TRANSFORMING KNOWLEDGE TO SKILL: EVALUATING THE CONSULTATION COMPETENCE OF NOVICE SCHOOL-BASED CONSULTANTS


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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the consultation competence of novice consultants using computer simulation. Computer simulation was used to closely approximate the school environment in which school consultants work and to directly observe all consultants' actions and decisions during the completion of a consultation case. For this study, three graduate students in university school psychology training programs were recruited to each complete the same three consultation cases, yielding nine cases. A collective case study design was used to examine case completion, individually and collectively. Results indicated that novice consultants demonstrated strongest competence in their knowledge of behavioral theory, assessment, and intervention. However, the weakest areas of consultation competence included relationship development, process consultation, and multicultural consultation. Based on these results, consultation trainers need to develop consultants' relationship development and multicultural consultation competence and explore the use of direct observation assessment tools such as computer-simulation to evaluate the competence of consultants to ensure that school-based consultants are prepared for practice.

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