Browsing PhD e-theses by Subjects
Now showing items 1-4 of 4
Belonging to school: the nature and extent of the bond between pupil and schoolThe school holds particular functions for society; to credential, to contain and to shape the citizens of the future. One much discussed function is the influence of school on the morality and behaviour of young people. This thesis explores the nature of the bond between pupil and school, how it affects behaviour and how it is shaped by the school culture. The focus is derived from an integration of different disciplinary and theoretical paradigm in three previously separate fields; criminology, education and psychotherapy. This thesis is practice-based, using mixed methods research centred on a case-study school and encompasses pupil questionnaires (n=189), pupil interviews (n=5) and extensive ethnographic research. Furthermore, the study is unusual due to the 'insider' status created by my professional role within the school. In this thesis, Hirschi's bond to conformity (1969) is developed to incorporate a pupil's perceptions of the bond. This is defined as a sense of belonging. Findings indicate that a pupil's sense of belonging is significantly linked to pupil behaviour. Furthermore, elemental strands of the sense of belonging signify that the pupil's perception of the school's bond to him, are of key importance. This foregrounds the significance of a school's cultural Character (Berne, 1973) on shaping a pupil's perceptions and sense of belonging. The purpose of this study is to generate useful findings that will support academics, practitioners and policy-makers in attending to a pupil's sense of belonging and a school's culture. The findings that emerge have important implications for professional education and training, and for school development.
Investigating reading for academic purposes: sentence, text and multiple textsThis study examines the nature of reading in academic environments and suggests ways for a more appropriate assessment of it. Research studies show that reading in academic settings is a complex knowledge management process in which information is selected, combined and organised from not a single, isolated text but from multiple information sources. This study initially gathered evidence from students studying at a British university on their perceived and observed reading purposes and processes in three studies; a large scale questionnaire, longitudinal reading diary study and finally individual interviews in order both to establish whether the prominent reading skills used by them were as put forth in the studies on academic reading, and to examine in detail the actual cognitive processes (reading operations) used in reading for academic purposes. The study draws on the reading theories that explain reading comprehension and focuses specifically on different levels of careful reading such as sentence, text and multiple texts in order to explicate that increasingly more complex cognitive processes explain higher levels of reading comprehension. Building on the findings from the three initial studies, it is suggested that reading tests of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) should involve not only local level comprehension questions but also reading tasks at text and multiple texts levels. For this aim, taking the Khalifa and Weir (2009) framework as the basis, cognitive processes extracted from the theories defining each level of reading, and contextual features extracted through the analysis of university course books were combined to form the test specifications for each level of careful reading and sample tests assessing careful reading at sentence, text and intertextuallevels were designed. Statistical findings confirmed the differential nature of the three levels of careful reading; however, the expected difficulty continuum could not be observed among the tests. Possible reasons underlying this are discussed, suggestions on reading tasks that might operationalise text level reading more efficiently and intertextual level reading more extensively are made and additional components of intertextual reading are offered for the Khalifa and Weir (2009) reading framework. The implications of the findings for the teaching and assessment of English for Academic Purposes are also discussed.
Occupational socialisation and the subjective warrant of physical education teachersBased on ideology rather than a philosophy, physical education (PE) is dominated by a traditional curriculum and custodial teaching orientations that are recycled inter-generationally. The subjective warrant has a direct relationship with the conception of beliefs related to perceptions of how PE should be delivered. Using occupational socialisation as a framework and Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, field and practice as a thinking tool, the purpose of the study was to determine the subjective warrant’s adequacy in 21st century PE, identify changes to the subjective warrant, and its impact on teaching behaviours over time. Using a mixed methods approach informed by the interpretive paradigm, life story semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis with 29 teachers at different career points. In-service teachers’ lessons were analysed using the System for Observing Needs-Supportive Interactions in Physical Education (SONIPE). Independent samples t-test was used to compare teacher behaviours between Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) and Experienced Teachers (ETs). PE teachers being recruited within the profession, academicisation of PE and perceived high competition for entry give the subjective warrant stringency. Attitudes and beliefs towards pedagogy do not define one’s role. Changing situational factors influence the perceptions of affirmation and accountability in teaching. Significant differences in teacher behaviours for relatedness (t = 0.172, p = 0.084) and structure (t = 0.119, p = 0.102) occurred more in ET’s group indicating more custodial practices. The subjective warrant still has currency and its stringency identifies why PE is slow to evolve due to the recycling of the group habitus within the field. Innovative pedagogical practices are not defined by role but by attitudes and perceptions towards teaching. Physical education recruitment needs to attract individuals who are not ‘typical’ recruits. Ways to keep innovative teachers in the field need to be considered.
The social construction of pedagogic discourse in policy for physical education and school sportOver the past decade in the UK, the rise in salience to government of physical education and school sport-related policy interventions has been remarkable for the wide-ranging array of objectives that these interventions have been expected to realise. This thesis analyses and evaluates government's sports policy for PESS centred on the Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy and Physical Education and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP). These strategies together arguably represent the most significant initiatives relating to physical education and school sport (PESS), shaping the possible forms of PESS could take in the 2000s. Drawing on Basil Bernstein's (1990, 1996) theory of the social production of pedagogic discourse as the main framework used to investigate the policy for PESS, this thesis discusses the complexities and inequalities of policy-making in terms of examining dominant physical cultural discourses embedded within PESSCL and PESSYP, and the main agents/agencies contributing to the policy for PESS and evaluation processes. In addition, this thesis adopted a grounded theory approach to look at patterns of evidence in a range of resources from policy documents, newspapers, official evaluation studies and interviews, analyses that were underpinned by the research aims and theoretical framework of the study. This thesis identifies a number of physical cultural discourses constructing and constituting policies and strategies for PESS, including discourses of sport, health, citizenship, lifelong participation, and Olympic/Paralympic legacy. Moreover, this thesis presents evidence, consistent with Goodson‟s (1990) thesis about the social construction of school subjects, of struggles and contestation among vying groups, in this case between the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England (i.e. within the Official Recontextualising Field) as well as between the Youth Sport Trust and Association for Physical Education (i.e. between agencies within the Official Recontextualising Field and Pedagogic Recontextualising Field respectively). Furthermore, the powerful recontextualising agents/agencies including the media contribute to the recontextualisation of the discourse in which PESS policies are embedded. Finally, this thesis questions whether the main official evaluation studies undertake "evidence-based‟ policy making and practice because the evaluation studies not only provide implausible evidence but they are also focused solely on "numbers‟, whilst pragmatic and critical voices are excluded from the process of evaluation. Building on these key findings, this thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications for PESS. In particular, I discuss the possibilities for PESS to realise authentic forms of physical culture in schools in the context of a dominant sport discourse and an ongoing reduction in the autonomy of the Pedagogic Recontextualising Field. Finally, this thesis suggests that there is an urgent need for promoting communication between policy makers from within the Official Recontextualising Field and researchers and educators from within the Pedagogic Recontextualising Field and practitioners in the Secondary Field in order to achieve sustainable policy development school physical education and youth sport that benefits all young people in the future.