Dr. Brad Conner

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Title Effects of participant role, participation, and expectancy on level of satisfaction in special education multidisciplinary teams
Author Conner, Bradley Ross
School The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree EdD
Date 1999
Adviser Bryant, Miles T.
Pages 165
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Abstract The purposes of this survey study were to test the applicability of Role, Participatory Decision-Making, and Expectancy Theories in special education multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings by comparing the roles, participation levels, and expectations of MDT participants to their reported levels of satisfaction with the meetings. The sample population for this study included 142 participants in 33 MDT meetings conducted in 15 Nebraska school districts. The results of this study indicated the following: (1) The majority of MDT participants reported that the were satisfied with the outcomes of the meetings. (2) Both participation and expectation levels of MDT participants were related to their reported levels of satisfaction. (3) The roles individuals served in the MDT meetings were related to their reported levels of participation in the meetings, but not to satisfaction levels as they were defined in the context of this study. (4) A wide range of participation levels were reported by the classroom teachers, in comparison to more consistent responses among the other four role groups. (5) The combination of expectations and participation levels significantly increased the ability to predict levels of satisfaction. (6) Satisfaction levels were not related to the confirmation by the MDT of the child's disability. Based on the results of this study, this researcher concluded that the premises of Role, Expectancy, and Participatory Decision-Making Theories did apply to the context of the MDT meetings. The following recommendations were made: (1) Replication of this study is needed with a larger sample. (2) The wide variation in reported levels of participation among teachers is worthy of further study. (3) Further research involving the direct observation of MDT members' participation and interaction is needed to determine if this self-report data accurately represents the actual levels of involvement among different MDT participants. (4) Longitudinal case studies are needed to determine if the recommendations of the MDT are actually being followed by the school staff in development of the IEP and if by following these recommendations school staff can demonstrate any improvement in the student's performance.
 
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