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Title: The emotional literacy support assistant intervention : an exploration from the perspectives of pupils and parents
Author: Barker, Hannah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 312X
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2017
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Emotional literacy is a process concerned with developing pupils’ skills in recognising, understanding, expressing and managing their own and others’ emotions. This is considered to be essential for pupils’ academic achievement, mental health and relationships. The first part of this thesis is a systematic literature review. The findings of the review indicate that adult facilitated small group and one-to-one emotional literacy interventions have some significant effects on improving pupils’ emotional literacy skills, for example, improvements in pupils’ social skills, well-being, self-esteem and coping mechanisms and reductions in anxiety and bullying behaviours. The studies in the review adopted quantitative methodologies in which researchers measured emotional literacy skills using questionnaires. It is argued that this approach may not capture the complexity of emotional literacy development or give insight into the process of how emotional literacy skills are developed. In addition, the studies did not take account of the perspectives of the pupils involved with the interventions. The Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) intervention is a type of emotional literacy intervention employed within UK schools. The second part of this thesis is an empirical study that aimed to understand the experiences of individuals directly involved with the ELSA intervention as well as enquiring into aspects of the intervention process. To do this, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and semi-structured interviews were used to explore two primary school pupils’ and their parents’ experiences and views of participating in the ELSA intervention. The findings of the empirical research suggest the participants felt the intervention impacted positively on aspects of pupils’ emotional literacy development including, improved confidence, coping strategies and skills in managing and expressing their emotions. Important elements of the intervention process included: a need for informed consent, sessions being fun, making the child feel special, space to talk problem-solve and the therapeutic nature of the ELSA-child relationship. The findings contribute to the small evidence-base that promotes the use of the ELSA intervention within schools to develop pupils’ emotional literacy skills. It also highlights a need for an increased awareness of the factors and practices that promote emotional literacy at the individual and at a whole-school level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available