Caroline Bond and Rainart Fayette
Rainart's thesis is entitled 'A qualitative study of specialist schools' processes of eliciting the views of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders in planning their transition to adulthood'.
What are the areas in which you most like to supervise?
For the Professional Doctorate in Education Psychology route, the University takes a research commissioning approach. I pitch ideas to trainees on a range of topics, such as the implementation of interventions in schools to support children with their development or supporting new arrivals. The topics are all linked to applied practice in order to support the research student with their professional development. The ideas are quite broad and then it is up to the student to negotiate and develop the idea into a doctoral thesis. This is the most engaging part!
Why do you enjoy supervising Rainart?
Rai was a pleasure to supervise. He came to me as someone interested in both aspects of the programme: the research and the practical training. He was really committed to becoming an Educational Psychologist. Some students prioritise the practical aspect of the course but Rai really enjoyed the research aspect, too. I found him to be engaged and independent, despite the demands of the programme.
Students study on the programme for a total of three years. Each week they spend three days on placement, one day researching and one day studying. I am also delighted to say that Rai’s first paper for publication has just been accepted!
What's your research about?
My thesis is about eliciting the views of young people with autism towards their plans about transitioning towards adulthood. I tried to understand how schools ensure that the young people with autism have participated in the planning of their transition. This involves thinking about what they will be doing in terms of employment, health, community participation and independent living. I conducted interviews and focus groups in two schools with teaching staff and assistant head teachers and did observations, too. My study was exploratory because there was no published literature about good practice; all I could find were opinion pieces and informal advice.
What's it like to be supervised by Caroline at the Manchester Institute of Education?
Well, without Caroline I would have left! As a ProfDoc student, most of my time was dedicated to practice, which is different from the way the PhD programme works. We didn't have much time for reading and writing. As a consequence, finding a balance and juggling the expectations of the practical and academic components of the course was difficult.
Caroline was there though to support me to manage my time, meet expectations and understand the requirements of the course. Caroline is one of the few people who can get me to do things without me realising! She is aware of my limitations and helps me work on them. Caroline has also helped me redraft my first paper, which has been accepted for publication by the European Journal for Special Needs Education. Caroline is still a practitioner and I think that this means that she can empathise with me and understands what it is like to be in my position.