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

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Holistic identity development in undergraduate students: A narrative inquiry and self-study

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-07-04
Abstract: 

Holistic approaches to university student development have recently gained traction in higher education research and practice, inciting the need for researchers, policy-makers and educators to understand the processes through which undergraduate students develop their identities within their institutional context. This work analyzed the narratives of upper-year undergraduate students in one postsecondary institution to determine factors that contributed to their holistic identity development. Findings revealed thematic personal and institutional factors, both in classroom environments and the broader university setting, that influenced students’ cognitive, social and internal development. Participants’ discussions of influential professors elicited opportunities for how educators might work to facilitate holistic identity development within the classroom context specifically. This study signifies the prominent need for higher education institutions to take an integrative approach to undergraduate students’ identity development. Further research might determine variances in experiences and factors that contribute to holistic development, across institutional contexts and student demographics.

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

BSN Nurse Educator Conceptions of Teaching: The Science and Art of Nursing Education

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-11
Abstract: 

This is an interpretive descriptive (ID) qualitative study of the conceptions of teaching held by nurse educators in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is an exploration of a set of twenty interviews conducted with fourteen nurse educators, representing four post-secondary institutions in the Vancouver vicinity. The center of this account begins with the three research questions: How do BSN nurse educators conceive of teaching? How do those conceptions of teaching manifest in their teaching practice? And why might such conceptions form as they do? I have written and presented this study in a narrative voice to depict my own learning journey and self-study as I have researched this question about how nurse educators understand teaching and why it is important. My analyses and interpretations of these interviews are couched in an extensive review of literature in the field of education, spanning disciplines of curriculum theory, adult and post-secondary education, professional education, and nursing education. The findings of the study indicate that participants are not formally prepared to teach and experience a number of significant challenges in their teaching practice. Such challenges include relating to students, managing heavy workloads, integrating theory and practice, adapting to teaching differences, and coping with psychological distress. The participants hold three primary conceptions of teaching: Transmitting Knowledge, Apprenticeship, and Facilitating Ways of Understanding. The majority of participants conceive of teaching as delivering information and directing activities in the classroom and apprenticeship in the clinical setting. The way that participants form conceptions of teaching may be related, in part, to their previous experiences of teaching and learning as nursing students, the nursing discipline’s ideology of a profession, and the present emphasis on the science of teaching in nursing education. The findings and significance of the study are contextualized in a critical review of nursing education as it has evolved over the past decades and the concomitant potential for improving BSN Nursing programs in BC.

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

DamX̱an gud.ad t’alang hllG̱ang.gulX̱ads Gina Tllgaay (Working Together to Make It a Better World)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-05
Abstract: 

The 1876 Indian Act and other federal laws have deliberately prevented us from exercising stewardship in all aspects of our life and severely compromised our ability to respond to Climate Change. Financing and caring for our homes and our families can take up an inordinate amount of time, especially when attempting to secure financial loans through the everyday financial institutions while jumping through the legal hoops put in front of us as legal “Wards” of the government. In this research I did interviews with the village residents of Skidegate, Haida Gwaii and asked; 1. What can we do to lower our carbon footprint? 2. How can we build and finance homes that are healthy and safe in light of climate change? 3. How can we use our ancient laws to empower our people and nation to uphold our values of respect, reciprocity, consensus and stewardship to create a safe planet for present and future generations? Workshop participants identified the need for more education on climate change impacts, financial planning, budgeting and alternative financing options. They also reported diverse ways of reducing fossil fuels such as using alternative energy sources and greener transportation, and accessing local value-added building materials. Respondents identified the need for improved access to financing for climate ready homes, qualified local building inspectors, and the reinvigoration of ancestral laws. Colonization is discussed throughout this research due to the impacts it has had and continues to have on our life ways. Collective financing using a “Common Bowl ” concept could be used through innovative clan reciprocity. Sharing, a local cooperative lending or a Grameen Bank concept along with the removal of the Indian Act and revitalization of ancient laws to live respectfully on the earth would offer independence and control for our nation and other nations individually. Currently, Indigenous communities are facing ongoing colonization while attempting to address the impacts of climate change. Re-infusing our kil yahdas[2] and kuuya[3] is important to rebuild and maintain healthy and resilient communities and strong governance in hopes of reducing the impacts of climate change.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
David Bryan Zandvliet
Department: 
David Bryan Zandvliet
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Transition from Post-Secondary Education to Work: Power, Performativity, and Entanglement in Becoming Social Service Workers

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-08
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines the conditions of front-line social service workers, in not-for-profit organizations serving marginalized groups, as they navigate their transition from post-secondary education into their professional role. Social service work involves relational engagement with clients shaped by and situated in significant social conditions, yet this work is constrained by neoliberal, managerialist expectations. I critically deconstructed these neoliberal, managerialist assumptions underlying much of the scholarship on the transition from post-secondary education to work, in order to create space for social service workers’ more nuanced perspectives on the purposes of education and of work. I explored the experiences of individuals who identified themselves as newly transitioned into social service work in Vancouver, British Columbia. Through a series of in-depth interviews, guided by principles of critical narrative inquiry, the participants and I co-created narratives of their transition experiences. Drawing on these participant narratives, I found that these social service workers experienced tensions between technocratic skills and relational practice; internal conflicts in being in relationship while maintaining appropriate boundaries; and tensions between self and others in terms of values and societal measures of financial ‘success’ and comparisons and competition with others. By examining the narratives through Foucault’s conceptualizations of power and Butler’s theory of performativity, I found that while the social service workers were constrained by neoliberal definitions of ‘success’ and performed toward the ‘ideal social service worker,’ they also demonstrated resistance and an ability to redefine success and social service work. Their experiences, reflected in their narratives, led me to analyze their transitions as an ongoing process of ‘becoming,’ within material and discursive arrangements, or ‘entanglements.’ Recognizing the complexity of social service work as entanglement promotes intra-active relational practice; this has meaningful implications for social service work and education. Being entangled promotes increased responsibility to one another and the need, in working relationally, to be critically aware of, and awake to, emergent possibilities to remake the world.

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

Professionals in Post-Secondary Education: Conceptions of Career Influence

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-04-03
Abstract: 

Undergraduate students increasingly cite vocational preparation and enhancement as their main reasons for pursuing a post-secondary education. Yet, when they require career advice and support, instead of visiting the career centres on their campuses, students turn to the career influencers in their existing networks: individuals who informally provide career-related advice, guidance, and/or counselling. This qualitative study explores the conceptions of post-secondary education (PSE) professionals working outside of career centres and asks, “How do post-secondary education (PSE) professionals conceive their influence in student career development?” First, 104 students completed a poll identifying the types of PSE professionals they turn to for career help. Then, PSE professionals serving in these identified roles were recruited for the study. Fifteen professionals participated in an in-depth interview discussing a) their professional background, b) their conceptions of the term career, c) how they saw themselves contributing to student career development, and d) resources and competencies that would further their impact to student career success. The study reveals that professionals’ conceptions of career, informed by their experiences and beliefs, influence the career advice they provide to students. Professionals also believe they contribute to student career development through performing their professional roles and exhibiting personal attributes that promote meaningful student interactions and relationships. To enhance their career influence they desire professional development on career-related topics and would like to see institutional commitment in recognizing student career success as an institutional priority. The findings yield recommendations for further research on career influencers in other institutional contexts. Implications are identified for practice that would enhance career services delivery, and employee and student career success.

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

Creating space for authentic voice in Canada's screen industry: A case study of 'Women In the Director's Chair (WIDC)'

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-01-25
Abstract: 

Using an appreciative inquiry approach and sharing a reflexive 4-D (i.e., discovery, dreams, design, delivery / destiny) narrative that explores societal, organizational and personal perspectives, this action research study describes a specially designed, internationally respected Canadian national professional development initiative for women screen directors, entitled ‘Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC)’. The narrative traces how this initiative came to be, and within the context of North America’s ‘waves’ of feminism, where it is placed on the landscape of Canada’s screen industry. While foregrounding a well-documented socio-cultural ‘lack of confidence’ in women leaders and in particular in women screen directors in Canada, the study contextualizes the personal ‘leadership experience’ narratives of WIDC director participants while the author makes meaning of her own leadership journey as a co-creator of the WIDC initiative. The author further explores the twenty-two-year evolution of WIDC’s transformation-oriented pedagogical design as she reflects on the positive core of WIDC and asks, ‘What is WIDC? What was learned and what’s next?’ Sharing leadership metaphors that offer guidance for navigating a ‘continuum of confidence’ and offering a theoretical map towards transformation for individual women as well as feminist or like-minded organizations, the study concludes with a call to action to adopt an appreciative growth-minded stance in order to create space for authentic voices to thrive in Canada’s screen industry, in particular the voices of female leaders.

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

Designing eBooks to facilitate mathematical dialogue during shared reading

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-01-15
Abstract: 

This research aimed to investigate the impact of variation in eBook design, specifically hotspots, on caregiver-preschooler dyads’ communications about mathematics story content during shared reading. Two eBooks were designed and compared. Hotspots in the math eBook guided joint attention to mathematically-related activated features; hotspots in the emotion-action eBook guided joint attention to emotions and actions of the characters. The hotspots were matched in number and type across both eBooks. The narrative and illustrations remained consistent between the two eBooks. The dyads’ interaction with different types of hotspots; and their use of spoken utterances and gestures were compared across the two conditions. Thirty-two dyads participated in this study; 16 in each group. Findings showed that, in both groups, all caregivers and children used spoken utterances and gestures, albeit to different extent, to express the mathematics content in the narrative. However, spoken utterances and gestures that aligned with mathematics occurred more frequently among dyads in the math condition compared to the other condition. Further, caregivers in the math condition responded to hotspots by asking high-level cognitive questions, and both caregivers and children in this condition reacted mostly by repeating what was heard. In the emotion-action condition, dyads reacted emotively to the hotspots. Findings also showed that dyads in the math condition – as opposed to their peers - tended to discuss the embedded mathematics activities. Thematic analysis was done to explore in more depth the interplay between the acting on the hotspot and the narrative concerning the communication about mathematics as the dyads discussed two activities embedded in the story. Three themes emerged regarding scaffolding of mathematical ideas, co-construction of ideas, as well as seeking self-discovery and agency of the child. Findings from the Caregiver Satisfaction Questionnaire showed differences across conditions in regards to the children’s attention; and similarities in perceptions of the children’s enjoyment and willingness to share eBooks in the future. Findings from this research raise implications for the future designs of eBooks; particularly regarding the content and placement of the hotspots.

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

Relationship between mindful teaching methods and student perception of their retention of mathematical knowledge

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-19
Abstract: 

Although little research has been done on what students perceive increases their retention of mathematical content, studies show that how a memory is acquired has a direct impact on how strong that memory is. By increasing student engagement through the use of teaching tools found in Liljedahl’s thinking classroom, along with digital technology, an increase in student retention in a mathematics classroom could occur. This research study focuses on if there is a relationship between students’ perception of their retention of mathematical knowledge and the use of engaging teaching methods such as vertical, non-permanent surfaces, visibly random groupings, mindful notes, and digital technology. Results were gathered through student surveys and interviews, although staggered assessments were also analyzed to see if variance in results occurred with the implementation of new teaching methods. Results showed that the implementation of engaging teaching methods have a positive impact on students’ perception of their retention of mathematical content.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter Liljedahl
Sean Chorney
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis (Education)) M.Sc.

Reading to learn mathematics: Textbooks, student notes and classroom communication

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-17
Abstract: 

‘Reading to learn mathematics’ has diverse interpretations: from reading to decoding text to reading mathematical literature. This blind study examined the impact of enhanced reading of the mathematics textbook in a Pre-Calculus 11 classroom. Students read and made personal notes on new content before there was any discussion or direct instruction. Their work was collected and examined for aspects and features of the mathematical text noted and whether work was directly copied or uniquely created. Prompts such as, ‘Create notes for a friend who missed class’ were used. The voice of their written work was compared to the voice of the textbook. Results indicated it was not the correctness of explanations or interpretations that mattered, rather the personal involvement with text that allowed for understanding. Further, students demonstrated increased ‘why’ questions, a broader use of mathematical register during class discussion, and changes to their personal connection to their learning.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter Liljedahl
David John Pimm
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis (Education)) M.Sc.

Survival mode: Mothers’ perceptions of implementing physician’s recommendations for paediatric sleep-care

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-12-14
Abstract: 

Paediatric sleep problems are pervasive and affect optimal development. Although evidence-based treatments are available, clinical experience suggests that they are not effectively translated into practice. The experience of the clinicians at the Sleep-/Wake Behaviour Clinic at Sunny Hill Children’s Health Centre (BC Children’s Hospital) suggested that well-validated treatment protocols were not translating into clinical successes with their patients. A preliminary study in Kamloops showed that families were not implementing physicians’ recommendations for sleep-care, which raised questions about was preventing them from doing so. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand a) mother’s experience managing their child’s sleep problem in the context of the BC healthcare system and family; and, b) describe the meanings they make from these experiences, and in turn, how these inform mothers’ reactions to physician’s sleep-care recommendations. Mothers seeking sleep-care support from the Kamloops Paediatric Sleep Clinic were interviewed about their experiences implementing recommendations and the barriers they faced. Through an iterative process of theoretical sampling, memoing, and on-going review of the literature, I constructed a theoretical process model of mothers’ experience managing their child’s sleep problem entitled “Surival Mode.” This nascent theory was validated through negative case analysis, flip-flop techniques and member-checking, until I was satisfied that it “fit” and was a “useful” model from the participants’ perspective. Understanding the meaning of sleep problems for mothers, and the factors underlying adherence with sleep recommendations, may help increase intervention success and, inform policy/program development.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Lucy LeMare
Sharalyn Jordan
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.