Could someone please help me with a summary of the book Pyramid Response to Intervention by Buffum, Mattos, and Weber? I also need a personal reaction to Pyramid Response to Intervention. The...

Could someone please help me with a summary of the book Pyramid Response to Intervention by Buffum, Mattos, and Weber?

I also need a personal reaction to Pyramid Response to Intervention.

The full title is Pyramid Response to Intervention: RTI, Professional Learning Communities, and How to Respond When Kids Don't Learn; published by Solution Tree.

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beginning the book's discussion with the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach, Pyramid Response to Intervention explains that RTI shifts the burden of educating students who struggle to learn from Special Education professionals to the entire collective of the professional learning community (PLC). A distinctive feature of the Pyramid Model of RTI is its unified system that makes assessment of students' learning "universal, ongoing, and formative" and in which "fidelity" to intention and design must occur during implementation of the three tier pyramid of intervention (POI) strategies, whether implemented at the elementary, middle, or high school levels.

First tier strategies--at all three school levels--are implemented through core curriculum with embedded universal "ongoing monitoring," with "universal" meaning for all students. Second tier strategies are aimed at students whose monitoring identifies them as "not learning"; these strategies are "immediate and powerful interventions systematically applied and monitored" in the student's learning environment in which parents play a significant role. Third tier strategies consist of "intensive interventions focused on closing the gap" between the student's potential and actual learning. As the pyramid of RTI strategies goes upward, interventions intensify and the number of students needing intervention decreases.

The authors of Pyramid Response to Intervention: RTI, Professional Learning Communities, and How to Respond When Kids Don't Learn are experts in education: Austin Buffum Ed.D., a retired senior Superintendent of Orange County, CA; Mike Mattos M.S., a principal in Tustin, CA; Chris Weber Ed.D., teacher and District Administrator in Dana Point, CA. The purpose of the book written by these experts is explained in the Forward by Richard DuFour, teacher, author, and consultant. Since the purpose of an instructional book like this gives foundation to its contents, it is useful to include with the general summary above a condensed statement of the authors' purpose.

The legislated RTI initiative, when incorporated into schools' "existing, well-defined improvement processes," which are used "as a catalyst for enhancing both student and adult learning" through educators' collaborative work, provides another path for educators to "acknowledge and embrace a shared purpose of helping all students learn at high levels," and it fosters another avenue for educators to "take collective responsibility for achieving that shared purpose" of excellence in learning for all students. The conceptual difficulty to be overcome is that the work of the educator is often perceived as being done "in isolation," whereas RTI is a function of collaborative, collective effort among the professional learning community (PLC).

Part of the goal inherent in the implementation of RTI is to develop a collaborative, collective conceptualization of a teacher's role where such a conception doesn't yet exist. Once that is in place, RTI will "reinforce and strengthen the assumptions, commitments, and practices" that exist, and educators will work together to implement, assess, and improve the [RTI] model." Written as it is by educators who are leaders of schools where collaborative frameworks were already in place, Pyramid Response to Intervention models how to incorporate RTI into a school's existing PLC.