Volume 21, Issue 3

Information and Communication Technology Integration in the Nigerian Education System:  Policy Considerations and Strategies

By Emmanuel C. Ibara

The paper examines the Nigerian information technology policy and contends that the policy appears not to have sufficiently emphasized the integration of ICT in the nation’s education system. It argues that the policy ignores critical elements of quality ICT application in education such as the need for integration into curricular and pedagogical structures, the need for quality professional development programs for teachers and the development of local content software. The paper advocates holistic policy considerations and strategies that reflect these critical elements.

The Interface among Educational Outcomes and School Environment

By C. Kenneth Tanner

Linking measurements of the physical environment’s physiognomies to human behavior and productivity is a rather new task in the fields of education, and social and natural sciences. In education; for example, how can a schoolhouse and its surroundings be measured such that valid and reliable comparisons can be made among student outcomes? For example, how do school environments influence student behavior and other outcomes? How do we quantify specific features of the physical environment of the school? Obviously, we already accept the quantification of student testing and other measurable outcomes based on our continual dependence on standardized tests for making decisions. The article approaches this issue through rules of consistent measurement and mapping practices. Three common measurement scales, nominal, ordinal, and interval scales are compared. The nominal scale is shown to be of unequivocally no value in making quantitative comparisons, beyond classifying and categorizing assigned values. The ordinal and interval scales may be considered as vectors having magnitude and direction, while the nominal scale does not fit into correlations, regression, and prediction equations because the nominal classification cannot show direction or specify magnitude. Examples of the use of ordinal and interval scales are presented with respect to comparisons of student outcomes and measured environmental variables having magnitude and direction.

Lasting Effects of Classroom Space:  A Study of Teacher Behavior

By Edward Duncanson

Research has shown that rooms with greater amounts of open floor space have higher test results. Four recent trends that have negatively impacted open space in classrooms: (1) storage of CCSS materials in the classroom, (2) storage of science kits in the classroom, (3) inability to remove unwanted material, and (4) inability to remove unneeded furniture from the classroom. Teachers have reacted to the loss of classroom space: (1) desks are rearranged frequently to create specific spaces needed for an activity; (2) daily planning considers the use of space; (3) hallways and the library are used to increase student space; (4) the amount of materials readily available for student use have been reduced. (5) tall book cases have replaced horizontal models; (6) the size of interest/exploration centers had decreased. Administrators need to create a system to dispose of unwanted materials. The center for school improvement resides in the classroom.

Collabortative Planning and Teacher Efficacy of High School Mathematics Co-teachers

By Raquel C. Rimpola

Current educational policies such as NCLB and IDEA have led to the adoption of inclusive classrooms in schools. This presents challenges to teachers because they are held accountable for the learning  experiences of both general and special education students. The situation is especially challenging in high school mathematics inclusion classes where the special education co-teachers may not necessarily possess the content expertise to teach advanced levels of mathematics. Collaboration between co-teachers is necessary in order to successfully plan effective lessons that address the needs of all students. A quantitative research design was used, with follow up interviews for further explanation of the findings. This study provides information about the teacher efficacy of high school mathematics co-teachers when various collaborative planning times were considered. Implications for future studies and school practice were presented, while considering the efficacy of co-teachers in inclusive contexts.

An Excursion in the Labyrinth of School Change:  Lessons Learned – A book review of Smith, L (2008).  Schools That Change.  Evidence-Based Improvement and Effective Change Leadership

By Riva Bartell and Mary Bartell