Clinical and educational psychology are considered as fundamental concerns of school psychology. Professionals in school psychology field mostly deal with student's behavioral and learning issues and the diagnosis of student's data.
School psychology started in the late 19th and early 20th century to the beginning of American psychology. The field is related to both functional and clinical. School psychologists gave generous share to childhood behavior, academic problems and other disorders. These professionals duty were to understand the causes of behavior problems and how they may outcome on student's learning. Besides, school psychology was known earlier as a model of clinical psychology. Clinical and school psychologists work to develop and alter the lives of children; they use different interventions in different cases. School psychologists were interested in childhood behavioral and learning problems; which basically contrast a strong importance on mental health clinical psychologists.
Lightner Witmer was well known as the founder of the field of school psychology. He focused on learning needs of each child. Witmer was the first psychologist who opened a psychological clinic and worked with educators in order to address the individuals' academic issues. He was the advocate for the special children.
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Witmer was a well known successful clinician. He observed that there was a lack of special experts in the field of school psychology. As a clinician, Witmer was aware of the fact that experts are required to work with students in special educational classrooms and in the mean time Witmer was appointed as a professional to deal with educational problems in general. Not only Witmer believed in an appropriate training of these school psychologists, but also stressed the importance of appropriate and accurate testing of these special children.
Granville Stanley Hall was also an influential and important figure in the origin of school psychology field. He focused on school staff and parents of brilliant students. Hall created and shaped the child study movement which began in the 1880s under the leadership of G. Stanley Hall whom the founder of the American Psychological Association persuaded many psychologists to work on problems of education and parenting. By 1900, other psychologists joined the business world through research, writing, and consultation on the application of psychology to such topics as advertising, sales, and job analysis, still others worked in the field of psychopathology, the majority using psychological tests to assess mental functioning.
Arnold Gesell was the first clinical psychologist and special educational in the United States who later became a school psychologist. Succeeded in correlation between psychology and education, he created guidelines in terms of evaluation of students and recommendation for educators.
Early school psychologists were diagnosticians who studied the attributes of children to predict school success and determine the need for remedial or specialized instruction. Students typically referred were failing academically or exhibited severe emotional disturbance.
At the end of the 1980s, the first national credential for school psychologists was introduced. Affiliated with the National Association of School Psychologists NASP, the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential NCSP solidified several trends in the profession: broad recognition of the specialist level of training, uniform training standards incorporating evolving principles, and a commitment to ongoing professional development.
Current trends in the field
Current trend in School psychology field are focusing on both, early identification and prevention. There is also a trend to provide emotional support as well as academic.
School psychologists employ different programs in order to help students to build positive connections with adults, support early identification of potential academic skill deficits and learning difficulties, design and implement programs for at-risk children, foster tolerance and appreciation of diversity, and create safe, and supportive learning environments.
"School psychologists spend most if not all their time doing assessments. In 1965, school psychologists were critical members of child study teams identifying disadvantaged students for compensatory education programs; 15 years later, school psychologists are critical members of child-study teams identifying handicapped students."
On the other hand, School psychology will continue to be described as mainly Caucasian, specialist-level and female through 2020.
How the current trends change to role of school psychologists in school settings
I believe that the impact on the role of school psychologists is that those professionals are becoming more involved in intervention, consultation, and prevention planning. Also school psychologists in nontraditional settings have moved from assessment to focus more on intervention.
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In terms of intervention, school psychologists work with teachers in order to choose, implement, and evaluate interventions that best work for the different needs of students.Â Those experts teach students, teachers, parents, and other professionals' problem-solving strategies to address issues related to academic, behavioral, and psychological problems.
School psychologists can help teachers, parents, and other professionals use data-based decision making to improve student and systemic outcomes.Â School psychologists can help teachers understand and accommodate the unique needs of students with mental health problems in the classroom. School psychologists and teachers can work together to advocate for the needs of students at the school, local, state, and national level.Â
School psychologists can be trusted to help with delicate personal and family situations that interfere with schooling. School psychologists can help prevent future problems when they intervene with learning problems early on. School psychologists recognize that changes in the school environment and at home can improve the quality of life for children and their families.Â
Most school psychologists were hired to identify students who needed special education programs. In the early 1970s, schools were just beginning to develop special education services and students were finally getting the help they needed. Today, children have many different needs. Parents realize that the schools have a legal responsibility to provide services to eligible students. In the 1970s, many parents were afraid their children would go into special education; today they demand special services.
In addition, students today come to school with a whole lot more baggage than they did 25 years ago. In the '70s, administrators were concerned about students who skipped school. Today, they worry about kids involved with drugs, use weapons, and exhibit violent behavior. I think it is an understatement to say that students are different today than they were 25 to 30 years ago. The services they need today are also different. The job of school psychologists has evolved from "test and place" to the provision of mental health services that deal with the spectrum of behavioral and academic needs.
School psychologists still provide evaluations for students, but instead of assessing only whether a student qualifies for special needs identification, they assess what a student needs in order to succeed. Academic assessments have gotten much more involved. Learning styles and remediation strategies are as unique as the students we evaluate; behavioral interventions are research-based and scientifically reliable. One size does not fit all.
Personal reflection regarding your views of the change in the field and how you see yourself being successful given the rapid change that is occurring
As a new school psychologist in the field, I believed that I obtained broad based training from Indiana State University in different areas such as child development, learning, consultation, assessment, counseling, and human relations. I believe that school psychologists offer a precious service. Now I can see that as a school psychologist that we have more background and more expertise to provide best service to the entire school program. I am aware of the roles of my job as a school psychologist. However, it is very challenging to be able to success with all cases especially as a beginner in the field. It is very crucial to know about the change process and how it happened, because we
Now, school psychologists studied psychology, child and adolescent development and psychopathology, learning and personality theories, family and parenting practices. They are aware of the efficient instruction and schools. They learned how to do achievement and cognitive assessment in their program as well. School psychologists are also aware of counseling and consultation techniques. The ethical, legal and administrative codes of their profession are also included in their program. This in the field is very important steps happened to be more expert as a school psychologist.
Prevention and early intervention will be necessary to achieve positive outcomes for children, families and schools.