Assessing Conflict Styles
In this assignment you will demonstrate your understanding of the following learning objectives:
- Recognize the importance of knowing personal strengths and weaknesses in conflict resolution.
- Determine some causes of education-based conflict.
- Evaluate problem solving and negotiation strategies to resolve education-based conflict.
Within the field of special education, collaboration among team members with differing personalities and opinions is commonplace. Being a leader in education means learning to proactively problem-solve and manage differences by embracing multiple viewpoints. In education, sources of contention may include conflicting educational placement or transition goals, different personality styles among team members, limited financial resources or services, contrasting communication techniques, and contrasting academic or post-graduation values (Meier, 2011). Each person handles these points of conflict based on their level of comfort and communication style. With a self-awareness of your individual methods and styles, you can increase your effectiveness in resolving education-based conflict.
The Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument is a self-assessment and scoring tool that will provide guidance as you develop personal responses to conflicting situations within the following management styles (each with their own areas of strength and weakness): Competing, Accommodating, Avoiding, Collaborating, or Compromising (TKI, 2013).
In this assignment, you will complete the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument to determine your personal behavioral style when handling conflict. Next, you will read a Case Study: Andy, and answer questions regarding how you would handle conflict considering your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, you will create a plan for assisting Andy from the perspectives of all team members.
Review the Andy Case Study
Being the special educator, the eighth grade math teacher has come to talk with you about Andy, who was already held back once and is now in danger of failing again. He explains that Andy refuses to complete his work and his distracting behavior has a negative impact on other students. You ask, “Have you tried any of the strategies I suggested last time we talked about this?” The teacher replies, “I just don’t have time to do all that extra planning. I’m swamped with planning for three different math classes as it is and grading all these papers. He’s going to have to go back to the special education class, or I’m sure he’s going to fail again.” With over 20 years of teaching experience, this teacher has spent 15 at this school and in the same classroom. He has been known to refer to students as “mine” and “yours” for quite some time. On the other hand, this is only your second year teaching and your very first post-college professional position. You know Andy is successfully passing his other classes, and if the math teacher would use some of the accommodations you suggested, he would be much more successful. Imagine you are in a collaborative team meeting with the math teacher and the assistant principal. Your goal is to figure out a way to ensure Andy is given all the tools he needs to be successful.
Write the Paper
Your paper must include the following points:
- Leadership: Explain how you see yourself leading this group as the special educator to find a solution where everyone on the team is in agreement.
- Roles: Explain the role of the assistant principal as a participant in this meeting, including why he is participating and what value he adds to the meeting.
- Conflict Management : Explain how your conflict management style (from the self-assessment) will benefit this situation, including consideration of how it could also be a weakness.
- Perspective : Explain the conflict from the math teacher’s perspective, including a justification and validation of his feelings (e.g., Emotional investment? Professional role? Different view of inclusion?, etc.).
- Plan: Create a plan for how each member of your team can help provide tools for Andy to be successful in math. Include a timeline for when the team will next meet and what information each member will bring to the table.
- Page Requirement: Five to seven pages, not including the title and reference pages.
- APA Formatting: Use APA formatting consistently throughout the assignment.
- Syntax and Mechanics : Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.
- Source Requirement : Reference three scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook which provide compelling evidence to support your ideas. All sources on the references page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.