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Title

Bilingual-Bicultural Instructional Aide Evaluations

Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Problem. Spanish-English bilingual-bicultural instructional aides (BIAs) have played a key role in the practice of bilingual education since its inception in 1968. For more than a decade now, bilingual aides have assumed the responsibility for direct instruction of primary language and math skills for thousands of children because of a lack of qualified teachers. The quality of their performance in this key role may determine program success. At the same time, there is a pronounced lack of clear evaluation standards which accurately reflect what aides do or what aides should do. Hence, there is a need to define BIA work quality by identifying its components. Purpose. Recent research provides substantive information about BIA roles and functions. There is a need to describe how aide performance is evaluated currently in order to begin work on changes that make evaluation criteria consistent with this research. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the range and variety of criteria used to evaluate BIAs, as well as to determine the appropriateness of the criteria to the role. A secondary purpose was to make some preliminary assessments of the relevant skills of aide evaluators. Procedures. Two questionnaires were developed to survey Spanish-English bilingual-bicultural education programs throughout California. One questionnaire gathered information on the procedures and criteria used to evaluate BIAs. The other gathered information about the language, culture, experience, and certification characteristics of aide evaluators. The questionnaires were sent to 162 school districts and to 344 aide evaluators. The population sample consisted of 104 (64%) school districts and 227 (66%) evaluators. The results of the surveys provided a field-based description of BIA evaluation procedures. A literature-based description of aide roles and functions was derived from the recent research. The results of both descriptions were reconciled into a Master BIA Evaluation Criteria Checklist. Findings. Most California school districts use evaluation criteria that seem uniformly limited. They also use evaluators whose skills are limited. These deficiencies may be overcome by adequate evaluation criteria. This study developed a comprehensive checklist of performance evaluation criteria and entry-level skills specific to BIAs. Districts may use the Checklist's major headings, job-specific role components, and corresponding job functions in order to develop instruments to meet the needs of maintenance and transitional programs alike. Similarly, from the Checklist, districts may develop instruments that remain within the limits of, as well as compensate for, deficient evaluator skills.

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