Capstone/Dissertation Title

A model for successful collaboration with paraprofessionals

Term

2008

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project was, how will weekly, collaborative meetings with high school special education paraprofessionals affect their perception of having adequate support and training? The author writes from the unique perspective of having been a paraprofessional and now a teacher. This capstone describes the content of weekly meetings led by a special education teacher. It identifies the common obstacles including issues of time and lack of supervisory training while emphasizing the teacher's responsibility to provide collaborative opportunities using research from French and others. A focus group discussion, field notes, and a survey indicated that paraprofessionals benefited from having weekly meetings with a supervising teacher. The author reflects on personal insights gained through conducting this action research project regarding the teacher's role, the benefits to the teacher, leadership issues, and future plans for continued paraprofessional support.

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