Changing conceptualization of the role of educational psychologists in Singapore

Phey Ling Kit, Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal, Kristina Burgetova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychology is a young discipline in Singapore. Hence, perceptions of the roles and responsibilities of an educational psychologist (EP) are still constantly being negotiated and redefined. This qualitative study examined how role negotiations and redefinitions could be actively facilitated through an experiential and intensive two-day Basic Counseling Skills training course. This course was attended by eight trainee EPs enrolled in the only master's-level educational psychology training program in Singapore. A grounded analysis of their pre- and posttraining qualitative questionnaires and focus group discussion revealed the group's evolving conceptualizations about the role of an EP from that of a mere test administrator to a recognition of the need for a more systemic approach in providing intervention. The EPs also recognized their lack of capacity to respond to emotionally distressed parents with compassion and sensitivity, and acknowledged the value of basic counseling skills training. Implications for training and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-200
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of School and Educational Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • change agents
  • change in role conceptualization of EP
  • educational psychology
  • school psychology
  • self-awareness of EP
  • training of educational psychologists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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