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MUHAMMAD AKBAR ZAHIDI - international research journal for quality in education

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MUHAMMAD AKBAR ZAHIDI
Assistant Director
Institute of Teacher Education Malaysia
Ministry of Teacher Education MALAYSIA

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MUHAMMAD AKBAR ZAHIDI - international research journal for quality in education

  1. 1. GOD IS. E-ISSN: International Research Journal for Quality in Education An International Peer Reviewed Monthly Journal dealing with all aspects of Quality Education Volume No. 1(2), Pages 1-30, August (2014) EDITORIAL BOARD: P-III INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS: P-IV to VII MEMBERSHIP FORM: P-VIII  LOGIN: P-IX  Membership Subscript ion  Membership Fees Fellow Life Annual Individual Rs. 20,000/-, US $ 2000 Rs. 15,000/-, US $ 1500 Rs. 3,000/-, US $ 300 Institutional Rs. 30,000/-, US $ 3000 Rs. 20,000/-, US $ 2000 Rs. 4,000/-, US $ 400 (i i) Editor- in- Chief (Hon.) Dr. SHANKAR LAL GARGH M. Sc., Ph.D., M.B.A., LL.B., FICCE, FISBT, A. Inst. Pet. Phone: +91-731-4004000 Mobile: 094250-56228 Correspondence Address: “International Research Journal for Quality in Education” Sector AG/80, Scheme No. 54, Indore 452 010 (M.P.) INDIA Phone and Fax: +91-731-2552837 Web Site: www.shankargargh.org Member Portal: www.member.shankargargh.org E-mail: infoshankargargh@gmail.com CONTENTS Research Papers: 1. The Relationship between Stress Factors and MBA Students’ Academic Performance: Evidence from Private Universities in Malaysia - Mustapha Siti Maziha, Kaur Kamaljeet and Nik Salleh Nik Mohamad Zaki 1-4 2. Failure Factors of Physical Education Students in teaching Graduate Programme at Institute of Teacher Education - Muhammad Akbar Zahidi and Syed Kamaruzaman Syed Ali 5-11 3. Pública 14: A Report of a Fieldtrip as an Educational Strategy of Integrating the International Dimension into the Goals of Higher Education - Moura Anabela, Magalhães Carla and Gama Manuel 12-17 4. A Study on Constructing Indicators of Life Skills for Older Adult in Taiwan from the Perspectives of Lifelong Learning - Lin Li-Hui 18-22 5. A review of lights and shadows of Polish educational integration - Beata Borowska-Beszta 23-30
  2. 2. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) The Relationship between Stress Factors and MBA Students’ Academic Performance: Evidence from Private Universities in Malaysia Mustapha Siti Maziha1*, Kaur Kamaljeet1 and Nik Salleh Nik Mohamad Zaki2 1. Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA 2. Multimedia University, MALAYSIA *maziha@iukl.edu.my 1 Abstract Full time Master in Business Administration (MBA) students in universities face all kinds of pressures to maintain optimal performance in a challenging academic environment. Stress can have an impact on their ability to complete their Master’s degree and graduate. A significant number of university students fail to get an acceptable level of academic achievement which causes withdrawal or dismissal15. Different stressors can all pose their own treat to a student’s academic performance. The purpose of this study is to detect if there is a correlation between the stress that MBA students perceive that they are under and their Grade Point Average (GPA). Perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale, developed by Cohen and Mermeistein in 1983 and GPA by the grades obtained in that semester. The students were also asked to rank in order of importance a list of possible stress factors. We hypothesize that there would be a negative correlation between the amount of stress perceived by the students and the students’ GPA. Therefore, a higher score on the Perceived Stress Scale resulting in a higher level of stress, the correlated GPA should be lower during that specific semester. The study showed that some of possible sources of stress contributed more to students’ perceived stress. The implication of the findings is to offer better information to educators and administrators on how stress manifests itself on MBA students and its effect on students’ academic performance. Programs aimed at helping students to reduce their level of stress will help reduce academic failures or withdrawals. Keywords: Stress factors, MBA students, private universities, Malaysia. Introduction University students face many challenges in pursuit of * Author for Correspondence academic excellence. Awareness of factors associated with academic performance in university students is useful in helping students to maintain optimal performance in a stressful academic environment. Stress is defined as physiological non-specific reaction to external and internal demands22. Stress has also been described as a relationship between an individual and his or her environment that is perceived as dangerous and evaluated as beyond what he or she can deal with13. Thus, an individual’s perception and reaction to an event causes stress, not an event itself. Research shows that findings relating to perceived stress among university students are inconclusive. Many studies have been carried out to look at the relationship between stress factors and university students’ experience and the effects of stress on GPA. Hatcher and Prus10 called the stress factors that are associated to university students as academic situational constraints. The results of studies on correlation between the score on the perceived stress scale and GPA have been inconsistent. However, the hypothesis for this study is that there would be a negative correlation between the amount of stress perceived by the students and the students’ GPA. Therefore, a higher score on the Perceived Stress Scale resulting in a higher level of stress, the correlated GPA should be lower during that specific semester. Review of Literature Many researchers like Gall, Evans and Bellerose8 and Mallinckrodt14 have studied academic stress and found that college-related stress has been an important factor in college student adjustment. Academic stress was found to be negatively related to academic performance among traditional undergraduates17,20. Struthers, Perry and Menec23 found that freshmen in particular are affected by academic stress, so do inner-city high school students9. Different stressors can all pose their own treats to a student’s academic performance. A significant number of university students fail to get an acceptable level of academic achievement which causes withdrawal or dismissal15. According to Rocha-Singh19, time constraints, financial strain, academic workload and interpersonal difficulties with faculty, peers and significant others contribute to stress for college students. Findings from past studies show that stress experienced by university students results in negative outcomes.
  3. 3. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 2 There are many factors that could cause stress and influence a student’s academic performance and thus his or her GPA. However, what a student perceives as stressful may not be as stressful for another student. A stressor on its own may not be as harmful as when combined. A combination of stressors may have a greater effect on a student’s academic performance. The study also aims to discover what possible sources of stress that contributed more to students’ perceived stress. The MBA program serves as a medium that facilitates enhancement of leadership qualities and shaping of versatile future managers. Students entering into this professional education will face difficulties that will challenge their perseverance as the pressure to achieve good grades and get a degree is very high12. Students pursuing an MBA will require support to overcome obstacles so they can achieve the desired academic performance. Over the years, there have been numerous studies that have looked at the correlation of different stress factors that university students experience and the effects of stress on their overall achievements and mental health. However, there has not been much research that deals with the full time MBA students and the implications related to stress they experience. Thus, it is timely that a study is undertaken to investigate the relationship between stress factors and academic performance of students pursuing an MBA. The findings from the study would benefit various departments in universities that deal with the planning and conducting of required programs for the students to help them cope with stress-related factors. In consequence, this will help them to reduce their stress and gain better academic performance. Methodology Sample: The hypotheses were tested using a convenience sample of 171 MBA students (35% male, 65% female) attending 2 private universities in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. All participants were full time students with an average of 20 hours of work spent at university attending tutorials and performing other academic tasks. The sample was representative of a typical MBA program to the extent that it did not represent any one single demographic group (e.g. gender, age groups etc.) extensively. The data collection took place during students’ second semester and participants completed a written questionnaire in their classrooms. Measures: The participants’ perceived stress was evaluated using the scale developed by Cohen et al5. It is a fourteen item scale that requires participants to answer questions pertaining to them during the second semester. The scale is a measure of the degree to which situations in one’s life are appraised as stressful. Participants responded to each item using a five-point Likert-type scale from 1 (never) to 5 (very often). The scale has been proven to be a reliable tool to measure only the amount of stress, independent of other constructs like depression. The reported coefficient alpha for this scale is .78. The scale produces a single score where a higher score indicates a higher level of perceived stress. Items 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 & 13 were reversed coded5. Academic performance: A self-report item where participants were asked: “Please indicate your current cumulative grade point average” was used. Self-reported GPA measures are often utilized in educational research6,11. Demographic Data: The participants were asked to provide details about themselves for extraneous variables. They reported data about gender, age, race, semester, number of credit hours taken and GPA. Stress Factors Survey: The participants were asked to rank their top five stress factors that could have affected their GPA. Statistical Treatment: Descriptive statistics were utilized. Pearson correlations were computed to assess the relationship between variables. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Findings The Descriptive Statistics table shows that the mean score for the participants’ perceived stress is 32.8 with a wide dispersion as the SD is 6.23. This indicates that there is a wide range of stress level among students. The mean for the participants’ GPA is 3.3482. The standard deviation for GPA is below 1.0 indicating the dispersion as rather small. Descriptive Statistics Mean Std. Deviation N Total Score 31.80 6.230 171 GPA 3.3482 0.20470 171 Based on the Correlations table, the correlation coefficient is -.727. This value of r suggests a strong negative linear correlation since the value is negative and close to -1. Since the above value of r suggests a strong negative linear correlation, the data points should be clustered closely about a negatively sloping line. This is consistent with the scatterplot graph obtained below. Correlations Total Score GPA Total Score Pearson Correlation 1 -.727** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 N 171 171 GPA Pearson Correlation -.727** 1 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 N 171 171 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
  4. 4. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 3 The results of the correlation proved that there is a significant relationship between the stress that students perceive that they are under and their Grade Point Average (GPA), p<0.01. The hypothesis is that there would be a negative correlation between the amount of stress perceived by the students and the students’ GPA. The scatter plot shows that the higher score on the Perceived Stress Scale resulted in a higher level of stress and therefore the correlated GPA was lower during that specific semester. Relationship between perceived stress and GPA The data from the Stress Factors Survey yielded the following results. There are academic stressors as well as psychological stressors which affect the academic performance of students. In academic stressors, 19.6% of the students ranked the course load as having the highest impact on their academic performance. 16% of the students ranked not getting enough sleep as the second stressor and social activities as the third stressor (14.95). The fourth stressor was lack of exercise. Interestingly, 9.5% reported getting too much sleep as a stressor. There was also stress due to financial constraint (8.1%). Conclusion The findings of the study indicated that MBA students clearly experience stress and it has affected their academic performance. The findings from study confirm the hypothesis that MBA students’ academic stress is inversely correlated to academic performance. Course workload, lack of sleep and social activities were reported to be the top three factors contributing to students’ stress. Interestingly, getting too much sleep has been found to be the fifth stressor. This may be due to coping mechanism of some students where they resort to sleeping when the pressure is too much for them. However, by oversleeping, the students reported that they become more stressed. If university personnel are to effectively promote the adjustment of these students to an academic environment, they need to be aware of the types of stressors that are most common to university students and the effects of those stressors on outcomes such as academic performance. Besides academic performance, evidence from past research shows that stress experienced by college students relates to outcomes such as anxiety and depression1,18, hopelessness and suicide ideation3,4, decision-making ability16 and attrition7. MBA students could benefit from strategies to reduce stress. The implication of the findings is to offer better information to educators and administrators on how stress manifests itself on university post graduate students and its effect on students’ academic performance. Programs aimed at helping students to reduce their level of stress will help reduce academic failures or withdrawals. Limitation The convenience nature of the sample (MBA students in two private universities in Malaysia) requires replication of this study in other university environments prior to generalizing these results to all student populations. Factors contributing to stress
  5. 5. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 4 References 1. Aldwin C. and Greenberger E., Cultural differences in the predictors of depression, American Journal of Community Psychology, 15(4), 789-813 (1987) 2. Aldwin C. and Revenson T. A., Does coping help? A re-examination of the relation between coping and mental health, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(2), 337-348 (1987) 3. Bonner R. L. and Rich A. R., Toward a predictive model of suicidal ideation and behavior: Some preliminary data in college students, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 17(1), 50-63 (1987) 4. Bonner R. L. and Rich A. R., A prospective investigation of suicidal ideation in college students: A test of a model, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 18(3), 245-258 (1988) 5. Cohen S. and Williamson G., Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States, In Spacapan S. and Oskamp S., Eds., The social psychology of health: Claremont Symposium on applied social psychology, Newbury Park, CA, Sage (1988) 6. Connelly K. P., DuBois N. F. and Staley R., Structured interview study of the long-term effects of a college study skills course: Traces and self-report measures, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, April 15 (1998) 7. Cope R. G. and Hannah W., Revolving College Doors: The Causes and Consequences of Dropping Out, Stopping Out and Transferring, New York, Wiley Interscience (1975) 8. Gall T. L., Evans D. R. and Bellerose S., Transition to first-year University: patterns of change in adjustment across life domains and time, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(4), 544–567 (2000) 9. Gillock K. L. and Reyes O., Stress, support and academic performance of urban, low-income, Mexican–American adolescents, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28(2), 259–282 (1999) 10. Hatcher L. and Prus J. S., A measure of academic situational constraints: Out of class circumstances that inhibit college student development, Educational & Psychological Measurement, 51(4), 953963 (1991) 11. Hensley W. E., What do grades mean? A pilot study using sex, GPA and cognitive/semantic consistency, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern States Speech Communication Association, Pittsburgh, PA, April 27–30 (1995) 12. Hirsch J. K. and Ellis J. B., Differences in life stress and reasons for living among college suicide ideators and non- Ideators, College Student Journal, 30, 377-384 (1996) 13. Lazarus R. S. and Folkman Susan, Stress, Appraisal and Coping, New York, Springer Publishing (1984) 14. Mallinckrodt B., Student retention, social support and dropout intention: Comparison of black and white students, Journal of College Student Development, 29(1), 60–64 (1988) 15. Pascarella E. T. and Terenzini P. T., How College Affects Students, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass (1991) 16. Priester Michael and Clum George A., Perceived problem-solving ability as a predictor of depression, hopelessness and suicide ideation in college population, Journal of Counselling Psychology, 40(1), 79-85 (1993) 17. Pritchard M. E. and Wilson G. S., Using emotional and social factors to predict student success, Journal of College Student Development, 44(1), 18–28 (2003) 18. Rawson Harve E., Bloomer Kimberly and Kendall Amanda, Stress, anxiety, depression and physical illness in college students, The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 155(3), 321-330 (1994) 19. Rocha-Singh Indra A., Perceived stress among graduate students: Development and validation of the graduate stress inventory, Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54(3), 714-727 (1994) 22. Russell R. K. and Petrie T. A., Academic adjustment of college students: Assessment and counseling, In Lent R. W., ed., Handbook of Counseling Psychology, 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, 485–511 (1992) 21. Schuler R. S., Managing stress means managing time, Personal Journal, 58, December, 851-854 (1979) 22. Selye H., The Stress of Life, New York, McGraw Hill (1974) 23. Struthers C. W., Perry R. P. and Menec V. H., An examination of the relationship among academic stress, coping, motivation and performance in college, Research in Higher Education, 41(5), 581–592 (2000). (Received 01st July 2014, accepted 19th July 2014)
  6. 6. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) Failure Factors of Physical Education Students in teaching Graduate Programme at Institute of Teacher Education Muhammad Akbar Zahidi¹ and Syed Kamaruzaman Syed Ali²* Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, MALAYSIA *syed@um.edu.my 5 Abstract This study was about the failure factors of physical education students in teaching graduate programme (TGP) at institute of teacher education (ITE). Thus, this study identified the factors of failure from personal problems, lecturer, facility, syllabus and school factors. Furthermore, this study used a mixed mode method such as semi-structural interview and questionnaires. To answer the interview instrument, a total of 12 TGP students were selected from maximum variation method based on six different zones. Then, to answer the questionnaires, this research involved 40 TGP students at random. Next, descriptive statistics of SPSS 21.0 software was used to analyze the factors in five domains. The findings of the study indicated that the domain of syllabus factors contributed to the cause of the failure at the highest level. However, the finding of the lecturer communication was the highest among the items. Therefore, failure was causing some effects such as feeling sad, frustrated and stressed out to deal with colleagues and family members. Keywords: Physical Education Students, Teaching Graduate Program (TGP), Institute of Teacher Education (ITE). Introduction Teaching Graduate Program (TGP) offered to in service teachers who are under the Ministry of Education to uphold their teaching profession as contained in the Education Development Plan Blueprint 2013-2025 to ensure that all teachers have qualifications at least at the undergraduate level5. TGP goals were to raise the level of educational qualification of Postgraduate Diploma in Education Services (PDES) as well as to produce quality graduates, including in the field of physical education in terms of mastery knowledge, skills and competencies of professionalism in line with the National Education Philosophy and Education Teachers Philosophy1. So, this program was very important to increase the number of graduate teachers in primary schools over 60% from the total before 2015. The goal line with the government transformation programme launched a new offer for all teachers to improve service quality and increase profile of professionalism in their careers3. Therefore, ITE has offered a total of 13,213 students for TGP at ITE in June 2011, including the option or field of physical education. However, the results of first semester of that year showed a total of 140 TGP students failed the examination4. After repetitions of examinations were carried out, a total of 23 TGP students (30%) still failed and stopped. A total number of students who failed in this TGP was very large compared to the number of pre-service students in Bachelor of Teaching which was only five people in 2011, even though both groups of the students were to follow the same curriculum structure6. Further, Halim6 found that 40 TGP students of physical education options failed in some courses until 2013 and now they still continue their studies. Therefore, this research will identify the level of failure based on five domains in the TGP. Review of Literature The failure of TGP students in physical education at ITE was due to several factors. Based on previous studies, some preliminary findings showed that there were a few reasons contributing to the factors such as personal problems, lecturers, facilities, syllabus and schools. According to Sulan2, through the failure of off-campus students at a local university, personal factors were a major cause and showed 76% respondents failed to finish their studies. This was because the students were in employment services. Besides, their ages were different from full time students and some of them were over 40 years old. Furthermore, some of them suffered from health problems but age was not a determinant of reaching a success. Then, students should be wise in choosing option or field offered for the distance education. Accordingly, the family was decisive to ensure a success to TGP students. This was because most of them were already married and have to juggle between family and education. Thus, sacrifice of time on weekends was a psychological toll that must be borne by the TGP students. Besides, one of the failures was due to the extra costs or fees. They had to pay the fees by themselves to get extra knowledge. TGP students had to be wise to choose their fields at the university and if not, they were getting some difficulties to follow the syllabus. Thus, encouragement from families and friends was very important for the students to be driving to succeed. Moreover, according to Jamaluddin3, the cause of the distance education students’ failure was due to lecturers. The results showed that the absence of an attitude of respect was causing the failure. Adult students deserve to
  7. 7. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 6 get a different learning approach from teenage students. Therefore, lecturers should respect adult learners through more effective discretion. Lecturers cannot be arbitrary resolute in delivering teaching and learning. Thus, teaching techniques need to be changed and require an understanding with a different approach to teach the students. Effective knowledge and techniques of communication caused the students do not understand what was being taught. Further, a study from Rauzah and Muhammad4 showed that convenience factor for adult learners was not giving satisfaction. Distance education students had to use facilities on weekends which were used by the previous full-time students. Besides, the other facilities factors such as ITE’s toilets were not clean, tables and chairs were not enough, lack of an LCD projector, no internet connection, difficult to get the internet password and the lecture rooms were not clean5. All of these factors led to disruption of the adult learning. Next, Halim6 showed that syllabus factor for learning distance was too difficult and far on their level of knowledge. This led students to take additional classes to understand the syllabus in their studies. Syllabus was quite difficult, lack of practical learning and study period was too long. These factors resulted for the students not to continue their studies. In addition, school factors were also involved in the failure of TGP distance students. This was due to lack of moral support at their workplaces. According to Jamaluddin3, students who were in employment services needed encouragement and support by the administration of their organizations. Therefore, TGP students should not be burdened with too much work to bother their emotions. Administrators in the organization should understand that performing various tasks in the same time required cooperation between each other. In conclusion, all adult students through distance education require motivation and circumstances surrounding need to understand their situations. Methodology Research Design: In this study, the method used was quantitative and qualitative. This study used a descriptive design of description and narration. It used to describe an understanding of the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE. Sampling: To answer the interview instrument, a total of 12 student teachers were selected through maximum variation based on six different zones. Meanwhile, to answer the questionnaires, it was involving 40 students of TGP students randomly. Instrument: The main instruments in this study were a set of interview and a questionnaire developed for identifying the main factors that caused the failure of physical education students in TGP at ITE. Interview instrument was developed through the findings of previous studies based on the objectives and research questions. Next, researchers built a set of questionnaires based on the findings from the interview. The questionnaire statements consisted of two parts which were Part A and Part B. Part A contained profile of the respondents while Part B contained five main components which included personal factors, lecturer, facility, syllabus and school that contributed to the failures among the students. Further, the last aspect contained a few steps and suggestions from respondents to overcome these problems. The instruments used were developed by the researchers based on an interview pilot study that conducted towards 20 respondents in the Klang Valley one month before the actual research conducted. Accordingly, the questionnaire was constructed based on the findings from the pilot study. Validity and Reliability Furthermore, researchers used content validity to assess the validity of the questionnaire in this study. Based on a list of scores given by a panel of three experts, the Cronbach Alpha for the questionnaire instrument was 0.790 to 0.8.19. In conclusion, the Cronbach Alpha in content validity of this study was 0.806. Then, the researchers used "test-retest" to test the reliability level of expression in the instrument. The instrument was evaluated twice on the same sample group of 20 persons and analyzed through Pearson correlation to determine the strength of relationship. The results of this pilot study showed the reliability coefficient was 0.839. Thus, the validity and reliability in this study was acceptable and suitable to be used. Data Analysis and Findings Table 1 showed that 35.0% of respondents were male and 65.0% of the respondents were female. In terms of age, 55.0% of students were 31 to 40 years old and 45.0% of the students were aged between 41 to 50 years old. Based on the categories of teaching experience, a total of 20.0% of the respondents were between 2 and 10 years. In addition, a total of 75.0% of the respondents were between 11 to 20 years. Meanwhile, a total of 5.0% of the respondents were between 21 to 30 years. For the original option category, a total of 40.0% of respondents were comprised of music education option. However, only 20.0% of respondents were composed of science option. Next, the students’ option/ field category showed a total of 10.0% of TGP respondents consisted of Mathematics, TESL, Physical Education and Islamic Education options. Furthermore, the category of option or field chosen showed a total of 100.0% of the respondents chose physical education.
  8. 8. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) Table 1 Profile of Survey Respondents by Gender, Age, Experience and Original Option/ Fields Offered at ITE Profile of Respondents N % Gender Male 14 35.0 Female 26 65.0 TOTAL 40 100.0 7 Age 26 – 30 years old 0 0 31 – 40 years old 22 55.0 41 – 50 years old 18 45.0 51 years old and above 0 0 TOTAL 40 100.0 Experience 2 – 10 years 8 20.0 11 – 20 years 30 75.0 21 – 30 years 2 5.0 Over 31 years 0 0 TOTAL 40 100.0 Original Option/ Field Mathematics 4 10.0 TESL 4 10.0 Physical Education 8 20.0 Science Education 8 20.0 Music Education 16 40.0 TOTAL 40 100.0 Option/ Field Chosen Physical Education 40 100.0 TOTAL 40 100.0 Table 2 Personal Factors Not Related Related S.N. Item SNR N (%) NT N (%) QR N (%) R N (%) SR N (%) Mean Standard Deviation Level 1 Health problems 14 (35) 14 (35) 2 (5) 10 (25) 0 (0) 2.84 1.208 Average 2 Option / field of study offered 2 (5) 4 (10) 2 (5) 16 (40) 16 (40) 3.19 .961 Average 3 Family encouragement 6 (15) 6 (15) 4 (10) 4 (10) 20 (50) 2.95 1.069 Average 4 Sacrifice of time on weekends 4 (10) 12 (30) 4 (10) 8 (20) 12 (30) 3.05 1.181 Average 5 Tuition fees 16 (40) 12 (30) 2 (5) 6 (15) 4 (10) 3.25 1.033 Average 6 Difficulty field in TGP 8 (20) 4 (10) 0 (0) 10 (25) 18 (45) 3.32 1.010 Average 7 Friend encouragement 4 (10) 8 (20) 4 (10) 6 (15) 18 (45) 2.95 1.069 Average Overall Mean 3.08 1.076 Average SNR ÷ Strongly Not Related; NR ÷ Not Related; QR ÷ Quite Related; R ÷ Related; SR ÷ Strongly Related Table 2 showed that the personal factors contributing to the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE with an overall mean with M = 3:08, SD = 1.076 on average level. The study found that the difficulty factor in TGP field was a major factor in the failure with M = 3:32, SD = 1.010 on average. The findings were in line with an interview. The views and perceptions of the respondent ware as follows: Indeed ... I’m interested with my option of field chosen.. besides, I like P.E. but it is very difficult for me to study because I have to use my physical.. but, learning in the institute changed everything.. sometimes, I'm enjoying learning P.E. but I’m too old to learn P.E. physically ...and the problem is, I don’t get any support in terms of moral from anyone and I have some health problems. We really want to get good lecturers in ITE. I hope I can get a better future after finishing this study even though I have to pay tuition fees by myself to get knowledge. (INF1/North/14.2.2014)
  9. 9. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 8 However, the factor of health problems was the least important factor with M = 2.84, SD = 1.208 on average level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: ...our seniors in the ITE are not helping us so much.. I cannot remember so many points in the class maybe because of my age. Besides, my health is sometimes disrupted as well. I really hope that some young teachers can help me in my study. I can do all assignments given by written but it is difficult for me to use my physical at the field. Sometimes my lecturers just teach us without knowing that we are older than them and our ages caused we could not able to remember so much things in our studies… but, sometimes we are ashamed to admit that we do not know anything in front of the class. (INF2/Middle/22.2.2014) Table 3 Lecturer Factors Not Related Related S.N. Item SNR N (%) NT N (%) QR N (%) R N (%) SR N (%) Mean Standard Deviation Level 1 Attitude of respect 2 (5) 2 (5) 4 (10) 8 (20) 24 (60) 2.96 1.216 Average 2 Lecturers service 2 (5) 0 (0) 2 (5) 12 (30) 24 (60) 3.07 1.151 Average 3 Lecturer assertive 2 (5) 4 (10) 6 (15) 8 (20) 18 (45) 2.96 1.179 Average 4 Teaching methods 2 (5) 2 (5) 4 (10) 6 (15) 26 (65) 3.12 1.127 Average 5 Lecturer attraction 4 (10) 4 (10) 2 (5) 8 (20) 22 (55) 3.29 1.007 Average 6 Teaching aids 0 (0) 4 (10) 4 (10) 8 (20) 24 (60) 2.84 1.146 Average 7 Lecturer’s communication 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (5) 14 (35) 24 (60) 4.96 1.216 High 8 Lecturer’s knowledge 0 (0) 2 (5) 4 (10) 14 (35) 20 (50) 4.07 1.151 High Overall Mean 3.40 1.149 Average SNR ÷ Strongly Not Related; NR ÷ Not Related; QR ÷ Quite Related; R ÷ Related; SR ÷ Strongly Related Table 3 showed that the lecturer factors contributing to the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE with an overall mean with M = 3.40 and SD = 1.149 on average level. The study found that the factor of communication with the lecturer was the highest factor contributing to the failure of students with M = 4.96, SD = 1.216 at a high level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: My communication with lecturers is not too good because I am older than them.. sometimes I felt just a little bit hurt with their words.. but sometimes I'm ok with them.. but actually, I have no problem with a few single lecturers. Even their teachings are very poor but I am still respecting my lecturers. I know my lecturers well and they are still my lecturers till the ends even some of them seem do not like me. But as students, we have follow their instructions.. some lecturers are very kind depend on situation and time…but, I am not too disappointed with my destiny to have lectures like this. We have to accept it right... but, there are lecturers who do not respect me as a student. We're too old, please treat us like boys. That’s why we feel very difficult to communicate with these lecturers.. P.E is not an easy field to study via distance learning.. (INF1/East/25.2.2014) However, the factor of teaching aids was the least important factor with M = 2.84, SD = 1.146. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: ... we are not teens anymore.. this means that lecturers have to teach using teaching aids... sometimes they did not bring any teaching aids, that is why it was difficult for us to understand. Sometimes we are thinking that what the lecturer is doing in front of the class.. we do not understand anything.. My perception is, our lecturers may be tired in teaching on weekends.. that is why they teach us without using any tools... (INF2/Sarawak/8.3.2014)
  10. 10. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) Table 4 Facility Factors Not Related Related 9 S.N. Item SNR N (%) NT N (%) QR N (%) R N (%) SR N (%) Mean Standard Deviation Level 1 Toilet cleanliness 14 (35) 12 (30) 4 (10) 6 (15) 4 (10) 3.24 .867 Average 2 Number of tables and chairs 12 (30) 4 (10) 10 (25) 8 (20) 6 (15) 3.25 .905 Average 3 LCD projector 4 (10) 4 (10) 14 (35) 12 (30) 10 (25) 3.31 .972 Average 4 Internet network 2 (5) 6 (15) 10 (25) 12 (30) 10 (25) 3.39 .972 Average 5 Internet password 6 (15) 8 (20) 8 (20) 12 (30) 6 (15) 3.15 1.386 Average 6 Classroom hygiene 4 (10) 8 (20) 10 (25) 6 (15) 12 (30) 3.20 1.105 Average Overall Mean 3.26 .951 Average SNR ÷ Strongly Not Related; NR ÷ Not Related; QR ÷ Quite Related; R ÷ Related; SR ÷ Strongly Related Table 4 showed that the facility factors contributing to the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE with an overall mean with M = 3:26, SD = 0.951 on average level. The study found that internet connection was the most relevant factor in contributing to this failure with M = 3:39, SD = 0.972 on average level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: …to me internet in the ITE is fine but sometimes the line sever is quite slow. It is because most of us always use apps in the ITE. We have to admit that without the internet, we cannot study with peace. Internet is one of the facilities, but the problem is we're not being allowed to use the middle time of study. Our lecturers always bothering our minds and said it’s ok without using the internet... instead we are poor and not able to buy broadband.. we rarely use the internet during the class period.. if not, lecturers will get angry.. (INF2/South/18.2.2014) However, internet password was the least important factor with M = 3:15, SD = 1,386 on average level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: ..ITE’s facilities can be considered 80% completed but there were 20% did not work properly. For example, some of us do not even know about the internet passwords in the ITE. Overdrive.. who know the passwords but sometimes the server is really cannot be connected. ITE administrators have to know that there are many TGP students using the internet network at a given time. That is why the server is so slow.. (INF1/North/12.2.2014) Table 5 Syllabus Factors Not Related Related S.N. Item SNR N (%) NT N (%) QR N (%) R N (%) SR N (%) Mean Standard Deviation Level 1 Syllabus appropriateness 2 (5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 16 (40) 22 (55) 4.67 .971 High 2 Level difficulty 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (5) 14 (35) 24 (60) 4.61 .904 High 3 Theory learning 0 (0) 2 (5) 2 (5) 14 (35) 22 (55) 4.33 .959 High 4 Practical learning 0 (0) 2 (5) 4 (10) 8 (20) 26 (65) 3.61 .942 Average 5 Learning period 2 (5) 2 (5) 2 (5) 6 (15) 28 (70) 3.38 1.039 Average Overall Mean 4.12 .975 High SNR ÷ Strongly Not Related; NR ÷ Not Related; QR ÷ Quite Related; R ÷ Related; SR ÷ Strongly Related Table 5 showed that the syllabus factors contributing to the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE with an overall mean with M = 4:12, SD = 0.975 on high level. The study found that TGP syllabus suitability was the most relevant factor contributing to this failure with M = 4.67, SD = 0.971 at a high level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows:
  11. 11. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) …chapters in the syllabus are actually give a burden.. this syllabus had been provided by ITE itself.. so, the syllabus of the institute is not suitable for us because we already come with our age and we are not like full-time students. I am telling you sir that studying at the institute is really giving a burden and very difficult. I think Ministry of Education should look up and make a new syllabus for our program. As I said before, we are not robots, we are educators.. besides, there are so many works to do in our studies. (INF1/South/16.2.2014) 10 However, learning period was the least important factor with M = 3:38, SD = 1.039 on average level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: ..I think two years are enough for us to study in this program to avoid our minds get in dizziness. This is just my opinion. Some of TGP syllabus contents are not suitable for us. Therefore, Ministry of Education should reduce the amount of syllabus and at the same time reduce our study’s period. This is because we are experienced teacher. We do not need to learn more and we already had learnt some of the topics in the syllabus. (INF1/South/26.2.2014) Table 6 School Factors Not Related Related S.N. Item SNR N (%) NT N (%) QR N (%) R N (%) SR N (%) Mean Standard Deviation Level 1 Administrator encouragement 0 (0) 2 (5) 4 (10) 8 (20) 26 (65) 3.15 .932 Average 2 Burden of work 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (5) 14 (35) 24 (60) 4.23 1.078 High 3 School program the on weekends 0 (0) 2 (5) 2 (5) 14 (35) 22 (55) 3.25 1.016 Average 4 Importance of official duties 2 (5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 16 (40) 22 (55) 3.18 1.159 Average Overall Mean 3.45 1.046 Average SNR ÷ Strongly Not Related; NR ÷ Not Related; QR ÷ Quite Related; R ÷ Related; SR ÷ Strongly Related Table 6 showed that the school factors contributing to the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE with an overall mean with M = 3:45, SD = 1.046 on average level. The study found that burden of work was the most relevant factor in contributing to this failure with M = 4:23, SD = 1.078 at a high level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: …my school gives a lot of assignments to me… then, I have a lot of work to do including my study’s assignments. Actually, school administrators already had known that we are learning in TGP, but they still burdened us with ridiculous works. We are so tired to bear all these works including school works. Now, we are working like a machine. (INF1/Sabah/8.2.2014) However, encouragement from administrators was the least important factor with M = 3:15, SD = 0.932 on average level. The findings were in line with the interviews. The views and perceptions of the respondents were as follows: ...there is no support from my administrators. I am really hoping that they can understand my situation in ITE. My lecturers give a lot of assignment to be accomplished. Sometimes, school programs on weekends require a lot of manpower. So, we need to go to school and not to attend TGP classes. (INF1/North/16.2.2014) Discussion and Implications In general, the impact on physical education students in TGP who failed in some courses was at a low level. However, the study also found that there were some impacts on the students who failed such as promotion of graduation effects, depression, low of self-esteem, salary increments and so on. Table 3 provided an overview that the lecturers’ communication factor showed the highest level in contributing to the failure of the students. It indicated that lecturers’ communication was very important for the distance learning process. There were five factors of the key themes arising from the study such as personal factors, lecturer factors, facility factors, syllabus factors and school factors. Personal: Generally, researchers found that all students showed their determination to pursue a teaching bachelor
  12. 12. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 11 although some limitations were faced. The limitation factors included their time, finance, distance between the ITE and home and health problems. However, all of the constraints need to be faced by the students sake for their future. This was proved by their presence to every single class on weekends. TGP students reported that they also got a full support and encouragement from families and colleagues in their schools. Lecturer: Besides, TGP students’ relationships with all lecturers were quite good except for some particular lecturers. TGP students reported that some of them were afraid to deal with arrogant lectures. This was because some ITE lecturers refused to tolerate with TGP students who had personal problems which could not be avoided. Due to that, some of the students were lacking motivation and encouragement because their lecturers seem to underestimate their abilities as ITE students. Facility: Although the internet server at the institute was limited, the students reported that it was not a major problem because they used their own broadband. Besides, they understood that there were too many students using it. In addition, students also reported that they had to sacrifice their own money to buy sports equipment costing more than RM1000 to ensure their studies were running smoothly. Syllabus: Besides, students reported that they had to learn a high level syllabus which is beyond their abilities. Meanwhile, TGP students only had a short interaction session with only five meetings per semester. In other words, students felt that this mode of program was not suitable for TGP students and the syllabus should be improved. It was because duration of assignments given was very short and they did not have time to complete them in a time given. To overcome this problem, the students are willing to pursue an additional private tuition with a qualified partner in the sports field. It is indicating that the students have high aspirations to succeed and they are willing to sacrifice their time, energy and money to achieve their ambitions. School: Schools including teachers and colleagues are generally given a full support and encouragement to the students who are in the program. In fact, some of them are granted exemption from attending school activities on the weekend if they have classes. This means their schools are always provided high supports to improve their knowledge and thus, help to enhance the overall professionalism. Conclusion The findings showed that the failure factors of physical education students in TGP at ITE were caused by an imbalance assessment system in which the weightage was 100% based on exam-oriented. Next, most of them stated that they still have to perform coursework, although the weighted scores were not counted in the final examination. Besides, the number of face to face interaction with lecturers is limited and they felt that the course work marks should be considered to help them to improve the exam scores. This causes them to feel so disappointed even they were doing the course work as best as possible. In addition, they also have intrinsic assignments as a schools teacher, to perform preparatory teaching and learning as well as additional duties to another. At the same time, they also need to divide their time and concentrate on the task as a TGP student. Following the failure, the students felt very sad, frustrated and stressed out to deal with colleagues and family members. Despite their desires to continue their studies to the degree level are still high, some of them are desperate and reluctant to pursue again because of their ages and afraid to face the failure again. References 1. Sulaiman Fatimah, The concept of teaching through e-learning, Journal of Distance Education, 8(12), 18-27 (2012) 2. Sulan Ibrahim, Lecturers teaching approaches and methods of distance education, Journal of Management Education, 8(3), 54- 66 (2010) 3. Jamaluddin Khalid, Satisfaction of students through distance education, Journal of Distance Education, 2(13), 34-41 (2011) 4. Rauzah N. A. M. A and Muhammad A. Z., Strengths and weaknesses of distance learning, Journal of Educational Administration and Management, 5(8), 32-43 (2013) 5. Rosli Kamaruddin, Failure of distance education students in physical education, Journal of Physical Education, 9(2), 23-38 (2013) 6. Halim Siti Hasanah, Self-learning techniques in distance students, Journal of Management Education, 2(8), 21-29 (2013). (Received 27th June 2014, accepted 15th July 2014)
  13. 13. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) Pública 14: A Report of a Fieldtrip as an Educational Strategy of Integrating the International Dimension into the Goals of Higher Education Moura Anabela1, Magalhães Carla2 and Gama Manuel1,2 1. Art Education, Viana do Castelo Polytechnic, PORTUGAL 2. Communication and Society Research Centre, Minho University, PORTUGAL *amoura@ese.ipvc.pt 12 Abstract The importance of cultural activities in general (including creative industries) is increasingly being recognized in Portugal not only for its cultural and human value, but also for the contribution it makes to local, regional and national economies. However, one of the issues facing Portuguese cultural policy makers, educators and researchers, especially at local and regional levels, is the scarcity of information and quality data available that allows them to make decisions that are based on evidence and are relevant to local and regional economic, cultural policy and practice. There is little cultural data on the northern region of Alto Minho, specifically, on Viana do Castelo. Part of the above mentioned legacy will be the provision of further opportunities for specialist training and practice for these cultural sector professionals, as well as contact with current international practice. This presentation evolved from the belief of three members of the staff of a BA Degree Course on Art and Culture Management (ACM), at Escola Superior de Educação, Viana do Castelo Polytechnic (ESE-IPVC), Portugal. They believe that using a field trip as an educational strategy could help to encourage the development of an enduring network of professionally minded cultural practitioners in the region of Alto Minho who support each other, their continuing professional development and their region. But they also were aware that the field trip in itself, would not be likely to reach this aim, unless it is part of a programme of discussion on personal experience and on the observed context. This presentation intends to be a contribution of three members of staff of ESE-IPVC and reports the main findings of a field trip visit to ‘Pública 14’ in Madrid, during January 2014. It describes how such international event worked for them as a rich laboratory for exploring a variety of cultural management issues and a measure of intellectual dialogue and development not just for this Polytechnic and its Art and Cultural Management BA and MA students but also for wider society. Keywords: Field Trip, Qualitative Research, Higher Education, internationalization, Arts Management. Introduction As teacher trainers and researchers in the sector of Art and Cultural Management, we have been concerned with the professional training in a social moment which is characterized by a growing internationalization, involving larger numbers of people integrating European partnerships - something that is foreseen under the new Council of Europe support frameworks for higher education and culture funding through 2020. One of the most urgent needs in terms of training cultural managers has to do with the methods and strategies used in assessing the levels of experience, understanding and knowledge that our students should have regarding the arts and cultural sector on priori basis for determining relevant curriculum content, with the aims of contributing to the: • production of knowledge about the relationship between art and culture; • improvements in the quality of arts management; • development of a critical perspective on art and culture. Aware that future developments in culture are always dependent on European fiscal and national funding dynamics as well as political agendas, these developments are dependent to economic and financial adjustment to which Portugal is currently being subjected. Considering the new Community Support Framework, all in all, the period from 2014 to 2020 will demand much more from culture through civil society initiatives, than from the cultural policies of EU states and their funding initiatives. It is worthwhile to remind that, regarding Portuguese situation, between 2014 and 2020, the aims of the new approaches included in the EU support plan were: - to promote and research which findings can help to clearly identify the contribution of culture to the Portuguese economic competitiveness and internationalization; - to train specialists intrinsically related with diverse scientific areas such as Science, Arts, Heritage, Communications, Sociology, Anthropology, amongst
  14. 14. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 13 others and promote employment, territorial cohesion and development and - to find more adequate financial instruments and the best articulation between different ways of getting funding in order to promote investment. This leads to the question, that in light of diminishing financial resources, how can a visit to Pública 14 work as a laboratory for exploring a variety of issues in the arts and cultural management sector and become a measure of internationalizing professional development through intellectual dialogue and development? Background of the Field Trip In the first decade of twenty-first century, the Fundación Contemporânea (Contemporary Foundation) was created in Spain, which is a platform for meeting, discussion and debate for professionals in the cultural and creative sector. It aims to contribute to the development of culture in the professionals in the cultural sector, through practice-based activities intended to (i) foster professional abilities; (ii) create management tools; (iii) boost networking and internationalization and (iv) support cultural entrepreneurs. The creation in 2009 of the Observatoire of Culture (Observatorio de la Cultura de la Fundación Contemporánea, 2009) and the beginning of International Meetings on Cultural Management, by Fundación Contemporánea (2011), generically called „Pública‟ (Public), were two important initiatives of this Foundation, amongst others, that sees itself as a space of discussion, data collection and analysis regarding cultural sector, with a publication of a report every semester. The first edition of „Pública‟ was held on January 27th and 28th 2011 and it involved a roundtable moderated entitled "The Profession of the Cultural Manager"1. In the introduction of that roundtable, the former director of the Master in Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona reminded the participants that despite the accepted view that cultural management can no longer be considered as an emerging profession, the truth was that it is not yet considered as a balanced and mature practice. Three other studies were presented by Spanish researchers of other regions and they revealed that most of the cultural managers in the sector were women. They all had higher education qualifications in this sector and at least ten years of experience5. The main findings of these presentations regarding training and practice for cultural managers were that dialogue and constant articulation among practitioners and researchers was fundamental for a successful level of production of knowledge on the one hand and on the other hand the implementation of good practices of their professions on a daily base. The planning of Pública 12, which brought together directors and heads of public and private institutions in the cultural sector, as well as other professional sectors directly or indirectly related to the cultural sector and academics, was structured into six themes: 1) New cultural projects; 2) Experiences; 3) Management Tools; 4) Cultural Policy; 5) Financing of projects and 6) Internationalisation9. More than twenty papers were presented at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid on January 26th and 27th 2012. The presentation of Carme Sais6, president of the Professional Cultural Management Association of Catalunya is mentioned here for two reasons. First, as she represents an association that was created in 1993, with over 750 members in 2012 and secondly, because her presentation on the “Guide to the Best Practices in Cultural Management”3, gave recognition and dignity to the cultural managers profession and expanded technical, legal and ethical knowledge regarding cultural management. The Guide begins by introducing an operational definition of cultural management, stressing the importance of professional development for the artistic and cultural sector and the integration of the sector into a social, territorial and economic strategy. Secondly, it sets out some competencies considered as fundamental for managers when performing tasks in their profession, namely effectiveness, efficiency, criteria, knowledge and flexibility. Pública 1310,11 presented another guide entitled “Guía para la Evaluación de las Culturales Politicas Locales"6, written by the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces. Despite the importance and relevance of this document on cultural policies, this guide was subject to adaptations and it will be used in the Portuguese project entitled, “Políticas Culturais: o Papel Central do Poder Local II 2014-2020” (or Cultural Policy: The Central Role of Local Government II 2014-2020), which is being developed by a group of national researchers who decided to reflect on the contributions by José Tasat and the other participants in the roundtable moderated by Rubén Caravaca11. The paper presented by the Coordinator of Management and Academic Coordination of the National University of Tres de Febrero in Argentina, José Tasat, has once again encouraged academics to develop research and extension projects that can contribute to qualify the cultural management sector, but also to place culture at the center of political discourse. The presentation which was moderated by the president of the State Federation of Cultural Managers, Rubén Caravaca, was important because it allowed for the discussion of new business models, especially those based on collaborative processes in which citizenship is in the center of interventions and that allow the creation of alternatives to traditional forms of management based on economic models. Pública 14 - ENCUENTROS INTERNACIONALES DE GESTIÓN CULTURAL, with 20 countries participating, incidentally did not include Portugal. For this reason a small team of three teachers (Moura, Magalhães and Gama) at Escola Superior de Educação, Viana do Castelo
  15. 15. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 14 Polytechnic (ESEVC), Northern Portugal, decided to create its own inclusion by attending it. The main aims of the visit were the following: (i) to collect data from this field trip to "Pública 14"; (ii) to analyze and interpret the collected data; (iii) to disseminate its findings and present a report. Methodology Fieldwork is a fundamental qualitative research method that higher education teachers need to address in their courses as a means of surveying, observing, describing, interpreting and mapping the different problems of their own scientific areas. Polytechnics in Portugal and more specifically, the Colleges that make up Polytechnics, are in a strong position to shape a culture in research development, particularly in the field of Arts and Cultural Management, as the rules prohibiting these schools from providing masters courses have changed and they are now encouraged to form partnerships with other institutions that allow the strengthening of such programmes. In 2007, ESEVC began to run the first undergraduate course in Portugal, in Arts and Cultural Management. After decades of cultural, social and political isolation (until 1974) and a brief historical moment of "revolutionary" and downstream cultural production, Portugal has made an effort to put itself on par with the core countries with regard to the production and distribution of culture and arts (examples of which are the Serralves Museum and the Casa da Música in Porto), despite all financial constraints. Thus, in the field of artistic and cultural management, research in educational sciences can play a crucial role in terms of the development of reflective thinking, not only about educational experiences and perspectives of artistic and cultural management in cultural institutions of formal, informal and non-formal education, but also in terms of questions about production, distribution and access to artistic goods and services. Field trip as a research strategy is recognized as an important tool at ESEVC, with a long tradition in terms of Education and Research. Consequently, a field trip visit to Madrid was funded, on January 30th and 31st 2014, because it was considered as an important investment on the professional training of the BA staff. The success of the outputs of such field trip, as Almeida (1988) states would depend not only on good planning, but also on how the participants would perceive it, not only as a privileged space for developing closer relationships with other people and understanding their contexts, but also as an opportunity for professionalizing learning, cognition and staff motivation. The field trip method17 is used in many modules of the BA curriculum such as the optional courses in Education Resources for Museums, or Sociology and Anthropology of Culture, Contemporary History I and II, Research Methods I, II and III, Professional Practice I and II, among others, in which students learn how to collect data which can be appropriate to solve specific problems or to locate some needed resources. Data Analysis Pública 14 promoted the encounter, discussion and collaboration between public and private cultural management professionals, institutions, organizations and enterprises. The fourth edition included more than sixty different activities. All of those papers provided the debate and discussion of issues related to multi-disciplinary teams and topics such as cultural policies, sustainable development, cultural tourism, cultural marketing, funding projects, support for farmers and entrepreneurs and creating public and digital culture. It was focused on the theme of internationalization and many of their workshops and roundtables were made by professionals from institutions such as Tate in London, ARCHIP and DOX Center for Contemporary Art in Prague, the Czech Philharmonic or the Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico, promoting the debate on cultural policies, sharing stories of success and management tools and also exploring opportunities for collaboration between countries. Again, concerns about the training of cultural managers were under discussion, this year aiming to point out that there has been a great development in the professionalization of cultural managers. But it also noted the existence of many cultural organizations, both public and private, which do not invest enough in the training of their employees. Enrique Villaba18, director of the Master's degree in Cultural Management from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, believes that the pedagogical formation of a cultural manager should generally include the following characteristics: be professionally recognized; be general, theoretical, practical and vocational; be flexible and cutting edge; have cultural requirements and be professionally relevant. Culture has been one of the fields most affected by the crisis and one of the biggest problems of the cultural sector, is its financing. For the creative and cultural sector industries present at this conference, there are two obvious difficulties: 1) for organizations and public entities, funding programming and maintenance of infrastructures and 2) for the private cultural sector, the difficulty in securing financing, which conditions their existence. All sources of funding were negatively affected, in whole or in part, by the global and European economic and financial crisis. For a cultural institution to create and realize a project or direct it with success is therefore very complicated; however, these difficulties often can increase the sagacity and talent of cultural managers but should not be a justification of their existence.
  16. 16. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 15 In the European models of financing the cultural and creative sector, the State subsidizes and manages 80% of the country's culture. The opposite tradition is represented by the United States, which is characterized by limiting the role of the State, placing the cultural policies of stimulating culture in local scale and individual action13. In this sense, an example presented at Pública 14, was given by one of the institutions that seems to have adapted to the crisis through the reformulation of their management policies: the Teatro Real, National Theatre Opera of Madrid. Madrid's Opera made these changes in 2007 when the Spanish Ministry of Culture left the control of Teatro Real, giving it autonomy, allowing a professional management without political interference. In terms of funding, the General Director of this organism, Ignacio García-Belenguer said that they opted for an intermediate solution between the American model, in which 90% of funding is private (70% from private donations, 20% from ticket offices and 10% from the State) and the European in which 80% of the funding is public (10% from private donations, 10% from ticket offices and 80% from the State)12. The Director of Teatro Real stated that their financial goal is to reach the 30-30-30 model where the public, the private and the financing from the clients have the same weight. To execute the new model of the Teatro Real, it was necessary for the development of a conscience in civil society that aimed to promote their participation in cultural fields and in this particular case, in the Opera. Cultural and artistic production is addressed to the public and therefore it is this public that justifies the cultural production. Their presence is a strong indicator of satisfaction and can be a strong component of funding. The example of the Madrid Opera is remarkable in the way that sought to regain and expand its audience, counting on the public as one of their sources of funding. But even in countries where private investment takes precedence over the Government, as is the case of the United States, the State does not cease to fulfill an important role in the regulation of this investment, as well as maintaining a presence in the direct funding of artistic and cultural activities, fulfilling a mission to fix economic and social inequalities. In most European countries, such as Spain or Portugal, the cultural funding is essentially public with an important role exercised by municipalities. However, in Portugal, the revenue that the government intended for culture tends to be insufficient or poorly distributed. As opposed to the previous successful example and following the presentation of the round table entitled, "Out of the crisis strengthened. Experience the Royal Theatre", by Gregorio Marañon, Ignácio García-Belenguer Y Joan Matabosch at Pública 14, some cultural managers spoke about their difficulties in terms of fund raising, especially the small cultural organization‟s managers or emergent managers of artistic projects. Those for whom there is not enough public funding and private funding is scarce, their difficulties are related to the fact that they compete with large cultural organizations or public institutions without economic power for the same resources, promoting an unbalanced competition. The creation of cultural projects has forced the viability of its execution that depends not only of the quality and originality of the project but, above all, their ability to be financed. The ability to grasp funding can therefore be considered a survival activity. Now, therefore, the current trend is to measure the merit of a certain work by the cultural producer‟s talent in grasping resources which in most cases means to suit to the objectives of companies (potential sponsors) to carry out the project and not for the intrinsic qualities of its creation. In the case of great and renowned museums, which are also having financial problems for the maintenance of their spaces and collections, they have chosen exhibitions that attract a larger audience but their first and foremost interest is to sponsors. Facing these problems and taking into account the situation of recession and scarcity of public resources, it is necessary to use greater assiduity in developing other funding sources that so far have not been thoroughly used. It becomes necessary to find networks of partnerships and cooperation within and outside the countries. Discussion Examining these empirical and qualitative contributions to the develop of the BA and MA curriculum and its delivery, it demonstrates how this visit could work as a laboratory for exploring a variety of cultural management issues and become a measure of intellectual dialogue and reflection for professional development, not just for the Viana do Castelo Polytechnic and its Art and Cultural Management BA and MA students and teachers, which in turn, impact the wider society. It has provided knowledge about a wide range of international examples and their case contributions that included the description and interpretation of practices, insights and suggestions for improvement. It made clear that the same visit would be very different in a digital base support because it lacks the necessary direct contact, experience and interaction amongst organizations, institutions, professionals, students and teachers. The field trip to Pública 14 was successful not only because it revealed a number of key issues and provided insight and actions for addressing problems such as the promotion of national and international networks, affecting the future of art and cultural management specifically in Portugal and in Europe. It also enabled collaborative input by these groups of teachers, whose working together on this event, improved creativity and engagement. As cooperation, creativity and motivation to learn from each other are some of the aspects that need to be emphasized more here and are crucial for the collaborative development of networks and partnerships.
  17. 17. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 16 It is significant that the teachers learn from other models and examples how to share risks and successes and how to ensure sustainability and consolidation. In this regard, Lourdes Fernández (Director of Off Limits) stated that cooperation between organizations is crucial as it allows, among other things, the opportunity to "create jointly; share enthusiasm and spirit of mutual aid; create appointments and common responsibilities"7. But she also warned that a successful cooperation needs organizations to "give part of the power, maintain a shared leadership, trust and respect, because people and common projects are above individual projects". Taking into account that the networks of collaboration are, first of all, networks of people, it seems clear that these collaborations, as Lourdes Fernández defends, will lead to a strengthened cultural sector through the possibility of expanding new knowledge; enhancing individual skills; consolidating the position of participants and the entities that they represent and achieving a wider scope through project results, which constitutes an element of strength that becomes legitimized in the negotiations with local authorities and potential financial partners. A clear outcome from the debate of all presentations is that the conscious way to the viability of the cultural and artistic sector involves actions for the strengthening of organizations as a strategy of development and sustainability of the cultural sector, boosting capital, experiences and resources of different origins. Focusing on the analysis of the data collected during and after this field trip, it is possible to recognize the evaluative power of experiential field trips as a teaching/learning strategy with implications for the training process. It represents a valuable form of cultural knowledge and assists in the understanding of contemporary, international trends in the cultural management sector, as well as providing insight into the different issues represented in the diversity of projects at Pública 14. With all this in mind, the proposal is made that in future for supporting field trip research; the Higher Institutions can reach numerous benefits – cultural, educational, social and economic – that ultimately help generate a more sustainable and innovative workforce and more creative communities. Another important conclusion is that Higher Education Institutions are the right places for creating and encouraging a research culture and they can play an important role at the local, regional, national and international level, combining an active and interactive attitude between students and teachers and community cultural resources internationally. It is believed that there is ample and sufficient research-based evidence about current issues and concerns in the training and professionalization of cultural managers since the inaugural year of the International Meetings Cultural Management in Spain. The field notes collected during this year‟s international Conference in Madrid, show evidence of one of the biggest problems of the cultural sector: its financing. From the various testimonies shared in Pública 14, what stands out is the observation of Rubén Caravaca4, a founding member of the Fabricantes de Ideas, another space for the promotion of cultural diversity who stated, “the crisis also generated interesting projects carried out with almost no money. But if we could get funding, imagine what we could do.” Finally, this field trip proved to be an educational strategy with potential to enrich art and cultural management professional training contexts and will facilitate not only some curriculum aims of our BA Course at Viana do Castelo, but also future contacts with international organizations, such as the Associació de Professionals de la Gestió Cultural de Catalunya, with internship purposes for recent graduate students of our BA. Therefore, it is expected that at a time when the educational offer in Portugal is being reviewed and the specific provision in the cultural sector is still scarce and disjointed, this report will be useful for improving practice through a deep analysis of the significant national and international practices to be encouraged and supported by this program representing Portugal in the next Pública 15. References 1. Agustí L., Sintesis de la mesa de debate “De Profisión Gestor Cultural”, Disponível em http://www.fundacioncontemporanea. com/pdf/Informe_Mesa_Debate_De_profesion_Gestor_Cultural.p df. Consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2011) 2. Almeida A., Visitas de Estudo. Concepções e eficácia na aprendizagem, Lisboa, Livros Horizonte, 23-128 (1988) 3. Canadell G. and Sais C., Guía de buenas prácticas de la gestión cultural. Disponível em http://www.gestorcultural.org/images/ noticies/noticia1199516279.pdf Documento consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2011) 4. Caravaca R., Cultura para nosotros. Replica al modelo cultural hegemónico: público/institucional – privado/mercantil, In Pública 14, Madrid, Fundación Contemporánea, 30 de janeiro (2014) 5. Carreño Tino, Caminos cruzados: El perfil actual del gestor cultural em Catalunya, Disponível em http://www. fundacioncontemporanea.com/pdf/Publica11._De_profesion_gest or_cultural._Tino_Carreno.pdf Consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2011) 6. Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias, Guía para la evaluación de las políticas culturales locales, Disponível em http://www.femp.es/files/566-762- archivo/Gu%C3%ADa_ indicadores%20final.pdf Documento consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2009) 7. Fernández L., Redes y Plataformas profesionales: algunas pistas, In Pública 14, Madrid, Fundación Contemporánea, 31 de janeiro (2014)
  18. 18. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 17 8. Fundación Contemporánea, Pública 11, Disponível em http://www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/asi-fue-publica-11/ Consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2011) 9. Fundación Contemporánea, Pública 12 | Encuentros Profesionales de Gestión Cultural, Disponível em http://www. fundacioncontemporanea.com/asi-fue-publica-12/programa/. Consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2012) 10. Fundación Contemporánea, Pública 13 | Encuentros Internacionales de Gestión Cultural, Disponível em http://www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/publica-13/programa/ Documento consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2013a) 11. Fundación Contemporánea, Pública 13 | Ponentes, Disponível em http://www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/publica-13/ ponentes/Documento consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2013b) 12. García-Belenguer I., Salir fortalecidos de la crisis, La experiencia del Teatro Real, In Pública 14, Madrid, Fundación Contemporánea, 31 de janeiro (2014) 13. Moreira E., La Gestión Cultural: herramienta para la democratización de los consumos naturales, Buenos Aires, Longseller (2003) 14. Moura A., Educação Cívica, Artes e Formação de Professores, In Moura A., Coquet E., orgs. Diálogos com a Arte – revista de arte, cultura e educação, Braga, Ed. Centro de Estudos da Criança, CIEC-UMinho (2010) 15. Observatorio de la Cultura de la Fundación Contemporánea, Panel de expertos. Barómetro anual, Analisis de los resultados. Disponível http://www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/img/2010 0705_111345.pdf Consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2009) 16. Sais C., Buenas prácticas en la gestión cultural, Disponível em http://www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/pdf/Presentacio_ Carme_Sais_Publica_12_26.01.2012__Modo_de_compatibilidad _.pdf, Consultado a 28 de abril de 2014 (2012) 17. Varela de Freitas L., Visitas de Estudo –breve relato de uma experiência pessoal, In Fontes P., org., Cadernos Encontro O Museu, a Escola e a Comunidade, Braga, CESC-IEC, 48 (1997) 18. Villaba E., Formacion & titulación universitária en Gestión Cultual, In g+c revista de gestión y cultura, nº 5, 40-44, Granada, Área de Trabajo, S. L. (2010). (Received 21st June 2014, accepted 18th July 2014)
  19. 19. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) A Study on Constructing Indicators of Life Skills for Older Adult in Taiwan from the Perspectives of Lifelong Learning Lin Li-Hui Department of Adult and Continuing Education, National Chung Cheng University, TAIWAN elaine5826058@gmail.com Life Skil ls 18 Abstract The world is experiencing population ageing at a dramatic rate. According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Interior (2014), by the end of January 2014, the population in Taiwan aged 65 and above has attained to 2,704,605 which constitute 11.57% of the national population. Since the percentage of older adult is growing dramatically, how to promote life quality of older adult has become a hot issue all over the world. The notion of life skills relates to the diverse knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that together enable people to achieve their personal goals, function effectively in their social environment and enhance their quality of life. To say it further, the importance of life skills is widely acknowledged as central to the everyday survival, health and well-being of older adult. Keywords: Older adult, life skills, indicator, lifelong learning. Introduction According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Interior8, by the end of January 2014, the population in Taiwan aged 65 and above has attained to 2,704,605 which constitute 11.57% of the national population. By 2025 the elderly population is estimated to increase to 4,900,000, or 20.69% of the total population. This rapid percentile growth in the elderly population means that older adult will form a significant segment of Taiwan’s future society and that improvement to their quality of life will be a high priority for government policymakers. UNESCO’s promotion of “Education for All” through its evaluation reports incorporates a concept of life skills that has not been emphasized by academia until recent years. In general, “life skills” refers to any knowledge, skills, values and talents which can help children, youth and adults achieve their goals, contribute to their society and improve the quality of life. More specifically, life skills are the keys to survival, health and happiness in daily life13. Hence, the value of this research is confirmed by UNESCO’s recommendation that developed as well as developing countries should embrace this issue. An ageing society is characterized by an increasing population of older adults who need to acquire new life skills. But what should they learn and how should they acquire these skills? Leon County Schools7 indicates that well-designed life skills training courses can help teachers meet the needs of older adult. Powney, Lowden and Hall11 also find that these learners can acquire such skills more efficiently if courses are designed on the basis of life skills indicators. All told, the necessity of establishing the life skills indicators of older adult becomes clear. Research purposes Since 1970 UNESCO, out of concern for the ageing society, has been an advocate of the principle of lifelong learning. Scholars also believe that involvement in lifelong learning can help older adult enjoy a more pleasant life and better contribute to their society6. These older adult usually pay considerable attention to their health; relations with friends, spouses, children and grandchildren and career achievements. New knowledge or skills can help them achieve a high quality of life during their senior years. This study aims to establish indicators of life skills for older adults based on the perspective of life-long learning. In its publications Learning: The Treasure Within and Nurturing the Treasure: Vision and Strategy 2002-2007, UNESCO outlines five basic aspects of lifelong learning that are especially necessary for society: “learning to live together”, “learning to know”, “learning to do”, “learning to be” and “learning to change”. This paper is based on the framework as shown in figure 1. Learning to live together Learning to know Learning to be Learning to do Learning to change Figure 1: Aspects of life skills
  20. 20. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 19 Review of Literature Life skills involve at least three major aspects: attitude, knowledge and skills10. Attitude refers to one’s motivation to acquire, utilize and develop life skills. Knowledge puts an emphasis on the knowledge of “how to do things” which can help individuals make correct decisions. Finally, skills depend on attitude and knowledge and enable one to obtain the abilities or skills involved in “learning to do” and “learning to know”. The United Nations Children’s Fund also takes a similar stand believing that life skills can help individuals put their knowledge and attitude/value into practice—in other words, facilitate the process of learning to do13. Following the definition given by the United Nations and the line of work done by Bailey and Deen1 and others2,4,5,9,10, this paper defines life skills as the attitude, knowledge and skills including “learning to live together”, “learning to know”, “learning to do”, “learning to be” and “learning to change.” Older adult should acquire these in order to cope with the challenges of an ageing and changing society. It is a complex and multifaceted philosophy. Scott12 proposes we learn different skills at different stages of life (adolescence, adulthood and old age). This paper adopts Scott’s theoretical framework to study the aspects of life skills that are necessary for older adult. The philosophy of lifelong learning has gained increasing worldwide popularity. Powney et al11 distinguished between two kinds of life skills: those which enrich a person’s life and those which should form the basis of the compulsory courses in lifelong learning. Based on these scholars’ views and interpretations, we have concluded that certain skills are necessary for the elders as part of lifelong learning as shown in table 1. Table 1 Aspects of life skills for older adult under the concept of lifelong learning Lifelong Learning Life skills for older adult Learning to live together  Family responsibility  Interpersonal abilities Learning to know  Literacy  Consumer skills Learning to do  Career development  Health maintenance Learning to be  Self-development  Citizenship skills Learning to change  Resource utilization  Leisure management Life skills the elderly need thus include: 1. Family Responsibility: The ability to manage housework, marriage and children’s education. 2. Interpersonal ability: The ability to interact with neighbors, get along with others, be open-minded and communicate well. 3. Literacy: The ability to read, write and do simple mathematics. 4. Consumer skills: The ability to manage personal finance, to make purchases and to understand the consumer economy. 5. Career development: The ability to apply for jobs, to manage one’s career management and to seek post-retirement employment. 6. Health maintenance: The ability to choose a healthy lifestyle, to locate medical information and to maintain health. 7. Self-development: The ability to make decisions, to be responsible, to analyze and solve problems, to know the purpose of life and individual development and to engage in critical thinking and understanding. 8. Citizenship skills: The ability to understand the rights and obligation of citizens and to fulfill one’s responsibilities as a citizen. 9. Resource-utilization: The ability to make use of community resources, to know how to obtain services and to use resources efficiently. 10. Leisure management: The ability to manage leisure life, to use facilities and to involve oneself in leisure activities. Research Methods The research design involves several steps. First, a thorough literature review was conducted with a goal of constructing our theoretical framework. Second, a number of focus group discussions were organized in northern, central and southern areas of Taiwan. Afterwards, a questionnaire based on the Delphi Technique was formulated in order to distinguish among main indicators, sub-indicators and reference indicators. Using the Delphi Technique, a questionnaire on life skill indictors for older adult was designed in light of scholarly literature and focus group discussion and subjected to three rounds of reviews. The questionnaire contained an introduction, instructions, personal information and the essence of the life skills. The input from round 1 was attached to rounds 2 and 3 as the reference data for the Delphi Technique experts. The data gathered from these questionnaires gave us a picture of life skills indicators for older adult. Data Analysis Analysis of the questionnaires was carried out by SPSS
  21. 21. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 20 which measured percentage, frequency analysis, mode, mean and standard deviation to examine whether the results were significant. The questionnaire studied two aspects: the suitability and significance of the indicators. Percentage measure was adopted to evaluate the suitability of the indicators in round 1 and the Likert 5-Point Scale for round 2 and 3. In round 1, the indicator was defined as appropriate if it achieved more than 80% of suitability. For rounds 2 and 3, if the mode and mean point of an indicator was more than 3 and 3.5 respectively and the SD <1, this indicated that all experts reached a consensus on the indicators. In terms of the study of the significance of indicators, the Likert 5-Point Scale was carried out during all three rounds of review. Equally, if the mode and mean point of an indicator were more than 3 and 3.5 respectively and the SD <1, all experts were deemed to have reached a consensus on the indicators. During three focus group discussions, we established a core concept which was developed into the Delphi Technique questionnaire. From this data we concluded that in addition to the above-mentioned five life skills for the older adult, the complete lifelong learning process should also incorporate “learning to self-care.” Round 1 of the questionnaire covered six aspects: learning to live together, learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, learning to change and learning to self-care. This questionnaire included 13 dimensions (“learning to change” had three dimensions while the others had two dimensions) and 68 indicators. As the experts reviewed the results from round 1, round 2 was modified to have 6 aspects, 13 dimensions and 64 indicators. Finally, after the results from round 2 were reviewed, round 3 was revised to have 6 aspects, 13 dimensions and 61 indicators. The measures of frequency analysis, percentage, mean and standard deviation were employed in the analysis of the significance of these indicators. Conclusion This research aims to establish life skill indicators for older adults from the perspectives of lifelong learning. Also studied were the aspects and indicators of life skills for the older adults and the significance of these indicators. The conclusions are as follows: (1) Life skills for older adult should include six aspects and thirteen dimensions: Life skills should include 6 aspects—learning to live together, learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, learning to change and learning to self-care and 13 dimensions. i). Learning to live together including two dimensions: (A) the ability to understand others and (B) the ability to manage interpersonal relations. ii). Learning to know including two dimensions: (A) the ability to solve problems and practice skills and (B) the ability to enhance learning ability. iii). Learning to do including two dimensions: (A) the ability to develop a role after retirement and (B) the ability to live independently. iv). Learning to be including two dimensions: (A) the ability to purse self development and (B) the ability to participate in social activities. v). Learning to change including three dimensions: (A) the abilities to adapt, (B) the ability to make use of resources and (C) the ability to use information technology. vi). Learning to self-care including two dimensions: (A) the ability to maintain health and (B) the ability to care for oneself. (2) The sixty-one indicators for the skills: i). The ability to understand others (5 indicators) ii). The ability to manage interpersonal relations (4 indicators) iii). The ability to solve problems and practice skills (4 indicators) iv). The ability to enhance learning (6 indicators) v). The ability to develop a role after retirement (3 indicators) vi). The ability to live independently (8 indicators) vii). The ability to pursue self-development (5 indicators) viii). The ability to fulfill responsibilities as a citizen and become involved in society (4 indicators) ix). The ability to adapt (7 indicators) x). The ability to make use of resources (4 indicators) xi). The ability to use information technology (3 indicators) xii). The ability to maintain health (4 indicators) xiii). The ability to care for oneself (4 indicators) (3) The significance of these indicators: The 61 indicators have the Mean score on the Likert 5-Point Scale of between 3.50 and 4.83. This shows that the indicators range from significant to highly significant. Following are the explanation of the indicators that had the highest Mean score.
  22. 22. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 21 i). The ability to understand others: to develop a social life (Mean score is 4.62) ii). The ability to manage interpersonal relations: to live together with one’s spouse (Mean score is 4.54) iii). The ability to solve problems and practice skills: to solve problems in daily life (Mean score is 4.83) iv). The ability to enhance learning: to engage in lifelong learning (Mean score is 4.31) v). The ability of role development: to develop a role after retirement (Mean score is 4.50) vi). The ability to live independently: to take care of daily life needs (Mean score is 4.83) vii). The ability to pursue in self-development: to enhance one’s personal value (Mean score is 4.23) viii). The ability to fulfill one’s responsibilities as a citizen and become involved in society: to engage in public affairs and be aware of the rights and obligations of citizenship (Mean score is 4.62) ix). The ability to adapt: to adapt to old age (Mean score is 4.69) x). The ability to make use of resources: to consult on, be aware of and use the rights of older adult (Mean score is 4.46) xi). The ability to use information technology: to collect, choose and use information and to be able to operate new technology such as mobile phones and computers. (Mean score is 4.31) xii). The ability to maintain health: to manage one’s health (Mean score is 4.75) xiii). The ability to care for oneself: to be aware of self health conditions (Mean score is 4.69) Suggestions This research has included six aspects, thirteen dimensions and sixty-one indicators with the regard to the life skills of older adult and is aimed at facilitating the enhancement of their quality of life and personal values. However, several variables such as age, economic condition and social status should be also taken into account when applying these indicators. Therefore, we suggest that they be considered as an assessment to study the needs of disadvantaged older adult. As for the older adult in general, they should be seen as a reference for the management of lifelong learning and education institutions for older adult. (1) To emphases the value of lifelong learning and encourage older adult involvement in learning: We propose three approaches to encourage older adult’s involvement in lifelong learning: i). By detailing the advantages of lifelong learning and the successful experience of other learners, we can encourage their involvement in lifelong learning. We should also design the learning material based upon individual needs. ii). Older adult learn more readily through familiar media (for example, neighborhood sound trucks). The announcer should also use friendly language. iii). The utilization of community resources can deepen the concept of lifelong learning through the establishment of learning centers. These can provide many convenient learning opportunities and would recruit a greater variety of older learners. (2) Life skills indicators for the older adult as a future reference for educational institutions: In round 3 of the questionnaire, experts identified sixty one indicators as either significant or highly significant. Based on this finding, we propose the following principles for educational institutions dealing with senior learners. i). While arranging courses, institutions should take into account the thirteen dimensions which had an higher-than-Mean score: namely the ability to develop a social life; live together with one’s spouse; solve problems in daily life; engage in lifelong learning; develop a role after retirement; take care of their needs in daily life; enhance their personal value; engage in public affairs; adapt to old age; consult with others; be aware of and use the rights of older adult; collect, choose and use information, as well as be able to operate new technology such as mobile phones and computers; manage one’s health; and take care of oneself. ii). Brochures detailing information about practical life skills for seniors should be provided as a reference to all public sectors responsible for older education. iii). A promotional video could be produced to promote the six aspects of life skills and a new image for seniors. (3) The strengthening of older adult’s ability to solve problems, practice their skills and live independently: This research has found the most significant dimensions to be role development after retirement and the ability to live independently (the Mean score was 4.83). Thus, we conclude that these two dimensions are of most importance in helping senior citizens adapt to old age: i). Older adult should develop the ability to care for themselves through lifelong learning, involvement in society and open-mindedness to new ideas in the ageing society.
  23. 23. International Research Journal for Quality in Education Vol. 1(2) August (2014) 22 ii). By participating in lifelong learning, older adult can learn to live independently, improve their lives, better manage their careers and take care of their daily life. References 1. Bailey S. J. and Deen M. Y., Development of a web-based evaluation system: a tool for measuring life skills in youth and family programs, Family Relations, 51, 138-147 (2002) 2. Brooks D. K. Jr., A life skills taxonomy: defining elements of effective functioning with the use of the Delphi technique, unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Georgia (1984) 3. European Commission, European Report on Quality Indicators of Lifelong Learning, Brussels, author (2002) 4. Gazda G. M., Childers W. C. and Brooks D. K., Foundations of counseling and services, New York, McGraw-Hill (1987) 5. Hamburg B. A., Life-skills training: preventive interventions for young adolescents, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED323018) (1990) 6. Henry N. J., A qualitative study about perceptions of lifestyle and life satisfaction among older adults, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Syracuse University (1989) 7. Leon County Schools, Life skills curriculum for senior adult learners, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED361116) (1989) 8. Ministry of Interior, Monthly population statistics of household registration, Retrieved July 12, 2014, from http://sowf.moi.gov.tw /stat/month/list.htm (2014) 9. Mullen D., A conceptual framework for the life skills program, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED218438) (1981) 10. Nelson-Jones R., Life skills: a handbook, London, Cassell Educational Limited (1991) 11. Powney J., Lowden K. and Hall S., Young people’s life-skills and the future, Research report series, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED445268) (2000) 12. Scott D. M., An investigation of the relationship among life-skills, self-esteem and well-being in adults, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Louisiana Tech University (2002) 13. Wanger D., Sabatini J. and Gal I., Assessing basic learning competencies among youth and young adults in developing countries: analytic survey framework and implementation guidelines, EFA 2000 assessment surveys report, (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED449299) (1999). (Received 03rd July 2014, accepted 20th July 2014)

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