Faculty of Education Projects (Master's)

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    Burnout in immigrant early childhood educators
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2024) Varma, Pragya; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Luft, Toupey
    This project aims to provide further insight into burnout experiences in immigrant early childhood educators. The immense physical, emotional, and cognitive demands of early childhood caregiving and a lack of appropriate rewards, such as benefits and pay, make workers in this field highly susceptible to burnout. While studies exist on this phenomenon across the early childhood workforce, there is a dearth of literature that examines burnout as it specifically presents in immigrant early childhood educators. Beyond workplace stressors, immigrant workers may simultaneously experience socio-economic and cultural challenges such as racism and discrimination, acculturative stress, and economic difficulties, to name a few. By providing an extensive literature review, this project elucidates how various stressors for immigrant early childhood educators may intersect to increase the likelihood of developing workplace burnout. Additionally, recommendations are provided for healthcare practitioners and employers on how to address and prevent burnout and how to support immigrant early childhood educators.
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    From red to green: a mixed method study on perceptual and practical changes related to removing fear-based punishment in Ugandan schools
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2024) Bennett, Katherine; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Ogilvie, Greg; Gunn, Thelma
    Child maltreatment in the form of physical and emotional abuse or neglect remains a common occurrence globally, notably as a form of disciplinary action (Butchart & Mikton, 2014; WHO, 2019). However, research demonstrates negative effects on children when exposure to practices that eliminate emotionally and physically safe environments (Leeb, Lewis, & Zolotor, 2011; Vachon et al., 2015), notably in the context of schools (Gershoff et al., 2019; Orgando & Pells, 2015; Talwar et al., 2011). With this theory as an influential construct, the current study sought to explore the impact on teachers’ beliefs and practices when learning a safe approach to education, relative to their use of corporal punishment as one of other fear-based tactics. Ugandan schools culturally accept corporal punishment as a disciplinary method, and therefore became the platform for this study to occur. The Stoplight Approach was selected as the intervention because of its holistic approach, aligning with the strategic criteria for change proposed by WHO (2019). Additionally, it acknowledges the inadequacy of corporal punishment and other fear-based strategies, promoting safer methods. As the focus of this study was to investigate potential changes of teacher’s educational beliefs and practices when introduced to the SA, and understand why they may or may not have occurred, a mixed method approach was utilized. Data was collected in the form of surveys across three separate data points (Surveys A, B, and C) and concluded with selective participants undergoing semi structured interviews. The analysis of these findings was regarded as vital to the guidance of interventions to promote safe school environments. Though the quantitative data analysis showed no statistical significance due to limited data as a result of participant drop out, the exploration of the data through descriptive and statistical analysis revealed common themes in beliefs and practices of teachers following the intervention training and implementation that were not expressed prior to the study. Neuro-informed philosophies were articulated, and practices reportedly employed. Teachers claimed to be utilising safe practices in the classroom while also minimizing unsafe ones. The student-teacher relationship was described to be mutually respectful, involving shared conversations, encouragement, and explanations. Teachers also portrayed modified educational philosophies towards student learning that involved differentiated learning in the classroom, thus prioritizing student needs over lesson completion. To manage student behaviours, teachers identified the importance of developing connections with students while simultaneously removing the focus of invoking fear in students. Additionally, the elements that teachers believed to be effective and ineffective in promoting change in their understanding and implementation of the Stoplight Approach was explored through open-ended survey questions and the interview. It was discovered that aspects which were deemed motivational for change also were recognized as drawbacks. Elements including the innovativeness of the philosophy, the multi-stakeholder collaboration, and the personal applicability of the approach for both teachers and students that was provided by the Stoplight Approach were acknowledged by participants as having both pros and cons.
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    One step at a time: physical activity and wellness in post-secondary students
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2024) MacKay, Christine E.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Balderson, Daniel
    This project examines the relationship between physical activity and wellness in the university student population. Countless studies have found positive relationships between physical activity and psychological health. However, there are numerous individual and societal barriers to participating in physical activity. Increases in sedentary behaviour in our society is associated with increased prevalence of mental health concerns. Therefore, it is the utmost importance to educate and motivate university students to participate in physical activity. I believe understanding the biological connection between physical activity and mental health outcomes provides the motivation to be active. A PowerPoint via Microsoft Teams was presented to the M.Ed. 2022 cohort with a handout for tips to become more active. When university students’ mental and physical health improves, it allows for greater enjoyment in their studies and increased satisfaction throughout their lives.
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    Little minds: big days ahead: a CBT web-based self-help program for children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2024) Clutton, Paige A.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Beaudin, Lorraine C.
    The purpose of this master’s level project is to develop a web-based CBT self-help program for children and adolescents managing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a relatively commonly experienced mental health concern across the global population. The program will be hosted on a website consisting of five modules: psychoeducation, somatic management skills training, cognitive restructuring, exposures, and relapse prevention that children and youth can work through at their own pace. Each module will consist of a brief outline of learning objectives, a brief video from the author, a supplementary video, and additional resources. Cognitive behavioral therapy was selected as the therapeutic modality as CBT has been shown to be effective for the treatment of anxiety-based disorders in that this therapeutic modality challenges and attempts to reframe the negative thinking or behavioral patterns of the individuals (Rickwood & Bradford, 2022). It has been observed that youth often consult the internet as their initial point of contact when seeking help for mental health-related concerns (Hanley et al., 2021). Therefore it is hoped that an online web-based program could hopefully offer support to individuals who may have certain physical or psychological barriers which may interfere with their abilities to access traditional in-person therapy. This website can either be used independently by adolescents (12+) or could be utilized by counsellors as a resource to share with clients to supplement their in-person sessions.
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    Don’t let the cat out of the bag: record keeping issues with 2SLGBTQIA+ clients
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2024) Gelineau-Olay, Sydney B.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; McBride, Dawn L.
    This project critiques the generalist ethico-legal tools and regulations for counselling psychologists in terms of their limited ability to protect the privacy and moral rights of closeted 2SLGBTQIA+ clients. A detailed analysis of extant research, legislation, and ethical guidelines is first presented. To compensate for the limited available literature on this topic, a modified form of the Canadian Psychological Association’s (2017a) ethical decision-making model is then applied to a fictionalized case study to indicate the value of an emic, socioculturally contextualized approach to decision-making and recordkeeping. The project concludes with a series of recommendations to mitigate outing risks and enhance the ethicality of recordkeeping outcomes, followed by a draft manuscript to be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication.