Course Title: Interdisciplinary Special Education Teams: Addressing Culturally/Racially Diverse Students and Families
Social Worker’s role and contribution on the special education interdisciplinary team and collaborative, culturally/racially responsive team
Name and Qualifications of the Presenter:
Alma R. Aponte, Ed; SDA, is a certified special educator and school administrator, in New York, whom has taught in special education programs, in a special education classroom, and has served as resource and consultant teacher. She has also served as school administrator. Ms. Aponte is NYS certified bilingual-Spanish special education.
Throughout her special education career, Ms. Aponte provided special education to a student population from racial/culturally diverse backgrounds and cognitive and social/emotional disabilities. In her role as consultant teacher and administrator, she has led and participated in ongoing and in-depth professional development in addressing and meeting the special and diverse needs of students in special education and their families. Ms. Aponte’s experience in both inner city and suburban school systems has afforded her a multi-cultural and differentiated, educational perspective and approach to professional development. She has participated as a required member of the Committee on Special Education in the capacity of a bilingual-Spanish and monolingual English educational clinician as well as chairperson for both Committees on Special Education-preschool and school age levels.
Description of Course:
Session amounts may vary based on the individual needs of the organization.
For individuals, please contact us for more information.
This course will:
- Explore the underlying belief structures of educators for minority students
- Unveil the resulting racial/ethnic disproportionality in special education
- Address the relevance of the social worker’s role in working with educators and families.
The social worker’s cultural competency will be discussed in light of the identification, exploration, and value of cultural competencies, as they pertain to the interdisciplinary role of the social worker in the team.
- Examine a model for cultural responsiveness in the interdisciplinary team
- Discuss special role of the social worker in collaborative, culturally/racially responsive teamwork
- Explore research-based practices for culturally and racially responsive collaboration
The course will provide a safe and respectful discussion of the research and an opportunity to develop a collaborative plan that will address what social workers can expect and contribute as team members to other team members.
The course will consist of learning teams organized by the instructor that will analyze current research and data. Teams will investigate what they need to know via discussions of the topics provided in interactive small and large group discussions including role-play and case studies. The instructor will facilitate experiential exercises and handouts of resources will be provided. Learning teams will be responsible for reading assignments and team sharing of the reading; participation in mock interdisciplinary teams with reflective discussion; and planning groups verbal, written, and/or PowerPoint presentations.
- The social worker will demonstrate an understanding of the disproportionate representation of minority students in special education and its relevance to the social worker’s interactions with educators and families.
- The social worker will demonstrate prior knowledge of cultural competency and newly acquired cultural competencies as they apply in the social worker’s interdisciplinary role.
- The social worker will identify a major racial/cultural barrier and apply its function and impact as a member in a mock interdisciplinary team.
- The social worker will recognize and identify the impact of the issues and concerns experienced in interdisciplinary teams experientially and develop a preliminary framework of a collaborative model that is racially/culturally responsiveness.
- The social worker will examine the research and data on effective interdisciplinary teams and will develop the ability to effectively apply the role of the social worker as team member with a positive impact on students and families using research-based practices.
- The social worker will develop a plan consisting of fair and equitable principles that can encourage and sustain racially/culturally positive teamwork.