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Dr Clare Woolhouse PowerPoint Presentation
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Dr Clare Woolhouse

Dr Clare Woolhouse

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Dr Clare Woolhouse

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  1. ‘I think you need to be empathetic and have good interpersonal skills’: The particularities of narrating an inclusion identity Dr Clare Woolhouse Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK, CLIS Conference 12.07.12

  2. Introduction • NASEN (2007, 2008) and Rose Review (2009) ‘explore the definition and characteristics of dyslexia, equip participants with the expertise to select, implement, monitor and evaluate literacy evaluations, train teachers to make best use of published guidance and be able to advise other teachers and support staff on delivering high quality interventions’ (Rose, 2009:23)

  3. What is teacher identity? Teacher identity can be defined as ‘based on core beliefs about teaching and being a teacher; beliefs that are continuously formed and reformed through experience’ (Walkington, 2005:54)

  4. Communities of Practice Belonging and identification: talking about and within practice Woods and Jeffrey (2002) ‘learning and a sense of identity are inseparable: they are aspects of the same phenomena’ Lave and Wenger (1991:115)

  5. Methodology • Survey: 234 teachers (218 women and 16 men) • 8 Focus groups: 75 teachers (6 men) • 12 Interviews: 11 women (6 are SENCOs, & 1 man who works in a special school). • Mixed methods & broadly qualitative • Narrative Life Histories / key events (Webster and Mertova, 2007) • Ontological and epistemological positioning – Feminist & interpretivist

  6. Qualitative coding • Teacher’s Identity – views on teaching role, professional identity, teachers as learners, confidence. • Pressures and Issues – demands on teachers, professionalism, school hierarchy, education policy. • Teaching and Learning Strategies – knowledge and skills, links to curriculum, pupil engagement, and child centred paradigm. • Professional development – work-based and virtual learning environments (VLE) versus face to face contact, the higher education environment.

  7. What makes you effective in your role? ‘I think you’ve got to have a certain personality, you’ve got to be tolerant, you’ve got to empathise with children and families and want to support them. you’ve got to want to understand where children are coming from’. ‘I think you need to be empathetic, I think you need to be diplomatic, and you need to have good relationships with parents and teachers, and have the patience of a saint (laughs) and good interpersonal skills, so you can build up trust with a child’. ‘I don’t know how to describe the personality of specialists, we are very warm personalities, very communicative and genuinely have a desire to have change within the schools we work in’.

  8. Becoming the Caring Warrior ‘I am pushy. I think my personality is that I would, for want of a more positive term be pushy. If I feel that there is an injustice, or a child is not getting entitlement, I will push’. ‘I’m the type of person who doesn’t lie down, but actually fights back’. I can sit here and moan that we haven’t got the money, but it’s about ‘what we gonna do?’ ‘You have to want to go to fight in your school, for your position’ ‘it’s about who do these children have? Who is their champion?’

  9. Reflections on past experience – struggling to achieve ‘I struggled at school, I needed additional tuition. When I was ten my spelling was atrocious, but people put that down to ‘well (name) can’t spell, she doesn’t listen, she’s not interested’. So Istarted off quite slowly because I didn’t have very much confidence in my own ability. When I passed (teaching qualification) it was really nice. (Participant gets a little emotional and voice waivers). It worked out well, in the end. But the experience in the beginning, it shot my confidence to bits really, because I’ve always felt I’m not as good as other people’. ‘The biology teacher was a bit nasty. She didn’t have any faith in me at all and she made a point of telling me I was a bit gormless’.

  10. ‘Walking onto (University) site I can’t tell you what that did. I just thought, I’m so pleased I’m here, I can’t think where else I’d want to be. But that goes back to my own education and being deemed ‘(name), doesn’t try, does too much chatting and is easily led, she should try harder on homework. That was the story of my life right up until I left at eighteen with 2 O levels and a CSE to my name’. ‘Even with a degree and a PGCE and ten years teaching … in my mind it wasn’t enough, because of my very negative experiences right back there (indicates life history line) many years ago. I was amazed because I got the job (as an HE associate tutor) and my old tutor phoned me up and I was very emotional on the phone when she told me I’d achieved the position because I said to her ‘at last I’ve bucked the system, I’ve proved the system was wrong’. To me that was a defining moment’.

  11. Tensions: Negotiating identity ‘I also think a lot of the time you get a long way by being able to set an example, … being happy to walk the walk, because you’re asking a lot from people. … You are asking people to do things that they are not comfortable about, … for whatever reason, maybe they don’t have the knowledge or the understanding or maybe the time’. ‘I know from my own experience, if you are telling someone to do this bit extra, that bit extra for pupils and you are under pressure anyway, it is hard, and I appreciate that’.

  12. ‘For some staff I was welcomed with open arms, ‘please come in, what can you do for me? Some teachers were, please come into my classroom and give me help, but others were, I haven’t got time to do action plans’. ‘I haven’t thought about it before, but it’s about status in your domain isn’t it, about being recognised for what you can do’. ‘I think (studying)is good for the image of the SENCO. To stop being seen as this soft fluffy thing that just deals with things and mothers people. … I have knowledge and skills that can really make a difference’.

  13. Conclusions – for caring warriors Teachers’ self-reflection = • better learners • commitment to inclusion • resonance for others

  14. Conclusions – for the wider community • Willing and cohesive workforce • Designing ITT and PD for teachers • Research Process

  15. ‘I think you need to be empathetic and have good interpersonal skills’: The particularities of narrating an inclusion identity Dr Clare Woolhouse Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK, CLIS Conference 12.07.12