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An analysis of the role of teachers' aides in a state secondary school: Perceptions of teaching staff and teachers' aides
journal contributionposted on 2016-07-01, 00:00 authored by Dianne Gibson, Louise PaatschLouise Paatsch, Dianne Toe
In Victoria, Australia, one of the major roles of the teachers' aide (TA) is to assist students with disabilities to access their education. Researchers have identified the inconsistencies in defining the roles of the TA, in a variety of settings, by TAs, teachers, parents, and other research participants. Four main themes that have been frequently reported in educational research related to the role of TAs formed the basis for this study: (a) inclusion in the school community, (b) curriculum, (c) classroom management, and (d) student support. Drawing on the results of a questionnaire administered to teachers and TAs at a government nonselective secondary school in Victoria, Australia, data were collected to explore the differing perspectives on the role of the TAs by the teaching staff and the TAs. In all, 65 individuals participated in this study. The participants formed 3 groups: TAs (n = 10), teachers (n = 49), and T/TAs (n = 6; participants in this group had worked as both a teacher and TA). The results of the study showed a diversity of views across the 4 themes. In 3 of the 4 themes that included inclusion, classroom management, and student support, the 3 groups agreed on the role of the TA. In the remaining theme, curriculum, opinions varied significantly. The results of the study reveal that a concerted effort to clarify the role of TAs would be beneficial to all stakeholders.