Collaborative consultation


As a collaborative consultant you are asked by a school principal to chair a Teacher-Parent meeting to develop an educational plan to address the needs of Tom, a 10 year old student, who is new to
the school and the neighbourhood. Tom has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and very limited literacy skills by a clinical psychologist and you have been given a copy of this assessment. Tom’s
teacher Sue is a beginning teacher and wants you to chair the meeting because she doesn’t feel confident doing it herself. She sees this as a valuable training opportunity for learning to work
collaboratively with parents.

In answering the following questions use a collaborative approach to the processes of planning and problem solving.

1. You agree to chair the teacher-parent meeting but have never met the parents, student or teacher involved. What could you do to ensure that this is a
productive meeting ?

2. Since you have a copy of the psychologist’s recent assessment is there any need to further clarify Tom’s learning needs ? If so, what needs to be done?

3. At this first meeting would you invite Tom to attend the meeting, for a part or the whole of the meeting or not at all ? Please give reasons.

4. If you find that Tom’s parents lack confidence in speaking up in meetings at the school, and have a strong sense of inferiority because of their limited education and
unhappy memories of their own schooling, what might you do to help overcome this ?

5. If someone tells you that the mother is extremely depressed at present what do you think her current needs might be and what might you do to meet them.

6. If you find out that Tom has been a lonely and unhappy boy for some time and has suffered a lot of bullying at his previous school, what do you expect his immediate
social and emotional needs might be, and how might they be addressed ? Remember Tom is new to the school and the family is new to the neighbourhood.


John is a teacher who is having great difficulty managing his teaching workload and the pressures of everyday living. He has a very challenging class to teach and has ongoing conflict with his
partner at home. As a result he has been highly stressed for quite some time. You have been asked by the school principal to support John in your role as a collaborative consultant. John is most
willing to work with you and wants your help.

1. What are the things you most need to find out when you meet John ? Explain reasons for your answer.

2. If you find that ongoing conflict with his partner is a major cause of John’s stress, what might be possibly good ways of improving this situation ? Please give reasons for your

3. If you find that managing classroom behaviour is a major cause of John’s stress, what might be an effective collaborative approach to use in clarifying and tackling this problem ?
give reasons for your answer,

4. If you discover John has socially disengaged from friends and cut himself off from previously enjoyable activities and experiences, what might you say to him ? Please give reasons for
your answer.

5. In this topic there are a number of readings about the principles that influence making personal changes such as changing one’s lifestyle and established patterns of
behaviour. What are the key principles influencing personal change and how might they be relevant to your work with John ?

When answering this question it would be useful to read up on stress management and the principles of making personal change. In answering this question please consider issues such as the value of
social support, encouragement, setting realistic goals and managing negative self talk.