The contribution of teacher training to special education teachers' performance in the roles of leaders and managers of interdisciplinary teams
This action research examines the special education teachers' role perception as manager/leader of an interdisciplinary team. The need to examine the "problem sensation", which was defined and verified in this study, resulted from the implementation of the special education law in Israel (1998). The study examines the effect a training process has over the development of the special education teacher's leadership skills, if it includes: a place where the teacher is heard, empowerment processes towards realizing a sense of personal capability, a reflective discourse, knowledge and skills acquisition, and developing beliefs and positions regarding the leadership of an interdisciplinary team.;The study's findings were documented using three case studies, each based on the conclusions of the previous one, all interlinked by a category layout formed in the Pre-Test phase. The category layout formed the basis for all the content analysis of the participants' discourse, and pointed to the existence of a "problem sensation" regarding the change process/style they experienced.;In all three-research cycles, the majority of the discourse regarded the role perception as influenced by coping with the need to lead a team and lead change in a team. A direct connection was found between the intensity of the sense of capability to lead a team, and the level of coping with conflicts while performing the role. There was a noticeable difference in the change process style the two groups underwent. The power of the team was accentuated and there was an awareness to the knowledge and skills acquired.;The study's conclusions show: (1) the direct connection between the special education teacher's sense of personal capability and her leadership behaviour, (2) a demand for reassessing the special education teachers' training program regarding management and leadership roles, (3) a need for a formal assistant training program, which would be a formal team for their employment.