Date of Award

10-14-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Stephen D. Truscott, Psy.D. - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Andrew Roach, Ph.D. - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Catherine Cadenhead, Ph.D. - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Julie Dangel, Ph.D. - Committee Member

Abstract

Supervision is essential to the development of school psychologists. Effective supervision cultivates professional competence and objectivity, enhances service delivery, encourages critical thinking and problem solving, and supports school psychologists to engage in continuous professional development activities. Yet, there is little information available about how school psychology practitioners and supervisors view supervision and in what ways actual supervision practices can improve. This study employed concept mapping, which is a structured analytic methodology that allows qualitative and quantitative data to be expressed as visual models to explore practicing school psychologists’ and supervisors’ perceptions about supervision by: (a) investigating what impediments hindered supervision efforts, (b) identifying what advocacy methods may increase supervision opportunities, and (c) examining whether and how school psychologists and supervisors agree on potential impediments and possible facilitators to improve supervision practices. Overall, participants reported that they provided or received supervision and were generally satisfied with it; however, practitioners received much less than the time recommended by national professional associations. Although, participants were generally pleased with supervision, they also believed that supervision needed more structure, ongoing formal evaluations, setting of goals, and time management. Further, few supervisors follow established models or used clinical techniques during supervision and there was a need for formal training of supervisors. Participants suggested the following to facilitate supervision in authentic school settings: (a) planning and committing to supervision, (b) setting parameters and guidelines, (c) identifying appropriate supervisors, (d) using alternative supervision formats, and (e) seeking guidance and direction from the National Association of School Psychologists. Recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.

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