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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

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)

Item Type: Article


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.

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Depositing User: Helen Benstead


Item ID: 13534
ISSN: 0268-2141

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Helen Benstead: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 25 May 2021 10:49
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 03:38


Author: Helen Benstead ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Education > Primary Education
Education > Higher Education

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