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Introduction to School Psychology

Controversies and Current Practice

Edited by Matthew K. Burns

Publication Date - 02 July 2019

ISBN: 9780190619329

580 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

An introduction to the field of school psychology.


The discipline of school psychology has been shaped over the course of its existence by a series of professional and scientific controversies, and by how researchers and practitioners have responded to those controversies. Should there be an entry-level degree requirement for school psychologists? What should a school psychologist's role be with regard to student mental health? Should school psychologists work outside of school settings?

Designed for students entering school psychology training programs, Introduction to School Psychology: Controversies and Current Practice examines the debates that have influenced the nature and scope of the profession, and that continue to do so today. This edited textbook is divided into five sections, the first of which describes current practices. The second offers coverage of ethics and relevant legal concerns for school psychologists; cultural competence; and consultation. The third section provides readers with the theoretical foundations of practice and includes a brief chapter on theoretical orientations. The fourth and largest section of the book examines the controversies that shape practice, presenting chapters on idiographic and nomothetic approaches; diagnostic frameworks; assessment and treatment of behavioral disorders; and much more. The final section of the book focuses on contexts and the future of the profession, with chapters on practice in urban and rural communities, technology, and the Futures Conferences.


  • Provides a deeper understanding of current practice and facilitates critical thinking
  • Traces historical and current controversies in the field
  • Focuses on contexts and the future of school psychology with commentaries from early-career scholars

About the Author(s)

Dr. Matthew K. Burns is a Professor of School Psychology at the University of Missouri, and Director of the Center for Collaborative Solutions for Kids, Practice, and Policy. He has published over 175 articles and book chapters in national publications, and has co-authored or co-edited 12 books. He is also the immediate Past Editor of School Psychology Review and Past Editor of Assessment for Effective Intervention. Dr. Burns is one of the leading researchers regarding the use of assessment data to determine individual or small-group interventions, and has published extensively on response to intervention, academic interventions, and facilitating problem-solving teams. In addition Dr. Burns was also a practicing school psychologist and special education administrator before becoming an academic, and served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 10 years and Central Michigan University for 5 years.


"A unique and refreshing way to introduce students to the profession of School Psychology. In this comprehensive text, Burns has pulled together leaders in the profession to provide concise perspectives on important issues and controversies. This is in addition to providing basic information about the profession, its history, ethical considerations, alternative roles, etc. Time is not wasted on provision of information on specific content domains that will be covered in other graduate courses. A easy reading, very interesting and informative introduction to the excitement of this profession." -- Jim Ysseldyke, PhD, NCSP, Professor Emeritus, Department of Educational Psychology, School Psychology Program, University of Minnesota

"As presented in this exciting new text, for more than 100 years school psychologists have positively served infants, children, youth, families, and worked with schooling, but also functioned successfully in non-traditional settings. Burns' Introduction to School Psychology: Controversies and Current Practice argues that we must learn all theories and practices if we are to be effective and efficient school psychologists. The book does not offer a single approach to school psychology practice which is what makes the volume exceptional... It will be a book that will help you navigate our changing world, understand societal strengths and problems, and help you consider how to make a difference in our dynamic but toxic world." -- Rik Carl D'Amato, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor in School Psychology , The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Past Editor of APA's School Psychology journal and ISPA's International Journal of School & Educational Psychology.

"Introduction to School Psychology: Controversies and Current Practice provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive yet concise, coverage of theoretical foundations, historical underpinnings, professional associations, and contemporary practice standards in the rapidly growing field of school psychology. Particularly compelling chapters focus on controversies (e.g., identification of learning disabilities) that have significantly impacted the practice of school psychology as well as challenges and opportunities that will shape future growth of the profession. A veritable who's who lineup of chapter authors make this book an indispensable resource for school psychology students, practitioners, and university trainers." -- George J. DuPaul, PhD, Professor of School Psychology and Associate Dean for Research, College of Education, Lehigh University (Bethlehem PA)

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction to School Psychology: Controversies and Current Practice
    Matthew K. Burns


    2. Laws, Rules, Regulations, and Ethical Standards that Affect Current Practice
    Dawn M. Decker

    3. Culturally Competent Practice
    Scott L. Graves Jr.

    4. Giving Expertise Away through School Consultation: A Framework for School Psychology
    Daniel S. Newman and Julie Q. Morrison


    5. APA Division 16 - School Psychology
    James Diperna

    6. The National Association of School Psychologists and Its Influence on the Field of School Psychology
    Todd A. Savage and Leslie Z. Paige

    7. Society for the Study of School Psychology
    Elaine Clark, Stacy Overstreet, Robert J. Volpe, Karen C. Stoiber, and Margaret Semrud-Clikeman

    8. Council for Exceptional Children
    Antonis Katsiyannis, Robin P. Ennis, and Rebecca Leary

    9. International School Psychology Association (ISPA)
    Bonnie K. Nastasi


    10. Theory, Conceptual Frameworks, and Practice in School Psychology
    Matthew K. Burns, Julia Baker, Victoria Erhardt, Elyse M. Farnsworth, Anna Genchanok, Elena Kwong, and Brittany VanHove

    11. Prediction versus Control: Influences of Applied Behavior Analysis on School Psychology Practice
    Brian K. Martens and Michael P. Mullane

    12. Neuroscience for School Psychologists
    J. W. Kalat

    13. Influence of Cognitive Psychology on School Psychology
    Sashank Varma, Allyson J. Kiss, and Robin S. Codding

    14. Applications of Social Psychology Theory and Research to School Psychology Practice
    Frederic J. Medway

    15. Prevention Science: An Approach to Inform the Future of School Psychology
    Keith C. Herman, Wendy M. Reinke, and Aaron M. Thompson


    16. Idiographic vs. Nomothetic History: The First Debate in School Psychology
    Dan Florell

    17. Ph. D. vs. Ed. S.: The on-going entry-level credentialing debate
    David M. Hulac

    18. Current Practice: Schools vs. Alternative Settings
    Jennifer A. Mautone, Genery D. Booster, and Tamique J. Ridgard

    19. Integrating Diagnostic Systems in School Psychology: DSM-5, IDEA, and ICD-10
    Steven R. Shaw and Mark-Damyan Edwards

    20. Structural Analysis vs. Functional Analysis of Behavior
    Stephen P. Kilgus and T. Chris Riley-Tillman

    21. Differentiating Emotional Disturbance from Social Maladjustment: A Futile Search for a Red Herring
    Frank M. Gresham, Rachel Olinger Steeves, and Sarah Metallo

    22. The Identification of Learning Disabilities: PSW vs. RTI Methods
    Jeremy Miciak and Jack M. Fletcher

    23. Improving Student Behavior and Mental Health: School-based Therapies vs Functional Approaches to Behavior Intervention
    Nicole Skaar

    24. Arguments For and Against the Use of Psychotropic Medication within School-Aged Populations
    John S. Carlson and Adrianna E. Crossing

    25. Remediating Student Learning Problems: Aptitude-by-Treatment Interaction vs. Skill-by-Treatment Interaction
    Randy G. Floyd and John H. Kranzler


    26. School Psychology in an Urban Setting
    Anthony M. Adamowski

    27. Challenges Unique to Rural School Psychology
    Kari A. Oyen

    28. Technology and the Future of School Psychology
    Jack A. Cummings, Dan Florell, William Pfohl, and Susan Jarmuz-Smith

    29. Futures Conferences
    Samuel Y. Song, Jack Cummings, Patti Harrison, and Susan Jarmuz-Smith

    30. Future Issues and Controversies that Will Shape School Psychology
    Amanda M. VanDerHeyden, Amy M. Briesch, Shannon Suldo, Andrew Roach, Amanda Sullivan, Jessica A. Hoffman, S. Andrew Garbacz, Lisa M. Hagermoser Sanetti, and Robin S. Codding