School psychology in the year 2000: A Delphi study of the role of the school psychologist in public education

Ruth Anna Einhorn, Fordham University


School psychology has had a long and varied history in the organization of the schools, marked by changing roles, confusion of functions, a lack of fundamental identity, and varied placement of supervision and ownership. The very nature of the educational setting had forced school psychologists generally to function in a constricted way. The purpose of this study was to focus on the growth and future direction of school psychology in the organization of the schools in the State of New Jersey. A Delphi survey, consisting of three questionnaires, was used to examine the perceptions of 35 school psychologists and 33 administrators working in the State of New Jersey regarding the present roles/functions of school psychologists as well as the roles/functions projected for the year 2000. Six experts/trainers of school psychologists, not limited to the State of New Jersey, also participated in this study. Specifically, the study dealt with the following issues relative to school psychologists: (a) present and future roles, functions, and goals of school psychologists in the educational setting; (b) involvement of school psychologists with special education, regular education, and special projects; (c) preparation and training of school psychologists, specifically as they function in the school setting; (d) supervision and evaluation of the school psychologist; (e) limits in the roles and services of the school psychologist based on levels of education, training, and experience; and (f) the involvement of school psychologists in research in the schools. Furthermore, the three respondent groups considered the importance of these functions and the time frame when these functions would be established. There was an almost complete agreement among the three respondent groups in their positive perception of the roles and functions of school psychologists as tester/diagnosticians, educational consultants, counselor-therapists, providers of in-service training, and planners and evaluators of programs and in their negative perception of school psychologists as program administrators and researchers. It was projected that many of these functions would occur by the year 1992 or 1996. School psychologists and administrators were in closer agreement than either group was with the experts/trainers on many of the items.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|School administration

Recommended Citation

Einhorn, Ruth Anna, "School psychology in the year 2000: A Delphi study of the role of the school psychologist in public education" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9034629.