Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

September 1992


Published in Advances in School Psychology, Volume VIII. Copyright © 1992 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Used by permission.


Practicing school psychologists have reported that consultation generally has been a high priority in service delivery approaches in schools and other applied settings (e.g., Gutkin, Singer, & Brown, 1980; Lesiak & Lounsbury, 1977; Meacham & Peckam, 1978). Although many practitioners now receive didactic training, few school psychology programs may actually provide a field practicum or other supervised experience in consultation. Formal applied training in consultation is important for several professional and ethical reasons. In the last decade, there has been growing concern over the limitations of traditional psychoeducational services provided to children in school settings. For example, studies have demonstrated that psychologists using traditional assessment practices have major difficulties reliably identifying children for the provision of special educational services (e.g., Ysseldyke, Thurlow, Graden, Wesson, Algozzine, & Deno, 1983). Once referred, there is a high probability that students tested will be placed in special education, and there continues to be low relationship between the actual assessment protocol and the design, implementation, and monitoring of intervention programs. Thus, there has been growing interest in consultation practice as part of the "regular education initiative" (REI) which calls for radical reform in services to mildly handicapped children, some of whom receive services in regular education settings. Recommendations for the inclusion of consultation as a part of the intervention process in the regular education setting supports the growing interest of training in this area (Cancelli & Lange, 1990). Although it is beyond the scope of our chapter to provide an overview of concerns pertaining to the REI, the interested reader is referred to Kauffman (1991), and a mini-series edited by Rosenfield (1990) that reviews issues in this area.