• Correlation Among Math Anxiety, Attitudes Toward Math, and Math Achievement in Grade 9 Students: Relationships Across Gender

      Sanci, Rosemary (2014-04-21)
      This research evaluated (a) the correlation between math anxiety, math attitudes, and achievement in math and (b) comparison among these variables in terms of gender among grade 9 students in a high school located in southern Ontario. Data were compiled from participant responses to the Attitudes Toward Math Inventory (ATMI) and the Math Anxiety Rating Scale for Adolescents (MARS-A), and achievement data were gathered from participants’ grade 9 academic math course marks and the EQAO Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. Nonparametric tests were conducted to determine whether there were relationships between the variables and to explore whether gender differences in anxiety, attitudes, and achievement existed for this sample. Results indicated that math anxiety was not related to math achievement but was a strong correlate of attitudes toward math. A strong positive relationship was found between math attitudes and achievement in math. Specifically, self-confidence in math, enjoyment of math, value of math, and motivation were all positive correlates of achievement in math. Also, results for gender comparisons were nonsignificant, indicating that gender differences in math anxiety, math attitudes, and math achievement scores were not prevalent in this group of grade 9 students. Therefore, attitudes toward math were considered to be a stronger predictor of performance than math anxiety or gender for this group.
    • Creating a Generation of Upstanders: Curriculum Resource to Help Ontario Educators Build Safe Schools

      Dirks, Kate-Lynn (2013-05-01)
      This project focuses on the bullying found in the 21st century elementary classrooms, more specifically in grades 4-8. These grades were found to have high levels of bullying because of major shifts in a student’s life that may place a student of this age at risk for problems with their peer relationships (Totura et al., 2009). Supporting the findings in the literature review, this handbook was created for Ontario grade 4-8 classroom teachers. The resource educates teachers on current knowledge of classroom bullying, and provides them with information and resources to share with their students so that they can create a culture of upstanders. Upstanders are students who stand up for the victims of bullying, and have the self-esteem and strategies to stand up to classroom bullies. These upstanders, with the support of their classroom teachers and their peers, will be a force strong enough to build the government-mandated Safe School environment.
    • Creating a Generation of Upstanders: Curriculum Resource to Help Ontario Educators Build Safe Schools

      Dirks, Kate-Lynn (2013-05-01)
      This project focuses on the bullying found in the 21st century elementary classrooms, more specifically in grades 4-8. These grades were found to have high levels of bullying because of major shifts in a student’s life that may place a student of this age at risk for problems with their peer relationships (Totura et al., 2009). Supporting the findings in the literature review, this handbook was created for an Ontario grade 4-8 classroom teachers. The resource educates teachers on current knowledge of classroom bullying, and provides them with information and resources to share with their students so that they can create a culture of upstanders. Upstanders are students who stand up for the victims of bullying, and have the self-esteem and strategies to stand up to classroom bullies. These upstanders, with the support of their classroom teachers and their peers, will be a force strong enough to build the government-mandated Safe School environment.
    • Creating Sustainable Communities Through Environmental Sustainability Education: A Case Study of Transition Town Peterborough

      Jennings, Michaela
      This study contributes to literature and practical approaches to examining local organizations involved in environmental sustainability education, and the utilization of the cultural historical activity theory. Using a case study research design, the study examined a local organization located in Peterborough Ontario, called Transition Town Peterborough, to understand how environmental sustainability education, as well as informal learning addressed the organization’s goals. Transition Town is a non-governmental organization, with a focus on acting locally around climate change, peak oil, and localization. This report examined different materials available (website, community magazine, social media). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from the organization to explore individual perspectives on the organization and how learning is implicitly or explicitly incorporated in the organization. The study concludes with a recommendation around learning and environmental sustainability education in the organization to target issues that they are facing, and the tensions between the themes of the CHAT framework.
    • Curriculum Unit on Risk Literacy Using Case Study and Probability to Teach Risk to Post-Secondary Students in Non-STEM Programs

      Kenton, Dianne J.
      This study was designed as a resource to develop risk literacy for students enrolled in non-STEM programs at the post-secondary level using case studies, context analysis, basic mathematics, geometry and statistics. Risks are an outcome of human activity that impact individuals personally, professionally, politically and globally. Numerous issues influence risk literacy education such as adult literacy and numeracy, mathematics curriculum, socio-political and equity issues in mathematics education, teacher education and access to education. The study consists of eleven lessons in varied contexts. Review of the curriculum unit was conducted and confirmed that risk literacy education requires contextual material, deconstruction of language used to express probability, greater attention to language use, and visual representation of data to facilitate comprehension. Review of the unit also revealed that risk literacy can be achieved by learners from different occupational backgrounds who do not have detailed prior working knowledge of risk. Reviewer feedback was used to guide unit development. Participants were provided with lessons for evaluation and agreed that risk literacy was a relevant and practical skill.
    • Daily Physical Activity as an Intervention Strategy for Anxious Elementary Students

      Benner, Julie Anne (2013-04-23)
      The focus of this project was twofold: a comprehensive examination of provincially mandated, school-based physical activity programming beyond physical education, as well as an exploration of the potential relationship between school-based physical activity and student anxiety. The data were collected using a descriptive research methodology consisting of a qualitative document analysis of provincial government publications pertaining to school-based physical activity programming and the literature on the relationship between physical activity and student anxiety. The findings revealed inconsistencies between the Canadian provinces and territories in providing mandated school-based physical activity beyond physical education. It was also revealed that regular school-based physical activity has the potential to make a positive impact on students’ lives in many ways. Students are living more sedentary lives, and evidence shows that regular physical activity could prevent and treat student anxiety.
    • Decolonizing Education Through Outdoor Learning: The Learning Story of an Indigenous Kindergarten Teacher

      Middlemiss, Alexandria
      This study examined the decolonizing pedagogy and practices of a First Nations kindergarten teacher. Indigenous communities across Canada and the world are currently affecting transformation in their schools by turning systems of colonial domination to education that is locally controlled, culturally relevant, and empowering. The study investigated the teacher’s learning story, including her personal experiences with education throughout her life, as well as her current practice as an educator, through both an Indigenous and non-Indigenous lens. The author and the teacher acted as coresearchers in this collaborative project. The exploration of this pedagogy and practice through these two perspectives sought to gain insight into potential solutions for decolonizing education. This research is thus shared in the hope of bringing Indigenousdriven reconciliation into our classrooms by providing a decolonizing framework that can be imparted to fellow educators. The researchers observed that decolonizing pedagogy, in this instance, occurred through outdoor learning, culturally centred practices, as well as family and community connections. Such practices were determined to be deeply rooted in the teacher’s personal identity and experiences, stemming from an Indigenous epistemology and ontology.
    • Destigmatizing Child and Adolescent Mental Health through Group Chat: A Workshop to Support the Emotional and Social Needs of Youth

      Baird, Brittany
      The purpose of this project was to raise awareness surrounding child and adolescent mental health in an effort to reduce preconceived stigmas in relation to this specialized field. This project presented a literature review of the current state of child and adolescent mental health in Canada today, including the prevalence and several treatment options for young people confronting mental health challenges. Consideration of the powerful role of the education system upon youth with mental health issues became evident, specifically regarding early identification and prevention. A needs assessment was conducted to gather feedback from the clinical practitioners of a Section 23 classroom within a Southern Ontario hospital. This assessment was used to develop an informational and pedagogical workshop resource to extend practitioner understanding of this pertinent issue and support the social and emotional needs of young people confronting mental heath challenges. Results of the assessment indicated the significant need for such a workshop resource, and these responses were used to guide the development of Group Chat: A Workshop to Support the Emotional and Social Needs of Youth. The latter was subsequently presented to participants, whereby evaluative questionnaires indicated the efficacy and usefulness of this workshop resource to both practitioners and students alike.
    • Developing Physical Activity Habit in Schools for Active Lifestyle Among Children and Adolescents

      Douglas, Deanna (2013-10-01)
      This study sought to identify and suggest ways to develop physical activity habits in school-aged children and adolescents that could help them continue healthy active practices throughout their lifespan. A systematic review of the literature identified 4 key factors that may influence school-based physical activity habit formation—motivation, enjoyment, commitment, and sustainment—and how each may be achieved in schools. The research paper begins by exploring the definitions and meaning of a habit, how it is developed, and its effect on a healthy active lifestyle. The study proposes a framework comprising 3 major components (i.e., programs, teachers, students) and offers practical strategies that support and nurture the development of students’ physical activity habits in schools. The study concludes by making recommendations for further study.
    • Development of a New Assessment System to Evaluate Students' English Communicative Capacities in China

      Pan, Xiaomin (2013-04-03)
      The purpose of this study was to develop a new English assessment system to evaluate Chinese students' English communicative capacities. Since there is more interaction with people from English-speaking countries, Chinese people attach more importance to English oral skills, and a lot of Western English teaching methods were introduced into China to improve students' English communicative capacities. However, traditional paper-written examinations, like the English test of higher education entry examination, cannot evaluate it effectively. This study explored the perceptions of two Chinese English-language teachers and two Chinese students about English assessment system. A qualitative research method using telephone interviews was conducted in this study. The findings showed that the most possible ways to assess Chinese students' English communicative capacities were paper-written examination and person-machine conversations, although measures should be taken to improve these two models. On the other hand, the model of person-person conversation was the ideal assessment tool but was hard to achieve at the current stage.
    • The Development of the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls Using Mobile App Technology

      Porteus, Andrew
      The Niagara Falls Poetry Project (NFPP) has been an ongoing research-creation project for many years. In addition to being a site of poetry of place it is also a site of recovery and discovery of Niagara poetry. This MRP used social construction of technology and of literature theories as a framework to develop the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls (PWT) to extend the NFPP. Twenty-four points of interest were selected following a route along the Niagara River, passing Niagara Falls. Content analyses and close readings of the poetry on the NFPP website were conducted to preselect suitable poems to present to a panel of poets, academics, and end users at a Poetry Selection Event. Using the participatory design techniques of crowdsourcing and a modified Delphi method, the "best" poem for each of the points of interest was selected. The poem, explanatory historical and literary material, images, and multimedia were added to the Interpretours platform website, which was then used to populate the GuideTags mobile app for smartphones and tablets. The end result is a fully functional mobile app GPS guided walking tour of Niagara Falls that alerts users to points of interest that highlight the poetry and history of Niagara Falls. The role of the PWT in the local economy as a tourist attraction, particularly for the heritage and literary tourism sectors are contributions of the project
    • Differential Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Niagara Region

      Faris, Abbey
      The Niagara Region is experiencing the impacts of climate change. While all residents of Niagara will be affected by the impacts of climate change, some social groups will experience greater impacts than others. This Major Research Paper (MRP) uses large-scale secondary survey data (n=1087) to examine differential vulnerabilities to climactic events in Niagara. Specifically, Kruskal-Wallis and Chi-square statistical analyses were used to determine whether the frequency and severity of extreme heat and household flooding varied across age groups and household income levels. Results show that breaking down the differential vulnerability across age and income groups generated insight into those most vulnerable to flooding and extreme heat. The findings from this research study highlight the impacts that climactic events are having on a local scale within the Niagara Region and which specific social groups are experiencing these extremes.
    • Disquietude: A Sonata-Form Inquiry Into Multiliteracies Practices in an EAL Classroom

      Burgess, Julianne (2014-08-11)
      This narrative case study describes an English as an Additional Language teacher’s struggle to understand her young adult learners’ apparent resistance toward multiliteracies pedagogical practices in a college setting. Multiliteracies Pedagogy (New London Group, 1996) advocates the use of digital media, and home languages and culture, to engage diverse youth in designing personally meaningful multimodal texts that can significantly impact learner identity, voice, and agency. This arts-based study uses an innovative sonata-style format to document the making of a class documentary, accompanied by teacher reflections on the video project in the form of poetry, journal excerpts, and classroom dialogue. The sonata form provides a unique methodology for teacher inquiry, allowing the teacher-researcher to explore the ways in which curriculum, pedagogy, and sociocultural influences intersect in the classroom. The study does not end with a clear resolution of the problem; instead, the process of inquiry leads to deeper understandings of what it means to teach in the complex worlds of diverse learners.
    • Doing the Math: Comparing Ontario and Singapore Mathematics Curriculum at the Primary Level

      Hoang, Dieu Trang
      This paper sought to investigate the fundamental differences in mathematics education through a comparison of curriculum of 2 countries—Singapore and Canada (as represented by Ontario)—in order to discover what the Ontario education system may learn from Singapore in terms of mathematics education. Mathematics curriculum were collected for Grades 1 to 8 for Ontario, and the equivalent in Singapore. The 2 curriculums were textually analyzed based on both the original and the revised Bloom’s taxonomy to expose their foci. The difference in focus was then compared and discussed to find the best ways to improve the Ontario mathematics curriculum. With one of the best education systems in North America, the Ontario mathematics curriculum would only need to refocus its attention towards a more balanced approach, with greater focus on understanding through practices. Ontario would benefit greatly from a deeper research into the Singaporean math curriculum.
    • Dramatic Arts and the Inclusion of Students With Intellectual Disabilities in Secondary School: A Self-Study of My Transformative Experience With the Third Period Thespians

      Hussey, Amber
      This self-study explored my transformative experience with the Third Period Thespians (3PT) program, which created a theatre performance with a combination of students from a mainstream drama classroom and a segregated classroom with students with intellectual disabilities. In particular, I considered how and why this experience was transformative through arts-based methods. Notably, reflecting on experiences before, during, and after my time with the program and creating art in the form of monologues, stream of consciousness, and paintings to demonstrate that self-reflection process. Through these art-based methods I found that my past experiences were fairly limited in regard to involvement with people with intellectual disabilities in the classroom. During my time with 3PT I found that my beliefs shifted to be more inclusive, marked by hesitation at the beginning of the program to acceptance and embracing inclusive classrooms after my experience. In conclusion, that my time with 3PT was a transformative experience because it incorporated inclusive classroom practices that had been absent in my previous experiences.
    • Ecocriticism and Environmental Imagination in Kindergarten Children

      Sajid, Atia
      I work in kindergarten as an Early Childhood Educator and every year I observe the children in my class—who are between 3 and 6 years of age—displaying great care, curiosity, empathy, and love for their environment as they go about their day; they care about the living (plants, animals) and nonliving (the rocks or sky) things around them. They get frightened by the thunder in the sky and ask simple questions about their environment and the things they need for their sustenance. Their empathy about living and nonliving things makes me smile. I see children in my care wonder about their environment all the time. Children in my class are also interested in nature because the school is located near a forest. It has a huge pond and marsh full of ducks, blue herons, blue jays, eagles, dragonflies, fish, and many other sorts of wildlife.
    • Education Technology, E-Learning, and the Classroom Experience

      Daniels, Jeffrey Beau
      Many school districts have encouraged movement from traditional classrooms and teaching strategies to strategies that employ the Internet and educational technology (Ed Tech). The transition to Internet-based Ed Tech has many benefits, such as reduced costs for institutions and greater convenience for students and instructors alike. However, this convenience comes at great expense as Ed Tech is often implemented with little thought to students’ education. This study adopted a philosophical inquiry approach to address concerns related to the implementation of the Internet-based Ed Tech in teaching. It begins by critiquing Ontario’s public policy around the procurement of Ed Tech and the use of e-learning strategies with some reference to other educational jurisdictions. It then discusses privacy issues and risks surrounding the use of Internet-related technologies in education, as well as changes in the relationship between students and teachers as education moves from the traditional classroom to the e-learning environment. Finally, the study critiques theories of education that support e-learning and shows that their implementation limits the transformative nature of education as defined by Gert Biesta.
    • Educational Leadership: Examining the Influence of Transactional and Transformational Leadership Theory in Educational Leadership Discourse

      Lennard, Jason
      This conceptual analysis of higher educational leadership explores the influence of transactional and transformational leadership theories on 21st century leadership discourse. Applying an in-depth understanding of transactional and transformational leadership theories amassed through the work of Burns (1978), Capra (2002), McGregor (1993), Mitchell and Sackney (2009), Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski, and Flowers (2005), and Wheatly (2007), this research identifies transactional leadership systemic concepts of standardization, control, and efficiency, and transformational leadership systemic concepts of collaboration, shared meaning, and change as indicators of leadership theory that lend significance within higher educational leadership literature. Utilizing a framework consisting of these systemic concepts, this research identifies essential insights within the espousal of transactional and transformational leadership theory in higher education leadership discourse.
    • Educational Leadership: Exploring the Influence of Managed and Living Systems in Educational Leadership Discourse

      Jasper, C. Nicholas (2014-12-21)
      A conceptual analysis of educational leadership explored the influence of managed and living systems on 21st century leadership discourse. Drawing on a detailed understanding of managed and living systems theory compiled from the work of Capra (2002), Morgan (1997), Mitchell and Sackney (2009), and Wheatley (2007), this study draws attention to the managed systems systemic concepts of efficiency, control, and standardization, and the living systems concepts of collaboration, shared meaning, change, and interconnection as markers of systems theory that find resonance within leadership literature. Using these systemic concepts as a framework, this study provides important insights into the espousal of managed and living systems concepts within the leadership discourse.
    • Educational Qualification Without Suitable Employment: Exploring Immigrant Engineers' Personal Narratives

      Blaides, Nadine (2014-09-15)
      This qualitative study investigated the experiences of immigrant professional engineers in Canada, 81% of whom are unable to secure employment in their field despite arriving under the auspices of the Canadian government’s skilled workers program. The study sought to identify factors that impede such qualified engineers’ opportunities within the Canadian job market. Because global economic competition demands that qualified professionals contribute to technological innovation, Canada must develop transitional programs that acknowledge credentials and prior work experience in order to address the underutilization of these qualified professionals and allow immigrant engineers to gain employment within their field. To this end, the study examined personal narratives of immigrant engineers who have experienced unemployment despite high levels of educational attainment, and circumstances that contribute to immigrant engineers’ unemployed status. The paper presents a discussion and recommendations for future research in the area of qualification without suitable employment.