Perceived competencies of Learning Support educators: A comparative Study between Malta and Italy
This paper is a comparative study between Malta and Italy on the competences of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and Support Teachers (Insegnanti di Sostegno) in their respective role of supporting learners with a disability, learning difficulties and/or learners with migrant background.
The study analysed the data using previously established competencies, identified as Relational, Organizational and Specific (Baschiera, 2014; Tessaro, 2014).
The analysis showed that there are some major differences between Maltese LSAs and Italian Support Educators and concludes with a number of recommendations for changes in the approaches used to prepare learning support educators. On the relational level, Italian teachers seem to be more interested in classroom dynamics, while the Maltese LSAs value their relationship with the auxiliary staff and external support professionals. Italian support teachers, on the organizational competencies tend to have a more strategic function while for the Maltese educators the focus is more technical. In regard to Specific competencies both groups insist on the need for more specific and intensive professional formation.