Vol 2, No 1 (2020): Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Published April 28, 2020

Issue Description

The diversity in educational settings is interpreted as the heterogeneity of students in terms of sex, social origin, ethnicity, and religion. Educational research is consistent focusing on certain groups if they are under represented on an educational level and institution compared to their social significance. The following risk groups have also been identified in several papers: students from low-status families, children from single parent families, those who belong to an ethnic or religious minority, and students with special needs. Not only the learning and financial difficulties but the lack of integration threatens them. An ongoing challenge for educational research is to explore not only the possibility of equality of educational opportunity but also the way in which the education system can make them effective. The studies in this issue present current research in the field of diversity and equal opportunities.


Thematic articles

Educational poverty in Italy: concepts, measures and policies

In recent years in Italy, as a result of the initiative by the NGO Save the Children Italia and of the government action, we have witnessed the success of the notion of “povertà educativa”, as an effective way to indicate severe inequalities in education across the country. Firstly, the aim of this paper is to shed light on the different c...oncepts and measures of educational poverty in socio-economic literature, in order to highlight specific and innovative aspects of this idea. Moreover, the paper intends to scrutinize Save the Children’s proposal in order to monitor and tackle educational poverty as well as to show how the action of the NGO has influenced the development of Italian recent government policies against child and educational poverty.

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Spirituality and Concept of ’Child’ in Kokas Pedagogy for Children with Special Educational Needs

Klára Kokas was a music teacher and music psychologist (1929-2010). Her method is based on music, motion and manual arts, therefore it can be defined as a form of reform pedagogy, otherwise it is called complex art pedagogy. The main elements and characteristics of Klára Kokas’s pedagogy were revolutionary new ideas in the fields of persona...lity development, and music education – compared to the practices of reform pedagogy trends in the 20th century Europe and the United States (Pukánszky-Németh, 1996). The main elements of this concept are music, dance improvisation, motion, imaginative stories, visual arts, painting and drawing. However, its most important component is the very specific and intimate relation, which connected her to children. This distinctive feature of the Kokas-method is hard to teach. Klára Kokas approached to people with problems, suffering and disabilities, especially to marginalized and disadvantaged children with utmost empathy. She struggled to develop the social-cognition skills and affectionate behavior of the handicapped children through her own invented musical method.Her writings reflected her relationship with God, namely the presence of Him which can be felt behind the scenes. His name was mostly unspoken, yet when she named Him, it was to reveal that God was always in her mind, like in her words and musical activities too.The goal of this paper is to search and frame that text corpus, which can outline the spirituality of Klára Kokas with the aim of drawing up her relationship with God and children – according to her publications, writings, essays, books, short-film compilations, movie archives and interviews (Kokas, 1992; 1999; 2002; 2007; 2012; 2013). The contours of her spirituality from her teachings, manuscripts and publications couldn’t be attributed to any religious denomination. Also, to be presented are her notions about youth and teenage spirit and a unique relation with the world, her own students, the talents, the music and the holiness: the spirituality of Klára Kokas. The importance of beliefs and moral convictions in the art of education will be outlined.A single paragraph of about 150-200 words maximum. For research articles, abstracts should give a complete overview of the work. We encourage authors to use the following style of abstracts: background, methods, results and conclusion. The abstract should give an objective representation of the article.

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Criteria determining school choice among the ethnic minority high school students

In our paper we sought for the answer to the question: based on which motives do students from various types of high schools (in our case, denominational or non- denominational school) make their choice of educational institution? The target group of our research consists of the 9th and 11th grade students of Harghita County’s denominational ...(Roman Catholic, Reformed, Unitarian) schools and the non-denominational ones added to them. All in all, eight high schools got into our sample. We conducted a survey by questionnaire, the sample including 1,064 people. We analyzed the decision criteria formed based on motives behind the decision (primary and secondary effects) on the one hand, and followed the decision making process on the other. The non-denominational sector is often chosen by the elite- and institution-oriented student group, who has great expectations of the institution, e.g. - top of the line standards of education, outstanding achievement indicators, prestige of the institution, local reputation. According to the clusters created from the motives, the value- and community-oriented student group, as well as the one following the orientation of the peer group, can be found in significantly higher proportion in denominational schools.

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The Situation and Chances of Roma students in Secondary and Tertiary Education in Hungary

Addressing student drop-out or early school leaving has long been a major challenge for education policy makers at both national and international levels. This phenomenon affects all levels of education and has a profound impact on those classes of society that are economically and socio-culturally disadvantaged. This is particularly the case o...f the largest minority group in Hungary, the Roma, and its roots go back to primary education. Since the 1990s, so from the change of the regime, a positive tendency could have been observed in the completion of primary education, but in secondary school graduation and in obtaining a higher education degree they are still far behind the non-Roma population. In the current study, we identify causes of their learning failures, and we also present a selection of study grants that are available to young Roma students and support them to achieve higher levels of education. We also highlight the difficulties faced by those Roma youth, who have origins in traditional communities but obtain higher educational degrees.

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The Mentoring’s Role among Alumni Students of István Wáli Roma College for Advanced Studies of the Reformed Church

Colleges for Advanced Studies (CASs) are the oldest institutionalized talent development initiatives of higher education in Hungary (since 1895). The Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education initiated the creation of a national network of denominational Roma CASs. In a CAS, students live in a dormitory, build a strong community, get schola...rships and support from tutors and mentors. Important elements of Roma CASs are the following: religious education, social responsibility for society, and Roma identity empowerment (Godó et al., 2019; Kardos, 2013; Charta, 2011). In this study, we examined alumni (ex-university students) of a Roma CAS in Debrecen. Among other things, we were interested in how they relate to the mentoring process, how they feel about it, and how mentoring is perceived in their own lives. We are also interested in what types of mentors are mentioned and whether there is any form of mentoring in their current activities. Method of our research: qualitative interview analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2018 with 17 alumni selected by snowball method. According to our results, the former students named 2 types of mentors who were next to them: layman and professional mentors, or they themselves can be typed as mentors on the basis of the following: layman mentors (layman persons involved in mentoring activities) and professional mentors. We consider it important to emphasize the role of the pastor in a Reformed institution, who has also been promoted to the professional mentoring category. In addition, our goal is to investigate the characteristics of networking patterns that emerge around specialist college students.

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First Generation Students in the Hungarian Higher Educational System

The first part of the study attempts to summarise the most frequently used and cited theories and empirical findings in the field of first generation students. The specialist literature has identified those factors (cultural background of family, parents’ special attitude toward learning, the features of the time-budget etc.) which can genera...te a disadvantageous situation within the higher education system for these students. However, the presence of this group is a significant indicator of the openness of a society and social mobility, and a more careful analysis of this population may reduce the drop-out rate, as well. During the empirical analysis two databases were used (Eurostudent VI, Hungarian Youth Research 2012 and 2016). Our results draw attention to the process of social closure and the decreasing chance of attending higher education for young people from lower social groups. This unfavourable shift can mirror the relatively closed features of Hungarian society, but at the same time it can make the distances among social groups more rigid.

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Labour Market Characteristics of Helping Professionals

In Hungary, considerable efforts have been made in recent years to analyse the career paths of higher educational graduates, which have highlighted the need for field-specific and training-specific analysis. In this context, our research concentrates on a special training segment, focusing on the position of young professionals working in occup...ations helping the function of the society. Previous research focused only on the professionalization of the different occupations and the recruitment was examined from institutional and regional aspects. However, during the statistical analysis we examined the social recruitment base and the labour market situation of social pedagogy graduates in the Graduates 2012 (Frissdiplomások 2012) national database. The novelty of our work lies in the comparison of those who graduated in social work, pedagogy and andragogy in full-time programs. The most important result of our quantitative analysis is the statement that the differences in the composition of the group are strongly explained by the regional location of the institutions providing the training. In terms of horizontal and vertical congruence, the values of the humanities group are the most unfavourable.

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Students’ Motivations to Study Abroad: The Case of International Students at the University of Debrecen

Today there is a growing demand among international students to study in Hungary, more specifically with the launching of Stipendium Hungaricum program in 2013. The number of international scholarship holders increases each year, but till now, we have no significant research results about their study motivations, research has focused only on in...stitutional perspectives (Kasza, & Hangyál 2018). The motivation of students is an important research field in higher education, particularly because there could be various factors to motivate students studying abroad. The motives can be categorised as intrinsic and extrinsic. Our research question is, what are the main intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that encourage students to study in Hungary? We performed 15 qualitative interviews among international scholarship holders on postgraduate levels. We gathered semi-structured interviews with the help of an interview scheme with five main questions. The investigated dimensions include the following: 1. introduction and context of interviewees, 2. Reasons for leaving the country of origin, 3. Reasons for country choice, 4. Preliminary knowledge about Hungary, 5. Personal expectations. After the data collection, we analysed texts with open coding process in which line by line and word for word was analysed (Khandkar, 2009). Then we were able to form a typology of motivations and we found subcategories within the intrinsic and extrinsic classification.

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International Academic Mobility as a Capacity Building Factor in Higher Education

International academic mobility means the teaching or research activity of higher educational instructors or researchers, which spans a couple of days or a few months, during which individual professional growth, the establishment of international cooperation and networks, personal relations and friendships may develop. It is also considered to... be a fundamental necessity for building capacity and an outstanding supremacy, even if a country’s academic resources are modest. Thus it is crucial to gain information about its current and actual state, quality, standards, struggles and the direction it is heading towards. As a part of a bigger research study, we wanted to know how international academic mobility, used for capacity building, changes over time, and whether country-specific features and patterns could be traced. In this present study we made an attempt to uncover the international activity based on the academic mobility of the full-time instructors at two Hungarian higher educational institutions. One of them is a large university that plays a leading role in internationalization. The other is a dynamically developing regional knowledge center. We examined the instructors of two faculties from the first, and everybody from the regional knowledge center, since it is smaller in size. Altogether 210 instructors responded to our 60 questions in the survey. The surveys were processed in the SPSS statistical analysis program. Concerning the examined discussions, categories and proposed topics, our research was built upon two previously carried out investigations – a Hungarian and a Norwegian one. We found that in Hungary in the given time period (2012-2014), the instructors with the strongest international activity were: 1. the men; 2. those who held higher academic positions; 3. those who were married or were in a relationship; and 4. who were from the field of social science.

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Research papers

Designing an instrument to measure explicit and implicit learning processes

In this research paper, the researcher’s intention was to design an instrument that is able to measure learning under two different conditions: explicit and implicit learning. Exploring explicit and implicit learning is gaining more and more attention nowadays in the field of second language acquisition (SLA). The Quantitative method was used... in this study to investigate which learning mechanism proves to be more efficient in the selected sample. The present study involved Hungarian technical school, secondary school, and university students from Budapest (N = 40) who participated in completing an Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL) task. The most important finding of the present research endeavour is that implicit learning has proven to be more effective than explicit learning in the case of the selected participants and this was a statistically significant finding. The pedagogical implication of this study is that the effectiveness of implicit learning should be reconsidered by EFL teachers in Hungary.

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The perspectives of the doctoral students of the University of Debrecen related to migration

Research on migration processes in recent years has highlighted the fact that migration is becoming more common among younger and more educated people. We believe that it is worth meeting the (self)selection of (potential) migrants at the beginning of the process, and also, measuring the willingness to migrate is important. During our research,... we investigated the migration plans of PhD students at the University of Debrecen through paper-based questionnaires. In our study, we seek to determine the extent to which PhD students in Debrecen are willing to migrate. Also, we investigate what the fundamental difference is between PhD students with the intent of migration and those without. 53.4% of the responding doctoral students intend to stay in Hungary after completing their doctoral training, while 46.6% consider it possible to settle abroad. It has been observed that strong and weak bonds of those who wish to stay in the country of residence are significant, while those who wish to stay abroad own migration shells.

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