Lynn Glickman

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wasonga, Teresa A. (Teresa Akinyi), 1961-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Educational evaluation


Paraeducators support students in schools throughout the United States by fulfilling duties such as providing instructional reinforcement, assisting with clerical tasks, supervising students, and supporting the mobility and/or hygiene of students with physical disabilities. However, although data show that approximately 91% of schools in the United States employ paraeducators, very little research exists regarding the evaluation of these employees. The purpose of this study was to investigate paraeducator evaluation through the perceptions of paraeducators and principals who participated in paraeducator evaluation. The topic was considered within the conceptual framework of employee evaluation, or appraisal, a term often used in the larger scope of businesses and organizations as well as within the expectations for evaluating educator performance in the state of Illinois. Employee appraisals help organizations monitor and improve employee performance, identify professional development needs, clarify expectations for employees, and justify employment decisions. Employees benefit from evaluation because by participating in the appraisal process, they may experience motivation and job satisfaction and may gain growth opportunities. Thus, this research project intended to address the gap between the importance of paraeducator evaluation and the available information about the appraisal process of this employee group. The researcher sought to understand paraeducator evaluation by examining individual experiences, and thus the study was conducted using qualitative methods. Six principals and fourteen paraeducators who work in a mid-size suburban elementary school district were interviewed. The following research question guided the study: What is the process of paraeducator evaluation? The following sub-questions were also investigated: 1) How do paraeducators perceive their experiences with evaluations in their schools? 2) How do principals perceive their experiences of participating in paraeducator evaluation? The following themes emerged from the data: Inconsistencies in the Paraeducator Evaluation Process, Feedback with Limited Value, Lack of Clarity Regarding Purpose of Evaluations, Varying Perceptions of Evaluation Conferences, Limited Preparation for Evaluating Paraeducators, and Valuing Paraeducators. The study concludes with recommendations regarding the evaluation process, training of paraeducator evaluation participants, and suggestions for future research.


Advisors: Teresa Wasonga.||Committee members: Carolyn Pluim; Elizabeth Wilkins.||Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 183 pages




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