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Title: The emotional experiences of Teaching Assistants, working 1:1 with a child
Author: Kelly, Laura J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 9283
Awarding Body: University of Essex & Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2020
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Government policy has identified the role of schools in the support and development of emotional wellbeing of children, specifically highlighting the contribution of Teaching Assistants (TAs) to children’s welfare. Whilst previous research has focused on the instructive role of TAs, and the impact of 1:1 learning support from TAs on children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN/D), there has been limited exploration of the role of TA beyond the pedagogical, when working 1:1. There is also a paucity of research considering the experience of TAs, and the emotional experience of working closely with individual children. This qualitative research sought to explore the emotional experiences of TAs engaging in 1:1 work with a child. In this study, the emotional experience of working on a 1:1 basis with a child was understood in the context of austerity and cuts within education, the changing expectations and roles of TAs, as well as the individual contexts of the TAs. Using a psychosocial approach (Hollway & Jefferson, 2013), two Free Association Narrative Interviews were completed with four TAs working at mainstream primary schools in London. All of the TAs worked on a 1:1 basis with the same child, regularly. A Reflexive Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019) approach was used to understand and interpret the data, using a case-study approach to consider each individual’s data as a ‘whole’. Themes drawn from each case-study were presented in the findings, then considered collectively, with pertinent psychoanalytic concepts applied. The implications of the study, for educational psychology practice and for the role of Educational Psychologists in supporting TAs with the emotional impact of their work is discussed, through the use of reflective and supervisory spaces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; L Education (General) ; LB1501 Primary Education