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Sharing Voice, Becoming ‘Us’ and Finding ‘Me’: Exploring transition-to-school narratives of a child described as having additional needs and the adults around her

Hatton, Carol (2016) Sharing Voice, Becoming ‘Us’ and Finding ‘Me’: Exploring transition-to-school narratives of a child described as having additional needs and the adults around her. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Whilst children encounter many transitions over their life, it is suggested that starting school is one of the most challenging early years experiences (Hirst, Jervis, Visagie, Sojo, & Cavanagh, 2011; Turnbull, 2006), especially for children described as having additional needs, for whom early support is prioritised nationally (DfE, 2014a). Indeed, within the UK, transition to school is specifically highlighted as a priority for future research (DfE, 2014b). Adopting a social constructionist perspective and a narrative approach that seeks to prioritise voice, empower individuals and embrace subjective experience, this research explored individual narratives around transition - addressing a gap within the current literature. Within this I sought a broader, relational understanding of transition (Dockett, Perry & Kearney, 2012; Gergen, 2009) by exploring different perspectives; that of the child and also of the adults around them. Participants included one child described as having additional needs, alongside her mother and teacher. Co-constructed narratives were facilitated for each during two semi-structured interviews conducted before and after starting school. Participants used journals to support accounts and further adaptations facilitated the child’s voice (including classroom ‘Tours’ and Talking Mats™ resource). The research employed narrative oriented inquiry (Hiles & Čermák, 2008) as its methodology, analysing narratives using six interpretive perspectives, including: the way narratives were told; holistic and categorical analyses of content and form; and also, critical analysis of wider issues, e.g. positionality, context and power. Rich, multi-layered interpretations were explored within and across participants’ narratives. Possible implications are presented relating to further research, alongside implications for the educational psychology profession and my own practice. The value of a narrative approach is suggested – in particular, a reflective narrative space when supporting transition.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Keywords: Transition, transition-to-school, Early Years, narrative, voice
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.700882
Depositing User: Mrs C Hatton
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2016 13:14
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:31
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15859

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