Common Core Professional Development Standards for Special Education Paraeducators


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Presentation by Carol Long and Kent Gerlach at the 2011 NRCP Conference.

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Common Core Professional Development Standards for Special Education Paraeducators

  1. 1. Common Core Professional Development Standards for Special Education Paraeducators Carol Long [email_address] Kent Gerlach [email_address]
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>1922 CEC established professional standards for field of special education </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1997 standards for paraeducators included in the compilation of CEC standards </li></ul><ul><li>IN 2009 a work group formed to revise and validate the CEC entry-level standards for paraeducators </li></ul>
  3. 3. Recently Revised Standards <ul><li>Subcommittee of the TED-SIG charged with the development of a revised set of standards for paraeducators – Mary Fisher, Nancy French, Kent Gerlach, Carol Long (Chair), Janet Stivers, Denise Uitto, Teri Wallace </li></ul><ul><li>Survey completed – March 2011, 309 respondants – TED, SIG, & NRCP members </li></ul><ul><li>Revised standards presented to the CEC Knowledge & Skills Subcommittee – April 29 th </li></ul>
  4. 4. Results <ul><li>Now called “Professional Development Standards for Paraeducators” </li></ul><ul><li>Considered the Common Core for all paraeducators working with students with disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Total of 95 Knowledge and skills under 10 standards </li></ul>
  5. 5. CEC Next Steps <ul><li>CEC Professional Standards and Practices Committee </li></ul><ul><li>CEC Board of Directors </li></ul><ul><li>CEC Redbook, “What All Special Educators Must Know” </li></ul><ul><li>CEC considering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>program recognition, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>clearing house, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>curriculum </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Need for standards <ul><li>Paraeducators employed in special education - over 60 years - working alongside teachers, providing additional assistance to students </li></ul><ul><li>The 1990s - extraordinary progress in inclusion AND exponential growth in the numbers of paraeducators </li></ul><ul><li>By the late 1990s, classroom teachers commonly reported that paraeducators were a necessity for inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Today, paraeducators are a primary support for individuals with disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>The success of individuals with disabilities depends on the skills of paraeducators. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Need - continued <ul><li>Lack of preservice or inservice preparation - a primary problem, some recommend significantly higher levels of skill development </li></ul><ul><li>Giangreco (2003) - “training trap” - belief that minimal training is sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement that appropriate use includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support for curricular and instructional adaptations designed by special education team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional assistance without “prescribing” adaptations – as in nurse-doctor roles or professional chef -“sous chef” roles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research supports the need for higher standards </li></ul>
  8. 8. Intro to Standards <ul><li>Standards for paraeducators do not focus on what teachers should do or know…. </li></ul><ul><li>Each standard DOES consider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The differences in the role of the paraeducator and the teacher and the interplay between roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The necessity for teamwork between teachers, related service providers and paraeducators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The types of knowledge and skills required for competent performance of the typical tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical behavior in the performance of related duties </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Professional Development Standards <ul><li>Follow the same 10 basic categories as for teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foundations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development and Characteristics of Learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual Learning Differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Environments / Social Interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional and Ethical practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Components of Standards <ul><li>Each standard has a written statement defining how the standard applies to paraeducators in general </li></ul><ul><li>Each standard consists of knowledge statements and skills statements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge statements suggest that basic knowledge or understanding is all that is demanded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills statements, by definition, include all knowledge necessary to perform the skill </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Evidence-Based Knowledge and Skills <ul><li>Research-based references </li></ul><ul><li>Literature/theory- based references </li></ul><ul><li>Practice-based references </li></ul>
  12. 12. Example of Standards: P1K1 Purposes of supports and services for individuals with exceptionalities. <ul><li>Research-based references </li></ul><ul><li>Hill, C. (2003). The role of instructional assistants in regular classrooms: Are they influencing inclusive practices? The Alberta Journal of Education Research, (XLIX) (1), 98-100. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Literature/theory- based references <ul><li>Kauffman, J.M. & Pullen, P.L. (1989). An historical perspective, A personal perspective on our history of service to mildly handicapped and at-risk students. Remedial & Special Education , 10 (6), 12-14.  </li></ul>
  14. 14. Practice-based research <ul><li>Minnesota Paraprofessional Consortium. (2002). Minnesota Core Competencies for Paraprofessionals . MN: Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota. Author. </li></ul><ul><li>Iowa State Rule 282—24.1(272) (n.d). Paraeducator Standards   </li></ul>
  15. 15. Applications <ul><li>Programs that prepare paraeducators will use these to design or revise content </li></ul><ul><li>Programs may seek recognition from CEC for meeting standards in their training </li></ul>
  16. 16. Value of Standards <ul><li>Application to all paraeducators who work with students with disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners - use for preparation prior to employment and professional development programs </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of standards – better prepared paraeducators to support teachers and meet needs of students </li></ul>
  17. 17. Ultimately… <ul><li>More consistently trained individuals serving in paraeducator roles in schools </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers and paraeducators will work more effectively in teams to serve the needs of students with and without exceptionalities </li></ul><ul><li>Pay and benefits will be commensurate with skills and responsibilities </li></ul>
  18. 18. Relevance – Emphasis for Practice <ul><li>Respect and understanding students and their families from diverse sub-groups </li></ul><ul><li>Professional ethics including confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional techniques to re-teach and support student achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge and accompanying skills to demonstrate effective practices </li></ul>
  19. 19. Implications of Standards <ul><li>What implications for your educational situation do these standards have? </li></ul><ul><li>What implications for federal/state policies might these standards have? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Implementation of Standards <ul><li>How will you use these standards? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Professional Development <ul><li>P5K3 </li></ul><ul><li>Identifies the rules and procedural safeguards that impact behavioral support for individuals with exceptionalities </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: Power point; RTI model </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: multiple choice test </li></ul>
  22. 22. Professional Development <ul><li>P3S3 </li></ul><ul><li>Implement levels of support appropriate to academic and social-emotional needs of individuals with exceptionalities as determined by the instructional team </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: Prompt sequence handout; Demonstration; Role play </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: Journal entry or photograph of practice </li></ul>
  23. 23. Professional Development <ul><li>P4S5 </li></ul><ul><li>Use strategies to assist individuals in maintaining and generalizing skills across content and/or locations </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: Role plays </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: Peer reviewed activities; Observation by educator </li></ul>
  24. 24. Professional Development <ul><li>P5S9 </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes self-advocacy and independence through the use of learning strategies in cooperation with the instructional team </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: Case studies; Journal entry </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: Observation by educator; Portfolio </li></ul>
  25. 25. How would you create Professional Development? <ul><li>P6S1 </li></ul><ul><li>Match communication methods to individual’s language as determined by the instructional team </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: ?? </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: ?? </li></ul>
  26. 26. How would you create Professional Development? <ul><li>P3K2 </li></ul><ul><li>Individual learner characteristics is the primary basis for instructional decision making, rather than disability categories or educational placements </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: ?? </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: ?? </li></ul>
  27. 27. How would you create Professional Development? <ul><li>P7S2 </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare and organize materials to support teaching and learning as determined by the instructional team </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment: ?? </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment: ?? </li></ul>
  28. 28. Major Components <ul><li>Comprehensive </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence-Base </li></ul><ul><li>Clear distinction between teacher and paraeducator roles </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on ethical practices </li></ul>
  29. 29. CEC Next Steps <ul><li>CEC Professional Standards and Practices Committee </li></ul><ul><li>CEC Board of Directors </li></ul><ul><li>CEC Redbook, “What All Special Educators Must Know” </li></ul><ul><li>CEC considering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>program recognition, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>clearing house, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>curriculum </li></ul></ul>