Gail MacKay - FINDING INDIGENOUS DISCOURSE SURVIVANCE AND SENDING IT FORWARD
This research is an interdisciplinary study of rhetorical analyses of three textual forms made by Indigenous women local to the Saskatchewan parkland. My purpose was to identify the survivance of a tribally specific cultural rhetoric (meaning-making practices) in contemporary local Indigenous works. The rhetorical analyses were grounded in Cree, Métis and Saulteaux intellectual traditions accessible to me through observation, experience, and published literature. The Indigenous research methodology was guided by the principles inherent in the concepts of bimaadiziwin, (an Anishinaabe philosophy of being alive well), and wahkohtowin, (a Cree overarching law of respect and belonging), and n’kiinigaanaa, (an Anishinaabe principle of relating to all of creation in equality, and harmony). The data that emerged from my rhetorical analyses were consistent elements of meaning-making practices. I considered the question, “How do I translate this information to knowledge transfer to be useful in preparing pre-service teachers to teach Indigenous content and perspectives?” I sought an answer by referencing the data to the academic literature in literary criticism, literacy, sociolinguistics, narrative, and rhetoric. From the aggregate I adapted the rhetorical situation to represent a model of a local Indigenous rhetorical discourse to explain the elements of an Indigenous rhetorical situation. This model describes the creative expression and critical interpretation of meaning-making practices that are grounded in the principles, protocols, values, and beliefs of a northern plains Algonquian (Cree, Métis and Saulteaux) world view. The implications of the research are presented as potential benefit to teachers and students of Indigenous literatures and rhetorics.
Miriam McNab - George Gordon First Nations Women: Partners in Survival
This dissertation examines the work of the women of George Gordon First Nation in southern Saskatchewan from the earliest historical references until about the end of World War II. Many aspects of their experience are covered in an attempt to illustrate the vital importance of women’s work to their families’ survival and wellbeing over the period after Treaty 4, in 1874, from settling on reserve, adapting to the farming way of life of the early reserve period, and gradually to developing new responses to changing economic conditions after the turn of the century. Utilizing archival, documentary, and oral sources, this research brings forth the voices of the people to tell their own stories. Those stories reveal that women and men both worked hard to make a living under the difficult circumstances of the Indian Affairs-administered reserve. While George Gordon’s band was composed of Cree, Saulteaux, and Halfbreeds, as they were termed in the Indian Affairs records, and as settlers began to surround the reserve, many dynamics impinged on women and their work, but overall, a number of traditions can be seen to continue from the earliest times. Among them, the complementarity of roles, the fact that women worked hard, and the adaptability to hardships, are evident. “An Indian is never stuck,” is still a popular adage on the reserve today.
Ghada Sfeir - Bridging the Gap: Towards a Cosmopolitan Orientation in the Social Studies Curriculum in Saskatchewan High Schools
Vital to Canadian social and cultural cohesion in a globalized world is an urgent need to enact new social and educational discourses and initiatives essential to expand an understanding of our interconnected relationships that coalesce with the key tenets of cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism is a theory that endorses a sense of global responsibility and connectedness, respect for human rights and difference inside and outside our borders, and detachment from our communal, national, religious, ethnic, as well as other forms of particularities. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to investigate to what extent the social studies curriculum in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 in Saskatchewan integrates or reflects cosmopolitan perspectives in an increasingly interconnected world. Thus, data collection consists of content analysis of the Saskatchewan curriculum and five interviews with social studies teachers in Saskatchewan high schools. Data analysis is guided by the literature review on cosmopolitanism that operates as the theoretical framework of this study and by critical discourse analysis. This research contributes to our understanding of what cosmopolitan education can offer in terms of possibilities to the social, cultural, educational, and political configurations of Canadian society. Emphasis is also on the need for future implementation of courses focusing on cosmopolitanism in higher education to raise awareness among students, prospective teachers, policy makers, curriculum designers, educational administrators, and government agencies about cosmopolitanism as an active agency to alleviate social ills. In conclusion, I offer suggestions for strengthening the social studies curriculum in Saskatchewan high schools to promote cosmopolitan values. Thus, the significance of the study lies in its theoretical and practical implications for social and educational policies in Canada and internationally.
Liwei Zhang - “THE LACK OF TALENT IS A VIRTUE IN A WOMAN”: INTERDISCIPLINARY CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE
There has to date been relatively little research from an interdisciplinary perspective into the ideological dimensions of how women’s achievements are reported in the Chinese media. This study seeks to address this lack of inquiry through an interdisciplinary analysis of the coverage in the Mandarin-language China Sports Daily, Heilongjiang Daily, and the English-language version of Xinhuanet, of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. A critical comparison of the conventions through which the success of representative male and female Chinese Olympians is depicted in textual and visual form in these three selected online newspapers reveals ideologies motivating the discourse which undermine fair representation of female achievement. As an interdisciplinary research project, this study deploys Critical Discourse Analysis as practised by Norman Fairclough in exploring the textual representations of the Olympians and cluster criticism associated with Kenneth Burke in examining the visual. While neither critic situates his work in a primarily or overtly feminist context, both provide strategies which serve the purpose of feminist criticism. Fairclough’s consistent attention to the pervasive influence of ideologies on discursive practice helps reveal deeply entrenched assumptions about gender roles in the most basic journalistic practice. Moreover, while Burke did not formulate his theories in a feminist context, his “guerilla tactics” (Japp 113), that is, the way that his methods can subvert an audience’s expectations regarding the ideologies driving a text’s persuasive practice, are a model for feminist rhetorical critics to uncover covert motivation in discourse and is useful to feminist criticism. The analyses of the news depictions of the Olympians reveal that there is a systematic use of language and images to portray male athletes as embodying the Olympic ethos of surpassing boundaries, while simultaneously appealing to cultural values which dissociate females from that ethos, and containing the celebration of female virtue within the confines of traditional domestic roles. The perpetuation of the discriminatory gender ideology is best understood in connection with Antonio Gramsci’s consent form of “hegemony” (12), whereby the audience consents to the authority of the traditional discourse presented in the media because it appeals to familiar understandings of authority. Media and the audience play reciprocal roles in perpetuating traditional expectations of appropriate behaviour for both genders. The unequal portrayal of female athletes in the news discourse demonstrates the extent to which Confucian ideology motivates public discourse in China, and that this ideology is so pervasive that its influence can even be detected in overtly anti-Confucian discourses. The study concludes by identifying other areas of popular discourse where an understanding of the perpetuation of traditional ideologies poses obstacles to the advancement of women in Chinese society.
David Smith - Cowboy politics: the changing frontier myth and presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush
This is the first in-depth and comprehensive study of the deployment of the Frontier Myth by US presidents. It explores how and why this quintessential American vision has been adapted and transformed to advance radically different political agendas. The dissertation incorporates key elements from the disciplines of history, literature and anthropology. It explores the relationship between presidential politics, history, literature, and popular culture in representing the frontier and the textual, verbal and visual representations that have been deployed to depict the significance of the westering, frontier experience in relation to the four presidents. The study relies on a broad range of primary and secondary resources from several research institutions including three presidential libraries. My research reveals that major events in American and world history have caused the emphases of the myth of the “Old West” frontier to be reshaped, at times abruptly, so that presidents of different eras could attempt to harness this Western symbolism in promoting their remarkably wide-ranging ideologies and doctrines. The first of the “frontier” Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, vigorously pursued an active federal government and helped directly establish a forward looking Frontier Myth that today would be considered on the left. A series of tragic events during the Lyndon Johnson through Jimmy Carter presidencies (1965-1980), however, including the American quagmire in Vietnam, race riots, economic stagflation, and other crises both at home and abroad, broke up the consensus of a liberal, progressive Frontier Myth that no longer appeared to match the historic experience. These events caused the entire structure and popular representations of American frontier symbols and images to shift political direction from the left to the right, from liberalism to conservatism—a profound change that has had dramatic implications for the history of American thought and presidential politics. The popular idea today that frontier American leaders and politicians are naturally Republicans with conservative ideals flows directly from the Reagan era. Looking forward, the nature of the resilient Frontier Myth could once again be entering a watershed period as it did during the 1960s: its message in the realm of presidential politics depends on the shape and influence of national and world events that will occur in the years and decades to come.
Jennifer Seaton - Re-Examining Teacher Presence in Online Communities of Inquiry: Can Gamified Learning Environments Replace Aspects of Teacher Presence?
This research has examined the role of teacher presence in online education. The research has been guided by two research questions: 1) are there challenges to consistently establishing teacher presence in online courses?; and 2) can the role of teacher presence be assumed, in part, by the learning medium? The Community of Inquiry framework as outlined by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) has framed the discussion about the role of teacher presence in online education. Three research projects are presented to explore the research questions. The first study is a case study that examines twelve online instructors’ engagement and experience teaching online over a year at the University of Saskatchewan. The next study builds on that study by exploring teacher engagement and satisfaction of 28 online instructors at the University of Regina using survey techniques. Together the studies suggest that teacher engagement in online courses might be affected by the culture of the university. The third study addresses the second question by creating the NECSUS social computing environment, which assumes some functions of teacher presence. The NECSUS system has been tested in a graduate level ethics courses and demonstrates that it has the potential to support a community of inquiry. This is further demonstrated by the presentation of a NECSUS-like system design that could be modified to support a non-formal learning community for a commercial online education course for snowmobile safety. The outcome of this research suggests that the Community of Inquiry framework can inform the design of learning environments and that assume some responsibilities traditionally assumed by the instructor.Link
Artin Lahiji - Teachers’ Perspectives on Media Educational Practices in Elementary School Classrooms
This thesis reports on a qualitative case study that explores the perceptions of seven elementary school teachers on the concept of media educational practices in the classroom. This study explores the opinions of selected elementary school teachers concerning media educational practices in the elementary classrooms. These perspectives may assist learners to explore their self-identities, develop critical thinking, express and practice creativity, represent their social position, and foster critical consciousness. The study participants included seven elementary school teachers who have adopted various modes of media educational practices in their teaching praxis utilizing technology and their conceptualizations of media education. One primary research question was addressed: What are elementary school teachers’ understandings of critical media education in the classroom? Three sub-questions have been used to inform the primary research question in three categories of contexts, processes, and outcomes. Through data collected by a semi-structured interviewing method, this study describes and analyzes personal teaching experiences of elementary teachers to provide a deeper understanding of the context of media education, the instructional process for developing critical thinking and creative expression, and the criteria for measuring competencies in media education outcomes. This research highlights teachers’ perspectives on the successes and challenges associated with their efforts to implement media literacy into school curricula; and on the importance of cross-curricular integration of media educational practices in elementary classrooms. The findings of this study provide insights into the importance of cross-curricular integration of media educational practices associated with critical thinking and creative expressions in elementary classrooms. These practices play a significant role for both students and teachers in becoming change agents in a dynamic teaching and learning environment that promotes critical thinking, creativity, and positive transformation for self and community.
Yolanda Palmer - Triple learning : The journey from student to scholar
Triple Learning: The Journey from Student to Scholar emanates from a phenomenological exploration of the lived experiences of six international graduate students studying at the University of Saskatchewan. Grounded in the knowledge of the growing numbers of students studying at post-secondary institutions, I aimed to unearth and re-present the daily lives of the selected participants to shed light on the experience of being an international graduate student. A phenomenological inquiry through in-depth and semi-structured interviews and observations, undergirded by an interdisciplinary culture, allowed me to explore their daily experiences. Exploring and airing their daily practices, though difficult, illuminated the worlds of international graduate students as they study in and negotiate communities of practice overseas. Furthermore, by examining and ventilating their stories I was able to portray and clarify the essence or meaning of being an international graduate student at a Canadian university in a new way. This research reaches into the lives of the selected students uniquely, revealing their personal and academic experiences while studying at the university. To date, such experiences have been minimally addressed by university officials and prior qualitative research. The anecdotes and reflections shared by participants bordered on and were based in lingua-cultural, social, and academic adaptations, and, ultimately, transformation. Participants were enthralled by the adaptive process of living in a new community. Being newcomers, these students viewed themselves fundamentally as outsiders within the community of practice. Yet their stories encapsulated change from being dependent “scholars to be” to becoming independent scholars. Essentially, findings pointed to the international graduate experience being similar to advancing from student to scholar. Through participation in the academic community of practice, they were learning to become independent scholars in the university. Participant accomplished the non-linear movement from student to scholar by seeking to engage in the communities of practice through situated learning and a process of triple learning. Triple learning emerged as a lingua-cultural phenomenon and was a significant finding borne of participants’ storied experiences. Qualitative data revealed that, in learning, participants were constantly weaving around and through three distinct registers of English lingua-cultures. They were negotiating the English lingua-culture acquired in their home countries, which positioned English as a formal language; that of the provincial community, which seemingly was less formal; and the academic English language specific to their area of study in the university. The academic language includes a variety of discipline-specific language skills, such as vocabulary, syntax, and discipline-specific terminology, and rhetorical conventions that allow students to acquire and develop knowledge and academic skills. These lingua cultures differed significantly, so students constantly shifted among the three to make approximations deemed appropriate for their academic purposes. A significant implication of this research is that it highlights the daily experiences of international graduate students, their perceptions, and conceptualized meanings of these experiences. Findings from this study also have implications for social learning theories and places learning as lingua-cultural in nature. In addition, an understanding of the phenomenon of being an international student can inform universities’ policy makers, recruiters, faculty members, and other staff of the daily plights and experiences of international students as they study. This knowledge has the potential to inform policies and plans to attract and retain a diverse international student body.
Patricia Elliott - Independent Voices: Third Sector Media Development and Local Governance in Saskatchewan
This dissertation examines nonprofit, co-operative, and volunteer media enterprises operating outside Saskatchewan’s state and commercial media sectors. Drawing on historical research and contemporary case studies, I take the position that this third sector of media activity has played, and continues to play, a much-needed role in engaging marginalized voices in social discourse, encouraging participation in community-building and local governance, fostering local-global connectedness, and holding power to account when the rights and interests of citizens are jeopardized. The cases studied reveal a surprising level of resiliency among third sector media enterprises; however, the research also finds that the challenges facing third sector media practitioners have deepened considerably in recent decades, testing this resiliency. A rapid withdrawal of media development support from the public sphere has left Saskatchewan’s third sector media at a crossroads. The degree of the problem is largely unknown outside media practitioner circles, even among civil society allies. I argue this relates to the lack of recognition of nonprofit, co-operative, and volunteer media as a distinct third sector, thus obscuring the global impact when hundreds of small undertakings shed staff and reduce operations in multiple locations across Canada. At the same time, there is increasing recognition that such media have the potential to fill a void left by commercial and state media organizations that have retreated from local communities. Accordingly, this dissertation makes the case for a coordinated media development strategy as a component of the social economy. The challenge is to build useful mechanisms of support among civil society allies that do not replicate oppressive donor-client relationships that are all too common in the arena of governmental and private sector support. While never simple, the opportunities and social benefits are considerable when citizens devise the means to participate in the creation of a robust, diverse media ecology.