Graduate Student Symposium, Selected Papers 2018

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    Front Matter
    (2018-04-27) Christou, Theodore; Braund, Heather; Lester, Britney; MacGregor, Stephen; McConnel, Jen
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    Towards equity in high school physics education: A literature review
    (2018-04-27) Mainhood, Lindsay
    This literature review explores the issue of underrepresentation of women in physics by framing the topic as a journey towards equity, with many barriers along the way and which persists, yet at a slow pace. The journey perspective accounts for the long history of the issue and includes various understandings of and approaches to the issue. This review begins by introducing the status of underrepresentation of women in physics education in Canada, which is indicative of the low numbers of women in the field. In recognizing the complex dynamics of the problem of underrepresentation of women in physics, the review asks about the nature of the problem: What is the relationship between gender and science? Is equity in physics education and the field at large important? Based on the review of existing literature on the underrepresentation of women in physics, this literature review presents three arguments. The first argument is that the low number of women in physics is best explained by low participation from young women at the high school level of education. The second argument is that barriers to young women’s election and continuation of physics study exist within physics education at the high school level. The third argument is that there is a need for research that aims to understand young women’s experiences of barriers in physics education during high school in order to move forward on the journey toward gender equity in physics education and the field.
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    Mathematics for teaching in a professional learning network: Complexity inquiry
    (2018-04-27) Wang, Xiong
    Numerous mathematics teachers nowadays have turned to online professional learning networks (PLNs) to carry on their professional learning. Very few related studies have revealed the implications of mathematics teachers’ participation in PLNs for their professional development. This research is intended to address that gap by investigating participants’ actions in a blog and disclosing the emergence therefrom based on the model of Mathematics-For-Teaching (M4T). I analyzed the data from a blog and its comments concerning the discussion about the Handshake Problem from two textbooks under the interpretation circles developed from Ellis’ (1998) hermeneutics circles. The results exhibited a divergent conversation pattern and the emerged four-layer M4T. Participating in online PLNs involved individual and collective actions. Individual actions initiatively referred to posting comments. The comments related to the suggestions, expectations, visions, criticisms, experiences, and comparisons that induced the collective conversation. The collective conversation gave rise to the emergence of four layers of M4T: presentations of textbooks, students’ thinking skills, classroom conversation, and geometry learning. Their emergence indicated not only the professional knowledge but also the knowing of the Handshake Problem for the participants. The collective conversation, interaction, or communication enabled visualization of the roles of the individual actions played within and deepened understanding of the presentations of the Handshake Problem. The results pointed to implications for teachers’ participation in PLNs for their professional learning.
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    Motivating disengaged and disenchanted adolescents: A literature review
    (2018-04-27) Eyers, Kimberly
    Self-determination theory, which focuses on autonomy, competence, and relatedness, needs to be modified to include a fourth essential psychological need: aesthetic experience. The following literature review uses a practical frame, in the form of the profiles of two adolescents, to review the literature which supports this notion. The goal of this work is to provide informed examples of how to support disengaged and disenchanted adolescents. Supported by the literature, the author outlines the rationality and benefits of modifying the current framework, and areas of future research are identified.
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    Varieties of culture shock for international teachers to consider: A literature review
    (2018-04-27) Stroud Stasel, Rebecca
    This paper examines contextual information critical to teachers who go overseas to work in international schools. When teachers move abroad to work, they become sojourners between cultures. Rich learning and growth awaits sojourners, but so do obstacles, one of which is how to successfully acclimatize to the new cultural environment. This process has numerous monikers; perhaps the most comprehensive one is sojourner adjustment, departing from the original concept of culture shock, which was initially considered an occupational and even a psychiatric malady. Today, our understanding of culture shock has changed significantly, from an anomalous pathological event to a ubiquitous process that is challenging and often painful, yet that also results in valuable growth opportunities. Therefore, before examining sojourning teachers’ needs, what supports are helpful, and what contributes to their thriving in international teaching positions, an understanding of sojourner adjustment is helpful. Literature on sojourner adjustment for K-12 teachers in the international arena exists, but not in abundance. This literature review therefore looks broadly at literature on a variety of sojourner experiences as they pertain to cultural adaptation. Finally, literature on sojourner adjustment offers an instructive lens for understanding certain complex hurdles that international teachers face. However, it would be even more helpful to look at sojourner adjustment in combination with other lenses, such as risk-taking, the role of trust, and organizational dynamics that can affect sojourner adjustment. Although these additional lenses are not addressed in the present literature review, they are certainly recommended.