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Title: Where's the 'psychology' in British educational and child psychology? : an exploratory investigation into educational psychologists' perspectives
Author: Curran, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 0875
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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The study aims to undertake an exploratory investigation into British Educational Psychologists' (EPs) practitioner perspectives on the key psychological theories and models that underpin their professional practice. It also aims to ascertain what the implications might be of practitioner perspectives on this topic for future practice, future training and continuing professional development of EPs hi the British context as "applied" psychologists. Following a small scale national survey on the topic, five focus group discussions were arranged to investigate the topic in more detail with groups of EPs at various career stages. The focus group discussions were subjected to detailed Thematic Analysis using techniques recommended by Braun and Clarke (2006). Analyses were undertaken at both the explicit (semantic) and interpretative (latent) level in order to develop a series of thematic maps. The literature review found that although British EPs have consistently reviewed, evaluated and challenged their professional practice in changing working contexts, there is a paucity of research into their perceptions of the fundamental psychological theories and models that underpin what they actually do "on the job", which was recognised as multi-levelled and complex. Four overarching themes emerged from the extensive interpretative analysis of the data set as key to EP practitioner perspectives on what underpins and influences the use of psychological theory and models in their professional practice. These were: (1) Working context, location and the degree of role clarity within this; (2) Professional self reflection on practice; (3) Training, early supervision and continuing professional development; (4) Developed psychological skills, competencies and knowledge, particularly with a relevant research evidence base. Surprisingly, the analyses found no evidence of expected themes relating to the underpinning psychology for effective interpersonal skills or collaborative team work in the EP practitioner perspectives. A "matrix of evidence for EP practice" is proposed for future use based on the themes from the interpretative analyses undertaken. The methodology employed and the analysis of the findings are both critically appraised. The implications for further research into the topic together with implications for EP professional practice and continuing professional development are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available