Prior to Covid-19, studies identified a gap between the skills employers needed and the skills graduates had (IBM, 2012, 2016, WEF2016b). Still impacted by the pandemic, graduating classes of the future may not be any different. This paper shares findings from an Applied Research in Innovation and Education (ARIE) pilot project conducted between 2016-2017 at Mohawk College, Ontario Canada with 117 students enrolled in a 14week, mandatory Communications course. Specifically, the pilot project explored perceptions of leadership, employability skills and attributes in post-secondary students and how they perceived and assessed their leadership skills and developmental needs for future employment. The study also examined how learner awareness of their own and others thinking preferences when problem-solving impacted their academic behaviours and development goals. The aim was to determine the impact thinking preference awareness in learners might have on their communication, collaboration, and development of personal and professional learning targets. Using a mixed-methods, transformative-emancipatory critical approach, the research highlights the classroom as a living laboratory rich in emergent research questions and revealed additional areas of research regarding thinking preference theory and language, self-differentiated learning and inclusive, learner-focused curriculum design.
The first part of this article describes in brief the Six Steps methodology for designing educational environments—be they K-12 schools, tertiary institutions, community centers, youth movements, or the like—as set forth in my book Educational Design in Six Steps: A Strategic and Practical Scaffold (Routledge 2020). The second part of the article illustrates application of the Six Steps method in designing an educational environment the aims of which are teaching for understanding and the motivation for understanding.
The significance of illusion as a positive force in everyday life has been underestimated in both societal discourse and in empirical science. The objective of this study is to provide a synthesis of many academic disciplines’ understanding of illusion and reality by proposing a taxonomy of functional and dysfunctional subjective realities as based on the assumption that the human mind is adaptive in an evolutionary sense and likely to be a quantum entanglement system. Assumptions and discussions needed to construct the taxonomy are generally based on empirical research drawing from evolutionary theory, neurology, biology, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, physics and other disciplines. The purpose of the proposed taxonomy is heuristic, serving as a base for further studies drawing particular attention to the fact that, by evolutionary processes, Homo sapiens have been made dependent on multiple subjective realities where illusion and reality are not necessarily opposites. The article is concluded by discussing possible reasons for why illusions as a positive force in human behaviour has been neglected in comparison to the dysfunctions of the human mind of which research abound.
This paper explores a conflict a pre-service physics teacher experienced while completing a teaching practicum at a religious high school that supported creationism. As a result of the conflict, the pre-service teacher was scapegoated by the staff and students at the school. An analysis of the projective dynamics involved in this conflict are explored including scapegoating, psychic inflation, fanaticism for science, and what was constellated in the pre-service teacher’s personal, familial, and cultural unconscious. In examining the pre-service teacher’s unconscious, it will be suggested that religion is part of the pre-service teacher’s repressed shadow and the cooperating/mentor teacher’s religious projections helped to constellate this shadow element. By examining the conflicts that arise between pre-service teachers and their cooperating teachers as a result of psychodynamics and differing worldviews, educators can begin to understand how analytical psychology may be applied so that such conflicts may be depotentiated in the future.
This study investigated the outcomes of financial aid, advising support, and other enrichment opportunities provided to academically talented high school and college students who have strong financial need. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides funding to exceptionally promising young scholars from low-income families to enable them to attend and graduate from competitive universities and also complete graduate school. This research identified positive outcomes of this support for academically talented scholars who received financial support. All responding scholars attended and graduated from selective, competitive colleges, completing their undergraduate education at a much higher rate than their socioeconomic peers and the general population. Over half of the scholars also were enrolled in or completed graduate school.
Aligned with the 10 Global Principles for Professional Learning in Gifted Education (WCGTC, 2021), this exploratory study investigated the co-construction of inclusive differentiated instruction for a fourth grade gifted student with three general education teachers in a North Italy public education primary school using learning menus and learning contract strategies. The research questions examined responses of general education teachers toward (a) an identified gifted student, (b) inclusion practices in the primary classroom, and (c) co-constructed interdisciplinary curricula for a gifted student. Conducted during a six-week timeframe, the primary researcher conducted Pre- and Post-Intervention Focus Groups, established an instructional baseline, planned interdisciplinary activities in five academic subjects, suggested lesson extensions, and concluded with a Parent Interview. The primary researcher provided professional learning experiences in accordance with the Italian Ministry of Education ministerial law n. 562 (2019) that mandated inclusion of children with giftedness in the category of special education needs. Analysis of Pre- and Post-Intervention Focus Groups results indicated improved dispositions of teachers toward a gifted student in general education primary classrooms, development of inclusive classroom practices with guidance from a gifted education specialist, and documented competencies co-constructing interdisciplinary curricula integrated with 10 Global Principles for Professional Learning in Gifted Education.
This article addresses a unique program involving international collaboration between gifted students from Israel and Croatia. The COVID-19 pandemic opened an opportunity for effective synchronous communication that enabled an unmediated connection between the participants. During the program the children researched the moon from various aspects: scientific, emotional-behavioral and artistic, via theater and creative writing. There were 35 gifted students, 20 from Israel and 15 from Croatia. Five teachers of gifted students, an educational counselor, an educational psychologist and the writers of this article participated in the program and provided the students with academic accompaniment in giftedness and creativity.
The central assertion of the article is that the most important mission in the field of education today is to design a new, comprehensive educational concept for schools, without with schools are consigned to an “educational-pedagogical vacuum” that advances extraneous and alienating purposes. The analysis delineates the theoretical foundations and practical consequences of such a new concept called “Education for Meaning.” That concept addresses meaning in two senses: meaning as understanding the world and meaning as significance of and reason for living. The pattern of teaching and learning applied in the creative arts is presented as a pedagogical model upon which such an educational approach can be modeled. The article highlights the urgent educational need to initiate a dialogue that focuses on “big theories” of education in place of the prevailing educational discourse which has become superficial and crassly economy-focused.