Exploring and challenging pupil disaffection: an evaluation of a motivational interviewing-based intervention delivered by paraprofessionals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research suggests motivational interviewing (MI) techniques can be useful in educational settings for improving motivation in disaffected pupils. This exploratory mixed methods study sought to investigate whether implementing an MI-based pro- gramme through school-based paraprofessionals would be effective in improving pupil motivation. Five pupils identified as disaffected took part in five sessions of a MI-based intervention delivered by paraprofessionals within one high school setting. All of the pupils completed pre- and post-intervention measures of school-based motivation. The paraprofessionals involved in programme delivery took part in pre- intervention training; and post-intervention were given an opportunity to express their views about the usefulness of the programme and practicalities of implementation during a focus group. Results showed that although the paraprofessionals expressed positive views about the effectiveness of the intervention, these observations were not necessarily supported by quantitative outcomes relating to pupils’ self-reported school-based motivation. Implications for the delivery of MI-based interventions as an individual approach for school-based practice are discussed.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-82
Number of pages13
JournalPastoral Care in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2015