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

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Constellations of meaning and emotion: Gay, bisexual, and queer men’s experiences of holding hands in public

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-14
Abstract: 

There is a scarcity of literature examining gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) men’s experiences of public displays of affection. An interview protocol informed by Emotion-Focused Therapy was used alongside narrative inquiry to conduct semi-structured interviews with 10 GBQ men about their experiences of holding hands with other men in public. Specifically, this research endeavoured to understand how GBQ men made meaning of their hand-holding experiences and how emotion was woven into these narratives. Analysis revealed that the GBQ men in this study made meaning of their hand-holding by comparing their experiences to dominant cultural meanings about hand-holding and GBQ identity. In particular, those whose experiences least matched dominant cultural meanings shared stories which were suffused with the most detail and emotionality. Counselling implications include the possible benefit of psychoeducation about emotions, helping couples increase mutuality, and exploring the effects of heterosexism in individuals’ and couples’ lives.

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

An exploration of British Columbia's TVET instructors' perceptions that influence their curriculum choices

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-01-16
Abstract: 

Instructors’ perceptions, values, and belief structures influence their curriculum decisions and may fundamentally overlap, contradict, and/or conflict, leading to a confluence of curricula cultures within the classroom. This study investigated Trades and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) instructors’ perceptions to gain a better understanding of how those perceptions give rise to cultures of curriculum, particularly those that inhabit postsecondary TVET in British Columbia (BC). A total of 37 TVET instructors from BC participated in this study. Collectively, the participants represented a total of 10 Red Seal trades. Joseph’s (2000) conceptualization of curriculum as culture was used as the theoretical lens to investigate vocational instructors’ general perceptions regarding (a) their role as a teacher, (b) the intellectual capacities of their students, and (c) the purpose and future needs of vocational education. Q Methodology (Stephenson, 1935) was selected as the optimal research approach. Q factor analysis resulted in a four-factor solution, revealing the correlation of participants’ shared curricular beliefs and values as four statistically distinct perspectives. Factor array tables and interview transcripts were reviewed to interpret and name the viewpoints as expressed by the participants grouping together in each factor: Factor 1 – the constructivist crew, Factor 2 – the canonical cluster, Factor 3 – the experiential team, and Factor 4 – the 21st century progressives. Two major findings were gleaned from this study. First, tensions exist between the theoretical underpinnings of competency based education and training (CBET) and the curricular beliefs held by Factors 1, 2 and 4. Factor 3, however, is found to be in broad agreement with the goals and pedagogies associated with CBET. Second, distinct views held by each factor are theoretically opposed to those of other groupings, creating incompatibilities and divisions within the education system. The findings from this study have implications for future research, practice, policy, and theory and lend support to other curriculum studies in both mainstream education and TVET. My intention is for these findings to bring forth awareness of the largely unexamined theoretical confusion that I found to exist within the BC TVET system and to provide a reference point for stakeholders’ discussions and future curricular decisions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michelle Pidgeon
Natalia Gajdamaschko
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

A politics of disgust: Selfhood, world-making, and ethics

Date created: 
2018-04-20
Abstract: 

Disgust is an “everyday” experience as it appears in everyday, ordinary moments. Yet, disgust has remained challenging to address both theoretically and in our personal interpretations of disgust experiences. Current accounts in education, psychology and the humanities have minimized how disgust can play a role in meaning-making at personal, interpersonal, and social levels. In other words, they have focused on trying to answer what disgust is, rather than what it does. My research will show that disgust has an impact on processes of selfhood, world-making, and ethics. I will argue that disgust encounters are not a residue or by-product of experiences, but rather, work to create structures of meaning about selfhood, interpersonal relationships, and the worlds we inhabit. These structures allow subjects to organize and understand their experiences. In short, disgust is about “meaning-making.” My analysis will use feminist intersubjective perspectives to examine disgust as they provide a useful way to understand the relational aspects of disgust and the ways in which disgust impacts processes and forms of understanding. In particular, I apply Jessica Benjamin’s approach to recognition to draw out disgust’s relevance to meaning-making. I will argue that disgust is an affective moment in which the struggle for recognition plays out. Through the lens of recognition, disgust’s significance to processes of selfhood, interpersonal relations, and ethics becomes evident. My analysis includes a case study of Ashley Smith’s incarceration and the circumstances leading to her death in 2007 to demonstrate the significance of disgust encounters as struggles for recognition.

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

Early bilingual development in preschool and kindergarten: An ethnographic study of three Punjabi-speaking emergent bilingual learners in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-10
Abstract: 

Canada’s population has been multicultural and multilingual for many years, and recently there have been changes to official language education policies, programs, and practices in public schools across the country. Unfortunately, education through the medium of an official language (often the language of schooling) has not served young bilingual children as well as it might, and many such children, especially those who come from minority language backgrounds, encounter schooling difficulties. In response to this situation, provincial and territorial Ministries of Education in Canada, along with local school districts, have invested considerable resources to support elementary teachers in adapting their instructional practices for bilingual children and their families. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to examine the language practices of three bilingual children from Punjabi language backgrounds in one school district in the province of British Columbia, Canada. I employed a variety of ethnographic methods including classroom observations, fieldnotes, and audio and video recordings of the focal children’s language practices during free play. In addition, at the end of the study, I conducted semi-structured interviews with the children’s parents, grandparents, and teachers about their literacy beliefs and how these beliefs influenced their literacy instruction. My findings revealed that the children were able to creatively use their language repertoires to actively participate in classroom activities with their parents, grandparents, teachers, and peers in two different classrooms (an early learning program and a full day Kindergarten classroom). The findings of this study highlight the opportunities for teaching and learning with bilingual children in Early Childhood Education settings.

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

Hope for the embattled language classroom: Pedagogies for wellbeing and trauma healing

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-12
Abstract: 

Learning, as it is being increasingly recognized, is centrally predicated upon students’ wellbeing. Research findings indicate that in the instances of wounding and trauma, students’ capacity and ability to learn can be severely compromised. This understanding applies particularly to the immigrant students in the language classroom, many of whom are refugees bringing with them past experiences of privation, violence, wounding and trauma. Since teachers often find themselves wearing multiple hats, not only as an instructor, but also as a friend, philosopher, guide, confidante, and counselor to their refugee and immigrant learners, addressing those students’ trauma with compassion, and employing appropriate pedagogical practices to mitigate their suffering should be of great relevance and inform the teachers’ praxis in the classroom. This dissertation takes an interdisciplinary look at trauma from the vantage points of critical language theories, Buddhist psychology, neuroscience, and psychotherapy, and suggests pedagogies for wellbeing and trauma healing that utilize contemplative ways of education. The practical aim of this dissertation is to support teachers in addressing trauma in their classrooms.

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

Incorporating computational thinking and coding in BC secondary mathematics classrooms

Date created: 
2020-03-10
Abstract: 

There has been considerable attention on the term “computational thinking” (CT) over the past decade in the education community. With a global movement to include coding in the school curriculum, British Columbia (BC) also introduced coding to the K-12 curriculum in 2016. There have been on-going discussions about what CT is, why we should teach CT (and coding), and how we should teach it. However, there has been little research on the current state of affairs in BC with respect to teacher practices related to CT. By surveying, observing and interviewing BC secondary mathematics teachers, this study focuses on teachers’ perspectives on how to incorporate CT and involve coding in classrooms. Results showed that most teachers understood CT as being about problem-solving skills. CT and coding have not been taught frequently but are incorporated in various ways, primarily using block-based programming. Despite challenges, teachers found that these CT and coding activities elicited a high-level engagement and were accessible to a wide range of students.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nathalie Sinclair
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis (Education)) M.Sc.

A way towards an education for the communal self

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-16
Abstract: 

Educators have spent 130 years, from Dewey to Pinar, developing curricula in North America that have contributed to the development of the idea of an “individual self”. Such emphasis on individuality has inadvertently resulted in a narcissistic self, i.e., an individualized, consumeristic type of self that is much in line with the neoliberal agenda. We humans, have reached a point in which a new structure for the self is needed. This dissertation demonstrates that we are more interconnected and interdependent than we previously admitted and, ultimately, aims to prove that we are in fact communal selves, routinely influenced and constructed by the people, animals, and environment that surround us. Ultimately, this dissertation aims to offer teachers a framework for community development and wholesome inclusion, by means of developing curricula with the idea of “communal selves” as a point of departure. In the realm of dreaming and imagining, our communal selfhood could reach the minds and hearts of every human being and shift the way we relate to each other.

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

Teachers’ experiences with disruptive student behaviour: A grounded theory study

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-11-22
Abstract: 

For both new and veteran teachers disruptive student behaviour is consistently reported as the most demanding aspect of the teaching experience and is often cited as one of the reasons teachers leave the profession. Using grounded theory as a guiding methodological framework in this study I explored the interview data from 13 general elementary teachers collected over a three-year period from Fall 2015 to Fall 2018 asking, “How do experienced elementary school teachers perceive and manage disruptive student behaviour? And what are the relationships among their perceptions of disruptive classroom behaviour, teaching philosophy and strategies?” This study took place, in British Columbia, Canada, at a time when the province underwent changes in class size legislation subsequently 10 of the 13 teachers interviewed provided data about these changes to their class size and their management of disruptive student behaviour. Findings from this study showed that teachers considered behaviour to be disruptive when they did not understand its underlying purpose, it was unexpected and it required the teacher to make substantial and unplanned changes involving the whole class. In this process, the teacher was found to consider and weigh the impact of the behaviour on the student and the other students in the class. Finally, the teachers considered the behaviour’s impact on their own ability to teach and meet the needs of all their students, and its impact on the other students’ ability to learn. Findings also showed that class size and composition influenced teachers’ perceptions and management of disruptive student behaviour. Overall smaller class sizes were viewed as beneficial, however, teachers noted that the loss of the Educational Assistant (EA) in the classroom to support all students was an unexpected consequence of the class size reduction. This loss of an additional trained adult was profound when dealing with one or several disruptive students. Overall findings from this study, including those on class size and composition, highlighted the importance of relationality and community building as part of what “good teachers” do to support positive learning behaviour. The findings suggest that disruptive student behaviour can be understood theoretically within a two petal relational model where tactical strategies integrated with relationship building can support positive behaviours and prevent a relational disconnect with students.

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

The interdependence of technology, pedagogy, and epistemology: A self-study of my pedagogy of technology teacher education

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-10-16
Abstract: 

This research investigates teacher candidates’ theories of knowledge in a technological environment and a post-secondary teacher educator’s pedagogy of technology teacher education. This dissertation attends to the pedagogical interdependence of purposeful technological environments with a view to narrowing the epistemic gap between students and teachers through the design of educational technology within an undergraduate course. The research uses self-study methodology to investigate and improve my pedagogy of technology teacher education and simultaneously advance the fields of educational technology and learning design and technology teacher education. Self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (S-STTEP) is a type of educational research methodology that is concerned with the understanding and improvement of one’s practice and the relationship between teaching and learning in teacher education. A four-part analytical framework in this self-study is used to provide an account of my practice as a technology teacher educator through an analysis of my espoused theories (Argyris & Schön, 1974) (the explicit reasons we give for our actions) and my theories-in-use (Argyris & Schön, 1974) (implicit theories that explain how we behave). The analytical framework coalescences my professional knowledge in an epistemology of practice to help me articulate my assertions for actions as a technology teacher educator using maker pedagogy and experiential learning as technological and educative learning environments. The study of practice as an epistemic source of knowledge supports accesses to one’s authority of practice, which is an ontological lens used to study what resides in knowing-in-action. An authority of practice is the warrant that leads to an understanding of professional identity and professional knowledge, and how it develops and is reframed. The epistemic study of practice in this research makes contributions to educational research in the professional development of the teacher educator through the self-study of educational practices and actions.

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

Teachers’ understanding of peace and citizenship education and ways of integrating data literacy in Colombia’s Cátedra de la Paz

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-09-25
Abstract: 

Following the end of a long-lasting armed conflict, Colombia created a peace and citizenship education course called Cátedra de la Paz, looking to promote a culture of peace in all schools in the country. However, teachers’ views about, practices in and responses to challenges of implementing the course remain unknown, as well as how they integrate data into their teaching practices. This study is focused on secondary school teachers’ understanding of Cátedra de la Paz, their instructional approaches and their views of the role of data in the course. To achieve this, 45 teachers participated in an online survey, from which 10 were selected for an interview. Findings show that teachers have complex views of the course, face several challenges to implement it and have a limited vision of data integration. These results highlight the need to provide context-oriented support that consider teachers way of understanding the course.

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