Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance

Learner Self-Concepts of White Working Class Boys

Research Team: Dr Rebecca Docherty, (Principal Researcher, University of Lincoln)
Funder: University of Lincoln College of Social Science Research Fund
The full funding application may be downloaded at the bottom of this page

Funding has been allocated for a research project into the ‘learner self-concepts’ of boys from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. (The full application may be downloaded at the bottom of this page).

The project will examine the school experiences of students and help to elucidate what they perceive as the influences on their beliefs about themselves as learners and attitudes about education. This project has been designed in response to a number of factors, including:

  • A reduced rate of university education within Lincolnshire, as compared with the national average
  • Well documented gaps in educational attainment between students from different socio-economic background
  • Research suggesting differences in the size of attainment gap depending on teacher practice

Students nearing the end of their formal schooling will take part in the study to offer insight into the way they view their learning experiences, their hopes for the future and what they perceive as the influences on them.

Study Format

A short pilot phase will take place in which a small group of students will be asked to meet with the researcher to offer their views both on their learning experiences, but also on the project design. Members of teaching staff within the schools will also meet with the researcher to contribute to project design.

The main phase of the project will, of course, be influenced by the pilot but may include:

  • Student focus groups
  • Student interviews
  • Teacher interviews

Study Outcomes

It is important that findings from the research project are shared both locally and nationally. It is the intention to publish the findings of this study in British Journal of Educational Psychology published by a partnership between the British Psychological Society and Wiley-Blackwell.

The final report will be disseminated within seminars across Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance and the findings will be shared at the Rural and Coastal Education Conference that will be hosted by the School of Education in Spring 2015. The findings will also contribute to a broader project, encompassing comparison of school experience in England and Scotland, perceptions of education of prisoners and observations of classroom interactions. Further funding will be sought from Nuffield.