Using Delphi Methodology to Define Curriculum Content for Educational Psychology Training

S. Dunsmuir, C. Atkinson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    The Delphi technique is a systematic method of tapping the opinion of experts which incorporates a series of questionnaires, with inbuilt feedback mechanisms. Its main premise is that the product of group consensus is more useful than the underpinning individual views. We would like to share experiences of two applications in defining curriculum content for doctoral training in the UK. Legislation has recently extended the role of the educational psychologist to working with young people up to the age of 25 in England. The first example of using the Delphi approach involved defining curriculum competencies for trainee psychologists working with young people aged 16-25 years. The second involved revision of training competencies for the British Psychology Society (BPS) standards for the accreditation of postgraduate professional doctorate programmes. In both cases, the challenge was to define optimal professional standards at a theoretical/ academic level and an applied/ practice level and translate these into competencies required for contemporary educational psychology practice. Essential elements of the process included identifying relevant experts; creating online questionnaires; collating individual and group responses to allow participants to reflect on and, where appropriate, adjust their opinion with sight of the views of the wider group; and combining proposed amendments into revised competency statements. Competencies were incorporated into the final frameworks where 80% or more of the participants supported their inclusion.In our experience, the Delphi technique has great potential in defining and reaching consensus about professional standards. As a structured communication technique, it is an effective means of tapping the views of experts, in order to define the knowledge and skill required for competent professional practice. Delphi is an efficient way of establishing clear consensus in a group without bringing its members together for meetings and can be recommended as a method for making data-based decisions about issues relating to professional psychology training.Keywords: Delphi technique; training; competencies; standardsFunding source: Higher Education Academy, UK
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationhost publication
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2015
    EventInternational School Psychology Association (ISPA) Conference - Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Sao Paulo
    Duration: 26 Jun 2015 → …


    ConferenceInternational School Psychology Association (ISPA) Conference
    CityUniversidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Sao Paulo
    Period26/06/15 → …


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