Occupational potential and possible selves of masters’ level healthcare students with dyslexia: a narrative inquiry

MURPHY, Angela and STEVENSON, Jacqueline (2018). Occupational potential and possible selves of masters’ level healthcare students with dyslexia: a narrative inquiry. Journal of Occupational Science.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2018.1517387


The social, educational and occupational challenges facing individuals with dyslexia are multiple and complex. Late diagnosis, lack of diagnosis, or lack of support in mainstream education can impact on outcomes. It is perhaps paradoxical then that there are students with significant dyslexia, including those undiagnosed until arrival in higher education, who have been able to progress to Masters' level study. In so doing they appear to have significantly bucked the trend for educational under-attainment. With this in mind, this research sought to explore influences on occupational potential, that is exercising latent capacities through participation/engagement in occupation, (Wicks, 2005) in shaping the 'possible selves' (perceptions of the self in the future) (Markus & Nurius, 1986) of master’s level healthcare students with dyslexia. Twenty-four narrative interviews with nine Masters’ Students were analysed using Clandinin & Connolly’s (2000) narrative inquiry, to highlight significant plots and sub plots. Data was then organised into four Acts: Diagnosis, Shaping Possible Selves, Fitting the Mould, and Strategies and the Future, employing performance ethnography as the mode of communication. The findings show that occupational potential and possible selves are highly influenced by the sociological surroundings, resilience, and agency of the participants and their families and there is a strong relationship between these two concepts in relation to the actions required to reach desirable possible selves. The importance of context as well as familiar support are under considered in higher education and the research has important implications for institutional policy around retention and success, pedagogic practice, and student support.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Media Arts and Communication
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2018.1517387
Depositing User: Jacqueline Stevenson
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2018 15:19
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 03:34
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22589

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