Placing of paraprofessionals in secondary schools
The purpose of this study was to develop, initiate, and evaluate a pre-service paraprofessional teaching program for prospective biology and earth science teachers. The program was designed to place the paraprofessional in a secondary school for either full or half days for one quarter of the academic year.The population included all Ball State University sophomores and juniors planning to become science teachers (in biology or earth science) who had not started their education sequence. The Experimental Group was limited to those of the population who volunteered to participate in the program. The scope of the Experimental Group was further limited by the fact that all credit hours granted were elective hours.The measuring instruments used in this study were the Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory (MTAI), Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS), and Semantic Differential Test (SDT). Questionnaires were also sent to principals of participating schools, to clinical teachers, and to the paraprofessionals. The three tests (MTAI, TSCS, and SDT) were given before and after the experimental period to the Experimental Group and Control Group P (prospective teachers enrolled in the Human Growth and Development course at Ball State University). National Science Foundation Institute participants at Ball State University (Control Group I) were also given the MTAI and SDT. The norms established by Control Group I were used to determine if the post test means of the Experimental Group and Control Group P were in the direction of Control Group I.The program extended through the academic school year of 1969-1970, and the fall and winter quarter of 1970-1971. The Experimental Group was composed of thirty-four students.To determine relationships existing among the groups of this study, three statistical techniques were utilized. Student's t-test was used to determine if a significant change occurred between the means of two groups. To give a visual effect, the resultant changes in mean scores between groups were shown graphically. Finally, analysis of the questionnaires answered by principals, clinical teachers, and the Experimental Group were tabulated utilizing percentages, and chi square was calculated assuming a 50-50 distribution of yes and no responses of those who answered the questions.The .05 level of significance was used to test the significance of difference between the means and that of chi square values.3Scores of the Minnesota Teachers Attitude Inventory, Tennessee Self Concept Scale, and Semantic Differential Test did not yield conclusive results, but the questionnaires were very revealing. The principals of participating schools, the clinical teachers, and the Experimental Group were all enthusiastically in favor of the program. The principals unanimously agreed that the program was of value to the school and to the paraprofessionals, that the program was not an administrative problem, and that the program should be continued. The clinical teachers agreed overwhelmingly that the program was of value to them, to their students, and to the paraprofessionals. They also agreed that the program should be continued, that planning was not a problem, and that the paraprofessionals were cooperative, helpful and did not create problems with their students. The paraprofessionals unanimously agreed that the program should be continued and that it was of value to them.