School Psychologists as Instructional Consultants in a Response to Intervention Model

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The 2004 authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act affords an opportunity to shift the classification of Learning Disabilities (LD) from a “refer-test-place” to a Response-to-Intervention (RtI) service delivery model. As a result, there are implications for the professional activities of school psychologists. School psychologists, who historically devoted much of their time to testing struggling learners for learning disabilities, will need to engage in a different type of practice, specifically providing instructional consultation in a tiered assessment and intervention model. This article describes instructional consultation skills and knowledge school psychologists must possess to promote the learning outcomes of students with achievement deficits, including students with disabilities. Survey data collected from 249 California school psychologist practitioners highlight the need to modify school psychology pre-service training and on-going professional development to enable school psychologists to become effective instructional consultants.


This article was originally published in The California School Psychologist, volume 13, in 2008. DOI: 10.1007/BF03340941

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California Association of School Psychologists