International Science Index

163
10007650
Riding the Crest of the Wave: Inclusive Education in New Zealand
Abstract:
In 1996, the New Zealand government and the Ministry of Education announced that they were setting up a "world class system of inclusive education". As a parent of a son with high and complex needs, a teacher, school Principal and Disability studies Lecturer, this author will track the changes in the journey towards inclusive education over the last 20 years. Strategies for partnering with families to ensure educational success along with insights from one of those on the crest of the wave will be presented. Using a narrative methodology the author will illuminate how far New Zealand has come towards this world class system of inclusion promised and share from personal experience some of the highlights and risks in the system. This author has challenged the old structures and been part of the setting up of new structures particularly for providing parent voice and insight; this paper provides a unique view from an insider’s voice as well as a professional in the system.
Paper Detail
40
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162
10007677
Genetic Algorithm Optimization of a Small Scale Natural Gas Liquefaction Process
Abstract:

An optimization scheme based on COM server is suggested for communication between Genetic Algorithm (GA) toolbox of MATLAB and Aspen HYSYS. The structure and details of the proposed framework are discussed. The power of the developed scheme is illustrated by its application to the optimization of a recently developed natural gas liquefaction process in which Aspen HYSYS was used for minimization of the power consumption by optimizing the values of five operating variables. In this work, optimization by coupling between the GA in MATLAB and Aspen HYSYS model of the same process using the same five decision variables enabled improvements in power consumption by 3.3%, when 77% of the natural gas feed is liquefied. Also on inclusion of the flow rates of both nitrogen and carbon dioxide refrigerants as two additional decision variables, the power consumption decreased by 6.5% for a 78% liquefaction of the natural gas feed.

Paper Detail
38
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161
10007757
Architecture and Students with Autism: Exploring Strategies for Their Inclusion in Society Mainstream
Abstract:

Architecture, as an art and science of designing, has always been the medium to create environments that fulfill their users’ needs. It could create an inclusive environment that would not isolate any individual regardless of his /her disabilities. It could help, hopefully, in setting the strategies that provide a supportive, educational environment that would allow the inclusion of students with autism. Architects could help in the battle against this neuro-developmental disorder by providing the accommodating environment, at home and at school, in order to prevent institutionalizing these children. Through a theoretical approach and a review of literature, this study will explore and analyze best practices in autism-friendly, supportive, teaching environments. Additionally, it would provide the range of measures, and set the strategies to deal with the students with autism sensory peculiarities, and that, in order to allow them to concentrate in the school environment, and be able to succeed, and to be integrated as an important addition to society and the social mainstream. Architects should take into consideration the general guidelines for an autism-friendly built environment, and apply them to specific buildings systems. And that, as certain design elements have great effect on children’s behavior, by appropriating architecture to provide inclusive accommodating environments, the basis for equalization of opportunities is set allowing these individuals a better, normal, non-institutional life, as the discussion presented in this study would reveal.

Paper Detail
32
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160
10007485
Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic
Abstract:

Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.

Paper Detail
52
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159
10006923
Data Projects for “Social Good”: Challenges and Opportunities
Abstract:
One of the application fields for data analysis techniques and technologies gaining momentum is the area of social good or “common good”, covering cases related to humanitarian crises, global health care, or ecology and environmental issues, among others. The promotion of data-driven projects in this field aims at increasing the efficacy and efficiency of social initiatives, improving the way these actions help humanity in general and people in need in particular. This application field, however, poses its own barriers and challenges when developing data-driven projects, lagging behind in comparison with other scenarios. These challenges derive from aspects such as the scope and scale of the social issue to solve, cultural and political barriers, the skills of main stakeholders and the technological resources available, the motivation to be engaged in such projects, or the ethical and legal issues related to sensitive data. This paper analyzes the application of data projects in the field of social good, reviewing its current state and noteworthy initiatives, and presenting a framework covering the key aspects to analyze in such projects. The goal is to provide guidelines to understand the main challenges and opportunities for this type of data project, as well as identifying the main differential issues compared to “classical” data projects in general. A case study is presented on the initial steps and stakeholder analysis of a data project for the inclusion of refugees in the city of Frankfurt, Germany, in order to empirically confront the framework with a real example.
Paper Detail
140
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158
10006882
Promoting Non-Formal Learning Mobility in the Field of Youth
Authors:
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to develop a framework for the assessment of research and development projects. The assessment map is developed in this study based on the strategy map of the balanced scorecard approach. The assessment map is applied in a project that aims to reduce the inequality and risk of exclusion of young people from disadvantaged social groups. The assessment map denotes that not only funding but also necessary skills and qualifications should be carefully assessed in the implementation of the project plans so as to achieve the objectives of projects and the desired impact. The results of this study are useful for those who want to develop the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme and the project teams of research and development projects.

Paper Detail
95
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157
10007420
The Potential of ‘Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency for Cities’ in Developing Country: Evidence of Myanmar
Abstract:

The growing cities of the developing country are characterized by rapid growth and poor infrastructure management inviting and accelerating relative environmental problems. Even though the movements of the sustainability had already been developed around the world, it is still increasing in the developing countries to plant sustainable practices. Aligned with the sustainable development actions, many sustainable assessment tools are also developed to rate and evaluate the sustainability performances through the building to community level. Among them, CASBEE is developed by Japanese organizations and is recognized as one of the international well-known assessment tools. The main purpose of the study is to find out the potential of CASBEE tool reflecting sustainability city level performances in developing countries. The research framework was designed with three major phases: Quantitative Approach, Qualitative Approach and Evaluation Reflection. The first two approaches were based on the investigation of tool’s contents and indicators by means of three sustainable dimensions and sustainability categories. To know the reality and reflection on developing country, Pathein City from Myanmar was selected and evaluated by 2012 version of CASBEE for Cities. The evaluation practices went through assigned indicators and the evaluation outcome presents the performances of Pathein city’s environmental efficiency as a very good in current conditions. The results of this study indicate that the indicators of this tool have balance coverage among three dimensions of sustainability but it has not yet counted enough for some indicators like location, infrastructure and institution which are relative to society dimension. In the developing countries’ cities, the most critical issues on development such as affordable housing and heritage preservation which are already planted in Pathein City but the tool does not account for those issues. Moreover, in some of the indicators, the benchmark and the weighting coefficient are strongly linked to the system birth region. By means of this study, it can be stated that CASBEE for Cities would be potential for delivering sustainable city level development in developing country especially in Myanmar along with further inclusion of the indicators.

Paper Detail
51
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156
10006466
Effect of Inclusions on the Shape and Size of Crack Tip Plastic Zones by Element Free Galerkin Method
Abstract:

The present study investigates the effect of inclusions on the shape and size of crack tip plastic zones in engineering materials subjected to static loads by employing the element free Galerkin method (EFGM). The modeling of the discontinuities produced by cracks and inclusions becomes independent of the grid chosen for analysis. The standard displacement approximation is modified by adding additional enrichment functions, which introduce the effects of different discontinuities into the formulation. The level set method has been used to represent different discontinuities present in the domain. The effect of inclusions on the extent of crack tip plastic zones is investigated by solving some numerical problems by the EFGM.

Paper Detail
127
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155
10006568
Food Security Model and the Role of Community Empowerment: The Case of a Marginalized Village in Mexico, Tatoxcac, Puebla
Abstract:

Community empowerment has been proved to be a key element in the solution of the food security problem. As a result of a conceptual analysis, it was found that agricultural production, economic development and governance, are the traditional basis of food security models. Although the literature points to social inclusion as an important factor for food security, no model has considered it as the basis of it. The aim of this research is to identify different dimensions that make an integral model for food security, with emphasis on community empowerment. A diagnosis was made in the study community (Tatoxcac, Zacapoaxtla, Puebla), to know the aspects that impact the level of food insecurity. With a statistical sample integrated by 200 families, the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA) was applied, finding that: in households composed by adults and children, have moderated food insecurity, (ELCSA scale has three levels, low, moderated and high); that result is produced mainly by the economic income capacity and the diversity of the diet on its food. With that being said, a model was developed to promote food security through five dimensions: 1. Regional context of the community; 2. Structure and system of local food; 3. Health and nutrition; 4. Information and technology access; and 5. Self-awareness and empowerment. The specific actions on each axis of the model, allowed a systemic approach needed to attend food security in the community, through the empowerment of society. It is concluded that the self-awareness of local communities is an area of extreme importance, which must be taken into account for participatory schemes to improve food security. In the long term, the model requires the integrated participation of different actors, such as government, companies and universities, to solve something such vital as food security.

Paper Detail
173
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154
10006714
Management Software for the Elaboration of an Electronic File in the Pharmaceutical Industry Following Mexican Regulations
Abstract:

For certification, certain goods of public interest, such as medicines and food, it is required the preparation and delivery of a dossier. For its elaboration, legal and administrative knowledge must be taken, as well as organization of the documents of the process, and an order that allows the file verification. Therefore, a virtual platform was developed to support the process of management and elaboration of the dossier, providing accessibility to the information and interfaces that allow the user to know the status of projects. The development of dossier system on the cloud allows the inclusion of the technical requirements for the software management, including the validation and the manufacturing in the field industry. The platform guides and facilitates the dossier elaboration (report, file or history), considering Mexican legislation and regulations, it also has auxiliary tools for its management. This technological alternative provides organization support for documents and accessibility to the information required to specify the successful development of a dossier. The platform divides into the following modules: System control, catalog, dossier and enterprise management. The modules are designed per the structure required in a dossier in those areas. However, the structure allows for flexibility, as its goal is to become a tool that facilitates and does not obstruct processes. The architecture and development of the software allows flexibility for future work expansion to other fields, this would imply feeding the system with new regulations.

Paper Detail
94
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153
10006248
Long-Term Durability of Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavement
Abstract:

Roller-compacted concrete pavement (RCCP), an environmental friendly pavement of which load carry capacity benefitted from both hydration and aggregate interlock from roller compacting, demonstrated a superb structural performance for a relatively small amount of water and cement content. Even though an excellent structural performance can be secured, it is required to investigate roller-compacted concrete (RCC) under environmental loading and its long-term durability under critical conditions. In order to secure long-term durability, an appropriate internal air-void structure is required for this concrete. In this study, a method for improving the long-term durability of RCCP is suggested by analyzing the internal air-void structure and corresponding durability of RCC. The method of improving the long-term durability involves measurements of air content, air voids, and air-spacing factors in RCC that experiences changes in terms of type of air-entraining agent and its usage amount. This test is conducted according to the testing criteria in ASTM C 457, 672, and KS F 2456. It was found that the freezing-thawing and scaling resistances of RCC without any chemical admixture was quite low. Interestingly, an improvement of freezing-thawing and scaling resistances was observed for RCC with appropriate the air entraining (AE) agent content; Relative dynamic elastic modulus was found to be more than 80% for those mixtures. In RCC with AE agent mixtures, large amount of air was distributed within a range of 2% to 3%, and an air void spacing factor ranging between 200 and 300 μm (close to 250 μm, recommended by PCA) was secured. The long-term durability of RCC has a direct relationship with air-void spacing factor, and thus it can only be secured by ensuring the air void spacing factor through the inclusion of the AE in the mixture.

Paper Detail
197
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152
10006268
Stop Texting While Learning: A Meta-Analysis of Social Networks Use and Academic Performances
Abstract:

Teachers and university lecturers face an unsolved problem, which is students’ multitasking behaviors during class time, such as texting or playing a game. It is important to examine the most powerful predictor that can result in students’ educational performances. Meta-analysis was used to analyze the research articles, which were published with the keywords, multitasking, class performance, and texting. We selected 14 research articles published during 2008-2013 from online databases, and four articles met the predetermined inclusion criteria. Effect size of each pair of variables was used as the dependent variable. The findings revealed that the students’ expectancy and value on SNSs usages is the best significant predictor of their educational performances, followed by their motivation and ability in using SNSs, prior educational performances, usage behaviors of SNSs in class, and their personal characteristics, respectively. Future study should conduct a longitudinal design to better understand the effect of multitasking in the classroom.

Paper Detail
374
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151
10006532
Mobile Learning in Developing Countries: A Synthesis of the Past to Define the Future
Abstract:
Mobile learning (m-learning) is a novel approach to knowledge acquisition and dissemination and is gaining global attention. Steady progress in wireless technologies and the portability of communication devices continue to broaden the scope and use of mobiles. With the convergence of Web functionality onto mobile platforms and the affordability and availability of mobile technology, m-learning has the potential of being the next prevalent channel of education in both formal and informal settings. There is substantive literature on developed countries but the state in developing countries (DCs) however appears vague. This paper is a synthesis of extant literature on mobile learning in DCs. The research interest is based on the fact that in DCs, mobile communication and internet connectivity are popular. However, its use in education is under explored. There are some reviews on the state, conceptualizations, trends and teacher education, but to the authors’ knowledge, no study has focused on mobile learning adoption and integration issues. This study examines issues and gaps associated with its adoption and integration in DCs higher education institutions. A qualitative build-up of literature was conducted using articles pooled from electronic databases (Google Scholar and ERIC). To enable criteria for inclusion and incorporate diverse study perspectives, search terms used were m-learning, DCs, higher education institutions, challenges, benefits, impact, gaps and issues. The synthesis revealed that though mobile technology has diffused globally, its pedagogical pursuit in DCs remains quite low. The absence of a mobile Web and the difficulty of resource conversion into mobile format due to lack of funding and technical competence is a stumbling block. Again, the lack of established design and implementation rules to guide the development of m-learning platforms in DCs is a hindrance. The absence of access restrictions on devices poses security threats to institutional systems. Negative perceptions that devices are taking over faculty roles lead to resistance in some situations. Resistance to change can be a hindrance to the acceptance and success of new systems. Lack of interest for m-learning is also attributed to lower technological literacy levels of the underprivileged masses. Scholarly works on m-learning in DCs is yet to mature. Most technological innovations are handed down from developed countries, and this constantly creates a lag for DCs. Lack of theoretical grounding was also identified which reduces the objectivity of study reports. The socio-cultural terrain of DCs results in societies with different views and needs that have been identified as a hindrance to research. Institutional commitment decisions, adequate funding for the necessary infrastructural development as well as multiple stakeholder participation is important for project success. Evidence suggests that while adoption decisions are readily made, successful integration of the concept for its full benefits to be realized is often neglected. Recommendations to findings were made to provide possible remedies to identified issues.
Paper Detail
273
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150
10006086
A Corporate Social Responsibility Project to Improve the Democratization of Scientific Education in Brazil
Authors:
Abstract:

Nuclear technology is part of our everyday life and its beneficial applications help to improve the quality of our lives. Nevertheless, in Brazil, most often the media and social networks tend to associate radiation to nuclear weapons and major accidents, and there is still great misunderstanding about the peaceful applications of nuclear science. The Educational Portal Radioatividades (Radioactivities) is a corporate social responsibility initiative that takes advantage of the growing impact of Internet to offer high quality scientific information for teachers and students throughout Brazil. This web-based initiative focusses on the positive applications of nuclear technology, presenting the several contributions of ionizing radiation in different contexts, such as nuclear medicine, agriculture techniques, food safety and electric power generation, proving nuclear technology as part of modern life and a must to improve the quality of our lifestyle. This educational project aims to contribute for democratization of scientific education and social inclusion, approaching society to scientific knowledge, promoting critical thinking and inspiring further reflections. The website offers a wide variety of ludic activities such as curiosities, interactive exercises and short courses. Moreover, teachers are offered free web-based material with full instructions to be developed in class. Since year 2013, the project has been developed and improved according to a comprehensive study about the realistic scenario of ICTs infrastructure in Brazilian schools and in full compliance with the best e-learning national and international recommendations.

Paper Detail
334
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149
10006226
Influence of Dietary Inclusion of Butyric Acids, Calcium Formate, Organic Acids and Its Salts on Rabbits Productive Performance, Carcass Traits and Meat Quality
Abstract:
Animal nutritionists and scientists have searched for alternative measures to improve the production. One of such alternative is use of organic acids as feed additive in animal nutrition. The study was conducted to investigate the impact of butyric acids, calcium formate, organic acids, and its salts (BCOS) additives on rabbit’s productive performance, carcass traits and meat quality. The study was conducted with 14 Californian breed rabbits. The rabbits were assigned to two treatment groups (seven rabbits per each treatment group). The dietary treatments were 1) control diet, 2) diet supplemented with a mixture BCOS - 2 kg/t of feed. Growth performance characteristics (body weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio, mortality) were evaluated. Rabbits were slaughtered; carcass characteristics and meat quality were evaluated. Samples loin and hind leg meat were analysed to determine carcass characteristics, pH and colour measurements, cholesterol, and malonyldialdehyde (MDA) content in loin and hind leg meat. Differences between treatments were significant for body weight (1.30 vs. 1.36 kg; P<0.05), daily weight gain (16.60 vs. 17.85 g; P<0.05), and daily feed intake (78.25 vs. 80.58 g; P<0.05) for control and experimental group respectively for the entire experimental period (from 28–77 days old). No significant differences were found in feed conversion ratio and mortality. The feed additives insertion in the diets did not significantly influence the carcass yield or the proportions of the various carcass parts and organs. Differences between treatments were significant for pH value after 48h in loin (5.86 vs. 5.74; P<0.05), hind leg meat (6.62 vs. 6.65; P<0.05), more intense colour b* of loin (5.57 vs. 6.06; P<0.05), less intense colour a* (14.99 vs. 13.15; P<0.05) in hind leg meat. Cholesterol content in hind leg meat decreased by 17.67 mg/100g compared to control group (P<0.05). After storage for three months, MDA concentration decreased in loin and hind leg meat by 0.3 μmol/kg and 0.26 μmol/kg respectively compared to that of the control group (P<0.05). The results of this study suggest that BCOS could potentially be used in rabbit nutrition with consequent benefits on the rabbits’ productivity and nutritional quality of rabbit meat for consumers.
Paper Detail
374
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148
10005621
An Exploration of the Dimensions of Place-Making: A South African Case Study
Abstract:

Place-making is viewed here as an empowering process in which people represent, improve and maintain their spatial (natural or built) environment. With the above-mentioned in mind, place-making is multi-dimensional and include a spatial dimension (including visual properties or the end product/plan), a procedural dimension during which (negotiation/discussion of ideas with all relevant stakeholders in terms of end product/plan) and a psychological dimension (inclusion of intrinsic values and meanings related to a place in the end product/plan). These three represent dimensions of place-making. The purpose of this paper is to explore these dimensions of place-making in a case study of a local community in Ikageng, Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa. This case study represents an inclusive process that strives to empower a local community (forcefully relocated due to Apartheid legislation in South Africa). This case study focussed on the inclusion of participants in the decision-making process regarding their daily environment. By means of focus group discussions and a collaborative design workshop, data is generated and ultimately creates a linkage with the theoretical dimensions of place-making. This paper contributes to the field of spatial planning due to the exploration of the dimensions of place-making and the relevancy of this process on spatial planning (especially in a South African setting).

Paper Detail
362
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147
10005364
Assessment of Vermiculite Concrete Containing Bio-Polymer Aggregate
Abstract:
The present study aims to assess the performance of vermiculite concrete containing poly-lactic acid beads as an eco-friendly aggregate. Vermiculite aggregate was replaced by poly-lactic acid in percentages of 0%, 20%, 40%, 60% and 80%. Mechanical and thermal properties of concrete were investigated. Test results indicated that the inclusion of poly-lactic acid decreased the PH value of concrete and all the poly-lactic acid particles were dissolved due to the formation of sodium lactide and lactide oligomers when subjected to the high alkaline environment of concrete. In addition, an increase in thermal conductivity value of concrete was observed as the ratio of poly-lactic acid increased. Moreover, a set of equations was proposed to estimate the water-cement ratio, cement content and water absorption ratio of concrete.
Paper Detail
526
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146
10005602
Usage of Internet Technology in Financial Education and Financial Inclusion by Students of Economics Universities
Authors:
Abstract:

The paper analyses the usage of the Internet by university students in Visegrad Countries (4V Countries) who study economic fields in their formal and informal financial education and captures the areas of untapped potential of Internet in educational processes. Higher education and training, technological readiness, and the financial market development are in the group of pillars, that are key for efficiency driven economies. These three pillars have become an inspiration to the research on using the Internet in the financial education among economic university students as the group of the best educated people in finance. The financial education is a process that allows for improving the level of financial literacy. In turn, the financial literacy it is the set of financial knowledge, skills, awareness and patterns influencing the financial decisions. The level of financial literacy influences the level of financial well-being of individuals, determines the scale of saving of households and at the same time gives the greater chance for sustainable and more predictable development of the financial market with the positive impact on economy. The financial literacy is necessary for each group of society but its appropriate level is desirable especially in respect of economics students as future participants of financial markets as well as the experts and advisors in financial decision making. The low level of financial literacy is the great problem of many target groups in both developing and developed countries and the financial education is seen as the best way of improving this situation. Also the financial inclusion plays the special role in enhancing the level of financial literacy in the aspect of education by practice as well as due to interrelation between level of financial literacy and degree of financial inclusion. Despite many initiatives under financial education, the level of financial literacy is still very low. Scientists still search for new ways of solving this problem. One of the proposal is more effective usage of the new technology in financial education, especially the Internet, because of the growing popularity of e-learning and the increasing number of Internet users, especially among young people who are called the Generation Net. Due to special role of the university students studying the economics fields for the future financial markets, students of four universities from Visegrad Countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) were invited to participate in the survey. The aim of the article is to present the level and ways of using the Internet technology in financial education and indicating the so far unused or underused opportunities.

Paper Detail
423
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145
10006012
Intersectional Bullying, LGBT Youth and the Construction of Power
Abstract:

This paper explores the impact of intersectional bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) youth from a multi-layered experience perspective within bullying incidents at school. Present inclusionary measures at school may not be designed as a continuous process of finding better methods for responding to diversity, rather remain ‘fixed’ as singular solutions applied universally. This paper argues recognizing education through a lens of inclusion begins to realize most educational systems are poorly equipped to handle diversity.

Paper Detail
194
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144
10005064
Assessment of Conditions and Experience for Plantation of Agro-Energy Crops on Degraded Agricultural Land in Serbia
Abstract:
The potential of biomass as a renewable energy source leads Serbia to be the top of European countries by the amount of available but unused biomass. Technologies for its use are available and ecologically acceptable. Moreover, they are not expensive high-tech solutions even for the poor investment environment of Serbia, while other options seem to be less achievable. From the other point of view, Serbia has a huge percentage of unused agriculture land. Agricultural production in Serbia languishes: a large share of agricultural land therefore remains untreated, and there is a significant proportion of degraded land. From all the above, biomass intended for energy production is becoming an increasingly important factor in the stabilization of agricultural activities. Orientation towards the growing bioenergy crops versus conventional crop cultivation becomes an interesting option. The aim of this paper is to point out the possibility of growing energy crops in accordance with the conditions and cultural practice in rural areas of Serbia. First of all, the cultivation of energy crops on lower quality land is being discussed, in order to revitalize the rural areas of crops through their inclusion into potential energy sector. Next is the theme of throwing more light on the increase in the area under this competitive agricultural production to correct land use in terms of climate change in Serbia. The goal of this paper is to point out the contribution of the share of biomass in energy production and consumption, and the effect of reducing the negative environmental impact.
Paper Detail
379
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143
10004475
Measuring Enterprise Growth: Pitfalls and Implications
Abstract:
Enterprise growth is generally considered as a key driver of competitiveness, employment, economic development and social inclusion. As such, it is perceived to be a highly desirable outcome of entrepreneurship for scholars and decision makers. The huge academic debate resulted in the multitude of theoretical frameworks focused on explaining growth stages, determinants and future prospects. It has been widely accepted that enterprise growth is most likely nonlinear, temporal and related to the variety of factors which reflect the individual, firm, organizational, industry or environmental determinants of growth. However, factors that affect growth are not easily captured, instruments to measure those factors are often arbitrary, causality between variables and growth is elusive, indicating that growth is not easily modeled. Furthermore, in line with heterogeneous nature of the growth phenomenon, there is a vast number of measurement constructs assessing growth which are used interchangeably. Differences among various growth measures, at conceptual as well as at operationalization level, can hinder theory development which emphasizes the need for more empirically robust studies. In line with these highlights, the main purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to compare structure and performance of three growth prediction models based on the main growth measures: Revenues, employment and assets growth. Secondly, to explore the prospects of financial indicators, set as exact, visible, standardized and accessible variables, to serve as determinants of enterprise growth. Finally, to contribute to the understanding of the implications on research results and recommendations for growth caused by different growth measures. The models include a range of financial indicators as lag determinants of the enterprises’ performances during the 2008-2013, extracted from the national register of the financial statements of SMEs in Croatia. The design and testing stage of the modeling used the logistic regression procedures. Findings confirm that growth prediction models based on different measures of growth have different set of predictors. Moreover, the relationship between particular predictors and growth measure is inconsistent, namely the same predictor positively related to one growth measure may exert negative effect on a different growth measure. Overall, financial indicators alone can serve as good proxy of growth and yield adequate predictive power of the models. The paper sheds light on both methodology and conceptual framework of enterprise growth by using a range of variables which serve as a proxy for the multitude of internal and external determinants, but are unlike them, accessible, available, exact and free of perceptual nuances in building up the model. Selection of the growth measure seems to have significant impact on the implications and recommendations related to growth. Furthermore, the paper points out to potential pitfalls of measuring and predicting growth. Overall, the results and the implications of the study are relevant for advancing academic debates on growth-related methodology, and can contribute to evidence-based decisions of policy makers.
Paper Detail
923
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142
10004635
Feasibility of a Biopolymer as Lightweight Aggregate in Perlite Concrete
Abstract:
Lightweight concrete is being used in the construction industry as a building material in its own right. Ultra-lightweight concrete can be applied as a filler and support material for the manufacturing of composite building materials. This paper is about the development of a stable and reproducible ultra-lightweight concrete with the inclusion of poly-lactic acid (PLA) beads and assessing the feasibility of PLA as a lightweight aggregate that will deliver advantages such as a more eco-friendly concrete and a non-petroleum polymer aggregate. In total, sixty-three samples were prepared and the effectiveness of mineral admixture, curing conditions, water-cement ratio, PLA ratio, EPS ratio and perlite ratio on compressive strength of perlite concrete are studied. The results show that PLA particles are sensitive to alkali environment of cement paste and considerably shrank and lost their strength. A higher compressive strength and a lower density was observed when expanded polystyrene (EPS) particles replaced PLA beads. In addition, a set of equations is proposed to estimate the water-cement ratio, cement content and compressive strength of perlite concrete.
Paper Detail
1001
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141
10004836
An Inclusion Project for Deaf Children into a Northern Italy Contest
Abstract:

84 deaf students (from primary school to college) and their families participated in this inclusion project in cooperation with numerous institutions in northern Italy (Brescia-Lombardy). Participants were either congenitally deaf or their deafness was related to other pathologies. This research promoted the integration of deaf students as they pass from primary school to high school to college. Learning methods and processes were studied that focused on encour­aging individual autonomy and socialization. The research team and its collaborators included school teachers, speech ther­apists, psychologists and home tutors, as well as teaching assistants, child neuropsychiatrists and other external authorities involved with deaf persons social inclusion programs. Deaf children and their families were supported, in terms of inclusion, and were made aware of the research team that focused on the Bisogni Educativi Speciali (BES or Special Educational Needs) (L.170/2010 - DM 5669/2011). This project included a diagnostic and evaluative phase as well as an operational one. Results demonstrated that deaf children were highly satisfied and confident; academic performance improved and collaboration in school increased. Deaf children felt that they had access to high school and college. Empowerment for the families of deaf children in terms of networking among local services that deal with the deaf also improved while family satisfaction also improved. We found that teachers and those who gave support to deaf children increased their professional skills. Achieving autonomy, instrumental, communicative and relational abilities were also found to be crucial. Project success was determined by temporal continuity, clear theoretical methodology, strong alliance for the project direction and a resilient team response.

Paper Detail
456
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140
10004966
The Role of Acoustical Design within Architectural Design in the Early Design Phase
Abstract:
This research responded to anecdotal evidence that suggested inefficiencies within the Architect and Acoustician relationship may lead to ineffective acoustic design decisions.  The acoustician spoken to believed that he was approached too late in the design phase. The approached architect valued acoustical qualities, yet, struggled to interpret common measurement parameters. The preliminary investigation of these opinions indicated a gap in the current New Zealand Architectural discourse and currently informs the creation of a 2016 Master of Architecture (Prof) thesis research. Little meaningful information about acoustic intervention in the early design phase could be found from past literature. In the information that was sourced, authors focus on software as an incorporation tool without investigating why the flaws in the relationship originally exist. To further explore this relationship, a survey was designed. It underwent three phases to ensure its consistency, and was delivered to a group of 51 acousticians from one international Acoustics company. The results were then separated between New Zealand and off-shore to identify trends. The survey results suggest that 75% of acousticians meet the architect less than 5 times per project. Instead of regular contact, a mediated method is adopted though a mix of telecommunication and written reports. Acousticians tend to be introduced later into New Zealand building project than the corresponding off-shore building. This delay corresponds to an increase in remedial action for each of the building types in the survey except Auditoria and Office Buildings. 31 participants have had their specifications challenged by an architect. Furthermore, 71% of the acousticians believe that architects do not have the knowledge to understand why the acoustic specifications are in place. The issues raised in this investigation align to the colloquial evidence expressed by the two consultants. It identifies a larger gap in the industry were acoustics is remedially treated rather than identified as a possible design driver. Further research through design is suggested to understand the role of acoustics within architectural design and potential tools for its inclusion during, not after, the design process.
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689
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10005511
Experience Report about the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in the Process of Testing an Accessible System for Learning Management
Abstract:
This article discusses the inclusion of people with disabilities in the process of testing an accessible system solution for distance education. The accessible system, team profile, methodologies and techniques covered in the testing process are presented. The testing process shown in this paper was designed from the experience with user. The testing process emerged from lessons learned from past experiences and the end user is present at all stages of the tests. Also, lessons learned are reported and how it was possible the maturing of the team and the methods resulting in a simple, productive and effective process.
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487
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10004365
Moving Beyond the Limits of Disability Inclusion: Using the Concept of Belonging Through Friendship to Improve the Outcome of the Social Model of Disability
Abstract:
The medical model of disability, though beneficial for the medical professional, is often exclusionary, restrictive and dehumanizing when applied to the lived experience of disability. As a result, a critique of this model was constructed called the social model of disability. Much of the language used to articulate the purpose behind the social model of disability can be summed up within the word inclusion. However, this essay asserts that inclusiveness is an incomplete aspiration. The social model, as it currently stands, does not aid in creating a society where those with impairments actually belong. Rather, the social model aids in lessening the visibility, or negative consequence of, difference. Therefore, the social model does not invite society to welcome those with physical and intellectual impairments. It simply aids society in ignoring the existence of impairment by removing explicit forms of exclusion. Rather than simple inclusion, then, this essay uses John Swinton’s concept of friendship and Jean Vanier’s understanding of belonging to better articulate the intended outcome of the social model—a society where everyone can belong.
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924
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10004370
Self-Sensing Concrete Nanocomposites for Smart Structures
Abstract:

In the field of civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring is a topic of growing interest. Effective monitoring instruments permit the control of the working conditions of structures and infrastructures, through the identification of behavioral anomalies due to incipient damages, especially in areas of high environmental hazards as earthquakes. While traditional sensors can be applied only in a limited number of points, providing a partial information for a structural diagnosis, novel transducers may allow a diffuse sensing. Thanks to the new tools and materials provided by nanotechnology, new types of multifunctional sensors are developing in the scientific panorama. In particular, cement-matrix composite materials capable of diagnosing their own state of strain and tension, could be originated by the addition of specific conductive nanofillers. Because of the nature of the material they are made of, these new cementitious nano-modified transducers can be inserted within the concrete elements, transforming the same structures in sets of widespread sensors. This paper is aimed at presenting the results of a research about a new self-sensing nanocomposite and about the implementation of smart sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. The developed nanocomposite has been obtained by inserting multi walled carbon nanotubes within a cementitious matrix. The insertion of such conductive carbon nanofillers provides the base material with piezoresistive characteristics and peculiar sensitivity to mechanical modifications. The self-sensing ability is achieved by correlating the variation of the external stress or strain with the variation of some electrical properties, such as the electrical resistance or conductivity. Through the measurement of such electrical characteristics, the performance and the working conditions of an element or a structure can be monitored. Among conductive carbon nanofillers, carbon nanotubes seem to be particularly promising for the realization of self-sensing cement-matrix materials. Some issues related to the nanofiller dispersion or to the influence of the nano-inclusions amount in the cement matrix need to be carefully investigated: the strain sensitivity of the resulting sensors is influenced by such factors. This work analyzes the dispersion of the carbon nanofillers, the physical properties of the fresh dough, the electrical properties of the hardened composites and the sensing properties of the realized sensors. The experimental campaign focuses specifically on their dynamic characterization and their applicability to the monitoring of full-scale elements. The results of the electromechanical tests with both slow varying and dynamic loads show that the developed nanocomposite sensors can be effectively used for the health monitoring of structures.

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1221
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10004233
Inclusive Education of Roma Students from Socially Disadvantaged Background as a Determinant of Their Social Inclusion in the Slovak Republic
Authors:
Abstract:
The aim of the paper is to analyze a longstanding problem in Slovakia – the effective education of Roma students coming from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Although it is a relatively small country, there are over 630 communities in the Slovak Republic. The efficiency of the projects was verified by interviews with participants; questionnaires; and direct observations. Evaluation reports which summarized and evaluated the outcomes of the projects only confirmed their success. Slovakia realizes that appropriate social inclusion of marginalized citizens coming from the Roma ethnic group can only be achieved through education based on equality of all students and acceptance of diversity.
Paper Detail
388
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135
10004234
Otherness of Roma in Inclusive Education of Roma Pupils in Slovakia
Abstract:

The Slovak Republic is a democratic and plural society consisting of people differing in language and culture, and its citizens should already be well prepared for the coexistence of multiple nations, nationalities or ethnic groups. Reflection on culture, art and literature of the Roma minority has taken on a new dimension in Slovakia in the past two decades when it comes to social, cultural and arts integration of this ethnic group with the plural society. Non-Roma view Roma as a specific ethnic group with their own culture, language, customs and traditions, social norms and coexistence that has retained archetypal qualities of Roma identity (romipen) in their real lives as well as in the literary world. Roma characters in works of art are specific and distinguishable from other literary characters simply by being Roma, that is, of a different origin and social status, they represent a different way of life, a distinctive hierarchy of values. The portrayal of Roma and the life of Roma ethnic group in the most dominant genre of Roma literature for children and youth, a Roma fairy tale (paramisi), can work as a suitable means to learn about, accept and tolerate the otherness of Roma in the conditions of school inclusion of students coming from the Roma ethnic group, and to support their identification with their own ethnic group and its cultural traditions. The paper aims to point out not only the specific nature of Roma identity (romipen) through the selected Roma fairy tale (paramisa) – Children of the Sun, but also the diversity of its uses in the educational process within primary education of pupils at elementary schools, advocating the philosophy of inclusive education. Through the suggestions of multi-cultural, emotional, and language and communication education of pupils through the work with the selected Roma fairy tale (paramisa), the author is exploring ways to overcome the issues stemming from the coexistence of Roma and Non-Roma pupils, which are burdened with prejudice, intolerance, aggression and racism on both sides, in the education process.

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541
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134
10004235
Perception of the Frequency and Importance of Peer Social Support by Students with Special Educational Needs in Inclusive Education
Abstract:
Inclusive education of students with special educational needs has been on the increase in the Slovak Republic, facing many challenges. Preparedness of teachers for inclusive education is one of the most frequent issues; teachers lack skills when it comes to the use of effective instruction depending on the individual needs of students, improvement of classroom management and social skills, and support of inclusion within the classroom. Social support is crucial for the school success of students within inclusive settings. The aim of the paper is to analyse perception of the frequency and importance of peer social support by students with special educational needs in inclusive education. The data collection tool used was the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS). The research sample consisted of 953 fourth grade students – 141 students with special educational needs educated in an inclusive setting and 812 students of the standard population. No significant differences were found between the students with special educational needs and the students without special educational needs in an inclusive setting when it comes to the perception of frequency and importance of social support of schoolmates and friends. However, the perception of frequency and importance of a friend’s social support was higher than the perception of frequency and importance of a classmate’s social support in both groups of students.
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515
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