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Listening to what the children have to say: an investigation into the effects of Glue Ear on learning and life

Capewell, C. (2013) Listening to what the children have to say: an investigation into the effects of Glue Ear on learning and life. Invited Presentation presented to: European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2013: Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research, Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, 10-13 September 2013. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Invited Presentation)
Abstract: This research from which this paper is drawn investigates the educational and day-to-day impact of the common condition, Otitis Media/Glue Ear, on children who have the chronic form with accompanying intermittent hearing loss and ear ache/infections. Otitis Media (OM) is an umbrella term for a number of related symptoms which impacts mainly children throughout the world (Gunasekera 2009). Most information about it comes from the medical field where it is described as a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, where there should be air helping to conduct sound waves to the auditory nerve (Rovers 2004). Research has been conducted internationally on the longer-term impacts of Otitis Media on speech and language development (Feagans 1986; Roberts 2003; Winskel 2006) and cognitive development (Roberts et al 1989; Feldman and Paradise 2009; Roberts 2004; Bennett et al 2001), there is little agreement about the long term outcomes. Most research has been quantitative and, where outcomes about the impact have been asked, parental proxies have been used (Timmerman et al 2008; Stenton 2003; Higson and Haggard 2003). Recent research has questioned the accuracy of reflecting young people’s views using parental proxies (Lagattuta 2012), and it seems to counter the ethos of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, in education and health research (Alderson 2000; Coad 2008; Neill 2005; Christensen 2000), which suggests that young people have a right to speak for themselves. Although OM affects up to 80% of children under the age of 10 years and is a condition common across the world (Bluestone 2002), there has been little research undertaken in the school context. To answer the main research question “What is the lived experience of young people with long-term Otitis Media, and the effects on their families” the study applied a qualitative approach using the methodological frameworks of Photovoice (Wang 1998; Baker 2006) and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith 2009; Gee 2011). The rationale for choosing phenomenology came from the concept developed by Husserl (Kocklemans 1967) who suggests that the combination of the findings from qualitative research are complemented by the contribution of the human experience as gathered through qualitative research. The methodology used is aimed at empowering young people and their parents to express their views and to lead the discussion into what is important for them (Freire 2006). Method The Photovoice methodology was adapted for use with individuals, so that participants construct images which represent their experience of Otitis Media and discuss these individually with the researcher. Young people with long-term Otitis Media are encouraged to reflect on how it affects their interaction with their peers and in school and at home. After participants create their images, they talk through the meanings of them with the researcher, illustrating their ideas with examples from their experience. This enables participants to identify what they see as key rather than answer questions on topics which the researcher feels are of importance. Parents who take part construct their own images and have a separate one-to-one discussion with the researcher about their images. The data is then analysed using IPA to identify key themes which the individual participant regards as important to him/her. The experiences and themes are related to the findings from quantitative research to express the depth of human experience from the nomothetic research. Expected Outcomes The outcomes to date have shown that young people express distress at the level of pain caused by Otitis Media, something which is not identified in the quantitative literature and their frustration at having to have things repeated, along with being upset when teachers seem to think that they are not paying attention. Parents, mainly mothers, have described their frustration at the lack of support in obtaining a diagnosis from the medical profession and disappointment that teachers do not understand the complexity of the long term condition or the additional support needed for their children to attain their full potential. The results of this study are to be used to inform the medical and teaching professions about the issues young people with Otitis Media regard as key and the way in which parents wish to work in partnership with professionals to obtain the best outcome for their children. References Bennett, K.E. Haggard, M.P. Silva, P.A. Stewart, I.A. (2001) Behaviour and developmental effects of otitis media with effusion into the teens Archives of Disease in Childhood, 85: 91-107 Feagens, L. (1986) ‘Otitis Media: A Model for Long-Term Effects with Implications for Intervention’ in Kavanagh, J. F. (ed) Otitis Media and Child Development York Press, Parkton, Maryland, pp.192-209 Feldman, H.M. and Paradise, J.L. (2009) OME and child development: rethinking management... otitis media with effusion, Contemporary Pediatrics, 26(5): 40-47 Freire, P. (2006) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum, London Gunasekera, H. Morris, P.S., McIntyre, P. Craig, J.C. (2009) Management of children with otitis media: A summary of evidence from recent systematic reviews, Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health 45(10): 554-563 Lagattuta, K.H. Sayfan, L. Bamford, C. (2012) Do you know how I feel? Parents underestimate worry and overestimate optimism compared to child self-report Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 113(2): 211-232 Roberts, H. (2004) ‘Health and Social Care’ in Fraser, S. Lewis, V. Ding, S. Kellett, M. Robinson, C.(eds) Doing Research with children and young people Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, pp.239-254 Roberts, J. Hunter, L. Gravel, J. Rosenfeld, R. Berman, S. Haggard, M. Hall, J. Lannon, C. Moore, D. Vernon-Feagans, L. Wallace, I. (2004) Otitis media, hearing loss, and language learning: controversies and current research Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 25(2): 110-122 Rovers, M.M. Schilder, A.G.M. Zielhuis, G.A. Rosenfeld, R.M. (2004) Otitis Media, The Lancet 363 (9407): 465-473 Smith, J.A. Flowers, P. Larkin, M. (2009) Interpretative Phenomenological Research Theory, Method and Research Sage, London Timmerman, A.A. Meesters, C.M.G. Anteunis, L.J.C. Chenault, M.N. Haggard, M.P.(20098) Psychometric evaluation of the OM8-30 questionnaire in Dutch children with otitis media European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology 265(9): 1047-1056 Wang, C. Burris, M.A. (1997) Photovoice: Concept, Methodology, and Use for Participatory Needs Assessment Health, Education and Behavior 24(3): 369-378.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children's voice, Glue Ear, Photovoice, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767 Children. Child development
R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology > RF110 Otology. Diseases of the ear > RF225 Otitis media in children
L Education > LC Special aspects of Education > LC3950 Exceptional children and youth. Special education > LC4001 Children and youth with disabilities. Learning disabled children and youth
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1050 Educational psychology
Creators: Capewell, Carmel
Northamptonshire and East Midlands: Education, Training and Skills
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Special Needs Education and Research
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Education and Research
Research Centres > Centre for Education and Research
Date: 10 September 2013
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2013: Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research
Event Dates: 10-13 September 2013
Event Location: Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished
Refereed: Yes

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