nl en

International Perspectives on Practicing School Psychology


Entry requirements

Open to Master’s students Psychology.


This course has two main aims:
1) to familiarize students with the general meaning and implementation of school psychology around the world (guiding question: is it implemented according to its main goals and how could it be improved) , and
2) to learn about implementation issues in the different subdomains of school psychology (for example, implementation of a school wide program against bullying poses other challenges and requires other skills than to implement a program to support individual students with learning problems).

Two class meetings (at the start and half-way) are devoted to the meaning and implementation of school psychology around the world (instructor will discuss general issues; students will present results from their own investigation of school psychology in a country or region of their own choice). Six class meetings are used to discuss domain-related implementation issues with practicing school psychologists who know about the do’s and don’ts of domain-specific implementation, such as health promotion, anti-bullying, remediation, and so forth.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Understand, from a meta-perspective, what school psychology is about and how it is implemented in various countries around the world;

  • Know what it takes to implement (and consolidate) new programs in the various domains varying from supporting individual students, teachers, and/or school management;

  • Have a better grasp of the professional field, potential jobs and career opportunities, as well as to be able to reflect and comment on their own motivation, skills and knowledge in relation to possible future career as a school psychologist

Mode of instruction

The course consists of:
*Two 2-hour work group sessions to guide students with their own orientation on school psychology in a specific country or world region The main text for this part of the course is the Handbook of International School Psychology.

  • Six 2-hour discussion sessions in which the course coordinator outlines a specific domain and the questions which emerge from the scientific literature; the school psychology professional will then explain how this matter was dealt with at her/his school(s). The main text for this part of the course is Specialty Competencies in School Psychology.

Presence in all sessions is mandatory, missing 1 session (if announced beforehand and with good reason) can be compensated with an alternative assignment. Missing more sessions is not allowed.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in: Psychology timetables Lectures


Students need to enroll for discussion sessions and work group sessions.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on two assessments related to both course aims: (a) an in-class small-group presentation of one’s own evaluation of the way school psychology is implemented in the educational system within several countries, illustrated by specific schools or school district (30%); and (b) an individual paper on how a domain-specific approach might be realized within the schools, while taking scientific evidence, practical feasibility, and ethical issues into account (70%).

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

  • Jimerson, Oakland, & Farrell (2007). The Handbook of International School Psychology SAGE Publishing. (pdf available through APA PsycNET)

  • Flanagan & Miller (2010). Specialty Competencies in School Psychology, Oxford University Press (£35.99)
    Students will search additional study materials for both assignments.

Contact information

Prof. Dr. P.M. (Michiel) Westenberg