A recent study has raised the question are one to one assistants effective for special ed, with a possible answer that they may be less effective than previously thought.
The study examined how one to one assistants spent their time in four dozen autism support classrooms and found that paraprofessionals were directly engaged in instruction or support just 57 percent of the time.
The study also found that teachers were engaged in instruction or direct support 98 percent of the time, and classroom assistants were engaged 91 percent of the time.
“The low rate of one-to-one assistants’ engagement suggests an inefficient use of an important resource,” wrote the researchers in their findings published in the journal Teacher Education and Special Education. The researchers were from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington and the University of California, Riverside.
One to ones are the fastest growing group of special education staff, which is why the research team believes the findings are significant.