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

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A ravine of in-betweens: The body, dance, and writing into the excess

File(s): 
Date created: 
2022-04-07
Supervisor(s): 
Celeste Snowber
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Abstract: 

A ravine of in-betweens: The body, dance, and writing into the excess is an invitation for the reader to follow their body compass and undertake a personal journey. Through the exploration of seven guideposts (body, bodies, dance, somatics, improvisation, audiencing, pedagogies), I point towards an investigation of what it means to truly bring the body into pedagogical practices, particularly inclusive dance pedagogies. I build on somatics, arts-based research, and phenomenology to offer an understanding of the body that supports the possibility of audiencing one’s own dance. I propose that dance is research and, as such, the research starts with and from the body, and I question how to talk, think, and write of dance without objectifying it or using it as a metaphor for the research. By writing in dance, rather than about dance, I ask: How can I be true to the fact that dance is a form of non-linguistic knowledge, when writing about it? In doing so, I problematize the distinction between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ and, in particular, I discuss how the ‘practices’ of choreographing, teaching and dancing become ‘theory’. My dissertation explores my relationship with dance, but it moves from the personal to the social. I discuss the relationship my body holds with the endless possibilities of feeling, sensing, and dancing simultaneously and explore the use of a written language that comes from the experience of these possibilities. To honour the idea that my body, my research, and this dissertation keep changing through the process, I am also reflecting on the experience of living through a global pandemic and on the discovery of a ‘pandemic body’ and of emergent practices. I describe in detail the idea of an ‘excessive body’ to expand on the notion of body data as both an excess and a lack of evidence. Integral to this dissertation are three dance videos that I developed during my doctoral journey. These videos are not an ‘excess’ or a supplement to accompany my work. They are an essential part of this dissertation, since the act of dancing is the research: it is in the dancing that I find the flow of writing.

Document type: 
Thesis

How to teach bad boys a lesson: Student experiences of behaviour support in mainstream schools and secondary alternate education programs

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2022-04-05
Supervisor(s): 
Kumari Beck
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Abstract: 

This qualitative study examines the experiences of Canadian secondary school students who are enrolled in Behaviour Support-focused alternate school programs. Through semi structured interviews, I investigate students’ understandings of their experiences as alternate school students and students who transitioned from mainstream to alternate schools. Three themes emerged in the data including ordinary violence in lives of the students, consistently disrupted education, tenuous feelings of belonging at school, and desire for connection. My findings suggest that traditional approaches of behaviour support do not address systemic inequalities and individualize ‘problem’ students to the point of harm. The findings suggest that behaviour-support programs have the potential to improve students’ education by abandoning exclusionary disciplinary practices and working to integrate equity-focused approaches such as Restorative Justice in Education, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, and Anti-racist education. Finally, implications for schools, pedagogical approaches, and behaviour support policies are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis

Ethical wayfinding in decolonizing child and youth care education

File(s): 
Date created: 
2022-05-04
Supervisor(s): 
Ann Chinnery
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Abstract: 

In response to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015), post-secondary institutions across Canada are attempting to decolonize and Indigenize their pedagogies and curriculum, while also grappling with the ongoing colonial nature of education. This dissertation is motivated by my own experiences of being unsettled by my complicity in the reproduction of settler colonialism within Child and Youth Care (CYC) education. Utilizing wayfinding as methodology, I offer accounts of my attempts to navigate the material-discursive landscapes of decolonizing CYC education, my own ethical entanglements in my daily practice as a CYC educator, and my actions and intentions toward decolonizing my field of praxis. Reading posthumanist and Indigenous philosophies in conversation with each other, I examine the ways coloniality is deeply embedded in the CYC curriculum, and how posthumanist and Indigenous philosophies can work together in support of decolonizing CYC education. Through this process, I hope to invite readers into their own wayfinding journeys within decolonizing CYC education in ways that resist stability and certainty, and emphasize instead the urgency, possibility, and agency of our individual and collective responsibilities in decolonizing education.

Document type: 
Thesis

Embodied curiosity in the mathematics classroom through the affordance of the geometer's sketchpad

File(s): 
Date created: 
2021-08-26
Supervisor(s): 
Nathalie Sinclair
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines the role of curiosity in understanding the process of mathematical meaning-making. I argue that human curious behaviour coupled with the affordances of digital technology are instrumental in the way students construct mathematical meanings and that the body plays an important role in this curiosity-technology relationship. I use data collected from two secondary schools in Jamaica to examine how curiosity could be exploited in the mathematics classroom. The students who participated in this study were between thirteen and fifteen years old and followed the Jamaican Grade 9 curriculum. The data analysis is qualitative in nature and is based on selected pairs of students’ interactions involving digital technology and circle geometry theorems. To frame this research, I designed a theoretical framework, which I named Embodied Curiosity, that is grounded in theories of embodied cognition and draws on Andrew Pickering’s (1995) conception of agency. The main idea around this framework is the reconceptualization of curiosity (trait-curiosity), to relational-curiosity (the agential relationship between the students’ curiosity and digital technology). The broader aim of this study is to respond to the limited research in the mathematics education field around the affective dimension of learning and the integration of digital technology in the mathematics classroom. However, the specific goal is to identify the physical markers of curiosity and to investigate the extent to which Embodied Curiosity fosters the construction of mathematical meanings. In addition, this research seeks to find out how the potentialities and affordances of The Geometer’s Sketchpad contribute to the Embodied Curiosity process. This study accentuates the significance of considering Dynamic Geometry Environments (DGEs) as essential tools for stimulating curiosity. It also presents pedagogical implications for teaching circle theorems and fostering deeper understandings about how the attributes of a circle connect to each other. Furthermore, this research allows me to understand that mathematics teaching and learning should not be concerned solely with the nature of mathematics but also the nature of human beings.

Document type: 
Thesis

Mathematics as the science of material assemblage: Enactivist, quantum theoretical, and educational perspectives

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2021-09-15
Supervisor(s): 
Stephen Campbell
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Abstract: 

This dissertation explores implications of reconsidering the nature of mathematics from a conjoined enactivist/quantum theoretical perspective. The research is motivated by the view that reinterpreting the nature of mathematics through more inclusive materialisms has the potential to reinforce the fundamental relationship between mathematics and the material world, and to deepen our collective understanding of the ways in which our models of mathematics ultimately take on the meanings that they do. Four core themes underpin the overall research trajectory (i.e., new materialisms and issues of dualism, epistemological uncertainty, matters of agency, and complexity associated with emergent systems); however, only the initial two will be directly addressed within this particular document. Both yield insights into how specific facets of quantum theory and enactivism might supplement the more traditional discourse surrounding the nature of mathematics, and, in so doing, set conceptual groundwork for a broader mathematical (or rather material–mathematical) worldview. In light of these diverse themes, the program of research is necessarily interdisciplinary in scope, synthesizing literature from the interconnected domains of physics, mathematics, educational psychology, and philosophy more generally. Considering this literature alongside works from the established discourse of mathematics education, and reading it through a conjoined enactivist/quantum theoretical perspective, the dissertation elaborates points of disciplinary confluence, whilst expressing how such confluence might inform or reshape the sense of what mathematics is. By drawing upon the assemblage theory of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Elizabeth de Freitas and Nathalie Sinclair’s characterization of the body in/of mathematics, and the concept of quantum entanglement, the research also articulates a perspective regarding the mathematical structure of reality, and levies a view in which mathematics itself may be perceived as the science of material assemblage. A driving tenet of the research is the notion that a changed view of the material also changes one’s view of the mathematical.

Document type: 
Thesis

Ecocentric science education: More-than-human ethics, Goethean science, and poetic pedagogy

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2021-04-06
Supervisor(s): 
Heesoon Bai
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Abstract: 

This thesis includes an introduction, an extended narrative, and eight essays integrating philosophies on science education, poetic inquiry, and place-based learning. This collection explores a range of questions and philosophical concepts, including environmental ethics, contemplative practice, Goethean science, arts-based learning, and reflective pedagogy. The introduction first reveals my personal motivation and contextual milieu, and then identifies the thematic relationship—ecological literacy for undergraduate students fostered through ecocentric theory and practice—across the essays. My research is positioned within the germane literature, and I clarify the relational provocation that poetry and other arts-based scholarship afford. Part I (Ground) includes an extended narrative that serves to situate my lived experience and place-based connection, a personal journey in the North Cascades that led me to question anthropocentric science education. Carl Leggo’s “Living poetically” is discussed as a methodology that cultivates more-than-human connection that promotes contemplative practice and a reciprocal relationship with life phenomena. Part II (Roots) explores human exceptionalism and self-interest towards other-than-humans. The aesthetic, holistic and moral qualities of Romanticism are considered in regards to science education. Goethean science, where students understand nature inwardly, offers an alternative to Newtonian science by incorporating the intentionality of phenomenological learning. Part III (Trunk) examines what we mean by “science education” and the reduction of nature to the order of the inanimate. Incorporating Goethean science in today’s natural sciences classrooms steps us away from conventional reductionist science methodology and moves us toward a conscious-process-participation epistemology. Part IV (Branches and Leaves) uses Leopold’s land ethic as a philosophical framework for relational education, and outlines the practical application of the GPS ecocache, and its integration with Kolb’s model of experiential education. Reflections on KPU’s Amazon Interdisciplinary Field School through narrative, journal entries, and photography elucidate the importance of teacher adaptability, confident mentorship, contemplative education, and nature as teacher. Part V (Fruit and Seeds) considers being a wild researcher, positionality of the natural world, embedded anthropocentrism in animal experimentation, and provides examples for ecocentric teaching and research in science.

Document type: 
Thesis

Adaawgm Ts’msyen int suwilaay’magm: Teachings from our Ts’msyen narratives

File(s): 
Date created: 
2022-01-21
Supervisor(s): 
Vicki Kelly
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Abstract: 

Abstract For Indigenous communities everywhere, the passing of valued Knowledge Holders is resulting in the loss of history, language and culture on a daily basis. This is the case for our Ts’msyen Nation. In our Ts’msyen territories on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, our Sm’algyax language is taught in three of our surrounding Ts’msyen community schools and in all the schools within the Prince Rupert School District (SD #52) through the Indigenous Education Department. Over the last ten years, we have lost many of our program’s Ts’msyen Knowledge Holders and team-teachers. It is therefore a critical time to support the learning of our younger Sm’algyax team members, who work with our Sm’algyax program. Our Ts’msyen language strongly connects us to our territory, to each other, and to our environment − plants, animals, lands and waterways. The foundational teachings of who we are as Ts’msyen Peoples are embedded in our Sm’algyax language and in our traditional Ts’msyen adaawx (traditional narratives), as well as in the lived experience of our Ts’msyen Knowledge Holders. The purpose of this Ts’msyen inquiry was to bring our Sm’algyax language team together with our Ts’msyen Knowledge Holders to develop a relationship with and an understanding of selected Ts’msyen adaawx (traditional narratives), in the hope of developing the team’s understanding of our Ts’msyen history, language and culture. We drew on the knowledge embedded in our traditional Ts’msyen adaawx and our Sm’algyax language as well as from the lived experience of our knowledge Holders. We used our “Wila Loom Ts’msyen” (Ts’msyen ways of being) to guide our theoretical inquiry and methodological process. I drew on the processes and protocols of our Ts’msyen Feast planning process and ceremony to guide and frame our learning journey. It was critical that we followed our Ts’msyen protocols while working with our traditional knowledge. Throughout our adaawx inquiry we identified key Ts’msyen pedagogical principles of teaching and learning. We are confident that the teachings embedded in our Ts’msyen adaawx and in our Sm’algyax language, as well as in the teachings shared by our Knowledge Holders, are critical to knowing who we are and where we come from as Ts’msyen. We believe that these teachings will serve as the foundation of our Sm’algyax program.

Document type: 
Thesis

Représentations et rapports à l'identité et à la langue bretonne d'élèves de secondaires scolarisés à Diwan

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2021-09-16
Supervisor(s): 
Danièle Moore
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Abstract: 

This doctoral thesis in educational leadership focuses on the Breton language, on its revitalization and its transmission. Primarily spoken in Brittany, this Celtic language has faced a dramatic drop in the number of speakers after the 1950s, due to a rupture in intergenerational transmission. In a minority context, family transmission is an essential element of the preservation of a language. Currently, there is almost no transmission within families and today, Breton is mostly taught in schools such as the Diwan network in Brittany that offers an immersive educational program in Breton, an alternative to the traditional program of the French Ministry of Education taught in French. In addition to being an empirical analysis of Breton immersion and the challenges the Diwan schools face, this study examines the representations of the Breton language from the perspectives of students and their families, as well as leaders in education (teachers and principals) in Diwan secondary schools. It seeks to understand the role of these representations in the choice to enroll children in a Breton immersion program and their motivations to study in Breton and perhaps one day pass on this language. This qualitative research adopts a constructivist and interpretative epistemology, and is based on the findings of 22 individual and group interviews. While studying the social, historical, and cultural context in which this discourse takes place, the analysis of these interviews also allowed to make an inventory of the participants' representations about the Breton language, and to identify family politics and reasons to follow the Diwan program. The interviews granted further insight on the role of the Breton language as a marker of identity and cultural affiliation for students enrolled in Diwan. This study highlights the challenges faced by schools like Diwan with the French educational and legal system and how the participants of this study imagine the future of the Diwan network and the Breton language. It concludes with a reflection on the implications and responsibilities that rest on political and educational leadership in the face of the urgent matters of teaching, transmission and revitalization of the Breton language.

Document type: 
Thesis

It’s Hard to be a Diamond in a Rhinestone World: Counselling Needs and Experiences of Nonbinary Clients

Author: 
File(s): 
Date created: 
2021-08-23
Supervisor(s): 
Sharalyn Jordan
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Abstract: 

This critical qualitative study centers the counselling experiences, needs and desires of eight people with gender identities outside the binary. Thematic analysis of firsthand accounts shows a skeptical yet savvy engagement with the mental health establishment, beset by the spectre of stigma and by a lack of basic competency on the part of many counsellors that participants can access. Participants ask for more oversight for safety and aptitude in the field and for programs to better prepare therapists to meaningfully engage, not only with queer and trans people and subcultures, but with clients from structurally marginalized social locations more broadly. Reports from participants highlight major access inequities, particularly around cost and crisis care and they question norms around mental health and its service provision. This thesis is guided by and grounded in Spade’s framework of the three modes of transphobia (2011), those that occur with regard to: perpetrator/victim practices, disciplinary norms, and population-management. Findings can guide practitioners, trainee supervisors and policy makers in providing more accessible, appropriate, and effective care.

Document type: 
Thesis

Through the teachings of the local marine life: A case study of students’, student-teachers’, teachers' and leaders’ perceptions of Ocean Wise selected programming

File(s): 
Date created: 
2022-01-24
Supervisor(s): 
David Zandvliet
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Abstract: 

Recently, the concept of ocean literacy (OL) has been described as a way forward to help communities and individuals develop a more holistic understanding of their influences on the ocean and the ocean’s influences on their lives. Still, OL has not yet been fully enacted in the K-12 curricula in Canada and many environmental education programs are taking the lead to provide participants with this type of broader understanding. In this study, I provide a broad overview of OL initiatives as enacted by the Ocean Wise NGO (OW) and how these have influenced the diffusion of ocean literacy in British Columbia (BC). I selected a range of education programs for data collection including school visits to the Vancouver Aquarium, offsite mobile programming (with AquaVan), and teacher professional development programs, both onsite and with an online learning platform. Through an instrumental case study design, I combine qualitative approaches with observations, together with focus groups and interviews, and questionnaires to provide a broad view of activities from the perspective of program participants. In addition, I explore how the programs’ approaches influence participants in becoming ocean literate. The results revealed that by providing locally referenced experiences with hands-on, the programs have positive impact in participants experiences and connection to the ocean. Although there are limitations in the delivery of ocean literacy, the selected OW programs play an important role on introducing key concepts of our relationship with the ocean and advancing ocean literacy in BC.

Document type: 
Thesis