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Title: Problem understanding within psychological interviewing
Author: Monsen, Jeremy James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3414 924X
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is primarily concerned with how educational psychologists in training (EPITs) develop an accurate and 'high quality' understanding of a teacher's presenting problem, as a consequence of interviewing them. Development was monitored over the course of a one-year training programme in which interviewing and problem-reasoning skills were taught and practised. The development of a range of selected interviewer behaviours and their relationship to the construction of a 'high quality' understanding were assessed. Study one surveyed all training courses for educational psychologists in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to sample perceptions on aspects of interviewing and problem solving and collect information on how these skills are taught. However, there were concerns raised about the validity of the data, and as a result certain areas were explored further in study three. Study two undertook a part replication and extension of Robinson and Halliday's (1988) research with experienced counsellors. It investigated the relationship between selected interviewer behaviour, and problem understanding in a longitudinal experimental study often EPITs, and eight teachers who acted as controls. The results of this study indicated that, following appropriate training, EPIT's use of accessible reasoning significantly increased during interviews, and was associated with increases in the quality of written analyses of the teacher's presenting problem. Study two (a) explored whether the personality characteristics and communication style of the interviewer contributed anything to our knowledge of the processes involved in formulating a 'high quality' understanding. The results suggested that such aspects were not associated with the quality of participants' problem understanding, or with their use of different interview strategies. Study two (b) investigated whether training had any impact upon the number and type of hypotheses EPITs used to attribute causal relationships to aspects of the teacher's problem situation. Results showed that there were no significant changes noted in the number of hypotheses offered. However, by the end of training EPITs were significantly more likely than controls to use interactional hypotheses to attribute cause when integrating aspects of the teacher's problem situation. Study three explored the reactions of a sample of the course tutors who had been involved in study one to some of the main findings of this thesis. Results question the validity of some of the data collected in study one and suggest revisions to the conclusions that can be drawn about the ways in which interviewing and problem solving skills are taught. Finally, the contributions and limitations of the thesis are discussed, drawing out the implications for research and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Educational psychologists