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Using the rules of practical philosophy to enhance the self-regulation of young people in secure accommodation

Cassidy, Claire and Heron, Gavin (2017) Using the rules of practical philosophy to enhance the self-regulation of young people in secure accommodation. In: CELCIS: Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care, 2017-06-07.

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Within secure accommodation it is unclear how young people exhibit or develop self-regulation when external controls and containment affect every aspect of day-to-day life. This workshop reports on a study which provides an insight into self-regulation by examining young people’s adherence to the rules associated with a practical form of philosophy, namely Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI). Data was collected from 10 CoPI sessions involving young people and staff and a thematic analysis was used to identify key themes emerging from their rule-adherence. The findings suggest that young people are able to self-regulate their behaviour in relation to the CoPI rules, although it is often sporadic and variable between individuals. The concept of ‘scaffolding’ is adapted to give greater relevance for highly vulnerable young people and the supportive containment necessary to enhance self-regulation and learning. For many practitioners, a strategy aimed at enhancing self-regulation using argumentation and dialogue might seem counterintuitive; however, it can promote more adaptive behaviours, which will give young people in secure accommodation greater control over their lives. The workshop will be split into two parts: part one will entail a selection of individuals (n 10) participating a CoPI session. The other individuals in the workshop will observe and comment on their observations with the participants discussing their experience of participation, especially in relation to rule adherence. Part two will present the findings from the study and include a plenary discussion. Learning outcomes are to: • enhance awareness of a practical form of philosophy for young people in residential care • encourage practitioners to reconsider traditional views on arguing with young people.