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Session and Workshop Abstracts

Session 1D (S1D) - Abstracts

Ethics in Education

Paper 1: When teachers research teachers: A methodology for post-classical analysis of narrative texts through an ethical lens.

Speaker(s): Daniel Carvalho* 

Keywords: Teacher-practitioner, Identity tensions, Ethical implications, Teacher retention 

As teaching has evolved into a post-graduate profession, we encounter an ever-increasing body of teacher-practitioner research generated knowledge in education. Due to the close contextual proximity of the researcher and the subject, the findings from teacher-practitioner research offer unique insight into the field of education. However, the close proximity also gives rise to a number of ethical dilemmata as a result of possible identity tensions between researcher and participant which could influence the conclusions derived by the researcher. In this communication, I present a methodology I used while performing post-classical narratology analysis on interview data obtained from teachers that have recently left the profession. The method was specifically designed with the purpose of minimising the influence of identity tensions and pays close attention to the ethical implications of the dilemma on the results obtained. Here, I discuss how conflicting positions between the interviewer and interviewee can be resolved while evaluating the influence of researcher positionality on the contextualisation of data. By accounting for the identity tensions as well as giving due consideration to the ethical implication of the analysis, amongst themes that were already reported in the literature, the study revealed how the implementation of a teaching and learning policy supported by research can negatively impact teacher retention. This, relatively uncommon theme, highlights the unintentional consequences research can have in an educational setting and the significance of this will be discussed in more detail.  

Paper 2: Mitigating power differentials when conducting insider research and your participants are also your students

Speaker(s): Isabel Hallam

Keywords: power-differentials, insider research, students, research quality, persistence 

When research is undertaken at the researcher’s place of work, their ‘insider’ perspective will likely influence the research question, methodology and interpretation of results (Costley, Elliott & Gibbs, 2010, p. 6). When that research takes place at a university, and the participants are students of the researcher, the researcher’s positionality is even more influential and volatile. The in-build differentials of power between the student-participants and lecturer-researchers risk the research quality and the validity of the findings. Barstow (2008, p. 53) describes power differential as ‘an enhanced amount of role power that accompanies any position of authority' and considers that once in a position of power peoples’ tendency to empathise. It could be argued that the in-build student-lecturer power relationship is distorted during insider and student-lecturer research. Student-participants are needed by the lecturer-researcher and with their views being sought and listened to, student-participants might feel the power tilting in their favour. However, if the student-participants perceive the lecturer-researcher to have power over their academic studies, they may seek to please the lecturer-researcher. Thus, insider research of this nature needs to consider and mitigate any potential power differentials to maximise research quality. T


he current research explores the psychology of students’ persistence during the Covid-19 campus closures. Online group interviews were undertaken throughout the campus closures of 2020 with 12 students who met every month to discuss their motivation, self-efficacy, sense of belonging and perception of the curriculum, all factors that influence student persistence (Tinto, 2017). Insider research mitigations were put in place to maximise research quality: being conscious of the social norms and organisational values of the academic community, appreciative of the time given by student-participants, complying with anonymity and confidentiality and highlighting student-participants’ right to withdraw and the importance of honest answers (BERA, 2018; Costley, Elliott & Gibbs, 2010, pp. 31-32). The lecturer-researcher has reflected on the online group interviews and observed a tendency for participants to give socially desirable answers. It is possible that student-participants were not as honest and truthful in their responses due a shift in power-differentials which induced response bias and a desire to give what they perceived to be the ‘correct’ or socially desirable answers. This presentation will explore the impact of mitigations to reduce power differentials during this insider research, and propose additional mitigations that could have enhanced research quality. 



Paper 3: Education case study: The psycho-emotional experiences of mainstream secondary school students with dyslexia from student and teacher perspectives

Speaker(s): Kerissa Nelson

Keywords: inclusion, education, dyslexia, students, teachers

The goal of this research is to create knowledge and promote understanding of the psycho-emotional experiences of students with dyslexia (SWD) in mainstream classrooms and to offer an opportunity to teachers to consider SWD’s perspectives in informing their teaching practices.  I have chosen this topic because as an educator, mentor and international student from Jamaica I want to enhance the psycho-emotional experiences of SWD by expanding the knowledge of educators, including strategies available to them for use in a dyslexia-friendly classroom. Fostering dyslexia-friendly classrooms means increasing access, inclusion and opportunity in schools for SWD which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 of providing quality education for all. To achieve the aims, I will address three questions: What do SWD say about their psycho-emotional experiences in mainstream classrooms in South West England? What do SWD who are now attending university say about their past psycho-emotional experiences in mainstream classrooms in South West England? How might these findings support teachers to develop their practice?


My role in this research is to understand the psycho-emotional experiences of mainstream secondary school SWD from student and teacher perspectives, and how their knowledge of dyslexia is socially constructed from an interpretivist and social constructivist perspective. This research draws on multiple perspectives as well as a multi-temporal case study. Participants will be selected using purposeful sampling then data analysed using concurrent data analysis. The boundaries of this case study are formed around three main cases comprising three groups of individual cases. This research will generate several potential classroom strategies to improve the psycho-emotional experience and academic attainment of future SWD that could be trialled in post-doctoral research and influence policy relating to mainstream classrooms and enhance the psycho-emotional experiences of secondary school SWD by expanding the knowledge of educators including strategies available to them. Ethical considerations include informed consent, information sheet, focus group guide, openness and honesty, right to withdraw, protection from harm, debriefing, confidentiality and anonymity, and a data management strategy.

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