This section of the website is applicable to university/college trainers (and their graduate students) working in areas such as special education, school psychology, education leadership (for students who will serve as school or district administrators), literacy and language arts (for students training to become reading specialists), speech pathology (for students who plan to work in schools), or any other field that trains students to become specialists or administrators within schools. In some cases, the training activities described on this page may also be applicable for regular education pre-service teachers.
If you are a faculty member who is interested in learning more about the SOPAA model, and how some of its features may be helpful with training the university students you work with, you can learn more about the overall SOPAA model through the information links on the home page. To learn how to integrate SOPAA features into your teaching, Chapter 14 of the SOPAA guidebook provides specific examples and suggestions for using the book for graduate level training. Read below for examples of suggestions that are provided in that chapter.
Examples of Using the SOPAA Model in Graduate Level Training
Chapter 14 of the SOPAA guidebook elaborates on the following examples of activities and assignments that could be used as part of university students' training. That chapter includes 12 total examples, but the following suggestions should help to illustrate some ways that university faculty might use the SOPAA model and guidebook as a method of preparing students to learn (and apply) practices associated with evidence-based interventions, academic progress monitoring, school-based consultation, and other critical practices related to helping schools meet the learning needs of all students.
Related to Triadic Consultation and Offering Teacher Support
To improve knowledge and practice associated with triadic consultation, evidence-based interventions, and academic assessment, students can use the TAPS process (or as many possible features of the TAPS process) with a classroom teacher who needs assistance with improving a student's academic skills. In other words, students can practice the role of the TAPS Teacher in reading, math, or writing.
As a reflection-oriented supplement to this activity, students could discuss their successes and challenges, as well as the strengths and limitations, associated with using the TAPS process.
Related to Organizational Consultation and Preparing for Systems-level Change
Have students use the school wide assessment forms (Appendices B and D in the SOPAA guidebook) to consider the strengths, needs, and characteristics of a school that would support or weaken the likelihood of successful SOPAA implementation in that school. (Because the graduate student may be new to a school and unfamiliar with its strengths and weaknesses, this activity might involve having the student interview relevant school leaders).
Related to Implementing and/or Facilitating Evidence-based Interventions
Have each student select one or more evidence based intervention programs from the lists of programs provided in Chapter 12 of the guidebook, learn how to implement the program, and implement the program with one or more students who would likely benefit from the program. The selected intervention program may be one that teachers in the school already use, or a program not currently being used but could be useful within the school.
As a reflection-oriented supplement to this activity, students should discuss and critique definitions that have been proposed for terms such as "evidence-based interventions" and related terms (e.g., research-validated, research-based, learner-verified).Students should also determine and report the extent to which their selected intervention program is evidence-based.
Related to Academic Assessment and Progress Monitoring
Have students select one or more psychometrically appropriate assessment tools (such as those described in Chapter 6 of the SOPAA guidebook), learn how to administer the assessment, and use the assessment with one or more students in the school. Ideally, this activity would involve students using one or more progress monitoring assessment tools and using the assessment with a child in the school who receives intervention in the academic area targeted by the assessment.
As a didactic supplement to this activity, students might get instruction about contemporary assessment practices for one or more of the academic areas, as well as learn about state or national policies (or best-practices) associated with progress monitoring.
Related to Professional Development
Consistent with the information described throughout the guidebook (e.g., Chapter 7), students can develop a personalized professional development plan that would be used by a TAPS Teacher. If possible, students can be asked to complete some activities selected as part of the personalized professional development plan.
Are You Already Using the SOPAA Guidebook to Train Students?
If you are currently using the SOPAA model and guidebook to train students in your college or university, please contact us if you have questions, would like to share your experiences, or would like to offer supplemental materials or assignments that we might share on this webpage for other faculty trainers.