• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Integrating visual arts into post-diagnostic dementia support groups in Memory Services.

      Ponsillo, Nick; orcid: 0000-0003-1030-8028; Boot, Julia; Jones, Katy (2020-09-16)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • Tertiary Education

      Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Springer, 2020-01-05)
      The phase of education proceeding compulsory education, including higher education. Typically there is no upper limit to the age at which an individual can participate in tertiary education. It is sometimes referred to as lifelong learning given the lack of upper age limit. Tertiary education often bridges the skills and knowledge gap between the general education that an individual receives at school and work.
    • 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.