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Durham e-Theses
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Exploring The Role Of A Special School Teacher: An Autobiographical Narrative Inquiry

MASTERSON, PHILIP,RICHARD (2017) Exploring The Role Of A Special School Teacher: An Autobiographical Narrative Inquiry. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The aim was to explore my own professional experiences in the role of a special school teacher; a role which I had recently moved to after 16 years teaching in mainstream education. The purposes framed this study: 1. To gain an insight and in-depth understanding of the role of the special school teacher. 2. To examine the influences of teacher identity, personal morality, autonomy and power, upon the role through autobiography.
Using Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) narrative inquiry methodology, data sources included field texts, reflective journal and other salient material. Deep and ongoing reflection using the three-dimensional inquiry space and narrative thinking played a significant part of ensuring the rigour of the study. Results indicate that there is a significant impact upon the role of the teacher due to a lack of specialist training, which impacted upon power and leadership roles within the relationships across teaching teams. Teacher identity, beliefs and personal morality appeared to have an influence upon professional decisions. Generous autonomy and lack of direct accountability appeared to be a significant factor in providing opportunity for a cultural acceptance of poor standards by a small minority of staff. My personal histories were seen to have a significant impact upon my present values and attitudes and had a significant impact upon the shaping of my teacher identity.
This narrative inquiry assists in understanding the role of the special needs teacher at a time of profound interest in SEN. It supports understanding the complexities of teacher identity during a time of significant role change and how this affects the teaching role. This study supports a deeper understanding of factors such as morality, power and autonomy and their interconnectedness with relationships in special education.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:special educational needs, education, teacher identity,
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 Nov 2017 11:37

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