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Evidence-based practice in nurture groups: using a realistic evaluation framework to explore factors affecting practice and suggest future training directions

Davies, Oonagh M (2011)
Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Nurture Groups (NGs) are a focused intervention in mainstream schools, which strive to compensate for missed nurturing experiences in the early years through provision of small-group teaching in a home-like environment. This study is fundamentally concerned with understanding how social programmes like NGs work, and draws on Pawson and Tilley’s (1997) ‘Realistic Evaluation’ to provide a methodological and epistemological framework for this inquiry.

Staff practice crucially affects NGs, yet this remains a relatively poorly investigated domain. Within a ‘Realistic Evaluation’ framework, working collaboratively with NG practitioners as co-researchers, their perspectives on factors which influence practice and support staff development are explored. Pertinent context, mechanism and outcome configurations relating to NGs, staff role and effective training are abstracted.

A realist synthesis of the literature and scrutiny of research findings using qualitative data analysis, revealed practitioners’ perspectives on key mechanisms and contexts influencing practice at the community, family, whole school, mainstream class and NG levels, enabling positive outcomes for children attending NGs, and their families.

Type of Work:Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Morris, Sue
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3219
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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