Term of Award

Spring 1998

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Garth Petrie

Committee Member 1

Patricia Lindauer

Committee Member 2

Cordelia Douzenis

Committee Member 3

Michael D. Richardson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the actual and desired role expectations principals and school psychologists held for school psychologists and if there were discrepancies between school psychologists and principals in these expectations. The Georgia School Psychology Survey was developed based on five broad role expectation areas for school psychologists as defined by the National Association of School Psychologists: assessment, consultation, direct service, program planning and evaluation, and research. Ratings of the actual and desired level of school psychologists' involvement in each role expectation area were obtained from 314 principals and 257 school psychologists.

Principals and school psychologists had identical rank-orderings of the relative importance of the five role areas on both the actual and desired role expectation ratings. Ratings by both groups also ranked the actual role expectations in the same order as the desired role expectations. The assessment role area was rated as the area of highest actual and desired level of involvement. Descending order of rankings for the other four roles was consultation, direct service, program planning and evaluation, and research.

Principals rated desired level of school psychologists' involvement as significantly higher than actual level of involvement in all five role areas. School psychologists rated actual level of involvement in the assessment role area as significantly higher than desired level of involvement. School psychologists rated desired level of involvement in the other four role areas as significantly higher than actual level of involvement.

Ratings of principals grouped by school grade level indicated a higher level of actual involvement of school psychologists in assessment at the elementary school level and a higher level of involvement in the direct service role area at the middle school level. Ratings by middle and high school principals indicated they desired a higher level of involvement by school psychologists in the direct service role than school psychologists did. Principals of all school levels indicated they desired a higher level of involvement by school psychologists in the program planning and evaluation role than school psychologists did.

Comparison of ratings on the actual level of school psychologists' involvement in both the consultation role area and direct service role area were not significantly different. School psychologists' ratings on their involvement in the assessment role area were significantly higher than ratings by principals. School psychologists rated their actual involvement in both the research and program planning and evaluation role areas as significantly lower than principals did. School psychologists rated their desired level of involvement in all five role areas as significantly lower than principals did.

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