Social Justice and School Psychology

By Nastasi, Bonnie K. | School Psychology Review, December 2008 | Go to article overview

Social Justice and School Psychology


Nastasi, Bonnie K., School Psychology Review


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.

The purpose of this commentary is to discuss the findings of these two studies in the context of school psychology's future role in social justice. The discussion is organized around three questions (themes); What is social justice (definition)? Where do we currently stand in school psychology (status quo)? How do we move forward as a profession (future directions)?

Guiding interpretation and inference is a participatory, interdisciplinary, and action-oriented framework, consistent with the social justice work of Prilleltensky and Nelson (2002; Nelson & Prilleltensky, 2005) in community psychology, the international development work of Eade (1997), and health promotion work of Nastasi (2000) and Nastasi, Moore, and Varjas (2004) in school psychol- ogy. The models guiding these efforts share several key values related to (a) promoting the well-being of ail people by transforming existing power structures, (b) critically examining the status quo of society and the profession, (c) involving stakeholders in guiding and enacting social change, and (d) personal responsibility and accountability of professionals for promoting social justice. Certainly these values are within the realm of current thinking in school psychology. As reflected in the findings from Shriberg et al. (2008) and McCabe and Rubinson (2008), however, school psychology is not yet prepared to fully participate in social justice work. The key question we return to at the conclusion of this commentary is what steps we need to take individually and collectively to fully participate in promoting socially just institutions and societies.

Defining Social Justice

The research by Shriberg et al. (2008) specifically addressed the question of definition by asking a group of "cultural diversity experts" (based on their record of publications and presentations related to diversity) to define social justice in the context of school psychology. The resulting definitions included equity (equal rights and protection for all), an ecological or systemic perspective, advocacy, and personal responsibility, with equity being the primary concept. As Shriberg and his colleagues pointed out, this primary focus on equal protection is consistent with accepted definitions of social justice, with professional standards of practice (e.g., American Psychology Association [APA] and National Association of School Psychologists[NASP]), and with the major premise of special education legislation that has played a central role in school psychology since the 1970s (PL 94-142). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Justice and School Psychology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.