• Quality Training Programs in Early Childhood Education

      Cuffe, Leah
      The effect that higher education has on the quality of a childcare setting is currently unknown. Early et al. (2007) suggest that higher education may not be affecting the quality of care in a childcare setting because the educators are not being provided with practical training or support within their Early Childhood Education (ECE) preparation courses. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine the 16 mandatory courses within the Brock University Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECE) program to determine if, in fact, the courses align with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (2009) Program Standards. The researcher conducted a qualitative content analysis to ascertain the results of the study. To begin, course outlines were obtained from previous courses the researcher engaged in. Each course outline was reviewed in detail so that the researcher could become familiar with the assignments, lecture topics, and learning objectives within each course. Once each course outline was reviewed, the researcher created a list of the topics that were used to establish categories for coding. The themes that emerged from this process included theorists, program models, families, and knowledge of the ECE field. In addition, life-long learning, teaching specific subjects, and inclusion were also themes that were derived from the data. Within each category, the topics were scrutinized to determine the specific NAEYC Program Standard that the topic supported. A frequency chart was then created for each course to identify how many times each topic adhered to a specific standard. The results of the study concluded that the BECE program at Brock University aligned with all of the NAEYC program Standards. Consequently, Early Childhood Educators can have confidence in the quality of Brock University’s BECE program.
    • The Relationship Between Administration and Inclusive Education: Perspectives From One Ontario School Board

      White, Rebecca
      For the past two decades, school boards around the world have transitioned to more inclusive service delivery for students with exceptionalities. Derived from a larger study (Bennett, Gallagher, Somma, & White, 2021), this research focuses on one school board in the Province of Ontario that transitioned from segregated special education classes to full inclusive service delivery and programming for students with exceptionalities through a board-wide policy. The current major research project utilizes qualitative methods and analyzes 10 semi-structured interviews with administrators from this school board. This project aimed to cull findings to better understand how administrators understand inclusion and make sense of their role within an inclusive education policy and was guided by three research questions: (a) How do administrators define inclusion? (b) How do administrators perceive their role in facilitating an inclusive school culture? (c) What staff and personnel supports do administrators believe are integral to the implementation of inclusive policy? Interview data derived from 10 school administrators were examined using thematic analysis. Findings indicate administrators play a key role in the implementation of inclusive policy by maintaining a positive school culture regarding inclusion, creating a shared school vision, taking ownership over the inclusive policy in their school, and gaining buy-in from all members of the school team. Implications describe steps administrators can take in this role and suggest that a policy shift toward inclusion can be an effective way to positively transition toward inclusion.
    • The Relationship Between Chinese EFL Learners’ Reading Self-Efficacy and Use of Metacognitive Reading Strategies

      Jiang, Ying
      The promotion of self-efficacy and metacognitive strategies plays a decisive role in EFL learners’ foreign language reading performance. This study investigated the relationship between Chinese adolescent EFL learners’ current level of reading self-efficacy and their use of metacognitive reading strategies, and more specifically the differences in use of such strategies among learners with high, medium, and low self-efficacy. Findings indicated that the frequency of participants’ use of metacognitive reading strategies was high, and participants felt confident in their English reading ability. Findings also revealed that the use of metacognitive reading strategies had a significantly positive correlation with English reading self-efficacy. Results suggest that self-efficacy is an influential factor that impacts learners’ use of metacognitive reading strategies. Conclusions and implications drawn from the study emphasize the importance of Chinese EFL learners’ use of metacognitive reading strategies and the reinforcement of selfefficacy in their reading performance.
    • Respect and Obedience in the Culture of Education: A Narrative of Transformative Journey in Viewing a Lifelong Practice in Indonesia.

      Sukmantari, Putri
      This self-narrative retells stories that attempt to make sense of my cultural practice called salim—kissing the hand of teachers, the elderly, and powerful people to show respect. The evident purpose is to instill respect, however, I come to an understanding that respect should be a choice, and if there is no choice, it serves the purpose of implanting obedience. In Indonesian schools, students line up every morning to do salim to teachers, much like an assembly line. Clandinin and Connelly (2000) elucidated how narrative inquiries are always strongly autobiographical and unique. These stories are those I have experienced, witnessed, told, and reflected to achieve transformative learning. I narrated how I was the oppressed, the oppressor and in most times, both. The intent of this paper is not to eliminate the practice, but to awaken awareness of educators to see whether they have earned such respect.
    • Retired School Administrators’ Perspectives on the Effectiveness of Ontario’s Teacher Performance Appraisal System

      Gajula, Gopikiran
      This study aims to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of the Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) system in Ontario by examining the perspectives of four retired administrators: three retired Principals, and one retired Vice-Principal. The study employed a basic qualitative methodology. Data were collected from the participants through semi-structured one-on-one in-person interviews. Data were then analyzed manually by coding and identifying major themes. Findings indicate that the TPA process has evolved from being viewed as a negatively conceived process to now being perceived as an integral part of the teaching profession. Conclusively, TPA, in its current form, is not very effective in facilitating teachers’ professional learning and development, but it has the potential to be more effective if it is conducted as a continuous process rather than as a one-time event every five years.
    • The Role of Community Partnerships in the Support of Postsecondary Students From Refugee Contexts

      Simon, Drew
      This qualitative study sought to identify how postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations can work together to best support the needs of students from refugee contexts, particularly at a time when global refugee migration is high (UNICEF, 2016). A review of literature revealed that refugee and international students may face many challenges when transitioning to a new country and educational environment, and that postsecondary institutions can take steps to help ensure such students’ success. The study took place in two geographical areas in Southern Ontario in close proximity to one another. Fifteen individual interviews were conducted, each lasting an average of approximately 35 minutes, with staff and administrators from postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations to develop an understanding of the services they have in place to support the needs of students from refugee contexts and what they feel would help them better support this group. Findings indicate that although there is a lack of services specific to students from refugee contexts being offered in the postsecondary sector, many services are offered for newcomers more generally. It was found that there is some collaboration between postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations in support of newcomers, but there is also a desire for more. Participants in this study shared insights about how they can be supported in their goal to deliver effective programming to newcomers. The study concludes by offering a series of recommendations on how postsecondary institutions can work with non-profit organizations to better support students from refugee contexts.
    • The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Ontario University Educational Policies for International Graduate Students: A Conceptual, Institutional and Auto-Ethnographic Analysis

      Zabin, Rakha
      This study explored the role of emotional intelligence (EI) among international students adjusting to life in different universities in Ontario and the institutional support provided to them to develop their EI. The study included an in-depth review of literature based on different frameworks of cultural adjustments and EI, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the policy documents (e.g., policy management guide or handbook) available online of 3 similar-sized, student-focused, research-based universities in Ontario with significant international programs. The study also includes an auto-ethnographic account of the experiences I dealt with during my university years. I reflected on the hurdles and challenges I experienced in making my social and emotional adjustments here in Ontario. Overall, the data from the conceptual analysis and auto-ethnography afforded a cross-comparison of the 3 university policies and helped me establish a set of recommendations for universities to incorporate multiple components of EI into their international university policies services to develop components like mindfulness, self-regulation, and stress management for the future international graduate students.
    • School-Based Mental Health Promotion in Secondary Schools

      Wilson, Nicole
      Abstract This research project explored the potential of school-based peer-led mental health promotion programs as a resource for combating the current state of youth mental health concerns in Canada. The project created a resource titled Secondary School Peer-Led Mental Health Promotion Program: Handbook based on the available literature, current state of youth mental health, and barriers to seeking treatment. Schools provide the opportunity for both formal and informal discussions and opportunities to inform youth on topics surrounding mental health. Albert Bandura’s (1977) Social Learning Theory and its components inform the theoretical approach of the project. The handbook was developed for use by secondary school teachers to implement a peer-led program in their school that could be adapted to the culture of their school community. Current secondary school teachers provided their opinions on the handbook and found that topic to be very relevant to the current concerns in schools. It was recognized by the current teachers that the program would be easily adapted to their school culture in addition to working well alongside various existing programs.
    • Self-Study on the Journey to Success of a Teacher With a Learning Disability

      Guest, Stephanie
      This self-study narrative sought to highlight the researcher’s educative and professional experiences as a teacher with learning disabilities (LDs) and the strategies she used to help her get to where she is today. This study examined: (a) specific strategies a teacher with LDs used in order to be successful in her teaching; (b) how the strategies were implemented and how they changed throughout the teacher’s LD learning journey; and (c) effective coping mechanisms a teacher with LDs used to overcome her weaknesses. Data were gathered through an examination of artifacts that included archival medical and school documents, critical reflection, stories, and an interview with the researcher’s mother. Four themes emerged from the data analyses: “School Struggles,” “Challenges Within Education,” “Supporters,” and “Strategies Leading to Success.” This study has brought forth a new perspective to the literature by exploring the lived experiences of a teacher with a LD and the contribution of others in her journey.
    • Service Learning in Higher Education: A Road Map

      Allan, Emily (2013-08-26)
      As institutions of higher education struggle to stay relevant, competitive, accessible, and flexible, they are scrambling to attend to a shift in focus for new students. This shift involves experiential learning. The purpose of this major research paper was to examine the existing structures, to seek gaps in the experiential learning programs, and to devise a framework to move forward. The specific focus was on experiential learning at Brock University in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The methodology was underscored with cognitive constructivism and appreciative theory. Data collection involved content analysis steps established by Krippendorff (2004) and Weber (1985). Data analysis involved the four dimensions of reflection designed by LaBoskey, including the purpose, context, content, and procedures. The results developed understandings on the state of formal processes and pathways within service learning. A tool kit was generated that defines service learning and offers an overview of the types of service learning typically employed. The tool kit acts as a reference guide for those interested in implementing experiential learning courses. Importantly, the results also provided 10 key points in experiential learning courses by Emily Allan. A flow chart illustrates the connections among each of the 10 points, and then they are described in full to establish a strategy for the way forward in experiential learning.
    • Social Media Branding Strategies of Universities and Colleges in Ontario, Canada in 2019-2020

      Mai, To
      Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ontario, Canada have invested in a social media presence for multiple purposes, such as branding, student engagement, and recruitment. To have a full picture of the social media strategy implemented by HEIs in Ontario, Canada, this study used a mixed-method approach to analyze Facebook posts’ characteristics and content. A total of 1,789 Facebook posts of six selected HEIs from September 2019 to April 2020 were collected for analysis and coding based on five predetermined brand positions: elite, nurturing, campus, outcome, and commodity. The study also calculated the engagement rate for each social media practice to measure its engagement effectiveness. The results show that the HEIs generally followed similar practices such as posting frequency, length, types, and timing. However, the distributions of brand positions and content targeting future students versus current students were varied, although the HEIs employed all five brand positions and targeted the same lists of audiences. Some practices such as evening post for colleges and nurturing content for universities attracted significantly higher engagement. This study provides not only a review of current social media and branding strategy but also recommendations for practice that can generate higher engagement.
    • Sojourning for Best Practice: Enriching and Transforming Teaching Pedagogy Through International Service Learning

      Fernandes, Melissa
      This case study investigates the potential professional outcomes of International Service Learning (ISL) on high school teacher participants. Specifically, the aim of this study is to examine the degree to which teacher participation in ISL programming leads to pedagogical enrichment and/or perspective transformation upon their post-trip return to the classroom. The study draws from the perspective of six teacher participants. In their interviews, they commented on the degree to which they found their ISL experiences to have enriched their professional practice as classroom teachers. In addition, they commented on the extent to which they found these experiences to be personally transformative. With respect to their professional practice, participants reported that their ISL experience(s) did lead them to enrich selected areas of curriculum, improve elements of their pedagogy, enjoy enhanced student-teacher relationships, and engage in more meaningful reflective teacher practice. With respect to the issue of personal transformation (which is closely related to professional transformation), by using Kiely’s (2004) model of perspective transformation, evidence emerged that participants experienced shifts and disruptions to their current modes of thought. They reported two or more of Kiely’s forms of perspective transformation. This study identifies the enrichment and/or transformative potential of ISL participation for teachers, however, it also documents that such transformation can also be challenging and complex as teachers strive to turn intention into action. The study concludes with recommendations for post-trip support of teachers to enhance the enrichment and transformative potential of ISL trips on their professional practice and their personal perspective.
    • A Specialized Yoga Handbook to Build Self-Regulation and Aid Transitions in the Go Girls Program

      Touchette, Tiffany
      Go Girls: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, A Specialized Yoga Handbook For Mentors is designed for mentors to implement a specialized yoga practice into each mentoring session as a way to enhance adolescent females' self-regulation development and to assist them during transitions back to regular school structures. The intentions of the handbook were to provide mentors with simple, easy to follow lesson plans to use nearing the end of each session to encourage mindfulness among the group. The handbook offers a five- session lesson plan that is to be used as a cool-down exercise to conclude each Go Girls session. The girls will learn a variety of skills through mindful yoga practice. Throughout this unit, the girls will learn general objectives, breathing technique, and basic standing and balancing poses, and they will lead fellow peers through their created yoga sequence. By the end of this experience, the girls will be able to perform their own yoga sequences and reflect on the “why, how, and so what” of yoga, so that they can continue to incorporate yoga into their daily lives. The project began with a comprehensive examination of current literature surrounding the use of yoga with adolescent populations. Through the literature review, and from personal and professional experience, it became apparent that yoga practice with adolescent populations has numerous personal, physical, and psychological benefits.
    • Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities: A Case Study of the Spring Reading Program

      Cowan, Hope
      This case study explored strategies and techniques in order to assist individuals with learning disabilities in their academic achievement. Of particular focus was how a literacy-based program, titled The Spring Reading Program, utilizes effective tactics and approaches that result in academic growth. The Spring Reading Program, offered by the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region (LDANR) and partnered with John McNamara from Brock University, supports children with reading disabilities academically. In addition, the program helps children increase their confidence and motivation towards literacy. I began this study by outlining the importance of reading followed by and exploration of what educators and researchers have demonstrated regarding effective literacy instruction for children with learning disabilities. I studied effective strategies and techniques in the Spring Reading Program by conducting a qualitative case study of the program. This case study subsequently presents in depth, 4 specific strategies: Hands-on activities, motivation, engagement, and one-on-one instruction. Each strategy demonstrates its effectiveness through literature and examples from the Spring Reading Program.
    • Students’ Use and Perceptions of Social Networking Technologies: Connections to Reading, Reading Ability, and Self-Perception

      Bishop, Sarah (2013-04-23)
      Abstract This study was undertaken to examine traditional forms of literacy and the newest form of literacy: technology. Students who have trouble reading traditional forms of literacy tend to have lower self-esteem. This research intended to explore if students with reading difficulties and, therefore, lower self-esteem, could use Social Networking Technologies including text messaging, Facebook, email, blogging, MySpace, or Twitter to help improve their self-esteem, in a field where spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are commonplace, if not encouraged. A collective case study was undertaken based on surveys, individual interviews, and gathered documents from 3 students 9-13 years old. The data collected in this study were analyzed and interpreted using qualitative methods. These cases were individually examined for themes, which were then analyzed across the cases to examine points of convergence and divergence in the data. The research found that students with reading difficulties do not necessarily have poor self-esteem, as prior research has suggested (Carr, Borkowski, & Maxwell, 1991; Feiler, & Logan, 2007; Meece, Wigfield, & Eccles, 1990; Pintirch & DeGroot, 1990; Pintrich & Garcia, 1991). All of the participants who had reading difficulties, were found both through interviews and the CFSEI-3 self-esteem test (Battle, 2002) to have average self-esteem, although their parents all stated that their child felt poorly about their academic abilities. The research also found that using Social Networking Technologies helped improve the self-esteem of the majority of the participants both socially and academically.
    • Successful Co-Teaching: A Handbook for Educators

      MacDougall, Miranda
      The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to develop a practical co-teaching handbook for educators; and 2) to help disseminate conscious raising of co-teaching strategies and the importance of co-teaching while giving practical suggestions for how to have a successful co-teaching relationship. Successful Co-Teaching: A Handbook for Educators was developed through applying and using theoretical and empirical research, educational resources and recommendations from a needs assessment. The handbook comprises of background co-teaching information, co-teaching and co-planning resources and templates, and strategies for co-teaching partners to use to better equip themselves as co-teachers. Successful Co-Teaching: A Handbook for Educators was evaluated by four educators who reported the resource to be comprehensive and informative, and indicated they would use it in their own classroom.
    • Supporting Drama in Education: Developing a Professional Resource

      Reichheld, Susan
      This research offers an examination of the application of a resource to support Drama in Education (DiE) as a teaching tool. The scope of this small-scale, qualitative research was two-fold: i) to develop a teacher resource; and ii) to study its effectiveness in supporting teachers. My goal was to explore the experiences of professionals to see if the resource I created was effective in developing teacher confidence in integrating drama-based methodology into their regular programming. The research undergoes three phases: i) the formulation of the professional resource, ii) field-testing of the resource and data collection, and iii) data analysis with the final stage being modification of the resource. Based on the data collected from semi-open-ended interviews with two elementary teachers, and personal notes shared by the participant teachers, there appears to be clear evidence the resource is effective in developing educator confidence. The research also offers various implications for teachers and administrators, school boards, and other research in DiE.
    • Supporting social-cognitive development in the elementary years: The role of executive function and self-regulation

      Julien, Karen
      Every day we make decisions that have repercussions. Sometimes the effects are immediate and intended; other times the effects might be unintended or might not be apparent for years. As parents or educators, part of our role is to support the development of children’s decision-making skills, helping them to develop patterns of adaptive decision-making that will serve them well in their current lives and into the future. Part of successful decision-making involves self-control, a system served by the brain’s executive functions (EF). This involves the ability to put aside immediate reactions and base decisions on a variety of important considerations. Social-cognitive development, the ongoing improvement of the ability to get along with others and to understand others’ emotions, expressions, motivations, and intents, relies, to a large degree, on the same EF systems. The current paper explores the interaction of these two factors (the role of EF in social-cognitive development), explores the research to determine the most effective approaches to improving both factors, and develops a handbook providing activities for educators to use while supporting the growth of both EF and social-cognitive skills. Results of a needs assessment reveal that the majority (59%) of educators surveyed had never used a social skills improvement program in their classrooms, while a full 95% believed that social skills are important or very important for a student’s academic success.
    • Supporting Students Affected by War and Terrorism: A Comparitive Study of School Leadership in Canada and Pakistan

      Ahmed, Neelofar
      The growing incidents of war and terrorism around the globe have escalated global migration. Consequently, schools are becoming more diverse in host countries, with this diversity spanning students affected by war and terrorism, in addition to students with disabilities, students living in poverty, as well as racialized and Indigenous students. While these diverse groups of students bring cultural richness and resilience to schools, supporting their academic achievements and physical and mental well-being may challenge school leaders. In this paper, I reviewed the education policies of the United Nations, Ontario, and Pakistan that provide guidelines to enact equity and inclusion in schools. I also conducted a systematic review of Ontario’s and Pakistan’s literature to explore the role of school leaders in supporting students affected by war and terrorism in the last decade. Based on the findings, I firstly discussed the emerging role of public school leadership in supporting students affected by war and terrorism in Ontario and Pakistan. Secondly, I proposed changes to Bronfenbrenner’s (1999) bioecological model of human development, and recommended that by adopting Shield’s (2010) transformative leadership framework, school leaders can make their schools more equitable and inclusive. Thirdly, I advocated for the establishment of cross-cultural educational partnerships to connect the educational policy-makers, researchers, practitioners, and school leaders from Ontario and Pakistan through the Train-the-Trainer model. In an era of forced migration and globalization, school leaders can thereby become agents of school reform and social change by developing inclusive and just communities locally, nationally, and internationally.
    • Teach, Learn, Develop: Sweat, Breathe, Yoga

      Firth, Cayley (2014-05-26)
      Teach, Lean Develop: Sweat, Breathe, Yoga is a Handbook for the Educator intended to be a practical took for educators to integrate yoga into their classrooms and for the betterment of students. The handbook offers teachers several activities and ideas to get them started using yoga in the classroom-these activities can be modified to suit different ages, abilities, and classroom levels. The project includes a look at the literature alongside my opinions and experience from what I have experiences while teaching yoga in the classroom. The handbook itself is intended to assist experiences and inexperienced educators by offering some ideas and activities that will encourage educators to explore using yoga in the classroom. After the completion of the handbook 2 educators reviewed it, and information was collected with regards to how they saw it fitting into their classrooms and the curriculum in general. They provided critiques, constructive feedback, and further recommendations for the handbook.