Elementary School Psychologists and Response to Intervention (RTI)

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Department or Administrative Unit


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The implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) in elementary schools may have important implications for school psychologists. Therefore, it is important to better understand how elementary school psychologists perceive RTI and what barriers to successful RTI implementation they identify. Although previous research has investigated the perceptions of school psychologists in general Marrs and Little (Contemporary School Psychology, 18, 24–34, 2014) and at the secondary level Sansosti et al. (School Psychology Review, 39, 286–295, 2010a), (School Psychology Forum: Research in Practice, 4, 1–21, 2010b), no current studies have focused on the perceptions of school psychologists at the elementary level. In the current study, practicing elementary school psychologists were interviewed to explore how they view RTI in general and to identify any perceived barriers and challenges to implementation. Five participants were interviewed, and transcripts were analyzed using a consensual qualitative research approach. The school psychologists interviewed revealed two major themes in their perceptions of the implementation of RTI at their sites including roles and barriers with subthemes of barriers that included teacher concerns, system-level needs, and administration. Implications of the current study include that while school psychologists may have a positive view of RTI in general, there is some confusion about the role of school psychologists within this paradigm and there are many perceived barriers to the successful implementation of RTI within the elementary school setting.


This article was originally published in Contemporary School Psychology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Contemporary School Psychology


© California Association of School Psychologists 2016