The Faculty offers an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, taught predominantly at the Chester Campus, but with provision in Public Relations and Policing taught at Warrington. A key feature of work in all four specialist subject areas below is the inter-relationship between social science and issues of everyday concern that have relevance for policy making.

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  • Displacement in Casamance, Senegal: Lessons (Hopefully) Learned, 2000–2019

    Evans, Martin; Coventry University
    The paper reflects on fieldwork conducted since 2000 with displaced communities in Lower and Middle Casamance, Senegal, amid arguably West Africa’s longest-running civil conflict. While this is a small conflict in a geographically confined space, Casamance presents a microcosm of dynamics common to other displacement situations in Africa. In this context the paper explores how the understandings, lived experiences and practices of the displaced transcend normative categories used by aid actors to define and manage such situations. Five thematic areas are examined: enumeration of the displaced; complex mobilities, both rural-urban and transnational; historiographic understandings of displacement; political manipulation of displacement situations; and the dynamics of return and reconstruction. The paper concludes by summarising failures of understanding in these areas among much of the aid community, and their consequences. It argues that well-grounded and socially nuanced understandings of displacement may inform more effective aid interventions and enhance the peace process.
  • Political Management. The Dance of Government and Politics

    Robertson, Christopher; University of Chester
    A book review of Jennifer Lees-Marshment's book 'Political Management. A Dance of Government and Politics.'
  • Rethinking Public Relations. Persuasion, Democracy and Society

    Robertson, Christopher; University of Chester
    A book review of Kevin Moloney and Conor McGrath's book 'Rethinking Public Relations. Persuasion, Democracy and Society.'
  • Philosophy and public administration: An introduction ( second edition) By Edoardo Ongaro:  Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020. 334 pages. Hardback. £85.00. ISBN: 9781839100338

    Robertson, Christopher; University of Chester
    A book review of Edoardo Ongaro's book 'Philosophy and Public Administration: An Introduction'
  • Great Games and Keeping it Cool: New political, social and cultural geographies of young people’s environmental activism

    Collins, Rebecca; University of Chester
    Drawing on recent framings of young people’s environmental activism as a ‘game’, alongside long-standing characterisations of youth as responsibilised environmental change-agents, in this Viewpoint I identify fertile research opportunities in the liminal spaces between moments of young people’s action and the political and socio-cultural spaces through which those actions (might) diffuse. I argue that youth geographers should take care to engage critically with young activists’ actions, as well as wider political and cultural responses to them, in order to avoid furthering problematic ‘sustainability saviour’ framings of youth.
  • Re-naming and re-framing: Evolving the ‘Higher Education Research Group’ to the ‘Geography and Education Research Group’

    Healey, Ruth L.; West, Harry; University of Chester; University of the West of England
    Editorial for special issue of Area about the evolution of the Higher Education Research Group to the Geography and Education Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.
  • Building a voice of influence: Supporting social science doctoral students with disabilities

    Taylor, Paul; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester
    This chapter draws together experience from two supervisors on the subject of supporting social science doctoral students with disabilities. Our aims here are to illuminate the structural obstacles that students may encounter, and how supervisors might assist their students in navigating the terrain of ‘poor listeners’, unsubstantiated criticism, and views that are expressed that serve to suppress the voice and influence of the doctoral scholar. It is not our intention here to render the doctoral student as a powerless individual whose identity is one of deficit, on the contrary; rather in identifying structural and disciplinary barriers, supervisors, and their students may better prepare from what they may experience.
  • The history of the Higher Education Research Group of the UK Royal Geographical Society: The changing status and focus of geography education in the academy

    Healey, Ruth L.; France, Derek; Hill, Jennifer; West, Harry; University of Chester; University of Gloucestershire; University of the West of England
    The opening paper in our special section sets the scene for the discussions that follow by evidencing and reflecting upon the history of the Higher Education Research Group. We report on the purpose of the Group when it was established in the late 1970s as the Higher Education Learning Working Party, and trace its development to late 2019 when its members voted to change the name of the Group to the Geography and Education Research Group. Through a systematic analysis of the annual reports published in Area (from 1980 to 1994) and the minutes of the Annual General Meetings (from 1998 to 2019), alongside personal correspondence with former members of the Committee, we explore the history of the Group. We contend that the Group has passed through four distinct phases related to the broader geography and education context. The recent re-naming of the Group to publicly codify and celebrate the diversity of links between geography and education represents a fifth phase in the Group’s evolution. Throughout its history, the Group has had strong connections with geographies (and geographers) of education across a range of sectoral levels, indicating that this fifth evolutionary phase aligns well with the Group’s original purpose and vision.
  • Persistent millennial-scale climate variability in Southern Europe during Marine Isotope Stage 6

    WILSON, GRAHAM PAUL; FROGLEY, MICHAEL; HUGHES, PHILIP; ROUCOUX, KATHERINE; MARGARI, VASILIKI; JONES, TIM; LENG, MELANIE; TZEDAKIS, POLYCHRONIS; University of Chester; University College London
    Exploring the mode and tempo of millennial-scale climate variability under evolving boundary conditions can provide insights into tipping points in different parts of the Earth system, and can facilitate a more detailed understanding of climate teleconnections and phase relationships between different Earth system components. Here we use fossil diatom and stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of lake sediment deposits (core I-284) from the Ioannina basin, NW Greece, to explore in further detail millennial-scale climate instability in southern Europe during Marine Isotope Stage 6 (MIS 6; ca. 185‒130 ka). This interval correlates with the Vlasian Stage in Greece and the Late Saalian Substage in northern Europe, which were both characterised by extensive glaciations. The new dataset resolves at least 18 discrete warmer / wetter intervals, many of which were associated with strong Asian Monsoon events and North Atlantic interstadials. A number of cooler / drier intervals are also identified in the I-284 record, which are typically associated with weaker Asian Monsoon events and North Atlantic stadials, consistent with a variable Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Unlike the subdued changes in tree populations that are observed at Ioannina during mid-to-late MIS 6, the diatom record contains frequent high-amplitude oscillations in species assemblages, pointing to its sensitivity at a time when the lake system must have been close to environmental thresholds. Millennial-scale variability in diatom species assemblages continues into late MIS 6 at Ioannina, contributing important evidence for an emerging picture of frequent and persistent climate instability even at times of high global ice volume.
  • The variable influence of confession inconsistencies: How factual errors (but not contradictions) reduce belief in suspect guilt

    Holt, Glenys A.; Palmer, Matthew A.; University of Chester; University of Tasmania
    Wrongful conviction statistics suggest that jurors pay little heed to the quality of confession evidence when making verdict decisions. However, recent research indicates that confession inconsistencies may sometimes reduce perception of suspect guilt. Drawing on theoretical frameworks of attribution theory, correspondence bias, and the story model of juror decision-making, we investigated how judgments about likely guilt are affected by different types of inconsistencies: self-contradictions (Experiment 1) and factual errors (Experiment 2). Crucially, judgments of likely guilt of the suspect were reduced by factual errors in confession evidence, but not by contradictions. Mediation analyses suggest that this effect of factual errors on judgments of guilt is underpinned by the extent to which mock-jurors generated a plausible, alternative explanation for why the suspect confessed. These results indicate that not all confession inconsistencies are treated equally; factual errors might cause suspicion about the veracity of the confession, but contradictions do not.
  • The Hummingbird Project: A Positive Psychology Intervention for Secondary School Students

    Platt, Ian Andrew; Kannangara, Chathurika; Tytherleigh, Michelle; Carson, Jerome; University of Chester; University of Bolton
    Mental health in schools has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) in secondary schools have been shown to improve mental health outcomes for students. Previous PPIs have tended to be delivered by trained Psychology specialists or have tended to focus on a single aspect of Positive Psychology such as Mindfulness. The current study involved 2 phases. Phase 1 was a pilot PPI, delivered by current university students in Psychology, which educated secondary school students (N = 90) in a variety of Positive Psychology concepts. Phase 2 involved delivering the PPI to secondary school students (N = 1,054). This PPI, the Hummingbird Project, led to improvements in student well-being, as measured by the World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5). The intervention also led to improvements in student resilience, as measured by the Bolton Uni-Stride Scale (BUSS), and hope, as measured by the Children’s Hope Scale (CHS). Results are discussed in the context of their implications for the future of psychological intervention in secondary school settings.
  • In search of scope: A response to Ruiz et al. (2020)

    Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J; Pendrous, Rosina; Hochard, Kevin D; University of Chester
    Deliberate and explicit replication attempts are becoming more common across the behavioral sciences. Whilst replicability has been recognized as a core feature of science for decades (if not centuries), the directness of today’s replication work requires us to consider carefully how we communicate our research and how we conceptualize our theories in light of differing findings. This paper uses a concrete example to make a number of suggestions for how we, as a scientific community, ought to engage with replication attempts. Within Relational Frame Theory (RFT) there is a growing body of applied research on the effective use of metaphors to increase tolerance of aversive states. We conducted a replication of an earlier experimental analogue study (2020, this journal) and failed to find the specified effect. Ruiz et al. (2020, also this journal) have recently published a critical response in which they list a number of differences between our two studies which might account for the negative findings. We will use this series of three papers as our exemplum. We also take the opportunity to acknowledge some points of critique provided by Ruiz et al., and to set the record straight with respect to the differences between the original study and our replication attempt. We hope this discussion might help the CBS community to develop a coherent approach to the very current issue of replication.
  • Student authored atlas tours (story maps) as geography assignments

    Treves, Richard; Mansell, Damien; France, Derek; orcid: 0000-0001-6874-6800 (Informa UK Limited, 2020-10-21)
  • The efficacy of appropriate paper-based technology for Kenyan children with cerebral palsy

    Barton, Catherine; Buckley, John; Samia, Pauline; Williams, Fiona; Taylor, Suzan; Rachel, Lindoewood; Powys Teaching Health Board; University of Chester; Aga Khan University, Kenya
    Purpose: Appropriate paper-based technology (APT) is used to provide postural support for children with cerebral palsy (CP) in low-resourced settings. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the impact of APT on the children’s and families’ lives. Materials and methods: A convenience sample of children with CP and their families participated. Inclusion was based on the Gross Motor Function Classification System levels IV and V. APT seating or standing frames were provided for six months. A mixed methods impact of APT devices on the children and families included the Family Impact Assistive Technology Scale for Adaptive Seating (FIATS-AS); the Child Engagement in Daily Life (CEDL) questionnaire; and a qualitative assessment from diary/log and semi-structured interviews. Results: Ten children (median 3 years, range 9 months to 7 years). Baseline to follow-up median (IQR) FIATS-AS were: 22.7 (9.3) and 30.3 (10.2), respectively (p=.002). Similarly mean (SD) CEDL scores for “frequency” changed from 30.5 (13.2) to 42.08 (5.96) (p=.021) and children’s enjoyment scores from 2.23 (0.93) to 2.91 (0.79) (p=.019). CEDL questionnaire for self-care was not discriminatory; seven families scored zero at both baseline and 6 months. Qualitative interviews revealed three key findings; that APT improved functional ability, involvement/interaction in daily-life situations, and a reduced family burden of care. Conclusions: APT devices used in Kenyan children with non-ambulant CP had a meaningful positive effect on both the children’s and their families’ lives.
  • Social network analysis of a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) group in captivity following the integration of a new adult member

    Diaz, Sergio; Murray, Lindsay Elaine; Roberts, Sam; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University
    Management of primates in captivity often presents the challenge of introducing new individuals into a group, and research investigating the stability of the social network in the medium-term after the introduction can help inform management decisions. We investigated the behavior of a group of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) housed at Chester Zoo, UK over 12 months (divided into three periods of four months) following the introduction of a new adult female. We recorded grooming, proximity, other affiliative behaviors and agonistic behaviors and used Social Network Analysis to investigate the stability, reciprocity and structure of the group, to examine the effect of rearing history on grooming network position and the role of sex in agonistic behavior. Both the grooming and agonistic networks correlated across all three periods, while affiliative networks correlated only between periods two and three. Males had significantly higher out-degree centrality in agonistic behaviors than females, indicating that they carried out agonistic behaviors more often than females. There was no significant difference in centrality between hand-reared and mother-reared chimpanzees. Overall, the group structure was stable and cohesive during the first year after the introduction of the new female, suggesting that this change did not destabilize the group. Our findings highlight the utility of Social Network Analysis in the study of primate sociality in captivity, and how it can be used to better understand primate behavior following the integration of new individuals.
  • Pedagogies for developing undergraduate ethical thinking within geography

    Healey, Ruth L.; Ribchester, Chris; University of Chester; University of Manchester
    This chapter initially defines the goals of teaching ethics to geography undergraduates, before outlining what a holistic programme approach might look like. This includes identification of seven different contexts, inside and outside the curriculum, when ethical issues might be encountered by geography students; a list which may act as a useful guide for tutors considering teaching ethics for the first time. Whatever specific approaches to teaching ethics are adopted, the next section emphasizes the value of giving students the opportunity to recognize, review, and respond to topics and experiences. Within this context, the value of pursuing non-didactic teaching approaches, the importance of providing a consistent theoretical framework for reviewing ethical problems, and the likely impact of encouraging ongoing personal reflection are discussed. These pedagogic strategies are illustrated further through a case study detailing engagement with ethical issues within small group tutorial discussions using tutor- and student-authored scenarios.
  • Prospective study on a fast-track training in psychiatry for medical students: the psychiatric hat game

    Clément, Anthony; Delage, Raphaël; Chollier, Marie; Josse, Laure; Gaudry, Stéphane; Zahar, Jean-Ralph; Baubet, Thierry; Degos, Bertrand; email: bertrand.degos@aphp.fr (BioMed Central, 2020-10-19)
    Abstract: Background: While medical students are losing interest in lectures in favor of other educational materials, many studies suggest the benefit of active learning, combined with gamified educational tools. The authors developed a psychiatric adaptation of the « Hat Game ». It was hypothesised that this game would increase both knowledge and motivation in medical students toward psychiatric semiology. The aim of the study was to assess the benefit of a Psychiatric Hat Game session for learning psychiatric symptoms in third-year medical students. Student performance was also evaluated at 3 months. Methods: This gamified fast-track training consists of two teams and each team has to guess as many psychiatric semiology terms as possible using different techniques (i.e. speech, mime). The study involved a pre- and post-evaluation of knowledge (Multiple Choice Questions) and a satisfaction survey. Baseline, post-immediate, and three-months scores were compared by using Friedman analysis for paired samples. Comparisons of mean scores at two different times were performed by using Wilcoxon test for paired samples. Results: One hundred and sixty-six students were proposed to take part in the study. Among them 129 completed the whole program (response rate = 77.7%). Mean scores measured at the three points in time were significantly different (p < 0.001, N = 129). Knowledge mean scores were significantly higher after the game than before (+ 28.6%, p < 0.001). Improvement was maintained 3 months after the game (+ 18.9%, p < 0.001). Satisfaction survey items highlighted that students enjoyed and would recommend this type of gamified training. Conclusions: The Psychiatric Hat Game improved knowledge of psychiatric semiology in medical students. Results suggest that it is a promising and efficient tool to playfully teach medical semiology, with transferable features, utility and acceptability from one medical field to another. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge advocating for serious games and gamified training in medical education.
  • How downplaying or exaggerating crime severity in a confession affects perceived guilt

    Holt, G. A.; Palmer, M. A.; University of Chester; University of Tasmania
    This study investigated how judgments of guilt are influenced by factual errors in confessions that either amplified or downplayed the severity of the crime. Participants read a confession statement and a police report. Information in the confession statement either was consistent with the facts of the crime in the police report, the suspect admitted to a worse crime than described in the police report, or the suspect admitted to a lesser crime than described in the police report. Mediation analyses showed that, compared to consistent confessions, both types of directional errors reduced judgments of guilt. Inconsistencies that made the suspect look better—but not those that made the suspect look worse—also increased judgments of guilt via a direct effect. Confessions that contain errors that appear to exaggerate the severity of the crime prompt no higher judgments of suspect guilt than confessions that are consistent with the facts of the crime. However, errors in confessions that are perceived to downplay the severity of the crime can prompt an increased perception of suspect guilt, when compared to a consistent confession.
  • Do educators realise the value of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in fieldwork learning?

    Clark, Katherine; Welsh, Katharine; Mauchline, Alice; France, Derek; Whalley, Brian; Park, Julian; University of Chester, University of Reading, University of Sheffield
    This paper explores the benefits, barriers and challenges of BYOD (Bring Your Own [mobile] Device) in fieldwork teaching through the views of Higher Education practitioners who have and have not used BYOD in fieldwork. While the use of BYOD has been explored within classroom settings, there are few studies on the use and impact on BYOD in fieldwork., This study investigated the educational benefits of BYOD and the barriers and challenges associated with BYOD in the field. Students were willing to use their own devices in the field and were engaged through the use of BYOD. Practitioners noted various benefits to using BYOD, including student engagement and familiarity with their own devices, potentially increasing time available in the field. Practitioners also highlighted a number of challenges and potential challenges with BYOD including supporting a range of devices, incompatibility and the potential for inequality. This paper also explores the use of mobile technology in fieldwork through the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model and discusses the potential for BYOD to change practice.
  • Should you be using mobile technologies in teaching? Applying a pedagogical framework

    France, Derek; Lee, Rebecca; Maclachlan, John; McPhee, Siobhán; University of Chester; McMaster University; University of British Columbia
    The extent of how mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are seamlessly incorporated into the personal day-to-day life is not often considered by University instructors. Unfocused incorporation of mobile technologies into the classroom can de-emphasize intended learning objectives if students struggle using the technology itself or by acting as a distraction. The effective inclusion of mobile technology is not a simple process as the inclusion needs to be purposeful and have the potential to improve the student learning environment, while working alongside more traditional face-to-face learning. This paper presents a pathway to help instructors address both pedagogical and technological considerations of incorporating mobile learning into the curriculum. The pathway developed through the adaptation of the iPAC framework, feedback from international practitioners and tested with worked examples. In all cases the instructors’ reflective responses to the eight pathway questions indicate a clear structured activity, engaged students, and considers equal access, prior experience and contingency planning. This pathway indicates an effective methodology for instructors to assess whether the mobile learning intervention is appropriate and adds value to their teaching. Further external evaluation of the pathway with additional teaching examples will enhance the effectiveness of the methodology.

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