Practice and Theory in Systems of Education


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Editorial Board


CONTENTS
Volume 7 Number 1 2012
ISSN 1788-2591 (Online)
ISSN 1788-2583 (Printed)


Tunde SZECSI & Carolyn SPILLMAN:
Migrant Students' "Funds of Knowledge": Hispanic Teachers' Perspectives in the United States,
pages 1-10

The paper reports on the Hispanic teachers' perspectives concerning migrant children's funds of knowledge and the use of this knowledge in school to facilitate children's school experiences and enhance their academic performance. The study employed semi-structured open-ended questions in interviews, focus group discussions and participant observations to document Hispanic teachers' perspectives on migrant children's cultural capital. The study was conducted in an agricultural migrant community in the United States. The findings revealed the nature and the depth of cultural capital that migrant children bring into school as perceived by teachers who share the children's cultural backgrounds. In addition, the findings shed light on practices which utilize these funds of knowledge to strengthen children's academic accomplishments. The paper also suggests recommendations for educators and administrators in the USA and worldwide on how to utilize migrant students' background knowledge and experience to increase the children's academic success, and ultimately reduce the achievement gap.

Réka ASZTALOS:
Teachers' Use of a Virtual Learning Environment and their Disposition towards E-Learning at Budapest Business School,
pages 11-26

Today the question is not whether to integrate technology in education but how to do it to serve a pedagogical purpose and to suit students' needs at the same time. In order to achieve this, it is essential that teachers understand the purpose and accept the importance of applying technology in teaching. This study aims to explore these two aspects in one particular context. It focuses on the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE), which is a web-based platform for organisation of teaching and learning, at a higher education institute in Budapest. The aim is to investigate language teachers' use of the VLE at Budapest Business School (BBS), called CooSpace, and their disposition towards CooSpace and e-learning in general. In order to reach this aim, two instruments were designed: a questionnaire and an interview schedule. The second aim of this project was to pilot these instruments. The participants of the questionnaire study were 44 language teachers at BBS and two pilot interviews were carried out with two volunteering teachers. The results indicate that less than 50% of the teachers use CooSpace with very few functions. The fact that the most frequent function is uploading documents shows that the VLE is regarded as a mere administrative and not as a pedagogical tool. The application of a new technology without sufficient methodological training cannot change traditional ways of teaching.

Attila NAGY:
Young Adults' Life Cycle Change and Identity Seeking in Hungary,
pages 27-36

This study about Hungarian young adults aims to present their living conditions, life cycle change (from adolescence to adulthood) in the context of socio-history. The interest in young adulthood in Hungary in the international literature has just started to evolve that is obviously arising from the specific matrix of the youth era, the socialist political system changes and their aftermath (e.g. expansion of education, employment opportunities). The study aims to gather the research results in Hungary, that help introduce and understand the situation of young people in Central and Eastern Europe. It seems that Hungarian sociology is at the forefront of sociological research of the youth that meets European trends but the interpretation of results (psychological, pedagogical) has not been finished yet.

Attila HORVÁTH H.:
Conscience in Fragments,
pages 37-52

What does conscience mean to the present-day individual whose life is fragmented, in what form does it manifest itself to him/her and how does he/she interpret it? The study - based on Zygmunt Bauman's typology - draws the typological features of the Tourist, the Player, the Vagabond and the Stroller showing the chaos and incoherence of today, as well as the fact that the present-day individual cannot be described by a single metaphor. These four types do not cover the whole personality but we deal with them because they used to be on the periphery of society and they have got into the main stream today. None of the types can rely on identity-building strategies; they rather strive for avoiding stability. The study analyzes how these types appear in Babel directed by Inarritu, and proves that although conscience can be neglected for a certain period of time, none of the types manages to eliminate it for good, however the fragmentation of conscience has already begun.

Vasile MARCU & Adela BRADEA:
European Dimensions of Education in the Romanian Educational System,
pages 53-58

We are living in a society in constant evolution and change, therefore, the purpose of the educational system must be in continuous concordance with them. Only that way we can shape the individual that our society needs. The article aims to capture the relationship between the new curriculum and the new goals of the national education policies in the spirit of European citizenship. The research emphasizes the materialization of the necessary changes in the Romanian education system: the formation of competences with large transfer possibilities, adapting the curriculum to the knowledge society, to change, to post modernity, improving efficiency of emotional learning to achieve an increased EQ, for the social and emotional education of the European citizen, moving from the academic culture of theoretical type to functional culture, from monoculture to intercultural and multicultural approach, from theoretical education to pragmatism, to emphasizing the applied character of learning, from the instructive/informative character to the formative one.

Katalin KISSNÉ GOMBOS:
Suggestive Communication in Education, Suggestive Impact of the School Environment,
pages 59-66

The effects of suggestive communication can be observed in everyday life. The best example of it is the suggestive effect of commercials. This kind of communication has been used in advertisements for a long time conveying a message which determines the attitude of the customers. It is well known that the media and the world of fashion suggest a definite message: the skinny build is the desirable one. If we think of anorexia or bulimia, it can be claimed that these negative suggestions can cause health problems. The positive and negative suggestive effects are present at school as well as in other fields. I am convinced that to raise attention to those suggestive effects which affect children is of great importance in order to strengthen the effect of education. There are some characters among teachers who make a great impact on our lives. Everything what they say catches our attention and it can be memorised and recited years later. These teachers are called suggestive personalities. The aim of my research is to produce an outline of the suggestive personality, the suggestive teacher. The concept is highlighted with the help of different methods and my intention is to give an account of the results reached so far.

Micheál Ó DÚILL:
Towards Turing Teaching: Technicity to Transition,
pages 67-86

The words we use, when carefully considered, give insight into our thinking. The phrase "information and communication technology" (ICT), now elided to "technology", which encompasses pen and paper as well as its intended referent the [stored program digital] computer, on thoughtful examination is de-void of meaning: it is deeply vacuous. The cause is our ignorance of how the human, our species, is able to create technology. Given the power of the new medium, this is no longer acceptable. The Technicity Thesis seeks to fill this gap in our knowledge of ourselves, and provides an explanation of Platonic ideals. An evolutionary perspective, informed by a small extension to our concept of information to include 'quality' in analogy with grade of energy, suggests a fundamental transition for which evidence, once perceived, is abundant. The neurological substrate proposed is prefrontal access to phyletic information in primary sensory cortex. Technicity makes possible the delineation of three modes of learning open to the human. The first includes transmission of what is in mind by speech and learning by observation. Second is our ability to store knowledge externally to the brain by meaningful marks. The third came with the stored program digital computer - the conceptual Turing Machine - which adds external processing of information. Comparison of possible teaching method in each mode suggests that the Turing Medium is in tune with our mind. It can remedy confusions inherent in traditional primary school method and offers young children a neurologically healthier environment. Turing Teaching entails transition, thus it is impossible to research it within our existing schemas: engineering methodology is required. Political will, preferably at a European level, to provide a high quality, systematic introduction to working with computers in primary school, followed by a staged transition in literacy and numeracy teaching method, would greatly benefit children.

Csilla SZABÓ:
Methods of Preventing Adolescent Drinking,
pages 87-102

It is a well-known fact that ways of health risk behaviour (smoking, drinking, and drug taking) appear or become intensive in adolescence, the reasons of which are peer influence as well as the maladaptive answer to environmental stress. Since drinking is closely connected to adolescents' leisure time activities, it hardly appears during teaching periods. This paper intends to indicate the main tendencies in adolescent drinking as well as to show some ideas aiming to prevent alcohol consumption or excessive drinking in school events. However, drinking alcohol at school events (during class excursions or school balls) is turned out to be a huge problem in all types of school. The difference in alcohol consumption in school events is significant between different school types. The fact and the extent of alcohol consumption in school events are known by teachers as well. That is why teachers intend to prevent at least excessive drinking. During the interviews, there were several similarities between teachers and students' opinions. Among primary prevention methods both groups think that a good teacher-student relationship, a compromise made in-advance, the permission of minimal quantity of alcohol (especially on controlled conditions), and peer support are effective. However, both teachers and students consider that radical banning is ineffective. As far as social level intervention programs are concerned, they agree on the effectiveness of authority control in public places. However, both teachers and students listed quite few secondary prevention methods.

Noémi VERŐNÉ JÁMBOR:
Pedagogical Relations of the Prevention of Prostitution and Human Trafficking,
pages 103-112

Prostitution and human trafficking - unfortunately - is an actual problem among youngsters. Prevention is specifically important among those who are endangered of becoming victims of prostitution and human trafficking. The aim of the research which was made in 2009 is to count the possibilities and tools with pedagogy is able to fight with efficiency to prevent prostitution and human trafficking. In this study the results of semi-structured deep-interviews are exposited which were made during the research. In these interviews I examined the effects of socialization, family and socio-cultural background, health-oriented behaviour, value-orientation, education, friends and contemporaries arise, which, in different grade and way, but surely influence the chance of entry into prostitution and human trafficking.

Éva FEKETÉNÉ SZAKOS:
Possible Ways of Innovation in Vocational Teacher Training in Hungary,
pages 113-120

The best way during an ecological crisis towards solution is innovation. That is the only way not only for Europe, but for the Hungarian vocational education and training (VET) too. Since 2000 many European Union documents have emerged regarding Lifelong and Lifewide Learning, which have been forcing vocational training schools, teachers, trainers and VET teacher education and training at universities to act in new ways. Is it possible to learn and teach the innovation? What are the ways of innovation for vocational schools and VET teacher education and training? Opening vocational schools towards adult education and preparing pre-service VET teachers for facilitating innovative learning both of the staff at their future workplace in educational (school) context and of their adult students, can cause a breakthrough in vocational education and training. The essay will focus on the innovation of vocational teacher training as a specific field in the frame of initial and continuous professional development. Proposals for that innovation and research findings underpinning them will be discussed in this paper.


Previous Issues

Volume 1 Number 1 2006
Volume 1 Number 2 2006
Volume 2 Number 1-2 2007
Volume 2 Number 3-4 2007
Volume 3 Number 1 2008
Volume 3 Number 2 2008
Volume 3 Number 3-4 2008
Volume 4 Number 1 2009
Volume 4 Number 2 2009
Volume 4 Number 3-4 2009
Volume 5 Number 1 2010
Volume 5 Number 2 2010
Volume 5 Number 3 2010
Volume 5 Number 4 2010
Volume 6 Number 1 2011
Volume 6 Number 2 2011
Volume 6 Number 3 2011