Saturday, February 24, 2007

What is a school psychologist?

Sorry all for my departure - I was quite sick for some time and I had some problems installing Windows Vista on one of my computers.

I wanted to start to begin to answer the question in my title - what is a school psychologist. It is a particularly difficult profession to define - even its members are currently engaged in a debate as to what a school psychologist is.

Historically, the first school psychologists were teachers who were re-trained in psychology. These school psychologists were to consult with teachers regarding difficult learning and behavioral issues.

As the testing craze hit its phase, school psychologists because primarily evaluators.

Currently, this is how I would define the term. A school psychologist is:

  1. An applied educational psychologist
  2. A professional who is versed in child pathology so that s/he may prevent problems in the school setting.
  3. A consultant to teachers, administrators and professionals for learning and behavior problems.

One of the things which strikes me is how professionals may not be willing to consult with school psychologists as they assume that they do not know the current research on evidence based practice in educational settings. Hopefully this will change.

For more information please consult the NASP Website page: Who are School Psychologists?

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