Giving Psychology Away:Helping Pupils at Risk of Reading Failure By Means of a Self-Voice Feedback Programme
AbstractThis article takes up the proposal, originally postulated by George Miller in the US (Miller, 1969) and later taken up by Harry Kay in the UK (Kay, 1972), that psychologists should work through non-psychologists to help alleviate social problems. Specifically it evaluates a reading intervention programme devised by educational psychologists and delivered by teaching assistants specially trained by a psychologist. The article assesses the extent to which a psychologist, working through school personnel, added value to the education process within participating schools, the nature of that value and the challenges that had to be overcome. Results showed significant group level improvements in word recognition abilities amongst readers with delayed reading, although the extent of these improvements varied according to school and age with older pupils benefiting more than younger ones. Girls gained more than boys, but this difference was not statistically significant. It was also demonstrated that the programme could be delivered to schools on a low budget including the training of school personnel and taught effectively by non-professional teachers with minimum disruption. It was concluded that the service-delivery approach taken was in keeping with the new expectations of professional educational psychologists and as such provides a useful model for others operating in a changing service context.