Perceptions of Special Education Paraprofessionals Regarding Training

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194375
Title:
Perceptions of Special Education Paraprofessionals Regarding Training
Author:
Berecin-Rascon, Maria Ann
Issue Date:
2008
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:
National shortages of special education teachers exist due to increased enrollments, retirements, and teacher attrition. In the Southwest, rapid population growth also contributes to the personnel shortage. Paraprofessionals may be a promising group of potential teachers (Smith, 2003; Tillery et al, 2003; White, 2004). Little research exists concerning the perceptions of paraprofessionals about their training and interest in teaching. This study investigated the perceptions of 48 paraprofessionals concerning training experiences in one Southwestern school district. A 46-item Paraprofessional Training Questionnaire sought opinions about preparation, types of training, the alignment of training with the competencies from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the extent training and length of service were related to a desire to enter the field of education. Responses were analyzed using the SPSS System (2004). Data analysis for closed-ended questions presented response distribution among categories. Descriptive statements were used to clarify, summarize, and interpret the data. Cross tabulation tables assisted in identifying relationships between specific topics and the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Seventy-two percent of paraprofessionals reported being offered training opportunities to assist their work. Eighty-three percent reported the training they received assisted them. Training opportunities varied in topic, but were aligned with the CEC knowledge and skill competencies for special education paraprofessionals.Over 53.2% of the paraprofessionals reported they were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with the training opportunities provided. However, more training opportunities were desired by both beginning and experienced paraprofessionals. Opportunities to meet with supervising teachers varied, as did attendance at training which fostered collaborate relationships with teachers. The relationship between years of service and the desire to become a special education teacher was not statistically significant. However, paraprofessionals with fewer years of service were more interested in becoming teachers. This study provides local and state educational agencies with a framework for designing a supportive and defined infrastructure for implementing competency-based training programs for paraprofessionals, supporting special education teachers, and increasing the pool of qualified special education staff in the schools. Districts may find well-designed paraprofessional training programs could assist in meeting the need for a qualified special education teacher workforce.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
paraprofessional training; perceptions of training; training of paraprofessionals
Degree Name:
Ed.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Special Education & Rehabilitation; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Chalfant, James C
Committee Chair:
Chalfant, James C

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titlePerceptions of Special Education Paraprofessionals Regarding Trainingen_US
dc.creatorBerecin-Rascon, Maria Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorBerecin-Rascon, Maria Annen_US
dc.date.issued2008en_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.abstractNational shortages of special education teachers exist due to increased enrollments, retirements, and teacher attrition. In the Southwest, rapid population growth also contributes to the personnel shortage. Paraprofessionals may be a promising group of potential teachers (Smith, 2003; Tillery et al, 2003; White, 2004). Little research exists concerning the perceptions of paraprofessionals about their training and interest in teaching. This study investigated the perceptions of 48 paraprofessionals concerning training experiences in one Southwestern school district. A 46-item Paraprofessional Training Questionnaire sought opinions about preparation, types of training, the alignment of training with the competencies from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the extent training and length of service were related to a desire to enter the field of education. Responses were analyzed using the SPSS System (2004). Data analysis for closed-ended questions presented response distribution among categories. Descriptive statements were used to clarify, summarize, and interpret the data. Cross tabulation tables assisted in identifying relationships between specific topics and the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Seventy-two percent of paraprofessionals reported being offered training opportunities to assist their work. Eighty-three percent reported the training they received assisted them. Training opportunities varied in topic, but were aligned with the CEC knowledge and skill competencies for special education paraprofessionals.Over 53.2% of the paraprofessionals reported they were Satisfied or Very Satisfied with the training opportunities provided. However, more training opportunities were desired by both beginning and experienced paraprofessionals. Opportunities to meet with supervising teachers varied, as did attendance at training which fostered collaborate relationships with teachers. The relationship between years of service and the desire to become a special education teacher was not statistically significant. However, paraprofessionals with fewer years of service were more interested in becoming teachers. This study provides local and state educational agencies with a framework for designing a supportive and defined infrastructure for implementing competency-based training programs for paraprofessionals, supporting special education teachers, and increasing the pool of qualified special education staff in the schools. Districts may find well-designed paraprofessional training programs could assist in meeting the need for a qualified special education teacher workforce.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectparaprofessional trainingen_US
dc.subjectperceptions of trainingen_US
dc.subjecttraining of paraprofessionalsen_US
thesis.degree.nameEd.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSpecial Education & Rehabilitationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorChalfant, James Cen_US
dc.contributor.chairChalfant, James Cen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberVan Dusen Pysh, Margareten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberErin, Janeen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10089en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659750508en_US
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