• The LGBT+ Pupil as the Abject: An Ethnographic Exploration of Subjectivity and Discourse in UK Secondary Schools

      Moran, Paul; Wright, Anne-Marie; Clark, Natalie E. (University of Chester, 2018-11-22)
      According to many scholars, schools are the last bastion of permitted homophobia (Beadle, 2009; Grew, 2008; as cited in Formby, 2013). Primarily using the theories of Foucault, Kristeva and Butler, the thesis uses critical theory as a means to both understand and critically analyse the construction of subjectivity within and throughout discourse in the hetero-/cis-normative institution, and how this related to the potential abjection of LGBT+ pupils. Whilst it is agreed in this thesis that LGBT+phobia is still widespread in both schools and wider society, it was found in this research that the impact of direct LGBT+phobic discrimination was less evident. Instead, the discursive spaces where LGBT+phobia had been silenced were filled with hetero-/cis-normative discourse. Concomitantly, the impact of LGBT+ invisibility, the silencing of positive discourse surrounding sexuality and the institutional rejection of performative LGBT+phobia without cultural or organisational change meant there remained a negative impact on LGBT+ young people, despite a reduction in visible LGBT+phobia (DePalma and Atkinson, 2006/2010). Through the use of short vignettes taken from a period of ethnographic research, I have used discursive reflexivity to offer an alternative discourse surrounding the LGBT+ pupil in the school. In a thesis preoccupied with language, the institutional denial of appropriate language, the lack of positive space for LGBT+ young people to construct their identity and the potential risk of abjection from the hetero-/cis-normative institution are all highlighted as points for discussion. Viewed through a critical theory lens, the exemplars used to illustrate these complex theories are chosen from 72 workshops undertaken in schools with Year Nine pupils over a the 2015 to 2016 academic year in the Merseyside region, and also from self-identified LGBT+ young people (also in Year Nine during the academic year 2015 to 2016), who were part of discussions in an LGBT+ Youth drop in based in Liverpool city centre. Intertwining academic analysis and philosophical reflection, the research finds that not only is the LGBT+ pupil abject in the school, but this abjection is threefold. It is enacted by the institution, the peer group and by the internalised LGBT+phobia of the abjected pupil. In the conclusion, it is reflected upon how the impact abjection from school continues to affect LGBT+ people into adulthood.
    • Artist teachers and democratic pedagogy

      Adams, Jeff; Atherton, Frances; Hoekstra, Marike (University of Chester, 2018-09-28)
      Combining artistic practice with teaching is not unusual for teachers in the visual arts. A dual professional practice, which can be found throughout the field of art education with art teachers in all levels of education, requires a negotiation of roles and positions on a personal level and has impact on pedagogy. However, the binary opposition of artist versus teacher fails to comprise the diversity of practices where art making and teaching are combined. Not only does identification with artist or teacher vary, so does the extent to which the two disciplines are fused, to the point where it can be called a hybrid practice when the distinction between art and teaching is no longer relevant. The democratic nature of contemporary visual art making further problematises a singular model of artist teacher practice. In order to do justice to the personal strategies artist teachers employ in balancing their dual professional roles, this thesis proposes a multifaceted concept of artist teacher practice. In this thesis, the notion of hybridity and diversity in artist teacher practice and the implications for democratic models of teaching and learning is subject to both theoretical, empirical, and artistic inquiry. The employment of different lenses enables a multi-layered approach to a complex practice. By focusing on the knowledge incorporated in the practice of two Dutch artist teachers this thesis informs how artist teacher practice relates to models of democratic teaching and learning. The miniature dioramas visually explore my own perception of democratic learning spaces and add an extra auto-ethnographic layer of understanding to artist teacher pedagogy. Central in this thesis is the notion of a pedagogical thirdspace. A spatial representation of social realities helps to create a critical understanding of human life. A thirdspace is a place in the margins between reality and ideals (Soja, 1999). When binary models of understanding are exchanged for real-life knowledge of the pedagogical practice of artist teachers an ambiguous open space emerges, where there is room for experiential learning, uncertainty, risk-taking, care, equality, inclusion, tacit experience, sensitivity, play, flexibility, and conflict. The engaged pedagogy (hooks, 1994) of artist teachers emancipates learners because of the fact that the duality of the artist teacher invites learners to join in a democratic, living model of artistic practice.
    • An autoethnographic exploration of creative self-efficacy (CSE)

      Adams, Jeff; Bristow, Maxine; Smith, Helen (University of Chester, 2018-09-28)
      This autoethnographic study investigates my self-perception of my artistic abilities which I posit as my Creative Self Efficacy (CSE). This is a part-practice thesis which uses arts-based research methods to investigate shifting self-perceptions and understandings of creativity and how these may have influenced my visual arts practice. CSE can be defined as one’s view of and belief in one’s creative abilities. Many scholars have written about the power of self-efficacy to condition behavioural choices, motivations and persistence. This research provides an autoethnographic enquiry into how these self-beliefs can shape, limit or enhance the possibilities for creative practice. The primary aim is to better understand the relationship between my own CSE and the influence of these on my creative practice. Arts-based methods enabled me to explore this territory, allowing a self-awareness to be developed through responding to the self-judgements and doubts experienced during the creative process. Reflexive resonances between these experiences of self-efficacy and pedagogical implications were made and framed through the lenses of theories such as habitus and my different roles of artist, teacher and researcher. Main findings include the influences of social comparisons, parental socialisation, and approaches and attitudes to art-making to my CSE, culminating in an experimental shift in practice which embraces a process approach. These findings suggest implications for pedagogical practices and approaches to art-making which demonstrate awareness of self-evaluative judgements and embrace uncertainty, ambiguity and not knowing.
    • Book Review: 'Art Disobedience and Ethics: The Adventure of Pedagogy'

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (National Society for Education in Art and Design, 2018-09-01)
      Book review of Dennis Atkinson's 'Art, disobedience and ethics: The adventure of pedagogy',
    • “‘There's only one God, ma'am’- one God or many gods in the world of the Avengers”

      Holt, James D.; University of Chester (Open Court, 2018-08-30)
      This chapter will explore the nature of God within Captain America’s world and how much this draws on the ‘previous life’ of Captain Steve Rogers. It will do so, however, utilizing the exploration of the experience of Moses and the identification of God at the burning bush as a way to understand a worldview that accepts the existence of multiple deities, but with one supreme deity: ‘I am’. The chapter will then contrast this understanding with a Humean approach to the understanding of religion and the nature of God.
    • The experience of women as mature students in Higher Education

      Atherton, Frances; Hanrahan, Lindsay J. (University of Chester, 2018-08-30)
      There is a substantial body of knowledge into the factors that can influence women’s experiences of Higher Education (HE) such as social class, ethnicity and gender. Additionally, there is a significant focus on women and education in relation to their academic abilities such as comparing their achievement in terms of their gender. However, much of this research focuses on attainment between groups such as men and women or explores the impact of one specific characteristic. The principal aim of my study was to explore the experiences of a small group of women who had returned to education and entered HE. Through a series of conversations their unique stories were revealed, including the challenges and opportunities that they had encountered. The original contribution to knowledge that my study makes is in the way it documents five mature women’s experiences who traditionally would not have been expected to go to university. These women are working class, with caring responsibilities, who did not anticipate a time in their lives when they would continue into HE. To attain an undergraduate degree or professional qualification seemed beyond their particular sphere. In this study, the stories of five women over the age of twenty-one, returning to HE is captured and reveals the complex issues faced as they navigated their way through unfamiliar territory. During the research recurring themes emerged in the women’s experiences including personal motivations and aspirations, challenges to learning, networks of support and learning communities which shaped their time in HE. My ethnographic analysis of their stories is framed by my own experience of returning to HE and is viewed through the lens of feminist theory. The overall conclusions from the research reveal that the five women were able to complete their courses successfully and highlights a range of positive factors about returning to education including the opportunity to engage with fellow students, increasing personal confidence and independence and developing understandings, knowledge and skills. However, my study also illustrates the real barriers and constraints to learning that proved to be tough for the women to overcome both emotionally and practically. By examining several Marxist feminist writers such as Benston (1969) and Putnam Tong (1993), I recognised how women may be oppressed or restricted in their choices based on the numerous roles that they must perform in the home. For some of the women, attempting to study in addition to fulfilling other domestic and caring responsibilities proved to be very demanding. Overall, the research highlights the complexities that this group of non-traditional students face when attempting to improve their prospects and fulfil hitherto latent potential.
    • The Critically Designed Garden.

      Adams, Jeff; Hyde, Wendy; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-08-08)
      This article is concerned with design applied to gardens, using examples from the Chelsea Flower Show in London. There is a discussion of those show gardens that represented Syrian refugees’ gardens in Iraq and the Windrush generation immigration to the UK. The garden designs combine the aesthetics of organic materials and spatial architecture with an implicit critique of topical contemporary social issues. The article concludes by commenting on the risks posed by the reduced and impoverished UK arts education policies for producing the next generation of applied design practitioners.
    • The Philosophy of Homelessness

      Moran, Paul; Atherton, Frances; University of Chester (Routledge, 2018-08-06)
      A Philosophy of Homelessness is, in a number of respects, a ground-breaking work. It critically analyses the, for the most part, ordinary assumptions by which most of us in the developed world appear to live our daily, ordinary lives. These ordinary assumptions include rights of ownership, and the ability through ownership to fashion one’s own living environment, for example by being able to decorate, add to and modify one’s home, and therefore to express some agency about place, belonging and being; the capacity to engage in an economic system in such a way that allows a distance, an abstraction, a dissociation of the participant, including the participant’s body, from that which is being exchanged; as well as a more general ontology that identifies and establishes the personal, the private, the condition that this - whatever this might be - being mine, again, including one’s own body, and the intimate cradle of one’s self, and thus one’s soul. Our research about homelessness, we suggest, discloses these facets of our contemporary, mundane neoliberal experience as products of an economy of being that forges our beliefs and practices about who and what we are. This critical analysis, amounting to a philosophy, is engendered from the mundane experiences of a community of chronically homeless people; a community that we have known and been part of for over three years. For example: the taken for granted experiences of shopping and belonging are discussed through the prism of heroin dealers and addicts; the process of being a couple and wanting to have a family is understood via a homeless couple’s struggle to live together and have a baby; the attempt to achieve financial independence is discussed by way of enforcers who collect drug debts for organised criminals; and themes of intimacy and privacy are explored through the lives of homeless sex-workers. Whilst the daily events of the homeless people that populate this work are arresting enough in themselves, it is their implications, their ontological and political implications, that are most shocking and telling about the brutal and parlous state of contemporary first world society, and the growing number of marginalised and dispossessed that it begets. The appeal of this powerful work therefore extends beyond an ethnographic and sociological analysis of homelessness in urban Britain; it provides a concrete opening for those interested in a radical critique, at the quotidian level of realisation, of the current global crisis of neoliberal beliefs and forms of organization. There are no other books on the market that undertake this work in this intimate, gritty, disturbing and irreverent way. By way of structure it achieves this by foregrounding in each chapter the lives of specific homeless people, which illustrate and develop the themes of being homeless.
    • Mentoring Associate Teachers in Initial Teacher Education: The Value of Dialogic Feedback

      Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018-06-04)
      Purpose - The aim of this paper is to analyse feedback in the context of secondary initial teacher education (ITE) in England. More specifically, it aims to examine the feedback experiences of physical education (PE) subject mentors and their associate teachers (ATs) during a one-year postgraduate programme. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews, with nine PE mentors and eleven ATs within a university ITE partnership, were used to explore lesson feedback and the context in which it was provided. Interview data from the twenty participants was analysed through constant comparison to categorise content and identify patterns of responses. Findings - Mentors were well versed in the formal feedback mechanism of a written lesson observation. This approach is well established and accepted within ITE, but the dialogic feedback that follows lessons was thought to be where ATs made most progress. These learning conversations were seen to provide less formal but more authentic feedback for those learning to teach, and were most successful when founded on positive and collaborative relationships between the mentor and the ATs. Practical implications - These findings have implications for providers of teacher education and more specifically how they approach mentor training. The focus on lesson observations has value, but examining more informal dialogic approaches to feedback may have more impact on the learning of ATs. Originality/value - These findings support the value of lesson feedback but challenge the primacy of formal written lesson observations. The learning conversations that follow lessons are shown to provide authentic feedback for ATs.
    • Editorial: Young children and art education

      Adams, Jeff; Atherton, Frances; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-02-09)
      This special issue of iJADE is devoted to the art education of young children, and provides a timely platform for the dissemination of new research in this important area. For many young children their artistic experiences can prove to be some of the most profound and insightful of their early education. Although these creative moments are frequently integrated with a multitude of other educational experiences, nonetheless the artistic ones have a singularity, making them unique within the educational experience as a whole. It is the predominance of a visual epistemology that provides this specificity, and it hardly needs stating that knowing by means of the visual is of profound importance in our contemporary societies. The demonstration and the parole of this ‘knowing’ by young children should not be seen as peripheral, or as an adjunct to education. Fundamental to a well-informed art education are the critical expression of meaning and purpose, no matter how tentative these might appear. These practices entail a critical engagement with the languages of visual imagery, to which children readily adapt.
    • Young children and art education

      Adams, Jeff; Atherton, Frances; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-02-09)
      Editorial for a special issue of the Journal on young children and art education.
    • The convergence of National Professional Qualifications in educational leadership and masters level study

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018)
      In February 2012, less than three years after the introduction of the compulsory National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) for aspiring school head teachers, the mandatory requirement was removed. Despite no longer being a requirement, nearly 900 individuals annually, successfully complete the programme, with a further 5,000 completing the awards of National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) and the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NQPSL). In 2017, the UK government decided that the suite of national professional qualifications (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH) needed to be updated in order to ensure that they remained relevant to the changing shape of the educational landscape, particularly through the expansion of multi-academy trusts. At the same time, the government proposed a new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) aimed at the chief executives of multi-academy trusts, which vary in size from two or three schools working together, to trusts with in excess of thirty-five schools. This paper explores the way in which the new NPQ programmes are having masters level criteria embedded into them to facilitate a seamless progression into masters level study and what potential benefits this brings to the individual and the provider of the NPQ programmes.
    • Subject knowledge for primary teaching: the influence of the personal dimension on beginning primary teachers’ conceptualisations and interpretations

      Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018)
      This paper argues that professional discourse relating to subject knowledge for primary teaching is less than coherent in the context of initial teacher training (ITT). This study explored the ways in which the term subject knowledge was conceptualised and interpreted by beginning primary teachers. The research was conducted across two ITT partnerships with final-year undergraduate trainees. Data were collected via questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and participatory visual methods. The findings indicated that conceptualisations of subject knowledge were highly individualised and dependent on personal factors, rather than reflecting a shared understanding of a critically distinct concept.
    • Bringing languages to life: a longitudinal study of the development of creative practice in student teachers of modern languages

      Hulse, Bethan; University of Chester (SAGE, 2017-12-29)
      This article reports the findings of a longitudinal study exploring the process of learning to teach modern languages in the changing landscape of teacher education. It employs a postmodern critical ethnographic methodology to examine the experiences of a group of student teachers over the course of a one-year postgraduate teacher education programme in England. The focus is on how experiences in university and in school encourage or discourage the development of creativity. The schools inspectorate, Ofsted, is critical of lifeless teaching which fails to inspire young people to learn languages. However, the pressures of ‘performative’ requirements act as a discouragement to creativity. The data indicates that whilst student teachers express a desire to be more creative, they find it difficult to implement their ideas in school. A post-structuralist analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation is employed to argue that the early formation of professional identity is a process of acquiescence to oppressive external structures over which individuals have no control. The study concludes that it is possible to create spaces where the temporary suspension of alienation can allow individuals to put life back into language learning.
    • Drawing

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-10-12)
      This year’s conference took a fresh look at a fundamental element of art education: drawing. Drawing can be thought of in many different ways, not least as a direct and immediate means of rendering thought itself into form; conceived in this way drawing is a fundamental extension of the thinking process itself. The media of drawing are as varied as its modes of expression, and this is another reason for its enduring fascination for us: its potential is infinite, and although each mark and expression is necessarily culturally specific, there is no limit to its iterations, nor any to its potential for cultural appropriation.
    • Inclusion

      Holt, James D.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-09-04)
      Inclusion in the Secondary RE Classroom
    • Challenging the rules of engagement: Co-creation of knowledge in the public art museum

      Adams, Jeff; Riding, Deborah (University of Chester, 2017-07)
      This research examined perceptions of knowledge about art in the gallery and explored the potential of co-creation as a possible model with which to genuinely learn with our audience. Data for the study was generated at a gallery I have been based at throughout the period of undertaking the research. Participants were recruited from this gallery from groups implicated in knowledge co-creation: educators, curators, gallery assistants and audience members. Participants took part in a group workshop at the gallery facilitated by an artist educator, designed to provide opportunities to develop new knowledge together. Following the workshop, participants were interviewed and their experiences analysed. Other data generated through the workshop, as well as analysis of organisational documentation, and reflection on my own practice as a gallery educator, have been drawn together through a bricolage approach. Through analysis of data, I have constructed a situated taxonomy of knowledge types in the gallery and a conceptual model of co-creation. Key paradigms of knowledge have been identified, and the issues associated with the authoritative nature of institutional knowledge presented as a significant barrier to co-creation. Findings indicate that a fundamental shift in the epistemological stance of the gallery is required. A new not-knowing paradigm has been constructed to accommodate models of co-creation shown to be successful in generating a collaborative learning experience, which I have termed ‘learning-with’.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.
    • On the margins: the last place to rebel? Understanding young people’s resistance to social conformity

      Atherton, Frances; McKay, Jane; University of Chester (The Polity Press and the Univeristy of Bristol, 2017-06-28)
      Young people have for decades been the subject of repeated ‘moral panics’ (Cohen, 2002) in western society. From the troubles of the ‘teenager’ in the early post-war period; the mods and rockers of the sixties; the anarchic punk sub-culture of the seventies through to the most recent manifestation of moral panic – the NEET (not in employment, education or training), there is an apparent tension in the simultaneous empowerment and subjugation of young people that manifests through discourses of children’s rights, voice and participation, alongside competing discourses of failure, risk and problematisation. The media portrayal that fuels the moral panic of unruly and out-of-control young people presents an idea that these young people are both frightening to ordinary members of society, and each other (The Independent, 2009), and has extended to the “disruptive use of public space” by young people (Robinson, 2009, p510). In a society framed by risk and austerity-driven reduced life chances for many, anti-social behaviour and disengaged, marginalised youth is fast becoming the norm. In contrast, recent policy trajectories have foregrounded the rights of young people in all areas of policy (McKay, 2014), promoting a more hopeful view of young people as active citizens, participating in civil society, their rights supported through Article 12 of the UN Charter for the Rights of the Child [UNCRC] (UNESCO 1989). Each of these viewpoints has its own literature, its own discourse. Each considers the lives of young people as largely homogenous; seen through whatever policy lens is selected for any given social crisis. By contrast, this chapter considers the way that young people themselves understand and view their position in relation to their social environment, and offers an illustration of the complex and often unintended ways that young people are marginalised in everyday life. Marginalisation is therefore considered, not as an end-product of social dysfunction, rather it emerges as a process by which the young people themselves may negotiate their position in different social situations in order to effect autonomy and self-determination, even within the smallest and most mundane activities. Drawing on the psychological theory of Erikson (1972), we consider what Erikson refers to as the “leeway of mastery in a set of developments or circumstances” which suggested “free movement within prescribed limits” (p.691). A literal translation being space of, or space for, play; what the rules of the game allow. The concept of social play is an important feature of Erikson’s work and relates to the fifth stage of psycho-social development; adolescence. The importance of play in the early years is a well-rehearsed discussion; however, the concept of play in the transition stage from childhood to adulthood, adolescence, provokes a re-consideration of the ways that young people explore and learn about themselves and their world. We consider freedom and autonomy for the young person to follow their own particular motivations, yet within ‘prescribed limits’. The chapter explores how space is negotiated and at particular points of intersection, potential conflict is tempered to maintain the freedom which boundary spaces may offer. It considers the important role of resistance at places of intersection, where the desire to define a new liberty, a free space (Robinson, 2010) is bargained, for as she suggests, “leisure practices can…. Involve opposition, resistance and transgression” (p.508), and these are the key emerging elements of the young people’s social play that we examine.
    • The UK National Arts Education Archive: Ideas and Imaginings

      Adams, Jeff; Bailey, Rowan; Walton, Neil; University of Chester; Huddersfield University; Goldsmiths College (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-06-19)
      The National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) is housed and maintained by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), managed by YSP coordinators and educators with a well-established volunteer programme. This year, 2017, as part of the celebrations of the YSP’s 40th anniversary, the Archive will hold its own exhibition entitled Treasures Revealed: a collection of items selected by people who have been involved in the Archive, whether as donors, volunteers, researchers, artists, trustees or steering group members. In parallel with the exhibition, this paper aims to give voice to a selection of individuals and groups associated with the Archive, discussing their interests and experiences of it, and their thoughts on its value and importance as a repository of arts education materials, ideals and practices. Our primary motivations were to consider these different voices in relation to the purpose, direction and relevance of the NAEA today. These exchanges raise fundamental questions and debates about what art education is and what it might become, and how these historical collections, and creative engagements with it, might help to shape our contemporary thinking.
    • An exploratory study of women’s experiences regarding the interplay between domestic violence and abuse and sports events

      Garratt, Dean; Keeling, June J.; Moran, Paul; Swallow, Jodie (University of Chester, 2017-06)
      This qualitative study aimed to examine and critically explore women’s accounts as to how their abusive partner’s interest in sport (team combat sports in particular) impacted on the domestic violence and abuse they endured. The study was underpinned by feminist standpoint epistemology and Lacanian theory. Values aligning with feminist standpoint epistemology, such as the nature and balance of power, were central to this research which had at its core the voices of marginalised women. At the stages of analysis and discussion the Lacanian model of the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary were used to explore the women’s accounts. This model has afforded new insights into this culturally sensitive topic by removing the focus from the women who sustained abuse to the nature of the abuse they endured. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with nine women who were accessing women’s support services. The women spoke of the abuse they had endured during the course of a heterosexual, intimate relationship. Thematic analysis provided new perspectives regarding the interplay between sport fanaticism and domestic violence and abuse. This thesis extends existing research which has sought to interrogate the association between domestic violence and sporting events (mainly team combat sports). The significance of this study is that it confers deeper, richer understandings regarding the nature of domestic violence and abuse. It reveals how the perpetrators of abuse use violence and/or coercive and controlling behaviours around their sporting interests as a means of asserting power and subjugating their partners. The study is important in that it discloses how the perpetrators perceived some sports, especially football, as preserve which promoted male supremacy. It suggests avenues for further research and reflects upon the cultural significance of sport and team combat sport in particular. The study concludes by suggesting two key points which emerge from this study which underscore the pernicious, chronic and shifting nature of DVA and highlight the need for vigilance in responding to the cultural resources liable to be exploited by perpetrators of abuse.