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Title: Educational psychologists' and teachers' perceptions of consultation : an analysis of initial consultations
Author: Claridge, S.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2005
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This research took a qualitative approach, focusing on the perceptions and experience of consultants and consultees. The rationale is explored in the light of previous research, which concentrates on a quantitative approach and does not explore consultation from the participants' perspective. This research adds to the research base because it investigates the experience of participants in consultations from a number of perspectives. 46 questionnaires were sent to educational psychologists to gain their understanding of the pertinent elements of consultations and to aid reflection on the language of consultation. The return rate was 40%. The resultant data was used to formulate a semi-structured questionnaire, which was used to interview eight educational psychologists about their experiences of consultation in perceived successful and unsuccessful circumstances. 16 consultees were interviewed: one from each of the perceived successful and unsuccessful situations. Finally transcriptions were made from recordings of 'live' consultations of each of the original consultants. An iterative qualitative analysis was undertaken using grounded theory and focused feedback with the participants. A critique of the methodology focused on the strengths and limitations of the design adopted. The results showed significant variation in the conceptualisation and practice between consultants, with little shared understanding of the role and practice of consultation either across consultants or between consultants and consultees. The espoused practice of consultants differed from their actual practice and from the experience of consultees. Differences were found in the use of theoretical principles, power stances, the process of problem analysis and intervention strategy development. Although most participants acknowledged the importance of evaluation, in practice no time was allocated to this activity. This research considered a small sample of consultants and consultees, all of whom worked in the same county. Any generalisations drawn must be tentative. Nonetheless, the variance found within the relative homogeneity of the group of psychologists does suggest the variance would only increase within a larger sample with less homogeneity. The discussion and summary considers the implications for educational psychology practice of consultation and future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available