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Children’s mastering of the information society: A Maltese contribution

Mary Anne Lauri, Fr. Joseph Borg

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This paper discusses the impact which media, in particular television and computer, have on the lives of children. It argues that the type of influence which these media have depends on many factors such as age, socioeconomic background and upbringing, and hence any effort to address this issue must be specific to the target audience it is hoped to reach. In Malta, like in many other countries, media education is considered an important element in the development of the child. The National Minimum Curriculum (1999) gives media education its due importance and discusses it as one of the fourteen objectives which are “intended to contribute to the best possible formation of every person so that good Maltese and world citizens can be produced” (p.47). This paper gives an overview of a media education programme which is currently being implemented in some schools and argues that, by helping children acquire media literacy skills, educators would be empowering them and giving them skills by which they can share in the riches of the information society.

Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in Malta: An educational perspective

Carmel Cefai, Paul Cooper

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Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) in schools have become a cause for concern amongst the various stakeholders involved, with indications of increasing frequency in the past decades. This paper examines the issue from a local perspective, critically evaluating the current educational provisions for students with SEBD. The first section discusses the nature, frequency and causes of SEBD, with a particular focus on the institutional factors contributing to such difficulties. This is followed by an examination of the local educational provisions currently available for children and young persons with SEBD, either in mainstream schools or in special settings, and either school or agency based. A multi level intervention framework is proposed to address the needs identified in the evaluation of the current provisions and to prevent SEBD from reaching the frequency and severity seen in some other referent countries.

La Constitution européenne : l’exemple d’une diglossie français – anglais

Laurent Seychell

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Malte fait partie depuis 2004 d’une Union européenne qui est aussi forte linguistiquement qu’économiquement. Par conséquent, son double sort en dépend. Cette adhésion a donné lieu à la reconnaissance, enfin, de la langue maltaise au sein du multilinguisme existant au sein de cette Union, ce qui signifie que le maltais est reconnu sur le même plan que le français et l’anglais, deux langues bien réputées au niveau international. Cette reconnaissance entraîne une conséquence : celle de transmettre au peuple maltais tout ce qui est écrit en français, en anglais, ou en allemand, langues principales de travail au sein de la C.E.. Or, pour transmettre d’une langue à l’autre, il faut des traducteurs et interprètes professionnels. Malte, étant peu préparée dans ce domaine, s’est donné pour tâche de combler cette lacune. Ses universitaires ont commencé d’y travailler d’une manière acharnée, d’où la création de cette communication analysant le premier tiers de la Constitution européenne. L’analyse qui s’occupera de la transposition du français à l’anglais (nous voulions éviter la traduction en maltais, puisque cet exercice exige une double analyse, ce qui n’est pas notre but ici) rendra compte de deux grandes orientations linguistiques : l’orientation de l’énoncé ou phrastique et l’orientation énonciative ou discursive. La première mettra en lumière tous les procédés stylistiques susceptibles de créer exclusivement des différences linguistiques de deux langues en confrontation. Leurs phraséologies ou ressources syntaxiques y seront également exploitées. La deuxième mettra davantage l’accent sur le côté énonciatif de deux langues en présence : les temps verbaux, certains actes performatifs et notionnels, lesquels sont révélateurs d’analogies voire de différences énonciatives de deux langues en confrontation. Dans cette orientation, seront examinés et contrastés aussi les éléments linguistiques composant les différents actes et notions. En dernier lieu viendra une présentation de traductions déviantes ou de distorsions dans la traduction. En d’autres mots, il s’agit de termes ou expressions n’ayant pas été traduits avec la même équivalence sémantique. Ici, notre analyse prendra une orientation interprétative consistant à justifier l’écart de sens existant entre les deux versions.

Effect of Conceptual Change Oriented Instruction on Students’ Understanding of Heat and Temperature Concepts

Mustafa Baser

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This study explores the effectiveness of conceptual change oriented instruction and standard science instruction and contribution of logical thinking ability on seventh grade students’ understanding of heat and temperature concepts. Misconceptions related to heat and temperature concepts were determined by related literature on this subject. Subsequently, the Heat and Temperature Concepts Test was developed. The study involved a total of 74 seventh grade students in two classes. 38 students were taught by means of conceptual change oriented instruction, and 36 students in a control group followed standard science instruction. Both groups received identical instruction and laboratory experiments, however the experimental group followed conceptual change conditions while doing experiments. Prior to instruction, students in both groups were pre-tested in order to determine their understanding of heat and temperature at the beginning of instruction. Students taught by means of conceptual change oriented instruction outperformed students who received traditionally designed instruction. Results indicated that students’ logical thinking ability accounted for a significant variation in heat and temperature concepts achievement.

From Centralisation to Decentralisation: The real challenges facing Educational reforms in Malta

Christopher Bezzina

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Explores the crucial components behind current educational reform practices in Malta. These are aimed at decentralising responsibilities to schools through a system of networking. This paper aims to present the education authorities with an introductory critique that contextualises the potential networking of schools within the nurturing of inclusive learning communities. It is argued that unless the principles of hope, faith, commitment, individual and collective worth are established, then networks will not on their own work to bring about desired change in the quality of education. The paper takes networking between schools beyond identified school activities to issues of management and leadership. The benefits are presented alongside the various tensions and concerns that need to be addressed.