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Title: A story of stories
Author: McCaffrey, Beth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 0955
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2009
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This research took place over one academic year in a class of 7 children (6 to 7 years old) with statemented learning and language difficulties. The research aimed to explore the question “What can teachers learn from the stories children tell?” with the class teacher having the dual role of teacher and researcher. The research had two foci: the developmental evaluation of a particular pedagogical approach and an open-ended enquiry into what could be learned through the analysis of the stories told by children using a multi-perspective analysis grid. The pedagogical approach was formulated from certain guiding principles: the development of a “pedagogy of listening”, integrated and creative experiences with opportunities for multi-modal representations, the concept of “playful work”, opportunities for therapeutic play within the classroom, and the importance of giving prominence to stories and story-telling. These principles guided the development of a range of story-telling contexts within which the children told stories to the teacher who acted as scribe. The collection of 145 stories was then analyzed using the grid created for the research. This analysis incorporated an assessment of the language and story-telling skills of the children using a range of methods and an interpretation of the social and emotional meanings conveyed in the stories told. An assessment of the stories revealed that the children had made better than expected progress in their development of expressive language, but the meaning of their stories was to be found in different analyses than those used to assess language development. Teachers could learn much from the stories that the children told, but only if they interpreted the stories from a wide range of perspectives. The pedagogical approach was deemed sufficiently effective for the teacher/researcher to continue developing her practice under its guiding principles.
Supervisor: Norwich, Brahm ; Wood, Elizabeth Sponsor: Self Funded
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Story Telling ; SEN