Professional subjectivities in a therapeutically-orientated education system

Rawdin, Clare (2016). Professional subjectivities in a therapeutically-orientated education system. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In numerous countries, including the United Kingdom (UK), America, Australia, and Sweden, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives represent a dominant manifestation of ‘therapeutic education’ (TE) which has emerged in response to growing concerns about the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people. Implemented by a diverse range of lay experts, including teachers, teaching assistants, coaches and consultants, SEL-work emphasises the teaching of socio-emotional skills. Drawing on a critical realist framework, this thesis explores the ways in which SEL, is constructed both through language and practice and the wider implications of these discursive constructions for professional subjectivities. This research employs a realist ethnographic design across three school sites in the East Midlands area of the UK. Qualitative data, gathered through interviews, in-depth observations and
documentary materials reveal a number of tensions within these constructions of SEL. In addition, an analysis of the qualitative data draws attention to an emerging and idealised professional subjectivity, namely, the teacher as charismatic emotional hero. The thesis argues that, despite some positive constructions of SEL, therapeutic practices in schools are often a site at which the psychopathologisation of children occurs.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)


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