The four articles presented in the JCEP special issue on the Vygotskian approach to instruction provide the readers with examples of how Vygotsky's ideas have been used by his followers in different countries to improve educational practices in various subject domains and for students of different age groups. The articles cover the following topics: preschool instruction that results in the development of children's self-regulation; second language instruction organized as an implementation of Vygotsky's ideas about teaching scientific knowledge; teaching math to elementary school children that results in their high level and meaningful acquisition of knowledge and development of their ability to reflect on their knowledge; and education of teachers aimed at the development of their reflection. The articles are intended to help English-speaking educators better understand the Vygotskian ideas and methodology and adopt them into their practices.
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- Go to article: Structural Validity of the Social Problem–Solving Inventory-Revised Short Form: Application to Brooding and Reflection
Structural Validity of the Social Problem–Solving Inventory-Revised Short Form: Application to Brooding and Reflection
Research on social problem-solving ability or the cognitive-behavioral processes used to find successful solutions to everyday problems has been advanced by the availability of easy-to-administer self-report measures. The goal of the current study is twofold: (a) validate the factor structure of the Social Problem-Solving Inventory–Revised: Short Form (SPSI-R:S) and (b) examine the relationship between depressive rumination subtypes and dimensions of social problem solving. An initial confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) in Sample 1 revealed poor model fit. An exploratory factor analysis revealed that several items cross-loaded on more than one factor. These items were removed and a subsequent CFA demonstrated adequate model. The revised model was validated in a second sample and convergent and divergent validity were examined. Brooding was related to more maladaptive problem-solving ability while reflection was generally associated with a more adaptive problem-solving style. No gender differences were found.
Mastering the ability for learning to learn is the most ambitious goal of modern educators. A distinction is made between two relatively independent components of this expertise: (a) the reflective component of the learning to learn ability that allows a person comprehend what knowledge and skills he or she lacks to act in the new situation; (b) the search component of the learning to learn ability that allows the learner to find the missing knowledge and appropriate it. The article deals with the reflective component of the ability to learn and the method to develop it within the El'konin–Davydov system of school education. This system has grown from the hypothesis that reflective thinking belongs to the zone of proximal development of children starting school. Within this system, psychological tools are developed for fostering those reflective potentials of the human mind that are left neglected or even suppressed under the school system prevailing today. Psychological and educational means of developing reflection in class are illustrated through the clinical analysis of dialogs on a math lesson in the first grade. The developmental outcomes of the El'konin–Davydov educational system are exemplified using the cases of tasks with missing data. By the diagnostical assessment of the forth graders, we have confirmed that when the content of education is radically changed, the reflective components of the ability to learn can be successfully developed as early as in the elementary school.
The relationship between depressive rumination and dimensions of social problem solving were investigated in a Japanese, nonclinical population. University students (N = 227) completed the Beck Depression Inventory—Second Edition, Ruminative Responses Scale, Means-Ends Problem-Solving (MEPS) test, and Social Problem-Solving Inventory—Revised Short Version (SPSI-R:S). Results indicated that after controlling for depression, trait rumination, especially its brooding subcomponent, was positively correlated with negative problem orientation and avoidance style. Unexpectedly, trait rumination was weakly but positively associated with an effective problem-solving style, as assessed by the SPSI-R:S and MEPS. These findings suggest that one pathway through which rumination leads to depression in nonclinical populations could be through increasing negative problem orientation and avoidance problem-solving style. Results also suggested that reflection, compared to brooding, was positively associated with positive problem orientation and more strongly associated with rationale problem-solving style. These findings suggest that reflection leads to active problem solving.
The human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic has heightened recognition that nurses are the gatekeepers to healthcare in Africa. Building nursing capacity has been identified as critical. This study measured knowledge acquisition, attitude, and belief change regarding care in American nursing students of HIV patients and compared the effect of international travel and cultural immersion on the same criteria. A quasi-experimental, longitudinal study surveyed nursing students at three points in time. Statistically significant changes in scores demonstrated greater willingness to provide care and moderate knowledge improvement occurred. The study indicated that international travel contributes to greater changes in attitudes and beliefs and improved knowledge retention.
Supervision in clinical placements provides a multidimensional learning context for student nurses and their supervisors. This study reports that students ask for more time, competencies, and supportive relationships with supervisors. The students seek to form their identity as nurses through participating in practice and clinical work. They create identities through learning from experiences, skill development, dialogues, and reflections. It is necessary to revitalize supervisors’ roles, competencies, assessment strategies, and skills in clinical supervision. Research gives reasons to evolve and implement new models that accentuate reflection and transformation to facilitate caring in clinical practice, for both students and supervisors.
- Go to article: Proficiency with Technology and the Expression of Caring: Can We Reconcile these Polarized Views?
This article examines the apparent role conflict created by the need for nurses to be technically competent while remaining caring. It questions whether this conflict is a true reflection of modern day nursing practice. The impact of technology on the role of the nurse in healthcare environments is explored and contrasted with everyday nursing practices that are patient-centered. The contributions and risks of nursing science are discussed, as is the conflict of science and art. Nurses’ role in humanizing the dehumanizing effect of healthcare technology is emphasized; the importance of the patient as the focus of nursing practice is asserted.