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1. Get started

Start by watching a short video. Then read the cartoon, quote and key principles. They introduce the main ideas covered in this module. Discuss these as a group. The learning outcomes describe what you’ll achieve once you’ve completed the six steps.

Ways to support peer interaction

Module 8 Cartoon
Before I saw my relationship with the student as the most critical; now I understand that it is my responsibility to help Becca build relationships with other kids, not with me.

— Teacher aide, quoted in Causton-Theoharis & Malmgren, 2005, p.18

Module 8 Csp0975

Key principles

  • The support that teacher aides provide can help create an inclusive classroom environment. Teacher aides can enhance relationships between the teacher, students and peers.
  • Teacher aide time is best used to ensure that students with additional learning needs learn alongside their peers, rather than being withdrawn to work with one adult.
  • Teacher aide support for individual students needs to foster independence, perseverance and interactions with peers and teachers.
  • In inclusive classrooms, the identity, language and culture of every student is recognised, respected and reflected in all relationships, environments and programmes.
  • In inclusive classrooms, all students feel involved, and that they belong and are valued.

Learning outcomes

This module is intended to support teachers and teacher aides to achieve four aims:

  1. Identify and describe how teachers and teacher aides can impact a student’s sense of belonging and their connections with their peers.
  2. Discuss what they currently do in their classrooms to support students’ connections with their peers and their sense of belonging in the classroom.
  3. Plan and implement a new strategy or approach for fostering peer relationships in their class/school.
  4. Discuss how the new approach is working and make any necessary changes.