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Title: Promoting school connectedness : planning and evaluating practice in educational settings
Authors: Hicks, Lucy Joanna
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores school connectedness and ways in which this might be promoted. It contains four chapters: a systematic literature review, a critical consideration of research methodology and ethics, an empirical research project and a reflexive chapter, which considers the personal and professional implications of the thesis. Chapter 1: The systematic literature review explores the features of wider-school initiatives which have been suggested to promote school connectedness. Thematic synthesis was used to analyse five key papers, following a detailed process of searching and selecting. The features were grouped into three analytical themes: Practical Features, Features of the Relational Climate and Process Features. A theoretical framework about how school connectedness could be promoted was developed from the findings. This could be argued to begin to address comments within the literature about a research-practice gap in this area. Chapter 2: This chapter includes the rationale for the empirical research question following the systematic literature review. It also details how and why particular decisions were made about the research focus and design. Ethical considerations and the importance of reflexivity within this context are also explored. Chapter 3: The empirical report explores the relationship between school connectedness and staff and students eating lunch together. The project was undertaken in an Alternative Provision setting, where this practice was already in place. A qualitative approach to the research project was adopted. A focus group with staff members and two dyadic interviews with students were transcribed and analysed using a hybrid approach of deductive and inductive Thematic Analysis. The data was analysed using the findings of the Systematic Literature Review, which were constructed to form a theoretical framework about how school connectedness might be promoted. Findings are discussed with regards to the relationship between school connectedness and staff and students eating together. The use of the theoretical framework to evaluate practice and explore how school connectedness might be promoted is also discussed. Chapter 4: This chapter provides a reflective account about the research process and outcomes. It allows a space for consideration about what has changed for me as a result of engaging in this project and how this might shape my future practice and research. It also summarises the implications for further research and wider practice.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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