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Enhancing the Distributed Expertise of the Student Success Team Committee Through Reflective Inquiry


The academic difficulties that ELLs exhibit appear similar to the characteristics of learning disabilities. Few studies address the impact of explicit professional development on (1) utilizing the distributed expertise of the School Success Team (SST) committee members and (2) enhancing their decision-making process based on a strengthened common knowledge. This action research project addressed the linguistic, academic, and cultural needs of Latino ELL students by working with the SST committee members to generate more appropriate and accurate recommendations for Latino ELLs through reflective inquiry. This action research is a descriptive study about the process of reflective inquiry as a professional development intervention to document the shift in conversation and the decision-making process of SST committees. This is not a study of the efficacy of reflective inquiry as it pertains to the SST decision-making process. Findings point to: (1) the importance of implementing a protocol that encourages reflective inquiry to capitalize from members’ distributed expertise to strengthen the pre-referral intervention group’s common knowledge, and (2) suggest that reflective inquiry may improve the accuracy of SST committees to recommend Latino ELLs for special education assessment.

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