Bowles, T., Scull, J., Hattie, J., Clinton, J., Larkins, G., Cicconi, V., Kumar, D. & Arnup, JL. (2016). Conducting psychological assessments in schools: Adapting for converging skills and expanding knowledge. Issues in Educational Research,26(1), 10-28. Australia: Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc..
In this paper we argue for a revision of the knowledge, skills and competencies of school psychologists and specialist teachers. Evidence-based practice of psychologists and teachers, the accountability movement, and calls for improved service delivery have led to changes in the practice of both professions. The changes in technology and the growing complexity of service delivery have converged, leading to changes in the practice of testing, assessment, and evaluation in schools. This has led to calls for increased competencies of teachers. Testing, assessment and evaluation have previously been a central practice of educational psychologists but it is now expected to be a key competence of all teachers and other professionals working in schools. This inevitably changes the balance of practices of both teachers and educational psychologists in schools as roles converge, making collaboration and joint consultation best practice within a response to intervention framework. In view of the growing demands, changes and possibilities, we propose a three tier model of assessment functions that includes educational psychologists, special educators and teachers. The proposal is inclusive and offers possibilities for a more collaborative and participatory relationship between these professions in school settings and a stronger emphasis in pre-service curriculum on testing and interpretation and its utility in effective intervention.
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