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  • 2018LisewskiPhD

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An examination of how tutor-practitioners conceptualise and enact practice-based-knowing in a small Higher Education Fashion School: a social practice theory approach

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Bernard Lisewski
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Publication date2018
Number of pages237
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This thesis examines how practice-based-knowing (PBK) is conceptualised and enacted by eighteen part-time tutor-practitioners teaching on Fashion Design, Fashion Styling and Fashion Business undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in a small Higher Education Fashion School (HEFS). It adopts a qualitative idiographic insider-researcher close-up methodology composed of oral biographies, dialogic interviews, interviews with the double, participant observations and researcher reflexivity. Social practice theory (SPT) is applied within the research, composed of Trowler’s meso level analytical construct of a Teaching and Learning Regime (TLR) and Schatzki’s conceptual relationship between practice as a connected entity and practice as performance, to analyse the conceptualisation and enactment of PBK within the HEFS site ontology and its connected Fashion Industry human practices and material arrangements. Tutor-practitioner composite vignettes are employed to integrate the presentation, analysis and discussion of the data. They illustrate that the tutor-practitioners’ PBK was conceptualised as a combination of: learning the rules and techniques, bringing or carrying contextualised working methods into the HEFS, acknowledging tacit knowing including sensible knowledge, having contemporary and historical perspectives alongside accrued experiences and applying theory in relevant contexts to make connections with Fashion Industry practices. Its enactment was composed of dialogical, collaborative, modelling, storytelling and mentoring processes in conjunction with demonstrating and simulating Fashion Industry working practices. The tutor-practitioners filtered their teaching practice conceptualisations and enactments through Fashion Industry practices rather than departmental disciplinary cultures. The research also established that ‘mutually reinforcing’ or co-constitutive subjectivities in interaction between tutor-practitioners and their students, a social constructivist implicit theory of teaching and learning, transgressive conventions of appropriateness and discursive repertoires were the most significant TLR moments in the HEFS practice context. Overall, it claims that the heuristic power of SPT can be enhanced by the addition of tutor-practitioner practice biographies as a TLR moment alongside the analytical application of Schatzki’s conceptual relationship between practice as a connected entity and practice as performance when studying HEFS type settings involving tutors who teach their professional practice and who exhibit hybridised and fluid identities.