Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

New Edition of Best Practices in School Psychology: An Interview with the Editors

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

New Edition of Best Practices in School Psychology: An Interview with the Editors

Article excerpt

The new edition of NASP's highly successful Best Practices in School Psychology series has just been published. It is organized in four separate volumes by content: Data-Based and Collaborative Decision Making, Student-Level Services, Systems-Level Services, and Foundations-mirroring the major divisions within the 2010 NASP Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services (i.e., NASP Practice Model). The books are available in print form, separately or as a set, and also as electronic books for iPads and Android tablets (see http://www.nasponline .org/publications/booksproducts/Ni405.aspx). Communiqué caught up with editors Patti Harrison and Alex Thomas for a discussion of the long history of the Best Practices series and what is new and different in the 2014 edition.

Communiqué: Alex, this is now your sixth edition as coeditor of Best Practices in School Psychology. The first edition was published in 1985, with Jeff Grimes as co-editor. What was the initial vision for the first edition?

Alex: Jeff Grimes (then Iowa state consultant in school psychology) and I (then a school psychologist practitioner in Ohio schools) met while we were on the NASP Delegate Assembly in 1981. We both felt that we needed a practitioner-oriented guide to the myriad challenges faced daily by school psychologists and proposed that NASPundertaketopublishabook (NASP's firstboók) containingpractical andhow-to information that could guide practitioners' work. We wanted it to be research based, but we were not interested in arcane academic debates or delving into theoretical or research detail. Bottom line, we wanted to develop a book for school psychologists to go to when they (in truth, it was me) had to deal with a situation at work tomorrow and needed concrete, helpful information that night.

Communiqué: Have the purposes of Best Practices changed since the first edition?

Alex: The primary purpose of all editions of Best Practices in School Psychology, including the current edition, has remained constant over the years: to provide current, relevant, and valued information necessary for competent delivery of school psychological services. We are such a diverse field and the role of school psychologists is so variedthat even the best graduate programs cannot prepare future professionals for every possible contingency. Although chapters in the Best Practices editions have never been intended as detailed reviews of research, research documentation has been included in chapters to provide an evidence-based foundation for recommended best practices.

Communiqué: Have the six editions of Best Practices reflected the progress of the profession of school psychology since the mid-1980s?

Alex: Yes, definitely. The six editions have reflected the growth and diversity of the profession, the increasing influence and importance of school psychologists, and the organizational vitality and commitment of NASP. Across the six editions of Best Practices, there have been substantial changes in the quantity of chapters and range of topics, to mirror the expanding roles of school psychologists and intended outcomes of school psychology services over the last 30 years. Each edition of Best Practices has included updates of chapters from the previous edition, as well as additional new chapters to reflect professional developments and refinements in the field. It should be noted that each chapter is newly written for the edition even if the topic or author was repeated from the prior edition.

Communiqué: Over the years, what has made Best Practices unique among other school psychology publications?

Patti and Alex: In a nutshell, Best Practices in School Psychology has been a collection of books about school psychology practices and for school psychologists. Chapters are meant to assist school psychologist practitioners who may not be familiar with or would like a refresher on the content, or when they need the latest information about proven techniques to inform their daily professional activities. …

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