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A sociocultural and activity theoretical investigation of the changing patterns of professional practice in educational psychology services

Leadbetter, Jane (2002)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis describes an investigation into the changing professional practice of educational psychology services in England and Wales with particular reference to the consultation meetings held between educational psychologists and teachers in the schools they visit. The study uses sociocultural and activity theory models and research to structure and guide the analysis and in particular utilises a developmental work research methodology. As part of the investigation a historical-genetic account of evolving EP services describes their progress, the contradictions and underlying psychological paradigms governing practice since the beginnings of the twentieth century. A second phase of the research describes and analyses some of the working practices of EP services based on a national survey conducted in 1998 in England and Wales utilising data from 92 Local Education Authority Educational Psychology Services. The final phase of research considers the mediating artefacts, activity levels and contradictions that form important elements of the meetings between EPs and teachers. The study concludes that role of educational psychologists historically and currently is heavily restricted by their employment basis and the resulting enforced focus upon children with special needs. The use of sociocultural and activity theoretical approaches is highly recommended as a theoretically rich and creative paradigm. Developmental work research methodology, although in its infancy, provides a flexible but robust framework for structuring the recursive research process.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Daniels, Harry
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Education
Subjects:LB Theory and practice of education
L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:242
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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