• Planting critical ideas: Artists reconfiguring the environmental crisis

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester
      This article looks at possible artistic responses to the environmental crisis, using the theory of anti-mimesis as a means to rethink and reconfigure the ways that the crisis is understood. Initially using the nineteenth-century idea of anti-mimesis, or life imitating art, where art brings nature into existence in people’s minds, the article looks at the work of contemporary artists and writers who are challenging existing assumptions about human interventions into the natural world and the ways in which thinking may be reconfigured by these responses. In particular the sluggish response of governments towards tree preservation and planting is used as an example of the potential for artist educators to revivify the thinking around this issue through their creative insights, hence the metaphor of planting critical ideas, with the aim of creating a momentum of consciousness about the preciousness and fragility of our natural environment.
    • Art and Solidarity

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester
      In many countries state support for the arts is declining, for both the arts in general and for the arts in education specifically. The creative and critical thinking that often accompanies the arts is a significant asset for schools in these turbulent times. The increased social awareness and co-operation that arises from the creative juxtaposition of people from different cultures brought together under the auspices of the arts, and who are prepared to overcome traditional differences through a common endeavour, is a form of creative solidarity.
    • Understanding emotional empathy at postgraduate business programs: What does the use of EEG reveal for future leaders?

      Lambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Taylor, Michael; Venerucci, Matteo; University of Chester; University of York; Brain Propaganda
      This paper focuses on the leaders’ ability to recognise and empathise with emotions. This is important because leadership and particularly transformational leadership are principally focused on an individual’s social interactions and their ability to identify emotions and to react empathetically to the emotions of others (Psychogios and Dimitriadis, 2020). Many leadership theorists suggest the ability to have and display empathy is an important part of leadership (Bass, 1990; Walumbwa, et. al., 2008). Design/methodology/approach To examine the extent to which those who work in jobs with a significant element of leadership education can recognise and empathise with emotions, ninety-nine part-time postgraduate executive MBA students took part in an emotional recognition test. First, all participants were shown a sequence of pictures portraying different human facial expressions and the electrical activity in the brain as a result of the visual stimuli were recorded using an electroencephalogram (EEG). The second stage of the research was for the participants to see the same seven randomised images, but this time, they had to report what emotion they believed they had visualised and the intensity of it on a self-reporting scale. Findings This study demonstrated that the ability to recognise emotions is more accurate using EEG techniques compared to participants using self-reporting surveys. The results of this study provide academic departments with evidence that more work needs to be done with students to develop their emotional recognition skills. Particularly for those students who are or will go on to occupy leadership roles. Originality The use of neuroscientific approaches has long been used in clinical settings. However, few studies have applied these approaches to develop our understanding of their use in social sciences. Therefore, this paper provides an original and unique insight into the use of these techniques in higher education.
    • Practitioners’ perceptions on the delivery of services provided to children and their families in a disadvantaged area in an Indian context

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; University of Chester
      Several successful children’s programs around the world have highlighted the importance of the quality of relationships among and between the adults involved in the delivery of services. This will enable the adults involved including parents to identify the skills, knowledge and dispositions that will influence the holistic development of their children’s current and future lives (New R.S. (1999). The aim of this research study is to explore the perceptions of practitioners on the delivery of integrated services provided to children and their families living in disadvantaged areas in India. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a government-initiated programme that has been successful in providing the needed services almost on the families’ doorstep. The practitioners - especially those working at grass roots levels, from the same community and a range of different practitioners involved in the delivery of integrated services to children and their families were interviewed using semi structured interview schedule. The interviews were tape recorded in order to accommodate analysis. The findings indicated that the delivery of integrated services for children and their families from disadvantaged families adopted a personal and flexible approach. The families and the members of the community especially women were successfully encouraged to be involved in the education and health aspects of the services provided. The success of the programme as perceived by the practitioners highlighted on the personal qualities such as commitment, high levels of motivation of the practitioners at different levels of implementation of the programme.
    • Conceptions of inclusion and inclusive education: A critical examination of the perspectives and practices of teachers in England

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; Hodkinson, Alan; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University
      This paper details the development and operation of a system of inclusive education in England during the latter part of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st Century. Through the employment of a literature review and in-depth semi-structured interviews the study sought to determine how teachers defined and operationalised inclusive education in their schools. The studys conclusion details that although many teachers had struggled to understand and operationalise inclusion they had tried very hard to make this initiative work for them, their pupils and their schools. Where inclusion had been most successful was in schools where levels of training were high and ones in which the ethos was positive and supportive of this important educational initiative.
    • For pity’s sake: comparative conceptions of inclusion in England and India.

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; Hodkinson, Alan; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University
      This paper offers a critique of transnational aspects of ‘inclusion,’ one of those global education buzzwords that as Slee (2009) puts it, say everything but say nothing. It starts off by trying to compare Indian and English usages and attitudes at the level of teacher discourse, and notes the impossibility of any ‘authentic’ translation, given the very different cultural contexts and histories. In response to these divergences, the authors undertake a much more genealogical and ‘forensic’ examination of values associated with ‘inclusion,’ focussing especially on a key notion of ‘pity.’ The Eurocentric tradition is traced from its Platonic origins through what is claimed to be the ‘industrialization of pity’ and its rejection as a virtue in favour of more apparently egalitarian measures of fairness. The Indian tradition relates rather to religious traditions across a number of different belief systems, most of which centre on some version of a karmic notion of pity. The authors both criticise and reject ‘inclusion’ as a colonisation of the global and call for a new understanding of notions like ‘pity’ as affective commitment rather than ‘fair’ dispensation of equality.
    • Promoting Inclusion and Diversity in Early Years Settings A Professional Guide to Ethnicity, Religion, Culture and Language

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; University of Chester
      his guide provides insights, case studies and resources to enable anyone working in early years settings to identify and understand the individual needs of children from diverse backgrounds and the steps that can be taken to support and extend their learning. Examining the impact of unconscious bias, blind spots and institutionalised discrimination that set some children at a disadvantage, this book raises awareness and provides strategies for professionals to proactively support those affected. It covers race and ethnicity, religion, culture, EAL and intersectionality and enables professionals to help children from diverse backgrounds to develop to the best of their potential
    • Drama as an Ecotone in the Ecosystem of Primary Education

      Owens, Allan; Adams, Jeff; Piasecka, Shelley; Einarsson, Anneli (University of Chester, 2020-01)
      This thesis investigates the tensions that emerge as drama is implemented in the teaching at a primary school. The thesis analyses drama practice in relation to a rationalistic and a holistic theoretical framework, and employs the epistemological view that subjectification and socialization are as important as the qualification dimension in education. A metaphorical model was developed, Schooling–Ecotone–Art, in order to deepen the understanding of drama as a subject in relation to the educational discourse. The ecotone, a notion deriving from ecology, symbolizes drama and serve as a tool to explore the tensions created at the borders of the adjacent habitats. The study describes the developing diversity within the drama practice in relation to the staff’s teaching and the pupils’ learning and meaning making. The empirical data are gathered by field studies at a primary school in Sweden, during one year. A project was made possible by a grant from the local municipality, through which the school was able to engage in a collaborative project with a local culture centre in which teachers and drama pedagogues worked together on a weekly basis. The doctoral study was initiated by an invitation from the school and the culture centre. Anchored in critical ethnography, the data include observations, interviews with staff and pupils, video recordings, questionnaires and email correspondence. The findings reveal different levels of tensions as drama is implemented in the teaching, which reflects the materiality of the discursive order and institutional power in education. Further, the study demonstrates the levels of progression as drama is practiced regularly, in which carnival play was a factor in the initial turbulent phase, and thus a major challenge for the staff. The study suggests that the phases in the progress demonstrate that drama comprises a unique and subject-specific content, which is needed in a holistic epistemology in primary education. Additionally, the progress describes how diversity emerges in the staff’s teaching as well as in the pupils’ creative work and that questions of interculturality are illuminated. The study concludes that there is a need to deconstruct a rationalistic epistemology, and develop a holistic epistemology, in order to achieve a sustainable education. The thesis contributes with deepened knowledge of drama as a unique habitat, and the possibilitiesfor diversity asthe tensions created in relation to adjacent habitats, schooling and art, are viewed as possibilities rather than obstacles to avoid. The material being presented for examination is my own work and has not been submitted for an award of this or another HEI except in minor particulars which are explicitly noted in the body of the thesis. Where research pertaining to the thesis was undertaken collaboratively, the nature and extent of my individual contribution has been made explicit.
    • A new felt presence: Making and learning as part of a community of women feltmakers

      Adams, Jeff; Owens, Allan; Spry, Georgina C. (University of Chester, 2020-05)
      The purpose of this qualitative art-based autoethnographic research study is to examine the lived experience of contemporary feltmaking from both collective and individual perspectives and the relationship between personal practice and the learning that takes place in a community of shared practice. The thesis exists as an exhibition of feltworks alongside a written piece, which presents qualitative and arts-based data comprising of my own experiences documenting both my journey through treatment for stage three breast cancer and the learning and teaching taking place as a member of this female community of feltmakers. It explores the principles of tacit knowledge in feltmaking alongside the concept of flow as a key marker of mastery, incorporating an analysis of the collaborative learning elements which facilitate the process of its members’ transformation from novice to expert, within a broad base of abilities, skills and experience. The thesis begins with an examination of the history of feltmaking, and the learned traditions passed through cultural generations. This is followed by an exploration of textile ‘pockets’ in women’s history, examining patriarchy, privacy and interiority through a narrative. Within this context, shared felting projects are presented. The feltmakers’ pockets are displayed as Tripartite Helix, examining international and local felting techniques alongside shared privacy within the physical pockets, the three sections denoting elements of felting as a collective sense. My own work Hushed Reverberations explores privacy, interiority and its exposure to the exterior. My practice and autoethnographic mesearch research are embedded throughout the study to illuminate the experience of learning and teaching of feltmaking in order to appreciate the process as much more than mere material transformation. This art-based research establishes a connection between feltmaking, historical, patriarchal and cultural influences and an autoethnographic, mesearch research methodology. The thesis reveals the affiliation between personal narrative through feltmaking craft and biography as a relational connection between shared journeys, intertwining autoethnographic learning, feltmaking, narrative and cultural history. It also reveals that learning in a collective does not take place simply through increasing participation in an experience, but is also fuelled by pedagogical, social and historical factors. The research contributes to an understanding and an expression of how the process of feltmaking can be used as a way of communicating and conveying a personal journey which can provide the means for individuals to support themselves and each other. However, the basis of the women's experience in crafts cannot be explained in isolation from the environments in which they take place but must be connected through culture, history and gender. The thesis concludes that women can use feltmaking to make sense of life-changing events and adversities, and to begin the healing process, bringing comfort and sense of community during periods of turmoil.
    • Trust, Efficacy and Ethicacy when testing prisoners for Covid19

      Lambert, Steve; Wilkinson, Dean J; University of Chester
      The outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and subsequent Covid-19 illness has had a major impact on all levels of society internationally. The extent of the impact of Covid-19 on prison staff and prisoners in England and Wales is unknown. Testing for Covid-19 both asymptomatic and symptomatic, as well as for antibodies, to date, has been minimal. The widespread testing of Covid-19 in prisons poses philosophical and ethical questions around trust, efficacy and ethicacy. This paper is both descriptive, providing an overview of the widespread testing of Covid-19 in prisoners in England and Wales, and conceptual in that it discusses and argues the issues associated with large-scale testing. This paper provides philosophical discussion, using comparative studies, of the issues associated with large-scale testing of prisoners across the prison estate in England and Wales (120 prisons). The issues identified in this paper are contextualised through the lens of Covid-19, but they are equally transferrable to epidemiological studies of any pandemic. Given the prevalence of Covid-19 globally and the lack of information about its spread in prisons, at the time of writing this paper, there is a programme of asymptomatic testing of prisoners. However, there remains a paucity of data on the spread of Covid-19 in prisons due to the progress with the ongoing testing programme. We argue that the widespread testing of prisoners requires careful consideration of the details regarding who is included in testing, how consent is gained and how tests are administered. This paper outlines and argues the importance of considering the complex nuance of power relationships within the prison system, between prisoner officers, medical staff and prisoners, and the detrimental consequences. The widespread testing of Covid-19 presents ethical and practical challenges. Careful planning is required when considering the ethics of who should be included in Covid-19 testing, how consent will be gained, who and how tests will be administered as well as very practical challenges around the recording and assigning of Covid-19 test kits inside the prison. The current system for the general population requires scanning of barcodes and registration using a mobile number, these facilities are not permitted inside a prison. This paper looks at the issues associated with mass testing of prisoners for Covid-19. There has not been any research that looks at the issues of testing either in the UK or internationally. The literature available details countries responses to the pandemic rather and scientific papers on the development of vaccines. Therefore, this paper is an original review of some of the practicalities that need to be addressed to ensure that testing can be as successful as possible.
    • Raising attainment of middle-lower attainment GCSE students

      Bamber, Sally; University of Chester
      Year 11 students throughout England are currently attending ‘'intervention’' classes designed to raise their mathematics attainment ahead of their GCSE examinations, using methods of instruction that seem to have proven unsuccessful the first time they were taught concepts, and then again, unsuccessfully, in subsequent lessons. This paper reports on a study of one class of lower to middle attaining Year 11 GCSE students who have been taught algebraic concepts using multiple representations and using teaching designed to allow them to reason from key known facts. Qualitative data from lesson observation, student and teacher interviews and students’ work is analysed to begin to construct a narrative interpretation of this small-scale classroom enquiry. This analysis demonstrates some promising outcomes in terms of pupils’ perceptions of learning mathematics and their use of iconic representations of concepts.
    • Guest editorial

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester
      Welcome to the first issue of the Journal of Work Applied Management of 2021 and this special issue on “The nexus of work-applied skills and learning: comparative approaches across sectors”
    • Policy 'making' discourses in University sponsored Academy Schools: Radical educational reform through autonomy, accountability and partnership

      Hulme, Rob; Garratt, Dean; Cracknell, David; Hart, Melissa (University of Chester, 2016-05-31)
      Sponsored academies schools were set up in England to raise educational aspiration and achievement specifically in areas of high social deprivation through independence from Local Authority control, and freedoms in governance, staffing structures, space and time, as well as pedagogy and curriculum. The study considers the current education White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching' (Dffi, 2010), and the discourse of academy school actors in relation to policy rhetoric of educational improvement through autonomy and accountability along with new forms of partnership and collaboration. Given the recent 2015 change in U.K. government from Coalition to Conservative it is a pertinent time to consider current policy discourses as we move into the next phase of educational policy development. This study was informed by 'policy sociology' (Ozga, 2000: 144) illuminating local academy school enactment and critique of broader social change. The study also used Foucault's (1991) notion of 'governmentality' and the disciplinary policy technologies of normalization, dividing practices and surveillance as a theoretical lens to critically analyse academy school actor policy discourse. Throughout an 18 month period the researcher adopted semi embedded participation in two academies sponsored by a University Multi Academies Trust (MAT). A post modem form of radical hermeneutics (Caputo, 1987) was utilised whereby written, verbal and non verbal communication construction and analysis was subsumed into a written account. A reflexive research approach highlighted ethical dilemmas and tensions. The research illuminated a complex discourse of academy actor freedoms and constraints. A 'no excuse' for poor educational performance adopted at academy meso level contrasted with teacher discourse of pupil deficit, failure by self and others, and a perpetual state of low confidence, along with some resistance to change. The sponsor and Academies Trust focused on securing a share of the teacher training market and business survival as opposed to providing direct support for educational improvement. Disciplinary policy technologies were reinforced by the Academies Trust and Partnership Academy as meso level government conduits (Glatter, 1999; Lubienski, 2009), further legitimized by technologies of self. The Partnership Academy encouraged an Ofsted based 'gaming behaviour' as opposed to one directly focused on educational improvement. Autonomy was only prevalent in discourse where teachers saw their professional role as being separate from those dominated by performance regimes. Despite successes in raising educational performance academy achievement above Ofsted base levels had not been established. A business based corporate image, and new building at one academy, and positive discourse of student recruitment existed, yet staff recruitment and retention was surrounded by a discourse of mistrust, competition, and coping with change. There was a limited discourse of changed academy reputation, curriculum development, pedagogic innovation and professional collaboration, and tensions existed between traditional and creative practice.
    • Translating research into practice through collaborative planning: The case of the so called grid method

      Bamber, Sally; University of Chester
      Drawing on research that informs transformative teacher education, this paper will report on an ongoing study that develops mathematics teachers’ knowledge and practice collaboratively. This paper accounts the experiences of a group of Welsh secondary school educators participating in collaborative classroom enquiry designed to develop GCSE students’ understanding of linear and quadratic algebraic expressions. The paper identifies the potential to disturb and improve learning through the use of enactive and iconic representations of algebraic concepts, whilst identifying tensions that arise in the act of changing the context for learning in a secondary school classroom.
    • Conflict and trust during Covid-19

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester
      There is no doubt that the lives lost to Covid-19 are tragic. However, it has forced many institutions to re-evaluate quickly how their staff work. In higher education, senior leaders promptly cancelled face-to-face lectures and encouraged staff to transition to online teaching. However, this has caused an element of uncertainty in terms of how leaders within higher education manage their teams in the new virtual world. With individuals required to work from home, leaders need to be clear around expectations they place on staff in an education system that has had trust eroded already at a government level (Bormann & John, 2014). This raises the question: Has Covid-19 given rise to trust issues between leaders and their staff? In order to address this question, this paper explores a conceptual model of trust and uses it as a lens to examine the impact of working from home that has been forced upon us as a consequence of Covid-19.
    • Why do we need a new journal about writing for wellbeing?

      Poole, Simon E.; Bangerh, Kiz; Bertrand, Jennifer; Etherington, Kim; Lee, Deborah; Lengelle, Reinekke; Southwell, Deborah; Thompson, Kate; Williamson, Claire; Wafula, Esther; et al.
      A discussion among practitioners and researchers, forming an editorial article for the first issue of LIRIC
    • National arts and wellbeing policies and implications for wellbeing in organisational life

      Poole, Simon E.; Scott, C.; Storyhouse and University of Chester
      There is general agreement nowadays of the value of the arts to our health and wellbeing, for instance, personal experience of music to lift depression, words to express our lived emotions, the aesthetic quality of a work of visual art that can take us to deeper understanding. The arts include 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)” (Wall T, 2019; p. 1). For many, their relevance to mental and physical health is a given, to sustain, to prevent deterioration, or to improve the healing process. An appreciation of their value to health and wellbeing is often due to specific personal experience. Indeed, as Victoria Hume, Director of Arts Council England’s Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance stated in an interview, (July 2020), “People get it when they’ve done it”, observing that it is a “slow, iterative process of building champions” who are conveying the necessary messages that shift attitudes. The event of the pandemic and lockdown in 2020 has caused many to consider again their priorities and how they can better sustain their own situations, as Dr Clive Parkinson, international arts and health advocate, Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University UK, and Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales Australia, observed (July 2020) “The importance of culture and the arts in all their forms, to impact of health, wellbeing and social change, has never felt so relevant”.
    • How Music Accessibility can be used in Art Based Research experiences

      Solé, Lluis; Poole, Simon E.; Storyhouse and University of Chester
      Arts-based Research (ABR) ‘can be defined as the systematic use of the artistic process, the actual making of artistic expressions in all of the different forms of the arts, as a primary way of understanding and examining experience by both researchers and the people that they involve in their studies’ (Knowles & Cole, 2008, p. 29). However, music is an art form that in Western culture, the practice of which is usually restricted to a few individuals with specific skills. Commonly, musical activities are left out of ABR works because of the inherent difficulties of the musical process. In this article, we review and provide multiple ways of how, through accessibility processes, music can be made by a wide range of participants regardless of their musical knowledge. The argument is made that the ways of accessibility presented open up the possibilities of using a wide-ranging use of participatory musical activities in research inquiries, assessment and evaluation. This chapter thus focuses on the ways in which music making can be made accessible and so increase the possibilities of its use partially or entirely as a provocation for inquiry, in collecting and analysing data, as a means of dissemination in research, assessment and evaluation processes.