The roles of paraprofessionals in physical education

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Aschemeier, Amy R.
Davis, Ronald W., 1950-
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
School of Physical Education
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Eight years after the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PL 105-17), there still appears to be gaps in the efforts to ensure that students with disabilities are given a free and appropriate public education. While the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 aims to create school environments where teachers and paraprofessionals are highly qualified for all students, the issue of having adequately trained paraprofessionals assisting in physical education continues to be ignored. The purpose of this study was to determine the basic profiles of paraprofessionals assigned to physical education and to conduct a needs assessment for training. Participants (N=76) were comprised of paraprofessionals from city and county public schools grades Pre K -12 in Northwest and East Central Indiana, and Northwest Ohio. A twopart questionnaire was given to paraprofessionals in the classrooms to assess current responsibilities in physical education as well as identify training needs they might have in physical education. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequency counts, and measures of central tendency (means) to answer all research questions. Results indicated that paraprofessionals who assisted in physical education perceived themselves to be adequately trained despite not having much professional training. Paraprofessional responsibilities in physical education remained vague and unclear; however, results showed paraprofessionals were willing to receive training depending on training length of time and training topics offered.