The School Psychologist as Director Of

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Transcript of The School Psychologist as Director Of


    Streelsboro Cily Schools CATHY FULTZ TELZROW

    Opportunities for school psychologists in vocational education have been discussed by Hohenshil (1974). Id like to broaden his recommendation with the following discussion about the contributions school psychologists can make to career education. For those unfamiliar with this terminology, career education refers to a total school program which hopes to help all students facilitate personal identification through the world of work. Vocational education, while indeed an important emphasis, is merely one portion of the broader scope of career edu- cation (Marlands philosophy of preventive medicine, 1971).

    Carecr education was given much attention by Sidney 1. Marland, Jr., who indicated that it was among the highcst priorities of his administration as U. S. Commissioner of Education (Marland, 1972). Federal and state funds are being allocated in increasing numbers for exemplary career devclopment projects. It appears that career cducation and career development programs will be of major importance to public schools in the 1970s and beyond. (Marland, 1972; Marland, 1973).

    Career education, niost theorists agree (Crites, 1965; Crites, 1973; Dysinger, 1950; Supcr, 1957), is a dcvclopmental process which is never complete. Employed adults, and indeed retired persons, occupy stages of the developmental ladder. Yet for educators who are interested in the process during the school years, career development projects generally function in grades I< through 12 in a fashion similar to the following:



    viding increased opportunities for a youngster to know and be aware of himself and the world of work. In so doing it is assumed that the individual will be better able to select a career most suited to his own goals in terms of desired life-style, educational requirements, salary, etc.

    The school psychologist is a likely candidate to administer a career education program for many reasons, specified below:

    1. Consultation Skills The school psychologists training involves practice in consultation with

    teachers, counselors, and administrators. The career education program as it is generally implemented incorporates career thinking into the ongoing curriculum rather than as a separate subject or class. Classroom teachers, therefore, require assistance from a consultant as they explore this new contribution to their in- struction. The school psychologist, who is comfortable in functioning in a con- sultants role, would be well prepared for such a task.

    2 . Assessment Skills As career development programs, like most other experimental projects,

    require extensive evaluation, an individual skilled in test administration and interpretation is essential to a career education project. While certainly instruments unfamiliar to the school psychologist must be utilized, the school psychologists expertise in the assessment process will be extremely beneficial. 3. Group Guidance Skills

    Much of the career development curriculum involves students identifying their own goals, values, and aptitudes. The school psychologist, who has been trained in techniques useful in such a process (e.g., values clarification), is again well equipped for such a role.

    4. Afective Education Training During the elementary years, career education consists largely of self-aware-

    ness and self-exploration. Most useful in such processes are detailed affective education programs and techniques, which are part of the skills of most trained school psychologists.

    5 . Inservice Training Skills School psychologists are very often responsible for inservice sessions in their

    school systems, and as such are involved in directing workshops for teachers and parents. This function is one which is important to a career project director, since participant teachers and counselors are exposed to theories and techniques used in a career education program via workshops and seminars. Workshop organizational skills as well as expertise in leading groups are extremely valuable to the director of career education.

    6. Community Consultation School psychologists frequently must consult with other professionals in their

    work in the schools. Doctors, social workers, and mental health personnel are all examples of persons outside of the public school system with whom the school psychologist consults in child study. Such an experience corresponds to another


    task of the career education director: the accumulation of community resource persons for use in lectures, demonstrations, and visitations. School psychologists are knowledgeable in communications skills, which are essential to this process.

    7. Public Relations As the individual in the system frequently responsible for community public

    relations, the school psychologist is well suited for the dissemination tasks associ- ated with career education projects.

    8. Change Agentry Many school psychologist training programs are currently emphasizing the

    role of the school psychologist as a change agent. Skills associated with change theory are imperative to directors of career education as they initiate changes system-wide in curriculum, counseling, guidance, testing, etc.

    9. Prevention The current emphasis on primary prevention in school psychology concerns

    the revamping of institutions to facilitate positive growth (Wonderly, 1974). Career education projects, which are examples of primary prevention, require the expertise of persons who have been trained in systems engineering and organiza- tional development. School psychology training programs are gravitating in this direction, and such offerings are currently available in selected training programs.

    SUMMARY In conclusion, it appears that the skills required of the successful director of

    career education are contained in the well trained school psychologist. Furthermore, goals of career development projects-including self-awareness and positive mental health-seem compatible with goals of school psychology. The pairing of these two disciplines appears to be a promising match.

    1900 Annalane Drive Streetsboro, Ohio 44240

    REFERENCES CRITICS, J. 0. Theory and research hUlZdbOOk, Career maturity inventory. Monterey, Calif. : CTB/

    CRsTim, J. 0. Mediirernent. of voeatdonal matiiri(8y in dolescence: 1 . At,l,iL\de l.est, of the Vocational Psychological Moiiographs, 1965, 79, ( 2 whole no. 595).

    I)YSINOI~:R, W. S. Mat,urut,iori and voctitioritil giiidsnce. Occupaliuns, I!kX, 29, 198-201. I~OAICNSHIL, T. H. The voc:at,ionrtl school psycLhologist-a spec:iali,y in qiiesl of a (,mining program.

    McGraw-Hill, 1973.

    1)eveloprnent Inven1,or.y.

    Is~/cholog~ in the Scho~ls , 1974, 11, 1 B l X . MARLAND, S. P. Career ediica1,ion : Every sluderrt, headed for a god. AmericaiL Vocutioiial Jouriial,

    1972, 47, 34-30. M A I t I A N I ) , 8. P. Forwsrd. In L. MrClrire and C. h i i n (ICds.), Essays 011 Career hduculioti. Porll:tnd,

    Oregon: Northwest Regional ICdiic~ationnl Library, 1973. Miirlarids philosophy of preventive medicine: Will it work? Nalio7rs Schools, 1971, 88, 38-40. Supreit, I). If:. Is!lcholttg!j i?f Careers. New York: Harper, 1!$57. WONDICRLY, U. Sysierns interveri(ion. Personal Communication, 1974.