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(Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses)
WIRE is an open access repository for the research publications and other outputs from postgraduate students and staff at the University of Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton staff: to deposit your publication to WIRE, go to: https://www.wlv.ac.uk/lib/research/wire/
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Sustaining existing social protection programmes during crises: What do we know? How can we know more?Research on social assistance in crisis situations has focused predominantly on how social assistance can flex in response to rapid-onset emergencies such as floods or hurricanes and to slower-onset shocks such as drought. This paper identifies a substantial knowledge gap – namely, our understanding of the ways in which existing, government-led programmes can be sustained during crises to ensure that households that were already poor and vulnerable before a crisis continue to be supported. The limited literature available focuses on climate- and natural environment-related shocks – far less attention is paid to other crises. Conflict-affected situations are a major gap, although there is an emerging body of evidence of the ways in which focus on adapting delivery mechanisms has allowed social assistance and other social protection programmes to be sustained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper concludes that a better understanding of when, where and how existing programmes can be sustained during situations of violent conflict will help to ensure that poor and vulnerable households can be supported – either through government programmes or by enabling robust diagnosis of when efforts to sustaining existing programmes will be inadequate and an additional, external responses are required.
Tracking proactive interference in visual memoryThe current contents of visual working memory can be disrupted by previously formed memories. This phenomenon is known as proactive interference, and it can be used to index the availability of old memories. However, there is uncertainty about the robustness and lifetime of proactive interference, which raises important questions about the role of temporal factors in forgetting. The present study assessed different factors that were expected to influence the persistence of proactive interference over an inter-trial interval in the visual recent probes task. In three experiments, participants encoded arrays of targets and then determined whether a single probe matched one of those targets. On some trials, the probe matched an item from the previous trial (a “recent negative”), whereas on other trials the probe matched a more distant item (a “non-recent negative”). Prior studies have found that recent negative probes can increase errors and slow response times in comparison to non-recent negative probes, and this offered a behavioral measure of proactive interference. In Experiment 1, factors of array size (the number of targets to be encoded) and inter-trial interval (300 ms vs. 8 s) were manipulated in the recent probes task. There was a reduction in proactive interference when a longer delay separated trials on one measure, but only when participants encoded two targets. When working memory capacity was strained by increasing the array size to four targets, proactive interference became stronger after the long delay. In Experiment 2, the inter-trial interval length was again manipulated, along with stimulus novelty (the number of stimuli used in the experiment). Proactive interference was modestly stronger when a smaller number of stimuli were used throughout the experiment, but proactive interference was minimally affected by the inter-trial interval. These findings are problematic for temporal models of forgetting, but Experiment 3 showed that proactive interference also resisted disruption produced by a secondary task presented within the inter-trial interval. Proactive interference was constantly present and generally resilient to the different manipulations. The combined data suggest a relatively durable, passive representation that can disrupt current working memory under a variety of different circumstances.
Investigating the likely impact of new public management on human resource managers and academic lecturers in the Saudi Arabian higher education sectorSince the 1980s, new public management (NPM) has been considered the dominant model of public management. The model has many elements that have been adopted from different countries around the world, in particular Western countries, to reform their public sector organisations. This research examines four main models of NPM and extracts the common and most influential elements (e.g., decentralisation and empowerment) to build the theoretical framework for this research. Using this framework, the study investigates the implementation of aspects of the NPM model in a non-Western context, namely the higher education sector of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Saudi Arabia is undergoing historic transformation since 2016, including the launch of the country's largest economic reform plan to date- Vision 2030. This plan aims to reduce the dependence on oil revenues and to enhance the role of the public and private sectors in the Saudi economy. The Vision aims also to modernise its public sector administrative model. This research investigates the likely impact of NPM-oriented public sector reforms on the Saudi HE sectors. The research takes the form of qualitative case studies. Five public universities were selected to represent the five geographical regions of the country. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews. Using an interpretive lens, the researcher explored the multiple interpretations, different meanings and experiences of the participants regarding the research issues. NVivo software was used in the coding and classification of the data. Content analysis helped with the analysis of the huge number of texts and identification of the patterns and relationships among the five cases. The results indicate that the Saudi HE sector has several managerial problems such as strict centralisation, lack of empowerment, participation and competition, which appear to have put pressure on the government to launch its reform agenda. The Vision 2030 has led to many positive effects, including the autonomy of three universities and the issuance of new civil performance measurement. From the research findings, the NPM model is unlikely to be applicable in Saudi Arabia due to the revealed challenges such as the prevalence of the central style, weak empowerment and participation. The working conditions of the Saudi public employees, such as job security, workload, work pressure, and salary, are expected negatively impact the applicability and implementation of NPM tenets in Saudi Arabia. This research contributes to the study of NPM reforms, and sheds new light on its applicability in the HE sector in a non-Western, nondemocratic context.
When classrooms aren't an option: Researching mobile language learning through disruptionThis chapter seeks to, first, survey the research field of language learning during disruptions and crises, such as occupation, the COVID-19 pandemic and other areas of education-in-emergency situations, when working and researching outside the classroom is the only option. Second, it discusses the methodological challenges faced by researchers in these areas, and offers practical suggestions for helping researchers develop effective tools and techniques that are specifically designed to investigate language learning in mobile contexts and environments, and to do research with individuals, communities and cultures – social and educational – that can be categorised as different and divergent from established mainstream Global Northern contexts. We draw upon a current research project in Palestine, based on Erasmus+ work on language learning, to highlight some of these issues and demonstrate some of the methods we discuss being used in an authentic research situation to support out-of-class language learning.
Postdigital ecopedagogies of attainment and progressHuman attainment is based on a particular model of chronological achievements. People and society are assessed in terms of making progress towards ‘something better’. This approach through modernity sees technology treated as a resource to harness for gain regardless of environmental costs. In education, this linear progress model is mirrored: accessing learning, completing study in a timeframe, attaining an award and progress beyond education. Though Covid-19 has interrupted these components of ‘success’, a consensus that children, students, workers and the economy all need to ‘catch up’ after the pandemic exists, even when people are not catching up from an equal positionality. In this competitive, neoliberal progress model attempts to widen participation in education have only had limited success. Additionally, new convergences between digitalisation and biological sciences now provide a broader world view on relations between technologies, progress and humans (Peters, et. al. 2021). This chapter examines the possible ‘demise of a model of progress based on the old system of arranging living forms into a linear hierarchy’ (Bowler 2021: vii). It reviews related assumptions, and considers implications for ecopedagogies of attainment, when unpredictable developments in technology now begin to alter how we might understand progress itself.