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Averting a Recruitment Crisis in Educational Psychology Services: An investigation of psychology undergraduate perspectives on the profession

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Abstract

This paper describes a survey of psychology undergraduates' perceptions of educational psychology, and the factors most likely to motivate or deter them from joining the profession. Results suggest that interest in educational psychology as a career option is at its lowest level for thirty years or more. The paper presents evidence that the current recruitment crisis within the profession needs to be addressed at a number of levels, including: ” the promotion within first degree programmes of improved understanding of educational psychology as a discipline and a profession, and of the links between basic research and its applicability to educational psychology in practice; ” the further development of the role which educational psychologists (EPs) fulfil, and the accurate dissemination of information about the profession; ” stream-lining and rationalising post-graduate training routes for psychology graduates, in order to offer a more accessible career route, and maximising its direct relevance in supporting the acquisition of core professional skills; and ” attenting to pay and conditions within the profession, so that it competes on more equal terms with other career destinations considered by undergraduates.

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... It also depends on the length and quality of the education and training involved in becoming a professional educational psychologist. How the occupation is regarded compared with other professional specialisations in psychology and allied professions is also a relevant factor (Frederickson, Morris, Osborne, & Reed, 2000). 3. Changes in the Special Education System. ...
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This article analyses current and future issues about the distinctive contribution of professional educational psychologists in a changing English service context. This is about the context of greater inter-professional and multi-agency working, but also the moves towards more quasi-market systems of service delivery. I examine the identity and service focus dilemmas that educational psychologists have to address. This raises questions about the distinction between basic and applied psychology, the nature of applying psychology and whether applying psychology requires professional educational psychologists. One of the main arguments is that how we think about applying psychology is crucial for the future in a changing context. The task is for professional psychologists to be innovative in service terms to ensure a continuing and valued position in the service network. The significance of this analysis of educational psychology in an English context for other countries is also discussed.
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The aim of this research was to ascertain the views of applicants to educational psychology training courses regarding the prospect of changing the existing 1‐year Masters course to a 3‐year Doctorate. To date a number of groups within the profession, including principal educational psychologists and course tutors, have been surveyed. However, applicants to educational psychology training courses had not been consulted. An anonymous questionnaire was sent to the 219 individuals who applied for a place on the MSc course in Educational Psychology at University College London commencing in September 1997. Of these applicants 131 responded and their completed questionnaires were analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Implications for the introduction of 3‐year courses and for the funding of training are discussed.
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This paper reports the results of a questionnaire survey conducted by the AEP/BPS Joint Consultative Group on Extended Training (JCGET). The survey highlights the strength of support within the educational psychology profession for extending initial training and the diversity of views about the content and purpose of pre‐course experiences. The findings suggest a basis for greater clarity about the prerequisite skills and knowledge required by applicants to training courses and highlight potential advantages of greater flexibility in routes into training. It is recommended that we adopt an enquiring approach to our professional training, in setting up and evaluating broadly‐supported training options. We conclude by urging the DfEE working group to investigate one such option identified by the survey; a new route of pre‐course experience as a graduate assistant in an educational psychology service.
Focus Group Interviews in Education and Psychology. London: Sage. Downloaded by
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VAUGHAN, S., SHAY SCHUMM, J., & SINAGUB, J. (1996). Focus Group Interviews in Education and Psychology. London: Sage. Downloaded by [Nipissing University] at 04:41 05 October 2014
Teaching Experience and Educational Psychologists' Credibility with Teachers How and why applicants choose to study psychology at university. The Psychologist
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FREDERICKSON, N., OSBORNE, L. & REED, P (2001). Teaching Experience and Educational Psychologists' Credibility with Teachers. Educational Psychology in Practice, 17(1), in press. MORRIS, P.E., CHENG, D., & SMITH, H. (1992) How and why applicants choose to study psychology at university. The Psychologist, 5, 247–251.
Unpublished paper presented to the Soulbury Committee Unpublished statistical data presented to DfEE Working Group Psychologists in Education Services The Training of Educational Psychologists
  • Association Of
  • Psychologists
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