SP in Schools project 2017 Low Res V2

Role of teachers and speech pathologists in the educational setting

Speech pathologists can play many roles supporting the development of speech, language, communication, literacy and numeracy skills of primary and secondary students. Their roles include screening, assessing, advocating, and designing augmentative communication equipment in addition to providing direct intervention with students and indirect roles of consulting, coaching, collaborating, team teaching and training teachers and families. In some areas, speech pathologists also function as case managers, team leaders, and supervisors of speech pathology assistants. Speech Pathology Australia: • endorses the critical role of speech pathologists in prevention, identification, and management of speech, language, fluency and literacy difficulties from infancy to adolescents; • advocates that speech pathologists work collaboratively with the education team to provide language and literacy services; • asserts speech pathologists should use evidence-based approaches. Those who have developed successful speech pathology models in secondary schools and have experience in using them emphasise the need for flexibility using a mixture of approaches. It is essential that there are shared beliefs between you as the speech pathologist and the school’s education team that Response- to-Intervention services support a prevention model, provide systematic, intense, and evidence-based prevention/intervention, and that all students can benefit from RTI. Collaborative partnerships The key components (McKean et al., 2016 for establishing collaborative partnerships with a school in the delivery of services to students with speech, language and communication needs are: • establishing an interdisciplinary approach to working with teachers; • demonstrating that a collaborative working relationship between yourself and the school will be of value to student outcomes; • ensuring that the service delivery model is supported by teacher engagement;

• providing collaborative in-service training and coaching; and • collaboration when planning and implementing lessons. • It is important to note the speech pathologist and teacher can co-teach the students in a classroom. Lessons can be divided into teachable segments or the class can be divided into groups with each group receiving exposure to similar content or one group led by the speech pathologist receiving more support in the language area. Teacher-speech pathologist partnerships are strengthened when both individuals have attended professional development integrating communication knowledge, with knowledge about educational pedagogies and the curriculum, and have the opportunities to discuss and apply this information in their own professional settings. This approach requires collaboration at many levels, including assessment, goal-setting, planning, and implementation of intervention for students with communication needs as well as for students who are at risk for language and learning problems. Importantly, no one person or profession has sufficient expertise to execute all of the functions associated with providing educational services to students with SLCN in the classroom. By working together, an effective speech pathologist–teacher collaboration has the potential to support more students more effectively in the classroom and lead to better student outcomes. The teacher–speech pathologist team identifies concerns regarding student performance for both identified students and total classroom needs. By establishing collaborative concerns, the team can determine relevant curricular and speech-language goals for the whole class or with individual students and their families. It is imperative that a collaborative team avoid planning activities before establishing the goals they wish to achieve. There are challenges to establishing speech pathology–teacher collaborations as well. Ideally we need to assist teachers to achieve a shared understanding of your respective roles and expertise as a necessary and first step to building a collaborative relationship. Teachers


Speech Pathology Australia: Speech Pathology in Schools Project

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