Complete Edition


  Do cartoons trigger an influence on children s altruism?
Claudiu Lulciuc, Mihaela Minulescu, Laurențiu Maricuțoiu

The present study evaluated children s prosocial behavior (M = 7.39, SD = 0.93) (i.e., specific altruism) under the influence of three types of cartoons (neutral, prosocial, or antisocial). Subjects (N = 140) were randomized and exposed to treatment with pre- and post-intervention measurements. The results didn t confirm the hypothesis that children who will watch prosocial cartoons will have increased altruism proving a higher volume of donations. The second hypothesis regarding the inhibitory effect of antisocial cartoons on altruism by decreasing the volume of donations was not confirmed either. No significant gender effects were recorded. No significant general age effect was found either, however, we found that donations tend to increase with age, a statistically significant effect being recorded for children age 8 years old compared to those of 6 years old. The implications of the statistical data are discussed together with the possibility of registering a "moral licensing" effect.

Keywords: cartoon, children, prosocial behavior, altruism, media

  The organizational culture of innovative schools:The role of the Principal
Juan Carlos Riveras-León, Marina Tomàs-Folch

Social and technological changes demand constant updating, this implies that schools must be prepared to face these changes. As a result, they need to have the capacity to innovate as part of their organizational culture. Although it is true, that not all schools are examples of innovative organizations, it is possible to identify some that have a more innovative organizational culture than others. In the generation of that capacity, the principal’s leadership plays an essential role, they are ones called to face the challenge of developing competences and skills to lead the change. Existing research confirms the importance of the school’s leadership in the development of educational centers, OECD reports already ratified this, stating how vital it is to have good principals to lead schools (2009). In this study, schools have been chosen that have certain characteristics that are considered stand out for the Chilean educational system. By applying a questionnaire, the innovative potential of the centers being studied and their organizational culture to favor this are analyzed, the latter from the point of view of the principal’s actions. The results allow confirming the innovative potential the studied centers have, the most substantial practices of the principal’s actions that favor innovation are identified, as well as the key role the principal’s leadership plays within these centers. At the same time, questions arise that limit the development of certain innovative actions, such as, the search and pressure for results originated essentially from standardized testing, like SIMCE, which is applied in Chile.

Keywords: Leadership for innovation; Innovative schools; Organizational culture

  The Specificity of Professional Learning Communities in Romania
Anca Luștrea, Mariana Crașovan

Romanian educational system is in a constant search for reform, due to one of the highest rates of students` underachievement in basic skills and lack of qualified teachers among EU member states. It is well established that professional learning communities (PLCs) can be a solution for both problems, aiming to enhance students` results by teacher collaboration in learning and professional development. This study aims to determine the specificity of Romanian PLCs in relation with some contextual factors - school size, school environment (urban or rural), type of school (general or special school), professional development procedures at school level, and the individual factors that can impact the PLC, represented by teachers` personality structure. To answer the research question, reflecting on what contextual and individual factors determine the specificity of PLCs, two online questionnaires and a demographic survey were distributed to teachers across Romania. First, the School Professional Staff as Learning Community Questionnaire (SPSLCQ) was validated on the 253 participants, the original five-factor structure of SPSLCQ adequately fit the sample and proved to be a reliable instrument in the Romanian population. The results showed the Romanian PLCs` do not significantly differ from other countries: the most representative PLC dimension is shared vision, the organizational factor which explains best the PLC is the existence of strong at-school-level professional development procedures. School size best describes the differences between PLCs, but they do not differ in terms of school environment and school type. The personality factor that correlates the most with PLC is conscientiousness, but the correlation is non-significant. These results suggest that for functionally stronger PLCs, the school should implement professional development procedures at school level, based on collaboration and mutual learning in small groups of teachers.

Keywords:professional learning communities, teaching, professional development, SPSLCQ

  Self-concept, interpersonal processes, exploratory and health risk behaviors in adolescents – a study regarding student engagement with school
Mugur Ciumăgeanu, Raluca Sfetcu, Florina Suditu

Adolescence is by definition an “age of risk”, irrelevant if you substantiate such a claim experientially or empirically. Mid-adolescence is the period where the processes of both neural and socio-emotional maturation are linked with an increase in both exploratory and health-risk behaviors. The present study, using a cross-sectional approach, investigates aspects of intra and interpersonal processes in relationship to risk behaviors and risk perceptions, and tries to link these constructs to student engagement. The study-sample consisted of 107 9th to 12th graders from three Romanian counties. The measures used were self-reports, appraising intrapersonal configurations (Beck Self-Concept Test), interpersonal problems (Inventory of Interpersonal Problems), and social and school adjustment (Social Adjustment Scale – Self Report). Risk behaviors and perception were measured with the Adolescent Exploratory and Risk Behavior Rating Scale (AERRS). The main research finding was that student engagement with school is in direct relationship with a better self-concept, more exploratory risk behaviors and a more adequate social adjustment. A puzzling result, explained probably better by the dual-process theory of behavior, is the relationship of risk perception to self-concept and interpersonal problems (id est – a greater risk perception is correlated with a more fragile self-concept and more interpersonal problems).

Keywords:adolescence; risk behaviors; self-concept; student engagement with school; interpersonal functioning.

  Challenges experienced by teachers regarding access to digital instruments, resources, and competences in adapting the educational process to physical distancing measures at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania
Leyla Safta-Zecheria; Sebastian-Aurelian Ștefănigă; Ioana-Alexandra Negru; Francisca-Hortensia Virag

Emergency remote teaching replaced face-to-face education almost everywhere in the world at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Romania switched to online teaching in March 2020 as a recommendation that became an obligation to teach online in late April 2020. Teachers saw themselves confronted with the need to adapt to a completely new infrastructure for teaching and learning in the digital sphere. Building on qualitative data (interviews and focus groups), collected as part of a participatory action research project aiming to support school teachers in adapting to online education, we explore the question: How did teachers understand and respond to the challenges brought about by using digital instruments and resources in the educational process? Our findings show that teachers faced challenges in accessing technological and digital infrastructures, as well as in ensuring that pupils had access to online teaching and learning activities. Moreover, teachers were faced with the need to rapidly develop the digital competences necessary for online teaching. This prompted exchanges between teachers, pupils and parents, as well as the setting up of support structures within and outside school structures.

Keywords:digital competences, emergency remote education, access to education, digital resources, educational technologies

  An analysis of curricular innovation in higher education: challenges and a possible solution
Iulia Gonta, Cristina Tripon

Curricular innovation in university education allows teachers to make use of a wide range of changes. What do teachers mean by “curricular innovation”, how do they apply it and what are the factors that mobilize or block them in this process? These issues were analyzed based on the answers given by university teachers. Hence, we found that, although, at a theoretical level, teachers clearly formulate the needs of curricular development, at a practical/applied level, the action of curricular innovation is associated with uncertain objectives. A balance regarding variety/freedom of change in education would stimulate a more efficient innovation process (because excessive variety causes uncertainty and hinders action). Following the analysis of the teachers answers, we found that they would be helped by the promotion of (only) successful innovative models, in which the possible application variants (and the results obtained depending on the local specifics, domain specifics, etc.) are specified. We believe that in this way, teachers will take be more active with respect to curricular innovation.

Keywords:curriculum, innovation, higher education, local specifics, teaching practices.

  Dicţionar explicativ poliglot de termeni din domeniul educaţiei: (română, engleză, germană, franceză). Book review
Mariana Cernicova-Buca