“He’s always in my head, always in my mind.” A psycho-social study into the emotional experience of teaching a child at risk of exclusion

Burton, Tracey (2020) “He’s always in my head, always in my mind.” A psycho-social study into the emotional experience of teaching a child at risk of exclusion. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

The purpose of this research was exploratory. It extends knowledge in the area of school exclusion by providing insight into the emotional experience of primary school teachers currently working with children at risk of exclusion. It utilises a psycho-social approach in order to explore the personal, social and relational factors involved in this experience and offers insights into unconscious processes. Six mainstream primary school teachers from six different schools were interviewed using the Free Association Narrative Interview (FANI) (Hollway and Jefferson, 2000). Participants were asked to write or draw some of their initial thoughts in relation to working with a child at risk of exclusion and also provided relevant biographical information. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and then analysed using a Thematic Analysis to initially identify common themes, and then a psychoanalytic lens was applied to offer deeper insights into participants’ emotional experiences. Two main themes were identified from the data. These were “knowing versus not knowing” and “us versus them.” These are explored in greater depth within the discussion and links are made to the theoretical insights of Bion (1962) and Klein (1946). A second level of analysis found that participants accounts showed evidence of investment in discourses that served a defensive function and greatly impacted on how they saw their role in working with children at risk of exclusion, and how they experienced their emotions in relation to this experience. Implications for EP practice are offered and it is concluded that psychoanalytic theory offers a useful tool for EPs supporting teachers working with children at risk of exclusion

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
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Behaviour Disorders
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2194

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