Current Volume

Education Thinking, ISSN  2778-777X – Volume 4, Issue 1 – 2024

Volume in progressEducation Thinking follows the rolling publication model: articles are published on an ongoing basis all over the year, as soon as they are ready. The articles listed are final and citable.

literature review

To Fill the Gap: A Systematic Literature Review of Group Play-Based Intervention to Address Anxiety in Young Children with Autism

Choy, S. W.-W., Mc Guckin, C., Twomey, M., Lynam, A., & Fitzgerald, G.

While anxiety conditions in children often manifest early in life, frequently before the age of five, and there is evidence that autism spectrum conditions (ASC) co-occur in this population, there is limited availability of interventions designed to meet the unique needs of children with both anxiety conditions and ASC. The current article examines non-pharmacological group/peer-mediated interventions for managing anxiety among children with ASC. More specifically, it focuses on the effectiveness of group play-based interventions that can alleviate anxiety in children with ASC aged 2-12 years.

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In doing so, this article addresses a critical gap in the existing literature and explores evidence-based strategies tailored to this specific population. Effective interventions are identified to address the needs of children of this age group. This research contributes significantly to the body of knowledge in the fields of early intervention and well-being studies.
A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)-guided comprehensive Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was conducted by searching seven prominent databases and utilising Covidence management software. The databases searched were: Academic Search Complete, ERIC, PsycInfo, Medline, Web of Science (core collection), Embase, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: A & I, specifically focusing on studies published in the most recent 15 years from 1996 to 2021. The review included studies concerning autistic children aged 2 to 12 years that aimed at reducing anxiety as their primary outcome. It was carried out systematically and transparently, with each step of the process clearly explained, and the rationale for the five reviewers’ choices and assumptions and decisions given.
The initial search yielded 7,300 studies, eventually narrowing down to 81 full-text articles selected for critical review. Among these, 44 proved relevant. 28 out of 35 studies that focused on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) displayed efficacy in reducing anxiety among children. Five out of eight studies centred around play-based approaches also showed effectiveness. One study employing Lego®-based therapy exhibited partial effectiveness in addressing childhood anxiety among autistic children. Among the 44 studies, four specifically centred on children aged 4 to 6 years with both anxiety and autism, and showed that group CBT effectively reduced anxiety.
This review identified nine evidence-based strategies. These, along with recommendations for future research to address anxiety in children with ASC, are analysed through the lens of an inclusive framework and early intervention theory.

Pages 5–34 /Publication date: 01/03/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

focus note

A Tool for Specifying the Dynamics of School-to-Work Transitions, Social Reproduction, and Social Trajectories: The AGIC Calculator

Guy Tchibozo

One of the best-known criticisms of traditional education systems concerns their deterministic impact on the social trajectory of learners, which maintains and reinforces social inequality. However, previous analysis (Tchibozo, 2004) has shown that the effect of schools on learners’ education-to-work transitions can be not only deterministic, but also random or chaotic. A new tool, the AGIC Calculator, has recently been developed to enable educators, guidance counsellors, policy makers and researchers to specify in a practical way the dynamics of learners’ school-to-work transitions

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and to analyse more precisely social reproduction, and more generally to precisely analyse the dynamics of any type of social trajectory. This note outlines the main points of the problem and the value of the AGIC Calculator for guidance counselling, education policy and research in this field.

Pages 35–38/Publication date: 05/03/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

literature review

Teacher Induction and Mentoring in Malta: A Review of the Literature

Benjamin Kutsyuruba & Christopher Bezzina

This article offers a review of the literature on teacher induction and mentoring programs in Malta. Highlighting the importance of the support that is needed for newly qualified teachers (NQTs), the article also explores the perceptions of teachers towards the newly introduced induction scheme in the Maltese islands. For this article, we have reviewed policy documents and research papers that have been conducted since the introduction in 2010 of the induction and mentoring policy in the islands of Malta and Gozo.

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While exploratory in nature, the article highlights the issues raised that present what has been learnt so far from the studies conducted and presents issues that need to be looked into both from a research perspective and also from a policy perspective. After situating the article within the broader literature on induction and continuing professional development, we offer a contextual overview of induction and professional development for teachers in Malta. Subsequently, we detail our literature review approach and present a thematic analysis of the key findings related to the focus and outcomes of the program, NQTs’ and mentors’ perceptions of the program, and the role of heads of school in the induction program, with a specific focus on the mentoring dimension. Based on the results of the review, recommendations include the need for purposive attention to attracting more educators to take on the role of mentors, the need for mentees to have a lighter load to have more time for mentoring, and the need for the heads of school to take on a more direct role in the induction and mentoring of NQTs.

Pages 39–59/Publication date: 08/05/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

literature review

The Effect of Participating in Climate Change Education Programs on Youth Self-Efficacy and Related Outcomes: A Systematic Review

Megan Crichton, Brianna Palmer, Arianna Doolan, & Donna Pendergast

Building self-efficacy is important in climate change education due to self-efficacy being a key determinant of pro-environmental engagement and behaviour change in youth. However, there is a lack of evidence synthesis to determine whether climate change education increases self-efficacy. Seven databases were searched to October 2022 to locate intervention studies examining the effect of participating in a climate change education program, compared to any comparator, on self-efficacy and related outcomes in youth (<25 years of age). Nine studies were included (n=2318 participants, age range:11-24 years). [See full text for more]

Pages 61–90/Publication date: 28/05/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

literature review

Evolving Perspectives on Allyship: An Examination of Ally Definitions, Models, and Motivations in Contemporary Academic Discourse and Literature

Roberta Campbell-Chudoba

This review traces the evolution and utilization of the concept of allyship from its early emergence to the present day in academic discourse and related literature. I synthesize definitions of ally and allyship, identify various models of allyship, and explore ally motivations. Types of allies, such as White people engaged in anti-racist work supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) groups; heterosexual allies to 2Spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender queer+ (2SLGBTQ+) people; men as allies to women in pursuit of equity; and healthcare professionals engaged in culturally responsive care, are delineated. Critiques of the ally concept with emerging alternative approaches and recommendations for further study conclude the review.

Pages 91–115/Publication date: 14/06/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

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