Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Amanda H. Stoeckel & Rik Carl D'Amato
The profession of school psychology developed from the need of school personnel to classify and manage children with educational and behavioral problems. The purpose of this entry is to describe the growth of school psychology and to illustrate how school psychologists are uniquely trained to fulfill many roles, both within and outside of the school setting. School psychologists display skills and abilities that can be successfully applied toward meeting the future needs of a diverse society. Lightner Witmer, considered the father of school and clinical psychology, was probably the earliest practitioner of school psychology. In 1888, Witmer started his career teaching English and history at a preparatory school, where he was intrigued by students who had difficulties learning despite being motivated and bright. This may have piqued his interest in the empirical study of learning, which characterized much of his future work. Witmer then pursued graduate study at the University ...