Enhancing Treatment Utility in Instructional Consultation Problem Solving

This project develops ways of helping students with disabilities improve their social and academic achievement. Specifically, researchers are comparing the effectiveness of various assessments used within consultation problem solving.

Consultation problem solving involves providing treatment to a child with emotional or behavioral difficulties through a consultee (a parent or teacher) by a consultant (a psychologist, special education teacher, social worker or other related-service professional). Consultation aims to produce changes in child behavior and, secondarily, teacher behaviors. Teachers may desire social, emotional, or educational changes in their students. Consultants help effect these changes by offering structured feedback and specific recommendations.

Kratochwill, Braden, and Beavers are comparing various approaches to instructional consultation with teachers. Forty teachers and their students who have academic problems are randomly assigned to one of three conditions:

1. In a traditional psychometric condition, a consultant uses a psycho-educational battery to assess student characteristics and generate intervention plans.

2. In a functional analysis condition, a consultant develops an intervention plan using what's called an environmental assessment protocol.

3. In an empiric condition, a consultant selects an intervention plan based on empirically demonstrated treatments matched to various treatment targets. Consultants facilitate interventions through problem-solving instructional consultation. This consultation consists of problem identification, problem analysis, treatment implementation, and treatment evaluation.