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

  • Icarus, grannies, black holes and the death of privacy: exploring the use of digital networks for career enactment

    Staunton, Tom; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2019-11-28)
    New perspectives on how digital networks can be understood as an environment for career enactment are explored in this article, in particular, through using critical perspectives on technology, especially in the context of prevailing instrumental perspectives in the majority of the career development literature. Thus, the narratives of people using digital networks for their careers were explored using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The results are captured in three main themes or critical discourses: the speed and scale of digital environments, game-like features of social media interactions and a divide between offline and online worlds. These are presented as sites for critical investigation and are aligned with technological and socio-cultural critical theories.
  • Nudge theory: should career development practitioners have a position?

    Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Career Development Institute, 2019-06-01)
    This article considers the ethical issues of applying nudge theory in the career development sector.
  • Understanding the use of digital technology in the career development sector

    Moore, Nicki; Czerwinska, Karolina; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-12-04)
    This research, funded jointly by the UK’s Career Development Institute and the University of Derby, has been conducted at a time of rapid change in the availability and use of digital technologies. A recommendation to develop digital skills to harness technology is not new and was first suggested by The Careers Profession Task Force (2010). This research aims to determine what progress has been made over the last nine years since the recommendation was made and seeks to determine: • How practitioners and managers use digital technology to deliver career development services • The potential for digital technology to deliver career development services; and • The training needs of career development practitioners so that they can use digital technology to deliver services, innovate solutions and solve problems in service delivery. The knowledge developed through this research will be used to develop professional support and training activities and services to organisations and individual career development practitioners. It will also be used by policy makers in the UK and beyond, who are tasked with the development of modern, cost-effective and client appropriate career development services.
  • Pop-up shops for increasing employability and contributing to civil society in times of austerity

    Hill, Inge; Bass, Tina; Coventry University (Springer, 2019-09-24)
    This chapter discusses a learning and teaching unit pop-up shop rooted in experiential learning. This pop-up shop learning activity aims to increase employability and educate young learners how to contribute to civil society. The discussion offers a reflection on how lecturers’ roles are changing in response to the austerity informed UK policies and HE measures. Universities are increasingly required to generate larger numbers of enterprising, employment-ready graduates. Increased monitoring of the efficient use of public spending in HE has seen the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) bringing more focus on employability rates, which in turn help to determine university rankings. These rankings put pressure on HE senior management, which is then passed down through the hierarchy to lecturers. The detailed guidance on how to run pop-up shops offers a pragmatic answer to the outlined challenges to inspire lecturers to develop their learning and teaching strategies. Particular attention is paid to developing reflective skills in learners.
  • Why higher apprenticeships are critical to business

    Hooley, Tristram; Institute of Student Employers; University of Derby (Open Access Government, 2019-09-06)
  • Leading change for survival: The rural flexi-school approach

    Poultney, Val; Anderson, Duncan; University of Derby (Sage, 2019-10-08)
    This article seeks to present the perspectives of three school leaders in one rural primary school in the English East Midlands, who, when faced with closure due to a falling student numbers, decided to offer and operate a flexi-schooling model of educational provision. We aim to find out, through a theoretical model of systems school leadership, how the school leadership team addressed this issue. Findings suggest that the principles of systems leadership, operating through an open systems model, have facilitated the journey towards flexi-schooling and ensured the survival and growth of the school. The learning community created with parents and the personalisation of the curriculum for learners reflects an innovative curriculum design and in part solves the problems which led to the initial decision taken by parents to home-educate. Focusing on ways to secure healthy student numbers, school leaders developed a partnership with a multi-academy trust, yet they still face challenges in formally recording student numbers when their attendance is only part of the week
  • Leading change for survival: the rural flexi-school approach

    Poultney, Val; Anderson, Duncan; University of Derby (BELMAS, 2019-08-19)
    Nestled in the Staffordshire moorlands, a small rural school appointed a Head Teacher, who also served as teacher, for a school community of 5 children in 2010. Shortly afterwards, the school was earmarked for closure. Passionate for the school to remain open, the Head Teacher sought to adopt a flexi-schooling approach. The school is now at capacity with just under 50 children, most of whom have previously been home educated or school refusers. Carnie (2017) describes flexi-schooling as an agreed contract and partnership whereby the school and family agree responsibilities for the education of the children concerned. It is characterised in part by there being no unique location for education. Parents, according to Neuman & Guterman (2019) are important and active participants in the education of their children. They have a clear educational role working in close collaboration and partnership with the school, where the home environment is central to the teaching process
  • Different schools, same problem: What value teacher research and inquiry?

    Poultney, Val; University of Derby (BERA, 2019-02-11)
    Robust school leadership is seen as the most effective route by which schools and outcomes for students can be achieved (Greany, 2015). But how does a headteacher of a school graded ‘outstanding’ by the inspectorate maintain the motivation of its teachers to work consistently at this highest level? I am a university academic, and recently I was in conversation with the head of an outstanding secondary school about this issue. He explained that most of his staff are graded as ‘very good’/‘outstanding’, and student outcomes are consistently above the national norm. The school is not aligned with a teaching school alliance, nor is it part of a multi-academy trust (MAT). Networking with other teacher professionals is limited because of a restricted budget for cover teachers and for fear of compromising standards in the long term. We talked about teacher research to encourage staff to engage with wider external networks, in order to keep them motivated about practice. This might open opportunities for dissemination to enable the staff to adopt a more critical perspective on their work. He seemed interested.
  • Jetting off on another flying faculty visit: what have we learned?

    Poultney, Val; University of Derby (BERA, 2018-01-31)
    The increased demand for education as a tradable commodity has seen a growing number of international students seeking UK qualifications over the past decade (OECD, 2009). It is becoming commonplace for universities to have their programmes delivered ‘off-site’ by a teaching team of academics who make regular trips abroad, often at great distance, to teach international cohorts for intensive periods of time. This is commonly known as ‘flying faculty’, and research into this phenomenon has revealed that it is anything but a holiday in the sun. Smith (2014) found that there were four areas UK academics needed to consider when preparing to undertake such work. Issues around quality assurance of the programme. The teaching and learning practices of the department/faculty. The professional development of the academics. The challenges of undertaking this type of work.
  • Learning rounds: What potential for teacher Inquiry?

    Poultney, Val; University of Derby (Leeds Beckett University Carnegie School of Education, 2018-11)
    Back in 2015 I began work with a primary school in Derby City that was under Special Measures. It was the beginning of a school-university partnership that was to last for over two years. During that time the staff were given the opportunity to ‘research’ and collect evidence related to problematic areas of their practice. Looking back at this work which was eventually published Poultney, 2017), I began to wonder just what ‘research’ had really meant in this primary school context and what these teachers had gained from their experience of collecting evidence, arriving at solutions to their teaching problems, telling other teachers about their findings and writing their chapters for this book. Many of the contributors to the book have since taken up promoted roles, been confident enough to speak at various conferences and make contribution to many professional events since then. Over the time we spent together these teachers have developed a confident ‘critical eye’ and the ability to ask insightful ask about practice. Day (2017) refers this as the establishment of ‘human capital’ which is likely to engender trust and a sense of individual and collective well-being which will motivate teachers to engage in activities directly related to raising school standards.
  • SENCO induction pack: Supporting you at the start of your journey

    Whatton, Julie; Codina, Geraldene; Middleton, Tristan; Esposito, Rosanne; Department for Education; NASEN (Whole School SEND/DfE/LLSENDCiC/nasen, 2019-04)
    This induction pack has been designed by SENCOs for SENCOs as a useful reference tool that can be used from day one of undertaking this important role. It can be a valuable asset to both new and experienced professionals alike and we would recommend it to all SENCOs. We understand that the role is context-specific and so, instead of trying to prescribe a single approach, this induction pack sets out the key operational considerations so that SENCOs can make more informed decisions. This SENCO Induction Pack has been developed by Leading Learning for SEND Community Interest Company as part of a suite of resources developed by the Whole School SEND Consortium3, hosted by nasen4, to embed good SEND provision in schools. This project was funded by the Department for Education. As such, the induction pack includes references to a broad range of organisations, resources and documents from across the SEND community. This is in keeping with one of the wider principles of Whole School SEND, which is to maximise the use of existing resources to save schools time and money.
  • Gaining more than just vocational skills: Evaluating women learners’ aspirations through the capability approach

    Suart, Rebecca; University of Nottingham (Springer, 2018-12-12)
    Vocational education and training had been a popular choice for women learners in the English Further Education sector. However, policy makers and policy researchers have characterized these women learners as providing a poor return on investment due to their failure to enter immediate employment. As a result, there have been significant cuts to funding. Such policy processes have not engaged with why these women returned to education and what they stood to gain from participation. This major absence is the focus of this chapter. Framed using a capabilities approach, women learners were asked why they had returned to FE and how they were going to use their knowledge and training. Using capabilities as a lens reveals a nuanced and complex picture of how education helps them to expand their well-being, agency, and freedom achievement.
  • Assessment: Evidence-based teaching for enquiring teachers

    Atherton, Chris; Poultney, Val; Sir John Deane's Sixth Form College; University of Derby (Critical Publishing, 2018)
  • Youth, migration and identity in Cuba since 1959

    Luke, Anne; University of Derby (Routledge, 2017-08-15)
    In Cuba, the issue of migration cannot be disaggregated from the relationship with the US and, specifically, the issues of migration from socialist Cuba to its larger neighbour. Such migration is an important element of the political relationship between the two countries, but is also a key factor in the definition of Cuban identity. This chapter will present two case studies of the intersection of migration and youth in Cuba after 1959 and will explore the relationship between these cases and the contemporary polemic on migration. The relationship between island-based Cubans and the Cuban diaspora and very notion of national identity and the right to self-define as Cuban are woven into narratives of international relations as the intimate level of family relations come into contact (and conflict) with high politics. Young Cubans experience migration not only as migrants but also from the island where such migration has become part of the Cuban imagined identity. The repeated moral panics over young people who do not work or study over the Revolutionary period coupled with the heightened focus on young people as key agents in the revolutionary process creates a specific set of circumstances which allow for a definition of Cuban identity which is fluid and in flux, but which, given the new (though fragile) reality of a closer relationship with the USA, has sought and continues to seek to incorporate migration into a reflective understanding of the revolutionary process.
  • Handbook of vocational education and training

    Stuart, Rebecca; McGrath, Simon; Mulder, Martin; Papier, Joy; University of the Western Cape; Wageningen University; University of Nottingham (Springer International Publishing, 2019)
    This handbook brings together and promotes research on the area of vocational education and training (VET). It analyzes current and future economic and labor market trends and relates these to likely implications for vocational education and training. It questions how VET engages with the growing power of human development approaches and with the sustainable development agenda. Equity and inclusion are discussed in a range of ways by the authors and the consideration of the construction of these terms is an important element of the handbook. It further addresses both the overall notion of system reform, at different scales, and what is known about particular technologies of systems reform across a variety of settings. Vocational learning and VET teacher/trainer education are discussed from a comparative perspective. National and comparative experiences are also shared on questions of equity and efficiency in funding in terms of those that fund and are funded, and for a range of funding methodologies. As well as reviewing existing gaps, this handbook is looking forward in identifying promising new directions in research and environment.
  • Gaining more than just vocational skills: Evaluating women learners’ aspirations through the capability approach

    Stuart, Rebecca; University of the Western Cape (Springer International Publishing, 2018-12-12)
    Vocational education and training had been a popular choice for women learners in the English Further Education sector. However, policy makers and policy researchers have characterized these women learners as providing a poor return on investment due to their failure to enter immediate employment. As a result, there have been significant cuts to funding. Such policy processes have not engaged with why these women returned to education and what they stood to gain from participation. This major absence is the focus of this chapter. Framed using a capabilities approach, women learners were asked why they had returned to FE and how they were going to use their knowledge and training. Using capabilities as a lens reveals a nuanced and complex picture of how education helps them to expand their well-being, agency, and freedom achievement.
  • International approaches to quality in career guidance

    Hooley, Tristram; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (Competence Norway, 2019-04-10)
    This report explores the issue of quality and quality assurance in career guidance. It is based on six case studies which look at how different countries quality assure their career guidance provision. The aim of the study is to use these international examples to inform the development of a quality system for career guidance in Norway.
  • Career guidance and the changing world of work: Contesting responsibilising notions of the future.

    Hooley, Tristram John; University of Derby (Springer, 2019-04-29)
    Career guidance is an educational activity which helps individuals to manage their participation in learning and work and plan for their futures. Unsurprisingly career guidance practitioners are interested in how the world of work is changing and concerned about threats of technological unemployment. This chapter argues that the career guidance field is strongly influenced by a “changing world of work” narrative which is drawn from a wide body of grey literature produced by think tanks, supra-national bodies and other policy influencers. This body of literature is political in nature and describes the future of work narrowly and within the frame of neoliberalism. The ‘changing world of work’ narrative is explored through a thematic analysis of grey literature and promotional materials for career guidance conferences. The chapter concludes by arguing that career guidance needs to adopt a more critical stance on the ‘changing world of work’ and to offer more emancipatory alternatives.
  • Introducing a fellowship scheme for the CDI

    Neary, Siobhan; International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) (The Career Development Institute, 2019-06)
    The article outlines the process adopted and the outcomes for the development for a Fellowship programme within the Career Development Institute. It explores the rationale for adoption, the criteria for selection and strategy for progressing this new membership conferment.
  • Leadership and ministry, lay and ordained: Insights from rural multi-church groups

    Weller, Paul; Artess, Jane; Sahar, Arif; Neary, Siobhan; International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS); University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-07)
    This report examines and explores leadership challenges and opportunities in the setting of Christian ministry and witness within the rural multi-church context. The challenges arise from a combination of demographic and socio-economic challenges coupled with inherited building, operational structures and patterns of ordained ministry. It utilises in-depth literature review, semi-structured interviews and a mapping of training provision to establish the challenges and opportunities for rural multi-church contexts. A lack of confidence was identified as the biggest barrier in encouraging clergy and lay people to look at ministry and witness new ways to engage in learning and development opportunities. It is recognised that a one-size-fits all approach is not appropriate but consideration needs to be given to the extension of formal training courses at local level, short modular approaches and the informal approaches such as mentoring.

View more