• Drama in School - Events of Learning and Processes of Becoming: An example from Sweden

      Owens, Allan; Garratt, Dean; Rosén, Susanne (University of Chester, 2019-10)
      This thesis deals with issues relating to how learning takes place within drama education. The overall aim of the research study described in this thesis is to contribute to knowledge regarding what drama can be and how learning takes place in drama education when it constitutes a recurring part of compulsory schooling in Sweden. A sub-aim is to examine the components that co-produce such learning. A research study was conducted in Sweden where drama is not a compulsory subject in the national curriculum. Throughout the thesis, the focus is placed on the discursive formations and the components of dramatic form, content and processes of becoming. Explicit emphasis is placed on how these both articulate and iterate in drama educational practices. A combination of post-constructionism and drama theory is employed as key conceptual tools to capture and interpret pedagogical processes. Post-constructionism as a tool can be described as moves into and beyond stances of social constructionism and post-humanism. Within the broader frame of social constructionism, Dewey’s educational philosophy has provided a means to understand the role of social interaction and communication in education. Within the post-humanistic field, a nomad philosophical approach provides the theoretical means with which to explore interrelations of discourses, materialities, social interaction and aesthetic symbols and further analyze doings in spaces in-between. A key point of departure is that educational practices on macro- and micro-levels are interrelated. Therefore, a genealogical analysis of discursive formations of drama education as a part of the compulsory school system in Sweden, and an empirical study of local drama educational practices have been undertaken. All schools that participated in the study offer drama as a scheduled subject at some point over time. Four classes in three schools have been followed during drama lessons, and participating pupils have been interviewed. Both individual and group interviews were undertaken, and in the group interviews, drama is integrated as one method to construct data. The study concludes by claiming that drama education can be understood as events where what we perceive and know (the actual) and what potentially may be (the virtual) are working on the same immanent plane. In drama educational practice, the components of dramatic art form, content and processes of subjectivities are interconnected. Learning and becoming take place as processes in-between, in the conceptual AND. The deployment of the analytic conjunction AND implies a non-dichotomous approach to drama education. In drama, the common, embodied creation and exploration of potential ways to act and become lead to engagement and to learning. This together with a focus on the common doing in the work of dramatization contributes to the meaning and simultaneous creation of ‘drama’ and ‘group’. An important corollary is that who we can be, and hence our creation of meaning within the world, takes place as a synchronous process. Thereby, drama education mobilizes a pedagogy of learning and becoming that both challenges and complements the otherwise realized school education. Because drama opens up diverse ways of knowing in one and same educational event, it can contribute to equity in education.
    • The Mistress turned Medicant

      Poole, Simon; University of Chester; Storyhouse (Plant Heritage, 2021-10-01)
      A foundational piece explaining the principles and interests of the National Plant Collection of Mentha and it's cultural positionality in relation to education, folklore, biodiversity, sustainability, and wellbeing.
    • Mythical Performativity in Neoliberal Education: The Curse of Ofsted and Other Monstrous Tales

      Moran, Paul; Hanson, Diann (University of Chester, 2021-05)
      Mythical Performativity in Neoliberal Education: The Curse of Ofsted and Other Monstrous Tales conducts an innovative investigation into neoliberal educational policy and its enactment through Ofsted and school leadership practices. Through its focus on a secondary school requiring special measures intervention following an ‘unsatisfactory’ Ofsted inspection outcome, it examines the role of ‘super head’ leadership in embedding neoliberal identities of success in failing schools. The research takes an original theoretical and methodological approach by exploring the role of myth in such ideologically driven practices. This proposes that mythical performances are observable in the positioning of head teachers as ‘rescuing heroes’ in failing schools and questions the monstrous effects of Ofsted-driven transformational practices on lived experience in school communities. Through a novel reading of the research data through the concept of plasticity, the thesis considers the interdependent relationship between discourse and mythical performativity in informing and sustaining ideological principles and normative social structures. It investigates how claims made to objectivity and scientific method in educational practices are, paradoxically, bolstered through enactments of mythical archetype. The research further examines the role of myth in naturalising neoliberal frameworks, rendering alternative socio-economic forms as invisible and absent from collective consciousness. This qualitative study revitalises its ethnographic roots by engaging with plasticity as method, informing a textured analysis of interview and documentary data secured from teaching staff, pupils, and operational documents at the school. Pupil responses develop investigation of identity and the heroic, providing points of comparison with the fabricated identity of neoliberal success modelled through the school leadership and its strategies of improvement. By proposing an interdependent relationship between myth, discourse, mythical performativity and ideology, this thesis extends understanding of the process of transforming failing schools and offers wider insight into structures that sustain social and economic power structures and inequalities.
    • Emotional empathy of postgraduate students

      Lambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Venerucci, Matteo; Taylor, Michael G.; University of Chester; University of York; Brian 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). 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. 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 onto occupy leadership roles.
    • Empathic gaze: a study of human resource professionals

      Lambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Venerucci, Matteo; Taylor, Michael; University of Chester; University of York; Brain Propaganda (Emerald, 2021-09-02)
      The purpose of this research paper is to explore the fixation of the eyes of HR professionals’ when identifying 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 a more nuanced understanding of 39 HR professionals’ ability to recognise emotions. This paper used eye-tracking technology more commonly used in laboratory based studies to explore the fixation of the eye when identifying emotions. The preliminary findings suggest that HR professionals with higher levels of emotional recognition principally focus on the eyes of the recipient. Whereas those with lower levels of emotional recognition focus more so the nose or the randomly across the face, depending on the level of emotional recognition. The data suggests that women are better than men, in the sample group at recognising emotions, with some variations in recognising specific emotions such as disgust. This research paper proposes a number of implications for middle leaders and suggests that middle leaders should proactively seek out opportunities to be engaged in activities that support the default mode network (DMN) function of the brain and subsequently the relationship-orientated aspects of leadership, for example, coaching other staff members. 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 underpinned by a preliminary study into HR professionals’ ability to recognise emotions.
    • The ‘Teacher Research Group’ as a collaborative model of professional learning

      Jones, Luke; University of Chester (Routledge, 2021-08-10)
      In this study, we adopted a Teacher Research Group model, a collaborative approach to teacher education that draws on the principles of numerous action research models of enquiry. More specifically, a teacher educator worked alongside an experienced physical education teacher over a three-month period to plan, teach and evaluate a series of classroom-based lessons. The Teacher Research Group adopted five teaching strategies that were thought to be significantly related to optimal learning and then refined their use in response to an evaluation of pupils’ learning in the classroom. This article outlines the context for this model, describes its application and finally reviews its value as a means of promoting shared professional learning. Adopting the Teacher Research Group model did lead to changes in teaching strategies and improvements in pupils’ learning outcomes. Moreover, the model was an effective approach to shared professional learning, one that could lead to desirable change among education professionals elsewhere.
    • Role of emotional intelligence in effective nurse leadership

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (RCN Publishing, 2021-09-13)
      Leaders who practice emotional leadership demonstrate a sensitivity to their own and other’s feelings, wellbeing and emotional health. In this style of leadership, the person leads with emotional intelligence, directing others to common goals while developing solid and effective personal relationships. This article explores emotional leadership and argues that it is not only a key quality of effective leaders but has a particular relevance with the emotional burden created within the healthcare workforce by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
    • How can we engage mathematics ITE students with research?

      Bamber, Sally; Bokhove, Christian; University of Chester; University of Southampton (British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 2021-03-06)
      In the Erasmus+ Research in Teacher Education (RiTE) project, student teachers are stimulated to use evidence from educational and scientific research to experiment and innovate their teaching and learning processes. In two case studies we use Engestrom’s expansive learning cycle. The first case study reports on the design and implementation of materials designed to enhance student teachers’ critical review of literature in the context of the post-graduate study that is incorporated within their teacher education. The second case study presents the design of collaborative lesson research that aims to foster authentic connections between school-based learning (teaching practice) and research that informs mathematics teaching and learning. We discuss the aims of research-informed mathematics teacher education at each site, demonstrate some of the approaches used and discuss tensions within the design and early implementation of the projects.
    • Associate Teachers’ views on dialogic mentoring

      Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; Jones, Rhys C.; University of Chester; Bangor University (Routledge, 2021-06-02)
      The aim of this paper is to examine Associate Teachers’ (ATs) views on dialogic mentoring. More specifically it consider, the views of 48 ATs who were involved in an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) partnership that has emerged in response to several changes that have occurred in Welsh education. Educational reforms in Wales have highlighted the value of mentoring and the new ITE partnership is uniquely committed to a dialogic approach. A questionnaire and three focus group interviews were used to generate data from the 48 ATs who were completing a one-year postgraduate programme. Thematic analysis was then used to interrogate the data and identify patterns of response. Adopting a dialogic approach was found to remove some of the anxiety around formal observations and help establish trusting collaborative relationships where ATs were willing to take risks. The dialogic approach was more democratic and gave ATs a stronger voice, but this also created some conflict as mentors’ own beliefs were more likely to be questioned. The dialogic approach relied on mentors being fully invested in the process and being committed to open conversations about learning.
    • Diversity and marginalization in childhood: A guide to inclusive thinking 0-11

      Hamilton, Paula; University of Chester
      This core text offers students an accessible foundation to the topics of diversity, inclusion and marginalisation. Not only will they develop an understanding of how marginalisation happens, they will be encouraged to question and challenge policy and practice through case studies, reflective questions and activities. The book analyses issues encountered by marginalised groups and the impact these may have on the lives of those concerned, together with how practitioners can help to empower these individuals and groups. With key chapters bringing attention to less cited marginalised groups such as transgender children, children with mental health conditions and looked after children, the author critically analyses the difficulties and challenges of inclusive ideology in practice, the role of mass media in reinforcing prejudice and examines theoretical frameworks and concepts related to marginalisation, inclusion and diversity.
    • An exploration of creativity in the lives of English teachers: Representing voices through found poetry

      Bamber, Sally; Jones, Luke; Matthews, Martin (University of Chester, 2020-10)
      This arts-based research sets out to explore the place of creativity in the lives of a group of English teachers in one secondary school in the north west of England. More specifically, it uses found poetry to examine creativity in the lives of English teachers who work within the context of an increasingly performative educational system. As well as interrogating the place of creativity in the lives of the participants, the study also explores how found poetry can be used as a research method to represent and analyse data and communicate research findings in a manner that is democratic and illuminating. The words that created the poems came from two semi-structured interviews with each participant. After the first interview, the participants were able to scrutinise and reflect upon the content of the found poems before returning for a second interview. This recursive process helped build confidence in the findings and gave a deeper understanding of the experiences of the participants in relation to creativity whilst eliciting further responses in the interview process itself. The findings suggest that English teachers have limited space to be creative, or to think differently in their teaching practice. The limited space to be creative comes from the normalising practices of a performance culture, but the restrictions are both real and self-imposed by the participants. There is perhaps a need to find a new space for English teachers to act, or think creatively and form notions of resistance in order to re-think English teacher identity.
    • PREOCCUPIED: The role of peacebuilding in formal education in the West Bank

      Evans, Martin; Wright, Anne-Marie; Arya-Manesh, Emma (University of Chester, 2021-01)
      This thesis is an ethnographic study of six teacher educators working in university settings in the West Bank, an Occupied Palestinian Territory. It explores these teacher educators’ perceptions, values, and attitudes about the role of peacebuilding in Formal Education (FE). It focuses particularly on the teacher educators’ practice, which is to train student teachers to be certified as competent to work in schools either managed or run by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE). The research shows that there are tensions surrounding the conceptualisation of the meaning of teacher competency among contributors to teacher education. The tension lies most noticeably between schools and universities. This thesis thus captures the (dis)continuities of an FE system caught between the conditions of colonial and military occupation and performative measures and strategies enforced by the MoEHE. These problems are compounded by the complex associations of FE with Palestinian liberation. From the expressions the teacher educators used to convey their ideas, metaphors provide a powerful analytical device. The thesis employs a narrative analysis to foreground these metaphors as more than a rhetorical device. The metaphors provide reflexive insight into the (extra)ordinary lives of the teacher educators and the specificities of the cultural and political context from which their understandings of peacebuilding arise. The data shows that the teacher educators have individual and shared tensions about the underlying principles of peace, which consequently inform the roles of peacebuilding in FE from complex and contradictory positions. These metaphors expose an FE system that is a victim and a perpetrator both of forms of violence, and of the complex conditions under which peacebuilding either thrives or is diminished. The data also shows that peacebuilding in FE is most contentious where there is a disconnect with social justice and a connection with tatbi’a (normalisation) and counterinsurgency. In its final analysis, this thesis draws on the perspectives of Johan Galtung, Paulo Freire and Pierre Bourdieu to disturb deep-rooted thinking about peacebuilding in the West Bank. As a consequence of exploring the data through these theoretical lenses, the thesis exposes deep fractures in thinking and beliefs which are perpetuated by deeply entrenched, competing discourses that cannot be easily resolved. This thesis encourages academics and policy makers in the fields of critical peace education and education in conflict to consider generative peacebuilding frameworks that focus on conflicts within Palestinian society as well as those arising from the Occupation, and see them as mutually reinforcing rather than treating them purely as separate issues.
    • Planting Critical Ideas

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester
      Jeff Adams discusses ideas about art education and artists tackling the environmental crisis, using the theory of anti-mimesis. The video features drawings by the author of pine trees in Wirral and Bethlehem. The video is based on the paper: Adams, J. (2020) Planting Critical Ideas: Artists Reconfiguring the Environmental Crisis, International Journal of Art and Design Education, 39.2, pp. 274-279. DOI: 10.1111/jade.12293.
    • Making the most of crafts in Merseyside schools

      Adams, Jeff; Rhodes, Sam; Smith, Claire; University of Chester; Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
      During 2018/19 the Bluecoat Display Centre (BDC) in Liverpool set out to undertake a review of best-practice models for integrating craft-makers into secondary education to support research-informed practice in creative education. The project took us into a number of local secondary schools around Merseyside to meet teachers who had integrated artist-led working and residencies into their curriculums, to help us build a detailed picture of the conditions and resources that are essential for a productive long-term collaboration between the schools and the craft-maker.
    • 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 (Emerald, 2021-04-29)
      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.