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Tablets in Hungarian Primary Schools: An Empirical Study of Institution-level Application
29-37

The increasing interest in introducing tablets into education as well as many countries’ education policies (see Digital Education Strategy) support the integration of the above-mentioned mobile devices (Mulet, van de Leemput & Amadieu, 2019). Accordingly, several governments are presently procuring or have already supplied a significant number of students with these devices (Tamim et al., 2015). Similar to most international large-scale initiatives, there are remarkable variances in tablet-supported education. The different school conditions (infrastructure, framework, human resources) result in the diversity of technological integration. In our research, in order to learn more about the infrastructural conditions at schools’ institutional levels, with online questionnaires we examined 145 primary schools using tablets in their education. We were looking to answer the following, questions: (1) what kind of infrastructural conditions are characteristic of the different institutions? (2) What kind of differences in infrastructural conditions are there between the schools in different settlements? To sum up the results, we can observe significant differences in the number of tablets, their hardware, accessories and software, along with differences in internet access and the regulation thereof.

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Encouraging Musical Creativity in Montenegrin Primary Education – A Case Study
27-35

The need to change the paradigm of music education, which primarily relies on performing and listening to music, implies a more systematic introduction of activities that would enable the direct involvement of children in the exploration of sounds and the creation of their own music. By analysing the curricula and textbooks for music education in Montenegrin primary schools, as well as examining the attitudes of teachers about the realisation of musical creativity in teaching practice, it was found that these activities are not given enough attention. In order to introduce innovations in practice, an action research study was conducted, during 2017/2018 school year with 30 fifth grade pupils in one primary school, belonging to the Southern region of Montenegro. The obtained results, based on the qualitative findings, showed the connection between the categories that make up musical creativity in the classroom: acquiring musical knowledge, developing musical skills, encouraging problem solving, developing critical thinking, supporting collaborative creativity, motivation and integrative teaching. Hopefully, the conducted research will contribute to a wide range of understanding of musical creativity in the classroom context, as one of the leading topics of contemporary music pedagogy.

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Criteria determining school choice among the ethnic minority high school students
17-25

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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Children’s Literature in Transcarpathian Schools for Teaching English as a Foreign Language
108-120

Since the origins of formal foreign language teaching, literature has always played an important role. Currently, modern language teaching trends suggest starting foreign language learning as early as possible; thus, the use of children’s literature in foreign language teaching is undergoing a revolution. This situation encouraged us to examine the use of children’s literature and the attitude of foreign language teachers to it. This article focuses on primary and secondary school English language teachers in a western county of Ukraine (N = 118). The results of the qualitative research revealed that the teachers’ general attitude to the use of children’s literature is positive; they are aware of their advantages but still avoid using these materials. Most teachers do not apply children’s literature in their foreign language teaching because the school curriculum is too congested and fast-paced, they do not have access to appropriate authentic children’s literature, or they were not taught how to utilize authentic children’s literature during their university years. Results suggest that teachers should be encouraged to use children’s literature, though there is no universal solution. The first suggestion is for schools themselves to support teachers, but it would be a significant step forward if this approach were also to be taken in in-service training.

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Big Brother Mentoring in the Let's Teach for Hungary Program
114-141

The number of mentoring programs within the framework of schools is increasing both internationally and domestically (Raufelder & Ittel, 2012; Fejes et. al., 2009). Besides traditional mentoring, the role of peer mentoring (Miller, 2002) has also come to the fore in recent years. In our study, we focus on cross-age peer mentoring (Miller, 2002; Sipe, 2005), where older youth mentor younger youth. One example of this in Hungary is the Let's Teach for Hungary (LTHMP) mentoring program, where undergraduate students mentor primary school students. In our research, we studied mentors at the University of Debrecen who had completed at least two semester-long cycles in the program. We were curious about how the COVID-19 pandemic period affected mentoring, so we examined the transition of a mentoring program based on a personal meeting to online mentoring, and its pivotal points, advantages, and disadvantages. As a method, we used qualitative interview analysis, during which we worked with semi-structured interviews, recorded in the spring of 2020 and 2021 – during the global pandemic situation – with a total of 50 mentors. The content analysis of the interview texts was performed based on the codes formulated based on the theory, and the emic codes emerged in the interviews (Creswell, 2012). Our results show that mentors can be grouped into different types based on their attitudes towards online mentoring. Overall, the digital transition has been a big challenge. The biggest problem was the lack of equipment. The issue of age has been also an important factor in terms of the sense of digital comfort. We noticed the phenomenon of Big Brother Mentoring and the importance of chameleon mentors. Our research, which can fill a gap, highlights both the challenges and benefits of online mentoring. In addition, we can also contribute to the effective and successful operation of the Let's Teach for Hungary Mentoring Program.

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Primary School Extracurricular Music Activities in Covasna and Harghita Counties
36-46

Arts education, including music teaching (Dohány, 2010) in elementary schools is getting less and less importance in our present day education system, accordingly we find quite relevant to investigate the situation of music teaching in Romania among the Hungarian minority educationís elementary classes. This present study would like to map the extracurricular fields of music teaching in Covasna and Harghita counties in Hungarian classes through a questionnaire research made among teachers. Our objective is to investigate extracurricular musical education in elementary classes, where we would like to find out what kind of musical activities exist in this area and how intensively do pupils take part in these activities. The self-made questionnaire was sent out online in Covasna and Harghita counties, based on the teachers ‘database at the end of January in 2020. 78 elementary school teachers took part in this research. All the collected data was processed with the help of a statistical data analysing software, examining the descriptive statistical indicators. The analysis shows that few elementary class students take part in extracurricular activities.
Romanian music pedagogy research do not extend to Hungarian minority classes, thus we see it important to investigate the extracurricular activities in counties where Hungarian minorities live.

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An International Comparison of Educational Systems: the Columbian, Iraqi and Kurdish cases
110-120

As developing countries aim to improve their education to address the challenges of globalisation's economic and social demands, comparative education can provide references for reforms and changes. Through studying the educational systems of other countries, we can discover which reforms are possible and desirable. This article attempts to demonstrate some specific aspects of the educational systems of Columbia, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan and to compare them. It shows the decentralisation process and challenges of the systems. It also reveals the structure of education of the three systems and their differences related to duration and organisation of primary and secondary schools. Following that, the curriculum provision and their orientations are explained. Finally, the article also tries to find the differences in teacher training in terms of duration and training types, occurring before / during service. The obtained results show that the decentralisation process and its challenges are very similar in these educational systems while there are differences in the duration, structure, and curriculum subjects.

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Information and Trust in Parent-Teacher Cooperation – Connections with Educational Inequality
19-28

There is an ongoing debate on how parents and the cooperation between parents and teachers contribute to educational inequality. In this study, the assumption that information and trust in parent–teacher cooperation mediate the effects of parent socioeconomic status (SES) on student achievement in mathematics and instruction language (German) was examined. The effects of information and trust on achievement were assumed to be mediated by parent self-efficacy expectation in German. The hypotheses were tested using a sample with 1001 students from 4th to 6th grade and their parents in Swiss primary schools using questionnaires and achievement tests at the beginning and the end of a school year. Results from structural equation models with longitudinal data showed that parent trust and parent self-efficacy expectation fully mediated the effect of SES and student achievement in language instruction but not in mathematics. Information did not correlate with SES nor with student achievement, but with trust. Parental trust in the cooperation with teachers affected achievement in both mathematics and German. The model combines the research on parental involvement with the research on educational inequality in school. Teachers need to establish trust in cooperation with low-SES parents to reduce educational inequality in school.

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Health Education in Primary Schools: A Difficult Task
1-10

This study was conducted in a medium-sized French city, in a neighbourhood falling into poverty, with children aged from 9 to 10 years old. Its aim is to build an adapted strategy to improve children’s healthy habits. Our study was based on a mixed methods interdisciplinary approach using interviews, questionnaires, sleep diaries and accelerometers. The unemployment rate of the target population is above 40%, and the families have four children on average. The children of the sample (N=29) practice less physical activity than recommended by the institutions in charge of health matters. The parents correctly manage the sleep cycles of their children, and stand firm when they have to go to school the next day. When the next day is a non-school day, children play more video games in the evening, both on their own and with their families. Healthy habits can be improved through cooperation with the various members of the educational community (parents, teachers and structures in charge of the children). Since it is difficult to manage health education solely during PE classes, this process must be continued both inside and outside school by the community, even more so the family.

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Pandemic and Education
1-10

The emergence and rapid spread of the Coronavirus in the spring of 2020 has fundamentally changed our lives. The most important change has been the attempt to minimise face–to–face contacts everywhere in order to keep the epidemic under control. Public gatherings were banned, shopping malls were closed, and sporting events were also cancelled. As COVID–19 spread as easily among children as among adults, schools could not escape the restrictions. During the first wave of the epidemic, institutions had to switch to emergency remote education (ERE) at very short notice, which presented a number of problems for all participants. These problems and experiences of the switch should be collected at all levels of education, as they not only help to prepare for similar situations, but may also lead to conclusions that can be used to make the methods and solutions of classroom–based teaching more motivating, more effective or even more efficient. In this paper, we review both the challenges of the transition and the possible implications for the future teaching–learning process by reflecting on the lessons learned.

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