Teachers' perceptions of psychological services in educational settings in Aotearoa New Zealand : a thesis presented to the Institute of Education at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Educational Psychology
Despite an increasing international knowledge base, there is a lack of New
Zealand based research regarding teacher and school perceptions of educational
psychology. This study discusses the findings of a survey of teachers’ perceptions
of educational psychology services in New Zealand. A total of 164 teachers
completed the survey that yielded both quantitative and qualitative data.
Findings indicate that there is considerable alignment between educational
psychologists and teachers in New Zealand regarding the role of educational
psychology. Teachers from this survey reported little contact with educational
psychologists, and rated educational psychology services as at least ‘slightly
helpful’. Consultation and collaboration with both school staff and parents was
recognised as the most important service educational psychologists in New
Zealand should provide. The greatest barriers to educational psychology services
were identified as insufficient funds, a personal lack of knowledge regarding
services and referral processes, and a shortage of educational psychologists.
Teachers reported feeling overwhelmed, unsupported and underequipped to
properly support the wide ranging and seemingly ever increasing needs of our
learners. Overall, the teachers surveyed expressed that too many students are
missing out on desperately needed support. These findings suggest important
implications for the future of educational psychology services in New Zealand.
An increased promotion of psychological, social, and emotional health in schools
is proposed as one potential area in which the role of educational psychologists
in New Zealand could be further advanced.