Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

New Edition of Academic Skills

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

New Edition of Academic Skills

Article excerpt

ACADEMIC SKILLS PROBLEMS: Direct Assessment and Intervention (4th ed .)

ACADEMIC SKILLS PROBLEMS, 4th Edition Workbook By E. S. Shapiro 2011, Guilford Press


This is the fourth edition of a book and workbook that were first published in 1989. The main difference between this edition and previous editions is the introduction of response to intervention (RTI) . Dr. Shapiro devotes a chapter in this new book to two assessment methods that he considers core components of RTI: universal screening and progress monitoring.

The series has been based in the work of Stan Deno and Phyllis Mirkin's (1979) Data Based Program Modification, and Shapiro uses the introduction to this new book to mention these and other influences, including Doug and Lynn Fuchs, Dan Reschley, Sylvia Rosenfeld, and Mark Shinn. The book itself is divided into nine chapters. In the introduction (Chapter 1), Shapiro concludes that norm-referenced instruments "are not very valuable for decisions regarding instructional programming" (p. 7). As he turns his attention to the direct assessment of academic skills, he describes the differences between general outcome measurement models and specific subskill mastery models, showing the advantages and disadvantages of each. He further refines the concept by connecting student variables to the assessment of the instructional environment. Shapiro's model of curriculum-based assessment (CBA) dates back to 1990 and was designated as a four-step problem-solving process. This comprehensive model included assessment of the academic environment, instructional placement, instructional modification, and progress monitoring. Shapiro describes this model and reviews different methods of intervening in academic skills (indirect and direct). Although an interesting summary of the research, all studies in this area date back to the 1980s. Could it be that this part of the book was not updated since then or that no contributions have been made to the field in this area? It is not clear. It is only in the last section of the introduction, which includes studies on teaching reading to young children, where studies are referenced that enter the 21st century.

Chapter 2 consists of a review of research including academic engaged time, antecedents, and consequences. There is a wealth of ideas that are introduced in this chapter, but again, some of the research dates back to the 1970s and should have been updated by this time.

Chapter 3 delineates specific ways to accomplish this type of assessment including interviews, direct observation, examination of permanent products, rating scales, and CBA. …

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