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Title: An enquiry into young children's perceptions of learning, ability and schooling as an uncovering of a teacher's pedagogy and practice
Author: Farrugia, Rosienne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 8034
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis aims to examine, document and narrate young able children’s constructions of learning, ability and schooling as a means through which a teacher’s professional identity, pedagogy and practice are unveiled. The focus is on understanding the impact that a teacher and a group of young able learners (who have the potential to reach high levels of performance in one or more areas of endeavour) have on each other’s identities, learning and experiences together with an examination of the kind of inclusive practices that are effective in stimulating the minds of young able children and ultimately meeting their diverse learning needs. The research study, located within an interpretative, social constructivist paradigm in its attempt to construct meaning and knowledge inductively, adopted a qualitative approach through narrative inquiry as teacher and learners were given a voice through the construction of intertwined narratives that were later analysed and interpreted. Data was collected through a variety of tools that included the use of a reflective diary, visual narrative and participatory methods with children. The data yielded three main themes about aspects of the teaching and learning process that seem to influence the learning trajectories of six young able learners – the importance of supportive learning contexts for meeting the needs of highly able learners, the impact of powerful interactions with others and with the environment, as well as the notion of identity construction that seemed to form an integral part of their daily interactions as learning dispositions were acknowledged, inclusive practices adopted and, as a result, positive learner identities were developed and enhanced. Moreover, this thesis brought forth a number of interesting points and suggestions aimed at policymakers, educators, teachers and researchers working and researching with and for children regarding the relevance of learning about one’s professional practices by listening to children’s voices as well as the effectiveness of adopting a constructivist, inquiry-based and participatory approach to learning for the development and nurturing of the diverse needs and abilities of young able children in mixed-ability classrooms.
Supervisor: Billington, Tom Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available