Welcome to the SpecialQuest wiki!

The SpecialQuest approach to professional development has evolved over the last 12 years. As more people hear about the SpecialQuest approach it has become apparent a clear description of the approach is needed. To enhance the usefulness of the description (see below), we are seeking examples for each of the elements of the approach.

Instructions


  1. Click on the "Edit This Page" button at the top of the page
  2. Scroll down the page until you find an element for which you have an example
  3. Click the "Save" button in the upper right corner of the page
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 if you want to add more examples

Don't worry about grammar or spelling, at this point we just want to gather as many examples as we can. Thank you!

For more information on what a "wiki" is view this 3-minute video: Wikis in Plain English.




The SpecialQuest Approach

The SpecialQuest approach to professional development focuses on inclusion for young children with disabilities and their families. The approach has two components: values and design. Each component is critical to successful professional development using the SpecialQuest approach. Elements of the components are noted in the matrix on the following pages, along with indicators that reflect implementation of the SpecialQuest approach.

SpecialQuest is designed to touch the “head, heart and hands” of families and professionals working together to create inclusive communities for young children with disabilities. This relationship- and team-based approach enhances and sustains inclusive services, family leadership skills, and integrated, collaborative service delivery. Teams participate in intensive and engaging learning experiences which use parallel process and continuous improvement strategies. In addition, teams are supported with coaching, facilitation, and follow-up over time to implement high quality inclusive services. The SpecialQuest approach is built on a solid foundation of current theories of adult learning, systems change, and sustainability.

Values
• The elements under the values component are interrelated and each element is critical to the SpecialQuest approach and required for full implementation of the SpecialQuest approach to professional development.
• Values guide the SpecialQuest approach and must be evident throughout each element of design of a professional development process.

Design
• Learning strategies are designed to be respectful, individualized, and experiential.
• Learning is applied by teams to create and sustain program and systems change.
• Content reflects effective practices in inclusive service delivery, family engagement and leadership development, and teaming and collaboration.

The SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library contains information on the SpecialQuest approach and the contents of the SpecialQuest curriculum, and is available in electronic format at no cost from www.specialquest.org. The easy-to-follow training materials and award–winning videos (in English, Spanish, and open-captioned) focus on the areas of: Including Infants and Toddlers (and Preschoolers*) with Disabilities, Building Relationships with Families, Collaboration and Teaming. The strategies outlined in these materials are the core of the SpecialQuest approach to effective professional development.

*The materials are being used in a variety of professional development settings for those working with young children birth–five. Only minor modifications are needed for staff working with children ages three–five who have disabilities and their families. Facilitators should include references to Part B (IDEA) services and regulations (e.g., IEPs). Facilitators may also adjust children’s ages in scenarios and vignettes. The Inclusion Planning Checklists have been revised to reflect inclusion of children ages three–five who have disabilities and are available on the supplements page of the SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library at www.specialquest.org.




Examples


Values Elements

Vision
  • Professional development is based on a shared vision for inclusion, which incorporates the concepts of belonging, families as partners and leaders, and teaming and collaboration.

Examples:
  • We have included SpecialQuest in our Program Plans. We are actively seeking children with severe disabilities
  • Bringing the vision to everyone was the biggest start for programs. We had to make sure everyone was on the same page and understood how each of us defined inclusion.
  • The Special Quest process, especially in regard to Perceptions of Inclusion, has really made our community look closely at how we are achieving inclusion. Now the state Inclusive childcare task force is looking at replication across the state!
  • Each professional entity has its own regulations and mandates and means by which these are met; however, the SpecialQuest approach shows how each entity should endeavor to collaborate (don't skip steps) and provide services to children and families.
  • Professional development sessions across systems has been key to the success of collaboration and inclusion for our program. Having the EHS/HS staff, the EI staff, the Childcare staff and the parents all together for training and professional development sessions is an amazing process for moving collaborative services together and a better understanding of each other.
  • Embrace cross-systems trainings
  • Parents part of professional development planning team
  • Parents having voice in training
  • Vision is defined and shared
  • Respectful relationships with families
  • Listening and open to voices of families
  • A shared idea of what you are working for as a group.
  • All materials show kids with disabilities and people from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Activities encouraged, open respectful dialogue…
  • Materials and TA model encourage teaming and collaboration.
  • Agenda
  • Action plans
  • Training materials
  • Presentations at state conferences, HS, CC, family conference, special ed.
  • NPDCI and SQ members are very committed to SQ vision
  • Broad agency membership on the team helps foster shared vision, teamwork and collaboration
  • Is the vision being shared (adopted) throughout all agencies and practitioners across VA?
  • • Build off of the DEC/NAEYC position statement
    - Access
    - Participation
    - Support
    • Be sure your vision is purposeful in not excluding anyone.
    • Be sure the right people are at the table.
    • Continually test your vision statement – are we really implementing it? Does it need revision?
    • Make sure your vision has longevity – how can it be supported across agencies/ages/communities?
    • Continually look at our lives as professionals – are people with disabilities included in our lives in meaningful ways?
  • A shared idea of what you are working for as a group. All materials show kids with disabilities and people from different cultures and backgrounds. Activities encouraged, open respectful dialogue… Materials and TA model encourage teaming and collaboration.



Team-based
  • Cross-agency teams are comprised of key stakeholders, including family members and direct service providers, and administrators, reflecting diverse roles, cultures, languages and abilities.
  • Teams have support from administrators to participate in professional development, implement learning, and engage in the process of continuous improvement.

Examples:
  • It is imperative that teams are talking and truly communicating. The Special Quest approach helps make that happen in such a natural way by keeping communities "accountable" for inclusion, teaming, etc. through the ambassador program.
  • One of the major results of the Community Perceptions of Inclusive Practices was the revelation that services were being provided but there was no instrument to monitor the effectiveness of our collaboration.
  • We have a SpecialQuest team that meets twice a year to actively work in our community to support families

  • Our team has continued to meet at least quarterly since we concluded our official training with Special Quest. The core members have remained with new parents entering has their children age out of the program. This core team has been the catalyst for another community initiative that is also experiencing the same success as our Special Quest.
  • Our team is just reforming with mostly new partners and we are getting new members that are excited to be there. we are meeting again today and hope that a parent will join us at this time. Linda Primrose-Barker
  • We are still meeting quarterly with EHS/HS staff and our Part C partner ECI to come together to brain storm how we can better serve our families and children with disabilities. Even though there are challenges in staff turn overs , we continue to keep our vision and mission that we have set at Special Quest Conference and continue the Quest.
  • SpecialQuest has used a holistic approach from the beginnin within the teams: EHS, Administrator, family member, EHS staff, Part C
  • Due to this model, it set the stage for community partners, support from Administrators, respect for diversity, continuous improvement, etc.
  • This collaboration empowered parents to embrace the idea that their voice counts and will be heard
  • On-going relationships and collaborative efforts encouraged team members to embrace the SpecialQuest vision and philosophy.
  • Decisions are made as a result of all voices being heard and respected.
  • All participants attend events and meetings as a team.
  • Ground rules activity help support a strong functioning and respectful team.
  • Teams always include all key players including families. Plan as a team, better product. Multi-teams, changes over time.
  • Admin support with # (budget) support for members to attend and participate
  • IHE folks collaborate across disciplines (e.g., ECSE and SLT) and co-present curricula.
  • Cross-agency team facilitates opportunities for communities for communicating SQ practices
  • Upper level administrative buy in is essential for widespread agency participation and commitment to develop, both internally and externally
  • This is necessary for sustainability beyond grant period
  • Cross-Agency
    • At the table but engagement and personal commitment challenging
    • Good intentions but finding time within a full-time job
    • Decision-makers at table
    • Infiltrating overall PD EC State Plan – no adding on
    • Win-Win
    • Cross-discipline within university, not just cross-agency

    Key Stakeholders
    • Family involvement challenging
    - Fathers especially
    • Thinking of other ways to get family voice
    • Supports for family members to attend meetings
    - Child care/stipend

    Administrative Support
    • Administrators are participants – not just hearing about it
  • Decisions are made as a result of all voices being heard and respected. All participants attend events and meetings as a team. Ground rules activity help support a strong functioning and respectful team. Teams always include all key players including families. Plan as a team, better product. Multiteams, changes over time.


Relationship-based
  • Positive and supportive relationships are fostered among team members and facilitators.
  • Interactions are characterized by a sense of acceptance, respect, and trust.
  • Individuals are valued for their diverse experiences and perspectives.

Examples:

  • Having the opportunity to work with others is always a privelege. However, having the opportunity to express true feelings, concerns and celebrations as we implement Special Quest;'s traning materials.
  • Monthly meetings and planning some team building activities has really enhanced the collaborative efforts of our community.
  • It became very evident lately just how little relationship-based approach is being used across our state. Being involved with Special Quest has given me an opportunity to "preach the word" with other communities.
  • Having participated in SpecialQuest gives one the feeling that he/she in connected to a larger knowledgeable caring supportive community.
  • The relationships developed between the HS/EHS, the EI and CC staff have been the key to the success of our model - particularly when you know the people that you are calling- the relationship you have makes all the difference in how and when services are delivered.
  • From doing the CCIP with a group of stakeholders who are comprehensive and diverse, our community has decided to meet monthly and develop an action plan to carry forward the vision collectively. It's quite exciting!
  • Team members recognize and appreciate each other’s roles and challenges
    • Regulations and responsibilities
    • Who would write IEP/IFSP goals
    • Funding/Blending Possibilities
  • Team members release territorial control and set aside artificial goals
    • Modifying previously-developed IFSP goals
  • Team members keep focused on the families
    • Agendas set by the families and not by the professionals
    • Respect family values and desires
  • Getting to really know people, respect, networking, trust, reciprocal, mutual respect, both people benefit, open minded/welcoming, caring, finding common interests and passions.
  • Shared over time experiences.
  • Bonding created, deeper meaning, share experiences to accomplish something.
  • Experience the give and take in the relationship, build it overtime.
  • Communication
  • Icebreakers
  • Ongoing communication (phone, emails)
  • Being supportive
  • Ground rules
  • Small/large group activities
  • Recognition of differences – details in the environment
  • Introductory activities
  • Enough materials
  • Catching up new members
  • Buddy system
  • Calling people by their names
  • Exploring/discovering personal interest
  • Doing self-assessment (What I need, What I bring)
  • Getting to know the people and determining common ground
  • Must have a defined comprehensive vision for all
  • Inclusion of all stakeholders
  • Support from leadership by “buying in” and supporting
  • Members advocate and role model SQ approach
  • Communication fosters the relationship
  • • Open Communication
    - Multiple means of communication
    • Making the child and family “real”
    • Emphasizing peer relationships
    • Interactive communication, jot just presenting information
    • Appropriate level of presentation of information
    - Culturally appropriate
    • Respect / Empathy
  • getting to really know people, respect, networking, trust, reciprocal, mutual respect, both people benefit, open minded/welcoming, caring, finding common interests and passions. Shared over time experiences. Bonding created, deeper meaning, share experiences to accomplish something. Experience the give and take in the relationship, build it overtime. Communication


Families as Partners and Leaders
  • Families are actively involved as informed decision–makers, participants, partners, and leaders.
  • Families’ experiences ground all aspects of professional development in the context of daily family life.

Examples:
  • We have several family members on our SpecialQuest team and we are developing a "Family Briefcase" which will contain papers that the family has filled out and they can share at case conferences
  • As a family member, just being at SpecialQuest and knowing that everyone is interested in what we have to say, and my team is interested in what we have to say, makes me feel that I am important.
  • Decisions and policies need to be made administratively, but what I try to do as a parent is to bring them back to reality of what is real and hwat parents are able to participate in.
  • "I want to share this news with you. Yesterday I was recognized for the work that thanks to all off you I have accomplished with the Latin community of Monterey County on behalf of childrent with special needs and their families. Thanks to SpecialQuest for helping me discover the leader within me,especially you for your enthusiasm and motivation,"
  • As a member of Special Quest, I have always encouraged my families to advocate for their children - they are their child's best teachers and the decision maker for their child. Stay involved with your child and the progress that they will make and will continue to make - continue to be the leader for your family.
  • A family or parent point of view makes a tremendous difference in how services are accepted by other parents.
  • Several times while planning before a child's meeting with the agencies (Early Intervention and School Districts), we have had the requests for specific services denied. We would enter the meeting with the parent, convinced that the child would not qualify for these services- yet the parents- because they were informed and good advocates- were able to get the wanted services when professionals working with the family couldn't. I like to inform all parents that they hold the most power.

  • Thanks to Special Quest training, we have developed a Journal system that works very well for our program. It is a three way communication tool for Parents, EHS and Part C (ECI) . It is very helpful for families to read how their child is progressing and even parents can write their input and feed back in the journal . It is a good tool for EHS and ECI to remind each other of when the 6 months evaluation or annual meetings are going to occur .
  • Policy Council Strategic Planning CPIP
  • Routines-based intervention. Functional, Family-focused, strength-based, IFSP on IEP
  • Natural environments; EAB, HAB
  • Culture and language responsive
  • Families mentoring new families
  • Families to share experiences with new staff
  • Families guide us birth to earth
  • Value: Respectful listening incorporating and taking action on family voices
  • Demonstrating different level of expertise though storytelling (using videos to share stories), respecting different ways of showing family involvement and leadership, understanding people and reality, providing enough information and background to full participation… Orientation/support/buddy system, structuring discussion to honor voices in shareback activities with place for each role/perspective. From the beginning, throughout process… during follow-up and sustain.
  • IFSP/EIP dates are mutually decided
  • Families contribute meaningful input for plans – ask open-ended questions
  • Different venues for families to provide information
  • How can we (service providers) do better?
  • Would including/inviting families to participate as co-presenters
  • Follow-through with families’ suggestions
  • Checking with families if your interpretations are correct
  • Providing support/resources for parents to take on higher leadership roles
  • Shared/rotating leadership provided by families (build capacity)
  • Families are first and foremost drivers of our collaborative work
  • Ensure that families are included on professional development teams
  • Have a philosophy that parents can make their own choices and recognize the contributions they bring to the discussion
  • Recognize family members ability to provide leadership in various ways
  • Honor where families are emotionally
  • Make it functional
  • • Routines based – interviews with families, care providers and teachers
    • Use of families experiences and stories to increase awareness, provide background knowledge and support to other families
    • Use of families as faculty to pre-service and in-service students
    • Taking the family lens to provide support to child care centers proactively
  • Demonstrating different level of expertise though storytelling (using videos to share stories), respecting different ways of showing family involvement and leadership, understanding people and reality, providing enough information and background to full participation… Orientation/support/buddy system, structuring discussion to honor voices in shareback activities with place for each role/perspective. From the beginning, throughout process… during follow-up and sustain.


Parallel Process
  • Providers of professional development model the core values that they are expecting the participants to adopt.

Examples:

  • The warm, pleasant, welcoming atmosphere of a meeting room to me is very much a "SpecialQuest" touch. It is the way we want families to feel when they come to meetings. Yes, the fiddly toys, colorful displays, how the seating is arranged, etc. may seem small but they make a big impact on the environment and how participants feel as they walk in and that impacts the way the meeting will go.
  • Modeling – Aligned system
  • Team members from many agencies
  • Always including family members and their point of view
  • Consistency in the approach and treating professionals/staff the way you want them to treat children/families (candy, toys, meeting needs for comfort)
  • Inclusion in classroom – Developing understanding and compassion
  • Remember that inclusion means the community not just school.
  • Modeling, walk the talk, visible, intentionality, meta-cognitive, “think out loud about the process”, team-based approach, planning, facilitation, demonstrate, experience and practice SQ approach, do unto others as you would have them do unto others.
  • Model Parent/Professional Partnerships
  • Include head & heart & hands
  • Show respect for all “wisdom” in the room
  • Adults with disabilities
  • Model values in meetings
  • Platinum rule: Do unto others as you would have the do unto others
  • This meeting
  • SpecialQuest calls
  • Provide professional development to teams including family members
  • Provide time to develop personal relationships
  • Have families participate as leaders in PD activities
  • Provide participant centered learning activities
  • Include group process– what worked or did not. Honor the discussion and make changes if needed
  • • All inclusive in “who’s you?”
    • Do unto others a you want them to do unto others
    • A lot of efforts in place to support this parking lot, definitions of acronyms charts, modeling whole process
    • Talk about how to model the values and designs
    • Vision – everyone understands it, buys into it
    • Team-based – how do you treat each other, develop ground rules, re-visit as needed. Listen to feedback – take it back, respond later. If you want to create sustainability, you have to look at every value with the parallel process lenses. It has to be very intentional and directed.
    • Take time to reflect. For example, what are you going to do to model family involvement?
    • Giving sense of belonging – create an environment where everyone feels comfortable participating - family members
  • Modeling, walk the talk, visible, intentionality, meta-cognitive, “think out loud about the process”, team-based approach, planning, facilitation, demostrate, experience and practice SQ approach, do unto others as you would have them do unto others.


Head, heart, hands
  • Professional development addresses and weaves together cognitive, skill-based, and emotional (motivational/inspirational) aspects of learning.

Examples:
  • What has been wonderful about participating in all SQ training is not just the cognitive level, but we came away with a shared experience that was at the gut level. The personal stories, the very real realness of the emotions that were shared were not distracting, but focused, meaningful, and lead somewhere. That is what is unique about the training – your gut gets involved – that is what makes it really powerful.
  • The family experiences and speakers had a profound effect on me and my perspective. Hearing families' stories of joy showed me to take a step back and truly appreciate the strength others have to share.
  • Cognitive learning can't take place without the three Protective Factors: our Heart, Head and Hands
  • It reminds everyone of the importance of the human element and needs when services are designed and implemented.
  • This is truly what occurs in our monthly meetings! It's fun and energizing to have so many folks from so many disciplines, including the family voice!
  • Video
  • Activity (small group)
  • Dialogue
  • Story telling (emerging stories)
  • Feedback
  • When conducting a training, it is the passion to ensure all modalities of adult learners are addressed.
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Attitude
  • Emotions
  • Inspiration
  • Real stories
  • Motivation
  • Videos
  • Time and practice
  • Clear purpose/reason why.
  • Family Stories
  • Nametags
  • Value statements
  • Response to needs
  • Movement
  • Music
  • Food
  • Visuals
  • Informative Resources
  • Logistics
  • Materials/packet
  • PowerPoint
  • Sharing
  • Activities
  • Post-its
  • Journals
  • Ground rules
  • Practice with facilitation
  • Triple H: Elevator Speech
    Head = Knowledge, / Understanding
    Heart = Motivation / Inspiration
    Hands = Application / Practice
  • Video’s tug at heart
  • Currently using videos in graduate Sped. Classes and online modules
  • Currently →COPA , S-E Training (TTACS)
  • Head
    • Research-based
    • Address a range of learning styles
    • Modeling core values
    • Intentional
    • Continuous Improvement

    Hands
    • Application of knowledge and skills
    • Role play
    • Handouts, guides (tools)
    • Recognizing strengths and resources of child and family
    • Action plan
    • Follow-up and sustainability
    • Teaming (everyone’s hands together)

    Heart
    • Videos
    • Real people
    • Family stories
    • Dedication of providers
    • “Enviable Lives”
    • Nurturing of participants
    • We all belong and we are all equal
  • Knowledge, skills, attitude, emotions, inspiration, real stories, motivavion, videos, time and practice, clear purpose/reason why.


Continuous Improvement
  • Planning and delivery of professional development incorporates ongoing participant input, data-based decisions, and wisdom of the field.
  • Professional development supports reflective practice; providing periodic opportunities to pause and reflect on personal experiences, the context, and implications of new ideas and concepts when applying knowledge to practice in order to create and sustain change.

Examples:
  • By developing the ongoing team support in each areas, teams are always re-evaluating their goals and progress of each goal. They are also finding new ways to provide services to children and families that make it supportive and helpful in order to meet the families needs. The make progress each year by improving systems.
  • Continuous improvement is an ongoing process,such as the gathering of information from the assigned teams, that process is continuous and always changing,for improvement, like the team make up changes because people move in and out the education systems.
  • Once you "buy into" the continuous improvement model it is hard to have any type meeting----community fund raising, school PTA meetings, family discussions etc.---without doing some type of reflection and check in at the end to see how everyone felt it went.
  • We have found examining where you have been and what has been accomplished always leads to that next step of continuous quality improvement.
  • Continuous improvement assists the teams in remaining flexible, and constantly evaluating where they have been, and where they need to go in order to improve the supports and services they are providing to children and their families.
  • Continuous improvement becomes a natural mind-set to becoming comfortable with change.
  • Planning of training and ongoing staff development
  • Evaluation of training
  • Evaluation of training effectiveness
  • Evaluation of implementation of practices
  • Building in time for reflection of trainers, participants
  • Sustainability through changes to work plan, policies and procedures
  • Assessment of how approach is working
  • Mentoring
  • “We do not sit on our laurels, we always strive to do better”
  • “We build on what works to look at where we can do better”
  • “We always move the bar higher”
  • Ongoing input, refinement, reflection – planning, implementation, evaluation and celebration.
  • Shared vision, problem-solving, grounded in current reality, consensus.
  • Define cause to pause, develop action plan, do it, collect/input data, reflect and refine next steps, t-charts, SPIP, CPIP, feedback reports, stories.
  • Expectation of shared responsibility.
  • On-going cycle of embedded philosophy that values current reality.
  • Willing to go back.
  • Responsive.
  • It drives out fear because it removes hierarchy and allows all voices to be heard and that allows change. T-chart shows data.
  • Get feedback through evaluations
  • Needs assessment (IPOP, all activities)
  • Online modules/Webinars
  • AHA moments –KI
  • Reflective journalling
  • Mixing up participants to increase networking opportunities
  • Bob Pike embedded
  • • Cluster training with HS, LREs embedded into MOU
    • Statewide ToT events (2)
    - Including Preschool Special Ed Div.
    • Evaluation component to State Leadership team work with feedback loop to State Leadership Team, e.g. Comm. Collab.
    • Selecting participants for ToT – discussion on Gaps and who to target for greatest impact
    • Using SPIP results to guide emphasis of action plan development and implementation
    • Using OSEP data to drive targeting low performing districts for improvement
  • Ongoing input, refinement, reflection – planning, implementation, evaluation and celebration. Shared vision, problem-solving, grounded in current reality, concesus. Define cause to pause, develop action plan, do it, collect/input data, reflect and refine next steps, t-charts, SPIP, CPIP, feedback resport, stories. Expectation of shared responsibility.


Design Elements

Organization
  • Content and learning strategies have a consistent and logical organization and flow.
  • Learning environments are structured to best support active learning, and address diverse learning styles and modalities, as well as participant comfort.
  • Learning activities and environments encourage creativity of participants and facilitators.
  • Participants are provided with open access to professional development materials and strategies, and are encouraged to use them with others.

Examples:

  • Materials were always prepared and organized in advance.
  • Staff take the time to be thoughtful and "planful" in preparing and implementing, and also take the time for reflection and continuous improvement afterward.
  • For example, while at the retreat, the presenters use all the modalities of learning in order to train adult learners such as, walk abouts, small groups large group activities and Kinetics, visual, by using the power point,binders and handouts, and videos
  • Facilitators used a variety of "stuff" to get the message across: videos, music, images, handouts, powerpoints, kids' books, activities...
  • Facilitators knew how to use the technology or supported each other to use the technology (one person would introduce a video and the other facilitator would work the DVD player)
  • The entire staff, from the registration process all the way to the very end, communicated this by starting on time, being enthusiastic, being well prepared, and working well with others.
  • While trainings are always very well orchestrated, the uniqueness of the training comes from the strengths and needs of each team/group.
  • Money and materials
  • Knowing the audience
  • Team work
  • Planning for your audience
  • Location
  • Clear idea of goals
  • Tailor your presentation
  • Knowledge of the topic
  • Acknowledge participants’ comments and ideas
  • Time to do the layers
  • Identify your resources
  • Practice role model
  • Pieces come together
  • Logistics planning
  • All activities are planned and implemented thoughtfully and sequentially.
  • Environment, materials, modalities, addressing all learning styles, communications, cultural needs are considered and planned for.
  • Needs are anticipated and supports are in place.
  • Timelines, lists.
  • SQ materials & strategies – present and use at trainings and meetings
  • Used combination of active and reflective activities
  • Provided food, toys, room to move around
  • Pre-planning to result in logical, organized flow
  • Pre-assessment of needs, interests, strengths to individualize training
  • Bob Pike → “ Piking” Trainings
  • Art boxes, koosh review, ABC review
  • ↑ adult learning styles – on line modules, webinars, trainer facilitated
  • Interagency groups → Home visiting Consortium – “Core Knowledge”
  • Accessible information
  • • Ways curriculum material written supports facilitator in research-based strategies of delivering training
    • Open-ended, culturally, and linguistic activities, discussion points, etc.
    • Video and text materials that appeal to all learning styles and are available and encouraged for participant future use
    • Close alignment between learning objective of video, discussion, activities
    • Consistent use of ground rules, parking lot, acronym chart
    • “Table toys” support ease of participants
    • Relaxed and supportive environment (psychological and physical environment)
  • All activities are planned and implemented thoughtfully and sequentially. Environment, materials, modalities, addressing all learning styles, communications, cultural needs are considered and planned for. Needs are anticipated and supports are in place. Timelines, lists.


Time
  • Pacing and duration of professional development provides multiple opportunities to internalize information, deepen understanding, and develop and refine skills over time.
  • Time within professional development activities is semi-structured to ensure a balance of content, practice, and reflection, as well as individual and group learning.

Examples:
  • The Retreats are well planned and the duration is just enough to complete the give tasks., the opportunities to digest the information is adequate to understand the directions,plus the direction to all task are written.
  • The Multimedia Learning Library has a developmental nature and sequence provided within each-and across all-volumes. Teams have reported that going through the curriculum sequentially has enabled them to understand the material and their work at a much deeper level. The team has a chance to explore ideas and concepts, plan together, implement the plans, and evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies within their program and community.
  • The Retreats are very informative and keep us very involved in many activities.
  • The trainings are always mindful of everyone's busy schedules and the need to plan ahead.
  • While providing agency training, we must provide sufficient time to:
    • Clearly present information
    • Practice new skill
    • Reflect and compare with others
    • Analyze and establish goals
    • Have many opportunities to practice and develop skills
  • A realistic amount of time has been allotted for the activities, learning and reflection to take place.
  • Dedicated time together away from distractions to do the work.
  • Respects different groups styles and needs in terms of timing and pacing. Ongoing trainings.
  • SQ introduces a minimum amount of ideas and therefore allows time to synthesize, process, learn, and integrated
  • The construct of an intentional agenda that incorporates
    o Delivery of concepts
    o Reflective time
    o CI
    o Small group activity
    o Etc.
  • SQ approach encourages on-going learning that provides deeper embedding and personalization at each opportunity that allows participants to synthesize, reflect and integrate.
  • • Pace-series of training and PD activities
    • Provide multiple opportunities to practice the approach and share in the group
    • Allow time for building relationship and connecting on a personal level
    • Provide opportunities for group and individual processing
  • Higher Education
    • Finding time to work with faculty direct-service trainers to bring people up to speed – embedding competencies in coursework – fidelity across the board
    • Spiral model – time for reflection
    • Time to reflect and come back to previous coursework
    • Time to communicate with Special Ed faculty
    • Co-teaching courses
    • Time to build relationships
    • Time for teaming and communication
    • Understanding roles and responsibilities
  • A realistic amount of time has been allotted for the activities, learing and reflection to take place. Dedicated time together away from distractions to do the work. Respects different groups styles and needs in terms of timing and pacing. Ongoing trainings.

Expectations
  • Expectations for learning and behavior are made explicit in the form of agendas, learning outcomes, and follow–up.
  • Participants are provided with information and skills that directly relate to their work and are expected to utilize and share information with others.
  • Team members share responsibility and accountability for implementing action plans.

Examples:
  • Outcomes of the session are stated at the beginning of the session. At the end of the session the group looks back over the outcomes to see if they feel they achieved them. This really helps us focus during the session and pull out everything we can from the content and activities.
  • The continuous quality improvement process allows participants to reflect on their expectations and if they have been met or not.
  • Prepare and distribute agenda for training/meetings
  • Evaluation at end of training/meeting
  • Use of SQ videos and other resource materials
  • Discussions, feedback, personal experiences
  • Plan for next steps/use of materials and information
  • Understand why they are there, common understanding and commitment, what is end result (purpose and outcomes), accountability, roles and responsibilities assigned, time frames, planning, buy in commitment, everyone is there, transparent communication, shared responsibility for achieving outcomes, continuous improvement, action planning, vision clear in advance.
  • Outcomes or objectives on agendas
  • Having an agenda
  • Action plan / agenda format
  • Tools and resources reflect the expectations
  • Build on incentive
  • Timeline
  • What you want to happen
  • • COPA and IPOP → sustainability >Both expected to take back to locality
    • Agendas for all meetings, trainings
    • Getting ® peeps at the table
  • • Agendas – including outcomes
    - Accountability
    - Time considerations
    - Meetings / phone calls
    • Incorporating technology – videos of real life examples
    • Evals – “One thing I will do differently…”
    • Coaching – phone, on-site; TA feedback / support; action plan learning
    • Reflective practice
    - Am I changing?
    - Am I doing better?
    - Are children learning?
    • Continuum of set trainings for follow-up
    • E-groups for follow-up
    • Reflections – connect back with instructor
    • Ability to relate information learned back to others ¬ – can you teach others?
    • Action Plans – insure front-end buy-in; bottom-up / top/down buy-in
    • Recognizing how to work in the culture in the program
  • Understand why they are there, common understanding and commitment, what is end result (purpose and outcomes), accountability, roles and responsibilities assigned, time frames, planning, buy in commitment, everyone is there, transparent communication, shared responsibility for achieving outcomes, continuous improvement, action planning, vision clear in advance.


Facilitation
  • Facilitators work in teams that represent a variety of roles and perspectives.
  • Facilitators provide learning experiences that create a shared context, ensure opportunities for practice, and support direct application to the teams’ work.
  • Facilitators include and elicit a variety of personal experiences and real life examples of successful inclusive practices to educate, motivate, and inspire.
  • Facilitators build on the strengths of the participants, support accomplishment of learning outcomes, and celebrate successes.
  • Facilitators individualize intensive, interactive, and engaging learning experiences for participants.

Examples:
  • Facilitation is different than training. Maybe an element of training is there but much more. "Reading" the group or individuals and responding to them in a way that will engage them is a big piece. Tapping into the participants' knowledge and experiences is essential.
  • The facilitation of the Special Quest Coaching process is the key to the success. The facilitators give tools and ideas that spark new ideas and then teams build plans based on their individual strengths and needs for next steps.
  • In a big group- with such involved participants- it could be easy to get off task... especially with the emotionally charged discussions about children we serve and our desires to meet their needs better. But the facilitators do an excellent job of keeping the theme going- without getting bogged down with a side-point.
  • Everybody is represented – parents, administrators, teachers, caregivers, etc.
    • Cultural competence achieved through respecting all cultural backgrounds
    • Everybody’s opinion is valued and recognized
  • Respecting and providing for all educational levels and learning styles
  • Opportunities to share family stories
  • Everyone has a job based on abilities and preferences
  • Valuing what people bring to learning – Shared knowledge and context.
  • Building on each others personal experiences and knowledge – Observation, assessment. Individualizing for the needs of the group – synthesis to create a share of understanding – diversity of voices on facilitation team – identifying new ideas – building on them – bringing people back together – growing ideas.
  • Active listening – balance of stepping in and out. Dance.
  • Focus towards goal – make connection of ideas – keeping group on topic – keeping energy moving – make sure everyone participates.
  • Open-ended questions to draw knowledge, inspiration
  • Focus on outcomes of curriculum/work
  • Facilitators guide for learning
  • Non-judgmental
  • Real life experiences of participants
  • All voices are heard
  • Building on where participants are
  • Guide on the side, not sage on the stage
  • Facilitators provide opportunities for shared learning in a safe environment
  • • Instructors trained on nuts and bolts of SQ approach
    • Ensure training development is inclusive of nuts and bolts
    • Facilitators representative of all stakeholders
  • • Create a shared context of stakeholders in professional development training. How to embed principles into what we do.
    • SpecialQuest Leadership Teams are “infiltrators” of concepts into larger state professional development training
    • Use of parent trainers as co-facilitators with support.
    • Allow space/time for dialogue; support parent personal experiences
  • Valuing what people bring to learning – Shared knowledge and context. Building on each others personal experiences and knowledge – Observation, assessment. Individualizing for the needs of the group – synthesis to create a share of understading – diversity of voices on facilitation team – identifying new ideas – building on them – bringing people back together – growing ideas. Active listening – balance of stepping in and out. Dance. Focus towards goal – make connection of ideas – keeping group on topic – keeping energy moving – make sure everyone participates.


Application
  • Individuals and teams reflect on their learning and how it applies to their work.
  • Participants use problem-solving strategies to develop and implement action plans that address the challenges and realities of their work environments.

Examples:
  • The Perceptions of Inclusive Practices allows a community team or a state team to see where they are in providing inclusive services and where they would like to go. It allows a baseline and then shows growth over time.
  • Use reflection at monthly SQ meetings and then apply to work. For example problem solving for referrals and recruitment. Another example was problem solving for duplication of goals – now use same goals. Transition meetings only have one meeting vs. two meetings
  • Groups attending meetings brings vision, description, etc to give knowledge to each other
  • Time, doing it, applying it to your own needs, prioritizing, plan to do something better at home, individualized to own needs, put into practice, not linear not road map, experiential, team-based planning, meetings, integration of the SQ approach.
  • Over time for integration and implementation.
  • CI at all meetings
  • Provide opportunities for reflection into all meetings / professional development opportunities
  • Team debriefings: What worked, what did we learn about
  • Provide follow-up based on reflection/debrief
  • Intentional use of problem-solving strategies/process to create change
  • Being intentional about what you are doing and why you are doing it. You are involved to create change.
  • • Make sure what we do is represented and spread out through all training systems statewide
    • Make sure we express a clear vision and unified message
    • Facilitators need to model reflection
  • • Comfort level of SpecialQuest approach
    • Continuous Improvement
    • Individualizing based on audience
    • Engagement / buy-in to content
    • Support content
    • Support performance
    • Flexibility – blend knowledge of audience level with PD
    • Believing in your ability you’ll be prepared
    • Networking
    • Facilitation
    • Relationship building
    • Scenarios – real life situations
    • Must be meaningful to audience
  • Time, doing it, applying it to your own needs, prioritizing, plan to do something better at home, inidvidualized to own needs, put into practice, not linear not road map, experiential, team-based planning, meeings, integration of the SQ approach. Over time for integration and implementation.


Follow-up and sustainability
  • Teams are supported through ongoing, individualized coaching over time to implement their action plans.
  • Teams incorporate the principles of sustainability into their practice to assure long-term systems change.

Examples:

  • The teams that went through the SpecialQuest process have built in coaches to help remind and support them to reach their stated goals.
  • we are supported by the facilitation team via the e mail or phone calls,if we have question there are various was to receive help: email, phone calls, and conference calls.
  • The coaches are a check for the teams - they drive the process so to speak.
  • I've never been a fan of conference calls- it's so hard to know what to say, and when to say it. But these calls really rejuvenate my interest and enthusiasm to spread the message. They are spaced out at times we would maybe let SpecialQuest 'slip' a little.
  • Our conference calls are a check-in time for all of us. It provides me with an opportunity to share what I am doing, or have questions about, and also hear how others are doing. This many times will generate new ideas. It is an opportunity to support each other and again connect the dots across the map that keep the Quest going.
  • Shared leadership
  • Shared responsibility
  • Vision
  • Long term
  • Flexibility
  • Intentionality
  • Prepare members to lead
  • Identify goals/outcomes
  • Support provided after an event or activity, to ensure that the learning is being used effectively.
  • Change as a direct result of the learning endures over time.
  • On-site visits, workspace, conference calls, newsletters, emails, website, continue over time.
  • Coaching, mentoring
  • Email, phone calls, texting
  • Visits, message board
  • Buddy system
  • Reconnect to respond and share resources
  • Accountability
  • Continuous Improvement – identify next steps
  • Know what you got and formative ways materials can be adapted
  • Innovation continues
  • Use of technology
  • Institutionalize
  • MOU’s, legislation
  • Understand change process
  • Modeling and embracing change
  • • Upper level administration buy in is essential for sustainability
    • Professional development efforts will help embed SQ approach and lead to sustainability.
    • Is there any state level plan to utilize stimulus funds to support SQ initiatives?
    • Other funds will be needed to support PD and SQ inclusion efforts towards sustainability
  • • Promoting family leadership
    • Strength-based approach
    • Local support
    • State-level support
    • Long-range planning “action”
    • Make “MOUs” alive
    • Distance learning course
    • SpecialQuest professional development-approved training
    • Coordinate credits across the board to meet the requirements across the board
    • Include higher ed
  • Support provided after an event or activity, to encure that the learning is being used effectively. Change as a direct result of the learning endures over time. On-site visits, workspace, conference calls, newsletters, emails, website, continue over time.