Advisor

Mueller, Tracy Gershwin

Committee Member

Pierce, Corey

Committee Member

Brewer, Robin

Committee Member

Athanasiou, Michelle

Department

Special Education

Institution

University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources

Text

Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)

Publisher

University of Northern Colorado

Date Created

2-2019

Extent

148 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital

Abstract

Research shows the number of paraprofessionals who provide support to students with exceptionalities is increasing (Data Accountability Center [DAC], 2010) and that special educators are becoming increasingly responsible for managing, training, and supervising paraprofessionals who support students with exceptionalities (Carlson, Brauen, Klein, Schroll, & Willing, 2002; Douglas, Chapin, & Nolan, 2016; Drecktrah, 2000). The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to investigate how preservice programs were preparing teachers to manage, train, and supervise paraprofessionals who provide support to students with significant needs. Ten leading experts in the field of paraprofessional research who work at universities with special education teacher preparation programs were interviewed with the intent to identify current practices in preparing preservice special education teachers to manage, train, and supervise paraprofessionals. In addition to investigating how leading experts in the field prepare preservice special education teachers to work with paraprofessionals, participants’ experiences and beliefs were also analyzed. The results of this study revealed five themes: (a) obstacles to preparing preservice teachers to work with paraprofessionals, (b) we do not do a good job preparing them to manage adults, (c) preservice teachers don’t know what they don’t know, (d) why paraprofessionals should be a part of preservice training, and (e) knowledge, skills, and approaches needed to prepare preservice teachers This study added to the current literature by highlighting issues that impact preservice special education teacher preparation programs’ ability to effectively prepare special education teachers to work with paraprofessionals including how this topic is addressed in special education preservice preparation programs. This study also added to the growing literature on best practices for preparing preservice special education teachers to work with adult learners as well as how to effectively train paraprofessionals to support students with exceptionalities including students with severe needs. Implications for special education preservice preparation programs, policy for special education preservice preparation programs, and future research were addressed.

Degree type

PhD

Degree Name

Doctoral

Local Identifiers

Massafra_unco_0161D_10731

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.

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