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

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Parent-child play: an exploration of the beliefs and behaviours of mothers of preschoolers

Date created: 
2010-07-26
Abstract: 

The study investigated how mothers experience parent-child play. It described how mothers think about play, their observed behaviours, and how their beliefs relate to their play behaviours. Two conceptual categories of behaviours were generated from Landreth’s (1991) model of filial therapy (do behaviours and don’t behaviours). Twenty-eight Canadian mothers with their preschoolers participated in this study. Mothers behaved in a predominantly child-centered manner. Correlational analysis indicated behaviours of initiation, preaching, and allowing child leadership were related to some maternal play beliefs. In addition, a qualitative description of mothers’ play comfort is outlined. Maternal-child play comfort incorporated maternal beliefs, their relationship dynamics, their emotions, and their responses to play. The implications for parent education and support, and therapy are discussed.

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

The use of tasks and examples in a high school mathematics classroom: Variance of purpose and deployment.

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-23
Abstract: 

This is an action research study into the uses of tasks and examples in a senior high school mathematics classroom, in which the teacher is the researcher. Investigating a teaching style that seemed to be highly examination-oriented, the study focuses on purposes and intentions behind the uses and deployment of tasks and examples within a problem-solving framework. The investigation reveals expected as well as unexpected teaching strategies employed to facilitate and expedite student learning, including the use of deliberate overloading, creation of dissonance, partial understanding, and atypical sequencing and progression of curricular material. The primary result of the study is a breakdown and classification of examples and problems in terms of their contexts in classroom teaching and teacher intention.

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

South Asian Canadian experiences of depression

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-23
Abstract: 

This narrative research study explored the socio-cultural context surrounding depression through semi-structured interviews with six South Asian Canadian participants, who self identified as having experienced depression. The study sought to expand on the knowledge of depression and South Asian Canadians by considering the roles of the family, the community, and the culture in the experiences of depression. Thematic analysis of the participant interviews resulted in five major themes: the experience of depression, the influence of family, the influence of socio-cultural factors, the psychological impact, and the utilization of coping strategies. The findings of the study suggested that the family, the community, the culture, and gender inequality were influential factors in the experiences of depression. The results of the research study can also offer relevant knowledge that can assist in the efforts to provide culturally sensitive treatment for South Asian Canadians suffering from depression.

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

Student understandings of learning at the end of an undergraduate program using networked learning: A case study

Date created: 
2010-08-13
Abstract: 

Course-based online learning has grown significantly in the last decade, yet the understanding of students’ experience of this form of learning is only just starting to emerge. Practitioners and researchers are already starting to explore post course-based networked learning scenarios, including networked lifelong learning. Now would seem to be an opportune time to investigate students' learning experiences in course-based networked environments, in order to inform the development of these post course-based learning environments. The aim of this case study was to examine students’ understandings of learning gained through course-based networked learning, with the aim of shedding some light on how students might engage with post course-based networked learning environments. Specifically, the study sought to understand what aspects of identity as learners and understandings of ways to learn were shown by students who had been through a program using course-based networked learning. Through interviews with six students who were close to completion of an undergraduate program making significant use of networked learning at a west coast Canadian University, this research explored the understandings about learning that these students had developed through their program. Results showed that students were faced with an onslaught of technologies and found it challenging to develop new ways to learn. This suggests that newer ways to learn will have to be explicitly taught if students are to be successful with networked lifelong learning. The study concluded with implications for the development of post course-based networked learning environments, for educational programs using networked learning and for future research on students’ experiences of networked learning.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
David Kaufman
Elizabeth Wallace
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

A framework and tool for assessing Indigenous content in Canadian social work curricula

Date created: 
2010-08-12
Abstract: 

Social Work faculties across Canada are mandated through policy and for historical, political, social, and moral reasons to include Indigenous content in their curriculum. While there is policy that mandates Indigenous content, there is no clear framework or tool to assist faculty members to examine how they can assess their curriculum to ensure it includes appropriate Indigenous content. This study has three objectives: 1) to articulate an Aboriginal Assessment Process for Social Work Curriculum (AAP-SWC) Framework. This self-assessment process will ensure that effective North American and community-based Aboriginal knowledge, skills, and values are incorporated in Social work curriculum. Emerging from the AAP-SWC Framework is the second objective of implementing the Self-Assessment Tool for Programs (SATP) based on an extensive literature review spanning the fields of Social Work, Education, and Indigenous studies. The SATP is a tool that is part of the AAP-SWC and aims to support the awareness of Indigenous peoples, issues, and the competencies needed to build capacities within Indigenous communities for self-determination and self-governance. The third objective of this study is the application of the SATP to the curricula of three Bachelor of Social Work programs in Canada. This assessment process foregrounds Indigenous knowledges and considers the unique and specific knowledges, skills, and values that social service providers need to work effectively with diverse Indigenous communities, groups, and individuals.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Michelle Pidgeon
Heesoon Bai
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

A tale of two technologies: opening the practices of historians, opening public servant curriculum

Date created: 
2010-08-10
Abstract: 

The design study documented in this dissertation is grounded in the material production of two technologies, one educational and one research. These two technologies pursue a common goal of providing secondary students with equal opportunities to learn how to do meaningful historical research. The methodological framework used is design-based research. Two cycles of software development are presented as a series of design narratives. The first technology’s educational goal is to support students learn to do meaningful historical research. The proposed means to this end is the provision of curricular resources that guide students towards the completion of historical research. These curricular resources are in the form of digital media representing historical inquiry as mediated action within a community of academic historians. The educational soundness of this design, however, is called into question when demographic studies reveal inequalities between the population of academic historians and the general population served by public schools. Needing to discuss how inequities can be removed without shifting the burden to schools, the glimmer of hope I find is in curriculum created for public servants. With no substantial literature about public servant curriculum, a second cycle of software development is initiated. The goal of this technology is to encourage discussion about how public servant curriculum can participate in dismantling inequities that impede schools. The means to this end is a technology that makes extensive use of freedom of information legislation to acquire documents about public servant curriculum that are in the custody of government institutions and make them widely available on the Internet.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
Kevin O’Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Clarifying the relation between bullying and social cognition

Date created: 
2010-07-09
Abstract: 

In an effort to resolve a current conflict in the literature, this project investigated the relation between social cognition and bullying by assessing theory of mind, emotion understanding, empathy, moral emotions, and bullying for aggressive children compared to prosocial children. A new measure was developed to assess the social cognitive constructs; bullying was assessed via self, peer, and teacher reports. Participants were 18 second graders, with the results presented in a descriptive case study. Moral emotions was the most useful for differentiating aggressive and prosocial children—prosocial children were more likely to score well, while aggressive children were more likely to do poorly. Results for theory of mind were mixed - teacher/peer rated bullies had high theory of mind, while peer rated bullies scored low. The empathy scores were not what would be predicted from past research, and emotion understanding was also not useful for differentiating aggressive and prosocial children.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Jack Martin
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Ed.

Aboriginal nursing student success: A phenomenological exploration of elements of success within post secondary nursing education

Date created: 
2010-07-14
Abstract: 

National organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, and the Native and Inuit Nurses Association agree that Aboriginal health care providers best serve the health care needs of Aboriginal people. Nonetheless, the number of Aboriginal Registered Nurses remains small relative to the Aboriginal population, which is currently experiencing significant growth and will be an important source of Canada’s workforce by 2017. The implication is that the need for Aboriginal health care professionals will also continue to grow as the population increases. This dissertation explores the lived experience for five Aboriginal registered nurses who attended three different universities, in a western Canadian province over different periods of time, as they recount the stories of their educational experiences in an undergraduate nursing programme. The impact of the social and historical events of Aboriginal people in Canada is unavoidably part of this exploration and provides context for their experiences. Using a human science model of phenomenology, informed by Husserl and described by Clark Moustakas, the stories are reduced to the essences of the experience, which illuminate the elements of success, and point out the deficiencies in a post secondary system intended to support them. All participants experienced racism, isolation, and ignorance in varying degrees during their educational programmes. These experiences transcended age, nation affiliation, geography and educational institution and tied these women uniquely together. Family support, mentorship, recognition of the Aboriginal self and maintenance of Aboriginal culture emerged as the tools contributing to their success. In the final analysis, the study highlights a perceived lack of responsibility by educational institutions to alter colonial attitudes and western teaching methods and notes a failure to put into action the fundamental changes required to transform a marginalizing experience to a meaningful one for Aboriginal nursing students.

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

Assessing agency for learning: agency for learning and measuring agency for learning: validating the agency for learning questionnaire (AFLQ) and agency as a mediator of academic achievement

Date created: 
2010-07-12
Abstract: 

Agency for Learning: Agency is both an individual and a social entity. Personal and social aspects of agency in learning are integral in a student’s effectiveness to regulate, control, and monitor their own learning. This chapter introduces a theoretical model of agency for learning (AFL). AFL presents agentic processes (intentionality, forethought, self-regulation, and self-reflectiveness) as mediating factors between personal, environmental, and behavioural influences. AFL extends social cognitive theory by incorporating aspects of developmental, historical, and sociocultural theorizing that emphasize the integral nature of agency within the regulating processes necessary for learning. Further, this chapter examines how agency is currently studied in research and provides evidence from the literature that agency plays a more pivotal role in learning than previously thought. Measuring Agency for Learning: Agency is inherent in students’ ability to regulate, control, and monitor their own learning. An individual enacts their agency to regulate their cognitive, affective, and behavioural processes as they interact with environmental factors. This chapter traces the development of the Agency for Learning Questionnaire (AFLQ) and examines the internal consistency, predictive validity, and psychometric properties of this new instrument. An initial pool of 50 items covering four dimensions of agentic functioning was generated. Using two independent data samples the item pool was psychometrically analyzed, organized, and reduced using a combination of exploratory factor analysis and item response theory. Results indicate that the final scales have excellent internal consistency, significant predictive validity, and strong psychometric properties. Agency as a Mediator of Academic Achievement: Agency is an emergent capability that is manifested in individual abilities to interact with personal, behavioural, environmental, and social factors. AFL theorizes that agentic processes mediate the effects of other personal, behavioural, and environmental factors. The purpose of the present study is to examine the mediating relationship of agency and its component processes relative to goal-orientation, self-regulated study strategy use, social identification, student perceptions of the fairness of the learning environment and academic achievement. Results of this study indicate that agentic processes act as significant mediators and the role of specific agentic processes was found to vary in strength depending on the context.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John C. Nesbit
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Outdoor adventure education in schools: curriculum or pedagogy? Considerations for teacher preparation and program implementation

Date created: 
2010-08-05
Abstract: 

Although outdoor education has a rich history of providing key transformative moments and personal growth for students, its incorporation into public school education has been weak at best. With such an established role of providing effective learning environments, this naturally raises the question: What has prevented the greater inclusion of outdoor education in our public school system? This research addresses this question by demonstrating that the role of outdoor education in public schools can be framed as either pedagogy or curriculum. The relationship between pedagogy and curriculum is revealed to create difficulties for outdoor education’s incorporation into schools because the public education system has the ability to use it selectively in a piecemeal fashion. This research demonstrates that the current lack of articulation of this duality has enabled those opposed to its inclusion in schools to create false arguments against its use, while those in favor of incorporation face challenges by not understanding outdoor education in this way. The importance of framing outdoor education’s role for schools in this manner is shown to affect two areas: developing integrated school programs and its incorporation into teacher training programs. In order to adequately explore the above problem this dissertation divides and separately considers three frames of reference for outdoor education programming relative to schools: supplementary, curricula-based, and integrated. Curricula-based outdoor programs are shown to emphasize outdoor education as curriculum for schools (as a body of knowledge), while integrated outdoor programs largely focus on outdoor education as pedagogy (as experiential education). Primary research investigated Canadian integrated outdoor programs through surveys of veteran outdoor education teachers operating such programs in our schools. This research identified two key roles for outdoor program inclusion: an experiential learning framework, and personal life skills development. By redefining the roles of outdoor education in schools in this way we now understand that previous reference to education about the natural heritage refers to curriculum initiatives while education through the natural heritage refers to pedagogical aims. In addition, the roles of the institution and the educator are examined in relation to the compatibility of outdoor education in public schools.

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