ERIC Number: ED224228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Maturation of Technical Assistance in the 1980's. Occasional Paper Number 2.
Crandall, David P.; Williams, Martha
The authors review the relationship of technical assistance agencies with both the sponsor and clients, as well as the general reasons for technical assistance. Technical assistance efforts usually involve a three-party relationship--the funding agency, the client system, and technical assistance coordinator. Technical assistance systems in education are designed to foster growth and change in people--to help them acquire skills, knowledge, methods, or attitudes. Assumptions that should guide a technical assistance organization include that technical assistance is a process, not an event, and that technical assistance takes place within the context of a formal, ongoing relationship that is based on mutual trust and respect. There are 10 dimensions along which technical assistance models reflect varying positions such as comprehensive services/limited services, user-identified needs/system-identified needs, content orientation/process orientation, advocacy/neutrality, and flexible technical assistance plans/fixed technical assistance plans. Conflicts within the three party relationship may arise between funding agency and technical assistance coordinator, between funding agency and client system, and between the assistance agency and the client system. Three unsatisfactory ways to resolve conflicts are the tyranny of confidentiality (in which the technical assistance group attempts to separate itself from the monitoring function), tyranny of expertise (when the assistance agency staff members perceive themselves as the ultimate experts in the field), and imposition of the power hierarchy (in which the sponsoring agency resolves the problem by asserting its power). A more positive approach to resolving conflicts is through supportive collaboration which involves such characteristics as frequent communication and resource identification. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC. Handicapped Children's Early Education Program.
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Technical Assistance Development System.