Teachers’ viewpoints of strategies to prevent school exclusion: a Q methodological study
Hallam, Catherine Ann (2014) Teachers’ viewpoints of strategies to prevent school exclusion: a Q methodological study. DAppPsych thesis, University of Nottingham.
School exclusion is a complex topic and receives ongoing attention nationally (Children’s Commissioner, 2012; Department for Education, 2013). A variety of strategies have been proposed to reduce permanent school exclusions. In recent years, however, the rates of permanent school exclusion in the Local Authority that serves as the focus for this research have increased (Anonymous Council, 2012), despite the strategies implemented. It has been suggested that the teacher is at the centre of the school system and that their viewpoints could be significant in determining the effectiveness of intervention strategies (Miller and Todd, 2002). As such, it appears important to explore teachers’ viewpoints in relation to preventing school exclusion. This was the undertaking of the present research. A Q methodological research approach (Stephenson, 1953) was adopted to explore the viewpoints of 47 secondary school teachers on strategies to prevent school exclusion. This approach brings together the advantages of qualitative and quantitative research methods and promotes more open communication around potentially complex topics in order to clarify participants’ subjective and diverse viewpoints. Follow up interviews were used to investigate the implications of these viewpoints for professional practice. The data from the Q methodological research was analysed using a by-person factor analysis. Four distinct viewpoints were identified within the group of teachers who participated in the research. These viewpoints were named:
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