• 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”.
    • 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.
    • 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.  
    • The Benefits of Loneliness

      McCrory, Moy; Thompson, Luke Matthew (University of Derby, 2021-11-17)
      Homo sapiens are a social species. Loneliness, which derives from the perceived disconnection of oneself from a valued social collective, is a core facet of the social aspect of human existence. In research, loneliness is often oversimplified, represented as a purely negative emotion that is harmful to one's health and well-being. This thesis undoes this common perception by drawing attention to the multifaceted nature of loneliness, both its negatives and its positives. It demonstrates that loneliness, while harmful if unaddressed, can also be a source of artistic expression, that it can provide an increased awareness of natural beauty and an appreciation for the world, and can facilitate greater, more meaningful connection between individuals. To achieve this aim, the thesis consists of two parts: an academic investigation, and a creative investigation in the form of a novel.
    • 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.
    • Can’t spell, can’t teach? An exploration of stakeholder attitudes towards students, with dyslexia, training to be primary classroom teachers.

      Charles, Sarah; University of Derby (2017-01-19)
      The aim of this research was to investigate stakeholder attitudes towards people, with dyslexia, training to be primary classroom practitioners. The study examined stakeholder awareness and understanding of the term dyslexia; their perceived strengths and challenges, of those training to be teachers, with dyslexia. The study explored the impact of attitudes on disclosure of dyslexia and the potential of their employability as primary teachers in light of inclusive legislation and whether attitudes, held by a range of stakeholders, were on a neutral to positive or neutral to negative spectrum. The research entailed the implementation of an online questionnaire completed by 214 current stakeholders (including Initial teacher Education lecturers, school staff, Initial Teacher Education students and parents) and 11 semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that there is uncertainty and confusion about the term dyslexia, its associated characteristics and its causes. Many stakeholders perceive dyslexia negatively with key characteristics being linked, predominantly, to deficits in reading, writing and spelling. This research has found that stakeholders identify a number of strengths that those with dyslexia bring to the teaching profession. These key strengths include empathy, inclusive practice and ease of identification of children with dyslexia. The main challenges/concerns identified by stakeholders, of those entering the profession, with dyslexia, were - the demands of the profession; the inability to teach particular age groups/subjects and the level of support needed to ensure success and retention following qualification. This latter concern constitutes a key finding of this research, as the level of support afforded by universities is perceived as being unrealistic in the workplace. The ethical responsibility that universities have, in preparing students for the demands and reality of the workplace, has emerged. The notion of what constitutes ‘reasonable adjustments’ is questioned by many stakeholders. This research concludes that a number of ‘reasonable adjustments’ are perceived as being unreasonable within the teaching profession due to the professional roles, responsibilities and requirements of being a teaching professional. Furthermore, uncertainty about legislation exists with regard to reasonable adjustments, whose responsibility it is to enforce reasonable adjustments and how schools can actually support those with dyslexia, in light of professional standards. Overall, this research has found that 16.1% more stakeholders display attitudes on the neutral to positive spectrum than neutral to negative with regard to those with dyslexia training to be primary classroom teachers. However, this masks major differences between stakeholders and between responses to particular statements/questions. A significant majority of stakeholders demonstrated a negative attitude towards the notion of people with dyslexia entering the teaching profession, believing that parents should be concerned if their child is being taught by someone with dyslexia. Both of these findings could have serious implications on the future disclosure of those with dyslexia. This research has found that a fear of stigmatisation and potential discrimination, which deter those with dyslexia from disclosing on course and job applications are justified and real. This research concludes that employability chances are lessened upon disclosure of dyslexia.
    • Caught Between Theory and Practice? Expert and Practitioner Views of the Contributions made by Universities and Schools to Initial Teacher Preparation in England.

      Alison Hardman; University of Derby (2016-04-22)
      Abstract Caught between theory and practice? Expert and practitioner views of the contributions made by universities and schools to initial teacher preparation in England. In November 2010, the coalition government published its seminal The White Paper, The Importance of Teaching. Its recommendations sought to reform Initial Teacher Training (ITT) so that more training was school-based; to create a new national network of ‘Teaching Schools’ that gave outstanding schools in England a leadership role in the initial training and professional development of teachers. This thesis critically analyses the subsequent changes in relationships and tensions between universities and schools as the reforms were implemented. The consequent increase in the number of routes into teaching, coupled with more autonomy devolved to schools in relation to Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP), has served to jeopardise university-based preparation. The changing notions of pedagogy and practice in school-led initial teacher preparation alter the significance of theory in ITP and ultimately question the future for university-led initial teacher education. What constitutes effective teacher preparation is explored through a series of semi-structured interviews drawn from a small, reputational sample across the field of education. This provides the data that reveals a contemporary dichotomy between ‘training’ and ‘education’ that challenges the relevance of a theoretically informed teacher education in favour of ‘on the job training.’ From the discussion of the contested data provided by reputational sample, an outcome of the current changes could result in a peripheral role for universities in ITP. In particular, undergraduate provision, such as the B.Ed, was threatened because it did not provide a sufficient depth of subject knowledge; a shift to post-graduate school-based preparation and a reliance on assessment-only routes renders the role of the universities defunct. The findings from the analysis of the reputational sample were further examined in the workplace through questionnaire given to academics and partnership school mentors working in delivering ITP in an East Midlands University. The tensions between ‘training’ and education and the role of universities in initial teacher preparation were mirrored by teachers and academics. In conclusion, the changes made by the coalition government have made the future of ‘teacher education’ uniquely fragile.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Creative journeys: Enlivening geographic locations through artistic practice

      Reed, Susan M.; University of Derby (2017-10-03)
      Creative Journeys contribute to our knowledge of how practical ontology navigates multi-perspectives through an auto-ethnographic journey with material. I investigate how it may be possible to navigate geographic locations – Norway, Britain and Spain – through knitting as an approach to practical and philosophical exploration. In Creative Journeys I am in a process of reflexive practice, engaged in external and internal dialogue, haptic encounters, challenges and creative action. My thesis suggests that engagement with material is a fluid process and understanding evolves, so too does my journey in life. In such circumstances material functions as a mediator; creates a bridge between hand, movement, time and space. Material transcends boundaries, assists orientation and facilitates articulation of aesthetics, reminiscence, symbols, patterns, colour, sensory appreciation; all of which contribute to an understanding of relationships. Body is material and being conscious of body movement with the rhythm of diverse locations enables me to make connections through daily events, to attune to different atmospheres. In such a journey there are moments of harmony and misunderstanding, discord and adjustments; interruptions occur with energy and disrupt patterns of life. These are crossing points which enable me to experience myself through the perspective of the other; to understand how situated knowledge changes in relation to diverse perspectives; and to understand how I may contribute to the social fabric of life of diverse locations through the art of paying attention to detail. Creative Journeys are investigated through three questions: How do I relate to the world? How do art subjectivities manifest themselves through art practice? How does art evolve through relations? The questions are examined within the perspective of situated knowledge; subjectivities; material of location and practice. Investigating material in the context of these questions provides opportunities to develop capacities to navigate social, cultural and political orientation, economy, health, race, gender and belief, which all impact on the journey. My approach to the thesis evolved through my relations with creative works of knitted artefacts which I documented in personal journals. The components of practice have woven threads of inquiry through theory and reflective critical practice and form an aspect of the viva voce examination. Along with the illustrations they contribute to 20% of the written component of the thesis.
    • 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.
    • Developing higher order thinking skills of Arab high school students in Israel

      Seif, Amgad; University of Derby (2017-03-01)
      The present research project represents a case study that examines the outcomes of the intervention programme based on the “Pedagogical horizons” (2007) policies in order to develop the higher order thinking skills (HOTS) of high school students (the HOTS programme). This is the first study that presents the results of the implementation of the HOTS programme in an Arab public high school. In addition, the study reflects on how the implementation of the HOTS programme could impact on the Arab school culture in Israel. The study employs a concurrent mixed method design in which qualitative investigation is a core component and qualitative findings are used for the interpretation of quantitative results. Qualitative data collection tools include semi-structured teacher interviews, teacher focus group interview, teachers’ instruction plans and written reports, and students’ responses to the questionnaire open-ended questions. Data were analysed through thematic analysis in which inductive coding was used. The quantitative strand involved teacher control and intervention groups and the student control and intervention groups. Based on the Critical Thinking Diagnostic Questionnaire (CTDQ) (Weiss, 2010), teacher and student questionnaires were developed, using a six-point Likert scale. Both qualitative and quantitative findings suggest an improvement in teachers’ perceptions of the HOTS-based instruction and students’ perceptions of their cognitive and dispositional skills, as a result of the intervention. The study shows the factors that have impeded the implementation of the intervention, including time constraints and the preference of many teachers for a traditional, instruction. As a result, the programme’s guidelines regarding a desired balance between traditional and constructivist instruction were not fully implemented. Due to the governmental policies and lack of research background, the conditions were not created for developing the HOTS of Arab students through studying civics and the history of Israel. The study’s recommendations point to the necessity of intensive measures for creating the HOTS-promoting environment in Israeli Arab schools, including the improvement of education of Arab teachers.
    • 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.
    • Double-edged sword: How international students on an intensive programme cope with a new national and academic culture where few host culture students exist

      Sweeney Bradley, Irene; University of Derby (2017-08-18)
      The Work-Based Project (WBP) set out to explore how international students in a Swiss hospitality institution manage to cope with two quite different cultures to where they came from i.e. the Swiss national culture and the British academic culture. Previous research on international students have been in locations where the host culture student is in plentiful supply which is a way to help the international student adjust socioculturally. Within this WBP, the student body is made up of mainly international students and very few Swiss students. Concepts that were used to assist the exploration of this topic include: what influenced the choice of Switzerland and the institution as a place to study, along with how the information was searched for (Mazzarol and Soutar’s, 2002 Push-Pull Model; The Model of International Students’ Preferences by Cubillo, Sánchez and Cerviño, 2006). Hyde’s (2012) adaptation of Oberg’s 1960 stages of adaptation explored culture shock as a concept followed by Berry’s (1997) acculturation and coping strategies. It investigated the use of friendship networks as a way to help students cope in this new environment (Bochner, McLeod and Lin, 1977; Schartner, 2015). These models were used to provide a framework for the questioning used in the gathering of the primary research. The study is applied in nature and using a case study allowed for the exploration of the rich detail that was needed to understand how the international student feels in this environment and how they cope with it in an effort to instigate change as a result of the findings. Focus groups were used as a scoping tool to identify the key themes which were then developed into a questionnaire for distribution among the wider student body. The key findings indicate that reputation of Swiss hospitality education is influential in the decision making of the student. Word of mouth through previous students is a key way for the students to find out the information they believe they need. The findings revealed that the student views both the Swiss and academic culture of the institution as one and the same. The issue of culture shock is difficult to plot as there was such a mix of feelings identified when the decision to come to Switzerland is made and when the student arrives. The friendships that are generated have evolved since the creation of the Bochner et al (1977) Model and Schartner (2015) identified a newer group which could be added to this model i.e. friends back home as a way to help with psychological adjustment. The key conclusions drawn from the research indicate that the students use word-of-mouth to a great extent in preparation for their study abroad however, the information received is informal in nature. Those that used more sources of information felt they arrived more prepared. Friends were referred to throughout the study for many reasons however, the addition of the 4th group of friends i.e. friends back home, were used as a form of escape to cope with the challenges experienced (whether national or academic culture) due to both cultures being viewed as one and the same. Implications of this relate to how information is provided to the potential student Dissemination of the findings to those that prepare the students for their venture e.g. agents and those that have to help the student adjust upon their arrival e.g. institution members so that the student can adapt more quickly in the 18 weeks that they have to feel comfortable in their new environment.
    • 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.