The emotional experiences of Teaching Assistants, working 1:1 with a child

Kelly, Laura J (2020) The emotional experiences of Teaching Assistants, working 1:1 with a child. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

Government policy has identified the role of schools in the support and development of emotional wellbeing of children, specifically highlighting the contribution of Teaching Assistants (TAs) to children’s welfare. Whilst previous research has focused on the instructive role of TAs, and the impact of 1:1 learning support from TAs on children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN/D), there has been limited exploration of the role of TA beyond the pedagogical, when working 1:1. There is also a paucity of research considering the experience of TAs, and the emotional experience of working closely with individual children. This qualitative research sought to explore the emotional experiences of TAs engaging in 1:1 work with a child. In this study, the emotional experience of working on a 1:1 basis with a child was understood in the context of austerity and cuts within education, the changing expectations and roles of TAs, as well as the individual contexts of the TAs. Using a psychosocial approach (Hollway & Jefferson, 2013), two Free Association Narrative Interviews were completed with four TAs working at mainstream primary schools in London. All of the TAs worked on a 1:1 basis with the same child, regularly. A Reflexive Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019) approach was used to understand and interpret the data, using a case-study approach to consider each individual’s data as a ‘whole’. Themes drawn from each case-study were presented in the findings, then considered collectively, with pertinent psychoanalytic concepts applied. The implications of the study, for educational psychology practice and for the role of Educational Psychologists in supporting TAs with the emotional impact of their work is discussed, through the use of reflective and supervisory spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Learning & Education > Special Needs Education
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2269

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