We are the hub for educational research at the University of Derby. The Centre conducts educational research and provides consultancy to schools, education providers, the wider education sector, and Government. We have a lifelong focus and addresses education policy, practice, and research from early years to adult learning. The Centre is home to researchers from the Institute of Education, educational researchers from across the University of Derby, and associate researchers from a range of schools and organisations. Its core areas of focus include career education and guidance; educational leadership and management; higher education; mathematics education; and special needs education. The Centre was launched in October 2015 and brings together a wide range of pre-existing research and expertise from the University of Derby.

Recent Submissions

  • 'It helps to have more strings to your bow’. Exploring the careers and success of graduates of the conservatoire for dance and drama

    Mellors-Bourne, Robin; Hooley, Tristram; CRAC / Institute of Student Employers; University of Derby (CRAC, 2020-10)
    This report sets out the findings of a project exploring the careers pursued by the graduates from the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama. It finds that CDD graduates are positive about their experience of studying at the Conservatoire and that they frequently go on to paid work linked to their degree discipline. However, the experience of work for these graduates is likely to be of a portfolio career which links together a range of different jobs.
  • Are young people aged 16-19 using or expecting to use the gig economy for their careers

    Galfalvi, Esther; Hooley, Tristram; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby (NICEC, 2020-10)
    Amid growing precarity and zero hour contracts, the ‘gig economy’ represents a new way of working mediated by web technology. Workers can sign up to a work platform – a website or smartphone program that manages the work automatically – and take on work at the tap of a button. Some platforms manage labour, such as driving for Uber or delivering food for Deliveroo, while others manage retail activity, such as Ebay or Etsy. Recent research has shown that a significant number of people are using platform work to earn money, with over half being young people aged 16-34. While there are some data regarding satisfaction levels and attractors, there is little research examining specific age segments of workers, or the relationship between platform work and career. Using data from focus group interviews with school and Further Education college students, this paper will discuss findings from research investigating how young people in England aged 16-19 perceive the gig economy and whether they feel that it will be relevant to their careers, with a view to discussing whether it may be necessary to include in careers education programmes or guidance. The interview data indicate that these participants were occasionally using platforms to make money, and a few were earning regularly, usually on retail platforms. While some interviewees appreciated the autonomy and flexibility promised by gig economy work, the uncertainty, perceived low status, and lack of career progression prevented them from taking it seriously as a career option. Instead, they preferred traditional forms of work that provide more stability and organisational support - an increasingly rare commodity in a labour market that is changing rapidly in the opposite direction. We conclude that while there may be little value in giving detailed individual guidance on the gig economy, it could be valuable to use it as a way of teaching young people about the labour market and different types of employment
  • Celebrity scientists: Inspiration or just entertainment?

    Dent, Maria Fay; Radford, Neil; University of Derby (The Association for Science Education, 2020-09-30)
    This article explores perceptions of science students about the influence of celebrity science on their aspirations. Does celebrity science inspire? Their views are contrasted with those of five prominent celebrity scientists (including Sir David Attenborough and Baroness Susan Greenfield). Qualitative interviews revealed that whilst a key factor in science aspiration is personal interest, celebrity scientists were perceived as having the potential and responsibility to inspire young people. Authenticity and credibility, alongside entertainment, were seen as potentially optimising this influence. Implications for teacher educators are considered from the perspective of working with science teachers, scientists and celebrity scientists, with the concept of ‘message to a name’ being introduced as a supportive tool.
  • Listening to new voices in the career development field

    Albien, Anouk J.; Poulsen, Bo Kindt; Toiviainen, Sanna; Kekki, Miika; Hooley, Tristram; University of Derby (NICEC, 2020-10)
    This is an editorial for an issue of the Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling focusing on new and early career researchers, particularly those associated with the ECADOC programme.
  • I don’t think anyone here has thought about career really: What the concept of ‘career’ means to Norwegian teenagers and school counsellors

    Bakke, Ingrid Bårdsdatter; Hooley, Tristram; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-10-22)
    Norway is reforming its career guidance system. This article explores how these reforms are experienced in schools around Norway, and attends to the way in which the concept of ‘career’ is understood. There is a difference between an ‘everyday’ and a scholarly understanding of the concept, between seeing it as hierarchical, or viewing career more democratically. This study explores how these tensions are worked through by Norwegian young people and guidance counsellors. The article argues that this tension is pronounced because the concept of ‘career’ has entered Norway as part of a top down policy discourse. Consequently, there is a need to re-contextualise the ideas of career and career guidance to connect them with Norwegian culture.
  • Teacher professional learning through lesson study: teachers’ reflections

    Poultney, Val; Fox, Alison; University of Derby; The Open University (Emerald, 2020-10-15)
    This study examines the experiences of five teachers working in two English secondary school subject departments after being given the opportunity to engage with Lesson Study (LS) to increase student performance in their subject areas. This study aimed to reveal the drivers for the teachers’ engagement in LS, and how this experience of Joint Professional Development (JPD) might be contributing to their learning as teachers. This study application of a model of learning for analysis of teacher reflections on collaborative learning experiences. Understanding individual teacher reflections on LS experiences, are underrepresented in the literature in particular studies providing insights into conditions conducive and constraining to JPD.
  • Career development and human capital theory: Preaching the “education gospel”

    Hooley, Tristram; University of Derby (Oxford University Press, 2020-09-02)
    This chapter analyses the relationship between career development, education, and human capital theory. It argues that education lies at the heart of our understanding of how individuals develop their careers and how purposeful career development interventions can support them in this endeavour. Career development services are most evident and accessible in the education system. This relationship is not accidental but is rooted in both the historical development of the field and in the importance of human capital theory to the ideology of both education and career development. The chapter finishes by critiquing the dependence of policymakers and advocates for the field on human capital theory and by considering alternative relationships that could be built between education and career development.
  • The role of digital technology in career development

    Hooley, Tristram; Staunton, Tom; University of Derby (Oxford University Press, 2020-09-02)
    This chapter analyses the role of digital technologies in career development. It argues that digital technologies change the context for individuals’ careers and the opportunities that exist for the provision of career support. The implications of digital technologies for career are dependent, in part, on how technologies are believed to interact with society. They may be thought of as tools, as shapers of society, or as social practices. For individuals, digital technologies can be understood through six metaphors: (1) library, (2) media channel, (3) surveillance camera, (4) marketplace, (5) meeting place, and (6) arena. For career development professionals, the choice is using them to provide information, automated interactions, or communication. The chapter concludes by arguing that there are three main pedagogic stances (instrumental, connectivist, or critical) that can guide career development professionals in the combination of different technologies and in the resolution of the opportunities and challenges that are presented to individuals in their career building.
  • The career development profession: Professionalisation, professionalism, and professional identity

    Gough, John; Neary, Siobhan; University of Warwick; University of Derby (Oxford University Press, 2020-09)
    This chapter examines the professionalisation of career development provision in countries across the world. ‘Professionalisation’ and ‘professionalism’ are explored through several concepts, including social closure, the professional project, and the regulatory bargain. The chapter argues that professionalism is a useful and important concept for the career development field but recognises the challenges that the field has had in achieving professional status. It recognises some of the critiques that exist of professionalism and explores how these relate to careers professionals. It then argues that increasing professionalism within the field needs to be understood as an ongoing process that has to be conducted on the personal, organizational, and professional level. The chapter concludes by outlining some key strategies that the field can use to advance the cause of professionalism in the future.
  • Addressing unrealistic optimism with counterfactual reasoning in an employability module in higher education

    Hanson, Jill; Burke, Ciaran; Univerity of West England; University of Derby (Emerald, 2020-09-01)
    The study aimed to explore the effect of second year business students engaging in counterfactual reasoning on their unrealistic optimism regarding attainment on an employability module. Using an experimental design, the study compared the module performance of those who generated reasons why they would and would not achieve a series of specific grades. A control group who did not generate any reasons also took part. Students who generated reasons why they would not achieve a good grade were less likely to be unrealistically optimistic and more likely to attain a good grade on their assessment. This is a small sample of students from one form of programme, so replication with a greater sample drawn from other programmes would increase reliability. The results suggest an easily applied and practical way of engaging students in employability modules to support their development of a range of capitals. The findings are considered in relation to the theory of possible selves, the value for students, particularly widening participation of students, of improved engagement with employability modules and the possibility of applying this technique in wider educational settings. This paper extends Hoch’s (1985) original study by considering the use of counterfactual reasoning for assessment performance and offering a an easy-to-apply tool for module leaders to support student attainment in employability development modules
  • Pining for the fjords: international perceptions of Nordic work, education and career guidance

    Hagaseth Haug, Erik; Hooley, Tristram; Kettunen, Jaana; Thomsen, Rie; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences; University of Derby (Brill, 2020-04-28)
    This chapter explores the way in which Nordic work, education and career guidance are seen by those outside of the Nordic region. It draws on an online survey of international informants which gathered respondents’ opinions about the Nordic countries. It finds that respondents are overwhelmingly positive about the Nordic countries, even though they do not claim to be particularly informed about these countries. They report that on average the Nordic countries are better places to work, study and receive career guidance than their own countries. The chapter makes the argument that the way that the brand of ‘Nordicity’ has been disseminated internationally can account for at least some of this international perception. While the ‘Nordic’ has become a powerful and positive signifier, it is an ambiguous one onto which the international community can project their own meanings and use to serve their own political ends.
  • Setting Nordic career guidance in context

    Hooley, Tristram; Kettunen, Jaana; Hagaseth Haug, Erik; Thomsen, Rie; University of Derby (Brill, 2020-04-28)
    The introduction to this volume discusses the importance of situating career and career guidance in context. It makes a connection to wider research and writing that challenges the idea that career theory can be global and universal and argues that there is a need for attention to local context and culture. It then moves on to set the scene for a volume focusing on the Nordic countries, by defining the ‘Nordic’ and exploring key features of the region including the Nordic welfare model and the history of collaborations in career guidance across the region. It proposes the four ‘COs’ of Nordic career guidance (context, community, co-construction and collaboration) before outlining the structure of the volume and looking to the future.
  • Save the student labour market

    Hooley, Tristram; Institute of Student Employers; University of Derby (The Student Employer, 2020-07)
    The pandemic has created a youth unemployment ticking time bomb and we all have a role to play. ISE is championing government support for employers. What else can be done?
  • Understanding inclusion

    Wharton, Julie; Codina, Geraldene; Middleton, Tristan; Esposito, Rosanne; University of Winchester; University of Derby; University of Gloucestershire; UCL Centre for Inclusive Education (Nasen, 2020-06-02)
    This mini guide is for SENCOs, school leaders (including governors), teachers and support staff. This guide aims to help you to consider your position with regard to inclusion in your setting, identify how you can develop an inclusive ethos and practice and reflect on the approach to inclusion taken in your setting.
  • Shaping the new normal: practising career guidance in the time of coronavirus

    Hooley, Tristram; Thomsen, Rie; Sultana, Ronald; University of Derby (Career Development Institute, 2020-04)
    What is the potential of career guidance in a time where the coronavirus is disrupting work and life as we know it? How can we as career practitioners respond in a situation where we do not know what the world will look like and where we, as well as the citizens we meet, will have more questions than answers? In this article we argue, that supporting people to manage their way through the crisis is not enough. Career guidance should also help people to think about and shape the ‘new normal’.
  • Election over, Brexit next. But, what is the future for career guidance?

    Hooley, Tristram; University of Derby (Career Development Institute, 2020-01)
  • Book review: Research methods for ssocial justice and equity in education

    Hanson, Jill; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-05-15)
    This is a review of the book "Research Methods for Social Justice and Equity in Education" by Liz Atkins and Vicky Duckworth.
  • Evaluation of the careers leader training

    Williams, Joy; Akehurst, Georgie; Alexander, Kate; Pollard, Emma; Williams, Ceri; Hooley, Tristram; Institute of Employment Studies; University of Derby (Institute of Employment Studies, 2020-05)
    This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the careers leaders training programme which was funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company.
  • Future frontiers: the impact of career coaching on year 11 students

    Hanson, Jill; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (IAEVG, 2020-03)
    This paper considers the issue of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and in particular it describes an evaluation of a career coaching programme conducted in a disadvantaged school for teenage students in London, England. The long-term aim of the programme is to improve destinations for children and reduce the number of NEETs, but in the shorter term the evaluation employed a semi-quasi experimental design to identify whether the coaching produced changes in career readiness and indicators of successful transitions. The students who took part in the coaching programme showed significant increases in some aspects of career readiness and some indicators of successful transitions compared to young people who did not. The paper discusses the size of the effects found and the importance of establishing short term measures of impacts for programmes that ultimately wish to evidence long-term impacts such as reduced NEET numbers.

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