Researchers question the growing use of paraeducators in public school special education classrooms, complaining that the professionals with the least education are being asked to assist the students requiring the most intervention (Blalock, 1991; Giangreco, Broer, & Edelman, 1999). How well are paraprofessional educators prepared to use best practices for behavior management in special education settings? The eight special education paraprofessionals surveyed in this study demonstrated varying levels of knowledge regarding how to respond to the aggressive behaviors often displayed by students with emotional disturbance (ED). Paraeducators who reported receiving the most district- or teacher-led training (4 to 16+ hours) recommended interventions that were the most closely aligned with the positive, proactive approaches supported in literature about best practices. Age of paraeducator and years of formal education showed no relationship with ability to suggest appropriate interventions. However, respondents overall were more likely to recommend appropriate interventions for students displaying physical aggression than for students displaying verbal aggression or noncompliance involving both physical and verbal aggression. These findings confirm the importance of paraeducator training specific to the needs and behaviors of students with ED.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Weiss, Michelle, "Do Paraeducators Use Best Practices With Students Who Exhibit Aggressive Behaviors?" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 3149.
paraeducator training, student aggressive behaviors, educator best practices, special education classrooms, emotional disturbance (ED)