The How of School Psychology Practice
Steven R. Shaw
Experienced school psychologists know that there are school psychology memes spread through the Internet, workshops, professional conferences, academic journals, training, and supervision. Some familiar memes are: Teamwork is good; we should be culturally sensitive and responsive, assessment and instruction should be modified to meet individual needs; treatment integrity is important; and Social Stories are effective interventions for children with autism. We nod knowingly and in vague agreement. Then we go back to our schools with our new wisdom and wonder exactly how we are going to implement these wonderful ideas.
To be fair, it is impossible for workshop presenters or websites to describe exactly how to implement these broad ideas because the needs and systemic factors vary so much between states, school districts, schools, and classrooms. So these memes needs to be somewhat general in order to spread. Yet, there are detailed pieces of knowledge that can assist our ability to apply outstanding ideas into practice. The Fall 2011 issue of School Psychology Forum contains three papers that all provide detailed information to help school psychologists put often broadly described and widespread ideas into practice. Sanetti, Fallon, and Collier-Meek provide a preliminary investigation of how to assess and intervene in the area of treatment integrity. Cawthon, Highly, and Leppo provide a detailed review of how to modify test items for students who are English language learners. Hudock, Yashima-Ellingson, and Bellini present a brief study on how to increase verbal greetings using social and general story interventions. Memes are valuable, but turning widespread ideas into practice requires detailed information and know-how.