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

  • 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.
  • Beyond Text: The co-creation of dramatised character and iStory

    Passila. A.; Owens, Allan; Kuusipalo-Maatta, P.; Oikarinen, T.; Benmergui, R.; University of Lapeenranta, University of Lapeenranta, University of Lapeenranta, University of Tampere (Emerald, 2017)
    In exploring the impact of reflective and work applied approaches we are curious how vivid new insights and collective ‘Eureka’ momentums occur. These momentums can be forces for work communities to gain competitive advantages. However, we know little of how learning is actively involved in the processing of creating new insights and how such a turning to learning –mode (Pässilä and Owens, 2016) can be facilitated. In the light of cultural studies and art education, we explore how the method of dramatising characters in a specific innovation culture can be facilitated. In this viewpoint we are suggesting one approach for this type of turning to learning which we call Beyond Text, outlining its theoretical underpinnings, its co-creative development & its application In this Beyond Text context we are introducing the method of dramatising characters (DC) and the method of iStory both of which are our own design based on the theory of the four existing categories of research-based theatre (RBT). The findings of this viewpoint article are that both iStory as well as DC methods are useful and practical learning facilitation processes and platforms that can be adopted for use in organizations for promoting reflexivity. Especially they can act as a bridge between various forms of knowing and consummate the other knowledge types (experiential, practical and propositional) in a way that advances practice-based innovation. The originality and value of iStory and DC is that they can be utilized as dialogical evaluation methods when traditional evaluation strategies and pre-determined indicators are unusable.
  • Evocative Report: Frodsham Goods Shed Brokerage Process

    Passila, A.; Owens, Allan; Chamberlain, O.; Lapeenranta University, Finland (2015-07-12)
    Frodsham Foundation together with the local town council had already conducted an online survey for use of the disused railways Goods Shed in the middle of the town ; a large number of responses provided strong evidence that the public wanted the building to be used, but the remoteness of this digital form of consultation had not engaged enough of the community to provide the momentum to take things forward in a way that would convince the larger county council who owned the building to hand it over on a long term lease to the Foundation and local town. We agreed on four-month period for the process and division of responsibilities. In the first month the foundation would identify and contact the focus groups they wanted us to work with; in the second the focus groups would be run; in the third the evocative report would be created and in the fourth the evocative report would be presented at an open public meeting in which the next concrete steps to be taken would be identified. Research Based Theatre as used in this case constituted a form of participatory, action and collaborative research. The data sources which formed the empirical evidence base, consisted primarily of narratives of involvement, and our reflexive narratives in response to this. The intention to research issues that surface within a community and then use the understandings that are generated from it for the benefit of those in that community has parallels with the function of applied drama and critical pedagogy. They are concerned with going beyond seeing the world as it is and creating spaces to think of it differently. A key question in this ‘connected’ approach to research is to ask how it is this possible and how are we to act in new and different ways (Schratz and Walker 1995, p.125). Nine focus group sessions took place over a one-week period, comprising a very wide range of participants: business and local entrepreneur groups, patient forums, community groups, school parent-teachers association members, community voluntary sector leaders, younger families and children, jobseekers and youngsters. The focus groups were run by our Anglo-Finnish team of four - two ABIs practitioners and two postgraduate students. Participants were aware from the outset that we were interested in not only the substantive topic of the focus group sessions, but also the ways in which we approach this, and were interested in what this allowed for. Each session began with an explanation of the research-based and arts nature of the brokerage process. The same aim informed each, which was to let as many voices as possible rub up against each other in the course of one and a half hours. The arts-based initiatives used in sessions varied according to context in order to realise this aim and the following three examples are presented to give a sense of the commonalities and differences in structure used across the nine focus groups. The Evocative Report makes transparent this process.
  • Inner Elf- Living Fairytale of Lapland

    Passila, A.; Owens, Allan; Pulisaari, P.; Lukkarila, A.; Lapeenranta University, Hullo Poro Oy Ltd (Hullo Poro Oy Ltd, 2016-02-09)
    Inner Elf- Living Fairytale of Lapland was co-created through an arts-based research process led by Anne Passila and Allan Owens 17th-22nd October. The process surfaced the insights and local knowledge and understandings of the team selected by the company Hullo Poro Oy Ltd including Pirre Pulisaari, Anne Lukkarila and this was used to thread through progress the initial frames introduced by Passila and Owens of the elf in a yellow dress and the concept of Inner (s)elf. The fairytale provided the landscape and narrative or a new experience part company is creating in Lapland. Visitors from all over the world will be introduced through it the culture of life up above the Arctic Circle.
  • Collectively Creative: a means to perceive differently

    Owens, Allan; Adams, Jeff; University of Chester (Hong Kong Federation, 2016-12-02)
    This feature article is a response to the question " Can anyone be creative?"In dialogue with the Editor of the Hong Kong Youth Journal Elaine Morgan the argument is made that it is possible given the right environment. The significance of the creative arts in the establishment of social justice in education is highlighted.

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