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  US-China Education Review

Volume 6, Number 4, April 2009

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Volume 6, Number 4, April 2009
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Abstract: The current article deals with the issue of increased dropouts of deaf pupils from compulsory education (primary and junior high school) and tries to map out plausible reasons according to what principals and teachers for the deaf say, which might account for these dropouts. Official statistics are employed to demonstrate reduced graduation rates for deaf pupils from primary and junior high school. This data is collected through annual census surveys targeting all primary and secondary schools for the deaf, conducted by the National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG). Then, this paper tries to explore some of the possible reasons, which could be at the root of these increased dropout rates from primary and lower secondary schools, according to the accounts of principals and teachers for the deaf, who serve in schools for the deaf. Two types of questionnaire were employed, addressed to principals and teachers for the deaf, serving in schools for the deaf, one on one, and telephone interviews, with these two categories of respondent. Low graduation rates are associated with several factors, including inadequate coverage for schools for the deaf, the fact that Gymnasia do not operate everywhere there are primary schools for the deaf and the fact that often deaf pupils have to enrol in schools for the deaf only after suffering considerable delay can be partly attributed to the relative shortage of schools for the deaf. Other limitations include the inadequate use of hearing aids by pupils, associated with inadequate screening and assessment procedures; a lack of kindergartens and preschools for the deaf; and the relative shortage of speech therapists in schools for the deaf. In addition, teachers criticized the fact that the whole-day school initiative, which allows pupils to remain in school until 4 p.m. and have assistance with their homework, does not operate in the majority of schools for the deaf. In addition, the need to create books and teaching materials more tailored to deaf pupils needs was mentioned, as well as inadequate or lack of teacher training in deaf pedagogy and Greek Sign Language. Findings are discussed in accordance with the international bibliography on this issue.


Key words: handicapping conditions in schools for the deaf; reduced graduation rates; possible explanations; ways forward


Abstract: Students have long regarded science as a difficult subject because of hard and abstract concepts. Traditional science teaching has been depended mostly on visual instruction. This makes it difficult for visually impaired (VI) or partially sighted students included in regular classrooms to learn the concepts. Blind students on the other hand, have no visual input at all. They need to learn using other senses such as touching and hearing. Classrooms should be adapted and instruction should be adjusted for better science teaching to VI students. The purpose of this study was to investigate how VI students learn science. The results of the data obtained via interviews and observations revealed that VI students need instructional and environmental accommodations to learn science. They need more tactual and audio experiences than visual instruction. Suggestions and implications about teaching science to students with visual impairments are discussed.


Key words: visually impaired; science teaching; blind


Abstract: A diversity of sources of literature encompassed by the management disciplines appears to result in a growing need for a systematic methodology to map the territory of management theory. As such, when scoping out a study, structured literature review (SLR) can be considered as a means by which any critical, central literature might be considered. However, there is little guidance, or evidence, of this being undertaken for the purposes of small scale projects such as undergraduate or masters dissertations. This paper reports four case studies of masters degree students following management programmes of undertaking a structured literature review (SLR) and the issues and problems they had to encounter during their journey. The findings from the case studies suggest that in terms of time to complete and the volume of output required in terms of word count, Tranfield, et als (2003) approach to SLRs, whilst suited to doctoral level research is not appropriate generally when dealing with undergraduate and masters research projects. Therefore, this paper provides accounts of the experiences of four students who undertook SLR for their undergraduate or masters degree dissertation. The paper identifies that these students had to deal with a new set of conceptual problems relating to this unorthodox approach to a postgraduate research dissertation in coming to terms with new paradigms of enquiry that are not normally taught as part of a traditional research methods course. This was despite gaining a greater depth of insight into the subject area through a more rigorous and structured manner. The paper presents alternative remedies by way of a rapid structured literature review (RSLR) model. This would appear to be more appropriate to the conducting of small scale literature based research projects when used with undergraduate and masters degree students than SLR identified for other research activities.


Key words: systematic literature reviews; synthesis; rapid structured literature reviews


Abstract: The results of IEA (The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) PIRLS 2006 (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) has showed that Latvia has the 6th largest gender gap in reading literacy scores and that is an indication of a serious problem of education in this country. The purpose of the paper is to find out reasons behind boys low achievement to help improve their reading literacy. The proposed hypothesis is that boys and girls are differently affected by the same factors. If that is so, teachers, parents and other education practitioners should be aware of this fact to adapt reading literacy studies for both genders at maximum efficiency. In this research, PILRS 2006 data are used and different structural equation models are created to find out which factors have the most influence on boys reading achievement. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is based on achievement scores and student and parent questionnaire data. The model formed using all population data was applied to boys and girls data separately to observe different influence of the same factors on students reading achievement scores. The comparison of standardized coefficients of structural equation model among five countries (Spain, Russian Federation, Lithuania, Latvia and Trinidad and Tobago) has been performed. Running the same model over different boys and girls data of different countries has showed that the strengths of relationships among the variables are similar. It was expected to observe noticeable differences between SEM coefficients of boys and girls data, but it turned out that big gender differences in reading achievement does not mean big differences in standardized coefficients of structural equation model and vice versa. It is found that school environment has greater impact on boys reading literacy.


Key words: structural equation modeling; PIRLS; reading literacy; gender differences


Abstract: Ten teachers, from preschool to secondary school have tried out puppets as a stimulus in science lessons. Data were gathered by teachers answering a questionnaire and by interviewing the teachers. We report what teachers have experienced by using puppets in science classrooms and in science activities in preschools. Data indicate that the puppet can be used to stimulate science both in preschool, primary school and secondary school. Probably the puppet must be used in different ways in preschool and primary school than in secondary school to get the pupils to accept them. This pilot study has given us courage and ideas to start a following-up study in using puppets in science.


Key words: puppet; talking science; language and science; science learning; science thinking; preschool; primary school; secondary school


Abstract: By reviewing evaluations collected via interviews from supervisors and employees in different companies, the author tries to pinpoint the extent to which a given corporate culture is applicable in a different cultural context. These studies present the results from really HR-audits. The study deals with the influence of corporate culture. This case study is about a German establishment in the United States (mechanical engineering industry). The results clearly reveal that the acceptance of a corporate culture in a foreign cultural context is very low among the employees of the host country, regardless of the cultural patterns in the individual cases. The attempt to implement at any price a given concept of motivation programs and human resources development measures has held negative effects instead of positive effects on work efficiency and on the commitment of staff. The results will be critically analyzed. Psychological implications will be worked out and general trends are discussed.


Key words: cross-cultural psychology; intercultural communication; merger and acquisitions


Abstract: Generic skills are skills which contribute towards individuals effective and successful participation in the workplace. For juveniles, Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) is one of the platforms that provide them generic skills which enable them to compete for job market. The purpose of this study is to investigate the level of generic skills that has been inculcated through TVE on juveniles in one of the juvenile schools in Malaysia, the time the teachers spent on inculcating the skills, and the challenges the instructors face in the process. There are four focuses of the generic skills that are of interest in this study: communication, teamwork, problem solving and technology. Eight teachers and 119 juveniles were chosen as the respondents from the Juvenile School (JS). The data collected was through a set of questionnaires from the respondents, and these were analyzed by using frequency, percentage and mean score. The findings from this research show that the level of generic skills inculcated as perceived by the juveniles is at a moderate level. The perceived moderate level of skill acquire of the juveniles is justified by the moderate amount of time that the teachers believed they spend in instilling the generic skills. The teachers also suggested that the lack of understanding on what generic skills are is the main reason for not inculcating generic skills at its highest level. In conclusion, generic skills inculcation on juveniles through TVE in Juvenile School is at an average level. Measures have to be taken so that inculcation of generic skills can be increase to a higher level, as these generic skills will benefit juveniles in the labor force market.


Key words: generic skills; juvenile; Technical and Vocational Education


Abstract: Since the beginning of Chinese higher education expansion in 1999, higher education in terms of scale, speed and structure has been rapid development and beyond the bearing capacity of its ecological balance, input and output of the unbalanced phenomenon between higher education and social environment, the unbalanced phenomenon also appear in regional distribution, between quantity and quality, between structure and function. The status quo of Chinese higher education has been described in the paper, the unbalanced phenomenon has been analyzed, and the corresponding countermeasures has been proposed for the imbalance in Chinese higher education, it provide reference views for the reform of Chinese higher education.


Key words: higher education; popularization; ecological balance




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