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

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Virtual shooting vs. actual learning: examining university students’ ideas about video games as tools for learning history

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-06-30
Abstract: 

Video games are a popular area of research in education and many scholars are currently investigating the great potential of video games to engage and to teach students more effectively. Studies have long demonstrated that students perceive history as a dull subject. This study examines the potential of commercial video games as a potential tool to improve students’ engagement in history, by focusing on what historical content university students believe they learn and what interests they develop by playing a commercial-off-the-shelf First-Person Shooter video game set in World War 2. Data collected from 12 university students of varying backgrounds show that participants regard video games as a fun pastime, and dismissed them as a way of understanding the past. This appeared to be the case partly because participants were able to “read” features of the game that marked it as a commercial entertainment product, and they overestimated compromises between fun and historical accuracy in it’s game design.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Kevin O'Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Walking backwards into the future with our stories: The Stó:lō is a river of knowledge, Haq’eméylem is a river of stories

Date created: 
2011-05-26
Abstract: 

Storytelling is the original form of education for the indigenous families along the Fraser River. These stories have informed ecological, linguistic and cultural knowledge for thousands of years. This story begins in the time of the oldest inhabitants of the Fraser Valley along the Stó:lō where the river and the indigenous people share the same name: Stó:lō, People of the River. It is a narrative of evolutionary change and transformation that is personal as well as regional to the Fraser Valley. Indigenous narratives are guideposts for drawing strength when human actions fail in efforts to have all parts of the natural and living world abide in harmony. Correct protocol for coexisting with the river involved adherence to purposeful use of cedar, salmon and the written language. This narrative begins in time immemorial—a time when stories had a spiritual power to inform a way of life built on respect for all living systems within and along the river. The boundaries of relationship between humans and the environment were tightly interwoven in oral histories. The story of change and transformation at Xá:ytem, Hatzic Rock, B.C. is told as a teaching story that has influenced the Stó:lō landscape of the past.The tension for correcting or “setting things right” within the river system is relevant and important in appreciating aboriginal pedagogy today. The inclusion of indigenous voice is pivotal to empowering a diverse education curriculum now and into the future.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Allan MacKinnon
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

An exploration of the school's role in moral development

Date created: 
2011-06-06
Abstract: 

Schools always seem to be under pressure to make moral development a part of their routine responsibilities. Despite much reflection and many proposals, there still seems to be unease with how much our schools actually promote or can or should promote moral development. In this thesis I argue that when moral development is approached from a socio-cultural perspective, and the work of philosophers who consider moral development from this perspective is taken into account, it becomes clear how moral development is inescapably an integral part of schools’ work. Students develop morally through their ongoing interactions with the standards supported by the school, and with the other communities of which they are part. In a socio-cultural approach, moral development is seen as a daily, lived experience that is shared by all members of the community, and created in the richness of the ongoing dialogues that we have with significant others in our lives. These others will include the standards of excellence that our communities support, the community itself, and the inheritance of our cultures that we explore through our curriculum. We develop morally when we interact with significant others in our lives who help us experience and achieve what is good. I argue that all members of the school community need to be familiar with modern theories of socio-cultural moral development, support the standards that the school incorporates, and integrate these standards into all the lessons and other activities in the school. In a manner that parallels Charles Taylor’s “ethic of authenticity”, I argue that, in the process, schools will develop their own authentic identity, and necessarily become a place of moral apprenticeship. Such schools strives to create an ethos of belonging and participation that recognizes the close connection between the development of the self and relationships with significant others in students’ lives. The school thus becomes what Taylor calls a “horizon of significance” that the students strive to reach.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Kieran Egan
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Paroles d’immigrants ! Représentations sociales et construction identitaire chez les enseignants immigrants francophones en Colombie-Britannique

Date created: 
2011-05-20
Abstract: 

De nature qualitative, cette recherche repose sur une série d’entretiens compréhensifs, de groupes et individuels, avec des enseignants immigrants francophones installés en Colombie-Britannique. Dans un paysage scolaire en pleine évolution, la question de l’insertion professionnelle des enseignants immigrants se heurte à différents défis, que nous avons choisi d'étudier au travers de leurs discours, selon une perspective émique qui donne la parole aux acteurs eux-mêmes. Le cadre des représentations sociales, inspiré en particulier des travaux français, oriente l'analyse des discours de ces enseignants sur la communauté éducative francophone en Colombie-Britannique et la manière dont ils perçoivent ou conçoivent l’accès au leadership éducatif et son exercice, en contexte de diversité. Plus précisément, notre propos dans le présent travail consiste à examiner les dynamiques de formation et de transformation des identités, en lien avec les représentations sociales que les enseignants immigrants francophones construisent au fil de leurs discours. Les entretiens ont ainsi fait l’objet d’une analyse discursive, axée sur les contenus, qui a permis de mettre au jour différents phénomènes d’échos entre la construction identitaire et ses composantes, la formation des représentations et le fonctionnement perçu de la structure organisationnelle. Cette étude se termine sur des recommandations pour l’implantation d’un leadership éducationnel fondé sur des pratiques de gouvernance ouvertes à la diversité en contexte de changement.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Daniele Moore
Cecile Sabatier
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Factors associated with the successful grade-to-grade transition and graduation of high school students identified with "Behavioural Needs or Mental Illness" in a suburban British Columbia school district

Date created: 
2011-04-19
Abstract: 

Students with emotional and/or behavioural disorders are widely recognized for not doing well in school. In BC, for the 2007-08 school year, only 30% of these students did successfully graduate from high school with the British Columbia “Dogwood” Certificate of Graduation within six years of first enrolling in Grade 8. The purpose of this case study was to provide school leaders with an identity construct of the students identified with emotional and/or behavioural disorders in a suburban school district in British Columbia, Canada, so that some factors associated with their successful grade-to-grade transition and graduation could be determined. This study first provides a “snapshot” of the 384 students identified with “Behavioural Needs or Mental Illness” in the selected school district on May 30, 2008 from information obtained from the district support services office. It then focuses on the 229 students in high school, from Grades 8-12, who were identified in the “Behavioural Needs or Mental Illness” categories, as these were the grades in which grade-to-grade transition rates declined. The study compares students identified with emotional and/or behavioural disorders in Grades 8-12 who successfully completed their four core subjects (English, a social studies course, a mathematics course, and a science course) at year end, or who successfully graduated with a BC “Dogwood” Certificate of Graduation at year end, with students who did not meet these criteria, in order to establish some factors associated with the successful grade-to-grade transition and graduation of students with emotional and/or behavioural disorders. Factors compared are: identification level of the students; gender; grade; current and historic diagnoses and/or behaviour descriptors; current and historic special needs identification(s) including grade(s) identified; length of time identified; and changes in identification(s); current living arrangements; current educational placement; current and historic additional educational support services received; and current and historic community support service(s) received. The study compares findings from the selected school district with information about children and youth identified with emotional and/or behaviour disorders from elsewhere. From the literature and research findings, recommendations for further study, policy and promising practice interventions are provided.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Geoff Madoc-Jones
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Creating space for indigenous knowledges: considerations for aboriginal cultural tourism education

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-03-15
Abstract: 

In post-secondary environments within Canada and around the world, institutional shifts are changing the landscape to create space for indigenous knowledges. The changes are reflected not only in the physical environment, but are also seen in the intellectual landscape with the creation of new faculties, programs, and courses providing for indigenous research and discourse resulting in more comprehensive ways of knowing and understanding the world. This qualitative research study unfolds the story of the Aboriginal Youth Ambassador Cultural Interpreter training program in preparation for the opening of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, British Columbia. It focuses on instructional design and learning processes by weaving materials developed throughout the process with the perspectives of instructors, program managers, post-secondary administrators, and funders. Structured using the instructional systems design framework known best by the acronym ADDIE, each chapter contains a series of observations and recommendations designed to positively affect all aspects of indigenous cultural tourism education. The study suggests that increased indigenous control of training and education funding, a provincially mandated requirement that post-secondary institutions demonstrate organizational readiness to serve indigenous communities, articulation of indigenous tourism programs and courses, and clear evaluative reporting indicators, significant changes can be made. These changes have the potential to enhance individual experiences, support community-based development activities, improve institutional effectiveness and promote innovative industry practices. The study concludes that creating space for indigenous knowledges will result in stronger, healthier academic environments further empowering students, faculty, and administrators; positively contributing to academia, local communities and strengthening the fabric of Canadian society.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Milton McLaren
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Strategic teaching in ESL writing: effects of self-regulatory instruction on writing performance and self-efficacy beliefs

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-04-13
Abstract: 

This study examined the effectiveness of an instructional approach, strategy plus self-regulatory instruction, that was designed to promote writing proficiency and self-efficacy perception. A randomized pre-test-post-test intervention-comparison investigation was applied to 40 students attending a local high school in central China. I established a self-regulatory routine and combined this routine with instruction in writing strategies for the intervention group. No such self-regulatory routine was taught to strategy-only students. Results indicated that students who received the self-regulatory intervention wrote qualitatively better essays and reported a higher level of writing self-regulatory efficacy than their comparison counterparts. Students who received self-regulatory intervention did not display any comparative advantages in composing longer stories nor did develop they higher levels of efficacy in self-regulated learning and academic efficacy. Results are discussed as they relate to previous research, limitations of the present study are identified, and areas in need of future research are proposed.

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

Learner perceptions of language choice in English as an additional language classrooms

Date created: 
2011-03-25
Abstract: 

To better understand how and why students make choices about using first language or English within an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) context, a phenomenological approach was used in the present study to explore participants’ understandings of classroom language choice in an international student bridging program at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada. This exploratory study found that participants’ beliefs surrounding language choice were related to their understandings of the purposes and best methods of learning English. Linguistic composition of the class, teacher behaviour and school/classroom policies were also important to the participants’ determination of how much and when to use English. In addition, themes of social, cultural and linguistic affiliation were explored in relation to language choice, identity and language ideology.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Margaret MacDonald
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Pedagogy of the imagination: philo-poesis, non.verifiable truths, and other existent.ial celebrations

Date created: 
2011-04-21
Abstract: 

The central theme of this thesis is philo-poesis. The work engages the hearts of educators, speaks to a way of being in the world that calls us to attention, to an embodied awareness of the poetry that is our lives. Philo-poesis is a practice: an experiment in the alchemy of the imagining/thinking/embodied being. Philo-poesis requires active perception: a way of thinking and dreaming with the world, while at the same time cultivating the awareness of potentialities in the moment. Philo-poesis is a way of loving better—a love making between world and word. Thus a pedagogy of the imagination is born. This thesis is, first and foremost, an invitation to the reader to walk with the writer in the open field of philo-poesis. In the writing of this thesis I play, explore, evoke, provoke, invoke, enact, and live poetically in the midst of philosophy and philosophically in the midst of poetry. The poems in this thesis become the testimony for this play and presence. Philo-poesis requires the reader's participation: a way of walking back to a mind that is true to itself, a knowing that is purer and freer of possession and control, a way to restoration. The work is written and presented in a manner that includes the reader to participate with the writer in a kaleidoscopic world of poetry making where no pattern ever repeats the same way twice. Each turn of the kaleidoscope highlights some aspect and element of philo-poesis, and provokes the reader’s greater awareness and curiosity. These turns scatter in the open field of awe and wonder, exploring, and bursting into new beginnings and delight. Ultimately, philo-poesis is a state of mind, a more courteous way of being, a vehicle for transforming consciousness, a way of loosening our grip on the world to invite a more intimate connection with it. This connection and intimacy in turn create space for insight and revelation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Heesoon Bai
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Math suks: why and how

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-03-08
Abstract: 

“Math suks” is a commonly used phrase in mathematics class. It is a way for students to express their negative experiences and relationships with mathematics. This study focuses on essentials of mathematics 11 students and examines what they mean by “math suks” and the situations that lead to “math suks”. Charmaz’s constructivist design to grounded theory is used to create students’ mathematics stories. These stories, and the themes that emerged from them, are then analyzed. The analysis shows that there is no single cause to students’ negative relationships with mathematics and every student is affected by a different set of themes.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter Liljedahl
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
((Education) Thesis) M.Sc.