• Predicting performance on fluid intelligence from speed of processing, working memory, and controlled attention

      Anum, Adote.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      Fluid inteliigence has been defined as an innate ability to reason which is measured commonly by the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM). Individual differences in fluid intelligence are currently explained by the Cascade model (Fry & Hale, 1996) and the Controlled Attention hypothesis (Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999; Kane & Engle, 2002). The first theory is based on a complex relation among age, speed, and working memory which is described as a Cascade. The alternative to this theory, the Controlled Attention hypothesis, is based on the proposition that it is the executive attention component of working memory that explains performance on fluid intelligence tests. The first goal of this study was to examine whether the Cascade model is consistent within the visuo-spatial and verbal-numerical modalities. The second goal was to examine whether the executive attention component ofworking memory accounts for the relation between working memory and fluid intelligence. Two hundred and six undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 28 completed a battery of cognitive tests selected to measure processing speed, working memory, and controlled attention which were selected from two cognitive modalities, verbalnumerical and visuo-spatial. These were used to predict performance on two standard measures of fluid intelligence: the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) and the Shipley Institute of Living Scales (SILS) subtests. Multiple regression and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were used to test the Cascade model and to determine the independent and joint effects of controlled attention and working memory on general fluid intelligence. Among the processing speed measures only spatial scan was related to the RPM. No other significant relations were observed between processing speed and fluid intelligence. As 1 a construct, working memory was related to the fluid intelligence tests. Consistent with the predictions for the RPM there was support for the Cascade model within the visuo-spatial modality but not within the verbal-numerical modality. There was no support for the Cascade model with respect to the SILS tests. SEM revealed that there was a direct path between controlled attention and RPM and between working memory and RPM. However, a significant path between set switching and RPM explained the relation between controlled attention and RPM. The prediction that controlled attention mediated the relation between working memory and RPM was therefore not supported. The findings support the view that the Cascade model may not adequately explain individual differences in fluid intelligence and this may be due to the differential relations observed between working memory and fluid intelligence across different modalities. The findings also show that working memory is not a domain-general construct and as a result its relation with fluid intelligence may be dependent on the nature of the working memory modality.
    • Opening truth to imagination : the pragmatism of John Dewey and Richard Rorty

      McClelland, Kenneth A.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      This study explores in a comparative way the works of two American pragmatist philosophers-John Dewey and Richard Rorty. I have provided a reading of their broader works in order to offer what I hope is a successful sympathetic comparison where very few exist. Dewey is often viewed as the central hero in the classical American pragmatic tradition, while Rorty, a contemporary pragmatist, is viewed as some sort of postmodern villain. I show that the different approaches by the two philosophers-Dewey's experiential focus versus Rorty's linguistic focus-exist along a common pragmatic continuum, and that much of the critical scholarship that pits the two pragmatists against each other has actually created an unwarranted dualism between experience and language. I accomplish this task by following the critical movement by each of the pragmatists through their respective reworking of traditional absolutist truth conceptions toward a more aesthetical, imaginative position. I also show how this shift or "turning" represents an important aspect of the American philosophical tradition-its aesthetic axis. I finally indicate a role for liberal education (focusing on higher nonvocational education) in accommodating this turning, a turning that in the end is necessitated by democracy's future trajectory
    • From the ground up : understanding how teachers and administrators make sense of tension

      Fenton, Nancy E.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      Strategies designed to improve educational systems have created tensions in school personnel as they struggle to respond to competing demands of ongoing change within their daily realities. The purpose of this case study was to investigate how teachers and administrators in one elementary school made sense ofthese tensions and to explore the factors that constrained or shaped their responses. A constructive interpretative case study using a grounded theory approach was used. Qualitative data were collected through document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation. In-depth information about teachers' and administrators' experiences and a contextual understanding oftension was generated from inductive analysis of the data. The study found that tension was a phenomenon situated in the context in which it arose. A contextual understanding of tension revealed the interactions between the institutional, personal, and emotional domains that continually shaped individual and group behavioural responses. This contextual understanding of tension provided the means to reinterpret resistance to change. It also helped to show how teachers and administrators reconstructed identities and made sense in context.. Of particular note was the crucial nature of the conditions under which teachers and adlninistrators shaped meaning and understood change. This study sheds light on the contextual intricacies of tension that may help leaders with the complex design and implementation of educational change..
    • Design, development and assessment of the Java Intelligent Tutoring System

      Sykes, Edward R.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-05-28)
      The "Java Intelligent Tutoring System" (JITS) research project focused on designing, constructing, and determining the effectiveness of an Intelligent Tutoring System for beginner Java programming students at the postsecondary level. The participants in this research were students in the School of Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences at Sheridan College. This research involved consistently gathering input from students and instructors using JITS as it developed. The cyclic process involving designing, developing, testing, and refinement was used for the construction of JITS to ensure that it adequately meets the needs of students and instructors. The second objective in this dissertation determined the effectiveness of learning within this environment. The main findings indicate that JITS is a richly interactive ITS that engages students on Java programming problems. JITS is equipped with a sophisticated personalized feedback mechanism that models and supports each student in his/her learning style. The assessment component involved 2 main quantitative experiments to determine the effectiveness of JITS in terms of student performance. In both experiments it was determined that a statistically significant difference was achieved between the control group and the experimental group (i.e., JITS group). The main effect for Test (i.e., pre- and postiest), F( l , 35) == 119.43,p < .001, was qualified by a Test by Group interaction, F( l , 35) == 4.98,p < .05, and a Test by Time interaction, F( l , 35) == 43.82, p < .001. Similar findings were found for the second experiment; Test by Group interaction revealed F( 1 , 92) == 5.36, p < .025. In both experiments the JITS groups outperformed the corresponding control groups at posttest.
    • What's the difference under the gown? : new professors' development as university teachers

      Simmons, Nicola.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-05-28)
      This study explores how new university teachers develop a teaching identity. Despite the significance ofteaching, which usually comprises 40% of a Canadian academic's workload, few new professors have any formal preparation for that aspect of their role. Discipline-specific education for postsecondary professors is a well-defined path; graduates applying for faculty positions will have the terminal degree to attest to their knowledge and skill conducting research in the discipline. While teaching is usually given the same workload balance as research, it is not clear how professors create themselves as teaching professionals. Drawing on Kelly's (1955) personal construct theory and Kegan's (1982, 1994) model ofdevelopmental constructivism through differentiation and integration, this study used a phenomenographic framework~(Marton, 1986, 1994; Trigwell & Prosser, 1996) to investigate the question of how new faculty members construe their identity as university teachers. Further, my own role development as researcher was used as an additional lens through which to view the study results. The study focused particularly on the challenges and supports to teaching role development and outlines recommendations the participants made for supporting other newcomers. In addition, the variations and similarities in the results suggest a developmental model to conceptions ofteaching roles, one in which teaching, research, and service roles are viewed as more integrated over time. Developing a teacher identity was seen as a progression on a hierarchical model similar to Maslow's (1968) hierarchy of needs.
    • Partnership for arts integration : exploring the experiences of teachers and artists working with integrated arts programs

      Attenborough, Debra.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2008-05-28)
      This research acknowledges the difficulties experienced by teachers presenting integrated arts curricula. Instructional support is offered by arts organizations that provide arts partnerships with local schools boards. The study focuses on the experiences of 8 teachers from a Catholic school board in southern Ontario who participated in integrated arts programs offered by The Royal Conservatory of Music's Learning Through the Arts™ (LTTATM) program and a local art gallery's Art Based Integrated Learning (ABIL) program and examines their responses to the programs and their perception of personal and professional development through this association. Additionally, questions were posed to the . "aftisfs"from-tneSe]Jfograrrrs;-and"they liiscus·sed·how"participating in-collaboration with teachers in the development of in-school programs enabled them to experience personal and professional development as well. Seven themes emerged from the data. These themes included: teachers' feelings of a lack of preparedness to teach the arts; the value of the arts and arts partnerships in schools; the role of the artists in the education of teachers; professional development for both teachers and artists; the development of collegiality; perceptions of student engagement; and the benefits and obstacles of integrating the arts into the curriculum. This document highlights the benefits to both teachers and artists of arts partnerships between schools and outside arts organizations.
    • Show me, help me, let me : supporting teachers' changing conceptions of reading assessment and reading instruction

      Grierson, Arlene L.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      This qualitative inquiry used case study methodology to explore the change processes of 3 primary-grade teachers throughout their participation in 7 -month professional learning initiative focused on reading assessment and instruction. Participants took part in semimonthly inquiry-based professional learning community sessions, as well as concurrent individualized classroom-based literacy coaching. Each participant's experiences were first analyzed as a single case study, followed by cross-case analyses. While their patterns of professional growth differed, findings documented how all participants altered their understandings of the roles and relevancy of individual components of reading instruction (e.g., comprehension, decoding) and instructional approaches to scaffold students' growth (e.g., levelled text, strategy instruction), and experienced some form of conceptual change. Factors identified as affecting their change processes included; motivation, professional knowledge, professional beliefs (self-efficacy and theoretical orientation), resources (e.g., time, support), differentiated professional learning with associated goal-setting, and uncontrollable influences, with the affect of each factor compounded by interaction with the others. Comparison of participants' experiences to the Cognitive-Affective Model of Conceptual Change (CAMCC) and the Interconnected Model of Teacher Professional Growth (IMTPG) demonstrated the applicability of using both conceptual models, with the IMTPG providing macrolevel insights over time and the CAMCC microlevel insights at each change intervaL Recommendations include the provision of differentiated teacher professional learning opportunities, as well as research documenting the effects of teacher mentorship programs and the professional growth of teacher educators. ii
    • Opening a can of worms : perceptions and practices of teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador incorporating the role of a therapist

      Maich, Kimberly.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2009-05-28)
      Educational trends of inclusion and collaboration have led to changing roles of teachers, including an emphasis on personal support. To provide for social, emotional, and behavioural needs, teachers may adopt a therapeutic role. Many models for such support are proposed, with most models including the importance of student-teacher relationships, a focus on social, emotional, and behavioural development, and direct instruction of related skills. This study includes 20 interview participants. In addition, 4 of the 20 interview participants also took part in a case study. It examines whether participants adopt a therapeutic role, their beliefs about student-teacher relationships, whether they provide interventions in personal issues, and instructed social, emotional, and behaviour skills. Findings show that teachers adopt an academic role as well as a therapeutic role, believe student-teacher relationships are important, are approached about personal issues, and instruct social, emotional, and behavioural skills. Talking and listening are commonly used to provide support, typically exclusive of formal curricular goals. The challenges in providing front-line support issues that may be shared within an established student-teacher relationship are considered. Support in turn for teachers who choose to provide support for personal issues in the classroom within a therapeutic role are suggested, including recommendations for support and referral related to specific social, emotional, or behavioural scenarios that may arise in the school community.
    • Educating for love of wisdom : John Dewey and Simone Weil

      Windhorst, H. Dirk.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2009-05-28)
      The writings of John Dewey (1859-1952) and Simone Weil (1909-1943) were analyzed with a view to answering 3 main questions: What is wisdom? How is wisdom connected to experience? How does one educate for a love of wisdom? Using a dialectical method whereby Dewey (a pragmatist) was critiqued by Weil (a Christian Platonist) and vice versa, commonalities and differences were identified and clarified. For both, wisdom involved the application of thought to specific, concrete problems in order to secure a better way of life. For Weil, wisdom was centered on a love of truth that involved a certain way of applying one's attention to a concrete or theoretical problem. Weil believed that nature was subject to a divine wisdom and that a truly democratic society had supernatural roots. Dewey believed that any attempt to move beyond nature would stunt the growth of wisdom. For him, wisdom could be nourished only by natural streams-even if some ofthem were given a divine designation. For both, wisdom emerged through the discipline of work understood as intelligent activity, a coherent relationship between thinking and acting. Although Weil and Dewey differed on how they distinguished these 2 activities, they both advocated a type of education which involved practical experience and confronted concrete problems. Whereas Dewey viewed each problem optimistically with the hope of solving it, Weil saw wisdom in, contemplating insoluble contradictions. For both, educating for a love of wisdom meant cultivating a student's desire to keep thinking in line with acting-wanting to test ideas in action and striving to make sense of actions observed.
    • Identifying language needs of ESL students in a Canadian university based intensive English language program

      Nakaprasit, Thinan; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2010-10-25)
      This study investigated the needs of adult ESL learners intending to pursue higher education in Canada. Its chief purpose was to enable educators and administrators to design ESL programs that would prepare students to function at optimal levels in academic and social settings during their university studies. The study adopted a mixed research method that was predominantly qualitative in its orientation and narrative in its implementation. It focused on an Intensive English Language Program (IELP) offered at an Ontario university. Using a holistic approach, the study sought to represent the various perspectives of all the participants in the program: the students, the instructors, and the administrators. Analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data gathered from 17 students, 6 instructors, and 1 administrator in the IELP showed that to a large extent the academic needs ofESL learners in the IELP were generally not being met. Most notably, the study found that learners were not receiving sufficient training in speaking and listening skills, a factor that contributed to their sense of insecurity and lack of confidence in their ability to communicate successfully in academic and social settings. The study also revealed that the solutions to many of the problems it identified lay not in the classroom but in the way the ESL program was structured administratively. One major recommendation to come out of the study is that programs like the IELP should be restructured so as to give them greater flexibility in meeting individual needs. While the study labored under certain limitations and did not achieve all of its goals, it did succeed in creating awareness ofthe problems and in establishing a methodological approach that can serve as a framework within which future research may be conducted in this somewhat neglected area.
    • I must walk through the gate : an ontological necessity

      Brown, Hilary; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      This research is a self-study into my life as an athlete, elementary school teacher, leamer, and as a teacher educator/academic. Throughout the inquiry, I explore how my beliefs and values infused my lived experiences and ultimately influenced my constructivist, humanist, and ultimately my holistic teaching and learning practice which at times disrupted the status quo. I have written a collection of narratives (data generation) which embodied my identity as an unintelligent student/leamer, a teacher/learner, an experiential learner, a tenacious participant, and a change agent to name a few. As I unpack my stories and hermeneutically reconstruct their intent, I question their meaning as I explore how I can improve my teaching and learning practice and potentially effect positive change when instructing beginning teacher candidates at a Faculty of Education. At the outset I situate my story and provide the necessary political, social, and cultural background information to ground my research. I follow this with an in depth look at the elements that interconnect the theoretical framework of this self-study by presenting the notion of writing at the boundaries through auto ethnography (Ellis, 2000; Ellis & Bochner, 2004) and writing as a method of inquiry (Richardson, 2000). The emergent themes of experiential learning, identity, and embodied knowing surfaced during the data generation phase. I use the Probyn' s (1990) .. metaphor of locatedness to unpack these themes and ponder the question, Where is experience located? I deepen the exploration by layering Drake's (2007) KnowlDo/Be framework alongside locatedness and offer descriptions of learning moments grounded in pedagogical theories. In the final phase, I introduce thirdspace theory (Bhabha, 1994; Soja, 1996) as a space that allowed me to puzzle educational dilemmas and begin to reconcile the binaries that existed in my life both personally, and professionally. I end where I began by revisiting the questions that drove this study. In addition, Ireflect upon the writing process and the challenges that I encountered while immersed in this approach and contemplate the relevance of conducting a self-study. I leave the reader with what is waiting for me on the other side of the gate, for as Henry James suggested, "Experience is never limited, and it is never complete."
    • A case study investigation of the learning needs of the Niagara grape and wine community

      Ker, Kevin Warren; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      The Niagara Grape and Wine Community (NGWC) is an industry that has undergone rapid change and expansion as a result of changes in governmental regulations and consumer preferences. As a result of these changes, the demands of the wine industry workforce have changed to reflect the need to implement new strategies and practices to remain viable and competitive. The influx of people into the community with little or no prior practical experience in grape growing (viticulture) or winemaking (oenology) has created a need for additional training and learning opportunities to meet workforce needs. This case study investigated the learning needs of the members of this community and how these needs are currently being met. The barriers to, and the opportunities for, members acquiring new knowledge and developing skills were also explored. Participants were those involved in all levels of the industry and sectors (viticulture, processing, and retail), and their views on needs and suggestions for programs of study were collected. Through cross analyses of sectors, areas of common and unique interest were identified as well as formats for delivery. A common fundamental component was identified by all sectors - any program must have a significant applied component or demonstration of proficiency and should utilize members as peer instructors, mentors, and collaborators to generate a larger shared collective of knowledge. Through the review of learning organizations, learning communities, communities of practices, and learning networks, the principles for the development of a Grape and Wine Learning Network to meet the learning needs of the NGWC outside of formal institutional or academic programs were developed. The roles and actions of members to make such a network successful are suggested.
    • The expression and development of teachers' capacities within two learning communities : a participant-observer case study

      Pancucci, Sonya; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      The learning community model has been an integral component of teacher development in Ontarian schools and beyond. This research was conducted to understand how teachers' personal capacity and professional, interpersonal, and organizational competencies are developed and expressed within this context. Nineteen elementary teachers and administrators participated in the study from November through January 2007. A qualitative case study methodology was used to investigate the role ofteachers' capacities and competencies in learning communities. Combined data sources from semistructured interviews, research journals, and document review were used to gather data about teachers' capacities and competencies. The study included 3 phases of analysis. In the final phase the analysis provided 3 qualities of the teachers at Jude and Mountain Schools (pseudonyms): identification as professionals, investment in others, and institutional affiliation that may explain how they differed from other educators. The data revealed these three themes, which provided an understanding of educators at Jude and Mountain Schools as dedicated professionals pushing practices to contribute to school life and address student learning needs, and as teachers who reflected on practices to continue expanding their skills. Teachers were heavily invested in creating a caring culture and in students' and team members' learning. Educators actively participated in solving problems and coplanning throughout the school levels and beyond, assumed collective responsibility for all pupils, and focused on generating school-wide consistent practices. These qualities and action patterns revealed teachers who invested time and effort in their colleagues, who committed to develop as professionals, and who affiliated closely with every aspect of school living.
    • Leadership and its impact on the success of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded collaborative research projects

      Chandler, Frances; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2011-10-18)
      This dissertation investigates the practice of leadership in collaboratively designed and funded research in a university setting. More specifically, this research explores the meaning of leadership as experienced by researchers who were, or still are, engaged on Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded collaborative research projects in a university setting. This qualitative study (Gay & Airasian, 2003) is situated within a social constructivist paradigm (Kezar, Carducci, & Contreras-McGavin, 2006) and involves an analysis of the responses from 12 researchers who answered 11questions related to my overarching research question: What is the impact of leadership on university based collaborative research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council based on the experiences of researchers involved? The data that emerged supported and enhanced the existing literature related to leadership and collaborative groups in academia. The type of preferred leadership that emerged as a result of this research seemed to indicate that the type of leader that appeared to be optimal in this context might be described as a functional collaborative expert.
    • TA tales : [re]storying the teaching and learning experiences of university teaching assistants

      Grose, Jill D.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2012-04-04)
      This inquiry examines reported critical incidents that shaped the lived experience of 5 university TAs as they negotiated multiple roles and relationships within the teaching and learning context. Questions and ensuing conversations explore the ways in which these critical incidents in teaching contributed to the TAs' understanding of themselves as teachers, of teaching and learning tensions in higher education, and of the institutional contexts in which they work. The inquiry also explores the ways in which narrative, particularly creative fiction, can represent the stories TAs tell of their experiences.
    • Role Differences in the Perception of Injustice

      Gosse, Leanne L.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2012-07-30)
      The current dissertation examined role differences in the perception of injustice; specifically, differences in how victims and offenders respond to a situation that they both agree is unfair. Past research has demonstrated that role affects reactions to transgressions and injustice, including recall of transgressions, and attributions of blame and responsibility (e.g., Baumeister, Stillwell, & Wotman, 1990; Mikula, Athenstaedt, Heschgl, & Heimgartner, 1998). However, to date, little work has examined role differences in perceptions of why an event is perceived as unfair (i.e., how an injustice is framed) or how justice should be restored. These were the perceptions I focused on in the present thesis. I also examined potential concerns that may motivate victims' and offenders' justice reactions, as well as the potential interaction between role and relationship quality in predicting justice reactions. In Studies 1 and 2, several of the predicted role differences in concerns were found; however, these did not lead to the expected differences in framing and restoration. In Study 1, using a vignette methodology, I found differences primarily in how victims and offenders believed justice should be restored. Overall, the significant role effects showed an accommodating response pattern (e.g., offenders proposed punishment more than did victims and neutral observers, whereas victims recommended minimal compensation more than did offenders and neutral observers), inconsistent with previous research and my hypotheses. Study 2, which employed a sample of romantic couples, substantiated the accommodating pattern found in Study 1. Study 3, which sampled a broader range of relationships, also showed i \ examples of accommodating reactions. In addition, Study 3 provided some support for the hypothesized interaction between role and relationship quality, such that responses were more accommodating as relationship quality increased. For example, offenders more strongly endorsed methods of restoration such as offender apology and recognition of the relationship with increasing relationship quality. Overall, the results from this dissertation support the general notion that victims and offenders respond to injustice differently, and, in-line with previous research on other justice-related responses (e.g., Mikula et at, 1998), suggest that victims and offenders show an other-serving, accommodating tendency in justice reactions when relationship quality is high.
    • Beyond the Veil: A Case Study of Context, Culture, Curriculum, and Constructivism at Dubai Women's College

      Lovering, Mary; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2012-07-30)
      This case study of curriculum at Dubai Women's College (DWC) examines perceptions of international educators who designed and implemented curriculum for female Emirati higher-educational students in the UAE, and sheds light on the complex social, cultural, and religious factors affecting educational practice. Participants were faculty and supervisors, mainly foreign nationals, while students at DWC are exclusively Emirati. Theories prominent in this study are: constructivist learning theory, trans formative curriculum theory, and sociological theory. Change and empowerment theory figure prominently in this study. Findings reveal this unique group of educators understand curriculum theory as a "contextualized" construct and argue that theory and practice must be viewed through an international lens of religious, cultural, and social contexts. As well, the study explores how mandated "standards" in education-in the form of the International English Language Testing System (IEL TS) and integrated, constructivist curriculum, as taught in the Higher Diploma Year 1 program-function as dual curricular emphases in this context. The study found that tensions among these dual emphases existed and were mediated through specific strategies, including the use of authentic texts to mirror the IEL TS examination during in-class activities, and the relevance of curricular tasks.
    • Critical Connections: Teachers Writing for Social Justice

      Smith, Sherry Ramrattan; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2012-07-31)
      This qualitative research study explores how teachers who write social justicefocused curriculum support resources conceptualize curriculum and social justice. Curriculum used in schools reflects underlying assumptions and choices about what knowledge is valuable. Class-based, cultural, racial, and religious stereotypes are reinforced in schooling contexts. Are the resources teachers create, select, and use to promote social justice reproducing and reinforcing forms of oppression? Why do teachers pursue social justice through curriculum writing? What are their hopes for this work? Exploring how Teachers' beliefs and values influence cy.rriculum writing engages the teachers writing and using curriculum support resources in critical reflective thought about their experiences and efforts to promote social justice. Individual and focus group interviews were conducted with four teacher-curriculum writers from Ontario schools. In theorizing my experiences as a teacher-curriculum writer, I reversed roles and participated in individual interviews. I employed a critical feminist lens to analyze the qualitati ve data. The participants' identities influenced how they understand social justice and write curriculum. Their understandings of injustices, either personal or gathered through students, family members, or oth.e. r teachers, influenced their curriculum writing . The teacher-curriculum writers in the study believed all teachers need critical understandings of curriculum and social justice. The participants made a case for representation from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups on curriculum writing teams. In an optimistic conclusion, the possibility of a considerate curriculum is proposed as a way to engage the public in working with teachers for social justice.
    • Voices of the Undereducated in Adult Education and Training in Ontario: A Phenomenographic Approach

      Maingot, Carolyn A.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2012-08-28)
      This doctoral study was an exploration of the qualitatively different ways in which undereducated adults (at or below a high school level of formal education) reported their experiences of participation in adult education and training (AET) programmes offered by publicly funded school boards or their arms-length affiliate in the province of Ontario. In light of a low participation rate in the Canadian AET system by undereducated adults, the rationale was to examine whether or not AET programmes are meeting the needs of undereducated adults beyond a narrow focus on an instrumental approach associated with human capital development. This study was located in a theoretical framework consisting of (a) learning theory, (b) motivations for participation, (c) general barriers to participation, (d) structural barriers to participation, and (e) transformative learning. The purposive sample consisted of 11 participants between the ages of 18-58 who were drawn from service providers in 4 geographic regions of Ontario. Data collection consisted of (a) demographics, (b) voice recordings from face-to-face participant interviews, (c) participant weekly critical incident reports, and (d) researcher reflexive journal notes. Data were analyzed in accordance with a phenomenographic approach within a constructivist/interpretivist research paradigm. Findings revealed 4 qualitatively different ways in which undereducated adult learners reported their experiences of participation in AET and were reported as the voice of (a) security, (b) engagement, (c) relationship, and (d) competency. Implications to theory and practice and to further inquiry were outlined.
    • Violent Video Game Playing, Moral Reasoning, and Attitudes Towards Violence in Adolescents: Is There a Connection?

      Bajovic, Mirjana; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2012-10-11)
      In this study of 109 adolescents from the eighth grade of seven public elementary schools in Ontario, the relationship among adolescents’ violent video game playing patterns, habits and attitudes, their levels of moral reasoning, and their attitudes towards violence in real life was investigated. In addition, gender differences were addressed. The mixed-methodology was employed combining qualitative and quantitative data. The research results confirmed that playing video games in general is a very popular activity among those adolescents. Significant negative relationship was found between adolescents’ amount of time playing violent video games during the day and their scores on The Sociomoral Reflection Measure. Significant difference was also found between adolescents who play violent video games and those who do not play violent video games on their scores on The Attitudes Towards Violence Scale. Boys and girls significantly differed in the amount of playing video games during the day, the reasons for playing video games, their favourite video game choices, and their favourite video game character choices. Boys and girls also significantly differed on their choices of personality traits of selected video game characters, the identification with video game characters, and their mood experiences while playing video games. The findings are put into the educational context and the context of normal development, and suggestions are given for parents, for educators, and for future violent video game research.