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Defining Leadership in School Psychology: NASP Member and Leader Perspectives


Defining Leadership in School Psychology: NASP Member and Leader Perspectives David Shriberg Loyola University Chicago NASP 2008- New Orleans, _at_2008 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Defining Leadership in School Psychology: NASP Member and Leader Perspectives

Defining Leadership in School Psychology NASP
Member and Leader Perspectives
  • David Shriberg
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • NASP 2008- New Orleans, _at_2008

  • Jeff Charvat, Director, Research and Information
    Services Susan Gorin, Executive Director
    National Association of School Psychologists
  • Ashley Marks Walker, Ray Witte Miami University
  • Mary Satchwell Loyola University Chicago

Leadership My Take
  • Believe leadership important in all realms of
    society, have a personal interest in this topic.
  • As a practitioner, tried to assume leadership
    roles, as professor want to help students to see
    themselves as leaders and to see their leadership
  • And its not just me.

Call to Action for Leadership in School
  • Quotes from School Psychology A Blueprint for
    Training and Practice III (Ysseldyke, Burns,
    Dawson, Kelly, Morrison, Ortiz, et al., 2006)
  • There has never been a greater need for school
    psychologists to take leadership in ensuring
    quality mental health services for children. (p.
  • School psychologists need to provide leadership
    in identifying those instructional environments
    and cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioral
    factors that have a significant impact on school
    achievement and the development of personal
    competence. (p.18)

More Blueprint Calls
  • Schools must attend to general health, mental
    health, and welfare in order to ensure effective
    academic development, and school psychologists
    should provide leadership in these areas. (p.20)
  • They school psychologists should provide
    leadership in creating instructional environments
    that reduce alienation and foster the expression
    of appropriate behavior as well as environments
    in which all members of the school communityboth
    students and adultstreat one another with
    respect and dignity. (p.20)

And More Blueprint Calls
  • School psychologist should provide leadership
    in developing schools as safe, civil, caring,
    inviting places where there is a sense of
    community, in which contributions of all persons
    are valued, in which there are high expectations
    of excellence for all students, and where
    home-school-agency partnerships are valued.
  • School psychologists should provide

Other Calls for School Psychology Leadership
  • School safety initiatives (Furlong, Morrison,
    Pavelski, 2000)
  • Improving the social-emotional climate of schools
    (Ross, Powell, Elias, 2002)
  • Developing research-based, effective, and
    acceptable system-level change initiatives (Ho,
    2002, Shapiro, 2006)
  • Leading responses to high-stakes testing and
    accountability imperatives (Shriberg, 2007)

Research Question
  • Disconnect between message and research- We
    likely all agree that leadership is important,
    but what does effective leadership look like in
    school psychology?
  • This is the first known study to examine this

  • Two groups- NASP members and NASP leaders
  • Return rate 23.6
  • Participant demographics- see Table 1

  • School Psychology Leadership Survey
  • Demographics
  • Construct of Leadership for School Psychologists
  • Importance
  • Clarity
  • Opportunity
  • Perception
  • Self-Rating of Leadership Effectiveness as School
  • Possible Leadership Competencies
  • Five Most Important Competencies
  • Four Qualitative Questions Related to Defining
    and Applying Leadership in School Psychology

  • NASP Member Sample (1,000)- Fall 2005
  • NASP Leader Sample (156)- Spring 2006

Results- Construct of Leadership in School
  • Support provided for idea that school
    psychologists have opportunities to exhibit
  • Support provided for idea that leadership is
    important to successful practice
  • Support provided for giving greater emphasis to
    leadership training in graduate education and
    professional development opportunities
  • School psychologists not jumping at chance for
    greater leadership role
  • Support for idea that leadership is not
    well-defined in school psychology

Self-Rating of Leadership Effectiveness
  • 1-7 scale 1completely ineffective, 7completely
  • Leaders- 5.78
  • Members- 5.65
  • No significant difference between groups

Characteristics of Effective Leadership in School
  • List generated by surveying small sample (n12)
    of school psychologists
  • 47 items generated
  • Factor analysis yielded items that fit together
    statistically but not conceptually (initial
    hypotheses related to expert, informational, and
    referent power not supported, initial hypotheses
    related to respondent gender not supported
  • Minimal significant differences between groups
    (no more than chance)
  • Generally, high ratings for everything (see Table

Characteristics (continued)
  • Top 5 Characteristics Based on Overall Mean
  • Treats others with respect
  • Widely regarded as ethical
  • Widely regarded as competent
  • Strong working relationship with teachers
  • Works well in teams

Characteristics Picked in Top 5 from List- NASP
Leaders (see Table 4)
  • Involvement of school psychologist leads to
    positive outcomes for students/families
  • Works well in teams
  • Widely regarded as ethical
  • Widely regarded as competent
  • Creative thinker and problem-solver
  • Strong verbal communicator
  • Advocate for children and families
  • Up to date with current research in school
  • Treats others with respect
  • Strong in educational/ psychological assessment

Characteristics Picked in Top 5 from List NASP
Members (see Table 4)
  • Treats others with respect
  • Strong working relationship with teachers
  • Widely regarded as competent
  • Able to work successfully with a wide range of
  • Widely regarded as ethical
  • Creative thinker and problem-solver
  • Follows up on commitments/balances multiple tasks
  • Knowledge of special education laws
  • Strong verbal communicator
  • Works well in teams

Characteristics Picked in Top 5 from List
Total Sample (see Table 5)
  • Widely regarded as competent.
  • Treats others with respect.
  • Widely regarded as ethical.
  • Strong working relationship with teachers.
  • Works well in teams.
  • Same Top 5 as Top 5 mean ratings
  • Creative thinker and problem-solver.
  • Able to work successfully with a wide range of
  • Strong verbal communicator.
  • Involvement of school psychologist leads to
    positive outcomes for students/families.
  • Knowledge of special education laws.
  • Advocate for children and families.

What Might All This Data Suggest?
  • Groups much more similar than they are different
  • School psychologists appear to feel that
    leadership is important, that is not well
    defined, that they have opportunities to lead and
    they give themselves pretty high marks as leaders
  • No one trait or dimension that describes
    effective leadership in school psychology. Top
    5 in combined sample were competence,
    respectful, ethical, works well with teachers,
    works well with teams
  • General agreement between groups on ethics and
  • Leaders more likely to prioritize outcomes and
    effective team functioning
  • Members more likely to prioritize being
    respectful and working well with teachers

Limitations of Study
  • Relatively small response rate, especially for
    NASP members. This may have skewed sample.
  • Ceiling effect for list of possible
    characteristics/behaviors of school psychology
  • Survey was too longfatigue effect.

Next Steps
  • Based on data further clarification of construct
    is needed, top 5 choices give us a start
  • Based on personal agenda seek to connect
    emerging definitions and applications of
    leadership and systems change in school
    psychology to emerging discourage and action
    related to social justice. Why lead unless doing
    so for socially just ends?

For Discussion
  • What is your vision of effective leadership in
    school psychology?
  • How can a leadership agenda best be promoted
    within school psychology?
  • Where would you suggest I go next with this

  • Furlong, M., Morrison, G., Pavelski, R. (2000).
    Trends in school
  • psychology for the 21st century Influences of
    school violence on professional change.
    Psychology in the Schools, 37, 81-90.
  • Ho, B. (2002). Application of participatory
    action research to family-school intervention.
    School Psychology Review, 31, 106-121.
  • Ross, M.R., Powell, S.R., Elias, M. (2002). New
    roles for school psychologists Addressing the
    social and emotional learning needs of
    students. School Psychology Review, 31, 43-52.
  • Shapiro, E.S. (2006). Are we solving the big
    problems? School Psychology Review, 35, 260-265.
  • Shriberg, D. (2007). The school psychologist as
    leader and change agent. Journal of Applied
    School Psychology, 23, 151-166.
  • Ysseldyke, J., Burns, M., Dawson, P., Kelley, B.,
    Morrison, D., Ortiz, S., Rosenfield, S.,
    Telzrow, K. (2006). School psychology A
    blueprint for training and practice III.
    Bethesda, MD National Association of School