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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


The power of talk: how teaching assistants can boost pupils’ independence and learning

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 8 September 2015

 Rob Webster, Paula Bosanquet and Julie Radford
Schools are increasingly using research evidence to inform their strategic and day-to-day practice. A key resource is the Education Endowment Foundation’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit. Consistently top of the EEF’s list of ‘what works’ are teacher feedback and strategies relating to metacognition. Evidence suggests pupils could make up to eight months’ additional progress if such approaches are successfully implemented.
A bonus of embedding these techniques is that they tend to be very cost-effective, offering schools sizeable value for money compared with, say, one-to-one tuition (currently fourth on the EEF’s chart).
One of the less cost-effective investments schools could make, according to the Toolkit, is teaching assistants (TAs). Evidence suggests schools could gain just one month of additional progress from spending on TAs. However, the evidence on impact is (more…)