Ek310 Ema

What are children’s perspectives on how teaching assistants support their learning?
Part 1
The literature review suggests that there are conflicting findings as to how valuable teaching assistants are in regards to children’s learning.
The review looked at a large scale study by Blatchford et al (2011).   This study used quantitative methods to asses the impact of support on a child’s progress. The findings of this study suggest that the more support a child receives, the less progress they make , this argued Blatchford (2011) et al was due to less time spent with the qualified teacher and more time spent with a less trained support worker. These findings also suggested that an assistant will be good at keeping children on task but this will mean giving incorrect explanations, providing answers and hurrying to finish tasks thus not scaffolding and encouraging as a teacher would (Webster et al 2011).   Large scale quantitative studies have the strength of being able to reflect the larger population (Punch 2005). However, this generalization takes out many of the contextual issues that will affect how children learn and how assistants work. This study does not consider the views of the children involved.
The smaller scale qualitative studies in the literature review provide evidence in the contrary to Blatchford et al (2011).   Fraser (2008) and Houssart (2012) both find that assistants are able to scaffold, support and adapt activates in the best interest of the child/children, whom they have developed a good learning relationship with .They also suggest that as is determined by the structure of the curriculum the children must have at least half an hour quality teaching time in each lesson, suggesting that the teacher is the one doing the teaching.   These smaller studies have strength in that they take into account the views of those concerned and they consider contextual issues that affect how a child learns.
As a teaching assistant of many years...