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The emergence of the male Primary school Special Educational Needs Coordinator: a relational materialist post-qualitative exploration

Pulsford, Mark J (2016) The emergence of the male Primary school Special Educational Needs Coordinator: a relational materialist post-qualitative exploration. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis reports on a study of the experiences and perspectives of four men working as Special Educational Need Coordinators (SENCos) in Primary schools in England, based on interviews between September 2013 and November 2014. Within their schools, SENCos have ‘day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN’ (DfE, 2015, p.108). The role has an historic association with forms of motherly, selfless care and can be seen as a key site of tension as masculine-coded managerial and performative forces colonise SEN provision. There is currently no published research exploring men’s experiences of working as SENCos. The study adopts a ‘relational materialist’ ontology (Hultman and Lenz Taguchi, 2010), drawing on new material feminist (e.g. Taylor, 2013) and sociomaterialist (e.g. Fenwick and Edwards, 2013) approaches, and inspired by the work of Karen Barad and Gilles Deleuze. In line with this thinking, the research engages a ‘material storytelling’ sensibility (e.g. Strand, 2012) and is directed by a post-qualitative approach to data analysis (Lather and St. Pierre, 2013). This study pays close attention to how material objects (folders, filing cabinets, suits and ties, photographs, desks, et al.) are entangled with discourses of gender, teaching and SEN with/in the men’s narrative becomings. Thinking with relational material-discursive assemblages allows a sense of how these men emerge as particular ‘male Primary school SENCo’ subjects that knot around rigid and mutually-informing axes of hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and neoliberal and neoconservative policy imperatives. This has consequences for the iterations of professionalism and care that emerge simultaneously with this ‘male Primary school SENCo’, which has potential to affect/effect the becomings of pupils, colleagues, knowledges and practices within their orbit. The research contributes to and advances the study of male Primary school teachers, SENCos and SEN practice, and develops the use of relational/new materialist theories.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: male Primary school teachers; SENCos; gender; teacher identity; new materialism
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.706045
Depositing User: Mark J Pulsford
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 09:15
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:35
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16598

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