• Exorcising an ethnography in limbo.

      Vigurs, Katy; University of Derby (Emerald Group Publishing Limited., 2019-01-07)
      I feel haunted; troubled by the ethnography that I conducted some years ago of a new partnership group that was attempting to set up a community learning centre. I’m aware that it doesn’t sound like a particularly alarming research topic, and perhaps that is where some of the issues began. I did not expect an ethnographic haunting to occur. The partnership recruited me less than a year into the creation of the project and I spent two years as a sort of ‘researcher in residence’. The original idea was that I would observe the initial development of the project and then, when the community learning centre was established, I would research the centre’s activities and how they were experienced by village residents. However, fairly soon into the project, problematic dynamics developed within the group, leading to irreconcilable conflict between members. The community learning centre was never established and I was left to piece together an ethnography of a failed partnership. Researching an increasingly dysfunctional partnership was an emotionally exhausting activity, especially when relationships between members became progressively hostile. Managing data collection and analysis at this time was difficult, but I was shocked that, a number of months (and now years) later, revisiting the data for publication purposes remained uncomfortable. I managed to produce my PhD thesis on the back of this study, but I have not felt able to go back to the data, despite there being findings worthy of publication. This ethnography is in a state of limbo and is at risk of becoming lost forever. In this chapter, I explore the reasons for this and discuss lessons learned for future projects.
    • Leading the flying faculty.

      Poultney, Val; University of Derby; Institute of Education, University of Derby, Derby, UK (Sage, 2017-11-23)
      This article employs a reflexive methodology to critically examine the opportunities and challenges raised for a leader of a UK EdD programme when the home institution undertakes short periods of intensive teaching abroad – a model known as ‘flying faculty’. The University of Derby had, until 2010–11, a large institutional partnership with Israel via its own Inter-College and UK EdD programme. Academics from the UK made regular trips abroad to teach and tutor doctoral students, working alongside an Israel-based professor. This article identifies two key leadership themes arising from this type of work. The first is related to an academic team working abroad under pressure to deliver an intensive course in a short time period. The second theme looks at issues of sustainability of an EdD programme in this context, namely the maintenance of productive working relationships with the local professor and student cohorts over distance and protracted time of study.