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    Who Cares? Exploring the inequalities of the role of special needs assistants and positioning of care in education

    McHale, Mairead (2018) Who Cares? Exploring the inequalities of the role of special needs assistants and positioning of care in education. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis explores the experiences of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in their working lives supporting children on the autism spectrum. The study problematizes the role of care in education in Ireland, analysing the disjunctions in differing conceptualisations of the SNA role between policy makers and SNA workers. A qualitative transformative methodology, using the lens of critical and feminist theory, gives voice to the SNA participants who illustrate the depth, complexity and multidimensionality of the role of special needs assisting in Ireland. Their stories draw attention to the deep inequalities present in care work in education, originating, for the most part, in the social and economic system which has become increasingly rationalised and cost-conscious under neoliberalism. The experiences of SNAs in their professional lives have broader class and gender implications which are explored throughout this research. The key contribution of this thesis for adult education is its focus on SNAs as a marginalised and mis-recognised group in our education system. It highlights the importance and impact of affective equality and care in education which has implications for SNAs, the inclusion of the students that SNAs are supporting, and to learning when care and the wider affective and relational domains of life and knowledge are often neglected.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: Submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the M.Ed in Adult & Community Education
    Keywords: Exploring; inequalities; role; special needs assistants; positioning of care; education; M.Ed in Adult & Community Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 12236
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 17:07
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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