Thesis

Exploring Transdisciplinary Collaborative Practices Between Education Specialists Moderate/Severe and Related Services.

Students with moderate to severe disabilities benefit most when transdisciplinary teams collaborate to deliver individualized instruction and services together in the classroom. This research seeks to capture a description of Education Specialists’ current experiences during collaboration with their special education transdisciplinary teams composed of SLPs, OTs, APEs, Psychological services and Nurses. Due to a paucity of research from the teacher’s perspective, the central question of this study asks K-12 Education Specialists–Moderate/Severe to describe how they collaborate with their teams in the four domains of assessment, curriculum development, instruction, and progress monitoring. A descriptive mixed methods approach employs a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews to provided additional detail on survey questions. Overall, teachers report that teams collaborate most frequently in the areas of assessment and IEP goal development. Findings indicate that teams respectfully share resources, knowledge of students and disciplinary expertise, but lack consistency and a shared systematic approach towards collaboration, especially in the areas of instruction and progress monitoring. Participants describe how teams collaborate best, and what practices will improve or block collaboration. Due to the importance, but limited practice of transdisciplinary collaboration, this researcher recommends pre-service teacher preparation and graduate programs embed teaming into their foundational curricula.

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