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Title: Understanding levels of best practice: An empirical validation
Contributor(s): Phan, Huy P.  (author)orcid ; Ngu, Bing H.  (author); Wang, Hui-Wen (author); Shih, Jen-Hwa (author); Shi, Sheng-Ying (author); Lin, Ruey-Yih (author)
Publication Date: 2018-06-14
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198888Open Access Link
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Abstract: Recent research has explored the nature of the theoretical concept of optimal best practice, which emphasizes the importance of personal resolve, inner strength, and the maximization of a person’s development, whether it is mental, cognitive, social, or physical. In the context of academia, the study of optimal functioning places emphasis on a student’s effort expenditure, positive outlook, and determination to strive for educational success and enriched subjective well-being. One major inquiry closely associated with optimal functioning is the process of optimization. Optimization, in brief, delves into the enactment of different psychological variables that could improve a person’s internal state of functioning (e.g., cognitive functioning). From a social sciences point of view, very little empirical evidence exists to affirm and explain a person’s achievement of optimal best practice. Over the past five years, we have made extensive progress in the area of optimal best practice by developing different quantitative measures to assess and evaluate the importance of this theoretical concept. The present study, which we collaborated with colleagues in Taiwan, involved the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze a cohort of Taiwanese university students’ (N = 1010) responses to a series of Likert-scale measures that focused on three major entities: (i) the importance of optimal best practice, (ii) three major psychological variables (i.e., effective functioning, personal resolve, and emotional functioning) that could optimize student’ optimal best levels in academic learning, and (iii) three comparable educational outcomes (i.e., motivation towards academic learning, interest in academic learning, and academic liking experience) that could positively associate with optimal best practice and the three mentioned psychological variables. Findings that we obtained, overall, fully supported our initial a priori model. This evidence, in its totality, has made substantive practical, theoretical, and methodological contributions. Foremost, from our point of view, is clarity into the psychological process of optimal best practice in the context of schooling. For example, in relation to subjective well-being experiences, how can educators optimize students’ positive emotions? More importantly, aside from practical relevance, our affirmed research inquiry has produced insightful information for further advancement. One distinction, in this case, entails consideration of a more complex methodological design that could measure, assess, and evaluate the impact of optimization.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: PLoS One, 13(6), p. 1-24
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1932-6203
Field of Research (FOR): 130103 Higher Education
170103 Educational Psychology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
930102 Learner and Learning Processes
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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