Exploring the usefulness of the Monsen problem‐solving framework for applied practitioners

Kelly, Barbara (2006) Exploring the usefulness of the Monsen problem‐solving framework for applied practitioners. Educational Psychology in Practice, 22 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0266-7363

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This paper explores the reflections of practising educational psychologists on the usefulness of a framework used in training for the role of educational psychologist. The Monsen problem‐solving framework is taught on the M.Sc. Educational Psychology Programme at Strathclyde University. The framework aims to support learning in the processes of conceptualising complex and ill‐defined problems and in subsequently developing effective interventions. It offers systematic steps to help structure, organise and analyse the complexities of problems in a coherent way, facilitating understanding and transparency of processes for both psychologists and clients. How effective is the training device in ensuring that problems are understood and addressed in practice? Does the framework influence or shape the work of the fully‐fledged practitioner? The present study indicates that the Monsen framework is perceived to be highly effective in some executive areas and that these aspects transfer well to applied practice. However there is less transferability in those aspects relating more directly to psychological theory and thinking, in particular the formulation of hypotheses and the sharing of the problem dynamics with stakeholders. Respondents describe the limitations of the model in the contexts of collaborative working, time management and competing theories and frameworks. These issues are discussed in relation to professional practice and accountability. It is proposed that the advantages of using the Monsen model may be even clearer if the role of psychological theory is more fully articulated within the framework.