• Collaborative cognition: Co-creating children's artwork in an educational context

      Hallam, Jenny; Lee, Helen A. N.; Das Gupta, Mani; University of Derby (2014-04-16)
      This paper presents an empirical analysis which addresses discursive and extra-discursive practices. A range of data which examines the co–creation of art in English primary schools is used to explore the use of ethnography within a critical realist framework. Case studies are presented to systematically analyse the different contextual layers which shaped the creation of children’s artwork. These are analysed multi-dimensionally presenting i) a photograph of a piece of artwork created during the lesson and ethnographic notes about the aims and scope of the class; ii) analysis of classroom interaction between children which shaped the creation of the artwork and iii) video stills and ethnographic notes to analyse the ways in which space and materials, shaped interaction and the creation of a material object – the artwork. Attention to meso, micro and extra-discursive contexts demonstrates how ethnographic methods might be used to examine interaction between discursive and extra-discursive practices.
    • Communicating choice: an exploration of mothers’ experiences of birth

      Hallam, Jenny; Howard, Chris; Locke, Abigail; Thomas, Melissa; UNiversity of Derby (2016-01-19)
      Birth is a significant life event for many women that can have profound, long lasting effects on how they see themselves as women and mothers. Within the literature the importance of control over the birth experience and the support that the birthing woman receives from midwives is stressed. This paper gives an in-depth insight into the ways in which communication between midwives and the birthing woman shape the birth experience. Six women who had recently given birth participated in one to one semi-structured interviews designed to explore the kinds of support they received before, during and after their birth. An inductive thematic analysis was employed in order to identify and explore key issues which ran throughout the interviews. Within the interviews the importance of being an active mother, someone who made decisions in relation to her labour, was stressed. The analysis explores the ways in which communication style and compassionate care either enabled or prevented women from adopting the position of ‘active’ mother. It is argued that a personal connection with midwives and clear and open communication which places the birthing woman in a position of control are key to positive birth experiences.
    • An exploration of primary school teachers’ understanding of art and the place of art in the primary school curriculum

      Hallam, Jenny; Das Gupta, Mani; Lee, Helen A. N.; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2008)
      Some research within developmental psychology shows a slow period of development in children’s expressive drawings during the primary school years (Davis, 1997; Ives 1984; Jolley, Fenn and Jones, 2004). Developmental researchers suggest that ‘educational factors’ could contribute to this dip in development but have not explored these factors. This study explores links between educational policy – in terms of the English National Curriculum - and the development of expression in child art. A Foucauldian style analysis of interviews is presented which investigates how ten primary school teachers working in two Staffordshire schools approach art. A specific concern is to explore how different understandings of art and teaching practices are shaped and managed by the curriculum. This allows links between the demands of the curriculum and the observed dip in expressive drawing development to be investigated.
    • Exploring the psychological rewards of a familiar semirural landscape: connecting to local nature through a mindful approach

      Richardson, Miles; Hallam, Jenny (2013-02-21)
      This study analyses a 53,000 word diary of a year engaging with nature through over 200 trips to a semi-rural landscape. Thematic analysis revealed two themes; the transition from observer to nature connectedness and the ways in which the natural environment was experienced once a connection was made. These themes are discussed in relation to theories that seek to explain the positive effect of nature and nature connectedness. The findings are important as they suggest that repeated engagement with local semi-rural countryside can lead to a mindful approach and psychological rewards that do not require travel into the wilderness. The work informs further research into outcomes and processes of nature based interventions such as: trip frequency, duration and diary keeping.
    • The good things children notice in nature: An extended framework for reconnecting children with nature

      Harvey, Caroline; Hallam, Jenny; Richardson, Miles; Wells, Rachel; University of Derby (Elsevier BV, 2019-12-23)
      This research identifies themes emerging from a children’s writing task, where they wrote about good things they noticed in nature over a five day period. Eighty four children aged nine to eleven participated, resulting in 847 written statements. Content analysis using an emergent coding approach identified ten themes, with “Active Animals” being the most frequently occurring theme. Combining the themes with Author (2017a, b, c) pathways to nature connection provides an extended framework to inform children’s activity programmes, design of school grounds and urban spaces, aiming to connect children with nature. Future research could extend the framework into a practitioner’s tool kit.
    • An investigation into the ways in which art is taught in an English Waldorf Steiner school

      Hallam, Jenny; Egan, Susan; Kirkham, Julie; University of Derby (2015-07-26)
      Children who are educated using a Waldorf Steiner approach demonstrate superior expressive drawing skills (Rose, Jolley & Charman, 2011) but little is known about how art is taught within this educational system. Four Waldorf Steiner primary school teachers participated in semi-structured interviews designed to explore the Waldorf Steiner educational philosophy, their training and the ways in which they approach art in the classroom. A social constructionist thematic analysis identified two themes – teacher’s experience of art and the teacher and child’s approach to art. Within these themes the importance of adequate training which stresses the value of art and gives teachers opportunity to engage in art activities was emphasised. Such training was linked to an effective teaching approach which placed importance on teaching skills and encouraging children to develop their understanding of art through discussion.
    • Multiple interpretations of child art–the importance of context and perspective.

      Hallam, Jenny; Lee, Helen A. N.; Das Gupta, Mani; University of Derby (2012)
      Experimentally based research within developmental psychology has suggested that the way children are taught art shapes their artistic growth. Thus, researchers have begun to acknowledge the importance of studying the wider contexts which shape children’s experiences of art. This paper builds on previous educational policy based research by examining how art is taught in English Primary Schools. Ethnographic methods informed by social constructionism are used to investigate the ways in which Reception teachers work with 4 - 5 year old children during art lessons held in two English primary schools. Reflexive ethnography and a synthesis approach to discourse analysis are utilised to examine i) the positions adopted by teachers as they introduce an art activity and ii) wider art values drawn upon to conceptualise ‘good’ art. It is argued that teachers adopt differing approaches which promote realistic art. This is discussed in relation to curriculum policy and practice.
    • One thousand good things in Nature: aspects of nearby Nature associated with improved connection to Nature

      Richardson, Miles; Hallam, Jenny; Lumber, Ryan; University of Derby (2015-10-01)
      As our interactions with nature occur increasingly within urban landscapes, there is a need to consider how ‘mundane nature’ can be valued as a route for people to connect to nature. The content of a three good things in nature intervention, written by 65 participants each day for five days is analysed. Content analysis produced themes related to sensations, temporal change, active wildlife, beauty, weather, colour, good feelings and specific aspects of nature. The themes describe the everyday good things in nature, providing direction for those seeking to frame engaging conservation messages, plan urban spaces and connect people with nearby nature.
    • Opening doors to nature: Bringing calm and raising aspirations of vulnerable young people through nature-based intervention

      Hallam, Jenny; Richardson, Miles; Richardson, Elizabeth; Ferguson, Fiona; University of Derby (American Psychological Association, 2019-07-08)
      This qualitative study explores the experiences of YMCA residents who participated in a nature-based intervention designed to support wellbeing run by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and YMCA Derbyshire. The intervention ran over 9 weeks and involved taking groups of residents off site for a range of outdoor activities from allotment gardening to nature conservation in various outdoor environments.  After the intervention took place semi-structured interviews, which explored the personal journeys of 8 residents who had participated in the intervention, were conducted. An IPA analysis of the interviews identified three superordinate themes: building social relationships, developing skills and developing feelings of self-worth and managing emotions through nature. It is argued that the intervention enabled the residents to feel part of a supportive community which enabled a positive shift in identity. Furthermore, the programme helped residents manage their emotions, supporting their mental health and promoting a general sense of wellbeing. This is especially important, given that members of the intervention have a history of mental health issues and often come from a background of higher socio-economic deprivation, where opportunities for social cohesion and nature connectedness are scarce. 
    • Shaping children's artwork in English primary classes: insights from teacher–child interaction during art activities

      Hallam, Jenny; Das Gupta, Mani; Lee, Helen A. N.; University of Derby (2011-09)
      This paper utilises a Vygotskian framework to examine the ways in which teachers shape the creation of children’s artwork in educational contexts. Reflexive ethnography (Burgess, 1984) and a bottom up approach to discourse analysis (Edwards & Potter, 1992) are used to analyse a range of qualitative data including photographs, observational notes and audio recordings collected from a Year 1 and a Year 4 art lesson held in English Primary schools. It is argued that the co-creation of art in the classroom is a dynamic and collaborative process which is negotiated between teachers and children in different ways. This argument is discussed in relation to the ways in which different teaching approaches shape and limit the creation of children’s artwork.
    • "We've been exploring and adventuring." A investigation into young people's engagement with a semi wild, disused space

      Hallam, Jenny; Gallagher, Laurel; Harvey, Caroline; University of Derby (APA, 2019-10-24)
      This paper uses ethnography to explore young people’s engagement with an intervention run by Feral Spaces which was designed to promote a meaningful connection to a disused space. Over the course of three sessions, each lasting two hours, seven young people aged between 11 and 12 years old took part in a range of den building activities in a semi-wild area which was local to them. The sessions were recorded using audio and video equipment and an inductive thematic analysis informed by a realist framework was used to analyse the naturalistic data collected. The analysis presents four themes - engaging with the environment, developing a sense of awe and wonder, respect and attachment to the space and a sense of belonging which map out the young people’s growing connection to nature evidenced during the intervention. Within each of these themes the young people’s experiences are discussed in relation to theory of biophilia and the pathways to nature model in order to evaluate their relevance for researchers and practitioners who seek to understand children’s connection with nature and promote it. Furthermore, the positive relationships and emotions experienced during the intervention are explored. It is argued that the community-based intervention developed the young people’s understandings of the natural world and their confidence to engage with it in a personally meaningful way. This had positive implications in terms of supporting the young people’s wellbeing.