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Title: An exploration of Teaching Assistants' views on how they support children during unstructured times and analysis of TA-pupil interactions on the playground
Author: Salisbury, Nicole
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 9960
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This small-scale, exploratory study used semi-structured interviews to investigate the perceptions and experiences of seven TAs in two mainstream primary schools regarding their role, with a particular focus on their support of children on the playground. This study also explored the nature of three of the TAs’ interactions with pupils on the playground via audio-recordings and field note observations. A separate thematic analysis of both sets of data was conducted before comparisons were made between them. Findings showed that TAs used an intuitive graduated approach to support a wide range of children on the playground, which was presented in a model called the graduated response model (GRM-R). This included the support of children’s peer interactions, in particular regarding play and conflict, as well as support relating to behaviour, safety, injury, illness and procedural matters. Their interactions with children relating to these categories were often more than supervisory, involving sensitive responsiveness to children’s needs within the situation, as a result of their relationships with them. This suggests encouraging possibilities for a distinctive non-pedagogical role for TAs, built through their relationships with children and others in the school system and placing them in a unique position to support children’s emotional wellbeing across a range of contexts including in the playground. TAs also highlighted a need for flexibility across their role, driven by their relationships with others in the school system. However, this very flexibility also made it difficult for expectations of their practice to be formalised in a range of contexts including the playground. This study provides a distinct, original and significant contribution to the field regarding TAs’ non-pedagogical role in the playground, particularly regarding the potential of the revised graduated response model for informing future research and practice. It also highlights the role of TAs in the inclusion agenda, particularly in relation to facilitating the social inclusion of pupils with SEND.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available