Teaching assistants and pupils' academic and social engagement in mainstream schools: insights from systematic literature reviews
Cajkler, W. and Tennant, G. D. (2009) Teaching assistants and pupils' academic and social engagement in mainstream schools: insights from systematic literature reviews. International Journal of Emotional Education, 1 (2). pp. 71-90. ISSN 2073-7629
Official URL: http://www.enseceurope.org/journal/ENSECV1I2A.asp
The last 20 years have seen a huge expansion in the additional adults working in classrooms in the UK, USA, and other countries. This paper presents the findings of a series of systematic literature reviews about teaching assistants. The first two reviews focused on stakeholder perceptions of teaching assistant contributions to academic and social engagement. Stakeholders were pupils, teachers, TAs, headteachers and parents. Perceptions focused on four principal contributions that teaching assistants contribute to: pupils’ academic and socio-academic engagement; inclusion; maintenance of stakeholder relations; and support for the teacher. The third review explored training. Against a background of patchy training provision both in the UK and the USA, strong claims are made for the benefits to TAs of training provided, particularly in building confidence and skills. The conclusions include implications for further training and the need for further research to gain an in-depth understanding as to precisely the manner in which TAs engage with children.
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