The current training model for paraeducators traditionally consists of single-day workshops, emails, newsletters, in-service meetings or other similarly isolated and infrequent tips or no training at all. Such practices have caused many paraeducators and teachers to cite a lack of efficient and effective training as one of the major difficulties in their job. The purpose of the study was to establish a causal relationship between the independent variable: the direct instruction of precorrection through modeling and guided practice with bug-in-the-ear feedback and the dependent variable, the performance or nonperformance of positive behavior support strategies in the classroom. The study took place at an urban middle school located in northern Utah. The study's three participants were paraeducators who worked in a self-contained classroom for students with severe disabilities. The intervention consisted of a three-phase lesson for each of the three target skills: (a) a training phase, (b) an independent phase, and (c) a follow up phase. Data indicate a positive functional relation between the intervention and the acquisition and maintenance of the desired skills. On average, participants performed more than 90% of the steps of the desired behaviors across all phases of the intervention and maintained the skills over time in a natural setting after relatively little instruction, no additional time outside of the classroom, and with materials already available at most schools. The success of this training model and its flexible framework further suggest that its use could be expanded in multitudinous ways. As this is the first known study of its kind, there are now numerous avenues of new research possibilities both in the area of paraeducator training, but also teacher training and even training in other work industries. This is an exciting new avenue for research and the improvement of working conditions and the delivery of instruction in schools.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





paraeducators, training, positive behavior support, bug-in-the-ear, feedback