Faculty invites you to join Working Paper Series

Learn about the interesting research underway in the Faculty of Education. 


Roundtable Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
12:00pm-1:00pm, EME 1123

Dr. Stephen Berg
Playground Design in Preschool Settings: Effects on Children’s Activity Levels
The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the findings from a case study on the physical activity levels of preschool children in outdoor playground environments. A total of 2,268 observations were made and in over half of these, children were involved in sedentary activities. It is suggested that the commonly held belief that preschoolers are busy and always “running around” must change and early childhood educators need to be aware of their role in increasing activity during playground activity time.

Dr. Catherine Broom

Exploring Youth Civic Engagement and Disengagement in a Globalized World

This paper begins with a literature review that is used as the basis for the development of a youth civic empowerment model.  This model embraces a comprehensive and personalized conception of people and serves as the conceptual frame for a research study exploring youth engagement or disengagement in civic life.  After presenting the model, the paper presents and discusses the findings of a Canadian research study of the interplay of local and global factors in youth beliefs about, and actions towards, civic life.  The paper concludes with recommendations to address the findings.

Dr. Susan Crichton and Deb Carter

Empowering 21st century assessment practices: Designing technologies as agents of change
The overarching questions guiding this research study is how might new assessment technologies help K-7 educators visualize learning, and how might these visualization approaches inform educators’ changes in classroom assessment? One component of this interprofessional, designed based research study explored how K-7 educators’ assessment practices of 21st century classroom learning might change when introduced to a Kelowna based, software app – FreshGrade.



Roundtable Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
12:00pm-1:00pm, EME 1123

Dr. John Tyler Binfet
The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on University Students’ Social and Emotional Well-Being: A Feasibility Study.

The aims of this study were to examine the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of an animal-assisted therapy (AAT) intervention in promoting university students’ social-emotional well-being, including countering feelings of homesickness. Participants included 86 first year university students attending a large public university in western Canada. Mixed measures were used to assess students’ perceptions of self-concept, adult- and peer-support, homesickness, anxiety, and depression. Significant increases were found for self-efficacy, self-concept, and satisfaction with life. Additionally, significant decreases were found for anxiety, depression, somatization, and perception of homesickness. Although the absence of a control group limits firm conclusions about the utility of an AAT intervention on the social-emotional well-being of university students, the findings nevertheless suggest several positive effects, including increases in students’ sense of self and perceptions of social support and corresponding decreases in anxiety, depression, and homesickness.

Dr. Sabre Cherkowski

Flourishing in schools: A positive organizational perspective

What are the factors, forces and dynamics that interact to explain how it is that certain schools and people in schools flourish? This question is at the heart of a 3 year SSHRC-funded study to examine organisational well-being in schools across British Columbia and Saskatchewan. In this session, Dr. Cherkowski will provide an overview of the conceptual model used to guide this study, a discussion of the appreciative partnership approach underway with school districts, and an overview of initial findings and future directions for research activities in this first year of the study.

Dr. Wendy Klassen

Number Operations, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking—Make the Connections!

Learning the “why,” “when,” and “how” of number operations will lead to a better understanding of the “what” to do. Knowing only “what” to do may help in computing, but it is ineffective unless one can apply those strategies, approaches, and solutions in situations that require problem solving and critical thinking.

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Higher Education

This study examines the impact of culturally responsive pedagogy in an introduction to university course developed for Aboriginal Access students. In keeping with requests that Aboriginal worldviews be incorporated into curriculum, this study aims to examine how the fusion of Aboriginal epistemology into a first year introduction to university course impact on the academic success of at-risk-students. Using precepts from the Medicine Wheel of Learning, the course content of a University 101 course (Barefoot, 1993; Gardner, 1980; 1981) was adapted to incorporate indigenous traditions. For example, the presence of elders and peer mentoring from upper level aboriginal students were integral components of this curriculum. As opposed to lectures, instructors used circles of learning to introduce and apply new concepts. As part of a three year longitudinal mixed methods research, the first interviews with the research participants were conducted in December 2013 with second interviews to follow in December 2016. Towards the end of the research, statistical data relating to pass/fail rates will assist in determining the retention and degree completion of the participants. In keeping with this timeline, the results presented here reflect the content of the December 2013 interviews.