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Title: Storying lunchtimes : what is the lunchtime supervisors' story of lunchtime?
Authors: Brewer, Debra
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The value of children's play is well established in the existing literature. Relevant to this study, previous research has been conducted looking at the benefits of opportunity to play during the school lunchtime. At lunchtime ancillary staff, or lunchtime supervisors, are employed to supervise children. Lunchtime supervisors are situated in the framework of a school. This context is shared by all those who are a part of that school. As such, supervisors are a part of a complex interacting system. Within this shared context a collective sense of the lunchtime culture is developed. Consistent with this, previous research acknowledges that the views of the supervisors would contribute to the development of the lunchtime culture. Further it is asserted that supervisors' views may be a factor in determining children's lunchtime experiences. However, the existing research does not give adequate attention to the role of the lunchtime supervisor. Additionally there are few reported studies that attempt to meaningfully explore supervisors' views on lunchtimes more generally. Hence, knowledge and understanding of supervisors' views is very limited. Consequently it has not been feasible to consider how supervisors' views might contribute to the lunchtime culture within the complex interacting school system. Furthermore it has not been possible to infer how supervisors' views might impact on children's lunchtime experiences. In an attempt to begin to address a lack of knowledge and understanding this study presents a unique insight into supervisors' views about lunchtime at school. Using a qualitative methodology based on semi-structured interviews the research explored the lunchtime story of a group of supervisors based at one school. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used as a framework for analysing the supervisors' story. Through this analysis key themes were identified. The themes suggested the primary purpose of school lunchtime, as reflected in the supervisors' story, is for children to develop their present and future autonomy and agency. The supervisors' story identified lunchtime factors that they seem to observe to either challenge or strengthen children's autonomy and agency. The themes further suggest significant belief for supervisors in their role in supporting children to develop autonomy and agency during lunchtime. Moreover, the lunchtime story that they shared embraces their belief that supervisors must develop their own autonomy and agency. Lunchtime factors that both challenge and strengthen supervisors' autonomy and agency were an additional feature of their story. This research offers a novel perspective on the supervisors' views about lunchtime. It broadens an understanding of their views and connects them to the complex school system and children's lunchtime experiences. To enhance appreciation of the supervisors' story of lunchtime a conceptual framework was developed.
Description: DEdPsy Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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