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ERIC Number: EJ958569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3116
Teaching Assistants and Class Teachers: Differing Perceptions, Role Confusion and the Benefits of Skills-Based Training
Butt, Rosemary; Lowe, Kaye
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v16 n2 p207-219 2012
Research has shown that teaching assistants (TAs) working in mainstream classrooms with special needs students in Australia are being required to perform quite complex tasks such as curriculum modification and differentiation yet they are not required to have any formal qualifications nor training in these tasks. In the United Kingdom, TAs are not required to have any formal qualifications, while TAs employed in the USA are required to hold a two-year post-secondary degree or have obtained an associate's or higher degree. Initial research was undertaken in Stage 1 to identify the roles and responsibilities, skills and training needs of TAs working with special needs students in one school in Canberra, Australia. Information was obtained through separate focus group interviews conducted with class teachers and TAs. Stage 2 involved the design and implementation of five skills-based training modules developed to respond to needs identified in Stage 1. In Stage 3, interviews were conducted with the TAs to determine the effect the training had on their skills and their ability to assist both the class teachers and the students whom they support. Results from the study indicate that there exists role confusion as well as a different emphasis and perception by class teachers and TAs of the skills required to perform in the role of a TA. Results also indicated that specifically targeted skills-based training benefited the TAs and the TAs perceived that this benefit flowed through to the class teachers and the students they support. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia