Dr. Malecki’s Research lab is a school psychology lab that spends its time examining many different factors that influence the social and academic lives of students and families. Her work in social support has contributed to the literature in important ways. Specifically, Dr. Malecki’s research (in collaboration with Dr. Michelle Demaray and with both of their students) examines children and adolescent’s perceptions of the support in their lives and how this support is related to various outcomes. To learn more about Dr. Malecki’s collaborative research on the area of Social Support, please click on the link below:
Aside from her work on social support Dr. Malecki also spends time researching efficient ways to assess student's academic performance. Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) is a set of reliable, efficient assessment tools that can help educators monitor students' progress in basic academic skills. Recent laws such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act have placed an emphasis on the importance of accurate progress monitoring. The new model of evaluation of both school systems and individual students rely on data from these measures to make important academic decisions. Because CBM is a well-established set of tools used to make important educational decisions in both general and special education, scores on these measures can have important impact on education. Dr. Malecki’s research acknowledges just how critical it is to keep these measures up to date and as reliable and accurate as possible.
Her research also examines these new models of service delivery (response to intervention and problem solving strategies). The problem solving approach looks to bring the scientific method to the classroom by looking for discrepancies in expected versus performed behaviors and academic performance. It involves searching for a method of intervention, performing that intervention, and evaluating the success of that intervention. This is also related to response to intervention, which is the idea that educational systems may evaluate a student based on their responsiveness, or lack thereof, to an implemented intervention. Dr. Malecki’s research examines these new models of delivery and evaluates how effective they are in the schools.