Myth, metaphor, materialism, and metamorphoses: an a/r/tographic inquiry into the inclusive pedagogy of student teachers

Barker, Lucy Anne (2023) Myth, metaphor, materialism, and metamorphoses: an a/r/tographic inquiry into the inclusive pedagogy of student teachers. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Purpose and context
This research inquiry investigates the challenges, pedagogical risks and successes student teachers encounter, in the enactment of inclusive pedagogy in the practicum placement classroom. Explicitly aimed at moving student teachers towards becoming more confident to be leaders of change with equity, justice, and fairness for all in the classroom environment, my study contributes to the literature that supports the view that student teachers have the potential to challenge the simplified notion of them as ‘agent of change’ (Naraian & Schlessinger, 2017; Naraian, 2020). Socio-materiality is proffered instead, to recognise through affect theory, the inter-woven complexity of human and non-human intra-actions in the classroom, as being agentive for inclusive pedagogy. New materialism offers my study a redefinition of liveness, and human-non-human relations, in the web-like setting of the practicum placement classroom.

Situated within a postmodern paradigm, the inquiry reaches beyond representation through Phematerialist (posthumanism, new materialism and feminist combined) theory, and an innovative Arts Based Research (ABR) methodology. Through a co-production of knowledge, the lived experience of four student teachers’ practicum placements over their initial teacher education programme and beyond are explored. Participants created large scale collages, that re-presented through metaphors, their encounters of experience over time. Presented as found poetry, the findings are diffractively analysed, by juxtaposing with feminist artists’ work such as Louise Bourgeois, minor literature such as Kafka’s (1915) novella ‘The Metamorphosis’, and Ovid and Hughes’ (1988) myth of ‘Arachne’ from ‘Metamorphoses’, to disrupt how we think about practice.

By framing, mapping, and analysing the interferences and the experiences of discovery, the metamorphosis of the body-becoming learner in inclusive pedagogy is revealed. My findings, through agential cuts, give fresh insights into how student teachers are not lone agents, but embody the space of learning in becoming inclusive. The research identifies the challenges student teachers face, including the power dynamics between humans in the space, and the everyday decisions and risks needed for inclusive pedagogy. The study also allows new possibilities for thinking inclusive pedagogy, raises consciousness, and informs thinking about enactment of inclusive pedagogy.

A new knowledge can be further explored, to aid in illuminating the often-unrecognised agency of the human and non-human elements as affects in the placement classroom environment, for student teachers’ inclusive practice. One practical outcome of the research is to move beyond reflective practice. The creation of a contextual framework that recognises the agency of matter in the classroom, can be used in education programmes at university and beyond, to open professional practice with schools as partners, and allow the enactment of inclusive pedagogy to be realised.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: collage, arts-based, inclusion, Gilles Deleuze, special educational needs
Subjects: X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2023 16:25
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2023 16:30

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