• Are current accountability frameworks appropriate for degree apprenticeships?

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-11-14)
      Purpose In 2015 the Conservative-led government announced their plan to increase the number of people participating in apprenticeship to 3 million by 2020. As part of this plan there is to be an expansion of the number of degree level apprenticeships, with the government suggesting that these should be seen as a real alternative to university. Despite the government’s propaganda of an alternative to university, higher education institutions (HEI) have a pivotal role to play in both the development and delivery of degree level apprenticeships. However, the accountability for the success of degree level apprenticeships remains unclear. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to consider whether existing outcome-based notions of accountability are appropriate, given the tri-partite relationship involved in apprenticeship delivery. Design/methodology/approach The paper provides an analysis of current notions of outcome-based accountability contextualised through the degree apprenticeship programme. Findings The paper illustrates that outcome-based accountability frameworks do little to support the delivery of degree level apprenticeships suggesting that there needs to be a shift to a holistic approach where student success forms just one element of an accountability framework. A conclusion is subsequently made that current accountability frameworks may end in an unnecessary confusion regarding the roles and responsibilities of individual contributors associated with degree apprenticeships, resulting in a missed opportunity to maximise on the value arising from the tri-partite delivery relationship. Originality/value This paper provides an original perspective involving accountability associated with degree apprenticeship programmes in the UK.
    • Associate Teachers’ Learning Networks: A Figurational Analysis of Initial Teacher Education

      Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2020-04-24)
      Purpose of this paper: The aim of this paper is to use the lens of figurational sociology to analyse the learning networks of physical education (PE) associate teachers (ATs) in England. More specifically, it aims to develop a more adequate understanding of who is involved in the learning networks and how they influence ATs during their one-year postgraduate initial teacher education (ITE) programme. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 35 ATs within a university ITE partnership took part in the study during the final phase of their postgraduate programme. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to examine the nature and impact of the interdependent relationships that they had developed with other individuals and groups. A process of content analysis was used to identify and analyse patterns in the data. Findings: Mentors have the most influence over ATs. They support the inclusion of the ATs within the PE department, but elements of the mentors’ role are contradictory and can unintentionally hinder the ATs’ teaching. Mentors, teachers and tutors also share a common social habitus that ensures a degree of conformity within the PE community. New experiences tend to reinforce ATs’ existing beliefs about the nature and practice of teaching PE. Research limitations/implications (optional): Practical implications (optional): These findings have implications for providers of ITE in deciding who is involved in mentor training and how it is approached. If ATs are to be introduced to more innovative teaching approaches that promote change, then tutors need to collaborate with mentors and teachers to develop awareness of their often-unplanned influence. Social implications (optional): What is original/value of paper: Applying the distinctive, and more generally sociological, concepts that make up the figurational perspective helped to develop a more adequate understanding of the ATs’ learning networks. It provided an insight into the changing relationships that ATs have with their mentors and other individuals who work within the school and university context.
    • Beyond Text: The co-creation of dramatised character and iStory

      Passila, A.; Owens, Allan; Kuusipalo-Maatta, P.; Oikarinen, T.; Benmergui, R.; University of Lapeenranta, University of Lapeenranta, University of Lapeenranta, University of Tampere (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      In exploring the impact of reflective and work applied approaches we are curious how vivid new insights and collective ‘Eureka’ momentums occur. These momentums can be forces for work communities to gain competitive advantages. However, we know little of how learning is actively involved in the processing of creating new insights and how such a turning to learning –mode (Pässilä and Owens, 2016) can be facilitated. In the light of cultural studies and art education, we explore how the method of dramatising characters in a specific innovation culture can be facilitated. In this viewpoint we are suggesting one approach for this type of turning to learning which we call Beyond Text, outlining its theoretical underpinnings, its co-creative development & its application In this Beyond Text context we are introducing the method of dramatising characters (DC) and the method of iStory both of which are our own design based on the theory of the four existing categories of research-based theatre (RBT). The findings of this viewpoint article are that both iStory as well as DC methods are useful and practical learning facilitation processes and platforms that can be adopted for use in organizations for promoting reflexivity. Especially they can act as a bridge between various forms of knowing and consummate the other knowledge types (experiential, practical and propositional) in a way that advances practice-based innovation. The originality and value of iStory and DC is that they can be utilized as dialogical evaluation methods when traditional evaluation strategies and pre-determined indicators are unusable.
    • Emotional awareness amongst middle leadership

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Emerald, 2020-05-26)
      The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to explore middle leaders’ ability to recognise emotions in the context of workplace research, and to propose measures that might support them in their role. This paper combines a contemporary literature review with reflections from practice to develop more nuanced understandings of middle leadership. The paper applied the Geneva Emotional Recognition Test (GERT) to explore the level of emotional recognition of 86 individuals (teachers, to headteachers (equivalent to school principals)). The preliminary findings suggest that teachers and headteachers have higher levels of emotional recognition than middle and senior leaders. This paper subsequently argues that the task-orientated nature middle leadership compounds an individual’s ability to engage effectively in relationship-orientated tasks. This explains why middle leaders scored lower on the GERT assessment. This is further inhibited by the anti-correlation in the brain’s ability to deal with the TDM and DMN processing functions where individuals operate in one neural mode for long periods. The viewpoint paper proposes a number of implications for middle leaders and suggests that middle leaders should proactively seek out opportunities to engaged in activities that support the DMN function of the brain and subsequently the relationship-orientated aspects of leadership. For example, coaching other staff. However, it has to be recognised that the sample size is small and further work is needed before any generalisations can be made. This paper offers a contemporary review of the role of middle leaders underpinned by a preliminary study into individuals’ ability to recognise emotions.
    • Empathic gaze: a study of human resource professionals

      Lambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Venerucci, Matteo; Taylor, Michael; University of Chester; University of York; Brain Propaganda (Emerald, 2021-09-02)
      The purpose of this research paper is to explore the fixation of the eyes of HR professionals’ when identifying emotions in the context of workplace research, and to propose measures that might support them in their role. This paper combines a contemporary literature review with reflections from practice to develop a more nuanced understanding of 39 HR professionals’ ability to recognise emotions. This paper used eye-tracking technology more commonly used in laboratory based studies to explore the fixation of the eye when identifying emotions. The preliminary findings suggest that HR professionals with higher levels of emotional recognition principally focus on the eyes of the recipient. Whereas those with lower levels of emotional recognition focus more so the nose or the randomly across the face, depending on the level of emotional recognition. The data suggests that women are better than men, in the sample group at recognising emotions, with some variations in recognising specific emotions such as disgust. This research paper proposes a number of implications for middle leaders and suggests that middle leaders should proactively seek out opportunities to be engaged in activities that support the default mode network (DMN) function of the brain and subsequently the relationship-orientated aspects of leadership, for example, coaching other staff members. However, it has to be recognised that the sample size is small and further work is needed before any generalisations can be made. This paper offers a contemporary review underpinned by a preliminary study into HR professionals’ ability to recognise emotions.
    • Exploring Learning Conversations between Mentors and Associate Teachers in Initial Teacher Education

      Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2019-06-03)
      Purpose - The aim of this paper is to analyse the learning conversations that take place in the context of secondary initial teacher education (ITE) in England. More specifically, it aims to examine the learning conversations that occurred between physical education (PE) subject mentors and their associate teachers (ATs) during a one-year postgraduate programme. Design/methodology/approach – Self-completion questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, with eleven ATs within a university ITE partnership, were used to explore ATs’ perceptions of the learning conversations that occurred between them and their mentors. A process of content analysis was used to identify and analyse themes in the data. Findings – Meaningful learning conversations are not exclusively based on mentors’ feedback on ATs’ teaching. The ongoing everyday dialogue that occurs between mentors and ATs has a direct impact on the ATs’ teaching and a more indirect effect of nurturing collaborative relationships and providing access to a learning community. Successful mentoring is not realised through an isolated weekly lesson observation of the ATs’ teaching. It is an immersive process where the AT and the mentor face the ongoing challenge of exploring aspects of pedagogy and developing a relationship that is conducive to shared learning. Practical implications - These findings have implications for providers of ITE and more specifically how they approach mentor training. Examining learning conversations, and in particular the more informal everyday dialogue that occurs between the mentor and the AT, may have significant impact on the learning of those who are training to teach. Originality/value - Informal learning conversations are central to the mentoring process. These findings highlight the value of learning conversations and in particular the impact of informal everyday dialogue that may otherwise be overlooked.
    • Mentoring Associate Teachers in Initial Teacher Education: The Value of Dialogic Feedback

      Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018-06-04)
      Purpose - The aim of this paper is to analyse feedback in the context of secondary initial teacher education (ITE) in England. More specifically, it aims to examine the feedback experiences of physical education (PE) subject mentors and their associate teachers (ATs) during a one-year postgraduate programme. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews, with nine PE mentors and eleven ATs within a university ITE partnership, were used to explore lesson feedback and the context in which it was provided. Interview data from the twenty participants was analysed through constant comparison to categorise content and identify patterns of responses. Findings - Mentors were well versed in the formal feedback mechanism of a written lesson observation. This approach is well established and accepted within ITE, but the dialogic feedback that follows lessons was thought to be where ATs made most progress. These learning conversations were seen to provide less formal but more authentic feedback for those learning to teach, and were most successful when founded on positive and collaborative relationships between the mentor and the ATs. Practical implications - These findings have implications for providers of teacher education and more specifically how they approach mentor training. The focus on lesson observations has value, but examining more informal dialogic approaches to feedback may have more impact on the learning of ATs. Originality/value - These findings support the value of lesson feedback but challenge the primacy of formal written lesson observations. The learning conversations that follow lessons are shown to provide authentic feedback for ATs.
    • The convergence of National Professional Qualifications in educational leadership and masters level study

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018-11-12)
      In February 2012, less than three years after the introduction of the compulsory National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) for aspiring school head teachers, the mandatory requirement was removed. Despite no longer being a requirement, nearly 900 individuals annually, successfully complete the programme, with a further 5,000 completing the awards of National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) and the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NQPSL). In 2017, the UK government decided that the suite of national professional qualifications (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH) needed to be updated in order to ensure that they remained relevant to the changing shape of the educational landscape, particularly through the expansion of multi-academy trusts. At the same time, the government proposed a new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) aimed at the chief executives of multi-academy trusts, which vary in size from two or three schools working together, to trusts with in excess of thirty-five schools. This paper explores the way in which the new NPQ programmes are having masters level criteria embedded into them to facilitate a seamless progression into masters level study and what potential benefits this brings to the individual and the provider of the NPQ programmes.
    • Trust, Efficacy and Ethicacy when testing prisoners for Covid19

      Lambert, Steve; Wilkinson, Dean J; University of Chester
      The outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and subsequent Covid-19 illness has had a major impact on all levels of society internationally. The extent of the impact of Covid-19 on prison staff and prisoners in England and Wales is unknown. Testing for Covid-19 both asymptomatic and symptomatic, as well as for antibodies, to date, has been minimal. The widespread testing of Covid-19 in prisons poses philosophical and ethical questions around trust, efficacy and ethicacy. This paper is both descriptive, providing an overview of the widespread testing of Covid-19 in prisoners in England and Wales, and conceptual in that it discusses and argues the issues associated with large-scale testing. This paper provides philosophical discussion, using comparative studies, of the issues associated with large-scale testing of prisoners across the prison estate in England and Wales (120 prisons). The issues identified in this paper are contextualised through the lens of Covid-19, but they are equally transferrable to epidemiological studies of any pandemic. Given the prevalence of Covid-19 globally and the lack of information about its spread in prisons, at the time of writing this paper, there is a programme of asymptomatic testing of prisoners. However, there remains a paucity of data on the spread of Covid-19 in prisons due to the progress with the ongoing testing programme. We argue that the widespread testing of prisoners requires careful consideration of the details regarding who is included in testing, how consent is gained and how tests are administered. This paper outlines and argues the importance of considering the complex nuance of power relationships within the prison system, between prisoner officers, medical staff and prisoners, and the detrimental consequences. The widespread testing of Covid-19 presents ethical and practical challenges. Careful planning is required when considering the ethics of who should be included in Covid-19 testing, how consent will be gained, who and how tests will be administered as well as very practical challenges around the recording and assigning of Covid-19 test kits inside the prison. The current system for the general population requires scanning of barcodes and registration using a mobile number, these facilities are not permitted inside a prison. This paper looks at the issues associated with mass testing of prisoners for Covid-19. There has not been any research that looks at the issues of testing either in the UK or internationally. The literature available details countries responses to the pandemic rather and scientific papers on the development of vaccines. Therefore, this paper is an original review of some of the practicalities that need to be addressed to ensure that testing can be as successful as possible.
    • Understanding emotional empathy at postgraduate business programs: What does the use of EEG reveal for future leaders?

      Lambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Taylor, Michael; Venerucci, Matteo; University of Chester; University of York; Brain Propaganda (Emerald, 2021-04-29)
      This paper focuses on the leaders’ ability to recognise and empathise with emotions. This is important because leadership and particularly transformational leadership are principally focused on an individual’s social interactions and their ability to identify emotions and to react empathetically to the emotions of others (Psychogios and Dimitriadis, 2020). Many leadership theorists suggest the ability to have and display empathy is an important part of leadership (Bass, 1990; Walumbwa, et. al., 2008). Design/methodology/approach To examine the extent to which those who work in jobs with a significant element of leadership education can recognise and empathise with emotions, ninety-nine part-time postgraduate executive MBA students took part in an emotional recognition test. First, all participants were shown a sequence of pictures portraying different human facial expressions and the electrical activity in the brain as a result of the visual stimuli were recorded using an electroencephalogram (EEG). The second stage of the research was for the participants to see the same seven randomised images, but this time, they had to report what emotion they believed they had visualised and the intensity of it on a self-reporting scale. Findings This study demonstrated that the ability to recognise emotions is more accurate using EEG techniques compared to participants using self-reporting surveys. The results of this study provide academic departments with evidence that more work needs to be done with students to develop their emotional recognition skills. Particularly for those students who are or will go on to occupy leadership roles. Originality The use of neuroscientific approaches has long been used in clinical settings. However, few studies have applied these approaches to develop our understanding of their use in social sciences. Therefore, this paper provides an original and unique insight into the use of these techniques in higher education.