The effects of inservice training on paraprofessionals working with students with significant disabilities in inclusive classrooms

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Luanna Meyer


Staff development, Disabilities, Inclusive, Paraprofessionals, Inservice

Subject Categories

Education | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


The literature on training for paraprofessionals, working with students with significant disabilities in inclusive classrooms, reveals two major shortcomings: (a) there is very little training available, specifically for personnel working in inclusive settings; and (b) the information that is available is based primarily upon clinical experience and expert opinion, rather than evidence derived from empirical study. This study describes the validity and effectiveness of in-service training for paraprofessionals, working with students, with significant disabilities, in inclusive classrooms. A six session training program was offered to 24 paraprofessionals, working in New York City in District 75. Data collection procedures included pre- and post-survey, pre- and post-interviews, observational data, and review of participants' log. T-tests were performed, which revealed two items showing significant difference between pre-training scores and posttraining scores. Qualitative data is reviewed in terms of themes, which were created from the data. Survey data and interview data was collected from a comparison group (n = 20) and an ANOVA was conducted to determine significant differences between post scores for the trained group and survey scores from the comparison group. Results are discussed in terms of their implication for developing future training for both individual group and team training.


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