Circles refer to NuT-values, triangles to FoWo-values. We can see that the data set as a whole and the parts of it split by school are approximately equally distributed regarding the quantiles and corroborate robust results in both teaching contexts.
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Now, if we look at the percentiles with respect to motivational behavior in the classroom SDI NuT , i. It is interesting to see that boys and girls do equally well-respond to the expeditionary learning treatment, but that factors with respect to school culture seem to influence the degree of self-regulated motivational behavior but not the general pattern of a stronger response of less intrinsically motivated pupils to the intervention cf. It can clearly be seen that the difference in SDI is considerably higher in the first percentile of SDI NuT and is constantly decreasing with the higher thirds.
Displayed are the regression lines of the diff SDI -values with respect to both schools. The dashed line resembles the behavior of pupils in school B based on the data points marked with triangles. The straight line represents the behavior of pupils in school A based on the data points marked with circles.
This means that differences in school culture may affect the degree of self-regulated motivational behavior but not the fact that especially less self-regulated pupils in NuT profit from outdoor science teaching. It can be seen that the biggest difference or near-constancy in motivational behavior occur in the extremes of lowest and highest SDI NuT -values, respectively. That means on the one hand, that pupils who are exceptionally extrinsically motived in the classroom, achieve the highest relative increase in intrinsic motivation during the outdoor teaching session, and on the other hand, that pupils, who are highly self-regulated in science class at school, show a merely slightly more extrinsically motivated behavior in the outdoors, albeit that change is relatively small and negligible as compared to the first third of lowest motivation values.
We can clearly support the guiding hypothesis HG 1 and claim that the pupils' learning motivational behavior measured in the context of the research week FoWo is significantly higher than at the science lessons at school NuT and that those pupils, who are less self-regulated at NuT profit especially from the outdoor teaching with respect to self-regulated learning cf. The reliability testing of the SDI-inventory needs some attention, since we adopted the inventory, and as to our knowledge, used it for the first time in an outdoor educational context.
We also performed a factor-analysis and re-calculated the SDI-values after having excluded one critical item from the inventory, and compared the re-calculated SDI-values with the original values.
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The comparison shows that the original SDI-values corroborate much more stable SDI-values, despite the inclusion of a critical item. Put together this suggests that our SDI-values are robust and reliable. Furthermore, the consistency of the SDI-measures are backed by a modified split-half-test of the qualitative data Mayring, But instead of splitting our qualitative data-set in two random halves, as Mayring suggests p.
Since we found similar patterns in the quantitative features of the qualitative data as in the SDI-values, we assume a high level of validity in the qualitative data and reliability in the SDI-values cf. However, we are very aware of the criticism articulated against such an approach in content analytical analyses, since. However, in our specific case, the quantitative features of our language material appear to be appropriate and add plausibility to our quantitative findings.
The overall practical orientation of the program is calculated by simply adding up the mean values of the five items. The overall PO-mean value for NuT is According to general conventions, those values are fairly reliable and need no further argumentation in that respect. This means that the pupils find that. Supplementary Table 1. Only the reference to every-day-life examples during lessons at school and during the research week showed no significant differences.
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By looking closer at the results of the paired-samples test, one can see that the difference of means of item 2, i. That means that irrespective of gender or learning motivational behavior at school, the pupils found what they learned at the research week generally more applicable. No other patterns in the distribution of significant p -values of the paired-samples t -tests of the other items can be detected throughout the percentiles and gender cf. Pairwise comparison of didactical concepts in the NuT and FoWo contexts. I did not like that we had to measure sooo often! But in the end, it was worthwhile the effort!
I connect the hike with nature. It was a lot of fun to take such a close look at nature and to classify all the plants and then of course there was this breath-taking view from the mountain hut and from the glacier. We explored plants. In the mountains and in the valley. Thanks to the measurement tools we were able to discover many things. Although there was one exception: weather conditions. Here we can see that the pupils complain about their tasks during heavy rain, for example for pupil B As we have learned from the textual data, the pupils have found new friends and had a feeling of great fellowship during the expedition.
When asked what word comes to their mind when they reflect the research week, one girl answered:. One could ask anyone anything and one was able to talk with actually everyone. Moreover, no one was excluded from the group altogether!!! Mosaic-plot indicating some during-course factors of the expedition. Tile areas are proportional to the frequencies of cross-tabbed variables. The darker fields indicate a relatively stronger deviation from an assumed independence model, with Pearson residuals and overall p -value shown on the right. This is in accordance with our observations of group behavior during the expedition.
Girls chose a moderate pace at certain neuralgic stages during the hike i. The outdoor setting also seems to be a good way to overcome prejudices and to get to know other students:. I knew 2 of the girls from before as we have PE-lessons together and I really did not like them.
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But during this research week I have been sharing the room with them and 2 other girls I did not know before and we all have become great friends and got along very well. This corresponds with objective physical activity parameters measured in two cohorts in school B. One can clearly see that the pupils' activity level is relatively high during the hike, with maximum heart rates of bpm boys and bpm girls , and an average heart-rate of bpm girls , respectively bpm boys over several hours, adding up to an extra metabolic work-load of ca.
The girls seem to keep rather a steady pace, very constant with respect to the mountain-guides in the control group Dettweiler et al. Furthermore, we do not see any big differences either with respect to lower- or higher self-motivated children in school either. As long as they enjoyed themselves, everything else just came along—or as someone said:. Part of the joy seems to derive from the impressive nature around them.
In the field notes there is one description of a boy who stands on the terrace of the mountain hut early in the morning and looks down into the valley. When asked how he felt, he said that now, as he takes in this view, he knows it was really worth while the hardship during the hike of the day before. And there are many more statements about the landscape to be found in the texts:.
Hiking and climbing in the evening with the mountain guides was really great. Apart from the beautiful scenery, pupils often referred to the fun in getting the chance to try out different movements when they were up at the mountain hut and got the opportunity to experience walking in loose gravel, snow or climbing big stones:. It seems that despite the relatively highly perceived grade of physical activity level, the overall well-being of the pupils during the hike is not affected. Moreover, the semantic analysis of the word counts of the open questionnaires shows that the pupils use a lot of verbs 68 to describe FoWo whereas no verbs are used at all for the description of NuT.
Verbs are normally used to describe active processes whereas nouns are used for static relations Langacker, We cannot detect significant differences with respect to gender. Furthermore, we cannot show any significant correlations of group dynamical factors and diff SDI either, which would allow us to indirectly determine influential factors to SDI FoWo. Here is one quote that represents a fair number of similar ones:. The most obvious finding in this survey is clearly that in the outdoor educational setting, pupils show significantly higher learning motivational behavior—irrespective of gender or school culture, but that school culture in terms of relatedness has a significant influence on the level of self-regulated motivational behavior.
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Moreover, less self-regulated pupils profit more from the outdoor setting than those who show already a high intrinsic learning regulation—independent from the relative SDI-level, as the school comparison shows. This corresponds well-with recent comparative didactical research conducted in the context of student laboratories.
They report that in grades five and six perceived autonomy support and intrinsic motivation were high both in science classes and in science labs. At grades seven and eight perceived autonomy support and intrinsic motivation were still high in science labs but not in science classes. With our data, we can fully support those findings for the high values in science class with the younger age group.
We have not yet searched into older pupils and will address this theoretically very interesting problem in our next surveys. The same pattern can be detected with identified regulation. In the context of the outdoor teaching, both, girls and boys show higher values than the boys and girls at the research lab.
This is well-supported by our finding that the outdoor-teaching has been perceived by the pupils as being generally more practical than the teaching at the normal school context. Additionally, they perceived themselves as competent and got instant feedback, when their self-made measurement tool showed the same humidity as the pro-tool in their backpack —and these seem to be the main influential factors for the highly self-regulated motivational behavior.
Moreover, in addition to the didactically outstanding work being done at student laboratories, the physical activity in the outdoors hiking and the group dynamics in the one-week residential outdoor setting can be seen as factors that contribute to the pupils' exceptionally high self-regulated learning motivational behavior. This accords with findings in Denmark, where pupils who are taught outside the classroom show significantly higher activity levels than those who are not Mygind, , and that the outdoor teaching leads to better social relations and experiences with teachers Bentsen et al.
This may well be invoked by the physical activity inherent in the outdoor field research, a factor that is suggested to be specifically helpful for kids with attention deficits in the ordinary school context Gapin and Etnier, ; Verret et al. Even if we have not tested the lower self-regulated pupils for any attention deficit disorder, and do not suppose highly external regulation as an indicator for any attention deficit syndrome, we could theorize that similar activity treatment patterns do their work here. Further research with well-defined criteria concerning the different types of ADHD and external motivational behavior would have to prove this hypothesis.
The outdoors seems to be a perfect starting point to promote this didactical approach in the schools. However, the factors being responsible for an increase of self-regulated learning motivation need to be determined more precisely and with better research tools, and seem to depend much on school culture, as the school comparison shows. Our findings suggest that relationships between the pupils and between pupils and teachers also add into that—which confirms SDT with respect to the basic need of relatedness, as well as stressing factors at school and during the outdoor experience.
Additionally, the monitoring of the pupils' physical activity in the outdoors is not yet totally satisfying Mygind, ; Dettweiler et al. We expect to correlate physical activity levels with motivational behavior more concisely than we are able to at the moment and will link that also to the research domain of cognitive behavior under physical exercise Tomporowski, ; Coles and Tomporowski, ; Tomporowski et al.
This leads to another complex of research desiderates, i. In our above-mentioned longitudinal survey, we will also address this problem in a control group design. That the expeditionary outdoor teaching has the potential to make a deeper impression on at least some of the kids, is reported exemplarily by the teachers of one school, where several pupils have started their own afternoon science groups after having returned from the research weeks doing research and signing up for student research competitions.
In this sense, we want to conclude our paper with referring to a quote of one boy that stands for many:. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
The pupils involved volunteered in the survey. We obtained written permission by all their parents as well as the relevant school authorities. The sequence of authors reflects the declining importance of their contribution as suggested by previous authors Hunt ; Tscharntke et al. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Front Psychol v. Front Psychol. Published online Feb Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article was submitted to Educational Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
Received Nov 20; Accepted Jan The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. DOCX K. Keywords: outdoor teaching, science teaching, self-determination theory, motivation. Introduction and theoretical frame Teaching science outdoors: practical orientation and hands-on learning Recent studies suggest, that educational programs are especially sustainably effective, if the didactic concepts are project-driven and if the learners' basic needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are addressed in an adequate way Sproule et al.
Self-determination theory Self-determination theory SDT, Deci and Ryan, in the pedagogical context proposes that the pupils' motivational behavior is dependent on the satisfaction of certain psychological needs, i. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Schubert , S. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Meister, S. Schulz-Schaeffer , S. Theorie und Methode. Klassische Grundlagentexte.
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