Recent Submissions

  • Towards an epistemology of media education: confronting the problems of knowledge presented by Social Realism

    Connolly, Steve M.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-04-29)
    Recent debates about the status of knowledge in the school curriculum have seen the emergence of attempts to connect curriculum reform to the ideas about "powerful knowledge" articulated by Michael Young and other sociologists. This article argues that for the case of media education, and specifically its application in secondary schools - in the form of Media Studies - these ideas are not adequate to explain the epistemological principles upon which the project of media education is built. The paper takes a threefold approach to developing an epistemology of media education; firstly, by outlining existing work on the nature of knowledge in media education; secondly, by examining social realist arguments about the way that knowledge is manifested in things like school subjects and canonical knowledge and arguing that media education does not fit these manifestations; and finally by offering some alternative ideas upon which an epistemology of media education may be built
  • Creating sites for education and democracy: Henry Morris and the Cambridgeshire village colleges

    Hopkins, Neil (Wiley, 2020-03-11)
    This article investigates the work of Henry Morris (1889–1961), in particular his ideas on the Cambridgeshire village colleges. It is now 90 years since the first of these was founded in Sawston in 1930, and the article aims to address the issue of whether Morris’s views on education and democ- racy encapsulated in the village colleges still have relevancy in the early twenty-first century. An overview of Morris’s career and the creation of the village colleges is investigated, using the work of Paul Hirst and associative democracy as a theoretical lens. It is argued that the Cambridgeshire village colleges do have some attributes of associative democracy, particularly their original emphasis as sites of local democracy and participation from voluntary bodies and private individuals. How- ever, Morris’s role as Cambridgeshire’s Chief Education Officer (1922–1954) meant that the local state (in the guise of the County Council) played a more significant role in the village colleges than Hirst advocates for his version of associative democracy. As English primary and secondary schools turn from local authority control to academy status, Morris’s vision for local schools of and for local people is becoming increasingly compromised. The article ends with the work of Allen and Gann, both influenced by Morris, who argue for a revitalised form of comprehensive schooling and lifelong learning that again sees educational institutions as sites of grassroots democracy.
  • Creating connections to weather the storm of marketisation

    Rainford, Jon (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-17)
    Viewpoint
  • Networks of knowledge, students as producers, and politicised inquiry

    Carmichael, Patrick; Tracy, Frances; Dohn, Nina Bonderup; Jandrić, Petar; Ryberg,Thomas; de Laat, Maarten; University of Bedfordshire; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Southern Denmark; Zagreb University of Applied Sciences; et al. (Springer, 2020-03-22)
    This chapter explores the potential for the development of new learning opportunities in higher education, through students being conceptualised not as consumers, recipients or commodities, but rather as co-researchers and co-producers of knowledge. It discusses the implications of new forms of networked knowledge enabled by the emergence of semantic web and linked data technologies, and the reconceptualisation of the Internet as a ‘global data space’. These approaches have the potential to allow students to engage critically with existing data and data practices, generate new data and, perhaps more significantly, to participate in local or global knowledge networks. These activities involve not only the development of specific techno-literacies, but also broader critical digital literacies of which we offer examples and propose a number of dimensions. A critical digital literacies perspective, particularly when combined with the idea of students as co-researchers and co-producers, provides a basis for student to undertake critical and politicised inquiry as part of a broader reframing of the purposes of higher education.
  • Creating communities: developing, enhancing and sustaining learning communities across the University of Bedfordshire

    Atlay, Mark; Coughlin, Annika; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2010)
    Creaton in Northamptonshire was the venue for the writing retreat that contributed to this volume of articles – the University’s second writing retreat. Hard on the heels of the success of the first event (Creating Bridges) a group of staff from across the University met during Easter week 2010 to discuss, review and write the various chapters in this volume. A wider cross-section of staff was involved this time extending beyond the CETL to encompass staff involved in research informed teaching and teaching and learning projects or those who just wanted to write about their own teaching and learning practices. Not forgetting our guest external, Jamie Thompson, a National Teaching Fellow at the University of Northumbria, who has been working with us on various projects.
  • Sketch: teaching and learning inside the culture shoe box

    Wassif, Hoda; Zakher, Maged Sobhy Mokhtar; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-02-01)
    A culture shoe box filled with cultural objects is an inexpensive, hands-on educational resource introduced to facilitate workshops and enhance students’ learning experience especially in teaching culture, ethics and communication. The box can enhance students’ engagement through their sense of ownership especially if students themselves donate inexpensive items to the box, and it can also enhance group cohesion through the rich discussions and fun that such objects are likely to generate. For educators, this teaching tool adds an element of versatility and excitement through engagement and play, especially when teaching the same topics to different groups of learners. The reusability and renewability nature of the culture shoe box allows for an always-interesting feel of higher education classrooms.
  • Secondary qualitative analysis using online resources

    Carmichael, Patrick (Sage, 2016-11-23)
    This chapter explores the secondary analysis of qualitative data, the impact that network technologies have had on this, and the research potential for secondary analysis of data that is accessed across both the public Internet and networks of research archives. Secondary analysis allows not only the reassessment of the approaches and arguments of researchers, it also enables individuals and communities not involved in the original research to engage with data in new ways that reflect emerging perspectives or research strategies, some of which may be further supported and enabled by technological developments.
  • Assessment or referral tool: the unintended consequences of a dual purpose common assessment framework form

    Nethercott, Kathryn; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2020-02-03)
    The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) was designed to facilitate early intervention through multi-agency working and the active involvement of families. The underlying principle was to move away from a risk-focused, needs-led or service-led culture to assess need and match needs to identified services. It was anticipated that services and assessments would become more evidence-based, and a common language between professionals and agencies would evolve. Taking a social constructionist approach this study explored professionals’ experiences of the use of the Common Assessment Framework form. Forty-one professionals from four different local authorities and a variety of agencies took part in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed utilizing thematic analysis. Findings suggest the unintended consequences of the use of the CAF were influenced by local authority policy. As the local authorities adopted the policy of utilizing the CAF as a referral mechanism, rather than to assess needs, profes-sionals unintentionally perceived the CAF form as a referral tool, to refer families to existing service provision. Further to this, professionals referred to the CAF form itself, as a ‘means to an end’, implying that this was a step that had to be overcome in order to access services.
  • The Common Assessment Framework form 9 years on: a creative process

    Nethercott, Kathryn (Wiley, 2016-04-19)
    Legislation within England states that local authorities should provide services for all those families in need. However, research has identified that regardless of the introduction of strategies to identify need and enhance family support, ongoing barriers to services adhere. Taking a social constructionist approach, this study explored professionals' experiences of the use of the Common Assessment Framework form. Data were collected in four different local authorities in two phases. Forty‐one professionals from a variety of agencies took part in semi‐structured interviews. Data were analyzed thematically. Findings demonstrate that the professionals experienced difficulties in working through the Common Assessment Framework process, for example, in completing the form and engaging families. This situation led to the more experienced and knowledgeable professionals utilising creative ways to successfully navigate the ‘referral process’. Such creative working practices included the terminology used to complete the form and how the process was ‘sold’ to parents, so that they could be in a better position to engage parents and complete the Common Assessment Framework form. Because of this, more experienced professionals seem to be able to accelerate the referral process in order to access much needed support services for children and young people.
  • Trends in higher education (England)

    Nethercott, Kathryn (Bloomsbury, 2019-11-27)
  • Refusal of work, liberation of time and the convivial university

    Carmichael, Patrick; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-04-29)
  • Postdigital possibilities: operaismo, co-research, and educational inquiry

    Carmichael, Patrick; University of Bedfordshire (Springer International Publishing, 2019-12-13)
    There are parallels between the post-Marxist traditions of operaismo (workerism) and autonomism and emerging ideas about the ‘postdigital’. Operaist analyses and approaches, and particularly the work of Romano Alquati on co-research, have the potential to contribute to discourses as to what might be involved in postdigital inquiry in educational settings, and to better understand of critical data literacies. For such educational inquiry to evolve into a comprehensive strategy of ‘co-research’, it is argued that what is needed are models of teacher inquiry with the potential to challenge dominant rhetorics, to support emancipatory research and development, and to establish the postdigital as a counter-hegemonic educational programme.
  • Special educational needs co-ordinators' perceptions of effective provision for including autistic children in primary and middle schools in England

    Wearmouth, Janice; Butler, Cathal (Taylor & Francis, 2019-09-18)
    In the Autumn of 2017 a small-scale study was designed to explore the degree to which school staff in the East Midlands of England were in an informed position to meet their statutory obligation with regard to the autistic children in their care as reported by a sample of special educational needs coordinators (SENCos), members of the school staff in the best position to shed light on the topic. Findings indicated that the SENCos in the study under consideration here were clear that, overall, they were confident in their own abilities to assess autistic learners' strengths and weaknesses and plan for meeting identified needs. They were much less confident that their colleagues with prime responsibility for classroom teaching and implementing special arrangements had commensurate knowledge and understanding, or even necessarily were very well disposed or well enough informed to differentiate classroom activities appropriately.
  • A lonely business…reflections on well-being and the morale of dental teams

    Hayer, Natasha; Wassif, Hoda; University of Bedfordshire (Nature Publishing, 2019-04-26)
    With the evolution of humanising patient-dentist interaction within healthcare has come an equal need to humanise staff interaction in order to optimise patient care. There is growing evidence to support the need to invest in enhancing team morale, given that its impact, when low, results in reduced quality of patient care. This paper endeavours to reflect on dental teams' wellbeing and morale and propose a strategy for change to enhance these aspects of team interactions. The theme throughout is to focus on staff wellbeing, in order to initiate a change in work ethic which should in turn initiate a positive work environment. The two strategies discussed are leadership changes conducive to a servant leadership style and a mentorship/buddy programme focusing on reducing stress among dental professionals. Both strategies have their merits and faults, but the purpose of the paper is to prompt food for thought as to how to raise team morale in dental practice. With the evolution of humanising patient-dentist interaction within healthcare has come an equal need to humanise staff interaction in order to optimise patient care. There is growing evidence to support the need to invest in enhancing team morale, given that its impact, when low, results in reduced quality of patient care. This paper endeavours to reflect on dental teams' wellbeing and morale and propose a strategy for change to enhance these aspects of team interactions. The theme throughout is to focus on staff wellbeing, in order to initiate a change in work ethic which should in turn initiate a positive work environment. The two strategies discussed are leadership changes conducive to a servant leadership style and a mentorship/buddy programme focusing on reducing stress among dental professionals. Both strategies have their merits and faults, but the purpose of the paper is to prompt food for thought as to how to raise team morale in dental practice.
  • Becoming a home-educator in a networked world: towards the democratisation of education alternatives?

    Fensham-Smith, Amber; University of Bedfordshire (Other Business, 2019-06-09)
    The internet is assumed to play a special role in UK home-education and has apparently fuelled an increase its prevalence. This paper reports the place and purpose of the internet, online networks and offline communities in the decision to home-educate amongst parents in England, Scotland and Wales. The research formed part of a mixed-method doctoral study that included: an online survey of 242 home-educators; 52 individual and group interviews with 85 parents, children and young people and a week-long participant observation with families. The sample included a range of both ‘new’ and ‘experienced’ home-educators. The findings show that online and offline networking helped prospective parents to learn of home-education as a viable and positive alternative to schooled provision. For parents, socialising with existing home-educators was pivotal for cultivating a sense of identity, belonging and commitment to an education without school. At the same time, becoming a legitimate home-educator was a complex achievement; hinged upon social and economic resources and cultural competencies. Evidence of exclusionary practices among home-educators both online and offline, challenges the extent to which home-education is truly more ‘open’ now than it once was. In the decision to home-educate, it is concluded that the democratising potential of the internet points to ‘old wine in new bottles’.
  • Towards 'creative media literacy'

    Connolly, Steve M.; Readman, Mark (Routledge, 2017-04-21)
    In this chapter, perhaps counterintuitively, we begin by challenging the orthodoxies of two key terms in media education (creativity and literacy) and then suggest that by bringing them together in a new way we can provide a framework for media production work that is critical, reflective and student-centred. We understand that production work takes place in a variety of educational contexts, some of which are explicitly vocational, but we suggest here that, if claims for production work are to be made as part of a wider project of literacy, some of the assumptions about the affordances of such work must be addressed and subjected to scrutiny. We propose, ultimately, the concept of ‘creative literacy’ – a critically oriented set of attributes with which students practise a systematic interrogation of their own productive processes and the meanings attributed to them. Through a philosophically grounded critical framework and examples of pedagogic practice drawn from a three year study of student production work we show how creative literacy can be recognised, developed and how the conditions of possibility for its emergence may be created.
  • Education for democratic citizenship in Ireland

    Butler, Cathal (Taylor and Francis, 2019-12-17)
    This chapter explores the complex historical, political and religious context that frame discussions around citizenship and democracy within education in Ireland, as an independent nation, and as a member of the European Union. What it means to be a citizen in Ireland will be explored.The focus is primarily on the Republic of Ireland, though issues that arise in Northern Ireland will also be covered. The chapter will focus on curriculum subject areas that touch on citizenship and democracy, past and present. The extent to which policy and practice can map onto the key concepts set out in the Council of Europe's framework of competences for democratic culture will be explored, with a specific focus on the extent to which teachers are trained to be able to teach these subjects.
  • Trust into mistrust: the uncertain marriage between public and private sector practice for middle managers in education

    Thompson, Carol; Wolstencroft, Peter; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2018-05-08)
    The role of the middle manager has proved to be a difficult one to define due to the fluid nature of the tasks performed and the heterogeneity of understanding that exists for the term. This is further complicated by the differences associated with the context in which individual manager’s work. This research, which explores the drive towards neo-liberalism and the subsequent adoption of leadership and management practice from the private sector, makes a comparison between the roles of managers in English education with those in other settings. Using a questionnaire with 252 responses and interviews with 6 managers in the private and public sector, the role of middle managers was compared to identify the similarities and differences between organisations driven by social policy as opposed to profit. Participants surveyed were based in primary, secondary and further education and the interview respondents were employed in non-education contexts. The findings suggest that the initial reforms, which required higher levels of accountability through the introduction of key performance indicators, appear to be fully embedded within the education manager’s role and there is a high degree of convergence in relation to the expectation of managers at this level in all the settings. The findings also highlighted a fundamental difference in relation to how middle managers were expected to carry out their duties, the autonomy they had to do so and the authority that was bestowed upon them.
  • The magic of mentoring: a democratic approach to mentoring trainee teachers in post-compulsory education

    Thompson, Carol; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2016-08-05)
    This paper explores the impact of subject-specific mentoring within post-compulsory education. Using questionnaires and semistructured interviews, it considers those factors considered ‘most useful’ to teachers in training. The findings suggest that, contrary to the views espoused by bodies such as the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, mentors have a limited impact on the effectiveness of teacher education. Reasons for this are examined, including the context in which most trainees and mentors work as well as the restrictions created by initial teacher education frameworks. A more productive approach to supporting postcompulsory education trainees is explored through the development of a collaborative and democratic model of mentoring.
  • Put teachers back in control of the classroom'

    Thompson, Carol (2019-10-24)
    A culture of trust is essential if teachers are to feel comfortable taking risks in the classroom

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