Perspectives on Roles of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms: Developing Improved Approaches

Educators and parents often view support of a paraeducator as necessary for students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities in general education classes. Evidence indicates challenges with this approach. Themes derived from two qualitative studies will present views of paraeducators, teachers, administrators and parents regarding roles of paraeducators in inclusive classrooms and set the context for discussions of more effective approaches.   By the end of this session, attendees will be able to: 1. Identify the roles and responsibilities often experienced by paraeducators who support students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities in general education classes, as observed by paraeducators, teachers, administrators and parents.  2. Compare and contrast the perceptions of stakeholders, including paraeducators, teachers, administrators and parents, regarding appropriate roles and responsibilities for paraeducators in general education classes. 3. Compare stakeholders’ views with current evidence regarding effective roles and responsibilities for paraeducators.  4. Discuss changes in the views and approaches of all stakeholders regarding the roles and responsibilities of paraeducators that may lead to improvements in outcomes for students with significant disabilities in general education classes.

Regina Moreno, Ruth Falco