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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.04M | Year: 2013

Over the last decade a sharp decline in interest and participation in science has been identified in young people across Europe. Should this continue, the capacity to innovate both in industry and research will suffer in the long term. A critical issue in addressing this problem is providing young people with relevant contexts and practical experience of scientific concepts through classroom science. Therefore, the development of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) and active teaching and learning approaches has never been more important. The Chain Reaction project aims to capitalise on a previously successful approach to delivering IBSE in the UK in an attempt to embed IBSE practice within European schools. The key aim is to equip teacher educators to train teachers across twelve countries in the use of IBSE materials and techniques. Each country will adapt materials and techniques for use in their own country, addressing issues of different curricula and cultures as necessary. This will ensure that each partner will have ownership of resources and classroom techniques suitable for their own situation and contexts, but based around the proven principles of IBSE and based on materials that have already been tried and tested as part of the original Pupil Researcher Initiative (PRI) project. Chain Reaction will also establish a European teachers network, aimed at providing support to teachers, sharing experiences and expertise between teachers and training experts. This will help develop the work of the project through delivery, and will also contribute to sustainability in the longer term. The network will aid dissemination of the project resources and outcomes, while enabling peer support both within each year of the project, and across the project as a whole. This will ensure sharing, reflection and discussions of experiences and approaches. The teacher training, materials and instruction given will be delivered via a cascade approach within schools.


Heyl V.,University of Education, Heidelberg | Wahl,University of Heidelberg
Psychology and Aging | Year: 2012

This paper investigates the role of cognitive resources in everyday functioning, comparing visually impaired, hearing impaired, and sensory unimpaired older adults. According to arguments that cognitive resources are of increased importance and a greater awareness of cognitive restrictions exists among sensory impaired individuals, in particular among visually impaired individuals, we hypothesized differential relationships between resources and outcomes when comparing sensory impaired and sensory unimpaired older adults. Findings are based on samples of 121 visually impaired, 116 hearing impaired, and 150 sensory unimpaired older adults (M _ 82 years). Results from a sample of 43 dual sensory impaired older adults are reported for comparison. Assessment relied on established instruments (e.g., WAIS-R, ADL/IADL). Structural equation modeling showed that cognitive resources and behaviorrelated everyday functioning were more strongly related in the sensory impaired groups as compared to the sensory unimpaired group. Cognitive resources and evaluation of everyday functioning were significantly linked only among the sensory impaired groups. When medical condition was controlled for, these effects persisted. It is concluded that both cognitive training as well as psychosocial support may serve as important additions to classic vision and hearing loss rehabilitation. © 2011 American Psychological Association.


Randler C.,University of Education, Heidelberg
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2014

In humans, sleep duration and sleep timing have been identified as interesting facets of individual differences and of personality. Sleep duration and sleep timing are different constructs. For example, compare two individuals both sleeping for 6. h: one may sleep from 2300 to 0500. hours and the other from 0100 to 0700. hours. One can assess the midpoint of sleep in these two subjects which is the midpoint in clock time between sleep onset and awakening. These ideas have already been picked up in a handful of studies. Sex differences have been found in birds in the same direction as in humans with males sleeping for less time. Contrasting effects have been found in relation to mating: in humans, late chronotype men have the highest mating success, whereas in birds, earlier chronotypes gain higher mating success. Many sleep parameters are related to assortative mating in humans and similar but weaker relationships have been found in birds. Ontogenetic studies show that sleep-wake behaviour changes during adolescence in humans. Such changes have also been found in other mammals ranging from primates to rodents. Factors determining sleep-wake patterns could be environmental, such as temperature, sunrise or sunset or even artificial light at night. Artificial lighting at night leads to an earlier wake up and singing time in blackbirds, Turdus merula, whereas light at night makes humans wake up later. As a conclusion, I show some parallels and differences in the study of sleep timing between animals and humans and encourage further studies, in both field and laboratory settings. © 2014 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.


Randler C.,University of Education, Heidelberg
Psychology, Health and Medicine | Year: 2011

Individuals differ in their biological rhythms and their preference for morning or evening hours. Morning types prefer morning hours for intellectual and physical activities while evening types feel and perform best at late afternoon or in the evening. This not only is a simple dichotomous classification but also can be viewed as a continuum. Individual differences in morningness-eveningness are an interesting facet of personality, but little is known about the relationship between psychological factors or health-related variables and morningness-eveningness in adolescents. In Study I, there were positive correlations between morningness and positive attitude towards life and a negative association between morningness and depression. In Study II, there were significant positive relationships between morningness and physical health, mental health, self-esteem, familial relationship, and school functioning. These results indicate that eveningness might be an unspecific risk factor for mental and physical health. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.


Cutrim Schmid E.,University of Education, Heidelberg
ReCALL | Year: 2011

Abstract Several authors (e.g., Mcniff & Whitehead, 2006; Wallace, 1998) defend the idea that teachers' own involvement in research has the potential to encourage professional growth. Journal writing, teacher logs, written narratives and stimulated recall are some examples of methods that have been used by researchers to encourage and support teachers' reflective practice in teacher-researcher collaborative research. This paper discusses the use of video-stimulated reflection as both a research method and as a means for teacher professional growth. The research findings are drawn from a longitudinal study that investigates a model of Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) technology professional development programme. The research was carried out in the form of seven in-depth case studies with English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in German secondary/vocational schools, as they learn how to integrate the IWB into their teaching. Research data were collected via a variety of research instruments, namely classroom observations and field notes, video recordings of school lessons and teacher training workshops, interviews and video-stimulated reflection. Findings based on the analysis of the copious amount of data gathered indicate that the video-stimulated dialogues were used by the teachers as effective opportunities for reflection, self-evaluation and pedagogical development. Copyright © European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning 2011.


This paper discusses the findings of a case study conducted with an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher at a German secondary school. This case study is part of a research project that investigates the new competencies that EFL teachers need to acquire in order to be able to use the interactive whiteboard (IWB) to develop their practice, informed by a socio-cognitive approach to computer-assisted language learning. The findings point towards various competencies developed by the teacher as she integrated the technology into her teaching, namely: (a) the ability to design IWB-based materials which support opportunities for learner interaction with the whiteboard and with the learning content; (b) the appropriate management of interaction around IWBs in a way that ensures all learners are provided with opportunities to become actively involved; and (c) the ability to find the 'right balance' of technology use.


Randler C.,University of Education, Heidelberg
Die Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2016

Sleep timing of humans can be classified alongside a continuum from early to late sleepers, with some people (larks) having an early activity, early bed, and rise times and others (owls) with a more nocturnally orientated activity. Only a few studies reported that morningness-eveningness changes significantly during the adult lifespan based on community samples. Here, I applied a different methodological approach to seek for evidence for the age-related changes in morningness-eveningness preferences by using a meta-data from all available studies. The new aspect of this cross-sectional approach is that only a few studies themselves address the age-related changes of the adult lifespan development, but that many studies are available that provide exactly the data needed. The studies came from 27 countries and included 36,939 participants. Age was highly significantly correlated with scores on the Composite Scale of Morningness (r = 0.70). This relationship seems linear, because a linear regression explained nearly the same amount of variance compared to other models such as logarithmic, quadratic, or cubic models. The standard deviation of age correlated with the standard deviation of CSM scores (r = 0.55), suggesting when there is much variance in age in a study; in turn, there is much variance in morningness. This meta-analytical approach shows that morningness-eveningness changes across the adult lifespan and that older age is related to higher morningness.


Randler C.,University of Education, Heidelberg
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology | Year: 2012

Black-capped chickadees Poecile atricapillus alter the number of D notes of their chick-a-dee call to reflect urgency and threat. Here, I tested whether heterospecific responses of an allopatric species to these mobbing calls occur. Heterospecific chickadee mobbing calls and songs from North America were broadcast to European great tits (Parus major) and compared with conspecific mobbing calls. During conspecific mobbing playbacks, all great tits approached the speaker, during the heterospecific "chick-a-dee" playbacks, 63.3% individuals approached the speaker, while during the song playback, only 31.3% of the great tits approached the speaker. Minimum distances of great tits were lower during conspecific mobbing calls compared to allopatric chick-a-dee calls and to allopatric chickadee song. Also, minimum distances were lower when comparing allopatric chick-a-dee calls and chickadee song. Great tits approached the speaker on average down to (mean ± SE) 20.0 ± 1.8 m during playbacks of 1-4 D elements, to 17.7 ± 2.0 m during playbacks of 5-7 D elements and down to 11.5 ± 2.0 m during playbacks of 8-11 D elements. The number of D notes was inversely related to minimum distance. Thus, the urgency message encoded in the D notes was perceived also by an allopatric but phylogenetically related European species, suggesting that the heterospecific response is possibly phylogenetically conserved. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Ngom R.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Siegmund A.,University of Education, Heidelberg
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2015

Cities in developing countries are experiencing an unprecedented population growth that illustrates a demographic transition and a shift towards modernization with consequences on their epidemiological profiles. However, this change is characterized by an important rural-to-urban social and cultural transfer that can bias the expected epidemiological transition; at the same time, this transfer renders the understanding of the occurrence of communicable diseases more complex than it appears. Urban malaria occurrence was modeled for the city of Yaoundé in Cameroon. Retrospective interviews were conducted to describe a variety of epidemiological, social and environmental variables at the household level. Various ecological variables originating from remote sensing data were also integrated. Multivariate multilevel negative binomial analyses were developed to evaluate the distinct contributions of explanatory social and ecological variables. Spatial models based on the level of urbanity were implemented to understand the intelligence of urban malaria as characterized by those variables. The results showed an overall higher statistical importance of socio-environmental variables, particularly those describing rural origin socio-cultural features in terms of non-conventional housing types and urban agriculture (UA). The spatial patterns of the urban malaria occurrences displayed a complex combination of population density gradients and socio-environmental factors, illustrating the importance of conventional urban features over rural/non-conventional features in reducing the occurrence of urban malaria. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Randler C.,University of Education, Heidelberg
Biological Rhythm Research | Year: 2013

The Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) is the most widely known questionnaire to assess circadian preference. In the present study, the reduced MEQ (rMEQ), a short five-item version of the MEQ, is adapted to German language. A total of 594 participants filled in the German rMEQ and the Composite Scale of Morningness to measure convergent validity. Mean rMEQ scores were 13.97 ± 3.44 and ranged from 5 to 24. Cronbach's α was 0.723 for the total sample and 0.722 in men and 0.701 in women. Cutoff scores showed 126 (21.2%) morning types, 385 (64.8%) neither types, and 83 (14.0%) morning types. A principal component analysis with varimax rotation revealed a single-factor solution. The correlation between the Composite Scale of Morningness and the rMEQ was 0.885. Based on the type classification, there was a good agreement (Cramer coefficient = 0.622). The data presented here show that the rMEQ is also a reliable tool in its German adaptation, but the cutoff scores should be refined and discussed in further work. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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