Working on the Process:Cases in Consultation Training Daniel Newman, National-Louis University Sylvia Rosenfield, University of Maryland Jill Berger , University of Maryland Katie Lynch , University of Maryland Laura Schussler , University of Maryland Megan Vaganek , University of Maryland National Association of School Psychologists Convention San Francisco, CA February 23rd, 2011
Introduction:Becoming a Consultee-Centered Consultant Sylvia Rosenfield University of Maryland
Why Is Consultation Important? • Current focus on outcomes • Tendency to focus on student and content of concern • Teacher as critical to outcomes • Recognition of consultee as focus in CCC
What is Consultee-Centered Consultation? • Discussion among two or more professionals • An understanding that the consultee has no compulsion to accept consultant’s ideas or suggestions • Goal is joint development of new way of conceptualizing the work problem, so that: • the repertoire of the consultee is expanded • the consultee’s handling and/or understanding of the current problem is changed (a turning) • Change is positive for teacher and student
Why is Training Important? “Everything We Do is an Intervention” (Schein, 1999) Systematic Problem Solving Process Collaborative & Reflective Communication Working Relationship Understanding School Culture
Problem-Solving Stages Contracting: Informed consent Problem Identification: Presented problem not always the problem; use of Instructional Assessment (IA; Gickling and Gravois) Intervention Planning: Developing an intervention that can be implemented Intervention/Evaluation: Is it used? Does it work? Closure: Skillful endings
Communication Skills:“More and more into communications and less and less into communication” Skillful Use of: Perception Checking Clarifying Statements/Clarifying Questions Paraphrasing Summarizing Combining skills Bond and Move
Types of Concerns Teacher Lack of knowledge Lack of skill Lack of objectivity Lack of self-confidence Consultant Lack of knowledge Lack of skill Lack of objectivity Lack of self-confidence
Tools for Developing Competence “In consultation cases, the seeming simplicity of the concern can mask how intensive the case will be.” • Taping each session • Logs for reflection on each session • Supervision
Four CCC Cases Case 1: Katie Lynch • Multiple concerns: Focus on Process Case 2: Laura Schussler • Using PI to Assist a Consultee with an ELL Student Case 3: Jill Berger • Developing Teacher Objectivity about a Classwide Homework Problem Case 4: Megan Vaganek • Addressing Bullying in the Classroom through Teacher Consultation
Danny Newman • Supervision of Consultation Time for Questions
What Do You Do When There Are Multiple Concerns? Using Problem Identification to Prioritize and Clarify a Teacher’s Concerns Case #1: Katie Lynch University of Maryland
Case Description • Consultee: Caucasian, female kindergarten teacher (Ms. Smith) • First case referral to a problem-solving team • Student: Hispanic, female, 6-years-old (Carla) • My 1st case as a consultant-in-training (CIT) • Referral Concern: • T: “Carla is showing a variety of behaviors and learning styles that are impacting her ability to move forward in a typically developing way.”
Problem-Solving Process • Problem Identification was the most important stage for this case • We were able to problem-solve around 3 unique concerns • On-task behaviors • Student was on-task 62% of the time while a peer was on task 92% of the time • Work completion & work quality • Student was not completing work on time • Student did not use her lined paper as a guide when writing her letters • Knowledge of basic academic vocabulary • Used the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts (Boehm, 2006) to assess understanding of academic vocabulary • Carla only knew 60% of the Boehm vocabulary expected of kindergarteners
Relationship Dynamics • Establishing the collaborative relationship is not always easy. • Challenges in establishing the relationship included: • It was Ms. Smith’s 1st referral to the team • Ms. Smith was initially defensive of her instruction: • E.g. Ms. Smith placed a work sample backwards on the chalkboard but was resistant to admitting her mistake and how it influenced Carla’s learning • School culture issues related to relationship • School culture of focusing on the individual child • School culture of using pull-out programs • Our student was one of the few minority students in a school of mostly Caucasian students
Communication Skills • According to Rosenfield (2004), words play a critical role in consultee-centered consultation. Through the words that are spoken the consultant and consultee create a joint conceptualization of the concern. It is critical that the consultant come to understand his/her communication skills and how communication can be used to problem solve effectively and efficiently. • Feedback on my interpersonal style: • My feedback included that I was soft-spoken and needed to develop a presence in order to be effective in my cases
Communication Skills Early Session (no interruptions): Later Session (appropriate interruption): T: It’s like the 65th day of school and she’ll [Carla] walk in the classroom and spend 20 minutes trying to figure out what the morning routine is. How to take off her backpack and…that must be done by themselves…that routine was taught to them. Um…we felt like because her dependence on others hinders her ability to learn information…because if someone is always telling her the answers…how can she learn the information for herself?... So that um…self-help skills is our big concern…and also work completion. C: Okay. T: She [Carla] was able to read the text and self-correct on a running record, and I can’t assist her with that…so she did that independently…but she couldn’t answer any comprehension questions. C: So…she’s [Carla’s] able to read the text and follow along, but then she has trouble when you ask her questions afterwards about what she has read. What kinds of questions do you ask [the students] to assess for comprehension?
Role of Supervision • Transcriptions helped me to understand how often I was speaking during my sessions • Role playing with my supervisor helped me to learn ways to interrupt when my teacher was speaking • Using communication skills to help the teacher to slow down • Writing out what I would have liked to have said when looking at my transcriptions allowed me to use more effective communication skills
Regaining Objectivity • Helping the teacher to focus on the concern and regain objectivity: T: Did you notice she was sitting in a ‘W’? C: Oh no…I didn’t. T: Yeah…she sits in a ‘W’ formation which is like a 3-year-old habit…it’s very interesting. C: Hmm. T: Another student that we have that is developmentally around 3.5 [years old] but is the same age as the one we’ve been watching [Carla]…she sits in the ‘W’ formation too…it’s very interesting. C: Hmm. I did not notice that. I did notice that she was counting along with the class and she knew a character in the story…and you said that you were happy [that she could identify a story character].
Intervention • Ms. Smith and I worked together to create a task analysis so that she realized how many steps were involved in activities she was asking of the students • We discussed her expectations for successful completion of a letter journal that students worked on each week • We identified 6 steps involved in the completion of the letter journal • We used these steps to create picture prompts for the student • Student begins to use the prompts independently • This gave the student a sense of success and Ms. Smith was happy to have less interruptions and more time with her reading groups
Outcomes • Consultee: • Teacher had a turning and began to discuss what the student could do instead of what she couldn’t do • Student: • Followed multi-step directions independently • Reading on grade level • Working on basic academic vocabulary • Consultant: • Gained confidence in working as a consultant • Understood how to have a presence in future cases
Using Communication Skills to Assist a Consultee with an ELL Student Case #2: Laura Schussler University of Maryland
Case Description • Consultee: 5th grade Caucasian general education teacher, Ms. Parker • Client: 5th grade Chinese boy, Bao • Born in the U.S., but parents spoke Chinese at home • Received 1 hour of ESOL instruction/day • Teacher’s referral concern was that Bao “does not understand much of what he reads or what is taught to him orally” and was failing science and social studies
Problem-Solving Processes • Spent the most time in the Problem Identification stage • Used several reading IAs (Gravois & Gickling, 2008) to parse apart concerns and move down the ladder of inference • Targeted reading comprehension and word meaning • Used data and teacher input to refine interventions • Did trial teaching using IA model • Used Word Search, Word Map, and Pocket Cards interventions combined
Most Effective Communication Skills • Bond and Move • The teacher had strong feelings and it was important to help her understand that some of Bao’s issues were related to being an ELL Transcript Example: T: I don’t think it’s a language issue because he was born in the U.S. He speaks English all the time except at home…It’s all women and he’s the only boy. They baby him. C: How great that his family cares about him so much, but you’re finding he doesn’t use the strategies himself in the classroom. T: I’ve been saying that I don’t think it’s language…now, I think he’s learned how to read and speak English words, but he hasn’t gotten any further. C: So what you’re saying is before you weren’t sure if his first language was affecting his reading, but after seeing that he’s not getting the meaning of words, you think it could be. T: He knows how to say words…but may have no idea what it means. And I have to say, I’m thinking about him differently suddenly. There are days when he does really well…
Most Effective Communication Skills • Clarifying Statements • Ms. Parker tended to use high-inference and pejorative terms to describe Bao • Especially important to clarify during the Problem Identification stage Transcript Example: T: What I say to him might as well be “gobbly-gook.” He gets it today but not tomorrow. C: Tell me more about how he seems to understand something one day but not the next.
Most Effective Communication Skills • Perception Checking • Important due to teacher’s frustrations with the lack of ESOL support and the stress of state testing Transcript Example: T: It’s been a bad year for ESOL. C: Tell me more about what you mean. T: I just think there hasn’t been enough support in the classroom from them and…it hasn’t come together very well. C: I can tell you’re frustrated by that because there’s little connection between them and your classroom. T: Yes, there’s no connection at all. He misses our reading groups and daily review in the afternoon for ESOL and I told [the ESOL teacher] next year they should not be called out twice a day…It’s time out of the classroom when we’re doing something important.
Relationship Dynamics • Teachers may not ask for assistance until they are already in crisis and the concern is difficult to manage, making it more unlikely for the teacher to believe that the concern can be resolved in the classroom (Rosenfield, 1987) • She requested assistance from the IC team because she needed required prerequisite data in order to make a special education referral • She told me this early in the process, which affected our working relationship
Relationship Dynamics Transcript example: T: I’m hoping to further identify that it’s more than language…I filled out the Child Study form and it sounds like it’s language, but it’s more than that. I think it’s a processing issue. So I am hoping that going through this process, that will give me further evidence that it’s not an ESOL issue, that it’s something more, so that will help me progress with the Child Study [process].
Relationship Dynamics • Strong negative feelings and frustration towards Bao, dwelling on his weaknesses, rarely noticing strengths • Importance of teacher-student relationships and how they affect performance in the classroom when the relationship is strained came through (Hamre & Pianta, 2006) • Ms. Parker focused on Bao’s family dynamics and his family “babying” him • Important to remain focused on the factors that we had control over—those related to instruction in the classroom (Rosenfield, 1987)
Role of Supervision in Building Communication Skills • Helped me word “bond and move” statements • Supervisor and I role-played together • Practiced how to give information about ELLs and cultural considerations to the teacher • Worried that I would seem condescending, too “expert-like,” or that I was correcting her
Role of Supervision • Felt “stuck” in the Problem ID stage • Supervisor targeted what I could improve during IAs by listening to session tapes • Reminded me of the proper IA techniques • Learned more about ELLs and the importance of “fringe vocabulary” interventions for ELLs • Supervisor suggested supplemental readings on how ELLs acquire language and core vs. fringe vocabulary • Helped me think about the best ways to combine interventions that would be most effective
Outcomes • Teacher Outcomes: • Reframed how to conceptualize the problem • Improved her own instruction during science and social studies with the entire class • Used some of the interventions with other struggling ESOL students • Gained a stronger understanding of ELLs and ESOL • Student Outcomes: • Improved Social Studies and Science test scores
A Classroom Homework Completion Problem: A Lack of Objectivity Case #3: Jill Berger University of Maryland
Case Description • Consultant • White, female, doctoral student at local university • Supervised by white, female, doctoral student for year-long course in Consultation • Consultee • White, male, fourth-grade teacher • Concerns about a large group of students not completing and/or turning in their homework: “I just wish the kids would just all start doing their homework.” • Worked together for 10 sessions over 3 months
Relationship Dynamics • Gender • Female consultant working with male consultee • Both single and similar ages • History of receiving assistance • Short-term solutions provided by school administration • Teacher feeling unheard and unsupported
Communication Skills • Paraphrasing: • Let the teacher know he was heard • Let the teacher hear what he was saying • Perception check: • Let the teacher know that his feelings were heard • Identify and clarify the teacher’s feelings
Communication Skills • Example of paraphrasing T: The hardest thing is trying to determine with my chart here, well what do I do? I don’t want to reward what they should be doing cause the other kids don’t get rewarded for doing their homework necessarily… I can’t make them want to care about it and I don’t feel like I should reward the ones who are doing it because they finally started doing homework… C: …So it sounds like one thing that you’re struggling with is how do you make this most effective without... creating an unfair reward system in your classroom? T: Right.
Communication Skills • Example of perception check T: Parents don’t seem to really care how [students] do on their report cards. A lot of the parents struggled in school and feel… it’s everybody else’s fault, it’s not my fault, there’s nothing I can do. C: Sounds like working with the parents has been really frustrating for you. T: Yeah, but I still try everyday. I try to call them, meet with them, I met with three of them this week... anyway...
Interventions • Homework Survey • Gathered information on the homework problem from the entire class • Initially part of problem identification but became an intervention • Student goal-setting and graphing of their homework completion • Used data already being collected by Daily Report Cards
Outcomes • Homework Survey • Engaged students in the problem-solving process • Helped teacher regain objectivity • Student Goal-setting and Graphing • Helped with student motivation • Introduced the teacher to the idea of providing positive reinforcement • Provided tools for the teacher to use with future classes
End Teacher Outcomes Beginning “Is this something you think we can actually get to work when it’s so hard to motivate them that there are so many things that they just don’t care about like homework and grades and other things?” “The [students] that don’t do [homework] won’t be honest, it’s always everyone else’s fault—never theirs.” • “I appreciate your help because a kid like this with such a hard life... a kid that doesn’t get a lot of support... to see him finally doing his homework, that’s great. So even if we only have one or two successes I think that’s a good thing because, you know, there’s only but so much we can do. I’ve come to that point in realizing that. And I think your ideas have been really great, I’m going to start implementing a lot of them at the beginning of the year next year.”
Role of Supervision • Recognizing and addressing relationship dynamics • Coping with the teacher’s negativity toward students and strong feelings against reinforcement • Maintaining focus on building the consultee’s skills • Acknowledging the positive outcomes from the Homework Survey (not initially perceived as a useful intervention)
Lessons Learned • How to implement a consultee-centered approach to consultation with supportive supervision • Working with a consultee with a different belief system • Getting the most out of supervision when learning a new set of skills • The importance of: • Involving students in interventions, especially when motivation is a factor • Selecting interventions that are feasible for the teacher to implement
Bullying: A Teacher’s Concern for One Student Reveals a Classroom-Wide Concern Case #4: Megan Vaganek University of Maryland
Case Description • Consultant • Megan: Caucasian female, doctoral student in school psychology at local university • Supervised by Caucasian, female, doctoral student for year-long course in Consultation • Consultee • Mrs. James: Caucasian female, 4th grade teacher, member of consultation team
Case Description • Referral Concern • Began as an individual case of a student being bullied • Problem Identification • Evolving set of concerns • Individual Class • Problem ID As an Intervention
Communication Skills • Perception Checks • I heard her frustrations • Paraphrasing & Clarifying • Defining the Concern as a major step • Relying less on relevant questions • Summarizing
Gathering Information • Bullying Survey • Problem ID • Potential for Baseline Data • Started a discussion for the students • Teacher reported fewer behavior problems • Did the students feel heard?