Learning to Consult and Collaborate in the High School: A Two-Year Study of Perceptions from University Student Team MembersEleanor T. Migliore and Angela Breidenstein
Eleanor Migliore is an associate professor and Director of School Psychology in the Department of Education at Trinity University. Angela Breidenstein also teaches at Trinity University as an associate professor and coordinator of the high school teacher education program.
Collaboration in the schools is an important intervention for providing services to students and staff members. The majority of studies regarding collaborative consultation between school psychologists and teachers have been conducted at the elementary and middle school levels. Further, little has been written about teaching collaborative consultation at the university level to preservice educators.This article describes a two-year project designed to teach collaboration at the university level to two groups of high school teacher interns and school psychology students enrolled in separate courses. Teacher trainees identified problems within their classrooms with which they needed assistance and school psychology students collaborated with them to find appropriate interventions. The process was examined at the end of each spring semester for two years through focus groups led by the two university professors. Analysis of the group interactions indicated similarities and differences between the two student groups. First-year students spent a great deal of time and energy establishing a relationship with their partners and supporting this positive interaction, however, specific, practical interventions were neglected. Students in the second-year group were better able to collaborate on the implementation of actual interventions. This was attributed to additional structure and accountability measures added to the courses. Recommendations for future collaboration training experiences are outlined by the authors.
In the current school environment, there is simply too much for one educator to know to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse population to be served; this is especially true for educators new to the profession. With the demands of the student population and a shift away from isolated individual practice toward greater collegiality, collaboration has become an essential component of educating students (Friend, 2002). Many researchers in the area of school consultation point to collaboration as a way for teachers and school psychologists to come together and design interventions for K-12 students (Cramer, 1998, Babcock & Pryzwansky, 1983, Gresham & Kendell, 1987). Indeed, collaboration appears to be the preferred model of consultation in schools at the present. Collaboration, as defined by Idol, Nevin, and Paolucci-Whitcomb (1994), includes attention to both the process and the outcomes. "Primarily, collaborative consultation is an interactive process that enables groups of people with diverse expertise to generate creative solutions to mutually defined problems" (p. 1). Cook and Friend (1991) envision collaboration as a way to meet the future needs of individuals in a complex society. This article examines the use of the collaborative model in two graduate programs, a teacher education program for high school teachers and a school psychology program, in order to consider the implications of teaching the model to educators at the entry level of their practice.
The Collaborative Model of Consultation
Collaborative consultation has been studied at the preschool, elementary, secondary and adult levels (Idol, Nevin, & Paolucci-Whitcomb, 1994). However, in reviewing the literature, Fuchs, Fuchs, Dulan, Roberts, and Fernstrom (1992) observed that most research has been conducted in grades K-8. Of their review of 86 studies between 1961 and 1989, 77 were conducted in grades K-8; nine were in grades 9-12. Even though research at the secondary level has been somewhat neglected, those in the field have advocated the use of the collaborative model in secondary schools. In her book Safe Passage: Making It through Adolescence in a Risky Society, Dryfoos (1998) reviews data culled from reform initiatives and recommends the use of teams, which include mental health professionals, for working with adolescents in schools. Support for a collaborative approach with adolescents can also be found in the recommendations of the Turning Points 2000 report (Jackson & Davis, 2000).
The problems inherent in evaluating consultations between school psychologists and teachers in general and the collaboration model specifically are complex because results are often based on teacher perceptions and not student outcomes (Fuchs et al., 1992). Fuchs et al. (1992) make the recommendation that knowledge should be generated regarding which type of situation calls for which type of consultation. Despite these limitations, Idol et al. (1994) state three general conclusions in their review of collaborative consultation studies. First, collaboration is helpful for students with special education needs. Second, collaboration skills can be learned by school personnel. Third, collaborators can expect changes at the system, adult collaborator, and student levels.
Fishbaugh (1997) in Models of Collaboration concludes that for consultation and collaboration efforts to be effective, the following components need to be present: commitment from the decision-makers; commitment, shared ownership, and decision-making among team members; adequate resources; on-going training and technical assistance; evaluation; and family involvement. In a similar manner, Friend and Cook (1996) describe an effective collaboration team as possessing three important characteristics: having mutual goals, participating in the process voluntarily, and having personal or professional resources to contribute. Additional factors included team members sharing the resources for decision-making and accountability for the outcome. Idol and West (1991) outline specific steps for collaborative efforts; these steps generally follow the stages in a consultative process: entry, goal-setting, problem identification, intervention recommendations, implementation of recommendations, evaluation of plan and team process, and follow-up.
Teaching the Collaboration Consultation Model
Although a growing body of literature exists on models and processes for collaboration, the teaching and learning of collaborative consultation have not been addressed as thoroughly. A notable exception is the work of Idol (1998) who has outlined a plan for helping schools develop a collaborative model for working together.
Several organizations which articulate standards for professional educators consider attaining collaborative skills to be important goals for professional preparation programs. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (2002) has challenged teacher education institutions to prepare candidates to both teach and work with others in the school community in a collaborative manner as part of the vision for the professional teacher for the 21st century. The National Association of School Psychologists (2000) has made the attainment of consultation and collaboration skills one of the essential goals of a program certified by this organization. Suggestions for accomplishing these goals have been presented by Pryswansky (1996). He recommends planned collaborations between preservice teachers and school psychologists so that each can learn about the perspectives of the other along with an appreciation of future potential professional interactions.
If university education departments are to implement the experiential programs advocated by professional credentialing groups and others in the field, what would be the most effective approaches both for preservice student learning and for intervention outcomes? Would the characteristics cited as important for successful collaborative teams in schools be the same for those who are just beginning to learn the process? Would the collaborative process itself follow in the same stages? What would be the optimum manner to structure the actual learning experience? For those charged with teaching collaboration and consultation, these are important questions for further exploration.
As two faculty members relatively new to higher education, we decided to examine the possibilities of providing a collaborative experience to our teacher education and school psychology students. We had noted in our first few years in our positions that the students in three professional programs (teacher education, school psychology, and school administration) had no interaction with each other, and that we were not taking advantage of a potentially unique opportunity to create interactions between the students of the different programs. While not taking advantage of an opportunity was one problem, our other problem as we saw it was that we were perpetuating the isolation of different professional entities in education. Finally, in terms of our impetus and context, we would note that our programs are relatively small (approximately 10-15 in the high school teacher education cohort and 15-20 in the school psychology cohort) and that as coordinators of our own programs we are given a great deal of autonomy to develop our programs and practices. Thus, given our small program size and autonomy, we had an ideal situation for piloting a project between our two programs.
Since the research clearly supports developing collaborative teams within the educational system, introducing this process at the preparation level was an important goal for both programs. Both the teacher education students and school psychology students receive instruction in collaborative models of working with other professionals in theory and in practice, although often the practice is limited to similarly-situated professionals (i.e. teacher education students work extensively with teachers in their eight month internship yet rarely interact with school psychologists). In order for this initiative to be authentic and meaningful, we thought that the collaboration should be located in a school and related to an actual challenge being faced by a teacher. Thus, we planned for the collaboration to take place when the teacher education students (interns) were teaching classes in a high school setting as part of their eight-month internship and master of arts in teaching program. The school psychology students were enrolled in a consultation course offered during the last semester of their two-year master's degree course work. The current two-year study, beginning in 2000, included two different groups of students.
During the first year (Spring 2001), two students in the teaching intern group and two students in the school psychology group were involved. The small number of participants was due to the fact that there were only 2 school psychology students enrolled in a special section of the consultation course. The second year (Spring 2002), 7 students in each group participated. This represented the total number of interns in the high school preparation program that year.
In the first year of the project, the teacher interns in the high school cohort were presented with the opportunity to meet with school psychology trainees for a consultation/collaboration regarding a classroom question or concern; two interns volunteered for the project. The school psychology students were responsible for a written report of the consultation/collaboration experience; the teacher interns had no formal assignment. The project was explained separately during the first meetings of the two classes by the individual professors.
In the spring of 2002, all 7 teacher interns were matched with all seven school psychology students. All students had written course assignments in conjunction with the experience. The second year group also had a joint meeting with all participants at the end of the fall semester (the project takes place in the spring semester) for the purposes of introducing the project, randomly matching up students from the two programs in collaboration pairs, and exchanging contact information and schedules. The timing of the joint meeting was planned to help students begin the process earlier in the spring due to feedback from the first group. Expectations and goals for the project were also explained. A second important change was the addition of specific scheduled "check-in" assignments for school psychology students during the spring semester to assure timelines were met. Teacher interns were also given a written assignment in conjunction with the collaboration project to promote their reflection and analysis; this written entry became a part of their comprehensive portfolio and served as evidence of collaboration with other colleagues. These three changes the orientation meeting, the check-in assignments, and the intern assignments should be noted when considering the project outcomes and differences between the first and second years of the project.
In both years, procedures, meetings, and interactions were the responsibility of the participants; the school psychology students were trained in the consultation model and steps as well as the collaboration model while the teacher education students were not (simulating what would actually occur in professional practice). The school psychology trainees were also taught a format for writing their final reports. In both years, the school psychology professor met regularly with the school psychology trainees, and intermittent check-in conversations occurred between the education professor and interns as well as the school psychology professor and education professor.
A meeting was held at the end of each spring semester with all participants from that year and their two professors in focus group formats. Eight open-ended questions were posed regarding the experience to gather individual and collective perceptions regarding the collaboration/consultation experience. The first year, one focus group was conducted; the second year each professor led a separate focus group with a mix of teacher intern and school psychology partners. Transcripts of the conversations were then studied for evidence of the factors considered important in collaboration as well as for indications of the stages documented by researchers in the field. A coding protocol was developed using the general categories described by Fishbaugh (1997) and by Friend and Cook (1996). The transcripts were also coded for emergent themes beyond those identified in the literature as the authors were interested in both the similarities and differences between those learning to collaborate and those already working in the field (the basis of most of the literature). Since we had two years of transcripts, we also made comparisons of the groups to assess consistency of their general responses and evaluate the effectiveness of the changes we had made in our procedures.
Students collaborated on a range of problems that are not unique to the beginning educator. Concerns focused on individual students, the teacher, and the classroom environment. Classroom issues included increasing student motivation toward content presented as well as organizational strategies for managing off-task behaviors. In order to demonstrate the types of projects the students pursued, a brief description of four cases follows.
One team addressed classroom changes which included seating arrangements and scheduling of activities within the 90-minute period. The process was reported in a factual manner, but the account also included an introspective report of the participants' reactions to the experience. The initial meeting between the teacher intern and the school psychology student was tentative. The school psychology student demonstrated a willingness to meet with the teacher intern at a time convenient to her and was persistent in arranging meeting times around her partner's schedule. The psychology student was careful to attend to relationship building and allowed trust to develop by exhibiting a respectful and open attitude. She was also consistently reliable (punctual, kept appointments, called as planned). Gradually, the teacher intern became comfortable discussing several classroom problems. The psychology student brought in relevant information that directly addressed the management of the student behaviors described by the teacher. The school psychology student was also able to offer an independent observation of the behaviors which did not appear as significant to her as they did to the teacher. Both collaborators ended the experience with a great deal of mutual respect.
A second example of a collaboration around classroom problems addressed the issue of student motivation. As with more experienced educators, not all collaborative efforts proceed in an ideal manner. The intern and school psychology student had different visions of the problem and apparently did not spend enough time on the entry stage in order to reach agreement on this basic element. Since agreement was not reached at this point, each student had a different view of the solution. The teacher intern was not as concerned with the overt student behaviors as was the school psychology student. Thus, the focus for the school psychology student was on creating behavior plans, while the teacher intern wanted to design more interesting lessons. Trust never developed between these team members as a result of this lack of mutual understanding. Focus group responses reflected this situation.
A collaboration that involved an individual student was conducted by one pair. The teacher intern was concerned because one of her students was exhibiting poor hygiene and appeared to be disheveled in his clothing. A conference with the school counselor and school nurse was suggested and subsequently arranged. The teacher intern knew she had these resources but another observation and feedback from a trained person outside the situation validated her perspective and reinforced her commitment to seek further intervention.
One teacher intern utilized the time with her school psychologist consultant to discuss some of her feelings of anxiety regarding teaching in general. After examining the class achievements and the intern's interactions with her students, both collaborators agreed that the teacher was demonstrating highly effective approaches. The teacher's level of confidence appeared to be the underlying issue. By discussing this situation, the teacher intern was able to relax and enjoy her role more.
The cases included in our project cover a variety of problems, which was important for novice educators since interventions also covered a wide range of issues and exposed the students to many practical solutions. As professors, we felt the most important lesson learned by our students was in the area of relationship building. It was interesting for us to observe how the quality of the partnership appeared to affect the team's description of the project and at least their perceptions of outcomes.
The focus group discussions for both years suggested key factors that affected the process and outcomes of the collaborative experience: a focus on personal resources, mutual goals, time, accountability, level of self-comfort, communication, and changes in attitudes. The first four factors were consistent with those cited as important characteristics by Friend and Cook (1996); the last three, although mentioned in the literature, were a specific focus of our students. In regard to the stages of collaboration, changes were noted between the two years. It appeared that the first-year participants stalled in the initial entry stage. The second-year group made better progress, with several attaining the evaluation stage and all reaching the intervention recommendations stage. Finally, a positive change in perception was noted regarding collaboration and working with other professionals for groups from both years.
The theme which emerged as dominant throughout the dialogue both years was a focus on personal resources. This was mentioned repeatedly through a reflection on personal qualities or experiences. Self-analysis was also placed in this category and there was a great deal of reflection on comfort level and the ability to deal with a variety of situations. Describing the entry phase of their collaboration, one of the interns said,
I think for us we were both kind of nervous and not quite sure of what to expect from each other, our roles, and the process. As we started going along we were able to identify different roles. We were both pretty up front with what made us nervous with the whole experience, the fact that I was a beginning teacher and I didn't have it all together.
In addition, participants took care to affirm each other and talked of developing mutual goals and agreeing on responsibilities. A great deal of attention was devoted to collegiality and "getting along."
Lack of adequate resources, specifically time, was repeatedly mentioned by all the participants. This was the only resource noted as lacking, and although this was mentioned in our review of the literature as a theme (Elliott & Sheridan, 1992), time may be an especially important issue for learners. Our attempt as professors to give the second cohort an earlier start with greater clarity about the project and our expectations in the introductory meeting was an attempt to scaffold the experience for our new learners, even though it reduced the authenticity of the experience in terms of the collaboration team negotiating the entry phase among themselves. The initial meeting, along with the check-in assignments, did appear to have an influence on the second-year students since they seemed to be less focused on this element. Interestingly, the second group also mentioned practical ways they learned to cope with this problem through the use of email and by becoming more creative and flexible with meeting times. Friend (2002) points to these same strategies used in her work with successfully collaborating teachers in the field to overcome this challenge of limited time.
For the first-year group, the themes notably absent from the discussion pertained to accountability. Interventions were not evaluated, nor were the participants' effectiveness as producers of actual interventions. The process was assessed repeatedly, but no outcomes were discussed. One of the first-year school psychology students said: "From the school psychologist point it did allow a lot of time for exploration." The other school psychology student then agreed:
We did learn a lot about exploring, I know I did. I think it would have also been interesting if it were at a different time to actually maybe implement or try some of these things as a collaboration or consultation to actually see, because we only went half-way.
The second year students were much more focused on outcomes. These students also appeared more realistic in their goal setting. One example of an outcome was a collaboration team's improvement in an assignment for a class, rather than working on a global or more general picture of a teacher's needs:
There was definite improvement and the student wound up making a 100 on the test I gave him and so that was really neat to see. His sleeping disorder did not change or his emotional problems or his fear or anything with school but this is a start and maybe that will give him more self-esteem.
As this was only the second year of the project, we are not sure if the greater focus on outcomes could be the result of improvement in the project structure and explanations, ability or personality of the initial 4 participants (including specifically the school psychology students who were directing the action of the projects), or the number of participants in the consultation course.
There were several additional themes that were not identified in the literature that were significant in our data. These findings emerged as communication, level of self-comfort, and changes in attitude/perception regarding collaboration between school psychologists and teachers. While these findings could be aggregated among the factors identified in the literature, particularly personal resources and shared ownership, the specific and frequent manner in which these topics were addressed by the participants suggests these may be categories of particular importance to learners of the collaboration process.
Both the school psychology students and teacher interns repeatedly reported changes in their perceptions of collaboration and of the other professional group. One school psychology student shared her initial perception: "I think this experience was helpful for me because I had never gone into a school and worked with a teacher before, so that was my first time and I was nervous at first but I think it was really helpful." Other statements from the participants reflect a change over the course of this experience:
- I feel more comfortable about (collaboration) in the end.
- There is a gap between school psychologists and teachers that needs to be bridged by more activities like this.
- I respect the school psychologist more after this experience.
- Overall I think it was a positive experience and I feel like if I need somebody to talk with, a school psychologist would be an option. I don't think I would have considered such an option without a project like this.
These statements were culled from the focus group data as well as the students' written reflections for their portfolios. This shift in perception described by the participants addressed one of our primary goals for the project, creating opportunities for students in preparation programs in different arenas of the education profession to have not only exposure to each other but also meaningful interaction and hopefully collaboration. We are now considering follow-up studies with the participants after their entry into the field to examine the extent to which this shift might result in changes in practice.
The participants' dialogue was also examined for evidence of a progression through the stages of collaboration as described by Idol and West (1991). Students from both years spent a great deal of time on the entry phase. There was a notable improvement between years, however, in movement to other stages. An excerpt from the focus group describing one of the projects exemplifies the first-year students' stall in the entry phase:
We kind of went back and forth. We decided to look at cliques, then after observing that, we talked two or three times and discussed a particular student who was sleeping. So then we kind of took another direction and then looked at an overall approach- how we could get students involved in the classroom. We just took an overall approach since we were coming down to the end. We had met about five times and there was not that much time to dive into any particular problem. I was also worried that if we started diving in then it would be over and we wouldn't have a chance to finish everything. Time was an issue. I would have loved to work on and focus on a specific thing.
In contrast, most of the second-year group got to the point of making intervention suggestions, which is Idol and West's (1991) intervention recommendations stage. Several attained the implementation stage and, as noted earlier, one team achieved the next-to-last stage of evaluation of plan and team process. One implication that we are considering is the extent of our involvement and the degree to which student learning should be supported by our intervention; specifically, a question we are considering is whether it is significant for students, in particular the school psychology students, to realize their progression (or lack thereof) through the stages and their own role in moving the progression forward, or whether it is more significant for students to have an experience with the different stages in order to experience the progression through the steps of the consultation process. As teachers of the collaboration process, both outcomes create "teachable moments" for us, so the question seems to be whether to take a more constructivist approach that might allow the students to mediate their own experience or whether we should continue to provide a more teacher-facilitated process.
On a related note, a major difference between the two years was the disproportionate amount of time spent by first year students evaluating the process (as opposed to the outcomes). They even expressed an interest in follow-up to continue the collaborative relationship established. Based on their experience in the project, first-year participants perceived that in the end, the project was "a process instead of a product" and then went on to suggest "that's not necessarily the way it should be." The second group looked at process, but they were also focused on outcomes. They spent time discussing interventions and actually focused on fairly sophisticated qualities such as appropriateness for the teacher's schedule and acceptability for the student. One second-year student evaluated her attempts to find meaningful interventions as follows:
It is hard to come up with ideas that are really simple and easyI think it is going to take a lot more to come up with ideas that are easily integrated into the daily routinewe thought we had good ideas but they were things that took a little too much time and effort or weren't practical. I guess because you want to come up with something brilliant.
In summary, we found that certain themes appeared to be consistently evidenced by our learners of collaboration in their focus group discussions. Students in both years appeared especially concerned with personal resources, mutual goals, time, level of self-comfort, communication, and attitude changes. Self-consciousness was also an important and primary initial issue. Although this is an expected concern with individuals learning a process, the amount of attention and energy devoted to this category was unexpected. Because the first-year participants seemed more absorbed in team building and an analysis of self and partner interactions, they failed to create an intervention plan and conduct an analysis of the outcomes. The second-year students made better progress due, at least in part, to the additional structure and accountability steps we introduced as professors. The scheduling of an orientation meeting introduced the process and allowed some initial communication to take place. In addition, the accountability step of assigned written work from both team members may have helped the students focus on an end point more efficiently and also to reflect upon both the content and process of the experience. Because the second-year students moved beyond this stage of mutual reassurance, it appeared that they were better able to accomplish actual interventions and even assess the process better. In our focus group in the second year, we noted that the teacher interns asked some direct questions of the school psychology students regarding their roles and the information they could offer, and this prompted responses from the school psychology students that forced them to articulate their role as well as the resources they anticipated they would provide to teachers and schools.
Implications for Teaching Collaboration
The issue for us as educators reflecting on our teaching practices is to determine the implications in this study for training school psychologists and teachers new to the collaborative process. After much discussion of our results, we have two important questions based on the first two years of the project. First, we wonder what the long-term outcomes will be for both the teachers and school psychologists. In their careers, will these students be more likely to reach out to other professionals as consultants, consultees, or collaborators? Will this experience lead to more effective collaborative teams in the schools? Are there outcomes in both the stance and practice of these professionals in regard to their collaboration? Specifically in regards to the future teachers: Are teachers who have experienced a collaborative experience with a school psychologist more likely to consult a school psychologist when faced with a dilemma or challenge? Do they have a different perception of school psychologists and their role than teachers who have not had experience working with school psychologists? And, for the school psychologists: How has their stance toward collaboration, teachers, schools, and their own role been shaped by this experience? Our first participants are now in their third year in the profession, so we would like to follow up with them to examine these questions.
Our second challenge pertains to the question of our role in structuring and mediating the experience. Our project design in the first year was fairly constructivist and phenomenological (Wiersma, 1995). We knew that we wanted to create an experience that would teach students how to collaborate, and we wanted them to learn from both the process and content of the collaborative experience. Therefore, we allowed the students to construct much of the collaboration themselves. After we instructed our students in the steps and procedures involved and required reports of the results of these efforts, we did not intervene very much nor did we consult with each other too often. Between the first and second years, we spent a great deal of time talking about how we could adjust our role and involvement in the project based on the experiences and feedback of the first group. As we analyzed our data after the first year, we discussed ways of structuring the student experience with the model as well as our roles and our own collaboration. In the second year we added structure and check-in requirements, and we also added a reflective assignment for the teacher interns and an increased focus on interaction. Thus, we decided that an important challenge for us and for others interested in teaching collaboration might be to become clear on the goals of the collaboration experience itself. If we want to pursue the training of students regarding the collaboration model and the stages of consultation, we will need to create a structured experience for our students and for ourselves. Conversely, if we want students to negotiate the process on their own, then we might structure less of the experience for the students.
As we continue with our own collaboration as professors, we will consider our goals for each set of students, the school psychology students and the teacher education students. In the future, we may want to establish different goals for each set of students. This might mean that we will try a third iteration of our project; for example, the school psychology students might need to be trained in the models, while the teacher education students might be better served by the shared process of negotiating a relationship with a colleague who is not a teacher. This might mean, then, that we would allow for the constructivist approach and then follow it up with a second experience for the school psychology students in their final year of the three-year program.
In terms of implication and further research, we also want to note a few specific factors to consider for replication of the project or continued consideration of its outcomes, particularly for those interested in the training format of the project. First, it is interesting to note that the first-year participants attributed the lack of progress to the time given, rather than their time use. Asked about the nature of the interaction, a first-year school psychology student responded, "I think it was a consultation. Originally I thought it was a collaboration because we were really together, but since we did not have a chance to actually do anything in the classroom it was more like a consultation." Her teacher intern partner added, "I agree that in the end ours was a consultation that could have turned into a collaboration if I could have implemented some changes and then could have continued on." In our analysis of these comments, we decided that specific timelines and check-in assignments were important in order to promote a progression through the steps and stages of the collaboration.
In addition to providing a structured schedule for participants, we may also need to require a product from all team members, one that focuses on the outcomes of the project. The following quote from a participant regarding her experience reinforces this idea; in describing her collaboration experience, she said: "A good consultation involves people interacting and sharing ideas. It is being a good listener." This idea certainly focuses on an important component; however, a lack of attention to and concern with outcomes is apparent. In conjunction with these outcomes, requiring participants to create and/or specify measures and goals (as opposed to having them provided by the faculty instructors) may be an additional important component of the collaboration.
Finally, an assumption made throughout this project was that both school psychology students and teacher interns had specific knowledge and information that they could use to tackle and/or solve the problems that were challenging them. Both groups had been exposed to behavioral and educational problem-solving strategies throughout their academic work and in their field-based experiences. Creating a compilation of a portfolio or "toolbox" of specific interventions prior to the actual collaboration/consultation experience may need to be a future requirement for these students.
Overall, we believe that the project holds continued promise for our students. We also acknowledge that both the development of this project and our shared research has led to our increased collaboration as well as the collaboration between our programs and students. Finally, we think that this model could be of benefit to other preparation programs seeking to increase both the collaborative skills and experiences of their students within and across professional groups in education at the important stage of preparation for professional practice.
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