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Title: Where care meets education : an investigation of foster care engagement with home learning
Authors: Parkinson, Sarah Louise
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Children looked after by Local Authorities are often vulnerable to educational disadvantage in spite of numerous initiatives and interventions (Department for Education, 2015a). Research suggests that parental engagement with learning at home may be beneficial to the educational achievement of children (Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003; Harris & Goodall, 2008). This research investigates the role of foster carers in supporting learning in the home, and considers learning from a relational aspect. The Systematic Literature Review investigates foster carer led home learning. Quantitative analyses considers the effectiveness of home learning interventions in supporting academic attainment, and qualitative analyses explores factors that may impact on foster carer engagement. Six empirical studies are reviewed in total. Findings suggest there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that carer led interventions have a positive impact on academic attainment. Further research would be helpful, however, given that initial findings suggest a small effect. Qualitative investigations found a number of factors that impact on foster carer engagement with home learning. These factors are complex; one that stood out across all papers was the impact these learning activities had on the relationships between carer and children. This is a relatively small area of research; little is known about foster carer perceptions related to their role in supporting education through home learning. There is also little understanding of how carers perceive their role in supporting home learning to interact with their relationships with children. The empirical research aimed to explore both these areas. Three dyads of foster carers and foster children took part in a self-video project using an approach based on the principles of Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) in a situated research design. The purpose of this was to allow carers and children to view themselves interacting positively during home learning activities. Carers then took part in a semi-structured interview, exploring their perceptions of learning and reflecting on how it impacted on their relationships with the children they look after. Interview data were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The findings suggest a number of concepts related to learning, children and relationships may influence carer perceptions of their role in supporting home learning. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of psychological theory and the wider historical and cultural contexts.
Description: D.App.Ed.Psy.
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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