Recent Submissions

  • The Development of the National Forest: the transformative agency of trees in the English Midlands

    Elliott, Paul; Knight, Mark Adam (University of Derby, 2021-06-22)
    This thesis argues that the creation of the north-midland National Forest in Britain is one of the most ambitious and successful large-scale woodland regeneration projects in the nation’s history and therefore critical historical analysis of its development is important for informing the planning and management of future regional reforestation schemes. It demonstrates how a concept for a large-scale forest modelled upon the New Forest and developed by the Countryside Commission became the inspiration for a new forest in lowland England, close to major conurbations, that would provide crucial new social and economic opportunities through woodland industries, leisure and tourism. The thesis provides the first full comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the development of the National Forest during its first few decades in regional and national context, demonstrating its importance for the future of forestry and the pivotal role of major community afforestation schemes in the adaption to- and mitigation of- climate change. Researched and written by a community environmental and heritage activist with close personal knowledge of the formation of the National Forest, it utilises archival, institutional and media sources and draws upon interviews with key players in the development of the Forest. The thesis provides essential original contributions to knowledge and informs understanding of current and future impacts of afforestation and national environmental policies. Through an examination of the vital role played in the development of multi-purpose forestry and ecology infrastructure, it demonstrates the dramatic impact of extensive afforestation strategies. The thesis shows how and why the National Forest has had a major regional economic, social and environmental impact, in an area that had experienced long-term fundamental economic and environmental problems, transforming those parts of North West Leicestershire, South Derbyshire and East Staffordshire into the first English National Forest. The region had previously relied heavily on the industries of coal mining and clay extraction for employment, but by the late 1980s these were in steep decline, leaving a legacy of mounting unemployment, slag heaps and despoiled landscapes, with a mere 1 per cent tree cover in the worst affected areas. The National Forest plan that emerged, based upon the Needwood-Charnwood bid, succeeded because it was founded upon partnership working from the outset, had high public support and provided the strongest economic, social and ecological benefits. The cultural power and value of trees was recognised and harnessed through connecting the remnant ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood, lending authenticity and credence. However, the thesis demonstrates how the development of this multi-purpose forest providing environmental regeneration through the creation of a new economic base was not an inevitable outcome of the original plans but only emerged after sometimes tense negotiations involving all stakeholders across the region, especially local and national government bodies, landowners, environmental associations, community organisations and the general public. In adapting to shifting political and economic circumstances, the National Forest facilitated economic and social regeneration and had a major environmental and ecological impact upon the north Midland countryside and nearby urban areas. The importance of tree planting and the role of trees in providing social and health benefits is also revealed and the thesis argues that urban forestry and the integration of towns and cities with tree places is of prime importance for future similar projects. The thesis maintains that by demonstrating the role of partnership working, social engagement and sustained public consultation in the creation of the Forest, a critical historical analysis of its development illustrates how it provides a valuable model for future multi-purpose afforestation projects. The role of the National Forest Company, for example, and its close partnerships with local and broader communities, can inform other woodland-based environmental regeneration schemes such as the Northern Forest and the Welsh National Forest. Critical examination of the National Forest’s history is indispensable for our understanding of woodland conservation and development and demonstrates how such future tree-based projects can provide sustainable environmental and economic regeneration and therefore help to mitigate and adapt to the realities of climate change.
  • Changing practice and values? An exploration of social pedagogy for a Council’s Children's Services Workers

    Tupling, Claire; Chavaudra, Nicole (University of Derby, 2020-02)
    Social pedagogy is a conceptual framework which takes both an educational and social perspective to addressing social problems, and is embedded within the children’s services and wider social workforce in many European countries. By contrast, England and its children’s services organisations are without a social pedagogy heritage. This study fills a gap in the evidence base for, and definition of, social pedagogy in England by exploring its potential challenges and benefits within children’s services settings. The research takes an exploratory approach to the influence of social pedagogy using a Council’s children’s services as a case study. The study utilises convergent methods of data collection, analysis and interpretation, including questionnaires, focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The results and conclusions make a significant contribution to the social pedagogy knowledge through a new model of the practice framework for social pedagogy – the ‘Star Model’, a proposed definition of social pedagogy, identification of social pedagogy’s unique contribution to children’s services and the organisational conditions necessary and a proposed approach to its development within the multiple professional fields of the children’s services workforce.
  • The educational legacy of colonialism in south-western Nigeria

    Mieschbuehler, Ruth; Lamikanra, Folasade Helen (University of DerbyCollege of Arts, Humanities and Education, 2021-04-23)
    The educational legacy of colonialism in Nigeria is a contested and controversial subject. What do those who lived through the colonial period remember? And what do they think is both positive and negative about education in that period? To allow their voices to be heard, 20 interviews with educationalists, teachers, lecturers and students involved in colonial education were undertaken in Nigeria and the UK. Many of those interviewed are famous and influential figures both in Nigeria and internationally. Their attitude to the legacy of colonialism is not what Western writers and academics may think. As Nobel Prize winner, Wole Soyinka, said in an interview for this thesis, although we must condemn colonialism: “One can’t throw away the baby with the bath water. When we needed education, they brought education. It does not matter how, but education was brought.” There were many aspects of the colonial legacy that those who lived through the period thought benefitted education in Nigeria. The ‘colonial masters’ recognised that all human culture was important, and in the part of Nigeria that formed the focus of this research, all schooling for the first four years was in the local language, Yoruba. The colonialists passionately believed that both men and women should be educated. They enhanced local education by, for example, developing a local counting system as the basis for mathematics. They brought with them the English language, a legacy that has given Nigeria access to a wider range of knowledge and facilitated membership within international communities. Colonial education was an imposition that people wanted; however, there were many limitations to the education offered. When the colonialists established secondary schools, the purpose was not merely to educate people but to train them to be civil servants who would serve the colonial government. The voices from the post-colonial period, discussed and questioned here, say the unsayable: there was a positive legacy of colonialism.
  • Our School Days: A Narrative Inquiry of the Lived Experiences of Former Pupils in Derbyshire Primary Schools from 1944 to 2009

    Tupling, Claire; Charles, Sarah; Shelton, Fiona (University of Derby, 2021-01-25)
    The aim of this study was to explore narratives of former pupils, who attended primary school between 1944 and 2009, to understand educational change and the everyday experience of educational policy. By exploring education through a lens of experience, the study adopted narrative inquiry as a method to awaken hidden stories of the ordinary, everyday experiences of the participants (narrators) to gain insight into their memories of primary school. Drawn together, these individual experiences form a ‘collected memory’ which provides insight into primary education across the different decades. The findings demonstrate how narrative inquiry offers insight into primary school experiences by examining stories as data sources, which bring to bear the experience of school from the perspective of former pupils. The stories, combined with an examination of literature and legislation, highlight how and why teachers are remembered, the curriculum, educational inequity, memories of playground games and books read at school. An implication for teacher educators is to include the understanding of experience and the impact that teaching methods and policy implementation can have in later life. Significantly, it is the stories themselves which bring to bear the experience of policy as recalled by the narrators and highlights the narrator-researcher relationship in awakening and interpreting the stories, demonstrating the value of story as a method for understanding education. Examination of the literature surfaces the rise of neoliberal ideology in education and the impact of this on children’s learning experiences. In addition, the government’s promulgation of the feminisation of the primary school, constructed through the government’s casting of women in the primary phase is observed. Education makes claims about inclusion, equality, access and social justice, it is hailed as the leveller for a more just and equal society, the stories elicited in this research demonstrate that the many facets of the education system are complicit in the notion of power (James, 2015). Therefore, those in positions of educational and political power in our society should not be generators of prevailing inequalities of policy but seek to identify and remove barriers to raise standards for all. The recommendations call for a repositioning of teachers as experts, and not merely ‘deliverers’ of policy and curriculum context. The performativity agenda of testing and inspections drives behaviours in schools, which are neither allied to the ethos of many teachers, nor to their pedagogical and subject expertise, therefore political and legislative change is required for teachers to be able to reassert themselves, to reclaim their authority and to lobby for greater democracy within the school system, particularly in relation to policy and curriculum development. Raising the profile of teachers and pupils as stakeholders is critical so that all stakes are equally valued and understood. An original contribution of this research demonstrates the value of story in gaining insights into how policy was experienced by the narrators and from which lessons can be learned. Thus, through application of narrative inquiry, it can be argued that story is a powerful method of understanding the experience of policy as remembered by former pupils. The concept of awakening, in bringing the story to bear, is key in this research, expanding Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) notion of wakefulness. This was evident in the co-production of stories and the artefacts that were presented through the opening of narrative spaces in the interview process to awaken the story. This study therefore makes an original contribution, by using narrative inquiry as a methodological basis for awakening stories from the past, to understand the experience of educational policy set against the lived experience of the narrators over six decades of primary school education.
  • The Self-Portrait Experience, a dispositif for individual transformation and social activism

    Davies, Huw; Harris, Philip; Holmwood, Clive; Nunez Salmeron, Cristina (University of DerbyAssociation The Self-Portrait Experience, 2020-12-15)
    Cristina Nuñez’s artistic practice using self-portraiture began in 1988 as she turned the camera to herself to overcome self-stigma derived from addiction. A process evolved of a self-taught artistic practice into facilitating other people’s self-portraiture, leading her to devise The Self-Portrait Experience (SPEX). Since 2004 Nuñez holds SPEX workshops in diverse contexts, such as the penitentiary, mental health, addiction recovery and adolescent transition. A psychological framework allowed her to interrogate the effects of this practice on others and herself. However, Nuñez positions herself as a contemporary artist practitioner, not a therapist, who believes that the arts in themselves can be transformative. This research has culminated in the current investigation of the SPEX dispositif, a term used in contemporary France after Foucault and Agamben. In the workshops Nuñez holds around the world participants perform a ‘catalytic’ process by transforming emotional pain into what is referred to as artworks. Reviewing the multiple perceptions of the images produced allows participants to look at themselves through new lenses, as evidenced by data collected in her workshops over the years. SPEX uses the power of ubiquitous digital photography in a manner that subverts the common ‘selfie’ format, leveraging unconscious expression to explore emotions, in order to gain new insight and stimulate the creative process as reflexive. In this context, the SPEX dispositif defines as a set of measures taken for a specific artistic intervention. It involves plays of power, subverted in processes of subjectification, performativity and the deconstruction of dichotomies: ugly/beautiful, vulnerable/powerful, emotional/rational, unconscious/conscious, personal/public. Such processes can produce different kinds of knowledge: of oneself and one’s inner struggles, of the other and our place in relational and societal plays of power. Through the publication of self-portraits and autobiographical projects, the personal and socio-political dimensions are connected. Nuñez’s practice with herself and others proposes a dialogue between emotional expression and its mirroring effects on the public. The overarching goal is providing tangible societal benefits, in the form of viewer’s identification with the subjects of the images, rather than dissociation and alienation. Through their publication, autobiographical visual narratives can function as an “insurrection of subjugated knowledges” (Foucault 1980, p.82), to deconstruct labels and stereotypes often associated with stigmatised collectives. This critical evaluation catalogues the development of Nuñez’s bodies of work over thirty years, interrogates its theoretical framework and reflects on the impact on participants and viewers.
  • The Meiji Legacy: Gardens and Parks of Japan and Britain, 1850-1914

    Elliott, Paul; Neuhaus, Tom; Schoppler, Luke (University of Derby, 2020-07-10)
    Meiji era (1868-1912) politics cast a legacy which extended beyond the Far Eastern nation. This thesis explores the relationship between Japan and Britain during this period, in relation to the cultural exchange of ideas around garden and park design. In contrast to previous studies which have emphasised Japanese style as consumed in Britain, it compares both Japanese and British appropriations of their respective native garden styles underlining the considerable interdependent factors in their developments that have been previously under-emphasised. Furthermore, it includes analysis of public Japanese gardens which have been under-represented in previous work that has tended to focus excessively on aristocratic gardens. The thesis research has utilised published works, archive collections and the large amount of digital material now available in order to systematically identify and examine park and garden sites in both nations which had foreign garden elements infused within them. By analysing such sources, the gardens, people and motivating factors in their creation are revealed. This study argues that there was a significant process of cultural exchange between Japan and Europe during the closed era or sakoku. The Asiatic Society of Japan and Japan Society of London were crucial in the transmission of elements of Japanese-style gardening to Britain as analysis of their members, their activities and publications demonstrates. In addition, the Edo/Meiji era gardening knowledge of self-styled experts in Japan known as niwashi strongly informed influential works on the subject such as Josiah Conder’s Landscape Gardening in Japan (1893), which in turn shaped how these gardens were understood in Britain. Another key finding was that King Edward VII played an important part in encouraging the adoption of Japanese gardening ideas amongst the British aristocracy and forging a strong relationship with Japanese royalty. This was cemented by the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 with political motivation also crucial in shaping the design of gardens at the Japan-British Exhibition 1910. This thesis argues that in all British-Japanese style gardens, authenticity was ultimately unachievable despite a variety of steps taken by their creators such as employing Japanese gardeners. Furthermore, the study concludes that the extent of European elements in Japanese parks and gardens has been exaggerated in previous analyses. This thesis demonstrates how Meiji politics affected garden styles inside and outside of Japan stemming from sustained interaction with foreign nations, modernisation and a reaction against European imperialism. A rich study of the Meiji legacy to garden design, this thesis suggests that Japanese imperialism was successful in counteracting European advances and changing initial European perceptions of Japan as Oriental. This has significantly added ground-breaking new knowledge to the subject. This interdisciplinary research draws from a range of ideas and methods from fields including history, geography, horticulture, politics, cultural and Japanese studies providing a rich and interwoven examination of the factors involved in the formation of the relationship between Japan and Britain from its beginnings in the sixteenth century.
  • Transnationalism and migration: the concept of home in post-communist Albanian diasporas

    Huw, Davies; Burstow, Robert; Vaqari, Dashamir Dr. (University of Derby, 2020-04-20)
    This practice-based research aims to present the concept of home in post-Communist Albanian diasporas, particularly focussing on linking home to particular places, multiple homes, loss of home, how an old home transfers to a new home and the creation of a new home, as well as how such concepts can be represented in a body of creative practice. The research introduces the historical causes of Albanian migration, especially highlighting migration after the fall of Communism in order to understand in depth the causes of the most dramatic mass migration in modern Albanian history. The context of Albanian art is also considered: first through Socialist Realist art, which was widely practiced during the Communist regime, and played a significant role in transforming the concept of home and Albanian identity. Secondly, through contemporary art after the fall of Communism, where I focus on some artists whose work is relevant to my subject matter. Interviews have been conducted to investigate the ways in which these Albanian contemporary artists have dealt with the concept of home. Transnationalism is discussed and analysed from the perspective of contemporary Albanian migration in terms of the political, economic and socio-cultural aspects. Furthermore, theorising the concept of home has led to a focus in my practical work on the physical space, social relationships and positive emotional attachments. My art practice takes the form of a series of oil paintings which are a reaction to and build upon this theoretical and practical basis. The paintings are described and analysed as research outputs considering how technical aspects such as shape, size, composition, and colour are used and experimented with to investigate transnationalism and the concept of home. Following discussion of exhibitions of the body of work, it is concluded that art practice is a suitable medium to respond to and open debate on such turbulent personal and emotional contemporary issues.
  • Towards a cogScenography: Cognitive science, scenographic reception and processes

    Penna, Xristina; University of Leeds (University of Leeds, 2017)
    This thesis argues that post-cognitivist frameworks that understand cognition as co-originating between brain, body, and world can contribute to both the production and the knowledge of scenography in a post-representational performance landscape. By imbricating radically embodied and enactive cognitive frameworks, and neuroscience metaphors of consciousness and perception within original participatory scenographic practice (Work Space I, II, and III) I develop further my ‘arts praxis’ (Nelson 2006), what I call the ‘scenographic contraption’. This practical, conceptual, and analytical framework generates participatory encounters between materials, space, and audiences, and is further used as a way of conceptualising scenography and participation within these shifting encounters. I assume three phases of the creative researcher’s condition in relation to the audience–participants, and the cognitive theories I am using for my research design: the ‘ignorant’, the ‘Janus-faced’ and the ‘predictive’ scenographer. I iterate between doing and thinking with contemporary cognitive frameworks towards the development of a theory of CogScenography, which helps us understand and experience scenography as a synergic way of doing-thinking-co-experiencing.
  • Reimagining the blues: A new narrative for 21st century blues music

    Martin, Nigel James (University of Derby, 2019-12-11)
    This project explores the extent to which blues music in the 21st century is linked to its cultural past through identification and examination of the key concepts and relationships that may contribute to a contemporary understanding of the blues and cultural artefacts, as circulated and consumed in popular music practices. Despite the vast amount of scholarship on blues music, including revisionist literature that emerged in the late 20th century and in the first decade of this century, there has been no singular study of popular music or the blues that has specifically addressed the sociocultural and musicological links between the traditions of the past in the context of 21st century popular music in sufficient depth and so research into contemporary interpretations of blues music as it exists in the 21st century remains relatively scarce. This project provides an account of the cultural resonances and development of the blues genre in popular music culture to establish what the blues means, how it means, and to who it is meaningful through the formulation of a conceptual framework offered as a unique methodological tool for identifying and exploring blues music in the 21st century. Within this interdisciplinary framework, concepts including those concerned with technological mediation, intertextuality, cultural identity, memory, and meaning, are mobilised, refined, and combined in order to reveal and explore problematic relationships that exist in and between concepts of race, place, and technology as connected to blues music in the 21st century. Through an ethnomusicological strategy of enquiry and largely inductive approach to the collection of qualitative and quantitative data, the results of analyses conducted using a broad range of methods including music theoretic analysis, semiotics, intertextuality, survey, and interview are presented in order to both address how and why a contemporary blues music revival may be perceived to be taking place and to offer a fresh historical review of the context in which the blues has developed from a 21st century platform. This study finds that popular music performers and consumers are continually reimagining the blues through engagement with the traditions of the past and accordingly argues for an extension to the boundaries of blues music in its stylistic and cultural categorisation in 21st-century discourse. It is also argued that the results of research presented here also go some way in illustrating both how such engagement with the traditions of the past may directly reflect tensions in contemporary society, and how blues-marketed artefacts are demarcated and declassified within the music industry.
  • Celebrity science culture: Young people's inspiration or entertainment?

    Radford, Neil; Forman, Dawn; Dent, Maria Fay (University of Derby, 2019-11-07)
    This thesis explores the influence of celebrity scientists on the uptake of science by young people, post-GCSE; the phenomenon is based upon media assertions that young people were continuing with science as a result of the increased media presence of scientists: the ‘Brian Cox effect’. Research design is set within a constructivist-interpretivist paradigm and case study framework, employing a narrative, story-telling approach to data collection and presentation. Narratives require ‘actors’, and as such the ‘lead actors’ in this research are: the conceptual framework; a narrative approach to data presentation; and the sociological perspectives of science capital and habitus. Together they guide development of the ‘bricolaged’ methodology, underpin the innovative script-writing approach to data presentation, which are used to illuminate the phenomenon of celebrity science culture. Data collection includes two participant groups: eighteen science students (‘A’ Level, undergraduate, and postgraduate), and five celebrity scientists (Sir David Attenborough, Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor Steve Jones, Professor Mark Miodownik MBE, and Roma Agrawal MBE). Interviews explore science memories and influences, as well as perceptions of the role of celebrity science and scientists. The rationale and significance of this research lies within two strands: knowledge-based and methodological. It offers new knowledge to the field of celebrity science influence, with the potential to inform science education policy makers, and the methodological bricolage of conceptual framework development and creative narrative practices offer new dimensions to narrative research. An intrinsic, long-standing ‘passion’ for science was found to be the most influential factor. Advanced subject knowledge of teachers and lecturers, alongside opportunities to work within authentic and meaningful contexts, were highlighted as important in raising aspirations, and building science capital. Celebrity scientists were perceived as having the potential to influence young people, with authentic, inspiring contexts, presented in an entertaining format potentially optimising this influence. Science per se, rather than the ‘scientist’ him/herself, was more influential, contrasting with the traditional view of celebrity influence. The perceptions of science students are reflected in the findings from celebrity scientists. Engagement with children and young people was considered part of their role, not only to raise aspirations, but also to increasingly embed science culturally; their own passion for science the impetus for involvement. Partnership with other stakeholders was recognised as key, especially teachers and parents. ‘Personification’ was also recognised as important, acknowledging the responsibility that brings for their work to be truthful and credible. The thesis concludes with recommendations for future policy and practice, offering a theoretical framework and bespoke checklist, derived from the data, to support dialogue between stakeholders. This includes exploring use of the narratives as a tool to engage pupils with their own science journeys, with the intention of enhancing their science capital. The concept of “message to a name” is introduced, in contrast to the “name to a message” phenomenon of celebrity influence.
  • Determining the factors which positively affect the intra-family chief executive officer succession of UK small and medium-sized companies

    Jones, Christine; Poultney, Val; Jones, Richard (University of Derby, 2019-10-02)
    A change in Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a critical event in the life of any business. For family businesses the stakes can be higher, as failure may lead to the dual issues of business collapse and significant family harm. Intra-family business CEO succession is the transfer of leadership to a different member of the family and is a strategic direction family businesses take, even if sacrificing performance across generations to secure long-term control benefits. The research aims to determine the factors which positively affect the intra-family CEO succession of UK Small and Medium companies as gaps were identified in the research of businesses that had been through a succession across a range of areas. This research uses a deductive research design to test the existing theory and combines theoretical conceptualisations developed within the literature review with the aim of providing new theory and insight into the issues. Quantitative data was collected from primary and secondary sources from 230 UK Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which identified as family businesses and had been through a succession. The questionnaires were completed by company directors and the questions consisted of measures relating to the succession event, processes and outcomes. The data collected was tested empirically using process tracing and regression analysis. Findings show that disagreements relating to the initial planning made an intra-family CEO more likely as did a discussion of passing control to a professional manager. It was found that a family business with higher proportions of senior management, higher levels of generational involvement and higher levels of experience led to an increasingly likely succession to an intra-family CEO. This finding took an additional step in the understanding of elements of the Family Influence on Power, Experience and Culture model. The thesis also found, empirically, that satisfaction with the succession process increased with the presence of advisors and that there was a positive relationship between director stability and profit and a negative relationship with management stability and profit. The findings indicated that a degree of externality in the succession contributes to a positive intra-family CEO succession outcome.
  • The economic, social & cultural impact of the social network site Facebook on the Irish radio industry 2011-2016

    Davies, Huw; McMahon, Daithí (University of DerbySchool of Arts: College of Arts, Humanities & Education, 2019-07-04)
    This thesis explores the relationship between radio and Facebook in Ireland during the period 2011-2016 and the ways in which radio production practices, audience participation and radio as a medium has changed over that time. From 2008, the Irish Radio Industry experienced a steep decline in advertising revenue which would continue for the next 8 years. Initially seen as a possible threat to the still largely analogue medium of radio, social media platforms such as Facebook were quickly adopted by radio stations and turned into tactical instruments to attract and engage audiences. Again, radio proved its resilience and adaptability to change. Although producers for the most part used Facebook creatively and skilfully to gather their audience in online communities, Facebook has unfortunately been found to be presenting some significant issues for the Irish Radio Industry. This thesis employed a multimethod approach to explore the research problem from the perspective of the audience, the producer, and the media texts. This triangulation approach allowed for a comprehensive examination and analysis of the research question and an objective set of findings. The research included interviews with Irish Radio Industry professionals (N=11) as well as direct observation of the presenters’/producers’ daily production routines. An extensive audience questionnaire was disseminated via Facebook and yielded a high response (N=416). Textual analysis of radio station Facebook pages offered insight into the bespoke nature of each station’s output including audience tastes and staff production strategies. A longitudinal content analysis allowed the researcher to measure the growth of radio station Facebook and Twitter followers over a two-and-a-half year period. This research highlights the importance of Facebook for radio stations in Ireland as an audio-visual tool to reach new young audiences who have grown up in the digital age, although it does expand the producers’ remit. I argue that radio stations can accumulate social, cultural and symbolic capital through Facebook, and in some instances, economic capital. This thesis highlights the changes that are representative of convergence culture where the audience play a much more active role in media production and dissemination, but their ‘play labour’ is simultaneously being commodified and profited from by Facebook and Google. This research offers case studies which include some best practice in terms of social media management and will therefore inform radio production teaching in higher education. Based on the research I propose that Irish radio needs to act fast while the industry is still afloat and engage in collaboration between commercial and public service radio, regulation of online advertisers and social network sites (SNSs) and innovation to engage further with digital media and find new revenue streams. Should action not be taken I predict the conglomeration of the commercial sector of the Irish Radio Industry and with it the loss of valuable and trusted public services from local communities.
  • Becoming a master of education: a case study of part-time students undertaking continuing professional development

    Cottle, Vanessa (University of Derby, 2019-05-25)
    This study is an exploration of students who study part-time to achieve a Master of Education award in the context of continuing professional development. Particularly interesting to this study is identity development and the effects on confidence/self-esteem as MA Education Students’ cope with the interacting dimensions of personal, professional and study contexts. The research found a triangle of tensions between professional, personal and developing postgraduate identities to be at the heart of transitions into becoming a postgraduate student. Students’ investments of finance, time, cognitive effort and reprioritisation of lifestyle is made without guarantee of return. They experience low professional self-concept; they are daunted by self-doubts about meeting the demands of master’s study; troubled by imposter feelings and preoccupied by their professional identities. However, confidence and self-esteem improve as study progresses and by harnessing personal qualities, and some support networks, students overcome barriers to achieve positive outcomes, which for some can be transformative. An interpretivist methodology has been adopted using a case study approach with data collected from MA Education students at one post-1992 university. Twenty-five students were included in: two focus group interviews (each of five participants); five individual interviews and ten students participated in a series of four sets of email questions posed at regular points in one year of their degree. Braun and Clarke’s (2013) approach to thematic analysis was adopted and themes emerged inductively. There are several recommendations arising for both practice and policy. For practice all aspects of curriculum design and delivery must be mindful of the professional and personal qualities, not just student academic competencies, which contribute to masterliness. However, programme and module specific induction must include strategies to encourage students’ envisioning of their possible selves as student in order to grow their confidence and self-esteem as students. Lecturers must be mindful about the motivations behind part-time, higher level study for continuing professional development and the factors which constrain deep learning. Recommendations for wider policy relate to urging government and educational leaders to validate the value of educationalists, of all types. This should be achieved by fully resourcing accredited master’s study in both practical and financial ways.  
  • What makes Geography a worthwhile school subject? An exploration of the current controversy in geography teaching

    Hayes, Dennis; Haden-Walker, James (University of DerbyPGR Student, 2019-05-16)
    Geography as a school subject is in controversy. This controversy is given expression in an on-going debate between the opposing views of two leading academics Alex Standish and David Lambert. The Standish/Lambert debate reflects the discussion by the philosopher Paul Hirst in the 1960s of the nature of geography as a ‘field’ of knowledge rather and an independent ‘form’ of knowledge. The ‘field’ that is geography is said by Standish (2007) to be politicised while Lambert (2009) argues that this is just geography in modern form. In this dissertation Standish, Lambert and other leading geographers were interviewed to explore the nature of their disagreement and how it relates to what Michael Young (2007) has described as the need to give all pupils ‘powerful knowledge’. In addition to interviews with experts and teachers, this study carried out a questionnaire of geography teachers in Staffordshire. This study found that this dispute in the academic world reflected real divisions in what teachers understood as the value and nature of geography. Some teachers saw knowledge, or skills, as more relevant while others emphasised values and attitudes. They had a varied range of views relating to geographical knowledge and the impact of wider environmental issues alongside concerns over time allocation for the subject and its hierarchical position in relation to other ‘core’ subjects such as Mathematics, Science, and English. The study concluded that geography will remain in controversy until the Standish/Lambert debate is more fully discussed and debated among teachers. This thesis is a contribution to that debate.
  • Memory screens: The body and technology in time and space

    Hudson, Robert; Campbell, Neil; Forde, Teresa (University of Derby, 2018-08-01)
    This critical review ascertains the development of the research into memory screens and the relationship between memory, history, the body and technology on film, television and related media experiences. The body of research develops from a consideration of the gendered body on screen. This theme is continued and refined throughout the research. I consider the conventional personification of technology as potentially threatening or recuperative in relation to concerns regarding bodily cohesion and individual identity in relation to history and memory formation. The main focus of the work becomes the negotiation of memory formation in relation to media at both a personal and social level and the relationship between viewers and film and television texts. I encompass and develop post-structural definitions of the body and the theoretical implications of engaging with contemporary media. The research also encompasses the experience of exhibition and fan activity in extending the process of memory screens and engagement with the media.
  • Surveillance of Modern Motherhood: An exploration of the experiences of mothers that have attended a Universal Parenting Course.

    Poultney, Val; Luke, Anne; Simmons, Helen (University of Derby, 2019-03-29)
    This thesis explores the experiences of mothers of children aged 0-3 years that have attended universal parenting courses. The aim of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that motivate mothers to attend a universal parenting course and to explore the wider experiences of early modern motherhood in the UK. In order to develop this understanding, the research explored participant perceptions of any benefit or otherwise in attending a parenting course and also considered the different forms of parenting advice accessed by mothers and how this provides an insight into the wider constructs and experiences of modern motherhood. Ultimately, the goal of this research was to consider the social and cultural pressures within modern motherhood in relation to different levels of surveillance (Henderson et al., 2010) and to produce new knowledge for practice within the early years sector in relation to the support currently offered to new mothers. A feminist post-structuralist worldview was taken to explore the dominant discourses within modern motherhood. This approach provided a ‘productive contradiction’ (Baxter, 2003, p. 2) whereby multiple experiences could be considered, particularly in relation to feelings of oppression, empowerment and being ‘good enough’ (Winnicott, 1964) within modern motherhood. A qualitative methodology was developed with the first phase being a survey with a range of questions designed to generate insight into the experiences of mothers (30 participants), followed by qualitative interviews with a sample of mothers using semi-structured photo elicitation interviews (7 participants). Findings revealed that universal parenting courses can provide opportunities for new mothers to build daily structure, social networks and reduce feelings of isolation. Some negative experiences of parenting courses were reported when health professionals and early years practitioners were considered ‘pushy’ or ‘non neutral’ – particularly regarding sensitive areas such as breastfeeding or the reaching of developmental milestones. Participants demonstrated that there is a perceived place in society for parenting courses when they are practical, supportive and neutral rather than formulaic, homogenous or grounded in psychoanalytical or neurodevelopmental underpinnings, which can promote feelings of judgement or added pressure. Findings also link to the wider ‘parenting culture’ (Furedi, 2008; Lee et al., 2014) with societal pressures, motherhood ideologies, comparisons between mothers and other aspects of interpersonal surveillance including social media and celebrity culture all adding to the challenge of retaining an identity and of finding confidence and agency within the role. Overall, self-surveillance is identified as the most powerful aspect of modern motherhood with challenges relating to a reluctance to discuss ‘taboo’ aspects of motherhood including difficulty with attachment following birth and the internalisation of social and cultural pressures. It was important to note that, although there are clear levels of surveillance that are embedded into society which resulted in evidence of self-doubt and dependency, there was also evidence of agency and autonomy in the responses to these levels which were developed through strong social networks and support systems. Following on from this research; proactive, empathetic, practical and localised support from health professionals and early years practitioners is needed along with empowering opportunities for new mothers to develop confidence in an informal environment and foster truthful, non-judgmental interpersonal support networks. It is through these support systems that new mothers will continue to be able to resist or reshape the dominant discourses and ultimately, enjoy the experience to its full potential.
  • THE PHOTOGRAPH REFLECTED: APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VERNACULAR IN CONTEMPORARY ART

    Alves, Cesário; College of Arts, Humanities and Education of the University of Derby (2018)
  • Professionalisation of the Martial Arts: the perspectives of experts on the concept of an independently awarded teaching qualification.

    Spring, Charles; University of Derby (2019-01-09)
    In the United Kingdom there is an unregulated martial arts ‘industry’. The aim of this study was to examine whether this ‘industry’ required professionalisation through the rationalisation of qualifications for teaching, instructing or coaching practice. Currently, the martial arts consist of a very disparate set of organisations which have what, at best, could be called a varied range of professional standards across teaching, instructing and coaching. Professionalism struggles with the lassaiz-faire approach to qualifications and this creates differing expectations of the teachers, coaches and instructors within the organisations Viewpoints differ as to whether the individuals need more standards and qualifications. The study of a sample of expert views found that there is some recognition within the martial arts ‘industry’ that there needs a change in approach to tighten up the processes of determining who can and cannot coach, instruct or teach martial arts. Points of views expressed by the interviewees were: that standards and qualification should be demanding; that there is a need for a professional body and rationalised approach to qualifications but such general improvements must reflect the specific requirements of each particular art. Overall there was little optimism that professionalisation could be achieved. However, the desire for professionalisation was a significant finding. Recognising this, the recommendations from this study are set out in a ‘Manifesto for Change’ which aims to transform the current situation described by one expert as being one where ‘the organisations are out for themselves and keep people separate from each other.’ The essence of the manifesto concerns: the standardisation of teaching, coaching and instructing qualifications; the development of an overarching organisation to control the martial arts; recognition by other bodies outside of the martial arts of these standards.

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