• Producing Strong and Effective Writers Using the Peer Feedback Process

      Stayzer, Danielle
      The peer feedback process is an effective and engaging literacy activity used to support student writers learning from each other. This study used qualitative research methods to investigate the potential impact of the peer feedback process on students providing the feedback. The study focused on peer feedback’s impact on reviewers’ development of stronger writing skills. Research questions included: How does peer reviewers’ training on the peer review process for writing impact their writing skills? How does such training impact their ability to be effective peer reviewers? How does the experience as peer reviewers impact reviewers’ own writing skills? Communicating with the research participants over a 3-month period provided opportunities for them to reflect upon their experience as peer reviewers and offered insights about the impacts it had on their development as writers. Data collection methods included a student questionnaire, a focus group, and an in-depth interview, all of which encouraged students to offer detailed thoughts and ideas. Additionally, the researcher kept a journal of thoughts, questions, and ideas that contributed to the understanding of the student data. Data analysis revealed that training provided reviewers with foundational skills and knowledge that helped prepare them to be more effective reviewers and was useful when applied to their own writing process. Findings also revealed the experience of reviewing helped reviewers develop critical thinking, analysis, and synthesizing skills that assisted their own development as writers. Over time, student reviewers began to internalize the lessons they were teaching to their peers and apply them to their own writing, acting as an expert and providing support to their own process. Implications for practice are also discussed.
    • Project-Based Learning in Mathematics: A Middle School Curriculum Unit

      Stubbs, Samantha
      The purpose of this study was to develop a mathematics-focused project-based learning curriculum unit for educators to utilize with their own classes. Based on literature review and resources, an integrated unit was created using a backwards design method of curriculum development, with the intent of assisting teachers who are unfamiliar with the principles of project-based learning. The unit covered grade 7 Ontario Ministry of Education expectations from the mathematics, science, and language curriculums and also aided in students’ development of several 21st century competencies including effective communication, collaboration, and problem solving. The unit was created to act as a guide for educators to assist them in learning how to implement project-based learning effectively, so as to make learning meaningful, relevant, and enjoyable for students.
    • Promoting Early Reading: A Parent Handbook for Developing Children's Phonological Awareness Using Authentic Activities

      Dunn, Stephanie (2013-09-16)
      The purpose of this project was to create a handbook for parents to develop their children's phonological awareness using authentic activities that parents and children can complete together. The handbook aims to provide parents with fundamental background information regarding phonological awareness as well as effective instruction practices, followed by authentic activities that are clearly laid out and easy to implement. Through a comprehensive study of the literature it became evident that parents should be the target audience for the handbook as they have the greatest influence on the development of their young children. Phonological awareness was also found to be an important contributor to early literacy development including oral language skills and reading. The handbook was reviewed by 2 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 parents and children. The implementation of the handbook in the home environment can benefit children's phonological awareness and in turn improve their oral language and reading abilities.
    • Promoting the Success of Indigenous Students in High School Mathematics: A Handbook for Educators

      Safieh, Danielle
      There is a significant gap in the number of Indigenous students enrolled and successful in secondary school mathematics, which is partially due to the lack of cultural pedagogy and critical pedagogy in mathematics education (Nielsen et al., 2008). This is significant, because as Doolittle and Glanfield (2007) argue, mathematics education in mainstream society is an enabler (or disabler) of many opportunities. Many researchers and educators have worked toward the goal of improving Indigenous students’ success in mainstream education, however there is significantly less research focusing specifically on Indigenous students’ success in secondary mathematics education. This project explored major themes of Indigenous ways of knowing, two-eyed seeing and growth, and mathematical mindsets from an extensive literature review with the purpose of developing a handbook and strategies and sample activities for Intermediate and Senior mathematics teachers to implement in their professional practices. The handbook was designed to provide mathematics educators with research-based knowledge to aid them in developing inclusive strategies pedagogy and assignments that promote Indigenous student success as well as make mathematics education meaningful. Included in these strategies are project-based learning, place-based learning, and critical and social justice mathematics.
    • 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.
    • The Relationship between Confucianism Culture on Chinese International Students’ Self-confidence

      Wang, Junjie Jr
      Considering the uptrend of educational globalization, the younger generation in China is choosing to study abroad. According to Lundeberg, Fox, Brown and Elbedour’s research (2000), Chinese participants have low self-confidence and do not trust their own skills. Furthermore, research shows that that Chinese graduate students tend to refrain from participating in classroom activities (Lu & Han, 2010). The purpose of this research project is to explore how Chinese international students perceive the influence of Confucius culture on their self-confidence, while completing the international graduate program in a single university in Ontario. All data was collected through loosely structured interviews with four Chinese graduate students in the international graduate program. Key findings of this research project highlight the students’ educative experience in both Canada and China, the influence of Confucianism on their self- confidence levels and the progression of this trait throughout the whole learning experience.
    • 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.
    • A Scoping Review of Teaching Practices for Linguistically Diverse Students in Ontario

      Kittani, Lana
      This study explores the challenges faced by linguistically diverse students and teachers in Ontario, Canada. Current research suggests that it takes 5 to 10 years for English Language Learners (ELLs) to reach the language proficiency of their native English-speaking peers (Goodman & Fine, 2018). During this time, ELLs face many challenges including language loss, difficulties in developing a sense of belonging and inclusion in the school community, and difficulties in negotiating their identity. Likewise, educators face challenges when attempting to tailor assessment and instruction for ELLs. Some of these challenges are present based on educators’ background on literacy development and their understanding of language loss, the need to better understand students’ funds of knowledge to support their sense of belonging, lack of teacher education in ELL instruction to assist students in their identity negotiations and formation, and lack of time and resources to prepare and deliver inclusive instruction. A scoping review was conducted to answer the following research questions: (a) What are the experiences and challenges faced by ELLs and classroom teachers? (b) What high-yield pedagogical approaches can teachers use to support ELLs’ inclusive learning needs? (c) What are the implications for the educational and research community of employing such high-yield pedagogical approaches for teaching ELLs? This review provides specific pedagogical approaches for educators to use within their practice to support ELLs, as well as findings and implications for both the research and educational community. Findings from this review indicate that improvements to teacher education programs are needed to develop teachers’ understanding of ELLs, as well as a close examination of existing policy documents and ways in which they can be updated to reflect Ontario’s growing ELL population.
    • Sea Turtles Living in a Fishbowl: Political Identities and the Returning Trend of Chinese International Students

      Liao, Yuchen
      While American philosopher Martha Nussbaum (2016) claimed that “most of us would not choose to live in a prosperous nation that had ceased to be democratic” (pp. 10−11), more and more Chinese international students have followed an opposite trend recently, returning from democracies to China where political freedom is deteriorating. This project conceives the heterogeneous political identities of Chinese international students as an underlying cause, rather than a directly decisive factor, to understand the increasing proportion of Chinese “sea turtles”—the homonym of “returnees” in Mandarin. I use conceptual, reflective, and argumentative methods, proposing and exploring four different political identities of Chinese international students: party-statist, neoliberal, liberal, and double-dissident. I develop a metaphor of the “fishbowl” to depict Chinese political control and argue that the fishbowl plays a more decisive role than democratic education in constructing Chinese international students’ political identities to pull many of them back to China. My purpose is to provide new insights and critical hope for democratic education, illuminate the complex situation that Chinese international students face, and challenge the China−West binary in order to promote mutual understanding.
    • 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.