Resources of Students’ Creativity for Competence Approach Implementation in Higher Education in Latvia


Arturs MEDVECKIS, Tamara PIGOZNE, Svetlana USCA, Aivars PIGOZNIS

Creativity - the topmost resource for successful competence approach implementation and education content reform procedure in Latvia, implemented on all education levels in early 21st century. Aim of research is to analyse creativity in 4 higher education programs – pedagogy, economics, art and psychology, based on Four-C Model (Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009): SmallC as everyday creativity as problem-solving in everyday life and/or work; Mini-C as a skill developed during study process; Pro-C, manifested as high professional competence, and Big-C – outstanding creative achievements. Approach of mixed methods applied, using methods of quantitative and qualitative data acquisition and data processing: outcomes of questionnaires analysed for programme’s quantitative data processing in SPSS environment, but outcomes of focus group discussions for programme’s quantitative data processing in AQUAD environment. Results of research confirm statistically significant differences (p≤0.05) in students’ creativity, depending on education program: Small-C and Prof-C dominate for pedagogy, but Mini-C – for art education programme students.

Keywords: Creativity, study programmes, study process

Teacher – Student Relationship, Sympathy and Empathy Report



For the education of the new generation the teachers must put into value their whole professional skill and capacity, aiming at building up the proper framework needed to shorten the distance between them and those whom they should share with the national and universal values. Such inter-personal relationship is based upon the mutual capacity of understanding, anticipation, and identification of partners (teacher and student), in order to be able of mutual trust needed for this purpose and opens the way to empathic communication between the educator and the educated person. Basically, we consider important emphasizing from the very beginning that the investigation of the skills and vocation for instructive and educational activities (for which the sympathetic and empathic capacities play the role of guiding entity) are justified as necessity for achieving the progress of the entire educational process. It is hard to imagine the educational process developed without teachers able to create the proper educational atmosphere, establish efficient relationships with the students, and to build up the framework for communication, which can influence this process (Marcus, Teodora and Adriana, 1987a).

Keywords: Empathy, relationship, student, sympathy, teacher

The Effects of Creative Drama Education on Problem-Solving and Emotion Regulation Skills of The Kindergarten Students



The aim of the study is to determine the effects of creative drama method on emotion regulation skills of the kindergarten students. The study was conducted with a total of 40 students, 20 boys and 20 girls, aged 4-5, studying in the X Kindergarten in the first semester of the 2018-2019 academic years in Milas, Mugla/Turkey. Creative drama activities, which were thought to provide students with emotion regulation skills, were implemented three times a week during 6 weeks period. Emotion Regulation Scale were used to collect data. Mann Whitney U Test was used to determine whether there were significant differences in terms of variables in the analysis of the data. According to the hypotheses of the study, it was determined that there was a significant difference in favor of the experimental group in the pretest-posttest emotion regulation levels of the students in the experimental and control groups. According to these results, it can be said that creative drama education has an effect on emotion regulation of kindergarten students.

Keywords: Emotion regulation, kindergarten education, creative drama, problem solving

The Impact of the Circumstantial Distress Correlated with Situational Distress in Exam Performance


Roman Ovidiu TEOFIL

With the installation of the Covid 19 pandemic, the life of each of us has taken on a different horizon. The rhythm of the individual, professional, educational, social, recreational-occupational activities was suddenly interrupted, without being able to make clear predictions about what will happen next. But what happens when on a stressful circumstantial background overlap new challenges (situational stressors) with a strong personal significance (which implies a strong personal stake)? Is the chronological age also a factor of vulnerability due to its intrinsic particularities? We all know that during the pandemic, the elderly are a vulnerable category, but we have less information about pubescents, adolescents and young people. In the present study we aim to highlight the stressful impact of the graduation exams of an educational cycle on three age categories: pubescents, respectively middle school graduates, adolescents, high school graduates and college students in the first year of study. We aim to highlight the connection between the irrational cognitions and distress during the preparation period for the graduation exams of some school cycles. We study this relationship in the context of the pandemic, a context characterized by circumstantial stress, over which a situational stressor, the graduation exam, overlaps. A number of 156 participants participated in the study, conducted online. The results indicate an increase in the intensity of stress with the anticipation of exams, despite high levels of distress given by the context of the pandemic. Exam performance was correlated with the irrationality and distress, obtaining significant negative correlations (p=.00).

Keywords: Circumstantial and situational stress, irrational cognitions, exams, performance

The Non-standard Task for Gifted Pupils in a Common Primary Mathematics Teaching Situations



Non-standard tasks encourage solvers to actively and creatively work, are unusual for them, and their solution does not depend on known algorithms. It is not easy to define which non-standard tasks are suitable only for working with gifted pupils and which can also be used effectively in common mathematics lessons. The paper aimed to analyze the solution of a selected nonstandard task designed for gifted pupils in the environment of common mathematics teaching and to gain reflection by future mathematics teachers. A mixed research design was chosen - in the qualitative part, 16 practical teachers were involved in the analysis of pupil solutions, and in the quantitative research were 26 prospective teachers asked to evaluate the chosen tasks. It turned out that the task was for most students slightly difficult, although, the participating teachers evaluated its implementation as very beneficial both from the perspective of pupils and for their teaching.

Keywords: Non-standard task, gifted pupils, mathematics teaching, teachers

Ukrainian Universities under the Pressure of Pandemic: The Effects of Pandemic on Teacher Leadership, Self-education and Life-long Learning



The paper aims to reveal the effects of the pandemic on Ukrainian education. Ukrainian universities faced more challenges during the pandemic than educational establishments in other European countries. The authors will expose the reasons leading to a bigger physical and emotional stress for Ukrainian students and faculty. Student and faculty feedback and experience from several Ukrainian universities during the spring semester of 2020 are used as a resource to research on COVID-19’s impact on teacher leadership and self-education in Ukrainian universities. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the significance of teacher life-long learning. The impacts of the pandemic are studied in parallel with the revision of web- based instruction, onlineplatforms, and online curricula development, faculty, and personnel web-literacy in Ukraine. Teacher leadership, self-education, and life-long learning are considered to have been crucial in pandemic time to accomplish the spring semester responsibilities and are viewed twice as decisive to be efficient in a post-pandemic time to prepare themselves and students for the probable future challenges in the world.

Keywords: Pandemic, teacher leadership, self-education, long-life education, online instruction

The Relationship Between Internet Addiction, Personality and Depression in Pre-service Teachers of Generation Y and Z



The aim of the research is to evaluate the relationship between potential internet addiction, personal traits self-esteem and depression among pre-service teachers belonging to Generation Y or Z. The participants were 284 pre-service teachers aged 19-36 (SD 3, 81). To determine the empirical data, we used the following research methods: Neo Big-Five Inventory, Young Internet Addiction Test, Beck Depression Inventory-II and Sociodemographic Questionnaire. A negative relationship was found between age, self-esteem, personality traits, internet addiction and the level of depression among social network users. The results of the research suggested the following intergenerational differences. The results also showed that Generation Z pre-service teachers have higher values in the scale Neuroticism than Generation Y. The generation Z pre-service teachers have significantly higher level of depression than the Generation Y pre- service teacher.

Keywords: Internet addiction, depression, personality, pre-service teacher, generation Z 

Sustainable Schools to Respond the Challenges in the New Era



Rapidly growing population and developing technology in the 21st century caused the rapid reduction of natural energy resources in the world and environmental problems turned into an important threat for future generations. In order to minimize the consumption of natural energy resources and protect the natural environment, the United Nations, the world's most important international organizations and scientists emphasize the importance of sustainable development. In this context, a global road map has been designed to create environmentally conscious societies with sustainable development that can guarantee the welfare of the current generation and future generations. Considering that these goals, consciousness and responsibility can only be gained through education, the period between 2005 and 2014 was declared as the Sustainable Development Oriented Education Period by the United Nations. The Sustainable Development Oriented Education (SGE) approach aims at “holistic and social change”. A sustainable school, with its building and daily practices, prepares its students for a sustainable life-long life throughout the education and training process, and aims at social change and transformation by creating a sense of consciousness and responsibility in individuals in order to prevent the destruction in natural resources and the environment. Sustainable schools, which form the basis of sustainable development, provide a reduction in operating costs, an increase in teacher performance and satisfaction, an increase in building life, a reduction in environmental impacts and a change in individual and social habits. This research is a theoretical study on sustainable schools. The essence of the approach, its basic principles and basic concepts are presented based on the information in the literature.

Keywords: Sustainability, sustainable development, school, society, education

Towards Competency-Based Learning in Sustainable Music Education



Latvian education system is in the process of the paradigm shift towards competency-based learning to ensure the improvement of the quality of education. It is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which foresees to ensure quality education of inclusive and equitable character and enhance lifelong learning opportunities for all (UNESCO, 2016). This requires a change of attitudes and ways of thinking also in the field of music education. The research aims to study the possibilities of integration of drama elements in the music curriculum of primary school to strengthen students’ sustainability engagement in music education. A qualitative study was conducted using observation and an interview as research methods and content analysis was applied to analyse and interpret the data. The outcomes of the research raise considerations of strategies for strengthening crosscurricular links and ensuring effective cooperative partnership among teachers and providing regular feedback and critical selfreflection.

Keywords: Integration, drama elements, music lessons, primary school, sustainability

Educational Leaders' Behaviors and Practices during COVID 19 in Higher Education Settings



This study was presented to share information about the needed behaviors and practices of educational leaders in a university environment. The leader sets the tone and it is important in such a serious crisis regarding COVID-19 that educational leaders in higher education be able to create and maintain an environment that is safe for everyone. It is critical to practice safety expectations and presenting frequently professionally development for all personnel and students about the importance of helping to promote a safe and healthy university environment based on CDC guidelines and the expertise of other health professionals. This study also shared how to cope with anxiety and the utilization of one's time being at home for such a long period of time, because of COVID-19. Major emphasis for this study was focused on university educational leaders to demonstrate best behaviors and practices to implement during the COVID-19 crisis within an higher education environment.

Keywords: Educational leaders, behavior, practices, COVID-19

Motivation and Performance in Relation with the Influence of Irrational Beliefs on Online Learning


Roman Ovidiu TEOFIL

Learning is a complex activity. Its results can be revealed in new acquisitions that increase the adaptability to the increasingly complex requirements of the environment. A general factor recognized as closely related to performance is motivation. Specifically, school motivation is associated with school performance, which can later be manifested in professional performance or in other fields of activity of the individual. What is the relationship between motivation and performance in exclusively online learning during the pandemic context and what influence do irrational cognitions have on adapting to the new school requirements? In the present study we aim to highlight the relationship between intrinsic motivation and academic performance in the online environment, during the pandemic. This relationship is analysed in the context of studying the impact of irrational beliefs on the relationship between motivation and performance. A number of 84 students and Masters degree students were enrolled in the study during the lockdown period and were evaluated in two stages: in April and May, the period without exams, but with learning exclusively online and one week before the start of the exam period. The results indicate that despite the effort mobilization and the interest or pleasure in academic activity, given that the level of irrationality has not changed, students show decreased perception of competence for the upcoming exams (p>.36). The exclusively online learning can be approached both as a cause and as an effect of the decrease in the perception of competence in academic exam tasks. Further research is needed to clarify this issue.

Keywords: Intrinsic motivation, performance, irrational beliefs, online learning

Students` Health Conditions and The Correlations of The Self-Assessment of Physical and Emotional Wellness



There are many different studies on healthy lifestyles and recommendations on how to make an individual responsible for their own health and how to reach their full potential in life, but data from health organizations still show that people do not care enough about their health. The aim of this study is to analyse the functional state of the student’s body, physical and emotional wellness self-assessment state and their interrelationships. The results of this study show the actual state of students' health together with the findings of surveys on physical and emotional wellness state. Research methods: 1) Dynamics Technologies "Omega Standard" used for heart rhythm diagnostics St. Petersburg (Russia). The method is based on in-depth analysis of heart rate variability, which was developed by Dinamika Technologies company; 2) Adapted survey (Robbins, G., 2011) on healthy lifestyle habits and wellness status, a total of 105 questions (Cronbach's Alpha 0.938), this study analyses the section on physical and emotional wellness, a total of twenty-three questions. The participants of this study are 122 full-time and part-time students of the programme “Teacher” of LiepU and the programme “Health Sports” of RSU Liepaja Branch. Results. 42 % of students are able to maintain their physical wellness at a sufficiently good level, 37.2 % of students at a satisfactory level and 23 % at an unsatisfactory level. 37.7 % of students are able to maintain their emotional wellness at a sufficiently good level, 53.2 % of students at a satisfactory level and 9.8 % at an unsatisfactory level. The functional state of the students corresponds to the norm 67.9%, condition below normal 26.9%, and pre-disease condition 5.1 %. Correlations were not found between students' health conditions and the selfassessment of physical and emotional wellness.

Keywords: Students, health conditions, physical and emotional wellness