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ERIC Number: EJ983382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
The Shifting Role of the Special Needs Assistant in Irish Classrooms: A Time for Change?
Keating, Stephanie; O'Connor, Una
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v27 n4 p533-544 2012
The education of pupils with special educational needs in Ireland has generally been influenced by national and international inclusion policy and legislation so that the majority of these children now take their place alongside peers in mainstream classrooms. In Ireland, a support network comprising the teacher and additional classroom assistance now characterises much inclusive school provision. Such support is often provided via learning support teachers, resource teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs), the latter group being the focus of this article. Whilst the professional credentials of this post have evolved in other jurisdictions, the position of the SNA in Ireland has remained largely unchanged, with a job specification that continues to emphasise its caring, non-teaching nature. This article will consider the juxtaposition of the statutory functions of SNAs with their reported role(s) in Irish classrooms. Using quantitative and qualitative data, it will explore the professional profile of the SNA, identify current perceptions on the nature of this post and consider its collaborative potential within an inclusive education system. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland