School Psychologists basically focuses on children and their problems, it can be learning disorders , academic or behavioral problems too . Apart from that it is a general practice and health service provider specialty of professional psychology that is concerned with the science and practice of psychology with children, youth, families; learners of all ages; and the schooling process.The basic education and training of school psychologists prepares them to provide a range of psychological diagnosis, assessment, intervention, prevention, health promotion, and program development and evaluation services with a special focus on the developmental processes of children and youth within the context of schools, families and other systems.
School psychologists are prepared to intervene at the individual and system level, develop, implement, and evaluate preventive programs. In these efforts, they intervene to promote positive learning conduct ecologically valid assessments of youth from diverse backgrounds to ensure that all have equal access to effective educational and psychological services that promote healthy development.
“There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding.” Erik Erikson (1902-1994)
Role of School Psychologists
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students. .Try to highlight the positivity in a child. They boost up the confidence in children.
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems.They use various techniques in order to modify the behavior in children according to the desired outcome.
School Psychologists Work With Students
- Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems .They try to increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning problems and determine the best instructional strategies to improve learning.
- Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self- determination, and optimism.
- Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds .They identify and address learning and behavior problems and also find out the root cause of problems in children that interfere
- school success.
School Psychologists Work With Teachers or other Professionals
School Psychologists identify and resolve academic barriers to learning ,They help the teachers to Design and implement student progress monitoring systems , Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions, support effective instruction , create positive classroom environments and also motivate all students to engage in learning . As a Mentor , they guide the teachers to build up the rapport with the students and act as a bridge between the students and teachers.
Career Scope for School Psychologists
The majority of school psychologists work in schools setting.However, they can practice in a variety of settings including:
- Public and private schools
- School-based health and mental health centers.
- Community-based day-treatment or residential clinics and hospitals.
- Juvenile justice centers.
- Private practice.
Techniques and Assessment used by School Psychologists
- Assessment of cognitive abilities, achievement, social and emotional functioning, personality and developmental status .Use of interviews, observations and performance assessments to understand learning and behavior problems .Personality Assessments for children.
- Primary prevention programs to reduce the incidence of academic failure, school violence, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and programs to promote children’s well-being through more appropriate educational and classroom accommodations
- Secondary prevention programs to assist students who have mild or transitory problems that interfere with school performance, such as poor peer relationships, learning or behavior problems in the classroom, and adjustment to adoption, death or divorce .Crisis intervention services that support children following natural disasters, violence, abuse, death or suicide by a student Consultation with teachers, parents, agency administrators and supervision of psychological services staff concerning children’s behavior and academic and social problems Professional development programs for teachers Design and direction of comprehensive and integrated service delivery systems.
Consultation with physicians and other professionals concerning the school functioning and learning of children with disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, chronic illness, physical or genetic conditions, and substance abuse Educational evaluation services including development of appropriate measures of child behavior and classroom contexts.
- Cognitive behavioral Technique, Behavior Modification Techniques, Individual therapy, Group Therapy, Art therapy, Talk Therapy.
Some Of the Foreign Universities which Offer Doctoral Programme or Ph.D in School Psychology.
- Indiana University – Bloomington
- Pennsylvania State University
- Michigan State University
- University of Missouri, Columbia
- Fordham University