'I definitely felt an exception' discourse analysis: A father talks about his son's transition to school

Shorthouse, Mary Catherine (2016) 'I definitely felt an exception' discourse analysis: A father talks about his son's transition to school. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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A single case study was conducted to explore how schools might better engage fathers in their children's education. Women traditionally mediate early years education, and communication from schools to parents is directed to mothers. Some fathers are more involved in the day-to-day care of their children than others, but the predominant culture, both in the reception class and at home, is feminine. Where fathers are involved in education, irrespective of mothers’ involvement, children achieve better educational outcomes. There is no existing research on what fathers say about transition to school. Fatherhood and masculinities literature using discourse analysis reveal a theoretical, functional psychoanalytic discourse in Western culture. The research question posed here is: ‘What might be learned from what a father says about his son’s transition to school?’ A qualitative research design from a relativist ontological stance and social construction epistemology was used to explore what one father said on this topic, and to emancipate his voice. Willig’s (2013) stages of Foucauldian discourse analysis provided the framework for the analysis of a researcher-transcribed interview. Transition to school was discursively constructed: constructions were compared, contrasted and located in the masculinities, feminist, psychoanalytic, educational and economic discourses. Actions and subject positions available to challenge gender roles and stereotypes in early years education and to promote fathers’ involvement were noted. The findings revealed a complex subjectivity in the father’s many ways of seeing and being in relation to transition to school and the theoretical collective unconscious in functional psychoanalysis. The role of educational psychologists is discussed in influencing policy to include fathers in their children’s education.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology, Definitely, Felt, Exception
Subjects: Families > Fathers
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1289

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