Block 1 – Paterson’s Land 1.19
Re-imagining disengagement from learning: the sociomaterial practices of classrooms and digital game spaces
By combining a sociomaterial approach with a socio-topological one, I hoped to expand our understanding of disengagement from learning in formal educational settings by shifting the focus away from the internal cognitive and affective processes of the individual instead exploring how disengagement might be produced by different constraints and affordances between human and non-human actors such as technology, objects and locations. In recognising the participation of space, time and technology in disengagement, we may be able to ‘re-form’ educational engagement in formal settings, by intervening in entrenched practices such as specified time periods for lessons, creating seating plans focused not on control and attention but on the opportunities of learning activities for collaboration and creativity and by re-visiting the emphasis on sequential activity instead involving students in the simultaneous activity which is the norm in online spaces such as digital games. By recognising the effect of organising space-time differently, valuing different sorts of engagement and changing ways of participating in learning activities, schools may intervene in entrenched practices to prevent disengagement.
Children’s daily experiences as shown in their living journals in Azerbaijan
My PhD study explores five-year-old children’s interactions with digital media and their influences on household dynamics in Azerbaijan, my home country. During my fieldwork I visited five families three times each and employed several methods, such as observations, creating trajectories – mothers were invited to write down important milestones in their lives and describe them, interviews with parents, and house tours with children. In order to delve into children’s daily activities in their natural environment I created living journals of participant children adapted from the “mobile diary” method developed by Plowman and Stevenson (2012). Over four days a week I asked parents three times each day to use their smartphones to send me pictures or short videos of 30 seconds of their children, together with short accounts of what the children were doing at that certain time. My aim was to have a closer look at children’s daily lives and their daily practices both at home and beyond. The parents started sharing their children’s daily short stories with me through pictures, video-recordings, voice-recordings or simply texts. I composed those pictures and videos alongside with commentaries in an encrypted journal application for each child, using the theme colors they like etc. Collecting data through living journals afforded the possibility to overcome the challenges of space and distance, time difference, availability of participants and young children describing their experiences in full detail. In this paper I invite you to review the collected data in a visual form.
Conceptualisations of Co-Creation of the Curriculum in Higher Education and Implications for Other Areas of Education
Co-creation of the curriculum is one form of learning and teaching in which students and staff are engaged to work in partnership so that each has a voice and a stake in higher education curriculum development. This is an emergent area in higher education which has grown rapidly in recent years and has drawn on the principles of student-centred learning and student engagement. To learn about conceptualisations of curriculum co-creation, qualitative research was conducted at five Scottish universities, including twenty interviews and five focus group discussions with both students and staff. These participants have been active in student engagement initiatives including co-creation of the curriculum, student representation, and reflection on effective engagement practices in teaching and learning. The qualitative data were analysed using aspects of constructivist grounded theory, using an inductive approach and constant comparison methods. This paper presents findings for how co-creation of the curriculum is conceptualised across disciplines in Scottish higher education, and explores implications for student/staff collaborations in curriculum development in other levels of education. In particular, it highlights benefits of student and teacher personal and professional development, engagement and fulfilment from learning and teaching, and skills for civic participation to help individuals deal with an ever-changing, complex world.
Boundaries of healthcare: the experiences of young people in conflict with the law with service provision in Scotland
This PhD research aims to explore to what extent the interactions between young people in conflict with the law (“offenders”) with healthcare practitioners may impact on health inequalities in terms of barriers for care. Adopting a Bourdieusian approach (Bourdieu, 1977; 1984), the project takes into consideration the impact of symbolic violence on the way interactions take place. Research is necessary to shed light on healthcare as the centre of the interest to understand health inequalities. The group of young people in a conflict of the law are important for research because there is a marginalized status associated with the criminal convictions– the person is young and has criminal convictions or at risk of committing an offence (Friestad, 2010). Second, the vulnerability of being an adolescent or young adult (Arora, 2015). The method for this PhD thesis proposal is an ethnographic study. Triangulation of the data collection, by notes, interviews and focus group. The participants will be young people with a criminal conviction or at risk of committing an offence and practitioners from a different background that work with this group in Scotland. The expected results are to understand the boundaries/limits of healthcare for young people in conflict with the law, understand the different perceptions of health, care and well-being, and unveil the power relations in the context of healthcare experience. The potential uses of this result are to improve service provision in Scotland and internationally based on the Scottish experience and track health inequalities.
What does engagement look like in early science learning? Understanding multimodality in engagement
Engagement is a form of active participation represented as the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, and passion shown when learning or being taught. Engagement is often presented as core to science learning in informal spaces, especially in early childhood, where children are more likely to be distracted by stimuli that are task-irrelevant. Engagement comprises three interacting components: behavioral, cognitive and emotional. To date, limited studies have examined engagement using tools that go beyond the current methods used for engagement. This pilot study aims to attend this gap by exploring the feasibility and value of different methodological tools when examining engagement in early childhood in a science hands-on exhibit.
The current study uses a multimodal approach that triangulates outputs from different tools to capture the process of engagement in early learners (i.e.observation scales, self-report interviews, electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, and video-recording). A seven-year-old boy was asked to interact with a science exhibit for 5 minutes, while he was wearing an EDA sensor and a head-mounted camera. He was interviewed before and after his interaction and his interaction with the exhibit was also video-recorded from a corner of the exhibit. The results will examine if there is a relationship between the different tools when simultaneously measuring engagement and what the process of engagement looks like during the interaction of younger children at a science exhibit. Additionally, it explores influential triggers that could be guiding engagement and which could be used to enhance early science learning.
Exploring outdoor activity projects for recent refugees
Several outdoor leisure and environmental education providers across Europe are currently running projects in which they seek to engage with refugee or (new) migrant populations. Similarly, some refugee support organisations and social service providers include outdoor activities in their programmes. The grey literature suggests that projects which seek to contribute to refugee’s integration, participation or wellbeing through outdoor activities or environmental engagement are gaining more ground, yet information about this sector remains fragmented. There are examples of highly innovative practice that seeks to support the social cohesion of and within communities, and society at large. Little academic work, however, has explored particularities of this work. Closer examination of this sector can provide crucial insights about how relations in heterogeneous groups unfold in, through and with outdoor places. This is useful if we want to find out more about positive ways of living together, from both social and environmental perspectives, in societies profoundly marked by migration. This Pecha Kucha presents information about organised outdoor activity provision for recent refugees in Germany, Norway and Scotland. I conducted a mapping review to provide an overview of the current provision and to surface details about its purposes. The aim of the review was to contribute to a basis for future academic discourse, professional exchange and research in this field. The ‘sketching out’ of the current landscape will inform further in-depth reviews or qualitative inquiries into the processes and potentials of this sector.
Block 2: Paterson’s Land 1.21
Understanding Adolescents’ Experiences of Self-Report Abuse Measures: Data from Romania and South Africa
The ICAST-C is a self-report child abuse measure asking questions about various forms of abuse and neglect. However, there is little research on adolescents’ experiences of answering these questions. To develop accurate and acceptable tools, we need to understand the experiences of young people i.e. ask questions about the questions. This study explored adolescents’ experiences of answering questions on the ICAST-C, in Romania and South Africa. We used cognitive interviews and drawings to understand experiences involving comprehension, retrieval, judgment, sensitivity (particularly on sexual abuse), and response. Cognitive interviews were conducted with 17 adolescents in Iași and Cluj-Napoca, Romania and 20 adolescents in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Purposive sampling was used to recruit adolescents aged 10-17 years. Ethical approval was obtained from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cape Town, and Babeș-Bolyai. Interviews with adolescents revealed rich insights into the experience of answering questions on abuse. Preliminary findings reveal that participants were appreciative of being asked questions on abuse and found questions on the ICAST-C easy to understand. They highlighted aspects of the ICAST-C they would like to change, such as including localised case examples in the introduction and modifying timescales. Participants articulated it was important to ask questions on sexual abuse. This presentation also unpacks contextual factors that influence these experiences in Romania and South Africa.
Reading circles with learners of English as a Second Language
This study will investigate children aged 13-15’s learning experience when completing reading circles during their English as a Second Language (ESL) lessons. Reading circles involves reading literature over the course of five weeks. Learners complete reading tasks and meet in groups once a week to discuss their responses. This creates opportunities for learners to practise all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Learning to read requires extensive practice and to motivate learners, considerable effort is necessary to identify engaging, level-appropriate, and meaningful activities and texts. Using literature to learn language draws on the concept of lifelong learning; to read for pleasure allows for learning outside the classroom. Little is known about reading circles’ potential in language education; they are often mentioned in teacher handbooks, but with few details, and existing studies are limited in scope and depth. The methodology has been informed by ethnographic case studies in language education in order to provide a comprehensive and detailed account. The identified case is a Swedish secondary school that implements reading circles regularly with their ESL learners. The driving force behind this implementation is the school’s team of English teachers, which have been asked to participate in a focus group interview. To understand the learners’ experiences, the study’s main purpose, the researcher will follow one class and their English teacher when they complete one cycle of the reading circles. Aiming to provide insights that will benefit the wider community, this will result an in-depth description of the learners’ experiences.
Child Led Research: A play-based participatory process
Participatory approaches for research involving children “have become de rigueur in social research” (Bradbury-Jones & Taylor, 2015, p.2). While children as researchers are increasingly recognized, several academics caution against a panacea presumption that participation is inherently “good” (Tisdall, 2008; Davidson, 2017) without questioning what it entails and how to do it well. This presentation will operate from a sociology of childhood, social ecological, and child rights framework to introduce a qualitative play-based participatory research process in nature, that draws on participatory action research (Reason & Bradbury, 2006), led by researchers (ages 14-17) with younger children (ages 11-14) with diverse lived experiences. This research aims to explore the role of play-based methodologies in child researchers’ psychosocial wellbeing and meaningful participation. Creative art and play activities have shown to contribute to young people’s psychosocial wellbeing and engagement in decision-making in contexts of adversity (D’Amico, Denov, Khan, Linds, Akesson, 2016). Similar to arts-based research that refers to the use of art during the research process (Knowles & Cole, 2008), I employ the term ‘play-based research’ for intentional play-based research tools and spontaneous play that arises in the research process to gather and interpret data. This presentation will introduce: 1) the research design; 2) the play-based participatory research training with children; 3) the process of research led by children; and 4) preliminary reflections on play’s role in child researchers’ psychosocial wellbeing and recommendations for future play-based research. This presentation aims to contribute to the interweaving community dialogue and research exchange of the conference.
The uptake of Automated Writing Evaluation feedback by postgraduate students
Ana Isabel Hibert
Written corrective feedback (WCF) has a long history of debates around its effectiveness, its usefulness and whether it is beneficial or harmful to students, especially in L2 contexts. Some have argued, for example, that WCF can push students towards more simple forms of writing to avoid negative feedback. The rise of Automated Writing Evaluation (AWE) in universities has brought the debate back to the forefront, with new criticisms including uncritical acceptance of bad feedback given by machines. This pilot study analyses 21 texts from 11 postgraduate L2 students before and after receiving AWE feedback to understand what effects (if any) the feedback has had on the quality of the texts. Each instance of feedback offered by the program was analysed to understand how students engaged with the feedback. Overall, students seemed to be critical of the feedback they accepted, tending to accept more good than bad feedback. The automated feedback also prompted the students to make their own corrections. The pilot study concludes that AWE feedback gives students opportunities to critically engage with their texts.
Research Methods with Diverse Voices
Participation, by children with disabilities, in extra-curricular physical activity has been shown in the literature to have numerous benefits including improved physical health and emotional well-being. In the London Ontario area, numerous programs exist with the express purpose of providing infrastructure and support to enable extracurricular physical activities for this population. The following presentation will provide examples from my PhD research data collection of how children with disabilities navigate their participation in extracurricular physical activities within a Canadian context. One of the aims of my research was to include a diverse range of participants and not to exclude based on disability categorization. Therefore, a diverse range of methods was essential to accommodate children with a broad range of abilities, preferences, and communication skills striving for an inclusive, co-participatory and flexible methodology. A hybrid approach was developed through the merging of the ethnographies and Mosaic approaches, while mandating child co-participation in selecting their desired methodology. During the data collection process there were many advantages and disadvantages of this hybrid methodology. Through a number of examples, I will highlight these challenges and successes as they took place through field research in Canada which is looking at how children with disabilities navigate their participation in extracurricular physical activities.
Story Lines: exploring an ontology of lines and entanglements in the creation of professional identity within Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland
Set within the context of the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in Scotland, this study examines how practitioners’ backgrounds and qualifications influence their philosophy and practice. Taking an interpretative approach, this research is based on a single case study, with observations and in-depth interviews conducted over an extended period. Through collecting the practitioner narratives, I noticed a pattern of practitioners sharing each other’s stories. This led me to consider how this interweaving of individual stories created a sense of shared history and identity and a sense of place, which went beyond simply working together within the one building. It is this entanglement of stories which led me to an examination of Ingold (2011) and his theory of all existence being lines, and of Deleuze and Guttari’s (2001; 2004) “lines of becoming” This presentation examines my exploration of these theories and how this can be used as a theoretical framework to better understand the lived experiences of practitioners and the construction of identities and a shared ethos within ELC in Scotland. Adopting an ontology of becoming, this presentation will consider how practitioners are constantly involved in the process of becoming, of moving along lines of relationship, creating spaces and reinventing realities. Initial findings also reveal that for many practitioners, experience and relationships form the heart of their practice, but that further study offers opportunities to make links between educational theory and practice. The findings in this study have important implications for the implementation of ELC policy, training and praxis.