Interactive Teaming: Enhancing Programs for Students with Special Needs (3rd Edition)

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9780130192363: Interactive Teaming: Enhancing Programs for Students with Special Needs (3rd Edition)

This book effectively describes an interactive teaming model that focuses on consultation and collaboration to improve the services offered to students with special needs. The model incorporates essential elements of total quality efforts, adult learning theories, and recognizing the importance of sensitivity to cultural differences. The authors clearly explain the underlying theories and legal requirements of such service delivery systems and offer practical examples to bridge theory and practice. Readers are introduced to an overview of past and present programs, the facilitating factors necessary to make a teaming model work, and the implementation of interactive teaming in four contexts—culturally/linguistically diverse students, infants/preschoolers, students with mild disabilities, and students with severe disabilities. For professionals in the field of education.

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Preface

Interactive teaming in special programs is a new concept of service delivery for school-age students who are currently placed in special education programs or are at risk for referral to such programs. The model proposed in this book is based on several assumptions:

An increasing number of students are failing in the traditional public school program, both in general and in special education. The needs of individual students are too complex to be handled by a single professional working in isolation, and the needs of all of these groups of students are too diverse to be addressed by the knowledge base of a single profession. Increased diversity in cultural differences, both between professionals and families and among professionals from different cultures, further exacerbates the difficulty both of providing effective instructional programs and of developing effective communication systems. The time of trained professionals and the scarce resources of public education systems are too valuable to be wasted on uncoordinated or duplicated efforts that produce marginal results for students with special needs.

The opening paragraph and items listed above were the beginning ideas of the preface to the first edition of Interactive Teaming, published in 1991. As the third edition goes to press 9 years later, the same assumptions are still present and the need for effective teaming models is even greater. The number of students served in special education programs continues to grow, and the cultural diversity of the population continues to increase. The time professionals have for collaboration and the resources of school systems seem to diminish instead of increase.

During this same time span, much attention has been given to organizational models or school restructuring/reform efforts that call for skills in collaboration and teaming. Total quality management, school-based and site-based management, macro-system reform efforts, inclusion and transition models, and early childhood intervention programs all require collaboration and team decision making to be successful.

The interactive teaming model described in this text is based on transdisciplinary teaming and collaborative consultation models. The model focuses on two concepts:

1. Consultation: The sharing of knowledge by one professional with another.
2. Collaboration: Mutual efforts between professionals and parents to meet the special needs of children and young people.

The model includes key elements of total quality efforts, adult learning theories, and recognition of the importance of sensitivity to cultural differences.

This text is divided into three parts, each with several supporting chapters. Part I provides a foundation and overview of the contextual framework within which current and future programs for serving students who have disabilities and are at risk will need to be provided. The emergence of a new population of school-age students and the need for a new, coordinated model of implementing special services are highlighted. In Part I an outline of this model and comparisons with existing models are provided. The historical development of the new model includes a brief discussion of the models that preceded it: the medical model, the triadic model of consultation, the refinement of the triadic model to collaborative consultation, and the further extension to variations of the school-based and teacher assistance teams. Each represents a step closer to the interactive teaming model proposed in this text; the strengths and documented factors in the effectiveness of previous models have been incorporated into the new proposal.

In Part II the facilitating factors that make the teaming model work are outlined, and the barriers to effective team functioning are addressed. The facilitating factors include understanding the roles and perspectives of team members, enhancing communication skills, developing service coordination skills, empowering team members through professional development, and supporting family involvement. Each factor is presented through a review of the relevant literature with descriptions and examples of applications.

Part III features implementation of interactive teaming in four contexts: programs for (1) students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, (2) infants and preschoolers with disabilities, (2) students with mild disabilities, and (4) students with severe disabilities. The necessary knowledge and skills of team members are described in their roles as direct service providers and as consultants/collaborators who provide indirect services.

Although the intervention strategies, team members, and their specific interactive processes differ by settings, all teams operate within the framework of problem identification, intervention, and evaluation of effectiveness. A concluding chapter features an extended case study showing how the model is applied, and provides guidelines for implications of interactive teaming for the future.

The guidelines by which the interactive team operates are modifications of those used in school-based management teams. The culture of the school—its values and rules—provides the contextual framework for establishing its goals. Teachers, parents, and other team members-rather than administrators and specialists—are empowered to analyze problems, make decisions, and evaluate programs designed to attain common goals. These goals are related to the provision of effective educational service programs for the students on whom the team focuses its efforts.

This book was developed by an interactive team, each member serving as consultant and collaborator to the two other members. In reality, each chapter has three coauthors. To avoid redundancy, however, the authorship of each chapter indicates only the person who was the primary developer. Carol Chase Thomas authored Chapters 2, 3, 5, and 11; Vivian Correa authored Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 12; and Catherine Morsink authored Chapters 1, 4, 6, 7, and 13. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Revising a textbook invariably turns out to be much more of a challenge than anticipated, especially when the authors are located in different states and have many other roles and responsibilities. We are fortunate in that we shared a common commitment to the goal of advancing the interactive teaming model, and that we had excellent supporters in this endeavor. We appreciate the constructive suggestions provided by the reviewers of the revision plan: Judith J. Ivarie, Eastern Illinois University; Donna Kearns, University of Central Oklahoma; Rosanne Pirtle, Marian College (IN); and Diane T Woodrum, West Virginia University.

Our students in undergraduate and graduate courses provided invaluable insights on how the text could be improved. We also wish to thank Lee Brinkley, Laura Nelson, and Holly Greenoe for their assistance. Special thanks to Linda Lenk for providing school-based examples and review of content, and to Kristin Young for her summary and application of content in a medical setting. Ann Castel Davis and Pat Grogg at Merrill are always helpful and encouraging persons with whom to work.

A number of other individuals were supportive of this endeavor and deserve our thanks: Linda Baker, Grace Burton, Bailey and Whitney, Linda Taylor, Cricket, Dolores Daugherty, Phyllis Kendziorski, Jay Hertzog, and Mary Kay Dykes.

CAROL CHASE THOMAS
VIVIAN IVONNE CORREA
CATHERINE VOELKER MORSINK

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