• Augmented Video Self-Modeling as an Intervention Technique for Young Children with Selective Mutism: An Explanatory Sequential Study

      Bork, Poling Marianne; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This mixed methods study examined efficacy of augmented video self-modeling (VSM) as an intervention technique for young children with selective mutism (SM). Participants included 3 children aged 8 (including a set of twins) and their parents and classroom teachers. The first, quantitative phase was guided by Kehle, Madaus, Baratta, and Bray (1998), who proposed using augmented VSM as an intervention package comprising a combination of video self-modeling, stimulus fading, and reinforcement behavioural techniques. The second, qualitative phase was to identify participants’ experience and perspective on augmented VSM, and to examine contexts and individual cases of SM and results obtained from the first phase of the study. Parents, teachers, and the researcher conducted a comprehensive assessment of participants’ verbal behaviour across multiple settings and throughout baseline, intervention, post-intervention, and 1-month follow-up. Interviews with open-ended questions elicited perspectives of parents and teachers, while close-ended post-intervention questionnaires with the children revealed individual experience with the intervention. Statistical analyses indicated participants’ verbal communicative behaviour increased significantly during post-intervention, and their progress was maintained at 1-month follow-up. Communication scores increased significantly for all children. All parents and teachers rated the intervention as effective, with one parent further commenting that intervention results exceeded her expectations. A recent meeting with the school board’s Speech Language Pathologist revealed the 3 participants are speaking freely inside the school, and that the twins are indistinguishable from other children 1 year post-study. Limitations of the study and future research implication and direction are discussed.
    • “Because It Breaks Your Heart”: A Study of Transformational Learning Among Adults With Cancer

      Boyko, Susan; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Despite provincial improvement efforts, quantitative patient satisfaction survey results for adults with cancer consistently indicate lower satisfaction with how healthcare professionals address their emotional and information, education, and communication needs. These emotional and cognitive needs greatly influence how adults perceive their care experience. More information is needed about adult cancer patients’ cognitive and emotional needs to understand how to improve their experience and satisfaction with their cancer treatment and care. Qualitative methods such as narrative inquiry have the potential to provide greater insight into adults’ personal experience. This qualitative, arts-informed narrative inquiry examined how illness narratives and arts-based artifacts can deepen understanding of the cognitive and emotional needs of a cohort of adult women with cancer. Purposeful sampling was used to select 6 adult women with cancer who had experienced diagnosis, treatment and were living with cancer. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews and the researcher’s journal notes. Data analysis revealed additional connections between themes derived from the women’s illness narratives and their arts-based artifacts. These findings were further illustrated by creating a collective body-map. Results demonstrate how arts-based methods expand what is known about the cognitive and emotional needs of adult women with cancer and provide adult educators with direction for planning transformative education. The study discusses implications for transformational adult education practice and educational research, and offers some initial thoughts on the use of arts-based methods to foster perspective transformation. The study will be of particular interest to adult educators who are interested in promoting transformational learning for doctors, other healthcare professionals, and adults with cancer.
    • 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 (Brock University, 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.
    • 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.
    • A Case Study of Doctoral Research Assistantships: Access and Experiences of Full-Time and Part-Time Education Students

      Niemczyk, Ewelina; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Graduate students’ development as researchers is a key objective in higher education. Research assistantships provide distinctive spaces where graduate students can be nurtured and shaped as novice researchers as they develop theoretical and methodological knowledge. However, few scholars have investigated graduate student research assistants’ experiences and the ways these experiences are influenced by institutional regulations, informal practices, and social relations. The purpose of this case-within-a-case study was to explore the research assistantship experiences of full-time and part-time doctoral students in Education at an Ontario university. I present separate subcases for full-time and part-time students, and an overarching case of research assistantships in one program at a specific period of time. The main question was how do institutional regulations, informal practices, and social relations influence full-time and part-time doctoral students’ access to and experiences within research assistantships. My objective was to draw from interviews and documents to acquire a thorough understanding of the organizational characteristics of research assistantships (i.e., structures of access, distribution, and coordination of participation) to explore the ways institutional regulations, informal practices, and social relations promote, prevent, or limit full-time and part-time students’ legitimate peripheral participation in research assistantships. Although I devoted particular attention to the ways students’ full-time and part-time status shaped their decisions, relationships, and experiences, I was conscious that other factors such as gender, age, and cultural background may have also influenced doctoral research assistant experiences.
    • Conceptions of Quality and Approaches to Quality Assurance in Ontario’s Universities

      Goff, Lori-Ann; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2015-02-13)
      Many international, political, and economic influences led to increased demands for development of new quality assurance systems for universities. Like many policies and processes that aim to assure quality, Ontario’s Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) did not define quality. This study sought to explore conceptions of quality and approaches to quality assurance used within Ontario’s universities. A document analysis of the QAF’s rationale and structure suggested that quality was conceived primarily as fitness for purpose, while suggested indicators represented an exceptional conception of quality. Ontario universities perpetuated such confusion by adopting the framework without customizing it to their institutional conceptions of quality. Drawing upon phenomenographic traditions, a qualitative investigation was conducted to better understand various conceptions of quality held by university administrators and to appreciate ways in which they implemented the QAF. Three main approaches to quality assurance were identified: (a) Defending Quality, characterized by conceptions of quality as exceptional, which focuses on administrative accountability and uses a hands-off strategy to defend traditional notions of quality inputs and resources; (b) Demonstrating Quality, characterized by conceptions of quality as fitness for purpose and value for money, which focuses on accountability to students and uses centralized engaged strategies to demonstrate how programs meet current priorities and intended outcomes; and (c) Enhancing Quality, characterized by conceptions of quality as transformation, which focuses on reflection and learning experience and uses engaged strategies to find new ways of improving learning and teaching. The development of a campus culture that values the institution’s function in student learning and quality teaching would benefit from Enhancing Quality approaches to quality assurance. This would require holistic consideration of the beliefs held by members of the institution, a clear articulation of the institution’s conceptions of quality, and a critical analysis of how these conceptions align with institutional practices and policies.
    • Critical Connections: Teachers Writing for Social Justice

      Smith, Sherry Ramrattan; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Essence of Feeling a Sense of Community: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Inquiry With Middle School Students and Teachers

      Cassidy, Kate J.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-04-10)
      In contemporary times, there is a compelling need to understand the nature of positive community relationships that value diverse others. This dissertation is a hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry into the essence of what it means to feel a sense of community. Specifically, I explored this phenomenon from the perspective of middle school teachers and students through the following questions: What meanings do students and teachers ascribe to feeling, experiencing, and developing a sense of community in their classes? To what extent do students’ and teachers’ ideas about feeling a sense of community include the acceptance of individual differences? Together these questions contributed to the overarching question, what is the essence of feeling a sense of community? As the data pool for the research, I used 192 essays and 218 posters from students who had been asked to write or draw about their visions of a positive classroom community where they felt a sense of community. I conducted 9 teacher interviews on the topic as well. My findings revealed one overarching ontology, Being-in-Relation, which outlined a full integration between individuality and community as a “way of being.” I also found five attributes that are present when individuals feel a sense of community: Supporting Others, Dialogue, An Ethic of Respect and Care, Safety, and Healthy Conflict. Contributions from this research include extensions to the literature about community; clarity for those who wish to establish a strong foundation of community relationships within formal and non-formal educational programs; insight that may assist educators, leaders, and policy makers within formal educational systems; and an opportunity to consider the extent to which the findings may point toward broader implications.
    • The Experience of Being a Collaborative Writer

      Reid, Joanne Louise; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This qualitative self-study narrated and analyzed my experience of writing an academic textbook collaboratively with 2 other authors. Social constructivist theory and the idea of cognitive apprenticeship provided a conceptual framework. In this study, I compared my experience with the benefits, challenges, and relational dynamics reported in the literature. Data included face-to-face interviews, recorded Skype conversations, emails, and journal entries. Strategies that can enhance collaborative writing are presented. The study concludes with a discussion of the ways collaborative writing disrupts traditional cultural and academic notions of writing.
    • Exploring Adolescent Student Perceptions and Experiences of Educational Care

      Schat, Sean; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Despite the presence of teacher caring intentions, too many students in North American schools do not experience successfully communicated care from their teachers. This study explores adolescent student perceptions and experiences of their teachers’ intended communication of care, seeking to better understand and explain educational care. The results of this study provide insights that could help teachers more successfully communicate their intended care to their students, leading to the development of caring teacher-student relationships. This study is a qualitative research design that used a constructivist grounded theory research methodology (Charmaz, 2006, 2014). The study employed unstructured interviews, working with young adult participants who reflected on their perceptions and experiences of educational care while they were in middle school and high school. The study drew on constructivist grounded theory analysis approaches and processes in order to analyze the data, resulting in important descriptions and explanations. The study generated six primary results, (1) a rearticulation of the problem of care in education as the disconnect between teacher caring intentions and student experiences of educational care; (2) a recognition that the problem of educational care is the failure to differentiate between communicating intended care and completing of successfully communicating care (a process that includes the response of the cared-for); (3) a description of the successful communication of care, which includes three distinct categories or dimensions and a number of related sub-categories, or elements; (4) a grounded theory of the intended communication of educational care; (5) a description of the student’s role in the development of a caring teacher-student relationship; and (6) a theoretical explanation of the development of a caring teacher-student relationship. The results of the study provide important insights into how educational care is successfully communicated and how caring teacher-student relationships can be developed. These results have implications for in-service and pre-service teachers, providing them with knowledge about the nature and communication of educational care. The results also provide guidelines and resources that can help teachers to communicate care more effectively and successfully.
    • Exploring the Factors That African Refugee-Background Students Identify as Being Helpful to Their Academic Success

      Laryea, Edwin W. D.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      African refugee-background (ARB) students achieve high standards of success, yet their lived experiences are frequently absent from educational literature in Canada. Current and past research has focused on their academic deficits, their vulnerabilities, and their maladjusted behaviour, neglecting the positive attributes they bring to their host countries. Using specific data collected from semi-structured interviews with eight male and female ARB high school graduates between the ages of 18-25, this qualitative study employed a critical race paradigm to explore factors that ARB high school graduates identified as being helpful in their academic success. The study sought to challenge the deficit views on ARB students’ education by highlighting the perspectives of academically successful ARB students in a secondary school setting. The findings from the ARB students’ narratives highlighted three major themes: (a) success extends beyond the classroom and it cannot be normalized, (b) success is multifaceted and attainable by all, and (c) intrinsic motivation and resilience is a coping strategy for academic success. Additionally, the findings indicated that ARB students used a variety of coping strategies to overcome the negative and stressful environments in their high schools. Disseminating their narratives of success provides real-life examples for other refugee-background students to emulate, in pursuit of their own academic success, amidst the educational and societal barriers that they encounter. These findings add to the limited amount of research on ARB students’ academic success and may provide alternative strategies on refugee education for
    • Exploring the Implications of White Teacher Identity in a Critical Participatory Action Research Study

      Radersma, Kimberly; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      I am convinced that there is an urgent need for transformative work among white teachers in North America in general, and in southern Ontario specifically, that engages them in a critical understanding of their racial identity. This dissertation research project undertakes a possible way to invite teachers into such dialogue. Using critical participatory action research (CPAR) as a methodology, this project focused on developing race consciousness among six white teachers from an independent school in southern Ontario. I led these teachers in a series of workshops that attempted to guide them through an understanding of their white identity in order to observe the possibility of increasing their “race cognizance” (Frankenberg, 1993). I explain the findings by uncovering and analyzing narrative themes that emerged from the data. Throughout this work, I have attempted to honour the words of W.E.B. DuBois (1903), who claimed long ago that “the hands of none of us are clean if we bend not our energies to righting these great wrongs.” The great wrongs he spoke—the wrongs of racism, of white supremacy, of dismissing the import of racial justice work—though long ago, are ongoing, shifting and being perpetuated most notably in places where our youth are being nurtured. The urgency of the work of challenging the complicity and lack of awareness among white teachers is work that I have taken up in this project.
    • 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.
    • Facebooking for Feminism: Social Network Sites as Feminist Learning Spaces

      Lane, Laura; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program
      Social media such as Facebook have become a significant space where social interactions increasingly take place. Within these spaces, users construct and engage with information that may facilitate social movements such as feminism. This study explored ways feminists learn, challenge, and reproduce discourses related to gender and feminism through Facebook. This research is positioned within current literature and theory related to gendered contexts of social media engagement and feminist social movement learning. Using qualitative interviews and a digital focus group, I investigated the experiences of 9 women who either learn about or engage with feminism through Facebook. Using critical feminist discourse analysis, I coded and analyzed themes that related to ways feminism is represented, constructed, navigated, and limited through Facebook. Specifically, I considered ways in which feminism can be learned, ways Facebook can be used as a learning platform, and ways gendered power relations can influence feminist engagement online. I advocate for continued exploration of and engagement with feminist uses of Facebook.
    • Facilitating an Educational Development Initiative Focused on Reading Comprehension Instruction: Exploring University Professors' Experiences and Beliefs

      Parr, Cynthia; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This qualitative exploratory case study focused on the experiences of university professors as they implemented reading comprehension instruction in their discipline-specific first- and second-year courses within the context of an educational development initiative. During 3 individual interviews, a pre-instructional dialogue, and 2 group sessions across 1 academic year, 5 professors reflected on their beliefs about reading and teaching as they engaged with planning and implementation of reading comprehension instruction. Collectively, participants appeared to plan comprehension instruction in ways consistent with their beliefs about academic reading, teaching first- and second-year students, and prior instructional approaches, and cited learning that challenged, confirmed, and/or intensified their pre-existing beliefs. Participants also suggested that a variety of formats for interaction and information dissemination during the educational development initiative were valuable in that they allowed for flexible facilitation. The study may offer insights into reading comprehension and its instruction within university courses as well as personalized educational development for university professors. Participants’ beliefs, experiences, and meaning making processes are positioned as influences on learning, and participants’ investments of self during educational development are emphasized. Implications for theory include the importance of acknowledging and honouring the complexities of professors’ investments of self in the design and facilitation of initiatives. Related implications for practice include exploration of professors’ beliefs, demonstrated respect and consideration, and responsive communication. Recommendations for future research include extension of the study’s scope and lines of inquiry.
    • 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..
    • 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."
    • 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.