Expanding Engagement

University of Malta (Valletta Campus)

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Ilona Elefteryja Lasica, Research Associate, Department of Preschool Education Sciences and Educational Design, University of the Aegean, Dodekanisos, Greece

Social Emotional Learning Online: Lessons Learned from COVID

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Michael Valdez Raffanti  

In this qualitative study, I interview ten classroom teachers in PK-12 schools about their experiences in guiding social emotional learning (SEL) with their students in a remote learning format using technology. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) “SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel, and show empathy for others, establish, and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions” (CASEL, 2021, para 1).The teachers in this study had experience with incorporating SEL in their physical classrooms prior to the COVID pandemic but were charged with continuing such instruction in an online fashion during COVID lockdowns or quarantine situations. What lessons can be learned from their experiences in facilitating SEL at a distance that might help the field better understand how students learn and integrate SEL principles whether online or in person? How might these lessons prepare educators for teaching SEL in online education environments in the future (e.g., with homeschooled children)? What sorts of technology should be used in best practices for teaching SEL? The study presents a thematic analysis the interviews and provides implications for practice. Theoretically, the study is guided Geesa, Robbins, and Shively’s (2022) “o-SEL” model for training educators to facilitate (SEL) in PK-12 online environments.

Students with Special Educational Needs: A Case at the University View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Ana Mercedes Vernia Carrasco  

The objective of this work is to reflect through the theoretical framework, on the access to the University for the formation in degree in teacher of primary education. The University Access Tests, in Spain, evaluate a series of skills and competences in writing, which leave aside the sample of another set of skills and tools, that this type of tests cannot evaluate. In the last years, a very much diversified student body arrives in the classrooms of the Universities. Now a days, talking about special education means attending to the changes that are being experienced in this area. At present, the educational model focuses on the reinforcement by the educational institutions, so that they form the students according to their personal characteristics and that it is not the students that must adapt to the system. A bibliographic review plus some years of experience in training for the future teacher, allows us to make an initial assessment about the lack of rigor in the tests of access to the university. As a conclusion, we can say that, although we are not a specialist in the type of Special Educational Needs that can manifest the students, therefore, we understand that, the teacher today needs training and support to develop their teaching with the best quality possible. These teacher and student needs also imply more institutional support.

Essential Elements for Truly Personalized Learning in World Language Classrooms

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Hisae Matsui  

This paper discusses crucial elements to realize truly personalized learning in world language classrooms. To incorporate personalized learning in an intermediate Japanese language course, a new curriculum has been developed, centered on flipped learning, with the use of a web-based application tailored to the needs of each student. A variety of options have been added to the out-of-class activities to meet the needs of individual students. For example, in addition to reading explanations, English and Japanese video options are included to introduce grammar, and the web application-based listening practice includes a "mastery mode" that allows students to repeat the practice at their own pace until mastery is achieved. Analysis of the usage data showed that students learned in a variety of ways; however, the interviews with the students revealed that simply offering choices may not always be sufficient. In some cases, particularly among the lower-performing students, students were not choosing the options they needed most. There were also cases where there was a discrepancy between their performance in class and online practice and test scores. Therefore, to create a truly personalized curriculum, it seems necessary not only to provide students with options but also to present a clear learning path for each individual student. Furthermore, it is desirable to provide students with a comprehensive learning path based both on objective data, such as online practice and test scores, as well as factors that only teachers can provide, such as how students are performing in the classroom.

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