Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD Lecturer Presents at Paraprofessional Conference in America

27.04.2015

A highly respected UWTSD lecturer recently co-presented at the National Resource Centre for Paraprofessionals (Teaching Assistants) in Hartford, Connecticut along with colleagues from the US and Australia.

Dr Jill Morgan, senior lecturer at UWTSD presented at the conference along with Dr Betty Y. Ashbaker of Brigham Young University (USA) and Elizabeth Tatum, doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia.

The presentation concentrated on a website which they have jointly developed, for Teaching Assistants, Paraprofessionals and Teacher Aides to provide much needed professional development   materials for support staff.

Dr Morgan said: “Where materials and publications are quite readily available to TAs in the UK, there is little accessible material for paraprofessionals in the USA or Teacher Aides in Australia.”

An author of a number of books for Teaching Assistants and the teachers who work with them, Dr Morgan also directs the Foundation Degree in Learning Support at UWTSD Swansea. 

She was able to share details of the ground-breaking research which has recently been published out of London University's Institute of Education and the University of East London, which has helped us to better understand why the work of TAs may not have maximal impact.

Dr Morgan continued: “Concern has been expressed for decades over the lack of training for TAs' direct instructional roles. This newest research clearly shows that many TAs have insufficient understanding of the need to foster independence in learners, and to ask the type of questions that monitor understanding and extend thinking, focusing rather on task completion, asking closed questions, and (all too often) providing the answers for students rather than encouraging them to think and problem solve for themselves.”

The National Resource Centre for Paraprofessionals is a non-profit organization that serves paraprofessionals, teachers, policymakers and administrators.

Their aim is to address policy questions and other needs of the field, provide technical assistance and share information about policy questions, management practices, regulatory procedures, and training models that will enable administrators and staff-developers to improve the recruitment, deployment, supervision, and career development of paraprofessionals.

The International Site for TAs and Paraeducators can be found at http://education.byu.edu/istap

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014

Further Information

For more information please contact Sara Jones, PR and Communications Officer, on 07449 998 478 or via email at sara.f.jones@uwtsd.ac.uk