• 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.
    • Applied fantasy and wellbeing

      Wall, Tony; MacKenzie, Anna; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester and Storyhouse (Springer, 2019-10-01)
      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.
    • 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.
    • Informal Music-Making and Well-Being

      Solé i Salas, Lluís; Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester and Storyhouse (Springer, 2019-09-26)
      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.
    • The Plastic Ceiling Project: Representing the Pain of Mothers that Work and Study

      Adams, Jeff; Bamber, Sally; Misra, Sarah (University of Chester, 2019-08-27)
      My previous research around mothers that work and study, showed that many of their everyday, emotional experiences could be regarded as “unseen” in that they were routine, invisible and unnoticed and were often played out in private. For those experiences that could be regarded as emotionally painful, their “unseen” nature was further complicated as tendencies toward denial, withdrawal, and self-isolation were common reactions to deeply felt emotional pain. Thus, these experiences were frequently concealed in two ways as they were both “unseen” and hidden. A fundamental principle of feminist research is to liberate by exposing, that which is concealed and suppressed and to make feminine lived experiences visible. Modern, feminist research uses a wide range of research methods and in recent years, arts-based and narrative research have emerged as disciplines from within the broader field of qualitative research. Feminist scholars have found visual, narrative inquiry methods to be useful tools in obtaining rich data from traditionally marginalised perspectives and have stressed the transformative opportunities for the development of continuities between the “unseen” and the “seen” through potential to reveal and expose hidden oppression, promote empathetic understanding of the ways in which people experience their worlds and present new opportunities for communication, protest and campaign I believe that artists and ethnographers often share strong, emancipatory affinities through their research intentions and so could productively collaborate and learn from each others’ practices. An artist-practitioner and mother myself, I also had responsibility for leading the postgraduate teacher training provision in a local university full-time and studying for a doctorate and I became interested in the potential of using arts-based, ethnographic research to investigate and tell the stories of other working/studying parents. I was particularly interested in findings from previous research which had identified that whilst all parents routinely reported similar issues around practical issues of balancing multiple roles; the painful, emotional aspects of managing life as a working/studying mother were exclusively female territory and had been described by almost every female participant as pernicious, significant and disempowering aspects of their lived experiences. I set up The Plastic Ceiling Project with the intention of developing an arts-based research methodology unequivocally and explicitly grounded in emancipatory feminist principles. My initial research question was simply; “why do mothers that work and study often report painful emotions such as guilt, shame, frustration, anger, and loneliness?” This work is an exploration of The Plastic Ceiling Project and its effectiveness in realising these challenges.
    • Presence that makes a difference: cultivating a transformative agency in education through research-based applied theatre and drama

      Bragby, Kerstin (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-08-14)
      Applied theatre and drama (ATD), defined as an ecology of practices in a variety of fields, is often attributed with the transformative outcomes integral to social change achieved through co-processual art. However, how the nature of transformative learning and change is activated in practice is hard to establish. In this thesis, activation centres on re-cultivation of the core of different professional roles, identities and learning cultures embedded in the disruptive crises and questions of our time. It involves; renewing professional motivation, skills and cocreative performativity in alignment with sustainable inclusion of competition, oppositions, conflicts and systemic demands from a changing world. The thesis explores how cultivated sensitivities, competences and sociality in ATD processes, originating in devised actor and ensemble training and progressive pedagogies, can activate transformative adult learning. Central concepts used are fictional frames in role-taking, improvisation and staging. These allow for self-mirroring one’s own socio-culturally individual and collective enactment as spect-actor; making explicit, the intra- inter- and transsubjective contextuality that otherwise would remain implicit. Transparency and negotiation allow for de- and re-construction, spontaneous re-combination, rehearsal and actualization of alternative realities. A triangulated- socio-cultural systemic and ATD theoretical framework is used to analyse how the generative socio-aesthetic practice of ATD can re-cultivate knowledge process’. This thesis takes the form of an action research project over an 8-year period, a multi-method study of four cases aspiring to socially innovate professional and educational process. The four cases focus in turn on; teachers, female entrepreneurs, adults with functional variations, my own educational and professional trajectory as theatre actress and university teacher. The primary research approach is practice-led research-based ATD informed by a spectrum of social science methods used to develop an interfacing pedagogical, co-learning, co-creative, and co-researching methodology. Inspired by Scharmers systemic view of an advanced tridirectional approach to social science this intertwines the constitution of knowledge, reality and self as a coherent framework. Phenomenologically this involves observing the firstperson’s individualized consciousness and the evolution of self when active in co-creative involvement; it is concerned with engaging collective dialogic conversing social fields in second-person social transformation. Action research connects third person science through embodying and representing the internalised actual enactment of institutional patterns and structures. The findings indicate that these expanded ATD-processes can establish collaborative trust and social explorative creativity through serious playfulness with personal and collective difficulties, excitements, and adversities. These are conceptualised as pedagogical entrances that allow for the cultivation of subtle and complex qualities of presence, meta-awareness and advanced co-inquiring observations. The individual and collective improvisational skills emerge as critical and creative social re-imaginings that can feed transformative learning; raising awareness and critical perspectives, shifting points and frames of references that help re-frame pre-assumptions, habitual blind spots and behaviours and negotiate new meaning and understanding. A core cultivated social capacity is identified, resembling theatre actor’s stage-self, transmittable to different professional regimes. It is defined as a transformative agency, experienced as an expanded centred sense of omni-presence, distributed self and identity. It allows a flexible, improvisational mind-full and socially reciprocal character to emerge.
    • 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.
    • Exploring Inclusion and Diversity within Undergraduate Teacher Training Programmes in England

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; McGrath, Sarah; Chaudhary, Diksha; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07-31)
      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.
    • 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.
    • 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.