2ND Meeting

GE BM meeting 26.2.21

Joined ideas via social justice aims.

BM’s background in Sociology and Education as student

BM’s research = decolonise History curriculum

Participants= trainee black teachers who have both studied and now hope to teach GCSE history.

Methodology = Using Co-production

Summary of this research = Examines how colonial ideas have been perpetuated in the GCSE curriculum via discussing teachers’ own experiences of studying it and now their experiences of teaching it to students.

GE’s Research

GE’s professional background = teaching English and running Media and Film department in secondary education

Research sits Broadly in education but intersects with Disability Studies, Film and Media

research concerns those with ADHD and their experiences of mainstream schools/classrooms

Research seeks to foreground these previously unheard voices and facilitate a more inclusive environment and more inclusive pedagogies whose ways of knowing are ‘different’ .

Method= using filmmaking in co-production with teachers and students

Discussed how our projects overlap by the fact they are social justice

BM is focussing on Co-production

Co-production (See BM’s notes)

GE- mentioned PAR methodologies and we discussed the embedded power imbalances.

Even when a researcher seeks to ‘empower’ the participant there is always going to be the undertone of teacher/student university researcher/ teacher power divide This was highlighted as a limitation seen in co-production generally. Researcher/researched dichotomy

The goal may be to ‘level it off’ this power imbalance

How GE proposes to use film-

Using film workshops/ film labs to include:

 filmmaking, film watching and sharing amongst teachers, students with ADHD and researcher

One rationale for using filmmaking with young people in this context is that this is to some extent giving something back to the research community in the form of hands-on practical training

Another rationale is that this is a more inclusive approach for capturing and sharing the experiences of young people as conventional forms of representation (written and spoken word in formal interviews or survey) present a barrier to young people who may not be able to fully represent the more elusive, abstract experiences of having ADHD through conventional forms like written language.

So a way to steer away from conventional and traditional forms of representation.

It’s a hands on and engaging way to engage teachers and students

Idea is to a open up a dialogue between the teachers and students through the medium of film

BM reflected on how moving away from written language is more inclusive for thos in the school. It is not trying to force something upon them it’s offering more freedom and not dictating how to do it.


Benefits of coproduction

  • Unlike most studies, Black participants are not positioned as deficient/deviant or problems to fix, but rather as experts of their own experience, change-agents, and curriculum policy-makers 
  • ” Co-production can enhance the effectiveness of research by making it better informed by communities‟ preferences and needs, with communities then contributing to improved outcomes and achievable solutions (Ostrom 1996).” 
  • Prospective teachers learn to notice how they can un/make curriculum through their experiences 
  • foster a more ethically reflexive approach to teaching in unknown futures 
  • By working with prospective Black teachers, the research has potential to impact progression and more broadly the education of young people for a more just future. 

  Challenges  

  • POWER  
  • critics question whether people can fully understand and estimate their own motivations and behaviour; or can engage in analytical thinking on a topic merely on the basis of experience  
    • Counter – providing an established and approved tool which they can adapt to account for race  
    • That the perspectives of communities can be so easily dismissed by positivist critics is indicative of the hidden power dynamics within the research process 

Limitations of filmmaking

One identified limitation – is that since the proliferation in IPhone use everyone is supposedly an expert in film making. This is not to say that TIKTOK etc are not great, it’s just that as GE’s research seeks to find ways of representing more abstract and elusive experiences a more ‘artistic’ approach might be required.  So training participants to use the camera and frame a shot, use colour, use lighting in order to create meaning in more metaphorical ways.

Another problematic of film with children is safeguarding- child protection  – there are ways to circumvent this – using animation and not showing the participant’s faces in recordings.

Have you seen it in other disciplines? In terms of co-production we talked about La Borde clinic that’s a example from psychology. A way to make research more democratic/just.

BM asked GE – have you seen co-production or film used in any other disciplines

GE mentioned in psychology filmmaking has been used to open up difficult conversations with hard to reach groups. GE discussed young men with depression group less inclined to open up about emotions

. Cinematherapy seems to be a ‘thing’  :

This paper:

Film Selection in a Cinematherapy Intervention With Preadolescents Experiencing Parental Divorce

by Emily Marsick



Publication year:




| No other editions or formats


  • Journal of Creativity in Mental Health 5, no. 4 (2010): 374-388

GE- pointed that the link to the La Borde clinic was interesting.

This was an attempt to democratise and although ideal did lead to some problems.

BM pointed to the paper she had shared via email as GE was interested to see if CRT approach of counter-story telling had ever been used with disabled persons.

Community-based arts research for people with learning disabilities: challenging misconceptionsabout learning disabilities

Michael Richards, Rebecca Lawthom & Katherine Runswick-Cole

Really good example of the overlap of social justice/co-production-film making empowerment.

How do we imagine t the benefits/ challenges of working beyond our boundaries might be – how might our overlaps be beneficial

Discussed our unifying idea of social justice amongst marginalised groupings in settings where their status is even more diminished (ADHD-CLASSROOM – BLACK TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS-PROGRESSION AND EXPEREINCES IN EDUCATION)

Discussed how black teachers in UK are underrepresented in leadership and teaching profession in general and their personal experiences as black individuals has been marginalised in profession and in curriculum content. A goal is to foreground these experiences and empower.

We discussed that our research really needs be a 2 way process – giving back through empowerment.

We reflected back to La Borde

GE wrote down ‘ THE GRID’. How could the grid be actualised as a framework in both our research??

In filmmaking it is could be realised in film roles e.g.

The cameraman moves to be the lighting person – there is a teaching approach called ‘Belbin’s group roles’ 

I am going to try and design this framework maybe.

Here’s some stuff on the grid:


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