Perceptions of school psychologists as leaders in school-based environments

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Samantha Ann Harding (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Lori Unruh

Abstract: School psychologists have been encouraged to become leaders in their schools for decades.Unfortunately, due to time constraints and traditional views held by other educators, most schoolpsychologists have been unable to assume leadership positions within their schools. To assistwith the development of a leadership model specific to the field of school psychology, Shriberg(2008; 2010) completed some of the first research about leadership within the field of schoolpsychology by surveying school psychologists about various aspects of leadership as related totheir discipline. The survey that was developed for the current study was modeled after thesurvey that was used in Shriberg’s (2008; 2010) research. Participants in this study included 96school-based school psychology practitioners (84.4% female and 15.6% male) from NorthCarolina and South Carolina who completed a survey that asked various questions about theirleadership opportunities, leadership effectiveness, and beliefs about leadership within the field ofschool psychology. Results indicate that these school psychologists believe that they are onlymoderately effective as leaders within their schools, despite there being opportunities for them toserve as leaders. Additionally, participants emphasized that strong communication skills,effective interpersonal skills, a strong school psychology skill set, effective problem-solvingskills, and acting as an advocate for children are all important to being an effective leader within the schools. Significant differences were found between participants’ responses based on their highest completed degree. It is hoped that data from this study will assist school psychologists in bridging the gap between ideal school psychology standards and their current practices within school systems.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Leadership, School psychology
School psychologists -- Attitudes -- Case studies
Educational leadership

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