Lessons Learned from Reading the Signs
Semiotics has explained the cognitive mechanisms of a complex, subtle and important phenomenon affecting all human interactions and communications across socio-cultural, socio-economic groups. Semiotics has captured a durable and enriching functionality from multiple disciplines including psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, marketing and their multidisciplinary off-spring, such as, educational psychology, consumer psychology, visual literacy, media studies, etc. Semiotic treatises have explored critical factors affecting the relationship between any intended message and the message recipient’s interpretation. The factors that shape interpretation inherently affect learning and often directly affect learner engagement with the content. Learning environments have been culturally-laden communication experiences which academics, largely segmented by discipline, have described but often cloaked in semiotic jargon.

Each chapter integrates example after example of semiotics in everyday activities and events, such as stories, graphics, movies, games, infographics, and educational strategies. The chapters also present the most salient semiotic features for learning environments. The book describes semiotics as a communications phenomenon with practical implications for educators to enhance courses and programs with semiotic features in any educational environment but especially in mediated e-learning environments.
Undergraduates and Inmates Write Their Way Out
Critical stories are narratives that recount the writer’s experiences, situating those experiences in broader cultural contexts. In this volume of Critical Storytelling, marginalized, excluded, and oppressed peoples share insights from their liminality to help readers learn from their perspectives on living from behind invisible bars. Female inmates at Decatur’s Correctional Center and the undergraduate Millikin University students who worked with them come together to give voice to their specific histories of living from behind invisibile bars and pose important questions to the reader about inciting change for the future. Specifically, the voices in this volume seek to expose, analyze, and challenge deeply-entrenched narratives and characterizations of incarcerated women, whose histories are often marked by sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, PTSD, a lack of education, housing insecurity, mental illness, and substance addiction. These silenced female inmate voices need to be heard and contextualized within the larger metanarrative of prison literature. Through telling critical stories, these writers attempt to: sustain recovery from trauma, make positive changes and informed decisions, create a real sense of empowerment, strengthen their capacity to exercise personal agency, and inspire audiences to create change far outside the reaches of physical and metaphorical bars.

Contributors are: Anonymous, Soren Belle, Megan Batty, Dwight G. Brown, Jr., Sandra Brown, Kathryn Coffey, Kelly Cunningham, Paiten Hamilton, Kathlyn J. Housh, Rebekah Icenesse, Kala Keller, Jelisa Lovette, Bric Martin, Amanda Minetti, Laura Nearing, Angie Oaks, Claire Prendergast, Cara Quiett, J. M. Spence, Noah Villarreal and Alisha Walker.
In Critical Reflection on Research in Teaching and Learning, the editors bring together a collection of works that explore a wide range of concerns related to questions of researching teaching and learning in higher education and shine a light on the diversity of qualitative methods in practice. This book uniquely focuses on reflections of practice where researchers expose aspects of their work that might otherwise fit neatly into ‘traditional’ methodologies chapters or essays, but are nonetheless instructive – issues, events, and thoughts that deserve to be highlighted rather than buried in a footnote. This collection serves to make accessible the importance of teaching and learning issues related to learners, teachers, and a variety of contexts in which education work happens.

Contributors are: David Andrews, Candace D. Bloomquist, Agnes Bosanquet, Beverley Hamilton, Henriette Tolstrup Holmegaard, Klodiana Kolomitro, Minna Körkkö, Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä, Suvi Lakkala, Rod Lane, Corinne Laverty, Elizabeth Lee, Narelle Patton, Jessica Raffoul, Nicola Simmons, Jee Su Suh, Kim West, and Cherie Woolmer.
Challenges and Directions in a Multicultural World
This book intends to find a common path for diverse approaches meant to reach a better vision on the future of education, to adapt it to the most spectacular and rapid changes in the modern world. Remarkable education specialists bring their research into this volume that collects the best ideas and solutions presented in the 19th Biennial Conference of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (Sibiu, Romania, July 2019). The 17 chapters of this book promote a hopeful vision on the future of education as proclaimed in the title: Education beyond Crisis: Challenges and Directions in a Multicultural World.

The volume focuses on three major ideas: defining directions for the future of teaching, challenges of the contemporary teaching context, and teaching in a multicultural world. The volume itself stands for the multicultural approach of education, as the contributors propose a unitary picture on education, in the contexts of national educative programs or inclusive education for the refugee children.

Well-known researchers answer important questions on the effectiveness of educational reforms and education policies in different countries. They take into account the student voice or the teachers' opinions in teaching and designing the new curriculum. The volume includes researches based on case studies, interviews, surveys, qualitative analysis, and original researching instruments. Readers will find here not only the vision of a multicultural world, but also valuable ideas on education in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Portugal, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Serbia, Spain, Singapore, Romania, Turkey, and the United States.

Contributors are: Christiana Deliewen Afrikaner, Laura Sara Agrati, Ana Flavia Souza Aquiar, Neelofar Ahmed, Douwe Beijaard, Terence Titus Chia, Cheryl J. Craig, Feyza Doyran, Estela Ene, Maria Assunção Flores, Maria Antonella Galanti, Paula Martín Gómez, Christos Govaris, Heng Jiang, Stavroula Kaldi, Ria George Kallumkal, Manpreet Kaur, Julia Köhler, Malathy Krishnasamy, Virginia Grazia Iris Magoga, Maria Ines Marcondes, Paulien C. Meijer, Juanjo Mena, Raluca Muresan, Ingeborg van der Neut, Ida E. Oosterheert, Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker, Loredana Perla, Cui Ping, Snežana Obradović-Ratković, Maria Luisa Garcia Rodriquez, Minodora Salcudean, Gonny Schellings, Antonis Smyrnaios, Sydney Sparks, Alexandra Stavrianoudaki, Vassiliki Tzika, Evgenia Vassilaki, Viviana Vinci, Kari-Lynn Winters, Vera E. Woloshyn, Tamara Zappaterra, and Gang Zhu.

Abstract

The languages of art, whose relevance is underlined at international level by the educational policies (; ; ) and scientific studies (; ; ) promote active teaching methodologies useful for the formation of future teachers; through art it is possible to experiment with inclusive educational courses fed by edutainment used in the workshops of the Children’s Museums (; Hooper Greenhill, 2003). Within the framework of the teaching innovation of high-education (; ), a research-training project was set up involving a target population of 100 university students. We present the results of a survey of 3 training workshops for pre-school and primary school teachers, conducted at the University of Bari (Italy). The hypothesis is that art constitutes an effective mediator to train future teachers for inclusion.

The methodological protocol of collaborative research (Perla, 2014) and with the intervention of three ‘practitioners’ (a sculptor, an expert in art and a photographer) – has foreseen: a training/laboratory phase with experimentation of playful and manipulative aimed at the production of artefacts on the theme of inclusion; a second phase with the administration of closed-question questionnaires on the impact of art in the development of teachers’ inclusive skills; a third analytical phase on artifacts.

The results demonstrate the effectiveness of educational itineraries based on playful and interactive laboratory methodologies linked to art in inclusive teacher education.

In: Education beyond Crisis
In: Education beyond Crisis

Abstract

The Teaching practicum is probably the most genuine period of professional training at the teaching degree. The use of tools such as the teacher’s professional journal helps to reflect and systematize the experience of the teacher in training. This chapter includes the design of a mobile application to facilitate the use of the teacher’s professional journal through its digitalization in order to experience the benefits it brings as a tool that favors the teacher’s own practice and professional development. An analysis of the content of 20 teacher journals written by students of Infant Education at the University of Salamanca was made with the aim of extracting the main reflection topics.

The result was a carefully produced indexing tree that has been used as an analysis tool in the NVIVO12 software for the study of qualitative data. The tree allowed extracting a significant and complete categorization of the teacher’s professional journal that makes possible its analysis and constitutes the starting point for the design of the prototype of the mobile application in a paper, which will be developed.

The digitization of the professional teachers’ diary based on the most frequent topics of the teachers themselves in practice shows the relevance of the diary since it is based on a thematic index that arises from practice, not theory. This will favor its implementation both by teachers in training and by active professionals contributing to their professional development.

In: Education beyond Crisis
In: Education beyond Crisis

Abstract

The number of refugees and asylum seekers are expected to rise over the next few decades, leading to increased concerns about their education, resettlement, and wellbeing. However, there are limited studies that systematically explore the unique needs and schooling experiences of refugee students from a global, evidence-based perspective. In this chapter, we discuss the potential impacts of trauma on refugee students’ well-being, describe the nature of student-responsive educational programming across a series of host countries, and provide recommendations for administrators, policy developers, and educators. We encourage all the stakeholders in education to develop critical reflexivity and cultural competencies as well as local and global policies, programs, and partnerships.

In: Education beyond Crisis

Abstract

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is recognized as an instructional approach in teaching () that can result in improving different inquiry skills, such as identifying problems, formulating questions, analyzing and presenting data of an inquiry study (). Previous research suggests that collaborative inquiry is an efficient method to foster historical thinking ().

This study presents the practice of IBL among primary schoolchildren within the framework of teaching history aiming to investigate pupils’ views about collaborative learning in an IBL environment. The method applied was a case study research design. Research methods included semi structured interview and pronounced thought methods to get insight into students’ views and experiences. Participants were 14 year-4 class students. Α 12-weeks program was implemented concerning the Classical Greece, artistic thought and culture. Data were analyzed with thematic analysis procedures.

The findings showed that students reformed historical habits of mind as well as their views about collaborative learning. More specifically students shaped positive attitudes toward co-working, developed their ability to self-construct flexible inquiry groups in their class and to co-create learning products which included remarkable decorative elements inspired by the classical historical period. A crucial theme that arose was that these elements were considered as facilitators for “doing history” and historical thinking.

In: Education beyond Crisis