Common core standards and individual education plans specify learning goals for students. But when a student's performance falls short of these goals, it can be challenging — even for professionals with a range of training and disciplinary expertise — to determine the cause of the student's struggle and to plan the necessary supports. Individualized learning solutions are necessary, because one-size-fits-all interventions don't work.
This landmark guide presents an evidence-based approach to assessment and instruction in K–12 education that takes into account individual differences in students. The guide identifies the developmental skills to be assessed and taught in early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence, and it provides principles for tailoring assessment and intervention to individual students, who exhibit sizable developmental, individual, cultural, and language differences.
Importantly, it also explains how to facilitate communication and collaboration among interdisciplinary teams in education — professionals who are legally required to work together yet have such different training and disciplinary expertise that they seem to "speak different languages."
This timely, comprehensive resource will help local schools and districts meet not only narrow legal mandates but also broader best practices for helping students learn.
A special companion website provides additional resources and recommended readings.
I. Basic Principles of Interdisciplinary Teamwork
Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Frameworks
Using the Interdisciplinary Frameworks in Practice
II. Developmental Stepping Stones in Assessment and Instruction
Evidence-Based Use of Tests and Assessments in 21st Century Education
Linking Instruction and Assessment in Early Childhood
Linking Instruction and Assessment in Middle Childhood
Linking Instruction and Assessment in Adolescence
III. Interdisciplinary Frameworks for Understanding the Biological Bases of Development and Learning
A Genetics Primer and Brain Primer for Interdisciplinary Frameworks
Diagnosing Pervasive and Specific Developmental Disabilities and Talent
Diagnosing Specific Learning Disabilities and Twice Exceptionality
Brain-Related Disorders and Other Health Conditions
IV. Interdisciplinary Frameworks for Understanding Environmental Bases of Development and Learning
Racial, Cultural, Family, Linguistic, and Socioeconomic Diversity and the Story of Rose
V. Interdisciplinary Frameworks for Understanding Legal, Ethical, and Institutional Issues
Perspectives of a Neuropsychologist Working on an Interdisciplinary Setting With Students With Learning Disabilities and Their Parents and Teachers
Opportunities for Educators to Advocate for Students
Child Custody Litigation and School Personnel Fostering Positive School–Family Relationships
Appendix A: Becoming a Critical Consumer of Interdisciplinary Research for Translating Research Into Practice
Appendix B: Honor Roll List Representing Exemplary Practices by Members of Different Professions on Interdisciplinary Teams in Schools
About the Author
About the Author:
Virginia Wise Berninger, PhD, is professor of learning sciences and human development at the University of Washington, Seattle. She brings an interdisciplinary background to writing the interdisciplinary frameworks, which includes being a general education teacher (5 years in urban and suburban schools), special education teacher (3 years in a rural school), reading specialist (1 year in an urban school), clinical psychologist on interdisciplinary teams (predoctoral and postdoctoral training at Boston Children's Hospital and as a licensed psychologist in Washington), school consultant (33 years in Boston and Seattle), research psychologist (Harvard Medical School, Tufts–New England Medical Center, University of Washington), trainer of school psychologists (1989–2006), and trainer of educators in K–12 and academics (2007–present).
Her research experience includes serving as a principal investigator on research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on normal and disabled reading, writing, and oral language development (1989–2008), as well as working at a multidisciplinary learning disabilities center, conducting research on genetics, brain systems, assessment, and instruction (1995–2006, 2001–present).