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

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Education is War : The Constitution of Postindustrial Learning

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003
Abstract: 

The central thesis of this dissertation is that war and militarism have been formative in the development of Western education from its inception in Classical Greece until the present. The secondary thesis is that the formative influence of warfare on education and on society more generally was neglected by the AngloAmerican academy during the twentieth century.

 

This is not to suggest that twentieth century AngloAmerican scholarship and research was not war related. Rather, it is to suggest that the theoretical and critical study of the formative role of warfare was neglected in inverse proportion to the academic effort devoted to war during that century. The author posits that this critical and theoretical avoidance was a function of the confluence of material conditions, the Cold War for instance, with the academic perception of society as generally peaceful, a perception largely based in the influence of Marx and Spencer.

 

This neglect is compared to the formative role assigned to warfare in the early twentieth century German academy, to war as a theme central to twentieth century American literature, and to the focus on war in French poststructural theory. Chapter 1 is comprised of a brief history of the academic construction of warfare in the twentieth century. The author proffers some reasons for the war aporias that he locates in the AngloAmerican academy. The second chapter outlines method.

 

Chapters 3 and 4 are devoted to a theoretical analysis of the development of mass media, the state, mass schooling, mass warfare and education. The author posits that war was totally blended into quotidian existence between~ 1870 and the end of the twentieth century. The influence of military considerations on the development of the research university is explicated by tracing the development of organic chemistry, propaganda, computers, and instructional technology and educational psychology. In Chapter 5, the author argues that these industrial processes were superseded after World War II, the change evident in the production of "postindustrial learning." He concludes by asking if education as warfare is a permanent condition.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Roland Case
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Language planning and policy in the Punjab education system: A critical analysis

Date created: 
2019-08-15
Abstract: 

Since it became an independent country in 1947, India has wrestled with the question of how to manage its vast range of languages. According to the Three-Language Formula, a political compromise originating in the post-independence debates of the 1950s, each federal state should ensure its citizens have access at least to Hindi, English, and a third language that may be a regional language or, in the northern Hindi-speaking states, a language from southern India. Through a study of the historical development and ramifications of this policy, and especially its implementation in the northwestern border state of Punjab, it is shown to align with the long-established tendency for national language planning and policies to entrench historical and sociopolitical inequities. Analysis of Punjab’s public-education policy texts by means of critical discourse analysis highlights the (re)production of political ideologies and social hierarchies in the implementation of State-level language policy within the government-run school system. The sociolinguistic realities of the region are not always reflected in the policy directives that influence public education in Punjab. This case study adds to the literature showing that powerful sociopolitical forces continue to impact the position of vernaculars in India and that its linguistically diverse states and policy frameworks are unable to accommodate numerous languages on the margins.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mark Fettes
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Apprenticeship: Lessons from the German dual studies model of vocational education and training

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-22
Abstract: 

The German model of dual studies vocational education and training (VET) is often described as a major contributor to the successes of the German Economy. This thesis compares the main features of the German dual VET with the current VET system in British Columbia (BC) using the criteria proposed by Dieter Euler in a 2013 report commissioned by the Bertelsmann-Stiftung Foundation. Euler identified 11 essential elements as being keys to the success of the German VET and suggested that the elements could be useful in guiding implementation of the German VET model in other contexts. Euler also claims that a VET system should not be viewed as a single entity, but rather understood in terms of its component parts. This thesis applies Euler’s key elements as a frame for a critical review of the main elements of the current BC system of vocational elements and training and identifies areas of strength, weakness and sites for potential improvement. In order to ground the dual studies concept in current BC examples the thesis includes a field study of two different approaches to apprenticeship: the Block Release model of training as commonly used in the vocational programs of BC colleges and a working example of the application of the Day Release approach by an operating business. The field study found that while both models were grounded in the dual studies approach to apprenticeship, the two different applications resulted in varying experiences for students. The thesis concludes that the BC VET system could be improved in five of the 11 key areas identified by Euler and proposes that the BC system should be expanded over time to include occupations beyond the traditional trade categories through cooperative partnerships with leaders of government, the BCITA, business and labour. In addition, in order to improve the current social acceptance of VET, the provincial government should actively promote apprenticeship as an effective learning model and valid post-secondary option.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Milton McClaren
Tom Roemer
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

A self-study of my professional development in the early years of my teaching career

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-20
Abstract: 

Teachers have spent thousands of hours watching other people teach, and those observations and experiences have inevitably influenced how one’s pedagogy is developed. In this self-study, I sought to identify and understand the ways in which my relationships, experiences, and different identities from kindergarten to graduate studies have influenced my teaching pedagogy today as an early career teacher. Engaging in self-study as an early career teacher has proven to be an eye-opening professional development opportunity, as I have experienced new realizations about where the values in my educational credo stem from. It has also offered an opportunity to review the literature supporting those values. Through this experience I have looked carefully at my practice and have identified instances where the way that I was teaching did not align with my beliefs. Additionally, I have become aware of tensions that exist between my different identities.

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

Weaving narrative therapy into a decolonizing approach to counselling: A collaborative narrative exploration of Indigenous healing in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-26
Abstract: 

This research explores how narrative therapy lends itself to a decolonizing approach to counselling work with Indigenous people in Canada. Preliminary areas of alignment between Indigenous wholism and narrative therapy literature are identified. Given the limited scholarship on narrative therapy in Canadian contexts, professional experiences of narrative practice with Indigenous people were sought using an adapted method of collaborative narrative inquiry. Arvay’s (2003) method was adapted to include Indigenous research principles. Three narratives are presented: two qualitative interviews were conducted with mental health professionals who practice narrative therapy with Indigenous clients. I include my narrative from the perspective of an Indigenous counsellor who was trained in narrative therapy. Stories reveal ways narrative therapy has supported decolonizing these professionals’ practice, as well as areas of Indigenous healing that are not sufficiently attended to within a narrative approach (e.g., spirituality and embodied experiences). Implications for a decolonizing approach to counselling are discussed.

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

Exploring the culture and complexity of three British Columbia post-secondary institutions in their support of instructors using educational technologies

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-31
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to explore how faculty at three post-secondary institutions are supported in their use of educational technologies, given the changing landscape of institutions and the demands placed on them by the government, community, industry, and students. This study used organizational complexity and a competing values framework to examine the culture of these institutions with respect to the opportunities and challenges provided for instructors by the latest educational technologies for teaching. As a qualitative exploratory study, it employed a qualitative methodology based on literature, strategic plans, and 15 interviews with participants from three post-secondary institutions in the Vancouver lower mainland in British Columbia, Canada. The research design used was carried out in three phases. First, it examined the current strategic plans and the directions and goals of the three institutions. Second, to understand the complexity and dynamics within these institutions, it reviewed the literature available on educational and disruptive technologies, organizational culture, trends in higher education, strategic plans, and theoretical frameworks. Third, it considered the direct experiences of eight instructors and seven administrators who work at the three institutions. The study made four key recommendations: 1) adopt an “in the moment concept” with respect to support for educational technologies as needed, 2) set up an “educational technology playground” for instructors to give them an opportunity to play with the latest educational technologies, 3) rethink the culture and complexity of post-secondary institutions prior to the preparation of “strategic plans,” and 4) require “administrators” to have a better understanding of what their instructors are dealing with in regard to how they are supported in their use of educational technologies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michelle Pidgeon
Larry Sackney
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

The experiences of first-generation Punjabi students at Simon Fraser University

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-16
Abstract: 

The purpose of the study was to develop a deep description of the experiences of first-generation Punjabi students who have no familial history of Canadian postsecondary education, in order to understand their challenges, their support systems, their community and their overall experiences with postsecondary education. Bourdieu’s (1977a, 1986) social reproduction theory was used as the conceptual framework using descriptive case study methodology to answer the research question: What are the experiences of first-generation Punjabi students at Simon Fraser University? The interview conversations explored the navigation of multiple worlds, notably the family environment, the university environment, and the Punjabi community. The conversations described the navigation of experiences that inform students' experiences as first-generation Punjabi university students. Core experiences with navigation of race and ethnicity, gender, role as a university student, role within the Punjabi community, and role within family represent multiple and intersecting dimensions significant to students' experiences as first-generation Punjabi university students. The findings show first-generation Punjabi university students negotiated Punjabi values and expectations, Canadian values and expectations, university and family responsibilities, pioneering postsecondary education, responsibility to give back to family and the Punjabi community, and pressure to uphold family honour. Living at the connection of numerous worlds, including experiences as the first family member to attend university and engaging both in Punjabi culture and in Canadian culture. Participants associated five strengths with being first-generation Punjabi university students: family, Punjabi culture, immigration, support network—before university and during university, and a strong sense of seva (i.e., selfless service). This study has implications for theory, research, and practice in Canadian postsecondary education. This research supports the need for university services tailored to students who are the first in their family to attend university.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michelle Pidgeon
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Automatic identification of knowledge transforming content in argument essays developed from multiple sources

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-25
Abstract: 

Developing skills to transform information mined from multiple sources for argumentative writing may help students to articulate convincing evidence for their claims and increase domain knowledge. To successfully engage in knowledge transforming, writers need to strategically select and combine multiple cognitive and metacognitive processes. Many post-secondary students, especially novice writers, struggle to transform knowledge when drawing on multiple sources for essays. External support is needed. As a first step toward developing software that scaffolds knowledge transforming in writing, this study investigated how to identify sentences representing knowledge transformation in argumentative essays. A synthesis of cognitive theories of writing and Bloom’s typology identified 22 linguistic features to model cognitive processes in knowledge transforming, making a methodological contribution to research on multi-source based writing. These features were used as independent variables in a predictive algorithm trained to predict a sentence’s writing mode as knowledge-telling or knowledge-transforming. A corpus of 38 undergraduates’ essays was examined using this algorithm and a coefficient of knowledge transforming was computed for each essay. Two thirds of all evidential sentences were knowledge-telling indicating undergraduates mostly paraphrase or copy information from sources rather than deeply engage with the source material. Eight linguistic features were important predictors of whether an evidential sentence tells or transforms source knowledge: relative position of an evidential sentence in a paragraph, absolute distance between an evidential sentence and the most recent argument, incidence of low- and high-accessibility anaphoric devices, incidence of rhetorical connectives that indicate reasoning, content-word overlap between the evidential sentence and source text, semantic overlap between evidential sentence and preceding/succeeding argument, and semantic overlap between evidential sentence and source text. The machine learning algorithm accurately classified nearly 3 of 4 evidential sentences as knowledge-telling or knowledge-transforming, offering potential for use in future research. The coefficient of knowledge transforming positively but weakly correlated with essay scores assigned by the course instructor. This contrasts with a view that knowledge-telling texts often fail to fulfill writing task requirements.

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

What is social justice?: Implications for the field of education

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-11
Abstract: 

In the field of education, there is currently much enthusiasm for social justice and a popular education movement, Social Justice Education (SJE), based on advancing this ideal. However, efforts to achieve social justice in and through schooling are undermined by a lack of clarity regarding the meaning of the term. Educators and educationists use the term nebulously and frequently as justification for diverse and even opposing programs, the merits of which are impossible to investigate absent conceptual consensus. Little attention has been devoted to clarifying concepts that underlie the SJE movement. The primary aim of this dissertation, therefore, is to answer the question “What is social justice?” and a secondary aim is to examine the question “What is the relationship between social justice, education, and schooling?” Because there currently are multiple and competing philosophical accounts of social justice, these questions were investigated historically, guided by Gadamerian philosophical hermeneutics. The historical emergence and development of social justice over the past three centuries is examined. I have argued that the concept and practices of social justice are interwoven with the history of liberal thought. Based on this historical account, Nancy Fraser’s principles of social justice and Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach are offered in the present work as the best ways of thinking about social justice, with implications for educational policy and practice. Education has been central to the liberal project and given social justice’s association with liberal ideals, it is unsurprising that social justice and schooling have come to be associated with each other. However, current support for SJE in the field of education is premised on the notion that realizing social ideals is an aim of schools, which, paradoxically, undermines the end it is designed to achieve. As an alternative, I have suggested that educators take up the view of early liberal theorists who considered quality schooling a result of social justice (and not the reverse).

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jeff Sugarman
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Teacher noticing of student mathematics: Lesson play experience

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-30
Abstract: 

Lesson play is a relatively new construct in mathematics education. Until now, it has primarily been used with prospective teachers in a university setting as an alternative to traditional lesson planning. In this study, the notion of a lesson play experience is introduced and explored as a professional development tool for practicing teachers. For this study, each of two teachers wrote a lesson play related to part of a mathematics lesson they planned to teach. Once the play was submitted, a pre-lesson interview took place in which the script was discussed. The two teachers were then observed while teaching the lesson, and finally a post-lesson interview was conducted. The results suggest that the lesson play experience can be an effective tool for inservice teacher professional development.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rina Zazkis
David Pimm
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis (Education)) M.Sc.