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This package looks at the wider picture of collaboration to support learning. You may also wish to look at module 4.1 for other aspects covering this theme.

Transdisciplinary teams

Transdisciplinary teams are the result of the evolution of the team approach. The transdisciplinary team model values the knowledge and skill of team members. It is dependent on effective and frequent communication among members, and it promotes efficiency in the delivery of educational or health care services. Members of the transdisciplinary team share knowledge, skills, and responsibilities across traditional disciplinary boundaries in assessment and service planning. Transdisciplinary teamwork involves a certain amount of boundary blurring between disciplines and implies cross-training and flexibility in accomplishing tasks.

Dyer, 2003

Transdisciplinary teams

Transdisciplinary working at its best is able to take away the elements of depersonalisation, incompatible targets, and impossible scheduling of appointments with the transdisciplinary team (including the family) prioritising and rationalising their support for the young person in a way that enhances their quality of life and that of their family.

CLDD report, 2011

The benefits

Working in transdisciplinary teams has many advantages for the child, the family and all the professionals involved:

  • Interlinking goals from different disciplines with a common aim;
  • Working with shared goals;
  • The setting of SMART targets;
  • Focus on 'real skills that matter';
  • Ability to show real achievement;
  • Parents and carers are central.

Here is a list of who is involved

In your classroom:

  • Learning Support;
  • Peers.
The benefits

In your school:

  • Families / carers
  • Teachers
  • Family support worker
  • Outreach support worker
  • School nurse
  • Educational psychologist
  • Psychotherapist / counsellor
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Paediatrician
The benefits

In the home:

  • Parents / carers;
  • Siblings;
  • Grandparents;
  • Extended family;
  • Family friends.

From other schools;

  • Outreach worker

From external services

  • Educational psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Psychotherapist
  • Paediatrician
  • Alternative3 / work placements
  • Voluntary agencies
The Family Perspective

Some children need the predictability of routine to engage without anxiety; others require the same approach used with them consistently everyday to enable them to understand their environment and make a contribution. In developing personalised and effective education programmes for children and young people, schools have recognised the need for consistency both at home and at school and the value of home-school relationships.

Some families stress the importance of the staffing consistency. Without the same team of people working with the child every day,

staff cannot learn the complexities of their health, learning and behavioural needs. This ultimately limits the child's progression.

There are professional development implications for collaborative working.

Find out more

Carpenter, B., Egerton,J. Brooks,T., Cockbill,B., Fotheringham,J., & Rawson,H. (2011) The Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project: Developing pathways to personalised learning. Final Report.'

Dyer, JA (2003) Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary, and Transdisciplinary Educational Models and Nursing Education. Nursing Education Perspectives: July 2003, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 186-188.