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Arts of Life Essay

Instructional consultation is a stage-based problem-solving process that brings the school psychologist, as a consultant, and the teacher, as consultee, together to focus on school-based academic and behavioral concerns. Teachers bring concerns about students to the instructional consultant, as is typically done in other forms of school consultation. One of the unique aspects of instructional consultation, however, is the focus on academic concerns within an ecological framework. Although behavioral, as well as instruc-tional, concerns are brought to the instructional consultant, appropriate academic progress is a pervasive consideration because of its centrality to the goals of schooling.

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In this chapter, basic considerations will involve discussion of the essential assumptions underlying the practice of instructional consultation and of the training required. Next, best practices in conducting the instructional consultation process will be delineated. The following elements will be presented: the collaborative relationship and communication skills upon which instructional consultation is built, the stages of the process, a form useful in structuring the process, and the incorporation of the process into a service delivery model called instructional consultation teams (IC-Teams).

In School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice II, Ysseldyke et al. (1997) recommend that school psychology practice should include the domains of interpersonal communication, collabora-tion and consultation, effective instruction, and development of cognitive/academic skills. These domains are blended in instructional consultation. Bergan and Schnaps (1983) described instructional consultation as behavioral consultation in situations designed to “modify teacher behavior to enhance the learning of all students in a class” (p. 105). Rosen-field (1987) extended the concept, developing under-lying assumptions and incorporating content and skills into a stage-based problem solving process. The IC-Teams (Rosenfield & Gravois, 1996) is a delivery system to support implementation of instructional consultation. Because transformation to an indirect service delivery model requires systems change in most settings, the IC-Team model also incorporates knowledge about and skills in facilitating organizational

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