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John McCall

BA (Hons) French & Public Media, PGCE, MA Education

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Personal profile


I am a PhD student currently researching at Leeds Trinity University in the UK.  I am interested in telling stories through film: narrative methodology, and film as a medium for retelling the experiences of young deaf learners.

After 34 years of teaching in high schools in Leeds, much of which was spent at school leadership level, I embarking on my PhD project as I am now in retirement. My interest in giving voice to young deaf learners comes from my experience in my last high school which accommodates a Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team (DAHIT) resourced provision for young people between 11-18 years of age.

 In my thesis, I intend to challenge narrative as a suitable methodology for eliciting stories from a minority group, more specifically, young people with hearing impairment. As part of this challenge I intend to explore film and film-making as a more effective research methodology for working with young deaf people. My contention that despite the claims made for the effectiveness of narrative as a methodology for giving voice to seldom heard groups, it does not work well with deaf learners, stems from my MA in Education dissertation at Leeds Trinity University, ‘A narrative account of the experiences of three deaf students in a resourced provision, in a high school in Leeds’. For my doctoral studies, I propose a philosophical thesis with a philosophical method, to critique the notions of narrative proposed by Riessman (2008), Bold (2012) and Sikes (2001), and to investigate film as a methodology both at practical level, as described by Jacobs (2015), and on a philosophical level from the work of Cavell (2005)

 My supervisor, Dr Amanda Fulford’s research is informed by continental philosophy and draws upon the work of Stanley Cavell, particularly his work on voice and the Hollywood film. She is also interested in his readings of the American transcendentalist writers Emerson and Thoreau which have been a point of departure for my own reading.