Teaching staff experiences of a Work Discussion Group (WDG) : An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Cannon, Sara (2019) Teaching staff experiences of a Work Discussion Group (WDG) : An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

This research explores how teaching staff experienced their participation in a Work Discussion Group (WDG) in a provision for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. The Government has recently published a green paper (2017) outlining the expanded role that educational establishments will play in relation to the mental health and emotional wellbeing of their pupils. This comes during a period in which many schools are facing increased pressure due to a reduction in funding and difficulties with teacher retention. A review of the theoretical literature suggests that WDG may have a valuable role in the current context; providing a reflective and supportive space could be helpful as part of a whole school approach to maximising staff and pupil wellbeing. A review of the literature indicates that there is minimal existing research examining the use of WDG in educational settings, particularly from the perspective of staff. As the research is exploratory in nature a qualitative approach was taken with interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as the chosen methodology. Six members of staff who had participated in the same WDG were recruited to take part. The findings suggest that the WDG was experienced by staff in a way that allowed them to feel emotionally contained; to reflect on practice; to connect with colleagues; to feel empowered through voice; to experience themselves in relation to others; to raise awareness around organisational issues and to lead to some organisational change. The findings reveal some ambivalence relating to facilitation processes and the permeability of the group boundary. The discussion illuminates experiences through the lens of systemic and psychodynamic theory. This provides further theoretical interpretation of staff experience and highlights areas for consideration for future facilitation. Theoretical transferability and implications for Educational Psychology practice are discussed.

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
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Occupational Groups
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Research, Tests, Assessments > Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2530

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