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Title: How do teaching assistants support teaching and learning and, in doing so, help create an inclusive environment?
Author: Burns, Leslie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 2013
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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This study examines the role of teaching assistants (TAs) in a town situated in the North-East England between 2010 and 2012. I was motivated to carry out the research by one fundamental question “How do teaching assistants support teaching and learning and, in doing so help create an inclusive environment?” The aims of this holistic, qualitative study were to investigate and clarify, through the lens of teaching assistants, how learning was supported and inclusion facilitated. Using a qualitative approach to examine this question, the study includes a theoretical literature review and empirical field work. The fieldwork consists of semi-structured interviews with ten teaching assistants, employed in the town. Thematic analysis is used to then analyse and interpret the data collected. The research explores, clarifies, and advances our understanding of how, and to what extent, the teaching assistants support learning and inclusion. The findings from this study show that teaching assistants support learning in education. It also illustrates that the teaching assistants support an inclusive environment. The original contribution to our knowledge from this research is that, within the town in the North East of England, through the lens of the teaching assistants, they do support learning, development, inclusive education and social inclusion. The results, inferences and possible implications for managers, training of teaching assistants and for future research are discussed. The findings offer support for key arguments around the quality of leadership, how teaching assistants are deployed and the impact their training has on their role. They challenge many of the present views of teaching assistants, and the study suggests they have a positive impact on learning and inclusion. They indicate that there is a need for further research that accommodates the “voice” of the teaching assistants, supporting the social and emotional development and the inclusive learning environment.
Supervisor: Goodley, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available