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Title: 'If they can get it right why don't I?' : Year Ten students' experiences of studying in the free school meal achievement gap : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Willott, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 167X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2013
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This study aims to explore how Year Ten students make sense of the experience of studying and achieving in academic subjects. Purposive homogenous sampling was used to select Year Ten students from the same school, eligible for free school meals and underachieving according to grade predictions based on end of key stage tests. Semi-structured interviews were conducted individually, focusing on students’ perceptions around three research questions: • How do students interpret their experience of home (community and family) and its influence on study and achievement in academic subjects? • How do students interpret their experience of school and its influence on study and achievement in academic subjects? • How do students make sense of studying and achieving in academic subjects? Interpretative Phenomenological analysis was chosen as the methodological framework for a detailed examination of six students’ expressed experiences. A rich account of these experiences is given in the interpretative findings with eight superordinate themes emerging. Most students perceived their parents to have expectations that they studied and achieved in academic subjects, but lacked the educational understanding and resources to help. Students valued the pastoral care system and relationships with teachers, when they perceived them to be supportive to their learning and when teachers held them in good opinion. Active teaching approaches that supported autonomy were largely perceived as having positive effects on studying. Students mostly associated negative emotions of frustration, confusion, anxiety and boredom with study in academic subjects; this often lead to decreased motivation. The findings are discussed in the light of the motivation framework of Social Determination theory. Conclusions are drawn that have implications for school and Educational Psychology practice.
Supervisor: Bennett, p. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available