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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

8:10:00 AM

Esteem needs and students' academic achievements


Self esteem of individuals is how they feel or perceive about themselves and how people think about them are included in the fourth level of hierarchy of human needs. Students in learning places desired to achieve competence, gain approval and gain recognition from others (Huitt, 2004). In the research regarding the effect of cooperative learning on students’ self esteem, Khan (2008) fount that cooperative learning enhanced the reading and writing skills necessary for the achievements of the students at elementary level. Findings revealed that the relevance of cooperative learning in enhancing self esteem was based on the assumption that students in cooperative learning performed the roles that were essential to the completion of group work. The students possessed the information and resources which were crucial for their teams thus interactions among the team members promoted their psychosocial adjustment as the individual effort of every student was encouraged and supported in order to achieve the group success.
High or low self-esteem of students is also an outcome of socio-economic status of parents as Mustapha and Mustapha (1997) in their research found significant differences among the students regarding self-esteem and the factors affecting academic achievement. Students of two types of schools were compared and a significant difference was found in the family environment and academic achievement. The results indicated that different socialization processes, parental care and encouragement, experiences and opportunities for smooth nurture differently develop students’ attitudes and levels of motivation to enhance academic achievement. A significant difference was found in the levels of self esteem of students with respect to their parents’ educational and occupational status which indicated that highly educated parents with productive occupational status provide facilities and opportunities to their children for a smooth physical and academic growth which foster academic achievement of students in a classroom climate. Sletta, Valas, Skaalvik and Sobstad (1996) found in their research study that the students who are lonely in schools have lower self-esteem and receive fewer choices in a socio-metric tool; for example, choosing a friend in the class ahd have more negative perceptions of their social behaviors than the students who are not lonely. The study confirmed that one-sided experience of loneliness strongly affects self-esteem and perceptions of social competence. Midgett, Ryan, Adams and Smith (2002) in a study found that school efforts to enhance self-esteem maximize academic achievements of the students effectively when parents’ support and children’s motivation and general cognitive skills are taken into consideration. Students’ achievements are raised by ensuring esteem needs which include approval, recognition and respect from parents, teachers and colleagues.

References

Huitt, W. (2001). Humanism and open education. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdost,
GA: Voldasta State University. Retrieved May 12, 2009, from http://chiron.voldasta.edu/whuitt/col/affsys/humed.html

Midget, J., Ryan, B. A., Adams, G. R., & Smith, J. C. (2002). Complicating achievement and self-
esteem: Considering the joint effects of child characteristics and parent-child interactions. Contemporary educational psychology, 27, 132-143.

Mustapha, N., & Mustapha, N. A. (1997). Socio-economic status, self-esteem and common entrance exam results. Educational practice and theory, 19(2), 73-83.

Slatta, O., Valas, H., Skaalvik, E., & Sobstad, F. (1996). Peer relations, loneliness, and self- 
perceptions in school aged children. British journal of educational psychology, 66, 431-445.


Monday, July 9, 2018

10:37:00 AM

Social relationship and belonging needs


After physiological and safety needs which are known as fundamental needs, the individuals tend to satisfy their psychological needs in the higher level of the hierarchy of human needs. Social relationship and esteem needs come under psychological needs to be satisfied which include affiliation with others, to be accepted and association with a group of (Wortman, Loftus and Weaver, 1999). During group work in learning activities, the students’ interactions with the members for the success of the group in the learning tasks maximize their academic achievements through collaboration and contribution for their prior learning in new learning as a group. Peer relations, loneliness and self-perceptions link significantly with academic achievement of students and determine the behaviors of the students. Slatta, Valas, Skaalvik and
Sobstand (1996) found in their study that the degree of peer is acceptance of the students is determined by teachers’ assessment. It was confirmed in the study that social competencies of students were found to be negatively predicted by loneliness and positively predicted by peer acceptance which indicates that the students who were accepted in the group to work on learning task performed well in activities than those who were alone. Teachers were suggested to deal with students’ loneliness as well as with their achievements in relevant academic subjects. In the study disruptive and aggressive behaviours were also found as the result of low peer acceptance. The value that students have for developing a positive relationship with their peers and teachers affect the achievement of students. The students develop schemas and beliefs about their relationships with the students the teachers which address the problems of non-verbal communication skills through the extensive interactions and a developed understanding with the teachers. The findings of research conducted by Davies (2001) revealed that the value prevailing among the students to build relationships with their colleagues and with the teacher is associated with the perception of a secure and supporting interaction in the classrooms. Students who have poor skills can be motivated to take advantages of verbal cues and other gestures which help in developing social skills. The study examined a social and dynamic nature of interrelations between motivation, interpersonal skills and achievement which were assessed by focusing the values which the students had for relationships with their teachers. The sense of belonging to the school develops a positive attitude among the students towards the recognition of school in locality which needs its effectiveness through academic achievement. The students are more likely to have a sense of belonging with the school when they experience a culture that emphasizes the personal improvement, mutual respect and support. According to Woolfolk (2007), students have a sense of belonging when they know their teachers care about them academically and personally as learners and as people. This sense is developed when the teachers make classroom teaching and learning interesting, fairly and honestly deal with all the students, trust and respect them. Students can be motivated during learning activities through engaging them in social groups to work and in small group tasks to accomplish their academic tasks thus their achievements can be maximized.

References 
Davies, H. A. (2001). The quality and impact of relationships between elementary school
students and teachers. Contemporary educational psychology, 26, 431-453.

Slatta, O., Valas, H., Skaalvik, E., & Sobstad, F. (1996). Peer relations, loneliness, and self-  
perceptions in school aged children. British journal of educational psychology, 66, 431-445.
Woolfolk, A. (2007). Educational psychology (10th ed.). Boston: Pearson
Wortman, C. B., Loftus, E. F., & Weaver, C. (1999). Psychology (5th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

9:15:00 AM

Safety needs for motivation

No fear more confidence. 

When physiological needs of students are met, a second layer of needs arise to be addressed which according to Boree (2006), involves safe circumstances, stability, rule to be followed for safety from physical and psychological threats and a need for structure, order and some limits. For example, the norms and goals set in the school and security to ensure safety which develops a sense of feeling safe from psychological and physical threats among the students contribute in their academic achievement. In the research on a safe and democratic environment Kesici (2008) reported that the teachers need to adopt a democratic value of equality in the classroom, address students’ needs such as providing a peaceful learning environment, listening to the students to solve their issues, establish classroom rules which will help the students to enhance their academic achievements. The findings revealed that teachers build democratic classrooms by providing shared decision making equality and effective communication establish students centered education, treat students fairly and allow them to express their ideas freely. It was recommended that teachers provide an environment where students can perform freely express their feelings and ideas without restricting the range of others’ freedom. Security measures taken in the security from violence secure the members of a security which develop the courage among the students to provide community services and conduct academic surveys and projects that enhance their understanding of the environment. Findings of research studies conducted by Lefton (1997) focused on efficiency of accomplishing learning tasks and safety and the consequences that help to motivate students to follow regulations, crowding, limited rules and cleared guidelines to keep the environment safe. Parents, school’s administration and teachers develop preventive decisions to ensure safety which motivate students to be engaged in learning tasks to improve their performance.

References

Kesici, S. (2008). Teachers’ opinions about building a democratic classroom. Journal of
instructional psychology, 35(2). Retrieved December 09, 2009, from

Lepton, L. A. (1997). Psychology (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

4:51:00 AM

Physiological needs: Maslow' s hierarchy

Maslow as a highly influential person within the school of humanistic psychology categorized the human needs in different levels in the form of a hierarchy which should be fulfilled for stimulating, directing and sustaining the behavior of the individuals. The basic level to be attained in the hierarchy contains the physiological needs (Maslow, as cited in Coon, 2000). Every individual has a need to stay alive which requires the environment to fulfill the basic necessities of life to grow physically. For example food is an essential commodity which is a source of energy for human body to function properly and clean water is an important element which reduces stomach problems thus improves the health conditions of individuals. Chapman (2004) included survival needs such as food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex and sleep in the category of physiological needs for motivation which if are satisfied, then the student concentrate on their academic achievements in classroom. A lack of balance diet, clean water, shelter and sleep which Alderfer (as cited in Boree, 2006) called survival needs increase the chances for the students to suffer from various diseases, due to which they unable to concentrate on academic activities or tasks. In an evaluative study on impacts of a school nutrition programme under the direction of world food programme Cueto and Chinen (2007) found that dropout rates in the schools was significantly reduced. Two groups of students were compared in different school; one treatment group in which students benefited by the school programme and another group, in which students did not take nutrition in the programme was named contrast group. Results showed that the nutrition programme helped to reduce the dropout rates among the poorest and lowest performing students in the treatment group thatn the similar type of students in the contrast group. An analysis regarding reading and memory test scores of the students in multiple grade schools showed positive impact of the food programme on their academic achievements. High achievement of the students in the treatment group in performing learning activities was due to the time spent in accomplishing academic tasks after receiving the food which was a longer period of time I the treatment group than the time spent by the students in the contrast group. Evaluation of the programme revealed that it significantly impacted the situation in educational institutions particularly in rural areas but it needed to monitor the implementation of food programme.
In a research regarding the relationships of students’ sleep and their grades-point average Kelly, Kelly and Clanton (2001) found that the students who had a routine of nine hours sleep out of twenty four hours reported higher GPAs than those who sleep six hours a day. The results supported the overall higher functioning of long sleepers as compared to short sleepers and the lower GPAs of the short sleepers pointed to a decreased ability to concentrate on education related activities. Wade and Tavris (1996) argued that a student cannot worry about the achievements when she/he is feeling hungry, cold and have no access to medicine when sick. Students’ physiological needs such as food, sleep, water, shelter and warmth must be fulfilled to maximize their potentialities of academic achievements.

References 


Boree, C. G. (2006). Abraham Maslow. Personality Theories. Shippensburg University. Retrieved May              13,2009 from http://www.webspace.ship.ed/cgboer/maslow.html

Ceuto, S., & Chinen, M. (2007). Educational impact of a school breakfast programme in rural Peru.
International journal of educational development. 28, 132-148.

Chapman, A. (2004). Abraham Maslow’ s hierarchy of needs motivational model. Businessballs.     
           England.Retrieved May 20, 2009, from http://www.businessballs.com/maslow.html

Coon, D. (2000). Essentials of psychology: Exploration and application (8th ed.). Australia: 
            Wardsworth.

Kelly, W. E., Kelly, K. E., & Clanton, R. C. (2001). The relationship between sleep length and grade-
            point average among college students – statistical data included. College student journal.                      Find Articles. Com. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from  
           
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCR/is_1_35/ai_74221510/

Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (1996). Psychology (4th ed.). New York: HarperCollins

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

10:22:00 AM

Students' academic achievements and techniques for motivation


The efforts exerted to improve the quality of teaching and learning by curriculum developers, educators, supervisors, professional development teachers, principals, teachers and parents aim to increase the levels of academic achievements among the learners in a classroom. Learning, growing academically and working increasingly and purposefully in schools are seen as the standard pattern of behavior of the learners. Academic achievement as defined by Tubin, Likritz and Chen (2004) is the performance of students in a classroom which includes acquiring knowledge and its construction through applying it in new learning, reading comprehension, mathematical skills, mapping and graphing. These achievements can be measured by using valid and reliable tools such as academic written tests, interview and observation with a scale. Iram and Maslovaty (1998) in their research study categorized achievements in knowledge and skills where the former involves facts, concepts, principles and theories learned from various sources of knowledge such as inquiry, observation, sharing ideas with others, problem solving and doing experiments. Skills involve reading, writing, oral communication, problems solving, applying previous learning in new learning, synthesizing different ideas into a comprehensive themes and evaluating a situation, event or a programme. The students need an effective teaching through a set of principles that have the order, coherence and relevance to maximize their achievements in classrooms. The achievements of the academic goals help the students to be consistent with the expectation of the teachers and parents.
The level of academic achievement among the students can be enhanced when appropriate teaching and learning strategies are applied in classrooms where the students to show the desirable behaviors. For example, encouraging words such as excellent, very good and very nice used by teachers to reinforce students’ good behaviors. The motivated students in a classroom show desirable behaviors again and again, which brings changes among the students to ensure their high academic achievements. The findings of the research conducted by Hancock (2002) revealed that the students’ who were verbally appreciated by the teachers on their good behaviors during teaching were motivated to demonstrate significantly higher achievement levels in a teacher-made test than those students who were not verbally appreciated. This indicates that the students need an encouragement for their positive performance in the academic activities which help them to enhance their academic achievement levels. Palomino (2003) states that the students who are motivated to accomplish learning tasks gain competencies and the high levels of achievements. The results of research conducted by Niebuhr and Niebuhr (1999) showed that the quality of a classroom environment which involves such conditions where students are allowed to perform activities according to their own styles of learning provides opportunities to increase the academic achievements. A classroom is said to be a supportive place for learning when the students are provided with learning experiences which support and encourage the students to develop their skills and construct knowledge.   The results of a research conducted by Halawah (2006) showed that the school climate and family environment as the factors for motivation that strongly affected students’ academic achievement. Chung (1998) demonstrated that the students learn from the academic tasks when the assigned tasks match the learners’ self-developed structures of getting motivation. Comparison of the research results, it can be inferred that the supporting conditions in schools include encouragement of the students, their positive relationships with teachers and peers, interesting experiences for students’ learning and addressing different learning styles of students. The family environment includes providing guidance, enhancing self-esteem, developing personality and fulfilling psychological, socialization and academic needs are the factors affecting academic achievements involving the motivation. Four types of approaches to motivation namely behavioral, humanistic, cognitive and socio-cultural approaches have been widely discussed in the literature to motivate the students to ensure their optimum level of academic achievements. According to Coon (2000), the perspectives of humanistic psychologists such as Rogers and Maslow, the humanistic approach to motivation involves a set of human needs to be fulfilled namely physiological, safety, belonging, esteem and aesthetic needs and fulfillment of these needs serve as the causes of maximizing students’ achievements in a classroom.

References

Chung, S. K. (2009). Autobiographical portraits of four females adolescents: Implications for
teaching critical visual culture. International Journal of Education and Arts, 10(11). Retrieved May 13, 2009 from http://www.ijea.org/v10n11/.

Coon, D. (2000). Essentials of psychology: Exploration and application (8th ed.). Australia:
wardsworth.

Halawa, I. (2006). The effects motivation, family environment, and students’ academic
achievements. Journal of educational psychology. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCG/is_2_33/ai_n16608929/pg_5/?tag= content;coll

Hancock, D. R. (2002). Influencing graduate students’ classroom achievement, homework habits
and motivation to learn with verbal praise. Educational Research. 44(1). 83-95.

Iram, Y., & Maslovaty, N. (1998). Students’ characteristics and achievements. In. J. Zaida (Ed.),

Learning and teaching (pp. 101-118). Australia: James Nicholas publishers.


Niebuhr, K. E., & Niebuhr, R. E. (1999). An empirical study of student relationships and
academic achievement. Education, 199. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=LB1QbhZdYNCs6555990?docId=5001285058

Palomino, J. (2003). Teaching to change the world. In. J. Oakes & M. Lipton (Eds.) Contemporary
learning theories: Problem solving, understanding and participation, (pp. 69-103). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Tubin, D., Likritz, R., & Chen, D. (2004). Educational achievement of graduates of an
experimental elementary school. Educational research. 46(2), 151-162.



Sunday, May 27, 2018

9:34:00 AM

Reconstructionism and curriculum


Beliefs  
             Everything in the world is relatively change and that human beings process the world in order to understand and change it.
             Education is the means of preparing people for creating this new social order.
             Systems must be changed to overcome oppression and improve human conditions.
Aim of Education
             To provide knowledge, skills and training as means to the end of social self-realization to experience a satisfying life.
Content  
             Reconstructionists educators focus on content that highlights social reform.
             Social, economic and political resources currently available are considered to better the humanity.
             Content focuses on student experience and taking social action on real problems, such as violence, hunger, inflation, and inequality
Method of teaching
             Indoctrinating children is avoided. it means make the people self-realized.
             Strategies for dealing with controversial issues (particularly in social studies and literature), inquiry, dialogue, and multiple perspectives are the focused.
Role of teacher
             Role of the teacher is to break the precedence if necessary
Role of the learner
             Teaching and learning is a process of inquiry in which the child must invent and reinvent the world


Saturday, May 19, 2018

9:02:00 AM

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) Analysis


I availed an opportunity to conduct an analysis namely SWOT analysis of a textbook of physics prescribed by the Sindh Textbook Board for the students of secondary schools. The following sections of this paper include strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have been shared after the analysis of the textbook.
Strengths
The textbook has been developed by the authors based on an important rational. The rational contains introduction of a unified course for the students at secondary school, according to new syllabus and maintaining the fluency of language of content in physics. These two segments of rational are basic to produce harmony among learners of subject of physics in terms of knowledge, skills and values. The impact of this will be selection of suitable profession in future based on measurement of performance and aptitudes of the students using the same means of measurement for all students.
In the prescribed textbook, issues in daily life which can create problems in the society have been addressed by providing knowledge to eradicate the misconceptions among the individuals. For example, in our society different measurement tools are used to measure length in different regions. Some use foot, others use meter and in some areas yards are used to measure lengths. By providing knowledge about international system of units, this issue has been addressed.
Details of scope and sequence and linkages among the concepts in content of this textbook have provided. This way a teacher can plan the content and select the resources to effectively teach the subject matter to students. The learners are guided by the book to easily understand the subject matter through a sequence of simple to complex.
The simple to complex approach is consistent throughout the book, thus it caters to individual differences among the students. The exercises have been given such a way that low learners, average learner and fast learners all can benefit from the materials given in the textbook.
The knowledge, skills, concepts and principles related to various professions have been provided so that the students after learning the content can visualize their future careers in their interested professions. In addition to this the approach which is subject matter approach is consistent throughout the textbook which can help teachers track the students in one approach properly. 
Weaknesses
The authors of the prescribed textbook have not provided the objectives for each chapter. This thing makes the teacher consume his/her time formulating own objectives for each chapter. Different teachers in different classroom will formulate the objectives according to their perception which does not ensure the uniformity among various classroom students as it is opposite to the rational of the textbook.
The prescribed textbook of physics involves gender stereotyping. Although the authors have tried to avoid stereotyping but male dominancy is found throughout the textbook. For example mostly the pictures have been given of males.
The authors of textbook have not provided specific details of instructional time period to complete the content. Time management has not been considered by the authors of this textbook.
The details of strategies and materials for formal assessment have not been provided in this textbook. Due to which assessment system in classrooms will not be unified to intended students.
Opportunities
There are opportunities for researchers to investigate the contributions made by the subject of physics in the increasing the quality of life in society. In addition, the researchers can replicate the experiments done on the subject matter of this textbook.
The teachers have the opportunities to formulate their own objectives according their own context and available resources and they also have the opportunities to select assessment strategies on their own.
The learners have the opportunities in the prescribed book to develop their skills, knowledge, and values relating the subject matter with their daily life. They also have opportunities of play and recreation applying the principles of different concepts in physics in their day to day activities.
Authors and publishers have the opportunity to develop and publish another book of physics at secondary level by reducing the weaknesses of this textbook.
At last but not at least society has the opportunity of increased number of productive, skilled, knowledgeable individuals and problem solvers to be produced.
Threats
Details of specific time have not been given for completion of the content in the textbook. If the teachers try to complete the course looking at the session of secondary school certificate, then there are threats for students to create misconceptions about various concepts in the textbook. If the teacher focuses students understanding and pace of learning, there is another threat of incompletion of the content which the learners will miss at this level.
 In Pakistani context most of the teachers are not trained in methodologies of teaching. The content in this textbook to be taught needs trained teacher. Therefore, if the teacher is not trained in lecture-demonstration method, inductive-deductive method, laboratory method and so on, which are appropriate for this textbook, there may be threats for the students to insufficiently grasp the content.
The teachers are required to formulate the objectives on their own for each chapter, there may be threats that the validity of content will be affected. Formal assessment procedures and materials are not given in the textbook. If the teacher selects wrong assessment procedure and materials, there will be the threats to reliability of the content of this textbook.