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Bluewater Master's Cohort

A group of 19 teachers, administrators and consultants in the Bluewater District School Board started their Master of Education program with Brock University in July 2009. The Board not only provides the meeting space and secretarial support but also provides interest-free loans to the students taking the program. In July of 2010, I taught an Introduction To Research Methods course in the Education Centre of the Board; in the winter of 2011, I taught Data-Based Decision-Making and in the spring/summer I supervised 7 students through their final research project (MRP). The research papers  below are examples of the work produced by this group for those courses.

Following the papers, are the final Master's Research Projects that they completed in the summer of 2011

Research Papers









Karen Spragg

Beginnings of the Major Research Project Proposal

Becoming a Transformational Leader…


Lauren Penner Lipsett























Final Paper-  Action Inquiry


Tawnya Schlosser

 Plan For Research


Amanda Brindley























How Can I Improve my Practice?


Final Major Research Projects

Tawnya Schlosser

Involving Primary Students as Co-Researchers to Improve Their Reading Skills


The investigator in this action research study and her Grade 2–3 students set out as co-researchers to investigate how the use of peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS) might improve students’ reading skills, particularly for students labelled as “struggling” readers.  Student data were captured through formal reading assessments, independent reading conferences, class discussions, teacher and student journals, and parent-approved photographs and videotape.  The project first developed 4 class-wide reading goals from which each student selected a personal goal.  Students then created an independent action plan to reach that goal and subsequently named indicators demonstrating their plan was successful.  Students reflected on their learning journey through oral discussions and written journals, and presented their work to the class at the end of the action research cycle.  All students experienced reading growth during the study and became much more reflective and aware of their own thinking process as evidenced in their descriptions of personal projects.  Students enjoyed taking charge of their own learning, developed confidence in their abilities, and were able to suggest ways in which to improve and expand their learning.



Elizabeth Campbell

Journey to the Otherway: How Can I Improve My Practice By Living My Values of Love and Joy More Fully?

This paper captures my journey to create a living educational theory. In an effort to answer the question: "How can I improve my practice by living my values of love and joy more fully?" in an authentic and meaningful way. I make use of methodological inventiveness and alternative representation. Throughout the project, I share narratives, reflections, paintings, video clips, songs and voices of “the Other” to articulate, explicate and validate my values and living educational theory.


 Cathy Griffin

How can I improve my Practice by Living my Values of Love,
Trust and Authenticity more fully?

The investigator in this action research study set out to improve her relationships with others by undertaking a three-part action research project. First, she employed a wellness approach to restoring balance in her life by improving her fitness and developing mindfulness. Second, she reflected on the impact of key incidents in her childhood – specifically childhood sexual abuse. Lastly, she employed a conflictmanagement
strategy. Data was collected in the form of journals, video journals,
personal communication and video recorded conversations with critical friends and a validation group. Through the process of action and refection cycles and with the help of others, the investigator was able to identify her core values as love, trust and authenticity. Furthermore, she was able to gather evidence of her values in practice, her educational
influence and record changes in her self-concept over the course of the project.


Andrea Tang

In Search of Wisdom:
Improving My Practice as a Secondary School Administrator

How can I improve my practice as a Secondary School Administrator?

Secondary school administrators have the opportunity and responsibility to create inviting places where respect, care, trust, and hope are pervasive in schools. This report documents my quest to examine and improve my practice as a secondary school administrator. It examines academic and corporate leadership theories and models, most notably Greenleaf‘s Servant Leadership model which most closely describes my motivation and approach to leadership. Using an action research model, I identified areas where I was not living out my values, developed strategies to overcome the problems, and applied and reflected on the results of my actions. I sought feedback from supervisors, staff, and family members and publicly acknowledged my attempts at improvement. I shared stories of my successes and failures and reflected on how my experience has shaped me as an administrator. Sustained and intentional journaling helped identify my values and revealed the role that my faith has in supporting my efforts to improve the lives of students and staff. I came to recognize the richness of the boundary zone between knowledge and experience and to feel more fully able to recognize, nurture, and share in what Jack Whitehead refers to as the ―life-affirming energy‖ that flows in schools.


Lauren Penner

Singing for Social Change:

An Autoethnographer’s Attempt to Build a Positive School Culture


<span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:" times="" new="" roman";="" mso-fareast-font-family:"times="" roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"times="" mso-ansi-language:en-ca;mso-fareast-language:en-ca"="" lang="EN-CA">This qualitative autoethnographic research study, sought to explore and answer the general question, “How can I improve my practice?”  Due to my role as behaviour resource teacher and a member of the school’s Culture Committee, I have an interest in building and maintaining a positive school culture. This research focuses on the Me to We philosophy and follows my journey through the process of co-writing, co-producing, and co-directing an original musical production, Me to We Glee, with the intent of studying the effects on myself as a teacher leader, and how this kind of production effects on school culture.  Through storied recollections, personal journals, and interviews I sought to answer the specific question “How can I improve my practice as a teacher leader when trying to create a positive school culture using the Me to We philosophy?”  Three themes emerged from the analysis of the data; relationships, building community, and Be the Change.  These themes are discussed within the context of building and maintaining a positive school culture.  Joseph Campbell's (1949) Mythic Journey is also explored as it relates to the storied recollections.  It is my hope that this research will inspire others who wish to have a positive impact on school culture to use their talents combined with their passion, in order to influence children at a young age when their hearts and minds are open to living Me to We. 

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