Function of a School Psychologist

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In determining what should be the function of a school psychologist, the standards set by the governing professional organization should be considered. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is that organization. Leaders of NASP have a unique view of where the field has been based on its history, and where it is currently. Perhaps most importantly, they have a view of where the field should change for the future based on the results of research. Tilley suggests that “special education structures have remained fixed for more than 30 years” (2008, p. 23) and raises the question of how school psychology can more to a problem solving model in this “fixed” environment. In response to his own question, he finds a difference between the safeguards that are mandated (due process, procedural safeguards, quality assessments and Individualized Educational Programs) versus how these mandates are achieved. Reschley (2008) also explores the paradigm shift of the field of school psychology. He states that two thirds of a psychologists time is currently spend on classifying students and possibly placing them in special education. However, based on survey data, these same psychologists would rather spend more of their time in “direct and indirect interventions” (Reschley, p. 5). Reschley identifies several factors that are influencing the field of school psychology away from the emphasis on individual assessment and placement. First, he states that there is a strong emphasis from governmental leaders to implement empirically based interventions to increase achievement levels for all students. Second, he notes that there have been “equivocal results” in the past (Reschley, p. 6) from investments in special education fo... ... middle of paper ... ...vidence-based practices, much of the research has yet to be completed. Regardless of these challenges, Tilly (2008) calls the implementation of those interventions with proven positive results “a moral and ethical issue” (p. 34). By contributing to this focus, school psychologists will move toward accomplishing their purpose of helping students. References Reschly, D. J. (2008). School psychology paradigm shift and beyond. In A. Thomas and J. Grimes (eds.), Best Practices in School Psychology V: Vol. 1 (pp. 3-15). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. Tilly, W. D. (2008). The evolution of school psychology to science-based practice: Problem solving and the three-tiered model. In A. Thomas and J. Grimes (eds.), Best Practices in School Psychology V: Vol. 1 (pp. 17-36). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

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