The role of the educational psychologist; perspectives on learning.

  • Sharon Coman

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


This thesis is a collation of three research papers, each of which explores an area of professional relevance to the practitioner educational psychologist. The research is undertaken in the context of a large, rural Local Authority and is related to the broad theme of cognition and learning in children and young people. The researcher adopts a Q-methodology to consider the subjective and collective viewpoints of educational psychologists in the Local Authority with regard to dyslexia and using factor analysis to process the data, three distinct viewpoints emerged. The literature review included in the thesis seeks to provide an overview of the research base which underpins formative assessment practices in educational settings in the UK. The importance of the role of teacher feedback in classroom learning is illustrated through meta-analyses research and studies. Formative assessment is considered in the review within the conceptual framework of constructivist learning theory. The role of pupil feedback in a junior classroom is then explored in a qualitative research study using a collaborative action research methodology. Thematic analysis is used to analyse the textual data from interviews with the participant teacher. The action research methodology was an effective model to enable the teacher to effect change in her practice. The three papers are set within an organisational context in the thesis, current challenges for the profession are summarised and many examples are given of the role and importance of research in the work of an educational psychologist. Implications for further research within the profession of educational psychology are suggested.
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGarry Squires (Supervisor) & Kevin Woods (Supervisor)


  • educational psychologist; dyslexia; Q method; feedback; assessment for learning; action research; thematic analysis

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