Coaching primary school teaching assistants to mediate learning: a collaborative action research project and realistic evaluation

Taylor, Laura (2018). Coaching primary school teaching assistants to mediate learning: a collaborative action research project and realistic evaluation. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.


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Research in the area of teaching assistant (TA) deployment in UK schools has suggested TAs are not always successful in enhancing the attainment of pupils they work with, and can often experience low self-efficacy with regards to their role in supporting pupil learning. A collaborative action research (CAR) model was used to explore the influence of training three primary school TAs to use a mediation intervention entitled ‘Medi8’ to support pupils’ cognitive functions. The TAs worked with target pupils and their class teachers to mediate specific cognitive functions with which the pupil was experiencing difficulties. TAs undertook weekly solution-focused coaching sessions concentrating on embedding mediational practices in their work with the pupil. A realistic evaluation (RE) was conducted to elicit mechanisms through which the intervention had influenced TA practice and self-efficacy, as well as pupil outcomes in relation to the targeted cognitive functions. Findings suggested that TAs experienced an increase in their self-efficacy regarding supporting pupil cognitive functioning and changes to their practice to incorporate mediational strategies. The RE also suggested that pupils experienced small steps of progress in their independence in targeted cognitive skills. The research concluded with an action plan for further embedding mediational practices within the school.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education


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