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Title: "Ask them what helps them and try to go ahead with the plan" : an appreciative exploration of what works to support young people's behaviour at school
Author: Boyd, Fiona Elizabeth Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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The permanent exclusion (PE) of young people from school is frequently linked to negative social and academic outcomes, providing the dominant rationale for reducing the numbers of young people who are permanently excluded. The aim of the systemic literature review was to explore what is known about interventions that aim to reduce the number of school exclusions. I conducted a mixed methods review asking the questions, ‘which interventions are most effective in reducing numbers of school exclusions?’ and, ‘why are some interventions effective in reducing school exclusions?’ The prevailing themes which emerged were named positivity, motivation and communication and it was felt that these were important elements of effective intervention in reducing numbers of school exclusions. Informed by gaps highlighted in the literature review, the aim of the empirical research was to triangulate these findings with theory generated from young people’s perceptions using a grounded theory approach. 18 young people were asked questions loosely based on the positive method Appreciative Inquiry in order to ascertain their perceptions of ‘what works’ to support their behaviour effectively using focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews. The main thematic categories created were learning, self-esteem, environment, control and change of feelings, and these were related together to form a theory. The young people’s theory suggested that self-esteem was a central element and was interrelated to the categories of learning, environment and control. They suggested that in a positive system these factors would cause a positive change of feelings then a positive change in behaviour. The high level of triangulation between the literature and young people’s perceptions suggests that the type of intervention may not be as important as how intervention or prevention is implemented and then perceived by the young people. However, the findings suggest that schools and classrooms that promote positive self-esteem, young people’s control, good communication and use of language based on feelings, may be effective in reducing PEs and are perceived by young people to be effective at supporting their behaviour. The high corroboration with wider research suggests that this theory may describe more than just challenging behaviour and therefore it may be applied more broadly to learning behaviour and social behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available