Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is a teaching and learning approach whereby entire courses or modules are co-developed and team taught by instructors from different institutions for students of both institutions. Since 2006, the approach has been gaining in mass appeal; however, considering our present-day global coronavirus pandemic, COILs have a renewed relevance in academia. Faculty from the University of South Carolina (United States) and Coventry University (England) embarked on a COIL partnership yielding a valuable experience that can serve as a model for other institutions that are interested in developing innovative and cross-cultural distance learning opportunities. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the institutional partnership emerged, describe the course content, and provide lessons that our team learned through the COIL development and implementation process. Our experience as a first-time COIL partnership is a model for others to consider as the landscape for the academic enterprise expands the confines of brick-and-mortar institutions.
The purpose of this study was to assess differences in negative consequences resulting from pandemic-related school closures between autistic and neurotypical children. We predicted that more negative consequences overall would be reported for children with autism compared to neurotypical children. We also expected to observe differences in the types of stressors reported between these two groups, with disruptions to daily routines more commonly reported for children with autism and stress due to social isolation more commonly reported for neurotypical children. Participants were parents of school-aged children, ages of 4–15 years old, who responded to an online survey (N = 250). Parental perspectives were collected using the Covid-19 Adolescent Symptom and Psychological Experience Questionnaire (CASPE). Parents in the autism group were additionally asked to respond to a survey about autism-specific stressors which may have increased during the pandemic, such as behavioral concerns, therapy disruptions, and hygiene issues. The majority of the respondents (65%) were parents of children with autism and 35% were parents of neurotypical children. Parents of autistic children were more likely to report that their child was negatively affected by routine changes, whereas parents of neurotypical children were more likely to report that their child was affected by social isolation. Overall, parents of children with autism were more than three times as likely to report negative changes in their child compared to parents of neurotypical children. When asked about autism-specific stressors, parents of autistic children reported concerns related to hygiene, behavioral regression, therapy disruption, meltdowns, and returning to school. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged school closures have disrupted the lives of children. Our results indicate that children with autism are at greater risk for negative outcomes due to emergency-related school disruptions. These findings have implications for educational planning for this vulnerable population for future public health crises.
Several studies have investigated the way learners connect with science, re-emphasising persisting inequalities in science learning. This article combines the concept of intersectionality with the theoretical lens of science learning ecologies to focus on inequalities in connecting with science: Which factors influence the formation of a positive science attitude of young learners and how does the social background of young learners influence their opportunities of connecting with science, focusing on the intersections of class and gender? Based on a quantitative survey among 1,486 visitors of non-formal science education offers aged between 8 and 21, we analyze important factors for the development of a positive science attitude and investigate structural inequalities. The intersectional perspective was implemented in the sampling, survey design as well as its analysis. Using composite indicators of age and gender as well as gender and educational capital, we avoid a homogenisation of broadly defined groups. The results highlight that the development of a highly positive science attitude–as identified in a stepwise logistic regression model–is linked to supportive social environments, intrinsic motivation, science learning in school as well as regular engagement in arts-based learning, and self-directed science learning. The learning ecology perspective illustrates the influence of school on science attitudes in general. From an intersectional perspective, however, our findings demonstrate that the persistence of an androcentric and classist concept of science is not compatible with every learning ecology; male learners from educationally affluent backgrounds are most likely to enjoy science learning and see how science relates to their everyday realities. In turn, however, not only female learners with lower educational capital but also male learners with lower educational capital might find it more difficult to connect with science. The intersectional approach unveiled the multiple ways educational capital and gender shape individual learning ecologies. More equitable science learning spaces and offers have to adapt to a diversity of needs and preferences in order to make science activities enjoyable for all.
Studies have repeatedly reported that math and science are perceived as male domains, and scientists as predominantly male. However, the impact of the gender image of school science subjects on young people's career choice has not yet been analyzed. This paper investigates the impact of the masculinity image of three school subjects—chemistry, mathematics, and physics—on secondary students' career aspirations in STEM fields. The data originated from a cross-sectional study among 1'364 Swiss secondary school students who were close to obtaining their matriculation diploma. By means of a standardized survey, data on students' perception of masculinity of science school subjects were collected using semantic differentials. The results indicate that for both sexes, math has the strongest masculinity attribution, followed by physics as second, and, finally, chemistry with the lowest masculinity attribution. With respect to gender differences, our findings have shown that among female students, the attribution of masculinity to the three school subjects does not differ significantly, meaning that female students rated all subjects similarly strongly as masculine. Within the group of male students however, the attribution of masculinity to math compared to chemistry and physics differs significantly, whereas the attribution of masculinity to chemistry and physics does not. Our findings also suggest that gender-science stereotypes of math and science can potentially influence young women's and men's aspirations to enroll in a STEM major at university by showing that a less pronounced masculine image of science has the potential to increase the likelihood of STEM career aspirations. Finally, the paper discusses ways of changing the image of math and science in the context of secondary education in order to overcome the disparities between females and males in STEM.
School closures prompted by the global outbreak of COVID-19 have impacted children’s subjective well-being. In this context, a growing number of studies has pointed out that the experience of learning at home is an essential factor influencing their subjective well-being, raising the importance of parental involvement in the educational process of their children. This article explores the formal and informal parental practices of home learning during school closures period in 19 countries and their explanatory factors, with the further aim of discussing their implications for children’s subjective well-being. The study uses the International COVID-19 Impact on Parental Engagement Study (ICIPES) database and develops a regression analysis of family, child, and school factors predicting parental involvement in homeschooling. The main findings show that parents’ socioeconomic status is a critical predictor of both formal and informal parental practices. In addition, the results denote the impact of other factors, such as the level of parental confidence with the use of technology and children’s age and gender (in the case of informal activities). Based on these findings, the article discusses policy implications to promote parental involvement and children’s subjective well-being.
A defining feature of language lies in its capacity to represent meaning across oral and written forms. Morphemes, the smallest units of meaning in a language, are the fundamental building blocks that encode meaning, and morphological skills enable their effective use in oral and written language. Increasing evidence indicates that morphological skills are linked to literacy outcomes, including word reading, spelling and reading comprehension. Despite this evidence, the precise ways in which morphology influences the development of children's literacy skills remain largely underspecified in theoretical models of reading and spelling development. In this paper, we draw on the extensive empirical evidence base in English to explicitly detail how morphology might be integrated into models of reading and spelling development. In doing so, we build on the perspective that morphology is multidimensional in its support of literacy development. The culmination of our efforts is the Morphological Pathways Framework – an adapted framework that illuminates precise mechanisms by which morphology impacts word reading, spelling and reading comprehension. Through this framework, we bring greater clarity and specificity on how the use of morphemes in oral and written language supports the development of children's literacy skills. We also highlight gaps in the literature, revealing important areas to focus future research to improve theoretical understanding. Furthermore, this paper provides valuable theoretical insight that will guide future empirical inquiries in identifying more precise morphological targets for intervention, which may have widespread implications for informing literacy practices in the classroom and educational policies more broadly.
Conventional environmental risk assessment of chemicals is based on a calculated risk quotient, representing the ratio of exposure to effects of the chemical, in combination with assessment factors to account for uncertainty. Probabilistic risk assessment approaches can offer more transparency, by using probability distributions for exposure and/or effects to account for variability and uncertainty. In this study, a probabilistic approach using Bayesian network (BN) modelling is explored as an alternative to traditional risk calculation. BNs can serve as meta-models that link information from several sources and offer a transparent way of incorporating the required characterization of uncertainty for environmental risk assessment. To this end, a BN has been developed and parameterised for the pesticides azoxystrobin, metribuzin, and imidacloprid. We illustrate the development from deterministic (traditional) risk calculation, via intermediate versions, to fully probabilistic risk characterisation using azoxystrobin as an example. We also demonstrate seasonal risk calculation for the three pesticides.
We present a new technology-based paradigm to support embodied mathematics educational games, using wearable devices in the form of SmartPhones and SmartWatches for math learning, for full classes of students in formal in-school education settings. The Wearable Learning Games Engine is web based infrastructure that enables students to carry one mobile device per child, as they embark on math team-based activities that require physical engagement with the environment. These Wearable Tutors serve as guides and assistants while students manipulate, measure, estimate, discern, discard and find mathematical objects that satisfy specified constraints. Multiplayer math games that use this infrastructure have yielded both cognitive and affective benefits. Beyond math game play, the Wearable Games Engine Authoring Tool enables students to create games themselves for other students to play; in this process, students engage in computational thinking and learn about finite-state machines. We present the infrastructure, games, and results for a series of experiments on both game play and game creation.