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ERIC Number: ED513158
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 70
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1090-3736-4
Paraprofessionals and Professional Development: An Approach Based on Principles of Adult Learning
Macione, Nancy E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Connecticut
Increasingly paraprofessionals provide inclusive special education services to identified students in general education classrooms within public schools today. Often, however, professional development opportunities for paraprofessionals are limited in scope or are insufficient to match the paraprofessionals' expanded instructional roles. This qualitative, theory-building study explored the problem of enhancing the professional learning of paraprofessionals using principles of adult learning as a theoretical basis for examining the supervisory supports, social supports and other factors that were related to the professional learning of paraprofessionals. Data were obtained from interviews with a sample of key participants--the principal, regular education teachers, special education teachers, and paraprofessionals--in an urban elementary school setting, as well as from observations and document review. Findings indicated that an operative process which promoted the learning of paraprofessionals occurred when individuals with certain attributes grappled with problems of practice within a climate of continuous learning that included support from supervisors and peers. The study results also indicated (a) that on-the-job, informal learning was the primary mode of professional development for the paraprofessionals, and (b) that the key experiences that enhanced paraprofessionals' learning best were mainly ill-defined, equivocal problems encountered in the school environment. Implications for practice are included that could improve professional learning opportunities for paraprofessionals in order to enhance their capabilities in the school setting. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A