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

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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.

Bridging Lives: Storytelling towards Agency, Advocacy and Change

Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

In this thesis, I look at storytelling as it relates to the ability to bridge understanding with others and how it fosters advocacy, agency and change. In 2013, I was the videographer/photographer to a New Westminster community initiative. Based on this experience of witnessing story and its effect on a community, I was inspired to explore social change and personal agency within storytelling. With the use of Narrative Portraiture as my writing method, the thesis follows six-storytelling journeys through the challenges of immigrating to a new land. While in the midst of witnessing these storied journeys with other community participants, I started to recognize a transformation in the community as well as myself. This storytelling project became one component of a Welcoming and Inclusive New Westminster(WINS) initiative that explored a participatory action research(PAR) method as its knowledge acquisition. PAR utilizes a dialogical, recursive, reflective, and iterative approach to achieve change within practices whether individually or globally. Using the two different methodological approaches the reader will witness the journeys as experienced by others, amidst evolving social and personal changes.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Vicki Kelly
Dr. Michael Ling
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Divided Loyalties: Induction to Changing Expectations The Perceptions of a Group of Recently Appointed University Faculty about the Expectations for Teaching and Research in the Performance of their Professorial Roles.

Date created: 
2016-09-12
Abstract: 

University professors are under growing pressures to perform multiple roles with excellence. The changing landscape of education in the 21st century increasingly calls for professors to excel in both the craft of teaching and research scholarship in their fields of scholarship. In their core vision and purpose statements research universities are recommitting to achieving excellence in student engagement in learning by promoting scholarship and performance in teaching and by developing in-service education programs to assist faculty in meeting these expectations. However, how do faculty view the increasing commitments to excellence in instruction?This study reports on the perceptions of a group of faculty recently appointed to positions in a large research university regarding their understandings of the roles and expectations associated with their new positions. Findings were derived from in-depth semi-structured interviews with nine full-time faculty members at a public university in Western Canada. All interview participants had been hired within five years of the study’s commencement in the summer of 2013. Faculty perceptions of expectations and responsibilities for instruction, research, and service, were contrasted with their lived experiences of induction processes, institutional support, and the relative priorities seen as being attached to performance in research and teaching roles.Participating faculty reported a variety of experiences in their orientations and inductions by the university and their respective departments as new appointees. Participants described perceiving a sense of competing priorities between the pursuit of research in their disciplines and the demands of teaching. They also expressed beliefs that research activities are given greater weight than teaching performance in assessments for contract renewal, tenure, and promotion. Faculty hired specifically as Lecturers, without the expectation of developing research careers, expressed greater clarity regarding role expectations, although some still wished to conduct research as an optional extension to their job descriptions. The study offers suggestions for improvements to university induction practices and suggests that while induction and orientation are often focused on the early stages of an appointment to a new position, there is a need for on-going professional development directed both at teaching and research roles throughout the careers of university professors.

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

Mentoring strategies in a project-based learning environment: A focus on self-regulation

Date created: 
2016-11-21
Abstract: 

The main purpose of this Action Research investigation was to better understand how post-secondary faculty mentor self-regulatory behaviours in a project-based learning environment (PjBL). The secondary purpose was to understand how the Action Research process supported faculty in their mentoring. Lastly, understanding learner perceptions of being mentored and how the faculty’s mentoring of specific self-regulatory behaviors would align with the expectations of the video game industry, would provide a cross-section of intrigue into the investigation. The research context was the Master of Digital Media Program in Vancouver, Canada. The MDM Program specializes in providing learners, organized in project teams, the opportunity to work on real-world digital media projects. Three faculty mentors and three student teams participated in this study; each team was tasked with co-constructing video-game prototypes for three game companies over a four-month period. Pre-research interviews with established members of the video game industry in Vancouver were conducted in order to determine what qualities and skills they looked for when hiring new recruits. Data from these interviews revealed characteristics of self-regulation, such as self-motivation, ‘ownership’, the ability for recruits to manage their own learning, and self-reliance as being of primary importance. A pilot study was then undertaken to operationalize self-regulation as reflected in the mentoring practices of one MDM faculty member and assess the effectiveness of the planned data collection procedures. The primary investigation consisted of video recording the mentoring sessions of three faculty and three student teams, a total of 18 students. Video recorded mentoring sessions were observed and discussed by the researcher and each faculty member in a one-on-one interview setting. Final faculty and student interviews were conducted. Data from pre-research interviews, the stimulated recall sessions, and final interviews were analyzed and triangulated. Triangulation of learner interviews revealed that mentors supported self-regulatory behaviors using a variety of strategies, which are described in detail. Triangulation of pre-research interviews revealed that mentors were supporting learners in their development of specific characteristics expected of new recruits transitioning into the video game industry.

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

Patterns of association in older adult gamers: Demographics, gameplay patterns, and perceived benefits

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-07-26
Abstract: 

The over-sixty population is the fastest growing age group worldwide. This rapid growth in the older-adult population requires the need for additional resources to mitigate the effects of aging. Leisure activities have been shown to provide informal learning opportunities that help with various aspects of social and cognitive wellbeing in older adults. A survey asking about gameplay patterns, demographics, and perceived benefits of playing digital games was administered to 590 older adults over the age of 55. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric comparison of means were used to identify associations between variables to find which demographic and gameplay characteristics impacted perceptions of socio-emotional and cognitive benefits. Both perceived socio-emotional and cognitive benefits were associated with a large number of gameplay characteristics, such as time spent playing digital games, people with whom they play digital games, and playing games online. Results provide us with a more nuanced understanding of how older adults play digital games and which factors influence their perceptions of benefits.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David Kaufman
Shawn Bullock
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

From Brynania to Business: Designing an Evidence-Based Business Education Simulation From an Exploration of a Real-Time Blended Model.

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-09-13
Abstract: 

This study provided an opportunity to look across disciplines and beyond regular roleplaying and standard digital-environment-based business games to explore a long-running and unique blended simulation in a different yet related field. The lessons learned from the “anywhere anytime” blended simulation design of the Peace Building Simulation (PBSim) used with undergraduates in Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada provided guidance for the design of a similar simulation for use in undergraduate business management and leadership courses. The results collected through surveys, focus groups, interviews and field observations conducted in 2015 during an exploration of the weeklong simulation suggest that students were highly engaged and productive with this blended format. Interestingly, the participants anticipated they would be both highly engaged and highly stressed during the experience, and those expectations were realized. A learning community was created during the week with the high level of instructor involvement and modelling positively influencing the outcomes. Some gender differences were also found in expectations and engagement. Nine design elements were developed from the results of the study of the PBSim and a review of relevant research. The elements are proposed as useful for the development of a simulation intended to immerse students in a complex business environment.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Milton Maclaren
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ed.D.