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When society itches schools must scratch Identifying challenges facing the management of foster children in post primary schools (The case of Ireland)

O'Sullivan, Daniel (2018) When society itches schools must scratch Identifying challenges facing the management of foster children in post primary schools (The case of Ireland). Doctor of Education thesis, Dublin City University.

This study examines the challenges facing the management of foster children in post-primary schools in Ireland through the lens of the various stakeholders (principals, teachers and social workers in the education of foster children). It also seeks to articulate how those charged with the educational remit may be enabled by evaluating the difficulties, identifying the stress points, and the resources required, to increase the effectiveness of teachers and improve the learning engagement of foster children. The author presents a review of the literature by comparing the Irish experience with international practices to identify trends consistent and divergent with the different concepts of management and engagement of foster children and how these complementary, and at times contradictory, concepts have managed to influence the foster child’s learning trajectory. Finally, the study concludes by triangulating the primary research in an Irish context with both national and international literature to identify the main stress points and to propose workable solutions around resourcing and collaboration. An adaptation of Bronfenbrenner’s socio-ecological theory complemented by a socio-constructivist paradigm was considered the best approach which the author advanced by conducting concurrent exploratory qualitative research with semi-structured interviews of a cross-section of teachers, principals, and social workers. Findings suggest that the school may be the only constant in a foster child's environment, and that the relationship between the teacher and foster child was more akin to a that of a counsellor and client. In addition, systematic barriers exist that may preclude engagement with the various stakeholders, and there is also a suggestion that the educational remit relies firmly on building relationships between the foster child and their various stakeholders, focussing on the education contract to facilitate the optimum conditions for success. The findings offer blended insights to evaluate the care system in context to inform policy, while empowering all stakeholders in the timely management of the foster child’s learning experiences.
Item Type:Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Date of Award:November 2018
Supervisor(s):Brown, Martin
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Institute of Education > School of Policy & Practice
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:22641
Deposited On:22 Nov 2018 10:51 by Martin Brown . Last Modified 13 Sep 2020 03:30

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