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

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PEOPLE + PLACE + PEDAGOGY = POSSIBILITIES: Critical reflections on a transdisciplinary field school experience in the Amazon Rainforest through a Lefebvrian Lens

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-11-05
Abstract: 

This dissertation is an exploratory study of undergraduate students' perspectives on their experience of a transdisciplinary field school in the Amazon Rainforest of Colombia. The study focuses on students’ perspectives of their experience of the Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School (AIFS) offered by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in British Columbia, Canada. The AIFS provides students the opportunity to travel to the heart of the Amazon Rainforest and to engage in an intensive, cross-disciplinary field study experience for a period of two weeks. The Amazon region, one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth, is rich in natural and cultural history; and given its essential role in the ecosystem of our planet, offers an ideal location to broaden the contextual examination of field school experiential education, to explore the link between theory and practice, and to further understand the roles that environment, context, and circumstance play in the student experience. The intent of the research was to examine how this short-term international experience contributes to a full-spectrum education, and provides purposeful, meaningful, and contextually grounded transformative learning by exploring the practices of experiential education within a non-formal and cross-cultural context. For the study, an analytical framework that conceptualized the field school in terms of ‘life spaces’ was developed through an interpretation of French philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre's (1974/1991) triad of social space. The objective was to explore the AIFS experience from a broad viewpoint, and to uncover new insights that could contribute to a better understanding of the impact of the field school experience on participants. The research sought to answer the question “what are the students’ perspectives on their experience, and how can they be described?” The goal was to comprehensively document student experiences, and present a rich, nuanced, and informative picture of the various perspectives, experiences, and stories as shared by the participants.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David Zandvliet
Cindy Xin
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Loveless frumps, old maids, and diabolical deviants: Representations of gender and librarianship in popular culture

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-10-25
Abstract: 

From the old-maid to the oversexed librarian to the unwelcoming gatekeeper, stereotypical representations of woman librarians are familiar in popular culture. Images and narratives construct important messages about what it means to be a librarian and highlight the cultural struggles of the profession, particularly around its status as women’s work. Representations of librarians are rooted in a gendered history of the profession and the social norms that produce expectations about service work as an extension of the caring and organizing work of women. To interrogate the legacy of this history, I examine the representation of gender in contemporary popular cultural texts. Drawing on visual discourse analysis I analyze visual-verbal texts featuring librarians as a way of understanding how gendered representations about librarianship as “women’s work” are produced and resisted. Focusing on popular cultural texts produced between 2005 and 2017 from the United States, I analyze discourses of gender and librarianship in children’s picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, a YouTube video, a made-for-television movie, and Internet sites. I argue that popular cultural texts about librarians are sites of normative inscription and of resistance. While contemporary fictional representations continue to locate librarians in the past and as white, cisgender, heterosexual women, auto/biographical projects offer a disruptive turn from these mainstream characterizations to give voice to the rich and complex lives of real librarians whose work is focused on social action. I conclude with a call for library education programs to adopt a feminist critical media literacy curriculum to encourage undergraduate and graduate library students to critically examine, rescript, and repicture the discursive construction of librarians in popular culture.

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

Young adults' experience of resilience following adversity in adolescence: A hermeneutic phenomenological study

Date created: 
2018-07-24
Abstract: 

Resilience is a multi-faceted construct that has stimulated profound research on risk and protective factors that impact resilience in “at-risk” populations. However, studies examining resilience in healthy, “everyday” adolescents are lacking. This study utilizes a hermeneutic phenomenological study to examine lived experiences of resilience in young adults without observable at-risk characteristics. The purpose of this study is to uncover factors facilitating resilience to inform prevention and intervention initiatives, and add to the literature regarding its definition. This thesis uses semi-structured interviews with seven young adults (age 21-25) who self-identified as undergoing adversity during adolescence and currently perceive themselves as resilient. Thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) Social and Community Supports, (2) Reconnecting in Meaningful Ways, (3) Shifting Perspectives, and (4) Psychological/Emotional/Psychosocial Protective Processes. Finally, this thesis reveals useful applications to counselling adolescents with important considerations to factors such as positive sense of self-worth, belonging, caring friendships and acceptance of negative emotions.

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

The discovery of the “Transcendental Man”: An introduction to the Age of Knowledge by S. Raynaud de la Ferrière and its application in Education

Date created: 
2018-09-25
Abstract: 

I apply R. de la Ferrière’s theory of the Age of Knowledge to explore the current educational terrain. The theory is based on the celestial precession of equinoxes. Civilizations go through great cycles of radical transformation in the religious, cultural, sociological, and psychological aspects of humankind. The new cycle began on March 21, 1948. Currently, humanity is situated in a transitional period moving from a state of believing to a state of knowing. Analysis into monumental societal transformations yields deeper understanding of humanity and can inspire changes in education that incorporate a long-term vision. His pedagogical thought rests on the belief that the most important event in the Age of Knowledge would be the discovery of the transcendent man. He claims that teaching something to a child is not the only important objective; teaching is also to shape a child’s spirit to develop that child’s capacity to observe and reflect, to apply critical thinking in their research, and to love the truth.

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

Leadership durable et relève des directions d’école dans un milieu francophone minoritaire

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-03
Abstract: 

Alors que la relève des directions d’école constitue une problématique dans tous les conseils scolaires au Canada, ce travail analyse le discours de diverses directions d’école et de cadres supérieurs au sein d’un conseil scolaire francophone dans une province anglophone quant à leurs rôles, leurs fonctions, leurs tâches et leurs responsabilités. Il cherche également à connaître, sinon esquisser, le profil recherché pour la direction d’école par les dirigeants et les responsables chargés de l’embauche au conseil scolaire dans le contexte du milieu francophone minoritaire. La recherche s’est, en outre, donnée comme objectif d’examiner les pratiques déclarées exercées par les dirigeants au sein du conseil en matière d’embauche des directions d’école ainsi que leur positionnement pour assurer et soutenir la relève des directions. Les propos, recueillis lors d’entretiens semi-dirigés menés individuellement avec chaque participant, ont ainsi permis de cerner différents éléments qui offrent des pistes de réflexion pouvant éclairer la pratique de la relève des directions d’écoles francophones dans un contexte minoritaire et mettre en lumière les rôles et responsabilités de chacun des acteurs scolaires en vue de favoriser le développement d’un plan de relève; laquelle à son tour assurera la durabilité du leadership dans les établissements scolaires francophones. Les participants à cette recherche s’entendent pour dire en effet que la durabilité du leadership scolaire constitue un facteur essentiel pour assurer la pérenité des changements positifs intégrés dans les écoles en vue d’améliorer l’expérience scolaire de tous les acteurs : élèves, personnel, parents, partenaires communautaires, etc. L’analyse des entretiens permet enfin de dégager trois grands besoins: l’identification des candidats aspirant au poste de directions d’école, leur formation durant la transition à leur nouveau rôle et le développement professionnel continu par le biais de pratiques de mentorat et de soutien à la transition. Au final, des recommandations sont proposées afin d’orienter et de guider la planification de la relève des directions d’école dans un contexte francophone minoritaire, dans le but d’attirer, d’une part, des candidats potentiels pour les postes de directions d’école, et d’autre part, d’accompagner les directions d’école en poste dans leur parcours professionnel.

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

A Qualitative Research Study on the Interplays between Plurilingualism and Identity

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-14
Abstract: 

The aim of this research study is to provide further insight into the interplays between plurilingualism and identity among first year academic literacy students in university. The participants were from a university located in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. A qualitative methodology with an interpretivist ethnographic approach was used. I analyzed the data based on the theoretical concepts linking plurilingualism and agency (Coste & Simon, 2009; Marshall & Moore, 2013), multiliteracies and the ways in which identity can be negotiated (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009), discursive practices and their influence on identity (Gee, 2005) and lastly the concepts of identity negotiation and contestation (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Hall, 1996; Leung, Harris & Rampton, 1997). Participants revealed their perspectives on how they perceived their multi/plurilingualism and how they were able to use their languages across space and time. The participants expressed multiple layers of identity that intersected with ideas of legitimacy, competency, performance and agency in accordance with the physical spaces they occupied.

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

A Study of a Teaching and Learning Centre in a Post-Secondary Educational Institution

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-13
Abstract: 

The purposes of a Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) include helping faculty improve their teaching and enhancing students’ learning. The functions of a TLC vary, depending on the needs of the higher education institution. However, it is important for faculty to utilize the services of a TLC to become more effective educators. Using a mixed methods approach, this study examined the faculty awareness level of a TLC, how innovative teaching ideas were being diffused, and how faculty (as clients) view the services offered by a TLC (as a service unit). A convergent design was used to collect data via an online survey and personal interviews. This study focused only on faculty and close to 1,700 faculty were invited to participate in this study. More than 200 faculty responded to the survey and from that pool, fifteen randomly selected faculty were interviewed. All the interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to uncover themes that emerged from the data. There seemed to be a low faculty awareness level of the TLC within the institution in this study. Faculty felt that the TLC needed to “connect” more with them because there was a lack of marketing of the TLC to present itself more visibly within the institution. There was a concern regarding the lack of diffusion of innovative teaching ideas reported by the majority of interviewed faculty voiced such opinion. It was suggested that more communication channels needed to be used for diffusing new teaching ideas. Also, most faculty felt that there was a need to improve the service quality from the TLC personnel. Results from this study indicated that there was a need for the TLC to improve its communication strategies (e.g., marketing and social media) so that faculty could be better and more frequently informed about the unit. Future research projects may include marketing strategies and service quality of the TLC, as well as the nature of the management support of the unit.

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

Describing the Canadian post-secondary career centre landscape: An exploratory survey

Date created: 
2018-08-25
Abstract: 

Despite growing interest in post-graduate employment outcomes, limited empirical literature exists about how post-secondary career centres in Canada currently operate. Through a national survey, this study sought to describe the external conditions and the internal organizational factors that influence career centre operations, the philosophical orientations of career centres, the career services offered to various stakeholders, the measures of success that are collected and reported, and the human, financial, and space resources available to operate. The Anglophone survey was designed using a Delphi panel of experts to ensure the comprehensiveness of the questions and tested using a pilot group of local career centre staff. Representatives from 63 career centres across Canada responded to the national survey from a variety of career centre types within university, college, or polytechnic institutional settings. The findings, which reveal the current landscape influencing career centre operations, are generally presented as descriptive statistics including means, medians, ranges, and frequencies. Using Hackman’s (1985) theory of power and centrality in resource allocations as the lens for analysis, the researcher hoped to identify relationships between resources available to career centres and the operational choices that they make. For each of the six themes, the differences in how career centres have responded operationally across geographic region, institutional type, and career centre type were identified using chi-square and analysis of variance methods, providing a rich description of the Canadian post-secondary career centre landscape. Another contribution made by this study includes a framework for determining the centrality of non-academic units using Hackman’s (1985) theory. The primary findings of this study are that career centres should rethink their focus on day-to-day differences and work together toward solutions for providing outstanding career development services for post-secondary students and that it is time to consider setting minimum qualifications for career development professionals in Canada.

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

Young adults’ accounts of recovery from youth non-suicidal self-injury: An interpretive phenomenological analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-07-31
Abstract: 

Non-suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), defined as an intentional act of self-harm or injury, without the intent to die, is a mental health issue with concerningly high prevalence rates and associated negative clinical outcomes for youth, internationally and in Canada. Several theoretical explanations and treatment protocols for NSSI exist and have been the subject of research over the past few decades. According to recent meta-analyses, current available specialized NSSI treatment approaches have only modest success in reliably and consistently facilitating recovery for youth who engage in NSSI. There is currently a need for a more nuanced and workable understanding of the mechanisms and factors that facilitate recovery from adolescent NSSI. This study intended to add to the growing body of phenomenological inquiry into recovery from NSSI, and examined, through in-depth personal accounts, the effective mechanism of change involved in recovery from youth NSSI. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, a qualitative method, with established precedence studying personal meaning making of accounts of lived illness experiences, was employed to study the question, “What do youth, who self-identify as having recovered from youth NSSI, understand to have facilitated or made their recovery possible?” Implications for mental health professionals working with self-harming youth are discussed based on analysis of the interview data obtained.

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

Bringing the magic of life: The power of co-constructing digital storytelling with people with dementia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-09
Abstract: 

The number of people living with dementia is continuing to increase. Past research found benefits of digital storytelling for persons with dementia, including enhanced relationships, communication, improved well-being, and social citizenship. My research explored the experience of digital storytelling for people living with early stage dementia as part of a cross-Canada project including three sites: Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. The Vancouver research was conducted as my thesis research. In Vancouver, six participants were recruited from retirement residences, a care facility, and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. I met with participants for 6 to 16 sessions to create digital stories. Data collected included observational field notes, audio recordings from the sessions, and interviews that were transcribed and analyzed. The process illuminated the experience of digital storytelling for people living with dementia. Aspects of participant’s experience included creating a legacy, dementia awareness-raising, facilitated reminiscence, engagement in the process of creation, and generativity.

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