ERIC Number: EJ1087880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
"They Think That if You're a Teacher Here?…?You're Not Clever Enough to Be a Proper Teacher": The Courtesy Stigma Experienced by Teachers Employed at Schools for Pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD)
Broomhead, Karen E.
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v16 n1 p57-64 Jan 2016
A wealth of literature has identified that children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) and their families are frequently stigmatised due to the perceived controllable and "invisible" nature of this special educational need (SEN). Yet little research has considered the impact of this stigma on another group of individuals, educational practitioners employed in BESD schools. This is despite these professionals working in close contact with pupils with BESD, a heavily stigmatised group, on a regular basis. This paper therefore, details a study which explored perceptions of stigma specifically with educational professionals employed in schools for pupils with BESD. Semi-structured interviews with nine practitioners (including head teachers and class teachers with additional responsibilities) were conducted, all of whom had worked within the BESD sector for at least 10 years, with data being analysed via Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings revealed how educational practitioners employed in BESD schools experienced courtesy stigma, with many not being perceived as "proper" teachers due to a discourse of care surrounding BESD. Other professionals reported much confusion from their mainstream colleagues and other individuals about how they could want to work with such "challenging" pupils. This courtesy stigma was linked to the wider stigma surrounding BESD schools, which were often ignorantly perceived to be full of "bad boys" or "absolute horrors". This paper concludes by considering the implications of these findings for policy and practice, and provides recommendations for addressing the identified stigma towards practitioners employed in BESD schools.
Descriptors: Behavior Disorders, Emotional Disturbances, Social Bias, Children, Special Education, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Conditions, Special Schools, Semi Structured Interviews, Principals, Phenomenology, Teacher Competencies, Student Needs, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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