Derek Philip

Department: Graduate School of Education
Discipline: Education
Research Centre/Unit: Ed.D. TESOL

Project Summary

My formative thesis ideas are focussing on the differences between traditional printed EFL textbooks and the increasing move towards digital e-textbooks. In particular, there are potential issues of lower student reading comprehension when reading digitally which have implications for classroom materials design. 

Supervisory Team

My supervisor is Dr Philip Durrant of the Graduate School of Education, St Lukes Campus, University of Exeter.

Wider Research Interests

During my first year of doctoral study, I have been developing and reflecting on my research position, which depending on context lies between interpretivism and critical theory. This has shaped my theoretical framework which influenced my methodological choices in respect of a research project dealing with critical theory in TESOL. This research project looked at critical pedagogy in relation to textbook and materials development, to determine whether the introduction of critical issues into a mainstream EFL textbook (albeit for in-house use) was feasible? Specifically, the research questions looked at the current extent of knowledge of critical pedagogy throughout a small section of teaching and academic staff as well as considering reaction to a specially designed critical issues supplement. 

Now that I am in my second year of the doctoral program, I have been looking at issues of professionalism within my context. In particular, I have been considering organisational professionalism and the discourse of control that runs through my work context. This is something that can cause the deprofessionalisation and demotivation of the teaching team. Also, in terms of identity, I have found that it has caused my substantive and situated identities to be in opposition. Consequently, I have been looking to other approaches to professionalism, specifically activist and empowered professionalism, to determine whether they can bring these identities into alignment. 

Furthermore, I am interested in researching student writing and determining the extent to which that can be improved through a process-genre writing intervention. Writing in my context typically comprises a 'one shot' approach reminiscent of exam style tasks. I would like to develop a process-genre writing intervention to determine the extent of any improvement in the quality of writing submissions.

Authored Publications/Reports

Derek Philip (1st July 2015) Developing critical materials for a mainstream EFL textbook - A disruptive innovation?, International Journal of Bilingual and Multilingual Teachers of English, Volume 3 Issue 1