• Academic freedom in English universities: an exploration of the views of Vice-Chancellors

      Gill, Judith M. R.; University of Derby (2017-03-03)
      ‘Academic freedom’ in the Twenty-First Century is a contested concept and there exist many interpretations, or versions, of academic freedom, a number of which have been identified through a review of the literature. Some scholars now claim that academic freedom no longer exists in academia, or that it has become a second order value that competes with other priorities more appropriate to the now competitive business of higher education. In this context, the philosophical and legal responsibilities that Vice-Chancellors have in protecting academic freedom can no longer be taken as unproblematic, and their views may not be clear to themselves or to the staff and students in their institutions. This thesis explores the views Vice-Chancellors have on the concept of academic freedom, how they manage academic freedom and the extent to which they believe academic freedom is practised in their university. The Vice-Chancellors interviewed, of a regional and representative sample of English universities, included those from leading pre-1992 universities and new post-1992 universities as well as one private university. Vice-Chancellors were found to have paid little, or no, attention to academic freedom. They implied that academic freedom was a matter for individual subject departments, but they were resolute that they were the arbiters whenever academic freedom became an issue. Some thought that the concept of academic freedom had been misused by individual academics who raised issues motivated by political and ideological beliefs, and those who conflated it with the civil liberty of free speech. In summarising the Vice-Chancellors’ ‘version’ of academic freedom, a key finding was that they had neglected academic freedom. Consequently, one important proposal was that Vice-Chancellors in English universities should review the nature of academic freedom and consider the implications at governance and managerial levels, at departmental level and in practice. As one Vice-Chancellor admitted: “…we’ve never said to, or proven to, the outside world that academic freedom is important”.
    • Across a great divide

      McGilchrist, Mary Megan Riley (University of Derby, 2008)
    • An action research study concerning how clinicians formulate treatment choices for people with personality disorder: using hermeneutic and IPA methods.

      Graham, Judith; University of Derby (2017-04-10)
      Background: Personality Disorder treatment is a contentious subject in health care. Despite available research concerning the diagnosis itself and also available treatments, there is little research regarding treatment thresholds or defining how treatment decisions can be formulated. This problem has been identified by clinicians, patients, supervisors and specific organisations, particularly linked to recent healthcare changes associated with austerity measures. Research Question: How can mental health care staff use a formulated decision process concerning therapeutic interventions for people with PD, when considering the recent service changes and rationalisation of available treatments? Methods: An Action Research study has been conducted over a four year period, using predominantly qualitative methods including: a hermeneutic literature review (n=144 papers), patient questionnaires (n=15) and Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of clinician and supervisor semi-structured interviews (n=10). Results: Difficulties have been found when making decisions with people who either do not accept their diagnosis and/or do not accept the current evidence-based treatments for personality disorder. Other challenges have been identified regarding the patient/clinician relationship, the level of distress the patient presents with, and also the clinician view concerning the individual, the diagnosis, and the available treatments. The IPA produced five super-ordinate themes related to decision-making regarding treatment choices for people with personality disorder, including: difficulties with boundary management, diagnostic stigma, a focus upon time, metacognitive ability, and the potential for iatrogenic harm. Conclusions: Multiple factors require consideration when examining treatment choices for people with a personality disorder, concerning the patient's individual symptom profile, needs, attitude towards treatments; the clinician's profession, attitudes, opinions, and wellness on the day of the assessment, and also the treatments available within the locality. A diagram has been presented summarising these formulation factors. Recommendations have been made based upon the results, analysis, synthesis and discussion sections, indicating potential practice changes and areas for future research.
    • Appropriating, adapting and performing

      Bishton, Joanne; University of Derby (2018-07-18)
      This thesis is an interdisciplinary study of the lesbian fiction of Sarah Waters and it will demonstrate through a series of theoretical trajectories how her work creates new historical and cultural spaces for the representation of working-class female same-sex desire. Waters’ work exposes the fissures and instability of constructed social narratives, as her stories present women who have traditionally had their meaningful place in society denied to them. In response, this thesis illustrates how Waters’ work unearths the hidden histories of lesbians and shows them as meaningful participants in society. This thesis considers how it has been difficult for contemporary lesbians to locate a sense of their subjectivity with Sapphic icons of the past. Traditional literary representations of the lesbian-figure present a spectral and waif-life form. Such ethereal manifestations have helped ensure that lesbians are denied a visible legacy within society, because in many respects they are idealised forms, which are unattainable for women from ordinary backgrounds. In other words they have become a middle-class-specific form of identification. In this regard, this thesis demonstrates how Waters uses the concept of proximity to introduce alternative ways of meaning making into the text. For example, proximity enables the reader to experience in greater depth the relationship between space and place, whereby the social position of lesbians has been used to restrict the cultural spaces lesbian lived existence has conventionally had access to. In this way, paying attention to proximity enables the reader to challenge cultural assumptions of gender. Moreover, the closeness that Waters has to her subject matter, through the author-figure, gay activist and as public intellectual means that her function in the author role brings into being a series of authenticated examples of lesbian lived existence which come about through Waters’ own intention. Waters writes from a place that feels very intuitive to her. When she writes she says it feels very instinctive. In this regard her writing houses an interiority that other writers of marginal existence exhibit. For example, this thesis sees Waters as a co-producer of knowledge and argues that Waters creates a second authorial self that provides a governing consciousness for readers of her work. Waters has a long involvement in LBGT politics and it is shown how Waters’ work is influenced by a combination of her political and public selves. In this regard, this thesis draws attention to the palimpsestic nature of her work in relation to the inner and outer spaces that it occupies. In many respects Waters’ fiction deals with the notion and concept of the queer, emptying these relative positions of their negative stereotype and showing how the term ‘queer’ has been reclaimed by gay culture. In this regard, this thesis shows how the themes and issues that emanate from Waters’ fiction can be read as a series of queerings meant to challenge and intervene in ideas of fixity. Queerness locates textual inconsistencies that are gained from the momentum of revolving and evolving interpretations. In this way, this thesis argues that Waters’ writing exposes the imbricated nature of cultural and social hegemony and releases the pleasures within the text.
    • Are relationships with brands problematic or beneficial to Christian faith? An investigation into the role of faith brands in the faith development of members of some East Midlands churches

      Hodder, Chris; University of Derby (2017-06)
      This study is a work of Practical Theology aiming to create an interpretative paradigm within which to evaluate faith brands theologically and identify whether faith brands are problematic or beneficial to Christian faith. The research used qualitative research techniques – five focus groups drawn from a church in the East Midlands, triangulated with interviews with practitioners in both marketing and ministry, and documentary analysis of faith brands. An element of comparison was possible between focus groups by grouping those church members who self-identified as “charismatic/evangelical” into three groups and examining how the data generated in those groups compared with the other two groups, drawn from a more “central Anglican” tradition. The importance of relationships and the motif of the faith being a journey and a process are validated by the data. Some of the problematic issues that faith brands raise for Christian faith – including challenges of ecclesiology, and the risk of a reductionist approach to faith – are considered both from the perspective of faith brands (such as the Alpha course) which might be considered as “McDonaldising” the faith, as well as the perspective of more “localized” faith brands, embodied within the “Fresh Expressions” movement. The results suggest that whilst faith brands do pose risks for Christian faith – including the danger of reductionism, or challenges to traditional ecclesiology - they can also be beneficial where they are utilized in ways that are sensitive to the context in which individuals are relating to them. This PhD makes an original contribution to knowledge through by exploring in detail the impact of faith branding upon some members of East Midlands Churches, in itself an original focus of study. It also makes an original contribution by utilising the insights of Rational Choice Theory to interrogate the data and extends the field of Practical Theology in also beginning to develop a constructive theology of branding. Tracing the contours of an emerging theology of branding, the Apostle Paul’s contextual missionary flexibility is noted alongside an acknowledgement that creation is both fallen, and yet also nevertheless pregnant with goodness and grace. It is suggested (through drawing on insights in the work of Cavanaugh) that faith brands can be located comfortably within an Augustinian framework with respect to notions of choice and desire. Within a theological evaluation, faith brands could be seen to offer a way of seeking to influence the will towards to God – and as such, offer a counterpoint to consumer brands, because they are a means to what is understood theologically to be a true end (God), whereas in consumerism, the end is simply to continue desiring to buy. Finally, the notion of the missio Dei and Bosch & Sherry’s theology of the work of the Holy Spirit are offered as ways of understanding of how God works through human culture and human creativity.
    • The articulation of cultural tourism in Sardinia

      Azara, Iride (University of Derby, 2011)
    • Assessing the credibility of online social network messages.

      Makinde, Oghenefejiro Winnie; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-01)
      ABSTRACT Information gathered socially online is a key feature of the growth and development of modern society. Presently the Internet is a platform for the distribution of data. Millions of people use Online Social Networks daily as a tool to get updated with social, political, educational or other occurrences. In many cases information derived from an Online Social Network is acted upon and often shared with other networks, without further assessments or judgments. Many people do not check to see if the information shared is credible. A user may trust the information generated by a close friend without questioning its credibility, in contrast to a message generated by an unknown user. This work considers the concept of credibility in the wider sense, by proposing whether a user can trust the service provider or even the information itself. Two key components of credibility have been explored; trustworthiness and expertise. Credibility has been researched in the past using Twitter as a validation tool. The research was focused on automatic methods of assessing the credibility of sets of tweets using analysis of microblog postings related to trending topics to determine the credibility of tweets. This research develops a framework that can assist the assessment of the credibility of messages in Online Social Networks. Four types of credibility are explored (experienced, surface, reputed and presumed credibility) resulting in a credibility hierarchy. To determine the credibility of messages generated and distributed in Online Social Networks, a virtual network is created, which attributes nodes with individual views to generate messages in the network at random, recording data from a network and analysing the data based on the behaviour exhibited by agents (an agent-based modelling approach). The factors considered for the experiment design included; peer-to-peer networking, collaboration, opinion formation and network rewiring. The behaviour of agents, frequency in which messages are shared and used, the pathway of the messages and how this affects credibility of messages is also considered. A framework is designed and the resulting data are tested using the design. The resulting data generated validated the framework in part, supporting an approach whereby the concept of tagging the message status assists the understanding and application of the credibility hierarchy. Validation was carried out with Twitter data acquired through twitter’s Application Programming Interface (API). There were similarities in the generation and frequency of the message distributions in the network; these findings were also recorded and analysed using the framework proposed. Some limitations were encountered while acquiring data from Twitter, however, there was sufficient evidence of correlation between the simulated and real social network datasets to indicate the validity of the framework.
    • Assessment and training in breast cancer detection.

      Cowley, Helen Claire.; University of Derby (1999)
    • An assessment of excellence in formulating strategic plan :

      Bin Sultan, Abdalla Abdelrahman Yousif Ali (University of Derby, 2012)
    • Assessment of higher level practice in nursing: an exploration of the support required by practice assessors

      Stoneley, Helen; Wesson, Wendy (University of DerbyUniversity of DerbyN/A, 2012-11-01)
      Nurse education is continually adapting to meet the requirements of employers to develop increasingly autonomous practitioners who can provide evidence-based, high quality care. The work-based project examines the support available to mentors, known as practice teachers, in their role as assessors of nursing students in higher level practice. A qualitative study: the project employs a grounded theory approach to the analysis of data elicited from practice teachers and academics. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups alongside regular reviews of the literature are utilised to elicit data, and via an inductive process, categories emerging from the analysis are constructed to present new insights and understanding of the subject under scrutiny. Whilst it is clear that a degree of support is available to practice teachers in response to a rudimentary understanding of their role in higher level practice, it is also clear that this support is limited by a number of factors. The product of practice assessment for the employer is a newly-qualified practitioner who is able to carry out a role based on a specified set of competencies. For the educator, whether within the higher education institution or in practice, the process of education is ongoing; producing a practitioner with the capability to utilise higher level practice in ever-changing contexts and situations. Support for the practice teacher can only be enhanced if recognition of the role is promoted. This requires a shared understanding of the importance of developing both competence and capability for higher level practice. Only then will the vital contribution made by the practice teacher in the student’s development be understood by those supporting them. Converging rather than competing philosophies of training for competence and educating for capability are necessary to maintain the status and commitment of the practice teacher and consequently the rigour required of assessment in practice.
    • Automaticity and the development of categorisation in preschool children: Understanding the importance of play

      Owen, Kay; University of Derby (2017-05)
      Categorisation is the process by which items, behaviours and events are compartmentalised according to their defining attributes or properties. This may be based on simple perceptual similarities or on more complex conceptual webs. Whatever their selection criteria, categories expedite inferential capabilities, facilitating behavioural predictions and subsequently enabling response. Categorisation waives conscious effort whilst preserving that which is salient and as such, provides a highly efficient means of delineating and organising information within semantic memory. An ability to categorise is therefore fundamental to an individual’s capacity to understand the world and a necessary precursor to academic achievement. This thesis comprises a series of studies that were devised in order to investigate categorisational development in children. Study 1 involved the development of a theoretically and practically valid testing mechanism. A sample of 159 children, aged 30-50 months, participated in a series of investigations aimed at establishing the impact of test format and presentation dimensionality on categorisation performance. As a result of this, a new test battery was devised which enabled more fine grain differentiation than had been possible with the tests used by previous researchers. The battery measured four different aspects of preschool children’s categorisational abilities -categorising according to shape; according to colour; when presented with drawings of items, and when presented with the same items in the form of toys. Results found that children’s ability to categorise differed significantly according to their sex, socio-economic background and the dimensionality of the item. Study 2 utilised the same battery with 190 participants from demographically diverse cohorts. Significant differences were found between high and low socio-economic groups and between boys and girls. A Mixed- Factorial ANOVA, with a post-hoc Bonferroni demonstrated a main effect of sex; a main effect of cohort and an interaction between sex and cohort. A Kruskal-Wallis Test also showed age to be significant, confirming the findings of previous researchers concerning a developmental trajectory. However, it also found that relatively sophisticated conceptual webs emerge earlier than had previously been thought. Whilst the results from Study 2 had demonstrated relative homogeneity amongst socio-economic groups, it was noted that participants from the most disadvantaged neighbourhood performed better than those from the other low socio-economic cohort. As the two Nurseries employed different approaches, with one offering a formal curriculum and the other emphasising child-led play, it was decided that the final study would focus on categorical development in these two cohorts. The final study therefore investigated conceptual development during 96 participants’ first twelve weeks of nursery education. Forty-eight participants were drawn from a Community Nursery with a strong emphasis on child-led play and 48 were drawn from a Nursery attached to a Primary School, where the emphasis was on more formalised learning. Children’s categorisational abilities were measured during their first week in Nursery using the test battery devised for Study 1. They were then re-tested using a matched battery twelve weeks later. Change scores were calculated and analysed using a series of one-way ANOVAs. As anticipated, all participants made gains but the children who had participated in play made significantly greater gains in three out of the four measures. It is thus asserted that play is a key conducer in cognitive development and a causal executant in establishing rudimentary automaticity and, as such, should be the polestar of preschool education. This is particularly important for boys from low socio-economic backgrounds who face contiguous disadvantage. Therefore, this research demonstrates that memory-based research with young children should be conducted with toys and objects, rather than images, and that the link between social and educational stratification has its roots in early childhood and is best addressed through the provision of high-quality play opportunities.
    • Being Sikh

      Gill, Santokh Singh (University of Derby, 2005)
    • Blueprint for school improvement.

      Nahum, Yaakov; University of Derby (2019-05-17)
      Abstract This study examines the "TBWY" reform program, its design and efficacy. The program was carried out in an Israeli high school with the aim of improving equality of opportunity, narrowing educational achievement gaps (Friedlander & Leon-Elmakias, 2006), improving the climate for study and increasing the number of those eligible for the matriculation (Bagrut) examinations which, since 2006, had been decreasing. The reform program covered two types of class groups: "homogeneous learning groups” and “guided groups”. The homogeneous learning groups were based on the students' proven learning skills, thereby reducing the differences in the students' achievements. In this way, it was possible to focus on teaching methods suitable for the learning group in a uniform and focused way. The second group is a "guided group" made up of between 15 and 17 students. The "guided group" placed students with different peers to their ‘”learning group” according to matters of common interest among the students, their hobbies, common areas of study, youth movements, extramural activities, groups and students' requests to be together. Each group has a teacher/guide who has undergone extensive training as a group coordinator. The "guided group" involves a twice-weekly round-table meeting. In addition to these meetings, the group coordinator met with each student to build an annual program of work and a process for monitoring the student's achievements in all of the areas mentioned. This study included quantitative and qualitative constructivist methods focused on comparative research with students and teachers during two periods – before the reform program in 2006 and after it, in October 2009. Several criteria were examined: teachers’ perceptions of instruction strategies in homogeneous learning groups and resulting changes – gaps (Nahum, 2009) in educational achievements among the students, changes in the percentages of eligibility for matriculation certificates, school climate, a change in the students' feelings and the extent of teachers' feelings of responsibility for the failure and success of the students. Findings indicated a relationship between teachers' acceptance of responsibility for the students' success or failure and positive changes in teachers’ perceptions of student’s abilities, the feelings of students, a reduction in achievement gaps, and improved climate of the school. Furthermore, there was an increase in the number of students eligible for matriculation with an increase, in their grades from before the implementation of the program, until the present academic year, 2015. This research contributes to a deeper understanding of the factors that enable greater scholastic achievement, together with an improved climate in an educational institution within the Israeli context. The research contributes to the understanding of the relationship between philosophical and psychological theories and their application in practice within the education system. The results of the research illustrate that a correct implementation of theories can create a change by reducing gaps in students' attainment by improving the school climate, by increasing the extent of the teachers' responsibility vis-à-vis students' success and increasing the number of students who are eligible for a matriculation certificate.
    • Bridge strike reduction: the design and evaluation of visual warnings

      Horberry, Timothy John (University of Derby, 1999)
    • Britain's and Germany's interests in EU enlargement and reform.

      Schweiger, Christian. (University of Derby, 2003)