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Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs
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Paraeducator Training: Making the Decisions and Finding the Materials That Meet Your District's Needs

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Presentation from the 2006 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference …

Presentation from the 2006 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference
http://www.nrcpara.org/

Published in: Business, Education
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  • 1. Making Decisions and Finding Materials to Meet District Needs Nancy K. French, Ph.D. Executive Director, The PAR 2 A Center 1380 Lawrence St. Suite 650 Denver, CO 80204 303-556-6464 [email_address] www.paracenter.org Ritu V. Chopra, Ph.D. Director, The PAR2A Center 1380 Lawrence St. Suite 650 Denver, CO 80204 303-556-6464 [email_address] www.paracenter.org
  • 2. Training Issues to Consider <ul><li>Why train? </li></ul><ul><li>When to train? </li></ul><ul><li>How to schedule training? </li></ul><ul><li>Who trains? </li></ul><ul><li>What topics to include? </li></ul><ul><li>What curriculum to use? </li></ul><ul><li>How to pay for it? </li></ul>
  • 3. Why Train? <ul><li>The typical situation: </li></ul><ul><li>No preparation </li></ul><ul><li>No orientation </li></ul>“ They were desperate for someone at the time, so I had an interview. I received an explanation of the philosophy, [but then] it was a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of deal.” “ I was just told to go in there – that he’s in there and he can’t read or write. I should just work with him and get him to be a part of the class as much as possible.” “ I had never done this kind of work before. So I came in the first day, was handed a schedule, and was told to go to the first class. That basically was my training. It was trial by fire”
  • 4. When? …Options for Districts <ul><li>(a) Train Teachers and Paraeducators Together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity to do team building </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone hears the same message / same content in same way </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sets them up for consistency in the classroom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No one complains that the other doesn’t know the content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not sustainable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No one wants to repeat same training when there is turnover </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult getting both team members released at the same time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students’ schedules are disrupted when both teacher and paraeducator are out of building </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 5. When? …Options for Districts <ul><li>(b) Train Teachers and Paraeducators Separately </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility in scheduling sessions – one covers the students while other is out </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can address same content regarding roles, but from unique perspectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers may be used as trainers for paraeducators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training can be designed to address the legitimate role </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No one has to sit through multiple iterations of the training session </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paraeducators and teachers may hear / believe different messages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One job-alike group complains about the other (leading to dissension in the team) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Their lack of knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Their poor practice </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  • 6. Who Trains? …Options for Districts <ul><li>(a) Hire outside trainers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They bring expertise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They do the work of creating the materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They do the work of presenting, providing handouts etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You have to bring them back if someone needs the training at a subsequent date </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal capacity to train remains unchanged </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expenses include travel and time </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 7. Who Trains… Options for Districts <ul><li>(b) Prepare in-district master teachers to train </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Master teachers are honored to share their expertise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paraeducators respect knowledge and expertise of master teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trained trainers stay in the profession longer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-district trainers have greater credibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-house potential trainers may not know what content to use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Initial investment in preparing trainers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-district trainers must be nurtured with opportunities to meet and explore their role </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In-district trainers either have to create their own training materials or obtain prepared materials </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 8. The Content or… What Topics to Include <ul><li>Specific disabilities (e.g. Autism) </li></ul><ul><li>Following instructional plans / instructional techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior management </li></ul><ul><li>Supervision of large groups </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating with children </li></ul><ul><li>Child development </li></ul><ul><li>Learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive technology </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal skills with adults </li></ul><ul><li>Special education process and laws </li></ul><ul><li>Specific information about targeted students </li></ul>
  • 9. The Curriculum… Options for Districts <ul><li>(a) Create your own training materials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s specific to the words used in your district and state </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Its organized according to your state standards or competencies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People who create materials feel ‘ownership’ of those materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can be altered </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Huge cost </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Field-testing data not available – difficult to conduct internally </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content is often not consistently reflective of research-based instructional methods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Authors create materials in their own style – making it difficult for others to use materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Revisions ‘step on toes’ of those who created them </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 10. Curriculum… Options for Districts <ul><li>(b) Purchase training materials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum materials are produced and ready to use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Immediacy – you can get them right away </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can find products that have proof of quality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s difficult to determine which materials are high quality and which are not </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Someone has to match the content of a commercial program to your requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost – you pay for work someone else has done </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May not precisely match state or local terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May be difficult to alter prepared materials </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 11. How were the CO-TOP courses developed? <ul><li>1994 –1997 reviewed literature, developed, piloted-tested 7 courses </li></ul><ul><li>Examined data </li></ul><ul><li>1997-98 - Rewrote and revised every course - pilot tested </li></ul><ul><li>1997-1999 Developed, pilot tested 3 more courses </li></ul><ul><li>1999 – 2000 Developed, piloted 3 courses on ESL </li></ul><ul><li>2002 – 2006 Developed 3 literacy / 3 math courses - expert focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot tested, revised… </li></ul><ul><li>Next: Course on Autism </li></ul>
  • 12. NOW …. <ul><li>More than 10,000 individual paraeducators have taken courses </li></ul><ul><li>For each class, paraeducators complete: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A course & instructor evaluation form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A pre and post skills assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The results? </li></ul>
  • 13. Course Evaluations <ul><li>650 classes taught by ‘home-grown’ trainers </li></ul><ul><li>10,379 paraeducators submitted course evaluations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall course rating - 90.58% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Course format </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Course length </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content accuracy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relevance </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 14.  
  • 15. Vocabulary & Comprehension Pre-Post Assessments * t -test significant at p < .01 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Assisting with Vocabulary and Comprehension training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -20.39* 1.50 M = 4.28 SD = .60 M = 2.78 SD = .80 134 Spring 04 - Fall 04 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 16. Phonemic Awareness & Phonics Pre-Post Assessments * t -test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Assisting with Vocabulary and Comprehension training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -24.98* 1.97 M = 4.19 SD = .60 M = 2.23 SD =1.05 151 Spring 05 - Spring 06 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 17. Fluency Academy Pre-Post Assessments * t -test significant at p < .01 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Fluency Academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -11.78* 1.57 M = 4.33 SD = .60 M = 2.76 SD =.84 38 Spring 05 - Fall 05 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 18. K-4 Math Pre-Post Assessments * t -test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Assisting with Vocabulary and Comprehension training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -14.53* 1.19 M = 4.06 SD = .76 M = 2.88 SD = .87 93 Fall 04 – Spring 06 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 19. Number Theory Pre-Post Assessments * t -test significant at p < .01 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Assisting with Vocabulary and Comprehension training academy significantly increased their perceived skill through training. -7.35* 1.29 M = 3.95 SD = .70 M = 2.66 SD = .98 23 Spring 05- Fall 05 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 20. Algebraic Concepts Pre-Post Assessments * t -test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Assisting with Vocabulary and Comprehension training academy significantly increased their perceived skill through training. -10.22* 1.71 M = 4.20 SD = .63 M = 2.49 SD = .81 14 Fall 05 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 21. Behavior Management Pre-Post Assessments *t-test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Behavior Management training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -60.56* 1.35 M = 4.43 SD = .49 M = 3.08 SD = .73 1007 Spring 02 – Spring 06 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation # Participants Dates
  • 22. Instructional Methods – 2 nd Language Learners Pre-Post Assessments <ul><li>t -test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test </li></ul><ul><li>Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Instructional Delivery Methods for Second Language Learners Academy significantly increased their perceived skill. </li></ul>-42.08* 1.91 M = 4.33 SD = .60 M = 2.42 SD = .93 387 Fall 01 - Fall 04 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Number of Participants Dates
  • 23. Instructional Technology Pre-Post Assessments <ul><li>t -test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test </li></ul><ul><li>Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Instructional Delivery Methods for Second Language Learners Academy significantly increased their perceived skill. </li></ul>-32.57* 1.40 M = 4.39 SD = .53 M = 2.99 SD = .90 365 Fall 01 – Spring 06 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Number of Participants Dates
  • 24. Instructional Teamwork Pre-Post Assessments <ul><li>t -test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test </li></ul><ul><li>Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Instructional Teamwork training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. </li></ul>-59.26* 1.20 M = 4.52 SD = .45 M = 3.32 SD = .78 1274 Spring 00 - Fall 04 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Number of Participants Dates
  • 25. Orientation to Special Education Pre-Post Assessments *t-test significant at p < .01 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Orientation to Special Education training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -63.69* 1.62 M = 4.34 SD = .52 M = 2.72 SD = .80 842 Fall 02 - Fall 04 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Number of Participants Dates
  • 26. Significant Supports for Challenging Behavior Pre-Post Assessments *t-test significant at p < .001 on a two-tailed test Results of a paired-samples t-test indicated that participants’ in the Orientation to Special Education training academy significantly increased their perceived skill. -50.27* 1.58 M = 4.39 SD = .50 M = 2.82 SD = .79 530 Fall 02 - Spring 06 t -test Mean Difference Post-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Pre-Training Mean and Standard Deviation Number of Participants Dates
  • 27. Do paraeducators apply CO-TOP skills on the job? <ul><li>Paraeducators: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete a field experience to complete the certificate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write reflections on each class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each reflection focuses on one technique or bit of information they learned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell how they use the knowledge or skill in the classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of descriptions of how paraeducators are applying skills on the job in practicum portfolios </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See examples on our website www.paracenter.org </li></ul></ul>
  • 28. If you do decide to purchase training materials or curriculum…. <ul><li>Before you buy, consider… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need / Relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensiveness / Depth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role Legitimacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional Quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability – Does it do what it says it does? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul></ul>
  • 29. How does the CO-TOP Curriculum Address the Criteria? <ul><li>21 Courses based on need / relevance to paraeducator positions </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Considerate of legitimate roles of paraeducators – teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive – sufficient depth to build skill </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Core content - consistent with various approaches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High quality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability – it does what it says it will do! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 30. What does it cost? <ul><li>Instructors’ Manuals may be purchased costs for $199 (on CD) </li></ul><ul><li>All 21 courses – package price of $4,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Training of Trainers Package - $12,000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two training sessions - 2 days each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CD with all curriculum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance with selecting trainers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance with setting up your program – scheduling, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance with building a collaborative group to share costs </li></ul></ul>
  • 31. Is CO-TOP right for your district? <ul><li>Decide for yourself, using the criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Review sample materials </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the course evaluation data </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the data on the improvement of skills </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the evidence that they apply skills on the job </li></ul><ul><li>Call Nancy French or Ritu Chopra for specific information about purchasing materials or training of trainers packages </li></ul>

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