Scaffolding learning for independence: Clarifying teacher and teaching assistant roles for children with special educational needs

Article


Radford, Julie, Bosanquet, P., Webster, Rob and Blatchford, Peter 2014. Scaffolding learning for independence: Clarifying teacher and teaching assistant roles for children with special educational needs. Learning and Instruction. 36 (Apr.), pp. 1-10.
AuthorsRadford, Julie, Bosanquet, P., Webster, Rob and Blatchford, Peter
Abstract

Support for children with special educational needs (SEN) in inclusive classrooms, in many countries, continues to be provided by teaching assistants (TAs). Whilst they frequently take responsibility for instruction, they are rarely adequately trained and prepared. As TAs have ample opportunities for individualised and group interactions, this paper recommends scaffolding as the key theory to inform their practice. From a large dataset of interactions in mathematics and literacy lessons, episodes of TA scaffolding were selected. Using conversation analysis, three scaffolding roles emerged: 1) a support role that maintained learner engagement, on-task behaviour and motivation; 2) a repair function that focused on learning and fostered independence when children were in difficulty; and c) a heuristic role that encouraged students to use their own learning strategies. The paper concludes with implications for trainers and managers and how teachers can support TAs in implementing each role.

KeywordsClassroom discourse; Scaffolding; Conversation analysis; Instruction; Teaching assistants
JournalLearning and Instruction
Journal citation36 (Apr.), pp. 1-10
ISSN0959-4752
1873-3263
Year2014
PublisherElsevier for European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.10.005
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.10.005
Publication dates
Print25 Nov 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Jun 2017
Accepted29 Oct 2014
Copyright information© 2014 Elsevier
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