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Title: Voices from the classroom: An exploration of the perceptions of teaching assistants
Authors: Roffey-Barentsen, Jodi
Advisors: Murray, J
Tissot, C
Taylor, A
Keywords: Learning support assistants;Special needs assistants;Voice;Classroom assistants;Phenomenology
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This research gave voice to teaching assistants, exploring their experiences and perceptions, in terms of their backgrounds, roles and responsibilities, experiences whilst studying on an NVQ programme, support from their schools, their aspirations and the progression routes available to them. A small-scale phenomenological study approach was adopted, aimed to interpret and explain human actions and thought through descriptions, capturing first person accounts. Qualitative data was collected from focus group interviews. The research found that the main entry route into the role of teaching assistant was that of parent-helper at the school their child(ren) attended. Previous employment was varied, however, previous skills and experience was not drawn upon or utilised by the schools. Differences in job titles were not reflected by the roles performed by the participants. Support from their schools for undertaking qualifications was limited and participants had little knowledge of progression routes available to them. The research concluded that there is a need for a transparent career structure, which indicates levels of responsibility. Linked to this should be nationally recognised qualifications, which every member of support staff would have to gain, at the appropriate level for the role they fulfil. Wages should reflect the roles and associated qualifications, bringing about a clearer picture of the job of ‘teaching assistant’.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Education Doctorate awarded by Brunel University.
On 13 September 2012 this thesis was published in book format by Lambert Academic Publishing under the title Voices from the classroom: An exploration of the perceptions of teaching assistants in primary, secondary and special schools. The book is available from the publishers and through other book outlets.
ISBN: 978-3659240386
Appears in Collections:Education
Dept of Education Theses

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