School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Sarah Pannone


Special Education, Training, Special Education Teachers, Inclusive, Paraeducators


Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study, as outlined by Moustakas, was to describe the experiences of special education teachers serving as trainers of novice paraeducators in the inclusion setting. It occured within the metro-Atlanta area. The theory guiding this study was Lave and Wenger’s theory of situativity. This theory focused upon social practices occurring within relationships amongst communities and supported the inquiry of special education teachers. The central research question that guided the study was: “How do special education teachers who work in the elementary school inclusive settings describe their experiences supervising special education paraeducators?” To support the focus of the central research question, three sub-questions were used to enhance and guide the study. The setting consisted of two elementary schools in the metro-Atlanta area. The study’s sample consisted of 10 special education teachers with 2+ years of experience teaching in the inclusive setting. Data collection methods used included observations, one-on-one interviews, and focus group data. Data was analyzed using phenomenological reduction, which began with epoche, (bracketing), followed by horizonalization. Statements were collected from the participants and were organized into themes, so that an essence of the phenomenon could be reached.