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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?


School Psychology?

domains of interest
Domains of interest
  • Problem-solving
  • Individual child
  • Whole class
  • Whole school
  • Local authority

DfEE 2000

historical landmarks
Historical landmarks
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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?
  • Extended training
  • ‘Every Child Matters’
    • Review of role and function (DfES 2006).
    • Integrated Children’s Services
debates in assessment
Debates in assessment?
  • Assessment vs Testing?
    • Purpose
    • Informs action
    • Tests hypotheses
    • Rigour
over riding principles
Over-riding principles
  • Applied science
debates in assessment1
Debates in assessment?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.