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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Website Data Paraprofessionals What Are the Needs and Experiences of Paraprofessionals?To What Extent are Paraprofessionals Prepared for Success? Significance Questions Methodology A Mixed Methods Study of their Needs and Experiences Purpose The purpose of the study is to identify the training needs and experiences of paraprofessionals through qualitative research. A quantitative measure will be developed to then explore the extent to which the needs of paraprofessionals are being met Paraprofessionals work closely withchildren with autism. Their needs are notwell understood. A better understandingof their needs might lead to increasesin quality training and support, leadingto better outcomes for theirstudents. Qualitative data will be collectedvia surveys and focus groups.This data will inform the developmentof a quantitative tool that will be usedto explore the needs of paraprofessionals 1-In what ways are paraprofessionalsworking with students with autismin New Hampshire prepared or notprepared to carry out their job duties?2-To what extent do paraprofessionalsworking with students with autism in New Hampshire feel that they are trained, prepared and supported in doing theirjobs? The role of paraprofessional haschanged from mainly clerical tomainly educational. Some paras arethe primary source of instruction fortheir student. Paras must be welltrained to effectively teacha student with autism Although federal law requires thatparas are appropriately trained,many report having received littleto no training prior to starting their job.Others report no ongoing training, or being trained only throughworkshops (Hall, Grundond,Pope & Romero, 2010) Autism affects 1 in 68 children A mixed methods approach will be used: Qualitative to uncover thevariables of interest, and quantitativeto measure the extent and effectof the variables. Specifically, an exploratorysequential design will be used. It is a way toexplore events of interest before measuring them,especially when there is no guiding theory.Its sequential nature allows for straightforwarddata collection, and the qualitative phase can informthe design of a measurement tool to usein the quantitative phase (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2010). Qualitative: Because the needs of paras are notwell understood, interviews will be conducted touncover the variables that will later be measured.A case study methodology is appropriate when the researcher believes that there are contextualvariables that are important, but have not beenuncovered yet (Baxter & Jack, 2008). Quantitative: The variables uncovered in the qualitative portion will be measured using a self-developed survey instrument.Descriptive statistics will measure the effect of different variableson the success of paras. A larger sample will be used than that ofthe qualitative phase, in an effort to generalize the findings fromone phase to another. The study will aim to concludewith recommendations based on the findings to hopefullyimprove conditions for paras and have a positive impacton their students with autism
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