Volume 35, Issue 4 (2006)
Addressing School Readiness: Expanding School Psychology in Early Education
Robin L. Hojnoski, Kristen M. Missall
Abstract. Historically, the school psychologist’s work in early education has been restricted primarily to providing services to young children with special education needs. A more contemporary model calls for an expanded role with a focus on school readiness and the provision of services to all young children and their families in a prevention-oriented approach that is likely to maximize efforts to improve educational and social outcomes. Guided by best practices in school psychology, school psychologists can assist parents and early educators in taking a deliberate and intentional role in facilitating child development. By acting as a liaison between the school system and early childhood settings, school psychologists can assist schools in preparing to meet the diverse needs of their youngest students and can assist early childhood educators in better preparing children for school entry (Carlton & Winsler, 1999). The purpose of this article is to discuss an expanded role for school psychologists in early education within the context of school readiness and organized around the domains of assessment, consultation, and intervention. In addressing each of these domains, applications of best practices in school psychology are presented, with modifications relevant to early education and research highlighted to illustrate the potential contributions of collaborative efforts of school psychology and early education. Finally, challenges to this contemporary model are discussed.
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