65,182 results for 2000

  • The corner : clients that inspire us

    Epston, David (2017-07-11T00:10:27Z)

    Journal article
    Unitec

    Following a comment of Peggy Sax that some clients “bring out the best in us,” I proposed in 2011 that, furthermore, some clients do more than that, they in fact inspire us. I am sure I am not the only one to think so and decided to write up with Sam, then aged 20, and his mother, Jess, from the letters that summarized our meetings and several other meetings to confirm and review the conclusions we all reached at that time. This follows “Unsuffering,” co- authored by Julie King and David Epston, which appeared in Vol. 30, no. 1, 2011, pp. 84–96. Surely I am not the only one who has had this experience. I would certainly welcome stories with or about those who have inspired you.

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  • Ethics and auditing: setting the bar too low

    Hooper, Keith; Wang, Jenny (2017-07-11T00:10:26Z)

    Journal article
    Unitec

    Purpose - from a philosophical and empirical perspective this paper seeks to show how the big audit firms have managed to set the bar low so that they offer only opinions on whether financial statements meet accounting standards. It is argued that while the concepts of virtue ethics have now largely disappeared, ethical legitimacy has moved beyond consequential ethics to a form of social Darwinism. It is a Social Darwinism that is legalistic and technical as evidenced by the audit firms’ widespread use of the Bannerman clause attached to their opinions. Design - to illustrate the shift of ethical positions, the paper is informed illustrations of a failure to discharge a duty of care to the public. Findings – the shift in underlying social values contributes to what the Economist Journal describes as a steady decline in professional ethics. This arguable conclusion is supported by various illustrations and cites the shift in combinations of cognitive, moral and pragmatic legitimacy as drivers employed by accounting firms. Research Limitations – the paper uses secondary and documentary data and is informed by conceptual analysis which necessarily in the realm of ethics may be contentious. Originality – the paper seeks to link the changing social values with changes in legitimisation and to show shifts in accounting practices like the recent practice of issuing disclaimers.

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  • Efeitos da expansão territorial do programa habitacional brasileiro Minha Casa, Minha Vida: o caso da Região Metropolitana de Porto Alegre, Brasil.

    Melchiors, L. C.; Wagner, Cesar (2017-07-11T00:10:10Z)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    O presente trabalho tem por objetivo discutir a produção do espaço urbano a partir dos projetos de moradia social desenvolvidos pelo Programa Minha Casa, Minha Vida (PMCMV), tendo como objeto de estudo e análise a distribuição territorial desses empreendimentos junto a Região Metropolitana de Porto Alegre (RMPA), Brasil. Lançado em 2009, e com significativo aporte de recursos públicos, o PMCMV é atualmente o principal instrumento da política habitacional federal voltado à provisão de moradias no país. Destina-se a reduzir o déficit habitacional a partir da produção de cerca de 3.000.000 de novas moradias em todo o país, atendendo à famílias com renda aproximada entre 0 e 10 salários mínimos. O Programa foi também uma das principais ações do governo frente à crise econômica internacional de 2008, tendo como objetivo o aumento de investimentos no setor da construção civil, através da criação de empregos e o direcionamento do setor imobiliário para o atendimento da demanda habitacional de baixa renda, fatia de mercado que o setor privado anteriormente não contemplava. Os dados apresentados foram coletados junto à Caixa Econômica Federal (principal órgão financiador do PMCMV) e se referem às unidades contratadas entre os anos 2009 - 2013 na Região Metropolitana de Porto Alegre (RMPA), distribuídas nas três faixas de renda atendidas pelo Programa. Os empreendimentos foram georeferenciados e analisados em relação a sua localização na mancha urbana da Região. Visto que se trata de um programa que delega ao setor privado o papel principal de produtor e promotor da moradia social, o PMCMV tende a se posicionar não como um elemento transformador da lógica tradicional de mercado, o que acredita-se ser o papel primordial de uma política habitacional deste porte, mas como mais um promotor da tendência de exclusão sócio espacial e da periferização da população menos favorecida. This paper aims to discuss the production of urban space as a result of the social housing schemes developed by the Brazilian State Programme Minha Casa, Minha Vida (PMCMV), having as the object of study and analysis the territorial distribution of these developments along the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre (RMPA), Brazil. Launched in 2009, with a significant contribution of public resources, the PMCMV is currently the main instrument of federal housing policy geared to the provision of housing nationwide. It aims to reduce the housing deficit with the production of about 3.000,000 new homes across the country, attending families with an approximately income between 0 and 10 minimum wages. The Programme was also one of the main responses from the government to the international economic crisis of 2008, aiming to increase investment in the construction sector, through the creation of jobs, and steering the Real Estate industry to meet the housing needs of low income sectors, a share of the market that the private sector previously did not contemplated. The data presented were collected from Caixa Economica Federal (main funding body of PMCMV) and refers to units contracted between the years 2009-2013 in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre, distributed in the three income groups served by the program. The projects were geo referenced and analysed in relation to their specific location throughout the Region. Since this is a program that delegates to the private sector the primary role of producer and promoter of social housing, the PMCMV tends to position itself not as a transforming agency of the traditional market logic - which is believed to be one of the primary role of housing national policies of this size - but as another promoter of trends of socio-spatial exclusion and peripheralization of the underprivileged population.

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  • Orientation-crowding within contours

    Glen, JC; Dakin, Steven (2013-07)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    We examined how crowding (the breakdown of object recognition in the periphery caused by interference from "clutter") depends on the global arrangement of target and distracting flanker elements. Specifically we probed orientation discrimination using a near-vertical target Gabor flanked by two vertical distractor Gabors (one above and one below the target). By applying variable (opposite-sign) horizontal offsets to the positions of the two flankers we arranged the elements so that on some trials they formed contours with the target and on others they did not. While the presence of flankers generally elevated orientation discrimination thresholds for the target we observe maximal crowding not when flanker and targets were co-aligned but when a small spatial offset was applied to flanker location, so that contours formed between flanker and targets only when the target orientation was cued. We also report that observers' orientation judgments are biased, with target orientation appearing either attracted or repulsed by the global/contour orientation. A second experiment reveals that the sign of this effect is dependent both on observer and on eccentricity. In general, the magnitude of repulsion is reduced with eccentricity but whether this becomes attraction (of element orientation to contour orientation) is dependent on observer.We note however that across observers and eccentricities, the magnitude of repulsion correlates positively with the amount of release from crowding observed with co-aligned targets and flankers, supporting the notion of fluctuating bias as the basis for elevated crowding within contours.

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  • Reduced crowding and poor contour detection in schizophrenia are consistent with weak surround inhibition

    Robol, V; Tibber, MS; Anderson, EJ; Bobin, T; Carlin, P; Shergill, SS; Dakin, Steven (2013-04-09)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background Detection of visual contours (strings of small oriented elements) is markedly poor in schizophrenia. This has previously been attributed to an inability to group local information across space into a global percept. Here, we show that this failure actually originates from a combination of poor encoding of local orientation and abnormal processing of visual context. Methods We measured the ability of observers with schizophrenia to localise contours embedded in backgrounds of differently oriented elements (either randomly oriented, near-parallel or near-perpendicular to the contour). In addition, we measured patients??? ability to process local orientation information (i.e., report the orientation of an individual element) for both isolated and crowded elements (i.e., presented with nearby distractors). Results While patients are poor at detecting contours amongst randomly oriented elements, they are proportionally less disrupted (compared to unaffected controls) when contour and surrounding elements have similar orientations (near-parallel condition). In addition, patients are poor at reporting the orientation of an individual element but, again, are less prone to interference from nearby distractors, a phenomenon known as visual crowding. Conclusions We suggest that patients??? poor performance at contour perception arises not as a consequence of an ???integration deficit??? but from a combination of reduced sensitivity to local orientation and abnormalities in contextual processing. We propose that this is a consequence of abnormal gain control, a phenomenon that has been implicated in orientation-selectivity as well as surround suppression.

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  • The role of crowding in contextual influences on contour integration

    Robol, V; Casco, C; Dakin, Steven (2012-07)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Dakin and Baruch (2009) investigated how context influences contour integration, specifically reporting that nearperpendicular surrounding-elements reduced the exposure-duration observers required to localize and determine the shape of contours (compared to performance with randomly oriented surrounds) while near-parallel surrounds increased this time. Here, we ask if this effect might be a manifestation of visual crowding (the disruptive influence of ''visual clutter'' on object recognition). We first report that the effect generalizes to simple contour-localization (without explicit shape-discrimination) and influences tolerance to orientation jitter in the same way it affects threshold exposure-duration. We next directly examined the role of crowding by quantifying observers' local uncertainty (about the orientation of the elements that comprised our contours), showing that this largely accounts for the effects of context on global contour integration. These findings support the idea that context influences contour integration at a predominantly local stage of processing and that the local effects of crowding eventually influence downstream stages in the cortical processing of visual form.

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  • A statistical analysis of metamorphopsia in 7106 amsler grids

    Wiecek, E; Lashkari, K; Dakin, Steven; Bex, P (2015-02)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Binocular therapy for childhood amblyopia improves vision without breaking interocular suppression

    Bossi, M; Tailor, VK; Anderson, EJ; Bex, PJ; Greenwood, JA; Dahlmann-Noor, A; Dakin, Steven (2017-06)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    Purpose: Amblyopia is a common developmental visual impairment characterized by a substantial difference in acuity between the two eyes. Current monocular treatments, which promote use of the affected eye by occluding or blurring the fellow eye, improve acuity, but are hindered by poor compliance. Recently developed binocular treatments can produce rapid gains in visual function, thought to be as a result of reduced interocular suppression. We set out to develop an effective home-based binocular treatment system for amblyopia that would engage high levels of compliance but that would also allow us to assess the role of suppression in children's response to binocular treatment. Methods: Balanced binocular viewing therapy (BBV) involves daily viewing of dichoptic movies (with "visibility" matched across the two eyes) and gameplay (to monitor compliance and suppression). Twenty-two children (3-11 years) with anisometropic (n = 7; group 1) and strabismic or combined mechanism amblyopia (group 2; n = 6 and 9, respectively) completed the study. Groups 1 and 2 were treated for a maximum of 8 or 24 weeks, respectively. Results: The treatment elicited high levels of compliance (on average, 89.4% ?? 24.2% of daily dose in 68.23% ?? 12.2% of days on treatment) and led to a mean improvement in acuity of 0.27 logMAR (SD 0.22) for the amblyopic eye. Importantly, acuity gains were not correlated with a reduction in suppression. Conclusions: BBV is a binocular treatment for amblyopia that can be self-administered at home (with remote monitoring), producing rapid and substantial benefits that cannot be solely mediated by a reduction in interocular suppression.

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  • Spatial-frequency dependent binocular imbalance in amblyopia

    Kwon, M; Wiecek, E; Dakin, Steven; Bex, PJ (2015-11)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    While amblyopia involves both binocular imbalance and deficits in processing high spatial frequency information, little is known about the spatial-frequency dependence of binocular imbalance. Here we examined binocular imbalance as a function of spatial frequency in amblyopia using a novel computer-based method. Binocular imbalance at four spatial frequencies was measured with a novel dichoptic letter chart in individuals with amblyopia, or normal vision. Our dichoptic letter chart was composed of band-pass filtered letters arranged in a layout similar to the ETDRS acuity chart. A different chart was presented to each eye of the observer via stereo-shutter glasses. The relative contrast of the corresponding letter in each eye was adjusted by a computer staircase to determine a binocular Balance Point at which the observer reports the letter presented to either eye with equal probability. Amblyopes showed pronounced binocular imbalance across all spatial frequencies, with greater imbalance at high compared to low spatial frequencies (an average increase of 19%, p < 0.01). Good test-retest reliability of the method was demonstrated by the Bland-Altman plot. Our findings suggest that spatial-frequency dependent binocular imbalance may be useful for diagnosing amblyopia and as an outcome measure for recovery of binocular vision following therapy.

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  • Enhanced integration of motion information in children with autism

    Manning, C; Tibber, MS; Charman, T; Dakin, Steven; Pellicano, E (2015-05-06)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    To judge the overall direction of a shoal of fish or a crowd of people, observers must integrate motion signals across space and time. The limits on our ability to pool motion have largely been established using the motion coherence paradigm, in which observers report the direction of coherently moving dots amid randomly moving noise dots. Poor performance by autistic individuals on this task has widely been interpreted as evidence of disrupted integrative processes. Critically, however, motion coherence thresholds are not necessarily limited only by pooling. They could also be limited by imprecision in estimating the direction of individual elements or by difficulties segregating signal from noise. Here, 33 children with autism 6-13 years of age and 33 age- and ability-matched typical children performed a more robust task reporting mean dot direction both in the presence and the absence of directional variability alongside a standard motion coherence task. Children with autism were just as sensitive to directional differences as typical children when all elements moved in the same direction (no variability). However, remarkably, children with autism were more sensitive to the average direction in the presence of directional variability, providing the first evidence of enhanced motion integration in autism. Despite this improved averaging ability, children with autism performed comparably to typical children in the motion coherence task, suggesting that their motion coherence thresholds may be limited by reduced segregation of signal from noise. Although potentially advantageous under some conditions, increased integration may lead to feelings of "sensory overload" in children with autism.

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  • Integration of indigenous knowledge into disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) policies for sustainable development: The case of the Agta in Casiguran, Philippines

    Molina, JGJ; Neef, Andreas (2016)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Due to a combination of physical, socio-economic and political factors, the Agta, an indigenous group in Casiguran, Philippines, are highly susceptible to the threat of natural hazards, especially typhoons, floods, storm surges and landslides. Despite their evident vulnerabilities, the Agta possess valuable indigenous knowledge, generated through practical and long-standing experiences, culture and local resources, which they utilise in coping and in ensuring their safety from the detrimental impacts of disasters. However, the decision-making and planning processes of the local government in the area of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) remain insensitive to Agta???s knowledge and context, putting them in a more precarious condition and compromising the sustainability of their livelihoods. Employing qualitative and participatory methods, such as semi-structured interviews, policy and document analysis, participant observation and validation workshop, it is argued that there is a need for integrating Agta???s indigenous knowledge into the existing DRRM policies and plans of the local government in respect of the rights to sustainable development and survival of the former and in response to the legal obligation of the latter. A sustainable development framework that calls for a process of harmonising indigenous knowledge and science-based information in DRRM towards vulnerability reduction and disaster resilience guided the investigation. While the local government recognises the importance of indigenous knowledge in DRRM, integration with science only happens at the individual level and is not applied in formal settings such as planning and decision-making processes of the municipality. The study recommends mechanisms to ensure Agta???s inclusion in the local government???s DRRM decision-making, planning, and policy formulation processes such as effective implementation of national laws on DRRM and indigenous peoples; active representation in DRRM council and committees at the municipal and village scales; documentation, validation and integration of indigenous knowledge in different sectors such as education, health and livelihood; organising work; and capacity building initiatives that will realise Agta???s rights to sustainable development and disaster safety.

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  • Local responses to land grabbing and displacement in rural Cambodia

    Neef, Andreas; Touch, S (2016)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Cambodia is endowed with relatively abundant natural resources. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) holds about 75-80 per cent of the country???s territory under the status of ???state land??? (USAID 2011). The 2001 Land Law allows the RGC to reclassify ???state public land??? into ???state private land??? as a precondition to allocate concessions for various purposes. An increasing share of state private land has been allocated as economic land concessions (ELCs) to Cambodian business tycoons, political elites and foreign investors since the mid-2000s, mostly for agro-industrial plantations and ??? more recently ??? tourism developments. As a consequence, land disputes have shown an increasing trend from the 2000s onwards. The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights recorded a total of 1,162 land conflicts ??? each involving at least five households ??? in the 10 years from 2004 to 2013 (C Oldenburg, personal communication). Most of the cases occurred in areas with strong economic growth, were about agricultural land and involved powerful foreign investors, domestic political and economic elites and local authorities. According to data collated by the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), more than 770,000 Cambodians ??? equal to almost 6 per cent of the population ??? have been affected by land grabs and resulting conflicts over natural resources (ADHOC 2014). Military and police forces have played an increasingly prominent role in land disputes and land evictions, siding with company owners and national, provincial and district authorities (Neef et al. 2013).

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  • Measures of pleasure

    Sword, Helen; Blumenstein, Marion (2016-07-01)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

    Can we measure academic pleasure? Should we? This serious-yet-playful session will report on findings from a four-year study in which more than 1,200 academics in 15 countries were asked to describe the main emotions that they associate with their academic writing. Rather than seeking to ???measure pleasure??? in any one definitive way, our research team employed a variety of methodologies and perspectives in our coding and analysis of the data. It???s tempting to say that we sought to illustrate the adage, ???There are many different ways to skin a cat??? ??? but what an unappealing metaphor! Instead, let???s say that we were guided by the structure and ethos of Wallace Stevens??? poem ???Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird???, which employs multiple perspectives to shift readers toward a deeper, more complex understanding of what they are ???really??? seeing. Some of our methodological approaches were unashamedly quantitative: for example, having coded the data to establish the relative percentages of respondents expressing purely positive, purely negative or mixed emotions about their writing, we ran a regression analysis showing how those ratios varied across demographic groups. Some were qualitative, drawing on established research paradigms such as content analysis, cluster analysis and grounded theory. And some were inspired by critical and creative paradigms from beyond the social sciences, such as narratology, material textuality, graphic design (in particular, the work of McCandless [2000]) and the poetics of metaphor. In the spirit of anti-???methodolatrists??? such as Feyerabend (1993), Law (2004) and Thrift (2008), our goal was not to produce a single, definitive set of ???proven??? findings but to experiment with a multiplicity of approaches and see where they might lead us. The nation of Bhutan famously measures not just the Gross Domestic Product of its citizenry but their Gross National Happiness as well. What if the nation of Academia, likewise, were to value emotions such as satisfaction, passion and well-being alongside conventional performance metrics such as research outputs and citation rankings? Our session will interrogate the very notion of measuring pleasure even while indulging in the pleasures of measurement. We hope that participants will leave with a renewed confidence that the Measured University need not be a place devoid of playfulness and pleasure.

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  • Reducing youth advantage through ‘Education for Enterprise’ : the case of Ngā Kākano School

    Mellalieu, Peter; Vause, A.; Coleman, E.; Kearns, Nick (2017-07-11T00:09:44Z)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The case study details the journey of a high school that embarked on a path to engage all of its students in 'Education for Enterprise' (E4E) as a curriculum foundation to help its students achieve educational outcomes that better position them for modern citizenship and promising career pathways. The strategic change implemented by the school was informed by strategic audit and idealised design, but ultimately was pursued in an enterprising and opportunistic fashion. A instinctive teaching and learning environment is emerging combining indigenous (Māori), Western, and contemporary pedagogies: Te Kaupapa Ngā Kākano

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  • Bringing schools to life through a co-design learning approach with children.

    Wake, Sue (2017-07-11T00:09:55Z)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This paper proposes that incorporating professional expertise (e.g. landscape architects and architects) in school ground greening projects, with a commitment towards engaging in a democratic participatory process with children (known as co-design), could lead to equitable and enriching outcomes for all stakeholders. These have been documented as: learning opportunities for participating children plus their greater ownership in the process and the result, fulfilment of environmental sustainability education and stewardship responsibilities within the community for landscape architects and architects, reciprocal benefits for these professionals through achieving better outcomes due to the creative input and knowledge of place that children bring to the process, and the establishment of community-integrated green spaces and wildlife corridors within the urban fabric. The paper draws on participatory learning theory, New Zealand case study projects and international literature sources to suggest a paradigm shift to architects and landscape architects towards engaging more with schools on school ground greening and building projects as a community service. This could see them contributing to creating pedagogically and ecologically richer school grounds that are creatively designed to encourage indoor-outdoor connections, sensibly planned for maintenance and sensitively planned to increase biodiversity and provide ecosystem services within communities.

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  • Considerações sobre a distribuição espacial e territorial do Programa Minha Casa, Minha Vida na Região Metropolitana de Porto Alegre.

    Melchiors, L. C.; Wagner, Cesar (2017-07-11T00:10:06Z)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    O presente trabalho tem por objetivo discutir a estruturação do espaço urbano a partir da moradia social produzida na Região Metropolitana de Porto Alegre (RMPA) através do Programa Minha Casa, Minha Vida (PMCMV), tendo como objeto de estudo e análise a distribuição territorial desses empreendimentos. Os dados necessários a esta pesquisa foram coletados junto à Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA) e fazem referencia à s unidades contratadas na RMPA entre os anos de 2009 à 2013. Os empreendimentos foram georeferenciados e analisados em relação a sua localização na mancha urbana da RMPA. Verificou - se que os empreendimentos destinados à menor faixa de renda tendem a ser de grande porte e a estarem localizados, em sua grande maioria, nas áreas limítrofes da ocupação urbana. Observou - se ainda a atuação de poucas empresas controlando um maior volume de unidades contratadas e concentrando sua produção em alguns poucos município s em detrimento de outros. Concluise que a atual produção da habitação social, inserida em um contexto de fraca atuação do poder público, tem sido fortemente controlada pelo mercado imobiliário, resultando na manutenção de uma estrutura urbana segregada e dispersa. Pretende - se também, na entativa de contribuir para a reflexão teórico conceitual no que se refere ao desenvolvimento urbano sustentável, introduzir questões referentes ao impacto causado pelo PMCMV frente à continua dispersão e segregação territorial observadas nas cidades brasileiras. This paper aims to discuss the structure of urban space according to the social housing produced in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre (RMPA) through the Minha Casa, Minha Vida Program (PMCMV). The object of study and analysis is the map of the territorial distribution of these developments. The data required for this study was collected at the Caixa Econômica Federal (Federal Economic Bank) and refers to the contracts undertaken between the years of 2009 to 2013. These projects were georeferenced and analysed in relation to their location in the urban area of the RMPA. It was found that the developments intended for the lower income groups tend to be of a large scale and mostly located at the fringe of urban areas. We also observed the involvement of a few construction companies controlling a larger volume of contracted units and concentrating their production in a few towns over others. We conclude that the current production of social housing, set in a context of weak performance by the local government, has been strongly controlled by the real estate market, resulting in the maintenance of a segregated and dispersed urban structure. It is also intended, in an attempt to contribute to the theoretical and conceptual reflection regarding the sustainable urban development debate, to introduce issues related to the impact caused by the Minha Casa, Minha Vida Program on the continues dispersion and spatial segregation observed in many Brazilian cities.

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  • Rural parents’ engagement in education in Bangladesh: problems and possibilities

    Hasnat, Mahammad Abul (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This thesis explores the engagement practices, understandings and experiences of parents and teachers in the rural context in Bangladesh. It investigates the underlying factors that create blocks to engagement. It examines the complex interplay of expectations, blame-giving, financial constraints and pervasive social problems within the context, and how that interplay both calls for and yet inhibits engagement. The thesis also reports one head teacher’s initiatives to overcome the blocks and to create space for engagement. The study is a qualitative case study that utilises an emergent research design. This process of data collection offered me the flexibility to respond to contextual conditions and to capture rich data through group discussions and individual conversations with the teachers, parents and the community people. It allowed me to observe participants’ activities, review related documents and maintain a reflective research journal. The importance of place is highlighted throughout as my study sought to identify and report not only actual practices but the cultural, social and economic conditions that shape those practices. Place contextualises where policy decisions are to be implemented. Place is also a significant consideration in identifying the kinds of steps that might be taken to overcome barriers. Therefore, attention is given to describing the rural context of Bangladesh and its people in some detail. The study begins with examining the reasons for importance being placed on parental engagement by policy, and reports the problems in implementing policy aspirations in the rural context through the lenses of parents and teachers. It found that teachers were frustrated by lack of parental response to invitations and by their apparent disinterest in their children’s educational progress. It also found that parental illiteracy and poverty were major factors in preventing parents from becoming engaged with educational matters. Additional factors were unsatisfactory communication processes, the complex nature of the cultural relationship between parents and teachers, and the politicised nature of schools’ public programmes. I found of understandings, by both parents and teachers of the concept and possibilities of engagement were largely very limited. The thesis explores how cultural and socio-economic conditions shape dominant discourses and arbitrate access to cultural capital as well as posing practical problems. These factors impede parental engagement in education and are powerful indicators of why such engagement is needed. Next the study reports the activities of one head teacher who is taking a different approach in the same context. It details his different and innovative strategies for reaching out to parents and creating space for them to be become involved with their children’s learning and with the school. It also identifies a number of key characteristics of his leadership that allow him to make a difference and suggests that these characteristics are ones that should be looked for and fostered in appointment processes, professional development and official support. Finally the implications for policy and practice of the findings are discussed. Two models are offered: the first of the nature and possibilities of parental engagement in rural contexts of Bangladesh; the second of the processes needed to develop parental engagement in such contexts. The study is a deliberately contextual one. However, some of the contextual factors may have resonances with other contexts and other countries. Moreover the analysis of how contextual factors impact on parental engagement may also be relevant to other contexts. Therefore while the focus in on parental engagement in rural contexts in Bangladesh, it is envisaged that the study will also have wider relevance.

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  • An investigation into the use of applications on personally owned devices to enhance student engagement in large lectures

    Nesbit, Trevor Richard (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Increasing student numbers and reduced government funding have seen a trend towards there being larger numbers of students in lectures, with this having an impact on the extent of student interaction, participation, and engagement in lectures in many institutions. The impetus for this research came from a desire to retain much of the interaction, participation, and engagement that takes place in smaller classes when changing from small lectures to lectures with more than 100 students. A pilot study demonstrated that the use of applications on personally owned devices (APODs) in the form of a text messaging based system or an application running on a smart phone could create a marked increase in student interaction, participation, and engagement. This was followed by a more formal investigation using a pragmatic paradigm and a mixed methods research approach that was consistent with design-based research. This included interviews of lecturers and learning advisers, student surveys and student focus groups. The findings conclude that the use of APODs during lectures has the potential to increase student interaction. The participation and engagement through the creation of a two-way feedback channel between lecturers and students, allows for student misconceptions to be identified and addressed in a manner that can make learning more enjoyable, authentic and effective. This potential benefit can be realised by addressing the pedagogical and technological issues involved in the use of APODs in lectures. The main contributions of this research are the models that have been developed surrounding how to use APODs in a pedagogically sound manner; the importance of designing effective activities when APODs are being used; how to use APODs to cater for different groups of students; the benefits of using APODs; and how to address the challenges of using APODs. Implications for further research are also identified.

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  • An exploratory study of the practice of corporate planning and programme budgeting in the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga: evidence from a central government agency

    Ma’afu, ‘Ana T. (2017)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Purpose – This research explores how corporate planning and programme budgeting are practised by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, focussing on their application by a central government agency, the Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC). It addresses how corporate planning and budgeting are linked in their practice by government agencies in Tonga and why. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative approach is used to conduct an exploratory study of how OPSC practised corporate planning and programme budgeting during the 2015/2016 financial year1 (FY). An interpretivist methodology is used to analyse both primary and secondary data that were gathered using primarily a method indigenous to Pacific research known as talanoa. Literature review, participant observation, and document analysis were used to supplement data from talanoa. Findings – The practice of corporate planning and budgeting by the Government of Tonga varies from the extensive applications documented in Western literature. Those involved in their practice are concerned with some but not all aspects of the processes depending on their positions and roles. While external consultants continually express frustrations with slow progress, indigenous government officials are somewhat confident that a lot of progress has been made. The research highlights that in the continuation of the use of corporate planning and budgeting, it must respond to prevailing needs of the country. Originality/value – There seems to be a lack of consideration of specific contexts (e.g. existing regulations, systems etc.) in the introduction and development of concepts, ideas and processes foreign to small island countries. An example is the practice of accounting and management practices termed corporate planning and programme budgeting into the Government of Tonga. There has not been any research conducted on this in the context of the Kingdom of Tonga. The research compares Western ideologies with Tongan indigenous views.

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  • Predictors of Punjabi, Hindi and English reading comprehension among multilingual children in the Punjab Region of India

    Gautam, Seema (2017)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The research reported in this thesis investigated cognitive-linguistic predictors of reading comprehension (both within and across languages) among multilingual primary school children in the Punjab region of India. The participants of this study learn three languages: Punjabi, Hindi and English; and are exposed to all three from the initial stage of literacy acquisition. Unlike English, the Punjabi and Hindi orthographies are written nonlinearly with a horizontal bar on the top of the aksharas that connects aksharas within a word, and include vowel symbols that have independent and dependent forms. Both Punjabi and Hindi are alphasyllabic orthographies, whereas English is an alphabetic orthography. Over 400 trilingual school children in Punjab (India) from grades 2 to 5 completed a measure of text reading comprehension that comprised passages followed by questions about details in those passages. Reading comprehension levels were compared to the measures of listening comprehension, phonological processing, orthographic knowledge and speed of processing. Analyses indicated the Punjabi, Hindi and English reading comprehension levels were predicted by measure of listening comprehension and word decoding, with the latter being predicted by phonological and orthographic skills. Such findings were consistent with current models of reading derived from studies of English. However, in contrast to these models, measures of orthographic skills were also predictive of variance in reading comprehension independent of word decoding across Punjabi, Hindi and English models. Contributions of phonological processing and speed of processing were also observed in the English reading comprehension model, again independent of word decoding processes. Overall, Punjabi and Hindi reading comprehension was predicted by similar predictors, with English reading comprehension showing more variations in predictors. Further analyses investigated the influence of Punjabi and Hindi cognitive-linguistic skills on English reading levels. The findings indicated that, in the younger cohorts of students who are more likely to have less reading experience, the influence of Punjabi and Hindi measures on English was limited to word recognition. However, once these multilingual children acquire more expertise in decoding skills (i.e., in the older cohort), listening comprehension, orthographic knowledge and phonological processing in Punjabi and Hindi influenced levels in English reading comprehension. The overall findings from this thesis were used to derive three multilingual models of Punjabi, Hindi and English and one cross-linguistic model of English reading comprehension. These models suggest that a simple view of reading could be applied to Punjabi and Hindi orthographies in a similar way to English. However, additional influences of orthographic knowledge for all three languages (Punjabi, Hindi and English) in such multi-literate learners will need to be taken into account. Additionally, the influence of first and second language skills will need to be considered when developing models of third language reading comprehension. The proposed four models that includes the additional factors are discussed in light of previous research and theories/models in the field.

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