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Beyond Text: The co-creation of dramatised character and iStoryIn 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.
Emotional awareness amongst middle leadershipThe purpose of this viewpoint paper is to explore middle leaders’ ability to recognise emotions in the context of workplace research, and to propose measures that might support them in their role. This paper combines a contemporary literature review with reflections from practice to develop more nuanced understandings of middle leadership. The paper applied the Geneva Emotional Recognition Test (GERT) to explore the level of emotional recognition of 86 individuals (teachers, to headteachers (equivalent to school principals)). The preliminary findings suggest that teachers and headteachers have higher levels of emotional recognition than middle and senior leaders. This paper subsequently argues that the task-orientated nature middle leadership compounds an individual’s ability to engage effectively in relationship-orientated tasks. This explains why middle leaders scored lower on the GERT assessment. This is further inhibited by the anti-correlation in the brain’s ability to deal with the TDM and DMN processing functions where individuals operate in one neural mode for long periods. The viewpoint paper proposes a number of implications for middle leaders and suggests that middle leaders should proactively seek out opportunities to engaged in activities that support the DMN function of the brain and subsequently the relationship-orientated aspects of leadership. For example, coaching other staff. However, it has to be recognised that the sample size is small and further work is needed before any generalisations can be made. This paper offers a contemporary review of the role of middle leaders underpinned by a preliminary study into individuals’ ability to recognise emotions.
Mind the gap: Identifying barriers to students engaging in creative practices in Higher EducationCreativity is nowadays seen as a desirable goal in higher education. In artistic disciplines, creative processes are frequently employed to assess or evaluate different students' skills. The purpose of this study is to identify potential pitfalls for students involved in artistic practices in which being creative is essential. Three focus groups involving Education Faculty members from different artistic disciplines allowed for the identification of several constraints when creativity was invoked. This initial study used a quantitative approach and took place in the ‘Universitat de Vic’ (Catalonia, Spain). Findings suggest a correlation with existing literature and simultaneously point at some nuances that require consideration: emerging aspects embedded in creative processes that may help decrease some limiting effects that being creative can generate. The main limitations of this research derive from the very nature of the methodological approach. Focus group has been the single used source. Other means of collecting data, such as the analysis of programs, could be used in the future. This case study, while culturally specific, offers a useful insight into the potential of further work in non-artistic disciplines but crucially across disciplines. It has tremendous value for the development of intercultural understanding in the HE sector, specifically in terms of assessment.