University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Utilising personal construct psychology and the repertory grid interview method to meaningfully represent the voice of the child in their social relationships

Sewell, Alexandra ORCID: Utilising personal construct psychology and the repertory grid interview method to meaningfully represent the voice of the child in their social relationships. Pastoral Care in Education, 38 (2). pp. 93-115. ISSN 1468-0122

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Since the ratification of the 1981 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) the role of Voice of the Child (VoC) in education has gained significance. Despite various VoC models and methods existing to collect and understand it, it is often critiqued for being tokenistic, rather than meaningful. Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) is a relevant psychological theory which provides a range of methods for exploring VoC. Previous PCP research has utilised art methods to explore primary school pupil’s views about various aspects of their educational experience. The current research sought to extend the application of PCP to explore VoC by employing the repertory grid interview method to represent and understand a sample of Year Five pupils’ opinions and perspectives on their social relationships. The repertory grid interview method was proposed as a method that would lead to meaningful rather than tokenistic VoC. The findings demonstrated that participants had a strong sense of self in relation to others and reported positive social relationships. Relationships with family members were found to be the most reported and hypothesised to be the most important relationships in participant’s social worlds. Participants predominantly utilised the construct categories of ‘extroverted/introverted’, ‘pleasant/unpleasant’ and ‘sympathetic/unsympathetic’ with regards to their social relationships and interactions. These findings are discussed in relation to the argument that repertory grid interviews offer a meaningful rather than tokenistic method for engaging in VoC. Limitations and implications for future research and professional practice are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: voice of the child, personal construct psychology, repertory grid, social relationships, student voice, pupil voice, childhood friendships
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Alexandra Sewell
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 11:42
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2021 01:00

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