School psychology is one of the most practiced domains of psychology. This fact can be better understood by the reports published by the National Association of school psychologists which assert that there are thousands of males and females practicing in this field presently. Not surprisingly, there are more women than men who are practicing in this domain. These trained professionals serve students and families, as well as a number of other agencies. Not to forget the functions of these professionals are very much like the ones performed by an educational psychologist.
Most of them work in public and private schools, while others work in universities, school-based health centers, and research organizations. They are the most suited for integrating all the components of educational and psychological health services. They are also positioned for making some important and worthy contributions for the mentally handicapped children.
In simple words, they bring together the core components of educational and psychological knowledge under one banner. So, it is quite visible that in the upcoming years the scope of this field is likely to go beyond folds and bounds.
The Scope of School Psychology
The scope of practicing school psychology has been summarized below.
School psychologists are highly experienced and trained problem solvers having a great deal of knowledge about all the dimensions and perspectives of psychology. At the same time, they are also experts in gathering, analyzing and interpreting the collected data. After these initial steps, they decide how this collected information can be incorporated into the present educational settings of various institutions and health centers. All these forms of assessment and accountability orientation point towards all the activities of the school psychologists who endeavor to accomplish the tasks associated with the educational settings.
Depth Knowledge about the psychological disorder:
In addition, they also have an in-depth knowledge about the disorders and mental states associated with school children like Social Anxiety, ADHD, Depression, Stress and many more. As the complexity of these disorders is increasing, so in response to the scope of this field will also increase.
School psychologists also engage themselves in the assessment of educational and instructional implications by making the use of several tests, student portfolios, and curriculum data. In this way, they contribute to maintaining the physical and psychological well-being of the students.
Design several tests:
School psychologists also design several tests in order to test the group performances of the students, as not all of them feel comfortable in working in a group. This type of group assessment tasks reveals important information about the personality of children.
Implementing ecological and functional data assessment tools and techniques:
School psychologists also analyze the environment of the classrooms and playgrounds that are indeed important factors contributing towards the social, academic and emotional development of the students. In order to achieve this task, they make use of certain ecological and functional data assessment tools and techniques.
Channelize the educational systems:
One of the major functions performed by the school psychologists is to channelize the educational systems by facilitating the co-operation and communication patterns of the students and all the members of the school community.
Regular communication with the parents and guardians:
School psychologists also go into a one to one communication with the parents and guardians to help with problems the students and parents face at their homes and in the classrooms. Helping the staff members in enhancing their instructional strategies is also a part of their job.
Smart job facilities for the school psychologist:
For those who are looking for a lucrative career, school psychology is highly recommended.
The goals of School Psychology
School psychology involves the application of the principles of psychology and human learning to the educational and school settings with the goal of modifying the learning and behavior of the students.
1. Adopt the rules and regulations according to school child behavior:
The prime goal of school psychology is to change the behavior in a way so that the child may learn to adopt the rules and regulations of the society and may not turn out to be a deviant.
School psychologists serve the purpose of socialization which is something of extreme importance in the societies by maintaining the professionalism and code of ethics. Most of the people turn out to be criminals because of incorrect socialization patterns. Some even turn out to be terrorists because of the way their thoughts have been channelized.
3. Providing reinforcements:
According to the famous psychologist, B.F. Skinner, the goal of educational/school psychology should be to change the behavior of the individuals using a number of reinforcement principles and measures.
4. The widespread effect at school:
Another important goal of the field is to leave the widespread effect on all levels of the school/educational institutions that are working all over the world. As each day passes by, more and more avenues are starting to emerge from the roots of school psychology.
5. Contributions of social psychology to school-based research:
The main reason for school research is to formulate a query and to discover various reasonable solutions to it which might be helpful in serving the school kids in dealing with their individual issues. Research plans are of extreme importance in understanding the human problems and for the provision of their solutions.
All the research that has been made in the domain of school psychology is based on the experimental designs and methods which have been formulated keeping view a number of dimensions and perspectives. It is a fact that with the passage of time more and more school psychology professionals are making use of the social psychological principles that prove to be helpful in dealing with the problems encountered by school children. Now here the role of the context and cognition can also never be denied or undermined no matter what the circumstances are.
The last 25 years have been subject to some enormous amount of research in the domain of school psychology. A large amount of literature has also been written in this regard which is indeed very helpful for those who are looking to pursue a career in this field. There are those who criticize school psychology for being too fragmented and unidirectional which is indeed a misconception. In the past few years, there have been some major changes in the way research is being carried out.
Furthermore, many countries are now allocating some large amounts so that the research might be made as objective as possible. The element of social psychology can never be excluded from school psychology, as the social life of a child is a part of the school settings. With these things in mind, all the psychology students should be better able to respond to the needs of the school children and to pursue a degree in this discipline.
Yes, this development of school psychology has been for the best, as the parents know whom to contact if their child faces any problem at school or in the family. The environment really matters in changing and developing the behavior of a child. This is also what the behaviorists like J B Watson used to assert. The social and intellectual development of the child is best done in the school and other educational settings and is not at all possible at the home. The child must be given some sort of exposure so that he may be better able to respond to the needs of the times.