Seeking to find a place for spiritual transcendence through engaging with earthquake images in geography textbooks

Prof Doc Thesis


Hunt, P. 2018. Seeking to find a place for spiritual transcendence through engaging with earthquake images in geography textbooks. Prof Doc Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Education
AuthorsHunt, P.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Qualification nameEd.D
Abstract

This thesis explores my perceptions as a Christian geography teacher, how a series of images, depicting the effects of and responses to earthquakes, in contemporary geography textbooks develops a sense of place and through this offers opportunities for spiritual transcendence in two English secondary school classes. This is explored through the lens of a growing reflexivity of how my faith influences my teaching.

On reviewing the literature of sense of place and of spiritual transcendence major themes began to emerge which provided a focus for the research. When considering the concept of sense of place, the themes of emotion and geographical imaginations provided the context for the research, while the themes of meaning, connectedness, emotions, and imaginations, provided context to spiritual transcendence for the research.

The post-structural informed research took the form of a critical discourse analysis of nine images contained within two contemporary geography textbooks, personal reflections on how students in two secondary phase classes that I taught responded to the images using a research journal as well as two focus groups with students to discuss their thoughts on the images. The personal reflexivity focused on my perception of how the images allowed opportunities to develop a sense of place and spiritual transcendence.

The theoretical lenses through which I analysed the data involved a modified “Visual Methodologies” approach rooted in critical discourse analysis. The approach focused on two elements. The first element was the site of the image, which focused on the elements and signs that I perceived to be present within the image. The second element, site of audience, focused on how I perceived students were responding to the image to develop meaning. These two dimensions provided an insight into how, as a Christian geography teacher, I perceived a development in sense of place and spiritual transcendence. The analysis revealed that different aspects of an image might provide greater opportunities for a sense of place and spiritual transcendence.

The results of this research cannot be generalised as they focus on my own perceptions of two classes. However, a connection between a sense of place and spiritual transcendence appeared to emerge, a tethered sense of place. A new personal pedagogical approach to using textbook images in the classroom which has the potential to encourage spiritual transcendence also emerged. Both areas might be considered for further investigation by others. Finally, as a process of undertaking this thesis, I have also become reflexively aware of the interaction between my faith as a Christian and my geographical pedagogies in deepening my understanding of what it is to be a Christian Geography Teacher.

KeywordsEarthquakes; spiritual transcendence; sense of place; visual methodologies;
Year2018
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Deposited05 Nov 2019
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/89153/seeking-to-find-a-place-for-spiritual-transcendence-through-engaging-with-earthquake-images-in-geography-textbooks

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