• 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.
    • Teachers' Knowledge of, Satisfaction With, And Familiarity With Supporting Students With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

      Uttamsingh, Jason
      This study explored teachers’ knowledge of ADHD, levels of satisfaction with strategies to successfully teach students with ADHD in the classroom, and familiarity with related resources and policy. Participation was voluntary, and teachers electing to participate completed a survey designed to capture data relating to the areas noted above. The sample of teacher participants was taken from one of the largest public school boards in Ontario, and included teachers of varying years of experience, special education and non-special education teachers, and both elementary and secondary teachers. Results indicated that teachers were generally dissatisfied with their abilities to teach students with ADHD. Special education teachers seemed to be more satisfied with their abilities to use successful strategies to teach students with ADHD compared to non-special education teachers, and special education teachers also seemed to be more familiar with related resources and policies compared to non-special education teachers. In addition, special education teachers seemed to have more working knowledge of the nature of ADHD as a disorder compared to non-special education teachers. Results also indicated possible areas for a lack of knowledge about ADHD among teachers in general, including diet, age, and genetics in relation to the nature of ADHD and the propagation of symptoms indicative of the disorder. Years of teaching experience also seemed to play a part in teachers’ knowledge of certain areas. Implications include possible further training for teachers to address knowledge gaps and to enhance teachers’ abilities to better instruct students with ADHD in their classrooms.
    • Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language to English Speaking Language Learners: Teachers’ Handbook

      Li, Jinyi
      This project developed a handbook for teachers to assist in the instruction of Chinese as a foreign language. The handbook provides teachers with practical lessons for teaching Chinese to adult beginning language learners. The handbook is based on autoethnographic analyses of my own experiences or stories related to foreign language learning and teaching the Chinese language. Lessons topics were developed based on these stories. The handbook put forwards 6 lesson plans corresponding to 6 specific topics. The handbook is supported by 2 theories: the audio-lingual and communicative foreign language teaching approaches. Based on these 2 teaching approaches, the main idea embedded in the handbook is that teaching spoken language before teaching Chinese writing and grammar rules can help adult novices to learn Chinese more effectively and apply the language in practical situations. Thus, the lesson plans in the handbook are designed to develop the speaking skills of adult learners for communicative purposes. Unlike many current Chinese teaching materials in which spoken and written Chinese are taught together, this handbook creates an innovative teaching method that emphasizes spoken-Chinese language learning for beginner learners. The lesson plans, as examples, are expected to inspire more Chinese teachers to explore and promote innovative teaching lessons and methods.
    • Teaching pragmatics to newcomers to Canada

      Zeldenrust, Gwen
      The purpose of this project was to examine how ESL teachers teach pragmatics to new immigrants preparing to work in Canada, and to develop a practical resource to assist in the delivery of pragmatic linguistic material. The resource used effective approaches as outlined in the literature, specifically an explicit-inductive technique in a sequence specific manner. In addition, a needs assessment completed by teachers in the field was considered during development. Eight ESL teachers responded to a needs assessment interview guide. The data collected highlighted a need for a practical technique that allows for delivering pragmatic content in accordance with theory espoused in the pragmatic linguistic teaching literature. The resource includes a practical teaching technique intended to be flexible enough to cover a wide variety of pragmatics topics. The Awareness, Analysis, Understanding, Use, (AAUU) technique promotes learning and use of culturally conditioned language.
    • Teaching Reading to ESL Adult Literacy Learners: The Development of an Instructor’s Handbook

      Weiler, Jennifer
      The purpose of this project was to develop an instructors’ handbook that provides the declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge associated with the interactive instructional approach, differentiated instruction, and the gradual release of responsibility framework for teaching reading to English as a second language adult literacy learners. The need for this handbook was determined by conducting a critical analysis of existing handbooks and concluding that no handbook completely addressed the 3 types of knowledge for the 3 instructional processes. A literature review was conducted to examine the nature, use, and effectiveness of the 3 instructional processes when teaching reading to ESL adult literacy learners. The literature review also examined teachers’ preferences for reading research and found that texts that were relevant, practical, and accessible were favoured. Hence, these 3 elements were incorporated as part of the handbook design. Three peer reviewers completed a 35-item 5-point Likert scale evaluation form that also included 5 open-ended questions. Their feedback about the handbook’s relevancy, practicality, accessibility, and face validity were incorporated into the final version of the handbook presented here. Reference to the handbook by ESL adult literacy instructors has the potential to support evidence-informed lesson planning which can support the ESL adult literacy learners in achieving their goals and contributing to their societies in multiple and meaningful ways.
    • Three Newly Appointed Vice-Principals’ Perceptions of Their Identity Formation and Interaction With School Culture: A Qualitative Study of the VP Role Transition

      Pereira, Sarah Jo
      This generic qualitative study explored the process of administrative identity formation from the perspective of 3 newly appointed secondary school vice-principals. It also explored participants’ perception of how vice-principals influence and are influenced by school culture. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that in their first years of transitioning into the role of vice-principal participants faced challenges in forming new identities. With respect to their ability to influence school culture, participants found that other responsibilities of the job consumed their time and subsequent abilities to make changes. Participants revealed their duties, responsibilities, and the ways in which they both prepared for their role and were supported within them. Participants found that their VP experiences upon appointment and within the first years of transitioning largely focused on the various challenges they faced in assuming the new responsibilities, navigating the changing dynamics amongst staff, and managing the vast quantity of work in limited time restraints. Despite these challenges participants continued to work towards finding a balance in their management of the VP role, where with time and experience they might further develop their administrative identity formation, and may impact school culture as a whole.
    • Ties From My Father: Personal Narrative as a Tool for Engaging Teenagers and Social Service Practitioners

      Pozeg, Robert (2014-01-20)
      The purpose of this project is to provide social service practitioners with tools and perspectives to engage young people in a process of developing and connecting with their own personal narratives, and storytelling with others. This project extensively reviews the literature to explore Why Story, What Is Story, Future Directions of Story, and Challenges of Story. Anchoring this exploration is Freire’s (1970/2000) intentional uncovering and decoding. Taking a phenomenological approach, I draw additionally on Brookfield’s (1995) critical reflection; Delgado (1989) and McLaren (1998) for subversive narrative; and Robin (2008) and Sadik (2008) for digital storytelling. The recommendations provided within this project include a practical model built upon Baxter Magolda and King’s (2004) process towards self-authorship for engaging an exercise of storytelling that is accessible to practitioners and young people alike. A personal narrative that aims to help connect lived experience with the theoretical content underscores this project. I call for social service practitioners to engage their own personal narratives in an inclusive and purposeful storytelling method that enhances their ability to help the young people they serve develop and share their stories.
    • Two School Administrators’ Perspectives on How Intercultural Education is Promoted in Their Elementary Schools

      Gill, Harpreet Singh (2014-09-23)
      This study examined the perspectives of 2 elementary school administrators (1 principal of a faith based school, and 1 vice-principal of a public school) towards intercultural education and how it was implemented in their schools. A generic qualitative research methodology guided this study. Face-to-face interviews that used a guide with open-ended questions were used to collect data. Participants were administrators in their respective schools, had been involved in intercultural activities at their school, and were professional acquaintances of the researcher. The interviews were digitally recorded and the interview transcripts were reviewed by participants to ensure accuracy. The administrators’ understanding of intercultural education tended to be limited to learning and celebration of various cultures. The intercultural education strategies used in the respective schools focussed on developing a knowledge base and provided limited intercultural interaction. The public school had greater resources available than the private faith-based school. However, the resources were not always used to facilitate intercultural education. Teachers and administrators were provided with very few professional development opportunities focussed on intercultural education.