• 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.
    • Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language to English Speaking Language Learners: Teachers’ Handbook

      Li, Jinyi
      This project developed a handbook for teachers to assist in the instruction of Chinese as a foreign language. The handbook provides teachers with practical lessons for teaching Chinese to adult beginning language learners. The handbook is based on autoethnographic analyses of my own experiences or stories related to foreign language learning and teaching the Chinese language. Lessons topics were developed based on these stories. The handbook put forwards 6 lesson plans corresponding to 6 specific topics. The handbook is supported by 2 theories: the audio-lingual and communicative foreign language teaching approaches. Based on these 2 teaching approaches, the main idea embedded in the handbook is that teaching spoken language before teaching Chinese writing and grammar rules can help adult novices to learn Chinese more effectively and apply the language in practical situations. Thus, the lesson plans in the handbook are designed to develop the speaking skills of adult learners for communicative purposes. Unlike many current Chinese teaching materials in which spoken and written Chinese are taught together, this handbook creates an innovative teaching method that emphasizes spoken-Chinese language learning for beginner learners. The lesson plans, as examples, are expected to inspire more Chinese teachers to explore and promote innovative teaching lessons and methods.
    • Teaching pragmatics to newcomers to Canada

      Zeldenrust, Gwen
      The purpose of this project was to examine how ESL teachers teach pragmatics to new immigrants preparing to work in Canada, and to develop a practical resource to assist in the delivery of pragmatic linguistic material. The resource used effective approaches as outlined in the literature, specifically an explicit-inductive technique in a sequence specific manner. In addition, a needs assessment completed by teachers in the field was considered during development. Eight ESL teachers responded to a needs assessment interview guide. The data collected highlighted a need for a practical technique that allows for delivering pragmatic content in accordance with theory espoused in the pragmatic linguistic teaching literature. The resource includes a practical teaching technique intended to be flexible enough to cover a wide variety of pragmatics topics. The Awareness, Analysis, Understanding, Use, (AAUU) technique promotes learning and use of culturally conditioned language.
    • Teaching Reading to ESL Adult Literacy Learners: The Development of an Instructor’s Handbook

      Weiler, Jennifer
      The purpose of this project was to develop an instructors’ handbook that provides the declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge associated with the interactive instructional approach, differentiated instruction, and the gradual release of responsibility framework for teaching reading to English as a second language adult literacy learners. The need for this handbook was determined by conducting a critical analysis of existing handbooks and concluding that no handbook completely addressed the 3 types of knowledge for the 3 instructional processes. A literature review was conducted to examine the nature, use, and effectiveness of the 3 instructional processes when teaching reading to ESL adult literacy learners. The literature review also examined teachers’ preferences for reading research and found that texts that were relevant, practical, and accessible were favoured. Hence, these 3 elements were incorporated as part of the handbook design. Three peer reviewers completed a 35-item 5-point Likert scale evaluation form that also included 5 open-ended questions. Their feedback about the handbook’s relevancy, practicality, accessibility, and face validity were incorporated into the final version of the handbook presented here. Reference to the handbook by ESL adult literacy instructors has the potential to support evidence-informed lesson planning which can support the ESL adult literacy learners in achieving their goals and contributing to their societies in multiple and meaningful ways.
    • Three Newly Appointed Vice-Principals’ Perceptions of Their Identity Formation and Interaction With School Culture: A Qualitative Study of the VP Role Transition

      Pereira, Sarah Jo
      This generic qualitative study explored the process of administrative identity formation from the perspective of 3 newly appointed secondary school vice-principals. It also explored participants’ perception of how vice-principals influence and are influenced by school culture. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that in their first years of transitioning into the role of vice-principal participants faced challenges in forming new identities. With respect to their ability to influence school culture, participants found that other responsibilities of the job consumed their time and subsequent abilities to make changes. Participants revealed their duties, responsibilities, and the ways in which they both prepared for their role and were supported within them. Participants found that their VP experiences upon appointment and within the first years of transitioning largely focused on the various challenges they faced in assuming the new responsibilities, navigating the changing dynamics amongst staff, and managing the vast quantity of work in limited time restraints. Despite these challenges participants continued to work towards finding a balance in their management of the VP role, where with time and experience they might further develop their administrative identity formation, and may impact school culture as a whole.
    • Ties From My Father: Personal Narrative as a Tool for Engaging Teenagers and Social Service Practitioners

      Pozeg, Robert (2014-01-20)
      The purpose of this project is to provide social service practitioners with tools and perspectives to engage young people in a process of developing and connecting with their own personal narratives, and storytelling with others. This project extensively reviews the literature to explore Why Story, What Is Story, Future Directions of Story, and Challenges of Story. Anchoring this exploration is Freire’s (1970/2000) intentional uncovering and decoding. Taking a phenomenological approach, I draw additionally on Brookfield’s (1995) critical reflection; Delgado (1989) and McLaren (1998) for subversive narrative; and Robin (2008) and Sadik (2008) for digital storytelling. The recommendations provided within this project include a practical model built upon Baxter Magolda and King’s (2004) process towards self-authorship for engaging an exercise of storytelling that is accessible to practitioners and young people alike. A personal narrative that aims to help connect lived experience with the theoretical content underscores this project. I call for social service practitioners to engage their own personal narratives in an inclusive and purposeful storytelling method that enhances their ability to help the young people they serve develop and share their stories.
    • Two School Administrators’ Perspectives on How Intercultural Education is Promoted in Their Elementary Schools

      Gill, Harpreet Singh (2014-09-23)
      This study examined the perspectives of 2 elementary school administrators (1 principal of a faith based school, and 1 vice-principal of a public school) towards intercultural education and how it was implemented in their schools. A generic qualitative research methodology guided this study. Face-to-face interviews that used a guide with open-ended questions were used to collect data. Participants were administrators in their respective schools, had been involved in intercultural activities at their school, and were professional acquaintances of the researcher. The interviews were digitally recorded and the interview transcripts were reviewed by participants to ensure accuracy. The administrators’ understanding of intercultural education tended to be limited to learning and celebration of various cultures. The intercultural education strategies used in the respective schools focussed on developing a knowledge base and provided limited intercultural interaction. The public school had greater resources available than the private faith-based school. However, the resources were not always used to facilitate intercultural education. Teachers and administrators were provided with very few professional development opportunities focussed on intercultural education.
    • Undergraduate Student Anxiety-Management in Academia: Appraising the Value of Services and Strategies

      Curtis, Kenneth W (2013-04-29)
      This study explored strategies that Brock University undergraduate students value the most for managing anxiety in academia. Although previous literature indicates services and techniques such as academic advising, physical activity, and educator engagement help students, few if any have ranked students’ perceived value of anxiety-management strategies. The researcher recruited 54 undergraduate student participants (primarily from the Department of Community Health Sciences) through online invitation. Participants completed an online survey to rate their previous experience with anxiety-management strategies discussed in the literature. Survey findings identified the 4 most valuable resources students used to manage anxiety in academia: (a) educators who post academic material posted online (e.g., on Sakai) early in the term, (b) physical activity, (c) socialization, and (d) breaking large assignments into smaller portions. Conversely, student participants found disability services, counseling, and medication to be the least valuable resources. Results suggest higher-education facilities should ensure that the most valuable services are readily available to students seeking them. The study contributes to the field by identifying a broad set of strategies that students find highly valuable in their management of academic related anxiety.
    • Understanding Social and Emotional Learning in Elementary Schools: A Guide for Teachers, Administrators, and Parents

      Pantin Dear, Cherise
      Caring for the mental health and well-being of students in order to increase student academic success is gaining more attention from schools in recent years. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a way educators are supporting the social and emotional well-being of students. SEL seeks to give students the tools and strategies they need to become self-aware, recognize and manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, and establish relationships with others. This research examined SEL and students’ well- being, the relation between brain-based learning and social-emotional skills, and existing SEL programs. Although the research has found that SEL is directly related to students’ academic achievement, many educators and school communities are unaware of this positive impact of SEL on student success. A handbook presented here titled A Beginner's Guide to Teaching Social and Emotional Learning: A Handbook for Teachers, Administrators, and Parents, was created with the intention of introducing the relevant classroom activities that promote a positive school environment in which students may benefit socially, emotionally, and academically.
    • Understanding the Cultural Health Beliefs in Diabetes Education Amongst the Aboriginal Population within a City in the Southern Region of Ontario

      Chetty, Ashen Asoduri (2013-05-06)
      This study examined the cultural health beliefs in diabetes education amongst the Aboriginal population within a city in Southern Ontario. The purpose was to contribute to the development of a culturally relevant diabetes handbook as well as to delivery styles within current diabetes education programs. To this end, a focus group was conducted with Aboriginal men and women between the ages of 18-70 years with type 2 diabetes. Participants were recruited from 2 Aboriginal community centres and an Aboriginal health centre in a city in Southern Ontario. Themes were drawn from the analysis of the focus group transcripts and combined with the findings from the research literature. The major themes that merged were drawn from Eurocentric and Aboriginal theories. The results were a set of recommendations on the type of format for diabetes educational programs such as traditional group activities, variety of electronic format, and culture specific educational resources. The emergent results appear to provide some important insights into program planning for diabetes education centres within Aboriginal communities.
    • Using a Culturally-relevant Approach to Engage South-Asian Female Adolescents in Secondary Physical Education

      Oag, Sarah
      The South-Asian (SA) population makes up the largest visible minority group in Canada. Little research in Canada has examined the interplay of gender and culture in Physical Education (PE), and strategies to increase PE participation in Canadian SA female adolescents. In addition, there is a lack of pre-service and in-service teacher training on culturally-relevant PE. This lack of exposure may cause PE teachers to perpetuate Western norms and ideals as being the most desirable, thus resulting in PE programs that have little meaning or value to SA female adolescents. If PE is not meaningful or relevant to SA female adolescents, they may be less likely to develop lifelong physical activity (PA) habits. Using the framework of Culturally-relevant Physical Education proposed by Halas, McRae, and Carpenter (2013) and an in-depth literature review, this study examined the challenges to PE participation in SA female adolescents and recommends culturally-relevant strategies. Based on the literature review, a comprehensive framework to engage SA female adolescents in PE has been created. The following strategies were found to have the potential to increase the engagement of SA female adolescents: supportive learning environment, student-centered approach, alternative teaching models, authentic assessment, family and school partnerships, and culturally-relevant pedagogy. The findings of this research have the potential to improve PE participation and the overall well-being of the SA female population. Implications of this research demonstrate that physical education teacher education (PETE) must incorporate culturally-relevant PE, school mental health programs need to target the SA population, and policy-makers must place a higher value on PE in schools.
    • Using Effective Teaching Strategies and Personality Type to Enhance the Mathematics Classroom: A Handbook for Intermediate Math Teachers

      Herbert, Connie
      This project addressed the need for more insightful, current, and applicable resources for intermediate math teachers in Canadian classrooms. A need for a handbook in this division seemed warranted by a lack of government resource support. Throughout an extensive review of the literature, themes and topics for the handbook emerged. The handbook was designed to not only provide educators with examples of effective teaching strategies within the mathematics classroom but to also inform them about the ways in which their personal characteristics and personality type could affect their students and their own pedagogical practices. Three teaching professionals who had each taught in an intermediate math class within the past year evaluated the handbook. The feedback received from these educators was directly applied to the first draft of the handbook in order to make it more accessible and applicable to other math teachers. Although the handbook was written with teachers in mind, the language and format used throughout the manual also make it accessible to parents, tutors, preservice education students, and educational administrators. Essentially, any individual who is hoping to inspire and educate intermediate math students could make use of the content within the handbook.
    • Using Ethnomathematics Principles in the Classroom: A Handbook for Mathematics Educators

      Forbes, Wendy Ann
      The alarming underperformance in mathematics of many students worldwide and the economic implication for a global society have taken residence in the highest offices across nations. This has pressed researchers, administrators, and educators to seek better pedagogical practices that fit the description of diverse classrooms and equip students with the requisite skills to advance in the global marketplace. Recent research unveiled that traditional approaches to teaching mathematics do not convey meaning making and exclude students from many cultural groups. However, such approaches still prevail in many classrooms and have proven to be perennially challenging to dismiss. Many mathematics educators, therefore, advocate for more meaningful and inclusive practices using ethnomathematics principles. Ethnomathematics, expresses the relationship between mathematics and culture (D’Ambrosio, 2001). Acknowledging the need for better practices in classrooms worldwide, this project extracted the major themes of ethnomathematics from an extensive literature review and used them to compile a teaching and learning handbook with culturally sensitive teaching strategies. The handbook was designed to provide mathematics educators with research-based information to help them to develop curriculum, activities, tasks, and instructions so that mathematics may be meaningful to all students. Since the literature reveals that tasks bridge the between teaching and learning, the handbook culminates by exemplifying how its content can be applied to create culturally rich mathematics tasks, using the backward design planning process.
    • Using First Nations Children's Literature in the Classroom: Portfolio of Learning

      Staats, Robin (2014-09-22)
      A portfolio was developed to encourage teachers of Aboriginal children to include First Nations mentor texts into their daily teaching practices. The artifacts within the portfolio have been produced in accordance with guiding beliefs about how students, specifically First Nations students, learn. The portfolio supports the notion that Aboriginal children need to encounter representations of their own culture, histories and beliefs within the literature in order to be successful in school. The use of First Nations children’s literature in the classroom was explored with an emphasis on how using this literature will assist in improving literacy levels and the self-esteem of First Nations students.
    • Using Poetry, Story, and Reflection to Understand Professional Self After Personal Loss

      Lenover, Cheryl (2014-07-21)
      This research investigated professional identity transformation after personal loss. Through autoethnographic methods, I explore how my personal experience of my sister’s breast cancer and death affected my identity as a diabetes educator in the health culture. I discover a transformation of a professional who focuses on evidence-based medicine to a professional who values connection, therapeutic alliance, and mindfulness with patients and self in the diabetes education encounter. Using a holistic perspective on transformational learning, I integrate the poem “Wild Geese” to a collection of written narratives to connect my personal loss experience to my professional life. By unpacking the generated stories and using poetry, I conduct a process of critical and self-reflection to discover how my identity as a health professional has transformed and what makes meaning in my role as a diabetes educator in the health culture. I consider concepts of a conscious self, social relations and language and discover themes of knowledge exchange, food, and empathy as forms of language expression. These language expressions are not present in my professional life as I focus on rational, logical facts of evidence-based medicine and standardized education methods. Through this reflexive process, I hope to understand how my professional practice has changed, where I place an importance on connection, therapeutic alliance, and mindfulness. I move away from always “doing” in my professional life to focus on my state of “being” in my professional world. Rather than knowledge acquisition as the only factor in professional development, this study contributes to an understanding of additional qualities health professionals may consider that focus on the patient education encounter.
    • Utilizing Chromebook in Ontario Elementary Schools: Teachers’ Perspectives

      Nie, Larry
      In-service teachers’ voices must be heard in order to understand the status of technology integration in Canadian elementary schools. In this qualitative case study, two Ontario private school teachers were invited to share their experiences and perspectives about their daily instruction with Chromebook through the lens of the TPACK theoretical framework. The study’s objectives were twofold: (a) to identify participating teachers’ attitudes, perceptions, and experiences teaching with Chromebook in a convincing narrative manner; and (b) to provide recommendations concerning the use of this type of digital technology device to other teachers and educators in practice. This research study once again affirmed the advantages of using Chromebook in the elementary classrooms in across three categories: saving funds, granting stable and durable hardware, and offering seamless and continuous learning. Additionally, the study attempted to add two new benefits: using Chromebook in teaching enables educators to keep their students on task and helps educators differentiate their teaching by providing more options and accommodating students’ different learning styles and abilities. Participants in the study also found it difficult to make sure students stayed on task and were not lured by the out-of-class digital world. The study also found that a better filtering system of apps working on Chromebook can benefit students’ and teachers’ experience alike. The study concludes with a discussion and implications for future research.
    • Visiting International Scholars and University Internationalization

      Young, Sheila
      Visiting international scholars are viewed as an important part of an institution’s internationalization goals and objectives. Meaningful learning can take place about different or other teaching, research, cultures, and communities by interacting and collaborating with academics from around the world. Despite the central role of visiting international scholars as a valued component of internationalization, research related to the experiences of these individuals is quite limited. This research study set out to add to the field of research regarding visiting international scholars by examining one university’s Visiting International Scholar programs to explore to what extent the academic activities of visiting international scholars contributed to the internationalization goals and objectives of the institution. My research study looks at the types of academic activities in which visiting international scholars engage, including in particular academic publications, conference or workshop presentations, conference or workshop attendance, course participation, guest lectures, courses taught, research projects, participation in meetings, and interactions in the local community. Informed by a review of literature, I analyzed publicly available institutional data about the Visiting International Scholar programs and hour-long interviews conducted with 5 visiting international scholars. I describe important contributions these visiting international scholars made to the university community as well as the benefits and challenges these scholars experienced. These findings provide the basis for recommendations regarding institutional internationalization practices, policies, and strategic planning intended to lead to improvements in the existing Visiting International Scholar programs.
    • What Does It Mean to Be a Teacher?: How Confucius and Socrates Facilitate Contemporary Classroom Discourse

      Nguyen, Quynh
      This project investigates the complex and divergent role of the teacher in the contemporary context, in which teaching becomes a profession and a teacher’s responsibilities are predetermined. By adopting a philosophical lens, I explore what it means to be a teacher by analyzing and comparing the two great teachers Confucius (Kong Fuzi or Kongzi) and Socrates. Although there has been no shortage of studies comparing and contrasting these two thinkers’ pedagogy, little research examines the similarities and differences between their approaches in a specific context of contemporary education. By facilitating discourse among Confucius, Socrates, and contemporary teachers, I outline what a teacher means according to the two thinkers and which factors might impede present-day teachers from being Confucian and Socratic teachers. I will propose an integrated approach that can help bring the values of both Confucian and Socratic teachings to contemporary classrooms.
    • What It Means to Be Super: Diversity and the Prevailing Discourses in Superhero Comic Books

      Galliera, Matthew
      This study examined how themes of diversity influence the superhero genre of comic books and sought to identify the broader societal discourses that shape the representation of diversity in these narratives. The study’s review of related literature encompassed works exploring comic books as a genre, their history, and their relationship with discourse and popular culture, and revealed 5 significant themes related to diversity: race, gender, sexuality, age, and ability. The study employed a qualitative methodology and was designed as a thematic discourse analysis. Nine superhero comics under the Marvel and DC umbrella were accessed online and then narrowed down as the study’s data set. Each comic was coded by taking note of the main plot points and larger findings and the information was grouped into larger themes that became the basis of the data. Results of this study showed that although some elements of diversity existed in the data set, it did not play a significant role in shaping the narratives’ respective stories. Results also indicated that the primary feature in the data set comprised a Caucasian, male, straight, European, or American discourse; however, there is evidence that diversity is beginning to become more of a priority in the creation of these superhero comics. Lastly, the study considered educational implications of bringing superhero comics into the classroom including improved reading engagement, diversified text selection within classrooms, and getting students to think about diversity through a new lens by challenging what a superhero should look like or is supposed to be.