Volume 6, Issue 1

  • 2020, April

    clinical study

    A Case Study Exploring Pre-Service Teachers’ Programming Difficulties and Strategies when Learning Programming LanguagesOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    Understanding the importance of training young people, this study sought to explore the early experience of pre-service teachers in their computational practices in terms of the difficulties they faced and the strategies they used while learning how to program. Based on convenience sampling, four participants were recruited from an undergraduate course focusing on computer science education in K-12. The literature on novice programmers’ difficulties and their strategies was used to establish the conceptual background for this study. We collected four semi-structured interviews with pre-service teachers, a total of five hour-long classroom observations, and 19 class activities (archival data). After conducting a content analysis, findings showed four categories in which pre-service teachers face difficulties: (a) understanding the computational concepts (semantic); (b) using the concepts inappropriately (syntax); (c) developing a program (algorithmic thinking), and (d) identifying problems (debugging). We also found five categories in which pre-service teachers overcome their difficulties: planning, using resources, seeking support, guessing and checking, and looking for visual assistance. This study emphasized that pre-service teachers encounter several difficulties in learning computational concepts through programming languages, which should be considered in pre-service teacher education.

    Keywords

    Computational Thinking; Computer science education; Pre-service teachers; Problem solving strategies.


  • 2020, July

    short communication

    Looking Back, Moving Forward: Reflection on Race and RacismOpen Access

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    Abstract [+]

    This paper addresses the history of racism, its manifestation and its impact. It recognises that racism is both interpersonal and structural. It is embedded in the way society and organisations are structured, through policies and practices that disadvantage black people. It is important now to work towards racial justice for the sake of a better and shared future.
    Keywords
    Racism; Race; Black lives matter; Psychotherapy; Belonging; Identity and black identity; Internalised racism; White racism.


  • 2020, July

    brief research report

    How Self-Reflection Influences Use of Cognitive and Analytical LanguageOpen Access

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    Objective
    We examined cognitive processes and analytic expression according to emotional prime, hypothesizing that negative affect may increase rumination as seen in analytic language (that is, lead to language of “explaining”), as well as insight and causality, reflecting language focused on specific reasons.
    Method
    Sixty-four participants were assigned randomly to write about either “positive aspects of myself ” or “aspects of myself that I would like to change”. These narratives about positive and negative characteristics were subjected to the linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC) in order to examine how the manipulations influenced expression.
    Results
    More insight and causation in language was seen in participants’ language that focused on positive (rather than negative) aspects of themselves, but more discrepancy was seen when writing about negative qualities. These findings were not a function of wordiness.
    Conclusion
    Causality and insight were prevalent in language after positive prompting, perhaps because people were providing rationale and support for positive self-talk. Discrepancy suggests counterfactual thought and was common in writing from a negative prompt.
    Keywords
    Language use; Analytical language; Sex differences in linguistics.


  • 2020, August

    original research

    The Tale of Two Schools: Investigating the Understanding of Mental Health by Students, Parents and Teachers in Rural and City BangladeshOpen Access

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    Objectives

    The main aim of the study was to investigate the understanding and attitudes of mental health held by students, parents and teachers using strength and difficulty questionnaire (SDQ) scores and qualitative responses. Attitudes towards mental health and well-being are important as they can increase stigmatization and prevent young people seeking help and support.

    Methods

    To assess the understanding of mental health needs of students the SDQ was administered to parents (n=18; rural n=12 and city n=6), teachers (n=22; rural n=16 and city n=6), and students (n=23; rural n=17 and city n=6). In addition to this, semi-structured interviews were undertaking with students (n=14; rural n=9; city n=5) and parents (n=14; rural n=8; city n=6). Further, written narratives were received from teachers (n=12; rural n=6; city n=6). SDQ results were subjected to the non-parametric Mann Whitney-U with the Bonferroni correction applied and qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis.

    Results

    SDQ results showed students in the rural location had significantly higher mental health needs than those in the city location (p<0.017). Thematic analysis revealed that parents in the rural location do not understand the term ‘mental health’ and therefore, it is not seen as a problem despite high needs. Teachers in all locations and parents in city location have a limited understanding of what mental health means.

    Conclusion

    There is a lack of understanding about what mental health by parents in the rural community and a limited understanding of what mental health is by all teachers and parents within the city community. Even though high-SDQ scores were observed in both the rural and city location, SDQ scores were significantly higher in the rural location. These findings support the need for future mental health advocacy within Bangladesh schools.

    Keywords

    Mental health; School; Bangladesh; Education.


  • 2020, September

    perspective

    Call for a ‘Live Third’: The Impact of Institutional and Psychiatric Racism on Adebayo’s Physical and Mental HealthOpen Access

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    The author refers to a personal experience and feels it important to do so in order to highlight a crippling and appalling inhumanity by some towards black people. Much of what is written here is presented in the first person owing to the personal nature of the narrative. It manifests through stereotyping, stigmatisation, and racism towards non-white people. Racism is both institutional and interpersonal, and it is endemic. What gets played out in society is often repeated at an individual level. As a psychotherapist, the author affirms the need for clinical practitioners to move from a position of dismissal and objectification of Black lives, and to wake up to the terrifying fact of the early mortality of black people’s lives from the trauma of racism which is very much imbedded in institutional policies and procedures.
    Keywords
    Black people; Trauma; Mental health; Psychiatric racism; Schizophrenia.