The ambiguous role of the paraeducator in the general physical education environment

Rebecca R. Bryan, Jeffrey A. McCubbin, Hans Van Der Mars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of paraeducators has increased as a main mechanism to include more students with disabilities in the public schools in the U.S. Although the utilization of paraeducators is intended to be a supportive service delivery option, many concerns and challenges have resulted. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of the paraeducator in the general physical education environment from the perspectives of special education, physical education, and adapted physical education teachers and paraeducators. Data were collected from a phenomenological approach using questionnaires, interviews, and observations. Results indicate concerns about the clarity of the role of the paraeducator in physical education. Emerging themes include elastic defnitions of student protection and teacher backup, contradictory expectations and mixed acceptance, and paraeducators' role ambiguity. Findings regarding the role of the paraeducator are essential in determining both best practice and legal policy for the appropriate utilization of paraeducators in physical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-183
Number of pages20
JournalAdapted Physical Activity Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Inclusion
  • Paraeducators
  • Phenomenology
  • Physical education
  • Students with disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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