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

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A Landscape of Choices: The Academic Journeys of 15 University Students

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-03-23
Abstract: 

This thesis describes the life experiences of 15 young people as they transitioned from being students in K–12 schools into university and college-level studies. The research was conducted at a regional university located in British Columbia, Canada. The thesis focuses on how the study and career plans of the participants changed directions from high school into university. Specific attention was paid to understanding the various factors that were perceived by the participants as having been significant influences on their plans for academic studies and for future careers. The participants in the study were recruited because they had initially intended to major or focus their studies in fields of science or science-related professions. The interview conversations also explored why some participants had persisted in their pursuit of sciences after entering university while others had decided to change emphasis from science to non-science programs. The interview conversations reveal the complex life spaces through which the students navigate as they developed their university programs and experiences. The interview data also demonstrates that many students currently enrolled in university also engage in significant part-time work and that they have various forms of engagement with their families and communities outside campus life.

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

Regards croisés sur la réussite scolaire

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-02-12
Abstract: 

Alors que de nombreuses définitions circulent pour définir la réussite scolaire, ce travail analyse le discours de divers acteurs scolaires au sein d’un conseil scolaire francophone dans une province anglophone quant à leurs représentations de la réussite scolaire. Ces acteurs scolaires sont respectivement des élèves finissants du secondaire, leurs parents, ainsi que certains membres du personnel de l’école, tels une aide pédagogique spécialisée, des enseignants titulaires et spécialistes, et une direction. Leurs propos, recueillis lors d’entretiens compréhensifs, ont permis de cerner différents éléments qui offrent des pistes de réflexion pouvant éclairer la pratique pédagogique et mettre en lumière les rôles et responsabilités de chacun des acteurs scolaires en vue de favoriser le succès scolaire de tous les élèves.Les participants à cette recherche s’entendent pour dire que la réussite scolaire est unique à chacun : une quête à la fois personnelle et sociale, une projection à la fois utopique et réaliste, propice à la réalisation de soi dans un contexte familial et social, et enfin, un portail vers l’avenir. L’analyse des entretiens permet de dégager trois grands besoins: le besoin d’être, le besoin de l’autre et le besoin de devenir. Les participants ont également identifié plusieurs facteurs intrinsèques et extrinsèques, nécessaires selon eux à la réussite de l’élève, qui amènent à réfléchir sur la réussite scolaire dans le cadre de la construction identitaire de l’élève tout au long de son parcours scolaire, de la place de la relation école-famille dans la réussite de l’élève, et de la notion de leadership éducationnel partagé dans un tel contexte.Au final, des recommandations sont proposées afin d’orienter le mandat scolaire et guider le développement personnel de l’élève ainsi que la formation continue des intervenants scolaires, dans le but de favoriser la réussite scolaire des élèves.

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

Learning and Memory in Virtual Spaces

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-11-20
Abstract: 

Space and context are fundamental factors in cognition which have powerful effects on learning, memory, and recall. Previous studies have shown that changes in the physical context between learning and assessment tasks can degrade recall performance. The research on virtual context effects, however, is scant, especially in the area of learning. Virtual environments are increasingly utilized in educational technology research and application without a careful understanding of space and context. This study investigated the effect of context in a virtual space on learning and memory using a between groups experiment that controlled the use of context changes and the level of immersion in the environment (2D or 3D). It contrasted two existing hypotheses explaining these effects: context-dependence and situational model updating. The results suggest an interaction between the level of immersion in the environment and whether or not a context change occurred.

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

An inquiry into the question of Being in teaching: World, Attunement, and the danger of Enframing

Date created: 
2016-02-29
Abstract: 

Heidegger argued that modern human beings have forgotten a more fundamental and originary understanding of the meaning of Being. This forgetting of Being is not limited to lived experience but permeates the history of philosophy and metaphysics. Put simply, modern philosophy (and, for Heidegger, metaphysics) presupposes a reductive understanding of Being as an entity, or an entity with enduring presence, that ultimately limits the possibilities of human thinking and existence. Educational practice and scholarship also operates from this comportment of a forgetting of Being. The following inquiry raises the question of Being in teaching by phenomenologically engaging with three key distinctions from Heidegger’s thinking as each bears upon educational practice. World and attunement, the first two distinctions, are most accessible in Heidegger’s thinking from his magnum opus Being and Time. The third distinction represents a theme from Heidegger’s later thinking on technology, the danger of Enframing. While not exhaustive, each concept interrogates the many-sided question of Being in order to illuminate new possibilities for teaching. The inquiry does not offer solutions but rather traces a path that opens and keeps in tension the question of Being in teaching in order to support further study.

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

How and why teachers use real world connections in the secondary mathematics classroom

Date created: 
2016-03-01
Abstract: 

Real world connections are considered to be an important aspect of a mathematics classroom. There is an abundance of literature that expresses how beneficial real world connections are for students. However, there is little literature that looks at a teacher’s point of view: what is a real world connection and how are teachers using these in their secondary mathematics classrooms? This study focuses on the teacher perspective of real world connections by surveying and subsequently interviewing participants within one school district. It can be concluded that there is still no global definition for real world connection, but there are trends that show teachers make connections in order to motivate students, increase their interest, and build skills that can be transferred into the real world, such as collaboration, independence, and communication.

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

Représentations de la formation continue des enseignants de français langue seconde chez des acteurs éducatifs en Alberta

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-12-11
Abstract: 

Cette recherche porte sur les représentations de la formation des enseignants en français langue seconde, spécifiquement dans la zone rurale du nord-ouest de l’Alberta. Elle se propose de mettre en lumière les points de vue de divers acteurs éducatifs concernés, à savoir, des enseignants et des directeurs qui exercent dans cette partie de la province. Dans ce paysage éducatif, où certains défis (tels que la croissance démographique, les nouvelles migrations, la pénurie d’enseignants et leur isolement) viennent entraver le développement professionnel des enseignants de français langue seconde (FL2), la présence d’un centre de formation, le GPARC, essaie de remédier à ces difficultés afin de promouvoir la formation professionnelle des enseignants dans le nord-ouest de l’Alberta. Pour tenter de saisir cette réalité au plus près des acteurs du terrain, nous avons recueilli auprès de ces derniers des données du terrain à partir d’une série d’entretiens que nous avons analysées, selon une approche qualitative. Ces entrevues avaient pour visée la compréhension des enjeux éducatifs que des éducateurs en zone rurale rencontrent lorsqu’il est question de la formation des enseignants en français langue seconde dans un contexte où l’idéal du bilinguisme officiel n’est pas toujours une réalité. En mobilisant les notions de développement professionnel et de représentations, nous avons ainsi mis à jour les discours des acteurs sur le contexte minoritaire du français, en zones rurales; nous avons exposé leurs attentes en matière d’accompagnement professionnel et dégagé leur appréhension du rôle du GPARC dans celui-ci. Au final, cela nous a conduit à formuler quelques pistes de réflexion qui pourraient servir au développement des formations professionnelles pour les enseignants de FL2 en fonction du contexte minoritaire du français, en zones rurales.

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

Exploring barriers and enablers to technology integration into pedagogical practice

Date created: 
2015-12-18
Abstract: 

In today’s post-secondary settings there is an increasing push to integrate technology into the delivery of courses and programs. In spite of technology-rich environments (access to equipment, technical support, etc.), the potential of technology to transform teaching and learning has not been completely realized. The literature suggests that second-order barriers, teacher belief systems, are the true gatekeepers to realizing this transformation and point to the important role professional development (PD) can serve in affecting beliefs. This qualitative case study sought to explore how faculty, who had completed a PD program aimed at hybrid course development, integrated technology and the barriers and enablers they perceived to technology integration. The findings of this study support the notion of a fully integrated PD model, including institutional knowledge building around the affordances and benefits of technology supported pedagogy.

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

Taking an integral and eco-contemplative perspective on the phenomenon of addiction in dislocated societies: Beyond “acceptance” and towards soul-making in non-dual awareness

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-01-27
Abstract: 

This dissertation is an attempt to think more broadly and deeply about the phenomenology of addiction in dislocated societies. It introduces integral philosophy and its approaches to recovery by bringing awareness to what needs to be addressed and added to acceptance based aftercare programs and curriculum development. Based on the proposed philosophical exploration, this dissertation examines and expands the term ‘psychological flexibility’ to include psychocultural diversity and psychosocial integration. The new Integrative Recovery Measure (IRM) is then explored throughout the dissertation. Moreover, this dissertation places the new IRM within the purview of a philosophical inquiry that examines holonic fields of human existence (the total spheres, the ecosphere and the noosphere) and their contact points (non-dual awareness, eco-psychology and soul making, respectively). These contact points become core perspectives that are always within awareness and thus can be used by clients’ post-treatment. They provide a fluid, caring and creative stability when it is needed most in the form of non-dual recognition, a secure attachment to the natural world, inner work, and soul making.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Heesoon Bai
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Mathematical needs in the physics classroom

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-02-15
Abstract: 

This study focuses on the physics teachers’ views on the difficulties students have in physics that are mathematical in nature. While research in physics education attends to these difficulties, it does not attend to the teachers’ voices in identifying and handling these difficulties. Nine physics teachers, currently teaching at the high school level in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, participated in my study. I designed two questionnaires that inquired into my participants’ perspectives on the mathematical issues their students face in their physics classes, and possible remedies to overcome the identified problems. The results echo previous research in identifying the areas of difficulty (e.g., fractions, trigonometry), and add particular examples of problems that hinder students’ success. Furthermore, the results reveal that the most common resolution to mathematical difficulties in the physics classroom is to value the understanding of mathematical processes rather than memorizing an algorithm and number crunching.

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

Using Bourdieu's theory of practice to understand academic under achievement among inner-city students in British Columbia: A conceptual study

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-01-18
Abstract: 

This is a conceptual study borne out of an ongoing practitioner inquiry in which I, as a practicing teacher, am trying to understand, on a theoretical level, why the children at my inner-city school repeatedly underperform in an academic sense in spite of being provided with additional resources. The achievement gap that exists between British Columbia’s inner-city children and their more affluent peers cannot be adequately explained by differences in finances alone, but it has sociological roots, which I explore in this study. To understand the achievement gap I have chosen to filter it through Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice and evaluate the effectiveness of his theory in being able to effectively explain the who, what, where, when, why, and how of this problem, which has been persistent for me as an inner-city educator. I utilized the interpretive approach of hermeneutics to fuse my horizon with that of Bourdieu so as to develop a deep understanding of his theory of practice and its core concepts of cultural capital, habitus, field, and symbolic violence, and their implications for inner-city school children. Hermeneutics permitted me to uncover multiple layers of theoretical evidence that I used ultimately to make an inductive argument that finds in favor of using theory of practice to understand academic underperformance among British Columbia’s inner-city school children. After concluding that theory of practice can be an effective heuristic for understanding the achievement gap, I made a number of recommendations with respect to how it has transformed my praxis (practical action) and phronesis (practical wisdom), and how it can help other teachers who work in British Columbia’s inner-city schools, as well as the students and parents with whom they work.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Allan MacKinnon
Dr. Larry Johnson
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.