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Sex differences on Verbal and Non-Verbal Abilities among Primary School Children in Malta

Victor Martinelli, Professor Richard Lynn

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Sex differences on verbal abilities assessed with tests of reading, verbal comprehension, spelling and foreign language ability, and of non-verbal ability assessed with the Coloured Progressive Matrices were examined in a longitudinal study on a sample of 136 children between the time they were 5 years old to the time they were 9 years old in Malta. Girls obtained significantly higher means on the verbal abilities, and a non-significantly higher mean on the Coloured Progressive Matrices (d =.15). The results are generally consistent with studies in the United States and Britain.

Teachers And Teaching In Malta: Some Key Issues

Christopher Bezzina, Viviana Portelli

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This paper presents the findings of a local study that investigated the motivation, job satisfaction, commitment and general health among 237 Maltese and Gozitan secondary school teachers. This research, which is part of a an international study entitled Teacher 2000 Project, shows that our teachers are mostly extrinsically motivated, mainly attracted to teaching by the family commitment factor. A high percentage of teachers were found to be generally satisfied with their job. The most satisfying aspects of their work were when their students achieved success in some way, the ‘official’ working hours and when working with higher academic ability students. Teachers stated that they spend the highest amount of their professional time on face-to-face teaching. Altruism and family factors rather than personal and career-oriented factors, were the items the teachers felt mostly committed to. To a certain extent, the majority of the respondents did not have excessive stress symptoms, as it resulted, that the more satisfied teachers are with their job, the least likely are they to have any stress symptoms. Several significant main effects among demographic variables, when compared to the factors mentioned above resulted. These findings are interpreted in the light of current educational developments in Malta.

Creating on site history activities for school children; an action research project

Yosanne Vella

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This paper is reporting an Action Research project conducted by the author. It is describing the process that went on in the creation of teaching and learning materials to be used by students on school visits to Maltese historical sites. The teaching approach behind the main objectives of the teaching resources was based on “New History” methods, that is, they target specific history skills and concepts rather than mere factual information.

Unfortunately until recently, museums and places of historic interest in Malta did not cater for school children. There have been several innovations as far as tourist guides, pamphlets, DVDs and video recordings of historical sites are concerned but more often than not these are not appropriate for secondary and primary school children. This paper describes the several stages and various objectives behind the development of on site educational teaching history materials.

Le dit et le non-dit de la “méthode”: Français des Compagnies Aériennes

Laurent Seychell

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Cette communication comprend une analyse du dit et du non-dit de la « méthode » : Français des compagnies aériennes, publiée à Malte en 2004. Ce cours de français semi-professionnel pour faux débutants se compose d’un livre de l’élève (renfermant le cahier d’exercices), d’un livre du professeur (contentant tous les corrigés des exercices) et d’un CD audio (mp3), d’une durée de 97 minutes. L’auteur de cette publication est le même que celui du présent article. Dans le premier volet de son article, l’auteur présente en les commentant amplement la genèse de la « méthode » ainsi que les cinq composantes qui l’étaient. Il le dénomme le dit car le professeur en prend conscience déjà à la lecture de l’introduction du livre qui lui est destiné. Dans le deuxième, par contre, l’auteur expose toutes les autres stratégies didactiques qui pour indécelables qu’elles soient dans cette « méthode » ont un rôle important à jouer dans sa constitution.

A Postmodern Perspective on the Educational Attributes of Hypertext Environments

Patrick Camilleri

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The integrity and success of an implemented system is always directly dependent on the optimised relationship between input and output (Lyotard,1979). Hypertext environments and Internet in general offer a great educational potential only if they are fully appreciated by the policy makers and the end users themselves including teachers. The involvement of technology in education has always been characterised by systematic cycles of failures or incomplete successes. The nature of Internet and the World Wide Web are still shrouded in mystery and their validity and implementation still brings a sense of unease clearly related to the problem of alienation. Probably if Internet is readily available in schools for long enough to allow proper internalisation and naturalisation by all the participants then it could be appreciated and utilised more effectively.