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

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


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. My research study is explicitly aimed at moving student teachers towards becoming more confident leaders of change with equity, justice, and fairness for all in the classroom environment. The 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). The lens of socio-materiality is proffered instead, to recognise the 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 context and setting of the practicum placement classroom.
This research is situated within a postmodern paradigm and is an inquiry that reaches beyond representation through Phematerialist (posthumanism, new materialism and feminist combined) theory, and an Arts Based Research (ABR) methodology. Through 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 to re-present their encounters of experience over time. Presented as found poetry, the findings are diffractively analysed by juxtaposing feminist artists work and minor literature, to disrupt how we think about practice.

By framing, mapping, and analysing the interferences, and the experiences of discovery, the transformation 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. Opening professional practice with schools as partners, allows the enactment of inclusive pedagogy to be realised in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Northumbria University
Award date23 Nov 2023
Place of PublicationNewcastle Upon Tyne
Publication statusUnpublished - 23 Nov 2023

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