Browsing by Author "Gereluk, Dianne"
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- ItemOpen AccessAuthenticity, Teaching Relationships, and Suzuki(2013-10-10) Thompson, Merlin; Gereluk, DianneAs a teacher mentor, I have observed two types of knowledgeable teachers: teachers who display an instructional ease reflective of the comfort they have with themselves, and teachers who demonstrate an instructional artificiality reflective of the disconnect they have with themselves and their students. What is the difference between these two types of knowledgeable teachers? The difference, I propose, is a matter of authenticity in teaching. My interest in the topic of authenticity originates from my three-year teacher apprenticeship with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. The problem facing authenticity is that it garners a complete range of favorable and unfavorable reactions. Authenticity is lauded as essential to transformative education. Yet, it is rejected as narcissistic, self-absorbed, and self-entitled. So, is authenticity a good or a bad thing? Would we be better off with or without authenticity? My research investigates authenticity by examining its historical and philosophical roots, its relationship to self-determining freedom, and the contemporary insistence on moral imperatives. I examine authenticity from a perspective of lived experience in order to make meaning. I take advantage of my musical background to investigate the Suzuki Method of music instruction and the phenomenon of musical performance. Furthermore, I propose a repositioning of fear as antagonist, catalyst, and insulation to authenticity. The hermeneutic phenomenological orientation to this research prompts iterative cycles of investigation that serve to uncover authenticity’s bright side and its dark side. Exploration into a Suzuki model of authenticity provides further illumination. Finally, the ideology of stewardship sheds light on the fundamentally nonnegotiable positioning of authenticity in teaching relationships.
- ItemOpen AccessChoice Factors Impacting Black Canadian Students’ Decisions to Attend University in Ontario(2018-10-10) Chavannes, Vidal Alexander; Gereluk, Dianne; Simmons, Marlon; Steinberg, Shirley R.; Larsen, Marianne A.; Groen, Janet Elizabeth; Spencer, BrendaThe purpose of this study was to explore, with a sample of fifteen (15) Black undergraduate students in Ontario, their considerations of the various factors that influenced their university choice process, including the decision to attend university, and to attend a particular institution. This research employed a qualitative case study methodology to understand the lived experiences of participants. Two data-collection methods were utilized, including a survey questionnaire and individual interviews. A review of the literature was conducted to devise a conceptual framework for the design and analysis of the study. The data from individual interviews, surveys and the researcher’s field notes, revealed participants' perceptions and experiences during the university application and enrolment processes, and was reviewed against the literature as well as emergent themes. Having analyzed the findings, it became clear that as Black communities in Canada have historically struggled for physical access to educational spaces, then control over the apparatus of education within those spaces, then for the development of independent Black alternatives; the lived experiences of the participants in this study, all Black undergraduate students, mirrors this trajectory. Participants, through their interview responses, told a story that would be familiar to students of educational histories pertaining to Black communities and those with the lived experience of interacting with educational spaces as Black people.
- ItemOpen AccessConstructing the Image of the Child in a Reggio-Inspired School(2014-08-05) Kelly, David; Gereluk, DianneAbstract In this case study, I examined how teachers working in a demonstration school, influenced by the principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach, negotiate the federal mandates from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Drawing from Bronfenbrenner’s (2005) ecological system theory as a framework for analysis, I examine in this thesis how the arm’s-length educational reforms from NCLB become a mitigating factor on how the image of the child as a principle is taken up by teachers. The findings of this case study identify changes in teachers’ thinking and practice in classrooms and across the school, and how this impacts relationships, the development of curriculum, projects, the use of documentation, and roles within the school over time.
- ItemOpen AccessCreating Coherence Through Implementation of a Strategic Plan: A Case Study(2019-09-20) Stensland, Tim; Friesen, Sharon; Donlevy, James Kent; Gereluk, Dianne; Roy, Sylvie; Fallon, GéraldUsing case study methodology, this study examined the experiences of 6 senior educational leaders to understand (a) how do school jurisdictions’ senior administrative decision-makers define coherence, and (b) how are those leaders involved, directly and indirectly, in contributing to the development of coherency during the implementation of the district’s strategic plan? Data were gathered through semistructured interviews, artifacts, and reflexive memoing. Three key findings emerged: coherence was defined as a clear strategic priority supported by a shared understanding and a common leadership approach to facilitate its development in the organizational structure, coherence is created through the enactment of the strategic plan, and there was little consistency in the implementation and enactment of the strategic plan. A disconnect was evident between policy implementation and policy enactment in matters of strategic planning. The leaders’ day-to-day decision-making and actions required to create coherence were strained under the organizational structure within which they worked; the binary relationship between formulation and implementation, or thinking and action; the challenging transition from the analytical process of planning, deduction, or reductionism to synthesis; and the challenge of moving from a linear process of planning to an iterative process which supports the emergence of strategic priorities and the development of coherence. Results suggest that the complexity of creating coherence makes it important for organizations to clearly define the outcome and that the common practice of strategic planning needs to be reconsidered if coherence is an intended outcome.
- ItemOpen AccessCritical Discourse Analysis: The Impact the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test has on ESL Teachers’ Teaching Practices and Work Environments(2016) Singh, Sukhdaiyal; Gereluk, Dianne; Abbott, Marilyn; Jacobsen, Michele; Spencer, Brenda; O'Brien, MaryThe Ontario Ministry of Education has implemented the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) as a means to assess whether students have mastered basic literacy at the grade 9 level. Much research has focused on the process of language acquisition and the impact standardized testing has on English language learners (ELLs). The domain of inquiry for this thesis is the way in which the OSSLT impacts teachers’ decisions as they prepare ELLs for the OSSLT, as well as how the privileging of knowledge influences teachers’ curricular practices and work environment. In this thesis, I draw upon critical discourse analysis to consider how issues of (a) power and dominance, (b) discourse access, (c) social cognition, and (d) discourse structure are at play for teachers when preparing ELLs for the OSSLT.
- ItemOpen AccessEducation Thoughts and Acts: Decisions School Leaders Feel They Need to Make(2016) Baron, Violet; Davis, Andrew Brent; Friesen, Sharon; Gereluk, DianneAbstract This study examines how school leaders choose to focus time and attention on implementing substantive change amid the aims of overarching and often conflicting purposes without creating an environment of “too much stuff.” Using a dual process theory analogy, findings suggest that school leaders, as the consciousness of the school collective may interpret legislative direction and set a vision that aligns with their understanding and enacted practice of the purposes of schooling. Findings also suggest that school leaders choose to focus resources on initiatives that promote the vision and values of the school—and correspondingly, choose not to focus resources on initiatives that the school leader does not see as in alignment with the visions or values of the school.
- ItemOpen AccessExistentialism and Vocal Instruction in Higher Education(2013-12-09) Boddie, Susan; Gereluk, DianneThis study explores the source of inconsistent and unemotional performances by voice students in higher education music programs. The emphasis will be on how to address this through vocal instruction. Many varying approaches to vocal instruction exist in higher education programs which appear to prolong inconsistency and unengaged performing. The research explores several existentialist principles of Jean-Paul Sartre and how these principles may inform and enhance current vocal teaching practice in higher education and perhaps better prepare new voice teachers. The following study will consider the effectiveness of the application of Sartre’s existentialist principles and how they may inform vocal instruction and improve vocal development. Keywords: vocal instruction, freedom, responsibility, facilitation, artistry
- ItemOpen AccessAn Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods Study of Pedagogical Leadership: High School Principals’ Influence on Innovative Pedagogical Practice(2020-03) Turner, Jeffrey Warren; Brandon, James; Friesen, Sharon; Jacobsen, Michele; Gereluk, Dianne; Ryan, JamesThe primary purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to understand how high school principals enact a conceptual model of pedagogical leadership as they develop, support, and sustain a community of adult learners focused on innovative pedagogical practice. Multiple cases were drawn from three urban public high schools that were identified based on the significant work they have demonstrated in the development and implementation of innovative pedagogical practice. The first, quantitative phase, focused on the degree to which high school principals shaped their pedagogical leadership practices within elements of instructional and transformational leadership, and five leadership dimensions of effective leadership. Descriptive and inferential analysis revealed an integrated approach of instructional and transformational leadership in the enactment of pedagogical leadership. The analysis also indicated higher levels of transformational leadership within each of the leadership dimensions. In the second, qualitative phase, data analysis identified 10 leadership practices within three leadership dimensions, (a) shared vision and goals, (b) quality teaching, and (c) teacher learning and found that these practices interacted reciprocally between instructional and transformational leadership. The results of the quantitative and qualitative data analysis phases were then integrated in order to illuminate key principal leadership practices associated with pedagogical leadership. Based on the integrated analysis, principals, assistant principals, learning leaders and teachers, within the study, agreed that principals influence pedagogical practices through a set of key leadership practices. The study acknowledges the complexity of the practice of pedagogical leadership. There are degrees of practice that both contextual and personal variables can influence, and these in turn impact the ability of principals to integrate these leadership practices within instructional and transformational leadership. This study adds to a growing body of research that suggests principals, who are focused on influencing teaching, extract different elements of instructional and transformational leadership and adjust their leadership practices in response to the school’s context. These insights also contributed to the revision of a model of pedagogical leadership conceptualized within the study. With a focus on the central core task of schooling, teaching, and learning this conceptual model provides a responsive leadership framework in a time where high schools need to be adaptive to the fast pace of the knowledge driven world.
- ItemOpen AccessFactors Associated with Post-Secondary Student Retention at a Technical Campus(2019-09-04) Clarke, Angela R.; Winchester, Ian; Gereluk, Dianne; Pidgeon, MichelleAs post-secondary institutions struggle to create conditions that support student success, they also struggle to maintain and successfully manage student retention. The study of retention within post-secondary education is complex, and significant models have been constructed in an effort to further understand the retention of students in post-secondary institutions (Astin, 1984, 1993; Bean, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1990; Bean & Metzner, 1985; Cabrera, Castañeda, Nora, & Hengstler, 1992; Cabrera, Nora, & Castañeda, 1993; HeavyRunner & DeCelles 2002; Spady, 1970, 1971; Tinto, 1975, 1987, 1993; Webb, 1989). In an effort to further the study of student retention, the integrated model of student retention (Cabrera et al., 1992; Cabrera et al., 1993) identified the overlap in the student attrition model (Bean, 1980, 1982) and the student integration model (Tinto, 1975, 1987). The results highlighted that incorporating the two models provided an improved explanation of retention (Cabrera et al., 1993), and the integrated model was used as the theoretical foundations for this work. Considering students’ institutional and goal commitments, with an emphasis on both their career and major certainty, this research aimed to determine the factors associated with the first- to second-year retention of students enrolled at the Marine Institute campus of Memorial University. For institutions that offer direct-entry, career-focused programs or for those of a technical nature, this research has the potential to add value to the existing work on student retention. Using pragmatism as the philosophical approach to the research, an explanatory mixed-methods design was implemented, collecting quantitative and qualitative data (Creswell, 2014; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2010). Survey data were collected from first-year students at the Marine Institute to investigate the factors they identified as associated with their post-secondary experience, certainty of their choices, and retention. In the second phase, focus groups were divided into four career disciplines and conducted with the intent to further explain the survey data. A principal component analysis was conducted and established nine factors from the survey data. Further analysis confirmed that in this specific sample, both major and career certainty contributed to students’ institutional commitment and that first- to second-year retention is most significantly impacted by institutional commitment, goal commitment, and intent. The student voice highlighted the value in the contribution and insight of faculty in the students’ commitment to the institution, including the certainty of their major and career. Obligation was expressed as a distinct element of goal commitment in this specific population and is one of the study outcomes that led to productive recommendations for future research and practice. This research will contribute to the available Canadian retention research and, more specifically, contribute to the development of improved retention and support practices in institutions that seek to support students studying in technical, career-oriented programs.
- ItemOpen AccessFactors Influencing Pre-service Teachers' Attitudes and Self-Efficacy towards Inclusive Education(2016) Hoey, Felecia; Andrews, Jac; Brandon, Jim; Gereluk, DianneTo prepare teachers for work in inclusive classrooms, it is important to develop an understanding of factors contributing to teachers’ success. Two such factors are teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy towards inclusion. Currently, there is debate regarding demographic influences, limited examination of program influences, and little research analyzing Western Canadian contexts, for both factors. The purpose of this study is to address these empirical gaps by investigating demographic and program variables regarding Western Canadian pre-service teachers’ reported attitudes and self-efficacy. Findings revealed more positive attitudes related to higher levels of self-efficacy. First year students were more positive than second year students, and those with a bachelor’s degree had more positive attitudes than those who had only completed secondary school. Pre-service teachers’ positive attitudes also correlated with positive views about their courses and their B.Ed. program. Findings are discussed regarding implications, followed by strengths and limitations with suggestions for future research.
- ItemOpen AccessFrom Disabling Concepts to Enabling Policies: Rethinking Inclusion of Students with Special Needs in Dubai’s Private Schools(2019-09-19) Usman, Fouzia M.; Gereluk, Dianne; Spencer, Brenda L.; Kawalilak, ColleenInclusion of students with special needs in schools is an area that has gained attention in the city of Dubai over the last decade. Educational practitioners and policy-makers call for more inclusive practices across Dubai’s schools, including the private sector. Through this study, I sought to examine the phenomenon of how inclusion of students with special needs is understood, implemented, and enforced across private schools in the Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of this study was to examine, through interviewing private school administrators and policy-makers in Dubai’s education sector and by analyzing policy and legal documents, what inclusion means to key agents, which in turn affects its enforcement (by the government authority) and its implementation (by the private school administrators and practitioners). Using constructivist grounded theory methodology, data were collected through policy documents, strategic plans, surveys, and intensive interviews. After the data were coded and analyzed, five key findings emerged that explain that inclusion is implemented and enforced through: (a) the social model of inclusion in Dubai, (b) curriculum modifications, (c) strategic partnerships, (d) availability of resources and capacity building, and (e) enforcement of accountability in private schools. I build upon the overarching themes that direct to the medical model being disguised as the social model, the colonization of inclusive practices in Dubai, and the lack of teacher education in Dubai that affects the pedagogical practices. Recommendations include increasing quality teacher education programs offered by higher education institutions in Dubai, involving former teachers and practitioners who have experience working in Dubai’s education sector, and lastly, focusing more on reculturing rather than restructuring for inclusion to be more effective in Dubai.
- ItemOpen Access“Growing our own teachers”: rural individuals becoming certified teachers(2018-05-27) Gereluk, Dianne; Dressler, Roswita; Eaton, Sarah Elaine; Becker, SandraThis presentation was presented by Dianne Gereluk on behalf of the research team at a panel on rural education at the 46th CSSE conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on May 27, 2018.
- ItemOpen AccessHelping, Hurting, and Hoping in Inclusive Education: Exploring Teachers’ Experiences on Inclusive Education in Alberta(2021-04-16) Craig, Heather L.; Wilcox, Gabrielle; Gereluk, Dianne; Nordstokke, David; Burns, Amy; Andrews, John (Jac); Borgen, WilliamInclusive education classrooms serve over 100,000 students in Alberta who have disabilities (Alberta Education, 2021). From a Canadian context, limited information is known about factors that support and impede the implementation of inclusive education (Lyons et al., 2016; McGhie-Richmond et al., 2013). Twelve teachers across Alberta with an average of 14 years of experience participated in this study. Using Enhanced Critical Incident Technique (ECIT), many critical incidents were identified regarding what helps or hinders the implementation of inclusive education and factors teachers wish they had. Across all critical incidents and wish list factors, the notion of additional support from personnel was distinctive. From these critical incidents and wish list factors, four underlying assumptions emerged. Much like the literature, this study found that teachers had a diverse understanding of the meaning of inclusive education and what a successful inclusive education classroom looked like. Teachers' descriptions of parental involvement were viewed as transactional in inclusive education rather than a collaborative process like research suggests. The teachers also described the role of teacher training programs as insufficient in building their knowledge and described the additional sources they sought out in their teaching practice. Teachers emphasized the crucial role personnel play in implementing inclusive education, noting that without this support, inclusive education may not meet all students' needs. Notably, some aspects were missing from the interviews, including a lack of dialogue and general understanding about inclusive education pedagogy, promotion of general education strategies as inclusive education practices, and a lack of self-reflection of teaching practices. Together, this information suggests that providing additional support without at least minimal shifts to the education system and teaching practices may not benefit inclusive education; rather, it may perpetuate questionable teaching practices that do not support the learning of students with exceptionalities. Implications of this study are discussed in the context of educational shifts, which add to the current system of inclusive education and educational restructuring, which suggests a fundamental change to the current education system in Alberta. Considerations of study strengths, limitations, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
- ItemOpen AccessInterpreting 21st Century Educational Reform in Alberta: A Pilot Study(University of Calgary, 2017-05) Burns, Amy; Gereluk, Dianne; Werklund School of EducationThis paper will highlight the unique findings of a pilot study designed to understand the interpretations made by classroom teachers of 21st century educational reform, with particular attention on the effects of these findings for pre-service teacher education. The study was conducted with two teachers and two school-based leaders in one Alberta school division known for its commitment to 21st century educational ideals. It was found that both teachers and school-based leaders are interpreting 21st century education in very different ways. Most interestingly is the propensity for 21st century education to become hallmarked by one aspect that then becomes foundational.
- ItemOpen AccessMiddle School Administrators' Perspectives on Effective Middle Level Education in Central Alberta(2018-09-17) Rheaume, Julia G.; Brandon, James Edward; Donlevy, James Kent; Brown, Barbara; Gereluk, Dianne; Hamm, LyleThis instrumental case study (Creswell, 2012; Stake, 1995) examined the perspectives of 43 middle school administrators on effective middle level education in central Alberta, Canada. Their views on the middle school concept, effective middle level leadership, and effective teaching were obtained through an online questionnaire and six focus group interviews, using an explanatory sequential design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). The analysis of school administrator perspectives generated five integrated findings pertaining to middle level education: (a) teaming and developmentally responsive practices are essential to middle level education; curriculum integration and advisory are less important and prevalent; (b) effective beginning middle school teachers should develop professional knowledge and skills, including an ability to create learner-centred, inclusive environments; (c) effective beginning middle school teachers should possess certain dispositions, especially those that promote positive, productive relationships; (d) middle school administrators viewed their role as helping young adolescents transition from elementary to high school; and (e) middle school leaders foster effective middle level education through shared vision, collaboration, personnel, and relationships. The synthesis of the findings led to three conclusions related to teaching competencies, leadership competencies, and effective middle level education: (a) middle level teachers should be caring, developmentally responsive team players who can use instructional strategies, classroom management, and differentiation skills to meet students’ needs in inclusive, learner-centred classrooms; (b) school leaders should understand young adolescence as a unique developmental stage in order to support the transition of 10 to 15-year-olds through the middle grades; and (c) responsiveness and relationships were found to be essential to effective middle level education. This study has implications for middle level leadership and middle level teacher preparation and provides 22 recommendations for local, provincial, national, and international middle level education stakeholders.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Musical Identities of Piano Students: A Phenomenological Case Study(2022-09) Gerelus, Karen; Burwell, Catherine; Gereluk, Dianne; Groen, Janet; Seidel, Jackie; Bell, Adam; Burland, Karen; Creech, AndreaIt might be said that everyone has a musical identity. Whether you casually sing in the shower or seriously study Classical piano, music holds a role in everyone’s daily life. But what does it mean to incorporate the term musician into your identity? How does being a musician hold a place for who you are and how you describe yourself to others? This research investigated the musical identities of adolescent students in private piano lessons, with supporting evidence from their parents and piano teachers. It was formed around two research questions: How do piano students construct their musical identities and understand themselves as musicians? What kinds of experiences contribute to the formation of a salient musical identity? Drawing from a phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews, photovoice, demographic surveys, and lesson observations brought forward the experiences which shaped students’ identities. Results suggested that the social environment, possible selves, and motivation were important themes in the formation of a musical identity because they provided experiences which shaped how students understood themselves as musicians. Beyond these three main themes, ability, choice, and relationships arose as their own emerging areas of consideration. Implications for teachers, parents, and students are provided, such as gaining a better understanding of student-centered learning to improve students’ experiences with piano lessons and harness more salient musical identities. This study offers an unprecedented use of photovoice methodology in music education research, and is unique in its focus on the musical identities of adolescent piano students. Further, this study offered a concurrent conceptualization of social environment, possible selves, and motivation. It connected the topics of musical identities and student-centered learning, providing new contributions and challenges to traditional piano pedagogy.
- ItemOpen AccessOnline Bachelor of Education Programs Offered in Colleges and Universities Throughout Canada, the United States, and Australia(2015-08) Becker, Sandra; Gereluk, Dianne; Dressler, Roswita; Eaton, SarahBeginning in Fall 2015, the University of Calgary will be offering a blended Bachelor of Education program to address issues of equity and access for rural and remote students who wish to become teachers, yet remain in their home communities. To this end, a research team from the university is exploring best practices in online and blended education. Part of the search includes determining online Bachelor of Education programs that exist currently. A review of universities in Canada, the U. S., and Australia determined that at this time, there are few offering fully online or blended Bachelor of Education programs, suggesting opportunities exist for programs to be created to address the needs of rural and remote students.
- ItemOpen AccessPre-service teachers at risk: Intervention strategies for and by teachers. Research Project Brief(University of Calgary, 2017-06-01) Burns, Amy; Eaton, Sarah E.; Gereluk, Dianne; Mueller, KatherinePre-service teachers may face challenges in field experience that have a real impact on both them and their partner teachers. Sometimes these challenges arise as a result of the field experience and sometimes they present themselves before the field experience begins. Current legislation prevents postsecondary institutions from divulging potential challenges pre-service teachers may face. As a result, successfully supporting struggling pre-service teachers in their field experience is a challenge. This research will follow a multiple site case study methodology where the case is bounded by the identified examples of placements in which a pre-service teacher has struggled and either succeeded or failed the field experience placement.
- ItemOpen AccessReadiness Conditions and Transformational Change in a Middle School Setting(2015-12-15) Thalheimer, Patrick; Donlevy, Kent; Gereluk, Dianne; Calvert, AnnThe purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between certain cultural conditions in two middle schools with the occurrence of transformational change. This multiple case study included responses from teachers and administrators at two middle schools research to answer the following research questions: Are there readiness conditions in schools which may contribute to transformational change? If so, what is the nature of those conditions with respect to the concept of transformational change manifest within schools and in the literature? How can readiness conditions contribute to transformational change? Participants in this study included two principals and eleven teachers from two middle schools in a single school division. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with each participant, a questionnaire sent to three superintendents and documents that were provided by one of the schools. Analysis of the data produced seven themes that were correlated with the occurrence of transformational change in the two schools. These included the existence of an approach to decision-making that focussed on perceived student needs, the existence of trust in both colleagues and leaders, organizational, collegial and personal support, alignment of the work in the school, high levels of individual and collective efficacy, a strong sense of community, as well as feelings of resistance. These characteristics were found to be produced by specific behaviours and actions on the part of school district and school-based leaders, as well as the staff themselves. Leadership characteristics and actions included developing a culture of trust by behaving honestly and with integrity, providing support for both professional and personal aspects of teachers’ lives, aligning work expectations and direction as much as possible, supporting the development of individual and collective efficacy through structuring collaborative teams, and supporting efforts to build and maintain a strong sense of community. Teacher behaviour that was seen to be important was a strong focus on the needs of their students and a willingness to work together with their colleagues on behalf of students. Emerging from the findings is a framework for increased understanding of transformational change in middle schools.
- ItemOpen AccessResearch brief: Pre-service teacher education availability in rural Canadian communities(2017-01) Gereluk, Dianne; Thompson, MerlinWhile the majority of Canadian university-based pre-service teacher education takes place within central and southern urban centers, limited programming is available for individuals who wish to pursue Bachelor of Education training in rural Canada. This document provides a summary of current Canadian options for rural pre-service teacher development also known as community-based teacher education.