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Teaching assistant apprentices? English TAs' perspectives on apprenticeships in schools

Smith, PH (2010) Teaching assistant apprentices? English TAs' perspectives on apprenticeships in schools. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 62 (3). pp. 367-380.

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Abstract

This article explores teaching assistants' (TAs) perceptions of suggestions that English schools should encourage large numbers of ‘low‐achieving’ school leavers to become apprentice teaching assistants. It reports on a piece of qualitative research that aimed to capture teaching assistants' views of these proposals. Semi‐structured interviews were utilised to enable 44 TAs to express their views. These individuals were all enrolled on a foundation degree programme at a new university in the North of England. The findings of this research suggest that established teaching assistants' reactions to apprenticeships are likely to promote a learning environment where an already restricted form of apprenticeship experience will be subject to further constraint. This article highlights the risks that vocational education and training (VET) of this type poses in terms of reproducing gender and class‐based inequalities. It further maintains that diluting the meaning of apprenticeship learning to meet ambitious governmental targets potentially endanger the integrity of this form of learning.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2010.510250
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
School/Department: School of Education
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1264

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