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Title: Early investment : the role of Educational Psychologists in supporting an early years setting
Author: Douglas-Osborn, Erica
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 960X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Background: Present literature highlights early years as an important phase of child development. Whilst Educational Psychologists have a role within early years, there is little research to state what this looks like and how it is conducted in practice. Therefore, this research considers the role an Educational Psychologist could take within an early years setting and explores the variety of work they could conduct. Participants: One early years setting from the researcher’s current Local Authority was used for this research. A total of 33 participants were involved including 11 early years staff, eight Educational Psychologists, 13 parents/carers and a Health Visitor. Methods: This study describes an academic year long Action Research (Tripp, 2003) project with the use of a Research and Development in Organisations framework (Timmins, Shepherd & Kelly, 2003). This included pre-model questionnaires, interviews with early years staff, a focus group with Educational Psychologists and a further focus group with early years staff in order to develop an initial model of educational psychology practice. Work was then completed by the researcher as part of the model of practice. Discrete pieces of work were evaluated via questionnaires, while the project as a whole was evaluated via post-model questionnaires, focus group, interview and researcher diary. Analysis/Findings: Quantitative data were summarised using descriptive statistics and qualitative data were transcribed and a thematic analysis applied. Within this study, the researcher developed a model of practice based on the needs of the setting that included being more frequently involved with casework and conducting work specifically aimed at supporting staff and parents/carers. Additionally, there were discrepancies found in the value placed by participants upon the different pieces of the work as well as the overall approach taken. Conclusion/Implications: This research suggests that there is a greater role for Educational Psychologists within early years, involving more than conducting casework but through providing a more holistic and intensive approach to supporting staff and parents/carers. This supports the existing limited literature as well as advocating a more extensive role for them within early intervention services.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Chi.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Educational Psychology Practice ; Educational Psychologist Role ; Early Years Setting ; Nursery