• Professional standards and recognition for UK personal tutoring and advising

      Walker, Ben; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Derby (Frontiers Media SA, 2020-10-14)
      The Higher Education and Research Act established both a regulatory framework and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) with associated metrics for student retention, progression and employability in the United Kingdom. As a key site in meeting these requirements, the significance of personal tutoring is clear. Despite this, according to existing institutional research, there is a need for developmental support, greater clarification on the requisite competencies, and adequate recognition for those undertaking this challenging role. Moreover, arguably compounding these concerns is the lack of distinct professional standards for personal tutoring and advising against which to measure effective practice, only recently addressed by the publication of The UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring. Through a review of the literature supported by findings from a survey of practitioners, this paper discusses the need for such standards, and the skills and competencies populating them. Additionally, the usefulness of pre-existing standards pertinent to tutoring work (such as the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting LearninginHE)areevaluatedandthevalueandrecognitionwithwhichpersonaltutoring standards could be associated are advanced. The survey supported the need for specificstandards–representedbytheUKATframework–asevidentfromtheliterature. Justificationsprovidedforboththisandtheopposingviewareexamined.Clarityforboth individual practitioners and institutions was stipulated along with meaningful recognition and reward for this work which is considered highly important and yet ‘invisible.’ The participants and literature reviewed identify relevant content along with illuminating the debate about the relationships between personal tutoring, teaching and professional advising roles. Valuable analysis of standards, recognition and reward also emerged. This is considered by discussing the connection between standards and changes to practice, responses to policy developments and the purpose of ‘standards’ in comparison to ‘guidance.’ The paper proposes that the recent introduction and use of a bespoke framework is a necessary response to alleviate some of the current tensions which beset personal tutoring and advising in higher education.
    • All data are local: thinking critically in a data-driven society

      Tupling, Claire; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-09-10)
    • Realism, reflection and responsibility: the challenge of writing effective scenarios to support the development of ethical thinking skills

      Ribchester, Chris; Healey, Ruth L.; University of Chester (Informa UK Limited, 2017-08-07)
      Universities are paying increased attention to how they might support the ethical development of their students as one of a range of graduate attributes that will enable them to negotiate increasingly complex professional, civic and personal futures. Scenario-based learning (SBL) is a longstanding strategy used in ethical teaching and this paper describes and evaluates a version of this approach as applied to a second year undergraduate tutorials module. A quantitative assessment of the development of students’ ethical sensitivity over the course of two deliveries of the module shows an uneven impact but also some encouraging trends. A detailed qualitative analysis of how students responded to each scenario identifies five factors that appear to precipitate more in-depth reflection on ethical problems, and these are presented as useful points of guidance for teachers writing ethical scenarios for the first time or for those aiming to hone their existing practice. These factors include the challenge of devising circumstances which appear realistic and plausible to contemporary undergraduate students, constructing scenarios which encourage readers to reflect on and test their personal values, and portraying events which push students to intervene proactively and so taking individual responsibility for their decisions and actions.
    • Developing ethical geography students? The impact and effectiveness of a tutorial-based approach

      Healey, Ruth L.; Ribchester, Chris; University of Chester (Informa UK Limited, 2016-02-17)
      This paper explores the effectiveness of a tutorial based approach in supporting the development of geography undergraduates’ ethical thinking. It was found that overall the intervention had a statistically significant impact on students’ ethical thinking scores as assessed using Clarkeburn et al.’s (2003) Meta-Ethical Questionnaire (MEQ). The initiative led to a convergence of scores, having a bigger impact on those who had a relatively low score prior to the intervention. Interestingly the approach had the biggest impact on students who self-identified as physical geographers. Unlike some previous research there was little evidence of difference between male and female students.
    • Pedagogies for developing undergraduate ethical thinking within geography

      Healy, Ruth. L; Ribchester, Chris; University of Derby (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019-12-05)
      Ethical issues are an example of ‘supercomplexity’, whereby ‘the very frameworks by which we orientate ourselves to the world are themselves contested’ (Barnett 2000, p. 257). Reflecting on ethical issues develops practical, critical thinking skills for dealing with such ‘supercomplexity’, as the frameworks students use to analyse ethical issues may be challenged and are likely to change over time. Yet, despite the wide-ranging potential, teaching ethics is often marginalized and segregated in the geographical curriculum, with ethics frequently being limited to prescriptive research considerations. This chapter offers a holistic approach to how ethical thinking might be embedded within geography programmes through a set of key principles related to: 1) recognizing; 2) reviewing; and 3) responding to ethical issues. This framework enables tutors to work with students to address ethical thinking and problems both inside and outside the curriculum, as well as to prepare students for their futures, including in the graduate-level workplace. It is suggested that encouraging students to reflect on ‘everyday’ ethical problems may sometimes act as a helpful first step prior to addressing ethical challenges within the content and practice of the discipline.
    • VET realignment and the development of technical elites: learning at work in England

      Esmond, Bill; Atkins, Liz; University of Derby (European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (VETNET), 2020-08-11)
      An enhanced role for work-based learning is advocated increasingly widely across industrialised countries and by international VET policies. However, this is framed differently in each country by long-term policy orientations that reflect VET’s relationship with wider economic and social formations. These national differences reflect path dependency but also distinctive responses to contemporary challenges such as globalisation. In England, recent reforms strengthening workplace learning are constrained by existing patterns of skill formation and may be shaped by further market liberalisation and divergence from social and economic policies in Europe. The study examined the relationship between greater emphasis on workplace learning in England and societal change, addressing the research question: how are early experiences of work in England, as part of young people’s full-time education programmes, positioning them for future employment? Case studies were organised around apparently distinctive placement types that had emerged from earlier studies. Using the constant comparative method, the team identified a series of categories to distinguish the way each type of work-based learning positioned students in a particular type of labour market transition. Evidence emerged of divergence in England’s ‘further education’ system, across mainly male ‘technical’ routes, young people on vocational courses preparing them for routine, low-skilled, precarious employment, and an area of greater uncertainty preparing young people for digital routes linked to the ‘new economy’. Key dimensions of difference included study locations, discourses of occupational status, types of valued learning content, approaches to socialisation, sources of expertise and processes of credentialisation. In each case, learning at work served to position students for a particular type of labour market transition, which we characterise as technical elite formation, welfare VET and new economy precarity. Approaches to workplace learning in England already reflect social distinctions but entail the possibility of reinforcing these, supporting a more hierarchical pattern of labour market transition. Whilst the upper strata of VET shift their purpose to support the formation of new ‘technical elites’, others face the possibility of further marginalisation. Such new inequalities could become central to a further fragmented society in a post-Brexit, post-COVID-19 Britain. Other European states facing challenges of globalisation and the transition to services are also likely to experience pressures for VET stratification, although they may seek less divisive solutions.
    • El enfoque mosaico, derecho a la participación y la voz de los niños en investigación educativa

      Delgado-Fuentes, Marco Antonio; University of Derby (Universidad CESMAG, 2020-06-11)
      This review article explores and discusses some of the methodological in-novations regarding childhood and education by focusing on the mosaic approach. It is a methodological approach -not constituted as a method yet- which has been mainly developed in English and it is founded on concepts such as those of qualitative research, childhood studies, the rights of the child and particularly, their right to participate in research about themselves and their world. A historical framework is presented to facilitate the understanding of the multidisciplinary origins of this approach. The process of the literature review was made in a database that contained 71 million references, out of which 28 references, which identified the mosaic approach as their method, were selected. The analysis of this approach presents a diverse panorama in its use, although it mainly focuses on preschool and early education. To conclude, a reflection about the use of this approach in the future is made and, particularly in Latin America where the incipient use of the mosaic approach seems to be relevant.
    • Surveillance of modern motherhood: Experiences of universal parenting courses

      Simmons, Helen; University of Derby (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020-08-23)
      This book explores the reflections and experiences of mothers of children aged 0-3 years that have attended universal parenting courses. Simmons considers the factors that motivated mothers to attend a universal parenting course and explore the wider experiences of early modern motherhood in the UK. She investigates participants' perceptions of benefits of attending a parenting course, different forms of parenting advice accessed by mothers, and how this provides an insight into the wider constructs and experiences of modern motherhood. Ultimately, the book considers, through a feminist post-structuralist lens, the social and cultural pressures within modern motherhood in relation to different levels of surveillance, and produces new knowledge for practice within the early years and health sectors in relation to the support currently offered to new mothers. It will be of interest to students and scholars across the sociology of education, gender studies, and childhood studies.
    • Student autonomy of feedback format in higher education and perceived functional behaviours for academic development

      Sparrow, Abby; Smith, Samantha; Petronzi, Dominic; Wilson, Helen; Roeschlaub, Sarah; Smith, Melanie; University of Derby (Octagon Education Consultancy, 2020-05-11)
      In the current context of promoting active learning and raising student engagement within Higher Education, an increasing amount of research has looked at pedagogical-based design and factors that contribute to functional behaviours surrounding the interaction and use of academic assessment feedback. However, few studies have considered the perceived influence of student autonomy over feedback format and whether this promotes engagement and academic development. In this study, we recruited level 5 and 6 students (N = 38) on an undergraduate Education Programme (that has consistently implemented student feedback choice) to participate in initial self-reporting and subsequent focus groups ("soft triangulation‟). The findings revealed three core themes: [1] Personalisation – (a) sense of autonomy/involvement, (b) engagement and (c) motivation, [2] Clarity – (d) depth and detail, and [3] Areas for development. Overall, these findings suggest that feedback type – and the inherent option to choose – has a functional impact on academic engagement and development. We discuss these findings in relation to a sense of being valued that was associated with autonomy of choice, a divergence in how and when students engage with feedback, as well as the requirement for academic clarity and provision of formats that support academic development.
    • Raising regional academic voices (alongside data) in higher education (HE) debate

      Hayes, Sarah; Jopling, Michael; Hayes, Dennis; Westwood, Andy; Tuckett, Alan; Barnett, Ronald; Hayes, Dennis; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-05-13)
      As agendas for data-driven measures of excellence dominate policy in UK Higher Education (HE), we argue that the generic structure of national policy frameworks virtually silences regional voices. This furthers a territorially agnostic discourse about universities, downplays institutional history and purpose, risks concealing innovative practices, and fails to tackle entrenched inequalities. In response, we point to the value of live, place-based debate in HE institutions to highlight distributional inequity, raise local voices and connect these with national policy. Yet even as we compiled this article about HE debate, the Covid-19 pandemic took hold globally, cancelling face-to-face meetings, by necessity. We therefore draw on a postdigital perspective, as we share our individual dialogues in support of debate, via collective writing, against this new backdrop of social distancing and widespread uncertainty. We may not currently be able to convene our Midlands HE Policy Network (MHEPN) debates in person, but we can voice the essential part that regional universities play in connecting global technological and biological change, with local social projects, citizens and industry. Postdigital theory offers one route to understanding that Covid-19 does not sit apart from other political economic challenges in HE and beyond, that we need to debate simultaneously.
    • Tackling the personal tutoring conundrum: A qualitative study on the impact of developmental support for tutors

      Walker, Ben; University of Lincoln (SAGE Publications, 2020-06-10)
      The significance of personal tutoring continues to increase as a result of contextual developments and the outcomes of key research on student retention and success, and yet these developments simultaneously create significant challenges in delivery within the pastoral model of personal tutoring. In addition, it remains an under-developed and under-researched area. Personal tutors’ needs and concerns have been established, and assessment of an intervention to address them has been recommended. This study examines the impact of the intervention of tailored professional development materials for tutoring within a pastoral model created in response to these issues. It reveals the usefulness of this developmental support and the need for such guidance for this work. It is argued that there are implications in terms of approaches to tutoring within this pastoral model, developmental support provision and a need for consistency of standards in personal tutoring across the sector.
    • Vocational teachers and workplace learning: integrative, complementary and implicit accounts of boundary crossing

      Esmond, Bill; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2020-05-25)
      Where young people’s upper-secondary education spans work and institutional domains, questions arise about learning across both spheres and its guidance. Theoretical accounts of ‘boundary crossing’ have explored how vocational teachers can integrate learning across domains by drawing on extended concepts and theoretical knowledge to solve workplace problems; whilst empirical accounts have validated the role of vocational educators by describing the workplace and schools as equally valid, complementary spheres. Different understandings, described here as ‘integrative’, ‘complementary’ and ‘implicit’, appear to reflect different national patterns of vocational education. The paper reports a qualitative study conducted around two case studies, located in Germany and England, of the way vocational teachers’ understandings of facilitating learning across domains are constructed. Vocational teachers working in Germany’s ‘dual training’ claimed to provide advanced knowledge that they compared to practical work skills, reflecting ‘implicit’ or ‘complementary’ approaches to learning across domains. Teachers in England, where workplace learning elements are more unevenly developed and lack institutional foundations, nevertheless described colleges and workplaces as distinctive, little-connected spheres. These differences suggest that teachers’ approaches are less shaped by the potential or necessity for ‘integrative’ approaches than by the way different systems enable or constrain their conceptualisation of ‘possible futures’.
    • A holistic approach to teaching and personal tutoring

      Walker, Ben; University of Lincoln (2016-05)
      Workshop training session to pre-service trainee teachers
    • A shot in the arm for teacher education within FE

      Walker, Ben; University of Lincoln (2016-06)
    • The future of student success

      Walker, Ben; Manchester Metropolitan University (2019-03)
    • Personal tutoring – boundaries in student support and success

      Walker, Ben; Manchester Metropolitan University (2018-10)