• The Check Engine Light is on. Diagnosing and Repairing Mathematics Education in Ontario: Portfolio of Learning

      Enns, Edward
      This portfolio of learning was created to provide suggestions for improving student learning and achievement in elementary mathematics in the province of Ontario. The ideas and conclusions provided came from the combination of two different perspectives, theory and practice. Theory is shared through a review of the literature and artifacts selected from Master of Education course work. Practice is shared through student, teacher, and consultant experiences in mathematics. As a result of these combined perspectives, a comprehensive pedagogy, professional learning for educators, and effective teacher assessment and feedback were determined to be fundamental in improving mathematics learning. These suggestions are analyzed and discussed, resulting in practical implications for teachers, coaches, consultants, and administrators to improve the future learning of elementary mathematics.
    • Children’s Peer Relations and Theory of Mind (ToM) Abilities: Role of Empathy, Self-Concept and Coping Style During Middle Childhood

      Hai, Tasmia
      Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states, such as beliefs and desires, of oneself and others, and plays an important role in our everyday social behaviour (Astington, 1993, Wellman, 1990). Past research suggests that children’s perceptions of their peer relations, such as being accepted or rejected by fellow peers have significant associations with ToM abilities (Slaughter, Dennis, & Pritchard, 2002; Slaughter, Imuta, Peterson, & Henry, 2015). To date, few studies have explored how ToM affects children’s perceptions of peer relations (peer acceptance and rejection) during middle childhood (ages of 8-13 years). To address this gap in research, the current study investigated Canadian children’s (70, g=39, b-31, 9-12 years old) perceptions of peer relations and ToM abilities. Results focused on individual differences and correlations among children’s peer perceptions, self-perceptions, coping skills, and ToM abilities. Educational implications of the present findings will be discussed.
    • Christian Education and the Ethics of Authenticity

      Huizenga, Jack
      A qualitative study was undertaken to explore the concept of authenticity in Christian education. The study was situated in the context of Christian schools in Ontario. Some of these schools have experienced declining enrolment and all of these schools face the challenge of being distinctive in a secular culture. To investigate the potential of the concept of authenticity for reclaiming the vision of Christian education, interviews were conducted with 3 experienced principals of Christian schools. Data analysis yielded an emergent conceptual framework of authenticity consisting of 5 concepts: authorship, relatedness, reflection, autonomy, and excellence. Authenticity was found to be a useful tool for school analysis of both the deep structures and the surface structures within Christian schools. To offset unauthentic tendencies that can arise within these schools, this study calls for an intentional use of the lens of authenticity to expose these tendencies and revitalize core expectations. Through the narratives shared by the Christian school principals, the study also develops a picture of the role of authentic Christian education in the development of the authentic Christian person.
    • Conceptual Analysis of Web 2.0 Technology Use to Enhance Parent–School Relationships

      ZHAO, YAO (2013-09-30)
      Parent–school relationships contribute significantly to the quality of students’ education. The Internet, in turn, has started to influence individuals’ way social communication and most school boards in Ontario now use the Internet to communicate with parents, which helps build parent–school relationships. This project comprised a conceptual analysis of how the Internet enhances parent–school relationships to support Ontario school board administrators seeking to implement such technology. The study’s literature review identified the links between Web 2.0 technology, parent–school relationships, and effective parent engagement. A conceptual framework of the features of Web 2.0 tools that promote social interaction was developed and used to analyze websites of three Ontario school boards. The analysis revealed that school board websites used static features such as email, newsletters, and announcements for communication and did not provide access to parents for providing feedback through Web 2.0 features such as instant messaging. General recommendations were made so that school board administrators have the opportunity to implement changes in their school community with feasible modifications. Overall, Web 2.0-based technologies such as interactive communication tools and social media hold the most promise for enhancing parent–school relationships because they can help not only overcome barriers of time and distance, but also improve the parents’ desire to be engaged in children’s education experiences.
    • 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.
    • Connecting Digital Environments to Additional Language Learning in Schools

      Crawford, Keith Andrew
      Despite digital environments’ proven effectiveness in supporting additional language acquisition, there is a gap in knowledge about how technology is integrated in Kindergarten–Grade 12 (K–12) additional language classrooms. This study examined situations in which additional language learning classes integrated digital environments in elementary and secondary language classrooms and sought to highlight how young learners interact with such environments for additional language learning purposes. A review of the literature revealed that digital learning environments offer corrective feedback for additional language learners who have traditionally been a focus of computer-assisted language learning (CALL); however, more recently computermeditated communication (CMC) has taken hold. Importantly, digital environments that offer multimodality provide comprehensible input that supports the language learning process. The utilization of digital environments with traditional additional language resources is discussed. This study has significant implications for additional language learning and teaching strategies while applying digital learning theories into the additional language classroom.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.