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Past Projects

STUDENT LIVES AND STUDENT LIFESTYLES: UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE IN THE LATE 1990s: THE NATIONAL STUDENTS' UNION RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP

Researcher: Andrew Parker

This 12-month project (January 1999 to January 2000) witnessed the initiation of a research partnership between CEDAR, the National Union of Students and participating students' unions. The idea behind the partnership was for students' unions to benefit from CEDAR's expertise in research methods whilst developing and enhancing the skills and experiences of student union research officers and those of the individual students involved in the data collection process. One of the aims of the project has been to meet some of the key research needs of participating unions whilst broadening their outlook in terms of the kinds of methods, methodologies and techniques which might be employed within their situational context. Unions have also been invited to set out specific research objectives. As a consequence, the first phase of the project concentrated on identifying the central elements of student lives and lifestyles in the present-day higher educational climate. In turn, phase two comprised a more in-depth (qualitative) analysis of the specific themes emerging from this preliminary work.

EVALUATION OF ACCREDITED BASELINE ASSESSMENT SCHEMES

Researchers: Geoff Lindsay, Ann Lewis and Emma Phillips (Psychology and Special Needs Research Unit)

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority funded a 6 month project to collect evidence on the 91 different baseline assessment schemes accredited for use in schools in England for assessment of children at school entry at about 5 years of age. This was a project in the Psychology and Special Needs Research Unit in CEDAR and comprised a national survey of LEAs and scheme providers, together with visits to schools in a sample of LEAs, and interviews with LEA officers responsible for the schemes. The project ended in July 2000. A report has been published by CEDAR, and Ann Lewis and Geoff Lindsay presented the findings at national dissemination conferences put on by QCA. A further analysis has also been undertaken by Geoff Lindsay of the use of baseline assessment for special needs purposes, leading to a report to QCA. Reports from the project are available from CEDAR.

WOM@N TEL IT

Researcher: Susan Band

An evaluation was undertaken of a joint project (funded by the European Social Fund) and undertaken by Community Education South East and South Park School and Community College. The project aimed to bring increased employment opportunities to disadvantaged women. The Wom@nTelIT Project also aimed to prepare participants to function more effectively in administrative posts with organisations with European connections, to enable language learning through the Internet, and to pilot a new programme entitled "Communications with Europe". This was an Open College Network accredited programme, and subjects included Language Skills, Internet Skills and European/transnational awareness. Participants undertook work placements to gain evidence for NVQ Level 2/3 Language units and units towards NVQ through the use of IT. A qualitative report based on interviews with tutors, students and employers was completed in March 2000.

ICT @ WORK PROJECT

Researcher: Susan Band

The ICT @ Work Project funded by the EU ADAPT Programme through the DfEE. CEDAR evaluated this project, which aimed to deliver a programme of work-based research and pilot activity amongst the rural business community in South Warwickshire. Following a desk review of the current application and potential ICT usage amongst SMEs, a skills gap audit of a representative sample of SMEs and identification of ICT training needs for newly redundant workers was planned by the project, with critical examination of current ICT training provision and opportunities for optimum use of resources available. A further aim of the project was to investigate ways in which the establishment of a local network of ICT Business Learning Groups can contribute to employees' participation in learning provision. CEDAR's evaluation focused on face to face interviews with the employers/employees and redundant workers recruited to the project, and ended in December 2000 with a report.

PARENTS INTO TRAINING AND WORK: AN EVALUATION

Researchers: Gillian Winfield, Emma Phillips, Geoff Lindsay and Robert G Burgess

CEDAR staff evaluated the 'Parents into Training and Work' project running in Coventry Community Education North East and North West Areas, supported by the European Social Fund's New Opportunities for Women (NOW) Programme. Running from 1998 to 2000, the project aimed to attract unemployed women in socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods into learning environments through appropriately targeted parenting education/family literacy programmes held in local schools and other community settings. From this point appropriate provision and guidance encourages the progression of learners onto vocationally oriented porogrammes throughout the city, with the aim of subsequent (re) entry into the labour market. The overall aim of the evaluation was to explore the potential for parenting education programmes to facilitate such progression, with particular attention to recruitment and retention of learners, guidance provision and the use of assessment materials. The evaluation compared the different approaches used in each area and was based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered by an evaluation team and project staff. It focused on different aspects in each of three stages, feeding findings into the project steering group as well as producing a final report in early 2000.

PROVISION FOR CHILDREN WITH SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DIFFICULTIES: FACILITATING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES

Researchers: Geoff Lindsay and Susan Band, together with James Law, Marie Gascoigne and Nina Soloff, City University, and Nick Peacey and Julie Radford, Institute of Education, University of London (Psychology and Special Needs Research Unit)

The Department for Education and Employment funded a one year project investigating speech and language therapy (SLT) services in England and Wales. In addition to mapping out the characteristics of services, the project sought to identify good practice with particular respect to collaboration between local education authorities and health trusts. The study was a collaboration between City University (Dr James Law and Marie Gascoigne, co-directors and Nina Soloff, research officer) and the Institute of Education, University of London (Nick Peacey, co-director and Julie Radford, research officer). This was a project in the Psychology and Special Needs Research Unit in CEDAR, with Professor Geoff Lindsay as co-director and Susan Band, research fellow. The study comprised a national survey, 15 case studies of LEA/health trust collaboration, and a third phase when professionals and parents commented on the initial findings, prior to dissemination of the final report. The project ended in September 2000. A report was published by the DfEE at the end of 2000; 'Provision for Children with Speech and Language Needs in England and Wales: Facilitating Communication Between Education and Health Services' J. Law, G. Lindsay, N. Peacey, M. Gascoigne, N. Soloff, S. Radford and S. Band, with L. Fitzgerald (Research Report RR239, London, DfEE)

CPD AND TRAINING EFFECTIVENESS: AN EVALUATION FOR NATWEST GROUP

Researcher: Andrew Parker

Between January and July 1999 CEDAR were commissioned to evaluate Continuing Professional Development and 'training effectiveness' amongst NatWest Life financial service professionals (i.e.) financial planning managers, FPMs). This evaluation constituted two phases. In the first instance, telephone interviews were carried out with 50 randomly selected FPMs in order to discern their perceptions of and attitudes towards CPD as an occupational concept. Following on from this, telephone interviews were conducted with a further 20 FPMs (also randomly selected) in order to gain insight into more specific issues regarding the overall effectiveness of CPD-related 'training' programmes. Interviews during the first phase were carried out in line with a series of open-ended questions relating to individual experiences of CPD. In phase two, a more structured questionnaire format was deployed which required FPMs to comment on specific aspects of 'training' procedure.

FDTL EVALUATION FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF HUDDERSFIELD

Researchers: Robert G Burgess and Susan Band

A project was being undertaken in the School of Computing and Mathematics at the University of Huddersfield, directed by Robert G Burgess. This was an evaluation of the School’s FDTL (Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning) Project 'MaPPiT' (Mapping the Placement Process with Information Technology), which aims to facilitate the integration of the supervised work experience into the curriculum by identifying and modelling processes within placement units using business process design methods. The project ran until the end of March 1999 and a report was produced.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR NURSES

Researchers: Gillian Winfield, Sheila Galloway and Robert G Burgess

CEDAR was funded by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to initiate a programme of research into the continuing professional development (CPD) needs of nurses at various stages of their careers. The project ran from September 1998 to October 1999 and aimed to explore the scope of nurses to identify their own learning needs, the new regulatory environment and the contribution of CPD to the development of practice and career advancement. During the funded period CEDAR produced a review of CPD policy and practice and a literature review of professional career development for nurses, to assist the RCN in developing their own CPD services. The final phase of the project was a pilot study to assess the value of using diaries as a data collection method in researching nurses' CPD needs and plans. Groups of nurses three to five years from registration in the Midlands and the North of England attended two focus groups and maintained a diary for seven days recording the knowledge and skills they used and the CPD needs and plans arising from selected incidents. The dual outcomes of the study are a tested methodology to research nurses' own needs alongside professional development opportunities for participating nurses. The final report of the pilot study was produced in November 1999. "Nursing Standard" published an article on this research for a practitioner audience in May 2000.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN ITS ENTERPRISE CONTEXT

Researcher: Sheila Galloway

This programme of work supported by ESRC's research centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance had three components. Sheila Galloway organised a symposium on CPD with over fifty participants from research, practitioner and policy backgrounds. Following the event she produced a monograph. The last phase of work focused on the creative industries, drawing on existing publications and illustrative data from a number of interviews in the cultural and creative sector.

AN EVALUATION OF THE NATIONAL CENTRE FOR LEGAL EDUCATION

Researcher: Sheila Galloway

This project ran from October 1997 to December 1999. The National Centre for Legal Education (NCLE) was established in the University of Warwick's School of Law in 1997, supported by a grant of £250,000 from the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL). The project team of three sought to involve law academics throughout the UK in introducing innovative teaching and learning methodologies into the legal academic infrastructure.

The evaluation focused on the process by which the National Centre was established and the processes of dissemination used to share ideas about good practice in teaching and learning in law. The research was designed to access NCLE's different activities: production of paper-based and electronic materials and associated workshops, establishment of a Website focused on legal education, and the creation of a UK-wide network, the Learning in Law Initiative. The data collection included documentation, observation at NCLE events and interviews (face-to-face and by telephone) with different groups involved in or affected by the development of the National Centre. The analysis also captured lessons relevant to other FDTL projects.

A STUDY OF HIGHER LEVEL VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Researchers: Sheila Galloway, Gillian Winfield, Susan Band, Debra Costley, Geoff Pike and Robert G Burgess

From October 1995 to March 1996 Coventry & Warwickshire TEC and the University of Warwick jointly funded research and development activities in the area of higher level qualifications and continuing vocational education. A joint steering committee allowed representatives from both sponsors to have access to findings from each phase and strengthened links between these two bodies and the local business community. Initially, the project investigated the views of employers and employees about work-based learning and higher level vocational qualifications. Outcomes included a review of policy in this area, a questionnaire on the take-up of vocational qualifications in local companies, and eight case studies of firms and university departments involved in vocational education. A development phase encouraged local employers to invest in vocational education and training, and they nominated employees to take part in personal development training. From 1996 on the work was supported solely by the University.

The programme has included case studies of the role of professional bodies in promoting continuing professional development (CPD) in first the legal profession and secondly the engineering profession. A review of the use of professional development protfolios was conducted along with an analysis of the impact of the Kennedy and Dearing reports for vocational developments in higher education. During 1997-98 activity focused on vocational elements in existing postgraduate post-experience education and on facilitating access to higher level CPD for particular groups such as arts administrators. In 1998-99 the research team reviewed developments at the University during the course of the HEFCE funding for Continuing Vocational Education. A digest entitled "Towards Good Practice in Higher Level Lifelong Learning: CVE Development Work at the University of Warwick", presents in quickly accessible form both outcomes of university-based CVE and a summary of the Centre's work with professional bodies on CPD.

TEACHER TRAINING AS THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF IDEAS, 1944-1972

Researchers: Michele Dowling, Robert G Burgess and Carolyn Steedman

This three-year project began in 1996 and wass being run by CEDAR and the Centre for Social History at the University of Warwick. It wass concerned with looking at the training of teachers from the period immediately after the Butler Education Act of 1944 to the James Report of 1972. The following former training colleges approached about the project included: the City of Coventry Training College, Whitelands, Southlands, St. Mary’s College Twickenham and the college of St. Bede, Durham.

This project included investigating the archives of these colleges: student records, prospectuses, course outlines, and booklists (where available). It also included interviews with former staff and students of the colleges. We wished to know what they remember about their experiences especially with regard to the content of their courses, the total experience of college life and the relevance of their training when they came into teaching situations.

In addition to interviews a postal questionnaire was conducted. This covered many of the same topics as the in-depth interviews. The data which was obtained from the colleges was put into a more general context of continuity and change in English education over the period under review. This included societal changes, the structure of education, new methods of teaching, issues concerning the teaching unions, the continued development of the teaching profession, and the role of the teacher. The project ended in April 1999 and a report is being prepared.

LLM AND SHORT COURSES FOR PRACTISING SOLICITORS

Researchers: Sheila Galloway and Geoff Pike

This project was completed in 1998 for the School of Law at the University of Warwick to assess the potential for a proposed LLM for practising solicitors, in which each module could be taken as a 'stand-alone' option. It explored views on part-time study and distance learning and highlighted the concerns of practitioners about compliance with the regulations regarding solicitors’ professional development. The project involved a survey of solicitors and solicitors’ practices, an interview programme and a paper on CPD for solicitors.

LIFE HISTORIES OF BLACK TEACHERS: GIVING VOICE

Researcher: Christopher Pole

This ESRC funded project explored the lives and careers of black teachers in England. Taking a detailed life history approach, the research examined the experiences of four 'generations' of black teachers. In total, twenty interviews were be conducted with black teachers with different lengths of teaching service in England. The research focused on the following four generations:

  • Those who were currently in initial teacher training but had completed at least one period of school practice
  • Those teachers who were currently in their first 2-5 years of service
  • Those who were currently working as teachers and had successfully completed at least ten years of continuous service in England
  • Those teachers who had retired after a career of at least twenty years in England.

The research focused on the impact of race and ethnicity on key issues of career, professionalism, and identity and sought to build on the body of work around teachers lives and careers which had previously omitted detailed consideration of the experiences of black teachers.

WORK LABOUR AND ECONOMIC LIFE IN LATE CHILDHOOD

Researcher: Christopher Pole with Phil Mizen and Angela Bolton (Department of Applied Social Studies)

This project ran for two years and began in March 1997. Given its focus on children’s own understandings and perceptions, the use of a number of complementary methodologies was specifically designed to capture the meanings and lived experiences of children’s working lives. Drawing children from six schools in contrasting areas, the project identified a number of working children over a year. By interviewing the children, facilitating group discussions, by asking them to complete regular ‘work diaries’ and by generating their own photographic representations of their working lives, the project generated the most extensive and detailed picture of working children in the UK ever compiled.

EVALUATION OF AN INITIATIVE INVOLVING ASPECTS OF THE PROPOSED UNIVERSITY FOR INDUSTRY

Researchers: Marlene Morrison, Robert G Burgess and Susan Band

The Department of Education and Employment funded the evaluation of a pilot project led by the Institute of Public Policy Research and Sunderland University to implement a proposed model for UfI in the North East. The aim of the study was to evaluate the current testing and modelling of the Initiative and identify the implications arising from the model for the proposed national framework for the UfI. Its strategic objectives were: to investigate the extent to which the current model added value to systems which were currently available in the North East by stimulating collaborative forms of expertise, research, and training among companies and their employees, and by the active promotion of learning as a lifetime perspective of evaluation methods which incorporated the collection and analysis of primary data using qualitative and quantitative approaches. The evaluation study produced a report for the DfEE in September 1998.

PILOT AUDIT OF RESEARCH EXPLOITATION IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

Researchers: Robert G Burgess, Ewan Ferlie, Susan Band and Kim Kaivanto

This collaborative project involving CEDAR and the Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change was ESRC funded. Its aim was to provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in the exploitation and dissemination process, and four subject areas in the Faculty of Social Studies at the University of Warwick were selected for analysis. These were: the Business School, Economics, Education and the Law School.

Within each of these subject areas, two research groups or centres were studied in detail, investigating different modes of dissemination, their appropriateness for different audiences, and the impact of projects on external users. In each group or centre, the range of research activities within the subjects was examined from basic/fundamental through to ‘near market’ projects, funded as well as unfunded projects involving personal research and scholarship and studies that focused on a range of relationships with users.

The project ran from September 1997 to May 1998.

PUBLIC LIBARARIES AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY: A BASELINE FOR GOOD PRACTICE

Researchers: Marlene Morrison and Patrick Roach (formerly at Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations)

In 1996, the British Library agreed to fund a major study examining the relationship between public libraries and ethnic minority communities - Public Libraries, Ethnic Diversity and Citizenship. The research report, launched in March 1998, aroused considerable interest within and outside the public library service. Subsequently, the British Library Research and Innovations Centre has agreed to fund this guide - Public Libraries and Ethnic Diversity: A Baseline for Good Practice which aims to provide improved relationships with ethnic minority communities. This document contains good practice guidance and examples in relation to:

  • setting aims and objectives which engender support from different ethnic communities
  • conducting performance reviews which take account of ethnicity and racial equality
  • undertaking research and consultation within ethnically diverse settings
  • promoting library services to ethnic minority communities.

The guide also highlights the importance of:

  • creating a racial equality culture within public libraries
  • meeting the needs of ethnic minorities through the use of technology
  • developing strategies to support the lifelong learning needs of ethnic minority communities.

THE ROLE OF LIBRARIES IN A LEARNING SOCIETY

Researchers: Marlene Morrison, Robert G Burgess, Susan Band, Debra Costley and Kay Wardle

Funded by the Library and Information Commission, the aim of the study was to investigate the role of the Library and Information Service in promoting lifelong learning. Its strategic objectives were: to demonstrate good practice and to provide evidence of the added value that libraries can provide in supporting lifelong learning. Case study approaches were used to investigate practice set in the context of age, diverse communities, and the specific purposes of learning. The focus was upon the learner operating in different contexts and situations. This was achieved by examining issues relating to:

  • learners and a range of learning experiences
  • the range of library provision in public and private library services
  • library provision and use for education and professional development in a range of library and information centres
  • partnership arrangements between libraries, educational institutions, and organisations specifically concerned with education, training, and employment

There was a report and presentation to the Library and Information Commission that included strategies for future action. The project ran from 1st March to 31st December 1997.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES, ETHNIC DIVERSITY AND CITIZENSHIP

Researchers: Marlene Morrison and Patrick Roach

This research project was conducted jointly by Marlene Morrison (CEDAR) and Patrick Roach at the Centre for Research into Ethnic Relations (CRER) under the directorship of Professors Zig Layton Henry (CRER) and Robert Burgess (CEDAR) at the University of Warwick. Funded by the British Library during 1996-97 with financial support from four English Library authorities, the primary aim of the study was to ascertain and interpret the range of library service provisions to ethnic minority groups. Critical to this aim, the research:

  • mapped the range of service provisions to ethnic minority groups
  • examined ethnic minority perceptions and expectations of the library service
  • examined the processes involved in delivering ethnically responsive services, and
  • made practical suggestions arising from the research findings

The overall objectives for this study were to consider the relationship between the public library service and its ethnically diverse communities. Among the key issues for investigation were the following:-

  • the core library service
  • the library as a place in the community
  • the language, format and content of service provision
  • the rules and accepted codes of behaviour in the library
  • staffing
  • the decision-making processes and development of library policy

The project used a combination of methods that included; a literature review, a focused postal audit, and four extended case studies. The focus of the postal audit was upon the policies and management arrangements dealing with ethnic diversity among eight public library authorities. Linked case studies of four local authorities took a qualitative approach to the investigation of policies, processes, and practices at a range of levels within each library authority. A series of discussion papers produced during the life of the project for the project steering group and for publication has been followed by a final publication which brings together all aspects of the research. This was accompanied by a dissemination conference.

Details of earlier projects are available on request.

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