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Directed Consultation, the SEALS Model, and Teachers' Classroom Management

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Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Published online on


Directed consultation is presented as a professional development framework to guide and support teachers in the implementation of evidence-based interventions that involve contextual and process-oriented approaches designed to be incorporated into daily classroom management. This approach consists of four components: pre-intervention observations and interviews with school professionals, professional development workshops, online training modules, and team- and individual-level implementation meetings. In the current study, directed consultation was used to train sixth-grade teachers to use the Supporting Early Adolescent Learning and Social Support (SEALS) program, a multicomponent intervention model, to promote productive and supportive classroom contexts during the transition to middle school. The current report involved classroom observations in 14 schools (7 interventions, 7 controls) as part of a broader cluster-randomized control trial. A total of 144 classrooms were observed in late fall of the sixth grade during ongoing professional development training activities and again in the spring at the completion of the SEALS training. As compared with control classrooms, teachers in intervention classrooms used more positive feedback and less negative feedback and redirection. Furthermore, teachers in intervention classrooms provided more effective use of classroom structure, feedback to students, behavior management, communication with students, groups and social dynamics, and motivation strategies. Results are discussed in terms of implications for professional development activities aimed at enhancing classroom management.