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What are the perceptions of the practice of the deployment of teaching assistants by trainee teachers during classroom teaching experiences on a university-based Initial Teacher Training programme in southeast London?

What are the perceptions of the practice of the deployment of teaching assistants by trainee teachers during classroom teaching experiences on a university-based Initial Teacher Training programme in southeast London?

Morgan, Robert Austin ORCID: 0000-0002-7891-2662 (2018) What are the perceptions of the practice of the deployment of teaching assistants by trainee teachers during classroom teaching experiences on a university-based Initial Teacher Training programme in southeast London? EdD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

The deployment of teaching assistants is a key part of the trainee primary teacher’s responsibility and is an under-researched area. This study explores how teaching assistants, mentors and trainee teachers perceive the practice of the deployment of teaching assistants during a school experience on an Initial Teacher Training programme in southeast London. It arose from an assumption that some trainee teachers found the deployment of teaching assistants a difficult process.

A qualitative research approach based on an interpretivist paradigm was used through the lens of Bourdieu’s theory of habitus, capital and field. This was utilized to determine whether trainee teachers found the nature of deployment of teaching assistants difficult owing to a struggle for power within the classroom. Data were collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

Analysis revealed that trainee teachers have the perception that the habitus of their school environment is one in which they recognize aspects of having little control. They are expected to conform to the expectations of the schools’ habitus and teach in accordance with the existing pedagogy. There exists a perception of some practice replicating existing pedagogy and a resignation that autonomy is sacrificed at the expense of fitting in to the system required within a school. This situation is the result of accountability and performativity agendas that signify current English education policy.

Trainee teachers recognize the right to deploy their teaching assistants but appear not to wish to engage in an overt struggle for power – but rather do it subtly, by preferring to adopt a process of ‘localized familiarization’. This, in their perception, enables them to work towards ‘equality’ in the classroom through negotiation and discussion. What is revealed, however, is a surprising amount of power wielded by the teaching assistant who may be viewed as a monitor of the habitus.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Trainee teachers; teaching assistants; teacher training; primary schools; habitus; Initial Teacher Training (ITT); school experience;
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Education & Community Studies
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 10:20
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23461

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