• Factors Contributing to Reading Performance: An In-Depth Analysis of the “Boy Crisis”

      Sanci, Dina (2013-09-26)
      This research used a quantitative study approach to investigate the “boy crisis” in Canada. Boy crisis advocates suggest that boys are being surpassed by girls on reading assessments and promote strategies to assist male students. A feminist framework was used in this study that allowed for an investigation and discussion of the factors that mediate between gender and success at reading comprehension, interpretation, and response to text without ignoring female students. Reading scores and questionnaire data compiled by the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program were used in this research, specifically the PCAP-13 2007 assessment of approximately 30,000 13-year-old students from all Canadian provinces and Yukon Territory (CMEC, 2008). Approximately 20,000 participants wrote the reading assessment, while 30,000 students completed the questionnaire responses. Predictor variables were tested using parametric tests such as independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA, chi-square analysis, and Pearson r. Findings from this study indicate that although boys scored lower than girls on the PCAP-13 2007 reading assessment, factors were found to influence the reading scores of both male and female students to varying degrees. Socioeconomic status, perceptions of the reading material used in language arts classrooms, reading preference, reading interest, parental involvement, parental encouragement for reading, and self-efficacy were all found to affect the reading performance of boys and girls. Relationships between variables were also found and are discussed in this research. The analysis presented in this study allows parents, educators, and policy makers to begin to critically examine and re-evaluate boy crisis literature and offers suggestions on how to improve reading performance for all students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
    • Faculty Perspectives on E-Learning Policy in a Canadian University

      Oake, Sharon
      This qualitative multi-method study investigated faculty member perspectives on e-learning policy, and its influence on their use of e-learning. The research was conducted at one medium sized comprehensive university in Ontario, Canada. Data were collected from interviews with 12 full-time faculty members, eight of whom had taught at least one online undergraduate university course. Data were also collected from institutional and government documents. Respondents noted e-learning increased flexibility and/or convenience with respect to both their engagement with students, and student engagement with course material. E-learning was identified positively for its ability to save time by some respondents, and negatively as being time intensive by others. Increased student and government demand for on-line courses, as well as the opportunity to use technology for instructional purposes, increased respondents’ use of e-learning. Additionally, the university’s pedagogical centre, which provided direct support to respondents, was considered key in supporting their transition to e-learning. Respondents were generally unable to identify specific university policy related to e-learning, and some noted the lack of specific policy had hampered e-learning course development in their departments. The documents reviewed tended to view e-learning in favourable terms, highlighting it as a response to changing political, economic, and societal conditions, and promoting it for its ability to reduce costs to the university, increase student enrolment, and provide more equitable access to university programs, particularly for under-represented groups such as new Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and first-generations students. Whereas government documents tended to focus on mandates (e.g. the intent to change the university system based on each university’s strengths), institutional documents focused on teaching, learning, and e-learning, both in response to government mandates, and in alignment with the University’s strategic direction. Collectively, the documents shared the respondents’ perceptions regarding flexibility, time, and demand. However, while government documents focused on issues of cost, changing conditions, enrolment and equitable access, institutional documents explained e-learning, the differences with face-to-face teaching and learning, and how best to integrate e-learning into practice.
    • Feedback on Academic Writing: ESL Instructors' and ESL Students' Perspectives

      Li, Yue
      Most international students strive to meet writing requirements at the postsecondary level, and they are a group that need additional instructions and help on academic writing. Feedback has been widely used as a pedagogical intervention to help language learners with their writing, but effective feedback has not always been achieved. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore teaching pedagogies related to feedback strategies by analyzing students’ and instructors’ perceptions in the ESL context. From a sociocultural perspective, this study analyzed participants’ perceptions of the effectiveness of feedback and students’ engagement with instructors’ feedback. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, a focus group, and email questionnaires. Key findings of this research include students’ reliance on written feedback, the value of feedback conferences and dialogues, and the need to generate more feedback engagements and interactions. The study also discusses the pedagogical implications of findings and makes suggestions for future practice and research.
    • #FemEdTech Cartography: Shifting Academic Culture Through Collaborative Policy Creation

      Forsythe, Giulia
      Recognizing the need to equip and empower individuals and societies, intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations have created policy recommendations for member countries. Many of these recommendations include promoting open practices, such as creating and using open educational resources and publishing in open access platforms (UNESCO, 2012, 2019). Policy frameworks at the intergovernmental level are far removed from levels of implementation. This distance can hinder policy success (Ansell et al., 2017). Another barrier to open scholarship policy implementation lies in the traditional, dominant academic culture strongly influenced by the prestige economy (Blackmore & Kandiko, 2011; Fitzpatrick, 2019; Jhiangiani, 2017). Public engagement and collaboration through networked practices—known as networked participatory scholarship (NPS)—may influence academic culture to “support, amplify, and transform scholarship” (Veletsianos & Kimmons, 2012b, p. 768). This study examined the open online scholarly community #FemEdTech as it engages in NPS to create, collect, and curate value statements to generate iterative codes of conduct. Contents of tweets that include the Twitter hashtags #FemEdTech and #FemEdTechValues were thematized and categorized in alignment with the principles of a feminist Internet (Association for Progressive Communications, 2020a−2020q). The findings are represented as a visual metaphor of a map charting the fluid nature between policy design and implementation, described as the #FemEdTech Cartography. This collaborative policy creation can serve as a model to shift academic culture towards more socially just practices using open scholarship to address the pressing issues of our time.
    • The FinTech Skills Gap: Identifying Skills Desired by Bank Employers and Skills Taught in Undergraduate Business/Accounting Programs in Ontario

      Bott, Joyce
      This study examined the FinTech skills gap in Ontario with the goal of identifying opportunities for developing FinTech talent in undergraduate business/accounting programs offered at Ontario universities. A literature review revealed a global phenomenon of technology-related skills shortages in the finance industry from the perspective of employers. Although educators do incorporate technology and data analysis tools in the classroom, students are not perceived as being fully proficient in them (Boulianne, 2016; Pan & Seow, 2016; Rackliffe and Ragland, 2016; Sledgianowski, Hirsch, & Gomaa, 2016; Wymbs, 2016). The methodology used in this research involved using text analytics to look at FinTech job postings data from Indeed.com compared against undergraduate program data from the official academic calendars posted on the websites of 19 universities in Ontario. Results reveal with statistical significance that business/accounting educators have a weak level of agreement with bank employers on the hard skills that are most relevant in the industry.
    • First aid: A Critical Component of School Health Education

      Cursio, Daniel
      There exists a paucity of evidence pertaining to first aid education in Canadian schools. With personal safety being an important component of health education, first aid is positioned less prominently within provincial school health curricula or programming in Canada. Normally performed by laypeople, first aid refers to the urgent and initial assistance given to anyone suffering a sudden illness or injury in order to preserve life, prevent rapid health deterioration, and promote recovery (Canadian Red Cross, 2017a). This study examines first aid education (FAE) in Canada’s provincial health education curricula. It also analyzes and discusses the taxonomy of first aid core content and outcomes within these curricula. Further, the study examines what FAE incorporates, while also analyzing why and how it is integral with health education. The findings in this study may provide scholars and practitioners with a deeper understanding of school-based FAE. Suggestions for future revisions in health education curriculum and future research directions are provided.
    • The Forest and its Trees: A Critical Inquiry into the Use of Nature-based Solutions in Canada’s A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy Plan

      Esdale, Gavin
      Nature-based solutions (NbS) and natural climate solutions (NCS) have emerged as promising options to address the challenges of the global climate and biodiversity crises. However, confusion persists about the meaning and practical implications of these relatively new approaches in the public, private, and political spheres. This research paper explores how the Government of Canada conceptualizes NbS and NCS, first through a scoping review of literature regarding the conceptual definitions and limits of NbS and NCS, and then through a directed content analysis of their 2020 climate plan, titled A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy (HEHE). This research determines that the NbS and NCS concepts are frequently confused or treated as interchangeable by the Government of Canada to the detriment of the HEHE plan’s strategies. The implications of these findings are discussed. The paper concludes with recommendations for improved design and deployment of NbS and NCS in Canada.
    • Foster Children in Education: Resource Handbook for Elementary Educators

      Zmiyiwsky, Mira Anna (2014-01-13)
      This project is aligned with examining the role of the education system and the foster care context on the learning experiences of young children in the classroom. This project is a study of the literature and research conducted on the life experiences, adverse effects of these experiences (such as attachment disorder), socioemotional development, and resiliency of foster care children. Furthermore, the project explores the literature on how the experiences of these foster children traverse contexts and impact the education setting. This study also outlines specific strategies and practices for teachers and school staff in order to promote students’ resiliency, competency, behaviour management, and overall educational success and positive academic experience. These strategies resulted from a critical review of the literature and translated into the development of an informative handbook intended for teachers. The handbook developed in this study focuses on the understanding of the lives of foster care children, their histories, adverse experiences, socioemotional development, strategies to manage behaviour, unique needs, and encouraging their resiliency and success in school. To ensure the soundness of the handbook, 2 education liaisons at a Family and Child Services agency within Ontario and a former child and service social worker from Manitoba reviewed the first draft and provided comments on the validity of the content and the potential usability of the handbook for educators. Suggestions and comments provided by these experts were used to enhance the final product of the handbook.
    • From Academic to Personal: Addressing Asianness in Ontario Education

      Louie, Monica
      This study explored the complexities of Asian Canadian experiences in educational spaces. In particular, I considered how various stereotypes and discourses of Asianness contribute to an environment in which Asian students are rendered both privileged and marginalized, seen and unseen, supported and excluded. Current research on Asian Canadians reveals a limited understanding of the intricacies of Asian experiences in educational settings. Moreover, attention to the particular needs of this group is often not considered in policies designed to address racial and ethnic equity in schools. Using an autobiographical approach, I explored and analyzed four personal vignettes to gain perspective into my experience of racial stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination. I framed this project using Asian Critical Theory to discuss how my identity developed as a female Chinese Canadian student and teacher in Ontario. I used these stories, alongside theory and literature, to interrogate the relevance, applicability, and utility of equity and inclusive practices in teaching. Throughout, I ask how the racialized discourses and stereotypes around Asianness inform my identity as an Asian Canadian.
    • Fulfilling Dreams Through Education: An Immigrant Mother’s Sociocultural Narrative

      Brown-Bell, Denese
      There are bodies of literature that exist on motherhood; however, the focus of these studies is on mothering in a European context. This sociocultural study focuses on my lived experiences as a mother navigating through Jamaica’s hegemonic educational structures, and managing the challenges faced by my son. Additionally, it recounts the disorienting dilemmas I experienced with my child falling seriously ill at 11 months old, and critical incidents relating to him not being able to fulfill his educational potential in Jamaica. I have looked at my experiences through Mezirow’s (1992) transformative learning theory to connect them to my journey “fulfilling dreams through education” – as an immigrant mother all in an effort to ensure a better future for my son. Also, Tripp’s (1993) critical incident theory and turning point theory is used to narrate stories of my experiences with Jamaica’s K-12 educational system, which provides little or no support for students outside the ‘edges,’ or those who do not fall within the normative standard. Further, in this study, I have incorporated a storytelling approach, a method used in narrative inquiry (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990), by telling my life stories in order to relate my experiences with the Jamaican education system to make meaningful connections. Telling these stories will facilitate a sense of awareness and help me to understand several engagements with the cultural system of education in Jamaica (Fresco, 2008). Connelly and Clandinin (1990) use the word narrative to mean “both the phenomenon (people lead storied lives and tell stories of these lives) and the method (researchers describe these lives, collect and tell stories of them, and write narratives of experience)” (p. 2). I have undertaken to do this by writing about my life experiences from recollection, and it is envisioned that the stories contained herein will serve as a source of inspiration and strength to those who read it.
    • Global Education in the Shifting Classroom: Refocusing the Teacher Lens Through Study Abroad

      Sperduti, Vanessa R. (2014-01-07)
      Academic exchange programmes provide opportunities for teacher candidates to study at educational institutions abroad wherein they are able to learn more about different cultures, teaching practices, and build cross-cultural relationships. This paper is an exploration into my teacher candidate experience abroad. The relevant research on this topic indicates that teacher certification should take an active role in creating opportunities for teacher candidates to participate in educational experiences abroad because of their benefits. The knowledge that a teacher gains through abroad experiences is one of the strongest factors in helping to build authentic global classrooms. In addition, these programmes allow for fuller understanding of a global context and the chance to understand someone else’s story. This review and synthesis of literature and research findings prepares a foundation for how teacher candidates, and hopefully, how policy makers can work toward creating a more inclusive global classroom for students.
    • Globalization and Its Impact on Assessment: Moving Toward a New Story

      Rigas, Bob (2013-09-04)
      Globalization has resulted in large-scale international and local assessments closely tied to notions of accountability and competitiveness in a globalized economy. Although policy makers seek to ensure citizens meet the demands of a global knowledge-based economy, such assessments may also impede the development of requisite 21st century skills. While standardization currently is viewed as the most effective measurement of student achievement, several Canadian and international jurisdictions are moving toward assessment for learning (AfL). This conceptual study sought to identify whether AfL or standardized assessment most effectively meets 21st century learning goals in the wake of rapid global change. It applies a Story Model theoretical framework to understand the current, the new emerging, and the future ideal story of education from a personal, cultural, and global lens. The study examines the main critiques and/or challenges of standardized testing, the benefits of AfL for student learning, and new teaching and assessment approaches to the development of 21st century learning goals. The study applies the Story Model’s inside-outside/past-future approach to determine the future direction of assessment. Results show that the new story of assessment will most likely entail a model that integrates both standardized testing and in-class assessments in the form of AfL and PBL.
    • Globalization, Neoliberalism, and International Student Enrolments in Higher Education: Expanding Global Interconnectedness and Academic Commodification

      Martin, Jacinda
      The last 20 years has witnessed a dramatic surge in international student enrolments around the world. Canada has been among the countries that have experienced some of the most significant increases international enrolments in college and university postsecondary educational institutions. This major research paper explores this trend and critically reviews the growing body of literature that seeks to explain this growth phenomenon. While the growth of the number students travelling the world in search of educational opportunities is, indeed, a global trend, the movement is largely from key developing nations to a smaller number of English-speaking, Western, wealthy capitalist countries. While for some scholars and commentators this movement is understood as part of the internationalization of all nations as part of the process of globalization, others see it as imbricated in the neoliberal project that has contributed to the corporatization of higher education and the commodification of knowledge within Western, capitalist nations. I review this debate with specific reference to data and examples from the province of Ontario, Canada.
    • A Handbook for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Best Practices for Educators and Community Partners

      McCorriston, Stephanie
      Students with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) present a unique and intensifying challenge and learning opportunity for practitioners in educational settings. Many educators and community partners feel ill-equipped to handle the increasing demand to support these students’ unique mental health needs. Therefore, the purpose of this project was threefold: a) to augment practitioner knowledge regarding generalized anxiety; b) to enhance practitioner ability and confidence to identify anxiety symptomatology; and c) to develop a practical resource that provides evidence-based strategies and lesson plans for practitioners to support school-age children with generalized anxiety. Five practitioners with experience working in educational settings voluntarily participated in a need assessment. Based on practitioner identified gaps and a literature review, A Handbook for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Best Practices for Educators and Community Partners was created. The theoretical framework examined for this project was based on social-cognitive theory, specifically Bandura's (1986) theory of triadic reciprocity and reciprocal determinism. This theory places emphasis on the complex interplay of personal, environmental and behavioural factors which contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Once the handbook was complete, an Evaluative Questionnaire was circulated among the same practitioners to determine its efficacy, relevance and practicality. Implications for future research were considered and the limitations of this study were examined.
    • A Handbook for Ontario J/I Pre-Service Teachers Developing Inclusive Pedagogy: Understanding Pre-Service Teachers' Thoughts and Feelings About Diversity

      Pierce, Andrew (2014-04-08)
      This project presents a handbook for Ontario Junior/Intermediate (J/I) pre-service teachers, Ontario J/I teacher education instructors, and J/I associate teachers that facilitates the identification, analysis, and reorganization of J/I pre-service teachers’ thoughts and feelings about diversity characteristics to develop inclusive teaching pedagogy. The handbook outlines collaborative and independent learning activities designed for integration into compulsory J/I Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) program courses, practicum placements, and independent reflective situations. The handbook is composed of 5 sections: (a) Rationale for Importance; (b) Cross-Curricular Activities for J/I B.Ed. Courses; (c) Course-Specific Activities; (d) Practicum Placement Activities; and (e) Resources for Inclusive Educators. A critical content analysis of a 2011-2012 J/I B.Ed. program in Ontario enabled the creation of the handbook to address specific teacher education programming focused on helping pre-service teachers understand their thoughts and feelings about diversity for the development of inclusive teaching pedagogy. This research contributes to the advancement of theory and practice regarding development of teacher education programming that promotes J/I pre-service teachers’ inclusive pedagogy.
    • A Handbook on Anxiety Disorders: Mindfulness as a Therapeutic Intervention for Adolescents

      Seminara, Maria
      Adolescents with anxiety disorders is a rising concern in the field of mental health and education. Due to the large percentages of people who endure anxiety, this present project focuses on providing individuals with a practical and comprehensive resource tool that revolves around implementing mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention for adolescents with anxiety disorders. The handbook was developed from the empirical research and the Needs Assessment questionnaire data from four participants’ feedback on mindfulness-based interventions in relation to anxiety disorders. The same four participants were asked to fill out an Evaluative questionnaire and submitted their feedback. The participants’ feedback was taken into consideration in the final evaluation of the handbook. The data collected in this study provided further evidence on how mindfulness-based interventions are still in their preliminary stages of awareness as most participants allotted to not having adequate knowledge about mindfulness and the potential benefits mindfulness can have on adolescents with anxiety. The potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions were theoretically framed in this handbook using Bandura’s (1986) Triadic Theory of Reciprocity. Bandura’s theory assists in explaining the benefits mindfulness could have on individual’s with anxiety disorders due to how Bandura allotted to the reciprocal connection between cognition, behaviour, and the environment and how mindfulness-based practices emphasize the mind-body connection. Recommendations for further research and the limitations were examined.
    • Health Impacts of Local and Chinese Small-Scale Gold Mining Operations on Ghanaian Communities

      Agyei, Robert
      The influx of Chinese miners in Ghana’s small-scale gold mining sector has encouraged a large body of research examining the deleterious impacts of gold mining on the environment. However, there is sparse literature concentrating on the health impacts of gold mining. This research therefore examines the health impacts of local and Chinese small-scale gold mining operations on Ghanaian communities. The research employs both qualitative and quantitative data and utilizes the theory of environmental justice as the framework for analyzing and creating ways to explore the health impacts of local and Chinese small-scale gold mining operations. The study found that both large-scale and small-scale gold mining are highly associated with environmental pollution in mining communities. The Chinese introduction of high-tech machines to quicken the production of gold has exacerbated the rate of environmental pollution in mining communities. Also, both scales of gold mining, in addition to Chinese mining activities, have negatively impacted the health of mining communities. Inhabitants of mining communities bear the brunt of poor sanitation, pollution, diseases, injuries and deaths. The research illuminates the environmental and health impacts of gold mining engendered by both local and Chinese miners in Ghanaian communities.
    • Helping Youth Venture Into Volunteerism: A Resource for Ontario Secondary School Educators

      Benko, Katherine (2014-12-23)
      This study sought to create a curriculum resource for Ontario secondary school educators that addresses the inadequate preparation of students prior to their involvement in community service. Specifically, Helping Youth Venture Into Volunteerism: A Resource for Ontario Secondary School Educators was designed to help grade 10 Civics and Citizenship teachers prepare students for the 40 hours of community service that are a prerequisite for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The resource discusses problems with the current unstructured program, outlines researchers’ recommendations to address such problems, and provides comprehensive unit and lesson plans to help educators meet curriculum expectations for grade 10 Civics and Citizenship. In addition, the study examined the rationale and development of the community service program and reviewed related literature corresponding both to Ontario’s community service program as well as service-learning programs in schools. Study results and the accompanying resource will help improve the community service program’s effectiveness by integrating it into school practices and curriculum and making it more relevant, structured, and meaningful to students. By improving the community service program, students will be more engaged in community service and more likely will become lifelong volunteers and active members of their community.
    • Hidden Motives: An Analysis of Online ESL Teacher Hiring Practices in Japan and Hong Kong

      Law, Winnie W. (2014-04-13)
      Hidden Motives: An Analysis of Online English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher Hiring Practices in Japan and Hong Kong is a qualitative research paper examines and compares two large-scale Asian English language teaching programs: Japan’s Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme (JET Programme, 2010) and Hong Kong’s Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme (NET Scheme, 2013). Both government sponsored programs recruit internationally and invite participants to work within each country’s public schools while living amongst local communities and both programs utilize their online presence to attract, inform, and recruit individuals. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the JET and NET websites are transparent with their governmental motives aside from improving their students’ English language abilities. While JET and NET websites were interrogated, the research questions were regularly revisited to determine if the two sites made any underlying motives clear to the candidates. The research, supported by academic literature, exposed the JET Programme website to be a branch of the Japanese government’s soft power campaign, whereby JET teachers were hired firstly as potential advocates for Japan and Japanese culture rather than English teachers. Conversely, the NET Scheme appeared to be solely commissioned for English language improvement as reflected by their website. Findings from the research can provide insight to applicants to help them decide if they want to participant in these programs. Without clearly understanding the background that motivates these programs, participants may unknowingly be used to support the host government’s agendas.
    • A Holistic Approach to Makerspaces and Pedagogy: Linking 20th Century Pedagogy with the 21st Century Makerspace Classroom

      Branigan-Pipe, Zoe
      This major research paper is a narrative account of Makerspaces and my experiences as a teacher who has embraced this pedagogy. Educational reformers are calling for a dramatic shift in educational practice to meet the needs of the 21st Century learner. A Makerspace is an innovative 21st Century concept and describes a space where people can meet to share ideas, collaborate, invent and use hands-on approaches. It is a do-it-yourself movement that often involves technology, such as a 3-D printer, but also may involve knitting needles and a sewing machine. I examine the content, processes and guiding pedagogies within Makerspaces in education. Alternative forms of education such as Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and Montessori are explored to make connections to the Maker Culture. Chapter 4 offers an e-book that is intended as an educator resource. This resource may help educators and school leaders to implement a Makerspace in their own contexts.