• 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.
    • Exploring Teacher Candidates’ Perception of Practicum Placement Within Concurrent Teacher Education in Two Ontario Universities

      Dusto, Claire; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2014-01-27)
      In this study, teacher candidates’ perception of their concurrent education program at two Ontario universities were examined, with specific emphasis on how the programs utilized practicum placements, to determine the effectiveness in preparing teacher candidates to teach. This research also strived to uncover the best ways to optimize concurrent teacher education through practicum placements. A questionnaire and interviews were used to uncover teacher candidates’ perceptions at one teacher education program that used full integration of practicum and one that used minimal integration of practicum. The findings revealed that teacher candidates were generally more satisfied with the overall program when there was full integration of practicum. There were statistically significant differences found between the two concurrent programs with regard to practicum time and preparedness and context of the practicum and a highly significant difference found for theory-practice divide. There was also a statistically significant difference (p < .05) observed between the teacher candidates at each university in terms of their beliefs about the need for improvement of their program. Some of the improvements that participants believed could be made to their respective programs included having (a) exceptional mentor teachers and teacher educators, (b) longer placements with a balance of observation and practicum teaching, (c) clear expectations and evaluations of practicum placement, and (d) more distinct connections between theory and practice made within the programs.
    • Exploring the Current State of Grades 4 to 8 Science Education in Ontario

      Dow, Allison; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This study sought to explore the current state of Grades 4 to 8 science education in Ontario from the perspective of Junior/Intermediate (J/I) teachers. The study’s methodology was a sequential 2-phased mixed methods explanatory design denoted as QUAN (qual)  qual. Data were collected from an online survey and follow-up interviews. J/I teachers (N = 219) from 48 school boards in Ontario completed a survey that collected both quantitative and qualitative data. Interviewees were selected from the survey participant population (n = 6) to represent a range of teaching strategies, attitudes toward teaching science, and years of experience. Survey and interview questions inquired about teacher attitudes toward teaching science, academic and professional experiences, teaching strategies, support resources, and instructional time allotments. Quantitative data analyses involved the descriptive statistics and chi-square tests. Qualitative data was coded inductively and deductively. Academic background in science was found to significantly influence teachers’ reported level of capability to teach science. The undergraduate degrees held by J/I science teachers were found to significantly influence their reported levels of capability to teach science. Participants identified a lack of time allocated for science instruction and inadequate equipment and facilities as major limitations on science instruction. Science in schools was reported to be of a “second-tiered” value to language and mathematics. Implications of this study include improving undergraduate and preservice experiences of elementary teachers by supporting their science content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.