PEN Academic Publishing   |  ISSN: 1308 - 951X

Volume 10 Issue 4 (December 2019)

Original articles

Concept Map in Photosynthesis and its Effects on Achievement and Self-Classroom Management

Ananta Kumar Jena

pp. 1 - 18

Abstract

The study assessed the effect of concept map on achievement and classroom management of 7th grade students. Three elementary schools were purposively selected in Silchar town of Assam, India. The 7th grade students (n = 36), of ‘School I’ was assigned to lecture cum discussion approach, 34, students (n = 34) of ‘School II’ was assigned  to Spider Concept Map Approach (SCMA) and the 30 participants (n=30) of ‘School III’ was assigned to Hierarchical Concept Map Approach (HCMA). Pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design used to assess the effect of concept map on the achievement and classroom management of students. Pre map test was assigned to both the experimental and comparison group and after three weeks instruction post map test was administered. In addition to these, Concept Map Classroom Management Scale was assigned among all the participants of both experimental and comparison groups to response. The individual pre and post spider concept map and hierarchical concept map, and Concept Map Classroom Management Scale (CMCMS) scores were analyzed through ANCOVA and post hoc Tukey-Kramer Multiple Comparisons. It was resulted that both spider concept map & hierarchical concept map training students in association with those in the comparison group demonstrated significantly better in the performance of photosynthesis and respiration concepts as well as self-classroom management. 

Keywords: classroom management; collaborative concept map; hierarchical concept map; individual concept map; photosynthesis;respiration; spider concept map

Appraisal of May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination Questions in Business Management

Edmond Kwesi Agormedah

pp. 19 - 34

Abstract

Assessment is a key component of teaching and learning. Poorly constructed questions might affect students' performance and distort examination results. The main purpose of the study was to evaluate May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) questions in Business Management. The study was guided by the cognitive level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The data source consisted of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and essay test items drawn from May/June WASSCE questions in Business Management conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for a period of eight (8) years (2011-2018). Descriptive-content analysis was used to classify the examination questions based on the cognitive level of Bloom’s taxonomy. The study found that most of the examination questions (MCQs) were standard (followed the principles of constructing multiple-choice item). However, few of the MCQs had item writing flaws (IWFs) such as negative stem, options not having equal length and options not arrange in alphabetical and chronological order. Also, most of the examination questions highly measured the lower-order cognitive processing of the students. Only few questions measured higher-order cognitive levels of the students. The study concluded that the assessment principles in constructing multiple-choice items and profile dimensions are not strictly adhered to in crafting May/June WASSCE questions in Business Management. The dominance questions in the domain of lower-order cognitive skills could possibly affect instructional intercourse, predominantly, where teachers and students largely depend on such questions for practice and assessments. The study recommended that WAEC should ensure that examiners follow assessment principles in constructing multiple-choice items in order to avoid item writing flaws (IWFs). They should ensure that examination questions are carefully designed taking into consideration the profile dimensions of the syllabus in order to develop students’ higher-order cognitive processing skills.

Keywords: Assessment, Business Management, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Item Writing Flaw, WAEC, WASSCE

In-Service EFL Teachers' Suggestions for Prospective Teachers of English

Kürşat Cesur & Gülsüm Duran-Güler

pp. 35 - 49

Abstract

The concept experience is a vital matter of fact in life of human being, which helps people move forward for the next phases of their lives. Also, this phenomenon is regarded to be the key word for education and teaching. This study aims to explore experienced teachers’ suggestions for the prospective teachers to adopt themselves to the requirements of students, school administration, lessons and being a teacher in their careers. A qualitative research methodology was followed in this descriptive study. A post “What are your suggestions for prospective teachers of English?” was sent to the most crowded five groups of EFL teachers on Facebook. The comments of 103 participants were content analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2010, and they were categorized under nine main headings. Suggestions were mostly about personal characteristics, use of variety, taking different courses, love, being aware of differences, gap between theory and practice, negative suggestions, difficulties and others. In the light of the findings, it could be stated that most of the in-service teachers have attached importance to personal traits as a teacher. ‘Being knowledgeable’ was the most reported answer among the suggested personal traits. In-service teachers also suggested the prospective teachers to make use of variety, to take different courses before they graduate, and to love their students and their jobs. Moreover, they expressed difficulties of being English teachers such as lack of respect and working at private schools. Though they are few, participants also had negative suggestions for prospective teachers. Few of them suggested them not to be teachers and look for other jobs. In the light of these results, some suggestions were presented to prospective teachers at the end of the study.

Keywords: In-service teachers; Prospective teachers; Problems; Suggestions

Student Teachers' Views of Science Microteaching: Experiences, Abilities, and Reflective Feedback

Ayhan Cinici, Jazlin Ebenezer & Gülden Gürsoy

pp. 50 - 67

Abstract

The aim of this qualitative case study was to investigate primary student teachers’ views of microteaching with respect to their experiences; development of teaching abilities; and mentors and peers’ feedbacks. Thirty-six student teachers participated in this study. They were equally divided into six heterogeneous groups with six in each group. Each group of student teachers performed three science microteaching cycles during a period of twelve weeks. Data sources consisted of student teachers’ reflective structured-journals and verbatim transcripts of semi-structured interviews. The student teachers took the feedback seriously and struggled to improve their teaching practices in subsequent microteaching sessions. Based on their reflections, student teachers stressed the critical role of receiving constructive feedback to improve their own science teaching and to become more reflective thinkers. On the other hand, most student teachers interestingly stated that there was no need to improve themselves in terms of the art of questioning and stressed that they felt completely at ease with it. They also regarded the skill of “measurement and evaluation” as less important than other teaching skills. However, fostering the skill of question-posing is considered very important for the development of high-order thinking skills. The possible reasons for this naïve perception were discussed.

Keywords: Feedback; Microteaching; Reflective practice, Reflective thinkers, Student teachers

Students’ Reasoning and Utilization of Argumentation Skills in Solving Chemical Kinematics Calculus-Based Problems

Iwuanyanwu Paul

pp. 68 - 80

Abstract

Developing students’ reasoning and utilization of argumentation skills in chemical kinematics entails learning to use basic facility of derivatives and integrals and their applications effectively and efficiently as applied to the context of undergraduate general chemistry course. It has been necessary to provide the students of this study with empowering learning experiences, helping them to develop both thinking and reasoning skills for use in solving chemical kinematics calculus-based problems. The study sample was 66 (31 males, 35 females) undergraduate second year chemistry students taken from a population of 123 full-time registered students in interdisciplinary subject areas in chemistry, physics and biology. Participants received their learning of chemistry via argumentation instruction for 14 weeks during which data were collected. A cross-case analysis was followed to interpret character of reasoning and arguments students generated through activities in chemical kinematics. Results indicated that students who successfully solved the task were engaged in analytical thinking and creative reasoning and used substances of arguments extensively. In particular, this suggested that utilizing argumentation skills for solving chemical kinematics calculus-based problems means framing predictive and verificative arguments that support the solution. Implications of the findings are discussed.   

Keywords: Argumentation instruction, reasoning, thinking, calculus, chemical kinematics problem-solving