Theses (Curriculum and Instruction)

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    Feedback on English as an Additional Language Students’ Writing: Trends in Corrective Feedback Strategies
    (2024) De Paula, Isabel; Anderson, Tim
    Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) has gained continuous attention in recent years. This growing interest is attributed to both the conceptual controversies surrounding feedback and the variety of available written corrective feedback strategies. While the diversity of options (and opinions) allows teachers to differentiate instruction and feedback, it also poses challenges such as confusion and insecurity, as teachers need to fully understand the characteristics of each strategy and which factors might influence them, in addition to understanding their students’ individual needs and abilities to make informed decisions concerning the most suitable strategy. To address such complexity in feedback choices, this study takes a content analytic approach to synthesize and compare 48 empirical studies of written corrective feedback on English as an Additional Language (EAL) students’ writing published between 2011 and 2019. The main aim of this content analysis is to investigate written corrective feedback trends over the years and identify potential factors that could impact the effectiveness of these WCF strategies. Results indicate that written corrective feedback can foster improved language accuracy and help EAL students to enhance their second language writing skills. However, feedback’s efficacy is mediated by certain variables that include the learners’ proficiency levels, age, the learning environment, previous content and metalinguistic knowledge, and students’ and teachers’ perceptions of the corrective feedback. Furthermore, the duration of exposure to both the target language and the WCF strategy also plays an important role in the effectiveness of the feedback.
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    How High School Teachers in Victoria, BC Are Implementing British Columbia’s New Assessment Framework in Their Classrooms
    (2024) Muirhead, Ariel U'Chong; Sanford, Kathy
    As a result of changing to a content-based, competency-driven curriculum in 2010, British Columbia’s Ministry of Education and Childcare (BCMECC) has been rolling out a new provincial assessment framework since 2016. Draft provincial documents described the new assessment framework as aligning with standards-based grading, introduced a new provincial proficiency scale, and announced the elimination of percentages or letter grades in the assessment of kindergarten to grade 9 classes. Implementation of this new assessment framework was mandated across the province in September 2023. My study asks how some high school teachers in Victoria, BC had been implementing this new assessment framework in their classrooms prior to the mandate with the idea that their experiences, successes, and challenges would be of value to teachers who would be required to make similar changes, as well as school districts, educational partners, and the BCMECC who could use the data to support teachers with this change. By interviewing four high school teachers, I collected narrative data using a multiple case study model, which I analyzed with thematic analysis. The study finds that the new classroom assessment framework is most authentically implemented when teacher assessment philosophy aligns with the provincial framework, embraces learning as a process, involves students in the assessment process, and keeps students at the centre of decision-making. While the mental and practical work of classroom assessment models requires the undue work and time of teachers, this work is both important and necessary for the emotional and academic student success.
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    Career-Life Exploration in Secondary Schools in BC: An Analysis of the Career Education Documents for Grades 10, 11 and 12
    (2024-01-29) Fallahi, Sara; Tobin, Ruthanne
    Excellent career education that guides young people to align their talents and competencies with their life-path, positively influences job satisfaction, individual’s mental wellness, resilience against stress, and overall life satisfaction, which in turn, affects the contributions that those individuals may make to society. A key component in helping young people forge a meaningful life-path is the direction and guidance that they receive in secondary school via the career education curriculum. In this study, I used critical discourse analysis to examine the British Columbia (B.C.) Ministry of Education’s Career-Life Education (CLE) curriculum for grades 10 and 11, and the Career-Life Connection (CLC) curriculum for grade 12, and additional supplementary documents that were available. While research and reports about high school career education was found, after an extensive review of literature, no published academic research directly linked to the provincial curriculum was evident. Therefore, the aim of my research was to uncover the nature of the B.C. Ministry of Education curriculum by exposing the pedagogical and theoretical frameworks underpinning it. In addition, I sought to query the intention of the career education curriculum and to identify the opportunities, strategies, and activities used to discover all students’ skills, interests, and strengths. I also examined if and how the curriculum discovered and responded to the needs of culturally, socially, and linguistically diverse students. The findings suggest that the curriculum is robust and coherent; however, there is a lack of cohesiveness and in-depth discussion of practical implications and applications of this curriculum in the classroom, school, and community. In addition, findings showed that while learning activities, strategies, and opportunities are clearly articulated in the curriculum, there is insufficient emphasis on an exploration of students’ unique talents. The findings also show a gap in addressing the need for differentiated support for learners of socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This study contributes to the field of research on career guidance and exploration of life-path for young people in that it is the first study of the B.C. career education curriculum, and it points to the merits and shortcomings of this curriculum for exploring one’s life-path.
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    Following the Golden Thread: Poetry as Guide, Poetry as Witness
    (2023-09-08) Borhani, Maya Tracy; Prendergast, Monica
    This dissertation will consider the role poetry has played as guide and witness in one older woman’s journey with “living poetically” (Leggo, 2005a) as both artistic and scholarly praxis, both in and out of the academy. Through autobio-ethnographic life writing (Hasebe-Ludt, Chambers & Leggo, 2009) interspersed with topical, theoretical, and autobiographical poetic inquiry (Prendergast, 2009), the author unfolds glimpses into this lifelong journey, the appearance of significant mentors, and the role of poetry as pedagogy, as social justice tool, and as personal metiér. Leaning on William Blake’s metaphor of a “golden thread” (1804/1988) that draws us forward and guides us in life (and in our poetic endeavours), the stories in this memoir-like journey also catalogue a reverence for a constantly emergent lived curriculum (Aoki, 2004) and for place- and land-centred pedagogies, emphasizing a more conscious relationship with the living world and our human interdependence within all of creation. I trace the connection between a golden thread that guides, leads and supports us in life (and therefore, in education) and this idea of living poetically, inquiring into open-ended, generative questions that inspire further questions in the asking, opening space for creative rumination and rhizomatic lines of thought- and artistic-flight (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). The research is presented as a compilation of articles and book chapters published while I have been engaged in this PhD. This study strives to offer something good to say in bleak times, as well an awareness of the importance of the heart’s voice in pedagogy (and likewise, in life), and the value of simple things like poetry in our individual and collective learning; to show that poetry can, indeed, (help) heal the world. Advocating for poetry as curricular and pedagogical asset, this study champions teachers as public intellectuals (Giroux, 1985), as cultural and climate activists and educators, and as social poets (Prendergast, 2012; Rukeyser, 1938/2018) making time for poetry as essential pedagogy.
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    Cultivating Consciousness: A Qualitative Inquiry with Teachers into Educative Gardens and their Impact on Youths’ Relationship with Food and the Local Environment
    (2023-09-01) Vizer, Roy; Sanford, Kathy
    Educational gardens can provide youth with opportunities to connect with their environment in ways that increase food literacy, promote shifts in consciousness and encourage youth to see themselves as part of the food system and not just passive consumers. These benefits have been studied and documented across the globe for over a century (Berbes-Blazquez, 2012; Nowatschin et. al., 2017; Earl and Thomas, 2021; Harper at. Al. 2017; Lam et. al. 2019). This study aimed to take a qualitative approach to understand what impacts garden-based activities have on youths’ relationship with food and with the local environment. To investigate this question, I conducted a series of interviews with three participants who have extensive experience and insights on garden-based pedagogy. All three research partners have years of experience working with youth in school food gardens (SFGs) and/or shaping policies that support the integration of garden-based pedagogy in schools. The results of these interviews revealed that educational activities with youth in garden settings encouraged students to become active, conscientious participants in their own food environment and foster a deeper understanding of their local environment. Further research is necessary in order to determine what specific types of garden-based activities were most impactful on students’ relationships with local food systems and the environment.
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    Gathering Together: How Educators Are Working Towards Decolonizing and Indigenizing Their Teaching Practice Within a Colonial System
    (2023-07-24) Mason, Chelsea; Sanford, Kathy
    It is the professional responsibility of educators in British Columbia to decolonize and Indigenize their teaching practice. Furthermore, researchers have demonstrated that when educators decolonize and Indigenize their teaching practices it benefits Indigenous students, non-Indigenous students, society, the planet, and educators themselves. However, despite the fact that many current teacher education programs include instruction of Indigenous pedagogy, many educators still do not know how to decolonize or Indigenize their teaching practice. Additionally, working within a colonial system creates many challenges and obstacles for educators working to decolonize and Indigenize their teaching practice. Using the Transformative Inquiry methodology this inquiry identifies how educators are working to decolonize and Indigenize their teaching practices within a colonial system. I met with nine educators from the Greater Victoria School District four times over a four-month period and used Chrona’s (2022) book Wayi Wah! to guide our discussions on how we were working towards decolonizing and Indigenizing our teaching practice. I also recorded observations from my teaching experiences and my participation in a 10-course program with the Indigenous Education Department at the University of Victoria called Teaching and Learning Indigenous Perspectives and engaged in the practice of reflexivity throughout the inquiry by keeping a digital journal in which I documented my thoughts and interpretations to check my own biases and assumptions. Through this inquiry I have discovered that there are no clear and simple instructions to decolonize and Indigenize one’s teaching practice, however our group did determine some strategies that educators can use to work towards decolonizing and Indigenizing their teaching practices which are described in detail in Chapter 4. We also discovered what prevents some educators from doing this work: fear, anxiety and discomfort, “educator overwhelm” and working against the dominant ideology. While working within a colonial system may create significant obstacles, I believe that if we, as educators, work towards decolonizing and Indigenizing our teaching practice we can dismantle the colonialist ideologies that dominate our society, which can in turn help to dismantle the colonialist structures such as our education system.
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    Understanding Academic Prominence and Influence Through the Concept of Academic Charisma: The Voices of Canadian and Chinese Professors
    (2023-05-01) Li, Zhe; Clair, Ralf St.; Gounko, Tatiana; Webb, Michael C.; Anderson, Tim
    Academic ranks or professorial appointments are considered the primary form of formal recognition in the academic profession, and the criteria for appointment and promotion are used to make suggestions for career development (Teichleret al., 2013). However, academic ranks alone are insufficient to explain the fact that some academics are able to gain prominence over colleagues, lead the development of an academic field, or exert influence beyond that entailed in their formal positions. I believe the concept of academic charisma developed by Clark (2006), based on Weber’s (1947) idea of charismatic authority, can shed light on the explanation of variations in academic reputation and influence. In the context of academia, charismatic authority takes on a special form, conceptualized in this research as academic charisma. This study’s primary aim is to better understand why the prominence and level of influence exercised by professors vary beyond what can be accounted for by differences in formal academic recognition, such as academic ranks and research productivity. The study seeks to explore whether the concept of charismatic authority can work alongside the other forms of authority Weber identified—namely, traditional and bureaucratic authority—in explaining the observed variances of academic reputation and influence. The study will contribute to the existing literature in its area of research by examining and illustrating how the concept of academic charisma can be used to capture the working of academic prominence and influence in a variety of contexts. Using a qualitative research framework, drawing as well on elements of comparative research to reveal contextual influences, this research focused on the experience of 22 professors working in the engineering discipline at four universities: specifically, a World-Class University (WCU) in Canada, a non-World-Class University (non-WCU) in Canada, a WCU in China, and a non-WCU in China. The study shows that the concept of academic charisma can work alongside traditional and bureaucratic authority to explain the working of academic prominence and influence. Participants believed that social capital significantly contributes to academic prominence and influence. As social capital is closely connected to charismatic authority (Weber, 1947), it seems reasonable to contend that promoting social capital can effectively encourage academic charisma. Comparisons between WCU and non-WCU professors interviewed show that prestigious university status contributes to personal prominence and influence by amplifying the social capital of WCU professors. Similarly, comparisons between interviewed professors working in the higher education systems of Canada and China show that, although the routinization of academic charisma provides insights into contexts determined variations- professors interviewed in Canada rely primarily on traditional authority to routinize their prominence and influence, while professors interviewed in China rely primarily on bureaucratic authority. The concept of academic charisma serves useful analytical purposes: it helps us understand the divergent paths of academic career development, as well as the strategies used by professors in establishing and maintaining their prominence and influence. Moreover, the concept of academic charisma can extend to the interpretation of the shaping and reshaping of institutions and entire systems of higher education, since these processes are very often affected by the influence—and sometimes the direct personal intervention—of prominent professors.
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    Transitional Challenges, Assimilation Strategies, and Changes That Higher Education Libyan Female Students at Western Universities Inspire Upon Returning Home.
    (2023-04-19) Ezzreg, Huneda; Sanford, Kathy
    This doctoral thesis employs a feminist narrative approach to shape a qualitative study that introduces and explains the journey of four Libyan women (including myself as a participant) who travelled abroad with/without their families to achieve a higher education degree from a Western university. The thesis also explores these women’s adjustment to the Libyan community when they returned home. The study strives to contribute to the existing literature by filling the knowledge gap associated with the lack of adequate research on the challenges Libyan female learners face, mainly due to their Islamic background, when pursuing higher education abroad. The thesis results will be instrumental in understanding the role of unique cultures in influencing lived experiences for female learners in international universities in Western nations. These insights are necessary for shaping future strategies to help students from such populations successfully transition to their new environment (Alzain et al., 2014). The study adopts a qualitative feminism approach to derive the meaning of the recorded responses. More specifically, I analyze conversations while considering their social context. The focus is on analyzing the purpose and impact of the different cultural experiences, beliefs, values, and assumptions the women communicate and the cultural rules and conventions inherent in their communications. The data analysis sections reveal common themes across the participants’ feedback. Each woman describes experiencing culture shock, social isolation due to language barriers, and challenges with Western pedagogy. Through a feminist research approach that employs face-to-face interviews and focus group tools, this research captures the participants’ personal experiences as female students from Libya. The challenges they encounter expose them to psychological and emotional stress, restricting their academic success (Rienties & Tempelaar, 2013). To overcome these challenges, the women reveal their utilization of different coping mechanisms, including Western universities’ support systems, social support, and instructor support.
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    Perceptions of Implementability: A Policy Instrument Theory-Guided Case Study of a New Curriculum Design
    (2023-04-05) Rudy, Colleen; Sanford, Kathy
    Public education reform programs often rely on the revision or redesign of the curriculum as a key government intervention for improving instruction and levels of student curricular achievement and attainment. This educational program change strategy is founded on the causal story of policy instrument theory. A central assumption of policy instrument theory is that changes in the design of the mandated curriculum will cause automatic, concomitant changes in teachers’ perceptions, decision making, and instructional behaviour that will result in improved instruction. However, implementation research has found that this assumed causal relationship does not always occur due to teachers’ perceptions of the implementability of the new curriculum design. Research indicates that teachers within these studies tend to have durable perceptions or beliefs with which they judge and evaluate the curriculum during implementation and upon which they will decide to accept, adapt, modify, ignore, or search for alternatives to the new curriculum design. As a result, the assumptions and causal story of policy instrument theory have been extended to include: the goodness of the curriculum design; and teachers’ perceptions of the implementability of the curriculum design. This study investigates perceptions of the implementability of a new curriculum design through interviews with seven high school teachers and a policy document analysis using a theoretical framework that includes both policy instrument theory and extended policy instrument theory. The findings from this study indicate that: 1. teachers’ perceptions of a new curriculum design mediate implementation; 2. the individual attributes of the curriculum design mediate teachers’ perceptions of its implementability; 3. mandated new curriculum documents should be supported by on-going professional learning opportunities; 4. extended policy instrument theory appears to provide the best explanation for the findings from the interview analysis while policy instrument theory appears to provide the best explanation for the findings from the document analysis and reports in the literature. The results from this inquiry may lead to a better understanding and appreciation of the value of policy instrument theory and extended policy instrument theory for explaining the relationship between curriculum design, teachers’ perceptions, and implementation within public education reform programs.
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    Educational change and social and emotional learning: Understanding how secondary English teachers have engaged with BC’s core competencies framework
    (2023-02-23) Storey, Meaghan M. O.; Tobin, Ruthanne
    Schools across Canada have increased focus on social emotional learning (SEL) to facilitate students’ development of vital intra- and interpersonal skills that contribute to their mental health, self-awareness, social and academic engagement. British Columbia was situated at the leading edge of curriculum-based SEL with the introduction of the core competencies framework in their wide-scale curriculum reforms initiated in 2015. The framework tasked educators with fostering students’ growth in communication, collaboration, critical and reflective thinking, creative thinking, personal awareness and responsibility, social awareness and responsibility, and positive personal and cultural identity. However, educational change is a complex process in which teachers play a pivotal role. The broad and flexible scope of BC’s reforms positioned educators as responsible for interpreting the framework with limited guidance for implementation. Developing an understanding of how teachers have conceptualized and approached the core competencies is essential to realizing lasting and meaningful change in this critical area. This multicase study examines how five secondary English teachers engaged with the framework, and their perspectives and experiences with implementation. Within-case and cross-case analysis involved triangulating data from qualitative questionnaires, individual interviews, and a group interview. Findings indicate that teachers perceived the framework as aligned with their beliefs and roles but had limited opportunity for shared meaning-making and professional learning. Teachers also viewed the core competencies as expanding the skills that are valued in the curriculum. In practice, teachers differed in their approach to implementation and in their beliefs about how learning occurs in these domains. Adopting the core competencies into class language and assessment was considered essential, as was contextualized and focused instruction. Discussion centered on the need for capacity building and shared sensemaking amongst teachers, as well as the need for additional clarity and guidance from the BC Ministry of Education.
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    EFL teachers’ beliefs and practices about formative assessment: Case studies of Vietnamese university teachers
    (2022-11-29) Pham, Hanh T M; Sanford, Kathy
    The effectiveness of formative assessment in student learning has been acknowledged and gained much attention since the series of publications of Black and Wiliam in early 2000. Since then, many educational institutions have initiated efforts to use formative assessment in the classroom to improve instruction and help students become independent learners and thoughtful evaluators of their own learning. However, this approach has not been well understood nor heartily embraced by many English as foreign language (EFL) teachers in post-secondary settings. This qualitative case study research, paired with a confessional ethnographic approach, investigated four EFL instructors’ beliefs about formative assessment and their instructional practices in a post-secondary English program in Vietnam. The overarching question of the study was “how do four Vietnamese university EFL teachers perceive ‘formative assessment’ and how is formative assessment implemented in their classrooms?” To this end, I used theoretical frameworks from sociocultural theories, the Constructive Alignment perspective (Biggs & Tang, 2007, 2011) and formative assessment, suggested by Black and Wiliam (2009), to collect and analyze the data from three sets of interviews, observation notes, and artifacts such as lesson plans, course outlines, and students’ work. Findings showed that the EFL instructors in the study had different perspectives on student learning, teaching, and assessment. These participants indicated two conflicting teaching philosophies: viewing learners as active collaborators in constructing knowledge and viewing instructors as knowledge providers in the student learning journey. However, they all shared the same articulated beliefs about assessment procedures and employing standardization for their teaching and student learning. Findings also showed that the EFL instructors’ beliefs were not always congruent with their actual practices. There was limited use of formative assessment, and the formative assessment principles were not implemented effectively in their actual practices. Findings also indicated that their stated beliefs and practices were affected by many internal and external factors, such as the mental model of learning, teaching experiences, testing culture, workload, and program requirements. Three key issues were discovered: First, there was a lack of understanding of learning theories informing pedagogy. Second, there was a lack of general formative assessment theories and limited use of formative assessment in the classroom. Third, cultural values and societal pressure affected instructors’ beliefs and instructional practices regarding formative assessment. This study makes significant contributions to our understanding of higher education instructors’ beliefs and formative assessment in terms of research and educational practice. Notably, it adds to the growing knowledge of teacher cognition and formative assessment. It also suggests solutions for re-educating instructors and school teachers, including EFL/ESL teachers, about formative assessment and what should be reconsidered when implementing formative strategies in the classroom to enhance student learning. This research offers the following elements: (a) equipping teachers with underpinning learning theories informing pedagogy and assessment; (b) providing assessment knowledge and improving assessment literacy for teachers; (c) making formative assessment principles and strategies explicit to teachers and students; (d) training and practicing in providing constructive feedback that promotes student learning; (e) personalizing students’ learning to enhance students’ autonomy, self-directed skills, and long-life learning skills; and (f) utilizing student learning evidence to make instructional adjustments to meet students’ needs.
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    Unearthing Ecologically Unsustainable Root Metaphors in BC Education: A Transformative Inquiry Into Educator and Curricular Discourses
    (2022-10-31) Lemon, Meredith; Hurren, Wanda; Thom, Jennifer
    This inquiry used an ecojustice education framework and the transformative inquiry methodology to better understand the cultural and linguistic roots of global socioecological crises and to distinguish where ecologically unsustainable root metaphors show up in curricular and educator discourse. I first examined the British Columbia K–7 Science and Social Studies curriculum-as-plan[ned] to identify iterations of three ecologically unsustainable root metaphors of Western industrial culture—anthropocentrism, individualism, and reductionism. Then, 11 inquiry partners responded to written interview questions about how these metaphors appear in their teaching practices; three educators participated in follow-up semistructured interviews. In addition to these contributions, self-study reflections provide another layer to the connections I made among the literature, curriculum, and educator responses. The curriculum made no links between Western culture-language-thought patterns and socioecological crises. Several inquiry partners, however, did identify a relationship between these root metaphors and how the Western world treats the “environment.” Finally, the self-study portion revealed that despite understanding the power of root metaphors to shape our thinking and a deep desire to change, these taken-for-granted assumptions still arise in my teaching. Weaving together these findings, I recommend that future curriculum and teacher education include (a) the teaching of different worldviews to counteract the hegemony of Western industrial culture, (b) the power of language to shape thinking and actions, and (c) strategies to undertake the inner work needed to shift away from these culture-language-thought processes.
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    nutsamaat uy’skwuluwun: Coast Salish pedagogy in higher education
    (2022-04-01) Jones, Collette F.; Restoule, Jean-Paul; Hurren, Wanda
    This study explores Coast Salish s’ulxwe:n (Elders)-in-residence and Coast Salish xwulmuxw (First Nation) Professors’ application of xwulmuxw (First Nation) pedagogy specifically from southeast Vancouver Island, Coast Salish speaking people in higher education using nutsamaat uy’skwuluwun meaning to work together as one, with a good heart and good mind to obtain a goal. This study used interviews to gather narratives of eight Elders and three professors who use Coast Salish pedagogy in higher education. Participants are members of the Snuneymuxw, Quw'utsun, Penelakut, Lyackson, Tsawout, Tsartlip, and Songhees First Nations of southeast Vancouver Island First Nations and one participant from Katzie First Nation on the lower mainland of British Columbia. The implication of this research is significant because Coast Salish pedagogy has very little research by an authentic Coast Salish researcher and is not fully documented. My analysis of the interviews offers insight on ways the participants apply Coast Salish pedagogy in higher education. I found many themes that the participants use while teaching Coast Salish pedagogy in higher education. The three main common themes were 1) respect, 2) uy’skwuluwun and 3) nutsamaat uy’skwuluwun. Respect was a term that was central to the many teachings and themes shared by the participants. Second, uy’skwuluwun was also a term woven through many of the Coast Salish teachings, meaning to have a strong heart and mind. Lastly, the term nutsamaat uy’skwuluwun was a common theme that kept arising among many of the participants, meaning to we work together as one, with a good heart to obtain a goal. It is a term, that weaves throughout all the common themes and pertains to the educator, students and non-Indigenous peoples that learn and work with Indigenous peoples in higher education. The analysis offers insight on what would the present Coast Salish Elders-in-residence and xwulmuxw professors like future Coast Salish Elders-in-residence and Coast Salish professors to continue to teach in higher education. Some of the main topics the participants would like future Elders and professors to instruct on are; protocol, spirituality, language, experiential learning, and for the university to hire more Elders-in-residence and Coast Salish professors. The analysis offers insight on why it is important to teach Coast Salish pedagogy in higher education. Participants shared that they thought it was important to teach Coast Salish pedagogy in higher education because Indigenous and non-Indigenous people need to understand Coast Salish ways of doing, understand the history and impacts of colonization, and the local languages of the area. By doing so, Coast Salish Elders and professors create space to further instruct Coast Salish pedagogy for all students, and work together as one with a good heart and good mind to obtain a goal, that is to create a better society for all mustimmuxw, in higher education regarding First Nations history, culture and language of the local area.
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    Ontological play: reinventing (Machinic) Arts-Based Research in the posthuman era
    (2022-02-23) Wainwright, Richard; Prendergast, Monica; Emme, Michael J.
    In an era characterized by unprecedented ecological and technological change, Ontological Play: Reinventing (Machinic) Arts-Based Research in the Posthuman Era attempts to seed creative processes for educators, researchers, and artists to collaborate for the common good of planetary co-existence. Humanism and anthropocentrism have created precarious conditions, and much is at stake. Here I consider the revolutionary potential of aesthetic production, while engaging concepts such as mashup and remix as points of departure. In these times of theory fatigue, this dissertation functions as a wayfinding device with both simple and complex refrains that can be further sampled and repurposed. The aim is to reinvent social practices and to learn to play, ontologically.
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    Pushing privileged pillars in Canadian universities
    (2021-12-23) Laberge, Elaine J.; Sanford, Kathy; Hall, Budd L
    Canadian federal discrimination legislation excludes social class which leaves poverty, or “social condition” (MacKay & Kim, 2009), out of universities’ equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) mandates. By refusing to widen access and participation (WAP) for students whose lives are shaped by poverty, Canadian universities are complicit in perpetuating poverty across generations. This seven-month community-based participatory action research project used conversations, focus groups, case studies, and integrated knowledge mobilization. Research Sisters, Canadian women with lived experiences of poverty who accessed an undergraduate degree at a Canadian university, explored: 1) Why they are an important demographic to Canadian universities, and 2) How university leaders can create non-deficit-based and decolonial WAP for poverty-class people. Four key themes were discovered: First, conversations centered on the voices of participants through the building of trust and the creation of the Underclass Sisterhood of Solidarity, based upon the late feminist scholar and activist María Lugones’ (1987) theory of “world”-travelling with “loving” versus “arrogant” perception. Second, research Sisters refused to justify their social class worthiness to be in university (Phillips, 2021). Third, knowledge democracy was central to honour the knowledge systems and cultures of poverty-class students. Fourth, research Sisters used their experiences to work towards creating a grassroots social innovation model to teach university leaders how to create sustainable WAP solutions that address structural classism and poverty discrimination from an intersectional framework. This research demonstrates the need for radical imagination in crafting WAP solutions for poverty-class students. There are four spaces that might inform WAP initiatives: 1) Radical imagination space, 2) Emotional and spiritual space, 3) Material, cultural and social support spaces, and 4) Epistemological space. These spaces must be created by and for those with lived experiences of poverty. Furthermore, the (gendered nature of) poverty discrimination in Canada must be addressed through legislation where social class is included in equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) mandates.
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    (2021-09-01) Wilcox, John; Oberg, Antoinette A.
    The relationships of readers, writers, narrative voice and locus, and the discursive practices governing these relationships locate themselves in the self-conscious subject. Prison writers, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, have written the subject in ways demonstrating the progressive weakness of this entity in epistemological and ontological systems. From Francois Villon to Dostoevski to Breytenbach, prison writers have established, stabilized and disintegrated the self-conscious subject as the origin of textual authority. This subject disintegrates as the origin of textual authority for the thesis as well. The subject, as authorial presence recedes in many texts, now occupies indeterminate literary space. Prison writers point to the decomposition of the subject and a conception of subjectivities beyond/aside from the self-conscious subject as constituted in the discursive practices issuing from the Enlightenment.
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    Surviving through uncertainties: perceptions and experiences of Chinese EAL writers in FYC courses at a Canadian university
    (2021-08-17) Mao, Jing; Wiebe, Michelle; Anderson, Tim
    Canadian universities and colleges have experienced a rapid increase in students who speak English as an additional language (EAL). A central concern of this change involves how to support these students to navigate their studies abroad, especially in academic writing. Against this broader context, this dissertation investigates the writing trajectories and socialization experiences of six Chinese EAL learners in their first-year composition (FYC) courses at a Canadian university. This study draws on an ecological perspective toward language learning and use (Dufva, 2013; van Lier, 2004; 2008a, 2010), as well as theories of (second) language academic socialization (Duff, 2010; 2019; Duff & Anderson, 2015). To capture students’ lived experiences in a situated context, a multiple-case study method was employed to include multiple perspectives toward students’ writing practices and socialization experiences in navigating their written assignments and activities. The findings of this study showed that EAL students experienced challenges in relearning language skills, meeting course expectations and conventions, navigating intensive readings, and negotiating self-positioning with native English-speaking peers. Coupled with faculty perceptions, the findings highlight that composition instructors may underestimate EAL students’ emotional pressure related to academic writing when they seek support. This study further uncovered interconnected factors impacting EAL students’ writing experiences at various levels of the local context. Most importantly, it provides evidence of learner agency among EAL students in accessing learning affordances and socialization processes. By adding an ecological understanding of EAL learners’ writing practices and socialization experiences in the context of FYC courses, this study recommends establishing an agency rich and networked environment that could empower EAL learners to thrive in FYC context.
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    Authenticating children’s interest in nature
    (2021-08-09) Jewell, Jesse; Streelasky, Jodi
    In this study, I investigated seven and eight-year-old children’s interest in the boreal forest in Yukon, Canada. This research attempts to provide insight on this topic by giving students autonomy over their movement in a diverse natural landscape, and by investigating where they go and what they do in a forest context. A mixed methodology approach was used to explore children’s interest in the boreal forest, and data were analyzed from the geospatial technology that was affixed to each child, and by inquiring about what the children enjoyed doing in the forest. Key findings from the study included: the importance of play as a primary means of interacting socially with the environment, children’s affiliation and fascination with living things as strong motivators for exploration, and the affordances the landscape offered the children, specifically loose parts (e.g., sticks, berries) and the diverse topography (e.g., hills for running, dense forest for hiding). Based on these findings, I contend that it is becoming increasingly important for educators, parents, and policy makers to understand the child-nature relationship and its relevance to young children.
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    A philosophical exploration of music education and democratization: how might music education contribute to the development of a diversified democratic society?
    (2021-07-05) Jung, Hyo Jung; Prest, Anita
    One of the aims of education is to cultivate democratic citizens in the interest of consolidating and expanding a democratic ethos in society, yet the democratic purpose and societal contribution of music education in public schools have not been fully explored. This philosophical research addresses the unique capacity of music education for enhancing democratic values in societies where issues caused by diversity and difference prevail. This work takes note of the fact that although music teachers have recently shown greater awareness and understanding of the diversification and differences of students, they continue to struggle with handling associated issues adequately. This failure to deal with diversity effectively has led to the exclusion and discrimination of certain individuals or groups in music classrooms and resulted in hindering the realization of democratic values of equality. To rectify these problems, I argue that the purpose of music education and its principles must be reframed and reconsidered using a democratic lens. This thesis first undertakes an analysis of the association of music education with democracy by classifying various music education practices according to types of political systems (e.g., monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy) and analyzing music education philosophies that have supported those music education practices. This examination and analysis will lead to identifying the purpose and principles of democratic music education. Second, this work demonstrates how music education might contribute to the democratization of society with a two-layered goal: democratization through the pursuit of psychosocial equilibrium and democratization through the transformation of nondemocratic realities. The final section of this thesis offers examples of democratic music educational practices in music appreciation, performance, and composition education.
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