• 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.
    • Successful Co-Teaching: A Handbook for Educators

      MacDougall, Miranda
      The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to develop a practical co-teaching handbook for educators; and 2) to help disseminate conscious raising of co-teaching strategies and the importance of co-teaching while giving practical suggestions for how to have a successful co-teaching relationship. Successful Co-Teaching: A Handbook for Educators was developed through applying and using theoretical and empirical research, educational resources and recommendations from a needs assessment. The handbook comprises of background co-teaching information, co-teaching and co-planning resources and templates, and strategies for co-teaching partners to use to better equip themselves as co-teachers. Successful Co-Teaching: A Handbook for Educators was evaluated by four educators who reported the resource to be comprehensive and informative, and indicated they would use it in their own classroom.
    • Supporting Drama in Education: Developing a Professional Resource

      Reichheld, Susan
      This research offers an examination of the application of a resource to support Drama in Education (DiE) as a teaching tool. The scope of this small-scale, qualitative research was two-fold: i) to develop a teacher resource; and ii) to study its effectiveness in supporting teachers. My goal was to explore the experiences of professionals to see if the resource I created was effective in developing teacher confidence in integrating drama-based methodology into their regular programming. The research undergoes three phases: i) the formulation of the professional resource, ii) field-testing of the resource and data collection, and iii) data analysis with the final stage being modification of the resource. Based on the data collected from semi-open-ended interviews with two elementary teachers, and personal notes shared by the participant teachers, there appears to be clear evidence the resource is effective in developing educator confidence. The research also offers various implications for teachers and administrators, school boards, and other research in DiE.
    • Supporting social-cognitive development in the elementary years: The role of executive function and self-regulation

      Julien, Karen
      Every day we make decisions that have repercussions. Sometimes the effects are immediate and intended; other times the effects might be unintended or might not be apparent for years. As parents or educators, part of our role is to support the development of children’s decision-making skills, helping them to develop patterns of adaptive decision-making that will serve them well in their current lives and into the future. Part of successful decision-making involves self-control, a system served by the brain’s executive functions (EF). This involves the ability to put aside immediate reactions and base decisions on a variety of important considerations. Social-cognitive development, the ongoing improvement of the ability to get along with others and to understand others’ emotions, expressions, motivations, and intents, relies, to a large degree, on the same EF systems. The current paper explores the interaction of these two factors (the role of EF in social-cognitive development), explores the research to determine the most effective approaches to improving both factors, and develops a handbook providing activities for educators to use while supporting the growth of both EF and social-cognitive skills. Results of a needs assessment reveal that the majority (59%) of educators surveyed had never used a social skills improvement program in their classrooms, while a full 95% believed that social skills are important or very important for a student’s academic success.
    • Supporting Students Affected by War and Terrorism: A Comparitive Study of School Leadership in Canada and Pakistan

      Ahmed, Neelofar
      The growing incidents of war and terrorism around the globe have escalated global migration. Consequently, schools are becoming more diverse in host countries, with this diversity spanning students affected by war and terrorism, in addition to students with disabilities, students living in poverty, as well as racialized and Indigenous students. While these diverse groups of students bring cultural richness and resilience to schools, supporting their academic achievements and physical and mental well-being may challenge school leaders. In this paper, I reviewed the education policies of the United Nations, Ontario, and Pakistan that provide guidelines to enact equity and inclusion in schools. I also conducted a systematic review of Ontario’s and Pakistan’s literature to explore the role of school leaders in supporting students affected by war and terrorism in the last decade. Based on the findings, I firstly discussed the emerging role of public school leadership in supporting students affected by war and terrorism in Ontario and Pakistan. Secondly, I proposed changes to Bronfenbrenner’s (1999) bioecological model of human development, and recommended that by adopting Shield’s (2010) transformative leadership framework, school leaders can make their schools more equitable and inclusive. Thirdly, I advocated for the establishment of cross-cultural educational partnerships to connect the educational policy-makers, researchers, practitioners, and school leaders from Ontario and Pakistan through the Train-the-Trainer model. In an era of forced migration and globalization, school leaders can thereby become agents of school reform and social change by developing inclusive and just communities locally, nationally, and internationally.
    • Sustainability Through Accessibility: Evaluating the Accessibility of Toronto’s Public Transportation

      Nicholas, Bruno
      Public transportation is one of the most sustainable transportation options in terms of greenhouse gasses emitted per rider due to the high capacity of transit vehicles. Resultantly the sustainability of public transportation is dependent on high levels of ridership. Increasing accessibility, particularly through affordability and proximity, may encourage public transit ridership. A document analysis was conducted on sustainability documents published by Metrolinx, and the Toronto Transit Commission to evaluate the degree to which these agencies reflect best practices for sustainable public transportation in these documents. Both affordability and proximity were measured on the basis of total instances and proportional document coverage. Results show that these themes were not prevalent in the documents. Specifically, accessibility was found to be prominent, but through the theme of corporate social responsibility rather than affordability or proximity. Thus, this MRP highlights the need to focus on these themes in future public transit sustainability strategies.
    • Sustainability-Related Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Communications in the Canadian Grocery Industry

      Harper, Erica
      As consumers become more socially and environmentally aware, organizations provide in-depth corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, sustainability reports, and communicate about CSR on various social media channels. This study consists of an exploratory content analysis of sustainability-related CSR social media communications from Canada’s three largest grocery retailers, including Loblaw, Metro, and Sobeys. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which sustainable business practices are being discussed through social media postings. The findings demonstrate that the retailers include more content related to sustainable business practices on Instagram as compared to Facebook and LinkedIn. Additionally, the results demonstrate that two out of the three retailers within the study do not communicate their CSR initiatives in alignment with previous research that provides best practices for CSR communications. These results have valuable implications for grocery managers, public policy writers, and researchers.
    • Teach, Learn, Develop: Sweat, Breathe, Yoga

      Firth, Cayley (2014-05-26)
      Teach, Lean Develop: Sweat, Breathe, Yoga is a Handbook for the Educator intended to be a practical took for educators to integrate yoga into their classrooms and for the betterment of students. The handbook offers teachers several activities and ideas to get them started using yoga in the classroom-these activities can be modified to suit different ages, abilities, and classroom levels. The project includes a look at the literature alongside my opinions and experience from what I have experiences while teaching yoga in the classroom. The handbook itself is intended to assist experiences and inexperienced educators by offering some ideas and activities that will encourage educators to explore using yoga in the classroom. After the completion of the handbook 2 educators reviewed it, and information was collected with regards to how they saw it fitting into their classrooms and the curriculum in general. They provided critiques, constructive feedback, and further recommendations for the handbook.
    • 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.