A Participatory Research Project Exploring Young People’s Views of an Employability Course Designed for those with Special Educational Needs

Prof Doc Thesis

Edwards, P. 2021. A Participatory Research Project Exploring Young People’s Views of an Employability Course Designed for those with Special Educational Needs. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89y86
AuthorsEdwards, P.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This participatory action research project explored young people’s (YP) experience of a Supported Internship Programmeme (SIP) at a Further Education College (FE). Methods: Four co-researchers aged 18-25 who were currently attending an SIP at a FE college in an inner London borough took part (via video conferencing). The co-researchers chose to take part in interviews and create presentations of photos they took in college in order to share their views. Interview questions generated with co-researchers influenced the primary research question: What do YP want their teachers to know about their experience on a SIP during a pandemic? The researcher used inductive thematic analysis to generate themes which were discussed with co-researchers. Findings were shared with the co-researchers’ classmates and teachers. Co-researchers provided feedback on the project. Findings: coresearchers’ experiences of the SIP met the psychological needs of competence, autonomy and relatedness and also supported resilience. Lockdown periods limited co-researchers’ opportunities to meet their psychological needs. Implications: Public health policy around the Covid-19 pandemic may have had a disproportionally negative impact on this group. However, insights into the strengths of the SIP and ideas generated by the coresearchers may guide to ongoing support for YP with SEND. This research examined what supports YP with SEND to share their views on what is important to them in their educational experience. It was found use of photo-voice and individual interviews were successful methods. However, more time for co-researchers to develop their own initiatives and projects would be beneficial. Co-researchers were able to provide critical, insightful reflections not only on their own experience but the wider impact of public policy. Key words: Special Educational Needs and disabilities, SEN, SEND, employability course, supported internship programme, young people, participatory research, participatory action research, Pandemic, Corona-Virus, Lockdown, Further education, Preparing for adulthood, photo-voice.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.89y86
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Publication dates
Online02 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted23 Aug 2021
Deposited03 Nov 2021
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