Teaching Assistants becoming Primary School Teachers: Changing Professional Identities in communities of practice

Geeson, Rebecca (2022) Teaching Assistants becoming Primary School Teachers: Changing Professional Identities in communities of practice. EdD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (2MB) | Preview


This study explores the way that teacher identity is developed in teaching assistants (TAs) who train to teach, and the impact that being part of a community of practice has on this transition. The participants in this research were studying for a top-up degree which included recommendation for qualified teacher status (QTS) while they continued to work as TAs. A narrative inquiry approach was used to foreground the often-overlooked voice of the TA in educational research. Findings showed that schools deployed TAs in a wide variety of ways, and this seemed to depend on individual skills and expertise of TAs, and on individual TA-teacher partnerships. However, it was also found that despite recommendations from the seminal DISS report (Blatchford et al., 2009) and subsequent work by this team, schools do not always follow the recommendations made. The findings of this study also shows that membership of a community of practice (Wenger, 1998) supports TAs in their practice. Relationships within the community of practice are of particular significance in their transition to becoming a teacher. I argue here that TAs and teachers can be seen to have a distinct ‘teaching identity’ rather than having to adopt either a teacher or a TA identity. This study finds that the experience TAs gain as members of a school community of practice while working in the liminal space between teacher and TA can support TAs who choose to train as teachers.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (EdD)
Supervisors: Youens, Bernadette
Townsend, Andrew
Keywords: Teaching Assistants, Training to teach, Initial Teacher Training, Communities of Practice, Teacher identity.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education of teachers
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 68960
Depositing User: Geeson, Rebecca
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2023 15:58
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 15:58
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/68960

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View