Teaching and mentoring the next generation of school psychologists is crucial for improving the outcomes of all students. Dr. Barrett is committed to providing quality training experiences for school psychology graduate students, guided by the themes described below.
Dr. Barrett currently teaches CEP 918: Introduction to School-Based Prevention and Psychological Science, CEP 889: Consultation in School Psychology, and CEP 894K: Internship in School Psychology. CEP 918 acquaints students with schools as contexts for mental health promotion and evidence-based psychological interventions. CEP 889 supports students as they develop their consultation skills by integrating theory, empirical research, and applied practicum experiences. CEP 894K provides individual and group supervision to third year doctoral students as they engage in their school-based practicum experiences.
School-based professionals and K-12 students have varying experiences, backgrounds, values, belief systems, areas of expertise, and theoretical orientations. Essentially, schools are extremely diverse organizations. It is crucial for school psychologists entering the workforce to have a basic understanding of neighboring fields to promote multidisciplinary collaboration that can effectively serve the needs of a diverse student body. To this end, much of Dr. Barrett’s teaching and mentorship pulls from a range of fields. Students working with Dr. Barrett will be exposed to and understand a range of perspectives.
Systems and Context
Drawing from Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, it is crucial that school psychologists understand the systems within which they work and the concentric spheres of influence that impact students’ lives. Dr. Barrett strives to help students understand how powerful and complex school systems are, and how those systems impact the day-to-day lives of students. For example, systems-level process and policies can influence whether or not students receive services, the types of services they receive, and how the effectiveness of those services is determined. Understanding the system and context is crucial to be an effective change agent in schools and improve outcomes for students, especially for students that have been historically marginalized. Students working with Dr. Barrett will receive training on systems-level factors and systems-level change.
Balance between Theory and Practical Knowledge
The research-practice gap is multi-faceted and includes more than just challenges translating programs and practices supported by research into authentic educational settings. For example, research has suggested that researchers and practitioners ask different questions and have different ways of understanding problems. School psychologists entering the workforce need to have practical knowledge that is useful in authentic educational settings, but also have a deep understanding of theory and research so that they can effectively problem solve and conceptualize novel challenges. Students working with Dr. Barrett will engage in a research agenda that is highly collaborative with local schools and gain a deep understanding of the research-practice gap.
Graduate Students as Scholar-Practitioner-Scientists
Dr. Barrett believes that effective teaching and training acknowledges that graduate students are individuals with both professional and personal lives. This may be particularly important when working with diverse or under-represented groups of students who may encounter unique challenges when navigating the rigor of graduate training and working in schools. Students working with Dr. Barrett will continuously reflect on their personal experiences, career goals, and skill development.
Students working with Dr. Barrett receive high-quality research mentorship, which sets students up for success. From their first year in the program, students are encouraged to lead their own research projects. With support, these projects result in national presentations and publications in top-tier academic journals.