Essays in Education


Knowledge and skills bases once confined to school psychologists are now considered critical to the functioning of effective teachers (CEC, 2003, NCATE, 2003, Wilson, S. M., Floden, R. E., & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001). This paper uses three assumptions to argue for the inclusion of doctoral level school psychologists in teacher preparation programs. The first assumption acknowledges school psychology’s tradition of consultation with teachers (Bardon, 1990, Brown & Pryzwansky, 2002, Conoley & Conoley, 1992). Second, interdisciplinary teamwork is critical to effective educational planning (National Association of School Psychologists, 2003a, 2003b). Rather than merely informing future teachers that they will collaborate with other professionals, it is important to “walk the talk” by directly modeling expectations (Bandura, 1971, 1977). Lastly, teacher responsibilities have evolved to include more focus on assessment, intervention, prevention, research and planning, and family referrals than has been true in the past (Dilworth & Imig, 1995, Greene, 1995, Tienken & Wilson, 2001, Vaughn, Bos, & Schumm, 2003, Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001). Experienced teachers describe behavior management and students with exceptionalities as areas in which they felt least prepared by their professional preparation programs (Dilworth & Imig, 1995a, 1995b, Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001). The field of school psychology contains skills and knowledge able to provide support in these areas (NASP, 2003).

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