Based on the literature regarding best practices and position papers of national and state organizations calling for expanded and changing roles for support personnel (e.g., American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists, etc.), it is evident that existing personnel resources have not clearly been focused on assisting teachers and administrators in improving student learning. There is general consensus that the development of a safe, supportive school climate which fosters the social and academic development of children, the early recognition and prevention of learning and behavioral problems, and the delivery of interventions matched to student level of need requires a team effort. In order to plan instruction that is appropriate for all of their students, teachers must collaborate with school support personnel to meet individual and collective student needs.
The purpose of the proposed research study is twofold. The project is designed to (1) gather relevant information from stakeholders (e.g., parents, teachers, administrators) regarding existing needs and supports for teachers to assist in improving student learning outcomes, and (2) develop, implement, and evaluate a collaborative, problem-solving model that can be utilized by school teams to provide assistance to teachers who have greater than 50% of students failing to make learning gains in their classroom. This model will extend the consideration of factors generally considered as solely impacting student learning, namely teacher effectiveness, to include additional identified factors unique to the environment in which the teacher works (e.g., special population characteristics, behavioral difficulties, motivation, etc.).
The effectiveness of utilizing a collaborative, multidisciplinary model to support P-12 learning will be assessed using a quasi-experimental design involving three classrooms matched on "low-performing" teachers and relevant student demographic characteristics and achievement. Several measures will be used to evaluate the primary and secondary research questions addressed in this study.