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Experienced Teaching Assistants' Perceptions of Their Work in the Inclusion of Pupils With Special Educational Needs in English Mainstream Secondary Schools.

Lehane, Teresa (2013) Experienced Teaching Assistants' Perceptions of Their Work in the Inclusion of Pupils With Special Educational Needs in English Mainstream Secondary Schools. Other thesis, University of Birmingham.

[img] Other (Doctoral thesis)
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Abstract

This study explores Teaching Assistants’ perceptions and constructions of their work in the inclusion of pupils with ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) within mainstream secondary schools. In a field where much research has focussed on the technicist (Teaching Assistant characteristics and deployment), exploration of ‘inclusion’ and of power is prioritised. The study uses elements of critical discourse analysis (CDA) 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 film footage (from the public domain) of TAs talking about their work. The framework is then used to analyse interview data from 8 TAs who have extensive experience and degree qualifications. Areas of commonality for the TAs include prioritising of discretion, even imperceptibility, in class as they actively stay ‘under the radar’ of teachers and schools. A divide within the mainstream schools between ‘the mainstream’ and SEN resourced ‘base’ seems apparent to the TAs, whether the support base is geographically separated or not. ‘Inclusion’ is actively sought, for example through advocacy, alternative provision and energetic deployment of professional strategies. Insights from the work of Foucault, Derrida and Goffman are deployed in the analysis of aspects of the TAs’ perceptions in order to contribute theoretical imagination to consider why the limitations in TA practice (both within this study and within the wider literature) may occur. A degree of emotional labour is indicated but Goffman’s work on managing spoiled identity, stigma and ‘cooling’ is of particular interest in offering possible explanations for the TAs’ perceptions.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
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The full-text can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Keywords: teaching assistants, special educational needs, secondary schools, inclusion
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Depositing User: Teresa Lehane
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2015 14:12
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2015 14:12
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3522

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