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Title: Does self-theories research apply to pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties? :an exploratory case study
Authors: Fisher, Susan
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores the applicability of self-theories research beyond the existing mainstream research contexts. Self-theories research investigates individuals’ perceptions of the nature of intelligence – whether it is considered fixed and innate (entity beliefs) or malleable, something that can be manipulated through behaviour (incremental beliefs). Dweck & Leggett (1988) suggest that the self-theories that each individual hold can affect their learning behaviours and subsequent academic achievement. Although there is general support for this research base, no information appears to exist about whether these findings also apply to individuals with ‘special’ needs. This case study explores the learning, intelligence and ability beliefs of a group of five pupils, aged 15 or 16, educated at Peachtree School, a non-maintained special school. These pupils are believed to have speech, language and communication (SLC) difficulties. Dweck’s research methods were adapted in consultation with staff for use with these pupils. An intervention was developed and shared which introduced key ideas about self-theories of intelligence to the pupils. This intervention included lessons, daily learning logs produced by the pupils and video recorded lessons. Perceptions of intelligence, ability and learning were captured from both pupils and staff using semi-structured interviews before and after this intervention. From a critical realist stance, the thesis also explores how to include pupils with SLC difficulties in the research process and how to help enable these pupils to share their perceptions. Findings are analysed using thematic analysis. In an attempt to share the perspectives and understandings of all participants, findings are presented at both an individual pupil and a collective level, which also includes two members of involved staff. viii Findings suggest that self-theories research may apply to pupils with SLC difficulties, based on this case study with some possible limitations which are discussed. Further research is suggested to consider the applicability of selftheories research beyond the context of this study. Implications for professionals working with children deemed to have special educational needs are explored. The quality of this research and the suitability of the chosen methods are also critically considered and discussed.
Description: D.Ed.Psy Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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