• 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.
    • 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.
    • Establishing a Youth Council in a Local Art Gallery or Art Museum

      Manfreda, Metka
      This Major Research Paper focused on the need for youth arts councils in the Niagara Region. Participation in youth councils offers adolescents a wealth of enriching experiences that can alter both their worldview as well as their understanding of themselves. On a youth arts council, adolescents can discover a new world of art and its cultural value. They can express themselves through their own art while sharing the experience with other teenagers who are doing the same. They can connect with these like-minded teens as they achieve personal goals and contribute to the welfare of the community. Therefore, in an era in which people are concerned about teens’ over-reliance on mobile devices and other so-called screen addictions, getting adolescents off of the couch or cell phone and onto a more participatory, productive path is important. This study illustrates how Niagara’s art galleries and art museums are cultural and historical ambassadors that can and must play a major role in helping students connect possibilities with engaging purpose while having fun.
    • Evaluating and Integrating Educational Technology in the Elementary Mathematics Classroom

      Bunz, Rebecca
      This study used a meta-analysis to analyze several studies examining the impact of technology in the mathematics classroom in order to investigate the functionality of digital tools, and the integration of those digital tools, that most positively impact student achievement and student engagement. Through a keyword search and exclusion criteria, a systematic collection of relevant articles was compiled and analyzed through a two-tier coding scheme. The analysis determined that professional development opportunities need to be provided before, during, and after integration of technology. In addition, educators and students need time prior to the lesson or unit to become familiar with the digital tool and its available functions. Furthermore, educators need to put pedagogy first in order to align strategies with the appropriate digital tools. Finally, digital tools should be introduced in a blended format, with the teacher as a facilitator and the digital activities connected to the curriculum.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Examination of Training for Individuals Using ABA With Students Diagnosed With ASD

      Dontoh, Edna
      Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the social communication and behaviours of individuals diagnosed; Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based treatment for individuals with ASD and a teaching strategy that breaks down skills into smaller steps by using prompting and reinforcement (Mayer, Sulzer-Azaroff, & Wallace, 2014). Although the Ontario Ministry of Educationʼs (OME, 2007) Policy/Program Memorandum 140 (PPM-140) identifies ABA as a teaching method for educators, some parents are concerned that educational assistants who work one-on-one with students with ASD are not skilled enough (Nanowski, 2017). For the 2017-2018 school year in Ontario, a pilot project was conducted to increase the training of educational assistants through online learning programs (OME, 2017). The project focused on ABA-based professional development (PD) and sought to identify most effective types of PD and if experiential learning occurs. This paper examined the types of policies/PD opportunities offered within Canada and specific parts of the United States. Data analysis revealed each region had a different way of explaining its respective policy on teaching students with ASD; some clearly identified ABA as an evidence-based practice, some used tools based on ABA, while others focused only on inclusive education. Experiential Learning Theoryʼs 4 steps—experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting (Yeganeh & Kolb, 2009)—were fully implemented within the PD of teaching staff concerning ABA and ASD in a few regions. To improve outcomes, each region can focus on integrating PD that completes the experiential learning cycle.
    • 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.
    • The Experience of (In)Accessibility at University: What Disabled Graduate Students Reveal

      Baker, Sarah
      Although the number of disabled students entering graduate school has increased in recent years, research pertaining to graduate students with disabilities remains underdeveloped. The purpose of this generic qualitative study is to better understand the experiences of (in)accessibility from the perspectives of three graduate students who self-identify as disabled or as having a disability(s) at one mid-sized university in Southern Ontario. The theoretical orientation was shaped by a social model of disability. The study was focused around the following major research question: What have been the experiences of (in)accessibility for three graduate students who self-identify as disabled or as having a disability(s) at one mid-sized university in Southern Ontario? Subquestions were organized around subcategories, such as (a) experiences related to accessibility, (b) experiences related to inaccessibility, and (c) insights related to future recommendations to enhance accessibility. The study found that (in)accessibility at university was related to (a) specific places on campus, (b) specific people on campus, and (c) the culture of awareness. A variety of educational initiatives were recommended to foster accessible practices and to develop a more accepting and disability-friendly culture on campus. Based on these findings, the Trickledown Effect Model was proposed as a means for promoting accessibility at university.