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RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Congratualtions to OISE's 2015-2016 SSHRC Insight and Insight Development Grant recipients.

SSHRC Insight Grants (2015 competition)

Clare Brett & Jim Hewitt
Title: What does interaction really contribute to the online learning experience?

Abby Goldstein & Chloe Hamza
Title: Parent-Child Relationships in Emerging Adulthood: Impacts on Risk, Well-Being and Transitions into Adulthood

Tara Goldstein
Title: The Experiences of LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools

Eunice Eunhee Jang
Title: Longitudinal tracking and metacognitive intervention of reading comprehension skills for linguistically diverse students in K-12 schools

Rhonda Martinussen
Title: Attention, Motivation, Self-Regulation and Student Engagement Study

Michele Peterson-Badali
Title: Meeting the Needs of Indigenous Justice-involved Youth in the Context of Community Sentencing

Jean-Paul Restoule
Title: Kimaacihtoomin e-Anishinaabek kikinoo'amaakeyak: Inspiring teachers to include Aboriginal histories, knowledges and perspectives in their classrooms

Stephanie Springgay
Title: Contemporary Art Practice as Pedagogy: Innovation, Impact and Student Learning

Suzanne Stewart
Title: Breaking Bad: Challenging Aboriginal Employment Policy in Canada

Tanya Titchkosky
Title: Re-imagining the Appearance and Disappearance of Disability in the Academy

Earl Woodruff
Title: Academic emotion, student engagement and online knowledge building

SSHRC Insight Development Grants (2016 competition)

Lauren Bialystok
Title: Touchy Subject:  Investigating and Assessing the Aims of Ontario’s Controversial 2015 Sex Education Update

Karyn Cooper
Title: What Does It Mean to Become Worldly? Using Citizen Documentary to Document and Mobilize Social Justice Scholarship

Ruth Sandwell
Title: The Canadian Clearances: Land, Energy and the Transformation of Rural Canada, 1940-1980

Sandra Styres
Title: Contested Places: Indigeneity and Indigenization within Mainstream Higher Education

Eve Tuck
Title: Making Sense of Movements: Indigenous youth and Black youth growing up in the age of Idle No More and Black Lives Matter

 

SSHRC Insight Grants (2015 competition)

What does interaction really contribute to the online learning experience?

Principal Investigator: Clare Brett, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning
Co-Investigator: Jim Hewitt, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

This project investigates the role of interaction and collaboration in online learning spaces from a variety of theoretic and methodological perspectives.  We are thinking about interaction broadly, including both public and private communications, within our OISE-developed online learning environment, Pepper. Using a wide variety of data sources we are examining relationships among socio-cultural learner perspectives and social, academic, intrapersonal, and affective aspects of online learning experiences. There are 3 overarching objectives in the project:

1.     Investigate how students interact with one another in private exchanges, how they interact with instructors or teaching assistants in private exchanges, and how these interactions differ from public exchanges

2.     Investigate how socio-emotional and cultural elements of online interaction contributes to learning and examine the relationship between socio-emotional, the cultural and cognitive dimensions of online discourse

3.     Investigate how different types of online interaction contribute to learning.

 

Parent-Child Relationships in Emerging Adulthood: Impacts on Risk, Well-Being and Transitions into Adulthood

Principal Investigator: Abby Goldstein, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development
Co-Investigators: Chloe Hamza (OISE), Elaine Scharfe (Trent University), Danielle Sirianni Molnar (Brock University)

Emerging adulthood (EA; ages 18-25) is a critical period of transition and a time of both challenge and opportunity. Although the majority of Canadian emerging adults reside with their parents and parents play an important role in healthy EA functioning, there is little research on how parents and emerging adults can effectively co-navigate this time of life. The current study involves a measurement burst design; we will collect data from emerging adults for 30 days each year over four years and from parents during the first and last years of the study. This approach provides a unique opportunity to understand the structure and function of longstanding and daily interactions between EAs and their parents; how they change over the course of EA; and how they impact – and are impacted by – risk and wellness behaviours and well-being. Findings will extend theoretical knowledge on parent-EA relationships and inform interventions to reduce risk and promote well-being in EA and healthy transitions into adulthood.

 

The Experiences of LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools

Principal Investigator: Tara Goldstein, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

The goal of our research study is to video interview lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) families living in four different regions in Ontario – Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, and Sudbury – about how they work with teachers and principals to create safe and respectful learning environments for their children.  

Since the fall of 2015 Ontario teachers have been responsible for implementing a new health and physical education curriculum for grades 1-8 and 9-12 that provides students with (1) an understanding of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and (2) the ability to identify factors that can help individuals of all identities and orientations develop a positive self-concept.  LGBTQ families   have much to teach educators about the kind of support that is needed to create positive school experiences for LGBTQ students and families.  Our study is making the knowledge they share with us available on our website lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca

 

Longitudinal tracking and metacognitive intervention of reading comprehension skills for linguistically diverse students in K-12 schools

Principal Investigator: Eunice Eunhee Jang, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

Increasingly diverse student populations in K-12 schools across Canada demand systematic approaches to assessing, tracking, and intervening in reading comprehension difficulties among English language learners in order to identify early markers of reading difficulties, and provide timely support. We will track changes in reading comprehension skill profiles among different language groups, using longitudinal cohort data for the entire public school students in Grades 3, 6, and 10. We will determine how home language environments, students' attitudes to reading and activities, and instructional programming and practices affect students' growth in RC skills. Based on confirmatory diagnostic classification modelling approaches, the present study will systematically evaluate the effectiveness of adaptive scaffolding delivered by a web-based metacognitive intervention customized to individual students' areas of difficulty. The proposed research is intended to overcome methodological limitations resulting from cross-sectional comparisons of English language learners with L1 peers and cohort effects due to the underrepresentation of heterogeneous student populations.

 

Attention, Motivation, Self-Regulation and Student Engagement Study

Principal Investigator: Rhonda Martinussen, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

Dr. Martinussen’s new SSHRC funded study is a five-year sequential cohort study examining how motivational factors (e.g., students' sense of autonomy support in the classroom) intersect with attention and self-regulation to promote student engagement and academic achievement. The study is longitudinal and will focus on examining student trajectories from the spring of grade one to spring of grade two.  The project aims to to learn more about the association between motivation and self-regulation (e.g., attention, executive functions such as working memory) and how various supports enable student engagement in the classroom.

 

Meeting the Needs of Indigenous Justice-involved Youth in the Context of Community Sentencing

Principal Investigator: Michele Peterson-Badali, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

For ‘justice-involved’ youth, theory and research tells us that intervention on specific individual-level risk factors is necessary to prevent reoffending. This approach emerges from the Risk-Need-Responsivity framework, an evidence-based model that underpins correctional practice in Canada and beyond. However, with respect to Indigenous youth, two critical disconnects undermine the model’s effectiveness. The first relates to criticism that the model represents a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that fails to include factors necessary to effectively intervene with Indigenous youth. The second relates to gaps in application of evidence-based approaches in real-world practice. Indeed, empirical support is necessary but not sufficient to ensure effective implementation, particularly where there is a clash of perspectives regarding what is effective. Supporting successful rehabilitation thus necessitates incorporating the knowledge and experience of Indigenous practitioners, justice-system personnel, and youth. Our Insight Grant takes a mixed-methods approach to examining these disconnects with the aim of improving policy, practice, and outcomes for Indigenous justice-involved youth.

 

Kimaacihtoomin e-Anishinaabek kikinoo'amaakeyak: Inspiring teachers to include Aboriginal histories, knowledges and perspectives in their classrooms

Principal Investigator: Jean-Paul Restoule, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Our research will study how teacher candidates in a teacher education program develop confidence and knowledge about including Aboriginal perspectives in their pedagogy for learners in Ontario mainstream classrooms. The study will inform teacher instructors about the kinds of approaches required to assist teacher candidates in developing their self-efficacy and improve their teaching by engaging in strong personal development and growth. How engaging in a decolonizing teaching approach differs from other forms of teacher efficacy and personal development may also be an outcome of this study. We will study efforts at greater infusion of Aboriginal content, perspectives and approaches to learning in a teacher education cohort to determine impact and gauge effectiveness of various approaches. It will also study place-based pedagogy as a possible supplement or requirement of teacher education programs to develop greater depth of understanding of indigenous teachings related to land, place and environment in an experiential and indigenous-led context.

 

Contemporary Art Practice as Pedagogy: Innovation, Impact and Student Learning

Principal Investigaor: Stephanie Springgay, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning
Co-Investigator: Diane Borsato, Guelph University
Collaborators: Vensna Krstich, Independent Curator, Educator Upper Canada College

The extensive history of artists working in the context of their university classroom, of incorporating methods of teaching as an artistic practice, and of collaborating with students to realize works of art is often eclipsed in the larger discourse regarding contemporary art practice, as it took place in classrooms, which were often seen to ‘lack an audience’ and therefore not as valued in the larger art market. Moreover, the teaching strategies used in the classroom to promote collaborative working relationships are often absent from the prevailing discourse around ‘pedagogy’ in contemporary art criticism, and the historical underpinnings of such practices are based on isomorphic connections to the avant-garde rather than on the curriculum reforms and radical teaching practices of the time.

We contend the intersection between contemporary art and teaching is under examined, and poorly documented and archived. Our proposed study will include historial/archival research into artist-teacher practices, coupled with a case study analysis of 15 current artist-teachers. The research-creation project extends prior work in K-12 schools which is documented at www.thepedagogicalimpulse.com.

 

Breaking Bad: Challenging Aboriginal Employment Policy in Canada

Principal Investigator: Suzanne L. Stewart, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

Although the Aboriginal youth population is the fasted and largest growing demographic in Canada, there is a large gap and underrepresentation of Aboriginal professionals in the workforce, and this gap originates in the underemployment of Aboriginal youth, whose barriers to successful employment are well known in the literature. Research has historically demonstrated a number of issues ranging from a lack of commitment by employers to racism rooted in long-standing and deeply ingrained stereotypes, and work environments with cultures that alienate Aboriginal peoples; further, current policies have been demonstrated as ineffective in addressing these. We ask: What are the intersections of workplace and government policy, Indigenous knowledges, and successful employment outcomes for Aboriginal youth? This question will be answered through the qualitative paradigm, using a relational narrative methodology that is consistent with Indigenous epistemology and grounded in community partnership. Goals of the study include improving Aboriginal labour and employment outcomes using Indigenous knowledges to change policy.

 

Re-imagining the Appearance and Disappearance of Disability in the Academy

Principal Investigator: Tanya Titchkosky, Department of Social Justice Education

Disability is conspicuous as an object of analysis in the Academy, but relatively invisible as the figure of the researcher or scholarly authority. It is this paradox that marks the focus of this project. Through a cultural disability studies, this research will explore the interpretive milieu reflected in publicly available university approaches to disability in order to study how the absent figure of disability is framed within the Academy. This project explores conceptions of disability produced by bureaucracy, education, and medicine while revealing how those engaged in disability studies in Canada, the US, and the UK, encounter these ways of knowing as provoking the forging of alternative conceptions. The analysis and critique of dominant conceptions of disability-as-a-problem prevalent in the Academy is intended to serve the possibility of re-imagining the dis/appearance of disability in a more affirming and culturally complex fashion.

 

Academic emotion, student engagement and online knowledge building

Principal Ivestigator: Earl Woodruff, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development
Co-Investigators: Carl Bereiter (OISE), Jim Hewitt (OISE), & Marlene Scardmalia (OISE)

Computerized measurement of facial expressions will be used to improve academic performance with higher levels of engagement through the real-time monitoring of student emotions--emotions like hope, pride, relief, anger, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, and boredom. Specifically, our challenges are to uncover and heighten levels of engagement and self-regulation in learning, expose conditions of disengagement due to negative emotions associated with certain ideas, and experience the excitement of discovery and satisfaction in deep understanding. The studies we propose use emotion detection to heighten engagement and promote students' self-regulation of learning. Of potential great impact will be understanding means for making learning enjoyable when material is difficult, helping students manage learning anxiety by controlling attention, and appreciating and making effective use of emotional ties to ideas. Behind each line of research is the idea that giving students the experience of monitoring their academic emotions may help them become more effective and engaged learners.

 

SSHRC Insight Development Grants (2016 competition)

Touchy Subject:  Investigating and Assessing the Aims of Ontario’s Controversial 2015 Sex Education Update  

Principal Investigator: Lauren Bialystok, Department of Social Justice Education

The purpose of this research is to investigate and assess the aims of Ontario’s 2015 comprehensive sex education curriculum in the context of widespread public controversy. Sex education is a lightning rod for social and political dissent that often lurks behind routine pedagogical choices.  There is a pressing need for the aims of sex education to be explored and assessed in a way that takes moral pluralism seriously and honours parents’ interests in determining their children’s education, while remaining committed to evidence-based educational practices that promote social justice.  This study is a mixed methods project that will include semi-structured interviews with key informants in policy, education, and religious organizations, as well as critical discourse and document analyses. The findings will contribute to a deeper understanding of the relevant conflicts of values and enrich arguments about the legitimacy of comprehensive sex education policies.

 

What Does It Mean to Become Worldly? Using Citizen Documentary to Document and Mobilize Social Justice Scholarship

Principal Investigator: Karyn Cooper, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Social justice scholarship has risen to the forefront of social sciences and humanities disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, social policy, political science, and law  (among others). University departments, course offerings, and funding opportunities are increasingly geared toward examining and addressing the origins, structures, and consequences of social inequities. In light of this growing scholarship, there is a current need to document and mobilize social justice research, both to address social problems (Policy Horizons Canada, 2011), and to impact policy and practice (Joyner & McCaughan, 2003). This study will address a niche in the literature regarding how, and through which means, researchers can effectively advance and mobilize their social justice scholarship, while also maintaining ethical standards for data collection and dissemination.

 

The Canadian Clearances: Land, Energy and the Transformation of Rural Canada, 1940-1980

Principal Investigator: Ruth Sandwell, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

As concerns about climate change are pressing contemporary Canadians to re-think their heavy dependence on fossil fuels and contemplate a post-carbon future, historians are beginning to show new interest in the ways that Canadians experienced the energy transitions that transformed the country in the twentieth century. Building on my research into Canadian rural society and energy use in the 1870-1940 period, my new research focuses on the massive but under-researched transformation of the country’s economy, society and environment that occurred in the 1940 -1980 period. Rural Canadians, particularly small-scale farmers, were among those most negatively affected by the transition. The precipitous decline in the proportion of people occupying rural lands in these years – falling from 46% to 24% of the total population ---  and the increasing poverty of those who remained, will provide the focal point for my examination of the country’s energy transition, shedding light on an under-studied chapter in rural history in the process.

 

Contested Places: Indigeneity and Indigenization within Mainstream Higher Education

Principal Investigator: Sandra Styres, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

This research project focuses on current historical and contemporary experiences, aspirations, and issues of pressing concern to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) peoples across two mainstream institutions in order to build a shared successful future for FNMI people, indeed all Canadians. We are deliberately seeking to challenge, disrupt and shift mainstream approaches to higher learning experiences, particularly for FNMI learners, while considering what barriers persist in increasing critical consciousness concerning Indigeneity within the academy. This research will also explore the ways mainstream institutions are taking up the TRC’s principles and calls to action and in transforming and Indigenizing higher-educational spaces. The overall goal of the research explores what it means to be Indigenous within the context of higher-learning experiences and to create ways of advancing, in respectful and meaningful ways the role of Indigeneity in transforming academic spaces.

 

Making Sense of Movements: Indigenous youth and Black youth growing up in the age of Idle No More and Black Lives Matter

Principal Investigator: Eve Tuck, Department of Social Justice Education

Across Canada and North America, Idle No More and Black Lives Matter have brought public attention to injustices faced by Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) communities and Black (African-Canadian, Black and Caribbean) communities. This pilot initiative seeks to understand how Indigenous youth and Black youth (aged 14-18) make sense of these movements. These youth are at the age in which they are making postsecondary decisions (Tuck, 2011; Tuck, 2012), and this research seeks to know how their understanding of these social movements informs the possibilities they imagine for themselves. Little is known about how the youth growing up in the age of these movements understand movements’ aims and imperatives. Far less is known about how youth might use the messages of these movements to make sense of their own everyday experiences and future aspirations.

The approach of this research is for the research team to create a research collective of 12 Indigenous youth and Black youth (aged 14-18) from Toronto. Toronto has been an important site for both movements. The youth will learn to use visual research on an archive of materials from Idle No More and Black Lives Matter. They will also learn to do photovoice research on their own experiences and postsecondary aspirations as youth coming of age during these movements. This research will contribute to: (a) the knowledge base about young people’s understandings of two prominent social justice movements (b) the literature on connections between injustices against Indigenous youth and injustices against Black youth, and (c) the knowledge base about the implications of Idle No More and Black Lives Matter for the reconciliation and inquiry processes underway in Canada.