Revealing Minds: Assessing to Understand and Support Struggling Learners

Revealing Minds: Assessing to Understand and Support Struggling Learners


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780787987909
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/31/2007
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Craig Pohlman, Ph.D., NCSP, is a licensed psychologist at All Kinds of Minds, a nonprofit institute helping struggling learners improve their success in school and in life. He has conducted and supervised thousands of assessments of students from kindergarten through college.

Table of Contents




The Author.

About Revealing Minds.

About All Kinds of Minds.

1 Assessing to Understand.

The Case for Phenomenology.

Profiles as Tools for Understanding Students.

Answering the Question Why? (and Why That Matters).

Identifying Assets (and Why They Matter).

Neurodevelopmental Variation as Normal Variation.

Why the Focus on Assessment.

The Approach of This Book.

My Perspective and Background.

Assessment Is Both Complex and Simple.

2 The Need for a Framework.

The Prepared Mind.

The Pitfalls of Being Atheoretical.

Conceptual Correctness.

Theoretical Frameworks for Understanding Learning.

A Neurodevelopmental Framework.

Other Factors That May Impede Learning.

Selecting a Framework: A Choice for the Professional.

3 The Art of Task-Analysis.

Two Types of Reasoning.

Analysis of Academic Skills.

Analysis of Assessment Tasks.

Constructing Learning Plans.

Task-Analysis as an Assessment Tool.

4 Making Linkages.

Functions Versus Skills.


Why Linkages Matter.

Major Linkages Between Skill Deficits and NeurodevelopmentalFunctions.

5 Assessing from Multiple Angles.

Assessment and Testing.

Multi-Method Assessment.

Qualitative and Quantitative Findings.

Dynamic and Standardized Techniques.

Limit Testing.

What History Can Reveal.

Assets and Affinities.

The Case for Teamwork.

Assessment as a Process.

Comparing and Contrasting Angles.

6 A Better Use of the Discrepancy Concept.

Clinical Contrasts.

Academic Task to Academic Task.

Neurodevelopmental Task to Neurodevelopmental Task.

Neurodevelopmental Task to Academic Task.

Clinical Branching Logic.

Contrasts in History Reports.

A Tool for Better Understanding.

7 Searching for Recurring Themes.

Making the Case.

Examples of Recurring Themes.

Potential Hazards in the Search for Recurring Themes.

Tactics for Organizing Findings.

Change in Course.

8 Assessing Attention.

The Construct of Attention.

Some Important Distinctions.

General Assessment Considerations.

Tasks Designed to Assess Aspects of Attention.

Task-Analysis for Attention.

Attention Signs and Symptoms.

Secondary Attention Deficits.

9 Assessing Memory.

The Construct of Memory.

Some Important Distinctions.

General Assessment Considerations.

Tasks Designed to Assess Types of Memory.

Task-Analysis for Memory.

Memory Signs and Symptoms.

10 Assessing Language.

The Construct of Language.

Some Important Distinctions.

General Assessment Considerations.

Tasks Designed to Assess Components of Language.

Task-Analysis for Language.

Language Signs and Symptoms.

11 Other Neurodevelopmental Factors to Consider.

Spatial Ordering.

Temporal-Sequential Ordering.

Neuromotor Function.


Reasoning and Logic.


Social Cognition.

Cross-Construct Phenomena.

Degree of Context.

Other Factors That Can Affect Learning.


Turning the Corner.

12 Telling the Story.

Importance of Demystification.

Guidelines for Written Reports.

Communicating Outside the Box.

13 Understanding to Assess.

Having New Eyes.

Making the Case.

The Virtues of Splitting.

Framing the Work.

Preparing the Mind.

Passionate Curiosity.

Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk.


Glossary of Terms.

Appendix A: Supporting Research for a NeurodevelopmentalFramework.

Appendix B: Assessment Task-Analysis Guide.

Appendix C: Index of Potential Findings.

Appendix D: Tests and Batteries for NeurodevelopmentalAssessment.

Appendix E: Learning Plan Resources.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Any clinician, advocate, parent, or educator who wants totruly understand and help children who struggle in school shouldread this book and will want to return to it often.”

—Paul B. Yellin, M.D., FAAP, Director, Yellin Center forStudent Success and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, New YorkUniversity School of Medicine


“Pohlman provides us with a cogent, step-by-step guide toconducting assessments.”

—Katherine Balisterri Howard, M.A., NCSP, schoolpsychologist, Old Trail School, Bath, Ohio


“Draws the essential connections between theory andpractice that can enable every teacher to be ‘smart’about assessing student learning—not just of those whostruggle, but all students.”

—Peter Gow, Director of College Counseling and SpecialPrograms, Beaver Country Day School


“Delivers a wealth of insights for understanding studentswho struggle with learning.”

—Douglas Bouman, Director, Psychological Services, CLCNetwork, Grand Rapids, Michigan


“This book is unique in presenting a clearly defined,respectful, and practical approach to assessing learningdifferences in children.”

—Elizabeth Briere, M.D., FAAP, Executive Director, Centerfor Student Success



“An innovative and circumspect approach to makingassessments more informative.”

—Russell Hoffman, Psy.D., school psychologist and privatepractitioner, Bronx, New York


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