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"Here and there one seed sprouts, and then it seems we have done something" : nurturing creativity in elementary schools
Saša Poljak Istenič, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The Lisbon Strategy and other documents of the European Union advocating for a knowledge-based society have provided the ground for restructuring schools and changing pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning, focusing on creativity and entrepreneurship. One of the approaches increasingly popular in Slovenia has been Edward de Bono's methodology. The article analyses the benefits, controversies, and potentials of de Bono's "lateral thinking" methods for increasing creativity when introduced to children in elementary school courses and extracurricular activities. Based on the qualitative study, it explores how this "pragmatic" approach to creativity is realised in Slovenian elementary schools, and reflects on teaching creativity in schools as a systemic approach.
Keywords: creativity, Edward de Bono, elementary school, metaphors, creative ability, elementary education, creative teaching, lateral thinking, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 20.02.2024; Views: 28; Downloads: 4
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Challenges that need to be addressed before starting new emergency remote teaching at HEIs and proposed solutions
Simona Šinko, Joan Navarro, Xavier Solé-Beteta, Agustín Zaballos, Brigita Gajšek, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) aims to swiftly adapt conventional face-to-face educational methods to alternative (typically virtual) formats during crises. The recent COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the vulnerability of traditional educational systems, revealing limitations in their ability to effectively withstand such unprecedented events, thereby exposing shortcomings in the adopted ERT strategies. The goal of this study is to discuss the establishment of resilient, sustainable, and healthy educational systems in non-crisis times, which will enable teachers and students to make a smoother and less stressful transition to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) when necessary. A comprehensive hybrid approach, combining quantitative (interviews) and qualitative (online survey) methods has obtained data from 276 professors in 29 countries. These data have been used to identify a range of challenges related to ERT and their perceived level of difficulty. The methodological and social challenges (overshadowed by technical issues at the beginning of the crisis) identified in this research—such as the lack of personal contact or poor feedback from students—have been found to be the most demanding. From the collected insights regarding the perceived level of difficulty associated with the identified challenges, the present study aims to contribute to making higher education systems more robust in non-crisis times.
Keywords: emergency remote teaching, technical challenges, methodological challenges, social challenges, education, students’ engagement
Published in DKUM: 19.02.2024; Views: 25; Downloads: 0
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Assessment of environmental sustainability integration into higher education for future experts and leaders
Matevž Obrecht, Zane Feodorova, Maja Rosi, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The environmental and climate crisis is gaining priority among critical human concerns; therefore, environmental knowledge and sustainable solutions play a significant role and gaining global popularity as an academic discipline. Additionally, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 4 acknowledges education's role in promoting sustainable development, sustainable lifestyles, human rights, social responsibility, circular economy, and greening our economy and society. In this paper new conceptual framework that focuses on systematically analyzing environmental sustainability integration in study programs and subjects is developed. The main aim is to reflect the conceptual basis of education related to environmental sustainability topics such as sustainable development, social responsibility, circular economy, ecology, environmental protection, and greening to boost future environmental management practices in industry and services. Defining the level of integration of environmental and sustainability-related topics is divided by research field classification and study cycles (BSc, MSc, PhD). The specific added value of the developed conceptual framework is reflected by defining cross-sections and inter-and trans-disciplinary of sustainability topics integrated within specific programs and subjects. The conceptual framework was tested by assessing 1051 programs in progress in Slovenia. It was revealed that the highest share of study programs has an intermediate level of environmental sustainability with 2–3 subjects (392 study programs). These are represented mainly by integrating environmental protection, ecology, and “greening” but less with circular economy and social responsibility. Significant differences among specific study programs and study fields reflect that young intellectuals will not be equally educated and qualified for future managerial challenges. Master students gain the best insight into core sustainability and environmental topics needed for future environmental managers.
Keywords: higher education institution, environmental sustainability, educating environmental expert, managing knowledge supply, environmental competence
Published in DKUM: 19.02.2024; Views: 27; Downloads: 1
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Environmental attitudes among youth : how much do the educational characteristics of parents and young people matter?
Andrej Kirbiš, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Research shows that education increases environmental attitudes, yet there is a lack of studies examining young people’s attitudes and the role of various educational characteristics in youth’s environmental engagement. The main aim of our study was to examine how several educational characteristics of young people and their parents impact youth’s environmental attitudes. We employed a survey sample of 14–34-year-olds (N = 1508; Mage = 19.25 years) collected in January 2020. The impact of five educational variables was tested: maternal and paternal educational level; students’ educational stage (primary, secondary and tertiary school students); educational track of secondary students (vocational, professional and general); and youth’s educational status (currently in education vs. not in education). We controlled for several demographic and economic confounding factors in multivariate analyses. These indicate significant between-track differences in environmental attitudes among secondary school students, while educational status and educational stage have no significant impact on environmental attitudes. In addition, the father’s (but not the mother’s) education increases Slovenian youngsters’ environmental attitudes. As findings indicate significant differences between educational tracks of secondary students independent of their parental education and other personal and family characteristics, educators may want to revise vocational and professional secondary school syllabuses to include an increased number of environmental, climate change and sustainability topics.
Keywords: environmental attitudes, educational characteristics, school track, parental education, young people
Published in DKUM: 16.02.2024; Views: 62; Downloads: 3
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The idea that digital remote learning can happen anytime, anywhere in forced online teacher education is a myth
Andrej Šorgo, Mateja Ploj Virtič, Kosta Dolenc, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: An involuntary international experiment in which the entire student population was switched to digital remote learning due to the measures to stop COVID-19 put the paradigm of "anytime, anywhere learning" to the test. Online survey responses were obtained from 281 preservice primary and subject teachers. Using Structural Equation Modelling, connections were examined by inspection of path coefcients between constructs quality of personal digital technology, satisfaction, health, well-being, motivation, and physical activity. Problems with the quality of personal digital technology had a moderate infuence on all constructs except motivation. Satisfaction infuenced all constructs, well-being, and health the most. When comparing responses of the bottom and top third students based on the quality of personal digital technology, it was found that students who did not have the appropriate technology and workspace were less satisfed and sufered more. This is refected in an increased incidence of problems related to health, well-being, and physical activity, along with a decrease in motivation. At least for the technologically deprived, the paradigm of "anytime, anywhere learning" is a myth. The study highlights the need for educational institutions to provide adequate technology and workspaces for all students in order to support their well-being and motivation during remote learning.
Keywords: digital technology, health, online education, satisfaction, well-being
Published in DKUM: 15.02.2024; Views: 39; Downloads: 0
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What is worth retaining from the COVID-19 experience on remote online education in the prospective teacher education?
Mateja Ploj Virtič, Kosta Dolenc, Andrej Šorgo, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the educational landscape, including the training of prospective teachers. This study explores prospective teachers' experiences of transitioning to online distance education (ODE) and their intentions regarding the preferred teaching scenarios they wish to use in their future in-service practice. In the sample of 281 prospective teachers, we found interesting results: (a) smartphones offer very limited opportunities for active participation in ODE; (b) connectivity is the weakest point in ODE; (c) personal digital infrastructure and study conditions influence intention to choose teaching scenarios in ODE, when in the role of teacher, while group size does not. We can safely assume that online distance education will survive in some educational pockets but due to numerous limitations, it will not become a dominant current in teacher education.
Keywords: teachers education, COVID-19 experience, online distance education
Published in DKUM: 13.02.2024; Views: 56; Downloads: 3
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Plants are not boring, school botany is
Nataša Kletečki, Dario Hruševar, Božena Mitić, Andrej Šorgo, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The quality of botanical education depends on the quality and interests of the teacher. The aim of our paper was to conduct an initial study on the attitudes of primary and secondary school teachers about plants and botany. We initiated a study in which 211 biology and 168 teachers of different subjects, from primary to secondary schools in Croatia, participated on a voluntary basis. Statistical analysis was processed using jamovi 2.3 software. Teachers of all profiles (biology and others) had similar attitudes: high opinion about the importance of plants for life and education but not about school botany; botany was in the middle of their scale for potential exclusion from education. The last part of the survey referred only to biology teachers and their interests and suggestions for increasing the attractiveness of botany as a subject. The results showed that botany was the least popular, and within it, teachers were most interested in ecology and horticulture. They suggested that botany would be more interesting with active teaching methods and references to everyday contexts; however, it remains unclear why that is so, as the level of autonomy they are given does enable them to introduce such changes.
Keywords: botanical education, Croatia, plant awareness, plant blindness, primary and secondary school teachers
Published in DKUM: 06.02.2024; Views: 84; Downloads: 3
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Assertiveness scale as a teamwork aptitude predictor
Lada Marinković, Violeta Zubanov, Jasna Potočnik Topler, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Assertiveness has been gaining attention in the research studies in vocational and higher education and in managerial processes. The aim of this study was to examine a relationship between the level of assertiveness and willingness to work in a team, and research to what extent the level of assertiveness can predict the attitudes towards teamwork. The Scale of Assertiveness and a Scale of Attitudes towards Teamwork were applied to the sample of 284 respondents. The results suggest that individuals with higher scores on the Scale of Assertiveness have more positive attitudes towards teamwork, and what is significant is that the research confirmed that individual behaviour in a team structured environment can be improved through personal assertiveness development.
Keywords: higher education, assertiveness, communication, teamwork, assertiveness scale, business
Published in DKUM: 31.01.2024; Views: 79; Downloads: 3
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Erasmus+ mobility : empirical insights into Erasmus+ tourists' behaviour
Miha Lesjak, Emil Juvan, Eva Podovšovnik, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Erasmus+ students represent a large sub-segment of educational tourists, making this segment an attractive market for universities as well as destination marketing organisations. Unfortunately, very little is known about Erasmus+ students' travel behaviour; hence the present study aims at extending empirically supported knowledge about travel behaviour of students during their Erasmus+ mobility. Data was collected via an online survey among all Erasmus+ enrolling students in the academic year 2016/17 in Slovenia. The results show that 93% of the participants travelled during theirmobility. The level of studies aswell as gender affect students' travel behaviour, making the two characteristics immediately useful attributes when targeting Erasmus+ travellers. Based on perceived destination attributes, male students predominantly seek cities with attractive nightlife but female students look for easily accessible cities, which are safe and offer attractive cultural sites. These findings suggest that tourism providers, destination tourism organisations and universities should work hand in hand when designing personalised tourism experiences and their promotion among Erasmus+ students. This is crucial during the phase of planning Erasmus+ mobility, when students choose their destination and host university, as well as during students' Erasmus+ mobility, because Erasmus + students travel during their student mobility.
Keywords: Erasmus+ mobility, education, international students, destination attributes, tourist behaviour
Published in DKUM: 26.01.2024; Views: 67; Downloads: 5
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Human resources in industrial tourism
Barbara Pavlakovič, Eva Jereb, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Industrial tourism, as a specific type of tourism, emerged over a century ago but was not studied widely until recently. However, most of the current research is focused either on heritage industrial tourism or on several aspects, such as visitor characteristics, relation to the local economy, and similar. This paper attempts to highlight the human resources aspect of industrial tourism in different organisations.Our primary research methods were observation with participation (joining factory tours) and semi-structured interviews with company representatives.We define various existing categories of industrial tourism human resourcesmodels of organisations that carry out industrial tourism, the necessary competences for the workplace, and the methods of educating industrial tourism employees. Based on the gathered results, we propose some guidelines for companies to follow in forming their products of industrial tourism.
Keywords: HR, competence, education, industrial tourism, HR model
Published in DKUM: 26.01.2024; Views: 58; Downloads: 7
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