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Title: A study to identify which key behaviours used during a consultation meeting led to it being viewed as effective in primary schools
Authors: Tamworth, Helen Ceanne.
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Aim: The main aim of this research was to explore what educational psychologists and school staff who have had experience of consultation understand effective consultation to be and to identify which key behaviours led to a view of effectiveness. Current literature in the area of effective consultation suggested several key behaviours such as questioning, directive versus collaborative approaches and question type as important aspects of a consultation being viewed as effective. However, due to the contradictory findings in these areas, more research was needed to establish which key behaviours led to the consultation being viewed as effective by both the educational psychologists and the school staff. Method: A three phase methodology was employed. Phase One used 109 questionnaires to school staff and 11 questionnaires to educational psychologists to establish what educational psychologists and school staff believed the key aspects of an effective consultation to be. Phase Two used eight video recorded consultations (three were later excluded) in which structured observations were used to establish which key behaviours occurred during the consultations. These observations were then correlated with the key aspects identified in Phase One in order to establish which behaviours were associated with both school staff and educational psychologists’ views of consultation. Finally Phase Three used 16 questionnaires, 8 5 to educational psychologists and 8 to school staff, following taking part in the video recorded consultations, to establish what else could be done to make consultations more effective in the future. Results: Phase One of the research identified four key aspects of an effective consultation. These were advice/way forward; achieves aims; impact/change and explores issues. These key aspects were correlated with the observed behaviours to evaluate the effectiveness of the consultations. Phase Two established that question type and amount of time spent talking were important aspects of an effective consultation. The number of questions asked was not seen as an important aspect in consultations being viewed as effective. A strong correlation was found between the rating of effectiveness of the consultation and the exploration of issues, a key aspect identified in Phase One. Phase Three identified other aspects of consultation which could be used in the future to make consultations more effective. These were more time for the consultations; involving other staff; a multi-agency approach and good interpersonal relationships. Discussion: Several features of a consultation, such as the content and key behaviours used within consultation were identified. These aspects were deemed by both educational psychologists and school staff as being key elements which led consultations to be viewed as effective. The features of content and key behaviours which were identified, suggest that if these aspects were included within a 6 consultation it would help improve the school staff and educational psychologists view to become more favourable and therefore the consultation to be deemed as more effective. Conclusions: The distinctive contribution this research has made is to the field of evaluating consultation as a method of practice for educational psychologists. The research has led to several key features which practitioners can implement into their practice with the aim of them becoming more effective consultants.
Description: PhD
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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