Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Discourse analysis and education case conferences.
Author: Marks, Deborah.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3619 0836
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 1993
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The psychological investigation of special education provision has traditionally followed one of two dominant approaches. The assessment oriented approach has been concerned with developing improved tools for evaluating educational attainment, such as intelligence testing. The child-centred approach has focussed on discovering educational needs in order to tailor educational provision to suit the specific child. The aim of this study is to challenge some of the assumptions behind both the assessment and the child-centred approaches. It argues that rather than focusing attention purely on the child, it is important to see the educational categories in case conferences as a product of historically produced social and psychological relationships. The first and second sections of the thesis offer a historical review of educational decision-making and a discussion of some of the different approaches to discourse analysis. The third section of the thesis traces the progressive development of the analysis of case conferences using a variety of theoretical frameworks. The first of these frameworks explores action-research. It involves an attempt to generate critical reflection in a case conference. The second framework is a group analytic one. This involves examining the way in which discursive categories such as 'caring', 'needy' and 'inadequate' are employed defensively and projected onto others by participants in the meeting. The third approach examines the way discursive categories employed in the case conferences produce various and changing conceptualizations of the child. The research does not attempt to analyse case conferences in general, but rather, explores some specific processes which have been identified in the meetings. An attempt is made to connect discursive and psychological processes in the group to the activity of doing research. The study does not offer secure guide-lines on 'how to improve case conferences' or on 'how to conduct a discourse analytic study of groups'. Rather, it speculates on some of the ways social groups and research of those groups becomes constituted. The notion that people in case conferences are propelled by purely individual motives, or are simply adopting roles or applying labels (although this may well be the subjective experience of participants) is contested. Rather, participants appear to be governed by a set of latent rules about what may be said, by whom and when. These rules shape the very subjectivity of participants and naturalize case conference debate, so that the 'solutions' suggested in the meeting appear as unavoidable and obvious outcomes of the discussion rather than being socially produced. From a Foucaultian perspective, procedures governing case conferences can be seen as 'conditions of possibility'. From a group analytic perspective underlying rules may be seen as 'basic assumptions'. The focus of the thesis is thus on understanding a series of 'unconscious' rules which constitute participants in education case conferences in relation to each other, shape research objectives and produce commentaries on the child.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology