Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Lisa Ard

Committee Member

Tambi Braun


collaboration, transdisciplinary, interprofessional, team roles, team dynamics, team communication


The purpose of this exploratory survey research was to examine parents’/caregivers’ and education professionals’ perceptions of collaborative models utilized in a specialized school for students with autism spectrum disorder. Education professionals included teachers, teaching assistants, therapists (speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, music therapists), and other professionals (social workers, vocational assessment instructors, behavior analysts). A total of 75 respondents completed the survey, with 37 parent/caregiver respondents and 38 education professional respondents.

An analysis of the data revealed similarities between perceptions of parent/caregiver and professional respondents related to collaborative models. Both groups indicated the team-teaching model and supplemental teaching model as ideal collaborative models. Furthermore, both groups ranked the team-teaching model as the most preferred method of collaborative instruction, while a non-collaborative method of instruction was ranked as least preferred.

Further examination of data revealed discrepancies between perceptions related to team roles, team dynamics, and team communication. Parents/caregivers, teachers, teaching assistants, and therapists consistently provided positive perceptions related to collaboration on IEP goals, generalization of skills, and the collection of data when utilizing collaborative models. However, parents/caregivers indicated neutral responses related to practices occurring in the classroom, such as student attention and time for communication. Similarly, other professionals indicated neutral responses and disagreement to many of the areas where teachers, teaching assistants, and therapists had positive perceptions related to practices occurring in the classroom. Although varying perceptions were indicated, all members of a transdisciplinary team must interact and communicate to support effective implementation of collaborative models in educational settings.

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