The Paraeducator Effectiveness
 Study: Supervision Models in
 Inclusive and Self-Contained
            Settings


   Elena...
The Research on Paraeducator
        Supervision
Duties/Responsibilities
  Research has found that teachers tend to assign...
The Research on Paraeducator
        Supervision
Training, Coaching, Feedback
 In numerous recent studies, paraeducators r...
The Research on Paraeducator
        Supervision
Collaboration
  Paraeducators who describe being valued members of the te...
Executive Functions of Paraeducator
           Supervision
                  Providing Orientation
                  Plann...
Paraeducator Effectiveness Study

This research explored the
hypothesis that paraeducators
affect student achievement
It d...
CO-TOP (Comprehensive Training
    Opportunities for Paraeducators)
Paraeducator training curriculum provides research-bas...
Mixed Methods Design
                      Data Collection

                        Paraeducators
                        ...
Research Participants - Teachers

Supervising Teacher’s # of Years in   Supervising Teacher length of
this school
< 1year ...
Research Participants - Teachers


Ages of Supervising Teachers
      < 30 years = 8
      31-40 = 19                Teach...
Findings: Teacher Interviews
# Paraeducators working for teachers who:            Trained to Supervise?
                  ...
Findings: Teacher Interviews
The facts:
  56.8% of paraeducators were supervised by teachers with no
  preparation to supe...
Findings: Paraeducator Work Settings

Settings: We observed paraeducators working in:
   General education classes
   Spee...
Findings: Two Effective Supervision Models

  Effective supervision model in a self-contained
  setting
  Effective superv...
Providing Orientation: Self Contained Setting

Clear Expectations
   Clear Expectations for staff (teachers and paraprofes...
Planning for Paraeducator: Self
            Contained Setting
Paraeducator Duties/Responsibilities
    Duties tailored to ...
Scheduling: Self Contained Setting
Master Schedule
    Teachers do baseline assessments
    Task analysis
    Paraeducator...
Delegating: Self Contained Setting
Clearly defined roles for staff
     Promoting Independence
     Individualized based o...
Promoting Paraeducator Growth and
 Development: Self Contained Setting
Training
    Modeling
    Shadowing
    Observation...
Monitoring Performance: Self-Contained Setting

  Feedback/ Reinforcement
     “I am constantly talking about what I want ...
Monitoring Performance: Self-Contained Setting

  Data Collection
    Assessment/analysis
    Ability to see improvement

...
Managing the Workplace: Self-Contained Setting


    Structure
    “Structure is great for kids and is just as important
 ...
Providing Orientation: Inclusive Setting

Clear Expectations
   Clear Expectations for staff
   Success expectations for s...
Paraeducator Duties and Responsibilities:
           Inclusive Setting
 Plans
    Informal to More Formal
 Duties/Responsi...
Scheduling: Inclusive Setting
Individualized
Flexibility
“I assign my paras to individual students or classrooms”
“In fact...
Delegating: Inclusive Setting

GE Teacher and Paraeducator input
Based on paraeducator experience


  “I’ll have the para ...
Promoting Paraeducator Growth and
   Development: Inclusive Setting
Training
   Modeling
   Shadowing
   Observation

   “...
Monitoring Performance: Inclusive Setting
 Communication
    Relationships with GE teachers
    Meet weekly/twice weekly
 ...
Monitoring Performance: Inclusive Setting

 Data collection
   Develop tools

   “I also give all the paras copies of the ...
Managing the Workplace: Inclusive Setting

Collaboration
  Team environment
  Talk with GE teachers and paras
  Team teach...
Managing the Workplace: Inclusive Setting

“I think that's probably the biggest key. I think even the
collaboration betwee...
Similarities in the Supervision Models
 Self Contained Setting                Inclusive Setting
     Providing Orientation...
Differences in the Supervision Models
 Self Contained Setting                Inclusive Setting
     Planning for paraeduca...
Questions?
   Contact Information

Ritu V. Chopra                     Elena Sandoval-Lucero
Assistant Research Professor  ...
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The Paraeducator Effectiveness Study: Supervision Models in Inclusive and Self-Contained Settings

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Presentation from the 2009 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference by Elena Sandoval-Lucero, Ph.D.

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The Paraeducator Effectiveness Study: Supervision Models in Inclusive and Self-Contained Settings

  1. 1. The Paraeducator Effectiveness Study: Supervision Models in Inclusive and Self-Contained Settings Elena Sandoval-Lucero, Ph.D. National Conference for Paraprofessionals April 30, 2009
  2. 2. The Research on Paraeducator Supervision Duties/Responsibilities Research has found that teachers tend to assign responsibilities to paraeducators based on how they perceive the paraeducator role (i.e. clerical versus. Instructional) regardless of the individual interests, career goals, skills, or abilities of paraeducators (Rueda & Monzo, 2000). A more effective method of supervising paraeducators would be to design individualized job descriptions for paraeducators based on their interests, strengths, and abilities (French, 2002; Giangreco, 2003; Rueda & Monzo, 2000).
  3. 3. The Research on Paraeducator Supervision Training, Coaching, Feedback In numerous recent studies, paraeducators report inadequate paraeducator training, confusion about roles and responsibilities, low salaries, limited advancement, lack of support, and under appreciation of their contribution (Chopra, Sandoval-Lucero, Aragon, Berg de Balderas, Bernal, & Carroll, 2004; French & Cabell, 1993; French & Chopra, 1999; Giangreco, 2003; Hadadian & Yssel, 1998; Mendez-Negrete & Saldana, 2004; Morehouse & Albright, 1991; Passaro, Pickett, Latham, & HongBo, 1994; Pickett, Likins, & Wallace, 2003; Rueda, Monzo, & Higareda 2004). On the other hand, paraeducators who are well trained report satisfaction with learning and are able to apply new skills on the job (Griffin-Shirley, & Matlock, 2004; Hall, McClannahan, & Krantz, 1995; Owens, Fredrick, & Shippen, 2004; Reinoehl & Halle, 1994; Storey, Smith, & Strain, 1993)
  4. 4. The Research on Paraeducator Supervision Collaboration Paraeducators who describe being valued members of the team are better able to fulfill important and needed roles such as helping to create strong connections between the school and the community (Chopra, Sandoval-Lucero, Aragon, Carroll, Berg de Balderas, & Bernal, 2004). Teacher as Executive The inclusive special educator is responsible for coordinating a complex system of adults, students, paraeducators, related service providers, and general classroom teachers. This contemporary role is similar to that of an executive in a business setting (French & Chopra, 2006).
  5. 5. Executive Functions of Paraeducator Supervision Providing Orientation Planning for Paraeducator Scheduling Delegating Promoting Paraeducator Growth and Development Monitoring Performance Managing the Workplace
  6. 6. Paraeducator Effectiveness Study This research explored the hypothesis that paraeducators affect student achievement It documents the use of research- based methods and techniques by paraeducators in Colorado who have taken CO-TOP training and those who have not. The study also considers the context in which the paraeducators work, including systems of supervision.
  7. 7. CO-TOP (Comprehensive Training Opportunities for Paraeducators) Paraeducator training curriculum provides research-based techniques to paraeducators in greater depth than many training programs. Topics selected based on needs assessments, studies of paraeducator duties, and the literature. Curriculum developed over time using experts to advise, panels to review, field testing, revising, and final formatting Delivered in districts by local instructors who have been trained to deliver the curriculum
  8. 8. Mixed Methods Design Data Collection Paraeducators •They do their jobs •We observe while they work Teachers Student •Complete a Achievement •LoU Interview Self-Report Form •Supervising Teacher •Provide Demographic Assessment of Information about ACES – Paraeducator Skills themselves Academic Competency •Demographic Evaluation Information Scales
  9. 9. Research Participants - Teachers Supervising Teacher’s # of Years in Supervising Teacher length of this school < 1year = 8 time supervising this 2-5 years = 51 paraeducator 6-10 years = 15 < 1 year = 10 11-15 years = 8 1-5 years = 56 16+ years = 9 6-10 years = 6 Secret # of years = 4 11-15 years = 2 Position of Person with whom 16+ years = 2 Paraeducator works Can’t remember = 19 2 - Classroom teacher 2 – Library Technology Educator Supervising Teacher –Training to 8 - Speech/Language Supervise Paraeducators? Pathologist 83- special education teacher 41 – yes 54 – no
  10. 10. Research Participants - Teachers Ages of Supervising Teachers < 30 years = 8 31-40 = 19 Teacher Race/Ethnicity 41-50 = 25 0 = African American, Black 51-60 = 33 2 = Hispanic, Latino 61+ = 1 0 = Asian 86 = White, Caucasian Supervising Teachers Level of 7 = Didn’t say Education B.A./ B.S. – 17 M.A./M.S. – 74 Won’t tell / Don’t know – 4
  11. 11. Findings: Teacher Interviews # Paraeducators working for teachers who: Trained to Supervise? Yes No Don’t use basic supervision components 15 33 Use basic supervision components 26 21 Total 41 54 We asked about basic components of supervision: How paraeducators are assigned to particular tasks How planning occurs for the lessons and tasks paraeducators carry out Meetings with paraeducators Coaching, performance monitoring and feedback
  12. 12. Findings: Teacher Interviews The facts: 56.8% of paraeducators were supervised by teachers with no preparation to supervise Of these, 61.1% received little to no supervision Only 43.2% of paraeducators were supervised by teachers with some preparation to supervise Of these, only 63.4% actually received coaching and feedback Our Conclusions: Paraeducators who work with teachers with no training receive very little supervision – work almost entirely independently Even teachers who are trained to supervise don’t always use what they know
  13. 13. Findings: Paraeducator Work Settings Settings: We observed paraeducators working in: General education classes Speech language pathologist’s rooms Special education classrooms Libraries Computer labs Lunchrooms Playgrounds Bus loading / unloading
  14. 14. Findings: Two Effective Supervision Models Effective supervision model in a self-contained setting Effective supervision model in an inclusive setting
  15. 15. Providing Orientation: Self Contained Setting Clear Expectations Clear Expectations for staff (teachers and paraprofessionals) High Expectations for students Ability to see improvement Behavior expectations “I have very high expectations for the students and the adults.” “My expectation is that we need to show that the kids are improving and learning something.” “A passion for kids, and can they get along with adults…Those are the only things I look for when I am hiring. I can teach them other things. I cannot teach them to love children and get along with adults. I believe that very strongly.”
  16. 16. Planning for Paraeducator: Self Contained Setting Paraeducator Duties/Responsibilities Duties tailored to the student’s needs and the paraeducator’s interests, skills, abilities. Paraeducator input into duties/responsibilities At the end of the school year when we are looking at next year’s program we attempt to identify the needs and objectives of the students coming in. We know the strengths of the paras and how they fit with the students. We talk to the paras about what types of things they are more comfortable with and what they would like to be doing. If they prefer to work with the reading program [for example].
  17. 17. Scheduling: Self Contained Setting Master Schedule Teachers do baseline assessments Task analysis Paraeducator input “I have a schedule for how they are supposed to be collecting data and what they are supposed to teach. They are actually involved in the scheduling itself. The whole schedule is put into place in the spring before the next school year so they know what they are going to be doing when they come in the next school year…We have a lot of variables…we have a master schedule that controls everything. I look at the needs of every student and how we do that.”
  18. 18. Delegating: Self Contained Setting Clearly defined roles for staff Promoting Independence Individualized based on experience As a teacher it is my role to take on as many kids as six at once. I see the role of the TA as either one-on-one or a small group. A number of my TA’s can take on more than that. Kathy can take on the whole group because she has been trained in what we are doing and has experienced my programs. I feel that the teacher should do the original testing for the baseline, so the TA knows what they are looking to gain from the baseline. It is the teacher’s role to figure out where to start so they can define the target and the TA can see if there is success. “And once you have a system, I can leave for awhile and the system is still there. You have to model. I don’t just throw someone into something. I will show them how to do is so that it is using independence. We set people up to fail, but I think you need to look at parts of the system. It is important to develop the standards and goals for what to do so they can work independently.”
  19. 19. Promoting Paraeducator Growth and Development: Self Contained Setting Training Modeling Shadowing Observation “I have the master schedule to start with. With a new TA I set it up where I am teaching the exact same thing they are, so that we can combine the groups and model it for them or set them up with another TA to watch what she is doing.” “I do a lot of modeling and the verbal usage I want them using. I watch to see if they are providing the prompts. If we are taking data it is important to differentiate between independently worked on, or prompted production. I have trained them all in terms of collecting data, having to analyze data, and what is the aim to have the student move up.” “The classroom is set up so that I can work with my students, but I can observe all three locations in the classroom at once.” “[The classroom set up] is good for behavior problems that I should intervene with. My team has all been trained on what I want them to do with behavior, and how to deal with a behavior. I only do that if I feel I need to. I don’t want to undermine their authority.”
  20. 20. Monitoring Performance: Self-Contained Setting Feedback/ Reinforcement “I am constantly talking about what I want to see and providing feedback.” “I am always re-evaluating things. I think that is something teachers need to do. Based upon personalities, strengths of individuals and make changes accordingly.” Communication Relationships with GE teachers “When my teammates go out into a class they are there to help all students…The nice thing about that is that teachers will be happier to work with my students…It helps my relationships with the general education teachers….A lot of the teachers have been here for while and know my process well. We’ve trained each other. They know my expectations for behavior of our students. And the students know my expectations and we are totally in sync the teachers, paras, me, and the students.”
  21. 21. Monitoring Performance: Self-Contained Setting Data Collection Assessment/analysis Ability to see improvement “We start developing the materials and the assessments that need to be completed in the spring and the paras know what assessments we are looking to do. They know the assessments for all their kids in each specific area. All of them have been trained on how to analyze and give these assessments…We know where every student is performing. If they finish their assessments with their students they know where to go next.” “I believe in data collection strongly. We collect data on everything…We look where the data points are when they come in, and then we can track the progress that the student makes, see what areas there has been progress and that is reinforcing for the paras.”
  22. 22. Managing the Workplace: Self-Contained Setting Structure “Structure is great for kids and is just as important for adults. The kids will feel safe and be successful.” “The classroom is set up so that I can work with my students, but I can observe all three locations in the classroom at once.” “TA’s get frustrated by confusion. I want everything organized and to run efficiently. No one should be wandering or not doing anything. There is way to much to teach to waste time. TA”s get frustrated by not knowing what to do….. TA”s get frustrated because they don’t see success, but if you provide the right standards for student progress then you will see development.”
  23. 23. Providing Orientation: Inclusive Setting Clear Expectations Clear Expectations for staff Success expectations for students Seeing growth Share students goals and objectives Behavior expectations “I prepare a folder for the paras so they’re clear on who they’re working with, what their expectation is, what the child is supposed to be working on. So I think I have pretty clear expectations.” “All the case managers really do [work together]. Everybody getting along, knowing the expectations…so, we do as case managers spend time really talking about that.” “They have all the kids’ behavior plans. I’ll have the para help me write the behavior plans, and the general ed teacher.”
  24. 24. Paraeducator Duties and Responsibilities: Inclusive Setting Plans Informal to More Formal Duties/Responsibilities Paraeducator duties tailored to student’s needs and paraeducator interests, skills, abilities GE teacher and paraeducator input “It just depends on the extent of training of the para and the significance of the child. For some paras I will write at this time this is exactly what I want you to do and these are the activities that I want you to do. There are other paras that I’ll say, ‘These are the goals and objectives that I want you to work on.’ They know what the materials are and they know what to do and they just work better if they have a little bit more freedom that way, even though I’m guiding the instruction, they’re doing the day to day. Today we’re going to do this game, tomorrow we’re going to do an activity, this is seat work, that type of thing. So it just kind of depends. It’s more individual based on the para and the para’s needs and the significance of the child.”
  25. 25. Scheduling: Inclusive Setting Individualized Flexibility “I assign my paras to individual students or classrooms” “In fact, we’ve had to change the schedule, we have a student with autism in 1st grade, and [his schedule wasn’t working]. He just needs fewer adults with him…It does affect adults. Paras can start to feel like, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ and it’s not them. It’s just that we do not have the right structure in place for him. So today in fact I wrote a big note for the paras saying, ‘I appreciate the job that you’re doing. Everyone’s doing a great job. It’s just sometimes it’s the nature of the beast. We’re gonna have to make adjustments and thank you for being flexible about it.’ So I think I do try to give them pats on the back and show appreciation and that king of thing.” “For some paras I will write at this time this is exactly what I want you to do and these are the activities that I want you to do. There are other paras I’ll say, ‘These are the goals and objectives that I want you to work on.” They know what the materials are and they know what to do and they just work better if they have a little bit more freedom.”
  26. 26. Delegating: Inclusive Setting GE Teacher and Paraeducator input Based on paraeducator experience “I’ll have the para help me write the behavior plans and the general ed teacher.” “They know what materials are and they know what to do and they just work better if they have a bit more freedom that way, even though I am still guiding the instruction.”
  27. 27. Promoting Paraeducator Growth and Development: Inclusive Setting Training Modeling Shadowing Observation “Every Thursday morning we have a para meeting” that’s about 8:15, goes for about a half hour. We generally pick some type of a topic. For the last two weeks we’ve been talking about prompting. So we’ve been doing some training on that. We’ll provide some type of written [material] that they can take with them and then we’ll do modeling, some discussions of that other para have done” “I have been doing a lot of training. I’ll go and do the job for the para. I have the para come and shadow me and then I model this is my expectation, this is what I want to happen, this is how I want you to intervene with behavior, that kind of thing.” “Also, when a para is new I’ll have them go shadow another para that way they see this is what we do and how we intervene.”
  28. 28. Monitoring Performance: Inclusive Setting Communication Relationships with GE teachers Meet weekly/twice weekly Team meetings “I try to meet the paras weekly, sometimes twice a week. ‘How’s it going?’ ‘What’s going on?’ ‘What do you need?’ that type of thing so that I’m seeing what their needs are. I also talk to the general education teachers and if they’re voicing any concerns to me about something that the paras have done, or not having enough to do, then I’ll try to work on training the para that way.” “I’m pretty hands on about it. I feel like that paras can say to me, ‘I need help on this.’ I really work at making myself available for that training.” Feedback “I think we try to communicate along the road how they’re not meeting the expectations.” “So today in fact I wrote a big note for the paras saying, ‘I appreciate the job that you’re doing. Everyone’s doing a great job. It’s just sometimes it’s the nature of the beast. We’re gonna have to make adjustments and thank you for being flexible about it.’ So, I think I do try to give them the pats on the back and show appreciation and that kind of thing.”
  29. 29. Monitoring Performance: Inclusive Setting Data collection Develop tools “I also give all the paras copies of the goals and objectives that the student has and sometimes I’ll provide a little checklist that they can keep data on. I’ll train them how to keep those records.” “[The guided reading plan] I think it will help them see too. I don’t know that they always see growth that they know how to measure that growth, even though I have them doing data.”
  30. 30. Managing the Workplace: Inclusive Setting Collaboration Team environment Talk with GE teachers and paras Team teaching “What we do for our meetings is we have an agenda and anybody can add agenda items. So we have a set agenda so no one feels like their time is wasted…We have norms that we have established that just say this is that we want to be as a department…I think that really helps. It just sets a tone for this is that we want to do and be and we’re gonna present the positive about everyone.” “We do feel like there’s good collaboration across the whole school [working] with the paras. It’s not just me. I feel like it pretty global”
  31. 31. Managing the Workplace: Inclusive Setting “I think that's probably the biggest key. I think even the collaboration between the paras helps so much because then it’s not just the case manager or the teacher or somebody else saying, ‘Why don’t we do this with Joey?’ The paras are collaborating they can share their frustrations or share success stories…I really think that part really, really helped build our department.
  32. 32. Similarities in the Supervision Models Self Contained Setting Inclusive Setting Providing Orientation: Clear Providing Orientation: Clear Expectations Expectations Providing Orientation: Growth Providing Orientation: Growth Providing Orientation: Behavior Providing Orientation: Behavior expectations expectations Planning for Paraeducator: Planning for Paraeducator: Paraeducator Input into duties Paraeducator Input into duties and responsibilities and responsibilities Planning for Paraeducator: Planning for Paraeducator: Duties designed based on Duties designed based on students needs and students needs and paraeducator interests, skills, paraeducator interests, skills, abilities abilities Promoting Paraeducator Promoting Paraeducator Growth and Development: Growth and Development: Training, Modeling, Shadowing Training, Modeling, Shadowing Delegating: Based on Delegating: Based on paraeducator experience paraeducator experience Managing the Workplace: Managing the Workplace: Observation, Communication, Observation, Communication, Feedback Feedback
  33. 33. Differences in the Supervision Models Self Contained Setting Inclusive Setting Planning for paraeducator: Planning for paraeducator: More Organized plans for everyone in individualized supervision from program from teachers to informal to formal paraeducators to students Scheduling: Individualized & Scheduling: Master Schedule flexible Monitoring performance: Monitoring Performance: Observation conducted by Observation conducted by general supervising teacher in the education teachers and case classroom managers throughout the building Managing the workplace: Managing the workplace: Strong Strong emphasis on structure emphasis on collaboration Managing the workplace: Managing the workplace: Strong emphasis on data and Interested in developing better documenting student growth system for collecting data and documenting student growth
  34. 34. Questions? Contact Information Ritu V. Chopra Elena Sandoval-Lucero Assistant Research Professor Principal Investigator, Teacher Training Project Executive Director Director of Admissions and Outreach The PAR2A Center Metropolitan State College of Denver University of Colorado Denver Campus Box, 16, P.O. Box 173362 1380 Lawrence St,, Suite 710 Denver, CO 80217 Office: 303-315-6361 Office: 303-352-4166 ritu.chopra@ucdenver,edu esando14@mscd.edu
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