The work of educational psychologists: a cultural-historical analysis using parents’ and educational psychologists’ views

Soan, Colette Andrea (2012). The work of educational psychologists: a cultural-historical analysis using parents’ and educational psychologists’ views. University of Birmingham. Ed.Psych.D.

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As the profession of educational psychology approaches its centenary year it is of interest to reflect on the development of practices and the influences on these. Throughout the history of the profession, educational psychologists have worked within the cultural and political landscape of the time and have worked with a number of partners. The partnerships between parents and educational psychologists (EPs) have received little attention in the literature and provide one example of work practice. This research explores the work of EPs through the views of EPs and parents. Central to the research is an exploration of the cultural and historical influences on the current working practices of EPs. Cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) was utilised as a framework for data collection and analysis. In addition, the research is partially viewed through a Foucauldian lens, with Foucault’s view of history, and the concepts of ‘governmentality’ and ‘disciplinary power’ influencing the direction of the research. Seven parents and seven EPs were interviewed, focussing on the work of the EP. Emerging themes were analysed and discussed from cultural and historical perspectives. Seven meta-themes emerged; expectations, partnership, knowledge, power, professional approach, the profession of educational psychology and distinctive contribution. Conclusions drawn highlight the influence of culture and history on the current work of EPs with implications and suggestions for enhancing future partnerships with parents.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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