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

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The suitcase, the map, and the compass: an expedition into embodied poetic narrative and its application toward fostering optimal learning spaces

Date created: 
2011-01-05
Abstract: 

Embodied Poetic Narrative is a triangulation of body, story, and object in creative and shared play as a way to surface new understandings of self and other. This curriculum model carries multiple entry points whereby the teacher/participant can enter from creative writing and/or movement in combination with shared stories developed from objects of value. With these imaginative explorations, I invite the body’s centre of gravity to shift and thereby provoke the axis of knowing to be disrupted. This process results in lived experiences re-interpreted, re-storied, and then re-imagined with others. When fracturing the signifiers of our everyday(ness) participants come to shared understandings and create intersections of commonalities thereby cultivating spaces of reciprocity where a community is formed. By moving away from text centred processes through immediacy and viscerality, we access our first, most creative impulses. I posit a body in movement reveals lost thoughts and treasured images and with an increased heart rate and rapid breath we provoke availability to the imagination and deeper understanding of self and other. I ask questions such as, “If I am a museum of lived experiences what are my artifacts?”; “What is embodied literacy in the curriculum of the world?”; “How can co-authoring personal stories cultivate compassion within a community of practice and further a global community?” My thesis explores my relationship with and through dance into embodiment, including reflections on spectatorship. It continues on to explore the culturally-inscripted body within our ever-growing world of fluid borders and hybrid identities. I critique text centred learning strategies as a primary factor in forcing the body into silence as well as examining the notion of self and other within an autobiographical and collective storying process. I trouble our privileged position of naming objects in relation to the everydayness of their use and finally, I explore the interpretive voice by examining readings of embodied acts. Embodied Poetic Narratives presents a tool to create powerful, dynamic pedagogic environments whereby forgotten or suppressed memories, can activate personal agency and self politicized action towards transformative learning.

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

The fertility of artistic expression as a two-way offering: releasing the prolific self

Date created: 
2011-01-14
Abstract: 

Encountering art well invites inquiry, resonance, release and self-formation. It is common for people to talk and write about the gift an artist gives to an audience by sharing one’s art. I refer to this gift as an offering. It is, however, uncommon for people to talk and write about the offering an audience gives to an artist. The fertility of artistic expression involves a two-way offering of reciprocity between artist and audience; the language of art is incomplete without the presence of conversation. Giving an artist an actively present and attentive audience is one of the most generous, and often most transformative, of offerings one can give. The need to watch well and be watched well is a core human need. At times, watching one another well involves watching one another’s art well. This thesis explores the fertility of artistic expression confronting a diagnosis of infertility.

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

The integrated business case: student expectations and student engagement

Date created: 
2010-12-15
Abstract: 

This mixed methods study sought to explore the experiences of students in the context of student expectations about those experiences. The population examined was the full-time students in the first term of their first year in the Business Administration diploma program at a public community college in Victoria BC. The study attempted to measure student expectations and student engagement around a specific educational experience: the Integrated Business Case (IBC). The IBC is a team-based, cross-functional project which is intended to actively involve students in their learning and create explicit linkages between their courses. The research used the Chickering and Gamson (1987) ‘Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education’ as a theoretical framework for both the qualitative and quantitative analysis. In addition, a predictive model was developed that drew on the services marketing research of Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988). Data was collected through two surveys, four student focus groups and seven faculty interviews. Results from the survey data were extremely limited, as a pronounced ceiling effect was evident, particularly in the Expectation survey results. Very limited support was found for the proposed model suggesting that surveys of student expectations early in their program may not be a fruitful direction for research. Focus group results indicated that many students found the IBC to be very engaging along the dimensions of Active Learning and Student-Faculty Contact. In addition, the quasi-Learning Community structure was found to be very valuable. There was also considerable ‘negative’ engagement experienced in which some students were simultaneously frustrated or angry about the IBC process but still committed to their learning. These results suggest that additional research which undertakes a more layered or nuanced examination of student engagement could contribute to the creation of more effective and rewarding learning experiences.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Adam Horvath
Tim Rahilly
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Investigating the use of learning objectives as aids to SRL in study and restudy activities

Date created: 
2010-12-15
Abstract: 

With the significant growth of online course delivery in post-secondary education where students do the preponderance of studying on their own, it is crucial to help them study effectively. Supporting their self-regulated learning may contribute to this end. Successful self-regulated learners (SRL) set goals before studying then return to these goals and adapt them as necessary, suggesting value in examining how we might support this process. Learning objectives are one instructional variable that may enhance elements of the self-regulation cycle, including setting goals, selecting appropriate tactics and strategies, and enabling learners to assess progress and decide whether to continue or create a new plan. The goal of this research was to investigate how learning objectives might support various facets of SRL when students studied and restudied material. Seventy-nine university students studied a 1247 word anthropological passage in nStudy, software designed to research and support self-regulated learning. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: learning objectives and pre-seeded tags, learning objectives and pre-seeded notes, learning objectives and both pre-seeded notes and tags. In a fourth group, participants had neither learning objectives nor pre-seeded tags or notes. Participants returned after at least a 24-hour break to restudy using the same nStudy environment as their initial study session. Data on study behaviour were collected through an online-questionnaire. Study behaviours were logged by nStudy. Participants wrote an achievement-test after completing the second study session. Results suggest four significant findings. During study, three indicators of self-regulated learning – frequent note taking and views of learning objectives, and review of learning objectives in both study sessions – were associated with higher scores on the achievement test. Higher achievement was also evidenced by participants who stated the benefit of learning objectives prior to the initial study session, suggesting learners were prepared to regulate learning by metacognitively monitoring content during study and restudy. These results suggest we can better support learners to productively self-regulate learning by teaching the relevance of learning objectives. They also suggest it is possible to support self-regulated learning in online learning environments by encouraging frequent note-taking, and presenting learning objectives throughout study materials.

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

Enhancing the involvement of parents in the mathematics education of their elementary school children

Date created: 
2010-11-30
Abstract: 

An emergent construct in modern education is the recognition by educators and policy makers that involving parents in the education of their children is an important matter. This is clear in the policies of the British Columbia Ministry of Education and the efforts of educational leaders internationally which aim to create conditions, attitudes and supports for parents to become more instrumentally involved in schooling. The object of this study is to clarify how a principal can increase effective parental involvement in learning at home. The curricular area of focus was intermediate level mathematics. Parents were invited to attend two workshops with the goal of promoting increased parent knowledge and comfort with mathematics as taught in contemporary classrooms in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Survey and interview data helped to build the profiles of attitudes, beliefs and practices of four participants selected as case studies. The resulting profiles combined with a comprehensive literature review helped to answer three research questions: What difficulties do parents express with respect to their involvement in mathematics? What is the effect of attending parent workshops about supporting students in mathematics? What gives parents confidence and motivates them to be involved? Results revealed a greater understanding and acceptance of change and a willingness to engage with their children and their homework at a deeper level than before the workshop experience. There were subtle, yet notable, shifts in understanding of curriculum change and the education system. Since reform-minded educational leaders seek first to prepare the community in a way that facilitates change, these subtle shifts may be significant. The time limitations of this study prohibit comment on long-term effects, which points to the need for further research on the effect of parent attendance at curriculum-related workshops.

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

The perceived impact of an international service-learning program on the long-term moral development and behavior of its participants

Date created: 
2010-12-14
Abstract: 

The goal of raising moral, productive and engaged citizens has remained consistent throughout the history of education. Service-Learning is a pedagogical tool that is increasingly being used by educators to challenge students to interact and engage meaningfully with the world around them. The object of this case study was to examine the perceived impact of an International Service-Learning (IS-L) program on the long-term moral development and behaviour of its participants. In this study, participants of IS-L trips at the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) Secondary School between 1995 and 2005 were invited to share their perceptions through surveys and interviews and through historical document analysis. Responses were viewed through a triadic framework comprised of three elements that constitute moral development: situating oneself, practicing moral action and engaging in reflective dialogue. Participant responses, combined with a comprehensive literature review were used to attempt to answer the research question in this study. Many study respondents described the transformative effects of their IS-L experience. Responses showed evidence of moral growth and development and of subsequent and sustained moral action. The seven themes that emerged in participant descriptions of how these trips had impact were: enlarging worldviews, causing cognitive changes, invoking self-discovery, developing a sense of otherness, inspiring faith development, struggling to re-enter and inspiring further involvement. Perceived shortcomings of the IS-L program were also identified by respondents and discussed in this study. As educators seek continuous improvement through program revision, these recommendations could be instrumental in strengthening the IS-L program at MEI. By nature, this case study is not necessarily generalizable and points to the need for further research regarding the nature and retention of the effects of this transformative experience.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Sharon Bailin
Maureen Stout
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Fostering a community of practice: teachers’ experience of a blended model of professional development

Date created: 
2010-12-02
Abstract: 

Although sound professional development (PD) can positively influence teacher practice, many PD opportunities lack the support needed for teachers to explore and integrate new ideas into their practice over time. A group of six Late French Immersion teachers were presented with a PD opportunity designed to be blended, sustained, teacher-driven, grounded in practice and collaborative. The goal of the study was to describe participant experience with the PD opportunity. Data in the form of field notes, interview responses and participant logs was analyzed and twelve themes emerged. The PD opportunity was found to fulfil a specific need for the participants, who previously lacked opportunities to discuss and collaborate in a meaningful way to their teaching program. However, involvement with the online component use was sporadic, which was inconsistent with the participants’ advocacy of its use. Despite this, participants found the overall experience as being valuable to their practice.

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

The development and evaluation of the traditional Aboriginal parents program (TAPP)

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-11-16
Abstract: 

Using the focus group method, graduates of the Traditional Aboriginal Parents Program (TAPP) were interviewed in order to (1) determine how TAPP is effective in promoting personal healing, (2) identify the factors that contribute to TAPP’s effectiveness, and (3) to identify areas for program improvement. The results of this study revealed four themes about how TAPP is effective—TAPP as a comfort zone, TAPP as a means to finding ones’ voice, TAPP as a means to facilitate personal healing and growth, and TAPP as a means to re-connect with Aboriginal identity and culture. The two factors contributing to TAPP’s effectiveness are that it (1) provides a safe, non-judgmental environment where (2) participants can witness and be witnessed. Areas for program improvement include increasing the length of the program, incorporating more cultural teachings into the curriculum, and participant partner inclusion. Additional program recommendations are also discussed.

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

The oppression of creativity in society and education - the roots, the side-effects and some creative solutions

Date created: 
2010-09-28
Abstract: 

In my thesis I am looking at more of an historical approach when dealing with the roots and the side-effects of the oppression of creativity. I have discovered through my research that the underlying issues have deep historical origins and the side-effects our society live with daily have been plaguing us for many centuries and have left many scars that will not easily fade. I rely heavily on autobiographical enquiry as philosophy that has been grounded in my own creative (mostly musical) experiences. I have chosen to reflect mainly on these models in an attempt to allow my authentic voice to clearly be heard as my opinions are based on my lived experiences (not contemporary philosopher's experiences) and the awareness that being creative has revealed to me about my personal struggles living amongst this historically rooted oppression and my struggle to maintain authenticity and autonomy in our current socio-cultural circumstances.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Yaroslav Senyshyn
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A philosophy of art education: practicing Taoism as a way to teach creativity and response to art

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-09-09
Abstract: 

This thesis concerns practicing Taoism as a way to teach creativity and response to art. The Tao is the ground of being, the root from which the 10,000 things arise and are active. To be wise with the Tao is to intuit this truth, which can only be sensed and not seen with vision that sorts things according to appearances. It is through this insight that we are able to teach creativity as we are connected to the greater intelligence that holds all life within itself without prejudice. This is simply to be open-minded. This thesis, 'Practicing Taoism As a Way to Teach Creativity and Response to Art', is in three parts. In Part One I give the reader necessary background information about the historical origins of Taoism and discuss how its classical philosophical text, the Tao Te Ching, is still relevant today as a needed alternative to educational instrumentalism. I go on to explore emptiness teaching in Part Two of this thesis, providing a detailed example of how Taoism can be a form of pedagogy as well as a way to teach response to art. In chapter five, 'Celebrating the Life of the Artist', I also provide examples of student artwork resulting from a non-judgmental facilitation style. Finally, in Part Three of this thesis I explore both self-acceptance and Zen as a means by which we might cultivate in ourselves the truth of Taoism: receptivity to the fact of the natural world and an awareness around one's own perceptions of that world. Throughout this thesis I also include much artwork. I do this to show how Taoism - a visceral connection to life that is genuine - is essentially human creativity when applied not as artifice but as conduit.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Stuart Richmond
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.