Paraeducators’ Preparedness for Success in the Classroom: A Literature Review

Working with Paraprofessionals in Your Schools Series

Paraeducators’ Preparedness for Success in the Classroom: A Literature Review

By Elizabeth A. Moore
 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines a paraeducator as “a school employee who works under the direction of a certified staff member to support and assist in providing instructional programs and services to children with disabilities or eligible young children” (IDEA, 2008, Part B, Section 612 (a)15(B) iii). Paraeducators have several roles and responsibilities, but they are often not qualified to perform such duties (Fisher & Pleasants, 2012). This article reviews four pieces of literature to determine how teachers and schools can prepare paraeducators for success in the classroom. The perceptions that paraeducators have of themselves are reviewed, as well as how parents, teachers, and researchers perceive paraeducators. The limitations of the studies are reviewed and ideas for future research are suggested. This article concludes by explaining what teachers and schools need to do in order to ensure paraeducators are prepared to be successful.

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