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    Teacher Education in North Macedonia: Reforms, Standardisation, and Creating Communities of Lifelong Learners

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    This chapter starts by presenting and exploring the historical changes in North Macedonia’s teacher education system since 1990, before linking these forward to the legacies they have left today. It identifies how teachers in the past were trained to be sources of information, but have now become facilitators in the processes of creating knowledge and developing skills. We argue that this current, broader role of the teacher means that there is now a need for more deliberate investment in teachers’ self-improvement. We conclude by suggesting that support for teachers that affirms, builds communities, and enables autonomy could be the most productive next step for improving teacher quality in North Macedonia

    Delapré Walk Project: Are signposted walking routes an effective intervention to increase engagement in urban parks? –Natural experimental study

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    Spatial education interventions in the built environment may increase engagement with urban greenspace.This research was a natural experimental study with mixed-method evaluation and repeated cross-sectional design. Twenty-four directional wayfinding signs were installed within an urban park to create a 3 km signposted walking route through the park's amenities in a clockwise direction. Manual counts on one path and bi-directional automated active infrared counts on six paths along the intervention route were conducted at baseline and 12-month follow-up. A QR code accessed intercept survey was open throughout the follow-up phase to capture user experiences, views, and attitudes toward the intervention.There was no consistent difference in manual counts at baseline or 12-month follow-up between intervention and control parks. Automated counts showed no consistent significant change in clockwise footfall between baseline (median automated count range across six counters: 10–130 clockwise counts per day) and follow-up (Autumn to Winter follow-up median automated count range across six counters: 13–103 clockwise counts per day; Spring to Summer follow-up median automated count range across six counters: 13–124 clockwise counts per day). However, 23% (11 out of 48 people) of clockwise travelling route users reported they were following the signs at 12-month follow-up. Intercept survey respondents (n = 27) appeared to be infrequent park users (number of respondents for ‘my first visit’: 7, and ‘one to two times per month: 9), with the new signs making them feel less anxious about exploring unfamiliar areas, while motivating them to walk further than originally planned and helping them to ‘take notice’ of the landscape.Directional wayfinding for recreational walking appears to help infrequent users engage with urban greenspace

    Adaptive Interference Tolerant Receivers for Asynchronous Cooperative MIMO Communications

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    Adaptive single user receivers are demonstrated in this paper for a Cooperative Virtual MIMO network applying Spread Spectrum Sequences. In asynchronous decentralized cooperative systems, it is expected that, for typical wireless environments, user transmissions from adjacent relaying nodes (and other cells) will create interference. Large scale MIMO antenna arrays can mitigate interference with sufficient degrees of freedom but they can be underdetermined in decentralized non orthogonal multiple access (NOMA). In this paper we use Spread Spectrum CDMA sequences when user cooperation and relaying is necessitated and correspondingly apply decentralized single user algorithms utilizing an adaptive multiuser detection approach. The approach does not require Channel State Information (CSI) and operates in a decentralized manner without requiring knowledge of the transmissions from other users (i.e. power, channel gain and phase, and multiuser chips). This yields a low interference cooperative MIMO communication network that is useful for communication in areas with poor coverage or to temporarily increase spectral efficiency to enable a high throughput uplink or downlink channel. The adaptive algorithm utilized in this paper is investigated for both chip-level and symbol-level optimization where it noted that when applying chip-level optimization, a more interference robust receiver can be built when utilizing processing gain (rather than receiver dimensionality) as a metric to combat interference when the number of transmitter antennas used are fixed

    Influence of the different nanostructures of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene/carbon nanotubes nanocomposites on laser cutting properties: Machining and chemical aspects

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    Reported on in depth for the first time herein is the influence of the diverse nanostructures of acrylonitrilebutadiene styrene (ABS)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on its chemical, physical and electricalproperties after laser cutting. Injection moulding was used to fabricate the nanocomposite samples in variousstructures with a thickness of 3 mm by adjusting temperature and pressure. The samples’ nanostructures wereevaluated prior to cutting with a CO2 laser. Design of experiments (DoE) by a full-factorial method used threelevels laser power 45, 55 and 65 W) and the cutting velocity at three levels (4, 8 and 12 mm/s) as independentvariables. The findings from this work are significant and support new theories. It was revealed different surfacedamage modes such as shrink holes, cracks, decomposed smithereens and sink marks. These were affected by thelaser energy density criterion which means that the ratio of power to cutting velocity was the governing factor,whilst the effect of primary nanostructures was negligible. Unlike surface damage, the width of heat affectedzone (HAZ) was found to depend on the thermal conductivity, which directly relates to the samples’ nanostructure.Minimum HAZ was obtained at 0.45 mm for the sample with maximum thermal conductivity equal to0.23 W/mK. Analysis of the post-laser cut surface and HAZ indicated that the MWCNTs were well dispersed withhigher orientation and degrees of distribution. This, naturally, allows the inference that application of low laserenergy density accounted for and governed oxidation of these regions. The results show that the nanotexture ofthe post-laser cut surface is completely changed in comparison with the as-moulded surface, leading to the lowestreduction in surface electrical resistivity to 3.2 kΩ for the sample produced at a temperature of 220 ◦C and aholding pressure of 70 bar

    Influential barriers to blockchain technology implementation in agri-food supply chain

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    Blockchain technology offers undeniable benefits of enhanced transparency, reliability, and information accuracy to agri-food supply chains. Currently, the implementation of this technology has associated challenges. This paper explores the influential barriers to implementing blockchain technology (BCT) in the agri-food supply chain (AFSC). An integrated literature review approach and expert opinions were employed to explore the influential barriers. The barriers were modelled using the hybrid fuzzy-based decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (Fuzzy-DEMATEL) approach to evaluate the interrelationship and classify them into cause-and-effect groups. As an outcome, a comprehensive framework was proposed revealing the unfamiliarity with technology, high investment cost, lack of regulations, technological infeasibility, and scalability as key influential barriers. This study will help the decision-makers to focus on influential barriers and identify the roadmap towards blockchain implementation.<br/

    Exploring the Motivation of the United Kingdom’s Domestic Extremist Informants

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    Understanding a potential informant’s motivation can lay the foundation for managing the risks and opportunities associated with the informant-handler relationship and operational deployments. The present research explored the self-disclosed and handler-assessed motivations of U.K. informants authorized to report against domestic extremists. Informants reported being motivated overwhelmingly by both ideological and financial considerations. Those reporting on right-wing domestic extremism primarily reported for financial reasons, while those reporting on left-wing extremism did so primarily for ideological reasons. The findings also revealed that motivation is neither one dimensional nor unchangeable, with most informants declaring financial and ideological reasons for informing. Handlers were accurate at identifying informants’ primary motivation, with a minority of the handler assessments revealing a perceived change after a six-month period. By designing recruitment approaches around ideological and financial motivational hooks, law enforcement and intelligence agencies may increase the probability of recruitment success, as well as enhance both the effectiveness and longevity of their informant-handler relationship

    On the regulation of the intersection between religion and the provision of financial services: Conversations with market actors within the global Islamic financial services sector

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    The growth of Islamic finance in not only traditionally Islamic markets but also into more mainstream financial systems has raised several concerns about the development and robustness of its regulatory framework. Whilst there is a small but growing academic base of knowledge on Islamic financial regulation, our study differs from the extant literature by capturing market participant perspectives on these stylised debates on regulation in Islamic finance. In this regard, we bridge the gap within the academic literature through an exploration of how the specific types, processes and dimensions of Shariah financial regulation are developed and understood. The novelty of our findings lies in the divergence of market participants’ views and that of the theoretical literature enabling us to extend the conceptual framework on Islamic financial regulation thus enhancing our understanding of the core focuses in the development of sustainable regulation in Islamic finance in both developing and developed economies

    Crafter , Sarah

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    Engaging students with political history:Citizenship in the (very) long eighteenth century

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    For a long time, political history dominated the teaching of history in British universities. Certainly until the social history revolution of the 1960s, the type of history that was taught was predominantly political, and was of very particular types. Whig histories focused on English constitutional development, concentrating on the improvement of institutions and lauding the efforts of privileged actors who contributed to this design; and even critiques of this approach tended to be establishmentarian and elitist in their outlook. Following the rise of social and then cultural history, political history became more marginal in the profession, and indeed has often been the type of history that progressive histories have defined themselves against. This chapter will reflect on how best to approach this now less familiar form of history with undergraduates, who often have negative preconceptions about studying it. It will suggest that teaching eighteenth-century politics in terms of ‘citizenship’ can make it relevant to today’s students, and will think about some pedagogical strategies that can help to make the experience of learning about it more meaningful and engaging

    Mann, Mark

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