Assessment On Guidance And Counselling Education Essay

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This brief essay attempts to discuss the role that school counsellors, learning and disability specialists, school psychologist and sometimes even private practice clinicians play in the process of educational ability assessment. The paper's arguments are solely based on a review of the contemporary relevant literature. The essay begins with a brief review of the dynamics involved in education ability assessment and then examines in details, what role that these professionals play.

Assessing Education Ability

By education/academic ability, the paper refers to a student's potential and accomplishment in formal learning (Oosterhof, 1994). The assessment is conducted to determine the level of potential and or attainment that a student has upon exposure to a particular learning environment (Oosterhof, 1994). In assessing a child, the experts involved try to evaluate the extent of basic academic skills that such a child can or has accumulated at a given stage. In most cases, what is evaluated range from cognitive skills, reading and writing abilities, comprehension, recall, arithmetic skills, communication abilities etc (Oosterhof, 1994).

For the purposes of this paper, education ability assessment shall exclusively refer to the potential of a child to attain academic skills and not the already achieved skills. Assessment is also conceived as providing a range of tests that help evaluate the potential of such a child to learn and retain knowledge in an academic setting (Oosterhof, 1994). There are those children who display exemplary academic skills in such assessments, usually classified in a group of superior learning ability, while others may have a lower than average potential, usually classified in a group of learning disability (Oosterhof, 1994). Available literature suggests that in the past, education ability assessment has meant a measurement of a child's intellectual ability. Such assessments have simply constituted of sets and separate subtests of differing academic skills (Wiggins, 1993).

There are times that such assessment becomes vital (Elliott, 2000). For instance, the school can recognize a child who is performing beyond average and even better than those far ahead his or her level (Elliott, 2000). These 'genius' students can sometimes have the ability of students 10 years older and thus necessitate special attention and promotion to their level of ability (Wiggins, 1993). At other times, a student can indicate below-par performance and the school be willing to conduct a test to determine whether the child has a disability in learning (Wiggins, 1993). Severally, students are also put through such assessments when joining a new school, a new grade or qualifying for a particular entry that requires a particular level of education ability (Taylor, Personal author, compiler, or editor name(s); click on any author to run a new search on that name.1997). In all these instances, the assessment is conducted by a panel of multi-disciplinary professionals, all of whom have individual areas of expertise which combine in providing the assessment results of such a child (Wiggins, 1993).

Professional Roles in Assessing Education Ability

Education ability assessment has attracted voluminous interests in the last two decades. Currently, most of the available literature has been focusing on the experts behind the assessment process, inclusive of the diverse professionals responsible of making the assessment (Aas et al., 2009). The assessors' judgments carry significant weight and impact for the assessed individuals, the education programs and their institutions (Aas et al., 2009).

It is therefore imperative that the role that these professionals/experts play be regulated by standardized procedures and protocols if the assessment is to be used for such fundamental decisions as a child's future. The fact that academic ability assessments have become a central component of academic programs across the globe in almost every nation on earth makes it very important that there be a universal criteria, standard and code of practice employed in such processes. Pertinent to this perspective is the method employed, the goals set and the roles that each expert plays in the assessment (Aas et al., 2009). Most schools have employed staff school counsellors, learning and disability specialists, school psychologist and sometimes even private practice clinicians to panel the educational ability assessment processes whereby they employ their professional expertise and knowledge to form an independent peer assessment of children in that school. The professionals can be hired on a full-time, part-time and long-term basis (Aas et al., 2009).

One of the roles that these professionals play in the assessment processes is diagnosing learning problems in students. Using the clinical psychology theories, the experts diagnose whenever a child has physiological, psychological and emotional problems that mar his or her ability to learn. Identification of such problems helps in determining ways to helps such children in their learning. Secondly, the clinical psychology professionals help to match students with their optimal learning environments. This is done through qualifying which students fit which environment and which do not (Taylor, Personal author, compiler, or editor name(s); click on any author to run a new search on that name.1997).

A student may be able to cope with certain demands of a particular learning environment while being completely unable to cope with another environment (Elliott, 2000). These professionals help to match a student with his or her ideal level of challenges, demands and expectations, not only to prevent discouragement and frustration for that child, but also to place the child in the environment that he or she can be at his or her best (Taylor, Personal author, compiler, or editor name(s); click on any author to run a new search on that name.1997). Primarily, these assessment sessions are the basis that many education institutions conduct psychopathology, psychological evaluation, psychoeducational counseling, consultation, etc, for the students or potential students of such institutions (American Psychological Association, 2007).

These professionals are charged with a data-based decision-making mandate, whereby they evaluate a child and make a decision about such a child's ability to learn in particular environments. Notably, these professionals also help the children by collaboration with the teachers in reviewing the best ways that a child can be helped to attain his or her potential (Elliott, 2000). This provides a crucial insight to ideal instruction and child development methods in an aim to efficiently progress each child's cognitive/academic abilities. The professionals are also able to diagnose problems in and propose ways of amending the socialization processes of such child (Aas et al., 2009).

In many instances, the professionals accumulate data that is valuable to education and child development and or psychology research while also helping reform educational systems organizations, policies and climates in favor of students (Oosterhof, 1994). Importantly, the professionals are given the mandate of preventing crises and salvaging children before their problems get worse, using their expertise to pinpoint possible problems even before such problems become overt (Taylor, Personal author, compiler, or editor name(s); click on any author to run a new search on that name.1997). School counsellors, learning and disability specialists, school psychologist and private practice clinicians play the parental role in educational institutions by looking into the welfare of each child, for purposes of enhancing their learning (Aas et al., 2009).