ISSN 1556-6757








Volume 3, Issue 1, 2009


Eating Patterns of the Rural Families of Overweight Preschool Children: A Pilot Study
Nuananong Seal and John Seal


Childhood obesity is one of the most multifaceted public health problems currently challenging the nation with serious medical and economic consequences for the future. Recognition of the increasing overweight status of children has prompted the need to identify factors associated with this trend. This study is the first to qualitatively examine eating patterns of families of overweight preschool children, aged three to five years, living in a predominantly rural agricultural area in the Northern Plains of the United States. This article presents the findings from an initial focus group interview. Ten parents of ten preschool children who were three to five years of age designated as being overweight or obese using body mass index measurements were recruited and interviewed. This paper presents preliminary findings (eating patterns) of a dually focused study related to healthy eating and physical activity in this selected population. The results of this study suggest that intervention focused on overweight parents of young children is warranted. Further focus group interviews and participant observation are required to add to the depth and scope of knowledge about strategies to prevent children from becoming overweight or obese. Full Article

Concept Mapping in Introductory Physics
Voltaire Mallari Mistades


Concept mapping is a meta-learning strategy based on the Ausubel-Novak-Gowin theory of
meaningful learning. In a concept map, concepts are related with linking words to form propositions. By expanding this concept-proposition link, one eventually forms a web of concepts whose meanings are embedded in the presented map. The paper describes the author’s experience with students’ use of concept maps and how concept maps are scored. The strategy was utilized as an advance organizer and as an assessment tool (for diagnostic and summative purposes). Sample concept maps constructed by students taking up Introductory Physics are presented.
Full Article


ESL Student Plagiarism: Ignorance of the Rules or Authorial Identity Problem?
Robert Lankamp


One major cause of plagiarism by ESL students (and native speakers) is, unsurprisingly, ignorance of plagiarism conventions. Recent studies on ESL plagiarism have identified a second cause: absence of one's own voice, or, as it is also referred to, lack of authorial identity. So far, it appears that these two causes of ESL student plagiarism have been studied separately, with little reference to one another. Consequently, it is not clear whether these two factors are related, leaving an element of uncertainty in the body of knowledge about ESL student plagiarism and in the development of means to help students avoid it. In this paper, a qualitative study is presented where this relationship is investigated. Six ESL graduate student writers volunteered to take part in this study, without knowing its purpose. Plagiarism was detected in four of the in total twelve essays that the students wrote over a period of six to seven weeks. Data on their knowledge of plagiarism rules and on their authorial identity were elicited by means of interviews. Although some of the plagiarizing students turned out to be both ignorant of the rules and without authorial identity, no relationship was found between these two factors. It is in fact concluded that lack of authorial identity by no means always causes plagiarism. One implication of this study is that instruction in the avoidance of plagiarism should encompass more than just teaching the content of a style guide.  Full Article


The Teaching and Learning of Cultural Studies at Lower Primary School Level in Botswana
Obed Dube and Paphani Moffat


The study examined the theoretical and practical understandings of Cultural Studies at the lower primary school level in Botswana. The education system in Botswana intends to produce learners who are reflective, adaptive and who can easily fit in every academic and social environment. Cultural Studies was introduced in 2002 as an integral part of the lower primary school curriculum (Standard 1-4) thus replacing Social Studies and Religious Education at this level. Aspects of the new subject would imbue learners with an understanding of cultural citizenship so that they become living and practicing citizens, in their ever-changing global community. The qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed in collecting data. This was done through interviews, observations and questionnaires which were administered to teachers and students in primary schools country-wide. In addition, an officer from the Department of Curriculum and Evaluation of the Ministry of Education responsible for Cultural Studies was interviewed. The simple random sampling was employed in the selection of participants. It emerged from the findings that there are still gaps in the teaching and learning of Cultural Studies that need urgent attention. These include the training of teachers, review of the syllabus, and the provision of adequate and quality resource materials.  Full Article

Principals' Perceptions of the No Child Left Behind's Adequate Yearly Progress Requirement as it Relates to Students with Special Needs.  Janet R DeSimone


This qualitative study examined perceptions of elementary school principals regarding the NQ Child Left Behind Act's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement as it relates to the students with special needs subgroup. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with seven principals working in urban public schools. An interview schedule was created, and responses were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003). Central findings included limited principal and teacher training; contradictions between AYP and Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals; complex, restrictive, and punitive nature of the AYP process; and insufficient school resources to achieve AYP requirements. Full Article

Comparing empathy and selfish rationales motivating preschool children’s decisions about wearing vision-obscuring opaque eyeglasses.  Harvey Ginsburg and Tammy Silakowski



Empathy may motivate early pro-social behaviors. Hypotheses examined were that preschool children’s decisions to wear vision-obscuring eyeglasses and wearing durations would depend upon requests producing high empathy, low empathy, or selfish motivations. IRB approval requiring parental consent was obtained for 126 preschool children who were randomly assigned to the three motivation conditions. Percent wearing uncomfortable eyeglasses and

wearing durations increased with high empathy, compared to low empathy and selfish motivation. One-way ANOVA showed significant differences, .005 level, F = (2, 123) = 5.65. Age was a significant co-variant; sex was not. Concern for others versus self-directed motivation differentiated children’s responses. Full Article