Bolstering the Impact of Teacher Assistants on Student Outcomes in Inclusive Classrooms
Poster Presentation: Juliane Dmyterko
Session B | 9:45 – 10:00 | Location: Main Corridor, 2nd Floor, Outside Room 209
Teacher Assistants [TAs]; otherwise known as Learning Support Assistant (LSA), Educational Assistant (EA), Aides or Paraprofessional] are increasingly being used in elementary and secondary inclusive classrooms to support students with special educational needs. As a result, teachers will likely encounter and work with TAs in their own classrooms while students, especially those with special educational needs, will likely be supported by these professionals. The purpose of TAs is to support student academic achievement and social inclusion. However, researchers have found that the support that TAs provide is not always meeting this goal. Instead, they found that students who receive more support from TAs often have lower academic achievement and social inclusion, contrary to what would be expected. A number of issues have been identified that explain this concerning finding such as how TAs are deployed in schools, their level of training and guidance and their general practice. Research has suggested a number of ways in which the support provided by TAs can be bolstered to more positively impact students which will be outlined in this presentation.