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Title: Special educational needs : a study of the experience of failure and the effects of counselling
Author: Shoesmith, Sharon
Awarding Body: Sheffield City Polytechnic
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1987
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Twenty-four children, their peer group, parents and teachers took part in the study. The study examined differences between success-oriented and failure-prone children and the perceptions of their peer group, parents and teachers. Much of the design of the investigation was based on attribution theory. The information was used as a basis for: (a) anobservational study of teachers and children using both systematic and unstructured approaches and (b) counselling and attributional re-training with a group of failure-prone children. The counselled, failure-prone children were compared with a control group after a period of six months and then again four months after counselling had ceased. The results of the study cover the effects of this counselling and the experience of failure as it occurred in classes. The results of counselling showed that reading trends were improved and that self-esteem increased significantly but that neither benefit was evident in the delayed post-test, suggesting that counselling would need to be provided over a longer time period. It was shown that the experience of school transmitted messages of unworthiness and helplessness. Failure-prone children had lower self-esteem, used more external causal attributions, had fewer friends, co-operated less well in class and were perceived as less worthy and less valued by themselves and their teachers. They were valued more unconditionally at home than they were at school. It is argued that the curriculum itself creates failure-prone children and that a more 'needs-based' curriculum would in the long term question the need for counselling in the first place. Such a shift in curriculum planning would represent a fundamental change in how educationalists view their own role and the range of pupil performance in school.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available