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A Q-Methodological Study: Educational Psychologists' Perceptions of their Role in Supporting and Developing Nurture Principles and Practices in Educational Settings- Implications for Practice

Purcell, Sarah Helen (2012) A Q-Methodological Study: Educational Psychologists' Perceptions of their Role in Supporting and Developing Nurture Principles and Practices in Educational Settings- Implications for Practice. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The focus of the current research concerned the identification of a range of activities and roles educational psychologists (EPs) perceived to be most valuable for them to undertake in order to support and develop nurture principles and practices (NPPs) in educational settings. Nurture groups (NGs) were introduced by Marjorie Boxall, EP, in the 1970s to support pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBDs). Boxall drew upon Bowlby's work (e.g. Bowlby, 1965; 1969; 1973; 1980) around attachment theory to develop the concept of NGs (Binnie & Allen, 2008). Six principles of nurture underpin all activities and interactions in NGs. It is through the application of NPPs that pupils acquire skills which reduce barriers to learning and success in the classroom (Colley, 2009). Recently, NPPs have been applied more widely in 'nurturing settings', rather than solely within NGs. The current study investigated how EPs could translate attachment theory into practice (Randall, 2010), via the use of NPPs, using Q-methodology (Stephenson, 1953), an inverted technique of factor analysis. EPs rank-ordered a set of statements (activities they could undertake to support and develop NPPs) from 'least valuable' to 'most valuable'. Several valuable activities and two EP roles emerged from the data: Role 1: Nurturing Environments, Nurturing Children: providing support at the setting level (supporting staff) to create nurturing and emotionally literate environments; and providing support at the individual (children and young people- CYP) level; Role 2: Strategy and Systems: working at a strategic level to promote NPPs; and providing support at the setting level to develop a whole-setting approach to the implementation of NPPs. These roles were discussed in relation to the general role of the EP and the attachment literature. Consequently, implications for practice were highlighted. Limitations of the study were discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Keywords: Nurture principles and practices (NPPs), role of the educational psychologist, attachment theory, Q-methodology
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Sarah Helen Purcell
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2012 10:34
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:50
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2815

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