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Title:A Conceptual Analysis of Selected Contemporary Theories of Consultation
Author(s):Bopp, Stephen G.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:The contemporary field of consultation is confronted with such a large number of diverse theories--each with its own set of assumptions and practices--that the problem can be characterized as a theory jungle. The theories of consultation are disarticulated and heterogeneous, and they exhibit wide variability with respect to their content, precision, and level of sophistication. In addition, none of the existing taxonomies of consultation theories has been widely accepted, utilized, or helpful for creating conceptual order out of the array of theories that appear in the literature. This study utilized two components of a recently developed metatheoretical formulation for the purpose of ordering a selected sample of contemporary theories of consultation. First, two components of this metatheoretical formulation were described. Next, one of the components--the Interventional Wheel Model with its eight dimensions of a helping intervention--was used to thematically analyze each of the theories in the sample. Third, each theory was classified according to the second meta-theoretical component, viz., the Paradigmatic Interventional Matrix.
The major findings of the study included the following: (1) Each of the forty-six theories comprising the selected sample was classified in one and only one cell of the Paradigmatic Interventional Matrix. (2) The Interventional Wheel Model proved to be a useful component for thematically analyzing each theory. (3) The Paradigmatic Interventional Matrix was useful in classifying (ordering) each theory. (4) The theories within the sample varied greatly in terms of their thoroughness, detail, complexity, and organizational setting. (5) Given the nature of consultation as a helping intervention, the findings suggest that there are certain cells (interventional approaches) within the matrix for which there would be no exemplars drawn from consultation theory. (6) The prescriptive aspects of consultation theories are not explicitly linked with specific descriptive theories of organizational dynamics. (7) Contemporary theories of consultation are essentially qualitative and thus are most usefully ordered used as a classification scheme. (8) However, there is a need to describe and order consultation theories according to both their qualitative as well as their quantitative dimensions.
Issue Date:1984
Description:375 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502075
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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