Essays in Education


This paper discusses the role of paraeducators within the American educational system. Although it is unknown whether paraeducators enhance the learning of children or the classroom environment, their numbers are rapidly increasing as they are perceived to be vital to the educational system. As revealed in this paper, despite exceptional growth, the practice of using paraeducators generally remains unregulated, underdeveloped, and unmethodical. It is argued that this current state of affairs leaves teachers, paraeducators, and students in a precarious situation. Important issues discussed in this paper include the (a) changing role of the classroom teacher, (b) teacher-paraeducator matching process, (c) paraeducator-teacher/educational community relationship, and (d) training, supervision, and evaluation of paraeducators.

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