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What is a Consultant in the Gifted Education Realm?

Worrell uses Caplan and Caplan (1999)” Mental Health Consultation and Collaboration” to define four major subtypes of consultation:

• client-centered case consultation
• consultee-centered case consultation
• program centered administrative consultation
• consultee-centered administrative consultation.

In client-centered and consultee-centered, it is the consultant’s use of expertise to guide the consultee to create a program that will remedy the problem that will be implemented by the consultee.

Program-centered administrative consultation and consultee-centered administrative consultations are very similar from the first two examples but the client is a system or organization not a person.

Lastly, Worrell (2007) discusses the difference between consultation and collaboration. Worrell uses Caplan et al (1994) “Caplanian Mental Health Consultation: Historical Background and Current Status” to argue that there are seven differences between collaboration and consultation.

Consultation is:

  • external to the organization
  • had little or no client contact
  • assumed a coordinate and non-hierarchical relationship with the consultee
  • worked with consultees who volunteered
  • were typically involved in dyadic (opposed to team relationship)
  • assumed consultee freedom to reject consultant’s advice
  • had no responsibility for the outcome of the case under discussion.

With all the definitions of what consultation is and isn’t, Worrell visits the first article entitled, “Consulting Psychologists and Developing Talent” by Calderon et al. (2007).

Calderon shares a three-stage process of talent development with the gifted and talented students in a Pinnacle Program. To help generate this plan was the use of consultants who would:

  • take a broader look at the particular program and make recommendations
  • help members creating the program view through an alternative lens
  • support individual mentors as they work with their mentees in a particular talent domain.

Worrell states that the use of consultation within this article fits the classic job description definition of consultation.

What is a Consultant in the Gifted Education Realm?