18,916 research outputs found

    An exploration of the language within Ofsted reports and their influence on primary school performance in mathematics: a mixed methods critical discourse analysis

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    This thesis contributes to the understanding of the language of Ofsted reports, their similarity to one another and associations between different terms used within ‘areas for improvement’ sections and subsequent outcomes for pupils. The research responds to concerns from serving headteachers that Ofsted reports are overly similar, do not capture the unique story of their school, and are unhelpful for improvement. In seeking to answer ‘how similar are Ofsted reports’ the study uses two tools, a plagiarism detection software (Turnitin) and a discourse analysis tool (NVivo) to identify trends within and across a large corpus of reports. The approach is based on critical discourse analysis (Van Dijk, 2009; Fairclough, 1989) but shaped in the form of practitioner enquiry seeking power in the form of impact on pupils and practitioners, rather than a more traditional, sociological application of the method. The research found that in 2017, primary school section 5 Ofsted reports had more than half of their content exactly duplicated within other primary school inspection reports published that same year. Discourse analysis showed the quality assurance process overrode variables such as inspector designation, gender, or team size, leading to three distinct patterns of duplication: block duplication, self-referencing, and template writing. The most unique part of a report was found to be the ‘area for improvement’ section, which was tracked to externally verified outcomes for pupils using terms linked to ‘mathematics’. Those required to improve mathematics in their areas for improvement improved progress and attainment in mathematics significantly more than national rates. These findings indicate that there was a positive correlation between the inspection reporting process and a beneficial impact on pupil outcomes in mathematics, and that the significant similarity of one report to another had no bearing on the usefulness of the report for school improvement purposes within this corpus

    The development of the Kent coalfield 1896-1946

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    One of the unique features of the Kent Coalfield is that it is entirely concealed by newer rocks. The existence of a coalfield under southern England, being a direct link between those of South Wales, Somerset and Bristol in the west and the Ruhr, Belgium. and northern France in the east, was predicted by the geologist R. A. C. Godwin-Austen as early as 1856. It was, however, only the rapid increase in demand for Britain's coal in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that made it worth considering testing this hypothesis. The first boring was made in the years 1886-90, and although it discovered coal, this did not in itself prove the existence of a viable coalfield. This could be done only by incurring the heavy cost of boring systematically over a wide area. As the financial returns from such an undertaking were uncertain, it was not surprising that in the early years, around the turn of the century, a dominant role was played by speculators, who were able to induce numerous small investors to risk some of their savings in the expectation of high profits. As minerals in Britain were privately owned, the early pioneer companies not only had to meet the cost of the exploratory borines, but also, if they were not to see the benefit of their work accrue to others, lease beforehand the right to mine coal from local landowners in as much of the surrounding area as possible. This policy was pursued most vigorously by Arthur Burr, a Surrey land specula tor, who raised capital by creating the Kent Coal Conoessions Ltd. and then floating a series of companies allied to it. Burr's enterprise would probably have been. successful had it not been for the water problems encountered at depth in -v- the coalfield. As a result, the Concessions group found itself in control of most of the coalfield, but without the necessary capital to sink and adequately equip its 01ffi collieries. By 1910, however, the discovery of iron ore deposits in east Kent, coupled with the fact that Kent coal was excellent for coking purposes, began to attract the large steel firms of Bolckow, Vaughan Ltd. and Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd. in to the area. The First World War intervened, however, to delay their plans, and to provide an extended lease of life to the Concessions group, which, by the summer of 1914, was facing financial collapse. By the time Dorman, Lone & Co, in alliance with Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray), had acquired control over the greater part of the coalfield from the Concessions group, not only was the country's coal industry declining, but so was its steel industry, which suffered an even more severe rate of contraction during the inter-war years. As a result, Pearson and Dorman Long Ltd. was forced to concentrate just on coal production, and this in turn was hampered not only by the water problems, but also by labour shortages and the schemes introduced by the government in 1930 to restrict the country's coal output, in an attempt to maintain prices and revenue in the industry. Nevertheless, production did show a substantial increase between 1927 and 1935, after which it declined as miners left the coalfield to return to their former districts, where employment opportunities were improving in the late thirties. Supporting roles were played in the inter-war years by Richard Tilden Smith, a share underwriter turned industrialist with long standing interests in the coalfield, who acquired one of the Concessions group's two collieries, and by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd., which through subsidiary companies, took over the only colliery to be developed by a pioneer company outside the Concessions group. The impossibility of Kent coal, because of its nature, ever gaining more than token access to the more lucrative household market, and then the failure of the local steel industry to materialise meant that the -vi- companies had to develop alternative outlets for their growing outputs. Although nearness to industrial markets in the south-east of England did confer certain advantages were poor consolation for the hoped for developments of either the early pioneers or the later industrialists. Instead of the expected profits, the companies mostly incurred losses, and only the company acquired by Powell Duffryn ever paid a dividend to its shareholders in the years before nationalisation. From the point of view of the Kent miners, the shortage of labour in the coalfield, particularly in the years 1914-20 and 1927-35, was to an important extent responsible for their being amongst the highest paid in the industry. At the same time the more favourable employment opportunities prevailing in Kent compared with other mining districts enabled the Kent Nine Workers Association to develop into a well organised union, which on the whole was able to look after the interests of its members fairly successfully. Throughout the period 1896 to 1946 the Kent Coalfield existed very much at the margin of the British coal industry. Its failure to develop substantially along the lines envisaged by either the early pioneers or by the later industrialists meant that its importance in national terms always remained small

    Consent and the Construction of the Volunteer: Institutional Settings of Experimental Research on Human Beings in Britain during the Cold War

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    This study challenges the primacy of consent in the history of human experimentation and argues that privileging the cultural frameworks adds nuance to our understanding of the construction of the volunteer in the period 1945 to 1970. Historians and bio-ethicists have argued that medical ethics codes have marked out the parameters of using people as subjects in medical scientific research and that the consent of the subjects was fundamental to their status as volunteers. However, the temporality of the creation of medical ethics codes means that they need to be understood within their historical context. That medical ethics codes arose from a specific historical context rather than a concerted and conscious determination to safeguard the well-being of subjects needs to be acknowledged. The British context of human experimentation is under-researched and there has been even less focus on the cultural frameworks within which experiments took place. This study demonstrates, through a close analysis of the Medical Research Council's Common Cold Research Unit (CCRU) and the government's military research facility, the Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment, Porton Down (Porton), that the `volunteer' in human experiments was a subjective entity whose identity was specific to the institution which recruited and made use of the subject. By examining representations of volunteers in the British press, the rhetoric of the government's collectivist agenda becomes evident and this fed into the institutional construction of the volunteer at the CCRU. In contrast, discussions between Porton scientists, staff members, and government officials demonstrate that the use of military personnel in secret chemical warfare experiments was far more complex. Conflicting interests of the military, the government and the scientific imperative affected how the military volunteer was perceived

    Implementing Health Impact Assessment as a Required Component of Government Policymaking: A Multi-Level Exploration of the Determinants of Healthy Public Policy

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    It is widely understood that the public policies of ‘non-health’ government sectors have greater impacts on population health than those of the traditional healthcare realm. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a decision support tool that identifies and promotes the health benefits of policies while also mitigating their unintended negative consequences. Despite numerous calls to do so, the Ontario government has yet to implement HIA as a required component of policy development. This dissertation therefore sought to identify the contexts and factors that may both enable and impede HIA use at the sub-national (i.e., provincial, territorial, or state) government level. The three integrated articles of this dissertation provide insights into specific aspects of the policy process as they relate to HIA. Chapter one details a case study of purposive information-seeking among public servants within Ontario’s Ministry of Education (MOE). Situated within Ontario’s Ministry of Health (MOH), chapter two presents a case study of policy collaboration between health and ‘non-health’ ministries. Finally, chapter three details a framework analysis of the political factors supporting health impact tool use in two sub-national jurisdictions – namely, QuĂ©bec and South Australia. MOE respondents (N=9) identified four components of policymaking ‘due diligence’, including evidence retrieval, consultation and collaboration, referencing, and risk analysis. As prospective HIA users, they also confirmed that information is not routinely sought to mitigate the potential negative health impacts of education-based policies. MOH respondents (N=8) identified the bureaucratic hierarchy as the brokering mechanism for inter-ministerial policy development. As prospective HIA stewards, they also confirmed that the ministry does not proactively flag the potential negative health impacts of non-health sector policies. Finally, ‘lessons learned’ from case articles specific to QuĂ©bec (n=12) and South Australia (n=17) identified the political factors supporting tool use at different stages of the policy cycle, including agenda setting (‘policy elites’ and ‘political culture’), implementation (‘jurisdiction’), and sustained implementation (‘institutional power’). This work provides important insights into ‘real life’ policymaking. By highlighting existing facilitators of and barriers to HIA use, the findings offer a useful starting point from which proponents may tailor context-specific strategies to sustainably implement HIA at the sub-national government level

    Lift EVERY Voice and Sing: An Intersectional Qualitative Study Examining the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Faculty and Administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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    While there is minimal literature that address the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* identified students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the experiences of Black, queer faculty and administrators at HBCUs has not been studied. This intersectional qualitative research study focused on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer identified faculty and administrators who work at HBCUs. By investigating the intersections of religion, race, gender, and sexuality within a predominantly Black institution, this study aims to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at HBCUs by sharing the experiences of the LGBQ faculty and administrators that previously or currently work at an HBCU as a full-time employee. The research questions that guided this study were 1) How have LGBQ faculty and staff negotiated/navigated their careers at HBCUs? and 2) How do LGBQ faculty and staff at HBCUs influence cultural (relating to LGBQ inclusion) change at the organizational level? The main theoretical framework used was intersectionality and it shaped the chosen methodology and methods. The Politics of Respectability was the second theoretical framework used to describe the intra-racial tensions within the Black/African American community. The study included 60-120 minute interviews with 12 participants. Using intersectionality as a guide, the data were coded and utilized for thematic analysis. Then, an ethnodramatic performance engages readers. The goals of this study were to encourage policy changes, promote inclusivity for LGBQ employees at HBCUs, and provide an expansion to the body of literature in the field pertaining to the experiences of LGBQ faculty and administrators in higher education

    Queer spies in British Cold War culture: literature, film, theatre and television

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    This PhD thesis investigates how male homosexuality has been represented in British spy fiction from the 1950s to the 2010s in multiple media: literature, film, television and theatre. Due mainly to the betrayal of the Cambridge Spy ring around the middle of the century, British culture has associated spies with homosexuality, while the wider Anglophone world was in the grip of a homophobic atmosphere created by McCarthy's Red Scare. My thesis explores how this history is reflected in the spy genre from the Cold War to the present, in which male homosexuality and secret agency intersect as “queer”, in so far as they were both considered to be discreet and criminal, existing outside of the heteronormative order. By following multiple texts across media and time, I discuss how some writers, television and film directors and actors update queer identity in spy fiction, creating a shifting image of queer spies through decades. I refer to the findings of adaptation studies and queer studies, along with numerous studies on spy fiction. I conclude that the interrelation of different media has contributed to the re-drawing of queer identity in spy fiction. These developments have enabled the spies' queer identity to transcend its pejorative history in British culture, towards its more flexible and pliant sense which is designated by the term's modern usage. I also discuss that spies’ homosexuality has been represented as a fleeting ghost in most of the texts examined, hovering on the margins of pages and screen. Although homosexuality is not “the love that dare not speak its name” anymore, clandestine queer spies have been preserved as spectral others in the genre for many years. Spy fiction is a cultural repository retaining the memory of violence inflicted against those who have been called “queer” in twentieth century Britain, and the spectral nature of queer spies narrates this history reaching back to the Oscar Wilde trial in 1895, from which point British queer identity as we know now developed. This thesis benefits the study of spy fiction by filling a gap in the investigation of homosexual representation. It also contributes to the field of gender studies of literature, film, television, and theatre by illustrating queer history in a genre which has not received a great deal of focus on its representation of homosexuality. Spy fiction occupies a central position in British popular culture, and by exploring this genre in terms of homosexuality, this research will identify the role which same-sex desire has historically played in the British cultural imagination

    Embodying entrepreneurship: everyday practices, processes and routines in a technology incubator

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    The growing interest in the processes and practices of entrepreneurship has been dominated by a consideration of temporality. Through a thirty-six-month ethnography of a technology incubator, this thesis contributes to extant understanding by exploring the effect of space. The first paper explores how class structures from the surrounding city have appropriated entrepreneurship within the incubator. The second paper adopts a more explicitly spatial analysis to reveal how the use of space influences a common understanding of entrepreneurship. The final paper looks more closely at the entrepreneurs within the incubator and how they use visual symbols to develop their identity. Taken together, the three papers reject the notion of entrepreneurship as a primarily economic endeavour as articulated through commonly understood language and propose entrepreneuring as an enigmatic attractor that is accessed through the ambiguity of the non-verbal to develop the ‘new’. The thesis therefore contributes to the understanding of entrepreneurship and proposes a distinct role for the non-verbal in that understanding

    The developing maternal-infant relationship: a qualitative longitudinal study

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    Aim The study aimed to explore maternal perceptions and the use of knowledge relating to their infant’s mental health over time using qualitative longitudinal research. Background There has been a growing interest in infant mental health over recent years. Much of this interest is directed through the lens of infant determinism, through knowledge regarding neurological development resulting in biological determinism. Research and policy in this field are directed toward individual parenting behaviours, usually focused on the mother. Despite this, there is little attention given to maternal perspectives of infant mental health, indicating that a more innovative approach to methodology is required. Methods This study took a qualitative longitudinal approach, and interviews were undertaken with seven mothers from the third trimester of pregnancy and then throughout the first year of the infant’s life. Interviews were conducted at 34 weeks of pregnancy, and then when the infant was 6 and 12 weeks, 6, 9, and 12 months, alongside the collection of researcher field notes—a total of 41 interviews. Data were analysed by creating case profiles, memos, and summaries, and then cross-comparison of the emerging narratives. A psycho-socially informed approach was taken to the analysis of data. Findings Three interrelated themes emerged from the data: evolving maternal identity, growing a person, and creating a safe space. The theme of evolving maternal identity dominated the other themes of growing a person and creating a safe space in a way that met perceived socio-cultural requirements for mothering and childcare practices. Participants’ personal stories give voice to their perceptions of the developing maternal-infant relationship in the context of their socio-cultural setting, relationships with others, and experiences over time. Conclusions This study adds new knowledge by giving mothers a voice to express how the maternal-infant relationship develops over time. The findings demonstrate how the developing maternal-infant relationship grows in response to their mutual needs as the mother works to create and sustain identities for herself and the infant that will fit within their socio-cultural context and individual situations. Additionally, the findings illustrate the importance of temporal considerations, social networks, and intergenerational relationships to this evolving process. Recommendations for practice, policy, and education are made that reflect the unique relationship between mother and infant and the need to conceptualise this using an ecological approach

    The Reputations of Sir Francis Burdett

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