Communication in (Inter)professional Teams as a Specific Challenge: The Practice at Primary and Lower Secondary Schools



Rok publikování 2023
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Pedagogická fakulta

Popis (Inter)professional collaboration among teachers and professionals from related fields is widely perceived as a prerequisite for implementing effective inclusive practice (Alborno, 2017; Suc et al., 2017). Despite its benefits for students as well as for involved professionals, Mulholland and O'Connor (2016) perceive its implementation as largely aspirational; it is facing many challenges, such as time constraints or ad hoc planning. According to Švec et al. (in press), collaborative practices are often realised as a combination of the indirect and the direct model (cf. Hedegaard-Soerensen et al., 2017). Both models appear to be interconnected and mutually influenced; the nature and content of interactions with students (direct model) are based on the communication and agreement between the collaborating professionals (indirect model). The study emphasises the dominant role of professional relationships in the indirect model of inter(professional) collaboration, which subsequently affects the collaboration in the direct model; collaboration is naturally regarded as more satisfactory when the professional relationship is perceived as positive. Therefore, another key factor that influences the consistency and success of (inter)professional collaboration is professional relationships between collaborating individuals (Bennett et al., 2021). Whether professional or personal, relationships can be undoubtedly regarded as a multidimensional concept which can be characterised and operationalized in multiple ways. In the current study, we aim to characterise professional relationships mainly through communication between collaborating professionals. In accordance with the cultural-historical activity theory (see Engeström, 2001), we perceive communication as a central aspect of human activity and as a key mediator of social and cultural processes. The theory suggests that communication is both shaped by and helps to shape social and cultural practices. In the case of (inter)professional collaboration, the communication is focused both on a shared object (goal) and interactions between involved professionals. More specifically, we focus on reflective communication that includes questioning and revising the script; it enables a shift from individualistic actions and specific objects of particular professionals toward an expanded, shared object and the transformation of their collective activity (Paju, 2021). Communication based on reflection allows one to “step back” and evaluate decisions (and actions) that were taken, leading to better understanding and improved practice in the future (Adams et al., 2016). However, evidence suggests that communication in (inter)professional teams faces specific challenges. Based on their different disciplinary backgrounds and experiences, collaborating professionals may have different perspectives about students, resulting in conflicting opinions about best possible practices and solutions. Therefore, what is perceived as a crucial benefit of interprofessional collaboration, represents also a possible ground for misunderstanding in communication (Bokhour, 2006). Moreover, interprofessional discourse is often complicated by poor flow of information which may be one-sided or even non-existent in some cases (Ekornes, 2015; Engeström, 2001). Bearing in mind the importance of positive professional relationships and (functional) reflective communication, the current study adopted the “best practice” approach. We aim to describe the communication and relationships between teachers and professionals from related fields who perceive their collaboration as functional and satisfactory. Apart from broadening the knowledge on (inter)professional collaboration, research on (inter) professional relationships and communication might provide valuable inspiration for teachers, related professionals and school administrators.
Související projekty:

Používáte starou verzi internetového prohlížeče. Doporučujeme aktualizovat Váš prohlížeč na nejnovější verzi.