A Study of the Instructional Consultation Facilitator Role
Vaganek, Megan Michelle
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Consultation teams have been used in schools as a vehicle for increasing student performance and teacher skills. Like other evidence-based interventions, consultee-centered consultation models require attention to the complex process of implementation in order for one to expect results. The IC Facilitator is a key factor in the successful implementation of IC Teams. The purpose of the current research is to expand upon a previous interview study and other research on facilitators. The skills, beliefs and characteristics of other team facilitators and implementers of innovations have influenced implementation in a variety of contexts Using a survey, the study assessed the perceived importance and the changeability through training and experience of the beliefs, knowledge, facilitator characteristics, tasks and implementation skills of IC Team Facilitators. The beliefs, characteristics, and skills included in the study have been shown to have a relationship with implementation and leadership in other fields and lines of research. Chi square tests of independence explored differences in rating patterns between groups of facilitators based on training and experience. No significant group differences were found between novice and veteran facilitators or between those who led teams through phase 2 or phase 3 of implementation. Supplemental analyses explored the demographics of the respondents and the beliefs, knowledge, skills, tasks, and characteristics considered essential to the job. Items rated as essential by a majority of participants were presented. The study has implications for improving and enhancing training and selection of facilitators in order to improve implementation and utilization of Instructional Consultation Teams. Limitations included the response rate to the survey, and considerations for the statistical analysis. Future directions were addressed including exploring associations between item importance and outcomes, such as turnover, utilization, and level of implementation. Future research may also address the relationship between rating of importance and competence and training methods to best teach the essentials. Other research methodology, such as observations and rank ordering skills may provide additional information about the facilitator role.