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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Resiliency: The Bobo Doll of Success

Recently, in one of my classes, we've been discussing resiliency. Prior to reading any of the literature, I had always thought of resilience as a gift certain people are just born with, like an aptitude for math or athletic ability. To my surprise, resilience is influenced by both environmental as well as genetic factors. A big external influence on resilience is having a relationship with a caring adult.

From what I saw during my practicum experience, it seems to me that caring adults gravitate toward particular students rather than the students turning to them for help. Further, I feel that the students usually evoke a positive response from the adult due to a high aptitude or ability that the adult also has an interest in. For example, the head football coach mentors the best player because he sees his athletic potential, and maybe that vote of confidence transfers to other aspects of that student's life in order to help him succeed. The bad part of all this is that I feel that the students who are consistently average or even below average go unnoticed because they don't have that one standout characteristic.

As you head out in the field, do you think it's possible to play the role of the caring adult for students who may go by the wayside because they do not possess an outstanding skill or quality? Further, do you think that you'll be able to sell yourself in a way that the child truly believes that you believe in him or her? Or, do you think that children will be able to see right through you?

The blog was created by Vincent Balestrieri

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The World in our Hands

According to APA, Psychological service providers need a socio-cultural framework to consider diversity of values, interactional styles, and cultural expectations in a systematic fashion. They need knowledge and skills for multicultural assessment and intervention, including abilities to:

1. Recognize cultural diversity.

2. Understand the role that culture and ethnicity/race play in the socio-psychological and economic development of ethnic and culturally diverse populations.

3. Understand that socioeconomic and political factors significantly impact the psychosocial, political and economic development of ethnic and culturally diverse groups.

4. Help clients to understand/maintain/resolve their own sociocultural identification; and understand the interaction of culture, gender, and sexual orientation on behavior and needs.

In previous classes, we discussed how the ethnic breakdown of school psychologists is predominantly Caucasian women compared to the diverse and ever changing population that they serve. Taking that into consideration it definitely triggers an alarm that we need to educate ourselves and continuously re-educate ourselves on the customs, beliefs, religious values, and level of acculturation of our clients. But is that enough to ensure that our clients continuously receive the best care? Do you think that you are prepared to enter a culturally diverse school system and provide each student with the appropriate care without bias?

NASP defines cultural competence as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enables that system, agency, or those professionals to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. How can you prepare yourself during the practicum and internship experiences to achieve a level of cultural competence?

This blog was created by Katie Blades.