Collaborative Ecological Consultation: Psychologist, Classroom Teacher, and Embedded Interventions

Researchers: Tammy Ferguson
September 2020

The focus of this research was on ecological collaboration at the intervention stage of psychological consultation in schools. In this action research, teachers and psychologists worked in partnership to select and then to embed appropriate interventions within a curricular unit of study. This collaboration centred on the deliberation of the realities of the teacher’s classroom, such as the students and the curriculum, to understand the application of interventions and their potential impact within the context of the classroom. Embedding interventions within a curricular unit with direct teacher involvement is consistent with collaborative ecological consultation that concomitantly considers student characteristics, teacher style and skills, and curriculum context.

This study emerged from a classroom teacher’s concerns with the implementation phase of psychological consultation. This teacher requested further collaboration beyond a team meeting in which the psychological assessment report and the list of recommended interventions are debriefed. The teacher indicated that it would be difficult to implement the interventions from the report list within the context of her classroom. This teacher asked, specifically, for an opportunity for further collaboration to review and to embed interventions within a curricular unit of study to support implementation. The teacher’s apprehension resonated with me, for on many occasions, I had queried whether this current psychological consultation process was sufficient in meeting teacher and student needs.