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RESEARCH & INNOVATION

 


Congratulations to OISE Recipients of SSHRC Insight Grants, Insight Development Grants and Partnership Grants in the 2014-2015 Competitions!

The significant contribution to knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world, and influence within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community are the core objectives for SSHRC. In 2014, ten OISE faculty members were awarded the Insight Grants, three OISE faculty members received Insight Development Grants, and two OISE faculty members were awarded Partnership Development Grants. Two OISE faculty members were awarded Insight Development Grants in 2015. Their proposals offer an exciting look into new approaches to teaching, literacy and the use of digital technology, youth engagement, racial and sexual violence, the improvement of job design, occupational training, and the optimal use of specialized skills in the Canadian labour force.

SSHRC Insight Grant (2014 competition)

Clive M. Beck                                                                                                                         Title: Multiliteracies Teaching in a Digital Age: Balancing the Old and the New

Monica Heller
Title: Un Canadien errant: Moorings, mobilities and transformative restructurations of national identity

David W. Livingstone
Title: Changing Workplaces in a Knowledge Economy: Occupational Class Structure, Skill Use and the Place of Professions in Canada

Kiran Mirchandani
Title: National Futures or Emerging Crises: Youth Labour Market

Shahrzad Mojab
Title: Youth in Transition: War, Migration, and 'Regenerative Possibilities'

Erminia G. Pedretti
Title: Engaging the Public with Controversial Exhibitions at Science Centres and Museums

Janette P. Pelletier
Title: Full-day Kindergarten: Longitudinal effects on children’s educational success and well-being

Katreena L. Scott
Title: Examining the importance of dynamic risk factors for predicting recidivism and promoting change among domestically violent offenders

Lana E. Stermac
Title: Sexual Assault on Campus: Academic Consequences and Barriers to Women's Learning

Elizabeth M. Wheelahan & Ruth Childs
Title: Qualifications, the link between Educational and Occupational Pathways, and Labour Market Outcomes

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2015 competitions)

Becky (Xi) Chen Bumgardner
Title: Dynamic Assessment of Early Immersion Literacy Learning Competences:  A Cross-linguistic and Cross-national Perspective

Enrica Piccardo
Title: QualiCEFR: Quality in the Implementation of the Common European Framework of Reference

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (2014 competition)

Enrica Piccardo
Title: LINCDIRE, LINguistic and Cultural DIversity Reinvented

Sherene Razack
Title: Racial violence in settler societies: An interactive multi-media site of state violence against Indigenous and racialized people

SSHRC Insight Grant (2014 competition)

Articles by Nakita Sunar, MEd Student, APHD

Multiliteracies Teaching in a Digital Age: Balancing the Old and the New
Professor Clive Beck, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learni
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Principal Investigator: Clive Beck, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

The purpose of this qualitative study is to study schoolteachers in mid to later career regarding how they can and do incorporate innovative understandings of literacy and digital technology into their teaching practice. Professors Beck (PI) and Kosnik (Co-Investigator) build on their three successive large-scale SSHRC-funded projects following 45 teachers over their initial 7-10 years of teaching; they will continue to study the same teachers for a further 5 years. This project aims to examine the changes and lack thereof of teachers’ understanding of literacy and the use of digital technology within literacy teaching. The data collection process will include interviews and classroom observation, focus groups, artifact collection, teacher-completed diaries on multiliteracies practices, and teacher-completed charts on personal and professional learning regarding digital technology and literacy. The project aims to study multiliteracies theory directly, offer adjustments to the theory, and provide insight into how teachers can implement digital technology in literacy teaching.

 

Un Canadien errant: Moorings, mobilities and transformative restructurations of national identity

Principal Investigator: Monica Heller, Department of Social Justice Education

This project will explore the workings of ethno-national categories under late capitalism. Ethno-national categories, which link language, culture, identity, nation, and state—are powerful principles of social, political, and economic organization. Professor Heller's research team aims to question how and to what extent the reproduction of ethnonational categories remains possible in the conditions of late capitalism. This multi-province study includes five case studies using multi-site ethnographic participative methods. Research methods include institutional ethnography, interview and observations of participants, community archival work, oral history, multimodal auto-ethnography, and co-construction of a cartographic website. The study draws on census data and archives across urban and regional areas to examine how ‘new’ francophones are, or are not, brought into spaces of ‘fixed’ community and socialized into performances of Canadian francité, and how “established” francophones move out and through labour, leisure and lifestyle trajectories. Professor Heller’s work provides unique opportunities for graduate students across Canada to contribute to an interdisciplinary team. The results will be shared with stakeholders through annual workshops and will inform language and immigration policy. The study will provide insight into the fields of language education, immigration recruitment and settlement, and minority language community development.



Changing Workplaces in a Knowledge Economy: Occupational Class Structure, Skill Use and the Place of Professions in Canada

Principal Investigator: David Livingstone, Department of Social Justice Education

Canadian workplaces are widely assumed to have changed greatly in the past three decades in response to rapidly diffusing information technologies and globalizing markets. The intention of this research is to examine the extent of actual change in the occupational structure of employment and changes in skill use in the general labour force. Specific questions include: how well are the skills of professionals being used as key contributors to the development as a knowledge economy? And as leading cases, how well are the skills of engineers and nurses being used. This project will aid the development of more effective employment and training policies, and provide essential benchmarks for future research and policy. In this period widely claimed to be transformative of relations between work demands and training requirements, this evidence will be of vital aid for policy-making aimed at improving job design, occupational training, and optimal use of the general and specialized skills of the Canadian labour force.



National Futures or Emerging Crises: Youth Labour Market

Principal Investigator: Kiran Mirchandani, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

The youth under and unemployment rate in Canada has been a widely discussed issue. While there is a youth under-employment crisis in Canada, there are other countries, such as Singapore, that claim to have averted such a crisis. Singapore, a country that has experienced low youth unemployment through numerous recessions, practices a different, highly structured, approach to youth labour market integration. Their approach to educating youth for the labour force has been seen as successful; however, little research exists on the experiences of youth in this context. Through focus groups this study will explore (1) How are dominant youth labour market approaches (such as apprenticeships, educational steaming and career training) experienced by diversely situated youth; and 2) In what ways do these approaches challenge or reinforce existing social stratification along the lines of gender, race and class. This project will provide the “on the ground” understanding of youth labour market in Singapore from the direct experiences of youth in hopes to inform policy, research, and labour market integration in Canada.



Youth in Transition: War, Migration, and 'Regenerative Possibilities'

Principal Investigator: Shahrzad Mojab, Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education

This study will focus on the geopolitical realities of war and displacement and the impact of ongoing conflicts on the social, economic, and civic participation of young people who have resettled in Canada. Professor Mojab will use an interdisciplinary approach to study economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions of the intersections of war, displacement, resettlement, and young adulthood. The study will use anti-racist feminist qualitative and art-based participatory methods in order to investigate how young people explore new avenues of growth, social support, and connection to a community after experiencing conditions of war and the process of migration. This research will involve the active engagement of 50 young people who have arrived in the GTA in the last five years from refugee camps in Turkey. In addition to interviewing and focus groups, the youth will participate in two years of arts-based workshop to be co-facilitated by community artists and members of the research team. Through these workshops, participants will create digital stories, autoethnographic writings, photovoice, and popular theater. Each phase of research involves knowledge mobilization activities that bring students into intellectual exchange with national and international organizations, service providers, and artist communities.



Engaging the Public with Controversial Exhibitions at Science Centres and Museums

Principal Investigator: Erminia Pedretti, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

The purpose of this research is to undertake a critical analysis of controversial exhibitions, and to explore the interface between science communication and visitor engagement. Many controversies are rooted in issues that cut across science, technology, society and environment (STSE), and situate science in larger social, cultural and political contexts (e.g. genetically modified foods, reproductive technologies and loss of biodiversity). This study will focus on controversial science and technology issues in the informal context, specifically through exhibitions housed in science centres and museums. A series of case studies will be conducted at institutions across Canada. Cases will be chosen based on subject matter, media visibility, and attendance rate. Semi-structured interviews with museum curators and visitors, observations of visitor interaction with exhibitions, and relevant artifacts will be used as data to build a cross case analysis. Specific research questions include: How are science, technology, society, and environment education perspectives reflected in controversial exhibitions? What models of science communication emerge through controversial exhibitions? How do visitors engage with, and make meaning of their experiences in those exhibits? Through this research, Pedretti hopes to serve the broader goal of enhancing scientific literacy in the general public. The research will also contribute to insight into how current controversial exhibits are working and offer recommendations for the development of future installations.



Full-day Kindergarten: Longitudinal effects on children’s educational success and well-being

Principal Investigator: Janette Pelletier, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

This research project will explore the long-term processes and impact of supporting early child development in Ontario’s early year’s policy on full-day kindergarten. The project will follow several hundred children from full- and half- day kindergarten until the end of Grade 6 and will gather yearly academic and social-emotional data. The research will also investigate the complexities of early learning environments and relationships as well as impact on families. The project aims to provide evidence of children’s self-regulation and social development in relation to type of early education program. Socio-emotional data will be collected through observations, children’s drawings, interviews, and report card data. The research will develop a “theory of change” to understand the ways in which multiple factors influence program innovation and child development and learning. The project goes beyond program evaluation in order to examine developmental pathways that lead to long-term outcomes.



Examining the importance of dynamic risk factors for predicting recidivism and promoting change among domestically violent offenders

Principal Investigator: Katreena Scott, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

Domestic and family violence accounts for approximately one-quarter of all police-reported violent crimes and one third of substantiated child protection cases in Canada. A group of those who perpetrate violence engage severe, repeated, and potentially lethal assaults against their partners. This research has the dual aim of improving assessment so that men most at risk of severe violence can be identified and contributing to improved intervention for men at high risk for repeat offending. Research on assessment will examine the contributions of static and dynamic risk factors in variable- and person-oriented analyses. This work will help ensure data collected by frontline police officers is used in an effective, empirically based manner to inform justice response to family violence. The funding for this project will also support the analysis of efficacy of an intervention program for high-risk offenders implemented over two years across four sites in Ontario. The results of this project will contribute to theoretical developments in fourth generation risk assessment and to understanding intersections of mental health, substance use and domestic violence over time. Overall, this project promises to have substantial impact, contributing to the formation of a more effective system of social response to domestic violence.



Sexual Assault on Campus: Academic Consequences and Barriers to Women's Learning

Principal Investigator: Lana Stermac, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

Sexual assault and other sexually coercive behaviours are a continuing reality in the lives of many Canadian women. In settings such as university campuses where there are large concentrations of young women, sexual assault remains a significant problem. Little research has been conducted on the impact of these sexually coercive behaviours on the education of women students, particularly students from diverse cultural backgrounds. This multidisciplinary research will be one of the first to examine the impact of sexual assault and other forms of sexual coercion on academic performance and learning outcomes among culturally diverse women undergraduates on Canadian university campuses. This research will also explore the role of individual, socio-cultural and environmental factors associated with educational outcomes. Approximately 500 undergraduate women of diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds attending small, medium and large-sized universities in Ontario will be invited to participate. The study will contribute new knowledge that can benefit women students in Canadian universities as well as university administrators and policy makers.



Qualifications, the link between Educational and Occupational Pathways, and Labour Market Outcomes

Principal Investigator: Leesa Wheelahan, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Co-Investigators: Ruth Childs & Gavin Moodie, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Wheelahan, Childs and Moodie’s project observes the interaction amongst post-school education qualifications, educational pathways, and labour markets. Although previous research in Canada has examined the relationships between labour markets and qualifications, little research has been conducted on the links between educational and occupational pathways. The first phase of this five-stage research project will explore the history and structure of educational pathways, qualifications, and labour markets across Canadian provinces. The project will identify the connection between fields of education, educational pathways and occupational pathways in Canada. It will compare and contrast outcomes for fields of education that prepare graduates for regulated and unregulated occupations. The research questions include: (1) To what extent are qualifications in Canada linked by field of education within and between the college and university sectors? (2) What is the relation between educational pathways and occupational pathways? (3) In what ways are qualifications used as signalling and screening devices in the labour market? (4) Are there differences in qualification types, educational pathways and labour market outcomes between Canadian provinces? And (5) what are the implications for qualifications, policy, and relationships between educational institutions and social partners? The researchers hope this project will help to support policy development and change about pathways and lead to more effective partnerships between colleges and universities by providing a cost-effective framework to evaluate the potential for pathways, and to develop pathways that reflect students’ occupational choices rather current linear approaches to pathways.

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2015 competition)

Articles by Ammar Aquil, MT Student, APHD

Dynamic Assessment of Early Immersion Literacy Learning Competences:  A Cross-linguistic and Cross-national Perspective

Project investigator: Becky (Xi) Chen Bumgardner, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development

This project aims to address early identification of at-risk readers in immersion programs by examining the effectiveness of dynamic lexical specificity assessment in predicting phonological awareness and vocabulary skills in L1 and L2 longitudinally. The project has two objectives. The first objective is to produce effective assessment tools that can be given to children upon entry in an immersion program to predict their learning success in both L1 and L2. Because the dynamic tools focus on children’s learning potential rather than on level of ability in L2, no delay in assessment is necessary. The second objective is to inform second language reading theory by revealing how the relations between lexical specificity and literacy measures across L1 and L2 are influenced by the degree of overlap between the two languages.

The current project builds on the research conducted by our Dutch team members, extending its scope and impact in significant ways. Specifically, the project will involve two emerging bilingual groups upon their entry to senior kindergarten, English-speaking children in French immersion programs in Canada and Dutch speaking children in English immersion programs in the Netherlands.



QualiCEFR: Quality in the Implementation of the Common European Framework of Reference

Principal Investigator: Enrica Piccardo, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

In our knowledge society, foreign languages play a major role in innovation, competitiveness, and productivity, facilitating globalized communication and mobility. However, in many countries, school graduates’ foreign language proficiency is generally modest, despite much time dedicated to language learning in school curricula. The Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) is a language policy document intended to establish clear, realistic standards at various levels of language learning, which is increasingly being used worldwide. Up to now however, its implementation is largely uninformed by feasibility and impact studies. This study aims at solving these concerns by proposing the Quality in the implementation of the Common European Framework of Reference (QualiCEFR) project to inform and improve CEFR implementation. QualiCEFR will compare Switzerland and Canada, two multilingual countries with decentralized education systems and high immigration rates. The identification of CEFR­related initiatives in Switzerland and Canada will encourage the cross­fertilization of ideas with the goal to inform the scholarly community and language educators between and within both countries. The project long-term goals include raising awareness and encouraging reflection on the learning from CEFR for teaching practices.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant

Articles by Nakita Sunar, MEd Student, APHD

LINCDIRE, LINguistic and Cultural DIversity Reinvented

Principal Investigator: Enrica Piccardo, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

Though Canada and the United States are linguistically and culturally diverse places, both countries face the challenge of a rapid disappearance of Aboriginal languages. An approach to promote and protect diversity is plurilingual education. Plurilingualism emphasizes the value of interconnections and synergies of languages at the level of the individual. LINCDIRE, LINguistic and Cultural DIversity Reinvented, is a 3-year collaborative research project between Canada, USA, and France designed to formalize and solidify an international network focusing on linguistic and cultural awareness, and to develop an online environment to foster plurilingualism in North America. The intention of LINCDIRE is to form a partnership among institutions with expertise in different languages and cultures that can allow for the development of a plurilingual theoretical framework.  The project will include design and implementation of a digital environment – Language Integration through E-portfolio (LITE) – which will be used in language classrooms in secondary and post-secondary institutions to enhance and maintain diversity by interconnecting a plurality of languages and cultures. By networking across institutions that have knowledge in language education, LINCDIRE will become a leading voice in the theory and practice of plurilingualism.

 

Racial violence in settler societies: an interactive multi-media site of state violence against Indigenous and racialized people

Principal Investigator: Sherene Razack, Department of Social Justice Education

This project is a university-community research partnership with an overall goal to develop new ways to understand, teach about, and respond to state violence against Indigenous and racialized groups, with a specific focus on Canada and Australia. The research will examine the escalating rates of incarceration and detention of Indigenous and racialized groups and a corresponding increase in incidents of violence and deaths in custody in Canada and Australia.  These two states share comparable histories as white settler societies (societies that Europeans establish on non-European soil). Project objectives include developing international partnerships between universities and communities, as well as development of an interactive multi-media site that unites various stakeholders into one online community, making links between various sites of custody and detention across two settler societies. The website will function as an online mapping platform to document where deaths and violation happen and how they are understood and responded to, and to provide the layers of documentation and analysis that support the work of scholars, educators, and community legal advocacy groups. We believe that violence and deaths in custody at these various sites are linked through common state practices that are informed by law and policy, a common knowledge repository, and a systematized inhumanity towards Indigenous and racialized groups. The partnership will illustrate these systemic linkages and build a prototype of an interactive multi-media site and pedagogical tool that will inform scholarship, teaching and advocacy.