Presentation on theme: "Improving Teacher Attitudes Towards Consultation Robyn Bratica & John Moore, III Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island Introduction In order."— Presentation transcript:
Improving Teacher Attitudes Towards Consultation Robyn Bratica & John Moore, III Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island Introduction In order to maximize the probability that an intervention will be successful, it is essential that teachers implementing or involved with the intervention find it acceptable (deMesquita & Zollman, 1995). Therefore, it is of great importance that teachers find consultation as a vital aspect of their profession, and are able to acknowledge the importance of consultation. However, Athanasiou and colleagues (2002) interviewed teachers to gain information regarding teacher beliefs towards consultation (Athanasiou, Geil, Hazel, & Copeland, 2002). The teachers interviewed expressed feeling that consultation was beneficial in that it gave them an opportunity to be heard and to receive emotional support, but that they felt it had little direct value for their students (Athanasiou, 2002). Similarly, Alderman and Gimpel (1996) found that teachers felt that solving problems on their own was more effective than consulting with other school personnel (Alderman & Gimpel, 1996). In addition, Gonzalez and colleagues (2004) identified several potential reasons for teachers to resist consultation. These included: time demands of consultation, admittance of inadequacy, fear of being viewed as incompetent, anxiety due to change, discomfort over interpersonal processes and losing control of the problem, fears associated with confidentiality, admonishment by the principal, and fear that the consultant will recognize additional inadequacies (Gonzales et al., 2004). Based on these potential costs to consultees, it is logical that not all teachers will voluntarily commit to the consultation process, and that among those teachers who do engage in consultation, not all will be fully invested in it. Methods Case Study 1 Participants Consultee: Mathematics teacher of 12 years working at a high school for male adjudicated youth Consultant: Third-year school psychology doctoral student Client: Male high-school student demonstrating behavioral non- compliant and destructive classroom behavior Setting Consultees classroom 6 sessions, approximately 30 minutes each Abstract Teacher acceptability of consultation is necessary in order for consultation to be used as a preventative resource for student problems. This poster will focus on two consultation case studies and overcoming the challenge of teacher resistance to consultation and will also focus on improving teacher perceptions of consultation. Case Study 2 Participants Consultee: Fourth grade general education teacher of 10 years working with a special education teacher within a collaborative classroom Consultant: Second-year school psychology doctoral student Client: Student who had recently transferred from a private school due to lack of academic process and behavioral problems Setting Consultees classroom 7 sessions, approximately 30 minutes each Outcomes for Students Outcomes for the client in case study 1 are shown (Figure 1). Weekly points were awarded to the student in the following areas: complying with teacher requests, respecting peers and staff, getting along with others, remaining, seated, demonstrating consistent motivation, and self-advocating. In all areas, behavior improved over the course of the consultation period. Outcomes for the client in case study 2 included the client gaining a formal diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder with mixed disturbance in emotions and conduct recorded in her record leading to the initiation of a 504 plan. Teacher Resistance to Consultation Despite positive outcomes being displayed for students, some teachers may continue to show resistance towards consultation. For example, in case study 1, though the student made obvious gains in six distinct areas over the course of the consultation sessions, the consultee still rated the overall helpfulness of consultation as a 2 on a scale of 7. Additionally, in the second case study, the consultee became increasingly reluctant to fully engage in consultation planning and modification of interventions. In order to address consultee resistance, several changes could be made in future consultation to combat the perceived inefficiency of consultation or the reluctance to engage in this process. These suggestions would include (adapted from Polsgrove & McNeil, 1989): Ensuring the use of one-downsmanship to provide opportunity for the consultee to demonstrate their experience Providing the consultee with advantages and disadvantages of different interventions Allowing the consultee the opportunity to develop potential interventions, or to describe aspects of interventions that they feel would be successful Develop interventions that are based on the consultees already developed set of skills Agree to take equal responsibility when interventions fail Assessing perceived helpfulness and/or effectiveness of consultation throughout the consultation process, not just upon termination of consultation services.