Recent Submissions

  • Decolonizing Graduate Education: Considerations for Integration and Internationalization of a Master of Education Program

    Wainaina, Esther; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Abstract The internationalization of graduate education at Western higher education institutions (WHEIs) is seldom offered in programs that segregate international students from domestic students. The Master of Education Internationally educated Students Program (MEd ISP) at Brock University in Ontario, Canada had offered a segregated graduate program prior to the university’s decision to terminate the program and integrate all future international and domestic students in its Master of Education (MEd) program. While current knowledge of internationalization approaches at WHEIs reveals disparities between official discourses for internationalization and international students’ experiences at WHEIs, this study identified a gap in the knowledge of WHEIs’ strategies for transitioning internationalization from segregated to integrated graduate programs. Adopting a decolonial theoretical framework, the study explored dominant, neoliberal, and colonizing approaches to internationalization in the MEd ISP and sought to advocate for decolonizing considerations for future internationalization of the MEd program at Brock University. The study engaged 5 international students and 1 domestic student in a decolonizing phenomenology that utilized qualitative interviews to explore participants’ firsthand accounts of the strengths and weaknesses of the MEd ISP as well as their perceptions of colonizing and decolonizing attributes of internationalization at Brock University. Interestingly, the study found that the most relevant attributes of colonizing educational approaches were perceptions of the superiority of Western knowledge and not the segregationist approach to internationalization as had been anticipated. Rather than offering formulations for decolonizing the internationalization of graduate programs, the study recommends a process of pertinent questioning that problematizes naturalized Western knowledge through epistemic and ontological pluralization. Further, the study offers initial questions that can be advanced through an iterative interaction of neoliberal, critical, and decolonizing considerations for internationalization of graduate programs at WHEIs. The narrowed scope of the study’s pool of participants contributed a significant limitation to the generalizability of the study. Future studies on internationalization approaches at WHEIs may be inspired to build on the study’s findings to include insights from graduate program administrators and instructors.
  • Nurturing Empathy through Critical Media Literacy and Design Thinking: Partnering Pedagogy to Build Community

    McKinney-Lepp, Melissa; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    What counts in critical literacy education today and for learners’ futures? The neoliberal agenda in Canada prioritizes standardization, efficiency, and results- based performance. The social isolation and unrest of the global pandemic are reflected in media headlines and images. This thesis considers narrow views of success in light of critical educational practices that nurture competencies such as critical empathy, collaboration, and communication. This arts-informed multimodal research contemplates how educators can begin addressing what pedagogies work and are important for learners right now. This action research and thesis is framed by design thinking (Ask, Imagine, Design, Build, Evaluate, Refine and Share). Research examined experiences created in a primary classroom where pedagogies were designed to nurture critical empathy (CE) by utilizing design thinking (DT) and critical media literacy (CML). Students worked for a six-month period on an inquiry into family cultures and traditions, which included photographing an important family object, editing, and manipulating these photos (their own and their peers’) and sharing them with audiences. The photographic processes and pedagogies build on Wendy Ewald’s Literacy through Photography work. Data included photographs, journaling, and audio and video recordings were analyzed using my adaptation of Suchar’s (1997) framework. Findings indicated that CE could be nurtured through intentional experiences utilizing DT and CML, reaching both participants and a wider audience who interacted with student work. Specifically, CE was nurtured when students worked towards common goals through opportunities that built upon collaboration, communication, and problem solving over time. CE was nurtured when students had opportunities to become experts, take risks, practice being leaders, and make decisions in a safe and supportive environment. Lastly, CE was nurtured when students had opportunities to build relationships with their peers and consider multiple points of view. Limitations included separating teacher-learner from teacher-researcher roles, and restrictions put into place due to the global pandemic. This research examines and illustrates an alternative to performance-based “best practice” teaching. Utilizing critical literacy, multimodal, photographic pedagogies employed through design thinking, an environment was created where each student could be successful, and competencies were valued over standardized results.
  • Enhancing Online Faculty Development Programs During COVID-19 and Beyond: A Multiple Case Study of Faculty Members Teaching Online

    Saddik, Wessam; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This study explored how the development needs of faculty members teaching online can inform professional development (PD) programs in higher education (HE), especially after a year and a half of transition to fully online courses due to the pandemic. The research was conducted in a midsize university in Ontario and utilized a multiple case study approach that examined the cases of four faculty members through an emergent process of in-depth interviews. The main criterion used to select participants was an experience with online teaching of at least 1 year. Data were collected from interview responses as well as from documents representing research studies the faculty members wrote about their teaching experience. Multiple cases were constructed using an inductive coding analysis process, and a cross-case analysis was conducted to identify themes common across the cases. Inductive coding was used to analyze the data. Findings revealed that faculty PD programs should be diversified when it comes to program format, duration, regularity, and topics. Programs differentiated in these ways are essential to accommodate diverse PD needs as well as the different stages of online faculty members’ development of expertise. One-time PD events may not offer the best opportunity to develop faculty members. Informal learning opportunities such as learning communities, research publishing, and mentoring are the most preferred and should be prioritized. HE institutions play an important role in enhancing PD programs either directly through improving program design or indirectly through modifying institutional policies and budgets.
  • An Auto-Ethnodramatic Study of the Lived Experiences of Becoming a Mother Via Anonymous Egg Donation

    Hossack, Allison Jane; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Abstract This auto-ethnodramatic study investigated the experiences of becoming a mother via anonymous egg donation. Few studies have explored the experience of women who become pregnant with donor eggs; women who both embody and disrupt the dominant narrative of motherhood by not being genetically related to the children they nurture. The study presents vignettes informed by performance practices and auto-ethnography that interrogate my struggles as the recipient of donor eggs, including: travelling for fertility treatment in the United States where egg donors are paid, in comparison to Canada where remuneration beyond basic expenses is a criminal offense; relinquishing my privacy regarding my infertility and use of donor eggs; worrying about the physical/mental health of young egg donors; navigating the rights of donor-conceived children to know their genetic progenitors versus the donor’s right to anonymity; and facing the difficult decision regarding what to do with leftover embryos. I drew upon my experience interpreting and performing scripted dialogue as a professional actor, reflexive journaling, personal artifacts and memories, online discussion forums, and the extant literature. Live performance and discussion of personal stories create educational spaces for medical and nursing students and their professors, parents in donor conception support groups, and the general public, troubling social stigmas surrounding women’s reproductive bodies, infertility, and assisted reproduction. Respectful, empathetic dialogue can encourage participants to push against the rigid structures of the heteronormative family and discover their own stories of self, family, and belonging. These stories can be used to advocate for more dignified and compassionate practices within the fertility industry for donors, parents, and most especially the children we are so eager to love.
  • An Evolutionary-Developmental Perspective on Altruistic Thinking, Social Reasoning Skills, and Self-Perceptions in Middle Childhood

    Coccimiglio, Maria; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This study utilized an evolutionary developmental framework to explore individual differences and relations among prosocial behaviours and social reasoning skills related to self-perceptions in middle childhood. There is little research in this area specifically, as an evolutionary developmental framework is seldom applied to this age group within the context of education. Participants (n=70) aged 9-11 years old were recruited from different schools under one school board. Participants completed self-report measures online that measured altruistic thinking, perceived academic competence, school-related perceived stress and pressure, global self-worth (GSW), theory of mind (ToM), and empathy. Results showed a significant difference in empathy between those who scored high versus low in altruistic thinking. Altruism was positively correlated with affective empathy and cognitive ToM (e.g., a type of social reasoning skill that involves cognitive perspective-taking), although cognitive ToM was not related to affective empathy. Perceived academic competence was positively correlated with GSW. High levels of perceived classroom-related stress and pressure were negatively correlated with perceived academic competence and GSW. In contrast, high levels of perceived stress and pressure positively correlated to high levels of affective empathy. Implications for practice include the development of strategies for educators to promote positive relationships and altruistic behaviours among students to aid in student well-being. Implications for research include support for the application of an evolutionary developmental perspective to the social domains of classroom dynamics.
  • The Proof Is in the Program: Mental Health Literacy Policy Disjunctures in Ontario’s Teacher Education Programs

    Yendt, Christopher; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    In June 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced the expansion of initial teacher education (ITE) programs, doubling the number of placement days while incorporating additional content within classrooms to address changing classroom dynamics. Among these additions was a reference to mental health and addictions, a pressing concern given that roughly 1 in 5 young people experience mental health problems during their formative educational years. In September 2015, these enhanced two-year programs came online and enrolled the first cohort of teacher candidates. In this thesis I argue that there has been a breakdown between the “context of policy” and “context of practice” as described by Bowe et al. (1992) within the development and implementation of the enhanced ITE programs offered by participating faculties of education in Ontario. Specifically, this study looked at the process through which the enhanced programs were initiated, the requirements inscribed in policy created by macro, intermediate, and micro level actors, and the challenges in ensuring that content is distributed and applied equally to all students. The study evaluated whether mental health and addictions content was incorporated within the enhanced program, and if it made a difference to the educational outcomes of graduates. Findings indicate that while the programs themselves were modified successfully to address the mental health requirements outlined in O. Reg 347/02, new teacher graduates continue to see the training they have received as inadequate, with significant room for improvement. To address these concerns this study provides solutions for both macro and intermediate level actors to incorporate either a proactive or reactive approach.
  • A Corrective Feedback Intervention in a Minority French Language School

    Ayotte Irwin, Tracy; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Abstract Educators in French schools in southern Ontario are challenged with the task of increasing their students’ oral linguistic ability in French within their predominantly English-speaking surroundings. Additionally, teachers wonder how they can provide guidance without discouraging students’ efforts and negatively affecting their self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not corrective feedback (CF) from teachers and peers decreased the number of anglicisms and grammatical errors that students typically make and how an intervention based on CF would affect students’ self-efficacy with respect to their beliefs about their own communication skills. The research was premised on sociocultural and skills acquisition theory. The study employed a convergent mixed methods design that took place in a Grade 3/4 classroom in a French school in southern Ontario for a period of 4 months. Quantitative data were collected from oral communication tests, standardized vocabulary tests, and attitudinal tests. Qualitative data were derived from field notes taken from observations and interviews. The quantitative results indicated that the number of anglicisms and grammatical errors did not diminish significantly but students’ behaviour showed an increased awareness of language form and an increased willingness to improve. Qualitative and quantitative findings suggest that CF did not negatively affect students’ self-efficacy. As well, the findings indicated that students’ self-confidence and pride, their perceptions of improvement, and collaboration skills all increased during the CF intervention. Overall, this research provides implications for practice, research, and theory that can be used to implement effective ways of improving oral communication skills in minority language instruction through CF.
  • Towards Surveillance Education: An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Surveillance Capitalism, Education, and Identity

    Kendell, David; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This thesis is a philosophical investigation that tracks the increasing influence of surveillance capitalism and its relationship to changes in identity, behaviour, and the classroom to create surveillance education. Education is key in the behavioural development of students and a critical social environment in the development of self-identity. Surveillance capitalism’s practitioners could author student identity by controlling the feedback about behavioural expression in the classroom and create citizens who accept surveillance as a legitimate part of their participation in society. This places humans in the position of a simple natural resource to be stacked, sorted, and manipulated as Heidegger suggested. This thesis begins with an examination of Shoshana Zuboff’s book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and traces the interconnected nature of these concepts. Zuboff’s arguments are refocused towards identity. An examination of how education is changing and aiding in the adoption of surveillance methods is then undertaken. This leads to the conclusion that humans are now a natural resource and that education plays role in this outcome. Possible solutions to change the course are suggested. Future areas of research are also proposed that will continue to shed light on the emergence and effects of surveillance education.
  • The Maple Leaf’s Public Pedagogical Interaction with the Sexualized and Masculine Cultural Discourses of the Canadian Armed Forces

    Montague, Samantha; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This qualitative research presents a feminist critical discourse analysis of The Maple Leaf’s (TML) depiction of women in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and sexual misconduct before and after the release of Operation HONOUR using Gee’s (2011) toolkit of discourse analysis. The purpose of this research was to explore the newspaper’s public pedagogical influence, which either teaches or challenges the CAF’s discourses of the military as both a way of life and as a part of military membership (Taber, 2011a). This research used Biesta’s (2014) three categories of public pedagogy to examine TML’s ability to promote a critical lens, which is essential for activism that can contribute to a transformation of the CAF’s culture. The research examined 20 pre-2014 and 20 post-2017 articles to determine how the articles depicted women and the equality, barriers, diversity, and incidents of sexual misconduct they faced. Overall, this study found that the language in most of the articles taught and reinforced the two CAF cultural discourses. After 2017, however, authors depicted that women belong in all areas of the military and discussed sexual misconduct more frequently. This research provides 11 recommendations for changing TML’s language to improve its representation of military women and sexual misconduct.
  • The Impact of Teachers' Trust in Principal on Teacher Burnout

    DeKlerk, Colleen; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This explanatory mixed methods study explored the relationship between teachers’ perceived trust in their principal and teacher burnout. This study also explores novice teachers’ lived experience of trust in their principal and stress. Snowball sampling through a public Facebook post was used to gather participants during the 2019-2020 school year for an online survey. The survey was conducted using the Faculty Trust in Principal subscale of the Omnibus-T Scale and Maslach’s Burnout Inventory for Educators to survey 165 Ontario teachers. Follow-up semi-structured interviews were conducted with three novice teachers within the first 5 years of their careers to outline their lived experiences and identify traits of principals that indicate trustworthiness. Results identified a negative correlation between trust in principal and emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, as well as a positive correlation between trust in principal and sense of personal accomplishment. Results also indicated a connection between increased faculty trust in principal when they had a shorter working relationship. The novice teachers interviewed perceive that principals can develop their trust through the individual consideration and idealized influence components of transformational leadership. Participants also identified principals reducing their workloads and trusting them as important components for trust development. Novice Ontario teachers identified stress due to high expectations, precarious employment, and the pressure to build a positive reputation as influencers in trust development.
  • Exploring the Impact of a Teacher Education Program on the Mathematical Anxieties of Elementary Pre-Service Teachers

    Gannon, Sarah; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Mathematics education in Ontario has been a topic of significant focus in recent years. One concern is the lack of strong elementary mathematics teachers, in part due to the high levels of mathematics anxiety amongst this population (Gresham, 2007; Novak & Tassell, 2017). This study investigated the impact of a teacher education program on elementary pre-service teachers’ mathematical anxieties. The study examined the main components of a consecutive teacher education program, namely mathematics methods courses and field experiences, their interrelationships, and their connections with pre-service teachers’ background experiences. This explanatory sequential mixed methods approach emphasized qualitative methods (i.e., quan → QUAL) and involved two distinct phases. In Phase 1, quantitative questionnaire data were collected from the nine elementary pre-service teacher participants and analyzed using descriptive statistics. These results were then connected to the individual interview protocols employed in Phase 2 to collect qualitative data, which were analyzed thematically using the constant comparative method to uncover six themes: (a) prior experiences with mathematics, (b) anxieties towards mathematics, (c) the influence of mathematics methods courses on mathematical anxieties, (d) the influence of field experiences on mathematical anxieties, (e) the synthesis of mathematics methods courses and field experiences, and (f) anticipated future mathematics teaching style. This study’s results address gaps in the existing literature and highlight the key impacts of teacher education programs on pre-service teachers’ state and trait mathematical anxieties. Suggestions are provided for the practice of teacher educators, faculty administrators, and mentor teachers, as well as implications for theory and recommendations for future research.
  • Colorism: An Understanding of the Multiplicity of Voices Among Black Women and How Their Experiences Inform Their Postsecondary Lives

    Campbell, Hyacinth; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    In my M.Ed. program, I reflected on and applied a social and cultural lens to my experiences with colorism. Through this process of reflection and my review of anti-racist literature I began to question how the hegemonic discourses of race and racism reinforced a Black-White binary. These questions led me to explore Black women’s often intricate and complex experiences with colorism that are not always talked about. Using a qualitative narrative inquiry to this study, I explored six racialized Black female student’s experience with colorism to understand how colorism informed their lives on campus. By means of purposeful convenience sampling, I heard about their understanding of colorism, experiences as Black women, how colorism informed their experience in the academy, and explored the implications for postsecondary. The theoretical framework that guided my research was Critical Race Theory (CRT). A semi-structured one-on-one interview approach was used to prepare general questions to guide the discussion. The findings revealed that participants learned about colorism at an early age. Apart from skin tone, phenotypic features were attached to their experience with colorism. The findings also showed that some participants conflated colorism and racism and connected their understanding of or experiences with colorism with dominant ideology. Finally, the results also revealed ways in which the participants resisted the multiple issues that intersected and had implications in their daily lives. Some issues included the harmful stereotypes affixed to Black women and how the messages they received informed their choices and reinforced some of the negative images about Black women’s hair. I aimed to bring awareness to the intricacies of colorism and the ways in which the participants used their agency to push back and resist colorism.
  • How to Mend a ‘Good’ Education: A Settler Autoethnography

    Miller, Sarah; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Though White Settler educators who profess a critical pedagogy take up the project of decolonization with heartfelt enthusiasm, many of them remain unaware of the ways they unconsciously embody, and are complicit in, reproducing colonial structures. This autoethnography tells the story of my attempt to confront a similar dissonance in my teaching practice. My central question “How can I teach towards social justice and against oppression when my Whiteness represents the very structures of marginalization I oppose?” could only be answered by moving beyond the classroom and examining the deeply personal ways that colonial structures and narratives shaped, and continue to shape, all aspects of my identity. I drew data from my personal journals, a “writing” story composed during the research process, and longer form vignettes written in response to the initial stages of data collection. Wall’s (2016) Moderate Ethnography informed my analysis. I used the concepts of Whiteness-as-Property and White- Complicity to help contextualize my experience and employed Aoki’s (1994) Curriculum-as-Lived and the theory of Epistemological Pluralism as tools to understand the connections between personal and professional decolonization. Though more research is needed, this project suggests that for meaningful decolonization to take place there must be an earnest desire on the part of White Settlers (educators and non-educators alike) to attend to their personal complicity in colonialism.
  • Sexual Health Education (SHE) in Ontario: Exploring a Sample of the Public Discourse Surrounding the 2015 Update to Ontario’s Human Development and Sexual Health Curriculum

    Dent, Elissa; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    In an increasingly hypersexualized culture, Canadian youth face challenges (e.g., increased risk for unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, social ostracization and bullying, and mental health challenges) associated with sexuality and sexual health (Brady & Halpern-Felsher, 2007; Drouin, Ross, & Tobin, 2015; Public Health Agency of Canada [PHAC], 2008) on their way to adulthood. The need for relevant sexual health education that helps youth make healthy and informed choices is well established (Bourke, Boduszek, Kellher, McBride, & Morgan, 2014; Frappier et al., 2008; Reis, Ramiro, Matos, & Diniz, 2011). Ontario, as part of its ongoing comprehensive curricular review and revision processes, updated the Human Development & Sexual Health curriculum, a central component of the province’s Health and Physical Education curriculum. The comprehensive revision to the Human Development & Sexual Health curriculum released initially in 2010, and again in 2015, was met with both support and controversy. The purpose of this research study was to explore a portion of the public discourse surrounding the province of Ontario’s 2015 update to the Grades 1 through 8 Human Development & Sexual Health curricula. Specifically, the research investigated documentation from six key stakeholder groups: i) news organizations; ii) parents; iii) field-related professionals; iv) non-governmental organizations; v) lobby groups; and vi) the provincial government. Using qualitative document analyses techniques, data sources were described and analyzed. An identification and summary of main themes are offered. Finally, implications for future educational policy reforms and recommendations for future research are addressed.
  • Freirean Radical Love and Transformative Empathy: The Multimodal Literacies of Adolescent Social Media Activism

    Michaels, Natasha Roseline; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    The evolution of social media activism calls for a critique into the commonly accepted trope of adolescent political apathy and naivety. In this study, I explore specific examples of adolescents’ strategic use of social media platforms such as Instagram to disseminate and circulate their political beliefs. I trace a selection of memes used for spreading awareness of current social justice issues such as the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2013 to the #StudentStandUp movement of 2018. The memes used in these social movements demonstrate how adolescents create and/or circulate memes and multimodal texts with the intention of forging empathetic connections (through words and images) to affect others into political action against social injustices. Drawing upon critical affect literacy and a Freirean model of Radical Love (1970/2005) – or an action-based love for humanity- I apply lenses of critique to examples of memes and discussions that adolescents have on online to demonstrate how critical literacy evolves and reveals their capacity to recognize and repeat patterns as a tool for sophisticated communication. The study reveals that adolescents are satisfying mandates of the Ontario English Curriculum while attesting to their empathetic use of a voluntary, leisurely, space of social media. I draw upon Dawkins (1976/2006) framework of cultural idea-meme evolution and couple it with the Foucauldian (1975/2008) idea of power relations to establish the foundational idea that power is present in the cultural competition of ideas, that creates the inequities adolescents are critiquing in social media. The study concludes that adolescents are competently using, circulating and/or creating memes to inspire revolution while demonstrating critical literacy skills.
  • Enhancing Physical Activity Through SEESAW: Exploring Effectiveness and Educators' Perceptions

    Barratt, Jaime; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Preschoolers are generally assumed to be innately active (Santrock, Mackenzie-Rivers, Malcomson, & Leung, 2011). However, ParticipACTION (2018) found only 62% of preschoolers are engaging in the recommended amount of at least 180 minutes of physical activity each day. Guided by the belief that interpersonal relationships directly influence children’s physical activity (Stokols, 1996), this mixed-methods study examined the effectiveness of SEESAW on preschooler’s physical activity and asked: i. How does SEESAW impact preschool children’s physical activity behaviours? ii. What is the nature of educators’ beliefs and practices in relation to children’s physical activity and their role in promoting that activity? iii. Are these beliefs and practices impacted by a resource such as SEESAW, and if so, how? iv. How effective is the SEESAW resource from educators’ perspectives? Data collection occurred once in Autumn 2018 and again in Winter of 2019 using the OSRAC-P, IPAQ, and semi-structured interviews. Paired-samples t-tests found children’s standing and gross motor behaviours significantly changed after SEESAW was implemented, while educators’ physical activity did not. No significant results were found when variables associated with SEESAW were tested as predictors to children’s activity. Thematic analysis of educator interview scripts found educators’ beliefs and practices increased after SEESAW was implemented.
  • Enhancing Instruction in a Changing World: Kindergarten Educators Implementing Technology to Support Student Reading Development

    St Hilaire, Rachel; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    With the rapid integration of technology into classrooms, educators are experiencing challenges in implementing technology into their Kindergarten programs. This study sought to identify ways to help Kindergarten educators enhance reading instruction with technology-infused lessons. This research drew on Dewey’s theory of progressivism, as well as Mishra and Koehler’s Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) conceptual model. The study employed qualitative methods through a design-based research approach that included 2 teacher and 2 ECE participants who engaged in 3 training and reflective meetings with the researcher and created and implemented technology-enhanced reading lessons over 12 sessions. Data collection included fieldnotes, interviews, and surveys. Data analysis techniques involved open-ended and axial coding to derive themes that illustrated the data set. Results indicated that support can be provided to educators by recognizing and anticipating their needs, using differentiation, researcher problem solving, iterative professional learning cycles, and liaising with administration. Additionally, findings show that participants changed over the course of the study with attitudinal shifts, increased skills and knowledge of SMART Boards, and technology-enhanced practices. Lastly, findings show that the participants experienced numerous external and internal barriers, but were also able to identify ways to mitigate the barriers. Overall, this research provides implications for practice, research, and theory that can be used to implement effective pedagogy and programming for Kindergarten educators to support students’ reading development through technology enhanced practices.
  • Student Equity and Inclusive Education Policy in Ontario: Perspectives of Three High School Principals

    Nyereyemhuka, Nyasha; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    Embracing diversity within schools is a complex endeavour. Data on student achievement in Ontario’s urban high schools indicate a disconnect between the expectation of equitable and inclusive education as stated in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s (2014) vision, Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario, and the social realities of discriminatory barriers in schools. This study employed semi-structured interviews to obtain the perspectives of 3 urban high school principals on the implementation of policies that support the goal of ensuring equity—identified as a key goal in Achieving Excellence. Findings suggest that the interconnectivity of policies, how principals translate policy messages, and the character traits associated with leadership are factors that muddy the implementation process in urban high schools. It was suggested that policy implementation is not static and occurs in a fluid system consisting of individuals with differing lived experiences, beliefs, and intersectional identities. Emphasizing the delicate state of Ontario’s current political climate, participants proposed the dismantling of tokenism and assumptions placed on principals, the incorporation of practical support in professional development, and changing the pathologizing nature of teacher professional judgment as strategies to improve principal policy implementation.
  • Integrating Artful Practices as a Sustainable and Innovative Approach to French Language Learning

    Taylor, Holly E; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This study investigated the successes and barriers that surround the implementation of artful practices into French elementary classrooms within Ontario. The literature demonstrates that integrating the arts has many benefits, allowing students to become more engaged and kinaesthetically involved in their language learning. By examining the narratives of educators who use music and the arts as a teaching tool, this narrative inquiry explored the experiences of teachers integrating the arts into their teaching practices, and also identified the supports needed to implement more elements of the arts into the French programs of teachers who may not be implementing arts-based strategies. Along with my own personal narrative as a co-participant, the remaining 2 participants were engaged in their storied landscapes through qualitative interviews, focusing specifically on what Dewey (1938) refers to as the nature of experience. Particularly, the relationships between teachers and the arts, and teachers and French were examined to uncover how these relationships have affected their teaching experiences with this integration.
  • The Experience of International Students in Ontario Universities

    Klodt, Leslie; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
    This thesis uses qualitative research methods to examine the experiences of international students in universities across Ontario. The number of international students in Canada is significant, with over 494,525 foreign students in 2017 (Katem, 2018). However, little research has focused on experiences of international undergraduate students within Canada. My research goal was to allow international students to speak to their own experiences. As part of my research, I conducted interviews with six international students studying in Ontario universities, and coded the data to determine themes that emerged. Themes included reasons for attending university in Ontario, the cost of education, social connections within the province, and discrimination faced within their communities and university environments. Analysis of the recorded data was completed using grounded theory. This research shows areas in which Ontario universities are doing well in supporting their international students, while also providing improvement suggestions for other areas of support.

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