Education in Today's Education Environment Case Study

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Education Case Study

In today's education environment, the child is under extreme pressure to perform well even before the Grade 1 level. As a result of this pressure, many children may be at risk of developing emotional or even psychological problems because of the lack of coping skills. Particularly problematic is when children have specific educational problems that can be identified and addressed before stress becomes a problem. For this, several assessment tests are available in order to help identify problems that children may experience in areas such as reading. If a child experiences reading problems, these transfer not only to the language aspect of their education, but to all other subject areas as well. It is therefore vitally important to address such problems as soon as possible in order to minimize the resultant problems.

Student and Problem Identification

The particular student examined in this case study is Jonathan Matthews, 8 years of age, in Grade 2. He attends a public school in New York, and has recently begun to display some problematic behavior.

With the permission of the school principal, the school counselor approached me with a request for an appointment to discuss Jonathan's case. Present during this meeting was myself, the counselor, Mr. Frank Iota, and Jonathan's Grade 2 teacher, Ms. Jenny Harrington.

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According to Ms. Harrington, Jonathan had displayed model behavior in class so far. He was very quiet, but always obedient and always prepared for his lessons. During the times that she was able to observe him in more social situations such as recess, he seemed a little shy and withdrawn, but he did have a limited circle of friends. Ms. Harrington had not up-to-date felt that there was cause for concern in terms of either Jonathan's academic or social life, but she did feel that he should be carefully observed for any changes. This is why she was able to immediately refer Jonathan for a counseling session when she saw a significant change.

Case Study on Education Case Study in Today's Education Environment, Assignment

A this point, the counselor observed that Jonathan seemed to have lost interest in his school work, and that he seemed to have difficulty coping with everything. He was an extremely good athlete, and this seemed to be taking over the majority of his time and energy. Ms. Harrington confirmed this by saying that his work in school was beginning to suffer. He was never an exceptional student in terms of grades, but his grades were consistent and he was a hard worker. However, his performance had begun to deteriorate in concomitance with a tendency towards disruptive behavior in class. This was particularly so during reading or spelling lessons. These are also the specific areas where Jonathan seemed to be experiencing problems. He seemed unable or unwilling to follow instructions and spell correctly. Jonathan was unresponsive to punitive and corrective measures. His parents did not indicate any particular problems or changes at home, so additional pressure from home life stress was ruled out.

Furthermore, Jonathan did not seem particularly affected by peer group pressure, which indicated that his behavior problems were unrelated to his fellow classmates. I therefore suggested that reading be targeted as a possible cause of the child's problems.

Testing Materials and Methods

In order to determine Jonathan's reading proficiency level, it was decided to apply two tests: the Jennings Informal Reading Assessment as a pretest in order to determine the extent of the problem, and also as a post-test in order to determine the effectiveness of the remedy and/or the need for further therapy. In addition, Wepman's Auditory Discrimination Test (WADT) will be used to determine the more specific areas of Jonathan's problem.

The Jennings test will be started at the primer level, and increased in difficulty until Jonathan reaches a level at which he is experiencing some problems. This will then be used in order to devise strategies for remedying the problem. At the post-test stage, this test will also be applied to determine whether Jonathan's proficiency level has improved or declined.

The WADT determines a student's ability to distinguish between similar sounds in language. This is important in all areas of learning, including reading, writing and spelling. If Jonathan's problems in these areas are not immediately determined and addressed, he could experience problems for the rest of his school career. Following directions and spelling are particular difficulties that Jonathan is experiencing at the moment. These areas will then enjoy particular focus both during testing and remedial sessions.

Initial Diagnosis

In terms of the Informal Reading Assessment, Jonathan has shown very good proficiency up to level two, where he began to experience some difficulty with the comprehension questions. He also experienced difficulty reading aloud and following instructions of moderate complexity. In terms of the WADT, Jonathan shows a correlate difficulty in distinguishing between similar words at the Grade 2 complexity level.

What is interesting about Jonathan's case is the fact that his results for lower levels are extremely good. According to his teacher, he never had difficulty with either spelling, instructions or discipline until recently. While there are no particular social or home life changes during this time, there have been an increase in difficulty level during the second half of the school year. This is the time during which Jonathan is said to have begun having behavioral problems as well.

In correlation with the test results, Jonathan appears to have difficulty with the new complexity level of the work. Being a fairly shy, but reliable child, it is found that he has developed uncertainty regarding school work that had never before been a problem for him. Being unaware of how to obtain help for his problem, Jonathan has been trying to conceal his uncertainty behind discipline problems. His "performances" in this way provide the child with a screen behind which to hide what he perceives as his academic inability to adjust to new difficulty levels. This needs to be addressed during the contact sessions.

After these diagnostic elements were discussed with Ms. Harrington, a joint meeting was held with the teacher, the school counselor, and Jonathan's parents. The problems were explained, and the parents were asked for any input they thought necessary. They expressed relief that there appeared to be possible remedies for their son's problem. They were baffled by his recent difficulties and feared mental or learning problems. The parents were asked to participate in their son's therapy plan, and to help him by reinforcing therapy exercises at home.

The parents also indicated that Jonathan frequently mentioned that his school work was "too difficult to bother" and that he seemed increasingly unwilling to make any effort at all. This appears to indicate an unwillingness and a negative self-belief rather than an actual inability to handle the complexity of the work.

Remediation Plan

The focus of Jonathan's remediation will be the areas of listening, reading comprehension, and spelling. The first contact session will include Jonathan's parents. Jonathan will be reassured that he has not done anything wrong, and that the contact sessions are arranged to help him enjoy his school work again. A brief outline of the plan will be presented to the family during this session. Jonathan will be told that he will have the opportunity to be creative, listen to stories, and tell stories in turn. If he shows any signs of uncertainty, he will be reassured right away. He will be told that he will not be graded, and that he need not do anything that is too difficult to him. At this sessions, the therapist will also make appointments with Jonathan for future contact sessions. He will be visiting once per week.

The second contact session, and the first session alone with Jonathan, will focus on getting to know him as a person. The therapist will let him know that the first part of the session will simply be "fun" and that the "work" is only to start later. In order to connect with Jonathan, the therapist will discuss his athletic career with him. He will ask questions and get Jonathan to talk about his hopes and dreams for the future. In order to build a mutually trusting relationship, Jonathan will be allowed to ask the therapist about her personal hopes, dreams, and career as well. This is aimed at eliciting a conversation that is removed from schoolwork, but that can nonetheless return towards the topic in a subtle way. This first session will end with the therapist asking Jonathan about his school, his classmate and his teacher. He will be invited to complain if he feels the need to do so.

The second therapy session will be devised to connect with the first. In order to keep from overwhelming him with the volume of work, this session will consist only of reading and comprehension exercises. The passage will be of difficulty level 1, which is still easy for Jonathan to handle. The topic will be something that interests him, namely athletics. This is aimed at teaching Jonathan to enjoy his learning once… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Education in Today's Education Environment.  (2008, August 8).  Retrieved March 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Education in Today's Education Environment."  8 August 2008.  Web.  1 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Education in Today's Education Environment."  August 8, 2008.  Accessed March 1, 2021.