An exploratory evaluation of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) project

Haigh, Holly (2019) An exploratory evaluation of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) project. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The current thesis presents an exploratory evaluation of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) project in primary schools. The ELSA intervention aims to improve schools’ capacity to support children with emotional literacy needs by training Teaching Assistants to equip them with the skills, knowledge and resources needed to support the social and emotional learning of children. Existing literature indicates a positive foundation of the intervention. However, due to the small body of research evaluating the ELSA project, and limitations to the existing evidence-base, the need for further research has been acknowledged. Therefore, the current study aimed to ascertain the measurable impact of ELSA support, as well as establish any perceived intervention effect. Factors viewed contributory to the positive impact of the intervention were also explored.

A pragmatic, mixed methods approach was used, encompassing a multiple case studies design. Single case experimental designs were employed to consider the impact of ELSA support on individual intervention targets for five participants within one local authority. Results from SCEDs were triangulated with pre- and post- intervention measures. Post-intervention semi-structured interviews with participants and ELSAs were undertaken to explore views of the ELSA intervention in greater depth.

Visual analysis of single case experimental design graphs suggested that in some contexts, a positive impact of the ELSA intervention can be ascertained. However, a number of limitations to this approach resulted in difficulties in gaining a clear indication of the measurable impact of the ELSA intervention. Thematic analysis of qualitative interviews identified that a positive impact of the ELSA intervention was consistently perceived by both the ELSAs and children, and several factors contributing to its success were reported. The current findings were discussed with reference to existing literature and limitations of the study were outlined. Implications for future research and practice are provided.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Lambert, Nathan
Keywords: Emotional problems of children; Teachers' assistants; Elementary schools, Great Britain; School children, Mental health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 59304
Depositing User: Haigh, Holly
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 08:44
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2022 14:53

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