In collaboration with the “Every Child Matters” agenda launched in United Kingdom; the emerging trend of utilizing multi agency approach in a school setting has led to the involvement of a range of specialized support staff, other than teachers, who work with children…
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In collaboration with the “Every Child Matters” agenda launched in United Kingdom; the emerging trend of utilizing multi agency approach in a school setting has led to the involvement of a range of specialized support staff, other than teachers, who work with children. Employed either by schools or “Local Educational Authorities”, teaching assistants or “TAs” offer a variety of services depending on their level of expertise for meeting educational, pastoral and social needs of children in a class room environment (Westcott, 2008).This research will help to envisage the altering nature of classroom support system in United Kingdom and how well teaching assistants are coping with these pedagogical arrangements. It will primarily discuss the makeshift in UK school systems regarding the increase in number of teaching assistants after the implementation of “work force reform” that was initiated to transform the primary and secondary learning patterns thus lessening work load of teachers (Estyn, 2007). With coming years issues concerned with role definition of teaching assistant resurfaced. Nature of work became more inclined to submerge the teacher and support staff boundaries. Sometimes TAs faces neglect in a school setting. It may happen that they succumb to the subordination of head teachers without honing their job related skills (Ebersold, 2003, p.103). This research will be focused on determining the underlying challenges faced by supply teachers as they try to substitute various responsibilities that were once considered the “sole remit of the teacher” (Fraser & Meadows, 2008, p.351). Research questions that will be sought in this study include: Whether the impact of improper guidance by senior teachers deviate the career direction of supply assistants? Other than support provisons, do teaching assistants play any significant role in curriculum development? What is the level of ambiguity or role confusion faced by teaching assistants in a school setting? Is the training offered to TAs sufficient for their professional development? What is the future potential of teaching assistants in UK schools? 3) Please give a short description of the methodological approach that you intent to take in this research, the research methods you will use and the data you wish to gather. [200 words] The research approach for this study will mostly be qualitative. For secondary data, relevant literature will be studied to gain insights about the perceptions of role disposition of supply teachers as held by parents, teachers and children. Contemporary research work as well as the work done by previous school practitioners will be considered for making generalized analysis of the chosen topic. For carrying out this study reviews of parents and children will be gathered to know the perception they hold with respect to the teaching assistant working in the school environment. Primary tools of data collection will comprise of questionnaire survey and interviews with parents and school faculty. Participant observation technique will be employed to judge the behavior of students in presence of a teaching assistant. As a research sample, three schools will be selected on random basis in the locality of Manchester offering both primary and secondary education. Target audience for the participant observation will be 30 students from age group 5-12 years. Their movements and gestures will be recorded while the class is being controlled by the supply learning assistant.
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