Primary ITT trainees' perceptions of and perspectives on the role of TAs

Benstead, Helen (2021) Primary ITT trainees' perceptions of and perspectives on the role of TAs. Support for Learning, 36 (4). ISSN 0268-2141 (In Press)

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This article focuses on exploring initial teacher trainees’ experiences of and perspectives on the role of the Teaching Assistant (TA) in mainstream primary contexts. A backdrop of shrinking school budgets coupled with a ‘mainstream for all’ political agenda are contributing to growing uncertainty about the role of TAs in education. This article presents the results of a small-scale empirical study, involving 75 initial teacher trainees at the University of Cambridge. Trainees’ perspectives regarding the roles/responsibilities that TAs have been seen to undertake and perceptions regarding the impact of the TAs they worked with were ascertained, with the aim of exploring how well current ITT content prepares students for an effective teacher/TA working relationship. Concept modelling was used as an analysis tool, to present visual representations of these perceptions. Trainees emphasised the administrative, pedagogical and pastoral roles that TAs were perceived to undertake and specifically highlighted the perceived ability of TAs to support students displaying needs relating to social, emotional and mental health. The findings highlight that the vague nature of current ITT content in relation to the role of TAs continues to serve as a barrier to students building coherent and consistent understandings of the successful deployment of TAs in English primary contexts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Primary Education
Education > Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education
Depositing User: Helen Benstead
Date Deposited: 25 May 2021 10:49
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 10:52
ORCID for Helen Benstead: ORCID iD

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