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- ItemAboriginal children's perceptions of their urban living environments(2010-04-28T18:15:17Z) Farris, Jillian; Fitzgerald, MichaelContemporary research in the field of child and youth study continues to examine the experiences of children living within urban environments. This research has tended to examine challenges to child development present within city living, such as freedom of movement and mobility, use of built space, and safety concerns related to strangers. A recent trend within this research has been the increased inclusion of children's voices and perspectives in discussions related to the planning of urban environments, and of municipal programs and services for children and their families. Lacking within recent study, however, has been the inclusion of the perceptions of urban Aboriginal children related to their lived experiences within Canadian urban centres. Given the historical context in which this population exists, as well as the contemporary context including, a relatively young, growing population, increased urbanization and high birth rates, it is apparent that a consideration of the place and space available to Aboriginal children within cities is of growing concern and significance. The present research, utilizing qualitative inquiry, elicited the views and perspectives of Aboriginal children currently residing within the Halifax Regional Municipality, for the purpose of exploring, discovering, and understanding their perceptions of their outdoor living environments. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven children of various First Nation affiliations, between the ages of 8-12 years. Children were given personal, single-use cameras to document their neighbourhoods and outdoor experiences over the course of one week. Photographs were used during individual interviews as a resource for children to describe their thoughts, feelings, meanings and understandings related to their daily living experiences. Interviews were audio-taped and collected data were transcribed and analyzed using systematic, cross-comparative methods that resulted in the identification of four major organizing categories: Neighbourhood Characteristics; Neighbourhood Activities; Neighbourhood Safety; and Neighbourhood Mobility. Recommendations are presented for future research, parents and families, child and youth care providers, governments, and community planners and developers.
- ItemAdverse Childhood Experiences: Early Childhood Educators Awareness and Perceived Support(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2019-12) Smith, MarlaIntroduction: Research suggests that early childhood is a sensitive and influential period in a child’s development. Experiencing stressful experiences during this developmental phase can cause unfavourable outcomes for children and their future development. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are experiences that can impact a child prior to the age of 18. ACEs can provide toxic stress to children and their developing brain, causing a permanent change in brain chemistry. Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) are individuals who work to support the development of children between their most malleable ages of 0 to 5. Although important for future behaviour and development, there is limited research regarding ECEs and their awareness or perceived support related to supporting children who have experiencing, or are experiencing, ACEs. Methods: A Qualitative Description approach was used in order to portray participants experiences. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ECEs working for regulated child care centres through Nova Scotia. Results: Thematic analysis was completed and resulted in useful insight into ECEs awareness and perceived support relating to ACEs. ECEs described their awareness of ACEs, receiving this awareness from parent and educator communication, child behaviours, community location as well as barriers to this awareness such as varying comfort levels of parents and stigma. Educators suggested that creating supportive relationships and environments were important when supporting children who have been through ACEs. Additionally, educators spoke to their community’s ability to support them in supporting ACEs. Educators suggested that factors such as increased training opportunities and professional development would help support children. Significance: This research begins to fill the gap between ACEs and early childhood education. This research also provides insight into future supports needed to support ECEs.
- ItemAnti-bias and culturally supportive curriculums in early childhood education classrooms in Nova Scotia(2010-04-28T18:25:54Z) Quilty, Leah; Kienapple, KimThis study was designed to examine if anti bias and culturally responsive curriculums are present in urban and rural daycares in Nova Scotia. Additional factors were investigated to determine the relationship between early childhood educators' training, the length of time that they have been in the field, the number of professional training programs or academic courses on this curricula which they have attended, the ways in which the courses were conducted, the skills they were taught, a measure of cultural sensitivity, and the implementation and maintenance of a culturally responsive curriculum. Given that there is no current listing of early childhood educators in the province of Nova Scotia, the desired sample size was estimated using the following assumptions: at least 6 staff are employed in each urban center and 3 staff are employed in each rural daycare. Given that there are 379 licensed daycares in the province it was estimated that there would be 1527 early childhood educators in the province. Of the 308 early childhood educators who were approached, 32 (9%) responded to the invitation to participate. A decision was made not to seek more survey responses because of the time and expense relative to an anticipated low number of additional returns. An Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) and a questionnaire developed for the research was used to gather data in this study. The ISS was used to determine each participant's level of intercultural sensitivity and in particular how well each respondent interacted, enjoyed, respected, felt comfortable, and was attentive to students of various backgrounds. The questionnaire was used to gather information about demographics, the type of training early childhood professionals had received on anti-bias and culturally responsive curricula, the teacher's attitudes toward an anti-bias and culturally responsive curriculum, how teachers were making their classrooms and curriculum responsive to all students, the supports that the teachers perceived as being in their schools for them to engage in anti-bias practice, and the problems and issues they believed must be addressed in order to carry out successful multicultural education programs. Based on the fact that participants of this study did not mention features of the anti-bias and culturally responsive curriculum that past researchers have mentioned as critical, and the fact that this study showed no significant outcomes between those who were trained, either by degree, diploma, or the equivalency, and their culturally sensitivity, and the fact that one's level of experience did not have any significant impact on the way in which they were trained, it was suggested that in order for these outcomes to be adjusted it is the training program facilitator that needs to adjust.
- ItemAutism and Employment: Youth YouTube Vloggers' Perspectives(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2022-04-25) Nersesova, NinaThis research focused on young people with autism spectrum (AS) who share their first voice perspectives in relation to employment as described on their YouTube channels. Previous research shows that people with AS experience unemployment or underemployment, including a paucity of workplace accommodations. Therefore, there is a requirement to explore employment outcomes for this marginalized group in order to increase their quality of life, economic independence, and social integration and ultimately benefit both employers and employees. This thesis examines YouTube videos of youth vloggers (15-24 years old) who identify as autists and whose content is in English. The thesis uses a media content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) to collect data from the YouTube social media platform and examines youth vloggers’ experiences with employment using an inductive approach by coding and categorizing the data. The popularization of the Internet allows people with AS to be heard and it is a valuable source to listen to their lived experiences. The findings show that the youth in this study experience workplace barriers, such as: standardized interview process, lack of workplace accommodations and societal discrimination. These challenges led to various mental health problems, job termination and decreased quality of life. However, the youth vloggers also discuss different coping techniques for positive employment outcomes, including the option of self-employment. While contributing to the existing literature, this study also demonstrates the importance of accessing the first voice perspectives of youth with AS to ensure equitable access to their employment.
- ItemThe Bullying Phenomenon: Definition, Prevention, and Intervention(2012-09-10) Dorey, Sarah; French, CarmelBullying not only affects victims, but also perpetrators, bystanders, and society at large. Despite concentrated efforts from schools, community organizations, and governing bodies, not only has traditional bullying continued, but bullying has now carried over to cyberspace. Until a better understanding of the motivations behind bullying acts is identified, this phenomenon will continue. This study sought to enhance current knowledge regarding bullying, specifically participant’s understanding of bullying and cyberbullying, and their reaction to being involved in or witnessing bullying incidents. One hundred and eighty-one first and second year students at Mount Saint Vincent University who were enrolled full-time in an arts, science or professional program completed a researcher designed questionnaire. The majority of the participants were female (76.9%) between the ages of 18 and 20. Qualitative analysis, using a modified grounded theory approach, was used to analysis participants’ responses to open ended questions. Quantitative data analysis of dichotomous items was limited to the calculation of means, ranges, and percentages. As the number of participants in the gender, age, university program, and ethnic groups were so skewed, statistical comparisons were not feasible. Participants were divided fairly evenly by geographic region, but Chi square calculations revealed no statistically significant differences between the two groups. The majority of participants (63.9%) reported being bullied, 26.7% reported bullying others and 82.2% reported witnessing bullying incidents. They also had a good understanding of what constitutes bullying, noting that it went beyond physical harm, typically occurred more than once, and was usually intentional. Interventions, unfortunately, only took place 20.5% of the time and of these, slightly over half were viewed as effective in stopping bullying acts. Many reasons for both bullying and stopping bullying behaviours revolved around peer influence; bullies sought peer acceptance via bullying others, and ceased behaviours when peers did not provide the desired attention. Another explanation given for bullying was the bully seeking an increase in self worth and to feel better about themselves by making others feel worse. These results suggest that increasing peer intervention and decreasing peer approval may be an effective method to aid in the discontinuation of bullying behaviours. The results of this study also suggest that an effective preventative approach may be to find other means of increasing potential perpetrator’s self esteem and confidence.
- ItemCode-Mixing in the Bilingual Preschool Child: Understanding the Communicative Purpose(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2016-04) Lyne, AmyThis study aimed to identify the social functions and purposes to the commonly misunderstood act of code-mixing among bilingual preschool aged children, and to support its acceptance as a valid stage towards becoming bilingual. Current research in the field of bilingual language acquisition and development supports that preschool aged children are not only able to learn two languages simultaneously, but are further capable of differentiating and manipulating both languages given the social and communicative context (Genesee, 2008; Nicoladis & Genesee, 2007; Paradis & Nicoladis, 2007). Other research has demonstrated that code-mixing follows a specific syntactic pattern of production among emerging bilinguals (Woolford, 1983); however, there is limited evidence towards determining the purpose of the act, specifically from a Canadian English-French bilingual context. Bilingual language proficiency for the preschool students in this study were established through a Family Language Use Survey, a Classroom Language Use Survey, as well as a Bilingual Questionnaire designed to measure both expressive and receptive language skills in both languages for 12 English-French bilingual preschool students (aged 3-5). Interactions between participants were recorded and analyzed to first identify 186 incidences of code-mixing, which were then transcribed and coded based on communicative purpose (Brown, 2007), function of language use (Halliday, 1973; as cited by Brown, 2007), as well as for parts of speech (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 2015), in determining the functional and social purpose in language choice. This study hoped to demonstrate not only that bilingual preschool aged children’s use of code-mixing serves as a stepping stone towards becoming bilingual, but that it further holds a real communicative and social purpose as well.
- ItemConstructing Perspectives of Child-Nature Relationships in Early Learning Curriculum Frameworks(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2022-08-23) Ashley, RobynThis research examines the perspectives of child-nature relationships in early learning curriculum frameworks across cultural contexts. Outdoor play is an increasingly important aspect of early childhood education for children’s healthy development and learning opportunities, though children’s engagement in nature play is less explored and nature is often artificially divided from children’s lives by adults. Children’s relationships with nature in the early learning and child care (ELCC) context in Nova Scotia is yet to be explored in-depth. The Nova Scotia early learning curriculum framework is compared to the Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood curriculum framework using reflexive thematic analysis to generate themes in understanding their constructions of child-nature relationships and their motivations for engagement with nature. The researcher’s professional ELCC experience is used as an analytic research tool, which is informed by ecological systems theory and a common worlds lens which views humans and nature as inseparable from each other. From this analysis, the researcher learned that Nova Scotia and Aotearoa New Zealand demonstrate dichotomous motivations for environmental stewardship as a main approach to children’s relationship with nature. Provocations and invitations are presented to ELCC stakeholders in Nova Scotia to reflect and shift their perspectives of child-nature relationships to move beyond stewardship practices and engage with more culturally responsive and inclusive approaches of engaging and belonging with nature in ELCC settings.
- ItemContemporary Identity and Social Experiences of Acadian Youth(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2006-04-24) Doucet, LouanneThe present study obtained the perceptions of Acadian adolescents regarding the personal significance and meaning of their Acadian cultural affiliation, traits of and influences upon their contemporary Acadian lives, and their social relationships with both Acadians and non-Acadians. This study intended to explore the nature of their everyday cultural experiences and interactions in order to identify factors that more positively or adversely affect daily functioning, well-being, and on-going development as Acadian youth. Utilizing a qualitative research approach, two focus groups were held. The first consisted of 4 males and 4 females between the ages of 13 - 15 years old, inclusive. The second was comprised of 3 males and 3 females between the ages of 16 - 18 years old, inclusive. Three individual interviews were also conducted. All participating youth were born and raised in the Municipality of Clare and were currently students of the local secondary school. École Secondaire de Clare. Transcribed interviews (data) from these discussion sessions were analysed employing discovery-based, cross-comparative data analysis generally associated with grounded theory methodology. Results of the analysis were organized by four major descriptive categories specifically. Forming Acadian Identity, Experiencing Acadian Identity, Maintaining Acadian Identity, and Acadian Resources. Findings of this study indicated a vital need among interviewed youth in the Clare community for enhanced cultural awareness, and development and maintenance of their forming Acadian identity. With an identified need by the youth for increased resources, opportunities and supports for cultural interaction and exchange in the local community, and expressed mixed feelings of both pride and discomfort within their Acadian experience, recommendations are offered to facilitate the healthy development of contemporary cultural identity on the part of these Acadian youth.
- ItemA Content Analysis: Investigating Adolescents’ Wellbeing under the COVID-19 Pandemic on the YouTube Platform(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2021) Bu, ZihangThis study focused on adolescents, to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic influences their wellbeing by analyzing the content on the YouTube platform. The study also investigated if YouTube provides a helpful way to help the public to provide protocol for young people dealing with public health emergencies such as COVID-19. This study tries to answer three questions by investigating YouTube video content: 1) How is the COVID-19 pandemic influencing the life of adolescents? 2)What are adolescents' feelings when they are in "quarantine," "self-isolation," or on "stay-at-home" orders, and, 3) What kind of coping strategies did they have for dealing with the negative influence of the COVID-19 pandemic? This study applied a content analysis as the research method. This involved collecting data from the public social media platform YouTube and analyzing it by using an inductive approach that facilitated the emergence of codes and categories from the data. This study demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced adolescents' lives in different ways, including the change of education methods, the discussion of friendship, the loss of significant life events, and increased time of using technology. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects the adolescents' emotions and feelings, including promoting a sense of fear, loneliness, and loss of motivation. However, most adolescents have found creative ways to cope with the limitations caused by the pandemic.
- Item“Conversations that Matter”: Child and Youth Study Students’ Perspectives on the Professional Status of Early Childhood Education(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2018-03-13) Kennedy, MelissaThe focus of this research was to gain an understanding of how students enrolled in Mount Saint Vincent University’s Bachelor of Arts (Child and Youth Study) program perceive the professional status of Early Childhood Education, and the impact the professional status of ECE may have on future career choices. Qualitative data was gathered using the World Café dialogue method. Data was collected from nineteen participants through audio-recordings, participant-written notes, and notes recorded by a note-taker. Thematic analysis, as described by Attride-Stirling (2001) and Braun and Clarke (2006), was used to identify themes in the data. Two global themes were identified: value placed on the knowledge and role of the early childhood educator, and early childhood education as a career option. The results of this study indicate that students in the Child and Youth Study program perceive Early Childhood Education to be a low-status occupation. Participants expressed concerns over the lack of professional compensation, the absence of a standard of credentialing, public disregard for the knowledge of ECEs, and the public perception of ECE as “babysitting” rather than education. Of the nineteen participants in this study none intended to work as an early childhood educator upon completion of the Child and Youth Study program, either in a childcare centre or in the newly-established pre-primary program. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations for policy makers are: develop a recruitment strategy for the field of Early Childhood Education, provide professional compensation for ECEs, ensure all individuals who hold the title of Early Childhood Educator hold either a diploma in Early Childhood Education or a degree in Child and Youth Study, and develop a public-awareness campaign on the value of early childhood education.