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    ABSTRACT: In the spring of 2010, at the University of Bristol, in the Graduate School of Education, we revisited the case of Pierre Rivière's parricide. More than thirty years after Foucault's (1975) publication devoted to this case, and almost two hundred years after the parricide, we took part in various research events that enabled us to re-connect with Pierre Rivière's memoir. One of these events was a fictional ‘definitional ceremony’. Definitional ceremony is a technique normally used in narrative therapy, and was used by Michael White who developed a Foucauldian analysis of the socio-cultural constitution of mental health. For the purposes of our fictional ceremony two doctoral research students (the authors of this paper) ‘borrowed’ the identities of two of the main protagonists in the Pierre Rivière story. They dressed in period costumes, and embarked on a staging that instigated a renegotiation/resignification of their relationship with each other in the present, and in conversation with a narrative therapist. Our purpose was to re-engage with a troubled family of the nineteenth century as an experiment in seeing how research modalities affect not only our research, but ourselves as researchers.
    Emotion Space and Society 11/2012; 5(4):243–250.
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    ABSTRACT: This study drew on data from two different initiatives in which groups of participants were asked to work together to build knowledge. In the first initiative school students were asked to discuss ethical issues in science, using a moderated online discussion board and in the second, researchers in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) used a wiki to develop a vision statement. Despite the different contexts and purposes of the initiatives, the outcomes were remarkably similar in terms of a) the extent and patterns of contributions and b) the quality of the contributions. In both, there was some level of success in that the intended outcome was reached. However, in both, there were fewer contributions than anticipated and the quality of a large proportion of the contributions was disappointing. It is suggested that the reasons for this are related to four factors; the socio-cultural setting, the nature of the knowledge that was being built, the tools used and the way the activity was set up (including setting shared goals).
    Fuel and Energy Abstracts 08/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Economic models of investment in human capital sometimes refer to neuroscience as a means to support their underlying assumptions regarding human development. These assumptions have a crucial influence on the policy implications the models generate. We review the extent to which the neuroscience of development can be used to support a "learning begets learning" principle of human capital accumulation. We conclude that, although early neural development can be considered as foundational, it cannot be considered as a unitary phenomenon that proceeds in continuous fashion. Furthermore, the concept of the sensitive period, which is often used associated with the principle, suggests benefits of investment depend upon an individual's circumstances and developmental history, and particularly whether this can be classified as normal. A more recent model of investment has involved two different types of abilities, with outcomes demonstrating the value of including more sophisticated assumptions about human development. We conclude that, while current discussions of policy would benefit from a more careful interpretation of existing models, the potential for future work combining modern neuroscientific understanding with economic theory is considerable.
    Developmental cognitive neuroscience. 02/2012; 2 Suppl 1:S18-29.
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    ABSTRACT: One of the most demanding situations for members of linguistic minorities is a conversation between a health professional and a patient, a situation that frequently arises for linguistic minority groups in North America, Europe, and elsewhere. The present study reports on the construction of an oral interaction scale for nurses serving linguistic minorities in their second language (L2). A mixed methods approach was used to identify and validate a set of speech activities relating to nurse interactions with patients and to derive the L2 ability required to carry out those tasks. The research included an extensive literature review, the development of an initial list of speech tasks, and validation of this list with a nurse focus group. The retained speech tasks were then developed into a questionnaire and administered to 133 Quebec nurses who assessed each speech task for difficulty in an L2 context. Results were submitted to Rasch analysis and calibrated with reference to the Canadian Language Benchmarks, and the constructs underlying the speech tasks were identified through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Results showed that speech tasks dealing with emotional aspects of caregiving and conveying health-specific information were reported as being the most demanding in terms of L2 ability, and the most strongly associated with L2 ability required for nurse-patient interactions. Implications are discussed with respect to the development and use of assessment instruments to facilitate L2 workplace training for health care professionals.
    Health Communication 04/2011; 26(6):560-70.
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in research that combines neuroscientific and educational perspectives on learning, but significant philosophical issues divide these perspectives. This article examines the value of such neuroeducational research and how concepts from different perspectives may be interrelated through a ‘level of actions’ model. This model, which encourages a multiperspective approach, may be helpful in avoiding some of the worst transgressions of sense-making in constructing concepts that span neuroscience and education. Application of the model is explored in the context of teaching strategies intended to foster creativity, and its affordances and limitations are discussed.
    Educational Philosophy and Theory 01/2011; 43(1):24 - 30.
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    ABSTRACT: Psychological symptoms are strongly associated with coronary heart disease (CHD), and many psychological treatments are offered following cardiac events or procedures. Update the existing Cochrane review to (1) determine the independent effects of psychological interventions in patients with CHD (principal outcome measures included total or cardiac-related mortality, cardiac morbidity, depression, and anxiety) and (2) explore study-level predictors of the impact of these interventions. The original review searched Cochrane Controleed Trials Register (CCTR, Issue 4, 2001), MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL to December 2001. This was updated by searching the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL from 2001 to January 2009. In addition, we searched reference lists of papers, and expert advice was sought for the original and update review. Randomised controlled trials of psychological interventions compared to usual care, administered by trained staff. Only studies estimating the independent effect of the psychological component with a minimum follow-up of six months. Adults with specific diagnosis of CHD. Titles and abstracts of all references screened for eligibility by two reviewers independently; data extracted by the lead author and checked by a second reviewer. Authors contacted where possible to obtain missing information. There was no strong evidence that psychological intervention reduced total deaths, risk of revascularisation, or non-fatal infarction. Amongst a smaller group of studies reporting cardiac mortality there was a modest positive effect of psychological intervention (relative risk: 0.80 (95% CI 0.64 to 1.00)). Furthermore, psychological intervention did result in small/moderate improvements in depression, standardised mean difference (SMD): -0.21 (95% CI -0.35, -0.08) and anxiety, SMD: -0.25 (95% CI -0.48 to -0.03). Results for mortality indicated some evidence of small-study bias, though results for other outcomes did not. Meta regression analyses revealed four significant predictors of intervention effects on depression were found: (1) an aim to treat type-A behaviours (ß = -0.32, p = 0.03) were more effective than other interventions. In contrast, interventions which (2) aimed to educate patients about cardiac risk factors (ß = 0.23, p = 0.03), (3) included client-led discussion and emotional support as core therapeutic components (ß = 0.31, p < 0.01), or (4) included family members in the treatment process (ß = 0.26, p < 0.01) were significantly less effective. Psychological treatments appear effective in treating psychological symptoms of CHD patients. Uncertainly remains regarding the subgroups of patients who would benefit most from treatment and the characteristics of successful interventions.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper considers what multilevel modelling approaches to analysing large scale cross-national surveys of education quality can tell us about the capabilities that support primary school children in learning to read. The impact of pupil background characteristics on achievement in reading towards the end of the primary cycle in sub-Saharan Africa is investigated via an analysis of the second wave of data collected by the Southern and East African Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ) in six low income countries and four lower middle income small states. The findings on various pupil background, social and economic wealth-related factors associated with disadvantage/advantage are interpreted using a capability approach. Hence, the study goes beyond reiterating the well-known relationship between socio-economic status and rurality with learning outcomes to identify what it is that primary school pupils in East and Southern Africa can or cannot do that influences their acquisition of literacy.
    International Journal of Educational Development 01/2011; 31(1):23-36.
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    ABSTRACT: The paper sets out a theoretical approach for understanding the quality of education in low income countries from a social justice perspective. The paper outlines and critiques the two dominant approaches that currently frame the debate about education quality, namely, the human capital and human rights approaches. Drawing principally on the ideas of Nancy Fraser and Amyarta Sen the paper then sets out an alternative approach based on a theory of social justice and of capabilities. The paper develops an overall understanding of how education quality can be understood in relation to the extent to which it fosters key capabilities that individuals, communities and society in general have reason to value. It then analyses three inter-related dimensions of the quality of education from a social justice perspective. Each dimension is considered in relation to contemporary policy debates and research including the work of EdQual. The first dimension, that of inclusion draws attention to the access of different groups of learners to quality inputs that facilitate the development of their capabilities, the cultural and institutional barriers that impact on the learning of different groups and priorities for overcoming these. The second dimension, that of relevance, is concerned with the extent to which the outcomes of education are meaningful for all learners, valued by their communities and consistent with national development priorities in a changing global context, whilst the third dimension, that of democracy considers how decisions about education quality are governed and the nature of participation in debates at the local, national and global levels. It is argued that a social justice framework can provide an alternative rationale for a policy emphasis on quality that encompasses but goes beyond that provided by human capital and rights approaches; that through emphasising the importance of context and through providing a normative basis for thinking about quality in relation to development, it provides a useful starting point for re-conceptualising education quality and how it can be evaluated; and, that it draws attention to the central importance of public dialogue and debate at the local, national and global levels about the nature of a quality education and quality frameworks at these levels.
    International Journal of Educational Development. 01/2011; 31(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The article provides an analysis and critique of contemporary debates concerning the quality of education in South Africa from a social justice perspective. In particular the article focuses on the Education Roadmap which has gained support from a range of stakeholders in South Africa including key members of the newly elected government. The Education Roadmap is considered in relation to dominant approaches to understanding education quality within the education literature, namely the human capital and human rights based approaches. It is argued that the Roadmap shares characteristics of both approaches although it is particularly influenced by the former. The article sets out an alternative approach based on social justice principle that, whilst developing and extending aspects of dominant approaches, is considered pertinent because it articulates with historical struggles around education in South Africa. It is suggested that although the Roadmap demonstrates limited characteristics of a social justice approach, it falls short in other key aspects and it is these aspects that must form the basis for ongoing struggles for a more equitable education system.
    International Journal of Educational Development. 01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: In the UK and elsewhere, there has been considerable debate about the use of quantitative indicators, known as ‘metrics’, to judge research performance of individual academics and university departments. We carry out an analysis of the grades that are awarded to research grant applications to explore the extent to which such information can be used for this purpose. Our results suggest that the usefulness of these data is limited and also that similar important limitations are associated with other metrics such as those based on journal paper citation indices.
    Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (Statistics in Society) 12/2010; 174(1):83 - 93.
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