THE ROLE OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS IN SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA: THE CHALLENGE OF INTERSECTORAL COLLABORATION

Nadeen Moolla
2011 unpublished
The role of school psychologists in school development in South Africa: The challenge of intersectoral collaboration N. Moolla Doctor Philosophiae (PhD), Department of Educational Psychology, University of the Western Cape. School psychologists in South Africa are employed by the state to provide psychological services to schools. The role of school psychologists has been debated and contested nationally and internationally for many decades, with the need for a paradigm shift in school
more » ... y practice and redefining the role of school psychologists being highlighted. In this study, the roles and practices of school psychologists are explored, with a focus on the nature of collaborative work engaged in when facilitating school development. In particular, challenges that emerge when school psychologists work with other sectors to facilitate school development are investigated. The overall research question was: What are the challenges that face school psychologists who facilitate school development through intersectoral collaboration and how can these challenges be addressed? The research objectives were: 1. To ascertain the key roles played by school psychologists in South Africa. 2. To investigate the practices of school psychologists who are involved in school development. 3. To determine whether and how school psychologists work with other role players to facilitate school development. 4. To explore the challenges faced by school psychologists when collaborating with other sectors to facilitate school development. 5. To ascertain how these challenges are currently being addressed, and how they can be overcome in the future. iv 6. To formulate recommendations for the training of school psychologists in relation to school development and intersectoral collaboration in particular. A mixed method approach that employed both qualitative and quantitative techniques was adopted in an attempt to construct a rich and meaningful picture of school psychology practice in South Africa. Participants included 17 key informants in education and psychology in South Africa as well as 47 school psychologists employed in circuit teams in the Western Cape Education Department. The data collection process encompassed four phases, including a literature review and document analysis, email interviews, focus group discussions, and questionnaires. Content analysis was employed in the analysis of documents and interviews. The
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