An evaluation of the Team-Teach behaviour support training programme in New Zealand
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This thesis investigates the implementation of the ‘Team-Teach’ behaviour support training programme in New Zealand. This school-wide training package develops generalised skills in behaviour management and de-escalation for students who are exhibiting extreme and violent behaviour. The Team-Teach framework also provides training in physical interventions that are designed for use in schools, and with children. The legal issues associated with the use of physical intervention are also addressed during the training in addition to recommended best practice for the development of policies and procedures. Prior evidence suggests that behaviour support training with a physical intervention overlay can result in increased confidence and safety for staff members and a reduction in the levels of physical intervention and incidents. The purpose of this study was to investigate participant opinion of Team-Teach training immediately after course delivery and further into implementation in addition to an investigation into the barriers and facilitating factors affecting the impact of Team-Teach within two New Zealand special schools. The research employs a mixed method pragmatic paradigm utilising document analysis, questionnaire and interview survey to ascertain the impact and implementation issues related to Team-Teach training. Quantitative analysis of course feedback ratings and attitudinal scales were combined with the qualitative thematic analysis of written comments and interview transcripts to inform the discussion. The results present a positive endorsement of Team-Teach training both immediately after the training course and further into implementation and compare favourably with the findings of previous international studies. Research participants reported a significant increase in personal confidence and a perceived reduction in incidences of extreme behaviour and physical intervention. The perceptions of research participants to initial training in New Zealand varied considerably between training providers and there were also notable differences between groups in different work roles and with different levels of experience. Research participants expressed concern over the lack of adaptation of the Team-Teach syllabus to embrace the New Zealand context. Research participants endorsed use of the ‘positive handling plan’ (PHP) as a way to legitimatise and standardise practice in difficult situations. It was however clear that neither school had developed genuine parental partnerships in either the creation or effective communication of these plans. There was a general agreement that parents should be able to access Team-Teach training but significant concerns were highlighted over how this could be achieved in practice. Research participants endorsed the Team-Teach model of training ‘in-house’ tutors to provide contextual and responsive internal capacity. There was a general agreement that the physical interventions taught were effective and appropriate for use with children. Participants clearly expressed concerns related to the teaching of too many physical interventions that were not required and recommended that training in physical interventions should be in class teams and specific to actual need. There was a clear indication that research participants believed this training should receive official recognition at the highest level as an acknowledgement that physical intervention is sometimes necessary in schools and that there is a legitimate way to achieve this.