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School psychology: Bringing a virtually hidden field online

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In this guest blog post, three Georgia Southern University associate professors, who authored a chapter in the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning, discuss their desire to share the knowledge necessary for the growth of school psychology in the online learning community.

School Psychology?

When we tell people that we are in the field of school psychology, the first response is almost always, “Oh, you’re a guidance counselor.” While we respect our school counselor colleagues in a worthy discipline of their own, school psychology is a distinct profession with its own training, roles, functions and educational contributions that are virtually hidden from most of the general public and some other educators.

School psychologists are professionals who apply psychological principles to the educational environment in the form of consultation, academic and behavioral intervention, crisis prevention/intervention, assessment and progress monitoring. Although we operate most often in the traditional, face-to-face school (albeit often behind-the-scenes), our chapter entitled, “The role of the school psychologist in K-12 online & blended learning” published in the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning promotes the integration of school psychology into online learning environments including roles and functions and implications for policy and practice. The chapter offers original ideas and practical suggestions for the adaptation of school psychology to K-12 online and blended learning to improve academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes for students while also supporting teachers and families with evidenced-based intervention.

In our discipline, we tout school psychology’s mission of “giving psychology away.” Our chapter within the open-access Handbook is meant to be shared for the growth of school psychology within the online educational medium and as a guide for practice. Our desire is to share the knowledge necessary to bring our virtually hidden field online so that psychological services can be provided to students in K-12 online and blended learning environments.

Authors

Dawn Tysinger, Ph.D., NCSP, is an Associate Professor and Program Director for the graduate program in school psychology at Georgia Southern University. Her research interests include issues of graduate training in school psychology, psychometrics, and applying psychological services to K-12 online and blended learning.

Jeff Tysinger, Ph.D., NCSP, is an Associate Professor in the school psychology program at Georgia Southern University. His research interests include consultation, crisis prevention and intervention, learning analytics, and applying psychological services to K-12 online and blended learning.

Terry Diamanduros, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the school psychology program at Georgia Southern University. Her research interests include childhood trauma, cyberbullying, and applying psychological services to K-12 online and blended learning.

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Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) is a non-biased organization that exists to expand Michigan’s ability to support new learning models, engage in active research to inform new policies in online and blended learning, and strengthen the state’s infrastructures for sharing best practices. MVLRI works with all online learning environments to develop the best practices for the industry as a whole.

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