Education - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Self-Explanation and Self-Questioning Prompts in Online Medical Health Learning

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-13
Abstract: 

Online instruction in medical education is beneficial due to moves toward competency-based curricula, continuing education, serving professionals in remote locations, and knowledge updates as research advances. Those who study content online may require support to use effective methods that transform passive, less-engaged learning into active comprehension and purposeful application. This study compared two learning tactics: self-questioning and self-explanation that have not been compared in prior research. Health professionals and students across Canada studied a chapter in the Canadian Fundamentals of Fetal Health Surveillance (FHS) Self-Learning Online Manual, presented on an online learning management system. Participants used nStudy learning software to open note templates and type in either self-explanations or choose one among several question stems then fill in blank space(s) to create a question. Participants who created self-explanations performed better on the achievement posttest than those who generated self-questions. Further analyses disaggregated posttest items into intentional learning (relating to information in the text about which participants were prompted to generate an annotation) and incidental learning (relating to information in the text not directly prompted for annotation). Within the self-explanation condition, there was no statistically detectable difference in recall on intentional (prompted) content compared to incidental (non-prompted) content. In the self-questioning condition, incidental content was recalled similarly to the self-explanation group. However, there was a marked and statistically detectable decrease in recall of content about which participants were prompted to generate self-questions. Possible reasons for this effect based on past research and participant comments are discussed along with limitations of the study and opportunities for further research.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Philip Winne
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Relationships between STEM self-efficacy, same-sex role models and academic behaviour

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-11
Abstract: 

Although women make up approximately half of undergraduate enrolments in postsecondary educational institutions, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in many areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In this study, survey responses from 249 undergraduate students enrolled in at least one STEM course were analyzed to further investigate possible relationships among sex, academic course choices, same-sex role models and STEM self-efficacy. Results show that female students were less likely than male students to declare a STEM major. Among female students there was a correlation between the number of same-sex instructors and being a STEM major as well as the number of STEM courses taken, and further investigation revealed that self-efficacy was a significant predictor of female undergraduate’s major. Implications, future directions and study limitations are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Phil Winne
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

On the Neuro-Turn in Education: From Inside Out

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-30
Abstract: 

On the Neuro-Turn in Education gives a lived account of my exploration of quantitative research in education at the intersections of neuroscience, cognitive science, and cognitive psychology. I argue that existing quantitative studies fall short of meeting all (if any) of transdisciplinarity’s multiple dimensions, and I assert that such research is, in essence and methodology, an expression of the neuro-turn in education. This turn has reinforced a view of education, even if largely implicit, as a closed and mechanistic system—a perspective that so far has prevailed in our society over the view of education as a living process.I have met with transhumanists gravitating toward the outer edge of the neuroscience of learning, in the stratosphere of artificial intelligence, where the prospect of becoming smarter overshadows the wish to become wiser. In that respect, neuroethics - the most recent subdiscipline of applied ethics - rises from the paraxial fact that neurotechnologies are generating ethical challenges while at the same time promoting a neuroscientific understanding of ethics. I argue that ethical questions related to “my brain” are not distinct from ethical questions about “my self” in relation to others, a fact that a subdiscipline risks missing because it focuses on the particulars of the biological explanation of ethics, at the cost of the bigger picture: the complexity of the societal constructs involved in elaborating our moral judgments. I reclaim the richness of my embodied phenomenological being across an inside–out continuum from self to others, and from human to non-human others; and I explore intersubjectivity as resonance at both the philosophical and the organic levels. Finally, I reflect on how, as a philosopher of education, I can be an active participant in sharing with educators and all stakeholders a redefinition of the purpose and aims of education. Central to such dialogue is an urgent need to shed light on toxic metaphors that turn humans into data. By illuminating such issues, I hope to initiate our homecoming to a posthumanity embedded in the fabric of the world.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Heesoon Bai
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

White Euro-Canadian women in transracial/cultural families: Lived experiences of race and difference

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-14
Abstract: 

How do we come to know difference? How do we transform our conceptualizations of difference? This qualitative research study explores the experiences and practices of white Euro-Canadian women in transracial/cultural families with black African new immigrant partners in the Canadian socio-political context. Drawing on critical race feminisms, critical whiteness studies, and antiracism theory, I analyze the interlocking subjectivities of these women in relation to histories of colonialism and nation-building (Carter, 1997; Razack, 2002; Thobani, 2010; Ware, 1992). I examine how the women conceptualize, negotiate, reproduce, and resist dominant ideologies of difference in their lives. I complicate the construct of white femininity, and posit that white women have a distinct responsibility to resist and disrupt white supremacy, and that they can play a key role in doing so (Deliovsky, 2003; Moon, 1999; Najmi & Srikanth, 2002). I consider how white women in transracial/cultural families can be imagined as agentive actors, who can be part of broader social and political change through literacy practices they perform in the everyday learning spaces of their lives (Collins, 2000; Frankenberg, 1993; hooks, 1990, 1992; Twine, 2010). Throughout the study, I problematize the nature of multiculturalism, the notion of ‘culture,’ the construct of whiteness, and dominant conceptions of ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’ in Canadian and postcolonial African contexts (Dei, 1996; Fleras, 2014; Frankenberg, 1993; Mayer, 2002; Walcott, 1997). I posit that through their transgressions across multiple forms of difference, transracial/cultural families come to occupy spaces of ‘inbetweenness,’ in which new ways of knowing and being in the world are possible (Brah, 1996; Luke & Luke, 1998). I assess how these women and their families can help us reimagine constructions of difference, which I argue is imperative for the future of diverse western societies, as tensions increase regarding how to "manage diversity" (Essed, 2007; Steyn, 2015; Vertovec, 2015). I seek to contribute to the limited scholarship on white women in multiracial families, and to add to antiracism theory and critical whiteness studies by shedding light on issues of race and antiracism in the home and community.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dolores van der Wey
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

An alternative social imaginary for internationalization in universities

Date created: 
2017-01-09
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study is to make recommendations for the practice of internationalization at public research institutions. Responding to the calls to challenge the meaning and intentions of internationalization in higher education, this is a conceptual inquiry into internationalization, relying upon public documents revealing the history, practices, and policies as well as the literature, to investigate how a public research institution in Canada has understood and experienced internationalization and to imagine an ethical and educative implementation of internationalization in the future. This inquiry found a disconnect between some of the practical policies of the institution and government, and the voice of the institutional leader and the students. This difference was reflective of the social imaginary operating behind the policies and actions. The voices of the leader and the students almost exclusively operated from the more collaborative and communicative imaginary. This exploration into the discourse of internationalization has led me to believe that rather than being a mechanism for coping with globalization, internationalization offers individuals and institutions the opportunity for required growth and development. Internationalization is a policy position that can result in practices that inspire an ethic of interconnected problem solving, individual identity development, and an ethos of care in institutions. I argue that without an approach to internationalization that promotes a social imaginary of collaboration and networked institutions, characterized by global citizenship and intercultural learning, universities are at risk of succumbing to the forces of neoliberal policy directions, marketplace politics, and the tradition of status and rankings. This alternative social imaginary for internationalization––valuing a network of people and institutions in order to create conditions that serve, support, and inspire collaboration for learning, research, and change across the globe—will yield a new way of being for universities, one that results from our history and resonates with our contemporary purpose.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Grimmett
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

shamanic historical consciousness: retu(r)ning to the Ellemental as an indigenous education

Date created: 
2017-01-19
Abstract: 

In Canada, as in much of the western world, history has traditionally been seen as the rational pursuit of knowledge of the past. More recently, however, historians have taken a historical consciousness (HC) approach, which emphasizes the significance of memory. Scholars of HC pursue their work in different ways—typically described as cognitive HC and critical HC. For the purposes of this thesis, I was especially interested in the intersubjective relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people—how we were relating to each other both past and present, and how the past impacts how the present is being negotiated. As a scholar of French and Mohawk ancestry, I view history, or histoire in French, as synonymous with story, or better yet, someone’s story to which I am related. Thus, I questioned if the two current HC approaches provided a sufficient understanding of history, if the attention was not on those whose history it was we were disseminating, particularly, when the other was obfuscated, obscured, or omitted altogether from the historical narrative and/or landscape. Drawing on Thomas King’s idea that if you want a different ethic, tell a different story, I propose a shamanic historical consciousness as a way of expanding upon the two former HC strands, and in a way that falls outside many academic conventions with its emphasis on creating alliances with and not for those who have passed before us. Shamanic historical consciousness moves away from a dependence solely on rationalist principles (where reason, and not experience, is viewed as the root of knowledge); it looks to wampum belts—mnemonic devices that recorded history—as a way of knowing/seeing/reading the world. Shamanic historical consciousness dwells in the spaces of obscurity, affording the world of the apparition, the shadow, the reverse of reality. It requires a decentring of the I (or ego), and introduces a proto-ethical o/Other relationality, as a means for (re)thinking Canadian history and Indigenous education. But most of all, my thesis asks that you allow yourself to sway in the breeze like the tall grass in the field, that you allow the winds to unclutter centuries of colonial thought, and allow the wind to whisper ancestral stories that have laid dormant for too long.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ann Chinnery
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The Shaping of German-Canadian Family Memory of World War II and the Holocaust

Date created: 
2017-01-12
Abstract: 

This thesis examines how German-Canadian immigrant families have addressed and remembered the Holocaust. Using a generational perspective, it is based on interviews with ten second- and third-generation German-Canadians who were born between 1950-1975. Their families emigrated from Germany in the first two decades after World War II. The questions this thesis seeks to explore are: How were memories of perpetration, the Nazi past and the Holocaust communicated within families? What information was or was not talked about? Did growing up in Canada shape how families remember their German past? How are the patterns in the stories of second- and third-generation German-Canadians similar to or different from Germans in Germany? Thematic narrative analysis was employed and demonstrated patterns in victim discourse, silence and avoidance in the interviewees’ narratives. The findings from this research project can be used to inform Holocaust and genocide education curricula and psychological interventions with German-Canadians.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Roger Frie
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The politics of oral participation: The experiences of Chinese multilingual speakers in Canadian university classrooms

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

Taking into account the increasingly diverse student body in increasingly interactive classrooms, it is crucial to enhance our understanding of the dynamics of mixed multicultural groups, and in this particular case, the oral participation and group experiences of Chinese multilingual speakers. Following scholarship from critical pedagogy, intersectionality, and language as symbolic capital, this thesis research project examines the beliefs, interactions and struggles of eight Chinese multilingual speakers in their group discussions in lower-division and upper-division courses in a middle-size Canadian university. Using ethnographic methods, participant observation and interviewing in particular, the researcher followed and observed how eight Chinese multilingual speakers, with various English proficiency levels and diverse learning cultures, participated and performed in their group discussions. Video-recordings, audio-recordings, course syllabus, lecture slides, marking rubrics, students’ writing samples and peer review forms were the main sources of data. The investigation and comparison of participants’ group experiences show that institutional structures, such as ideologies, stereotypical biases, curriculum and grading policies, could significantly affect participants’ oral participation and positionalities in their groups. Informed by scholarship in critical pedagogy and Bourdieu’s language as symbolic power, the researcher argued that some discursive structures in educational settings could largely disadvantage multilingual speakers especially those who newly arrived in North America, and cause challenges for them to participate effectively in their group projects. It is, thus, important for university educators to be aware of the power imbalances as well as the power struggles between different social groups in doing group projects. At the end of the thesis, the researcher provides some practical suggestions for more inclusive practices for instructors.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Kelleen Toohey
Department: 
Education: Education
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Associations among teacher-student interpersonal relationships and students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and academic achievement: A cross cultural study

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

This cross-cultural study explored associations among teacher-student relationship, students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and students’ academic achievement in grade 5 and 6 students from Vancouver, Canada (n = 102) and Hong Kong, China (n = 207). Hong Kong students perceived their teachers to be more dissatisfied, strict, admonishing, and uncertain, while Vancouver students perceived their teachers to be more helpful and friendly. Students’ levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation did not differ across cultures. Students’ intrinsic motivation positively correlated with positive teacher-student relationship subscales, and negatively correlated with teacher’s perceived dissatisfaction in both Vancouver and Hong Kong. Vancouver students’ extrinsic motivation was not significantly correlated with any teacher-student relationship subscales whereas Hong Kong students’ extrinsic motivation was significantly and positively correlated with positive teacher-student relationship subscales. Students’ academic achievement was positively correlated with positive teacher-student relationship subscales in both Vancouver and Hong Kong, negatively correlated with teacher’s uncertainty in Hong Kong, and positively correlated with student’s intrinsic motivation in both Vancouver and Hong Kong. Academic achievement was not significantly correlated with extrinsic motivation in either sample. Culture did not moderate the association between i) teacher-student relationships and academic achievement, ii) intrinsic motivation and academic achievement, iii) extrinsic motivation and academic achievement, iv) teacher-student relationships and extrinsic motivation, or v) teacher-student relationships and intrinsic motivation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Lucy Le Mare
Department: 
Education: Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Skwxwú7mesh Nách’en: Xwech’shí7 tlʼa Nexwníneẁ iy Sneẁíyelh Squamish Praxis the interspace of Upbringing and the Teachings

Date created: 
2016-11-30
Abstract: 

In Canada, First Nations languages are in a grave state of decline. Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) is a critically endangered language. In Circle, a form of knowledge gathering that has been adapted for this research, co-participants take up the two notions of nexwnínew̉ and snew̉íyelh (upbringing and the teachings). The premise in the research is that Skwxwú7mesh people are engaged in a socialization process, which has at the crux an intergenerational pedagogy of Skwxwú7mesh language, culture, and knowledge re-generation enculturated through family relations in formal and informal ways manifest in their nexwnínew̉ and snew̉íyelh. Based upon the cultural practice Utsám̉ Chiỷáxw (Called to Witness) protocol co-participants become the Witnesses called to “put words to the floor”. This study uses an emergent Skwxwú7mesh theory called Nch’u7mút (united as one) that privileges the Swa7ám̉ (Ancestors) epistemological and ontological knowledge systems. Four principles wanáxw̉s (respect), smenálhwit (dignity), áyatway (kindness), and chénchenstwaywit (support for one another) shape the theory. Xay Sts’its’áp’ (Sacred Work) is a Skwxwú7mesh chiỷáxw (protocol) that frames this dissertation. I use the term Work italicized and capitalized to symbolize respect for the ceremony of research. The findings offer the reader, the co-participant’s critical insights into the Skwxwú7mesh moral universe and the connection of language to land.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carolyn Mamchur
Graham Smith
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.