Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

David I. Backer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Merry L. Staulters, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Geoff Mills, Ed.D


The role of the paraprofessional has changed drastically since the position’s initial implementation as a support in special education classrooms (French, 1999; Pickett, 2003; Fisher & Pleasants, 2012; Jones, Ratcliff, Sheehan, & Hunt, 2012). This has caused a change in the role of the teacher and the make-up of the educational teams supporting students. With the drastic change in the role of the paraprofessional over the last few decades, teachers and paraprofessionals need time to collaborate so that the paraprofessional can be effective (Giangreco, Edelman, & Broer, 2003; Washburn-Moses, Chun, and Kaldenberg, 2013; Railsback, Reed, Schmidt, and Northwest Regional Education Lab, 2002; ). Research has shown that both teachers and paraprofessionals would benefit from regularly scheduled common planning time (Pickett, Steckelberg and Vasa 1997; Palma, 1994; Ashbaker, Morgan & National Association of School Principals, 2001). This action research, mixed-methods study sought to determine the value of common planning time for middle school teachers and paraprofessionals. A pretest-posttest questionnaire was used in conjunction with field notes and focus group interviews to identify any changes in the perceptions of teachers and paraprofessionals over the course of a six week study.