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ERIC Number: EJ1119812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1540-7969
Accomplishing More Together: Influences to the Quality of Professional Relationships between Special Educators and Paraprofessionals
Biggs, Elizabeth E.; Gilson, Carly B.; Carter, Erik W.
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, v41 n4 p256-272 Dec 2016
Fostering and maintaining strong collaborative relationships are critically important for paraprofessionals and special education teachers working together to provide a high-quality education for students with severe disabilities. Through in-depth interviews with 22 teachers and paraprofessionals comprising nine educational teams, we examined educator perspectives on what influences the quality of their professional relationships, as well as how their perspectives on these influences converged or diverged. Teachers and paraprofessionals identified five themes of influences to the quality of their relationships: teacher influences, paraprofessional influences, shared influences (i.e., related to the collective efforts of teachers and paraprofessionals), administrative influences (i.e., related to school and district leaders), and underlying influences (i.e., related to contextual or other factors). The findings highlight the complex nature of these relationships and emphasize the importance of supporting teachers and paraprofessionals as they work together to meet the needs of students with severe disabilities. We offer recommendations for future research and practice aimed at strengthening the quality and impact of special educator--paraprofessional collaborations.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: H325D100010