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

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“Is it just me?”: A phenomenological exploration of maternal ambivalence In breastfeeding

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-08-05
Abstract: 

Breastfeeding is considered the baby-feeding ‘gold-standard’ with the World Health Organization recommending exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life. Yet very low breastfeeding rates are reported worldwide. In this phenomenological exploration of breastfeeding, which is inspired by my own experiences as a long-term breastfeeding mother, I suggest that to account for this gap, breastfeeding should be explored holistically, from the nursing mother’s perspective, as an embodied and relational commitment which can trigger ambivalence. I address this ambivalence through seven research questions. The first and overarching question asks: 1) What is the embodied experience of breastfeeding? This question is approached by asking 2) What are women’s breastfeeding-related attitudes and expectations? 3) How does breastfeeding impact women’s social lives? 4) Does breastfeeding require particular logistical or organizational considerations? 5) Do women feel support and inclusion in breastfeeding? 6) Do women find breastfeeding limiting and challenging? and 7) How do social, cultural, and political contexts affect breastfeeding? To answer these questions, I conducted six open-ended interviews with Israeli breastfeeding women whose life circumstances align with my own. Interview transcripts were analyzed phenomenologically to provide an emerging conceptualization of breastfeeding which I have categorized in terms of positive, negative and in-between experiences. This analysis revealed breastfeeding to have extensive impacts on women’s lives, including bodily changes and attitudinal shifts, as well as having significant social, professional, and financial consequences. Given these implications, I propose that breastfeeding is an inherently complex, relational practice which can trigger ambivalence. This ambivalence is felt in conflicting sensations and emotions, thoughts and attitudes. Furthermore, while this ambivalence is influenced by external forces, it is felt subjectively and physically in how women come to see themselves. What is relationally and ecologically understood about breastfeeding is that the care for another can generate a complexly lived experience for the caregiver, yet this complexity is often unacknowledged. Thus the public promotion of breastfeeding as being ‘best’ in terms of baby-feeding is misaligned with women’s lived experiences and therefore counterproductive in encouraging women to breastfeed.

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

Profiling the University of British Columbia Doctor of Medicine undergraduate students’ physical activity knowledge, attitudes, and health behaviours

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-07-29
Abstract: 

The growing Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative recommends that physicians assess and prescribe physical activity as part of their patient care to tackle the physical inactivity public health crisis (Sallis, 2009). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether University of British Columbia (UBC) Doctor of Medicine (MD) students have the physical activity related knowledge, attitudes, and health behaviours to include physical activity when prescribing treatment plans for their patients and whether the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours differ between years of the medical program. In a cross-sectional design, an online survey was administered to profile the UBC MD student population and investigate variables addressing the research questions. Statistics were used to examine frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, and any significant (P < 0.05) differences between years of the medical program. The response rate was 18.9% (217/1150). Mean age (SD) of participants was 25.5 (3.9) years and the majority were female (60.7%), white (58.1%), single (72.9%), first year (41.6%), and from Vancouver Fraser (61.1%). The main findings were: 90.3% were aware of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults, but their understanding was poor; 78.8% recalled seven hours or less time spent discussing physical activity, and 74.4% would like to see more time dedicated to learning how to talk to their patients about physical activity; 98.0% strongly agreed or agreed that physical activity counselling is important, only 57.0% felt they have sufficient knowledge, and only 36.6% felt confident in suggesting specific physical activity programs; 96.0% felt medical schools should encourage healthy lifestyles, but only 49.0% felt they do; 89.8% reported their health as excellent or good, but 29.5% identified as having mental health concerns; 76.8% were meeting Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, and the mean (SD) Godin Leisure Time Exercise Score was 55.6 (25.4) which is a classification of Active. Participants were receptive to an EIM approach to increase physical activity levels and health outcomes of the population. Given the lack of necessary knowledge, training, and confidence to support EIM in clinical practice, recommendations for medical education, policy, and practice are provided to better equip medical students to positively impact global health.

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

Bakhtin’s philosophy for education: Pedagogy of aesthetics and dialogism

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-08
Abstract: 

This thesis is an attempt to analyze the philosophical ideas of Mikhail Bakhtin from the point of view of their possible implementation in educational practices. The first chapter examines the philosophy of Bakhtin's aesthetics, which postulate that the perception of the surrounding world is possible through non-rational methods of phenomenological and hermeneutic reflections. Particular attention is paid to Bakhtin’s understanding of the process of cognition, where a human is presented in his/her holistic subjective being. According to Bakhtin, this idea permits the usage of subjective cognitive processes in objective reality only through an individually responsible act. The second chapter deals with the possible implementation of the Bakhtinan dialogic philosophy in the theory of knowledge. An attempt is made to trace the understanding of the essence of dialogism from the phenomenological premise that any consciousness is a text that includes the cognizer in a situation of aesthetic understanding and, as the result of such participatory thinking, triggers the mechanism of an internal dialogue. The balancing correlation between the idea of “dialogic” and the idea of “answerability” as part of the general life experience is also explored. The third chapter examines Bakhtin’s architectonics as a specific strategic tool, which allows for optimizing and effectively carrying out the many interrelationships of the participating in many educational processes. Additionally, Bakhtin’s concepts of chronotope and nonalibi in existence are considered as categories of theoretical cognition and phenomena that can help better comprehend the truth, especially in post-modern educational conditions. Together with Bakhtin's ideas, the ideas of cognition specific to the neo-Kantian, primarily German, philosophical schools, are explored as well as their influence on Bakhtin and his followers. I also include some memories from my own teaching experience, which I collected for over 25 years of teaching foreign languages from K-12 to the university level.

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

Audio Files for Walking Backward out into the Wild

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-07-15
Document type: 
Dataset
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

What’s within a thesis statement? Exploring features of argumentative thesis statements

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-04
Abstract: 

Developing strong academic writing skills often requires years of experience and training within a discipline. When novice writers are asked to write an argumentative essay, they are usually required to draft a thesis statement presenting their position on an issue. In argumentative writing, a thesis statement addresses the writer’s main argument and is the foundation of the entire essay. Features of thesis statements are often defined with respect to their location and length within the essay (e.g., Petric, 2005), or functions. As a result, further research exploring characteristics of argumentative thesis statements could expand understanding about the distinctive features that operationalize the quality of thesis statements. Results of such research would have strong practical implications for instructors regarding what to teach about writing thesis statements. In the present study, four major features of thesis statements were identified (context, positionality, reasoning, and specificity). Two raters were asked to assess the presence of each feature for the 78 thesis statements, extracted from the argumentative essay outlines of an education course. A set of multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate whether each feature, and a composite of the four, contributes to the quality of the introduction and the argumentative essay outline. Key findings indicated that the context feature and the positionality feature are of importance in predicting the quality of introduction and the essay outline. Based on the findings, a revised version of Ken Hyland’s model of argumentation is proposed and several important implications for teaching writing are recommended.

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

Cripping accommodation and inclusion: A critical discourse analysis of accommodations policies and inclusion discourses at BC’s three largest post-secondary institutions

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-04-06
Abstract: 

Though advancements have been made in including disabled people into social institutions, ableism remains an active systemic form of oppression excluding disabled individuals from participation in all aspects of society. There is a dearth of research on disability, how their manifestations are understood in academic contexts, or on how diverse disability identities experience education. The existing research fails to account for the wide, complex range of disability, or how specific diversities fare within higher education. This study analyzes institutional accommodation policies and discourses as they relate to students with disabilities in higher education in British Columbia. The study looks to a more expansive scope of access for students in higher education who experience ableism and asks what access might look like under a different lens of disability thought. It examines public-facing policy documents on disability accommodation at the three largest public universities in BC using a critical discourse analysis approach to critical disability studies.

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

Dialogues with the written world(s): Plurilingual TEAL pedagogy and content learning of Japanese young learners in multilingual landscapes

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-01-20
Abstract: 

This ethnographic study aims to describe the literacy development of young Japanese children learning English at an international school in Tokyo (Japan). The research participants, who were recruited from Kindergarten to 4th grade (5 to 10 years old), also participated in summer programs in British Columbia (Canada) for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months. The school adopts a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach (Coyle, Hood & Marsh, 2010), within a Hundred Languages of Children of Reggio Emilia educational approach (Edwards, Gandini & Forman, 1998) and Miyazakian dialogic pedagogy (Miyazaki, 2013). The school also adopts a plurilingual approach to teaching (Lau & Van Viegen, 2020) and used linguistic landscapes as a pedagogical tool (Dagenais, Moore, Sabatier, Lamarre & Armand, 2009) to promote children’s English and content learning through a series of critical inquiries. Methodological tools include classroom ethnography (Heath & Heath, 1983; Frank, Dixon & Green, 1999; Egan-Robertson & Bloome, 1998), Action Research (Wallace, 1998), as well as visual (Pink, 2009) and walking ethnography (Ingold & Vergunst, 2008) to explore the linguistic landscapes with the participants. The analyses are anchored within the theoretical concepts interconnecting plurilingualism (Marshall & Moore, 2018), multiliteracies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009, New London Group, 1996) and language learning in an asset-oriented perspective on education that views language competence as holistic and plurilingual and intercultural awareness conducive to critical thinking (Coste, Moore & Zarate, 2009). The purpose of the thesis is to build upon the current discussion on plurilingual pedagogies, curriculum design and language instruction for K-12 children, in the context of English teaching and learning in elementary schools in Japan. It has wider implications for teacher education in English as an Additional Language (TEAL) situations.

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

Inclusion in childhood studies and education: Ethical responsibility to and for children with disabilities

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-05-26
Abstract: 

In this thesis, I discuss what it might mean to engage in an ethically responsible pedagogy, by posing the following questions: What is our ethical commitment and responsibility to and for others—especially when those others are children with disabilities? More importantly, when recognizing that the most challenging task for educators is to create a context for the collective (Rinaldi, 2006), what kinds of ethical and pedagogical contexts should be cultivated when encountering children with disabilities, so that each child’s existence and alterity are revealed? To engage these questions, I explore the concept of listening through multiple avenues: listening as attending to and for others, listening as attending to the revelation of alterity, listening in the state of dialogue, and listening through “taking a while”. All of these concepts of listening are interpreted in relation to Emmanuel Levinas’s conception of I/other relationality.

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

To come to know who rides upon your tongue: sound sSādhanā—cultivating sSelf through sSwara: A practice-based spiritual inquiry

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-05-06
Abstract: 

This dissertation is the account of a group exploration of Sound sSādhanā—an integrated voice and self-study practice designed specifically for research purpose—undertaken as an artist’s spiritual journey over a three-month duration. The purpose of the study was to explore Sound sSādhanā as practice-based spiritual inquiry from a sound yogi practitioner perspective. This research design emerged from two intertwining oral teaching traditions: Indian music foundational voice cultivation practices; and Nāda Yoga, the path of exploring consciousness through sound, vibration and resonance. Ontological themes of dual and nondual, identified self and transcendent Self, informed the journey, the language, the voice techniques, sound forms and mantric compositions of this inquiry. The voice was the medium of exploration, and voice cultivation was engaged as a yogic path of personal and artistic transformation. Through voice cultivation and re-sounding reflective writing practices, each participant was invited to be a sound Yogi, to study their voice and their practice as a yoga sādhanā, to refine their voice and their personal sādhanās, and to develop witness consciousness to their own person, art, and spiritual inquiry. The research involved a group of six participants as Yogis through a course of individual voice sessions, group gatherings (Satsang), and daily personal Sound sSādhanā practice. The transcripts from the Satsangs along with the written reflections and field notations from each participant’s daily practice, were gathered as a testament to a journey taken and as documentation in support of this research study. Thus, multiple voices re-sound in this dissertation document, which contains the Sound sSādhanā journeys of the six research participants, including the author as researcher, teacher, facilitator, mentor, and Sādhaka (spiritual seeker/ Yogi). This research revealed multiple benefits, including: enhanced creativity, a sense of expanded consciousness, increased self-awareness of body, breath, word and thought; vocal awareness and refinement; enhanced listening; and, increased clarity and organization of thought. This dissertation holds the unique experiences of an oral teaching tradition and reflects the Sound sSādhanā research journey as an invitation to the reader to witness a new form of scholarship within the Yogic paradigm unfolding in the area of art, education, and spirituality. This research contributes to research and education in the field of practice-based spiritual inquiry, sound and consciousness studies, inquiry-based voice yoga practice, and the contemplative arts.

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

Examining social attention and verbal exchange in children with ASD around a high-Interest object during real-life interaction

Date created: 
2021-04-13
Abstract: 

Previous research has demonstrated that social attention is reduced in school-aged children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when compared with typical developing (TD) children. However, the majority of studies on this topic focused on computer-based stimuli. How school-aged children with ASD attend to social stimuli during real-life interactions is not well understood. The current exploratory study aims to investigate, under the social motivation and CI-distractor framework, how social attention and verbal exchange change in the presence of objects that are of high interest to children with ASD. Nonparametric analysis revealed that the ASD group spent significantly less time viewing the experimenter’s full face than the TD group, and they spent more time speaking than children in the TD group. These provide support for the CI-distractor hypothesis, although future research is needed to confirm the reported pattern of results using an experimental design.

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