There are many staff and postgraduate students who are actively researching into a wide range of projects, and our numbers are growing. We encourage and support new research through our expanding doctoral programmes, the Doctorate in Education (EdD) and our MPhil/PhD programmes.

Recent Submissions

  • Children’s participation in research: tensions and dilemmas around ethical practice

    Devarakonda, Chandrika; University of Chester (Chrześcijańska Akademia Teologiczna w Warszawie, 2024-03-20)
    Are young children respected and cared for or overlooked by the practitioner or researcher’s personal goals in research? Are issues, related to ethics in relation to children’s consent and participation in research lost in translation especially in terms of expectations and interpretation in different cultural contexts. This paper explores the diverse perspectives of issues around ethics related to research with young children in early years settings.. It questions the perceived tensions around adults’ decisions about children’s participation in research. The issues related to children’s voice, gatekeepers of consent, participation, power and children’s rights will be discussed and the extent to which they influence the decisions which adults make about children’s participation in any research.
  • Evaluating an Institutional Response to Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI): Applying Kotter’s Change Model and Sharing Lessons Learned for Educational Development

    Potter, Jacqueline; Welsh, Katharine; Milne, Laura; University of Chester (Edinburgh Napier University, 2023-12-23)
    Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, there has been a dawning understanding in the higher education sector of ways Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools can challenge the traditional roles of academic teaching staff (e.g., Chan and Tsi, 2023) and support learning by students. For example, Mike Sharples in Sabzalieva and Valentini (2023) identifies ten roles that ChatGPT can play which would all support student learners. Media and sector concern has focused on whether GenAI use by students would disrupt the integrity of degrees and awards and there is a good deal of debate on how to adapt assessment, learning outcomes and curricula to reflect and reward unique human competences associated with a discipline or subject and embrace students’ use of GenAI. Educational development colleagues have been at the vanguard of leading higher education provider reactions and responses to the widespread availability and capabilities of GenAI. This case study reflects on a year of action to lead teaching staff and students as well as institutional policy and practice through a series of steps to enable rapid, proportionate and robust change. We apply Kotter’s (1996) eight stage change model to reflect on the activities, achievements and challenges to date. We do not purport to have finished but rather can see, one year in, that increasingly activity is more embedded into structures, routines, the practice of others, and our work as educational developers. We reflect forward too on the ways we will act next to ‘make change stick’ and on our own personal, professional journeys as educational change leaders, all of whom were new appointments in the educational development centre. We chart how we have been able to innovate and to lead complex educational change at pace.
  • Enabling collaborative lesson research

    Bamber, Sally; Blears‐Chalmers, Sarah; Egan-Simon, Daryn; Packer, Christine; Guest, Sarah; Hall, Joanna; University of Chester; Queen's Park High School, Chester; Ellesmere Port Catholic High School (Wiley, 2024-03-18)
    In this paper, we interrogate and justify the design of a local project that used collaborative design research in a secondary school in England. As authors, we represent teachers and teacher educators engaged in design research, whereby we acknowledge the difficulties implicit to university and school collaborations within a performative culture. Our analysis recognises the struggle for research‐informed professional judgement in the decision‐making and actions of educators that are situated in schools. A professional learning project is analysed to position teachers and teacher educators as practitioner researchers. In this respect, Stenhouse's work provides an analytical framework that is both a lens through which to interpret the nature of collaborations, as well as a methodology that allows us to understand the way in which we navigate the gap between educators' aspirations and the curriculum design and teaching within the project. The collaborative design research project was stimulated by an aspiration to make trigonometry accessible to low prior attaining pupils in a secondary mathematics classroom. This provides a stimulus for understanding the conditions that enable collaborative lesson inquiry and to question whether it can provoke raised aspirations for young people in inclusive classrooms. This allows us to understand the work of teachers as researchers and research users in an increasingly messy teacher education context. We interrogate the potentially problematic connection between research and practice within collaborative inquiry, as we understand how we enable research that is “held accountable for its relevance to practice” because “that relevance can only be validated by practitioners” (Stenhouse, 1988, p. 49).
  • Teaching the Lesson

    Bamber, Sally; Watson, Steven; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (Routledge, 2023-12-01)
    In this book chapter, the role of the mentor working with beginning teachers is discussed, as they teach their first mathematics lessons. Primarily we will consider how to support the beginning teacher with a structured and collaborative start to their classroom experience and how to allow them to explore different approaches to teaching and designing mathematics lessons. Supporting early teaching experiences involve planning the lesson, managing the emotional and practical aspects of the classroom and helping the beginning teacher to reflect on their teaching and the learning of students in order to use the experience constructively. The development of a range of pedagogical approaches, such as ways of building on prior knowledge, modelling and explaining mathematical ideas, providing feedback, supporting struggling students and asking questions that prompt students to think about mathematics also need to be considered. Initially, beginning teachers can be very concerned about whether they can respond to unforeseen events, including how they gain and maintain the students’ trust and cooperation. These features are addressed in this chapter.
  • The Building Blocks

    Bamber, Sally; University of Chester (Routledge, 2023-12-01)
    In this book chapter, I discuss models of professional knowledge that apply to mathematics teachers and illustrate this with ways that beginning mathematics teachers can develop their knowledge. This includes: • Specialist pedagogical knowledge for teaching mathematics • Beliefs about how mathematics is learned and taught • Mathematics teacher orientations • Connecting representations of knowledge in mathematics • Professional learning within a collaborative community of mathematics teachers. Learning to teach mathematics is a complex challenge for teachers and especially beginning teachers who bring with them a set of beliefs, experiences and dispositions that will influence their teacher identities, their beliefs about the classroom and how they behave as teachers. Within the context of learning to teach mathematics, beginning teachers will also encounter perspectives on the classroom from teacher educators in school and in other organisations such as the institute of higher education. Thus chapter addresses these aspects of learning to teach mathematics.
  • Playing with Ekphrasis

    Poole, Simon; University of Chester; Storyhouse (Weasel Bear Publishing, 2023-12-18)
    A second edition of the poetry that used ekphrasis as a method to investigate the tension between community and the individual
  • Bumblebees like jazz

    Poole, Simon; University of Chester (Weasel Bear Publishing, 2024-01-14)
    Poetry, to encourage and enthuse the primary school teacher to share their musical loves, and others.
  • Mini-museums as a nexus for storytelling and pedagogy

    Poole, Simon E.; Parkin, Harry; Southall, Helen; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2024-02-14)
    This research project aimed to explore the potential of storytelling pedagogies in educational settings, and to assess the feasibility of creating mini-museums in schools. Through the involvement of two primary schools in the Northwest of England, the project was able to collect primary data and refine plans for the introduction of artefacts and storytelling methods in other schools. The research assistants conducted interviews and used the 'Crazy 8' sketching technique to collect information about typical users, preferred type of product, preferences regarding colour schemes and visual design, typical contents, accessibility aspects, access and security issues, and other requirements specific to the school.
  • Perspectives of Time

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (Malmö Theatre Academy and Lund University, 2024-02-01)
    A poem in repsonse to the All Our Relations project funded by Malmö Theatre Academy and Lund University. The work was undertaken in Eastern Sweden over the course of several days working on eco-pedagogical approaches.
  • Editorial: Innovation, AI and the future of Education

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (RECAP, University of Chester, 01-02-2024)
    A co-authored piece with ChatGPT 3.5 for Editorial on Innovation, this piece discusses with AI, the future of Education given AIs meteoric rise and inevitable use. Focusing politically on the challenges that education might face in terms of innovation. This piece was heavily edited to create a more seamless discussion.
  • Quality Assurance of Edsential’s Trinity College London’s level 4 certificate for music educators programme of study

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (RECAP, University of Chester, 2023-08-28)
    A Quality Assurance report for Cheshire West and Chester's music traded services, operating under the CIC Edsential. This was a new programme of music educator study. Under the auspices of Trinity Colleges level 4 programme.
  • Physical education mentors in initial teacher training: who cares?

    Jones, Luke; Tones, Steve; Foulkes, Gethin; Newland, Andrew; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University (Emerald, 2023-12-14)
    Purpose – The broad aim of this paper is to use Noddings’ theory of ethical care to analyse mentors’ caring experiences. More specifically, it aims to analyse how physical education (PE) mentors provide care, how they are cared for, and how this impacts their role within the context of secondary PE initial teacher training (ITT). Design – Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data from 17 secondary PE mentors within the same university ITT partnership in the north-west of England. Questions focused on the mentors’ experiences of care and the impact this had on their wellbeing and professional practice. A process of thematic analysis was used to identify, analyse, and report patterns in the data. Findings – The participants reflected established definitions of mentoring by prioritising the aim of developing the associate teachers’ (AT) teaching rather than explicitly providing support for their wellbeing. This aim could be challenging for mentors who face personal and professional difficulties while supporting the training of an AT. Mentors frequently referred to the support of their departmental colleagues in overcoming these difficulties and the importance of developing interdependent caring relationships. Receiving care did not impede mentors from providing support for others; it heightened awareness and increased their desire to develop caring habits. Originality – Teacher wellbeing has drawn greater attention in recent years and is increasingly prioritised in public policy. These findings highlight the value of mentor wellbeing and how caring professional relationships can mitigate the pressures associated with performativity and managing a demanding workload.
  • Simply academic or damaging. What are the implications of academic stereotypes for women?

    Richards, Joanna; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2023-12-13)
    Since the public intellectuals of the 1960s, there has been a shift towards the celebrity academic, as subjects such as history and science have transferred into popular television entertainment, often with female academics as the presenters. Using a case study of the British media, a post-feminist lens has been applied to examine how 17 celebrity academics have been represented. The use of gendered academic stereotypes such as the blue stocking, the school ma’am, the eccentric academic and the thinking man's crumpet were in evidence, alongside the male academic stereotypes of the hegemonic academic male, the nerd and the complicit male. With increasing numbers of women participating in the education workforce, one might expect gendered stereotypes to have become more positive. This research indicates that academic stereotypes should be added to the list of gendered stereotypes that need to be addressed as part of the work towards gender equality.
  • Humankind: Writing from the Cheshire Prize for Literature 2022

    Poole, Simon; Parkin, Harry; University of Chester; Storyhouse (University of Chester Press, 2023-11-09)
    Collected writings from the Cheshire Prize for Literature
  • Becoming conservation champions through science learning

    Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2023-11-30)
    The chapter explores the theory and practice of teaching aspects of biodiversity and conservation to primary-aged children through the science curriculum.
  • Notes towards a pedagogy of be‐longing: Rewilding art and design education

    Poole, Simon; University of Chester (Wiley, 2023-10-18)
    This article reflects on 4 years of research activities in the fields of horticulture and creative praxis. The initial project was a personal one and set out with a simple methodology of collecting, observing, and recording a specific genus of plants, that of Mentha. But as the specific question of whether a garden can, or should, be thought of as a work of art was raised it developed into an interactive, more‐than‐human dynamic between the researcher and multiple species. Ultimately, this led to a consideration of the positionality and interactions of the creative practitioner as critical, in order to develop a transdisciplinary praxis that explores the ecological and transformative potential of learning and healing through gardening. Through a reflexive narrative approach, the role of gardening in education, therefore, is positioned as an art and design praxis and as a partial remedy for several salient, contemporary global issues and challenges. A praxis that if not the complete remedy might at least help, in part, to remedy the damaging ecological experiences of adult and child learners alike, and as such, this article concludes with a provocation for teachers as artists and activists.
  • Using EEG to measure resilience in postgraduate business students and its importance for future leaders

    Lambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Venerucci, Matteo; DaSilva, Carlos; Taylor, Michael; University of Chester; University of York Europe Campus; Brain Propaganda; University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (OMICS International, 2023-09-25)
    This paper aims to examine the time individuals take to recover from adverse effects presented to them. This is important because leadership, particularly transformational leadership, primarily focuses on an individual’s social interactions and their ability to exhibit resilience within their workplace. Zehir & Narcıkara (2016) identify the need for resilience of individuals as this culminates in increased levels of organisational resilience, which is a necessity for ensuring the ability to cope which a changing geo-political landscape.
  • General Further Education Colleges: the continuing dilemma of organisational culture

    Lambert, Steve; McCarroll, Andy; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2023-09-04)
    The role of organisational culture in supporting organisational outcomes is well documented in the further education (FE) sector within the UK. The benefits of a strong and unifying culture are recognised as having a positive impact on staff and students. However, a cultural institutional dichotomy has been acknowledged between the business and educational needs of colleges within the FE sector since the advent of incorporation in 1993. This paper utilised an interpretive, hermeneutical approach to analyse the perceptions of principals, middle leaders and teachers, within three general further education colleges (GFECs) in England to determine if that dichotomy exists in their current operating environment. The paper concludes that while there are elements of a clash of business and education ideals, general further education college (GFEC) culture has moved beyond the narrative of being corporate and driven solely by the concept of performativity. The article contributes to the ongoing debate on FE purpose and establishes the importance of aligning macro and subcultures into a set of professional working practices within GFECs to support positive student outcomes.
  • Guest editorial: Adult and higher education in changing global contexts: innovative theory and practices from Asian countries and beyond

    Lambert, Steve; Sun, Qi; Kang, Haijun; Archuleta, Kristi; University of Chester; University of Tennessee; Kansas State University; University of Central Oklahoma
    We are delighted to present this Special Issue (SI) entitled Adult and Higher Education in Changing Global Contexts: Innovative Theory and Practices from Asian Countries and Beyond to the esteemed readers of the Journal of Higher Education, Skills, and Work-Based Learning (HESWBL). The inspiration behind this issue stems from over two decades of research and scholarship presented at the Asian Adult Education Conference (AAE) ( originally known as the Asian Diaspora Adult Education Pre-Conference that has been organized in conjunction with the Adult Education Research Conference (AERC). AAE's mission has been to provide an academic forum for research and scholarship exchange, and mutual collaborations among scholars, researchers, educators, practitioners and policymakers in adult and higher education from the East, West and Rest. Since 2003, AAE has grown into the leading pre-conference at AERC, actively promoting research and co-constructing academic scholarship in the adult and higher education field.
  • Factors influencing perceived stress in middle leaders of education

    Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2023-07-20)
    The role of middle leaders, that is those who report to a member of the organisation’s senior leadership, in bringing about improvements to schools is well documented. Yet middle leadership is often considered one of the most challenging roles within educational leadership, often under-conceptualised and theorised. Before we can look at the literature on resilience and any potential role it has in mediating against stress within the workplace, we need to know what stressors middle leaders in education experience. This paper outlines some initial findings from a study of 62 middle leaders, in England, exploring the key stressors they experience in their role. All participants were asked to complete a short online survey where they could enter free text when asked to identify the 5 stressors they most commonly experienced. Participants felt that staffing issues, followed by a lack of time and increasing workloads as the most prevalent issues. Commonly cited stressors such as inspections did not score highly, due to the temporary nature of the stress being induced. This is particularly important if staff are to be encouraged into leadership roles and senior leaders are to provide support for those already occupying middle leadership positions.

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