PERCEPTION OF PROFESSIONAL ROLE: TRANSITION TO SCHOOL BASED SUPPORT TEAMS
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The purpose of this study was to determine if the professional training and number of years of experience of potential School Based Support Team members influenced responses to a series of variables reflecting different dimensions of the team process. The investigation focused on the professional's perception of his/her role as well as the roles of the other team members. The study was conducted with sixty-five professionals drawn from a large urban school system that was in the process of establishing 500 School Based Support Teams, each consisting of a psychologist, a social worker and an educational evaluator.;It was believed that a sampling of role expectations of the various professionals would provide insight into the frictions that might arise as the transition to School Based Support Teams proceeded. After completing a survey of role expectations, each professional viewed a videotaped case study and responded to a related questionnaire entitled Child Assessment Measures. On the Child Assessment Measures the respondents designated a diagnosis, and educational placement and completed a 26 item rating scale.;The results showed that professional discipline influenced assignment of role functions, with each discipline assigning itself a broader range than their colleagues. This is viewed as a source of conflict. In addition, there was role ambiguity in those functions that are to be initiated under the School Based Support Team model in the areas of classroom consultation and non-formalized assessment. Neither professional discipline nor prior experience differentiated between the reaction to the case study presentation; it was felt that the educational system does provide a "cognitive set" with respect to diagnostic and placement decisions. The frequency of the learning disability diagnosis with a Resource Room or Part Time Special Class placement was discussed.;Implications for multidisciplinary professional training were considered.