Examination of an Assessment-Informed Instructional Consultation Process Implemented with Junior Primary School Teachers
Literacy is an enabler within our society (Stanovich, 2000). The majority New Zealand (NZ) children have and are responding favourably to current teaching methods (Wilkinson, 1998). Those who continue to struggle may benefit from modified intervention methods (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007). The current thesis used a social validity framework to examine primary school teachers’ perceptions of the instructional utility of an assessment-driven response to intervention (RTI) system, the Assessment-Informed Instructional Consultation process (A-IICp). It was hypothesised that the participants would perceive the A-IICp as acceptable, providing initial social validity support. Also, that the assessment information would inform instructional modification, providing initial support for instructional utility. Further that the teachers would, therefore, modify current instruction to better meet student needs, increasing student performance. Two studies using the A-IICp were conducted sequentially at two different primary schools. Over a ten-week school term selected students engaged in twice-weekly progress monitoring consisting of the Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills, First Sound Fluency and AIMSweb, Letter Sound Fluency. First Sound Fluency is a measure of initial phonemic awareness (Dynamic Measurement Group, 2007) and Letter Sound Fluency is a measure of grapheme-phoneme correspondence (Shinn & Shinn, 2002). The students’ teachers were provided with the progress monitoring information to aid intervention decision-making at two time points within the term. The majority of the teachers indicated instructional modifications in light of the assessment information and appeared to gain a greater understanding of their students’ early literacy difficulties. The Behavioural Intervention Rating Scale was used to assess the teachers’ perceived effectiveness, acceptability and time-to-effort of the progress monitoring measures. Across both schools the teachers indicated a moderate to high level of acceptance of the A-IICp and time-to-effort, however, perceptions of effectiveness were relatively neutral. The Child Intervention Rating Profile was used to capture students’ perceptions of the process, which were generally positive. Across both schools, the students made statistically significant improvements on the progress monitoring measures over the term. Students at School A showed educationally significant improvements at the end of year on both researcher administered literacy assessment and school criterion book level. The students at School B showed educationally significant improvements on school criterion book level. Overall, the teachers indicated that the process undertaken was warranted for the target problem, but that perceived time constraints hindered instructional implementation. This raised issues of school readiness support systems necessary for engagement (Adelman & Taylor, 1997), suggesting the need for further consideration of factors influencing transportability of evidence-based assessment systems from consultation research to school settings.
Advisor: Schaughency, Elizabeth
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Teachers; Literacy; Education; Response to Intervention; Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills; technical adequacy
Research Type: Thesis