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Merrell, K.W., Ervin, R. A., & Peacock, G. G. (2006). School psychology for the 21st century: Foundations and practices. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Chapters 7 and 9. Chapter 7. Facilitating Change through Data-Driven Problem Solving: A Model for School Psychology Practice.

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Chapters 7 and 9

Merrell, K.W., Ervin, R. A., & Peacock, G. G. (2006). School psychology for the 21st century: Foundations and practices. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Chapters 7 and 9

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

Facilitating Change through Data-Driven Problem Solving: A Model for School Psychology Practice.

Roles of the school psychologist
Roles of the School Psychologist

Expected Role

Future Roles

  • Diagnostic

  • Refer

  • Test

  • Place


  • Non-categorical diagnostics

  • Problem-solving model

    • Assessment

    • Intervention

    • Systems Change

    • Research

  • Focus on prevention

Aptitude by treatment interaction ati
Aptitude by Treatment Interaction (ATI)

  • Assumptions:

    • Characteristics of the person affect response to treatment

    • Person will learn more easily from one method than another

    • The method differs from person to person

    • The method can be determined based on data from assessment.

  • Data:

    • Fails to support these assumptions

    • Individuals are not simply one variable deep (mediating and moderating variables and multiple aptitudes).

Problem solving model
Problem Solving Model

  • Focuses on the problem

  • Emphasis on early intervention (fix it before it gets bigger).

  • Uses research and not “assumptions” to guide practice. [Evidence-based practice]

  • Uses direct assessment tools for measuring academic and behavioral outcomes.

  • Links the assessment to the intervention.

  • Outcome-focused and context-specific

Basic problem identification
Basic Problem Identification

  • This will vary across different academic and behavioral tasks.

  • Changes to make this gap smaller need to focus on all aspects of the child’s issues.

  • This distance may widen and shorten throughout the span of time a child is in school.

What is the problem
What is the problem?

  • Requires objective means to measure the problem.

    • Precise

    • Practical

    • Objective

    • Socially valid

  • Problem morphs into goals (short- and long-term)

  • Measurement must be quantifiable.

    • Intensity

    • Frequency

    • Duration

    • Severity

    • Magnitude

    • Complexity

    • Resistance to intervention.

Why is it occurring
Why is it Occurring?

  • Linking assessment to treatment and evaluation

  • Analysis of problem context and function

  • Hypothesis formation phase

  • Assess when, where and with whom the problem is better or worse.

Why is it occurring1
Why is it Occurring?

Ways to Test

Review of the reasons for problems:

  • Variety of Sources:

    • Student

    • Teacher

    • Parent

    • Peers

    • Admin

  • Variety of Tools

    • Formal

    • Informal

  • Low motivation

  • Rewarded for not doing the tasks

  • Work is too hard.

  • Work is not sufficiently explained or not enough help provided.

  • Work is too different from what is expected.

What should be done about it
What Should Be Done About It?

  • Use the collected data to determine the basis of the intervention.

  • Design the intervention around this data AND around research-based interventions in the literature.

  • Interventions chosen for:

    • Relevance to the problem

    • Contextual fit

    • Likelihood of success.

  • Establish progress monitoring tools and timelines

Did it work
Did it Work?

  • To be completed, problem should be resolved.

  • Examine data collected through progress monitoring.

  • Compare pre-post intervention data.

  • Single-subject design techniques are good.

Chapter 9
Chapter 9

The School Psychologist’s Role in Prevention and Intervention: Part 1: Academic Skills


  • Children learn and develop at different rates.

  • Developmental progress varies over time and across domains.

  • Interventions must be adapted to meet the individual student’s needs.

  • Problem solving model cannot guarantee success BUT it should increase the probability of success.

Risk and protective factors
Risk and Protective Factors

General Risk Factors

Protective Factors

  • Poverty (lack of resources)

    • Economic Dependence

    • Overcrowding

    • Disorganization within the family system

  • Uncaring parents

  • Chronic family conflict

  • Abuse/ Maltreatment

  • Quality parent/child relationships

  • Good cognitive development

  • Self-regulation of attention, emotion, and behavior

Intervention considerations
Intervention Considerations

  • Trustworthy and effective

    • For your student

    • In that context

  • Relevant to the problem and context

  • Efficient

  • Practical

  • Acceptable

  • Feasible in context

  • Produces desired outcomes

  • Evaluated for your child in this situation

Things to note
Things to note:

  • Early Intervention in Reading:

    • Phonological awareness

    • Alphabetic understanding

    • Accuracy and fluency

  • Learning needs interactions and alignments between

    • Student (who is being taught)

    • Curriculum (what is being taught)

    • Instruction (how it is being taught)

Student who is being taught
Student (Who is being Taught?)

  • What is the student’s prior knowledge: skills, strategies, perceptions, expectations, and beliefs

    • Task specific: information needed for that task.

      • Know the foundational information

      • Can access needed information with automaticity

    • Task related: skills needed for learning.

      • Can solve problems

      • Can self-monitor

      • Can self-regulate

  • Student variables that affect learning:

    • Selective attention

    • Motivation

    • Ability to recall

The curriculum what to teach
The Curriculum (What to Teach?)

  • Types of curriculum:

    • Intended: formally recommended and adopted

    • Taught: what is actually taught by teachers

    • Learned: what is actually learned by students

  • Problems when significant difference between intended and learned.

Instruction how and when to teach
Instruction (How and When to Teach)

  • Should be timed for hierarchical learning (example below)

    • Step one = mastered

    • Step two = in progress

    • Step three = on hold

  • Learning facilitated through:

    • Explanations

    • Demonstrations

    • Guided practice

    • Timely correction

    • Task-specific feedback

Improve academic engagement motivation self regulation problem solving
Improve Academic Engagement, Motivation, Self-Regulation, & Problem Solving

  • Structuring the Classroom Environment:

    • Organizing a productive classroom

    • Establishing rules and procedures

    • Managing transitions

    • Managing independent seatwork

    • Communicating competency with students

    • Teaching pro-social behavior

  • Contingency-Management:

    • Systems of rewards and punishments

    • Established expectations

  • Teaching Strategies:

    • Interactive strategies over lecture

      • Peer tutoring

      • Cooperative Learning

      • Teacher questioning

Improve academic engagement motivation self regulation problem solving1
Improve Academic Engagement, Motivation, Self-Regulation, & Problem Solving

  • Self-Monitoring:

    • Teachable skill

      • Observing behavior

      • Recording observations

    • Self-evaluation

    • Self-reinforcement

  • Self-Instruction

    • Teach them to verbalize information that is unfamiliar.

    • Teaching strategies for learning.

      • Mneumonics

      • Study skills

Improve skill development fluency and retention of information
Improve Skill Development, Fluency, and Retention of Information

Organizing Materials

  • Techniques:

    • Demonstration

    • Modeling

    • Cueing

    • Prompting

  • Considerations

    • Break into smaller bits

    • Identify what will be confusing and focus on it.

    • Relate new information to older information

    • Teach to mastery

  • Strategies for Improving Academics

    • Math = number sense

    • Reading = phonemic awareness

    • Reading Fluency = repeated readings

Prevention Information

  • Primary prevention: All students are target

    • Who receives intervention (nature of population)

    • What will be the nature of the services

    • How and when to be implemented

  • Collect data to determine who needs help

  • Begin problem solving model to provide help

  • Repeat at secondary and tertiary levels if applicable

Class discussion
Class Discussion Information

  • Read the Discussion Question #5 (pg 204-205) and discuss with the group.