Developed in 1896 at the University of Pennsylvania in a clinic that studied and treated children considered morally or mentally defective, the field of school psychology today includes 30,000 psychologists, most of whom work in educational systems throughout the United States.
School psychologists, in various roles within the school systems they serve, focus on the development and adjustment of the child in his or her school setting. School psychologists minimally are required to have completed two years of training after earning a bachelor’s degree.
Those who have earned their Ph.Ds. may hold administrative or supervisory positions and are often involved in training teachers and psychologists. School psychologists play a key role in the development of school policies and procedures.
School psychologists administer and interpret tests and assist teachers with classroom-related problems and learning difficulties. School psychologists play a key role in addressing behavior issues in the classroom, and in working with parents and teachers to develop strategies to deal with behavior problems.
In some cases, the school psychologist provides teachers and parents with information about students’ progress and potential, while advising them how to help students increase their achievement. They also promote communication between parents, teachers, administrators, and other psychologists in the school system.