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Title: That's me when I'm angry" : seeking the authentic voices of pupils and teachers from inside a Pupil Referral Unit through autoethnography
Authors: Woodley, Helen Elizabeth
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The research took place in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) located in a semi-rural town in the north of England where the author had taught pupils aged between 4 and 9, for over 5 years. This study took a social constructivist epistemological position with a focus on pupils and teacher interactions. An interpretivist approach to methodology was adopted to make sense of a variety of cultures from the micro culture of the Special Educational Needs classroom to the macro culture of Government educational policy. The author collected data from a small group of pupils finally focusing on three as case studies. Data were also collected in a detailed research journal. Clough’s storytelling framework has been used in the writing (2002), to protect anonymity whilst keeping a sense of the reality of events mentioned. Initially an participatory action research approach was used and this led to paper based, visual and kinaesthetic activity data from pupils. Pupils had control over what they wanted to submit for the purposes of research. Due to changes in the pupil/teacher relationship and the pupils developing skills in using a variety of methods the research became more pupil led. Autoethnography was subsequently used drawing on a socio-cultural theoretical perspective to connect the stories of the pupils and teacher to a wider cultural experience (Ellis 2011). The research highlights the importance of insider classroom research and the relationships teachers are pivotal in developing in order to facilitate authentic pupil and teacher voice. The importance of the role of the teacher in offering pastoral support, holding a holistic view of pupils, is crucial. There is a focus on pupil and teacher identity, especially in relation to a teacher/researcher, and the use of fictionalised narratives to share sensitive information. Conclusions are drawn about the need for researchers to be reflexive in relation to research design and subsequent fieldwork. The main conclusions demonstrate how a thesis can be used as record of teacher’s and pupil’s developing relationship journey, a broadening of the use of transportable identity and the value of insider research in education especially in relation to teacher knowledge and teacher/pupil voice.
Description: EdD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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