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Title: My ideal school : a personal construct psychology approach to understanding the school constructs of children described as anxious
Author: Pirotta, Keith Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 3036
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2016
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This research explores the school constructs of children described as anxious. Little research exists that looks at understanding children’s school-related anxiety through the lens of Personal Construct Psychology (PCP). This qualitative research design includes semi-structured interviews that followed a PCP theoretical framework. The interviews were carried out with five children aged between 7 and 11, who attended state schools in Malta, and who were experiencing school-related anxiety. Participants were asked to comment and produce drawings about the kind of school they would like to attend (their ideal school), and the kind of school they would not like to attend. The children’s constructs were organised according to whether they related to adults in school, their peers, the school and classroom environment, and the participants themselves in each of these two imaginary schools. Participants were also asked to think of how the school they currently attend can become more like their ideal school. Findings indicate the importance of relationships between teachers and pupils, relationships amongst pupils themselves, a positive learning environment within the classroom and the belongingness to a common value system and school ethos to which anxious children can relate. This research aims to shed light on the responsibility of professionals working with children with school-related anxiety to look beyond within-child factors and understand possible stressors in the child’s environment as potentially contributing to heightening their anxiety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Prof.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available