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Higher Education Group Seminar Series


The Higher Education Group Seminar series is an excellent opportunity for faculty and students to
exchange ideas, present research findings, and discuss professional development issues. The agenda includes: the presentations of thesis proposals, practice sessions for final oral examinations, and other research presentations from faculty and visiting scholars. The seminar series is an important forum for creating a research community within the Higher Education Group. In addition to these day-time sessions, several evening sessions of particular interest to the part-time students will be organized.

See the list of Past Seminar Presentations and Resources.

Please bring your lunch; refreshments will be provided.

Winter Term 2015-2016

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 11:00 am – 12pm., Room 12-199
Maurine Parzen, PhD Candidate, presents a mock oral on:
Transformational Learning Experience of RPN to BScN Students:A Case study of One BScN Program in Ontario
This study explores the learning experience of students who are transitioning from the Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) to the Registered Nurse (RN) in one program Ontario. Recent changes in the educational system now provide the opportunity for RPNs to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) in three years. The challenge is to develop programs that recognize the diversity of the RPNs’ pre-existing knowledge and cultivate those into more advanced critical thinking and leadership skills required of an RN.
Maurine has been working in academia at Mohawk College for the past seventeen years where she several teaches the nursing programs. These include the BScN, Practical Nursing and the International Educated Bridging programs. She also spent 7 years working as the coordinator of the RPN to BScN program at Mohawk College.

12:00 pm – 1:00pm

Krista M. Holmes, PhD Candidate, presents a mock oral on:
Research Ethics in the Ontario College Sector: An exploratory descriptive study of governance and administrative frameworks
The purpose of this study was to explore the existing frameworks for the governance and administration of research ethics policies and practices in place at the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATS), and to identify implications for policy and practice related to the future governance and administration of research ethics at Ontario CAATs. Using a sequential mixed method research design, this study examined four key areas related to the management of compliance with ethics principles related to research conducted at the 22 English language Ontario colleges: (1) the history of the establishment of Research Ethics Boards in the Ontario college sector; (2) what currently exists, in terms of relevant policies, processes, funding and infrastructure, at participating colleges; (3) what currently works within the sector, to ascertain areas for improvement; and (4) implications for future policy and practice.
Krista has 13 years of experience working as an educational administrator in the post-secondary sector. She also has a breadth of experience in a variety of cultural contexts, as evidenced by her work with education and community organizations locally in Toronto, Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario and internationally in Guyana, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Uganda and Rwanda.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 11:00 am – 12pm., Room 12-199
Wendy Kubasik, PhD Candidate, presents a mock oral on:
Compensating Academic Physicians: The Impact of Three Models on Academic Productivity

This presentation will focus on the results of three case studies of the impact of compensation and assessment models on academic productivity. The three departments in question utilized three different systems to compensate, assess and incentivize full‐time academic physicians – each with different results. Which system was the most impactful? As a researcher, Wendy’s focus is on putting behavioral economics to work in the real world, where theory can meet application. She is particularly interested in applied approaches to topics such as incentives‐based interventions (both positive and potentially detrimental effects), the effect of academic assessment models on academic productivity, performance and quality, models and data analytics to assess and predict productivity and outcomes, and compensation models in the higher education and academic medical center contexts.
These case studies conducted in clinical departments across several Canadian universities to elucidate basic findings from behavioral economics to help uncover impactful practices in academic assessment and compensation. To help quantify – and predict – the productivity and performance of academic physicians, she developed a novel technique, the K‐MAAP©. This quantitative, bibliometric and statistical model allows academic leaders to: (1) Analyze and assess academic productivity, performance, quality and the impacts of research outputs (peer‐reviewed publications, invited lectures, and research funding), (2) Compare and contrast research and teaching performance and impact, (3) Quantify and map academic performance over time, and (4) Predict future academic performance, productivity and impact on the basis of past performance.
Wendy is the Director of Administration and Planning for the Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto. She also holds a Master of Education degree from OISE/UT, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and medical sociology from York University.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 11:00 am – 12pm., Room 12-199
Angela Nardozi, PhD Student, Higher Education program, presents:
Inspiring and preparing teacher candidates to include Indigenous content in their teaching

The teacher education is a crucial site for the (re)education of the Settler Canadian public concerning Aboriginal perspectives on histories and current events. Through my work in OISE’s Initial Teacher Education program, I conducted research within one professional learning community in the B.Ed. program which had Aboriginal perspectives as a central focus. Using methodologies of Participatory Action Research, Research as Ceremony and Appreciative Inquiry, I worked alongside the instructors of the cohort to deliver instruction and study our efforts. Our work was guided by the question “what strategies increase teacher candidate willingness and readiness to incorporate Aboriginal histories, current perspectives, and pedagogies into their teaching practice.
Angela is an Italian-Canadian woman who grew up in Markham, Ontario. She is currently in the fourth year of her doctoral studies in Adult Education and is the Project Manager of the Deepening Knowledge Project which aims to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into the Teacher Education programs at OISE.

12:00 pm – 1:00pm., Room 12-199
Pamela Walker, PhD Student, presents:
Caring About Racism: Early Career Nurses’ Experiences with Aboriginal Cultural Safety
This qualitative research examines the experiences of early career nurses who are now mandate to translate their knowledge of Aboriginal Cultural Safety into nursing practice. It is well documented now that Aboriginal people experience discrimination and prejudice in the Canadian Health Care System.  In response, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and the Health Council of Canada now recommend that all nursing students receive Cultural Safety Education during their nursing education programs.  The purpose of Cultural Safety Education is to help nursing students identify the attitudes toward difference that they bring to their work with others in health care, and change those attitudes, in order to become well-educated, respectful and self-aware health care providers.  Cultural Safety is therefore learning that is meant to be practical and carried into practice settings in order to influence positive change in health care interactions with Aboriginal peoples.  The study is using Situational Analysis to allow the researcher to consider the complex forces that influence the practice of nurses with Aboriginal patients and clients in contemporary health care environments. 
Pamela currently works as a nurse educator in with undergraduate students at the University of Toronto. She is closely involvement with a local Cultural Safety Initiative and has several years of experience working as a nurse working in different Aboriginal communities in Canada.  Pamela has just completed the data collection phase of her doctoral thesis, where she interviewed nurses working in urban and geographically remote communities across the country.


March 1, 11am to 12:00pm
Mary Catharine Lennon
, PhD Candidate, presents a mock oral:
In search of quality: Evaluating the impact of learning outcomes in higher education regulation

This study presents evidence on the impact of learning outcomes policies in higher education accountability, quality assurance, and accreditation activities. The purpose of this research was to determine how learning outcomes polices are being used in these regulatory schemes, and what (if any) impact the policies have had. In order to answer these two questions the research employed and then triangulated findings from a survey, multiple case study analyses, and meta-evaluation. When triangulated, findings from the three research methods confirm the limited impact of learning outcomes policies. Possible reasons for failures discussed include policy design (misalignment, misapplication, and misdirection), and the incongruence of regulatory agency roles, goals, and spheres of power with the desired impact of learning outcome policies.
Mary Catharine is also enrolled in the Comparative, International and Development Education collaborative program at OISE/UT.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 11:00am – 12:00pm., Room 12-199
Kirk Franklin Perris, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, China, presents:
The lived experiences of international students at a top ranked Chinese university

A unique target for China’s 2010-2020 plan for education and reform is to attain enrolment of one million international students in discipline-based programs. Beijing Normal University (BNU), China’s leading institution of teacher training and educational research, has been an early adopter of the government’s internationalization efforts. Since 2011 BNU has been offering English taught graduate programs across a range of disciplines that are catered to international students.

A presentation of findings from interviews with international students reveals learning and life experiences that are a departure from similar studies on internationalization. One student one nation characterizes the richness of experiences and perspectives in a given learning context. Yet, such diversity is largely displaced in favour of a curriculum laden with western perspectives. On and off campus, language and other barriers distance international students from meaningful engagement within the cultural milieu. Student satisfaction is mixed. This presentation offers insights that point to the current model at BNU as unsustainable. Recognizing that this dimension of internationalization in China is at an early stage, greater infusion of Chinese characteristics is proposed.
Kirk obtained his PhD from OISE/UT in 2011. His areas of interest are internationalization, and open and distance learning.

Tuesday April 19, 2016 11am Room 12-199
Eric Lavigne, PhD Candidate, Higher Education, presents his proposal on:
How Performance Appraisals Shape the Deanship: A Multiple Case Study of Academic Deans in Canadian Colleges and Universities

My dissertation work stands at the intersection of policy and leadership. Its purpose is to shed a realistic light on the interplay between leadership and policy: the academic deans of Canadian colleges and universities and their performance appraisals. My intent is to look at individual outcomes, through case study research and phenomenological interviews, and highlight the unintended consequences of performance appraisals on academic deans and their deanship. My presentation will go over the main sections of my dissertation proposal, focussing on coherence. 
Eric Lavigne is a second year PhD student in the Higher Education program. His former academic and work experience include leadership and management of colleges, teaching and learning, cognitive ergonomics, and engineering. His research interests gravitate towards the academic management and leadership, institutional policies, performance appraisals and renewals, accessibility and transfer within higher education, and labour outcomes.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016 11am Room 12-199

Keita Demming, PhD Candidate, presents:
Making Space for Social Innovation: What we can learn from the midwifery movement

This paper proposes to make a substantive contribution to the emerging field of social innovation by focusing on two main research questions: 1) What do we mean by social innovation? And 2) How do we create the conditions that support, or generate social innovations? Through his research, Keita has redefined social innovation as an activity that profoundly changes social relations or interactions, deeply challenges or shifts our existing paradigms, and significantly changes resource flows within an existing social system. The thesis draws on midwifery as an exploratory, and at times, illustrative example, of social innovation. Though his research Keita proposes a more complex representation of social innovation and the dynamics that help to support and generate it. Midwifery, is a novel example of a social innovation that has experience three system shifhts: the pre-medicalization era, when most births happened in the home; the medicalization era, when most birth moved into the male dominated medicalized system; and, finally the post-medicalized, era when birth became a hybrid of home births and hospital births. In analyzing critical incidents within the midwifery movement, this project demonstrates how the movement went from being a social movement, social intervention or resistance, to a social innovation. The study also draws on two different, but connected midwifery communities - Caribbean midwives and Ontario midwives - as illustrative examples of a micro-level social innovation and macro-level social innovation.
Keita is has previously worked at University of Waterloo, where he was part of the implementing team for their diploma in Social Innovation program. He has experiences working in environments that merge theory and practice related to business and social innovation. Keita has also developed educational and strategic approaches to facilitating social innovation and organizational change. He is currently working on several social innovation projects and is currently writing a book in order to disseminate some of his work. He has also served as the coordinator of Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto and held a license for TEDx Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) for the past five years.


Fall Term 2015-2016

September 22, 2015 11am-1pm ROOM 12-199
11:00am - 12:00pm
Eric Lavigne, PhD Student, presents:
Control Out of Control: Theorizing the Impact of Performance Appraisals' Politics on Newly-Appointed Deans’ Leadership
Universities need good deans doing good deeds. They (universities) ensure this, in part, by evaluating their deans. Performance appraisals shape performance and provide universities with information to make an informed decision about the renewing a dean’s contract. This may seem obvious, and perhaps it is. Employees get evaluated, so they act accordingly. But policy rarely ends up being implemented as intended. The purpose of my presentation is to theorize why and how performance appraisals can serve as political tools to neutralize deans’ management and leadership functions.

Eric’s former academic and work experience include leadership and management of colleges, teaching and learning, cognitive ergonomics, and engineering. His research interests gravitate towards the academic management and leadership, institutional policies, performance appraisals and renewals, accessibility and transfer within higher education, and labour outcomes

12:00 - 1:00pm
Everton Ellis, PhD Student, presents the paper he is hoping to get peer-reviewed:
Québec’s ‘Maple Spring’ Revisited: Student Organization or Neoliberal Hegemony?
This article rebuts Olivier Bégin-Caouette and Glen Jones’ conclusion that the 2012 Maple Spring shows the success of pluralist politics in Québec. Utilizing a combination of the conflict perspective and Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony, the paper asserts that the pluralist approach does not present us with a comprehensive narrative of the period of student activism.  There is a subterranean force, the provincial government’s attempt to implement the neoliberal state, that acts as an impetus to the student uprising. The neoliberal discourse/policies utilized by the Québec government commodifies access to higher education. The Parti Québécois’ handling of the tuition fees point to the strategy of co-optation that is intrinsic to capitalism. Neoliberal discourse employed by the government also manages the degrees of freedom available to pressure groups, emphasize the use of coercion, and found support amongst key stakeholders in the French-Canadian province.

Everton has experience working in international development education (Jamaica’s Ministry of Education) conducting qualitative research in gender differential education. Being a certified secondary school teacher, he occasionally volunteers in the Toronto District School Board. He is also interested in issues relating to politics of higher education, comparative education and international education, higher education, vocational education, competences, qualifications and labour market outcomes.

Monday, October 5, 5pm - 6:30pm
OISE Room 5-210
Dr. Thomas Deissinger, Professor, Universität Konstanz, Germany, presents:
Is the German VET system still a 'model' for other countries? Facts and problem issues

RSVP: vesna.bajicutoronto.ca by September 30, 2015
This session is co-sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Education. Higher


Tuesday,October 6, 5pm - 6:30pm
OISE Room 12- 199

Dr John Lea, Association of Colleges, UK, and the Centre for the Study of Canadian &
International Higher Education invites you to a seminar:
Building the scholarship of teaching and learning in colleges: Lessons from England


Tuesday, October 20, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm
Room 12-199

Eric Lavigne, Jinli Yang & Amanda Brijmohan, Masters & PhD Students, present:
Pathways to education and work in Ontario and Canada

This project examined pathways within and between fields of education, and between fields of education and occupations, in Ontario and Canada. It used the 2013 National Graduate Survey, which interviewed a representative sample of university and college graduates from the class of 2009/10 across Canada. Overall, the project found that links between qualifications within the same field of education were weak, as were links between fields of education and occupations. Most students changed their field of education when they undertook a second postsecondary education qualification, but this varied by field of education, and by whether pathways were within or between colleges and universities. Similarly, the links between fields of education and occupations were quite weak, but this also varied between fields of education, and was related to whether the occupation was regulated or not. This presentation will report the project’s findings, discuss the similarities and differences between Ontario and all of Canada, and implications for policy and practice.
Eric is a second year PhD student in the Higher Education program. His former academic and work experience include leadership and management of colleges, teaching and learning, cognitive ergonomics, and engineering. His research interests gravitate towards the academic management and leadership, institutional policies, performance appraisals and renewals, accessibility and transfer within higher education, and labour outcomes.
Jinli recently graduated with her master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from University of Toronto. During her graduate study she grew a strong interest in evaluation and assessment tools and became proficient in managing and analyzing large-scale data sets with various software packages. Her areas of interest fall within post-secondary education articulation and transfer, the links between post-secondary education and labor market in Canada and Ontario, Ontario public college application, gender differences in educational measurement, and factors that impact international students’ status in host countries.
Amanda completed her H.Bsc double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Higher Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her research interests include assessment and evaluation in higher education, with a focus on medical education as it relates to admission policy. She is also interested in ways in which education policy shape student academic and career pathways within higher education.

Tuesday, November 3, 11:00 am - 12pm
Room 12-199

Dr. Pan Li, Associate Professor, Liaoning Normal University, China and Visiting scholar in the Higher Ed Program, presents:
Higher education system in China and Germany: A comparative analysis

This presentation looks comparatively at the structure of the Chinese and German higher education systems and discusses the different ways in which they have had influence on one another over the last decade. As some of his doctoral research was done at the University of Munich in Germany, he has specialist knowledge of German higher education.
Dr Li also has considerable research experience in bibliometrics and issues relating to quality in higher education. Li is currently a visiting scholar in the department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at Ontario Institute for Studies in Higher Education, University of Toronto.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 12:00 am – 1pm., Room 12-199
Hantian Wu, PhD Student, Educational Leadership and Policy program, presents:
Challenges of China’s Outward-Oriented Higher Education Internationalization: An Empirical Research based on the Reactions of international students

This research focuses on China’s present situation of shifting from inward-oriented to outward-oriented HE internationalization and the existing tensions between its ambition of using outward-oriented HE internationalization to enhance its international influence within a global arena, and the challenges it faces in the response to this approach. Using the problem approach to comparative education developed by Brian Holmes, a research methodology is being developed. One part of it will constitute a survey of international students in education-related degree programs  in three Chinese HEIs to explore the existing gap between the Chinese government’s goals and rationales and the knowledge and attitudes of recipients of its programs. Via regression analysis the author will identify misunderstandings and negative responses. Through a careful analysis of the overall context and the results of the survey, recommendations will be made to make the current approach more effective in terms of both policy and programs for international students. The major question of this research is: What are the gaps between China’s rationales and goals of promoting outward-oriented HE internationalization within the global arena, and the knowledge and attitude of the outside world? There are three sub-questions: (1) What are China’s rationales, goals, and policies for promoting outward-oriented HE internationalization? (2) What are the attitudes of outsiders towards this approach? (3) How might China bridge the gap and improve its outward oriented policies and programs?
Hantian Wu is a third year doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy. He is working on a SSHRC funded research project at York University comparing China and India in the internationalization of Higher Education. He has already completed his comprehensive examination and this term he is auditing two courses in comparative education and international academic relations while developing his thesis proposal under Dr. Ruth Hayhoe.


Tuesday, November 17, 11:00 am – 12pm., Room 12-199
Paula Green, PhD student, presents a mock oral on:
The Impact of Internationalization on the Regionalization of Higher Education in the English Speaking Caribbean: A Case Study of the University of the West Indies

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is one of two regional universities in the world. In the history of the ‘West Indies,’ successive European colonizers attempted to form a federation of the Windward and Leeward Islands. Both the colonial administration and the independence movements which created a rising elite in these former British colonies, had political and economic motivations for establishing a regional university, and advancing functional cooperation through an integration mechanism - the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Following the 1958 to 1962 Federation experiment, the UWI became enshrined as a symbol of Caribbean integration. But the challenges of surviving and competing in the global economy have persisted.  In their post independence struggles for economic survival, the sub-region seems to have substituted political for economic dependence, with continued reliance on extra-regional funding authorities. As such, in the new neoliberal reality, the UWI must produce human capital - knowledge workers - to fulfill labour market needs; develop commercial research, and support continued regional economic development, with reduced government funding, under increasing levels of accountability. With globalization and internationalization, the UWI is in the process of broadening its mandate, to include the other linguistic and ethnocultural groups, constituting the larger Caribbean area, including Central and Latin America. As part of its internationalization strategy, it has increased inter-institutional partnerships and other collaborative practices, within the region and extra-regionally. Globalization, neoliberalism, regionalization and internationalization have also given rise to many challenges. They have facilitated intercultural experiences, academic mobility and non-traditional delivery mechanisms in higher education. However, the struggles to finance national economies and higher education, have led to tensions in national sovereignty and regional aspirations within CARICOM. The central question for this research was whether internationalization is advancing or hindering regionalization in the Anglophone Caribbean.
Paula Green is a also a PhD Candidate in the department of Leadership Adult and Higher Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Her research interests include governance of higher education, policy and internationalization of higher education in the Caribbean.

12:00 pm – 1:00pm., Room 12-199
Gavin Moodie, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Department of Leadership Adult and Higher Education, presents:
Why all teaching wont be online in x years, where x is soon enough to be scary but not so soon to be proved wrong
This session is based on a forthcoming chapter on progress and prospects of the online revolution in higher education. Some 15 years ago the management guru Peter Drucker (1998) claimed that ‘Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won’t survive. It is as large a change as when we first got the printed book’. In 2012 the chief executive officer and co founder of the MOOC platform Udacity claimed that in 50 years there will be only 10 universities left in the world (The Economist 2012). In 2015 Clayton Christensen predicted that half of the United States’ universities could face bankruptcy within 15 years (Useem 2014).
This discussion seeks to understand why these technologies have yet to revolutionise higher education. Unlike many other studies of the impact of technology on education, it seeks its explanation not in the nature of any technology nor indeed in the nature of educational institutions, but in pedagogy: the nature of teaching-learning.
Dr. Moodie has administrative, planning and policy experiences working in several Australian higher educational institutions. These include the University of Meblourne, Monash University and Griffith University and Victoria universities, just to name a few. He has also widely published in and has contributed to the debate on the relationship between vocational and higher education policies in wealthy Anglophone countries. 


Tuesday, December 1, 10:30am – 11:30am., Room 12-199
Rupinder Khaira, PhD Candidate, presents her mock oral:
Characteristics, Engagement and Academic Performance of First-Year Nursing Students in Selected Ontario Universities
With an aging population nationally, nursing programs have struggled to meet the demand for nurses in our healthcare system. Student attrition remains high at 28% within the first two years of the Baccalaureate nursing programs. In order to meet healthcare system demand, nursing programs need to ensure that students persist, graduate, and are academically successful on the national examination. As a first step in student success, one needs to identify effective educational practices in first-year nursing programs that are associated with student engagement within the Canadian context. This study examined the extent to which first-year nursing students are engaged in effective educational practices and any relationships between student demographic, external, academic, social, and institutional variables, and student engagement. A descriptive correlational design was used to conduct a secondary analysis of pre-existing 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data from nursing students in 13 Ontario Universities.
Rupi is a PhD Candidate in the Community College Leadership Cohort (Cohort 4) at OISE. She received her Master’s of Science degree from Queen’s University. She is a nursing professor at a large urban college teaching in a Collaborative BScN program with a keen interest in student development.