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

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Performing identity at the arts edge: Developing radio memoir through the excavation of living inquiry

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-30
Abstract: 

In this thesis, I explore how community radio is a pedagogical and artistic platform that fosters personal agency, memoir, transformation and the unfolding of identity. Within the forum of an arts-based radio program, I witness how music, lyrics, broadcasting and personal reflections merge to inspire the surfacing of life’s lost moments, a collection of personal memories. This discovery evolves into a narrative loop between broadcaster and self, which leads to the excavation and interweaving of music and memory, and the alchemy of the radio tales. To this end, I explore autobiography, my mother’s lived experience and personal agency which unfold to become a storied musical memoir. While my research is largely informed by the scholarly work of Jerome Bruner, Lynn Fels, Walter Gershon, Mary Karr, Karen Meyer, Celeste Snowber, Sean Street, and Maxwell van Manen, it is further influenced by scholars whose work reflects arts and music education and is punctuated by songs and song lyrics. Research data for the radio tales and thesis is generated through several avenues: (1) Performative Inquiry explores how radio surfaces musical soundscape while unfolding musical lost moments that reflect lived experience. (2) Living Inquiry explores how writing a living document alongside radio production inspires the surfacing of lost moments and a collection of twenty-seven radio tales; (3) Acousmatic Modality, explores how reflective listening practices unpack contextual insights of lived experience. New understandings emerge through acousmatic dialogue, is comprised of living inquiry, lost moments. radio tales and one’s musical soundscape. My research reveals that everyone has a living story and a musical soundscape, thereby illustrating the universality of radio tales. Within this pedagogical and artistic platform, community radio acts as a springboard for the surfacing of musical soundscapes, the excavation of lost moments, the alchemy of radio tales and the unfolding of identity. The radio tales are offered throughout the thesis, as text and audio, with attached hyperlinks to redirect the reader to the SFU Repository where the audio files are stored.

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

A proposed methodology for investigating chatbot effects in peer review

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-24
Abstract: 

Teaching academic writing skills consumes a lot of time for teachers. One way to save some of this time and support students’ development of writing skills is to supplement teacher-student interaction with a chatbot. I developed such a chatbot, DD, to help post-secondary writers develop a thesis statement for an argumentative essay and to improve their feedback when in the role of a peer reviewer of classmates’ draft essays. The study analyzes student-chatbot interactions in a lower division course as background for developing methodological procedures that examine students’ engagement patterns with a chatbot. Analyses of student-chatbot data reveal students participating in this study tended to be overconfident about their learning. Furthermore, students reported a positive experience when they conversed with the chatbot. Several pedagogical implications for chatbot-guided writing instructions and uses of learning technology are addressed.

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

Mathematics teacher tension: Arising in, and through, their attempt to change practice

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-07
Abstract: 

While much research is devoted to what it is teachers do, there is far less known about why teachers do the things they do. This is particularly true in the area of mathematics teacher change where, despite an abundance of literature on ways to think about and facilitate change in mathematics teaching practice, a lack of meaningful change in practice is an ongoing concern. This dissertation explores this gap through a qualitative analysis of tension experienced by fourteen teachers engaged in implementing change in their mathematics practice. Viewing teachers as tension managers whose actions are shaped by an undercurrent of uncertainty, offers insight into the ‘why’ behind their actions; it allows for a focus on the process of change in practice, rather than the product. The study uses theoretical constructs of teacher change and teacher agency to position teachers as arbiters of change, responsible for their own growth. Using a hermeneutic phenomenology approach, data collection was conducted in three distinct phases and comprised interviews with, written reflections by, and classroom observations of, groups of teachers at various stages of change. Using a form of emergent coding, data was first analysed for contexts which held potential for change. These were then re-examined for tension using emotion and hedging as indicators of uncertainty. The results indicate that teachers experience internal and external tension that can both trigger and impede meaningful change in mathematics teaching practice. This is dependent not only on the context, but also on the quality of tension, as two types (useful tension and productive tension) are identified and explored for their potential to impact change. Furthermore, the data supports the view that managing tension in change is an agential response. Two management strategies are articulated: living with tension and resolving tension. Finally, the presence of unacknowledged virtual tension was hypothesized as an impediment to the achievement of meaningful change.

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

Classroom teachers’ perspectives of school-based team (SBT) practices in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-06-03
Abstract: 

Classroom teachers today maintain a powerful role in educating an increasingly diverse student population in the midst of changing socio-political climates, educational policies, and limited economic funds. Balancing the need to support students who may have special needs to achieve their individual potential, amidst this context can be challenging for many teachers today. In order to alleviate some of the challenges and pressures teachers face in educating diverse student needs, school-based teams (SBTs) exist in many schools in British Columbia (B.C.) to support teachers with developing the necessary instructional expertise and to identify potential special needs in students. Despite the purpose of SBTs, many classroom teachers report that school team practices are ineffective and largely disconnected from the practical realities of teaching diverse students (Doll et al., 2005; Lane, 2013; Young & Gaughan, 2010). To understand teachers’ experiences and perspectives of SBT practices in the specific context of a large and diverse school district in B.C., I interviewed 15 elementary teachers who had previous experiences teaching students with special needs in the classroom and who had referred their students to SBTs. In their interviews, classroom teachers’ responses uncovered a dissonance that exists between SBT policy and practice. In analyzing their interview responses, I found three key themes: (a) The instructional recommendations made by SBTs are ineffective, (b) There is a lack of funding and resources to implement SBT decision outcomes, and (c) Classroom teachers’ professional judgement was not given the consideration it deserved by SBT members. By using key ideas from Ball et al.’s (2012) conceptual framework for policy enactment to illuminate the findings of this study, I conclude that the “material,” “interpretive,” and “discursive” components of policy enactment play an important role in revealing why tensions exist between SBT policy and practice. The findings of this study suggest that the special education practices in the Rosendale School District need further attention.

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

Continuities and transformations in the practices and narratives of religious identities and literacy development: Bangladeshi Hindus in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-19
Abstract: 

Bangladeshi Hindu diaspora in Canada is a new phenomenon that requires careful observation to learn about their identity formation and literacy practices in relation to their religious affiliations and practices. Identity formation, and literacy and integration practices of diasporic communities have been the focus of multiple studies for some decades. Past social, ethnic, and literacy experiences of immigrants significantly influence their integration in a host society. Drawing on theoretical concepts such as religion-as-social-capital, the role of religion in identity formation, New Literacy Studies, and the Continua of Biliteracy, I document the relationship between religious affiliations and language and literacy practices of seven recruited Bangladeshi Hindu families in GTA (Greater Toronto Area) Canada. This is an ethnographic interpretative study that employs multiple data collection and analysis approaches. Interviews, observation, photography, and reflective tasks were used to collect data. For the analysis of multi-layered data in this study, a combination of analytical approaches was used: grounded theory, narrative inquiry, Critical Discourse Analysis, and situational analyses. The findings suggest that religious affiliations and practices shelter and bind the participants in their new country, contribute to their overall integration into the host society, and work as resources for their literacy development. The findings should not be generalized as the number of participants is very small and individual stories might vary. This study aims to empower language and social studies teachers to initiate dialogues on cross-cultural and cross-religious issues to promote democratic citizenship in public school and adult learning systems in Canada.

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

Perceptions and applications of maker-centered pedagogies in K – Grade 12 ADST and STEM education in BC public schools

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-30
Abstract: 

The researcher surveyed 97 British Columbia ADST or STEM educators concerning their understandings and perceptions of maker-centred pedagogies, and their willingness to apply these approaches. Questions addressed current applications of maker-centred pedagogies in public schools, and the major factors that affect the implementation of maker-centred approaches, including the characteristics of maker-centred pedagogies, the tools and resources used in making activities, and the strategies that support maker-centred approaches. Findings from qualitative and quantitative analyses suggest that most respondents favored maker-centered pedagogies, and that maker-centred pedagogies are being implemented most often in secondary STEM classrooms, though least in Mathematics. Teachers report using both high-tech digital tools and low-tech and traditional tools in making activities. Concerns raised by respondents, but rarely mentioned in literature on making, are student safety, having sufficient physical space for making, fostering appropriate attitudes toward making, and a need for additional teacher training in this area.

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

D'apprenant à enseignant : la construction identitaire et l'accès à la communauté professionnelle des enseignants de français en Colombie-Britannique

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-29
Abstract: 

Cette thèse examine la construction identitaire d’enseignants de français pour qui le français n’est pas une langue dominante en Colombie-Britannique (Canada). J’analyse plus spécifiquement les dynamiques interactionnelles vécues par des enseignants de français au cours de leur propre apprentissage du français jusqu’à leur situation actuelle en tant que professionnels du français langue seconde. Ces dynamiques sont constitutives de la construction de leur identité professionnelle d’enseignants, mais également de l’identité linguistique qu’ils développent, en tant que locuteurs du français, tout au long de leur parcours d’apprenant puis d’enseignant. Ma recherche emploie une méthodologie qualitative et biographique et repose sur une perspective critique pour analyser les propos venant de 17 enseignants et/ou étudiants- maîtres en formation professionnelle recueillies au moyen d’entrevues semi-dirigées. L’analyse des données montre que la confiance identitaire des participants suit une trajectoire qui correspond à trois stades de vie bien particuliers : la scolarité, la formation professionnelle et la carrière d’enseignant de français. Cette trajectoire s’inscrit dans les dynamiques interactionnelles qu’ils vivent à ces trois étapes et elle évolue en fonction des communautés au sein desquelles les participants s’insèrent. Ainsi, pour certains participants, la période de formation professionnelle à l’université est parfois rendue difficile par une remise en question de la légitimité de l’identité linguistique, et donc par extension, de l’identité professionnelle. Ce questionnement identitaire peut ainsi persister durant la carrière d’enseignant, rendant l’exercice de la profession d’autant plus difficile. En revanche, d’autres participants réussissent, à travers notamment la découverte de nouveaux discours sur le bilinguisme, à trouver une nouvelle légitimité professionnelle et linguistique ; cela contribue à leur donner alors le sentiment d’un accès possible à la communauté professionnelle et linguistique qu’ils désirent, dans le contexte de l’enseignement du français comme langue seconde en Colombie-Britannique.

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

Examining and modelling students’ selection of course modality

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-08
Abstract: 

Despite online courses’ growing popularity, the factors that shape undergraduates’ choice of course modality are still poorly understood. This study explores the relations between a wide range of factors and students’ modality selection, in a context where both modalities — face-to-face and online — were made available. Undergraduates from a Canadian University enrolled in face-to-face (N = 335) and online courses (N = 315) completed a questionnaire assessing personal factors, course attributes, goal orientation and learning strategies. Data were subject to descriptive and inferential statistical analysis, and two logistic regressions were performed to model students’ enrolment and preference. Analysis revealed that the groups differed significantly in twelve variables. For example, number of previous online courses and enjoyment of online courses were significantly higher for online students. Logistic regression analysis extended these findings, indicating ten significant predictors for online enrolment, among them higher number of previous online courses and higher work-avoidance goals.

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

Experiences of Latin Americans seeking professional jobs in Greater Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-05
Abstract: 

Canada is often acknowledged as one of the most welcoming countries for immigrants around the world. However, literature reveals that Canadian skilled immigrants, particularly those from Latin America, are often unemployed, underemployed, and earn significantly less than their Canadian-born counterparts. This dissertation examines the experiences of Latin American Skilled Immigrants (LSIs) in Metro Vancouver, including: the factors that prompt them to migrate; their experiences with the Canadian immigration system; and their transition into the new social space. I critically deconstruct dominant economic approaches to immigration and challenge human capital explanations of the phenomena. By utilizing a multiple case study research design, I conducted in-depth interviews with nine LSIs and coauthored their narratives. Filtered through the lenses of Bourdieu's theory of social reproduction, Rizvi’s ideas regarding the neoliberal imaginary, and Bauman’s concepts of the stranger’s aporia, I found that migration appears as a strategy of social reproduction in which participants aim to maintain or enhance their position in the social space. Furthermore, the neoliberal imaginary in conjunction with the participants’ habitus largely shaped their perception of what moving in the social space looks like and how it is achieved. With respect to their transition into Canada, I found that participants who entered with prearranged jobs (WPJ) had more positive experiences settling and adapting than those who entered without prearranged jobs (WOPJ). Participants WOPJ faced more onerous immigration processes and upon arrival, they encountered a contradictory society that intensely seeks to select the best and brightest, but does little to facilitate their integration and in some cases is even obstructive and discriminatory. Through the same theoretical framework, I realized that settling into the community and transitioning into the labour market did not solely depend on the participants’ intrinsic human capital, but also on a complex series of internal contradictions and relations of power created by the neoliberal imaginary. Acknowledging this complexity may lead to a more comprehensive and unprejudiced construction of the Canadian immigration system. This would allow more room to discuss and address the ethical and moral challenges that many immigration stakeholders face, particularly the higher education system in the era of academic neoliberalism.

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

Witnessing a mosaic emerge: The phenomenon of transformative learning within a professional master's degree program

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-08
Abstract: 

Personal and professional growth experienced by adult learners has been explored by education researchers for decades. Now in a second wave of theory development, transformational learning research has broadened from its earlier focus on cognitive and rational processes, to explore methods that promote and acknowledge a more holistic view of learning processes and an enhanced range of expressed and demonstrated outcomes that reflect multi-dimensions of transformative growth. What is not currently well documented in the research literature is evidence of sustained changes to personal and/or professional ways of being in the world arising from graduate level professional education programs. Unstructured phenomenological interviews were conducted with 20 alumni of a Master of Education in Educational Practice program (M.Ed. EP) 16-20 months post-graduation. Conversations focused on what the M.Ed. meant to them personally and professionally, experiences of sustained growth, as well as meaningful processes that facilitated and supported their expressed changes. Through phenomenological reduction, a common essence of the experience emerged which highlighted the role of the learning community and a variety of learning activities that were meaningful for the alumni’s change processes. A range of personal and professional outcomes were expressed as either transformative in nature, or professionally grounding, validating, and affirming in terms of professional identity and praxis. In this thesis, the phenomenon of the M.Ed. EP experience is presented as a narrative utilizing phenomenological reductions as exemplars to the nuanced experiences. Potentially adding to the second wave of transformative learning research, it is proposed that these varied accounts may all be expressions of transformative learning when applying a broader interpretive lens that includes professional praxis and professional identity changes as evidence of transformation. Collectively these 20 individual experiences, interpreted as nuanced accounts, act as pieces of a mosaic converging to provide a contextualized vision of transformative learning in the professional practice master’s degree. Findings may support faculty and educational designers who wish to facilitate transformative outcomes for their students.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Cher Hill
David Kaufan
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.