ERIC Number: ED406604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Responding to School Needs: The Role of the Psychologist.
Cummings, Jack A.
A school psychologist becomes indispensable to a school by responding to school needs and becoming and instrumental part of the solution. An essential prerequisite to responding to a need is first identifying it. However, the need identification process is fraught with pitfalls. Immersion into the culture of the school is critical to establishing rapport with those individuals who inhabit the unique behavior settings called schools. Properly targeted solutions, levels of preventive solutions, fair solutions, and resource availability are essential. The psychologist's role in the school is relatively unique. Unlike teachers, the psychologist does not have a focus tied to the classroom level. Teachers have a primary obligation to promote the academic skills, whereas the psychologist has responsibility for seeing that the social and emotional dimensions of the child are developed. Unlike the principal, the psychologist is not in a hierarchical or supervisory position relative to teachers. These structural and substantive differences place the psychologist in an opportune position. The psychologist must respond to the genuine needs of the school, define need broadly by breaking the coercive force of codified models of responding to each case as in the traditional referral model, and finally recognize the importance of finding resources to facilitate solutions. (JBJ)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Making Psychologists in Schools Indispensable: Critical Questions and Emerging Perspectives. Greensboro, NC. ERIC Counseling and Student Services Clearinghouse, 1996. p77-81; see CG 027 464.