Understanding Professional Artistry and Reflection. Exploring the process of using video to enhance reflective practice for educational psychologists

  • Rhona Hobson

Student thesis: Phd


Background: This exploratory research was conducted across two neighbouring local authorities in Wales who had merged to have one educational psychology team of 13 Educational psychologists (EPs) managed by one Principal EP (PEP) and two senior EPs (SEPs). This research was prompted by a management question regarding the unique selling point of an educational psychology service. A previous study (Hobson, 2013) had attempted to answer this question and explored what EPs thought they did psychologically during the process of consultation. This thesis builds upon the findings of Hobson (2013). Participants: Across the two local authorities, seven participants volunteered. Five main grade EPs and the two SEPs took part. One of the SEPs was also the researcher. Participants were self-selecting following a research briefing made to the whole team. Methods: This study used Action Research /Action Science (AR) model to guide and develop the research process. Participants entered a three stage process of research:  A pre-video interview and completion of the Groningen Reflective Ability Scale (GRAS)  Time to video their practice, watch it and take part in an interview.  Completion of an exit questionnaire and another GRAS. Analysis and Findings: Within the AR model, the qualitative data was analysed using Thematic Analysis. Findings of Hobson (2013) were used to generate a-priori codes in order to give structure to the analysis using a combined inferential and deductive method. The data generated a number of dominant themes and subthemes such as reflection, reflection in action, awareness, outcomes, EP development (single and double loop) and rapport. The GRAS data was used to show if a change of view occurred during the process. Conclusion: From the findings, it is reasonable to suggest that the use of video in EP practice supports the development of reflective practice, reflection in action and that this effect is enduring. Evidence suggests that it is not possible to know if the use of video affects an EP’s ability to call psychology to mind alone, though EPs did share their models of psychology and formulations in greater depth than identified in Hobson (2013). It is suggested, it is more likely a complex interplay of factors that affect calling psychology to mind. Implications for services such as supervision and EP awareness are considered. Implications for the profession such as EP training are discussed alongside limitations of the present study. Possible avenues for future research such as triangulating data with consultees and developing the GRAS are also considered.
Date of Award31 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGarry Squires (Supervisor) & Caroline Bond (Supervisor)

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