The University of Chester traces its roots back to one of the earliest training colleges in the country, beginning the training of teachers in 1839. While it is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the UK, it is also a modern, innovative institution and has a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its education. The Faculty was recently awarded 'Outstanding' status by Ofsted, credited with delivering "high levels of academic and pastoral care" - Ofsted Report 2010.

Sub-communities within this community

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • An examination of the lived experience of students passing through the eleven-plus grammar school selection process: An interpretation through a Bourdieuian lens.

    Moran, Paul; Atherton, Frances; Sheldrake, John, L (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-08)
    There are currently 153 grammar schools in England (Bolton, 2017). The option to attend a grammar school for secondary education is based on successfully passing the eleven-plus assessment. Government discourse when justifying the grammar school system has repeatedly highlighted the emancipatory nature of the selection process, citing increased opportunities for social mobility for those students from lower income households (Foster, Long, and Roberts 2016). Research has shown that there are potential dangers of high stakes testing on young people in terms of their mental health and wellbeing (Hutchins, 2015). Based on a review of the literature on selective education in England, there is a lack of research that focusses on the emotional impact of the eleven-plus on the young people who are in a selective system. This study aims to obtain accurate information about the very emotional personal experiences of children moving through the selection process for secondary school. The 'draw, write and tell' technique is used in order to gather the data. ‘Draw, write and tell’ involves the child drawing or constructing a piece of art using another medium such as clay and creating a piece of artwork which illustrates their thoughts or feelings about a particular research topic. The child is also encouraged to write words around the work and openly discuss their work with their peers which assists in the accurate interpretation of the work. The data obtained is from a sample of five students from a primary school based on the Wirral peninsula in the North West of England, this is a fully selective education authority. Using the tools of Pierre Bourdieu as a sociological lens through which to explore the selection process, the aim of this research is to highlight the significant socio-economic disparity between students who attend grammar schools and those who do not. Through the careful analysis of the children’s own narratives, many of Bourdieu’s key themes including habitus, capital, fields, doxa and symbolic violence are applied to the existence of the elevenplus and the reasons why students from deprived backgrounds are more likely to be unsuccessful in their endeavours to gain access to grammar schools. A clear emergent theme that comes from the analysis of the narratives within the context of the local data is that students who have access to capital in all its forms, are far more likely to pass the elevenplus. The study draws conclusions that support Bourdieu’s assertion that education serves to maintain the status quo in society and that despite the potential damaging effects of the selection process on the self-esteem of the students, individuals continue to behave as their habitus would predict and many strive to be a part of a field that they deem superior. On this basis it is recommended that if government want to address the issue of social mobility then the focus should be on promoting educational quality in all comprehensive schools in order to make them a more attractive destination. Efforts in improving outcomes from the comprehensive education system may reduce the desire for students to go through the selection process, which creates high levels of stress and anxiety for many, as well as public feelings of failure for the majority. The findings of the thesis suggest that whilst the selective education system does in fact largely maintain the status quo in society, the pressure experienced by students as they go through the selection process is largely dependent upon their socio-economic status and their familial habitus.
  • Mind the gap: Identifying barriers to students engaging in creative practices in Higher Education

    Solé i Salas, Lluís; Sole-Coromina, Laia; Poole, Simon Elis; University of Chester and Storyhouse
    Creativity is nowadays seen as a desirable goal in higher education. In artistic disciplines, creative processes are frequently employed to assess or evaluate different students' skills. The purpose of this study is to identify potential pitfalls for students involved in artistic practices in which being creative is essential. Three focus groups involving Education Faculty members from different artistic disciplines allowed for the identification of several constraints when creativity was invoked. This initial study used a quantitative approach and took place in the ‘Universitat de Vic’ (Catalonia, Spain). Findings suggest a correlation with existing literature and simultaneously point at some nuances that require consideration: emerging aspects embedded in creative processes that may help decrease some limiting effects that being creative can generate. The main limitations of this research derive from the very nature of the methodological approach. Focus group has been the single used source. Other means of collecting data, such as the analysis of programs, could be used in the future. This case study, while culturally specific, offers a useful insight into the potential of further work in non-artistic disciplines but crucially across disciplines. It has tremendous value for the development of intercultural understanding in the HE sector, specifically in terms of assessment.
  • Making sense of educational leadership. An autoethnographic journey from Soviet totalitarianism to the neoliberal condition of the UK

    Hulse, Bethan; Lambert, Steve; Beattie, Liana (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-12)
    This autoethnographic study seeks to explore educational leadership in contemporary higher education in the UK as experienced by a group of academics with a Soviet background. Prompted by personal experiences of both Soviet and neoliberal environments as well as by the obvious lack of attention in literature to the subject of followership, this thesis brings the followers’ perspectives on educational leadership to the forefront of investigative inquiry. Using an original postmodern methodological approach of ‘symbiotic autoethnography’ in combination with Foucauldian theoretical ‘tools’, the study disrupts traditional modernist categorisations of leadership and followership through unveiling a complex interplay of subversive powers as potential determinants behind the followers’ constructs of educational leadership. Thus, the contribution of this study to the current state of knowledge is on both theoretical and methodological levels. My theoretical approach of contrasting modernist theories of followership against postmodern ways of thinking contributes to redirecting current research agendas away from modernist static and hierarchical assumptions toward more dynamic explorations of educational leadership and followership as spatially- and historically-located problematic concepts that are shaped by a multiplicity of contexts, experiences and powers. In addition, using Foucauldian aspects of discipline and objectification in my analysis provides an opportunity for fellow-researchers to explore further his ‘toolbox’ as the means for developing an understanding educational leadership as an instrument of state power, thus, equipping academics with additional mediums for resisting the existing powers of neoliberalism and intervening in the transformation of the social order. On methodological level, the proposed conceptual framework of symbiotic autoethnography offers a possibility of another contribution, as this methodological approach can, potentially, help those engaged in autoethnographic study to use it as an adaptable structure, capable of accommodating the diversity, the ambiguity and the dynamics of their subjective experiences across varied contexts and disciplines.
  • The walk to Kitty's Stone

    Poole, Simon E.
    A 17-minute, 144 voice choral piece.
  • Understandings of creative practice and pedagogy by teacher education communities in West Bank, Palestine, and North West England

    Adams, Jeff; Al-Yamani, Hala; Arya-Manesh, Emma; Mizel, Omar; Owens, Allan; Qurie, Dua’a; Unveristy of Chester; University of Bethlehem; University of Chester; University of Bethlehem; Unveristy of Chester; University of Bethlehem.
    This paper discusses a collaborative research project that aimed to explore approaches to creative practices and pedagogies by teacher education communities in the West Bank, Palestine, and North West England (Bethlehem and Chester). The project explored the values, attitudes and perceptions of teacher educators and student teachers in relation to creative pedagogies and the conditions under which they flourished in each community. We found that creativity was understood to take many forms, according to the cultural values and conditions present in each community, and that creative pedagogical forms emerged from the specificities of their cultural and political contexts. Creativity in education is a contentious issue in both cultures, but an area that both education communities wished to explore further. Despite the differences, there were surprising commonalities between the two communities about the value of creative practices and the relation of creativity to democratic and critical practices in the classroom.
  • The Biopolitics of Art Education

    Penketh, Claire; Adams, Jeff; Edge Hill University; University of Chester
    Editorial introduction to special issue of the Journal Of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, by guest editors Penketh and Adams, for this issue on the topic of 'The Biopolitics of Art Education'. This issue of JLCDS offers a timely opportunity for an extended discussion of current practices at the intersection of art education and disability studies, a discussion that has the potential to further practice and theory in both domains.
  • Emotional awareness amongst middle leadership

    Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Emerald, 2020-05-26)
    The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to explore middle leaders’ ability to recognise emotions in the context of workplace research, and to propose measures that might support them in their role. This paper combines a contemporary literature review with reflections from practice to develop more nuanced understandings of middle leadership. The paper applied the Geneva Emotional Recognition Test (GERT) to explore the level of emotional recognition of 86 individuals (teachers, to headteachers (equivalent to school principals)). The preliminary findings suggest that teachers and headteachers have higher levels of emotional recognition than middle and senior leaders. This paper subsequently argues that the task-orientated nature middle leadership compounds an individual’s ability to engage effectively in relationship-orientated tasks. This explains why middle leaders scored lower on the GERT assessment. This is further inhibited by the anti-correlation in the brain’s ability to deal with the TDM and DMN processing functions where individuals operate in one neural mode for long periods. The viewpoint paper proposes a number of implications for middle leaders and suggests that middle leaders should proactively seek out opportunities to engaged in activities that support the DMN function of the brain and subsequently the relationship-orientated aspects of leadership. For example, coaching other staff. However, it has to be recognised that the sample size is small and further work is needed before any generalisations can be made. This paper offers a contemporary review of the role of middle leaders underpinned by a preliminary study into individuals’ ability to recognise emotions.
  • The complex tapestry of relationships which surround adoptive families: A case study.

    Hamilton, Paula; Forgacs-Pritchard, Kevin; University of Chester
    This small-scale study examines the experiences encountered by a group ofparentsintheirendeavourstosupporttheirchildrentosettleandthrive, both infamily lifeand school.The study identifies how a ‘complextapestry of relationships’ exists both within and beyond adoptive families, which influences children’s developmental and educational outcomes. Conflicting relationships emerged between: foster carers and adoptive parents, paired siblings, and adoptive parents and teachers. Enhanced understanding of the complexities and tensions which may exist will help school practitioners to identify approaches and strategies that can be used with children and families to promote adopted children’s self- identity, well-being and their capacity to function and learn inside classrooms.
  • Crafting Collaborations of Art and School: Contextual Studies in Sweden

    Adams, Jeff; Owens, Allan; Cedervall, Sofia (University of Chester, 2020-03-15)
    This study explores relations, experiences and processes between art and school collaborations at policy, organisational and individual levels. This is done through a historical account of policy documents as well as a contemporary qualitative study. The study focuses on two professional theatres in Sweden with extensive experience working with schools. In that context, professions of actors, teachers and drama pedagogues participating in collaborative projects, their roles, craftsmanship and a community of practice (CoP) as well as their encounters as professionals have been investigated. The study results show that theatres collaborate with schools because of their ruling policy and aim of reaching all children. Schools collaborate due to policy requirements, own interest and improvement. Drama pedagogues are much involved in the whole creative process, and the profession seems to be heading for a higher status at theatres. The individuals collaborate because it supports the creative process and the aim of their craftsmanship and/or personal mission. For drama pedagogues and artists, collaboration becomes a tool in itself, but for teachers the arts become a tool. The teachers have a personal interest in and experience with the arts. Encounters with professional artists can encourage teachers to use or continue to use artistic skills in teaching. The actors are rooted in the craft of their art and values driven in their wish to have encounters with children and youth. The drama pedagogue’s roles as mediator and confidant are important for the success of a collaborative project but also risky due to information accommodated. All encounters in this study were strongly framed by a drama pedagogic CoP. Within the frame, rooms of artistry based on the actors’ CoP occur. These rooms indicate the creation of a regime of competence, a shared CoP where the professionals are able to encounter each other as equals and share a creative and social process of meaning making. The fictional part of the study indicates that the drama pedagogue can become a border guard as much as a bridge in collaboration, standing in the way of teachers and actors directly sharing and transmitting valuable knowledge. A dialogue on aims, practice and competence become crucial for the professionals in order to achieve cooperation and thus learning.
  • Arts in the Military: A theatrical Performance Exercise

    Tavares, Susana V.; Anne, Passila; Allan, Owens; Filipa, Pereira; European University, Lison; Lappenranta University of Technology; University of Chester, Military Academy, Lisbon. (2016-06-30)
    The 11th edition of the International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD – 2016) addressed three key topics leading towards a new architecture of knowledge: big data, culture and creativity. In view of radically changing demands on knowledge work as an eminent factor for personal, organizational, and societal success its patterns have to be rethought. New ways of creating, processing, and sharing knowledge must be discovered beyond the classic paths of established disciplines. This paper presented research n progress investigating the value of a theatrical exercise in the military training of an elite unit in Portugal.
  • Ekphrastic Poetry Writing

    Poole, Simon E.; Storyhouse and University of Chester
    An chapter in the Erasmus Plus EU: Beyond Text Partnership eBook entitled: Ekphrastic Poetry Writing. In the book edited by Benmergui, R., Owens, A. & Passila, A.
  • A wordbook of rare mithers: Womclemd

    Poole, Simon E.; Storyhouse and University of Chester
    A quarterly periodical exploring the county of Cheshire, the city of Chester and its dialect
  • Fendfallatic

    Poole, Simon E.
    A quarterly periodical that looks at Cheshire and its dialect
  • A wordbook of rare mithers: Gowd forging

    Poole, Simon E.; Storyhouse and University of Chester
    A quarterly periodical exploring Cheshire and its dialect
  • A wordbook of rare mithers: Swaddledidaff

    Poole, Simon E.; Soryhouse and University of Chester
    A quarterly column exploring Cheshire and its dialect
  • A wordbook of rare mithers: Anan-flaskered

    Poole, Simon E.; Soryhouse and University of Chester
    A quarterly column exploring Cheshire, its dialect and feelings that they both help us to understand that standard English cannot.
  • Creativity

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester
    An editorial for the Education journal Cornucopia on the theme of Creativity
  • Tradition

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester
    An editorial for the Education Journal Cornucopia on the theme of Tradition
  • Innovation

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester
    An editorial for the Education journal Cornucopia on the theme of Creativity
  • Associate Teachers’ Learning Networks: A Figurational Analysis of Initial Teacher Education

    Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2020-04-24)
    Purpose of this paper: The aim of this paper is to use the lens of figurational sociology to analyse the learning networks of physical education (PE) associate teachers (ATs) in England. More specifically, it aims to develop a more adequate understanding of who is involved in the learning networks and how they influence ATs during their one-year postgraduate initial teacher education (ITE) programme. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 35 ATs within a university ITE partnership took part in the study during the final phase of their postgraduate programme. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to examine the nature and impact of the interdependent relationships that they had developed with other individuals and groups. A process of content analysis was used to identify and analyse patterns in the data. Findings: Mentors have the most influence over ATs. They support the inclusion of the ATs within the PE department, but elements of the mentors’ role are contradictory and can unintentionally hinder the ATs’ teaching. Mentors, teachers and tutors also share a common social habitus that ensures a degree of conformity within the PE community. New experiences tend to reinforce ATs’ existing beliefs about the nature and practice of teaching PE. Research limitations/implications (optional): Practical implications (optional): These findings have implications for providers of ITE in deciding who is involved in mentor training and how it is approached. If ATs are to be introduced to more innovative teaching approaches that promote change, then tutors need to collaborate with mentors and teachers to develop awareness of their often-unplanned influence. Social implications (optional): What is original/value of paper: Applying the distinctive, and more generally sociological, concepts that make up the figurational perspective helped to develop a more adequate understanding of the ATs’ learning networks. It provided an insight into the changing relationships that ATs have with their mentors and other individuals who work within the school and university context.

View more