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In our current investigation, we used a robust variant of the full information maximum likelihood FIML estimator implemented in Mplus 7 [ 90 ].

Shifting Pedagogical Paradigms

This requires modelling the raw data but has the advantage that missing data can be handled model-immanent [ 91 ]. Moreover, it corrects standard errors for possible indicator non-normality [ 92 ]. Hence, values over.

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In addition to our hypotheses, all data analysis steps were pre-registered in detail prior to data collection at the Open Science Framework [ 83 ]. All items were coded so that high scores correspond to the naming of the scale e. Absolute and multiplistic epistemic beliefs were measured with an instrument developed by Peter et al.

This instrument allows for measuring epistemological beliefs on a domain-specific level, which is why students were asked to give their answers with the domain of educational science in mind. Note: Residual and latent covariances are not shown. The level of development of domain-specific epistemic beliefs was further measured using an adapted version of the FREE [ 64 ].

For each controversy, participants were presented with three statements 6-point Likert scale, no inverse formulated items that corresponded to the three levels of development of epistemic beliefs by Kuhn et al. Supplementary, connotative aspects of domain-specific epistemic beliefs were assessed with an instrument from Stahl et al. The instrument was designed as a semantic differential with seven-point bipolar continuums. A multiple-indicators multiple-causes MIMIC model showed that our treatment worked in the intended way, as source-specific activities could be predicted by the source type with large effect sizes see S2 Appendix.

Since an MCFA with independent item clusters resulted in unsatisfactory fit indices for the SRMR at the between level, we fit a model in which the random intercepts were only covaried. The measure further revealed good reliability estimates. As mentioned in the methods section, our data were hierarchically clustered because participants were to rate their perceived value of GPK for practice for four topics. Therefore, every single data point on the perceived value of GPK for practice could be assigned to a specific topic and these topic-specific responses also could be assigned to a specific person.

Therefore, an MCFA model see the instruments section was used as the starting point of our investigation of Hypothesis 1. In M1, we constrained item loadings at the within-person level as well as item loadings and intercepts at the between-person level. Strong or strict measurement invariance between the experimental groups was not established [ ]. Since this is the opposite of what we expected, Hypothesis 1 is not supported. Predictive effects of epistemic beliefs were modelled separately for both levels.

At the within-level, we modelled a predictive effect of topic-specific multiplism on topic-specific perceived value of GPK for practice. To make sure that the random intercepts of perceived value of GPK for practice were still interpretable as person-specific means, topic-specific multiplism was centred around its group mean. As shown in Table 3 , topic-specific multiplism predicted the within-component of perceived value of GPK for practice significantly and with moderate effect size, whereby the regression coefficients of the d-index were in the expected directions, but missed statistical significance.

Within-person variables were standardized around their group means, between-person variables around their grand means. In model 4 M4 , we exchanged the d-index as a predictor of perceived value of GPK for practice by the absolutism and multiplism dimensions of the epistemic beliefs inventory from Peter et al. On the within-person level, topic-specific multiplism remained a significant predictor of perceived value of GPK for practice.

In contrast, multiplism showed no significant effects. Finally, we were interested in potential confounders of the previously found predictive effects of epistemic beliefs on the perceived value of GPK for practice. Therefore, we extended M3 and M4 with predictive effects of perceived topic-specific consistency and familiarity with the topic at the within-level, as well as expertise, integrity and benevolence the three dimensions of epistemic trustworthiness at the between level. Adding predictive effects of perceived topic-specific consistency and topic familiarity to M3 within-person level resulted in a still significant but much smaller predictive effect of topic-specific multiplism on the perceived value of GPK for practice; a significant effect of moderate size of perceived topic-specific consistency on perceived value of GPK for practice; and a significant but very small effect for topic familiarity M5; see Fig 2.

At the between-person level, the expertise dimension of the epistemic trustworthiness predicted the perceived value of GPK for practice significantly and with moderate effect size. Finally, since assessing topic familiarity with a single item has some methodological shortcomings e. This model M5a , which was not preregistered, had nearly identical parameters and fit indices see Table 3.

Adding these same potential confounders to M4 resulted in absolutism remaining a significant predictor of perceived value of GPK for practice, whereas its effect size decreased see Fig 3. The effects of the confounders were comparable to those in M5 see above. Again, we repeated this analysis without familiarity with the topic for the same reasons outlined above. This study had the overarching goal to investigate the role of epistemic beliefs and beliefs about knowledge sources of pre-service teachers for their perceived value of GPK for practice.

Therefore, we deduced and preregistered a series of hypotheses as well as a data analysis procedure prior to data collection [ 83 ]. Our results partially confirm these hypotheses. Contrary to our expectations, pre-service teachers reported a clearly higher practical value of GPK when it allegedly originated from scientific sources. Hypothesis 1 was thus rejected as we expected lower perceptions of the practical value of GPK that allegedly originated from such sources. However, Hypotheses 2 and 3 were largely confirmed. In fact, topic-specific multiplism and domain-specific absolutism were significant but confounded predictors of the perceived value of GPK; however, this was not the case for domain-specific multiplism and the domain-specific development of epistemic beliefs d-index.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss potential reasons for these inconsistencies and the limitations of our study. Also, we will emphasize the relevance of our results for teacher education.

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The texts containing these elements were varied in a way that the findings were allegedly generated by a practitioner, an expert, or by means of a scientific study see Table 2. Our treatment check showed that this manipulation was successful. Contrary to our assumption, scientific studies were perceived to have higher practical value compared to a practitioner or expert statement. Therefore, the assumption that pre-service teachers devalue scientific studies as such might not hold up in the light of our empirical evidence. When interpreting this unexpected result, one has to take into account that our hypotheses were derived from studies investigating the practical relevance of scientific GPK on a more general, domain-specific level, and thus did not contrast the practical relevance of scientific and experiential sources at the topic level in the way that we did [ 9 , 38 , 39 ].

Another interpretation of our findings is that lower perceptions of practical value of GPK in pre-service teachers [ 4 — 6 ] simply do not depend on the source of that knowledge i. With its elaborate experimental design, the present study adds to the literature by suggesting that source beliefs might not be responsible for the devaluation and denigration of GPK. A second inconsistency in our findings concerns Hypothesis 2. We expected predictive effects of epistemic beliefs on the perceived practical value of GPK, which were partially confirmed and partially rejected.

In the following, we highlight and interpret two particular aspects. Second, simultaneously modelling epistemic beliefs on a topic level and on a more general domain-specific level which is, by the way, fully in line with the suggestions of the TIDE framework [ 71 ] gave further insight into their impact on the perceived value of GPK. In fact, multiplism assessed at the topic level was more strongly predictive than domain-specific multiplistic beliefs. In contrast, perceived practical value of GPK and topic-specific multiplism refer to exactly the same topic.

These results suggest that it might indeed be worth investigating epistemic beliefs at different levels with possibly stronger predictions of outcomes on the same level of specificity [ 70 ]. Finally, we investigated predictors of the perceived practical value of GPK that involved perceptions about the topic or beliefs about the trustworthiness of sources Hypothesis 3. Two findings are of particular interest.

First, the relationships between topic-specific multiplism and the perceived practical value of GPK seem to be confounded with other predictors, such as topic-specific consistency and the perception of expertise related to the source of knowledge. Therefore, the data support our assumption that relationships between topic-specific multiplism and the perceived practical value of GPK depends on whether the presented knowledge is in line with pre-existing concepts about GPK.

Second, the effects of domain-specific absolute beliefs on the perceived practical value of knowledge originating from practitioners and scientific studies diminish slightly when controlling for the confounding variables. Students with absolute views on domain specific knowledge perceive statements from a practitioner as especially valued for practice when they assume them to hold high expertise. For these students, the perceived value of pedagogical knowledge originating from scientific studies is at least partly related to the ascribed expertise of the researchers, or to how much the statement is in line with their own views on the topic.

Unfortunately, this approach led to one central limitation: despite investing a lot of effort into selecting and generating representative text materials, we cannot decontextualize our findings from the topics we investigated.

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In other words, generalizing from four specific topics onto GPK as such, might be problematic. Another contextual factor that we brought into our study was the nature of our texts. For example, we might have had different results if we had used texts that addressed more controversial topics.

Nevertheless, our approach had the strength of avoiding the ambiguity of more general items since it allowed to use topic-specific measures. Furthermore, the possibly of problematic topic selection can be easily investigated through replication studies using other topics. This would be especially interesting when varying the target population, which was another limitation of our study, since we primarily assessed pre-service teachers in their first year of study.

This item is in fact problematic since its validity has not yet been established and since it is not possible to assess its reliability. Furthermore, concerning future research, scientists should strive to investigate the psychological processes that are behind our findings on Hypothesis 1. Why do pre-service teachers devaluate GPK [ 36 , 37 ], if not for the fact that such knowledge issues from scientific studies as was shown in our study?


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One possible explanation is that pre-service teachers simply perceive the topics that are dealt with in GPK courses as less valuable for practice, at least when compared to topics in other courses. In the present study design, we only varied the information source but kept constant all four topics. Future research might try to keep the information source constant but vary the topics over different experimental conditions e. Finally, concerning Hypothesis 2, future research should strive to identify mediating factors, especially with regard to our finding that topic-specific multiplism negatively impacts the perceived practical value of GPK.

For example, multiplism has shown to entail a more superficial processing of text contents [ 81 , , ]. This, in turn might lead to students not reflecting on the practical implications of GPK. As stated above, knowledge contents e. Therefore, teacher educators should focus on presenting scientific content in a way that its practical implications become obvious. For example, one might have students apply a certain educational theory to certain typical classroom situations, or discuss this theory together with intervention studies derived from it [ , ].

As far as Hypotheses 2 and 3 are concerned, teacher educators should have a look at the highly significant effects of topic-specific multiplism and topic-specific consistency to deduce implications for teacher education practice. They also might have to be cautious when dealing with absolute epistemic beliefs, since such students tend to ascribe less value to scientific studies.

For all three aspects, the literature provides a multitude of intervention approaches. For example, for psychology students, Rosman et al. Similarly, Muis et al. As several studies demonstrate, this development might be enhanced through carefully constructed learning activities that enable pre-service teachers to examine and reflect on prior beliefs, and share and justify them to peers, connect them to ideas presented in class e. In summary, our results suggest that source beliefs might not be responsible for the devaluation of GPK. In contrast, beliefs on the nature and structure of GPK i.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. PLoS One. Published online Sep Etsuro Ito, Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Received Nov 4; Accepted Sep 4. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This article has been corrected. See PLoS One. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. The original german intervention texts. S2 Appendix: Documentation of analysis.

Abstract Pre-service teachers tend to devalue general pedagogical knowledge GPK as a valid source for deriving successful teaching practices. Introduction General pedagogical knowledge GPK is a cornerstone in teacher education policy and practice [ 1 — 3 ]. Perceived practical value of GPK Teacher education programs worldwide aim at fostering profession-specific knowledge, which is deemed crucial for teaching quality [ 10 — 12 ].

Different levels of specificity of epistemic beliefs Epistemic beliefs can be conceptualized on different levels.

Confounding effects of epistemic trustworthiness, perceived topic-specific consistency and familiarity with the topic When investigating relationships between epistemic beliefs and the perceived practical value of GPK, controlling for factors that might influence both variables simultaneously is crucial.

The current study The overarching goal of the present article is to analyse both source beliefs and epistemic beliefs as predictors of the perceived practical value of GPK. Materials and methods Context The current study was conducted at various universities offering teacher education programs in Germany.

Design The main part of the questionnaire contained questions pertaining to four short texts, each dealing with a different educational research topic four-level within-person factor, see Table 1. Table 1 Split-plot-design of the study. Open in a separate window. Table 2 Excerpts from the intervention text. When I write about bullying, I mean intentional and repeated negative behaviour of one or more students against another student. Our working definition of bullying pertains to Olweus , who described it as intentional and repeated negative behaviour of one or more students against another student.

Ethics statement All participants were contacted during lectures, and were informed that participation was voluntary and could be stopped at any time; that the study would take about 40 minutes; and that the data would be stored anonymously. Materials Multiple steps were taken to design texts that were of high ecological validity and whose content was invariant across information sources.

Fig 1. Connotative aspects of epistemic beliefs CAEB Supplementary, connotative aspects of domain-specific epistemic beliefs were assessed with an instrument from Stahl et al. Results Predictive effects of source hypothesis 1 As mentioned in the methods section, our data were hierarchically clustered because participants were to rate their perceived value of GPK for practice for four topics. Predictive effects of epistemic beliefs hypothesis 2 Predictive effects of topic-specific multiplism within-level and the FREE between-level M3 Predictive effects of epistemic beliefs were modelled separately for both levels.

Table 3 Standardized predictive effects on perceived value of GPK for practice. Predictive effects of topic-specific multiplism within-level and the EBI-AM between-level M4 In model 4 M4 , we exchanged the d-index as a predictor of perceived value of GPK for practice by the absolutism and multiplism dimensions of the epistemic beliefs inventory from Peter et al. Confounders of predictive effects of epistemic beliefs hypothesis 3 Finally, we were interested in potential confounders of the previously found predictive effects of epistemic beliefs on the perceived value of GPK for practice.

Confounders of predictive effects of topic-specific multiplism within-level and the FREE d-index; between-level M5, M5a Adding predictive effects of perceived topic-specific consistency and topic familiarity to M3 within-person level resulted in a still significant but much smaller predictive effect of topic-specific multiplism on the perceived value of GPK for practice; a significant effect of moderate size of perceived topic-specific consistency on perceived value of GPK for practice; and a significant but very small effect for topic familiarity M5; see Fig 2.

Fig 2. Confounders of predictive effects of topic-specific multiplism within-level and the EBI-AM between-level M6 Adding these same potential confounders to M4 resulted in absolutism remaining a significant predictor of perceived value of GPK for practice, whereas its effect size decreased see Fig 3. Fig 3. Discussion This study had the overarching goal to investigate the role of epistemic beliefs and beliefs about knowledge sources of pre-service teachers for their perceived value of GPK for practice.

Supporting information S1 Appendix Intervention texts. TXT Click here for additional data file. S2 Appendix Documentation of analysis. HTML Click here for additional data file. References 1. General pedagogical knowledge of future middle school teachers: on the complex ecology of teacher education in the United States, Germany, and Taiwan. J Teach Educ. J Educ Psychol. American Psychological Association; ; — Teacher professional knowledge and classroom management: on the relation of general pedagogical knowledge GPK and classroom management expertise CME.

Teach Teach Educ. Pendry A, Husbands C. Research and practice in history teacher education. Camb J Educ. Eur J Teach Educ. Korthagen F a. The gap between research and practice revisited. Educ Res Eval. Knight R. Routledge; ; 41 :1— Beliefs about sources of knowledge predict motivation for learning in teacher education. Preparing teachers for a changing world: what teachers should learn and be able to do.

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From the Back Cover Under the weight of a combination of forces, many of the older paradigms of learning are being questioned in our time. To get the free app, enter mobile phone number. Data from the projects testifying to these claims include the following:. The pedagogies engage students in real-life learning, offer opportunity for real practice, provide safe structures for taking risks, and encourage personal reflection and action [ 40 ], p.

Values pedagogy …requires students to scrutinise questions that are difficult to resolve or answer, and focus on listening, thinking, challenging and changing viewpoints within a guided and safe environment [ 40 ], p. The structured discussion and agreed values that govern the engagement provide safety and support for students as well as an expectation that correction and revision are part of the debating process.

It attempts to produce better thinkers and more caring members of society, who accept differences and, at the same time, submit conflicts to reasonable scrutiny [ 40 ], p. The justification of such findings against Habermasian theory was summarized in the following way:. In a word, it is the one who knows not only empirically analytically and historically hermeneutically, but self-reflectively who is capable of the just and empowering relationships implied in the notion of communicative action.

In a sense, one finally comes truly to know when one knows oneself, and authentic knowing of self can only come through action for others, the practical action for change and betterment implied by praxis. Habermas provides the conceptual foundation for a values education that transforms educational practice, its actors in students and teachers, and the role of the school towards holistic social agency, the school that is not merely a disjoined receptacle for isolated academic activity, but one whose purpose is to serve and enrich the lives not only of its immediate inhabitants but of its community.

In the projects that ran as part of the program, there were what were described as predictable, less predictable and quite unpredictable results.

Values Pedagogy and Student Achievement: Contemporary Research Evidence

These were predictable in the sense that any curriculum intervention inputs a particular discourse, words, phrases, terms and concepts even in the setting up phase. One then will find that discourse coming through in the implementation and assessment phases; it would be a fundamental sign of failure if that were not the case. Hence, the inspirational document, the so-called National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools [ 41 , 43 ], contained much explicit values discourse and predictably then there was a lot of similar discourse to be found in the evaluation phase, be it coming from teachers, university researcher participants, parents or the students themselves:.

Everyone in the classroom exchange, teachers and students alike, became more conscious of trying to be respectful, trying to do their best, and trying to give others a fair go. We also found that by creating an environment where these values were constantly shaping classroom activity, student learning was improving, teachers and students were happier, and school was calmer. Moreover, there were less predictable results in the form of a plethora of discourse about improvements in student behavior and teacher and student wellbeing.

Such discourse was less predictable in the sense that behavior change and wellbeing were not explicit target outcomes for the projects. Nonetheless, this discourse was commonly to be found at the evaluation phase:. Then there was the unpredictable category of discourse around academic attention what we eventually described as academic diligence. There was no discourse whatever in the set up about academic improvement yet it began appearing very early on in the feedback process and then continued as a persistent feature of evaluation.

As they show, be it from a philosophical or neuroscientific perspective, a pedagogy that provides a caring, positive relational and safe learning environment the implicit side of the coin , along with an approach to content that challenges interpretive, critical, self-reflective and imaginative pedagogy is likely to result in, as Narvaez would put it, the kinds of emotions that make for sound reasoning. In this sense, the surprise is not such a surprise. The surprise is, rather, that we so easily forget such fundamentals. The issue of the unpredictable academic diligence being enhanced was one that required especial attention when the results were being finally evaluated and all claims were subject to their own testing and measuring in the project titled, Project to Test and Measure the Impact of Values Education on Student Effects and School Ambience [ 45 ].

The Executive Summary of this project summarizes the findings around academic diligence as an improvement factor in the following paragraph:. Full and complete details of how this project functioned methodologically can be found in Lovat and Dally [ 46 ]. The great Muslim scholar of the Middle Ages, Abu al-Ghazali had much to say about educational wisdom [ 47 , 48 ]. Amidst the wisdom are words about the imperative for good learning to be prefaced by the instilling of imagination and the eliciting of wonder.

These are the foundations of enduring learning, or what we might refer to as lifelong learning. A pedagogy focused too much on prescriptive teaching and persistent testing will retard progressive learning, while one centered on imagination and wonder can facilitate the desire to continue on the learning path. In many ways, Ghazali was an educational neuroscientist well before his time. His perspective also underlines why it is that values pedagogy contains a potential to lay the foundations for lifelong learning. Indeed, there is a literature that deals precisely with the connection between values pedagogy and lifelong learning [ 49 ], including higher learning.

As described, values pedagogy has potential to inflame the cognitive interests that impel those higher forms of learning that are essential to the kinds of critique that an informed populace requires of its citizenry, including the original and innovative thought associated with doctoral learning, as an example drawn from the parameters of higher education [ 50 , 51 ]. This underlines the importance of such a pedagogy not only for maximizing learning breadth and depth in schools but also for the kind of learning that leads to the highest forms of intellectual achievement such as are crucial to individual wholeness and to a successful, moral and harmonious citizenry.

Above all, not to provide answers to questions that had not even been asked by the learner. Yet, of course, much education at all levels does precisely what he advised not to do. This is at the heart of instrumentalist pedagogy and it explains why it can do such damage to learning potential, especially in the long term.

The effects of such are multiple, ranging from a narrowing of the kinds of critique necessary to overturn age-old prejudices that lead invariably to dysfunctional societies and a fractious world through to a surfeit of doctoral candidates in universities who are less equipped than they should be in independent learning strategies. In this sense, instrumentalist pedagogies are formulas for retarded learning, while values pedagogy has the potential to lay the foundations for progressive learning. The challenge for educational institutions at all levels is to take heed of the multiplicity of research that underpins the claims being made here.

We live in an era that is blessed with the scientific understanding of learning that Ghazali did not possess. Yet, the irony would seem to be that he might well have understood intuitively how efficacious learning should proceed, regardless of the lack of evidence. On the other hand, many modern educational regimes have the evidence before them but ignore it and establish regimes of learning that are actually hostile to efficacious learning.

The Australian NAPLAN example above is just one of any number of examples from school and higher education regimes that could be cited of negligent and damaging practice underpinned by an instrumentalist set of assumptions leading to instrumentalist pedagogies and a narrowing of the scope of learning. Especially as education becomes more of a mass industry and resources become invariably lean, the temptation to establish perfunctory goals at the lowest level of what Habermas calls empirical-analytic knowing becomes particularly coercive.

This is especially the case because the output of such knowing is the most easily measured. School and higher education regimes can therefore easily fool themselves, through the record of measurements, into thinking that good outcomes have been achieved and good learning has been facilitated, where in fact the foundations of lifelong and higher learning have been damaged and retarded.

This is a challenge indeed for the modern education setting, wherever and at whatever level.

Teachers' pedagogical content knowledge and its relation with students' understanding

Granted these challenges, research around values pedagogy presents as a viable, inexpensive way forward. It furthermore proposes a values pedagogy as an approach with potential for obverse effects, one that ensures the right environment for learning as well as the kind of intellectual stimulation required for the imagination that spurs the emotions that impel sound reasoning. In a word, instrumentalist pedagogy survives as a tool of political agendas and populist media, whereas values pedagogy rests on the firmest evidence from philosophical and neuroscientific research about how the mind works, the brain functions and how efficacious learning is therefore best effected.

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