Volume 6 Issue 1 (2017)

An Investigation of Incorporating Dialogical Argumentation into Peer Instruction (PI) for Pre-Service Teacher Learning of Current Electricity

pp. 7-19  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.1

Aina Jacob Kola


The study is a quasi-experimental research employing the pretest-posttest design. 52 pre-service teachers from a college of education were sampled with 26 pre-service teachers in both the control group (CG) and experimental group (EG). The instruments used to collect data were Physics Achievement Test (PAT), Peer Instruction Dialogical Argumentation Questionnaire (PIDAQ), and Adopted Physics ConcepTest (APC) for teaching the experimental group. The instruments were validated by experts in science education and physics. The reliability of the PAT, based on a pilot test conducted, shows that the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient is 0.876. The data obtained were analyzed using t-test, Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA), and descriptive statistics. Findings revealed that the incorporation of DA into PI has an impact on the students’ learning of current electricity. The study considered some implications of the findings on the teaching and learning of physics.

Keywords: dialogical argumentation, peer instruction, conceptest articulation, collaboration


Secondary School Directors’ Communication Competence on the Basis of Teacher Opinions

pp. 20-32  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.2

Aycan Cicek Saglam, Murat Aydogmus


The purpose of the current study is to determine the communication competence of school directors working in various secondary schools in the city of Usak, Turkey, in relation to variables on the basis of teachers’ opinions. The population of the study, which employs the descriptive survey model, is comprised of 820 teachers working in 18 secondary schools located in the city of Usak during the 2014-2015 school year. All the schools included in the study were visited and the questionnaire given to teachers who were willing to participate in the study. Of the distributed questionnaires, only 301 were subjected to analysis. The research data were collected by using “Communication Competence Scale for Elementary School Directors” developed by Topluer (2008). The statistical analyses of the collected data were conducted using the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) 17.0 program by means of descriptive statistics, t-test, one-way variance analysis (ANOVA) and Tukey significance test. Findings revealed that in general the teachers think that the school directors’ communication competence is high. The school directors’ communication competence for the dimensions of understanding, empathy, social comfort, and support was found to be “mostly” positive. Moreover, it was also concluded that the gender variable has no significant effect on teachers’ opinions about any of the sub-dimensions of directors’ communication competence. However, the teachers’ opinions about the sub-dimension of support were found to vary on the age variable. Older teachers are of the opinion that school directors demonstrate more supportive communication patterns. The number of teachers in a school was also found to significantly affect teachers’ opinions. In terms of the sub-dimensions of understanding empathy and social comfort, with increasing numbers of teachers, the school director’s communication competence in general is evaluated more positively. 

Keywords: communication, communication competence, teacher, school director


An Integrated Approach to Islamic Microfinance for Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh

pp. 32-44  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.3

Abdullahil Mamun, Mohammad Rahim Uddin, Mohammad Tauhidul Islam


The study critically examines the state of the Islamic Microfinance sector of Bangladesh to find its role in addressing poverty. The study constitutes linkage between Islamic Microfinance and Poverty Alleviation. It is a desk-based and library-oriented research relying on secondary data, structured on research objectives. Islamic microfinance organizations have not yet developed to the expected level in Bangladesh and thus Muslim citizens are compelled to borrow from conventional interest-based lending sources, but many underprivileged and small-scale entrepreneurs feel unable to access funding due to their religious ideology. Islamic concern for the disadvantaged makes it crucial to ensure Islamic microfinance services include their participation in the production process. Due to a lack of Islamic microfinance institutions in Bangladesh, the integration of Islamic microfinance with NGOs, NPOs (non-profit organizations), Zakah, Waqf, and capacity-building institutions to facilitate small-scale financial services to the poor can internalize them into the market mechanism and thereby work as a powerful tool for poverty eradication. This study proposes a new framework that directly addresses Islamic Microfinance and Poverty alleviation in Bangladesh. 

Keywords: Microfinance, NGOs, NPOs, Zakah, Waqf, Poverty Alleviation


Innovational Leadership in School Management

pp. 45-55  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.4

Mahmut Sagir


This study aimed at examining school administrators’ innovational leadership behaviors and the level of practicing these behaviors. The study was designed using the descriptive model since it aimed to identify school administrators’ innovative behaviors and approaches in school management. School Management Innovational Leadership Scale (SMILES) developed (2016) by the researcher was used in the study as the data collection instrument. Data was collected from 111 school administrators and 346 teachers during the 2015-2016 academic teaching year. According to the research results, school administrators’ innovational leadership behaviors are collected under three factors; "Encouraging Innovation", "Pursuing Innovation", and "Implementing Innovation".It was found that school administrators mostly show the innovational leadership behaviors expressed in the three factors and in the total scale. It was expressed in the study that compared to females; males believe that school administrators show more innovational leadership behaviors. Also, compared to participants with graduate degrees, participants with undergraduate degrees believe that school administrators show more innovational leadership behaviors. At the same time, compared to teachers, school administrators believe that they show more innovational leadership behaviors. 

Keywords: innovational leadership, school management, SMILE Scale


Factors Affecting the Growth of Women-Operated Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Ethiopia

pp. 56-66  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.5

Fesseha Mulu Gebremariam


The study employed secondary sources to identify factors that challenge the growth of the women-operated Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Ethiopia. MSEs play an important role in creating employment opportunities mainly for the urban youth and women, serve as an engine to transform economies from agricultural-led to industrial-led, and are considered the best mechanisms by which citizens accumulate capital and empower women economically. However, in developing countries like Ethiopia, female entrepreneurs are facing various challenges in their day-to-day lives just because of their gender. Financial problems, lack of managerial and entrepreneurial skills, workplace and marketing problems, inadequacy of infrastructural facilities, unpredictable supply of raw materials are among the problems they face. In order to alleviate the situation, the Government of Ethiopia should provide female entrepreneurs with access to credit, supply them with a place to work, create a market link for MSEs with raw material suppliers, medium and large firms, make capacity-building training available to improve their business management skills, and provide information on market opportunities and appropriate/improved technologies. 

Keywords: employment opportunities, growth, micro enterprises, small enterprises, transform economies, women-operated


Understanding the Underlying Factors Affecting the Perception of Pre-Service Teachers’ Teacher Identity: A New Instrument to Support Teacher Education

pp. 67-78  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.6

Necdet Aykac, Kasim Yildirim, Yahya Altinkurt, Monica Miller Marsh


The study aimed to understand the factors affecting pre-service teachers’ teacher identity. The sample of the study was comprised of 286 fourth-year preservice teachers. The draft item pool of the scale was based on the teacher education literature related to the factors affecting teacher identity administered to the preservice teachers studying at a public university in Turkey’s Mugla province. The finding of the study revealed that the scale, which was consisted of 28 items, had six factors. The scale’s six factors explained 63.50% of all the variance as well as the factor loading of the scale ranged from .50 to .88. The internal consistency scores of the scale dimensions ranged from .77 to .90. The item analysis of 27% upper and lower means calculation yielded statistically significant t values. Additionally, confirmatory factor analysis resulted good and pretty high fit indices. This showed that the scale with six factors was acceptable.

Keywords: teacher identity scale, teacher education, pre-service teachers


Factors Influencing the Degree Progress of International PhD Students from Africa: An Exploratory Study

pp. 79-94  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.7

Almoustapha Oumarou Soumana, Mohammad Rahim Uddin


In recent decades some countries of the Middle East have offered facilities to attract international students to pursue their higher education within their higher education institutions. The purpose of this study is to understand the difficulties faced by these students while conducting their studies abroad, and in doing so, to broaden the awareness of the challenges they face to complete their research. The participants of this qualitative study are international PhD students studying at a Middle Eastern public university. The university has reported increasing enrollment of international students, particularly from Africa in the last few years. Data were collected using a set of semi-structured interviews that drew out information on critical incidents that characterized the kind of difficulties students had faced in their studies. The data collected was further analyzed using a qualitative software package, NVivo (QSR International, 11). Six main themes came out from the content analysis of the interviews, which are the role of the adviser, student features, funding issues, family engagement, research and psychological obstacles which provide a holistic picture of student perspectives on the factors that influence degree progress. While these students might have faced difficulties mentioned in existing literature, this study argues that the participants have indicated experiencing psychological obstacles that were not described in earlier studies, such as the state of mind they were in as a result of being worried for family members due to war or violence in their home countries, and drop in currency exchange rates and difficulties in acquiring money due to international sanctions imposed against their countries. This study provides important thoughts on the factors that impact the degree progress of international PhD students from Africa, while at the same time revealing a serious gap in the advisers’ role which can contribute to the problems experience during the study progress of doctoral students.

Keywords: writing-up doctoral dissertation, PhD degree progress, study completion impediment, African countries, Nvivo


Environmental Literacy Dimensions of Pre-Service Teachers

pp. 95-108  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.8

Ferhat Karakaya, Sakine Serap Avgin, Mehmet Yilmaz


In this research, it is aimed to determine pre-service science teachers' environment attitude, behavior and perceptions in terms of different variables. In this research, the relational screening model method was used. The study group consists of 265 pre-service science teachers from a state university in Turkey. The research was conducted during the fall semester of 2015-2016. In this research, the Environment Attitude Scale (EAS), Environment Behavior Scale (EBS), and Environment Perceptions Scale (EPS) were used. Data were analyzed by using IBM SPSS-21 statistical program. For data analysis, Independent t-test, Mann-Whitney U-test, One-Way Variance Analysis (ANOVA), Tukey significance test and also Correlation Analysis were used. There was no statistically significant difference found in pre-service teachers’ environment attitude, behavior and perceptions in terms of gender and longest-lived place. However, there was a statistically significant difference found in pre-service teachers’ environment attitude, behavior and perceptions in terms of the variables of having an environment lesson, education department and grade level. There was a positive middle relationship between environmental literacy components and environment attitude behavior, and a positive weak relationship between environment attitude-perceptions.

Keywords: environment attitude, environment behavior, environment perceptions


Incorporating ‘‘Democratic Developmental State Ideology’’ into Ethiopia’s Ethnic Federalism – A Contradiction?

pp. 109-117  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.9

Bizuayehu Daba, Fesseha Mulu


The ruling Ethiopia’s People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has adopted a mix of two ideologies called “Democratic Developmental State” (democracy from the dominant west), and Developmental State Ideology (from the east), initially under the leadership of the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. Thus, this desk research paper aims to analyze the adoption of developmental state ideology within the existing federal structure of the state, whether or not it is contradictory to the 1995 Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Constitution, and assess its implication to the autonomy of regional states. Accordingly, the study concludes that the adoption of this ideology amounts to a change of constitution, and state structure from federal to unitary. The state governments would be under a visible shadow of the federal government where the states would serve merely as agents of the federal government, and their autonomy would be degraded significantly. 

Keywords: autonomy, democratic developmental state, federal structure, interfering, unitary


Development of Teachers’ Structural Empowerment Scale (TSES): A Validity and Reliability Study

pp. 118-132  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.10

Elif Iliman Puskulluoglu, Yahya Altinkurt


The purpose of this study is to develop a data collection tool in order to define the levels of teachers’ structural empowerment. The sample of the research consists of teachers of primary, secondary and high schools. For the construct validity, explanatory and confirmatory factor analyses are done. The five-factor structure, emerged as the result of explanatory factor analysis (EFA), is; Participatory Decision-Making Environment (DM), Accountable Environment (AE), Professional Development Supportive Environment (PD), Facilitative School Environment (FE), and Autonomy-Supportive Environment (AS). This five-factor structure accounts for 65.01% of the total variance. The scale is comprised of a five-point Likert type 30 items ranging from “1-completely disagree” to “5-completely agree”. The five-factor, 30 item structure emerged at the end of EFA, is also analyzed via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and the results show that the scale has good fit (χ2/sd= 2.93, RMSEA= .079, NFI= .96, NNFI= .97, CFI= .97, IFI= .97, RMR= .04, SRMR= .05). For the reliability of the scale, item total correlations, Cronbach’s Alpha internal consistency coefficients and item means of the upper and lower 27% groups are examined. Consequently, a psychometrically adequate, valid and reliable data collection tool is developed to assess teachers’ structural empowerment.

Keywords: structural empowerment scale, empowerment, teacher


A Study on the Historical Analysis and Interpretation Skills of Social Studies and Classroom Teachers

pp. 133-148  |  Published Online: May 2017  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2017.61.11

Cengiz Ozmen, Nurgul Kizilay


Significant changes have been made in the training of social sciences and history courses to reflect the adoption of the constructivist approach into education, curricula and classroom practices. In teaching social studies and history, instead of thinking about traditional historical teaching based on the knowledge of events, places, dates, names and targets, students who have historical thinking skills are those who question, research, and answer questions by providing evidence and evaluating documents, historical places and historical remains besides just the textbook. There is a need for teachers responsible for the education of students to have historical thinking skills. In this context, the purpose of this study is to determine the opinions of classroom and social studies teachers on the competencies of Historical Analysis and Interpretation, which is an important sub-dimension of Historical Thinking Skills. This study creates a screening model that aims to describe the method of research which exists in the past, or exists now, and tries to identify it as if it were within the conditions of the person or object that constituted the subject of the research. The “Historical Analysis and Interpretation Skill Self-Efficacy Scale” developed by the researchers was used in the study with classroom and social studies teachers working in the Adıyaman province of Turkey. Suggestions are also presented according to the results of the research.

Keywords: historical thinking, classroom teachers, social studies teachers, historical analysis and interpretation



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Call for Papers

UNIBULLETIN is calling for submissions. Authors are invited to submit papers from the all fields of the Education (General) and Social Sciences (General) in the international context. All submissions should be presented only in English.