Learning in Single Parent Families: a narrative investigation of single mothers' and single fathers' engagement with their children’s learning.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

One in four children live in single parent families yet single parents receive a bad press. They were initially vilified as the cause of the 2011 riots before an independent report implicated ‘rampant materialism’. Though children from single parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty as those in couple families policies aimed at addressing poverty by incentivising work penalise single parent families to a greater extent than other families. Parents are children’s first educators with 85% of children’s time between the ages of 0-16 spent in the home and only 15% at school. Parental involvement in children’s learning is known to be the biggest factor open to educational influence however most research on single parents tends to be within social policy literature. While a substantial body of literature links single parenthood to issues such as welfare reform and poverty there is little evidence connecting the experiences of single parents to engagement in learning. This presentation will provide an account of a new researcher’s navigation through methodological ‘mess’ traversing hermeneutic phenomenology, Critical Discourse Analysis and participatory research to arrive fittingly at collaborative narrative inquiry. Dilemmas of the expediency or even possibility of ‘reflexive bracketing’ were met along the way in efforts to combine personal experience of single parenthood with professional interests while developing an appropriate methodology. The resulting Professional Doctorate proposal addresses the gap in our understanding of this under researched area by linking family, learning and relationship experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Oct 2012
EventCRFR New Researchers in Families and Relationships conference - Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK
Duration: 29 Oct 2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceCRFR New Researchers in Families and Relationships conference
Period29/10/12 → …

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