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Educational Psychology. C83EDP 2nd semester 2008. Purpose. To introduce students to the professional practice of Educational Psychology by considering a range of relevant theoretical and practical issues. Lecturers:. Prof Andy Miller - Group Director Nathan Lambert - APT

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Educational psychology

Educational Psychology


2nd semester 2008


  • To introduce students to the professional practice of Educational Psychology by considering a range of relevant theoretical and practical issues


  • Prof Andy Miller - Group Director

  • Nathan Lambert - APT

  • Anthea Gulliford - DAEP Co-director

  • Victoria Lewis - APT

  • Neil Ryrie - APT

  • Nick Durbin - DAEP Co-director

    All working as practitioner EPs in Local Authority settings.

Office hours
Office Hours

  • Each lecturer will offer an office contact time, usually about 2 or 3 weeks after their lecture.

  • Details will be posted on the website.


  • The module will be assessed by one two-hour examination at the end of the second semester.

  • You will be asked to answer two questions out of six.

General references
General References

  • Frederickson & Cline (2002) Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversity. Buckingham: Open University Press

  • Beaver, R (1996) Educational Psychology casework. London: Jessica Kingsley

  • Frederickson, Miller & Cline (in press) Educational Psychology: Topics in Applied Psychology

  • Journals:

    • Educational Psychology in Practice

    • Educational & Child Psychology

    • Journal of School Psychology

Educational psychology is
Educational Psychology is … educational psychologist

Terminology educational psychologist

Educational Psychology?


School Psychology?

Relevant theory
Relevant theory? educational psychologist

Domains of interest
Domains of interest educational psychologist

  • Problem-solving

  • Individual child

  • Whole class

  • Whole school

  • Local authority

    DfEE 2000

Historical landmarks
Historical landmarks educational psychologist

  • Cyril Burt, the first EP (1913)

    • Assessment of children’s ability and advice on the placement of children in special education

    • Development of mental tests.

    • Researching into causes of learning difficulties.

Historical landmarks1
Historical landmarks educational psychologist

  • Summerfield Report (1968)

    • To consider role and training of EPs and to advise on numbers

      • Individual diagnostic and therapeutic work with children

      • No serious consideration of other possible functions

  • Central core of activities seen as: the identification and treatment of learning and adjustment difficulties.

Historical landmarks2
Historical landmarks educational psychologist

  • The ‘Reconstructing’ developments (Gillham 1978)

    • Challenged the central position of assessment of difficulties.

    • Moved the focus onto alternative ways of working:

      • Research and project work

      • Working with schools as systems

    • Criticisms of the relevance of psychometrics

Historical landmarks3
Historical landmarks educational psychologist

  • Special needs legislation (1981 & 1996)

    • Gave EPs a statutory responsibility in the assessment and reviewing of children’s special educational needs

    • Every child in receipt of special educational provision would have a ‘Statement’ of SEN based on formal ‘Advice’ from, inter alia, EPs.

    • Gave EPs increasing involvement with Early Years and with parents

Historical landmarks4
Historical landmarks educational psychologist

  • DfEE working party report (2000)

    • 4 levels of work:

      • Individual child

      • Groups of children

      • Schools

      • LEAs

    • Other agencies

    • Recommendations about service delivery

The future
The future? educational psychologist

  • Extended training

  • ‘Every Child Matters’

    • Review of role and function (DfES 2006).

    • Integrated Children’s Services

Eps and assessment

EPs and ‘Assessment’ educational psychologist

Debates in assessment
Debates in assessment? educational psychologist

  • Assessment vs Testing?

    • Purpose

    • Informs action

    • Tests hypotheses

    • Rigour

Over riding principles
Over-riding principles educational psychologist

  • Applied science

Debates in assessment1
Debates in assessment? educational psychologist

  • Normative vs Ipsative?

    • Normative assessment:

      • Compares a sample of behaviour with the same behaviour in a sample of the population.

      • Generalises from that sample

      • Requires validity

      • Requires reliability

      • Issues about relevance & equity

Debates in assessment2
Debates in assessment? educational psychologist

  • Normative vs Ipsative?

    • Normative assessment:

      • In the UK, typically involves:

        • Wechsler Scales: WISC IV, WPPSI III

        • British Ability Scales (BAS)

        • A range of attainment tests

      • Produces norm-referenced scores, typically IQ (or ‘Standard’) scores or percentile rankings

Debates in assessment3
Debates in assessment? educational psychologist

  • Normative vs Ipsative?

    • Ipsative assessment:

      • Compares a child with themselves

      • Can include normative assumptions

      • Can allow a focus on the learning / behaviour issues themselves.

Debates in assessment4
Debates in assessment? educational psychologist

  • Static vs ‘dynamic’?

    • Static assessment:

      • Looks at what a child has achieved;

      • Analyses strengths and difficulties;

      • Deals in snap-shots of behaviour/learning

      • Emphasises reliability and validity

Debates in assessment5
Debates in assessment? educational psychologist

  • Static vs ‘dynamic’?

    • dynamic assessment:

      • Based on Vygotsky’s work, developed by Feuerstein;

      • Looks at a child’s response to teaching

      • Focuses on modifiability and adaptability - therefore looks at change

Alternative methods
Alternative methods educational psychologist

  • Curriculum-based assessment

    • Ipsative by nature

    • Based on (social) learning theories

    • Looks at the child in context

    • Attempts to lead directly to action

    • Requires careful monitoring, evaluation and review

Challenges to practice
Challenges to practice educational psychologist

  • Keep the psychology

  • To maintain relevance to teachers

  • To understand the difficulties in terms of the interaction between the child and their environment.

  • To maintain an objective stance

  • To collect data rigorously and to transform that understanding of the child’s circumstances

Further reading
Further Reading educational psychologist

  • Anastasi, A. and Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological Testing (7th Edn). Upper Saddle River, NJ., Prentice Hall.

  • Deno, S.L. (1989) Curriculum based measurement: the emerging alternative. Exceptional Children, 52(3): 219-32

  • Dessent, T. (1978). The historical development of School Psychological Services. In: Reconstructing Educational Psychology. B. Gillham. London, Croom Helm.

  • DfEE (2000). Educational Psychology Services (England): Current Role, Good Practice and Future Directions. Nottingham: DfEE.

  • DfES (2006). A Review of the Functions and Contributions of Educational Psychologists in the Light of ‘Every Child Matters: Change for Children’ Nottingham: DfES Research Report 792

Further reading1
Further Reading educational psychologist

  • Gersch, I. S. (2004). "Educational Psychology in an age of uncertainty." The Psychologist17(3): 142-145.

  • Gillham, B., (Ed.) (1978). Reconstructing Educational Psychology. London, Croom Helm.

  • Leyden, G. (1999). "Time for change: the reformulation of applied psychology for LEAs and schools." Educational Psychology in Practice14(4): 222-228.

  • Mellor, N. J. (1999). From exploring practice to exploring inquiry: a practitioner researcher’s experience. University of Northumbria at Newcastle. PhD. (Chapter 2)

Further reading2
Further Reading educational psychologist

  • Miller, A. and Leyden, G. (1999). "A coherent framework for the application of psychology in schools." British Educational Research Journal25(3): 389-400.

  • Solity, J. and Bull, S. (1987). Special Needs: Bridging the Curriculum Gap. Milton Keynes, Open University Press.

  • Sternberg, R. J. and Grigorenko, E. L. (2002). "Difference scores in the identification of children with learning disabilities. It's time to use a different method." Journal of School Psychology40(1): 65-83.