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Exploring the Educational Experiences of Children and Young People Adopted from Care: Using the Voices of Children and Parents to Inform Practice

Best, Rebecca Katherine; (2019) Exploring the Educational Experiences of Children and Young People Adopted from Care: Using the Voices of Children and Parents to Inform Practice. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

National monitoring data suggests that adopted children achieve poorer educational outcomes than the general population. Research has found that adopted children can experience significant emotional, social and learning difficulties in school. These needs are often attributed to the adverse early experiences endured by many adopted children prior to their adoptions. Few studies have elicited the perspectives of adopted children and adoptive parents in relation to school. The current study used a qualitative design to explore the lived, educational experiences of adopted children. Phase 1 investigated the difficulties experienced by adopted children in school and supportive factors which contribute to positive educational experiences, through semi-structured interviews with 11 secondary-aged adoptees and a focus group with six adopters. Thematic analysis identified five themes within the narratives of the study-adoptees and study-adopters: Inner Turmoil; Social Disconnection; Unsupportive School Contexts; Relational Repair; and Misperceptions and Prejudice. In phase 2, the findings from phase 1 were presented to 20 Designated Teachers within a workshop to explore how the voices of the study-adoptees and study-adopters can be used to inform their role. Three themes were found, which illustrate broad implications for Designated Teachers’ practice with adopted children and adoptive parents in schools: Raising Awareness, Developing Relationships and Supporting Emotional Needs. The findings from the study are contextualised within Bronfenbrenner’s (2005) Bioecological Theory of Human Development. Implications are identified for schools, Educational Psychology Services, policy makers and researchers.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: Exploring the Educational Experiences of Children and Young People Adopted from Care: Using the Voices of Children and Parents to Inform Practice
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081067
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