CERA @ AERA 2019

CERA @ AERA 2019
Toronto, Ontario

CERA will be (1) co-hosting an invited panel presentation with the World Education Research Association (WERA) on International Perspectives on Migrant Integration Policies, Cultural Diversity, and Student Outcomes: Separating the Rhetoric from the Reality and (2) hosting a multi-paper invited symposium that will highlight 11 projects from CERA members. Please come and support us by attending these sessions!

(1) AERA / WERA Invited Panel Presentation:
International Perspectives on Migrant Integration Policies, Cultural Diversity, and Student Outcomes: Separating the Rhetoric from the Reality

Time and Location: To Be Announced

Panel Participants:
1) Louis Volante (Professor, Faculty of Education, Brock University), CANADA
2) H. Kenny Nienhusser (Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut), UNITED STATES
3) Don A. Klinger (Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Waikato), NEW ZEALAND
4) Melissa Siegel (Professor, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, UNU-MERIT) NETHERLANDS

Panel Chair and Discussant:
Ingrid Gogolin (Professor, Department of General, Intercultural and International Comparative Education, University of Hamburg & President of WERA)

Panel Abstract:
Governments, particularly those within industrialized nations, are routinely tasked with developing policies and extending supports to migrant students so that they are able to academically, socially and economically integrate within their respective host society. At the same time, these policies and supports, which are considered vital for the development of a nation’s human capital, are increasingly being contested within regional, national and international contexts due to ongoing or growing antiimmigrant sentiments (Marsh, 2015). The emerging geopolitical zeitgeist is one that views migrant integration and cultural diversity as a threat to social cohesion and a drain on public resources. This panel presentation examines the relationships that currently exist amongst migrant integration policies, cultural diversity, and student outcomes across a range of popular destination countries. The discussion highlights distinct educational, cultural, social, political, and economic features within Canada, United States, New Zealand, and the Netherlands as a way to understand the trajectory of immigrant student outcomes in compulsory and higher education settings. When compared against the international community, each of these countries possesses more favorable immigrant student outcomes. The session concludes with a discussion of how to leverage the existing research in an era that is increasingly skewed towards opinion-based education policies.

(2) Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association Session 

Time and Location: To Be Announced

The Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association (CERA) is a group that works to improve the quality and quantity of educational research in Canada. This session aims to highlight 11 projects from CERA members that cover a variety of topic and use different rigorous methodologies. These projects represent the diverse interests of CERA members including work from our Museum special interest group. While the research of CERA members span a broad range of interest, the common theme in our research investigations are to explore ways that enhance education in both the Canadian and international context. The title and authors of the 11 CERA presentations during this special AERA session are:

  • Indigenous Art Form as First Cultural Response to Decolonization: A Case Study at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Anderson)
  • Brain Smoothies in Schools: Building Mental Health Capacity Through a Daily Dose of Art (Harker Martin)
  • Communicating results: The British Columbia Foundation Skills Assessment results reports (Grover, Milford, and Powell)
  • Psychometric Properties of Self-Report Instruments Measuring Students’ Perception of Fairness through Social Psychology of Justice: A Systematic Review (Rasooli)
  • Using Different Matching Protocols to assess the Effectiveness of Personalized Feedback in Web-based Learning (Schmidt, Mousavi, Squires, and Wilson)
  • The Role of Homework on Canadian Grade Eight Students’ Achievement in Mathematics (Lake, Xu, and Chu)
  • The Influence of Social Promotion Practices on Exclusion Rates in Large-scale Assessments (Miller and Yan)
  • Using Novel Structural Equation Models to Explore the Effect of Technology on Mathematics for Students in the Program for International Student Assessment 2015 (Odell, Galovan, Bulut, and Cutumisu)
  • Perspectives of Alberta Charter School Teachers on Unionization and Professionalization (Everitt)
  • Players as Part of an Emergent Social and Complex System (Gatti, Kim, Liu, and Lai)
  • Exploring How Equity Becomes Recontextualized in Secondary Schools by Policy Actors in the Enactment Of Educational Policies in Trinidad and Tobago and Ontario, Canada (Sandy-Thompson)

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Indigenous Art Form as First Cultural Response to Decolonization: A Case Study at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Dr. Stephanie Anderson (University of British Columbia)

The curatorial function of the relatively new human rights museum is to act as an intermediary between past atrocity and present social justice. However, as entrusted agencies of the state, museums in Canada are increasingly understood to contribute to the perpetuation of settler colonial memory regimes as dominant narratives of national identity. Through the analysis of an exhibit dedicated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at the newly inaugurated Canadian Museum for Human Rights this article explores how museums in settler societies represent difficult knowledge and act as sites of decolonization, while suggesting how shared authority and nuanced Indigenous art forms might play a role in both. It offers insights into how museums in colonial societies might to evolve beyond the pretext of detached host to acknowledge past atrocities and injustices against Indigenous peoples.

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Brain Smoothies in Schools: Building Mental Health Capacity Through a Daily Dose of Art

Dr. Brittany Harker Martin (University of Calgary)

This paper describes an innovative pilot project focused on building mental health capacity in schools. It shares how a unique professional learning model will prepare mental health service providers to facilitate arts-based activities with teachers and youth. These activities, or Brain Smoothies, are designed to free the mind from logical, linear thoughts and access the non-verbal, visual processing regions of the brain. They integrate principals from arts education and incorporate scientific principles from cognitive neuroscience and positive psychology. The pilot project will leverage the arts-based expertise at the University and fan it out to an established provincial system of service providers. This paper will share how the pilot study will test the model in practice with plans for expansion to more than 80 sites serving thousands of students. Questions driving this inquiry include: What are the effects of arts-based interventions on teacher and student mental health capacity? What are the effects of professional learning on mindfulness for teachers? And, what is the impact on students, including comparisons of different populations? The overall goal of this project is to develop a strong, community embedded research partnership between Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary that channels cutting edge, data-informed practices directly into the classroom.

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Communicating results: The British Columbia Foundation Skills Assessment results reports

Dr. Raman Grover (British Columbia Ministry of Education), Dr. Todd Milford (University of Victoria), and Janet Powell (British Columbia Ministry of Education)

British Columbia has recently transformed its Grades K-9 curriculum to a skills and competency based one to meet the changing needs of students in the province. Student assessment has been at the heart of this educational transformation. The Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), an annual assessment of literacy and numeracy for all students in Grades 4 and 7, has been redesigned to reflect this transition. As part of the redesign, the FSA report was divided into two components: a succinct report for parents to provide them with meaningful information about their child’s performance and an excel sheet for teachers to help them use the assessment data in a formative manner. Specifically the parent report consist of proficiency level descriptions that clearly describe what the student knows and can do based on what was assessed. Teachers, on the other hand, are provided with raw data that illustrates how their students performed on each component of the assessment. Detailed information on what each item assessed is also included. The preliminary findings of this endeavour highlight the importance of aligning results reports with the purpose of the assessment and to provide information that is relevant, meaningful and of practical use to the intended audience.

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Psychometric Properties of Self-Report Instruments Measuring Students’ Perception of Fairness through Social Psychology of Justice: A Systematic Review

Amirhossein Rasooli (Queen’s University)

Classroom assessment (CA) research has begun conceptualizing and empirically researching fairness through social psychology of justice (Authors, 2018; Tierney, 2014). Social psychology of justice refers to students’ perception of the fairness of outcome distributions, the procedures for outcome distributions, the interpersonal relationships, and the communication procedures. To contribute to conceptualizing CA fairness through this theory, this study systematically reviewed the psychometric evidence of self-report instruments that were developed based on social psychology of justice to evaluate their adequacy and appropriateness for use to measure students’ perception of fairness in CA contexts. Accordingly, this study systematically identified 22 studies that developed self-report instruments for students’ perception of fairness through this theory. The psychometric evidence of these 22 instruments were then analyzed against five criteria of content validity, construct validity, criterion validity, internal reliability, and reproducibility. The findings showed weak support for the psychometric evidence of these instruments in relation to the five criteria. The results of this study highlight the need to develop a psychometrically sound instrument to provide robust empirical evidence for measurement of students’ perception of fairness through social psychology of justice within CA research.

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Using Different Matching Protocols to assess the Effectiveness of Personalized Feedback in Web-based Learning

Matthew Schmidt, Dr. Amin Mousavi, Dr. Vicki Squires, and Dr. Kenneth Wilson (University of Saskatchewan)

The history of feedback (FB) research is one of inconsistent findings and contradictory results – due perhaps to the interference of unaccounted for individual learner characteristics with FB. Despite this, FB has long been considered an essential component of the teaching process, with a further emphasis on personalizing it for individual students. With increasingly large post-secondary class sizes, there is a need for efficacious computer-generated personalized FB. Thus, this study aimed to see if computer generated personalized FB is superior to computer-generated generic FB in terms of academic achievement?

Students from multiple sections of an undergraduate biology course were provided either one of two forms of FB. Generic FB was common across all members, while personalized FB was tailored to individual students in accordance with 40 distinct attributes. Ethical limitations permitted students to self select their FB condition following random assignment. To ensure the data approximate a fully-blocked experimental design, subjects were matched on preidentified covariates of final grade with different matching protocols.

Results showed that students receiving the personalized FB significantly outperformed those receiving generic FB. This study also found that different matching protocols yield different results. Implications of different matching protocols for assessing effectiveness of educational interventions are discussed.

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The Role of Homework on Canadian Grade Eight Students’ Achievement in Mathematics

Lake Yeworiew, Yue Xu, and Dr. Man-Wai Chu (University of Calgary)

Mathematics plays an indispensable role in the advancement of science, technology, and engineering. However, the declining mathematics achievement of students (as evident from national and international studies) is a concern for teachers, parents, and educators. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of homework assignment, specifically the frequency and time spent on homework, on students’ achievement in mathematics. Canadian data collected as part of the TIMSS 2015 study from grade eight students (n = 8757) and their teacher’s (n = 409) was used to explore the study. Factorial ANOVA was used to analyze the data. Despite the growing disregard among the public, the findings from teachers and students response consistently revealed that assignment of frequent homework (3/4 times per week to everyday) tend to associate with higher mathematics scores, Welch F (1, 5957.61) = 65.640, p < .01 and Welch F (1, 3842.57) = 86.09, p < .01 respectively. Similarly, the findings from students response indicated that short duration per homework (up to 30 minutes) tends to associate with higher mathematics scores, Welch F (1, 9098.10) = 93.435, p < .01. Middle school teachers are encouraged to assign short homework regularly to monitor their students’ mathematics learning.

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The Influence of Social Promotion Practices on Exclusion Rates in Large-scale Assessments

Dr. Tess Miller (University of Prince Edward Island) and Lizzie (Yan) Yan (Queen’s University)

The purpose of this study was to examine exclusion rates and factors influencing exclusion rates had on large-scale assessments at the international, national, and provincial level. The impetus for this study was increased student performance in the mathematics domain on the 2015 PISA that paralleled a jump in the number of students excluded from the assessment. A document analysis of secondary data gathered at each of the three levels was used to identify patterns in achievement and exclusion rates. In addition, information was solicited from assessment experts at the provincial level regarding exclusion rate practices. Findings revealed significant increases in student performance, which paralleled significant increases in the number of students excluded from the large-scale assessment from one administration of the assessment to the next. An in-depth analysis was placed on the province of Prince Edward Island, Canada given the presence of high exclusion rates and increased student achievement. This analysis led to the discovery of the relationship between the practice of social promotion and a document guiding assessment practices in Canada (i.e., Principles of Fair Assessment Practices). This relationship was the rationale given for excluding poor performing students, not learning or physically disabled students, from participating in large-scale assessments.

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Using Novel Structural Equation Models to Explore the Effect of Technology on Mathematics for Students in the Program for International Student Assessment 2015

Bryce Odell, Dr. Adam Galovan, Dr. Okan Bulut, and Dr. Maria Cutumisu (University of Alberta)

Students have more access to information and communications technologies (ICT) than ever before. Despite that, research shows that making technology available in schools does not necessarily enhance academic achievement. This has important ramifications for the development of future innovators ready to tackle complex 21st-century problems and to meet the acute ICT job demand. Research exploring the association between ICT and mathematics yields mixed results partially due to the lack of simultaneously estimated multiple group models. This research investigates whether technology use, comfort, and availability have a positive impact on students’ mathematics achievement by contrasting the novel alignment method with the traditional confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) method in the large international Program for International Student Assessment 2015 sample (n = 363,887). Findings revealed that increased comfort in ICT is associated with higher math achievement in both high- and low-achieving countries. Also, ICT use and availability were found to negatively correlate with math achievement in lower achieving countries. Implications can lead to better ICT implementations and meaningful integration in pedagogy and schoolwork. Further implications of this research will allow the comparison of larger groups in a single structural model and replication using the PISA 2018 database to detect trends between iterations.

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Perspectives of Alberta Charter School Teachers on Unionization and Professionalization

Lisa Everitt (Alberta Teachers’ Association)

Believing that school choice would lead to improved educational opportunities, publicly funded charter schools in Alberta, Canada were created by the Alberta legislature in 1994 .  While many aspects of the legislative regime defining Alberta charter schools are the same as public schools, charter school teachers are not automatically members of The Alberta Teachers’ Association (the ATA).  Since 1994, teachers in five Alberta charter schools voted to join the ATA to bargain collective agreements with their school boards.  Using Strauss’ (1978) negotiating order theory and qualitative case study design, my research examined how charter school teachers’ views as teaching professionals were influenced by becoming ATA members.  Data collection involved semi-structured interviews with 12 teachers from unionized charter schools and a review of the collective agreements established at the charter schools. The findings of my study suggest that in the Alberta context: (a) unionization was perceived as a mechanism that enabled charter school teachers to earn status and respect as professionals; (b) unionization established a more secure employment relationship for charter school teachers; and (c) unionization solidified charter school teachers as a collective body of professionals.

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Players as Part of an Emergent Social and Complex System

Wilian Gatti Junior, Dr. Beaumie Kim, Liping Liu, and Xingru Lai (University of Calgary)

In this paper, we explore how a board game design could support both systems thinking and social interactions of learners. We designed a board game as part of a project that challenged graduate students to develop a game in which players could change the game rules. The rule change allows players to become more conscious of the game rules, and therefore, engage in learning of the game mechanics as well as how the system might be influenced by the rules. Our game board called Green Economy provides a flexible space for the emergent social interactions, and helps students think, act, and engage as a part of the game and social system. We report two-day gameplay observations in a Master of Education course. During the gameplay sessions, we observed and took notes about players observations, reactions, and the strategies employed in the game. We also collected photos from two days of the observations. We observed that players were engaged in systems thinking and anticipatory analyses by interacting with the various game design elements mainly the rule system. We argue that both the playtime and the reflective discussion are essential in engaging learners as part of the emergent social and complex system.

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Exploring How Equity Becomes Recontextualized in Secondary Schools by Policy Actors in the Enactment Of Educational Policies in Trinidad and Tobago and Ontario, Canada

Kathleen Sandy-Thompson (Western University)

Educational equity policies as the Trinidad and Tobago Education Sector Strategic Plan (TTESSP: 2011-2015) and the Ontario Education Equity Action Plan (OEEAP: 2017-2019) are geared toward achieving equity for all students in the education system in both Trinidad and Tobago and Ontario Canada. Despite the establishment of equity principles in both the TTESSP: 2011-2015, and the OEEAP 2017-2019, issues of inequality in the education system in both Trinidad and Tobago and Ontario continue to exist.

Generally, a key problem in the enactment of educational equity policies, is that policy principles may become recontextualized, thus shifting the focus, and meaning of equity to the periphery of policy processes.

This paper examines how educational equity policies such as the TTESSP: 2011-2015, and the OEEAP: 2017-2019 are enacted into secondary schools, and how equity principles become recontextualized within the policy enactment process. To explore how educational equity policies become recontextualized this paper shows how policy actors and contextual factors influence the policy enactment process. The paper will utilize a comparative case study approach and critical policy analysis to explore and examine how equity principles become recontextualized in the policy enactment process in secondary schools in both geographic locations.

****All presentations are delivered in English only****