Training Paraeducators: Didactic Instruction or Performance Feedback?

Session Title

Training Paraeducators: Didactic Instruction or Performance Feedback?




A mounting body of literature shows that paraeducators often lack the necessary training needed to support students with disabilities (Cautson-Theoharis & Malmgren, 2005). Although the teacher training literature base suggests that training packages that include performance feedback consistently outperform those training approaches that rely on didactic instruction alone (Duchaine et al., 2011) paraeducator training, when available, is most often provided in the form of in-service trainings (Brock & Carter, 2013). With paraeducators now being a common intervention for students with disabilities in inclusive settings (Hall et al., 2010), the need for highly qualified and trained paraeducators is of even more importance. Further, with packed and overwhelmed schedules of staff in special education (Carroll, 2001) it is vital that the time allocated for paraeducator is used in the utmost effective way. Through an Adapted Alternating Treatments Design (AATD) the current study sought to evaluate the general and comparative effects of didactic instruction and performance feedback on paraeducators use of positive behavior support strategies in inclusive settings. By analyzing the general and comparative results of this study participants will be provided with insight as to the difference in effects of the two training approaches. Participants will also learn about the immediate and sustained effects of each approach, as well as suggested practices for developing and executing training for paraeducators.