Assessment and Intervention Practices
in Educational Settings
For the past century, scholars and practitioners alike have debated the merits of using psychological assessment for educational purposes. Whatever form it has taken in the past or is likely to take in the future, psychological assessment is a part of what psychologists do in educational or clinical settings. We begin this chapter with an overview of the promises and pitfalls of assessment practices in the schools. A chronological review of assessment theory and practice, test interpretation, and identification of learning disabilities culminates in an overview of our recommendations for the practice of psychology in the schools. This overview serves as an important foundation for the remainder of this book, where we integrate apparently disparate fields within psychology, including cognitive assessment, behavioral psychology, educational psychology, special education, and neuropsychology.
Why examine the history of assessment practices in the schools in a book about neuropsychology? First, a historical context helps you understand how past, current, and probable future assessment practices are related and have changed over time. Examining these trends can provide you with a conceptual continuity of service delivery that advances your practice of psychology. Second, it is important to recognize that the same brain is responsible for intellectual, cognitive, neuropsychological, academic, and psychosocial functioning. Understanding the relationship among these domains will give you the necessary template to rethink long-held assumptions about the practice of psychology in the schools, and (we hope) will provide you with the necessary motivation to incorporate new ideas and skills into your existing practice.