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ERIC Number: EJ788225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0279-6015
Commentary: What You See Is What You Get--A Commentary on School-Based Direct Observation Systems
Landau, Steven; Swerdlik, Mark E.
School Psychology Review, v34 n4 p529-536 2005
Direct observation is the hallmark example of broader behavior assessment. As such, it involves a systematic process in which behaviors, settings, and their reciprocal relationship are studied. As a process, behavior assessment relies on multiple methods and repeated measurement. Each component in the behavior assessment battery makes a unique contribution to the purposes of assessment. Direct systematic observation is distinctive, as it represents the only method to quantify current, ongoing behavioral events, plus the bidirectional relationship between behavior and setting. In contrast to traditional assessment, which is typically nomothetic (literally, the search for general laws; the group as unit of analysis) and categorical, direct observation generates continuous data that are ideographic (i.e., pertaining to the individual case), and is the method of choice for treatment planning. In this article, the authors discuss the utility of systematic direct observations in the context of legislative initiatives, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), as well as the response to intervention (RTI) debate, and contemporary service delivery models.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001