• Examining the Nature of Published Research About Mentoring in Higher Education

      Beres, Jacqueline (2014-06-18)
      The various forms of mentoring relationships in higher education have all proven to be valuable, offering numerous benefits to mentors and protégés. Research into mentoring provides critical insight into aspects of these relationships, which can be used to advance theoretical and practical understandings of the topic. However, little is known about the methodological characteristics of the mentoring research itself. Using descriptive quantitative content analysis, I examined five years of articles published in five scholarly journals to determine the prevalence of research about mentoring in higher education. Not surprisingly, the prevalence of these articles differed significantly among journals in higher education (1.07% to 3.13%) compared to the considerably higher prevalence rate of 53.15% for the mentoring journal, Mentoring & Tutoring [χ2 (4, N = 82) = 143.98, p < .01]. I also report findings related to the prevalence of different empirical research traditions, research designs, and data sources, as well as various populations, such as faculty members or graduate students who serve as mentors or protégés. Given the limited number of mentoring articles published in higher education journals, I was unable to compare methodological characteristics across journals. Implications for theory, research, and practice in the area of mentoring in higher education are also suggested. Understanding the methodological characteristics of the current literature allows researchers to tailor their current studies by either continuing with existing trends in methodological approaches or seeking opportunities to incorporate under-utilized research traditions, designs, or data sources, with the aim of continuing to improve mentoring knowledge and outcomes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The Effective Use of 21st-Century Learning iPad Applications in the Primary/Junior Literacy Classroom

      Gleeson, Laura (2014-08-27)
      The purpose of this major research project was to develop a practical tool in the form of a handbook that could facilitate educators’ effective use of technology in primary and junior classrooms. The main goal was to explore the use of iPad devices and applications in the literacy classroom. The study audited available free applications against set criteria and selected only those that promoted 21st-century learning. The researcher used such applications to develop literacy lessons that aligned with curriculum expectations and promoted 21st-century skills and traditional skills alike. The study also created assessment models to evaluate the use of iPads in student work and explored the benefits and limitations of technology usage in student learning.
    • The Evolving Mind-Body Alliance: A Handbook for Educators

      Spratt, Brianna (2014-09-09)
      This study examined anatomical and physiological connections between brain and body in relation to academic, physical, social, emotional, and behavioural benefits of physical activity in elementary schools. A handbook titled The Evolving Mind-Body Alliance: Physical Activities Incorporated Into the Ontario Science Curriculum—A Handbook for Educators, Schools, and School Boards was developed based on evidence that physical activity can benefit students academically, physically, and emotionally. Handbook activities were created for implementation into science lessons, with direct connections to the Ontario Science Curriculum (OSC), based on curriculum expectation goals and vision for science, including a majority of experiential learning and application knowledge, and because of students’ difficulty relating to science’s abstract concepts and terms. A review of literature about brain-body connection and benefits of movement in the classroom revealed that the defining features of the handbook should be (a) incorporation of physical activities that directly relate to the OSC, (b) require minimal resources to implement, and (c) provide a direct link to the OSC. Needs assessments were performed to gather the data from professionals in the field on the OSC and on the mandated daily physical activity. The handbook was reviewed by 3 teaching professionals in order to claim face validity of the document. The results of the project indicate that the handbook which was produced meets its goals of creating a product that is easy to use, practical, and effective for both educators and children in promoting the awareness of the brain-body connection and importance of learning through movement.
    • The Implementation of Jenkins’s 21st-Century Skills in the Curriculum: A Cross-National Policy Analysis

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

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

      Medway, James (2014-09-19)
      Roman Catholic separate schools’ denominational right to receive public funding is a contentious issue in Ontario’s educational system. Ontario’s publicly funded denominational schools historically served a purpose at Confederation; however, in light of Ontario’s evolving demographics, publicly funding denominational schools today may no longer serve the needs of Ontario. The research problem in this study is expressed through growing problems reconciling Roman Catholic schools with diversity and current public views. Additionally, recent tensions, public views, and political consensus suggest it is time to revisit the existing policy. In order to understand both the history of denominational schools and the present context, this study conducted II policy analyses as its research design by completing 2 policy cycles. The first policy cycle determined that based upon Upper and Lower Canada’s pre-Confederation diversity, extending public funding to denominational schools at Confederation was an effective way of protecting minority rights; however, the analysis in the second policy cycle; which examined how equitable and inclusive denominational schools are today, concluded that the denominational school system no longer serves the diversity and equity needs of contemporary Ontario. Building on these findings, this study then explored two viable alternative educational arrangements for Ontario’s future educational system: publicly funding all faith-based schools, or publicly financing a one-school-system. To address the diversity issue in Ontario, transitioning toward publicly funding a one-school-system is found to be the most viable option.
    • An Examination of the Development of Online Higher Education in Canada and China: Keeping Pace and Making Space

      Li, Bingqin (2014-09-19)
      This study examined the similarities and differences that currently exist between Chinese and Canadian online higher education, and explored the economic, political, and sociocultural environments that have shaped online education in these two jurisdictions. Furthermore, this paper discussed the efficacy of, and potential for, future development of online learning in higher education in both Canada and China. The research employed a collective case study design to gather information and data on the development of online higher education. The analysis on Contact North in Canada and the One-Man University in China provide a comparative perspective on the development of 2 typical online higher educational institutions in these two countries. The study revealed that the development of online higher education is influenced by the economic, political, and sociocultural factors of environment. Contact North and the One-Man University share similarities in many aspects, but are characteristically different. The Contact North can set an example for establishing and operating a self-regulated MOOCs platform. The study also generated implications for both organizations.
    • Living in the Skin That I Am: An Organizational Autoethnography of an Adult Educator's Plight to Survive the Stigma of Invisible and Episodic Disability in an Academy of Administritiva

      Docherty-Skippen, Susan Maureen (2014-09-22)
      Through the reflective lens of an adult educator with invisible and episodic disabilities, this paper has been written as an organizational autoethnography. Through a process of autoethnographical sensemaking, it is intended to illuminate important gaps in organizational theory. Feminist/relational care ethics, critical reflection, and transformative learning serve as the educational theories that comprise its framework. In telling my story, embodied writing and performance narrative are used to convey the felt existence of a body exposed through words—where my “abled” and “disabled” professional teaching and learning identities may be studied against the backdrop of organizational policies and procedures. Words used to describe unfamiliar experiences and situations shape meaning for which new meaning may emerge. At the conclusion of this paper, an alternative frame of reference—a view from the margins—may be offered to articulate authenticity in the expectancy of workplace equity for adult educators with disabilities. Taken collectively on a larger level, it is hoped that this research may provide a source of inspiration for systemic organizational change in adult learning environments.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Conduct Disorder: A Handbook for Elementary School Educators

      Chiasson, Presley (2014-11-03)
      This research project examined the behavioural, social, and emotional issues affecting children and youth with conduct disorder. Based on the literature review, the deconstruction of theoretical and empirical studies, and findings from the needs assessment, Conduct Disorder: A Handbook for Elementary School Educators was created. This handbook was developed based on the evidence that conduct problems can most effectively be improved when multiple systems are included in the prevention and intervention of the disorder. Educators, related service providers, and the child all play an important role in designing and implementing effective interventions. Therefore, it is imperative to provide educators with the information necessary to begin this emerging collaborative process. The handbook was created as a tool for educators intending to enhance their knowledge when working with students with conduct disorder. A Needs Assessment was conducted to determine what educators wanted the handbook to contain to assist them in working with students displaying conduct problems. The educators evaluated the handbook, providing constructive feedback and confirming the potential value and practicality of this handbook for elementary school educators. The educators reported an increase in their understanding of conduct disorder, as well as a heightened awareness of the causal factors that contribute to the disorder. The list of community resources and agencies was thought to be a good starting point for educators looking for supplementary aids. The educators indicated that the handbook is a good reference tool to use when teaching students with conduct problems. The educators concluded with the hope that this handbook will be shared with others.
    • How Immigrant Mothers Contribute to Their Children’s Learning Inside and Outside of School

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

      Peacock, Jennifer (2014-11-12)
      This project reviewed current research on mental health and Canadian children, and then examined the practice of mindfulness as a means of supporting well-being and circumventing the potential detrimental effects of mental health problems. By contextualizing these findings within the recently released educational vision of the Ontario Ministry of Education (2014), which identifies well-being as one of the core principles of education in Ontario, this project investigated how mindfulness-based practices can be brought into the primary grade classroom. The ultimate purpose of this project is the development of a handbook for Ontario teachers of students in grades 1 to 3 (ages 6 to 8). This resource was developed from a comprehensive literature review and provides educators with easy-to-follow activities to use in the classroom to encourage the development of resilience and emotional well-being through mindfulness. The handbook also includes additional information and resources regarding both mindfulness and mental health that may be helpful to teachers, students, and parents.
    • Experiential Learning: Creating Meaningful Opportunities

      Ou, Michael (2014-12-16)
      This study examined the practice and implementation of undergraduate student internships in Ontario, Canada. A literature review revealed that implementation of internships at the undergraduate level in Ontario varies within campuses by faculty and department and also across the university spectrum, partly due to a lack of consistency and structure guiding internship practice in Ontario. Moreover, a lack of general consensus among participating stakeholders concerning the philosophy and approach to internship further complicates and varies its practice. While some departments and universities have started to embrace and implement more experiential learning opportunities into their curriculum, the practice of undergraduate internships is struggling to gain acceptance and validity in others. Using the theory of experiential learning as presented by Dewey (1938) and Kolb (1984) as theoretical frameworks, this research project developed an internship implementation strategy to provide structure and guidance to the practice of internships in Ontario’s undergraduate university curriculum.
    • A Phenomenologically Sensitized Analysis of Images Depicting Stressed Embodiment in an Adolescent Male with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

      Boyd, Chris (2014-12-18)
      Each person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) comes with unique characteristics (idiosyncratic) that give clues to the world they know (Connolly, 2008). It is through their body that they (a) know the world they are experiencing, (b) make meaning, and (c) express certain behaviours. I used Laban’s Movement Analysis (LMA) to practice an attuned and appreciative approach to describing and understanding the body movement in one severe manifestation of autism in an adolescent male. LMA observes human movement across many disciplines and can be applied in many contexts providing a body honoring discourse for description (Connolly, 2008). The framework examines movement in body, space, quality, and relation. Each theme provides a detailed description of the individual’s movement, thus, giving us a richer understanding of patterns and possible triggers to self-injurious behaviours (SIB). During the summer of August 2013, I participated in Brock University’s annual Autism Camp and worked with a 15 year old male named “Aaron” who manifests with low functioning autism. The purpose of my research project was to code and analyze a series of photos taken to help gain insight into movement patterns associated with stressed embodiment and self-injury in “Aaron”. As I understood more about these embodied expressions, I uncovered valuable information on how to read patterns and discover what triggers these events, thus providing strategies on how to help people do more refined observations and make meaning of the behaviour. Laban’s movement analysis provided a sensitized discourse appropriate to the embodied expressions depicted in the photos.
    • 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.
    • The Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on Educator Growth and Professional Development: A Personal Account

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