Teachers' perceptions and expectations of play therapy in a pre-primary school

Braithwaite, Melissa Ellen (2007-12)

On t.p.: Master's of Educational Psychology.

Thesis (MEd(Psych)) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to explore teachers' perceptions and expectations of non-directive play therapy. Teachers such as those in this study, who are the referral agents for play therapy, can have an especially powerful effect on children's lives. Since their perceptions and expectations influence their decisions to refer children who need emotional support, it is therefore essential that psychologists know and understand their perceptions and expectations. As psychologists we need to form a supportive and co-operative relationship with teachers so they understand our role as therapists working with children. We need to understand and respect their role and to value our partnership with them. This partnership is essential for successful relationships with children and their families. This study includes an analysis of the literature relating to social constructivism, the theory that informs the fieldwork, the value of children's play, the theory of nondirective play therapy and common perceptions and expectations of (non-directive play) therapy. The study is located within an interpretive paradigm. More specifically a basic interpretive study was used as a bridge to link the research questions and the implementation of the research. The data were collected making use of qualitative methodology and congruent methods of data collection and data analysis. A discussion of the identified categories and a summary of the findings is presented in Chapter Four. Findings which emerged from the analysed data underline the importance teachers ascribe to a close working relationship with psychologists. Teachers are often excluded from the process of play therapy, but need to feel valued and included as they play a role in the process. The findings also show that teachers feel there should be more training and information provided to parents and teachers to avoid false perceptions being created which lead to negative expectations. Teachers perceive the value in the process of non-directive play therapy and expect that this process would be very beneficial for children. However, they feel that it is a last resort. They also expressed the need for assistance in making the referral for therapy. The final chapter presents the conclusions of the study, the limitations of the study, further research possibilities and personal reflections on the study. This research could provide psychologists working in a school setting with valuable insights into the perceptions and expectations of teachers. It could also guide psychologists working with the school system who wish to form a co-operative working partnership with teachers aimed at providing better support to the children and families with which they work.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om onderwysers se aannames en verwagtinge van niedirektiewe spelterapie te ondersoek. Onderwysers soos die in hierdie studie, wat die , verwysende agente vir spelterapie is, kan 'n besonder sterk invloed op kinders se lewens he. Aangesien onderwysers se aannames en verwagtinge hulle besluit kan be"invloed om kinders wat emosionele steun nodig het, te verwys, is dit noodsaaklik dat sielkundiges hierdie aannames en verwagtinge ken en verstaan. Sielkundiges behoort 'n ondersteunende en kooperatiewe/samewerkende verhouding met onderwysers op te bou sodat die onderwysers sielkundiges se rol as terapeute wat met kinders werk, kan verstaan. Sielkundiges behoort die onderwysers se rol te verstaan en te respekteer, en die vennootskap met onderwysers te waardeer. Hierdie vennootskap is noodsaaklik vir suksesvolle verhoudings met kinders en hulle families. Hierdie studie sluit 'n analise van die literatuur wat handel oor sosiale konstruktivisme, die teorie onderliggend aan die veldwerk, in, asook die literatuur rakende die waarde van kinderspel, die teorie van nie-direktiewe spelterapie en algemene begrippe en verwagtinge van sulke terapie. Die studie val binne 'n interpretatiewe paradigma. 'n Basiese interpretatiewe studie is gebruik as 'n brug tussen die navorsingsvrae en die implementering van die navorsing. Die data is versamel deur gebruik te maak van kwalitatiewe metodologie en kongruente metodes van dataversameling en data-analise. Hoofstuk Vier bied 'n bespreking van die ge"identifiseerde kategoriee en 'n opsomming van die bevindinge. Resultate verkry uit die geanaliseerde data onderstreep die belang wat onderwysers aan 'n goeie werksverhouding met sielkundiges heg. Onderwysers word dikwels uitgesluit van die proses van spelterapie, maar het 'n behoefte om waardeer en ingesluit te word, aangesien hulle 'n deel van die proses vorm. Die resultate wys verder dat onderwysers meer opleiding en inligtingoordrag aan beide ouers en onderwysers nodig ag om vals aannames, wat tot negatiewe verwagtinge lei, die hoof te bied. Onderwysers is bewus van die waarde van die nie-direktiewe spelterapieproses, en verwag dat hierdie proses tot voordeel van kinders sal wees. Hulle voel egter dat dit 'n laaste uitweg behoort te wees. Onderwysers het ook die noodsaak van hulp met die verwysingsproses beklemtoon. Die laaste hoofstuk bied die gevolgtrekking van die studie en die gebreke daarvan, asook moontlikhede vir verdere navorsing en persoonlike refleksies. Hierdie navorsing kan sielkundiges wat binne 'n skoolopset werk van waardevolle insig in die aannames en verwagtinge van onderwysers voorsien. Dit kan ook gebruik word as 'n gids vir sielkundiges binne die skoolsisteem wat graag 'n goeie kooperatiewe werksverhouding, wat daarop gemik is om beter ondersteuning aan kinders en hul families te verskaf, met onderwysers wil vestig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50747
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