• Investigating types of reading used by native and non-native English readers on academic reading: an eye tracking study

      Sheraz, Safia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-11-08)
      The purpose of this research was to investigate the types of reading used by native English readers on a sampled academic reading-into-writing task. Secondly, this study investigated the types of reading used by non-native English readers on the same academic reading-into-writing task. This study also compared the similarities and differences in the types of reading done by both native and non-native English readers. In particular, the research explored how the participants read the informative and non-informative paragraphs in the academic texts. The present study used Khalifa and Weir's model of reading (2009) as a framework to map the physical evidence from the eye tracking data to investigate the types of reading done by the students in relation to careful, selective and expeditious reading. A mixed method approach, which included eye-tracking technology, stimulated recalls, interviews and observations, was used in this study. Eye movements of the participants were tracked by Tobii X2 60 eye tracker while they read the three academic texts on a computer screen to prepare for a piece of academic writing. Immediately after they had completed reading each text, stimulated recalls and interviews were held and the purpose of these stimulated recalls was to triangulate the data obtained from eye tracking. A total of 32 participants were used in this study which included 16 native English readers and 16 non-native English readers. The eye tracking data was analysed quantitatively through the eye tracking measures that are the words read per minute, the number of fixations, the mean fixation duration and the proportion of regressive movements (same line regressions and regressions two lines or above). Qualitatively, eye tracking data was analysed through the heat maps and gaze plots. The results from the quantitative and qualitative eye tracking data suggested that the native readers read the informative paragraphs slower than the non-informative paragraphs, but different reasons were reported by them in the stimulated recalls for adopting a specific reading type. For the non-native readers, the results from the quantitative eye tracking data suggested that they read the informative paragraphs slower than the non-informative paragraphs. On the contrary, the qualitative eye tracking data suggested that they focused on both informative and non-informative paragraphs and there were similarities in the reasons reported by non-native readers for reading the informative and the non-informative paragraphs slowly. A comparison in the types reading used by L1 and L2 readers suggested that L2 readers read the informative and the non-informative paragraphs slower than L1 readers as suggested by the words read per minute and the mean fixation duration of the participants. Native readers made more same line regressions on informative and non-informative paragraphs than the non-native readers and the proportion of regressions two lines or above made by both groups was also negligible. The qualitative eye tracking data suggested that both groups read informative and non-informative paragraphs slowly, but native readers fixated more on both types of paragraphs than non-natives, as suggested by the heat maps and gaze plots. The data from the stimulated recalls and observations also suggested that both groups read the informative and the non-informative paragraphs with attention. To the best of the researcher's knowledge, this is the first study that evaluated the types of reading of L2 participants in an academic context. It contributes a methodology for investigating the types of reading used by the L2 students by employing different eye tracking measures and the stimulated recalls. According to the researcher's knowledge, this study contributes new knowledge about the reading speed (in terms of words read per minute) and other eye tracking measures of L2 readers on an academic reading-into-writing task. This study holds implications for the universities as the findings suggested that academic literacy skills training is required for both the native and non-native readers. The findings would also help to design preparatory tasks for the first-year undergraduates as a part of pre-sessional courses in the international universities or back in their home countries where they are trained for admission in international universities.
    • Random responses? understanding sexually exploited young women’s relationships with secondary school education

      Rawden, Helen Doreen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-01-18)
      This thesis aims to explore the relationships that young women who have experienced, or have been at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE), have had with secondary school education. Previous studies of CSE have not dealt with the effects on young women’s education during and following CSE. Therefore, the educational outcomes for this cohort of young women are poorly understood. To respond to this gap in knowledge, this thesis asks questions about the educational and labour market experiences of young women who have experienced CSE during their secondary school years. In the light of those experiences, what are the policy and practice implications, and what effect does experiencing CSE have on young women’s perceptions of their aspirations for their future. Interviews have taken place with nine young women who have experienced CSE, 16 specialist CSE voluntary sector key workers and three professionals variously working in safeguarding children and in Pupil Referral Units (PRU’s). As a result of these interviews, this study has discovered concerning levels of school exclusion and referral to PRUs among young women who experience, or who are at risk of CSE during their secondary school years. This thesis argues that the experiences of sexually exploited young women are not being taken into account when decisions are made about their education and that their right to an adequate education is not being met. A search of historical literature established that the identification of behaviour among female pupils, which can be recognised as CSE was documented in the Newsom Report (1963). A review has been undertaken to establish how far CSE policy and procedure has advanced to meet the needs of sexually exploited young women since the recommendations made by Melrose, Barrett and Brodie (1999). Conclusions have been drawn from the literature of the previous decade that there has been a lack of attention to the educational outcomes of young women experiencing CSE. Two theoretical foundations underpin this research: firstly, a Feminist Constructivist Grounded theory approach to women who have experienced sexual violence, contributing to recommendations for policy change that will benefit young women. Secondly, the thesis employs Social Pedagogy, in terms of the relationships which can be built with young women who have experienced CSE, to support their engagement with education. This is supported by consideration of the discourse on the rights of a child to an education appropriate to their needs and aspirations. This thesis concludes that young women’s education is liable to be damaged by experiencing CSE and that there is not enough knowledge to resolve this problem. Further research is required to understand what is involved in ensuring that sexually exploited young women’s rights to education are being met.
    • Understanding and interpreting tourism: a constructionist probe into the epistemology of tourism studies

      Pernecky, Tomas (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-06)
      The landscape of Tourism Studies has been marked recently by scholars calling for new approaches to tourism and greater levels of transparency, placing the emphasis on the cultural politics of research making, criticality, situated research, and broader levels of theorisation. This composite agenda of issues has been voiced and marked under the umbrella terms The Critical Turn, and “new” tourism research. In the contemporary context of emerging innovative work and an expanding range of research, this thesis asserts that tourism and travel play an important role in today’s world and contribute greatly to the formation of various social phenomena. Tourism Studies as a field is beginning to expand beyond the applied business approach, and critical enquiry is becoming more prominent with increasing numbers of researchers voicing their discontent over deprived tourism theorising. The three broad issues providing impetus for this work are the lack of philosophical research and researchers’ understanding of emic and etic involvement in the process, the poverty of tourism theory, and the lack of critical approaches in the field. In this critical framework of reference, this research study is mainly concerned with examining the process of knowledge production in Tourism Studies. I employ a constructionist approach to research and present tourism as a social phenomenon that cannot hold meaning independently of cultural interpretations. I highlight that the widespread use of etic, situated, and perspectival voices of researchers leads only to one type of knowledge that tends to disregard other ways of knowing and understanding. I point to the plurality of places and objects and propose that one’s understanding of tourism is the result of our situated being in the world, a philosophical notion proffered by Martin Heidegger. I thus present tourism as a phenomenon that can “tell us” about our being in the world – an act which summons a theoretical shift as to what tourism “is”, what it “does” and what it “can do”. With regard to the use of empirical data, I employ hermeneutic phenomenology as the research methodology and focus on the New Age phenomenon to demonstrate the construction of meaning and production of knowledge. Additionally, New Age is relevant in the context of the shifting social, political and cultural climate. I examine some of the emerging works in the field and conclude that travellers (in this thesis, New Agers) not only make, re-make, and constitute places; they also become entangled in tourist performances and use their bodies to learn, to experience and to grow spiritually. I conclude that post-disciplinarity, criticality, and reflexivity are valuable in the constructionist line of enquiry, and I present tourism as a creative endeavour into the understanding of the lived world. The key findings show that there is room for more constructionist and subjectivist epistemologies and further explorations into tacit knowledge, and also the need for researchers to pay more attention to the philosophical assumptions guiding their work.
    • The viability of some helminth parasites in sewage sludges applied to agricultural land

      Dean, R. Ann (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1981-09)
      The public health and veterinary significance of sewage transmissible helminth infections is largely underestimated. Since land application is the ultimate destination of mu.ch of the sludge produced, this study was designed to investigate the longevity of helminth parasites in such material. The initial aim of the investigation was to develop reliable and quantitative isolation techniques. After determining specific gravity values for the ova of Taenia and Ascaris, several methods of isolating these were compared and modified to improve the efficiency of recovery. The effectiveness of sewage treatment for the removal of these ova was examined by measuring sedimentation rates. These values indicated that the retention times currently used in treatment plants must often be inadequate • .Anaerobic mesophilic digestion had no observable effect on the removal of ova. A number of criteria for judging the viability of ova were used to investigate the persistance of helminth ova stored in raw, digested and dried-cake sludge. Treated sludges were found to provide the leas:t favourable conditions for egg survival. The influence of ultraioletv light, temperature and humidity on egg survival was studied. Of these, humidity had the most detrimental effect. In situ lysimeter experiments were conducted to examine both persistance and viability of helminth ova under field conditions. Under the cirumstances tested Ascaris ova were found to persist longer than Taenia ova. Calves were infected. experimentally with ova recovered from raw sludge in order to obtain conclusive proof that such eggs were infective; ova retained infectivity upto 3 months. This work contributes to the understanding of the fate of animal parasites in sludges a:p:plied to agricultural land and may therefore be used to assist in the drafting of responsible policies for the safe use of sludge in agriculture.
    • The biological and chemical effects of digested sludge as a nitrogenous fertiliser on grass crops using in situ lysimeters

      Thomas, William Morgan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1981-07)
      This thesis details field and laboratory experiments on the biological and chemical effects of liquid anaerobically digested sewage sludge (LDS) used as a nitrogenous fertiliser on grass crops. The main objectives of the investigation were to ascertain the nitrogen (N) fertiliser value of LDS on grassland and evaluate its leaching losses using monolith lysimeters. Some LDS volatilisation studies were undertaken in the laboratory and a N balance compiled for the field lysimeters. To enable a detailed assessmBnt of crop uptake of LDS N some LDS was prepared with isotopic N15 using laboratory anaerobic digesters. The product LDS contained N15 as organic and inorganic N and was similar to a typical LDS. The field lysimeters were arranged as an integral part of each field plot and some techniques devised for their installation in situ. For laboratory work a scaled-down version of the field lysimeter was used. An assessment of the comparability of lysimeter and field conditions showed a satisfactory correlation with respect to crop productivity. Similar levels of N15 uptake were recorded for the field and lysimeter swards. Crop productivity trials showed that LDS applied as a single and split application was about 70% as effective as a split dressing of ammonium nitrate (Nitram). Evidence from the field trials suggested that LDS organic N contributes less than 10% of its fertiliser value during its year of application. Leaching losses of LDS were found to be similar to those of Nitram. At application rates equivalent to 300 kgN/ha/season typical nitrate-N concentrations in the leachate water were 1 mg/1 and 0.1-6.2% applied N was lost from the field A quick crop response to LDS N was recorded with N15 accumulation by the crop 7 days after LDS application. Crop productivity trials indicated a lack of sustained response by the grass to LDS applications.
    • The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in the immune compromised patient

      Johnson, Julie Dawn (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1999-10)
      Human infection with the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii may be clinically silent in the immune competent person but can cause fatal disease in immune immature, i.e. the foetus, or compromised individuals, such as human immunodeficiency virus infected patients or organ graft recipients. Whilst a number of assays already exist the fact that immune compromised patients present a limited or for the laboratory diagnosis of toxoplasmosis, ablated immune response to primary infection means that many of these are of limited diagnostic value. The aim of the publications presented for this doctorate was to develop, and technically and clinically evaluate assays which would have particular use for the immune compromised patient. The research demonstrates the development of two new serological assays; the immunosorbent agglutination assay for the detection of toxoplasma-specific immunoglobulin-A which was demonstrated to be the investigation of choice for the post-natal diagnosis of congenital toxoplasmosis; the avidity assay which is of value for confirming recently acquired toxoplasma infection in immunoglobulin-M positive pregnant women and for the exclusion of recent onset toxoplasma infection in patients with prolonged irnmunoglobulin-M responses. It is also of use in the diagnosis of congenital infection. One assay based on detection of parasite deoxyribonucleic acid using the polymerase chain reaction was developed and demonstrated to be optimal in the examination of brain biopsies from acquired immune deficiency syndrome patients with suspected toxoplasma encephalitis, amniotic fluid and foetal blood samples from the potentially infected foetus and cardiac biopsies from transplant recipients. The research also gives a technical evaluation of two existing assays􀓫 the direct agglutination test which proved less sensitive but more specific than the latex agglutination test and demonstrated to be the assay of choice for reducing screening test false positive reactions; the immunosorbent agglutination assay for the detection of toxoplasma-specific immunoglobulin-M which demonstrated to be the investigation of choice for screening women requesting testing during pregnancy, for diagnosis of congenital infection in the foetus and neonate, those suffering from ocular disease and for transplant mismatch cases. The research also clinically evaluates the use of all existing assays for immune compromised patients, concluding with a presentation of a multi-assay approach to diagnosis.
    • Health impacts of participation in the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe by Zanla women ex¬combatants in the Zanla operational areas

      Manyame-Tazarurwa, Kalister Christine (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-02)
      These are accounts of what happened during the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe, what life was really like for those who fought. How they suffered, their bravery, and their hardships. What happened to the women who fought beside the men lies behind the women’s stories in a universal theme showing that women everywhere recognize the fight for independence, and then the isolation and disregard and suppression all accumulating to the trauma that follows. Until women can talk about their war experiences and make a connection with their grief and anger, they will each still be unconsciously trying to get out of their own personal camps. The experiences are unique, but they are examples of the broader experience of cultural assumptions and attitudes towards women, how these permeate lives, and how each woman, attempts to survive them. Talking about war experiences is talking about trauma and suffering, it is about understanding the long-term health consequences but it is also about women’s resilience and strength.
    • Who works not what works: an exploration into the rise of managerialism in services to children, young people and families and the challenge this poses to the role of professionalism and relationship-based provision

      Olaitan, Paul (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-07)
      This paper sets out to give an overview of the impact of socio-economic and political thinking on the structure and esteem of services to children, young people and families, and the placing of subsequent services to meet the needs of service users. Through an exploration of the works of key theorists and academic contributors in relevant fields the attempt is first to establish the socio-structural context within which services are structured and delivered before moving on to set out the journey taken in one inner city local authority to grapple with the challenges set out by the requirement to meet the complex needs of local people within an increasingly hostile environment for public services. I call on extensive experience in the field to inform an opinion that, under neoliberal policy frameworks, services have become increasingly alienating to the people that come to call on them for support, and that, in so doing, they undermine their ability to function as required and in part, serve to exacerbate the very issues they set out to eradicate. In particular, professional approaches have inadvertently accelerated this problem of alienation resulting in energies being spent on professional survival and legitimacy at the expense of the particularly complex and challenging issue of improving the lives of children and young people who experience difficulties. Through the development of a new integrated, systemic and humanistic service which has striven to break down the barriers erected to identify the differences between professions at the expense of a focus on service users, it is felt that an opportunity now exists to refocus the energies of services so that greater attention is placed on the role of the practitioner, the relationships they form with service users, and the engagement these relationships make possible. Looking forward, consideration is made of the possibilities this presents for service delivery that sees success in equipping children, young people and families with the tools to locate and express their voices rather than, in keeping with broader consumerist agenda, encourage service users to receive, rather than inform, services -which will require professionals to shift from a role of leaders to facilitators in the delivery of community development interventions.
    • The effects on ageing and low temperature pre-sowing treatments on the membrane status and germination performance of tomato seeds

      Francis, Adele (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1985-09)
      Loss of viability and decreases in germination rate appear to be due to two independent causes during artificial ageing in tomato (Lycopersicon esculenturn Mill) seeds. only the second category of physiological damage is reversible: a low temperature presowing treatment (LTPST) capable of greatly increasing gennination rate of unaged and aged seeds had no effect on gennination capacity. Leakage of ionic solutes from seeds did not increase following ageing, but there were increased losses of small organic molecules which LTPST did not reduce. Total protein levels were unaffected during ageing and LTPST, but changes occurred during germination. Controlled deterioration caused a progressive decline in total seed phospholipid (PL) content mainly due to losses of phosphotidylcholine (:EC):losses irreversible by LTPST. Following 72 h imbibition, there was a significant increase in total PL present in untreated and treated unaged seeds and significant changes in composition of the PL fraction. LTPST had no significant effect on PL composition of viable artificially aged and unaged seeds, indicating that viability losses accanpanying controlled deterioration are related to losses of PC, but decreases in gennination rate are not. Total PL fatty acid (FA} content increased significantly following LTPST and also following 24 h ageing. Losses of total FA's between 24 hand one week's ageing occurred and were more marked in pre-treated seeds. Antioxidants prevented the viability loss usually caused by one weeks ageing and sane but not all of the FA changes. Non-viable aged seeds were unable to activate the free radical scavenging enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) during imbibition unlike aged and nonlethally aged seeds. LTPST had no apparent effect on SOO levels. LTPST had the same promotory effect on germination rate of naturally aged seeds as it did on artificially aged ones. Similarly germination percentage was unaffected. Phospholipid changes occurring during a period of natural ageing of up to 17 years were similar to those during artificial ageing.
    • Entamoeba histolytica – the causative agent of clinical amoebiasis

      Sargeaunt, Peter George (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2000-07)
      Entamoeba histolytica causing clinical amoebiasis, can, if left untreated, result in fatal consequences. This parasite has a global distribution with a high incidence in tropical countries. Many infections with the parasite do not produce disease. Because the parasite appeared to have two types of presentation in the host Brumpt ( 1925) raised the hypothesis that two organisms were responsible. His suggestion was neglected until in 1978, and subsequently, Sargeaunt, using thin layer starch gel electrophoresis, demonstrated that the parasites iso-enzymes produced different patterns for the two states of infection. Numerous communities throughout the world have benefited from this discovery and vast amounts of drugs are no longer required to treat spurious infections. The two types of infection are now correctly recognised as Entamoeba histolytica -causing clinical amoebiasis and Entamoeba dispar (Bmmpt, 1925), a harmless intestinal commensal.
    • Embracing the consumer : an exploration of what current marketing theory can teach the youth justice system in England and Wales about how to engage with young people

      Thorne, Andrew (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-10)
      ABSTRACT The impact of business theories on the youth justice system that arrived through New Public Management (NPM) and became manifest in managerialism, is a relatively well researched phenomenon within the social sciences discipline. What is less well known are the origins of managerialism and its theoretical underpinnings within industrial production theory. It is the intention of this thesis to look at these origins within production theory from the perspective of the business discipline, and examine how they have been implemented within the youth justice system. This review and analysis will be supplemented by primary research from an online attitudinal survey that looked at how these changes were perceived by staff working within Youth Offending Teams (YOTs). What will be seen is that the respondents of the online survey bear out in their professional lives many of the conclusions of the academic research already completed. They dislike much of the practice associated with managerialism, and wish to work in a system that is focussed around building therapeutic relationship and based on increasing the engagement and participation of young people. The second part of the thesis takes this research one step on, and asks practically how practice can be updated. It will be argued that the theoretical underpinnings of managerialist practice are outdated in the private and public sector due to the rise of consumerism allied with the power of the internet and increased consumer choice. It will be suggested that once again the discipline of business should be studied and copied, and the lead from successful consumer facing businesses followed, where increasing consumer participation and engagement in products and services is seen as a key way of gaining competitive advantage. Value co-creation, the marketing model that theorises this approach, would provide a way of incorporating a consumer focus into the youth justice system. In addition it will be proposed that Taylorist production theory should also be updated to one that is consumer focussed – lean theory – a model that already has political traction in the public sector. Through the use of these models it will be argued that the youth justice system can move from a managerialised production-led system that ignores young people to something that embraces the consumer society that surrounds it and engages and uses the skills of young people within the system to engage in their rehabilitation.
    • Towards the rapid analysis of total glucosinolate in oilseed and vegetable crops

      Jezek, Jan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1999-08)
      This work describes approaches to the development of an analytical method for the determination of glucosinolates -important plant metabolites that affect the commercial value of both vegetable and oilseed crops. One approach was to modify an established myrosinase/glucose oxidase bi-enzyme biosenscr so as reduce the previously reported by-product interference of the sensor signal. Covalent immobilisation of glucose oxidase on nylon nets replaced direct immobilisation on the electrode surface, and oxygen consumption replaced hydrogen peroxide formation as the measurand. Myrosinase was dissolved in the background solution. The sensor responded rapidly (< 10 min) to the presence of isolated glucosinolates in solution although the magnitude of response varied between classes of glucosinolates. By-product interference was greatly reduced even following continuous exposure.. However, there was insufficient time to explore the full potential of this biosensor approach to the rapid determination of glucosinolates. Another approach exploited the general observation that under certain conditions glucosinolates can reduce ferricyanide. Whilst no reaction was observed between glucosinolates and ferricyanide neutral pH, the incubation with glucosinolates in alkaline solutions resulted in reduction of ferricyanide to ferrocyanide. Both electrochemical and spectrophotometric techniques could be used to monitor the reaction progress. The reaction mechanism of the process was elucidated and lthioglucose, an alkaline degradation product of glucosinolates, identified as the species that reacted with ferricyanide. A method was further developed so as to enable the analysis of glucosinolates in rapeseed extracts. Given sample pre-treatment to reduce interference from phenolics, the spectrophotometric technique was shown to allow determinations of total glucosinolates in rape seeds that were in close agreement with independent analyses using official ISO methods. The procedure recommended in this work could be further improved by developing more effective methods of eliminating interference from residual phenolics. Nevertheless, the procedure already has some advantages both over ISO methods and over other existing methods for total glucosinolate determination. Furthermore, given recent advances in thick-film fabrication of miniature fluidic devices, it could be possible to adapt the procedure so that it could be carried out using a simple convenient single-use sensor format.
    • The worldview of tour guides: a grounded theory study

      Aloudat, Areej Shabib (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-03)
      This research study explores the worldview of tour guides, and develops a framework on the lived world of knowledge, sensations and perceptions that constitute the professional and subjective realities of the guiding role. The research enquiry uses a qualitative approach, incorporating a grounded theory strategy, to explore this world and model its main dimensions.
    • British Pakistani students’ experiences in multi-ethnic secondary schools in England

      Chaudhry, Javeria (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-02-08)
      Multicultural educational policies in school advocate respect for all cultures. These policies are considered important in facilitating the inclusion of students from ethnically diverse backgrounds (Banks, 2008, 2019). Multicultural policies aim to increase equality and social acceptance of minority ethnic communities by decreasing negative racial attitudes and racial inequality (Bourne, 2007; Howarth and Andreouli, 2012). Therefore, multiculturalism is a key to the development of positive attitudes amongst ethnically diverse communities and it aims to challenge and prevent racism or prejudice (Bourne, 2007). The aim of this study was to analyse experiences of British Pakistani students in schools; to investigating how the concept of multiculturalism with multicultural policies is promoted in schools, to ensure their inclusion. The situation of British Pakistanis is complicated by issues relating to how the Muslim faith is perceived, and in particular the Prevent Agenda. Both of these topics are covered within this study. This study investigated the experiences of British Pakistani students in multi-ethnic secondary schools in England in order to understand how BPS as a minority ethnic group are culturally supported and included in schools. This study focused on multiculturalism by using Banks’ (2008, 2019) theory of multiculturalism with his model of multicultural education as a conceptual framework. Hence, year 9 BPS’ experiences in relation to multiculturalism, multicultural education policies including the Prevent Agenda and FBV in three different multi-ethnic secondary schools in the East of England were explored. All three schools were multi-ethnic in nature and more than enough to provide sufficient data to do a good cross-section from schools with differing level of BPS, through student and teacher interviews, in addition to document analysis of school policies. The major findings of the research revealed that the case study schools have a positive inclusive cultural environment and the more general inclusive policies schools employ seem to meet a number of elements and dimensions that Banks (1989b, 2008, 2019) has identified in relation to multiculturalism. Findings also indicated that no single model espoused by Banks (2008, 2019) could fully capture the range of themes emerging when focusing on issues related to multiculturalism when applied to this group of students in the current context. BPS identify themselves as British Pakistani and prefer dualism/integration to carry two different cultures together. There are no concerns that Prevent is impacting on teachers in terms of the way BPS behave, and teacher training in relation to this was perceived as insignificant. BPS generally experience positive attitudes from their peers and teachers. British Values caused a variety of responses indicating lack of clarity about what British Values are, and that they are not required for the integration of BPS in schools. Overall, the findings concluded that although British Pakistani students’ needs are being met by current practices in schools, some aspects of Banks’ (2008, 2019) model could be beneficial in reducing potential issues faced by this group of students.
    • Exploration of the characteristics of German osteopaths and osteopathic physicians: survey development and implementation

      Dornieden, Ralf (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-01-30)
      i. Background Osteopathy and its practice in Germany is unregulated without nationally agreed competencies, frameworks or practice standards. The heterogeneity of practice makes it likely that there is a great variety in the nature and scope of practice. Educational programs vary greatly in length and content and no nationally agreed curriculum exists. The high number of osteopathic associations with varying political goals and perspectives suggests a fragmentation of the osteopathic community. Little formal research has been reported on standards and practice of osteopathic care in Germany. The lack of data contributes to uncertainty and makes it difficult to build a case for a more united regulated profession. ii. Purpose A series of connected studies aimed to develop an instrument to survey the osteopathic profession in Germany. The purpose was to obtain data about the characteristics of the osteopaths and osteopathic physicians and their practice in order to provide a coherent picture of the profession in Germany. iii. Methods A scoping review and appraisal of cross-sectional studies was conducted to create an overview of the literature from cross-sectional studies in the field and to identify possible survey tools usable in the German context. This phase led to the decision to develop a survey instrument specifically for the German environment which was informed by the results of the scoping review. Previous questionnaires informed the first draft of the questionnaire. Mixed methods enhanced the design of the questionnaire utilising a consensus group, cognitive interviews with stakeholders, expert rating and feedback methodologies with participants nominated by national associations. After a final online pilot test the survey was implemented in a national cross-sectional survey with the participants recruited from eight national associations. Invitations were disseminated by the associations with 2 follow-up reminders. Data were collected using the SmartSurvey® online questionnaire system. iv. Results The validated questionnaire consisted of 55 items subdivided into 8 sections and was used in a cross-sectional study with a sample group of 8,331 osteopaths and osteopathic physicians from November 2017 to February 2018. The response rate was 18.9% (n=1578), from which 1,175 were active practicing respondents who had complete data sets. Osteopaths and osteopathic physicians in Germany provide osteopathic care for a wide range of patient age groups presenting with various complaints and conditions using a variety on methods and techniques. Some differences were observed between German practice nationally and practice internationally. v. Conclusions Cross-sectional studies of osteopathic practice are commonly poorly reported and many are weak methodologically. A newly validated questionnaire has provided data on the nature of practice in Germany. There is some variability in practice between and within stakeholder osteopathic groups in Germany. There is a need for unification of the osteopathic groups and regulation to improve professional identity and to support the implementation of nationally agreed standards of practice, education and safety.
    • An investigation into assessing ESL learners pragmatic competence at B2-C2 levels

      Ficzere, Edit (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-04-30)
      As the number of overseas students and employees in English-speaking countries has increased exponentially over the last decade, the importance of pragmatic competence in the successful social integration of L2 speakers has been highlighted and the need for assessing it has become more pressing. Most currently available pragmatic tests are based on Speech Act Theory as a theoretical framework and use discourse completion tasks as test instruments. However, both of these have been criticized lately for overlooking the importance of the discursive side of pragmatics, which requires the use of on-line processing skills (see e.g. Roever, 2011). The aim of this research was, therefore, to contribute towards the assessment of B2-C2 level learners’ pragmatic competence in extended oral discourse by identifying some criterial features defining the level of B2-C2 ESL learners’ pragmatic competence and by examining the extent to which a monologic and a dialogic task format allows these learners to display aspects of their pragmatic competence. Data were collected from thirty international university students at B2-C2 levels with a range of L1 backgrounds, who performed four monologic and two dialogic test tasks. This was then followed by a semistructured interview to gain the participants’ perspectives on the given contexts. Performance of the tasks was video recorded, transcribed and analysed quantitatively, using selected coding categories from Blum-Kulka et al. (1989) and Barron (2003), as well as qualitatively using a Conversation Analytic framework. The results indicate that with increasing language competence ESL learners used a wider range of pragmalinguistic devices and used them more frequently. The data from the semi-structured interviews also highlighted that with increasing proficiency there was a greater depth of analysis of the different contexts. However, the comparison of participants’ evaluation of the contexts and their actual language use indicated that only C2 level participants had the capacity to adjust their language to reflect their pragmatic intentions.
    • Developing framework for improving the Nigerian public sector construction projects selection processes

      Unuafe, Emmanuel (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-06-16)
      Despite the development of various frameworks to assist in the appraisal and selection of government projects, failures are still being recorded with government projects. In developing countries, where frameworks are rarely used, the problems are compounded. To improve the situation this study investigates the current practice of construction project selection processes within the Nigerian public sector in order to inform theories of decision making from the perspective of developing nations and project management practice. The study adopts approach that challenges the concepts of conventional scholars. More specifically, it adopts Activity Theory concepts in the development of a conceptual framework. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of 30 senior public sector management personnel within the five parallel case organisations between March 2015 and November 2017. The data obtained from the interviews were then compiled and analysed using qualitative software for content analysis. Using activity theory as the basis of the investigation, the findings identified a number of artefacts mediating project selection activity. Findings revealed that with the increase in population, incidence of infrastructure shortage has continued to increase in Nigeria, causing a severe challenge, especially to the Nigerian government. The citizens now depend largely on dilapidated and/or in some instances on low quality infrastructure and feel strongly that the shortage in infrastructure supply capacity and the rate of marginalisation of some regions in the provision of infrastructure is pushing the country towards disaster. This feeling is compounded by the fact that the majority of government projects have not delivered the anticipated benefits within time and cost expectations. A number of factors were identified as influencing the project selection process within the public sector and these have been grouped under six categories: technical factors, stakeholders’ expectation factors, financial feasibility factors, social factors, strategic alignment factors and external factors. Findings emerging from this study reveal that a visible theoretical project selection framework to support public sector decision makers in making project decisions is still lacking. The thesis concludes by proposing a selection framework and guidelines/protocols that will aid decision makers to be consistent in assessing and selecting construction projects within the Nigerian public sector. The results from this study also indicate that the level of stakeholder participation is still low. This study supports positive stakeholder engagement by informing decision-maker the need to adopt bottom-up approach where stakeholders drive the project selection process rather than the top-down approach where the executive drives project selection process as is currently the practice in Nigeria.
    • Revisiting the Black-Scholes model related to the volatility assumptions

      Chiwele, Chansa (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-06-02)
      The Black-Scholes (BS) or Black-Scholes-Merton (BSM) formula is the most popular model that is used to price vanilla options. However, some of the assumptions underpinning this formula have been found to be false (Dumas, 1998). One such assumption is stated below: “There are no transaction costs on the underlying asset” (Wilmott, 2006). This assumption advances the idea that markets are frictionless and therefore there are no transaction costs incurred in those markets. This in fact is not true. It is costly to carry out financial transactions in financial markets. Taxes are normally applied to transactions that take place in various financial jurisdictions (Wilmott, 2006). One other BS assumption says that “there is a single constant volatility for the stochastic pro-cess followed by the spot” (Austing, 2014). If the world were truly BS in nature, the volatility quoted for each of the options with different strike prices in a liquid market would be the same (Austing, 2014), (Kwok, 2008). In other words, if the implied volatility quotes were plotted against the strike prices, a straight horizontal line would be obtained (Austing, 2014). However, after the financial crisis of October 1987, it was discovered that when the Implied Volatilities (IV) of a group of vanilla options of the same maturity were plotted against strike prices, the graph had the shape of a smile (Dupire, 1994). This is called the volatility smile. This was not expected. The shape of the graph that was expected was that of a straight hori-zontal line. The above issues and others have resulted in the values of options that are calculated by the BS not being fully accurate. This has created a gap in the body of published literature which needs to be filled. In addition to the above issues, another of the inaccuracies in the BS has been attributed to the IV parameter. All the parameters that are input into the BS formula are observable except the IV (Kwok, 2008), (Wilmott, 2006), (Dupire, 1994). Therefore, those parameters that are observable can have their values determined accurately from observable evidence whereas the value of the IV does not enjoy this privilege. In fact, the IV is normally determined by the sentiment of the financial markets. This is not very accurate. The quest of this research is to develop a mathematical model that would determine the values of the IVs more exactly which can be used to obtain more accurate results from the BS formula. This approach will be unique and has not been evidenced in literature. It will help to fill the gap that currently exists in the body of knowledge. The idea is to use this mathematical model to calculate more precise values of the IV which will be input into the BS formula in order to improve the accuracy of the BS formula. The secondary benefit from the approach taken by this research is being able to determine the strike prices that match the given IVs. Sometimes the strike prices agreed upon by the market participants can be out of kilter with the other parameters in the BS formula. This re-search would be able to help resolve that.
    • Explaining work-related stress in UK academic staff: alternative approaches

      Wray, Siobhan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-09-26)
      The programme of work presented in this thesis examined the effect of work-related stressors in UK academic staff across a period of six years, utilising a benchmarking approach. Furthermore, the thesis examines the relationships between stressors and a range of key strain outcomes: psychological distress, emotional exhaustion, disengagement, work-life conflict, intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction. Study 1 presents the results of three work and wellbeing surveys conducted in 2008, 2012 and 2014 that utilise the Health and Safety Executive’s Management Standards Indicator tool to assess levels of psychosocial hazard in the occupational group at these three time points. Comparisons were made across each wave of data to identify patterns of change in the sector. Additionally, a range of strain outcomes were assessed at each data collection point and examined with reference to other occupational groups and norms, and across the waves of data where appropriate. The results from study 1 indicate that the level of wellbeing associated with academic work significantly reduced in five out of seven hazard categories across the three waves of data. Additionally, academic staff reported higher levels of perceived stress and increased work-life conflict. Psychological distress and job satisfaction, measured in 2014, were lower than benchmarked data from a range of other occupational groups. Study 2 examined the predictive power of two key theoretical models of work-related stress to further examine the stressor-strain relationship in academic staff. The job demands control-support and job demands resources models predicted significant proportions of the variance in all strain outcomes, however, the inclusion of a broader range of resources in the latter model explained a greater proportion of the variance in all outcome measures except work-life conflict. Strong main effects were observed in each model, but the evidence for interactive effects was less conclusive. Study 3 expanded on these findings by examining key resources identified in the job demands resources model and examining these via the context of sector change. A conservation of resources approach was used to develop and test a resource caravan whereby satisfaction with sector change predicted strain outcomes via the mediating effects of role stress and two form of illegitimate task. Indirect effects of role and illegitimate tasks independently mediated the relationship between change on a range of outcome variables, Additionally, a serial mediation effect whereby change predicted role, which in turn predicted illegitimate tasks added further unique predictive power to each model. The findings from the thesis indicate a worsening pattern of wellbeing associated with academic work across the six-year period investigated and evidence is presented to support the effect of stressors on key strain outcomes in academic staff. Finally, the findings highlight the importance of examining the relationships between key resources at sector, institutional and individual levels to inform systemic interventions to respond to the significant levels of stressors and strain reported by the sector and suggestions for interventions are discussed.
    • Influence of social capital on inter-firm knowledge transfer: a qualitative study of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria

      Akunna, Victor Osita (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-01)
      This thesis explores the influence of social capital on knowledge transfer among Nigerian Small Medium scale Enterprises’ (SME) managers. It aimed to address a number of important gaps recognized in the literature, particularly because there is limited research in this area as regards developing countries in disparity to developed countries. Specifically, the study attempts to shed light on how Nigerian SME managers perceive social capital, how social capital develops in Nigerian SMEs, how Nigerian SME managers transfer knowledge among each other and how social capital influences knowledge transfer within the context of Nigerian SMEs. Extant literature has focused more on how social capital influences knowledge transfer within the context of multinational corporations in developed economies with limited focus on SMEs and specifically, SME managers in developing ones. This study contributes to addressing this critical gap in literature by adopting an SME perspective to exploring how social capital influences knowledge transfer among Nigerian SME managers. A qualitative research method is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews of 26 Nigerian SME managers in Nigeria. Thematic analysis has been conducted using NVivo to identify relevant themes and subthemes in relation to the focus of the study. A conceptual framework was developed to illustrate how Nigerian SME managers develop social capital by leveraging on building synergy, attending business events, deliberately targeting proven knowledge sources, developing passionate personality, leveraging on shared values, volunteering and referrals. However, for SME managers to develop social capital, they must initiate interaction, position themselves to be seen and find ways to network. This conceptual framework not only highlights how Nigerian SME managers perceive social capital, it went further to highlight the different social capital triggers from the perspective of Nigerian SME managers. 5 Overall, this study reveals that weak ties can also access tacit knowledge transfer, if the knowledge seeker leverages on referrals which provide the privileges of strong ties. Moreover, this study found that tacit knowledge can be transferred in a large network with weak ties when the nature of the discussion is intense. This happens among SME managers in large WhatsApp groups, where SME managers barely know each other.