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Plymouth Precision Teaching Project (2007-08): An investigation into student, staff and practice outcomes.
Roberts, William George
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To publish papers
This thesis describes an investigation into the outcomes of a developmental project focussed on improving the word reading skills of a group of (n=77) secondary school students across five different school settings in a South West of England Local Authority. The ‘Plymouth Precision Teaching Project’ was conducted during the 2007/8 academic year commencing in September 2007 through to April 2008. The project involved the delivery of regular Precision Teaching (PT) programmes across two cohorts (1 and 2) of students by Teaching Assistants (TAs) in each school who themselves received ongoing training and support throughout the project. This thesis reports on three inter-connected aspects of research stemming from the project: Aspect One considered the impact of PT interventions delivered by trained TAs on groups of secondary school students with literacy learning needs through a quasi-experimental design. Aspect Two investigated the adaptations made by TAs within PT programmes to improve student word reading skills; from here a framework for systematic teaching adaptations was formulated, trialled and reviewed. Aspect Three drew on the experiences of school staff and their learning throughout the initiative. The value of participating in the research was investigated through exploring TAs’ reflections on the development of their understanding of the processes and practices surrounding ‘teaching and learning’. Outcomes of the research point to the continuing contribution of PT to addressing basic reading skill needs through heightened structure to intervention delivery, promotion and scrutiny of ‘treatment fidelity’ and an ongoing, systemic approach to the development of staff skills. This thesis also emphasises the mutual benefits that a collaborative project such as this can bring about; not only can staff contribute to the development of intervention approaches and provide high-quality interventions, but they can also develop their professional knowledge too. As a venture networking schools, a local authority educational psychology service and a university department, it is suggested this thesis reflects a description of the ground modernised educational psychology services should seek to occupy more and more.
EdD in Educational Psychology