• 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.
    • 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.  
    • 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.
    • Empowering Nursing Leaders to Facilitate Healthy Work Environments: First Steps

      Barbato, Beverly (2013-04-24)
      The purpose of this project was to examine the literature for perspectives on healthy work environments (HWE). HWEs have been identified as important factors in the nursing profession to enhance recruitment, retention, job satisfaction, and accountability. This paper identifies that the front line manager is an essential role within organizations, and directly impacts work environments. Within this paper it has been pointed out that professional organizations have provided some general recommendations for improving work environments which include increasing nurses’ accountability and teamwork, providing opportunities for shared decision making, having supportive leadership, providing recognition, educational support, and adequate staffing. However, enacting them all can be difficult due to front line manager capacity, the impending nursing shortage, organizational resources and barriers. Based on the literature, conclusions have been drawn and recommendations for future research have been identified. HWE strategies have been developed with implementation plans for my practice area.
    • Empowering Physician Leadership: A Theoretical Analysis of Medical Leadership Frameworks

      Antony, Catherine
      The year 2020 heralded the global pandemic and the uncertainty of future challenges. In challenging times like these, it is difficult to lead and to remain motivated. Leaders, however, inspire and keep us believing and expecting that we can come out of today’s darkness. With the COVID-19 outbreak, the health system instituted rapid changes that signified the efficacy of medical leaders in crisis. This study’s document analysis explored how medical leadership has emerged and focused on the empowerment of physician leadership, as well as the purpose of training through medical education. The review of the literature analyzed the similarities and differences between widely accepted medical leadership frameworks and also the leadership frameworks. Similarly, the study analyzed the drawbacks of the literature review and recommended changes in frameworks to encourage aspiring physician leaders. Findings emphasized the need for a holistic approach (encapsulating all the systems of medicine, including complementary and alternative medicine) to the leadership framework. The study, therefore, addresses the possibility of physician leadership and how it can be implemented through formal medical education. The study reflects on the competencies physician leaders should attain and obstacles they need to overcome with a focus on adaptive leadership.
    • English Language Learners, Writing Challenges, and Writing Identities: Experiences of Graduate Student Writers in Education

      Farzinpur, Leila
      This qualitative research, grounded within a sociocultural perspective, investigated the experiences of non-native speakers of English when they write in an academic context in graduate level education courses. I explored writing challenges and success, the effects of challenges on writing identity, and strategies and environment that enhance writing competency of 3 English Language Learners (ELLs) in an Ontario University. Data were collected through a survey design including a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and post-interview questions. Data analysis adopted a 6-step process for analyzing and interpreting qualitative data described by Creswell (2015). The study’s theoretical framework encompassed Ivanič’s (2004) multilayered view of language, and Ivanič’s (1998) 4 aspects of writing identities. Findings suggest that ELLs’ academic literacy practices are influenced by various elements, their writing identities are constructed and shifted in the academic setting, and their writing challenges have a significant influence on different aspects of their writing identities. In addition, ELLs can improve their writing competency and make progress in their academic literacy if they are provided with an appropriate and supportive learning environment, practices, and strategies. The study discusses implications of findings and suggests areas for further research.
    • Enhancing Children’s Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills in Early Childhood: A Handbook for Parents Based on Authentic Activities

      Tran, Thao Uyen
      This project presents a literature review of the role of social-emotional learning (SEL) skills in children’s development, including an overview of Vygotsky’s constructivist theory, the definition of SEL skills, the benefits of SEL for children, and the role of parents in children’s SEL development. The purpose of this project was to provide parents with a keen awareness of the role that they play in their children’s SEL development, and to create a practical handbook that parents can use to encourage children’s engagement in SEL activities in their home environment. Presenting home-based activities, the implementation of the handbook included in this project can benefit children’s SEL skills and overall well-being.
    • Enhancing Student Learning: Study of a Motivational Resource for Educators

      Potts, David Anthony (2014-04-13)
      This study surveyed practicing classroom teacher’s perceptions of a proposed educational resource “Avatar Academy” designed to enhance students’, particularly young boys, motivation and general attitude towards learning. The Avatar Academy resource is an instructional guide for implementing a classroom reward system based on common game mechanics. The resource emphasizes the modification of current pedagogies to exploit the use of game design to engage boys. A survey of recent literature indicated an opportunity to study teachers’ perceptions of the possible applications of game design mechanics to support the enhancement of student motivation and learning in the classroom. As a result the Avatar Academy handbook and blog resource were developed to assist teachers with the integration and administration of a program designed to enhance student motivation, especially boys, using avatars and a point based reward system. The resources were initially distributed to several practicing teachers for their review, and their feedback formed the basis for revisions of the Avatar Academy resource. After implementing changes to the resource based on initial teacher feedback, an updated Avatar Academy was redistributed and teacher opinions and perceptions of the tool’s possible impacts on classroom learning were collected.
    • Ensuring Women’s Access to Higher Education and Employment in Iran and Canada: A Comparative Study

      Habibnejad, Mina
      In this systematic literature review, I explored how Canadian and Iranian governments have facilitated women’s access to higher education and employment opportunities, as well as the purpose of higher education for Canadian and Iranian women, over the past four decades. I examined peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as OECD, UN, UNESCO, and UNICEF online documents and reports, to understand the dynamics of women’s educational and employment experiences. The review of the literature revealed similarities and differences between Iranian and Canadian women’s experiences in higher education and employment. In both countries, women’s access to higher education has increased over the past four decades; however, a gender gap between men’s and women’s employment opportunities persists in favour of men, particularly in policymaking and leadership positions in academia and other sectors. The intersection of gender and religion impacts Iranian women’s access to higher education positively and employment opportunities negatively while the intersection of gender, racial identity, and/or immigrant status hinders Canadian women’s educational and employment opportunities. Building on Shields (2010) transformative leadership framework and Collins’ (2015) matrix of domination, I argue that merging these two frameworks can help higher education researchers, educators, and administrators understand the experiences of individuals simultaneously belonging to multiple oppressed groups. Increasing women’s access to higher education and financially rewarding employment opportunities remains imperative across the globe. This increased access can be accomplished through building international collaborations; educating educational and employment policymakers about matrix of domination, intersectionality, and transformative leadership; and developing gender-inclusive and family-friendly policies that meet the needs of diverse women groups.