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Title: School experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children : an exploration of psychological sense of community
Authors: Pollock, Lucy Katherine
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores school experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children and is comprised of three chapters: a systematic literature review, a bridging document, and an empirical research project. The systematic literature review explores GRT children’s experiences of school inclusion. An interpretive qualitative synthesis approach, meta-ethnography, was adopted to analyse five recent papers. Findings suggest commonalities in school experiences of prejudice and the perceived purposelessness of education. Experiences of relationships with adults, social integration and cultural appreciation varied. These five constructs offer a starting point for understanding barriers to participation and experiences that support social inclusion in schools for GRT children. The bridging document aims to link the meta-ethnography and the empirical research project. This chapter discusses the rationale for the thesis, including underpinning ontological and epistemological assumptions and the implications for the chosen methodology. Consideration is also given to ethics, quality and rigour during the research project. The empirical report explores GRT children’s experiences of school using the theoretical lens of Psychological Sense of Community. A qualitative approach was adopted. Six individual semistructured interviews were transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Psychological Sense of Community is postulated to involve four elements and these were used as a deductive framework, whilst themes were constructed inductively from the data itself. Findings suggest specific, cultural factors which impact on the experience of Psychological Sense of Community for GRT children. Many appear to experience a sense of belonging to a sub-community of GRT children within the wider school community. It is concluded that Educational Psychologists may find Psychological Sense of Community helpful in exploring the cultural nuances involved in promoting inclusive practices for GRT children in schools.
Description: D. App. Ed Psy Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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