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Title: What influences educational psychologists' assessment practice : a grounded theory mixed methods analysis using interviews and reports
Author: Taylor, Lauren A. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 5624
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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2 Abstract Educational Psychologists (EPs) use a range of assessment methods in practice, a number of factors influence this. Studies in America and the United Kingdom have explored EPs' practice. However, little attention has been directed towards what influences EPs in their choice of different assessment methods and the reports associated with them. Previous ,'.,.1 •....• - research has predominantly focused on quantitative perceptions of EPs' practice, using national surveys and questionnaire data, which has not allowed for detailed qualitative descriptions of EP assessment practice. A dearth of research has explored assessment's written about in EP reports (Buck, 2000). Frequently, the appraisal of various assessment practices has focused on exploring stakeholders' perceptions. The quantitative content analysis allowed an added dimension by exploring assessments EPs report on. The research explored influences on EPs' assessment practice using a Critical Realist exploratory mixed methods flexible research design. Using a sequential embedded strategy, the initial qualitative level developed a Grounded Theory from 6 semi-structured interviews with EPs, (then a quantitative content analysis of their reports). Using MAXQDA-2007 software (Kuckartz, 2007) a theory named 'balancing internal and external influences' developed about perceived influences that guided EPs' practice decisions. The results indicated a balance between interrelated internal beliefs about good practice, external impacting variables and child-centred influences. Internal influences included: how EPs defined and perceived their role; perceived benefits and drawbacks of different practices; and supportive influences on effective practice. External impacting influences include: external pressures and constraints; perceptions of others in relation to the EP's role; and influences imposed by special educational needs and Local Education Authority processes. Child-centred influences 3 connect the balance between internal beliefs and external influences and include considerations when working with children with English as an additional language, with children in early years, and children with social, emotional behavioural difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ch.Ed.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available