Conference Papers

Symposium - Education Studies at Plymouth University: Critical Studies on Inclusive Practice in Education

Submitted on behalf of Gemma Howard and Penny Qi, with Suanne Gibson and Joanna Haynes

In this symposium undergraduate students of Education Studies talk about the origins of their third year research enquiries, the theories that have shaped them and the findings of their small scale data collection and analysis. Both students have set out to investigate an aspect of provision for children with specific educational needs.

Penny Qi’s study focuses on communication and explores barriers to children’s communication at school and the impact a lack of communication skills has on a child with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), in terms of their self-esteem. It originates in reflections on her early life as a young child moving countries, learning additional languages and her experience as a multilingual child in the English primary school system. The research has been informed by her reading of the 2008 Bercow Review of provision for children’s speech, communication and language needs and literature on factors influencing the adjustment of immigrant children to schooling. She reports on the outcomes of her study of a group of primary school children with identified SLCN, and her use of picture prompts to initiate conversations with the children about their experiences at school.

Gemma Howard’s research project stems from her passion for learning outside the classroom and observations made during a voluntary work placement in a school’s ‘eco-club’ involving outdoor pursuits with children identified as having ADHD. Gemma’s study draws on Kaplan’s (1995) Attention Restoration Theory and subsequent empirical research on the relationship between natural environments and low levels of ADHD symptoms. Gemma’s study explores alternatives to medication in making educational provision for children with ADHD. Her presentation reports on the findings of her qualitative study involving in depth interviews with a range of education practitioners.

Gemma Howard and Penny Qi with Suanne Gibson and Joanna Haynes

Haynes, J. (2014) 'Symposium - Education Studies at Plymouth University: Critical Studies on Inclusive Practice in Education', paper presented to The 10th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 26–27 June, viewed 09 August 2020, <>