• Travelling to the top of the mountain: The use of found poetry to explore Palestinian and Arab teachers' perceptions and experience of their participation in a drama in education summer school

      Owens, Allan; Adams, Jeff; Bamber, Sally; Alsawayfa, Fadel (University of Chester, 2019-07-16)
      The purpose of this qualitative arts-based research study is to illustrate the potential of using found poetry to explore Palestinian and Arab teachers' perceptions and the experience of their participation in a drama in education summer school. The study sought to gain insight of how nine teachers from Palestine and Arab countries start their journey in learning drama and how they make sense of their experience. This study is grounded in narrative inquiry and interpretivist standpoint theories and presents teachers‘ lived experience in poetic form. In this study, I adopted a qualitative case study design paired with poetic research methodology to interpret and analyse the teachers‘ experiences in depth. The study uses semi-structured interviews and the reflective journals of nine participants in the drama in education summer school. Three key themes were identified: space and place, coexistence and the power of drama. I created forty found data poems representing these thematic findings in the words of participants. The poems were briefly analysed to open discussion and allow the readers to make their own interpretations. Found poetry was illustrated as a means of data analysis and re-presentation in qualitative research. The analysis and re-presentation of the teachers‘ interviews and reflective journals through found poetry led to an in-depth understanding of their experience. The findings of the study revealed that the summer school had a positive impact upon them. It offered them an opportunity to interact, communicate and coexist. The findings also revealed that drama had a positive impact upon teachers personally and professionally. It is concluded that researchers, education policymakers and teachers may benefit from understanding the experience of teachers‘ participation in the drama in education summer school through poetry.
    • 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.
    • Desperate Journeys

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Wiley, 2019-05-02)
      At a time of endemic xenophobia some artists have attempted to resistance by depicting its damaging consequences, revealing the inequalities that fuel its disfigurement of human relations and discourse, and which have now resulted in mass human displacement. Paul Dash’s recent paintings of refugees attempting dangerous and degrading sea crossings are the main subject of this paper, and these works are discussed in the context of his negative educational experiences as a child, and his salvation through painting in the sanctuary of his school’s art room. This school experience and the trajectory of his artistic career are contextualised by the current marginalisation of the arts in the curriculum and the increasing scarcity of critical and creative approaches to education.
    • Discourses of incapacity and emancipation: an autoethnographic study of CPD courses delivered by Western educators in an Ugandan context

      Owens, Allan; Devarakonda, Chandrika; Smith, Sharon (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-05-01)
      This thesis examines the complex nature of teacher-led professional development delivered by Western teachers in a Non-Western context. I use an autoethnographic approach and employ a range of reflective and reflexive methods, such as visual images, journals, interviews and sketches to expose and explore the tensions experienced when engaging with CPD in a culture vastly different to my own and within a post-colonial context. This thesis employs theories from Homi Bhabha to explore the key concepts of postcolonialism and decolonisation, Zygmunt Bauman to examine the concepts of community and identity, and Jacques Rancière and Etienne Wenger to explore theories of education and learning such as stultification and emancipation and communities of practice, all of which are pivotal in understanding the complexities and tensions of experience throughout this research. I scrutinise moments of dis-ease, a term borrowed from Sweetman (2003, p.528), whereby the programme appears rooted in a form of neo-colonialism fuelled by globalised models of education that reinforces little more than a discourse of incapacity and a reiteration of a single story of African Otherness. Conversely, I also observe moments where there emerges a community of practice that offers an emancipatory model of education and offers participants the opportunity to reinscribe their identities as part of a global community. I conclude that programmes such as this have the potential to be both positive and negative and that, unlike examples of voluntourism in which the participants serve to create and perpetuate deficit-models of colonialist thinking, there is a need to accept that participants engaging in professional discourse have the capacity to review and decide whether the positive impacts are valid and valued enough to make their pursuit worthwhile. It is critical to resist the urge to make a sweeping generalisation about CPD programmes in vastly different cultural contexts because too many variables exist to make such a broad stroke accurate, but there must be an onus on all involved to evaluate the ramifications of participation and to continue or desist in these programmes as is appropriate.
    • Transitions to higher education: the case of students with vocational background

      Katartzi, Eugenia; Hayward, Geoff (Informa UK Limited, 2019-04-27)
    • Using Kaleidoscopic Pedagogy to Foster Critically Reflective Learning about Management and Leadership

      Owens, Allan; Passila, A.; Malin, Virpi; University of Chester, Lapeenranta University of Technology, Jyvaskyla University. (Palgrave macmillan, 2019-04-19)
      This chapter focuses on an Arts-Based Intervention (ABI) into an Introductory course of Management and Leadership offered to students considering key concepts and frames of thinking in the field for the first time. First, we introduce Kaleidoscopic Pedagogy and conceptually frame our ABI in relation to the mode of learning that it allows for together with the drive for equality that it is concerned with. We then introduce the context of the ABI, describe the course and its background and the course facilitators together with information about the participants. Emphasis is placed on the way the course was framed to bring a sense of present-day management reality through our use of art-based methods including an ongoing collaboration with an experienced R&D manager who is part of the course team. Next an explanation of the content of three of the Art-based Methods used in the course as part of the whole ABI. This is followed by a description of the process of learning providing a sense of what the experience of learning would be like for a participant. The impact and experiences of learning during the intervention are then discussed from the students’ and the tutors’ perspectives. The final two sections focus on impact and lessons learned.
    • The impact of work based learning: A creative exploration of learners’ experience

      Scott, Deborah S. (University of Chester, 2019-03)
      The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the impact of work based learning through a creative exploration of learners’ experience. The impact expected in work based learning is at personal, professional and/ or organisational level, and might extend beyond the organisation, to social order. However, the nature and extent of impact is variable, and sometimes not evident at all. This variability and apparent lack of impact is of pedagogical and economic concern for all parties involved in the tripartite work based learning relationship: learners expect to perceive some benefit from undertaking such a course of study; higher education providers need to show relevance to the working world; organisations assume there will be operational or strategic outcome from their employees’ engagement in work based learning. Wider than this, the significance of learning of relevance to the United Kingdom’s productivity is articulated in the government’s Industrial Strategy (GOV.UK, 2017). The investigation takes a narrative research approach to explore the experiences of recent Masters graduates of a negotiated work based learning programme for distance learners. The data were analysed using the concepts of Thirdspace, equality, creativity, and critical reflection. The creation of play scripts is an innovative feature of this thesis, representing an interpretation of participants’ stories about their work based learning experience. This imagined embodiment of learners’ experience facilitated greater empathy and understanding, supporting a critical perspective on the nature of impact. Insights emerging from the research suggest that impact was experienced by all research participants, but varied in nature and extent due to factors such as employment position; self-confidence, self-perception and personal experience; the culture and economic position of the organisation. Some participants’ employment position supported their use of their work based learning to instigate organisational change. For others, a marginal employment position offered opportunity to use learning for professional development. However, marginalisation might also hinder impact beyond the personal when combined with other factors such as an organisation’s financial constraints, and might prevent enactment of emerging radical ideas about the social order. Even when impact was deep, it might not be overt. A further insight was that collaboration was significant in effecting impact. This investigation offers a new perspective on impact in the context of work based learning, which highlights the creative, subtle and emotional aspects. The findings prompt review of teaching, learning and assessment practice leading to identification of strategies to accommodate and support students’ performance and development.
    • Art and empowerment

      Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Wiley, 2019-02-13)
      Editorial discussing local art communities in Bethlehem and Liverpool empowering artists and students by supporting them and exhibiting their work.
    • A reflexive arts investigation: An examination of the shifting gendered identities of mother and daughter through psychodynamic and feminist discourses.

      Sampson-Chappell, Lynn (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-02)
      This research is the culmination of nine years of collaborative and individual arts practice with my daughter, using a range of collaborative and individual art practices to document the stages of my daughter’s development and learning through play and experimentation with art materials. The thesis is a lived enquiry which gives my daughter authorship as co researcher, offering a unique insight into her understanding and learning through arts practice. The arts practice provides a voice to the child, which has been lost to the performativity metrics of the school institution. The research acknowledges the multiple identities of the researcher, mother, artist and educator. As an artist I live and embody the creative and critical inquiry, as the researcher I respond to the culture of the research community and as an educator / mother I respond to others involved in the artistic inquiry. The practice-based thesis consists of two interconnected elements: an exhibition of art practice created by me and my daughter working both symbiotically and independently accompanied by a written account of the process. The art work is a collection of early drawings and experimental mark-making, photographs, screen prints, casts and embossed papers which trace my daughter’s emotional development as she navigates her infancy, latency and emerging adolescence. At the same time the Exhibition documents the parallel processes in me as an artist/teacher and mother of my only child, through her infancy, childhood and adolescence. The practice-based thesis illustrates that healthy separation is a crucial feature of normal development, emerging identity and the journey from dependence, interdependence to independence. The shared and individual arts practice creates an external representation of what is usually an internal, invisible emotional struggle as mothers separate from their children and children strive for their right to become adults independent of their parents. This iii transitional movement is visible in the art practice. Psychodynamic ideas such as the mother as an object and a container are explored as boundaries are maintained by the mother despite being challenged by the daughter; at first these challenges are resisted and then, reluctantly relinquished by the mother. The mother’s own childhood is inevitably present in the art work and the analysis. This thesis adopts an autobiographical, ethnographic and reflexive approach, consequently the findings can only be subjective. It exposes a highly personal journey which is both painful and joyful. It offers insights into how an artist/teacher/mother can engage with a developing child through providing a containing relationship in which shared arts practice reveals and exposes in painstaking detail how separation is navigated as an ongoing, dynamic process. The art itself explores in very concrete ways how boundaries are sometimes held firmly and how they sometimes move, how emerging identity evolves, fades, changes and is finally brought into sharp relief. A parent who herself is not contained will find it difficult to contain her child through the ordinary turbulence of childhood.
    • Living and learning through song.

      Poole, Simon E. (University of Chester, 2019-01)
      autoethnography is concerned with the tension between innovation and tradition in the craft of songwriting and the learning this allows for. It is formed by two parts; the following written thesis and a choral song entitled ‘The Walk to Kitty’s Stone’. The work draws upon my own experiences whilst writing this song and qualitative data obtained through recorded discussions with other songwriters, with whom I am part of a folk group called ‘the loose kites’. The thesis is structured and viewed through a folkloristic lens. Bausinger’s work and his concepts of the spatial, temporal and social horizons expanding provide this lens and offer a theoretical framework for folk culture in the digital world to be investigated. Two research methods of songwriting are used within this framework to consider the learning that occurs. The first method allows for an expression of a psychogeographical understanding using a machine called a ‘Perambulographer’ which enabled me to draw graphic scores for composition while walking. The second method was an exercise in ekphrastic lyric writing. Learning is considered in terms of informal education, and music pedagogy and as such builds upon Green’s research. The key interpretations from the research highlight notions of authenticity, respect, political awareness and democratic values as significant features of songwriting. This study does not offer any new pedagogy but instead highlights how songwriting as ‘craft-based practice as research’ might offer an opportunity for songwriters to appreciate the relationships and values that they embody in their practice, specifically with regards to their own identity, when teaching. The work proposes that a songwriter’s home and folk culture has a significant influence on their identity and how they write songs. The main advance in practice is the development of a theory of ‘be-longing’ underpinning the advocacy of a folkloristic disposition in the context of education.
    • Psychogeography and Well-Being

      Scott, Clare; Marichalar-Freixa, Eva; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester and Storyhouse (Springer, 2019)
      A psychogeographical understanding offers a contemporary view that can be concerned with finding personal connections with place; an expression of political dissent; an expression of spirituality; or a documentation and consideration of a journey. It could also be an amalgamation of any of these to greater or lesser degrees. This understanding considers the historical significance of the flâneur, the dérive, psychogeography, from the urban to the rural, and how it has and will have, significant impact on self-efficacy, self-esteem, community, identity, landscape, and above all sustainability today and tomorrow.
    • Understanding subject knowledge for primary teaching

      Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (Learning Matters, Sage, 2019)
      How can trainee teachers begin their careers with a clear understanding of all the curriculum subjects? This book addresses the nature of subject knowledge in all foundation curriculum subjects. It deconstructs the elements of each subject through an exploration of the nature of the subject, a coverage of the 'skills' a study of this subject develops and through detailed analysis of case studies from practice. At a time when concerns about the lack of breadth in the primary curriculum are being voiced, this book supports busy trainee teachers to truly understand and be ready to teach all curriculum areas.
    • Applied fantasy and wellbeing

      Wall, Tony; MacKenzie, Anna; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester and Storyhouse (Springer, 2019)
      Applied Fantasy is a new, innovative approach to wellbeing that demonstrates the significant potential within fantasy literature and media to provide effective and sustainable coping strategies for positive mental health. Emerging at the intersection of fantasy literature and media, mental health and wellbeing, and fan studies, the benefits from Applied Fantasy are two-fold. First, the concept of an individual being part of a wider fandom is a positive step towards a) combating isolation and b) subverting the stigma surrounding mental health; and second, the contents of the fantasy works themselves provide solid examples and guidance on how to manage mental health concerns while not overtly discussing coping strategies for mental health.
    • Informal Music-Making and Well-Being

      Solé i Salas, Lluís; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester and Storyhouse (Springer, 2019)
      In order to define the nature of informal music, specifically music making and its multidimensional connections with one’s wellbeing. A brief history of how music making is understood is first offered in order to delineate associated research, and music learning models. It is hoped that this will provide some detailed definition of the contemporary context of music making, so that the approach of ‘Universal Design’, amongst others, in the making of music might be understood as a paradigm shift that might have benefits for wellbeing. Informal music making is in short defined as categorically separate from formal music making, but their overlapping and dynamic relationship is nonetheless recognised and also further expanded upon. Informal music making is also aligned to understandings of the intuitivist and rationalist composer.
    • Exploring the material mediation of dialogic space – A qualitative analysis of professional learning in Initial teacher education based on reflective sketchbooks

      Moate, Josephine; Hulse, Bethan; Jahnke, Holger; Owens, Allan; Jyvaskyla University; University of Chester; Europa University, Flensburg (Elsevier, 2018-12-05)
      This study addresses the crucial relationship between theory and practice as a key feature of professional learning in initial teacher education. The context for the study is an EU-funded intensive programme drawing on different dimensions of insideness and outsideness and arts-based pedagogies in response to the diversity of education today. The data for the study comes from self-selected pages from preservice teacher participants’ reflective sketchbooks. As a methodological approach that unifies the sensuous and cognitive this study suggests that reflective sketchbooks document the dialogic encounters of students whilst also providing a material space that can itself become a form of dialogic space for critical reflection. The main findings of the study outline critical ways in which preservice teachers transform theoretical inputs into individual expressions as well as conceptualise theory in relation to lived experience.
    • The Out-of-School Creative Practice of an Art Teacher

      Bamber, Sally; Adams, Jeff; Lloyd-Johnson, Jude (University of Chester, 2018-12)
      This research aims to give a greater understanding of the impact my teaching role has on my creative practice as a self-portrait photographer. This aim has been researched and explored using self-portrait photography and personal experiences in and outside of the classroom. Using the street photographer Vivian Maier as inspiration, I have reflected on how using the techniques of another practitioner could influence my practice and teaching. Pursuant to this, I have produced a portfolio of Street and Home Life selfportraits. With the application of auto-ethnographic research methods and a/r/tography approaches, I explored the tensions and parallels within my creative practice and my role as a researcher and teacher. As a photographer, researcher and teacher, I have found that each of these roles and identities are intertwined and interlinked such that it is impossible to separate them. I found that my creativity does not generally follow a journey from initial starting point to final piece and taking photographs in the style of another photographer limited the generation of my own ideas. Therefore, as a result of my research, I propose that there are two types of art, school art and creative practitioner art. The former follows a set of rules and criteria and is primarily assessed on the merit of the pupil’s skill level by the schools’ examination board. The latter can be organic and sometimes stilted in its creation, but judged by either art critics or purchasers of the art practice.