Education Assistant Support in Inclusive Western Australian Classrooms: Trialling a Screening Tool in an Australian Context
School of Education
Education assistants (EAs) who support students with disability in general education classrooms often find themselves in difficult situations. Caught in the firing line between their personal sense of duty, expectations of the classroom teachers, and the challenges that inclusion presents, their roles as primary support agents are anything but clear. In the following article the authors describe the findings from a modification of screening tool on the over-utilisation of paraprofessionals. The 16-item electronic survey focused on factors associated with EA support, conducted in a variety of Western Australian schools. The findings revealed that school community members such as EAs, classroom teachers, administrators and parents observed aspects of EA support that appear counter-productive towards more inclusive pedagogy.