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Title: Using creative approaches to promote inclusive cultures for literacy learning within Northern Irish primary schools
Author: Long, Marie Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 3951
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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This qualitative study used a case study approach to investigate the use of creative approaches in promoting inclusive cultures for literacy learning in mainstream primary schools. Phase 1 used creative methodologies to explore the views and experiences of upper- primary pupils (n=22) on their level of participation in the management of their literacy learning needs. Phase 2, which took central place in this study utilised practices from Appreciative Inquiry to explore and examine groups of teachers' (n=10), parents' (n=9) and upper-primary school pupils' (n= 12) perceptions of the visual and verbal texts produced in Phase 1 and, to investigate what participants viewed as 'best practice teaching and learning methodologies' used to meet the needs of learners who struggle with literacy and also their practical propositions for change. The total study was underpinned by ethical principles and the ethical standards set by the host institution. Key findings demonstrated that dialogical modes of professional learning had tremendous potential for unsettling common habits of mind, recognising the best of existing practices, and stimulating ideas for classroom and institutional transformation. For example, participants recognised: the interwoven nature of pupil well-being and literacy success; the benefits of variety in pedagogical and assessment practices; the centrality of teachers in school enhancement processes; the roles of parents and pupils in developing inclusive literacy practices; the potential benefits of involving pupils and parents in collaborative inquiry, and, furthermore, participants reconceptualised pupils as active social agents. Although this was a small-scale qualitative study the findings have implications for practitioners demonstrating that inclusive literacy pathways are holistic, personalised, integrated, participatory, balanced and empowering. The implications of findings for schools are that they would benefit from capacity building in action-research methodologies and leadership that supports collaborative inquiry. Policy-makers should be making time and resources available to enable schools to engage in learner-centered school improvement processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available