The Effect of Instructional Consultation Teams on Teachers' Reported Instructional Practices

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A primary goal of Instructional Consultation Teams (IC Teams; Rosenfield & Gravois, 1996) is that students' problems will be prevented or resolved through the provision of services to the adults who serve them. The assumption is that teachers will improve instructional planning, delivery, management, and assessment (e.g., matching instruction to student levels) as a result of working with a colleague through a collaborative problem-solving relationship, or working in a school building in which norms of collaboration and problem-solving with a focus on instruction have been developed. The efficacy of IC Teams for improving instruction has not yet been rigorously evaluated. The current study assesses teachers' self-reported frequency of use of good instructional practices in assessment and delivery of instruction to evaluate the effect of instructional consultation services on instruction in a sample of 977 teachers. Because teachers are nested within schools, multilevel analysis was conducted to control for nonequivalence and to correctly model the error structure of the data. Elementary school teachers in 11 schools that have implemented IC Teams for two or three years were compared with teachers in 17 non-equivalent schools that have never implemented IC Teams and teachers from 17 schools with one year of implementation. Results of multilevel analyses indicate that there are no significant differences in instructional practices between schools with or without IC Teams, but that teacher characteristics, such as years of experience and grade level of instruction, do explain some of the variance in teacher practices. Implications and limitations of the study are addressed.