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

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Fostering personal growth for counsellors through transformative pedagogy and the learning of an experiential play-based therapy

Date created: 
2017-11-15
Abstract: 

The impact of learning a new experiential play-based therapy on the personal growth of counselling students and qualified counsellors is explored in this study. Extensive research exists on personal growth opportunities for practicing counsellors within the context of group work, personal therapy, supervision and ongoing professional development. However, few studies focus on the integration of personal growth opportunities afforded through the learning of counselling strategies and approaches in counsellor education programs at the graduate level. Addressing this gap, the study draws on transformative pedagogy theory and practice as a way of understanding and fostering personal growth opportunities among both practicing and student counsellors. A qualitative action research methodology was used which draws upon the researcher’s own experience as both counsellor and counsellor educator. Participants, aged 22 to over 65 years, included three students in a full-time master’s counsellor education program, one in a full-time master’s in art therapy program, three students in a part-time master’s counsellor education program, and 10 qualified counsellors at master’s or diploma level working with children and youth in the field. The workshop component of the research, which was based on the principles of transformative pedagogy, involved a training course in Neuroscience and Satir in the Sand Tray (NSST). The interview component consisted of individual in-depth interviews with participants using NSST to elicit responses plus a follow-up questionnaire after the course was completed. The process and the emergent outcomes of the participants' experiences were examined using an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Each interview was video-taped and photographs were taken to document the participants’ process of engaging with NSST. IPA provided insights into how personal growth was experienced and how this in turn emerged as personal growth opportunities, which were both fostered and interpreted through a transformative pedagogical approach. There were two main findings. Most participants reported experiencing personal growth opportunities and these were manifested in a variety of ways. Further, the majority of participants reported experiencing one or more of the many aspects of the transformative pedagogy which foregrounded and afforded their personal growth. Implications for counsellor education are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Susan O'Neal
Susan O’Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

A visual arts educator-researcher’s inquiry into the role of the teacher in an intergenerational arts program

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-11-28
Abstract: 

This study explores a visual arts educator-researcher’s inquiry of the role of the teacher in the development and implementation of an intergenerational (IG) arts program. Two iterations of an IG arts program were implemented in New Westminster, British Columbia with retired longshoremen and 1) 20 homelearners aged 10–11 years, during eight weekly sessions, and 2) in collaboration with an elementary teacher and his class of 24 Grade 3–4 students aged 8–9 years, during ten weekly sessions. The aim of this inquiry is to explore what it means to be a visual arts educator-researcher within an IG learning context and to examine the social practices that underpin the effectiveness of the program. Reflexive analysis focused on reflection in action and on action, drawing on data collected during the study that included observations, interviews and artifacts. The findings highlight a process for deepening our understanding of intergenerational interactions for artistic learning that emphasize equal group status and provide a framework for viewing teaching as a social practice.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Susan O'Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Exploring the relocation experiences of female indigenous youth in foster care through storywork

Date created: 
2017-09-11
Abstract: 

This qualitative study uses Indigenous Storywork methodology as described by Jo-ann Archibald (2008) to explore the relocation experiences of four female Indigenous youth. Additionally, this study draws on Métis Beadwork methodology informed by Métis Knowledge Holder and artist Lisa Shepherd. This study answers the question, “What stories of relocation are told by female Indigenous youth in foster care who have relocated from rural northern communities and are residing in a Lower Mainland residential program?” Indigenous youth are over represented in the Canadian Child Welfare system as a result of colonization, residential schools, and the removal of Indigenous children from families. There is limited understanding of this populations’ experience of relocation while in foster care. Using Métis Beadwork/Indigenous Storywork methodology, I used beadwork teachings combined with the seven Storywork principles to guide my research and engage with storytellers which include: respect, responsibility, reciprocity, reverence, holism, interrelatedness, and synergy. Findings from this study reveal the youth’s perspective on their experiences of relocation and create space for youth voice in research. Findings may also guide service providers in providing culturally appropriate, effective, and meaningful services to female Indigenous youth in the child welfare system. Findings are presented in three sections: leaving, arriving, and adjusting.

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

Long-term perceived outcomes of an integrated curriculum program as it relates to active citizenship

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-06
Abstract: 

How should 21st century youth be educated to meet the challenges of work, life and citizenship that will lead to environmental, social and economic sustainability? This is a question many educators have been trying to address for a long time. Although the importance of an education system attempting to address 21st century needs is recognized, it is not clear how to achieve this. This dissertation’s research addressed this issue, asking, “What are the perceptions of a group of alumni from a Grade 10 integrated curriculum program (ES 10) with regard to the effects of the program on their citizenship activities?” A retrospective study utilizing mixed methods determined the long-term effects of ES 10 relating to active citizenship and identified key learning environment program features that alumni believed to be important. Quantitative instruments measured student’s perceptions of their ES 10 learning environment relating various active citizenship components. Qualitative data collection included an open-ended survey and a group interview. The major findings of this study show that alumni believe ES 10 affected their current disposition toward and engagement with citizenship activities, identifying various program elements as having influenced their overall development. Environments where group cohesion is high with regular engagement in student-relevant, hands-on activities and experiences followed by a reflective process were identified as important. Also identified as important in helping students gain skills, beliefs and attitudes that have influenced their adult years were allowing students to have a voice in how the schedule is arranged, what sorts of activities they might choose or how their work may be assessed.

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

The persistence of second and first class power engineering distance education students at BCIT: A grounded theory approach

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-07
Abstract: 

This study was designed to investigate persistence of 2nd and 1st class adult power engineering distance education students from a qualitative paradigm. Existing literature did not offer a suitable explanation and understanding of the observed experience. This study seeks to contribute to the literature through an investigation of learner characteristics, internal as well as external and psychological outcomes manifested as satisfaction and stress. In addition career goals as well as anticipation of financial reward was investigated. A pilot study involved three persisters, and a further twenty persisters participated in the main study, conducted in the British Columbia Institute of Technology Power Engineering Department. Charmaz’s version of a grounded theory methodology was employed. Qualitative interviewing through in-depth individual interviews was the method of data collection. A theoretical sampling approach was used to identify participants for the pilot study as well as for main study. Findings indicated that age seemed to be associated with some factors. One group, in their early twenties and late thirties, made their decisions about pursuing 2nd and 1st class power engineering courses based on the influence of a family member or members that were involved in the power engineering field. A second group of participants, in their early forties to late fifties, often chose to pursue 2n and 1st class power engineering courses because of encouragement at the workplace, or to secure better job opportunities and more quality time with family. Students who persisted in the program had a variety of educational backgrounds, though most did have prior postsecondary education, either in the form of a one or two-year diploma or degree. The proposed model of persistence of 2nd and 1st class adult power engineering distance education students incorporates learner characteristics, as well as external and internal factors that converge through psychological outcomes to student persistence.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kevin O'Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Prosocial activity in a Montessori primary classroom: a case study

Date created: 
2017-09-15
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to investigate young children’s prosocial behaviour development in a Montessori classroom context. A longitudinal, single-case study design was employed, using qualitative methods to provide an in-depth understanding of the context and the participants’ experiences. Using naturalistic observations, a group of children were observed for their two pre-kindergarten and one kindergarten years in a multiage classroom. A traditional Montessori primary classroom was selected for the program criteria of a larger class size and a small teacher-to-student ratio. Results demonstrated that the smaller teacher-to-student ratio contributed to the available opportunities and the perceived need for students to enact prosocial behaviour, particularly in helping each other with curricular materials. The teachers modeling concentration and precision while demonstrating use of the Montessori curricular materials led to students reproducing this activity, establishing a classroom work ethos that grew along with students’ increased mastery of material work. The students also reproduced prosocial actions modeled by the teachers, becoming integral and effective contributors to classroom management. I explain the relationship between the children’s increasing curricular mastery and their prosocial activity using a community of practice model. In this model, the students’ progress is explained by their shifting membership and legitimate teaching experiences within their community of practice. These findings have implications for the social value of a well-planned and precisely delivered curriculum for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten aged students in a Montessori multiage classroom. Previously reported social and academic drawbacks of multiage classrooms were not found in this classroom. Additional practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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

The Journey to Self-Compassion: A Phenomenological Exploration of Women’s Lived Experience and Personal Meaning Making of Learning Self-Compassion

Date created: 
2017-09-27
Abstract: 

This study explores women’s lived experiences and meaning-making of learning and integrating self-compassion, following an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course. The objective of this research was to gain insight into women’s first person, subjective stories of learning self-compassion, and how this has impacted their daily lives. Using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology, the author interviewed 4 women who completed MSC within the past 4 months, with the author as the course facilitator. Findings indicate that learning self-compassion helped women cultivate greater non-judgmental awareness, self-acceptance, emotion regulation, positive self-talk and body image, compassionate listening, self-empowerment, self-soothing abilities, and a sense of connectedness through common humanity. This thesis discusses women’s processes of learning self-compassion, personal transformation experienced as a result of becoming more self-compassionate, and how women applied self-compassion in their daily lives. Discussion includes important considerations for future research and clinical counselling practice.

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

The Gardener, The Actor, and The Educator: Six Lessons Towards Creating and Cultivating Spaces of Vulnerability Between Theatre for Young Audiences and Education

Date created: 
2017-09-22
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the intersection of, or space between. theatre and education, as observed through the co-creation, rehearsal, and performance of an original play: The Edge Project. The project brings together artists from a professional theatre company and students/teachers from four secondary school drama classes. Conversations with TEACHER, ARTIST and CREATURE, lead me to consider topics including: individual and collective roles in meaning-making, process and product-based theatre creation/education, and to unpack concepts such as: trust, empathy, and vulnerability. I invite the reader to follow me, and the participants, down a garden path where we search for ways to cultivate and nurture authentic and mutualistic relationships on the stage and in the classroom. In tribute to Boleslavsky’s work on actor training, I imagine what “The First Six Lessons” of The Edge Project might be, and hope to inform further research into the gifts of Theatre for Young Audiences and theatre education.

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

Mathematical Tool Fluency: Learning Mathematics via Touch-based Technology

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-08-08
Abstract: 

Recent advances in the study of mathematics embodiment have given rise to renewed interest in how mathematical learning relates to our bodily actions and the sensorimotor system. In this dissertation, I explore the embodiment of mathematics learning with a particular focus on the relationship among gestures, hand and finger movements, and the use of mathematical tools. The theoretical lens of perceptuomotor integration enabled me to articulate mathematics learning through the development of tool fluency within a non-dualistic view of mathematical tools. The dissertation is structured as three stand-alone descriptive case studies that adopt Husserl’s phenomenological attitude in analysing participants’ lived experience while using mathematical tools. Drawing on the work of Nemirovsky, one of the main intentions is to provide a thick description of learners’ perceptual and motor activities, which may result in the emergence of perceptuomotor integration in Husserlian experiential time. The results provide evidence for a high degree of gestural and bodily engagement while learning, communicating, and playing with mathematical tools. For example, in the first study, we discuss the process of learning cardinality for a young child in the context of mathematical explorations with a multimodal iPad application named TouchCounts. We identifying the development of ‘finger-touching’ action while the child is playing with it. In the second study, I present and discuss the notions of ‘active sensation’ and ‘tactile perception,’ in the context of a blind undergraduate student explaining the behaviour of a rational function. In the third study, which involves a prospective teacher identifying types of geometric transformation in a touchscreen geometry software (Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP) on iPad), I identify new modes of Arzarello’s active interactions. Identifying, analysing, and exploring different modes of interactions with touchscreen-based mathematical tools leads me to propose a new methodological approach for analysing video data. This methodological approach enabled me to catalogue interactions in order to monitor and assess the emergence of mathematics expertise while the learner interacted with the mathematical tool.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Stephen Campbell
Dr. Nathalie Sinclair
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Student actions as a window into goals and motives in the secondary mathematics classroom

Date created: 
2017-06-30
Abstract: 

Students come to the secondary mathematics classroom with a variety of motives. These motives shape the goals a student holds, and the actions that a student performs within the classroom. Ultimately, the approach that a student takes towards learning is a direct consequence of his or her motives. Given the significance of student motive for learning, it is important to understand better the relationship between actions, goals, and motives. The research presented in this thesis aims to do just that. More specifically, it looks closely at student actions in high school mathematics classrooms with the aim of identifying student goals and motives, and further, analysing the relationships between students’ actions and their motives. Using an ethnographic perspective and methods, student actions in three different secondary mathematics classrooms were observed and in situ informal interviews were conducted. Data were first organised and analysed according to actions performed in each activity setting. Then, using classical activity theory, 10 students’ actions and goals in multiple activity settings were analysed to ascertain his or her motives in mathematics class. Finally, the motives and actions of all participants were re-examined from two different perspectives: first, looking at the performed actions of all students holding a given motive in each activity setting; and second, examining the relationships between similar student actions and different motives in one activity setting. This ‘crossover’ approach revealed that similar student actions can be driven by different motives, and that the same motive does not always manifest in similar student action.

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