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Title: Working in Terra Nullius Academy : an autoethnographical account of practice as a school psychologist in the UK
Author: Delve, Harvey
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 8259
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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It has been suggested that Educational Psychologists' (EPs) role, function and models of practice in the UK are simply by-products of their history and successive governments' agenda. This is evidenced by an apparent sense of disorientation around EP working, which has led to an ongoing professional inquisition that has been fuelled by its seemingly persistent introspection. Currently, the vast majority of Educational Psychologists (EPs) are employed by Local Authorities, or operate independently, and visit individual schools as required by their work. Very few Educational Psychologists are employed by a single school setting. Despite the increasingly mixed market for EP working in the UK, there is a scarcity of research and models of practice for EPs working autonomously of local authorities. Indeed, practice as a School Psychologist remains absent from the dominant discourses within the profession's literature in the/UK. It also appears that EPs have been reluctant to make available detailed insider accounts of their everyday psychology practice in schools. Having been employed directly in a 3-13 independent school in England, my study seeks to help fill these voids and kindle discussion within the profession by exploring what it is like to practice as a Trainee Educational Psychologist (TEP) working exclusively in a single school setting. I selected an autoethnographic methodology for the study. My data collection consisted predominantly of participant observation and reflective journaling with a view to producing an extensive dataset in the form of field notes and other textual artefacts. Thematic Analysis (TA) was subsequently employed to provide a transparent and malleable approach to analysing my data. During my analysis I developed a hierarchy of themes beneath a gathering theme of Dynamic Working to provide a rich and accessible account of my lived experience as a TEP in my unique context. In light of the outcomes of my analysis, I have considered how my findings augment, guide, extend or challenge both my own developing practice and the existing professional discourses around EP working in England and Wales. In addition, I have drawn on a visual approach to compose a model to offer further explanation of my dynamic practice as a School Educational Psychologist. Subsequently, I have proposed ways in which my experiences might enlighten discussions around the profession's next steps, advocating that as EPs we should feel empowered to view ourselves as architects of our future, who are secure in our guiding principles and dynamic in our practice. I have also presented the School Psychologist as a viable model of practice in England and Wales
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available