I am conducting research into the value that graduates identify they have gained as individuals from their undergraduate degrees at different institutions. The research aims to develop a way of reflecting this value to inform prospective students, employers, colleges, universities and course teams.
My own multiple roles as a journalist, academic, student and parent bring different perspectives to the study. From working as a journalist for, among others, Reuters Television, Sky News and BBC Radio, I joined the University of Bedfordshire’s journalism division, leading and developing courses. I saw at first-hand the value that students considered their degrees had given them as individuals including, but essentially beyond financial, employment and academic benefits.
Now based in the University’s Centre for Learning Excellence, my PhD work seeks to inform educational policy, institutional selection and practice through the provision of a more inclusive evaluation of the undergraduate experience.
I have a long-standing interest in gender-based violence, and have worked with support agencies local to the Luton area in both a research and voluntary capacity. During this time I have developed an interest in the ways in which women allude to identity dismantlement as a feature of domestic violence. For example, one very bright, bubbly woman I have worked with likened herself at the start of her relationship with her abuser to ‘a complex puzzle, made up of lots of different pieces all fitting together’. She went on to describe how her partner had, over time, removed and discarded these pieces one by one until ‘there was only one tiny little piece of me left - and I knew that, if I didn’t get out, he would have that as well!’ What particularly struck me was that she (as with other women in similar circumstances) quite clearly seemed to be in the process of rebuilding that puzzle.
I am exploring the process of ‘identity dismantlement’ that is project managed by perpetrators of intimate terrorism, and that of reconstruction (or ‘remantling’) once a woman has taken the decision to move on from the relationship. These processes of identity dismantling and remantling are not being ‘performed’ by one person acting alone. Others, whether consciously or unwittingly, facilitate or hamper this work. Thus my second aim is to explore the extent to which other people (family members, friends, professionals and agencies) participate in these processes.
Jo Neale's profile - School of Applied Social Studies
My interests have always been in the area of children, young people and families and phenomena that affect them. Early intervention is understandably high on the agenda of the present coalition government just as it was with the previous Labour government. However, many early intervention strategies have been targeted at infants or young children, early in age rather than early at time of difficulty. Adopting this strategy has resulted in a gap in service provision for families seeking help at an early stage of difficulty, particularly during early adolescence. In addition to this local authorities are under increasing pressure with funding cuts to reduce services.
My PhD research is focusing on Local Authority early interventions and social support for young people aged 10-15 years and their families. This research is utilising both quantitative and qualitative data collected from professionals, parents and young people in order to triangulate their experiences from the point of referral through to 3 months post referral.
Research Project: Effects of study habits counselling on locus of control among African senior secondary students in Nigeria
I am conducting research on the effects of study habits counselling on locus of control among African senior secondary students and working with academically underachieving students to investigate the attitudinal factors which result in poor academic performance. The major focus of the research is to demonstrate the extent to which counselling can be used to alter students’ attitudes to study in order to improve academic performance.
Through my experience with young people that I have worked with in schools and different organizations for over fifteen years, my observation is that they often go through life with no vision, set goals, and knowledge of how to study. My aim is therefore to investigate and recommend strategies to help them understand and develop their approach to studying.
I am exploring the impact and scope of locus of control issues in students, which inhibit their academic performance. It is not just the right approaches to studying that really affect students’ result, but psychologically hidden factors that must be identified to alter attitude.
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