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Beyond Attachment and Trauma: Adoptive Parents' Experiences of their Child's Education

Stout, Jessica (2019) Beyond Attachment and Trauma: Adoptive Parents' Experiences of their Child's Education. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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From a social constructionist perspective and that of an insider researcher, I have adopted a narrative approach that seeks to explore the stories adoptive parents tell of their child’s education. Children adopted from care have often experienced significant abuse, neglect, loss and separation. It is not widely understood how early life adversity and experiences of adoption interplay with education in the UK. Despite, the research on parent views and voice in education, the views of adoptive parents’ experiences of their children’s education is lacking in the research literature. Semi-structured interviews were utilised to facilitate the telling of three distinct stories. All three parents had experience of their child attending a mainstream school. However, while one family was continuing to access mainstream education, the second family was accessing specialist residential school and the third was home schooling. The co-constructed narratives were subject to a thematic analysis. Individual themes are presented. However, there was clearly a level of relatedness that resulted in common themes amongst the participants: Expectations, Knowing and understanding and Support. The need for knowledgeable and understanding professionals who display honesty and purpose in their communication was seen as important. Furthermore, it was considered important that professionals become aware of the impact of their expectations on adoptive parents and their children. It was found that these professionals should show empathy and understanding of individual circumstances. Participants wanted professionals to take control by leading communication and provision in order to reduce the pressure for adoptive parents to take control of their own child’s education.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Keywords: adoption, education, parents, narrative approach, thematic analysis,
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.798115
Depositing User: Mrs Jessica Stout
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 11:09
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2020 10:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25928

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