Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Group problem solving; Special education -- Iowa; Iowa;


The historical legislation mandating multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) in schools is well known. Relatively little attention has been directed toward either evaluating systematic processes that would lead to the desired outcome ,of better services to all students or educating team members in problem solving content and process. The purpose of the study was to examine the factors that influence problem solving outcomes and other aspects of service delivery in MDT settings. Team members' roles, problem solving steps, family involvement, and team building activities were measured by mailing a confidential Decision-Making Practices in Iowa Schools questionnaire to elementary principals (n = 114), elementary regular education teachers (n = 193), and elementary special education teachers (n = 212), representing each Area Education Agency in Iowa. Data analysis revealed elementary regular education teachers and elementary special education teachers, most responsible for implementation of team decisions, are the individuals who. participate in teaming the least and are least satisfied with the process. In addition, lack of parental involvement was one barrier likely to impede the effectiveness of the decision-making process. The results also indicated group process and team effectiveness training activities rarely occurred. Future research is needed to help identify and refine leadership skills necessary for facilitating MDTs.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Annette Carmer


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1 PDF file (96 leaves)



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