Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A study exploring the influences of training on teaching assistants' learning, behaviour and self efficacy
Author: Higgins, Helen J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 6778
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
There is a growing number of teaching assistants (TAs) in mainstream schools (DCFS, 2009) and research is inconclusive about their efficacy at improving outcomes for children, including those at risk of exclusion (Groom and Rose, 2005; Tennant, 2001). It has been proposed that TAs do not have enough training for their roles (Russell et al, 2005). However, there is debate about the most appropriate adult training methods (Merriam et al, 2007). Nevertheless, several writers suggest that training can influence self efficacy and this can improve performance (Giallo and Little, 2003). A mixed methods design was implemented. Firstly, two fixed designs evaluated TA self efficacy following training and pupil behaviour following a TA delivered anger management intervention. However, due to design and implementation issues the data produced was very limited and conclusions could not be made. Secondly, a flexible design explored factors that influenced TAs’ learning, behaviour and self efficacy. Data was collected from 14 mainstream secondary school TAs using evaluation forms and focus groups. A thematic analysis was carried out on this data. Themes regarding learning, confidence, training and self efficacy emerged from the data. The learning implied by some of the TAs referred to the acquisition and maintenance of terminology, developing different knowledge bases and the autonomy to adapt materials. Similarly, some of the TAs referred to having confidence mainly when they had some control over the situation. Training subthemes that seemed to influence TAs’ learning and confidence were confirmation/ reassurance from others, parameters of training, iterative process of training and involvement in the process. Finally, TA self efficacy seems to have been influenced by Bandura’s (1977) sources of information, outcome expectations and whole school support and norms. In conclusion, it is important to challenge unhelpful outcome expectations, develop whole school norms and the equality of TAs in schools. Furthermore, training of TAs should involve appropriate psychological paradigms from adult learning theories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education