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Title: Exploring support for post 16 young people outside mainstream education
Author: Clarkson, Douglas Grant
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 3300
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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The aim of phase one was to explore what support there is for young people outside mainstream. The aim of phase two was to explore how this experience influences their identity. The dilemma of difference (Minnow, 1990) is particularly relevant as it highlights the complexities of achieving inclusivity over opportunity with potential stigmatising effects. The research design was influenced by ethnography and adopts an Interpretivist ontology and social constructivist epistemology. In phase 1, 21 participants were recruited to take part in semi-structured interviews. These participants were selected through a snowballing technique and included 10 young people, 5 educational psychologists and 6 professionals that worked or were involved with young people including staff. The interviews were followed by observation of each of the three settings. Phase two was achieved by eliciting thoughts and perceptions of the young people through an activity based on a personal construct psychology technique known as ‘Drawing the ideal self’ (Moran, 2006). This was followed by a semi-structured interview with staff mirroring the questions used in the activity. All data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The prominent findings were identified and discussed in relation to relevant literature. The research was then situated in a wider context in an overall discussion reflecting on possible implications for educational psychologists and their practice. The study highlighted complexities in the decision making process. In contrast to the literature I found that young people aspire to share the responsibility of choosing post 16 provision. Decision making is complex with difference in opinion about which professionals should have knowledge of the post 16 arena. Typically these young people had a traumatic experience transitioning to appropriate post 16 provision. However, provision outside mainstream was found to be person centred and flexible, tailoring the provision to the needs of the individual. A nurturing approach was found to be at the centre of the underpinning principles with mentoring support offering the greatest influence on young people’s identity, fostering a sense of meaning and purpose.
Supervisor: Larkin, Shirley ; Maxwell, Tim ; Gallagher, Caroline Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available