Home educating children with special educational needs - an exploration of how mothers experience this unique learning relationship

Williams, Kasia (2018) Home educating children with special educational needs - an exploration of how mothers experience this unique learning relationship. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex.

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Abstract

This research explores how mothers home educating a child with special educational needs (SEN) experience their relationship with their child. As home education is gaining in popularity it is important to understand this learning relationship in more detail, particularly as the profession of educational psychology is largely driven by knowledge of more traditional educational settings. A review of the literature indicated that there is minimal existing research examining this particular relationship, with even less exploring the experiences of mothers home educating children with SEN. As the research is exploratory in nature a qualitative approach was taken with interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as the choice of methodology. Six mothers home educating children with SEN were recruited to take part. Each was interviewed individually using an unstructured approach and audio records of these interviews were transcribed and analysed following the guidelines outlined by Smith, Flowers and Larkin (2009). Results indicated six overarching themes within the mothers’ experiences; (1) Empowering Child, (2) Attunement and Connection, (3) The Super Mother, (4) Threats: Past, Present and Future, (5) Transformation and Growth and (6) Issues of Control. The findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and implications for educational psychologists are explored. Intersectionality is proposed as a useful theoretical context from which to apply the findings. It encourages the professional to examine the learning relationship as it is experienced rather than through the lens of inaccurate stereotypes or assumptions thereby helping to avoid oppressive practices as emphasised in professional guidance and literature. It is suggested that transferability to real life case work within the context of intersectionality can be facilitated by the Home Education Learning Relationship Framework (HELRF), created to provide a clear, visual illustration of the overarching themes and the role of the professional. Limitations of the findings and the research process itself are discussed and avenues for future research identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex. Available to download on 9 October 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Families > Mother Child Relations
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Special Needs Education
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2087

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