This study explores the special education team’s relationship to the role definition of paraprofessionals. Specifically, it examines the different viewpoints of the special education team regarding the roles of paraprofessionals in one Midwestern elementary school with a strong special education team. Traits of the special education team that serve as a catalyst for defining paraprofessional roles are identified. Currently in the United States, 6.6 million students receive special education services. Over 1.2 paraprofessionals help to support these students. With so many paraprofessionals supporting students across the United States and with current literature indicating that clear-cut roles for paraprofessionals are not defined, this research serves to add a different voice to the literature: that of a school with clearly defined roles for paras. Using individual interviews and focus-group interviews, data were collected through a case-study of special education teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals connected to one exemplary North Dakota school with clearly-defined roles for paraprofessionals. Data were analyzed using open coding. The researcher looked for emerging themes to help determine how the special education team’s function may relate to strong paraprofessional roles. This research adds a new voice to the literature and provides suggestions for clearly defining roles of paraprofessionals within special education teams.
|Commitee:||Harmon, Leisa, Webster, JoLynn|
|School:||Minot State University|
|School Location:||United States -- North Dakota|
|Source:||MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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