Ethical Considerations in the Practice of School Psychology

Kathleen M. McNamara

in The Oxford Handbook of School Psychology

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195369809
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Ethical Considerations in the Practice of School Psychology


Cross-national variations in the role and function of school psychologists, the organization of schools, and cultural norms require flexibility in applying standards and procedures for ethically sound practice. However, a set of universal ethical principles exists, and serves as a framework within which decisions about ethical matters can be made. In this chapter, four general principles are described—respect for the dignity of persons; responsible caring; integrity in professional relationships; and responsibility to society. Their applications are explored in the context of common and emerging ethical themes and dilemmas, including administrative pressures, unsound educational practices, informed consent, privacy, fairness and nondiscrimination, use of technology, response-to-intervention models, and conflicts of interest. Various models for ethical decision making also are discussed.

Keywords: ethics; ethical principles; school psychology; code of ethics; international school psychology

Article.  7915 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Educational Psychology

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