Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal <p>The Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing research papers in different fields of education, including scientific.</p> University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Slovenia en-US Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 1855-9719 <p>In order to ensure both the widest dissemination and protection of material published in CEPS Journal, we ask Authors to transfer to the Publisher (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) the rights of copyright in the Articles they contribute. This enables the Publisher to ensure protection against infringement.</p> Editorial: Changing Teacher Education for Changing Schools Janez Vogrinc Blerim Saqipi Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-12-21 2023-12-21 13 4 7 13 10.26529/cepsj.1824 Practicum of Early Childhood Teacher Students in Pandemic Times: A Narrative Perspective <p>The Covid-19 pandemic affected teacher education; universities had to adapt quickly through emergency pedagogy. One problem that emerged was the relationship between schools and teacher students. The situation was more critical in early childhood teacher education than in others. The conditions forced them to adjust to the absence of children in the student teachers’ practicum. This article addresses the relational problem in a practicum in early childhood teacher education. Through a narrative inquiry with two early childhood education teacher students, we give an account of learning experiences in different educational spaces. During the analysis, two concepts emerged: ‘the classroom taste’ and ‘presence’ in teacher education. The research allows us to reflect on the essential focus of the practicum in early childhood teacher education from the perspective of these two concepts.</p> Ilich Silva-Peña Julio Hizmeri Roxana Hormazábal-Fajardo Gustavo González-García Bessie Rojas-Rodríguez Enriqueta Jara-Illanes Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-12-22 2023-12-22 13 4 15 35 10.26529/cepsj.1642 An Exploration of Teacher Leadership: Are Future Teachers Ready to Lead? <p>The teaching profession has become increasingly complex in the last decades. The changing role of teachers has called for a new paradigm of the teaching profession that recognises the potential of teachers to lead for supporting school development and change. The influence teachers have on the school community and their commitment to school change are at the core of teacher leadership definitions. Preparing future teachers to act as leaders in their schools can support the overall efforts for school improvement. Hence, the purpose of this study is to explore pre-service teacher leadership development. The study utilised a qualitative methodology to address: (i) pre-service teachers’ understanding of teacher leadership, (ii) the role of initial teacher education in shaping the understanding of teacher leadership, and (iii) the contribution of initial teacher education to pre-service teachers’ readiness for exercising leadership roles for school improvement. The study was conducted with pre-service teachers in the leading initial teacher education institution in Kosovo. A total of 42 pre-service teachers from all years of the Primary Teacher Education programme participated in four group interviews with the aim of discussing in depth the core elements of teacher leadership in order to better grasp the pre-service teachers’ understanding of this concept as well as their readiness to exercise leadership roles. A model devised by Snoek et al. (2019) was used as an analytical framework to determine the development of teacher leadership in initial teacher education. The study reveals that there is no consensus on the definition of teacher leadership. The findings show that the understanding of teacher leadership is based on a contextually drawn vision of what it means to be a teacher, resulting in a narrow view of leadership with regard to individual and classroom levels. The study concludes that initial teacher education has a critical role in contributing to shifting the conceptualisation of teacher leadership beyond the isolated views of individual and formal leadership. The findings have imperative implications for providing good models of initial teacher education that support the preparation and readiness of future teacher leaders to tackle the ever-increasing complexities of the teaching profession.</p> Jetë Aliu Fjolla Kaçaniku Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-12-22 2023-12-22 13 4 37 62 10.26529/cepsj.1634 Between Academia and School: Habitus Reflexivity as One Way of Dealing with the Theory-Practice Tension in Teacher Education <p>Teacher education’s primary goal is to train prospective teachers, which differs from study programmes, such as philosophy or mathematics, that do not cater to defined professions. This traditional understanding of the teaching profession becomes apparent when students ask: ‘How is this content, topic, method, task, or question relevant to school work?’ It is also reflected in the inclusion of practical school training in teacher education curricula. In Austria’s teacher training, these practical elements are accompanied by theoretical and methodological teaching foundations. However, students often question the applicability of theoretical knowledge to the teaching profession, which creates tension between the academic and pedagogical orientations. This paper discusses these very theory-practice tensions in teacher education based on findings from the project Habitus. Power.Education, which involved student teachers at an Austrian university. We argue that teacher training at universities is neither merely a place for producing a future workforce nor a self-growth space without purpose. Teacher training, rather, combines both (sometimes ambivalent) elements: education in its broadest sense and professional training. Using our empirical material, we show that the theory-praxis gap manifests in the tension between academic and pedagogical orientation. To address and mediate this tension, we propose the concept of habitus reflexivity. Promoting such a form of reflexivity among students makes it possible to bridge the gap between the different logics of university and school. Furthermore, it helps to comprehend inequality and power imbalances in the education system and develop agency, which is essential for navigating the ever-changing and complex world of modern schools.</p> Susanne Kink-Hampersberger Lisa Scheer Iris Mendel Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-12-22 2023-12-22 13 4 63 85 10.26529/cepsj.1652 Disciplinary Differences and University Teachers’ Perspectives: Possibilities of Applying the Teaching Perspectives Inventory <p>Based on the conceptual and empirical framework of five perspectives on teaching and earlier studies that have suggested a link between teaching perspectives and teachers’ academic disciplines, this paper aimed to examine the differences in the university teachers’ perspectives from various academic disciplines and faculties. This research also aimed to validate the Teaching Perspectives Inventory on a sample of 526 university teachers in Serbia. The results confirmed the differences in the university teachers’ perspectives and led to the conclusion that hard sciences teachers were more teacher-centred, while soft sciences teachers were more student-centred. Additionally, exploratory factor analysis indicated that the slightly modified version of the TPI is applicable and reliable to use in other educational contexts. However, it can be concluded that research on teachers’ perspectives is limited to specific cultural, educational, and research contexts.</p> Jovana Milutinović Biljana Lungulov Aleksandra Anđelković Copyright (c) 2022 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2022-12-29 2022-12-29 13 4 87 109 10.26529/cepsj.1470 Validation of the Strategy for Determining the Numerical Rating of the Cognitive Complexity of Exam Items in the Field of Chemical Kinetics <p>The main goal of this study was to validate the strategy for the assessment of the cognitive complexity of chemical kinetics exam items. The strategy included three steps: 1) assessment of the difficulty of concepts, 2) assessment of distractor value. and 3) assessment of concepts’ interactivity. One of the tasks was to determine whether there were misconceptions by students that might have influenced their achievement. Eighty-seven students in the first year of secondary school participated in the study. A knowledge test was used as a research instrument to assess the performance, and a five-point Likert-type scale was used to evaluate the perceived mental effort. The strategy was validated using regression analysis from which significant correlation coefficients were obtained between selected variables: students’ achievement and invested mental effort (dependent variables) and a numerical rating of cognitive complexity (independent variable).</p> Saša Horvat Dušica Rodić Nevena Jović Tamara Rončević Snežana Babić-Kekez Copyright (c) 2022 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2022-12-29 2022-12-29 13 4 111 133 10.26529/cepsj.1235 University Preparation of Kindergarten Teachers for English Teaching in the Czech Republic <p>An ever-increasing trend of early foreign language teaching requires adequate responses to the university training of future kindergarten teachers. However, research in this area, including policies, suggests that the situation is not entirely satisfactory. This paper aims to determine the level of preparation of future teachers for teaching English to pre-primary children at individual universities in the Czech Republic. It presents findings obtained through quantitative content analysis of the syllabi of eight universities that provide education in the field of teacher training for kindergartens and focus on the preparation of future teachers for English tuition. The results show that courses for English tuition in kindergarten are not implemented by every university. Universities differ in their emphasis on foreign language tuition in kindergarten, which is reflected in the number and content of provided courses.</p> Beata Horníčková Copyright (c) 2022 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2022-12-29 2022-12-29 13 4 135 157 10.26529/cepsj.1378 The Saga of Academic Autonomy in Slovenia (1919–1999) <p>This article examines the concept of academic autonomy within the 'Yugoslav model' of higher education as a peripheral system characterised by an eclectic mix of elements from different systems, resulting in mutations with unique features during its development. The hitherto under-researched history of this higher education model has by no means been uniform or linear; because of this complexity, the focus here is limited to the case of Slovenia but considers the broader context. The focus is on the understanding, legislation, and (non-)implementation of academic autonomy as articulated between 1945 and 1991. The concept was inherited: it was never used in the legislation of federal socialist Yugoslavia yet was used in political and public debates. Our analysis relates these debates to the rapidly changing legislation and the broader socio-political context. Although the 'Yugoslav model' has vanished, its traces and ashes, including old contradictions and dilemmas, remain partly present in the higher education systems of independent states that emerged on the territory of the former federation. The principle that knowledge of the past is the key to understanding the present and approaching the future is confirmed in this case as well.</p> Pavel Zgaga Copyright (c) 2022 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2022-12-29 2022-12-29 13 4 159 184 10.26529/cepsj.1475 Zero Tolerance vs Restorative Justice in the United States <p>As schools across the United States begin to move away from the harsh Zero Tolerance policies that characterised the better part of the previous three decades, there is an opportunity to change the focus of school discipline. Frequently, school discipline policies are centred on punitive approaches that separate students from their peers. Rather than meeting the needs of these students, schools alienate them from their peers, teachers, and school communities. The goal of the education system is to provide children and adolescents with a quality education that will allow them to grow into productive and participating members of society. Zero Tolerance and school discipline policies were created to protect students, but, in practice, these policies have proven to be harmful and have unintended consequences. Too often, punitive disciplinary action in the school setting puts students on a pathway that leads into the juvenile or criminal justice system. Although the Zero Tolerance policy is a federal initiative, many states are beginning to realise the harmful impacts this policy has on students, especially marginalised students. As a result, states are beginning to pass legislation that veers away from Zero Tolerance, focusing more on alternatives like restorative practices. This article will explore these issues and share information on policies current states are using and the implications of these policies on students, as well as the school-to-prison pipeline.</p> Kimberly Battjes Lilly Zane Kaplan Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-03-23 2023-03-23 13 4 185 203 10.26529/cepsj.1414 Recognising and Expressing Emotions: Difficulties of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Learning a Foreign Language and How to Resolve Them <p>Recognising emotions, facial expressions and tone of voice and body language, expressing and managing their own emotions, and understanding and responding to other people’s emotions are often difficult for children with autism spectrum disorder. Since the emotional codes of individuals with autism spectrum disorder are different, those people will possibly be awkward in expressing some throughout their lives. Although it might seem that children with autism spectrum disorder do not respond emotionally, the ability to understand their facial expressions could lead to an improvement in their social interaction difficulties. In addition, since autistic expressions might be unique to each child, recognising their emotions is important when delivering a personalised intervention to a child with autism spectrum disorder. In recent decades, researchers have become increasingly interested in the role of emotions in learning and teaching a foreign language beyond heavily investigated topics such as foreign language anxiety and motivation and attitudes towards the foreign language. In this paper, how emotions impact the motivation and success of children with autism spectrum disorder while they are learning a foreign language is presented. Challenges, opportunities and future research directions in this domain are given.</p> Ayşe Tuna Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-03-23 2023-03-23 13 4 205 232 10.26529/cepsj.1382 Identifying Reading Fluency in Pupils with and without Dyslexia Using a Machine Learning Model on Texts Assessed with a Readability Application <p>Measurement of readability is an important tool for assessing reading disorders such as dyslexia. Among the screening procedures for dyslexia is the reading fluency test, which is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy and proper expression. The reading fluency test often consists of a sequence of unrelated written texts ranging from simple short sentences to more difficult and longer paragraphs. In psychological testing instruments, subjective text assessment is often replaced by objective readability formulas, e.g., the Automated Readability Index. Readability formulas extract multiple features from a given text and output a score indicating the difficulty of the text. The aim of the present study is to build a machine learning model that discriminates between pupils identified with dyslexia and a control group without dyslexia based on fluency in oral reading of texts assessed with a readability application developed within the project For the Quality of Slovenian Textbooks. We focus on differentiation between both groups of pupils by analysing data obtained from transcriptions of audio recordings of oral reading. The empirical study was conducted with 27 pupils aged 8 and 9 with officially diagnosed dyslexia and a control group without identified dyslexia.</p> Jure Žabkar Tajda Urankar Karmen Javornik Milena Košak Babuder Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-05-11 2023-05-11 13 4 233 256 10.26529/cepsj.1367 Giovanna Mascheroni and Andra Siibak, Datafied Childhoods: Data Practices and Imaginaries in Children’s Lives, Peter Lang, 2021; 200 pp.: ISBN: 987-1-4331- 8314-0 Katja Koren Ošljak Copyright (c) 2023 Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal 2023-12-21 2023-12-21 13 4 257 262 10.26529/cepsj.1823