• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Understandings of creative practice and pedagogy by teacher education communities in West Bank, Palestine, and North West England

      Adams, Jeff; orcid: 0000-0003-1635-9280; Al-Yamani, Hala; Arya-Manesh, Emma; Mizel, Omar; Owens, Allan; Qurie, Dua’a (Informa UK Limited, 2020-01-27)
    • Cultural Antecedents of Sustainability and Regional Economic Development - A Study of SME ‘Mittelstand’ Firms in Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

      Kraus, Patrick; Stokes, Peter; Cooper, Sir Cary; Liu, Yipeng; Moore, Neil; Britzelmaier, Bernd; Tarba, Shlomo (Informa UK Limited, 2020-01-20)
    • 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.
    • Beyond the Big Six Religions: Expanding the Boundaries in the Teaching of Religion and Worldviews

      Holt, James D.; University of Chester (University of Chester Press, 2019-11-04)
      Beyond the Big Six is a timely addition to the body of work surrounding the teaching of Religious Education in schools. The book will build on research surrounding the desirability and possibility of expanding the breadth of religious and non-religious worldviews within the classroom. Although it will be recognized that there are challenges in the existing circumstances to the inclusion of ‘smaller’ religions this book will articulate the importance of such an inclusion in today’s society. It will also explore how such religions might be used within the RE classroom; one distinctive quality of this book is the focus it will have on classroom applicability. While it will draw on research, there will be chapters to help teachers adopt an approach to the teaching of the major world religions, and particular Key Stages
    • Religious Education

      Holt, James D.; University of Chester (Learning Matters, 2019-10-12)
      An exploration of pedagogical subject knowledge and the teaching of RE in the primary school
    • Science

      Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (Learning Matters, Sage, 2019-10-12)
      The chapter explores and deconstructs the nature of subject knowledge for teaching primary science from integrated theoretical and practice-based perspectives.
    • Introduction

      Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (Learning Matters, Sage, 2019-10-07)
      The introductory chapter provides the theoretical framework of subject knowledge for primary teaching that is then adopted through the remainder of this edited volume.
    • Making connections

      Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (Learning Matters, Sage, 2019-10-07)
      This final chapter of the book draws together the subject-specific chapters and considers the role of subject knowledge in cross-curricular approaches.
    • Making and Relational Creativity: An exploration of relationships that arise through creative practices in informal making spaces

      Adams, Jeff; Bulkeley, Jane; Bennett, Lindsey, H (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-09-27)
      This thesis investigates the connections between making and relational creativity, exploring relationships that arise through creative practices in informal making spaces. As the researcher, my background is that of both artist and educator, and I combine both roles to work alongside students within the space. The aims of the study are to explore the impact such spaces have on teachers professional relationships with students together with the impact on student relationships. In addition, the research also aims to address the implications of informal making spaces for the school curriculum in England. The research is centred around the A/R/Tography Collective, a making space created to allow students the opportunity to meet and create after school outside of lesson time. The research builds on the democratic learning practices of Room 13 and Reggio Emilia models of learning. Using a qualitative approach within a narrative paradigm in the form of case study, I work alongside students within the field. By employing an immersive approach where field notes were written up retrospectively and reflected upon, I have been able to offer a holistic and balanced account of both my own and participant experiences, exposing the complexities and problematic nature of creative practices emerging outside of the curriculum framework. My findings reveal that by deconstructing traditional pedagogical frameworks, the lived experiences of students are revealed through the process of making, providing a unique insight into their lives. The findings suggest that the current art and design curriculum in England is not meeting the needs of students, and recommends the value of making spaces that exist outside of the curriculum framework to enhance learner experience. The research recommends that by allowing students freedom of expression within curriculum time, relationships between students and teacher are developed and strengthened. This in turn positively impacts on student performance within curriculum time. The research recommends the need for educators to inhabit a more holistic role, to tailor their pedagogy to meet the individual, ever changing needs of students.
    • 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.
    • Leverage Leadership: A new paradigm for further education

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Further Education Trust for Leadership, 2019-07-19)
      he purpose of this article is to review existing models of leverage leadership which are currentlyapplicable to schools to establish whether they are appropriate for further education colleges. Due to the complexities of the environment in which further education colleges operate and the scale of the organisations involved, models of leverage leadership have not currently been applied to this sector. The paper proposes that a new model Distributed Leverage Leadership is more suitable to further education colleges. Unlike existing models which are predicated on the head of the organisation adopting the principles of leverage leadership, Distributed Leverage Leadership suggests a shared responsibility between senior and middle leaders. The model is predicated on a notion of forensic analysis of data, regular observations of learning, building a culture of high expectations and accountability.
    • Leverage Leadership: Lessons from further education

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Further Education Trust for Leadership, 2019-07-17)
      The purpose of this article is to review the models of leverage leadership which are currently available in the compulsory sector to establish whether the models are appropriate for post compulsory education, and in particular for general further education colleges. In addition the article explores how a further education institution has gone about implementing leverage leadership. The article does this through a series of semi-structured interviews with senior and middle leaders and teachers on the aspects that they have implemented. Due to the complexities of the environment in which further education colleges operate, models of leverage leadership have not yet been extensively applied to this sector. What was derived was the emphasis of leverage leadership has been placed on a shift in approach to seeking assurances around the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. Moreso, then the use of data, which the institution in this article recognises that they are still some way of achieving, within the spirit of the proposed model.
    • Exploring Inclusion and Diversity within Undergraduate Teacher Training Programmes in England

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; McGrath, Sarah; Chaudhary, Diksha; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07)
      This research has been triggered by the consistent references to the increase in the number of children from ethnically diverse population in schools in England and lack of confidence and preparedness of teachers to teach children from diverse backgrounds. A government commissioned Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) survey encouraged them to respond to questions related to their preparedness and confidence to teach children from all ethnic backgrounds and who have English as additional language, one year after gaining their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The aim of this research is to explore the perspectives and challenges of students (referred to as Associate teachers (ATs)) on teacher training programmes related to their knowledge and understanding of inclusion and diversity from the teacher training programmes. This research examined the perceptions of ATs on their final year of the three-year degree on initial teacher education programme and some teacher educators teaching this cohort of students who are programme leaders, year leaders, and other staff, who provide enriching experiences related to diversity. Data was collected through a survey consisting of open questionnaires for teacher educators and ATs were requested to volunteer to respond to questions on an online forum. The online survey was kept open for a short window of four weeks to enable ATs to respond in their own time and ensure anonymity. The responses provided by ATs and Teacher Educators (TEs) have been analysed using qualitative data analysis applying the three steps - Developing and Applying Codes, identifying themes, patterns and relationships and summarizing the data. The data resulted in four themes : concepts and contexts of diversity, experiences on the programme, preparedness to teach and challenges. The ATs and TEs articulate that there was significant impact of the teacher training programme on preparing them to teach children from diverse ethnic backgrounds. They acknowledged the lack of diversity in the placements to teach children from diverse backgrounds as one of the key challenges and barriers faced.
    • Exploring Learning Conversations between Mentors and Associate Teachers in Initial Teacher Education

      Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2019-06-03)
      Purpose - The aim of this paper is to analyse the learning conversations that take place in the context of secondary initial teacher education (ITE) in England. More specifically, it aims to examine the learning conversations that occurred between physical education (PE) subject mentors and their associate teachers (ATs) during a one-year postgraduate programme. Design/methodology/approach – Self-completion questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, with eleven ATs within a university ITE partnership, were used to explore ATs’ perceptions of the learning conversations that occurred between them and their mentors. A process of content analysis was used to identify and analyse themes in the data. Findings – Meaningful learning conversations are not exclusively based on mentors’ feedback on ATs’ teaching. The ongoing everyday dialogue that occurs between mentors and ATs has a direct impact on the ATs’ teaching and a more indirect effect of nurturing collaborative relationships and providing access to a learning community. Successful mentoring is not realised through an isolated weekly lesson observation of the ATs’ teaching. It is an immersive process where the AT and the mentor face the ongoing challenge of exploring aspects of pedagogy and developing a relationship that is conducive to shared learning. Practical implications - These findings have implications for providers of ITE and more specifically how they approach mentor training. Examining learning conversations, and in particular the more informal everyday dialogue that occurs between the mentor and the AT, may have significant impact on the learning of those who are training to teach. Originality/value - Informal learning conversations are central to the mentoring process. These findings highlight the value of learning conversations and in particular the impact of informal everyday dialogue that may otherwise be overlooked.
    • The Neoliberal Educational “Imaginary” as experienced by a group of Primary School Headteachers

      Moran, Paul; Carr, Victoria L. C. (University of Chester, 2019-05-14)
      In this thesis I undertake a critical policy analysis in which I place education reform in the UK within the context of a changing social structure, transformed since the advent of neoliberalism in the 1970s, and examine the implications of reform on the role of primary school Headteachers. In particular, I situate my analysis within increased promotion of global economic competition and policy supported by neoliberal ideology in which the prevailing government seeks to retain legitimacy by claiming to institute reforms to improve education, whilst simultaneously reducing direct funding which is, in fact, destabilising it. Neoliberalism is a distinct political ideology that has flourished in the Western world over the last four decades and is based on theories of the free market; underpinned by economic efficiency, bureaucracy, rationality and measurable performativity. I look in detail at how the leadership of schools has changed, as a direct result of the implementation of new managerial instruments, and how resistance to these changes has been largely futile. Lacanian thinking would suggest that ideology which assumes education is a physical state that is inherently part of a democratic process, inextricably linked to politics, positively transformational and measurable, is in fact imaginary (Lacan, 2006). Our imaginary “order is embedded in the material word” and woven into the reality around us (Harari, 2012, p.127). It is within this ‘imaginary’ conceptualisation that my research is positioned. I present, and analyse, empirical data gathered from a number of primary school Headteachers from a range of contexts that outlines their lived experience as they attempt to navigate the, what could be described as, strongly surreal or ‘Kafkaesque’ (Löwy,1997) educational ‘imaginary’, as it is currently configured and, explore the efficacy of a forum that is used to support them as they therefore attempt the untenable. The significant issue of school context as an effect of how a school performs in testing regimes is substantial. It is clear that context greatly impacts on the extent to which Headteachers must shift their beliefs and practice to satisfy performative expectations. I conclude with an acknowledgement that to attempt to rationalise the educational ‘hyperreal’ without an appreciation of power and manipulation is impossible and, that the role of primary school Headteachers may only be plausible with the scaffold of forums such as the one examined within this research.
    • Provoking the Field: International Perspectives on Visual Arts PhDs in Education

      Sinner, Anita; Irwin, Rita; Adams, Jeff; Concordia University; University of British Columbia; University of Chester (Intellect, 2019-05-13)
      Provoking the Field invites debate on, and provides an essential resource for, transnational arts-based scholars engaged in critical analyses of international visual arts education and its enquiry in doctoral research. Divided into three parts – doctoral processes, doctoral practices and doctoral programmes – the volume interrogates education in both formal and informal learning environments, ranging from schools to post- secondary institutions to community and adult education. The book brings together a global range of authors to examine visual arts PhDs using diverse theoretical perspectives; innovative arts and hybrid methodologies; institutional relationships and scholarly practices; A compendium of leading voices in arts education, Provoking the Field provides a diverse range of perspectives on arts enquiry, and a comprehensive study of the state of visual arts PhDs in education.
    • Transformative interventions: Creative practices in an Education Doctorate programme

      Adams, Jeff; Arya-Manesh, Emma; University of Chester (Intellect, 2019-05-13)
      This research explores the effects upon students’ doctoral research of the experience of engaging with a mandatory creativity component that was introduced into the second year of their EdD (educational doctorate) programme. The research focuses on the transformative potential of creative interventions upon the professional practices of students who previously had had little opportunity or experience of practising and theorising creatively. The course was run in collaboration with an international contemporary art gallery, which provided the stimulus and catalyst for the subsequent creative practices. Two case studies of students from diverse professional backgrounds, health and mathematics, disclose and discuss their personal experience of studying and utilising arts-based research methodologies, and consider the consequences of this for their subsequent approach to doctoral research.