Difficult conversations: initial teacher education trainees’ perceptions Of the impacts of poverty on children in english primary schools

Farrar, E. M. J. (2023) Difficult conversations: initial teacher education trainees’ perceptions Of the impacts of poverty on children in english primary schools. Post-Doctoral thesis, Bishop Grosseteste University.

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This study aimed to gain an understanding of trainee teachers’ perceptions of poverty and the effects on primary school children, including aspects such as learning, attainment and language acquisition. Previous research with ITE trainees is limited but has suggested that they may hold stereotypical deficit views about children and families in poverty, which can negatively impact the learning and progress of such children. This requires further research, taken against the backdrop of a rising number of children being affected by poverty. The study took place over a three year period from 2017 to 2020 at a university in the East Midlands. Participants were volunteers from three Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes. Each participant completed a questionnaire, providing numerical data to describe the demographic makeup of the sample (n=23). Qualitative data were collected from three single snapshot focus group meetings with sets of participants from each of the programmes (n=6; 5 and 7). These were followed by three focus group meetings with a group of trainees from the full time programme (n=5), which were convened across the duration of their one year course. Visual images were used to facilitate the focus group conversations with the addition of a Diamond Nine activity for the final group (n=5). The findings showed that the trainees most often viewed poverty in terms of income and lack of material possessions. They expressed negative opinions couched in derogatory language, often equating poverty with a lack of aspirations, care and supervision on the parents’ part. However, there were indications of some shifts in perceptions during training. Understanding of the link between poverty and language acquisition was not apparent. The findings suggest that it is important for ITE courses to offer trainees opportunities to facilitate the disruption of stereotypical beliefs by engaging meaningfully with issues of social justice.

Item Type: Thesis (Post-Doctoral)
Additional Information: This is a PhD completed at Bishop Grosseteste University, awarded by University of Leicester. © 2023 Elizabeth Farrar
Depositing User: Stephen Macdonald
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 12:59
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 12:59
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/1043

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