ERIC Number: ED159134
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Factors Determining Roles and Functions of Educational Linking Agents with Implications for Training and Support Systems. Educational Knowledge, Dissemination, and Utilization: Occasional Paper Series.
Butler, Matilda; Paisley, William
Relationships are examined among linking functions and the linking agent role in the context of factors that determine the function and affect the role. The historical context in which educational dissemination has evolved is described, and three major clusters of dissemination concepts that have been identified and analyzed since 1966 are examined: the diffusion of new ideas and practices; the structure and function of dissemination programs; and the multiple contexts in which dissemination occurs. Analysis of past and present experience in dissemination programs that employ linking agents indicates that the roles and functions of linking agents are differentiated along two dimensions. One dimension involves the intra-organizational versus extra-organizational locus of linkage activity. The other dimension involves the linking agent's "entitlement" to act on behalf of the organization in different ways. The concept of "entitlement" accounts for marked differences in the approach of linking agents to clients and the nature of the ensuing exchange. The concept is an amalgam of expectation, legitimation, auspices, functions, and an additional factor that is best described as the linking agent's presentation of self. Examples of three modal roles that result from three "entitlements" are described (resource finder, process helper, solution giver), and the relationship of these roles with selected linking functions is discussed. Considered among the implications for training and support systems are these: the present lack of strict definition of linking roles and functions; the consequent need for flexibility in training and performance; and the shortage of qualified trainers. A training approach that accounts for these implications is suggested. (Author)
Descriptors: Information Dissemination, Linking Agents, Professional Training, Research Utilization, Resource Staff, Role Theory, Task Analysis, Training Methods, Training Objectives
Educational Dissemination System Support Program, Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, 1855 Folsom St., San Francisco, California 94103 ($2.00)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Far West Lab. for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA.