Stakeholders' Views on the Tasks of Teaching Assistants in Inclusive Education: A Mixed Method Study
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CitationOzaydin, L. (Stakeholders' Views on the Tasks of Teaching Assistants in Inclusive Education: A Mixed Method Study), ANKARA UNIVERSITESI EGITIM BILIMLERI FAKULTESI OZEL EGITIM DERGISI-ANKARA UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION. 21, 3, 561-587.
In general education classes, the students with disabilities need to receive the teaching assistant provision within the scope of a fair and equal education. This study examines the views of stakeholders (teachers, teaching assistants and mothers) on the tasks of teaching assistants employed in inclusive classes. The study was conducted using a concurrent design (a mixed-method approach) in which qualitative and quantitative methods were used together. The views of stakeholders were collected using a questionnaire and semi-structured interview questions examining the competencies of the TAs. The respondents to the questionnaire (n = 127) and those interviewed in individual meetings (n = 24) were teachers, teaching assistants and the mothers of kindergarten and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students with special education needs attending public and private kindergartens and elementary schools in three districts of Ankara. The findings of the study revealed that teaching assistants acted as assistants, facilitators of communication, security guards and caregivers. These roles provided support to students with special education needs in gaining access to the general education system and participating in the classes, supporting their interaction with peers, preventing problematic behaviors, taking security measures and meeting their self-care needs.