Arts Collected Works - Research Publications

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    English Teacher Education in the Time of COVID: Australian Teacher Educators Share Their Experiences
    Parr, G ; Bacalja, A ; Diamond, F ; Dutton, J ; McGraw, K (AATE-AUSTRALIAN ASSOC TEACHING ENGLISH, 2021-01-01)
    Many studies have reported the disruption and anxiety associated with initial teacher education programs across the world lurching in and out of online and remote teaching because of COVID-19 related lockdowns. Few studies, however, have homed in on the day-to-day experiences of teacher educators in particular disciplinary specialisms or ‘methods’, or explored how these disciplinary contexts shaped the experience of teaching in the time of COVID-19. This essay presents extended autobiographical accounts of four English teacher educators from different universities on the east coast of Australia, who taught English methods during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. The study affirms the uniqueness of their experiences, but also recognises four key dimensions of the English teacher educators’ work: relational work; curriculum and pedagogical work; identity work; and professional learning. The study has implications for how English teacher education responds to the challenges of teaching during and beyond the pandemic.
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    Commentary: The Signal and the Noise-questioning the benefits of puberty blockers for youth with gender dysphoria-a commentary on Rew et al. (2021)
    Clayton, A ; Malone, WJ ; Clarke, P ; Mason, J ; D'Angelo, R (WILEY, 2021-12-22)
    This commentary is a critique of a recent systematic review of the evidence for the use of puberty blockers for youth with gender dysphoria (GD) by Rew et al. (2021). In our view, the review suffers from several methodological oversights including the omission of relevant studies and suboptimal analysis of the quality of the included studies. This has resulted in an incomplete and incorrect assessment of the evidence base for the use of puberty blockers. We find that Rew et al.'s conclusions and clinician recommendations are problematic, especially when discussing suicidality. A key message of the review's abstract appears to be that puberty blockers administered in childhood reduce adult suicidality. However, the study used for the basis of this conclusion (Turban et al., 2020) did not make a causal claim between puberty blockers and decreased adult suicidality. Rather, it reported a negative association between using puberty blockers and lifetime suicidal ideation. The study design did not allow for determination of causation. Our commentary concludes by demonstrating how the GD medical literature, as it moves from one publication to the next, can overstate the evidence underpinning clinical practice recommendations for youth with GD.
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    Dancing with Covid: Choreographing examinations in pandemic times
    Lopez, CA ; Decuypere, M ; Dey, J ; Gorur, R ; Hamilton, M ; Lundahl, C ; Sjodin, ES (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-06-08)
    In this paper, we explore the improvisations made in examination practices in higher education during the pandemic of 2020. Drawing on STS, we start from the theoretical assumption that examinations constitute an obligatory passage point in universities and colleges: a sacred point which students need to pass if they want to gain recognized qualifications. We base our analysis of higher education examinations on cases from six countries around the world: Australia, Belgium, Chile, India, Sweden and the UK. We use the analytical heuristic of choreography to follow the movements, tensions and resistance of the ‘emergency examinations’ as well as the re-orderings of actors and stages that have inevitably occurred. In our analytical stories we see the interplay between the maintenance of fixed and sacred aspects of examinations and the fluidity of improvisations aimed at meeting threats of spreading Covid-19. These measures have forced the complex network of examinations both to reinforce some conventional actors and to assemble new actors and stages, thus creating radically new choreographies. Although higher education teaching and didactics are being framed as a playground for pedagogical innovation with digital technologies, it is clear from our data that not all educational activities can be so easily replicated.
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    Access versus integration: the benevolent undermining of an Indian desegregation policy
    Dey, J ; Gilbertson, A (Routledge, 2021)
    Efforts to desegregate schools have consistently been undermined by privileged parents finding ways to avoid undesirable schools. In some contexts, a more complex picture is emerging, where ‘progressive’ privileged parents choose ‘diverse’ schools but still reproduce segregation. We demonstrate how the desegregation aims of an Indian education policy are similarly undermined by seemingly well-intentioned privileged actors. India’s Right to Education Act of 2009 requires private schools to educate disadvantaged children for free. The architects of this policy imagined that it would not only provide access to quality education for disadvantaged children, but also desegregate schools. Beneficiaries of the policy share the policymakers’ vision of desegregation. However, various elite and middle-class actors prioritise access over integration, and assert that segregated classrooms may be in the best interests of underprivileged children. This highlights how desegregation policies can fail not just as a result of direct opposition but also through discourses of benevolence.
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    Anthropocene Disease and the Undead in V Wars
    Dungan, S (Aeternum, 2021)
    This article discusses the recent television series V Wars (2019) that has had little academic attention to date. In V Wars, vampirism is a virus released into earth systems because of glacial deterioration due to global warming. This outbreak turns (some) humans into vampires, culminating in a species war that pits surviving humans against vampires. Focussing on the series’ unique representation of the spread of vampirism around ice melt, this article argues that V Wars’ vampires are distinctly ecological in nature. Drawing on Priscilla Wald’s theorisation of the outbreak narrative, this article argues V Wars’ representation of the vampire as a spreader of disease demonstrates the close link between human disruption of the Anthropocene and public health, since exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, while also illustrating intricate and inextricable entanglements between humans and myriad earth others from which crisis can stem. As a vector of contagion, the vampire in V Wars promotes an understanding of Nature and potential virus-related disasters that lie in wait if humankind does not adopt better environmental practices, pertinent for our current era of pandemics, extinctions, ecological collapse and beyond. V Wars thus illustrates the need to cultivate better, more conscious relations with earth systems and nonhuman others—measures necessary to mitigate and manage the emergence of future Anthropocene disease.
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    Vegetarian vampires of the Anthropocene: Re-reading the animal blood diet in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga
    Dungan, S (Monash University, 2020-12-04)
    This article discusses Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga (2005- 8) against the backdrop of the Anthropocene and takes as its focus the depiction of vampires who choose to consume animal blood, instead of human blood. This article argues that we can read Meyer’s formulation of a so-called vampiric vegetarian diet as inflecting the concerns of a modern vegetarian diet, which stem from our ecological era. In the saga's portrayal of a vampiric vegetarian diet, this article finds a model for engaging with nonhuman species and the environment, that is necessary if we are to survive the Anthropocene.
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    Why Arts graduates are needed now more than ever
    Rahman, N ; Lakey, E (Australian College of Educators, 2020)
    An Arts degree prepares students to think, critique and persuade, especially within the grey areas where there is no single right answer. Through the Arts degree, students learn to assess views and concepts from all sides, before formulating their own conclusion. An Arts education does not simply impart knowledge for future regurgitation, rather it helps students in learning to learn.
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    ‘Ghost’ Leaders: Enabling and Creating Student Voice and Agency in the University Space
    Rahman, N ; Aayeshah, W (Australian College of Educators, 2021)
    Beyond teaching, tertiary educators and academics assume the responsibilities of researchers, mentors, scholars, and developers. They contribute as leaders and intellectuals who influence the institutional practices, and work towards accessibility and equity of resources. They offer students a variety of opportunities to learn and participate in the academic community while upholding high standards. Furthermore, they create and support future leaders. In this way, as an intellectual and collective enterprise, teaching practice itself takes up the leadership role within its own space and scope. Such leadership is acknowledged within the university settings. In recent times, ‘third space’ academics are also emerging as leaders within higher education settings. However, the leadership that happens within the ‘third space academia’ in higher education is often unacknowledged and unrecognised. These ‘ghost’ leaders are also significant for creating strong parallel links between students, academics, and professional staff within a higher education context. This project is a thought-provoking example of a ‘non-visible’ leadership role often undertaken by third space academics in the higher education settings.