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Title: Experienced teaching assistants' perceptions of their work in the inclusion of pupils with 'special educational needs' in English mainstream secondary schools
Author: Lehane, Teresa Geraldine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 2026
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2013
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This study explores Teaching Assistants’ perceptions of their work in the inclusion of pupils with ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) within secondary schools. In a field where much research focusses on the technicist, exploration of ‘inclusion’ and of power is prioritised. Elements of critical discourse analysis (CDA) are used to examine the words of Teaching Assistants (TAs) talking about their work. A simple CDA framework is produced, based on the work of others and piloted with (public domain) film footage of TAs talking about their work. The framework is then used to analyse interviews with 8 TAs who have extensive experience. The TAs prioritise discretion, even imperceptibility, as they actively stay ‘under the radar’ of teachers. A divide within mainstream schools between ‘the mainstream’ and SEN resourced ‘base’ seems apparent to the TAs, whether the base is geographically separated or not. ‘Inclusion’ is actively sought, for example through advocacy and alternative provision. Insights from Foucault, Derrida and Goffman are deployed in the analysis in order to contribute theoretical imagination to consider why limitations in TA practice may occur. A degree of emotional labour is indicated but Goffman’s work on managing spoiled identity, stigma and ‘cooling’ is of particular interest.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools