Learning Outcomes – A Good Idea, Yet with Problems and Lost Opportunities
pp. 159-169 | Published Online: September 2019 | DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2019.83.1
Andrew G Holmes
Learning outcomes are used throughout assessment processes in higher education. In many countries their use is mandatory, with a frequent assumption that they bring many positive benefits to educational processes. Yet, there are tensions associated with them and their current mode of use has far less flexibility than they should provide. This paper considers from a conceptual basis some of the tensions associated with the use of prescribed pre-articulated learning outcomes and the question of whether learning outcomes, as currently operationalized, provide the benefits they were meant to deliver. This is of significance to educators throughout higher education.
Keywords: Learning outcomes, assessment, adult education, teaching and learning, lifelong learning, constructivist pedagogy
Chinese Language Teaching and Learning in Kenya in the Prospects of China’s Reform and Opening-up
pp. 170-184 | Published Online: September 2019 | DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2019.83.2
Methody Florian Owaki, Mercy Mweni Kathina, Christopher Khayeka-Wandabwa, Francis Maina Gichuru, and Eunice Amimo
Teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language and its culture is complex for Kenyan learners. It requires them to consider contrasting intellectual, policy and economic dimensions that instead of aiding its propagation among Kenyan learners, could even facilitate a hindrance to its progression. Potential measures that could be embraced are examined in this study based on the current context in lieu of proper guidelines or policy for foreign language learning, and in the midst of China’s reform and opening-up. The study adopts Stern’s second language learning theoretical approach, documentary and discourse analysis as complementary to a preliminary exploratory survey. Chinese and Kenyan partnering institutions in higher education and its intersections through Chinese language development and cultural exchange are well-attuned towards attaining a competitive cadre of bilingually educated Kenyans who are appreciative of the cultural diversity between the two nations. This affords Chinese and Kenyan nationals the opportunity to engage with each other in efficient bidirectional exchanges for common intellectual and economic prosperity founded on various exchange agreements. In the quest for greater Chinese language and culture propagation, increased bidirectional participation of stakeholders in curriculum-related policymaking and implementation processes are sought. The mobilization of strategic resources through exchanges between China and Kenya hold the promise to a more certain cooperative future for all. Avenues on resource mobilization with a focus on efficient human resource management, together with an opportunities linkage framework, would benefit both countries, and thereby reinforce a common intellectual and economic prosperity.
Keywords: Kenya, Chinese language, education, policy, curriculum
Exploring Parents’ and Teachers’ Perspectives about School-Based Sexuality Education in a Multicultural Context: A Case Study in Mauritius
pp. 185-195 | Published Online: September 2019 | DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2019.83.3
Wajiihah Banu Shah Emambokus and Brinda Oogarah-Pratap
The importance of school-based Sexuality Education (SE) programs is widely recognized. Effective implementation of such programs require that due consideration be given to sociocultural factors that can constitute enablers and potential barriers. Numerous research studies on these aspects have been conducted in developed countries. However, there is a lack of such studies in developing countries, especially studies involving school-aged adolescents from a multicultural context and from socioeconomically deprived areas. Therefore, this small-scale study uses a qualitative approach to research conducted in Mauritius, a developing country with a significantly multicultural population, and where SE is addressed in a fragmented manner within the school curriculum, despite changes noted in the sexual behaviors of the country’s adolescents. The aim of the study was to explore parents’ and teachers’ perspectives of sociocultural factors that can act as enabling factors or potential barriers. The study involved semi-structured interviews of two parents and two teachers selected through purposive sampling at a secondary school which has students from diverse cultural backgrounds and mostly from socioeconomically deprived areas. Analysis of the interview transcripts revealed that the enabling factors were perceived as the importance of school-based SE by parents and teachers, contribution of external organizations, and a two-way communication process with adolescents. The potential barriers were perceived as a resistance from some teachers and students, the gender of the parent, and religion. Generation gap and ICT were found to be both enablers and barriers. The findings have implications for the design and implementation of school-based SE within a multicultural context and pave the way for similar studies on a larger scale.
Keywords: School-based sexuality education, adolescents, multicultural, enablers, barriers
Game-Based Learning Practices in Austrian Elementary Schools
pp. 196-206 | Published Online: September 2019 | DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2019.83.4
Contemporary literature studies show constant changes in the world of learning and teaching, and over the years game-based learning has been considered one of the most effective ways to learn something new. The purpose of this research was to understand the teaching practices used in game-based learning, and its importance in the elementary school teaching process. The study involved 24 teachers from six elementary schools in Austria. Semi-structured interviews were used. The research extended over a two-month period, including the researcher’s observations and participation in classes. The results of this study are based on the descriptive analysis of teachers’ views. According to the study’s findings, but also from the researcher’s observations, it is understood that game-based learning in Austrian elementary schools is a common teaching practice, which establishes the context of game-based learning that is fun and productive for children. Also, the results from this study illustrate the activities that teachers apply in different subjects, and show the different capacities and skills that children develop through games. According to teachers, game-based learning presents ongoing challenges related to finding and designing diverse game activities, and adapting their learning to the needs and interests of pupils.
Keywords: Game-based learning, pupils, elementary education, teachers