British Journal of Educational Psychology

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British Journal of Educational Psychology - Early View Articles, Pages ${blockparams.parentJournalIssue.pageRange}

Teaching assistant and pupil interactions: The role of repair and topic management in scaffolding learning


Teaching assistants (TAs) are taking increasing responsibility for the learning of pupils. A key instructional skill for TAs is the ability to scaffold learning.


To explore the interactions of TAs in relation to scaffolding as a theory of instruction.


Observational data in the form of video were collected. Conversation analysis was used to examine these interactions.


Examples are explored where repair of troubles and construction of topic are highly led by the TA. As such, these interactions cannot be seen to constitute scaffolding.


Teaching assistants require training in scaffolding as an instructional strategy, and educational psychologists (EPs) could play a vital role in this respect.

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