An undergraduate student e-journal
Edited by Fiona Handley, Bex Lewis and Nicole McNab
Table of Contents 2 Preface
Yaz El-Hakim, Director of Learning and Teaching
2 The Students’ Perspective
Jimmy Weighell, President of the University of Winchester’s Student Union
3 ALFRED: A New Approach
Learning and Teaching Development Unit Team
4 Learning in English: The Difficulties Faced by Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Winchester
9 A Study of Drama in Prison, with Reference to Two Companies: Geese and Playing for Time.
14 Looking for Mary, Mother of God: A Creative Exegesis
20 Facilitating a Middle-Aged Woman’s Change of Exercise Behaviour
27 Should the Subject of Homosexuality Be Taught In Schools?
33 Effectiveness of Pre-Cooling Techniques as a Strategy to Enhance Sports Performance
40 “From Darkness to Light”: Christian Theology and Blindness
Laurence James Powell
45 A Critical Consideration of Models of Injury Response
50 Anarchism and Education
Our undergraduate student e-journal, ALFRED, represents one of Research Informed Teaching’s key principles, that students are the creators and producers of knowledge. ALFRED allows staff and students, both internally and externally, to recognise and celebrate the high quality and innovative work that the students here at the University of Winchester undertake. This journal provides a snapshot of the range and quality of work that students have produced and will, no doubt, continue to produce. Too often, undergraduates’ achievements go unrecognised or are lost in the vast numbers of students and assessments. I therefore believe that this is a fantastic development, where the students as creators can be truly celebrated.
This project recognises the exceptional work of University of Winchester students. It is a great honour to have a piece of work published, and each and everyone of these students should be extremely proud. The Student Union would like to encourage more students to strive and achieve like these individuals. To have published a piece of work while in education is a remarkable thing, and a big hand should go to those who made this project happen. We like to think that our students at Winchester will continue to produce sophisticated pieces of work whilst showing the pride and passion to succeed. In a time where it is difficult to be distinctive within a competitive employment market, it is fair to say these individuals have given themselves a head start. Well Done!
ALFRED was inspired by the production and successful launch of CAPTURE last October and we have taken this idea forward to create a journal that showcases students’ research. The journal is not discipline specific and a range of students’ work has been gathered from across all four faculties. Each paper has been led independently by the student, and was chosen for ALFRED based on its merits, imagination and topic. The Learning and Teaching Development Unit (LTDU) has been working to communicate good practice across the institution among staff and students. I am delighted that ALFRED offers another opportunity to share the results of this work and celebrate our students’ achievements with the whole institution and the wider public. I would like to congratulate and thank all the students who have contributed papers, the staff who inspired them through their teaching practice, as well as the members of staff within the LTDU who have edited and produced the journal.
Yassein El-Hakim Director of Learning and Teaching
The Students’ Perspective
Jimmy Weighell, President of the University of Winchester’s Student Union
ALFRED: A New Approach The Teaching and Learning Development Unit Team
The publication of ALFRED marks a new departure for the University of Winchester, but one which is in keeping with its continuing commitment to celebrating the talents of its students and disseminating good research. Unlike many other student journals, ALFRED focuses on the work of its undergraduates, presenting some of the best writing that has been submitted across our programmes in the last year. The papers collected here come from all faculties, on topics as diverse as theology, sports, education and drama. Some of these were originally written as essays, others were submitted as final year projects. All were nominated by teaching staff who were impressed by their innovative approaches, thorough research, or in-depth discussions of complex topics. A subject of increasing importance is tackled by Hilary Ross in her paper looking at the experiences of international students at the University of Winchester. The paper draws together some very heart-felt testimony from students regarding their struggles in reading, writing and speaking English, with some practical advice for improving learning and teaching techniques for these students. The work of the University of Winchester’s Performing Arts department is highlighted in Antonia Hall’s paper in which she explores the variety of different approaches to using drama in prisons. It is not often we get a glimpse behind these closed (and locked) doors and Antonia’s research reveals many of the problems faced by prisoners which engaging with drama can begin to address. Brenda Sharp’s paper on the identity of Mary, in her various guises as the Virgin Mary and Mary the mother of God, combines a strong feminist approach with an investigation into how her life can be re-interpreted to inspire women today. The paper is part of a long feminist tradition of finding a voice for women previously suppressed by society. The excellence of work in the Sport, Law and Management
Faculty is represented by three papers investigating some very specific issues. Laura Shafe’s paper takes a case study of the decision making process of a woman thinking of beginning an exercise programme, while Robert Fox examines the issue of pre-cooling techniques in improving performance in team sports, and Rowena James reviews the effectiveness of using models to define the experiences of people suffering injuries after playing sport. Samantha Loxley’s paper on how the subject of homosexuality is dealt with in schools highlights an important area of research for the University of Winchester, and her paper is contextualised within this work via a commentary by Simon Boxley Senior Lecturer in Education Studies. From the Faculty of Arts comes Laurence Powell’s paper, a fascinating discussion of the relationship between blindness and Christianity. The Biblical emphasis on ‘seeing’ has distanced many blind people from Christian theology, but here Laurence outlines an alternative theology based on all the senses. Keith Dawson’s paper on anarchism and education is a detailed discussion drawing on a wide range of writing that sets out a vision of an education system that fully respects the development of individuals. The original concept behind ALFRED was to demonstrate the effects of Research Informed Teaching. By inspiring their students with good research, and teaching them to become effective researchers, staff have clearly demonstrated one of the reasons why we are championing Research Informed Teaching across the University. ALFRED is therefore a celebration of both the achievements of students, but also the people who teach them. We’re all working together to keep excellent research and teaching at the heart of the University of Winchester. The Learning and Teaching Development Unit Team July 2009
Learning in English: The Difficulties Faced by Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Winchester Hilary Ross nominated by Carolin Esser
Abstract This paper examines the experiences of teaching and learning in a group of international students at the University of Winchester. Using data collected through questionnaires and interviews, the paper explores the students’ perceptions of their strengths and weaknesses in reading, writing, listening and speaking over several months, as well as highlighting how teaching and learning practice impacts on their experiences. The conclusion offers some suggestions for both students and teachers on how to improve the learning experience, and emphasises that this will be an increasingly important issue in the Higher Education sector.
Introduction Studying in another country has become a very real possibility for the current generation of students. While short term programmes and exchange schemes have a long history, a new trend to complete whole degree courses in another country is emerging. This is particularly true at Englishspeaking universities. The advantages are clear both for students, in that international exposure and the ability to speak English will increase their employability, and for the universities, who are always looking for opportunities to diversify. In January this year The Guardian newspaper published an article, confirming the importance of international students to the life blood of British universities. The story, under the headline, ‘Overseas students now 20% of graduates’, (Lipsett 2009) revealed amidst a wealth of statistics provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, that in 2007-2008, whilst the number of UK students fell by 1%, those from inside and outside the EU rose by 6% and 4%, respectively. In numerical
terms, this meant that 229,640 overseas students were in higher education in this country, all paying substantially more in fees than their UK/EU counterparts. The impact of large numbers of overseas students entering countries and universities is potentially significant, in terms of the requirement for new resources and strategies. Students often come poorly equipped to cope with the demands of study in a different language and culture, and new, and potentially costly, support systems will need to be implemented to ensure student achievement (Sivaramakrishnan 2008). Clearly, pressurised staff may not be able to support students effectively, just as much as inadequately prepared or under-supported students will not perform effectively. The reality for many overseas students arriving in the UK is that due to their differing abilities in English, and despite having passed standardised entry tests at the required level, they may find that a shock awaits them. As Sovic identified in her report on the international student experience, “the crippling effect of poor English cannot be underestimated… every aspect of their life – finding accommodation, understanding lectures, tutor, assignments and classmates, making friends – is fraught with difficulty” (Sovic 2008). To investigate this issue further I designed a project at the University of Winchester to assess the experiences of six international students. They were two Chinese postgraduate level students (students ‘J’ and ‘A’), studying on a one year course in International Business Management, one Hong Kong Chinese female undergraduate (student ‘C’), studying at year three in Business Management, two Greek female
undergraduates, studying year one of English Language and Literature (students ‘N’ and ‘V’), and one German female undergraduate (student ‘L’), studying for one semester only in the second year of English and Education. The students were approached at the beginning of their courses and completed a questionnaire about their experience of learning English to date, and the linguistic difficulties they had encountered so far. This was followed up by a series of informal one-to-one interviews and questionnaires completed over a period of time, between 6 - 18 months into their courses. Data collected referred to their previous experiences of learning English before arriving in England, their experience of English in the academic environment at the University of Winchester, and their knowledge of specialised and academic vocabulary. This paper will focus on presenting data relating to the student’s experiences at the University of Winchester.
Identifying language difficulties French sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, who were interested in how social background impacted on the ability to understand academic language, argued that, “academic language is a dead language… and is no one’s mother tongue” (Bourdieu and Passeron 1994). This startling and thoughtprovoking statement suggests that there is something unnatural, and even redundant, about the type of language favoured in some teaching contexts. If academic language is baffling to a native speaker, then it can often be incomprehensible for nonnative speakers. Armed with enthusiasm, appropriate scores in language tests, and the drive that has caused them to undertake such study, it must be a tremendous blow to find that almost every instance of academic input is unintelligible, whether it is listening to a lecture or reading a subject-specific text. This paper examines how some of the issues were encountered by students during the course of their studies.
Listening In the students’ first ratings of their language difficulties, listening was judged by four out of six to be the least difficult, although J rated it as the most difficult. It is possible that the majority of students rated listening as easiest because they perceive it to be a passive skill. In lectures, for example,
students are not usually expected to say anything, so if not much is understood there may not be immediate consequences, especially if contributing in seminars is optional. This seems borne out by student A who rated listening as least difficult at the start of the course, but in an assessment of her comprehension of a lecture/seminar that I observed, said that she had only understood fifty percent. This is supported by student N who struggled in lectures. She said, “the most difficult part of understanding English is in the lectures … sometimes I’m very satisfied if I understand at least the half of what the lecturer is saying”. Accent, speed of delivery, and unfamiliar vocabulary are all likely to complicate listening in a second language, and in the lecture hall where large amounts of complex information are delivered in a short space of time, it will be even more problematic. J’s comprehension of lectures was affected by all these things, and in the lecture/seminar I observed, he assessed his level of understanding at less than fifty percent. J said that his tutor used “difficult” words, and spoke quite quickly, but he had become more used to it, although he did not understand everything. In a presentation during the session by one of the other students (a native speaker), however, J had understood very little because the student had spoken so quickly and quietly. A further difficulty is that listening to a foreign language for long periods of time causes fatigue (Bailey 2006 p. 90). Listening involves concentration, and it is easy to see why students may ‘switch off’ in lectures or seminars if they have to listen for too long, or if they do not understand much of what is being said. J said that not all teachers appeared to be aware of the international students’ difficulties with listening. He said, “international students like me, well our English not very good and some teacher didn’t notice that. I mean they speak very fast and just speak to English speakers”. Of course, teaching international students presents lecturers and teachers with additional demands which staff may not be able, or do not have the training to meet. Addressing these issues will take time and dedication. Both students and tutors, therefore, need to adopt different strategies for improving intake from listening, which for the former may include
recording lectures, doing preparatory reading, or asking the tutor to clarify or repeat information. In turn the tutor could help students by providing a précis of the lecture/seminar agenda, with key terms and vocabulary, before the event; monitoring their speed of delivery and use of difficult words or colloquialisms, ensuring there are regular breaks, and making use of visual aids where possible. Vocabulary was perceived by the students to be one of the main problems confronting them in their struggle to use English for academic purposes, and I was interested in whether the level of insufficiency was as bad as students intimated. To assess this I joined the students for three of their lectures in International Business Management, Business Management, and Education. During these sessions I noted down some of the ‘difficult’ vocabulary that was being used, as well as observing the students’ body language and behaviour. Many interesting points come out of this particular investigation, like, for example, the fact that tutors, undoubtedly unwittingly, use a considerable number of words and expressions that may be especially incomprehensible to second language learners, because they are colloquial. In each of the three sessions I attended, there were instances of these, e.g. ‘haves and have-nots’, ‘dumped on’, ‘ripping off’, and ‘tinker’s cuss’. This is particularly unhelpful in lectures, of course, when some students are already struggling to understand the barrage of complex academic words. Furthermore, when other class members contribute to discussion, as was the case in the postgraduate Business class, they may not remember to take account of the presence of non-native speakers. A explained to me that these students often use advanced vocabulary and speak quickly:
If I didn’t catch tutor’s questions… like what do you think about it, and then native speakers, native students start to show their ideas… I get totally lost… then sometimes even like half to twenty minutes sit there and basically blank.
This must be an extraordinarily de-motivating experience for the student.
Speaking Speaking is often linked with listening in language learning because the first is seen as the productive equivalent of the second. In the students’ first assessment of their problems with the different skills, speaking was rated as most difficult by only two out of the six students. Speaking with grammatical accuracy and clear pronunciation, and combining this with fluency is, of course, quite a challenge for most second language speakers, given the immediacy of speech. Thinking time is limited, and the prospect of mistakes will inhibit fluency in some speakers. L and V seemed highly self-critical in this respect, although they were both able to converse freely with me. They are, perhaps, what Krashen would describe as “monitor over-users”, the monitor being the way speakers deliberately alter the “output of the acquired system, sometimes before and sometimes after the utterance is produced” (Krashen 1981 p. 2). Over-users, it is suggested, can be introverts or perfectionists. For L, her preoccupation was with clarity.
I have to concentrate so much [when speaking]. When I am reading something, it’s like, I don’t know, I don’t have to concentrate, but when I have speak, I know that people have to try and follow me and that I can’t mix the sentences up.
In a one-to-one conversation, the ‘monitor’ may not be particularly active, but in group discussion, it is easy to see why it might cause a student to be reluctant to speak. V was irritated by the interference of her native language, Greek, on the pronunciation of some sounds. The palatal, voiceless, fricative sound sh [S] in a word like ‘pronunciation’, for example, was particularly difficult for her, even though it did not affect understanding. But like L, her perception of the problem inhibited her, making her less likely to contribute orally in more challenging situations, as is required in post-lecture seminars. By the fourth interview, carried out eighteen months after the first in which he was not able to communicate well at all, J was able to discuss his speaking difficulties and what had helped him overcome them:
ut you know, some people like me very shy and tutor B can not enforce you to speak [in class]. But [the tutor] just made everybody do a presentation every time …. then you have to speak. At first it’s quite difficult but after three times it’s easier.
Being ‘forced’ to speak, but in a way that he could prepare for, and thus ensure accuracy, worked much better for J than just being asked individual questions in class. This was because, “if I cannot answers …. we waste time actually”. By this he clearly meant the tutor’s and the other students’ time, and not so much his own. J’s tutor, by providing him with frequent opportunities to speak was, thus, actively helping him to strengthen that bridge, and make more progress towards second language competency.
Writing and reading In the initial questionnaire, A identified writing as the most difficult skill, citing ‘vocabulary and grammar’ as the problem. In her interview, she explained that she had not anticipated this problem:
I didn’t realise that writing is a problem to me… I little bit, little bit realised it, the writing, like particularly some thousand words … you know I got idea about this topic … because normally the way reach it [word count] is like quite easy … when the amount grow to 2,000 words … I try to think what kind of stuff I can put inside!
Writing in the academic context, is inextricably linked with reading. To write a good essay, report or dissertation requires wide reading, for although students are expected to express their ideas, these must be backed up by expert opinion. Student N from Greece, for example, in her first year of a BA in English Literature and Language, and in spite of having studied English continuously for sixteen years, and having benefited from living with an English stepfather since she was ten, spoke emotionally about the difficulty of coping with the reading for her course: With this book I’m reading now, [Jane Eyre] I am spending so many hours every day and I feel quite
dizzy when I close it. I have to concentrate so much to understand what it says …… or I have to read it two or three times …. C also experienced difficulty with reading due to the volume of reading and number of new words, and highlighted a further complication. She said that although she had the skills of approaching reading, such as looking for the topic sentence, “the main point is sometime vocabulary is not enough so I cannot understand totally what a passage say… I cannot answer the question correctly”. Not being able to understand a question, can, of course, have serious consequences in the academic environment. Student A believed that this was why she failed all her first exams, for her lack of understanding and the means to check it (dictionaries were forbidden), meant that her answers were misdirected.
Conclusion This project has explored the experience of ‘learning in English’ at the University of Winchester. The conclusion to be drawn from the various questionnaires, interviews, observations and tests that have been carried out, is that some international students, whilst dedicated to the task of achieving success in their individual endeavours, have in the main found it an extremely challenging journey. It seems clear that recognition of the actual difficulties of learning in English is key to tackling its consequences. At the very heart of those difficulties is the type of language that many international students have been exposed to in their home classrooms. However, all students do not experience the same problems, which is to be expected given the diversity of their origins and experience. Some find listening difficult because of lecturers’ accents, the speed at which they speak or the vocabulary they use. Others may have more problems with speaking, which in some respects might not be considered so important, although the ability to give presentations is a key requirement of many courses. The ability to use this ‘real time’ skill is challenging, however, requiring many mental processes operating simultaneously. Students may be reluctant to speak in more public environments, like seminars, because they are afraid
of making grammatical errors, or, even worse, not being understood at all. Nevertheless, speaking is a skill that must be practised for improvement to take place, as must writing, another productive skill, which challenges many learners. The reason for this is that the type of writing required in the Western academic context is quite different from what learners may have previously encountered. Poor skills, therefore, coupled with the complex demands of substance and style, which are often culturally determined, and possibly incomprehensible, will inevitably, lead to difficulties in producing assignments. This is further compounded by the problems that students’ experience with reading, in that its volume and complexity, in terms of unknown words and ideas, leads to students to become more preoccupied with micro understanding than the macro meaning. But running through all these difficulties, perhaps, and arguably underlying them all, is students’ frustration with their lack of words to listen, speak, write and read. Their comments have indicated time and again that vocabulary is a key to their linguistic performance. International students must be made more aware of, and be prepared for, the demands of overseas study, and universities must constantly and realistically reappraise their systems to ensure they are addressing what will be frequently changing needs. Everyone wants a satisfying and successful outcome for all, but some changes in approach are needed if it is to be achieved.
References Bailey, C. (2006) Supporting international students in UK Higher Education: key issues, and recommendations for further research, CELT Learning and Teaching Projects 2005/2006. Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhapmton. (Available online from http://hdl.handle.net/2436/7590). Bourdieu, P., and Passeron, J.C. (1994) Introduction: Language and the relationships to language in the teaching situation. In Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J.C. and de Saint Martin, M. (eds.) Academic Discourse: Linguistic Misunderstanding and Professorial Power Cambridge: Polity Press. Krashen, S. (1981) Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning Oxford: Pergamon. Lipsett, A. (2009) Overseas students now 20% of all graduates. In The Guardian, 29 January 2009. Accessed on-line http:// www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jan/29/overseasstudents-british-degrees. Sivaramakrishnan, A. (2008) The international divide. In The Guardian, 23 September 2008. Accessed on-line http://www. guardian.co.uk/education/2008/sep/23/internationalstudents. recruitment. Sovic, S. (2008) Lost in Transition? The International Students’ Experience Project. London: University of the Arts. Accessed on-line http://www.arts.ac.uk/clipcetl-internationalstudents.htm.
A Study of Drama in Prison, with Reference to Two Companies: Geese and Playing for Time. Antonia Hall nominated by Annie McKean
Abstract The use of drama in prisons is becoming increasingly recognised as an important method of rehabilitating and training prisoners in a wide variety of life skills that increases their sense of self worth, develops practical skills, allows them to come to terms with their past, and reduces the likelihood of re-offending. This paper looks at the work of two companies, Geese and Playing for Time, who have extensive experience of working in prisons, and contrasts their approaches to performance and participation, though examining three of their projects.
Introduction Theatre in prison and probation represents a relatively new field in the theatre practice in Britain; since the 1980s it has developed in response to a growing recognition within the Criminal Justice System that the arts can play a directly functional role in reducing offending. Drama offers new ways of thinking and can re-direct energies and thoughts either by encouraging inmates to participate in performance or by observation by visiting professional performances (Balfour 2003, 2004; Thompson 1998). In the UK there are currently half a dozen theatre organisations that work exclusively with offenders on probation or in prison, and over a 150 artists or companies that work regularly in a criminal justice setting. In this paper I am going to focus on two companies in depth: Geese and Playing for Time. I will be specifically analysing the theories and techniques used and will be drawing from personal experience of observation, training and working with them. The Geese Theatre Company consists of a group of actors and workers who present interactive drama and workshops
within the Criminal Justice System. The company is widely recognised for its contribution and has worked in more than 150 custodial institutions and with 42 probation areas and more than 130,000 offenders (Geese Theatre Company 2008a). The second company, Playing for Time, was founded by Annie McKean and first performed in 2003 at HMP Winchester. This local company stages plays with volunteer prisoners and undergraduate drama or performing arts students who work together for an end performance. The students work as mentors to the prisoners and all work in collaboration to produce a play. The themes and context of the plays are deliberately chosen to explore relevant issues and are devised so that learning is embedded within the content of the play itself. All the plays are performed to an invited audience that includes prisoners, friends, family members and the general public. The growth of theatre used in the context of adapting behaviour is not entirely a new concept. Community theatre has established itself as an educational medium that may be used to stimulate social change. The belief was that theatre was a means of bringing change in individuals and groups through direct experience of theatre art. This drive to establish theatre outside the traditional theatre building was first explored through Brecht in the 1930s, leading to what is now known as applied theatre (Thompson 2003). Applied theatre often explores vital issues and deliberately encourages and invokes debate, often in circumstances where fear is dominant. Prison theatre, for example, works in the context of offenders in prisons through programmes that address social issues including offending behaviour, anger management, drugs, bullying and employment. It is through drama that a
variety of scenarios can be explored because drama is fiction and is a safe way to explore the unknown, and provides people in groups with the tools for rehearsing life whilst critiquing a number of behaviours. The aim therefore is for theatre companies to work in partnership with the Criminal Justice System to reduce offending and re-offending.
Case studies of performance in prison The approaches and practices of the two companies, Geese and Playing for Time, are slightly different. Geese work with the belief that drama is useful for encouraging general social development and directly addressing offending behaviour. They claim that an essential and important element of their work addresses thinking, feeling and behaviour, and that issues can be explored within in a safe environment, whilst “the positive feelings engendered by a successful experience within the group can also provide a strong motivating force for change” (Baim 2002 p. xii). Drama, especially role play, is used as a tool to explore destructive behaviour and to practise alternatives in challenging life situations. Its work has a sound theoretical base and has been developed from education, criminology, experiential therapy and cognitive-behaviour therapy theories. Playing for Time believes that the arts can be used to reflect on life, our world, society and culture. Their work offers a variety of transferable skills such as increased confidence, communication skills, team work and literacy skills, all of which are developed during rehearsals for the show; the process is as or more important than the performance itself. The focus is not intended to challenge offending behaviour or to disturb prison life but to function as a creative theatre project where students and prisoners work collaboratively to gain a sense of achievement. Both Playing for Time and Geese spend months doing research in prisons to enable them to understand the issues facing their target audience so that they can develop tailored improvisation material and themes for performance. Performance within the two companies is perceived differently and therefore the emphasis of their work has a different focus and they use different techniques. Playing For Time uses
the performance as the end product where the inmates are participants in the final performance; in contrast the Geese Theatre Company uses the performance element mainly at the beginning of the project and often uses performance as the stimuli for workshops that follow. The creation of the performances for both companies is central and is written with an individual group of participants in mind; the focus is usually a particular offence or is perhaps gender or age appropriate. The value of these performances is that they present options and demonstrate that all individuals do have choices about the road they follow; they highlight the incompatible and contradictory nature of criminality and stable family life. In 2008 Playing for Time produced Stand or Fall, written by Brian Woolland, a piece that was conceived as a result of a study and some workshops with prisoners on identity at West Hill, HMP Winchester. The workshops were for Woolland an essential element of the process and arguably more important than the play, which merely addressed the issues or themes. The play explores the realm of reclaiming one’s past and making new beginnings; it follows the story of two men, three generations apart who struggle to escape the stereotypical labels that define them. Kevin McGuire, the main character, uncovers a fascinating tale about his great-grandfather, a railway navvy, when he investigates his family history. Kevin is in prison for a minor drug offence; he has a cell-mate who threatens him and is struggling with little support. His study into his family history reveals that his great grandfather Slen Mcguire’s life was initially shocking but also inspirational. This revelation encourages Kevin to re-evaluate his own circumstances and think anew about his future. (Playing for Time Theatre Company 2008). Geese have recently produced two performances Journey Woman and Previous, both of which I saw. Journey Woman aims to explore key themes of self-efficacy, strategies for coping with imprisonment, avoiding re-offending and problem solving. The performance follows the story of Ellie, a woman who has broken out of the cycle of hardship, crime and prison. Ellie looks back on her life through key episodes such as leaving home for the first time; her first involvement with
offending; becoming a mother and her first prison sentence. Journey Woman is hard hitting and touches on difficult issues for an audience of a small number of women, who subsequently take part in a week-long programme supported by Geese workers and prison staff. I found the performance engaging and to the point as it illustrated the desperate dilemmas facing individuals in prisons, whilst providing some degree of optimism by demonstrating that it is possible to overcome the obstacles associated with criminality. Previous is a new piece for Geese, it was designed in 2008 for an audience of up to 60-80 male prisoners. The performance focuses on three men in a prison cell and the stories they tell each other about their lives. These stories have an impact on each of the characters because they present individual conflicts. The characters unwittingly challenge each other’s perceptions of the roles they have played in their lives and the impact this has had on the people close to them. Previous explores how it feels to be an offender, a prisoner, a user and aggressor and how these criminal identities are incompatible with masculine representations of fatherhood or partnership (Geese 2008b). As a member of the audience I found the actors’ performances outstanding; humour was used effectively so that it made engagement more palatable whilst conveying a strong pessimistic message about the life of crime. Both Geese and Playing for Time share similar aims in encouraging prisoners to reflect on their lives, understand their place in the community in a positive sense and empower them to take control of their lives. How they work in trying to achieve this is where the subtle differences arise. Stand and Fall works on the principle of building practical skills. The project manager, Annie McKean states the idea was to build “transferable skills that prisoners could take with them such as teamwork” (Woolland 2008). The prisoners work hand in hand with the drama students from Winchester University, and learn theatrical skills as they actually participate as actors within the performance and everyone in the group is allocated a part. The prisoners are expected to attend every rehearsal and commit themselves to the work. Everyone is treated and respected as if a member of a professional
company and expectations are high; students are valued by both professionals and prisoners alike. The pressure mounts as the finished performance gets closer and in this sense it replicates the reality and responsibility associated with staging a performance where team-work is an essential element of success. The prisoners learn to relate to and work in a purposeful way in a group situation; the project gives them something new to talk about and something to be proud of. In Stand or Fall, the prisoners were encouraged to be involved in the creation of the piece and had an influence in the development of the play; Brian Woolland, the director, asked everyone in the group which character they would like to play and whether they wanted a large or small speaking part. The performance used singing as a confidence enhancer, this was a valuable strategy in encouraging the group to bond; the process broke down inhibitions and the group united. During the process it was amazing to see how individuals grew in confidence; at the first rehearsal, there was little response, there was not even a foot tap but as time went on and confidence levels rose, some prisoners felt able to sing verses on their own with enthusiasm and pride. The songs influenced the atmosphere in the rehearsal room; it became a place that enhanced confidence and encouraged participants to discuss ideas freely. Total involvement appeared to fuel creativity and gave prisoners a sense of being in control of the piece. They were never told exactly what to do; it was a collaborative effort. The sense of ownership and participation helped to develop a high level of commitment within the group. A memorable moment for me was when Phil, one of the prisoners volunteered to stay in for an extra two days past his sentence, so that he could perform in the show – an amazing level of dedication. Geese works in a different way; performance is highlighted as being central to the work it does; it is the interactive dialogue that is devised in order to involve the audience in the scenario that is at the core of the work. The aim is to illustrate the options available to the central character so that the audience learns that in difficult situations there are always choices.
erformance is a very important part of Geese work, P whether a full scale production at the beginning of a project or a two-minute scene dropped into a group work process. Performance serves a whole range of purpose when we are working in a prison environment (Watson 2009:52).
The purpose of Journey Woman is to place the audience, the women prisoners, as close observers of Ellie’s life; it uses a technique called ‘one stepped removed’ as the characters, their stories and situations are immediately recognisable and familiar to the audience. The prisoners are encouraged to analyse the different life stories that Ellie acts out and are encouraged and prompted to explore her inner feelings and emotions; they are encouraged to speak directly to Ellie during the performance, as they are invited to contemplate on how the moments from her past impact on her present and future. They make connections between her story and their own stories. The drama takes place between the characters on stage, but even more crucially, between the characters and the audience. A character will often need help or advice when facing a desperate situation. He or she turns to speak with the audience; ‘What can I do next?’ Now the character and the audience are directly linked; the character serves as the conduit for the audience’s ideas, fears, and frustrations and, often, their disbelief that there is a way out of the cycle of offending. Geese, however, works by taking a more visual approach; the visual metaphor is at the core of the work; it is driven by the a belief that visual images, which are open for interpretation, reflect some part of the audience’s experience and can be an effective technique in the process of change. Geese maintains that metaphorical representation is theatrically memorable. For example in Journey Woman, Ellie carries an oversized blanket into every scene. Andy Watson writes” The oversized blanket... represents her maladaptive coping strategies, and which she uses to hide away from the possibility of making changes in her life’’ (Prentki 2009 p. 52). In the performance all the actors wear full masks apart from Ellie who, without a mask, represents the present. The mask is the metaphor for the front presented to others; private thoughts and feelings remain well
hidden and protected. In Journey Woman all the actors who represent characters in Ellie’s life wear full masks but do not speak out loud; the audience sees the actor’s body gestures and visual images designed to symbolise emotions. This, therefore, allows the prisoners to make up the dialogue and sub-consciously apply the situation to their own individual lives and experiences. Voiceovers and music were used within Journey Woman to move the piece forward and create memorable moments in the performance. For example, Ellie talking to her friends about drugs and her parents arguing was used to provide background detail. All of these snippets are essential elements in Ellie’s past that have contributed to her criminal identity; they explain who Ellie is, and why she may have ended up in prison. By juxtaposing Ellie in the present in a positive frame of mind it allows the audience to make the connection and is intended to provoke the following thoughts, “If she can do it, and her experiences are like mine, then it’s possible that I could also do it”. Geese offers a variety of styles of performances that are tailored to meet the specific needs of prisoners. Previous is designed to work as a stand-alone piece for large audiences of male prisoners who are serving long term sentences and may not be otherwise included in any remedial work on their offending. The performance is designed to stimulate thought through enjoyment. The inmates are passive audience members as they merely sit and watch; the level of participation is minimal compared to Journey Woman. Its aim is to send a message to a large group of prisoners and is devised to be accessible to and attract full engagement in the performance. Previous reflects the attitudes and behaviour of the men in prison; the three actors are a representation of the variety of characters found within the institution. The piece highlights the different roles we play in life whether good or bad, and illustrates the conflicts we face in life. This is a valuable technique used by Geese and they believe that this realisation is vital for the prisoners to engage in the context whilst considering their own behaviours.
Conclusions The performances illustrate the variety and contrasting techniques used within prison theatre. In Stand and Fall the prisoners are asked to be actors within the piece and they participate fully in the end product of a show; the development of the piece is as important as the end product. The prisoners are invited to take part in the performance as participatory members of the audience in Journey Women; they are required to question and relate to the piece through themselves in a drama workshop that follows. In Previous, the performance is used as a standalone piece where the prisoners have no personal input; they act as passive audience members, under the belief that they can learn from observation alone. Although these productions ask different things of their audience, they share a common purpose: to help the offenders to reflect, relate and hopefully respond to the material in a positive way. In doing so, drama in prisons aims to raise awareness that criminal behaviour is unacceptable and that there are always alternatives to criminality. The common strand that is evident despite differences in the mode of execution is that the performance can influence change within the prisoner. All three pieces use the elements of the past to juxtapose against the moments in the present to show how revisiting, reframing and understanding situations in the past can influence choices in the future. The subject matter in the three illustrative examples describes recognisable scenarios to engage with the targeted audience that reflect or replicate situations that the prisoners may have found themselves in; this encourages them to engage with the material and the context of the performances. The productions themselves produce the stimulus or forum for further discussion and evaluation. In summary, the fundamental philosophy is to encourage prisoners to understand that positive change is possible; the underlying message is positive.
References Baim, C. (2002) The Geese Theatre Handbook Winchester: Waterside Press. Balfour, M. (2003) The Use of Drama in the Rehabilitation of Violent Male Offenders, Wales: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd.
Balfour, M. (2004) Theatre in Prison, Theory and Practice Bristol: Intellect Books. Geese Theatre Company (2008a) Theatre and Drama with Offenders and People at Risk [online] http://www.geese.co.uk/ HTML/index.html (Accessed 5/10/2008). Geese Theatre Company (2008b) The Twenty-First Annual Report of the Albatross Arts Project Geese Theatre Company: Unpublished Report. Playing for Time Theatre Company (2008) Playing for Time [Online] http://www.Playingfortime.org.uk (Accessed 4/10/2008). Prentki, T. (2009) The Applied Theatre Reader Oxon: Routledge. Stephenson, S. (2008) The Long Road London: Methuen Drama. Thompson, J. (1998) Prison Theatre: Perspectives and Practices, United Kingdom: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd. Thompson, J. (2003). Applied Theatre Great Britain: European Academic Publishers. Watson, A. (2006) Geese Theatre Company. In Arts and Criminal Justice 2006 p. 13-14. Woolland, B. (2008) Teaming up for an inside story. In The Hampshire Chronicle, Thursday April 17th 2008.
Performances and Events Journey Woman by Geese Theatre Company. Performed at the Patrick Centre, Birmingham, Thursday 12th February 2009, 4:00pm. Previous by Geese Theatre Company, Performed at the Patrick Centre, Birmingham, Thursday 12th February 2009, 6:30pm. Stand or Fall by Playing for Time Theatre Company. Directed by Brian Woolland. Performed at West Hill HMP, Winchester, 15, 16, 17, April 2008, 6:00pm.
Looking for Mary, Mother of God: A Creative Exegesis Brenda Sharp nominated by Lisa Isherwood
Abstract This paper investigates the figure of the Virgin Mary and assesses the variable ways in which her identity has been utilised. In order to achieve this objective, I employ a creative biblical exegesis within a feminist context. The notion of Mary as Virgin is explored, as are the narratives in which Mary appears. The last section seeks to recover the story of Mary and suggests that it is possible to develop a new understanding of Mary, one that can be useful to women in contemporary society.
Introduction I truly admire Virginia Woolf. In particular I believe A Room of One’s Own to be a unique masterpiece, for within these pages Woolf discovers that women are nowhere to be found (Woolf 2000). All too often it would appear, the words of women are absent and therefore women themselves become invisible. Woolf accentuates the fate of absent women when she imagines that William Shakespeare had a gifted sister, Judith. Judith was destined never to enjoy the privilege of education afforded her brother William, despite this, she breaks free of this existence. However, this results in Judith being taken advantage of by the men she encounters and eventually she kills herself. Judith’s words remain unwritten and unread. It was whilst contemplating Judith’s missing life that I began to think about another woman whom I also believe to be missing. This woman is there, and yet she is absent. Arguably, her story remains untold. This woman is Mary, mother of God. When I say Mary is missing, I mean that many layers have been placed upon her life which have muddied the waters of who she really is. Mary is an object of iconography and her image has been used as a model for all women. However, as a woman, Mary seemingly represents
an idealised symbol of perfection, particularly as a virgin and a mother.
Mary as virgin Mary becomes the Virgin Mary within the scriptures, and so it is here I will begin her story. In the Gospel of Luke it can be inferred that Mary has had no sexual relations, specifically, “the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1: 26-27). Gabriel tells Mary that she will conceive and give birth to a son. Mary is surprised by this news and asks Gabriel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1: 34). Gabriel replies by stating that Mary will be impregnated by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1: 35-36). As Mary conceived by Immaculate Conception she was deemed to be free of the condition of original sin. Original sin is considered to be the wickedness of humanity attributed to Adam and Eve’s fall from grace (McGrath 2001 p. 445-446) and, as Asphodel Long proffers, the doctrine of original sin came to be more explicitly identified with women’s sexuality (Long 1992 p. 185). Within such a context, Mary was effectively saved from her perceived sinfulness by her own son, and as feminist theologian Mary Daly states, Mary was therefore “in a state of perpetual indebtedness” (Daly 1978 p. 85). This notion of ongoing obligation could be considered detrimental for Mary and by association, all women, as it could delimit any concept of female autonomy. It is clear then, that for Mary to be worthy enough to give birth to the Son of God, she must subvert the sins of Eve and her fall from grace and thus, Mary becomes the second Eve (Warner 2000 p. 60). According to Marina Warner, the Christian emphasis on
concepts of virginity and chastity can be explained in terms of male, “fear and loathing of the female body’s functions, in identification of evil with the flesh and flesh with woman” (Warner 2000 p. 77). I would argue that appropriation of the female body reaches its climax in the definition of Mary as a virgin, for it is God alone who possesses her and has dominion over her, she is placed in a passive and submissive role. Mary’s virginal obedience has replaced the virginal disobedience of Eve, for Mary’s asceticism and virtue will result in the birth of the Saviour of mankind (Iranaeus cited in Beattie 2007 p. 88). Thus, the Virgin Mary as the second Eve gives a clear message; women must be docile and submissive; women should be pure and chaste; women’s needs are secondary; and furthermore, a woman’s explicit reason for being is to produce an heir to her male God, regardless of her own wish.
Mary as mother The doctrine of the Virgin birth dictates that Mary conceived and gave birth to Christ without loss of her physical virginity and this belief has remained as a standard teaching within Catholic and Orthodox Churches (Boss 2000 p. 64-65). Virginity associated with the conception of a child is contradictory, and as such, the Virgin birth has been subject to much scholarly debate. Many patristic theologians understood Mary’s virginal motherhood to be necessary for both the human, and critically the divine, nature of Christ (Beattie 2007 p. 82-84). Within such a discourse, the corporeality of Mary is an assurance of Christ’s humanity, and her virginity guarantees Christ’s divinity. Jesus’ divinity is thereby determined by the suspension of the natural order. Within this context, virginity is deemed a testament of faith, while the body, and more especially, the female body, is a site of shame. It would seem that, for women at least, sexuality prohibits access to spirituality. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, this notion appears to have emanated from a male-defined assumption of what it means to be female. And so Mary is destined to be the perpetual virgin; her sexuality is removed from her so that she may be considered pure enough to birth the son of God. Thus, Mary is written of and imaged as having the sovereign power of the motherhood
of God, and yet she appears to be denied any power of her own. Mothers are portrayed as being self-sacrificing nurturers, the bearers of men, however, in reality, they are considered to be nothing more than vessels, without any intrinsic worth of their own. Moreover, as George Tavard suggests, women who align themselves with the Mother of God are merely adopting a Marxian false consciousness and, as a consequence, are contributing to their own oppression (Tavard 1996 p. 253). That is to say, women are acceptant of an exploitative symbolism that, arguably, defines them as secondary beings.
The story of Mary The figures of Mary the virgin and the mother are developed from Mary’s appearances in the Gospels, mainly in four events, the Annunciation, the Magnificat, the Nativity and the crucifixion. It must be noted that the biblical exegesis contained within this chapter is purely based upon conjecture and therefore is not representative of a traditional Christian interpretation. Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza states, “Since all biblical texts are formulated in androcentric language and reflect patriarchal social structures, a feminist critical interpretation begins with a hermeneutics of suspicion rather than with a hermeneutics of consent and affirmation” (Fiorenza 1984 p. 15). In other words, a male-defined exegesis is perhaps not indicative of the full story and it becomes incumbent to read between the lines to search for the missing narrative. In the story of the Annunciation Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel, a male angel, and told that she is to be impregnated by God. Mary is patently worried by this statement, notably, “and when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying…”, however Gabriel replied, “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee” (Luke 1: 29 and 35). The Annunciation narrative is traditionally portrayed as a wondrous spiritual event however, in affirming this interpretation there is a risk that an underlying truth is being masked, and the plight of Mary is ignored. In a recent programme on television, Robert Beckford highlighted the controversial notion that Mary may have been raped in the Annunciation (Channel 4 2008), a view also suggested by Mary Daly (Daly 1984 p.74) and Jane Schaberg (Schaberg 1987 p.196).
However, while Mary is obviously reluctant and she is given no chance to refuse, the possibility that Mary had been raped would seem to cast doubt upon the likelihood that she would have gone on to sing the Magnificat, a song which expresses her joy at her miraculous pregnancy.
And Mary said my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant in Israel, in remembrance of his mercy. As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever (Luke 1: 46-55).
If the text of the Magnificat is taken literally it presents Mary as empowered and possessing agency. However, the problem with this notion of autonomy is that it appears to be at odds with the Mary I have discovered so far. Moreover, throughout Christian history Mary is depicted as submissive and docile, as this description posited by Karl Barth illustrates, Mary is, “nonwilling, non-achieving, non-creative, non-sovereign, merely ready, merely receptive” (Barth cited in Hampson 1990 p. 100). Jane Schaberg believes that through the Magnificat, Luke wanted to get across the point that, “she who was humiliated and degraded, and the child whose origin is in humiliation and degradation, were ‘helped’ by God” (Schaberg 1987 p.96). In other words, Mary receives God’s grace and redemption and her pregnancy leads to her liberation and, as representative of the oppressed, she can help others to become liberated. Perhaps, within this context, a concept of empowered Mariology is a possibility. At such a juncture however, I remain doubtful of Mary having any autonomous power, she may have sung the song, but I believe it was not to her own tune.
Mary’s next appearance is at the Nativity. Daphne Hampson notes that the Christmas Nativity story has just one part for a women, the remaining parts are for males (Hampson 1990 p. 85). Arguably Mary, as the sole woman character exists only in her capacity as bearer of meaning. Mary is a pivotal character in the story only in as much as she produces the male saviour, she carries no agency of her own and therefore, she fades into obscurity, until she reappears at the crucifixion.
ow there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and N his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home ( John 19: 25-27).
Mary’s presence at the crucifixion is reduced to three verses, and so it would seem that Mary’s role has further been diminished, her role becoming smaller as Jesus’ becomes larger. This surely carries a deeper theological meaning, and feminist writer Adeline Fehribach believes the writer, John, was intent on determining Jesus’ status as the heavenly bridegroom (Maunder 2007 p. 30). Fehribach notes John’s use of the word ‘woman’ as opposed to mother which deemphasises the matrilineal descent, which is further achieved when Jesus gives away his mother to John and thus creates a patrilineal kinship in which Jesus is related to all (ibid). Arguably, John has written the scene with Mary in order to highlight the importance of Jesus for it is he alone who will be made the Supreme Being. Jesus’ final sacrifice however, carries a rather more fundamental meaning in my opinion, that of a mother’s loss. Mary is depicted as a stricken mother who must accept her son’s death without any recourse to action. Mary’s loss may enable her to engage with women who have suffered a similar fate, and perhaps it would be possible to narrate Mary’s motherhood in a way that would reflect the experiences of women, stories that could be told within a woman-defined discourse.
Who is Mary? This has been a story about Mary, Mary the virgin, Mary the mother. Arguably, it would appear, this is a story about how Mary has been taken advantage of by the Church and by a patriarchal hegemony. I think the time has now come to awaken Mary’s memory for, it would appear, her life has been so obscured she must surely have forgotten who she is. So if Mary is now imagined as a whole woman, she feels, she touches, she laughs, and she cries. But wait, Mary had always cried – it was one human activity she was allowed, as she grieved for her dead son and her tears communicated her motherhood of men (Warner 2000 p. 205). As Marina Warner posits, within this context of motherhood, Mary’s tears have the power to give life and to make everything whole (Warner 2000 p. 221). However, I have a problem with this notion of women’s tears as signifiers of unselfish deliverance, because tears tend to emanate from a painful place. From a sociological perspective, Simone de Beauvoir argues that a woman’s propensity to tears come from the fact that, “her life is built upon a foundation of impotent revolt” (Beauvoir 1997 p. 619). Arguably, Mary’s tears have been used within a patriarchal Christian discourse to perpetuate the image of women as being powerless, who ultimately need a male Saviour to rescue them, and this framework has extended into the male dominated cultural hegemony. However, despite the negative connotations that can be placed upon Mary’s tears, it can also be argued that the emotions displayed in her tears are a marker of strength. William Blake in his poem The Grey Monk tells us that “a Tear is an Intellectual Thing” (Blake nd). Indeed this very poem lends its title to the book by philosopher Jerome Neu, in which he states, “Why do we cry?” (Neu 2000 p. 14). My short answer is “because we think”. In understanding the links between crying and thinking, arguably, women could be defined as possessing more discernment than men. Moreover, as Ashley Montagu argues, women remain mentally much healthier than men as a result of the effective use of emotion (Montagu in Greer 2006 p.118). Within this context, Mary is a strong minded character who could be an empowering force for women. Arguably, it has been [male-defined] history that
has misrepresented Mary and as Dorothee Soelle states, Mary is “alive in the history of women” (Soelle 1984 p. 46). And so we begin to realize that, perhaps, Mary is much stronger than she is given credit for, and as Elsa Tamez states,
S urely Mary was the first among those women who love and dare. Remember that she dared to remain at the cross with other women in spite of the danger of imprisonment…She was a courageous woman who went against the current (Tamez 2001 p. 21).
Mary’s strength and courage are becoming all the more clearer, and I believe, I now know Mary a little better.
Conclusions The story of Mary has seen her defined in corporeal language as a virgin and a mother, and yet she is evidently beyond being corporeal, because of the antithetical notion of her being a virginal mother. Furthermore, I would argue, Mary has come to represent an image of perfect womanhood that is unattainable, thus its power to subject women to a perceived ‘failure’ can be devastating. I have argued that Mary as a historical figure has been distorted and obscured to meet the demands of a maledefined hegemony, and she has become a missing person, a missing woman. However, I believe it is possible to develop a new understanding of Mary so that she may put on her body and speak with her own voice. Therefore, Mary as mother can experience all aspects of motherhood, she is no longer a perfect myth of motherhood. In a similar vein, Mary as a sexual being can be a whole person once more and is no longer a shattered being. In this way, Mary can better reflect the lives of women and could be a useful figure to women in our contemporary world. I began with the story of Judith, the poet who was not given a chance to write and whose very existence was imagined in the mind of Virginia Woolf. Just as Judith is missing, I have argued that Mary too is missing, she is everywhere and yet she is nowhere, she is lost in the stories of writers and narrators who had their own agendas. I believe we must work
to find Mary and then she will come, and just like Judith, she too can put on her body. I would like to end, if I may, with a poem I have written, it is about a woman named Mary,
er Name is Mary H She is every Woman Mary is the Woman who cannot and should not live up to an unattainable perfection Mary is all the Women who have been deleted from history Mary is the Women who wrote, and of whom Virginia Woolf could find no trace Mary is all the Women who have been bruised and brutalised in the name of love, or hate, or war Mary is the Woman who weeps silently as her child dies in her arms I know her and so do you She is every Woman Her Name is Mary
References Althaus-Reid, M. (2004) From Feminist Theology to Indecent Theology: Readings on Poverty, Sexual Identity and God, London: SCM Press. Beattie, T. (2007) Mary in Patristic Theology in Boss, S. J. (ed.) Mary: The Complete Resource. London: Continuum. P. 75-105.
Cline, S. (1994) Women, Celibacy and Passion. London: Optima. Daly, M. (1978) Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. Boston: Beacon Press. Fiorenza, E. (1984) Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation. Boston: Beacon Press. Greer, G. (2006) The Female Eunuch. London: Harper Perennial. (First published in 1970). Hampson, D. (1990) Theology and Feminism. Oxford: Blackwell. Long, A. (1992) In a Chariot Drawn by Lions: The Search for the Female in Deity. London: The Woman’s Press. Maunder, C. (2007) Mary in the New Testament and Aprocrypha, in Boss, S. J. (ed.) Mary: The Complete Resource. London: Continuum. P. 11-46. McGrath, A. E. (2001) Christian Theology: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell. Third Edition. Neu, J. (2000) A Tear Is an Intellectual Thing: The Meanings of Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Beauvoir, S. de (1997) The Second Sex. London: Vintage. (First published in 1949 in French as Le Deuxième Sex).
Schaberg, J. (1987) The Illegitimacy of Jesus: A Feminist Theological Interpretation of the Infancy Narratives. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Blake, W. (nd) The Grey Monk. http://www.rc.umd.edu/ editions/poets/texts/greymonk.html [Accessed 11/04/09].
Soelle, D. (1984) The Strength of the Weak: Toward a Christian Feminist Identity. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
Boss, S.J. (2000) Empress and Handmaid: On Nature and Gender in the Cult of the Virgin Mary. London: Cassell.
Tamez, E. (2001) Jesus and Courageous Women. New York: Women’s Division.
Channel 4 (2008) Decoding the Nativity. Broadcast Thursday 25th December 2008, 7.30pm on Channel 4: Narrated by Robert Beckford. Available from: http://www.channel4.com/search/?q=Decoding+the+Nativity
Tavard, G. H. (1996) The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press.
Warner, M. (2000) Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary. London: Vintage. Woolf, V. (2000) A Room of Oneâ€™s Own. London: Penguin. (First published in 1928)
Other resources Holy Bible: King James Version. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Facilitating a Middle-Aged Woman’s Change of Exercise Behaviour Laura Shafe nominated by John Batten
Abstract This paper examines the experiences of a 50 year old woman, known here as Sally, collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with the author. The data relates to her decision making processes as she considers undertaking exercise. The interviewee’s responses are examined in the context of wider research into the issues associated with becoming more active, highlighting how her experiences reflect or contradict the findings of other researchers, and examining how suggested interventions could be developed.
Introduction The average daily energy expenditure amongst the UK population has significantly declined over the last century (Department of Health 2004). This may be attributed to the technological advancements that reduce the physicality of many occupations and overshadow various environmental opportunities to engage in activities such as walking and cycling. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure, whereas exercise is characterised as more structured and repetitive movements that are carried out with the purpose of improving or maintaining an element of fitness. Despite the distinctions between physical activity and exercise, there is a need for individuals to integrate either of these behaviours consistently within their weekly routines. Indeed, there is substantial evidence to support the multifactorial health benefits, providing the Government with firm justifications behind its attempts to diminish sedentary lifestyles that characterise modern society and cost England an estimated £8.2 billion annually (Department of Health 2004).
Research has shown that those engaging in more physically active lifestyles have a reduced risk of breast cancer (Kruk 2007), obesity (Holt 2005), and cardiovascular disease (Pettee et al. 2008). Although these correlations should be interpreted cautiously, Booth et al. (2000) state that there is no greater means than exercise to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. In addition, the pathological manifestations associated with menopause and the ageing process, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, are positively affected by carefully constructed exercise programmes (Platen 2001). There is also the potential for physical activity to prevent and/ or relieve mental health problems, such as depression which affects one in four British adults annually (Mental Health Foundation 2008). This is supported by Paffenbarger, Lee and Lung’s study that found a 28% reduced chance of developing clinical depression amongst those expending more than 2500 kcal per week when compared with those expending less than 1000 kcal per week (cited in Zoeller 2007).
Methodology The above research findings are particularly relevant to the current case study of a 50 year old woman (pseudonym Sally), providing a rationale for a stage-based exercise intervention (Burbank et al. 2002). At the time of the data collection, via semi-structured interview, Sally was working as a part-time medical secretary for a General Practice located just over six miles away from her place of residence, which demanded three days of her week, amounting to 15-20 hours. Outside of this time, Sally considered herself as a housewife with typical family responsibilities that included washing clothes, preparing meals, cleaning the house, gardening, and taking care of two dogs, which left her with a couple of hours at
the end of the day to watch television. Furthermore, Sally expressed a future goal of exercising 2-3 hours per week with the outcome expectancies of weight loss and appearance improvements. A semi-structured interview was the central method of data collection, conducted in accordance with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Scientists’ Code of Conduct, emphasising anonymity and confidentiality before obtaining Sally’s informed consent for the interview to be recorded, transcribed, and used as part of a case study. This particular format ensured the researcher could adopt a flexible approach, utilising an interview schedule which directed the respondent towards specific topics with open questions that were supplemented if necessary with probes for additional information. A series of questionnaires were also administered upon interview termination, providing an element of data triangulation that allowed the researcher to further justify the interpretation of the verbatim transcription, which together would constitute a foundation from which the intervention was designed. Explicit information regarding constructs related to exercise behaviour was gained using the Decisional Balance Questionnaire (Nigg et al. 1998), which assessed the perceived benefits and costs of exercise, and a visual Stage of Change measure that temporally categorises behaviour change (Beiner and Abrams, 1991). Furthermore, the respondent completed the Behavioural Regulations for Exercise Qustionnaire that indicated how self-determined her motivation was for exercise (Markland and Tobin 2004). A self-determined individual experiences a sense of satisfaction within the three basic psychological needs of autonomy (choice, causation, control), competence (effective interaction with the environment), and relatedness (sense of being understood by and connected to others), and are intrinsically motivated by the inherent rewards of exercise. A non self-determined individual is defined as extrinsically motivated by the rewards adjunct to exercise, such as weight loss (Deci and Ryan 1985, 2000). The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) was adopted as the preliminary underpinning theoretical framework for this case
study and accounts for the cyclic nature of behaviour change that witnesses progression and regression (Marcus and Simkin 1994; Reed 1999). Within the model, six stages of change are proposed (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, termination) that acknowledge the essential role of intention, defined as a deliberate, conscious, self-directed instruction to perform a specific task (Milne et al. 2008). Additionally, the TTM proposes ten processes of change which are covert (cognitive/experiential) or overt (behavioural) self-regulatory strategies used to modify experiences and the environment respectively to achieve behaviour change (Lowther, Mutrie, and Scott 2007).
Sally’s experiences Following a thorough exploration of the data obtained, it became evident that the case study was in a transition towards the contemplation stage of change, characterised by intentions to begin exercising in the next six months (Prochaska et al. 1994). Indeed, Sally indicated on the stages of change measure that she was not currently exercising but hoped to start in the near future, supported by her responses during the interview of, “I think I’d like to go back to the gym again…. it’s something that I would like to do”. Although she expressed a clear idea of how much weekly physical activity she would like to accomplish, this knowledge steamed from her distant past experiences. Furthermore, due to number of key issues presented in the following sections, her intentions can be considered somewhat unstable and weak, which suggests she may be at risk of relapsing back to pre-contemplation where there is no intention to engage in this type of structured and purposeful physical activity (Reed 1999). An immediate key issue and perceived barrier to exercise was time which presented itself repeatedly throughout the interview, “I’ve been really really busy with doing extra hours at work… having two puppies has taken up a lot of time...I haven’t really had the time to do it”. In conjunction with time constraints, the urge to engage in behaviours other than exercise was high for Sally, “…it’s like everything else just gets in the way…there will be something that is more important”, which conforms to predictions made by the TTM that those in the earlier stages of change experience a high sense of temptation not
to be physically active (Fallon, Hausenblas and Nigg 2005). This was confounded by the unexpected finding that Sally possessed an overall positive decisional balance which contemplators are not associated with (Marcus, Rakowski and Rossi 1992; Prochaska et al. 1994). However, this may have been due to the Government’s mass media campaigns, such as Change4Life, which increased public awareness of the generalised consequences of sedentary and active lifestyles, foregrounding exercise benefits (Cavill and Bauman 2004). Another key issue was the guilt induced by her family to exercise in conjunction with her perception that she lacked their support and understanding in finding time and accessing exercise.
nd I know the kids mean well when they try and A encourage me to exercise but well I don’t think they realise that it’s sort of one or the other you know (pause). It’s either I do their washing or I go to the gym and then I feel so pressured all the time (pause) so guilty that I don’t exercise but if anything that just puts me right off the idea (pause) I never respond well to people badgering me to do something (laugh) I just think, “Oh get off my case I’ll do it when I’m ready.”
This guilt and poor sense of relatedness appeared to transfer onto her motivation, as shown by her low relative autonomy index score of 1.58 that represented a lack of selfdetermination for exercise (Deci and Ryan 1985, 2000). Again, this parallels research findings of significant correlations between the earlier stages of change and more controlling motivation (Daley and Duda 2006). Finally, self-presentation was a concern, whereby Sally was aware of being overweight and anticipated feeling uncomfortable within the exercise context due to her worries regarding the opinion of others.
I wouldn’t want to go right now because I don’t feel physically ready ‘cos I’m overweight and I wouldn’t feel comfortable in front of other people exercising right now (pause) I remember when I used to go and I would see other really fit people stare at new members in well just not a very nice way and I think right now I
would (laugh) stick out like a sore thumb. The self-presentation concern was also evident in the information gained from the decisional balance questionnaire which revealed that losses to the self, such as the embarrassment of exercising in front of others, was an important negative consequence of exercising and possibly used as a legitimate reason for not engaging in such physical activity. To summarise, there were a number of issues that presented themselves during the interview and through the questionnaires, which included a perceived lack of time and support/relatedness from significant others, and a high temptation not to exercise which may have stemmed from its low prioritisation compared with family responsibilities, her lack of self-determination, and/or the self-presentation concerns. Together, these issues contributed to her failure to translate her somewhat weak intentions into behaviour, which is a shared problem contemplators must overcome if they are to progress into the preparation stage where they undertake exercise in an irregular manner (Lippke, Ziegelmann and Schwarzer 2004).
Intervention Therefore, a stage-based intervention was constructed around the specific needs associated with contemplators, which is considered an effective means to provoke behaviour change by Brug et al. (2005) and Burbank et al (2002). Indeed, had Sally been placed in a stage where physical activity was already being performed (preparation, action or maintenance stages) then the objectives for the current case study would have differed significantly (Lippke et al. 2004). However, it is recognised that continual re-evaluation, development and implementation would be necessary to successfully progress Sally towards the final goal of maintenance in which consistent long-term adherence to physical activity is achieved (Adams and White 2005). The first part of the intervention serves a purpose of strengthening the intention to exercise; the necessity of which is supported by Gollwitzer (1999) who states that it is only
when good intentions are strong may they be considered as reliable predictors of exercise behaviour. In order to achieve this, the Health Action Process Approach (Schwarzer 2008 p. 6) was employed as a theoretical framework that outlines a motivational phase during which intention formation takes place through the individual’s interaction with risk perception, outcome expectancies and perceived self-efficacy. Sally would be provided with relevant and individualised information, such as a profile of her current health status, its implications on longevity, and the realistic improvements that could be achieved by engaging in a specified type and amount of physical activity. This would enable Sally to fully appreciate and identify with the importance of physical activity, and thus develop a risk perception that sets the stage for strong intention formation, hopefully moving exercise towards the top of her daily priority list. Although Schwarzer (2008) argues that information provision would be ineffective for contemplators who are placed in the post-intentional volitional phase, this step is justified by the need to instil knowledge. Furthermore, this will grant Sally access to the experiential process of change known as consciousness raising which is associated with contemplators, whereby the individual can recall such facts (Burbank et al. 2002). However, risk perception alone is inadequate to secure intentions, which requires cognitive elaboration (Prestwich et al. 2003). Through the use of a decisional balance sheet, Sally would be asked to list the perceived advantages and disadvantages of engaging in exercise (outcome expectancies), which would provide the opportunity for her to voice concerns which the researcher would provide unconditional support for, whilst challenging the foreseen losses, such as the self-presentation issues, and promoting the positive expected outcomes. For example, the researcher might suggest that Sally could utilise the sixty minutes she spends taking the dogs out as an opportunity to perform vigorous walking, therefore eliminate the fear of exercising in front of others. Furthermore, this is an activity that Sally is familiar with, thus it is expected she will have a relatively strong belief in her ability to achieve this, defined as action self-efficacy which is a construct essential for stage progression (Schwarzer 2008).
Incorporating such a step into the preliminary part of an intervention is supported by Scholz et al. (2008) and Sniehotta et al. (2005) whose studies respectively found that developing an individual’s risk perception, outcome expectancies and self-efficacy accounted for 52% and 69% variance in behavioural intentions. Furthermore, it would encourage the experiential processes of dramatic relief and self-revaluation that respectively entail eliciting an emotional reaction to the information and considering how not exercising makes her feel; both of which promote intention formation (Burbank et al. 2002; Lowther et al. 2007). It is also anticipated that this part of the intervention would help Sally to establish self-determined extrinsic motivation (Deci and Ryan 1985, 2000). Indeed, by emphasising the aesthetic benefits that can be incurred through sustained exercise, whilst encouraging Sally to recognise and integrate its importance into her own value system, it is hoped that her motivation for exercise would have an internal locus of causality, as opposed to materialising from the guilt currently being experienced. Therefore her behaviour would be more autonomously regulated, and thus encourage behaviour change (Vallerand 2007). Sally would now be ready to progress onto the preparation stage of change within the TTM, thus move into the volitional phase of the HAPA by closing the intention-behaviour gap (Schwarzer 2008). This would be achieved through the development of the cognitive-behavioural technique of implementation intentions, defined as the ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the desired behaviour that permits a mental simulation, increasing Sally’s accessibility to the opportune moments for exercise and in turn the probability of initiating exercise (Gollwitzer 1999). By committing to these implementation intentions, the automatisation of the behaviour is promoted which bypasses the conscious deliberation of situation-specific pros and cons that currently deter her from translating her general intentions into action (Prestwich, Lawton and Conner 2003). Implementation intentions are formed through the volitional technique of action planning, which is a self regulatory tool through which a behavioural sequence is generated
that results in a strategy to achieve the desired objective. The effectiveness of action plans was demonstrated by Milne, Orbell and Sheernan (cited in Lippke et al. 2004) who found experimental participants were more likely to engage in exercise compared with control participants who did not specify the context details of their intention. Moreover, Macdonald and Palfai (2008) state that planning leads to greater environmental structure which reduces temptation and so would be highly beneficial for Sally. The action plan would involve constructing a typical weekly timetable, providing her with a visual means to manage her time, locating windows of inactivity that could be replaced with exercise (counter-conditioning), and identifying household responsibilities which could be shared amongst her significant others (helping relationships), thus addressing her perceived lack of time and support whilst establishing the ‘when’ of her exercise intention. Next, she would be asked to decide on a number of physical activities she would be willing to engage in and their associated ‘where’ and ‘how’ details, and to share the finalised action plan with her family. This should provoke the behavioural change process of self-liberation which represents Sally making a commitment to the behaviour change, as well as promoting a sense of relatedness through communicating her desire to change with family members (Lowther et al. 2007). Subsequent interventions may attempt to incorporate imagery alongside the action plans, whereby Sally would be asked to imagine herself in the designated context, successfully carrying out the implementation intentions and engaging in vigorous walking. Indeed, Cumming (2008) found that exercisers who reported a greater frequency of certain types of imagery tended to engage in more physical activity, and Wilson et al. (2003) found significant associations between self-determined motivation and use of all types of imagery. Therefore, imagery will prove beneficial for following interventions that seek to progress Sally on from the preparation stage through the promotion of internalisation, which is the process by which the individual endorses the more autonomous motivation for exercise that is necessary for consistent adherence. However, such a technique should only be incorporated once Sally has defined and announced her commitment to behaviour change.
The efficacy of the above intervention as a means to initiate exercise was investigated by Prestwich et al. (2003) who found participants who completed both a decisional balance sheet and action plans over four weeks had the greatest improvements in exercise frequency and duration, in addition to increased fitness values compared with the other treatment and control groups.
Conclusion In its entirety, the intervention addresses a number of key issues which prevented Sally’s progression through the stages of behaviour change. Specifically, the issues of exercise’s low prioritisation, her self-presentation concerns, and her lack of motivation that contributed to her weak intention were targeted by the first part of the intervention. This was achieved by developing Sally’s risk perception, positive outcome expectancies and action self-efficacy, alongside a number of experiential processes of change; these are all constructs which are hypothesised by the HAPA and TTM frameworks to facilitate intention formation (Burbank et al. 2002; Lippke et al. 2004). Secondly, the intervention was designed to close the intention-behaviour gap by developing implementation intentions through the use of action planning which specifically addressed the perceived lack of time and social support, whilst encouraging a number of behavioural processes and thus increasing the probability of engaging in exercise. It is hoped that this would directly resolve Sally’s high temptation not to exercise, her perceived lack of time and social support, the latter of which contributed to a poor sense of relatedness. Following Sally’s successful completion of this intervention, there is potential for the use of imagery to promote more self-determined motivation and thus encourage her transition towards stages of change characterised by regular exercise. Overall, the stage-specific structure would equip Sally with the appropriate techniques to facilitate the first stages in her behaviour change, which if maintained will reduce her risk of the health complications experienced during later life and through inactivity.
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Should the Subject of Homosexuality Be Taught In Schools? Samantha Loxley
Homosexuality has traditionally been a subject that has not been taught in schools, for many reasons. The influence of legislation, the main religions, and homophobia in wider society have all had a profound effect on the ability or desire of teachers to address the subject. This avoidance has implications for schools in dealing with homophobia, and in their support of homosexual students. This paper investigates the background to this issue, how it is beginning to be addressed, and suggests some benefits that these changes will bring.
Historically homosexuality has been a taboo subject in Britain, with the first mention of a punishment for homosexuality occurring in 1290 (Stonewall 2007). The law banning homosexual acts between men was only revoked in 1967, making it possible for homosexual acts to take place between two people over 21 years old in private (Stonewall 2007). However, the passing of Section 28 in 1988, which prohibited the teaching or publishing of materials which would promote homosexuality, continued to suppress the public discussion of homosexuality. Section 28 dramatically affected people’s lives, closing LGBT support groups in schools and colleges, stopping meetings of LGBT students, and making it unclear how homophobic behaviour should be dealt with. While Section 28 was repealed in Scotland in 2000, and in England and Wales in 2003, the repeal itself is still a matter of controversy (Clark 2007), and Section 28 continues to affect school policy through the vocal support given to it by some people.
Introduction The subject of homosexuality remains nearly invisible in Britain’s school curricula. Currently the topic of homosexuality has very limited coverage in the National Curriculum and is limited to Physical, Social and Health Education at key stage four. However, within the school environment, homosexuality, or rather homophobia, is a big issue. It is reported that 65% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual (LGBT) youth are bullied in school because of sexual orientation, and 41% are physically bullied with 17% receiving death threats (Stonewall 2007). Homophobic bullying in schools has a major effect on teenagers’ self esteem, with over a third of LGBT youth feeling unsafe at school (Hunt and Jensen 2007 p. 10). It is reported that due to homophobic bullying 72% of LGBT youth were regularly absent from school, 50% who were bullied contemplated self harm or suicide and 40% made at least one attempt to self harm (Stonewall 2000). For this reason many students hide their sexual orientation throughout their school years. One way of tackling this problem would be through open discussion within schools of homosexuality. However, there is a long tradition of schools avoiding discussing this subject.
The background to the continuing reluctance to discuss homosexuality in schools is the traditional condemnation of homosexuality by all the main faith groups, although the situation is changing. Christian beliefs about homosexuality have held a strong prominence in British society throughout history and continue today. While Christianity is a diverse religion, the traditional Christian belief is that the act of homosexuality is a sin. The prominent text about homosexuality comes from Leviticus Chapter 20, where a number of laws for Israel are articulated. It is stated here that “if man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death”.
The traditional Islamic view of homosexuality is equally damning. These beliefs are based on the many references to homosexuality in the Qur’ an, one such passage stating that two men acting in same-sex activity should be physically punished until they repent (Robinson 2005). Within Judaism, traditional beliefs about homosexual behaviour are that it is an abomination, as it goes against the understanding of the importance of child birth and the continuation of Jewish people. It is believed however that to simply have a sexual orientation is not a violation of Jewish law, but the act of homosexuality is a sin. Family life is considered central to Judaism, and as homosexuality does not correspond to this normal family life, it is considered abnormal (Robinson 2003). The impact of this is that people, including schoolchildren, can draw on these teachings to justify their behaviour. Greene reports that schoolboys who committed homophobic acts were not all religious, but they all had been affected by religion, “they knew it was OK to do violence to gay people because they thought it said so in the Bible” (Alvine 1994). Despite this, each of the main religions has elements which are more liberal towards homosexuality, or are at least beginning a dialogue with followers who are homosexual. Some Christians believe that it is important not to label people as homosexual or heterosexual for they are all human beings (Bradshaw 2003 p.7), that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality because it comes from deep desires (Bradshaw 2003 p. 40) or that God has a divinely ordered universe, and therefore God must have created homosexuality in a minority of people (Griffin 1986 p.59). Muslim beliefs have also been changing for a minority of believers, mainly liberal reformers. However there are some imams in Britain who state that the Muslim community can no longer put homosexuality to one side for homosexuals do exist in Islamic countries and some Muslims believe that as a minority in Britain themselves, they should not tolerate the degrading of other minority groups (Salimtk 2007). Some gay Muslims have started to speak out against the homophobia of Islam, for example Al-Fatiha is an internet discussion group for
gay Muslims across the world, where it is possible for them to discuss their concerns in a safe environment (Salimtk 2007). Jewish beliefs about homosexuality have begun to change for example through the reinterpretation of the relationship between King David and Jonathan (Homer 1978 p.28). The traditional Jewish beliefs about the importance of marriage and procreation are changing, and some Jewish people perceive heterosexual marriages to be lacking a spiritual connection between the persons who are getting married, for they can be arranged for the benefit of families not for the couple, however homosexual marriages show a spiritual practice for the couple are marrying to show their love and commitment to their community (Shneer 2002 p.10). Traditional Jewish beliefs steaming from the Torah urge Jews to be a “light unto nations” (Isaiah 42:6), and some Jews have seen this as a plea to lead the way for introducing gay rights. There are now 25 LGTB synagogues in North America which allows for an “increasingly visible, flourishing, and assertive queer Jew culture” (Shneer 2002 p.3).
Homophobia One reason why homosexuality has not been taught in schools is the presumption that by teaching children about this topic, teachers would be recruiting children to lead homosexual lifestyles (Bersani 1995 p.27). For example, when a teacher from Bedfordshire tried to stop pupils using the word ‘gay’ as a means of abuse she was then bullied by the pupils who thought she was a lesbian (Gillan 2007). Homophobic people often make no distinction between people being attracted to others of the same sex and being attracted to children of the same sex (Harris 1990 p.16). Teachers will not want to be labelled like this for they will lose their jobs, so it is inevitably safer for them to not talk about homosexuality in the classroom. The educational system is described as “blindfolded and mute” (Harbeck 1992 p.11) on the topic of childhood and adolescent homosexuality. The lack of information about homosexuality also suggests that gay men and lesbians in the past and present do nothing of consequence (Unks 1995 p.5). This lack of information encourages homophobia in schools, for children
were receiving the message that gay men and lesbians were unimportant or worse, dangerous, daily. What benefits would discussing homosexuality in schools bring? An early intervention and a curriculum change would get to the roots of homophobia and start to eliminate it, making children “gay-positive” (Unks 1995 p.32). This, combined with the vast amount of time that children spend in school, could mean that a child’s view on homosexuality could be changed for their entire life. The introduction of the topic should be based on the ages of the children involved, and an appropriate context found at both primary and secondary levels. When the generation of children who receive teaching about homosexuality become parents themselves, this knowledge could help them if their child is gay or lesbian. It would be possible for them to understand that having a child who is homosexual is not the result of bad parenting, which is a concern amongst many parents (Griffin 1986 p.40) but that it is natural and normal.
Stereotypes However, caution must be exercised when introducing the subject of homosexuality in the classroom, as many representations of homosexuals are based on stereotypes. The images available could often scare young gay men or lesbians, for they show gay men to be very camp and lesbians to be butch dykes (Unks 1995 p.33). The representation of people in drag is also misrepresentative (Bersani 1995 p. 50). Stereotypes force people to hide their identity or to fully adopt the stereotype to try and be accepted by others (Unks 1995 p.6). A response could be for social science classes to actively explore the concept of stereotypes to draw student’s attention to them in order to eliminate them (Harris 1990 p.43). Even so, representations of homosexuality are immersed in a culture that emphasises heterosexuality to the exclusion of all alternatives. This heterosexist atmosphere in schools makes it seem like heterosexuality is normal, and homosexuality is not (Payne 2007 p. 60). Heterosexism is found in schools in a number of ways, for example, a girl is classed as popular if she is straight, attractive, cares about her appearance and is fluent in boy-talk (Payne 2007 p.60). Heterosexism in school excludes homosexual students, which could have detrimental effects on
their emotional well-being, make them feel isolated, ridiculed, un-feminine or un-masculine and make them victims of abuse (Payne 2007 p.63). Discussions of homosexual relationships in schools would begin to tackle heterosexism, which will in turn make schools a place where equality is learnt and no one majority group is dominant over a minority group.
Case Studies The No Outsiders Project Since the repeal of Section 28 there have been a handful of organisations that have started or backed projects aimed at introducing the idea of homosexuality to children at school. The No Outsiders Project is working in primary schools across the United Kingdom to investigate if schools represent the diversity of society, and to make this diversity more evident in children’s lives (No Outsiders 2007). The project aims to support teachers in challenging homophobic behaviour in schools and the classroom, and enabling them to portray the message that there are no outsiders in today’s society. The main way in which teachers take part is by using a collection of children’s books which feature gay, lesbian or bisexual characters. Three popular books are And Tango Makes Three (Richardson 2007), King and King (de Haan 2002), and Spacegirl Pukes (Watson 2006). These books all differ in their approach, with And Tango Makes Three including two gay male penguins who have the chance to bring up a chick, with no question being asked about whether two males could bring up an infant. King and King brings the topic of homosexuality to the forefront, with the main character being gay. Spacegirl Pukes however is about a girl whose parents are both female, and therefore stresses the variety of families in society while not making the lesbian couple the focus of the story. Since the start of the project in 2006 there have been some positive recorded results, with the project’s booklist being added to the list of guidance for primary schools in one Local Education Authority (No Outsiders 2007). Teachers have reported that the project has given confidence to children who now realise that others share their circumstances, and some children who have been through the project now add gay characters to their written work (No Outsiders 2007).
Schools Out The Schools Out project takes a very different approach in tackling educational issues surrounding homosexuality compared to the No Outsiders Project, adopting a background standpoint rather than putting new material into schools. Schools Out supports those want to challenge homophobia and raise the issues of heterosexism in schools. It campaigns on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues that affect education and those involved with education. Its final aim is to research, debate and stimulate curriculum development on LGBT issues (Schools Out 2008). To accomplish these aims Schools Out has created various fact sheets and Student Tool Kits aimed at helping students recognise whether their school is providing the right support for its students and families (Williams nd). The information provided by Schools Out is accessible to a large number of people, and is the type of information that can empower those who read it to act rather than relying on managers to act in their place. Project 10 Project 10 is a more established educational based project situated in Los Angeles. It aims to reach lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, and students with LGBT family members for it is believed that there is an unmet need of lesbian and gay students in the educational system (Mark 2002). Support groups are put in place at the schools in the Los Angeles district, with trained facilitators who provide safe spaces for the discussion of sexual orientation to take place. By providing counselling and increasing the basic information given about homosexuality and prejudice, Project 10 hopes to reduce the effects of homophobic discrimination (Harbeck 1992 p.18). By adding a gay, lesbian and bisexual friendly curriculum, and creating safe spaces for LGBT students and their friends to find refuge, Project 10 hopes that harassment levels will decrease and eventually there will be no need for gay friendly curriculum because integration will take place (Unks 1995 p.9).
Conclusion Discussion of homosexuality in schools has a positive influence on the lives of teachers and pupils. However this idea has not always been shared by others, with
homosexuality being almost completely invisible in schools in the past. The influence of Section 28 on education, making it illegal to discuss homosexuality in schools, still has a hold despite its repeal. Traditional Christian, Jewish and Muslim beliefs all hold that homosexuality is a sin, although these attitudes are increasingly changing or being challenged. Teachers have been wary of teaching material which feature homosexuality, due to fears of being labelled homosexual, or a child molester. The issue of homophobia in schools should be addressed by discussing homosexuality in schools, which would lead to a decrease in persecution of students. The reduction in homophobia would then lead to more gay, lesbian and bisexual students coming out which would benefit them as individuals and the wider community. With the discussion of homosexuality in schools, carefully suited to the age groups concerned, the stereotypes of homosexuals would be challenged, and heterosexism would be reduced. While the various projects presented here have limited documented outcomes due to being relatively recent, it is clear that they are having an important impact. Therefore it is concluded that these positive steps should be encouraged for the benefit of schools, students, teachers and wider society.
References Alvine, L. 1994 Understanding Homophobia: An Interview with Bettie Greene. In The ALAN Review Vol. 21 No. 2. Bersani, L. 1995 Homos Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Bradshaw, T. 2003 The Way Forward? Surrey: Bookmarque. Clark, L. 2007 The Schools Where Pupils Aged Four Learn about Gay Lifestyle. In The Daily Mail http://www.dailymail. co.uk/pages/live/articleslnews/news.html?in_article_id=45704 7 &in nage id= 1770 [Accessed 7.1.08]. De Haan, L. 2002 King and King London: Tricycle Press.
Gillan, A. 2007 Department for Children Schools and Families Tackling Homophobia http://www.teachernet.gov/teachers/ issue33/secondary/features/TacklinghomophobiaSecondary/ [Accessed 23.2.08]. Griffin, C. W., Wirth, M.J & Wirth, A.G 1986 Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk about Their Experiences New York: St Martin’s Press. Harbeck, K.M. 1992 Coming Out of the Classroom Closet: Gay and Lesbian Students, Teachers and the Curriculum London: Harringdon Press. Harris, S. 1990 Lesbian and Gay Issues in the English Classroom Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Homer, T. 1978 Jonathan Loved David: Homosexuality in Biblical Times Philadelphia: Westminster Press
Salimtk 2007 LGBT Discuss Islam and Homophobia. Mailing list archive. http:/ /www.mail-archive.com/lgbtdiscuss@ googlegroups.com/msgOOO02.html [Accessed 24.2.08]. Schools Out 2008 Schools Out: Our Aims. http://www. schoolsout.org.uk/ [Accessed 7.4.08]. Shneer, D. & Aviv, C. 2002 Queer Jews London: Routledge. Stonewall 2000 Facts and Figures http://www.stonewall.org. uk/education_for_all/resources/552.asp [Accessed 20.3.08]. Stonewall 2007 The Timeline of Lesbian and Gay History http://www.stonewall.org.uk/scotiand/infonnation_bank/ history_lesbian_gay /1851. asp#6 [Accessed 11.1.08]. Unks, G. 1995 The Gay Teen London: Routledge. Watson, K. 2006 Spacegirl Pukes London: Onlywomen Press.
Hunt, R. & Jensen, J. 2007 The School Report http://www. stonewall.org.uk/educationforall [Accessed 20.3 .08] Mark, S. 2002 Project 10 at a Glance http://www.projectIo. org/ [Accessed 9.4.08]. No Outsiders 2007 No Outsiders: Researching Approaches to Sexualities Equality in Primary Schools. http://www. nooutsiders.sunderland.ac.uk/upcoming-conferences-andseminars/about- the-project [Accessed 7.4.08]. Payne, E. C. 2007 Heterosexism, Perfection, and Popularity: Young Lesbians’ Experiences of the High School Social Scene. In Educational Studies, 41 (1),60-79. Richardson, J. & Parnell, P. 2007 And Tango Makes Three New York: Simon & Schuster. Robinson, B.A. 2003 Judaism and Homosexuality http://www. religioustolerance.org/homjortho.htm [Accessed 12.1.08]. Robinson, B.A. 2005 Islam and Homosexuality http://www. religioustolerance.org/hom_isla1.htm [Accessed 19.1.08].
Williams, E. nd Know Your Rights At School: The Schools Out Student Tool Kit. http://www.schools-out.org.uk/teachingpack/ contents.htm
Commentary by Simon Boxley, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the University of Winchester Samantha Loxley’s paper reminds us of an important truth. Whenever we focus upon and seek to eradicate a singular form of injustice or discrimination, others will spring up in its stead. In educational circles for at least the last ten years (since McPherson), attention has quite rightly been given to institutional racism within schools. Yet until just six years ago, it remained illegal to “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. Somehow authorities failed to make the connection between this most virulent institutionalised homophobia and the structural tolerance of other forms of discrimination. We live with the inheritance of Section 28 today: politicians of all stripes but particularly those in the Conservative Party which enacted the legislation are desperate to appear to extricate themselves from its pernicious legacy.
Public opinion is shifting: a recent Populus poll for The Times showed 75% of those aged 25-34 believing that children should be taught about gay relationships as having equal status as straight relationships. It is possible that the public are ahead of policymakers on this, and almost certainly the case that they are ahead of providers of initial teacher education. The Faculty of Education at the University of Winchester has this year begun to address the question of our emerging ‘public duties’ in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender trainee teachers, and to changing approaches to same-sex relationships in personal, social and health education, sex and relationships education, and citizenship. Our Initial Teacher Education (ITE) work is focussed at the primary level, and research into homophobia in primary schools is new. Stonewall’s evidence reveals that 44% of primary teachers are aware of homophobia such as name-calling and bullying in their schools, and the organisation is particularly concerned that 75% of primary teachers think their pupils are influenced by negative representations of gay people and pejorative uses of the word ‘gay’ in the media. For us, much of the work in this area will be framed by the discourses of rights. A rights respecting education leaves no room for homophobia or discriminatory practice of any kind. The legacy of Section 28, and of years of failure to tackle the last great, largely unchallenged prejudice in schools has meant suffering for very many young people and teachers alike. Stonewall have found that the largest group subject to homophobic bullying in schools are not gay people, but those believed to be gay. The second largest group is more specific – boys not demonstrating sufficiently ‘boyish’
behaviour. Such statistics raise questions about how these patterns of prejudice might be mirrored in our institution. For instance, male ITE students (gay and straight) may be one of those groups most vulnerable to covert forms of homophobic discrimination. The greatest barriers to tackling homophobic bullying in schools remain the willingness of teachers to remain bystanders. Low level homophobic banter too often continues to go unchallenged in ways similar to racist language 25 or more years ago. Some primary teachers and many parents remain worried that challenging this chat, and discussion of same-sex relationships will emphasize sexual practices: this is not and should not be the case. Primary PSHE and SRE should focus on diversity in relationships and families, not sex: what people are, not what they do. With nine in ten teachers feeling they were unprepared by their ITE to deal with these issues, there remains an important job of work to be done, a task our Faculty will continue to engage with. language 25 or more years ago. Some primary teachers and many parents remain worried that challenging this chat, and discussion of same-sex relationships will emphasize sexual practices: this is not and should not be the case. Primary PSHE and SRE should focus on diversity in relationships and families, not sex: what people are, not what they do. With nine in ten teachers feeling they were unprepared by their ITE to deal with these issues, there remains an important job of work to be done, a task our Faculty will continue to engage with.
Effectiveness of Pre-Cooling Techniques as a Strategy to Enhance Sports Performance Robert Fox nominated by Barbara Yff
Abstract The body’s dissipation of heat when undergoing high intensity sports uses large amounts of energy which would be better used in improving performance. Various techniques have been developed to address this issue, from ice-cooled clothing, immersion in water, to creating cooled environments. This paper discusses these techniques and the research that has been done on their application, such as when during sporting activity they should be used, and how they impact on other protocols such as warming-up.
Introduction During exercise the metabolic rate increases considerably to provide energy for muscular contractions. The increase in metabolic rate is responsible for a large heat production since about 80% of all energy that is metabolised is transferred to heat, which needs to be dissipated in order to maintain heat balance within the body. This impacts the thermoregulatory system which acts to defend the body’s core temperature. The human body is regulated about a set point of 37oC, which refers to the body’s core temperature. Exercise-induced increases in metabolic heat production considerably challenge temperature homeostasis and may impair physical sports performance (Armstrong 2000; White et al. 2003). Many major sports events take place in unfavourable environmental conditions that impose additional stress on the human body. Athletic competition often takes place during the summer months in hot climates. The venues for international competitions and World Championships are frequently in hot climates and the players’ ability to tolerate the heat will be a strong factor affecting the outcome of the game (Arngrimsson et al. 2004; Maughan and Shirreffs 2004; Morris et al. 1998;).
Climatic heat stress has been a common issue at recent summer Olympic Games, as well as rugby and soccer World Cup Finals, and remains an important factor to consider for future competitions (Castle et al. 2006). When exercise is performed in the heat, the thermoregulatory system is placed under greater strain and the capacity of the human body to dissipate the additional heat produced may be compromised (Hoffman 2002; Morris et al. 1998). High ambient temperatures increase the strain that an athlete’s body experiences. The strain is observed as an increased core body temperature, decreased cardiac stroke volume, increased heart rate, and increased perceived exertion (Armstrong 2000, 2006). Exercising in the heat has significant effects on sports performance. However the extent of the effect is dependant on the mode and nature of the activity being performed. Intermittent high intensity activity characterises most team sports and is considered to impose a greater thermal strain on the body than continuous exercise of equivalent energy expenditure (Duffield et al. 2003; Morris et al. 1997; Webborn et al. 2005). Morris et al. (1997) found for non-acclimatised individuals, a hot environment impaired performance during prolonged, intermittent running, which mirrored the physical demands of team games such as soccer, field hockey, and rugby. The reduced performance observed was associated with a high body temperature and its subsequent impact on the brain and certain aspects of the circulation. It is well documented that heat strain as a result of an elevated core body temperature is a major cause of reduced exercise performance. A critically high body temperature is the main factor limiting prolonged exercise. A rise in core body temperature during exercise to a critical level of
approximately 40oC causes fatigue and ultimately causes premature termination of exercise (Gonzalez-Alonso et al. 1999; Hasegawa et al. 2006). The concept of a critical core temperature limiting exercise performance is well supported and it is believed that ‘the will’ or ‘the drive’ to exercise might be diminished by hyperthermia (Nybo and Nielsen 2001). There has been limited research on the influence of both cooling before and between exercise bouts on intermittent high intensity exercise that is predominate in most team sports, where there are established quarter/half-time breaks in play. It is at these times that cooling may be of its most practical use when faced with the environmental challenge of heat (Duffield et al. 2003). The aim of this paper is to explore and consider the use of pre-cooling techniques during the warm-up and half-time breaks as a strategy to enhance competitive performance in the heat.
Dealing with hyperthermia Correct preparation can minimise or even eliminate the negative effects associated with performance in a hot environment, therefore offering an advantage to the athlete who is well prepared. Heat acclimatisation and fluid ingestion are well established methods for improving sports performance in the heat and should be continued to be used where possible. However, in addition athletes should consider the use of pre-cooling which is hypothesised to enhance heat storage and decrease thermoregulatory and cardiovascular strain. By pre-cooling the body, it may be possible to lessen the negative effects of the hot environment on both sports performance and athlete-wellbeing. The beneficial effects of pre-cooling include thermoregulatory, circulatory, and performance benefits (White et al. 2003). As the absolute heat storage limits the duration of exercise at a given intensity it appears sensible to start an exercise bout with as cool a body temperature as possible (Marino 2002). Pre-cooling is reported to reduce skin and core body temperature. Pre-cooling can therefore delay the rise in both core and skin temperature during exercise, increasing the time to reach the critical limiting temperature where performance may be affected. Through creating a greater body heat storage capacity, pre-cooling can help delay
the onset of heat dissipation mechanisms. As a consequence of reducing the need to dissipate heat, pre-cooling may delay the redirection of blood flow to the skin, which may result in less competition for blood flow between the skin and working muscles during exercise in the heat thus resulting in less cardiovascular strain and a higher muscle blood flow (White et al. 2003). A number of laboratory studies have shown that lowering core body temperature before exercise can delay fatigue during constant rate exercise or increase the work performed in a given period of time (Booth et al. 1997; Gonzalez-Alonso et al. 1999; Hessemer et al. 1984; Lee and Haymes 1995). Predominately studies evaluating the effectiveness of precooling have used exposure to cold ambient temperatures in a climatic chamber. Hessemer et al. (1984) established that cold air exposure of 0oC increased work rate in a 60 minute work rate test. Similarly Lee and Haymes (1995) found cold air exposure of a slightly higher temperature (5oC) resulted in an increased rate of heat storage and enhanced endurance performance under hot conditions. In addition to cold air exposure, several studies have used cold water immersion as a method of pre-cooling. Kay et al. (1999) found whole body pre-cooling by cold water immersion resulted in a substantially greater distance cycled in 30 minutes under warm conditions. Furthermore Gonzalez-Alonso et al. (1999) discovered 30 minutes of cold water immersion enhanced cycle time at 60% of each participants VO2 max to exhaustion under hot conditions. The available research supports the use of whole body pre-cooling by water immersion and cold air exposure. They have been shown to be effective strategies for enhancing athletic performance under hot laboratory conditions, through an enhanced rate of heat storage and less thermal and cardiovascular strain. Whilst whole body cooling by water immersion and cold air exposure are two of the most frequently cited methods of pre-cooling used to offset the effects of heat exposure, many different methods of pre-cooling exist. Direct skin cooling through the use of water perfused suits, wet towels, cold water showering, ice packs and more recently the wearing of ice-cooling garments have all been proposed. However
their effectiveness for enhancing performance in the heat is relatively unknown and their use is reliant on anecdotal evidence (Duffield et al. 2003). Despite considerable research suggesting the effectiveness of pre-cooling for improving performance of moderately prolonged exercise there is little evidence that pre-cooling is an effective strategy to improve performance in competition (Quod et al. 2008). Whole body pre-cooling techniques that have been used in the majority of the studies would not be feasible for athletes to use immediately before or during designated breaks in competition. The use of cold air exposure or water immersion may be uncomfortable for the athlete, and may be impractical for use before and during athletic competition due to the equipment and time required for an adequate reduction in core temperature (Arngrimsson et al. 2004; Cross, Wilson, and Perrin 1996; Kay, Taaffe, and Marino 1999; Marino 2002;). The lowering of core temperature before or during exercise by either whole body water immersion or cold air exposure may also bring about overly rapid reductions in core or skin temperature, resulting in the possibility of significant shivering and muscular fatigue before the exercise bout (Booth, Marino, and Ward 1997; Cheung and Robinson 2004). Regardless of the pre-cooling technique used, the practical application to athletic competition is limited due to the time required to achieve sufficient body cooling (Marino 2002). As team sports only have a small time frame between the cessation of the warm-up and the start of game play, the opportunity for a precooling exposure before the start of play is limited and may be only of a short duration. Duffield et al. (2003) used a short cooling duration of five minutes before exercise to represent a more realistic game specific situation, where little time exists between the end of the warm-up and the start of the game. Although the initial pre-cooling exposure was not of sufficient duration to enhance subsequent exercise performance, there was evidence of improved subject comfort during the cooling trail. They concluded that a greater length of initial cooling may have allowed a significant reduction in core temperature before the start of the test and therefore a greater possibility of performance enhancement. Therefore a practical cooling intervention that could be used during the warm-up and halftime breaks to enhance performance in the heat would be of
great benefit to intermittent high intensity sports competitors. Although immersion in cold water or air are effective means of pre-cooling, they are not practical as they make active warm-up difficult. Ice cooling jackets/vests have been proposed as a practical alternative and although they have been adopted by many international competitors, research into their effectiveness is limited.
Case-study: The ice vest Scientific studies investigating pre-cooling via the wearing of an ice vest have been inconclusive, with improved subsequent performance in some (Arngrimsson et al. 2004; Hasegawa et al. 2005; Hunter, Hopkins, and Casa 2006) but not all studies (Duffield et al. 2003). The ice cooling vest was widely used by American and Australian athletes at the 2004 summer Olympic Games in Athens. Although anecdotal and the vest being only one of the many strategies used, the intervention appeared to be effective in enhancing performance in the heat with many of the athletes utilising them exceeding expectations and earning medals (Hunter et al. 2006). Arngrimsson et al. (2004) investigated wearing a pre-cooling vest during an active warm-up on subsequent 5 km time trial performance. They found that wearing the pre-cooling vest during the warmup was effective in blunting increases in body temperature, heart rate and perceptions of thermal discomfort. However the benefit of the vest declined over time and the reduced thermal and cardiovascular strain and perception of thermal discomfort in the early portion of the race appeared to make possible a faster pace in the latter stages of the race. The data from this study demonstrates that pre-cooling vests can provide an advantage to subsequent performance in the heat by eliciting similar physiological and perceptual changes to other less practical pre-cooling techniques such as cold water immersion. With the availability of the designated quarter/half-time breaks during the majority of team sports the possibility of further pre-cooling during this period would potentially prolong the benefits of the initial pre-cooling through to the end of the game. Duffield et al. (2003) investigated the use of an icecooling vest for brief periods before and during intermittent, repeated sprint exercise of team sport-type duration. Despite
no enhancement of performance being observed, large differences between conditions after the application of the cooling vest at half time indicated that the half time exposure to the cooling procedure may have helped suppress feelings of fatigue and exertion during the second half. The authors believed at worst the ice-cooling vest provided some relief from the heat, which, regardless of the influence on performance, is still valuable in hot/humid conditions or without prior acclimatisation to these types of conditions. This is of potential benefit to international team sport competitors where they are required to travel to different climates with sometimes only up to a week to prepare for a game, which does not allow for the possibility to attain full heat acclimatisation (Hoffman 2002). The use of ice-cooling jackets/vests with hoods during the warm-up or the application of ice towels to the head and neck during the designated breaks in play may also provide greater body cooling (Duffield et al. 2003). The head and neck have been shown to be sites of high thermosensitivity due to the relatively close proximity to the thermoregulatory centre located in the hypothalamus. Cooling of the head and neck may provide a greater thermoregulatory advantage compared to cooling of other parts of the body (Shvartz 1976). More recently cooling of the head and neck have been shown to improve both exercise capacity and performance in hot conditions due to dampened perceptions of the demands of the exercise bout and a reduced perceived sensation of thermal strain (Tyler and Sunderland 2008).
Pre-cooling versus warming-up The benefits of pre-cooling techniques appear to contradict the widespread belief that exercise is improved by a warm-up (Hessemer et al. 1984; Olschewski and Bruck 1988). Most studies have not incorporated a period of active warm-up, which most athletes consider important to optimise neuromuscular function into their protocols. In cool climates the purpose of the warm-up is to elevate body temperature and increase blood flow to the muscles. However in hot climates the body temperature should not be markedly increased during the warm-up due to the
real possibility of reduced performance in the subsequent exercise bout due to hyperthermia (Lee and Haymes 1995; Maughan and Shirreffs 2004). However warming-up before competition can optimise neuromuscular function and ensure adequate physiological and psychological preparation (Arngrimsson et al. 2004; Maughan and Shirreffs 2004). Therefore there is a need to look at modifications to the warm-up to ensure that this effect is achieved without greatly elevating the body temperature but also without compromising the physiological and psychological preparation. Wearing an ice-cooling jacket/vest during an active warmup is believed to reduce the gain in core body temperature and reduce perceptions of thermal strain (Webborn et al. 2005). Anecdotal reports have indicated that ice-cooling jackets/vests have been used successfully in team sports during the warm-up and designated game breaks. An issue with wearing the ice-cooling vest/jacket during the warm-up as a means of pre-cooling is that of its mass. The vest is considered heavy (approximately 4 to 5 kg) and can be uncomfortable due to the tight fit required to avoid any excess movement during running (Arngrimsson et al. 2004; Hunter et al. 2006). Although the vest does not interfere with running or stretching, it does increase the energy cost of running (Arngrimsson et al. 2004). Therefore modifications may need to be made to warmups utilising the ice-cooling vest. If the increased energy cost is not offset by decreasing the running intensity used in the warm-up, the metabolic heat production as a result of the increased energy cost may prove counterproductive. Critics of the ice-cooling vest/jackets suggest the technique may only be appropriate for use as an external heat sink to reduce the rise in core body temperature during a warm-up as opposed to an active pre-cooling technique (Quod et al. 2008; Webbon et al. 2003). What must also be considered is how long the ice-cooling vest remains cold for. It is expected that in conditions of great environmental heat stress the effectiveness of the intervention during the warm-up would be reduced due to the short time period for which the ice-cooling vest would remain functional (Webborn et al. 2005).
Combining techniques The combination of pre-cooling techniques used before, during the warm-up and during designated quarter/halftime breaks may prove to be the most effective strategy to enhance competitive intermittent high-intensity sports performance in the heat. The concept of combining precooling techniques has had minimal use but great effect (Quod et al. 2008). Hasegawa et al. (2006) found the combination of water immersion and cold water ingestion widened the thermoregulatory and cardiovascular margin before the critical core temperature was reached and enhanced subsequent exercise capacity in the heat. Quod et al. (2008) also found a combined pre-cooling strategy involving cold water immersion followed by the use of an ice-cooling vest worn during a warm-up produced reductions in body temperature and improved laboratory cycling time trial performance in warm conditions. The performance improvement was understood to be related to a reduced thermal strain and a subsequent increased heat storage capacity. The feasibility of using cold water immersion for pre-cooling in the field has improved with the ever increasing availability of portable water tanks and water cooling devices (Quod et al. 2008). External pre-cooling of the head, neck, and core through cold water immersion and the use of ice-cooling jackets with hoods combined with internal pre-cooling via the ingestion of crushed ice or cold water are possible means of precooling techniques that may be combined and used before, during the warm-up and during designated quarter/halftime breaks in play, in an attempt to enhance competitive intermittent high-intensity sports performance in the heat.
Conclusions The high intensity nature of intermittent team sports may elicit a large contribution of heat gain from metabolism. Therefore, cooling interventions during the warm-up and designated quarter/half-time breaks in play offer an attractive practical means of enhancing performance in hot environmental conditions. Despite the reliance on positive anecdotal reports and limited scientific evidence, the use of an ice-cooling vest/jacket during the warm-up and quarter/ half-time breaks in play clearly provides some relief from
environmental heat stress. This, regardless of the influence on performance, is still valuable in hot conditions, especially when full heat acclimatisation can not be attained prior to the event. Clearly more research is required to determine if the perceptions of improved comfort and thermal strain associated with the use of an ice-cooling vest translates into performance enhancement. A combination of pre-cooling techniques used before, during the warm-up, and during designated quarter/ half time breaks has the potential to enhance intermittent high-intensity sports performance in the heat. This more comprehensive approach to pre-cooling is suspected to be of even greater importance for team sports, because the intermittent activity associated with team sports produces much greater core body temperatures than continuous exercise of the same average intensity. However this is an area which warrants further research to determine the most effective combinations for enhancing performance in the heat, since the particular cooling strategy employed is suspected to be dependent on the specific exercise scenario to be undertaken.
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“From Darkness to Light”: Christian Theology and Blindness Laurence James Powell nominated by Tansy Jessop
Abstract This paper uses liberation theology to explore how people afflicted by suppression, whether black, fat or disabled, can find salvation. Disabled liberation theology is still in its infancy and this paper is a response to that call from the perspective of the visually impaired. It attempts to prove that although Christ said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”, visual impairment has been viewed demonically throughout the history of Christianity. It explores the concept of visually impaired people creating their own blind Christ within whom they may identify and thus liberate themselves.
Introduction The last five decades have seen a surge in liberation theologies. From a black Christ to an Asian Christ and onward to gay, female, trans-gendered, fat and even disabled Christs, Christian theology is making a radical step in liberating those who have for too long been oppressed and sidelined to the margins of society. Why a blind Christ? Why is there a need to liberate the visually impaired in Christian theology? On a personal level I am a registered blind (but actually partially sighted) Christian, aware of sight-related prejudice and discomfort since postoperative blindness at 18 months. Christianity has a long way to go in its attitude and action towards disability and blindness. One only need sit in church on a Sunday for an average Anglican service and find the hymns and liturgy are riddled with phrases about eyes and blindness. Many can be summed up in the title of this project: ‘From Darkness to Light’, producing connotations of blindness being produced by a sinful nature and that only by ‘seeing’, moving into the light, may you be saved.
Sight is one of the fundamental things that make us human; it underpins our everyday activity from catching a bus and knowing what number you need, to waking in the morning and knowing that it is morning by the light that illuminates the room, and a glance at the alarm clock (Hull 1990). Blindness has been, and continues to be demonized by the church as an imperfection or blemish. Many Christian communities seek to exorcise the demon of blindness (Hull 1990). They appear, however, to have missed the point of blindness and all the liberating characteristics which blindness holds within it. In this paper, I wish to explore these liberating characteristics and concepts of blindness. I wish to go beyond this to explore whether Jesus himself may have been blind.
Liberation theology For many liberation theologians, English is not their native tongue. Thus they simplify their arguments where possible. For me, reading and writing itself is not my native approach to descriptive work, as I have been blind since before my school days. Liberation theologies are works which use stories (‘voices from the margins’) intertwined with academic debate and Christian theological dialogue to create their unique narrative construction. I begin by deconstructing these theologies, using Alistair McGrath’s framework. Firstly, liberation theology seeks to liberate the poor and oppressed and sees them as the ultimate source of the Christian faith. It is fundamental that God always sides with the oppressed. Hence, the oppressed are placed in a privileged position regarding the interpretation of Christian faith. All Christian theology must be viewed from a position of below, placing the oppressed centre stage. Secondly, social movements should never be detached from Christian practice. Theology should stop explaining the world – rather it must shape it (McGrath 2001).
So, who are the poor and oppressed? Extreme poverty was a clear contributor to the growth of liberal theology in Latin America, with many living on $1.50 a day (Boff and Boff 1987). However, the expression ‘poor’ does not have to refer only to monetary discomfort, but rather as a general comment on worldwide suppression. Liberation theology states that the suppressed are core to the Christian message (McGrath 2001), as demonstrated by Christ’s teaching in the Gospels. As Jesus said:
“ Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
“ Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24).
In 2000, on a trip to Washington D.C., a drunken lady, obviously angered by something, shouted at the bystanders that she hated them. As I walked past using my white cane, she declared, “I hate you all, even you blind man!” These, and other stories, demonstrate the cultural stigmas of any given place are not simply swept under the political correctness carpet; they are very real in the modern world in which we live. These stories ask questions about both prejudice and identity. For example, no longer am I a ‘normal’ (whatever normal might be) person worthy of a collective declaration of hatred. I am recognised as a different entity, an outsider, distinct from other people and called ‘blind man’. Thus I have assumed a unique identity. What does this mean? Disability, like other liberation theologies, seeks to search out a specific identity for those who are disabled and seeks to find a relationship with Christ. Before analysing disabled theology, we need to understand what is meant by identity more fully. On one level, identity carries human nature’s obsession with looking only at the flesh and labelling it so that it fits into a particular humanly made system. Within my
own experience, carrying a white cane means that people assume that I am blind. The majority of the time, however, I do not carry my white cane as I do not want people to see me as a blind man walking. I’d rather they saw me as Laurence who has a sight problem. This idea has always been strongly upheld within the feminist movement, which has come to deconstruct the body by looking at the body as a whole. The traditional Christian attitude towards the body views it as a mere vessel to be overcome, so that heavenly gifts maybe imparted to the spirit; surely this is incorrect if the Christian articles of faith lead one to believe that God became flesh in Christ? (Isherwood and Stuart 1998). In the Hebrew Bible, the word ‘body’ is problematic for Biblical scholars. The idea of the ‘body’ and the idea of the word ‘flesh’ are interchangeable. These two words point towards one identity, that identity simply being ‘I’; an all-inclusive one person (Robinson 1952). In contrast, the Hellenistic dualism that flesh is merely an envelope of skin, muscle and blood which has sealed within it all our emotions and moreover our soul, prompted Christianity’s move away from its Judaic foundation and into the Greek world. For as Judaism saw the body’s flesh and ‘I’ as one and the same, the dualists saw body and soul as being two separate identities. The progression of Christendom in the Western world magnified this ideology further, thanks to the work of Descartes. Through his philosophical reasoning, Descartes concluded that, “this I, that is to say, the mind by which I am what I am, is entirely distinct from the body” (Badham 1976). The body must be seen as a major part of the liberation theology we are postulating here. At the root of the problem is a religion which by its nature sees God as being ultimately perfect. If Christ had been disabled in some sort of way then the history of Christian attitudes towards disability and the very view of disability would be uniquely different. However, Christ’s representation is perfect and thus all mankind must be perfect as we are made in God’s image (Eiesland 1994).
Disabled liberation theology Feminist theory and disabled theory share many common factors. Women, through Eve, are not made in the image of God alone, but in the image of Adam, carrying a double weight of sinfulness, which has led to many acts of persecution upon women (Raphael 1996). Those who are perceived as disabled also have this stigma of carrying a sinful nature. Christianity tells us that we are made in the image of God and perfection is paramount in this conception. The blemished or disabled are segregated and suppressed by Christian doctrine. Examples of this are evident throughout Christian history, for example in Judaic Hebrew times, those who were disabled by physical disability where unable to enter the Holy of Holies or enter many chambers of the Temple in Jerusalem (Eiesland 1994). On evangelising television channels we see images of people being taken from their wheelchairs and presented to preachers who ask all manners of demons to come forth from the person and let their body be free of its disability. I have also been exposed to such ‘healing services’ throughout my childhood and into the present day. From drinking water as a child at the shrines in Walsingham, to my parents receiving envelopes containing holy oils from all over the world, this idea of being imperfect and needing to be cured is rife throughout Christianity (Eiesland 1994). The attitude towards disability needs deconstruction, as most views on disability are spoken from an able-bodied perspective (Eiesland 1994). Using a liberation model, we must look from a perspective of below and say ‘speaking as a disabled person, this is what disability actually is.’ Through an able-bodied perspective, Christianity has made the disabled a ‘done-unto’ people, which poses problems regarding the individuals’ identity, making it impossible for them to achieve their own personal goals and realising their potential, because they are always being suppressed by the system which Christianity has constructed around them. Eiesland has said that the disabled should ‘act out’ against suppression and use it as a form of political voice in the secular and Christian world. By saying ‘acting out’ she is
bringing to mind a unique part of the liberation theology which is centred around praxis followed by reflection (Eiesland 1994). In true liberation theology style one must begin with voices from the margins which merge to create a loud voice which cannot be ignored. Disabled individuals join together to challenge stereotypes. This requires those who are perceived as disabled to be comfortable with their bodies as ‘survive-able’ bodies. Even the most ‘normal’ person has limitations with their abilities and within the world of disability this is even more emphasised. Coming to terms with your body and realising its limitations is fundamental. These bodies are people who know the pain of their suffering but are used to, and happy, with it. They recognise that this is an imperfect world, although many in it are obsessed with ultimate bodily perfection. The consequences of such beliefs hold within them a form of liberation. Certain legislation passed in the UK, including the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 have empowered disabled people in ways never before seen, however, I would argue that further changes still need to be made.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed” Stories of blindness run throughout the Bible, from Samson, Elli and Tobit to St Paul, the great father of Christianity, blindness touched them all. How do we now take the final step and lean out to touch Jesus? For was it not Jesus who took the blind man by the hand and led him on his journey in the Gospel of Mark? (Hull 2001). It was, and yet the depiction of blindness in the scriptures has created prejudice in the Christian community. Our study must then focus upon this prejudice and ‘see’ through it, so that the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John may ring in their ears, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed!” In Genesis, Isaac, an old man afflicted by blindness, wishes to bless his oldest son Esau before he dies. Rebecca his wife tricks Isaac into blessing Jacob rather than Esau because she loves Jacob more. Even though Isaac uses his other senses to try and overcome the deception, he is sadly defeated and after a few drinks gives Jacob the blessing. Rebecca and Jacob have taken advantage of Isaac’s blindness, although
Jacob is later tricked into marrying a partially-sighted girl named Leah. God shows favour towards her by granting her a son named Judah, who is ancestor of David and Jesus, and her words, “The Lord has looked on my afflictions” overcome any negativism towards blindness (Genesis 27:126), as the blind can be empowered by God. Two blind men are cured by Jesus (Matthew 9:27-31), initially an impressive sign of Jesus’ power, but a negative step in liberation theology terms, as disabled theology regards ‘coming to terms’ with your disability as a first step. By curing them, Jesus did not liberate the men, but merely placed them within the system of a perfect body, thus destroying their identity as blind men. This is not empowering, and although Jesus asked them not to tell anyone what he had done for them, they find this such a wonderful turn of events that they tell everyone. For those of us in the Christian community who are blind and have no cure, however, this story does nothing but remind us that we are still blind. To begin the process of liberating the blind, we must look at examples of where blindness in theology empowers people. Samson ( Judges 9: 13:5; 16: 17-21) loses his power when he allows Delilah to know that it exists within his hair, which she cuts, allowing the Philistines to gouge out his eyes and take him to Gaza where he is set to work. The Philistines believe that he is harmless because he is blind, but he finds a new identity within his blindness, and as his final act, rediscovers an empowerment within himself, from God, bringing down the roof upon himself and 3000 others (Hull 2001).
blind man by the hand? Do we not use touch as a sign of ordination or a simple blessing? Yes! As for taste, Jesus was ‘always at the table’, eating with his friends, and we eat him in the Eucharist. In walking on the road to Emmaus, Jesus’ disciples didn’t recognise him until they ate with him. And in terms of smell, Catholic Churches reek of burning incense and Rebecca tricked Isaac by first giving him his favourite food so that the smell would distract him from finding out the truth (Hull 2001). So, how do we argue that visually impaired people can be identified and liberated through Christ because he is blind? The most famous symbol of Christianity is the cross. Jesus, however, did not see the cross when he was being crucified. He certainly heard the crowds crying for his crucifixion. He touched it when he was crucified and felt the nails. He smelt the blood. He tasted the vinegar ( John 19:31) and dined with his friends at the last supper. However he did not see the cross. Why? Because he was on the cross, his back faced the cross, but he could not see it. After his death and his resurrection, witnesses failed to recognise Jesus by sight. Mary went to the tomb, but when she arrived she did not see him there, mistaking him for the gardener because her eyes were filled with tears ( John 20:37). She only recognised him when Jesus said her name. The disciples only recognised Jesus when he broke bread with them, when they tasted him. Doubting Thomas did not see Christ at all, having to touch Jesus to realise it was him. Do the words of Paul not speak of Christianity being a blind faith?
For blind people, sound, touch, smell and taste are the four senses which make up our ‘sight’. Sound is very important both Biblically and throughout church history. The Gospels were written long after Jesus’ death, available because of the oral tradition (Baxter 1988). My advanced computer programme has the capacity to read books and other texts to me, and suddenly the story is alive; it has a voice. Church services use bells, hymn-worship and liturgy, all central elements of sound. Touch – did Christ not touch the untouchables? (Matthew 8:1-3) Did he not guide the
“Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.” (1 Peter 1:8)
Then surely we are left with a blind Christ incarnation. Surely his words speak to blind people?
“ Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” ( John 20:29).
Conclusion This paper was an attempt at creating a liberation theology for the visually impaired. The project drew upon preexisting liberation theologies, feminist body theology, and disabled theology to explore the idea of blindness, eventually concluding that Christ could indeed be seen as blind. Christ does not need to be proven as literally blind, rather Christ overcomes the prejudice of visual impairment. To use Christ as a symbol of blindness flips oneâ€™s attitude away from seeing it as an imperfect state and makes it perfection. Classically the Statue of Justice in London is of a woman blindfolded so that she does not see who is approaching. She can then give a fair trial to all who are accused of crimes. The same here is being asked of Christ and of Christian theology, where the visually impaired can be liberated through believing visual imperfection is in fact a different kind of perfection.
References Badham, P. (1976) Christian Beliefs About Life After Death London: SPCK. Boff, L. & Boff, C. (1987) Introducing Liberation Theology Tunbridge Wells: Burns & Oates/Search Press Ltd. Chopp R. S. & Davaney, S. G. (eds.) (1997) Horizons in Feminist Theology: Identity, Tradition and Norms Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.
Baxter, M. (1988) The Formation of the Christian Scriptures: New Testament London: SPCK. Eiesland, N.L. (1994) The Disabled God: Towards a Liberation Theology of Disability Nashville: Abingdon Press. Hull, J. M. (1990) Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness New York: Vintage Books. Hull, J. M. (2001) In the Beginning there was Darkness London: SCM Press. Isherwood, L. & Stuart, E. (1998) Introducing Body Theology Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press LTD. McGrath, A. E. (2001) Christian Theology: An Introduction [3rd ed] Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Raphael, M. (1996) Theology and Embodiment: the PostPatriarchal Reconstruction of Female Sacrality Sheffield: Sheffield Academic. Robinson, J.A.T. (1952) The Body: A Study in Pauline Theology London: SCM-Press LTD.
A Critical Consideration of Models of Injury Response Rowena James nominated by Jo Batey
Abstract This paper considers how far the injury experience of athletes can be understood, and how far current models can explain the injury experience. Understanding how athletes respond to injury can aid not only the recovery process, but also the athlete’s ability to cope with the injury. This paper focuses particularly upon stage models of injury response (notably Kübler-Ross), and cognitive appraisal models (specifically integrated models).
Current models of injury response Millions of people are injured every year playing sport, and the damage done is not just physical. As Heil (1996) states, “the impact of injury on the athlete’s psyche is potentially great” (p. 45), and as a result understanding how athletes respond to injury is vitally important, not only in terms of the recovery process, but also the athlete’s ability to cope with the injury (Ievleva and Orlick 1991; Walker, Thatcher and Lavallee 2007). Understanding the athlete’s responses could also help to prevent adverse responses which might occur during rehabilitation, during their return to training and competition, and as a consequence of career ending injuries. In order to understand the psychological impact that an injury can have and the way in which an athlete responds to injury, a number of models have been proposed (Evans and Hardy 1999), including stage, phase, cognitive appraisal, and integrated models (Cox 2007; Evans and Hardy 1995; Wiese-Bjornstal et al. 1998). Each of these models seeks to explain and understand the nature of the injury experience in a different way. In order to explore the extent to which injury response models allow us to understand the injury experience, this
paper will first critically consider two different types of injury response model, before exploring other approaches which might offer a different perspective to our understanding of the injury experience. This paper will look specifically at stage models of injury response (with particular emphasis on the Kübler-Ross model) and cognitive appraisal models (focusing specifically on integrated models). The rationale for this choice is based on the notion that stage models were one of the earliest forms used to explain the injury experience, and as such are the foundation on which other work has been built. Cognitive appraisal models on the other hand are one of the most recent types of psychological response model, offering a contrasting understanding of the injury experience. Further to this, the integrated model is perhaps the most comprehensive injury response model to date. Finally, this paper will also consider other approaches and methodologies, which offer a different understanding of the injury experience.
Stage models Udry et al. (1997) suggest that stage models explain the injury experience as a “relatively predictable series of emotional responses”. Each of the stage models proposes different numbers and types of stages which the athlete passes through (Evans and Hardy 1999), however they all suggest that the athlete passes through the stages sequentially (Brewer 2001; Evans and Hardy 1995; Udry and Andersen 2002). Critics of this approach have pointed out that all athletes will respond differently to injury (Cupal 1998), and as such they may not experience each of the stages, they may not pass through them in the order proposed, they may regress to a previous stage, and the behaviours associated with the stages may not occur at all (Brewer 1994; Evans and Hardy 1995; Quackenbush and Crossman 1994; Udry and Andersen 2002).
The Kübler-Ross Grief-Response Model One of the first stage models, and perhaps the most widely cited, is the Kübler-Ross grief response model (KüblerRoss 1969, cited in Udry et al. 1997), which suggests that a grieving individual will pass through five sequential stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Walker et al. 2007). One of the criticisms of this notion however, is that the definition of each of the stages proposed could be interpreted in a number of different ways, which would make it difficult to know which stage the athlete is actually in, therefore limiting our understanding of their injury experience. For example Udry et al. (1997) state that the definition of denial within the context of injury has been fairly problematic, and often been mislabelled. Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith and Lamott (1995, cited in Udry et al. 1997) suggest that rather than denying the occurrence of an injury, the athlete may simply be trying to assess its severity. Similarly, Jaremko, Silbert and Mann (1981, cited in Udry et al. 1997) suggested that athletes generally have higher pain thresholds than non-athletes. If we cannot fully define the terms which make up each or some of the stages, or understand them in the same way, then it could be argued that we cannot truly know or assess when an athlete is in one particular stage, which would limit our understanding of the way in which they are experiencing the injury. Originally proposed for use with terminally ill patients (Udry and Andersen 2002), the Kübler-Ross model has been adapted to explain the responses of athletes to injury (Brewer 1994), and has influenced the majority of the work on stage models (Walker et al. 2007). The likening of the responses of terminally ill patients to injured athletes has been based on the notions of loss and grief, which are the key principles that underpin these models as they propose that the psychological responses to injury are similar to those of the grief response (Evans and Hardy 1999). Rodgers and Cowles (1991, cited in Evans and Hardy, 1995) suggest that grief occurs in response to a situation where there is a “perceived loss” (p.228). Heil (1996) suggests that when an athlete becomes injured they suffer a temporary loss in their ability to participate in sport. This could have a serious impact both on their identity, and their very sense of self (Brewer et al. 1999).
The Kübler-Ross stage model allows us to understand the injury experience as a series of grief responses in reaction to the loss caused by athletic injury. However, what this, and other stage models does not explore or allow for is the differences in individual circumstances and personal characteristics which could greatly impact on the athlete’s injury experience (Brewer 2001). For example, by proposing that an athlete will pass through five distinct stages, the model suggests that regardless of the nature of the injury or any interpersonal differences, all athletes will respond to injury in the same way (Cupal 1998). Similarly, it could be argued that the extent to which the athlete feels a sense of loss through their injury could be dependent not only on the severity of the injury, but also on other factors such as the level of sport that they participate in, the length of time they have been involved in this sport, the time of the season, and the way that they are currently performing (Gayman and Crossman 2003). If all of these factors affect their sense of loss, then they will also by extension affect their grief responses, and ultimately, their experience of injury. Further to this, there have been criticisms of the theory on which stage models are based (Udry and Andersen 2002). Whilst there would appear to be little wrong with the theory likening injury to loss (Heil 1996), the way in which it has been applied to the stage models would appear to be somewhat flawed (Rose and Jevne 1993). For example, the majority of stage models were originally based on KublerRoss’s model of grief response (Evans and Hardy 1999). When theorists applied this model to injury they were assuming that the grief response could be generalised, in the same way that Kübler-Ross generalised the grief responses of terminally ill patients. In the case of athletes’ injuries however there are so many different types of injury that the loss they feel is going to vary considerably and because of this the grief response is also going to be different (Udry and Andersen 2002).
Cognitive appraisal models Walker et al. (2007) explain that in an attempt to overcome some of the limitations of stage models as mentioned
above, researchers have developed cognitive appraisal models (Brewer 1994, 2001; Granito 2001). Whereas stage models make no account for individual differences (Cupal 1998; Quinn and Fallon 1999) Brewer (1994) suggests that cognitive appraisal models place an emphasis on the cognitive functioning of the individual, and are more concerned with understanding the way in which the athlete interprets the injury than trying to determine the stages that they are likely to go through in response to the injury. Daly et al. (1995) state that cognitive appraisal models hold that the athlete’s cognitive appraisal of injury will determine their emotional factors, which consequently influence behavioural responses. One of the most well developed and comprehensive cognitive appraisal models is the integrated model (WieseBjornstal et al. 1998). The integrated model allows us to understand the injury experience by proposing that the interaction of various personal and situational factors will influence the athlete’s perception of their injury (Cox 2007). This perception, or appraisal, will consequently impact on the athlete’s emotional and behavioural responses. According to Wiese-Bjornstal et al. (1998) all of these factors are constantly interacting and impacting on each other, which means that the athlete’s response to their injury is also in a constant state of flux (Bianco, Malo and Orlick 1999). By acknowledging the existence of a number of different factors that may contribute to the injury experience, the integrated model allows for individual differences in the response to injury, and also allows us to understand that the injury experience will be different for each athlete (Granito 2001). Further to this point however, Walker et al. (2007) suggest that there are still factors that could impact on the injury response, which haven’t been considered. For example, Wiese-Bjornstal et al. (1998) suggest that one of the emotional responses involved may be fear of unknown. Walker et al. (2007) suggest however, that there are other types of fear, which are not covered, for example “fear of losing team place” (p. 176). In terms of the injury experience, this would suggest that if there are factors which haven’t been covered, then these may not be considered
when exploring the athlete’s psychological responses to injury. It could be suggested therefore that this would limit our ability to understand an athlete’s experience.
Limitations of an injury model approach Whilst there are limitations to these approaches, there are likely to be so many differences between the way that each individual responds to injury that it just simply wouldn’t be possible to account for all of them in a single model of injury response. For example, Flint (1998) and Granito (2001) have suggested that the injury experience is a complex phenomenon, which cannot be encapsulated in a model of injury response. As such, it could be argued that it simply is not possible to conceptualise a model that details an individual’s response to injury. What such models do provide however is an understanding of the nature of the injury experience, if not the responses to injury themselves. Further to this, a number of researchers have suggested that integrated, and other similar models, can be used as a basis or foundation for further understanding (Brewer 1994; Udry and Andersen 2002; Wiese-Bjornstal et al. 1998). For example, Brewer (1994) states that cognitive appraisal models “offer a useful framework to guide future empirical efforts on psychological adjustment to athletic injury” (p. 96). Similarly, Wiese-Bjornstal et al. (1998) suggest that the integrated model should act as a blueprint for understanding the injured athlete’s perspective, encompassing physical, psychological and social aspects. The integrated model suggests that the injury experience is a dynamic phenomenon, which is affected by a range of factors that will interact differently with each individual. In order to fully explore such individual responses to injury however, it would seem necessary to turn to other methodologies.
Qualitative research methods Granito (2001) proposes that the use of methods that are more qualitative and inductive in their approach might better allow us to understand the injury experience. Similarly, Brewer (1994) suggests that qualitative methods can be used to document the individual differences “in response to athletic
injury” (p. 95). For example, Rose and Jevne (1993) looked at the experience of being injured from the athlete’s perspective through the use of grounded theory. They suggested that this qualitative research method, that is both inductive and deductive in nature, allowed them to develop theories around the individual athletes, as opposed to trying to fit them to a pre-existing theory or model. Similarly, a narrative approach could be used. Narratives involve an individual talking about past actions or experiences which have had a dynamic effect on their identity, their sense of self, and their life (Sparkes 1999). Sparkes (1999) suggests that this approach would enable athletes to share their experiences which would allow us, and them, to understand their perception of injury and how specific factors may be impacting on their responses to this. These approaches offer a different way of understanding the athlete as a whole, and as such may uncover factors affecting the athlete’s response to injury, which were not considered or accounted for in standardised models of injury response. It could be suggested that such approaches may not be standardised, or stand up to empirical testing, but due to the completely individual nature of injury, standardised approaches to the injury response may not allow us to fully understand the injury experience. Further to this, it is the standardised nature of the psychological response models explored above which limits our understanding of the injury experience in the first place, meaning that we have to consider other models to gain a fuller understanding.
Conclusion Athletes respond to injury in many different ways and the psychological process that injured athletes go through is still unclear. There have been a number of criticisms of the models proposed to explain the injury experience, but in spite of these criticisms these models do still offer us some understanding of the injury experience. For example, stage models highlight the notion that, for some athletes, injury may constitute some form of loss, which could result in grief. This knowledge highlights not only the negative impact which could result from injury, but also the way in which some athletes may perceive their injury, therefore offering us a certain insight and understanding of what the injury experience may involve. Hopson, (1981, cited
in Brewer 1994) suggests however that stage models are often “iron-plated pigeon holes into which human experience must somehow be made to fit” (p. 37). Cognitive appraisal models, such as the integrated model, have furthered this understanding by highlighting the fact that injury is an individual experience, and there are a range of factors which could impact on this response. This model allows us to understand the dynamic nature of the injury experience. However, models such as this cannot cover every possible factor influencing the injury response. As Rose and Jevne (1993) state, “although the process of being injured does have some commonalities between individuals, an athlete’s reaction to an injury is an idiosyncratic experience” (p. 324). In order to better understand the injury experience, research should be designed which explores the athlete’s experiences of athletic injury, and the meaning of the injury to each athlete. Ultimately, models of injury response can give us some understanding of the injury experience, allowing us to understand the nature of the experience, and the impact that it can have, but in order to gain a fuller understanding of each individual’s responses to, and experience of injury, it would seem necessary to explore other approaches, which are guided by the athlete.
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Anarchism and Education Keith Dawson nominated by Simon Boxley
Abstract This paper examines the purpose of education within the political system, with particular reference to the anarchist movement. Considering key figures in the anarchist movement and their influence upon the education system, the paper culminates in debates regarding the place of religious anarchists in the system, and the possibilities for changing the world through education alone without the need for violent revolt.
Ocularists and elephants All new, radical ideas and ideologies begin necessarily with one or a handful of lone intellectuals. Throughout history such intellectuals, finding themselves in possession of a radical political creed, have realised that if social change is ever to occur, the process must begin with themselves. Most classical liberal or laissez-faire activists have adopted, perhaps without much thoughtful consideration, a simple strategy that we may call ‘educationism’. Roughly – we have arrived at the truth, but most people are still deluded believers in error; therefore, we must educate these people – via lectures, discussions, books, pamphlets, newspapers, or whatever – until they become converted to the correct point of view. For a minority to become a majority, a process of persuasion and conversion must take place – in a word, education (Rothbard 1990). The Buddha once told a tale of a group of blind men and an elephant. Each touched a part of the elephant, tusk, tail, skin, and so on, and described the elephant to the others. They quickly came to blows, each assuming themselves correct and the others fools. The moral of the story was that of universal ignorance and the tendency of this ignorance to lead to
violent recourse. While it can be posited that the purpose of modern, post-Enlightenment education is to free us from this ignorance, such a position would be overly simplistic. The Government’s plaintive cries of careers, money, and preparing people for the job market is all we hear from Education Ministers today, forcing those who wish to truly change things to subvert the system or operate entirely outside it. Instead of the generation of wealth, education should, ideally, be for three core purposes; education for development of the self, education for happiness, and education for peace. Have theorists found a way of synthesising such education ideals with a workable political system? Perhaps surprisingly for some, the theorists who place the strongest emphasis on this dichotomy of education are the anarchists.
The anarchist movement English philosophical anarchist William Godwin wrote his seminal treatise on education, The Enquirer, in 1823. Colin Ward, anarchist theorist, draws particular attention to the core of Godwin’s anarchism:
irst... public education has always expended its F energies in the support of prejudice... Secondly, the idea of national education is founded in an inattention to the nature of mind. Whatever each man does for himself is done well; whatever his neighbours or his country undertake to do for him is done ill. It is our wisdom to incite men to act for themselves, not to retain them in a state of perpetual pupillage... Thirdly, the project of national education ought uniformly to be discouraged on account of its obvious alliance with national
government... a national system has the most direct tendency to perpetuate those errors and to form all minds on one model (Godwin in Ward 2004, emphasis added). For our purposes then, Godwin’s anarchist education, and his take on anarchism generally, entails virtual reification of egalitarianism, rationalism, and individual autonomy in education, and the rejection of the State socially. His conception of education is pivotal in all of these. Modern state education has, by and large, changed very little since Godwin was writing, largely resorting to the old didactic method of children being taught at rather than engaged with. Godwin concludes that the only real gift a teacher can hope to give is “a desire to excite… to the acquisition of knowledge”, essentially the teaching of autodidacticism. Crucially, he dismisses the dominant ‘carrot and stick’ method endemic in schools everywhere even today, which he disparagingly terms despotic (Godwin in Ward 2004). Godwin’s individualist thinking largely sets the scene for Western anarchism, but he was rather ahead of his time, awaiting the rise of leftist revolutionary politics in the 1800s. Aligned with the build-up to the Russian Revolution anarchism began its swing towards more communalistic, group-centric strains. Two of the most prominent social, collectivist anarchists in this group were Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. Education was central for Bakunin as, “the working masses can [never] be fully emancipated so long as the education that they receive is inferior to that given to [those of] a better upbringing and a fuller education… The one who knows more will naturally rule over the one who knows less” (Bakunin in Cutler 1992). Bakunin’s main weakness here is that he seems to ignore the nature side of the nature/nurture debate, assuming as he does that the differences between human intelligence are really class differences that would evaporate under his mono-education system (Cutler 1992). Kropotkin, in his thoughts on education, assumes that there are essentially three types of people, in a manner similar to both Platonic Republicanism and the now defunct British tripartite system, “the man of science… must discover the laws
of nature, the civil engineer must apply them, and the worker must execute in steel or wood, in iron or stone, the patterns devised by the engineer” (Kropotkin 1912). He argues that the substance of the complaints of those in industry is that, “the worker whose task has been specialised by the permanent division of labour has lost the intellectual interest in his labour, and it is especially so in the great industries: he has lost his inventive powers. Formerly, he invented very much” (May 1994). Kropotkin believes that with education, the worker can regain their rightful place as a cornerstone of society, rather than being a mere generator of wealth for those higher up. Francisco Ferrer in his Origin and Ideals of the Modern School believed children should be given a ‘rational’ education in a freethinking, nonreligious atmosphere. He held that, “man is a complete and unified whole... the divorce between thought and will is an unhappy feature of our time” (Ferrer 1913). The focus Ferrer placed upon education simply cannot be understated, as he believed that, “rulers have always taken care to control the education of the people; they know better than any that their power is based entirely on the school, and they therefore insist on retaining their monopoly of it” (Ferrer 1913). Ferrer’s education, then, is grounded in a synthesis of the techniques and philosophies espoused by Godwin (Ward 2004 p. 52-3) and, later, A.S. Neill, of scientific rationality, antireligiosity, and holism. Ferrer’s biggest problem with the education system of his time, and society in general, was the coercive role of religion. It is debatable whether this is really a legitimate complaint, but it strongly influenced Ferrer’s desire to create a school where “children should be given a ‘rational’ education in a freethinking, nonreligious atmosphere”. To this end, he emphasised “freedom in education” above all else (Avrich 2006 p. 7). John Zerzan represents one of the most radically different strains of modern anarchism on the market, green anarchism, a powerful attempt to shake the very foundations upon which anthropocentric anarchism is built (Grey 1993). Zerzan seeks to analyse what is meant by social, and to question the very notion of happiness, both on a social and individual level:
o what degree can it be said that we are really living? T As the substance of culture seems to shrivel and offer less balm to troubled lives, we are led to look more deeply at our barren times... Culture has led us to betray our own aboriginal spirit and wholeness, into an ever worsening realm of synthetic, isolating, impoverished estrangement... as our plight deepens, we glimpse how much must be erased for our redemption (Zerzan 2009a).
Whether of the primitivist, anti-civilisation, anti-technology variety, or of the more optimistic “bright green” kind (Steffen 2004), green anarchism is the black sheep of the anarchist family, idiosyncratic by its desire to seek to apply issues of exploitation to nature, as well as addressing the fundamentals of human nature in a way that ‘mainstream’ anarchism is typically loath to do. Zerzan is positioned somewhere between these two dichotomies.
oday culture is in a dispirited, used-up state wherever T one looks... ‘What would happiness be that was not measured by the immeasurable grief at what is?’ Certainly, the condition of life has become nightmarish enough to justify such a question (Zerzan 2009b).
Zerzan’s alienation problem should be familiar to anyone versed in Marxist dogma, but Zerzan’s take on it is grounded in applied science rather than miscellaneous musings (The Local 2007). With this in mind, green anarchism’s somewhat pessimistic outlook starts to look scarily realistic, but it also has far-reaching and serious ramifications for anarchism generally, and anarchist education specifically. Green anarchism approaches this problem of education in anarchism largely by ignoring it; after all, modern scholastic education has little place in a post-civilisation world. Thus, in green anarchism, education is often conspicuous by its absence. Zerzan dismisses schools, at least in their modern incarnation, out of hand, stating that all “school teaches [is for] you to be at a certain place at a certain time, and thus prepares you for life on the job. Raoul Vaneigem, member of the radical group Situationist International, has a wonderful quote about this: ‘The child’s days escape adult time; their
time is swollen by subjectivity, passion, dreams haunted by reality’” (Zerzan 2009c). The green anarchists may be onto something. Social anthropologist Sarah Rich calls attention to an international report awarding Finland the title of best education system in the world (Rich in Steffen 2004 p. 311). Rich points out that “maybe the secret is what they don’t do; Finnish students spend less time in a class than students in any other industrialised nation”, and this has encouraged “a strong emphasis on a family’s role in educating kids” (ibid. p. 312). Among those who are more optimistic about synthesising education and environmentalism is the green theorist David Orr, a pioneer regarding the importance of holistic architecture in green education. Orr’s call is to, “make over entire institutions of education so that their operations and resource flows (food, energy, water, materials, waste, and investments) become a laboratory for the study of ecological design” (Orr 2004). Orr’s holism seeks to understand human society in terms of unseen factors which we can harness. He takes holism to its extreme, and yet it is this kind of holism that we must seek to harness in education. It is the interaction of the fundamentals of human society which green anarchists like Zerzan wrestled with, which work together holistically, and it is these fundamentals which anarchists must seek to delve into to solve the problems endemic in their ideology.
Evolve or die Since the abortive revolutions of the 20th century, anarchism is largely tainted with leftism. Anarchism should, ideally, transcend the left/right dichotomy, so where does anarchism go from this? Anarchism is typified by a number of characteristics, among them egalitarianism, antiauthoritarianism, a desire to synthesise the freedom of the individual and the demands of the community, and so on. But, as we will see, anarchism is also plagued by weaknesses. And what role must, for it is a must, education play in this evolution? When Max Stirner, himself a strongly individualist anarchist, asserted that, “the school question is a life question” (Stirner
1842), his words were remarkably prescient. Education endows us with attitudes, attitudes that can used for good or ill, for both ourselves and those around us, and indeed the whole world. This is why modern education is so terminally flawed, it embraces merely facts, qualifications, it is an empty husk. As de Cleyre stated, the content of education is paramount to endow a people with, “never-ending watchfulness of rulers, a determination to squelch every attempt of those entrusted with power to encroach upon the sphere of individual action” (de Cleyre 1932). But what, then, to teach? We have a number of options. Troy Southgate, a member of the ‘New Right’ and one of Britain’s most controversial anarchists, puts forward the idea that nationalism can form a potential shield against government. Many anarchists find this notion controversial. Dorothy Day, for instance, laments that the horrors of the nuclear bombings of Japan and the deranged “jubilance” that sprang from it was as a direct result of a lack of universal “brother[hood]” in humanity (Day 2005). Southgate counters, however, that in fact nation, state and society are different things and not nearly as simplistically intertwined as anarchists like to maintain (Southgate 2007). But studying Southgate and his contributions to anarchism is difficult because he is so evasive on exactly what he means by ‘nationalism’. Largely because of this, Graham Macklin is representative of the bulk of ‘mainstream’ anarchism in dismissing Southgate’s national-anarchism as “anarchist gloss” over an otherwise fascist and racist ideology (Macklin 2005). For this reason alone, it may be tempting not to want nationalism taught to our children, although, as with other thinkers, his ideas can be sifted, to find the aspects worth incorporating. Many people worldwide possess a belief in God, or a creator deity of some variety, and many religious anarchists have sought to synthesise their faith with anarchism. Religious anarchism comes in a plethora of forms, although the better developed systems are almost exclusively Christian, most strongly associated in the public consciousness with the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers). Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace developed the ideas into something
more explicitly anarchist in tone. The anarchist thought which ultimately developed from this is far reaching, and would go on to influence, amongst others, Gandhi and his ‘Swaraj’ individual autonomy and non-violence philosophies (Hellman 1994; Marshall 2008). Tolstoy highlighted the division between religion in the sense of an organised superstructure, oppressive by nature and frequently, if not always, in league with the State, and religion as an individual’s belief system drawing on common teachings. Tolstoy maintains that religion, therefore, is not mutually exclusive with anarchism, if anything, it is a prerequisite (Tolstoy 2006). He expands on this thought most lucidly in Patriotism and Government:
If people would but understand that they are not the sons of some fatherland or other, nor of Governments, but are sons of God, and can therefore neither be slaves nor enemies one to another – those insane, unnecessary, worn-out, pernicious organisations called Governments, and all the sufferings, violations, humiliations, and crimes which they occasion, would cease (Tolstoy 1900).
Tolstoy’s brand of anarchism can in essence be taught to children without raising too many ethical dilemmas, although it remains unpopular in mainstream anarchism (Marshall 2008), as Christian religiosity is no longer the norm in society. Catholicism, by far the largest organised Church in the world, at first glance is representative of everything anarchism should be against. Catholic anarchism, however, traces its roots to the Rerum Novarum edict of Pope Leo XIII, usually rendered in English as The Condition of the Working Classes or On Capital and Labour. Particularly pertinent to the discussion of anarchism is Leo’s vision of a minarchist society, with government limited merely to, “safeguard[ing] the community and all its members” (Leo 1891 p. 27), although what exactly this would entail is something which is largely left unclear by Leo. This is an issue that has been developed by later Catholic thinkers, including G.K. Chesterton (1927) and Hilarie Belloc (1977), with
Distributism. Looked at in a modern context, Distributism is arguably the most fully developed Catholic strain of religious anarchism. It has all the hallmarks of anarchism; opposition to ‘big’ capitalism, opposition to the State and opposition to earthly authority. For Chesterton, the Enlightenment has not led to substantive social revolution, with power merely changing hands from dieu et mon droit to humanistic sophistry and a new dictatorship of the mega-wealthy. From this we can see that Distributism’s most interesting break from mainstream anarchism comes in its understandings of human nature, the question most pertinent to our exploration of anarchist education. For Chesterton and Belloc, capitalism and materialism are symptoms rather than causes of human woes. Here we come to the crux of the problem of anarchism; simply doing away with capitalism will not magic away our problems. Western notions of capitalism and democracy seem permanent as they act as social tranquilizers. Belloc gives modern education a firm lashing over this, arguing that it creates “mechanical” youth, incapable of critical thought or resisting despotism even when it is staring them in the face (Belloc 1948). Distributism is really an extrapolation of the emphasis placed on free will in the Catholic faith, an important virtue when exploring human nature and its relation to education. As the parent tradition of Distributism, Catholicism carries huge influence as the foundation of its thought. Thus, for Chesterton and Belloc, it is all too easy to place the blame factors outside our control, but ultimately the choice is ours. Our free choice, however, is contingent upon so many other factors. Coercion is everywhere, sometimes so subtle as to be impossible to detect or dissociate from choices we think we are actively making. And this is why education is so important. If there is one thing to learn from Distributist thought, it is that we must not rely on any one factor to solve our problems, and an anarchist education must embrace this reality. The Distributist emphasis, however, is not explicitly upon education. The philosophy of another Catholic
anarchist, Dorothy Day, is to see education as the means of fundamentally changing “the social order” (Day 2005), and it is Day who develops Distributism into something more readily applicable in today’s world. Taking inspiration from ideas such as Quakerism and Tolstoy’s “sons of God” (Tolstoy 1900) and pairing them with Catholic doctrine, she seeks to emphasise the universal brotherhood and fundamental goodness of humanity. She argues that:
eligion teaches the rich man and the employer that R their work people are not their slaves; that they must respect in every man his dignity as a man… that labour is an honourable employment: that and it is shameful and inhuman to treat men like chattels to make money by” (Day 2005).
Her focus on ‘teaching’ shows that she sees education in a very broad context, closer to de Cleyre’s social engineering than Godwin or Ferrer’s more individualist brand of education. Day’s notion of non-violent conversion to the anarchist cause has important ramifications for anarchist education because it means we can change the world through education alone, without the need for violent revolt that is espoused by so much of the revolutionary left (Marshall 2008). Day, like Tolstoy before her, dismisses government as inherently violent in nature, and therefore reprehensible on principle. Because of this, she reiterates throughout her work the importance of brotherhood as an alternative to governance (Day 2005). Her strong focus on God makes Day’s anarchism more likely to work within a Catholic country or community, where her teachings have real potential to transform people’s lives for the better.
Ascension to universal sainthood and education of the mind Of course, an anarchist education need not necessarily be overtly religious in nature for the construction of and sustenance of an anarchist society. One could equally argue that an anarchist education incorporating Thomas Paine’s deism, expounded in its philosophical form in Age of Reason, and expanded upon in a more political sense in Common Sense, would produce the same effect since
the fundamentals are largely the same, a belief that only God is worthy of authority, a kind of justification that it is impossible for humans to wield. The same can be said of an ad hoc philosophy derived from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, a kind of argument from insignificance (Sagan 1997). That is the point; there are so many avenues of exploration which modern anarchism simply does not want to explore because, ironically, it is so attached to dogma. This dogma is at the core of its derisory attitude to religion. Anarchism is an ideology that is hugely diverse, far more than most others (Graeber 2004). And yet, it remains isolated from the mainstream because it is incapable of tapping into the consciousness of the everyman. It is perfectly possible for anarchism to work. Doom-mongers and pessimists may argue otherwise, but as Tolstoy aptly observed, it is difficult to “imagine a society more detestable than ours” (Tolstoy 2006). We have little to lose in the attempt. How, then, to achieve societal change? The works of de Cleyre and Southgate go a long way towards giving Ferrer’s education system the intellectual grounding required to stave off a resurgent capitalism and endow people with healthy suspicion of those who would make grabs for power.
not only make the world a better place, but the thought of individuals such as Godwin, Ferrer and Orr have huge potential to improve schooling today, and create a more holistic, free education, one that more fully respects the sanctity of the individual and their personal development. In all things, education is the gift which can set the mind free.
References Avrich, P. (2006) The Modern School Movement AK Press: Edinburgh. Belloc, H. (1977) The Servile State Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. Belloc, H. (1948) The Restoration of Property London: Distributist Books. Chesterton, G. (1927) The Outline of Sanity Gloucester: Dodo Press. Cutler, R. (1992) The Basic Bakunin New York: Prometheus. Day, D. (2005) Selected Writings London: DLT. de Cleyre, V. (1932) Anarchism and American Traditions http://praxeology.net/VC-AAT.htm
Anarchism’s primary weakness remains human nature itself. For Day, what is taught in terms of facts is of significantly less worth than changing people’s perceptions of their fellow man. Even in our democratic society, imagine the possibilities that a transformation of the attitudes of people would achieve. Can anarchism achieve this through education? Perhaps a better question is, why not? Anarchism, especially strains such as Distributism, has a strong case regarding sociopolitical-economic factors. The problems inherent in anarchist philosophy mainly regard human nature. While the majority of anarchists are vastly and irrationally optimistic on this topic, anarchists like Day have sought to grapple with the issue and apply teachings that can make anarchism work, and, even in a society which is not anarchist, can change things for the better.
Graeber, D. (2004) Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.
This paper has been only a very brief foray into anarchist theory. There are a great many other possible avenues and areas of development. Harnessing anarchist theory, we can
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Published on Nov 9, 2017