Paraeducator Training Curricula – Current Strengths and Challenges with Available Materials
Paraeducator supports for students with disabilities have increased drastically over the past 15 years. While, IDEA 2004 stipulates that state education associations “must establish and maintain qualifications to ensure that personnel...are appropriately prepared and trained, including…content knowledge and skills to serve children with disabilities” (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(14)), paraeducators often receive no formal training, rather learning on-the-job through interaction with students or instruction from a teacher or other paraeducator. Although a variety of paraeducator training materials are available to support paraeducator training, no systematic review of these materials has been conducted. Results of a comprehensive review of paraeducator training curricula will be presented in this session. Overall findings will be discussed. While the majority of materials aligned with federal legislation, few aligned with recommended practices for adult learners and professional standards. Features of paraeducator training materials will be highlighted as well as suggested improvements to future paraeducator training materials. Recommendations for implementation of paraeducator training, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.