Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • A study of the uses of a blog-based critical incident questionnaire in further education.

    Smith, Paul; University of Derby (2018-09)
    This study examines the use of a digital Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ), which was originally developed by Professor Stephen Brookfield, to extract perspectives of students on the lecture/lesson they had just conducted. Three FE colleges in the UK took part in the study and utilised a blog for students to post their comments. Students conducting media production courses at level three and four were the focus groups that submitted approaching two thousand CIQ responses over two academic years. The aim of utilising the CIQ was for a course tutor to receive additional perspectives on their practice and instant on-event feedback, resulting in identifying whether the learners mimicked the course tutor’s perspective. The findings indicate that the other perspectives gathered from the CIQ provided the course tutor with a greater understanding of their practice and assisted them in becoming more critically reflective. Additionally, some CIQ comments were different from the assumptions of the course tutor, which allowed them to adapt the delivery of the programme. Furthermore, utilising the data from the CIQ has identified that some of the comments students provide to the course tutor in-class do not mimic the comments of the CIQ. Moreover, comments received through the CIQ identify that there are also managerial implications, such as the usefulness and reliability of teaching observations, student induction and exit questionnaires. Utilising a blog format allowed students to submit their responses on a variety of digital devices, but some problems remained similar to Brookfield’s carbon paper-based system. There appears to be a definite place for using the CIQ in FE educational practice, and many best practice recommendations are constructed.
  • 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.
  • Exploring the lived experience of being an occupational therapy student with additional support requirements.

    Rushton, Teresa; University of Derby (2018-08-15)
    Abstract. This study explored the lived experience of being an occupational therapy student with additional support requirements. Individuals with disabilities have the right to access education and have unique skills and attributes which are highly desirable within Health and Social Care professions. The number of students with disabilities undertaking Health and Social Care programmes is increasing and Universities have sought to improve facilities, resources and support for these students. However, Occupational Therapy education which is truly inclusive remains elusive (Jung et al, 2008). No previous research exploring this phenomenon has been completed within the United Kingdom. Two small scale studies in USA (Velde et al, 2005) and in Canada (Jung et al, 2014) have been previous published, alongside a number of autobiographical descriptions of individual’s personal experiences of OT education from those with disabilities (Archer, 1999; Bennett, 1989; Guitard and Lirette, 2005; Sivanesan, 2003). However, the age and predominant international context limits applicability within the UK. Unlike previous studies, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to investigate the phenomenon of being an Occupational Therapy student with a disability, from the individual’s unique perspective. Viewing each individual participant as a unique occupational being allowed me to reveal findings which have been previously unidentified and unexplored. This study illuminated a journey that all participants experienced as they engaged in the occupation of studying to become an Occupational Therapist. The journey was described by two participants using the metaphor ‘a rollercoaster’ and this became the overarching theme. Other themes generated from individual participant journeys, as described in their own words, were ‘like a bull at a gate’, ‘that was when the bubble burst’, ‘heal thy self’ and the ‘world is my oyster’. The findings indicated that there was a therapeutic benefit of studying to become an Occupational Therapist for those who had successfully completed the programme. Whilst never the original intention of the research, when interpreting the findings, I was drawn to how the concepts within Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) (Kielhofner, 1985) were evident within each participant’s journey and thus applied MOHO to each individual. It is recommended that further research is undertaken to explore if the findings of this study are only applicable to those who participated in the study or if studying Occupational Therapy is indeed therapeutic and the Model of Human Occupation is applicable to all students who study OT with or without additional support requirements.
  • The light ages: An investigation into the relationship between photography and the hegemony of light.

    Hall, Mark; University of Derby (2018-04)
    This study sets out to establish an hegemony of light and examine its relationship to the lens in photography. Through a series of sequenced photographs presented as an exhibition The Light Ages in May 2017. The photographs were 841mm x 1189 mm Giclee prints mounted on aluminum which explore the way in which difference sources of light contribute to the identity of different spaces by fracturing and separating the light and duration of the image. The thesis explores how light permeates the English language and is inscribed in terms used to define photography. As a source of energy, light provides the very essence of visibility and defines the perception of objectivity and its limits. The geometric relationship between the light axes and the lens axis is what forms the basis of my development of Gramsci’s concept of hegemony. Since all photographs rely on some kind of light it was important to identify one that was developed specifically for photographic use and controlled almost exclusively by the agents of photographic representation. It also appears to mark the ontology of the image, however, as this study examines it is only one of the temporal registers. The practice seeks to tear apart these temporal registers to show the dualism and hegemony of light, how it attempts to pin down one interpretation at the expense of another. One of the greatest challenges for researchers, is to consider new photographic discourses that attempt to understand how advances in technology affect the relationship between the aesthetic and the signified. Through practice, the study tests and explores the relationship between flash light and the lens axis. It questions whether our perception of the centrality of photographic representation is the defining characteristic of photography as a stable form of representation in contemporary culture.
  • Challenges in teaching gifted students with special learning difficulties: Using a strategy model of 'Asking, Analysing and Answering Questions' (AAA) to improve the learning environment.

    Salem, Nurit; University of Derby (2018-06-19)
    This study focuses on developing teaching strategies for teachers who teach in classes for students identified as Gifted and Talented with Special Learning Disabilities situated in Israeli secondary schools. The focus is on the challenges teachers meet while teaching Humanities Subjects (HS) to these students and the strategies they need in addressing their dual exceptionalities. The main purpose of this study is to examine how specific strategies may contribute towards both to quality of teaching and to a better learning environment. Research has shown that gifted students who are diagnosed with learning disabilities in writing skills (2ELs) have difficulties especially in HS and achieve less academically than may suggest their high abilities. The combination of giftedness with learning disabilities and underachievement creates special challenges for their teachers to counter, and for which they need specific Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. In my study, I developed a model of teaching strategies which combines three strategies from the field of teaching gifted students and from the field of special education which are helpful in the humanities disciplines. I created a manual for teachers' CPD that includes this model and I conducted a seminar using this manual for the participant teachers in my research. This was followed by an implementation of the manual by these teachers in their classrooms that includes 2ELs. My qualitative research was based on the case studies of two teachers teaching HS in two high school classrooms, totalling sixty 2ELs. The information was collected through observations, interviews, and open questionnaires. I then analysed the information using an inductive approach as pattern recognition and inclusion into categories. The research findings of this study describe the difficulties that teachers may face with 2ELs and my claim to knowledge is the AAA Model of Strategies and the manual for teachers and their contribution to teachers of 2Els and their students. The recent research fills this particular gap in the literature, in the Israeli context, and the findings of this study bear policy implications and indicate the need for the tailoring of relevant teachers’ CPD' programmes to include strategies to better address the needs of 2ELs for optimal success in fulfilling their potential and overcoming their difficulties. Future research may achieve a deeper understanding of how to prepare teachers to use adjusted strategies that meet 2Els teachers in various disciplines in order to improve learning environment.
  • The student as customer: a study of the intensified marketisation of higher education in England.

    Banwait, Kuldeep; University of Derby (2017-12)
    The literature review revealed two opposing views of the ‘student as customer’; either it is considered to be a deliberate policy construct rooted in the marketisation of higher education, which encourages public universities to behave like private businesses. Or it is considered to be a natural extension of rising consumerism in society, rendering universities as ‘cathedrals of consumption’. Both perspectives recognise that there is an attempt at creating a market in English higher education. This study discusses a ‘paradigm shift’ signalling an intensification of marketisation that began in the early 1980s. The purpose is to identify how these policy changes are perceived, by interviewing a large sample of senior managers and policy analysts in English higher education. Four themes emerged from the interviews. First, universities were said to be becoming increasingly “business like” suggesting that senior managers of English universities were faced with an identity crisis in grappling with their purpose as businesses or educational institutions. Second, was the idea that they performed in a “market like” fashion, displaying an uncomfortable acceptance of the idea whilst being open to the discussion of a free market in the future. Third, was the characterisation of student relationships with the university as “customer like” revealing an uncertainty as to whether students are customers or not. Fourth, was “individualism” a concept accepting the fact that universities would have to see higher education as an individual investment by a student. The implication of these uncertain themes is that senior managers would need to get out of ‘debate mode’ to adopt a clear and radical stance instead of being locked in the indecisive “like” dilemmas. They must develop the ability to see through the ‘strategy illusion’ and either challenge or accept the policy-induced uncertainties of higher education in the 21st century.
  • Improving students' behaviour and academic achievement through a counselling intervention programme.

    Yahya, Sawsan; University of Derby (2018-06-05)
    In the cultural context of low achievement in Arab Israeli schools, this work-based study describes and evaluates a successful counselling intervention in one Israeli Arab elementary school. The intervention took place over six months and involved twenty activities. A mixed methods approach was adopted to evaluate the intervention. The use of both qualitative and quantitative methods provided an informative evaluation of the perceptions of students, teachers and parents about the effectiveness of the intervention. Students, parents and teachers reported that from their point of view, student behaviour, student/teacher/parent relationships and learning improved during the intervention. This positive analysis of perceptions was qualified by the possibility that other factors that were not analysed might be influential. The lessons learned from the intervention, such as the need for creating a teacher – parent strategic alliance, renouncing the use of aversive control and the adaptation of teaching styles to student learning styles, may prove to be a transformative approach to the education of Arab Israeli students.
  • The legal status of the Sulha in the criminal law of the State of Israel.

    Serhan, Shakieb; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-06-02)
    The research investigated the legal status of the Sulha in the criminal law of the State of Israel. This research is a qualitative-interpretative-exploratory single case study. Its main goal was to create scientific and professional knowledge with practical ramifications for the judicial world, as well as to develop a new theory and model of the Israeli criminal process that would allow for the incorporation of Sulha within the Israeli criminal process. The qualitative data collection methods and sources used were structured interviews, a Delphi survey, documents, the researcher's professional experience and a personal diary. The 16 interviewees were professional, credible, trustworthy and expert people in their field. Seven (7) experts in the field made up the Delphi panel. The research met all of its goals and objectives of the study questions: What is the legal status of Sulha in Israeli criminal law? How can the Sulha be incorporated in Israeli criminal law, and what contribution would Sulha make in this respect? What action is required for Sulha to be incorporated in Israeli criminal law? The findings showed that criminal statutory laws, Israeli courts, and parole committees do not recognize the Sulha as an alternative conflict settlement venue in criminal cases. The findings showed that Israeli courts and parole committees have two principal approaches to the question of the legal status of the institution of Sulha in Israeli criminal law. One approach refuses to grant the institution of Sulha any binding legal status in Israeli criminal law, while according to the other approach Sulha can serve as a consideration in a person’s favor, but not as a decisive consideration, and certainly not one that binds the courts or parole committees. The findings showed that it would be possible to enhance the Israeli criminal law by incorporating the Sulha within the criminal law. Incorporation of the Sulha in the Israeli criminal law would enhance and improve the Israeli criminal law by achieving speedy justice, by reducing the caseload of the courts, by increasing public confidence in the criminal process and the judicial activity, by reducing the frequency of erroneous judgments, by achieving restorative justice, by promoting reconciliation and by facilitating the achievement of peace between the parties affected by the criminal act. Further, the Sulha could contribute greatly to reconciliation and to the installment of peace in Israeli society and achieves restorative justice. A bill (law draft) has been prepared for the incorporation of the Sulha in the criminal law in Israel. The researcher is convinced that the Knesset (lsraeli Parlament) will approve it as soon as possible.
  • A phenomenological study of students with hidden disabilities in higher education: A cross sectional study of learning support needs in a University in the UK.

    Shepherd, Rosemary; University of Derby (2018-05)
    This phenomenological study was designed and conducted in a Post 1992 ‘new university’ situated in the UK. The aims of the study were a) to investigate inclusive practice amongst disabled students in higher education, b) to explore students’ perceptions on their lived experiences of the support provided c) to explore disabled students’ experiences of the process in gaining support d) to identify the kind of practices disabled students used to support their own effective learning in HE. A sample of 14 students, aged 19 to 56 volunteered to participate in the study. The study was underpinned by inclusive theory and equality policy provided for higher education institutions. Rich data from phenomenological interviews was analysed using thematic and narrative analysis. Analysis of the data uncovered new knowledge for lecturers and support staff in understanding disabled students’ lived experiences as they approached support systems and classrooms in higher education. The key findings involved a) barriers to communication and collaboration between students and lecturers, b) attitudes of staff and the asymmetries of power experienced by students in accessing support, c) issues around student anxiety, dependence and independence and ownership of learning, d) the idea that a reasonable adjustment could be unreasonable and embarrassing and evidence of tokenism in supporting students. The recommendations included a) the need for more in-depth training for all staff in equality and inclusive practice and inclusive course design, b) more support for students in negotiating their Study Needs Assessment, c) bridging the communication gap between Student Wellbeing, lecturers and students. The changes in funding to the Disabled Students’ Allowance came into force during 2016 which has consequently reduced or removed support for students who have disclosed a disability. Due to such changes, it will be even more important for universities to support the training of students, lecturers and support staff in creating and maintaining more inclusive environments in the future.
  • An exploration into transfer of knowledge acquired from taught MSc Human Resource Management (HRM) programmes into workplace Human Resource (HR) Departments and wider dissemination across intra-organisational boundaries.

    Corner, Helen; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-03)
    The purpose of this thesis was to explore how knowledge gained during taught Masters in Human Resource Management (MSc HRM) programmes was transferred into working organisations, whether knowledge gained from academic study could be transferred if individuals were motivated to transfer and if organisations had a culture that was receptive to transfer. The term knowledge transfer was defined as sharing of information between one individual and another individual or group. This study looked at the perceived value of Human Resource (HR) knowledge within organisational contexts, with a focus on how knowledge flowed and what facilitated or blocked that flow. A ‘two-tailed’ case study approach was taken using a social construction methodology and was applied across three University Centres, utilising students studying on MSc HRM programmes and their respective work organisations, plus Operational Managers within the same geographical boundaries. Data was gathered using qualitative methods and analysed thematically. A key finding of this study was that knowledge gained from MSc HRM programmes is valued within organisational contexts. HR professionals effectively transferred knowledge into their organisational functions and amongst workplace communities and via wider networks, in a homogenous manner. However, the study also found that transfer of knowledge across work boundaries, via heterogeneous workplace communities, was less effective. Individual willingness to transfer knowledge was found, but issues linked to organisational culture such as politics, power and structure was found to influence the extent of knowledge transfer activities. It was evident that in order for knowledge transfer to be effective an organisational culture based on mutual support and understanding was required. If an organisation had a culture focused on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that reinforce knowledge transfer across team boundaries then heterogeneous workplace communities emerged. Organisations that deliberately focused on knowledge transfer evidenced a greater ability to transfer knowledge across organisational functions; this strategy was beneficial to organisational growth. This study concluded that building on workplace communities and managing a deliberate introduction of heterogeneous workplace communities enabled MSc HRM acquired-knowledge to be transferred cross organisationally. Although this study focused on the transfer of knowledge from MSc HRM programmes the concept behind using workplace communities to transfer and build knowledge could potentially be transferable to other disciplines. Two further areas of research were identified: firstly, action research within University Centres to ascertain the benefit of cross-discipline teaching, secondly, analysis of an organisation with a heterogeneous community design.
  • Place matters: young people’s transitions to the labour market.

    Hutchinson, Jo; University of Derby (2017-12)
    Career guidance is a core element of labour market and education policy. Young people’s transitions from education to employment need support through active career guidance. This body of research examines aspects of place and partnership working as it applies to career policy and practice for young people with a particular focus on the role of schools. The engagement of diverse partners from different sectors and interests has become an essential element of public policy and its implementation. To understand partnership working it is critical to pay attention to the relationship between the selection of partners, their combined remit, the scale of their activities and the diverse places in which they emerge. Many of the issues that policy attempts to address are also shaped by, and in, the places in which they are experienced. The research informing these papers has been undertaken as either academic research projects or as funded research over more than two decades. Many have used place-based case studies. The overall finding of this is that deliberative multi-partner engagement has become essential to the provision of pathways to the labour market that would otherwise be blocked for some young people. The centre of gravity in these discussions is the school. As organisations with a geographic footprint, the active engagement of schools in partnerships builds infrastructures, pathways and new spaces of engagement that help their pupils understand the work place. Through the twin policy paths of territorial economic development policy and a progressive socio-political approach to career guidance, policy makers have endowed schools with this responsibility. Schools are spaces of engagement with a wider world and simultaneously they are places that reflect their economic, social and cultural context. Their role as partner and place-maker needs acknowledgement within any national careers strategy that hopes to connect a spatially sensitive industrial policy with a locally enacted careers and labour market policy.
  • A therapeutic intervention in a primary school.

    Greenhough, Lynne C.; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-01-15)
    As a consequence of interrogating pupil progress data, the primary school in this study identified apparent inequalities in the rates of progress in Reading and Mathematics made by male and female pupils in Key Stage Two cohorts. To address this school improvement issue, the Key Stage Two pupils and the staff who worked with them, were surveyed in order to establish a starting point for action. The surveys indicated that low-achieving female pupils in the school perceived themselves, and were perceived by staff as having low levels of self-esteem and confidence, which were impacting upon their ability to access the learning and impeding their educational progress. A search of the literature on barriers to learning and the range of approaches and initiatives which have been employed to address these, alongside a consultation process with female pupils though a focus group, resulted in identification of the need for the provision of an intervention which would address the issue. Outcomes from an internally–provided school intervention pilot programme resulted in the adoption of a participatory action-research model which allowed the pupils to contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of a single-sex therapeutic intervention, facilitated by a drama practitioner. Through the use of drama and mask techniques the practitioner provided a safe, non-judgemental environment which enabled participants to feel accepted, to express their feelings, to lead activities, to take risks and to develop a wider friendship circle. The intervention was widely commended, with staff and parents/carers reporting a perceived increase in levels of confidence, expanded friendship circles and stronger peer relationships and improved active engagement in learning in the mixed-gender classroom environment. Qualitative data, in the form of individual video evaluations of the intervention indicated the learning which had resulted from participation, most strongly evidenced by the positive comments elicited from the participants both in terms of the techniques employed in the intervention and the outcomes achieved: “…At first you’re the one underneath the mask… Then the mask becomes you… The masks helped me feel more confident …When we did the mask it was like a confidence builder – made you speak your mind and gave you the words to express your feelings better – like if your excited or happy you had the words to say that…this project helped all our group…’cos we’ve learned to be more confident in ourselves and I just feel a lot better…”
  • 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.
  • The challenges for race and community in post-civil rights America: Comparative perspectives in contemporary literature, education, and practice.

    Hancock, Stuart; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2017)
    This thesis explores contemporary responses to visions of more inclusive and egalitarian forms of society, which have emerged in the post-civil rights era from South American intellectuals, new Latino/a voices, and African American scholars. These theories imagine a diverse society mutually respectful of cultural heritage, with new concepts of community and new configurations of social, economic and political power, wherein everyone has a voice and an equal opportunity. The ultimate dream is of a society which transcends the perceived divisions of race, gender, and class, and heralds the elimination of oppression. With these visions in mind, the research investigates both conceptual and practical work which seeks to unite different races and ethnicities who are discriminated against, and which promotes multiethnic, multiracial collective action to address shared forms of oppression or injustice. The exploration is multidisciplinary, using source material from three influential domains - popular fiction, education, and social and political justice activism. The interrogation uncovers contrasting perspectives on identity and community, differing perceptions of race and ethnicity, and competing agendas and strategies for social justice activism. Additionally, the emergence of a sizeable middle class within minority groups has created an unprecedented and complicating factor for social justice activism, overlaid upon the enduring racial and ethnic issues. The unique combination of contrasting material in different settings also adds another dimension and exposes disparities between theory and practice, disconnection between generations, and dislocation between classes, opening up opportunities for further research in such areas. Whilst the findings reveal diverse, integrated activism is being promoted by radical theorists, scholars, writers, and educators, and practised in a number of organisations, with some successful outcomes at local, and sometimes state and federal levels, this body of work is fragmented and does not have a unified or national profile. In contrast with these radical initiatives, the longstanding, national civil rights organisations, though welcoming diverse membership and actions, have a more liberal, accommodating, and non-confrontational approach, and have witnessed a general decline in progress in recent decades, with none of the landmark cases seen earlier. The substantial demographic changes over this period have yet to translate into radical, collective action across the perceived racial and ethnic divide on a large scale. The thesis therefore concludes with a contemplation of the challenges which lay ahead for social justice activism in America.
  • Facilitating the development of critical thinking skills and self-directed learning: An exploration of leadership and curriculum practice in a Palestinian kindergarten.

    Khalaily, Maysoon.; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2017-12-03)
    Abstract Developing critical thinking in early childhood is vital especially in Western culture since it improves an individual’s skills in creative thinking and enhances a person’s sense of responsibility. This is the fundamental contention of this thesis. These skills assist in developing and implementing a state of mind of not accepting negative situations and instead directs the individual towards trying to resolve and improve it. These issues have not yet been fully explored in Arab-Palestinian society in Israel. The development and application of notions of personal responsibility, critical thinking, and kindergarten-age children’s involvement in learning has yet to emerge as a reality in this community. This is needed because existing theory and practice involving these aspects of learning within the Palestinian system is problematic. Moreover, the development of a new approach to teaching and parenting of kindergarten-age children that fosters critical thinking and personal responsibility may not be a reality that is immediately achievable, but it is a possibility. This study aims to investigate how educational leaders can help kindergarten children aged 3-5 years to develop critical thinking and personal responsibility skills. The research focuses on Arab (Palestinian) children in Israel as these skills are not traditionally taught in the home or in educational settings in this culture. The literature shows that there is a marked disparity between the educational achievements of Arab and Jewish children in Israel, making the implications of this study salient not only to practitioners, but also to policymakers and educational institutions. In order to examine these goals, a case study involving qualitative research approaches of a kindergarten classroom has been conducted. The context of this study is an important and complex set of factors determining and shaping the content and form of the thesis and of the research that is embodied in the text. This study has been conducted in a kindergarten belonging to an Arab Municipality located in Northern Israel that was established in 2010 and is situated in a rural area in the north of the country. Lesson plans following the National Curriculum for Kindergarten Education were infused with teaching activities designed to facilitate the acquisition of critical thinking skills. The findings of the project showed that the presence of a strong educational leader had a positive impact on facilitating kindergarten children’s development of personal responsibility and critical thinking skills. This was especially the case if the leader played an active role in facilitating a learning environment at home and in school in which children were acknowledged and given greater autonomy and access to opportunities in which they could engage openly with parents and peers. This study calls attention to the need to further explore educational leadership in the context of early childhood education, as its implications for childhood development, particularly regarding critical thinking and personal responsibility, have not been sufficiently examined. This study claims to open possibilities for doing this in at least the Palestinian Kindergarten communities in Israel and perhaps beyond.
  • 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”.
  • Testing the efficacy of a counselling intervention: Facilitating the motivation to learn among Arab high school students and teachers in Israel.

    Hudrog-Shalan, Hana; University of Derby (2017-03-20)
    The motivation of students to learn is one of the most investigated topics in education. Abu Asba (2007) and Assor (2005) have tried to understand the basic factors that enhance motivation and how both teachers and students can benefit from enhancing the motivation to learn. There has been no research that has contributed to the study of motivation in Israeli Arab high schools. The main purpose of the current study was to examine the processes elicited by a counselling intervention designed to enhance motivation, to improve self-image, school climate and student-teacher achievements of high-school students. Thirty students from five 10th grade classes and thirty-five teachers participated in the study. One of the research aims was to formulate a strategy teachers can use when attempting to motivate their students. The study found that it is difficult for teachers to arouse students' intrinsic motivation to learn in a cultural and educational system where motivation to learn is extrinsically controlled. The study also found that motivation to learn increased after students and teachers participated in a counselling intervention program. When students' motivation to learn was elicited, student engagement with the learning processes was enhanced. The findings showed that student and teacher motivation grew and developed when student and teacher self-images improved. Strategies to improve teacher and student self-images included the implementation of teacher training on the subject of learning styles and on the use of relevant instructional styles and the training of educational teams to address teacher and student motivation.

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