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Click on an option below to access. Log out of ReadCube. He reviews the literature, research and legislation to date and concludes there are now massive expectations from a wide variety of sources. However, he notes encouraging signs that indicate a more manageable role is in the offing. Volume 13 , Issue 2. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.
Lee and Mawson The Office of Standards in Education OfSTED reports that teaching assistants play an important role in literacy and numeracy catch-up and intervention programmes. Evidence from many other research studies e. Rose confirms that teaching assistants are playing an essential role in school improvement: making schools more effective, enriching experiences for children and strengthening teaching and learning. This paper tends to identify the opportunity to extend some aspects of the role of teaching assistants so that they can maximise their function in school remodelling process and make even more contribution to improve standards in schools.
The research is a case study. Besides an analytic review of the literature, the paper reports in a qualitative approach a small-scaled case study using semi-structured indepth interviews with school administrators, teachers, parents and teaching assistants about their perceptions on the enhanced role of teaching assistants. The findings generated from their perspectives are coupled with field observations by the researcher. The data are drawn from a limited profile group in a primary school in an East Midland area.
Improving Literacy in the Primary School
It may not satisfy the purist researcher. In designing the interview questions, the researcher is much influenced by Kerry , Jones and Foulkes The research was conducted in a community primary school with about pupils between the ages of years in East Midlands. According to the recent OfSTED overall evaluation , the school is effective in providing a good quality of education.
There are 14 teaching assistants in this school with only one male teaching assistant. All of them are part-timers who work only in the mornings. Some work a few mornings in a week. Most of them work with children with learning difficulties. They report to the teachers the progress of children in written or oral form for teachers to set further targets for the children.
As a student teacher, the researcher started her research at the school by working two days a week as a teaching assistant in three different year groups. Since the beginning of the school placement, the researcher has been observing the work of teaching assistants attached to the classes and a research diary by the researcher has been kept to record the observations as well. To avoid any potential ethical problems, prior to the interviews, a letter of consent was sent to the school head teacher together with the research proposal.
Letters of consent were distributed by the school administrators to teachers, parents and teaching assistants. The school informed the researcher of the approved interviewees. All the interviews were on a one-to-one basis with each lasted about 30 minutes and were tape-recorded with the consent of the interviewees.
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Data obtained were coded and transcribed without any names attached for the confidentiality concerns. Interview data were triangulated with reflective research dairy and class observations Robson , In this case, the researcher was immersed in the day-to-day lives of the people being studied to seek insight into the area. The group was selected on a voluntary basis. The teaching assistants work directly with pupils who experience learning difficulties as a major part of their role. They may work either with individual pupils or with a small group of pupils who are identified as a lower achievement set and all have Individual Learning Plans.
BBC April 16, reported that teachers work excessively long hours. Tired teachers are not effective teachers and a long-hour culture is not conducive to raising standards. When teachers were asked about their workload, they all agree that they have endless work. I work all day obviously. I come at and I am still here at It is a long day. I have a lot of things to do. So I use time before school and after school. I have mass and mass of paper work to do.
Sometimes you feel like repeating yourself. You feel you are not using your time very well. When I was trained to be a teacher, we had lots of different lectures and talks from people. That is the reality. That might be you. You have to think what job you would be doing next So even when you are training to be a teacher, you are aware that most of us are going to leave because the workload is huge.
You have to take work back home in the evening, every evening. The study by the schools inspectorate OfSTED also found teaching assistants now spend more time helping children with literacy and numeracy leaving them less time for helping teachers with administrative chores. I spend hours and hours photocopying. If I said I am not going to do the photocopying, I am not going to do the displays Many years ago, most classroom teachers had TAs.
They assisted in general management in the classrooms. National Union of Teachers BBC fears that too much financial burden for some schools, without proper funding, the Agreement would be unsustainable. The consequence would be that schools would use non-qualified staff to take classes before they acquire appropriate status and expertise. The interview justifies that it is not the case in the primary school.
The school wanted to have qualified teachers to cover PPA time. We have to look at other ways of covering PPA time. We are going to try. I prefer supply teacher. Quality concerns, HLTA, possibly. It depends on how much time, I guess. There have been no adverse comments from parents, who seem to be happy that cover will be provided by appropriate skilled people within the school who know the children rather than outside supply teachers.
It also depends on the subject. If it is PE, for example, then it will be Okay. Or music, that does not matter too much, either. Math can be learnt in so many ways, TAs need to have the expertise to help. I have a degree. But I have not been taught how to teach. My child is not good at Math.
Education in New Zealand
So I am thinking of asking some teacher to give him some extra help. However, the interview also shows that in some cases, it is acceptable that teaching assistants cover some PPA time for teachers. It depends. Some of them are very confident with a group of children. They have got some natural good quality to teach. Are teaching assistants really able to cover for teachers? Teaching assistants themselves are confident. I have been working as a teaching assistant for long years. I have been help children with their IEPs these years.
If the teacher gives me the plan, I think I can handle the whole group. Some TAs can do much better job than teachers. TAs have to follow the ground rule to whether or not your teachers are happy. TAs definitely can make children work. But TAs have to consult teachers at the very beginning to make sure teachers are positive. Generating a high degree of collaborative teamwork between teachers and assistants ensures continuity of expectations and professional culture of schools. The relationship has been very successful in improving understanding and reducing suspicion.
Teaching assistants are considered as best assets, too.
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The role of schools in area regeneration: a working paper
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Related Supporting Improving Primary Schools: The Role of Schools and LEAs in Raising Standards
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