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

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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.

Connecting, sharing and reshaping life stories: Experiences, benefits, and challenges of older adults in a digital storytelling course

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-07-23
Abstract: 

There is a global demographic shift with older adults increasing in number. With this shift comes many challenges and opportunities. Older adults may benefit from increasing their digital literacy skills, sharing their life experiences through story, and participating in lifelong learning. This thesis evaluates a project that provided these opportunities. The theoretical lens used is a combination of a life course approach, narrative theory, and social constructivist theory. The thesis used a case study approach that examined 15 offerings of a digital storytelling course attended by a total of 98 older adults. Each course ran for 8-10 weeks (two hours once a week). Data collection for the research conducted involved background information (including participant computer skill level), post course evaluation forms, focus groups, and a questionnaire handed out to viewers during a “Sharing our Stories” event. The findings indicated that there were more female participants than male participants and over half of the participants had immigrated to Canada at one point in their lives. There were a range of digital skill levels at the start of the course, with most participants claiming to be beginner or intermediate. Results suggest that most older adults who completed the digital storytelling course reported an increase in digital literacy skills (computer, software, and Internet) and digital storytelling skills. Educationally, the course was also seen to be beneficial as participants suggested they had learned something new, whether from the program, the process, or both. However, sometimes the technology posed a challenge and time constraints were highlighted as being an issue. Participants also reflected on their stories and lives, at times reliving them and reshaping their stories. The artefact created through digitizing a story was considered as a way to connect to future generations and current family. The digital storytelling course appeared to create social connectedness to self and to others (in the past, present, and future). These findings suggest that courses using story and technology and creating a community of learners can be a beneficial approach for older adult learning environments. This thesis research contributes to the field of older adult education and educational technology by providing a deeper understanding of older adult learning with storytelling and technology and the benefits and challenges this provides. It also offers insights into the experiences of older adults within a digital storytelling course and examines the way in which storytelling and multimedia can play a role in lifelong learning.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
The accompanying video is an example of a digital story created by one of the participants in the course.
Senior supervisor: 
David Kaufman
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Art as a means to locate and disrupt embodied prejudice with emotional sensations on the body: The artful and transformative telling of stories of stigma and HIV.

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-07-11
Abstract: 

This arts-based inquiry investigates how the arts can challenge the embodiment of prejudice and bias by its ability to inspire, through sensations on the body, a transformative empathetic experience in an individual. I located implicit bias through sensation awareness on my body by accessing associated embodied memories and disrupted such bias with the deliberate intervention of art imagery. I then, collaborated with a former dancer living with HIV and followed my felt sensation responses to artfully tell of her experiences with stigma using dance to create two videos that inspire transformative, empathetic sensation responses that disrupt my learned embodied resistances around HIV and help me better understand her experience. Through this research I learned what it means to be an artist researcher in an artistic endeavour of inquiry in the receiving and telling of difficult stories. Engaging through sensation awareness as inquiry, meaning-making and storytelling is an emergent reciprocal process of listening, receiving and offering. Remaining open to receive sensations on my body required that I be attentive to the storyteller throughout the creative process.

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

Unforgiveness: An alternative space for people who cannot forgive

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-07-26
Abstract: 

There is a gap in the current instantiations of forgiveness that prevents people who cannot forgive from exploring alternatives beyond the dyad of forgiveness and vengeance. As such, it is imperative to not only recognize the gap, but also to endeavour to create a space whereby those who cannot forgive can assemble alternative responses to harm and wrong-doing. This thesis explores the possibilities of describing such a space of unforgiveness that can become a vector for those who cannot forgive to constitute an alternative to the prevailing injunction to forgive. Forgiveness is fundamentally a moral concern, which, in turn, has implications for moral education. I focus here on the educational possibilities that could emerge for people who cannot forgive. Such possibilities include the recognition of anger and other so-called negative emotions as legitimate and teachable responses to harm and wrong-doing.

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

The relationship in between mathematics students' self and group efficacies in a Thinking Classroom

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-07-23
Abstract: 

Self-efficacy has been thoroughly studied in its connections to mathematics education and student learning. However, the modern secondary mathematics classroom is shifting towards increased group activities and tasks. The Thinking Classroom model is a particular means of increasing student engagement through group work. As classrooms evolve, group efficacy has become an increasing factor in student achievement. This study is an exploration of the possible relationships between self and group efficacy in a Thinking Classroom. Students were observed during group work and then given a questionnaire to measure their self and group efficacies and any possible variation. A select group of students was then interviewed. After the interview, the results were analyzed for common themes of particular efficacies. The results suggest that the Thinking Classroom model can lead to more positive group efficacy, which then leads to more positive self-efficacy.

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

Making in the classroom: A self-study examining the implementation of a makerspace

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-07-10
Abstract: 

Making is a popular trend that holds many promises for classroom education, the most salient of which is as a vehicle for constructionist learning (Cohen, Jones, Smith & Calandra, 2017). In this self-study, I examine tensions that arose from implementing the makerspace concept in my grade 10-12 alternate classroom. Self-study is an ideal way to explore the application of makerspace in the classroom as it is both improvement-aimed and contributory (LaBoskey, 2004). This study found that my fear and uncertainty that arose in implementing a makerspace in the classroom contributed to privileging of choice and autonomy over other aspects of makerspaces. Self-study helped me to re-connect with my values and beliefs of supporting student empowerment and student autonomy through scaffolded practices. This self-study also highlighted the importance that fear plays in surfacing tensions that need attending. This rich description of one teacher’s experience contributes to the conversation of how to bring makerspaces into the classrooms.

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

More than words: Using qualitative video-recall procedures to contextualize queer couples’ communication and partnered gay men’s sexual communication

Date created: 
2018-06-19
Abstract: 

This thesis contains two manuscripts related to the study of queer couples’ communication. In the first manuscript, I discuss qualitative video-recall procedures as valuable tools for generating contextualized and queer-affirmative understandings of queer couples’ communication. I argue that these procedures address limitations of dominant approaches to couples’ communication research, enabling researchers to attend to important social and political factors that shape how queer couples communicate. In the second manuscript, I use these innovative research procedures to explore partnered gay men’s sexual communication. In this study, three diverse gay male couples had video-recorded conversations about their sexual relationships, followed by separate video-recall interviews. Findings explore how gay male couples collaboratively navigate complex sociopolitical contexts by resisting, creatively modifying, and negotiating dominant sexual scripts. I explore how dominant sexual discourses and interpersonal power dynamics shape these dyadic processes.

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

Building a contemplative classroom for students with anxiety

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-06-19
Abstract: 

This thesis addresses student anxiety in school. Many students feel a deep and chronic sense of anxiety, and this thesis thematizes this topic around the author’s experience as a primary school teacher. The author undertakes autobiographical reflections on her teaching experience and observations about students she teaches, studies the literature on student anxiety, and finally brings all of these into the conceptual framework of contemplative inquiry. The contemplative inquiry framework provides a lens through which to interpret and understand students who are anxious, and moreover, it provides ways of working with anxiety. The thesis presents the understanding that, for students to feel comfortable and safe in the classroom atmosphere, it is vital for educators to help create a classroom that students may feel is positive. The thesis goes into detail on inner work, mindfulness, and living curriculum. The author’s first-person experience of studying and learning in her Master of Education program, as well as autobiographical writing that capture the author’s childhood memories that pertain to the thesis topic, are presented in this thesis.

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