• Exploring the Design Process and Components of an Elementary Literacy Guide in an Ontario School Board Initiative

      Donahue, Krissa
      The skill to identify and use best practices in literacy to promote achievement for students of all abilities cannot be underestimated by elementary educators. This qualitative case study investigates 1 year of a literacy initiative for primary and junior educators organized by a southern Ontario school board. The goals of the initiative were to design a literacy guide for teachers while building teacher capacity with literacy practices. Data were culled and analyzed from an examination of the guide, the meetings’ field notes and artifacts, as well as interviews with the educators at the end of the year. Several themes from the results emerged. The educators perceived the design process as unclear but the collaborative components were deemed valuable. The guide’s incompletion led to mixed reactions from the educators about the guide and its structure. Overall, the first year of the 3-year initiative acted as a catalyst for professional learning on literacy. The findings of this study accentuated the value of training educators to use empirical research to support their practices and professional knowledge. Also, the significance of promoting strong leadership with a comprehensive layout consisting of coherent tangible goals for professional development is highlighted.
    • Teachers' Knowledge of, Satisfaction With, And Familiarity With Supporting Students With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

      Uttamsingh, Jason
      This study explored teachers’ knowledge of ADHD, levels of satisfaction with strategies to successfully teach students with ADHD in the classroom, and familiarity with related resources and policy. Participation was voluntary, and teachers electing to participate completed a survey designed to capture data relating to the areas noted above. The sample of teacher participants was taken from one of the largest public school boards in Ontario, and included teachers of varying years of experience, special education and non-special education teachers, and both elementary and secondary teachers. Results indicated that teachers were generally dissatisfied with their abilities to teach students with ADHD. Special education teachers seemed to be more satisfied with their abilities to use successful strategies to teach students with ADHD compared to non-special education teachers, and special education teachers also seemed to be more familiar with related resources and policies compared to non-special education teachers. In addition, special education teachers seemed to have more working knowledge of the nature of ADHD as a disorder compared to non-special education teachers. Results also indicated possible areas for a lack of knowledge about ADHD among teachers in general, including diet, age, and genetics in relation to the nature of ADHD and the propagation of symptoms indicative of the disorder. Years of teaching experience also seemed to play a part in teachers’ knowledge of certain areas. Implications include possible further training for teachers to address knowledge gaps and to enhance teachers’ abilities to better instruct students with ADHD in their classrooms.