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Education Student - Dissertation

Discussion in 'Primary' started by amberlily1144, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. amberlily1144

    amberlily1144 New commenter

    I am a 3rd year student studying Education and Early Years, my future goal is to be a primary school teacher.
    My dissertation is aiming to explore the roles and responsibilities of TA's in KS1 and the ways they can enhance the classroom.
    I want to conduct a focus group with the children, using sorting hoops and images to understand their views on TA roles.
    Imagine a venn diagram - one side for teachers roles, one for TA's and the middle for roles belonging to both.
    I am struggling with images to use for things like emotional support, classroom management etc? Roles outside of timetabled lessons for which I can use visual timetable images.
    Hope this makes sense, I just wondered if anyone had any ideas on how what type of images I could use which make it clear to the children?
  2. indigo987

    indigo987 New commenter

    Think about what exact roles you mean, and how the children would see them e.g. who helps a child who is stuck with their work? Who helps a child who fell over in the playground? Who helps a child who doesn't have a friend/ is feeling sad/ doesn't understand their homework/ isn't behaving well?
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Ks1 children are unlikely to understand venn diagrams.
  4. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    You'd need to talk to children, TAs, teachers, senior leaders.

    Often the TAs take a more Pastoral role, others take on an admin role and others have to be directed and guided constantly and may lead interventions.

    Children won't view behaviour management in the same way we do, usually the TA reinforces the teacher's expectations. In the same way that some TAs' subject knowledge is acquired during the lesson input. Children won't be able to make this distinction.

    Could you not explore what value TAs add to the classroom and how to enhance and deploy them correctly?
  5. amberlily1144

    amberlily1144 New commenter

    These are included in the roles i am interested in. Didn’t want to write an essay in my first post so tried to be brief. Essentially i am interested in all roles which any TA and teacher can play and i am interested in how children make distinctions between these roles. The thing i am stuck on is how best to represent these roles using images as from research i have read this will be the most appropriate way to work with the children.
  6. amberlily1144

    amberlily1144 New commenter

    My actual research question is “To explore the ways in which teaching assistants can enhance the environment of year 1 and 2 classrooms.”.
    I will be interviewing teacher and TAs and one of the teacher is Ks1 lead, SENCo and acting assistant head so she will also be giving me an insight into the views of SLT.
    Ideally i would prefer to interview children however for ethical reasons my uni have said this won’t be allowed. This is why i will be using an activity to engage with them. Of course i can speak and explain things and ask questions but my main evidence will be gathered via the sorting activity.
    My issue is how to best depict the different classroom roles in the form of images or very few words.
  7. amberlily1144

    amberlily1144 New commenter

    I will be using sorting hoops and just labelling them “teachers roles” “TA roles” “both” or something along those lines.
  8. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    What you are suggesting would still need ethical approval from your university, is this already agreed?
  9. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    It is a nice idea but you need to keep it really simple and explain what a role is. I would just say that you want to know who you would go to in different situations at school.

    So you could give the children scenarios (in picture form) and ask them to put them in the Venn diagram for you.

    If I'm stuck with my work...
    If I feel upset...
    If I want someone to talk to...
    If i feel lonely...
    If I hurt myself...
    If I need help with homework...
    If someone upsets me...
    If I feel distracted...
    You might be able to find more scenarios if you research the school's pshe curriculum.

    I don't think the pictures need to be that elaborate. For example, for 'if I feel upset', a picture of a child crying would be sufficient.

    You'd need to make a massive point in your dissertation about your research being a sweeping generalisation as some children won't approach a teacher or TA for anything.

    Can you observe in a school to see what you perceive the roles to be? Children won't give you the full picture, they won't mention interventions, phonics, behaviour support, SEN support, admin, displays, resources.
  10. amberlily1144

    amberlily1144 New commenter

    Yes i have ethical approval for the activity with the children.
  11. amberlily1144

    amberlily1144 New commenter

    Thank you so much for this response, it has sparked an idea in my head!
    Instead of pictures i could just use short sentences or words which they could then match up to teacher/ta/both. The main thing i was struggling with was the images, but actually they would be able to understand and read a few words (i have been volunteering in the class twice a week since september so i am aware of their abilities) and if some children are unable to read the words i can always read it out to them. this could make my data more reliable as i am not assuming they will understand an image the same way i do?
  12. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Sounds good! And something that you need to mention in your dissertation I suspect. Good luck!
    amberlily1144 likes this.

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