• The Relationship Between Administration and Inclusive Education: Perspectives From One Ontario School Board

      White, Rebecca
      For the past two decades, school boards around the world have transitioned to more inclusive service delivery for students with exceptionalities. Derived from a larger study (Bennett, Gallagher, Somma, & White, 2021), this research focuses on one school board in the Province of Ontario that transitioned from segregated special education classes to full inclusive service delivery and programming for students with exceptionalities through a board-wide policy. The current major research project utilizes qualitative methods and analyzes 10 semi-structured interviews with administrators from this school board. This project aimed to cull findings to better understand how administrators understand inclusion and make sense of their role within an inclusive education policy and was guided by three research questions: (a) How do administrators define inclusion? (b) How do administrators perceive their role in facilitating an inclusive school culture? (c) What staff and personnel supports do administrators believe are integral to the implementation of inclusive policy? Interview data derived from 10 school administrators were examined using thematic analysis. Findings indicate administrators play a key role in the implementation of inclusive policy by maintaining a positive school culture regarding inclusion, creating a shared school vision, taking ownership over the inclusive policy in their school, and gaining buy-in from all members of the school team. Implications describe steps administrators can take in this role and suggest that a policy shift toward inclusion can be an effective way to positively transition toward inclusion.
    • The Relationship Between Chinese EFL Learners’ Reading Self-Efficacy and Use of Metacognitive Reading Strategies

      Jiang, Ying
      The promotion of self-efficacy and metacognitive strategies plays a decisive role in EFL learners’ foreign language reading performance. This study investigated the relationship between Chinese adolescent EFL learners’ current level of reading self-efficacy and their use of metacognitive reading strategies, and more specifically the differences in use of such strategies among learners with high, medium, and low self-efficacy. Findings indicated that the frequency of participants’ use of metacognitive reading strategies was high, and participants felt confident in their English reading ability. Findings also revealed that the use of metacognitive reading strategies had a significantly positive correlation with English reading self-efficacy. Results suggest that self-efficacy is an influential factor that impacts learners’ use of metacognitive reading strategies. Conclusions and implications drawn from the study emphasize the importance of Chinese EFL learners’ use of metacognitive reading strategies and the reinforcement of selfefficacy in their reading performance.
    • Respect and Obedience in the Culture of Education: A Narrative of Transformative Journey in Viewing a Lifelong Practice in Indonesia.

      Sukmantari, Putri
      This self-narrative retells stories that attempt to make sense of my cultural practice called salim—kissing the hand of teachers, the elderly, and powerful people to show respect. The evident purpose is to instill respect, however, I come to an understanding that respect should be a choice, and if there is no choice, it serves the purpose of implanting obedience. In Indonesian schools, students line up every morning to do salim to teachers, much like an assembly line. Clandinin and Connelly (2000) elucidated how narrative inquiries are always strongly autobiographical and unique. These stories are those I have experienced, witnessed, told, and reflected to achieve transformative learning. I narrated how I was the oppressed, the oppressor and in most times, both. The intent of this paper is not to eliminate the practice, but to awaken awareness of educators to see whether they have earned such respect.
    • Retired School Administrators’ Perspectives on the Effectiveness of Ontario’s Teacher Performance Appraisal System

      Gajula, Gopikiran
      This study aims to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of the Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) system in Ontario by examining the perspectives of four retired administrators: three retired Principals, and one retired Vice-Principal. The study employed a basic qualitative methodology. Data were collected from the participants through semi-structured one-on-one in-person interviews. Data were then analyzed manually by coding and identifying major themes. Findings indicate that the TPA process has evolved from being viewed as a negatively conceived process to now being perceived as an integral part of the teaching profession. Conclusively, TPA, in its current form, is not very effective in facilitating teachers’ professional learning and development, but it has the potential to be more effective if it is conducted as a continuous process rather than as a one-time event every five years.
    • Reviewing the Options for the Agricultural Sector to Adapt to Climate Change: Case Study of the Niagara Region, ON

      Garg, Pulkit
      The agricultural sector of the Niagara Region has experienced multiple impacts of climate change in recent years, which are projected to increase in the future. There is an urgent need to examine available adaptation strategies for Niagara’s agricultural sector, considering its vulnerability to a changing climate and significance for the Region’s economy and food production. Using a scoping review of scientific literature to analyze 4375 articles on two databases, this research has investigated four potential adaptation strategies - i.e. technology-based adaptation, ecosystem-based adaptation, community-based adaptation and policy-based adaptation - that can be used by the agricultural sector. All adaptation strategies were also examined through a social, economic and environmental lens using a SWOT Analysis. Through this statement, this research also highlights its contribution to sustainability science and sustainable development (SDG 2 – Food Security and SDG 13 – Climate Action) as one of the steps towards a more resilient future.
    • The Role of Community Partnerships in the Support of Postsecondary Students From Refugee Contexts

      Simon, Drew
      This qualitative study sought to identify how postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations can work together to best support the needs of students from refugee contexts, particularly at a time when global refugee migration is high (UNICEF, 2016). A review of literature revealed that refugee and international students may face many challenges when transitioning to a new country and educational environment, and that postsecondary institutions can take steps to help ensure such students’ success. The study took place in two geographical areas in Southern Ontario in close proximity to one another. Fifteen individual interviews were conducted, each lasting an average of approximately 35 minutes, with staff and administrators from postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations to develop an understanding of the services they have in place to support the needs of students from refugee contexts and what they feel would help them better support this group. Findings indicate that although there is a lack of services specific to students from refugee contexts being offered in the postsecondary sector, many services are offered for newcomers more generally. It was found that there is some collaboration between postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations in support of newcomers, but there is also a desire for more. Participants in this study shared insights about how they can be supported in their goal to deliver effective programming to newcomers. The study concludes by offering a series of recommendations on how postsecondary institutions can work with non-profit organizations to better support students from refugee contexts.
    • The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Ontario University Educational Policies for International Graduate Students: A Conceptual, Institutional and Auto-Ethnographic Analysis

      Zabin, Rakha
      This study explored the role of emotional intelligence (EI) among international students adjusting to life in different universities in Ontario and the institutional support provided to them to develop their EI. The study included an in-depth review of literature based on different frameworks of cultural adjustments and EI, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the policy documents (e.g., policy management guide or handbook) available online of 3 similar-sized, student-focused, research-based universities in Ontario with significant international programs. The study also includes an auto-ethnographic account of the experiences I dealt with during my university years. I reflected on the hurdles and challenges I experienced in making my social and emotional adjustments here in Ontario. Overall, the data from the conceptual analysis and auto-ethnography afforded a cross-comparison of the 3 university policies and helped me establish a set of recommendations for universities to incorporate multiple components of EI into their international university policies services to develop components like mindfulness, self-regulation, and stress management for the future international graduate students.
    • The role of sport in advancing environmental sustainability: A case study of community-level hockey facilities in Ontario, Canada

      Kelly, Nolan
      Environmental sustainability (ES) in sport represents an emerging area of research that is gaining popularity worldwide. While this is encouraging, the gap between sport and the environment needs to be further explored. This research aimed to address this by interviewing hockey facility managers to understand the barriers and enabling factors of ES, along with the role that community-level arenas play for ES in Ontario. Through qualitative interviews and coding, three themes emerged: 1) the importance of cost savings as a driver of ES decisions in these arena facilities; 2) the importance of political and financial support from the government in achieving ES in these arena facilities; and, 3) the important role community-level hockey facilities play in advancing ES in their communities. The results will assist in advancing ES in arena facilities at the community-level and propel sport closer to realizing the potential ES has to be a driver for change.
    • School-Based Mental Health Promotion in Secondary Schools

      Wilson, Nicole
      Abstract This research project explored the potential of school-based peer-led mental health promotion programs as a resource for combating the current state of youth mental health concerns in Canada. The project created a resource titled Secondary School Peer-Led Mental Health Promotion Program: Handbook based on the available literature, current state of youth mental health, and barriers to seeking treatment. Schools provide the opportunity for both formal and informal discussions and opportunities to inform youth on topics surrounding mental health. Albert Bandura’s (1977) Social Learning Theory and its components inform the theoretical approach of the project. The handbook was developed for use by secondary school teachers to implement a peer-led program in their school that could be adapted to the culture of their school community. Current secondary school teachers provided their opinions on the handbook and found that topic to be very relevant to the current concerns in schools. It was recognized by the current teachers that the program would be easily adapted to their school culture in addition to working well alongside various existing programs.
    • A Scoping Review of Teaching Practices for Linguistically Diverse Students in Ontario

      Kittani, Lana
      This study explores the challenges faced by linguistically diverse students and teachers in Ontario, Canada. Current research suggests that it takes 5 to 10 years for English Language Learners (ELLs) to reach the language proficiency of their native English-speaking peers (Goodman & Fine, 2018). During this time, ELLs face many challenges including language loss, difficulties in developing a sense of belonging and inclusion in the school community, and difficulties in negotiating their identity. Likewise, educators face challenges when attempting to tailor assessment and instruction for ELLs. Some of these challenges are present based on educators’ background on literacy development and their understanding of language loss, the need to better understand students’ funds of knowledge to support their sense of belonging, lack of teacher education in ELL instruction to assist students in their identity negotiations and formation, and lack of time and resources to prepare and deliver inclusive instruction. A scoping review was conducted to answer the following research questions: (a) What are the experiences and challenges faced by ELLs and classroom teachers? (b) What high-yield pedagogical approaches can teachers use to support ELLs’ inclusive learning needs? (c) What are the implications for the educational and research community of employing such high-yield pedagogical approaches for teaching ELLs? This review provides specific pedagogical approaches for educators to use within their practice to support ELLs, as well as findings and implications for both the research and educational community. Findings from this review indicate that improvements to teacher education programs are needed to develop teachers’ understanding of ELLs, as well as a close examination of existing policy documents and ways in which they can be updated to reflect Ontario’s growing ELL population.
    • Sea Turtles Living in a Fishbowl: Political Identities and the Returning Trend of Chinese International Students

      Liao, Yuchen
      While American philosopher Martha Nussbaum (2016) claimed that “most of us would not choose to live in a prosperous nation that had ceased to be democratic” (pp. 10−11), more and more Chinese international students have followed an opposite trend recently, returning from democracies to China where political freedom is deteriorating. This project conceives the heterogeneous political identities of Chinese international students as an underlying cause, rather than a directly decisive factor, to understand the increasing proportion of Chinese “sea turtles”—the homonym of “returnees” in Mandarin. I use conceptual, reflective, and argumentative methods, proposing and exploring four different political identities of Chinese international students: party-statist, neoliberal, liberal, and double-dissident. I develop a metaphor of the “fishbowl” to depict Chinese political control and argue that the fishbowl plays a more decisive role than democratic education in constructing Chinese international students’ political identities to pull many of them back to China. My purpose is to provide new insights and critical hope for democratic education, illuminate the complex situation that Chinese international students face, and challenge the China−West binary in order to promote mutual understanding.
    • Self-Study on the Journey to Success of a Teacher With a Learning Disability

      Guest, Stephanie
      This self-study narrative sought to highlight the researcher’s educative and professional experiences as a teacher with learning disabilities (LDs) and the strategies she used to help her get to where she is today. This study examined: (a) specific strategies a teacher with LDs used in order to be successful in her teaching; (b) how the strategies were implemented and how they changed throughout the teacher’s LD learning journey; and (c) effective coping mechanisms a teacher with LDs used to overcome her weaknesses. Data were gathered through an examination of artifacts that included archival medical and school documents, critical reflection, stories, and an interview with the researcher’s mother. Four themes emerged from the data analyses: “School Struggles,” “Challenges Within Education,” “Supporters,” and “Strategies Leading to Success.” This study has brought forth a new perspective to the literature by exploring the lived experiences of a teacher with a LD and the contribution of others in her journey.
    • Service Learning in Higher Education: A Road Map

      Allan, Emily (2013-08-26)
      As institutions of higher education struggle to stay relevant, competitive, accessible, and flexible, they are scrambling to attend to a shift in focus for new students. This shift involves experiential learning. The purpose of this major research paper was to examine the existing structures, to seek gaps in the experiential learning programs, and to devise a framework to move forward. The specific focus was on experiential learning at Brock University in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The methodology was underscored with cognitive constructivism and appreciative theory. Data collection involved content analysis steps established by Krippendorff (2004) and Weber (1985). Data analysis involved the four dimensions of reflection designed by LaBoskey, including the purpose, context, content, and procedures. The results developed understandings on the state of formal processes and pathways within service learning. A tool kit was generated that defines service learning and offers an overview of the types of service learning typically employed. The tool kit acts as a reference guide for those interested in implementing experiential learning courses. Importantly, the results also provided 10 key points in experiential learning courses by Emily Allan. A flow chart illustrates the connections among each of the 10 points, and then they are described in full to establish a strategy for the way forward in experiential learning.
    • Sex and education?: Intersecting sex, education, and student activism

      Yap, Iris
      With a focus on the Eurocentric sex education curriculum, this paper reviews three sub-disciplinary geographic literatures – geographies of education, geographies of sexualities, and geographies of children and youth – with a focus on student activism. I propose that although these dissimilar areas of work are relatively sequestered, they share a common connection, children and youth agency. Through a detailed exploration of these three literatures, this study found three things. First, an inclusive sex education curriculum is important as it has the ability to dismantle harmful heteronormative discourses while providing a safe and inclusive environment for marginalized students. Secondly, school’s and education's purposes are contradictory as they have been used as a way to protect children, but also to prepare them for the responsibilities of adulthood. Lastly, although children and youth are often viewed as incapable of making rational and informed decisions by adults, they are active agents in their everyday lives. They, therefore, are capable of creating social and political change. These findings add to the continuing conversations of these three sub-disciplinaries of geography. They also repeat the call for more research into the combination of these three sub-disciplinary fields to dismantle the hegemonic heterosexual norms.
    • The Social Construction of the DSM-5 & its Impact on Patient Dignity

      Bassingthwaighte, Andrew
      The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorder (5th Ed. or DSM-5) represents a foundational text within the psychiatric and mental health field, a document that is historically and socially positioned within the field as the global standard for diagnostic health information. Significant criticism, though, has been levelled against the DSM-5, highlighting concerns around its underlying ethnocentric positioning as well as scientific concerns around the reliability and validity of different diagnoses. This study explores the current state of the DSM-5. It seeks to understand how its development has shaped and promoted a variety of discourses within the mental health field, as well as looking at the impact these discourses have had on the dignity and day-to-day functioning of millions of patients, both younger and elder, for whom it has been conceived to offer therapeutic interventions. Drawing on Social Constructionist and Foucauldian frameworks to conduct this discursive analysis of the DSM-5, I identify the dominant discourses of the DSM-5, as well as the discursive rules which have been reinforced by the American Psychiatric Association to promote these practices. The dominant discourses identified include expertise, medicalizing normality, conceptualizations of culture, and control.
    • Social Media Branding Strategies of Universities and Colleges in Ontario, Canada in 2019-2020

      Mai, To
      Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ontario, Canada have invested in a social media presence for multiple purposes, such as branding, student engagement, and recruitment. To have a full picture of the social media strategy implemented by HEIs in Ontario, Canada, this study used a mixed-method approach to analyze Facebook posts’ characteristics and content. A total of 1,789 Facebook posts of six selected HEIs from September 2019 to April 2020 were collected for analysis and coding based on five predetermined brand positions: elite, nurturing, campus, outcome, and commodity. The study also calculated the engagement rate for each social media practice to measure its engagement effectiveness. The results show that the HEIs generally followed similar practices such as posting frequency, length, types, and timing. However, the distributions of brand positions and content targeting future students versus current students were varied, although the HEIs employed all five brand positions and targeted the same lists of audiences. Some practices such as evening post for colleges and nurturing content for universities attracted significantly higher engagement. This study provides not only a review of current social media and branding strategy but also recommendations for practice that can generate higher engagement.
    • Sojourning for Best Practice: Enriching and Transforming Teaching Pedagogy Through International Service Learning

      Fernandes, Melissa
      This case study investigates the potential professional outcomes of International Service Learning (ISL) on high school teacher participants. Specifically, the aim of this study is to examine the degree to which teacher participation in ISL programming leads to pedagogical enrichment and/or perspective transformation upon their post-trip return to the classroom. The study draws from the perspective of six teacher participants. In their interviews, they commented on the degree to which they found their ISL experiences to have enriched their professional practice as classroom teachers. In addition, they commented on the extent to which they found these experiences to be personally transformative. With respect to their professional practice, participants reported that their ISL experience(s) did lead them to enrich selected areas of curriculum, improve elements of their pedagogy, enjoy enhanced student-teacher relationships, and engage in more meaningful reflective teacher practice. With respect to the issue of personal transformation (which is closely related to professional transformation), by using Kiely’s (2004) model of perspective transformation, evidence emerged that participants experienced shifts and disruptions to their current modes of thought. They reported two or more of Kiely’s forms of perspective transformation. This study identifies the enrichment and/or transformative potential of ISL participation for teachers, however, it also documents that such transformation can also be challenging and complex as teachers strive to turn intention into action. The study concludes with recommendations for post-trip support of teachers to enhance the enrichment and transformative potential of ISL trips on their professional practice and their personal perspective.
    • A Specialized Yoga Handbook to Build Self-Regulation and Aid Transitions in the Go Girls Program

      Touchette, Tiffany
      Go Girls: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, A Specialized Yoga Handbook For Mentors is designed for mentors to implement a specialized yoga practice into each mentoring session as a way to enhance adolescent females' self-regulation development and to assist them during transitions back to regular school structures. The intentions of the handbook were to provide mentors with simple, easy to follow lesson plans to use nearing the end of each session to encourage mindfulness among the group. The handbook offers a five- session lesson plan that is to be used as a cool-down exercise to conclude each Go Girls session. The girls will learn a variety of skills through mindful yoga practice. Throughout this unit, the girls will learn general objectives, breathing technique, and basic standing and balancing poses, and they will lead fellow peers through their created yoga sequence. By the end of this experience, the girls will be able to perform their own yoga sequences and reflect on the “why, how, and so what” of yoga, so that they can continue to incorporate yoga into their daily lives. The project began with a comprehensive examination of current literature surrounding the use of yoga with adolescent populations. Through the literature review, and from personal and professional experience, it became apparent that yoga practice with adolescent populations has numerous personal, physical, and psychological benefits.
    • Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities: A Case Study of the Spring Reading Program

      Cowan, Hope
      This case study explored strategies and techniques in order to assist individuals with learning disabilities in their academic achievement. Of particular focus was how a literacy-based program, titled The Spring Reading Program, utilizes effective tactics and approaches that result in academic growth. The Spring Reading Program, offered by the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region (LDANR) and partnered with John McNamara from Brock University, supports children with reading disabilities academically. In addition, the program helps children increase their confidence and motivation towards literacy. I began this study by outlining the importance of reading followed by and exploration of what educators and researchers have demonstrated regarding effective literacy instruction for children with learning disabilities. I studied effective strategies and techniques in the Spring Reading Program by conducting a qualitative case study of the program. This case study subsequently presents in depth, 4 specific strategies: Hands-on activities, motivation, engagement, and one-on-one instruction. Each strategy demonstrates its effectiveness through literature and examples from the Spring Reading Program.
    • Students’ Use and Perceptions of Social Networking Technologies: Connections to Reading, Reading Ability, and Self-Perception

      Bishop, Sarah (2013-04-23)
      Abstract This study was undertaken to examine traditional forms of literacy and the newest form of literacy: technology. Students who have trouble reading traditional forms of literacy tend to have lower self-esteem. This research intended to explore if students with reading difficulties and, therefore, lower self-esteem, could use Social Networking Technologies including text messaging, Facebook, email, blogging, MySpace, or Twitter to help improve their self-esteem, in a field where spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are commonplace, if not encouraged. A collective case study was undertaken based on surveys, individual interviews, and gathered documents from 3 students 9-13 years old. The data collected in this study were analyzed and interpreted using qualitative methods. These cases were individually examined for themes, which were then analyzed across the cases to examine points of convergence and divergence in the data. The research found that students with reading difficulties do not necessarily have poor self-esteem, as prior research has suggested (Carr, Borkowski, & Maxwell, 1991; Feiler, & Logan, 2007; Meece, Wigfield, & Eccles, 1990; Pintirch & DeGroot, 1990; Pintrich & Garcia, 1991). All of the participants who had reading difficulties, were found both through interviews and the CFSEI-3 self-esteem test (Battle, 2002) to have average self-esteem, although their parents all stated that their child felt poorly about their academic abilities. The research also found that using Social Networking Technologies helped improve the self-esteem of the majority of the participants both socially and academically.