• Undergraduate Students' Experiences of Their Mathematical Identity

      Toor, Amanjot; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (2013-04-15)
      This research study explored how undergraduate mathematics students perceive themselves as capable mathematics learners and whether gender differences exist in the undergraduates students' perceptions. The research was framed by three approaches of understanding identity: self-efficacy, environment, and four faces of learner's identity. A mixed methods approach to the study was used where data were collected from interviews and an online questionnaire. Data analysis revealed that undergraduate mathematics students' perceptions of their mathematical identity as capable mathematics learners are influenced by their perceptions of their experiences such as: (a) perceptions of having previous knowledge of the course, (b) being able teach others and others understand it, (c) being recognized by their professors, (d) contributing and fitting in, (e) having opportunities to interact with their peers, and (f) being able to fit in with their image of a capable mathematics learner.
    • Understanding how a spiritual retreat enhances the search for meaning and fulfillment in a large corporate workplace /

      Doucet, Jennifer R.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2002-05-19)
      This study explored the concept of a spiritual retreat for frontline employees of a large corporate call centre. During a 1 day retreat, 4 call centre employees were introduced to various meditation and retreat activities. Follovsdng the retreat the participants were asked to incorporate the various meditations and activities into their workplace. The participants kept journals throughout the study in an effort to determine what occurred when these practices were transferred from the retreat setting to the workplace. This study examined how a working spirituality enhances one's sense of fulfillment, defined by certain critical elements: relationship, awareness, ritual, internal commitment, and choice. Although the retreat was a successful means of exploring these elements, the degree to which each employee could benefit from them was determined by the extent of their internal commitment not only to themselves, but also to their jobs.
    • Understanding the portfolio in the secondary school classroom

      Brodersen, Krista.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2003-07-09)
      Four secondary school teachers were involved in this case study. Individual interviews, group reflective sessions, and participant portfolios were transcribed verbatim and analyzed. The use of the portfolio in the secondary school classroom was then discussed in relation to emergent themes. These themes included teacher attitude, portfolio structure, portfolio purpose, challenges, effect, and professional development. Teachers were able to individualize the portfolio structure to meet both program and students' needs. The portfolio structure enabled both teachers and students to assume control over the learning process. The portfolio informed teachers about their teaching. This, in tum, challenged them to reflect on their teaching practices and enabled them to redesign curriculum implementation. A collaborative professional development structure fostered a learning environment that enabled teachers to experience success, despite the challenges that they inevitably encountered. These findings were related to contemporary literature. Finally, implications for theory and practice related to portfolio use in the secondary school classroom and professional development for secondary school teachers were considered.
    • Understanding Workplace Essential Skills: A Student's Perspective

      Cocco, E. Alex; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-01-14)
      An instrumental case study was conducted to explore the perspective of recent graduates from a Greater Toronto Area community college experience in relation to Workplace Essential Skills (WES). Five participants who graduated from a business school within the last 4 years were interviewed twice over a 4-month period to gain a deeper understanding of this relationship. This qualitative approach used semi-structured interviews to elicit stories about their experiences, their relationships in school, and the development of skills that were useful in the workplace. The analysis of data involved the 3-step coding process of open, axial, and selective coding consistent with the approach used by Neuman (2006). The analysis revealed that the overall experience of attending college contributed to the learning that took place. The participants gave greater significance to the life experience in learning WES and the networks associated with learning than the formal aspects of education. It is also important to acknowledge that the research identified a significant opportunity for educators’ to positively impact the learning experience.
    • The use of explicit algorithms and episodic context to teach subtraction to students with learning problems in mathematics /

      Ailles, Douglas S.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1992-05-21)
      This research attempted to address the question of the role of explicit algorithms and episodic contexts in the acquisition of computational procedures for regrouping in subtraction. Three groups of students having difficulty learning to subtract with regrouping were taught procedures for doing so through either an explicit algorithm, an episodic content or an examples approach. It was hypothesized that the use of an explicit algorithm represented in a flow chart format would facilitate the acquisition and retention of specific procedural steps relative to the other two conditions. On the other hand, the use of paragraph stories to create episodic content was expected to facilitate the retrieval of algorithms, particularly in a mixed presentation format. The subjects were tested on similar, near, and far transfer questions over a four-day period. Near and far transfer algorithms were also introduced on Day Two. The results suggested that both explicit and episodic context facilitate performance on questions requiring subtraction with regrouping. However, the differential effects of these two approaches on near and far transfer questions were not as easy to identify. Explicit algorithms may facilitate the acquisition of specific procedural steps while at the same time inhibiting the application of such steps to transfer questions. Similarly, the value of episodic context in cuing the retrieval of an algorithm may be limited by the ability of a subject to identify and classify a new question as an exemplar of a particular episodically deflned problem type or category. The implications of these findings in relation to the procedures employed in the teaching of Mathematics to students with learning problems are discussed in detail.
    • The use of relaxation therapy as an adjunct to traditional psoriasis therapy /

      Baker, Christopher.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1999-05-21)
      This research investigated the impact of stress management and relaxation techniques on psoriasis. It had a dual purpose to see if stress management and relaxation techniques, as an adjunct to traditional medical treatment, would improve the skin condition of psoriasis. In addition it attempted to provide psoriasis patients with a sense of control over their illness by educating them about the connection between mind and body through learning stress management and relaxation techniques. The former purpose was addressed quantitatively, while the latter was addressed qualitatively. Using an experimental design, the quantitative study tested the efficacy of stress management and relaxation techniques on 38 dermatological patients from St. John's, Newfoundland. The study which lasted ten weeks, suggested a weak relationship between psoriasis and stress. These relationships were not statistically significant. The qualitative data were gathered through unstructured interviews and descriptive/interpretative analysis was used to evaluate them. Patients in the experimental group believed in the mind body connection as it related to their illness and stress. The findings also showed that the patients believed that the stress reduction and relaxation techniques improved their quality of life, their level of psoriasis, and their ability to live with the condition. Based on the contradictory nature of the findings, further research is needed. It is posited that replication of this study would be vastly improved by increasing the sample size to increase the possibility of significant findings. As wel~ increasing the length of time for the experiment would control for the possibility of a lag effect. Finally, the study looked at linear relationships between stress and psoriasis. Further study should ascertain whether the relationship might be nonlinear
    • Use of Tablets to Support Students’ 21st Century Skills: A Look Behind the Screen at Knowledge Construction, Collaboration, and Skilled Communication in Language Arts and Science

      Tkach, Rochelle; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This study sought to identify how the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), specifically tablets, may foster students’ 21st century skills of knowledge construction, collaboration, and skilled communication and may further support knowledge construction in science, reading comprehension, and vocabulary development. This mixed methods research explored 21 Grade 5 students’ tablet (iPad) screen interactions and audio recordings, blog posts, interview responses, researcher observations, and student artifacts during an interdisciplinary science and language arts unit. Students worked in pairs or small groups on iPads to learn science and language arts concepts. Qualitative data were collected using video and audio monitoring tools (NestCams, 2016). Using NVivo 11.4, qualitative data were coded using the 21 CLD Learning Activity Rubrics (Microsoft Corporation, 2015). Queries were further run to determine data that correlated between the use of tablets for learning and other 21st century skills. Findings showed high instances of 21st century skills while students worked on tablets. The way students used tablets to support their learning seemed to depend on the level of knowledge construction, collaboration, and skilled communication. Quantitative data were also collected using reading comprehension, vocabulary, and science pre- and post-tests. Dependent samples t-tests were run to determine if there was growth from pre-test to post-test. Results indicated statistically significant growth only in science content knowledge. Qualitative findings were triangulated with the quantitative results to illustrate descriptive growth trends in science and language arts. This study highlights the importance of being critical towards multimodal features within apps to support students’ development of 21st century skills and subject-specific knowledge. Recommendations and implications for theory, practice, and methodological approaches are provided for future studies.
    • Using classroom meetings to transfer conflict resolution skills /

      Keane, W. Nelson.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1999-05-21)
      This study examined whether daily classroom meetings resulted in the positive transfer of conflict resolution information and skills beyond the formal classroom setting and into the classroom. A control group of sixteen Grade five students received three weeks of conflict resolution training and an experimental group of nineteen Grade five students fi-om the same school received three weeks of conflict resolution training followed by three additional weeks of class meetings. Pretest measures were taken via a scaled questionnaire and short answer questions before the conflict resolution lessons began for the following skills: knowledge of conflict resolution; conflict resolution behaviour; and attitude about using conflict resolution to resolve problems with other people. Posttest measures examined conflict resolution skills following involvement in the study. Students chosen randomly and both teachers were interviewed following the study. The teachers were again interviewed three months after the study. Teacher journal notes rounded out the data. The results of the study indicated that the Grade five boys who participated in three weeks of conflict resolution training did not increase their conflict resolution skills in any of the areas examined. Girls who participated in three weeks of conflict resolution training did not improve in two areas (i.e., behaviour, knowledge) and became less positive about using verbal mediation to resolve conflicts. The Grade five students who participated in three weeks of training and three weeks of class meetings obtained different results. The boys improved significantly in their ability to use verbal mediation to resolve conflicts and were more positive about verbal mediation. They did not become more knowledgeable about verbal mediation. The girls who participated in three weeks of training and three weeks of class meetings were more knowledgeable of conflict resolution and used conflict resolution to solve problems with other people. However, they were significantly less positive about using these skills to resolve problems.
    • Using dramatic activity to enhance Junior Core French students' motivation and oral communication skills /

      Giaitzis, Luisa.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      Junior Core French students' motivation to learn a second language and students' French oral communication skills relating to drama instruction were investigated in this study. Students' increased and improved motivation and oral acquisition were measured by several forms of data collection including journals, questionnaires and surveys, interviews, outside observer and teacher observations, and anecdotal comments. The results indicated that as a result of drama integration in the Junior Core French classroom, grade 5 students, both male and female, were more motivated to participate in second language instruction, thereby increasing and improving their oral communication skills. The findings showed that more males than females reported that drama integration allowed them the opportunity to use their French speaking skills. Research shows that interactive approaches to teaching such as drama give students the motivation and enthusiasm to learn.
    • Values and the classroom teacher

      Jones, Donald Murray.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1990-07-09)
      This is a descriptive study of elementary school teachers' perceptions of values transmitted in classrooms. Through circulation of a survey to teachers in Public and Separate Schools in the "Golden I-Iorseshoe" distt-ict of SOLtthern Ontario (e}{clLtding Toronto), it was found that teachers do see themselves as promoting values which tend to be conceptual or knowledge-based and receptive and pertain to self-perception and personal growth. They also show a tendency t.o Lise nlore conceptL\al teachi ng strategies SLieri as discussiona The respondents had no clear opinion regarding student disposition toward values but did feel very influential in developing that disposition. Demographic factors of gender, age, teaching division and teaching experience affected the responses to the surveYa The study was undertaken to describe a very sensitive area in education in the hope of moving closer toward a more effective school system II.
    • Valuing and encouraging critical reflection in pre-service teacher education

      Van Halen-Faber, Christine.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1996-07-09)
      This qualitative study was designed to investigate aspects related to valuing and encouraging critical reflection in pre-service teacher education. An examination of the place and function of practicum logbooks as used at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers' College, a small private college which offers pre-service teacher education formed the core of the research. An analysis of the practicum logbooks written by five student teachers during three different practicum placements was performed at two levels. First, a content analysis served to identify general and specific categories within the practice teaching contextas a learning experience. Secondly, in-depth intuitive and thematic analyses of the entries which related specifically to reflection as a learning experience gave rise to critical questions. Throughout the process, the five participants formed an active and involved group of co-researchers, adding their voices to the narrative of the learning experience. Variables such as personality type, learning style and self-directedness added a dimension which deepened and emiched the study. The result of the study suggests that practicum logbooks form a valuable base for valuing and encouraging critical reflection in pre-service teacher education. The results also suggest that not all students appear to be equally capable of critical reflection. Recognizing that teacher education exists as a continuum appears to support the findings that in their journey along this continuum, student teachers not only move from reflection-on-action to reflection-in-action, but also from content to process to premise reflection. An awareness of contributing factors such as personality type, degree of risk-taking, preferred learning style and self-directedness on the part of teacher-educators will serve to create a climate of trust in which student teachers can safely develop critical reflection, using practicum logbooks as one possible medium.
    • Verbal ability, previous practice and load on short-term memory as determiners of differences in a complex learning task: an experimental study

      Gorham, R. G.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      Traditional psychometric theory and practice classify people according to broad ability dimensions but do not examine how these mental processes occur. Hunt and Lansman (1975) proposed a 'distributed memory' model of cognitive processes with emphasis on how to describe individual differences based on the assumption that each individual possesses the same components. It is in the quality of these components ~hat individual differences arise. Carroll (1974) expands Hunt's model to include a production system (after Newell and Simon, 1973) and a response system. He developed a framework of factor analytic (FA) factors for : the purpose of describing how individual differences may arise from them. This scheme is to be used in the analysis of psychometric tes ts . Recent advances in the field of information processing are examined and include. 1) Hunt's development of differences between subjects designated as high or low verbal , 2) Miller's pursuit of the magic number seven, plus or minus two, 3) Ferguson's examination of transfer and abilities and, 4) Brown's discoveries concerning strategy teaching and retardates . In order to examine possible sources of individual differences arising from cognitive tasks, traditional psychometric tests were searched for a suitable perceptual task which could be varied slightly and administered to gauge learning effects produced by controlling independent variables. It also had to be suitable for analysis using Carroll's f ramework . The Coding Task (a symbol substitution test) found i n the Performance Scale of the WISe was chosen. Two experiments were devised to test the following hypotheses. 1) High verbals should be able to complete significantly more items on the Symbol Substitution Task than low verbals (Hunt, Lansman, 1975). 2) Having previous practice on a task, where strategies involved in the task may be identified, increases the amount of output on a similar task (Carroll, 1974). J) There should be a sUbstantial decrease in the amount of output as the load on STM is increased (Miller, 1956) . 4) Repeated measures should produce an increase in output over trials and where individual differences in previously acquired abilities are involved, these should differentiate individuals over trials (Ferguson, 1956). S) Teaching slow learners a rehearsal strategy would improve their learning such that their learning would resemble that of normals on the ,:same task. (Brown, 1974). In the first experiment 60 subjects were d.ivided·into high and low verbal, further divided randomly into a practice group and nonpractice group. Five subjects in each group were assigned randomly to work on a five, seven and nine digit code throughout the experiment. The practice group was given three trials of two minutes each on the practice code (designed to eliminate transfer effects due to symbol similarity) and then three trials of two minutes each on the actual SST task . The nonpractice group was given three trials of two minutes each on the same actual SST task . Results were analyzed using a four-way analysis of variance . In the second experiment 18 slow learners were divided randomly into two groups. one group receiving a planned strategy practioe, the other receiving random practice. Both groups worked on the actual code to be used later in the actual task. Within each group subjects were randomly assigned to work on a five, seven or nine digit code throughout. Both practice and actual tests consisted on three trials of two minutes each. Results were analyzed using a three-way analysis of variance . It was found in t he first experiment that 1) high or low verbal ability by itself did not produce significantly different results. However, when in interaction with the other independent variables, a difference in performance was noted . 2) The previous practice variable was significant over all segments of the experiment. Those who received previo.us practice were able to score significantly higher than those without it. J) Increasing the size of the load on STM severely restricts performance. 4) The effect of repeated trials proved to be beneficial. Generally, gains were made on each successive trial within each group. S) In the second experiment, slow learners who were allowed to practice randomly performed better on the actual task than subjeots who were taught the code by means of a planned strategy. Upon analysis using the Carroll scheme, individual differences were noted in the ability to develop strategies of storing, searching and retrieving items from STM, and in adopting necessary rehearsals for retention in STM. While these strategies may benef it some it was found that for others they may be harmful . Temporal aspects and perceptual speed were also found to be sources of variance within individuals . Generally it was found that the largest single factor i nfluencing learning on this task was the repeated measures . What e~ables gains to be made, varies with individuals . There are environmental factors, specific abilities, strategy development, previous learning, amount of load on STM , perceptual and temporal parameters which influence learning and these have serious implications for educational programs .
    • Visual word learning in good and poor readers

      Wilkinson, Judith E.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1985-07-09)
      Forty students from regular, grade five classes were divided into two groups of twenty, a good reader group and a' poor reader group, on the basis. of their reading scores on Canadian Achievement Tests. .The subjects took. part in four experimental conditions iM which they .learned lists of pronounceable and unprono~nceable pseudowords, some with semantic referents, and responded to questions designed tci test visual perceptu~l learning and lexical ·and semantic association learning. It' was hypothesized "that the good reade~ group would be able to make use of graphemic and phonemic redundancy patterns in order to improv~·visuSl perceptual learning and lexical and semantic association lea~ningto a greater extent. than would .the poor reader gr6up. The data supported this hypothesis, and also indicated that, although the poor readers were less adept at using familiar sound and letter patterns, they were more dependent on· such pa~terns as an aid to visual recognition memory and semantic recall than were the good readers. It wa.s postulated that poor readers are in a double- ~ . bind situatio~ of having to choose between using weak graphemic-semantic associations or gr~pheme-phoneme associations which are also weak and which have hindered them in developing automaticity in. reading.
    • Web based content and hybrid teaching: student perceptions of the effectiveness of using web based content and hyper-linked teaching units in teaching hybrid business and marketing post secondary classes /

      Richardson, W. Tim G.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      This exploratory, descriptive action research study is based on a survey of a sample of convenience consisting of 172 college and university marketing students, and 5 professors who were experienced in teaching in an internet based environment. The students that were surveyed were studying e-commerce and international business in 3^^ and 4*'' year classes at a leading imiversity in Ontario and e-commerce in 5^ semester classes at a leading college. These classes were taught using a hybrid teaching style with the contribution of a large website that contained pertinent text and audio material. Hybrid teaching employs web based course materials (some in the form of Learning Objects) to deliver curriculimi material both during the attended lectures and also for students accessing the course web page outside of class hours. The survey was in the form on an online questionnaire. The research questions explored in this study were: 1. What factors influence the students' ability to access and learn from web based course content? 2. How likely are the students to use selected elements of internet based curriculum for learning academic content? 3. What is the preferred physical environment to facilitate learning in a hybrid environment? 4. How effective are selected teaching/learning strategies in a hybrid environment? The findings of this study suggest that students are very interested in being part of the learning process by contributing to a course web site. Specifically, students are interested in audio content being one of the formats of online course material, and have an interest in being part of the creation of small audio clips to be used in class.
    • Wellness and balance: perceptions amongst female health care professionals negotiating career, family, and continuing education /

      Scott, Sarah.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-07-14)
      The purpose ofthis study was to explore the perceptions of wellness and bidance amongst female health care professionals negotiating career, family aiul continuing education commitments. Five women who met the criteria of having a family (with children), holding a full-time professional career in health care, and who were presently pursuing continuing education were interviewed. This paper begins with the introduction to the topic of research and the questions to be answered. The review of literature explores the theory and research A^ch precede this study and addresses the surrounding areas of: wellness, balance, multiple roles, stress and continuing education. < This study has assumed a qualitative, phenomenological approach. The data collected through the use of individual interviews were analyzed using a two-part process. Analysis using both (a) methodological interpretation and (b) The Listening Guide method has allowed for the uncovering of major themes, and the portrayal of each participant's unique experience. Some of the major themes which emerged from this research include: wellness as multidimensional and fluctuating, making personal sacrifices, the presence of stress, professional as a vital role, and continuing education as something for me. Perhaps the most significant finding this research has identified is the positive role continuing education can hold in the lives of women already negotiating multiple commitments. The notion that continuing education can act as a means of enhancing perceptions of wellness and balance holds a number of implications in theory, practice, and for future research.
    • Wellspring: an intrinsic case study of community-based education for adults living with cancer /

      McGill, Philomena Kathleen Anne.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2006-06-04)
      This paper presents education research as vital to addressing the issues faced by adults living with cancer. This qualitative study looked at philosophies of practice for cancer patient education. It was about understanding how values and beliefs shape the way program planners and managers operationalize their knowledge of adult education and how this has significant impact on meeting the needs of those touched by cancer. Improved technology has extended life expectancy, so that Canadians living with cancer, or even dying with cancer now spend less time in direct medical care. The notion of cancer as simply a medical concern is outdated. This study found that informational and support needs of adults living with cancer are often unmet, ignored or unknown. This research investigated a community-based education initiative that is inviting, accessible, and promotes a sense of hope. More specifically, this case study uncovered factors contributing to the success of Wellspring, a grass-roots cancer patient support centre which has been recognized nationally for its ability to effectively meet the diverse non-medical supportive care needs of as many cancer patients and caregivers as possible. Therefore, Wellspring was selected as a case study. Educating people to take charge of their own lives and supporting them in making informed decisions about their lifestyle choices made Wellspring part of a social action movement that focused on improving social attitudes toward people living with cancer. Results of this descriptive inquiry and philosophical inquiry evolved into data that was used to devise an organic model of community-based education that encompasses Adler's (1993) four dimensions of philosophy within a socio-cultural context.
    • What Matters? : the full-time graduate students' perceptions of teacher effectiveness

      Shi, Xiaojun.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2005-11-04)
      The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the full-time graduate students' perceptions of teacher effectiveness at the graduate school level, to identify how graduate students perceive effective and ineffective teachers, and specifically to discover the main dimensions of teacher effectiveness that graduate students perceive as most significant. This topic was investigated because, although the teacher has been deemed as a crucial component in the teaching process, there is no common agreement on the definition and measure of teacher effectiveness. Graduate students' perceptions of teacher effectiveness have not been given much attention. The research design was based on a ground theory approach. It utilized qualitative data through interviews, field notes, andjournals. The findings ofthis study revealed that teacher effectiveness is markedly influential to graduate students. There is no universally consented definition or measure of teacher effectiveness due to the multidimensionality of teaching and learning. Nevertheless, several major dimensions ofteacher effectiveness were discovered and highlighted in this study. Such dimensions include good command of subject matter, presentation skills, challenging and motivating students, rapport with students, learning environment, course demands, as well as assessment and feedback. It was hoped that the study would move towards developing a theory that contributes to the knowledge base of graduate students' perceptions of teacher effectiveness. It was anticipated that the results would provide first-hand information for the instructor to improve teaching; for the administrator to promote the effective educational experiences and student achievements. It was intended that the findings would lay a theoretical and empirical groundwork for future research.
    • What motivates registered nurses to participate in continuing education activities?

      Powell, Beverley.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      The study was undertaken to identify what motivates registered nurses to participate in continuing education activities. The primary questions were whether basic nursing education, employment status, clinical area, and position, as well as readiness for selfdirected learning influenced Canadian nurses' motivational orientations when deciding to participate in continuing education activities. Other individual differences (e.g., age) were also examined. The sample included 142 registered nurses employed at an urban community hospital. Three instruments were used for data collection: the Education Participation Scale, the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale, and a nursing survey consisting of demographic questions. Basic nursing education and employment status did not effect motivational orientation or self-directed learning readiness. Clinical area and level of position significantly influenced nurses' decisions to participate in continuing education activities. Motivational orientation had a significant relationship with selfdirected learning readiness. Implications for practice as a result of this study involves program planning and delivery. The identification of the motivational orientations of participants may assist in the development and delivery of continuing education programs that are beneficial, relevant, and address the identified learning needs of participants. Implications for future research also exist in relation to studying different groups of nurses, for example, registered nursing assistants, and investigating related issues, for example, what are the deterrents to participation in continuing education?
    • What nourishes the spirit of adolescents in the classroom? : a qualitative study into the gateways of adolescents' souls /

      Brown, Hilary.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2002-05-21)
      This thesis investigated the question, "What nourishes the adolescent spirit in the classroom?" Action research was conducted by the teacher of 16 grade 8 participants. By undergoing Kessler's (2000) "Passages Program," the students participated in 6 sessions which exposed them to a holistic intrapersonal curriculum. Student journal responses were documented after each session. The action researcher also kept journal reflections after each session. Upon completion of the 6 sessions, a postinterview was conducted which posed the research question. The research found that the adolescent spirit gets nourished through encouragement by the teacher, peers, and parents. This increases their competency, which increases their confidence, and ultimately their self-esteem goes up, which affects their selfconcept. In addition, the role of the teacher permeates every aspect of what nourishes the adolescent spirit in the classroom. In addition to the encouragement of the student, how a teacher teaches plays a vital role. A holistic approach to teaching provided the best atmosphere for the adolescent. It promoted creativity and choice, which stimulated the spirit of the adolescent. By working from a holistic philosophy, the teacher/action researcher created an environment conducive to teaching the whole person, which ultimately nourished the participants' spirit. The research highlighted that in order for this type of environment to exist the teacher needs to make a conscious and deliberate effort to look within and develop their inner self before they can begin to promote this type of classroom for the adolescents they teach. When teachers and students develop an inner life together, they can begin to work in harmony to achieve an atmosphere where the teaching and learning environment becomes one seamless transaction. Only then can one's whole potential be realized.
    • "Where is the value in education for me?": experiences and perspectives of Ontario secondary students at risk of non-completion of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma /

      MacDonald-Hunter, Tracy-Anne.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2008-06-04)
      This study examined students considered at risk of non-completion of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and aimed to offer insight into the questions, "What factors currently lead to school disconnect" and "How can these factors be addressed?" Eight students currently enrolled in an alternative learning environment participated in the study. Each was asked to take part in two, digitally recorded interviews that were subsequently transcribed by the researcher. The data were then coded and analysed according to specific themes: obstacles, empowerment, goals, views about success, opinions of school, and power of the teacher. From these themes, three broad focus areas emerged that were used to keep the data analysis focused: worldview, school effects, and self-image. Variances between the data collected and ideas presented in the current literature were highlighted as a reminder that when dealing with a human population, we cannot rely on textbook definitions and theory alone.