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International Journal of Innovation in Education (4 papers in press)
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT COURSES: THE POTENTIAL OF TRANSACTIONAL DISTANCE THEORY TDT FRAMEWORK TO SUPPORT A POLICY DIFFUSION NETWORK by Ricardo Bueno, Heloisa Hollnagel, Evandro Lopes Abstract: Professional associations promote policy diffusion through best practice reports, webinars, and workshops. Therefore, Distance Education [DE] specialization courses in Public Management, offered for civil servants, could provide connections structure for the policy agents at the local, regional, state and even national levels thus having a positive impact in policy diffusion. Considering that it is an opportunity to use DE courses to foster Peer Networks and Active Political Behavior improving policy diffusion, the objective of this research was also to identify in the context of Transactional Distance Theory [TDT] which factors influence the perceived quality of the course, by the variable intention to recommend the courses employing a nomologically validated scale (Paswan & Young, 2002). The proposed use of the scale proved to be efficient in predicting success in distance education network, and unlike expected, it is not the dialogue that explains success in distance education, but rather the structure of policy frameworks, the third predictive element is student autonomy. Thus, for the first time, a study was successful in employing a previously validated scale to highlight the importance of the three dimensions of TDT in the policy diffusion context. This study contributes to identify the main aspects to support a successfully policy diffusion network based in distance education tools fostering an effective interplay between bureaucrats and policy makers. Keywords: Distance Education; Transactional Distance Theory; Success in Distance Education; Policy Diffusion Network; Public Management.
Learning throughout the Innovation Journey - A new dimension to Learning as a Search Process by Gitte Miller Balslev Abstract: This article explores learning processes of professionals in a case of innovation in education. Learning of professionals is here defined as a collective search process in contrast to a predominant understanding of innovation in the public sector where learning primarily leads to knowledge gain and can be limited to the idea-generating phase. Based on a case study of a concrete innovation process in an educational network the working hypothesis is that practice learning comes as iterative search processes through discovery and takes place throughout innovation. A key finding points to learning through search has different characteristics and dimensions, and hence has effect on organizational culture and identity. The author argues that there is an until now uncovered part of the learning process with implications for understanding learning in funded public sector projects, and hence the article contributes to a change in the way learning can be understood in educational innovation. Keywords: Innovation; Education; Practice learning; Professional Learning Communities; Educational Networks.
Creative design studios: converting vulnerability into creative intensity by Bruno Marques, Jacqueline McIntosh, Philippe Campays Abstract: Design studios play an important role in training future architects and designers, representing a key space for experimentation and creative practice in the education of architecture, landscape architecture and interior architecture students. Unlike other courses, design studios confront students with the concrete practical aspects of the design process, along with the more abstract poetic experiences of designing. This combination of practice with theory introduces students to the concept of creativity and creative design processes. While conceptually exciting, student engagement often comes with feelings of vulnerability and fear of exposure that design practice brings, preventing them from experimentation. This article explores various experiments designed to foster trust to aid in students engagement in creative practices within studios. Several assignments follow where techniques are specifically designed to encourage creativity in the context of the architectural design studio. The article further examines how architectural studio style teaching can foster a way of creating as well as researching through design and can provide a forum for both the sharing of knowledge as well as communication and collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders. Keywords: design studios; creativity; pedagogy; education; architecture; interior architecture; landscape architecture.
Analyzing Preservice Teachers Reflection Journals Using Text-mining Techniques by Ye Chen, Bei Yu, Yihan Yu Abstract: Reflection is an essential part of teacher professional development. In teacher education, journal writing has been accepted as an effective reflection practice. The reflection journals produced by student teachers offer a rich source of data for formative assessment. However, analyzing large amounts of textual reflections presents challenges. Automatic analysis of reflective writing could enable teacher educators to quickly uncover valuable patterns in reflections so that they could provide adaptive, real-time support for preservice teachers learning. This study proposed a method of text mining to discover the important themes and patterns which emerged in preservice teachers reflection journals. We also examined the potential text features through which the quality of reflection could be assessed. A total of 367 journals from 80 students were analyzed. The results showed that our text-mining method was able to accurately identify the weekly teaching focus and the themes in which preservice teachers had long-standing interest. We found that when students engaged in higher-level of reflection, their journals achieved higher topic relevance to weekly teaching focus and students tended to write longer reflections.
No significant relationship was found between students emotion expressed in writing and their reflection engagement level. Based on the results of text mining, we further developed prediction models to automate the assessing of students reflection journals.
Keywords: Text mining; topic modeling; reflection; reflection engagement; journal writing; teacher education.