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Research Article  |   January 1997
The Impact of the Classroom Environment on Defining Function in School-Based Practice
Author Affiliations
  • Catherine Orr, MA, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Texas Woman’s University, 8194 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, Texas 75231. At the time of this study, she was School-Based Occupational Therapist, Dallas Independent School District, Dallas, Texas
  • Janette Schkade, PhD, OTR, is Dean, School of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas
Article Information
School-Based Practice / Practice
Research Article   |   January 1997
The Impact of the Classroom Environment on Defining Function in School-Based Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1997, Vol. 51, 64-69. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.1.64
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1997, Vol. 51, 64-69. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.1.64
Abstract

Objective. Whether the environment is stressed in function–dysfunction decisions appears to depend on where in the hierarchy of components of complex tasks and of role skills the evaluating therapist is focused. This study examined the intervention planning decisions of occupational therapists who used the Model of Student Role Adaptation, which emphasizes the complex tasks involved in the student role. The purpose of the study was to determine whether these therapists were responding to environmental demands in planning their interventions.

Method. Special education teachers selected tasks that they believed were the most essential for student functioning within their classroom environments. These selections were compared with the goals and objectives developed by occupational therapists who serve children in these settings.

Results. Chi square analysis indicated a significant relationship between tasks designated by the teacher participants as environmental demands and those included in occupational therapy intervention planning.

Conclusion. The results suggest that the occupational therapist participants were responding to the environmental demands of the classroom when constructing their intervention plans.