• Positioning children as artists through a ceramic arts project and exhibition: children meaning making

      Yates, Ellen; Szenasi, Judith; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2021-03-15)
      This article describes a ceramic arts research project that provided children with opportunities for meaning making using bone china clay, a medium with strong cultural and historical links to the city where the research took place. The children were positioned as artists and their work was curated and presented for exhibition by an international ceramic artist, affording equal status to their work as that of adults. Findings identified that children made meaning based on lived experiences, popular culture, unique family and cultural heritage, and school identities. We also acknowledge that adult attitudes and school schedules can both enable and limit children’s creativity. We further assert that the professional exhibition validated children’s processes, competence, cultural funds of knowledge and agency.
    • Engaging the local community in cultural heritage through a children’s ceramic arts exhibition

      Yates, Ellen; Szenasi, Judith; University of Derby (Peter Lang, 2021)
      This chapter describes a research project which aimed to increase social inclusion and access to the arts and cultural heritage, through a children’s ceramic arts exhibition. The exhibition was curated by an internationally recognised ceramic artist and located in an historic building within an inner city park in Derby, England, behind a culturally historic ceramics factory and museum. The project further aimed to reposition children as artists and heritage makers by valuing their ideas, creativity, identity and agency. Data was collected through interviews and through comments from the exhibition visitor’s book. Findings indicate that barriers exist within the UK education system which limit children’s full participation in the arts and cultural activities. The exhibition encouraged social inclusion and contested the idea of separate spaces for the display of adults and children products, but most significantly, children were repositioned as active agents in the construction of their cultural heritage.
    • “It’s nice to know you might make a difference”: engaging students through primary research as an authentic assessment

      Yates, Ellen; Oates, Ruby; University of Derby (RAISE network, 2021-02-23)
      This paper presents the views of undergraduate students on taking part in a small-scale student-staff research project to inform the design of a local community play space. The project repositioned students as researchers by providing them with an opportunity to engage in primary research with children through an authentic assessment task in a final year module. The students took on responsibility for the design and implementation of the primary research to elicit the views of young children aged 6-7 years, alongside Higher Education (HE) lecturers who collected the views of other key users of the space. The students experienced the project as engaging, challenging and as an opportunity for individual professional development, resulting in valuable learning including, increased confidence, professional aptitudes, and applied research skills. While finding much potential in co- research projects for student engagement, we recognise barriers within the higher education curriculum that mitigate against their success as part of assessment. The reconceptualization of HE within a market economy and the changing expectations of students further limit the success of such projects.
    • Re-conceptualising VET: responses to covid-19

      Avis, James; Atkins, Liz; Esmond, Bill; McGrath, Simon; University of Derby; University of Nottingham (Taylor and Francis, 2020-12-30)
      The paper addresses the impact of Covid-19 on vocational education and training, seeking to discern the outline of possible directions for its future development within the debates about VET responses to the pandemic. The discussion is set in its socio-economic context, considering debates that engage with the social relations of care and neo-liberalism. The paper analyses discourses that have developed around VET across the world during the pandemic, illustrating both possible continuities and ruptures that may emerge in this field, as the health crisis becomes overshadowed in public policy by the prioritisation of economic recovery and social restoration. The paper concludes that, alongside the possibility of a narrowing of VET to its most prosaic aims and practices, the health crisis could also lead to a re-conceptualisation that develops its radical and emancipatory possibilities in both the global south and north.
    • The Racialisation of Campus Relations

      Mieschbuehler, Ruth; University of Derby (Civitas, 2020-11-20)
      The author of this report, Ruth Mieschbuehler, argues that there is a real danger that campus relations at universities will become racialised. The term ‘racialisation’ – referring to the process of emphasising racial and ethnic grouping – is discussed to show how higher education policies and practices implemented to address the ‘ethnic’ attainment gap are driving this trend. The result of these interventions is that students are ‘minoritised’. In short, they are held to be in need of special treatment. The ‘minoritisation’ of students has driven racialisation on campuses because the higher education sector is trying to understand and address disparities through ethnic grouping. Racialisation, in turn, minoritises students because it denies students their individuality by emphasising their group identities. By reflecting on the so-called ‘ethnic’ attainment gap in higher education, the report finds that what appears to be a significant gap when attainment is reported by ethnicity has been shown to be significantly reduced when other factors known to impact on attainment are taken into account. There is no statistical evidence that ‘ethnicity’ determines educational attainment of higher education students. Yet, as the author argues, policymakers and practitioners believe in the ethnic attainment gap and introduce measures to address it with adverse consequences. Students from minority ethnic backgrounds are believed to underperform academically when they do not. This stigmatises students based on their ethnicity and contributes to the racialisation of campus relations. The practice of defining and grouping students by their skin colour and basing attainment policies and practices on these divisions drives a wedge between people and removes any sense of our common humanity. Meanwhile, the continued rise of a new type of ‘deficit talk’ depicts students as being vulnerable – and ultimately, it denies students the opportunity to develop fully academically while accommodating them to failure. Ruth Mieschbuehler suggests a long-overdue change in approach. Universities need to re-examine the reporting of statistical data on attainment that has contributed unjustly to the perpetuation of the diminished educational status of students from minority ethnic backgrounds. The report concludes by rejecting the practice of grouping higher education students by their skin colour and ethnicity in future policies and practices.
    • How to promote real equality in higher education

      Mieschbuehler, Ruth; University of Derby (Routledge, 2020-10-30)
      This chapter aims to open up a debate about two meanings of ‘equality’ in higher education (HE). The first meaning of ‘equality’ is ‘the right to be the same’. The second meaning of ‘equality’ is ‘the right to be different’. Three contrasting examples from politics, compulsory education and HE are given in detail to illustrate how the meaning of the term ‘equality’ has changed. The older meaning of ‘equality’ required a universal and common education for all students. The newer meaning requires the curriculum to be refocused on the perceived group identities that necessitate a variety of curricula. The curriculum in HE has become divisive and undermines education for all students. This chapter raises issues that are rarely discussed for fear of being offensive. The future of HE depends on opening up a debate about the divisive nature of current conceptions of ‘equality’ that undermine HE – the university - as the embodiment of Enlightenment universalism.
    • International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) Annual Review (2020)

      Neary, Siobhan; Hanson, Jill; Moore, Nicki; Staunton, Tom; Clark, Lewis; Blake, Hannah; Challacombe, Paul; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2020-12-09)
    • Careers coaching for social justice: the case of school leadership and inclusive education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

      Robinson, Deborah; Codina, Geraldene; Jill, Hanson; Eleni, Dimitrellou; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2020-12-18)
      This paper focusses on emancipatory careers coaching for social justice and proposes a practical tool for use with school leaders who are working to improve the inclusiveness of their schools. It draws on a study of 75 school leaders working on a programme of peer review in a city in England. The programme was named the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Peer Challenge Programme and through it, participants worked collaboratively to evaluate and improve the quality of inclusive practice in the City’s mainstream (ordinary) schools. The study used inductive qualitative content analysis (QCA) to form a coding agenda which was then applied to a deductive analysis of 24 SEND Peer Challenge school reports. These reports were collaboratively produced by leaders engaged in the SEND Peer Challenge Programme to summarise the outcomes of the process. Following final QCA reduction, the research identified six value constructs that were live and relevant for school leaders in the City related to collectivism, collaboration and mutuality. These value constructs are also live in the field of inclusive education more widely. Drawing on the six value constructs, we propose practical strategies for emancipatory careers coaching. These strategies can be applied by individuals who provide careers coaching for school leaders engaged in the process of school improvement for SEND and inclusion.
    • The growing demand for education in Saudi Arabia: How effective is borrowing educational models from the west?

      Mirghani, Taiseer M.; University of Derby (Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2020-11-12)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) considers education a top priority, and more emphasis has been placed on this following the 2016 announcement of Saudi Vision 2030. Since then, the country has witnessed several economic and social changes. As a result, the Kingdom has initiated a plan to invest in human capital through education to diversify its economy and increase employment. This includes educational reform with regard to primary and secondary education geared toward preparing students for higher education and the workplace. However, several factors may hinder the successful execution of this plan. This report will provide insights into factors such as cultural dimensions, learning profiles, the English language proficiency gap, and information on borrowing educational models from the West. It will also include some suggestions and recommendations to enhance teacher education programmes so that positive educational reform may be achieved effectively.
    • Hours spent building skills and employability

      Foster, Rowan; Svanaes, Siv; Howell, Sarah; Neary, Siobhan; Everitt, Julia; Dodd, Vanessa; University of Derby (Department for Education, 2020-07)
      This report summarises findings from a mixed-methods research project conducted by IFF Research, in partnership with the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby, to measure the time that young people spend on activities in and outside of education which builds their skills and employability. This research involved two phases. Firstly, a qualitative phase in summer 2017 comprising 15 interviews with education providers and nine focus groups with young people. This phase explored providers’ experiences of planning and recording planned hours, and the activities that young people undertake to build their skills and employability. The second phase of the research involved a quantitative survey of students in March 2018, consisting of a total of 2,024 interviews. The survey sample included students in pre and post-16 education and those in academic and technical courses. Findings suggest pre-16 students, i.e. years 10 and 11, on average participate in 852 qualification hours per year across all their subjects (22.4 per week). This compares to an average of 563 annual hours amongst post-16 students, i.e. years 12 and 13, (15.1 hours per week). There were no significant differences between those in post-16 academic educations and those in post-16 technical education in the average number of qualification hours reported per week (15.0 and 15.1 respectively). Students also engage in a range of non-qualification activities expected to contribute to their wider employability, with careers guidance and exam revision and practice common across all ages. This pattern was also consistent between full and part-time students. Post-16 students doing mainly academic qualifications spend the most amount of time on homework and self-study (nearly 13 hours per week), with post-16 students in technical education spending on average 8 hours on these tasks.
    • I wouldn't start from here: The second-generation Irish in Britain

      French, Ray; McCrory, Moy; Mckay, Kath; University of Derby (The Wild Geese Press, 2019-04-08)
      The Wild Geese Press launches with a collection to showcase second-generation Irish writers in Britain. Not quite British, not quite Irish, through their essays, fiction and poetry about music, family, and history these distinguished writers explore questions of identity and belonging and ask the perennial question: where is home – here or Ireland? The writers gathered here hold up a mirror to the diverse and complicated experience of the Irish in Britain. The collection features essays, fiction and poetry from Elizabeth Baines, Maude Casey, Ray French, Maria C. McCarthy, Moy McCrory, Kath Mckay and John O’Donoghue and many more.
    • Overview of early childhood education (Mexico)

      Delgado-Fuentes, Marco; University of Derby (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020-10-26)
      This article is part of the Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies online resource. It discusses the current educational system in the country for children under six, in the levels of Initial Education and Preschool Education. It includes issues on age range, the role of government in ECE, key providers, programs and services, staff and current challenges.
    • The student practitioner as future leader

      Yates, Ellen; Simmons, Helen; University of Derby (Routledge, 2020-06-07)
    • The critically reflective and creative practitioner

      Yates, Ellen; University of Derby (Routledge, 2020-06-07)
      This chapter aims to explain what critical reflection is and how it can be applied to empower students and enable them to question habitual practice and contest some of the dominant discourses within early childhood. The professions that utilise critical reflection are ones that deal with people, where relationships and ethical judgements are required but may not always be simple. In order to practise critical reflection as a professional, it may be necessary to reflect personally and individually, but is usually more useful and effective if this is practised with others. The chapter explains what critical reflection is, outlined some models and critical theory and explained how these can be applied to our professional lives and supports us in scrutinising our professional practice. It explores what critical reflection is and what it might mean for early childhood students. The author explores some critical theories and concepts that assist with critical reflection and help us deconstruct our experiences.
    • Race and vocational education and training in England

      Avis, James; Orr, kevin; Warmington, Paul; University of Huddersfield; University of Warwick (Informa UK Limited, 2017-06-05)
      Black and minority ethnic students (BME) are a significant constituency in vocational education and training (VET) and FE in England. Despite this recent research on race and VET has become a marginal concern. Insofar as current VET research addresses social justice, race appears to be a supplementary concern. Although there is a substantial literature addressing race and education, this focuses primarily on schools and higher education. This paper examines why there is a need to develop a research agenda that analyses participation, outcomes and experiences of BME VET students, particularly those on ‘non-advanced’ programmes (equivalent to European Qualification Framework Level 1–3) with uncertain labour market outcomes and who are arguably being ‘warehoused’ in low status courses. The paper reflects on the historically specific reasons for the dearth of research on race and VET, drawing on a scoping exercise of the literature to evidence this. We conclude by offering a provisional analysis that identifies recent shifts in participation among BME groups, locating this in its socio-economic and historical context. Our analysis reaffirms that VET remains a significant educational site for BME groups, but it is a complex racialised site which makes the current neglect of race and VET in academic research deeply problematic.
    • Comfort radicalism and NEETs: a conservative praxis

      Avis, James; University of Huddersfield (Informa UK Limited, 2014-07-29)
      Young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) are construed by policy-makers as a pressing problem about which something should be done. Such young people’s lack of employment is thought to pose difficulties for wider society in relation to social cohesion and inclusion, and it is feared that they will become a ‘lost generation’. This paper draws upon English research, seeking to historicise the debate whilst acknowledging that these issues have a much wider purchase. The notion of NEETs rests alongside longstanding concerns of the English state and middle classes, addressing unruly male working-class youth as well as the moral turpitude of working class girls. Waged labour and domesticity are seen as a means to integrate such groups into society thereby generating social cohesion. The paper places the debate within it socio-economic context and draws on theorisations of cognitive capitalism, Italian workerism, as well as emerging theories of antiwork to analyse these. It concludes by arguing that ‘radical’ approaches to NEETs that point towards inequities embedded in the social structure and call for social democratic solutions veer towards a form of comfort radicalism. Such approaches leave in place the dominance of capitalist relations as well as productivist orientations that celebrate waged labour.
    • Socio-technical imaginary of the fourth industrial revolution and its implications for vocational education and training: a literature review

      Avis, James; University of Huddersfield (Informa UK Limited, 2018-08-21)
      This literature review engages with a diverse and sometimes contradictory body of work, employing an analytic stance rooted in policy scholarship. It discusses rhetorical constructions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th IR), locating these in understandings of the economy rooted in a neo-liberalism which rests upon a capitalist terrain. The 4th IR is an ideological construct which reflects specific material interests and has particular implications for education and training. The 4th IR’s association with digitalisation and artificial intelligence is ambivalent. For some writers, this leads to technological unemployment while for others, even though there is labour market disruption, there is no employment crisis that cannot be resolved. The strong connection between the 4th IR and labour market requirements is softened by those writers who adopt a qualitative analysis of advanced manufacturing work. These scholars suggest that the relationship between technology and skill is rather more complex than the protagonists of technological unemployment describe. Neo-Marxist writers develop a qualitatively different account of the current conjuncture to the imaginary of the 4th IR. In this instance, the analysis turns towards the elimination of labour from paid employment, together with the falling rate of profit and bypasses the former arguments. This review concludes by arguing that technology and artificial intelligence are entwined with social relations, being sites of class struggle. How this is played out is an outcome of the balance of power, not only within the social formation but also globally. How far the development of the forces of production is compatible with capitalist relations is a moot point, as this is also a site of struggle. The paper draws out the implications for VET and considers progressive educational responses. However, such a practice needs to be set within a broader politics that is committed to the development of a socially just society.
    • HE in FE: vocationalism, class and social justice

      Avis, James; Orr, kevin; University of Huddersfield (Informa UK Limited, 2016-03-03)
      The paper draws on the Wolf (2015) report (Heading for the Precipice: Can Further and Higher Education Funding Policies Be Sustained?) and other quantitative data, specifically that derived from HEFCE’s Participation of Local Area (POLAR) classifications. In addition it explores key literature and debates that associate higher education in further education (HE in FE) with the pursuit of social justice. This enables an interrogation of conceptualisations of vocationalism as well as a consideration of its articulation with class and gender. Whilst the paper is set within a particular and English socio-economic context, it addresses issues that have a much broader global significance. The paper argues that whilst HE in FE has limited traction in facilitating social mobility it does serve as a resource in the struggle for social justice.
    • “It’s all about work”: New times, Post-Fordism and vocational pedagogy

      Avis, James; University of Huddersfield (Routledge, 2018-02-12)
    • Consumption and material culture of poverty in early-modern Europe, c.1450-1800

      Harley, Joseph; University of Derby (Routledge, 2020-12-31)