Adult-child discourse: A focus on paraprofessionals in early childhood special education.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/185832
Title:
Adult-child discourse: A focus on paraprofessionals in early childhood special education.
Author:
Husby, Brian Archie Thomas
Issue Date:
1992
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Employing paraprofessionals in early childhood special education is a growing practice in education. Most of the previous research on paraprofessionals has relied on survey data. Specifically, this investigation focused on: (a) delineating the various roles which paraprofessionals play in early childhood special education services; (b) describing these early childhood settings in terms of micro-contexts; (c) identifying variations in paraprofessional roles across contexts; and (d) describing the discourse structure between paraprofessionals and special needs children across paraprofessional roles and micro-contexts. A constant comparative design (Stainback & Stainback, 1988) characterized this qualitative investigation. Data were collected over 22 weeks (January-June, 1991) for four mornings per week. Case studies were developed with three early childhood education paraprofessionals working with special needs children in a rural Canadian school. The results show that, first, early childhood special education environments are made up of a series of micro-contexts which in turn are defined by the activity and the participants. Second, paraprofessionals play a variety of roles which clustered around four classroom functions: (a) direct instruction; (b) curriculum design; (c) classroom management; and (d) child advocacy. The definition and behavioural correlates of the roles were impacted by: (a) parents; (b) teachers; (c) administration; and (d) paraprofessionals themselves. Third, paraprofessional-special needs child discourse changed across micro-contexts in the percentage of discourse exchange types used by both the adult and child. However, the general patterns of paraprofessional and special need child discourse were remarkably stable, suggesting both parties may be using a "school register" (Cazden, 1986). Such a register was characterized by the paraprofessionals controlling most of the discourse exchanges. However, the special needs child could recognize that different contexts within the school day required different language structures. The author concluded by suggesting that the roles of paraprofessionals be expanded to include community liaisons. Paraprofessionals are also seen as being an excellent source of child advocacy. However, such roles require additional education and openness from the professional constituents.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Special Education and Rehabilitation; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
McCarthy, Jeanne

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAdult-child discourse: A focus on paraprofessionals in early childhood special education.en_US
dc.creatorHusby, Brian Archie Thomasen_US
dc.contributor.authorHusby, Brian Archie Thomasen_US
dc.date.issued1992en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractEmploying paraprofessionals in early childhood special education is a growing practice in education. Most of the previous research on paraprofessionals has relied on survey data. Specifically, this investigation focused on: (a) delineating the various roles which paraprofessionals play in early childhood special education services; (b) describing these early childhood settings in terms of micro-contexts; (c) identifying variations in paraprofessional roles across contexts; and (d) describing the discourse structure between paraprofessionals and special needs children across paraprofessional roles and micro-contexts. A constant comparative design (Stainback & Stainback, 1988) characterized this qualitative investigation. Data were collected over 22 weeks (January-June, 1991) for four mornings per week. Case studies were developed with three early childhood education paraprofessionals working with special needs children in a rural Canadian school. The results show that, first, early childhood special education environments are made up of a series of micro-contexts which in turn are defined by the activity and the participants. Second, paraprofessionals play a variety of roles which clustered around four classroom functions: (a) direct instruction; (b) curriculum design; (c) classroom management; and (d) child advocacy. The definition and behavioural correlates of the roles were impacted by: (a) parents; (b) teachers; (c) administration; and (d) paraprofessionals themselves. Third, paraprofessional-special needs child discourse changed across micro-contexts in the percentage of discourse exchange types used by both the adult and child. However, the general patterns of paraprofessional and special need child discourse were remarkably stable, suggesting both parties may be using a "school register" (Cazden, 1986). Such a register was characterized by the paraprofessionals controlling most of the discourse exchanges. However, the special needs child could recognize that different contexts within the school day required different language structures. The author concluded by suggesting that the roles of paraprofessionals be expanded to include community liaisons. Paraprofessionals are also seen as being an excellent source of child advocacy. However, such roles require additional education and openness from the professional constituents.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSpecial Education and Rehabilitationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMcCarthy, Jeanneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBos, Candaceen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAntia, Shirin D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRichardson, Virginiaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGoodman, Yetta M.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9225192en_US
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