Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Sheryl Gregory

Abstract

Problem. As our society changes, new demands are made on families and their children. This creates problems, concerns, and needs which should be addressed by the schools. Consequently, school psychologists will be expected to broaden their present roles and functions to meet these demands. The dilemma is to know what adjustments within the role of school psychology must be made in order to keep up with the changes in society, particularly those which affect school-age children and their families.

Method. This study was an attempt to examine actual and desired functions and training needs of school psychologists within Southwestern Michigan, as perceived by teachers, administrators, and school psychologists. A survey questionnaire was distributed to a sample of teachers, administrators, and school psychologists within Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties.

Findings. Statistically significant differences were found within the three groups as to (a) their perception of what tasks school psychologists currently perform, (b) those tasks they would like school psychologists to perform, and (c) the training a school psychologist needs in order to be effective. Tasks school psychologists currently perform are those such as administering/interpreting intellectual assessments, report writing, traveling between schools, participating as a MET member, and recommending students for special education classes. Tasks that the three groups would like to see school psychologists perform are those such as conducting teacher interviews, observations, consultation, and counseling. Areas of training that were desired were personality assessment, counseling, crisis intervention, and cultural/ethnic diversity.

Conclusions. Even though there are differences in importance among the various groups, it would appear that all three groups would like to see school psychologistshave a more active role in consultation, classroom observations, counseling, and personality assessment. In addition, school psychologists in Southwestern Michigan spend a great deal of their time traveling. It is perceived that this issue impacts the effectiveness of school psychologists within this region.

Subject Area

School psychologists--Michigan

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