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

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Parental Support for Students Who Participate in High School Athletics: An Exploration of the Perceived Influence of Parents and Its Effect on Student Self-Efficacy and Academic Success

Date created: 
2017-04-10
Abstract: 

This mixed method study explored student athletes’ perception of parental influence in their high school athletic endeavours and how this perceived influence affected their self efficacy and academic success.   The quantitative data was derived from surveys that gauged student perceived parental involvement, self efficacy and academic success in two high schools in a large metropolitan school district in British Columbia. One of the schools was a school composed primarily of students of mid to high social economic status while the other was designated an inner-city school.  The qualitative focus group consisted 10 athletes from each of the schools – a male and female from each grade – discussing students’ feelings about perceived parental involvement and how it affected their self-efficacy and academic success.  The findings showed that all of the student athletes – regardless of which school they attended – perceived that their parents were involved in their high school athletic careers. This perceived parental influence did not, however, substantially influence their self-efficacy or academic success.  Student athletes did feel increased membership when part of a high school athletic team and the interactions with their peer group and positive role models is linked to engagement in school, stronger feelings of self-worth, and academic success.  This study showed that perceived parental influence, while likely a positive support for students, had very little effect on the students’ perception about themselves or their academic success.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Daniel Laitsch
Dr. Fred Renihan (retired)
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Perspectives of Canadian student volunteers in a university “Conversation Partners Program” for international students

Date created: 
2017-04-06
Abstract: 

The experiences of Canadian-born students in university programs aimed at intercultural relationships as well as language exchange is lacking in the literature. This study asked, “How does the experience of communicating with international students in a university sponsored Conversation Partners Program shape the identities of the Canadian conversation partners?” Narrative inquiry was used to determine the most common and relevant themes through out the interviews with the participants. These common themes were identified as: “reflecting on cultural norms and values”, “emerging openness to diverse perspectives”, and “expanding social and cultural network identities.” Implications for these intercultural exchanges are that both parties (Canadian and International students) gain in perspective taking, in learning about other cultures while being encouraged to question their own cultural values, and in learning to navigate the world by gaining personal and cultural assets due to becoming more open to the values and beliefs of diverse cultures.

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

Joining Learning and Making: A Practitioner’s Retrospective Auto/biographical Account of How Inquiry Can Contribute to Social Justice Efforts in a Community

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-01-25
Abstract: 

An opportunity arose in the author’s work as an animator in a community group to design a socially innovative project to address homelessness in her city. Her retrospective auto/biographical account of the design and implementation process demonstrates how qualitative inquiry can contribute to the efforts of community-based practitioners committed to advancing social justice in their communities. Two inquiry frameworks were used. The first, mindful inquiry, is guided by phenomenology, hermeneutics, critical social theory, and the Eastern knowledge tradition of Buddhism. The second, ALMOLIN (alternative models of local social innovation), explores the dynamics of social exclusion and social innovation. Its ethical social-justice position provides alternative criteria to determine whether a social innovation responds to human deprivation; empowers disenfranchised citizens by building capabilities; and changes social and power relations, transforming exclusionary mechanisms into inclusionary strategies. Drawing on these intersecting frameworks, and thinking through and with relationships and lived experiences in her practice setting, a bold vision emerged of what the author here calls the Whole Community Project. Practical actions of coordination and collaboration with multiple stakeholders brought into being places and spaces in the community that provided material pathways to formal education, employment, affordable housing, and home ownership for citizens who had been left behind due to homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, and unemployment. In joining inquiry with making, this unique project design demonstrated that such citizens can recover, achieve employment that provides a sustainable livelihood, and own their own homes in less than two years. The project met the goals of improving the lives of citizens in the author’s practice. The inquiry also informed the design of inclusive interactive civic spaces to promote broader inclusive participatory inquiry: what had been perceived as individual troubles (e.g., homelessness, addiction) could now be transformed into community issues for public deliberation towards more socially just public policy.

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

Undergraduate students' understanding of transformations of sinusoidal functionss

Date created: 
2017-01-23
Abstract: 

Trigonometry is one of the fundamental topics taught in high school and university curricula. However, it is considered as one of the most challenging subjects for teaching and learning. Contributing to research on learning trigonometry, this dissertation sheds light on aspects of undergraduate students’ understanding of transformations of sinusoidal functions. Six undergraduate students participated in the study. Two types of tasks – (A) Identifying sinusoidal functions and (B) Assigning coordinates – were presented to participants in a clinical interview.To analyze the collected data, three theoretical frameworks, Mason’s theory of shifts of attention, Presmeg’s visual imagery and Carlson, Jacobs, Coe, Larsen, and Hsu covariational reasoning were used in this dissertation. Mason’s theory provided opportunity to study the critical role of attention and awareness in learning and understanding mathematics, and in particular the concept of transformation of sinusoidal functions. Presmeg’s classification of visual imagery was applied for investigating students’ visual mental constructs since the participants applied their imagery on different occasions when they completed the interview tasks. Lastly, participants’ solution approaches were evaluated using covariational reasoning, focusing on Carlson’s et al. description of mental actions associated with developmental levels. The results of this research show that undergraduate students participating in this study experienced difficulty in identifying a phase shift/ horizontal transformation of the sinusoidal functions. They, in fact, determined “BC” as phase shift instead of “C” when they relied on the representation of sinusoids as f(x)= A sin/cos((B(x+C))+D. Some participants were also unable to complete tasks in which coefficient of x was a fraction. I conclude this dissertation with some pedagogical suggestions in terms of learning and teaching transformations of sinusoidal functions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rina Zazkis
none
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

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.