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Title: The views of educational psychologists about neuroscience : a discourse analysis
Author: Hussain, Tamara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 6399
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2012
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The field of neuroscience has received more and more publicity over recent years, specifically by its claims to contribute to the understanding of childrens' learning, education and development. However, progress in neuroscience findings and its links with education have also been subject to controversy, particularly with regard to how far the brain can inform understanding of social processes. While educational psychologists have been identified as a discipline potentially central to the debates about neuroscience (Hall, 2004), little research has yet investigated the views of educational psychologists about the value or relevance of this field in their discipline. This research presents an analysis of views of ten educational psychologists from two Local Authority services. The researcher carried out semi-structured interviews and analysed the data using two approaches from the Discourse Analytic tradition. Methods from Discursive Psychology and Foucauldian Discourse Analysis were used to investigate how educational psychologists discursively constructed the role of neuroscience in their discipline. The combination of research tools yielded rich interview data. Ten discursive sites were identified. Neuroscience was simultaneously viewed and identified discursively as the Identification of Pathology or Deficit, an Additional Explanatory Model, A Challenge to the Social Constructionist Worldview, and Knowledge for Responsibility and Duty. Implications of these findings for Educational Psychology practice are discussed. The prevalence of professional eclecticism in the discipline was evident. Reference to educational psychologists’ frameworks and models for practice were notable and was considered as points for discussion. Educational psychologists’ constructions gave rise to a variety of different subject positions, and therefore the actions that are made possible by these positions. Methodological issues are also considered, together with suggestions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral