• A qualitative study of gambling, deprivation and monetary motivations

      Lloyd, Joanne; Nicklin, Laura; Rhodes, Stephanie; Hurst, Gemma (Routledge, 2021-02-09)
      The link between gambling and deprivation is well recognized both in the UK and internationally; and manipulating perceptions of relative deprivation can encourage people to gamble. The current study sought to learn more about whether individuals who gamble consciously perceive themselves to be motivated by feelings of deprivation, and how this is contextualized alongside monetary factors more broadly. Thematic analysis was conducted on 25 in-depth qualitative interviews with UK residents who gamble regularly; most of whom resided in areas of high socio-economic deprivation. Monetary themes relating to financial circumstances, the meaning and value of money, and the perception of gambling as a way to make money, all had strong relevance for deprivation, though people did not often endorse the idea that relative deprivation was important to them, per se. We conclude that gambling motivations are complex and heterogeneous, and that it is pertinent for prevention and intervention strategies for problem gambling to consider individuals’ financial circumstances and how they perceive them, along with how this intersects with their gambling motives.
    • Quality Enhancement: Governing Student Learning

      Cheng, Ming; Gunn, Vicky (HIGHER EDUCATION REVIEW, 2015-05)
      This article provides a critique of current debates about what quality enhancement is for and what it does. It outlines a conceptual framework drawing on different understandings of quality assurance and quality enhancement in higher education, which helps to refine the role of quality enhancement in improving student learning. The paper analyses existing debates on emerging trends in quality assurance and enhancement, particularly within European HE systems, with reference to the relationships between research, education, social and economic cohesion, the changing nature of student representation, and learning analytics. A new balance between assurance and enhancement could reconcile ways of thinking generated by higher education, knowledge structures emerging in research communities within the universities, and methods of enhancing learning and teaching which enable a degree of student-led demand.
    • Quality improvement through the paradigm of learning

      Hafford-Letchfield, T., Lavender, P.; Lavender, Peter (Emerald, 2015-12-14)
      Purpose – Achieving meaningful participation and co-production for older people in care requires radical approaches. The purpose of this paper is to explore an innovation where learning interventions were introduced into care settings and older people matched to community-based learning mentors to develop partnerships. The authors explore how the concept of learning might be used as a paradigm to raise the quality of care in institutionalised settings using a co-productive and relationship-based approach to promote wellbeing. Design/methodology/approach – A structured evaluation drew on qualitative data captured from interviews with older people (n=25) and learning mentors (n=22) to reflect on the potential benefits and challenges involved when introducing learning interventions in care settings. This was contextualised alongside data captured from stakeholders (n=10) including a care home manager, social care and education commissioners, trustees and project staff to assess the interdisciplinary contribution of lifelong learning to quality improvement. Findings – Introducing learning interventions to older people within care settings promoted participation, advocacy and relationship-based care which in turn helped to create a positive culture. Given the current challenges to improve quality in care services, drawing on a paradigm of learning may encourage older people to retain their independence as care homes strive towards a person-centred approach. Promoting social activities and leisure using learning was found to foster closer working relationships between older people and the wider community. These had a levelling effect through reciprocity, using an asset based approach. There were benefits for the care provider as the partnerships formed enabled people to raise both individual and collective concerns about care and support. Originality/value – Raising and sustaining the quality of support for older people requires input from the wider public sector beyond health and social care. Purposeful engagement with other disciplines such as learning and leisure offers the potential to realise a more sustainable model of user choice, person-centred support and user involvement. Being engaged through learning can nourish membership in the community for marginalised populations such as older people living in care homes.
    • Quality in Higher Education: Developing a Virtue of Professional Practice

      Cheng, Ming; Ming Cheng (Sense, 2016-08)
      Many countries now employ national evaluation systems to demonstrate publicly that universities provide a quality education. However, the current processes of quality evaluation are often detached from the practices of teaching and learning. In particular, those who teach and those who learn still have to be won over to such audit processes. This book argues that it is time for the higher education sector to concern itself with the human dimension so as to develop both academic professionalism and students’ commitment to their learning. Based on five completed research projects, which explore academics’ and students’ experiences and their views of quality evaluation, the book argues that developing the intrinsic values of teaching and learning held by academics and students is key to achieving high quality education. In this book, the author critically reviews the four most frequently used terms related to current quality evaluation: ‘fitness for purpose’, ‘value for money’, ‘student satisfaction’ and ‘students-as-customers’, and argues for a motivationally intelligent quality approach, emphasising the moral dimension and the intrinsic values of academics and students. The author also outlines an improved quality evaluation system that encourages and increases academics’ and students’ commitment to teaching and learning.
    • Quality of Life in men with prostate cancer randomly allocated to receive Docetaxel or Abiraterone in the STAMPEDE Trial

      Rush, Hannah L; Murphy, Laura; Morgans, Alicia K; Clarke, Noel W; Cook, Adrian D; Attard, Gerhardt; Macnair, Archie; Dearnaley, David P; Parker, Christopher C; Russell, J Martin; et al. (American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), 2021-11-10)
      PURPOSE Docetaxel and abiraterone acetate plus prednisone or prednisolone (AAP) both improve survival when commenced alongside standard of care (SOC) androgen deprivation therapy in locally advanced or metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Thus, patient-reported quality of life (QOL) data may guide treatment choices. METHODS A group of patients within the STAMPEDE trial were contemporaneously enrolled with the possibility of being randomly allocated to receive either docetaxel + SOC or AAP + SOC. A mixed-model assessed QOL in those who had completed at least one QLQ-C30 + PR25 questionnaire. The primary outcome measure was difference in global-QOL (QLQ-C30 Q29&30) between patients allocated to docetaxel + SOC or AAP + SOC over the 2 years after random assignment, with a predefined criterion for clinically meaningful difference of > 4.0 points. Secondary outcome measures included longitudinal comparison of functional domains, pain, and fatigue, plus global-QOL at defined timepoints. RESULTS Five hundred fifteen patients (173 docetaxel + SOC and 342 AAP + SOC) were included. Baseline characteristics, proportion of missing data, and mean baseline global-QOL scores (docetaxel + SOC 77.8 and AAP + SOC 78.0) were similar. Over the 2 years following random assignment, the mean modeled global-QOL score was +3.9 points (95% CI, +0.5 to +7.2; P = .022) higher in patients allocated to AAP + SOC. Global-QOL was higher for patients allocated to AAP + SOC over the first year (+5.7 points, 95% CI, +3.0 to +8.5; P < .001), particularly at 12 (+7.0 points, 95% CI, +3.0 to +11.0; P = .001) and 24 weeks (+8.3 points, 95% CI, +4.0 to +12.6; P < .001). CONCLUSION Patient-reported QOL was superior for patients allocated to receive AAP + SOC, compared with docetaxel + SOC over a 2-year period, narrowly missing the predefined value for clinical significance. Patients receiving AAP + SOC reported clinically meaningful higher global-QOL scores throughout the first year following random assignment.
    • Quantitative research methods for linguistics

      Grant, T.; Clark, U.; Reershemius, G.; Pollard, D.; Hayes, Sarah; Plappert, G. (Taylor and Francis, 2017-06-29)
      Quantitative Research Methods for Linguistics provides an accessible introduction to research methods for undergraduates undertaking research for the first time. Employing a task-based approach, the authors demonstrate key methods through a series of worked examples, allowing students to take a learn-by-doing approach and making quantitative methods less daunting for the novice researcher. Key features include: Chapters framed around real research questions, walking the student step-by-step through the various methods; Guidance on how to design your own research project; Basic questions and answers that every new researcher needs to know; A comprehensive glossary that makes the most technical of terms clear to readers; Coverage of different statistical packages including R and SPSS. Quantitative Research Methods for Linguistics is essential reading for all students undertaking degrees in linguistics and English language studies.
    • Queering the TEF

      Bartram, Brendan; French, Amanda; Caruthers Thomas, Kate (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2020-08-06)
      Taken at face value, it may initially seem difficult to argue with the sentiments enshrined in the rhetoric that surrounds the TEF – raising the status of teaching in Higher Education, re-balancing its relationship with research, incentivising institutions to focus on the quality of teaching, and making them more accountable for “how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study” (OfS, 2018:1). Clearly, these are laudable aspirations that will chime with anyone who believes in the importance of students experiencing an education that enriches and transforms them and their potential. Drawing on Fraser and Lamble’s (2015) use of queer theory in relation to pedagogy, however, this chapter aims to expose the TEF not just “as a landmark initiative that is designed to further embed a neoliberal audit and monitoring culture into Higher Education” (Rudd, 2017: 59) but as a constraining exercise that restrains diversity and limits potential. Although queer theory is more usually linked with gender and sexuality studies, Fraser and Lamble show us that it can be used “in its broader political project of questioning norms, opening desires and creating possibilities” (p.64). In this way, the queer theoretical lens used here helps us to question, disrupt and contest the essentialising hegemonic logics behind the nature and purposes of the TEF, and its effects in HE classrooms. Using the slant-wise position of the homosexual (Foucault, 1996), this queer analysis of the TEF can thus be helpful as a politically generative exercise in opening up space for new possibilities.
    • Radical actions to address UK organ shortage, enacting Iran’s paid donation programme: A discussion paper

      Timmins, Rebecca; Sque, Magi (Sage, 2019-02-21)
      Globally there is a shortage of organs available for transplant resulting in thousands of lives lost as a result. Last year in the United Kingdom (UK) 457 people died as a result of organ shortage1. NHS Blood and Transplant suggest national debates to test public attitudes to radical actions to increase organ donation should be considered in addressing organ shortage. The selling of organs for transplant in the UK is prohibited under the Human Tissue Act 2004. This discussion paper considers five ethical objections raised in the UK to paid donation, and discusses how these objections are managed within the only legal and regulated paid living unrelated renal donation programme in the world in Iran, where its kidney transplant list was eliminated within two years of its commencement. This paper discusses whether paid living unrelated donation in Iran increases riskier donations, and reduced altruistic donation as opponents of paid donation claim. The paper debates whether objections to paid donation based upon commodification arguments only oppose enabling financial ends, even if these ends enable beneficent acts. Discussions in relation to whether valid consent can be given by the donor will take place, and will also debate the objection that donors will be coerced and exploited by a paid model. This paper suggests that exploitation of the paid donor within the Iranian model exists within the legally permitted framework. However paid living kidney donation should be discussed further and other models of paid donation considered in the UK as a radical means of increasing donation.
    • Radiotherapy to the primary tumour for newly diagnosed, metastatic prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): a randomised controlled phase 3 trial

      Parker, Christopher C; James, Nicholas D; Brawley, Christopher D; Clarke, Noel W; Hoyle, Alex P; Ali, Adnan; Ritchie, Alastair W S; Attard, Gerhardt; Chowdhury, Simon; Cross, William; et al. (The Lancet, 2018-10-21)
      Background Based on previous findings, we hypothesised that radiotherapy to the prostate would improve overall survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer, and that the benefit would be greatest in patients with a low metastatic burden. We aimed to compare standard of care for metastatic prostate cancer, with and without radiotherapy. Methods We did a randomised controlled phase 3 trial at 117 hospitals in Switzerland and the UK. Eligible patients had newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer. We randomly allocated patients open-label in a 1:1 ratio to standard of care (control group) or standard of care and radiotherapy (radiotherapy group). Randomisation was stratified by hospital, age at randomisation, nodal involvement, WHO performance status, planned androgen deprivation therapy, planned docetaxel use (from December, 2015), and regular aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Standard of care was lifelong androgen deprivation therapy, with up-front docetaxel permitted from December, 2015. Men allocated radiotherapy received either a daily (55 Gy in 20 fractions over 4 weeks) or weekly (36 Gy in six fractions over 6 weeks) schedule that was nominated before randomisation. The primary outcome was overall survival, measured as the number of deaths; this analysis had 90% power with a one-sided α of 2·5% for a hazard ratio (HR) of 0·75. Secondary outcomes were failure-free survival, progression-free survival, metastatic progression-free survival, prostate cancer-specific survival, and symptomatic local event-free survival. Analyses used Cox proportional hazards and flexible parametric models, adjusted for stratification factors. The primary outcome analysis was by intention to treat. Two prespecified subgroup analyses tested the effects of prostate radiotherapy by baseline metastatic burden and radiotherapy schedule. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00268476. Findings Between Jan 22, 2013, and Sept 2, 2016, 2061 men underwent randomisation, 1029 were allocated the control and 1032 radiotherapy. Allocated groups were balanced, with a median age of 68 years (IQR 63–73) and median amount of prostate-specific antigen of 97 ng/mL (33–315). 367 (18%) patients received early docetaxel. 1082 (52%) participants nominated the daily radiotherapy schedule before randomisation and 979 (48%) the weekly schedule. 819 (40%) men had a low metastatic burden, 1120 (54%) had a high metastatic burden, and the metastatic burden was unknown for 122 (6%). Radiotherapy improved failure-free survival (HR 0·76, 95% CI 0·68–0·84; p<0·0001) but not overall survival (0·92, 0·80–1·06; p=0·266). Radiotherapy was well tolerated, with 48 (5%) adverse events (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 3–4) reported during radiotherapy and 37 (4%) after radiotherapy. The proportion reporting at least one severe adverse event (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3 or worse) was similar by treatment group in the safety population (398 [38%] with control and 380 [39%] with radiotherapy). Interpretation Radiotherapy to the prostate did not improve overall survival for unselected patients with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer.
    • Radiotherapy to the prostate for men with metastatic prostate cancer in the UK and Switzerland: Long-term results from the STAMPEDE randomised controlled trial

      Parker, Chris C; James, Nicholas D; Brawley, Christopher D; Clarke, Noel W; Ali, Adnan; Amos, Claire L; Attard, Gerhardt; Chowdhury, Simon; Cook, Adrian; Cross, William; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2022-06-07)
      Background STAMPEDE has previously reported that radiotherapy (RT) to the prostate improved overall survival (OS) for patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer with low metastatic burden, but not those with high-burden disease. In this final analysis, we report long-term findings on the primary outcome measure of OS and on the secondary outcome measures of symptomatic local events, RT toxicity events, and quality of life (QoL). Methods and findings Patients were randomised at secondary care sites in the United Kingdom and Switzerland between January 2013 and September 2016, with 1:1 stratified allocation: 1,029 to standard of care (SOC) and 1,032 to SOC+RT. No masking of the treatment allocation was employed. A total of 1,939 had metastatic burden classifiable, with 42% low burden and 58% high burden, balanced by treatment allocation. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses used Cox regression and flexible parametric models (FPMs), adjusted for stratification factors age, nodal involvement, the World Health Organization (WHO) performance status, regular aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use, and planned docetaxel use. QoL in the first 2 years on trial was assessed using prospectively collected patient responses to QLQ-30 questionnaire. Patients were followed for a median of 61.3 months. Prostate RT improved OS in patients with low, but not high, metastatic burden (respectively: 202 deaths in SOC versus 156 in SOC+RT, hazard ratio (HR) = 0·64, 95% CI 0.52, 0.79, p < 0.001; 375 SOC versus 386 SOC+RT, HR = 1.11, 95% CI 0.96, 1.28, p = 0·164; interaction p < 0.001). No evidence of difference in time to symptomatic local events was found. There was no evidence of difference in Global QoL or QLQ-30 Summary Score. Long-term urinary toxicity of grade 3 or worse was reported for 10 SOC and 10 SOC+RT; long-term bowel toxicity of grade 3 or worse was reported for 15 and 11, respectively. Conclusions Prostate RT improves OS, without detriment in QoL, in men with low-burden, newly diagnosed, metastatic prostate cancer, indicating that it should be recommended as a SOC.
    • Raised salivary testosterone in women is associated with increased attraction to masculine faces.

      Welling, L.L.M.; Jones, B.C.; DeBruine, L.M.; Conway, C.A.; Law Smith, M.J.; Little, A.C.; Feinberg, D.R.; Sharp, Martin A.; Al-Dujaili, E.A.S. (Elsevier Science Direct, 2007)
      Women's preferences for masculinity in men's faces, voices and behavioral displays change during the menstrual cycle and are strongest around ovulation. While previous findings suggest that change in progesterone level is an important hormonal mechanism for such variation, it is likely that changes in the levels of other hormones will also contribute to cyclic variation in masculinity preferences. Here we compared women's preferences for masculine faces at two points in the menstrual cycle where women differed in salivary testosterone, but not in salivary progesterone or estrogen. Preferences for masculinity were strongest when women's testosterone levels were relatively high. Our findings complement those from previous studies that show systematic variation in masculinity preferences during the menstrual cycle and suggest that change in testosterone level may play an important role in cyclic shifts in women's preferences for masculine traits.
    • Raising awareness, facilitating access, creating opportunity, enabling achievement

      Felce, Alison; Claridge, Michelle (FACE - Forum for Access and Continuing Education, 2016-07)
      The University of Wolverhampton is known within the higher education sector as a post-1992 university with an excellent reputation for widening participation. It is committed to being ‘the Opportunity University – renowned for our creativity and innovation…connected with our local, national and global communities delivering opportunity and academic excellence’ (University of Wolverhampton, 2015a) and to ‘recognis[ing] learning wherever and whenever it occurs’ (Felce, 2015). As part of this commitment the university accepts a broad range of entry qualifications including accepting learners who have no formal qualifications but who show, through interview or work experiences, that they are capable of succeeding at university-level study. This recognition of prior learning (RPL) extends to recognising learning at levels equivalent to those in higher education in order to allow exemptions from study which may be applied to individuals or cohorts, depending on the circumstances. This chapter presents the University of Wolverhampton’s approach to its engagement with Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and for the RPL for those within, and allied to, the Forces. Principles for RPL and why they are relevant to the university and the Armed Forces are set out. The university’s approach to raising awareness, facilitating access, creating opportunities and enabling achievement is also explained. The chapter concludes with a case study outlining the application of these four principles to enable readers to consider how this approach could be transferred to their own practice.
    • Raising regional academic voices (alongside data) in higher education (HE) debate

      Hayes, Sarah; Jopling, Michael; Hayes, Dennis; Westwood, Andy; Tuckett, Alan; Barnett, Ronald (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-05-13)
      As agendas for data-driven measures of excellence dominate policy in UK Higher Education (HE), we argue that the generic structure of national policy frameworks virtually silences regional voices. This furthers a territorially agnostic discourse about universities, downplays institutional history and purpose, risks concealing innovative practices, and fails to tackle entrenched inequalities. In response, we point to the value of live, place-based debate in HE institutions to highlight distributional inequity, raise local voices and connect these with national policy. Yet even as we compiled this article about HE debate, the Covid-19 pandemic took hold globally, cancelling face-to-face meetings, by necessity. We therefore draw on a postdigital perspective, as we share our individual dialogues in support of debate, via collective writing, against this new backdrop of social distancing and widespread uncertainty. We may not currently be able to convene our Midlands HE Policy Network (MHEPN) debates in person, but we can voice the essential part that regional universities play in connecting global technological and biological change, with local social projects, citizens and industry. Postdigital theory offers one route to understanding that Covid-19 does not sit apart from other political economic challenges in HE and beyond, that we need to debate simultaneously.
    • Raising the stakes: classroom observation in the further education sector in England

      O'Leary, Matt; Brooks, Val (Taylor & Francis, 2013-12-09)
      Successive governments in England have regarded classroom observation as an essential tool for monitoring and improving teacher performance. Despite its importance in national policy for teacher development, the impact of classroom observation on individual teachers, and on improving quality and standards in teaching and learning, remain under-researched areas. Further education (FE) in general, and FE teachers in particular, have received sparse attention. This paper adopts a theoretical framework grounded in aspects of assessment theory to explore some of the consequences of using observation to assess, monitor and raise standards of classroom performance in the FE workforce. It draws on findings from a mixed-methods study, involving questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, conducted in 10 FE colleges situated across the West Midlands region of England. The paper concludes by situating the findings against the broader backdrop of research into teachers’ continuing professional development and, in so doing, raises questions about the fitness for purpose of prevailing observation assessment regimes in FE and the extent to which these systems are able to achieve their purported goals.
    • Re-visualising international relations: audio-visual projects and direct encounters with the political in security studies

      Obradovic-Wochnika, Jelena; Hayes, Sarah (Palgrave, 2017-09-01)
      In this paper we discuss how an innovative audio-visual project was adopted to foster active, rather than declarative learning, in critical International Relations (IR). First, we explore the aesthetic turn in IR, to contrast this with forms of representation that have dominated IR scholarship. Second, we describe how students were asked to record short audio or video projects to explore their own insights through aesthetic and non-written formats. Third, we explain how these projects are understood to be deeply embedded in social science methodologies. We cite our inspiration from applying a personal sociological imagination, as a way to counterbalance a ‘marketised’ slant in higher education, in a global economy where students are often encouraged to consume, rather than produce knowledge. Finally, we draw conclusions in terms of deeper forms of student engagement leading to new ways of thinking and presenting new skills and new connections between theory and practice.
    • Re: Clinical anatomy and biomechanics of the ankle in dance.

      Day, Helen (2009)
      Abstract The ankle is an important joint to understand in the context of dance because it is the connection between the leg and the foot that establishes lower extremity stability. Its function coordinates with the leg and foot and, thus, it is crucial to the dancer’s ability to perform. Furthermore, the ankle is one of the most commonly injured body regions in dance. An understanding of ankle anatomy and biomechanics is not only important for healthcare providers working with dancers, but for dance scientists, dance instructors, and dancers themselves. The bony architecture, the soft tissue restraints, and the locomotive structures all integrate to allow the athletic artistry of dance. Yet, there is still much research to be carried out in order to more completely understand the ankle of the dancer.
    • Reactions to unsolicited violent, and sexual, explicit media content shared over social media: Gender differences and links with prior exposure

      Nicklin, Laura; Swain, Emma; Lloyd, Joanne (MDPI, 2020-06-16)
      While there has been extensive research into consumption of “traditional” forms of explicit sexual and violent media (within pornography, videogames and movies), the informal exchange and viewing of explicit real-world violent and sexual content via social media is an under-investigated and potentially problematic behaviour. The current study used an online survey (n= 225: 169f, 55m, 1x, mean age 30.61 (SD 12.03)) to explore self-reported reactions to unsolicited explicit violent and sexual content that participants had received from friends or contacts. In line with our predictions based on previous studies of fictional explicit content, we found effects of both gender and prior exposure on these reactions. Specifically, females rated both sexual and violent explicit content as significantly less funny and exciting and more disturbing than males did. Amongst males, those with high previous exposure rated violent content as more exciting than those with lower or no prior experience. Regardless of gender, participants with higher exposure to sexual content rated it as funnier than those with mild or no exposure, and those with higher exposure to violent content rated it as more amusing and more exciting. However, contrary to what desensitization theories would predict, prior exposure did not attenuate how disturbing explicit content (of either a sexual or a violent nature) was rated. Multiple avenues for further investigation emerged from this preliminary cross-sectional study, and we suggest priorities for further qualitative or longitudinal work on this novel topic.
    • Reading for meaning

      Clarke, Karen (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
      This research was developed from a previous CELT project (2003/04 Focussed seminar groups, Clarke, 2004) in which students were asked to read a specific article and then discuss it in a seminar situation. It was noted was that students approached reading in different ways but in the main interacted with the text by marking it in particular ways. However, from working with different groups of undergraduate students, and discussing this with colleagues, the general feeling is that many students balk at reading academic literature. This is affirmed in research undertaken by Mateos et al. (2007) who found 93% of students on three different degree courses stated that the main source of accessing information came through oral exposition from the lecturer. In addition to the previous CELT research, a separate piece of research was undertaken as part of a CETL project which looked at how level 1 students approach academic writing (Clarke and French, 2007). Clearly, the link between efficient reading and appropriate levels of academic writing is undisputed; Wyse (2006:4) suggests that ‘(we) must learn to read like writers.’ Consequently, researching the process by which students assimilate their reading and apply it to their work seemed to be a natural evolution from the previous research projects.
    • Reading Reader Identities: Stories about Young Adults Reading.

      Kendall, Alex (Lancaster: Lancaster University, RaPAL / Stevenage: Avantibooks, 2007)
      Alex Kendall is Associate Dean for Education at the University of Wolverhampton. Whilst this role involves her in a broad range of educational work, her focus as a teacher educator and research lies in the areas of initial teacher education and continuing professional development programmes for adult literacy specialists. Background In 2002 The Times Higher Education supplement ran a report which challenged and reoriented my thinking about reading and readers and had a profound impact on the theorising I then was immersed in as part of the PhD research process. The report sought to re-present a selection of the findings from a reading habits survey I had (tentatively) presented to the British Educational Research conference a few weeks previously. The report entitled 'Books lose out to tabloids' read, "Half of the FE students taking English courses in a deprived part of the Midlands rarely or never read for pleasure, according to a survey of students aged sixteen to nineteen at seven colleges in the Black Country. Their most popular reading matter is tabloid newspapers and magazines. Four out of five of the 340 students surveyed were studying for A-levels and three-quarters were female, yet 15 per cent said they never read for pleasure and 34 per cent did not do so regularly. The rest read for pleasure at least once or twice a week but only 3 per cent did so every day. Most preferred to socialise and watch TV. The findings were presented to last week's British Educational Research Association conference by Alex Kendall of the University of Wolverhampton. They supported views of college teachers who told her many A-level students had "poor reading skills and weak vocabulary" and few read beyond their coursework." (Passmore, 2002: 32) Some months later the press office at my University was contacted by a BBC Radio researcher who had come across the BERA abstract via the TES article and wanted to invite me to contribute to a late night BBC radio discussion programme addressed to the BBC' Big Read' campaign. The "students don't read novels" quote in the TES article had caught the researcher's eye and I was invited to share my knowledge about the 'illiteracy’ of young people and also to identify a high consuming or idiosyncratic reader who might also join the discussion. The research seemed 'instinctively’ to be making a connection between students choices about not to read novels and the degree to which they were or weren't 'literate'. And indeed it was not implied that the 'interesting' reader might be found amongst the student participants.