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Title: A Constructivist Grounded Theory of the influences and practices that are thought to promote a sense of belonging in a primary school context
Author: Walker, S. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 514X
Awarding Body: University of Essex & Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2019
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A sense of school belonging has been proposed,by educational professionals and researchers, to have a powerful effect on a student's emotional, motivational and academic functioning. It has been well-documented as a predictor of academic success and emotional wellbeing, with UK Government policy increasingly recognising the central role played by school staff in the promotion of belonging in their pupils. Although a considerable body of research exists, which presents the positive outcomes associated with experiencing a sense of school belonging, less is known about how schools cultivate such a sentiment for their pupils. The qualitative research presented here aims to address this gap by applying Constructivist Grounded Theory methodology (Charmaz, 2014) to explore the influences and practices that are thought to promote a sense of belonging in a primary school context. Purposive sampling methods were employed to recruit the primary school of study and a descriptive case-study approach was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit the views of nine members of a primary school community in London. The processes of data collection and analysis were guided by the principles of the grounded theory method. The findings of this study led to the construction of an interpretive theory: 'Keeping to our path: a shared commitment to the promotion of school belonging through organised and transformative child-centred practices, which integrate environmental, relational and cultural influences.' In order to promote sentiments of school belonging, this interpretive theory emphasised the importance of adopting a systematic multidimensional approach that incorporates individual, organisational and environmental factors. The conceptual model presented, that is grounded in the data, may guide educational professionals in their effort to promote school belonging. Implications for Educational Psychology practice will be discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available