Examining the Role Clarity, Ability, and Training Needs of Paraeducators Supporting Students With Disabilities in Physical Education Settings
Keywords:Paraeducators, Role clarity, Job satisfaction
AbstractParaeducators are often utilized in physical education environments to assist instructors as well as students with disabilities; however, there is little research on the utilization of these professionals within this setting. This study explored paraeducators’ perceived roles and competencies in physical education from the perspectives of both paraeducators and physical educators. This study was conducted with physical educators and paraeducators serving as participants and completing a content-validated survey on the various roles typically assumed by paraeducators when assisting in physical education classes. Data were analyzed via descriptive statistics and t tests, and differences between physical educators and paraeducators were identified. Results indicated these key findings: (1) There was a significant difference in the perception of role clarity of paraeducators between participant groups, (2) there was a significant difference in the perception of role ability of paraeducators between participant groups, and (3) there was not a significant difference between groups in terms of the training needs of paraeducators specific to physical education. Using the results of this study, physical educators and paraeducators can work together to provide the best learning environment possible within physical education for students with disabilities and within the working environment for both physical educators and paraeducators.
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