulty in answering problems
at those stages due to lack of practice and domination of memorizing activities.
At the design stage, a thematic module was developed on two learning themes
which covered three subthemes of each. The themes were simultaneously applied
to the following subjects: Bahasa Indonesia, Mathematics, Natural Science, and
Social Science.
Theme 1 : Things Around Us
Theme 2 : Life Events
The following are stages to drafting the thematic module:
a.Review the Core Competence (KI) and Basic Competence (KD) of some
subjects and then integrate them into the themes. Decide which cognitive,
affective, and psychometric aspects should be put in balance.
The Development of a Thematic Module
179
b. Formulate KI and KD in the syllabus.
c. List aspects found in the syllabus and write them on the lesson plans. The
components that should be found in both the thematic module and the
lesson plans are: subject identity, standard of competence, basic competence,
learning activities, learning resources, and assessment methods.
d.Publish a thematic module and a teacher book.
Since this module contained two themes and each theme should be integrated
into more than two subjects, this module had to undergo experts’ validation at
the develop stage. One expert in thematic and one expert in learning design were
invited to evaluate the module. The results of the empirical validation are shown
in Table 1.
Table 1 Experts’ validation results
No
Validator
Average Score
Annotation
1.
Expert in thematic
80.20
very valid
2.
Expert in design
83.30
very valid
81.75
very valid
Final Score
Based on the information in Table 1, it can be concluded that the results of
experts’ validation reached the average score of 81.75, which showed that the
module belonged to the very valid category. It proves that the module had met the
requirements of a good module.
The next step was to conduct an individual try-out and a group try-out. The
individual try-out involved six participants from various academic levels (high,
middle, and low) and there were ten students who had different cognitive abilities
participating in the small group try-out. The purpose of these try-outs was to
check the attractiveness of the module and to identify any misspellings that might
have occurred. To avoid ambiguity, we guided and assisted the students in filling
in the questionnaires. The results of the try-outs are presented in Table 2.
Table 2. Try-out results
Categories
Individual
Small group
Average Score
Annotation
90
very interesting
88.25
very interesting
180
Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua, John Rafafy Batlolona
A large scale try-out was conducted in three sample schools with 30 participants. The participants were using the NHT module to learn and the teacher
was present to guide them. Classroom activities would follow the steps of the
NHT-cooperative learning model. Figure 1 shows students’ achievement after the
try-out.
Figure 1. Students’ achievement
Figure 1 presents students’ achievement after using the thematic module based
on the NHT cooperative learning strategy. The students who got good scores
(81 – 100) outnumbered those who got lower scores. This proved the effectiveness
of the thematic module in improving the students’ cognitive abilities. The students
were motivated to find solutions to problems found in the module. This, thus,
helped improve the students’ creativity in thinking. They constructed their own
knowledge by doing various learning activities such as reading, experimenting,
observing, and counting.
The product of this research was also validated by teachers as learning practitioners. They were chosen to represent experienced teachers who had been
teaching fifth grade students for about 2 – 3 years. The teachers had been in several
training courses and been appoited national instructors of K-13 by the government. The teachers’ responses to the thematic module are shown in Table 3.
Table 3 shows the teachers’ good responses to the module by reaching the average percentage of 97.5%, which means that the product was well developed and
was ready to use at schools.
At the disseminate stage, we held training and a lesson study for teachers who
recently joined the local teachers’ community (KKG). The training was aimed
to improve the elementary school teachers’ skills and knowledge on learning
resources which were built on the constructivist learning principles. Lesson study
The Development of a Thematic Module
181
is a platform where teachers can practice using the learning model and learning
module developed in this study. This lesson study provided an opportunity for the
teachers to share their best teaching ideas and practices with other teachers in the
community.
Table 3. Teachers’ responses to the thematic module
No
1
Evaluated Aspects
Appropriateness of learning plans with learning activities
Teachers
1
2
3
4
4
4
4
4
2
Clarity of learning instructions
4
4
4
4
3
Appropriateness of learning objectives with core competences, basic
competences, and indicators
4
4
3
3
4
Appropriateness of learning materials with learning objectives
4
4
4
4
5
Clarity of instructional materials
4
4
4
4
6
Clarity of learning examples
4
3
4
4
7
Clarity of independent learning activities (let’s observe, let’s read,
let’s try, let’s count) in the module
4
4
4
4
8
Clarity of teaching steps based on learning model used
4
4
4
4
9
Appropriateness of pictures/illustrations with the content
4
4
4
4
10
Clarity of module description on thematic learning characteristics:
holistic, active, authentic, and meaningful
4
4
4
4
11
Appropriateness of language used in the module. The language is
motivating and elevating.
4
4
4
3
12
Appropriateness of language used in the module. The language
encourages students to learn independently.
4
4
4
4
13
Appropriateness of language used in the module. The language
reflects students’ cognitive level.
4
4
4
3
14
Appropriateness of language used in the module. The language
reflects students’ emotional development.
4
4
4
3
15
The use of module. It supports religious values.
4
4
4
4
16
The use of module. It promotes honesty.
4
4
4
4
17
The use of module. It builds students’ responsibility
4
3
4
4
18
Clarity of themes and subthemes
4
3
4
4
19
The use of module. It promotes independent learning
4
4
4
4
Total Score
76
73
75
73
Percentage (%)
100
96
98
96
Average percentage
97.5
182
Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua, John Rafafy Batlolona
The cover pages of the students’ thematic module and the teacher’s book were
both designed in an interesting. On both covers, the teacher and the students can
see an illustration of a classroom in which students are learning with the use of the
NHT strategy and inside the module, the students can find colourful pages with
relevant pictures and eligible texts to ease the learning process. The module and
the teacher’s book were written in semi-formal language.
Discussion
The development of this thematic module is a crucial step to improving learning. The module can function as guidance to follow steps in NHT. It helps teachers
to organize teaching materials and perform assessment. Besides, it can also assist
students to learn independently and engage students in classrooms activities. As
a result, the students are able to construct knowledge and get meaningful learning
experiences because they regularly practice to connect one concept with another.
The development of a module should be based on student characteristics
(Trianto, 2010:84). The elementary students who encounter the concrete operational stage should be served by learning by doing. They learn best by observing,
reading, experimenting, and writing. This kind of learning is effective to improve
students’ cognitive abilities. In line with that, Leasa & Batlolona (2016:339) stated
that the elementary students in Ambon were mostly kinaesthetic learners who like
to get involved in physical activities either inside or outside of the classroom. They
learn through direct experience. Therefore, the thematic module developed in this
study was perfect to accommodate these needs.
The results of the large scale try-out indicated that the thematic module based on
the NHT- cooperative learning model could improve students’ cognitive achievement, not only at a low cognitive level but also at the highest one. The cognitive
abilities gained by the students after using this module were the ability to analyse,
to evaluate and to create. This result was surprisingly different from the previous
learning condition, where the students only developed low cognitive ability (C1C2), which is only to memorize a concept. NHT can be used to improve students’
thinking skills and as a result students’ achievement by integrating the simulation
method, trial and error activities, and role play into learning. The previous research
findings by Maheady et al. (2002:57) emphasized the importance of NHT as one
of the cooperative learning models that allow the teacher to get students actively
involved in learning by asking questions. This learning model has been proven
effective to improve students’ cognitive abilities and learning behaviours. It puts
The Development of a Thematic Module
183
slow learners in a friendly environment, in which they can actively participate in
teams and group discussions and share ideas with fast learners. Mahaedy et al.
(2006:37) found that NHT has potentials to increase the performance of a student
as an individual in a heterogenic classroom, where students from various cognitive
levels are put together.
Learning activities developed in the thematic module were intended to improve
students’ ability to read, write, and count. These activities in every part are labelled
ayo membaca (let’s read), ayo mengamati (let’s observe), ayo berhitung (let’s count),
ayo ceritakan (let’s share), and ayo mencoba (let’s try). At the ayo membaca phase,
students are encouraged to read a text or information and write a short story,
answer comprehension questions to the text, search for new vocabulary items,
make a summary, and find the main ideas of the text. The activities in ayo mengamati lead students to observe their surrounding or look carefully at the pictures
provided in the module. In the ayo berhitung section, students are motivated to
solve mathematical problems such as to solve circumference, fractions, and many
others. The activities in ayo menceritakan section help students to write a short
story, a recount, or a dialogue based on some pictures or direct field observation.
In ayo mencoba, students are given a chance to perform in front of their peers,
such as presenting the human respiration system, changes in nature, etc.
These guided learning activities are followed by a question phase. Each student
will get one question. This is to make students more responsible for the tasks given
either individually or in groups. Besides, students are also motivated to find a solution to every problem. Therefore, despite their different academic level, they are
still given a chance to learn. Coutinho & Almeida (2014:3781) claim that through
a question and answer section, students are engaged in deep, scientific, and creative
thinking.
The heads together phase is one form of group responsibility to finish a task.
They collaborate and make sure that every member of their group knows the
answer to each question. It shows that there is an interaction between students in
a group to help, respect, and accept one another. They need to reach a consensus
in order to solve problems. As a result, they can achieve goals together through
discussion. At this stage, the purpose of the NHT learning model can be fulfilled.
This is in line with Kagan (1989:13), who suggests that the purpose of the NHT
learning model is not only to improve students’ understanding of a certain topic
but also to build students’ confidence to work in a group and develop the character
of a leader.
184
Marleny Leasa, Melvie Talakua, John Rafafy Batlolona
Conclusions
The results of the study have indicated that the thematic module based on the
NHT cooperative learning strategy has a potential to improve students’ critical
thinking skills and cognitive abilities. Further research on this topic, however, is
needed to provide empirical evidence that this thematic module is effective in
promoting elementary students’ critical thinking skills. This development product
can be a reference for teachers at elementary schools to develop another module
which contains different learning contents and models.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Direktorat Riset dan Pengabdian Masyarakat
(DRPM) from Kementerian Ristek Dikti for funding this research through the “skim hibah
bersaing” (practical products) program.
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Special
Pedagogy
Katarzyna Ita Bieńkowska,
Agnieszka Woźniak
Poland
Language Behaviours in Children
with Hearing Impairment vs. the Social Functioning
of their Mothers – Comparative Surveys
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.16
Abstract
The object and aim of the undertaken surveys was to assess the modifying
impact of a child’s language development (independent variable) on selected
areas of their mother’s functioning – the appearance of symptoms of
depression, and concentration on the child’s disability (dependent variable).
Surveys in a group of the same 30 dyads (mother – child) connected with the
Association of Family and Friends of Children with Hearing Impairment in
Krosno were conducted in 2007 and repeated after 9 years. Analysis of the test
data (n=60) confirmed the hypothesis that the appearance of symptoms of
depression in mothers is less frequent and a mother’s perception of a child’s
hearing impairment as burdensome decreases alongside the development of
a child’s language competence. The article is critical of the results of surveys
conducted by other researchers. The authors also analyse other factors, including the Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening Programme, place of residence,
quality of specialist treatment and therapy, and the passage of time, which
may influence change in the functioning of mothers of children with hearing
impairment.
Keywords: hearing impairment, disability, language development, depression in
mothers
190
Katarzyna Ita Bieńkowska, Agnieszka Woźniak
Introduction
Mothers who learn about the hearing impairment of their children suffer from
a psychological trauma, or shock. The diagnosis of a child’s hearing impairment
causes three psychological reactions: trauma, a mother’s feeling that she has lost
the child as he/she used to be, and a sense of verbal injury (Zalewska, 1998a,
1998b). This situation may result in the mother’s depression, which negatively
influences the child and causes a disruption of the quality and permanent character of the relationship in the dyad, which itself constitutes the prototype for emotional contact between the child and other persons (Rola, 2004). The disrupted
emotional functioning of the mother may decrease effective communication with
the child. It was also found that the higher the delay in the language development
of the child with hearing impairment is, the more dysfunctional mother-child
interactions are, and the more frequently the child is seen as difficult (Pipp-Siegel
et al., 2002).
Kushalnagar, Krull, and Hannay (2007) note that depression in parents of
children with hearing impairment is often related to communication problems
between a parent and a child (in the sense of interpersonal relations, and not at
the language development level), which leads to frustration and an inadequacy
of feelings. According to Meadow-Orlans et al. (1995), these feelings significantly
contribute to the primary caregiver’s self-concept and ability to communicate with
the child with hearing impairment. “A child with hearing impairment is deprived of
the possibility of hearing (or it is difficult for him/her to hear) what a human word
carries – expressions of tenderness, love, despair, contentment, satisfaction, disregard
or aggression. He/she cannot hear the verbal expression of emotional states, the
emotional relations of other people – including the mother. However, the mother,
aware of the limitation of the child, is not sure how to communicate with him/her”
(Zalewska, 1998a). This situation is described by Meadow-Orlans et al. (1995) as
a “mismatch” in the dyad, which results from the difference in the hearing status
of the mother and child and causes communication difficulties. This may become
the cause of psychological distress for the mother (Kazak et al., 1987). However,
the parents who accepted the fact that their child is different adapted better to the
situation when compared to the parents who had problems accepting their disabled child. The parents who concentrate primarily on the deficits and difficulties of
their child do not notice his/her strengths and perceive his/her disability as more
burdensome. Such a negative perception of the child is inadequate and makes the
acceptance of the new situation more difficult.
Language Behaviours in Children
191
Communication difficulties between the mother with depression and the
child with hearing impairment are obvious. The reduced emotional functioning
of the mother may significantly lower the effectiveness of communication with
her child. In extreme cases, communication may be fully interrupted, even in
its residual form, and growing misunderstandings may become the source of
additional frustration. This is especially problematic for the child who presents
curiosity, interest, willingness to learn and a tendency to “accept everything”
– something that presents a discrepancy with his/her relatively lower level of
language development. In such a situation, without receiving explanations or
being led by hearing parents, the child with hearing impairment will gain social
skills that rely only on the observation of the behaviour of others, and lose the
majority of verbal hints. Even if the child with hearing impairment has a high
level of cognitive competences, is able to understand subtle behaviours, grasp
cause-and-effect relationships of concrete events and adjust better to a situation,
he/she will still struggle with an incomplete understanding of speech. This may
result in major problems in his/her behaviour. When a mother is not able to control her child she may feel even more unhappy and helpless, which may deepen
her depression and cause her to lose any motivation to do therapeutic work or
to use other, alternative forms of communication. Parents who cope better with
their emotional problems related to the disability of their child are more willing
to look for additional solutions in order to ensure effective communication with
their child, and they have a better attitude towards teachers and therapists who
introduce alternative forms of communication (Meadow-Orlans et al., 1995).
Quittner (1990) stresses the importance of a common language code within the
family (verbal/sign), which is prognostic for the positive development of the
child. “Successful, adequate early communication constitutes an important element
of social and emotional development of children with hearing impairment” (Vaccari, Marschark 1997; 799).
Objective
The objective of the surveys was to answer the question of whether language
development of the child with hearing impairment (independent variable) is
related to the appearance of symptoms of depression in the mother and her concentration on the child’s disability (dependent variable).
192
Katarzyna Ita Bieńkowska, Agnieszka Woźniak
Research Methodology
Participants
The level of the appearance of depression symptoms in mothers of children with
hearing impairment and their concentration on their child’s disability in correlation with children’s language development was analysed. In order to conduct an
individual analysis of children’s communication behaviours, the Communication
Behaviours Assessment Card was used (CBAC) (Krakowiak K., Panasiuk M.,
1992). Direct observation comprised two individual meetings with a child and
one group meeting (approx. 4 hours). The examined children’s mothers were asked
to fill in a set of survey tools (three forms): the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
(Beck A., 1961), the Scale of Subjective Assessment of the Functioning of a Child
with Symptoms of Disability (Minczakiewicz A., 1998) and a request/consent to
examine their child combined with a short survey (questionnaire) concerning
basic family information.
The surveys among a group of the same 30 dyads (mother – child; 14 – girls, 16
– boys), members of the Association of Family and Friends of Children with Hearing Impairment in Krosno, were conducted in June 2007 and repeated in March
2016. In the group (n=30), 23 children (77%) had profound hearing impairment,
4 children (13%) had severe hearing impairment, 3 children (10%) had moderate
hearing impairment. All the examined children had hearing aids and had been
undergoing auditory verbal therapy since the first year of their lives. 10 children
(33%) had one cochlear implant; 9 (30%) had a cochlear implant and a hearing
aid on the opposite side; and 11 (37%) had two hearing aids. Four children (13%)
had received an implant during the 9 years between the surveys. In 2007 the average age of the children was 3.5 (min. 2.0 – max. 6.2). In 2016 this figure was 12.2
(min 11.0 – max 14.11). During the first survey, some of the children had started
education in kindergartens and state schools, and some of them stayed at home
with their mothers. In 2016 all the children attended schools (29 – a state school
in the place of residence; 1 – an integration school). All the surveyed mothers were
hearing mothers, with the average age of 32 (the range was from 20 – 43) in the
first survey; in the second survey this figure was 38.7 (ranging from 28 – 52). The
mothers had various levels of education: 7 (23%) had vocational training, 16 (53%)
had a secondary education, and 8 (27%) had a higher education. On average, there
were 2 children in a family (this ranged from 1 – 5 children throughout the survey)
and 1/3 of them had no siblings.
Language Behaviours in Children
193
Results
The obtained results were subject to statistical analysis with the use of Statistica
software. The first stage of the analysis was to estimate changes between, and to
compare the results of, the first (2007) and second (2016) surveys. The comparison of CBAC results shows that in all the categories of the persons examined
using the test there is a difference that is essential from the statistical perspective:
there was a significant increase in the level of language knowledge in terms of
communication, speech, sign language, as well as reading and writing competence; this was related to the change in the age of the examined children, therapy
activities undertaken and compulsory education. As far as general communication
competence is concerned (category A of the test), this was higher in the second
measurement (2016) (M = 4.53, OS = 0.63). t(29) = 4.42, p = 0.0001, Cohen’s D
= 0.7962835 compared to the first measurement (2007) (M = 3.67, OS = 1.3). In
the comparison of the results of the categories referring to verbal communication
(categories B, C, D, E), the first measurement (2007) was M = 3.19, OS = 1.21
and in the second (2016) these competences were higher (M = 4.69, OS = 0.59).
t(29) = 5.98, p = 0. Cohen’s D = 1.0778235. Although only two children from
the examined group were taught sign language, this competence in the examined group increased (categories B1, C1, D1, E1) – in 2007 M = 0.99, OS = 0.55,
in the 2016 measurement the competences were M = 1.63, OS = 1.18. t(29) =
2.74, p = 0.0105. Cohen’s D = 0.4929927. An increase in the reading and writing
competences, related to education undertaken (categories G, F), was an essential
element. Compared to the the first measurement (2007) (M = 2.54, OS = 1.52), in
the second measurement (2016) this competence increased (M = 4.57, OS = 0.81).
t(29) = 8.34, p = 0. Cohen’s D = 1.5036821.
Then, the results of the Beck depression tests were compared. The results explicitly show that the mothers’ symptoms of depression reduced (cf., Tables 1 and 2).
Table 1. Comparative analysis of Beck’s depression test BDI from 2007 and 2016
Coefficient
of asymmetry
Standard error
0.6111
1.723
0.1492
0.4068
0.7071
0.0587
Year
Mean
Deviation
Median
Trimmed mean
2007
0.7508
0.8174
0.4524
2016
0.4382
0.3215
0.381
Table 2. Test T results from 2007 and 2016 (BDI)
Test statistics
-2.214
df
29
P
0.03484
Cohen’s D:
- 0.399000209956265
Katarzyna Ita Bieńkowska, Agnieszka Woźniak
194
The analysis also verified how, over the years, the surveyed mothers perceived
the disability of their children (as more or less burdensome). The obtained results
in the first measurement (M = 2.31, OS = 0.91), and in the second measurement
(M = 1.98, OS = 0.58). t(29) = -1.85, p = 0.075; Cohen’s D = -0.3328611, show that
the level of the perception of the child as disabled essentially lowered. Thus, the
situation is perceived as less burdensome.
Then, the results of individual tests were correlated (cf., Figure 1)
CONCENTRATION
ON DISABILITY
LANGUAGE
DEVELOPMENT
DEPRESSION
Figure 1. Chart of areas and their correlation analysed in the survey.
Due to the fact that, as shown, the increase in the competences concerning
verbal language was higher (M=3.19) compared to the competences referring to
sign language (M=0.990), this category was chosen for an analysis concerning the
degree to which the level of functioning of children in verbal language (CBAC,
categories B, C, D, E) differentiates mothers’ symptoms of depression. The 2007
results show that the correlation between the functioning of the verbal language
of children and the level of the appearance of symptoms of depression in mothers
was statistically insignificant (r - Pearson = -0.2755851, p value = 0.1404764).
Similarly, in 2016 this correlation was insignificant (r - Pearson = 0.102134, p
value = 0.591234). Additionally, the comparison of the differences between the
measurements also shows that this correlation is insignificant (r - Pearson =
-0.1934917, p value = 0.3056048).
Table 3. Correlations between CBAC B C D E and BDI depression tests
from 2007 and 2016
BDI 2007
BDI 2016
BDI difference
CBAC BCDE 2007
CBAC BCDE 2016
CBAC BCDE difference
BDI
2007
BDI
2016
BDI
difference
CBAC
BCDE
2007
CBAC
BCDE
2016
CBAC
BCDE
difference
0.33
-0.92***
-0.276
-0.241
0.178
0.067
0.062
0.102
-0.013
0.317
0.297
-0.193
0.458
-0.873***
0.033
Language Behaviours in Children
195
It was also observed that there is a relationship between the children’s level of
verbal language competence (CBAC – categories B,C,D,E) and the perception of
the children’s disability as more burdensome (concentration on disability). The
relationship, understood as the interchange ability in time, is essential (r - Pearson
= -0.5818575, p value = 0.0007441): the more the level of speech competences
increased, the more the perception of the child’s disability as burdensome
decreased.
Discussion
In their surveys, both J. Kobosko (1998, 2000) and J. Kosmalowa (1998) state
that the appearance of depression symptoms in hearing mothers of children with
hearing impairment is higher than in mothers of hearing children and grows with
the child’s age. Konstantareas and Lampropoulou (1995) found that the experienced maternal stress increases along with the age of the disabled child. The Greek
surveys prove that the maternal stress in hearing mothers of children with hearing
impairment (2 – 14 years old) increases with the age of the child, and that this may
lead to depression. These surveys have not confirmed the above theses. It should be
noted that the examined population functions in a different social environment. In
2002 a neonatal screening programme for hearing was launched in Poland and the
age when hearing impairment is diagnosed in a child, and the possibility of them
receiving an implant and, consequently, the time when therapy can begin, have
changed (Szyfter 2013; Zaborniak et al., 2016). The parents participating in the
surveys described in this paper have been under the care of the Specialist Clinic in
Krosno, where they have been offered the opportunity to meet in both formal and
informal support groups (Bieńkowska, Zaborniak-Sobczak, 2014). Additionally,
they come from villages or small towns in the Podkarpackie region, they often
live in extended families, and the 100% participation rate in the survey may be
a sign of their engagement in their child’s therapeutic process. If similar surveys
were conducted among parents of children from other areas not covered with
systematic help, the results might not be confirmed. Additionally, in 2016 these
children attended primary integration schools or state schools. A lot of support
and understanding of the problems of disabled children’s families is characteristic
of this level of education. Subsequent stages of education, a much broader curriculum, higher expectations and adolescence-related problems, a need for acceptance,
self-identity, and peer group pressure may once again trigger any and all of the
difficulties related to disability.
196
Katarzyna Ita Bieńkowska, Agnieszka Woźniak
When assessing the functioning of the relationship between the child with hearing impairment and the hearing mother, we, unfortunately, examine an incomplete
relationship. The marginalisation of the father’s role in this constellation means
we obtain incomplete data on the development and mutual interactions within
this relationship and the individual participants thereof. To obtain a full picture
of the situation it would be worth examining the functioning of the mother –
father – child triad. Undoubtedly, it is absolutely necessary to include the father in
the therapy (Kornas – Biela, 2006). A man making more demands on and setting
limits for the child allows him/her to create their own internal map of the social
world, and also shapes his/her self-confidence (Rola, 2004). The more frequent
appearance of symptoms of depression in mothers than in fathers of children with
hearing impairment (Meadow-Orlans 1991) indicates that fathers cope better with
their child’s disability; this ability to cope is a secondary source of the support to
mothers. Parents who cope better with their emotional problems related to their
child’s disability are more willing to look for additional solutions to ensure effective
communication with their child, and they have a better attitude towards doctors,
teachers and therapists who introduce alternative forms of communication; this in
turn correlates with the positive effects of their child’s learning (Meadow-Orlans,
1995
Conclusions
The conducted surveys, which analysed changes in the functioning of the child
with hearing impairment and his/her mother over the years, made it possible to
offer a new analysis of the situation of families with children with hearing impairment. In the examined group of children, there occurred a significant increase in
competence within verbal language and sign language (the latter increase occurred
in two children), as well as reading and writing. It turns out that the mother’s
tendency towards depression decreases as the age of the child increases. However,
this change is not only conditioned by the level at which the child masters the
language, but most probably by other factors, such as, e.g., social support, which
will be the subject matter of the next article by the authors. The tendency towards
depression in the mothers examined in 2016 was indeed lower than 9 years ago.
The analysis has also shown that the mothers of older children (in 2016) perceive
their children’s disability as significantly less burdensome when compared to
their assessment from 9 years earlier. The structure of the tools used in the survey
shows two variants concerning the concentration on the child. Low results indicate
Language Behaviours in Children
197
concentration on the child and high results represent concentration mainly on
his/her difficulties in functioning. In both surveys, the mothers showed a slight
tendency to concentrate on the child’s deficits. In 2016 this tendency was minimal.
All the obtained results indicate that the functioning of mothers of children
with hearing impairment improves over the years. It seems that an important
“protecting factor” is also a language match between the child and the mother, as
all the examined dyads used the same language system. Additionally, the children
examined in 2016 were older, more self-reliant, and they benefitted from inclusive
forms of education. This is the unquestionable success of the examined families.
Summary
The results of our research, presented in the survey, show an indirectly high
level of the therapy that the children undergo, and that therapy oriented at the
development of verbal language is the most relevant (in the context of hearing
parents). The language development of children with hearing impairment should,
undoubtedly, be monitored in order to grasp any possible difficulties, and adjust
the time and methods of therapy for children with additional dysfunctions. It is
important to pay attention to the preparation, the level and the effectiveness of
therapy offered by educational facilities attended by deaf teenagers. This is especially important in the context of early satisfactory school experiences of children,
and the wellbeing of their parents. Finding out whether the level of received social
support is the factor that decreases the appearance of symptoms of depression will
be the subject of subsequent studies by the authors.
Acknowledgement: The authors would like to thank the children with hearing impairment and their parents from the Association of Family and Friends of Children with
Hearing Impairment in Krosno who, with openness and understanding, participated in
the survey twice.
References
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opment of Parental Attitude towards Children with Hearing Loss. Disability. Discourses
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Marta Licardo, Majda Schmidt
Slovenia
Why is Self-Determination Important
for Students w
ith and Without Disabilities
in Vocational Education?
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.17
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to determine differences in self-determination
between high school students with and without disabilities and to determine
the influence of three predictors of self-determination in vocational education:
gender, group and grade point average. Research was done by comparing students with the method of pairs. The results show that students with disabilities
have a lower level of self-determination than their peers; significant predictors
of self-determination are group and grade point average. Results reveal important fields of intervention for self-determination development, especially for
students with disabilities in vocational education. This is also the first study
of student self-determination in Slovenian vocational education with specific
cultural and education background.
Keywords: self-determination, vocational education, students with disabilities,
academic achievement.
Introduction
Self-determination skills are important because they enable students to cope
with challenges in the educational environment. In various models, self-determination includes facets such as: self-regulation, autonomy, empowerment,
self-advocacy, self-awareness, problem solving, etc. (Soresi et al., 2011; Wehmeyer
Why is Self-Determination Important for Students
201
et al., 2000; Wehmeyer, 1999; Deci and Ryan, 1985, 2008; Chirkov et al., 2003).
Application of the self-determination construct occurs in disability and psychology-related issues, examined in developmental theories, interventions, follow-up
studies, assessment instruments, curricular materials, and instructional models
especially in western countries (Algozzine et al. 2001; Chambers et al. 2007).
In psychology, the theory of self-determination is based on basic psychological
needs (autonomy, competence and social relatedness), which motivates individuals to develop their potential (Deci and Ryan, 1985; 2000; 2008; Ryan and
Niemec, 2009; Niemec et al., 2006; Ryan et al. 2006), while in the disability field,
self-determination is more often presented as a concept of skills or within areas of
disability support, services and advocacy (Field and Hoffman, 1994; Martin and
Marshal, 2004; Wehmeyer, 1996). The process of becoming self-determined may
be described as a process where we learn problem solving, choice making, goal
setting, autonomous behavior, empowerment, self-regulation, and self-realization
(Wehmeyer et al., 2000). More studies indicate (Wehmeyer, 1996; Wehmeyer and
Garner, 2003) that self-determination in students with disabilities has a significant
impact on postsecondary outcomes, such as living arrangements, current and past
employment situations, postsecondary education status, and community integration outcomes.
Research Problem
The self-determination model by Field and Hoffman (1994), which we used in
our research, focuses on the variables of self-determination that are important
to achieve self-regulation, autonomy and independence, (e.g., know yourself,
value yourself, plan, act and learn from experience). We use this model because
it is a mixture of both the mentioned approaches and measures variables that
are within an individual’s control; results show motivational factors and skills of
students. The focus of our study is on students with disabilities and comparison
with their peers without disabilities, as we believe understanding of both groups
can promote efficient support in the mentioned skills for both groups of students.
Research Focus
Our study is the first research in Slovenia into self-determination in general and
also the first research done with the use of the method of pairs into population of
202
Marta Licardo, Majda Schmidt
students with and without disabilities in vocational education, by which we wished
to confirm the results of self-determination research in the international context
and to acquire more accurate knowledge of self-determination in order to suggest
possible interventions of support for students.
Research Methodology
Research General Background
The purpose of the study was to determine differences in self-determination
between high school students with and without disabilities in vocational schools
and to determine the influence of three predictors, gender, grade point average
and group.
Research Sample
The research sample consisted of high school students (n = 122) from eight different vocational schools and was based on the method of pairs. Students in both
groups were equalized in pairs by age, gender, school program, and GPA. The first
group consisted of students with disabilities (n = 61), the second group consisted
of students without disabilities (n = 61); by gender, the sample was composed of
72 males and 50 females. Most students were aged 16 (n = 79) and 17 (n = 36) and
a few students were 18 years old (n = 7).
All the students with disabilities were in a regular classroom. They had the
formal status of students with special educational needs and received additional
professional support. The group of students with disabilities consisted mostly of
students with (specific) learning disabilities (45 students) and with mild cognitive
disabilities (10 students). Four students had emotional and behavioural disabilities,
one had mild visual impairment and one had autism.
Instrument and Procedures
The instrument used was the Self-Determination Student Scale (Hoffman et
al., 2004), which measures cognitive, affective, and behavioural factors related to
self-determination developed by Field and Hoffman (1994). The Self-Determination Student Scale (SDSS) is a validated, 92-item, self-report instrument that
measures emotional and cognitive aspects of student self-determination.
The SDSS is delineated by five components of the model (a) know yourself,
(b) value yourself, (c) plan, (d) act, and (e) experience outcomes and learn. Each
component score and self-determination total score is done on the basis of correct
Why is Self-Determination Important for Students
203
and false criteria for answers. A total self-determination score is the sum of the five
subscales: Know Yourself, Value Yourself, Plan, Act, and Experience Outcomes and
Learn. Analyses in our research were made for the total score of self-determination
and for the subscales separately.
Validity of the scale was measured by a principal component analysis. The percentage of the explained variance of the first component is 74.75%. The diagram
of eigenvalue showed one main component, i.e., self-determination. Reliability of
SDSS was measured by Cronbach’s alpha, which was 0.91 for Self-determination in
the original version (Hoffman et al., 2004, p. 26); in our research, Cronbach’s alpha
was 0.90 for Self-determination. Cronbach’s alpha for the subscales in the original
version is 0.93 for Know Yourself, 0.46 for Value Yourself, 0.90 for Plan, 0.63 for Act
and 0.93 for Experience Outcomes and Learn (Hoffman et al., 2004, p. 26).
Data Analysis
To analyse structural differences in self-determination between students
with and without disabilities we used a discriminant analysis and to analyse the
influence of gender, group and grade point average we used a multiple regression
analysis.
Research Results
Structural Differences in Self-determination Between Students with
and Without Disabilities
To determine structural differences in self-determination between the students
with and without disabilities we used a discriminant analysis.
Table 1. Results of discriminant analysis
Function
1
Canonical
correlation
coefficient
Wilks‘
Lambda
Eigenvalue
Percent of
variance
λ
% var
Cc
Λ
1.675
100
0.791
0.374
Chi square
Sig.
115.604
0.000
P
The results indicated that the students with disabilities showed less self-determination than the students without disabilities. We found one significant discriminant function (Λ = 0.374; p = 0.000), with eigenvalue λ = 1.675. The correlation
coefficient with linear function is Cc = 0.791.
Marta Licardo, Majda Schmidt
204
Table 2. The structure of discriminant functions
Self-determination
components
Standardized discriminant
function coefficients
Correlation coefficients
β
r
Act
0.74
0.932
Experience Outcomes and Learn
0.283
0.644
Value Yourself
0.235
0.675
Know Yourself
0.002
0.595
Plan
-0.057
0.545
The standardized discriminant function coefficients indicated the contribution of each predictor, showing differences between the students with and
without disabilities are mostly expressed in the Act (β = 0.74) component, less in
the components Learning from Experience (β = 0.283) and Value Yourself (β =
0.235), and even less in Know Yourself (β = 0.002) and Plan (β = -0.057), which
is a rather surprising result, at least for the Plan component. The correlation
coefficients for self-determination components are between 0.932 (for Act) and
0.545 (for Plan).
Gender, Group and Grade Point Average as Predictors
of Self-Determination
A multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship
between self-determination and potential predictors; gender, group (students
with and without special needs) and GPA. Additionally, we analysed each of the
components of self-determination to examine the relationship between the above
components and predictors.
The assumptions of multicollinearity, normality residuals, independence errors
and homoscedasticity were confirmed. The multiple regression model with three
predictors produced adjusted R2 = .295; F = 17.78; p < 0.000. Independent variables gender, group and GPA explain 30% of the variability of self-determination.
Statistically significant predictors for self-determination are group (p < 0.000) and
grade point average (p = 0.02). Group is the most frequent predictor of self-determination components.
Why is Self-Determination Important for Students
205
Table 3. Results of multiple regression analysis for self-determination
and components Know Yourself, Value Yourself, Plan, Act,
and Experience Outcomes and Learn
Variable
B
SEB
β
gender
0.081
1.979
0.003
group
-12.653
1.947
-0.501**
GPA
3.165
1.337
0.185*
gender
0.091
0.413
0.016
group
-3.354
0.406
-0.609**
GPA
0.033
0.279
0.009
gender
-0.605
0.343
-0.122
group
-3.206
0.338
-0.656**
GPA
0.035
0.232
0.01
gender
-0.13
0.516
-0.019
group
-3.818
0.508
-0.571**
GPA
0.163
0.348
0.036
gender
-0.282
0.514
-0.032
group
-6.508
0.505
-0.762**
GPA
0.307
0.347
0.053
gender
-0.128
0.396
-0.023
group
-3.473
0.389
-0.637**
GPA
0.087
0.267
0.023
Self-determination
Know Yourself
Value Yourself
Plan
Act
Experience Outcomes and Learn
In the self-determination components, independent variables explain 36 % of
the variability of Know Yourself (adj. R2 = .356; F = 23.33; p < 0.000), 43% of the
variability of Value Yourself (adj. R2 = .433; F = 31.82; p < 0.000), and 32% of the
variability of Plan (adj. R2 = .317; F = 19.71; p < 0.000). The greatest is 59% of the
variability of the Act component (adj. R2 = .585; F = 57.95; p < 0.000) and 40% of
the variability of Experience Outcomes and Learn (adj. R2 = .396; F =27.44; p <
206
Marta Licardo, Majda Schmidt
0.000). In each of the four components of self-determination as a dependent variable statistically significant for the prediction is the Group independent variable
(p < 0.000), while gender and GPA are not so important. In the self-determination
components, unstandardized coefficient B is equal to -6.508 in the Act component,
which shows the largest decrease in Act in the students with disabilities in comparison to the other components.
Discussion
With the use of a structural analysis we analysed which components of self-determination indicate deficits in the students with disabilities compared to their
peers. The results of the discriminant function showed strong differences between
the students with and without disabilities in the Act component, moderate differences in the Learning from Experience and Value Yourself components and
almost no differences in Know Yourself and Plan. The students with disabilities
showed similar scores in self-knowledge, self-valuation, and planning, but differences occurred in the behavioural components, where self-determination should
be enforced. The lowest component of self-determination in the group of students
with disabilities was Act, which is related to executive functions. Further examination of variables for the Act component indicated that the students’ functioning in
the academic and social environments makes the difference. Variables consisted
of the students’ self-reported assessment in (a) ability to find support from other
sources, e.g., in statements like “I do not know how to get support when I need it,”
“I do not know where to get help to decide what I should do after I finish school,”
and “If my friends criticize something I’m wearing, I do not wear it again”, (b)
ability to persist in activities, e.g., “When I want good grades, I work until I get
them,” “I give in when I have differences with others,” “I’m easily discouraged
when I fail,” and “If I’m unable to solve a puzzle quickly, I get frustrated and stop”,
and (c) ability to overcome emotional obstacles (emotional self-regulation), e.g.,
“Criticism makes me angry,” “I’m too shy to tell others what I want,” “I’m too
scared to take risks,” and “I imagine myself failing before I do things” (Hoffman
et al., 2004, p. 31).
Our results showed that self-determination does make a difference between the
students with and without disabilities. The students with disabilities are challenged
when they show self-determined behaviour. Namely, most of the students with
learning disabilities have problems in social functioning for various reasons. Some
of the common reasons are intra-individual, e.g., neurological and cognitive dys-
Why is Self-Determination Important for Students
207
functions that contribute to deficits in social skills, low self-esteem, comorbidity
of learning disabilities with other problems like depression, anxiety, and other disabilities. Some of the reasons are environmental issues like exclusion from peers,
obstacles connected with learning failure, disadvantages in local opportunities and
little support in family because of family stress related to the child’s disability (San
Miguel et al., 1996).
Many researchers (Geary, 2006; Siegel and Ryan, 1989; Meltzer, 2007) have noted
that the problems (especially in students with learning disabilities) correlate with
slow cognitive development, weak motivation and self-regulation, low executive
functions, and poor organizing skills, time management, learning cognition and
metacognition, which might be the reason why the group is a stable predictor
of self-determination. Problems in executive functions can be perceived through
the students’ below-average performance in learning, schoolwork, and persistence.
These findings can be helpful in seeking more effective interventions for perceived
weaknesses in self-determination.
The results of our multiple regression analysis show that self-determination
directly relates statistically to academic achievement only on the general self-determination scale, but not in separate components. We assume the reasons for
the lack of these data are the small sample of students, low number of students
with disabilities with high GPA, and low variation coefficient in the self-determination score of the students with disabilities, which is coherent with most of
the research that compares these two variables. For instance, Sarver (2000), who
analysed correlations between self-determination and academic success, found
that high levels of self-determination have a significantly positive correlation with
GPA. Similarly, Martin et al. (2003) found that high levels of self-determination
correlate with high grades in math, reading, and language in a smaller sample
of students with disabilities. Research on students with learning disabilities and
intellectual disabilities in inclusive education showed that students with high levels
of self-determination achieve more learning and personal goals than their peers
with low self-determination levels (Shogren et al., 2012). Some authors note the
importance of the process through which students develop self-determination
competences (Solberg et al., 2012).
Academic achievement is important for successful coping with challenges of
students with disabilities, which we mentioned in the introduction. For students
with disabilities it would, therefore, be necessary to gain self-determination skills,
especially skills related to executive functions like planning and acting in the
educational environment.
208
Marta Licardo, Majda Schmidt
Conclusions
We found specific differences in self-determination between the students with
and without disabilities related to executive functions, with these the understanding of self-determination is more precise. Our results also indicate that being
a student with special needs is the most evident predictor of self-determination;
the other most important predictor is GPA, which shows important connections
between these variables. Our study is also new regarding the cultural background,
namely most of the studies on self-determination in education are from the USA
(which is evident from the literature overview) and very few studies are from
Eastern European countries, where education systems and cultural backgrounds
are different. We can conclude that the self-determination construct is important
for our students, too.
To achieve success, students should use cognitive, social, and emotional
resources within themselves. Therefore, it is very important to support students
to develop self-determination skills for better coping with the challenges they
face. For more specific applications on the level of secondary education, we
suggest implementing the self-determination model in schools as project work
and systematic education of teachers and other education professionals, because
they are not fully aware of how important self-determination is for students with
disabilities. Schools should promote the ethos and school culture which allow for
self-determination. Students with disabilities should be empowered to actively
participate in their education, especially in procedures related to individualized
education programs and transitions in education. Teachers could encourage students to speak up about themselves; also self-determination could be part of the
methods of instruction, including goals for the development of self-determination,
because self-determination skills are important in lifelong learning.
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Teresa Żółkowska
Poland
The ‘Undisclosed’ Subject of Normalization
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.18
Abstract
The article is an attempt to present one of the most known concepts of disability, which, since the 60s of the 20th century, has been a significant and frequent
subject of theoretical analysis as well as has been the hint in constructing the
social policy or the organization of the welfare system for the disabled both
in Poland and all over the world. In the article the American model of normalization will be presented and its deconstruction. Disclosing the problems
concerning the theoretical assumptions of the concepts of this model allows for
perceiving the way in which society constructs the subject of a disabled person.
Keywords: disability, normalization, ’Undisclosed’ Subject
Introduction
In social sciences, the notion and conception of normalization have been present since the 1960s. This is one of those conceptions which have been exerting
a significant influence upon the determination of the directions of research, social
policy and the organization of the system of support, in particular, in the case of
individuals with intellectual disability both in Poland and in foreign countries.
In the course of the last fifty years, normalization has been defined in various
ways. Therefore, as expressed by Eric Emerson, we are facing a situation ’in which
there is not a single notion, or a set of principles, concerning normalization’, but
rather the entire space of normalization (Emerson, 1992, p. 1). Particular definitions possess common characteristics, but they differ in dependence upon the
theoretical premises adopted by their authors, or, even, in terms of a political
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attitude in a given country. The notion and foundations of those conceptions were
developed in the Scandinavian countries. One of the authors of the conception of
normalization was the Danish politician, Niels Bank-Mikkelsen, the head of the
Danish agency, working in the field of the provision of assistance for individuals
with intellectual disability. It was thanks to him that, in 1959, in Danish legislation
(Danmark: law, 1959), the following postulate appeared: ’….providing individuals
with intellectual disability and learning disorders with the possibility of living
their lives in a manner as similar to the ’normal life’ as possible’ (Bank-Mikkelsen,
1969, p. 59 ). The following ’founding father’ of normalization was Bengt Nirje
(1970; 1976; 1980; 1985). Nirje developed the principles of normalization, in which
he indicated that, simultaneously with diagnosing an intellectual disability in the
case of a child, there takes place the process of distorting his or her life experience
in connection with the child becoming subjected to the actions of special-purpose
rehabilitation establishments. Into the fundamental characteristic of the institutionalized rehabilitation environment, the author included the following ones:
the daily rhythm, the weekly rhythm and the annual rhythm, not taking under
consideration individual preferences, segregation connected with sex, restrictions
in learning to know the normally-applicable economic standards and facilitating
measures in the environment (Nirje, 1980, pp. 31 – 49; 1985, pp. 6 – 68). Both Nirje
and Bank-Mikkelsen also supported the idea of the integration of individuals
with an intellectual disability, but the integration, in their opinion, is of secondary importance in comparison with the issue of normalization. The discussed
approach to normalization is defined in the literature as the Scandinavian model,
and it was negatively assessed by the German psychologist from the University of
Nebraska, the USA, Wolf Wolfensberger (1980a). Wolfensberger, considered to be
the author of the second model of normalization, defined as the American model,
subjected both the approach of Nirje and that of Bank-Mikkelsen to a critical
assessment as ineffective, because of ’striving to achieve the normal conditions
of life only.’ Wolfensberger (1980a; 1983) put forward the changed interpretation
of the Scandinavian model of normalization and based this model upon the
conceptions of citizens’ rights and contemporary social-political ideals present in
American society. As a result of that, he brought about the transformation of the
model of normalization from actions the objective of which was the creation of
conditions the same as those possessed by other people (Wolfensberger, 1972, p. 8)
into a conception consisting in ’…the application of measures maximally compatible with the norm of culture in order to initiate and/or maintain the behaviors
and the characteristics of an individual compatible to the highest possible degree
with the standards of the culture.’ In the author’s opinion, the principle of nor-
The ‘Undisclosed’ Subject of Normalization
213
malization ought to be referring to taking advantage of normal environments,
expectations and procedures ’for setting and maintaining behaviors which are as
normal as it is only possible in terms of culture’ (Wolfensberger, 1980b; Dubois,
1988). Wolfensberger also emphasized that the methods taken advantage of in
normalization ought to be compatible with general standards prevalent in society
(Wolfensberger, & Glen, 1973a; Wolfensberger , & Glen, 1973b; Wolfensberger, &
Glen, 1975). Such a view made it possible to see disability in a new light; no longer
are we dealing here with perceiving disabled individuals solely in the categories of
a problem, but we notice the failure of society in the scope of guaranteeing such
individuals the same rights and opportunities as those which are taken advantage
of by other citizens.
As can be seen in the American model, the participation of intellectually
disabled individuals in accordance with accepted norms is regarded as the most
important marker of human dignity, as a manner of combating discrimination
and building an integrated society, by, e.g., Peter Mittler (2000), Tony Booth and
Mel Ainscow (1998); as a manner of gaining respect, equality and membership of
a group by, e.g., Gary Thomas and Andrew Loxley (2001).
However, there arises a question concerning the justifiability of those assumptions, because, in accordance with this model, people who fail to integrate may
experience difficulties in being ’appreciated’. Society may be treating them as other,
and, speculatively, as ’inferior’. Therefore, it seems that the view put forward by
Wolfensberger, in spite of its undeniable significance for the practice of rehabilitation, may be burdened by a significant flaw connected with the generating of an
ever greater depreciation of disabled individuals, negative attitudes towards them
and the greater social stereotyping of them.
In spite of the ’flaw’ referred to above, consisting of difficulties in the appropriate
view of the subject of normalization, the conception itself has not been subjected
to a critical assessment for several years. The reason for that was the popularity
of normalization, and its author, Wolfensberger, and also the role played by normalization in practice, and, first and foremost, in designing the system of services
for the benefit of disabled individuals. A certain background for the discussion
concerning the assumptions of the American model of normalization appeared
simultaneously with the introduction of the social model of disability (Marks,
1999; Yates, Dyson, & Hiles, 2008). The principles disseminated in this model made
it possible to notice that approaches focused upon the assimilation and adjustment
of disabled individuals to society are not appropriate. In connection with that,
the opinions promoting the social approach to disability came to be accompanied by those critics of normalization, indicating the necessity of taking actions
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preventing the removing of individual differences between people, a tendency to
homogenize, ensuring normality by equality in order to gain social acceptance.
The critics referred to above and including, e.g., Hilary Brown and Jan Walmsley,
pointed out the fundamental terror of normalization, namely, the assumption
that compatibility is ’the condition of admission’ to society. They emphasized that
normalization in the American view assumed the rigorous conditions of normality and was more compatible with the ideals than being ’just neutral’ because of
a defined social value (Brown, & Walmsley, 1997). In connection with the above, in
normalization, being ’other’ was less demanded than being ’normal’, and, therefore,
the obligation of a disabled individual was to take actions aiming at becoming
’someone different than they are’ (Morris, 1991). Apart from that, as emphasized by
Andrew Culham and Melanie Nind, normalization in the American view required
those ’other’ individuals to become adjusted to an environment different from their
own. It required becoming adjusted, and not discussion, or even questioning the
patterns of thinking and policy which contributes to the negative perception of
them (Culham, & Nind, 2003).
As a result of the critical assessment of the foundations of normalization,
Wolfensberger adopted a different strategy, because he abandoned the term ’normalization’ and introduced a new notion, ’social role valorization’ (SRV) (Wolfensberger, 1980 a; 1980 b; Wolfensberger, 1983; Wolfensberger, & Thomas, 1983;
Wolfensberger, & Thomas, 1988). The objective of such an attempt was to avoid
the interpretations of the notion of normalization, as being controversial from the
point of view of morality, and to indicate ’actual intentions’ behind building normalization. These actual intentions were, in Wolfensberger’s opinion, of cultural
character. In reference to the ’new conception’, Wolfensberger wrote that social
role valorization is the name adopted for the notion of managing interpersonal
relationships and social services. Social role valorization is the systematic model
of supporting actions (Osburn, 2006, pp.4 – 13; Race, 1999; Race, & Carson, 2005).
As pointed out by Susan Thomas, social role valorization is, as a matter of fact, one
of the most extensively presented schemes of social services (Thomas, 1999). The
reason for that is that this conception determines the principles and strategies of
determining services and the means of practical actions. The principal objective
of social role valorization, in Wolfensberger’s opinion, is ’creating’ or ’supporting’
socially appreciated roles for people in their society, because, ’if an individual is
in the possession of appreciated social roles, it is likely that he or she will receive
so-called appreciated, valuable things in life, things which are available to this
society and which may be passed on by them, from this society, or, at least, he or
she will obtain an opportunity to gain those things’ (Wolfensberger, 1983). The
The ‘Undisclosed’ Subject of Normalization
215
degree of unanimity concerning the issue of what good things in life are, is a high
one. Among the most important ones, there are home and family, friendship,
possessing dignity, respect and acceptance, the sense of belonging, education, and
also developing and practicing one’s own capabilities, the right to have a say in
the issues of one’s own community and society, the opportunities connected with
participation, the decent conditions of existence, at least the normative conditions
of residence, opportunities to find a job and financial independence. In his theory,
Wolfensberger indicates the two main strategies of social role valorization: (a)
improving the social image of people, and also (b) increasing their competences,
in the broadest meaning of this word. Improving the image and increasing competences result in a positive or negative cause-and-effect relationship. An individual
who is not in the possession of competences has a negative social image, and
this negative image results in being treated in such a manner which restricts and
diminishes his or her competences. When an individual who has a positive social
image and has several positive experiences and also such conditions which increase
his or her competences. For this very reason, an individual who is in possession
of social competences, also has a positive image and enjoys social acceptance. The
conception of social role valorization within the scope of improving an image, or
increasing competences, puts forward actions in the realm of four separate social
levels, and that means at the following levels: individual ( of an individual), basic
social groups (of a family), social medium range systems (of a neighbourhood,
local communities and provided services) and also within the realm in general
range social systems (of the entire system of services, society and state) (Thomas,
1999; Wolfensberger, 1980 a; 1983; Żółkowska, 2015).
Discussion
As can be concluded from the above-presented contents, the analysis of
normalization and its continuation in the form of the conceptions of social role
valorization makes it possible to disclose problems connected with the theoretical
assumptions constituting the foundations of its conceptualizations. These are
noticed within the area of subjectivity and the status of an individual subject. As
can be noticed researching the contents referred to above, in normalization social
influences, which exert impact upon an individual, restrict ’social competences’,
assign roles and shape the behavior of an individual, and, subsequently, the manners in which these competences and behaviors influence the social perception
of devaluated groups, are placed emphasis upon. Social conditions determine the
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extent of the self-identification of an individual, personal competences and behaviors, and, in turn, the competences in one’s possession, the manner of presenting
oneself and the behavior of an individual determine social activities. This results
in the need for normalization in order to interrupt this cycle, ascribe appreciated
social roles and ensure appropriate personal competences, resulting in positive
social representations and relationships, in other words, this is about the replacement of a negative cycle with a positive one.
In connection with such assumptions, there arises the question: how is an individual/ man understood in the conception of normalization? As already mentioned
above, it exists, first and foremost, as the embodiment of socially-created roles and
competences, which it subsequently presents in the social sphere. An individual
acting as the subject is undisclosed and understood as the product of social
influences, which caused the possibility of adopting Wolfensberger’s claim that
’disabled individuals are not disabled, that retarded individuals are not retarded,
and that each and every disabled individual may do little less than everything,
and be little less than everyone, if only he or she has received a sufficient expected
role, and an opportunity (Wolfensberger 1983, p. 97). Albeit the author of this
hypothesis himself maintained that emphasizing it did not reflect his actual views
and that it was the work of the ’excessively zealous advocates’ of normalization,
this hypothesis shows the manner in which normalization conceptualizes man
and the processes of his socialization. For this very reason, perhaps, we do not
feel amazed by the fact that this view was sufficiently common for Wolfensberger
(1983) to feel obligated to disprove. A more detailed analysis reveals that the claim
being discussed is based upon assumption rather than upon precise experiences.
It can be concluded from this claim that we deal here with man with ‘some kind of
disability’, which makes it difficult for him or her to do little less than everything
and ‘to be little less than everyone’, and that means, as a matter of fact, to be someone ‘not disabled’. Therefore, we deal here with the rather ‘indirect’ implication of
presence in the theory of an individual with significant disorders, which take place
pre-conceptually, within the frameworks of biological ‘reality’ (Żółkowska, 2015).
Therefore, a paradox appears. The initially-determined subject with significant and
unquestioned ‘disabilities’ is undisclosed (at least, until the state of this subject
becomes a controversial one). However, the existence of those, not encompassed
by the conception, ‘biological disabilities, is controversial in terms of normalization in connection with its assumptions relevant to priority. We remember that in
normalization social influences are the most significant ones. Therefore, it is not
possible to introduce the significant (biological) explanations of ‘disability’, which
would substitute the importance of social influences upon which this theory is
The ‘Undisclosed’ Subject of Normalization
217
based. Therefore, the presence of ’a disabled individual’ is not clearly present in
this theory, and, if need arises, it is freely added to the rest of it. The undisclosed
character of the subject in relation to social forces which exert influence upon this
subject results in the formulation of conclusions which have to be added to the
conception and which are as follows: the socialization of competences, behaviors
and roles is of such a large extent and is so effective that each and every ’disability’
is conceptually absent (and that there is the possibility that ’disabled’ individuals
are not ’actually’ ’disabled’). In connection with that fact, attempts to solve this
problem consist in the adoption of the conceptual assumption of the existence of
an individual with disabilities which exist prior to socialization (Culham, & Nind,
2003).
Conclusions
The analysis of the presented contents gives rise to the conclusion that the problem of normalization consists in its assumptions relevant to the construction of
an individual and of society, the assumptions which theorists are unable to either
question, or to disprove. Such a situation, according to Julian Henriques and other
people, is quite frequently observed in social sciences, because ’some norms have
become the part of our common-sense based perception of reality to such a large
extent that we have forgotten that these are the result of production’ (Henriques,
& others, 1998, p. 22).
Therefore, whereas normalization emphasizes the significance of social forces
which diminish the value of people and contribute to exclusion, and it is incapable
of reaching beyond the scope of the notion of ’disability’ or ’difference’ as significant, biologically important, within the frameworks of the pre-social conception of
an individual. The constructions of ’difference’, ’disability’ or ’otherness’ are not recognized by normalization; albeit they exist (even though in a speculative manner).
This is that, to a large extent undisclosed, confidential character of an individual
and his or her ’disability’ that constitutes the reason for the critical assessment of
it claiming that ’in normalization, disability is not referred to as something that
might be appreciated for its own sake’ (Szivos, 1992, p. 126). Normalization does
not promote differences as values. On the contrary, it expresses the negation of
the conception of difference in opposition to ’normality’ or ’social value’. This is
the result of difficulties which are experienced by normalization in relation to the
deconstruction of one’s own assumptions.
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The aim of the presented paper is to show that there is a need for assessment of
basic assumptions of the disability conception concentrated upon normalization,
because this is still the most important and the most significant conception, in
particular, in the practice of rehabilitation. However, I want to attract attention to
the fact that accusations against normalization are in concord, to a degree, with
some of the views of critics of the social model of disability. For instance, Bill
Hughes and Kevin Patterson are of the opinion that concentrating solely upon
social influences in the ’production’ of disability ’passes on the body-related
aspects of disability to the reactionary and oppressive discursive space’ (Hughes,
& Patterson, 1997, p. 328). In turn, Dan Goodley emphasizes that developmental
disorders, conceptually differentiated from socialized disabilities, are treated only
and exclusively as medical or psychological problems which can be ’eliminated or
rehabilitated’ (Goodley, 2001, p. 209). For the functioning of disabled individuals, it
is also of importance what people themselves struggle with in relation to ’the truth’,
which defines them, what kind of behavior they display, how they are shaped for
the purpose of managing their own lives. Therefore, it is important how they create
their own subjectivity, and what kind of problems they encounter in this sphere,
because it is through the identification of this struggle rather than through determining what is good, and what is not good for them, what is normal, and what is
not, that important challenges for special education emerge. It is about creating
space for ’struggle for subjectivity’, the space which will be encompassing both
disabled individuals and everyone who is involved in research into these issues,
because we have to remember that both parents and teachers, those in charge of
upbringing and therapists alike, also exist in the relationships of power, subjectivity
and self-government. Therefore, they ought to be provided with the opportunity to
understand the forces which shape, among others, disabled individuals, but which
also shape those referred to in the previous sentence, their identity and also their
own actions. I hope that the remarks contained in this paper will open a new space
for the subjectivity of disabled individuals, and that it will encourage those who
are inclined to collaborate with them to research these problems and find their
own solutions to them.
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Katja Roj, Jurij Planinšec,
Majda Schmidt
Slovenia
Effect of Swimming Activities on the Development
of Swimming Skillsin Student with Physical Disability –
Case Study
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.19
Abstract
The aim of our study was to examine the effect of swimming activities on the
development of swimming skills in student with physical disability and to determine whether these activities also affect the student’s general motor development.
The sample consisted of one student with physical disability in the third grade
of primary school. The student was involved in a ten-hour swimming course,
based on the Halliwick concept of swimming for children with special needs.
Data about the student’s progress were obtained through structured observations
at the beginning and at the end of the course, where the SWIM internationally
standardized test was used. Results show that the student developed balance,
coordination, power, precision, flexibility and was capable of independent
25-meter backstroke swimming at the end of the course. Results prove that
swimming is a highly suitable activity for students with physical disability.
Keywords: motor development, physical fitness, swimming course, cerebral palsy,
Halliwick concept
Introduction
Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining lifelong health (O’Brien et
al., 2015). It means better functioning of an individual in all areas of development
and better life quality (Zurc, 2009). Maintaining physical activity is particularly
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Katja Roj, Jurij Planinšec, Majda Schmidt
important for children with physical disability, because their obstacles may interfere with daily activities and participation in sports (Van Wely et al., 2014b). Their
movement is slower, less qualitative and perfective. Problems arise in the coordination, flexibility, precision and rhythm of movement, due to underdeveloped
motor skills (Filipčič, 2009). Children with cerebral palsy (CP) are more rarely
involved in various physical activities than their peers who do not have these
barriers (O’Brien et al., 2015), and therefore they have a lower level of physical
condition and physical activity (Van Wely et al., 2014b). It is worth noticing that
CP is often associated with additional problems: learning disabilities, epilepsy,
visual impairment, hearing impairment, dysarthria, gastrointestinal problems,
respiratory problems, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and psychosocial problems
(Berker and Yalcin, 2010). Among all the associated difficulties, many authors in
the world warn about the presence of pain in the lives of individuals with CP
(Hinchcliffe, 2007; Mejaški-Bošnjak, 2007).
Reduced physical activity among people with CP and others with physical
disability can lead to permanent inactivity (Van Wely et al., 2014a), which results
in an increase in body fat and loss of muscle tone, which gradually reduces health,
well-being and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease
(O’Brien et al., 2015). With appropriately adapted sports, rehabilitation and physical-therapeutic activities we can make their qualitative integration at work and in
life possible (Brown et al., 2007).
Swimming is an activity that has a positive impact on maintaining and
improving health. It is also one of the most suitable physical activities for people
with physical disability (Vute, 1999). The heart’s functioning speeds up while
overcoming water pressure, which causes better blood flow throughout the body.
Consequently, there is less chance for failure of the circulatory system. Swimming
causes the lung capacity to increase and strengthens the respiratory muscles (Jurak
and Kovač, 1998).
Swimming and different forms of movement in water present opportunities
for rehabilitation and therapeutic recreation for children with physical disability.
Therapeutic effects of water activities can be seen as strengthening the weakened
muscles, maintaining and increasing joint mobility, reducing pain and muscle
spasms, maintaining and improving balance, posture, coordination and improving
blood circulation (Zupan, 2012).
Specific characteristics of water such as density, buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure,
viscosity and thermodynamics affect the swimmer’s activity in water (Tripp and
Krakow, 2014). Children with physical disability, who move with different tools
outside the swimming pool, can move independently in water and without any
Effect of Swimming Activities on the Development of Swimming Skills
223
tools due to the force of buoyancy (Lepore, 2005). It takes away a specific part of
the body weight in relation to the proportion of the submerged body and relieves
the muscular system. The results are less burdened bones and joints. On land,
muscles have to work against the force of gravity. In water, the force of buoyancy
helps the muscles to move. Consequently, moves can be carried out in water, which
cannot happen on land. Furthermore, moves are less painful in water (Zupan,
2012). Warm water relaxes muscles and improves muscle strength and endurance,
adapted activity in water improves breathing control under water (Lepore, 2005).
Water has a positive effect on the senses and the nervous system. Children with
physical disability have certain parts of the body (backside, thighs and back)
exposed to pressure due to sitting in a wheelchair. Those parts are therefore
deprived of a variety of stimuli. Movement in water gives relief to those body
parts (Zupan, 2012).
In order to maintain body temperature in water a layer of insulation is required,
which consists of the subcutaneous fat and the fat in the deeper layers of the body.
Children with CP often have less muscle and fat mass. Consequently, they cool
down faster in water. It results in the feeling of coolness that elicits discomfort,
which can lead to muscle tension and spasm. An increase in muscle tension causes
an increase in muscle density and consequently poor navigability of the swimmer
(Groleger Sršen, 2012).
In Slovenia, the Halliwick concept of swimming for children with special
needs is established. The main idea of ​​the program is to experience pleasure,
joy and relaxedness in water (Kapus et al., 2011). The program focuses on the
swimmer’s stability achievement and on the control of the moves, which is the
basis for safe and coordinated movement in and out of water (Tripp and Krakow,
2014). The goal of the program is secure, independent and relaxed movement in
water (Vute, 1999). The Halliwick concept program includes the techniques of
aquatic therapy, according to which specific therapeutic exercises were developed
(Hastings, 2010).
In Slovenia, two studies were carried out recently, which involved children with
special needs who attended a swimming course to learn to swim with the use of
the Halliwick concept of swimming (Groleger Sršen et al., 2010; Božič et al., 2013).
The first survey was conducted in 2010, in which 12 children with special needs
participated, who had various problems with movement or learning. The children
attended the swimming program for four years. They were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the school year. The SWIM scale and Halliwick badges were
used for the evaluation. It was found that the average value for individual skills at
the retesting improved statistically significantly (p <0.05) for all skills except the
224
Katja Roj, Jurij Planinšec, Majda Schmidt
entry into water. The children achieved the greatest progress in the longitudinal
rotation and in the development of swimming style (Groleger Sršen et al., 2010).
The second study was carried out three years later, when the progress of 10
children with disabilities was monitored. They attended the Halliwick concept
of swimming for 18 hours in a school year. It was found out that the children
made progress in all skills. Good progress was achieved in backward and forward
transversal rotation, as these are the simplest skills. Less progress was found in
combined rotation, since it is more difficult (Božič et al., 2013).
In the literature, there is not much research into the development of swimming
skills in children with physical disability. This finding represents the basic purpose
of our study. Each child with physical disability has specific characteristics, individual adjustments and responds differently to the new environment and situation.
Because of the differences in needs and degrees of disabilities children cannot
benefit from the same treatment, so we decided to use a case study.
Previous research shows that children achieve the greatest progress in the
development of basic swimming skills (breathing control, maintaining balance,
longitudinal rotation, etc.), and the least progress in the development of advanced
swimming skills (sagittal rotation, combined rotation, etc.). We assumed that our
child with disability would develop basic swimming skills and that the results at
the final measurement would be better than the results at the initial measurement.
We predicted that our child would make progress in the development of swimming style and would be able to swim independently at least 15 meters.
Methods
The sample
The research sample was purposive and non-probable. It included one student,
who attends the third grade of an elementary school near Maribor, is male and is
nine years old. The student has the placement decision of special needs, where he
is defined as a child with severe physical disability and with learning disabilities.
The reason for that is cerebral palsy (CP), specifically diplegia and a spastic form of
CP. The student’s both legs are impaired, so he uses an electric wheelchair. Problems
arise in sensorimotorics, fine and gross motor. The student has difficulty in fixing
the eyes and eye-hand coordination. Fine motor is better developed in his right
hand and it is harder for him to perform tasks with the left hand. Activities that
require precise movements are harder for him. Therefore, he has the adjustments
Effect of Swimming Activities on the Development of Swimming Skills
225
in the use of teaching aids. The student also attends physiotherapy treatment once
a week. His parents were informed of the purpose and the expiry of the research.
They signed an informed consent concerning the participation of their child in
the study.
Sample variable –SWIM test
The information about the student’s progress at the swimming course was
obtained through structured observations at the beginning and at the end of
the swimming course. Internationally standardized SWIM test was used, which
measured the progress in developing swimming skills. The author of the SWIM
test is Peacock (Groleger Sršen et al., 2010). The purpose of the test is to evaluate
the basic skills of an individual in a swimming pool. The test verifies an individual’s
swimming skills which are necessary for independent swimming (Groleger Sršen
et al., 2010).
The SWIM test includes 11 swimming skills (A – entry into water, B – adjustment to water, C – breathing control, D – maintaining balance, E – backward
transversal rotation, F – forward transversal rotation, G – sagittal rotation, H –
longitudinal rotation, I – combined rotation, J –development of swimming style
and K – exit from water). Each individual swimming skill is divided into seven
levels or points (1 – 7), describing the extent to which the learner has mastered
a particular skill. It is therefore a seven-point rating scale, where 1 means that
the mentioned skills cannot be executed with help, 7 means that the skill can be
executed completely independently. The student can reach a maximum of 7 points
for each individual skill, which means that he can reach a total maximum of 77
points in the SWIM test.
The measurement characteristics of the SWIM test:
•• Validity: an internationally standardized test was used, which was tested
on the Slovenian population of children. Determining validity is based on
content (rational) validation (Groleger Sršen et al., 2012).
•• Reliability: reliability is proven with the use of the method of internal
consistency or the concordance between pairs of assessors, among whom
there were no differences in the assessments (Groleger Sršen et al., 2012).
•• Objectivity: the assessor of the student’s knowledge of swimming skills
was suitably qualified. For evaluation, a license for a swimming instructor
for the Halliwick concept of swimming for children with special needs is
required. The assessor held the license.
Katja Roj, Jurij Planinšec, Majda Schmidt
226
Methods of data processing
The data were analysed with the use of qualitative content analysis. An analysis
of the student’s achievements was made at the beginning and at the end of the
swimming course and a precise description of progress was made for each of the
eleven swimming skills.
Results
The student scored 48 points at the initial testing and 59 points at the final
testing.
K: Exit from the water
J: Development of swimming style
I: Combined rotation
H: Longitudinal rotation
Final test
G: Sagittal rotation
F: Forward transversal rotation
E: Backward transversal rotation
Initial test
D: Maintaining balance
C: Breathing control
B: Adjustment to water
A: Entry into water
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Figure 1. Comparison of points obtained on initial and final testing with the SWIM test
according to individual swimming skills
From Figure 1 it is evident that the student made progress in eight of the eleven skills. He improved
in the skills B – adjustment to water C – breathing control, D – maintaining balance, E – backward
transversal rotation, F – forward transversal rotation, H – longitudinal rotation, I – combined rotation
and J – development of swimming style. The progress is not shown in skills A – entry into water,
K – exit from water and G – sagittal rotation.
Effect of Swimming Activities on the Development of Swimming Skills
227
Discussion
The student achieved the greatest progress in the development of swimming
style, where he improved by 3 points. At the beginning of the course, he swam 5
metres with the support of his instructor, at the end of the course, he could swim
independently 25 meters backstroke without support. The reason for such significant progress is the student’s ability to maintain balance in water. The student had
problems with balance and buoyancy at the beginning, because the lower part of
his body submerged towards the bottom of the pool, which made it difficult to
swim.
With the adjustment to water, breathing control, backward transversal rotation
and longitudinal rotation, the student reached all points (7 points) at the end of
the swimming course. We must emphasize that he reached 6 points in each of the
four skills at the initial test, which represents a high initial result. Therefore, we
expected him to reach the highest result (7 points) for these skills at the final test.
The reason for such high initial results is the fact that the student likes water and
aquatic activities. Every year during the summer holidays, he attends holiday activities for children with special needs, where he learns to swim with professionals.
We believe that the student is well adapted to water and can correctly monitor his
breathing. We noticed that he did not show any signs of fear of water and of the
exhalation in water, as he already enjoyed the first hour of the swimming course
in water, diving his head under water and picking submersible toys.
We would like to point out the student’s progress in forward transversal rotation
and longitudinal rotation, which he could carry out completely independently
at the end of the course. We noticed that he needed some guidance for the latter
two skills to rotate easily. The student was unable to plan his moves to do forward
transversal rotation (from the position of lying on his back to the position of
lying on his stomach along the transversal axis). He had trouble with organizing
movements, because he made some unnecessary movements at the initial testing,
which resulted in turning the body in the wrong direction. The instructor taught
him how to carry out the rotation during the training. The same problem was also
in the longitudinal rotation (from the position of lying on his back to the position
of lying on his stomach along the longitudinal axis). The student rushed too much
and wanted to implement the rotation as soon as possible. Consequently, incorrect
movements occurred.
We noticed that the student relaxed in water on the third day of the swimming
course. He became confident and gained self-esteem. On the first two days, he
expressed the wish that the instructor held him repeatedly. We believe that he
228
Katja Roj, Jurij Planinšec, Majda Schmidt
experienced the fear associated with distrust in himself. His movements were tense
and stiff because of tension. On the third day, the fear disappeared. He showed
a desire for greater autonomy in water. The instructor did not hold him all the
time, but most of the time the student moved independently. The instructor was
present and offered him support when he needed it. We believe that the student
became more flexible in water due relaxedness, which could cause correct and
precise movements and better coordination.
The research proved that the swimming activity is important in the improvement of the health and development of a child with physical disability. Specific
water characteristics have a positive and relaxing influence on an individual. Due
to the feeling of lightness in water, a child with physical disability moves easily in
water (Zupan, 2012). Children in wheelchairs are often deprived of a variety of
sports activities. Consequently, they are less active or even inactive. Reduced sports
activity or inactivity often leads to health problems (O’Brien et al., 2015).
The research showed that for a positive impact and progress in swimming
a high quality and appropriate approach to teaching to swim is required. Teaching
of swimming skills should be individually oriented. It should satisfy the needs and
take into account the disabilities of the student (Maes and Gresswell, 2010). In this
study, we used the Halliwick concept of swimming, which takes into account the
swimmer’s performance and provides customized training intensity (Vute, 1999;
Kapus et al., 2011; Tripp and Krakow, 2014). The student achieved remarkable
progress in ten hours, to which his relaxedness and courage in water contributed.
It is an important fact that the swimming course was held during the regular
school programme of physical education in elementary school. The study confirms
and proves that many children with physical disability who attend the regular
programs of elementary schools should participate in a swimming course, which
is a mandatory part of the curriculum for physical education.
Conclusion
We can conclude that swimming is an activity which is extremely important for
children with physical disability and it should be implemented as often as possible.
A child can be offered individual and high-quality training, in which he can develop
his physical skills, and at the same time alleviate developmental disabilities through
physical activity, improve his health and reduce effects of less active life.
It may be added that swimming makes it possible for the child to achieve success and the success in learning has a positive impact on the child’s self-esteem and
Effect of Swimming Activities on the Development of Swimming Skills
229
self-confidence. A positive experience with learning is the vital encouragement for
lifelong acquisition and upgrading of knowledge and skills (Bakracevic Vukman,
Funcic Masic and Schmidt, 2013).
Conflict of interest: The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.
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Kindergarten
Education
Rasim Basak
Turkey
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions
of Perfectionism
in Drawings of Kindergarteners
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.20
Abstract
Results based on two consecutive qualitative studies are documented in this
paper. The first study focused on perfectionist characteristics in drawings of fifth
graders. The second study was designed based on the findings from the earlier
study, but it focused on drawings of kindergarteners at this time. Children’s
drawings were analyzed to see meaningful connections between their behavioral perfectionism scores and their drawing characteristics. Findings were partly
consistent with the literature and revealed that perfectionist behavior may have
meaningful expressions in the art-making process and in artworks. Working
on specific details meticulously, focusing on time-consuming details, not being
able to see the whole, spending too much time on certain parts, and starting
from details, were described as perfectionism-related characteristics. As an
emerging characteristic, self-doubt, a lesser degree of determination, assurance
and boldness in drawings are positively correlated with perfectionism. Subjects’
age group may be a significant factor to study perfectionism, and lower grade
levels may not be suitable to study perfectionism through drawings because of
their artistic developmental levels.
Keywords: perfectionism, kindergarten, artworks, perfectionism and art, art,
perfectionist
234
Rasim Basak
Statement of the Problem and the Questions Considered
Perfectionism has been studied within its dimensions in the literature and
often defined as adaptive or maladaptive in its nature (Hamachek, 1978; Reis,
2002; LoCicero et al., 2001; Rice et al., 1997; Stornelli et al., 2009). As described
in a study (Stornelli et al., 2009), perfectionism can manifest itself as adaptive
or maladaptive in a particular domain based on the student’s competence and
associated capabilities. It was also suggested that parenting styles could have an
effect on the creativity and perfectionism of high-ability and high-achieving young
adults, in particular authoritarian and permissive styles. A positive relationship
was found between socially prescribed perfectionism and authoritarian parenting
styles (Miller et al., 2012).
While many studies stressed maladaptive characteristics of perfectionism, some
studies claimed otherwise and noted positive characteristics (Tofaha & Ramon,
2010; DiPrima et al., 2011). Tofaha & Ramon (2010) noted that Self-oriented
perfectionism was associated with an enhanced general self-worth and increased
academic self-concept in mathematics, reading and general school. Adelson (2007)
noted various manifestations of perfectionism as a potent force and suggested
channeling that perfectionist behavior into creative venues.
Stornelli et al. (2009) studied the happiness and perfectionism relationship
in fourth and seventh graders and found a robust association between socially
prescribed perfectionism and fear and sadness in art students. Nugent (2000)
suggested art activities as another modality that may aid in the affective counseling
and cognitive restructuring of perfectionist students as an affective and creative
outlet. Lack of research and evidence of association of perfectionism with student
artworks inspired this study. The findings from my previous study (Basak, 2009)
on fifth graders and the current study carried out in a kindergarten classroom
are expected to show connections between aspects of perfectionism, children’s
artworks and children’s behavior in the art classroom. As concluded in my previous study, study of students’ artworks has potential to identify perfectionism as
another source of information about artistically talented students (Basak, 2009).
The presented study is a follow-up of the previous study (Basak, 2009) and aimed
to explore connections between children’s perfectionist behavior and their artworks in a kindergarten classroom. The findings from the previous study helped
to develop an instrument— Perfectionism Observation Checklist (POC) — and
evaluation criteria to analyze children’s drawings in terms of perfectionist features.
The purpose of this study was to understand expressions of the perfectionist
trait in children’s artworks and if possible to understand whether or not the char-
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions of Perfectionism
235
acteristics of children’s artworks can be used to identify perfectionism without
using personality inventories. This study aims to address the following research
questions:
•• What may be perfectionist characteristics in children’s artworks in the
kindergarten classroom?
•• Can perfectionist behavior be identified through children’s artworks without using personality inventories?
Research Methodology
After a detailed review of the items on 15 different perfectionism measures,
Stairs et al. (2012) identified nine uni-dimensional personality traits represented
in those measures that contribute to perfectionist behavior (Order, Satisfaction,
Details and Checking, Perfectionism toward Others, High Standards, Black and
White Thinking about Tasks and Activities, Perceived Pressure from Others,
Dissatisfaction, and Reactivity to Mistakes).
Perfectionist tendencies of students and their artworks were examined in relation to their observed perfectionism scores. Perfectionism Observation Checklist
(POC) was developed based on my earlier study (Basak, 2009), which used the
Adaptive/Maladaptive Perfectionism Scale—AMPS— (Rice & Preusser, 2002). The
study was designed as a qualitative study based on content analysis of student
artworks; in addition to use of qualitative methods, a behavioral checklist—POC—
was employed, which was developed based on a quantitative instrument (AMPS).
Qualitative methods were employed to collect, analyze, and interpret data, which
consisted of classroom observations and student artworks.
The current study adapted a phenomenological approach as a form of qualitative
inquiry. The focus is the essence or structure of a personality trait, perfectionism,
as a phenomenon, as an expression in student artworks (Merriam, 1998). There is
an essence or essences to drawing exercises, these essences are the core meanings
mutually understood through the phenomenon of perfectionism. The experiences
of the participants were bracketed, analyzed, and compared to identify the essences
of the phenomenon (Merriam, 1998).
The study was conducted in a public elementary school kindergarten classroom
in Bursa, Turkey. The selected group included 21 students, 10 girls and 11 boys. The
age range in the sample group was between 55 – 66 months and the median age was
65 months. Purposive, convenience random sampling was used based on the purposes of the study. Mainly qualitative methodologies were employed in this study
236
Rasim Basak
since the focus of investigation is human behavior and communication through
artistic expression. In this study, previously suggested perfectionist behavioral
characteristics (Basak, 2009) were adapted to structure POC and collected data is
still qualitative in nature. The POC included the following questions, designed as
a five-range Likert instrument:
1. Cares what others think about him/her.
2. Feels jealousy when others do something better.
3. Expresses sensitivity to mistakes.
4. Sees a finished work as incomplete.
5. Does not enjoy group work.
6. Focuses on details but has difficulty seeing the big picture.
7. Experiences problems with time management and organization.
8. Has difficulty expressing feelings, emotions; seems rather rational.
9. Focuses on results, does not enjoy the process.
10. Does not show flexibility in his/her actions or behavior.
11. Has difficulty starting and finishing tasks.
12. Shows distress when working on a task.
13. Tendency to procrastinate.
14. Makes generalizations when talking and thinking about a subject.
15. Shows obsession in specific things.
16. Prefers precise and mechanical objects and forms, rather than organic
shapes and forms.
17. Experiences problems with concentration.
Analysis
The children’s artworks were collected, categorized, and then analyzed based
on themes as instructed by the classroom teacher’s regular curriculum. Analysis
of artworks within the same themes was convenient, because each theme, topic
or unit would have varying characteristics and so would not be appropriate for
comparison otherwise.
The previous study (Basak, 2009) suggested 17 characteristics to be observed in
student artworks in relation to perfectionism and its sub-dimensions. The AMPS
was originally developed for a different age group (fourth and fifth graders) and
would not have been appropriate to be administered to kindergarteners. Therefore,
instead of using that scale, artwork characteristics and behavior suggested in my
earlier study (Basak, 2009) was adapted to develop an observation checklist.
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions of Perfectionism
237
Each item in the POC is related to one or more sub-dimensions of perfectionism as described in the AMPS. 17-item POC cumulative score and sub-dimension
scores are calculated separately.
Perfectionism scores of 21 children, based on 17-item POC are shown in
Table 1.
Table 1. Children’s perfectionism scores based on 17-item observation checklist
Perfectionism Sub-Category scores
Total Score
Student #
Age
(month)
1
2
3
4
1
66
23
18
31
7
40
2
62
19
13
24
6
34
3
65
22
17
27
8
42
4
60
14
11
16
6
24
70
11
8
12
4
18
6
69
10
9
15
5
24
7
69
16
7
16
3
21
8
72
16
10
20
7
28
9
65
23
15
29
7
38
10
59
19
15
26
5
32
11
64
23
17
32
7
42
12
61
21
13
26
7
36
13
64
18
6
19
4
26
14
55
19
16
27
5
34
15
65
21
17
27
7
38
16
65
19
17
29
8
41
17
58
22
18
31
7
42
18
71
17
11
22
5
30
19
58
27
26
39
11
55
20
65
21
14
27
6
36
21
57
21
15
29
5
38
N: 21
Categories: 1: Sensitivity to mistakes; 2: Contingent Self-Esteem; 3: Compulsiveness; 4: Need for
Admiration
238
Rasim Basak
Validity
Drawing of correct conclusions based on the qualitative data was crucial for
validity. There are a number of available perfectionism instruments in the literature. The reason why the AMPS (Rice & Preusser, 2002) was considered to
categorize expected drawing characteristics in this study was the availability of
only one previous study (Basak, 2009) that considered student artworks related to
perfectionism. Therefore, the phenomenological approach was considered as an
appropriate method. 31 drawing characteristics were described and classified in
the previous study (Basak, 2009) and in the literature. Each drawing characteristic
is related to one or more sub-dimensions of perfectionism. However, only 18
characteristics were appropriate and applicable to kindergarten level artworks.
These 18 characteristics were further classified to clarify concrete and observable drawing features. 18 characteristics were classified under 9 categories that
are applicable to drawing analysis of the kindergarten level. These 9 observable
drawing characteristics for lower grade levels are:
1. Less expressiveness, mechanical rationality, rigid drawings. Lower spontaneity and non-flexible drawings characteristics.
2. Attention and time over little mistakes.
3. Slow task performance, unfinished works as a result.
4. Signs of boredom and lack of concentration, sometimes resulting in unfinished works.
5. Working on specific details meticulously. Focusing on time consuming
details, not being able to see the whole. Spending too much time working
on certain parts, starting from details.
6. Drawing contour lines and borders. Outlining colors due to fear of blending
different colors.
7. Attention to following borderlines; not breaking rules or orders. Painting
through edges of paper.
8. Attention to creating smoothly painted areas.
9. Preference of precise forms, objects, lines. Feeling confused when drawing
organic, imprecise forms, shapes. Sometimes not completing imprecise
forms in a drawing.
Analyzed portfolios involved over 280 drawings with 15 drawings from each
child. Each artistic portfolio underwent an analysis of these items. It was found
that not all 9 items were distinctive in children’s artworks. It may be that the classroom art practices and the curriculum decided by the teacher are mostly coloring
practices and did not involve free representations and self-expressions of drawings
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions of Perfectionism
239
and paintings. Yavuzer (1992) described this period as a pre-schematic stage, in
which drawing representations are not personalized yet, and they show schematic
and familiar shapes and figures. These representations are just schematic and not
shaped by culture or logic yet (p.41). As a result, it was observed that these 9 items
were not all distinctive in their drawings. Further analysis revealed only 4 items to
be distinctive and observable in their drawings. These characteristics are:
•• Rigid, non-flexible drawing characteristics.
•• Working on specific details meticulously. Focusing on time-consuming
details, not being able to see the whole. Spending too much time working
on certain parts, starting from details.
•• Attention to following borderlines; not breaking rules or orders. Painting
through edges of paper.
•• Attention to creating smoothly painted areas.
Items 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 were either eliminated or merged as one item since they were
not distinctive for the current artworks analyzed. The artworks were analyzed in
terms of each characteristic to see whether or not it is observed, and if so, to what
degree on a Likert scale. Each score gathered from the analysis of characteristics
was then compared with the child’s related cumulative perfectionism score and the
scores from four sub-dimensions.
Findings
A Likert rating scale was used for each observable characteristic to measure
whether or not a certain characteristic is observed, and if so, to what extent it is
observed. The data collected through POC revealed differences within this group
in terms of perfectionist behavior. Expressiveness is usually seen as effective
conveying of thoughts and feelings. What is expressiveness in an artwork may be
even more difficult to understand. For example, an expressive artwork is usually
expected to convey the artist’s own ideas, emotions and thoughts with less conscious/unconscious, external distractions and limitations. External distractions
and limitations include psychological, social and/or cultural influences. Perfectionist behavior also involves perception of higher external limitations such as
higher parental expectations. In most cases, a perfectionist individual has very
high expectations even from themselves. Setting unrealistic goals and expectations
most of the time turns into limiting behavior and so the person becomes more
self-conscious. Self-consciousness manifests itself as less expressiveness and less
impulsiveness in drawings. Therefore, as suggested in my earlier study (Basak,
240
Rasim Basak
2009), a lesser degree of expressiveness and less spontaneity are expected from
a person with perfectionist tendencies.
One of the most obvious signs seems to be expressive characteristics in a drawing. The higher a child’s perfectionism score, the lesser expressiveness in his or her
artwork is expected. Spontaneity is also another key term related to perfectionism
in artworks. Spontaneity means being performed or occurring as a result of a sudden inner impulse or inclination and without premeditation or an external stimulus. It is also linked to perfectionism (Basak, 2009), as perfectionist inclinations
are less spontaneous since perfectionist expectations could be stimuli that interrupt the natural flow of expression in art creation. It is not surprising that in the
current study there was a meaningful connection between expressiveness and
spontaneity, and perfectionism scores. The drawings in this classroom were mostly
coloring activities with fewer free drawings and representations. In this sense, the
expressive nature of painting printed areas between lines was the only chance to
determine expressiveness and spontaneity. Surprisingly, the children with higher
perfectionism scores tended to paint in a carefree manner without giving it much
thought or interest. They apparently showed less motivation in their artworks.
Their lines were mostly scattered and less determined compared to the children
with lower perfectionism scores. This was not expected since perfectionism is
usually thought to be more determination and care toward perfection. In Figure 1
and in Figure 2, two children’s artworks can be compared in terms of expressive
characteristics. The first child has a very high perfectionism score (42) compared
to the other (24). In addition, these children’s compulsiveness and sensitivity to
mistakes category scores were respectively correlated with their overall scores.
Figure 1. Child #11, score
42, age: 64 months.
Figure 2. Child #6, score:
24, Age: 69 months.
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions of Perfectionism
241
In another example, two children with higher and lower perfectionism scores
are compared in terms of their painting manner. The first child has a very high
perfectionism score (41) compared to the other (24). In addition, these children’s
compulsiveness and sensitivity to the mistakes category scores were respectively
correlated with their overall scores. It may be that perfectionist behavior causes
possible self-doubt, a lesser degree of determination, assurance and boldness. In
this case, instead of searching for only expressive features in a drawing, perhaps we
should also look for and compare signs of self-assurance and boldness.
Figure 3. Child #16,
Score: 41, 65 months.
Figure 4. Child #6,
Score: 24, 69 months.
In another example, we can see how careless and/or unmotivated a child is. He
shows no control over color. There might be various reasons for this uncontrolled
drawing. Interestingly, he shows similar careless and out-of-control manner in all
his drawings. He scored distinctively high (55) on POC and he was also diagnosed
with ADHD. In such cases it is difficult to identify whether his drawings are related
to some form of perfectionism or his manner is rooted to ADHD itself; or it might
be both. Further analysis, behavioral observation, and parental reports may be
required to identify this kind of children. It should also be noted that a high
percentage of children with ADHD has been diagnosed incorrectly. Although
ADHD has been a popular condition in the literature for decades, it also has to
be reminded that ADHD is a fictitious disease and the name father of ADHD,
Leon Eisenberg, admitted in 2009 that there was no such condition (Dean, 2013).
It may also be the case that highly talented children develop higher incidence of
symptoms that are similar to those of so-called ADHD, if these symptoms are not
diagnosed (Silverman, 1994). As described in the literature, a maladaptive form of
242
Rasim Basak
perfectionism is related to many disorders (Orange, 1997; Hamachek, 1978; Reis,
2002) and ADHD could be just one of them in some cases as well.
Figure 5. Child #19, Score: 55, Age:
58 months.
In general, spontaneity and expressiveness in children’s artworks are two characteristics to observe. However, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists might show
differences in their drawing manners in terms of spontaneity and expressiveness.
Perhaps further studies regarding adaptive and maladaptive forms of perfectionism and their drawing characteristics are needed. As an emerging characteristic,
we should perhaps look for self-doubt, a lesser degree of determination, assurance
and boldness in drawings associated with perfectionism.
It should also be noted that most of the artworks available in this classroom
were coloring activities of printed coloring books. Not many self-completed drawings were available. Further analysis of children’s other drawings may be helpful. In
addition, especially the child with the diagnosed ADHD showed no care following
borderlines; painting through all areas. In this case, it is difficult to conclude that
these drawing characteristics are specific to children with perfectionist tendencies.
Discussion
Perfectionism is a complex phenomenon and typical personality inventories
have been used. It may also be suggested that child drawings and artworks can
Perfectionist Behavior and Expressions of Perfectionism
243
reveal useful information about the nature of children and childhood. However,
the complex nature of child drawings causes limitations and empirical approaches
are very difficult to employ in analysis. Drawing a direct conclusion to make
a connection with perfectionism is difficult since perfectionism sub-scores showed
differences. Especially, adaptive and maladaptive forms of perfectionism might
differ greatly when manifested in children’s drawings. Furthermore, sub-categories
of perfectionism such as sensitivity to mistakes and compulsiveness are two greatly
distinctive traits; they may manifest themselves differently and also contribute to
perfectionism. However, self-doubt, lesser degrees of determination, assurance
and boldness in drawings may be associated with perfectionism. Larger scale
applications of multidimensional perfectionism instruments and then follow-up
studies with phenomenological approaches to children’s drawings may be helpful
to explore perfectionism in drawings. The child’s sense of competence in artistic
activities may be another factor to consider. Children in this particular age group
are at the pre-schematic stage; similar studies on child drawings based on later
developmental stages are suggested.
Working on specific details meticulously, focusing on time-consuming details,
not being able to see the whole, spending too much time working on certain parts,
and starting from detail were described as perfectionism-related characteristics.
In the current study, similar tendencies were reported in behavioral observation.
However, some children showed opposite manners such as not focusing on detail;
not starting from detail; not spending required time working on details. It might
also be that self-doubt and less determination caused such a drawing, and also it
seems unfinished as expected from perfectionists. Again, it should be noted that
adaptive and maladaptive forms of perfectionism might show differing characteristics.
References
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Dean, B. (2013). The ‘fictitious disease’ called ADHD. Retrieved from http://politicaloutcast.com/the-fictitious-disease-called-adhd/#vTEmH6BoLjCX3bc9.99
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Chosen
Aspects of
Psychology
Abdulwahab Pourghaz,
Hossein Jenaabadi,
Zahra Ghaeninejad
Iran
Personality Types and Sense of Humor and their Association
with Teachers’ Performance Improvement
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.21
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the relationship between personality types and
sense of humor and their association with teachers’ performance improvement.
This descriptive study followed a correlational design. Based on Morgan’s table,
a corpus of 201 elementary school teachers in Nehbandan was selected as
a sample, using the stratified random sampling method. The data collection
tools were the Williams and Anderson Task Performance Scale (1991), the
Eysenck Personality Inventory (1975), and the Moghimi and Ramazani Sense
of Humor Questionnaire (2001). The results indicated that extraversion was
significantly and positively related to the teachers’ performance and sense of
humor and neuroticism was significantly and negatively correlated with the
teachers’ performance and sense of humor. Moreover, a significant and positive
relationship was found between a sense of humor and the teachers’ performance
improvement. Furthermore, the results of regression analysis demonstrated
that extraversion, neuroticism, and a sense of humor could predict the teachers’
performance.
Keywords: personality types, sense of humor, performance, teachers.
248
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
Introduction
Without human organizations, the development and progress of society is
hardly possible. Although fulfilling humans’ diverse demands is the existential
philosophy of most organizations, organizations need professional and efficient
human resources in order to be able to realize their predetermined objectives.
Therefore, as time goes by, not only the number of various organizations increases,
but also people’s behaviors, personal traits, and motives become more complex and
difficult to understand (Sha’bani Bahar, Amirtash, Mosharraf Javadi, & Tondnevis,
2004).
In addition, personality traits include sustainable perception patterns, modes of
communication, and individuals’ attitudes towards themselves and the environment around them. The personality traits present themselves in a wide range of
personal and social aspects. Over the years, several personality psychologists have
attempted to fully study the personality structure and define and classify the range
of individual differences including normal and abnormal traits (Costa & Mccrae,
1992). Studies conducted to examine these traits have taken relatively different
paths and the normal and abnormal traits, with regard to their qualities, have
often been considered as two separate systems (Ball, 2005). From ancient times,
humor has existed in life and social relations and it seems that it has a long history.
Humor is a means of communication that can determine the depth of individuals’
emotions, feelings, and beliefs and can indicate people’s attitudes towards various
issues (Pouladi Reishahri & Golestane, 2008: 8). Humor is universal and positive
and it has been experienced by people who belong to different social and cultural
contexts around the world. This refers to a kind of action, speech, writing that
leads to amusement and entertainment. Having a sense of humor indicates a stable
personality type and distinguishes people from one another. A sense of humor is
a significant factor which is realized in various behaviors, experiences, emotions,
feedback, and abilities related to entertainment and being able to laugh and to
make people laugh (Bahadori Khosroshahi & Khanjani, 2011).
Martin (2001) considers humor as a part of positive psychology and believes
that humor is an inclusive and multidimensional concept which can be defined as
differences in behaviors, experiences, emotions, attitudes, and abilities in relation
to being amusing or comic. Barsoux (1996) defines humor as a way to make oneself or others up. Kioumars Saberi (Gol-Agha) distinguished humor from libel and
stated that humor is like surgery; however, libel is like slaughter. Without having
an intention of evaluation or denying libel, it can be considered as a life recess
while humor is a way of teaching that is based on noble goals. Humorous writing
Personality Types and Sense of Humor
249
is a social duty. Political humor is a hard slap in the face of a poisoned person,
which does not allow him/her to sleep. It is aimed at saving someone’s life like the
pressure that is applied to a drowned person. This may break his/her ribs; however,
it makes his/her lungs active again (Saberi, 1997, as cited in Pouladi Reishahri &
Golestane, 2008). In general, humor is considered as a personality trait and an
emotional response. Humor is a human phenomenon which exists in all societies
and cultures with different objects and goals and it is mainly based on a particular
set of values and norms. Therefore, whether examined cognitively or emotionally,
it is a very complex and pervasive issue (Behpazouh, Jahangiri, & Zahrakar, 2010).
The presented study sought to answer the following question: Are the personality types and sense of humor related to teachers’ performance improvement?
Methods
This descriptive study followed a correlational design. The statistical population
of the study included all male and female elementary school teachers in Nehbandan, including 420 individuals (234 female teachers and 186 male teachers).
Among them, based on Morgan’s table, a sample of 201 teachers was selected using
the stratified random sampling method. The measurement tools were as follows.
The Williams and Anderson Task Performance Scale (1991): the scale, developed by William and Anderson, includes 8 items. The items are scored based on
a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high).
The Eysenck Personality Inventory (1975): the inventory includes 57 items on
various behaviors and feelings. It measures the personality types of extraversion
and neuroticism, and indicates an individual’s percentile rank.
The Ramazani and Moghimi Sense of Humor Questionnaire (2001): the questionnaire includes 13 items. The items are scored based on a five-point Likert-type
scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (always).
Results
Is there any relationship between the personality types and the teachers’
performance improvement?
To answer this question, the Pearson correlation coefficient was applied, the
results of which are presented in Table 1.
250
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
Table 1. Examining the relationship between the personality types
and the teachers’ performance improvement
Variable
Performance
Extraversion
Neuroticism
r=0.515
r=-0.336
Sig=0.000
Sig=0.000
N=201 P<0.01
As presented in Table 1, the results indicate that the Pearson correlation
coefficient between the teachers’ performance and extraversion is 0.515, which is
significant at the 99% confidence level. Therefore, there is a significant and positive
correlation between the teachers’ performance and extraversion (P<0.01). Moreover, the Pearson correlation coefficient between the teachers’ performance and
neuroticism is -0.336, which is significant at the 99% confidence level. Therefore,
there is a significant and negative correlation between the teachers’ performance
and neuroticism (P<0.01). Accordingly, it can be stated that the more extrovert the
teacher is, the better performance he/she has and the more neurotic the teacher is,
the less performance he/she shows.
Is there any relationship between a sense of humor and the teachers’ performance
improvement?
To answer this question, the Pearson correlation coefficient was applied, the
results of which are presented in Table 2.
Table 2. Examining the relationship between a sense of humor
and the teachers’ performance improvement
Variable
Performance
Sense of humor
R
Sig
0.687
0.000
N=201 P<0.01
As Table 2 demonstrates, the results show that the Pearson correlation coefficient between the teachers’ performance and a sense of humor is 0.687, which is
significant at the 99% confidence level (P<0.01). Therefore, it can be stated that the
teachers with a better sense of humor show better performance.
Personality Types and Sense of Humor
251
Is there any relationship between the personality types and the teachers’ sense of
humor?
To answer this question, the Pearson correlation coefficient was applied, the
results of which are presented in Table 3.
Table 3. Examining the relationship between the personality types
and the teachers’ sense of humor
Variable
Extraversion
Sense of humor
Neuroticism
r=0.619
r=-0.151
Sig=0.000
Sig=0.032
N=201 P<0.01 P<0.05
The results presented in Table 3 demonstrate that the Pearson correlation coefficient between the teachers’ sense of humor and extraversion is 0.619, which is
significant at the 99% confidence level. Therefore, there is a significant and positive
correlation between the teachers’ sense of humor and extraversion (P<0.01). Moreover, the Pearson correlation coefficient between the teachers’ sense of humor and
neuroticism is -0.151, which is significant at the 95% confidence level. Therefore,
there is a significant and negative correlation between the teachers’ sense of humor
and neuroticism (P<0.05). Accordingly, it can be stated that the more extrovert the
teacher is, the better sense of humor he/she has and the more neurotic the teacher
is, the less sense of humor he/she has.
Can the dimensions of personality types predict the teachers’ performance
improvement?
To answer this question, the stepwise regression analysis was conducted, the
results of which are presented in Table 4.
Table 4. Examining the role of the dimensions of personality types in predicting the
teachers’ performance
Variables
1
Extraversion
R
R2
0.515
0.266
Adjusted R2
0.262
SE
4.946
Extraversion +
2
Neuroticism
0.606
0.368
0.361
4.601
B
β
0.63
0.515
0.617
0.505
-0.392
-0.32
F
sig
71.983
0.000
57.549
0.000
N= 201 P<0.01
To investigate the contribution of the dimensions of personality types to determining variances in the teachers’ performance, the stepwise regression analysis
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
252
was made. The results show that extraversion and neuroticism are respectively
entered into the equation in the first and second steps. As mentioned in Table 4,
in the first step, extraversion alone can determine 26.2% of the variance in the
teachers’ performance; however, in the second step, extraversion and neuroticism
together determine 36.1% of the variance in the teachers’ performance. The results
of the standard beta coefficient reveal that, in the regression model, extraversion
with a beta coefficient of 0.505 and neuroticism with a beta coefficient of -0.32 are
significant at the 99% confidence level (P<0.01).
Can a sense of humor predict the teachers’ performance improvement?
To answer this question, the simultaneous regression analysis was made, the
results of which are presented in Table 5.
Table 5. Examining the role of a sense of humor in predicting
the teachers’ performance
Variables
Sense of humor
R
R2
0.687
0.472
Adjusted
R2
0.469
SE
B
4.195
0.41
β
0.687
F
Sig
177.575 0.000
N= 201 P<0.01
Table 5 shows that a sense of humor can determine 46.9% of the variance in the
teachers’ performance. Moreover, the result of the standard beta coefficient reveals
that, in the regression model, a sense of humor with a beta coefficient of 0.687 is
significant at the 99% confidence level (P<0.01).
Is there any significant difference between the teachers’ personality types, sense
of humor, and performance improvement with regard to their demographic
characteristics (gender, years of experience, and level of education)?
To indicate the differences among the teachers’ personality types, sense of
humor, and performance importance in terms of gender, the independent t-test
was used and the one-way analysis of variance was applied to investigate the differences among the teachers’ personality types, sense of humor, and performance
improvement in terms of years of experience and level of education. The results
are presented in the following tables.
The results of the independent t-test conducted to examine the teachers’ sense
of humor in terms of gender indicate that the calculated t, which is equal to 3.725,
with a degree of freedom of 199 is significant at the 99% confidence level (P<0.01).
Personality Types and Sense of Humor
253
Table 6. The results of the independent t-test applied to indicate the difference
among the teachers’ viewpoints in terms of gender
Variable
Gender
N
Mean
SD
df
t
Sig
3.725
0.001
4.154
0.000
-0.47
0.63
1.213
0.26
Sense of
humor
Male
88
51
4.982
199
Female
113
46.442
11.716
199
Extraversion
Male
88
15.034
3.633
199
Female
113
12.46
5.14
199
Male
88
16.34
4.782
199
Female
113
16.654
4.636
199
Male
88
28.42
3.32
199
Female
113
27.504
7.088
199
Neuroticism
Performance
Accordingly, it can be stated that the male and female teachers’ attitudes towards
having a sense of humor are not the same and the male teachers have a better sense
of humor compared to their female counterparts.
Moreover, the results of the independent t-test conducted to examine the personality traits in terms of gender demonstrate that the mean score of the male
teachers on extraversion is higher than that of the female teachers. This difference
is significant at the 99% confidence level (t=4.154, df=199, P<0.01); however, no
significant difference was found between the male and female teachers in neuroticism at the 95% confidence level (t=-0.47, df=199, P>0.05).
Furthermore, the results of the independent t-test carried out to examine the
teachers’ performance in terms of gender demonstrated in Table 6 show that the
calculated t, which is equal to 1.213, with a degree of freedom of 199 is not significant at the 95% confidence level (P>0.05). Therefore, it can be stated that the levels
of performance of the male and female school teachers are the same.
The results of the one-way analysis of variance conducted to examine the difference in a sense of humor in terms of years of experience reveal that the calculated
F, which is equal to 1.087, is not significant at the 95% confidence level (P>0.05).
Therefore, considering their years of experience, it can be concluded that the levels
of the male and female teachers’ sense of humor are the same.
Moreover, the results of the one-way analysis of variance in relation to the
difference in extraversion show that the calculated F, which is equal to 3.061, is
significant at the 99% confidence level (P<0.01). Accordingly, it can be stated that
there is a significant difference between the levels of the male and female teachers’
extraversion in terms of their years of experience. The teachers with 11 to 20 years
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
254
Table 7. The results of the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) conducted to
examine the difference among the teachers’ viewpoints in terms of their years of
experience
Variable
Years of
experience
N
Mean
SD
1 – 10
72
47.472
12.449
11 – 20
71
49.76
5.67
21 – 30
58
48.017
9.463 Intergroup 18359.857 198 92.727
1 – 10
72
13.722
5.227
11 – 20
71
14.422
3.744
21 – 30
58
12.396
4.923 Intergroup 4303.648 198 21.736
Sense of
humor
Extraversion
Source
ss
Intragroup 201.616
Intragroup 133.079
Df
MS
2
100.808
2
66.539
F
Sig
1.087 0.33
3.061 0.049
Neuroticism
1 – 10
72
177.444
5.009
11 – 20
71
16.394
3.863
21 – 30
58
15.517
5.051 Intergroup 4281.218 198 21.622
Performance
1 – 10
72
27.347
11 – 20
71
28.225
21 – 30
58
28.206
7.269 Intragroup 34.973
2 17.486
3.622
0.525 0.59
5.809 Intergroup 6594.231 198 33.304
Intragroup 120.971
2
60.485
2.797 0.063
of experience have the highest mean score and the teachers’ with 21 to 30 years of
experience have the lowest mean score on extraversion.
Table 8. The results of the Tukey test examining the level of extraversion in terms
of the teachers’ years of experience
Variable
Years of experience (I)
Extraversion
Years of experience (I) Mean Difference (J-I)
1 year-10 years
11 – 20 years
21 – 30 years
1 year-10 years
-
-0.700
1.325
11 – 20 years
-
-
2.025*
21 – 30 years
-
-
-
*significance at the 95% confidence level
Table 8 shows that only the difference between the teachers with 11 – 20 years
of experience and those with 21 – 30 years of experience is significant at the 95%
confidence level (P<0.05). Thus, it can be stated that the more the years of experience of the teacher, the higher his/her extraversion.
Personality Types and Sense of Humor
255
In addition, with regard to the difference in neuroticism in terms of years of
experience, the results of the one-way analysis of variance reveal that the calculated
F, which is equal to 2.797, is not significant at the 95% confidence level (P>0.05).
Therefore, in terms of years of experience, it can be stated that the levels of the
male and female teachers’ neuroticism are the same.
Moreover, as shown in Table 8, the results of the one-way analysis of variance
conducted to investigate the difference in the teachers’ performance in terms of
their years of experience show that the calculated F, which is equal to 0.525, is not
significant at the 95% confidence level (P<0.05). Accordingly, it can be stated that
the levels of the male and female teachers’ performance in terms of their years of
experience are the same.
Table 9. The results of the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) conducted
to examine the difference among the teachers’ viewpoints in terms
of their level of education
Variable
Level of
N
education
Mean
SD
Sense of Associate 78
humor
B.A.
96
48.50
10.348
47.854
9.912
M.A.
27
50.333
5.724
Extra- Associate 78
version B.A.
96
13.153
4.909
13.427
4.712
M.A.
27
12.396
Neuroti- Associate 78
cism
B.A.
96
M.A.
Performance
Source
SS
Intragroup 130.014
Df
2
MS
65.007
Intergroup 18431.458 198
93.088
Intragroup 106.564
2
53.282
4.923
Intergroup 4330.162
198
21.870
16.948
4.248
Intragroup 49.728
2
24.864
16
4.896
28.206
5.809
Intergroup 4352.462
198
21.982
Associate 78
5.966
4.248
Intragroup 58.759
2
29.380
B.A.
96
6.020
0.614
M.A.
27
2.856
0.742
Intergroup 6570.445
198
33.184
27
F
Sig
0.698 0.49
2.436 0.090
1.131 0.32
0.885 0.41
The results of the one-way analysis of variance performed to examine the
difference in a sense of humor in terms of their level of education reveal that the
calculated F, which is equal to 0.698, is not significant at the 95% confidence level
(P>0.05). Therefore, with regard to their level of education, it can be concluded
that the levels of the male and female teachers’ sense of humor are the same.
256
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
Moreover, the results of the one-way analysis of variance conducted to assess
the difference in extraversion show that the calculated F, which is equal to 2.436, is
not significant at the 95% confidence level (P<0.05). Accordingly, it can be stated
that the levels of the male and female teachers’ extraversion in terms of their level
of education are the same.
As Table 9 indicates, the results of the one-way analysis of variance in relation
to the difference in the teachers’ neuroticism in terms of their level of education
reveal that the calculated F, which is equal to 1.131, is not significant at the 95%
confidence level (P>0.05). Therefore, with regard to their level of education, it
can be stated that the levels of the male and female teachers’ neuroticism are the
same.
Additionally, with regard to the difference in the teachers’ performance in terms
of their level of education, the results indicate that the calculated F, which is equal
to 0.885, is not significant at the 95% confidence level (P<0.05). Accordingly, it can
be stated that the levels of the male and female teachers’ performance in terms of
their level of education are the same.
Discussion and Conclusion
Since the personality types and sense of humor are among factors affecting
teachers’ organizational performance, the presented study aimed to examine the
relationship among the teachers’ personality types, sense of humor, and performance improvement.
The results obtained from the current study demonstrated that the personality
types were significantly related to the teachers’ performance. The obtained coefficient between these two variables indicated a significant and positive correlation
between extraversion and performance and a significant and negative correlation
between neuroticism and performance. Therefore, it can be inferred that the teachers who have an extraverted personality type have higher levels of occupational
performance compared to those who have a neurotic personality type. These findings are consistent with the results obtained from studies conducted by Khakpour
(2004), Sha’bani Bahar et al. (2004), Naderian, Jahromi, and Hosseini (2007), Eliasi
(2009), Yazdani (2012), Barrick and Mount (1991), Baron and Greenberg (1993),
and Chamorro-Premuzic and Furnham (2003), which indicated a significant
relationship between personality types and staff ’s performance.
Additionally, the results of the present study show a significant and positive relationship between a sense of humor and the teachers’ performance improvement,
Personality Types and Sense of Humor
257
i.e., the teachers who have a better sense of humor, compared to other teachers,
show higher occupational performance. This finding is in line with the results
obtained from a study carried out by Hamidifar (2014), which demonstrated a significant and positive correlation between a sense of humor and staff ’s performance
improvement.
Moreover, the results indicated a significant relationship between the teachers’
sense of humor and their personality types, i.e., the teachers’ sense of humor was
significantly and positively related to extraversion and it was significantly and
negatively correlated with neuroticism. This may be due to the fact that extroverts,
compared to neurotics, attempt more to gain new experiences and establish more
social interactions. Having these social interactions and connections can be a good
reason for their happiness and sense of humor. On the other hand, since being
a neurotic is accompanied with anxiety, hostility, depression, irritability, unpredictability (Maslach, Schaufeliand, & Leiter, 2001), neurotics experience lower levels
of happiness compared to extroverts. Furthermore, the results of the regression
analysis indicated that both personality types, i.e. extraversion and neuroticism,
could predict the teachers’ performance.
In the present study, a significant difference was found between the male and
female teachers in terms of extraversion. The results showed that the male teachers
were more extrovert compared to their female counterparts. However, considering
neuroticism and performance, no significant difference was observed between the
male and female teachers.
Overall, the results obtained from this study reveal that the personality types
and sense of humor affect the teachers’ organizational performance and create
a positive atmosphere for them to do their job. Indeed, being aware of the impacts
of the extraverted personality type and sense of humor on teachers’ organizational performance can aid principals and authorities to pay more attention to
this personality type and create a lively atmosphere in the organization. Creating
such an environment not only is effective in creating appropriate behaviors and
enhancing employees’ effectiveness and dependence, but also, since it promotes
their motivation, leads to an increase in the level of efficiency of the organization.
In this regard, to increase organizational performance, principals and managers
are highly recommended to apply mechanisms that are aimed at improving and
promoting the extraverted personality type and creating a lively and cheerful
atmosphere.
258
Abdulwahab Pourghaz, Hossein Jenaabadi, Zahra Ghaeninejad
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Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
Slovak Republic
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence
in Personality Space
DOI: 10.15804/tner.2016.46.4.22
Abstract
The study is based on the research analyses of K.V. Petrides’ (2011) trait
emotional intelligence construct verified by his Trait Emotional Intelligence
Questionnaire – TEIQue. Verification of the EI trait construct by stepwise
regression analysis confirmed that it is determined only to a certain extent
by the Big Five personality factors theory (14%) (by the TIPI questionnaire,
Gosling, 2003) and by perception and experiencing of positive (15%) and
negative (13%) mental states (by the SEHW questionnaire, Džuka & Dalbert,
2002). Thus, the emotional intelligence trait as a consistent construct partially
captures individual variability of emotional aspects otherwise scattered across
personality theories.
Keywords: trait emotional intelligence construct, Trait Emotional Intelligence
Questionnaire (TEIQue-SF), Big Five factors, positive and negative emotions,
regression analysis
The work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency in
accordance with the Agreement No. APVV-14 – 0176.
Introduction
Globalization of society, information explosion and application of new technologies in practice make teachers wonder how to prepare pupils and students
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence in Personality Space
261
for life in changing society, how to shape a successful personality not only in the
environment of education, but also outside this environment. Reflecting these
facts, the levels of education (ISCED 1, 2, 3) implement a cross-cutting theme of
pupil personality and social development with the aim to contribute to pupils’
complex personality growth and life skills development. The cross-cutting theme
can be realized as part of learning contents of subjects (mainly educational ones),
through projects, teaching blocks or as a separate subject (National Educational
Programme, 2015). However, a question arises here, which or what conceptual
framework to rely on, if we want to purposefully develop socio-emotional, cognitive and behavioural skills at school. Indeed, it is school where their lack may
manifest itself by risk behaviour (Petrides et al., 2004; Miškolciová & Ďuricová,
2015; Karikova & Rohn, 2015; Przybylska, 2016). One of the possibilities of
developing socio-emotional skills “intelligently” is presented by the construct of
emotional intelligence.
Theoretical analysis of the emotional intelligence construct
The psychological construct of emotional intelligence (EI) is a recent phenomenon. One of its predecessors can be seen in Gardner’s theory of multiple
intelligences (1993) and the other in Thorndike’s social intelligence (1920). For
the first time the EI model was defined in relation to other constructs (intelligence
and emotions) in 1990, in the study “Emotional Intelligence” by Salovey and Mayer.
Based on theoretical analysis of constructs of intelligence and emotions (where
emotions represented socially determined behaviour) the authors defined EI as
a subset of social intelligence. EI was explained as intelligence for understanding
emotions and awareness of their impacts and effects on the intellectual system
facilitating production of new thoughts and ideas. In time, the authors noted that
EI exceeds social intelligence because it concerns not only emotions reflected in
social situations, but also a person’s inner experience (Salovey, & Mayer, 1990;
Mayer, Salovey & Caruso, 2004).
Besides confirming and supporting research analyses of the EI concept, there
is also a direction disputing its scientific meaningfulness, where the term intelligence is reserved only for cognitive abilities. These controversies have contributed
to the formation of 3 approaches to EI investigation. The first approach presents
EI as ability measurable by maximum performance measures, with Mayer and
Salovey as its main representatives. Criticism of the EI model as ability (e.g.,
Mathews et al., 2004; Petrides, 2011) is based on the fact that it is problematic to
262
Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
capture the subjective nature of emotional experience and intrapersonal elements
with such measures. Objectivity of scoring and adequacy of psychometric properties of these instruments are challenged (consensual/expert/target scoring).
The second approach links EI with personality traits and abilities (so-called
mixed models of EI, authors: Bar-On, Goleman), where the conception of EI as
a personality trait is gradually singled out. The concept of trait EI is formed as
the third EI model type, where EI can be measured by self-report measures. This
approach points to the fact that it is personality traits that are closely connected
with a person’s emotional functioning, however they do not coincide, which is
verified also in this study.
Trait emotional intelligence
Trait EI concerns, in particular, recognition of emotions, self-perception, i.e.,
how people perceive their own emotional abilities and emotional dispositions.
Trait EI is explained as a constellation of self-perceived abilities and behavioural
dispositions linked to emotions, bringing along qualitatively various behavioural
and experiencing styles (Petrides, Pita, & Kokkinaki, 2007). The author locates this
EI type in personality space as personality traits.
In the context of this study, the trait EI model by the British psychologists,
K.V. Petrides and A. Furnham (2001), is analysed. Their model is based on expression, perception and regulation of emotions. It is the first comprehensive model
of trait EI. It is made up of 15 facets, with 13 of them forming 4 factors and 2
independent facets. The model consists of:
1)Emotionality, including self-efficacy in the perception and expression of emotions (consisting of trait empathy, emotion perception, emotion expression,
relationship competence).
2)Sociability, representing self-efficacy in interpersonal interactions, in management and regulation of others’ emotions (emotions management /others/,
assertiveness, and social awareness are the facets).
3)Well-being, including traits linked to personality dispositions such as optimism, trait happiness and self-esteem.
4)Self-control, consisting of self-efficacy in emotion and impulse regulation
(including emotional regulation, /low/ impulsiveness, stress management).
Independent facets are adaptability and self-motivation. (cf. more detailed
characteristics of the factors in Petrides, 2009; Kaliská & Nábělková, 2015). Table 1
shows the basic characteristics of a person with a high and/or low level of trait EI.
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence in Personality Space
263
Table 1. Characteristics of a person with a high and/or low level of trait EI
Global level of trait EI
Factors
High level of EI
Low level of EI
Emotionality
• Awareness of one’s own emotions, their perception and
expression
• Openness to experience
• Empathy, sociability
• Emotional instability
• Less satisfying personal relationships
Self-Control
• Stress management
• Effective coping strategies
• Stable and conscientious personality
• Impulsive conduct
• Maladaptive coping strategies
Sociability
• Effective communication
• Sociability and influence, social
sensitivity, receptiveness
• Straightforwardness, frankness,
agreeableness
• Shyness and reserve, submissiveness
• Experiencing anxiety
Well-being
• Optimism, meaningfulness,
personal well-being
• High self-esteem, self-confidence
• Pessimism, disappointment with
one’s life
• Lower self-esteem
Petrides also created questionnaires to measure trait EI (Trait Emotional
Intelligence Questionnaire - TEIQue). Zeidner et al. (2009) highlight its systematic
empiric verification in research studies (in 2000 – 2015), where the psychometric
properties of TEIQue 6 versions/forms were tested. They were proved acceptable
(e.g., Petrides, Frederickson, &Furnham, 2004; Petrides et al., 2007; Petrides, 2009,
and others). In Slovakia, satisfactory psychometric properties of full and short
forms of Slovak TEIQue versions were evidenced (Nábělková, 2012; Kaliská, &
Nábělková, 2015; Kaliská, Nábělková, & Salbot, 2015, and others). For short forms
of TEIQue, created from the original full version, the author recommends to assess
only the global level of trait EI.
Verification of the assumption that trait EI is an independent construct (isolated
in personality space) while also partially determined by some personality dimensions and located at a lower level in the personality hierarchy, such as, e.g., the
Big Five traits (Petrides et al., 2007, 2009, 2011), has become the major empirical
objective of this study.
Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
264
Trait EI and the Big Five personality model
The Big Five Model is one of the most popular current personality models. Its
final version, supported by sophisticated statistical procedures, was conceived by
McCrae and Costa in 1987. The Big Five Model is made of 5 bipolar personality
traits (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness). Their characteristics are presented in more detail in Table 2.
Table 2. Basic personality factors of the Big Five Model
Factors
Traits and experienced emotions
Opposite
Neuroticism
Reactive, vulnerable, insecure
(emotional instability)
Emotional stability
Extraversion
Sociable, active, communicative, happy
Introversion
Openness
Original, curious, creative, courageous
Conservative, closed-off
Agreeableness
Genial, empathic, compassionate, patient, honest
Egotist,
reserved
Conscientiousness
Reliable, punctual, conscientious, orderly Indifferent,
unconscientious
Presenting the basic traits of the Big Five Model factors we are pointing to the
fact that trait EI will enter into significant relationships with levels of personality
hierarchy, mainly those covering a person’s affective dispositions. Already in their
first studies, Petrides and Furnham (2001) proved that trait EI enters into relationships with Neuroticism (r = - 0.29) and Extraversion and Conscientiousness
(r = - 0.30 and r = 0.35). The weakest relationships were evidenced with Openness
(r = 0.13) and Agreeableness (r = -0.01). McCrae’s criticism (2000) draws attention
to the fact that more than 66% of the items in questionnaires measuring trait
EI overlap with the Big Five factors (e.g., the Extraversion factor is loaded with:
geniality, sociability, assertiveness /identical in the TEIQue/, activity, excitement
and positive emotions /analogous to optimism in the TEIQue/ and the Conscientiousness factor is loaded with the sense of duty, self-discipline /intersection
with self-regulation in the TEIQue/), by which the EI construct as a personality
disposition brings practically nothing new in psychology.
The response to McCrae (2000), De Raad (2005) and others comes from
a number of researchers (Petrides et al., 2007, 2009, 2011, including this study),
who, based on investigation into data from more than 40 studies independent
from each other by multivariate regression analysis, point out to the fact that trait
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence in Personality Space
265
EI shares even up to 65% of variance with the Big Five factors; this in the range
of 50% – 80% of variance in non-Anglophone cultures (e.g., in the Netherlands,
Petrides, Vernon, Schermer et al., 2010), which, however, still allows for substantiation of trait EI.
Petrides (2009) emphasizes the fact that the meaning of trait EI is in its capturing individual differences in emotional states otherwise scattered across the
Big Five factors. Besides its overlap with the personality factors, the EI construct
is assumed to capture the ability to express, perceive and regulate positive and
negative emotions. Thus, the aim of the research study is assessment, by regression
analysis, of the strength of personality dispositions and experienced positive and
negative emotions as predictors of the EI construct.
Method
Research sample
Our research sample, obtained by convenience selection, consisted of 216 adolescents in total, students of secondary school (4 grammar schools, 3 vocational
secondary schools), 14 to 19 years old (average age: 17.2 years /SD = 1.1/). Out of
the total number, there were 147 (68.1%) girls and 69 (31.9%) boys.
Research methods
The Slovak version of the TEIQue-SF (Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire – Short Form) is for measuring the global level of trait EI (four factors only
indicatively) in adolescents from 13 years of age to middle adulthood (to 55 years
of age). The instrument consists of 30 items answered by respondents by means of
a 7-point scale (1 – completely disagree to 7 – completely agree). Administration
takes 7 minutes. The assessed reliability in terms of internal consistence (split-half
estimation of reliability: for the whole sample: rxx=0.88 (0.90 for the girls, 0.85 for
the boys; Cronbach’s alpha for the whole sample: α=0.83 /0.85 for the girls; 0.79
for the boys/) achieves highly acceptable values. Our previous studies confirm
satisfactory reliability and validity (construct /its convergent and discriminant
character/, incremental, criterion) of the Slovak versions of the TEIQue short
forms (e.g., Kaliská, Nábělková & Salbot, 2015).
To assess substantiation of the trait EI construct, the Big Five model was used,
where individual factors were examined by the TIPI questionnaire (Ten-Item-Personality-Inventory) by Gosling (2003). TIPI is a 10-item instrument for assessment
of a person’s personality, based on the Big Five conception.
Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
266
Further, it was the Scale of Emotional Habitual Subjective Well-Being (SEHW –
Škála emocionálnej habituálnej subjektívnej pohody, Džuka, & Dalbert, 2002)
capturing the frequency of experiencing positive and negative emotions and physical feelings (anger, guilt, enjoyment, shame, feeling fresh, fear, pain, joy, sadness,
happiness) on a 6-point scale from almost always to almost never. Administration
takes about 5 minutes.
Results
The basic descriptive statistics for global trait EI and its factors measured by the
TEIQue-SF are presented in Table 3.
Table 3. Descriptive statistics of the trait EI factors and global level measured by the
TEIQue-SF in adolescents (N = 216)
Min
Max
AM
SD
Mdn
Skewness
Well-being
1.33
7.00
5.27
1.00
5.50
-.86
Kurtosis
.77
Emotionality
1.75
6.63
5.05
.82
5.13
-.67
.97
Self-control
1.50
6.67
4.52
.93
4.50
-.61
.67
Sociability
2.00
7.00
4.79
.94
4.83
-.29
.13
Global trait EI
2.30
6.47
4.91
.69
4.93
-.49
.75
Min – minimum, Max – maximum, AM – mean, SD – standard deviation, Mdn – median
Normal distribution of variables measured in adolescents by the TEIQue-SF
was assessed based on the descriptive characteristics of the distribution shape
(coefficients of kurtosis and skewness), since a larger research sample overestimates the significance of deviations from normal distribution when tested for
normality in a standard manner.
The primary objective of the statistical analysis was to assess the extent of
determination of global trait EI by personality traits of the Big Five theory and by
perception and experiencing of positive and negative mental states, where we first
examined their connections by Pearson correlation analysis (Table 4).
We found that the global level of trait EI enters into weak significant relationships
with the personality factors Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion,
with the relationships stronger in the boys. Global trait EI enters also into a strong
positive relationship with experiencing of positive emotions and into a strong negative relationship with experiencing of negative emotions, again stronger in the boys.
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence in Personality Space
267
Table 4. Correlations of global trait EI with the Big Five personality factors
and experiencing of positive and negative emotions
Global trait EI
Whole sample (N=216)
Girls (N=147)
Boys (N=69)
.23***
.21**
.26*
.14*
.09
.23
Extraversion
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
.29***
.26**
.36**
Emotional stability
.29***
.22**
.40**
Openness
.15**
.15
.17
Occurrence of positive emotions
.50***
.49***
.52***
Occurrence of negative emotions
-.45***
-.38***
-.62***
*p≤0.05; ** p≤0.01; *** p≤0.001
The major objective was to find out which personality factors predict the normally distributed variable – global level of trait EI through stepwise regression
analysis (in girls and boys) and it is presented in Table 5.
Table 5. Stepwise regression analysis
Non-standard
coefficients
Girls
(N=147)
Whole sample
(N=216)
Std.
Error
B
Standard
coefficients
t
sig.
Partial
correlations
Corrected R2
% dispersion
Extraversion
.15
.04
.23
3.51
.001
.13
Step 1 = 5%
Conscient.
.14
.04
.26
4.0
.000
.26
Step 2 = 11%
Em. stability
.12
.04
.19
2.83
.005
.19
Step 3 = 14%
Occurrence of
posit.emotion
.33
.05
.43
6.87
.000
.43
Step 4 = 29%
Occurrence of
negat.emotion
-.37
.05
-.38
-6.9
.000
-.43
Step 5 = 42%
Extraversion
.14
.05
.21
2.63
.01
.14
Step 1 = 4%
Conscient.
.15
.04
.26
3.37
.001
.27
Step 2 = 10%
Em. stability
.08
.05
.14
1.66
.099
.22
Step 3 = 11%
Occurrence of
posit. emotion
.33
.06
.43
5.83
.000
.46
Step 4 = 28%
Occurrence of
negat.emotion
-.39
.07
-.39
-5.9
.000
-.39
Step 5 = 42%
Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
268
Boys
(N=69)
Non-standard
coefficients
Standard
coefficients
t
sig.
Partial
correlations
Corrected R2
% dispersion
Std.
Error
B
Extraversion
.16
.07
.28
2.42
.01
.17
Step 1 = 6%
Conscient.
.13
.06
.25
2.15
.03
.26
Step 2 = 11%
Em. stability
.15
.06
.29
2.53
.01
.19
Step 3 = 18%
Occurrence of
posit.emotion
.34
.10
.43
3.47
.001
.43
Step 4 = 30%
Occurrence of
negat.emotion
-.41
.10
-.48
-4.16 .000
-.43
Step 5 = 44%
Notes: Table shows results of the last step of regression analysis.
β = standardized regression coefficient beta, t = t-test value, p = t-test statistical significance, %
dispersion = percentage of explained dispersion R2 by the corrected one in the regression analysis
respective steps
The results of stepwise regression analysis indicate that the personality factors
of the Big Five theory (14%), as well as the perceived positive (15%) and negative
(13%) emotions to a various extent participate in the determination of trait EI in
the whole sample. In the case of personality factors, the most trait EI dispersion is
explained by Conscientiousness (6%), followed by Extraversion (5%) and it is also
determined by a portion of emotional stability (3%, Neuroticism in the original
theory). Based on the results of correlation analysis we noted that trait EI is in
a moderate, positive, highly significant relationship with Emotional Stability and
Conscientiousness (r≥0.36) in the case of the boys, and in weak, positive, highly
significant relationships (r≥0.21) with Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability
and Extraversion in the group of girls. The regression analysis implied different
determination in the two groups. In the case of the girls, the first predictor is
Conscientiousness (6%), followed by Extraversion (4%); in the case of the boys,
the strongest predictor is Emotional Stability (7%), followed by Extraversion (6%)
and the last is Conscientiousness (5%).
The regression analysis indicates the strength of the states of mind as significant
predictors of trait EI (perceiving and experiencing positive /15%/ and negative
/13%/ emotions). In the group of girls, positive emotions (18%) explain more
of trait EI dispersion than in the group of boys (12%), while negative emotions
participate in trait EI explanation to the same extent (14%) in both groups.
The Potential of Emotional Intelligence in Personality Space
269
Discussion
The empirical verification of the trait EI construct in Slovak conditions supports
the substantiation of this construct as well as of the instruments for its measurement. The connections of global trait EI with the Big Five model factors indicate
the existence of certain moderate, positive, highly significant relationships with
Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness and Extraversion, in particular in the
group of boys. The above findings fully correspond to the first research studies by
Petrides and Furnham (2001), but also to foreign studies, e.g., by Russo et al. (2012)
as well as our results – Kaliská and Nábělková (2015). Later studies demonstrated
closer correlations (r≥0.40) between trait EI factors, however, measured by the full
versions of the TEIQue and the full versions of the Big Five personality factors
(e.g., Petrides et al., 2007; Petrides et al., 2010).
We also found that the stepwise regression analysis partially proved the substantiation of the trait EI construct, because the Big Five model factors predict 14% of
the trait EI variance for the whole sample (10% for girls and 18% for boys) and,
in further steps, perceived and experienced mental states (anger, guilt, enjoyment,
shame, feeling fresh, fear, pain, joy, sadness, happiness) only 42% of the trait EI
variance for the whole research sample (42% for girls and 44% for boys). Several
multivariate stepwise regressions demonstrate that trait EI shares up to 65% of
variance with the Big Five factors (Petrides et al., 2007); in our case, since the
short version of the TEIQue-SF questionnaire and the short version of the Big
Five were used, it is only 14%. The research sample itself could be an intervening
variable, too, its size and mainly the adolescent developmental period. In this
period their volitional and character qualities consolidate, the character stabilizes
and formation of their personality traits is still unfinished, which could negatively
determine their self-perception ability. In one of their recent studies, Siegling,
Furnham and Petrides (2015) used regression analysis in several versions of questionnaires measuring the Big Five factors (NEO Personality Inventory - Revised
and its short version International Personality Item Pool, Big Five Inventory and
Big Five Mini-Markers) and confirmed that 54% – 81% (depending on the gender and applied method) of the trait EI variability is determined by the Big Five
factors (mainly Neuroticism, Extraversion and Conscientiousness). Among other
things, Petrides et al. (2007, 2010), as well as others (Russo et al., 2012), empirically
demonstrated the incremental validity of trait EI (over and above the personality
factors, i.e., Eysenck’s Giant Three and Costa and McCrae’s Big Five) in prediction
of such criterion variables as satisfaction with life, depression, happiness, adaptive
and maladaptive coping strategies.
270
Lada Kaliská, Ján Kaliský
Conclusion
Trait EI has its meaning since it captures as a consistent construct individual
variability of emotional aspects otherwise scattered across the Big Five personality
factors. Personality as an open construct is a comprehensive system of basic personality dimensions (Poliach, 2009; Salbot & Pašková, 2013) and this study joins
the series of investigations indicating possible inclusion of the trait EI construct
in a lower hierarchical level in personality.
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Varia
Reviewers of the ManuscriptsSent from the Czech
Republic, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and from the
Whole World to “The New Educational Review” in 2016
Prof. zw. dr hab. Mariola Chomczyńska-Rubacha
Prof. PhD. Estera Czoj
Prof. dr hab. Marek Furmanek
Prof. zw. dr hab. Waldemar Furmanek
Prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Górnik-Durose
Prof. PhD. Yaomin He
Prof. PhD. Tomaš Jablonsky
Prof. zw. dr hab. Stanisław Juszczyk
Prof. PhD. YongDeog Kim
Prof. PhD. Alojz Kostelansky
Prof. dr hab. Katarzyna Krasoń
Prof. PhD. Viera Kurincová
Prof. zw. dr hab. Barbara Kożusznik
Prof. zw. dr hab. Stefan M. Kwiatkowski
Prof. zw. dr hab. Eugenia Mandal
Prof. PhD. Katsuhiko Matsukawa
Prof. dr hab. Irena Pilch
Prof. PhD. Erich Petlák
Prof. zw. dr hab. Krzysztof Rubacha
Prof. zw. dr hab. Bronisław Siemieniecki
Prof. zw. dr hab. Jerzy Stochmiałek
Prof. dr hab. Maciej Tanaś
Prof. zw. dr hab. Andrzej Radziewicz­-Winnicki
Prof. PhD. Peter Seidler
Prof. zw. dr hab. Adam Stankowski
Prof. PhD. Carl. C. Wolhuter
Prof. dr hab. Ewa Wysocka
Dr hab. Maciej Bernasiewicz
Dr hab. Katarzyna Borzucka-Sitkiewicz
Dr hab. Ewa Bielska
Dr hab. Alina Budniak
Dr hab. Alicja Gałązka
Dr hab. Mirosław Kisiel
Dr hab. Beata Mazepa-Domagała
Dr hab. Beata Pituła
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Dr hab. Danuta Rode
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276
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prof. PaedDr. Ján Danek, PhD.
doc. PaedDr. Jana Duchovičová, PhD.
prof. PhDr. Ingrid Emmerová, PhD.
prof. PhDr. Eva Gajdošová, PhD.
prof. PhDr. Jolana Hroncová, PhD.
doc. PhDr. Martina Hřebíčková, Dr.
prof. PhDr. Soňa Kariková, PhD.
prof. PhDr. Bronislava Kasáčová, CSc.
prof. PhDr. Igor Kominarec, CSc.
prof. PaedDr. Gabriela Korimová, PhD.
prof. PhDr. Blahoslav Kraus, CSc.
prof. PhDr. Erich Petlák, CSc.
prof. PhDr. Gabriela Petrová, CSc.
prof. PhDr. Dušan Polonský, CSc.
prof. PhDr. Milan Portik, PhD.
doc. PhDr. Rastislav Rosinský, PhD.
doc. Mgr. Mariana Sirotová, PhD.
doc. PaedDr. Katarína Vančíková, PhD.
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prof. PhDr. Jozef Výrost, DrSc.
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doc. PaedDr. Štefan Porubský, PhD.
doc. PhDr. Vladimír Salbot, CSc.
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