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Title: Conversations with children : a pathway towards understanding marginalisation and inclusive education
Author: Messiou, Kyriaki
ISNI:       0000 0004 2687 2915
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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This study focused on pupils' voices as a vehicle for understanding notions of marginalisation, and of inclusion, within a particular school. The aims of the study were twofold: first, to bring to the surface children's views about how they experience marginalisation at school; and, second, to explore how children come to construct meanings about other children and, especially, those children who seem to be marginalised. There was also a consideration of the relationship between these meanings and the way children behave towards one another. The research involved an ethnographic study in a primary school in Cyprus, over a period of five months. Mainly qualitative methods were used, particularly, participant observations and interviews with children. In addition, some quantitative methods were used, such as sociometric measures. These were, however, analysed in a rather qualitative way. Through the process of carrying out the research and analysing the data, marginalisation came to be conceptualised in four different ways within a primary school context: when a child is experiencing some kind of marginalisation and is recognised almost by everybody including himself/herself; when a child is feeling that he/she is experiencing marginalisation whereas most of the others do not recognise this; when a child is found in what appears to be marginalised situations but does not feel it, or does not view it as marginalisation; and, finally, when a child is experiencing marginalisation but does not admit it. It is argued therefore, that marginalisation in school contexts is a complex multi-faceted process. Interpretation of the data suggests that children's meanings about other children and especially those who come to experience marginalisation, are influenced by certain factors. In particular, the factors that were identified as influential in children's constructions of meanings about other pupils were: other children and the interactions between them; adults' way of behaving in the school; the existing structures within the school; and the cultures of the school and the wider educational context. Even though the most powerful factor was viewed to be the adults' influence, it was rather the interweaving between different factors that seemed to lead to the creation of particular meanings for other children and especially those experiencing marginalisation. The study concludes that children's voices should not be used only as a strategy for better understanding and developing inclusive education, but more importantly these voices should be seen as an essential element within the process of developing inclusive practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Faculty of Education Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available