Dr. Alina Georgeta Mag,
Department of Teacher Training,Faculty of Social and Human Sciences,“Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Romania.


ISBN 978-93-89562-20-0 (Print)
ISBN 978-93-89562-21-7 (eBook)
DOI: 10.9734/bpi/pass/v3



This book covers key areas of arts and social studies. The contributions by the authors include culture, child preference, fertility behaviour, population growth, gender, school type, motivation, learn,  elementary teacher education, practice-based teacher education, learning environment, wisdom, mindfulness training, locus of control, communication centers, English as a second language, intercultural communication, truancy, teacher personality, peers, school and family, student attitudes, gender differences, economic development, infrastructure investments, economic diversification, infrastructure financing, mono-economies, neo-mercantilism, resource-dependent economies, development loans, world bank, economic growth, supply chain, curriculum design, medical education, challenges, democracy index, analysis of variance, Friedman’s test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient etc. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians of this area.


Culture, Child Preference and Fertility Behaviour: Implications for Population Growth in Cross River State, Nigeria

Igbolo Magdalene Agbor

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 1-23

The study sought to examine the effects of culture on child preference and its implications for fertility behaviour as well as population growth in Cross River State, with a view to isolating factors which will be of importance to policy makers and planners in addressing high fertility levels. Data for the study was drawn from the 18 LGA’s of the State. A total of 1200 respondents were selected from the population of study (ever married persons). Data for the study was gathered using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection. The study found that because the society is patrilineal in nature, with descent traced only through the male patriarch, there was a strong preference for male children, which in turn affects the fertility behavior of the people. The Pearson chi-square calculated for child preference and fertility behaviour revealed a likelihood ratio of 29.49; while the result for family size and fertility was 103.14 and 199.53 for socio-cultural norms and values. These results indicate that, the calculated chi-square for all the variables is higher than the table chi-square. Thus the stated hypotheses were accepted. Again, the multiple regression analysis also showed that of all the independent variables analyzed, child preference had a regression weight of 1.292 and a correlation coefficient of r=0.89, which indicates that there was a strong preference by couples for male children, with a resultant increase in the actual family size, thus contributing to the continuous growth in the population of the state. This situation, the study found, is given impetus to by the cultural norms and values prevalent in the State, which enhances and sustains male child preference. The study calls for a comprehensive development of the state, especially the rural areas, as one of the remedies for curbing those aspects of the culture that support and sustain male child preference and high fertility.

The Effects of Mindfulness Training on Wisdom in Elementary School Teachers

Jean Ngoc Boulware; Brenda Huskey, Heather Harden Mangelsdorf, Howard C. Nusbaum

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 24-35

Aims: School teachers have hundreds of spontaneous interactions with students each hour, requiring frequent decision-making. Often these interactions require social understanding, perspective taking and emotional self-regulation, constructs often identified with wise reasoning and mindfulness.  Increasing mindfulness could aid wiser reasoning in addressing the challenges of classroom demands. The present study evaluated effects of an online mindfulness course on measured wisdom in a sample of public elementary school teachers.

Study Design: This study used a pretest/posttest design using data collected immediately before taking the online mindfulness course and after completion of the course. End of the school year follow-up data was analyzed for all teachers.

Place and Duration of Study: Participants were enrolled from multiple cities across the United States including Boston, Columbus, Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, and San Diego between June 2014 and June 2015. Data were collected online and analyzed at the University of Chicago.

Methodology: Public elementary school teachers (n = 12) were assigned to a mindfulness training or a matched wait-list condition (11 female, 1 male; age range 26 – 57 years). Teachers had a range of teaching experiences from 1 to 36 years (median =18 years) and taught grades K-4 at schools with 30% - 50% Caucasian students with 40%-60% students receiving free and reduced-price lunches. We used standardized measures for mindfulness, wisdom, emotion regulation, compassion, theory of mind, state/trait anxiety, stress, burnout, and efficacy.

Results: Online mindfulness training produced a significant increase in mindful awareness and changes in cognitive wisdom implying increased understanding of inter/intrapersonal concerns. There was a significant increase in mindful attention in those who completed both pre- and post-class online evaluations (n = 10) solicited by Mindful Schools (t (9) = 2.738, p = .02) from 54.3 to 59.9 following training (ΔM= 5.6, SD = 6.5). Wisdom, measured with Ardelt’s Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (n =12), demonstrated a significant increase in the cognitive dimension of wisdom (t(11) = 2.39, p =.03) with a non-significant increase in the affective dimension (t(11) =1.38, p =.19) and a non-significant reduction in the reflective dimension of wisdom (t(11) =.96, p = .35) following mindfulness training.

Conclusion:  Online mindfulness training may help develop wise decision making as a skill for teachers to aid classroom management and social problem solving.

How International Students Using Communication Centers Navigate Locus of Control

Roy Schwartzman, Karen E. Boger

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 36-48

 This study documents how students learning English as a second language exhibit various levels of internal and external locus of control in their learning process. Focus group interviews were conducted with 21 non-native English speakers from seven nations enrolled in an intensive English language learning program at a mid-size research university in the southeastern United States. All participants engaged regularly in conversational practice at the university’s oral communication center. Participants were asked about the processes they used for learning English and what their sources of motivation were. Thematic content analysis revealed that internal and external locus of control tended to operate synergistically in the process of learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. Motivation to initiate and persist in new language acquisition emerged from a blend of personal agency, inspiration from family and teachers, and social exigencies. The dynamic interplay between internal and external locus of control challenges common portrayals of these dimensions as antagonistic. Learners often range across levels of internal and external orientations, suggesting need to reconsider characterizations of internality primarily as an enhancer and externality primarily as an inhibitor of learning.

A Cross-cultural Pragmatic Study on Openings and Closings in Upward Academic Request Emails

Wuhan Zhu

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 49-66

This study reports on a study of the use and forms of openings and closings, as rapport-management strategies in academic request emails to university instructors by graduates, who formed three discourse communities, i.e. Chinese, British and Chinese English speakers. Using discourse analytic techniques, a total of 187 emails from 155 postgraduates were analyzed and a number of similarities and differences or divergences were identified. The findings suggest that the discursive practices were subject to intricate and dynamic relations between a number of macro- and micro-contextual factors, and some technical features of emails against different socio-cultures. It is hoped that the results will contribute to enhancing knowledge in the field of rapport management and electronic communication across cultures.

Factors Contributing to Truancy among Students: A Correlation between Predictors

Zahari Ishak, Low Suet Fin

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 67-74

Truancy has been a universal unresolved educational problem in countries that made schooling a compulsory routine for children age seven years and older. The objective of this study is to identify the contributory factors of truancy and the correlation between the factors among secondary school students. The sample comprised 472 truants from Malaysia who have been routinely absent from school for 10 days to more than 40 days per year. Results demonstrated that teacher’s personality, students’ attitudes toward school, environment in school, school administration, teachers’ teaching, and environment outside school, peers and family are significant contributory factors of truancy. Significant positive correlations between all the factors causing truancy were found. Correlation between teachers’ teaching and teachers’ personality was the highest whereas the lowest correlation was revealed between school administration and family.

Difference in Student Attitudes to School Teacher and Peers – Comparison of Majority Minority and Mixed Ethnicity Networks

Mary-Anne Holfve-Sabel

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 75-95

How to integrate children from minority groups with majority population in school is of great interest and the focus in this chapter. Immigrant students are known to have better attitudes towards school compared to native students, but feel a weaker sense of belonging at school. The aim of this Swedish study was to evaluate further how students adapt to their school class with respect to ethnicity and gender. Data from the self-reporting of attitudes by 12-year old students in 77 classes were sampled and used in confirmatory factor analysis. Three school factors and four relational factors were identified. Social networks were made up of students who voluntarily and reciprocally chose each other to be with during breaks. The analysis of the choices was carried out using a Matlab program identifying reciprocal (bilateral) choices. Three categories of network were identified using the names of their members. Mixed ethnicity networks were compared to majority (Scandinavian), and minority networks (Non-Scandinavian). Members outside networks were labelled “Outsiders”.


In Scandinavian networks, girls were more anxious at school and scored relationships to their classmates and the view of their peers significantly lower than the male students. Girls in this category also felt that disruption in the classroom was more common while the boys were, apparently, more tolerant of it.


One out of five was classified non-Scandinavian. Non-Scandinavian networks had high scoring for the categories “Interest in School” and “Working Atmosphere”. Scandinavian and Mixed networks showed similarities. Within Mixed networks, gender differences were exclusively dependent on Non-Scandinavian students’ attitudes. Non-Scandinavian girls in the Mixed networks were surprisingly similar to their female Scandinavian peers. Non-Scandinavian individuals in Mixed networks still had higher scores for “Interest in School”. Non-Scandinavian girls scored “Relationships to their classmates” and “View of their peers” lower than their male peers and confirmed that disruption in the classroom was more common. Individuals outside networks were overrepresented among Non-Scandinavians, and at risk of rejection. Outsiders showed weaker relationships with classmates, had more problems with peers and were more anxious at school. Furthermore, they considered disruption during lessons to be common. The significant gender differences are interesting and should be further investigated.


Promotion of a mixture of ethnicities appeared best for attitudes to school. For both immigrants and native students, it is a most valuable task to support the development of identities through schooling. Their final identity will include significant identification with peers. To actively prevent children from experience apparent isolation especially during breaks seems necessary. Teachers and/or other school staff are strongly recommended to help such children to interact with class members. Furthermore, it can be problematic if smaller networks become too closed. These very small groups become vulnerable if an individual move to another school or are absent due to other reasons. 

The results of this study could be used to find a mixture of ethnicities that give the optimal score for attitudes towards school, teachers and peers. Educationalists can be encouraged to mediate important variables which exist in a safe and orderly school environment. This include a specific focus on teacher socialisation competence.

Challenges of Curriculum Development for Health Sciences

Sarah Salih

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 96-103

There are many different theories for curriculum design and many affecting factors and challenges when setting or updating a curriculum. It is especially more challenging in health sciences when trying to link the usually knowledge based undergraduate teaching with the postgraduate competency based training. This paper is a literature review on challenges of curriculum development/ design in medical education in the period 1980 to 2012.

Literature review was conducted both manually and electronically with the objective to list challenges of curriculum design in health sciences as identified in relevant literature. It specifically looks into curriculum definition, standards, available models and resources among other things.  

A curriculum has at least four important elements: content; teaching and learning strategies; assessment processes; and evaluation processes.

A curriculum should set expectations for learners, advise the teacher what to do and help the institution monitor student learning and evaluate their education. It has to be flexible to adapt to changes and advances in medical education.

One of the biggest challenges is how to meet the demands of students, teachers and the health care system. Students need to identify principles in knowledge and learn to apply them to solve problems in the future.

Curriculum models are theoretically challenging. A choice of a specific model although not an objective by itself, is determined by different factors. This paper summarizes eight models for curriculum development.

Students’ Motivation to Learn Biology

Ongowo Richard Owino

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 104-117

Aims: The purpose of the study was to investigate gender and school type differences in motivational orientations among grade 10 students in co-educational schools of Siaya County, Kenya.

Study Design: The study adopted a concurrent mixed methods design.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Siaya County, Kenya during the second term of the year 2018 in June.

Methodology: The sample consisted of 680 students (380 boys, 300 girls) from a population of 6800 students (3800 boys, 3000 girls) using multi-stage cluster sampling and simple random sampling. The study used Biology Motivation Questionnaire (BMQ) adopted and modified to suit the study from Tuan, Chin and Shieh (2005) and Biology Interview Guide (BIG). To test gender and school type differences in motivation, independent sample t-tests were used. The hypotheses were accepted at a significance level of α=0.05.

Results: The findings indicated statistically significant gender differences in Self-efficacy (SE), Active Learning strategies (ALS) and Learning Environment Stimulation (LES) in favour of boys. There were gender differences in Performance Goal (PG) and Achievement Goal (AG) in favour of girls; there were no significant gender differences in Biology Learning Value (BLV). The findings indicated statistically significant school type differences in SE, ALS, and LES in favour of High Performing Schools (HPS). There were also statistically significant school type differences in PG and AG in favour of Low Performing Schools (LPS). There were no statistically significant school type differences with regard to BLV.

Conclusion: It is concluded that gender and school type differences exist with regard to motivational orientations and beliefs. Implications for practice are highlighted.

Targeting Infrastructure Projects, Innovative Technologies and Financing Options to Achieve Sustainable Economic Growth in Resource-Based Economies

Susan Smith Nash, Gary Stading, Larry R. Davis

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 118-136

This chapter evaluates different approaches and potential solutions for the seemingly intractable stagnation or decline of a country or region. It focuses on economic development in a resource-based economy that may have structural problems due to a lack of diversification. Infrastructure, strategic debt, and innovation are evaluated, with a goal of developing a balanced approach that strategically leverages existing infrastructure for a diversified economy and sustainable growth for resource-based economies. It includes expanding financing opportunities in these countries with a combination of infrastructure policies and energy technologies and capturing the opportunities using supply chain technologies. The goals are to avoid both “debt traps” and “Dutch Disease” by leveraging existing infrastructure within a plan that incorporates supply chain management the prudent use of available financing and strategic partnership, such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Finally, the chapter contains an analysis of Argentina’s economic problems explains how a current plan to build infrastructure and to develop innovative technology could provide a foundation for renewed economic growth and human capital development.

Variance Analysis of Democracy Index

M. Shafiqur Rahman, Syfun Nahar

Perspectives of Arts and Social Studies Vol. 3, , 14 October 2019, Page 137-150

This article deals with the variance analysis of democracy index data, obtained from the yearly report prepared by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The EIU calculated democracy index since 2006 for 167 countries covering almost the entire population of the world. Democracy index data vary over time and hence variance and time series analysis has been applied to available democracy index data for the period 2006-2018 to investigate the progress of democracy and to find the reason of democratic change. It is observed that some of the highly democratic countries including the USA gradually converted to moderate democratic countries. It is also observed that there exists a strong negative relation between democracy index and nonreligious population fractions for most of these countries. That is an increase of non-religious population fraction of a country may decrease the democracy index of that country.