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ERIC Number: EJ1140210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
The Perspectives and Assumptions of Pupil Appraisal Professionals in the Identification Process for Students with Behavioral Concerns
Janz, Janice Rutledge; Banbury, Mary M.
Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, p5-25 Sum 2006
The purpose of this study is to describe the perspectives and underlying assumptions of Pupil Appraisal (PA) Professionals (i.e., education diagnosticians, certified school psychologists, qualified school social workers) at key decision points in the identification process for students with behavior problems (pre-referral and eligibility determination). The study attempts to understand the lived experiences (how people react and interact) of the evaluators as they are involved in this identification process. Two sites were used in the study. One site was an urban school district with more than 60,000 students and a Pupil Appraisal staff of more than 70 PA Professionals (Louisiana Department of Education, 2001). The other was a rural school district with approximately 10,000 students and a Pupil Appraisal staff of fewer than 25 appraisal professionals (Louisiana Department of Education, 2001). In the urban district three specialists from each profession--school psychologist, educational diagnostician, and social worker--were recruited, and in the rural school district, one person was recruited from each of the three disciplines. Appraisal professionals were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format. Questions were posed to elicit opinions on issues surrounding referrals and evaluations within the identification process. Data analysis involved data reduction, data displays, and conclusion drawing. The appraisal professionals in this study did not operate on the basis of only one theoretical perspective in their actual practices. At times they based decisions on whether or not to identify a student with Emotional Disturbance on what they considered to be objective or unbiased measures. At other times, they considered the impact of the environment on the student's behavior and acknowledged its consequences. And yet at other times, they pondered the impact of the various inequities on the appraisal process existing in a school system. In fact, the appraisal professionals in this study operated from a combination of perspectives. Detailed findings and conclusions are discussed.
Descriptors: Student Personnel Workers, Experience, Urban Schools, Rural Schools, Specialists, School Psychologists, Social Work, Caseworkers, Semi Structured Interviews, Attitude Measures, Behavior Problems, Emotional Disturbances, Student Evaluation, Clinical Diagnosis, Environmental Influences
American Academy of Special Education Professionals. 3642 East Sunnydale Drive, Chandler Heights, AZ 85142. Tel: 800-754-4421; Fax: 800-424-0371; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasep.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A