Identifying training needs of educational paraprofessionals
Taylor, Christine M.
Federal and state educational initiatives have required a change in the roles and responsibilities expected of paraprofessionals working within schools. The purpose of this research study was to identify and analyze the roles, responsibilities and related training needs of educational paraprofessionals who work with special education students in a general education environment. A survey instrument, the Paraeducator Inclusion Inventory (PII), was completed by 76 paraprofessionals who worked with special education students at least 10% of their work day. The survey assessed the five different categories of tasks (academic instruction, behavior/classroom management, parent contact, medical/healthcare issues, other) to which paraeducators are often assigned. The importance, frequency, and level of difficulty to acquire skills were addressed using a 5-point Likert scale. In addition, the PII was completed by 14 school administrators who supervised the educational paraprofessionals. Lastly, five semistructured interviews were conducted with representative paraprofessionals who demonstrated on their completed PII that they had distinctive knowledge of the responsibilities and roles required of paraprofessionals. All surveys were conducted during the spring of 2007 in a Northwest public school district that serves students prekindergarten through 12th grade. This study found that there continues to be confusion regarding the roles and responsibilities of educational paraprofessionals. The study also found a strong need for specific and timely training of paraprofessionals in the areas of academic instruction, behavior management and supervision of students.
- Theses and Dissertations