"School psychologists should know basic principles of research design, and understand measurement and statistics in sufficient depth to evaluate published research and conduct investigations relevant to their work." - NASP, 1997.

This cartoon demonstrates the importance of this domain. Not only do School Psychologists need to be well versed in statistics and research methodologies as a means to conduct their own research and program evaluations, but also in order to communicate the findings of research to others. Moreover, research is what moves any discipline forward. Without sound research advances would never be made in School Psychology. It is important then that School Psychologists can understand and scrutinize research as it becomes available in order to differentiate best practice from propaganda and follow best practices for their profession.

Level of Competence in Research and Program Evaluation = novice

I have completed coursework in research and program evaluation and have included descriptions of it here. I have also included two of my assignments as they directly relate to my development of competence in this area. I have also included an influential reading on the subject of data cleaning, which highlights some important aspects of statistical analysis. In a reflection statement I provide details of both undergraduate and professional experience I have gained in research and program evaluation that contribute to my level of competency in this domain.

Course Descriptions

APSY 693.76 - Methods of Inquiry
This course provides students with an introduction to research paradigms and perspectives. Students will also gain knowledge of the research process and both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and data analysis. Students will conduct a research review and prepare a research proposal.

APSY 607 - Multivariate Design and Analysis
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of several multivariate statistical techniques. It will begin with a brief review of univariate and bivariate statistics and move quickly into multivariate techniques.


The following three assignments provide evidence of my level of competency in this domain. The first document is an assignment in data cleaning that I completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for APSY 607 - Multivariate design and analysis. This assignment challenged my thinking in statistics and highlighted the importance for me of obtaining accurate data when conducting research, but also of knowing how to use that data effectively and appropriately to have confidence in one`s results.

The second assignment highlights the importance of having a well formed research question prior to conducting research. This is something I learned through my coursework. I included the marked version of both assignments to demonstrate that I still have room to grow in this domain.

The third document is an example of a research proposal that I created with three other students. This particular assignment really taught me the "ins and outs" of research and the importance of quality research designs.

Influential Reading

Tabachnick, B. G. & Fidell, L. S. (2006). Cleaning up your act: Screening data prior to analysis. In Using multivariate statistics (5th ed., pp. 60-116). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

This article provided a great deal of clarity for me around some of the nuances of data screening. Specifically, it provided comprehensive examples of a variety of statistical phenomena that can occur in data causing spurious results in subsequent analyses. It provided me with a great deal of reflective thought on how I will view research results more scrupulously in literature.

Reflection Statement

As part of my professional practice as a teacher, I had the opportunity to serve on a district level committee whose purpose was to advocate for and inform best practice in Numeracy instruction and assessment. As such, I worked with the committee to review research and analyze trends in student achievement data to help formulate district level goals for numeracy as well as to evaluate programs aimed at providing support for teachers in numeracy education and support for students in numeracy intervention. My work on this committee served to augment my competence as a School Psychologist in the area of research and program design.

In my undergraduate studies I also had the opportunity to be involved in research as part of my research methods and statistics course. I conducted a research study that looked at encoding and retrieval strategies in a paired-associate word task. I was involved in every step of the research process for this study including research design, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results. I also served as a peer tutor for students in the same research methods and statistics course and was recognized for my ability to help students with the statistical program, SPSS.

Taken together, I feel this evidence suggests that I have developed at least a novice level of competency in this domain with a potential to reach intermediate competency with minimal additional experience. I would love to be involved in school-wide or district-wide research specific to School Psychology and services provided by School Psychologists. Perhaps this opportunity will come along in the near future in my career as a School Psychologist.