Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
School Psychology Misdirected: An Argument for Prevention and Capacity Building.
For the past 35 years, at least, voices within the school psychology community have called for a re-thinking of the role of psychology and psychologists within public schools. The test and place activities of school psychologists have overwhelmed their professional practice with predictable results. Few teachers or administrators see school psychologists as resources for teaching and learning expertise, but rather as mere gatekeepers to special education services of unknown effectiveness. The calls for change have come using different conceptual vehicles, for example, mental health or behavioral consultation, curriculum based assessment, treatment validity of assessments, and most recently response to intervention. All, however, speak to the same issues:
· Children’s mental health is tied directly to their academic success.
· Behavioral success for children is related to instructional expertise of teachers.
Changing how we conceptualize and implement our practice is complicated by many organizational and regulatory forces and is compromised by some basic assumptions of modern psychology. Until those assumptions are dismissed, change is unlikely.