Assessment of your learning will be achieved through Psychology Applied Learning Scenarios (PALS). In PALS a brief scenario is provided with some indicative guidance questions. You are required to apply your knowledge and understanding to address a particular problem or issue, drawing upon relevant theory and research throughout. As always, your work should be critical rather than merely descriptive and standard academic referencing should be used throughout, with a reference list included at the end.
The PALS for this course unit is as follows:
Your Local Authority or City Council has decided to make a significant investment of up to £1,000,000 in a scheme entitled, “Building Strong Kids”. The aim of the scheme is to improve outcomes for children and adolescents by increasing provision of evidence-based approaches to prevention and early intervention in schools. An ‘invitation to tender’ has been sent out, requesting proposals from school networks/alliances, educational psychological services and related agencies (such as child and adolescent mental health teams) regarding how the money should be spent.
Your task is to prepare a proposal for Building Strong Kids. You may propose a single school-based intervention or a combination of several. It can be an existing, proprietary intervention(s) or a new model. You will need to provide a very clear protocol (preferably drawing from the Template for Intervention Description and
Replication – Hoffman et al, 2014) along with a strong justification that will convince the funder to invest in your idea. Your approach to writing needs to strike a balance between academic rigour and accessibility.
• Who is your target population and why? What does the evidence base tell us about the needs of your chosen population?
• What intervention(s) are you proposing? Why? What does the evidence base tell us about its efficacy? Why this intervention and not a different one? How will the intervention meet the needs of your chosen target population?
• What outcome(s) does your intervention(s) aim to achieve? How do these outcomes connect to underpinning theory and research (e.g. logic models and/or theory of change)?
• What does the intervention(s) look like, who will be involved in delivery/implementation and why? Provide a detailed protocol and show how the different elements of the intervention design are underpinned by theory and research (e.g. if the intervention is group-based rather than 1:1, why have you made this decision?)
• What are the likely barriers to successful implementation of your intervention(s)? How do you plan to overcome these?
• How will the success of the intervention be evaluated?
What are the costs associated with your proposed intervention? How will you show that this provides good value for money?
A key thing to remember is that this is not a standard academic essay. It therefore requires a different approach to writing than some other course units .You are writing a proposal to get funding for a school-based preventive intervention – thus, you need to make a convincing case and include a sufficient level of detail to allow your audience to get a clear sense of how the funding would be spent and why this represents a good investment. In terms of structure, this can be fairly flexible, but one useful approach may be to include sections relating to each of the above guidance questions.
Maximum total word count is 3000 words. Penalties will be applied for submissions that exceed the word limit. Weighting for course unit: 100%.
Your assignment should demonstrate:
• Understanding of how prevention science theory and research can be applied to understand and address social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in educational contexts
• The ability to identify, analyse, critically evaluate and synthesize relevant literature
• A range of transferable skills, including appropriate referencing and academic writing
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