• Aboriginal Parental Involvement/Engagement for Student Success

      Moses, Mark; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-08-30)
      An increasing body of knowledge links parental involvement with student success but few studies address Aboriginal parental involvement in urban settings. While some critics argue traditional Aboriginal knowledge is best delivered at home, Aboriginal children who share parents’ stories in the classroom benefit other children who draw connections to these stories. Moreover, Aboriginal learners need to function in mainstream Western society and in public school settings in which educators often have a difficult time engaging Aboriginal parents. Consequently, this research sought to explore the perceptions and sense of engagement of parents/caregivers in the Aboriginal Student Program (ASP) in a publicly funded secondary school in Ontario. The study was an extension of the researcher’s existing work and focused specifically on a sample of parents/caregivers taking part in an Aboriginal feast at an Ontario secondary school. Nine individuals accepted an invitation to participate in a Talking Circle and shared perceptions of their children’s educational experiences. Data were collected and coded, and findings indicated that parental involvement in children’s educational journeys contributed significantly to a sense of parental engagement in the school and in Aboriginal programs. Results also suggest that Eurocentric pedagogy can be modified in mainstream secondary schools to directly involve Aboriginal parents/caregivers. Although many participants’ stories revealed they experienced racism during their own schooling, study findings demonstrate that the parents/caregivers want to be involved in their children’s education nonetheless. This thesis discusses the data that were grounded in the participants’ voices that in turn led to several key recommendations.
    • Aboriginal women in education : Honouring our experiences a vision of access to and success within the university

      Brant, Jennifer; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2012-02-10)
      This thesis explores Aboriginal women's access to and success within universities through an examination of Aboriginal women's educational narratives, along with input from key service providers from both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. Implemented through the Wildfire Research Method, participants engaged in a consensusbased vision of accessible education that honours the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical elements necessary for the success of Aboriginal women in university. This study positions Aboriginal women as agents of social change by allowing them to define their own needs and offer viable solutions to those needs. Further, it connects service providers from the many disconnected sectors that implicate Aboriginal women's education access. The realities of Aboriginal women are contextualized through historical, sociocultural, and political analyses, revealing the need for a decolonizing educational approach. This fosters a shift away from a deficit model toward a cultural and linguistic assets based approach that emphasizes the need for strong cultural identity formation. Participants revealed academic, cultural, and linguistic barriers and offered clear educational specifications for responsive and culturally relevant programming that will assist Aboriginal women in developing and maintaining strong cultural identities. Findings reveal the need for curriculum that focuses on decolonizing and reclaiming Aboriginal women's identities, and program outcomes that encourage balance between two worldviews-traditional and academic-through the application of cultural traditions to modern contexts, along with programming that responds to the immediate needs of Aboriginal women such as childcare, housing, and funding, and provide an opportunity for universities and educators to engage in responsive and culturally grounded educational approaches.
    • Academic advising, eh : a profile of undergraduate academic advising at Ontario universities

      Armstrong, Kerry; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2012-02-10)
      Despite its importance to postsecondary students' success, there is little known about academic advisement in Canada. Academic advising can be a very intensive and demanding job, yet it is not well understood what duties or student populations of advising make it so. On a practical level, this study sought to learn more about academic advisement in Ontario universities and provide a general overview of who advisors are and what they do. This study also investigated academic advising duties and time allocation for these responsibilities in an attempt to relate theory to practice incorporating Vilfredo Pareto's theoretical underpinnings to confirm or negate the applicability of the Pareto Principle in relationship to time utilization by advisors. Essentially this study sought to discover which students require the greatest advisement time and effort, and how advisors could apply these findings to their work. Academic advising professionals in Ontario universities were asked to complete a researcher-designed electronic survey. Quantitative data from the responses were analyzed to describe generalized features of academic advising at Ontario universities. Discussion and implications for practice will prompt advisors and institutions using the results of this study to measure themselves against a provincial assessment. Advisors' awareness of time allocation to different student groups can help focus attention where new strategies are needed to maximize time and efforts. This study found that caseload and time spent with student populations were proportional. Regular undergraduate students accounted for the greatest amount of caseload and time followed by working with students struggling academically. This study highlights the need for further evaluation, education, and research in academic advising in Canadian higher education.
    • Academics as parents--parents as academics : a study of the integration of intellectual and child-care labours /

      Pompetzki, Monika.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1998-05-21)
      Discussions concerning the challenges of combining work and family are certainly not new, and still actively continue. There is, however, a silence in the related literature regarding a comprehensive description of integrating specifically university academic ~. work and family responsibilities. This silence is especially evident for men who are parents as well as academics. With the participation of 4 key informants, this qualitative research study gave voice to men and women who participate in the academic labour of a Canadian university as professors, and as graduate students, along with the parenting labour of at least 1 child under the age of7. Methodology was developed to reveal in-depth perspectives regarding the work practices employed by 4 key informants as they combined intellectual and child-care responsibilities. Multiple data collection methods included journal reflections, day time observation sessions, a focus group, and a final evaluation questionnaire. Using research findings, together with information extrapolated from Three Models of the Family (Eichler, 1997), this study also took steps toward developing a Proposed "Three Models of the University," to offer explanation for the work practices of the key informants as academics/parents, and also for future consideration in university policy formation.
    • Accommodating College ESL Learner Communication Needs: Perceptions, Policies, and Practices

      Benak, Chrisoula; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2013-02-22)
      The purpose of this qualitative inquiry was to determine how the Practical Nursing and Pharmacy Technician programs in one southern Ontario community college could more effectively accommodate ESL learners' communication needs. The literature review examined (a) linguistic issues, such as language testing and second-language learning theories, (b) organizational matters, such as ESL curriculum and teacher training, and (c) affective issues, such as motivation for second-language learning, learning styles, and the student-teacher relationship. I gathered perceptual data from the programs' administrators, faculty members, and ESL learners. Eleven participants took part in individual interviews or a focus group session. The results suggest that ESL learners need assistance with discipline-specific vocabulary and cultural nuances. College ESL learners' weak communicative competence, together with misleading acceptance standards for ESL learners and limited support available to faculty members and to students, decrease opportunities for successful completion of the programs. The results point to re-assessment of the college's admission policies and procedures, program evaluation practices that consider the needs of ESL learners, discipline-specific language support, and strategies to enhance the ESL student-teacher relationship. The study highlights theory relating to ESL learners' self-perception and engagement, as well as the importance of including the voice of college ESL learners in educational research. The results suggest that despite ESL learners' perseverance in completing their studies, power imbalances remain. The college has yet to implement organizational strategies such as discipline-specific communications and ESL courses and extended language support that could meet the communication needs of ESL learners in the two programs.
    • Acquisition and transfer of experiential learning from rock climbing to the corporate workplace

      McLeod, Jared Ashely.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1995-07-09)
      There were three purposes to this study. The first purpose was to determine how learning can be influenced by various factors i~ the rock climbing experience. The second purpose was to examine what people can learn from the rock climbing experience. The third purpose was to investigate whether that learning can transfer from the rock climbing experience to the subjects' real life in the workplace. Ninety employees from a financial corporation in the Niagara Region volunteered for this study. All subjects were surveyed throughout a one-day treatment. Ten were purposefully selected one month later for interviews. Ten themes emerged from the subjects in terms of what was learned. Inspiration, motivation, and determination, preparation, goals and limitations, perceptions and expectations, confidence and risk taking, trust and support, teamwork, feedback and encouragement, learning from failure, and finally, skills and flow. All participants were able to transfer what was learned back to the workplace. The results of this study suggested that subjects' learning was influenced by their ability to: take risks in a safe environment, fail without penalty, support each other, plan without time constraints, and enjoy the company of fellow workers that they wouldn't normally associate with. Future directions for research should include different types of treatments such as white water rafting, sky diving, tall ship sailing, or caving.
    • The Acquisition of new reading vocabulary in normal and poor readers

      Tapson, S. I.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1987-07-09)
    • Adolescent females' self-concept and physical education : a Q-sort analysis /

      Swain, Janet L.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1999-05-21)
      This research illuminates the relationship between female adolescents' self-concept and their experience of physical education. This was accomplished through three stages of interviews and a Qsort. The topics through which the research was categorized included peer support, teachers as significant others, meaningful connections to the body, and curriculum content. During stage one female physical education specialists, curriculum coordinators, and adolescents were interviewed to develop Q-items for the Q-sort. The second stage Involved two groups of females between the ages of 12 and 14 years who participated in the Q-sort. The final stage involved an insight group that consisted of four Q-sort participants who interpreted the highest ranking Q-items. Critical to this research was giving these adolescents the opportunity to voice what was important to them. The results of the research included descriptions of the elements in physical education that were deemed most important by female adolescent students. The topics of "peer support" and "meaningful connections to the body" were ranked the highest. By interpreting the rich insights of the discussion group, it was found that peers were most influential to these young girls. Perceiving and bestowing respect were imperative in this stage of their lives.
    • Adolescent girls and mathematics: classroom performance, attitudes toward mathematics and perceptions of parental attitudes /

      Madonia, Mary Jane.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1992-06-09)
      The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which gender differences exist in student attitudes toward mathematics and in their performance in mathematics at the Grade Seven and Eight level. The study also questioned how parents influence the attitudes of this grade level of male and female students toward mathematics. Historically, the literature has demonstrated gender differences in the attitudes of students toward mathematics, and in parental support for classroom performance in mathematics. This study was an attempt to examine these differences at one senior public school in the Peel Board of Education. One hundred three Grade Seven and Eight students at a middle school in the Peel Board of Education volunteered to take part in a survey that examined their attitudes toward mathematics, their perceptions of their parents' attitudes toward mathematics and support for good performance in the mathematics classroom, parental expectations for education and future career choices. Gender differences related to performance levels in the mathematics classroom were examined using Pearson contingency analyses. Items from the survey that showed significant differences involved confidence in mathematics and confidence in writing mathematics tests, as well as a belief in the ability to work on mathematics problems. Male students in both the high and low performance groups demonstrated higher levels of confidence than the females in those groups. Female students, however, indicated interest in careers that would require training and knowledge of higher mathematics. Some of the reasons given to explain the gender differences in confidence levels included socialization pressures on females, peer acceptance, and attribution of success. Perceived parental support showed no significant differences across gender groups or performance levels. Possible explanations dealt with the family structure of the participants in the study. Studies that, in the past, have demonstrated gender differences in confidence levels were supported by this study, and discussed in detail. Studies that reported on differences in parental support for student performance, based on the gender of the parent, were not confirmed by this study, and reasons for this were also discussed. The implications for the classroom include: 1) build on the female students' strengths that will allow them to enjoy their experiences in mathematics; 2) stop using the boys as a comparison group; and 3) make students more aware of the need to continue studying mathematics to ensure a wider choice of future careers.
    • Adolescent sexuality : an investigation into the relation between sexuality and self-concept /

      Reynolds, Jennifer.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2003-05-21)
      The present study explored the connections among adolescents' sense of self, sexuality, and perceptions of risk. Such an exploration may help educators to further understand why adolescents engage in risk-taking behaviours such as unprotected sex. The study involved secondary analysis on the data collected from the Youth Lifestyle Choices - Community University Research Alliance 2000 (YLC - CURA) Youth Resilience Questionnaire (YRQ). Participants were 300 male and female students in Grades 9, 1 1 and OAC. Data analyses involved both descriptive and inferential statistics (correlational and multivariate analysis). Chi-square analyses were performed on the open-ended self-description question. Separate analyses were conducted on gender and age (grade levels). Correlational analyses revealed that adolescents with a more positive sense of self were more likely to perceive sexual involvement as a relatively high-risk behaviour. Specifically, results found that male adolescents were less likely than females to perceive sex to be risky. Results are discussed in relation to previous research in the area of selfcognitions and risk-taking sexual behaviour. Results are also discussed in terms of educational implications in that the current results may provide the beginnings of a framework for more holistic sexual education programs.
    • Adult Learning in the Transformational Environments of the Digital Revolution: Connecting Theory and Practice

      Liima, Uve Peter; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2014-06-06)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning preferences and the post-secondary educational experiences of a group of Net-Gen adult learners, aged between 18 and 35, currently working in the knowledge economy workplace, and their assessment of how adequately they were prepared to meet the requirements of the knowledge economy workplace. This study utilized an explanatory mixed-method research design. Participants completed a questionnaire providing information on their self-reported learning style preferences, their use of digital tools for formal and informal learning, their use of digital technologies in postsecondary educational experiences, and their use of digital technologies in their workplace. Four volunteers from the questionnaire respondents were selected to participate in interviews based on the diversity of their experiences in higher education, including digital environments, and the diversity of their knowledge economy workplaces. Data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed for descriptive and demographic statistics, and categorized so that common patterns could be identified from information gathered from the online questionnaire and interviews. Findings based on this study indicated that these Net-Gen adult learners were fluent with all types of digital technologies in collaborative environments, expecting their educational experiences to provide a similar experience. Participants clearly expressed an understanding that digital/collaborative aptitudes are essential to successful employment in the knowledge economy workplace. The findings of this study indicated that the majority of participants felt that their post-secondary educational experiences did not adequately prepare them to meet the expectations of this type of working environment.
    • Adult Participants’ Experiences of a Sport Program Implementing the Easy-Play Model: Implications for an Active Lifestyle

      Steele, Kyle; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2012-08-20)
      The Easy-Play Model is a useful framework for facilitating sport among a diverse group of participants of different ages and ability levels. The model’s focus on de-emphasizing competitiveness in an effort to establish an optimally competitive environment has facilitated positive play experiences. This study investigated the experiences of players who have been a part of a weekly soccer program implementing the Easy-Play Model. In-depth interviews of 8 participants provided insight concerning the benefits and weaknesses of the approach and the notable experiences of the players. Results provided data confirming the model’s effectiveness in facilitating positive social interactions, safe play experiences where injury is generally a negligible concern, and productive opportunities to be physically active through sport. This study of the Easy-Play Model sets the foundation for future research which should further add to our understanding of productive ways to engage people in physical activity through sport.
    • Adult perceptions of student involvement in schoolyard gardening /

      Zhang, Donia.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-07-14)
      The purpose of this research is to investigate through adult perceptions what factors have enabled and limited student participation in schoolyard gardening, and how to support student involvement in schoolyard gardening. It is a collective case study of three schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB, Ontario, Canada) that are currently running a schoolyard gardening project. Sixteen interviews were conducted during May and June, 2005, and photos of the three schoolyard gardens were taken. The results show that the common factors that have enabled student participation in schoolyard gardening at the three schools are teacher's initiative and commitment, principal's leadership and support, parental involvement and donations, and the TDSB's EcoSchools program and workshops. The common limiting factors are time, money, and the unions' "work-to-rule" issue. The ways to support student involvement include teachers integrating the gardening into the curriculum; parents making donations to the school and creating a family gardening culture; principals supporting in money or budget and taking the lead; the TDSB providing funding, awards, incentives, and more maintenance; and the Ontario Ministry of Education supplying funding, curriculum link, and teacher training.
    • Aerobic exercise in adolescence : self-efficacy and stage of change

      Lawler, Sharon.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1998-07-09)
      The purpose of this cross-sectional exploratory study was to examine the relationships among self-efficacy, stage of change, and exercise behaviour in a sample of younger (Grade 9) and older (Grade 12) adolescents. A secondary objective of this study was to apply the transtheoretical model of Stage of Change, as a measure of intention to change, in order to discover the applicability of the model to an adolescent cohort in relation to exercise behaviour. This five-stage model is a self-report measure of an individual's readiness to adopt a new behaviour (e.g., regular exercise). The transtheoretical model incorporates Bandura's self-efficacy factor, which is purported to be a predictive measure of exercise behaviour and a covariant of stage. Exercise behaviour was measured with the Physical Activity Scale, and the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale (URleA) was used to measure the stage of change and self-efficacy variables. The results of this study indicated significant differences between younger and older adolescents, and between males and females in their exercise behaviour. No significant differences were found for grade and gender on stage of change as measured by either a single-item question or a continuous measure of stage. Although grade and gender subgroups were not significantly different in their self-efficacy, significant interaction was found in the grade*gender variable.
    • Anxiety and learning / response behaviour in the context of intellectual problem solving by young children

      Howarth, Leslie Douglas.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1983-07-09)
      Twenty-eight grade four students were ca.tegorized as either high or low anxious subjects as per Gillis' Child Anxiety Scale (a self-report general measure). In determining impulsivity in their response tendencies, via Kagan's Ma.tching Familiar Figures Test, a significant difference between the two groups was not found to exist. Training procedures (verbal labelling plus rehearsal strategies) were introduced in modification of their learning behaviour on a visual sequential memory task. Significantly more reflective memory recall behaviour was noted by both groups as a result. Furthermore, transfer of the reflective quality of this learning strategy produced significantly less impulsive response behaviour for high and low anxious subjects with respect to response latency and for low anxious subjects with respect to response accuracy.
    • Applying andragogy to the open college learner

      Robinson, Richard C.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1991-07-09)
      Questionnaires were sent to 703 Open College students. The questionnaire asked questions regarding personal demographics, how they felt about andragogy as postulated by Malcolm Knowles, and invited responses pertaining to the institutional practices of Open College. Two hundred and ninety-four responses were received. The information was synthesized and used descriptively. The information regarding andragogy was also used descriptively and analyzed using chi-square. The statistics were compared by gender. No significant difference was found. Students rejected the concept of self-directed learning. They did use their past experience when preparing assignments, however. They also entered Open College in order to learn how to do something better rather than for esoteric reasons. In fact, their whole orientation to learning was very practical in nature. The factors motivating these learners were internal rather than external. In addition, institutional practices were identified that could further enhance the Open College experience.
    • Are there transformative indicators for motivation to learn?

      Snelson, Sherry.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1994-07-09)
      Fourteen nursing s tudents enrolled in a community coll ege were chosen by purposeful se lection to be i nterviewed in a qualitative survey. A proposed mode l of Learner Motivation Development was examined . The mode l describes four stages of motivati on development progression across the lifespan: I Survival (infancy to childhood), I I Expl oration (childhood to adolescence), III Identification (pre- adulthood), and IV Reflection ( adulthood ). This r esearch examined the last two stages. The criteria used to categorize the students within the fr amework were bas ed on human development theories as described by Maslow (1954) and Erikson (1950). The concept of critica l thinking proposed by Brookfield (1987) and the ideas of transformative learning expressed by Mezirow (1991) were also incorporated. The researcher' s criteria , antici pated behaviours and characteri stics, were used to ana lyze the students' responses to open-ended questions. The central theme of the research was based on the assumption that motivation to learn is intrinsic and inherent in pre-adult and adult learners. Six pre-adults and two adults met the descriptors set for stage III Identification. Five adults and one pre-adult met the criteria for stage IV Reflection. The impact of life e xperiences and maturation were clearly demonstrated.
    • Assessing evaluative measures for Internet-based courseware

      Simpson, Kari J. E.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1999-07-09)
      Although there is a consensus in th~ literature on the many uses of the Internet in education, as well as the unique features of the Internet for presenting facts and information, there is no consensus on a standardized method for evaluating Internetbased courseware. Educators rarely have the opportunity to participate in the development of Internet-based courseware, yet they are encouraged to use the technology in their learning environments. This creates a need for summative evaluation methods for Internet-based health courseware. The purpose ofthis study was to assess evaluative measures for Internet-based courseware. Specifically, two entities were evaluated within the study: a) the outcome of the Internet-based courseware, and b) the Internet-based courseware itself. To this end, the Web site www.bodymatters.com was evaluated using two different approaches by two different cohorts. The first approach was a performance appraisal by a group of endusers. A positive, statistically significant change in the students performance was observed due to the intervention ofthe Web site. The second approach was a productoriented evaluation ofthe Web site with the use of a criterion-based checklist and an open-ended comments section. The findings indicate that a summative, criterion-based evaluation is best completed by a multidisciplinary team. The findi~gs also indicated that the two different cohorts reported different product-oriented appraisals of the Web site. The current research confirmed previous research that found that experts returning a poor evaluation of a Web site did not have a relationship to whether or not the end-users performance improved due to the intervention of the Web site.
    • Assessment done write : using collaboration to reculture teacher learning

      Hudon, Michelle L.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      This study examined the impact that collaborative learning had on the assessment and evaluation of writing practices of a group of teachers as they engaged in a community of learners. The study explored the development of teacher knowledge and perceptions as well as the implementation of effective assessment strategies in writing for students in grades 4 to 8 that could be achieved through collaboration. Teachers' perceptions of the value of collaboration were also embedded within the study. Multiple methods of data collection were used to gather rich and descriptive data. Those methods included interviews, observation, and documentation of meetings and of participants' perceptions of their assessment and evaluation practices. Five preexisting themes describing desired outcomes of change were used to analyze the data. These themes included: knowledge, attitude, skill, aspiration, and behaviour. While it was difficult to identify definitively the degree oflearning achieved by the participants, conclusions can be drawn that the participants experienced learning and some change in the areas of knowledge and skill, attitude, aspiration, and behaviour. What was notable was the continued belief on the part of the participants of the value of collaboration as a means of learning.
    • The assessment of self-directed learning among pre-service students in an Ontario faculty of education

      Pilling, Jane.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1990-07-09)
      The study determined students' perceptions of self-directed learning in their courses. Tests to assess perceptions are not being used in many programs. Assessments such as the Self-Directed Readiness Scale (SDLRS) and the Oddi continuing Learning Inventory (OCLI) have weaknesses that may have affected the use of tests. In this study, the creation of the Self-Directed Learning Test (SDLT) monitored students' perceptions by addressing what students were told before registration, how much input students had in developing the structure of the course, how much input students have in determining the evaluation for the course, what style of learning is taking place, and the characteristics of learning found among students. Fifty-one students in the pre-service program at Brock University completed the SDLT. Results showed that 47.1% of the sample liked self-directed learning. Several students who stated that they did not like selfdirected learning did not know what self-directed learning was. Results supported Brookfield's (1986) claim for more education on what self-directed learning is. The study did not support Knowles' (1980) assumption that adult students know and want to follow self-directed approaches to learning. The SDLT is a good method for monitoring self-directed learning and how students perceive their courses.