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ERIC Number: EJ1117896
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0268-2141
Teaching Assistants Talking
McLachlan, Benita
Support for Learning, v31 n3 p235-245 Jul 2016
Local Authorities (LAs) in Britain traditionally employ Visual Impairment (VI) teams as integrative statutory Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (SENI) provision. Teaching Assistants (TAs) work alongside Qualified Teachers (QTs) in VI teams to support children and young people (CYP) with VI. The VI TA has a broad role in covering early years, primary, secondary and special school settings and their key duties can include implementing visual targets, providing sensory support, delivering touch typing lessons, to name a few. Based on systemic and work-based learning theories, this article explores the learning stories of seven VI TAs who volunteered to participate in professional development focus group discussions between September 2014 and November 2015. The seven participants all work in the VI team of one LA in Cambridgeshire. The focus of the fortnightly focus group discussions were to explore the impact which eye conditions had on the education and learning of CYP. Participants were encouraged to engage in reflective writing about their new knowledge and how this may have changed their VI practice. Findings from qualitative data generated for analysis and interpretation demonstrated that most participants did improve their knowledge and understanding of specific eye conditions. Some participants benefited and changed their practice based on their newly acquired knowledge whereas some were not aware of any impact on their practice. Themes also highlighted constructive comments on how future professional learning for TAs can be improved. There are currently no mandatory training requirements for specialist VI TAs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A