Leadership Research: Vol 08, No 1. (2017)

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    Social conversation and social skills: finding colour in student interactions
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017) Onderwater, Jennifer B.
    Communication is a large part of relationships within and outside of school. The purpose of this study is to explore oral language development. The focus of this study is on how social conversation impacts the social interactions of students. Using the program, Color My Conversation (CMC) (Delmonico, 2013) the foci of this study are to discover the influence of the program on the following educational outcomes: 1) Review the participation in the CMC (2013) and its relationship to social conversation skills in my classroom. 2) Consider how this increase in social conversation will influence social skills; 3) The program CMC (2013) is interpreted through the new British Columbia (BC) Curriculum, Building Student Success (2015), to determine its educational effectiveness in a BC context. This qualitative descriptive, single case study design includes the following instruments: researcher’s journal, student assessment using a Social Skills Improvement System (SSiS) Teacher Rating Scale (2008) and the Color My Conversation Rubric (2013). The students’ social conversation and social interactions throughout the school are interpreted to determine a significant growth in communication and personal and social competency. There is a strong alignment between CMC (2013) and Building Student Success (2015) in the area of core competencies. Two additional outcomes that occurred in the use of this CMC (2013) program in this study – a strong sense of student enthusiasm and confidence in their learning of related curriculum, as well as a greater knowledge and integration of the BC curriculum by the teacher.
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    Using simulation to enhance clinical remediation in nursing education
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017) Sworts, Lisa
    Students in nursing degree programs strive to achieve confidence with clinical-skill competencies through various learning experiences. Simulation (practice situations using computer-assisted manikins) and remediation are two specific learning experiences used at Vancouver Island University to help students acquire skill and confidence with these competencies. This study explored students’ experiences in simulation and remediation learning environments, focusing on the concepts of confidence and critical thinking. Ten students (third- and fourth-year) participated in a focus group, using a semi-structured approach, to gain insights about their experiences. Thematic data analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) yielded themes of anxiety, confidence, critical thinking, and clinical skill competencies. Considering students’ perspectives, the select literature, and my own experiences, three main insights emerged: Students experience anxiety in simulation; students value support provided to them during remediation; and it is challenging to combine simulation and remediation in order to deepen both confidence and competencies with clinical skills, amongst nursing students. In addition, further research and implications for remediation practices in nursing education were discussed to develop beneficial support practices for students in a nursing degree program.
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    Ethical leadership: a study of educational leaders at Vancouver Island University
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017) Carr, Heather L.
    Qualitative action research was employed to gain insight into a sample of educational leaders’ beliefs, feelings, and thoughts about their own ethical behaviours, characteristics, and values. Participants were selected from faculty and executive administration at Vancouver Island University (VIU). The participants provided perspectives and reflections through private, one-on-one, semi-structured interviews. Each educational leader engaged in a 90-minute interview that included questions and case scenarios designed by this researcher to elicit rich and in-depth responses. The participants shared their dilemmas, ideas, thoughts, and some ethical ways of being and leading as educational leaders. The primary goal of the study was to identify varieties of behaviours, characteristics, and values from the participants who shared ethical ways of being and leading for this researcher’s professional development and growth as an educational leader. While aiming to share these findings with those preparing for educational leadership, a secondary goal of the study was to explore ways in which the participants fostered cultures of trust. The results of the study illustrate a variety of ethical leadership behaviours, characteristics, and values that can be learned and practiced. The study also depicts some of the ways in which the participants viewed their ethical leadership as beneficial to the fostering of cultures of trust.
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    Supporting transgender and gender non-conforming students in B.C. elementary schools
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017) Doiron, Marie H.
    Research has illustrated that transgender and gender non-conforming students are a vulnerable population in our schools (Greytak et al., 2009; Palmer et al., 2012; Taylor & Peter, 2011a; Taylor et al., 2016b; Young, 2011). Educators do not always have the knowledge base to feel confident in their ability to support these groups of students (Garcia & Slesaransky-Poe, 2010; Payne & Smith, 2014; Slesaransky-Poe et al., 2013). Research has shown there is a need for supportive and gender inclusive policies, professional development and training for staff, and curriculum that is inclusive of the wide variety of gender expressions present in our schools (Taylor & Peter, 2011b; Taylor et al., 2016b; Snapp et al., 2015; Kennedy & Hellen, 2010). Current resources developed to support transgender students tend to have a primarily high school focus and lack specific information about British Columbia laws, policies, or curriculum (Anti-Defamation League, 2014; Bowers & Lopez, 2012; Maheu, Hillyard, & Jenkins, 2012, Orr & Baum, 2015; Wells, Roberts, & Allan, 2012). The primary purpose of this project is to create a resource manual to help elementary schools in British Columbia support and welcome the transgender and gender non-conforming students who are in schools throughout the province.
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    From the heart of the ensemble: collaborative theatre ensembles in education
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017) Williams, Lisa Sophia
    This phenomenological study explores the experience of members within Collaborative Theatre Ensembles in theatre education. Theatre educators, theatre professionals, and graduates of high school theatre programs responded to writing prompts and were invited to write personal monologues inspired by their ensemble experiences in an online focus-group. Qualitative research methodology inspired by A/r/tography was selected to explore the theatrical phenomenon of ensemble using the theatrical conventions of script writing and monologues. An analytical thematic framework using inductive analysis was applied to the data in order to listen to experiences within the interconnected elements of connection, commitment, communication, and creativity within ensembles. This thematic and A/r/tographical exploration lead to the writing of a final creative piece as part of the summary. I suggest that this final piece, inspired by the voices of experience emerging from within the ensemble, will allow us to listen with deeper understanding to the experience within collaborative theatre ensembles in education.