Queen's Graduate Projects

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Students who contribute a research project, master's essay or major research paper rather than thesis in fulfillment of their degree requirements, may submit these works to the Graduate Projects Collection. Submissions are limited to officially registered Queen's University graduate students.

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    Mediation and EIA: Potential and Limitations for Process Reform
    (2024) Popescu, Simon Mavor
    Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a formalized process that seeks to evaluate and mitigate the environmental impacts of proposed developments. While rooted in the rational planning model, EIA has undergone a shift toward communicative planning in response to the critiques of rationalism. As a result, calls for consensus-based processes, including mediation, have been raised in the literature to address issues of procedural justice and substantive outcomes in EIAs. While there has been some exploration on mediation in EIA, there are significant gaps in this literature, including a lack of meta-ethical analysis of mediation and communicative planning theory and its implications for achieving EIA processes that are more efficient (in terms of cost and time savings) and effective (in terms of improved procedural justice and substantive outcomes). Additionally, there is a lack of consideration to underlying causes of mediation’s lack of uptake in EIA. To explore these topics, this paper interviewed 10 EIA stakeholders and conducted document analysis on EIA legislation and guidance documents. Interviewees identified that the effect of mediation on EIA efficiency and effectiveness is contextual with several factors influencing its ability to provide benefits. However, mediation taking a supplementary role to an EIA or as a form of advanced public participation, was seen as having the most potential for generating benefits such as time and cost savings as well as developing more mutually beneficial solutions compared to conventional processes. Additionally, the reservation of mediation to these supporting roles was seen to generate fewer ethical concerns compared to taking a greater decision-making role in EIAs due to confidentiality and public interest concerns. Other conditions related to case intake and process design were also identified to maximize potential benefits and limit additional conflicts. Despite this potential, 4 main barriers were identified to mediation uptake, including a nominal distinction between mediation and other communicative approaches, perceptions of increased time and cost to participate in mediation, uncertainty related to the lack of use of mediation, and a lack of qualified mediators. Additionally a complex regulatory landscape related to the use of mediation in EIA was seen to further limit mediation uptake.
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    Ontological and Ecological Change in Canadian Environmental Policy: Agency of the Other-Than Human, Settler Allyship, and the Centering of Indigenous Philosophies Through Attention to Anishinaabe Relationality
    (2024) Howe, Zephyr Sianna
    This thesis addresses practical applications of indigenous ontologies to promote decolonial views of animal and plant agency regarding issues relating to Canada’s role in the climate crisis. As a Canadian settler scholar, this author aims to contribute to literature that challenges western logic systems and instead centers indigenous ontological theories of being which provide a framework with which to view the agency of the other-than-human without adhering to the ontological limitations of western philosophy. Specific materials examined focus on themes of: Anishnaabe ontology, indigenous water governance, indigenous land claims, moral obligations towards participating in the creation of decolonial futures, and the animacy and agency of the other-than-human. I add to this ongoing discussion that Canada has a moral obligation to approach the settler-caused climate crisis through a lens of indigenous ontology and logic systems, while striving for decolonial futures. Current approaches to issues of climate change are driven by a conceptualization of agency of the non-human dominated by colonial logic systems and philosophies; this is a failure of Canadian politics and academia to put in the sufficient effort to decolonize Canadian public policy. I argue that the only acceptable path for Canadian environmental politics is one which centers indigenous knowledge, and peoples, within Canada.
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    Curriculum for Three Plays by Indigenous Writers to Use in NBE Classes: The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan, Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring, and bug by Yolanda Bonnell
    (2024-01) Pinney-Rodger, Jennifer J.
    This project provides curriculum ideas for three plays by Indigenous writers for use in NBE high school courses at the workplace-preparation (E), college-preparation (C), and university-preparation (U) levels. Almost twenty plays by Indigenous writers were read before narrowing down the selections to three plays: The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan to be used within NBE3E, Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring to be used within NBE3C, and bug by Yolanda Bonnell to be used within NBE3U. As recommended by The Ontario curriculum grades 9 to 12 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit studies (2019), a variety of before-reading, during-reading, and after-reading activities are included for each play to enable teachers to meaningfully support student learning about Indigenous histories, cultures, and worldviews.
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    Nurturing Creativity in Music Education: A Conceptual Framework and Practical Applications for Secondary Music Classrooms
    (2024-01-28) Medina, Paul Jay
    Creativity has recently been increasing in importance with many organizations around the world recognizing the need for creative individuals. Indeed, many believe that creativity should be taught in educational systems to prepare students to be flexible and adaptable in our rapidly changing world. Despite this, pedagogies, and educational strategies, for nurturing creativity in classrooms remain limited. The goal for my project, then, is to respond to this need by contributing to current efforts into developing a framework for creativity in education. This is done through this project in two parts. The first section of this project is a synthesis of literature where I distill creativity research in a way that is meaningful for workers in education by emphasizing essential concepts in teaching and learning. The relevant ideas and theories from the literature are categorized into four pillars: establishing a creativity conducive environment, designing tasks for nurturing creativity, developing success criteria for creativity, and assessing creativity in the classroom. The sections are presented sequentially beginning with the most foundational ideas that can be implemented into classroom teaching. The second section is composed of my conceptualizations of classroom activities for secondary music classrooms that target creativity by making use of the ideas described in the synthesis of literature. Each activity targets a different area of music that would typically be learning goals in school curricula: reflecting, analyzing & responding, improvisation, composing/arranging, and performing. My hope is that this work may guide music teachers, pre-service and in-service, to enhance their ability to foster creativity in their own classroom teaching. While this project is targeted towards secondary music education, I believe that this work will also be a step towards developing pedagogies for creativity in all subject areas and grade levels.
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    Creating a Toolkit for the Youth Imagine the Future Arts Festival
    (2023) Rush-Rhodes, Alice
    This project is structured in two main parts: my exploration of the academic literature around eco-anxiety and mental health and a brief overview of my process to create the toolkit, and the toolkit itself. The toolkit follows the reference section and has its own multiple appendices. Most users of the toolkit will access it through a shared Google doc where hyperlinks provide easy access to the appendices and external resources (e.g., slideshow template and workback calendar). The toolkit will continue to evolve and what is captured here is a snapshot of the toolkit at the moment. For anyone interested in accessing the most up-to-date toolkit, please visit youthimaginethefuture.com.