Digital Literacies in Middle Years Classrooms: Teachers’ Perspectives and Self-reported Practices

There is strong support for further research into the teaching and learning of digital literacies in Australian classrooms when considered alongside reported decreases in children’s literacy skills against international benchmarks and recent changes in curriculum policy documents. This article investigates everyday classroom practice, sharing the perspectives of a community of five teachers from one school on the affordances and challenges of integrating digital technologies into their Year 5 and Year 6 writing programs. Semi-structured interviews and professional-learning team discussions were recorded and analyzed using Green’s 3D model of literacy to gain insight into teacher attitudes and practices. Findings suggested that classroom practice within the school community is heavily influenced by teacher attitudes, knowledge, and skills, which in turn significantly influence the resources, experiences, and opportunities provided to students. The outcomes of this small study suggest that further, larger-scale research is needed to investigate teacher perceptions and practices when integrating digital technologies and new literacies as a whole into middle years classrooms. Such research will provide policy makers, school leaders, and educators with greater insights that will assist in the selection of appropriate resources and professional development required to fully support teaching and learning.

Characteristics of a Successful University Student

Many university students never graduate. Others may earn their diploma yet they cannot be labeled successful graduates. They are not able to seize the opportunities offered by their university education or prepare for an entry into the labor market. Who can be considered a successful student? How do such students behave and what do they do? The survey conducted herein looked for answers to these questions. The goal of the survey was to define and categorize the most important characteristics of successful students. The research was conducted among 972 students of five faculties at a university in the Czech Republic. The respondents perceived a successful student in a similar way regardless of which facility they attended, their gender or their level of study program. The main features of a successful university student include motivation, intelligence, industriousness, proactivity, fulfilling the school tasks, good grades and out-of-school activities.

Disney Curriculum

The purpose of this research is to investigate how pre-service elementary teacher candidates believe Disney films socialize children and what systems of values and ideas have been created by these cartoons. The conceptual framework for this study draws from the cultural systems paradigm (CSP) as a holistic study of cultural systems. A theme analysis was performed on a census of twenty animated films identified as the most watched in the Disney collection. The study examines images and actions through five sub-questions addressing issues such as: diversity in the society, characteristics of the protagonists, values, gender roles, and citizenship traits. The 116 students taking courses in social studies education methods at a midwestern university in the US served as respondents. Suggestions concerning how teachers can use Disney films to critically discuss symbolically embedded messages are also presented.