Post-Graduate Research Methods for the Social Sciences

Research Question: What is the comparison between multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary team approaches for treating children with disabilities in schools in India and Australia?



Review of Literature.

Transdisciplinary Team Approach for Special/ Inclusive Education.

Multidisciplinary Team Approach for Special/ Inclusive Education.

Schooling Education of Children with Disability in India.

Impact of Transdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary team Approaches in the Indian context

Impact of Transdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary team Approaches in the Australian context




1. Introduction to Multidisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Team Approaches

Children with a disability indeed come to schools with a broader set of variances that may develop several challenges if the fixed school educator is leftward to handle the student single-handed. In this respect, there has been a concept of inclusive education that refers to an idea supporting the education of students with exceptional needs in steady education schools. The transdisciplinary team approach indicates to a family-based procedure for assisting families of younger children with infirmities or delays. Moreover, in this method, any one member of a recognized multidisciplinary team is chosen as the main domineering personality and gets training from other team associates as required. Multidisciplinary teams entail several fields that independently evaluate a child, conduct interferences, and has written reports and goalmouths in their specialized limitations. This literature review is going to discuss the comparison of the transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team approaches for treating children with disabilities in schools in two nations named as India and Australia. Furthermore, it helps the scholar to identify and assess different studies conducted by various scholars in the similar field. There are several studies done on aspects like exceptional education for children with infirmities in schools of Australia and India. Moreover, there have been studies talking of the transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary approached to school education in India and Australia. The purpose of this literature review is to bring out the relevance of filling in the gaps found in numerous researches.

2. Review of Literature

2.1 Transdisciplinary Team Approach for Special/ Inclusive Education

A transdisciplinary team approach demonstrates suggested practice in aspect of Early Intervention of youngsters with debilities. Including family members, these teams work in collaboration to share proficiency, learning, and information to create team capability and uniquely resolve issues, schedule, and incorporate interventions to certify that programs attain intended child and family goalmouths and results. Moreover, to be effective teams, the experts from numerous disciplines engage equally to operations of the team, share current roles, and attain novel roles, and are dedicated to offering culturally skilled, family-centred amenities in regular settings for children with disabilities. One of the advantages of such teams is that they unitedly recognize the goals for every child with discipline-focused goalmouths intertwined into the entire team objectives. Besides, this approach evades disintegration of services among disciplines, averts a repetition of facilities, assimilates facilities which are more holistically emphasized on every child, focuses the relevance of family members as identical associates of the team, and inspires role release among team members (Kilgo et al., 2017).

2.2. Multidisciplinary Team Approach for Special/ Inclusive Education

A multidisciplinary team approach entails drawing suitably from numerous disciplines to restate issues beyond the usual limitations and approach solutions dependent on a novel comprehending of difficult solutions. The main points to be considered in such approach are that workforce must have to exchange learning and knowledge and also to acquire novel competency and new tactics; there is a requirement for training that may offer staff the esteem and gratification; likely change in prospects and in a working system that can be a worthy inducement and challenge to adults. It can be said that there has been a need of this approach for school practices and management in inclusive education for active teaching in inclusive set up that means diverse teaching methods and tactics such as seating organization in inclusive class. It also includes multilevel directions, collective teaching, action-based learning, and more (Kumar, 2017). Such team functions to assists pupils in special instruction and associated services. The major function of these teams is to govern if the student has debility and would need exceptional schooling facilities. Moreover, it functions to plan and assess the education experiences of students who have been diagnosed to be in want of such facilities. Besides, it aims to develop an action plan that would fulfil the desires of the youngster with debility in respect of schooling, in the inclusion procedure that shows that the kid with an ill-health will not place in distinctive needs to improve a personalized educational program to talk to the wants.

2.3. Schooling Education of Children with Disability in India

A study by Singal (2016) demonstrated the education of children with disabilities from rural areas in India. In his study, it has been mentioning of RTE (Right to education) act 2009 that permits free and obligatory education for all including disabled children also. Moreover, this study inferred that the parents’ involvement was much appreciated in bringing modifications to the entire education system for disabled children in the nation. Another study by Das PhD. & Kattumuri (2011) suggested that an inclusive school should facilitate education substructures, methods, to fulfil the desires of all students mainly those facing the barriers to attain the right to education. It has been found by his study that all seven schools were proved to be supportive in terms of disabled students and they had a separate resource room for pupils with exceptional requirements with a minimum on the teacher. Furthermore, the challenges were found to be undesirable outlooks of educators, healthy students, and their parents, and scarcity of resources in the context of Indian schools. A study by Bakhshi, Babulal & Trani (2017) stated that promoting inclusive education is essential in refining participation of the children with special needs and their recognition along with the forthcoming job chances and social involvement. They found that children with special needs in India are less likely to initiate school and more probable to drop out of school as compares with non-disabled peers. The gap was found to be bigger in the case of girls, economically deprived children, or children of illiterate parents, especially fathers

2.4. Impact of Transdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary team Approaches in the Indian context

A study by Ranjan, Pradhan & Wong (2014) suggested that the transdisciplinary approach integrated a child’s growing needs across the main developing domains. Their study was aimed at determining the influence of a transdisciplinary approach in group theory to establish social interaction abilities for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders). Moreover, both the therapist and parents score the rating scale and found improvement in the child. Besides, Heinzmann, Simonson & Kenyon (2019) stated that the IEIP (the individualized early intervention plan) in India has been planned by the team that emphasizes on utilizing valuation data for aiding the child to overcome the shortages and alleviating the impacts of hazardous aspects via environmental motivation by transdisciplinary approach. Their study found that the interaction between team associates in the multi-disciplinary approach does not nurture services that imitate the assessment of the child as a united and collaborating whole. Moreover, there was a lack of communication in the team that puts stress on coordination. However, the transdisciplinary approach was proved to be effective as it enabled the team to develop a case management plan coordinating with the services and information to be shown to parents. Additionally, this approach was supportive to family and all team members and worked towards making decisions about family and children by consensus of the team.

2.5. Impact of Transdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Team Approaches in the Australian context

Cumming & Wong (2012) studies the transdisciplinary approach in a play-centred early childhood intervention program in the Australian nation. These approaches are progressively being utilized in the play-based early interventions like reinforced playschools. It is due to the fact the schools are thought to offer an approachable easy entry point to families to access specific and communal assistance. It also demonstrated certain challenges with the usage of these approaches in early intervention practices. The challenges were in form of teams having ambiguous descriptions or deficient common understanding of taken for granted expressions that could result in vagueness among specialists regarding what is expected, and how to enable transdisciplinary method. The main concluding point in his study was that the early childhood services who desire to use these approaches have to work in collaboration and there must be more trained staff that can play a significant role in the education of disabled children. Furthermore, the study by Fitzmaurice & Richmond PhD (2017) studied the impact of transdisciplinary teams on the business aspects like attendance, and waiting times. Moreover, it also showcases the differences in the results of trans-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary team utilized in the therapy for younger children with special needs. It inferred that the trans-disciplinary team approach was better and more cost-effective for the EIT (early intervention therapy) in disabled children in Australia. O’Connor et al. (2015) stated that both the commonwealth and Victorian administration in Australia have incorporated rules, and strategies addressing the instructive wants of pupils with incapacities as per their promise to inclusive teaching. Moreover, their study found that one of the key assumptions to assist and manage disabled students in governmental schools is the usage of a multidisciplinary team approach. Besides, it has been found that this approach proved to be effective as the young people and children have been benefitted from the multidisciplinary approach to evidence-centred interference which can openly react to their complexities.

The study by Foreman et al. (2004) offered an Australian viewpoint of the educational knowledge of students with thoughtful and several disabilities in Inclusive and Separated classroom settings that is one of the chief factors to be assumed while learning the team approaches in a classroom setting. Their study was supposed to classify the behaviour conditions and socio-communicative circumstances noticeable in pupils with deep and several infirmities registered in distinct and over-all schoolroom platforms. Besides, the results were shown statistically noteworthy variances among corresponding pairs of pupils registered in either distinct or common teaching schoolroom programs in respect of perceived behaviour conditions and socio-communicative circumstances. Communicative interactions were significantly lower in general education classes than in special classes.

3. Methodology of Multidisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Team Approaches

The mixed-methods design is going to be utilized in a particular study. The use of this approach will enable the scholar to have a thorough analysis of description, and understanding of the commitment development of respondents. It further will facilitate them to build on existing literature and explore commitment profiles via expanding their exploration. It can be said that mixed-method data collection methodology in research is much impressive as it refers to the design for collecting, assessing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study to comprehend the study problem (Venkatesh Brown & Sullivan, 2016). The study would be a document analysis starting with the organizations chosen to be surveyed. An interview guide will be designed to evaluate the team approach in a telephone interview. The use of technology to conduct distance assessments affords children in rural communities’ access to high‐quality assessment services without having to travel long distances. A staff questionnaire for team members to measure team approach effectiveness with validated questionnaires and self-administered items. Family members will be asked to provide their subjective assessment of the child and to state concerns and priorities. The ethical concerns in carrying out this research would-be client and organization non-anonymity and non-confidentiality.

4. Conclusion on Multidisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Team Approaches

From the above discussion of several studies on the transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team approaches for inclusive school education in India and Australia, it can be concluded that the team approaches like transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary are more likely to be followed by the Australian schools providing special education to the children with disabilities as compared with Indian schools. Additionally, there is the availability of special education only to those with physical and mental disabilities in India. Thus, it can be inferred that the children with disabilities in Australia are more probable than their equivalents in India to get an assessment, adapted, or distinguished learning programs, and continuing assistance using the transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. Additionally, the educators in Australia had meaningfully more schoolroom assistance and several resources at their clearance than the Indian teachers. Furthermore, it can be inferred that the use of a multi-disciplinary approach was a key assumption suitable for supporting and handling students with disabilities in Australian government schools.

5. References for Multidisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Team Approaches

Bakhshi, P., Babulal, G. M., & Trani, J. F. (2017). Education of children with disabilities in New Delhi: When does exclusion occur?. PloS one, 12(9), e0183885.

Cumming, T., & Wong, S. (2012). Professionals don't play Challenges for early childhood educators working in a transdisciplinary early intervention team. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(1), 127-135.

Das Ph.D., A., & Kattumuri, R. (2011). Children with disabilities in private inclusive schools in Mumbai: Experiences and challenges. Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 2(8), 7.

Fitzmaurice, E., & Richmond Ph.D., J. E. (2017). An Investigation of Service Providers' understanding, perspectives, and implementations of the Transdisciplinary model in Early Intervention settings for Children with Disabilities. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, 15(2), 5.

Foreman, P., Arthur-Kelly, M., Pascoe, S., & King, B. S. (2004). Evaluating the educational experiences of students with profound and multiple disabilities in inclusive and segregated classroom settings: An Australian perspective. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(3), 183-193

Heinzmann, J., Simonson, A., & Kenyon, D. B. (2019). A transdisciplinary approach is essential to community-based research with American Indian populations. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 26(2), 15.

Kilgo, E. D., Jennifer, L., Aldridge, J., Vogtle, L., Ronilo, W., & Bruton, A. (2017). Teaming, Collaboration, and Case-Based Learning: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Early Intervention/Education. Education (June 2017). Case Studies Journal ISSN (2305-509X), 6.

Kumar, J. (2017). Multidisciplinary Approach for Inclusive Education. ISSN, 2(7), 158-161

O’Connor, M., Quach, J., Goldfeld, S., Gold, L., Aston, R., Beatson, R., & Hopkins, D. (2015). Approaches to the provision of educational support for children and young people with additional health and developmental needs. Retrieved from

Ranjan, R., Pradhan, K. R., & Wong, J. (2014). Effect of Transdisciplinary Approach in Group Therapy to Develop Social Skills for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Theory & Practice in Language Studies, 4(8).

Singal, N. (2016). Schooling children with disabilities: Parental perceptions and experiences. International Journal of Educational Development, 50, 33-40.

Venkatesh, V., Brown, S. A., & Sullivan, Y. W. (2016). Guidelines for conducting mixed-methods research: An extension and illustration. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 17(7), 2.

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