• 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.
    • A Home Literacy Handbook for Parents With Preschool Children

      Robinson, Jessica (2013-09-12)
      The purpose of this project was to provide parents with an awareness of the role that they play in their preschool children's literacy and reading development and to create a practical handbook that parents can use to teach early literacy and reading skills to their preschool children in their home environment. The handbook was created in response to the literature that confirmed that the children benefit from developing emergent literacy skills before they enter school in kindergarten or grade 1. In addition to the information gathered from the academic literature, needs assessments were conducted in order to hear perspectives from multiple stakeholders involved in the context of this project. The needs assessment questionnaires were conducted with 4 Ontario certified grade 1 and 2 teachers, and 4 parents with preschool children or children in kindergarten or grade 1. Data collected from these participants highlighted the needs of parents and were used to create a comprehensive handbook that will hopefully be accessible and useful to a wide parent audience. The results of the research project indicated that parents would, in fact, benefit from having access to a resource such as this handbook to assist in teaching the 4 components of emergent literacy to their preschool children––oral language, alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, and print awareness––to their preschool children.
    • Homosexual Subculture in Classical Athens: An Analysis of Unconventional Same-sex Relationships in the Speech of Lysias Against Simon

      Ahmed, Shakeel
      The genre of Athenian forensic oratory is valuable evidence for evaluating Greek society’s perception of men involved in long-standing homosexual relationships. A close examination of such relationships reveals that some citizen status males dispensed with the obligation of marriage and formed an enduring companionship with a socially marginalized man. Much of the scholarship on Greek homosexuality, however, ignores the role of subaltern groups in same-sex relationships and denies the existence of homosexual practices beyond the codified structures of the well-known pederastic relationship model. Applying a multidisciplinary lens to Lysias’ speech Against Simon, this MRP considers how its narrative on same-sex desire, relationships, shame, and masculinity reveals a complex and diverse image of Greek homosexuality. By focusing on the participation of a subaltern man, I argue that a homosexual identity and subculture existed in classical Athens.
    • How Immigrant Mothers Contribute to Their Children’s Learning Inside and Outside of School

      Sejmenovic El Werfalli, Mejra (2014-11-10)
      Abstract The main focus of this qualitative research was to explore how parents from different national backgrounds see their role in their children’s education inside and outside of school. Although greater recruitment was described and sought after, this qualitative research gathered data from two immigrant female parents from a community parents’ group located in Ontario, Canada. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with each participant using open-ended questions asking about the different ways these mothers, along with their spouses, were involved in their children’s education. Moreover, questions were designed to find out what alternatives parents use to support their children’s learning. The main question driving this research was “How are immigrant families currently involved with their children’s education inside and outside of school?” NVivo, 10 was used to code the transcripts giving rise to themes which could then be utilized to explain and explore the research question. The findings of this research are congruent with past research and demonstrate that immigrant mothers are more involved than the fathers are in their children’s education (Grolnick & Slowiaczek 1994; Peters, Seeds, Goldstein, & Coleman, 2008). A specifically important finding in this research is that schools are perceived by the immigrant mothers in this study as not doing enough to actively engage immigrant parents in their children’s education. On the other hand, findings also show that parents are eager to find different avenues to get involved and help their children succeed.
    • Humour and Learning: A Self-Study of My Practice as an Adult Educator

      Samuels, Joanna (2013-09-12)
      This study examined my lived experiences as a frontline practitioner and adult educator in a local nonprofit community organization. Using self-study research methodology, I explored my professional practice as a facilitator of job search skills training with newcomers to Canada and the impact of humour on their learning, a topic for which I have a particular passion. To better inform my practice, I designed and delivered job search skills workshops on resume writing and cold-calling/networking. I used a variety of data sources including a literature review, personal observations, and reflections as well as secondary data sources from workshop evaluations and unsolicited feedback emails from participants. Findings from the self-study indicated that adult learners who experience entertaining and fun-filled lessons that use appropriate humour have better learning results, are more confident, and are better prepared to apply skills required for achieving career goals. Further, I learned in my practice that my challenge as an adult educator is to ensure humour is appropriately used and adds value to the learning rather than being the focus of the teaching.
    • Identifying, Engaging, and Supporting 21st Century Reluctant Readers

      Thompson, Mathew Ryan David
      Reading is becoming nearly inseparable from life in the 21st century. Moore, Bean, Birdyshaw, and Rycik (1999) suggest that “adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write printed text or alphabetical text more than at any other time in human history” (p. 99). However, engaging with text and reading activities is unappealing to many students in today’s classrooms. This major research paper analyzed contemporary research on reading reluctance and the factors that contribute to this reluctance. Additionally, the study examined previous research to better understand the characteristics of students reluctant to read in grades 4-6. This information has provided the foundation for a handbook designed to help educators identify and engage students who experience a reluctance to read.
    • The Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on Educator Growth and Professional Development: A Personal Account

      Patton, Nicole (2014-12-21)
      This study examined the use of mindfulness meditation in educator growth and professional development. The purpose was to create recommendations for an effective mindfulness meditation practice for educators. To this end, as the researcher is an educator as well as an experienced mindfulness meditation practitioner, the research methodology was self-study through narrative inquiry. The exploration of mindfulness meditation on the researcher’s personal and professional development was viewed through the lenses of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Mezirow’s transformational learning theory. These theories provided an analytical framework that guided this research. Themes were drawn from the exploration and connected with academic literature. The results were a mindfulness meditation framework for educators that is based on the Socratic Method, and utilizes the conceptual frameworks of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Mezirow’s transformational learning theory.
    • The Implementation of Jenkins’s 21st-Century Skills in the Curriculum: A Cross-National Policy Analysis

      Tse, Judy (2014-09-10)
      This meta-analytic study sought to determine if cross-national curricula are aligned with burgeoning digital learning environments in order to help policy makers develop curriculum that incorporates 21st-century skills instruction. The study juxtaposed cross- national curricula in Ontario (Canada), Australia, and Finland against Jenkins’s (2009) framework of 11 crucial 21st-century skills that include: play, performance, simulation, appropriation, multitasking, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, judgment, transmedia navigation, networking, and negotiation. Results from qualitative data collection and analysis revealed that Finland implements all of Jenkins’s 21st-century skills. Recommendations are made to implement sound 21st-century skills in other jurisdictions.
    • The Implementations of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in Beijing and Ontario Schools

      Chen, Yi (2014-09-15)
      Since the knowledge-based economy has become a fashion over the last few decades, the concept of the professional learning community (PLC) has started being accepted by educational institutions and governments as an effective framework to improve teachers’ collective work and collaboration. The purpose of this research was to compare and contrast the implementations of PLCs between Beijing schools and Ontario schools from principals’ personal narratives. In order to discover the lessons and widen the scope to understand the PLC, this research applied qualitative design to collect the data from two principal participants in each location by semistructured interviews. Four themes emerged: (a) structure and technology, (b) identity and climate, (c) task and support, and (d) change and challenge. This research found that the root of the characteristics of the PLCs in Beijing and Ontario was the different existing teaching and learning systems as well as the test systems. Teaching Research Groups (TRGs) is one of the systems that help Chinese to organize routine time and input resources to improve teachers’ professional development. However, Canadian schools lack a similar system that guarantees the time and resources. Moreover, standardized test plays different roles in China and Canada. In China, standardized tests, such as the college entrance examination, are regarded as the important purpose of education, whereas Ontario principals saw the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) as a tool rather than a primary purpose. These two main differences influenced principals’ beliefs, attitudes, strategies, and practices. The implications based on this discovery provide new perspectives for principals, teachers, policy makers, and scholars to widen and deepen the research and practice of the PLC.
    • Improving English as a Second Language (ESL) Pedagogy in One University in Ontario

      Luo, Le (2013-03-21)
      In this paper, theoretical pedagogical approaches and practical pedagogical approaches are investigated by drawing on English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers’ pedagogical principles and practices, and ESL Chinese students’ second language acquisition and learning needs as they related to improving ESL pedagogy in one university ELP in Ontario. Three experienced ESL teachers were inquired by interviews and 30 ESL Chinese students were surveyed by questionnaires. Based on the mix-method exploratory research design, communicative, task-based, and content-based language teaching approaches are identified and discussed in the light of the interview and questionnaire data.
    • Influential Factors and Interventions to Increase Recycling Behaviours: A Program Evaluation of the Niagara Region’s Residential Curbside Recycling Program

      McFadden, Shelby
      Solid waste generation is continuing to increase both globally, and in our own municipalities here in Ontario, which is contributing to negative environmental impacts. Recycling is one effective way of diverting waste, but the recycling rates for many municipal recycling programs in Ontario, including the Niagara Region’s, are levelling off. The purpose of this study was to examine recycling as a pro-environmental behaviour, in order to better understand how recycling rates could be increased in the Niagara Region. A program evaluation was conducted to see if, and to what extent, the region used effective interventions to promote recycling from 2016 to 2021. Based on the content analysis of 128 materials produced by the region, it was ultimately found that the region’s program has been designed in a way that is likely to lead to limited effectiveness. Several recommendations for the Niagara Region, as well as for future recycling research are included.