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

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Wayfaring: A phenomenology of international teacher education

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-05-30
Abstract: 

Becoming human is at the heart of education worth the while. In an age of accountability, tensions arise between teachers, parents, and policy makers, each of whom express markedly different ideas of what is most educationally worthwhile. It is in teacher education programs, however, where I suggest that becoming human can be cultivated with a variety of ends in mind and where the overriding aim can be to enliven a more socially just world. I propose that international placements provide unique opportunities for fostering the kind of teacher identity formation that puts pedagogical relationality at the forefront of our personal, interpersonal, and social commitments. I seek to understand how international practica are experienced by student teachers. What unique characteristics, formative of pedagogical practices, does an international teacher education placement for pre-service teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico, offer? Participant responses and my own stories reveal the phenomenon of discomfort as pedagogically transformative. Weaving these stories together as an account of teacher ‘wayfaring,’ I show how the discomfort experienced internationally can be very different from the way it is experienced in local and familiar teaching contexts. Discomfort in international teacher education ‘wayfaring’ offers the very possibilities for pedagogical growth that are in keeping with the fuller human becoming of students whose lives these novice teachers will touch.This phenomenological study contributes to the conversation about the importance of international placements in teacher education and the understandings gained have implications for programs locally and internationally. It addresses the tension expressed by those who describe their international placement as “the hardest” and “the best thing I’ve ever done.” I transpose dispositional leanings and learnings from time spent with a cohort of student teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico to the local settings in which I, as a school principal, am working in British Columbia. My commitment to phenomenological inquiry and a lean into discomfort have rejuvenated my liveliness and life practices as a traveller, educator, and researcher. Beginning teachers who embrace discomfort also learn that disruptions may well indicate something worth the while is happening that is worth leaning into. Their wayfaring can be pedagogically transformative.

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

Academic discourse socialization of culturally and academically diverse students: Exploring legitimacy of (non)oral participation in an international graduate program

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-05-30
Abstract: 

This study explores how a group of students from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds in a Canadian TESOL graduate program designed primarily for international students participate in class, how they perceive different modes of participation of other students in the class, and how this affects their academic socialization process. Through semi-structured qualitative interviews, I explore what are considered legitimate modes of (non) oral participation in their classrooms and what affects their academic discourse socialization. The study finds students develop and negotiate a variety of legitimate modes of participation, and the legitimacy of participation is fluid and contextual. That is, there is no definite mode of (non) oral participation that students need to perform for the participation to be perceived as legitimate by their peers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Roumiana Ilieva
Joel Heng Hartse
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Les pratiques de gestion des directions d'école pour l'amélioration des résultats scolaires des élèves dans un contexte d'éducation francophone minoritaire au Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-05-24
Abstract: 

Dans les écoles francophones en milieu minoritaire au Canada, assurer les apprentissages des élèves et le mandat communautaire contribue à une complexité accrue des tâches attendues des directions d’école. Des études sur les pratiques de gestion qui pourraient avoir une influence sur la réussite des élèves semblent alors justifiées pour mieux cerner les fonctions liées au leadership dans ces écoles. Reposant sur les conditions de l’école efficace et celle en amélioration continue, cette étude cherche ainsi à situer les pratiques de gestion des directions d’école dans une dynamique de changement organisationnel. Cette thèse a pour objectif de recueillir les perceptions des directions, des enseignants et des élèves de la huitième année d’écoles francophones d’une province de l’Ouest canadien sur des pratiques de gestion qui sont habituellement associées aux écoles efficaces et en amélioration continue. Cette recherche-intervention, où le chercheur a également été un acteur dans l’organisation, comprenait trois périodes d’échantillonnage en utilisant des questionnaires de type Likert sur un peu plus de deux ans. En général, les directions d’école montrent une grande confiance dans leurs pratiques de gestion tout au long des trois périodes d’échantillonnage. Les perceptions des élèves quant à l’environnement éducatif abondent dans le même sens que celles des directions d’école et des enseignants. Les participants indiquaient aussi que l’école était ordonnée et sécuritaire. Avec le temps, les enseignants affichaient une légère baisse dans leurs perceptions des pratiques de gestion de leur direction. L’étude montre aussi que les enseignants arborent un grand sentiment d’appartenance à leur école. Ils reconnaissent les directions d’école pour leurs pratiques de gestion lorsque ces dernières s’impliquent avec les élèves ainsi qu’avec les parents tout en assurant une gestion des comportements des élèves. Les résultats, bien que limités par le milieu dans lequel l’étude s’est déroulée, alimentent les réflexions des dirigeants des systèmes scolaires qui souhaitent appuyer le développement des pratiques des directions des écoles dans une perspective d’amélioration de la réussite des élèves.

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

Social connections are key: Experiences of immigrant women learning English as an additional language (EAL)

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-05-08
Abstract: 

Learning an additional language as an adult can be daunting and can present a variety of challenges for newcomers to Canada, including immigrant women. In order to highlight the learning experiences of immigrant women, I explore how some immigrant women learn EAL within a community located in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada and take into account various perspectives. In particular, I examine challenges they face and review how EAL programs and educators currently provide settlement support through a variety of programs and initiatives and provide further suggestions in order to optimize settlement. My methodology is qualitative and includes in-person interviews, classroom observations as well as personal reflections. My findings suggest that social connections are extremely valuable and beneficial in supporting language learning and settlement. Unfortunately, they may not be formally recognized as a central goal of all English language programs.

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

An examination of an anxiety intervention for young children: Little Champions

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-16
Abstract: 

Objective: Child anxiety is known for its high prevalence rates, early onset, and potentially devastating consequences for future functioning if left untreated (Mian, 2014). Researchers argue that early intervention can mitigate the negative consequences of anxiety (Hirshfeld-Becker & Biederman, 2002). This feasibility study examined an anxiety intervention, Little Champions (LC) -- a 7-week group anxiety intervention for children ages 4-7 years and their parents -- in reducing symptoms of child anxiety. Secondary objectives were to assess if results were maintained at 1-month post-test, assess the impact of LC on parent functioning, and determine the effectiveness of a LC intervention delivered to parents alone compared to when parents and children attended sessions together. Method: Non-identifying data from 46 children aged 48- to 90- months (M=75.90 months, SD=12.20), and their parents from three community Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) centers in the Fraser Region (Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission) of BC were collected as part of a program review. Families were assigned to participate in the LC parent-child condition (n = 16), LC parent-only condition (n = 15) or waitlist condition (n = 15). Families were assessed at pre-test, post-test and 1-month follow-up assessment. Child outcome variables included anxiety, behavioural inhibition and global impressions of treatment gains by clinicians. Parent outcome variables were parent anxiety, parent stress and parent self-efficacy. Results: Children from both treatment groups failed to show differences in anxiety symptoms compared to the waitlist group. Parents from both treatment groups showed an increase in parent self-efficacy across time. Further there was a statistically detectable difference between the treatment conditions and the waitlist condition on parent efficacy. There were no differences between the two treatment conditions (LC delivered to parents with and without children present) for all measures. Conclusion: Despite improving parenting efficacy, the LC intervention is not acceptable at this time for use in clinical practice with young children with anxiety symptoms. Further there were no differences between the two intervention groups at post-test.

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

Dia rhythm and light, colour, form and compassion… an “icon(ograph)ical” voyage in ways of reading Byzantine ecclesial monuments

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-01-18
Abstract: 

What can Iconography, also known as Byzantine art say to 21st century people? Arts of the past reveal local visual languages that envelop the values, morality and spirituality of peoples of the past, who are geographically and/or timely distant from us, contemporary 21st century citizens living in an era of consumerism and ecological and social degradation. The significance of studying visual arts of the past is important for raising awareness of our selfhood in relation to the “Other” in the human and more than human world. On the pretext of engaging aesthetically with the frescoes inside the chapels of Panayia Phorviotissa, Panayia Arakiotissa and the Akathist Hymn chapel of Saint John Monastery from Cyprus (all chapels are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List) dated back to 12th-14th AC, this thesis invites the reader into a journey through the medium of art to read the aforementioned chapels and proceed into reflection: What might the frescos imply in our “troubled” times? What would the study of the fresco mean for the “more- than –human-world”? How would the art of the past such as iconography challenge hierarchies and our position on cosmos? In addition to the above, based on and combining imaginative education, place-based pedagogy, museum and arts education, this dissertation describes how all the above were used for the development of a program of activities to explore the aforementioned murals. Based on the technical characteristics of the murals like rhythm, line, form and colour this research narrates a trip inwards, upwards and through compassion outwards to embrace the world.

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

Finding Wonderland - Artistic identity as a way of being

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-18
Abstract: 

As playwright and actor, through the integration of performative and embodied forms of inquiry that embrace autobiographical writing, I explore my history as an artist, and reflect upon the importance of the arts in my life. Performative Inquiry invites the researcher to attend to significant moments that occur through creative action. Embodied Inquiry helps us deepen the connection to our bodies, utilizing them in research through writing, moving, listening and being. Both forms of inquiry use the body, the imagination and personal experiences. By reflecting on those experiences and being awake to those individual moments, we can gain great insight into who we are as artists and educators. In presuming academic identity to be separate from artistic identity by assuming the role of “teacher”, even that of “music teacher”, I lost the identity of artist. The absence of artist created tension as I thought I had to choose between one or the other. After less than five years of teaching, the disconnect between the artist I was and the person I was becoming, continued to grow. I experienced an absence of artist and I had to find her again. I performed my thesis as a one woman show, with a reflective written piece exploring the shift in thinking necessary to re-imagine myself as both artist and teacher. Throughout the process, self-sabotage and self-doubt were at play.

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

A critical analysis of Mexican migrant farm workers in British Columbia: Language, oppression, and resistance

Date created: 
2018-12-13
Abstract: 

Migrant farm workers have come to Canada through federal programs since 1966 in response to socio-historical conditions here and the sending countries. While Caribbean workers speak, read and write in English, most Mexican workers' main language is Spanish, besides native languages. Very few Mexicans speak English. Despite language proficiency in English, racist and abusive practices have played out in the experience of many Caribbean and Mexican migrant farm workers. The federal programs that allow Canadian employers to hire these workers are part of an exclusionary system that resulted in the commodification and marginalization of migrant workers that come from the Global South. A second consequence of such programs is the imbalanced power relationships that materialize in daily experiences of racism and abuse for most Spanish-speaking migrant workers in an English-dominant society like British Columbia. Governments negotiate the contract for these workers and do not include language proficiency in English or French for workers from Spanish-speaking countries as a requirement to work in Canada. In addition, the federal government neither provides services for migrant farm workers in their own language nor offers them any possibilities to access language education while in Canada. This study focuses on the experiences of racism and exclusion that a group of Mexican migrant agricultural workers in BC face in their daily interactions with Canadian society. It also describes some strategies these workers, as "non-legitimate" speakers, have created to deal with such practices in an English-dominant society. I explore how concepts like race, racism and the racialization of “the other” work in conjunction with other theoretical conceptualizations such as social space, language, power and discourse to understand better the vulnerability of many workers to exploitation and exclusion in BC. This analysis provides ways to understand how language has turned into a strategy to deal with racist discourses and social practices in Canada. In other words, language becomes a site of oppression for many workers in BC, while it turns into a site of resistance for a few of them. This study fills the gap in the literature of analysis of migrant farm workers in BC from a theoretical framework that relates to issues of race, language, and power.

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

Dehumanization in the workplace

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-08
Abstract: 

Workplace stress is often referred to as the epidemic of the century. It is so normalized within our society that it often goes unrecognized and unquestioned. This study describes and explores the phenomenon of workplace stress. This study looks at some of the key factors, such as overwork, being undervalued in the workplace, and emotional labour, that contributes to workplace stress. This study makes a case that workplace stress is a cloaked phenomenon for dehumanization. The research starts with theoretical overview of dehumanization through different theoretical constructs, such as instrumentalism and moral disengagement, and also through Haslam's and Montague's models of dehumanization. The theoretical explorations here consider how we have allowed ourselves to become dehumanized and how we have allowed others to be dehumanized. The study then looks at how dehumanization shows up in the workplace. From there, it takes a historical perspective, and considers how successive industrial revolutions resulted in the current forces and pressures that insidiously dehumanize workers in the workplace. The study then moves to ways we can recover, in a more systemic and conscious way, the human dimension in workplaces, and build and develop caring communities through leadership-facilitated positive changes. It offers different perspectives on how one can cultivate awareness of self and expand one's sense of one’s own humanness. Finally, this study focuses on the outer direction and examines the collective work experience and attempts to answer the question: How does an organization shift to be an organization that is humanizing.

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

Exploring reflective practice and intentional response with teachers: Implications for wellbeing in the classroom

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-02
Abstract: 

This qualitative study explores teachers’ use of reflective practice and an intentional response cycle to help guide their responses to unexpected and/or challenging events in the classroom. I refer to the relational approach to intentional response and reflective practice as a reflectiveresponse cycle. This cycle brings together two areas of research that have tended to be treated separately in relation to research on teaching practice: effective coping skills and reflective inquiry and practice. Drawing on a reflectiveresponse cycle, teachers learn to engage in a simple and accessible process that can assist them in feeling more present and in control of their reactions to unexpected and/or challenging events that arise in their day-to-day interactions with students in the classroom. The focus of the literature review is research on reflective inquiry and practice, as well as an exploration of related concepts that impact teacher wellbeing, including the construction of one’s sense of self, mindful awareness, and compassion. A phenomenological method was used to examine, understand, and describe the lived experiences of nine teacher participants as they engaged with the reflectiveresponse cycle over a 4-month period. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the contextual meaning of the participants’ experiences before and after their interaction with the reflectiveresponse cycle. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Thirteen themes and three subthemes were identified. These themes and subthemes are represented under five categories: 1. Critical reflection: Insights (Questioning Beliefs and Teacher Identity) and New Perspectives; 2. Mindful Awareness: Presence and Shifts in Practice; 3. Compassion: Open-Hearted and Open-Minded; Teacher Wellbeing: Optimism, Gratefulness and Agency; 4. Mentorship: Guidance, Probing and Challenging, Encouragement, and Outcomes. Two overarching themes, Connection and Growth, emerged through this process. The findings indicate a need and a desire on the part of teachers for reflective practice and intentional response education and professional development. Many of the participants spoke of ending their school day feeling the burden of guilt from unintended reactions toward challenging situations in the classroom. They found their engagement with the reflectiveresponse cycle to be beneficial in relieving their sense of guilt, replacing it with an improved sense of connection with their students. Implications for educational practice and future research are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Susan O'Neill
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.