The continuing education interests of New York State early childhood school psychologists

Iris Gail Goliger, Pace University


Continuing education (CE) for school psychologists is crucial in order to maintain knowledge and skills obtained during preservice education and training, to keep abreast of current research, new tools and techniques and the implications of these for practice, and to develop new competencies based on the changing needs of society. Historical trends in school psychology training and the rapid expansion of the scope of practice to encompass infancy and early childhood are discussed to contextualize the dramatic need for CE research to inform development of CE programs for practitioners serving the zero-to-five-year-old population. The Infant and Early Childhood Psychology Survey, developed by members of the research task force of the New York Association of Infant and Early Childhood Psychology (NYAECIP), was used to gather information about infant and early childhood psychology practice in New York State, including practitioners' preferences in topics, formats, and means of recognition for CE efforts. The survey was sent to all 2,286 of the New York State affiliates of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP). Nearly all respondents were Caucasian (90.5%). Most respondents held Master's degrees (63.6%) as their highest level of education, and the majority had received their highest degree training in school psychology (87.3%). The sample was highly skewed in terms of gender (80.4% female, 19.6% male), and males were represented in greater than expected proportions as being older, more likely trained at the doctoral level, and to have received training in a content area other than school psychology. Nearly all subjects (98%) endorsed infant and early childhood psychology CE interests, with most practitioners endorsing more than half of the topics presented as needs. Topics of greatest interest to the sample were (1) intervention approaches, issues and strategies, (2) assessment approaches, issues and strategies, (3) disabilities: diagnosis and intervention, and (4) pharmacology with the early childhood population. The majority of practitioners (92.2%) preferred a workshop format for CE, especially if provided by a professional organization (80.3%). New practitioners were interested in CE through the professional organization at a significantly higher rate than experienced psychologists. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Educational psychology|Adult education|Continuing education

Recommended Citation

Goliger, Iris Gail, "The continuing education interests of New York State early childhood school psychologists" (2002). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3056049.



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