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

  • Book Review: 'Art Disobedience and Ethics: The Adventure of Pedagogy'

    Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (National Society for Education in Art and Design, 2018-09-01)
    Book review of Dennis Atkinson's 'Art, disobedience and ethics: The adventure of pedagogy',
  • The Philosophy of Homelessness

    Moran, Paul; Atherton, Frances; University of Chester (Routledge, 2018-08-06)
    A Philosophy of Homelessness is, in a number of respects, a ground-breaking work. It critically analyses the, for the most part, ordinary assumptions by which most of us in the developed world appear to live our daily, ordinary lives. These ordinary assumptions include rights of ownership, and the ability through ownership to fashion one’s own living environment, for example by being able to decorate, add to and modify one’s home, and therefore to express some agency about place, belonging and being; the capacity to engage in an economic system in such a way that allows a distance, an abstraction, a dissociation of the participant, including the participant’s body, from that which is being exchanged; as well as a more general ontology that identifies and establishes the personal, the private, the condition that this - whatever this might be - being mine, again, including one’s own body, and the intimate cradle of one’s self, and thus one’s soul. Our research about homelessness, we suggest, discloses these facets of our contemporary, mundane neoliberal experience as products of an economy of being that forges our beliefs and practices about who and what we are. This critical analysis, amounting to a philosophy, is engendered from the mundane experiences of a community of chronically homeless people; a community that we have known and been part of for over three years. For example: the taken for granted experiences of shopping and belonging are discussed through the prism of heroin dealers and addicts; the process of being a couple and wanting to have a family is understood via a homeless couple’s struggle to live together and have a baby; the attempt to achieve financial independence is discussed by way of enforcers who collect drug debts for organised criminals; and themes of intimacy and privacy are explored through the lives of homeless sex-workers. Whilst the daily events of the homeless people that populate this work are arresting enough in themselves, it is their implications, their ontological and political implications, that are most shocking and telling about the brutal and parlous state of contemporary first world society, and the growing number of marginalised and dispossessed that it begets. The appeal of this powerful work therefore extends beyond an ethnographic and sociological analysis of homelessness in urban Britain; it provides a concrete opening for those interested in a radical critique, at the quotidian level of realisation, of the current global crisis of neoliberal beliefs and forms of organization. There are no other books on the market that undertake this work in this intimate, gritty, disturbing and irreverent way. By way of structure it achieves this by foregrounding in each chapter the lives of specific homeless people, which illustrate and develop the themes of being homeless.
  • “‘There's only one God, ma'am’- one God or many gods in the world of the Avengers”

    Holt, James D.; University of Chester (Open Court, 2018-08-30)
    This chapter will explore the nature of God within Captain America’s world and how much this draws on the ‘previous life’ of Captain Steve Rogers. It will do so, however, utilizing the exploration of the experience of Moses and the identification of God at the burning bush as a way to understand a worldview that accepts the existence of multiple deities, but with one supreme deity: ‘I am’. The chapter will then contrast this understanding with a Humean approach to the understanding of religion and the nature of God.
  • The Critically Designed Garden.

    Adams, Jeff; Hyde, Wendy; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-08-08)
    This article is concerned with design applied to gardens, using examples from the Chelsea Flower Show in London. There is a discussion of those show gardens that represented Syrian refugees’ gardens in Iraq and the Windrush generation immigration to the UK. The garden designs combine the aesthetics of organic materials and spatial architecture with an implicit critique of topical contemporary social issues. The article concludes by commenting on the risks posed by the reduced and impoverished UK arts education policies for producing the next generation of applied design practitioners.
  • Young children and art education

    Adams, Jeff; Atherton, Frances; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-02-09)
    Editorial for a special issue of the Journal on young children and art education.
  • Mentoring Associate Teachers in Initial Teacher Education: The Value of Dialogic Feedback

    Jones, Luke; Tones, Steven; Foulkes, Gethin; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018-06-04)
    Purpose - The aim of this paper is to analyse feedback in the context of secondary initial teacher education (ITE) in England. More specifically, it aims to examine the feedback experiences of physical education (PE) subject mentors and their associate teachers (ATs) during a one-year postgraduate programme. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews, with nine PE mentors and eleven ATs within a university ITE partnership, were used to explore lesson feedback and the context in which it was provided. Interview data from the twenty participants was analysed through constant comparison to categorise content and identify patterns of responses. Findings - Mentors were well versed in the formal feedback mechanism of a written lesson observation. This approach is well established and accepted within ITE, but the dialogic feedback that follows lessons was thought to be where ATs made most progress. These learning conversations were seen to provide less formal but more authentic feedback for those learning to teach, and were most successful when founded on positive and collaborative relationships between the mentor and the ATs. Practical implications - These findings have implications for providers of teacher education and more specifically how they approach mentor training. The focus on lesson observations has value, but examining more informal dialogic approaches to feedback may have more impact on the learning of ATs. Originality/value - These findings support the value of lesson feedback but challenge the primacy of formal written lesson observations. The learning conversations that follow lessons are shown to provide authentic feedback for ATs.
  • The convergence of National Professional Qualifications in educational leadership and masters level study

    Lambert, Steve; University of Chester (Emerald, 2018)
    In February 2012, less than three years after the introduction of the compulsory National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) for aspiring school head teachers, the mandatory requirement was removed. Despite no longer being a requirement, nearly 900 individuals annually, successfully complete the programme, with a further 5,000 completing the awards of National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) and the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NQPSL). In 2017, the UK government decided that the suite of national professional qualifications (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH) needed to be updated in order to ensure that they remained relevant to the changing shape of the educational landscape, particularly through the expansion of multi-academy trusts. At the same time, the government proposed a new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) aimed at the chief executives of multi-academy trusts, which vary in size from two or three schools working together, to trusts with in excess of thirty-five schools. This paper explores the way in which the new NPQ programmes are having masters level criteria embedded into them to facilitate a seamless progression into masters level study and what potential benefits this brings to the individual and the provider of the NPQ programmes.
  • Subject knowledge for primary teaching: the influence of the personal dimension on beginning primary teachers’ conceptualisations and interpretations

    Pope, Deborah; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018)
    This paper argues that professional discourse relating to subject knowledge for primary teaching is less than coherent in the context of initial teacher training (ITT). This study explored the ways in which the term subject knowledge was conceptualised and interpreted by beginning primary teachers. The research was conducted across two ITT partnerships with final-year undergraduate trainees. Data were collected via questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and participatory visual methods. The findings indicated that conceptualisations of subject knowledge were highly individualised and dependent on personal factors, rather than reflecting a shared understanding of a critically distinct concept.
  • Editorial: Young children and art education

    Adams, Jeff; Atherton, Frances; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-02-09)
    This special issue of iJADE is devoted to the art education of young children, and provides a timely platform for the dissemination of new research in this important area. For many young children their artistic experiences can prove to be some of the most profound and insightful of their early education. Although these creative moments are frequently integrated with a multitude of other educational experiences, nonetheless the artistic ones have a singularity, making them unique within the educational experience as a whole. It is the predominance of a visual epistemology that provides this specificity, and it hardly needs stating that knowing by means of the visual is of profound importance in our contemporary societies. The demonstration and the parole of this ‘knowing’ by young children should not be seen as peripheral, or as an adjunct to education. Fundamental to a well-informed art education are the critical expression of meaning and purpose, no matter how tentative these might appear. These practices entail a critical engagement with the languages of visual imagery, to which children readily adapt.
  • Bringing languages to life: a longitudinal study of the development of creative practice in student teachers of modern languages

    Hulse, Bethan; University of Chester (SAGE, 2017-12-29)
    This article reports the findings of a longitudinal study exploring the process of learning to teach modern languages in the changing landscape of teacher education. It employs a postmodern critical ethnographic methodology to examine the experiences of a group of student teachers over the course of a one-year postgraduate teacher education programme in England. The focus is on how experiences in university and in school encourage or discourage the development of creativity. The schools inspectorate, Ofsted, is critical of lifeless teaching which fails to inspire young people to learn languages. However, the pressures of ‘performative’ requirements act as a discouragement to creativity. The data indicates that whilst student teachers express a desire to be more creative, they find it difficult to implement their ideas in school. A post-structuralist analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation is employed to argue that the early formation of professional identity is a process of acquiescence to oppressive external structures over which individuals have no control. The study concludes that it is possible to create spaces where the temporary suspension of alienation can allow individuals to put life back into language learning.
  • WebQuests as a tool to support children in carrying out research using secondary sources to answer their scientific questions

    Pope, Deborah; Barker, James; University of Chester (Association for Science Education, 2016-05)
    The article reported on the introduction of a simple WebQuest tool to a year 5 class to support an enquirybased approach to teaching aspects of ‘Earth and space.’
  • Drawing

    Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-10-12)
    This year’s conference took a fresh look at a fundamental element of art education: drawing. Drawing can be thought of in many different ways, not least as a direct and immediate means of rendering thought itself into form; conceived in this way drawing is a fundamental extension of the thinking process itself. The media of drawing are as varied as its modes of expression, and this is another reason for its enduring fascination for us: its potential is infinite, and although each mark and expression is necessarily culturally specific, there is no limit to its iterations, nor any to its potential for cultural appropriation.
  • Sustainability in Arts Education

    Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-10-13)
    Sustainability in the wider global context has increasingly required new political alignments, and this should not come as a surprise, given the corrosive social and environmental effects of rampant neoliberalism. Consequently those artists and arts educators with interests in sustainable practices find themselves on a political battlefield. Our 2015 conference, ‘Sustainability in Arts Education’, set out to discuss these matters and many more, and this issue of the Journal is devoted to invited papers from that event. The conference took place during November in Glasgow at the famous School of Art.
  • Creativity in Teaching

    Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-06-21)
    Creativity is making a comeback in teaching. The Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) draws our attention to this in its recent focus on classroom creativity. Creativity, when considered on any large, systemic scale, is associated with collaboration, and collaboration between schools and teachers is a primary condition for creativity to flourish. Creative approaches to teaching and learning, and the unique role that the creative arts play in this, should be returned centre stage. Just as the question of creativity is never settled, nor is the question of education; living with this ambiguity should be embraced, rather than disguised.
  • The UK National Arts Education Archive: Ideas and Imaginings

    Adams, Jeff; Bailey, Rowan; Walton, Neil; University of Chester; Huddersfield University; Goldsmiths College (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-06-19)
    The National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) is housed and maintained by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), managed by YSP coordinators and educators with a well-established volunteer programme. This year, 2017, as part of the celebrations of the YSP’s 40th anniversary, the Archive will hold its own exhibition entitled Treasures Revealed: a collection of items selected by people who have been involved in the Archive, whether as donors, volunteers, researchers, artists, trustees or steering group members. In parallel with the exhibition, this paper aims to give voice to a selection of individuals and groups associated with the Archive, discussing their interests and experiences of it, and their thoughts on its value and importance as a repository of arts education materials, ideals and practices. Our primary motivations were to consider these different voices in relation to the purpose, direction and relevance of the NAEA today. These exchanges raise fundamental questions and debates about what art education is and what it might become, and how these historical collections, and creative engagements with it, might help to shape our contemporary thinking.
  • Playing with Ekphrasis

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (2017-05-30)
    Inspired by Walter Benjamins response to a painting by Klee, 'Playing with Ekphrasis' is an anthology that deals with the tensions between community and identity. Using photographs of nature I've taken throughout my life, each exhibited photograph has an accompanying QR code so the viewer can also hear the poem. There is also a publication that embodies all of this process.
  • Sparrows on the Roof

    Poole, Simon Ellis; University of Chester (Soil Records, 2016-08-16)
    Sparrow on the Roof was written for multiple reasons. And has been performed at conferences including keynotes in the UK, and also workshops, and cultural sharing events further afield such as in Bethlehem, Palestine. The latter place being very much the inspiration.
  • Re/searching for ‘Impact’

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester; Storyhouse, Chester. (Emerald Publishing, 2017)
    As an exploration of how ‘impact’ might be reconsidered, it is suggested that current contemporary understandings of 'impact' fail practice and research by obscuring the space for reflexive criticality that is crucial for an individual or organisation to flourish. That it thus leads to an already predefined enculturated understanding of ‘impact’. Offering some interrogation and folkloristic analogy of the meaning of ‘impact’, three brief expositions of differing arts-based práxes concerned mainly with reflection and connection, are then discussed through the lens of Ricœur’s (Ricœur, Reagan, & Stewart, 1978) conflation of the hermeneutical process with phenomenology. It is suggested that the implications of restoring, refreshing, or representing ‘impact’ give license to a personal/professional revitalisation, and that reformulating an understanding of ‘impact’ through re/search might offer a potential pedagogic tool, and alternative organising feature. Through the introduction of inter-disciplinary thinking and práxes, the article offers novel autoethnographic arts-based methods for personal, professional and organisational development and growth.
  • Kindly Apparitions: Reflections upon Reflections

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation, 2016-10-01)
    Individuals Connecting to a Collective Spirit, illustrates individually focused writing practices to create new meanings, understandings, or relationships with something, including themselves.
  • The Lore of the Landscape

    Poole, Simon E.; University of Chester (The Geographical Asociation, 2016)
    ‘Owd Ma, brought tha bowder down in ‘er pinny .’ In this article Simon Poole explores the complex relationship between people and landscape and provides food for thought as to the potential use of folk narratives about landscape as part of a creative geography curriculum I came across this remarkable piece of folklore recently from my home region of Cheshire, more specifically the region that is the magical sandstone ridge that divides the county in two like a sedimentary backbone. Folklore is one of those aspects of culture which is often forgotten, yet it permeates every individual and community: Like an accent or dialect, it is an impossibility not to have. And similarly to an accent or dialect it is always regionally located. Folklore lives organically within and as part of our cultures, changing and adapting as time passes, sometimes dying, sometimes being created or being reborn, nevertheless always carrying an individual or communities identity. It is a people’s cultural inheritance and as an oral tradition, folklore is passed on, and exists in many different forms, as: myths; legends; ballads; indeed as dialect; and as folktales. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is the latter form which this article will be concerned with: The folktale.

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