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Title: An exploration into how collaborative problem solving groups can change teachers' practice
Author: Wright, Rebecca Danielle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 8162
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis includes three related documents. The first, the Systematic Review, includes a review of literature relevant to the area. In the second, the Bridging Document, there is a discussion about the conceptual framework which links the Systematic Review with the Empirical Research. It also explores ethical and methodological issues. The final document discusses findings from the Empirical Research, as well as future implications for educational psychologists’ practice. There are many Continuing Professional Development (CPD) models for teachers. This Systematic Review focuses specifically on the under researched area of ‘collaborative problem solving groups’. Synthesis of findings from five articles about ‘collaborative problem solving groups’ suggested that benefits for teachers existed within the context of some challenges. Teachers benefited from the time and space to reflect, be with others and problem solve; thinking differently about a situation and changing their practice. Teachers also benefited from decreased stress levels. Challenges related to demands on their time, difficulties putting changes into practice and concerns that participation was judged by colleagues. This empirical study outlines an action research project carried out with three teachers, on how the process of being in a collaborative problem solving group promoted changes to their practice. Tape recorded review sessions with participants took place before and after three collaborative problem solving groups, during which participants discussed the thinking and associated changes that occurred for them throughout the process. A second research focus considered how a facilitator could promote changes to teachers’ practice during collaborative problem solving. Constructionist grounded theory was used to analyse the data. General factors that supported changes to teachers’ practice included: an acknowledgement that participants think differently, appreciating that problems and classrooms are complex, being open minded and recognising perceived impacts of social and political pressures. A facilitator can promote vii changes to teachers’ practice by acknowledging these areas, whilst also applying psychology to facilitate a democratic process and attend to relational factors. A constructed grounded theory outlines that the roles of the facilitator and participants are interrelated and dynamic, thus requiring ongoing attention. Implications for educational psychologists are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available