Academic journal article The California School Psychologist

A Consultation Model to Facilitate Reading Success

Academic journal article The California School Psychologist

A Consultation Model to Facilitate Reading Success

Article excerpt

Poor reading ability is associated with numerous negative consequences. School psychologists should provide teachers with resources and support to improve student reading ability and prevent these negative outcomes. This paper offers a guide for school psychologists to use in the consultation process when working with teachers to address students' reading difficulties. The paper delineates the important facets of instructional consultation and considerations to take into account including: entering the consultation relationship, effectively identifying the problem and underlying cause, identification of the appropriate intervention, monitoring implementation integrity, and the termination of the consultation relationship. Specific intervention strategies and resources are also provided to offer the school psychologist potential resources.

KEYWORDS: Consultation, Reading, Instruction, Intervention

As a key that allows access to many forms of knowledge and information, reading literacy is perhaps the skill most critical to learning. -2007 Nation's Reading Report Card

Reading is a core academic skill that not only lays the foundation for educational achievement, but also provides the groundwork necessary for life-long success. Unfortunately, adequate reading skills are not the norm. According to the 2007 Nation's Report Card, many students are experiencing significant reading difficulties (Lee, Grigg, & Donahue, 2007). The Nation's Report Card details the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a biennial assessment that evaluates student performance in general academic subjects. In terms of reading abilities, the skills assessed include: comprehension, interpretation, connecting information from the text to personal experience, and critical evaluation of text. These reading skills are evaluated through literature, informational reading, and reading involved in completing a task (e.g., bus schedules, maps, directions). Reading skills are reported in the categories of advanced, proficient, basic, or below basic in terms of reading performance for the skills that should be mastered at the given grade level (Lee et al., 2007).

The NAEP has periodically collected national data for over three decades, providing comparative data on national, state, and local levels. The most recent 2007 National Report Card highlights gains in reading scores, noting that reading performance is on an upward trend when compared to 1992. However, these results can be deceiving, as a large portion of the nation's students are still performing below what is considered a basic level of skill for their grade (Lee et al., 2007). The results of the NAEP reveal that nationally 34% of fourth grade students are reading below a basic level of skill for their grade, and 34% perform at a basic level. In eighth grade, 27% performed below the basic level, while 43% exhibited basic reading skills.

In comparison to national levels of reading skills, students in California are under-performing. Fortyseven percent of fourth grade students in California performed at a below basic reading level, and 30% are performing at the basic level. In the eighth grade, 38% were reported to be performing at the below basic level and 41% exhibited a basic reading skill levels. Overall, California is the fourth lowest performing state for reading in fourth grade, and the third lowest for eighth grade (Lee, et. al., 2007).

Low reading performance is a cause for concern. Literacy is not only an academic milestone, but also a growing societal demand (Meredith, Steele & Dawson, 1997). For children to succeed academically it is essential that they develop the foundational reading skills that will allow them to obtain knowledge fluidly through text and increased opportunities for learning (Joseph, 2006). Curriculum in elementary years and beyond assumes that children are literate and can accumulate critical knowledge via reading. …

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