• A Collaborative Haiku Experiment: An Invitation to Cultivate a Spirit of Connection for Wellbeing

      Wall, Tony; Hopkins, Sandra; Smith, Aimee; University of Chester; University of Chester; Independent (Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation, 2016-08-01)
      We have adopted the teikei approach of haiku (定型, or fixed form) which employs the 5-7-5 pattern (the symmetrical 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables pattern). Three people with an interest in writing, haiku, and wellbeing got together to explore the world of haiku via provocation through the medium of Stumbled Upon (www.stumbleupon.com) to explore what perspectives on the virtual and real world we might create...
    • A framework for judging the ‘quality’ of first-person-action-research projects on the work based & integrative studies (WBIS) programme: Extracts from a practitioner research Masters dissertation

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2008)
      How do we judge the quality of ‘reflective research’ projects? This paper presents extracts from a practitioner research project undertaken in 2007 which develops a framework to answer this question. The original contents page is presented at the end of this paper, for reference.
    • A manifesto for higher education, skills and work based learning: through the lens of The Manifesto for Work

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-08-14)
      Purpose: This paper is prompted by recent professional and political events and specifically the politically oriented ‘Manifesto for Work’ recently published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), to propose a manifesto for the broad professional sphere of higher education, skills and work based learning. Design/methodology/approach: This paper utilises a unique form of political ideology critique, applied to the CIPD’s Manifesto for Work, to propose alternative directions for practice, research and policy. Findings: This paper highlights four key areas which need further research and development in the area of higher education, skills and work based learning. These are discussed in relation to: overhauling corporate governance; inclusive workplaces, flexible working, and disadvantaged groups; investment in skills, lifelong learning, and well-being; and re-balancing working practices and rights. Research limitations/implications: This paper highlights areas for further research in the broad professional area of higher education, skills and work based learning. Originality/value: This paper is a unique, time-bound political response to the current political landscape, and is the first to propose a manifesto for the professional sphere of higher education, skills and work based learning.
    • A transcultural dance: Enriching work-based learning facilitation

      Wall, Tony; Tran, Ly Thi; University of Chester ; Deakin University Australia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015-10)
      This book chapter discusses what it might mean being an international work-based learner, the vibrant array of different perspectives work-based learners offer, a pedagogic model for work-based learning contexts, strategies for integrating diverse examples and cases which connect to and validate diverse experiences and prior knowledge, and accommodate diverse work-based learner needs, and strategies which enable and sustain a learning environment across cultural boundaries conducive to work-based learning success.
    • A unifying, boundary crossing approach to developing climate literacy

      Hindley, Ann; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2017-11-18)
      Empirical evidence suggests that educational approaches to climate change remain limited, fragmented, and locked into disciplinary boundaries. The aim of this paper is to discuss the application of an innovative unifying, boundary-crossing approach to developing climate literacy. Methodologically, the study combined a literature review with an action research based approach related to delivering a Climate Change Project conducted in a mid-sized university in England. Findings suggest the approach created a unifying vision for action, and did so across multiple boundaries, including disciplinary (e.g. psychology, engineering, business), professional services (e.g. academic, library, information technology), and identity (e.g. staff, student, employee). The project generated a number of outcomes including extensive faculty level climate change resources, plans for innovative mobile applications to engage people in climate literacy, and new infrastructural arrangements to continue the development of practice and research in climate change. This paper outlines empirical insights in order to inform the design, development, and continuity of other unifying, boundary-crossing approaches to climate literacy.
    • A Žižekian gaze at education

      Wall, Tony; Perrin, David; University of Chester (Springer, 2015-07-31)
      Žižek demands we take a long, hard look at the painful reality of education in contemporary capitalist society, and to actively seek out its ‘trouble in paradise’: Why is it education is supposedly failing to meet the demands of our society? Why is it there are record levels of stress for teachers? Why is it there is a record level of complaints from our university students? How is it now possible to compare a higher education course with a vacuum cleaner, toaster or television? This book illuminates aspects of Žižek’s ideas which sheds light into these modern challenges and tensions in education, and considers alternative ways forward. Though Žižek frustrates as much as he inspires with his own recipe of Lacan, Hegel and Marx, this book aims to give an entry route into Žižekian critique of education, a topic area he very rarely directly talks about.
    • An accelerated practitioner research approach (APRA) for leaders and managers

      Wall, Tony; Leonard, Dilys T.; University of Chester (2012-01-31)
      Negotiated work based learning pedagogies can be used to successfully engage busy professionals in higher level learning at universities, across professions and disciplines. Within this approach, professionals become familiar with designing, implementing and evaluating work based projects which contribute towards their degree. Yet when these professionals move from the familiar work based learning approach to ‘research’ (and particularly ‘insider-research’), they can experience significant challenge. There are a number of reasons for this: perceptions of (and beliefs about) ‘research’ as being objective/from the outside, diversity of approaches and language in research texts – and most significantly – the ‘extra layer’ of thinking of persuasive systematic inquiry (including focus, rigour and validity). In order to overcome this challenge, an accelerated approach has been developed and tested in practice to enable professionals to design rigorous practitioner research. An action research approach approach, drawing on appreciative inquiry and grounded theory, involved peer questioning, validation and idea development. Each cycle generated a new set of tools and approaches over time, including the design of a new ‘core process’, key questions, faciliated workshop, learning materials and re-development of the module specification. Within the ‘situated’ model, the professional starts/focuses on problems or areas for development in their own practice (not academic ‘gaps’) and adopts a ‘critical-practical’ philosophical lens. The ‘core process’ includes the professionals: in stage 1, reviewing context for desirable changes, reviewing external sources for insight and direction, and defining research purpose and research questions; and in stage 2, defining research approach, data collection and data analysis methods. We have found the following changes so far: professionals are more confident in designing and critiquing practitioner research; research designs are more focused, persuasive, realistic, rigorous and focused on ‘situated knowledge’; and designs are more strategically located within organisations. We also expect greater strategic impact when the designs area implemented.
    • An accelerated practitioner research approach for professionals: A study

      Wall, Tony; Leonard, Dilys T.; University of Chester (2011-11)
      Negotiated work based learning pedagogies can be used to successfully engage busy professionals in higher level learning at universities, across professions and disciplines. Within this approach, professionals become familiar with designing, implementing and evaluating work based projects which contribute towards their degree. Yet when these professionals move from the familiar work based learning approach to ‘research’ (and particularly ‘insider-research’), they can experience significant challenge. There are a number of reasons for this: perceptions of (and beliefs about) ‘research’ as being objective/outside, diversity of approaches and language in research texts – and most significantly – the ‘extra layer’ of thinking of persuasive systematic inquiry (including focus, rigour and validity). In order to overcome this challenge, an accelerated approach has been developed and tested in practice with professionals across professions and disciplines, to enable them to design rigorous practitioner research. Data is drawn from one of the largest centres for negotiated work based learning. Procedure and/or instruments : This study draws on practice and data from the University of Chester’s Centre for Work Related studies, one of the largest providers of negotiated, work based university-level learning, globally. Academics at the Centre worked with practitioners who were studying the ‘Research Methods for Work Based Learning’ module as part of their work based learning undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The module delivery team developed facilitative approaches and tools through multiple action research cycles over the last two years. Each cycle involved a grounded, appreciative inquiry approach by the delivery team (four academics), and the wider Centre for critical peer questioning of evidence and logic, peer validation and idea development. Each cycle generated a new set of tools and approaches over time, including the design of a new ‘core process’, key questions, faciliated workshop, learning materials and re-development of the module specification. The latest version is openly shared and critiqued. What are the findings and interpretations? : Critical reflections amongst the delivery team highlighted the initial challenges above. As a result, a new approach was defined based on a ‘situated knowledge’ model, whereby the professional focuses on problems and developmental areas in their own practice (not academic ‘gaps’). With such a ‘critical-practical’ philosophical underpinning, a new ‘core process’ and key questions was developed. The ‘core process’ includes the professionals: in stage 1, reviewing context for desirable changes, reviewing external sources for insight and direction, and defining research purpose and research questions; and in stage 2, defining research approach, data collection and data analysis methods. We have found the following changes so far: professionals are more confident in designing and critiquing practitioner research; research designs are more focused, persuasive, realistic, rigorous and focused on ‘situated knowledge’; and designs are more strategically located within organisations. We are also expecting greater strategic impact when the professionals implement these designs.
    • Applied Fantasy and Well-Being

      MacKenzie, Anna; Wall, Tony; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester; Lancaster University (Springer, 2018-11-21)
      Applied Fantasy is a new, innovative approach to well-being that demonstrates the significant potential within fantasy literature and media to provide effective and sustainable coping strategies for positive mental health. Emerging at the intersection of fantasy literature and media, mental health and well-being, and fan studies, the benefits from Applied Fantasy are twofold. First, the concept of an individual being part of a wider fandom is a positive step toward (a) combating isolation and (b) subverting the stigma surrounding mental health and, second, the contents of the fantasy works themselves provide solid examples and guidance on how to manage mental health concerns while not overtly discussing coping strategies for mental health.
    • Art-Based teaching on sustainable development

      Wall, Tony; Österlind, Eva; Fries, Julia; University of Chester; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The connections between art, art making, education, and responsibility in relation to the wider natural and social world have been given increasing attention over the last thirty years. For example, there have been a variety of journal special issues dedicated to art, education, and: ecology (Krug, 1997), social justice and social change (Bolin, 1999), community and responsibility (Carpenter, 2004), ecology and responsibility (Stout 2007), health and wellbeing (Haywood Rolling 2017), and human rights (Kraehe 2017). Such a rise has been linked to trends in the human search for meaning and significance amongst (and resistance against) globalisation, domination of market forces, and an increasingly complex and chaotic environment (Taylor and Ladkin, 2009)...
    • Arts based approaches for sustainability

      Wall, Tony; Österlind, Eva; Fries, Julia; University of Chester; Stockholm University (Springer, 2019-09-30)
      The arts encompass a broad and diverse landscape of interrelated creative practices and professions, including performance arts (including music, dance, drama, and theatre), literary arts (including literature, story, and poetry), and the visual arts (including painting, design, film) (see UNESCO, 2006). They have been explicitly linked to sustainable development in higher education at a global level through UNESCO’s Road Map for Arts Education (UNESCO, 2006) and The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education (UNESCO, 2010). Specifically, the arts have been deployed to promote human rights, enhancing education, promoting cultural diversity, enhancing well-being and, most broadly, “to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world” (UNESCO, 2010: 8)...
    • Author Response: Provocative Education: From Buddhism for Busy People® to Dismal Land ®

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Springer, 2016-03-11)
      When we engage with Žižekian thought, we might conceptualise contemporary education as part of wider machinery to perpetuate and deepen the grasp capitalism has in a globalising world (also see Furedi, 2006, 2010). We might see how ideas, knowledge, and ‘everything else’ (c.f. Hawking, 2001, 2007) can and is packaged up into forms that are easily consumed by audiences buying the educational objects. Such processes of commodification actively render objects to the audience for sale, and appear across all spheres of human activity; this is why we must remember that according to some philosophical stances, the signified has a slippery relationship with the signifier (c.f. Lacau and Mouffee, 1985). Three examples help animate this phenomenon and some of the different consequences of it. The first example illustrates how commodification can apply to areas of life that we might think of as difficult to capture spiritually or experientially: now, for time-poor people who want to quickly reap the existential benefits of Buddhism, there is a wide range of easily accessible texts at affordable prices to choose from. Titles include “Buddhism for Busy People”, “Buddhism Plain and Simple”, “The Little Book of Buddhism”, “Buddhism Made Simple”, “Buddhism: for Beginners!”, “Buddhism for Dummies”, “Sit Like A Buddha”, “Hurry Up and Meditate”, “Enlightenment to Go”, and “The Dalai Lama's Cat”. In and through such texts, commodified versions of Buddhism appear, much the same way as Buddha-like statues appear in NASA photos of Mars (Feltman, 2015).
    • Business schools as educational provocateurs of productivity via interrelated landscapes of practice

      Wall, Tony; Jarvis, Madeleine; University of Chester; University of Chester (Chartered Association for Business Schools, 2015-12-01)
      In an ever-changing and global marketplace, it could be argued that the role of business schools is no longer to train graduates for specific roles. Whilst this concept that we are educating ‘for jobs that don’t yet exist’ has become more widely accepted, educational practices in business schools are arguably still contained by traditional Western practices of individualistic student instruction. Indeed, even the relevance of academic theory to practice has sparked heated debate in business schools for some time and has led to calls for a different attitude of engagement with theory (Ramsey, 2011, 2014). Some have pushed the debate from relevance to relevating as a process of challenge, change and impact (Paton, Chia and Burt, 2014). But even this is insufficient to spark forms of business and management education which provoke new ways of thinking and acting in practice which are infused with social connectedness and are beyond single discipline thinking. Notions of ‘autonomous learning’ and working ‘critically’ may be viewed as a positive development from pedagogy to andragogy in UK tertiary education. However, these can still be interpreted in deeply individualistic ways which are oppositional to notions of learning rooted in and oriented towards larger social groupings (Goodall, 2014, Yunkaporta and Kirby, 2011). Simply ‘training’ individuals in specific management activities is likely to be insufficient in unlocking transformative (and productive) community action. A new educational ontology of being is needed.
    • Co-delivery of higher level learning and role perceptions: A practitioner research study

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (2011-11-06)
      Models of higher education which support personal and organisational transformation have emerged in various forms over time. One of these forms has been the negotiated, work-based learning framework which allow learners to integrate interdisciplinary study into their work activity. Such frameworks remain as innovative approaches for learning, and are more widely recognised than ever before. So much so, more and more learning and development departments of public, private and voluntary sector organisations are seeking recognition of their in-house training courses – so trainees can be awarded university credits or awards upon successful completion of a training experience. Although this may be seen as an innovative form of widening access and diversity in universities, it is also a strategic recognition that higher level learning is facilitated out of the classroom, in the workplace, in an applied setting (professional knowledge, ‘mode 2’ learning). In designing and delivering this provision, staff from the organisation offering the training (called Associate Tutors) and the university (called Associate Tutor Advisor) work together in a close relationship to ensure adherence to quality assurance standards, requirements and processes. Even though this is a growing area within higher education, this relationship is un-researched, and this paper raises important questions. Overall, this paper investigates how staff from organisations providing such training perceive their role: Do they see themselves as trainers? Do they see themselves as academics of the University? A hybrid? Or both? This paper draws data from innovative practice through a qualitative action based research methodology. It is argued that Associate Tutors can primarily see themselves as delivering a commercial training service with a brand-value, which is focused on a ‘mode 1’ transmission of knowledge – whereas the teaching, learning and assessment activities associated with being an academic in higher education is a secondary consideration. The implications and challenges of these perceptions are shared, discussed and critiqued in order to further develop innovative practice in facilitating partnerships for mode 2 knowledge creation, outside of universities.
    • Coaching and ethics in practice: dilemmas, navigations, and the (in)spoken

      Wall, Tony; Hawley, Rachel; Iordanou, Ioanna; Csigás, Zoltan; Cumberland, Nigel; Lerotic-Pavlik, Nathalie; Vreede, Alex; University of Chester; European Mentoring and Coaching Council (2018-05-23)
      This Research Policy & Practice Provocations Report is the third issue in a series which aims to influence how we think about and how we conduct coaching and mentoring research. Developing our ethical compass is challenging but rewarding process as part of the professional development of coaching and mentoring practice. This report brings you an opportunity to refresh your thinking regarding ethics and ethical issues, and prompts us to consider expert perspectives towards illustrative challenges. Ethics and ethical practice are often seen as crucially important, both professionally and morally (Wall, Iordanou, Hawley and Csigas, 2016), and indeed has been found to be an area which is especially important to the high impact world of the coach and mentor (Wall, Jamieson, Csigás, and Kiss, 2017). In the last Provocations Report, for example, we highlighted an important question that needed to be addressed: “What might be the ethical tensions in evaluating coaching?”.
    • Commodification in practitioner research

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (2011-11)
      Action research can be described as a family of approaches and methodologies rather than a well-defined, particular form of enquiry. One strand of ‘relations’ within that family is first-person action research (FPAR), sometimes referred to as self-inquiry or self-study. A growing literature on ‘quality’ in this form of research indicates the need to be questioning and critical – and there are various tools and techniques available to do that such as cycles and models of reflection. These tools have been criticized for not being emancipatory, or actually reinforcing powerful ideological forces at work. This paper offers additional theoretical apparatus which enables the practitioner to glimpse into the possibility of ideological forces as play, and the choices that may become available once these forces become known. The theoretical ideas are drawn from psychoanalysis (Freud, Lacan and Zizek), in a form of psychoanalytical FPAR, in the particular style of Tony Brown and colleagues in the UK. Within psychoanalysis, the notions of the Imaginary, Symbolic and the Real create a situation whereby we can identify with *commodified* versions of things (not ‘real’ versions), which ‘miss the mark’, but which nonetheless create a view of the world and how we should act in it. Data from a particular case is offered from cutting-edge practitioner research whereby academics are working with commercial organisations. The case provides a living example of how the theoretical apparatus can helps explain some of the professional struggles and tensions of the academic, and bring supposed ideological forces into some level of awareness. Using the ideas, the paper demonstrates how the academic variously identifies with and understands his practice – caught between a desire to be a ‘client-oriented academic’ whilst governed by a drive to be a guardian of quality assurance. The approach is questioned and critiqued, with a view to create new approaches and ideas. We will: - provide data examples for 'live' interpretation, questioning and challenge - offer challenging questions throughout - ask for ideas and feedback throughout - be provoking, reflective and collegial
    • Conjuring A ‘Spirit’ for Sustainability: a review of the socio-materialist effects of provocative pedagogies

      Wall, Tony; Clough, David; Österlind, Eva; Hindley, Ann; University of Chester; Stockholm University (2019-09-30)
      Evidence suggests that wider sociological structures, which embody particular values and ways of relating, can make sustainable living and working problematic. This paper introduces ideology critique, an innovative methodological perspective crossing the fields of theology, cultural studies and politics, to examine and disturb the subtle and hidden ‘spirit’ which is evoked when we engage with everyday objects and interactions. Such a ‘spirit’, or ideology, embodies particular models of how humans relate to other humans, animals, and the planet more broadly. This paper aims, firstly, to document and demonstrate the subtleties of how the hidden ‘spirit’ can render attempts at sustainable working futile in the context of education, and then, second, to demonstrate how it can be used to intentionally evoke alternative ‘spirits’ which afford new relationality amongst humans, animals and the planet. In a broader sense, therefore, this paper explores how concepts and political commitments from the humanities, such as ideology critique and ‘spirit’, can help (1) analyse how wider social structures shape our values and beliefs in relation to sustainable learning, living and working, (2) explain how these behaviours are held in place over time, and (3) provoke insight into how we might seek to disrupt and change such persistent social structures.
    • Contesting ownership and responsibility: A practitioner research study

      Wall, Tony; Meakin, Denise; University of Chester (2011-11-05)
      It is clear in higher education quality and policy guidance and frameworks that higher education institutions (HEIs) are responsible for the awards which are granted in their name, and for the student experience. Within the traditional direct-delivery model of ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, it is possible to map ownership and responsibility across an HEI, approximating functional and departmental demarcation. Yet this is fundamentally challenged in the context of collaborative provision, whereby organisations which are external and separate to the HEI deliver and assess learning which to lead to HEI credits and awards (also termed co-delivery). This remains an innovative area of consistent growth in the UK, especially for accrediting the training activity of commercial training providers – but also remains an un-researched area. Within co-delivery contexts, the student selects the training provider, pays them, and undertakes their training – and unlike the ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, the student may never come in to contact with the HEI – but the HEI is still responsible in the same way. Within such a context, who owns the student? Do students belong to the providers of the teaching and learning activity (it is their training, they deliver and assess it, they are paid for it)? Or, do students belong to the HEI, whereby the so-called ‘ultimate’ responsibility of quality assurance, assessment and awarding powers lie? Within this context, a sense of contested ownership and contested responsibility emerges and is never resolved. This paper draws on rich and authentic data from on-going practitioner research from one of the largest frameworks for co-delivery in Europe. It highlights the contested notions of ownership and responsibility in the context of the co-delivery of higher education, and the resultant professional tensions and challenges. The paper also questions these notions more generally, and examines the implications for practitioners in co-delivery and practitioners more broadly.
    • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development research

      Leal Filho, Walter; Wall, Tony; Vasconcelos, Claudio R. P.; Lange Salvia, Amanda; do Paço, Arminda; Shulla, Kalterina; Levesque, Vanessa; Doni, Federica; Alvarez-Castañón, Lorena; Maclean, Claudia; et al.
      The crisis caused by COVID-19 has affected research in a variety of ways. As far as research on sustainable development is concerned, the lockdown has significantly disrupted the usual communication channels and, among other things, has led to the cancellation of meetings and long-planned events. It has also led to delay in the delivery of research projects. There is a gap in the literature in regards to how a global crisis influences sustainability research. Therefore, this ground-breaking paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole, and the lockdown in particular, has influenced sustainability research, and it outlines the solutions pursued by researchers around the world to overcome the many challenges they have experienced. This paper also outlines some measures that may be implemented in the future to take more advantage of existing technologies that support research on sustainable development.
    • COVID-19: the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development teaching

      Leal Filho, Walter; Price, Elizabeth; Wall, Tony; Shiel, Chris; Azeiteiro, Ulisses; Mifsud, Mark; Brandli, Luciana; Farinha, Carla Sofia; Caeiro, Sandra; Lange Salvia, Amanda; et al.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis, one which also influences the ways sustainability is being taught at universities. This paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole and the lockdown it triggered in particular, which has led to the suspension of presence-based teaching in universities worldwide and influenced teaching on matters related to sustainable development. By means of a worldwide survey involving higher education institutions across all continents, the study has identified a number of patterns, trends and problems. The results from the study show that the epidemic has significantly affected teaching practices. The lockdowns have led to a surge in the use of on-line communication tools as a partial replacement to normal lessons. In addition, many faculty teaching sustainability in higher education have strong competencies in digital literacy. The sampled higher education educations have -as a whole- adequate infrastructure to continue to teach during the lockdowns. Finally, the majority of the sample revealed that they miss the interactions via direct face-to-face student engagement, which is deemed as necessary for the effective teaching of sustainability content. The implications of this paper two-fold. Firstly, it describes how sustainability teaching on sustainable development has been affected by the lockdown. Secondly, it describes some of the solutions deployed to overcome the problem. Finally, the paper outlines the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may serve the purpose of showing how university teaching on sustainability may be improved in the future, taking more advantage of modern information technologies.