Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




This phenomenological analysis investigates the experiences and perceptions of paraprofessionals, special educators, and general educators working in a collaborative K-2 team. The study was conducted by researching related literature published between the years of 1998 and 2006, conducting surveys and personal interviews with paraprofessionals, special and general educators, and by examining specific state, district, and building criteria for paraprofessionals. Three objectives of the study were to: (a) clarify educators' perceptions of paraprofessionals' roles, preparation, and performance, (b) compare those perceptions to self-reports of paraprofessionals, and (c) examine the nature and characteristics of educator-paraprofessional relationships. The analysis of data revealed three main themes, which predominated the interviews - need for role clarification of paraprofessionals, lack of professional training and education surrounding paraprofessionals and desire for more time and tools for effective communication and collaboration on an educator-paraprofessional team.


SC 11.MAL.2007.Buckner.KL