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Title: The ideal learner : does sharing constructs elicited from children at risk of exclusion alter the perceptions of teachers working with them?
Author: Connelly, R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 9738
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2018
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This research explores the constructs that teachers have of students at risk of exclusion from school. To date, little research has explored whether a Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) task to elicit constructs from the students about themselves has the power to alter the teachers' constructs of said students. Five secondary students in Year 7 or 8, at risk of exclusion, completed a PCP task, Drawing the Ideal Learner (DIL). For each of the students, one teacher who knew the student well was interviewed on two separate occasions using semi-structured interviews. This qualitative social constructionist research utilises a PCP theoretical framework to ascertain whether these teachers believed DIL could provide information to inform them about how best to support the student by developing a shared understanding. In the first interview, teachers were asked about their constructs of the students before the research began and the teacher's assumptions of their student's aspirations. At the end of this interview they were shown the student's DIL. In their second interview, exactly one week later, with varying opportunities for interaction with the students, teachers were asked whether any of their previous constructs about the student had altered in light of new information, including those regarding the student's aspirations. Finally, teachers were asked their views of DIL to elicit previously unknown information from students at risk of exclusion. The outcome of this research highlights the importance of providing students at risk of exclusion with an appropriate tool to elicit their voices about their academic present and future journey, and the importance of sharing this information with school staff who can be instrumental in supporting the students.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral