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Teaching assistants' support and interactions: Measuring the impact of an intervention that provides teaching assistants with the relevant skills to foster independent learning in the children they support.

Ivey, Natoya; (2017) Teaching assistants' support and interactions: Measuring the impact of an intervention that provides teaching assistants with the relevant skills to foster independent learning in the children they support. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

There has been a significant increase in the number of teaching assistants (TA) in mainstream classrooms across the world. This was due to changes in education policies both locally and internationally. A substantial amount of TA time is spent supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) where they are largely responsible for planning and delivering tasks and interventions. Subsequently, TAs have become the primary educator for children with SEND and they often lack the knowledge and training to adequately fulfil such a role. Research has suggested that TAs are well placed to provide a scaffolding role where through their interactions with the child, they are able to support them at their current level or slightly higher to enable the child to complete learning tasks and problem solve. Little research has explored whether TAs are able to acquire scaffolding strategies through training and apply it to their practice. In the present study, 5 TAs received 3-hour training about scaffolding and talk strategies that could be used in their interactions with pupils, and their practice was observed and audio-recorded. The interactions between the TAs and children were analysed using conversation analysis (CA), and semi-structured interviews were used to explore the TAs' views about their role, classroom practice and the impact of the training. The delivery of the training and the use of CA to analyse the TAs’ interactions represents a unique contribution to the field regarding the design of the study and the tools of data collection and analysis. The findings indicated that the TAs were successful in applying the scaffolding strategies to their practice as a result of the training. There was evidence to suggest that in using such strategies, the TAs felt more structure was given to the way they supported children and they were able to confidently describe and demonstrate through their practice, how they were working towards fostering learner independence. Strategies on how schools can define and develop the TA role are explored and the implications for the EP role are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Teaching assistants' support and interactions: Measuring the impact of an intervention that provides teaching assistants with the relevant skills to foster independent learning in the children they support.
Event: UCL Institute of Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Teaching Assistant, Scaffolding, Dialogic talk, TA training
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024963
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