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Building Efficacy of Student Study Teams (BESST)

  • Author(s): Carrillo, Brenda
  • Advisor(s): Gifford, Dr. Bernard
  • et al.
Abstract

Minority students underperform academically when compared to their White counterparts. In response to this phenomenon, various prevention strategies have been implemented. Student Study Teams (SSTs) reflect one such strategy. SSTs are site-based proactive problem-solving teams, charged with marshaling systematic, evidence-based interventions and supports for struggling students. Yet, SSTs are vastly misunderstood, affecting efficacy of implementation. Indeed SSTs are often deficit-based and reflect disproportionality in terms of referrals and placement of minority students.

Building Efficacy of Student Study Teams (BESST) is a professional learning series created to improve SST practices by guiding middle school counselors through a reflective and iterative tool development process, resulting in the construction of an SST Handbook. Counselor engagement in the process and task of developing an SST Handbook was expected to enhance understanding of effective SSTs as strengths- based interventions and to raise awareness of effective implementation. Findings of BESST may assist in revealing important information to leverage SSTs as effective interventions for struggling students by increasing counselor awareness and expertise of essential elements of effective SSTs, including how to identify student strengths. This design study is centered on action research and includes two primary research elements, evaluation of the design outcome and assessment of the design process.

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