Teaching assistants in inclusive classrooms: A systematic analysis of the international research

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Australian Journal of Teacher Education, ISSN: 0313-5373, Vol: 41, Issue: 8, Page: 118-134

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Sharma, Umesh; Salend, Spencer J
Edith Cowan University
Social Sciences; Teacher assistants; inclusive education; literature review; Disability and Equity in Education
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article description
This article reviewed international data from English-language peer-reviewed studies on the use of TAs in inclusive classrooms from the past 10 years concerning: (a) the roles of TAs; (b) the impact of TAs on students, educators, and inclusive education; and (c) the factors that influence the performance of TAs. These studies suggest that unclear professional roles, limited communication and opportunities for collaboration and training for TAs and teachers contribute to TAs assuming significant instructional, classroom management, and socialization roles, and providing ineffective and separate instruction that inadvertently undermine the inclusion, learning, socialization and independence of students with disabilities and the pedagogical roles of their teachers. Recommendations to inform decisions about whether to employ TAs and ways to enhance the efficacy and the practices of TAs and the professionals who work with them are discussed as well as the limitations of this review and implications for future research.