Managing the Role of Teacher Aides

Managing the Role of Teacher Aides in Inclusive and Special Education Classrooms


The potential positive and negative effects of the use of teacher aides that have been identified in the research literature will be highlighted and discussed. Participants will be guided to identify teacher aide roles that contribute to positive outcomes for students with special needs in their classrooms. Including teacher aides as part of the intervention team requires training in behaviour management, program delivery and data management strategies with positive involvement dependent on ongoing mentoring and monitoring by the classroom teacher and/or special education support teacher. The role of teacher aides in interacting with parents and other family members is also addressed.


  1. Teachers in general education classrooms in which one or more children with additional needs is included
  2. Teachers in special schools or in units in mainstream schools (these teachers may or may not have special education qualifications)


Coral Kemp, Expert Panel, InSpEd

Dr Coral Kemp

BA, Dip Ed, MA (Spec Ed), PhD

Dr Coral Kemp has been involved in the education of children in both ‘regular’ and special settings in the capacity of regular class teacher, teacher-in charge of a one and later two teacher school in remote Western Australia, special class teacher, early intervention teacher, resource teacher, consultant, program director, deputy principal, and acting principal. This has involved working for two state departments of education, the NSW Association of Independent Schools, a community-based disability organisation and Macquarie University.

Coral has also contributed to special education courses at three universities, and was course co-ordinator for a number of special education courses at Macquarie University over fifteen years. She is currently an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University where she is still involved in collaborative research.   Coral has acted as an independent consultant to schools with respect to the inclusion of students with disabilities, as an advocate for families who need assistance in relation to their children’s educational placements and as an expert witness in cases involving students with disability.

Jennifer Stephenson, Expert Panel, InSpEd

Dr Jennifer Stephenson 

B SC, Dip Ed, Dip SKTC, Grad Dip Special Education, PhD

Dr Jennifer Stephenson is currently an honorary associate professor at Macquarie University, supervising research students and carrying out research in special education. She has taught at Western Sydney University, University of Technology (where she co-ordinated the special education program) and at Macquarie. She has acted as Director for the Macquarie University Special Education Centre, and prior to moving to university teaching was Assistant Principal at a school for specific purposes.

Jennifer has been active in the Australian Association of Special Education (AASE) for over 20 years, and has served as president and vice-president of the NSW chapter and vice-president of the national organisation. She has been editor of the AASE journal, the Australasian Journal of Special Education and associate editor of Special Education Perspectives. Jennifer has been a consulting editor for the journal Alternative and Augmentative Communication. She has served on the board of Best Buddies, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and supports friendships for people with intellectual disability. She was a member of the Students with Disability Advisory Group for ACARA.

Jennifer has provided consultation and professional learning to many schools educating students with severe disability and had been an expert witness in court cases involving teachers and students with disability.