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Children's Constructions Of Their Experiences In A Primary School Nurture Group.

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thesis
posted on 14.02.2019, 11:12 by Jennifer M. Morris
Although there has been an increasing body of research into nurture groups, very few studies have attempted to explore how they are received by the children that attend. My study adopts an interpretivist paradigm to provide insights into the experiences of pupils in a primary school nurture group. In order to address this issue, my research questions focus on what aspects of the experience are important to the children and seek deeper insights into these through an investigation of the ways in which meanings are constructed as children and adults interact in the setting. The conceptual framework for my study is underpinned by attachment theory. However, it also draws on socio-cultural theory to make sense of aspects of children's experiences that cannot be explained by attachment theory and adopts principles from symbolic interactionism and social constructivism to help to understand how meanings are constructed. The methodology selected for my research is an ethnographic case study. A variety of methods of data collection are employed, including observations, pupil conversations and a photograph activity. Two dominant themes emerge as being important to the children; 'relationships with adults' and 'peer relationships'. Within the 'relationships with adults' theme, the nurture staff become represented in terms of 'mothering' and as 'scaffolders' and 'play partners'. Within the 'peer relationship' theme, there is a focus on how children construct 'windows on social worlds' and 'gendered identities' as they engage in joint play with their peers. The new understandings that emerge give insights into some of the ways in which nurture groups might be developed. My original contribution to nurture group research is that my study explores the social processes that go on between children and adults in nurture groups, with a focus on the ways in which they construct meaning as they interact.

History

Supervisor(s)

Burgess, Hilary

Date of award

18/01/2019

Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

Doctoral

Qualification name

EdD

Language

en

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