Illman, Dorothy Ruth (2011)
Ed.Psych.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This research evolved as a result of work undertaken by the author with staff in a residential school for pupils with social, emotional and behaviour needs. This work focused on pupil progress in the development of social, emotional and behavioural skills. A survey of pupil histories indicated that progress could not be predicted from earlier patterns of behaviour, environmental or family circumstances. Pupils appeared to be at different stages in their knowledge, understanding and practice of positive behaviours and this appeared to affect the progress they made. Staff identified intrapersonal skills which they felt were important to pupils making progress. In this study these are put into the context of relevant literature and research; Buchanan and McCalam (1989), Newman (2002) and Warden and MCKinnon (2003). The research is qualitative and uses multiple case study design. It is undertaken with a small sample group of fifteen pupils, with parental and pupil permission to participate. A semi-structured interview was designed for the research. Pupils’ views of positive behaviours and their own behaviours past, present and their progress were collected. Their responses were recorded, coded, and scored to help in identifying a pupils’ knowledge of positive behaviour, ability to practice positive behaviours with help, take responsibility of their own behaviours and intrapersonal skills they demonstrated which may contribute to them making progress. The results of the study enabled comparisons to be made between the pupils who had made progress in social and emotional development and those who had not. Broad stages of social, emotional and behaviour development linked to progress were confirmed. The potential for the findings to contribute to staff knowledge and future planning is acknowledged. The wider application of the findings are considered in relation to national documentation.
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