Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Lauren J. Lieberman


Research on the use of paraprofessionals in education has been conducted from a variety of perspectives. Studies have been done to investigate how paraprofessionals might be used in GPE and whether they have an impact in GPE classes. From the special education perspective, there is insubstantial material available about what is occurring in inclusive classrooms. The purpose of this study was to explore: 1) specifically how paraprofessionals are being used in GPE inclusive classrooms; 2) what the feelings/attitudes of GPE teachers and paraprofessionals are with regard to their involvement in GPE, 3) perceived need for the use of paraprofessionals in GPE inclusive classrooms, and 4) what type of information should be incorporated into an in-service training session for both GPE teachers and paraprofessionals. One hundred and three participants, thirty-nine General Physical Education teachers, and sixty-four paraprofessionals completed surveys. The titles of paraprofessional and teacher aide are comparable to one another with this study.

An analysis of how paraprofessionals are used, their attitudes, need, and preferred items for in-service training revealed similar findings from two groups, paraprofessionals and GPE teachers. Some questions were posed on a Likert Scale and others required open-ended responses. Surveys were analyzed by describing frequencies (percentages), averages of Likert Scale questions, and themes were created for the qualitative questions, using constant comparison.

Results indicated that GPE teachers and paraprofessionals were generally content with their present status and how services of the paraprofessionals are being used. Paraprofessionals were more content than GPE teachers. It was also clear that there has been a minimal amount of training regarding how to use paraprofessionals in GPE, and many GPE teachers and paraprofessionals had opinions regarding topics they might want to be included in an in-service training session. This suggests that both groups are willing to take steps to utilize paraprofessional services.


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