The evaluation of a multidisciplinary approach to training people who work with students with severe and challenging behaviours

Jill Bevan-Brown, Rawhiti Bevan-Brown, Janis Carroll-Lind, Alison Kearney, Terence Edwards, Dorothy Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper outlines the evaluation results of a multidisciplinary training programme for people who work with students who have severe and challenging behaviours. The principal aims of the training programme were to provide participants with knowledge, attitudes and skills to enable them to upskill parents, carers and families in positive behaviour management and to facilitate the development of a collaborative, cross-sectoral approach to service provision. A research team from Massey University was contracted to evaluate how effective the programme was in achieving these aims. This multidisciplinary training was delivered to 112 people at 8 sites throughout New Zealand. All sites had four or five teams each centered around a particular child, their parents and family. The programme was delivered in two stages. In stage one, participants received four days training in child development, attachment theory and positive parenting strategies. The child's parents were also involved in the first training day. In stage two, participants were expected to use the strategies taught in their dealings with the child and families. Several months later a final training day was held to enable participants to discuss their progress and receive accreditation in the parenting programme. The evaluation consisted of: interviews with all trainers and coordinators, pre-and post-training surveys and a post-training questionnaire to all participants approximately six months after the training. Additionally, three in-depth case studies were conducted involving individual and focus group interviews and behavioural and achievement data analysis. The results showed an increase in team collaboration and many positive gains particularly for parents, teachers and the students. However, a number of weaknesses were also identified. These positives, negatives and consequent recommendations are outlined in the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-370
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Evaluation
  • Multidisciplinary training
  • Parent programmes
  • Severe and challenging behaviours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The evaluation of a multidisciplinary approach to training people who work with students with severe and challenging behaviours'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this