The Long Term Implication of RTLB Support: 'Listening to the Voices of Student Experiences'
Pillay, P. (2009). The Long Term Implication of RTLB Support: ‘Listening to the Voices of Student Experiences’ (Thesis, Master of Special Education (MSpEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5216
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5216
This research inquiry is based on the narratives of six secondary school male students who tell of their experiences of having learning and/or behaviour difficulties in school.The research explores the perspectives of these six participants, from one New Zealand Secondary School, who received support from a Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) from a single RTLB cluster. The RTLB service is a school based resource that provides itinerant specialist support to schools and work with regular class teachers to improve the educational outcomes for students with moderate learning and/or behavioural difficulties (Ministry of Education, 1999; Walker et al, 1999). This study aims to capture the voices of the participants through narratives and to tell of their experiences with RTLB, their school and what makes sense in their lives. The purpose of this research is to induce reflection, themes or possibly questions for further discussion or research. There were four questions that drove this research inquiry: 1. What were the experiences of the participants who received support from the RTLB while they were at primary, intermediate or secondary school? 2. What were their current experiences of school life? 3. What is it about boys and school- especially those with learning and behaviour difficulties? 4. Were there any new insights available to support/extend the work of the RTLB in this cluster? A narrative approach was chosen as the methodology because it allowed the stories of the students to be told in their own voices. The principles of a narrative guided the construction, presentation and application of the interviews. The interviews were informally conducted and the transcription formed the narratives in this inquiry. The themes from the narratives generated discussion about the family as an important factor in raising positive, well balanced children. The similarities between the Caucasian participants and the Māori participants of the Te Kotahitanga project also featured. The themes also cover the impact of immigration on the South African participants and show the differences between the two school systems and how they affect students new to New Zealand. The impact of RTLB support was greatest on those who remembered quite clearly the RTLB and the support they received. The research presented a positive outlook for the participants despite their difficulties and experiences of school. Their resilience and the combination of support they received at school and home were important contributors to this optimism. The analysis of the narratives provided the RTLB in this cluster with some implications to support or extend their work. The implications included the development of proactive connections and meaningful relationships with the student. This was possible by getting to know them better and by making them aware of the purpose of RTLB involvement. The students could also be included in the problem solving and intervention processes. Two recommendations from this research are that future research could investigate a system to monitor progress of students who received RTLB support and a process to place immigrant children correctly in the New Zealand school system.
The University of Waikato
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