Browsing by Author "Sabbaghan, Soroush"
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- ItemOpen AccessA Pedagogical Mathematics Register Framed by Systemic Functional Linguistics: The Case of the Equals Sign(2015-09-04) Sabbaghan, Soroush; Davis, Andrew BrentThe purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to investigate whether using a pedagogical mathematical register, framed by systemic functional linguistics, to expose a 5th and 6th grade elementary students to the operational and the relational interpretations associated with the equals sign positively affects students’ understanding of these various interpretations. The pedagogical register used to detach the operational and the relational meanings of the equals sign was in a form of two semiotic bundles, which is a linguistic label (the process “equals” for the operational definition and the verbal group “is equal to” for the relational definition) selected based on Systemic Functional Linguistics and a gesture (a packing gesture for the operational definition and a balancing gesture for the relational definition) used simultaneously with its corresponding linguistic label. These two interpretations along with their semiotic bundles where introduced to the experimental groups in a presentation informed by variation theory. The study investigated the short-term and long-term effects of presenting the equals sign via semiotics bundles on students’ understanding of the different definitions of the equals sign as well as their ability to implement these different definitions. The assessment included a pretest and three post-tests. The first post-test was administered immediately after the presentation, the second, about two weeks after the presentation, and the final post-test was given to the experimental groups about six weeks after the second post-test. Using descriptive statistics, the results indicate that using a semiotic bundle can stimulate students to use different interpretations of the equals sign in the short term, but not in the long-term. The results also show that operational thinking was common in the control group while many students in the experimental groups employed relational interpretation of the equals sign to provide answers. In the long-term, operational thinking remained frequent in the control group. In the experimental groups, students continued to use the relational interpretation of the equals sign to find answers. However, the data obtained could not conclusively attribute the experimental groups’ use of the relational interpretation to the pedagogical register that was incorporated in the presentation on the equals sign two months prior.
- ItemOpen AccessAddressing the Challenge of Differentiation in Elementary Mathematics Classrooms(University of Calgary, 2016-05) Babb, Paulino Preciado; Metz, Martina; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Pinchbeck, Geoffrey; Aljarrah, Ayman; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationAddressing students’ diversity of skills and knowledge for mathematics instruction has been a common challenge for teachers. This paper reports results from an innovative partnership of school district, university and curricular material developers aimed at improving mathematics instruction at elementary level. We report successful cases of lessons enacting instructional practices that engage all students in the classroom, ensure they meet expected outcomes, and challenge them with further bonuses. The cases are analyzed based on mastery of learning, with a particular focus on continual assessment during class. We also include challenges we have faced in supporting teachers as they incorporate these practices in their daily teaching.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Affordances of Variation Theory (New Phenomenography) in Enhancing EAL Students' Learning(University of Calgary, 2015-06) Sabbaghan, Soroush; Werklund School of EducationVariation theory is relatively new perspective on learning and has not been comprehensively explored in the English as an additional language (EAL) context. Research in other educational fields has shown that lesson structures informed by variation theory have been able to enhance student learning. This paper is an attempt to demonstrate how lesson structures guided by variation theory can be applied to teaching vocabulary. An analysis of the lesson presented suggests that using variation theory in an EAL context provides affordances that increases the probably of student learning, and merits further investigation.
- ItemOpen AccessAttending and Responding to What Matters: A Protocol to Enhance Mathematics Pedagogy(University of Calgary, 2017-05) Metz, Martina; Preciado Babb, Paulino; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Davis, Brent; Ashebir, Alemu; Werklund School of EducationFor four years we have invested in improving mathematics teaching at the elementary level. By drawing from diverse research emphases in mathematics education and by considering the impact of lessons in terms of student engagement and performance, we have identified four key elements impacting learning in mathematics. Here, we describe the protocol currently used to structure feedback for teachers in the Math Minds Initiative. The key elements that comprise the protocol are: (1) effective variation, (2) continuous assessment, (3) responsive teaching, and (4) engagement.
- ItemOpen AccessDynamic Responsive Pedagogy: Implications of Micro-Level Scaffolding(University of Calgary, 2015-06) Sabbaghan, Soroush; Preciado Babb, Paulino; Metz, Martina; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationIn mathematics education, scaffolding is often viewed as a mechanism to provide temporary aid to learners to enhance mathematical understanding. Micro-level scaffolding is process by which the teacher returns the student(s) to a conceptual point where scaffolding is not needed. Then the teacher creates a series of incrementally more complex tasks leading to the original task. This process is dynamic, as it often requires multiple steps, and it is responsive because involves moment-by-moment assessment, which shapes each increment. In this paper, we present data on how experienced teachers in the Math Minds Initiative employ micro-level scaffolding. Implications of micro-level scaffolding are discussed.
- ItemOpen AccessEnhancing Student Assessment Through Veedback(University of Calgary, 2017-05) Sabbaghan, Soroush; Werklund School of EducationProviding audio-visual feedback through screencast technology has been shown to reinforce learning after submission. However, these video feedbacks are often limited by the annotation tools afforded by the word processing software, making them difficult to follow. The combination of a tablet and stylus along with screencast technology offers more freedom and can enhance student experience. This presentation reports the results of an investigation into whether these new enriched feedbacks for assignments, called veedbacks, boost student experience. The qualitative and quantitative findings reveal that students are very positive about veedbacks.
- ItemOpen AccessEpiphanies in Mathematics Teaching: The Personal Learning of an Elementary Teacher(University of Calgary, 2015-06) Preciado Babb, Paulino; McInnis, Vicki; Metz, Martina; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationThe Math Minds partnership strives to increase student engagement, self-esteem and achievement in mathematics and also to deepen teachers’ conceptual understanding of mathematics for instruction. Through this partnership, elementary teachers are changing the way they teach mathematics. By breaking concepts into small steps, continually assessing all children for understanding along the way and giving opportunities for independent “practice” frequently during each lesson, students have shown a significant improvement in mathematics. We present the transformative learning experience of one teacher during one year in this partnership, with surprising results.
- ItemOpen AccessFostering Student Success in Online Courses(Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, 2023) Aparicio-Ting, Fabiola; Arcellana-Panlilio, Mayi; Bensler, Heather; Brown, Barbara; Clancy, Tracey; Dyjur, Patti; Radford, Scott; Redwood, Chene; Roberts, Verena; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Schroeder, Meadow; Summers, Mindi; Tézli, Annette; Wilks, Leighton; Wright, AlysiaThe pandemic had a disruptive impact on teaching and learning in higher education. For many, the transition to online learning presented enormous challenges, individually and collectively. Many of us sought immediate strategies to support student learning and success in an online context. We experienced many successes and failures along the way. This Guide provides an inspiring collection of scholarly reflections and approaches to supporting meaningful course learning opportunities for students and postsecondary educators, in online environments. The guide contains nine chapters contributed by members of the Teaching Academy from across disciplines involved in undergraduate and/or graduate instruction, writing solo or with collaborators, to highlight an aspect of their teaching that leverages the online environment to enhance student learning. Each of these chapters offers sage, pragmatic descriptions of course contexts, design considerations, and implementation, for online assessments (Chapter 1, 4), for innovative learning activities (Chapter 2, 6), for flexible course design (Chapter 5, 7), for engaging large classes (Chapter 8), for facilitating group work (Chapter 9), and for intentionally addressing the need for students to flourish (Chapter 3). Importantly, for the reader, each chapter shares the wisdom of practice of the author/s, discussing implications of use and giving concrete recommendations for those who are thinking of applying similar strategies.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Interplay of Memory and Sentence Structure on the Resolution of Persian Pronouns(2019-07-09) Nakhaei, Mahyar; Storoshenko, Dennis Ryan; Ritter, Elizabeth; Sabbaghan, SoroushOne of the most prominent hypotheses in the realm of pronoun resolution in pro-drop languages is the Position of Antecedent Hypothesis (PAH) according to which null pronouns are more likely to select subject antecedents whereas overt pronouns are more likely to be linked with non-subject antecedents. A plethora of studies attempts to examine the extension of PAH to several pro-drop languages. However, none has taken the differences between individuals into account. It has been claimed that the working memory capacity of individuals as one measure of individual difference might affect processing pronouns by native speakers of a language. I will show that the memory load has a facilitative role in the resolution of Persian pronouns whereas working memory of individuals is not a predictor variable. Moreover, overt pronouns behave more consistently with predictions of PAH especially when the memory load is low. Keywords: Pronouns, Pro-drop, PAH, Working Memory, Persian
- ItemOpen AccessJuxtaposing Mathematical Extensions with Cognitvely Loaded Questions in the Mathematics Classrom(University of Calgary, 2016-05) Sabbaghan, Soroush; Babb, Paulino Preciado; Metz, Martina; Pinchbeck, Geoffrey; Aljarrah, Ayman; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationProviding mathematical extensions (i.e. bonus questions) intended to evoke deep mathematical thinking after students complete assigned tasks is challenging for teachers. In this paper, we use the Variation Theory of Learning to challenge a common misconception that mathematical extensions should include many interrelated elements and impose a high cognitive load to promote deeper thinking. We present an analysis of observed extensions and provide alternative routes. Pedagogical implications for the design of mathematical extensions are presented.
- ItemOpen AccessLeadership Models for Internationalising Higher Education Institutions in Japan(2021-10) Colpitts, Bradley D. F.; Eaton, Sarah E.; Chua, Catherine; Sabbaghan, SoroushAmidst the growing demand for internationalisation of the higher education (HE) market globally, and demographic and social challenges domestically, the Japanese government has instituted a series of initiatives intended to create a robust, globally competitive HE sector. This objective attests to both the demands for Japan to foster globally competitive human resources among its own population and a desire to attract competent researchers to secure the nation’s standing in the global knowledge economy. However, despite a substantial investment of resources in overseeing this transformation, research on the topic suggests modest results at best. At the root of many of these challenges is a failure to foster an internationalised professorate, despite international faculty being identified as key to internationalisation. Conspicuous in its absence is a lack of literature on the role of leadership in strengthening this capacity, which the present study addressed. Leveraging Bass’s (1985) full range leadership model, the study employed an explanatory sequential mixed methods design (ESMMD) to examine the leadership preferences of Japanese and non-Japanese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructors working within the Japanese higher education system. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire was first administered to assess and compare leadership preferences between Japanese (n = 26) and non-Japanese (n = 136) EFL faculty members and leaders embedded within Japanese higher education institutions (HEIs). The results informed a second phase of semi-structured interviews with five Japanese (n = 5) and five non-Japanese (n = 5) EFL faculty and leaders and elicited their opinions on effective leadership and the role of leadership in overseeing internationalisation processes. The results of the study suggested a statistically significant difference between Japanese and non-Japanese respondents’ leadership preferences, with non-Japanese scoring the transformational leadership construct higher. Five central themes were identified in the qualitative data which provided further insight into this phenomenon and suggested some practical ways HE leaders in Japan might embolden international faculty within and beyond the scope of the FRLM. The paper concludes by proposing a three-facet model, focused on leadership training, diversity building, and research, which suggests way to strengthen Japanese HEI leadership’s ability to create more internationalised professorates and institutions.
- ItemOpen AccessOne Step Back, Three Forward: Success Through Mediated Challenge(University of Calgary, 2015-06) Metz, Martina; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Preciado Babb, Paulino; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationHow can you keep all students engaged in deepening their mathematical understanding without overwhelming the weakest students or boring the strongest? Teachers in the Math Minds project design lessons around structured sequences that seek to engage all students with questions on which they can succeed, and to then proceed through increasingly sophisticated variations. Teachers attend closely to student responses so that they can adjust difficulty in a manner that allows success and challenge for all. In this paper, we describe key principles that have emerged from the Math Minds initiative. We draw particular attention to variation theory (Marton, 2015) and consider how it plays out in interaction with the other principles.
- ItemOpen AccessPlagiarism perceptions among post-secondary students and faculty - A case study: Research project brief(2019-05-05) Eaton, Sarah Elaine; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Takrimi, AzimehPurpose: In this project we aim to discover what differences exist between how students and faculty perceive plagiarism in a post-secondary context. To do this, we will work with two sets of research participants: faculty members and students. Our research question is: What gaps, if any, exist between faculty members' and students' perceptions of plagiarism? Methods: We will use a scenario-based questionnaire administered to two groups of research participants: faculty members and students. Results: We anticipate the results might show differences in how faculty members and students perceive plagiarism. Implications: This work has the potential to develop further training for faculty members and students, possibly leading to a better understanding of what plagiarism is and how to identify it. Additional Materials: The research team has developed a scenario-based instrument specific to this study. Keywords: Academic integrity, plagiarism, Canada, higher education, faculty students
- ItemOpen AccessSelected Proceedings of the IDEAS Conference 2017: Leading Educational Change(University of Calgary, 2017-05) Preciado Babb, Armando Paulino; Yeworiew, Lake; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Werklund School of EducationInnovators, Designers, Educators, Academics and Students (IDEAS) 2017, Leading Educational Change is the fifth annual conference co-hosted by the Werklund School of Education and the Galileo Educational Network Association at the University of Calgary. The mandate of the conference is to improve education through research, evidence-informed decisions across teaching, learning and leadership. The conference brings together innovators, designers, educators, academics and students from K-12, post-secondary and government to rise to the challenge of designing for today’s new learning landscape.
- ItemOpen AccessTeachers' Awareness of Variation(University of Calgary, 2016-05) Metz, Martina; Babb, Paulino Preciado; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Pinchbeck, Geoffrey; Aljarrah, Ayman; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationHere, we report on a study of teachers’ evolving awareness of how they work with patterns of variation to structure and teach mathematics lessons. We identify a number of critical features regarding teachers’ awareness of variation.
- ItemOpen AccessThose Who Can: The Significance of Math Policymakers for Math Policy and Practice(2020-09-23) Telem, Lihi; Davis, Brent; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Renert, Moshe; Francis, KristaThis study addresses the effects that policymakers’ mindsets have upon equity in the policy and practice of math education. It looks beyond math education culture to the general culture, examining the way mindset is constructed and sustained through its discursive expressions in written and spoken language and identifying the positioning it entails and its consequences for learners, educators and policymakers. I explore the notion that due to their similar experience as learners, Israeli math education policymakers hold similar beliefs about math ability. Mapping the mindset behind these shared perceptions, I trace its existence within policy (where it gains authority), as well as its positioning of learners in ways that strengthen and support cultural perceptions while hindering equity. My research addresses complex issues at the personal, social, and political levels. Discourse provides the underlying methodological cornerstone for this study. Discourse analysis serves both for excavation and interpretation of dispositions and mindsets embedded in policy, as well as for the negotiation and re-conceptualization of identities, positions, and policy. Looking at policymakers’ commitment and passion for math education and its promotion, alongside the difficulty in addressing learners whose experience of math is very different from their own, there may be a need for special support in the process of policy and curriculum creation. There may be need for a greater variety of voices in the math education committees, voices that are as passionate about math education and the possibility of promoting it among learners of different dispositions, voices that should echo the position and outlook of different learners.
- ItemOpen AccessTransforming Mathematics Classroom Settings into Spaces of Expanding Possibilities(University of Calgary, 2016-05) Aljarrah, Ayman; Babb, Paulino Preciado; Metz, Martina; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Pinchbeck, Geoffrey; Davis, Brent; Werklund School of EducationTransforming the classroom environment into a space of expanding possibilities requires learning experiences that challenge and expand learners’ understandings. Building on Metz et al’s. (2015) suggestion to structure mathematical variation in a responsive manner that keeps all students intrinsically engaged in deepening their mathematical understanding, this paper describes different forms of bonus questions generated by students, and how they were implemented.
- ItemOpen AccessUniversal Design Principles in Higher Education(2021-05-08) Sabbaghan, SoroushThis vignette outlines online course design principles that provide multiple entry points for learning so that students, with all their diversities, can adapt activities to fit their needs, emergent abilities, and interests. Four principles drawn from Universal Design for Learning are discussed: 1) providing multiple means of representation, with spaces for unanticipated possibilities to emerge; 2) providing multiple means for students to express what they know and what they have learned; 3) offering ways into and explorations beyond planned experiences; and 4) permitting and nurturing specialized interests of individuals while enhancing possibilities for the collective. The vignette offers examples of implementations of the four principles in higher educational courses.
- ItemOpen AccessUsing Variation to Critique and Adapt Mathematical Tasks(University of Calgary, 2017-05) Metz, Martina; Preciado Babb, Armando Paulino; Sabbaghan, Soroush; Davis, Brent; Ashebir, Alemu; Werklund School of EducationWe report on four key ideas we have found important in our work with teachers based on almost five years of research with the Math Minds Initiative. These ideas combine the Variation Theory of Learning with a strong focus on continuous assessment to inform the way teachers adapt task sequences offered in the resource used by project teachers. In doing so, we expect that teachers aim to better serve both struggling students and those who need extension as they develop coherent mathematical knowing. We elaborate on each one of these ideas, with examples from the Initiative in this paper.