School Psychology Review
Social Justice and School Psychology
Bonnie K. Nastasi
Special Topic: Promoting Social Justice
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Despite attention in other social sciences and within other areas of psychology (e.g., community psychology; Nelson & Prilleltensky, 2005), social justice has received minimal attention in school psychology literature. The two studies by Shriberg et al. (2008) and McCabe and Rubinson (2008) represent significant developments in exploring school psychology’s commitment to social justice. The studies address important questions regarding individual and collective professional development for promoting social justice in schools. Shriberg et al. examined perspectives of multicultural/diversity experts in school psychology regarding social justice in general. McCabe and Rubinson examined the attitudes, perceived norms, and behavioral intentions regarding social justice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) school-age population among graduate students in childhood and early childhood education, school counseling, and school psychology. Both populations were expected to have had unique opportunities to develop awareness, attitudes, and skills related to social justice. In the former case, the experts were viewed as well positioned to promote social justice given their experiences working with diverse populations; in the latter, graduate students were studying in a program with a mission of social justice. Together, these studies are important initial steps in exploring the status quo of school psychology and providing directions for future research and action.