Edward S. Shapiro, Jaime Benson, Nathan Clemens, and Karen L. Gischlar
The assessment of academic skills is an essential and critical component of the life of all schools. Like the assessment of other areas of functioning, assessment of academic skills needs to include multiple methods, multiple modalities, and multiple perspectives to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the problem. The process of assessment needs to cut across the range of direct and indirect approaches in order to capture a complete viewpoint of the academic skill problems that the student is experiencing. Included in the chapter are brief reviews of direct assessment methods built on observation, curriculum-based assessment, normative or criterion-referenced standardized tests, permanent product or portfolio review, as well as indirect methods built upon rating scales and interviews with teachers and students.
Academic Interventions: What School Psychologists Need to Know for Their Assessment and Problem Solving Consultation Roles
Virginia W. Berninger, Michel Fayol, and Nicole Alston–Abel
This chapter provides an overview of critical concepts about academic interventions that school psychologists can apply in their assessment (prevention and diagnosis) and problem solving consultation roles. Topics covered include (a) general principles from research on reading, writing, math, and science instruction and learning; (b) home–school relationships; and (c) issues of diversity, motivation, and interpersonal relationships. School psychologists are encouraged to read widely and deeply the research literature on academic instruction and learning, to which many disciplines have contributed. School psychologists are also encouraged to practice and master the artful transformation of that research knowledge to the individual case at hand within a specific social context, including the family, classroom, school, community, and culture.
Maureen A. McCarthy, Dana S. Dunn, Jane S. Halonen, and Suzanne C. Baker
The authors provide a rationale for academic program reviews (APRs), highlighting their role in improving teaching, learning, and program quality in psychology departments. Following a brief history of accreditation in higher education, they introduce the purpose and scope of quality benchmarking in psychology program. Specific guidelines for organizing an APR for a psychology department include writing and organizing a self-study document, selecting an external reviewer(s) to lead the program evaluation, and planning for and scheduling activities for a reviewer’s visit. The essay concludes by considering the future of the APR in psychology education, especially at the undergraduate level.
Elaine Clark and Janiece L. Pompa
Current neuroscience research suggests that with appropriate interventions of sufficient duration and frequency, struggling readers can access quicker, more efficient neurologic pathways for reading. Some research has indicated, however, that effective remediation may require 90 minutes of daily direct instruction in reading, for one to three years, before permanent structural changes in the brain are seen. In this chapter, the application of neuroscience research to reading interventions is discussed. Components of effective remedial reading interventions are reviewed, with examples given of research-supported Tier 3 and Tier 4 instructional programs. The authors raise questions, however, about the sufficiency of RTI methods alone to identify students with specific learning disabilities, and design interventions that can effectively meet their educational needs.
Kathleen S. Arnos and Arti Pandya
Genetic factors are believed to account for more than half of all cases of congenital or early-onset moderate to profound deafness. The identification of several dozen genes for deafness, one of which accounts for a high proportion of all childhood deafness, has enabled the identification of the exact cause of deafness in many children through genetic testing. Parents, family members, deaf and hard-of-hearing adults, as well as health care and educational professionals often are unaware of the exact process and goals of genetic evaluation and may have questions about the usefulness of genetic testing. Sensitive and appropriate genetic evaluation and testing, coupled with appropriate interpretation and information through genetic counseling, can be invaluable to many families. Health professionals and those who work with deaf children in educational and service settings play an important role in helping parents and family members understand the value of a genetic evaluation and making referrals to genetics professionals.
Suzanne C. Baker and Catherine L. Franssen
The study of animal behavior holds a special place in psychology, as many early psychologists studied behavior across a range of species. Although psychology is frequently defined as “the scientific study of behavior and mental processes,” contemporary psychology focuses on the behavior of humans. Including a comparative perspective can provide students with a clearer understanding of behavioral diversity and the factors that influence it. We discuss topics typically covered in an animal behavior course, along with some newer emerging topics in the discipline, and provide information about teaching resources and strategies. We also provide examples for incorporating a comparative perspective throughout areas of the psychology curriculum such as brain and behavior, sensation and perception, cognition, and personality.
Bert De Smedt and Roland H. Grabner
In this chapter, we explore three types of applications of neuroscience to mathematics education: neurounderstanding, neuroprediction, and neurointervention. Neurounderstanding refers to the idea that neuroscience is generating knowledge on how people acquire mathematical skills and how this learning is reflected at the biological level. Such knowledge might yield a better understanding of the typical and atypical development of school-taught mathematical competencies. Neuroprediction deals with the potential of neuroimaging data to predict future mathematical skill acquisition and response to educational interventions. In neurointervention, we discuss how brain imaging data have been used to ground interventions targeted at mathematics learning and how education shapes the neural circuitry that underlies school-taught mathematics. We additionally elaborate on recently developed neurophysiological interventions that have been shown to affect mathematical learning. While these applications offer exciting opportunities for mathematics education, some potential caveats should be considered, which are discussed at the end of this chapter.
Applying the Portfolio Model of Adaptability: A Career Guide to Managing Academic Environments and Departmental Politics
Frederick T. L. Leong, Madhur Chandra, and Siddharth Chandra
In this chapter, we propose the use of the Portfolio Model of Adaptability (PMA) to help faculty manage their career advancement in academia. We begin with an overview of complexity theory as it relates to academic environments and describe several conceptual models for understanding the organizational and interpersonal dynamics within colleges and universities. In viewing the academic environment through the perspective of a Lewinian force-field analysis, we recommend the use of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. We also illustrate the importance of Positionality when conducting a force-field analysis or a SWOT analysis. In addition, we argue that Positionality needs to be understood from a person–environment fit perspective. Career success is viewed as achievement of optimal fit at the various levels. Finally, we move to the central theme of our chapter, which is the application of the Portfolio Model of Adaptability to help us manage this complexity and prevailing and countervailing forces within our academic environment when charting a course toward a successful academic career. The Portfolio Model is described and followed by examples of the application of the model to the academic environment across the different levels of person–environment fit.
Barbara R. Schirmer and Cheri Williams
The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the research on approaches to reading instruction with deaf students. Although the body of research literature on the reading processes of deaf students consistently generates implications for instruction, relatively few studies have investigated instructional interventions with deaf readers. Brief descriptions of the research published before 2000 are offered in this chapter, except in cases of early seminal studies and lone studies in major areas, as a foundation for understanding the current research that is described in greater detail. The chapter concludes with a discussion of implications for future research on instructional approaches that could serve to inform teacher practice.
Jenny L. Singleton and Samuel J. Supalla
This chapter reviews published or known assessments of children’s language proficiency across a number of the world’s signed languages, including American Sign Language, British Sign Language, Australian Sign Language, Sign Language of the Netherlands, and German Sign Language. Critical issues in sign language assessment are also discussed, with special attention to possible threats to test reliability and validity. For example, test examiners may doubt the authenticity of the elicited language sample from a deaf, signing child, or test developers may question whether an adaptation of a spoken-language test is appropriate for use with deaf, signing children. The authors conclude that there remains a critical need in many countries for commercially available, and easy to administer, signed language proficiency assessments for use in research and education settings with deaf and hearing individuals.