"I want to be an Educational Psychologist": Aspiring Trainee Educational Psychologists’ Perceptions of the Course Application Process

Prof Doc Thesis

Mitchell-Blake, T. 2020. "I want to be an Educational Psychologist": Aspiring Trainee Educational Psychologists’ Perceptions of the Course Application Process. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8879w
AuthorsMitchell-Blake, T.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This thesis explored aspiring Trainee Educational Psychologists’ (A-TEPs’) experiences of the Association of Education Psychologists’ (AEP) professional doctorate (ProfDoc) application process. The number of A-TEP applications to the Educational Psychology ProfDoc providers has increased steadily over time, however, the absence of literature about this process suggests there is limited knowledge about A-TEPs’ experiences of applying to become Trainee Educational Psychologists (TEPs). Whilst position papers about the journey of aspiring Clinical Psychologists and empirical evidence from New Zealand suggest the process is stressful, nothing is known about how A-TEPs experience the AEP’s application process.
Within this sequential Mixed methods research, 110 participants responded to an online 19-item questionnaire in the quantitative phase. Descriptive and inferential statistics captured information about the sources of support and highlighted aspirants experience the process pleasantly. In the qualitative phase, six informants shared their thoughts, feelings and events which occurred throughout the process via narrative interviews. Narrative analysis was used as a method to explore these stories. Discussion of the findings suggest that although the application process was deemed stressful and negative experience increased as it progressed, the overall application process was experienced positively. With regards to sources of support, interaction with Educational Psychologists (EPs) was most useful and exploration of the AEP and universities’ websites were most common. Novel findings about the social support of family and online communities were found from the data. By contrast, the naïve enquiries of those who did not understand the process and ‘group panic’ found in forums were deemed unhelpful.
The researcher suggests further research exploration into the voices of minority groups of A-TEPs’ is important. Possible implications for EPs, course providers and the AEP suggest there are systemic changes these bodies could make to further enhance the pleasant experiences of future A-TEPs.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8879w
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online24 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
SubmittedApr 2020
Deposited24 Sep 2020
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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