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

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Divine resonances: A spiritual inquiry guided by the archetypal insights inspired through song

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-14
Abstract: 

A gift, an offering, the divine understandings given as words and music intermingle to bestow spiritual insights of divine wisdom informed by agape, conveying archetypes through narrative. Divine resonances enable empathic connectivity by engaging archetypes interpretively within songful experiences as narratives emerge from the songful soundscape. Song compels the perception of emotionality through story, entailing a communion with the human condition, the eternal, and the divine. Love, joy, regret, hope, hopelessness, loss, these are but a few of the enduring themes that music may convey through a myriad of comedic, romantic, tragic, and satiric/ ironic renderings. Through poetry, words activate an understanding of the ego, the soul and the self as we connect with resonance to narrative character archetypes. Divinity is imbued in song. Through inquiry, the ethical merges with aesthetic practices, as song inextricably interwoven with being and becoming fosters a responsible subjectivity as it is informed by agape with the divine grace brought to our lives in the wisdom given by song.

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

Alexithymia and atypical facial expressions in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Date created: 
2018-06-08
Abstract: 

This dissertation research sought to determine in what ways, and in what contexts, emotional facial expressions are atypical in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) population, and to investigate the specific role that alexithymia—a condition characterized by difficulties identifying and describing one’s feelings—may relate to facial expression production abilities in individuals with and without ASD. Results of a meta-analysis showed that on average, individuals with ASD display facial expressions less frequently and are less likely to share facial expressions with others in naturalistic settings or automatically mimic the expressions of real faces or face stimuli in comparison to non-ASD comparison groups. Their facial expressions are rated as more awkward or unusual in appearance, sometimes making it difficult for observers to identify what emotion is being expressed. However, across studies, participants with ASD do not express emotions less intensely, nor do they respond more slowly to emotion-eliciting stimuli. Age, intellectual functioning of ASD participants, and methodological features of the study, significantly moderated the strength of effect sizes. A second study examined spontaneous facial production in response to emotionally arousing videos in children with and without ASD. Results showed that alexithymia, but not ASD traits, was negatively correlated with spontaneous production of negative facial expressions. A similar pattern of results was found in a third study, such that alexithymia and depression were associated with less spontaneous emotional expression during tasks that required typically developing undergraduates to watch emotional video clips or tell emotional stories about their personal lives. In a separate task in which participants were instructed to pose emotional facial expressions, it was hypothesized that reduced voluntary expression accuracy would be more strongly related to ASD traits than alexithymia or depression, although support for this prediction was mixed. Results provide partial support for the suggestion that reduced spontaneous expression and reduced voluntary expression accuracy have distinct correlates. I argue that the alexithymia construct deserves significantly more research and clinical attention within the ASD population.

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

Giving the void its colours: The art of living in existential paradox

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-06-29
Abstract: 

The scholarship of many existential thinkers has been dedicated to how humans can live with an awareness of existential paradox without attempts at denial or reconciliation that may lead to destructive behaviour. This thesis continues this inquiry and explores the art of living with this condition without attempts at reconciliation. More specifically, it consists of five paper-based chapters each offering possibilities for the continued development of an art of living in existential paradox. The first paper explores how Schneider’s awe-based life philosophy, when combined with Buber’s I-Thou philosophy and hermeneutic inquiry, may mitigate the potential negative consequences of existential paradox. The second paper examines the potential link between reactions to existential givens of existence and adult attachment styles, which may help explain why some individuals live more readily with the absurdity of the human condition. In the third paper, the oeuvres of Camus and Becker are examined with respect to how absurd creation may be used as a practice that facilitates lucid awareness and acceptance of existential paradox. The fourth paper is an exploration that combines Epicurean and existential philosophy to imagine how an expanded view of human motivation might lead to new ways of living with existential paradox. The final paper explores the practice of purposefully leaning into existential paradox to trigger aesthetic experiences of awe, which may help to positively reframe one’s experience of existential realities. The last chapter explores how the gleanings from each of the papers may be applied and contribute to the field of counselling and psychotherapy, which would form an integral part of an art of living in existential paradox.

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

Challenging racial privilege in international experiential learning programs with Canadian university students

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-07-11
Abstract: 

This study examines the experiences of Canadian undergraduate students who have completed an International Experiential Learning (IEL) trip in Uganda. Through qualitative pre-trip and post-trip interviews as well as journals, I investigate how students’ understandings of racial privilege were maintained or disrupted through their work and participation in an IEL program. Using the lenses of postcolonialism and critical whiteness studies, three themes emerged in the data including imaginary Africa, helping and growing, and Canadian identity. My findings suggest that students have gained greater awareness of their racial privilege after their trip. I argue that IEL programs have the potential to challenge Canadian students’ understandings of the Global South in ways that help them identify their social location and personal motivations for enrolling in an IEL program. I contend that this will minimize the likelihood of reinforcing racial privilege dynamics between the Global North and South and promote critical reflection of how racial privilege impacts everyday lives beyond the IEL experience.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Elizabeth Marshall
Kumari Beck
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

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.